In 2006, I photographed Russ’s sister’s wedding. In the years since, I have photographed her several more times as she & her husband started a family and had two beautiful little girls. Last May, Russ & their mom came along to the session to get a family photo. Several months later, before Christmas, Russ emailed me asking if he could buy a portrait session gift certificate to give to his girlfriend. “Sure!” I said, and mailed him one to give to her, saying I hoped she could wait until spring when the weather got nice again! So this week we met at Delaware Park and walked all around finding beautiful locations, and managed to find a lilac bush that was right at its peak! What a gorgeous day, and I love photographing couples who make each other laugh!!!
Mike & Kari hired me last summer for their August 2013 wedding, but since they live in Philadelphia and I was really busy last fall, we didn’t get around to scheduling the session til now. I know we were all hoping for (and expecting!) warmer temperatures but they were good sports in the 47-48 degree weather (thankfully they packed long sleeve shirts and some light sweaters!) and we got some beautiful photos.
“Aww, you’re not supposed to pick the flowers!” Kari said. Don’t worry Mike, it was cute, and I think plucking one tiny blossom won’t hurt! (This was a genuine moment – I did nt tell Mike to give her the flower!)
On Saturday, May 4, 2013, my wedding season officially began with the wedding of Don & Monique at Statler City in downtown Buffalo. I met them that morning at the Hyatt Regency for pictures while they got dressed & ready. I was joined for the first time by Mary Beth Flatau Photography as my second photographer, and Don & Monique hired 17 Video Production to provide videography for the day.
No, you don’t need to adjust your monitor – Monique chose a pale blue wedding dress!
We arranged a “first look” in the mezzanine of the hotel so Monique & Don could see each other for the first time that day before we left to take wedding party photos.
I love this shot of them smiling before riding the elevator down to the lobby. I think I just love how happy Monique looks!
First we drove to the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. It was my first time ever having to wear a “photography permit” badge!
After leaving the gardens, we drove to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The girls were not adventurous (fool-hardy?) enough to get up amongst the columns like the guys – I think that was for the best.
Our final outdoor stop was Niagara Square, conveniently adjacent to Statler City. Everyone had definitely loosened up by this point!
We went to Statler City to meet Don & Monique’s families for formal photos, then the wedding party went to hide & relax before the ceremony started. The ceremony was filled with laughs from both Monique & Don – I loved seeing them smile so much, so happy to be marrying their best friend!
During the cocktail hour I took the opportunity to get a lot of shots of the details and the food – Monique loves paisley and worked it into her cake, her table numbers, and even the pattern on the ice sculpture!
After dinner, Don & Monique shared a dance before the dancefloor opened to all of the guests, who enjoyed the band and also a DJ for the evening!
This is my first attempt in a long time at a dragged-shutter exposure – it’s not perfect, but I still like the effect it gave of Don & Monique dancing slowly as their friends danced in a circle around them.
Congratulations to you both and to your families – what a GORGEOUS day you had and I thank you so much for hiring me to do your photography! I am honored and wish you guys years and years of those same smiles you had on Saturday!!
This past week, I drove 1495.2 miles in my 2006 Mazda3 named Starseed (yes, Our Lady Peace fans, *that* Starseed). I took my family on a trip through three state capitals (Harrisburg, Annapolis, and Richmond) and the national capital, hitting the Atlantic coast in 3 places (Ocean City, MD, and Chincoteague and Virginia Beach, VA), visiting my husband’s father at his house in Powhatan, VA for the first time, and also our first time at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. It was a lot of driving but thankfully I love the road under my tires – we hit all these places in just under a week!
We stayed the first night in a small city called Salisbury, MD (at the Country Inn & Suites, we recommend!) and woke up the morning of our son’s sixth birthday and drove out to Ocean City, MD where he got his feet in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.
After Ocean City, we drove down to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge where, admittedly, I expected more. Maybe it’s just not warm enough yet for me to have gotten the full effect, but it was windy & chilly and it didn’t seem like there was a whole lot to see.We did get to see wild ponies (from a very UN-wild observation deck viewing area) and Nate got to hold a live wild conch snail we found in the edge of the ocean at low tide. We brought home a couple empty shells as souvenirs.
The next morning, Easter, Nate participated in the Easter Egg hunt organized by the hotel, then we hit the road, heading south to VA and over/through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel. We got to Virginia Beach around lunch time, and thanks to very cold, drizzly, overcast weather, we were quite literally the only people on the beach. We didn’t stay out for long, because as you can see, it was cold enough for us to be wearing coats!
Thankfully the following day was much nicer & sunnier, and we actually got to wear shorts while we spent time with Joe’s dad & his girlfriend at their house in Powhatan. They took us to a place that has go-karts and mini golf and we all enjoyed the afternoon.
On Tuesday April 2, we left VA and drove into Washington DC. My main goal of visiting DC was to see the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin! Well, guess what – they weren’t out. BUMMER. We walked all around the National Mall, saw all the major monuments except the Jefferson Memorial, visited the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History real quick just to get Nate a pressed penny, then back to the car. 4 hours, in & out. Thankfully, right near where we parked (randomly on 19th st near F St) we found a small courtyard with blossoming cherry trees! YAY!!
From there we drove on to Baltimore where we stayed at one of the hotels about 12 blocks north of the waterfront, and walked to the Inner Harbor & back (no one told us about the free buses til it was too late, LOL – country bumpkins, right here!). It was a bit of a walk (especially since there is also a lot of walking to do once you get inside the aquarium as well) but hey, we worked off our big delicious breakfast we got at David and Dad’s Cafe on Charles St (totally recommended if you’re in the area!) and Nate and I had very comfy feet in our KEEN Coronados and Whispers, respectively. The National Aquarium was great. Nate had only ever been to the Niagara Falls Aquarium (sorry, but yawn) and Joe and I had been to the one in Boston about 8 years ago but I couldn’t remember much about it. Unfortunately one of the floors was closed due to a new exhibit coming in that’s not finished yet, but I still feel like we totally got our $80 worth of admission. My favorite part was the jellyfish room (seriously, those things are amazing) and Nate loved the dolphin “show” they did. We bought a couple small souvenirs, then walked back to the hotel. The waterfront along the Inner Harbor would have been way more enjoyable if it hadn’t been 53 degrees and so windy. I can imagine it’s a really nice place in the warmer weather! Take note, Buffalo!!
It was wonderful to take a week off from work and get my mind right before the season starts. I’m recharged and ready to go! Thanks for looking!