Hello again, internet!
So it’s been a while since I last posted anything here, but I promise it’s not for lack of wanting to. The last seventeen months since I have been on the blog (yeesh!) have been a total whirlwind and the most challenging — and rewarding — time for my business. So here’s a photo-filled rundown of what I’ve been up to.
But first, just a few weeks ago, I received the greatest honor of my career when I was named to TheKnot’s Best of Weddings Hall of Fame. For those who don’t know, that means that for four years now — basically the duration of my career as a wedding photographer in New York — I have appeared on TheKnot’s annual “Best of Weddings” ranking of photographers from around the country. This is still something I can’t really fathom. It already means so much every time I get a review from clients — they have me soar on cloud nine for days at a time, which helps when working in a field that can be riddled with self-doubt and rejection. Writing this reads like I am tooting my own horn (which I may be a little), but I just have to keep reminding myself of that for it to sink in. It’s flabbergasting, but I am so, so proud and humbled that my clients helped me achieve this. On top of all that, I am still freaking out that I have been featured in a variety of blogs and publications, including A Practical Wedding, How They Asked, Munaluchi Bride, Catalyst Wedding Co, The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Glamour, Playbill, A Cup of Jo, Strictly Weddings, Bustle, and Mens Vows.
Now to backtrack, I decided to take on the most weddings I’ve ever shot in a year back in 2017, and it was absolutely astonishing to photograph forty couples in love. I was completely in awe of the different expressions of love, displays of community, and different sorts of parties I got to see over what now feels like such a short time. Also, I cried A LOT! I am always a total sap at weddings, but being hit with so many unique vows, proud parents and even some 100+ person sing-a-longs made me a blubbering idiot behind the lens. But the show had to go on! So there are bunch of photos from those weddings – and many more – throughout this post.
In 2018, I really challenged myself to grow my business by going outside my comfort zone — quite literally. Last year, I started to photograph travel and destination weddings. Thanks to some totally amazing couples, I shot engagements in Los Angeles and Seattle, a swanky Washington, DC, soiree, college sweethearts tying the knot in West Palm Beach and Chicago, a self-uniting ceremony in the Poconos, a huge destination wedding weekend on the rocky shores of Ogunquit, Maine, and some daredevils who got drenched in Niagara Falls after a multicultural commitment ceremony.
Traveling allowed me to stretch my creativity and expand my vision even further of what a wedding can look and feel like. It’s definitely the biggest leap I have taken since I decided to be a full-time photographer, and although I was totally scared I am eternally grateful to have done so. I am already looking forward to a bunch of travel work I have lined up in 2019, including a rustic party-wedding in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, an oceanside celebration in Huntington Beach, California, and a small destination wedding on Lake Como outside of Milan, Italy. But I’m always looking for more frequent-flyer miles, so hit me up if you and your boo are looking to make an adventure out of making it official!
That being said, I also had dozens of couples in NYC, Long Island, New Jersey and Westchester who rocked my world! I love the variety that I get to see in a relatively small area, from the industrial beauty of venues like The Metropolitan Building and Dobbin Street to the rustic charm of Brooklyn Winery or Red Maple Vineyard to the waterfront vistas of Liberty Warehouse and Trumpets on the Bay. I’m beyond grateful to have returned to a lot of venues including DUMBO’s customizable warehouse 26 Bridge, the intimate restaurant Maison May, the iconic Terrace on the Park in Queens, Reid Castle at Manhattanville College and the funky House Works Bookstore. These are venues I’ve always loved working at, and I’m proud that I now know them like the back of my hand.
Beyond where I worked, I was so grateful to grow how I worked by fostering amazing relationships with some absolutely incredible vendors. Just to call out a few, I’m so amazed by the planning prowess of Modern Rebel & Co, Color Pop Events, Dawn Mauburret, and Together Events. Also, I have had the chance to work alongside incredible videographers (who made me not hate everyone in their field – the still vs. video rivalry is real, y’all!), including Weddings by Elizabeth Mealey and Mae B Films. And because I can’t name everybody, basically everyone who participated in Love Union blows my mind and inspires me regularly.
And because I haven’t had enough on my plate as you can tell, I also have been very lucky to photograph what I am passionate about outside the wedding realm. I got the chance to document many charity events and activists, including those hosted by AIDS Walk New York, SAGE, Feminist Camp, and Seeds of Peace. I also am continuing to expand my food and cocktail portfolio, although sadly I never get to taste anything. Most fun of all has been shooting at various drag performances, including Sasha Velour’s Nightgowns and Bushwig. I am a huge fan of drag performance and absolutely love capturing the passion, artistry, and camaraderie of a good lip-sync, reveal, or death-drop. Hopefully, 2019 will bring even more diversity to my gigs!
Last but not least, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the most amazing things to happen in my life recently: I GOT MARRIED!!! My partner of seven years, Jacob, and I shared lots of happy tears, laughter, and bad dance moves with our friends and family in an old playhouse on Peaks Island, just off the coast of my hometown, Portland Maine. Photographing hundreds of weddings over the past eight years did not prepare me in the slightest for how time-consuming, stressful and exciting wedding planning can be. Now that I’ve been on the other side of the lens, I have a totally newfound respect for all of my clients and fellow vendors. IT IS FUCKIN NUTS, Y’ALL! It’s true that it goes by SO FAST. And I am so grateful to look at wedding photography with a new set of eyes. Even more so than before, I value my clients’ time on the wedding day. Although I love a good portrait session, I really try to keep photos of y’all and your family fun but go as efficiently as possible, since I now know how much folks would rather be partying. I’ve always valued vibing with my clients, but after hiring a phenomenal photographer myself, I can assure you how important it is for me to connect personally with my clients and their community. I am more hesitant to disrupt a quiet, private moment, too, but also know when to assert that we have to “go use this bonkers light over there.” My own wedding, and more time in the industry, has taught me that slipping away to get those moments you wouldn’t see happening off the dance floor, between families meeting or friends reuniting, is just as great as folks busting a move in the spotlight. Getting to photograph weddings nearly every weekend has always been a total blast, but having my own wedding proved possibly to be the best learning experience of all.
Now that I’ve already brought this blog post to a sappy moment, I will just sign off by saying I am so looking forward to everything 2019 has on the horizon. I hope to see a lot more snuggles in sunset lighting, funky dance moves, late-night cake, exhausted Lyft rides homes from gigs, and love. You guys can expect from me much more regular blog posts, a new website and integrated client experience, probably some bad puns, and photos of joyful and raw emotions just around the corner.
PS: If you made it this far, you’re a rockstar and deserve a bonus! So any couples that book a wedding package before Valentine’s Day 2019 can get a free sweetheart session – just mention your favorite Lady Gaga song in a message to me. Because we all need more Lady Gaga.