As soon as they booked the trip to Rome, he breathed a huge sigh of relief. He had finally found the perfect place to ask her. With that taken care of, he was completely calm for the weeks leading up for the trip. All the nerve-racking parts were done, right? He had asked her parents, selected a ring, and even managed to keep her from finding out about it all. There were just three small things left to do: pick up the ring, fly to Italy, and ask the question. No reason to stress.
But once he had the ring in his possession, he became a nervous wreck. How was he supposed to get through security without her seeing the ring? What if they found it and then he had to pop the question right there in the middle of Newark Airport? All of the crazy things that could go wrong went swirling through he head. Even after he got through airport security he still couldn't relax. He had to keep his hand on the ring box in his pocket.
He had planned on sleeping during the red-eye 8 hour flight. But he would have none of that. It was the middle of the night and he was wide awake and his heart was racing. And there she was, calm and relaxed, talking casually to him before she drifted off to sleep. That night, he didn't sleep a wink.
Shortly after arrival they spent the afternoon walking around the streets of Rome. He kept that same hand in his pocket, making sure the ring box was still there every step of the way. He decided he would ask her that night at the Colesium, it was supposed to be beautiful at night all lit up. At the end of the afternoon stroll, they returned to the hotel and she suggested they take a nap. It had been such a long day and they had yet to adjust to the time difference. But he would have none of that - he was a man on a mission and that mission had to be completed.
He convinced her to go back out and see the Colesium. It was just as beautiful as he had heard, the perfect romantic setting. There, under the lights and in the middle of Rome, he did what he had set out to do - he asked her to marry him.
She was so overwhelmed that she started to sob...of course she'd marry him! The whole way back to the hotel she kept her left hand within her line of sight, making sure the ring was there every step of the way. When they finally got back to the room she could barely contain her excitement - she was going to marry the man of her dreams. There was so much to do, people to tell, a wedding to plan. It was the middle of the night and her mind was racing. And there he was, calm and relaxed, talking casually as he drifted off to sleep. That night, she didn't sleep a wink.
VALERIE & CHRIS
That story is pretty much word for word the way Valerie & Chris told it to us over dinner at Grimaldi's in Brooklyn. They are just about the best storytellers we have ever met and with each new story they told, joy and laughter lit up their faces. We could have easily spent the whole day with them - talking about travel, TV and NJ (Valerie grew up not too far from me and she met Chris a Rutgers...hello grease trucks! She even met Bon Jovi once at a bagel shop - she said she was incredibly nice and down to earth.)
We met Valerie & Chris at Bryant Park for a couple of reasons: it's a beautiful bit of green in the middle of the city, and it just happens to be right next to the place we were hoping to shoot inside - the New York Public Library. Chris shares in my love of libraries, so he was totally up for it when we suggested doing part of their session in there. We were happily surprised when the only restriction for shooting inside the library was that we could not use flash - something that we're used to since we often shoot inside dark churches with out flash. The library was full of amazing nooks and tons of great architectural elements that we were able to incorporate. In keeping with the architecture them, we then headed over to the Brooklyn Bridge to finish up the shoot and go grab some fabulous coal-brick-oven pizza.
Note: A couple people have recently asked us who does the writing for our engagement and wedding blog posts. We thought we would clarify a little. Kathleen does the story (above) and Rob does the short narrating under each photo. We hope that both of our perspectives really help you get to know all of our wonderful couples just a little better. That being said, we hope you enjoy Valerie & Chris' Engagement Session Photos in NYC!
We started Valerie & Chris' engagement session on the front steps of the NYC Public Library. If you have ever been to this building, it is a great place filled with so many wonderful architectural details. We really love the total model stance these two have in this one.
We photographed a bunch of photos on the front stairs, we really love the sweetness of this one. The place we really wanted to be was inside the library. At this point we were not sure if we were allowed in the library with our gear and if photography at all was allowed. We took a chance went right through the front doors, cameras in hand. The only thing the guards at the front doors said to us was "nice cameras". Photography was allowed anywhere, the only rule was that you could not use flash.
Once inside the library we immediately found this incredible set of staircases which just so happened to have a balcony where we could shoot from above. This is by far one of my favorite images from their session. I love the lines and the way the staircases are placed, it is so interesting to me.
This window created such a great opportunity for a moody silhouette.
This is the balcony that I photographed the previous stair shot from above. Kathleen loved this area so much that we just had to photograph Valerie & Chris there.
We gave ourselves a little tour of the library and found this great reading room with ceilings that seemed to go on forever and people everywhere. The room was incredibly quiet and it seemed like everyone looked up at the same moment when they saw us photographing. This one is my view...
...and this is Kathleen's view from a moment later.
We headed toward some of the book stacks as we really liked the colors and textures. Did I mention how great the chandeliers in the library are?
I love the feel of this one, the stacks and stacks of books were so much fun to use as a backdrop.
The library is filled with the incredible and HUGE paintings. Kathleen found this one which just so happened to have the perfect bench in front of it.
We walked once again through the one of the reading rooms, the vast openness of this room is really something...
...and the detail of the ceiling is really out of this world. They seriously do not build buildings like this anymore.
We didn't have to tell Valerie & Chris to smile at each other, they seemed to always smile when they looked at each other.
A sweet kiss through the book stacks.
We absolutely love the way that Valerie is looking at Chris in this photo.
Before heading back outside, we took one more photo on another set of stairs.
We spent some time in Bryant Park (right behind the library) enjoying the day.
All about the ring! :)
I love how the chairs scattered around the park seem to have a mind of their own. They really add to the feel of the park.
As Kathleen was photographing Valerie & Chris from the front, I thought it would be fun to incorporate the green plants in the middle of Bryant Park.
Don't Valerie's eye sparkle so nicely here?!
Chris and I started to talk a little about photography and he asked our advice on how to get some thing in focus and some things blurred out. I told him a little about aperture and bokeh. He asked us if we could take a photo with them holding the ring while blurring them out in the background... this is what we came up with!
Despite the fact that we probably were not supposed to, we jumped in the plants in the middle of Bryant Park for some photos before heading out to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Just for fun on our way to the bridge, we stopped by the Subway. We really like how Valerie is holding on to Chris here and how they are both looking at each other.
After quite a while trying to find a cab driver willing to drive in rush hour to the entrance of the Brooklyn Bridge we finally did make it. The Brooklyn Bridge is always a fun place to walk across and it is filled with so many beautiful lines, textures and architecture.
The highway on both sides of the bridge provides such a crazy energy, it is interesting how in photos it seems so calm.
We love relaxed portraits and love even more how much Valerie & Chris are glowing here.
Kathleen captured this photo of Chris giving Valerie a little ride over the rest of the bridge.
Once we got over the bridge, we walked through Brooklyn on our way to the park where you can see both the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. We found this really fun car and we just had to take a few shots around it. I think the fun thing about the car was that it had California plates.
This part of Brooklyn is so cool. It has cobblestone streets, tons of interesting buildings and the best part is the bridge over everything.
We got to the park by the water and enjoyed the views of both the bridge and the city, this is seriously a neat (yes I used the word neat) place.
Valerie & Chris - thank you so much for such a fantastic day. We can't wait to see you both again for your wedding in October. ~Rob & Kathleen~
Today, Rob and I, along with our friend Meagan will be in Darien photographing Meredith & Craig's Wedding.
You may remember Meredith & Craig from their engagement session out in Santa Barbara. (To view their entire post click HERE.) Meredith moved out to California to work in the wine industry and that's where she met Craig, a California native. They still live out in California, but decided to get married in back east. We actually met with them earlier this week and we definitely caught their excitement.
Meredith & Craig are getting married at the Country Club of Darien. The club is gorgeous by itself and with these two walking around, it's going to be even more amazing. Check back soon for some photos from their wedding, in the meantime here's a few shots from their engagement session. We hope that you are all having an amazing weekend!!
Today, Kathleen and I and our good friend Krystal are heading to Monroe to photograph Kristina & Robert's Wedding which will be taking place at the the Waterview.
They have one of the most unique first meeting stories. Kristina was interviewing for a job at the place where Robert worked. After the interview, she got in the elevator to go home. When it reached the bottom floor, the doors opened and there was Robert. They may not have said anything but they both felt it. Thankfully she got the job, and it didn't take long before Robert asked her out. They've been together ever since. Today they'll become husband and wife.
We can't wait to share some photos from their day so be sure to check back soon! In the meantime here are some from their engagement session that we photographed at the beach in Southport. Happy Friday everyone!
When she talks about the first time they met, she says it wasn’t love at first sight – it was something more real than that. There were no immediate fireworks, it was more like a slow burn. She was introduced to him by a mutual friend while on a night out. They talked throughout the evening and eventually made plans for a date. After that next evening together, they made plans for another date. Every time they saw each other they would talk for a little longer and get just a bit closer. Soon they started to spend more time together. It felt so natural and they started to realize how much they had in common.
It wasn't long before just seeing his number on her phone would evoke excitement. She began to take notice all of the things he would do for her. He opened doors, called whenever he got a chance, and would even take care of the things she didn't like to do - like car maintenance. He started to realize how she would laugh at all of his jokes, be totally up for watching the game with him, and how she fit right in with his group of friends. Eventually, just seeing a smile on her face would brighten his day.
There was no dramatic proposal of love, it was more like a realization of their feelings. The slow burn had spread - what started as a relaxed and easy relationship developed into something deep and real. One day, she looked over at him and just knew - she was in love with him. That's pretty much how he felt when he decided to purpose - he just knew he wanted to marry her. So he asked her - one afternoon while watching the game together on the couch. And she wouldn't have had it any other way.
CANDICE & MICHAEL
You might remember Candice from when we did her head shots several months ago - she is the owner and head planner from Jubilee Events (the genius planner from Dagney & Michael's Wedding last month). Now she is planning her very own wedding - to the man of her dreams. Knowing Candice, their wedding is going to be a very glamorous and classy, just like the bride herself.
We met Candice & Michael up at the gorgeous Mayflower Inn & Spa in Washington. It's a classic New England inn, complete with a mahogany library and cushy bar, both of which we used to our full advantage in the session. Candice & Michael wanted a kind of "spring in the country" feel for the session, so we also had a picnic on the grounds of inn and lots fun shots with Mike's Harley Davidson. We ended the session at Hopkin's Vineyard in Warren where the rows of grape plants and beautiful dusk light were a photographer’s dream come true. The way the whole session came together, it feels like an Candice & Mike were two classic movie stars spending the day on the rolling hills of Litchfield and two photographers just happened to be there to capture it all.
When planning their engagement session, Candice found the incredible Mayflower Inn & Spa located in Washington, CT. We started their session by just walking the grounds of the Inn and enjoying the beautiful day.
The grounds at the Inn were so peaceful and the perfect place to capture the look and feel of the session that Candice and Michael wanted. In planning ahead Candice had her hair and make-up trial done on the same day so we got a sneak peek of how great she is going to look on their wedding day.
We were supposed to photograph Candice & Michael the day before but the weather did not at all cooperate. As you can see here we had much better luck weather wise on Saturday.
After spending sometime walking the grounds we headed into the Inn where Kathleen almost lost her mind when we found this quaint library right off the lobby. This is one of her shots and one of her favorites from the day. We really like the way Michael looks at Candice especially in this shot.
We had a lot of fun playing with all of the textures and colors around the room. I love the emotion in this photo.
The look on Candace's face as Mike gives her a kiss is perfect.
Kathleen saw these chairs and immediately wished we could have them in our studio. If it was up to her we probably would have photographed Candace and Michael in just the library, it was such a cool room!
We found an equally cool place in the Inn to photograph. The bar right down the hall from the library was like something from a different time.
I really liked the bar itself and this photo became one of my favorites from the ones we took in the bar.
The bar was filled with vintage movie posters, it had such a fun vibe.
We actually grabbed a drink with Candice & Michael and relaxed in the bar for a while just because we were having so much fun. This corner of the room was so cozy and you can imagine how nice it must be sitting there on a cold winter evening right before grabbing dinner.
Before heading out, Michael reached over to Candice and gave her a quick kiss.
There was this huge front porch on one side of the Inn filled with comfy wicker furniture and a great view of the grounds.
Kathleen captured this photo of Candice & Michael...
...as I captured this view at the same moment.
We liked the texture of the wood ceiling of the porch and wanted to make sure it was part of this photo.
A simple and relaxed portrait.
Candice and Michael came prepared for one fun session. They brought a picnic basket filled with wine, cheese, bread and grapes.
The setup a blanket on the lawn, opened up the wine and just enjoyed.
We love how they look at each other, it is so sweet!
Doesn't this make you want to pack a basket and blanket and take a day or two off! :)
Kathleen captured this photo a moment before I captured the next one.
Do you notice anything familiar? Our vintage luggage made yet another appearance at a shoot. Candace actually specially requested it as she thought it would add nicely to their session.
We kept saying how laid back and relaxed their shoot was, it was such a nice day!
To add to her look, Candice had a big hat with her that she put on. This one feels very old Hollywood to us.
We absolutely love the look on Candace's face in this one as she looks at Michael.
Most of the time we didn't event tell them to kiss, they just did it on their own. This was one of those moments. :)
Michael drove his Harley up to the Inn so they could incorporate a different feel into their engagement session.
Kathleen was truly enjoying photographing Candice & Michael on the motorcycle. The photo on the left and on the top are hers and I captured the photos of the shoes at at the bottom right.
This is Kathleen's favorite photo from their entire session. We both just really love the feel.
Candice's sleek black dress and pink shoes went perfectly with Michael's leather jacket.
I really liked his bike, I don't think I will ever ride one but it seemed like fun at the time.
After spending all afternoon at the Mayflower Inn, we headed over to the Hopkin's Vineyard in Warren for sunset. I really like the soft sun flare in this photo. This one is my view...
...and this is Kathleen's.
Doesn't Candice look amazing?! Again, this one is my view...
...and this is Kathleen's view of the same moment. A lot of people have been telling us how much the like seeing our different views of the same moment, so we made sure we pointed them out a bunch of times in this post.
Candice & Mike - thank you so much for an amazing day, delicious dinner and fabulous company. We can't wait until your wedding in August.
They met at elementary school. She was the smart, funny, pretty girl next door. He was the tall, handsome, athletic guy that everyone wanted to get to know. It was clear to everyone around that they would make a perfect couple. It's a typical story - except they weren't sitting behind the desks when they meet, they were the ones in the front of the room. Yes, - sometimes the teachers catch each other’s eye over the stacks of textbooks.
It wasn't long after their first date that they he knew she was the one. As soon as he decided to propose and had the ring, he had the perfect plan for how to pop the question. He decided to re-enact that first date that had started it all. He took her to the same restaurant and did many of the same things they had done before. At the end of the night, he added one new thing... he took her to a fountain for added romance and asked her to be his wife.
RACHEL & FARID
We met Rachel, Farid and their adorable dog Leo at the Kenisco Dam Park in Valhalla, NY. If you haven't visited the dam before, you should definitely make a plan to stop by some time. It's a very unique park, with a great mix of architecture and greenery. Rachel & Farid live nearby and visit dam often to walk Leo, so it was the perfect place to do their engagement session - making it feel as though we just stumbled upon them on one of their afternoon walks.
Kensico Dam is a really interesting place to visit. The Dam itself is quite large and it is really overwhelming when you stand in front of it. When we started Rachel & Farid's session it was pretty overcast and cloudy but that of course made for some nice even lighting. The simplicity of this photo makes it one of my personal favorites from their day.
Their session was really relaxed and we spent a lot of time just enjoying the park. I love the looks on their faces in the bottom left one. Farid has such a great way of making Rachel smile.
We thought that this was such a sweet moment.
The are so many open areas throughout the park and so many great backdrops for Rachel & Farid's session.
The weeping willow trees were also really beautiful.
Just a simple and straight forward portrait, perfect for newspaper announcements. :)
The clouds overhead really gave us the opportunity to photograph just about anywhere without harsh shadows. They also added some nice texture to their photos. I love how they are holding each other here.
Farid doesn't even have to say anything, he just looks at her and she either smiles or laughs. It is so wonderful!
As we have probably said many times, we really love hands, they have such a great way of telling a story.
During their session Farid picked up Rachel for a quick piggy back ride. This one is my view...
...and this one is Kathleen's of the same moment. I really like the look on Farid's face as he turns to look back at his soon-to-be wife.
I'm not sure if we were allowed to be up here but the architecture made for a great place for a couple of photos.
Despite begin pretty high up, Rachel did not hesitate to jump up on the ledge.
I know we were not allowed up here but we couldn't pass up a few this close to the dam. We also think this is a really sweet moment.
Towards the end of their session, the sun decided to make an appearance which really added some nice colors.
This is one of Kathleen's favorites from the day.
Before we finished their session, Rachel & Farid's dog Leo joined in for a few photos.
I liked the older couple walking towards us as Rachel & Farid walked past.
We managed to get Leo to sit still for a couple moments for a quick photo, but no matter what we did at this point, we could not get him to look straight at us. He was just too excited to be at the park.
I love this photo! We had so much fun playing with Leo and it was a fun catch to get Rachel & Farid kissing in the background.
Rachel & Farid – thank you so much for a great morning. We look forward to seeing you again in August for your wedding!