When Kristin headed into the bar that night, she had other plans. But she had promised her sister she would swing by happy hour for just one drink. Then she would head out to meet her friend for dinner. One drink, a ten minute visit, that's all it was supposed to be. But A tall stranger with a sweet sly smile caught her eye across the bar. He was a co-worker of her sister's, and she vaguely remembered meeting him at a previous happy hour long before. But this time was different. This time she saw something in him she hadn't seen that first time. And all of a sudden those other plans were long forgotten. One drink turned into two and before she knew it he had talked her into joining his beer pong team at the bar. His friends, recognizing that Patrick was clearly very interested in Kristin, let them win - giving plenty of opportunity for a celebratory hug and the offer to buy yet another drink. They ended up talking well into the night, hitting it off in a way neither of them ever had before. When Kristin headed out of the bar that night, she had new plans. A first date with Patrick.
That first date lead to a second and pretty soon, just like that night at the bar, they were inseparable before they knew it. She couldn't get enough of the way he made her laugh, he knew that no one else could ever make him smile the way she does. It didn't take long for Patrick to know exactly what he had to do. When they set out together that Saturday afternoon, Kristin had no idea that it was Patrick that had other plans that day. Carrying a picnic lunch, he led her into Central Park and found the perfect spot. Not to propose just yet, this was just for lunch. For the two of them to sit and talk like they had done on the night they had first met, neither of them fully knowing how much their lives were about to change yet again. After lunch he took her hand and brought her to the Central Park lake. At this point, Kristin was completely confused. They both live in the city and had never done this kind of touristy thing before. But she went along with it, he seemed to excited and she was having a good time. They climbed aboard the row boat, Kristin perched on one side and Patrick rowing on the other. She looked around, taking in this new perspective of the park she had never seen before. When she looked back at Patrick, she saw the most beautiful thing she had ever seen: a huge grin on Patrick's face and a gorgeous ring in his hand. When they left the park that day, they were making new plans once again. Planning the wedding they had both been thinking about not too long after that first date.
And to think, it all never would have taken place if she had kept that promise to her sister.
* * *
We hit it off with Kristin & Patrick right away when we met them for the first time. We talked about their wedding (of course) but also about travel and food, two of our personal favorite things. So we know right away that we were going to enjoy their engagement session, especially after hearing about how Patrick proposed to Kristin. It pretty much doesn't get much sweeter than that and when we met them, not too long after the proposal, they were both still beaming with excitement. And it was contagious, by the end of the consultation I think all four of us had the same huge smiles on our faces.
So it probably goes without saying that their engagement session was going to take place in New York, Central Park specifically. We wandered around the park, getting lost once or twice (the park is huge! and slightly confusing), but it was all part of the fun. Kristin and Patrick were actually the first ones to know about our plans to move to the city, and since they live in the city themselves they had plenty of great tips for us which we greatly appreciated. We hit up several of our favorite spots in the park before ending at the place where Patrick proposed - the rowboats. Kristin and Patrick said they were a little nervous, but we could never tell. We eased into the session slowly, letting them get even more comfortable behind the camera and by the end of the session they were complete naturals. Plus, they have a great sense of style and picked out some great outfits which totally complemented one another. We finished off the day over by where Kristin & Patrick live, going to the Highline for a change of pace, right in time before the sun went down.
Ok, so I'm totally going to have to admit right from the beginning that I'm going to have a lot of favorite photos from this session. We spotted this beautiful light coming from behind the stone wall when we first entered the park and we loved it.
Obviously, LOVE these. They feel both feel like NYC postcards to me, especially with the sweet way their hands are intertwined.
We always tell our couples that our main goal is to capture the interaction between the two of them, the kind of moments that they never see themselves but everyone around the gets to see all the time. Sure, we may put them in the pretty spot and get all the right lighting, but we can't make up the kind of expressions they naturally give each other. This shot, with this look on Kristin's face, is exactly one the moments we're talking about.
Kristin & Patrick were total troopers climbing in the middle of all this ivy for us. Totally worth it.
See what I'm talking about? Total naturals, like they born to be in front of the camera.
No trip to Central Park would be complete without a stop in one of the classic tunnels. I was totally loving the silhouette of Kristin's heels.
And hand-in-hand with the tunnels? The Central Park bridges - so much fun to photograph and so quintessential NYC.
We also recommend to couples to have two outfits for their session: one dressy and one more casual, to give a little variety. We suggest wearing the dressy one first so you don't have to worry about it getting wrinkled and then put on the casual one for later on. Kristin & Patrick totally took our advice and brought two great outfits.
Patrick totally did this on his own and had Kristin laughing all through it. Totally adorable, and totally them. These are the kinds of moments you can't try to make up, you just have to make the couple feel comfortable enough to be themselves. Cause that's what the session is all about, after all.
After the bridge, we headed over to the mall and Bethesda fountain area of the park, which seemed very fitting with their outfit change.
Honestly, I really don't think these two could get any cuter if they tried. Don't they just make you smile?
Clearly, they're going to have beautiful babies, no? Look at how beautiful they both are - seriously!
We lucked out with a few of the leaves already changing over from green to yellow for their session, just a touch of fall. We usually suggest to couples to do engagement sessions in a month opposite their wedding (i.e., a fall engagement session for a spring wedding). It gives a bit more variety and the best of both worlds.
At this point in the session, Kristin and Patrick were totally relaxed even though the park was quite full with people. So sitting down in the middle of the mall? No problem.
Of course we had to spend a few minutes on the rowboats. Patrick got to display his rowing skills once again, bring Kristin right back to the spot where he proposed in the middle of the lake. This time with us there to capture the moment.
These stairs are one of my personal favorite spots in the park. I love the vastness of them and the sense of grandeur they provoke. We waited a few minutes to have the stairs completely to ourselves.
From the park, we hopped in a cab and high tailed it over to the Highline. For city sessions, we usually recommend that if couples want to go to Central Park they add another location as well, to give the session a fuller city vibe. The Highline is a great option for another location since it really shows off some of the typical city vibe (more buildings, traffic going by, etc.) and is still removed from some of the hustle and bustle.
We think there's something really special about black and white images from city sessions, they feel like the just fit right.
It was super windy up at the Highline, but, once again, Kristin and Patrick were total troopers. Braving the wind and looking great while doing it.
Plus, we could totally use the wind to our advantage. Who needs a wind machine?
The Highline has this very cool section with wooden bleachers that look out onto the skyline and the road below. Kristin and Patrick were totally up for sitting down the middle of it all, even with a few people looking down at them.
Kristin & Patrick, thank you for a wonderful day! We had so much fun with you both and can't wait for your wedding, can't believe it's just under six months away. We definitely hope to catch up again soon for dinner or drinks, especially now that we're practically neighbors!
This week, or should I say this month, has been incredibly busy, a definite whirlwind. The good news is that we are almost back to our regular schedule now that we are officially moved into our new NYC space. We still can't believe it. It is definitely very exciting to look out our windows and see all that is New York City right there.
We had a realization moment today when we tuned into the Macy's Day Parade (like we do every Thanksgiving). It only took about a minute or so when we realized that the parade was going on just blocks from us. We immediately threw on a sweatshirt, grabbed a camera and went up to the roof of our building. We weren't sure if we would be able to see anything, but we certainly did. Snoopy (and many other floats) in all of his glory! It was very exciting!
Today we are incredibly thankful for all of our family, friends, and everyone who constantly supports us, always believe in us and pushes us to always live our dreams. I am also insanely thankful for Kathleen as she inspires me beyond belief. So from us to you, we wish you and your families a truly wonderful Thanksgiving and a great start to the holiday season!!
Last weekend on our way back from an absolutely amazing wedding in Washington DC, we headed over to Pennsylvania to visit our niece Maura and meet our brand new niece Claire. She was only a little over 3 weeks old last weekend and of course we had to grab a couple of photos. We also took the opportunity to enjoy the nice weather and bring Maura (who is now 3 and 1/2) outside and also get a couple of shots. Here is one of each!
Now that we are almost fully moved into NYC and the internet is being installed today we are going to be moving full steam ahead on the blog. We have truly amazing things coming that we simply can't wait to share. So please check back soon! Hope you are all having a great day!
In the corner of her childhood bedroom, past the knick-knacks and decorations in varying shades of pink was the closet that had once held her prom dress. That morning it was the home of her wedding dress, its train spilling out of the door and gently draped over the chair, her veil laying off to the side. Down the hall, her mother was bustling around the house, making sure every detail was perfect for the day her little girl was getting married. Her father stood back and took it all in, reserved and quiet as usual but letting a grin sneak out every so often, especially when he saw the joy on his daughter's face.
In the living room stood her bridesmaids, excitedly talking about the day to come - all of them delighted to see Suzanne so happy. They each had their own unique individual relationship with her, each had gotten the chance to watch her pursue and accomplish her dreams. And once that dress down the hall came out of the closet and Suzanne was zipped into it, they all agreed that they had never before seen her look so beautiful.
Just a few short minutes away, in the back of the church stood her two brothers waiting for her arrival. One older, one younger they both shared them same sense of protectiveness for their sister, and the same desire for her to be happy. When she came into the church, they each smiled when they saw her - a mix of pride and bittersweetness - like they could hardly believe the day had arrived. In just a few moments she would walk down that aisle and take on a new last name.
At the front of the church stood the one man who had been thinking about this moment all day long. Since the moment he woke up that morning, all Dave could think about was when Suzanne would appear at the end of that aisle. When she would walk up and take his hand, when he would finally get to stare into her eyes and say the words he had be longing to say since the moment he met her: I do.
It was just a few blocks from that childhood bedroom, a few minutes away from her childhood home, yet it was the start of a whole new path for the two of them. And by their side while they navigate that life - her parents will be cheering them on, her bridesmaids laughing along side, and her brothers watching on with pride.
* * *
The morning of Suzanne and Dave's wedding was an easy commute for us, mainly because Rob knew exactly where he was going. He had spent many years at Suzanne's house, practically living there for some of the time in high school. He was close friends with Suzanne's older brother and eventually became nearly a member of the family - subsequently becoming friends with Suzanne in his own right as well. So when Suzanne called to let Rob know she was engaged there was no question that we would be there, and getting to actually photograph her wedding day was a total bonus.
Suzanne and Dave totally lucked out with a gorgeous day - crisp and clear with a bright blue sky, the perfect October day. The bridesmaids, flowers and decor were all decked out in Suzanne's favorite color: pink. The vivid bouquets were made by Terri's Flower Shop. Suzanne's dress was exactly as you would expect it to be knowing her personality - a girly, delicate Oleg Cassini ball gown.
It was a day filled with many emotions but the one constant one that can through loud and clear all day long was complete and utter joy. Not only for Suzanne and Dave but for the opportunity to gather all the family and friends together, to celebrate the best thing in the world: when two people find each other.
We started the morning capturing all of Suzanne's details - her dress, her bold, beautiful bouquets. It was a unique experience for Rob to select a place to photograph the details in a house he had been to so many times before.
Just about all of Suzanne's bridesmaids gathered around when it came time to zip up the back of her gown. Some of them were helping, but they were all mostly making Suzanne laugh.
Even Rob and I were gushing to Suzanne about how gorgeous she looked, or how excited Dave was going to be when he finally got to see her.
Suzanne's mom helped her put on all of her jewelry - both of them smiling the exact same way nearly the whole time.
In her parent's bedroom, Rob and I couldn't believe how gorgeous the light streaming in was and how perfectly it lit up the smile on Suzanne's face.
Once she was dressed and ready to go, we brought Suzanne outside for some portraits where she totally brought out her inner model.
After a few minutes, Suzanne's Dad came out to see her and she helped him put on his boutonniere.
Before heading over to the church, we grabbed a few shots of Suzanne with all of her girls.
Our first mission when we arrived at St. Francis Church before the ceremony: find Dave and tell him how awesome Suzanne looked. Oh, and grab a shot or two of him, cause he looked so handsome.
Suzanne's father helped her out of the limo when the time finally came for her to walk down the aisle.
Dave couldn't keep the smile off his face when he saw Suzanne walking toward him.
Suzanne's brother Tony looked on while she walked down arm in arm with their father.
This is always one of the most emotional moments for me - the father handing off his daughter, gets me teary-eyed every time.
Suzanne's sister-in-law Sara watched on while the readings were read. (As a side note, Sara had a baby girl just a few months ago and she looks that good. I need to find out her secret. I'm pretty sure it's working out. Oh, and good genes. If only you could bottle that.)
We love photographing weddings at St. Francis because the church has such beautiful arches and the touches of blue and gold throughout really accentuate them.
Finally the big moment arrived - exchanging of vows. Dave was smiling so much he had a constant dimple even while he was talking.
And Suzanne couldn't keep the smile off her face either, she was absolutely beaming.
When it came time for Suzanne and Dave to walk out of the church, Rob and I each made sure to get a completely different angle - Rob stayed inside and grabbed this gorgeous shot, I was outside the church and got the shot below.
Since it was such a gorgeous day (and the wedding party was totally up for it), we actually walked from St. Francis over to the Naugatuck green for picture time.
We were absolutely loving spending time with just Suzanne and Dave - the sweet energy between them, the sun streaming through behind them. It was amazing.
We spotted this solid white wall over at the Crystal Room and knew that we could totally rock it with Suzanne & Dave.
Suzanne & Dave's wedding cake was delicious - red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting. Perfect for an October wedding.
The entire room stood up and cheered when Suzanne and Dave were introduced for the first time as husband and wife - complete with their usual giant smiles.
I have no idea what Suzanne and Dave were saying to one another while they were dancing, but they were laughing nearly the entire time. So sweet.
Before dinner got started, Suzanne had a few toasts.
Suzanne's best friend Amiee took a turn - giving a speech written entirely as a poem, which had everyone captivated, and smiling.
Father-daughter dances always get me, but even more so when it's the only girl in the family cause I totally get it. Rob and I both got all teared up during this dance.
Suzanne & Dave, we are delighted that we not only got to share your day with you but to capture it as well. We wish you all the happiness in the world - you totally deserve it. We definitely need to catch up with you both very soon.
In the last month we have traveled just about 5,000 miles. In other words, we could have driven from Connecticut to California and back again. While that may sound incredibly daunting to most people, to us each mile that ticks off is a reminder that we are driving toward doing something we love to do. Each time we get in the car, program the GPS, and pop in a new mix CD, we are pumped. It's almost a ritual now. We look forward to that time in the car, away from the computers - time to refocus on the task at hand - capturing the connection between two people. And we always find it's much easier for us to do that when we're connected as well. So we chat, laugh, sing along to the radio. (Mostly, I sing along and once in a while say, "Just Rob now," and Rob smiles at me and stays silent. Always makes me laugh.) As the miles tick off and the car fills with the sound of Rob's laughter I can't help but think, how lucky are we? Especially when we arrive, pull out our cameras and have so many amazing couples waiting for us to share our passion with them.
I'm sure you're probably wondering where we got to stop on our many mile journey this October, so we thought we'd share with you some previews of what we've been up do. Here's what you can expect in the coming weeks on the blog: gorgeous weddings, romantic engagement sessions and maybe even some playlists from our mix CDs (if you're interested, of course).
We headed over to New York for Heather & Steve's classic wedding at La Chateau in South Salem.
Then Jennifer & Clark's 10-10-10 wedding blowout with ceremony at Assumption Church in Westport, reception New Haven Lawn Club, and tons of details.
And just when you think you couldn't possibly be getting any more romantic prettiness, we'll be posting Kate & Spencer's old-school Hollywood inspired wedding at the
Hartford Golf Club.
Then we'll be switching gears, bringing you New England in all it's Autumn glory with Gayle and Robert's Guilford engagement session.
And following that up with a complete change of pace with Kristin & Patrick's NYC engagement session, hitting up Central Park and the Highline.
Fittingly, Jennifer & Dan will be up next - bringing their rock n'roll relaxed vibe right into the heart of Hartford with their Society Room wedding.
Then for something completely different: Shannon & Dan's Long Island Equestrian inspired engagement session with not one, but two horses! For real! :)
After that we'll be sharing Liz & Don's Boston engagement session where we hit up some of our favorite Beantown spots - Boston Common & Fenway.
And we'll be finishing up with some more New England rustic-ness (totally a word), with Melissa & Jason's wedding at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills.
Last but certainly not least, Nancy & Jake's Easton engagement session with tons of beautiful woods and even a stop over to Silverman's Farms (a great spot for pies and delicious apple cider donuts - the perfect road trip food, by the way.)
Definitely keep an eye out for those posts and much more coming soon! We are blown away that we got to see so many gorgeous events this October and look forward to sharing them with all of you.
We're not quite done with the driving part of the season and I'm always working on new mix CDs, anyone have a good sing along song I could add to our rotation?