Kellie + Trevor – Samuel’s Grande Manor – Garden Wedding – Buffalo, NY

On the drive home from every wedding, I inevitably reflect back on the day – favorite moments, favorite photos, all the different characters I met, etc.  Leaving Kellie and Trevor’s wedding I thought, “well that sure was pleasant.”  There was a calm among this crew.  Kellie and Trevor are those sorts of people you can tell really go out of their way to make the people around them feel great.  And I think it really reflected back on them during their wedding – you could look around and just FEEL everyone was genuinely happy for these two and so happy to share in the celebration.

We started the day at Kellie’s parents house which is always such a special and personal treat for me.  I love seeing where my clients grew up and the people and places that shaped them.  THE one and only Lizzy Dugan and the crew from Salon Elizabeth joined us and filled their lil’ kitchen with all the beauty and glam imaginable.  I can’t recommend these ladies enough – true top notch pros.

Meanwhile Trevor and his groomsmen got in to all sorts of shenanigans over at Kellie’s sisters house.  Trevor owned a skate shop for years and I knew he wanted to incorporate skateboarding in to his pictures, so I figured he and my second shooter would have a lot of fun working working together… had no idea it would lead to what you see below, but that’s all part of the  fun. (:

We spent the rest of the day at Samuel’s Grande Manor where the rain cleared JUST in time for a beautiful outdoor ceremony in their lush gardens with a reception afterward in their second level ballroom.

Many thanks to Kellie and Trevor for including me in this celebration, it has been such a pleasure!  All the best to you both!

photography of brides dress hanging before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelphotography of brides shoes and jewelry before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelphotography of bride getting hair and makeup done by Lizzy Dugan of Salon Elizabeth before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelphotography of bride getting hair and makeup done by Lizzy Dugan of Salon Elizabeth before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelphotography of bride getting veil adjusted by Lizzy Dugan of Salon Elizabeth before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelfunny photos of groom shaving with knife before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelmugshots of groomsmen before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelgroom skateboarding past groomsmen before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelgroom smiling in front of groomsmen before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelgroom high-fiving ring bearer before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelgroomsman fallen through deck stairs before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride getting dress fastened by bridesmaids before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride putting on earrings and shoes while flower girls parents dress her before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelflower girl laughing while surrounded by puffy dress before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride pinning boutonniere on father before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelring bearer relaxing before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbagpipe player walks down aisle before garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride walks down aisle as groom reactsfather giving bride away during garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom look at each other during garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom exchange vows during garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom exchange vows during garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom exchange vowsduring garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom exchange vows behind flameduring garden wedding ceremony at Samuelmoms light candle during garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom light candle during garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom say vows during garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom exchange vows during garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom exchange vows during garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom exchange rings during garden wedding ceremony at Samuelwide angle photo during garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom share first kiss during garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom toast during garden wedding ceremony at Samuelfamilies pose for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbridal party poses for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbridal party poses for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom pose for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom pose for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom pose for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom pose for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom pose for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbride and groom pose for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuelbrides flowers near fountain after garden wedding ceremony at Samueldetail photos of room, cake, card box and center piecesduring wedding reception at Samuelbride and groom are introduced and share first dance during wedding reception at Samuelbride and groom share first dance during wedding reception at Samuelbride cries while sharing first dance with groom during wedding reception at Samuelbride and groom cut cake during wedding reception at Samuelbest man and maid of honor deliver speechesduring wedding reception at Samuelguests cheers after toast during wedding reception at Samueluncle receives brithday cake during wedding reception at Samuelbride dances with father during wedding reception at Samuelbride dances with father during wedding reception at Samuelgroom dances with mother during wedding reception at Samuelgroom dances with mother during wedding reception at Samuelguests dance during wedding reception at Samuelbride tosses bouquet during wedding reception at Samuelbride sings and dances during wedding reception at Samuelbride and grooms rings during wedding reception at Samuelbride and groom pose for portraits outside during wedding reception at Samuel

Second Shooter – Joey Galdieri

Hair + Makeup – Lizzie Dugan – Salon Elizabeth

DJ – Samuel’s Sound

Flowers – Michael’s Flowers

Bakery – Just Say Cheese Cake!

 

 

Lilac Festival – Highland Park – Rochester, NY

Each spring, Rochester, NY erupts with gorgeous blossoms and the city celebrates the season the way any fine city should, with a massive 10 day festival. Lilac Fest features dozens of concerts, rides, craft beer and wine tastings, a parade, running races and so much more.  I had the opportunity to cover a couple days of the festival, a fairly massive undertaking as the activities are seemingly endless and span a massive portion of Highland Park.  It was a treat to experience the festival in such a hands on capacity.  Check out a few of my favorites below and check out the festival for yourself next May!

marching band and participants perform during parade in front of cherry blossoms Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NYclown on bike poses for photo during parade at Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NYveterans march with flags during parade Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NYparticipants laugh while marching in parade Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NYgroup of people offer free hugs in purple cross walk Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NYa juggler performs and visitors enjoy rides and art vendors Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NYpeople walk through lilacs and cherry blossoms Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NYcouple embraces in tree Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NYcouple laughs while enjoying wine at the craft wine tasting festival Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NYfriends cheers during the craft beer festical Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NYmusicians perform concert Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NYmusician performs at concert Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NYmusicians perform at concert Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NY

Sam + Sean – Buffalo, NY Wedding Photography at St. Joseph’s, Tifft Nature Preserve and Pearl St. Grill and Brewery

As years go by in a chosen profession, you realize little nuances, and not so little nuances that give your work meaning and purpose, your, “whys,” so to speak.  I’ve grown to realize many wedding photography, “whys” over time… free wedding cake, for example.  But there’s one that takes an ever-growing priority as time ticks.  One that has reshaped the entire structure of my business.  Connection.  When I’m able to personally connect with people, and through my work, connect these people to their pasts, the present of course, and even their futures, that keeps this job interesting and full of joy for me.  Using photography as a vehicle to connect people to their most important relationships gives the work greater meaning for me than “another wedding.” That’s when the work starts to feel like part of the legacy of the subjects – that’s when you can look at a photo and remember what it FELT like to be in someone’s presence – that’s the stuff the “keepers” are made of.

This wedding season, more than ever before, I’ve been working to get to know my clients a bit before their weddings.  I used to photograph 35 weddings in a summer.  The weddings were a lot of fun.  The work load was not.  For me, for my work, I realized I wanted MORE time with the people, more time with the pictures, and I wanted to be more personally connected to all of it.  So now it’s 20 weddings per summer instead.  I’m texting with my clients all the time, getting together for coffee or an adult beverage before the wedding, trying to establish mutual access to one another.  In the end, this is a collaboration, I don’t want to just show up, snap some photos and collect a check.  I want to understand the depths of what I’m photographing, and it’s really hard to do that 35 times in a summer.

Other photographer’s have asked me about how to avoid “burnout” while hustling to wedding after wedding.  They worry about keeping things fresh and exciting.  “Should I get a new lens or maybe try out a new location” they’ll ask.  That’s all well and good, but my best advise it truly to invest in the people.  People are FASCINATING and family dynamics are as complex as could be.  Every story is unique and quirky and beautiful in it’s own way. It’s our job as photographers to find those special stories, all the little nooks n’ crannys a la English Muffins and document them.  That’s what keeps it fresh – fresh people, fresh personalities and stories, not a new pose or lighting technique.

Enter Sam and Sean.  I’ve photographed three weddings for this family and several others for their extended friend group.  I recognize the faces, I’m learning the traditions, people are familiar with me and that brings a comfort and ease to the day that makes it easier to really dig deep in to the story line without seeming like a total stranger weirdo with a camera to everyone.  I’ve loved getting to know all of these people and being present for SO many of their life events.  It has truly been a privilege.

I chatted with Sam’s dad for a little while just before the first dance was about to begin.  He said “giving away” his daughter was a really strange feeling and that it has been harder than he thought.  He went on to say how excited he was though, how strong Sam and Sean are together.  I added that Sam and Sean’s smiles shine bright on their own, but you can tell they stretch just a little further when they’re together.  He went on to say how they’re both special-ed teachers.  I mentioned how it takes special sorts of people for that sort of work and he agreed.  It was a very quick conversation, but it reminded me of how COMPLEX these days are, the range of emotions felt by so many involved.  How much leads up to it, decades of parenting – love, tears, support, discipline, etc. etc.  THAT is what I’m photographing.  Sure, there will be pretty pictures of centerpieces and flowers too, but it’s the pictures that represent a lifetimes worth of highs and lows leading up to this celebration that mean the most. Here’s hoping these pictures hold their place in Sam and Sean’s history and continue to tell their stories far long after we all can.

Without further babbles, Sam and Sean’s wedding highlights (!!!):

mother of groom pins flower at wedding in buffalo nygroom and groomsmen laugh during wedding at St. Josephgroom poses with flower girl during wedding at St. Josephbride smiles before ceremony during wedding at St. Josephfather walks bride down aisle during wedding at St. Josephbride and groom kneel during wedding at St. Josephbride and groom smile during wedding at St. Josephwedding at St. Josephbride and groom exchange vows during wedding at St. Joseph bride and groom exchange vowsduring wedding at St. Josephbride and groom kiss during wedding at St. Josephbride and groom smile at guests during wedding at St. Josephchildren dance during wedding at St. Josephpriest blesses bride and groom during wedding at St. Josephgroom smiles at bride during wedding at St. Josephguests pray for bride and groom during wedding at St. Josephbride and groom walk down aisle during wedding at St. Josephbride and groom look out door during wedding at St. Josephbride looks out window during wedding at St. Josephbride and groom exit church during wedding at St. Josephbride and groom exit church during wedding at St. Josephbride and groom exit church during wedding at St. Josephbride and groom pose for portrait near "greetings from Buffalo" mural in downtown Buffalo, NYbride and groom pose for portrait near "greetings from Buffalo" mural in downtown Buffalo, NYbride and groom pose for portrait near "greetings from Buffalo" mural in downtown Buffalo, NYbride poses for portrait near "greetings from Buffalo" mural in downtown Buffalo, NYgroom poses for portrait near "greetings from Buffalo" mural in downtown Buffalo, NYbride and groom pose for portrait near "greetings from Buffalo" mural in downtown Buffalo, NYbridal party walks at Tifft Nature preserve during wedding in Buffalo, NYbridal party poses for portrait at Tifft Nature preserve during wedding in Buffalo, NYbridal party poses for portrait at Tifft Nature preserve during wedding in Buffalo, NYbridesmaids pose for portrait at Tifft Nature preserve during wedding in Buffalo, NYbridesmaids pose for portraits at Tifft Nature preserve during wedding in Buffalo, NYgroomsen and women pose for portrait at Tifft Nature preserve during wedding in Buffalo, NYgroomsmen hug at Tifft Nature preserve during wedding in Buffalo, NYbride and groom embrace at tifft nature preserve during their wedding in Buffalo, NYbride and groom embrace at tifft nature preserve during their wedding in Buffalo, NYbride and groom embrace at tifft nature preserve during their wedding in Buffalo, NYbride and groom embrace at tifft nature preserve during their wedding in Buffalo, NYbride and groom embrace at tifft nature preserve during their wedding in Buffalo, NYbride and groom embrace at tifft nature preserve during their wedding in Buffalo, NYroom photo at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYdecoration details at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYplace settings and cake at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYflowers at at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYcandy bar at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYguests mingle during cocktail hour at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYbridal party entrance dances at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYbride and groom enter and eat cake at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYpeople giving speeches at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYbride and groom dance at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYbride and groom dance with ribbon wrapped around them at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYbride and groom dance with ribbon wrapped around them at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYbride and groom dance with ribbon wrapped around them at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYbride and groom dance with ribbon wrapped around them at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYbride and groom kiss in front of cheering guests on dance floor at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYguests dance at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYguests lift bride during horah at wedding at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYwedding photography of rings at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NYwedding photography of bride eating cake at Pearl St. Grill and Brewery in Buffalo, NY

Preparation:  Private Homes

Ceremony: St. Josephs University Parish

Portraits: Tifft Nature Preserve

Reception: Pearl St. Grill & Brewery

Second Shooter: Joey Galdieri

Flowers: Flourish

Makeup: Ashley Ledowski

Hair: Maria Miosi

Cake: Muscoreils

Video: Justin Bondi Productions

Limo: Status Limousine

DJ: Toy Bros

 

 

BR + MRS + MSN NP = CHAMP bride. Rosanna & Justin – Holiday Valley Wedding – Ellicottville, NY

What happens when you complete your MSN, work a side hustle and plan a wedding simultaneously?  Bronchitis.  That’s what happens.  And so sometimes you just need to roll with the punches, medicate, get married and graduate within a 24 hour period – and that’s just what Rosanna did!  Despite all of that, Rosanna and Justin’s day was just beautiful.  This ski lodge wedding on a warm spring day was cozy and sweet, and maybe just what the doctor ordered.

 

brieds dress and shoes at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride getting hair done at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nygroom straightening bowtie at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nygroom getting ready at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom reading letter from each other at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom share moments with bridal party members at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nygroom and groomsman share laughs at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nymaid of honor helps bride get ready at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nymaid of honor gives kiss to bride before ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride fastens shoes and looks out over reception room at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom prepare for first look atski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nygroom reacts joyfully to first look at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom embrace after first look at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybridesmaids pose for portrait at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybridal party poses for portrait at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nygroomsmen pose for portrait at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom pose for portrait at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom pose for portrait at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom pose for portrait at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom pose for portrait at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nyski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride comes down aisle and groom looks on at beginning of ceremony at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride comes down aisle and guests react at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom gaze at each other during ceremony at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nywide angle show of champagne deck where couple is having ceremony at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom saying vows at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nyphillipeno tradition of placing veil and cord over bride and groom at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nyRosanna and Justin honored Rosanna’s Filipino heritage with a traditional ceremony where the parents lay a veil and cords over the bride and groom and the couple exchange coins back and forth. The veil symbolizes unity, the cord is fidelity, and the coins symbolize prosperity.

Phillipeno tradition of passing coins between bride and groom at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nyrose petals in aisle at ceremony at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nyguests extend hands in prayer toward bride and groom at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nyguests extend hands during prayer in support of bride and groom at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride groom and guests pray during ceremony at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom light candle during ceremony at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nyguests blow bubbles as bride and groom leave ceremony at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybridal party exits ceremony at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nyfamily portraits at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nyreception detail photos of cake, etc. at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nyguests enjoy cocktail hour while bridesmaids bustle dress at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom cut cake then kiss at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nyfather and maid of honor give speech at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom kiss at sweetheart table at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom dance at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom dance with parents at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nyguests hug at ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom dance in ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom dance in front of fire outside ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom embrace in front of fire outside ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, nybride and groom embrace in front of fire outside ski lodge wedding at holiday valley in ellicottville, ny

Venue: Yodeler Lodge at Holiday Valley – Ellicottville, NY

Second Shooter: Joey Galdieri

Hair: Hannah Clark (Enix Salon)

Makeup: Melissa Elnicki (makeup_by_mel)

Florist: Jackie Bartels

Cake: Dessert Deli

Kim + Tom – Buffalo, NY Wedding Photography – Lofts on Pearl, Hotel Lafayette, Delaware Park, Pearl St. Brewery

The first official wedding of the season is in the books, and it sure was a pretty one. Kim and Tom had visions of whimsical bohemian details combined with a rustic urban setting for their wedding, and they brought in some real pros to see it all through.  Vintage pieces from Quaint Rentals were styled by Rebecca Duda and the greens and flowers arranged by Alicia Reilly over at William’s Florist topped it all off.  Kim REALLY wanted lush greens for her portraits, and, well, the trees hadn’t bloomed here in Buffalo yet, but we made the most of it and rolled with some lush browns and spring blooms instead.  At the end of the day, it all created the perfect backdrop for Kim and Tom’s family and friends to come together, from all over the world, to celebrate their union.

Kim’s family is originally from Vietnam and it was such a nice treat to see a traditional tea ceremony take place at the beginning of the reception.  The tradition calls for the parents sit around a small table and the bride and groom then serve the parents tea.  Afterwards, the parents offer their wedding gifts to the couple.

Tom is an Irish American from Niagara Falls, and, well, a brewery reception seems like upholding enough Irish tradition for this lass.

Many thanks to second shooter extraordinaire, Steve Karosik, and the fine folks behind the Lofts on Pearl, Hotel Lafayette, Delaware Park and Pearl St. Grill and Brewery for all their hard work making this event come to life!

details from whimsical urban woodland themed wedding photography in buffalo, ny at webb lofts, lafayette hotel, pearl st brewerybridesmaids see bride for first time atwhimsical urban woodland themed wedding photography in buffalo, ny at webb lofts, lafayette hotel, pearl st brewerycouple stands in courtyard during ceremony at whimsical urban woodland themed wedding in buffalo, ny at webb lofts, lafayette hotel, pearl st breweryguests and bridal party release balloons at whimsical urban woodland themed wedding in buffalo, ny at webb lofts, lafayette hotel, pearl st brewerybride and groom hold hands beneath ivy bride at whimsical urban woodland themed wedding in buffalo, ny at webb lofts, lafayette hotel, pearl st breweryphotography of bride among spring blossoms at whimsical urban woodland themed wedding in buffalo, ny at webb lofts, lafayette hotel, pearl st brewery

Preparation:  Lofts on Pearl

Ceremony: Hotel Lafayette

Portraits: Delaware Park

Reception: Pearl St. Grill & Brewery

Flowers: William’s Florist / Alicia Reilly

Styling: Quaint Rentals / Rebecca Duda

Makeup: Makeup by Allina / Allina Morticella

Hair: Beauty by Summer / Summer Slomka

Cake: Village Bake Shop

Donuts: Paula’s Donuts

Video: Andy Morin

Groom’s Tux: Bureau