Family Photography at Tifft Nature Preserve, Buffalo, NY

Mindy, Justin and Grace – 1 Year Family Photography Session

My friend Carla recently used the term “legacy client” to describe someone she had worked with many times over the span of many years. It made me think of who those people are to me.  There are a few people who I’ve worked with time and time again from their weddings to kids, to corporate head shots and more.  It means a lot when people trust me to photograph the times in their lives that they cherish so much. Mindy and Justin are legacy clients.  Before we get to their family photography session at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo – a back story.

I first ran in to these two at their friends wedding in 2013, and it was there that Mindy decided I would photograph her wedding, even though she wasn’t engaged.  I respect that level of planning.  From there I took their engagement photos in 2014, made a surprise cameo at Mindy’s bachelorette and then their wedding in 2015, maternity photos and newborn photos in 2018, and now 1 year family photos!   I’ve just loved watching Mindy and Justin’s love grow and expand over the years and spending time with clients who I have come to consider friends has been such a joy.

We ventured to Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY for this family photography session and Grace was all smiles. 

She’s just the sweetest little lady and it seemed she was just seconds away from walking.  We were determined to get her first steps on camera!  Alas…

mom and dad hold baby
mom and dad hold baby
mom and dad stand with baby on top of hill in field during family portrait photography session in at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY
mom kisses baby
mom and dad smile at baby during family portrait photography session in at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY
mom holds up baby as she attempts first steps during family portrait photography session in at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY
baby hugs dad during family portrait photography session in at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY

This was Mindy’s chair when she was a baby! I love the history represented here!

baby smiles for photographer during family portrait photography session in at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY
family smiles for photographer during family portrait photography session in at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY
mom looks at baby smiling for photographer during family portrait photography session in at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY

Grace was SO close to taking those first steps! But today just wasn’t the day.

father holds up baby as she tries to take first steps during family portrait photography session in at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY

Grace and Daddy have awfully similar scrunchy faces don’t they?

father and daughter make scrunchy faces at each other during family portrait photography session in at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY

Thanks as always to Mindy and Justin for allowing me to document your growing family and all the love between you – it’s always a pleasure!!!

If you would like to see more work from Tifft, check out this beautiful engagement session!

Location:  Tifft Nature Preserve – Buffalo, NY

Tricia + Ryan – Yates Park at Green Lake & La Galleria Wedding Photography – Buffalo, NY

Topping Tricia and Ryan’s epic engagement photos in Pittsburgh was going to be difficult, but we had to try.  Tricia and Ryan love Pittsburgh and travel there often, so that was the easy theme for the engagement pictures – the wedding theme though was all about their love of my favorite color and theirs, green!  Tricia is a graphic designer and created all of the invites, signage, etc. herself!  This is some next level DIY work.  More on that later.  Let’s get started.  Tricia and Ryan both got ready at the Staybridge Suites near their venue and a beautiful celebration was under way.  Check out the gorgeous wedding stationary Tricia created!The lace on Tricia’s Lillian West dress was so beautiful and sweet – and this open back design gave it that extra POW.  I just love it!Those are some proud parents looking on if I’ve ever seen them.  Tricia carried the memory of loved ones who had passed on her bouquet. <3Flower crown by William’s Florist for the WIN!From the hotel we traveled to Yates Park on Green Lake in Orchard Park, NY for the first look and portraits.  The couple visited the site ahead of time and decided this bridge was the perfect place to see each other for the first time on their wedding day, and I couldn’t have agreed more.  So serene and certainly picturesque.  And GREEN!From the bridge I somehow convinced these ladies to walk in heels down a hill and in to a field of daisy’s for more photos.  Sweltering heat, a dash of sunburn, mosquitoes and a snake that I *oops* failed to mention I saw on the way down were no match for this wedding party though.  To anyone with doubts on bridesmaids serving a purpose: From Green Lake it was on to La Galleria for the ceremony and reception.  Let’s take a minute to appreciate these mirror signs – Tricia designed, printed and placed all of these letters on these mirrors.  Amazing!  Also, photographers, these are so pretty right, but who’s secretly excited for this trend to end so we’re not constantly dealing with awkward reflections?  It takes a lot of work to get these to photograph perfectly, but they look so beautiful in real life!The opening line of this speech was, “I still can’t believe you asked me do this” and this best man did NOT disappoint with the humor. I absolutely LOVE when time allows me to steal the bride and groom away from the reception for some golden hour portraits.  The property at La Galleria has a wooded area out back that photographs beautifully, this was such a treat!

Many thanks to Tricia and Ryan for having us document your day! And thank you to all these venues and vendors who helped make the day so great!

Bride Preparation: Staybridge Suites

Groom Preparation: Staybridge Suites

Portraits: Yates Park at Green Lake – Orchard Park, NY

Ceremony: La Galleria

Reception: La Galleria

Hair + Makeup: Care Frandina

Dress: Lillian West from Bliss Bridal

Florist: Williams’ Florist

Bakery: Ohlson’s

Videographer: Dave LaNassa

DJ: Whirlin’ Disc

Transportation: Status Limousine

Second Photographer: Steve Karosik

Devon + Bob + Alice + Doggies! – Family Photography – Chandler St. Murals – Buffalo, NY

Every now and then I’m lucky enough to document my wedding clients growing families, and it’s really the best.  I photographed Devon and Bob’s wedding a whole bunch of years back at Hidden Valley Animal Adventure, and I’ll never forget their wedding for a lot of reasons…

#1 has to be that my intern and I BOTH got bit in the butt by a miniature horse during their engagement session.  That was a heck of a bruise from that little Rod Stewart lookin’ mini-horse.

#2 was that this couple had tons of guests flying in from southern California and England for a winter wonderland wedding here in Buffalo.  Well… winter isn’t always so wonderland-y ya know?  BUT, we had the most perfect fluffy snow for their wedding and it was absolute heaven.  I’ll never forget watching one of the bridesmaids looking out the window the morning of the wedding and saying, “Buffalo is magical.”  That was a first.

#3 their photobooth set had two taxidermied bears wearing bride and groom clothes.  No further explanation needed.

Devon and Bob have since relocated to Buffalo.  Devon’s working remotely as so many here seem to be these days and Bob has started a chocolate company! All I can say is that it’s always an adventure with these two and I was so happy to meet their new addition, Alice for our session.  She’s a tiny bundle of energy and smiles, and chasing her all around this Chandler St. courtyard was a blast.

Big props to Chuck Tingley for providing the colorful murals we used as our backdrop!

Alanna + Ben – Wilkeson Pointe & Barrel Factory Wedding Photography – Buffalo, NY

We got to spend the most emotional, fun day with Alanna and Ben last Saturday as they celebrated their wedding with their family and friends.   These two cried, and laughed, and cried, on repeat, all day long.  It was exactly as weddings should be.  I started the day with Alana at the Hilton Garden Hotel.  The views from her room were out of this world!

Meanwhile my partner in photo for the day, Teri, joined Ben and his groomsmen (and this adorable pup) at his house.Alanna and Ben love games – you’ll notice a game piece theme sneaking in to the details throughout the wedding from the cake topper to the guest book and more!When everyone was dressed and ready, it was off to Wilkeson Pointe on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor for a (very) sunny ceremony next to a perfectly sparkly blue Lake Erie.  A few rowdy boaters aside, it was an incredibly emotional, beautiful ceremony.  Not a dry eye to be seen.  Next we visited Main St. in Buffalo for some iconic Buffalo backdrops.  I think maybe we had a little fun with the photos… And finally we finished the day at the Barrel Factory in Buffalo’s Old First Ward neighborhood.  The factory is 116 years old but newly restored and now home to several great tenants, including this fabulous event center.  Don’t worry folks, those train tracks aren’t currently in use.  (:About this bouquet!  Alanna had her shower guests bring her a broach as a gift for her to create this fabulous (and HEAVY) bouquet from.  Some are family heirlooms, some new and some newly thrifted, they make quite a collection!

Many thanks to Alanna and Ben for having us document your day! And thank you to all these venues and vendors who helped make the day so great!

Bride Preparation: Hilton Garden Inn

Groom Preparation: Private Residence

Ceremony: Wilkeson Pointe

Portraits: Wilkeson Pointe, Main St. Shea’s Theater and Barrel Factory

Reception: Barrel Factory

Hair + Makeup: Evilina Natoli (hair) Katie KTVD (makeup) of Teez Salon

Florist: DIY (bouquets) / Barrel Factory (reception decor)

Bakery: Chrusciki Bakery (cake), Paula’s (donuts)

DJ: Zach Munger – TNT Sound

Transportation: Simply the Best

Second Photographer: Teri Fiske

Wedding Photography at Hotel Lafayette Greenhouse Room, Delaware Park, Albright Knox and Buffalo Seminary

Caroline + Paul

Caroline and Paul had the most wonderful wedding filled with warm, lovely people and personal touches as sweet as them.  We ventured around Buffalo, NY to a few of its loveliest wedding photography locations including the chapel at Buffalo Seminary, the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Delaware Park and the Hotel Lafayette Greenhouse Room run by Pearl Street Brewery (check out a Pearl St. wedding here!).

Home Sweet Home

I started the day in Caroline’s parent’s house, the house she grew up in (a renovated barn!). Caroline is from a traditionally Irish neighborhood, South Buffalo, so it was no surprise at all to see these lucky shamrocks hanging from the rafters of Caroline’s family room.  Add an old nail to the beam and there we had the perfect place to hang Caroline’s dress. Meanwhile, Steve was off with Paul and his groomsmen at Paul and Caroline’s place

Caroline and Paul both wrote each other thoughtful notes to read the morning of the wedding. I feel like these letters always set the tone for the day – they bring laughter, tears and excitement, and the loving, calming words always seem to get things started right.

Buffalo Seminary

Once everyone was dressed and ready, we were off to Buffalo Seminary for the wedding ceremony. Caroline and all but one of her bridesmaids went to highschool here! It’s a beautiful, historic building right in the heart of one of Buffalo’s nicest neighborhoods. It was clear that Caroline had many fond memories of her time here and no surprise they chose this beautiful chapel for their ceremony.

The bride was greeted by a former teacher, “Mr. Sutton,” in the library. It was clear he was a beloved educator and staple of the school. Mr Sutton has since passed away and I’m SO grateful to have been there to photograph this moment!

As former students of Buffalo Seminary, it was only fitting while in this glorious library that the girls be photographed drinking champagne beneath the infamous head mistress.

Meanwhile guests (and doggie) gathered in the chapel upstairs as music filled the halls and friends and family greeted one another.

Easy to see, Caroline made quite an entrance and an emotional ceremony was under way. I love the two perspectives Steve and I got of the same moment!

They don’t call him the best man for nothing. Tissues were handed back and forth between the groom and the groomsmen until the best man finally took matters in to his own hands and did the wiping himself.

Albright Knox Art Gallery and Delaware Park

After the ceremony we made a quick trip down the street to the Albright Knox Art Gallery/Delaware Park for a few portraits of the wedding party.

And finally, it was time to make our way to the Hotel Lafayette Greenhouse Room for more wedding photography and one heck of a fun party.

wedding decor at wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
wedding decor at wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
wedding decor at wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
wedding decor at wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
guests gather for cocktail hour at wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY

A well known fact about the groom – HUGE Star Wars fan. He gifted each of the groomsmen a proper light sabre with their names engraved on the handles. They were awesome. I’ve always been a fan of the military sabre arch at a wedding, but this was next level.

bride and groom are introduced to greenhouse room under light sabres at wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom are introduced to greenhouse room under light sabres at wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
guests watch as bride and groom dance during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
father of bride gives speech during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
bride, groom and guests laugh during speech during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY

This reaction right here was the moment people started confessing to the groom they had never seen Star Wars. Hysterical!

maid of honor laughs while delivering speech during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom laugh during maid of honor speech during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
guests laugh and clap for speech during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
maid of honor delivers speech while laughing during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom toast during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
best man delivers speech during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
bride, groom and guests laugh during speech during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
best man delivers toast during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
bride, groom and best man toast during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY

Wedding pie for the win! A family friend made ALL of these pies for the guests to eat. Yum!

bride and groom cut pie during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
groom and mother dance during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
groom and mother dance during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
bride and father dance during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
bride and father dance during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
guests dance during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
guests dance during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
James Blonde wedding band plays during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY

About the band they hired. James Blonde. They’re a big YES from me. They killed it and the guests lost their minds dancing to their favorite songs. The groom even got up and rocked out the most epic version of Raconteurs, “Steady As She Goes” that 100% brought the house down. Big props to the groom. And also, hire James Blonde for your next event. They’re great.

groom plays with James Blonde Band during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
groom plays with James Blonde Band during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
groom plays with James Blonde Band during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
guests cheer for groom who played with James Blonde wedding band groom plays with James Blonde Band during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY

Then something really fortunate/unfortunate happened. It was an absolute monsoon outside the entire evening so I hadn’t taken an exterior shot of the reception venue. I looked out the window at some point and noticed it had let up a bit, so I headed outside to grab the shot. Then all the sudden… this LIGHT!!! I crossed the street to get this photo of the block and when I turned around, wouldn’t you know, an epic double rainbow right over the Hotel Lafayette!!! So there I am a block and three floors away from the party without my phone to try and get my assistant to get the couple outside. Rainbows are fleeting. Opportunity was lost. But at least now Caroline and Paul will forever know their wedding was adorned with magic.

city hall at sunset, across from wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
rainbow over exterior of Hotel Lafayette groom plays with James Blonde Band during wedding reception in Buffalo, NY
rainbow over exterior of Hotel Lafayette groom plays with James Blonde Band during wedding reception in Buffalo, NY
guests dance during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
guests dance during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY

Then we played with light sabres more….and a light sabre tickle fight ensued…

groomsmen pose with star wars light  during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
groom and groomsmen pose with star wars light  during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom kiss while dancing during wedding reception in Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, NY

Many thanks to Caroline and Paul for having us document this wonderful day!  We couldn’t have asked for better people to work with.  And thank you to all these venues and vendors who helped make the day so great!

Bride Preparation: Private Residence

Groom Preparation: Private Residence

Ceremony: Buffalo Seminary

Portraits: Albright Knox and Hoyt Lake at Delaware Park

Reception: Hotel Lafayette Greenhouse Room

Hair + Makeup:  Elle Air

Florist: Maureen’s

Bakery: Family friend

Band: James Blonde (formerly X-prime)

Transportation: Zoladz

Second Photographer: Steve Karosik

Cathy Jasper - June 13, 2019 - 7:41 pm

Thanks for sharing…looks like an awesome place for a wedding ceremony and a very unique venue. I would of loved to hear what was said during the toasts…everyone looks like they are in stitches. 😄.

God Bless them both as they live “Happily Ever After!”

lindsay - June 20, 2019 - 3:34 pm

They confessed to the groom they had never seen Star Wars!!!