Blessed Sacrament, Albright Knox and Mansion on Delaware Wedding in Buffalo, NY

Often times my clients live out of town and I don’t have the chance to meet them before their weddings.  I generally try to at least get a Facetime call in before the wedding so we can get to know each other a little bit.  The second that facetime call went live with Alexa, I had a real good feeling I was going to get some great moments with her, and I was right.  The joy was as visible as I’ve seen – all the laughter and tears brought about some of my favorite candid shots of the year.  Add to that Rob’s tux, the single coolest military uniform I’ve ever seen (Rob’s a PARATROOPER… also probably the coolest military job I could think of) and this wedding was a sight for sore eyes.

I started the day with Alexa at her parents home while my lovely second photographer for the day, Ms. Teri Fiske, hung out with the guys at the Mansion on Delaware.

From here we traveled to Blessed Sacrament church, enter the water works.

Favorite!  ↓My favorite moment from my facetime call with Alexa was when she asked, “would it be ok if we went to Mr. Goodbar for a few photos?”  Now my friends spend a lot of time in Mr. Goodbar, so I had to ask what the connection was.  Rob chimes in, “she likes drinking!”  Yes, we’ll get along just fine.  Onward to the reception at the fabulous Mansion on Delaware!

Big City Horns may have taken up half of the room, but no one would have had it any other way.  They are fantastic entertainers!  Last but certainly not least – a photobooth photo ready for awkwardfamilyphotos.comMany thanks to Alexa and Rob for having us along to document this beautiful day and many thanks to these fabulous vendors who contributed to the day:

Ceremony: Blessed Sacrament Church

Portraits: Albright Knox Art Gallery

Reception: The Mansion on Delaware

Second Photographer: Teri Fiske

Hair and Makeup: Pure Organics

Band: Big City Horns

Florist: Tops

Bakery: Tops

 

 

Destination Wedding in BUFFALO(?!) – Templeton Landing

Hayley and Steve reached out to me with news I hadn’t heard before, “we’re having a destination wedding in Buffalo, NY”

My thoughts: “Really?”  I mean, I love Buffalo, a lot, but of all places?  How random!  For these two though, not really.  Hayley and Steve met online while Hayley was doing mission work in CHINA and Steve was hunting wild game or wrestling or some other interesting thing he does in the YUKON.  Somehow these two connected across all those miles, and when you see them together, it all makes sense.  Is Steve from China, you may ask?  Is Hayley from the Yukon?  Still no.  These two haves ties every where from Jamaica to Great Britain, Arkansas, Boston, California, I seriously have lost track.  So getting married somewhere in the middle of it all and making an adventure of it just made sense.  So, there we were.

The couple got ready at the Hampton Inn in downtown Buffalo before heading off to Templeton Landing for a rooftop ceremony overlooking downtown Buffalo and Lake Erie.

Let the rooftop ceremony begin!Steve’s parents offered heartfelt prayers during the ceremony.I don’t want to commit to saying this was the hottest ceremony of the summer, there have been a lot, but, yea… it was.  Everyone made the most of it though and a beautiful, heartfelt ceremony was witnessed by all.  The bridal party took a walk to the gardens and beach at ajacent Erie Basin Marina for some portraits.  I was a little surprised no one dipped their feet on a hot day like this!Back to Templeton Landing for a reception in their bright and beautiful ballroom!For sure the most animated marriage certificate signing I’ve seen to date:Many thanks to Hayley and Steve for allowing us in to their worlds for a day and for choosing our beloved Buffalo for this celebration – photographing such an amazing variety of people and witnessing such a touching wedding day was beyond lovely.

More thanks to the other vendors who made this day special:

Preparation:  Hampton Inn

Ceremony + Reception: Templeton Landing

Portraits:  Erie Basin Marina

Bridal Makeup: Holley Fromell

DJ: Moving Music

St. Mark’s, Wilkeson Point & Kleinhan’s Music Hall Wedding Photography in Buffalo, NY

When Jill first contacted me about her wedding photography, I remembered her instantly as the maid of honor from her best friend Jenna’s wedding.  Memories of bridal party members tend to come and go a bit over the years, but Jill had a magnetic smile that stuck with me.  So needless to say, when I found out I was going to have the chance to photograph Jill again, I knew I was in for a celebration filled with the happiest of smiles.  We started the day at Jill’s childhood home.  I always feel lucky when I have the chance to photograph clients in places that are so personal to them, places filled with history and memories, and to add to those memories on the wedding day.

Meanwhile Andy and the groomsmen got ready at the Embassy Suites in downtown Buffalo.  These custom sunglasses were gifts to the bridal party!

Jill walked me through her house and showed me a few options for where she could but on her dress.  I just loved all the history of her childhood bedroom, it was a no-brainer.  But… those clowns had to go.  Look at those things that watched precious little Jill sleep at night!

I guess the groomsmen stopped by this garage sale for some last minute wedding gifts?

On to one of my favorite places in Buffalo, Wilkenson Pointe, for some bridal party portraits!

Much like my love for photographing couples getting ready in their childhood homes, stopping by the place where the couple met is always such a nice tribute to how things got started.  We popped in to the Alley Cat in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood for a quick drink and maybe made a small scene during a fairly intimate open mic session but it was so lovely to spend a little time in the place where it all began.

On to Kleinhans for the wedding reception!  This National Historic landmark is a music hall and the home of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Built in the 1930s by famed designers Eliel and Erol Sarrinen, it has a unique style that makes for a really special wedding backdrop.

Friends who mop up spilled drinks with this much style make for great wedding guests indeed.

Preparation Bride: Private Residence

Preparation Groom: Embassy Suites Buffalo

Ceremony: St. Marks

Portraits: Wilkenson Pointe/Outer Harbor Buffalo

Reception: Kleinhans Music Hall

DJ: Sean Heidenger

Flowers: William’s Florist

Bakery: Megan Kordrupel

Hair and Makeup: Sass Salon

Tiffany + Vinny – Engagement Photography Session – WNY Southern Tier

When Tiffany and Vinny first contacted me about their engagement pictures, they mentioned some private property of Tiffany’s Grandfathers in the Southern Tier of WNY might be a fitting location.  This could have gone a number of ways, but I’m always up for adventure.  I made the drive, dirt road after dirt road, nearly hitting several deer, a bunny and turtle.  I eventually came upon a man (Tiffany’s dad) on a four wheeler who flagged me down.  I followed him up a steep hill and eventually arrived at a cabin situated on one of the most BEAUTIFUL properties imaginable.  Tiffany and Vinny’s vision was perfection.  We wandered around in some light rain from location to location and the whole place was just heavenly.

Many thanks to these two for inviting me out to this special place and all the best to you both with your wedding this winter!

bride and groom pose for engagement photography session in forest in southern tier of western NY near Buffalo

Geneseo Wedding in the Finger Lakes – Temple Hill Bed & Breakfast + Oaks at Livingston Country Club

It was roughly 207 degrees out for Katelynn and Scott’s Geneseo wedding in the Finger Lakes region of NY, and somehow that stopped zero fun.  Well maybe a little bit of fun was zapped on the broken air conditioner limo… but other than that, this day was laid back, beautiful and super fun.  We started the day at Katelynn’s Aunt’s gorgeous farm house in Geneseo.  The bride and groom had their first look overlooking the fields and it was nothing short of perfect.

From here we went on to the stunning Temple Hill Bed and Breakfast in Geneseo for the wedding portraits.  Temple Hill was built in 1826 as a school and was later converted to a private home.  The grounds of the now bed and breakfast made a lovely backdrop for our pictures and the owners were ever so gracious with their air conditioner in between photos.  Thanks Temple Hill!!!  This place is a true gem in the Finger Lakes.

Katelynn and Scott’s crew rolls deep and were effortless to work with.  Big bridal parties can be… terrible.  These people were not.  Also, let’s talk about the palette of the bridesmaids dresses color coordinating with the colors of Temple Hill?!  It’s perfect.  The gowns came from Show me your Mumu and these ladies rocked them.

This lil’ guy is my favorite.We ventured on to the Oaks at Livingston Country Club, also in Geneseo, for the ceremony and reception.  Guests gathered in a small shaded area off to the side of the ceremony area to escape the heat.  The seats remained mostly empty.  It was pretty hilarious.  This is Keith James.  Hire him.  Pretty sure everyone at this wedding got “ice’d” at some point.  The grooms brother delivered a great speech, but the tribute to their Grandma brought everyone to their feet and to tears.  Well done.  I hope I get this story right.  So.  Katelynn used to live in a house where one night they found jugs of moonshine in the basement.  Debauchery ensues.  Katelynn eventually moves out and life goes on.  Fast forward to the days leading up to this wedding, someone in this crew decided it would be a good idea to BREAK IN to this old house and steal the very last jug to bring to this wedding!!!  I’m pretty sure I just witnessed a bunch of people drink gasoline, but it was highly entertaining no less. 

Many thanks to Katelynn and Scott for including us in the celebration!  We had a blast working with you and your crew!

Preparation – private residence

Portraits – Temple Hill Bed and Breakfast

Ceremony & Reception – Oaks at Livingston Country Club

Hair and Makeup – Mackenzie Thompson

Live Music Performer – Keith James

DJ – Soundwave

Flowers – Ali Paige Floral

Bride’s Dress – Hayley Paige

Bridesmaid Dresses – Show me your Mumu

Second Photographer – Steve Karosik

Wedding Engagement Photography in Pittsburgh, PA – Incline & Point State Park

Hockey Fans Turned Pittsburgh Lovers – Tricia + Ryan

Ever since this wedding engagement photography shoot in Pittsburgh, I’ve been contemplating this: Have we, as Buffalonians, hit the point where it’s totally fair to have “another” team?  Are our sports programs SO wretched that we need backup to keep us engaged in the sports we love to watch?  I’d like to say that’s totally, 100%, cheating on your team… jerks… but… maybe there has to be a breaking point?  Can we really still hate on fair weather fans?  I’m torn.

For Ryan, an avid hockey fan, that breaking point started creeping up around the time Sydney Crosby first put on his Pittsburgh sweater in 2005, and gradually grew as Crosby’s dynamic career has unfolded.  As the fandom blossomed, so did Ryan’s relationship with Tricia, and the two decided to travel to Pittsburgh to see Crosby on home ice.  This started to become a regular tradition for these two and they started to simply become fans of Pittsburgh as a whole.  These two still call Buffalo home, but Pittsburgh is a place they return to time and time again and has become an important place to them.

Tricia and Ryan are planning a wedding for next June back in Buffalo, but decided to bring me out to Pittsburgh for their engagement photos to honor this place that’s so special to them.  I had a blast working in some new places and exploring Pittsburgh for a day.  It’s sure a nice place.  But… let’s go Buff-a-lo!

engagement photography of couple laughing and holding hands while walking in Point Park in Pittsburgh with bridge and river behind them
engagement photography of couple laughing in Point Park in Pittsburgh with bridge and river behind them
black and white engagement photography of couple sitting on steps in Point Park in Pittsburgh with bridge and river behind them
engagement photography of couple holding hands and looking at each other with fountain behind them in Point Park in Pittsburgh
engagement photography of couple holding hands and looking at each other with fountain behind them in Point Park in Pittsburgh
photograph of engaged couple kissing under bride in Point Park in Pittsburgh
black and white photograph of engaged couple look at one another under bride in Point Park in Pittsburgh
wedding engagement photography of couple snuggling on the Pittsburgh Incline

Time for a ride back down on the Pittsburgh Incline! Bon Voyage you two!

wedding engagement photography of couple snuggling in the back of the Pittsburgh Incline with the skyline in the background
wedding engagement photography of couple snuggling on the Pittsburgh Incline

Thank you SO much to Tricia and Ryan for bringing me out to Pittsburgh to be part of this wedding engagement photography session. It was so much fun to explore new places with you both. Can’t wait for the wedding!

Update: The wedding happened! Check out their pictures here!

[…] 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 […]

Wedding Engagement Photography at Knox Farm in Buffalo, NY

Tahleen + Luke

Give me love and literal light – there will be photo magic. But before we get in to Tahleen and Luke’s wedding engagement photography session at Knox Farm, a little prelude.

People have asked if I ever know which couples will make it, which relationships will stand the test of time, and I like to think I do.  Honestly, my only credentials for making such a statement are that the one couple I’ve photographed in 12 years that I know has split was also the number one couple about which I thought, “meh… I dunno about those two.”  But this begs the question, what does love look like?  It certainly takes on many shapes as it molds to the personalities of those it inhabits, but there are just certain couples where you can see it, that THING, they have it!

When I critique photographers work, the sentiment I share more than any other is, “it doesn’t FEEL like anything.”  Taking a picture of a pretty thing – that’s easy.  Finding or creating good light, finding great color, using an engaging composition, all of these things are vital.  But if the photo doesn’t FEEL like anything, what’s it all for?  Sure, light and color and composition help create feeling, but there’s more.  Finding the light, the color, the composition, then finding Love, captial L-love, and using the elements and principles of art to let that Love shine, that’s where the magic lives.  That’s the photo that makes you take a deep breath,  soak it in, maybe even let out an audible “mmmm…” because you can just FEEL what it’s like to be present, then and there.

This magic trifecta came to fruition with Tahleen and Luke’s wedding engagement photography at Knox Farm.  At some point I realized I was being pretty quiet during this shoot.  That’s rare for me.  I’m always making conversation, jokes, asking questions… But this session was beyond.  The light was there, the love was there… all I needed to do was focus.  Not focus the camera, though that’s important too… but focus on how to make art out of everything the world was so generously throwing at me.

My greatest goal with a picture is to transport people to a place in time, to give the world living, breathing pictures that they can FEEL with all the senses, not just sight.  I think these pictures have that… because I did my job, and Tahleen and Luke just have that THAT thing…

In short, to me, this is what love looks like folks.  Soak it in.

wedding engagement photography of bride and groom laughing and walking down tree lined street at Knox Farm State Park near Buffalo, NY
bride and groom kiss along old wood fence in field during wedding engagement photography at Knox Farm State Park near Buffalo, NY
bride and groom kiss in field during wedding engagement photography at Knox Farm State Park near Buffalo, NY
bride and groom laugh together during wedding engagement photography at Knox Farm State Park near Buffalo, NY
bride and groom kiss in field during wedding engagement photography at Knox Farm State Park near Buffalo, NY
bride and groom kiss in field during wedding engagement photography at Knox Farm State Park near Buffalo, NY
bride and groom kiss in field during wedding engagembride and groom look at each other and embrace along old wood fence during wedding engagement photography at Knox Farm State Park near Buffalo, NYent photography at Knox Farm State Park near Buffalo, NY

Many thanks to Tahleen and Luke for hiring me to document your engagement and wedding celebrations! Can’t wait for the wedding!

Update: Tahleen and Luke are married! Check out some wedding photography highlights here!

Garden Wedding at Samuel’s Grande Manor near Buffalo, NY

Kellie + Trevor

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 garden wedding at Samuel’s Grande Manor near Buffalo 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, an event venue near Buffalo, where the rain cleared JUST in time for a beautifully lush outdoor garden ceremony 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 Samuel
photography of brides shoes and jewelry before garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
photography of bride getting hair and makeup done by Lizzy Dugan of Salon Elizabeth before garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
photography of bride getting hair and makeup done by Lizzy Dugan of Salon Elizabeth before garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
photography of bride getting veil adjusted by Lizzy Dugan of Salon Elizabeth before garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
funny photos of groom shaving with knife before garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
mugshots of groomsmen before garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
groom skateboarding past groomsmen before garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
groom smiling in front of groomsmen before garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
groom high-fiving ring bearer before garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
groomsman fallen through deck stairs before garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride getting dress fastened by bridesmaids before garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride putting on earrings and shoes while flower girls parents dress her before garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
flower girl laughing while surrounded by puffy dress before garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride pinning boutonniere on father before garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
ring bearer relaxing before garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bagpipe player walks down aisle before garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride walks down aisle as groom reacts during wedding ceremony at Samuel
father giving bride away during garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom look at each other during garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom exchange vows during garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom exchange vows during garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom exchange vowsduring garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom exchange vows behind flameduring garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
moms light candle during garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom light candle during garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom say vows during garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom exchange vows during garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom exchange vows during garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom exchange rings during garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
wide angle photo during garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom share first kiss during garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom toast during garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
families pose for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bridal party poses for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bridal party poses for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom pose for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom pose for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom pose for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom pose for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom pose for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
bride and groom pose for portraits after garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
brides flowers near fountain after garden wedding ceremony at Samuel
detail photos of room, cake, card box and center piecesduring wedding reception at Samuel
bride and groom are introduced and share first dance during wedding reception at Samuel
bride and groom share first dance during wedding reception at Samuel
bride cries while sharing first dance with groom during wedding reception at Samuel
bride and groom cut cake during wedding reception at Samuel
best man and maid of honor deliver speechesduring wedding reception at Samuel
guests cheers after toast during wedding reception at Samuel
uncle receives brithday cake during wedding reception at Samuel
bride dances with father during wedding reception at Samuel
bride dances with father during wedding reception at Samuel
groom dances with mother during wedding reception at Samuel
groom dances with mother during wedding reception at Samuel
guests dance during wedding reception at Samuel
bride tosses bouquet during wedding reception at Samuel
bride sings and dances during wedding reception at Samuel
bride and grooms rings during wedding reception at Samuel
bride 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!

If you would like to see more from Samuel’s Grande Manor, check out Lucy and Josh’s wedding here!

Lilac Festival – Highland Park in Rochester, NY

Each spring, Highland Park in 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, arts and crafts 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!

A few frames from the Lilac Festival Parade. Nothing like a marching band to kick off the summer in Highland Park in Rochester!

marching band and participants perform during parade in front of cherry blossoms Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NY
clown on bike poses for photo during parade at Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NY
veterans march with flags during parade Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NY
participants laugh while marching in parade Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NY

One of my favorite features of the Lilac Festival has got to be all the free hugs from these cuties!

group of people offer free hugs in purple cross walk Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NY

The Arts and Crafts fair stretches seemingly for miles through Highland Park in Rochester! You can purchase all sorts of locally crafted goods here.

a juggler performs and visitors enjoy rides and art vendors Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NY

There are, of course, the LILACS! Highland Park in Rochester has more lilac trees than I can count. It looks amazing and smells even better!

people walk through lilacs and cherry blossoms Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NY
couple embraces in tree Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NY

There are craft beer and wine tastings in a special tented area for guests to imbibe. Cheers to that!

couple laughs while enjoying wine at the craft wine tasting festival Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NY
friends cheers during the craft beer festical Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NY

And of course everyone’s favorite – the concerts! Dozens of amazing bands grace the Lilac Fest stage in Highland Park in Rochester, NY. Undoubtedly a highlight of the year in Rochester!

musicians perform concert Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NY
musician performs at concert Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NY
musicians perform at concert Lilac Festival at Highland Park in Rochester, NY

If you love spring blossoms and want to see more, pop over to this maternity photography session featuring Buffalo’s Cherry Blossom Festival!