Family Documentary: Ilion, NY

When I was young, I used to pretend I was a gymnast, doing handstands over the arm of our wicker couch, somersaulting onto the cushions. It was one of a thousand habits I had for many years, until the arm got loose and no one knew why.

It’s this kind of thing that I aim to capture during family documentary sessions. Photos that — decades from now — conjure up honest memories that depict exactly how life was. I spend a relaxed day with a family at their home, capturing the unique habits that children have. I think of the furniture, bedroom and toys as their own characters, building lifelong memories.

Family pictures can be so much more than smiles at the camera. They can be real life: playing dress up, fighting with your sibling, getting hurt and then comforted by mom.

I met this couple over 7 years ago when I photographed their wedding! 2 are now 4, and I was delighted to spend the day with them kicking around their house during their documentary session. A few faves…

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Ann & Juan: 26 Bridge Wedding

There are some people who enter our lives and stay in our hearts forever. Nearly a decade ago, when I used to live outside NYC, I would photograph families around Brooklyn. Many of them were friends and family of each other, and it struck me immediately how close and loving this group was. You can imagine my surprise and delight when one of the families called me to shoot their sister’s wedding.

Within seconds of meeting Ann & Juan, you know they are family people. At their core, they thrive on meaningful connection. They treat people incredibly well, meaning even if you aren’t close, you get a huge smile and a hug. I am honored anytime I can hang in their inner circle.

It’s rare that I get back to NYC these days, but for this day? Ann & Juan’s Brooklyn wedding was the only place I wanted to be.

Even in NYC, where people have seen EVERYTHING, it was wonderful that everyone was so excited to see a bride wandering around…

Ann & Juan made sure food trucks were outside their venue when the celebration winded down. Guests loved it!

Beauty: Rosemary Q & Ydelsa Salim

Dress: Max Bridal NY

Ceremony: St. Barbara Church

Reception: 26 Bridge in Brooklyn

Florals: Diva Blooms

Cake: Brooklyn Cupcake

Caterer: LCI Caterers

Entertainment: Absolute Celebrations

Yanira - You took absolutely beautiful pictures of my cousin’s wedding. You captured the love that our family shares.

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Jenn & Alex: Royals Farm Wedding

There’s a lot of pressure on a wedding day. When your bride is a photographer, multiply that by a hundred. Jenn and I used to shoot alongside each other in basketball gyms, capturing action shots of the top athletes in Connecticut. Jenn would always joke that I was going to be her wedding photographer when she met someone!

This was way before she ever even met Alex, so I assumed she was just making small talk! Years later, here we are! Every tiny detail of this entire day was handmade, handpicked and built from scratch…yes, even the barn! It started with her family building and renovating a sprawling property, where there was no detail left overlooked. Along the way, their family suffered a setback when her dad was injured building the barn. The entire community came together, lending a hand in building the foundation for Jenn and Alex’s wedding.

Her sisters wrote and performed their toast, a fireworks show brought excitement to the next level…there were even some ripped dresses from dancing too hard! They had a hell of a party and I am so grateful I got to be there. There were so many favorite #perfectlyunposed moments…

There was such an incredible team working this wedding, special thanks to everyone who made it a perfect day!

(Jenn and Alex, you made my dreams come true that day. I love you and I will see you soon!)

Ceremony & Reception: Royals Farm
Makeup: Amy Jambard
Hair: Head Over Heels
Dress: (Stella York) by Val’s Formal Wear
Flowers: Market32
DJ: DJae Mêlée
Rentals: Tents Unlimited
Wedding Coordinator: Jen Strunk
Catering: Small Kitchen Big Taste, Mercado, Old World Pizza Craftbird Food Truck, Taco Loco Mexican Restaurant & Catering, Craft Bird
Bar: Mobilepubevents

Officiating: Yael Maxwell DeVita
Ring and Pearls: Derek Simpson Goldsmith
All decor by bride
Pies: Lyman Orchards
Cake: Susan Lent Kellogg

Steve Cortes - That bridge shot……❤
Love the backstory, too.

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Lindsay & Bruce: Vernon Downs Wedding

I have known Lindsay for over 20 years. Even in high school, while the rest of us were being idiots, Lindsay was the kindest, warmest person you could ever meet. Fast forward, she is exactly the same in that regard. Lindsay and Bruce make everyone feel welcome and comfortable, so I was thrilled to be able to document her wedding!

I feel the more I know the bride (and couple), the closer I can get during the wedding, people are just more comfortable with me being 3 feet from their face, ha ha! Lindsay fiercely loves her family and close relationships, plus, she has a hilarious sense of humor. It was fun to inflect some of that into the photos!

A few favorites from their wonderful day at the race track/Vernon Downs

Thank you to these talented people who made this wedding great…

Hair: Julee Schaffer

Makeup: Ann Erny

Dress: Rebecca Ingram

Florals: Coriale’s

Decor: Bella’s Event Planning

Ceremony & Reception: Vernon Downs

Entertainment: Majestic DJ/Carl Militello

Cake: Classy Cakes by Andrea Graves

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Sickenberger Lane

When visionaries combine with artists, greatness happens. The owner of Sickenberger Lane has run a fun entertainment/bar venue for over a decade. Not one to rest on previous successes, Michelle had a new vision to enhance the bar into a unique and vibrant art space for CNY’ers.

She put out a call to artists all over the area to create WHATEVER THEY WANTED — with absolutely no restrictions — on walls throughout the inside and outside of the venue.

Enter Angela (with BB Designs), a fierce talent who has the instinct and drive to create unique community partnerships and spaces…

Angela brought in artists from all over the community to create something special for Sickenberger Lane (referred to as Sicken@624). During a community wide art event, everyone put a piece of their heart on the walls for the public to enjoy. (They also let me do a totally documentary session of the day!)


The artists were gracious enough to let me make some intimate portraits of them in front of their masterpieces…

You need to check this place out. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The grand re-opening of the bar is Friday, May 10th. (Think dancers, music, specialty cocktails and more) It is spectacular!

I’ll be there, you better be too! Check out the space here: (Sickenberger Lane on Varick Street Utica, NY)

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