Gratitude Sessions

It took me about 10 years to quit my “real job,” (as a news photographer/reporter at various places across the country) while I was shooting weddings on the side. To be honest, I never thought people would keep hiring me to photograph their weddings. I kept waiting for the inquiries to stop, never thinking that I would run a business full time.

I didn’t think that enough couples would want documentary photo coverage, given how prevalent posed, traditional wedding photography is. In fact, many people used to ask me, “What do you even mean by documentary?” (It means I don’t choreograph moments!) Yet, here we are. I’ve somehow found a tiny tribe of humans who love real moments and reject conventional notions of wedding photography (and family photography, as I am only offering family documentary too).

It’s still unbelievable to me that people deem me worthy enough to photograph their wedding. Years ago, as a way to remind my couples how grateful I am, I decided to offer free mini-sessions to former, current and future couples. It ended up being a huge hit, plus a great way to stay in touch with my kind of people! My couples have their own families now, and, I get to hang with their kiddos, which is a huge treat!

These 20 minute guided sessions are perfect for holiday cards, announcements, or just updated pics. Within a few days of the shoot you will get about 10 edited, hi-rez photographs, along with a usage form so you can get prints anywhere if you don’t want to get them through me. For now, these sessions will all be in the Utica, NY area. They’re absolutely free and available to anyone who has hired me to capture their wedding. It’s a very small thank you for making my dreams come true. So sign up, leave your matching outfits at home and come say hi. Naturally, there will be baked goods!

Sign up here!

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Kayla & Dan: Yahnundasis Golf Club Wedding

I reject a life that is centered around being conventionally pretty. Nor do I believe in one that is focused on being skinnier, younger or richer. My sole motivation is authentic connection and honest emotion…be it with photography, life, or loved ones at a wedding.

This can be a hard concept for some, whose default currency is projecting a perfect life in photos. I’d like to dig deeper and showcase what I feel are the truly beautiful things in life. Whether it’s the bride’s dad grasping her arm during the walk down the aisle, the couples tearful First Look, or, the “icing” of guests during the reception, Kayla and Dan’s day was filled with timeless beauty. The kind of stuff that people talk about for years. Love comes in many forms and it is such an honor to document it in all varieties.

Kayla and Dan playfully poke fun of my #momentsoverposes motto, but I thought it really fitting that their entire day consisted of real emotion, affection and joy. There was not one formulaic thing about their Yahnundasis wedding, not one request to “pretend” to do something for a photo. (Also, these two are legit hilarious, thoughtful, and wonderful to everyone…so it was a highlight of my year for other reasons!)

A few faves from their unforgettable day…

The Yahnundasis always puts on a great event!

These fine people were the cherry on top:

Hair: Brittany Burke with www.bb-updos.com

Makeup: Alyssa Aiello Makeup

Decor: Exclusively Yours by Wendy

Ceremony and Reception, thanks to Sheila with the Yahnundasis

Florals: Price Chopper

DJ: Roscoe Red

Video: T2 Video Productions

Cake: Wicked Sweets Bakery

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Salina & Al: The Columns Wedding

The only thing better than one wedding day? Two! We had the honor and pleasure of photographing Salina & Al’s Cambodian Khmer Union ceremony. Then, the following day, an American style ceremony at The Columns in Elma. Both days were filled with love, emotion, color and joy.

Full slideshow here.

I was so honored to be there for both events. A few faves…

Beauty: Beautiful Moments

American ceremony & Reception: The Columns Banquets

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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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