A Walk in the Park

Seeing that Mother Nature is in complete denial of the latest solstice, I thought I’d bring things back to those warm lingering summer nights in the city. One of my all-time favorite spots to relax and hit the pause button in my busy life is Fort Greene Park. The lighting on those September evenings is prime for portraits, and was the setting for some fun headshots testing out my new camera (Sony RX1R). We began our shoot in a lovely Clinton Hill backyard (wish it was mine, what an oasis!). Quick tip: look for places with even shade coverage so your subjects don’t have to squint. It’s also great to use the setting sun as a natural backlight. 

Enjoy, and happy new year to you all! I’m so excited to show you what I have in store in 2016. 

x emily 

   
    
    
   

A Glamorous Grand Central Affair: The Wedding of Grace & Patrick

It’s wedding season! EEEEEEEEEE!

~Saturday, July 18, 2015~

~Saturday, July 18, 2015~

I had the privilege to document the totally glamorous wedding of Grace & Patrick this past July. The setting(s)? The posh,  Waldorf Astoria Hotel, followed by the glammed-out Oyster Bar, then  the ever-so-opulent Grand Central Station, to the streets of Gowanus, and finally down to the pearl of Brooklyn: Gowanus Loft.  Twelve hours of non-stop love and celebration, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Grand Central Station, where bride & groom will say I DO in just a couple short hours!

Grand Central Station, where bride & groom will say I DO in just a couple short hours!

All photos shot from my ever-so-faithful Sony A99 SLT with Carl Zeiss f1.4 50mm and f.2 16-28mm plus funky f2.8 12mm fisheye. I used a bounce flash only here and there during the reception, otherwise everything uses available light (my fav!).

The ceiling is breathtaking... next time you visit, re!ember to LOOK UP~

The ceiling is breathtaking… next time you visit, re!ember to LOOK UP!

If you’re getting married, and considering the getting ready, and first-look shots, I HIGHLY recommend arranging for your photographer to capture them. These moments are key in narrating the story of any wedding…

The amazing Grace

The amazing Grace

Patrick Jr. + Patrick Sr.

Patrick Jr. + Patrick Sr.

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Our Bride

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Our Groom

She's getting excited!!

She’s getting excited!!

Final details...

Final details…

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Grace putting her shoes on to go and get the groom down the hall :)

Getting ready to meet that groom of hers!

Handsome groomsmen!

Handsome groomsmen!

Cheers!

Cheers!

Ok, ok I'm ready to see my (almost) wife!

I especially loved the reactions Grace and Patrick had when they first saw each other. First Look Shots are really the best!

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They’re really too cute 🙂

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Cocktail Hour took place at Grand Central’s Oyster Bar. Just a quick stroll from the Waldorf Astoria, so I took advantage of the glowy afternoon light in the city on our walk over.

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The ceilings in the Oyster Bar created a super classic, romantic vibe. The Bride & Groom greeted close friends and family for the first time of the day…

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My favorite mother-son photo!

My favorite mother-son photo!

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It’s wedding time! THANK YOU APPLE STORE for letting us gather on your mezzanine and THANK YOU GRAND CENTRAL STATION for letting us take over the central terminal. Because we did 🙂

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Wow – what a feeling to have the entirety of Grand Central Station pause, become nearly silent, and witness Grace & Patrick exchanging their vows. It felt like the entire city turned out for these two love birds. Who wouldn’t?

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Now for… THE RINGS!

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And then they said “I DO!” Cue  the tears, where are my tissues?!  Grand Central lit up in a roar – it was ridiculously amazing to hear hundreds hundreds of voices rally in celebration! I absolutely love mom & dad’s expressions in the next photo.

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 And now for my favorite series of group photos of all-time. Grand Central Station is super crowded, so we knew there would be challenges with managing the crowds, corralling the wedding party, etc. But we managed to pull it off!

The fresh-off-the-press newlyweds!

The fresh-off-the-press newlyweds!

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And then just some of the two lovebirds, before we depart for the festivities in Brooklyn!!

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Ok, time to go!

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Patrick whisks his bride away, and off we go to… Gowanus.

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That dress though…

When guests arrive at their destination in Gowanus, they’re greeted with a full brass band. Because it’s essential to parade around the neighborhood to celebrate!

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And after parading around Gowanus for a bit, it’s time to party at The Loft!

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Gowanus Loft, in all her glory, was brimming with light for the reception. We danced, we ate, we laughed, we sang, we cried. Bust mostly, we laughed 🙂

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Amazing art installation pieces by Sarah Brook

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A special thank you to Grace & Patrick for including me on their incredible wedding. I had the absolute time of my life and was reminded why I love wedding photography so much. I wish you both a lifetime of happiness and joy.

They made it to Gowanus, Brooklyn!

Brooklyn Bridge Park Head Shots

From looking at the amount of outdoor photo sessions I’ve had, you could say I’m in denial that it’s late December. Granted, these photos were taken this past November, when you could be caught outside in a non-sleeping bag type jacket.

Miss Jordan Rose needed some updated head shots as she finishes her final year at Circle in the Square Theater and I was lucky enough to be in town 🙂 Our last session was shot in my home studio and the great outdoors of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This time, we opted to change up the backdrop just a bit and headed over to the Brooklyn Bridge park in DUMBO.

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Oh, and we totally lucked out with the current installation of Tom Fruin’s Stained Glass House sculpture. An stunning yet subtle backdrop for Jordan’s bright blue top.

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For a cooler, more monotone look, we ventured over to the park’s famous carousel. The inner child in me is still dying to go for a ride or two. Good thing it was closed for the day…. the grey granite steps above provided just enough texture for the casual look we were going for.

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And if you recall from our earlier shoot this past January 2014, red is a fantastic color on Jordan (actually I can’ think of any color looking bad on her…).

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Jordan is so photogenic and comfortable in front of the lens, she makes my job look easy 🙂 Now for some fall colors, we combined a bright purple top with a warm wooden door on our way out of the park.

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I am always looking for fresh faces and talent to photograph. Don’t let the winter blues deter you from stepping outside to show those pearly whites! If it’s too cold, we can always find a neat cafe/ library/ shop in Brooklyn or the city 🙂

Happy Photo-ing!

Family Portraits in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

The best clients are sometimes your first clients. Julie and James responded to an online posting for my photography back in the summer of 2012 for their small intimate wedding in Bay Ridge. They were my very first wedding, and I think I was more excited than nervous to shoot their intimate gathering. You can see their photos in the Wedding portion of my portfolio.

Flashback! Julie + James circa 2012 :)

Flashback! Julie + James circa 2012 🙂

Fast-forward two years, and I receive a lovely little “hello” from them in my inbox one November morning… No longer just Julie and James, but Julie, James, Ryan, and Luke!! The boys, ages 2 and 1, with those bright blue eyes that melt the hearts of any human being, were totally rambunctious and so much fun to photograph.

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A helpful tip for anyone photographing toddlers – keep that shutter going constantly and get on the floor to be eye-level with them (still working on my technique as always!). Below, Luke on the left, Ryan playing with dad on the right. It’s hard not to fall in love with these two hunks!

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And of course, I had to sneak a few shots of the two love birds, now mum and dad. Still as much in love with each other as on that summer day in 2012 when they said   “I Do”…

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With two wiggly toddlers, snapping the perfectly composed shot is not always easy, so that’s why we improvise as photographers. Their beautiful home in Bay Ridge boasted a chandelier from the early 1900s, which doubled as an excellent setting for my favorite candid close-ups of the family.

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This last one has everybody’s face in it! Christmas card, anyone? Next, we took advantage of the warm-ish weather and strapped on everyone’s shoes for some outdoor shots. I absolutely love shooting outside (especially under the lovely overcast skies we had that day) and kids do the cutest things when they play! Like gazing at me for a split second with bright googly eyes while piled in a heap of leaves…

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Or looking off into the distance while planning their next mischievous scheme…

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Or taking an impromptu geology lesson from Dad.

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Having had enough of the leaves and rocks, we headed down the street (literally 4 houses down) to grandmas! I can only imagine how awesome it is to have grandma, aka drop-of-the-hat babysitter steps from home with two little ones. Less of the “Over the river and through the woods,” and more like, “Down the five doorsteps and ten steps away, to Grandmother’s house we go!”

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Luke and Ryan clearly led the way, too. I can’t get enough of the look on their little faces when mum and dad called for them…

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By this time, the little ones were quite over-energized by being at grandma’s that our attempts to take some additional group shots were more candid than expected. I still think it totally captures the family dynamic of giggles and laughter 🙂 Oh well, we tried!

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Although grandma’s was fun, it was time to head home for a late morning snack. But before we said our good-byes, I captured a few more shots in their sweet little cul-de-sac (I had no idea these little oases existed in Brooklyn!).

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And as the holiday season comes and goes, and despite the cold days that lie ahead, remember the warmth of family in your heart. I am so honored to have been the Lanigan’s photographer for the second time, and look forward to many more family shoots with this gang!

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The Love of a (Growing!) Family

This post has so much more meaning to me than the typical  “oh-look-at-my-latest-client-shoot” post. The one year anniversary of my dad’s passing was approaching last week, and I was mentally preparing myself to accept whatever waves of grief and emotion were about to hit. This past year has taught me to deal with sadness head-on and immediately experience the pain without bottling it up, which only creates a volatile mental state. Losing a parent is a horrible feeling, and the grief that results is one that I would never wish on anyone. But that’s not what this blog post is about.

This post is about the pure beauty of family. So, I completed my usual online ad for head shots a few days prior to the anniversary, and I received a request from Marisa to do a maternity shoot. Initially I was hoping to distract myself with a nice dinner out or a movie on the 9th, but Marisa was one week away from her due date, and the only time we could meet was that very Wednesday night. Something told me this is what I needed to do.

That something was undoubtedly true. I met Marisa, her husband and three-year-old daughter down at the Dumbo Pier and experienced the profound, unconditional love this family expresses. DSC05042

8 Days away from her due date (which is today!!), Marisa is the most beautifully glowing mommy-to-be. I especially LOVED her hand-made sash to show off that gorgeous baby bump!

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Skyler, the spunky and excitable 3-year-old daughter was so well behaved, and became my official photographers’ assistant by the end of our session.

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She’s kind of the cutest little girl I’ve ever met!

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Mom and Dad can’t wait for the next addition to their family to arrive. Fun fact, baby is due the day after Skyler’s birthday!

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Even though the carousel horses were sleeping for the night in their glass barn (ah the stories you have to tell to children so they don’t despair!), using them as a backdrop was a great setting for us! Miss Skyler even photo-directed this next shot:

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We all love our mommas, but I think she’s a bit of a daddy’s girl, like me 🙂

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We also couldn’t have a complete shoot without a few one-on-one’s with the beautiful mom-to-be. Seriously, if being 9 months pregnant looked this good on everyone, there would be so many more babies in NYC!

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And as the sun began to set to the west, beyond the towering buildings of lower Manhattan, I was able to sneak this shot of the two love birds before the security guards told us to get off the grass (they fortunately let us take our time – who rushes/ yells at a pregnant lady?!).

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And one of Skyler, of course. I have a feeling that this little girl is going to do big things!

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Oh, and if you haven’t already guessed, it’s a girl.

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All in all, this was the best way to spend my evening last Wednesday. I was so completely wrapped up in the love and happiness of this family that I forgot it was the one year anniversary of my dad’s passing. This photo session reminded me of why I love what I do – Photography not only captures fleeting moments of time, but allows us to reveal the true essence of a person’s soul. If anything, it gives us a beautiful memory to hold close in our hearts that will literally live on for generations to come.

I continue to cherish each memory of my loved ones – whether they have passed or simply left my path of life for the time being. I don’t wallow in misery when I look back on photos with my dad; instead I am able to travel back in time to those exact moments and remember the sound of his voice, his tenderness, his love. And as my wonderful step-mom says, “Love is in front of you, behind you, beside you, and within you always”.

I like to think you can alternate Love with Family.

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To all the families out there, you are all pillars in each others’ lives. Hold each other close, forget your conflicts and resentments – family is forever my dears.

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A Good $100 Spent…

I am currently running a new client head shot session special for one-hundred buck-a-roos in NYC/ Brooklyn. Today, Matt braved the sweltering heat and met in Williamsburg to take some outdoor head shots to take advantage of my deal. Photos taken use 100% natural light, no flash, lighting, or reflectors (good God, really?!) – all you need is that perfect 7-8pm July sunshine!

Included are some of my favorites from today. Live in NYC? Use ANY kind of social media, or have your beautiful face out in the cyber universe? You might want to consider getting some updated head shots… you know where to find me 🙂

-emily

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Photo Session: Jordan Rose

Sunday afternoon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A balmy 30 degrees Fahrenheit keeps things indoors for the most part today during Jordan’s photo shoot. Head shots with a bit of a color pop to them are key if you want to make it big in this city. Note our favorite zing of red… Eye-catching, no?

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Jordan Rose. Actress.

For fun, we tried the Pin-Up look on for size. It fit.

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Jordan, Pin-Up style.

We eventually ventured outside to enjoy the beautiful weather (note, sarcasm – I really hate the cold!) and found some greenery! Astro-turf braided chain-link fence makes for an excellent backdrop. I’m thinking girl next door?

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Astro-turf, meet Jordan.

And to close out our session for the day, we found a lovely red door. I can’t get enough of this color. Seriously.

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Red. Red. Red. Pairs excellently with Jordan.

Well my dears, till next time. If you venture to the Williamsburg area or find yourself within a 2-mile radius of this village, let’s take some snaps!