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!

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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Big City, Greater Sky…

Lady“See the light, shapes, colors, textures. Be aware of the silent presence of each thing. Be aware of the space that allows everything to be… Listen to the silence underneath the sounds… Allow everything to be, within and without… Move deeply into the Now.

City SkiesYou are leaving behind the deadening world of mental abstraction of time. You are getting out of the insane mind that is draining you of life energy, just as it is slowly poisoning and destroying the Earth. You are awakening out of the dream of time into the present.”

-Eckhart Tolle