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 

   
    
    
   

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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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Mary-Reid & Mike – Wedded Bliss

This may very well be the longest and most heart-felt post in the history of this blog, even though its history is fairly brief.

Let’s go back to the year 1998 – I am 9 years old and our family of 6 had just moved to Framingham mid-way through September from the tiny woodsy town of Madison, NH. I was that fourth grade new-girl-on-the-block, essentially. The awkward shy one, no less.

My clearest memory of that first September day at school was entering Mrs. Carbeau’s classroom: everyone was seated in a small circle in the center of the room, hushed with all bright eyes on me. I quietly took my seat in a perfect little open spot within the circle and I was slowly introduced to each student. I looked around and saw Mary-Reid, Joanne, and Hannah for the first time and said to myself, “these are going to be my best friends”.

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That’s us! From left, Joanne, Myself, Hannah, and Mary-Reid

Fast-forward to 2004: We’re still together and yup, the very best of friends.  However, at some point amongst our teenage wanderings, Mary-Reid meets Mike. Their love was both effortlessly poetic and passionate and one couldn’t help but smile when you saw the two of these love birds together. They were the epitome of true classic high-school sweethearts. I mean look at the photo from prom!

Mary-Reid and Mike: Senior Prom 2007. For real people!

Mary-Reid and Mike: Senior Prom 2007. For real people!

And then in early March of 2013, I receive a phone call at 1:00pm from Mary-Reid… there’s a certain distinguishable tremor of excitement in her voice, and then the famous words I’ll never forget: “Mike Proposed!!!!!”. I can’t say I was terribly surprised – it was really just a matter of time before Mike made the best decision of his life 🙂

Fast forward once more my dears to August 16th, 2014. The most absolutely crisp-yet-perfectly-balmy August morning. The wedding day. Location: Mary-Reid’s family home on Prospect Street. We spent years and years running around the big historic colonial and jumping into the pool on summer days, and now it was time for it to be the perfect setting for Mike & Mary-Reid’s wedding!

The setting: Family Home on Prospect Street

The setting: Family Home on Prospect Street

This wedding was truly like no other in that so many family and friends poured their hearts in to making this day perfect for the bride and groom. From catering all of the food themselves in the barn, to placing perfectly crafted fondant flowers on the 3-tiered cake, to hand-altering her daughter’s wedding gown, to growing wildflowers all summer long for the bouquets, to setting tables and pressing linens, and everything in between that you could possibly imagine. They got it done!

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Just shy of 4:00pm, every little detail finally falls in to place…

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After spending hours running around lighting hundreds of tea lights, hanging dozens of lanterns, setting each plate just-so, and tying together the bouquets, we ladies finally enjoyed some well-deserved pampering!

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And now for a bit about the gown. Mary-Reid’s wedding vision stemmed mainly from Anthropologie’s wedding off-shoot, BHLDN. Short for “Beholden”, they offer ethereal and whimsical wedding inspirations from cake toppers to stunning hand-beaded gowns. In the winter this of this past year, Mary-Reid and I essentially camped out in a nicely heated car (beginning at 4:00am no less) at their first-ever trunk show in Philly. We had no idea what to expect, but we were determined to find the one. Long story short, we did! And oh my goodness, is she a thing of beauty!

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Bridesmaid dresses were key additions to Mary-Reid’s inspiration for a romantic garden wedding, and fortunately for us ladies, we too got to don some gorgeous BHLDN gowns!

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Again, thank you Mary-Reid for selecting these gorgeous gowns for us to wear! I think you can see that we loved wearing them…

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From the left: Joanne, Xenia, Mary-Reid, Hannah, and Myself. Note the drawn curtains to keep sneaky peekers from peeking!

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For having pulled off planning an entire wedding, Mary-Reid looks absolutely serene and peaceful just moments before walking down the aisle. We had a few moments to glance through this window to see the groomsmen make their way down first…

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And before you know it, I had to drop my camera (couldn’t possibly have hid it behind my bouquet now!), and walked down the aisle of my dearest friend’s wedding. The ceremony was nothing short of incredibly intimate and exceptionally beautiful – there truly wasn’t a dry eye in the garden!

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That’s right ladies, He put a ring on it! Below are some of my favorite shots of my favorite two love birds…

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If this isn’t true electric love then I don’t know what is 🙂

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And of course some group photos of the ladies and gents up by the barn…

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And the obligatory bling ring shot with Hannah…

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And more importantly, the cake! Crafted by the exceptionally talented hands of Mary-Reid’s aunt, maid of honor Hannah, and the bride herself. See the connection between the design on the wedding gown? Thought so!

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Sometimes I have a difficult time expressing my love in words, and I often find that actions speak volumes when it comes to doing so. Not only was this wedding a pure manifestation of love between two souls, but a perfect example of how far humans will go for the ones they love. Each and every person in attendance found a way to lend a hand (or two!) to the bride and groom to ensure their day was overflowing with joy, bliss, and love.

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To my dearest friends Mary-Reid and Mike: you have already built a wonderful life together these past 9 or so years, but this is just the beginning of a most beautiful thing. I admire your strength, unconditional love and support for each other, and am certain your marriage will light the whole earth. Through thick and thin the two of you have grown into an unbreakable pair of lovers, friends, and true partners. I know you will have nothing but a lifetime rich with love and happiness. Thank you for having me be a part of this unforgettable moment in your lives!

Mittens

A few weeks ago I visited my brother and sister-in-law down in San Antonio, TX for a much-needed long weekend away from the hot mess of a city New York is. I was SO looking forward to bringing my camera around on our daily adventures throughout the city and country, but was pleasantly surprised that my favorite photographic subject was right under my nose.

Meet Mittens. The. Cutest. Little. Kitten. Ever.

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I was posting a couple instagram photos here and there during my stay with many requests for more, so I’m taking the opportunity now to share my top favorites with you. And who doesn’t like a good post on cats, let alone kittens?! I mean, really.

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Mittens was what you could call a home-made rescue. After returning from a weekend away, Jenna (sis-in-law) heard cries for help in the yard, but couldn’t see where they were coming from. After spending a good amount of time searching, Jenna finally found a teensy, flea-infested, skin-on-bones kitten curled up in a small niche in their outdoor stone wall. Jenna brought her straight to the Vet, got her poor paw checked out (missing a couple toes, but who needs all of them anyway?), and was quickly on the path to recovery. Lots of love and snuggles helped too.

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So by the time I arrived in San Antonio, Mittens was just getting acquainted with big Sis, Willow (calico/tiger) and brother, Squeaks (white/ brown)  – also fellow rescue kitties.

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Favorite activities for Mittens include climbing up curtains and maxi dresses, chasing balls, running through the house like a maniac, and napping in the corner seat of the lush sectional, aka the best seat in the house. She knows what’s up.

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The next time I make it back to SA, miss Mittens will have grown out of her kitten-ness, so I’m glad I could meet here early on! I have a sneaking suspicion she’ll be a total goof…

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Photo tips: For lighting, I kept things natural. I used a f2.8 aperture, a fairly fast shutter speed to catch this zippy rascal, and Fotor to add in the neat contrast effect (highly recommend the tool!).

Enjoy 🙂

The Professional Headshot: A Must-Have!

Take a quick look at your social networking profile photos. Are they inconsistent, out-dated, blurry, or the she-totally-cropped-that-dude-out photos? I cannot stress the importance of having a bright, clear and up-to-date professional head shot to represent your best self in today’s crazy world. First impressions go a long way! You’re not only presenting your skills, connections, and capabilities online, you’re showcasing your best asset – you! Decent head shots are paramount if you’re looking for a new job, making and maintaining new connections, etc.

Here are a few tips of the trade I’ve learned in this niche photography market. I’ve even offered up myself as sacrifice for examples!! Lucky you 🙂

1. Don’t Over-Think It: It’s not as difficult as making a souffle, people! You have one simple mission: be relaxed, and be yourself, and press the shutter button. Have some fun.

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2. Dress the Part: If you’re a handy-man by trade, you can skip the suit. I don’t think this tip re:wardrobe needs too much explaining, but I recommend you look clean, well-groomed, and have that put-together look (ie. no rolling out of bed!). Wear solid colors, preferably darker tones and avoid bright colors and prints that will distract your audience from you. Oh, and ladies – keep it light and natural on the makeup. Highlight under the eyelids, put a little blush on the cheeks, and give the lips just a slight pop. Look at me all fancy in a suit & pearls!

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3. The Setting: I love shooting people in their natural work habitats or up against a solid, well-lit backdrop (ie. my favorite Robin’s Egg Blue drop as pictured from my home studio). Remember, you are the center of attention, so the simpler the background, the better. And if you are going to be in a room, make sure everything behind you is clean and orderly (no clutter!).

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4. Face forward: I, like many of you, am VERY conscious of my face’s many “best angles” when I am getting my photo taken. Many of us are most comfortable with photos taken at a slight angle, but you are so much more assertive with a head-on glance – trust me! Remember, this is a great opportunity to let your personality shine, so show those pearly whites… or not 🙂

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This, my friends, is the finished product. This is me, facing forward, in a title-appropriate blouse (yippee photographer!), hair brushed, and pearly whites beaming. Having a great head shot for your social media sites will help others see your confidence and positive spirit before they connect with you online or in person. By no means do you need to copy my style or follow my tips, but I hope you can take away the effectiveness of a good profile photo for representing your best self in the great, vast, unknown cyber universe.

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!