Saratoga, NY Engagement Session with a Panda

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When Marissa and Mike asked if I’d come out to Saratoga, NY for engagement photos I jumped at the chance. In all my years living in the Northeast I’d never been. They also mentioned something about a panda bear and that sealed the deal. I had no idea what to expect from the surroundings but hired a local assistant (this is something I usually do to help me navigate the area’s best spots) and went with eyes wide open. Saratoga and its natural beauty made for some great engagement moments. The night ended with some drinks and knoodling at their favorite eatery.

Diana + Ryan Engagement Fun

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Engagement sessions are as much for me to get to know my clients in a more intimate way prior to their wedding as they are for couples to get some fun, romantic pix in their play clothes. Diana and Ryan were game for anything and made sure to keep it light and fun throughout–as this I’ve come to know is really who they are. I can’t wait for their wedding!

I love doing these sessions on a weekday night (less people) and between the hours leading up to sunset and just beyond as this is the nicest light to work with. Boston is such a walkable city that we are able to get to a variety of places easily.

Sabine + Eddie: twins on the way

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I don’t usually photograph maternity or birth photos–just something I referred out to others who specialize in these sorts of shoots. So when Sabine asked if I’d consider it…I was a little nervous. I did all what I thought were the standard shots but wanted to explore photographing them as I do my weddings. I’m only posting these two as examples and because I feel they are more anonymous than the straightforward shots.

I’ve been far too comfortable with things lately and feel the need to shake the creative tree a bit and push myself to take more risks–and really, what is the risk? Failure. Seriously.

Nikayla + Stefan, House of the Seven Gables

House of the Seven Gables, Salem, Mass.

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Nikayla and Stefan asked for a typical New England mid-September day for their little outdoor wedding at the House of the Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts. Mother Nature didn’t disappoint. We had plans to take a quick tour of downtown Salem’s historic district for couples photos but found Seven Gables to have all we needed. As a Boston wedding photographer anytime you can get out of the city and explore some of the quainter locals that New England has to offer its a golden day.

Not Just Any Thursday…Stella + Bryan Get Hitched

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A thin December sun sank slowly down Beacon Street as Stella and Brian slowly strolled through the Boston Public Garden. Long shadows were their company along with Jason, my assistant, and I. Stella wore a vintage looking coat she purchased in Paris and Bryan looked perfect in his tailored suit. They laughed.

Not an hour earlier had they made it all official during a Boston City Hall ceremony. They were the first eager folks to arrive but that waiting room filled up quick.  We’d started our day together at Piers Point Park in Eastie (East Boston) before heading into town. They had memorized beautiful vows to each other and after the officiants legal words and a quick exchange of rings we were off.

First stop the Beacon Hill and the cobblestones of Acorn St. Next we drifted down to Charles Street and then into the Public Garden. After some Mama duck riding we Uber-ed it to Inman Square in Cambridge and Trina’s Starlight Lounge. Trina’s was the scene of one of their first dates but we were too early for the hipster-dive so we ducked into the Druid for some Guinness and Jameson’s. We had the place to almost to ourselves except for a few regulars who bought them drinks and posed for pix.

We ended at Trina’s where they scarfed the famous grilled hot dogs and indulged in some fancy cocktails. Save for the wedding dress this date seemed like it could have been just another regular Thursday night out for these guys–and I think that’s exactly what they wanted.

Jessica & Alex at The Liberty Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts

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Jessica and Alex had a wonderful wedding at the Liberty Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. We decided to go off-site to get some cityscapes in around Beacon Hill and the Public Garden–knowing all along that we’d take advantage of the unique spaces within the hotel throughout the night.

Chris and Shauna’s Fairytale Wedding | Seaport Hotel, Boston

Their love story was quite the fairytale as was their wedding day itself.  Hurricane Earl was supposed to make it’s presence known, yet the day was gorgeous, with only a bit of wind to remind anyone that Earl had even been a threat.  Shauna looked the part of the princess in her Maggie Sottero gown.  Shauna’s bridesmaids were some of the sweetest and most attentive I have ever seen and the flower girls were adorable and loved the camera.  The Seaport Hotel provided a beautiful waterfront backdrop for an absolutely gorgeous day.  Congratulations Chris and Shauna – hope the surprise honeymoon to India was AMAZING!

Emma & Steve at The State Room in Boston

Emotion, beauty and an incredible view all came together like the perfect storm for Emma and Steve.

O wonderful it is the feeling

Having all the burden lifted,

I am for a day only  a ghost of a being

All my creative talents gifted,

Allow me the space to truly create

For on this night I am not in charge-ifted.

A scholar of iambic pentameter I am also not, but how glorious was this day to let Nathan take the reins, and the stress, and all the formals, and allow me to be creative and free. I once had the pleasure to listen to Beverley Hills wedding photographer, Joe Buissink, speak about our profession. He said his secret–besides shooting on “P” mode, was to have someone else be the lead photographer so he could be free to create.

Emma and Steve’s wedding was at The State Room–60 State Street in Boston and one of the preeminent Boston wedding photographer venues in the city. One of the best little secrets at this location is the smaller Harbor Salon located off to the side of the Great Room. I’ve photographed weddings where this space was used as the cocktail area before for a celebration in the Great Room, but on this night, this little big room pulled double duty as both chapel and reception hall for this eco-centric couple’s wedding day.

Harbor Salon turned wedding chapel.

Like changing the Garden parquet from ice hockey to basketball in one afternoon, State Room staff flipped this room in just a cocktail hour!

Photo by Nate

Photo by Nate

Walk to PO Square for pix. Photo by Nate.

Nate has a handle on these formal portraits.

The girls waiting for formals in PO Square.

I’m allowed to peep from the side as Nate sets them up for some portraits.

Veil by Doreen Vandermeer of Unveiled Bridal Designs

 

Partridge feathers and fiddlehead ferns create a center piece of sorts on the lapel – byTangerine Creations

Having some fun with the cake cutting.

All of these beautiful and fun photos are not even possible without the incredible work of  the vendors listed below (click their links to see more):

Caterer, cake and event planning: The State Room

Florist: Tangerine Creations

Favors: Taza Chocolates – Organic, stone ground chocolates made in Somerville, MA from beans sourced directly from cacoa famers in Central America and the Caribbean. We send them to all our clients as thank you’s.

Entertainment Provided By: Siman Entertainment – The Superband

Wedding gown: Marisa by Tamara Kristen

Veil by: Doreen Vandermeer – Unveiled Bridal Designs

Jewelry by: I Gorman Jewelers, Washington DC

Hair and make-up by: G Spa – 35 Newbury Street, Boston, MA

Bridesmaid’s dresses by: Jasmine Bridal, Belsoie Collection

Somi & Tom had a little fun before their weddin’ next weekend

Under the pagoda on Boston Common where he first proposed.

With just weeks to spare we snuck this lil’ engagement shoot in just before their wedding next week.  They had a plan from dress (we changed into saree and kurta at the Sevens Pub on Charles Street), to the places on Boston Common that meant something to them.  Late afternoon light did the rest and some impromptu first-dance-practicin’ added a bit of the unexpected.  If this is how their Trinity Church ceremony and Colonade reception next weekend will go down it will be quite a day–and they only have to change outfits 3 times that day.

Shadows and light along one of Beacon Hills side streets.

 

Tiny Planets…just having fun…and selling gallery wraps!!!

Emily and Tim on another planet

Emily and Tim on another planet

OK, I know, all my serious photog friends (and apparently I’ve many, especially the journos and doc peops) have asked politely and even not so, that I please, please, not do this any more–They’ve related it to the first time someone got ahold of a fisheye lens (we’ve all seen that) or the first days of Photoshop (yikes!). One friend asked if this was the new Fibonacci lens. This was an iPhone app and meant for fun. My wife, bless her ruthless business heart, is always reminding me how important social media is for my wedding photography biz and how I should use Instagram for that purpose. I know but my iPhone and Instagram are for fun. I don’t want to be “on” all the time. As an artist I want to have places where I can explore, let my hair down and just shoot, edit, manipulate and photoshop my head off.  All work and no play–right? We can’t be afraid to have fun or make fun (of Life, ourselves, etc).

This is obvious manipulation or Photoshopping and I don’t think I’m fooling anyone (not even trying)–also, this technique has been around for years, too. Wedding photography is hardly the standard for serious visual journalism (but sometimes it is and that is important too). But here is the kicker: These tiny planets make great gallery wraps that sell for $600-$1000 a print. I’ve a print that is going in a show this weekend as part of the Somerville Open Studios (http://www.somervilleopenstudios.org/) and BLINK! (http://digitalsilverimaging.com/digital-printing-blog/). That print is from a visual journalism workshop we ran in India as part of our Visual Reportage Workshop series (http://visualreportage.com/). It is a serious piece shot in the Dharavi slum. It is printed in black and white (because we all know how much gravitas that elicits–said with half a laugh and a wink). It shows the area in all its abject poverty and surreal beauty and I’m very proud of it. It is for sale there for $500 and nobody will probably buy it. But these gallery wraps of tiny planets from peoples weddings–well they are so fun and look great on canvas and folks love to have them hanging.

Em and Tim's wedding party are the total population of their planet

Em and Tim’s wedding party are the total population of their planet

 

Tiny Planet Enagagement

Ashley and Brian walk along the swirling scenery of their own tiny planet at Crane Beach.

As a Boston wedding photographer, trained journalist  and teacher/mentor of visual journalism I am always shooting, editing and thinking about photography. It is my Life right down to the everyday constant of documenting my family (sometimes to their protest). So while I was with my class shooting the Boston Marathon I again had some fun with the images from there. I know it is a serious sporting event but it was much more this year–my students did an admirable job with their video projects, the runners ran, the crowds cheered and security secured. It was festive and light and so to was my favorite photo:

Shalane Flanagan runs toward the finish of the Boston Marathon.

Shalane Flanagan runs toward the finish of the Boston Marathon.

 

This was one of my most “liked” photos on Istagram (http://instagram.com/dmpj) and while “likes” are no measure whatsoever of a photo’s merit or even worth–they are an indication of its dollar value to some degree. As artists we need to feel the value of what we do deep within us. It must scratch the itch on the ass of our Soul. But we also must eat, pay our bills and have enough money to by more camera gear, or paints or clay…and crazy iPhone apps ;-). And we must have some fun.