Christine and David's Wedding

On Sunday October 12th, I had the honor of photographing Christine and David's wedding at the Brooklyn Marriott's Legends Ballroom. An intimate gathering of close friends and family, the evening was a celebration of a couple that has stayed together through thick and thin. During the sole toast of the night, best man Jesse honored their devotion to one another through David's two open heart surgeries over the course of 18 months. To know what these two have dealt with together is truly inspiring and has laid the foundation for what promises to be a most solid marriage.

Congratulations to Christine and David, I wish you a lifetime of health and happiness together <3

Special thanks to my second shooter Sam Hyatt.

Excellent entertainment and lighting design provided by Crossing Midnight Entertainment.

Christine's dress was created by Rebecca Schoneveld in Brooklyn.

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Denise and Steve's Wedding!

On Saturday September 27th, at Crabtree's Kittle House in Chappaqua New York, I was fortunate to photograph the amazing wedding of Denise and Steve. Despite the recent loss of Denise's lovely sister, Laura Ruchala, the two families joined together to celebrate the love these two share. Being the musician that she is, Denise did not disappoint in her musical selections. During the ceremony, Denise's band the Westchester Ceremonial Brass quintet elegantly played in the background; throughout the cocktail hour, a ukelele strummed along; over the course of the reception, The Matt Hilgenberg Orchestra kept the party alive with amazing tenacity! There truly was never a dull moment!

One of my favorite aspects about this wedding actually happened the night before. Earlier this year, Steve was on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and it magically aired on the eve of their nuptials! While I don't have a link to the airing at the time of posting, I highly recommend asking Steve about it personally as it is quite entertaining to hear about!

Cheers to these two wonderful and deserving people, and thank you for having me on your special day <3

Hair and makeup by the tremendously talented Celeste Von Damon.

Floral arrangements created by Whispering Pines of Chappaqua.

Special thanks to my wonderful assistant/second shooter Steve Warren.

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Curtis and Erin's Wedding

Over Labor Day weekend, I shot my first destination wedding. Erin and Curtis decided to host their wedding in a unique country home housing great architectural details and modern art overlooking the Green Mountains in Vermont. Surrounded by an ever present group of people coming and going over the course of the weekend, they were able to have fun while setting up for the big event in a relaxed environment. On Sunday August 31st, as rain poured down over the entire East Coast, the festivities soared at the estate. As Erin descended down the stairs in the wedding dress she made herself, making her first appearance a collective ahhh came from all of those anxiously watching from below. In the kitchen her sister Mel diligently worked on the wedding cake. After their first look, Erin and Curtis agreed to host the ceremony under the large tent due to the rain. As guests moved along outside they enjoyed spirits hand crafted by their distillery friend which flowed in abundance. A portable wood firing oven prepared delicious pizza from local Burlington eatery American Flatbread.  Despite the dampness, the guests and their dogs celebrated the couple in full excitement. Married by close friend and artist, Travis Iurato, the couple read their handwritten vows in a laid back ceremony honoring their love and mutual sense of adventure. Special thanks to my backup photographer Samantha Seeley of Sweet Remedy for her assistance and company during the course of the weekend. I'd also like to acknowledge that all of the beautiful centerpieces, boutonnieres, and Erin's bouquet were all made with love by Curtis' mother. Enjoy! 014 008 012 013 016 079 082 081 019 080 027 029 030 031 034 035 087 036 038 039 098 100 099 101 105 089 109 112 050 056 051 061 115 117 119 120 123 125 129 131 133 155 156 075 072 138 166065 137 164 161 167 074 077                                        177 078 185 192 065   194

Eliza & Erik's Wedding!

On Saturday August 16th, in Greenville New York, Eliza and Erik were married in the most magical backyard wedding imaginable. This was easily the most DIY wedding I've ever attended. The dress was lovingly made by Eliza's mother, the cake made by the bride herself. A gorgeous huppah made from foraged brush was the backdrop for the ceremony. Under the tent, tie dyed fabric formed a lively bunting banner. If that is not enough DIY for you, the beer of the night was brewed by Erik and his father, and all of the floral arrangements were picked from the flower garden Eliza planted for this purpose. Their efforts into creating a most awesome event were unmatched!

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Kara and Bryan's Wedding!

On Saturday August 2nd, 2014, I had the pleasure of photographing a wedding that has easily been 15 years in the making. Since middle school, Kara and Bryan have been the best of friends. To be asked to capture their wedding after watching their bond unfold over all these years was a true honor. Their day consisted of a ceremony held at Holy Cross Church in Slate Hill New York, followed by a small group stop at the Atlas family horse farm to visit with Kara's grandmother who was unable to attend. Afterward, everyone convened at The Eagles Nest where a fabulous reception ensued. Between Kara's dress which was lovingly handmade by her mother (as well as her niece's dress and nephew's vest!) the coloring books Kara created to entertain the little guests, a beautiful toast Mr. Atlas gave in memory of his father who passed just days before, Princess Leia and Hans solo cake toppers (I remember their joint love of Star Wars back in middle school!) and the exquisite centerpieces and floral work made to resemble a painters palette designed by The Floral Cottage, every detail of the day was perfectly executed. Additionally, a year earlier on the same date, Bryan's twin brother Liam married his lovely wife Liz; a perfect testament to synchronicity if I do say so myself. The Joe Gattuso Band kept the party moving with incredible live music, DJing and MCing - there was never a dull moment!

 

Special thanks to my backup photographer Samantha Seeley of Sweet Remedy for her coverage.

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Logan's First Birthday Party!

Last Saturday, I traveled to the Jersey Shore to photograph the amazing 1st birthday party for a lucky little guy named Logan. Surrounded by adoring family and friends, Logan welcomed his first year in immaculate Dr. Seuss style. His lovely parents, Amanda and Danny, threw the most spectacular themed party I've personally ever attended. Amanda's attention to detail was obvious everywhere you looked; exciting centerpieces exhibiting custom paper goods created by Rose Garrett, an entire room full of Dr. Seuss themed games, hand drawn illustrations (and photo booth) in the style of Dr. Seuss made by Danny, a gorgeous multi-tiered Seuss cake made by Amanda's sister Stephanie, [cakegirls11@gmail.com] as well as life-size balloon sculptures of The Cat In The Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, and others made by Perfect A Party. Logan was thrilled! His face lit up the moment he came into the space, and he clearly had a great time throughout the whole party. 002 011 017 018 022 023 027 034 052 062 089 095 133 141 168

David and Christine's Engagement Session

 

 

When Dave asked me to be the photographer for his wedding and engagement, I was thrilled. I met him nearly ten years ago at SUNY Orange, the first college I attended. A few years later, after I transferred to the School of Visual Arts, I had the pleasure of seeing Dave again, there, at my second college. At SVA, Dave, a painter and graphic artist, met Christine who was studying animation. That was eight years ago. In the span of their relationship these two have endured a lot together; most notably, the two open heart surgeries Dave has had in the last 18 months. 

While Dave is home recovering from his second operation, Christine works as a Spirits Manager at Whiskey and Wine Off 69. Together, these two share an apartment with their Boston Terrier, Buster; their gorgeous cat, Lily, two chinchillas and a blind rabbit! When I first visited these two at home for our consultation, I was overwhelmed by the cuteness. 

We chose to spend the majority of our session in historic Green-Wood Cemetery, just blocks from where they live in Windsor Terrace. Interesting fact: Dave has family that are permanent residents on the grounds of the place he had his engagement session - strange but true! Enjoy! 

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Julia and Evan's Wedding!

On June 21st, 2014 at the Flath family farm along the Delaware Water Gap, Julia and Evan were married. You may remember these two from the engagement session I shared back in May taken at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

For those that know the couple, it's easy to say that the entire event truly embodied them. Performative and eco conscious, their wedding covered so many aspects of their personality and interests. From the locally sourced food provided by Fig Tree Market & Catering, the gorgeous repurposed wedding dress that originally belonged to Julia's great aunt (expertly tailored by Sandra Usherov in Brooklyn) to all of the live performances (a choir! an acoustic cover of the Jayhawks' song "All The Right Reasons"! an original piece performed by the bride and groom! a jazz trio!) as well as an excellent DJ (email allnightersounds@gmail.com for more info) - it was an all encompassing masterpiece. 

While I could go on forever about how much I enjoyed covering this event, I'll let the photos from the day do the talking. 

Special thanks to my second shooter Teresa Stanton for her beautiful contribution to this post. 


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Farewell Crown Heights Family Session!

On Father's Day, I had the honor of photographing a family that I've become close to over the last year. Little Mei, her mom Rie, her baby sister Asia (Ah see ah) and dad Luca have become good friends through my time spent in Crown Heights. Amazingly for them, a move to Hawaii is on the horizon for their family! While I selfishly feel sad that I won't be able to spend time with my friends, I am incredibly excited for their new chapter (and really, I just imagine Mei becoming the most perfect little hulu girl ever!) IMG_9279 IMG_9304 IMG_9395

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Asha!

Sometimes, if you're lucky, in the wake of a tragedy something beautiful can unfold. A month (to the day) after Dottie's passing, a beautiful golden dog showed up in the front lawn of one of Dottie's supporters in Greenpoint Brooklyn. Megan, a passionate supporter of Dot's journey, came across the large bloodied pup laying in her front yard. Obviously injured; Megan knew that animal control wasn't an option. Moving quickly, she and her fiancee loaded the dog into their brand new car (that they literally got the day before!) and hauled to the nearest 24/7 vet. Knowing that Ashley would be a proactive contact, Megan got in touch with her right away. Within hours, Ashley was sharing the story of this dog with her network of fans from Dottie's Facebook page. Immediately, Ashley touch based with Kristin, a friend and neighbor that was originally interested in adopting Dottie. (Sadly, Dot wasn't able to be placed in Kristin's care as she didn't get along well with Kristin's pug, Fenway.)

As it turns out, the dog (Megan was calling her Grace at the time) had been hit by a car and suffered moderate abrasions.  When she was released from the hospital, Grace went straight to Kristin's home with her husband Joe, son Josiah, and Fenway. During the last ten days, Grace (renamed Asha, sanskrit for "Hope") settled into her new home flawlessly.

I decided I wanted to photograph Asha and her family (rescue family and forever home) to celebrate such a happy ending. It's been hard to comprehend the loss of Dottie, and Asha's story brings me some resolve, personally. All of the efforts from Dottie's rescue laid the path to saving Asha, and that in itself is a major inspiration to me.

To Megan and Tim for their swift compassion, to Kristin, Joe, Josiah and Fenway for opening their home to this lucky lady, to the Affrunti's for setting the stones and putting everything in motion, and most importantly, to Asha, who truly couldn't be luckier.

 

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Central Park Family Session

   

Sunday afternoon's family session in Central Park was a ton of fun. It's rare that I get to photograph multiple generations of a family, let alone one with international relatives. Sachiko contacted me to commemorate her parent's visit to New York from Japan. This was an exciting occasion for little Hana, as both sets of her family live in different countries, Jamaica and Japan respectively. Hana is a true ball of energy, and certainly kept me on my toes! Running around Central Park and documenting their time spent together was lovely!

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Julia and Evan's Very Green Engagement Session

  Julia and Evan have been residing together in Brooklyn for three years. A fundraiser for the Rainforest Alliance, Julia spends her free time performing as a singer/songwriter and chronicling her eco conscious lifestyle at her blog Color Me Green. Evan is a software developer and musician that plays in two rock bands.

 

I met up with them at Grumpy Cafe, a local coffee shop that Evan insists has the best espresso in the city. From there, we strolled through iconic Park Slope and Prospect Park West, before we made our way into Prospect Park. North bound, we exited the park at Grand Army Plaza and perused the weekly farmer's market. Finally, we headed east to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, the location where Evan proposed to Julia late last summer.

 

Come June, I will be photographing their wedding on Evan's family farm in New Jersey. Stay tuned for more gorgeous photos of this lovely couple!

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Remembering Dottie

Writing and publishing this post is not easy for me. For those that haven't followed the story, I've been very active in supporting my close friends and neighbors Ashley and Brett Affrunti who found a dog on the streets of South Slope in the middle of a major snow storm back in February. This beautiful creature, Dottie, was terribly abused, emaciated and ill. During the 59 days they had her, the Affrunti's nursed Dottie back to health from incredibly trying ailments such as Lyme Disease, kidney failure and a huge gaping wound on her rear end. With the help of a supportive online community, they raised enough funds to treat all of these issues and bring awareness to Dottie's journey. Hundreds of people were involved in Dottie's recovery, rooting for her along the way. After 9 long weeks, Dottie was finally ready to be adopted. On her adoption day, I spent some time with the Affrunti's and Dot Face, taking some lovely photos before we went to bring her to her new home. When we arrived at her forever home, Dottie was clearly thrilled. The love in the air between the family and Dot was palatable.

Immediately after we left, an unimaginable tragedy took place where Dottie escaped the safety of her enclosed gate and was fatally struck by a car. A complete accident, the loss of Dottie's life deeply affected all of us involved.

The only comfort in Dottie's passing has come from the outpouring of support from the community. To know that those of us closest to Dot aren't the only ones remembering her legacy and mourning her loss truly has made a world of difference.

Ten days after her passing, the Affrunti's hosted a memorial in Dottie's honor at Prospect Park. Various local people that followed Dot's story showed up to remember her loving nature and journey. We lined two trees with photos of Dottie and hung Tibetan prayer flags. On the table stood Dottie's official portrait from the 66 Dogs Project along with homemade dog treats Ashley baked. Everything came together perfectly.

Looking back at the story of Dottie is both terribly sad and amazingly inspiring. Dottie represents all of the countless dogs that are put down every single day in our country that deserved loving homes. Her appreciative manner and calm demeanor are traits that are often forgotten about in bully breed dogs. Ashley and Brett Affrunti's unwavering care for Dottie throughout the 9 weeks she existed in their life is a testament to what a difference shelter, food, and a loving home can do for an animal in need. The unparalleled emotional and financial support from people in our community is like the old adage "It takes a village." And lastly, the love Dottie received from both the Affrunti's and her adoptive family is overwhelming. For a dog that may never have experienced love in the years leading up to her rescue, it is moving to realize Dottie felt all the love she truly deserved at the end of her life.

It's impossible for me to articulate the extent of love and care Dottie received from both the Affrunti's and the community during her 59 days in Brooklyn, I sincerely hope these photos are able to convey that which my words lack.

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Curtis & Erin's Greenpoint Engagement Session

As we walked around Greenpoint today, Erin, Curtis and I all mused about how a good day can be measured by how many dogs you meet on the street. Following this structure, we can all agree that this engagement session went really well. Strolling around Greenpoint, we amused ourselves by creeping on every single dog we passed (in antique cars! on stoops with elderly folk! on a string coming out of a church!) and taking notice of the change of graffiti, restaurants and the general landscape since they moved from Frankin Street two years ago. IMG_4537IMG_4556 IMG_4569 IMG_4576 IMG_4588 IMG_4595 IMG_4604 IMG_4691 IMG_4696 IMG_4720 IMG_4746 IMG_4770 IMG_4822 IMG_4852 IMG_4899 IMG_4910 IMG_4923 IMG_4928 Kuma

 

 

Penny and Family at Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

   

Saturday morning I had the pleasure of meeting up with one of my favorite families at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.  Just over a year ago, I photographed newborn Penny with her awesome parents, Colleen and Andy. Capturing the energy of the family was so refreshing; the three of them are incredibly fun loving and spirited together.

 

Growing up, Colleen's father use to photograph his family at the local Botanic Gardens every Easter. It was an honor to carry on this tradition for Penny, Andy and Colleen.

 

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Bern and Anthony's Engagement Session!

   

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite things about what I do is that I get to experience happy couples in their element. My engagement session with Bern and Anthony on Saturday exemplified this to the max. Bernadette found me through our mutual friend, Vickie, which assured me I would adore them from the get go. We met early in the morning at the Pawling Nature Reserve off of a winding dirt road meandering around a body of water. I waited for Bern and Anthony in a little parking lot, feeling isolated due to the tall trees and lack of cellphone service. Suddenly a nice solid pickup truck arrived and I knew immediately that snaking back roads were common place for these two. Proving themselves to be both adventurous and goofy, it was a pleasure to hike the trails and become fast friends with them! My favorite quote of the morning was when Anthony decided to break down a branch for them to sit on next to a waterfall and exclaimed "I wish I had my axe!" After we spent some time at the reserve, we took a ride back to their beautiful house to take some photos with their beloved pit bull, Conan. Our lovely two hours really set the stage and inspired me for their upcoming Hunter Mountain wedding in September!

 

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Dottie Dog

For anyone that follows me on Facebook, you've probably read about the emaciated, wounded, all around neglected pup my friends found a week ago today in Park Slope. Being the compassionate people that they are, Ashley and Brett tried tirelessly to find a no-kill shelter to take in the dog. Unfortunately, due to the terrible snow NYC had received, all of the local rescues were unable to take her in. Knowing that if they surrendered her to Animal Control, she'd be put down, they quickly decided to bring Dottie to their veterinarian to have her condition accessed. From appearances only, once could see that she had a gaping wound the size of a silver dollar on her hip that was hindering her mobility, along with a mass on her front left paw, and evidence of being severely starved for a long period of time. Aside from that, it was clear that she had carried at least one litter of puppies within the not so distant past. Over the week that it's been since she was found, Dottie has received veterinary care four times. Knowing from the get-go that this was going to be costly, Ashley and Brett set up a GoFundMe account on Wednesday to receive assistance for the mounting vet bill. I took some cute photos of her to be shared on the funding site, along with her Facebook page. Within a day, they exceeded their goal of $5,000 from the generosity of people all over the world.

This Wednesday, Dottie will be spayed, she will have the dead tissue around her wound removed and be stitched up, and doctors will remove a foreign object embedded in her stomach wall. After her recovery, Ashley and Brett will accept applications for her adoption. Inquiries can be sent to helpdottienyc@yahoo.com

When I met her Monday night, I cried. I whispered in her ear, as she laid her head in my hands "today is the luckiest day of your life Dottie girl." Little did she know that Ashley and Brett were off getting her a dog crate, ready to bring her into their home without flinching. Thursday afternoon, when I saw the results of her fundraising, I cried again. This sad eyed, spotted, sweet creature has moved me so much. On top of whatever she's been through, the generosity of the public and Ashley and Brett's unwavering dedication to her have inspired me more than anything else I've experienced firsthand. To celebrate Dottie's new beginning, I took these photos of her Saturday.

 

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2013 Publications Round Up!

As a freelance photographer, I was lucky enough to see my work published in a handful of major commercial outlets in 2013. Previously, I had only seen my work online - never in print, so this was all incredibly exciting for me.

Apollo Magazine, April 2013

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Earlier this year, I photographed for Carlton Hobbs, a world renowned arts and antique dealership in Manhattan. In this position, I photographed the ever revolving inventory of decorative objects. This photograph, of Herman Mijnerts Doncker's painting, Boy and His Horse, was featured in the Around The Galleries section of the April issue of Apollo Magazine. Additionally, I was a credited photographer in the 2012-2013 annual catalog for the company.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Art Forum, October 2013

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Back in 2011, I began documenting the construction progress of BRIC House. This summer, just as the new building was just about ready to open to the public, I was asked to come back to capture a raw photo of the nearly complete 2,000 square foot gallery space to be used in an advertisement in Art Forum. I was super excited about this as BRIC actually credited me in the ad, on the left hand side of the photo. I was also thrilled to contribute to the marketing of a space that I so passionately love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

October 1, 2013, New York Times Arts Beat

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The last installment of my project regarding BRIC House's construction were used in two New York Times pieces. The first, which aired online in the Arts Beat section was posted only hours after the shoot. The article included a slideshow of five of my images, highlighting the beautiful architecture and features of the new space. Later in the week, my images were redistributed to various media outlets including Brownstoner, Archinect, Archpaper, Brokelyn, Brooklyn Based, Hyperallergic, WNYC, TimeOut New York and L Magazine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

October 3, 2013, New York Times

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Following the slideshow, this photo was featured in the October 3rd issue of the New York Times.

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October 30, 2013, New York Observer

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Lastly, I was asked to cover Brooklyn By The Book's Michael Chabon reading towards the end of October. This image was featured in an article in the New York Observer.

Maternity Session in Grand Rapids Michigan!

To celebrate my boyfriend's 30th birthday, we traveled to Grand Rapids Michigan to see our Midwestern friends and family. While we were visiting, I was able to squeeze in a maternity session with Josh's best friend Shane, and his wife Heather. We last saw them in August, the same day they adopted their Chow German Shepherd mix, Misha. On our last day during that visit, they closed on their first house! It was awesome to be with them during all of these major life events a few months ago, and to see them again, this time with Heather's bump showing, was incredibly exciting. Of course we're hoping to make it back to Grand Rapids shortly after their daughter comes in February, so stay tuned for a follow up newborn session with the Schamper family!

 

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