jenna salvagin photography

Julie and Christina's Queer Guerrilla Wedding

On Saturday January 7th, I photographed the most gloriously offbeat wedding I've witnessed to date.

Back in 2015 I met Julie and Christian and later did a lovely picnic themed engagement session for them in Prospect Park. At our initial consultation, we hit it off instantly. We talked about our shared neighborhood, animals, art and inspiration. I remember asking Christina if they had a gender pronoun they preferred me to use and I'm pretty sure that gesture on my end sealed the deal for us to work together and become easy friends. They knew I respected them fully, and they could be themselves with me. I knew that since they're both artists, they would be a joy to work with and an honor to represent their relationship. 

Flashforward to the end of 2016: I received an email that after their long engagement, Julie and Christian decided they wanted to get married during the Obama administration. Like many queer couples, they felt concerned that their rights as a couple may be in jeopardy and wanted to enter into marriage during a presidency that they felt represented by. Because time was ticking away, they planned what they dubbed a guerrilla wedding to take place along the Chelsea Highline. I had never participated in anything like this before and was completely in to capture their day.

And so on January 7th 2016 a major snowstorm hit New York City. It was apparent that having an outdoor ceremony wasn't going to be a possibility, so in true guerrilla spirit, they decided to make due with their hotel room at The Jane. We had a first look in the amazingly quirky lobby of the hotel and made our way outside to seize the wild weather into a photo opportunity. When we returned from our expedition, their guests had all arrived in their hotel suite. All of their friends piled on the bed and lined up around the perimeter of the room and somehow managed to all fit - it was an amazing sight to see! 

Shelby and Ed's Wedding

Shelby and Ed were married on June 25th, 2016 in Montgomery New York. My second shooter Jennifer Hockenberry and I had the best day watching such a happy and fun wedding unfold before our eyes! We were so thrilled to witness such a happy couple celebrate the coming together of their families. Some of my favorite details from the day include; Ed's son Jayden's break dancing moves, and Shelby's dad's AMAZING and perfectly restored '67 Oldsmobile as the newlywed car. Everything was so photogenic and perfect, and I am so honored to have captured these beautiful memories. 

The day didn't start so smoothly! Ed spent the morning at the local Urgent Care after loosing his voice completely. Amazingly he powered through! Jen and I met with them a few hours later, beginning with getting ready. Shelby and her closest ladies convened at her parent's home in Montgomery. Ed and his family were nearby at the Holiday Inn Express. Next we met for their first look at Winding Hills Park. I loved how Shelby and Ed stood back to back, hand in hand, still for a moment before their unveiling. Soon after immediate families arrived and we covered some group portraits. 

Next we drove down the road back to where Shelby got ready. I took advantage of the beautiful property and captured some more portraits. Soon after, we were on our way to Brick Reformed Church. I loved the warm, homey atmosphere and ambient light. Afterwards, Shelby and Ed packed into the '67 Oldsmobile and drove off to the reception venue, cheering as they sped off.

After the ceremony, the reception began further down the road at Spruce Lodge. As soon as we arrived the party started. The dance floor was immediately over powered by Jayden's ridiculous (and surprisingly talented) break dancing moves. The momentum never stopped. I particularly loved Shelby's sister Danielle's speech. She needs to consider standup. 

The night ended with a hilarious impromptu performance made by Shelby's cousin. The floor was packed with dancers clapping along to the music when suddenly the floor parted like the Red Sea - her cousin scooted down the floor, on his butt, somehow rhythmically! I was impressed. After dozens of weddings, I have never seen anything like it. 

Thank you to Shelby and Ed for trusting me to capture your amazing day. 

DJ and Photobooth services provided by DJ E Rock Entertainment.
Makeup by Meghan C. Esposito.




First Photographers for Orlando Session - B&C

To preface this post, I need to explain what Photographers for Orlando is. If you haven't already visited our website, or heard about it online, it is a fundraising movement in the portrait photography world. PFO members are donating their skills pro-bono, in trade for donations that support the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre. We support as well as Equality Florida's GoFundMe campaign. Currently, we are a collective of over 120+ photographers, from over 30 states, and 5 countries. Our mission is simple, to fundraise for the victims in Orlando, while supporting our LGBTQ* friends and allies. 

On Tuesday June 14th, I was depressed, frustrated about the events in Orlando days earlier, angry that assault weapons were easily accessible to someone the FBI had been keeping tabs on. As I scrolled through my Facebook feed, I noticed an outcry from my queer friends. They were asking for support, voicing their fear and emotions. I immediately wrote to a handful of my friends, letting them know I had been thinking of them. As I checked in with people, I felt the urge to do something in honor of them and the LGBTQ* community. I decided to offer my services to LGBTQ* members in my local Queer Exchange Facebook group, free of charge. The next morning, I woke up to a ton of support, inquiries, and interest. It was here that Photographers for Orlando was born. 

One of the first emails I received was from a young woman named Bailey. She expressed interest in having me photograph her and her girlfriend of 5 years, Cassy. On Saturday, while photographers from around the world added their names to the spreadsheet that would lead to our database, I was meeting with Bailey and Cassy in my Brooklyn neighborhood. 

As they approached, I noticed they were smiling and holding hands. They looked so content and confident as they crossed the street to the cafe where I waited for them. We talked about how the two met at college, their professions (both teachers!) and how they've felt in the wake of what happened in Florida. Cassy was raised in the neighborhood, Bailey moved to the East Coast more recently. They met at school in Chicago, about half way between where they both grew up. I was impressed by them both individually and as a couple. We set to work.

We started out walking along Prospect Park West, heading north. We detoured to Cassy's childhood block, and continued on to Grand Army Plaza. Stopping at the fountain, the ladies noticed a beautiful rainbow refracting from the water; they celebrated. Finally we stopped at Brooklyn Public Library's main branch. Cassy and Bailey cozied up and were clearly very comfortable among books. Before we said goodbye, big hugs happened and new friendships made. 


Emily and Phil's DUMBO Engagement

I'd like to start out by saying Emily and Phil are just plain awesome. When Emily first emailed me in regards to scheduling their engagement session she blatantly asked for "non-cheesy engagement photos." This line utterly spoke to me; clearly we were meant to be. The three of us met for a beer in their neighborhood to discuss their vision. I could see right away these two were goofy, real, and totally in love. I couldn't wait for our Brooklyn Heights/DUMBO adventure. 

Day of, we started at their apartment and took a walk to the promenade. From there, we walked down to DUMBO and had a blast hanging out by the gorgeous murals and in front of all the iconic sights. Emily and Phil were particularly thrilled with Deborah Kass's OY sculpture, which Gothamist advised against engagement photos with, but we ignored their advice much to our pleasure (seriously, we got the quintessential Brooklyn mood with OY and balloons, argue that Gothamist!) 

Overall, we are all thrilled with the end result, and I am psyched for their wedding in DC in March 2017! Thanks for finding me Emily and Phil - you two rock!