Where to have your Couples Photo Shoot

{I’m forewarning you - I am a big proponent of pre wedding, post wedding or any time a couple thinks they should, photo shoots. An engagement, couples, anniversary shoot (whatever your reason for having a session for just the two of you) should be about what makes you happy together.}

You have decided that you are going to have an engagement session before your wedding - but where?

What do you envision for the end result?

What do you want these photos to represent?

I’m going out on a limb and assuming that all couples agree that they would like beautiful photographs. But what else? How can we have beautiful photographs and incorporate a little bit of what you love, a little personality or at least something personal.

Beautiful means different things to different people - maybe your idea is:

::the desert in the perfect afternoon light

::an evening at your favorite lounge, leaning over the bar, engaged in conversation drinking wine

::the comforting feeling of sitting in a book store with each other

::strolling the streets of Manhattan, picking out your Christmas tree together, walking through Central Park or standing in the middle of Midtown traffic

::the family home at Lake Arrowhead because you met there water skiing as teens

::sitting at a cafe in Paris, walking through the Tuileries on a summer evening, jumping on a carousel like kids

::hiking Camelback then changing into a glamorous gown for the next location

::debating the finer points of baseball at a Cubs spring training game

::starting in your first home together that is currently being built and then riding your bikes through the old part of town where you live, because it has so much meaning to the two of you

::walking hand in hand on a beach in Malibu at sunset

::hiking Sedona and reaching an epic landscape

::freezing at the Grand Canyon for that perfect photo

These are some of the fun couples shoots we have had over the years. Every single couple brings their own twist to what a shoot should be - and we love it.

My oh so subtle takeaway is that the most important thing in the whole wide world is to take these photos. They could be in your living room snuggling on your couch, sitting on the front porch with your dog or spending time where you proposed. Whatever the location, wherever, just do it because you will be so happy to have these photos.

The couple above lives in Iowa, is having their destination wedding in Tucson this spring - and then moving to Philadelphia. So the Tucson and its surroundings mean something to them. Their wedding will be downtown in the historic district. So these photos needed to be different than their wedding day photos, different than where his family lives and different than where her family is - but this place means something for them together. And that’s what it’s all about!

location:: Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

A whole story in one photograph | a Bride and her Mother

{This photo says so much and could not define our style and approach to wedding photography any better.}

A wedding day emotional moment between a bride and her mom

A wedding day emotional moment between a bride and her mom

We have couples tell us that they weren’t sure what search term to use to find the photography that they were looking for. Was it documentary, editorial, real, candid, emotional? What are the right words to figure out what style of wedding photography is right for you?

Well we have soul searched over the years to try and figure out exactly what describes our style and we honestly think our approach is empathetic in nature but photo journalistic, documentary and candid in style. And quite honestly I think the photographs do a better job of explaining our style then our words can.

This photograph pops into my mind when I think of our style and approach. The photo above will be 15 years old in August yet to me it has a strength that never grows old. This photo helps me understand what I mean when I describe our style as empathetic.

Our approach is wide open on a wedding day. We are there to observe, understand and anticipate. Through experience we know that there is a checklist of what to do on a wedding day from bridal party formals, family photos, the details, the scene setting photos, couples photos, cake cutting, first dances, the beginning middle and end of a wedding day.

But what are those moments that we can’t take for granted? This is at the heart of why we continue to love being wedding photographers. It is the micro scenes on a wedding day within the macro that we look for. A real connection, a moment, an interaction. Something that means something to you and will forever mean something to you know matter how many years pass.

The bride’s dad had recently died, she and her mother were having a moment before the ceremony, a moment to reflect on what was in their hearts yet heartbreakingly missing from this day, the rose in the mom’s arms represented her dad and as the mom prepared to walk her down the aisle, this moment happened. I’m brought to tears now thinking of the importance this moment was for her and her mother.

To me it is a whole story in one beautiful photograph. Love. Love. Love.

That’s all I see when I look at this photo all these years later. I can envision myself in this position and how overcome with emotion I would be. How I would give anything in the world to have Keith with me, by my side as our daughter entered this next chapter in her life on her wedding day. From the daughter’s perspective I can imagine how her whole life she wanted her dad with her on this day, how much she misses him and how much she knows her mom misses him. It is a bittersweet moment. This is a private moment but one of those interactions that has so much emotion, such impact that being an observer allows us to capture.

This is an example of one of those handful of photographs from your wedding day that will remain in your heart forever.

location:: Westchester, New York

Happy Birthday | Personal Family Photos

{I know my heart explodes when I think of how much I love this kid. And I know Keith feels exactly the same way! I treasure these family travel photos. I just love watching these kids grow right in front of the camera. I can’t think of a greater gift than photos of the people I love!}

Gabby blue door.jpg

Our youngest turns 12 today. I look at this picture from this past summer and just can't believe how this kid has grown. She confounds us with her absolute adoration of all little things with four legs, her intellect and curiosity, her tenacity and her passion. She is strong willed and opinionated, will test your patience like no one can but she has the biggest heart of anyone I know, she loves with her whole heart, she lives life with gusto and she is such an incredible (not so little anymore) girl. Keith and I are so lucky. Happy Birthday Gabby!

photographer: Keith

location: Koufonisia, Greece

Photo Wall | Family Portraits, Travel Photos + Childhood Art

There are so many ways to display family photos. There are homes that you walk into and photographs line the walls, fill every available display space they can. Then there are other homes that display none. Even though I know they love their family and we have photographed them a bunch but they haven’t taken the time to print their photos.

Sadly, I fall into the later category. We have so many incredible photos of our children taken over the years, a ton of family adventures as well as the day to day captured forever. A snapshot of childhood. A look into who we are as a family.

I have wanted a photo wall forever. It has been on my list of things to do for a very long time. Quite honestly I really want one larger than this but I had to start somewhere. My thought process was to have a mix of frames, materials, etc and to incorporate a few of my favorite photos, some travel, each of the kids, a family photo and some items that have special meaning.

Fortunately, I had on hand a canvas of each of the kids (from ages ago), lots of empty frames (that needed to be filled), an already framed art project of Gabby’s from I think 1st grade (the Picasso like photo), an original map of Rhode Island (when we owned a beach house in RI our bathroom I had a bunch of framed maps from this tiny little state where I was born). The top right photo is one of Keith’s earliest portraits, it has been in a frame since I met him and I absolutely love it - in fact this is the anchor of the wall.

Basically I had a lot of stuff laying around that needed a home. That portrait of Gabby with the mask, one of my all time favorites! The summer photo of the girls jumping through a sprinkler was taken at Keith’s grandmother’s house - the perfect childhood photo, already framed. Maybe the one and only time we have used a metallic print, but it actually works. To fill the empty frames I just had to think back to some of our family travel and really decide on my favorite photos. I knew from the time we spent in Paris (when the kids were about 6 and 9) that I absolutely loved the photo that Keith took from our kitchen window overlooking the rooftops, a trip to Sicily, my favorite photo from a beach in Cefalu and this past summer I adored this photo Keith took in Lisbon on an escalator in the subway - I just love the composition and love it even more because it’s me and the girls!

Keith may not be in any of the photos but he is responsible for the beauty of almost all of them. What I love most about this wall is that everything has meaning, a story behind it, a glimpse into our life together as a family. And that makes me smile!

The Photo Wall - something that I have wanted in my home for a really long time.