Sean and Caroline decided to do a destination wedding in New York so that they could keep their wedding intimate, low key, and something they would really enjoy. They got ready at a hotel in Times Square which made for a fun New York backdrop. Everyone met in the Conservatory Gardens of Central Park where the officiant and musicians were waiting. No chairs, no decorations, just a sweet ceremony. Tourists and garden lovers milled about while Sean and Caroline exchanged vows. Afterwards we took some photos in the garden and then walked through Harlem to take the subway downtown. They had a lovely dinner at the hidden gem Freeman’s on the Lower East Side. Roaming the streets of New York with my camera is one of my favorite things and it was such a pleasure to do so with Sean and Caroline on their special day.
After 10 weeks of almost non-stop travel I am coming up for air! I’ve been to some great locations and photographed some really special weddings which I’ll be posting soon.
First up is Katharine and Alex’s wedding which is live on the Style Me Pretty blog today. I’m so happy that their wedding is getting some limelight. It was perfect. From the ceremony on the dock, to food stations throughout the house, the whole day felt organic, relaxed, and like a house party for their closest friends and family.
To view their wedding on Style Me Pretty click on the image below.
Some of my favorite images of the day…
My good friend Jillian Mitchell happened to be in the area so I was lucky to have her along with me for the day. I love these two photos she took of Alex below.
This would probably go on the top of the list of what not to do with your bride and groom on their wedding day. We were up on this jetty taking photos when a huge wave came and soaked us. Luckily Charmeri’s hair didn’t get wet and she was wearing a light dress so it dried easily. Jason’s linen suit took a little longer to dry off but he was a trooper. I was completely soaked along with one of my cameras which had to go in for repair. It was an exhilarating moment that made for lots of laughs throughout the night. Thanks to my awesome right hand gal/editor/associate photographer Yanen Ali for capturing the moment!
Charmeri and Jason were filled with laughter on their wedding day. When I told Jason that I am really going to remember him throwing his head back and laughing, he told me that this is how their relationship always is. I love that.
The full post on their Playa Fiesta wedding is coming soon!
Congratulations Charmeri and Jason!
There are a slew of reasons that made me really want to work with Amanda and Jordan. Firstly, these two have been together since high school. There is something magical about the fact that they’ve been together since they were kids. They traveled the world together for an entire year which makes them extremely badass in my book. I am so envious and hope to do that myself one day. They went to UC Berkeley and lived in the town where my parents moved just before my senior year in high school. I can’t imagine a place that would give a teenager a better social, worldly education. Berkeley holds a huge part of my heart, plus I just have a soft spot for people that live in the bay. To top it off their wedding was in a fantastic little pocket of Mexico close to my heart. Their amazing wedding was a few weeks ago, those photos are coming up soon! For now, here they are in San Francisco on a beautiful fall day.
Amanda and Jordan just before a high school dance.
This week I had the pleasure of giving a wedding photography workshop in Puerto Vallarta. We had a great group of photographers and what was meant to be an 8 hour day turned into 11 hours of photo goodness. It was such an awesome feeling to have this creative group together, shooting, talking, and brainstorming. Thank you to Eder Acevedo for coming up with this idea and for coordinating everything, to Yanen Ali, my right hand woman, associate photographer, and editor of 4 years for taking some photos of us and imparting her Lightroom mastery on everyone, to Mariana and Luis for being patient with us and being great models, and to Bed and Pizza for letting us use their space and feeding us great pizza and beer.
Here is our crew:
We started the day off with a discussion about the business side of wedding photography and the best ways to grow your business in Puerto Vallarta. We followed that with a critique of each student’s work.
Before we hit the streets we took advantage of some great light inside.
We spent a lot of time roaming through the streets exploring different ideas. I’d spent some time talking about anticipating moments, finding good compositions and waiting for something to happen, and really sticking with something until you have it. I saw this little girl peak out her door at us and got into my head that I wanted the bride and groom to go on the other side of the door so that we could get them and the little girl in the shot. She went back inside but I still had them go get into position hoping that she would come out, and she did! Sometimes when you plan and wait for something to happen, it does, and it can be magical.
Some more great light and a wonderful connection between our bride and groom.
We stumbled upon a gritty little tunnel that didn’t smell very good but Mariana and Luis were troopers and we played around.
After our shoot we went through editing, processing, and photoshop techniques followed by some cold beer! It was a great day. Thanks to everyone who came and supported. I hope to do another one soon!
I’m honored that Style Me Pretty is featuring Jessica and Chris’ Bucerias, Mexico wedding today! Designed and planned by one of Puerto Vallarta’s best, Mishka Designs.
Click on the link below to view Style Me Pretty’s post:
Just before I left NY for my winter season in Mexico, two of my great friends tied the knot at City Hall in Brooklyn. A few good friends met early in the morning to support and share the moment and we followed that up with some champagne at a BK local fave, Bar Tabac. The real deal wedding extravaganza is going down in Costa Rica this May with Sheena and Moni’s family and friends. It will be epic for sure and I can not wait to photograph that amazingness. Check these two out.
The motley crew.
Congratulations my dear friends. Alone you are amazing. Together you are off the charts.
The Hidden Homeless
Posted on: Monday, February 13th, 2012
This is an ongoing project that I started about 12 years ago and continue to work on. I was in Los Angeles going to school for photography when I started to notice some strange details about the motels around town. Signs were spelled wrong, personal belongings were everywhere, and two things became obvious to me; they were mainly immigrant owned and a lot of people were calling them home. I began to delve deeper, photographing and researching the subject and came to find a whole sector of American life unknown to many.
Most of America’s Motor Hotels were built in the 30′s along the main roads of the U.S. when car culture first started. As superhighways were eventually built in new areas of town, most of the neighborhoods along the old routes were all of a sudden devoid of traffic and found themselves economically depressed. Many motel owners found they couldn’t keep their rooms occupied and had to drastically lower rates and offer monthly and weekly rates. Most American owners sold their businesses. At this point, over 85% of motels are Indian owned.
Much of America’s poor and marginalized population has no other option than to live in Motels. There is such a shortage of low income housing that welfare is actually striking deals with motel owners and subsidizing recipients to live in them. More often than not though, I meet people essentially forced into living in motels for lack of any other option. They are living day to day and can not afford to put one month’s rent and security down on an apartment, let alone pass a credit check. It is standard to find 6 person families living in one room and other motel residents taking care of each other as a community.
I have driven up and down the east and west coasts and across the southern route of the US from coast to coast trying to tell this story. I’ve had a few gallery shows and it’s been published in a few magazines but I still have some more shooting to do! I’m aiming to have a book published one day. These photos are all shot in medium format film with the exception of two 35mm images.
Los Angeles, California
This is the sight that sparked this whole project. When I saw this note on the door a whole world was opened to me and I knew I wanted to pursue this idea.
Angel, Riviera Beach, Florida
Angel lives here with her daughter who works to support her.
Pablo’s family. Rahway, New Jersey
Pablo and Kimberly lived with and took care of Kimberly’s parents until they passed away and Kimberly’s step brother ended up inheriting everything. He was a crack head and quickly lost the house and everything they had. Pablo was injured at work and they had to go live in a shelter for 6 months before they could gather enough resources to move into this motel. Kimberly was in tears as she told me their story. They lived in this room with their 3 children.
Don and his pets. Highway Host, Mobile, Alabama
Don acted as a surrrogate father to the many kids that lived at this motel. He called one of his neighbors a saint because he was a hard working man that adopted 3 children and lived in the motel with them. Don would dumpster dive for food and feed all of the children from unopened boxes of cookies and snacks. He’d been living here for years.
Will and Jamie. Riviera Beach, Florida
Will and Jamie are cousins and share a room with another friend.
The kids of Highway Host. Mobile, Alabama
The two children on the left (and a teenage girl) were adopted by a man who works full time, so the kids spend a lot of time with other families at the motel when they are not at school. The girl on the right lives here with her parents and her sister.
Pablo Junior. Rahway, New Jersey
Pablo and Kassandra. Rahway, New Jersey
Janessa and Talisa. Rahway, New Jersey
These two girls live with their mother, step-father (who has just been released on parole with an anklet), and their baby sister. They think that something bad happened to Talisa because all of a sudden she stopped talking about a year ago and will not say anything.
Paw Paw and his grand daughter. Rahway, New Jersey
Paw Paw’s son came to the motel to visit him so he could see his grand daughter who he adores.
Ernie. Rahway, New Jersey
Ernie ended up at this motel after he had an argument with his sister at a family barbecue and she kicked him out. He was taking computer classes and receiving some help from the state.
Bonnie and the baby. Bristol, Pennsylvania
Bonnie lives here with her husband of 65, their 4 year old daughter and their 19 month old baby. They were happily living in a trailer but had a small fire and the city condemned their trailer. Her husband George had his own mobile welding rig but it was stolen and he was left without work which is difficult to find at 65. They had trouble keeping up with payments on their storage unit and the company auctioned off everything they had.
Kassandra. Rahway, New Jersey
Motel owner. Mobile, Alabama
Gitbo’ (Midget Boy). Riviera Beach, Florida
After a 20 minute conversation to convince him that I was not police, Gitbo told me that he deals drugs for a living and let me photograph him.
I’m really excited to announce that I will be giving a workshop in Puerto Vallarta this February 28th, 2012. It will be an all day affair chock full of ideas and inspiration.
The workshop with feature:
–Talk about the growth of my own business and photography.
–Slideshow and discussion about moment, lighting, composition and pushing yourself to make creative, strong, authentic images.
–Portfolio critique of 20 of each student’s favorite images.
–Group shoot with a bride and groom in which I hope to give you some new ideas for using light in creative ways and for making different and interesting compositions. I will process the images I shoot to give you an idea of my work flow and style.
–All things business. Topics will include: How to book more weddings, dealing with destination clients, the necessities for your business’ web presence, marketing, some ideas to get yourself seen on google, everything from booking to post-production.
The workshop is limited to 12 students and costs $2,700 pesos. We will begin at 10 am and finish when we finish, we’ve got a lot to go over! Please email me at email@example.com if you are interested. I hope to see you there!
Nico + Taiese
Posted on: Monday, February 6th, 2012
Nico and Taiese’s lovely, NYC, German, West Indian, awesome mix of a wedding took place at the Scarsdale Women’s Club near the stomping grounds of my youth in Westchester, NY. It was a perfect day, a gorgeous estate, a great mix of people, and my pal Jacqueline and I ate it all up with our cameras. Their wedding album is in production now and I can’t wait to see it.