When i first met Mary-Cate and Will i was instantly intimidated…they are the type of people who just go after what the want. Mary-Cate is a lawyer + and Will just started grad school for speech therapy, needless to say they are both VERY driven, which to a little local business owner like me can be…terrifying BUT they are the most laid back couple i have ever had.ever.

Their story is precious, they both wound up working at the same retail store while in CT i believe (could have that mumble up) Mary-Cate was promised a supervisor position there only to find that that position was given away…to Will. During their first meeting Mary-Cate was annoyed…and Will was stunned by how pretty this angry girl was. Over the next little while they got to know each other and eventually began dating and after only about a month of dating Will needed to go to Minnesota, and sweet Mary-Cate took a leap of faith and moved with him! The rest is obviously history.Their beautiful backyard wedding at Wills childhood home was PERFECT for these two, it mirrored their personalities and had all the pieces of a magazine worthy wedding. I am sad to leave them to their lives now but i truly wish them all the best not that i need to…these guys get what they want!

The new Mr. and Mrs. Fink!

The new Mr. and Mrs. Fink!

Colleen and Peter are the epitome of the phrase “love is friendship set on fire”. I see SO many couples get hitched and they all have their own unique “type” of love, Colleen and Peters is one that you can tell is rooted in a deeply connected friendship…those are the best kinds. Peter is a Cadet at West Point Military academy currently in Ranger school…hes the elite of the elite and he oozes loyalty to not only his country but his newly found sweet as a butter cup wife Colleen. Sweet Colleen is a giggle personified, her loving nature is proven by the way people love her and goodness she is lovable. (just ask Peter)

     Their wedding was a beautiful affair, the perfect combination of sentiment and fun (I cried just as much as i laughed) as im sure their entire married lives will be. There two will be doing ther secret handshake well into their golden years together i just know it! So to the brand spankin new Mr. and Mrs, Fink….may God bless the happy years you two have ahead of you!!!

     Take a scroll through some moments from their wedding day…

Ileah and Jon…Married!

Ileah and Jon…Married!

Ileah and Jon…what do you say? They are one of those couples that makes you believe in commitment again. If i could thing of one word to describe them it would be loyalty, for a NUMBER of reasons. Jon is in the military and Ileah goes months without seeing him as he is out fighting for our freedom. During their wedding ceremony the priest said the most beautiful and appropriate thing:

    ” I usually talk about the importance of sacrifice at this point in the ceremony, but i dont have to do that at this wedding because a military marriage knows all too well what sacrifice is, a matter of fact we can look to your marriage if we ever forget the meaning of the word”

   I cried my eyes out as they honored some of Jons fallen friends and tears of joy replaced tears of sadness as they grabbed hands and marched down that isle, because i could SEE how amazingly happy they were! The rest of the wedding was FILLED with beautiful moments, first dances, flirty glances, and hilarious bridal party dance moves and im SO sad that this part of my journey with these two is over 🙁 I spend so much time with my couples and they all take up a corner of my heart and Ileah + Jon are no exception, I wish you both all of the happiness, joy, love, and adventure that marriage will bring you!

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    On a perfectly sunny and clear day Alexandra and Mitchell and all the glitter in the world took that big leap! The week before their wedding day was SO wild, a blizzard in the middle of march delayed friends and family from Texas where these two lovebirds hail from BUT that certainly did not put a damper on the party! All of that southern charm packed into the Poughkeepsie Grand felt like i was inhaling sweet tea, but the most prevelant thing in the air was the obvious love and affection between the new Mr.&Mrs. Graves. I instantly loved them, Alex has this sweet giggly personality that Mitchell clearly adores and dont even get me started on how gorgeous these two are! (your about to see for yourself) I couldnt put into words how they achieved that perfectly glamorous “big wedding” feel yet maintained a sweet intimate vibe for the whole wedding…luckily im a photographer not an author!

Congratulations to the brand spankin new Mr. and Mrs. Graves! To say the pleasure was all mine is SUCH an understatement! If you like what you see make sure to follow me on Instagram and Like me on Facebook!

My “secret” of success

I am NO business expert…like at all. So this post is going to be based on my observations as a budding wedding photographer who has experienced a tiny bit of success. Recently i have had some photographers reach out to me and ask what it is that i seem to be doing right, I was interviewed for a blog post by Profit Photographers on this exact subject (Read it here! )and honestly i had nothing different to say that you have not already heard. BUT i do have one insight, one constant that ALWAYS pops up while im consulting with a potential bride that im telling you makes ALL of the difference!

   Unfortunately photographers are a dime a dozen, it seems like everywhere you turn someone is trying to get into wedding photography. Yes your work should be the primary reason someone chooses you but im going to drop a truth bomb on you…there are better photographers out there than you. SO how on EARTH do you sell someone on trusting you with their most precious memories? For me the answer is simple…you build an organic REAL relationship with your clients and you establish and provide a client experience that is unlike anything another photographer can offer them. I have spoken to SO many brides this past booking season and i saw a sad similarity, brides were THANKING me actually thanking me for giving them so much attention before they even booked, they LOVED feeling like i was going to go out of my way to not only make the process of finding and booking a wedding photographer easier BUT that i was going to go out of my way to give them the BEST POSSIBLE product that i could. Somewhere along the way wedding photographers are forgetting the importance of the wedding day to the couple, yeah they see dozens of weddings a year but your client cares about how you will see THEIR wedding in a unique way and if you as a photographer do not treat them as an individual and important client they will go find someone who will. 

    Now here is where it gets tricky….I am NOT saying that you should do and say anything to get them to book with you. Show them your organic personality because THAT is who will be following them around all day on their wedding day, you might be able to fake who they want for a phone call BUT when it comes the their wedding day they have to be comfortable with you so they have to know the real you. Another benefit to showing your true colors if that no one else is like you, if you want to stand out do not be afraid to stand out! I am an open book to my clients and i want them to feel comfortable with me, I want them to know that if they have a question they can come to me whenever, I want them to know i am commited to them. That might seem like a huge investment of time and you might be thinking “that seems a little overboard” BUT my brides thank me for this, my bet is photographers that are stuck in a rut might not be practicing a client experience first business model. There are so many little branches to this tree of client exprience and if you are a photographer who needs help contact me and i would LOVE to give you more info as to how exactly i do this! Good luck and happy booking! 

The concept of a “first look” is fairly new to the wedding industry and every wedding i book i end up getting the question…should i do the first look? Just to be clear i am not going to lay out my personal opinion and this is why…because ultimately brides this is YOUR wedding! My job as your wedding photographer is to give you all of the information and than execute whatever decision you guys make to the best of my ability!

   I believe that a photographer invented the first look because one of the biggest Pros for a first look would be the amount of time you gain for your pictures! A first look is typically done about an hour before the ceremony leaving a full hour for bridal party portraits and the bride and grooms portraits! Makeup and hair are fresh and chances are my groom has not found a way to mess up some part of his tux. (usually at least lol) A couple is now free to enjoy the cocktail hour if they choose to do so or enjoy a few quiet moments together. (which usually does not happen on a wedding day) 

 Another Pro would be the gurantee that a first look can offer, lets say we are doing a first look at 2 and the ceremony starts at 3:15 even if my bride runs a half hour late we DEFINITELY will get the bridal portraits in. In my experience its not the beginning of the day that gets you behind its the ceremony, people can arrive late and if the actual ceremony goes longer than expected or the dreaded receiving line takes 45 minutes than BOOM we are 40 minutes late. Venues do not wait for your photographs to get taken  SO we end up with 20 minutes for full bridal party portraits and bride and groom (talk about chaos) and thats something we can do nothing about. 

For my couples who are shy and might not want to have that big reveal in front of 200 people than the first look might be the way to go, but there are a few cons to the first look. The one you probably hear the most is that its not the traditional way things are done and to some may feel anti climatic even.The doors swing open and the music starts playing as the bride starts to walk towards her groom and well…hes seen her already, That shot you see photographers always posting where the groom is crying and his buddies are patting him on the shoulder as his bride walks towards him wont be happening. Some people can give or take that but for some of my brides debating on doing the FL this is all they need to hear because they want that magical moment.                  

There is something to be said for the emotional overload that happens when a couple sees eachother for the first time across the aisle, as a photographer that moment is known. Yes grooms do give great reactions during a first look but are for less likely to give a dream reaction because of the sheer pressure of the first look, that pressure is taken off a little when there is no first look. A lot of my couples will do a first look because they want to attend their cocktail hour which is great, BUT remember that means there will be no grand entrance into the reception venue because you will have been mingling with these wonderful people the whole time, definitely something to think about.