Congratulations to those couples who are newly engaged and planning your 2014-15 weddings! I have been meeting with many couples over the last month discussing their ideas about venues and details as they plan their weddings. Showing my albums and seeing the wheels turn as they look at my photographs, I decided it would be cool to share these ideas that my own clients created with everyone who drops by my blog as it could be helpful to others.
In this post I will concentrate on a favorite of mine - 'Black and White' Weddings. Elegant, clean and appropriate for any time of the year. Thank you to my wonderful couple, Nicole and Michael for creating a beautiful day.
One of my favorite venues for photographing - the grounds of the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT. Below you will see we photographed the formal portraits there. Black & White just pops in that setting and the garden colors were perfect with Mom's beautiful dress. Be aware that there are fees and restrictions, but worth every penny, and please know that the fees help keep this very special place in tip top shape - so do your part and plan ahead with your photographer's help. Here is the link to the policies. The reception continued at the wonderful West Hartford Golf Club. Also a delightful place to photograph and hold your wedding reception. The Black and White theme was played out beautifully from decor to the cake!
Family Portraits in the Sunken Garden at Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, CT
On the Steps of the Historic Home at Hill-Stead Museum. Also Black & White!
Black & White Table Dressings are so elegant for an evening wedding.
Creamy white flowers on Tables and elegant place cards.
I hope you all have enjoyed the holidays, made it through, or simply got some rest! I hibernated a bit, had a great time with family and friends including many interesting conversations. I would like to share one with you. One night we shared ideas on personal Totems for each other... sometimes called Spirit Animals or Totems that American Indians and other world peoples have adopted in their spiritual lives.
I always thought I related to the Wolf as a totem... as I have had many dreams in recent years with Wolves showing up. Perhaps it is just one Spirit Animal that I have needed in various times in my life, being a mother/pack leader for example. But, my son mentioned that he thought the Hummingbird Totem was perfect for me, and everyone agreed. Well, I was skeptical, but I do love those little birds, even have a Hummy Bird Feeder outside my window, plus a clock in my dining room with a hummingbird on it that my family gave to me. I looked up info on the Hummingbird Totem and sure enough it does describe many of my attributes. Perhaps, sometimes it takes a reflection back from others to see another side of yourself.
So why do I bother to write a blog post on this? Well, just for fun really and to share the idea of animal totems which I find interesting. However, I find it just so cool that others will see you as you are and sometimes we just miss it ourselves. Probably because it 'just is' for us. We live in it and maybe we don't notice. But others 'observe it' in us. Perhaps it is valuable to reflect on those things that only others can show you? Who knows - but I find that they are interesting insights.
I know that Wedding Photography is the perfect job for me and I have been able to give my clients what they want and then some. Many people (including other photographers who will not do wedding photography) have asked me "How can you stand doing weddings?!! It is tiring, crazy hard work and you run around like mad all day dealing with chaos, etc, etc!". Well, I just discovered another reason why it suits me. Like a Hummingbird, I have a lot of energy. I am small, light and fast. I love looking out for everything happening around me and finding the best stuff to photograph, plus anticipating what will come next. The chaos does not bother me, I just observe it, work around it and do what I need to do. Just love it. It is fun when others see something in you and then you discover another 'why' your work feels so right.
If you are interested in learning more about your Spirit Animal, or Animal Totem... here is a website to look at just for fun. Animal Totems
Let me know if you discover something new about yourself or if you have an Ah-ha moment. Have fun. Happy New Year!
I do have the best job in the world. I love serving my clients and thinking up cool ways to create something really special for each couple on their wedding day. There are many wedding locations in CT where I love to work. One of these is Amarante's Seacliff in New Haven. Let me tell you a little about why I enjoy this place so much.
#1: Grace and the whole team at Amarante's treat their clients and vendors like family. (I am a preferred vendor there so I know!) They really care about your wedding day.. and they work with you as if you ARE a member of their own family. This is for real and not something you find anywhere. Trust me.
#2: The food is awesome. I love to eat great food and when I photograph weddings I get very hungry so, it is always a pleasure to eat their fine food. Amarante's does an awesome job at their Client Tasting events twice a year, too!
#3: The service is wonderful. I have NEVER I experienced a hold up in the meal coming out or a glitch in the time-line that makes the guests fidgity wondering when things will get going. This is BIG, really BIG because you need things to go smoothly on your wedding day. They are truly professionals.
#4: The location of this 'All in One' venue is spectacular! It is in a neighborhood setting which adds to that friendly feel, AND it is on the water with a view of the sunset that is awesome for photos. The lawn and gardens are perfect for outdoor ceremonies, and the windows in both reception rooms face the same view in the event that you have foul weather. It may be a disappointment if that happens, but the Amarante's team understands this and they give their clients a great experience indoors as well.
#5: Lighthouse Point Park is just down the street. If you want more seashore photo opportunities - this park is nice and it is just down the street! The lighthouse, beach with rocks and sand, look out points and grassy areas are a perfect place to create natural light portraits on your wedding day. Just check the fee and hours of operation in advance.
Here are a few images that I have taken at Amarante's Seacliff to give you a 'taste' of the place. Hope you enjoy.
Centerpiece in the Grand Ballroom at Amarante's Seacliff.
Garden Wedding in New Haven, CT
In The Deck at Amarante's Seacliff, New Haven, CT
Wedding Portrait at Lighthouse Point Park, New Haven, CT
This is what I believe:
-That every engaged couple wants beautiful images of themselves to mark this specialtime in their lives, which will enable them to feel comfortable being photographed on their wedding day.
-Every person deserves to have beautiful photographs of themselves that reflect who they are now, so that future generations can connect to their family history in years to come.
If you feel this way, welcome!
My job as a 'family historian' begins with weddings. Yes, I am a wedding photographer in CT who cares about the importance of family history.
A fun way to invite wedding clients into my studio is the engagement session. Engagement sessions are fun and helpful especially if you can do it with your chosen wedding photographer. I will tell you why-
You and your wedding photographer, the person you will be spending a great deal of time with before, on and after your wedding day, will make it their mission to capture you and your partner as you are naturally and find out what your concerns are regarding how you look in photos.
Do you suffer from photo trauma? This kind of session before the wedding day can cure this! Your photographer will learn what helps you look your best, and what makes you uncomfortable, and will show you how great you look when you see your images. A good professional will discuss all of this with you when you see your finished photographs and any concerns can be addressed then. You would never want to wait until the wedding day to work that out, would you? Wedding photographers who have tons of experience make it their job to spend time getting to know their clients. I do, too. Not only is it part of the job, but it is fun. I love people and getting to know them, so, very often my clients become friends. It all begins here. Once the wedding day comes, we are already friends, and I can slip into the wedding day as a familiar face and presence.
Take a look at some of my favorite engagement moments! If you like what you see and you are engaged or about to be - contact me!
A quiet moment on HorseBarn Hill, Storrs, CT
Heather and Eric loved doing some farm work at their engagement session!
Then went for a walk around UCONN Campus.
Rachel and Mario love Chamard Vineyard in Clinton, CT.
Then we went to Hammonassett Beach to see the sunset. Awesome day!
The Boston Garden in the Spring is spectacular!
And... the fields and hills in my town, Mansfield CT are pretty nice, too!
Everyone needs a break and I am so grateful for holidays. The fall has been hectic and fun, work has been really exciting.. but it takes a toll on this CT Wedding photographer! By this time of year I am ready for a break!
As I celebrated Thanksgiving with my amazing family, I came to appreciate what 'down time' means to me. If we keep pushing the limits and become focused on the job constantly, there is no time for perspective shifts, or the time for resting the mind from its busy work. Cooking for others and engaging in another creative process can free the mind, relax it and allow new ideas to flow in.
I cooked like crazy...which was really fun because I only cook like this once a year! A turkey AND a ham.. lots of accompaniments and desserts; visited with my family; spoke on the phone with far away relatives and friends, shared experiences and stories, reminisced and laughed a lot! It was a refreshing break from my usual routine - AND I had a great time.
Then earlier today, when I sat down to go over some layouts and designs for client albums that I had been struggling with earlier this week - it all came together easily. Ahh... I found the solutions I needed and looked at it with new eyes.
**My wish for you is that you will set time aside for relaxation and other creative activities this weekend or anytime you can, so you can get back to what you love with renewed energy and inspiration.**
Here is my finished Thanksgiving turkey that turned out to be the most tender and delicious one I have made yet! I tried something new - the Cheesecloth method by Martha Stewart. I may do it again at Christmas! It is easy - check it out here.
Hello! I have been meeting with many brides for the 2014 Wedding Season lately, and I wanted to share some things with you if you are looking for a photographer for your CT wedding. It is important that your research and interviews go smoothly and that you find the 'right for you' vendors for your wedding day.
1) Prioritize what is super important to you first. Is it the dress or flowers? The venue or food? Or is it the photography? Let's assume you are making the venue and the photography a major priority and that they are the most important things to find first. This seems to be the case with a majority of my brides and grooms.
(note: most of my brides contract a venue and date first, but I have many brides who CALL ME first and ask me when I am available. I love that!)
So, once you have a date set, I would suggest that you start looking for a professional photographer. Why professional? I have spoken to many unhappy couples who did not hire a professional in order to save money and they were very sorry later. I won't go in to the many horror stories as I am sure you have seen many online. To put it simply - if you want photographs of you, of your loved ones, extended family and friends, and also have an album of photographs that will stand the test of time and to hand down to your children and grandchildren as your first family heirloom - hire a professional to capture the day. You will be sure to have photographs that you will love.
2) Research professional photographers in your area. There probably are many, so ask others who have been married recently who they recommend. Or maybe you remember a wedding you went to recently, so ask the bride or groom if they were happy with their photographer. First hand experience is the very best. But do go online as well... look at the images on their websites. You want to fall in love with the imagery. Then inquire about pricing either by email or phone, narrow your search and then reach out to the ones that you love.
[resource: WeddingWire.com and many other sites offer vendor lists, reviews, website links and and even FREE tools for your wedding planning. Check it out!]
3) Meet many photographers - at least 3. Spend time on the phone or go ahead and set up a meeting in person. Bring a list of questions that you have for them so you don't forget what you wanted to know. Here are some things to find out:
How long they have been in business, their experience, how they operate on the wedding day, if they do engagement sessions, guestbooks, albums, etc. How will they show you the images after the wedding day? How long will it take to see your images or get your album, etc. Ask about equipment backup and payment/contract policies. Ask to see some full weddings that they have done and see what you think. Stay present and ask questions.
If your intuition tells you something, listen to it... good or bad. Then you will know when you find the right photographer for you. It should 'feel' right when you are with this person. You want to LOVE their work and trust them. Any professional with experience will not hesitate to say 'no' to you if they think they cannot fulfill your needs. It is a relationship, and remember that this photographer will be with you ALL day long and you will not see the images until after the wedding day, so you need to feel like you trust and like them. This will make your day go smoothly with less stress.
4) Sign a contract. Please do this and read it thoroughly. All pro's have contracts. They may vary, but this makes sure you are both clear about the time, date and all the details & responsibilities you both have, including payment.
5) Communicate. Once you have booked a photographer, stay in touch with them. Let them know important things, like contact info for venue managers or planners, other vendors you choose. Any family issues that are important regarding the formal portraits. A good professional will probably collect this information well before your wedding day.. but never hesitate to call your photographer and inform them of any changes or whatever you think is important. Give them a list of important people who you want in your wedding day photos.
6) Engagement sessions are great. Do one with your photographer. Most pro's do them because it will help both of you to get to know each other photographically. It is fun, too! Plus you get great photos. Some photographers include these sessions complimentary and others charge extra for this.
7) Carry the phone number of your photographer and any assistants with you in your phone on the wedding day and also with the maid of honor or best man. In case of emergency, (your make up is running late, etc) it is very helpful to you and your photographer so everyone is on the same page.
Here are some other posts that may help you while planning your wedding or wedding photography:
Choosing a Location Timeline Splendid Vendors
I hope this was helpful to you if you are a newly engaged person or if you think you may be soon! Either way, please leave a comment to let me know. Thank you.
There is nothing quite like the feeling I get when I walk into a large cathedral, even in Connecticut. It could be anywhere in the world and it definitely takes my breath away. Beth and Alan planned an extraordinary wedding here in CT at the end of September and their ceremony took place in the beautiful Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Downtown Waterbury, CT. It is an Italian renaissance design after the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, (cool link, check it out!) is an extraordinary place to be married and I loved photographing it. While inside, you could pretend you were in Italy for an hour! Now, if you want to get married in a cathedral, you may want to get a dress that fits the church. Beth wore the perfect dress and 'cathedral' veil for this venue! I just love the long flowy dress and veil.
They planned a joyous day - Alan's family came all the way from Ireland and the two families met a few days prior to the wedding for the first time! The reception was held at the Heritage Hotel in Southbury, CT and their Stone Garden was perfect for formal photos which had been planted and decorated for Autumn. The weather was perfect and everyone had great fun as well! Here are some highlights of the day.
Thank you for reading my blog. Feel free to look around and leave a comment if you like! Kim
CT Bridal Bouquet.
Wedding Dress showing layers and length
Bridal Portrait at Home.
Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, CT
View from the Loft. (Security locked me out of loft during ceremony, boo!)