Jason & Journey Get Me Hammered; I Still Somehow Take Pictures

I still don’t have any clue how they found me. I think a friend of a friend of a friend found my annual the-phone-ain’t-ringing-because-it’s-January ad on Craigslist, saw I had a connection to upstate New York, and said “hire that guy.” And so it came to pass. I shot their wedding, and it was awesome. That will follow later this week. This is the engagement session.

Actually, most of these are from the second engagement session. The first got rained out, but we met anyway at their favorite bar (Milady’s) for some drinks anyway. I should actually say we “started” at Milady’s for drinks. Four bars later I was tanked and quite happy I’d only lost my iphone and not the five grand in camera gear I was toting around.

When I do an engagement session I try to co-opt the couple as creative partners. If I can get them thinking about places that are important to them, interests they have, or aspects of each other’s personality that are particularly important to the relationship, the images always end up being more meaningful and interesting. Jason and Journey’s, eh… journey… together really started when they lived on Prince Street in Soho, and included a lot of late nights at the townie bar across the street, food from the 24-hour bodega across from it, and daily strolls down the beautiful streets that are all around. So despite them having to come all the way from Chautauqua, NY for it, we decided that for their engagement shoot we’d go back to the old ‘hood. It actually poured the second day as well, but damnit, we toughed it out and during a 30-minute break in the sheets of rain and ended up with a handful of awesome images.

Congratulations, J & J. I’m totally coming to crash your couch in Chautauqua next summer.

Chautauqua Institution Wedding Groom Arrives By… Moped???

Working this one solo, with Jason and Journey dressing on opposite shores of Chautauqua Lake, I wasn’t going to be able to shoot both of them getting ready… but I was assured that if I could scramble over to the dock just after the ladies departed for the ceremony, Jason would be arriving “in a unique manner.”  I won’t spoil the surprise.  Just scroll down and check it out.

Chautauqua is stunningly beautiful.  I’m feel bad that, despite having grown up and spent nearly 20 years in Buffalo, NY, I’d never made it down there, and it was only a really random series of connections that led to me shooting this amazing couple’s wedding there.  If you make it there, tell Jason and Journey (who both work at the Chautauqua Institution) that I say hello.

Unlike the engagement shoot I did with them, they didn’t get me hammered – I had another wedding to shoot the next day.

Average US wedding: $29,000. San Francisco City Hall Wedding: $172

Brock and Bethany are young. Like, hiring-a-photographer-at-all-is-a-stretch young. And yet, they were as classy and elegant as a Hollywood couple, which was accentuated by the epic background of San Francisco City Hall. Which, by the way, only costs $172 to get married in. For the license and ceremony, not the photographer. I’m a little pricier. Come to think of it, I was the most expensive thing there…

Their First Date Was In A Bar With Flaming Drinks

…and who can resist flaming drinks?  So our last location was in fact said Brooklyn bar (Zombie Hut) where Nick, Lauren, and I ended up ordering another.  And another.  And I think a third.  By the end of the day we were old friends.  That seems to be happening with a lot of couples lately.  I can hear my dad now: “you take some pictures for a few hours then shoot the sh!t at the bar with some new friends and get paid for it?  Good to see you making use of those years of engineering school you didn’t finish.”   For the record dad, a lot more goes into it than just clicking the shutter.  And my filmmaking degree is… kinda relevant to this.

Before our little bonding session at the bar we walked around Dumbo and found backdrops to show them as the understated-yet-edgy couple that they are, and had to shoot a few in their ‘hood (Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn) with life elements that they consider important to their identity.  Namely, their ridiculously cute dog and their obscenely cool vintage-y bicycles.  I’ve since been inspired to get a bicycle of my own to ride around San Francisco, and am *this* close to convincing the girlfriend to let me get a dog.  Thanks, Nick and Lauren, and congrats.  Looking forward to shooting your wedding:)