Engaging Fall

Autumn seems to be the top pick for couple's scheduling engagement shoots. The vast majority of weddings are held throughout the summer, so a moody autumn afternoon is a nice contrast to the bright flowers and long drawn out sunsets of an August evening. I love photographing in the fall. After the soft tones of summer, the darker, more somber hues of the changing foliage is a a welcome change. It's also just peaceful, isn't it? This amazing couple opted to do their engagement session deep in the woods; private, cozy and very intimate. The perfect setting to relax and be yourself. 

Summertime Throwback

I have to post this August session before we get too far away from the memory of summer -- how can it already be mid October? Autumn is a very busy season in the photography world, family photos in bright piles of leaves or hiding amid a pumpkin patch are among the top sought after scenes of the year. There's something cozy about fall that entices people to document it. But before all that I there was summer -- now i'm not the biggest fan of summer (i do not miss the weather in Brazil at all)  but there is something so carefree and lazy about summer photos. perhaps it's the outfits, the light that seemingly never seems to fade or maybe it's the attitude that a balmy summer evening produces in people. In any case, here is my last post of our long gone summer, and who better to represent it than Model Baby himself. Beach photos taken at Hamlin State Park and the sunflowers at the farm on Clover Rd in Pittsford. 

Six and Nine

I love seeing watching as babies grow. Do you remember watching those little seeds you planted as a kid inside of empty egg carton shells? Every morning you ran downstairs to see if it grew. When you watched it every day change seemed non existent, but if you skipped a few days (oops) magic would unfold in front of your eyes. Babies are the same way. Daily their growth seems slow, but when you step back and look at intervals, wow! I am so grateful for my favorite little baby model, N, to allow me to capture this change. Six months and nine months, enjoy!

An Urban Engagement

I love city shoots. An urban backdrop helps to tell your personal story, about where you're from, where you met or where you intend to make your future. The gardens at the George Eastman Museum are one of the top shooting locations inside the city of Rochester. The gardens and halls can actually be rented for an actual wedding, but the gardens are open to the general public for enjoyment. Nothing more enjoyable than a sunset engagement session between two lovebirds! Our second shoot location was at the Memorial Art Gallery Gardens. Enjoy this "practice" wedding e-session, and get ready to see this couple's big day this August! 

Autumn

Wow, it's still in the 40 and 50's here in Rochester, in December! When we moved here in January of last year we barely had days reach up into the 30's. Heat wave? In any case, the warm weather allows for more outdoor photo sessions with kids! While the north east leaves on the trees are gone now, in mid November we still had bright yellows and reds. This shoot was done at Ellison Park (undoubtedly my favorite park in Rochester) during the second week of November. 

Farmhouse Table -- Sneak Peek

You know, a lot of people ask me whether I prefer photographing people or food. My love for photography, as well as my career, began with food photography. It's technically still life, or product photography, though I don't really see it that way. Food is an extension of the the personality of its maker, that's why food styling is such a big industry compared to say,  household applicance styling. I like to see the personality of the dish in the photo, which is the same way I stylize my photo sessions with people. I don't like to rely on fake props or over the top trending do-dads (ie: turning your child into a tortoise while shoving him into a crate and twisting his head sideways -- or in the food world milk bottles and mason jars--mason jars just really aren't appropriate in every situation!) I believe that now I can safely say I love food styling, wedding photography and portrait photography all equally. If there is a beautiful and interesting story to tell, whether it's a piece of chicken, a baby, a cake or a bride and groom walking down the aisle, I am thrilled to work on it. And then eat it, of course. The chicken that is....

When I photograph food i photograph real food. I don't put glue in a bowl of cereal or hair dry a bun (is that a thing?) We all know when a photo of food is fake--have you ever looked at a fast food ad and really thought to yourself, wow that is definitely a real photo! No, you probably haven't. Fast and commercial food styling is a different beast, it's a given that the food is partially if not all fake/inedible. Which is fine, as its own category. But most restaurants, small businesses, cafes and bakeshops tend to prefer photos of their actaul food. I hate throwing food away after a shoot, especially when your clients are pro chefs and bakers, the food is too good to toss!

I am so happy to be working on photos with a local catering company here in Rochester -- Farmhouse Table Food. I was able to pop in to a real event they were catering (don't mind me sneaking into your wedding to take a photo of your food please!) to get some live action shots. This husband-wife team focuses on rustic style, scratch-baked farm food with an emphasis on local suppliers. Hooray for real food! Stay tuned over the next few months as the project unfolds ;)

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A White House Wedding

Trust. You don't hire a photographer unless you trust them. It sounds cliché but that's one of the most amazing things about being a photographer. Think about it, here you are one month after your wedding. Your friends have stopped talking about the food, you're probably back from the honeymoon, and the whole memory of the wedding seems like a blur. After months of endless planning weddings can oftentimes fly by in a blur of excitement, chaos and joy.  Did it even happen? Then you remember that there is something left -- the photos. You don't think about memories until, well until they become memories. Wedding photography is storytelling. It should tell the story from start to finish in a way that those who weren't even there should feel as if they were. Finally, after a seemingly endless wait, your photos arrive and you get to live one of the best days of your life all over again. 

It was an honor to be chosen to shoot this White House Lodge (Webster, NY) wedding in late September. The weather was still surprisingly warm, yet crisp enough to make suit and tie a comfortable reality. The bride and groom catered the wedding themselves (they happen to own a catering company together) and the rest of the details were organized DIY by the bride and her man of honor. You'll notice there were no table settings - guests were invited to spread a blanket and have a picnic! Non traditional weddings are the most fun to photograph. Charming details, great weather, happy guests, a beautiful bride and a beaming groom--there's nothing more you can ask for in a wedding ;)

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Bonjour, Rochester!

I've spent seemingly my entire adult life inside the expat community. Whether in France, Brazil or now here - in Rochester. I know, how can an American be an expat inside the USA? My family will always be partly foreign no matter where we go for the rest of our lives, so that expat nugget inside of me hangs on in order to not "get out of practice."  I suppose I feel at home with the expat community, I know what they're going through and how difficult the expat life can be at times. But I also know that what can make or break an expat's stay is outlook. Rochester is by far not the "American Dream" that comes to mind when non-Americans think about the USA. Winter is rough, really rough. The city is in transition. Rochester was once a great manufacturing city, but like so many other cities along the (does Rochester count?) rust belt region in the USA, it was hit hard by the dismantling of industry. But the area is recovering. If anything, Rochester represents a far more realistic panorama of the American life, the real American life as opposed to dreams of Manhattan city lofts. So for many expats Rochester can be tough, boring, simple...the truth is that it can be whatever you make it. You find what you seek, if you're looking for things that will make you happy you will find them. I was thrilled to do a family shoot for a new expat family in Rochester in order to commemorate their move here. How great is that? Taking Rochester by the horns and enjoying it. We're happy to have your beautiful family here!

A Very Civil Ceremony

Civil wedding ceremonies still really get to me.  I know the nerves, the excitement, the fear, the determination that saturates the hallways and seeps out those big double doors. What are we doing? Wait, this isn't how I imagined it when i was little (or on my Pinterest board for that matter). People get married for all sorts of reasons. You see, marriage requires love, but love doesn't require marriage. Some of us get married for religious reasons, some for economic or tax reasons, and others, like me, for the simple reason to be able to live with the person you love.  For this I don't regret my civil wedding, and hell if the Brazilian Cartorio where i got hitched had been half as gorgeous as the Rochester City Hall where this fabulous international couple tied the knot I'd have been over the moon! Let me present C and P, star crossed lovers from opposite corners of the globe united in these here United States. How can you say that isn't romantic? Following their civil wedding ceremony at the City Hall, we changed wardrobe and set out to, essentially, capture an engagement shoot in order to use the photos for their save the date cards for their future wedding party in northern France. Are we invited to that wedding too????? What I love about this shoot is that you can see the relief, joy, and utter love in the "engagement photos"  as they followed a very emotional civil service. Not to mention how they elected to showcase downtown Rochester and the George Eastman House Gardens in their photos as a tribute to the city that brought them together. I hope that someday we will all be able to live with our loved ones despite boarders and visas and heartbreak...until then, bask in the love of this lucky couple ;)

Downtown, Baby

It's baby season. What can I say. I can't get enough babies, baby showers and maternity shoots! It fits so well with this balmy end of summer weather. The days are surprisingly already shortening, and the crickets seem to be coming out earlier. There's a cooler breeze. Seasons and babies, what can be better? This is my first autumn since 2009, im ready for apples, orchards, pumpkins, spices and nippy breezes and rainy days. What makes an autumn day even more memorable? How about a cozy photo session with babies snuggled into cozy blankets. Dreaming ahead! But first, late summer maternity session. Ah, anticipation. Today's models, M&H, are true Rochestarians at heart (though they are both Paulistas!) but their new baby boy will soon be a true Rochestarian. What better scene to celebrate than with a maternity shoot in downtown Rochester? People can say what they want about this third city, but the more i get to know Rochester, the more i'm falling in love with it. 

T&G - Maternity Session at Highland Park

Pregnancy is always a little mysterious, isn't it. It's a time when the body is put to the ultimate test; strained and pained. Yet it's also a time when the body looks amazingly beautiful. How can that be!? This is the reason I love maternity shoots. So calming, so peaceful.... then a few months later the baby shoot arrives and the peace and calm are but a distant memory! T & G are about to have twins, and there was no better way to capture the calm before the storm than with a quiet evening session at Rochester's Highland Park. Highland is a beautifully manicured garden (an Olmsted Park, actually)  full of secret pockets of flower lined  meadows -- a perfect location for intimate sessions.  Congratulations T & G!

A Restaurant Wedding

I've been thinking about flashes (strobe lights) a lot lately. I've always been a little intimidated by it. Why use flash when you can use natural light? But the truth is the photographer isn't the one who chooses. The situation chooses. The time of day, the time of year. The location.  We all need more flash in our lives! Especially because a large percentage of weddings around the world (surprise!) are held indoors. I was very lucky to be given the chance to photograph an indoor wedding last weekend here in Rochester. Can you believe it was last minute? The bride planned and organized everything in only two weeks! You wouldn't know it. Everything in this wedding was very personalized. The bride's sister in law added handmade details the bride's shoes, the mother of the groom put together all of the bouquets and flower arangements. I wish all the happiness in the world to this couple.