Sunday, September 7, 2014

Elena and Nick's Vineyard Wedding in New York

Melody and I have a friend named Magda. She moved here from Michigan many years ago. She was the first person outside of family to hold Aiden when he was born. She’s a little loud, a little in your face, definitely talkative, and if she wants to know something, anything, she’ll ask you. One of her mottos is “You never know until you ask.”

Socially, I am NOT a Magda. I’m quiet, reserved, stay in my own head until I think the moment is right, and if I want to know something I Google it or pick up a book. But every once in a while, Magda’s voice creeps into my head and whispers, “You never know until you ask.”

As many of you know, I like second shooting whenever I can. Halfway through last year, I shot a wedding with my friend Amanda. As it turned out, it was for one of the brothers of her best friend Elena.  At dinner, Amanda and I sat with Elena and her fianc├ę Nick who both flew in from the east coast for the wedding. Earlier in the day, she was the young lady I’d been snapping pictures of putting a clear coat on her brother’s fingernails and unabashedly smooching on her sweetheart as everyone got ready. 

Elena clear-coating her brother's fingernails before his wedding back in 2013.

Elena and Nick a year before their own big day.

"Hey now!"

Not Elena and Nick, but I do love this shot from her brother's wedding.

A much different kind of wedding a year prior.

A month later, Amanda and I were shooting together again. On a long drive to San Francisco, she talked about Elena’s wedding in New York, how Amanda was a bridesmaid, and about Elena’s suggestion that she should take jobs back east so that she could visit more frequently. As it turned out, Elena was getting married in Westfield, about an hour south of where my grandmother grew up in Lockport. My grandma had recently passed and I hadn’t seen Lockport since I was a child. A thought started to grow in my head as we shot throughout the day and by the end of it Magda’s voice was whispering in my ear, “You never know until you ask.”

So I pitched an idea to Amanda, she relayed it to Elena, and a year later I was boarding a plane to Buffalo, New York. What follows are some photos from that day. 

Wedding detail shot in a hotel room

Amanda helping Elena into her dress. 

Expressions catch a lot, but sometimes a simple shot like this says so much more. 

Mom giving her blessing before we head for the door.

Rain. Lots and lots of rain. I flew from drought-plagued California to be welcomed by rain at the Noble Winery in
Westfield, New York. That meant shooting under the awning at the beginning.

Colorful wedding favors.

DIY centerpieces for wedding

Using wine corks as your guest book
Rather than having guests sign a book, why not have them sign a cork instead?

No assistance needed for being cute, only in walking down the aisle.

Umbrellas for the ceremony.

Both mothers read a passage from the Bible during the ceremony. 

Elena blows mom a kiss after hearing her passage.

With all the color that Elena had in her wedding, you'd think that I would have shot a lot more in color, but because
of the weather, so many of these shots looked perfect in black and white.

Sister-in-law gracing us all with her beautiful voice during the ceremony. 

Her hair might be damp but the weather couldn't dampen her spirits.

Color-coded bridesmaids.

Sometimes moody weather makes for the best photos.

Uncles are great.

Not sure how I lit this so well. Because of the weather, it was inside while I was taking details. The next thing I know
they're telling me that they're cutting the cake. "Cake?! What cake? I didn't take a picture of a cake!" A minute later
the knife plunged into the frosting.

Some of the most touching photos are brides dancing with their dads.

It was just a touch breezy, too.

I find that I tend to like shots of the bride and groom dancing together after the first dance. They're often much more
genuine because they think no one is looking.

It was that kind of night.

When you are over two and a half thousand miles away from your family, you tend to get drawn into taking pictures of
little ones, especially when one of your own is only seven months old.

Kite flying.

See, more little ones.

At the end of the evening I snuck these two off into the vineyard for a few shots. The rain had thrown a huge wrench into
our timeline and left us with very few shots of these two together.

An edited version of something similar to what I put up on Instagram. I wanted more sense of place since the winery
was important to the two of them.

And a quick attempt at a dip. Many thanks to Chandler Milligan of Milligan Cinema for being my VAL (voice-activated
lightstand), as well as an awesome all-around guy and former groom.

Venue: Noble Winery in Westfield, New York.
Videography: Milligan Cinema
Discounts: Everyone in the wedding party is entitled to a $200 discount for their wedding day.
You can see more from this wedding on our Facebook page here.
If you'd like to find out more about our photography, look us up at
Want to see some editing videos that show a bit of how David works his magic?

And if you want to see cute pictures of our kids along with sneak peeks of what we're working on, follow us on Instagram at:

No comments:

Post a Comment