Amy & Kevin | Engaged! Elizabeth Park Engagement Photo Session!

I’ve got a new Crystal Starr wedding couple to introduce to you!  This is Amy & Kevin and their little doggie too!  Kevin is with the Coast Guard and they are planning a Coast Guard Academy wedding here in Connecticut next spring.  Yes! Full white dress uniform for Kevin and of course a gorgeous white gown for Amy.  How super lucky am I to be their photographer!













Amy and Kevin it is going to be pure pleasure to capture the story of your wedding day!  Thank you so much for choosing me as your photographer.  Enjoy these months leading up to your big day! They will go by super fast!

To see more of Amy and Kevin’s Elizabeth Park Engagement Shoot please click here to view the full gallery or the slideshow below.

I’m A Stalker! Photographing a Marriage Proposal!

Last week I got a Facebook message that made me squeal… yes SQUEAL with delight.  A young man I am acquainted with from my church was asking me to to covertly capture photos of him proposing to his long time girlfriend Maria.  My answer… ABSOLUTELY! I would LOVE to!  Jesse, the gentleman preparing to propose, later confessed to me he thought I might be even more excited than he was.  I’m not sure that is possible, but he might have been close.

So that is how I found myself on a Friday night, out in the cold dark and wet night, hugging a tree and trying to make myself as invisible as possible.  I admit I didn’t feel the cold at all, too much adrenalin I guess.  I was grinning ear to ear the entire time… especially when she started squealing and jumping up in down with happiness.  What a moment!

What an experience! I was truly nervous!  This guy was trusting ME to capture one of the biggest moments of his life.  To say it was a challenge is an understatement.  This might have been the most DIFFICULT shoot of my life. It isn’t easy to hide behind a tree and take photos of two moving people, in the dark no less.  Camera’s are not fond of focusing in the dark.  They either don’t focus at all or they focus on the wrong thing.  I did the best I could and I definitely got some keepers.    I cannot WAIT to share!

I pray to God these two are happy with what I created.  As crazy as it sounds… I probably won’t sleep much until I KNOW they are happy with what I got.  But that’s just me… ever the perfectionist worry wort.  Ah well… I don’t think I’ll ever change.

Congratulations Jesse and Maria!  Thank you so much for trusting me with your big moment!

My vantage point as I awaited the big moment.

Michelle and Thomas… ENGAGED!

I’m sitting here at my keyboard fingers poised over the keys trying to find just the right words to use to introduce you all to Michelle and Thomas. Truth be told, the words are failing me. Typically I tell the story of how they met and fell and love or how he proposed.  I do plan to get to all of that.  I already know I’m going to fall down flat trying to describe just how awesome, sweet, and crazy these two are.  I am just so excited that they chose Crystal Starr as their CT Wedding Photographer.

Maybe this photo will help begin the story.

Needless to say, they had me rolling in laughter during their entire engagement session.  My cheeks seriously hurt from all of the grinning I did.

Michelle and Tom have been together for ten years! Yes, that’s right! That means they met back in high school at Band Camp!  If that alone isn’t enough fodder for laughs I don’t know what is.  These two play it up like pros.  And just for the record, she approached him.  Go Michelle!

Apparently their school days were very good to them as they each now work in the school system.  Michelle is a special education teacher and she teaches the color guard, Tom directs the band.

In fact, we had to post pone our original meeting because…. it was band camp week.  Apparently they just can’t get away from that stuff. 

I am very much looking forward their wedding next year.  Something tells me that it’ll be so much fun that their friends and family (and myself) will still be raving about it 10 years later.

To see more of Michelle and Tom’s engagement session please click the slideshow below. To make sure you don’t miss any of Tom and Michelle’s wedding hop on over to Crystal Starr’s Facebook and hit the like button.


Vera and Olsi… Engaged! Hubbard Park Engagement Photography

Once in a while I am privileged enough to work with a couple that seems totally at ease in front of the camera. Being photographed isn’t easy. It can feel incredibly awkward. To make matters worse I tend to ask my clients to do things that make them feel ridiculous. Let me let you in on a little secret. I’m not necessarily looking to capture that ridiculous thing I just asked you to, I’m looking to capture the way your body moves as you put yourself into my ridiculousness as well as your reaction to it. If things go just as I plan, the results can be amazing. Suddenly we have fun, spontaneous, and relaxed expressions. Vera and Olsi seemed made for this. I’d say their session was a home run!


Vera and Olsi will be getting married at the end of this month. They are one of my LaViera couples. I shoot weddings and portrait session with a photography company called LaViera photography. I count myself blessed to be an associate photographer with this company.


Olsi is a military man, her serves in the Army. Vera is a nurse. The two are from Albania although they met in Philadelphia.


Olsi is an impressive and traditional gentleman who asked his future father-in-law for Vera’s hand in marriage before he proposed to her.



When the time came for him to pop the question Olsi decided to ask Vera to go out after she was through with work. Unfortunately being the ever practical girl that she is she declined as she wanted to just stay home and save their money.



Olsi reverted to plan B and planned a romantic evening at home. By the time Vera arrived she was on to his plan. What she found was an unlocked door and her man awaiting her arrival. He lowered to one knee and displayed her ring inside of a rose as he asked her to be his bride.




Melissa and Kevin… ENGAGED!

I have got to introduce you to one of my 2012 Wedding Couples Kevin and Melissa! Every single couple I have that blesses me with the honor of photographing their very special big day is very important. Kevin and Melissa will be no exception. I will never forget the first time I met them. We sat together in the Starbucks around the corner from my house just chatting it up! They are the kind of people that make you feel like a long time friends in just moments. While I view it as my job to set my couples at ease I felt like they did just that for me. They were just the sweetest! But mostly, I was immediately struck by the loving, caring way they were toward one another. It was more than obvious these two are meant for one another. In fact, as cliche as it sounds… they are already like two pieces of puzzle fitting perfectly together.

Their worlds came together just about five years ago when they met at a party. Like many couples I get to know, this one had the potential to be a miss. You see Kevin is quiet. If he had been too quiet, well… you just don’t know what might have happened. Luckily Melissa saw through it and asked him out. Their first date was to one my own favorite restaurants! Carmine’s! YUMMY!

I have to pause here in their story for a moment. Can we just stop and point out how absolutely gorgeous Melissa is! She told me the camera made her nervous! HA! She worked it! GORGEOUS!

Kevin is a romantic. Ok girls… SWOON with me! This darling man put some real thought and effort into his proposal. It meant a lot to him. He truly wanted it to be special. He had a fabulous plan all worked out complete with OUTLET shopping! But Melissa was too savy for that! She was on to him. Plan B was put into place!

What was plan B? Plan B involved Thai Food together at a local restaurant followed by rose petals, candles, wine, and a very handsome Kevin down on his knee. How could any girl resist that! Perfect! Just enough to keep his Bride to be guessing.

Kevin has a passion for football. I just LOVE it when couples incorporate their loves into their sessions. These photos are just the sweetest!

Congratulations Melissa and Kevin on your upcoming wedding! It’s going to be a long year of anticipation! December 2012 just can’t be here soon enough! Enjoy the excitement. You deserve it!

To see more of Melissa and Kevin and their engagement session please click below!

Engagement Shoot Contest Winners! | CT Wedding and Engagement Photographer

Happy June!  Wait, is it June?  How can that be?  Life just flies away from you sometimes doesn’t it?  Well it is June and that means it is time to announce the winner of my engagement shoot contest.  YEAH!  I LOVE contests!  I LOVE giving things away!  Giving makes people happy and I just love making people happy!  Who doesn’t?

Well in the end I decided to give away not ONE, not TWO, but THREE engagement shoots!  I numbered all entries according to the order I received them and then used to choose the winners.  Here is the fun part.  EVERYONE wins!  I will be sending a gift card for $75 worth of free prints to all those who entered but were sadly not chosen.  I didn’t want anyone to walk away empty handed!

The following three people won a full, location engagement session worth up to $250.  So what does that mean exactly?  Well they will not be obligated to pay the typical $50 session fee and they will have the opportunity to order up to $200 in prints at no cost.  But I’m throwing in one more thing.  If any of the winners choose to hire Crystal Starr to photograph their wedding then I will also offer a $250 reduction on the cost of their wedding collection.  All of this is of course subject to contract terms and conditions that I will review with each couple individually.

The winners are… Danielle Henderson, Michele Smedberg, and last but certainly not least… Latasha Mcclain.


HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to all of you lovely Brides-to-be!  You’ll be receiving and email from me shortly with all of the details.

Now…just a couple of other lovely photos from a previous engagement session!  I just have to share!

Win a FREE Engangement Session! | CT Engagment and Wedding Photographer

So my regular readers will notice some nice changes around here at the Crystal Starr Blog!  New colors, new logo, new… well, just about everything is new isn’t it?  There have been even bigger changes on my website .  So please make sure you stop in there to check that out too!  In honor of all of the new digs I thought it’d be fun to launch another contest!   My last contest was sort of meant for moms and children so this contest is going to be geared toward my bride’s and grooms!  So you might not be getting married but I bet you know someone who is.  Send them a link so they can get in on the action too!

Here is how this contest will work.  I am looking for engaged couples who plan to get married in the next 1-2 years and would like a free engagement session  All they have to do is click on this link and enter their information to win.

If winning couple decides to book Crystal Starr to photograph their wedding then they will receive the engagement session AND $250 off of their chosen wedding collection.

Pretty simple and lots of fun right? For a little inspiration let’s take a look at a few shots from two of my favorite engagement sessions.


Now, go to to win!  Contest will be open until May 31!

ps.  Engagement session must take place within a 25 mile radius of Hartford CT or travel fees will apply!

Love Isn’t! | CT Engagement & Wedding Photographer

A photo for the iheartfaces yellow challenge.

“Love isn’t love
Til you give it away” -Oscar Hammerstein

Brittany and Tommy! Beach Engagment Session| CT Engagement and Wedding Photographer

It all began with a simple party invitation.  Brittany’s friend was invited to a birthday party and Brittany got roped into tagging along.  Who knew that one night would change the course of her life!  It was just like any other party.  People were hanging out, talking, dancing.  The usual.  Then she spotted this cutie across the room.  They made eye contact and smiled but she didn’t think anything of it.  A few minutes later the cutie made his way over.  He asked her friend if she wanted to dance.  Or at least that’s what Brittany thought.  She began to make her exit to give the cutie and her friend some space.  But wait, what was he saying?  He was asking Brittany to dance with him, not her friend.  She said yes.

That was beginning.  That was how Brittany met Tommy.  After that fateful evening they spent as much time together as possible.  Friend’s hanging out together became opportune times to see each other.  Before anyone knew it they were a couple.  It was as if it meant to be and it always had been that way.  Something remarkable happened between Brittany and Tommy.  Brittany has always held fast to her Christian beliefs and she shared that with Tommy.  Tommy being the perfect gentleman always respected that about her.  In the end Tommy declared his faith in Jesus as well.

Before long Tommy knew it was time.  He’d found the one for him and he wanted her and the world to know it.  So one evening after work he asked her to take a drive.  His buddy had recommended this awesome restaurant and they just had to go check it out!  They climbed in the car and off they went.  Except the restaurant was a lot further away than he led her to believe.  Brittany nodded off and when she opened her eyes she realized they were in Rhode Island!  A whole state away!  Tommy played it cool.  He said he must have just misunderstood what his buddy told him.  Brittany bought it.

They found the quaint little restaurant and much to Tommy’s dismay it looked like a dump!  The outside was just not at all what he had expected.  Brittany was really starting to wonder what exactly her sweetie was thinking dragging her all the way out to Rhode Island for this crazy place.  Thankfully the interior was much better and they did enjoy a fabulous meal.  Afterward Tommy suggested a walk on the beach.  They hopped back in the car and headed for the nearest patch of sand and sea.  The perfect song came on the radio…. “Only You Can Love Me This Way” by Keith Urban.  Brittany cranked it and declared it their song!

Tommy did propose on the beach that day and of course Brittany enthusiastically said yes.  She even stopped a jogger on the beach and asked him to take their picture.  It was a perfect evening.  They are just the absolute sweetest and most perfect couple.

Tommy suggested the beach for their engagement photos. I LOVE LOVE shooting on the beach! Some of the best wedding portraits I ever created took place on the beach.  You can check those out here!  It was a fabulous early April evening.  Though the surf was cold the air was warm.  These two rocked it for the camera!  Of course Tommy could NOT take his eyes off of his bride-to-be.  The way he looked at her…  I’ve seen only a few men look at their loves the way he did.  It really was breath taking.  They are a perfect match.  I have the pleasure of meeting many couples in love.  It is a fabulous perk of my job.  But these two, they have something even above my most loving couples.

Thank you guys for sharing your story and giving me the opportunity to capture your special love.  To see more of Brittany and Tommy’s engagement session please click on the slide show below.


FAQ: What is a Gallery Canvas Wrap?

My clients frequently ask me to describe for them what a Gallery Canvas Wrap looks like.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words I thought I’d share a few photos so you can see exactly what I am describing.  I cannot say enough good things about Gallery Canvas Wraps.  They are absolutely positively STUNNING.  They are worth every red cent you spend on one.  I would cover every square inch of wall space in my own home with them if I could afford to.

Canvas wraps are unique in that they arrive ready to hang.  No need to frame these beauties though you absolutely can if you want to.  The image is created on a beautiful quality canvas and stretched over a sturdy and long lasting frame.  The image is glazed to ensure long life and to reduce fading over time.

Canvas wraps take a photo and make it a true work of art.  You paid a premium to have a professional photographer use outstanding equipment and the latest techniques and artistry to create a special piece for you.  Why not showcase it?  Canvas wraps do a fantastic job of doing just that.

When considering an image for a canvas wrap you need to ensure there is ample, and I mean AMPLE room all the way around the main subject of the photograph.  With a gallery canvas wrap the outer edges of the photo truly extend and wrap around the outer frame. Imagine taking a piece of wrapping paper and wrapping it around a gift box.  The sides of the gift box are decorated by the edges of the wrapping paper.  The sides of a gallery wrap are finished (or decorated by) the sides of the photo.  If there isn’t enough room you might have part of someone’s head or a body lost off of the edge.  This is hardly ever attractive.  If you are interested in a package with a gallery wrap then I’d be happy to help you select the best photo from your session.

Now, I’m off to choose a few photos for my own home to have created as gallery wraps.