Matt & Christin / Bloomfield, CT Wedding

Another wedding! Yes! This season has rocked! Matt and Christin’s day will be one of the best yet!  I teamed up with Lisa Cour of Dayspring Photography for this fabulous day!  The weather was fantastic!  The couple was phenomenal.  The day was just picture perfect.

I began my day with the guys! I was set with the task of photographing them as they dressed and prepared for the day to come.  They chose to dress in the multipurpose room of the church.  Smart move.  It was pretty hot!  The less they needed to be outside in the tuxes the happier everyone was going to be.

Of course the ceremony was gorgeous! The pastor has known this couple for quite a while.  He added his own personal touches to the ceremony which just made everyone smile.

Photographing the couple’s portraits was a breeze.  These two are just so head-over-heals for each other that all I had to do was simply stand back and let them love on one another.  The photos are a true reflection of how much they adore one another.

My goodness, wasn’t Christin just GORGEOUS!  Matt really scored!

Matt has a whole troop of nieces! He has a few nephews as well.  These girls did such a fabulous job as flower girls.  They were just so darn cute!

Matt and Christin.  Thank you so much for such a fabulous day! Congratulations on your new marriage!

The Life of a Wedding Photographer!

A couple of weeks ago I had the honor and privilege of assisting Lisa Cour of Dayspring Photography on a couple of her weddings.  Talk about fun! This gal has some seriously awesome clients.  She and I met at a workshop back in March and hit it off pretty well.  Our paths have crossed a couple of times since and I always enjoy seeing her.  I jumped at the chance to lend her a helping hand.  I will be blogging images soon!  In the meantime I thought it might be fun to take a tiny sneak peak of what a wedding day looks like from behind the scenes.  With the aide of my iPhone camera I set to work!

Tops on my priority list is my stomach!  Typically I begin work on a wedding day hours upon hours before the ceremony.  Photographers are  documenting every detail as the bride has her hair and makeup done.  We capture fabulous photos of her dress, her shoes, her jewelry.  We artistically gather images of her mother and father as they watch their baby girl become a woman.  Many times we also take similar photos of the groom.  Of course there isn’t much to his hair (or makeup – usually) but we do like to capture his story too.  Getting dressed, hanging with his buds, sweating it as someone teases him that “their is still time to change your mind you know!”

This means we often begin working 6 or 8 hours before dinner is served, well before lunch, and we work straight through often skipping pretty much every meal of the day.  Even dinner is forgotten as we prepare a slide show or capture cake details or… whatever!  So this means we eat on the go.  What does eating on the go look like?  For me?  A cliff bar in the car while driving like a maniac to keep up with the limo in front of me so that I can be right with the bride the entire day and not miss a moment. Sound yummy?  Oh, and of course chug a lugging water from that fancy cooler you see on the floor in the background.

 

Comfort and style on the day of a wedding are paramount.  I need to be comfortable so I can last on my feet in extreme circumstances sometimes into the wee hours of the morning.  However, I want to look as professional as possible.  No one wants to hire a photographer they’d be embarrassed to have as guest correct?  Some female photographers wear healed shoes.  I just can’t imagine.  Then again I haven’t worn a pair of real heals since my own wedding 10 years ago.  They just aren’t me.  So I go all out in high class with these fake crocs that I bought at Payless shoes for $1.49.  I know, so classy.  But they do match my branding!  Cute huh?

Before I became a wedding photographer I thought the job was rather glamorous.  After all, wedding photographers work in swanky hotels, resorts, and other locations… right?  I mean, to get beautiful photos you have to go to beautiful places!  Yeah, not so much.  On this particular day I risked life and limb on a set of railroad tracks.

I enjoyed the pleasant aroma of a garbage dumpster.

And I graced the grounds of an old mental hospital… a place that is noted for being one of the most haunted in the country.

Oh, and did I mention that all of this took place on a day the will go down in the record books because of the extensive heat?  100+ degrees and higher with the heat index.  Yes, you could ring my shirt out before the day was done!  How did I get through it you ask?  Well, I stopped off on my way home and bought myself one very big iced coffee.  ahhhh…..

You know what? I wouldn’t trade one moment of it for the world!  I love what I do.  I love being there documenting the story of a very special day.  I love getting to know my clients.  I love the hugs they give me as we part after many many hours together.  I get to see people at their best (and once in great while at their worst).  I get to tell a story.  A story about love.  What could be better than that?

Oh and one more thing.  I get to see really really cool things like this killer limo! Now isn’t it totally worth it?

Happy Tuesday!

 

 

Betsy and Raul… MARIED!

A few weeks back I once again teamed up with LaViera photography for another fun wedding day!  This time I served as an assistant.  Assisting is fantastic!  I get to enjoy the creative fun of the wedding day without a lot of the workload that comes with being the lead photographer.  I do serve as a lead photographer for LaViera, but today I was able the enjoy a more relaxed roll.

What a sweet girl Betsy, our bride, is.  She was just the kindest person I think I’ve had to the chance to work with yet.  Her gracious and grateful spirit spilled over onto everyone around her.  And her smile! My goodness no wonder Raul fell in love with her!

This wedding marked a first me!  The entire ceremony took place in Spanish.  I do not speak one word!  The language barrier did not propose a problem however as emotions shine through no matter what.

Betsy and Raul are certainly a fantastic match.  He was the perfect gentlemen taking care of his bride’s every need.  Who says chivalry is dead?

Thank you LaViera photography for another fantastic experience.

Nature’s Beauty!

It is time for another photography prompt!  I’m always seeking new prompts and new ideas to keep me thinking about my craft.  I’ve tried scavenger hunts, contests, and a variety of fun ideas just to keep my juices flowing.  I think added the macro lens to my gear lineup recently has opened up all new possibilities for me to stretch my creative flow.  I have found I really enjoy photographing flowers.  Capturing details at weddings is tremendously easier and a whole lot more fun these days as well.  I could get carried away! But I have to remember I am on the job and I need to get on to the next thing.

On Saturday I took a few extra moments with the bride’s bouquet.  I knew MCP’s weekly photo prompt was all about “nature.”  I felt these gorgeous flowers fit the bill.  After I took my usual shots of the entire bouquet, which I will share soon, I switched to my macro lens and got  close to a few particular roses in the bunch.  This is what I captured.

 

I’m working on a collection of macro photographs for an upcoming blog series.  Stay tuned!  Happy Wednesday and as always… leave a comment and tell me what you think!

Even I Get Misty Eyed!

I’m standing there in a room full of strangers.  My camera held tightly in my hands, my finger ever ready on the shutter to grab that decisive moment.  My job is to capture the emotions of the day.  I want to photograph the laughter, the tears, the hugs, and yes even the fears.  I am a story teller, my medium is my camera.

I listen intently for the climax of the story or the punchline of the joke.  I want to be ready.  Then a funny thing happens, despite the fact that really do not know anyone around me, I too get wrapped up in the emotions.  I look into the face of the mother of the bride or the groom and I wonder what they are really thinking or feeling and just how I will think and feel when the day comes that my own children walk down that isle.

Last Saturday I stood and listened to a hilarious best man regale his brother, the groom, and an entire room full of friends and family with hilarious stories about the childhood the two shared.  I heard about rottweilers, armor made from cardboard boxes, and the love the two boys shared.  I absolutely could not help but think of my own two boys and that brought tears to my eyes.  At 5 and 3 my little guys are the best of friends and I hope and pray every single day that they always remain close.  Though I do NOT want these days to speed by there is a part of me that absolutely cannot wait to hear the stories the two share of each other on their wedding days.

It is an amazing privilege to be the one standing there documenting these moments.  I can still hardly believe that families trust me with such an awesome responsibility.  Everyone has a story and I want to preserve it and tell it.  I get what these moments of time mean.  They mean everything to me and my family and I truly believe they mean everything to families I work with.

So here is a photo that just cracks me up!  I can’t remember exactly what the best man was saying at this moment.  It had something to do with the rottweilers and how his brother saved the day.  He likened it to David and Goliath!

I can’t wait until tomorrow when I get to be there to document and tell another story at another wedding.  Until then! Enjoy your weekend!

Simsbury Highschool Prom! | CT Event Photographer

A couple of weeks ago I was sent on an assignment that was a bit out of the box, for me at least, but still right up my alley.  I was in charge of all of the candid photography at the Simsbury High School Prom.  It reminded me very much of shooting wedding receptions except for one thing, a bunch of dolled up high school kids are actually really enthusiastic about being photographed which most grown up adults… well, lets just say many would be happy if I turned my camera in another direction.  The more you love the camera the more the camera loves you!  I had a great time with this group of teens and I’d happily shoot an event like this again!

 

I was pleasantly surprised by the choice of music for the evening.  The live band was awesome and I’m kicking myself for not catching their name.  They chose a lot of oldie hits and the kids loved it.  The place was rocking the entire night!

At one point in the evening I managed to squeeze myself into a corner where I could turn off my flash and shoot using the lighting the band provided.  That made for some pretty fun shots that really showed off the atmosphere of the party far better than anything else I was able to capture.

Congratulations Simsbury on a fantastic prom!  It was great to be there and it sure did bring back old memories.

From a Distance! | CT Wedding Photographer

The world looks different when you take a step back. The nitty gritty details that so encompass our daily lives seem so trivial from afar.  I’m a mom of 3 little ones.  The nitty gritty seems life halting sometimes.  Does it really matter if my son picks up EVERY single toy in his room?  Will the world stop rotating if my daughter pulls her socks off for the 1,534th time today?  Does every SINGLE green bean need to eaten at each and every dinner?

I have this way of making the little things seem like big things.  And then that turns that little thing into a big thing.  Like when my son decides to be a typical five year old and tells me a definitive NO when he needs to do something that I just directed him to do.  My knee jerk reaction is to get angry and demand and eventually YELL at him the he WILL do it followed by a diatribe about being disrespectful and disobedient.  Things usually deteriorate and before you know it he’s screaming back and I’m tossing him up to his bed in his room.

This has been our pattern for a while.  I see it a lot at dinner time.  He’s the kind of kid who turns his nose up at anything new and is particularly against “mixed” foods (like a vegetable casserole.)  Dinner turns miserable.  No one enjoys themselves, everyone is yelling.  In the end he eats the food.  But really there has got to be a better way.  I’m making a very big deal out of something that perhaps isn’t.

I’ve discovered I have to take a step back.  I have to take a moment to gain new perspective.  I have to slow down and THINK before I react.  And sometimes I have to choose just not to react at all.  I can’t get mired in the nitty gritty or we all suffer.  From a distance… this isn’t that big of deal.  With distance I can respond with a lot more love, kindness, caring, and affection… all things my son responds to far better than me yelling at him.

A photo taken from a distance can give you a very different perspective as well.  It can tell you a larger part of the story.  It can give you context or meaning.  By pulling back you learn more about the world surrounding those in the photo.  Nitty gritty details are important but you never want to loose the larger story.  Like when I’m dealing with my son, if I take time to thing of the bigger picture our whole world just works better.

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to work with a fabulous fun loving couple on their wedding day.  Jaime and Evan were such a fun loving couple.  When they took off across the field I had the opportunity to capture them and them in a whole new way.  From a distance their love shines just as brightly as it did up close.


Jamie & Evan: Married! | A Shuttle Meadow Country Club Wedding In Kensington CT

I did it again! I got to shoot another wedding with LaViera Photography!  What a fun trip it was!  I always enjoy my LaViera experiences!  What a fantastic company to work with!  This particular wedding was very close to home as it was just in Kensington at the Shuttle Meadow Country Club.  The drive to meet the bride led me right past the East Berlin school I once taught in.  Talk about a trip down memory lane!

Enough about me!  Let’s talk about the bride and groom Jamie and Evan.  What a sweet pair they make! They flew all the way from Florida just to have their wedding close to family and old friends.  These two were obviously the type that keep close friends very close.  I loved listening to the stories they told of their best friends that they had known since they were just small children.  I’m not the sort of person who is still close to my childhood friends and I always marvel at those who are.

Jamie was simply elegant.  She chose a style of gown that was breath-taking and classy.  Her rose accents screamed sophistication.  Her bright smile lit up the entire day!  She was just gorgeous!  I couldn’t take a bad photo of her if my life depended on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Shuttle Meadow Country Club was fantastic.  I hear Evan has a passion for golf.  So a ceremony right on the green was a great fit for this sweet couple.

 

 

 

 

 

Can I tell you how fabulous the Shuttle Meadow Country Club is?  Their attention to detail! The atmosphere! The staff!  The food!  What a party they put on!  Jamie and Evan deserved every moment of it!

 

 

 


The light for the ceremony and the formals was absolutely DELICIOUS!  I know every bride dreams of sunny skies on her wedding day, but from a photographer’s point of view… BRING ON THE CLOUDS! The sun is a very harsh light source that creates unflattering shadows.  The clouds diffuse the light and make for very pretty soft light.  This wedding day was absolutely perfect!

 

How CUTE were these two!  Way to work it for the camera.  I just loved loved LOVED their friendship!

 

Can I just say… GORGEOUS!  I mean come on Jamie!  She was just exquisite!  The girl doesn’t know how to take a bad photo!

 

 

 

 

Oh how sweet are they?  So in love!  So ready to take on the world together!  I honestly got a little teared up during some of these shots!

 

 

Evan, Jamie, and Laviera… thank you so much for letting me in on this awesome day!  You guys rocked and I enjoyed every minute of it!

 

 

 

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.

Words That Took My Breath Away! Connecticut Wedding Photographer

It was an early Monday evening.  I was feeling a little bit melancholy.  I usually do for a week or two after I shoot a wedding.  Nothing extreme but a little bit like… “Now what?”  The adrenalin of the big day followed by the rush to edit enough photos to create my blog post and slide-show leaves me feeling a bit raw and exposed.  I’m not exactly sure why.  I guess it is just part of the emotional journey as I pour myself into every single event I do.  I also sleep very little as I work late into the night, night after night, making each photo my own personal master piece.  When I am tired I get a bit emotional.

My husband found me sitting on my bed, iPhone in hand, sobbing and shaking.  Yes I know it sounds totally dramatic.  And yes I guess it was.  It had been four days since I had posted the images to the blog and since the bride and groom had yet to return from their honeymoon I was still on pins and needles waiting to hear what they thought of their photos.  So when this email came through, the flood gates just sort of opened up!  All of the emotion I put into a wedding just came flooding to the surface.  My husband took one look at me and totally turned white.  He thought something terrible had happened.  I couldn’t even breath let alone speak so I just handed over my phone so he could read for himself.  I reprint it here with permission from the author.

Crystal,
My daughter Julie sent me the link to your website and I saw the slide show for Jen and Jeremy’s wedding. The pictures are fantastic. I also saw the story that you wrote with the pictures to go with it. I was so touched by that it made me cry. I never even knew you were there taking pictures which is very important to me. You did a beautiful job and I can’t wait for Jen and Jeremy to see them. As Jen’s mother I can’t thank you enough for capturing that day so perfectly. We will always remember the day through your eyes and they are really very special eyes. I can’t thank you enough for helping to make Jen’s dreams about her pictures come true. She was so comfortable with you as were the rest of us. Thanks for taking the time to take her picture with her grandparents especially. That will mean a great deal to them as well.
Again, Vinnie and I want to thank you from the bottoms of our hearts for your work and care in what you do. You really added a great deal of care and sentiment to that day for us and we are eternally grateful for that. It was a pleasure meeting you and your husband.
 

Those words made it all worth it!  They came from Ellen Motolo, mother of the bride!  Thank you Ellen!  So very much! A couple of days later I got another message about this wedding.  I’ll share that one with permission too.

I just loved all the pictures you took of Jen and Jeremy on their wedding day.
Having known Jen-Jen for so many years it was so exciting to see her special day played out so perfectly.
The couple looked so happy and relaxed.
Thank you for my special memories……..Cindy Scotton
 

And the icing on the cake came from my bride Jen herself.  She left this on my Facebook Profile page!

Crystal, thank u so much for the pictures and the kind words! You are amazing! Having you as our photographer was honestly the easiest decision we had to make!
 

I had to share these with my readers!  I appreciate the kind words so much!  The tears I shed when I read those words were total tears of happiness, joy, and relief. In the days since I received these messages I have made it a goal of mind to be more encouraging to others, even random strangers.  Doesn’t encouragement just feel so good?  I like to pass it around.

Thank you again Jen and Jeremy for allowing me to capture your day!  Here is a new photo I don’t think anyone has seen just yet.

Enjoy and have a splendid day!

Feel free to peak back and Jennifer and Jeremy’s wedding by clicking here.