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!




The Riverview of Simsbury Wedding: Jennifer & Jeremy

How much can life change in a year?  Well, ask Jennifer and Jeremy.  It was not much more than a year ago that each of these two were living separate lives in separate worlds each praying to God that their special somebody would come along soon.  Don’t get me wrong, they were wonderful full lives filled with family, friends, and work.  Life was good, but they wanted something more.  That is when God brought them together.

I’ve known Jeremy for years.  We attend the same church and have for quite some time.  I consider myself blessed to be able to count him among my friends.  I’ve had the privilege of watching Jeremy work hard for what he wants out of life and I have admired his character even during the hard times.  When he brought a new certain someone to church not all that many months ago I have to say my interest was piqued.  But one thing was for sure, I liked her even before I met her.  After all, I knew it’d be a special woman who would steal Jeremy’s heart.

Before I knew it there was an engagement.  I wasn’t surprised.  I saw how he looked at her.  Everyone did.  And if you know Jeremy you know that when he makes up his mind that’s it.  They absolutely seemed right for each other and I was thrilled for them.  As for Jennifer, the more everyone got to know her the more we all fell in love with her too.  It really does seem to be a match made in heaven.

Then came the day I had secretly hoped for but didn’t expect.  A phone call from Jeremy asking me to photograph their wedding.  At the time I had been working as a photographer, mostly as a second shooter or assistant, for just about year.  I was having a ball photographing strangers.  Could I photograph someone I knew?  Someone I cared truly about!

I’ll save the details but I’ll just let you know, I was dreadfully nervous for our first consultation.  After a daylong family trip to the beach I nearly didn’t make it due to terrible traffic.  I cried in the car next to my husband for fear I had blown it and they would choose someone else.  Somehow the sea of cars parted and I made it, albeit with sand in my hair, just in time.  I should have known better than to worry.  Jeremy and now Jennifer, are my friends.  They were completely laid back and they made me totally comfortable. Ha!  Wasn’t it my job to make THEM feel comfortable?

The day of the wedding finally arrived.  These two are so crazy in love they just couldn’t wait and settled on a March wedding.  Of course the day was pretty bitter cold, but at least the sun was shining.  I was up early hitting up Facebook and so was Jen.  We were both too excited to sleep! My husband/assistant arrived to the hotel just in time to find Jen unwrapping her rolled up hair.  She was so calm, relaxed and full of smiles.  She told me over and over again she wasn’t nervous, just excited.  She knew she was making the right choice.

I squealed when her sister and Matron of Honor Julie led me to the dress.  How gorgeous!  I love long shear gowns and the beading was just the perfect accent.

Of course she had sparklies!  What bride would be complete without her sparklies? And flat shoes of course, at Jeremy’s insistence? Do you think he has a little issue with his rather short stature?

Jen also carried a special locket with her grandparent’s photos as well as a handkerchief that was passed down to her.  What special and meaningful touches.

Jen had a troop of bridesmaids who were as fun as they could be.  We all had some great laughs as everyone ensured Jen would look her best!

I do believe however the sweet flower girls and ring bearer completely stole the show.

On thing was for certain right from the start, this wedding would also be a fantastic party!


I have to thank these ladies.  They were excellent troopers!  Despite temperatures that probably didn’t reach the mid 30’s, and gowns that probably made it feel more like the 20’s, they graciously allowed me the opportunity to capture some fantastic outdoor photos!

Now, I absolutely must take  few moments and focus on Jen.  What an absolutely stunning bride she was.  Words escape me.  She was such a joy to photograph.  Thank you Jen for rocking it out!

What about Jeremy you say?  No I didn’t forget about him.  Lucky for me he chose to get ready in the same hotel as his beautiful bride so I was able to capture his moments too.

As for his groomsmen?  Well they did not disappoint.  Jeremy chose a great group of guys, of course!  What else would you expect.  They were a blast to work with and even humored me when I asked them to get a bit silly.

The ceremony was absolutely magnificent.  It took place at Avon Congregational Church which is a historic, white, and somewhat rustic church.  It’s simple elegance fit them and their ceremony perfectly.  However, Jen and Jeremy never miss a chance to share a laugh.  So when the two of them teamed up with our church’s pastor fondly known as Pastor Joe, the giggles were sure to follow.  I’ve never had a bride have quite so many hysterical reactions as Jen did on her day!

But first, Jeremy’s perfect breathtaking reaction the moment he laid eyes on his bride.

The perfect ceremony for the perfect couple.  Really, it could not have been any better!  Once the ceremony was through I snagged a few last outdoor photos of the wedding party and the bride and groom before we all boarded the shuttle to go the party.  These guys really were wonderful.  It really was super cold!

The Riverview of Simsbury has a very pretty gazebo and Jen truly wanted some photos taken at that location.  Despite the cold, her wish was my command.  These two rocked it.

Jen and her family and friends worked very hard to deck out the reception hall.  Her pink and lime green them was beautiful.  The apple motif was very fitting for this fabulous teacher.

Their reception was awesome!  They were the kind of couple out and about and mingling with everyone.  They talked, they hugged, they danced.  And as a result, so did everyone else.

I’ll leave you with this last photo.  Jen and Jeremy celebrating all that has changed in not much more than a year.  They have gone from two separate people living two separate lives to one united team, together forever.  Thank you two from the bottom of my heart for giving me the honor and privilege to be such a part of your day.  I’ll never forget it!

To see more of Jennifer and Jeremy’s beautiful wedding day please visit http://jenandjeremy.crystal-starr.com .

I know the bride and groom would adore you comments.  Please feel free to leave the love!

Flying Fast!

The streets were dark and deserted. The roads ahead of us were dimly washed with white street lights and the occasional red of a blinking stop light.  It was just after midnight as we cruised along sitting side-by-side, hand-in-hand in our little white car.  We were both completely exhausted with bodies that ached from a long hard day of work.  The adrenaline that had been feeding us since we awoke in the wee hours of the morning was starting to fade leaving me feeling as if my body had been fed through a meat grinder.  Every muscle was starting to scream.  The heat of my husband’s hand over mine was doing more to warm me than the air blasting from the vents though I continued to shiver from the cold.  My heart was singing.  We had just finished an amazing day I will never ever forget.

March 26th marked the first day of the 2011 wedding season for Crystal Starr Photography.  But this wasn’t just any opening day and this wasn’t just any wedding.  The first wedding of the season was sure to be my absolute favorite!  Today was the wedding day of our dear friends Jen and Jeremy and I was given the honor and privilege of being their photographer.  Words can’t express my gratitude for having been chosen for the job.

But I added another layer to this day.  Not only would it be the first wedding of the season, and the wedding of our amazing friends, but it would also be the first time I brought my husband along as my assistant photographer.  In the off season Todd and I made this decision and I think it will change my business forever.  Whenever possible Todd will work as my assistant at weddings. My husband and I have always been a tremendous team.  There is no one on earth I trust as explicitly as Todd and there is no one I enjoy being with more.  It just made sense.  Oh, and his photography is pretty darn cool too.

So there we were, at the end of our first day hashing out every minute.  My words and questions, thoughts and emotions pouring into the dark space in the car between us.  There he was, the love of my life soaking up everything I said.  I felt really good about how the day had gone.  Sure there were a few surprises and yes I always wish I could have done something more.  I hope that is always true as it makes me grow with every shoot.  For the first time since I started shooting weddings nearly two years ago I felt safe sharing these thoughts.  Since Todd knows me and loves me in a way no one else can he was able to help me dissect it all.  That will be the greatest asset my business will know as nothing else could as effectively help me grow as a photographer and a business person.

And an added benefit.  When Sunday rolled around and I could barely make my stiff achy body move or keep my eyes open in the early afternoon, for the first time ever he truly understood why.  My sweet husband sent me off to bed for a desperately needed nap so that I might recover and be a better mom to our crew.

This year I will be shooting some weddings as an associate photographer for another wedding company.  My only regret is that I will not be able to use my sweetie as my assistant.  I have a feeling I am going to feel like I’m missing an arm.

OH! I ALMOST forgot!  The DJ!  Funny enough it was the SAME guy who DJed our wedding almost 10 years ago!  He also happens to be an old family friend. My husband worked for his company way back in high school! Todd’s uncle continues to work for him to this day.  So I have to give a shout out to John Rozz of Sound Spectrum Entertainment! It was so great to see him!

I will be sharing a blog post and slideshow from the wedding over the coming days.  I am proud of my work and I hope and pray my bride and groom are just as pleased.  In the meantime, here is a shot of my sweetie.  He was doing a fantastic job as an assistant and helping me test the light.   I cannot thank him enough for all that he does for me every day of my life!  When we finally made it home in the wee hours of Sunday morning my sweet man helped me from the car and into bed and then stayed up even later backing-up all of our memory cards for the day.  I mean really, does it get any sweeter than that?  I say it often because it is so true.  I am SO blessed!




Friday Loves! And of course… the NOT so loves!

Friday again!  How did that happen?  The weeks just fly by don’t they?  The busier you are the faster it all seems to race away.  I really am trying to find the time to stop and smell the proverbial roses as they say.  I think I’ll try to choose one activity each week that makes me SSSLLLLOOOWWW DOWN!  This week I took the time to do something I have been MEANING to do for a couple of months.  Photograph MY OWN CHILDREN!

You know the saying, the cobbler’s children have no shoes?  The photographer’s children have no photos!  I’m always so busy photographing everyone and everything else that my own kid’s get a little lost in the shuffle.  Joyanna is ALREADY 10 months old!  I’ve got to do this while I still can.

Oh, and Mom.. don’t look… these are your mother’s day presents! (You all KNOW she’s going to look right?)  Oh it doesn’t matter anyway, I’m just sharing ONE today!  I’ll share another next week when I post about improving your photos using great light.

So let’s start with some NOT SO LOVES!  Get them out of the way so we can end on a high note.

  • I still can’t get the check from our home owners insurance cashed.  It needs to be Fed Exed across the country.  But FIRST we need to have a notary stamp it.  Ugh!  Like I have time for this nonsense!
  • Repairmen who act like they can’t be bothered.  Look buddy, if this job is too much of a pain for you I can always take my work and my money someplace else!
  • When I go to two grocery stores looking for something simple and neither have what I want.
  • Gas prices… have you SEEN THE PRICE OF GAS LATELY?
  • Diaper rash, ok yes I wrote this one last week.  It’s here again because our problem has not been solved.

Ok, now on the wonderful things!  LOVES!

  • I love love LOVE my new iPhone!  This thing rocks!  I can text like every other person in the world now.  I can answer client emails and Facebook posts on the fly.
  • I LOVE Instagram http://instagr.am/.  It’s this fun way to share snapshots from your iPhone.  I’m having a blast with it and probably getting a little carried away!
  • I LOVE the sessions I’ve booked this week.  Yeah me!  Still crossing my fingers on that wedding I wrote about last week though.
  • I LOVE the photos I captured of my baby girl this week.  Ok so I’m biased.  But I just think she is the most beautiful child!
  • I LOVE my son Noah who completed the entire first level in his math program this week.  Go Noah!
  • I LOVE the couple whose wedding I am photographing tomorrow.  Jeremy and Jen are the coolest.   I consider it a true honor that they asked ME to document their big day.  (A not so love would be the butterflies in my tummy.  It is my FIRST wedding of the season.  It is also the first wedding I will ever shoot where I know MANY of the guests.  Please pray I don’t trip and fall and make a fool of myself.  I’ll never live it down if I do!)
  • Oh! Almost forgot another LOVE!  I LOVE the 50mm 1.4 lens I’ve been renting this week.  I used it to take the photo of my daughter below.  This is on my must buy soon list!  It is just DELICIOUS!  I’m going to rock it out at the wedding tomorrow!

Have a great weekend everyone!  But before I go, here is a quick collage of some of my loves this week!  You’ll see my bride and groom, my baby girl, and my iPhone with an instagram photo.  Take care!



FAQ: What do your spiral bound photobooks look like?

In the past I offered something called a session album as part of a couple of my packages.  I found the description must not be very clear because most of my clients asked me what exactly that was.  So I’ve decided to rename the product. I think Spiral Bound Photobook is a bit more accurate.  It features front and back custom designed sturdy covers.  These books are absolutely adorable and perfect for toting around in your purse and sharing with others.  They make fantastic gifts as well! I feature the 5×7 version in my packages but they also come in 4×6, 5×5, and 8×10.

Since a picture is worth a 1,000 words I thought you’d appreciate a visual of exactly what I am talking about.  I created this album for one of my recent clients.  I was quite pleased with how it turned out.  Of course, I did have a gorgeous model gracing the pages.


Sunset Wedding! Anthony’s Ocean View | CT Wedding Photographer

A couple of weeks ago I had the honor and privileged to photograph Rosalie and Luis with LaViera Photography. What a fantastic day it was.  The weather was just GORGEOUS!  The bride was radiant.  The wedding party was a total blast!  They were up for just about anything and best of all, they were having fun with me and my camera.  This always equates to fabulous, beautiful photos.

As a wedding photographer one of my top goals for the day is to capture the details.  DETAILS DETAILS DETAILS!  I view this as mission critical!  It has been 9 years since my own fabulous wedding day.  All of the details I spent so much time painstakingly choosing have faded from memory.  Photos of them help us remember just how important they were to us.

Rosalie was as adorable as adorable gets!  She was the purse definition of happiness on her wedding day!  Her smile, her spark, her personality!  It spilled over onto everyone around her.  And of course that happiness just made her sparkle.

Did I mention her brides maids?  My goodness what a fun group of girls these were.  They were up for just about anything!  At times they had ME laughing so hard I could barely push the shutter.  I also have to say, they were a very hard working bunch of girls.  They were true maids as they all bent over backwards with such giving spirits to ensure Rosalie had anything and everything she needed on her special day.  I’ve never seen such a group.  It was awe inspiring.

So what about the beach?  The reception was held at the FABULOUS Anthony’s Ocean View.  We arrived just in time to take some spectacular sunset photos.  We were all literally screaming with delight over the photos we were able to create.  I’m not sure I’ve ever had this much fun at the beach!

Silhouettes!  I just LOVE silhouettes!  I might have gotten a bit carried away with these but I was just having way too much fun!

Thank you for an awesome awesome day Rosalie and Luis!  You were tremendous to work with!

What a CRAZY week!

I survived!  I survived the busiest week I’ve had in I don’t know how long!  In the last 7 days I have homeschooled my children, nursed a sick child, completed two private photo sessions, edited one of those sessions, shot 3 sports events and edited all of them.  I also shot a 12 hour wedding and attended a full day workshop on location lighting.  Oh, and I went to church, hosted our bible study, ate, slept, and attempted to keep up with my house, went shopping, and started a new novel.  What a WEEK!  I’m spent!  I couldn’t have done it without my husband.  We more or less switched roles for part of the week.  He became the stay at home parent and I was the one out of the house working.

I’m glad things will be getting back to normal this week.  I missed my babies!  I have to say though that I had the time of my life!  I love what I do and I am so very blessed to do it! I took this photo at Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven on Friday night.  What a gorgeous location for fabulous bridal portraits.  I’ll share those in a few days!  Have a great week!