Central Park | Engagement | Ruby & Hassan

Ruby and Hassan first met in the Summer of 2014 while Ruby traveled to Morocco with a group of educators.   Hassan was one of the greeters that showed the group around and really provided the group with a first hand experience of Morocco.  It was over dinner and mint tea where a connection really began.  Once Ruby left and came back to America, the two stayed in touch and continued their relationship long distance.  One year later, Ruby went back to Morocco to teach at the Ifrane school with Hassan and to experience life with him.  In May of 2016, with their parents present, they got engaged.  They both moved back to America where they got married in a small backyard ceremony.  But, this August is when they will have both sides of the family, and friends, come from different places of the world to meet for a celebration of their marriage! I can’t wait to be a part of the big day, experience all the festivities, and watch Ruby and Hassan feel all the love from their family and friends.

 

NYC Highline Engagement Session

It was a chilly October morning when Alyson and Jordan arrived for their engagement session.  They were real troopers for getting up so early to beat the crowds on the Highline and catch those morning rays of sunshine.  The Highline is a special place where they both love to come and spend time together.  I was fortunate enough to share this experience with them while there were so few people.  Alyson was a brave soul, walking around effortlessly in her heels and taking off her cute sweater when the sun was just warm enough as it hit her shoulders.  Jordan was such a gentleman and made sure that Alyson was comfortable, kept her warm and of course, kept her smiling.  They have a deep love and respect for each other.  Alyson and Jordan are such a sweet couple, they even looked out for me!  Afterwards, I loved sitting with them over hot chocolates and tea and hearing all about their wedding planning and the little details that are going into their big day!  I’m very happy for them as they continue to check things off the list ;)  And, I’m excited to share a few images from their sweet session and can’t wait for Alyson and Jordan’s Princeton wedding next year!

Pirate Wedding

If anyone knows Kym and Peter, (a.k.a Pirate and Mermaid!), they know that this couple is always up for fun and adventure!  Kym and Peter met back in 2007-2008 at a local beachfront hub, Oceans 234, in Deerfield Beach, FL.  The two different circles of friends that they knew and hung out with ended up crossing over after some time and these free spirits connected over fun, friends, drinks, adventures and dolphins.  Well, a lot of their connection began with the sea, as Peter was the captain of a yacht and Kym doing studies on oceanic cone snails.  If fact, an impressive first date was in the early Florida Summer days of 2008.  Peter used his captain appeal to “reel” Kym into a Bahamian rendezvous.  They cruised the beautiful blue waters, diving amongst the corals and wrecks, spontaneously kayaking and snorkeling with tiger sharks, and nighttime fires lined with conch shells on a far out, private sandy key.  These two knew they found magic in each other and continued their relationship over the years.  Their love brought a new magical blessing in 2011 when their daughter was born and lit up the lives of everyone who met her.  She made such a sweet flower girl at her Mommy and Daddy’s wedding.  With Peter’s family originally from South Africa, now living in Australia, and Kym’s family from the east coast of America, having the wedding in Hawaii made perfect sense as an excellent halfway point for both families and friends from all over.  I’m so happy that I could be included on this absolutely special day for Kym and Peter, and to be able to partake in the celebrations and festivities that took place over this Pirate Wedding weekend!

Central Park New York City - Engagement Photos - Kristin & Tom

One night, Kristin and Tom met each other in New York City around Union Square at one of the lounges around the park.  On one of the coldest days in Winter, Tom proposed to her in Union Square and surprised her with a photo session as he got down on one knee and asked for her hand in marriage.  It didn’t matter how cold it was because the look on both of their faces was pure joy and happiness!  Now, living up near Central Park, it was the perfect location to photograph them where they love to spend most of their time, walking, running or just strolling along enjoying time with each other.  On this particular evening, the weather was perfect and that golden light of the setting sun illuminated their constantly smiling faces.  Kristin and Tom are such a sweet couple and stylish couple, and looking back at their photos brings a smile to my face.  I love how Tom was such a gentleman as we walked through the park.  He was always attentive to Kristin, making sure he laid down his handkerchief for her to sit on and always knew how to make her giggle.  We all had such a great time walking and exploring new areas of the park and enjoying the beauty all around us.  There were turtles in the pond, a rat and a raccoon nibbling on some cat food together, and we even saw someone catching a fish on one of the bridges.  I’m honored to be their photographer and getting to know them more during their engagement session allowed me to truly see their amazing love. 

Lionhearted

My friend Val has been going through a lot lately.  For the past few years, she has been dealing with seizures that started affecting her day to day life.  The original injury happened many years ago when she was young, but over the last few years they have become more frequent and intense.  She can sometimes have more than one seizure a day, has had to take multiple pills everyday to try and control them, and has unfortunately had her driver’s license taken away because of her condition.  This has taken a huge toll on her, mentally, physically and emotionally.  After a lot of pain, time, money and tears, this past winter, Val was finally able to try and get help with the Doctors she wanted to work with.  Without going into too much detail, it has been a long, hard road with the testing and surgeries.  Now, after her second major brain surgery, she is recovering, hoping for and looking forward to not being affected by her seizures.  It will still take some time, but she is a strong person and all of her friends can’t wait to be with her and start going on hikes, tubing down the river, campfires and everything the Summer has to offer.  I’m so glad that Val was happy to pose for me for these photos.  She understands my artistic perspective in wanting to capture these :)  She is definitely a "lionhearted" warrior!

Charleston

In early October, I went down to Charleston, SC with my boyfriend.  It’s our third time going down there together, but I have been going down there for years.  This particular time was the first time my Mom had visited Charleston and the first time on a LONG time my Dad had been there.  I first went down to Charleston based on a friend’s recommendation, telling me it’s one of the most beautiful places and I will fall in love.  I was slightly skeptical, but they were right.  The first afternoon and evening I was there, I fell in love.  The smell of jasmine was everywhere, the houses, the gardens, the old glorious trees and the sound of fountains and frogs.  BAM, it was magical and I was under it’s spell.

After that first trip, I realized that my Granddad had been going down to Charleston for decades!  I always knew that he had been going down south to go to the Yorktown reunions, but I had no idea that the

USS Yorktown

had made it’s final resting place in the Cooper River.  So, once I knew that, I used that as a good excuse to go back down to Charleston at least once a year to go to the reunions with my Granddad.  The USS Yorktown is the ship that he was on in WWII, so it has a very special, deep meaning for him.  Today, my Granddad is 93 years old and lives in Charleston the majority of the year and volunteers on the Yorktown almost everyday.  People LOVE him!  They love his knowledge of the ship, his tours, his stories, his jokes (he’s full of jokes!) and the fact that he’s 93 and can get around that ship better than most people.  He is AWESOME!

The reunion weekend this year was a little different.  I was really looking forward to taking a lot of beautiful  pictures with my film camera and showing my parents the beautiful town.  Unfortunately, good old Hurricane Joaquin  decided to come through and really made a mess.  The reunion was cancelled along with pretty much everything that was planned for that weekend.  Museums were closed, stores were closed, tours were not running and restaurants….sooo many restaurants were not open.  It was kind of a struggle for all of us to find someplace to eat.  Luckily, the restaurant at the Renaissance Hotel was serving a limited menu of their bar food, which was very yummy.  They were so understaffed that people working in the hotel tried to help out the restaurant staff.  

Anyhoo, it was an adventure.  It was also an adventure trying to get back to our place.  We were staying downtown and there were so many streets that were flooded and roads that we dare not go down because our car was so low to the ground.  I basically said, “Screw it!”, and we put on our hazards and carefully drove down one-way streets.  Not many cars were out driving at that point anyways.  It was a little nerve-racking for a while there.  But, our car didn’t stall and get stranded and we made it back.  Charleston got hit, but other places in South Carolina got hit even harder.  Hurricanes and forces of nature are no joke and can be a scary and devastating event. :(

I felt really bad for my parents.  They really missed out on a lot of beauty and to top it off, they both got sick right at the end of the trip:(  I’m hoping my Mom will at least go back down soon to go to all the places she missed.

Putting the negative to the side, one place that was open was the

Firefly distillery

.  That was a good place to go sample some flavored spirits!  Too strong for me though.  I had more interest in the goat that was on the top of a spiral staircase outside.  And, although

Angel Oak

was closed, we were able to stop there and take some photos in the rain and through the fence.  I’ve had a magnet of a photo of Angel Oak on my fridge for years, so it was really cool to see it in person.

Also, I was able to meet a girl that I follow on Instagram,

Catherine Ann Photography

.  Catherine is a wedding photographer in Charleston and I’m not sure how I found her on social media, but I loved her work.  So, it was awesome to meet in person!  She’s talented, adorable, intelligent and was so helpful when discussing photography.  I look forward to spending more time with her and going around to photograph in nicer weather!  And, it’s always a pleasure seeing my friend

Rebecca

.  Also, another talented artist that specializes in painting and I’m a big fan of her work!

Well, I think that’s enough out of me.  I could go on forever, but I won’t and will post some of the pictures I was able to take while down there.  Until next time Charleston! 

Balloons!

I was just looking at my

Dog Park Publishing

Pitbull calendar and saw "Fall Begins" on September 23rd (along with Yom Kippur) and I couldn’t help but think about how time just flies by pretty darn quickly.

This Summer has been quite eventful and I've shared some great times with my family and friends. BBQs, fairs, long days, a massive lack of rain, camping and hiking are just a few of the things that come to mind when thinking about the last few months.

Although, I wasn't able to make it to one of my usual summer events, the local 4-H Fair, I did attend another event that brought a smile to my face -

The Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning

. I remember trying to wake up at 5AM so I could avoid the bottleneck of cars that were sure to be stuffing the entrance. But, I couldn’t  get myself up until 6am :)

Luckily, I was still able to arrive right when they started setting the balloons off into the sky. The Star Wars song, Imperial March (by John Williams {yes, I'm kinda a nerd}) was blasting as I walked in because they had just let the Darth Vader balloon drift into the air. I have to say, the song gave me those fun, tingly feelings and I got really excited!

Even though the Summer has pretty much come to a close, I am looking forward to the cooler, crisper days of Fall. An extra layer here, a light jacket there, and a scarf for fun! So for this journal entry, I thought I'd share a few of the shots I took (35mm & medium format film) while the balloons at the festival were just taking off into the early morning light. 

Pump House B&B Wedding - Sarah & Mark

   Hello world!  So this is going to be my first real blog, and I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to blogging, so I hope this turns out the way I'm picturing it in my mind.  Moving right along...

   I had the amazing pleasure of photographing my dear friend's wedding.  I remember when I first found out that Mark, now her husband, had proposed.  They were down in Florida with family and they were on the beach and there was a rainbow across the sky... and it was all just magical.  I also remember when she sent me a text to FIRST tell me and said that she thinks she might need me to photograph her engagement.  I was like, "Sure!" not fully realizing what she meant.  Then it slowly dawned on me, "Wait, engagement photos? For Sarah?...OH MY GOD!!"  I thought it was hilarious that I didn't put the two together.

   Sarah is not only a dear friend, but an amazing

artist

.  I am proud to say that I own a handful of her amazing artwork :)  I knew that this wedding was going to be unique and Sarah would know exactly how to turn her ideas into reality.  I cannot say enough about how she designed SO many details of her wedding with her own visions and skills.  She made everything from the "Save the Date" cards, to the wedding invitations, to the candles made from fallen tree limbs, the photo booth props, the message boards and the list goes on!

   Being able to go on this journey with her was such an honor.  From trying on dresses, which turned into another awesome story, to hearing about the venue they chose and knowing about the little details, I felt like I was right there with her along the way.  So, to see the big day finally come to fruition was so cool and so special.  And, I'm so lucky to have had Mark and Sarah believe in me to document their wedding day and capture some amazing photos of the two of them as they start this new chapter in their lives.  Love you guys!

Vendors

Venue:  

Pump House B&B

Flowers:

Gibbs Farm

- gibbsfarm@gmail.com

Music:  

Must Be the Music - Mike Simmons - INFO@MUSTBETHEMUSICDJS.COM

Bride & Bridesmaid Dresses:  

David's Bridal

Groom's Suit:  

Men's Warehouse

Catering:  

Ard's Farm