I’ve photographed a lot of weddings, but now I get to do it on home turf.
I’ve had space at Art Factory Studios for about 2.5 years now and in 2019 I already have to full blown weddings taking place there. It’s an amazing transformation from a time when I strictly did modeling sessions and headshots there. Couples have learned I exist in that space and see the great work that be done on their wedding day.
For the 2019 calendar year I am offering a ridiculous package: 10 hours of coverage2 photographers20 page album…all for $2800. That’s nuts and I know it. Of course if you want to see my portfolio that’s always available by visiting http://www.thatwerksphotography.com and I just created a section that particularly features my wedding photography. Wedding photography is something I have been doing for years, but never truly focused on solely booking. I hope you enjoy perusing the many ceremonies, engagements and destination weddings I’ve had the pleasure of documenting.
This was another terrific session with Maddy and this time we did it at my studio space in north NJ at Art Factory Studios. I got to play around with my 15mm lens which I normally never use for portrait work, but I wanted to accentuate leg length and have a bit more coming at the viewer. We played with colorful palettes and a strong sun that gave us nice contrast for each setup.
It’s always a pleasure photographing families. Particularly families that have grown from knowing just one of the parents from waaaaaaay back when we were all kids nevermind having kids of our own. It was a lot of fun getting down to the Great Falls since they’ve done major improvements along the Passaic River. The view of the falls now has a nice fence allowing for an unobstructed view of Mother Nature in all her glory.
I’d been wanting to create this styled shoot for over a year, but I kept shelving it for various reasons. Finally, I sprung it on Chris of That Werks Photography– an incredibly talented photog out of the Art Factory in Paterson- with a, “this might seem weird…” His response?
“Count me in!”
I gathered some favorite vendors (and improv-ed a little) to bring my vision to life. A favorite MUA of Chris’s, Raen, came in to do the makeup, and she brought along two models from northern NJ, Rebecca and Natasha. A model I’ve been waiting for a long time to have the stars align on was able to come down for the shoot as well.
What never fails to astound me is the talent that these vendors bring to the table. Hair was by Jaimee of William Jean Salon, and she was also kind enough to loan us Maven, her darling mini-me, to be our “goblin”. She used the natural texture of Rebecca’s hair to create a gorgeous boho style, woven with greens. There was the same greenery in Natasha and Angeline’s hair. Fun coincidence: both Maven and Natasha have part of their heads shaved!
For makeup, I asked Raen for deep, rich colors on the lips. After that, I just let her go wild. Metallics came popping out on eyelids in addition to daring lip colors. The blue on Rebecca is probably my favorite, but I’ve always been a fan of dark lipsticks.
As for the “bouquets”, I wanted to do something slightly different. Lanterns have been in style for awhile as both centerpieces and to carry down the aisle (and pretty much everywhere in-between). I think they’re great for bouquets because they’re more natural to hold, and easier on the Person of Honor that has to hold two of them during the ceremony. I even managed to sneak some fruit in there with the candle!
Finally, the tablescape. Chris (the photographer) and I went out about a week before the shoot to take a look at locations in the park. The visitor center there does do receptions, FYI. However, we wanted it outdoors. What complicated things was that up until a few days before, it looked like it was going to rain! Luckily, we ended up having beautiful weather!
We came down a rather steep hill to an area by the Delaware that had a semi-circle of stone pavers. The backdrop was an island in the middle of the river. I initially planned a thick runner of eucalyptus or ferns, but I had so much moss that we covered the table in it. I dotted with the table with vintage (and vintage looking) pieces, and tons of fruit. We broke open a few pomegranates (and thankfully there were geeks abounding that got my Persephone jokes), and threw bundles of odd-looking grapes around to create a lush, but wild, feel.
When it came to create the dynamics of the group, I knew I wanted to have two women. It would have been disingenuous to the author to have it otherwise. Christina Rossetti’s work is complicated and influenced by many themes, but given the vivid imagery of her poetry, many people speculate that she was likely a closeted lesbian- which at the time, was the only way you could be a lesbian and not get into serious trouble. I knew we needed kids in the shoot to be the little folk, and I wanted a bridesmaid to bring together the colors of the shoot.
Dressing them was fun! BHLDN was kind enough to loan us two gorgeous dresses, and the bridesmaid’s dress was a burgundy convertible dress.
As for the cake- we shot this in the depth of wedding season, so all of the bakers are keeping up with their clients! This where some improv came in- and it’s a great DIY option. I found a pretty little buttercream cake at Wegman’s, and we surrounded it with greenery and fruit. I set the table up against a stone pillar overgrown with ivy- it seemed fitting for the theme, and I’m always a fan of using the elements around you. I used a scarlet tablecloth and hung copper twinkle lights behind the table to give it depth.
What was funny was as the girls were doing their cake cutting, a group of fishers came down to the river to join us! Apparently we interrupted their nightly routine. They were extremely kind as we finished up. It seemed like such a quaint ending to the shoot.
At the end of the day, all of the elements came together beautifully. I’m just glad we could do justice to Rossetti’s work.
I hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed making them!
There was one day I got to work with an amazing crew and talented dancer in a blowout extravaganza not only filming a dance video, but also doing a photo shoot on that very same day. We filmed the video with playback of Tate McRae’s original song “Hung Up On You” and choreography she came up with from scratch.
If you are looking for a vast location to explore then I’d recommend taking a trip to Wawayanda State Park in Sussex County. There are trails, an abandoned building that formerly made iron and a beautiful lake and beach. I went for a walk to unwind and I really was blown away by the textures I was finding at my feet. The sun was giving me brilliant shimmering sand and nice harsh shadows on the surrounding buildings. It’s a cool place to get some exercise and experience some peace of mind.