Tag Archives: new jersey wedding photographer

Sam and Kyle’s Steak Cutting Extravaganza of a Wedding at Art Factory Studios

Every wedding is different from the previous one, but there were some changes of pace with this one that were right up my alley. First of all I had a very easy timeline with Sam and Kyle. Everything had breathing room and made photography a relaxed pace. That is normally not the case.

We got to walk all over Paterson, went to the Great Falls and then had a simple stroll back for the ceremony. All along the way we got great shots. One of them is now one of my favorite wedding photographs ever. Sam is holding her bouquet while Kyle holds a wall from totally “collapsing”.

Their ceremony was held in the vault and was officiated by one of their many friends.

Onward to reception it got nuts of course with first dances followed booty shaking and steak cutting. David and I had a lovely time shooting this wedding. Now let’s get to the good stuff…photos!

…but where’s the steak cutting portion of this extravaganza, That Werks Photography? Oh, it’s here. IT’S RIGHT HERE!

The Art Factory is located at 70 Spruce Street, Paterson, New Jersey 07501. Tours can be made by appointment. If you are looking for a photographer for this Passaic County venue, please get in touch with me by visiting http://www.thatwerksphotography.com

Special rates for my work at Art Factory are available here: https://thatwerksphotography.com/about

Alyssa and Leo’s Wedding at Art Factory Studios in Paterson, NJ

I knew Alyssa and Leo would be a fantastic couple to photograph from the day we met. Their engagement session was effortless and the wedding even moreso! We got amazing captures throughout the day and below are just a few of the greatest hits.

Congratulations to Alyssa and Leo!

Photographer: @thatwerksphotography
Couple: @alyssak212 @rishtyl
Wardrobe: @maggiesotterodesigns
Tuxedo ParkVenue: @artfactorypaterson
Wedding Planner/Coordinator: @detailedeventsbylo
Venue: Art Factory Studios
Hair: @prostyled.bride
Makeup: @verve_nj
Caterer and Cake: @fairlawnjccatering @main_event_mauzone
Florist: @flowersbyconnieriemer
Music: @sethtieger

Bridal Editorial at Art Factory Studios photographed by Christopher John Sztybel

Now here is a bridal shoot with a vintage vibe. This was about the third time I’ve shot with Kat and Raen together and we knocked it out of the damn park on this shoot. Finger waves and heirloom jewelry combined with dresses from yesteryear. The Art Factory wasn’t The Art Factory back when this style existed, but the two definitely coexist quite nicely in 2019.

Model: @katzorah
Photographer: @thatwerksphotography located in Paterson, New Jersey (Art Factory Studios)
Hair/Makeup: @araena_artist located in Paterson, New Jersey (Art Factory Studios)
Agency: @westhavenmgmt
Floral Arrangement: @hollywoodfloristnj  located in Union, New Jersey

Alyssa & Leo’s Art Factory Studios Engagement Session

This fall I will be photographing Alyssa & Leo’s wedding at my home away from home: The Art Factory Studios in Paterson, New Jersey.

As we made our way through the numerous spaces, we happened to find a board game of “The Office”. We’re all fans of the show and found it funny and extremely random considering the age of the game. We borrowed the playing pieces of Jim & Pam for a shot you will see below.

The fourth floor of the site is decked out with a wall of Edison light bulbs, string lighting and newly installed skylights. Here’s a sneak peak of both of them in the environment they will be celebrating in come September of 2019.

A little back story about the equipment used on this shoot. I’ve been using the Sony a7r II for a few years now in conjunction with vintage prime lenses. I’ve also been using MagMod lighting modifiers for quite a while now.

Since I hadn’t used a couple of my tools of the trade in a while, I brought along my 58mm Helios f/2.0 and prism. I like the organic characteristics of both of these tools. So many modern lenses have zero personality. They’ve been refined to death and come across totally blah.

Come inside Art Factory Studios for an engagement sessions for bride to be Alyssa and groom to be Leo. Their industrial wedding venue is located in Paterson, New Jersey near The Great Falls.

Goblin Market Wedding

Special thanks to Events by Merida’s very own Merida for crafting this treasure trove of words.

Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market is a dark fairytale, replete with small, tempting creatures, erotic phrasing, and a simple message:

Don’t eat strange fruit.

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!

Merida Alexander
+1 215.527.5344
@eventsbymerida
As seen on: 
NBC Philadelphia, The Knot,
WeddingWire, Green Wedding Shoes,
Offbeat Bride, and Philly in Love
Styled Wedding by Events by Merida with photography by That Werks (Christopher John Sztybel)

Exploring Wawayanda State Park

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.

Exploring Wawayanda State Park

Styled Wedding at The Art Factory in Paterson, NJ

I photographed a wedding venue like no other. The Art Factory in Paterson, New Jersey is my second home and they’ve recently done an absolute ton of renovations to the third floor (and beyond) so the general public can have weddings and events. The floors have been varnished, new electrical, amazing decor, stage for live entertainment, curtains, disco ball, downlighting, satellite bars, chairs, etc. They’ve done so much that I’ve probably left at least half out of my description.

If you are looking to have an event in a space like no other I can tell you from firsthand experience that THIS IS THE PLACE. You won’t find anything else like it.

Get in touch with the venue today by visiting their contact page.

Location: The Art Factory
Photographer: Christopher John Sztybel
Models: Anastasia B. and Alex Jones of Clavon Models
Wardrobe: Wedding dress by Jean-Ralph Thurin and suit by Clavon Leonard
Event Planner: Events by Merida
Hair & Makeup: Araena Sanchez

Art Factory Wedding Photographer That Werks in Paterson, NJ

An Engagement Session Featuring a Latin Circus, Rolling Pin Violence and Matching Flannel Apparel

If you are looking for a “normal” engagement session, I officially don’t do them anymore. This engagement session is next level. The Latin Circus discovery happened on accident and my only regret is it seemed to be vacant that day or else we would have definitely tamed a lion. I’ve known these two characters for a while now and enjoy seeing two wacky people that genuinely care for one another. It’s a pleasure to shoot the reality of it all. When I asked Vin to lay down on a questionable furry rug and have Jenna rule over him like a Queen…they both did it. Top notch effort all around.

I haven’t really talked about my gear much lately. These days I shoot on the Sony A7RII which is definitely the most versatile camera body I’ve ever used. For both my photo and cinema work, there really hasn’t been anything engineered like this camera. The quality of the final images is slamming, the files are easy to work with and the dynamic range through the roof. Not to mention it has in-camera image stabilization. In the new year I will be transitioning over to Sony lenses. Far less weight, much sharper and less expense than the EOS mount lenses I currently use with a Metabones adapter. The Sony Carl Zeiss and G Master lenses are designed to take full advantage of all the bells and whistles the camera offers me.

Now let’s cut to the chase and behold the greatness of Vin and Jenna’s engagement session highlights!

To see my work, visit thatwerksphotography.com and remember 2017 WILL BE UNSTOPPABLY AWESOME.

Engagement Session at The Art Factory in Paterson, NJ

Christine and Joe’s Asbury Park Engagement Session

It’s July 4th weekend, people! As the saying goes, celebrate the independence of our country by blowing up a small part of it. This engagement session is timely for such an occasion because we have Christine and Joe who are recently engaged. Joe serves in the United States Army. Christine had a few shots in mind, but the rest was up to me. We made the most of the sunset in Asbury. The boardwalk is always filled with families, dogs and joggers. It’s rude to grab random dogs and pose with them, so they brough their own…BENNY!

Benny kept everyone entertained by being freaking adorable and eating his snacks between shutter clicks. Christine’s mom came along and took Benny home after he was done being awesome.

The remainder of our time shooting was spent on the beach and boardwalk. We lucked out getting very wide shots of the abandoned casino. For some of the casino shots, I lit up the inside with my ABR800 at 1/1 power. It’s nice to show off the architecture. Thank you Christine and Joe for hustling with me to get these wonderful photographs. Congratulations to both of you on your engagement and please, please use Benny as the ring bearer.

To see more of my photography work, please visit http://www.thatwerksphotography.com

Asbury Park engagement session

Vivian And Richard’s Wedding at The Chauncey Hotel in Princeton, New Jersey

Vivian and Richard had an intimate ceremony with a few family members at The Chauncey Hotel in Princeton, NJ. I can work a hectic fast-paced wedding, but I’m not going to lie and say smaller weddings aren’t a special kind of joy for me. I can say hi to each person in attendance and even have a conversation or two! That’s not something I can afford to do every time. Here are just a few of the photos taken on this lovely Sunday afternoon.

If you would like to see more of my photography work, please visit http://www.thatwerksphotography.com

Vivian and Richard's wedding ceremony at the Chauncey Hotel in Princeton, New Jersey