Tag Archives: wedding photographer

Engagement Session with Sam and Steve at Paterson Great Falls and Art Factory Studios

I’ll be photographing Sam and Steve’s wedding at Art Factory Studios this October. Until then we just had to take some photos together. You know. Kick the tires and make sure we’re a well-oiled machine on the actual wedding day. Since they’re both big music fans I wanted to make sure we worked in that element for at least a couple shots. We hazed up the room where Alice In Chain’s filmed their “Voices” music video and I brought along my Stratocaster to use as a prop. If you’re looking for an industrial wedding venue then this is it, folks.

I used several MagMod products for the interior shots and, of course, that included gels. When I first started using gels years ago I got so much crap for it. But I will never stop using them. You hear me, world? GELS4LIFE.

Without further adieu I give you SAM AND STEVE’S UNCENSORED ENGAGEMENT SESSION!

Now Booking Photography for Weddings and Events at Art Factory in Paterson, NJ

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.

Visit the brand new wedding portion of my site here.

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)

Kelly and Mike’s Totally Tubular Engagement Session

Each time I do a wedding or engagement for people I like to think of something different. Something that will stand out and make people remember a particular shot. This time around we shot Kelly and Mike using a big ass tube that someone discarded. One man’s trash is another’s treasure. We did whatever the hell we wanted during this shoot and I’m always grateful for clients, family or not, that are up for some horseplay and antics.

Take a look at the shots below and then contact me through my new totally tubular photography site and schedule your very own shoot.

Kelly and Mike's engagement session at The Art Factory in Paterson, New Jersey

Christmas Wedding at The Bernards Inn

Rachel and Peter’s wedding was held two days after Christmas and The Bernards Inn was still decorated for the holidays. Peter is from Scotland and Rachel moved there with him. He showed me photos on his cell phone and it is as spectacular as you would imagine Scotland being. Below you will find a selection of photos from throughout the day. Look at the details in the bouquet arrangements. They’re made of paper thin wood. Really nice touch.

A very special thanks to my wife for assisting me with lighting setups and a second camera angle.

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

Rachel Toedter and Peter Scott's Wedding at The Bernards Inn

 

Wedding at Landmark Loew’s Theatre in Jersey City, New Jersey

The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre opened in 1929 and is located across the street from the Journal Square PATH train station. Lauren and Rich are already married, but they got dressed up in their wedding attire and invited a bunch of photographers to join them for a night at the theatre. I took the shots I wanted and everyone took turns since there were a lot of us. You can see my exploration of the theatre below the formals.

Lauren and Rich Beischer wedding photos

Landmark Loew's Theatre in Jersey City, NJ

From the Landmark’s history page:

“Once upon a time, the great film studios of old Hollywood built theatres the like of which no one had ever seen before. They had marble columns that soared to ceilings covered in gold leaf, bronze railings, rich red tapestries and plush carpets. And they were huge, with thousands of seats.

These buildings seemed more like palaces than theatres. Not surprisingly, they came to be called Movie Palaces.

In spite of their name, Movie Palaces were as much legitimate theatres as cinemas. They were equipped with full stages, orchestra pits and dressing rooms, as well as projectors. Because in that long ago time the still-new movies were presented as part of a double bill with live stage shows of elaborately choreographed dance revues or a mix of song, dance and comedy acts — variety shows once known as Vaudeville.

Most Movie Palaces were also fitted with massive pipe organs. Originally intended to add sound to silent films, these instruments became stars in themselves as organ concerts, as well as audience sing-alongs, became popular parts of the regular programming in many Movie Palaces.

The reason the Hollywood studios built the Movie Palaces was an insight as bold as it was simple: that the theatre building itself should be so spectacular as to become essentially the opening act for the show on the stage or screen, and that together Movie Palace and show would make an uplifting and unforgettable experience.

This insight, in turn, was itself the product of something that can be called “the art of American entertainment” — a combination of artistry and showmanship that melded the performing arts traditions of the diverse peoples who had come to this country into a new democratic idiom that not only entertained us, but expressed our collective hopes and fears and dreams so dynamically that the entertainment arts became the single greatest instrument in enabling Americans to come together, imagine and re-imagine ourselves, and define our American Experience to the world.

So it was that spectacular Movie Palaces were built across the country in the 1920s. And the public flocked to them.

The elaborate designs of the Movie Palaces were often based on the grand opera houses and palaces of Europe. But the Movie Palaces were unabashedly American in spirit, and unlike their Old World antecedents, were not built for a privileged elite, but for everyone. The banker and the shop girl sat side by side in the Palaces and were equally entertained.

The Loew’s Jersey opened its polished brass doors on September 28, 1929. Journal Square, Jersey City was a regional crossroads with a stop on the “Tubes” subway line that ran between New York and Newark; scores of regional bus and trolley lines also converged there. Two other theatres were already doing business in Journal Square, along with some of the area’s finest shops and restaurants.

Built at what was then the impressive sum of $2 million dollars, the Loew’s was accurately called as “the most lavish temple of entertainment in New Jersey”. It was also one of the state’s biggest theatres, with just under 3,100 seats. And the Loew’s was also one of the best equipped theatres of its day. It was fitted with an arbor and metal cable counter-weight rigging system in its 80 foot high rigging loft, the same kind of system still in use in Broadway’s older houses. The stage lighting equipment was state of the art for 1929, having ten pre-sets. The Theatre’s stage was large for its day, measuring an average 35 feet deep by 82 feet wide, with a proscenium opening of an amazingly wide 50 feet. The orchestra pit included a main elevator plus a second one dedicated exclusively to the piano; overall, it was large enough for 40 musicians. The Loew’s backstage area included ten dressing rooms and a large rehearsal space. And of course, there was the projection booth, originally equipped with VitaPhone sound-on-disk projectors — the first commercially successful “talking picture” equipment.”

Surprise, Jana! Engagement As It Unfolds At The Beach

Steve contacted me and asked if I would hide out on a windy, cold beach in February to photograph his proposal to Jana. I am down for anything so I bundled up and stocked up on handwarmers from 7-11. Visually these photos have a lot of impact. A stark beach with just two people expressing their love for one another. Bright red flowers. Lots of visual cues giving you a true feel for that day.

Steve is a brave man for designing and executing such a plan. Hats off to you both for such a wonderful moment in time. After you’re done perusing the photos, watch the engagement in full motion thanks to a couple GoPro cameras hidden on the beach.

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

The Engagement of Jana Diamond and Steve Klotzkin at North Beach in Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Jana & Steve’s Engagement in Sandy Hook, New Jersey 2/28/2014 from Chris Sztybel on Vimeo.

Alex at Mercer County Park

The sky looked like neopolitan ice cream and chocolate was obviously going to win. Mother Nature gave us a small window to shoot within so we got to work right away.

Alex had a few different outfits but this is the first time someone has shaved halfway through a shoot. One hour later we shot our last picture and it began to downpour.

For more examples of my photography,  please visit the That Werks photography site.

Alex portraits at Mercer County Park

Special Spring Photography Session Rate Available Now

It’s very simple! Click on the graphic and you will be taken to a contact form. Enter your name, email, phone and date you would like to shoot. All dates will be booked on a first come/first served basis.

There is no limitation to the type of session. Engagement, headshot, modeling, family portrait, products, etc. All fair game.

Spring Photo Session for $250

A LITTLE ABOUT MYSELF

I love creating new things and breathe life into each project I work on. I strive to please my clients and myself. Helping me along the way have been influences ranging from Steven Spielberg to Annie Leibovitz. It goes without saying that numerous individuals have encouraged me along the way.

Since graduating from The Art Institute of York Pennsylvania (formerly Bradley Academy) in 2001, I’ve worked with clients such as The Opie & Anthony Show, Brother, Blair’s Sauces & Snacks, UL, ChocoVision and Prudential to name a few.

REVIEWS

Amazing Experience

“My husband and I had an outdoor wedding by the lakeside Sept of 2013. When the search for a photographer began I knew I didn’t have to go very far. I’ve known Chris since college and previewed some of his work and knew that he was the perfect choice. He came to our home months before the wedding and did an engagement shoot and his ideas were out of this world! When the wedding rolled around I couldn’t wait for the photography to begin , from the time he spent with me and my bridesmaids getting ready, the ceremony and reception , every moment was captured beautifully. I can look at each photograph and relive everything I felt at that exact moment. He was the best choice for the best day of our lives!”

Vanessa and Conrad

 

Best Choice Ever

“My husband and I had a small wedding in June 2012 at a bed and breakfast in Flemington, New Jersey. When looking for a photographer, we knew we needed someone special to capture the intimacy of the event and charm of the location. Choosing That Werks for our wedding photography was the best decision we made! We were initially drawn to Chris by his amazing portfolio which, along with weddings, also showcased his versatility in beautifully capturing a variety of subjects. After a wonderful meeting, we knew Chris’s creativity and exceptional skills would make him the perfect photographer for our wedding and we could not be happier with his work. He was super attentive and flexible with all our requests and perfectly balanced what we wanted along with his amazing expertise. We highly, highly recommend That Werks for wedding photography as well as for capturing all of life’s special events! “

Amanda & Miguel

 

A True Artist

“If you want photographs of your wedding that are each like a little piece of art, then Chris Sztybel is your guy. He really approaches every photograph with the sensibility of an artist, paying attention to color and background and catching unexpected moments. He took some amazingly beautiful photos of our day, which included a photo shoot of just the two of us in a NYC park followed by a trip to City Hall! Probably the best thing about him is that he couldn’t be a more pleasant person to spend the day with, which makes a huge difference when you’re in the midst of really special, intimate moments. ”

Meg & Eric

Kelly and Ozi’s Engagement Session at Sandy Hook

A perfect location for an engagement session! My home away from home, Sandy Hook, for another whirlwind sunset session with Kelly and Ozi. It’s a beautiful time of day as the sun illuminates everything with a powerful orange glow. Sandy Hook is also several miles long, so capturing as many locations as possible before darkness is always a fun game to play. Preparing for a wedding obviously takes a lot of time and the engagement shoot is the first step in giving the couple something tangible to use for announcements to guests.

Ozi had me dying when he struck the same pose as Kelly with his hand on hip. It was hilarious and I’m so glad he did it! It’s those spontaneous moments that really make for the best photographs.

To view more of my photography work, please visit That Werks Photography.

Kelly and Ozi Engagement at Sandy Hook, New Jersey