finger lakes wedding photography

Finger Lakes Wedding Photography: Sara and Larry

What I love about Sara and Larry could fill an entire book. They are the kindest, most genuine couple. They’re sweet together and super fun to be around. They’re individuals and also equals.

I only wish they lived closer so we could continue to be around them all the time. They each have a sense of humor that matches ours perfectly. Every time I think of them, I smile a stupidly happy grin.

I haven’t even gotten to their wedding yet, which was perfect in it’s own Sara and Larry way. We’ve spent a lot of time at Ventosa Vineyards this year. Each time we’re there, it gets better and better. No two sunsets on Seneca Lake are the same which is why we love being photographers in the Finger Lakes (and Rochester too for that matter).

From first look to the wine cellar, to the dance floor and sparkler exit - the day was filled with amazing moments for a truly amazing couple. Congratulations Larry and Sara and thank you, for coming into our lives. Enjoy Italy!

~ Erin

Vendor Team:
Hair & Makeup: Isabella Spa, Belhurst Castle
Officiant: Jim Gerling
Venue: Ventosa Vineyards
Florist: Don’s Own Flower Shop
Bakery: Bagels and Cakes
DJ: Paradise Entertainment
Transportation: S & S Limo

Seneca Lake Wedding Photography: Laura and Patrick

The heatwave that had been lingering lessened for one day, as we met the bridal party getting ready at the stunning Del Lago Hotel & Casino. It was a gorgeous start to another great Finger Lakes wedding day.

The groom and his guys were up for anything, even a quick trip into the Casino, while the bride and her ladies finished getting gorgeous.

And then, off to Ventosa Vineyards we went where it was the most perfect day for Laura and Pat to have all of their loved ones gather together to celebrate with them. It's such a beautiful and rare moment in life to have all of your favorite people in one place at one time.

I have so many memorable moments from their wedding day - from reading and writing their vows, their sweet first look, the cutest flower girl ever, some stellar dance moves and the feeling of love surrounding them.

And that SUNSET though...seriously, sailboats and everything! It was goooorgeous - just like Laura and Pat. Congratulations you two!

~ Erin

Ventosa Vineyards Wedding: Matt and Sarah

Matt proposed to Sarah on a weekend trip to visit her family here in New York. I think she knew it was coming, but wasn't expecting it that particular weekend, in front of the family she loved.

Then, in front of everyone they loved they said their vows and began their marriage. It was the perfect June day for a Finger Lakes wedding.

Getting ready in Sarah's hotel room felt peaceful from the minute we arrived. They laughed, ate and put the final touches on their makeup as if this was any other Saturday.

Their first look was priceless, Matt's reaction couldn't have been more perfect. And he gave her that same look of love as she walked down the aisle as the ceremony began.

They took it all in, every minute they could, with laugher and love felt emotions for all who came to celebrate with them.

And that sunset walk in the vineyards - yes, please!

Matt and Sarah - thank you for allowing us to share this time with you and congratulations again!

~ Erin

The Vendor Team
Hair Stylist: Julie Pagano
Makeup Artist: Bridal Biz, Linda Vaskoski Howard
Wedding Dress: Sophia Tolli
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Wedding Venue: Ventosa Vineyards
Officiant: Peter Sielaff
Entertainment: Nathan Baker, Fingerlakes Entertainment
Florist: In Bloom Florals
Bakery: Felicia's Atomic Brewhouse & Bakery

Vendor Spotlight: Flower City Nuptials

Unless your ceremony venue comes complete with an officiant, selecting that special person to help you make your marriage official might seem daunting. Like any other part of your wedding day, you want to find that person that you click with.

I can tell you now, Keri Klein from Flower City Nuptials is someone you'll click with easily. We've worked with her on a few occasions now, and each one is unique and beautiful. She'll help you create a ceremony that's yours and not a cookie cutter wedding.

We asked her a few FAQs recently, here's what she has to say. If you're looking for your wedding day officiant, you should definitely give Keri a call!


How do you customize a ceremony for a couple?
I like to meet with my couples in person.  If they are out of town I offer phone or Skype calls too.  I try to ask them questions to get to know them as a couple: how they met, about the proposal, what they love about each other, etc.  Everyone's love story is unique, and I love hearing the couples tell it in their own words.  I often pull elements from their answers to incorporate into my ceremony.

Can a civil ceremony include religious moments?
Yes, it can.  As a minister I can do anything a couple would like but give communion.  And, since I am customizing each ceremony for each couple I can make it as religious or non-religious as they would like.  

Are there opportunities for friends or family members to participate in the ceremony to add a personal touch?
There are lots of opportunities for friends or family members to participate in the ceremony.  One way is through readings.  We often think of readings as being religious; this is where the idea stems from and people often use Corinthians ("Love is patient, love is kind..."), but they don't have to be.  One way to individualize the ceremony AND include loved ones is through choosing readings that speak to the couple.  I have had people use poems, excerpts from books, and even song lyrics.  I can offer suggestions if the couple wants to do a reading but they don't know where to look.

Another way to include loved ones is through a unity ceremony.  One of the most traditional is the unity candle.  This is a great way to incorporate parents with having them light the taper candle to show the couple where they have come from.

Ultimately, talk to your officiant and voice your desire to have people included - there are many really special ways to do this.

Can we write our own vows? Is that something you might help with?
Yes, couples can write their own vows.  If the couples don't want to write them together and have them be a surprise, I am happy to read through them to make sure they are the same length, sentiment, etc.  If one or both people are "stuck" and don't know what to write, I am happy to give suggestions and help craft those.

Do you have any guidance on when to apply for a marriage license?
Marriage licenses are good for 60 days in NYS.  I tell my couples go at the 30 day mark - it is a great way to kick off the home stretch to walking down the aisle and something you can cross off the last-minute to-do list.

All the Pretty Things: Wedding Photography in Rochester NY

The details - Cue Pinterest. It feels like there are now literally millions of ways you could possibly customize your wedding. I thank the Almighty every time I talk to a new couple about Pinterest wedding boards. I'm soooooo glad it didn't exist when I got married.

Don't get me wrong, they are useful. But I can see how easily overwhelming it can be when you're trying to make all of those detail decisions about your wedding.

If you follow us on Instagram or Facebook, you'll notice we aren't big on posting about wedding details. Why? Because we love to focus our attention on your relationships. Because a wedding is so much more than flowers and pretty dresses. So we want to show you real connection more often than a pretty bouquet of flowers.

But that doesn't mean we don't take those pictures. You just spent a year (or more) of your life picking out that pretty bouquet of flowers. So we know you want it photographed well.

So when we take these photographs, we want to try and show your relationship to these items. We do that by including you. For example, you using the custom made photo booth backdrop you built. Or capturing the the ribbon wands you painstakingly assembled, actually in use during your recessional.

Or the personal notes you wrote to each other and framed. Your birdcage veil, your hand written vows.

Or you holding the heirlooms you're using as your "something old, borrowed and blue." - and not just the items alone.

Although they're inanimate objects, we get that you've built a connection to all of these details. It's our job to do them justice.

In the coming weeks, we're preparing a few blogs about different wedding day details. Hopefully, you'll follow them, if for nothing else than to get a few ideas for your own wedding day. Enjoy!

~ Erin


Keegan and Mike: Knapp Vineyard Wedding Photography

Where do I start with these two and their small and beautiful wedding? How about with the details? The dress? The flowers they designed themselves?

Maybe it was the venue. Everything about Knapp Winery was ideal for them. A romantic, vineyard wedding complete with the perfect sunset setting and amazing food? Yes, please.

Or how about the adventurous, travel theme that fit who they are perfectly? Or maybe, I should talk about the notes and vows they wrote for each other, shortly before the ceremony began.

No, because none of that mattered more than the love they felt for each other. They shared and showed all of their emotions freely - whether nervous excitement, or the first time she saw him, or when they were alone together.

They planned the kind of Finger Lakes wedding day that made us want to do it all over again myself. Every aspect of their day from decor to song choice, held a personal touch. It was all meaningful in one way or another.

It was intimate and focused on who, and what, really mattered to them. No detail can top that.

Mike and Keegan, congratulations on starting the next chapter in your biggest adventure yet!

~ Erin

Hair & Makeup: Del Lago Spa
Venue & Catering: Knapp Winery, Chef John McNabb
Officiant: Lorraine Hems
Bakery: Bagels and Cakes, Geneva NY
Entertainment: RD Entertainment

Venue Spotlight: Suzanne's Fine Regional Cuisine

There are some truly spectacular places to eat in the Finger Lakes and Upstate New York area. Beautiful spaces with delicious food and a feeling of warmth provided by the hosts.

One such location happens to be a newfound favorite of ours as a wedding venue. It's probably a little lesser known, but that's because they focus their attention on the right weddings for their space. Suzanne's Fine Regional Cuisine is worth the drive if you're looking for a great barn wedding space with delicious home made, farm to table meals made by Suzanne herself (the head chef!)

The little farmhouse is a cute, intimate space. The hidden gazebo by the pond as the ceremony site is natural, peaceful and happy. Then the barn atmosphere creates a great space for dinner and dancing the night away. And our personal favorite - there are so many opportunities for beautiful images everywhere.

Bob and Suzanne, along with their staff create the perfect home like atmosphere for simple, intimate weddings. If you're looking for an alternative to a ballroom wedding, this is a great place to start. In the future, they want to focus their attention on more small catered events, such as anniversary parties and rehearsal dinners - which are perfect for their space.

It was a great pleasure to work with them, and we can't wait to see them again at future events. Here's a glimpse at a recent highlight album from their beautiful space, enjoy!

~ Erin

Favorite Wedding Moments: A Bride, Flower Girl, and a Pedicure

I know the instinct well now. It's that indescribable feeling that a mom gains the instant they become a parent. The one that cares so much for her children that even on her own wedding day, she's making sure that everything is perfect for them.

All of the details, down to the toenails. When I saw this image, that's exactly what it said to me. Melissa, our beautiful bride was ready to go. Her own hair and makeup had been done for hours, and she'd already stepped into her dress.

But then, while they waited for a rain shower to pass, she noticed some toe nails that needed painting on a special little flower girl. So as any mom would do, wedding dress and all, she knelt down with a bottle of nail polish and painted those toes.

As a mom, it speaks to me, and makes me smile as I recall more memories from that wedding day. It was so perfectly normal to her, as if this was any other day. But obviously it wasn't any other day. 

In my eyes, that moment was real and it was beautiful.
~ Erin

Who Needs Tradition? Rochester NY Wedding Photography

When you think of weddings, your first thoughts probably go to a father walking a bride down the aisle, to greet her groom who is seeing her for the first time, while bridesmaids, groomsmen and guests look on adoringly. It's tradition, right?

Traditions are a beautiful thing, I love all of the ritual a wedding brings. But I also love it when a couple decides to shake things up and throw traditions aside too.

A wedding day doesn't have to stick to a script, allowing couples to add their own unique touches to a day that's solely meant for them.

Here's a few favorites as well fun ideas that we've had the pleasure of capturing:

When your son gets the honor of walking you down the aisle. It's a special treat for him and a treasured moment for years to come.

Or when you and your spouse to be decide to walk each other down the aisle - as equals and partners.

Rather than spend money on flowers that have no meaning, create your beautiful bouquet out of pages of your favorite love story. Then go a step further and give your bridesmaids beautiful, oversized paper roses. It's a personal, meaningful touch of uniqueness.

Can you tell that the Groom here has a Best Woman? Or that the Bride has a Man of Honor? Yep, anything goes in the bridal party too. From colors to styles to who stands up next to you.

Who says a bride has to wear all white? Or for that matter, that someone has to wear a tux? Colorful and bright, these brides were beautiful and full of love.

No matter what, whether you break tradition or not, your day will be special and unique. Because there's no other couple just like you.


A View From the Altar, Favorite 2016 Wedding Photography Moments

As the new year begins, we get the chance spend some of our time in reflection. We review our work and remember some of our favorite moments captured on camera in the last year.

So when we reflect, we tend to share. And when we share, we tend to do it with you here on our blog. So get ready to take a stroll down memory lane with us a few times this winter.

We'll start with this one from a spring wedding in May. The ceremony had begun and the ring bearer (who also happened to be their son) had some ants in his pants. He wanted to be with them on the altar.

He found his way into the perfect spot for the best view in the house as rings were exchanged.

I adore the innocent curiosity in his glance up as well as the happiness that beams out of the image around them. Everything about it makes me smile.

Stay tuned for future favorite wedding moments!

~ Erin


Melissa and Mark: Suzanne Fine Regional Cuisine Finger Lakes Wedding

Melissa and Mark: Suzanne Fine Regional Cuisine Finger Lakes Wedding

They had already waited a long time for this day. But they knew that they could wait another thirty minutes for a storm to pass for the day to go on as planned perfectly.

FAQ: 4 Reasons Why You Need Two Photographers at Your Wedding

We frequently get asked by couples if both Lori and I will be photographing your wedding. The short answer to that is "yes, always." But some of you might be wondering "why? I mean, isn't one of you enough? I don't want my wedding to turn into a production with two photographers there."

Sure, we hear you there. But we wanted to give you a few reasons why you DO want two wedding photographers capturing your wedding day.

1:  Viewpoints
First the obvious. With two photographers you get two viewpoints of one story. Lori thrives off of her photojournalistic background, as do I, and I love to focus on making sure that romantic side of the story is told also. We may photograph things you don't realize are even happening, because you're busy somewhere else. We can cover more ground, and see more with two sets of eyes than you get with one. 

2: Relaxation
Truth time people. Weddings can be chaotic, from the moment you sit down in the makeup chair to the ceremony to family portraits to reception. It's a necessary evil to be organized so that everything runs smoothly. And with both Lori and I there, that's what happens. We can capture all of the important details, and family portraits, and bridal party fun faster when one of us is organizing what's coming up next. And in the end, all of this organization gives you, the Bride and Groom a chance to breathe, relax, and really enjoy the day together.

3: More Ninja Moves
The best compliments we receive after a wedding are along the lines of "I didn't even know you were there!" That's because, with two of us we actually AVOID being noticed. We don't need (or want) to be in anyone's face or way to get a shot, and we don't need to run around a church like maniacs trying to get different angles of the wedding ceremony. Because we're like two trained ninjas, placing ourselves at different locations in advance and then quietly moving short distances. We never need to jog from one end of a church to the other to get a shot.

4: More fun and creativity
We're two extra friends and creative minds, tagging along on your wedding day to laugh with and often at. It's our job to keep you relaxed and comfortable, for those gorgeous real expressions. Throughout the day, Lori and I create a friendly competition between each other to see who can find the most creative shot of the day. Which in the end, gives you even more amazing images. 

So, what could be bad about all of that? Not much, right? You get two creative and professional wedding photographers (ps - not a main and an assistant), who you know and have met. Two photographers who stay out of the way when needed, and who make you laugh and keep the day moving at the right times.

In my opinion, it's really a no brainer.

~ Erin