rochester ny weddings

Being a Guest at a Wedding: Rochester NY Weddings

A few months ago, an invitation came in the mail. John and I were invited to a wedding, as guests! I filled out that response card as though I wanted to be the first RSVP, because I did. I was going to be there with bells to cheer on one of my oldest friends and his new wife.

I know you are thinking it, so let’s get it out of the way. I knew they had hired a talented photographer, and I trusted the pros to document their day. So, no. I did not bring a camera with me. I barely even took any photos, and most of the ones I did take (with my phone) were blurry.

Don’t get me wrong, I love photographing weddings! There is nothing like documenting a wedding day. From the nervous energy we see at the beginning of the day, to the tears and love during the vows, to the unbridled dancing at the end of the night. It’s a great job, and I feel lucky every time a couple chooses us to be the ones to do it.

Throughout the night, it came up as I chatted with old friends. I have to admit there are pros and cons to being a wedding guest. I thought it would be fun to share a few of those with you!

The view from the cheap seats :)

The view from the cheap seats :)

Being a guest rather than photographer:

Pro: I could clap and participate in the wedding. This may seem silly, but for the first kiss, pronouncement as man and wife, introductions… those are all moments I am normally capturing with a camera. As a guest, my hands were free to clap and cheer, and that felt wonderful!

Con: The view isn’t as good. When I am the photographer, I get to move around to find the best angle. That’s my job in fact. Without looking through a 200mm lens, it was harder to see the bride or grooms faces.

Pro: As a guest, I could eat without feeling self conscious! It’s kinda funny really. As a guest, I wasn’t nearly as hungry, but probably ate 3x as much as I needed to. As a photographer, I am often staring longingly at the hors d'oeuvres, wondering if anyone will judge me for grabbing a carrot. It’s not to say that we don’t eat when I’m working, but we eat much faster. Often, when we have time to be seated for a meal, I feel guilty, as though I should be doing something, rather than eating.

Con: There were a few moments I wished I had a camera in my hand. Watching Mike wipe tears from his eyes as Abby walked down the aisle, I was torn. Part of me was so happy to be there as a witness, and part of me wished I could freeze that moment with my lens.

Perhaps my favorite part of being a guest though, was that I had my husband by my side. Working weddings every weekend, I get to hear lots of amazing love stories, romantic songs and see beautiful venues. They often remind me of my own love story, and make me wish I could dance that slow song with my husband. Well, this time, I did. I could hold his hand during the vows and laugh with him during the toasts.

It was such a wonderful way to end “wedding season.” So thank you Mike and Abby! I am so glad you found each other. Your love is a beacon and an example to others. Thank you for inviting us to bear witness to it on your wedding day.

Love always,

Lori

Blurry Selfies: Left with the hubby, Right with friend Kaitlyn

Blurry Selfies: Left with the hubby, Right with friend Kaitlyn

Rochester Indie Weddings Bridal Show

We work closely with other vendors on a regular basis. Every wedding we photograph requires a team of people, each doing their part to create something spectacular.

In a way, a Bridal Show is not really that different. There are event designers, caterers, bakeries, dress designers, florists, hair and makeup stylists and models. And then there's us as well - the photographers.

We had the unique opportunity to work with models and vendors alike at The Historic German House in Rochester for the most recent Rochester Indie Weddings Bridal Show. Everyone created something special to display.

It's rare for us to work with professional models instead of actual brides, so it was definitely a fun learning experience!

Here's a few of our favorites from the afternoon. To see a full lineup of the amazing vendors at the show - go check out the Rochester Indie Weddings blog post, which features all of our images from the event!

~ Erin

Vendor Spotlight: Shell's Sweets

Over the years we've met some pretty incredible people. Today we're here to share a little about a creative mind we've had the pleasure of getting to know - Michelle Crawford. She's a business owner, cake artist and fantastic lady!

Michelle in her Kitchen

Michelle in her Kitchen

We met up with her at her kitchen for a chat and some pictures, and here's what we found out!

Quick Bio About Me: Many people ask me how I got started in cakes. It definitely wasn't something I saw myself doing as a full time business but it seemed to unfold that way. As a kid I always loved to bake and create things. I learned the basics from a family friend and began making cakes for family and friends. There was a time where I was unable to create much due to school and work. However, once my nieces and nephews were born I started back up. This is what really fueled my love for cake and now my cake business.

What does it mean to be a cake artist?
A cake artist is someone who takes the unexpected (flour, butter, sugar, eggs, etc) and with a vision creates a work of edible art. 

Where does your inspiration come from?
Haha - it might be easier if you asked where didn't my inspiration come from. I am constantly seeing things and thinking "That would look great on a cake!" My biggest areas of inspiration are fashion, interior design. color and nature. 

What's your favorite flavor?
Ooh that's a tough one! I would have to say it's a toss up between my Dark Chocolate cake and Peanut Butter Buttercream and something I call Snickerdoodle, Cinnamon cake, White Chocolate Ganache and Cinnamon Buttercream. Mmmmmmm....

What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is the creating. I love seeing either what I have in mind or what my customer has in mind come to life. There's nothing like it! One of my favorite things make are sugar flowers, lace or anything cute! 

Any hobbies outside the kitchen?
If I'm not in the kitchen you will probably find me crafting something, taking pictures (You have nothing to be concerned about haha), and spending time with friends and family.

How do people find you? (web, social media, etc)
You can find me at these locations:
Website  / Facebook  / Instagram  / Twitter  

Thanks Michelle! We can't wait to work with you again soon!

Michelle's mom, pictured above, is often around to help, but doesn't do any of the baking. She helps wash dishes, fetches things and generally just enjoys watching Michelle work. It was a pleasure getting to know both women! And who doesn't need another photo with their mom? Such a pleasure!

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

Welcome Mini Albums! Rochester NY Wedding Photography

Oh my goodness, I'm in love with this new album. We're calling it our "Mini" Album. Even though it might be a smaller size, (at just 10x7) it's uniqueness and beautiful design makes it grand.

It's new to our Art Catalog for 2017 and just makes the perfect wedding keepsake for the parents who supported your big day. It's a step up from our everyday storybooks, while not being an overwhelming. It's just the right size to include all of their favorite images from the day.

My favorite thing about this album? It's more unique than those boring old traditional parent albums. Check it out, you'll see what I mean.

~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.

~Erin

Angela and Joe: Pittsford NY Wedding Photography

They had it all planned, a big wedding day, back home in Massachusetts. A bridal party, a venue, a reception - all of it.

But then, they moved to Rochester and canceled the whole thing. And I have to be honest, I whole heartedly applaud them for it. Because after all was said and done they knew that all of that wasn't them - it wasn't who they were.

Instead, their wedding day was perfect for them. It was just them, one witness, their pastor, a piano player and me. It was simply beautiful.

What a huge honor, and a big responsibility for me to be able to capture something so sacred for Angela and Joe. It's been a very long time since a wedding ceremony gave me goosebumps. It was that amazing.

And once the ceremony was over, I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with them, taking beautiful portraits. We had no hurry, as there was nowhere important we had to be.

So we got in the limo and headed to Pittsford Dairy, obviously. Because on a 90+ degree day, when no one is waiting on you, and you just got married - you go get ice cream!

Joe and Angela: I wish you a lifetime of love as beautiful as the two of you are together. May you always remember the emotions you felt this day. My hope is that these images will do that for years to come. God Bless!

~ Erin

FAQ: Have you shot at my wedding venue before?

We've photographed in a lot of places. I honestly don't know how many different locations we've been to in the past five years. Trust me, it's a lot.

So when you ask if we've ever photographed at your venue before, chances are we have. We've been everywhere from the Finger Lakes, to wedding venues in Syracuse and Buffalo. We've even photographed in venues in other states like Colorado, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

However, whether we've been there or not really shouldn't matter when you're selecting your wedding photographer - and here's a few reasons why:

1) It's all about the light AND knowing how to use it!
Locations like the Avon Century Barn and the Hyatt Regency in downtown Rochester are two VERY different locations. Barn weddings can be tough to light properly, especially after night falls. And big ballrooms often don't have natural light. So consider that if you're picking a photographer with tons of natural light, airy outdoor images in their portfolio.

In the end, being fast, portable and knowing how to add light when it's needed guarantees we can light any venue properly. 

Light in a barn, and light in a ballroom are very different.

Light in a barn, and light in a ballroom are very different.

2) We like to have a plan
I don't know about you, but I don't like to take a test without studying. So if we haven't shot there and we have the opportunity, we like to look around first so we can know what we're working with – indoors and out. Whether in advance with you, or even getting to the venue extra early that day to scope it out.

3) Being different is fun
Finally, if we haven't been there before, we're seeing things around us as brand new. A wedding photographer who has worked at your venue dozens of times might not. I wouldn't say that's necessarily a bad thing, but when we get the chance to work somewhere new, inspiration strikes. Then we can really give you some unique images, something that's just for you and no one else has.

Even the venues themselves agreed, they'd never seen these shots before!

Even the venues themselves agreed, they'd never seen these shots before!

So as you're planning your big day, and researching your wedding photographers - make sure you think about ALL the angles (ba dum dum). In our opinion if the photographer you're hiring is a professional, whether they've shot there before or not really shouldn't matter in the end.

~ Erin

Our Favorite Wedding Photographs of 2015: Rochester NY Wedding Photographers

Around this time every year we update our website with some of our favorite images of the past season. During the summer and fall months, we're on the run. We're on the go like energizer bunnies. So now, I get to take the time to sit back, relax (a little), and enjoy all of the beautiful faces all over again. One thing's for sure - 2015 was filled with some amazing people and awesome weddings.

From traveling to Massachusetts, to a few rainy day weddings, to beautiful sunsets on Canandaigua Lake - it was a great year, full of love. We danced, we hugged, we played Kan Jam - we became part of your family for a day. We are so lucky for each and every couple we've met.

I could go on all day about how wonderful the year was. But for your sake, I won't. What I will do is share a few of our absolute favorites from this year's weddings, all chosen for various reasons. And as the winter progresses, I'll be sure to explain a few of them in more detail. But for now, enjoy!  ~ Erin