Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Engagement Shoot at Fire Island Lighthouse

     Nadia and I have been best friends for almost 10 years now, so photographing her engagement shoot was obviously a given!  And I definitely had to do this shoot because I have the honor of being one of her matrons of honor (though I still try and call myself a maid of honor so I do not sound so old!),  so I cannot photograph her wedding.  After a lot of back and forth, Nadia chose the Fire Island Lighthouse for her shoot.  Neither Anne nor I have ever shot on Fire Island, so of course we were excited for this opportunity.

     It was a VERY hot and sunny day but Nadia and Joe were troopers.  We parked at the last lot and walked along the boardwalk to the lighthouse stopping along the way at different locations for our shoot.

     The best part about the shoot was watching the interactions between Nadia and Joe during the shoot.  It is always a much better shoot when the couple can let loose and have fun!  Joe was very playful with Nadia, and had us laughing the whole way!  There are a few shots/outakes that we were not allowed to post because of there... ahem... graphic nature.   But that just added to the hilarity of the shoot, and made Joe and Nadia much more comfortable while shooting the usable images.

      And through all of the fun images, we were also able to shoot some truly stunning and romantic images that clearly show how in love the two of them are.

     Even as we started our stroll back to the car, Joe and Nadia were willing to continue the shoot from a piggyback ride to a little PDA action!

      I am looking forward to seeing my best friend marry the man she loves on 6.16.13  (even if I am not allowed to shoot her wedding)! 


"A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people" - Annie Leibovitz

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Love is in the air.....Proposal!

     Words can't express how I felt when Chris asked me to photograph him proposing to Lauren.  First of all, Anne and I had not had the opportunity to shoot a proposal yet, and were excited to know the couple that would be our first.  Lauren is one of my best friends, and I have known her since kindergarten!  Chris and I conspired for months before the actual proposal date about the details of the shoot, and Lauren was none the wiser.   I have to give credit to Chris for the majority of the planning, he thought out a proposal that all women deserve.  It was personalized and memorable.  The hardest part was trying to figure out a special place that would not signal anything to Lauren.  The place that was chosen was in an arboretum on Long Island.

Chris, Anne, and I made our way to the Arboretum to check it out about a month before the big day, in complete secrecy.  We spent awhile wandering around the arboretum testing out the different locations.  There were many beautiful spots in the gardens and throughout the grounds.  Chris chose, with some help from us, a nice secluded location underneath a tree with pink flowers by a bench (sadly the flowers were gone by the time the big day came but it was still beautiful).  All we had left was to wait until the big day!   I knew Chris was excited for the big day to come, but I did not know how impatient and nervous he would get.  I received text messages everyday from Chris counting down the days,  and of course checking the weather to make sure no rain was coming.  The week before the weather was back and forth and it seemed like it could possibly rain on that day.  All we could do was hope for the weather to hold.

Finally, the day arrived!  We made sure that no one knew that I was even going to be in town with Anne.  I even texted Lauren complaining about how busy it was at the ariport that I work at on Nantucket.  Anne and I went to the arboretum early to assess the location and find our hiding spots...and we may or may not have played around for a bit coming up with ridiculous hiding spots that would never work!  We received some odd looks by passersby, but what did we care?  We were getting ready for an amazing shoot.  Then... my phone vibrates... and its a text from Chris, "We are at the bathrooms." (meaning they were about to start the walk into the area).

  I think I was just as nervous as Chris was because I wanted to make sure we did not miss a second of the proposal.  We sat in wait as they strolled around the arboretum, and then took cover for our covert operation as soon as they got close.  We were holding our breath, and our adrenaline was pumping!  Then we see them coming towards us.  They stop.  He has Lauren take a picture of the tree they are under to distract her, and then he drops down onto his knee!  The shock and excitement is apparent as Lauren starts to shake and her hands go to her face.  Of course she accepts the ring with tears in her eyes and they embrace.

Then after Lauren calms down a bit and grounds herself, she looks around and says, "Who is that over there?"  She found me!  At this point, it didn't really matter, and I was then able to congratulate her right away.  Next, of course, were the obligatory phone calls to family and friends.

After all the phone calls were made, Anne and I asked the newly engaged couple if they were up for a mini engagement shoot so they could have some more photos to commemorate the day.  They said that they would love to, and so we got to have some fun!

Can't wait to shoot the real engagement shoot and to be a part of Lauren and Chris's wedding in October 2013!  We wanted to thank Chris for making us a special part of his big day, we love you both and couldn't be more excited for what's to come.


"A photo says, You were happy, and I wanted to catch that.
A photo says, You were so important to me that I put down everything else to come watch."
-Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sara and Nathan's (CT) Wedding 5/12/12

      I have to say I feel truly honored to have been involved in Sara and Nathan's Connecticut portion of their wedding (which I will explain in a little bit).  I have known Sara since our days at UConn, and there was never any question that she was going to be a part of my life for years to come because of my husband, TJ.  Of course, I view having Sara in my life as a blessing.  I actually met Sara through TJ, and they have always been close friends and refer to each other as "sister and brother from another mother".  So another added bonus was that my husband was a guest at this wedding!

     Now when I said that this was the Connecticut portion of the wedding, what I meant was that this was mainly a reception being held for the friends and family who could not be at the first wedding.  Obviously, that made this wedding a bit different for Anne and me.  The reason for this was that Sara and Nathan had been living in Iowa as Sara attended Veterinary School, and wanted to have a wedding there with the people she knew from that area.  It also happened to fall on the weekend of her graduation, so that was a whole weekend of celebrating!

       Our day began at Sara's mother's house, where we were able to shoot the accessories from her wedding and also got to take some photos of the girls getting their hair done.  Since this was not a traditional wedding, the groom even popped in for a little while to see how things were going. 

     Once the girls were done getting their hair done, we headed over to a hotel near the venue.  Typically, the bridal party would assist the bride with the final stages of getting ready, but in this case the couple decided that since they were already married, they would help each other.  This was a first for us and we had no idea what to expect.  It really was hilarious and touching all at the same time; I mean women who know how to work dresses struggle at times trying to figure out how a wedding dress works, but Nathan was up for the challenge.  And I have to say, he did a great job after a few hiccups here and there!

     Once the CT wedding reception started, it was obvious that these people take partying and dancing very seriously!  There was such an insane amount of energy buzzing through the room.  You could not only see how happy everyone was for the newly married couple, but you could feel it!

Of course, we had to get an obligatory shot of all the UConn alumni at the event.. and I got to sneak into this one!  Wow, Sara and I look so short compared to the rest of the gang!

Congratulations again to the beautiful couple!  Both Anne and I wish you a lifetime of happiness!


“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow." – Imogen Cunningham

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Stephanie and Stephen's Wedding 4/22/12

First things first,  the buildup to this wedding was much different than any of our other weddings for many reasons.  The main reason was that we did not meet our bride or groom until the day of their wedding, yet we already felt like we had known them forever!  Our meetings were all set up through Skype, and we were sure to follow Stephanie's Facebook and Pinterest boards to see what to expect for her wedding.  Yay social media!    Speaking of which, Stephanie was sure to keep up with her soon to be husband while they were getting ready...

As you can see in the photo, Stephen started his day getting ready at the barber with a hot towel shave.  This was a first for us, and it was definitely fun to watch!

While I was at the Barber Shop with Stephen and the rest of his guys, Stefanie was at the house with Stephanie.  (Sidenote:  Stephanie's middle name is Ann, and it was determined that we were meant to work with her because those are also our names!)  Shooting the getting ready images at the bride's house always allows us the freedom of creativity, because it is typically low pressure and you get to play around with the wedding dress and the accessories to create beautiful detail images.

After both the bride and groom were ready, we all rendezvoused at the church for the ceremony.  Now, before this we had been given specific instructions as to where we could be in the church.  (We included the videographers, who were two of the best videographers that we have ever worked with, they were just so in tune with us and had similar shooting styles.)  We were both a bit nervous because the rules were pretty restrictive.  But we talked to the officiant, and luckily,  all restrictions were lifted and he said we could go where we wanted as long as we were not a distraction from the wedding.  Of course, we never want to be a distraction so we were already prepared for that!  

Throughout the whole day, it had been raining pretty decently but we still had our fingers crossed that we would be able to shoot some formals outside... sadly this did not happen.  Luckily, the reception was held at Jericho Terrace which has beautiful indoor areas to shoot.  And we were very familiar with this location because it is the same place that Stefanie's wedding reception was held three years ago, and in the same room!

And then we went to shoot in the dome room, where the reception was held.  This was one of Stephanie and Stephen's reasons for choosing the Jericho Terrace, that room is beautiful and made for some stunning images!

The night rounded out with the reception, which included a performance by Stephanie's brother.  You can see in the images just how happy and in love Stephanie and Stephen are, and you can also see what great personalities they both have, always with such sincere smiles.  

Both Stefanie and I loved this wedding, and had a great time with our couple!  Congratulations again to Stephanie and Stephen!  We hope you had as much fun as we did!


"Human gesture and expression are the essence of photography.  It's not about lights or fast lenses and fast film.  It's the ability to a capture a moment in time.  To capture the spirit of someone in that magic box is wonderful.  It's what I fell in love with as a kid." -John Shearer

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Amanda and Daniel Engagement Shoot


Amanda and I met in 2008 when we started working for the same photography company.  Even though we didn't work together very long, we stayed in contact over the years.  She recently moved to Israel with her boyfriend at the time(now fiance) so I was not sure when I would see her again.

When I found out she was engaged, I was so happy for her!  To my surprise, I received a message from her that she would be back in NY for a visit and wanted Elegant Edge Photography to shoot her engagement and wedding photos!  Of course, both Anne and I were excited about this!

We setup a meeting with Amanda, Daniel and Amanda's family to meet them and show them our work.    Sitting with all of them was a lot of fun, and we felt welcome right away.  They told us the story of how Amanda and Daniel met,  and how they spent the first portion of their relationship talking through Skype because Daniel was in Israel, and of course they told us about the proposal.  After finishing our discussion with the family, we were scheduled to head out and shoot engagement photos for Amanda and Daniel.

We went to the Westbury Gardens on Long Island for their shoot.  The gardens were filled with so many different textures and environments for us to work with.  There were all different pockets of flowers, trees, and ponds.  There were also many manmade elements to work with from a mansion to bridges to gazebos.  It also helped that Amanda and Daniel were a fun couple to work with!

In October, we will be shooting their wedding and we could not be more excited!


“A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.” – Ansel Adams

Friday, April 20, 2012

Costa Rica

 Recently I traveled to Costa Rica and I have to say it was amazing!  I spent 3 days in the mountains of Monte Verde, 3 days in Arenal near the volcano and 3 days by the beaches in Guanacaste.  When you are there you will notice Costa Rica is known for its coffee, which I have to say was very very strong! I was way more interested in the animals, plants and views I would be able to photograph.      " The country is home to over 9000 species of flowering plants, over 600 species of butterflies, more than 200 different mammals as well as prehistoric looking reptiles and boldly colored amphibians." (Bartley, Glenn.photo Itinerary- Making the most of Costa Rica: Nature Photographers Online Magazine, 2010 http://www.naturephotographers.net/articles0706/gb0706-1.html)
Fig tree in rainforest

If you are interested in photographing birds, monkeys and beautiful rainforests, Costa Rica is perfect for you!  While vacationing in Costa Rica I felt a main focus on most tours was the birds!!
They have over 875 different species!

 My advice for shooting here is to definitely bring a long lens! Either if your shooting with a point and shoot or a DSLR, make sure you have a large enough zoom to catch those small animals that hide in the trees.  I would also recommend bringing along a macro lens, which is my favorite, to get those small details. 
Hummingbird nest with eggs (macro lens)

 Remember Costa Rica has a lot of rainforests, so I would recommend bringing a rain cover for your backpack, since you will most likely encounter rain at some point.
Arenal Volcano

Costa Rica has so many different photo opportunities such as mountains, beaches, volcanoes, tropical rainforests, waterfalls and much more.  Plus the sunsets are amazing!! 
Sunset in Monte Verde

I spent 10 days traveling around this beautiful place and just wanted to share some of my photography as well as some tips with all of you. Enjoy!


“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”  ~Albert Einstein

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Size Matters.

All jokes aside, yes size really does matter when it comes to lenses.  Lens sizes vary significantly, and they all serve their own purposes.  My go-to lens now is my fixed 50mm.  It allows so much light in and has such a narrow depth of field that I can now shoot handheld indoors with natural light, instead of relying on my flash to fill in the light.  (It also helps that my 5D Mark II has a high ISO allowance.)  My other favorite types of lenses to work with are wide angle pushing towards fisheye.  These ones are around 14mm to 24 mm.  These lenses can help to fit a large group of people into a single image.  Personally, I love the blur and the curves of the lines that are created with these lenses.  But alas I digress, what I really want to talk to you about here are telephoto lenses.  I had the opportunity to "play" with a 400 mm lens the other weekend, and play I did.

I would say that this branch (in the above photo) was at least 20 feet away from me, but with the zoom you get up close and personal.  That is the typical use for a telephoto lens; it cuts out the distance between you and your subject.  But do not let that fool you, just because that is what a telephoto lens is typically used for does not mean you have to use it that way.

With this image, I was definitely not trying to get in close to a subject that I could otherwise not reach.  Instead I was trying to play with the depth of field of this particular zoom lens.  I laid on the ground about 10 feet away, and shot slightly angled up at the flowers.  Because of the angle I chose and the lens that I was using, I produced this image with a very strong focus on the flowers so that they become the absolute focal point of the image.

I like flowers so I figured I may as well throw in another shot! :)

Now with the shot above of the swingset, I was again trying to play with the depth of field.  I have to say that I love the detail in the swing of this image, and that most of the focus is there.  My one issue with this shot is that if I shot it again, I would try and work around the pole crossing the right half of the image.  I am not sure what I would have done with it, but I do find it distracting (clearly not distracting enough that I wouldn't share it though).

For my last image, I used the telephoto lens for it's typical use shooting a bird at the top of a tree at a significant distance.  I changed the feel of this image significantly in post, considering this was shot on a bright sunny day with blue skies.  I love how creepy it turned out!

Anyways, send us any images you had the opportunity to shoot with a telephoto lens!  We would love to take a look and see what other people are up to shooting at lengths!


"When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear"-  Alfred Eisenstaedt