Photography

Marissa + Mark // Sinclair of Skaneateles Wedding

I’m so thrilled to be sharing this beautiful wedding with you guys today! Marissa and Mark not only had me photograph their perfect September wedding day, but I also worked on their invitations throughout the summer. It’s always such a joy to be able to help my clients out with both photography and stationery, and it builds a really nice relationship that puts me at such ease on their wedding day. It’s not lost on me that when I begin coverage on a wedding day, I’m entering into a really sacred space filled with years and years of love, friendship, and family. It’s my job to quickly insert myself into that space and sense all of those special bonds so I can capture them thoughtfully and accurately. That’s why it’s important to forge a good relationship with all of my couples beforehand!

Marissa began her day on the beautiful third floor of the Sinclair of Skaneateles. I believe they had only recently renovated this floor, to be used as a space for bridal parties to get ready in and store their things throughout the day. It’s such a bonus to this space that I’m personally really grateful for. I took some killer portraits of Marissa before she headed down to their first look - they’re some of my favorite bridal portraits ever!

Mark and his guys arrived on site just before we planned to do their first look, and my sister Olivia captured some of their “getting ready” photos then and there. For some, having a bunch of photos of the groomsmen preparing for the day is not necessary so we always offer to do a condensed version of those photos when they arrive for the ceremony, whether that’s at a church or the reception venue. This is also great for grooms who don’t love having their photo taken!

I’m still SO in love with all of the group and couple photos from this wedding. The grass is always a little darker and more lush in September and the sun a little bit lower and shadier, giving me the ability to make their photos look very dramatic - a look that worked well with their beautiful black bridesmaid dresses and classy tuxedos! Thanks to these guys opting for a first look before their ceremony, we got all of their portraits done early in the day so they didn’t have to worry about being separated from their guests at all!

Mark and Marissa’s ceremony also took place on the Sinclair property, and was officiated by Mark’s cousin, Nick Musso. I loved his funny commentary, and how he made their ceremony very personal and interactive.

This reception was one where I think every guest must have hit the dance floor at least once! It’s not always the case that family - both young and old - get out there, but Marissa and Mark’s sure did!

Thank you guys SO much for having me photograph your beautiful day, and for having me along for your planning process as well.


The vendors who made this day possible were:

Venue // Sinclair of Skaneateles

Catering // Balloons

Cake / Dessert // Pat Personius

Stationery // Emma Bauso Designs

Brides Dress // Kleinfeld’s

Bridesmaids Dresses // David’s Bridal, Vera Wang

Floral Design // Nicole Wendt

DJ / Entertainment // DJ Hump

What's so great about mini sessions?

Mini sessions are one of my favorite ways to make sure all of my recurring AND new clients get updated photos of themselves and their families. I have done several rounds of these special events in the couple of years that I’ve been a photographer, and today I wanted to share with you what the best parts of mini sessions are. If you’ve never booked a session like this, you’ll love knowing all of these pros before you decide to schedule one with me or your preferred photographer!

mini-photography-sessions

1 // They’re Quick!

It’s right in the name - mini ! Usually mini sessions are 20 or 30 minutes, which is actually the perfect amount of time to have all the photos you could possibly want. This time frame is especially great for families with 2 or 3 young kids who might not last through an entire 1-hour session. Usually 20 minutes is a perfect amount of time to get a couple full family shots, some individuals, and several candids in between all of those Christmas-Card-and-framed-gift-worthy shots. Plus, no husband or boyfriend has ever complained during these quick sessions ;D

2 // They’re Affordable

I love planning these sessions as many times in a year as I can, because I know that not every family or couple wants to invest hundreds of dollars to update their family photos. Most of my regular sessions happen for big life events - new baby, engagement, maternity, etc - but it’s so important to have new photos of your family as they grow more and more every day. All of those sessions can add up, though! That’s why spending $150 or so a year on these sessions is reasonable for most people. Save your money for the big life events and book a mini session once or twice a year!

3 // They’re Usually Adorably Styled

Personally, almost all of the mini session events I’ve planned come with some sort of “theme” or stylized setting. I like to have it as something special (and honestly to draw people in with my fun ideas ;D) but I usually plan for the fact that not everyone will want to take their photos in front of the setting I have planned. Usually the locations lend themselves well to venturing off course a bit, which is a great way to make your session different from the others I do that day! I also love using mini sessions as a way to connect with other vendors in the area, whether it’s with my girl Katie from She Rents Vintage, Stacey from The Cake Shop CNY, or with a venue I love - like the Sinclair of Skaneateles.

4 // They’re Timely

Any smart photographer will offer mini sessions before a holiday or during a season when people are going to want photos to give as gifts, in celebration of something, or because the weather is getting cooler and the leaves are changing (I’m looking at you, fall!) I like offering mini sessions around Christmas, Mother’s Day, and in September. This year I’m thinking of squeezing in Father’s Day sessions as well! I have also have done some last-minute headshot sessions so that anyone in need of professional looking portraits of themselves can easily have a handful of good ones. Mini sessions are also easy for a photographer to edit within just a few days, especially if they’re during their off season for weddings, so you can expect the turnaround time to be pretty fast!

So, are you itching to have on of these mini sessions for yourself? You’re in luck! I’m planning a whole day of 20 minute sessions at the end of April, just in time for Mother’s Day! Learn more about them here:



 
minisessions-2.jpg
 

Brooke + Brandon // Arbor Loft Rochester, NY Wedding

My second wedding at the beautiful Arbor Loft in Rochester NY was such a special, fun experience! Brooke and Brandon are both swing dancers - he proposed to her at a swing dancing convention - so their reception featured a swing band and lots of great (and borderline dangerous!) swing dancing. It was such a unique night for me!

But, I’m getting ahead of myself! Brooke and her gals got ready in the most beautiful renovated old school building, near the Memorial Art Gallery, which can be rented out like an AirBnb and features the pull-down chalkboards along one wall of the room, a neat lofted bed, super high ceilings, and lots of charm! I had fun hanging the dresses and styling the detail shots in that space.

Brandon and his guys got ready in the apartment that he and Brooke share. It was a beautiful day outside, so my sister Olivia took them out front and had lots of fun making the groomsmen toss Brandon up in the air. Who says your wedding photos have to be all serious? I like a mixture of both!

Brooke and Brandon’s ceremony took place at Artisan Church in Rochester, and was a wonderful and personal experience. They’re regular attendees of the church’s services and knew the pastor and his wife very well! I love that many of the couples whose weddings I’ve photographed in Rochester share a similar experience with their churches/pastors. It’s definitely a place that values that type of relationship with their worship community.

After the ceremony, we headed to the Sunken Gardens in Highland Park to take their bridal party and portrait photos. I love using the castle there as a backdrop - architectural settings are my jam, if you couldn’t tell!

We then traveled to the Arbor Loft, where the bridal party headed to the cocktail hour and Olivia and I took Brooke and Brandon around the neighborhood for some more portraits of the two of them. These are some of my favorite Rochester photographs! I really love when a couple is open to just taking a walk and seeing what we stumble upon. I imagine it can be hard for them to trust that vision, but I’m so glad when they do.

As I began this post, their reception was just so much fun. I loved seeing different movements, hearing familiar songs being sung by the amazing Swooners, a local swing style band and last but not least, their donuts from Scratch Bakeshop. The decor of their reception was simple but really beautiful - something that many Arbor Loft weddings have in common because the space speaks for itself!

After a while, Brooke changed into a second outfit that she could “swing” much easier in, and then danced the night away. I think the two of them hardly left the dance floor all night, and they inspired all of their guests to try swing dancing too! It was sort of silly watching some of the guests try their versions out, but I loved the energy in the room with everyone trying something new together.

Thank you, Brooke and Brandon, for having me photograph this special day for you guys! It was such a blast.


The vendors who made this day possible included:

Ceremony Venue // Artisan Church

Reception Venue // Arbor Loft Downtown

Catering // Peerless Events

Dessert // Scratch Bakeshop

Planner / Coordination // Jiosia Designs

Hair + Makeup // Beautiful Moments of Western New York

Brides Dress // Lovely Bride, Victor

Bridesmaids Dresses // David's Bridal

Menswear // Black Lapel, Best Fit Menswear

Floral Design // Jiosia Designs

Rentals // McCarthy Rentals, Jiosia Designs

DJ / Entertainment // The Swooners

Jessica + Brett // Belhurst Castle, Geneva NY Wedding

Hey there! Today I’m sharing one of my favorite shorter wedding days ever. In the summer, it’s totally possible to start your wedding later in the evening and still have the full experience and no shortage of fun! That’s exactly the case for Jessie and Brett, whose wedding at Belhurst Castle on a Friday evening in August 2018 was so special and beautiful.

My sister and I arrived later in the afternoon to do some quick “getting ready” photos with each of them, before going right into their first look on the grounds of the castle that overlooks Seneca Lake. The clouds made for a perfect light diffuser and therefore, the most luscious greens and skin tones in all of their photos!

Their ceremony was full of beautiful, intimate details like readings inspired by literature and a traditional hand fasting ceremony, made special by the couple’s mothers. To top it off, a bubble exit for some whimsical, joyful photos of them coming back up the aisle as a married couple!

Nothing was more perfect than the view over the lake as the sun set behind it and the full moon rose high in the sky. The water was a deep, glassy blue-grey that matched the sky and made an endless-looking backdrop for their portraits together.

The best surprise of the night came at the start of their reception, which was made simple by no fancy entrances or introductions besides Jessie and Brett themselves. Their friend and groomsman Erik played the ukulele in the background of their joint rendition of “La Vie En Rose” - Brett with the words in English and Jessie with hers in French. I mean… definitely a highlight of my 2018 wedding season! I didn’t ever want it to end!

Then, with no time to waste, Jessie switched into a jumpsuit so she could properly show off her fantastic dance moves and the party started! Their wedding was one that was full of really special details but nothing more than what was needed. I’m so glad I was able to be the one to photograph it all!


Jessica + Kevyn // Ventosa Vineyards Wedding

Jess + Kevyn’s wedding day was one that I looked forward to for such a long time - literally, because they booked me almost two years before their wedding! Jess was a bridesmaid in one of my first weddings ever, so I was overjoyed when she and Kevyn chose me to capture their day. I’ll always be thankful for those first few couples who loved my earliest work and trusted that I would get even better in time for their wedding day.

The morning of their wedding on August 18, 2018 began overcast and windy. I remember Jess was nervous that it would suddenly turn to rain, but luckily the clouds turned fluffy and white and it ended up being a beautiful day in Geneva, NY! She and her girls rented out a gorgeous historical Georgian home near downtown to get ready in, which was such a treat to have as the setting for the start of our day. I loved how her bridesmaids gathered together within the two upstairs bedrooms and watched each other get ready for the day, joking and laughing all morning.

Kevyn and his groomsmen got ready at a nearby hotel, which provided the most beautiful setting for my second photographer, Sammy Caldwell, to photograph them in. I knew Kevyn and his guys would also be a ton of fun - they had lots of photo ideas for Sammy! And when they got serious, I couldn’t imagine a more dapper looking group!

Ventosa Vineyards has one of my favorite ceremony locations because no matter which direction your camera is pointed in, there is beauty! The mansion that sits on the property is beautifully situated in the background, and of course there’s the iconic vineyard overlooking Seneca Lake - you can’t go wrong. Their ceremony was full of emotion, from Kevyn’s first look at Jessica as she walked down the aisle with her dad to the mention of his late best friend and best man, Craig, who sadly passed away just months before their wedding day. Jess’ infectious smile and their laughter together brought everything full circle and made it a truly special experience for all of us.

After photographing these two for their engagement photos a year before their wedding, I knew portraits with them would be easy because they truly enjoy each others’ company. With just a little direction, we made some of my favorite photos ever.

But my MOST favorite moments of the day came after all of that. I could have never imagined Kevyn’s killer dance moves, which came right out of the gate in both his first dance with Jess and his dance with his mom! I’m glad they held tight to his hand because they could have easily been sent flying! The rest of their reception was such a blast to photograph. Not a moment went by where I was at a loss for someone to photograph. It’s not every wedding that pretty much all the guests hit the floor at some point! But Jess and Kevyn’s guests came ready to party. I think I smiled and laughed all night!

I’m so thankful for Jess and Kevyn’s love and support, and for the chance to photograph their wedding day. It will definitely be a favorite for years to come!

Click here for a highlight video by my sister, Olivia Bauso, from Jess and Kevyn’s wedding!


The vendors who made this day so amazing were

Stationery // Emma Bauso Designs

Venue // Ventosa Vineyards

Cake + Dessert // Rochester NY Wedding Cakes + Savoia Pastry Shoppe

Videography // Olivia Bauso

Hair + Makeup // Angelina Palermo

Bride’s + Bridesmaids’ Dresses // Katherine Patricia

Menswear // Van Heusen

Floral Design // Rockcastle Florist

Rentals // Nolan’s Rentals

DJ + Entertainment // JPL Event Magic

Maria + Alan // Marriott Syracuse Wedding

I’m so thrilled to share today’s wedding with you. This one was a huge learning experience for me, and so exciting to be part of. The colors, the traditions, and of course this sweet couple made the weekend so wonderful.

On Saturday, my sister and I began at Drumlin’s Golf Course, where Maria and Alan’s families came together for the sangeet. The sangeet involved Maria first being brought to the stage where Alan awaited her, and them sitting together (on a gorgeous golden vintage couch from She Rents Vintage) while their guests came up to take group photos, feed them special desserts, spread henna onto leaves in their hands, and visit with them. Maria loves bright colors, so this dress was her favorite of the two she got to wear on her wedding weekend.

Sunday’s events were similar to what we think of in American weddings. I photographed the two and their close family members while they prepared for the day, we ventured out (on a brutally hot day in August!) for portraits and then returned to the Hotel Syracuse for their reception, where guests would come to share a meal, take more portraits with the couple and dance together!

Like many weddings, this one varied a bit from the traditional Indian wedding. I was told that Maria wanted a more laid back, less fussy weekend. Even as I researched afterwards, so I could be sure to understand some things about their day(s), I see that many things were omitted or slightly different. I love that Maria had the wedding experience that she wanted, but that their customs were kept alive in so many ways! Every time I go into a wedding day, someone’s home, or really any setting for a photoshoot, I enter with the realization that I’m there as a witness and that at the very core of what I do is observation. This experience was no different, only that I felt like I needed be even more observant, more open to the unexpected (because none of it was what I expected!) and just along for the ride, camera in hand and ready to go.

Thank you SO much for giving me this experience, Maria and Alan. I know these words can’t possibly do this experience justice, but hopefully the photos do!

Vendors who helped make this day so wonderful include

Stationery // Emma Bauso Designs

Venue // Marriott Syracuse Downtown

Catering // Marriott Syracuse Downtown

Cake + Dessert // Cakes By Michele

Planner + Coordination // Adrianne Kompf

Hair + Makeup // SS Bridal Beauty

Floral Design // Adrianne Kompf

DJ + Entertainment // Salt City Sound Machine

Katie + Mike // Springside Inn Auburn NY Wedding

I’m so excited to finally pick up where I left off sharing my 2018 weddings. I have so many beautiful couples to share with you guys! Today, I’m starting out with Katie and Mike, who I had the pleasure of working with prior to their wedding day on their invitations. These two were lacrosse coaches at Colgate when we first began our stationery process, and have now moved to Philadelphia to follow their college coaching careers. One thing that strikes me about them is how deep their friendship runs. On their wedding day, they were so comfortable together - and always with genuine, complete smiles across their faces.

They spent their whole late July wedding day at Springside Inn, in Auburn NY, which is a fantastic venue for couples who want an all-inclusive wedding day experience. I loved the ease of going from getting ready upstairs, to their first look and portraits all over the grounds, to the ceremony on the front lawn, with the day ending with a reception behind the inn, under a gorgeous tent in “The Grove”.

Katie and Mike’s wedding day was wonderfully laid back. Their bridal party had fun together all day, which is always amazing to see. I also loved how they incorporated their beloved pup in the photos and ceremony!

This was my first time photographing a reception that took place in The Grove at Springside Inn, and I hadn’t seen this gorgeous bar they built yet! Such a fun addition for all of the guests who attend weddings here. I also loved the decorations on Katie and Mike’s tables, especially at their head table! Although Katie and Mike described their taste to me as simple and no-fuss, their day was not without attention to detail.

There was no question that Katie and Mike’s reception would be LIT! I love weddings where almost every guest hits the dance floor at least once. Also, the combination of late night pizza and foam glow sticks will make even the most “adult” guests ready to party!

Thank you SO much to Katie and Mike for having me photograph your beautiful day, as well as design and manage your wedding invitation process. It was such a joy to be part of your wedding!


Vendors who helped make this day so wonderful include

Stationery // Emma Bauso Designs

Ceremony + Reception Venue // Springside Inn

Flordal Design // Foley Florist

Cake + Desserts // Nancy Slaton + Mollie Simmons

Bride’s + Bridesmaids’ Dresses // Rebecca’s Bridal

Menswear // Men’s Wearhouse

Rentals // Auburn Party Rental

DJ // Mike Szozda of Sound Playground

2018 // A Review, Looking Forward

Holy s**t! I haven’t posted here since the end of August, which is a testament to how insane the last half of 2018 was for me and this business. Weddings nearly every weekend, and session after session in between. 2018 was my first really full year of shooting weddings, which was a huge learning experience in so many ways. My capacity was stretched and tested more than ever, and at times it didn’t feel great! Especially when you throw a couple of kids, a very patient boyfriend, and declining mental health in the mix - it makes for some pretty crazy months. I’ll admit that there was hardly any balance and that most days in October and November were a struggle on all fronts.

With that being said, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that 2018 was one of my favorite years, both personally and professionally. I am so proud of the work that me and my incredible sister, Olivia, did. I’m so thrilled with every wedding, client, family, stationery suite, design project, online interaction, and connection made. This year, I had more people reaching out via social media (thanks for introducing stories, Insta!) to talk about my photography, my brand, and to connect with me as the person behind it all - and that felt awesome. It can be really isolating at times, doing all the behind the scenes work alone. So to know that I have a whole crew out there cheering me on… keeps me afloat some days!

One Photo from Every shoot in 2018

So, 2019! I’m ready as HELL for it. I’m ready to put what I’ve learned to the test, and set more boundaries so I can avoid feeling as overwhelmed as I did by the end of 2018. I’m ready to celebrate with my couples and families through some of the happiest days of their lives. I’m ready to bring my absolute best self and incorporate new ideas and creativity into every wedding and shoot. I’m ready to not just capture the things I’m “supposed” to, but to look at everything I do with a fresh set of eyes - as if it’s brand new. 2018 was about hitting my mark, and 2019 is about hitting it but in my own style!

Some updates! I’m no longer accepting stationery clients for 2019. I booked up without even mentioning that side of my business within the last 6 months or so, and I’m planning on keeping stationery a smaller portion of the work I do moving forward. To anyone getting married in 2020 who wants to be on my radar, please send me a message 1 year away from your date so I can get you on my calendar!

Availability - I have some Sundays in June, July, August, and September but for the most part I am booked for 2019. I intentionally left a lot of weekends to take on 1-hour sessions and engagements all summer because I literally forgot about leaving gaps for those in 2018. Please reach out about 2020! I already have several inquiries in every month for that year - which I’m like… in awe of. Ladies who aren’t engaged yet… get your guy and let him know that shits getting serious for most wedding vendors already - yikes!

Finally, I have some SUPER exciting news! I hired an assistant to help with some of the administrative tasks in my business. Her name is Jenna and she will be the one responding to inquiries, helping schedule things, sending files, along with lots of other things! In order to be more creative and exited about everything I take on in 2019, I needed to offload some of the things that bring me down. For now, we’re figuring out how to do all of this together so thanks for your patience! It seems to be pretty seamless right now but it’s definitely tricky to hand over such personal parts of my business to someone else.

So thank you SO much to every person who supported me this year. To my patient family and friends, an EXTRA big thank you for making is as easy as possible to do what I love. To everyone who took care of our kiddos while Dom and I both did what we were passionate about weekend after weekend, thank you for being our village. To Dom, thank you for pulling the wagon along with me, even when the wheels fell off. To my kids, thanks for understanding as much as you possibly can and for loving me even on the crazy days. To my sister, thank you for doing this by my side with love, patience, and sometimes more skill than I have. To my clients, thank you for understanding that I have a million moving parts in my business, and for being patient during this year of insurmountable growth. I hope that you always felt cared for and prioritized!

Happy New Year! Here’s to 2019.

Leanne + Peter // Eastman Gardens Rochester, NY Engagement Photography

I'm back with another gorgeous engagement session from this summer - this one took place just a few weekends ago with another couple whose wedding I'm SO excited to photograph next year. I feel like I connect pretty easily with most of my couples, but Leanne and Peter were exceptionally amazing to hang out with during their session. It made me even more excited to photograph their day next year! Not to mention, these two are SO adorable together and photographing them was such a breeze.

Not only was I excited to meet these two, but it was my first time photographing at the Eastman Museum Garden in Rochester. I always see photos taken here by photographers I admire, so it was really cool to be able to go there myself! Maybe that's lame to admit, but it's always fun exploring a new setting with my couples.

Thank you SO much, Leanne and Peter! I loved meeting you guys and now I can hardly wait for your wedding next year. It'll be here before we know it!