Stephanie + Peter // Emerson Park Pavillion, Auburn NY Wedding

Today I'm sharing another wedding with a bride named Stephanie - two out of three for this year! This wedding I photographed right here in Auburn NY in late June was another hot day - upper 90s I believe - but the whole bridal party were such troopers all day long, and together my sister and I captured some of our favorite photos to date. Overall, I don't think I have captured so much genuine joy and happiness from every single person in attendance. Not a single person didn't have a smile on their face for most of the day, and that is evident in these photos. Get ready, because there were too many favorites not to share!

Both sides of the bridal party began by getting ready at the newly renovated Holiday Inn in Auburn. We walked in and immediately felt the love all around! Stephanie's simplistic, natural beauty was clear from the very beginning and that's what made her so incredibly beautiful on this day. Everything from her makeup to her dress and, later as we'd see, the decor of the wedding was so effortlessly exquisite.

Peter and his guys were really there to have fun, and their sense of humor together made the whole day really fun. They were down for whatever photos we asked them to take, and were clearly such good friends to Pete. They also didn't mind taking advantage of some chill time to enjoy the World Cup game in the lobby.

I love that many of my couples this year are opting for a first look. I feel like these first look photos are some of my favorites, and we really got SO many in this pretty wooded area just next to Emerson Park, with views of the lake. Steph and Pete were very mindful that this would be taking place during a really sunny part of this hot summer day, so I appreciated that they sought a shady spot for these photos. I thought we'd switch the method of their first look just a bit, by having Steph come right up behind Pete and cover his eyes before he turned around, and it made for a really cute photo!

Pete was just in awe of how gorgeous Steph looked, but he said he wasn't surprised that her dress was simple because that's how she rolls! We all agreed that although it all looked effortless, she was just stunning!

Speaking of stunning - I have to give an honorary mention to these flowers. With greenery and neutrals being all the rage currently, I can really appreciate the pop of color that Adrianne from AMK Floral added to these beautiful bouquets. Even the boutonnieres were so sweet!

It was at this point that I really got to see how silly Steph and Pete were, not just with their friends but with each other too. At the very end of their portraits, I asked them to "bump hips" and after they did that they showed me how they see who can shake their butts faster. (Should I have included that? Not sure but I need to convey how sweet and silly these two really are!!)

Their ceremony took place right outside the Pavillion at Emerson Park, overlooking the lake. It was short and sweet - good thing because as aforementioned.... it was HOT!! Their beautiful "archway" came from She Rents Vintage, decorated of course by AMK Floral.

I keep mentioning that this day was so simply beautiful, but really no detail was overlooked. Even their table stationery was so beautiful, reflecting all the soft, elegant, summery beauty that this whole day embodied. The trailing greenery on each long table, the simple tablescapes... all perfect for this day!

And... the donuts. Oh, man. When I see the photo of the fruity pebble ones, I can recall their taste in a second! SO GOOD. SO GENIUS.

 I think these two stayed on the dance floor for a majority of their night, which is something I LOVE to see. After the couple did their dances, their DJ invited others to join in for the res of the songs, which was honestly one of my favorite things ever. Seeing all of the dads out there with their girls... TEARS. I couldn't even control it, it was just so sweet.

The rest of the night can be summed up with this: epic dance moves from a brother-in-law who came prepared in Nikes, Pete's family storming the stage for an amazing performance of a song I've never even heard before, a maid of honor with a signature move, The Floss, a full guest obsession with Lady Gaga, and some really beautiful evening portraits.

THE END!! Thanks Steph and Pete for being the sweetest!


Stephanie + Scott // Arbor Loft, Rochester New York Wedding

I strive to do my very best work every single wedding, and after each one there is something that I know I did better than the one before it. But sometimes you leave at the end of the night feeling like you KILLED IT. This was one of those nights! I drove back home from Rochester after the longest day tired and aching, but so thrilled to see what I knew I captured. Even my sister said in the days to follow that we took some of our best photos yet on this day.

Oooh, it was an unusually hot day at the end of May, but we were all just glad there wasn't rain so we could go through with the gorgeous locations Scott an Steph were envisioning for their portraits. Olivia and I began separately, she with the guys at their hotel and me with the girls at Scott and Steph's home just north of the city.

Immediately I knew it would be a beautiful, fun day. Steph's maids were all beyond gorgeous and excited for her - plus, a Britney Spears playlist in the background... YUP!

Scott is somewhat of a cocktail aficionado, so he and his guys enjoyed plenty of drinks as they got dressed. I love the way that Liv photographed them, especially some of the portraits she took of Scott.

The couple planned on having a first look at their venue, Arbor Loft, then heading to the Sunken Gardens in Highland Park for their portraits. Their bridal party and families looked on as Steph approached Scott at the end of the aisle. When he turned around he was clearly overcome with emotion and awe, saying "You're my wife! I'm going to marry you!" Yep, she looked THAT amazing, and everyone knew it.

Not being local to Rochester, it was really dreamy to photograph these guys in Highland Park. I'm sure some Rochester photographers like to switch it up and go elsewhere, but I was thrilled to not just photograph a couple there, but a bride and groom.

We had plenty of time to go to another spot, which Scott and Stephanie were hoping could be a parking garage with a pretty sweet view around downtown Rochester. The clear blue skies and full sun lighting didn't scare us off, and the results were just to die for. I love the neutral color scheme and urban look that shooting on top of a parking garage offers, so couples if you love this look too - let's do it!!

The Arbor Loft (their downtown location) is such a cool, versatile space. Having followed them on Instagram for some time now, I've seen so many configurations of the space and every one is so cool! I love that everything is all within the one big space but nicely segmented to give you the feeling of a really expansive venue. The ceremony space was perfect for their guests, and the greenery hoop display was so simple, modern and sweet.

Steph and Scott's ceremony was really nice, especially since it was Officiated by a family member of Stephanie's and with the added touch of planting a tree together which they can keep with them always, to remind them of their original unity and continual growth.

After the ceremony and family portraits came dinner, then dessert (cupcakes from the amazing Scratch Bakeshop!) and finally the party! Steph's family had some serious dancing kids on the floor all. night. long, who were always fun to photograph! I remember being one of those kids at my aunts' weddings - on the dance floor the whole night with the craziest moves!

All in all, this day was absolutely gorgeous and so much fun to capture. It's always so cool to get into new locations, especially with clients who I know appreciate and look forward to their photography like Scott and Steph. I'm so grateful to pretty much always have clients who value the photos taken on their wedding day, and let me do my thing to the best of my ability.


Some of the fantastic vendors who made this day so beautiful were:

Ceremony + Reception Venue // Arbor Loft

Catering // Orange Glory

Cupcakes // Scratch Bakeshop

Stationery // Minted

Printed Signage // Emma Bauso Designs

Brides Dress // Heart to Heart Bridal North

Bridesmaids Dresses // Various Designers

Menswear // Menguin

Floral Design // Fabulous Flowers

DJ  // Sound Express Entertainment Group

Second Photographer // Olivia Bauso

Taylor + Dan // Finger Lakes Wedding Photography

Wedding season is here, and I'm thrilled to have started it out with some amazing couples already! My job is such a joy because of the people who have chosen me to photograph their day. Taylor and Dan are evidence of this, and their April wedding was absolutely perfect in every way.

I started with them at their hotel in Geneva, NY where my lovely Assistant/Sister Olivia and I captured their time getting ready for the wedding. Dan and his guys enjoyed craft beer from their personalized engraved growlers, while Taylor relaxed and did her wedding day interview with Brit Clarke, her fantastic videographer. It was a very relaxed morning, which says a lot about who Taylor and Dan are as individuals and a couple.

Once we were ready, we headed to their ceremony and reception venue, Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery, to check out the amazing job their staff and AMK Floral did with decor. While Taylor hung out indoors with some of her bridal party, her parents and the kids, Dan was outside greeting guests and getting ready to begin the ceremony.

Guys, this ceremony broke the record for amount of tearfall from a photographer, I guarantee it. Their vows to each other were absolutely the most beautiful I've ever heard exchanged. I'm so glad Olivia to get in the perfect position to capture Taylor's roller coaster of emotions as Dan promised his love to her.

This ceremony was a challenge to photograph, because the sun was so high and direct (we had the most beautiful late April day!!) but I really love how magical all of the photos look. Taylor and Dan's day just felt that special, so this amazing lighting was the cherry on top of all that beauty and love.

After getting through their family portraits and bridal party shots, we photographed Taylor and Dan alone together. It's such a dream to have a bride and groom be so natural together for this part of the day. I think for many couples there can be some anxiety over looking picture perfect here, but the real way to nail it is to just focus on the energy between you two. Luckily we didn't have to give these guys hardly any direction for them to be absolutely gorgeous together.

The winery even granted us access to their pretty sweet wine cellar, where we captured Taylor and Dan among giant wine barrels. I love the dark, romantic feel of those photos so much!

Taylor and Dan did their dances during the BEST time of the night, with the most beautiful magic lighting flooding through the huge windows of the winery. Sun flare inside during a reception?! Yes please!!

Oh my goodness, their reception was SUCH a blast. Their guests were on the dance floor ALL night long, thanks in part to their amazing DJ. He was out on the floor with them, encouraging all the dancing and fun. I've never seen a DJ like that and LOVED the experience!

And then this happened...

And that's the end of a truly amazing day for Taylor and Dan. Thank you SO much for having Olivia and I there to capture so much love and beauty. I just can't say how much I really loved their day... It was so emotional, even for me as a total outside party! Just the best experience ever.

Jackie + Chris // Rochester, NY Wedding Photography

My first wedding of the year was one I'm so grateful to have had! Jackie and Chris' day was nothing short of beautiful, and not despite being extremely simple but because of being simple. This one reminded me that underneath all the frills and excitement, a wedding is a celebration of love, family and togetherness. I feel like I've never seen such closeness among family members, which I marveled at the whole time I was editing this! Every other photo was hugging, smiling, and just genuine connection between friends and family. So, so beautiful!

We started the day at Jackie and Chris' house, where the girls were getting ready. Jackie's mom was making sure the dress separates were perfectly hung to be photographed, and all the bridesmaids were flitting around finishing their hair and makeup while I photographed details. Jackie found her skirt on Etsy, and the bodice was made from the boning of her mother's wedding dress. The lace overlay was made by her mom and was just stunning on Jackie, and fit so perfectly!

I loved seeing the girls' reactions to seeing her all put together for the first time. This group of friends was so sweet, so helpful in every way. Everything a bridal party should be!!

We then headed to the church, where Chris was waiting along with his groomsmen and beginning to seat guests and greet family. The couple wanted to read their notes to each other on either side of a door or wall, so we quickly found one and got to it. It's such a simple thing, but I just LOVE these shots. Chris prayed for them as they held hands and laughed together. Jackie mentioned how she just wanted to kiss him right then and there - I can only imagine how that felt for them!

Their ceremony was really beautiful - short and sweet, full of meaningful remarks from their pastor. The pastor and his wife actually played a large part in Chris and Jackie being together, and have been witnesses to their love over the few years they've been dating. I loved how that made everything the pastor said more meaningful and true, not just some inspirational message about marriage but one about Jackie and Chris specifically.

Artisan Works... oh man, this place is cool!! I don't know which I love more, the inside or the outside! I love how colorful the backdrops of their group photos are because of the way the exterior is painted. So, so fun! This group was a lot of fun to be with, because they all mostly knew each other and just weren't afraid to be silly.

Jackie and Chris' day started pretty early, with an 11 o'clock ceremony and the reception immediately following, so they chose brunch as their meal! Guests enjoyed all sorts of pastries and brunch food, including an omelette station and mimosas.

A few of the bridesmaids went through elementary school with Jackie, and their moms were all at the wedding so naturally we had to get a group photo of that! I've said it before, but I'm still so in love with how connected all these guests were. There was such good energy throughout the day that just doesn't always happen at weddings!

I know Jackie had hoped for some snow for their photos, which one would assume they could get during February in Central New York... but nope! Instead, we had a beautiful day with some clouds... and then some gorgeous warm evening light. I'll take it!! It sure made for an amazing portrait session after we left their reception.

Thank you SO much to Jackie and Chris for having me photograph your day, and a huge thank you to their friends and family who made me feel so welcome and most importantly, the most perfect day for Jackie and Chris!

Last but not least, my sister Olivia is a friend of Jackie and Chris', so she attended their wedding and made the sweetest video of their day! Here's a little teaser clip:


Vendors who made this day a success:

Church: Community of the Savior
Reception Venue: Artisan Works
Jackie's Dress: Top - Made by her mom, Skirt - HiddenRoom on Etsy
Invitations - Minted
Flowers - Arranged by Jackie, her bridesmaids and Olivia Bauso
Videography - Olivia Bauso
Cake - Get Caked
Catering - Madeline's Catering
DJ - Turner Music Productions

For New Moms // Newborn Photography Session Tips

Photographing couples is such a passion of mine, and I'm so lucky that I get to capture the love that couples share with their new babies through newborn and Fresh 48 sessions. It's so important for me to make a new mom feel comfortable and supported for these sessions, because I know exactly how those early days can be - messy, chaotic, tiring and overwhelming. It's my goal to not only capture sweet photos of your new babe, but to leave you feeling calm and happy after a session. Here are some ways you can prepare for a newborn session with me or any photographer, so we all feel calm and supported in your newborn photo experience.

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Just Relax

The internet is not always our friend in the early days of motherhood. We can be overwhelmed with beautiful photos of babies sleeping soundly through their newborn sessions, in what seem like perfectly styled and cleaned houses with well rested, calm parents. This is an illusion most of the time, and I want you to let go of that false reality in preparation for our session. Focus on tidying the areas you want to shoot in, put on some light makeup and just wear something you feel pretty in - even if that's a t-shirt and leggings. If baby is fussy, you'll snuggle them for as long as you need to and we will take our time to calm them down.

The biggest obstacle to being relaxed during a newborn session is feeling rushed, so I always give us plenty of time to capture the photos that represent this time of your baby's life.

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Feeling relaxed and calm is a big reason why I only offer lifestyle newborn or Fresh 48 sessions now. It allows us to take our time and make you and baby feel most comfortable, while capturing real moments for your family to cherish forever.

Feed the Baby

One of the first things I tell moms when we begin our session is that if the baby is showing you hunger cues, we can pause for whatever amount of time they need to get satisfied! I know personally how nothing good comes from being hungry or wanting a snack - I believe it's called "hangry". And, if breast OR bottle feeding is part of the journey you would like to capture, please let me know! Don't feel rushed - we will resume our shoot whenever you and the baby are ready.

Have Swaddles and Props Ready

Because I feel it's important to capture your family as naturally as possible, I don't usually bring props or blankets of my own - unless we discuss it first. I suggest having at least two cotton swaddle blankets handy to wrap the baby in. One color, patterned, neutral or bright - they're all awesome and will make your session unique! It's also a good idea to have some throw blankets handy to use as easy backgrounds that we can change out with the swaddles. This way, you have a big variety of photos to choose from.

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Also, if there are any heirloom or fun objects you want in the photos it's a good idea to have them out and ready, so when the opportunity strikes I can just grab them and add it to the photo!

Prep your Partner

Many times, these photos are not as exciting for your better half as they are for you. Chances are, they're supportive because they should be at this time of your motherhood journey - woohoo! It's good to let them know that all they're expected to do is snuggle the baby (and you!) I am very careful to capture both parents alone with the baby to make sure everyone feels included, so if this makes your partner feel nervous, just let them know it will be quick and again - just focus on the baby!

Wear Something Neutral

I mentioned before that you should take the pressure off yourself to look like a model right now. Chances are, I'll walk in and be shocked at how amazing you look AND your partner thinks you look like a million bucks anyways, so just keep that in mind if you're feeling less-than. Do your hair and makeup minimally and naturally, and wear something simple and neutral in color so that no matter what the baby is swaddled in or wearing, everyone matches. As far as what you're wearing, think about what you will feel most comfortable in. If that's your favorite maternity jeans and a pretty blouse - great! If that's leggings and a t-shirt - awesome! Motherhood looks great on you, no matter what. Tell your partner the same!

Fresh 48

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Ohhh how I love these sessions. If you haven't seen one or don't know the difference, I suggest you check out this post, this one, and this one! The difficult part of these sessions is when there are interruptions from hospital staff and family. Of course if these are necessary, that's fine but try to let people know beforehand that you plan on having a photographer in your room for about an hour at the time we agree on, so there are little to no interruptions. This is not because I'm selfish and want you to myself, but because introducing more people to the room makes things chaotic and overwhelming for everyone - yourself and baby especially! I want to get in and out as soon as I can so you can go back to bonding and visiting with your family members.

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Siblings

Many of my clients are not first-time moms, and older siblings will be part of the baby's shoot too! This is such a vulnerable time for them, regardless of their age. I try to be sensitive to that and will make sure to get permission from your child to take their picture - especially if it means asking them to do something specific to get "the shot". The last thing I want is for this to be a traumatic experience for them! If they're just not having it, we will let them go do their own thing until they're ready to come back and try again.

I know sometimes what you want most a this time is the sweetest photo of your little loves together, and we will try until it happens. But, keep in mind that this may be overwhelming for the older sibling and kids will not do anything they don't want to do. I feel that at this time of their life, it's important to respect that boundary and settle for whatever we can get!

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So, overall if there is anything you should take away from these points, it's to just stay calm, keep your expectations somewhat low and go with the flow! The MOST important thing is to trust me, and trust when I say this : you'll love these photos so much because when you look at them for years to come, you'll be transported back in time to this incredible time of life for you family.


Sarah + Damien // Auburn NY New Year's Even Wedding / Vow Renewal

Hey there! I'm SO thrilled to share this wedding with you today that I photographed this past New Year's Eve at the Hilton Garden Inn in Auburn. Sarah and Damien's full gallery is one of my most favorites to date because their reception/party photos are SO fun, and there are so many great shots of their guests having the time of their lives! If you want guests who are ready to party and have an amazing time, have your wedding on NYE.

Sarah and Damien were married 3 years ago with a small ceremony, and they were finally ready to throw their dream wedding and reception. Their ceremony was a vow renewal, but every other aspect of their day was very much like a wedding - especially their HUGE wedding party and rocking reception.

The day began with getting ready right in the meeting room downstairs of the Hilton, which was a really great size for such a large group of women to get ready in. Plus, it had great natural light so that was THE dream. The third photo I took was of Sarah, the gorgeous bride, dancing and having the best time. I knew right away this would be a fun night!

The guys got ready in a room upstairs and were having just as much fun! The couple were planning to have a first look so we'd be able to fit their bridal party photos in before the sun went down. Shortly after arriving, we got Damien ready to see his bride in her dress for the first time.

I love having the bridal party on standby to be able to witness this moment with their friends, the couple. Some couples opt to have this as a private moment for them, which I am all for as well, but this is lots of fun too!

After they got their first look together, we headed right outside to get the bridal party group shots over with - guys, it was like 5 degrees outside and they were troopers!!

One of the best parts of this day was that there was hardly any rushing and there was lots of spare time for everyone to hang out and just be together, especially since the couple had a first look AND we were running early.

Their vow renewal ceremony was short and sweet, with Sarah's step father officiating and making it extra special.

Besides the dancing part of the reception (which we'll get to shortly!) I really loved the speeches that were given before dinner. No matter what a maid of honor and best man says during this time, it's always lovely but some just tug on my heartstrings even more than others! This was definitely one of those times - even Damien's father's words were so, so good.

I've mentioned the bridal party were a FUN group... but these wedding guests also added SO much great energy and fun to the evening. I'm so excited to share some of these photos of lots of people from my town, as it's always so fun to see photos of yourself as a guest at a wedding!

Thank you SO much, Sarah and Damien for including me and my sister in this special celebration of your marriage. I couldn't imagine ringing in the new year in a better way!


Vendors who helped make this wedding perfect:

Venue : Hilton Garden Inn, Auburn
Florist : Smiley's Town and Country
Videography : Briteclarke Productions
Second Photographer : Olivia Bauso
DJ : Humphrey DJ Service
Bride's hair/makeup : Kansas Hahn- Robson (hair) and Courtney Morsdorf- MacDonald (makeup)
Bride's Dress : David's Bridal
Mirror Signage : Stefanie Corey
Chalkboard Signage : Jessica Walsh
Cake : Cathy Smith
Flower Girl dress : Macy's
Bridesmaid Dresses : David's Bridal

Helen + Michael // Auburn NY Engagement Session

I'm back to share another beautiful couple with you! Helen and Michael are getting married in 2018, and I was so thrilled to be able to take their engagement photos while they were visiting family for the holidays. Both began their studies in architecture and are pursuing careers with interests in building and design, so it was only fitting that we visit some beautiful buildings in downtown Auburn for their session.

Helen and Michael were so much fun together, really being playful and so sweet to each other! And - it was about 5 degrees this day, so real troopers in the cold as well!

Thanks for taking a look! Here are some more recent engagement sessions you might enjoy:

Grady // Syracuse NY Fresh 48 Newborn Photography

It's been awhile since I've had one of these sessions to share! Fresh 48 newborn photos are my personal favorite way to document welcoming a new person into the world. These sessions are usually simple, easy and just tug on my heartstrings. Looking back at these sessions truly transports you in time, to some of the happiest days of your life as a new parent.

Thanks for popping by to take a look! Interested in more of my newborn photography work? Check out these posts: