The request I received for this wedding was to shoot their wedding in the style I shot documentary series. I used to shoot documentaries using range finder, Leica film cameras. Some of them can be seen on another website of mine, http://www.ayanohisaphoto.com. She saw the photos on my website and requested me to shoot like old-fashioned black and white documentary style rather than contemporary wedding style. I became really excited to hear that from my wedding client. I haven't photographed black and white for a while and it completely refreshed my eyes again. Although I still used my digital cameras, I tried to keep focusing on imagining how these scenes would look like in black and white. Here are some results! Congratulations you two, the beautiful couple!
Amandine contacted me through our mutual good friend, Shannon. Shannon and I were classmates when we were at Savannah College of Art and Design, working on our master's degree. We actually had a thesis show together. He now teaches Photography in Tennessee and Amandine is his student. Amandine and Bart are French, from Tennessee! I love how my clients are international and from all over the world! They had a nice intimate ceremony with their friends in the Central Park, and then we moved to New Jersey to do some portraits with the Manhattan cityscape / nightscape. The timing was perfect for the photos. We caught when the sun was going down and the night lights started to be on as it got darker. Beautiful couple in the beautiful nightscape! Congratulations, Amandine and Bart!!
Helen and Joseph had their wedding in Brooklyn. We first went to the Brooklyn Bridge for some portrait session. It was photo-perfect sunny day with the beautiful blue sky. Then we moved to the East Harbor Seafood Palace also in Brooklyn. I have photographed a few weddings there and they have the funniest games for the wedding couple and guests. Helen and Joseph did both American and Chinese style, including the American style first dance and the Chinese style tea ceremony. People were enjoying the great Chinese food, too. Helen and Joseph looked so happy together. Congratulations, Helen and Joseph!!!
I photographed Alice and Max for their engagement. It is always good to do engagement photography so the the couple gets to know how I work and we get to know about each other. Their wedding was at the beautiful Boathouse in the Prospect Park. The ceremony was outdoor, in front of the little lake and the bridge. It felt great to be there under the blue sky, surrounded by the nature, and was also visually gorgeous. The reception was inside the boathouse. There were good food, music, laughter, pretty flowers, games, and people were having great time. Alice was wearing a beautiful dress made by her friend. Alice and Max was smiling and laughing throughout the whole wedding and looked so happy together. Congratulations, Alice and Max!!!
I met Kim and Ming through my past client / good friends after their wedding, Ayako and Shakeem. Kim is a good friend of Ayako's. They had their ceremony at the New York city hall (marriage bureau / city clerk's office), and the reception at a nice restaurant in lower east side, Grocco. Although the wait time at the city hall was longer than usual, the ceremony went very quickly as it usually does in the city hall. You wait for half hour, the officiant comes and within two minutes, you are married! We did a few portraits around the city hall, and then moved to lower east side to do some more. Kim was really nervous being photographed, as most brides are, but they did really good job in front of camera and look really cute together!! Congratulations, Kim and Ming!!!
Alice and Max contacted me while they were in NYC for a short trip from Boston. We did the engagement session around the area Alice grew up in Park Slope area in Brooklyn, near the Prospect Park. Alice knew lots of good places for photos in the area. We started from the park, then walked on the nice streets to the Barnes and Noble, farmer's market and a cafe. A lot of my clients tell me that they feel nervous to be photographed. Alice and Max was telling me the same thing, however, as I started shooting, I was impressed how natural they can look in front of my camera. Their smiles and laughters were so genuine even when being photographed. They did great for photos! Congratulations, Alice and Max!!!
Risa and Taka contacted me from Japan. I have been doing weddings for a while and realize how shy Japanese couples are. As some of you might already know, a lot of Japanese people are not good at being openly affectionate; very shy (there are always some exceptions). It probably has a lot to do with the way we greet. When I tell American friends that we don't hug or kiss at all but just bow to each other when we say "hi" or "good-bye", they are like "isn't it sad?" "but you do hug your close friends, right?" "that sounds cold...", etc, etc, but no, we do not hug or kiss for greetings at all and it's just how our culture is. I do not hug or kiss my parents even when they come pick me up at Narita airport but that does not mean I did not miss them or they did not miss me. OK, furthermore, we do not casually say "I love you". I have never said that even to my parents, whom I love dearly. Never heard those words from my parents, who love me a lot. Never seen them saying that to each other, either. I hear American people saying that to friends a lot and that used to be pretty shocking to me. A lot of Japanese people are just not used to be openly affectionate. I am feeling awkward even just by writing about this! I've been somewhat Americanized so I got used to hug & kiss on cheek to my American friends though.
Anyway, I noticed they were shy from the beginning but I asked them if they would kiss for photos. Risa was like "hmmm, maybe?" but Taka said to me right away, "No kiss!!!!", which made me smile but is not uncommon reaction from Japanese grooms. As we photographed, I asked them again, because people usually get pretty comfortable being photographed after a while. Risa finally succeeded to kiss on his cheek in some shots. Because they were so shy, I tried to take photos when they were in natural moment. They are grooming each other often because it was super windy (it was supposed to be thunderstorm all day but we didn't get any rain!), but it turned out well for getting those natural moments. We started at One UN New York Hotel, moved to Tiffany on the 5th avenue, Columbia University's St. Paul's Chapel, and finished in the Central Park. Risa & Taka seemed to be a perfect match. Congratulations, Risa and Taka!!!
Rosanie contacted me through our mutual good friend, Jamie. Jamie and I went to college together. Rosanie was so prepared and organized for the photo shoot and she got those cute Starbucks ♡ cups for our photo shoot! It almost made me think I should hire her as my planner for photo shoots in the future! We started from Grand Central station, walked to the Starbucks and finished in the Central Park. It was really funny but during the photo shoot, each of us found a friend on street. It's such a small city, Priya, one of my clients who hired me for her engagement, wedding, maternity, newborn and baby baptism, found me on 5th avenue. We had great time shooting! Congratulations, Rosanie and Chris!!!
Hair / Make-up by Nanae Itoi
I photographed Katie and Tom for their engagement photo session in May at Fort Tryon Park. They chose the location because their wedding was going to be in the park. The ceremony was outdoor in the park, under the trees and the reception was at the beautiful New Leaf Cafe. I have photographed many multi-cultural couples and one thing I always notice is that although they look very different, they have the same atmosphere. Katie and Tom obviously do not look alike but they have the same air around them. The wedding went beautifully. Tom usually seems very calm and shy but when he starts dancing he gets pretty wild. Katie kind of tries to stay away, which made everybody laugh. They are really cute together! Congratulations, Katie and Tom!!!
Maya and Beat had a wedding reception at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center. I freelance for Jazz at Lincoln Center and photograph their concerts occasionally but it was my first time to shoot a wedding there. Maya and Beat came to NYC from Germany. They are music lovers and decided to have their reception at Dizzy’s where they have visited before and really loved. Justin Blevins of Great Performances arranged the event there.
The music was by Kim Nally (vocal), Eric Reed (piano), Greg Skaff (guitar), Dezron Douglas (bass) and Aaron Kimmel (drums). They played Billy Holiday tunes. It was my first time to hear Kim Nally and she instantly became one of my favorite singers. Eric Reed has always been one of my favorite pianists. Kim sang one of her own songs about Trayvon Martin, with the guitar player, Greg Skaff, and that was exceptional. I totally got goose bumps. Such a talented singer / songwriter.
As you can see in the photos, there were lots of kissing. I requested it for photos only once and other times it was voluntary. :) Congratulations, Maya and Beat!!!
Jazz lovers, you can have your events at Dizzy’s; weddings, baby showers, graduations, birthdays, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice to have your event when your favorite musicians are playing? Plus you get the great view! You can contact Justin Blevins of Great Performance at Justin.Blevins@greatperformances.com or call their reservation line; 212-258-9595 to plan your event.