Weddings evoke emotions worth remembering for a lifetime. We love photography and we put our hearts into our work.

A Classic November Wedding

By Steve Burns

Good wedding photographers are a flexible bunch.  One day they are doing something one way and the next, due to a different set of circumstances, they are approaching things differently.  All the while they must have a certain consistency about what they do.

My taste, or style, in wedding photography is photo journalistic. However my earlier training in wedding photography was directed posed fashion(y) work. Constantly I find my self drawing on some of the skills I learned in my early years in wedding photography.  Some might refer to those skills and approach to wedding photography as classic.

The first time I met Lori was at her house just hours before her wedding.  She was stunning, and I realized that she had a certain awareness and confidence about herself.  When a photographer has the opportunity to work with such a bride, it is an open invitation to latch on to and work with their personality all day.  It can be a blissful experience.  Louis her groom was no different with his self confidence,  and  I thoroughly enjoyed working with the both of them all day.

Bellow are a few of my favorite images from their day.

As I was working on Louis and Lori’s images,  I found myself constantly being pulled back into frame of mind that called for a look from the early 1970’s.  A time where the film we had available to us had a slightly grainy, more contrast(y), but less saturated look to it.  Kodacolor 400 was such a film.  It is a feeling that I tried to maintain as I worked through the photographs of their wedding coverage.

The opposite of this look would be today’s overly used, heavily cooked,  contrast(y), and heavily saturated, totally rad look that in my mind calls attention to the post production of the images, as compared to the content of the images.   In essence I wanted to maintain a classic feel to the work for some very beautiful people.

Their wedding mass was held at The Church of The Assumption, Roselle Park, NJ with their reception being held at The Atrium in West Orange, NJ.  A special thank you goes out to the wonderful staff and management at the Atrium for being very helpful and accommodating that evening!

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Who’s the most nervous at a wedding?

By Steve Burns

Who’s the most nervous at a wedding during the procession?  Is it the photographer as the bride and her father approach?  Is it the groom in anticipation of his bride to be?  Is it the bride anticipating joining with her groom at the alter?  Is it the father of the bride who is about to give his loving daughter to another?

Well the photographer should be a bit nervous, as should both the bride and the groom.  The photographer, is possibly nervous because they can’t control the moment though they have honed their craft so well that they could function on autopilot if called to so.   They are ready, their gear is ready, and their back up gear is ready and their mind is engaged.   The bride and groom may be a bit nervous in anticipation of their moment together at the alter, however they have a relationship that has been on going and is about to grow even more to support them.

The most nervous person is actually the father of the bride.  Even though he is beaming with pride and confidence as he walks his daughter down that isle where he will shortly give her away to his soon to be son in law; he is full of nervousness.  It doesn’t matter if they are the elder statesman President Clinton as he was walking Chelsea,  or if they are the simplest of common men.  They are all nervous  as they are about to give their child that they raised away.

When we are nervous, things can catch us unaware. It happens to all of us, and it should not be looked at as a fault, or an embarrassment as it’s simply a part of life.

For all of the fathers out there, here is something to be aware of.  I’ve seen this happen twice in as many years.  As you walk your daughter down that isle, she is going to be on your left arm. Your family is to the left side of you as well.  When you reach the head of the isle you will give your daughter a kiss and give her away to her groom.  As you do this she will cross a bit in front of you to join the groom.  As that happens you will turn to your left and go join your family.

If she is wearing a long veil it might blend in with the floor.  So as she walks slightly right and up to the alter, her veil will cross in front of you, and it is going to be difficult to see.  You might possibly step on it, or get tripped up in it.   If this happens the comb and veil will suddenly be ripped out of your daughter’s hair.  Oh-oh!

Thankfully the bride’s father did not fall.   And because I was immediately behind them I was was able to pick up the veil as the bride approached the priest waiting at the alter. As I approached her from behind, I took a quick look at the priest, who gave me a nod.  So I quite simply put it back into her hair at the alter as if nothing had happened.  Think auto pilot.   From there on their day went on as planned, two wonderful people were married, and we attended a wonderful reception a bit later that evening.

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Meredith and Dan’s Engagement Session in NYC

by Zlatko Batistich

I’m very happy to show some of my favorite photos from Meredith and Dan’s engagement portrait session in NYC.  Starting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we walked to Belvedere Castle, the Bow Bridge and Bethesda Fountain.

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Gabby and Jack’s Wedding at Lambertville Station

by Zlatko Batistich

Here is a selection of photos from Gabby and Jack’s wedding, photographed at Lambertville Station in Lambertville, NJ. Their ceremony was at St. James Church in Pennington, NJ. Wedding planning and floral design by Details of I Do in Princeton, NJ.

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Ashley and Robert’s wedding at Dolce in Basking Ridge, NJ

by Zlatko Batistich

I’m very pleased to show some of my favorite photos from Ashley and Robert’s wedding at Dolce in Basking Ridge, NJ. (See more photos from this Dolce Basking Ridge wedding on my blog.)

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Oh, it was jolly! (photobooth goes seasonal)

Photobooths have been getting more and more popular at weddings, and for good reasons. Guests are having tons of fun taking their own pictures and brides have resolved the question of wedding favors! Therefore wedding photographers are trying to get more creative satisfying the demand. Some are offering setups where guests are indeed “pressing a button” to take the photo (a remote shutter release), some are cooperating with a traditional, real photo booth company that actually delivers the very box to the wedding venue. Some prefer to have a second/third photographer take care of this service. Personally, I think the element of human interaction adds to the final content and look of the photos. Some guests will of course go bananas without any encouragement but some will need a little ‘push’ to let their personality really show. Here’s an extract of our (myself and David Lim) holiday themed photo booth shoot at Cara and Matt’s wedding on December 12, 2009. Technical info for photographers: one AB400 Ac powered strobe light was used, shot into a 60” silver umbrella set (as you probably can clearly see) to photographer’s right. We purposefully did not use any fill-in light.

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What to look for when hiring a wedding photographer?

With the busy engagement season upon us and brides starting their search for that one and only, THE photographer I get asked sometimes during consultations: “what questions should I really be asking?”. The demand for bridal guides and advices from pros seems to be higher the closer we get to Holiday season. I don’t just  mean the list of questions provided by your favorite bridal magazine. These are – unfortunately – rarely helpful. Let’s be honest – most of them are frustrating to the photographers (not because we can’t give answers but because they are…artificial to say the least) and not really helpful to the brides. So I will try to take a more common sense, simpler approach here coming from my own experience and feedback from my clients. What should a bride be paying attention to when hiring a wedding photographer? First and most of all:

1. The quality of work

There’s never a second chance to make the first impression. Correct but not quite in our profession. The website can be polished to maximum with photos edited to perfection, presenting a selection of the best shots from the past few years and… that’s great! Hail to the kings of editing but what will matter at the end of the day is how does the coverage of YOUR wedding turn out so yes – you have the right and you SHOULD ask to see an entire gallery from a recent wedding. With most photographers nowadays it will be online so ask your photographer to e-mail the link to you or write it down. Spend some time at home to go over the gallery. How well did the photographer manage to cover different parts of the day? How consistent is the coverage? Is there enough emotional moments? Is there a good variety of images (details, close-ups, wide angle shots showing an entire scene). Are the reception shots well lit? Is the light pleasing (soft, directional, modelling) or do the photos look similar to what comes out from your own point & shoot camera when photographing in a dark room? Are vertical photos free of harsh side shadows behind the subject? Are the photos focused where they need to be or are too many of them blurry and unclear? Are skin tones from indoor shots, ceremony and reception looking the same as on the photos taken outdoors? Be critical, all of these questions will indicate your photographers technical proficiency as well as editing skills. It’s one of the most important days of your life that’s about to be documented so do not get diluted by the shot of a cute flower girl that is easy to get – look for some signature, unique and compelling photos that you haven’t seen anywhere else.  Raise the bar high!. Don’t just settle for something that looks average or inconsistent!

2. Photographer’s personality

Just as important as the quality of work. Wedding photography is about the relationships. You are about to hire someone that will be around you during the entire day so do not kid yourself – if you don’t “click” during the consultation – let it go. You absolutely HAVE TO feel comfortable around your wedding photographer (even about the way they dress). Unless they are a hard core photojournalist there will be a few moments during your wedding day when you will be posed, they will give you direction. Being in front of the lens can be intimidating, especially when a lot of friends and family are watching. Friendly and organic relationship is the key here! Pay attention to your photographer’s personality and behavior. If there is anything annoying about it – take it into consideration when making your final decision!

3. Photographer’s experience

How long have they been in the business? Are there testimonials from previous brides available? How many weddings can you see on their blog? How many do they say they photographed? All of these questions can mean a lot to you… or not. You have to be the judge here. Some brides will consider this one of the most important factors and will only hire a photographer that has been around for longer than Rolling Stones and some will appreciate fresh approach and young spirit more than twenty years worth of portfolio. Experience can be good if it doesn’t overshadow photographer’s readinessto progress and change when necessary.  Seasoned photographer can be great as long as they remain open to new ideas and use their experience wisely. Sometimes the lack of experience means clear and uncontaminated mind – when accompanied by great talent it creates a great recipe for the new star of wedding photography. Whether you discovered one – unfortunately has to be your own judgement but maybe this analysis will at least let you realize what you are looking for!

4. The style

Is what you are looking at bringing a smile to your face? Is the content of the photos what you would like to be seeing captured at your wedding? Before you judge the photographer’s style answer some questions for yourself, like: am I looking for someone contemporary and edgy or do I prefer safe and traditional? Do I like photos that are dynamic, unposed and show real moments or is am I leaning towards those carefully posed where the subjects are always camera aware? Pay attention to what the photographer says about their style on the website, in blog posts and in their own words during the consultation. Make no mistake – it’s close to impossible for a photographer to change their style just for your wedding. What you see on their blog and their portfolio is how they prefer to work. If it’s not ‘up your alley’ – don not schedule the consultation. Artwork is very subjective and that is totally all right. What some people will love others will hate. To some brides technical excellence and simple approach to wedding photography will be number one priority. To some artistic vision and wicked ideas will be more appealing. The important thing is to know what you prefer as a bride and as a person. Look for that before you even contact a photographer.

5. The presentation

How is the work packaged? Is it just a bunch of prints thrown on the table, a slideshow projected on a big screen or are they in beautiful albums? If they are in albums how are the albums looking? Are they similar to those your parents received for their wedding (I’m sorry but there is no compromise here – that is a definite RED FLAG! Steer away if the albums look like they were done 20 years ago!). I totally understand that no one updates their sample album inventory every season but the reasonable approach is to present at least one fresh and contemporary looking album with work no older than 2-4 years back. Finally when talking about their photographs, style and work is the photographer also genuinely interested in your wedding? Are they asking YOU questions or just going through their typical sales pitch? It is important for both sides to feel like they are communicating well so make sure there is a good balance between asking questions and answering them for your photographer. If they really care about working with you – they will be curious about details of your wedding arrangements. You should be able to tell whether they are treating your event with genuine interest or does it look like it’s going to be just another job for them…

6. The price

Finally we come to one of the most important factors. Money and how much of can you/are you willing to spend. Of course budget is important and we, wedding photographers do understand and respect it. Weddings are expensive and there’s nothing wrong with trying to save a few hundred dollars where possible. While there are definitely areas where cost can be lowered I will strongly discourage every bride to try and cut corners when it comes to photography. Your friend’s friend with the newest DSLR is NOT the answer. Uncle Timmy will also not deliver the quality and level of work that a true pro who puts their entire heart and skill in what they do can. Going with someone who is offering to shoot your wedding for free ‘to build their portfolio’ – nope, not recommended either. They will have plenty of opportunities if they start working as a second shooter with a more established photographer. Just the same as you wouldn’t like to have a surgeon perform his first surgery on you – don’t put your weddings into hands of a complete novice. The difference is usually clearly visible when it is too late to change your mind. Just as there is a client for every photographer’s price level – there is a GOOD photographer for every budget. If the photographer you really love and want to hire is a bit more expensive than what you’d be willing to pay think about why it is so. Are they really popular? Is there a lot of weddings on their blog? If so this is probably a good sign. What are other brides saying? Are their testimonials convincing and real?

7. The contract.

It’s a good idea to read the contract. No, I mean it – you really should READ the contract. Most photographer’s contracts are no longer than three pages. Make sure you are comfortable with all the clauses and the payment schedule. If you have questions – do not hesitate to ask them BEFORE placing your signature at the bottom. You are entering the legal agreement that binds both sides into certain responsibilities.

8. Technical details

While in general equipment is less important than the knowledge and skill that determine it’s use, the latest digital cameras do offer considerably more creative freedom and dramatic increase in quality compared to a few year old models. Do ask your photographer how current is their equipment. Backup should be out of question. Every serious photographer will have backup equipment as well as business insurance. Those are basics and you should ask about them. If second photographer is mentioned in the contract/package that you are booking – who are they? Are they really a second professional photographer that is fully capable of delivering comparable quality of coverage or is it a student/apprentice?

If you are a bride and just got engaged = congratulations! I hope the above suggestions will help you making an educated choice for your wedding photography and therefore make the challenging task of wedding planning a bit easier! If you are a photographer – maybe this article will give you some ideas and help you prepare for consultations with your clients during this booking season. I will be happy to answer any questions or take suggestions. Please e-mail me or connect with me on Twitter and Facebook. Happy bookings!

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I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty.

The engagement season is slowly gaining it’s momentum. Right after Thanksgiving is usually when wedding photographers start getting flooded with inquiries for their services… because the Seasonal Sweetness is in the air, families get together and many guys pick that time of the year to take that precious ring out and get down on their knee. That means brides will soon start planning! Maybe they already know what the centerpieces and bridesmaids dresses will look like but for those who are (or soon will be) looking for inspiration for their gorgeous 2010 wedding, here’s a collection of shoe shots from the depths of my archives. All photos taken during the seasons of 2008 and 2009. Enjoy! I hope you find this post worth tweeting about 😉


















The quote used for the title of this post is by Imelda Macros.

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A Wedding at Shenorock Shore Club in Rye, NY

by Zlatko Batistich

I’m very happy to show some of my favorite photos from Claire and Richard’s wedding photographed at St. Augustine’s Church in Larchmont and Shenorock Shore Club in Rye, NY. Floral design was by Gardenia Organic of Manhattan. (More photos from this wedding and other Shenorock Shore Club weddings on my blog.)

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Light me, paint me, shoot me, thrill me!

Wedding photographers face lighting challenges almost at every event they go to. If it’s not the harsh sunlight in the middle of the day then it’s heavy overhead tungsten lighting during ceremony mixed with different color temperature daylight coming through the windows…or it can be a dark reception room with black walls and ceilings. We may be experts of our craft and we may have mastered all possible on and off-camera flash techniques but when there really is nothing to bounce the flash off, no room to work with an assistant and no way to possibly set up off camera lights… we have to experiment and take chances. Go wild, open your shutter for a looong time…and I mean LONG! 6 seconds? Crazy? Maybe…and maybe you’ll never know what you are going to get…but chances are you’ll create something unusual that actually looks good. Oh, and the fun you’ll have shooting – it’s almost like the time you first picked up your camera! Wooohooo!

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