A Creative Focus Photography: Blog http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog en-us (C) A Creative Focus Photography by Amy Mellow acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) Tue, 07 Nov 2017 04:21:00 GMT Tue, 07 Nov 2017 04:21:00 GMT http://acreativefocusphotography.com/img/s/v-5/u539814493-o436932682-50.jpg A Creative Focus Photography: Blog http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog 120 80 Coast Guard Academy Wedding | Hilary + Matthew http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/11/coast-guard-academy-wedding-hilary-matthew  

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Coast Guard Academy Wedding {09.16.2017}

I often think you can tell a lot about a couple by the toasts given at their wedding.   Some toasters (??lol) have a really great sense of humor and start out with some hysterical jokes and some tell great stories about when they were younger.  But sometimes they can bring the photographer to tears.  And it's that moment that you know that couple that you have had the privilege of working with for the past year-ish or so truly are just as awesome and special as you thought.  And you really don't want to say good bye at the end of the night because you know you might not see them again for a while.  That was exactly how my day with Hilary + Matt went.  We had a great time and then during the toast, when Matt's brother talked about how Matt IS actually the nicest person in the world, just like I thought, and Hilary's Maid of Honor used the time to rave about how awesome her best friend is and how much she loves her, I cried.  You would have too.

Hilary + Matt met in high school.  Those funny jokes that the Best Man and Maid of Honor had?  They were basically about the 11 years it took for these two to tie the knot!  But eleven years is fantastic when it means you have survived long distance/ college relationships and gotten to travel all over the US and the world, basically just taken some really awesome trips together.  11 years also means you give practically the exact same answers when you are asked separately about favorite dates, dream vacations and your best qualities. i.e. Hilary wrote that Matt would think her best qualities are that she's family oriented and social.  Matt actually thinks her best qualities are that she's...  family oriented, social.  Matt thinks Hilary would say his best qualities are that he's caring,  and nice to everyone.  Hilary actually thinks Matt's best qualities are that he is EXTREMELY nice to everyone and caring. (I could give about 10 more examples of this!... did you guys cheat?!)

Matt proposed to Hilary at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.  For her, it was a complete surprise, perfect, amazing and so exciting.  For him it meant traveling with the ring, hiking with the ring, finding the perfect spot to give the ring, basically- maybe a little stressful.  But the moment she said yes you know it was all worth it. It had been something they both had been thinking of since all those years before, when Matt left for college and they both knew that THIS person was "The One". 

Almost a year and a half later and Matt + Hillary finally got to commit to each other in front of all (and there was a lot of them!) of their family and friends in the quaintest little chapel in New London.  Pequot Chapel looks like it was moved here from the Swiss Alps, and the dark woodsy interior is very romantic.  A perfect fit for this couple.  Then, they danced and partied the night away down the road at the beautiful Coast Guard Academy.  I loved that a guest made double sided signs for everyone to hold up when Matt + Hilary were announced in, one side being their faces and the other being their Alma Mater!  That's just one example of the level of love that their friends have for them!  

Even though it was while saying goodbye to them, one of my favorite moments of the night was catching them outside, eating dinner together just the two of them.  It was like they were on a date at their own wedding!  They wanted to make sure they ate, but also soaked in a little time together and it was a beautiful night so they sat themselves outside and enjoyed some alone time.  

I am so honored to now know Hilary + Matt.  Matt's very happy, laid back personality and huge smile are impossible to not notice, and Hilary's beauty, inside and out, and happy positive energy make them an absolute dream couple.  Both full of ambition and dreams of family and beach houses, and I am so excited for them to write more in this beautiful chapter of their lives.  I hope to see you real soon Mr. + Mrs. Fillion!! 

~xo Ames 

Venues: Reception- Coast Guard Academy 

Ceremony- Pequot Chapel

Getting Ready- Hilton Mystic

Flora + Design: KLW Design Co.

Cake: The Cake Lady

DJ: Power Posse Productions

Hair + Makeup Artist: Keri Shea

Wedding Gown: Kate McDonald from The White Dress by the Shore

Bridesmaids Dresses: Eliza J from Nordstrom 

Groom + Groomsmen Tuxedos: The Black Tux.com

Shoes: Steve Madden

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography coast guard academy wedding ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer hilton mystic wedding klw design co. mystic ct wedding photographer new london wedding pequot chapel wedding ri wedding photographer http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/11/coast-guard-academy-wedding-hilary-matthew Tue, 07 Nov 2017 04:21:16 GMT
Stunning Backyard Wedding | Wesley + Thaler http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/10/backyard-boho-wedding-wesley-thaler  

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Stunning Backyard Wedding in Connecticut {09.09.2017}

I started this blog by highlighting all of the amazing personal details that were incorporated into Wesley + Thaler's stunning backyard wedding.  Because of all of their effort and thoughtfulness, they transformed Thaler's grandparents waterfront property into an absolute woodland fairytale dream.  But what I came to realize is that while they planned every detail down to a tee, to this couple, things are just things, and what was truly the most important part of their day was the fact that they got to throw essentially the biggest, most epic dinner party ever for the people that they hold the closest to their hearts.  

I don't say this lightly because believe me the arch that they married under which Thaler made from driftwood, is not just a "thing", in fact it meant the world to Wes that Thaler was able to make her vision come to life with his own two hands, but what I do mean by that is that it was the people watching them marry under that arch that they were most excited about.  Wes' family lives far away, split between Brazil and California, so to have them walking down the aisle and sitting front row, is what gave her that gorgeous smile that she rocked the entire day.  On the other end of the spectrum is Thaler's family, who lives just next door.  But I know she was equally excited to be officially, well "legally" joined into Thaler's family. How do I know?  Wes describes being a part of Thaler's family as "living inside of a cozy down comforter".  Hands down the best description I've ever read about someone's family.  In addition to being married under a handmade arch, there was also a stone wall that the ceremony took place in front of.  This was significant since Thaler helped his grandfather build that wall, and when Thaler's many many cousins are together they have the tradition to take photos in front of that wall.  I imagine this wall is where Thaler received the best gift he's ever received, which he says is "the gift of my trade from my father".   He is speaking about the family business, Hefel Masonry. To be fair to the women in his life, his other favorite gifts are "my moms intuition, my sister and Wesley's never ending waterfall of love".  Do you see why I say it's not the "things" that are important to these two?

 Wes + Thaler knew pretty early on that they were meant to be together.  And while Wes might have known from the first date that there was no turning back, no other option, I think it's Thaler that wins when it comes to "who knew first" (not that they're ever competitive ;) ) because Thaler says he knew from their very first encounter.  Who couldn't think that Wesley is gorgeous?  But it was more than that.  After an hour of talking at the bar Wes was working at, Thaler recognized the huge heart that she has.  They bonded over family and values.  Love of travel and adventure.  They both left the country following the first meeting, but he remembered the day she was going to be back and set up their first date.  That date was magical for Wes, and even though they were practically strangers, he filled the role as a healer and provider for her pretty quickly, since Wes had very recently lost her mom.  But the more amazing part is that she let him.  As a fiercely independent person, someone I'm sure who kept her heart closely guarded, and preferred to do things for and by herself, she let this guy in.  Now, they walk through this life together, and they lean on each other frequently. 

Man I could go on and on about this couple forever apparently!!  They could, and really should, write a book.  It would do their story way more justice than I am able to do. They have already created so many chapters in the relatively short time they have known each other.  And I can't wait to read about the global treasure hunt that Thaler wants to plan for them, or to hear about when Wes finally gets to visit Thaler's family in Austria and relive his childhood memories of visiting there.  I can't wait to read about the success each of them achieve in their businesses, Thaler's masonry business and Wes' personal training business, WESFIT Training (she works out, in case you couldn't tell ;) )

So while at this point I usually say goodbye and let the photos take over, I do have to caption a couple because of all of the amazing thoughtfulness Wes + Thaler put into every detail.  So enjoy the photos but make sure to check the captions because there are tons of gems below! 

Rings: Family Heirloom and Marrow Fine Jewelry

Gown: Alexandra Grecco from Everthine Bridal 

Bridesmaids Dresses: Mismatched choices, some from BHLDN and Show Me Your Mumu

Shoes: Calvin Klein

Veil: Blossom + Bluebird

Flora: Pine + Petal

Wedding Planner: Kaitlyn Haines- KH Weddings and Events

DJ: DJ Chum Zilla

Hair and Makeup Artist: Bride- Carly Campbell

Bridesmaids- Keira Coon, Beehive Salon

Lighting: A&E Rentals

Tents: Sperry Tents

Rentals: Rentals Unlimited

Officiant: Be Wed by Fred

Food: Chefs David Pottie and Chad Hobert

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Wes wore her mother's pearl earrings and family heirloom bracelet.  The stunning topaz ring was heirloom birthstones that Marrow Fine Jewelry crafted into a stack piece ring.  The same jeweler also created Thaler's ring which was originally Wes' fathers ring.  Her wedding ring was Thaler's great grandmother's.  She also carried this handmade cloth from Thaler's grandmother, which her ring arrived in from Austria. 

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Wes wore a gorgeous 3 piece Alexandra Grecco gown from Everthine Bridal.  Thaler, along with his father and cousin, wore traditional Austrian Lederhosen.

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Wes also wore her Mother's pearls woven into her hair.

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Thaler got ready in his grandparents house, on the same property as Wes, but right next door.  I loved the traditional Austrian decor they both had.   "boho wedding", "austrian wedding", "groom in lederhosen"D7500 0 D7500 0 "austrian wedding", "groom in lederhosen"D7500 0 "pine and petal", "boho wedding", "backyard wedding", "ct bohemian wedding"D7500 0

The arch that Thaler made.  I overheard a guest saying that they had this driftwood sitting in their yard forever, and the husband told the wife that one day someone would put it to good use.  I think it's safe to say that guy was right :)  Pine and Petal and a friend of the family, Mary Bliss, were responsible for the gorgeous floral design.  D7500 0

Wes + Thaler had a beer unity ceremony.  They each poured the first beer that Wes served Thaler on the day they met into this stein.  The stein was handed down from Thaler's Oma, who received it from her grandfather.   D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0

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The couple created an outdoor living room.  Fitting since they love to have people over and entertain and they love family and home.   D7500 0

Insanely talented, the couple also made this bar themselves! 

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Wes met her 10 month old niece for the first time only moments before she walked down the aisle.   D7500 0

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An extremely proud father walks his daughter down the aisle to music that was composed by her brother.  D7500 0 D7500 0

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Thaler's sister sang Edelweiss a cappella during the ceremony.  I don't know that any of us didn't cry. 

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D7500 0 Thaler didn't choose a single best man, because they are all like brothers to him.  So when it came time for the rings, they started at the end of the line and each groomsman held them as they passed them down the line to Thaler. 

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They wrote their own incredibly beautiful vows, and the gardens on the family's property were just stunning. 

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The couple's menu was a perfect mix of typical fare from each of their homes.  Hers from Brazil, his from Austria, and theirs from Connecticut.  The couples personal friends Chefs Chad Hobert and David Pottie put together this unique and delicious dinner. 

"engine room mystic ct"D7500 0 "alexadra grecco", "two piece wedding dress", "ct backyard wedding", "a creative focus photography" D7500 0 D7500 0

The newlyweds welcomed their guests with a traditional Austrian schnapps toast. 

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Four generations of beautiful women right here!  D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography alexandra grecco backyard boho wedding ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography ri wedding photographer http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/10/backyard-boho-wedding-wesley-thaler Wed, 25 Oct 2017 14:46:29 GMT
Lace Factory Wedding | Marina + Patrick http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/10/lace-factory-wedding-marina-patrick D7500 0

Lace Factory Wedding • 09.03.17

Marina + Patrick envisioned a perfect and unique experience for their wedding day.  And with having a Lace Factory wedding, that is exactly what they got.  The Lace Factory alone is a vision for an industrial chic wedding.  A restored brick factory building, with lace and white sheers hanging from the ceiling, this gem is located in Deep River, right across the street from a stop on the Essex Steam Train.  So naturally Marina + Pat arranged to have their guests arrive via train.  It was like a mini cocktail hour on the way to the ceremony!  And kicked the party off early.  The couple had decided to do a first look, and while the rain was still hanging in there when it came to be time for the first look, it worked out wonderfully since that meant we got to do it inside, with the exposed brick and beams, and gleaming hardwood floors as our back drop.

During the first look, the couple wanted to read their vows to each other.  It was special for them to be able to share this moment with just each other.  After that, it was ceremony time!  It was a brief, very brief, ceremony delivered by Pat's Uncle Joe.  But they still had enough time to squeeze in some tears and a lot of laughs. We were able to go outside for family photos since the rain had finally stopped, and Marina and Pat were rewarded with a beautiful rainbow.  Even though we had done their photos before the ceremony I had to steal them for a couple more under the rainbow and by the river. 

Marina and Pat also invited the very fun Chloe the Photobooth Bus from Photobooth Planet to come and entertain the guests.  The vintage sea foam green VW bus, with a Photobooth on the inside, was such a hit for everyone!

Another obvious hit was the dancing.  I don't think a minute went by that the dance floor was not packed.  I thought Pat had moves and then I noticed his father on the dance floor giving him some serious competition!

These two had one of the most memorable weddings of the season, and I am so happy to share some of my favorite photos from the night.  I know they are off to a wonderful start as newlyweds and I'm so happy I was there to watch it all from the beginning. 

~xo, Ames

Venue: The Lace Factory

Catering: Cloud Nine Catering

Flora: EcoFlower

DJ: Local Motion Entertainment

Photobooth: Photobooth Planet

Brides Gown: David's Bridal

Bridesmaids Gowns: Bari Jay from Atiana's Boutique

 

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer lace factory wedding ri wedding photographer the lace factory wedding http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/10/lace-factory-wedding-marina-patrick Mon, 16 Oct 2017 22:30:39 GMT
Saltwater Farm Wedding | Laura + Matt http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/10/saltwater-farm-wedding-laura-matt "saltwater farm wedding", "a creative focus photography"D7500 0

Saltwater Farm Wedding {08.20.17} 

OK Summer I was just kidding, I want you back.  Specifically this gorgeous day in August that we spent together at the most stunning Saltwater Farm wedding of Laura + Matt.  

I mean I'm pretty basic and I like pumpkins and all, but I love even more the way the summer light highlighted Laura's beautiful blond hair as she walked down the aisle to meet Matt.  The way the summer breeze lifted Laura's mother's veil that she was wearing when her and Matt were twirling in the vineyards.  I like the fall colors, but I loved the bright, lush greens of the vineyards that complimented perfectly the gorgeous flora put together by Blue Lane Events.  I'm ok with spiked hot chocolate but I would definitely rather be sipping on the "Laura's Rosé Spritzer" Ivy's Simply Homemade was shaking up made from Saltwater Farms own Rosé.  Hanging inside by a fireplace is nice, but mingling with your guests al fresco is way nicer.  

While summer might not be making an appearance for a little while, at least we still get to revel in the photos from the amazing day Laura and Matt became husband and wife.  Laura was perhaps one of the chillest brides I have ever seen, and there was no lack of laughter on her wedding day.  There was just the right amount of joy from those who were sharing in this special day and sentiment from those that were not able to be there.  There was also just the right amount of dancing, as in once Power Posse turned up there was nothing except for dancing.  My kinda party ;)  

I felt so honored to be asked to share in this day for Laura + Matt, and I have posted some of my most favorite moments from the day below.  Summer may have taken a lot of things with it, but there is one thing that I love that knows no season... donuts.  

Right Sean?? ;) 

xo~ Ames

Vendors:

Venue: Saltwater Farm

Flora + Decor: Blue Lane Events

Catering: Ivy's Simply Homemade

DJ: Power Posse

Videography: New England Creative

Wedding Gown: Casablanca from Melissa Ashley

Bridesmaids Dresses: Melissa Ahsley

Guy's suits: Men's Warehouse

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography block island wedding blue lane events ct photographer ct vineyards ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer ivy's simply homemade mystic ct ri wedding photographer salt water farm wedding saltwater farm wedding http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/10/saltwater-farm-wedding-laura-matt Fri, 06 Oct 2017 14:48:24 GMT
Latitude 41 Wedding | Aubrey + Christopher http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/9/latitude-41-wedding-aubrey-christopher Latitude 41 Wedding | Aubrey + Christopher 

"latitude 41 wedding", "mystic seaport wedding", "coastal gourmet catering", "a creative focus photography", "nautical wedding"

On plans for the future: "Retire somewhere I can play golf and Aubrey can go to the beach every day"

On what he's looking forward to on the wedding day: "As long as she's happy, I'm happy" 

I can totally see why Aubrey married Chris ;) 

A gorgeous Latitude 41 wedding took place on August 12, 2017.  Full of happy tears, family, and one adorable puppy named Winston, this day was a joy to be a part of.  I must have looked thorough these photos a million times and some things that stand out:

Aubrey's absolutely stunning smile, and all around beauty.  As long as I have had the pleasure of knowing Aubrey, her smile is always the first thing anyone would notice.  On her wedding day it was even more joyful, if possible.  The excitement of seeing Chris and to have her many bridesmaids, and Winston, and family surrounding her made her trademark smile even more radiant.  

The way Chris just adores his wife.  The snippet that was taken from their engagement questionnaire above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how Chris feels about Aubrey.  Since dating in college they have built a very strong and beautiful relationship together, and the way Chris so freely shows his emotions is a rare and beautiful thing to witness.  Chris had tears when reading Aubrey's card to him, when she came down the aisle and he kept sneaking  peeks at her all through their ceremony.  He deserves one of those cute trendy t-shirts to be made in honor of him: "I just want to be loved the way Chris loves Aubrey".  You may not expect this huge heart to be in a guy who is such a guys guy.  Especially when it comes to being awesome at football (particularly flag ;) ) and umm just about every other sport.  And whose most prized possession is a UCONN/beer bottle cap coffee table.  But oh it's there, and I was thrilled to discover this side of Chris.  

How much these two are loved by every single person they have welcomed into their lives.  I do get choked up at most ceremonies I photograph.  It's usually the same moments; dad-related, vows related, but when I cry at the Best Man's speech during the toasts, that's something different.  Chris' cousin, and Best Man delivered one of the most beautiful tributes to the groom and his bride.  He made it so obvious that these were two incredible people that deserved nothing but the most happiness, the most support and love that could be showered on them.  I don't think I too often hear men emphasize what a good decision marriage is, but when Karl stood up there and told Chris he was so happy for him, because this is the best thing he has ever done, I lost it a little bit.  I mean whats a couple more tears at this point?!

I might be able to go on forever about these two, but I know what you are really here for are the photos, so go ahead and please enjoy a few of my favorites.  I adore you and your families Aubrey and Chris, thank you for allowing me to be there with you.

~xo, Ames 

Venue: Latitude 41 at Mystic Seaport

Catering: Coastal Gourmet

Flora: Hana Floral

Hair + Makeup: Dana Bartone + Co.

Video: East Coast Image

DJ: Music Mixers

Gown: Stella York from The Wedding Embassy

Bridesmaid's Dresses: Dynamite Designs

Guys Suits: Men's Warehouse

 

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{Aubrey's handprints inside of her playhouse!} "dana bartone and co."D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "hana floral", "a creative focus photography"D7500 0 D7500 0 "stella york", "a creative focus photography", "hana floral"D7500 0 "stella york", "the wedding embassy", "hana floral"D7500 0 "hana floral"D7500 0 "stella york", "the wedding embassy", "a creative focus photography"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "a creative focus photography"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "ct wedding", "mystic ct wedding", "a creative focus photography", "mystic seaport wedding"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "coastal gourmet wedding", "latitude 41 wedding", "mystic report wedding", "hana floral", "sea glass escort cards" "coastal gourmet catering", "latitude 41", "nautical wedding" "nautical wedding", "nautical wedding inpo", "seaglass escort cards", "sea glass wedding favors" "latitude 41 wedding", "mystic seaport wedding", "dogs in weddings"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "latitude 41 wedding", "a creative focus photography", "mystic seaport wedding", "coastal gourmet catering"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "latitude 41 wedding", "coastal gourmet catering", "a creative focus photography"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "music mixers", "latitude 41 wedding", "mystic seaport wedding"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer hana floral latitude 41 wedding mystic seaport wedding ri wedding photographer http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/9/latitude-41-wedding-aubrey-christopher Tue, 26 Sep 2017 16:27:54 GMT
Stonecroft Inn Wedding | Colleen + Anthony http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/9/stonecroft-inn-wedding-colleen-anthony D7500 0

What a gorgeous day for a Stonecroft Inn Wedding Colleen and Anthony had!  I have photographed some unique weddings, but I can honestly say I have never photographed a bride who played the bagpipes at her own reception!  That was just the tip of the iceberg for unique moments at Colleen + Anthony's Stonecroft Inn Wedding.  

In the beginning of the day, Colleen's mother placed a pale blue garter on Colleen's leg that she had worn at her own wedding, and that her mother had worn on her wedding day as well.  It even still lived in its original box from a boutique called La France Shop in Norwich.  

Also, Colleen and Anthony wed in the same church that Colleen's parents had gotten married in, by the same minister, 32 years earlier.  This is also the church where Colleen was baptized, and still attends.  Colleen loves the big windows and the memories attached to Preston City Congregational Church so it was an obvious choice for their ceremony. 

Collen also wore a tuppence in her shoe.  The tuppence was given to her by her bagpipe instructor when she was very young, and he told her it was to wear on her wedding day.  He was very surprised when after their performance at the wedding Colleen removed her shoe and returned the tuppence to him.  It was just another super sweet, sentimental moment.  

After some beautiful songs preformed on the bagpipes, guests toasted the couple with homemade Mead that Colleen, Anthony and Colleen's father had brewed over the winter.  It's citrus and ginger flavor complimented their citrus Zest Fresh Pastry cake perfectly.  Colleen's sister also gave a breathtaking harp performance in lieu of a Maid of Honor toast, following Anthony's best man who delivered a very funny toast recounting the day they met in school.  

All around this was a very awesome day to be a part of.  I love hearing all the little bits and pieces that come together to make someone's wedding day uniquely theirs and I am so happy Colleen and Anthony and their families shared all of this with me for their Stonecroft Inn wedding.  You two are off to a wonderful start for a beautiful marriage and I can not wait to see what the future holds! 

So much love!

xo~Ames

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography gourmet galley ri wedding photographer stonecroft country inn stonecroft inn wedding zest fresh pastry http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/9/stonecroft-inn-wedding-colleen-anthony Thu, 14 Sep 2017 17:16:27 GMT
New London Wedding | Alicia + Christopher http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/8/new-london-wedding-alicia-christopher  

D7500 0 There is not a moment from Chris + Alicia's wedding day that I don't remember either one of them either laughing or happy crying.  I walked into Chris's family home where the couple had been visiting from Colorado to find Alicia already in her wedding gown and relaxed and excited as could be.  They were already surrounded by every guest of the wedding, parents, siblings, relatives and Alicia's beautiful daughter Skylar.

 Chris + Alicia planned a low-key very intimate ceremony at the beach, across the street from his parent's home.  We headed over there after the crowds cleared on that gorgeous July afternoon, and had a very fun and special ceremony done by Marie Tyler Wiley.   There were three ring exchanges: Alicia and Chris to each other and then to Skylar, officially uniting the new family of 3.  

After the ceremony and some photos on the beach, the couple went to On the Waterfront to celebrate their perfect day with the ones they hold the closest.  I loved being there for Alicia and Christopher and enjoyed every second watching their very happy love be documented!

All the best to this wonderful family full of incredible people!

xo~Ames

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/8/new-london-wedding-alicia-christopher Wed, 30 Aug 2017 15:54:04 GMT
Providence Biltmore Wedding | Rebecca + Duran http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/8/providence-biltmore-wedding-rebecca-duran D7500 0

I have been very excited to write Rebecca + Duran's blog post long before their wedding. Meeting with the couple for the first time, it felt meant to be that our paths would cross.  First of all they were planning their wedding on my birthday.  I love sharing my birthday with amazing couples and Rebecca and Duran are exactly that.  We chatted for what seemed like the whole night about everything and I loved hearing their beautiful love story.  From that first meeting I knew we were going to have a wonderful time together and I'm so glad we were able to create some incredible memories on July 15, 2017. 

Rebecca and Duran met at a mutual friends destination wedding in Aruba back in 2013.  I always thought this sounded so romantic.  Meeting the love of your life on an island at a wedding... and for Rebecca and Duran I'm sure it was.  But at their wedding I got the real story.  Which was that at the destination wedding in Aruba there were MULTIPLE hospital visits, broken bones, and other serious shenanigans that left that happy little island in a state of shock.  But nonetheless it did bring Rebecca and Duran into each others lives, and it wasn't long after they returned home that they were dating, and their friends were secretly betting when the wedding would be.  

Fast forward a couple of years, and Duran starts to plan his proposal to Becky.  Like most things seem to happen for this gorgeous girl, fate steps in and she happens to plan a trip for them to NYC while Duran was trying to figure a way to get her to NYC!  He had planned on proposing to her at the Statue of Liberty, a special place since early on in their relationship they realized neither one had ever been, and conveniently Becky took care of the arrangements.  Once they took the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, Duran said he had something he needed to tell her.  Becky was scared that something bad had happened and was totally shocked when he instead got down on one knee and asked her the best question ever. 

Becky + Duran planned an absolutely perfect wedding.  Every single detail came together and made for a seriously stunning day.  Becky looked so beyond gorgeous in her Julie Vino gown from Nicole Bridal, and Badgley Mischka shoes, while Duran was dressed in a navy tux from Carl Anthony.  Larissa Lake & Co. took great care of the ladies and their hair and make up and Woodlawn Gardens Florist provided them with some beautiful blooms.  Becky's sister and three best friends looked stunning in Reformation dresses.  Becky's father walked her down the aisle at the First Unitarian Church, in downtown Providence.  I loved this church for the bright, happy feel and the opportunity it provided for some really cool shots of the couple!  Afterwards we rode in style thanks to Rockstar Limo and their Wedding Trolly  to the Brown University campus and then headed to the Providence Biltmore for a reception that was everything you could dream a reception could be.  Scrumptions made the gorgeous 4 tier cake the couple happily fed each other and the band Bear Fight provided the music for the night, they had everyone dancing for hours and hours.  It was a pleasure capturing the entire day alongside the very talented Jarret of JB Horn Film

There were a LOT of guests there to celebrate with Becky + Duran, and you could totally see why.  This couple is magnetic, sweet, loving and so so genuine.  It was another wedding that I left almost in tears after saying goodbye, because I just love them so much.  I  had such an awesome time celebrating with you both, and I look forward to seeing your dreams for your marriage of kids and travels come true.  Enjoy a few of my favorite photos. 

~xo, Ames

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The photo below is epic.  Props to my second shooter Amy Oman for this one!!  You gotta love an 80's family photo re-creation!! 

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography block island wedding photographer ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer mystic ct providence biltmore providence biltmore wedding ri wedding photographer http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/8/providence-biltmore-wedding-rebecca-duran Tue, 22 Aug 2017 19:32:32 GMT
North Beach Clubhouse Wedding | Emily + Michael http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/8/north-beach-clubhouse-wedding-emily-michael "a creative focus photography", "narragansett wedding", "spell and the gypsy collective", "block island wedding photographer", "destination wedding photographer", "ri wedding", "mystic ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding"D7500 0

Excited to share Emily + Mike's wedding is an understatement.  Everything about this day was just so personal, just so THEM.  From getting ready for the wedding in the same house to the bridesmaids wearing mismatched dresses, to a first look location that involved a hike, to fast dancing to the first dance to not technically having enough tables and chairs for dinner.  For Emily + Mike this day was about them, not other people's traditions or a wedding checklist.  It was about their love that has been built on travel and adventures and huge life changes.  It was also about their families, making sure the most important people were there to witness their joy and celebration.  In addition to the guests who travelled a very long way to be there, this was also done by Emily incorporating items from her different grandmothers into her outfit by wearing borrowed rings and pearl bracelets.  But the wedding was also about great music, lots and lots of dancing, great food, and most importantly each other.   

I think what is most amazing about love stories is how in this whole huge universe we are in, two people find each other that are absolutely meant to be.  Sometimes they have been in the same town their whole lives and never knew it, and sometimes, like for Emily + Mike, they are from opposite sides of the world.  Emily is from Australia, and somehow met the love of her life from the smallest state in our country.  They have lived on each continent both together and separately.  The time they spent living in Australia clearly meant a lot to Emily's father.  He gave one of the most hilarious, heart warming, personal, (did I mention hilarious?!) speeches I have ever heard.  I'm not sure if I would call it a toast or a roast, but from his farming skills to his beer choices, Mike has definitely left an impression on his father in law. 

While that was a definite highlight from the night, seeing all of Emily + Mike's friends and family from all different parts of the world coming to celebrate was really pretty awesome.  The North Beach Clubhouse on Narragansett Beach was the perfect location for their boho inspired vision and McGrath Clambakes took great care of the guests with their delicious New England style fare.  DJ Pauly Danger kept everyone, but most importantly Emily's mother, dancing.

I am so grateful Emily + Mike chose me to document their day.  I loved every minute I spent with them and their big wonderful families.  Congrats to two absolutely beautiful people inside and out. Cheers!! 

xo~Ames 

Gown: Spell and the Gypsy Collective

Bridesmaids Dresses: Fresh Soul and Copper St. (Australian Boutiques)

Bridesmaids Jewelry: Capwell + Co. 

Hair and Makeup: JF3 Salon

Venue: North Beach Clubhouse

Caterer: McGrath Clambakes

Flora: Trader Joe's

DJ: DJ Pauly Danger Above the Clouds Entertainment

Cake: Emily's Mum :) 

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer mystic ct wedding photographer narragansett wedding north beach clubhouse narragansett ri wedding photographer robin hollow farms spell and the gypsy collective http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/8/north-beach-clubhouse-wedding-emily-michael Wed, 02 Aug 2017 20:17:46 GMT
Mystic Art Center Wedding | Sarah + Michael http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/7/mystic-art-center-wedding-sarah-michael D7500 0

I have been very anxiously awaiting writing this blog post for quite a while now.  With a slight bit of nerves, and a whole lot of excitement to share their story, I am very happy the time has finally come. 

 I knew Sarah + Michael were going to have the most amazing day of their life on June 24th, 2017, but it was even more beautiful than I could have possibly imagined.  Sarah, a Canadian born beauty came here years ago and ended up never leaving.  Part of that had to do with meeting the love of her life, Mike.  Their fairy tale of a love story was told on their wedding day a number of times but Mike's best man may have had the best version of the story, the behind the scenes version where he reads a text from Mike the night he met Sarah, at a pumpkin carving contest.  Among other things (ahem, a smoking hot body) he talked about Sarah the way any girl would want to be talked about by their future husband.  Mike told his best friend that he met his future wife that night.  There are many many reasons why Mike was so right to think that Sarah was the one.  She is absolutely gorgeous, with the biggest heart.  Sarah has a sweet, kind soul and her and Mike both share pretty laid back personalities.  Sarah is a nurse, and Mike is a fireman, both such selfless careers.  They share a love of playing and watching hockey and both come from such incredible, loving families.  Sarah and Mike both have parents that have set a supreme example of what a marriage should be, and you could see the pride in their eyes the entire day, both of their own children and who they chose to marry.  

Sarah + Mike's absolutely stunning ceremony and reception took place at the Mystic Art Center in scenic Mystic, CT.  Beautiful live music, thanks to some very talented friends, was floating in the air as Sarah's father escorted her down the aisle.  She looked just perfect in her Augusta Jones custom made gown from The White Dress by the Shore.  The water was the back drop as they exchanged vows, had a hand tying ceremony, with a ribbon made by Sarah's mom of Canadian and American flags sewn together, and shared their first kiss. 

After they were officially husband and wife, Sarah + Mike celebrated with their guests under a white tent which was beautifully decorated by Kaitlin and Jen, the ladies of Blue Lane Events.  Ivy's Simply Homemade kept the guests eating and drinking all night, and they did some serious dancing thanks to DJ Charles Crawford.  The highlight of the evening may have been the fathers toasts, which was about a half-hour of pure laughter.  Hearing their version of watching Sarah + Mike date and fall in love was hysterically funny and also a beautiful tribute to their new families.  

I was so glad to be included in this beautiful day, and I am even more excited to have a front row seat to watch their lives together and to see Sarah + Michael grow as a couple and family.  I am so so happy you two found each other, you were for sure destined to be together and the love that you share could not have happened to two more deserving people.  Enjoy some of my favorites from your day!!

xo~Ames

PS You have to check out their highlight reel video from East Coast Image here!

Vendors:

Hair and Makeup: Larissa Lake and Co.

Bride's Gown: The White Dress by the Shore

Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie 

Live Music: Kevin Mazzarella

Venue: Mystic Art Center

Catering: Ivy's Simply Homemade

Flora and Decor: Blue Lane Events

DJ: Charles Crawford

Cupcakes: Teal Bake Shop

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography block island wedding blue lane events ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer ivy's simply homemade larissa lake and co. mystic art center mystic ct mystic museum of art wedding ri wedding photographer http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/7/mystic-art-center-wedding-sarah-michael Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:26:04 GMT
The Meadows Stonington Wedding | Rachel + Jamil http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/7/the-meadows-stonington-wedding-rachel-jamil D7500 0

It was wonderful to return back to The Meadows Stonington for another wedding, this time for Rachel + Jamil.  I had been anxiously awaiting this wedding for a while, since I sorta, well definitely did, fall in love with Rachel + Jamil a while ago at their engagement session.  They share a beautiful love story and knowing personally some of the family, I knew that this wedding was going to be incredible.  

But incredible doesn't begin to do the day justice.  I arrived to aunts who were excitedly hurrying around doing last minute wedding things, mom and bridesmaids upstairs in the bridal suite, laughing, dancing, and soaking in every minute of the gorgeous day.  Hair and makeup was being done by Kevin + Co., and all of the girls looked absolutely stunning.  Rachel especially looked absolutely radiant, no surprise.  Putting on her dress, making the transformation to "bride" complete, brought on the tears.  As did the moment Rachel's dad saw her as a bride for the first time.  

Rachel + Jamil had been dating for almost 7 years on the day they married.  So needless to say there were many, many people that were excited to celebrate their marriage.  When I looked out at the guests as the wedding was about to start there were just huge smiles everywhere.  The love and support from everyone was obvious as they waited for Rachel + Jamil to solidify their relationship.  After the ceremony, the newlyweds danced their way back down the aisle.  Rachel and Jamil share a love for music, and a huge talent for playing as well, so it was no surprise that was just the beginning of a long night of dancing!

Rachel + Jamil celebrated an absolutely perfect day at The Meadows Stonington, with their closest of family and friends present.  The two of them had the biggest smiles the entire time, and between the laughter, tears, vows, toasts, and speeches, this is truly a day that will be remembered forever.  I know the two of you have big plans for your marriage, and I am truly so excited to see what happens next!! 

xo~Ames

Venue: The Meadows 

Catering: Gourmet Galley

Hair and Makeup: Kevin & Co.

Wedding Gown: David's Bridal

Bridesmaids Gowns: David's Bridal

DJ: Derrik Williams

Flora: Erin Johnston

Officiant: Jason Longo

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography block island wedding photographer ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer newport wedding ri wedding photographer http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/7/the-meadows-stonington-wedding-rachel-jamil Thu, 06 Jul 2017 11:51:32 GMT
Portland Wedding | Gina + Melissa http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/6/portland-wedding-gina-melissa  

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May 27th, 2017 was a beautiful day for two beautiful people and a perfect Portland wedding.  Gina + Meli joined together with their friends, family, and friends that became family, to solidify their love and commitment in one of the most joyous weddings I have ever seen.  

I started the morning getting ready with Gina, and the sentimental touches were already everywhere I looked.  A friend from Barbara's Bundts had made some yummy treats with a sweet message for the couple,  Gina had laid out the wedding party gifts which were beautiful handkerchiefs.  The girls got ready in robes which were from Gina's sisters' wedding, Meli's wedding ring was her grandmother's, and so on and so on, just all around.  So much love was intertwined with all of the details.  Gina had Tasha and Estelle from Kutz Salon for her hair and makeup and as you can see they did an incredible job, giving Gina a classically beautiful look.  Gina's mom and sister helped her get dressed and shared an intimate moment before we left for the first look.  

The first look for Gina + Meli happened outside of State Street Church.  We also did another first look for Gina's son, Chester.  His reaction of seeing his mom was priceless!  He even gave 2 thumbs up!  So cute.  Meli's reaction was a little more sentimental, you could see the look of awe in her eyes as she saw Gina in her beautiful gown, as she tenderly looked over all of her details.  Meli looked pretty awesome as well, with those sweet suspenders! 

After the first look and some wedding party photos, the ceremony began.  Pastor Jeanette Good gave a heartwarming and very personal service for the couple.  It was clear she knew them very well and she was as excited for them and their marriage as everyone else.  After the ceremony we moved on to the beautiful reception held at Gilsland Farm at the Maine Audubon.  There couldn't be a more beautiful spot for Gina + Mel's guests to celebrate the newlyweds than this little hidden-in-nature gem with gorgeous green grounds.  It was decorated in handmade banners hanging everywhere from Gina + Meli's good friend, and and incredible artist, Jodi Ferry.  Friends got to enjoy some beautiful weather, and also some very amazing food from another friend of the couple, Louis Pickens and his catering team from Black Betty's Bistro.  Most of the food was gluten free and vegan to accommodate Gina + Mel's needs, and I can honestly say I have never had such a delicious variety of food!  The couple started their first dance surrounded by lots of children, which were just as important guests as were their parents, but ended it just the two of them to "At Last" by Etta James.  They were toasted by Gina's sister Lauren, who was beaming with love and pride for her sister, and also by Jason and Sarah, Meli's close friends.  

This was an incredible day, and weekend for the celebration of two people and their genuine love.  A new family was united on that day, and I could not be happier for Gina, Meli and Chester.  I can not wait to see you grow and blossom and since I am so fortunate to have become very close to this family, I won't be going anywhere any time soon ;) 

~xo, Ames

Other vendors include: DELICIOUS cake and treats by Bam Bam Bakery

DJ/Emcee: Friend Justin Moriarty

Flora:  Skillins Florist

Gina's Gown: BHLDN

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography bam bam bakery bhldn black betty's bistro ct photographer ct wedding photographer destination wedding photographer jo ferry jodi ferry kutz salon newport ri wedding newport wedding portland wedding ri wedding photographer skillins florist state street church portland maine http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/6/portland-wedding-gina-melissa Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:32:00 GMT
Why is photography priced the way it is? http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/5/why-is-photography-priced-the-way-it-is I have debated over writing about this for a while, until recently when someone who was in the market for a wedding photographer asked a group of mostly wedding photographers what was involved with the cost of hiring a professional on their wedding day.  I had put off doing this post mostly because I did not want it to come across as defensive, but in the end if you have never owned your own business or been involved in the art industry, you may not be aware of all that is involved with pricing and keeping your business alive.  So I am just simply going to discuss what it is you are investing in on your wedding day.  I am sure many people will have their opinions, which is totally cool, I'd love to hear them!  I am also sure that photographers also will have some input.  Some may charge a lot less and be able to, and some will charge a lot more and that is great too.  But my goal here is to explain why you will see a range of photography prices out there, and what you should expect for paying more or less for your photographer of choice. 

Scenerio #1- You have a friend/your friend has a friend who takes great photos and they offered to do your pictures for free or almost free. 

That friend is a really great friend, and you are lucky to have them.  If they are an invited guest, they are offering to give up enjoying your wedding; eating, drinking, and dancing to take photos for you, in turn saving you thousands of dollars.  They will get there hours before the wedding starts, have to wear something comfy vs something hot, flats vs heels, hair up and ready to get sweaty and go hours without eating, drinking or using the bathroom. 

I will be totally honest.  I have the hardest time charging friends and acquaintances for my services.  In my version of a perfect world I would have a never-ending source of cash and I would be that unicorn photographer that could actually take amazing photos for no money.  Truly.  To the point that I posted in a forum one day "Will I ever get over the feeling of dread when I respond to a friend about pricing?!".  Someone made a good point, that if I was a guest, would I give them a $2000 wedding present?  No?  That is what you are doing by giving away your services (READ: 40+ hours of your life, wear and tear on your insanely expensive equipment, space on your hard drives, website etc).  The other issue with this is that (fortunately) this business is very word of mouth.  While that is awesome if you are building a great reputation for yourself, it means that almost everyone is a friend or acquaintance who comes through your door.  If you have built a business on giving away, or giving discounts on, your services you will be struggling to stay afloat, limiting you from being able to afford continuous education, upgraded equipment etc. (more on that later). 

Chances are your friend who takes great photos, while their heart is in the right place, probably hasn't considered all of the time that goes into pre-wedding planning and post wedding editing, curating, and delivering of images.  Have they taken the time to visit the venue before?  Do they know where the sun will be when you are doing portraits?  Do they know what time you are doing portraits?  Have they asked the minister about what is allowed for photography during the ceremony?  Do they know what time your hair and makeup will begin, and what time your bridesmaids need to get dressed and what time you need to get dressed and if you are doing a first look have they coordinated with the two of you so you will be in the same place at the right time without seeing each other before hand?  Will they put together a family formal timeline to most effectively use the small amount of time you have to do portraits to run it smoothly?  Knowing your families' names, relationships and special circumstances?  Or will everyone just get in one group photo and leave it up to you to do all the thinking and directing?  After your wedding, when you are so excited to see the photos and rightfully so since you just spent A LOT of money on one day and the photos are the only thing you have to show for it now, what is the guarantee you will receive any photos from your friend?  And when?  It is VERY overwhelming to go home with 1000+ photos and look through them all and to choose the best, and then edit them and figure out how to deliver the hundreds of photos that you will send.  And chances are if this is not something they do often, procrastination may ensue.  The 8 hours at your wedding are just the tip of the iceberg of hours that your friend should spend on your wedding.  I have seen other photographers that have broken down the amount of time they spend with each client, and that is truly impressive to me. I don't have the patience for that.  Let's just say it's a lot.  It may not seem like a big deal to just send an email response to an inquiry, and then on average 3 more answering questions about services provided, before you have officially decided to book, and then putting together the contract (which makes sure you get those photos in a timely manner after your wedding!) and sending that email, putting together the questionnaires, answering random phone calls/emails that come through in the meantime, communicating and coordinating with other vendors, putting together the timeline for your day, travel time to and from meetings and the wedding, shooting the wedding, uploading, editing, delivering your images, but it is.  Other photographers who do have the patience to add it all up I believe average it around 40+ hours. Again- not complaining, just clarifying that it is more than the 8 hours spent on your wedding day. 

I was that friend that took good photos at one time too.  I believe that is how a majority of photographers get interested and involved with the industry.  And while it was an honor that my friends would recommend me to other friends, that terrified me.  Because truth be told, I just had a good camera and really enjoyed taking photos.  Not for anyone else but for myself.  And when I did take them for other people I was psyched when maybe 5-10% of the photos came out deliverable.  This was ok for a little bit because no one has to see the bad photos right?  You just show the good stuff.  But the issue with relying on chance to get some good photos is that you lose a lot of potentially really awesome photos.  And when I was shooting this way, I was... 

Scenerio #2- That photographer who charges way less.

This is another thing that you will come across.  A photographer who may charge hundreds of dollars for what others charge thousands.  And no matter what any seasoned, professional photographer will tell you about photography, everyone starts somewhere.  And it is actually irresponsible to charge for their first wedding what someone who has been doing it for 5 years (or even 1 year!) would charge.  The solution to this debate is, you should know exactly what you are getting for that very discounted price.  Like I mentioned, in the beginning I relied heavily on chance for getting some photos I could be proud to share.  I really did love the idea of being a photographer and was putting time and money into learning the craft and I never felt like I was overcharging for my services, I felt like they were spot on with what I was delivering, which was about half or less than half the cost of what the average professional photographer in my area was charging.  I wasn't doing it to undercut anyone or to steal clients, I was charging what I was charging because I could see the difference in quality from my images to theirs. I  was learning the process of client communication and posing and knew that I was not on their level yet.  I wanted to be there and worked my ass off to try and get there but, well, I just didn't have the experience to be there yet.  Also the photographer may be working another job (or 2 like I was) to support themselves being able to afford to photograph others, which is great and there is nothing wrong with hard work, but it comes down to time.  If you are working 50+ hours/week, plus shooting and editing on the weekends, what time do you have to invest into educating yourself to becoming a better photographer?  I'll answer-next to none, and you get really cranky. (sorry for the things I said while I was editing at 3am)

*I have to mention here this all relates to family and portrait sessions.  Once I was asked to do my first wedding, I took literally 4x what I got paid for that wedding and spent it on my little "business" (if you could even call it that at the time).  I spent a weekend 5 hours away from home at a wedding photography workshop, bought a new camera and lenses, rented equipment that I couldn't buy, and bought tons of online courses and had them streaming 24/7 on my computer, phone, anywhere and everywhere.  I knew weddings were a BIG DEAL and I was in no way going to let a couple be disappointed no matter what they were paying me. 

So what did that huge investment translate to?  Well taking control of my photos for one thing, instead of relying on chance.  Cameras really are tiny little machines.  They are legit hand held computers that are extremely smart.  In the beginning you can put your camera on Auto and if you are observant and have an eye for what would make a good photo you will take some decent pictures.  This is essentially like using a paint by numbers for Starry Night by Van Gogh.  Your painting is going to come out "pretty" right?  Because technically it looks exactly like the original.  But is there any personality to it?  Is there anything that is "you" or unique or makes it stand out from any other copy?  No, and it will obviously never be as valuable as Van Gogh's.  No offense but your mom might be the only one who even acknowledges it.  Much like my mom would always tell me how beautiful my photos were even if they were of the grass.  True story: she actually has a canvas of a dandelion photo I took on my iPhone hanging in their living room.  That's what moms do.  But cameras, for as smart as they are can often read situations wrong.  For instance, during your first dance while the lights are really dim it will decide to slow down your shutter speed to let more light into the camera instead of raise your ISO, which will make every single photo from your first dance come out blurry.  Heaven forbid you are getting married inside and have hired someone who shoots in auto, every photo very well may come out blurry as your walking down the aisle, having your first kiss, walking back down the aisle.  When you learn to photograph in Manual mode, you over power the camera and you decide what the settings should be for the different scenes.  This is essential for nailing focus and all that, but it also gives you artistic freedom.  You may look at two photos and not be able to pick out exactly what it is that you like about one more than the other, but a photographer would.  Is the subject nice and sharp and in focus and everything behind them is soft and out of focus so that your eye is drawn right to the subject and what the photographer is trying to convey?  Or are the cars that are way far behind the couple just as in focus, distracting you from the couple and their intimate moment?  That is an example of the photographer choosing to override the camera and shoot at f/2 vs the camera wanting to shoot at f/14 since it is such a bright and sunny day.  This is where my friends stop listening to me because I get too excited talking about camera stuff, so I'll spare you, just know that it's a thing, and what it is you like about certain photos is a decision that a knowledgeable, educated photographer made.  

I mentioned a lot of things when it comes to communication and planning above, so I won't go back into all of that, but learning all of that also comes through investing in education.  And education costs money.  Lots of money.  No surprise, it does in any industry.  Photography is constantly evolving, changing, so attending multiple workshops per year to keep up on the industry is always a plus.  

And then there is the equipment.  First of all, no matter who you are hiring for however much, you should ensure they have a back up camera.  It does not have to be as good or the same as the camera they intend to use, but it should be a camera that will shoot in Manual mode and they are able to use interchangeable lenses with.  Even if it is not as new of a camera that they shoot mainly with, it should allow them to deliver the kind of photos you are used to seeing in their portfolio just in case.  And a photographer should not be remotely offended by you asking if they have 2 cameras.  For as much as we love to say that "you can never redo your wedding photography, so choose the right photographer!" that photographer knows they can never redo your wedding photography.  So choose the right photographer.   So what does our equipment cost?  On a wedding day I bring: (links provided so you can double check)

2 Nikon D750's- Currently $1500 each, but were $2000 when I purchased, so $4000.00

Nikon 70-200 2.8 lens- $2800.00

Nikon 85mm 1.4 lens- $1600.00

Nikon 85mm 2.8 tilt-shift lens-  $2000.00

Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens- $217.00

Sigma 35mm 1.4 art lens- $900.00

Sigma 24-70 2.8mm lens- $900.00

Nikon 105mm macro lens- $900.00

3 Yongnuo flashes, and transmitters etc- $400.00

2 Cheetah light stands- $240.00

and then hundreds more in smaller accessories and batteries, memory cards, back up batteries, light modifiers, etc etc etc.  All together when I walk into your wedding I have at LEAST $15,000 worth of equipment in my hands. (Holy crap that's a lot... I've never done the math before!)  That is just what is with me, never mind the computers, subscriptions to online delivery systems, websites, online storage space, hard drives, business license, taxes, insurances, (one for me one for my equipment), credit card fees, and so on and so on.  Keep in mind if another photographer charges twice what I do, chances are they probably have twice the equipment, and twice the experience that I do.  Since this is about what to expect for what you pay, not necessarily how expensive of a business to be in; that is your answer.  If a photographer is charging $500 for a wedding, chances are they probably did not spend, amongst other things:

$11,191 on equipment, $2,411.81 on advertising, $5,794.70 on memberships and education, $5,226.54 on products, $1,600.09 on shipping and supplies, $2,850.62 on travel, just last year alone like I did, just to name a few. And believe me, that will translate into your photographs.  That was money that I paid out of my pocket to better myself for my clients.  No one tells you you have to spend x amount to be considered "professional".   If you are on more of a budget for all of your wedding, and do find the price of the average wedding photographer to be more than you can afford, there is nothing wrong with having to find someone is just getting their feet wet in the industry, or is trying to build their portfolio.  Just be sure to be clear on what to expect.  Do they have a website, not just a Facebook page?  Are their correspondences professional and timely?  Do they charge tax and are they insured and a legit business?  Do they have a contract which addresses what you will receive and when?  All of this will protect you, and them. 

I think the reason that this is constantly a topic of discussion is that photography is the one thing that does not give you instant gratification.  Having me there on your wedding day does not impress your guests like the extra couple hundred you'll spend on custom linens vs white on the tables.  You don't get your photos as they're being taken like you see the extra apps that you paid for coming out of the kitchen, I don't pretty up your venue like the bistro lights you squeezed into the budget, so it may seem negotiable.  Like with everything in life, we value and want to pay for tangible things, and until after the wedding, when you have your album, photography is not tangible.  But where it gets frustrating is that unlike the 4 tier cake that you really wanted, or the fancier tent or heavier stock you might want to choose on your wedding invites, your wedding photos (and video if you have a videographer) is the only thing you have to look back on for the rest of your life.  You may choose to keep your dress, and the top tier from your wedding cake, but are you going to take that out to show your friends and family when they come over?  Are your children going to look at your cake and laugh about what mom and dad looked like 30 years ago?  To me that is what makes photography priceless.  

I like to compare photography (all photography- portraits, wedding, landscape) to going out to eat.  Because I love them both equally.  But also because they follow the same business model. When you go out to eat, lets say you get a burger for $15.  Technically those ingredients probably cost the restaurant what maybe $8?  Bread, meat, fries.  You are not paying for the burger, you are paying for the dish it came on, the server who brought it to you, the uniform they're wearing, the electricity in the restaurant, the equipment that was used to cook it, the chef that prepared it, the delivery fees from the company that delivered the meat and soooo onnnnn.  Could you go to Wendy's and get a burger and fries for $4?  Sure.  Is it the same as the 8 oz farm fresh meal you take your time to eat and enjoy with good company?  No, you probably ate it in your car and had enough money to also stop at Taco Bell (don't judge) but you get the point.  Ya but a $15 burger is different than a $3000 photographer.  True.  But how many times do you pay a markup on your meals out vs how many times do you pay for a professional photographer?  Personally I go out to eat at least twice a week. 

So I hope this has shed some light on why photography prices are what they are.  I hope this has also given anyone who does not have the budget to hire a professional some ideas on how to ensure you will still get beautiful photos.  Oh and that first wedding I ever shot?  I am still very proud of those images, and when I went back to that venue for a wedding last month was pumped to see they used a lot of my images from that wedding in their advertisements and signage.  Don't get me wrong, I know what I would do to improve this photo now, but for my first wedding I was proud to deliver images like this one:

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer ri wedding photographer why are weddings so expensive why is photography so expensive http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/5/why-is-photography-priced-the-way-it-is Wed, 31 May 2017 17:59:44 GMT
The Meadows Stonington | Kelly + Jay http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/5/the-meadows-stonington-kelly-jay "ct wedding", "mystic ct wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "ri wedding photographer", "stonington ct wedding", "a creative focus photography"D7500 0

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of photographing Kelly + Jay's amazing wedding at The Meadows Stonington.  These two have been together for 10 years, since high school, and their wedding was a beautiful celebration of all of the years they have spent together, the memories they have made and the families and friends they have interwoven.  

Kelly + Jay have been through a lot to get them where they are today.  Including: living many miles and states apart, Jay having to spend  time away in bootcamp and serving in the military, and of course Kelly's accidental "Oh no!" to Jay's proposal.  (It was actually her response to accidentally kicking the radio off the mountain they were on... but still that's got to be pretty terrifying to hear!!)  One of my favorite moments of the day was during his vows when Jay read the first letter he ever sent to Kelly when he was away in bootcamp.  That was just one of the many personal touches that went into their wedding day.  Kelly, along with some help from her bridesmaids put together their flowers and made a lot of the decor, her very talented friend and Maid of Honor made the cupcakes, and a close friend's father officiated the ceremony.  Everywhere you looked there were little pieces of themselves that the couple wanted to share.

Kelly looked absolutely stunning in her gown from Mariella Creations, Meghan + Samantha from Rob Rivers Salon and Spa did a beautiful job with Kelly's hair and makeup.  Amanda from Gourmet Galley took great care of the couple and all of their guests, and Tommy from Marx Entertainment had the dance floor packed the entire night!! 

May 12th now belongs to Kelly + Jay, to celebrate their love every year, but I know these two will be celebrating every single day.  You may still have some time apart to get through, but I hope these photos, some of my favorites from your day, will help you keep smiling during that time.  You are two of the kindest, most loving people I have ever met, thank you for giving me the privilege of documenting your day!

~xo, Ames

 

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography mariella creations marx entertainment mystic ct ri wedding photographer rob rivers salon and spa stonington ct wedding the meadows stonington the meadows wedding http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/5/the-meadows-stonington-kelly-jay Thu, 25 May 2017 19:54:56 GMT
Branford House | Russ + Joey Surprise Proposal http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/2/branford-house-russ-joey-surprise-proposal D7500 0

Over the summer I had the beautiful honor of photographing Russ' surprise proposal to Joey.  Russ had come to me a couple of months before, so excited, so on cloud 9 about his idea to ask Joey to marry him.  Russ wanted it to be a huge surprise, to really catch his boyfriend off guard.  Together we conspired to get Joey to the beautiful grounds of UCONN at Avery Point, by telling him that I was looking for some portfolio building photos and wanted them to model for me.  Maybe it is because they are both model material, but Joey didn't think twice about the idea!  When they arrived we walked the area for a little bit, stopping and taking some photos until I finally decided to let Russ out of his misery and go to the location I thought would be best for the proposal.  Poor Russ had some serious nerves going on while I was waiting for the sun to dip just a little lower for "the moment".  

I set Russ and Joey up back to back, snapped some photos, and then reversed them so that when I asked Joey to turn around I would have the perfect view of his reaction.  When he did Russ was down on one knee, and I don't think I have ever seen anyone more surprised.  It took a definite couple of minutes for it to set in.  Joey was the true definition of speechless.  He could not believe that Russ had pulled off this surprise!  Surprise proposals are always always such an amazing moment to be a part of, and I never get sick of the genuine reaction of surprise and love that follows. 

After a couple of moments we were able to continue on with our session, Russ now being able to relax a little and Joey with a new ring and huge smile!!  It was so much fun to hang out with this newly engaged couple and to document this most important day.  All the bestest of the best to you two!! 

~xo Ames

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography branford house wedding ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer newport ri wedding photographer newport wedding newport wedding photographer ri wedding photographer http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/2/branford-house-russ-joey-surprise-proposal Tue, 14 Feb 2017 18:18:03 GMT
Mystic Wedding | Samantha + Nickolas http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/1/mystic-wedding-samantha-nickolas D7500 0

I am fortunate enough to call Samantha one of my closest friends.  When I say that, what I mean is that I have been fortunate to have her friendship enrich my life.  Sam brings so much to the table.  First of all she is an amazing and strong mother, and her very creative, smart and hysterically funny son is a testament to that.  She is also very obviously a beautiful woman.  Her talent {check it out HERE} is out of this world.  She always has this amazing smile and positive energy.  Her laugh is contagious and she is extremely motivated.  

We are not childhood friends, but I like to think that Sam and I "grew up" together.  When we first met, we were both kind of in the same place, a very very different place than we are now.  We were both beginning to pursue our passions seriously, to make careers out of doing what we love, but also found ourselves jumping off bridges at midnight, and slip and sliding, maybe having the occasional too many drinks, so nothing was being taken THAT seriously.  Eventually we also each found our future fiancés in our best friends.  For Sam, it was that one night when she took her habit of jumping off of bridges to falling on rocks, and Nick was there for her.

Nick and Sam have been friends for a very long time.  I didn't meet Nick until they started dating, but was so happy for my friend once I did.  His positive and happy energy matched hers perfectly.  He is kind, genuine and just makes you happy to be around.  The way he cares for Miles, Sam's son, is a beautiful thing to see.  They support each other, push, encourage and love each other. It is truly so awesome to watch two people grow, and know that is because they have someone by their side encouraging them to do so.  

Sam and Nick had been engaged for about a year and a half, with ideas for the wedding sort of being all over the place, literally.  And then one day, not too long ago they decided to have it here, and now.  So in just about 3 months, Sam and Nick planned an absolutely stunning wedding.  It had everything they wanted;  snow, their best friends, amazing food and drinks, and very large balloons.  The day started with Sam and her bridesmaids getting ready at the Mystic Marriott.  Sam's good friend Keira Coon from Beehive Salon styled her hair and Paula Fusaro-Gencarelli did the gorgeous makeup.  Sam wore a beautiful brooch from her great grandmother in her hair and a borrowed vintage fur from a friend.  Miles made Sam and Nick a ring box out of Legos.  There were touches of their friends and family everywhere.  The ceremony was held at the charming little chapel in Olde Mystic Village which was the perfect choice for this quintessential wintery New England day.  Sam had Miles walk her down the aisle, a job he did very well even if he did cover his eyes during the first kiss.  One of their mutual best friends, Joe, gave a hilarious and heartwarming wedding speech.  After photos we headed to Bridge, whose dimly lit, cozy, woodsy atmosphere right on the water was perfect.  The dinner was amazing, everyone had a great time.  They continued the party via a parade of balloons through downtown Westerly at The Malted Barley where we had a room upstairs all to ourselves, and more pretzels and desserts than you could imagine!  It was really a fantastic way to do a wedding.  Best of all we all got to spend a lot of time with Sam and Nick, wishing them the best on their new adventure.  

I obviously have a very strong attachment to these three.  But for good reason.  They are a beautiful, caring and loving family and I am so happy to have been a part of this incredible day.  Love love love you Sam, Nick and Miles.  Congrats.

 

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography beehive salon bride restaurant bridge restaurant wedding ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer love me two times mystic ct wedding photographer olde mystic village olde mystic village chapel rhode island wedding photographer ri wedding photographer http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/1/mystic-wedding-samantha-nickolas Wed, 25 Jan 2017 18:57:52 GMT
Providence Biltmore Wedding | Eleni + Matthew http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/1/providence-biltmore-wedding-eleni-matthew  

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Walking into Eleni's suite at the Providence Biltmore Hotel on November 5th was exactly like I had imagined it would be.  I knew Eleni had an impressive lineup of bridesmaids, and a large Greek family, so I was really hoping that there would be people everywhere, a lot of laughter, palpable elation.  That there would be girls trying on dresses and shoes and just a whirlwind of excitement.  I was not disappointed, and most impressive was Eleni.  Amidst the controlled chaos, she was the picture of calm, and simply glowing with sheer happiness for what was to come.  I wasn't surprised about that, Eleni and Matthew have such a beautiful life together already and this day was the icing on the cake, yet at the same time the beginning of so many wonderful adventures. 

Eleni + Matthew met under random circumstances.  Even though they worked for the same company, and went to the same Crossfit, fate didn't bring them together until one night out: same time, same place kinda thing.  It didn't matter however, because once they had that first date there was no turning back.  Whether they knew it or not, they never didn't not know it, know what I mean?  Haha ok that might be dramatic, but Eleni says anytime she pictured anything in the future, Matt was there.  And Matt held on to a little tin that Eleni had given him as a joke after only their second date.  That tin resurfaced a little over 2 years later with a ring in it when Matt proposed to Eleni.  Brunch, champagne and tons of happy tears {what all good proposals are made of!} and a YES of course, and the wedding planning began. 

I mentioned that Eleni came from a large Greek family.  I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that through all of our contact I never knew exactly how to pronounce her last name, Hatzinikolau, but while walking through the park after their photos her mom instructed me on how to say it.  And once she taught me I couldn't stop saying it, singing it actually, in my head the rest of the day.  And if the name was fun to say, the family that it belonged to was a million times more fun.  I was expecting a lot of dancing and music at the reception but I was unprepared for what a true Greek wedding entails.  The church ceremony was full of traditions: a Koubara, flower crowns, wine, being led around the alter, all things that were really interesting to read about before hand and witness on the day, but like I said, the dancing and music was unlike anything I had ever seen!  Eleni's grandfather played the violin with the band for, I swear, like 20 minutes while all the guests danced around and around.  It is a good thing Eleni + Matt do Crossfit because I will tell you that was quite the workout!  There was money being thrown at the newly weds, and napkins swinging. So so fun. After sitting for what seemed like 5 minutes to have dinner, they were back up and dancing again!  This time to their DJ, Chris Saraiva's music which was so good I couldn't even break them off the dance floor for a night time photo!  

Matthew and Eleni planned a Providence Biltmore wedding straight from a dream.  They couldn't go wrong with this outstanding venue, made even more beautiful with flora from Blooming Blossoms.  The sweet stuff, cupcakes and a gorgeous three-teir cake was from Sin Desserts.  Eleni and the girls had their hair done by Eden XO, and makeup by Jen Graver.  The guys looked classically handsome in Jos. A. Bank suits while Eleni's stunning, absolutely-made-for-her-gown was from BHLDN.  The bridesmaids dresses were in an array of beautiful fall jewel tones, also from BHLDN.  Eleni wore aaammaaazing Jimmy Choo Shoes, and accessorized with a pearl necklace and pearl earrings, both gifts from her mother.  Eleni + Matt hired the Newport Wedding Trolley to tote the super fun bridal party to and from the hotel, which allowed us to keep the party going while we were on the move! 

Eleni + Matt you truly make a radiant couple, both together and on your own.  I have loved getting to know you guys better over the past year and couldn't be more honored that you chose me to document your day. Your families are each amazing, and so sweet, kind and welcoming.  I can say nothing except that I wish simply the absolute best for you both in living out your hopes and dreams together.  

xo~Ames "providence Biltmore wedding", "ri wedding", "rhode island wedding", "providence biltmore", "blooming blossoms", "jimmy choo wedding shoes", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 "providence Biltmore wedding", "ri wedding", "rhode island wedding", "providence biltmore", "jimmy choo wedding shoes", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 "providence Biltmore wedding", "ri wedding", "rhode island wedding", "providence biltmore", "blooming blossoms", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 "providence Biltmore wedding", "ri wedding", "rhode island wedding", "providence biltmore", "blooming blossoms", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct photographerD7500 0 "providence Biltmore wedding", "ri wedding", "rhode island wedding", "providence biltmore", "blooming blossoms", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "bhldn", "bhldn bride"D7500 0

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"sin desserts", "blooming blossoms", "providence Biltmore wedding", "ri wedding", "rhode island wedding", "providence biltmore", "blooming blossoms", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "bhldn", "bhldn bride"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "providence Biltmore wedding", "ri wedding", "rhode island wedding", "providence biltmore", "blooming blossoms", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "bhldn", "bhldn bride", "sin desserts", "eden xo"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography chris saraiva ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography eden xo eden xo salon jimmy choo ivette jimmy choo wedding shoes newport wedding trolley newport wedding trolly providence ri ri wedding photographer sin desserts http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/1/providence-biltmore-wedding-eleni-matthew Thu, 12 Jan 2017 04:04:57 GMT
Allen Hill Farm Wedding | Christina + Christopher http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/12/allen-hill-farm-wedding-christina-christopher "matthew's catering", "a creative focus photography", "allen hill tree farm", "allen hill farm wedding", "allen hill tree farm wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct photographer"D7500 0

It was an absolutely stunning morning on October 30th at Allen Hill Tree Farm.  The forecast had been calling for rain, but like everything else about that day, the weather was just perfect.  The property itself was idyllic.  With a beautiful orchard on one side, a christmas tree farm taking up most of the property, and of course the big red barn, Allen Hill Farm had gorgeous-ness everywhere you looked.  But even more perfect were Christina + Christopher, who chose to have an Allen Hill Farm wedding because it fit them in all the ways your wedding should.  When Christina arrived, I absolutely melted.  She looked so stunning.  Her hair was full of fresh, gorgeous flowers.  She looked just like a boho-princess-bride-dream!  Aside from her beauty on that morning what I also immediately noticed was how attentive Christina was to her girls while getting ready.  Making sure they had everything they needed, and fixing dresses, making sure they ate, before she even thought about getting ready herself.  I noticed this through the entire day, constantly checking in and on everyone.  It cemented my opinion of her that I already had, she was a very sweet, genuine person who was used to putting her friends and family first.  

I went out to meet Chris for their first look, and he also did a pretty good job getting ready ;)  Chris looked super handsome, but his smile made it.  He could not have smiled any bigger while waiting to see Christina.  Chris was excited, and anxious to see his bride. He waited in the warm afternoon sunlight streaming through the orchard for Christina to tap him on the shoulder.  When he turned around, I realized I was very wrong.  His smile could, and did,  get much, much bigger after seeing her.  It was such a beautiful moment to be a part of, but only one of the countless beautiful moments from the day.  

During the ceremony, Christina and Chris took a moment to hug each member of their families, as a way to welcome both sides together as one family.  It was just another way they expressed themselves as the kind, huge hearted people that they are.   Christina's son Mason and Chris's niece Brianna played a big part of the wedding day, and added the most to the cute-ness factor.  The sweet little moments between Chris and Mason were absolutely adorable.  You could see just how much Chris loves being a father and equally how much Mason adores him.  

Later on, after some dancing and dinner by Matthew's Catering, the rain finally did come, but with perfect timing to get some beautiful end of the night shots outside.  It was truly an all around absolute dream wedding.  I was so honored to be the one to photograph it, and to know Christina and Chris and their families even better now.  Christina and Christopher I am wishing you guys all the happiness and love, you are certainly off to a great start! 

xo~ Ames D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography allen hill farm wedding allen hill tree farm allen hill tree farm wedding ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer matthew's catering matthews catering mystic ct mystic ct photographer mystic ct wedding photographer ri wedding photographer stonington ct http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/12/allen-hill-farm-wedding-christina-christopher Wed, 21 Dec 2016 12:02:27 GMT
Eolia Mansion Wedding | Lindsay + Aaron http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/12/eolia-mansion-wedding-lindsay-aaron D7500 0

Lindsay + Aaron married on a rainy but beautiful October day.  Their Eolia Mansion Wedding at Harkness Park was such a joy to photograph simply because there was beauty everywhere you looked.  Lindsay looked absolutely stunning in her gorgeous gown from Lastrina Girls, with her makeup just perfect thanks to Sabrina from Allure Traveling Beauty.  And Aaron looked so classically handsome in his Xedo tux and bowtie.  They even had their two puppies, Sophie and Gus, dressed for the affair!  Playing the part of the flower girl and ring bearer, they were wearing a little doggy tulle dress and a doggy tuxedo from Yvette's Little Shop.  The day was full of sweet little surprises like that, I also loved how Lindsay placed family heirlooms and jewels which had been handed down for generations in her bouquet to carry them down the aisle with her.

Guests were also dressed in black tie attire, totally fitting the elegant theme of this Eolia mansion wedding.  Rebecca from Blue Butterfly Florist had the place looking amazing with the flowers and centerpieces and candles everywhere for the ceremony which was held inside.  Lindsay's father walked her down the beautiful staircase to Aaron who was waiting with a look of pure joy and excitement on his face.  Aaron may have had some tears during the first look, and the wedding, and the toasts following.  But it was just another reason to fall in love with this couple.  They love and adore each other and their families, some of who traveled from very far away to be there, so much and they expressed that continuously through their day. 

Ivy's Simply Homemade was the caterer of choice, and Ivy and her team definitely had their work cut out for them since Lindsay and Aaron are the owners of the amazing Sweeties in downtown New London.  If you have ever been to their bakery and cafe you know they know good food! (Of course Ivy's pulled it off -not that I'm biased or anything- good job big sis ;) 

One thing to know about an Eolia Mansion wedding is that there are a couple of small rooms to have dinner in.  But when you have the perfect number of guests like Lindsay + Aaron did everyone fits so cozily in one room and the sounds of guests talking and laughing and toasting just floats through the rest of this beautiful home. The warm candlelit rooms were completely filled that night with those joyous sounds.  After dinner It also was full of the incomparable music from Band of New York.  A group made up of musicians that have done everything from Broadway to playing with the Rolling Stones!

Lindsay and Aaron certainly had every piece of their Eolia Mansion wedding planned out perfectly.  And it all came together perfectly for this couple, who gets to now celebrate this newest milestone in their life.  I am so happy to now know you Lindsay + Aaron.  It is amazing to meet a couple who can take such great risks together, open and run a successful business together, and at the same time be so head over heels in love.  Congratulations, and cheers to this next venture 

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography allure traveling beauty blue butterfly florist ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography eolia mansion eolia mansion wedding harkness park wedding harkness wedding ivy's simply homemade lastrina girls mystic ct wedding photographer ri wedding photographer sweeties bakery sweeties bakery new london ct yvettes little shop http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/12/eolia-mansion-wedding-lindsay-aaron Fri, 02 Dec 2016 20:41:49 GMT
Bee and Thistle Inn | Lissa + Asa http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/11/bee-and-thistle-inn-lissa-asa  

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Lissa + Asa married at the Bee and Thistle Inn surrounded by family and friends on a lovely October day.  They could not have chosen a more perfect setting for their very personal and traditional wedding, full of unique and sweet moments.  From the handmade soap favors, and hand filled pouches of fragrant dried flowers for guests to toss, to Lissa's sisters homemade oyster shell ring box, and all of the signs throughout the Inn which she had hand lettered, little pieces of Lissa + Asa's personality were evident everywhere.  Lissa included things such as bells at the place settings, bringing a touch of her Irish side, and received a six pence for her shoe, another Irish tradition, and they married in front of a beautiful chuppa, tying Asa's Jewish heritage into the ceremony.  

We had some beautiful and refreshing rain on that day, and the ceremony was moved indoors, but it really provided a sense of closeness and intimacy for the ceremony that fit this couple and their family perfectly.  After the heartfelt vows had been said and the rings had been exchanged, Lissa and Asa had a gorgeous, choreographed waltz as their first dance.  Her sister and stepfather sung and played the guitar, while Asa twirled and dipped Lissa around the cozy lounge of the the Bee and Thistle Inn.  It was truly like a scene from a fairy tale.  

The dining rooms were full of laughter and toasting and bell ringing during Lissa and Asa's three course dinner.  The food at the Bee and Thistle Inn is an event in itself, everything the chef prepares is outstanding.  Just when you think it doesn't get any better, there is the cake!  (Of course my favorite part ;) )  After the cake cutting, we all went outside to give Lissa and Asa a fun sparkler send off.  Thankfully the rain came back to add some uniqueness to their sparkler photos!

The remainder of the evening was spent with dancing.  Lots and lot of dancing!  Everyone was really able to party the night away since guests are able to stay at the Bee and Thistle Inn for the whole weekend.  

Asa + Lissa were surrounded by family, friends and lots and lots of adorable children for their wedding weekend.  I loved all of the personal touches they added to really make the wedding their own.  It was such an honor to document the true love that was abundant everywhere, and I am so happy to now know Asa, Lissa, and their wonderful families. 

Here's to a lifetime of love and laughter, xo~Ames

Hair and Makeup- Brittany Aldana, Posh Salon 

Flora- Elements Flowers

Gown- David Tutera from Couture Bridal Co.

Bridesmaids- Christina Wu 

Groom/Groomsmen- River Junction Trade Co.

Shoes- Beholden Bridal on Etsy

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography bee and thistle inn bee and thistle inn wedding carla steele elements couture bridal co warwick RI ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography david tutera destination wedding photographer elements floral design mystic ct wedding photographer posh salon posh salon niantic ct ri wedding photographer river junction trade co http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/11/bee-and-thistle-inn-lissa-asa Sun, 20 Nov 2016 15:38:39 GMT