The Heartbeat of Engage!13 : Beyond a Professional Conference for Luxury Wedding Professionals.

I recently had the opportunity to photograph the Engage!13 Conference at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.  The conference is the brainchild of Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce.

It's a place where the best of the best in the luxury wedding industry convene for three days of speakers, amazing parties, and networking.

What has brought me back every time are the relationships.  
Despite the fact that many there are in direct competition for clients, the spirit of collaboration and friendship abounds.

I was lucky enough to collaborate with a photography 'dream team' composed of Carla Ten Eyck, Allan Zepeda and Andrew Henderson.  Parker J Pfister shot with us as well.   I've linked you to all of their sites below because you should check out their work if you haven't already.

Allan Zepeda shooting swag bags from Gifts for the Good Life

Carla Ten Eyck shooting one of the many elaborate and beautiful meals Biltmore treated us to

Andrew Henderson resting his tired feet

Parker J Pfister dressed in "Gatsby Chic" for the gala

Matt from I Do Films keeping his professional demeanor while this was happening ...

Julie from Elysium Films who shot 16 mm film.

Beyond being a fun experience combining five studios it was a chance to explore creatively and learn from my colleagues. 
Below are some images which embody the essence of Engage!.  The moments that keep this girl returning again and again.  
I should load this post up with explanations of each image, but I feel like the images should speak for themselves here.  To quote an admired friend, Michelle Rago, this is the "heartbeat of Engage"

Venue: Biltmore Estate
Genius Creators: Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce
Details/ Swag: Gifts for the Good Life
Gatsby Styling: The Stylish Dresser
Gala Decor: Karen Tran
Entertainment: Elan Artists
Thank you to Allan Zepeda, Carla Ten Eyck, Andrew Henderson and Parker J Pfister as well as I Do Films and Elysium films for general photographic, film making and interpersonal awesomeness.


Second Wedding - Finger Lakes - NY Wedding - Destination Wedding Photographer

Second weddings are different.  The focus is not on the decor or on having the "perfect day".  It's about the marriage.  And often it's about blending families. 
Kelly and Matt got married in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.
Together they have 5 kids under the age of 10.  
Three of those kids happen to be boys... 
Here is what happens when you place three boys next to the table with the sand-filled glassware meant for a sand ceremony representing the combining of individuals into a family. 
In my opinion... nothing could have been more perfect.

Don't you forgive those faces immediately? 
Signature moments.  Stories to be told during holiday meals for a lifetime!!


Fripp Island - Charleston - Beaufort Wedding

One Image

 I know that some people prefer to see a variety of images within one blogpost.  It helps capture a wedding or event in it's entirety.  However, I feel like sometimes a single image can capture a feeling... sometimes a defining moment... and sometimes just a fleeting moment of joy. 
A bride about to depart for her ceremony... in a beautiful dress... glowing with anticipation. 
Paige's elation is palpable in this image.

This wedding was on Fripp Island outside of Beaufort SC. 
It was a beautiful day for an outdoor wedding and the couple was one of the most interesting and also the warmest I have met to date. 


Boston - Light - Photography - Life.

ON LOVING LIGHT…  Why I am a Photographer

light1 [lahyt]  noun, adjective, light·er, light·est, verb, light·ed or lit, light·ing.
1.something that makes things visible or affords illumination: All colors depend on light.
a. Also called luminous energy, radiant energy. electromagnetic radiation to which the organs of sight react, ranging in wavelength from about 400 to 700 nm and propagated at a speed of 186,282 mi./sec (299,972 km/sec), considered variously as a wave, corpuscular, or quantum phenomenon.
b.a similar form of radiant energy that does not affect the retina, as ultraviolet or infrared rays. 

The past few months seems to have been full of tragedy.  Newtown... Boston... the list goes on and on. 
Sometimes it seems like the world is full of suffering… like we bounce from one tragedy to another… like we change our profile photos to support the cause of the moment… and we change them far too often.  We issue ribbons of every color for cancer awareness, or bullying, or remembering wounded veterans… 

If we aren't careful we can get sucked into a culture of voyeurism fed by a 24-hour news cycle.  We can become strangely addicted to the constant crises, thriving on the drama therein and focusing on the suffering. 
Suffering is an inherent part of life.  

But it's not everything.  Not by a long shot. 

"Rejoicing in our joy, not suffering over our suffering, makes someone a friend."
Friedrich Nietzsche

I have been through my fair share of suffering in my own life.  And here is what I have learned.  The light always wins.   The light makes the darkness tolerable. And the light is where we have to reside. 
If you want to appreciate the beauty of life; If you want to see the hand of God, no matter what your religious affiliation… 
focus on the light.  
My passion for photography comes from a love of light...actual and metaphorical. 

"To love beauty is to seek light"
Victor Hugo

"Light makes photography.  Embrace light.  Admire it.  But above all, know light.  Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography."  
George Eastman

I capture light.  
Not many things make me happier then beautiful light. I enjoy playing with light.  I challenge myself to capture images primarily with natural light… and perhaps that is no accident.  Because photography isn't just about light.. it's about capturing the light within the human spirit.  

Amidst all of the suffering there are countless moments.  They aren't newsworthy.  Sometimes they are barely noticeable.  
But they are everything. 

They are the glue that holds together the narrative of a life.  In cumulative form, they make up our story… our identities… our legacies.  They are the defining moments. 
Capturing those moments of light… that's why I am a photographer. 
Pretty tablescapes are fun… dresses are cute… and I enjoy those things as much as the next girl. 
But those things are pieces of a ritual… they do not in and of themselves define the ritual. 
What defines any ceremony is the sentiment within… as well as the spirit of the individual participants. 
It's the light.  

The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly. 
Proverbs 20:27
“There are stars who's light only reaches the earth long after they have fallen apart. There are people who's remembrance gives light in this world, long after they have passed away. This light shines in our darkest nights on the road we must follow.”

 The Talmud quotes
“You must enshrine in your hearts the spiritual urge towards light and love, 
Wisdom and Bliss!”
               Sri Sathya Sai Baba  (Indian Spiritual leader, b.1926)

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