Cassie & Victor Hugo Brooklyn Botanic Garden Wedding

The same day I had the very exciting (and now somewhat popular thanks to your views!) zombie photo shoot, I had rushed over from photographing a beautiful garden wedding at Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Victor and Cassie Hugo were the lucky couple to get married on a perfect day in New York.
I arrived about an hour before the ceremony was to begin. No shadowing the bride photos. It wasn't ideal for Cassie since her wedding began at 9 in Brooklyn and she was traveling from Suffolk County Long Island.

I set up my camera equipment, and met with the bride and groom separately. After just a 15 minute delay, the wedding went on as planned. Although the location where they were set to wed was lovely, it was a tad cramped and so I calculated each move to not get in any one's view. One obstacle of course was shooting alongside the videographer with out getting in the way of one another. At one point we were both standing on a bench, with no support behind us. Just a pond.
 Another thing I took notice was the amount of cellphones held up in the air. For the last wedding, I only dealt with a rude passerby who decided to stand right next to Brandi and Tiffany and snap photos with his phone. I tapped his shoulder and signaled for him to leave and after a few brief seconds of a dirty look, he did.

 How do I ask others to kindly put down their phones and enjoy the ceremony. That's what we're here for! I thought to myself. But it's something I have in mind to tell the next bride and groom. Family and friends, live in the moment! Enjoy the beautiful ceremony going on a foot in front of you. That's why you hire outside help, so that they can capture the instances you want to relive. ;)
  After the I do's, the newlyweds greeted their guests and braced themselves for photos. Here came the next obstacle. I'm used to a crowd behind me watching me pose and shoot my subjects, but until now, never experienced the pressure of the family observing the way you pose their loved ones, fall silent the moment your lips part. They will be remembering that moment when they view the photos, to see what sort of images result from my methods.
I loved photographing Cassie and Victor. Their families were very friendly, happy and accommodating. Doesn't take from the fact that I was a tad nervous, but I was very pleased with the results, and so were they! They were even kind enough to send a hand written letter to thank me, and continued thanking me via email. What a heartfelt gesture on their part. =]

Here's another wedding photographer tip for anyone starting out like I am. It is NOT for the faint of heart. There is a ton of pressure to capture the most important day of two people's lives. You're capturing their legacy, for future generations to view. Making sure you have the right equipment, sufficient memory cards, back up lenses, and everything in between is crucial. But I'm sure you already know that ;)

Make a list, and check it a million times before you arrive at the wedding destination (whether you're shadowing the bride before the ceremony, or arriving straight there). Make sure to include shots that the couple has asked for. Even if you took beautiful spontaneous images, if you didn't get the one they asked for, they won't hire you again.
Be hard on yourself, but at the same time, pat yourself on the back for the little things that you did capture. For getting beyond the fact that everyone is watching you, waiting on your word to pose the couple. Congratulate yourself on your composure and your kindness. Then push yourself to not repeat the same mistakes, to learn from your experience and to not compare yourself to other photographers. But compare yourself to where you were months, even weeks ago. 
There's a saying I first heard in culinary school, and still hear in the industry today, you're only as good as your last dish. I like to think, you're only as good as your last shot. Which is why, I'll never stop shooting ;)
*If you have any wedding photography advice you'd like to share, or have a question about shooting your first wedding, please feel free to let us know in the comments!

**Stay tuned for more wedding photography tips when I give a sneak peek and write up on the most recent wedding I photographed, Daniela and Sal's perfect park wedding here in Jersey.


  1. Such beautiful photos-you're so talented!

  2. Gorgeous wedding shots! I know the lovely couples were thrilled with them!

  3. So beautiful, loved the pictures. Your lighting is great. All the best to the couple.


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