i cannot say enough about how much i enjoyed following these two through their engagement to their wedding. we first met over coffee at the spot they would be having their reception, or what was wonderfully renamed coffee & desert. we discussed details of the shooting schedule we would later build: engagement photos, coffee + desert, and their big day. they told me about how they met, about their dogs, and how the theme kind of their engagement/marriage turned into a basement celebration, as they lived in a basement apartment, were having their coffee + desert in a basement coffeeshop, and were getting married in a wine cellar. what has stuck with me most about these two is when i asked them what they were looking for most in a photographer. daniel and tyson said this key trait was "the queer sensibility", a term i have now adapted into my own vocabulary (both professional and personal).
as a queer woman, i know how this functions in my daily life, whether it's the way i talk about issues of gender and sexuality over a drink with friends at our favorite bar, or how i use my experience and those of my friends to discuss these issues with people who might have questions or don't understand what it is like to be a part of this community. i realized, however, that this was not evident in my portfolio or on my site: i needed to update my contracts, the language i used, and how the way i wrote on my site spoke to all couples or prospective clients who were considering hiring me. so i made my contracts more inclusive (adding a field for both partners instead of just the signee), and made my site more bride/groom neutral, instead of just catering to the bride (which is the industry's default most of the time).
we shot their engagement photos at riverside park, which is not too far from their apartment and where they walk their pups, woodford and digby, two very good boys with drastically different personalities. the park was crowded, but we were able to find some quiet spots and play with light as the sun moved its way through the sky. it was also tony sunday, so we mutually had to time it so we were home for the broadcast.
the chipped cup is an lgbtqia+ basement coffee shop with a backyard in harlem. the walls are adorned with pride flags, fairy lights, whimsical photos, and sconces right out of your favorite childhood home. the backyard area is cozy, and the ideal spot for reading or spending time with your friends on a summer afternoon; but that night, it was the perfect spot for celebrating everyone's favorite couple. the space was filled with laughter and love the entire evening (and the coffee was delicious).
the morning of their wedding, i met them at the standard in the east village (which just so happens to be one of my favorite places to go dancing), just a few minutes from their venue. the lighting in their room was naturally bright and diffused, and the cover of the new yorker was, serendipitously, centered around pride (though maybe not so, as it was june... but i'll call it fate). between their perfectly lit room and the whimsical garden downstairs, i was in photog heaven.
lafayette, an east village restaurant with a wine cellar downstairs, was definitely a turn in tone, though equally as beautiful. the brick walls and wine filled shelves lining every wall made the whole place feel sophisticated while still offering a setting warm enough for you to settle into as soon as you walked down the stairs. their pastor officiated the ceremony, and the space was filled with such love and joy.
later that evening, i met them at the august wilson theatre, where they were given early access to the lobby before mean girls (real quick... if you haven't seen this... do yourself a favor and see it. you can thank me later). while wee had limited access to specific section of the theatre, it was still a thrill, and my inner musical theatre kid was beaming.
i could go on and on about so many of the amazing people i meet through this job, and obviously daniel + tyson (and digby + woodford) are some of them. here's to 2020 getting it's shiz together so we can keep capturing all of the love and all of the dogs. wash your hands, and stay safe!