Big black wedding. Candid people, candid moments, candid love.

Today I want to tell you about the wedding that I shooted in the end of April in Queens. 
It was the biggest and the most candid wedding in my photography experience (around 270 guests (+ around 1 lb of tears ) and I felt really honored that Imani (the Bride) chose me to capture their undoubtedly epic Event of Love. 
When I came in the morning to the Holy Unity Cathedral, beautiful Bride met me at the entrance and forwarded to the room that reminded me of a Fashion Week Backstage. Dozen of ladies - bridesmaids, makeup artists, hair stylists, girlfriends and their daughters; coffee and donuts, cosmetics, dresses, beauty products, accessories... all were there. During 2 hours of "Bride's morning" I had captured around 400 shots, with no posing and "asking for a photo"! as the atmosphere was so dynamic and there were so many moments/details worth to snap. 
At the Ceremony everyone was deeply touched by Bride's & Groom's speeches, they were crying, guests were crying, I was crying and trying to keep my hands no shaking... :D

At the "newlyweds walk" shoot, after we made few group photos with coolest Brides and Grooms Parties, my movie-stars-looking-couple didn't ask for some special directions to show their love sincerely and passionately. After getting some romantic shots, Imani & Rashaan decided to have some of their favorite junk food - Astoria Park street hot dogs. And I was really grateful for this another opportunity to get some more CANDID shots. 

At the restaurant, I took my Tylenol (as I happened to be sick on that big day) and got prepared to shoot The First Dance, the First Glass of Champagne and the beginning of the Grand Celebration. And it was real! Everyone, from the smallest to the oldest was dancing, chilling, having fun and honestly enjoying the party. 
What I'd like to mention, The First Dance was made not as a formal, all-prepared actual dance, but as a play between Bride and Groom - they were singing; acting, showing their attitude and moving/dancing freely during the song. And everyone was charmed. 

What I can say - I'm so grateful to Imani and Rashaan that they gave me the opportunity to capture their most important memories, from all the angles, with whole range of inspiring emotions. 
They showed me that the Wedding should reflect the personality of the couple, not to be sticked to some traditional "picture". 
God bless the couple and let them live happily ever after!

2 hours for Serbian "Express" Wedding

Hi there! Last Wednesday I was booked for 3-hours Wedding Ceremony and Newlyweds walk photoshoot with Milica & Jay, the couple from Serbia that lives in US. When we previously discussed with Milica what kind of photos do they need and expect, she mentioned that they don't need those "classic wedding photos", except portraits with the family. Also Milica told me that she does photography as hobby and she has much respect for this occupation. 

When I came to NYC Marriage Bureau, the couple represented me to their guests - "This is Marta, she is very creative!" and told me that the planes are changed and we have only 2 hours for shooting. So we had short time frames, 7 closest relatives/friends from Serbia that came to US specially for this celebration and tone of excitement to work with :). After we captured all the family in different compositions with City Hall mural background, did all the paperwork, waited in line for the Chapel, the time for the Ceremony itself came.

As for me, the Wedding Ceremony Chapel in New York City could be more elegant and spacious. But still, it's main purpose it to not to be beautiful, but to become the place, where the couples enter as lovers and exit as a family. For those 5 minutes that we've been there, my camera didn't stop snapping, as I had to capture not only "putting on the rings" and "the first kiss" photos, but what's the same important - candid expressions of the happy families, when they started to congratulate each other with the great event that just happened. 

After we left the Marriage Bureau, NYC's streets greeted us with freezing wind and cold. So we stuffed in Limo as soon as possible. As we were at one of the lowest parts of Manhattan, and got only about an hour left for outdoor shoot, we chose to go to the Flatiron district (though Limo driver was confused and didn't know the address - he excused that it just can not be a classic spot for wedding pictures, that's why he doesn't know where it is - So what? ;)  - I googled the address and gave it to him). 

The atmosphere in Limo was hot and festive. Everybody was singing Serbian songs (well, except me :D), drinking champagne, laughing and enjoying the trip. Jay, standing on his knees, accompanied by Milica's mother, sang a Serbian love song addressing to his happy wife. 
But though those Limos are cool, you could know that they usually crawl too slow in NYC traffic. So when we came to Flatiron, only 20-30 minutes were left for us to take the photos. Pedestrians kept stopping and snapping the couple while I was asking them to jump and move, shooting whatever they usually do to express their love. We had to work fast and dynamic, as I'm reminding, it was really cold (especially for the bride and the guests in the dresses :). After, we made some romantic shots with no family in the nearest square, captured 2 wedding traditions (taking off the garter by the groom and catching the bouquet by unmarried girlfriends of the bride) and even made a photo with the special book, that means much for Milica and Jay so they brought it specially for the shoot. 

What I can say - those 2 hours were one of the most filled with emotions, actions, places, atmospheres and importance in my whole photography experience. And I hope that I managed to show the vibe of that Serbian love and happiness and to create "the feeling of presence" that is my author's goal for the wedding photographs. 

Pure emotions at great Celebration of Love (James & Thair's Wedding)

At the beginning of February I was booked for my first wedding in 2016. The couple came to NYC from Brazil and all their guests came specially from Guatemala - so I understood how important this event was to all of them.
The ceremony took it's place in a very romantic spot - Ladies Pavilion in Central Park. The official lady held all of it in Spanish - so I didn't understand a word (except "amor", of course :D)! But I guess it was even better, as I could totally concentrate on those sincere emotions, pure feelings, the light of joy and gratitude in everyone's eyes. To be honest, even without understanding words, I shed a tear too, as the atmosphere was so delightful and touching.
James and Thair are truly awesome guys, we had so much fun at "Newlyweds walk" shooting after the ceremony. I really appreciate that they opened up to me easily, so I needed only to catch those moments of their love and happiness.
I wish them all the best!

Choosing the photos for this Series, I was trying to use the shots that could reflect the Event from different angles and create a "feeling of presence" for those, who watch it. I chose some atmospheric "backstage" shots, the "must-have wedding ceremony shots" and some of the beautiful romantic portraits from Newlyweds walk shooting.

I hope, you will feel the vibe too :)

Full-sized series at: