Jackie and Dan reached out to me from Washington DC, for their Sinclair of Skaneateles wedding! If you haven’t seen that venue you can check out our photos from their first wedding ever, here! Take a quick peek and then come right back!!
Jackie and Dan weren’t sure if fitting an e-sesh would happen, but if you know me, I’m all for working with my couples beforehand. Meeting and getting to know them a bit, before their big day is super important to me, so we made it happen! Shooting a few days after Christmas sounded like the perfect time! And it was, even though it was about 6 degrees outside! These two absolutely crushed their engagement session! Like Rockstars, too! They were all smiles and so lovey-dovey! I had an absolute blast wandering around snowy downtown Skaneateles with them, talking about their big day and checking in every few minutes to make sure Jackie could feel her fingers! Just barely, she said! Ahhh! We worked quickly on the pier, along Skaneateles Lake, on the gazebo, and by the Sherwood Inn and were able to document these two during this season of their life, as they prepare to become husband and wife and it was the sweetest! I cannot wait until May, for their big day! I know it’s going to be absolutely amazing! But in the meantime scroll through this adorable set and leave the couple some love in the comments!
Jackie and Dan reached out to me from Washington DC, for their Sinclair of Skaneateles wedding! If you haven’t seen that venue you can check out our photos from their first wedding ever, here! Take a quick peek and then come right back!!
While planning a wedding, some couples choose to include a guest favor into the festivities. We’ve seen this wedding day tradition expressed in a variety of unique and fun ways this past season. We’re taking some time today to feature some of them. If you’re looking for wedding guest favor inspiration, look no further!
- Local Love – You can honor a city by providing something to your guests exclusive to it, like Alyssa and Matt did when they brought Goo Goo Clusters or when Brittany and Greg gave everyone bags of popcorn from the Kandied Kernel.
- Sweet Honors – Homemade Cookies! There’s a signature touch to homemade cookies unique to every family. It’s a great way to highlight a family members talent, a family favorite bakery, a family recipe or a recipe establishing a new tradition!
- Please Take One – Personalized take-aways like cozies, shot glasses, soap, and candles. They are useful and memorializing!
- Chocolates! Whether they’re from a local shop or fashioned into an adorable Harry Potter snitch, chocolate is universally linked with love and celebration.
- Say Cheese – Photo booths! They can be lots of fun and plus they provide an instant favor for guests to take home and cherish.
- Don’t Forget the Littles – Providing the children at the reception with a gift bag of fun things to do while they can’t boogie down on the dance floor or sending home dog biscuits with your fellow fur parents are two ways to not leave out the atypical wedding guests.
We think however you chose to go about honor the wedding day tradition of guest favors, it’s important to give it a personal touch and have some fun with it! Check out some of these wedding guest favors from our 2017 season.
If you loved these details, you’re gonna have to come back and visit us later this week for more as we highlight our favorite 2017 detail images.
(Also, don’t forget! We’ll be at the New York State Fairgrounds on January 21st for Syracuse Wedding Magazine’s bridal show featuring a live wedding giveaway!)
Earlier this year (a few days ago, hah. See what I did there!?), we featured our 2017 wedding clients in a special way by creating an engagement session and wedding day side-by-sides with one image from each collection. We hope you enjoyed perusing it as much as we enjoyed creating it! To continue with our engagement session theme this week, we thought it would be awesome to share some info and tips in regards to these sessions. SHP engagement sessions are complementary to every wedding photography package. We find them invaluable. I think we’ve covered that fact! What we haven’t talked about much is how to prepare for an engagement session, and that’s what we’d like to dive into here today!
Engagement sessions document an important moment in a couple’s love story. It also allows people an opportunity to get practice in front of the camera. Ideally, if you’re preparing for an engagement session, this means you’ve settled on a wedding photographer and you and your partner are embarking on a new relationship with that person. At SHP, we find that the engagement session is key to strengthening this relationship. Wouldn’t it be ideal to know who’s going to show up to photograph you on your big day and have an established relationship? We think so!
Accomplishing an engagement session takes some planning. First, you’ll need to settle on a time and place. Engagement sessions can take place anytime between the moment you’ve booked to a few weeks before the wedding day. It all depends on what you want to do with the images. If you want to use an image from the session for Save the Dates or invitations, the timing for creating, printing and mailing these things must be factored into scheduling. Typically, SHP engagement sessions are scheduled Tuesdays through Thursdays (with limited Friday availability) because weekends are set aside for weddings. This depends on the season, however, which is another thing to consider – perhaps you’d like the season of the engagement session to match the one in which your wedding day is planned! Hair and makeup trail appointments can be planned on the same day of the session too! No matter what you chose to do, always be sure to keep the photography session time in mind. Sometimes, the daylight is a factor in the images your photographer has planned to create for you. Keep scrolling to read more!Second, you get to decide on a location! Woo! Choose your own adventure! SHP likes to encourage their couples to think of places, activities, or seasons that have meaning to them when they’re deciding. Sarah also has a list of favorite locations in the area to choose from, say if it’s most important to the couple that they bring their dog or a family heirloom, but they do not necessarily know or mind where to have the photos taken. That’s totally cool and okay. We’ve got it covered. Once the day and place has been established, you should spend a little effort planning what you will wear and bring to the session. Clothing is important to carefully consider. We like to encourage clean, coordinated (but not matchy-matchy, persay), classic outfits. An outfit change can also be considered. Some couples like to have a set of casual outfits and a set of some on the dressier side. There’s no pressure to do this though, and we encourage keeping the wardrobe changes to just one or 2 anyway! The most important things to avoid are clashing colors, neon, logos or large graphics on clothing, and anything one doesn’t feel super comfortable and confident in. Consider the weather for the day and layer clothing appropriately. Accessorizing can also add layers of interest. You should consider interesting necklaces, scarves, bold colored shoes or other beloved accessories. Just remember, if anyone wears a hat, we’ll probably ask you to take it off for a few images throughout the session!
In addition to clothing, you should discuss if you’d like to bring anything else. Fur children, family heirlooms, and props adorned with important dates or phrases, are just some of the things our past clients have brought along with them to create images. Don’t forget to bring the engagement ring too (just in case you were thinking of bringing it to the cleaners that week haha!). Sarah enjoys crushing an awesome ring shot into existence! With outfit and prop preparation behind you, the most important thing to remember about these sessions is that they are supposed to be fun! There are a few things you can do to ensure everyone’s on the same page about that fact. Talk to your partner about the session one-on-one beforehand. Even look through some blog posts together – just to make sure you both know what’s in store. We love what we do at SHP, and we want our clients to join in on the fun, so we are happy to answer any questions and chat about the session beforehand too. Open communication is so key in a photography relationship. We know our clients aren’t at photography sessions every day and are typically new to the experience, so be ready to listen and communicate once the day comes; we’ll be taking the reigns by giving you prompts to create the most lovely collection of images to celebrate your engagement!
- Settle on an awesome place for the backdrop to your engagement session.
- Finalize a day and time that works best for the images you want to create.
- Dress to impress & express!
- Have fun and get to know your photographer. The adventure is just beginning!
Happy New Year! Come see us on January 21st at the New York State Fairgrounds where Syracuse Wedding Magazine will be hosting their Bridal Show with a live wedding giveaway!
Every SHP Wedding Photography package comes with a complimentary engagement session because we find it very important to work with our couples before their wedding day. We enjoy getting to know our clients before the big day, and working together beforehand gets several things sorted out, including jitters! Planning an engagement session means setting some time aside to hang with your photographer and get comfy behind the camera. We like to explore local parks and interesting hangouts, especially places that are important to the couple. Bonus if there’s food, coffee, pets, or epic views involved!
Last February, we explained the value of an engagement session in detail, like maximizing the opportunity by planning a trail hair and make-up appointment on the same day! With this important information, we shared some diptychs of our couples that included one image from their engagement session and one image from their wedding day. It was so fun to put together that we had to do it again this year! It’s a project that allows us to look at our freshest portfolio in a whole new way, and we’re excited to keep it going.
Check out these adorable couples during the bliss of engagement and also on their joyous wedding days, then come back later this week for a bunch of engagement session info and tips!
We can’t help but gush over how awesome our 2017 clients were. Thank you again for sharing this special time in your lives with us. We are honored to have helped you preserve it for all of time!
Not all of you live up here in Central, NY but if you do, you can recall the freezing rain and snow we got over the weekend! On Christmas Eve, Eve, I met up with Michael and Alyson for a surprise engagement shoot that Michael got for Alyson! They live in Tampa, and Michael found me on Google so we chatted over email and picked one of the three days he’d be in town and went with it! It was the sweetest idea, I thought!! Surprise your fiance for a snowy engagement session and get married in Florida, a great way to embrace a different season and climate! We met up at Freedom of Espresso in Franklin Square Park and made a plan while standing under umbrellas! My husband, Tim, was assisting me for the shoot which was honestly invaluable because he became the holder of all things including umbrellas for the moments that the two lovebirds wouldn’t be protected from the elements. We worked quickly to get some great shots between putting coats back on and hiding under umbrellas! I wouldn’t say the weather was the most cooperative for a romantic engagement session but I would be lying if I said I didn’t love a challange! We had so much fun exploring and embracing what Mother Nature had in store for us that Saturday and I’m pretty pumped to share the images! Check them out for yourself! (Side notes: I may have added my own handmade photoshop snow in the first image for a winter wonderland feel, and Alyson and Michael may be killer snowball throwers in the second to last image!)
As another year comes to a close, we’re taking some time to reflect on such an awesome 2017 Wedding Season! We were able to share every single wedding we shot this season right here, on the blog, in record time. This was extremely important to us to provide for our clients! A curated blog post is an ideal, quick way for clients to share their images with family and friends during the honeymoon stage. It’s also the beginning stages of envisioning the couple’s best day ever in an album, telling the story of the day in print to last forever and become apart of their family heirlooms. While looking back on the season for this installment of the winter series, we focused more on memorable moments from each wedding. Below you’ll see we’ve reflected on a variety of things that stood out most to us…
…a fairytale afternoon…
…a sweet groom stealing the spotlight on the dance floor…
…a fun first dance turned salsa surprise…
…bringing to fruition a couple’s super fun and silly idea…
…working that veil for some romantic moments… And crushing a sweet emotional ceremony without power…!
…documenting a 3 day fusion Indian wedding…
…watching a bride find her comfort zone…
…heartfelt getting ready moments…
…inspiring the wedding party’s inner fierce…
…getting that dip kiss… creating family heirlooms…
…a tearful (of the best kind) father/daughter dance…
…an epic flash mob…
…these two on the dance floor!…
…a romantic setting…
…the most epic elevator processional and groom reaction…
…a sweet pre-ceremony gift exchange…
…the cutest revision of the dollar dance we’ve seen…
…taking a risk… playing by the rules…
…keeping it classy…
…taking extra time with the newlyweds…
We have the best jobs ever, all thanks to our amazing clients and we are excited to see what the 2018 season will bring!!
We are booking 2018 weddings right now and would love to meet with you! We’ll be at the January Syracuse Wedding Bridal Show too!!
Kelly and Jenn go way back. She is one of Jenn’s oldest friends, and also the person responsible for introducing Sarah and Jenn to each other! When she announced that Oscar had proposed to her and she had said yes, there was no doubt in Jenn’s mind that she had to photograph them to celebrate!
The Tipperary Hill area is very special to Kelly and Oscar. Their love blossomed while enjoying wing night’s at The Blarney Stone, exploring new and interesting beers at Now & Later and playing bocce with the Turbo Bocce crew. While they have since relocated from the area to become homeowners (and adopt two fur-children) it was essential to them that it be the backdrop for their engagement session photos. Jenn took them to the arboretum and made them get all lovey-dovey (not that they needed much encouragement!!).
Kelly and Oscar will be getting married in June 2018. Sarah and Jenn are going to sit this one out though. They’d much rather shower them with their love, attention, and silly antics on the dance floor, so Wesley will be taking the helm! Keep an eye out for those photos next year. For now, check out how adorable, goofy and in love these two are.
Hey there, Jenn, Sarah’s second shooter and BFF, here to catch you up on what we’ve been up to lately!
Sarah and I love to go on adventures, and we both enjoy road trips! Exploring the world around us is a treasured hobby. We’ve road-tripped to NJ (so I could see the ocean for the first time!! <3), VT, Canada, and St. Louis – to name a few off the top of my head! When Sarah mentioned to me that she had a great opportunity to participate in a workshop hosted by Mike Allebach and Christine Yodsukar in Philadelphia, but she was a little hesitant to go alone, I decided quickly, that I could certainly tag along. Philly was on my list of must-see cities and everything is better with friends! It was mere weeks before the workshop, Sarah found a rad Air B-n-B, and it was official. Another adventure was on the near horizon!
Since it was my first time visiting Philly, we added a little time before and after the workshop to explore! We headed out the day before the workshop at 9 a.m. Philly really isn’t too far from us when I consider the fact that I spent my college years traveling 4 hours to and from school for every single break. The trip down was smooth. When we reached Clarks Summit, we saw the Krispy Kreme and crossed our fingers that the light was on for fresh FREE donuts! It wasn’t. But we stopped anyway!! We’re foodies, what can we say!?
Once we had our little snack (and documented it well on Instagram!), we made the last stretch of the trip to Philly and arrived downtown just in time for lunch. After circling The Shops at Liberty Place about a thousand times, looking for a parking spot, in hopes to grab some Chick-fil-a from the food court, we had to give it up. It was a really good exercise, for Sarah, in navigating Philly traffic though! A Yelp search helped us pick a new location close to our next planned stopped. We found a parking spot right in front of The Magic Gardens (imagine that, after all the struggle before!) and walked to Hawthorne’s Beer & Cafe. While our hearts were set on Chick-fil-a and a little broken from the aborted mission, this charming establishment helped us swiftly forget that. Not only did they carry an impressive selection of beer for onsite consumption, carry-out and delivery, they also had several beers on tap for growler fills or to purchase by the pint with a meal. Sarah decided on a chicken salad hoagie with house-made chips, and I ordered the short rib tacos that came with a potato, arugula, and gouda salad. I still want that salad in my life. I want that salad over and over again. It was so amazing! An unexpected surprise and added bonus was being able to taste a pumpkin beer, Good Gourd, by Cigar City Brewing (a Florida-based brewery I enjoy and have visited in the past!).
With full bellies and cameras in hand, we headed out to explore The Magic Gardens. If you’ve never heard of it, you should definitely check it out. It’s an amazing mosaic art installation created by one man, Isaiah Zagar, 23 years in the making. It is hard to put into words the magnitude and scope of Zagar’s work here. We hope the photos we’ve shared below do it justice! We wandered in awe and took a few portraits of each other. Sarah purchased a pair of funky, very dangly earrings at the gift shop before we headed off on our next mission – bubble tea in a lightbulb.
When we have an adventure on the horizon, we research the heck out of the location beforehand, checking out Yelp, Instagram and shouting out to Facebook friends for recommendations. Sometimes we end up with a very ambitious list of sites and eats. Philly was definitely one of those times. We found the lightbulb bubble tea being served at Tu’s Tea & Banh Mi on Instagram and knew it was a must-do. Sarah went for her usual, the matcha tea option, and I went with the coconut one (though I was looking for taro – it’s okay – I love coconut flavored things too!). On our walk back to the car, we stopped for a mini photo session. One cannot get bubble tea in a lightbulb and not photograph it. At least not these photographers! And while the bubble tea had a little more than we bargained for (in addition to the yummy boba, mine had jellied coconut pieces and we think Sarah’s had mango jelly in it), we ended up with some rad reusable lightbulb cups!
While we sipped on our teas, Sarah took me on a car tour of Philly – in rush hour traffic – another good lesson in city driving (and also the moment I decided I’d be taking an Uber instead of driving into downtown while Sarah would be at the workshop the next day). We were looking for the Friendship Arch but didn’t know its name at the time, so we were hoping to just drive upon it. In our search, we scored a parking spot and had to take it. Surprisingly, we did not have a dinner spot planned (oh, but dessert, we had nailed), so we turned to Yelp once again to find something and settled on Tom’s Dim Sum. We had an interesting time there – we laughed over the absence of background music and when Sarah broke one of her chopsticks in half trying to “cut” her cheese fried dumpling! Before heading back to the air bnb, we had one more stop to make – I CE NY! Another Instagram discovery – Thai rolled ice cream – in a sweet taco shell. It was fun to watch the ice cream get smashed, spread out into a thin sheet on the cold steel, and then rolled into logs. Sarah got a matcha taco, (Are you surprised?) and I tried out the ube taco. The ube made the ice cream a lovely purple and the taco was topped with glitter. Glitter I could eat!
The next day we woke early and headed to North Wales for the workshop, hosted by Mike at his beautiful studio, and Sarah and I parted ways for the day. I went back to the air bnb and ordered an Uber to take me downtown. I was overwhelmed by the freedom and opportunity my day had. I was also super curious about what Sarah was learning! For the first part of the day, I walked. I walked a lot. I just took in what was going on around me and eventually made it to City Hall. A nice local woman suggested I check out BurgerFi for lunch, so I did! The burger was decent but the fries were where it’s at (I’d say I’m a french fry connoisseur). I made my way to the historic area after that and stood in line to see The Liberty Bell. Overwhelmed by children on school field trips, I decided to get some distance from the historic area, walked by Jewelers row, found a pretty cool plant sale on a side street, and eventually found myself on the spot where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. That’s when I realized my phone battery was dangerously low, and I had better call an Uber ASAP.
(Hey guys, Sarah here!! I wanted to post a bit about my day at the workshop!) The album and sales workshop that Mike and Christine hosted was inspiring, to say the least! I showed up only knowing Mike. I didn’t know the other ~16 people in the room but that was fine, seeing I knew we all had things in common based on the fact we were all at this workshop, so business talk it was! A beautiful spread of bagels, cheeses, lox, cinnamon rolls and other goodies were put out for us to munch on as we acquainted ourselves and got situated. Fundy and Miller’s sponsored cute notebooks for us to take notes on during our 9 hour day! One of our first exercises was something that we needed to let go of in our business and what was holding us back from doing in-person sales within our business. It was a really fun and thoughtful exercise, watching everyone write down their fears and thoughts and writing my own down in front of everyone! We were all there to better our businesses so being open and honest was the only option! Mike and Christine took turns teaching their hearts out. It was absolutely amazing listening to them talk so passionately about how their business is structured and how they go about giving their wedding clients the best products and care!
While my day was cut a little short by not bringing my sweet power bank clutch purse, it was about time to head back and prepare to pick up Sarah in North Wales anyway. I headed out there to find out that everyone from the workshop was going to Tex-Mex Connection to mingle and relax after a day of learning. I joined the group for a (strong & delicious) margarita. I could tell everyone was humming with excitement and possibility after an inspiring day. I got to meet Christine and reacquaint with Mike. Both are so kind and supportive. We are honored to call them colleagues! During our goodbyes, we mentioned to Mike that we were going to hit up the Crate & Barrel nearby to see if they still had these unique, acrylic album displays. He frowned and stated he knew for sure they did not have them anymore. We headed the anyway – to get our Chick-fil-a fix!
The next day we set out on a couple missions before heading back to NY. The first being IKEA. We can never pass up a visit to IKEA!! Sarah checked out the kitchen table sets, I picked up some awesome new cat pillows, and Sarah found some cute home decor things and stuff. Our second and final mission was food related (surprise!) and a Philly must – cheesesteaks!! Sarah had visited the highly recommended Dalessandro’s the last time she was in Philly and just had to take me there. It did not disappoint – slight hole in the wall, but bright and clean and packed with people! It has a counter that sits about 10 customers at a time. When we arrived, it was standing room only, but the people working behind the counter were friendly, efficient, and fast! Before we knew it, we were taking seats at the counter in anticipation – Sarah for a Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteak, me for a whiz with peppers & onions. It was so delicious. With that, we said goodbye to Philly and headed back to NY.
Here are some cell phone pics and “real camera” photographs from our adventure! What are your favorite things to do in Philly? What city should we visit next?
Sarah & Jenn
I think we’ve been lucky with the weather here in Upstate, NY, lately! It’s been super mild and it didn’t change for Alicia and Mike’s e-sesh! It was nice and cool, about 53ish, on Sunday afternoon, when Alicia and Mike met me at Upper Onondaga Park. We spent an hour wandering around, talking wedding details and about a mutual friend of ours who connected us! Thankful for my pal Rob who brought SHP and Alicia and Mike together! These two are getting married next September at Bristol Harbor, which is a new venue for SHP! We couldn’t be more excited. It’s always so fun for us getting to shoot at new venues and seeing a fresh space to explore and document for our couples. Our session ended at the scenic spot in the park overlooking all of Syracuse, one of my favorite views! Check it out for yourself!