Appreciation for the "slow" season

When weddings slow down in the winter, there is a little bit of breathing room to recover from the rush that accompanies the dying colors of the autumn leaves. It's not before long, however, that I start itching to create. This past winter, at least by me in the mid-Hudson Valley region, was mostly snow-less, so I didn't even get out to do icy landscape photos like I typically do.

Fortunately, I had a couple of sessions early this year, including this dynamic and fun engagement session. We met at Grand Central terminal (pro tip: they are actually very strict about any equipment that touches the floor, or really anything that's not in a shoe) and started with some environmental portraits to capture the mood and movement that is always present, even at 5 pm on a Sunday in February.

Just the two of you, in a sea of 9 million people

The energy on the streets of Manhattan is undeniably intense and heady, like an adrenaline rush at the end of a great workout. I sometimes find it overwhelming, but when I am creating it is almost like the stimulus sharpens my senses and I see everything in a much more focused way. Normally, I take advantage of the little empty pockets on the sidewalk like stepping stones across a stream. During photo sessions though, those empty pockets became pools of solitude in which to linger, from where we could exist as part of the rush while still remaining separate enough to enjoy an intimate moment before heading to the epic steps of the New York Public Library.

Academy, Architecture, Timeless

Our last stop was in front of the NY Public Library. I am kind of ashamed to admit, I've never been inside. I've never even stopped in front before...I've always allowed myself to be carried past by the rush and the press to get somewhere else. I have always appreciated this marvelous building in passing, like a child in the backseat who sits in awe of the passing scenery, while parents who know better focus on the road ahead.

For this engagement session, I made it a point to exit the rush and stop to incorporate the wonder within the finely carved facade, mortared joints, and austere yet warm steps that led to some of the most impressive doors. The library seemed to be waiting for us, beckoning for us to come and stop for a New York minute or two. To unstick our eyes from our phones, to appreciate its beauty and to let our minds focus on something more present than the next place we had to be. be.

For what else do we create images?

Last stop: Hot dogs and Personality

My reflections of the day are surely my own. Shared in part with the couple, yes, but my perspective cannot be the same as theirs. I do my best to learn about and empathize with the people I am photographing, which is why there is always an evolution in our comfort levels and interactions within a session. This particular February night wrapped up with a request from the groom that they go to the food truck on the corner and get a hot dog together. I loved this suggestion because here they were, sharing an experience together that they will remember forever, an experience that was centered around a hot dog with mustard but not really about a hot dog at all. This moment was all about the couple's story together, and the journeys both literal and figurative (he flew in from the midwest the day before), that brought them to this point. And here I was, lucky enough to be able to photograph this experience.

I will share more with you soon from this wonderful photographic journey that I am on. Until then, go get that hot dog :)

This work was created as an associate photographer for Justin Pedrick Photography.