Lake Como – The Destination Wedding of your Dreams

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Planning a destination wedding, but not sure where to go? I’ve got your answer right here! Lake Como, Italy, is hands down one of the most romantic and picturesque places on the planet for a wedding!  It might seem like a stretch, but just keep reading and I’ll tell you why Lake Como is the perfect for any destination wedding!

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Unmatched Scenery

Due to its location at the the foothill of the Italian Alps, the area is blessed with some simply stunning views. Lush green hillsides, exotic plant life, snow-capped mountains, and of course, the vividly blue water of the lake itself. You’d struggle to think of a more picturesque location for a wedding. Even outlets like the Huffington Post, refer to Lake Como, as one of the world’s most beautiful lakes.

Several Options for your Ceremony

With a wide variety of different towns, and villages scattered along the shoreline of Lake Como, there are quite a few options for you to choose where your ceremony will take place. Smaller, intimate weddings can be held comfortably in one of the many villas/mansions that overlook the lake. If you’d prefer to be outside for your wedding, there are also several beautiful gardens that make incredible venues. As for those of you who are thinking about having a more traditional ceremony in a church, there is a Catholic Church as well as a Protestant Church that can host your wedding.

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Image above by Alain Martinez at Villa Erba in Lake Como

Amazing experience for your guests

One of the best things about a destination wedding, is that it leaves everyone with memories that will last them a lifetime.  Inviting your loved ones to share your special day in a place as beautiful as Lake Como, is something that will stay with them forever. If they chose to come a few days before the wedding, they will have the opportunity to take one of the many ferries that tour the lake, and get to bask in the charm of all the different towns and villages that surround it. Once they’ve finished immersing themselves in the rich culture and history of this magical place, they can start looking forward to the main event. Your beautiful fairy tale wedding!

Romantic Escape

Above all else, Lake Como is simply just one of the most romantic places a couple can pick to get married. There is just something about Lake Como that just emits love and romance. Maybe it’s just something in the water, but there is definitely a reason so many iconic movie scenes have been filmed here, and why so many celebs come here for romantic getaways. Whatever it is, there is no denying that there is something magical about this place and honestly, why wouldn’t you want it to be the venue for the beginning of your happily ever after?

If you still need more convincing, here’s a few more pictures from a wedding I shot in Lake Como recently at Villa Erba.


I hope that you enjoyed this article and that it was helpful to you. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to
get in touch with me and as always I’ll do my best to help you out!

Headshots – Are They Worth It?

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Headshots, for a lot of people can seem like a waste of time and money.  Most people are usually content with using a selfie as a headshot, and don’t really see the need to hire a professional photographer. 

Now I’m sure you’ve already guessed it from the title, but today’s blog is all about headshot photography: what it is, why it’s important, how you can use it, and I’ll also answer a few general questions as well. I really want to get it across to you guys that getting professional headshots aren’t as expensive as you might think, doesn’t take that long and can definitely help you out in the long run. 

Now it is important to note that while we do offer Headshot Photography, when creating this article, I did my best to write it in an unbiased and impartial manner. My aim is to clear up any misconceptions and misunderstandings surrounding this topic, and help you make your own decision.

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What Is a Headshot?

Now when most people think about a headshot, they imagine, a generic portrait of someone in a formal setting, probably hanging up in a boardroom somewhere staring deeply into your soul. Thing is, this doesn’t always have to be the case. A headshot is a specific type of portraiture that focuses on capturing someone’s face, for the purpose of giving an accurate representation of that person’s appearance.

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Why Are They Important?

Like we discussed in the definition, the purpose of a headshot is to take a picture that gives an accurate depiction of who you are. So if at any point you need to advertise yourself to someone else, but you can’t actually do it face to face, you might need to send in a headshot to put in that work for you!  We live in a world where personal appearance is very important and people see our avatar on social media multiple times a day. With that in mind, wouldn’t you want to use the best possible picture to represent yourself? I know I would. Matter of fact, here’s an example of our company casual headshots.  We have some a bit more formal but these are just casual and they are used throughout our social media outlets. 

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Alain Martinez – Chief Photographer / Founder

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Melannie Morfa – Lead Artist

Where Can I Use My Headshots?

A professional headshot goes hand in hand with a variety of different professions. We receive calls on a regular basis of people looking for Real Estate Headshots, doctor’s headshots, lawyer’s headshots and a plethora of other professions. The vast majority of these professionals end up re-purposing it for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, company newsletter, website and even business cards.  Imagine all this use out of just one photo!

I keep my LinkedIn profile updated and all my connections are able to put a name to a face when conducting business with me.  Keeping an updated headshot on your personal social media portals Facebook or Instgram accounts is a great way to help your audience relate to you. By seeing the face behind the content, they can feel a more genuine and personal connection with you.

In the entertainment industry, they play a very important role for actors, models and even musicians. It is almost mandatory for them to include regularly updated headshots with their applications and auditions for various gigs.  In the world of politics is an absolute necessity to show your constituents the real you.

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But I’m Not Photogenic

As a photographer, you would be surprised, how often I get told by clients that they aren’t photogenic, or they don’t like taking pictures because of some mark or scar they’re a bit self-conscious about. The truth is, we all have our flaws here and there. A skilled photographer will be able to position and capture you in such a way that these imperfections will not be noticeable. Just have a conversation with the photographer and let them know how you feel about it and let them guide you. Trust me, the right pose, posture and lighting will always get you flattering results!

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FAQ:

Q: How much does a headshot session cost?
A: Usually around $150-$500 for business headshots. Acting headshots can range from $500 – $1500

Q: How long does a headshot session take?
A: Around 20 minutes for business headshots. An acting headshots can easily take half a day

Q: What to wear for professional headshots?
A: Simple is best.  Dark colors for men, women can accentuate with colors.

Q: Will I need hair and makeup?
A: Women, highly recommended! Men, mild makeup to reduce dark circles and shine.

Q: Does it have to be from the chest up, or can I get a full body shot?
A: The strict definition of a headshot is from the chest up, but you can ask your photographer to take a few full body shots if you need them.

Q: Can my headshot have props?
A: Not typically recommended.  

Q: Does my headshot have to be in a studio?
A: No, but it’s highly recommended so the light can be controlled and not depend on weather.

I really hope that this blog post was helpful for you guys and gave you some good insight into the world of headshots. If you have any other questions about the topic, or anything else, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me and I will definitely try to help you out in anyway I can!

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Central Park – 5 Great Spots for Wedding Photography

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Central Park, one of the most visited parks in the United States,  has always been an iconic location for wedding photography. Filled with acres of beautiful greenery and stunning architecture, it’s no wonder that Central Park is the most filmed public park in the world. The only issue, however, is that with so much to offer, it can be overwhelming for most couples and photographers to try to find the best spots to set up and shoot. Having personally been in that position, I thought that I would take the time to make a short list of some of my favorite locations within the Park to shoot, as well as provide tips for shooting in Central Park in general. With all that said, let’s jump into this list!

Location #1: Bethesda Terrace

Kicking off the list is the Bethesda Terrace. Located towards the lower portion of Central Park, on Terrace Drive, this stunning piece of architecture is one of the original structures constructed within the park. The large staircases present at this location can be utilized as a beautiful backdrop with the couple or just the bride in the foreground. The intricate details of the staircase railings can also provide interesting elements to your photos. The main attraction of this location, however, is the Bethesda Terrace Arcade and its Minton Tile Ceiling. With large archways to frame your subject and rustic tile work all around you, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination! One of the easiest ways to get to this spot would be to enter the park on East 72nd street and 5th Avenue and then follow Terrace Drive until the terrace becomes visible.

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Location #2: Bethesda Fountain

A short walk down from the Bethesda Terrace is the second location on this list, the Bethesda Fountain. Easily one of the largest fountains in New York, its grandeur makes it perfect for taking very wide group shots of the wedding party. It can also very easily been used for intimate portraits of a couple. The reflections and shimmer of fountain’s water, in the sunlight, create beautiful visuals for both photo and video work. They key with this location is trying a variety of perspectives and angles.

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Location #3: Central Park Mall

A short walk down from Terrace Drive, you will find yourself on the Central Park Mall. Surrounded by the beauty of numerous Elm trees, the Mall has become a go to for portrait photographers. Forming a canopy-like covering over the pathway, the trees do an amazing job of reducing the harsh light of the sun, and creating a soft natural glow, the type of light that makes a bride look that extra bit more beautiful. The Elm trees are great for out of focus background elements that can really make the subject of the photo pop. Best part is that as the seasons change, so does the look and feel of the pictures! Once again the easiest way that I have found to get here, is by entering the park at East 72nd street and 5th Avenue, then following Terrace Drive. As you approach the Terrace itself make a left and the Mall will be straight ahead.

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Location #4: The Pond

With a name as original as they come, The Pond is well… a pond, located at the lowest end of the park, just a few feet away from 5th Avenue. With New York being famous for its fast paced lifestyles and the constant hustle n’ bustle, The Pond has become a great little escape for people who need a break from it all. With that in mind, the calm, secluded nature of this location makes it ideal for engagement or wedding pictures of just the bride and groom. The best point of access for The Pond would be through Grand Army Plaza and West 59th Street. Follow Grand Army Plaza and then make a slight left at Doris C Freeman Place. From there just follow the path until the water is visible.  

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Location #5: Gapstow Bridge

Last up on this list is the Gapstow Bridge. Located on The Pond, this bridge is an incredible spot to sit and admire the iconic New York skyline. Now what sets this bridge apart from so many of the other bridges scattered throughout Central Park, is the way the plants continue to grow up and across the stonework of the bridge. As a result the bridge can be used as an additional backdrop to the pond, or you can place the focus of the picture on the bridge itself. Once again this is an area where you can let your creative mind run wild as you try different ways to compose and frame your shots. Once you are at the pond, getting to the bridge is just a matter of following the path along the right side of the pond until it becomes visible.

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Tips:

With all that said, I hope you’re excited and already starting to plan your wedding or engagement photoshoot. Before I wrap this post up, I did promise to give out a few helpful bits of advice that might help to make things go smoothly on the big day, so here they are:

Permits.
Contrary to what most people may think, you do not actually need a permit for a personal photoshoot in Central Park. If your shoot does not require anything more than handheld equipment and a tripod, you can simply show up, shoot and be on your merry way without a fuss. If you plan on having a much bigger production, click here, to request an approval for your project.

Map out your shoot.
If you want everything to go as smoothly as it possibly can, take the time to plan and select the locations you want for your shoot. Map out these locations and come up with most efficient way of getting from one place to the next so you don’t end up wasting the majority of your time walking back and forth between locations. Also, while you’re doing that, here’s a list of all the bathrooms in the park. Trust me you’ll thank me later.

Time of day.
With Central Parking being one of the busiest places in the state, it means there is a strong chance of other people wandering around in the background of your photos. To help cut down on this, the best solution would be to start your shoot at the crack of dawn. If you get to your first location before the sunrise can I can almost guarantee that you will have the park just about to yourself (aside from a few joggers). On top of that, the soft natural light of sunrise should be perfect for the shoot!

Accommodation & Transport.
If you plan on taking my advice and starting your shoot at sunrise, you’re going to want to take the time to think about how you’ll be getting there and where you’ll be staying the night before (especially if you live outside of the city). For me you can’t really go wrong with staying in the Plaza Hotel. You’ll be walking distance from the park and won’t have to think about waking up any earlier to make it in time for sunrise.

Suggestions for the bride.
Chances are there will be quite a bit of walking involved in a shoot like this as you go from one location to the next. With that in mind, I would highly advise packing a pair of comfortable shoes to walk around in!

Food & Drinks.
Now, like any other place in New York, chances are there will be vendors outside selling food and drinks, but it is never a bad idea to pack a small back with a few snacks and water to hold you over until you find a spot to buy food.

Get creative!
Don’t be afraid to embrace your surroundings and use them to create something that you will never forget!

 

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Here are a few more shots of the park, just in case you need a little extra inspiration!

Conclusion:

As we all know Central Park has always been, and will always be, an incredible place to get breathtaking photos and videos. I hope that this article gives you a platform to start thinking about all the different places that you might want to shoot in the park and not to feel intimidated by all the possibilities. Go out there and just have fun and enjoy the moment! When you get shots feel free to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and tag us in them!

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll be able to help you out! Click Here

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Ali and Mike get hitched at The Breakers Palm Beach

Hello bloggers…

There are some clients with whom you click right from day one, you leave the consultation knowing you are it for them and they are it for you.  Ali and Mike are definitely one of such cases.  From the beginning I connected big time with Ali, her golden curly hair and her mom, then during the engagement session I met razor-sharp Mike and the connection grew even stronger.  Fast forward a year later and 12 hours felt like no work at all because I was shooting the most down to earth couple have fun, taking Patron shots and most importantly she listened to everything I said which is key to getting the most out of your day.  Ali and Mike I wish you a lifetime of happiness and may you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed hanging with you.

Here are some vitals before you enjoy the goods.

Getting Ready/Reception: The Breakers Palm Beach, Ceremony: St. Anne’s Catholic Church, Gown: Pnina Tornai  Hair and Makeup: Ivette Gil from Pretty Studio, Headpiece by Christie Lauren Headpieces, Shoes: Christian Louboutin, Decor: The Breakers Design Team, entertainment: Power House, Cinematographer: Merge Studios, Photographer: Alain Martinez, and bringing us all together, the amazing team of: Posh Parties,

Enjoy!

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If these photos look fun it’s because they are.  They had an amazing time and so did we being there for them.  We cannot wait to work on their albums.  Keep it locked on our blog for more hotness soon…