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!

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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10 Reasons to have a First Look on your Wedding Day

Over the past couple of years the age old rule of seeing your groom at the altar for the first time has become a thing of the past. A private “First Look” or “Reveal” before the wedding ceremony has been around for many years. What is a First Look? This is the moment where the bride and groom see each other for the first time in a private location. They share a special moment while the photographer captures every hug and kiss. From having extra time with your significant other to being able to enjoy spending more time with guests after the ceremony, there are so many reasons why a First Look is beneficial on your wedding day. Here are my top 10… 

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1) IT IS NOT BAD LUCK! This is the least of your worries on your wedding day.

2) Get that First Impression you’ve always dreamed of: Walking down the aisle in front of all your guest is one of the most nerve wracking things a bride and groom will ever have to do. There are so many things a bride is thinking about while walking. Is the veil on straight? “Am I holding the bouquet at a good height?” “Oh, cousin Beth made it.”  “Smile for the camera!” “Wait, I haven’t made eye contact with the groom yet.” By the time you’ve reached the altar, the 10 seconds of walking down the aisle towards the rest of your life have simply passed. The moment of a First Look allows you to control the scenario. It can be as intimate as just the bride and groom with the photographer in the background capturing the moment, or as fun and exciting with your whole bridal party watching. It all depends on the mood and emotion you are envisioning.  

 

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3) Allow your photographer creative freedom: Traditionally, portraits are taken during cocktail hour. That gives your photographer only 45 minutes to capture family portraits, bride and groom portraits and reception decor. When it comes to photography there are different factors to think about – if you are looking into having creative and romantic photos, the First Look will allow you the time to capture everything you have always dreamed of. 

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4) Additional time to enjoy the benefits of daylight photos: Natural light does not require a fancy set up or flashes. A photographer has the ability to play with the light and create the perfect setting. During the day, the photographs show the colors and textures of nature’s beauty which makes your memories look bright and vibrant as apposed to dark.  However if night time photos is what you like having a first look will allow you to have the best of all worlds.   

5) Time to relax before the ceremony: Allows time between photos and ceremony to freshen up and re-apply makeup if necessary. The reveal also adds time to your day by allowing a few minutes of freshening up and relaxing before walking down the aisle. 

6) Make it worth your while: In some cultures, the bride and groom have to see each other before hand anyway to sign the marriage license together. So why not get the most out of it and see each other earlier to get amazing photos. 

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7) Extra time with your significant other: In a traditional wedding scenario, the bride and groom only spend the ceremony and reception together. Totalling up to 5 hours together. A First Look allows you a couple of extra hours together to enjoy on your big day.

8) The venue of your dreams: Have the choice of taking your portraits at a different location than the venue or hotel where you’re getting ready. If the picture spot of your dreams is out of budget or time frame, then a first look is the way to go. 100% of our New York City brides want portraits in Central Park which is usually not possible unless they do a first look. 

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9) Be the FUN Bridal party you see in magazines: Dedicate ample time for just your photos, family and bridal party photos. When group photos are taken during the “First look” time, it is more organized than if it is done after ceremony. This gives you the ability to inform family and bridal party members when and where to meet. It also gives you time with your bridal party for some fun and creative photos. After the ceremony, the area is busy with guests mingling and walking around. It can be distracting for the family members who need to be in photos which then leads to a delay of gathering everyone together. 

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10) Enjoy your cocktail hour: Not only does a First Look allow you extra time for photos with your significant other, but immediate family portraits can be done during that time as well. This way, the bride and groom can spend cocktail hour mingling with guests and thanking them for joining your wedding celebration. Usually, thanking guests takes place during the reception where the bride and groom spend almost all their time going from table to table. Joining cocktail hour not only allows you to eat, drink and relax but also allows you to fully enjoy the reception with your new spouse. 

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At the end of the day, it is all about enjoying time together as newlyweds and enjoying a day that goes by so quickly.  Squeeze every fun second out of it and a First Look is definitely a step in that direction.

Stine and Alexander’s wedding in Norway

Hello bloggers…

Recently we had the honor of mentoring the leading studio in Norway, Frost Studio, to show them our ways and our style, and to try to influence the Norwegian wedding industry to be a little riskier and sexier.  We shot two weddings and some killer Rock The Dresses while there that I cannot wait to share with you all.

Today I want to share some of the images from one of the weddings.  Stine and Alexander’s wedding in a forest in Fløyen, a beautiful mountain that overlooks the entire city of Bergen.  I was actually with the groom not the bride which is unusual to me, and thus you will not see any getting ready portraits.

I cannot tell you what a pleasure it was to shoot this wedding with, teach and learn from Margrete and Kristin from Frost Studio.  Shooting weddings with such different structure than what I’m used was definitely a treat, and breaking the mold of tradition was definitely a pleasure.  I assure you this will not be the last time we shoot together!

Enjoy these portraits.

Since they were going to walk down the isle together anyway, I convinced them to do a first look a few minutes before ceremony.

a local a capella group performed during the ceremony and I gotta tell you, it was awesome!!!

Then on to the woods!!!!

Blue petty-coat imported from New Jersey.

One of my favorite shots from this wedding below…

I decided to do different post production on these two pictures.  One a little darker and more “twilight” the other one a lil move vibrant.

Well there you have it.  Just a few of the images from the wedding.  I’ll be posting the other wedding soon as well as the Rock The Dresses and my over all impression and review of this AMAZING country and its beautiful people.

Congratulations Stine and Alexander I hope you enjoyed working with this crazy guy from Miami.

Everyone else, keep it locked here for more hotness soon….

Veronica and Christopher are hitched — congrats

Hello bloggers…

Today I bring you some photos from Veronica and Christopher’s wedding–a beautiful affair, and a destination wedding for both the bride and the groom.  Here are some vitals: Ceremony: St. Patrick’s, Reception: Westin Colonnade, Cinematography: Ray Roman Films, Photography: Alain Martinez Photography.

Here are some of my favorite shots…

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I love these two following shots I took, one against the light, and the other one with the light.  Two completely different pictures, same exact moment.

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awesome detail shot of the rings taken by Angie

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Check out this adorable little boy who captivated the room as soon as he walked in.

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meanwhile, Christopher was waiting at the church…

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Here’s the man of the hour again…..

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Well I hope you all enjoyed these pictures as much we enjoyed shooting the wedding.  Keep it locked here for more soon…