Erin & Lee
Allen Hill Farm, Brooklyn, Connecticut
June 13th, 2015*
I'm always amazed by the reasons why people pick the places they do to get married. Some make perfect sense, such as the traditional Catholic church wedding or the Ocean-front beach location, but others need a little explaining. Such was the case back in June when I sat down to photograph the wedding of Erin and Lee.
Set at the Allen Hill Farm in Brooklyn, Connecticut, this venue was a bit of an odd one at first glance. But, when you hear the backstory from Lee about how his family had purchased their Christmas tree from the site for years, or you see some the spots and locations the farm offers, it finally comes together and makes sense. And, boy, did this wedding come together.
My time with Erin and Lee began with a brief (three minutes) groom prep session with Lee at the hotel he and his groomsmen were staying at and while I'm never a fan of changing the timeline on the fly, I was actually happy to do so here as it left us more time to plot the first look and pre-ceremony formal photos we would need some time to do. It didn't hurt that Lee was the most relaxed groom I'd had in months.
But it's easy to be relaxed when you plan out a nice first look. An incredibly underrated option, the first look lets the bride and groom have a private moment to themselves, typically hours before the ceremony, and immediately removes all worries, concerns or doubts.
Oh, and did I mention it makes even the most relaxed grooms sheepish when they see their beautiful brides for the first time?
With the first look out of the way, Erin and Lee were able to be themselves and truly enjoy the process of taking formal photos. In addition, the extra time we left ourselves gave us tons of wiggle room to be creative as we counted down the time to the actual ceremony.
Erin and Lee took some of my favorite bride and groom portraits simply because they were flexible enough to do whatever I or the lead photographer asked and because the venue they were getting married at had some incredibly beautiful spots to run over to.
By the time the ceremony began, it seemed like the rest of the day was only a formality to get to the reception and, honestly, what better way is there to celebrate your love for one another?
The reception itself took place inside a converted barn. With two levels of seating and a ton of strung-up lights, the venue offered some beautiful chances for photographs that felt both modern and rustic at the same time. Simply put, this venue was as big, if not a bigger, character in this story than everyone but maybe the bride and groom themselves.
The thing I'll remember the most about Erin and Lee, however, is just how relaxed and flexible they were with everything.
When we asked them to come outside for yet ANOTHER formal photo session, this one right around sunset, they were all too quick to respond 'yes' and I think it paid off for everything as these resulted in what I believe were some of the best photos of the entire day.
And though I didn't get to stay for that much of the reception, I left Erin and Lee's big day feeling like I captured a ton of memories they'll cherish for a lifetime.
And while Erin, Lee and I may never cross paths again, as is common in the world of second shooting a wedding, I know for a fact I'll have at least one photo of theirs in my portfolio for a long time to come.
This simple portrait, taken prior to the ceremony, came about because the barn had a second level and, with a little creativity, I was able to pose Erin and Lee in a way that I absolutely adore.
Yes. This portrait will be around my site for quite some time.
Overall, Erin and Lee's big day was a fun one for me both personally and professionally. Despite being just a six-hour shoot for me as a second photographer, this wedding left me with a ton of great images I have no doubt will be in, or at least in the running, for my 2015 highlight reel.
And, to think, when I first heard we were going to a farm I wondered how that was even going to work.
* These photos were taken as part of my work for George Street Photography and are presented here strictly for portfolio/display purposes.