Artists for Humanity's EpiCenter Boston wedding of Christa and Matt

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Artists for Humanity has a strong mission: "to bridge economic, racial and social divisions by providing under-resourced youth with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in the arts."  This reason coupled with the EpiCenter, the building which houses the AFH, and has the creative industrial design and kids' art throughout the space, made this the perfect venue for Christa and Matt to have their wedding.  Christa and Matt are just like that though.  As was said in one of the toasts, they are two of the kindest, nicest people you'll ever meet.  Their hearts are warm and their minds thoughtful.  Matt was so thoughtful that he planned a surprise proposal of epic proportions, fit with amazing Icelandic waterfalls and a photographer hidden in the bushes.  They wanted their wedding celebration to reflect that meaningfulness of their commitment to each other with friends, family, a delicious communal-style meal, and just a great celebration.  I would say they succeeded judging by the mood in the EpiCenter and smiles and happy tears on the faces of guests.  They made it point to try to talk to every person there.  I was super excited to see Lulu and Will, whose wedding I photographed in 2010 (Lulu and Christa are co-workers). 

Matt's family is Quaker and while he and Christa are not practicing, they decided to include a Quaker tradition in their wedding ceremony.  About a three minute period of silence during which Steve and I could not photograph.  Of course, I would respect it, but three minutes to a documentarian can sometimes feel like an eternity, so I wasn't sure how I would react.  Would I be nervous about all the shots I thought I would be missing?  I wasn't sure.  When the time came though, the officiant offered some words of reflection for everyone during this time.  I realized this moment of silence is what I tell couples to do on their wedding day:  slow down for a moment, soak it all in, and appreciate what you are doing together, the enormity of the commitment and the happiness that his newly formed family brings to themselves and their close friends and family.  Having three minutes to reflect on this myself, without shooting, was extra moving and inside I was ecstatic for Christa and Matt.  Later in the ceremony, guests were able to voice their support of the newlyweds in a joyful "We do!" pledging to offer their love and community of support to strengthen their new union.

Christa and Matt, I have no doubt your union is growing stronger each day of your marriage.  I am so excited for new adventures that I know life will bring you two as you embark on this next journey together.  Visiting Christa's family in New Zealand for your honeymoon next year will certainly kick those adventures into high gear!  Thank you again for allowing Steve and I to document your wedding day for you!  You pulled together such a wonderful celebration, and we are happy we could be a part of it.  All our best!
  photographers: Whitney and Steve, emilie inc. photographypreparations: Intercontinentalofficiant: Gayle Smalleycaterer: Jeanne Spence, Gourmet Caterersflowers: Brattle Square Floristdj: Joe Toto, Groove Eventstransportation: Ubergown: David's Bridalinvitations: Albertine Presshoneymoon: New Zealand

New York's PhotoPlus Expo 2013

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It was fortuitous that the PhotoPlus Expo took place just days after my arrival to NYC. I decided to focus my attention on lighting and attended two great seminars by lighting gurus, Joe McNally and Michael Grecco. The two photographers use very different lighting methods but with equally stunning results.

McNally, who I've seen speak before, is the master of speedlights. Not only is an expert on positioning speedlights and combining them in various ways, but he channels MacGyver as he works, constantly problem-solving in unique ways- and with a good supply of gaffers tape.

Grecco does many large commercial shoots where he uses strobes, softboxes and grids, though for various personal projects, he may only carry one small head, either bare or with a grid. Regardless of the tools he uses, it is all about seeing the light and bending it to his will. Grecco said that he will sometimes spend 30 minutes on one frame, positioning the light so it skims the side of the body in the perfect way.

In addition to these great speakers, it was fun to tour the expo floor. As always, there were new products to see and new gear to test. There were also a number of other speakers addressing subjects from posing to post-processing techniques. One of my favorite floor speakers was Seth Resnick who spoke on the Canon stage. He was a pleasure to listen to as he showed examples of his work and explained some techniques he implemented to get each shot.

Hoping some of my emilie inc. family can join me next year!

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