Behind the Lens
As a documentary photographer, my favorite images are obviously often those that capture a completely candid moment. As humans we are emotional creatures and I find those unguarded moments of emotion the most beautiful, and captivating. On this page I feature some of my favorite photos - not all from weddings - and tell you a little bit about why I love them and what was going on at the moment the shot was taken. I hope you enjoy them.
One of my favorite things at weddings is to see the faces of the people — particularly parents or grandparents — when they hug the bride. The emotion of the moment never fails to move me, and because the bride can’t see it at the time, I always love being able to show her these images. This was taken at Brittany and Tanner’s wedding in June, and is one of my favorite shots of the day.
Hands express so much - in this case Jeremy and Chelsea had just gotten engaged and we were hanging out at a popular (and crowded) rooftop bar. I love this shot because even surrounded by a loud raucous crowd they were totally focused on each other, and it showed in their body language - in this case their intertwined fingers. I also love the glimpse of Chelsea’s engagement ring peeking out, reminding us all of the moment they were celebrating.
Most of my wedding and proposal images are in black and white, but this one begged to be left in color because of the red and white lights creating a rosy glow, which seemed fitting on an occasion so filled with love. This was a very rainy night and we were outside under the overhang at a rooftop terrace bar, so the logistics were a little challenging, but often that makes for the best images, in the end.
This is one of my very favorite photos, both because of the strong sense of place and the beautiful moment it captures. I took it in Central Park, on a paved area which is popular with roller skaters/bladers. Every now and then they set up a DJ and people come and skate to the music. These two were clearly regulars, and had been skate-dancing together for a few songs. They stood out due to the obvious fun they were having. After a long swooping glide they went in to a 360-degree spin, and I caught this moment just as they were coming out of it. That smile! As a friend of mine said when she saw it, “Oh, now I’m thinking of every time in my life that I’ve looked at someone like THAT!”
This is an example of a photo I love despite its imperfections. The lighting isn’t ideal, since it was later in the day and at Lincoln Center, that means you have a lot of reflected light causing a bit of a backlit situation. It would have been perfect if these five people had been on the other side of the fountain, but as a documentary photographer you don’t get to choose these things. There are also “extra” people in the shot, but again, that was out of my control and completely overshadowed by the moments happening with the five people in the foreground. A mother & daughter on the right, laughing together; a couple on the left, intertwined and oblivious to anything but each other; and the woman in the middle, back to the camera, and somehow, to the world, signaling clearly her desire for solitude in this most public of places.
Another favorite from Lincoln Center, and taken only a few minutes after the previous photo. This time the light is great, as I have moved around the fountain and I love the juxtaposition of these three properly-dressed ladies enjoying the plaza before the opera starts, and then one of them whipping out the smartphone for a last-minute selfie.
Ubiquitous summer moment in New York City, captured at 59th St.- Columbus Circle. I have an affinity for bucket drummers, and this boy was one of the youngest I’d ever seen. Confident and serious, his drumsticks flew as his left foot worked the bucket up and down, mimicking the action of a pedal on a drum set. Rush hour passersby spare him a glance but no more as they head home from work. He scans the crowd for tourists who are more likely to contribute spare change for his efforts. I went with a shorter depth-of-field to blur the background a bit and keep the drummer as the main focus of the shot.
This is another favorite that is all about place and moment. The place is, of course, New York City, and the moment is the look on his face as he takes a selfie. You could make up your own story about what the police activity behind him indicates, which is part of what makes it such a fun photo. In reality it was New Year’s Eve, and the barricades were going up to help with crowd control on Seventh Avenue later in the evening.