On Christmas Eve 2009, I officiated a wedding for Ohio Natives Karina & Nick Patterson. We had the ceremony with the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in the background. Karina looked like a winter princess, and her dream wedding came true. Laura Pennace was with us to capture those moments. Laura, a lifestyle photographer, lives in New York and serves the Tri-State area and beyond. She has a broad photography practice and loves creative wedding work. I spent a half hour with Laura recently to ask her some questions that would be of interests to brides in the Big Apple:
1. For a creative couple with a budget, what is the best piece of advice you have for them, with respect to their wedding photos?
A lot of photographers are willing to work within a couple’s budget! So don’t be afraid to ask for a custom package. Also, consider skipping an album and getting a disc of your images so you can create a DIY album. Professional albums are expensive, but there are a lot of place where you can make your own album (think Blurb or Adorama). Also, perhaps whittling down the hours of coverage you need can help you save money. A lot of photographers will set aside 12 hours for a wedding, but maybe you only need the photographer for the ceremony, portraits, and part of the reception. That could feasibly be only six or so hours, and that can save you a lot of money.
2. How would you describe your approach to taking wedding photographs?
Oh boy! I take a lot of photos. I have my camera set to continuously take photos if I’m holding down the shutter. I don’t want to miss a moment! I also pride myself on being as unobtrusive as possible. I’ve been to weddings where the photographer will just stand in the aisle and not move during the entire ceremony, so not only are the shots all the same, but the photographer is also blocking everyone’s view! At one wedding I did last summer, a guest came up to me to compliment me on my style, even going so far as to call me “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” I loved that!!
I try to make the whole process as fun as possible, because I know that, while fun and memorable, it can also be a stressful. The photographer is the one who helps guide the couple through the day and a good photographer will do this while also keeping the couple at ease and happy.
3. If a couple came to you asking for two or three suggestions of interesting locations for wedding photographs (ones that might be super familiar), what might you recommend?
For more “traditional” type photos, I’d say Central Park or the Brooklyn Bridge (and Brooklyn Bridge Park). For a more “urban” look, I love the Meatpacking District and DUMBO.
4. Would you share with us your current favorite wedding photograph that you have taken, and why it is your favorite?
The first photo attached is the one that is my current favorite. It’s of the bride and groom underneath the Manhattan Bridge, surrounded by a green halo. I just love how the couple is framed, and the dress that the bride is wearing – she is actually wearing her mother’s dress from when her mother got married in 1961! Plus the fact it was about 5 degrees out when this photo was taken. Talk about dedication!