marriage at the villa

raquel and tyreak got married at the villa in east bridgewater, ma. it was a cool venue that i’ve never been to before. i liked the room that the reception was in for its high ceilings made from wood beams. the lighting was more interesting than usual, with colored up lighting all along the perimeter of the room.

the ceremony was held outdoors on a perfect cloudless sky in front of a gazebo. i saw the gazebo and was dreading the idea of raquel, tyreak, and the officiant (tyreak’s grandmother) inside the gazebo rather than in front of it. shadows are horrific when people are under a gazebo on a bright sunny day. thankfully they stood in front of it and all was well.

the villa had some cool spots for some formal shots. i think i used some areas that no one else really bothered to use. there was an entrance hall to the building that i stuffed everyone into, in front of a non-descript wall, and a little patio area right outside a preperation room.

the coordinator was very nice and had good intentions, but i felt bad when she kept suggesting the typical spots on the premises for photos and i kept saying no thanks. apparently there was a golf course that is very popular for photos, but i tend to think golf courses are better suited for golf. i mean, golfers don’t call me up asking for studio time so they can practice their putting, so why should i go into their territory to take photos? yeah that’s a stretch, i know.

anyways, i had met raquel and tyreak a while back for an engagement session at roger william’s park and have been looking forward to their wedding for some time now. best of luck in your marriage and thanks for having me at your wedding!

one guy in a roomful of girls

i had the opportunity to shoot nicole’s shower one sunday afternoon and trying to preserve some memories for her. the shower was at the crowne plaza in warwick, ri.

when i showed up i was very pleased to find a naturally brightly lit room thanks to the translucent ceiling and strong outdoor sun. it was perfect, diffused, bright light and it was a pleasant surprise to not have to throw on my flash all day.

nicole is having a baby boy sometime before christmas rolls around. we’ve got some maternity shots scheduled for later in september down in the narragansett area that i’m looking forward to.

it was a bit strange to be at a one-hundred percent female event and being the only guy but everyone was very nice, including the grandma who encouraged me time and time again to have something to eat. i asked her if she was italian because that’s what all the italian females in my family do – tell you to eat. then eat some more. then just have a little more. you don’t want to offend them, do you?

stay tuned for the maternity shots popping up on the blog at the beginning of october. thanks for letting me a part of your event…

cara and chris and extreme heat

not too long ago i had an engagement session with cara and chris out in smithfield, ri. we had plans to meet at the smith appleby house which is 1) a historical home in smithfield with some nice grounds, and 2) the place where my wife and i got married a couple years back. upon pulling into the parking lot i discovered way more cars than just our two and a nice sinking feeling set in my stomach. i jumped out of the car and immediately investigated the situation with my stealth recon moves and found a group of people down by the dock area with a whole slew of kayaks on the ground.

we were in a race against the sun setting, so i decided to just make a go of it and take our chances at someone throwing us off the property. it ended up working out; the kayakers either barely noticed us or didn’t care about us and eventually they disappeared down the river.

it was probably the world’s hottest evening. i have to admit i was sweating like an animal (do animals sweat?). we actually only ended up shooting for an hour but we got plenty of shots. none of us could really take the heat for more than that so we made a collective decision to quit.

check out more shots from their shoot on the facebook page. best of luck to cara and chris as they get married in the next couple of months. thanks for hangin’ out…

seven months of raph cooking

my wife and i went apple picking at jaswell’s farm on a recent saturday for two things – 1) her seven month maternity shoot and 2) to pick apples. we ended up getting to the farm early in the morning and it turned out to be the first day they opened the apple picking area. i’ve never seen so many apples on the trees. usually we end up going in the middle to end of the season and you need a bucket truck and an oxygen mask to get the one apple left at the top of the tree. it was actually overwhelming to have so many apples to choose from. we could’ve done it with our eyes closed.

we took some shots while we were there and then we went to crescent park in east providence to hang out in the nice weather and so tara could ride the carousel (i wasn’t allowed to because i had to take pictures). i liked a lot of the shots we got, i think this was our best little photoshoot yet.

i took this one and i love it. it’s the background on my photo editing computer. tara doesn’t like it too much. we don’t usually like the same things for some reason. anyways, i like the shadow on the ground of the belly and how raph is written in the sand right near it. i wrote raph. i wish that was his name.

here’s a few more shots. he’s almost here, we’re getting really excited.

tara is prego

these shots are a combination of two shoots that me and my wife did with a few weeks in between each one. i guess technically they would be a five month shoot and a six month shoot. people always ask why i don’t take more pictures of tara. the truth is, she never really wants me to. she gets mad at me for making her move her arm or look toward a certain place so she usually doesn’t want to have anything to do with it.

having raph in her belly changed her mind. now it’s maternity shoots once a month starting at month five. it’s cool, taking pictures of raph before he comes out.

we went to woonsocket for month five. kind of a strange destination, but i wanted to try somewhere i wouldn’t normally go with a client. it turned out ok, i wasn’t thrilled with the backdrops though.

for month six we went to newport for night. we took shots until the sun went down and then tara got lured into the black pearl, a restaurant that feels the need to charge about thirteen bucks for a hamurger. don’t they sell these for eighty-nine cents at mcdonalds? at least the film was free.

so raph is almost here as of this writing – a little less than two months. i built the crib last night. so strange. we’ve got plans for a seven month shoot this saturday, so long as hurricane earl doesn’t disrupt them. make sure you all go buy your bread and milk before it hits.

‘i do’, wiffle ball, ice cream bars and zombies

julie and mike got married at the quidnessett country club on a recent friday night. there were some special guests. they were green. they were the zombies from thrill me llc, a group out in connecticut who will teach you the dance to thriller and then come crash your wedding. it was pretty cool when they made their entrance on the unknowing guests after mike and julie had their first dance. the bridal party and some family members including the mother of the bride flooded the dance floor with the zombies and danced to thriller for all of the guests.

that was a first for me. check out the thrill me llc website if you have any events coming up that you need a green friend at. i also dined with them at the vendor table. have you had dinner with zombies? i have.

we got to take formal shots before the ceremony which let us have enough time to get a lot of shots. when i pulled into the parking lot of the place i spotted a wooden bridge out in the distance a bit and decided that’s where i wanted to go for photos. i asked the lady in charge at the country club if we could go down there and she said no. i asked again. she said no. i asked again. she said no. i kindly insinuated that we were going to head down there and take some pictures real quickly. she said no. i hinted once more that we were going to head down and be right back. she finally caved and told us it was at our own risk if we got hit with a golf ball. a quick check of the bridal party told me everyone was willing to take a golf ball to the head. it only stings for a minute. we used the bridge for a good twenty minutes or so and headed back for some shots elsewhere. i thought all was well until i got escorted into the manager’s office and scolded for going down to the bridge. turns out the lady told on me. oh well, we had already gotten the shots so the mission was accomplished. i thanked the nice man for my scolding and went back to the wedding.

mike and his groomsman were apparently big wiffle ball fanatics. how fanatical? umm, one of them brought a bat and ball to the wedding. salad was served and i felt a tap on my shoulder. it was a groomsman asking me to go outside, the wiffle ball game was about to start. i took some pictures of mike taking some swings and then he put the bat down and asked who was next. i threw my camera to a groomsman and grabbed the bat. let’s just say i played a couple wiffle ball games back in my day. so i had another wedding first – playing wiffle ball with the groom and groomsman during dinner.

dessert was an ice cream bar which i thought was a cool idea. the dj’s kept the music going all night long and had some neat laser light things shooting around the dance floor. besides feeling like i kept getting shot in laser tag i thought it looked pretty awesome. g&m music provided the tunes for the night.

these guys had a unique and fun wedding. it was awesome to see how good of friends mike and julie were in addition to now being husband and wife. all the best to you guys with your future, and like everyone else at the wedding said – may you soon have short little kids. thanks for letting me be a part of your wedding…

here’s a video (not taken by me) of the zombie dance

family cookout, family photographs

my wife’s mom’s side of the family has an annual cookout in coventry, ri. they have a house on the water and there’s always good food, good people and good weather. there is a cement patio type thing with a wall a couple feet high around it and then the lake after that. i was displaying my acrobatic prowess by doing forward and back flips off of the wall. i got reprimanded by all females present. it’s the same story when i go in the pool at my parents house; i always climb up on the railing deck and jump off into the four foot deep pool. i used to get yelled at when i was fourteen for doing it and i still get yelled at when i’m twenty-five for the same thing.

alright, now that i’m way off topic, the point of this post is because my cousin-in-laws from new hampshire come down for the cookout and they wanted some family pictures. they just got a new little guy named jayden. they’re currently trying to adopt him. i’ve never seen a little baby look like such a grown-up, such a cool looking kid. he’s only four months old!

the girls sammie and makayla are awesome and they think ‘uncle matt’ is a jungle gym which is totally fine by me. it’s always a lot of fun hanging out with them when we get to see’em. steph and mike (mom and dad) have been kind enough multiple times in the past to have tara and me come up and visit for the weekend and hang out with them all.

when i went to grab my stuff to leave i went into the area that had all the food on the table which was in a little secluded lakehouse type place, i found sammie in there by herself furiously stuffing every dessert item into her mouth as fast as she could. i asked her what the deal was and she told me ‘i’m stuffing myself for the ride home’. being the responsible ‘uncle matt’ that i am, i told her to make sure she ran outside if she started choking on anything.

on a side note, me and tara made these cool jell-o things that took forever… here’s a picture of’em in action at the cookout

don’t make these unless you feel like being held hostage in your kitchen for four hours. every layer has to set for twenty minutes. there’s nine layers. yeah. they didn’t even taste that good. live and learn.

graffiti liz

liz’s one request was that she had her picture taken with a graffiti backdrop. there’s one place i knew had a giant graffiti wall and that was fox point in providence. to my surprise (i haven’t been down there for awhile), they were in the process of knocking down the overpass that encompasses the graffiti walls. i guess we made it just in time.

as a bonus, we used the area where the highway used to be (please excuse the extreme rhode island usage of “where the ~fill in the blank~ used to be”). i was positive a cop would come by and kick us out since we were standing on the edge of a destroyed highway bridge that was fenced off, but alas we did not.

it was close to the middle of the day and the sun was bright as anything. there were terribly harsh shadows in a lot of spots, but we made it happen anyway. we managed to shoot this next one in full sun and avoid the afternoon shadows.

liz wanted a shot of herself with a nature type backdrop which i told her i’m not usually crazy about because the background become a distraction from the model. i grabbed this shot below and hopefully it satisfies her nature request. i like it because it’s kind of moody and the bright light hitting her against the dark shadows makes it have some drama. i was going to photoshop in a giant shark fin in the water but i thought that might be a bit over the top.

check out some more of her shots on the blueflash facebook page when you get a chance…

rebecca and randy pull the lever

get it? roger williams casino, getting married, pulling the lever, casinos, slot machines, marriage. ok, it’s a stretch. anywho, as you may have inferred from my poorly constructed play on words, rebecca and randy got married recently at roger williams casino (which is actually not a casino at all, go figure).

so the prompt photographer than i am, i arrived fifteen minutes before i was supposed to be at the casino and no one was there yet. that’s cool, no problem, it’s early still. i hung around and now it was fifteen minutes after i was supposed to be there. still no sign of anyone besides the catering company people. none of them were wearing a white dress so i got a bit nervous. i started feeling like i was at the wrong place even though i neurotically check all the paperwork and email chain seventeen times the night before and the day of a wedding. apparently the limo was a bit late getting to the casino. phew.

everyone arrived and i started taking pictures. all was well. i had the opportunity to take some pictures of the bridal party before the ceremony (a session with the girls and a session with the guys) which was really nice to get some extra time doing that rather than just frantically after the ceremony. we walked around roger williams a bit and used some areas around the casino, although i was competing with quinceañeras and other weddings on the property. i actually had to flex my muscles and kick a group of people off the casino grounds since the wedding was about to start. i’m a nice guy and all, but if you’re in the zone of a wedding for one of my brides all bets are off.

one super cool thing at this wedding was that they had a harpist playing during cocktail hour and for the ceremony. her harp was giant and sounded great. her name is hyunjung choi and you can check out her website here. she’s got a pretty impressive listing of people she’s toured with (andrea bocelli, tony bennett, ray charles, olivia newton-john, art garfunkel, etc…). pretty cool.

another good addition to the night was the joey vellucci band. they played the whole reception and did a great job getting people out dancing and keeping the party lively. i love bands at weddings, sorry all you dj’s out there.

for you flower fanatics, a nice job was done by svk floral design. you can email her at shanyak at yahoo dot com if you like what you see.

we snuck out during sunset to catch some cool shots outside and i’m glad that we did. this shot was not manipulated in photoshop to have a pink sky – that was there in real life.

all the bridal party and family was really nice and i had a good time doing this wedding. all the best to rebecca and randy, enjoy the ride…

three weeks young

remember when you were three weeks old? me neither, but bet i ate a lot and slept a lot. now i only eat a lot. recently i did a shoot of elijah, a three week old baby. elijah was actually born three weeks prematurely, so he was roughly zero days old at the time of the shoot. it doesn’t get much more ‘newborn’ than that.

babies are a lot different than adults. they fit in baskets, cry often, need to be fed every three minutes, fall asleep at random, and pretty much anything they do is considered ‘cute’. they don’t stand up, don’t hold their own head up, don’t talk, and don’t take verbal instruction very well (i.e. tilt your head a little bit down, ok now just drop that elbow a bit, ok, can you wrap your index finger around the binky handle? great, perfect, ok don’t move…). they are cool though, that’s for sure.

taking photos of elijah made me even more anxious for my own kid to arrive (due on october 27th). my friend and fellow photographer karissa and i were talking the night before the shoot about how newborns look good in almost any situation – in baskets, on shelves, in cabinets, wrapped in blankets, asleep, awake, crying, laughing, whatever… sidenote – click on her name to get to her photography website, she does a great job with kids and maternity photos.

this shoot was at elijah’s house (technically his parents own the house) out in connecticut way down route six. it’s so awesome out there, especially compared to rhode island in the providence area and the suburbs. there’s actually some land with trees and grass and no wal-mart or cvs on it.

ok i’m getting off topic, check out some more of the photos on the blueflash facebook page. say hi while you’re there.

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