Michele and Paul At the Botanical Gardens [RI Wedding Photography]

Blueflash was back at the Botanical Gardens again for an end-of-summer wedding with Michele and Paul. You may remember them from their Providence engagement session (check out the photos here in case you missed it).


Awesome Photos for Awesome People

They are a cool Cranston couple who I think are very photogenic. I started off by going to where Paul was getting ready with his best man and hung out with them while they got ready. They’re guys, so that was only for about five minutes. After that I headed over to Michele’s mom and dad’s house which was conveniently three minutes away.

Awesome Photos for Awesome People

I have to give credit where it’s due, and a lot of the detail shots where Michele was getting ready were already “styled” by her mom when I got there. I think I might have to hire her. Her house was also probably the best looking house for photos I’ve ever come across. There was so much rustic wood and texture everywhere and the light was spilling through big picture windows and white sheer curtains making everything bright but soft.

Awesome Photos for Awesome People

Michele’s grandfather came by the house to see her in her dress since he wasn’t going to be going to the wedding. He is 97 and is still getting around on his own. I think it’s so cool to see the generations in families at events like this. I love this portrait shot of him, friendly grandfather complete with the Orioles baseball cap.

Awesome Photos for Awesome People

The ceremony and reception were at the Botanical Gardens. It was setup a lot different than the last time I shot there. It really is a cool place to have a wedding.

Awesome Photos for Awesome People

Michele and Paul had the Bluecube come along and as usual there was a line at it all night long with guests going back again and again. Have you booked the Bluecube for your wedding yet? My trusty assistant Andrew came along to hang out with the Bluecube and help setup and breakdown.

Awesome Photos for Awesome People

Awesome Photos for Awesome People

Awesome Photos for Awesome People

Thanks so much to Michele and Paul for having Blueflash (and the Bluecube) be a part of their wedding day. Hope you guys enjoy the pictures for all the years to come!

Awesome Photos for Awesome People

Awesome Photos for Awesome People

Awesome Photos for Awesome People

Here’s a few shots from the Bluecube:



Allyssa and Steve At the Carousel [RI Wedding Photography]

Allyssa and Steve got married a few days before the fourth of July this summer. They are friends of ours that we go to church with, so their ceremony was at Ocean State Baptist Church in Smithfield, where we go.


They had their reception in the carousel building at Goddard Park. Apparently there’s no longer a carousel inside. Like everything else in Rhode Island, it’s the building that used to have a carousel in it. Regardless, it was a pretty awesome building.


Allyssa and Steve opted to have the Bluecube at their celebration which definitely provided some entertainment.


The makeup was done by my not-often-enough partner in crime Ashley Tucker, of A&L Co fame. Check out her Facebook page to see lots of face scrubs and chapsticks that are so natural you can eat them. Not that I’ve tried. Lately.


A few things happened after the ceremony that caused a delay for the bride and groom to get to the reception, so we were a little pressed for time with the photos. Hungry guests make for a hostile wedding, so you can’t keep them waiting. We ended up sneaking out for ten minutes or so after the meal to get some quiet shots of just Allyssa and Steve. I’m glad we made the little trip to get some extra photos.


Best of luck to you both and enjoy married life (and your pictures!).

blithewold’s best (gianna and joe’s wedding)

the day started out with near-torrential downpours, but not a single drop of rain fell once the wedding started. that worked out pretty well since most of the festivities were outdoors.


this, my friends, was a wedding. why? because it had everything you need for an awesome wedding:


a great venue – the ceremony and reception was at blithewold mansion in bristol, ri. the ceremony was outdoors in one of the many meticulously kept garden areas. cocktail hour was held on the ‘back deck’, as much as a castle type building can have a deck. the reception was under a tent that was uplit by groove productions. uplighting always adds a cool dimension to the atmosphere, transforming an otherwise mundane white tent into a cool blue, green, and pink party area.


a live band – i hope i don’t offend my dj friends, but nothing compares to a live band at a wedding. let me correct myself – nothing compares to a GOOD live band at a wedding. gianna and joe had east side horns play at their wedding and they were awesome. it just so happens that my high school band teacher is a the trombone player for them. they were musically tight and i don’t think the dance floor was empty the entire night. if you’re looking for a band for your wedding, hire them. i lost count, but i think they showed up with about fourteen people. guitar, bass, drums, trombone, trumpet, sax, singers, sound guys, etc… they are the real deal when it comes to bands. serious musicianship.


exceptional hair and makeup – conveniently enough, gianna’s mom happens to own and run calma salon, a full on beauty shop in cranston on park avenue. i arrived there first and all the girls were getting their hair sprayed, their faces make-up’d, lashes curled, nails painted, and whatever else girls do when they get ready. besides taking photos, my other priority was making sure that my lens didn’t suffer a direct hit from one of the many active hair spray cans. i felt like a photographic ninja trying to protect my equipment. when i got home i had to get my chisel out to take the hairspray coating off the glass. that’s the price you pay for beauty i suppose. really though, calma did an exceptional job on the hair and makeup. good makeup really makes a difference in photos, and you can tell especially by looking at gianna and seeing what good work the salon did. it made me wish i had hair so i could get an up-do.


good food – the 1149 took care of the catering, setting up shop all over the tent with different food stations like a meat carving station and a create your own pasta dish station. tara and i have eaten at the restaurant once before (they’re located in warwick, ri) and it was pretty good, but i didn’t know they did catering until the wedding. good stuff. (i am aware the picture is of candy and cake, i figured we’d skip right to dessert).


outrageous flowers – the enchanted florist had a crazy display of flowers everywhere you looked. i’m no flower expert, but i can tell you that this wasn’t some single rose centerpiece. each table must’ve had a hundred flowers in a huge bouquet. they were everywhere and the variety was impressive. i can’t tell what flowers they were, but i can definitely tell there were a lot of different ones and they all looked good together. the enchanted florist is based in cranston, ri on park ave if you live in the area and are in need of some original arrangements.


a photobooth – not just any photobooth, but the ultimate photobooth. yes, i am referring to the bluecube. it was actually the official debut of the bluecube. i was so proud of my little picture taking box. i felt like it was similar to putting your kid on the kindergarten bus on the first day of school, although i haven’t gotten to that point in life yet. i setup the bluecube and went back to taking photos of the wedding. i was spiraling into depression because there was no action happening at the cube for the first hour or so and i had settled with the fact that the bluecube was a complete and utter failure. then i remembered that everybody was eating dinner and sitting down at their tables. it helps to have a little perspective. once dinner finished up and people started wandering around, the first few unsuspecting guests discovered the bluecube and realized what it was. once the flash started popping, others came over to check out what was going on. from that point on until the night was over, there was a line of people at the bluecube waiting for their shot in the booth. i couldn’t have been prouder of my creation. the photos came out awesome if i do say so myself (check out the album on the blueflash facebook page. don’t forget to ‘like’ us once you’re there).


a very handsome, charming, and capable photographer – ok. i admit, i was the photographer and that was a shameless self-compliment. obviously gianna and joe decided to go with blueflash which i’m very happy about. it was great to be a part of their wedding. have i mentioned that i would recommend blueflash for your wedding? really, that’s an unbiased recommendation.

one of my quiet favorites from the day:


all the best to gianna and joe. thanks again for having me at your wedding.
check out the full albums (wedding album and bluecube album) here.

john and rachel at the casino [ri wedding]

a couple weekends ago i had the privilege to shoot a wedding of friends of mine, john and rachel. they got married at the roger williams casino on a saturday in february. following suit with the rest of this weird, near snowless, oddly warm winter in new england, the temperature and sun made the day feel more like april.



the day started at two o’clock in the guts of the casino, down by the kitchen area where there is a room for brides and their bridesmaids to get ready. it’s a little weird to send the soon-to-be bride through the hallways of the basement to dodge the silver trays being whisked around by the catering company, but it’s the only way to get to and from the ‘getting ready’ room.


then plan was to do the formal shots before the ceremony to take advantage of the fleeting february daylight. part of the photos included a ‘reveal’ since john was going to see rachel before the ceremony. we took a three minute ride from the casino over to the botanical gardens and felt like we had transported to the rain forest. it was so hot and humid i was surprised it didn’t start raining in that building. i scoped out a spot to use for rachel to come around and for john to see her wearing the dress. i shot over her shoulder as john turned around, hoping to capture his love-stricken face when he saw his almost-wife. hopefully he noticed her before he noticed me. i was, after all, wearing a very nice tie.


the bridal party were very gracious to accommodate me in the short amount of time we had to do photos. we did a speed session at the gardens and then piled back into our caravan and headed to the temple to music, which is a giant stone structure right near the water. an employee at the casino advised me not to go there for pictures, saying they wouldn’t come out good and referencing a photo on the wall from a past wedding. that made me want to go there so much more. they should replace the picture on their wall with this one:


the reception was upstairs in the casino, complete with live jazz band which supplied the perfect soundtrack for the environment. stand-up bass, saxophone, electric guitar, and drums carried the night with some occasional female vocals. this was my second wedding at the casino and both of them had live bands. i don’t think it would be right to have a wedding there without one.


for you dessert lovers and rhode islanders, you would have swooned at the (very) long table saturated with every kind of cake imaginable from federal hill’s pastiche. in addition to that was a bunch of candy, biscotti, and, although not edible, an old typewriter that served as a cool guest book.


best of luck to john and rachel in their new married life, and thanks for having me be a part of your wedding…



the wedding singer (marissa and clayton)

marissa and clayton got married at Waypoint in New Bedford, MA in the beginning of september. the venue was newly added on to the hotel within the past year. they did a nice job with the room that the wedding was held in. there were stone walls with a healthy amount of windows and a really cool stairway leading up to it all.



marissa and clayton wanted to do their pictures before the ceremony, but still wanted to capture the whole ‘this is the first time you’ve seen me in my wedding dress’ thing even though that particular moment wouldn’t be happening during the aisle walk. i found a fold in the building that marissa could walk around while clayton waited on the other side. i trailed marissa with my camera like a paparazzi (or creep) and shot over her shoulder in hopes of catching clayton’s face at the right moment. i think i got it.



it was cool to see this couple so happy to be getting married. that always makes the wedding more enjoyable to shoot; that is when the bride and groom both seem like they want to be there. we shot the family pictures in a little courtyard area between buildings right after the ceremony was finished. i took the bridal party across the street where there was docks and tons of boats in a little marina type area. the sun was bright as anything and there were no clouds in the sky to tame it. i don’t think the bridal party was happy about facing the sun.



while waiting for the reception to start, people were in the cocktail party room, outdoor courtyard, and hanging out in the lobby. i was in the latter of the three places when i heard someone shriek “you’re from the wedding singer!”. now i’m about the furthest thing from a movie buff (i haven’t been to the theater for multiple years and i don’t even have a tv in my house), so when i looked i saw an elderly woman that i didn’t recognize. a couple seconds later she opened her mouth and said “yes, i am” and then my memory flashed back to ‘the wedding singer’ movie and i realized it was the woman who gave adam sandler the piano lessons and sang at his wedding. her voice was so distinct. apparently she was in the area to film another movie and she was staying at that hotel. marissa was pretty excited to see the wedding singer lady so i took a couple pictures of them together. marissa invited her to the wedding reception but she kindly declined, citing tiredness from a day’s shoot as the reason.



the wedding went smoothly and there was lots of dancing which makes my job a little easier. best of luck to marissa and clayton as they start in on their married life.





sail away

what’s better than a nice wedding at oceancliff in newport on a beautiful day? taking your whole wedding onto a boat after the reception for a sunset cruise. that’s what robin and joe did for their wedding in early september. they had an outdoor ceremony in front of the water and the newport bridge (senator pell bridge to be technical about it).

cocktail hour followed and was also outdoors. during that time we did the family photos and the bridal party. the sun was tough since photo time ended up being a few minutes past twelve. the reception followed right after and i was glad to see the room had an entire wall of windows. the place was naturally lit and had a hardwood floor that gave a good reflection.

robin, joe and i headed over to fort adams when the reception wound down to take some pictures of just the two of them. i didn’t know if we were going to be able to actually go in the fort. i remember years ago it was open just like a regular park and you could go in whenever you wanted (from dawn to dusk). i guess things have changed. the entrance/exit was fenced off and a tour group was leaving just as we arrived. i ran up to the tour guide and asked him if we could get in for a little bit to take some pictures. when realized i was accompanied by a bride and groom, he obliged and walked us into the fort area. it’s amazing what people will let you do when you have a wedding dress on (or are with someone in a wedding dress, in my case).

we got some wicked cool pictures in the grungy and dark bunkers. it was nearly pitch black inside so i set up my two flashes as remote strobes and shot away. i had to work fast because we had really limited time. the tour guide was standing there waiting for us as i shot. i did what i could and then we basically got kicked out.

from there we headed over to the boat launch a couple miles away where the guests were already waiting. i took some shots of the boat and everybody on it and then got in my car as it left the pier with the new bride and groom.

plants and vows

this post is long overdue. i’ve been slacking in these summer (and now fall) months, whether it be shooting and editing or just hanging out with my wife and son. anywho, back at the end of may i shot a wedding for robyn and dori. they had it at the botanical gardens at roger williams park zoo in providence. the ceremony and the reception were both there.

robyn and dori actually live in chicago but they had their wedding in rhode island because it was more central for family and friends. the distance that people traveled to be a part of their wedding was incredible. robyn had family that flew in from england (forgive me if i remembered the country wrong, it was definitely from overseas). they both had a bunch of friends that flew down from chicago, and there were guests from other various locations that made their way to providence.

i actually met with robyn’s parents in lieu of robyn and dori because they were out in chicago. they were great people and i later realized that all of their family was awesome. you could tell that everybody at the wedding really wanted to be there to see the marriage take place.

they had the coolest seating cards i’ve ever seen at a wedding – including a faux periodic table of the elements that listed the guests instead of elements and arranged and color coded them based on their relation and location origin. i’m kind of a nerd so i was definitely into the idea.

we took shots around the botanical gardens after the ceremony and dori was kind enough to give robyn a piggy back ride when we changed locations. everything went really well and people danced until the last possible minute. enjoy the photos and best of luck when you head back to chicago.

my last wedding as a non-dad (christine and johnny)

well this was a heck of a wedding for two reasons. one reason is that is was a heck of a wedding. the second is that my wife‘s water broke twenty minutes before the wedding was over.

ok here’s the deal. christine and johnny had their huge wedding at crystal lake on october 30th (yes this is another catch-up blog post). we were due to have our first child on october 27th, smack dab in the middle of a wedding i had on the 23rd and christine and johnny’s on the 30th. when i found out we were due on the 27th, i alerted the brides of both weddings and told them they were free to find another photographer if they wanted. their other choice was to take their chances on having me do it and if i couldn’t then i would have a backup photographer provided for them. they both kindly chose to have me still do it.

i took my buddy and fellow photographer john to the wedding. the plan was for him to second shoot a little bit and basically be there in case i had to leave. everything was going well – i took the getting ready shots at the renaissance hotel in providence, made it over to praise tabernacle church in cranston for the ceremony, rode over to roger williams park for family shots at the temple to music, and then to downtown providence for some cool bridal party shots out on the street.

i was real glad we got to take the trip into providence. i think the bridal party thought i was kind of crazy when i had them taking pictures in dirty providence parking garages and in front of scuzzy night club buildings. oh well.

we headed over to crystal lake for the reception where the party was already in full gear. i love the high energy from a big wedding, it feels like there’s so much stuff happening. christine and johnny expressed their relief that we made it this far into the night and i hadn’t got ‘the call’ yet. i felt relieved too; to get to the final stage of the wedding was huge.

people got on the dance floor about twenty-two seconds after salad was served. i’ve never seen anything like it. people went back to eat the next course and went right back to the dance floor. it continued like that through the whole meal. by the time dessert came i don’t think hardly anyone cared because they were all out on the floor dancing.

it was about 10:30 when i got a call from tara. she said she felt a little weird and she wasn’t sure if her water broke. hmmm. i asked her if she wanted me to leave. she said no because she didn’t think it had happened. i was about thirty minutes from home while at crystal lake. i told john what was up and went back to the wedding and tried my best to concentrate on it. 10:40 rolled around and i got another call from tara. ok this was for real. come home. i ran back in the wedding, grabbed my stuff, told christine and johnny i had to take off, let john know i had to go, and ran to my car not having any idea what was about unfold in the next few days… but that’s for another blog post. for now, take a look at some more photos from the very last wedding i ever shot as a non-dad.

karolina and bobby get hitched

karolina was one of my first bookings, one of the early signers that put their faith in me from seeing a very limited portfolio. i’m very grateful to these few brides who were willing to give me a chance as i was starting out. without them i would never have been able to prove myself as a wedding photographer. it’s hard to build a wedding portfolio without wedding pictures, but it’s also hard to get wedding jobs without having a wedding portfolio.

karolina and bobby got married at bittersweet farms in westport, ma. it was a wedding on the smaller end of the scale, roughly sixty guests or so. the room at bittersweet was the perfect size for the wedding. what an awesome venue. natural wood frame and ceiling and a room off of a balcony tucked away on the second floor of the building. i had never shot there so i wasn’t sure what to expect. it ended up being one of my favorite wedding venues.

the day/night went really well, starting off at one of the bridesmaid’s apartments to photograph the girls getting ready. they were laid back and cool, so it was a good start to the wedding. the ceremony was outdoors in a big field with a gazebo. the bridal party walked a good ways across the field to get to their positions which i thought was pretty cool.

darkness came quick after the ceremony ended. i felt like i was racing the sun to get the photos. eventually i gave up and gave in. if it was going to be dark, so be it. i pulled out my off-camera flashes and did some group shots in front of a barn with the remote flashes. we then stumbled upon a little flood light that we used for some cool dramatic lighting for shots of karolina.

i want to make sure to point out that the absolute best i’ve ever been treated as a vendor by the venue was at bittersweet. most wedding venues have a habit of treating the vendors (i.e. the dj, photographer, videographer, etc…) as second, third, and sometimes fourth class citizens. the staff at bittersweet was awesome! i made sure to tell them before i took off what i thought of it all.

i was excited to shoot this wedding because karolina and bobby were one of those couples who were really into the photographs right from the beginning. it’s nice to shoot for a couple knowing that the photos are very important to them. all the best to karolina and bobby, thanks so much for having me!

photographer down (erica and jimmy’s wedding)

the harkness in connecticut was outrageously awesome. basically it’s a big giant mansion with land that extends to the water, crazy gardens, stone columns for an outdoor overhang, and a grand feeling interior.

erica and jimmy got married in st. mary’s, star of the sea – a huge church with giantly high ceilings. it was so massive feeling. i tried my best to capture the feel of the place using my widest lens and getting as far back as i could. i’d say i did it about eighty percent justice, but you really have to see the place to get the full effect.

erica’s dress was super cool (and huge, which was part of its coolness). let’s just say she almost had an issue fitting in the elevator. she actually had two wedding dresses, the second which she changed into after dinner and before all the dancing. i know some brides have a party dress that they change into for dancing, but this was a full blown wedding dress, just smaller than the first one.

i don’t like using the word elegant but that’s what everything was at this wedding. great makeup was done by a very talented sara faella who i’d love to get together with to do a shoot in the future. sara are you reading?

the sky was grey all day and night and light rain was falling for most of the evening. the bridal party was an awesome and fun group of people and they were willing to go out in the rain to take pictures. i love when i can joke around with the bridal party and have some fun, and these guys were perfect for that. usually bright blue skies are ideal, but in this case i think the dreary grey gave the outdoor photos a crazy dramatic feel that worked perfectly with the elegance (there’s that word again) of the wedding. in retrospect i’m actually glad the weather was what it was.

ok so picture this: everything’s nice nice like i’ve been talking about. we’re outside taking some of the last bridal party shots and we end up in one of the gardens. i wanted to get the shot right from the center but there happened to be a little pool for a fountain in the way. the fountain was off but there was a few inches of water in the basin. the sidewalls were angled down and made of little rocks. i purposefully wear black sneakers (i call them my ‘dress sneakers’) to weddings because it’s not unusual for me to climb something or get into some weird place where it’d be impossible with dress shoes. so here i am straddling this little basin with water in it, having full confidence in the tread of my dress sneaker on the slippery and wet rocks, snapping away pictures. i get the shots and go to step out of the danger zone and my foot slides down the wall and next thing i know i’m falling to the ground on the horizontal. one of my few brain neurons fired off and told my arm holding the camera to put it high in the air. a split second later i was swimming in the fountain pool. awesome. real professional. mud on my white shirt (which i sported the rest of the night), mud on my lens and camera, soaking wet dress sneakers, wet pants, complete loss of dignity. to everyone there i will forever be known as ‘the photographer who fell in the fountain water’. hey, at least i give it my all.

i would have to say that out of all bridal parties to do that in front of, i think i picked the best one. it was very kind of them to still take me semi-seriously for the remainder of the night.

i had a great time and loved the wedding. i had a bruise on the bone right near my knee for weeks afterwards, but i knew photography was a dangerous profession when i got into it. erica and jimmy – the best to you both. thanks so much…

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