Never Settling, Always Growing

Last weekend, I shot my last wedding of the year.  It was a wedding that allowed me to bring out everything I had learned in nearly four years of shooting weddings in just ten hours.  At the end of the night, I hugged Nadine & Derrek a second or two longer than usual knowing in my heart that they were my last wedding clients of 2011. 

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Being In Love | Real Answers

I love Valentines Day because aside from the flowers, the candy, and the “every kiss begins with Kay” commercials; it's the celebration of Love!  Valentines Day serves as a reminder to us all for the loves in our lives.   Let the sentiment of Valentines Day be with you not just today but everyday!  Love is something to be shared every day with anyone and anything that matters most to you.  It is truly such a strong emotion that once it is emitted into your world the connection you feel can be so profound.  The strongest way that love can be felt is among each other.  So for this special Valentines Day I want to reintroduce some of my past clients to you and their answers to the question:

“The Best Thing About Being In Love Is____________?”

VaNessa & Winslow, Engaged! "....always having your best friend by your side." Samontha & Terence, Married! "...when it feels like it's just you and your lover in the room, no one else exist." Annie & Hoyu, Married! She says: "...to bravely embrace the future of a marriage without fear, only hope." He says: "...you always know you have a hand to hold while walking down that icy street." Maya & Rod, Married! She says: "...talking to and spending time with your best friend every day; and them being your personal diary to share your innermost thoughts with." He says: "...unconditional friendship." Jo Elizabeth & O'Neal, Married! She says: "...feeling complete." He says: "...is that when you are truly in love your past is history learned, your present is a sweet sweet gift, and your future can only be great because love knows no limits." Andrea & Paul, Engaged! "...having someone there to share the joys of life with as well as lightening the burden of disappointments." "...knowing that if I gain or lose everything that person loves me for who I am unconditionally." "...supporting that loved one through the unbearable, such as chemo treatment, and still thinking I’m the luckiest man in the world." Ariane & Rob, Dating! I said: "...having someone to kill the spiders, mice, and other creepy crawler things that threaten my life.  Annnd being free to be vulnerable because you know this person will always love you regardless" He says: "...having someone that trusts you, which allows you to trust yourself." What is the best thing about being in LOVE for you?!! I want to hear from you out there :)! Happy Valentines Day to us all!  Keep love in your heart and in everything you do! See Beauty… Ariane
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Christina & Chuck: Married at City Hall!

Happy happy Friday!  We made it another week :).  As I write this, the sun is shining brightly through my window and it's energizing me to no end!  I'm so happy to share with you Christina & Chucks special wedding day at City Hall.  {Check out their wedding slideshow!} Christina and I spoke literally two days before her wedding and we instantly hit it off; I couldn't wait to meet her :).  She and her fiance Chuck had decided to have a small wedding ceremony at City Hall in downtown NYC.  Their relationship dates back to just two years ago where they first met in Beijing.  Christina being originally from Australia found herself here in NYC to be with Chuck and start their lives together.  On Friday, November 12th, after days and days of cloudy dreary weather, the sun returned just in time as Christina & Chuck tied the knot. What a special day this was; just the four of them:Christina, Chuck, and his Mom and Dad.  I look at them and I see perfection; a match made in heaven :). After they sealed their nuptials, we ventured to a nearby park to celebrate!  They were inseparable and couldn't take their eyes of each other. Christina made a beautiful bride and smiled from ear to ear the entire time.  I love smilers :)!  And Chuck with his quiet demeanor and giddy smile seemed like he was the luckiest guy in the world. One of my favoritest moments from the day was when Christina and Chuck decided to rip the flower petals from her bouquet and toss them in the air.  Haha! What a fun couple! Chuck puts the moves on Christina.  Real suave... These two are going to stay happy together for a really long time; I can just feel it :). Christina and Chuck thank you so very much for the honor of photographing your wedding day.  Working with this couple has humbled me and taught me that love can be celebrated in many different ways and it doesn't matter where you are as long as you have each other.  Be sure to check out the SLIDESHOW for more on Christina & Chuck's wedding day :) ! Have a wonderful weekend everybody! See Beauty... Ariane
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WHCC Prints

Hi All! So excited today!  First because I love getting packages from WHCC in the mail and secondly because I know my client is going to love getting THIS package.  I received my order of prints from Jasmine & Eugene's wedding from WHCC and wow, talk about awesome quality!  The vivid colors and glossy finish, I could just stare at these pics for hours, lol. I hope Jasmine likes them; she plans to use them as her "Thank You" cards for the guests that attended her wedding.  Sweet huh?!!  WHCC has variety of products that are so well crafted and perfect for my clients, especially the canvas gallery wrap - swoon!  Plus, they always include a lollipop with every shipment they deliver ;).  So umm yeah, all AHP clients, if we've worked together in the past, feel free to order some prints or a canvas wrap at least so I can get another lollipop from WHCC :). Ok, off to ship these prints to Jasmine; Happy Wednesday!! See Beauty... Ariane
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For Those Who Love Cheese

I'll tell you a little story about a client meeting I had not too long ago.  So the bride-to-be found me through Twitter (score! social media at it's best :)).  We arranged to meet at a cozy little spot called Lily O'Briens near Bryant Park.  If you haven't been there, I highly recommend it.  Especially during the winter time they are known for their delicious hot chocolate and sometimes the waiter gives you free chocolate covered strawberries, just because!  So anyway, we chatted while sipping on our hot cocoa and got to know each other.  She had not yet selected her wedding photographer so she was going through the motions of meeting and interviewing potential photographers.  Now her questions seemed very familiar and somewhat mechanical so I'm almost sure she probably got her questions from The Knot's infamous bridal resource: "20 questions to ask your wedding photographer" lol.  It was fine; I didn't have a problem with it at all.  Actually, we were vibing quite well :).  Until she asked me, "so, you don't do any of those cheesy pictures like shots of the brides shoes, right?"  lol.  As soon as she asked that, this photo popped into my head :): Aaaannnnd this one, lol: I said to her "yeeeaaahhh, actually I do take those kind of shots" lol.  So ultimately she didn't pick me; perhaps it was too much "cheese" for her, lol.  But I like cheese; I like taking those shots of the brides shoes, boutineers, centerpieces, and any other detail that I think helps tell the story of the couples special day.  Because to me, those elements have their own purpose in making their wedding a day to remember :).  So unfortunately, in that instance with the bride-to-be, we found that our styles did not mesh.  But, that's the beautiful thing about getting to know my clients beforehand because if I find out they like "cheese" just as much as I do, it's a match made in heaven :). Brides and photographers, have you had any experiences similar to this?  Would you agree that client/photographer styles and personalities should mesh? See Beauty... Ariane
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Wedding Cakes at Bruno's Bakery

So I've been dreaming about this cake since Annie & Hoyu's wedding earlier this month; it was simply delicious!  This three tiered mango mousse heavenly dessert was calling my name the moment I walked into the reception hall.  I've seen a lot of wedding cakes in my day but this one in particular was particularly attractive.  First of all, being that one of my favorite colors is purple, this cake was an automatic plus!  It was so beautifully designed with intricate detailing of the flowers that decorated the top.  Look closely to see the buds of each flower petal in all it's sweet tasty goodness.   Amazing! Annie was kind of enough to share with me the bakery that created this awesome cake for her wedding day.  Pasticceria Bruno aka Bruno's Bakery which is located in the West Village in NYC.  They not only specialize in wedding cakes but they do all sorts of desserts and pastries ranging from fruit spreads, cookies, and tarts.  You can go to one of their many locations to dine in for coffee and dessert.  Annnd here's the kicker!  They actually give recreational baking classes on Sunday mornings.  Learn how to make your own sugar cookie at home; sweet! So, if you're in the market for a wedding cake or just need a sugar rush, I highly recommend Bruno's Bakery.  Next time you're in the area, stop by :). Happy Wednesday! See Beauty... Ariane
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When Things Go Wrong...

I am committed to sharing the experiences of my journey as a photographer with my readers.  Although this is the first time I have ever experienced something like this, it is my hope that maybe someone can learn something from this, as I have. From the moment I first meet a client to talk about their upcoming wedding to the actual day of their wedding, a connection and personal relationship is formed between me and my clients.  A relationship I cherish.  And when the big day draws near,  it feels good to have this bond with my clients and share in their excitement.  It almost feels like I'm attending the wedding as a friend and not just a vendor.  So when I got the call last night from my clients, that they were canceling their wedding due to a situation beyond their control, I felt like I was hearing the news from a family member or close friend.  My heart sank.  Not because I was their photographer and I wouldn't be able to shoot their special day but because I was concerned for their well-being.  My clients chose me as their wedding photographer and I am thankful for their trust in allowing me to come into their lives and get to know them; individually and as a couple.  They are real people who were looking forward to experiencing a huge milestone on their wedding day.  I can't imagine how hard it was for them to make that decision but I guess life throws us curve balls that we have to accept and proactively move past. As much as I was truly looking forward to their wedding day, I know that this situation has happened for a reason and I am grateful for the experience.  I wish my clients the very best of luck with everything. See Beauty... Ariane
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