I’ve been with my wife, Hannah, for 9 years. After getting married last April, it was long past due for me to make the pilgrimage to her motherland. Last month, we traveled to Seoul and Jeju Island where I fell in love with South Korea.
Koreans are a proud, resilient, peaceful people who know how to eat well and take care of each other. Their culture is rooted in centuries of tradition having only really modernized (in a huge way) in the recent era. There is an appreciation and reverence for one another built in to the body language and verbiage of every day life. The former president, Lee Myung-bak, told Barack Obama that his country’s biggest educational challenge was that “parents are too demanding.”
When waiting for the subway, neat lines are formed on either side of the train door. Those on board get out without being rushed by people trying to get in. People sit in circles with one another and serve the oldest (and wisest) first. It’s always a communal atmosphere. All of the food takes time. A year to make the fermented soybean paste which is a base to so much of their cooking. A week to make a glass of makgeolli which accompanies many meals. An entire day to make a broth for one of the staple stews. There’s so much love built in to everything they do. It must be working as they’re said to have the longest lifespan on the planet – 90.8 years.
I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking, but I’d encourage a stop in Korea on your next trip to Asia. It’s an amazing place.
All images taken on the fly with the Sony RX100 IV point and shoot camera. (Hint: You dont need to bring a bulky dSLR on vacation)
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Megan and Alex were married on June 4th, with a ceremony and reception at Oheka Castle in Huntington, NY.
The entire event was held on the grounds of Oheka Castle, the famous Huntington venue on Long Island. I feel lucky every time I get the chance to visit the castle. Due to the sheer size of the estate, the opportunities for unique photography are vast! You could shoot multiple weddings and have completely different backdrops every time. In addition to the classic character of the castle, it can be decorated in so many ways, and every time people drive in for the first time, the reaction is always the same: “wow.”
Even though it was a long day, with 12 hours of coverage, it really flew by. Every moment was filled with fun. While the women were getting their hair and makeup done, Alex and the men took over the estate playing sports, filming 360-degree video footage, and escaping up to Oheka’s “man club” in the tower.
Megan looked so amazing in her Lee Petra Grebenau dress as she got ready in the instantly recognizable bridal suite overlooking the expansive, Versailles-esque gardens. This dress designer has quickly become one of Israel’s most prestigious fashion brands, known for its luxurious bridal and evening gowns, each of which is custom-made. This one was magical in the way it caught the light.
After a touching first look in the tree-lined entryway leading up to the castle, we grabbed some pictures of the bride and groom as well as the family and bridal party before the ceremony. Thankfully, the weather held out for a beautiful outdoor ceremony overlooking the gardens before we came inside for the reception.
Throughout the day, it was abundantly clear that Megan and Alex were incredibly close with so many friends and family, to the point where it didn’t feel like their guests were separate people from all walks of life but one big family getting together for a happy reunion! This was especially clear in watching both of them with their parents—they just genuinely have so much fun with each other and everyone around them.
Although I was able to get the quintessential Oheka Castle image that you absolutely must get—the wide shot of the bridge walking down the aisle from above—my favorite shot from this wedding was actually one that my second photographer, Matt, got. It’s a close-up aerial shot that he captured just as the wind moved around Megan as she walked, and it was absolutely gorgeous!
Thank you, Megan & Alex, for letting me be part of your amazing day! And a big thank you to Karyn Michael Events for helping to make sure such a large event went off so beautifully.
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Wedding Gown: Lee Petra Grebenau
Florals: Pedestals Floral Decorators
Planner: Karyn Michael Events
Cinematography: Millimeter Photo
Bridesmaids Dresses: The Dessy Group
Makeup: Makeup by Marie-Therese
Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo
Band: Elan Artists
Ivan and Martina eloped on September 20th at Central Park. I shoot a couple elopements every year, and it’s always so much fun to be part of the intimate feeling of the day!
Martina and Ivan flew in from Montenegro with just a couple of their best friends to be witnesses. We started at a rented apartment in NoHo to prepare for capturing pictures around New York surrounded by its culture, tall buildings, and the iconic Central Park. I’m a big fan of renting an Airbnb or One Fine Stay for getting-ready photos because they often have so much more space than what hotels can offer and often cost significantly less money! If you can, find a place with large windows for natural light and plenty of room.
After I arrived, a limousine pulled up and whisked us uptown to the West Side of Central park for their ceremony in the Ladies Pavilion, a unique little spot tucked away next to the lake which you can access from Central Park West near the Natural History Museum. It’s one of the spots in Central Park you have to make prior arrangements to use, but it’s worth it!
To add to the New York flavor of the day, we got out of the limo a little early and took a pedicab the rest of the way. In my 15 years here, I’ve never ridden in one before, and I ended up loving the image of them rolling along as I rode behind!
The weather was perfect as we arrived at the pavilion for the ceremony, and Ivan and Martina enjoyed a beautiful moment together to the cheers of onlooking New Yorkers. That was by far my favorite part of the day. For as stylish and cool as Ivan and Martina come across, they turned into butter for their vows!
Because this was a last-minute elopement booking, I was totally surprised to see my buddy, Kaipo, from 15 Minutes of Frame, filming the ceremony as I rolled up. I was also startled to see two talented people I went to music school with, playing as we approached the Pavilion! You’d think I’d see people I know more often with as many weddings as I shoot, but it’s always a surprise when I do.
After the ceremony, we walked around looking for opportunities to get some pictures around NYC. It’s always fun for me because people from overseas especially want to feature the city itself as prominently as possible in their pictures. I always try to give them an insider’s look of New York—not just Times Square or the Statue of Liberty but side streets far South of Midtown or casual strolls on the Upper West Side.
I feel so honored when a couple comes to New York to elope and chooses me out of a sea of possibilities to photograph their wedding. Often, these photos of their NYC vows accompany them back to a more traditional party at home, so I know just how much of an impact the images will be when received by their family and friends who weren’t able to be there.
Thank you, Ivan & Martina, for letting me be part of this amazing day! I hope you will always remember your adventures in New York!