Engagements

Nicole & John: {A Downtown Buffalo Engagement Session}

I only just met Nicole and John and yet I feel like we've been friends for years. They just exude kindness, sincerity, humor and joy. Being made to feel like a friend made our downtown Buffalo engagement session together even more special. 

BuffaloEngagement

When I first chatted with Nicole via Skype last year, I was packing up our house and about to embark on our family's third (and final) move. I poured some wine, er, tea, found a corner of the house that did not have a pile of boxes behind me and had way more fun that I ever expected. Nicole is intelligent, organized and precise but also incredibly funny and "real." When I received a #gentlehonesty e-mail (we have a lot of hashtags for our adventure together) asking me to be their September 2016 wedding photographer, I felt truly lucky. 

For their engagement session, Nicole and John wanted to be surrounded by beautiful scenery and comfy scenes. John used some of his connections to secure us spots at 500 Seneca and 95 Perry in downtown Buffalo after some time meeting their adorable puppy and photographing around their brand new home. 

With sun-drenched atriums, homey front porches and skyline views from rooftop decks, this engagement session was dreamy and full of laughter and lots and lots of love. 

The way Nicole looks at John when he's not looking and the way John pushes back Nicole's hair and squeezes her hand -- well, just moments of magic. 

And Nicole's ring? A family heirloom from John's aunt! It's gorgeous! 

After driving around beautiful Buffalo, five flights up stairs, city views, cheesy jokes and some bloopers, it was sad to see the day come to an end. And yet... just a few months until their beautiful wedding. 

Enjoy a glimpse into their love story and our adventure and stay tuned for more beauty from these lovebirds later this year. 

 

9 Things to Ask a Wedding Photographer

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Heather and John {Engagement} -- Silly Adventures in Wilkes-Barre, PA

I love a lot of things that came into play while exploring the nearby city of Wilkes-Barre PA last week with Heather and John -- obvious affection, lots of laughter and an adorable puppy. I have had a blast with this young, fun couple since we first talked about their Sept. 2015 wedding a couple of months ago. John asked great questions during a phone interview and apparently was impressed by me! He told Heather, "We don't have to look any further, I found our photographer." How awesome is that?! And then when I met with Heather at a nearby coffee place, we happened to pick a night with a slew of fire trucks on display, free ice cream and long lines weaving around costumed walking coffee cups. We laughed a lot and just really hit it off.

So this past weekend, we captured some love and laughter at three locations -- a riverside park along the Susquehanna, the campus of Wilkes University and then at nearby Kirby Park and it's dyke path.

Heather and John had a lot of ideas for outfits and props and posing but were equally flexible and open-minded with my suggestions.

Heather's ring is gorgeous, yet it was almost overshadowed by their new puppy named .. wait for it... Captain Bacon! (And he even has his own hashtag!)

I hope you can feel the fun in these photos! I can't wait to see them surrounded by their loved ones in just a few months for their wedding. I have no doubt I'll be smiling the entire time!

Heather and John

Engagement Session 7-3-15; Online Gallery delived 7-8-15

Location: River Common Park, WIlkes University, Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre PA

Wedding: 9-19-15

Boho Bridal Shower {Styled Shoot} -- Part Two

Yesterday, I shared some of my favorite images of the details of our boho-themed bridal shower styled shoot -- the food, candles, table set-up and all of the fun decorations and favors. Today, it's all about the models! This part of the shoot is where I am most in my comfort zone and at my happiest behind my camera. As fun as a creative detail shot like ring close-ups or flowers can be, capturing a story -- friendship or family or a love story -- is what brings me greatest joy!

We had eight female models who portrayed our bridal shower attendees at various stations along our shoot and then one of the ladies and her boyfriend who were not only SO cute but also SO in love! They braved a super-quick rain shower right before sunset photos and were patient as three photographers directed them towards their own styles. Me? I love a good romantic, fun shot. If there's a serious face, my camera might get sad, haha!

So, we created a calm, fun, laid-back atmosphere and we tried not to make any photograph too boring, slow-paced or uninteresting. Conversations, questions and always planning your next move while working out your current one make the entire process a little easier for everyone involved.

Enjoy the photos and please check out the amazing vendors who shared their talents, time, space and love with me this week! And a very big thank-you to our fantastic models!

Patchwork Planning {Planner}  Forget Me Not Vintage Inc {Rentals & Styling}  Monzie's Floral Design {Flowers}  Peculiar Culinary {Desserts} Woven the Shop {Dreamcatchers} The Hunter Collection {Pillows}  The Post Home and Body {Soap Favors} Christine Conrad {Jewelry}  Make Pie Not War {Rings} Thrift Store Decor {Candles} Ryan Kenton {DJ}  The Dusty Daisy Shop {Feather Name Cards and Driftwood Decoration} Momental Designs {Invitation Kit} TattooByYou {Tattoos} Confeteti Warehouse/Lavender Linens {Linens} Jammin Barefoot (Karen) {Jamberry Favor} Erica {makeup}

Wendy also worked with some FANTASTIC photographers, including: Kelley Spurlock Photography / Elizabeth Lilly Photography / Chelsey Travelpiece / Photography by Seneca -- thank you for sharing your talent and many, many laughs!

*Special thanks to Mandy and Doug Chapman, for allowing us to use their property and disrupt their lives for a few days! Your family is beautiful and we are all so grateful to you.

You can see more images, including behind-the-scenes snapshots at WZP Instagram and WZP Facebook!

Ben & Megan {Engagement} -- An outdoor engagement session in Central Pennsylvania with Wendy Zook Photography

A lot of things have to happen in order to create a flawless, magical engagement session. And boy did the stars align on Saturday!

Equipment. Check! It was my first opportunity to use only my three favorite prime lenses and no zooms and I was SO pleased with the results. Sharper, in-focus images with beautiful bokeh.

Location. Yup! We used Ben's family farm (Picture field of wildflowers and tall grass perched on top of a mountain overlooking rolling hills of green as far as the eye can see), and two waterways nearby that had particular importance to Ben and Megan's relationship (like near the place where he proposed!). OH, and my apologies to the owner of the field on the drive to the reservoir. See, we were driving by and almost all three of us yelled to stop at the same time. You know you have magic then!

Weather. Partly sunny skies leading into a golden sunset. No one had to squint and there was no harsh light to deal with! The temperature was rather comfortable, too!

A cooperative groom. Um, yep! Ben actually suggested the first spot as we walked towards the aforementioned field on a mountain. His idea of a large apple tree was the perfect place to start! He was such a good sport, though -- jumping in a creek with cowboy boots still on and driving his brand new (like hours old!) truck down dirt roads!

A beautiful bride-to-be. Whoa. Megan is stunning, but she's radiant inside and outside. Her eyes are so gorgeous, she greeted me with a giant hug and she thanked me at least a thousand times. I loved her outfit choices and she looked like a model!

Authentic love. This is the most important part. Couples can be stressed from a busy day or from planning, can be self-conscious or feel unphotogenic. But you know what? None of that matters if you keep them comfortable and just let their love shine through above everything else. There are some beautiful catchlights in their eyes and mouth-dropping vistas in so many photos, but my favorite ones are where love is in the foreground. The way she looks at him... the goosebumps from listening to him tell the story of how they met... the kindness to each other.

Ben and Megan are getting married in November and I can't wait to get more time with them and capture more of their love story.

Portage, PA -- May 9, 2015