Lauren and Mike New York City engagement | Scranton wedding photographers

This summer has been so nice. Bob and I have been lucky enough to do a little traveling and to have couples gracious enough to invite us to amazing places to take photos. One weekend it was the beach and another New York City.  Not surprisingly we love New York. I mean, who doesn’t, and as a photographer it’s just an incredible place to shoot.  It’s also super easy to get distracted there. Fortunately, we had Lauren and Mike as our guides and there were some places they wanted to have photos done.  What an incredible couple and they were so gracious in showing us around. Every time I go to New York I feel like “Yeah, I know this place and know my way around,” and then I find myself someplace I’ve never been.  Thank God for Lauren and Mike because I wouldn’t have gotten three blocks from Penn Station. I wanted to shoot everywhere.

So we visited some cool places, stopped along the way to shoot. We hit some spots that are recognizable and some spots that maybe aren’t, but have great meaning to Lauren and Mike. It was all part of a great day, strolling a great city with great people. Here are a few of the shots.

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Jessica and Mark anniversary | Scranton wedding photographers

I feel like I should title this post “A Day at the Farm with Friends.”

It was a year ago that Bob and I stepped onto Spring Hills Farm for Jessica and Mark’s wedding and were treated to a day unlike a lot we have ever seen. Every time we talk about it, we keep coming back to the same word – community. It just had that feel. It wasn’t a daylong celebration. It was a week of people traveling sometimes insane distances to be part of two people committing themselves to each other. The details, the ceremony, the speeches were all, of course, beautiful. But it was the gathering of a tribe of friends and family and the absolute immersion in the celebration that struck us.

So we went back!

A couple of weeks ago we found ourselves on the farm again, visiting with Mark and Jessica and sharing some laughs and some memories and yes, grabbing to a few photos along the way. It’s funny because the photos were just what we did between telling and retelling our memories from their wedding. It was easy to fall back into that sense of community. A sincere thank you to Jessica and Mark for inviting us to be a part of your life together.

Oh yeah – and congratulations to Jessica and Mark for having their wedding featured on yet another blog! This time on Beauty & Lifestyle Bride.

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Megan and Michael wedding | Scranton wedding photographers

Who doesn’t love a guy who can sing? We all like to hum a bar or two in the shower, but I’m talking about a guy who can stand up in front of a room, grab a mic, take a deep breath and just kill it! Oh and do it with a killer band backing you and on your wedding day.

Michael you killed it, and I think maybe surprised a few of your guests in the process. I know Bob and I were stunned. Let me set it up for you quickly. We are at the Scranton Cultural Center over the weekend shooting the day for Megan and Michael. It was a spectacular and elegant  day that took us from St Ann’s to the Cultural Center.  Every part of the day was welcoming, sophisticated and filled with love. The party was going great and everyone was dancing and having a good time and then this. “We’d like to bring Michael up to sing a song with the band.” You never know how something like this is going to go. Usually it’s one of two ways. It’s someone singing a few hesitant notes to wild cheers or it’s something else. This was something else! This was a groom looking like he just stepped off the cover of GQ in his tux and turning into Robert Johnson. Just unreal.

I’ve talked about it before. Weddings never ever cease to surprise me. We have shot lists and schedules and timelines and then these things happen. They are moments that live forever with the couple and the guests. Some of those moments are small and often unnoticed by everyone else. And once in awhile they blow the roof off a place. This was one of those!

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Susanna and Dan wedding | Scranton wedding photographers

Do it Yourself has become so much of our lives hasn’t it? There are TV networks dedicated to it, and everyone always has a DIY project they are working on. I think it’s great, but weddings are a different scene altogether. Sure it always feels good to do something for yourself. It gives us a sense of accomplishment and those little things hold a more special place in our hearts because we put the thought and the sweat into them. Weddings go to a whole new level. The do-it-yourself details at weddings open up your family and friends to the things that are important to you. I love when couples take the time to think about those things – they always add a special feel to any wedding and say so much about the couple.

Susanna and Dan had plenty at their backyard reception. It was such a beautiful and thoughtful affair. From the family photos on the giant tree to the handmade pennants under the tent, to the mismatched chairs at the tables. They all provided this remarkable closeness with everyone there that I find it hard to explain but I know it speaks to who they are and how much love surrounded their day.

Kim and Chuck wedding | Scranton wedding photographers

So Bob sends me an email earlier today with the subject line, “easiest blog post ever.” In the text was “plane, Model A, Harley.” Yeah that pretty much sums it up. I’m not going to do a whole lot of talking in this post. I’ll let the photos do the heavy lifting. We photographed Kim and Chuck’s wedding this past weekend. We just love them. We’ve done photos for their family before, and I can’t even say we feel like part of the family. We are part of the family. In fact, while Bob and I were knocking down some food during dinner at the wedding, more than one person said, “Shouldn’t you guys be eating at the head table?” That means so much to us. We love being close to our friends and sharing in these great moments. It’s just really special. In this case, we not only had Kim and Chuck and family and friends but some pretty cool props to work with. Thanks, Chuck.

Hope you like the group shots – we can’t wait to get you the rest!

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  • July 8, 2014 - 9:44 pm

    Kim Stenlake - Hey guys, these are incredible! This is why I said we’d change our wedding date if you weren’t available. It made me a little teary to read your post, because you two really are part of our family. You’ve already been there for so many of our big moments, and we can’t wait for you to be there for more.
    Kim & ChuckReplyCancel

    • July 9, 2014 - 8:48 pm

      bobsanchuk - Thanks so much Kim! You know we’ll be there for the next big moment. Can’t wait!ReplyCancel

Maura and Eddie Waverly Country Club | Scranton wedding photographers

Sometimes I like to look at weddings like movies, stories unfolding – sometimes unpredictably – in front of you. They have a cast of characters that you love, starting with our stars – the bride and groom. And Maura and Eddie made terrific stars this past weekend.  They were incredibly gracious hosts and had a spectacular day. We can’t thank them enough for inviting us. I’ve actually known both of them since I was a kid. Maura and I grew up in the same neighborhood and rode the school bus together. Eddie and I played Little League baseball and have some  great memories together. This is a wedding I will remember for such a long time because of the strings of time that bond me to them. It just made for a really special day.

But like I said, it can be like a movie, and every great movie has a good supporting cast. And sometimes they can steal the show. Enter the kids. Family is such a huge part of Maura’s and Eddie’s lives that it was no surprise to see the children all running around and having a great time. And to watch Maura and Eddie invite them to be so involved in the day was touching and added an element to the wedding that just captured the sense of love and family.

So we wanted to show a few photos that we think capture the feel of the day, the chaos, the fun and the love.

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  • July 13, 2014 - 10:38 pm

    Delaney Lynett - Awesome!!!!!!!!!!
    They were all very funny and cool!
    I love them all!!!!!!! :]ReplyCancel

Run little man | Scranton portrait photographers

Little Colin likes to run … and run … and run … and run. Photographing kids come with their own set of special challenges, mainly they usually don’t really want to sit around and have their picture taken. And this is totally fine with us. We look at it like an atmosphere that you can’t really control because if you do, you might not get photos that really capture the joy of being a kid. Look no further than every single school photo I ever had taken. I have to find a couple of those for one of these posts. Oh my god, that’s gonna be embarrassing, curly red hair, braces, glasses. Good lord. That’s making me nervous already.

So go ahead Colin, keep running and we’ll try to keep up and get some shots.

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Alicia and Bobby Wedding Ceremony | Scranton wedding photographers

While our friends Bobby and Alicia are away on their honeymoon, we thought it might be nice to go through a few shots from their ceremony, a beautiful celebration over the weekend. We love these two. They’re such a great couple with absolutely amazing families. And that’s always the secret ingredient to some of the best weddings we see – a closeness with the couple and their friends and families. It can make for an emotional day but also a spectacular one. In fact, I hope we get to do a blog post of photos from the speeches from Bobby’s sisters and best man and the toast Alicia’s sister made. Her dad even had the mic for awhile. He may have been the showstopper. It was so engrossing, I had to focus on making sure I was taking pictures and not getting lost in his words. That’s for another time though. This was a great ceremony and here are a few shots. I’m sure we will have other posts from their wedding because every moment seemed to be a highlight.

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Gabriel baby portraits | Scranton portrait photograpghers

OK, who wants cake? Gabriel? Check!

Gabriel is a little guy Bob and I took photos of a couple weeks back. He is too cute and now he knows he really loves cake. After all the hard work of having some portraits done he dove right into the sweets. It’s always funny watching kids be allowed to eat cake and smash it into their mouths. They always start so unsure if it’s OK, but by the end it’s one giant happy mess and a little bit of sugar shock. Sorry about that mom!

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Susanna and Dan Vintage DIY Wedding | Wilkes-Barre wedding photographers

It turns out some of the lessons from my youth stuck with me. I remember the promenade, the do-si-do, the allemande and how to swing my partner. Like calculus, I had no idea if it would come in handy again. But thanks to the wonderful, and now-married, Susanna and Dan I got a refresher course over the weekend. They had such a unique wedding! Along with all sorts of beautiful and handmade touches that made up a huge part of their wedding, they had a band – and a caller – and square dancing. It was amazing! Apparently something happens between the time you go to gym class in middle school and when we become adults. Square dancing becomes an awfully good time. Everyone who was out on the dance floor was having some of the most fun I have ever seen people have at a wedding. It was a stroke of genius and fit so well into Susanna and Dan’s day.

These photos have a little different look. We thought a vintage touch might be nice just for a little fun.

So nicely done guys. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of such a unique day!

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Ashley bridal portrait | Scranton wedding photographers

Hi everyone. I wanted to do a post about bridal portraits – not necessarily the ones you might think of that are done in the studio, but the on-location ones we like to do on wedding days. They can be a huge challenge because it is often chaos on the wedding day, but they also offer a huge opportunity to find a way to produce something memorable in less-than-ideal conditions. It’s one of the best parts of the job. I was thinking that the photographs that stop me, the ones that make me wonder how the photographers did it, are the ones I didn’t expect to see. And they are almost always shot from a place that most people would not think to shoot. And often that involves risk. You might only get a few minutes of time alone with a bride for the portraits. There is always the easy way. Find a nice clean background and put the bride in a pose and fire away. Nothing wrong with that and it can produce nice work. But the next level goes beyond that. It finds moments or details that you can include in the photo that will set it apart.

I’m pretty happy with the photos below. We were in a house loaded with people and took just a few minutes to grab some shots. There were two rooms connected by French doors that had great beveled edges.  I’m a sucker for beveled edges on mirrors and windows. So for the shot, I went into the opposite room from Ashley and angled the doors so I could shoot through the glass. The framing and the “duplicate” effect of the bevel gives it a “captured moment” feel even though it was completely set up.  The other, I just draped her veil over her face to give the portraits a nice soft look. I hit the shutter once and had it. Then we were off to the ceremony.

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Colleen senior photos | Scranton portrait photographers

I remember my first job pretty clearly – a job that I was later fired from. I didn’t actually know that would be a recurring theme early in my life but it was. I was a dishwasher at a local restaurant. Oh my God,  I hated that job.  You can’t get any lower on the restaurant totem pole. I really didn’t mind the work, but the people I worked with were not terribly nice and they tended to treat the dishwashers poorly.  So one day I told my boss that I didn’t appreciate how people were talking to us and it didn’t seem like we were on the kitchen team as much as we were the people it was fun to kick around. He told me that was how people just starting out were always treated. He was explaining that to me as he was collecting my apron and pointing me toward the door. Oh well. So much for that career.

I’d like to say I promised myself that I wold never treat anyone else like that, but the reality is I probably did at some point in my life. But the awful feeling did stick with me a little.

We’ve talked a little bit about the number of photographers entering the market in this blog before. And I listen to some other photographer friends complain about it – a lot.  I say the more the merrier. Competition is a healthy thing. I also believe if you have a business plan and a commitment to your craft you will be fine as a photographer. The reality is that most people who enter this profession don’t know what it takes when you’re not behind the lens to actually make a living at it.

Anyway, enter our new friend and current amateur photographer Colleen – a high school junior who will be a professional photographer before you know it. She believes it with a certainty you rarely see for someone so young. She doesn’t love photography. She lives it. So when she asked asked us one day if we could help her out, we told her we would be happy to. And what better experience is there than real world, right? So we offered to do her senior photos but use it as a way to explain what we were doing so she could understand how the images were being created. It was like a creative classroom, and she got some cool senior photos out of the deal.  The experience from our perspective is great. Bob and I got to teach a little – something we both love to do and she got some experience not usually available to an aspiring photographer. I think in our society people can spend a little too much time looking over their shoulder rather than offering a hand to help someone up. OK, off the soapbox. It was a great experience and Colleen keeps in touch with us and we talk a little through email about what she needs to be doing. She’ll be successful. She’s focused on the big picture and I’m going to really enjoy watching her evolve as a photographer and businesswoman.

Here are a few of the shots we got of her that day.

  • June 10, 2014 - 11:22 am

    Eliza - What a fabulous experience for Colleen and the result was some absolutely gorgeous images! Kudos to you for taking a young photographer under your wing. Not all photographers are welcoming into the industry these days so it’s so nice to see some talented photographers that aren’t afraid to pass on their knowledge!ReplyCancel

Ashley and Dave reception at Fiorelli’s | Scranton wedding photographers

Now that our friends Ashley and Dave are back from the honeymoon and comfortably settled into married  life, it seems like a good time to remind them how much fun their wedding was. From Dave’s championship belt and epic dancing to the really touching and, at times, hilarious toasts, the wedding was amazing. I don’t think the dance floor at Fiorelli’s ever stopped shaking. The party was the perfect end to a beautiful day. You guys have such amazing families and friends it was bound to be a party that you will remember forever. We will. Hope these photos help!

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Matt senior portraits | Scranton portrait photographers

This is going to come as a surprise to no one, but I’ve been talking to a lot of photographers in the past week about what makes for good photos. I’m talking about the things that go beyond lighting and posing and aperture and shutter speed.  All are important, but I grew up reading newspapers. I love them. Specifically, I love the New York times photo staff. Their images tend to just amaze me, and for the longest time I didn’t know why. I guess I just assumed they are amazing photographers and it’s hard to define why a photo affects us but some of them clearly do.

And then one day a light bulb went off.  I knew what it was about their photos that always captivated me. It was their access. They were always taking me places I had never seen. It could be backstage at a concert or inside a hut in Afghanistan with a sliver of light coming through the lone window.  Access was everything. You can’t tell a story without taking people there.

So how does this relate to senior portraits? Well, I didn’t think it did until we did Matt’s senior pictures. Matt’s a junior at Dunmore and on the football team. We were fortunate enough to get access to the locker room at Dunmore. I know I’ve never seen it and I’m thinking most of you haven’t either. Don’t get me wrong, the photos that we took in there are not about the locker room. It is just the setting, but it provides that little extra to the photo that makes it special. Plus, in the case of senior photos, it put Matt in a place that clearly means a lot to him.

So here are some of Matt’s shots from the locker room and other places about town. Enjoy. And thanks to Matt and his parents for inviting us to take these shots. It was a great day!

Published in magazines | Scranton wedding photographers

Its’ been a really exciting month or so for Bob and I. Not only has wedding season started, so we are shooting almost every weekend and meeting great people and families and making new friends, but our work seems to be popping up all over the place. It’s been really rewarding.

First, The Knot, one of the top wedding magazines, contacted us and said they wanted to feature some of our work. Specifically, they loved Mia and Ryan’s New Year’s Eve wedding. The magazine reaches probably thousands and thousands of brides so it’s really an honor for them to ask us to be a part of it. Here is a link to the blog post on The Knot. But just as exciting has been having one of our couples featured in Happenings magazine and having the opening page of their Spring 2014 bridal section be two shots we took from Brianne and Ryan’s reception at the Radisson at Lackawanna Station Hotel. Their wedding was featured along with Brianne’s sister’s wedding.

And I guess because word spreads fast, we’ve been contacted by a bunch of blogs about publishing work from some other weddings we shot, including Cori and Todd’s wedding on Celebrations at Home. We’ll keep you posted as more pop up.

It’s been a wonderful experience and very humbling to share space with other great photographers.  But none of it happens without the amazing couples who we are honored to shoot. This is a big deal for them as well. So as long as we keep getting invited to shoot, we are going to show up  and try to produce the best work we can. If it gets published, that’s great. If it doesn’t, that’s OK because what really matters is capturing those moments that last forever on the walls of our friends, not in the pages of a magazine.

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Ashley and Dave wedding | Scranton wedding photographers

Well if you can’t have fun at a wedding there’s something probably seriously wrong with you.

Ashley and Dave, there’s is nothing wrong with you guys. Holy moly what a good time your wedding turned out to be. It’s easy to have fun at a reception. There’s all the dancing and drinks and lights and good times. You could argue it’s a little tougher wrangling the wedding party for portraits after the ceremony. Well, check that off the list. Your wedding was a good time from word go and it didn’t stop until the party was over. Hell, I’m not even sure the party was over when the music stopped.  That’s the way to do it. Great family and friends enjoying a perfect day. There is so much to share from your wedding. We figured we’d start with some of the portraits from the  Lackawanna State Park. It’s as good a place to start as any. We certainly are not lacking any material.

So here are a few pics  of a great couple having an unbelievable time at their wedding! Enjoy.

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Wild Cub | Scranton photographers

Just a few minutes ago, I was at the Times Building in Scranton shooting the band Wild Cub. I did it just for fun and to get a few photos for the paper. They were in the auditorium as part of an ongoing concert series that Fuzz 92.1 does. The shows have great Q&As with the band, followed by an acoustic session.

I decided because there wasn’t a whole lot on the line in taking the photos I would play around a little. Sometimes I feel like I don’t experiment enough with my camera. On most jobs – like weddings – there is an awful lot on the line and you don’t want to miss anything while you’re screwing around with camera settings seeing what will happen if you turn this button WAY over here.  But experimenting is vital to what we do. It’s how we better and push ourselves. The trick – at least how I see it – is to give it a shot in a safe place and then learn to apply when the stakes are much higher. Hopefully it will pay off and your photos will get better and better and your clients will be happier and happier.

So here’s the shot I got tonight. It’s not perfect but it has me thinking about how it can be applied in other things that we do.

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Lindsey and Matt Ceremony at Stroudsmoor Country Inn | Scranton Wedding Photographers

There’s nothing quite like an intimate outdoor wedding. I love them. Throw in a wonderful and warm couple like Lindsey and Matt and I’d be hard pressed to find a better way to spend a Saturday. There’s just something about friends and family gathered beforehand chatting and the feel of anticipation. It’s hard to explain sometimes, but the energy is like a wave through the crowd that built until Lindsey came down the aisle with her dad. Those ceremonies just have a different feel, a casualness and closeness that’s hard to replicate.

Plus, we were fortunate enough to shoot at the Stroudsmoor Country Inn, a spectacular place in the Poconos. This is one of those places I could not believe I had not shot at before. It’s incredible and they did such a great job of taking care of Lindsey and Matt and the families. It just added so much to the experience …  well done Stroudsmoor.

Here are a few shots from the ceremony. Thanks for looking and thanks to Lindsey and Matt for making us feel so welcome and letting us be a part of a great day.

Olivia senior portraits | Scranton portrait photographers

Well it’s definitely getting to be senior portrait season. We are starting to do more and more of them. We recently finished up with one of the first of year with Olivia. What a great time this was. In fairness, we are good friends with her mom and have watched Olivia grow up to become a beautiful and smart young woman, so it was really a treat for us to be able to do her photos. Like a lot of our senior sessions, we did a few shots in the studio and then headed out on the town to grab more. Olivia is an outstanding softball player as well, so we ended the day with some shots in uniform. These are not the typical “take a knee” portraits though.

Thanks to Olivia and Faith! We hope you like them as much as we do.

 

Lindsey and Matt wedding at the Stroudsmoor Country Inn | Scranton wedding photographers

The winter months can be lonely for a photographer – some more than others apparently. Bob talked to me a lot this winter about some detail shots he saw other photographers taking. Bob watches a lot of videos of other photogs working. I’ll be honest, he watches more than I do. I always feel like if I watch someone else work, I will try to mimic them rather shooting things how I see them. Of course, Bob is actually an artist. He went to school for it and everything.;)So he knows how to watch other artists work and take what he needs and leave the rest behind. It’s a great learning tool. I tend to try to adopt everything I see another photographer doing (If I love his or her work) and then I get all twisted around and paralyzed.

Anyway, his study time paid off. He shot a majority of the details at Lindsey and Matt’s wedding at the Stroudsmoor Country Inn last weekend, and I think the results are really stunning. The compositions and thought put into the shots are really well done. God, I hope he doesn’t read this.  He also got a new lens and i think it had a lot more to do with the lens than the photographer. (Just kidding buddy)

Also, a huge thanks to Lindsey and Matt. Scheduling plenty of time to get ready allows for extra time to be taken to get some great detail shots. Enjoy!

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Fitz and the Tantrums | Scranton portrait photographers

Once in a awhile you get a chance to shoot something you don’t normally get to shoot.  Fitz and the Tantrums would be a good example. The band that I love was in town at the Scranton
Times building for a quick Q & A and acoustic session. The auditorium was not surprisingly jammed – this is a great band. I can ‘t really believe Fuzz 92 got them to play here. I’m not usually too far ahead of the curve on music but I’m pretty proud to say I’ve been listening to these guys for a long time. So, anyway, there was no way I was missing the chance to grab a few photos and wanted to share them with you guys.

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