Category Archives: older posts

I made a lofty goal last year!! I was ready to *finally* develop a workflow to edit, share, and backup my personal photographs in a more efficient manner, similar to how I process client work. Often, I shoot like crazy and then just let the files pile up (please tell me I’m not the only one?!) Personal work never has a deadline, and is so easy to overlook. Some of the struggle for me was that I wasn’t sure where to place all of these images… So part of the solution was creating a new platform for them!

If you haven’t had a chance to check out my personal blog, Little Herd Adventures, please head over to meet my family and see how we like to spend our time together. My husband and I are determined to continue to live a fulfilling life, giving in to our ever-growing wanderlust, even with our two little loves in tow. We love to explore WNY & beyond, and share our ideas of fun with other families!

Earlier this year, we took a bucket list trip to Costa Rica! It was something we dreamt of for years, and we were excited to share the experience with our kiddos. This place was extra magical through their eyes. There’s multiple posts on this trip, so scroll through to see our fun!

Costa Rica | Part 1 : The Peace Lodge & Paz Waterfall Gardens

Costa Rica | Part 2 : La Fortuna, Arenal, Hanging Bridges & Hot Springs

Costa Rica | Part 3 : Quepos, Manuel Antonio, Beach Days & Sloths

Costa Rica | Part 4 : Esterillos Este Beach & Alma del Pacifico

Kathryn & Otello… Where do I even begin!? These two just radiate such a FUN, lovable energy. From the moment that I walked into the girls’ adorable Airbnb Allentown cottage & saw them relaxing in hammocks, with mimosas in hand, I knew it was going to be a beautiful day. I loved all of the details K&O chose, from the yellow shoes to her brilliant blue ring, and the gorgeous Lipinoga Florist orchids. Kathryn has to win an award for one of my most low-key brides ever; I asked her if she needed anything as they were getting ready, and she handed me the bottom of her mother’s old wedding dress & asked if I wouldn’t mind just cutting a bit of lace off it to wrap around her bouquet… (I think I had a panic attack as I took the first snip; thankfully it came out great!)

Once we arrived at the Delaware Park Rose Garden, even though the ceremony was running a bit behind, both Kathryn & Otello said they just needed to see each other before anything else. We chose a beautiful willow tree next to the lake, tucked away from all of the guests. They saw & held each other there, and took in a sweet moment together, before walking up to get married. After the wedding was over, they both said that was their favorite part of the day.

They had a gorgeous ceremony in the garden, followed by family portraits and bridal party photos (see the guest stars, including a dog that jumped into the fountain while we were shooting there and another wedding group that popped by). This whole bridal party was a BLAST; they were running, jumping, dancing, and singing throughout the entire photo shoot! You’ll see below 🙂

Afterwards, we headed to Karpeles Manuscript Museum for their reception. They had a confetti entrance, tear-filled speeches, emotional dances with their parents, delicious food, bright decor (including backdrops and table runners that Kathryn hand-painted!) and definitely some of the WILDEST dancing we’ve seen. K&O definitely designed their entire day to be a party, and it was chock *full* of hilarious, heart-filled, happy moments. Thank you for that. We LOVED being there to capture it all and already want to do it all over again!

Vendors Who Rocked This Wedding :
Second Photographer
: Stephen Gabris
Ceremony Venue : Delaware Park Rose Garden
Reception Venue
: Karpeles Manuscript Museum
Wedding Planner 
: Tori Toma
Hair/Makeup : Del Monte Hair System
DJ : Mike Setlock
Florist : Lipinoga Florist
Bakery : Desserts made by Groom’s mother, Wendy Tiano

Gold sparkling shoes, a t-rex cake, woodland creatures, and oh so much more. Laura & Sam’s wedding was full of whimsy and FUN, and we loved being there to capture it all. The girls started with prep at Salon Elizabeth, while the boys hung at The Shores. This bridal party was a blast; the boys rocked their custom Bureau suits, while Laura loved her time with her girls (who were all from Australia, and flew across the globe to celebrate with her!)

We journeyed to The Buffalo Launch Club for their ceremony & reception, where they were married under the lighthouse. Their ceremony was full of special touches including a Scottish hand fasting, a Spanish coin giving and a lot of laughter (especially when Laura vowed to always share her french fries, and quoted Outkast when she told Sam she’d love him forever, ever, forever, ever).

The whole day was full of magic.I think one of my favorite moments of the day, was right after their first kiss, when Sam & Laura took a minute to themselves, to just soak it all in, before walking down the aisle as husband & wife. We had gorgeous light for their portraits, and especially loved the lantern release at the end of the night. We left feeling like we had known them for years, and that says so much about who they are as a couple.

 

Aren’t they the cutest? And just in case you wanted to find them any more adorable, read their advice for future brides & grooms below :

“For the bride I would echo the advice given to me… Just enjoy the day and what ever happens, happens. You only get one wedding day so enjoy every second of it.” -Laura

“There is no reason to be nervous. You are with the person you love, in front of your friends and family (and if nothing else, you look damn good doing it!” – Sam

Vendors Who Rocked This Wedding :
Second Photographer
: Stephen Gabris
Ceremony & Reception Site
: The Buffalo Launch Club
Hair & Makeup : Salon Elizabeth
DJ
: Full Swing
Florist
: Fern Croft Floral
Bakery
Muscoreil’s Fine Desserts
Bride’s Dress
: Bell Street
Groom’s Suit
: Bureau

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My husband & I will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary in two short months! I wanted to make sure we took time to enjoy that this year, because between my businesses, his full time job, and very demanding little loves, we often put ourselves, and sometimes even each other, last. We don’t mean to, but now that we have two very young babes, life is crazier than ever. Some days, we don’t even get to talk to each other until our nightly heads-on-the-pillows-how-was-your-day-catch-up at 11pm. So a few months back, I started planning a trip as a surprise, so we could celebrate properly, take a break from being Mama & Dada, and enjoy an adventure, just he & I!

Jetblue had a flash sale one day, with 20% off all flights, including their new direct route to L.A., so I jumped on it. I snagged tickets for about $85/each way, booked us a cozy little cottage in Venice, made arrangements for the kids to enjoy some time with the grandmas, and didn’t tell him where we were going until the day before we left!

From the minute we got to the airport, it was a nonstop adventure. We thought we would use the time to sleep since we *never* get to do that anymore haha, but there was too much to see & do. We entered the weekend with no plans, and spent our time doing whatever sounded fun at the moment (something you just cannot do with a toddler and infant!) We ended up biking, beachin’ it, art-gallery hopping, wandering weird and wonderful Venice, enjoying our artsy little rental, and pretty much, eating our way through L.A. We racked up over 20 miles walking and 10 miles biking in three days, and probably didn’t even make a dent in the calories we consumed from all those delicious fish tacos and bahn mi’s. It was a whirlwind getaway, sandwiched between two red-eye flights (not sure I’d recommend that…), but we’re used to chaos, so we loved every minute!

Here’s some highlights of the trip :

Day 1 : Walking the insanely magical Venice Canals around the corner from our cottage | Breakfast at The French Market | Cruising Wilshire and hitting up Sidecar Donuts for THE BEST donuts we’ve ever had | Ceviche and shrimp tacos at La Isla Bonita Food Truck | Date night for sunset and dinner at The Getty Center

Day 2 : Breakfast at Mercedes’ Cuban Grill | Biking the LA bike path from Venice to Marina Del Ray | Thai massages at Marico Massage | Fish tacos and margaritas at Clutch | Biking & shopping on Abbott Kinney BLVD | Coffee at Toms Roasting Company

Day 3 : Croissants & coffees from Espresso Yo Self | Breakfast on the beach, watching the surfers | Wandering the galleries of LACMA | Boba, Greek-Thai fries, and sushi burrito from the food trucks out front | Aimless driving and mansion gawking in Beverly Hills | Caramel-infused cold-brew with sea salt foam at Dogtown Coffee | People and seal watching at Santa Monica Pier | Beach walking & sunset over the ocean | Caribbean dinner at Cha Cha Chicken before heading to the airport to catch our late night flight!

We would LOVE to go back sometime; what are some of your favorite L.A. stops for our next escape?!

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(PS. I no longer travel with my pro camera; it’s just too much. I purchased a Panosonic Lumix last year, and take it everywhere now. It sometimes leaves me missing my Canon 5dMiii, but mostly, does a fabulous job of capturing our personal adventures! )

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I can barely contain my excitement as I upload Sarah & Ryan’s images! This day was just flawless, all-around. I had Colin Gordon along for the ride as second photographer, the weather was sunny, the locations they chose for photos were perfect, the bridal party was so animated and fun, all of the elements of that S&R so thoughtfully selected to be a part of their day were so gorgeous and came together seamlessly. But most importantly, we just loved spending time with Ryan & Sarah. They are two of the sweetest, most fun-loving folks you’ll meet. And they are just such pretty people, inside & out! They made our job so so easy. This entire season has been full of dream clients, and I just feel luckier and luckier with each wedding.

Ryan is also an amazing local videographer & owner of Ryan Palm Films (you’ll see him behind his camera a few times throughout the day), so he was really excited about helping plan photo locations. He & Sarah scouted out spots in Silo City that they loved, and they found a spot with a big, beautiful tree and swing. I fell hard for it too! Such a dreamy backdrop for them to first see each other on their big day!

Scroll down to see & read more from their day!

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2016-09-12_0006Rose gold everything! I think Sarah is a trendsetter here, and I expect to see a lot of this glimmery shade next season! (And yes, every bride should have a glam pair of shoes for photos, and comfy pair for tearing up the dance floor!)

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“The flowers were absolutely stunning. I’m no florist, so I gave William’s a lot of freedom and tried to be hands-off and let them do what they do best. I could not have been more thrilled with the result. They were perfect!! It’s like they knew what I wanted even better than I did.” -S

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2016-09-12_0013When I saw Sarah had the suite with the balcony (and such a fun group of bridesmaids), I knew we had to get out there!

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“It is SO hard to pick a favorite part of the most perfect day ever. Getting dressed and reading the sweet card Ryan wrote to me that morning really started to make everything feel real. I spent so much time planning and thinking about the wedding that it was around that time it began to sink in that it was really our wedding day.” – S

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Something we try to save time for each wedding, is a First Look between the bride & her father. It’s so just beautiful to have another moment like this captured! Sarah’s dad had us all tearing up, as he placed his mother’s ring on his daughter’s finger. The. Sweetest!

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Meanwhile, Colin was hanging with the men at The Pearl @ The Webb hotel before they headed over to Silo City to see the girls!

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“As I walked toward Ryan at Silo City for our First Look, I was so ready for him to finally see the dress I’d been dying to show him for a year and I was beyond excited to start our wedding day together. It was very fitting for our relationship. Nothing over the top or theatrical, just a wonderful moment that we got to share with our closest friends nearby watching but with so much more privacy and less pressure than we would have had if we waited until the ceremony to see each other. The time we spent taking photos beforehand allowed me to really enjoy feeling like a bride all day before we saw our guests.” – S

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After their First Look, their dog Lady joined the party! She was a very important part of their day, and even had her own floral collar. So cute!

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I had to include this shot because it just cracks me up. Ryan also started to get sleepy during our engagement session and we have a similar shot from that haha. Being a pro model is hard work, huh buddy? 😉

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After Silo City, we headed to City Hall for a very quick stop. We just *had* to find lovely stairs for a shot to showcase the EPIC train on Sarah’s dress!

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“Hire people you trust! We trusted all of our vendors to do a great job because they had great reviews online and from word of mouth of friends. Buffalo Indie Weddings was a great resource (and the most fun bridal show). I’m elated with the way everything turned out. It’s easy to get caught up in wanting the perfect Pinterest wedding, but know your own style and don’t be afraid to go after it! Let the professionals do what they do without micromanaging, but make sure they know your style. I loved having a family friend officiate and a friend from NYC perform our ceremony music. Our wedding was so truly ‘us’ and I couldn’t be happier.” -S

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“I loved our place cards and table numbers. Alyson at Rust Belt Love was so patient with me and so eager to do exactly what I wanted within my budget. I wanted to incorporate rose gold because our rings are rose gold, and she did it in such a beautiful way!” – S

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“The cake was a favorite part of our wedding!! I’ve gotten so many questions about the cake. We ordered it from NYC because it was a special place to us when we used to live there. Ryan bought me one of their birthday cakes every year and we decided we wanted to carry that into our wedding day. I’m sure a bakery here could have executed a similar cake flawlessly, but it was the specific cake and bakery that was meaningful to us. It was definitely a splurge to ship a wedding cake, but it was important to us and I don’t regret it one bit!” -S

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“THE DANCING! We had the world’s best DJ, Chris from Whirlin Disc Sound. I could rave about him for days. He had the dance floor packed the whole night. And I guess it helps that we had a bridal party and guest list made primarily of Rockettes, professional dancers, and musical theater performers… I have never had so much fun!!” – S

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Advice for future brides & grooms :
“Spend as much time together as you can! I know it isn’t right for everyone, but we LOVED having a first look. Getting to spend time together before the wedding was so special. We also had moments to ourselves right before and after the ceremony. We had a sweetheart table at the reception, and it was so lovely to eat dinner just the two of us and soak in all in.” -S

“The day flies by and there are so many people you want to connect with, and it’s important to make sure you get to enjoy time together and to soak in all of the amazing emotions you are experiencing.” – R

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Vendors Who Rocked This Wedding :
Second Photographer :
 Colin Gordon
Ceremony & Reception Site : The Pearl @ the Webb
Hair & Makeup : Groom Service – Kassie
Videographer : Daniel and Christopher Costanzo
Limo Buffalo Trolley
DJ Whirling Disc Sound – Chris
Florist William’s Florist 
Bakery Momofuku Milk Bar NYC
Place Cards & Table Numbers Rust Belt Love
Bride’s Jewelry : Wild Things Buffalo

S E A R C H
R E C E N T
I N S T A G R A M