Month: November 2009

don + joelene + morgan + caleb

Filed in portraits shot by on at

When Ben and I first met, he used to talk about this “wonder-food” called a chicken finger taco, and how it was, literally, the best thing on the planet. I couldn’t make sense of what was so special about it until he finally brought me there, and I got to try one. It was love at first bite…I had died and gone to fattening-food heaven; and, from that day on, I couldn’t get enough of The Now Pizzeria.

Now, I am largely of Italian descent, which in my opinion, gives me some kind of imaginary license to judge other people’s red sauce, and well, food in general. If you were to ask Ben what my favorite food is, he would say “pizza” without even batting an eye. “Favorite food” doesn’t quite cover it, however; it’s more of a mild obsession.

I have lived in many different places, and have sampled the pizza from a countless number of restaurants during my lifetime. I can eat a slice of pizza and comment on everything from the taste of the sauce, to the texture and taste of the crust, to the amount of time it was in the oven; and, invariably, I can find something to criticize…invariably, that is, until we moved to Hamburg and I tried the pizza from The Now. Never, have I come across a pizza crust that is so consistently a perfect blend of chewy, crispy, sweet, and salty. I swear they sprinkle it with fairy dust or something similarly magical. We will be loyal customers for life. I’m sure by now you must be asking yourself what in the blazes all of this pizza babble has to do with photography. Well, I assure you, it has everything to do with it.

Joelene’s family owns The Now Pizzeria, and she and Don both work there, so we see them with some regularity. We told them what we did for a living, they checked out our work, booked a family session with us, and the rest is history! We met up with Don, Joelene, and their adorable little family at Chestnut Ridge Park on a gorgeous, sunny Fall day.

We started with some family shots on the playground.

playground photo

Then, we headed over to this “perfect for family portraits” tree.
perfect for family portraits tree

On the day that we were there, they had already started tearing down the toboggan runs. I don’t know what they’re thinking, but hopefully, they are only repairing them or something. They are way too cool to be gone for good.
toboggan runs

toboggan shot

photo of children

I ? this one…
the family

father and son photo

mother and daughter photo

Stunning shot of Caleb…

After a while, we left the toboggan runs and hopped in our cars to go search for the perfect stone structure. But, instead, we found…
on the move

…the perfect slide!
kids photo

Just another reason to love Chestnut Ridge…there are little “mini playgrounds” every 50 feet or so, and they’re all different. We hung out at this one for a while, and captured some fantastic images of Morgan and Caleb.


Caleb's hand

Morgan and umbrella

Morgan profile

Morgan close up

Probably my favorite shot of Ben’s from the entire session…adorable!
sureal photography

Love this one, too!
kid in fish eye

I took these shots of Morgan and Joelene on the swings, and I am OBSESSED with them.
painting like photo: on the swings

b&w: on the swings

While I was busy entertaining the children on the slide, Ben took these amazing shots of Don and Joelene without me even knowing…sneaky.

parents b&w

Don and Joelene, thanks so much for hanging out with us at the park; we had a blast! Keep cranking out those amazing pizzas!

kristan + dan

Filed in engagements shot by on at

One of the best parts of this job is getting to continually discover new places around Buffalo that we never even knew existed. Kristan and Dan put a lot of thought into choosing a location for their engagement session; they knew they wanted a cool backdrop for the photos, and they definitely wanted to include their adorable dog. About two weeks before their scheduled photo session, Kristan sent us an email to let us know that they had found the perfect location – a sweet “island-park” in Tonawanda that would be an awesome backdrop for photos, and was completely dog friendly! We had never heard of the place, so we were pretty excited to see it. As soon as we got out of our car and walked over to the “island” bridge, we were like, “Uh…yes. This will definitely do.” It is an absolutely gorgeous place.

The first place we sat them down was under this beautiful tree in front of the creek, and we got some fantastic shots there.

Jenn’s version…

island-park in Tonawanda engagement

and Ben’s version.
black and white photography

As soon as we saw this swing, we were all about using it.
shot of the swing

and in full color

This park had the most unique stone pavilions and random stonework – even more unique than Chestnut Ridge (and I am obsessed with Chestnut Ridge). Needless to say, we couldn’t resist popping Kristan and Dan into a few of these spots…well, maybe more than a few. Ok, ok…we may have had them moving from one super-cool spot to the next like they were hot potatoes; but, they were totally laid back about it, which was awesome.

Chestnut Ridge photo

engagement couple

romantic hideout

autumn shot

So there we were, strolling around the park, when we happened upon what is only the MOST PERFECT ABANDONED, BROKEN-DOWN CASTLE-LIKE FORTRESS in the whole entire UNIVERSE!!!!

FORTRESS b&w version

shot from another perspective

couple's detail

a kiss

more kisses

Seriously, amazing…
amazing photo

more amazing photos

not done with amazing :)

And just when we thought things couldn’t possibly be more perfect, we headed over to UB North for the second part of the shoot. Kristan and Dan both went to UB, and originally wanted to do part of their session at UB South, but we kinda tried to convince them that North Campus would be better for photos. We’re pretty happy with the results. Here are some of our favorites that “made the cut” for blog display:
North Campus

North Campus - colorless

North Campus - colorfull

jumping joy

professional photography

engagement photography

We had quite a disagreement about this next one. I didn’t think it should make the “cut,” but Ben was insistent that it be posted; so, I gave in. I guess we’ll have to rely on public opinion to settle the dispute – feel free to comment…
amazing colors

We’ll end with what was probably my favorite shot of the day. Yes, we really did haul all of our camera gear into the UB Law Library as if nothing unusual were occurring, but I am so in love with this shot of Ben’s… ?
fish eye kiss

Kristan and Dan, thank-you so much for being so easy to work with! You guys are awesome, and we can’t wait until your wedding!