julie + mike

Filed in engagements shot by on at

We met up with Julie and Mike on a gorgeous October day, at a somewhat unlikely place. :)

Not too many folks would choose Forest Lawn as their engagement shoot location; so, even though we absolutely admire its exquisite beauty, we rarely suggest it to our couples as an option.  We used to, but people would look at us funny, sooooooo…we stopped.  Now, we just wait for amazing people like Julie and Mike to come along and suggest it themselves.  I guess there are probably some cemeteries out there that you could categorize as “morbid,” or “scary,” or whatever, but Forest Lawn is the complete opposite of either of those two adjectives.  It’s incredibly peaceful, rich with history, beautifully landscaped (with some very old trees, well, old for Buffalo), and it’s always, sort of, magical-feeling.  It’s not exactly a park, but it’s a very lovely place to take a stroll and commune with nature.

I have no idea if anyone actually reads what I write here, but just in case you are one of those few people who do…I have decided to include “FACTS” in tonight’s blog post for three reasons:  1.  for my own entertainment, 2.  to provide information about the amazing Forest Lawn Cemetery for anyone who might actually be reading this, and 3. to (hopefully) make Julie and Mike smile.  ;)

FUN FACT #1:  Julie and Mike would take regular walks through Forest Lawn when they lived in the city.

(FOREST LAWN FACT #1:  The first burial to be made at Forest Lawn Cemetery was in 1850.)

engagement photo session at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo NY
These trees are super-old and majestic – I love them!  Oh, and this couple is pretty adorable, too.  ;)

engagement photo taken at Forest Lawn Cemetery by Ayres Photography
There’s the coolest little chapel in the middle of the cemetery, and it’s unlocked during the day, so you can go in and check it out…we shot these next two inside the chapel, and I LOVE them.

(FOREST LAWN FACT #2:  The Gothic Revival chapel was built in 1882.  In addition to funeral services, it can also be (and frequently is) rented out for weddings.)


the Chapel at Forest Lawn Cemetery is a beautiful and peaceful spot

(FOREST LAWN FACT #3:  Events, concerts, and lectures take place in the chapel year-round.)
Forest Lawn Cemetery engagement photos
Right next to the chapel is this very cool globe-ish monument-thing that we had a little fun with.
Julie and Mike put Buffalo on the map.  ;)
globe statue monument at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo NY

FUN FACT #2:  I crawled inside of a bush to get this shot.  :)

Aren’t they just such a GORGEOUS couple?  I love this one…

This shot by Ben is STUNNING…it was gorgeous in color, too…I had a tough time deciding which one to post.
(FOREST LAWN FACT #4:  There are more than 10,000 trees in Forest Lawn, representing over 200 species and varieties.)

P.S. – Isn’t this a beautiful shot?  ;)


wishing well statue monument at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo NY
I can’t remember now who really wanted the “couch” shot, but man was this a tough one to get right!  I tried a few, then Ben tried a few, until we got the exact frame that we wanted, and this is IT.

(FOREST LAWN FACT #5:  The private mausoleum of Chester and Gloria Stachura was built in 1988 of white granite with heavy bronze doors. Passersby can rest on a polished black granite sofa or an S-shaped tête-à-tête sofa that are situated in front of the mausoleum entrance.)


FUN FACT #3:  Mike really wanted his picture taken with these cool (and very old) lion heads!
black and white engagement photography by Jenn and Ben Ayres Buffalo NY
FUN FACT #4:  Julie and Mike share a love of all things Frank Lloyd Wright.


(FOREST LAWN FACT #6: These gorgeous “steps” are the Blue Sky Mausoleum, commissioned by Darwin D. Martin, and designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1928.  It was not built until 2004.)
FUN FACT #5:  Back when they were city-dwellers, Julie and Mike lived here.  :)
We stopped at another of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpieces to grab a few shots…

FUN FACT #6:  Mike really digs the giant planters here.

engagement photo session at Darwin Martin House by Frank Lloyd Wright in Buffalo NY
Our last stop was this Griffis sculpture entitled, “Birds Excited into Flight.”  We used some creative lighting with gels to highlight the sculpture in this shot…I love the way these turned out!!

Engagement photography Birds Excited into Flight sculpture Buffalo NY


Julie and Mike – Thanks so much for choosing such an awesome location! You guys ROCK!! We had a blast hanging out with you. :)

Wedding photos coming soon…can’t wait to post them!! (P.S. – Hope you enjoyed the FACTS!)

  • Ayres Photography SAYS...

    Thanks so much, Meghan!! ;)

  • Meghan Connors SAYS...

    Beautiful location & beautiful shots! Great job Jenn & Ben!

  • Ayres Photography SAYS...

    Thanks, Katie!! I loved the lion head, too…very classic. :)

  • Katie SAYS...

    Ok…so this engagement shoot is AWESOME! Has to be one of my favorites from you guys…love the location! And that lion head shot totally looks it could be from a 1940’s film. :-) Way to knock.it.out!

  • Ayres Photography SAYS...

    YESSSSSS!!! So glad you read my facts…LOL!! We’re so happy to hear that you guys love your images – that’s awesome. I knew Mike would love that lion shot! ;)

  • Julie SAYS...

    So I have been blog-stalking you guys since you put up the “coming soon” on facebook… we LOVE the shots and the facts! Thank you for such a great experience and for being so easy to work with!! Mike is already talking about framing the “lion” shot :) We can’t wait to see the wedding pics!