This blog follows a bit of our personal and professional life, and features images from weddings and portrait sessions we've done, the places we traveled, and the adventures of our combined family-life. It's basically an ever-changing photo album combined with an information source for current and potential clients. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Engagement Session Inspiration -- So Many Reasons Why

Spring is here and anyone who was engaged over the loooong winter months must be chomping at the bit for those budding trees and sprouting flowers to make their appearance -- we're ready and anxious too to make those great engagement shots happen.

Loving the feel of cool, green grass!
If you're not really certain of where or what you'd like to do, here are some great ideas, and some pointers on what to wear, what to bring, and what to expect. First off, please note that just about ANYWHERE you go there are always great free backdrops available thanks to good ol' 'Mother Nature.' The focus of these shots is YOU anyway - the key is to decide on a setting where you're comfortable and which reflects your unique personalities and interests.

At the Old Stone Church, W. Boylston, MA
You may wish to consider a location where you're shared happy moments together. An outdoor café works well. A park where you've enjoyed nature walks together. Or perhaps you like a more urban look -- brick buildings make for beautiful backdrops, and those can be found nearly everywhere here in New England. If it's a 'less-than-perfect' weather day, no problem! Using an umbrella as a prop makes for interesting photography, reminiscent of Hollywood's greatest musical, "Singing in the Rain."

Speaking of Hollywood, perhaps you'd like to dress up in glamor clothing and create a black-and-white Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers look? Recently we posted a link on our Facebook page about an engagement shoot inside an antique shop since that was an interest the couple shared.

Love your pooch? How about including him/her in your session? It could be at a beach, or the park, or a walk through downtown. How about creating a picnic session with a cozy blanket, your favorite foods, some books ... and don't forget the champagne! If you're the creative type, you may opt to bring some hand-crafted items speaking of love.

Another very popular idea is a hang-out at a seldom-used railroad track. The angle of the track receding into the background provides great visual interest.

OK, so we leave the rest of the ideas to you ... but do give it some thought.


Now we want to emphasize what to wear and/or bring to this (typically) 2-hour session. Most couples (especially the bride) opt to bring an outfit change in addition to the one they are wearing. Be aware that complimentary colors on the bride and groom work best -- not the same colors, but complimenting colors. Avoid too many patterns, or one person wearing stripes, the other wearing polka dots, etc. Wear a color that you've often been told you look great in. For the men, you may wish to bring a sport jacket and/or an extra shirt, one casual, one more dressy. Be yourself tho -- if you're strictly a jeans and sweatshirt person, changing your look entirely will not produce results that you'll ultimately be happy with.

That's it for today.  If you're looking for more pointers, do give us a call, shoot us an email, or post a comment here.  We'd love to help and to know your thoughts!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Central MA Wedding Locales-- Part II

Happy Daylight Savings Time! This means that wedding season here in New England cannot be far behind! For those of you who haven't been immersed in the wedding industry the way Wakeen Photography is, we thought we'd continue with Part 2 of our pictoral review of much-loved reception sites in our area.

There are way too many to mention (it would have been interesting if Chris had kept a count all these years of how many places he's shot weddings), but here are a few that we frequent most often ... it's going to be great getting back to these places after a cold, snowy winter!

Pictured above is a beautiful table setting at White Cliffs in Northborough; the "sweetheart" table is seen in the background. They do a wonderful, high-class presentation. Ann Marie, you're the best!

In the bridal suite at the Beechwood Hotel in Worcester, Chris grabs an impromptu shot of this beautiful bride primping before meeting her groom. The Beechwood recently received a Four-Diamond rating in the hotel industry. Congratulations!

This mirrored shot is actually the headboard behind the bed. Mirrors make great photographic props. This shot (below) is one of Chris' favorites.

When searching for a unique venue for your wedding reception, don't overlook places you may not have initially considered. The Worcester Art Museum offers truly exquisite surroundings with an artistic flair ... your guests may appreciate the opportunity to do something in addition to the expected dining and dancing -- a docent-led tour of selected galleries. We just love this photo (below) of the Renaissance Court with its incredible mosaic flooring, its impressive columns and its golden light.

For all you Red Sox fans out there, why not consider having your wedding photos taken at Fenway Park! If your ceremony is in Boston, there's no reason not to look into this option if the bride and groom share a passion for our Sox!

And if you're really not into the urban setting, why not consider a country or pastoral atmosphere? Zukas Hilltop Barn in Spencer, MA (below) offers a gorgeous setting for outdoor tent weddings (offered May thru October) and is a personal favorite of Vic's (considering Spencer her ol' hometown where her daughter was born). They also offer a beautiful indoor reception November thru April, accommodating up to 150 people.

For 2011 you'll find us in Sterling at the Chocksett Inn, in Boylston at Cyprian Keyes, in Spencer at the Spencer Country Inn, and in Sturbridge at the Publick House, among other places.

Well, this concludes our review of some of the gorgeous venues we are blessed to frequent as wedding photographers!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Central MA Wedding Locales-- Part I

There are so many wonderful locales in the central Massachusetts region for a wedding ceremony and/or reception. Chris has creatively recorded all of it in photo form as a full-time professional wedding shooter, long before I (Vic) came along ... and a few since I joined him as partner.

Spring is in the air - can you feel it?! We're so excited for the 2011 wedding season to ramp up! Here are some examples of the great places where wonderful photography happens. It's a joy to work with the management of these venues, and we look forward to many more years to come!

The Old Stone Church in West Boylston, MA (and the adjacent reservoir) is a favorite locale, particularly in the fall ... it's definitely worth a stop after the ceremony for those traditional poses that are part of most wedding albums.

To the right is the outdoor ceremony site at the Harding Allen Estate in Barre, MA ... whether spring, summer or fall, this locale has SUCH beautiful gardens and architectural elements, not to mention the gorgeous interior of the mansion itself ... it's pure joy to shoot a wedding here!

Here in the bridal room at the Harding-Allen, Sarah prepares to meet her groom downstairs ... it's a great spot for the bride and her bridesmaids to change into their dresses, gather up their bouquets, sip some champagne ... and for us to fire off a few shots!

NOT to be overlooked is the beautiful site of Harrington Farm in Princeton, MA, renowned for its unforgettable elegance and country charm. Amid the warm, golden post-and-beam construction is plenty of room for dining and dancing, as this fun wedding party can attest to.

The Manor in West Boylston is also a great venue for outdoor photography, with its new gazebo and manicured grounds.

Of course this is just a very small sampling of what's available in central Massachusetts for wedding and reception venues. Stay tuned for next week's blog for more.