weddings

Behind the Scenes with Lena: 2018

 
 

2018 WAS AN EPIC YEAR…

There was laughing, happy tears, hilarious speeches, rainy days, hot days, CAKE, boutonnieres pinned, trains bustled, dancing floor grinding, sore feet, Dunkin Donuts fueled road trips, early mornings, late nights, and HUNDREDS of sneak peeks.

I took 78,338 photographs and edited + delivered over 31,000.


Thirty. One. Thousand.

I worked my buns off, so you better believe it was a kickass year. Got my own health insurance. Took a bajillion selfies. Made pasta in Italy. Shot 22 weddings both big and small. Got published in 11 different magazines and blogs. Traveled to 18 cities. Drank over 300 bubble teas.

Ok but where is Lena pulling these random numbers from?

SURPRISE, I have been keeping track ALL FREAKIN YEAR for the sole purpose of blogging about it.

B R B pouring myself a drink....

HIGHLIGHT REEL:

  • Nicole & Mike's nightclub-worthy dance floor (and the hot mulled cider)

  • First trip to Long Island for Bevin & Steve! And seeing past LM brides there too

  • Loving on so many LM brides in one room at Haleigh & Adam’s wedding

  • Bringing tupperware to bring home goodies from Juliet & Evan’s epic dessert table

  • Jess & Ilhan’s wildly talented belly dancer

  • The unforgettable food at Hillary & Phil’s backyard wedding

  • Jackie screaming “If I die, just know that I love you!” to Reuven during the horah dance

  • Shooting in a downpour / thunder and lightning storm at a tiny backyard wedding

  • Having all access to a night at the museum (the ICA!) with Erin & Jack

  • Dancing to Pitbull with glow sticks with Cass & Chris

  • Shooting at the unforgettably luxurious Castle Hill Inn with Amanda & Vinny

  • Having TWO back to back wedding days with Eliza & John

  • Kristen’s father of the bride speech that had everyone in stitches

  • Brooke & Darren’s married singing duet

  • Spending an entire holiday weekend on Martha’s Vineyard with Ana & Adam’s… plus the Backdoor Donuts apple fritters

  • Adorable toddler Fionn in a suit at Carol Ann & Greg’s elopement

  • Shooting at a CASTLE with Justin & Victoria in New York

  • Eating cake that my talented bride Jacki made herself


SEE FOR YOURSELF!


RAISING A GLASS TO MY INCREDIBLE SECOND SHOOTERS THIS YEAR!!!

Julianne - Anthony - Mei Lin - Emily

THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO! AND ALL THE PITBULL YOU PUT UP WITH IN THE CAR!!!

And the beloved

SELFIE GALLERY

I’m one lucky lady.

Thanks for an incredible year, darlings… here’s to 2019.

 
 

The Pros and Cons of a First Look

 
 

If you’re thinking about doing a first look, you’re not alone!

Let’s go through the pros and cons of having a first look.

If you’re wondering...

A first look is a private reveal between the couple before the ceremony. One person will stand and wait with their back turned and the other will walk up to them and when they turn around, bam! Happy tears and lots of hugs.

PROS:

It allows more time for couple portraits

If these are top priority for you, having a first look will not only give you more photos, but they’re be so intimate and filled with emotion.

It’s private

Instead of having a big reveal in front of your 120 guests, you can have some rare one-on-one time with your spouse-to-be. Often it will calm your nerves and get you so excited for what’s to come. And don’t worry - you will still cry walking down the aisle afterwards.

You can attend cocktail hour

You can plan for a full hour first look, and also complete bridal party and family portraits during that time so that you can greet all your guests during cocktail hour.

It makes the day less stressful

Couple portraits are the last activity of the portrait hour, and so often we only have 10-15 minutes before the reception starts to complete them. With a first look, you know you won’t be rushed and can be stress-free for the rest of the day knowing you got amazing portraits earlier in the day.

 
 

CONS:

You MISS cocktail hour

Although this is traditional, it’s important to some couples to socialize with their guests at cocktail hour instead of during dinner.

Later portraits = better light

Portraits earlier in the day will always be beautiful, but the closer they take place to golden hour, the better. Even if you have a first look, I may pull you for 15 minutes during golden hour for some romantic evening portraits!

It may require more coverage time

If you have a tight timeline, ex different getting ready, ceremony, and reception locations to travel between, adding more time for a first look may cause you to run a little over budget. If a couple doing a 20 minute first look by themselves, this usually isn’t an issue, but if they’re adding an extra hour of portraits, coverage may need to be extended.

There are pros and cons to every decision on your wedding day, but even a 20 minute first look can add SO many more beautiful photos to your album and relieve a lot of stress from the day. Still unsure? Let’s talk about what’s right for you!

XOXO, Lena

Need help wedding planning?

Check out the BRAND NEW wedding planning series

on the blog here!

The Best $11 You'll Spend This Year

 
 

Today I wanted to share how I get dreamy macro ring shots… WITHOUT a macro lens.

In 2010, I learned a very valuable lesson.

I purchased a 50mm and 85mm on the same day.
MISTAKE.

I clung to the 50mm, and used the 85mm maybe twice before selling it off six months later.

When you're a wedding photographer, you NEED to be able to photograph the sparkly rings and all the gorgeous details. But, most lenses have a minimum focusing distance of ~2-3 feet.

The Canon 100mm macro is a gorgeous lens - with an $899 price tag.

I knew the lens would just collect dust, so paying $900 to use for 5 minutes at each wedding didn’t seem like a smart investment.

But of course, I needed SOMETHING to capture my clients’ beautiful rings, earrings, and details. The solution? AMAZON (aka the solution to EVERYTHING)

 
Bostonian_Hotel_Wedding_Photographer-5.jpg
 

For $11, you get four filters - +1, +2, +4, and +10. You can choose your filter size for any lens (I use on my 50mm) and even stack them. Crank the f stop to 4.0-8.0 - the background will still be creamy, but the diamond will be sharp as a tack. I love these! So if you’re in a pickle and need to get closer… $11 could save your life <3

If you don't know what size filter to get, Google your lens and add "thread size" - ex. Canon 50mm 1.4 thread size and it should pop right up! Then you can purchase the right size.

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Junebug Weddings Instagrammers to Follow

I am so thrilled to be mentioned beside Ben Sasso, Wild Souls Studio, Shannon Lee Miller, and more on April's Instagrammers to Follow on Junebug Weddings. If you aren't familiar with Junebug, they are the most highly curated wedding blog and magazine in the industry! The articles and photography are so amazing. They only recommend 10 vendors in each region, so you know you're getting experts in the field. Thank you SO MUCH to Carrie from Junebug for recommending me! Take their advice and go follow me on Insta for behind the scenes, exclusive sneak peeks, articles, and more!