2014 Family Vacation to Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, NY.

We almost didn't go this year. 

We had so many things "to do" and so many reasons not to go.  My daughter and I were on our first annual daddy/daughter camping trip in the Adirondacks when I made the mistake:

Leaving to head home I drove past Whiteface Lodge, the place we have been going on a family vacation for the past few years.  I secretly wanted to stop by and see it, I really did, but I wasn't going to.  But Ashley spoke ... "Dad, can we see Whiteface?"  It didn't take any convincing on her part really.  I had the car headed that way before she even finished her sentence.  I don't know what we were going for, I just knew I wanted - she wanted - to go.

When we pulled into the driveway, I missed it already.  Before I parked the car, I missed it.  When we walked up the little entranceway decked out in the stereotypical adirondack lodge feel, I missed it more.  When I opened the heavy door to let Ashley go inside, I missed it even more.  And before I even made it past the antler chandelier in the lobby I knew it wasn't going to end well.  I found myself at the front desk and asking if they had any availability - in 2 weeks - before Ashley even knew I wasn't following her anymore.  She had already made it up the small set of stairs to the sit on the couches.

We walked outside and walked to our car in the rain and I looked back and thought, see you in 2 weeks.  A quick phone call to my wife solidified that real fast.  It didn't take her any convincing.  We had a 2 week window in August where the family had nothing going on - a first in probably 6 months.  I took full advantage of it.

2 weeks later we were on the road on a beautiful Sunday morning to spend the next 5 days at one of the places I love the most on the east coast.  And to think, we almost didn't go this year.

Amelia + Heath. A Philadelphia Elopement.

On a Thursday in July I received a phone call from Amelia.  Her and Heath were planning to elope in Philadelphia.  "Awesome, when?," I asked.  "Next Thursday," she answered.

7 days away and I was available.  Score.

I love these weddings.  It'd be very hard to support my family only specializing in elopements however its wonderful to mix a few of these in during a wedding season to vary the type of wedding I photograph.  The variety of a weddings are astounding.  Sometimes one has 250 guests.  Other times its 0 and I'm the only witness.  I think about this often.  Its incredible that I get to witness one of the my exciting and happy days of a person's life.  Not many people can say that and it doesn't go unnoticed.  

Back to the wedding.  3hrs.  Just me and the couple.  Old City Philly.  The ceremony was over before you could walk a city block and it was amazing.  The location, weather, and vibe of the wedding was exactly what Amelia and Heath wanted.  When that happens, my job just got a little easier.

Emily + Matt. An Appleford Estate Wedding in Philadelphia.

The tropical storm made its way up the coast line hitting the Outer Banks on Thursday.  It grazed by the island chain and headed northeast - threatening the Philadelphia area.  The Friday, July 4th wedding Emily and Matt planned at Appleford Estate could have been a completely different situation had the storm tracked more north instead of east.  But it didn't.  It hit the Outer Banks and went straight out to sea - only hitting our region with a bit of wind and pockets of rain.  In the morning it was gloomy.  By the afternoon the sun fought to be seen.  By ceremony time late afternoon the sun was shining and everything went according to plan.  Sometimes, in life, a storm will threaten your path or plan but in most instances, the storm won't make as much of an impact as you think it would.  It will simply pass you by.  Just like it did for Emily and Matt's wedding.

Gina + Mike. Engaged.

A couple years ago Gina contacted me out of the blue on Facebook and we started chatting pretty much right away.  Both of us are in the wedding industry, her passion being hair and make-up so we had many things to chat about.  Eventually we met up at a Starbucks and just talked about whatever came to mind - sitting there for a couple hours.  It wasn't long before we were setting up model sessions and referring each other for weddings.  Each of us respected the other person's work and we also got along great as friends.  So when she got engaged to Mike and they asked me to photograph their wedding, I was completely honored.  As a photographer, you must be doing something right when a colleague asks you to photograph them.  I trust Gina and she trusts me. She knows what I like to photograph and she understands my style.  So when we pulled up to the location for their session I already knew - before taking one picture - it would be incredible.  Everything lined up - the light, the location, and the couple.  If this is what their engagement session looked like, I can't even imagine what their wedding will be like.