"When I look at you, I can feel it. I look at you and I am home. "
Gianna and Ryan...Engaged!!
I enjoyed doing this engagement session with Gianna and Ryan. I couldn't wait to get to know them better and I love showing couples one of my favorite places, the Historic Batsto village. The village is located outside of Hammonton, NJ. It has so many great spots for photos, including my favorite blue door!
Gianna and Ryan met each other thanks to Ryan's cousin. They met in high school and were friends for nearly three years before they began dating. Ryan's favorite thing about Gianna is her compassion about life. And...he loves the way she looks at him! Gianna loves that Ryan supports her and is always pushing her to be the best version of herself. You can see their love for each other in the way they smile at each other.
These two love to go out to eat and do a little shopping. They also think it is kinda cool that their families have known each other for over 40 years. Their grandfathers knew each other through Ryan's father, who remolded Gianna's kitchen.
When Ryan wanted to propose to Gianna he made sure her family could be there to take part in the proposal. This past Easter at a family gathering Ryan put the ring inside a plastic egg and hid it as part of the Easter egg hunt they were having. When Gianna found the egg and opened it Ryan proposed! Gianna loves her family and Ryan wouldn't have asked her to marry him without them being there, especially Gianna's grandfather.
These two are getting married next March and are hoping for a beautiful spring day. They are getting married at Lucien's Manor in Berlin, NJ. This venue looks gorgeous and I have heard so many good things about the beautiful gardens!
We had a gorgeous evening for their session. It was a little muggy but I love summer so I will never complain about the heat and humidity. We started out on one of the paths that goes around the village. The sun was setting and shining through the trees. It was beautiful light. We practiced some of the 4 core poses, which they had no trouble doing!
One of my favorite spots in the village is the old store that has a blue door. I love taking photos here. There are so many great places around the general store that kept us there for a while. I then took them over by the barn where there is a cobblestone wall, which I love. The last time I was there it was overran by huge bees so we weren't able to use it. For those that know me, know that I dislike bugs especially ones that fly, buzz and sting you. I was happy that the bees were gone!
We ended the session by the paper mill and then took few more photos by the old fence which is on the path leading out of the village. The sunlight was perfectly filtering through the trees. I had to stop and take a few more photos!
We had a fun time! I love engagement sessions. It is such an exciting time in the couples life. There is so much love and anticipation that these sessions are often magical with the poses and expressions that I capture.
Thank you Gianna and Ryan for dealing with the heat! I am looking forward to your wedding next March!
"Never give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about."
Christopher and Brittany
This was a special engagement session for me. I have known Christopher since he was a little baby. He is my nephew. He spent a lot of time with his uncle and I when he was a little boy. We loved spending time and doing fun things with him and his older brother.
When Christopher's fiance, Brittany, asked me if I would like to photograph an engagement session for them I was so excited and said: " I would love too!"
It took us a while to work out the time and place since he lives in New York, close to where I used to live and I am now in New Jersey. It finally came together when I was going to travel to Rochester, NY for my other nephew's graduation. They had the time off and we were able to get a session scheduled. Yay!!
Brittany wanted to use Christopher's classic truck in the photos and they had looked for a country setting. Christopher had asked his neighbor if we could use their farm as our backdrop and they said yes! The neighbor shared with them the story about the farm which was that many years ago she and her husband drove by the farm. She had told her husband that if she ever was going to live on a farm that would be the one. To her surprise after she said that, her husband handed her the keys to the farm and said 'It's yours!" That is so romantic and you could feel the love while we were there! The classic truck which was a surprise for Christopher from Brittany for his first father's day looked right at home in front of the old barn.
These two met, fell in love and had a beautiful baby girl that looks just like her daddy. Brittany is a beautiful lady, a generous soul, and a good mommy. I loved getting to know her better during our session. They are a cute family of 4. We also did some family photos of the 4 of them since they had never had any professional photos taken.
These two have such great chemistry together. You could see their love when they snuggled up perfectly! We did some with their truck, including a ring shot on the dash, then walked around the farm. I loved the tall grassy field behind the farm and ended the session with some photos of them in the tall grass. Those are some of my favorites!
When I asked Brittany where she got her dress so I could put that information in her blog she said she couldn't remember. She had told Christopher she wanted to get a dress for the session and he told her she would look great in the one she has worn before. He loved her in it that dress. Well, they went shopping and guess what,...the best dress for the session ended up being the one that Christopher loved her in.
I loved this session! Special people, a special location, and a special truck all together equals a gorgeous photo session!
Thank you for letting your Aunt capture these memories for you.
Nichole and Dino | North Wild wood Engagement Session | South New Jersey Wedding Photographer | Wild Wood, NJ
“They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.”
- F. Scott Fitzgearld
Nichole and Dino Engaged!!
I have known Nichole for many years. She is a friend of a friend and is one of the sweetest people I know. I worked with her and her committee at St Jude's Catholic School for a couple of years photographing for the school fund raisers. I have taken her family photos, her daughter's first communion photos, and her daughter's high school senior portraits. I always enjoy seeing her and her family!
A few years ago she had a door close in her life and a beautiful new door open. Nichole had asked me to photograph her and her love, Dino, They were just announcing this love story and I was delighted to capture this moment for them!
At the time I took their photos I told them to keep me in mind if you ever need a photographer in the future!! Well, last year Nichole texted me a photo of a beautiful ring and asked if I would be available to photograph their wedding. I said, "of course I would love to photograph this chapter in your life!"
We decided that Wild wood, NJ would be a perfect spot for their engagement session. They love spending time at the Jersey shore and I couldn't wait to show them the Hereford lighthouse. They loved the idea and were excited to do their session.
These two are so in love. The quote at the top of this blog is "their quote". I asked them to tell me about their love story and they said that quote embodies everything about their story. He is her sailor and she is his mermaid.
We started in the lighthouse gardens. The Hereford Lighthouse in Wild wood, NJ has a beautiful garden area. The light was just beautiful that evening!
It is a short walk down the seawall to the beach from the lighthouse. We headed down to the beach to capture some photos in the sand and water. We timed it perfectly as the sun was setting and that gave us gorgeous light. I love the colors they chose to wear. The pinks looked great with the sand, dunes and the ocean.
These two walked the beach and danced in the sand!
Nichole and Dino are tying the knot in a couple weeks, They have planned so many details to make their day extra special. I asked them to tell me about their wedding plans and I am so excited to capture this day for them. They are planning a speakeasy soriee! Their venue is at the Stegmaier Mansion in Wilkes Barre, Pa. I have photographed many weddings there and just love it. The venue is perfect for their theme! The night will consist of a lavish dinner, cocktails, bourbon tasting & dancing drenched in live jazz.
And of course, lots of love!
I am looking forward to capturing their wedding day memories!!
Preparing for your Family Session | South New Jersey Family Photographer | Most asked Questions and Tips
' What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that's gone forever, impossible to reproduce."
Preparing for your Family Session
So, you are excited that you finally booked a family session. Your kids have changed so much and you haven't had a family photo taken in years. Your family is having a reunion and everyone is going to be together. Your family is expanding with the birth of a new baby. You soon will have an empty nest and want to capture the kids before they leave. So many reasons to call your photographer to schedule a family session. For some, this doesn't happen that often and most aren't quite sure what they should do, or wear. Reading these tips about preparing for a family session can help you get everything together to ensure that you have a great time.
Number one question is....
"What should we wear?"
When planning your photo session clothing choices can make a big impact on the way the final photos turn out. My advice is to coordinate but not match!!
Pick a color scheme. For example blue and white. Have everyone in those two colors but some wear blue pants and white tops and some in white pants and blue tops, Don't be afraid to mix some patterns with the colors into the mix. Then have a pop of color. For example, teal, red, yellow, pink or coral. You can do that with accessories or have little ones wear the pop of color.
In the above photo, everyone chose a color that was in Grandma's dress and they then wore either jeans or khaki's for the bottoms. It also depends on where your session is going to take place. If you are at the shore, bold, bright colors look nice against the sand. Most patterns are OK however, graphics are not favorable for portraits. If you do decide on a pattern make sure it isn't overwhelming and distracting.
You can always send me a picture or two of your outfits and I can let you know what I think. Pinterest is also a great reference for ideas.
Some other tips:
Empty your pockets! Your keys and cellphones more often than not can be seen in your pockets. For the ladies, make sure you bring a hair tie for long hair but don't keep it on your wrist. They are easy to forget and in the moment of trying to take the photo, I may not notice the hair tie but I will see it when I am editing. Put it in a pocket or bag, Don't keep it on your wrist for the photo session.
Guys, if you wear socks make sure they match your pants or will look OK if you sit and your pants leg goes up.
Make sure whatever clothing choice you make it is one that you are comfortable in. A dress that is too tight, a shirt that has popping buttons or a top that is too low cut will all be noticeable in the photos. AND, try to make sure that they are wrinkle free as possible.
Sometimes it is windy, especially at the shore. If you have long hair or a hairstyle that looks windblown plan on a different hairstyle. Try a ponytail, wear braids, a messy bun or a pretty hat. If you plan ahead it will be less disappointing that your hair isn't cooperating.
If you have young children or babies bring with you something that we can use to capture little kids attention. A favorite toy, cookie, candy or noise maker will usually work. If it is possible try to have a friend or family member that will not be in the photos come along. They can help by standing behind me and trying to get everyone looking towards me and smiling. I do my best to act crazy but it is easier if someone else can play peek a boo.
Take this time to pamper yourself. When you feel good, you look good and you then will look confident in your photos. Go and get your nails done. Schedule a hair and makeup session. Make sure the guys have a fresh shave and trimmed eyebrows. Feeling relaxed and looking your best will make you feel more comfortable during your session.
Make sure you arrive on time. Sometimes you are scheduled for a certain time to catch the best light. There are other times that I am doing two or three sessions back to back so if you are late it will be less time for us to get all the photos because we won't be able to add time onto the end of your session.
And most of all RELAX and have FUN!! You don't have to be a pro at this! I will guide you along the way and it is going to be a blast. Enjoy this time together and maybe make a family date night out of it. Plan to go to dinner afterwards and celebrate.
Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions and ideas. I love to incorporate ideas that mean something to the family. I also love 4 legged family members and if allowed at our location they are welcome to come along for a photo or two.
Thank you for booking your family session with Memories by Maria Photography. I look forward to capturing these memories for you.
The Massaro Family
Memories by Maria
Every photo has a story and every story will have many photos.