Tara & Naren's Summer South Asian Western Fusion Wedding

We love shooting weddings, but we have to admit throwing in a wedding that is different of unique to spice things up is always fun for us to shoot!  Melding two cultures and ceremonies will definitely achieve just that!  Tara and Naren chose the Tirrell Room to celebrate their love, starting off with Naren on a white horse for his baarat, and then going into a traditional Hindu ceremony.  Tara changed it up though, bringing her influence with the traditional white dress mixed with jewelry from India.  She looked flawless!!!  The followed up the first ceremony with Tara's brother doing traditional Western vows and the kiss to seal the deal!

Let's start from the beginning of this love story though...

"We first met just after Naren moved back to Tucson to start residency. We met during his rotation at the hospital I worked at.

We got engaged in Tucson the day after Christmas. We had gone to the same neighborhood Christmas light display together every year since we met and he proposed while my family was in town for Christmas with us. Unbeknownst to me, he arranged for his local family and friends to be there and celebrate with us too. .

Since then we have moved cross country to Ohio, planned the wedding in Massachusetts, started new jobs, and are most looking forward to traveling and continuing life together."

We normally get to meet our couples on several occasions before the big day, between engagement sessions, timeline meetings and going through planning details, but with Tara and Naren living cross country we only were able to communicate through email, phone and one squeezed in meeting with Tara while she was in town.  We have to admit it is always a little nerve-wracking sharing such an intimate day when you haven't had that time to build a relationship, but this was definitely not the case with Tara and Naren.  Somehow we felt as if we had known them forever!  They are the sweetest couple!  And after meeting their friends and family we understand how they became that way, they were all so amazing!

With the help of the incredible staff at the Tirrell Room, we were able to show the above slideshow during dinner on their wedding day!  We hope you enjoy, make sure to check out their full list of vendors below!

Photography- Christian Pleva Images
Florist- Bride's sister in law's mother Kathy Jacobs
Wedding Location- The Tirrell Room

Mandap- Prasang Decororators
DJ- Sakshi with Silk Events
Dress Salon- Alfred Angelo dress bought at and altered by Michael's of Boston in Pembroke
Cake- Bride's sister in law Emily Reilly

Hair and make-up- Solangh with Charlotte Phinney Group

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Rachel and Dario's Elegant Willowdale Wedding

This wedding was definitely one we needed to blog!!!  They thought of everything! The amount of handmade details that the couple incorporated required some additional credit and applause!!!  We just couldn't let all of that hard work go unnoticed after just the day of!!!


Rachel and Dario don't live in Boston now, but they are both from the area originally, finally meeting at Harvard while attending there.  I don't think I can give the story justice retelling it, especially after hearing it during their ceremony.  This couple was truly meant to be.  The attention they give each other, knowing the other so well and anticipating their next move throughout the day was an incredible thing to witness.  We are including a sneak peek below so you can witness the magic yourself!  Make sure you scroll down to see the incredible list of vendors that helped the couple and their families truly make a fairytale wedding!


Salon: The Makeup Artists, Wakefield, MA,
https://www.facebook.com/The-Makeup- Artists-111441773398/

Dress: Dress by Robert Bullock, https://www.facebook.com/Robert- Bullock-Bride- 584274081683429/, Designer Loft in New York, New York, https://www.facebook.com/designerloft/


Bridesmaid Dresses: Dress by Bari Jay, https://www.facebook.com/BariJayFashions/ The Ultimate, Peabody, MA, https://www.facebook.com/TheUltimateProm/


Tuxes/Suits: bought at Brooks Brothers, Somerville, MA


Shoes: Shoe’s by Badgley Mischka,  https://www.facebook.com/BadgleyMischka/                  Macy’s


Jewelry: Earrings by Ti Adoro, https://www.facebook.com/tiadorojewelry/                                        Kleinfeld’s in New York, NY, https://www.facebook.com/KleinfeldBridal/


Flowers: Les Fleurs, Andover, MA


Lighting: Ryan Designs, Narraganansett, RI https://www.facebook.com/ryandesignsri/


Coordintors: Amy Sleeper, Willowdale Estate, Topsfield, MA https://www.facebook.com/WillowdaleEstate/


Entertainment: Entertainment Concepts, DJ Greg Gates, Georgetown, MA


Transportation: McGinn Bus Company, Lynn, MA https://www.facebook.com/McGinn-Bus- Company-Inc- 201848159832596/


Food: Willowdale Estate, Topsfield, MA Grandmother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom will be making some desserts


Alcohol: Willowdale Estate, Topsfield, MA


Lodging: Double Tree Inn, Danvers MA,


Cake: Jenny’s Wedding Cakes, Amesbury, MA , https://www.facebook.com/jennysweddingcakes/, Flowers on cake from Les Fleurs


Décor: Bride and Mother of the Bride, Flowers from Les Fleur Tables/Linens: Willowdale Estate, Topsfield, MA,


Napkins: online at http://www.tablelinensforless.com/


Invitations/Menu: thermographied stationary from The American Wedding (online), https://www.facebook.com/theamericanwedding/                                                                        hand finished by Mother of the Bride using https://www.cutcardstock.com/, https://www.paperandmore.com/, http://www.acmoore.com/


Escort Cards: put together by Mother of the Bride, wax seals -, envelopes-


Calligrapher- Chez La Mariée, by Natalie O’Dell, Lexington, Virginia, https://www.facebook.com/ChezLaMariee/


Favors- Knudsen’s Caramels, Red Wing, Minnesota, https://www.facebook.com/knudsenscaramels/


Custom Hangers- Hangers By Design, by Carol Gelman

 

Ahmed and Zahra had a beautiful Multi Day South Asian Wedding

Ahmed and Zahra had a beautiful two day South Asian wedding, starting with a Mendhi on the first day and gorgeous waterfront ceremony and reception on day two!  We have been waiting for this wedding for a long time, shooting headshots and two engagement sessions in the mean time!  Getting to know them in the process, we couldn't wait to both witness and document their celebration of love and bringing both families together!  Here is the day of slideshow that we shared on the day at Danversport Yacht Club!  Make sure you scroll down to see the list of amazing vendors that made this amazing celebration possible!

Salon: Salma Chaudhary - Hair
Dress: Misha Lakhani – Pakistani Designer
Bridesmaid Dresses: Saris from Pakistan
Tuxes/Suits: Men’s Wearhouse
Jewelry: Zahra’s Family Jewelry
Lighting: Boston Light and Sound Company
Photo booth: Gifyyy from Christian Pleva Images
Transportation: Family cars
Food: Friday – Punjabi Grill; Saturday - Danversport
Cake: Ambreen Anaswala
Décor: Dhol Baja Bharaat - Shazia
Tables/Linens: Danversport
Invitations: India -

 

Boston's North End with Sunny and Aman

A little while back I had a call with Sunny about some Engagement photography he would like to do in Boston.  Sunny lives in Chicago and his beautiful girlfriend, Aman currently lives here in Boston.  He was planning a visit and wanted to propose, and plan a shoot for them in the city they sometimes share.  Well, last weekend we had the opportunity to meet and walk the North End making fantastic pictures for this amazing couple.  I guess she said yes!!! 

Here are a few images and some words about their story from Sunny and Aman. 

Tell us the proposal story

I wanted to create a unique and memorable experience for Aman. Knowing that she would be in Boston for several months on a work project, I wanted to surprise her while visiting her on a random weekend. Knowing that July 7, 2017 (7.7.17) would never again show up in our lifetimes, I figured I'd lock in that date for the actual proposal. I found a gondola service that ferried travelers along the banks of the Charles River and knew this would be the perfect venue and activity from which to ask the big question. She had been to Italy on a study abroad program previously and had fell in love with the country, particularly with Venice. The gondolas used for the proposal were actually transported from Italy themselves and gave an authentic feel to the experience. However, I worried about the weather on that particular Friday. It had been raining all day and I was thinking that I may have to hold off on the proposal for a clearer evening. Fortunately, the rain had subsided about an hour or so before the 7pm start time and I was able to propose. Sometimes, the universe has a way of letting things happen.

Where are you getting married?  Looking to get married on March 31st, 2018 or a date close to it

Where is the reception?  Chicago

What look were you going for in your engagement session?

We wanted to showcase an elegant look for the photo shoot. Less glitter and glitz. More class and refinement. A look that would cross generations.

What details are you most excited about for your wedding?

 

I believe we're most excited about celebrating this occasion with our close family and friends. We're both social creatures at heart and just naturally enjoy being around those we cherish and value. This wedding is more about those who have played an integral part in our lives reaching up to this moment, more than it is about any ancillary facet.

Do you have any tips or advice for couples getting ready for their session?

Give yourself a day or two in between the proposal and photo shoot. The extra time will give both parties a chance to reassess what they want to wear, what style they want to pursue, and to get that potential haircut, styling and nails done just in time.

How was your overall session experience?

Fantastic. Christian was laid back, inviting, and engaging the whole time. The weather was just wonderful. And the Sunday vibe/scene in and around North End was the perfect setting for the session. We couldn't have asked for a better experience.

Ian's First Birthday Arboretum Shoot!

We interrupt this wedding season to soak up a little cuteness from Ian's first birthday shoot!  We already knew his parents, Janet and Huy from shooting their engagement and wedding but this was our first meeting with Ian.  He was so adorable and so patient as we kept shooting lights at him!!!!  Here is a little more about what the Ngo family was looking for in their session...

What kind of look were you going for in your photos?

We were aiming for a countryside look.

Have we done a session together before? If so, why did you decide to book another?

Yes, we had our engagement and wedding pictures taken by Christian & Melissa! We love their style and photos, their creative shots are amazing and they're a great couple to work with.

Why did you decide on the outfits you chose?

You can't go wrong with a bow tie and some suspenders :), plus the baby driving cap was so adorable!

Why did you choose the particular props you brought? The crate box added to the countryside look I was aiming for. We also used wooden letters to spell out O-N-E for his 1st year photos. What advice do you have for parents planning outfits for a future family session? What about props? Find outfits that will match your theme. You can color match outfits as well, such as all white clothing. Bring extra outfits just in case.

Why did you choose the particular props you brought?

The crate box added to the countryside look I was aiming for. We also used wooden letters to spell out O-N-E for his 1st year photos.

What advice do you have for parents planning outfits for a future family session? What about
props?

Find outfits that will match your theme. You can color match outfits as well, such as all white clothing. Bring extra outfits just in case.

Any tips on what to bring to a shoot? Bring snacks and toys to distract your little one! Anything that can grab their attention when they start being fussy.

Any tips on what to bring to a shoot?

Bring snacks and toys to distract your little one! Anything that can grab their attention when they start being fussy.

I think we finally had bothered him enough at this point and he was ready for the comfort of mom and dad!  Am I a terrible person that I still think he is so cute even while he's crying?  We had a great time and can't wait for your next session with you guys!

Engagement photography in Newport with Kim and Dan

Here's another swoon worthy session with Kim and Dan!  It's so funny living in Boston, you tend to take for granted all of the amazing places we have a day trip away!  I have to say, besides shooting a few weddings in the gorgeous Newport area, I haven't spent any time there for fun!  So when Kim and Dan wanted to shoot their engagement session there we were psyched!  We essentially had a personal tour guide in Dan, who had attended college at Salve Regina University and had organized us to shoot inside the incredible mansion!  But before we started to pretend to be one of the rich and famous, we had to capture some shots at by the water!  And I'm sure you want to hear about this gorgeous couple.....

Newport Engagement Photography
Newport Engagement Photography

How did you two meet?

A. We were coworkers for years and there was an offsite work related meeting that Dan "volunteered" to attend with me. After that, he asked me to hang out and I thought that he was just being nice. I finally got the picture and we've been together ever since.

Tell us the proposal story~

A. Newport, Rhode Island was the destination of our first day trip together, and it's a place we head back to every summer. Around Christmas time, Dan suggested that we visit Newport to check out the mansions since they decorate them so nicely for the Christmas season, so we took a day off from work and headed down. Little did I know that his parents had picked up my parents, and they were headed to Newport as well. He proposed in the Ochre Court mansion overlooking the ocean, with both of our parents watching from the balcony. It was very special to have both of our families there to witness this exciting moment.

Newport Engagement Photography

What details are you most excited about for your wedding? EX. cake, vendors, location, etc.

A. We are most excited about just being married to one another and having our family, and closest friends with us to celebrate it. It's as simple as that. The only thing that I can't wait to see is the look on Dan's face the first time he sees me walking down the aisle.

Where are you getting married?

A. St. Elizabeth's Church, Ludlow, MA

Where is the reception?

A. The Starting Gate at GreatHorse, Hampden, MA

What look were you going for in your engagement session?

A. We were really going for a classy, elegant look that captured the love that we have for each other.

Do you have any tips or advice for couples getting ready for their session?

A. Have fun with it and enjoy every moment! Don't forget to smile and laugh…which is pretty easy with Christian rolling around on the ground in front of you just to capture the perfect moment!

How was your overall session experience?

A. Christian and Melissa are awesome to work with! We really enjoyed chatting beforehand and getting to know more about them, which made the session itself very relaxed and enjoyable!

Arifa and Ashish's Beacon Hill Engagement Shoot-Boston Photography

We love new ideas for engagement shoots!  Many of our couples love the iconic Boston look of Beacon Hill and want to shoot there, so it's always a challenge for us to make each session unique to the couple.  Coming up with new poses, angles and ways to shoot can be difficult but Arifa and Ashish took some of that pressure off by having an idea of their own. 

Leading up to their session, we received an email about smoke bombs!!!!  Knowing how finicky Boston can be, we weren't sure if we could make it work without getting yelled at, but we were up for trying!  Christian was able to get this shot in an alley, the red smoke bomb picked up the coloring in Arifa's dress, brick and the trees perfectly!  I loved it! 

Enough about the shoot, I'm sure you want to hear more about our couple and their love story!

Arifa and Ashish started their love story after they met in dental school.  They are getting married this August in Edison, NJ.  However their proposal was a little different than your typical proposal story,  "Well, there was no official proposal. He approached my parents and when our folks agreed we decided to get married .... A very Indian tradition where we wait for our parents' approval.".

They wanted a dressier look for their session which I think they pulled off perfectly!  When we asked what advice they would give to other couples, here is what they had to say, "I am highly uncomfortable in front of a camera but keep calm and go with the flow.". 

Good advice!  We are there to help you along and try to make you forget we are there.  I know that sounds crazy and impossible, but just enjoy the time dedicated to each other and taking a break from the stresses of wedding planning!  And here is a little secret...there are very few people that feel comfortable in front of the camera, so you aren't alone!  Christian had a great time getting to know you both and shooting with you, enjoy the sneak peek!

Boston Barn Wedding- Mark and Melissa's Smith Barn Reception

I hope everyone had an amazing 4th of July!  I know this couple did, still riding the high of their incredible "Sunday kind of love" wedding!  They are the sweetest, most fun loving couple, but they also have the cutest little boy, Aloysius.  Not only is he super cute but has a ton of personality!  I mean, how many times have you seen a dance circle happen at a wedding surrounding a one year old!?!?!  Yep, it happened!!!

I have to say, I have been looking forward to this wedding for awhile, every conversation, email and meeting has been so fun and I knew their wedding would be the same!  Watching the emotions, throughout the day was so touching!  They were already a family, but watching them say their vows and solidify their bond even more was breathtaking.  They are perfect together! 

We started the day shooting getting ready shots along with gifts and cards to each other, as we always do.  We tend to see very similar gifts, but Melissa shocked us with one of the most creative ones yet!  A personalized comic book to Mark about their journey together and ending at the alter! 

It was time to head to the church which also had extra meaning, it's where their son was baptized!  We were able to grab a few shots outside of the church before heading to the Smith Barn for creatives, wedding party shots and the reception!  It was a perfect day, the heat was even somewhat manageable.  Thank you Mark and Melissa for trusting us to document your day! 

Make sure you watch the same day slideshow from the day and scroll down to see all of the other rockstar vendors we worked with on the day!

Florist- EcoFlower (ecoflower.com)

Ceremony Location- St Pius V Parish (http://stpiuslynn.org/)

Reception Location- Smith Barn (Peabody Historical Society

Catering- Creative Catering (http://creative-catering.com/)

DJ- Ken Holbrook (North Shore Entertainment - NSEDJ.com)

Dress Designer- Pnina Tornai (http://www.pninatornai.com/)

Dress Salon- Kleinfelds NY (http://www.kleinfeldbridal.com/)

Engagement photography in the Back Bay of Boston

Meet our next adorable couple....Abi and Luke!  We are so blessed with the cutest couples, aren't we? 

Abi and Luke have always enjoyed strolling around the Public Gardens and watching the ducks and swans around the park. "We were looking to show our love in a classic and timeless way, while also including the city of Boston. Our relationship has centered around Boston in many ways over the past nearly 6 years we have been dating, and although our wedding isn't taking place in Boston we thought it was important to acknowledge the role the city has had in our relationship by having our photos in a classic Bostonian location."

Back Bay engagement photogrophy
love in boston
Boston Wasington Monument engagement

How did this love story begin? 

"We met at a medical school social event at Lir, a cozy pub and restaurant on Bolyston Street. It was August 9th 2011, our second day of medical school and Abi's birthday. Luke noticed Abi there with her friends and quickly offered to buy her a celebratory birthday drink. Sparks started to fly on that night and we went on our first date 1 month later on September 10th. We have been dating ever since."

Tell us the good stuff, how did he propose?

"Luke proposed to Abi on August 16th 2016 on a beautiful moonlit night. Luke insisted he wanted it to be a surprise, though Abi knew it was coming -- she'd accidentally seen a picture on his cell phone just days before but she didn't say anything because she didn't want to spoil the surprise and postpone the proposal. They were standing on a bridge overlooking the water, when Luke told her, "Turn around. I have a surprise for you". Abi was so excited that she cried, "I don't want to turn around. Is it a ring? Is it a ring?" It wasn't until the ring was on her finger that she realized she hadn't even given him the chance to ask the words, "Will you marry me?" Ever since he did, it has been a whirlwind for us. We are so excited to celebrate our love this September!"

 

Take her hand
in the alley

We want to hear all about the wedding!

"We are excited to celebrate with our families and to have a huge party for all of our loved ones! We are looking forward to having 2 ceremonies to honor our individual cultural heritages coming together, including a traditional Christian ceremony and a Hindu ceremony with a classic flowered mandap. We are excited to have a gold colored theme to inspire the wedding reception, which will take place in a big ballroom with gold up-lighting. Abi is most excited to see Luke's reaction when he sees her in her white dress for the first time, as she walks down the aisle in the church. Luke is most excited for his first dance with Abi and to have a long night of dancing."

Where will this all take place?

"Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester MA and Westin Waltham Boston"

waiting for the kiss

Did you have fun on your session, give us the dirt...what did you really think about Christian?  :)

"It was great! We really enjoyed working with Christian and we feel like he brought out a photogenic and authentic side to our relationship in the time we were shooting with him."

Beacon Hill Engagement photography with Kate and Corey

Here is an engagement shoot from last week in Beacon Hill, with a lovely couple, Kate and Corey.  We walked from their apartment down to the famous Acorn St and to the Charles River to make some beautiful engagement images.  Here are a few sneak peeks along with a few words from the couple, about their story!

CP

How did you two meet?

We met through mutual friends while on a trip to Cape Cod. The rest is history!

Tell us the proposal story~

We were moving into our Beacon Hill apartment the next day, so Corey asked Kate to meet her at the new place after work to check it out before moving in. He wanted their home to be special, and to celebrate the next adventure together by starting with a surprise engagement. It was perfect!

What details are you most excited about for your wedding?

We are most excited to just be married! We will have our closest family and friends together to celebrate with us. We are blessed with an incredible supportive group and this day will be so special with them there!

How was your overall session experience?

Our experience with Christian was wonderful! We are slightly camera shy, so he made us feel comfortable, and relaxed. He is professional and had great ideas for areas to set up for photos, but also allowed for our input. Lastly, he had some great jokes and made it fun evening to walk the city!

Tracy & Ra's Andover Country Club Wedding

Weddings are always so much fun for us, getting to shoot different cultures, traditions and personalities make each one so special and unique.  Although the tea ceremony started a little too early to shoot, we were able to shoot plenty of love and emotions on the day, not to mention Tracy's many outfit changes!

The details of this wedding were outstanding!  From the dresses, to the shoes and not to mention those droolworthly flowers!!!  The Andover Country Club was a gorgeous backdrop to these two saying the vows they wrote for each other.  Surrounded by lush greenery, and just the right amount of light shining through the clouds.  We didn't have to worry about squinting or harsh shadows, which can sometimes be a consideration in an outdoor wedding.

Seeing Ra watch his bride to be walk down the aisle to him was so powerful.  And her emotions during the vows were as well!  We have to admit, we always secretly wish for a bride and groom that cry!  Of course it makes for better pictures!

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After the ceremony we jumped right into wedding party and family formal shots before Christian whisked the couple off to take some creatives!!!  While they were shooting away I was brainstorming for another place to shoot with a different look. 

We definitely lucked out that the location was as amazing as we hoped for!  The contrast of the abandoned train trellis and graffiti with the gorgeous couple was exactly what we envisioned!

T&R-W-05-13-1558.jpg

Once we arrived at Pailin City Restaurant in Lowell, the perfection continued!  While the guests were served their multi course dinner, we were able to capture the dancing, games and heartfelt speeches!  It was such a fun day and we are so happy for the newlyweds!  Thank you again for trusting us with your day!

It was such a fun day and we are so happy for the newlyweds!  Thank you again for trusting us with your day!  Congratulations!

XOXO- Christian & Melissa

Sophia and Michael's beautiful wedding at the Lakeview Pavilion

I don't think we have worked with a more laid back and calm couple than Sophia and Michael.  From the minute we showed up to Michael, at his family home for getting ready shots, the vibe was so serene.  Even when they thought there may have been a scheduling error, his response was almost shockingly nonchalant.  And he was right, because it turned out to be an absolutely perfect day, including the weather which had forecasts of rain that never showed. 

Sophia was concentrating on not crying, promising her makeup artist she wouldn't wash off all of her hard work, with her tears of joy.   She looked stunning andagain, had this calm demeanor that was infectious.  I don't know that we have ever had a more relaxed wedding day! 

Watching these two getting ready to see each other in the church was so emotional and touching, they are obvious soul mates and we were blessed to document this amazing start to their new lives together!  Here is the day of slideshow we showed at the incredible Lakeview Pavilion during their reception, thank you to all of the amazing staff and other vendors we worked with on the day!

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A sunny day with Zahra and Ahmed at Jelich Farms

I'va already had the pleasure of shooting with Zahra and Ahmed for our sunrise shoot in the North End of Boston.  We had an incredible time wandering around shooting on a rainy morning.  We always encourage our couples to make the engagement session their own,  Incorporating places they love or interests.  So we decided to do another shoot at Jelich Farms with a beautiful Arabian Horse and our even more beautiful couple.  Here are just a few sneak peek images from our engagement shoot. 

A walk with Julie and Joe in Boston's North End

Ahhh love is in the air and we are so happy the season to start shooting has started!  Rest always sounds so nice until you realize you aren't doing what you love everyday....working with couples in love!!!  To kick off engagement season we want to introduce you to Julie and Joe.  Of course we love shooting in our neighborhood of the North End, although it was a little tricky shooting around the Cornhole Classic that day!  They were troopers though and their love was obvious!  We can't wait for the wedding...gorgeous couple at an incredible location, the JFK Presidential Library and Museum.  If only we were a little quicker, we were almost in time for the 100th birthday!

Here is a little about them in their words....

How did you two meet?

2012- It was after work in Faneuil Hall, I was having a drink with some coworkers and so was Joe. He came over to me and asked if he could take me to dinner. It wasn't until a year later that we started dating! Let's just say, Joe's persistence finally paid off.

Tell us the proposal story~

 It was my Birthday weekend, and we were getting ready to call an Uber to go to dinner. But he insisted that I open my bday present before we left.

Every year Joe has bought me a beautiful pair of shoes usually Valentino, he knows those are my favorite. So, of course when I saw the size of the box I knew it had to be shoes, and it was! Until he told me I had to look inside of the shoes..... when I did, there was a ring box. Next thing I knew he was down on one knee. Being at home and just the two of us was perfect. We didn't waste anytime calling our closest friends and family to tell them the exciting news!!

What details are you most excited about for your wedding?

Our Wedding will take place at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and our wedding will be one of the first ever to be held here.

When I envisioned my wedding, I wanted it to be original, a place where my friends and family had never been to a wedding before. I searched high and low throughout Boston. A friend of mine called me to tell me that the JKF is going to start hosting weddings, once I saw the pictures I just knew that was it!

I'm so excited that we are one of the very first couples to have a wedding at this beautiful location!

What look were you going for in your engagement session?

I was looking for more are an artistic feel to my photos with emotion and not really staged. I feel a lot of photos can look cookie cutter.

I was so happy when I found Christian Pleva Images, because their photography style is exactly what I was looking for.

Do you have any tips or advice for couples getting ready for their session?

A. It can be nerve racking especially because you are (most likely) going to be in a busy public area so I suggest a glass of wine before the shoot. Joe was a little more nervous than I was, so I would tell me a joke to make him laugh. We got great shots and it loosened him up.

But mainly, just have fun with it and be yourself!

Fatima and Dylan's beautiful day at the Somerville Armory

We had the wonderful opportunity to spend a day shooting with Fatima and Dylan while they celebrated their marriage with friends and family at the Somerville Armory.  Fatima looked absolutely stunning in her Stephen Yearik dress and Dylan wasn't too shabby himself. 

It was a spectacular day of beautiful people, incredible food, great speeches and energetic dancing.  Here is a little sneak peek video of the day along with a few of our favorite images so far!  Hope you enjoy!

Boudoir Boutique By Melissa- Contest Winner!- Boston Boudoir Photographer

You may remember a little while back when I posted for a FREE Boudoir Experience.  Naturally when you think of boudoir, we generally hear one of two responses.  One is...."What's Boudoir, exactly?" and second is "Oh are you doing it as a wedding gift?".  Although, why I started shooting boudoir was for a different reason....not that I am against thinking of boudoir because you want to do it for a loved one, because I know in the end that it will end up being for the woman as well.  The reason I started shooting boudoir is because I believe that every woman, at any age, any size or any stage in her life should feel sexy, confidence and empowered. 

That is exactly why I ran a contest.  I wanted to give one woman the opportunity to shoot and feel that empowerment at no cost to her.  And so, my post began....Tell me why you want to do a boudoir session.  Have you hit a goal, a milestone, gotten through a tough time?  Give me your story!

And boy, did the submissions start rolling in!  I received all kinds of emails with reasons on why they wanted to do a session, and although I think every woman DESERVES a boudoir session for herself, this time, there could only be one winner of a full experience.  What is a full experience you ask?  As I've explained before, a full experience is one where you can treat yourself to a full pampering shooting experience along with product.  Hair, makeup, location, lingerie guide...the works!  On top of that, the full collection of images, beauty edited favorites and a beautiful box full of matted favorite images!  There was one woman that not only deserved this experience, but so much more!  When I read her story I cried, filled with emotion...this woman got it!  She understood the mission I was after!  Even now, as I type this blog post, I get chills.  Everything happens for a reason and this woman saw my post, sent her email, and I read it because she was the one that truly needed this session as much as I needed to shoot her!  When we sat down the first time to meet and to give her all of the details, I remember how overwhelmed she was as I rattled off what I was giving her.  Even then, I knew she was exactly the person that should've won.  She was so excited and words can't express how overwhelmed we both were with mutual gratitude and happiness!  Well, I guess I've said enough about my side of the story....let's hear it from Lisa!  And enjoy a little sneak into some of the images from her session! 

Q. Why did you want to do a boudoir photo session?

A. Turning 50 is a huge milestone in any woman's life There are so many negatives associated with turning 50 - especially for women. I wanted to make sure this milestone year was spent celebrating me in a positive way and in a way I've never been comfortable with before. I've always had body image issues. What better way to finally lay those issues to rest than a boudoir photo session?

What attracted you to Boudoir Boutique?

I've seen several photos taken by Christian Pleva Images and found that they had a knack for really capturing their subject's personalities. Classic photos with a modern edge. Once I met Melissa, I knew I was in good hands.

How did you prepare for your boudoir photo shoot?

Melissa helped me prepare by sending me ideas about what to bring and suggestions about where to look for pieces to be photographed in. I found things I knew I would feel good in. I also took a few chances and put one foot outside my comfort zone. I followed Melissa's advice and drank lots of water in the days before and got plenty of rest. Mentally I just made sure I was in an open frame of mind.

Who are your boudoir photos for?

My boudoir photos are for me. They are proof that 50 is not the end but the beginning. That I am not perfect and I'm good with that. When I'm old and grey I will look back at these photos and smile.

Tell us about your boudoir experience!

I was nervous when I arrived. But as time went on something changed in me. During hair and makeup I felt like I used to feel as a kid getting dressed for Easter! That feeling of putting on a dress you loved and waited so long to wear. That feeling of finally sliding your feet into those pretty patent leather shoes you've stared at for a month. My first round of pictures I felt stiff and awkward. But as Melissa talked and joked and instructed I got more and more comfortable. I started to relax and enjoy the experience. And, when Melissa says you're going to be sore the next day - believe her! You use muscles you never knew you had holding some of those poses :)

How do you feel about your boudoir photos?

I'm overwhelmed with my photos. They are beautiful and classic. More than I hoped for.

Do you have an back story that led you to your boudoir experience?

Yes there is always a backstory. I was married for over 20 years and am recently separated. Shortly after separating I turned 50 and for the first time in my life I found the nerve to start doing things for me - not as a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a girlfriend, a wife, a mother - just as me.

Why should other women do a boudoir photography session for themselves?

There is something freeing about a boudoir session. Not many of us can truly find beauty in our flaws. This is a step in that direction.

 

Lisa, once again you have inspired me!!!  Reading your words, just reaffirmed that you really were the perfect woman for what I was looking for in this contest.  Thank you again for trusting in me and being open to me showing you the beautiful, confident and commanding woman I saw through my lens!  And I can't forget the always amazing work of Nelse Karini, makeup extraordinaire!  Your work and professionalism never disappoints!

Lori & Mike's Boston Elopement-Boston City Hall Wedding Photography

You never know how people will come into your lives.  You go about your day thinking it will be a mundane kind of day, checking things off of your list and squeezing more than you have time for.   But sometimes, as you go through life you are surprised by people and events and it makes you want to slow down.  Or...more importantly, you realize that you should always be on your best behavior because who knows if you are representing your business!  :)

A few months back I had finally mustered up the courage to go do the latest craze, and get microblading done for my eyebrows.  I guess I should insert here, that this is Melissa talking and not Christian!  Although I had gone to Dr. Joseph A. Russo before, for should we say, "maintenance"...this time I would be seeing Lori, a nurse that actually does all of the microblading.  (Side note....she's amazing, go see her!)  As I was waiting nervously for my upper face to numb up, we exchanged the normal pleasantries.  In telling her what we did, she said, "Oh, I'm getting married in May.  But we aren't having a photographer because we are just going to the courthouse.  Do you think we should have?".  Photographers over here...yes you definitely should. 

Fast forward to her checking out our website, coming in to chat and finally....the day her and Mike had been waiting for.  Lori actually had a gorgeous vintage inspired dress made and looked absolutely gorgeous!  And Mike, looked dapper as ever floating around the City Hall saying hi to all of the people he knew (it was a lot of people), since he used to work there.  They waited for their turn to grab their marriage certificate and then we all crammed into an elevator with close friends and family to get married!!  As I stood back holding lights and equipment for Christian I watched the looks between this amazing people and got all choked up as I normally do.  I love how every ceremony no matter how big, small, long or short can be so moving. 

As the ceremony came to an end, we took a few pictures and the gathering dispersed, leaving us to the unique architecture of City Hall to take some pictures before heading outside.  The fog made for unbelievable light andsuch a great backdrop.  It wasn't the warmest of days though, so we finished up to get everyone inside for a celebratory toast and warmth. 

Finishing the day for us, was the Hotel Commonwealth where we would leave them to enjoy their wedding day.  But before we left we of course had to take advantage of the hotel lobby and the Comm Ave trees and of course the iconic Citgo sign!  We hope you guys have wifi while you enjoy the beach and can enjoy the sneak peak of your day!  Thank you for letting us be a part of your day!

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Tracy and Ra's engagement photography in the Back Bay

I had a great time getting to know Tracy and Ra during our walk around the Boston Commons and Beacon Hill.  We even had the opportunity to go up on a random passerby's roof deck around sunset.  Here are a few pre-wedding images from our shoot along with a few word from the couple about their big day!

Enjoy!

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How did you two meet?

He noticed me from afar during my best friend and his brother's wedding. Now we are all about to be family. The rest is history.

  • What details are you most excited about for your wedding? EX. cake, vendors, location, etc.

    A. We are absolutely most excited about seeing all of our guests! We have close friends and family coming from all over the country and cannot wait to have everyone under one roof!  

  • Where are you getting married?  Andover Country Club

  •  Where is the reception?  Pailin City Restaurant

  • What look were you going for in your engagement session?  Casual and chic.

Do you have any tips or advice for couples getting ready for their session?

Laugh with each other, enjoy the moments and just be entertained by the experience! It'll feel like you're in a movie, but absolutely use that opportunity to channel your personal quirks and humor, silliness and live in those moments with each other. Christian makes the experience easy-going and fun!

Q. How was your overall session experience?

We loved the flexibility that came with just getting to know Christian's style of shooting and really incorporating our own care-free spirit into the shoot. We weren't very particular about specific style or location as long as it captured the essence of Boston. We ended up freelancing our way from the commons, to the garden and making our way up to the height of beacon hill where Christian was able to capture the amazing skyline. His ability to artistically use our surroundings to make our experience unique to our own style was truly a fun and great experience. Christian is truly a mastermind at what he does!

South Asian Bride Magazine Publishes Us!- Take a look back at Ryan and Rekha's Boston Public Library Engagement Session

It couldn't be better timing....while we wait for tomorrow's snow storm to hit we are reminded of Ryan and Rekha's engagement session.  That day wasn't even forecasting snow and it ended up being so magical!

South Asian Bride Magazine decided to publish their session today and we are overwhelmed with gratitude!  We love engagement sessions, each couple getting to show their personalities and places they love!  When we get clients that want to share their sessions with the world and have people that want to pick it up and share it, it gets even better!  Someone REALLY has to love their sessions to share, that and referrals have to be the biggest compliments for us!  Thank you to Ryan and Rekha for not only choosing us to shoot this amazing session but also wanting to share it!  Make sure you click through to read their whole story and see the full session!!!

http://www.southasianbridemagazine.com/rekha-ryan-boston-public-library-engagement-session/

We've changed our look!

This time of year is amazing.  Shooting less and somehow working more.  So i descided to take on the challenge of a complete overhaul of our website.  I'm loving the new look and feel but would love to know what you think.  Be nice!  Let me know if you see a need for more changes, or want to see something more I haven't included. 

Click into the link below and check out the new site!  Thanks for the look!

CP