Princeton, New Jersey Wedding - Elise & Michael

Every wedding I capture is a unique blend of personalities -- a story that has never been told before. Michael and Elise's wedding was a beautiful day that I was so blessed to be a part of. 

Princeton New Jersey Wedding Photographer bride and groom in woods

I love the story that these two have to share for a couple of reasons. One being that Michael's family were among the first to welcome us to New Jersey when we moved here from the San Francisco Bay Area. Not only did they welcome us, they gave us a home. And Michael, being the gentleman that his mama raised him to be, even gave up his room for my husband and I to use for a while. When we arrived in New Jersey the housing we had lined up fell through. Without Michael's family taking us in, we would have had a pretty miserable start to our life in Jersey. Instead, it is a time in our life that we look back on with nothing but joy for how it all played out. Even when things don't go exactly as planned, they sometimes are just as they are really supposed to be. (Which ought to remind you something of a wedding day!)

Beautiful lace cap sleeves give this wedding gown an almost victorian era feel. Couldn't she be right out of the pages of Pride & Prejudice? 

Beautiful lace cap sleeves give this wedding gown an almost victorian era feel. Couldn't she be right out of the pages of Pride & Prejudice? 

But this wedding day went off without a hitch... with these two lovely people ending up hitched!

I love the classic cut of this wedding gown, paired with the deep V back. So stunning.

I love the classic cut of this wedding gown, paired with the deep V back. So stunning.

New Jersey wedding photographer bridal prep
Natural elegant wedding day make-up

Natural elegant wedding day make-up

Can we talk about Elise's choice for florals? Peonies and Hydrangeas for miles. There can never be enough peonies. Can I get an amen?!

I HEART peonies. 

I HEART peonies. 

I love how Elise's special loved-ones were commemorated in her bouquet design. Such a meaningful little detail.

The vintage styling of the picture pendants attached to this bridal bouquet lent to the understated elegance of the whole day.

The vintage styling of the picture pendants attached to this bridal bouquet lent to the understated elegance of the whole day.

Such a stunningly simple engagement ring design. 

Such a stunningly simple engagement ring design. 

These Michael Kors pink heels were a perfect pop of color when they peeked out from beneath Elise's gorgeous gown. 

These Michael Kors pink heels were a perfect pop of color when they peeked out from beneath Elise's gorgeous gown. 

Michael is a little bit tall and Elise is not. 

Michael is a little bit tall and Elise is not. 

Clearly she needed more than just a pair of pretty heels for a boost though! Hee hee!

Sometimes you just need a little more height than heels can afford!

Sometimes you just need a little more height than heels can afford!

New Jersey Wedding Photography father and bride in Stonehill Church in Princeton New Jersey

The rest of the day was packed full of all of the special, unplanned emotional moments that weddings are bound to bring about. 

New Jersey wedding photographer Nan Doud Photography Mother of bride and bride

Capturing these moments is one of my favorite parts of wedding photography. 

Princeton New Jersey wedding photographer Groom Prep
Groom and groomsmen image Nan Doud Photography New Jersey wedding photographer
We couldn't have had more beautiful weather for this Princeton, New Jersey wedding.

We couldn't have had more beautiful weather for this Princeton, New Jersey wedding.

Bridal Party Portraits Princeton wedding photographer in New Jersey
Bridal portraits New Jersey Wedding photographer
Princeton New Jersey Wedding photographer Bridal Party
New Jersey wedding photographer bridal party
The blind "first look". The bride and groom don't actually see each other but they have a quiet moment to exchange a note or pray together or just hold hands for a moment before it all begins.

The blind "first look". The bride and groom don't actually see each other but they have a quiet moment to exchange a note or pray together or just hold hands for a moment before it all begins.

New Jersey Wedding Photographer wedding ceremony
New Jersey Wedding Photographer Church ceremony
Princeton New Jersey wedding photographer just married
New Jersey Wedding Photographer Summer Wedding

I seriously could not get enough of these two....

New Jersey wedding photographer Veteran's Park Hamilton New Jersey Bride and Groom

And they obviously couldn't get enough of each other!

Princeton New Jersey wedding photographer in Hamilton Square New Jersey Bride and groom portraits

That moment when you just got married and you are struck with, "How did this all happen? We are married?! Holy cow... we are married!!"

New Jersey classic wedding photography Nan Doud Photography
New Jersey Wedding photographer photojournalistic black and white bride and groom
I think the wedding cake topper sums it up nicely. 

I think the wedding cake topper sums it up nicely. 

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Caring for your Fine Art Photographic Prints

The other day I was talking to my teenage son about the portrait photography industry and how it has evolved throughout the years. We were discussing the business of doing business and how people assign value to emotional objects such as photographs. As we talked about creating pricing structures for the products that a photographer may carry, he said, "Well, of course they are not paying you for the paper! They are paying you for what you put on it!" I must say that, as his mother and a photographer, my heart sort of skipped a beat when I heard him "get it" without even a hint from me. As I mentioned last week, there are real reasons that we ought to remember the importance of printed portraits. But the value of professionally designed portraits is not contained in paper and ink. It is in the image itself. Your photographer is going to most certainly charge more than what a blank piece of fancy paper costs because they are not selling you a blank piece of fancy paper. The photographer brings the only element that truly imbues that piece of paper with any kind of meaningful value. The image.

Princeton, New Jersey Portrait & Wedding Photography | caring for fine art prints

Think about it. Reams of paper and drums of even the finest pigments will never ever on their own be referred to by a mother as "priceless" the way that a family portrait will. Why? Because we do not pay photographers for ink and paper. We pay them for the images they capture. Some call it art. And for the photographer who has spent years studying photography, yes it is her business but it is also her art. It's a piece of herself because she has invested so much of her life into her ability to capture the light and shadows, the movement, the emotion.

While the value of printed portraits is not in the raw materials alone, my clients understand that I pour myself into my work and that I won't rest until I have placed a beautiful finished product in their hands. They know that I will not deliver a piece that isn't made excellently and designed to last a lifetime (and longer because portraits are not just for us!) This is why I only sell archival quality fine art prints. 

100% cotton fine art prints from Nan Doud Photography

Why archival prints?

There are numerous types of tree based papers on which your portrait designer can opt to print your images. Wood based papers though are often laced with substantial concentrations of acid, which causes deterioration and yellowing over time. Cotton based papers, on the other hand, are highly resistant to fading, discoloration and deterioration. My fine art prints are made on 100% cotton fiber or (depending on the finish you select) sometimes non-cotton Alpha Cellulose based papers sourced from a company that has been the premier provider of museum quality papers for more than 400 years. Printed on highly calibrated wide gamut precision printers, the inks used can combine to create millions of color variations, many more than your standard large format printers, which accounts for the depth, richness and clarity of colors in fine art prints.

While renowned for holding their color and clarity for many decades, Fine Art Prints are not impervious to environmental stressors. One still must be careful to treat them well in order to keep them looking their best. The fact is, for all photographic prints, archival included, the safest environment is a dark, climate controlled one. Not many of us invest in family and wedding portraits in order to hide them away. That you will display them is largely unquestioned. Here are some quick tips for caring for your portraits in a way that will best preserve their integrity while being enjoyed.

Two different types of archival print paper

Fine Art Portrait Care Tips

  • Avoid touching the ink. Whether you use cotton gloves when handling them or not, is up to you. At the very least, wash your hands with soap and dry them well before handling your prints. I have begun to include a pair of cotton gloves when I deliver your prints so that you can handle them appropriately.
  • Avoid tapes. If tapes must be used to secure the portrait to a mat, be sure that the tape is an acid-free archival tape. These can be found at local arts & crafts stores.
  • If possible hang them out of direct sunlight.
  • No direct contact with glass. Archival acid-free mats should always be used. Portraits that are pressed straight up against glass will bond with the glass over time, making it impossible to ever remove the portrait from the frame without significant damage. As for the type of glass used, it is largely up to personal preference. Acrylic glazing with a UV protectant can be purchased at almost any custom framer's shop. It is unbreakable, lightweight, easy to clean with normal household cleaners, reduces condensation and comes in an anti-glare variety as well. This is what many museums use to protect their works of art. 

(The images above were shot for Jacqueline Patton Photography at two different weddings in Liberty State Park. One took place at the beautiful Maritime Parc and the other at Liberty House.) 

A Winter Wedding at Maritime Parc in Jersey City, New Jersey

As always, I had such a great time helping my friend, Jacqueline Patton Photography, capture this New Jersey Wedding at Maritime Parc in Jersey City.

No question about it, this day was chilly! But it was a gorgeous NYC winter wedding day. Crystal blue skies, a sparkling skyline and a semi-frozen Hudson River all combined to make for a great day for a (you guessed it) white wedding! (Thank you, Billy Idol. May your upper lip remain forever curled. Rock on.)

Despite the chill in the air, Lady Liberty set the example and toughed out the weather so Jacqueline and I followed her lead and rocked this Maritime Parc winter wedding at Liberty State Park. 

And honestly, there was enough love and gorgeous details at this event to warm the cockles of any photographer's heart.

And of course there was the gorgeous bride. 

I've gotta say, one of the things I love about the Maritime Parc wedding venue in Jersey City is the copious amount of white walls. It's like being surrounded by 100 soft white light reflectors. 

I would also be remiss if I didn't mention how gorgeous the spiral staircase at Maritime Parc is. 

New Jersey Wedding Photographer Nan Doud Photography | Maritime Parc Wedding Photography | shot for Jacqueline Patton Photography

So, I may have mentioned that it was a little cold out. In fact, I think it may have been one of the coldest days all winter. But this bride was not going to let the cold put a chill on her beautiful day! She braved it like no California bride I've ever photographed! Typically 50° is the point at which they declare that they have had enough and it's time to go in (I relate, girls! I'm a California girl myself!) Not this bride. At somewhere in the neighborhood of -25° she was out there smiling and just enjoying her day! She may have had no feeling left in her extremities but that didn't stop her from looking spectacular, did it? 

Speaking of spectacular... not a bad backdrop for a NYC wedding first look, right? 

I. Love. Her. Shoes. The End.

Did you ever see Father of the Bride? Remember Hank's assistant, Howard Weinstein (who ironically is the cousin of a childhood friend of mine in real life)? His line, "All I can say is, thank God snow is white! It works. You know what I mean?" Having shot most of my weddings up until this past year in the San Francisco Bay Area, I had never put that line to the test until now, but Howard was right!

This one right down here? Favorite photo from the whole day.

A Truly Elegant New York City Wedding at Guastavino's

Elegant NYC Wedding at Guastavino's

I had the immense pleasure and distinct privilege of helping my friend, Jacqui of Jacqueline Patton Photography, capture this amazingly beautiful New York City wedding, recently featured on Love My Dress, back in December. With Guastavino's as the wedding and reception venue, exquisite floral arrangements by Blade Floral Design of NYC, gowns and bridal accessories by Tara Keely, Monique Lhuillier and Reem Acra, you just can't get more elegant. The bride and groom not only both had impeccable style, they were just genuinely lovely people to work with. Photographers really can't dream of anything better.

Princeton New Jersey Wedding Photographer Nan Doud Photography | NYC | wedding at Gustavino's - shot for Jacqueline Patton Photography

As Jacqueline's second shooter, I spent the first portion of the day as usual, with the groom and groomsmen, which is almost always a fun experience! These guys were great. My husband, who came along to help Jacqui and I carry all our gear, helped out immensely by being the chief bow-tie tutor (having only recently mastered the art himself!) And he was a little insta-star-struck when he saw that the groom and groomsmen bow ties were made by someone that he follows on Instagram, The Cordial Churchman.

The Bentley Hotel NYC is where we started out. It's a beautiful hotel and super close to the couple's wedding venue, Guastavino's. My photographer's eye was pleased by the symmetry in the lobby. 

I decided that the opportunity for some great bridal party shots under the Queensborough Bridge were worth braving the weather. And boy... was I ever right. I do love it when I'm right like this! Can I just say that I think Alanis Morissette was a little overly-dramatic about rain on your wedding day? Rain on your wedding day can be magical.

I gotta tell you... I've shot a lot of weddings. Over 100 in the past four years. But this moment? For some reason it was one of the more exhilarating. As I perched on the curb, feeling the fevered breath of the traffic behind me (and praying I wouldn't suddenly be splashed by a passing cab),  my husband holding an umbrella over my head as I raised my voice over the rain and the city, I couldn't believe that this was me. Here I was, working a wedding in NYC when just a year before I was living in Sunny California. 

My excitement over the perfection of the light in this little dry patch of the city that I was owning right then also had me just a little happy. Photographers normally squeal or gasp or freak out when the light loves on us like this. So I was feeling kind of on top of the world. And drippy wet. 

Guastavino's is an incredibly gorgeous venue. I can't wait to shoot there again!

The bride and groom decided to do a first look before their wedding ceremony. Always a wise decision!

So, speaking of photographers freaking out, gasping, dying a thousand deaths and telling you how much they love you for being willing to brave the rain....

So many beautiful details at this wedding!

The band from Hank Lane Music was unbeatable.

Nothing like the first dance!

I've had the honor of shooting a number of Jewish weddings now and I love so many parts of the day. But my favorite part might just be the Hora dance. So. Much. Fun.

Seriously! Cuteness overload!

Blade Floral Designs | Joseph Gann Jewelers, Boston | Gloss and Glam  |  Esprit Events |  Minted | Cathy’s Custom Prints  | 

thank you, Jacqueline Patton Photography for having me along to help out!