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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Fine Art Portrait Photography

What is The Real Value of Photography?

The other day I went to an antique store with my husband and was admiring some old daguerreotype prints for sale. $75 for a little tiny wallet-sized photo of someone that no one really knows or remembers anymore. But yet there is clearly value in this tiny portrait. Who could imagine just throwing it away? Why? Because it's clear that by virtue of having been set, in this case, in metal, a certain kind of reverence for that person, that moment, that life represented, this person and hence their visage was a treasure. That captures the true essence of why I am a photographer.

I will tell you that in my early years as a mom I valued photography. I bought a quality SLR film camera after I had my first baby and I had a lot of film developed. I paid for beautiful portraits of him. But then digital photography came around, the harried pace of life with a lot of little ones took over and my other children have far fewer photos of themselves in print. A serious failing on my part! But life gets busy and overwhelming and before you know it, printing photos that old seems kind of strange (not to mention a lot of work!).... but we still feel the lack of them. The photos that I did trouble myself to order prints of are treasures because every day as I see them, my connection with that moment and that person in that time in life deepens. It accentuates our history together. It reminds me of how long I have loved these people, how dear they are to me. It's no surprise to me that studies have shown how psychologically beneficial it is to be surrounded in your home by tangible photographs of family

As an artist though, there are other reasons that I believe in delivering heirloom prints and albums. Design matters, not only with respect to my creative eye, which cannot be found anywhere else... it's unique to me, but in the caliber of people that I partner with to bring you the heirloom prints and products you are looking for. You are not paying me for the raw materials used to make a picture print, though quality most definitely matters. Just as when you go to a gourmet meal, you are not paying for the raw ingredients, but rather for the genius chef at the stove whose work it is to create something that you could not replicate on your own, a creative process and understanding of his craft that is unique to him. 

The creation process of each piece holds as much importance to the end result as the moment I frame a photo and hit that shutter release. For me to take myself out of the equation of the creative process once I have pressed the button would be a huge disservice to my clients. So seeing the whole photography process through from planning to creation to the selection process to hand delivery, is how I am able to ensure that you are getting the best that I can offer. All of those steps are not only a real service to my clients but they are integral parts of the creative process itself. I am, after all, presenting art to you. I am not providing you with a commodity or something you can recreate in a photo booth or at the mall. I am listening to you. The process, unlike a big box experience, is fluid and unique to you because we work together to create something truly beautiful to be treasured. 

Fine art photography is really all about the final product. It's about your end goal. It's not about sheer volume. After all, what is the point of hiring a skilled professional photographer if you are going to get your photos printed at Walmart or Walgreens? I believe the work I do demands better than what you can get from a big box store in terms of print quality and color accuracy, not to mention over all client experience. As the products that I deliver to you are going to express my work in greater detail and more permanently than any other medium, it is important to me that my artistic integrity is maintained by not leaving the results up to non-professionals and imprecise printing solutions with no way for me to ensure a quality result for my clients. I invest a great deal into my business and client relationships so to leave the results, for their sakes and for mine, to so many variables would be unwise. 

Just as when you reach a certain level of accomplishment in your performing arts, you invest more and more into those things and ways of showcasing it which are worthy of the level of skill achieved, so I have developed my own creativity, knowledge of photography, the printing process and client experience to a degree that demands I invest in the best representation of that skill possible.

That is what I offer to my clients. My best. It's not cheap, because my time and my work are valuable to me. Nor is it accessible to anyone who wants a photographer. But I gladly serve those who value the authenticity and bespoke nature of the creative process that is owned each step of the way by the creator as well as the provenance, uniqueness and exceptional quality of the end results which will be treasured for a lifetime.