Downtown Albany NY Engagement Session

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I met up with this adorable couple in downtown Albany, NY for their engagement session. We spent some time before hand talking about outfit choices, and deciding upon the perfect location for the two of them. Downtown Albany is absolutely beautiful! The architecture is pretty amazing, and we knew that was the perfect spot for them. We had a wonderful time, and got some great photos to document this important time in their lives!

This bridge, that beautiful light, and this couple. Wow!

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Settles Hill Tree Farm Wedding – Jill and Mark

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wedding photographer albany ny

When I met Jill for the first time, I knew she was someone that I would love to work with. She was so sweet, and the way she talked about Mark made her feelings for him very clear. I was thrilled when they asked me to photograph their wedding day! We met up at Thacher Park for their engagement session, and we had a wonderful time. See their engagement session here.

On their wedding day, I arrived to photograph Jill and her ladies getting ready. These photos are always so much fun to photograph. I love capturing all of the little details that go into preparing to walk down the aisle!

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Makeup Tips for Your Wedding Day

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I have had the honor of working with some very talented people in the wedding industry throughout the years. It’s amazing how a wedding is really a collaboration of so many individuals coming together with the same purpose in mind: to make the day awesome! From the start of the day with the hair and makeup team making everyone look their best, to the end of the night with the DJ/band, and reception venue making sure everyone has a wonderful time.

I wanted to collect some info to make things just a little bit easier for all of the brides out there wondering what they can do to prepare for their big day, so I contacted some of the lovely ladies I have worked with in the makeup industry, and asked for some tips. Here is what they had to say. You’re going to want to grab a pen for this one :)

 

Tina from Flawless by Tina says “Do your research when booking a makeup artist! This is your one and only special day! You want an experienced makeup artist…someone that does this all the time for weddings, and special events.” She also says “When looking for that special look, I always tell brides to look at someone that has the same hair color and eye color as you. Makeup on a blonde with blue eyes, looks totally different on a brunette with brown eyes.” Yes! This is an excellent tip. Tina also says to keep it classic. “You want to look like you, but a more enhanced and glamorous you!” This one is near and dear to my heart. I absolutely love the idea of looking like the best possible version of yourself, but make sure you keep it timeless. Probably not a good idea to go with something trendy at the time (who remembers wearing white eyeliner in the 90’s?!), and better to stick with classic looks that stand the test of time. Great tip, Tina!

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Allison from Bloom. Salon and Makeup Bar  says “Never skip the trail! Trials are just as important to the bride as it is the makeup artist! It’s a time where we get to know you, your comfort zone and create the perfect look you are envisioning. It is the perfect time to speak up if you’re not comfortable with something- remember, we are here for you, and want to make you feel your very best!”  She also recommends wearing white to your trail, to get a better feel for how your makeup will look when you’re in your dress. What a great tip! She also says not to forget about those brows! “Eyebrows are super important to the finished look…. I highly suggest getting them done by a professional (and someone you trust!) about 2 weeks before the wedding… Just In case an allergic reaction wants to happen! Don’t worry- your makeup artist the day of can clean up any random ones that come in.” But I just loved her bonus tip: “Remember this is the day you have been planning – relax, smile and have fun, that’s when any woman looks the most beautiful! At the end of the day- you will be a married… How great is that?” Couldn’t have said it any better, Allison :)

albany ny wedding photographer

 

Julie from Beauty With Julie  recommends starting a regular skincare regimen, saying “So we all want the blushing bridal glow on our wedding day! To do this I always suggest starting a regular skincare regimen at least 4-6 months before the big day. Beauty with Julie will provide our brides with product recommendations which are geared towards your specific skincare concerns. Your glowing complexion awaits!” She even provided me with this awesome list of things you should have in your bridal touch up kit:

What You Should Have In Your Bridal Touch Up Kit:
 -Blotting Papers for excess oil and shine
 -Q-tips
 – Make-up Sponge
 -Tissues
 -Bobby Pins
 – Lip Balm for all day kissable lips!
 -Lipstick/Lipgloss of the color we have chosen for you!
 -Face Powder for touch ups (Translucent or Foundation)
 -Convertible cream blush which can be used for quick tinted lips and rosy cheeks!

 
Julie also says “I encourage my brides to use airbrush make-up for their special day for its flawless finish, versatile coverage, and long wearing properties. TEMPTU Airbrish Make-up is lightweight, hydrating, and has a natural looking formula which gives you a beautiful flawless complexion. It also features a built in primer for longer wear, and an advance smoothing complex which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”  She also says that eyelashes are a must, saying “I offer quick eyelashes which are individual clusters, not a “strip lash”, and I also perform eyelash extensions which last 2-3 weeks. Eyelash Extensions are perfect for your honeymoon, as they are waterproof!”

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If you didn’t grab a pen in the beginning, I’ll bet you want to print this out, huh? Seriously, if you’re getting married soon, or know someone who is, this is some awesome information! Feel free to share this blog with anyone who might benefit from the amazing tips.

Thank you to these wonderful ladies who took the time out to supply me with some of their knowledge to share with all of you. You are all amazing, and I look forward to working with you again soon!

Much love,

Crystal

Newborn Lifestyle Session

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I had the honor of doing a newborn lifestyle session for this beautiful family. They had recently welcomed their first child, and wanted to be able to capture those precious first moments with him, in the comfort of their own home. There is something so intimate, and real about capturing the love of a family in their own element. Their little guy was just too adorable! This one of him, and his daddy is one of my favorites.

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Lake House Lodge Wedding – Jenn and Bill

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I already knew from working with Jenn, and Bill for their engagement session, that this couple was super fun, and very photogenic. See their engagement at Thacher Park session here. We headed out to Cooperstown, NY to the Lake House Lodge for their wedding. We started the day off with a beautiful first look. I have probably said it many times before, but I just love first looks! You get some pretty awesome, emotional photos of the bride, and groom seeing each other for the first time, AND they allow so much more flexibility in the photography timeline. Just look at Bill’s expression as he sees Jenn for the first time:

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And then we spent a little bit of time doing portraits of the bride, and groom. I always love a good balcony for dramatic photos!

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Glen Sanders Mansion Wedding- Nicole and Tom

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I had the honor of photographing Nicole and Tom’s beautiful wedding at the gorgeous Glen Sanders Mansion last September. Nicole, and her ladies got ready in the bridal suite at the mansion. Talk about a fabulous room! There was plenty of natural light coming in, and I love me some natural light! Check it out:

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Franklin Terrace Wedding – Andrea and Brett

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I met up with Andrea and Brett at the beautiful Yaddo Gardens for their engagement session, and we had a wonderful time together. The connection between the two of them was evident. I knew we were going to have a great time on their wedding day. I went to high school with many of their guests, so it was pretty neat to see so many familiar faces.

When I arrived at the Franklin Terrace, Andrea was there getting ready with her ladies. She was so calm, and such a sweetheart; helping her bridesmaids with their hair, and offering me a coffee. You could tell how happy she was to be marrying Brett that day. Her dress was amazing, her shoes were killer, her flowers were beautiful, and her hair and make up came out amazing.

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Albany NY Wedding Photographer | Jackie and Rob at Mallozzi’s

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I knew the first time that I met up with Jackie and Rob that I was going to have a blast photographing their wedding day. They are both so down to earth, and fun to be around. Jackie told me that her favorite color is pink, and that her wedding was going to have “pink everywhere”. She was right about that!

When I arrived at her hotel room, Jackie was so calm and relaxed. She had everything completely under control. We were exactly on schedule the whole day (with some time to spare!).

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Saratoga Engagement Session- Crystal and Kevin

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I met up with Crystal over the Summer, when she booked her wedding with me. We went over details, talked about her and Kevin, and the children they share. It was at this time that I learned that they have a daughter that is the same age as my daughter, has the same first name, same middle name, and is also the middle child. Talk about coincidence!

The three of us met up on a late Summer evening for their engagement session out at the Saratoga Battlefield. It was a perfect night, not too chilly, and not too warm either. It happened to be a full moon, and it was beautiful the way it sparkled in the sky.

We definitely had some fun… I don’t know how to do things any other way :)

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Why Photography?

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In the midst of a crazy fall, super packed with weddings, portrait sessions, and meetings, I still wake up in the morning with a smile on my face. I still get excited about every single wedding, and every single session I do. On top of that (and this is the most important for me), I still pick up my camera in my free time, in that wondrous way I did when this journey first began. This is the “why?” part for me. This is why I do what I do. Photography woke me up from my creative slumber.

When I was a kid, I remember being drawn to the arts in every form. My friends and I would spend countless hours choreographing routines that we would perform at the school dances. I later joined dance classes, and I remember the first time I did a solo on stage in front of all those strangers. I felt more alive in that moment than I ever had before. Art class was by far my favorite subject. My bedroom walls were covered in my favorite drawings and paintings. I kept a notebook full of poetry that I would write while sitting in my room at night. I would get super excited walking into a library. To me, those books were the thoughts and feelings of other people, all out on display for someone to experience, and I took pleasure in getting lost in a good book. Art was my therapy in dealing with my less than ideal childhood.

I became a mother at a young age. I knew that my daughter was always going to come first, and I made her my number one priority. I then got married, and had my second child. I was so low on my own priority list, that there was no time for me. Ever. I would still go to the craft store, and stock up on paints, canvases, drawing materials, etc. but they would sit in my closet. I guess just knowing that I had them in the event that I was able to use them was some kind of comfort. I lost my sense of creativity, and quite frankly, I lost my sense of self. I put so much into being the best mother that I could; tending to the kids, working to help my husband pay the bills, trying to keep the house semi clean on a daily basis…I just felt so weighed down from all of my “to do’s”, that there was no time for the things that I enjoyed.

Fast forward to 2010. I finally could afford to get my first “real” camera. I got a Nikon DSLR, and went on a photo taking frenzy. It started with photos of my kids, then I got on a flower/nature kick….I just couldn’t stop taking photos. My kids were a bit older, and more independent, so I guess I didn’t feel as guilty for taking some “me” time as they entertained themselves. I became a sponge, learning everything I possibly could about photography. It was in this same year that I went back to school to pursue a degree in business. I was finally making time for myself. I quickly outgrew that beginner DSLR, and longed for something that I could really take control of. People started asking me to take photos for them. This was a big deal for me. I felt something inside of me telling me that this could be it. This could be what I was meant to do. I could feel myself coming alive again. I had found my passion. You see, that first DSLR changed my whole life. It reminded me of all of that creativity that I had bottled up inside of me, that deserved to be set free. It reminded me that I could still be a great mom, and take time for myself.

2014 is coming to an end, and I just can’t believe what an amazing journey this has been. I have been there to capture memories for so many amazing people as they say “I Do” to their best friends, I have photographed so many little ones for their parents to look back on years from now, and remember their chubby little cheeks, I have captured the essence of so many families for them to treasure for years to come. Words can not describe how honored I am to have been there to freeze those moments in time for all of you.

So, this is my “why?”. This is why I do what I do. Because photography taught me how to feel alive again. My walls are once again covered in my artwork (I even get my kids involved!). Because every day I wake up feeling like I am living a dream. Because I still get just as excited about every wedding/session as I did the very first time.

-Crystal

 

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