Corey, Silas, Olive and myself. Fall, 2018. Brooksvale Park.

Corey, Silas, Olive and myself. Fall, 2018. Brooksvale Park.

Ten years ago, almost to the day of this writing, I shot my first wedding. I realized then, and I still believe now that photography is a medium for documentation, not creation. A medium that needs no explanation, because it simply is. Our culture is so verbose. Photography doesn’t have to be. 

We as photographers need to find our place. We aren’t the mysterious artists we claim to be. We take pictures. It doesn’t have to be more than that.

This year, moreso than at any point in my life, I learned that being happy is nearly impossible, but you can feel it. If you’re lucky, you can feel it often. When you do… hold onto it for dear life.

It’s easy to be bitter. Be daring enough to feel joy. 

Life will get hard, I promise you. Life will push you down, kick you as you struggle to get up from the pavement, and then laugh at you when you finally get to your feet. But you will get up. 

You will get up.

I hope, truly, that my photos can be a helping hand in those hard times.

Thank you to my couples for bringing me into their moments of joy. For allowing Corey and I to share in something so rare and beautiful. We are better for it, as people, as photographers, as spouses, and as parents. 

On behalf of Corey, my son Silas and my daughter Olive - thank you. Your willingness to share your joy with us has given me a life and perspective few could ever feel worthy of.

Cheers to you, and to a great 2019. - Eric 

Numbers: 297,000 shutter clicks | 21,000 miles driven | 51 weddings  | 2 toddlers | 1 very patient wife

2018 Honorable Mentions:

Honorable Mention 1 | Shaina & Lou | The Lace Factory  Sony a9 | 85 f1.8  Shaina opened a letter from Lou just a few minutes before the start of their ceremony. I never ask my brides to read out loud… their reactions always speak for themselves.

Honorable Mention 1 | Shaina & Lou | The Lace Factory

Sony a9 | 85 f1.8

Shaina opened a letter from Lou just a few minutes before the start of their ceremony. I never ask my brides to read out loud… their reactions always speak for themselves.

Honorable Mention 2 | Molly & Patrick | Water’s Edge  Sony a9 | 85 f1.8  I took Molly and Pat down to the water for some sunset photos during dinner. On their way back inside they danced together to the sounds of a classic rock cover band playing on the outside patio. This is joy.

Honorable Mention 2 | Molly & Patrick | Water’s Edge

Sony a9 | 85 f1.8

I took Molly and Pat down to the water for some sunset photos during dinner. On their way back inside they danced together to the sounds of a classic rock cover band playing on the outside patio. This is joy.

Honorable Mention 3 | Kayla & Matt | St. Mary’s - Longmeadow, MA  Sony a9 | 28 f2.0  Just a couple of weeks ago on December 28th, Kayla and Matt were married by a long time family friend, and reverend in their church. During the service he invited all of the kids in the room to come sit and be a part of the ceremony. I’ve shot a lot of weddings, and have never seen something like this in a church before. As a father of two, this was an awesome and memorable moment.

Honorable Mention 3 | Kayla & Matt | St. Mary’s - Longmeadow, MA

Sony a9 | 28 f2.0

Just a couple of weeks ago on December 28th, Kayla and Matt were married by a long time family friend, and reverend in their church. During the service he invited all of the kids in the room to come sit and be a part of the ceremony. I’ve shot a lot of weddings, and have never seen something like this in a church before. As a father of two, this was an awesome and memorable moment.

Honorable Mention 4 | Crystal & Rob | New Haven Lawn Club  Sony a9 | 50 f1.8  I love photographing speeches and toasts, because I love photographing real reactions. If you’re a wedding photographer, forget lighting, composition, or any other rules you may be worrying about. Lock your camera on your couple and fire away - it never disappoints.

Honorable Mention 4 | Crystal & Rob | New Haven Lawn Club

Sony a9 | 50 f1.8

I love photographing speeches and toasts, because I love photographing real reactions. If you’re a wedding photographer, forget lighting, composition, or any other rules you may be worrying about. Lock your camera on your couple and fire away - it never disappoints.

Honorable Mention 5 | Becca, Nick & Baby Bella! | Wood Acre Farm  Sony a9 | 85 f1.8  Shortly after their ceremony, Becca and Nick’s two month old girl Bella scheduled some time in her day for a visit to Mom and Dad’s wedding. It was a such a great surprise to have her there for some photos.

Honorable Mention 5 | Becca, Nick & Baby Bella! | Wood Acre Farm

Sony a9 | 85 f1.8

Shortly after their ceremony, Becca and Nick’s two month old girl Bella scheduled some time in her day for a visit to Mom and Dad’s wedding. It was a such a great surprise to have her there for some photos.

2018 Top 10

2018 Number 10 | Stephanie & Steve | Lake of Isles  Sony a9 | 85 f1.8  During an emotional toast by Stephanie’s father, Steve broke down (along with many other people in the room). I dont’ deliver many black and white photos in my collections, but in this case the faces of the people were too important, and the coloring of the image took away from that. A great toast, great photo, and great way to start this year’s top 10.

2018 Number 10 | Stephanie & Steve | Lake of Isles

Sony a9 | 85 f1.8

During an emotional toast by Stephanie’s father, Steve broke down (along with many other people in the room). I dont’ deliver many black and white photos in my collections, but in this case the faces of the people were too important, and the coloring of the image took away from that. A great toast, great photo, and great way to start this year’s top 10.

2018 Number 9 | Natalie & Nick | Aria  Sony a9 | 85 f1.8  When Natalie was getting ready there were two moments I knew could be potential top photos for the year. Instead of choosing, I’ve included both. First, an emotional reading of Nick’s letter to her just shortly after she finished getting dressed. Second, Natalie stepped out of the bedroom to all of her bridesmaids waiting to see her for the first time. There’s nothing more exciting than photographing these kinds of reactions. They were a great group to spend the day with, and these were easy picks for my top list.

2018 Number 9 | Natalie & Nick | Aria

Sony a9 | 85 f1.8

When Natalie was getting ready there were two moments I knew could be potential top photos for the year. Instead of choosing, I’ve included both. First, an emotional reading of Nick’s letter to her just shortly after she finished getting dressed. Second, Natalie stepped out of the bedroom to all of her bridesmaids waiting to see her for the first time. There’s nothing more exciting than photographing these kinds of reactions. They were a great group to spend the day with, and these were easy picks for my top list.

2018 Number 8 | Christina & Don | Log Cabin, Holyoke, MA  Sony a9 | 85 f1.8  When Don saw Christina turn the corner and start her walk up the aisle, he broke down. If you’re a future groom, allow yourself this moment. Take it in and enjoy it. You’ll remember it for the rest of your life.

2018 Number 8 | Christina & Don | Log Cabin, Holyoke, MA

Sony a9 | 85 f1.8

When Don saw Christina turn the corner and start her walk up the aisle, he broke down. If you’re a future groom, allow yourself this moment. Take it in and enjoy it. You’ll remember it for the rest of your life.

2018 Number 7 | Alex & Pat | Essex Steam Train & The Lace Factory  Sony a9 | 85 f1.8  As a young couple, Alex and Pat have been through alot. Perhaps, more hardship than most ever will. But here they are, on their wedding day, about to board a steam train, drinks and flowers in hand, with 200 of the most important people in their lives cheering them on. No couple of mine could understand more the importance of finding small moments of joy in life, and immersing yourself in them. It was an honor to photograph this wedding.

2018 Number 7 | Alex & Pat | Essex Steam Train & The Lace Factory

Sony a9 | 85 f1.8

As a young couple, Alex and Pat have been through alot. Perhaps, more hardship than most ever will. But here they are, on their wedding day, about to board a steam train, drinks and flowers in hand, with 200 of the most important people in their lives cheering them on. No couple of mine could understand more the importance of finding small moments of joy in life, and immersing yourself in them. It was an honor to photograph this wedding.

2018 Number 6 | Stephanie & Mike | The Pavilion on Crystal Lake  Sony a9 | 50 f1.8  Whenever possible I love to photograph the reaction of a bride’s father when he gets to see her for the first time. As a father with a daughter, I can’t even begin to comprehend the enormity of this moment. An easy pick for 2018.

2018 Number 6 | Stephanie & Mike | The Pavilion on Crystal Lake

Sony a9 | 50 f1.8

Whenever possible I love to photograph the reaction of a bride’s father when he gets to see her for the first time. As a father with a daughter, I can’t even begin to comprehend the enormity of this moment. An easy pick for 2018.

2018 Number 5 | Amber & Drew | The Webb Barn  Fuji XT2 | 56 f1.2  Corey and I were married at the Webb Barn ourselves, so whenever we have the opportunity to shoot there we always have a nice time. When a couple chooses to do a first look, it becomes the key moment of the entire day. When Amber leaned out from around the corner and Drew started crying I stepped out to the side and got back as far as I could. When you give people physical space, you allow them them a more honest experience. This whole wedding could have been it’s own top post, and it was a blast for Corey and I to be back where it all started.

2018 Number 5 | Amber & Drew | The Webb Barn

Fuji XT2 | 56 f1.2

Corey and I were married at the Webb Barn ourselves, so whenever we have the opportunity to shoot there we always have a nice time. When a couple chooses to do a first look, it becomes the key moment of the entire day. When Amber leaned out from around the corner and Drew started crying I stepped out to the side and got back as far as I could. When you give people physical space, you allow them them a more honest experience. This whole wedding could have been it’s own top post, and it was a blast for Corey and I to be back where it all started.

2018 Number 4 | Cassie & Chris | Hammonasset Beach  Sony a9 | 85 f1.8  I’ve shot a lot of weddings for friends and family over the years. When Corey’s sister Cassie and her husband Chris got engaged I hoped they would ask me to photograph their wedding. Cassie and Chris had a quiet, personal, and emotional ceremony on the rocks of Hammonasset Beach. It was a cool, still July night. A few beachgoers looked on as the JP from my own wedding married the two of them just as the sun dipped below the horizon. It was a real pleasure to photograph their ceremony. It was one of the more memorable moments of my career.

2018 Number 4 | Cassie & Chris | Hammonasset Beach

Sony a9 | 85 f1.8

I’ve shot a lot of weddings for friends and family over the years. When Corey’s sister Cassie and her husband Chris got engaged I hoped they would ask me to photograph their wedding. Cassie and Chris had a quiet, personal, and emotional ceremony on the rocks of Hammonasset Beach. It was a cool, still July night. A few beachgoers looked on as the JP from my own wedding married the two of them just as the sun dipped below the horizon. It was a real pleasure to photograph their ceremony. It was one of the more memorable moments of my career.

2018 Number 3 | Briana & Anton | Avon Old Farms  Sony a9 | 50 f1.8  When I’m given the great honor of photographing the wedding of a member of our armed forces, I really try and find ways to weave that into the story of the day. The enormity of the level of commitment, sacrifice, bravery, and selflessness it takes to make a career out of protecting our country is beyond words. As Briana made her way towards Anton during the precessional, I quickly focused my camera on the patch on Anton’s shoulder, and fired off a couple of frames. It happened fast, and I was lucky to get a photo that worked. Cheers to this great couple, and to Anton for his service.

2018 Number 3 | Briana & Anton | Avon Old Farms

Sony a9 | 50 f1.8

When I’m given the great honor of photographing the wedding of a member of our armed forces, I really try and find ways to weave that into the story of the day. The enormity of the level of commitment, sacrifice, bravery, and selflessness it takes to make a career out of protecting our country is beyond words. As Briana made her way towards Anton during the precessional, I quickly focused my camera on the patch on Anton’s shoulder, and fired off a couple of frames. It happened fast, and I was lucky to get a photo that worked. Cheers to this great couple, and to Anton for his service.

2018 Number 2 | Heather & James | Roia New Haven  Sony a9 | 85 f1.8  It can get windy in New Haven. When Fall starts to turn the corner and transition to Winter, it can get really cold too. That’s exactly what happened on Heather and James’ wedding day. The weather report said 40 MPH winds, with temperatures in the 40s, and for a lot of couples that would have been a big problem. I always encourage my couples to shoot outside regardless of the weather. Allow the the rain, sleet, snow, wind, heat, humidity (or whatever happens to be going on that day) to be a part of your story. Embrace it! That’s what Heather and James did. We finished up our photos on the New Haven Green, and on the walk back (or maybe the run back) to their venue I snapped this cold and impressively windy photo on College Street. A easy pick for my top 3!

2018 Number 2 | Heather & James | Roia New Haven

Sony a9 | 85 f1.8

It can get windy in New Haven. When Fall starts to turn the corner and transition to Winter, it can get really cold too. That’s exactly what happened on Heather and James’ wedding day. The weather report said 40 MPH winds, with temperatures in the 40s, and for a lot of couples that would have been a big problem. I always encourage my couples to shoot outside regardless of the weather. Allow the the rain, sleet, snow, wind, heat, humidity (or whatever happens to be going on that day) to be a part of your story. Embrace it! That’s what Heather and James did. We finished up our photos on the New Haven Green, and on the walk back (or maybe the run back) to their venue I snapped this cold and impressively windy photo on College Street. A easy pick for my top 3!

2018 Number 1 | Caitlin & Paul | Priam Vineyard  Sony a9 | 85 f1.8  The thing I am most proud of in my life is being a father. I have two young, wild, and opinionated toddlers in my house, and it has been the craziest, most challenging, and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. When kids are involved in a wedding day, I get so much more emotional now that I have my own. In this photo, Paul wrote vows both for his wife Caitlin, and her two young children. When he crouched down and read directly to them, he was acknowledging that he wasn’t just marrying one person, he was marrying a family. It was touching, honest, intimate, and it showed how incredible of a person he was, and how incredible of a family they were going to be.  _  What do the photos above have in common? Joy.  Above anything else - money, your job, car, house or clothes… the noise of social media… nothing matters more than finding moments of happiness and enjoying them while you have them. Find joy, it’s out there.   See last year’s post  here

2018 Number 1 | Caitlin & Paul | Priam Vineyard

Sony a9 | 85 f1.8

The thing I am most proud of in my life is being a father. I have two young, wild, and opinionated toddlers in my house, and it has been the craziest, most challenging, and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. When kids are involved in a wedding day, I get so much more emotional now that I have my own. In this photo, Paul wrote vows both for his wife Caitlin, and her two young children. When he crouched down and read directly to them, he was acknowledging that he wasn’t just marrying one person, he was marrying a family. It was touching, honest, intimate, and it showed how incredible of a person he was, and how incredible of a family they were going to be.

_

What do the photos above have in common? Joy.

Above anything else - money, your job, car, house or clothes… the noise of social media… nothing matters more than finding moments of happiness and enjoying them while you have them. Find joy, it’s out there.


See last year’s post here