Archive | June, 2013

And now it’s time for a love story.

30 Jun

When I’m helping my husband Roberto of Roberto Farren Photography shoot engagement sessions, one of my favorite things is when he asks the couple how they met and how they fell in love.  Not only is it a great icebreaker, but it always makes the couple super smiley and giggly which lends itself well to having their portraits taken.

The couples that we’ve photographed have some really sweet stories about how they met.  Some of them are pretty epic, and some of them are the stories of normal friendships evolving into something else, but all of the stories end the same way: with two people deciding that they can’t live without each other.

My all time favorite love story, however, doesn’t belong to any of the couples that we’ve photographed.  They’ve definitely got some good ones, but the prize belongs to Roberto’s parents, whose paths crossed by chance one night in Portugal.  Bob’s father, Peter, was born and raised in London.  He worked for the railway, and soon after he turned 30, he and his father (Bob’s granddad) took a road trip through Europe.

On their last night on the mainland before returning to the UK, they decided to check into a Pousada, a chain of rustic hotels found throughout Portugal.  This one happened to be in Santa Clara-a-Velha, a small village about 3 hours south of Lisbon and 90 minutes north of Faro.  As Peter checked in, a lovely lady caught his eye.  This was his first meeting with Lena.  Lena lived in Santa Clara and worked at the Pousada, but her shift was over.  She was waiting for her friend, who was working at the front desk and checking in Peter and his father, to finish her shift.  There was just one problem… Peter didn’t speak Portuguese.  Lena didn’t speak English.

Image from http://www.hotfrog.pt/Empresas/Pousada-de-Santa-Clara-a-Velha-Santa-Clara

Pousada de Santa Clara-a-Velha

But this didn’t stop Peter, who was so taken with the lovely Lena, that he tracked down the hotel manager and through him, asked her on a date.  The three of them – oh yes, the hotel manager joined them and became their conduit – enjoyed dinner together that evening.

The next day, Peter and his father flew back to the UK.  Peter went back to work and life in London, but he couldn’t get Lena off of his mind.  So he did what any smitten Brit would do.  He enrolled in a Portuguese Linguaphone course and saved his money for a ticket back to Portugal.  He continued this for months, traveling to Santa Clara to visit every chance he could, even for trips where he spent more time on planes and in a car than actually with Lena, and picking up enough Portuguese so that they could speak to each other without the help of the hotel manager.  Their relationship continued to develop, and within a year, Peter proposed to Lena.

They were married soon after in Portugal and moved to London together, where Roberto joined their family, followed shortly by Maria and Filipe.  And around 25 years after that, I officially became part of the family when I married Roberto, and we celebrated our wedding at the Pousada de Santa Clara-a-Velha, where Bob’s parents had met.  Nice little full circle, huh?

Roberto Farren Photography

The amazing view from the Pousada de Santa Clara-a-Velha

This story illustrates a few maybe obvious but definitely important lessons about love:

  1. Whatever the obstacles, always find a way to communicate.
  2. Love happens when you least expect it.
  3. When the aforementioned love happens, don’t let it pass you by.

Thanks for reading,

Erin

Roberto Farren Photography

Quote

“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl…”

30 Jun

“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl
is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”

Albert Einstein

Roberto Farren Photography

Mike and Reba taking a quick pit stop during their recent wedding in Rockport, MA.

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Your first dance: Awesome songs that aren’t “that song from Armageddon”

29 Jun

I had a long drive yesterday, which meant a long time alone with my radio.  Just short of the hour mark, one of my favorite non-traditional wedding songs came on the radio, and as I bopped happily along, I started thinking of some of the best first dance songs I’ve heard at weddings while working with Roberto Farren Photography.  Here are three of my faves…

  • A Thousand Years, Christina Perri – If you’re not a 14-year-old girl, you might not recognize this as a song from the Twilight saga, but it is.  However there is actually some amazing music (Radiohead, Muse, Iron & Wine) on these soundtracks, so I feel like it’s still acceptable, and this is a really lovely song which is perfect for your first slow dance with your new spouse.  Side note: During Will and Christine’s wedding, Christine surprised Will by singing and playing piano in an AMAZING version of this song for her new husband.  Roberto captured the replay of this moment at their East Coast celebration in Boston.  I would have helped, but I was in the corner bawling my eyes out.
Roberto Farren Photography

Cassandra and Sean spin their way through their first dance as a married couple at their recent Boston wedding.

  • This is the First Day of My Life, Bright Eyes – Some of my favorite lyrics over a tinkling, happy melody, this song is about admitting that your love has swept over you so ferociously, that it’s hard to remember what came before it.  Reader challenge: Check out the awesome video for this sweet song. If you don’t find yourself grinning or tearing up 1.) you’re probably lying and 2.) have a look at this smiling baby goat, because you need to have your heart thawed out a bit.
Roberto Farren Photography

Lynn and Joe burned up the floor during their first dance at their wedding in Maine.

  • Into my Arms, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – One you don’t hear very often at weddings, but Nick Cave’s voice is melted butter.  The lyrics are irreverent and revering at the same time, and something about his voice and his serious, dark eyes makes you realize that this love is no joke.  Definitely one of those songs that can make the breath catch in your chest, and a show-stopper for the right couple’s first dance.

Definitely more on this topic to come, but for now I’m signing off.  Have a great weekend and…

Thanks for reading,

Erin

Roberto Farren Photography

Quote

“Let us always meet each other with a smile…”

29 Jun

“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
-Mother Teresa

Roberto Farren Photography

A very beamy Ashley and John at their recent wedding in Rockport, MA.

Quote

“Love is friendship…”

28 Jun

“Love is a friendship set to music.”
-Joseph Campbell

Roberto Farren Photography

Holly and Matt’s awesome wedding at the Beehive in Boston.

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A DOMA round up: Love wins!

27 Jun

As a photographer’s assistant, I spend a lot of time at weddings (usually half in tears) with couples celebrating their love and commitment.  Whatever your personal thoughts on marriage are, yesterday was a pretty epic day in the USA with big wins for equality, civil liberties and love.  Instead of my own words, today I’m bringing together a group of resources that are more informed, heartfelt, and funny than I could ever hope to create.

Facts and Background:

How various news outlets reported the overturning of DOMA and Prop 8:

http://www.queerty.com/photos-new-yorkers-celebrate-with-edie-windsor-at-the-stonewall-inn-20130627/dod-marriage-equality-nyc-by-jj-keyes16/

Edie Windsor celebrates the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act with supporters at New York’s famous historic Stonewall Inn. Photo by JJ Keyes at Queerty.com.

Reactions:

Sigh.  Aren’t love and equality dreamy?  Are you new to wedding planning now that DOMA and Prop 8 are finally overturned?  We love love.  Drop us a line at Roberto Farren Photography to talk about your proposal, engagement, or wedding photography needs.

Thanks for reading,

Erin

Roberto Farren Photography

Quote

“Whatever our souls are made of…”

27 Jun

“Whatever our souls are made of,
his and mine are the same.”

-Emily Brontë

Roberto Farren Photography

Ben and Julia’s lovely wedding at Castleton in New Hampshire.

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Engagement photos: Do I need them?

26 Jun

Yes.

Thanks for reading,

Erin

Roberto Farren Photography

…Just kidding.  But the rest of this post is going to be a longer version of ‘yes’.  Getting engagement photos, in addition to giving you and your spouse-to-be the opportunity to have some really wonderful portraits of the two of you in normal clothes, is important for a number of reasons.

Roberto Farren Photography

A shot from Nicole and Shane’s relaxed engagement shoot in Boston’s Public Gardens.

  • It’s your wedding photography test drive.  There are plenty of posts and lists of things you should run through when deciding on your wedding photographer.  I won’t reinvent the wheel here, but once you DO decide on a photographer, take advantage of the opportunity to get out there and work together.  See how the shots come out… if they’re exactly what you dreamed they’d be, awesome.  If they’re close, but maybe a little different than what you were hoping for, give honest feedback.  If they’re way off the mark, cut and run.  You don’t want the added stress during your wedding that your big day might not be captured in the way you imagined.  Your wedding is a massive investment of time, money and effort on your part, make sure you’re getting what you want.
  • I can’t stress this enough, but use the opportunity to establish a rapport.  Your wedding is probably (definitely) going to be on a tight schedule, and you’ll be nervous, excited, (insert 100 other emotions here) and probably surrounded by about a hundred people who want your attention.  Get used to communicating with your photographer, and let them get used to working with you.  There’s a lot more to amazing wedding photography than an expensive camera and a pretty backdrop.  Banter, posing, and keeping the couple happy are hugely important to making you feel relaxed and beautiful in front of the camera (and if I do say so myself, these are some of Roberto Farren’s strengths).
  • Learn how to werk.  Unless you’re a model, you probably don’t know how to pose, and it’s totally not as easy as it looks.  Working as a photographer’s assistant, I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard Roberto tell his couples “feels weird, looks great” to reassure them while posing for their engagement or wedding photography.  For example, while the ladies out there might know some basics (weight on your back leg, etc), did you know that tipping your chin up and leaning forward towards the camera may make you feel like this llama, but it reduces any potential for double chins, elongates your neck, and makes you look a scientifically proven 62% hotter*?
Roberto Farren Photography

A sweet moment during Sara and Brian’s engagement session in the North End of Boston.

These are a few key reasons why you should definitely, definitely invest in those engagement photos.  Apart from being a great learning experience for you and your betrothed, it’s always awesome to have some wonderful photographs of the one that you love during one of the most exciting times in your relationship.

Thanks for reading,

Erin

Roberto Farren Photography

* = not actually backed up by data or science

Quote

“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl…”

26 Jun

“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl,
and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”

Nicole Krauss

Roberto Farren Photography

Rachel and Evan take a break on Acorn Street during their engagement shoot in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston.

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DIY Weddings or “How I Singed Off My Fingerprints in the Name of Love”

25 Jun

Weddings, by their nature, are beautiful events, but there is something particularly lovely about the touches that are made by hand.  Whether it’s the bride- and groom-to-be, their mothers, the bridesmaids, or some combination thereof, some people have the gift of craftiness.  Invitations, name cards and favors are common DIY items at weddings, but as a photographer’s assistant with Roberto Farren Photography, we’ve seen some spectacular shows of skill.

Roberto Farren Photography

For the year before their London wedding, Claire, Joe and their friends folded over a thousand paper cranes to decorate their ceremony. According to Japanese legend this granted them one wish, which they shared on their wedding day.

Don’t think you’re one of those Martha Stewart-esque DIY brides that can make a to-scale copy of the Eiffel Tower (with functioning elevator) out of organic, locally sourced crudités?  No worries.  You’d be surprised what you can pull off before your wedding if you’ve got the time, patience and willingness.

There are certainly amazing things that you can do, and there may be wonderful aspirations that you have, but my first tip is to be realistic and honest with yourself.  And I mean realistic and honest with yourself.  Know your strengths and (more importantly) know your weaknesses.  Not the most patient puppy?  Maybe don’t select a project where you have to paint, stamp and pin 350 petals per hand-made hydrangea.  Have no spatial awareness, nor a steady hand?  Maybe don’t try to address all of the invites in Merovingian script.

Another good thing to remember: If they’re invites, favors, or place cards, you are probably going to be creating these lovely, delicate tokens by the hundreds.  Start early and pace yourself!  You don’t want to end up ostracizing all of your friends before the wedding, or worse, end up on first name terms with the graveyard shift at your local Michael’s (shudder).

However you stretch out the task, at some point you will probably hit all of the following stages.  Be prepared, be patient, and know when to give yourself a break and step away from the grommet press.

  • Once you figure out the 1st one, you’ll be ecstatic (“Look how nice they’re coming out! This is going to be AWESOME!”)
  • By the 8th one, you’re hitting your stride and turning your living room into an assembly line, and starting to spew out pure insanity like: “Alright people, we’re gonna trace, cut, fold, glue, fold again, embossing powder, heat dryer, then you just need to carefully wrap, ribbon and tie on the hand-calligraphied labels!”
  • By the 42nd one, you’re half cut on glue fumes and glitter and running an operation that should probably be reported to the Department of Labor.
  • By the 87th one, you’re starting to question whether marriage is actually worth this and accidentally (on purpose) glue some of your hair to your grandmother’s place card.
  • (Time lapse.)

Time lapse

  • Instead of a clear memory of completing the last item, you’ll probably wake up from an origami induced blackout, surrounded by tiny scraps of colored paper that you’ll still be finding years later.  Congratulations!  You made it!  You’re ready for your wedding, where family and friends will “ooh” and “ahh” over the lovely DIY accents you’ve created for your celebration.
  • NOW: Go bandage those papercuts and get a manicure.  And you should probably make sure that your friends/sweat shop workers are still speaking to you…
Roberto Farren Photography

Mike’s unique boutonnière was handmade by his new wife Denise for their recent Cambridge wedding.

Finally, just a reminder to give your wedding photographer the details of the special items that you created (see my post on creating your shot list) so they can be sure to photograph them for you.

One last tip: Beware the Pinterest.  More on this to come…

Thanks for reading,

Erin

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