Friday, September 23, 2011

Central Avenue Breakdown promotional photos

I am the official photographer for the New York Musical Theater Festival. I work with many of the participating shows taking promotional images for them. These are the shots for a show called Central Avenue Breakdown. This was an interesting shoot as it was done on very short notice. We ended up shooting under an old staircase of a brownstone near the rehearsal space. As it turned out, there was a repair shop for woodwinds right at that space. The show is about saxophone playing brothers in the 1950s so it was kismet to find this spot. We shot at high noon in bright sun, so there were many lighting challenges, but it worked out well. Thanks to all the actors who patiently posed.

Monday, July 25, 2011

First Day of Gay weddings in New York

Six Weddings in One Day:

Sunday was the first day gay couples could marry in New York.

I have been working with Marriage Equality New York for years and I wasn't going to miss this amazing day. I went to the marriage bureau bright and early and was so honored and privileged to photograph six weddings in one day. Some of their stories are below.

I truly believe that the best way to change people's attitudes about marriage equality is through images. That is why I have reached out to the LGBT community for many years and done couples portraits and commitment ceremonies (and now weddings). As a gay man I’ve witnessed and experienced great love and commitment and it’s a passion of mine to create images that show the depth of love and commitment that LGBT couples share. I'm so proud to share these images with you.

There are no Vera Wang gowns or Tuxedos here and the surroundings are quite modest. Mostly judges offices. But the love shown here was an inspiration to me and I hope I've been able to communicate that to you through my images. I strive to find the moments of connection. As a reminder, I’m celebrating Marriage Eqaulity in NY with a big sale on my wedding photography. Visit my site to learn more.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all the couples who opened their arms and their hearts and allowed me to record this important moment of their lives.

Truly an amazing day and a great honor.

Alvin and Antonio

I met Alvin and Antonio on line outside the marriage bureau and thought they were just a lovely couple. Brimming with love. I was so pleased that they accepted my offer to photograph their journey that day. 

Once they got inside, the first thing that happened (after metal detectors) was a surprise meeting with City Council Member Christine Quinn.

And then the wait began. When would their number be called?

To keep their minds off the wait, I took a few portraits. 

And then the time came to sign the papers.

Just bursting with joy, they walked over to the chapel and waited to be called in. 

The moment turned tender as they realized what was about to happen. 

All the chapels were filled, so they moved us into a judges office and their waver was signed. 

The family was stuffed into a tiny room along with me and a camera crew from CNN. 

A new judge came in and explained the ceremony and what an historic day it was. Emotions ran high. 

The ceremony begins.

The Vows take place. 

When it came time to put on the rings, both Alvin and Antonio ceremoniously took wrappings off their fingers to expose fresh tattoos of that day's date, now their anniversary. 

A truly lovely and extraordinary couple. 

Crystal and Norma

I next met Crystal and Norma and their family. 

It's amazing how every couple has a different way of holding hands. 

As the ceremony started, so did the tears. 

The rings were exchanged. 

The couple were pronounced married. 

And hugs and kisses all around. 

Stephen and Jonathan

I met Stephen and Jonathan in the waiting room. They were a colorful couple, both literally and figuratively. 

Doin' the paperwork. 

This is Paul, one of the witnesses holding the rings. 

Such a lovely smile. 

Holding hands as the judge speaks. 

This couple brought both tears of joy and laughter to the surroundings. 

The rings are exchanged. 

The pronouncements are made. 

And two are now one. 

Amy and Kristabelle

This is Kristabelle and Amy. Kirstabelle was sitting in the waiting room strumming her ukelele and I was intrigued. 

I took the couple over the window to take advantage of the afternoon light. 

The ukelele in question

Going over all the paperwork. 

This couple was somewhat subdued and very focused on one another. They spoke their vows with import and seriousness.

The rings are exchanged. 

Sealed with a kiss. 

Meri and Sas

This is Meri and Sas. A very outgoing and enthusiastic pair, who came with their four kids. 

Meri's bridal portrait. I wish we had the time to take her out in a lovely garden somewhere, but luckily we had some beautiful afternoon light. 

This is Sas and her infectious smile. 

The whole clan. 

Like I said, enthusiastic. 

While fixing Meri's veil, Sas just couldn't help herself. 

Meeting State Senator Thom Duane on the way to the judges chambers. 

The rings. 

The ceremony begins.

The rings are exchanged. 

And the couple kiss. 

Ed and Mark

It was the end of the day and I was heading out when I spotted Ed and Mark. They were waiting to go into the chapel but they couldn't find their witness. So I was both the photographer and witness for this couple. 

A Short and Sweet ceremony. 

With laughs

and meaningful glances. 

and my day ends with another happy couple.