A sangeet is a celebration that takes place the night before a couple's wedding day filled with music and dance performances.  From what I've read, in earlier times, a sangeet would last 10 days!  Seema and Jack's sangeet at the Morris Museum was a night filled with emotion and beauty, and I absolutely loved capturing it.  Special thanks to my second photographer Victoria who helped photograph the day!

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AuthorBriane Morse
CategoriesWedding

This little post is all about the new artists and women that I recently had the pleasure of meeting and collaborating with.  Last month Tina from Dear Paperie invited me to stop by and capture some extra Polaroids and film for a styled shoot she planned.  Her good friend Hannah of Ramble Free Photo Co. wasphotographing the shoot,  and there were a ton of other lovely, talented, ladies involved as well.  I was honestly a bit uncomfortable to just "waltz in" on a shoot that I didn't put any effort or work into planning.  But Tina insisted that I was more the welcome, and she really wanted me there, saying "it's a great opportunity for everyone!"  That's just how Tina is... genuine, sincere. positive, and always looking at the bigger picture for how she can connect with other artists for all the right reasons:)  Everyone involved was extremely welcoming and friendly.  The group of women that day truly embodied the idea of "community over competition." 

Thanks so much to Hannah for letting me photograph along side of her. She not only is an extremely talented photographer (make sure to check out her work here!) but an equally kind and incredible person.  Side note; Tina imagined and arranged the fresh flowers you'll see here, but her bigger passion is the handmade paper flowers she creates.  I will have a post coming soon featuring her paper work, so stay tuned!

Models: Kiri Morken, Sydney Paige, and E.M. Ricchini

Dresses:  Sweet Caroline Styles and Ashe B. & Co.

Flowers: Dear Paperie

Planner: Lindsey Morgan Events

Hair: Frances Panunto     Makeup: Elegance Artistry

Jewelry: Lauren Priori

Last year Devorah contacted me about photographing her wedding, saying that she loved the style of my wedding photography and the moments that I captured.  Being that she is an Orthodox Jew, she explained that what she was looking for wasn't typical of most brides having a traditional and religious wedding.  I was beyond flattered that she was considering me to document her day.  It been a few years since I had experience with an Orthodox Jewish wedding, so I ended up pairing up with Monika Lightstone, who regularly photographed traditional Jewish weddings.  Monika is not only a wonderful photographer but a genuine and warmhearted soul as well.  I would have been totally lost the day of without her, despite reading up on Orthodox Jewish weddings prior.  She directed me as to what was coming next, and the meaning of everything that was taking place as well so that I could fully concentrated on capturing the day from a photojournalist's perspective.

It is not typical for women to be allowed to photograph the mens' portion of a Orthodox Jewish wedding, but this community was a little more liberal than most.  Luckily Monika and I were able to photograph Devorah and Zev's wedding with hardly any restrictions.  I am not a religious person, but I am deeply spiritual.  I always have been fascinated by many religions and cultures, so I truly felt grateful to have been trusted to witness and photograph the beauty of this wedding.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but I have to say that everyone was very warm and welcoming.   For what it's worth, this experience got me thinking in general about the world... open mindedness, our perceived differences, and the stigmas that are attached to any religion or culture that seem foreign to us.  Even for the most open minded person, in all honesty there is a trepidation, even if in the smallest sense, that a community different than your own will feel alien and separate.  I believe that if you can strip away the differences on the surface, or the disparate "terminology" a group explains something with, you can start to see a common thread of love and humanity that runs through it all.  One interesting fact I learnedwas that the bride is believed to be extremely blessed on the day of her wedding.  In simplistic terms, she is an open channel to the divine, and she can grant blessings to others.  At the end of the night when I said goodbye to Devorah, she asked permission if she could give me a blessing, to which I said, "of course."  She took my hands in hers and asked that I, my children, family, and business be blessed and open to all the good the universe had to offer.  And in that moment, I felt it.

Thank you again to Monika, and Devorah and Zev and their families for allowing me to be there.  Here are a few of my absolute favorites from the day. 

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AuthorBriane Morse
CategoriesWedding
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Last May, my good friend Jeff Anderson asked if I could photograph Leslie and Chris's marriage at City Hall with him.  It was such a beautiful day!  Not only were we blessed with gorgeous weather, but more importantly Leslie and Chris are some of sweetest, most genuine, and interesting people.  It was a pleasure to witness their intimate ceremony and the rapport between the two of them.  Fast forward to just a few weeks ago while in Whole Foods with my five year old, and who do I run into but Leslie :)  She greeted me warmly like an old friend.  Just then I realized that in the bustle of the past year I never posted any of my favorite images from the day.  So without any further ado, here they are...

This past fall I had the pleasure of photographing Drita and Phil's wedding in New York City at the Bryant Park Grill.  It was day filled with lovely people, beautiful crisp weather, and a handful of some of the cutest kids I've ever met in their bridal party.  A few of my favorites below.

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AuthorBriane Morse
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Karen and Reed are such a fun and affable couple.  I had a great time getting to know them more this past Fall during their engagement session.  When we first met, they expressed that they were nervous that they wouldn't look "natural" in their pictures.  I hear this all the time from couples, especially before an engagement session, and I totally get it!  I personally am not a fan of having my picture taken when I'm aware a camera is on me (ironic, I know).  So I suggested that we mix in some stops where they could actually do something besides pose for portraits.  I am a big believer in this for most portrait sessions, it makes it more personal and real.  Karen and Reed totally took me up on the idea, so as we wandered around Old City we also hit up some of their favorite spots such as Cafe Ole and Rocket Fizz.  A few of my favorites below.  PS I can't wait for their wedding this spring :)

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AuthorBriane Morse
CategoriesEngagement


Me and my associate Alex had the pleasure of photographing Justine and Derek's wedding at Jack's Barn in Oxford, New Jersey for William West Studio this past summer.  I didn't get a chance to meet the couple before their wedding day, I only spoke to Justine over the phone a few times prior.  I knew from our conversations we would get along great, but I didn't just how much fun this couple and their wedding would be until I met them the day of.  Within in a few minutes of meeting Justine, I learned that she handmade her bouquet, as well as her bridesmaids, all of her wedding decor, and even had her wedding dress customized with lots of amazing embellishments!  Explaining her reasoning behind her dress and accessories she said, "I figured I'm only going to get married once, so I might as well make it good and go all out!"

Justine and Derek couldn't be more genuine, easy going, and down to earth.  Their family and friends are all wonderful as well.  One of Derek's groomsmen described them in his toast as, "...some of the most stately people I know."  That word stuck out to me and I thought it accurately described this loving couple and the unspoken elegance and dignity that they both innately possess.  From the ceremony overlooking an hillside view across from Derek's family's home, to the non traditional vibe of Jack's Barn, Alex and I loved every second of their wedding day.  I hope you enjoy some of my favorites from their gallery!

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AuthorBriane Morse
CategoriesWedding

I guarantee you are about to hear one of the sweetest stories you have heard in awhile!  Let me set up the backstory for this fall engagement session in Luke's own words:

"I met Stephanie in the summer of 2013 while working as an international camp counselor in Honesdale, PA.  On my return trip the following January, we decided we just couldn't be apart again, and on the 18th March we actually visited NYC marriage bureau where we legally became husband and wife.  We always planned to have a 'second' wedding, one we can celebrate with family and friends... and this July 2016 we will."

Though Luke and Steph are technically already married,  Luke still wanted to surprise her with an official proposal :)  Luke and Steph hired me to photograph their upcoming "second wedding" before meeting me in person, so they figured a portrait session would be a great way to meet and hang out a bit beforehand.  Little did Steph know that Luke reached out to me to secretly capture his proposal before their portrait session,  so that he could later surprise Stephanie with the photos.  To say the least I was nervous as hell, hoping like crazy I would not ruin the surprise in any way.  I was praying Steph wouldn't see some stranger (me) stalking them with a camera in the distance, and then put two and two together when she officially met me minutes later.  Also, I was hoping she wasn't suspect to anything as I tried to play it off like I didn't just witness the whole thing go down (I am a terrible liar and I wear my emotions on my sleeve all of the time).  Luckily, everything went according to plan.  While wandering around Lambertville Stephanie commented to me, "Luke is one of the most romantic people I know."  I can absolutely see why she feels that way, especially knowing that Luke had one more thing up his sleeve that day.

He had also planned for Steph's immediate family and friends to surprise her at the Logan Inn for dinner.  After our session wrapped up,  I said goodbye and raced to the nearby restaurant to give her family a heads up that they would soon be on their way.  It was such fun to see Steph's elation again and capture it all on camera.  I loved getting to know Luke and Steph a bit more during their session.  To top it off, Lambertville is an awesome town and the weather and light that day was just divine.  Luke and Steph are genuine, warm souls and it was a joy to witness their tenderness and ease together.  I can't wait for their wedding this July!

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AuthorBriane Morse
CategoriesEngagement

I met my friend Lindsey last year at Ash Imagery's Instant Film workshop, and I am so happy I did!  She is a bright and creative soul who is a wonderful photographer herself.  We decided to try and get together at the John James Audubon Center one day over the summer to talk shop and shoot some portraits of each other.   I usually am a reluctant model, but I had fun bouncing back and forth between "modeling", talking, and taking portraits of Lindsey.  Make sure to take a look at Lindsey's work here, and her Instagram feed as well!  Everything below was shot on medium format and 35mm film,  and one lonely bleached Polaroid negative at the end : )

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AuthorBriane Morse

Bishopville, MD

Janelle & Gabe's adoration for each other is so palpable.  It was such a joy to witness their assured and graceful rapport together on their wedding day.  When I look back on their photographs, I remember how infectious it was to be in their presence.  I wish you two all the best! xoxo

 

Bride's Dress: Sarah Seven   Bridesmaids Dresses: Paper Crown & BHLDN  Groom/Groomsmen:  Allure Men 

Venue: Lighthouse Sound

Florist: Visual Presentations

Event Planning: Eastern Shore Events

Band: The Big House Band

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AuthorBriane Morse
CategoriesWedding

Philadelphia, PA

I had a blast photographing Reenie and Nick's wedding at the College of Physicians this past summer.  They are a genuine, fun loving couple and they don't take themselves too seriously.  During their reception they decided last minute to not stop to cut their cake so the music could keep going.  Yes, it was that good of a party :)

Catering -  Catering by Design

Florals - Maura Rose

 

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AuthorBriane Morse
CategoriesWedding
Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon

I recently read the book Steal Like an Artist by author Austin Kleon, and one of his chapters in particular has been on my mind frequently ever since.  You don't need to be an "official artist" to benefit from picking up this fun and succinct read.  We are all creative on some level, and this insight can be applied to any area you are passionate about in life.  Chapter 4 is titled, "Use your Hands."   It's general premise is the driving force behind my love for incorporating film and Polaroid prints into all my work.

Austin Kleon sites cartoonist Lynda Barry, ..." 'In the digital age, don't forget to use your digits!'  Your hands are the original digital devices.  Use them."  

Kleon starts with "Step Away From the Screen"  and goes on to say,

"While I love my computer, I think computers have robbed us of the feeling that we're actually making things.  Instead, we're just typing keys and clicking mouse buttons.  This is why so-called knowledge work seems so abstract.  The artist Stanley Donwood, who's made all the album artwork for the band Radiohead, says computers are alienating because they put a sheet of glass between you and whatever is happening.  'You never really get to touch anything that you're doing unless you print it out,' Donwood says.
Just watch someone at their computer.  They're so still, so immobile.  You don't need a scientific study (of which there are a few) to tell you that sitting in front of a computer all day is killing you, and killing your work.  We need to move, to feel like we're making something with our bodies, not just our heads.
Work that only comes from the head isn't any good.  Watch a great musician play a show.  Watch a great leader give a speech.  You'll see what I mean.
You need to find a way to bring your body into your work.  Our nerves aren't a one-way street - our bodies can our brains as much as our brains tell our bodies.  You that phrase, 'going through the motions?'  That's what's so great about creative work:  If we just start going through the motions, if we strum a guitar, or shuffle sticky notes around a conference table, or start kneading clay, the motion kickstarts our brain into thinking."

Don't get me wrong, I am not painting technology or digital art forms as negatives or less than, far from it!  But like anything else in life, it is about balance.  In my opinion, a huge part of the reason we are here is to experience everything we do, make, and learn on the physical level.  It is so easy for all of us to spend much of our time for work and play on or in front of a screen.  Think about it, when we aren't working, we are texting, reading, playing games, shopping even, all from our phones!  Though our rapidly expanding technology offers us so much convenience and advancement, we can't forget to create and incorporate tactile processes into what we do.  Trust me, it's important.

 

Source: http://www.amazon.com/Steal-Like-Artist-Th...
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AuthorBriane Morse

I am thrilled to have our Philadelphia Elopement inspired shoot featured on Delancey and Penn today!  I simply wanted to do something fun based around an unconventional couple that would elope at City Hall and go celebrate on their own locally.  Our celebratory stops included Philly Cupcake and a drink at Revolution House in Old City Philadelphia.  Racks Thrift Avenue in Haddonfield NJ generously lent us our brides attire and accessories, and Susan from Vivian Rouge provided the gorgeous hair and makeup.   My friend Jeff Anderson and I had a blast photographing this real life couple (high school sweethearts no less!). Enjoy :)

Once in awhile, I get the opportunity to second shoot with another photographer friend when I have a date free.  It doesn't seem to happen that often, but I love when it works out!  It is an awesome creative change of pace for me to step back and view a wedding from the sidelines a bit more, so to speak.  I was asked to come along with the wonderful William West , to help him capture Tanya and Pete's day.

This wedding took place last fall at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township, New Jersey.  If you haven't been there to visit yet, I highly recommend you do!  As a side note, Tanya and Pete's wedding is exactly the kind of wedding I would love to have if I were planning a wedding again.  They had a beautiful, unique location, with an intimate dinner party of about 75 people...just right :)

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AuthorBriane Morse
CategoriesWedding

Meghan and Matt's wedding reception this past November was held at The Manor House at Commonwealth.  And Meghan's gorgeous vintage inspired gown from Sposabella Bridal spoke  both of her style and the motif of The Manor House.  We knew that it would be dark once we left the church and arrived at the Manor House.  Therefore, I made an impulsive decision to walk Meghan and Matt directly across the street from the church as soon as they exited for a quiet moment alone during the day's dwindling daylight.  "Just trust us."  I said.  I'm sure they were wondering what we could possibly capture using the one lonely tree that had but a few red leaves left clinging to it, in the middle of an empty lawn no less.  I spotted it on our way into the church and thought, "That's all I need."  I'm a big believer that you don't need grand scenery to make a good image.  This effervescent and easy going couple obliged us.  They shared a few laughs together while we clicked away at a distance, so we could capture a few daylight images of them that I knew Meghan was hoping for.

Meghan and Matt, we loved being a part of your day!  Thank you for trusting us to capture it.  Congratulations! Bri xoxo