PRIMARY PHOTOGRAPHER: ALEX FAGUNDO

One of the questions I am asked most often is “have you worked at my venue”. Having been doing wedding photography now for 9 years, I have worked almost everywhere and know all the South Florida venues, however, there really is little advantage to having photographed a venue multiple times. A good professional photographer should be able to work in any lighting and under any challenge that can come up regardless of the venue. When Marissa and Pietro told me they were going to have their wedding at the Kampong in Coconut Grove, I was thrilled because that is a place I had never been.

I had had the opportunity to photograph Marissa and Pietro’s engagement session just a few months before and was very excited to work with them again. They are a blast to work with. They are very passionate, fun loving and adventurous. This is how their wedding day developed.

Technical note: This was the first wedding in which I used the Nikon D750 as a main camera. I loved the skin tones I was able to capture and low light portraits. I don’t normally label images this way but I will label the shots appropriately with camera info for this blog.

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image by second shooter Karen Ziemkowski using 5D3

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image by second shooter Karen Ziemkowski using 5D3

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by second shooter Karen Ziemkowski using 5D3

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by second shooter Karen Ziemkowski using 5D3

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image by second shooter Karen Ziemkowski using 5D3

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by second shooter Karen Ziemkowski using 5D3

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image by second shooter Karen Ziemkowski using 5D3

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D800

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by second shooter Karen Ziemkowski using 5D3

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image by second shooter Karen Ziemkowski using 5D3

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D800

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by second shooter Karen Ziemkowski using 5D3

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D800

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D800

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D800

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D800

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image by primary photographer Alex Fagundo using Nikon D750

After the wedding I had the opportunity to ask Marissa and Pietro about their day.

Q. What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
A. Seeing everything all come to fruition. The final product was amazing!

Q. What was the most emotional part of the wedding for you?
A. Standing up at the alter at our wedding ceremony looking at my husband, knowing all eyes from our families were on us. Knowing that even though my sister was not physically there, she was in spirit.

Q. What was something you are glad you did on your wedding day that not everyone may realize?
A. We sat at our table together and took the advice a friend gave us a few days before the event. We took it all in. We took a couple of minutes to look around, see the smiles, the decor, and the whole party just come to life. It’s important to remember those moments because they go by so quickly. Also we were glad to have done our Evolution of Dance, which we barely practiced and somehow pulled off!

Q. What is one piece of advice you would give a bride planning for her wedding?
A. Make sure to not sweat the little things. Take time to enjoy the day, and no matter what make sure to say something to each person at your wedding. They are all there to celebrate the joy of your marriage. Let them know how grateful you are to share it with them!

That is some great advice! Thank you Marissa and Pietro for letting us be a part of your wedding day!

Getting up really early at the crack of dawn, actually before the crack of dawn is not something anyone likes doing, but as you can see in these pictures it is totally worth it. I think if more of my clients were willing to get up early I would do nothing but shoot at sunrise everyday. Thank you, Elizabeth and Jamie for getting up early!

This session was photographed at very low light during sunrise using my new Nikon D750 camera which is soon to be my go-to camera replacing my much more expensive D3s.

Technical note: I’m really sorry to all my Canon friends for geeking out about this. I know you probably hate me right now but please tolerate a little geeking. The debate between whether Canon or Nikon is better is an old one that has plagued humanity since the 60s. I’m going to preface some of this with the words “in my opinion” just to placate the Canon crowd but I really want to say “in fact”. Nikon, in my opinion, has always been better in low light, high iso scenarios that wedding photographers face often such as the inside of a dark church or reception ballroom. Nikon was also better at getting amazing dynamic range, that is the ability to capture great detail in both the highlights and shadows. Canon just can’t keep up in those areas and to me those are handicaps that I just can’t live with as a photojournalist. Weddings are not studio sessions in which you can control every little detail. Most of the time, I am photographing in less than ideal conditions yet have to produce amazing results and that is why I have always used Nikon.

One of the only benefits, in my opinion, that Canon had was the gorgeous colors that Canon cameras could produce. Canon had creamy, silky skin tones that made us Nikon fans jealous…that is until now. It used to be that I could never get these colors with Nikon. To me these colors were only possible with Canon. Keep in mind the color palatte of the sunrise here and that I am photographing two different skin colors. I’ve read all the reviews of this camera and yet what I haven’t heard anyone talk about is the color. I am loving the color this camera produces. Its like having the benefits of Canon without any of the drawbacks of Canon. Also look at the insane dynamic range of having the sunset right behind the couple and still have great color and skin tone in the foreground.

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PHOTOGRAPHERS: ALEX & PAUL

I had the pleasure of working on this beautiful wedding with Alicia and Darryl, two of the most easy going brides and grooms I’ve seen. Alicia began her getting ready process at her apartment on Miami Beach where she felt more comfortable with her girls and dog, Chamo. Darryl got ready with the boys at the JW Marquis hotel in downtown Miami.

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The wedding ceremony took place at St. Francis de Salas Catholic Church in Miami Beach.

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After the wedding we took a ride over to South Point Park for some portrait time. We had a blast.

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The reception took place at Briza on the Bay where friends and family gathered to celebrate an incredible night with Alicia and Darryl.

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After the wedding, I was able to ask Darryl and Alicia a few questions:

Q.  What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
A.  Both: Seeing everyone together and getting ready with our bridesmaids/groomsmen
Q.  What was the most emotional part of the wedding for you?
A.  bride: My dad giving me away
A.  Both: lighting the unity candle with our moms and our bridesmaid beautifully singing our chosen song

Q.  What was something you are glad you did on your wedding day that not everyone may realize?
A.  Bride: Getting ready at home. I had everything I needed and was able to have my dog, Chamo, with us while the girls and I got ready.
A.  Both: We made a previous agreement to enjoy everything that happens, even the little/big hiccups.

Q.  What is one piece of advice you would give a bride planning for her wedding?
A.  Do everything you can before your loved ones start arriving into town. Enjoy the planning TOGETHER – especially the tastings!!  Have a vision and pick your vendors accordingly.   Most importantly, pick the right photographer to capture the moments (just as we have :))

Alicia and Darryl, thank you for letting me be a part of this unforgettable day!

PRIMARY PHOTOGRAPHER: PAUL SOUCY

This gorgeous wedding took place at the Palms hotel in South Beach Miami, where Will and Alex started their day with excitement and anticipation about great things to come.

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Will opening a gift from Alexandra.

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Will and Alex decided to do a first look prior to the ceremony in order to save time after and be able to enjoy their cocktail hour. In retrospect, this was a really great decision because after their wedding ceremony it started raining which would not have let us take portraits outside. Having done these portraits prior to the ceremony made everything possible, plus it was a really beautiful moment.

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The ceremony took place in the Palms hotel’s gazebo garden.

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This wedding was planned and decorated by the talented team at Alore’ Event Productions.

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We went back to the Palms 2 days later to take some portraits at the beach during better weather. It was fun to see them again this time without any time constraints associated with the wedding day. The weather was awesome.

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After the wedding we asked Will and Alex some questions:

Q. What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
A. Bride: My favorite part was doing the first look shots with Will. I was extremely excited to see him, kiss him and hug him. It wasn’t until that point that all the stress and nerves just went away. I was with the man I was about to marry, and that’s all that mattered.
A. Groom: My favorite part of the entire wedding day was the anticipation to the First look. Seeing her for the first time in the wedding dress was the first emotional moment of the day.

Q. What was the most emotional part of the wedding for you?
A. Bride: Definitely hearing Wills personal vows to me. His words were so sincere and his emotions and mine became one, It felt like it was just him and I, no one else…I will never forget that moment.
A. Groom: The most emotional part of the wedding was with out a doubt when we were saying our Vows to each other. It felt like the most intimate moment we had during the day. at that moment it felt like it was just me and her…

Q. What was something you are glad you did on your wedding day that not everyone may realize?
A. Bride: I know its crazy but I woke up super early, went for a run and sat and watched the sun rise. I took some time for me, just to breathe before the craziness started. It felt great to have a little me time.
A. Groom: the first look…It was a very special moment between me and her.

Q. What is one piece of advice you would give a bride planning for her wedding?
A. Bride: Make sure you and your future husband plan the wedding that you both want… not moms/sisters/dads dream wedding but yours. Will and I decided on everything… every single detail and our wedding was exactly what we wanted, how we wanted and with the people we wanted.
A. Groom: For any couple planning a wedding i would advice them to make sure they plan their wedding the way they want to do it and not allow to many people to jump into the process…We planned our wedding the way we wanted it and at the end of the day we were very happy with the way everything came out.

Thank you, Will and Alex for allowing us to capture this special day for you!

Kathy and Karel started their amazing wedding day at the Mayfair hotel where Kathy and the family began preparations.

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The groomsmen started their day at Plymouth Congregational Church where they got ready.

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Kathy and Karel decided on doing a first look before the wedding.

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The wedding ceremony took place at Plymouth Congregational Church.

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The reception took place at the Cruz Building in Coconut Grove, FL.

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After the wedding I asked Kathy and Karel a few questions regarding their day.

Q. What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
A. Groom: Getting to dance the night away with my beautiful bride.
A. Bride: Walking down the isle, seeing the man of my dreams at the end of it.

Q. What was the most emotional part of the wedding day?
A. Bride: Having my grandmother and my mother help me get ready. Everyone in the room was emotional.
A. Groom: When they opened the door for the bride to come in.

Q. What was something you are glad you did on your wedding day that not everyone may realize?
A. Assign duties to everyone, from food to taking care of cellphones, I made sure all hands were on deck and that took a lot of the stress off.

Q. What is one piece of advice you would give a bride planning her wedding?
A. Take your time. You only have one chance, if you don’t like something change it.

Mirtica and Sergio had an amazingly beautiful wedding at the Coral Gables Country Club. The day started out at the Hyatt Regency in Alhambra.

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The wedding ceremony took place in the Coral Gables Country Club’s Atrium room.  The Atrium room provided beautiful window light and vaulted wood ceilings.

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During cocktail hour, the staff at the Coral Gables Country Club flipped the decor of the Atrium room in order to accommodate the reception.  It was a gorgeous transformation!

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During the mother and son dance, Sergio’s mom broke out into a surprise dance routine including Gangnam Style and rap music.  It was great!

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After the wedding I had the opportunity to ask Mirtica and Sergio a few questions.

Q. What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
A. Our favorite part of our wedding was finally marrying one another. A dream we had looked forward to, and worked very hard for these past seven years together. The anticipation that built up to that moment- taking every effort not to see each other until we arrived at the ceremony, knowing we were next door to one another in the hotel, the ride over in the car; all these moments built up everything we had been waiting for. That moment we finally saw each other and knew what was to come, finally being married, that was the best feeling we have ever shared.

GROOM: One of my favorite parts was dancing with my mother and seeing everyone’s reaction.

BRIDE: One of my favorite parts was being able to enjoy our cocktail hour and say “hello” and take pictures with family and friends before the reception, allowing us to experience our entire wedding.

Q. What was the most emotional part of the wedding for you?
GROOM: The most emotional part for me was watching Mirtica walk down the aisle toward me.

BRIDE: I have to agree. The most emotional part was walking in, finally seeing his face, and all the emotions he was expressing with just a single look at me. I am not a crier. I am a laugher. But I had to fight back the tears at my first glance at him. That raw emotion we experienced was surreal.

Q. What was something you are glad you did on your wedding day that not everyone may realize?

BRIDE: I am glad that I stayed in the hotel room alone and woke up on my own with no alarm or noise. It set the day up for peace and tranquility. Everyone who walked into the hotel room- from my family to his, to the hair and makeup artist, the videographers and photographers- everyone had a calmness in the way they went about things that really played a role in my peace and happiness, which carried on to the wedding.

Q. What is one piece of advice you would give a bride planning for her wedding?
Do whatever you have to do to be calm the day of the wedding. Workout, eat, drink tea- whatever it is, just do it! Everyone told me the day would pass by in a flash, but for me it truly played out slowly. I enjoyed and soaked up every second. I think staying in a hotel nearby and getting ready in the hotel played a huge role in setting a stress-free environment. Every detail, every emotion, I will always remember and cherish because I made it a point to do so the day of our wedding.