Deepa’s Pre-Wedding Party

This was the second event I shot for Deepa and Anuj.  Something that comes across so strong with this couple is the importance of family and friends.  Yes, we all say it’s important but, when you see the genuine nature of the love expressed at events like these, I consider it a real honor to be able to capture it.

This event was just before their wedding (August 11), and many of the same faces from the bridal shower were here as well.  There were fewer people but no less emphasis on quality.  Food was catered, a live band was in place for music, a bartender for drinks and yours truly to capture it all.

Deepa had the henna done earlier in the day, which took hours to complete.  The artistry that goes into this work is really impressive!  If you look closely, you can see their names written on the palm of each of her hands.

By the time they’re reading this, they are already married, so congratulations to Deepa and Anuj. I can’t wait to be a part of the next event in your lives.

Shefali + Neil Engagement

Shefali and Neil were introduced to me through a former co-worker and friend.  I was asked to capture their proposal.  It's hard to believe that was almost six months ago. 

Shortly after, we scheduled a date to shoot the engagement.  We set a date - then had to move it. We set another date and got to the venue only to realize that none of us had read the "Hours of Operation" very well - it was closed when we arrived. Rescheduled again.  Then, rain.  Yikes!  It really shows the character of this couple as they remained determined and flexible.  As you can likely guess, our determination paid off.  Yea!

We met last Friday at a place called the Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ.  It's about an hour's drive for each of us and we arrived around 7:00pm, after work, ready to shoot.  We strolled into the park to find our first setting.

We were off to a good start.  There were so many great places to shoot here, it made it easy to grab a couple of Shefali looking stunning and a nice image of Neil in his formal attire.



Here's one that had such a great setting with trees on either side...

Neil was looking for some camera time here...

Some playfulness...

And one more of Shefali..

Congratulations guys!  I wish you all the best on your wedding day which is fast approaching!  August 11th.

Deepa's Bridal Shower

This past weekend I was invited to shoot a surprise bridal shower.  The sister of the bride to be, Anju, asked me to capture this special occasion in celebrating her sister's upcoming wedding.

Anju told us the arrangement was that her sister, Deepa, was going to stop for ice cream and to call Anju with some ice cream flavor choices.  This gave the group enough time to wander across the street for the "surprise".

The decorating around the backyard was fabulous!  There were some very clear themes in place, many of which had some wonderful stories behind them.  For example, the Chanel No. 5 was their grandmother's perfume that she always wore.  She recently passed, and there was a great tribute that their grandfather made.

The girls with their grandfather...

Many friends and family gathered to share stories, eat, drink, play games and ultimately celebrate the relationship they have with Deepa.  

More friends and family...

Here are a couple more details and a decorated umbrella for Deepa.


and don't forget the cake...

Congrats, Deepa & Anuj!


Will You...

A couple weeks ago, I learned about an exciting opportunity to shoot a proposal (thanks Tejal). Yes, capture someone planning to propose to his girlfriend and not get noticed.  Sure!  Sign me up.  Sounds like fun and a great challenge.  After a few texts exchanged with the groom to be, Neil, and we're set.  Pictures were exchanged so we knew what each other looked like and I landed in Hoboken at the Esplanade at 3PM ready to capture the magic.  I waited for a few minutes and sent a text to confirm I was in the right spot.  I was.


A text came back and he said they were just entering the park.  I spotted them and tried to make myself invisible.  Unfortunately, that was hard because for whatever reason, there weren't many people in the park at this time.  I'm kind of standing out in the open and stalking this couple like a paparazzi.  Not to worry, there were only a couple people that looked at me kind of cross because I have this rather large camera with a big lens shooting people that appear to not know I'm pointing the camera at them.  Its for a good cause.


They rounded the park toward the water and then came up the center in the grass and this is where the proposal began.  I captured a few images and gave them a few moments together.  Neil then introduced me to his now fiance Shefali.  I congratulated them and we headed over to a bench to snap a few images.  I can't wait to get an appointment with them to shoot their engagement - with Shefali knowing its about to happen :-)

Congratulations Neil and Shefali.

Shirley & Chris' Engagement Party

Ahhh, to be young and in love!  

A week ago Saturday, I was invited to attend and capture the memories from the engagement party for Shirley & Chris (check out the details from the engagement shoot).  As I mentioned in a previous post, I met Shirley and Chris through Suman (someone I used to work with).  Referrals are the best!

The party was set for 9pm – 2am in NYC.  I arrived at the parking garage and the guy says to me, “Hey, I just need to let you know that the elevator for the cars hasn’t been that reliable but ‘if you’ll take care of us’, we can park your car on the main level and it won’t be a problem to get the car out”. So typical NYC.  Uh – what do I say to that?  I’m pretty sure I’m being scammed but there are cars behind me at this point so I gave the guy $10 and he seemed happy enough with that.  They parked it on the main level and I left feeling somewhat confident that I could get my car out when I needed. :-)

I walked across a few blocks to get to the party and as I enter I see that the space is pretty nice, open, and ….wait, do I see a white seamless (something like this, minus the dude in the middle of the picture) area in the back!?  Oh, that could be fun!  I said hello to Shirley & Chris, then proceeded to scope out the place for some ideas and setup for the night.  

I’ve photographed parties before so I had some idea what to expect however, each situation is different so I was ready for anything.  As it turned out, people were seeking me out for pictures.  Everyone was very friendly and as the night wore on, and people were drinking, they were more and more animated and willing to pose in groups that were sometimes quite large.  The white seamless area was a hit.  For a good 45 minutes, one group after another made it over to make their mark. Some of my favorites are below.

For more images, check out what’s posted on Facebook and if you’re in one of these photos, be sure to tag yourself and anyone else you know.  Congratulations Shirley & Chris!  You had a lot of love in the room that night.  Oh, one more thing...a quick video for a fun way to experience the evening in about 4 minutes.

Shirley & Chris' Engagement Party from Darrin Estep on Vimeo.