Melanie and Joe’s Campground wedding was easily one of the most unique weddings that we photographed this year, but completely our style. The two of them decided to keep their wedding low key, nothing over the top, and at a place that had a lot of meaning to them, Camp Dark Waters. For a campground wedding, we had the perfect weather to take full advantage of everything that a photographer would hope for.
We had canoes, which we took out down the river to a tree that had been knocked down across the water. A perfect spot for them to paddle over to the shore and climb out. In their bare feet, they walked out onto the fallen tree for some really cool portraits of the two of them simply enjoying the most of their wedding day. Exactly the way that they had wanted it to go. No one telling them what to do or how to do it. As a result, we were able to capture some great shots of them all throughout the day.
The ceremony was held down at the camp’s outdoor chapel which was right up against the river creating a beautiful backdrop for them to exchange their vows. Melanie looked stunning in her boho style dress and looked even better with her new hubby as we walked around the camp capturing some fun and candid moments between the two of them. This was actually our first campground wedding, and to be honest, it really was everything that we had expected it to be. Now we just hope that we can book a few of these each year. Low key yet still a blast once the party started. No stress throughout the day, just a bride and groom with their friends and family enjoying the day without a hoopla of the bigger city weddings that we spent a good amount of the 2018 wedding season photographing.
We wish these two nothing but the best and congratulate them for having the best cake smash that Sandi and I have seen since our own wedding 14 years ago! Well done you two, and we’re looking forward to capturing a lot more of your important life moments as they come along. Congrats!
If you haven’t seen the new website, I’ve given the Jaycassario.com site a facelift and have a lot planned for it in 2019. The next month has a lot of really good content in the works, so if you haven’t already, subscribe to the newsletter. I’ll be starting to send that out very soon.
After we just recently announced partnering up with Stinsman Photography for maternity and newborn shoots, here we are posting a lifestyle family shoot with twins that are only a few months old. Well, as you can see, we’ll still be doing lifestyle shoots like this one which are in fact very different than studio newborn photos. This also isn’t your typical lifestyle family photo shoot. This is easily one of the most special photoshoots that we’ve done in a long time and I really hope that you continue reading to find out why. The photoshoot was for our friends, Marc and Jamie Iuliucci, and knowing what they went through to get to the point at which we were at their home taking these is enough to make these special. Being able to show them the photos, well, it was a good reminder of what makes this job of ours so important.
Almost 20 years ago, possibly more now, Marc and I became good friends. We had both experienced some rough times in our lives growing up and had always been there for each other. Marc, now the father of three beautiful young girls, was not only a groomsman in my wedding but one of those friends who are honestly more like a brother than a friend. Just as brothers do, we would go extended periods of time where we wouldn’t see or talk to each other for extended periods of time, sometimes years, but whenever we did it was as if no time had passed and things just picked up where they had left off.
A couple of months ago, I received a call from Marc telling me that he and Jamie had just had twin baby girls. He already had one girl so the first thing that came to mind was how badly out-numbered he was now, especially with both family dogs being girls as well. As the phone call continued, his voice began to change and he started to describe the very scary and emotional experience that both he and Jamie had gone through during the delivery and the two months that followed. It was a tough story to sit there and listen to him tell me, but as he continued on, I was extremely happy to hear him explain how everything worked out after almost two months and both girls are healthy and doing excellent. I offered to come and take some photos of the twins. I could immediately tell he was hesitant and didn’t really seem interested. A few weeks went by and I received a text letting me know that he spoke to Jamie and that they were interested. Since I explained that the shoot was for the twins, he definitely wasn’t expecting Sandi and me to walk in and ask him to go upstairs to get changed out of the sweat pants he was wearing. I could tell he wasn’t overly thrilled with the idea of being in the photos, but now that he’s seen the pics I have no doubts that he’s happy I talked him into it. Rather than just sharing these photos on social media or in a blog post, I wanted to share their story. A story best told by the mother of these three beautiful young girls, so I asked Jamie to write the rest.
“Our first daughter Lia was our princess but we wanted to give her a forever friend and decided to try again. We got pregnant quickly and received the surprise of our lives at the first ultrasound. Two heartbeats flickered on the screen, it was twins! With no twins in the family, we were both shocked and excited, while also feeling incredibly lucky. However, the pregnancy was difficult, to say the least, and much different from the first.
Nine weeks early, after a flurry of complications, I went into spontaneous labor.
Myla was born first and taken to the NICU and I was rushed to an emergency C-section. Everyone was rushing so much that we knew something was wrong. Adeline was next and born completely lifeless. We don’t know how, but she came back to us after only a short time. So many ups and downs, tears that seemed to never stop, and tons of tests. 49 extraordinarily long days later, Myla and Adeline came home with us to be with their big sister and two dog sisters. We declined NICU newborn photos when they were offered because it was a time we did not want to commemorate.
When Jay offered to take photos while hanging out with Marc at this season’s Fantasy Football draft, we decided to take him up on it. On the day that Jay and Sandy took these photos, all three girls were having a day. You know the one, all three were sleepy and grumpy. Seeing the results of their art brought me to tears because the beauty of my girls being together and our family being whole means more to me than anything. These photos are beautiful reminders of this magical time that I am in awe of. A time I’ll cherish forever, just as I will these incredible photos.”
~ Jamie Iuliucci
It was a bit chilly out for Rachel and Duane’s Philly engagement shoot as we walked around Old City. A little hot coffee and snuggling up with each other made it the perfect night. We had a great time hanging out capturing photos of these two, getting to know them better and hearing all about their wedding plans. There’s no doubt that their 2019 wedding will be one that we’ll be really looking forward to!
Laura and David’s Philadelphia wedding was one of the few this past year where we didn’t do an engagement shoot to get to know the two of them. It’s rare that I walk into the groom prep and don’t know who the groom is, so Sandi and I both had a little more anxiety starting the day than we typically do. Sandi had done the consult at the studio that I wasn’t able to make, but she had let me know that both the bride and groom’s fathers were photographers and were really interested in seeing how we worked. No pressure, no pressure at all. As soon as I walked into the hotel room where the groom along with all the groomsmen were getting ready, his father immediately introduced himself and began showing me photos he had taken on recent trips around the US. Awesome photos that were truly impressive. He had a great personality, both fathers did, and I honestly could have sat there and talked about photography with him for hours which eased some of the pressure I had felt earlier in the day. (There’s a few pics of him on the dance floor below)
From the beginning of the day till the end, we did our best to creatively capture every moment as they played out in front of us. We did our best to be as documentary as possible while still being creative and artistic with some of our portraits which you’ll see below. Laura and David got ready at the Logan Hotel in Philly, then headed over to the Arch Street Presbyterian Church for their beautiful ceremony. They chose to go the traditional route of seeing each other for the first time as Laura walked down the isle, so they kept her in a separate area of the church to keep her hidden. The room they had her in had perfect window light and the walls had old wallpaper that had a pattern that seemed to almost match the design of Laura’s dress. Typically, I would never think to use wallpaper as a backdrop for a bridal portrait, but something about the room just seemed to work and I went for it. You’ll see the shot below, it’s a vertical shot, and it’s one of my favorite shots that I took, the other being the double-exposure at the very end of the blog post.
After they officially tied the knot, we headed back into Philly for some photos of the bridal party and some creative portraits of Laura and David. Once the sun went down and we had all the photos we needed, everyone headed over to the Franklin Institute for the ceremony. This was our first time photographing a wedding reception at the Franklin Institute and it was pretty special as you’ll see. We were pretty happy with the photos we were able to capture during this day and had a great time with both families. It was an all-around great day that we wish every city wedding was like. We wish the two of them nothing but the best and look forward to designing their wedding album with them!
Please see the list of other vendors below that were involved in making this big day go so smoothly and so special for Laura and David.
Wedding Gown: Blue by Enzoani
Bridal Shoes: Nina
Groom’s Tux: Scabal
Videography: Tweed Videography
Florist: Carl Alan Floral Design
Wedding Cake: Frog Catering
Name of DJ: Synergetic Sound
Our Best of 2018 – Wedding & Engagement Photos
Finally, here are some of mine and Sandi’s favorite wedding photos from 2018. Usually, we post this a little earlier in the year but it’s been a busy booking season so posting this late is actually a good thing. I wasn’t going to write anything, but for those that are interested, here’s a quick summary of what 2018 was like for us.
2018 was an interesting one for sure, coming off of our most successful year as a multi-photographer studio. It was still only our third full year as a large studio and because of all the work we put in the year before, it was one where everything simply started to click. All of our lead photographers had an awesome year and we couldn’t be more proud of each of them for putting their hearts and souls into making Twisted Oaks what it is today.
2018 was also a year where we made a move into a new studio that we weren’t really planning to do. I decided to do 99% of the remodeling myself to save on cost which is why it’s just now getting finished after 6 long months. It was a year that allowed Sandi and I to spend more time focusing on our family, our own photography, and our own clients as we didn’t need to be as hands-on with the studio as in the previous years. Our style had slightly changed as did the way we approached each wedding and it showed in our work. It also showed in the final product that we delivered as our clients were overall happier than ever. We even focused on working better together as a husband and wife team, which led to less silent rides home at the end of the night, and even her offering to drive once or twice. I even tried harder not to step in front of her while she was shooting, LOL.
Over the next couple of years, Sandi and I will be cutting back on weddings. As we do, it will be interesting to see how our style continues to evolve. One thing to keep in mind as you scroll through these is that this is a collection of photos that we personally like the best for one reason or another. In most cases, these aren’t the photos that the clients would choose as their favorites. That’s one thing that makes this job so interesting. In the end, it doesn’t matter what we think looks good or how artistic a photo might be to us, if it doesn’t have meaning to the client then we didn’t do our job. As a studio, our primary goal is to capture the wedding day in a storytelling way, filled with photos that we know our clients will love and cherish forever.
So, here it is, a gallery of some of mine and Sandi’s favorite wedding and engagement photos from 2018. We’ll be posting one of these blogs for each of our lead photographers over the next couple of weeks on the Twisted Oaks Associates website and social media. I decided to keep personal photos out of this year’s blog post and just focused on our clients. I may post a separate blog with our favorite personal photos. Also, I promise we did our best to keep it as short as possible so you can make it to the end.
With that being said, here are a handful of our favorites. Enjoy!