Giving a photographer free rein over an art gallery with a bride and a groom is like inviting a child into Santa’s workshop. Everywhere you look there is opportunity to indulge and play. At Kathryn & Ben’s Rochester Memorial Art Gallery wedding, we were given permission to explore the inside galleries for only 15 minutes, but that was all we needed to find photographic gems among the paintings and sculptures. One of my favorite images of the day was one where Kathryn and Ben are sharing a romantic moment as a Renaissance man seems to spy on them from the painting he is trapped in. As inspiring as the little session was, the true heart and soul of the day were within the family connections and relationships present as travelers came from all over the US to share the day with Kathryn and Ben and spend Fourth of July weekend in upstate New York.
I’m happy to say that I am part of those familial ties. Ben is one of my oldest friends: our parents have been pals for over thirty years. The JPG Photography team had also shot Ben’s sister Emily’s wedding, so we were thrilled to have the chance to work with a family we adore for the second time. Ben is one of the smartest kids I’ve ever known. Even when we were kids, he was building time machines from cardboard boxes and creating his own video game from scratch. I knew that if he ever got married, his partner would have to be extraordinary. And Kathryn is just that.
The day began with the ladies getting ready at a hotel in matching silk robes while the guys prepared in Ben’s childhood home. As they were about to depart, Ben made sure to give a heartfelt goodbye to Kathryn’s cat Molly, which everyone agrees was the love of her life before she met him (and maybe even after?). The outdoor grounds of the Memorial Art Gallery made for a fantastic venue, surrounding the wedding party with art, beautiful architecture, and scenic lawns. The ceremony was outside in the beautiful, balmy weather of an upstate New York summer day.
One of the most fun places to shoot portraits was in the museum’s sculpture park, where we captured Ben and Kathryn smooching next to their favorite work of art: a bronze sculpture of two tiny cartoon-like people kissing. And the celebration continued as the reception began, and nearly every guest was out on the floor. Even after the evening came to a close, the fun didn’t stop. The next day many of the guests came together once more at a large picnic at Ben’s house to continue the celebration, just like we used to do at Ben’s family’s house on holiday weekends.
I want to end on one more very happy note: Kathryn has made the announcement that she and Ben are expecting their firstborn just 1 month after Joe and I are expecting ours. I couldn’t be more exited that our babies will be the same age, and that the next generation will continue the family connections and friendship. Congratulations Kathryn and Ben!