George Eastman House Wedding & Strathallan Hotel Reception - Rochester, NY

I've known my sister-in-law, Dawn, for over a decade. During that time she's gained influence in her career, worked hard, and made many great life decisions. All the while, my wife and I have wondered, "What kind of guy can keep up with Dawn? Who will she choose?"

Well, when she brought her "friend" to our lakeside family gathering two summers ago, we knew something was up. No one brings some random guy to a family picnic, and we wanted to get to know him! We were super impressed right away with how great David was with the kids in our family - and we have a lot of them! They laughed and squealed as we all played in the pool together, and we left thinking this David guy is alright.

The last two years have been a blur: Dawn changed jobs, many people in our family moved to new homes, and David got some incredible new opportunities at work. And through it all, Dawn and David were a constant in our family.

Last summer we heard from Dawn when she was on a vacation in France - David surprised her at the Eiffel Tower and proposed!! We couldn't believe it - and yet, we could, because it's Dawn & David!

As they started planning their wedding, I knew I wanted to photograph it, but I wanted to give them space to make the best decision for them. I was so honored when Dawn said she most wanted to work with me!

Their wedding featured a morning ceremony at the George Eastman House and a brunch reception at the Strathallan Hotel. The George Eastman House was majestic and lovely. The gardens were the perfect location for family pictures under an overcast sky, and the ceremony was set beautifully in the West Garden. The Strathallan Hotel was sophisticated and elegant as always, and the brunch they lavished on the guests was the best I've ever seen.

Dawn and David, thank you so, so much for choosing me to celebrate your day with you! I loved being part of your wedding story, and I hope you will cherish your images for years to come!

 

Ceremony: George Eastman House

Reception: Strathallan Hotel

Band: The Swooners

Hair & Makeup: The Strathallan Spa

Floral Arrangements: Kittlebergers

Dress: Silk Bridal Boutique

Cake: Wegmans

Second Photographer: Darci Jo Photography

Alex & Nikki - Upstate NY Fall Wedding - Mendon, NY Reception

Here's a sneak peak at Alex and Nikki's beautiful wedding from last weekend! I've had the pleasure of knowing and working with Nikki for years, and it was tons of fun being part of their big day. Nikki has a fun and mischievous side, and it was on display when their wedding party set off confetti cannon during their first kiss!

Alex and Nikki's story is powerful because Alex has been deployed in the US Army for most of the last year. They got engaged knowing he was going away for nine months to Europe, but that wasn't going to stop them! They planned most of their wedding an ocean apart, and he just got into town a week before their wedding day. They sacrificed a great deal in their relationship so far, and they have my immense respect for serving our country and loving each other so well.

Ceremony: Living Waters Church - LeRoy, NY
Reception: Mendon Gold Club - Mendon, NY
DJ: Josiah Ball
Hair: Personal Preference Salon, Kate Meir - LeRoy, NY
Makeup: Jessica Grout 
Florist: Blush Floral & Wedding Design - Newark, NY
Cake: The Cake Place - Avon, NY

What Are You Looking For? (Part 2)

This article is a follow-up to my introductory email series on how to choose a great wedding photographer. Sign up to learn the most important questions to answer before you choose a photographer.

Now you know more about what style of photography you’re looking for, as well as the kind of service and printed products you value most. Here are two quick thoughts on budgeting for wedding photography and how to ultimately choose a photographer.

Budget

Your wedding budget should reflect what matters most to you. Many couples put a high value on hosting an elegant reception dinner to honor their most important guests. Other couples prioritize a live band, unique location, open bar, or all of the above.

Heirloom photo albums are included in every Kniley Photography wedding collection.

The common thread linking these elements together with photography is: how do you want to remember your wedding day? Do you daydream about snuggling with your spouse in the future to leaf through your custom-made photo album, reliving the day as you remind each other of your love? Do you like the idea of displaying large-format canvas prints in your home, so your friends, and someday your children, can enjoy your love story for years to come?

There are only a few things that remain after a wedding day is done: your commitment to each other, a few mementos, and your pictures. Consider photography an investment in your future. You don’t just want the facts of the day recorded - you want the feelings and every special moment put into print, to make it easy to remember and enjoy the significance of it all. Photographers who deliver these kinds of experiences and products generally charge more than those just starting out, but many couples find them a worthwhile investment. In Western New York, this level of photographic service will often start at $3,500 and up.

Relationship

When my wife Joanna was in college (before she was my wife), she was talking with an older woman who was well respected in the community. She told Joanna: “Don’t choose a guy because you work in the same place or seem to be heading in the same direction now. Careers can change quickly and often. Instead, choose someone you like!” 

That deceptively simple advice has served us well in our last 5+ years of marriage. The circumstances of our life have changed, and that will continue even more in the future. But we’ll always have a best friend in each other, and for the rest of our lives we’ll get to experience, and hopefully enjoy, everything that comes our way together.

Your choice of photographer isn’t quite as important as your spouse. :-) But it’s good to keep in mind your photographer will be with you on your wedding day more than almost any other person. They’ll offer suggestions on how to look your best and keep you on schedule. A good photographer will reassure you if things get a little stressful or crazy, and they have the honor of recording your most special and intimate moments throughout the day so you can enjoy them later. You want to work with someone you trust and enjoy.

How do you know if you click with a photographer? It’s fine to get to know someone on Instagram or Facebook, but the best way is to meet in person. Almost all photographers will be happy to do a free initial consultation. You’ll sit down together, go over their work, answer your questions, and most importantly, get to know each other. It’s a critical step - don’t fall in love with a photographer before you meet in-person! Choose someone you’re sure you like.

Are you interested in learning more about Kniley Photography? Read about my style and core values in photographing weddings, or contact me using the button below. Thank you!

Mike & Natalie - Gorgeous Upstate NY Outdoor Wedding - Rochester, NY

I got to shoot this gorgeous outdoor wedding in Honeoye Falls, NY for two friends of mine, Mike & Natalie. It was in his parents' back yard, but you'd think it was a full time wedding venue!

A few things stick out to me when I think about this wedding. First, their love for each other and their friends and family was evident throughout the day. From super cute nephews to special moments with family before the day's preparation started, everyone was connected and unified. Most of the groomsmen went back over a decade in friendship with Mike, and it was clear how special the day was to everyone. They also had a ton of emotion, fun, and thoughtful details throughout.

I'm so thankful for Mike & Natalie choosing me to help them remember and celebrate their love together. Their wedding is featured in my 10x10 sample album, so please ask me about it if we get together to talk about your photography needs.

Rochester, NY Wedding & Casa Larga Reception

It was wonderful working with Steve & Meghan on their wedding day! They're both outgoing and fun, and they showed it all day long! Their story is remarkable, as they spent most of their dating relationship on different continents! Finally they got to be together, he proposed, and the wedding seemed to happen in no time! Steve and Meghan, thank you for letting me be part of your special day!