Ryan and Tatiana are not only good friends but they are also world renowned wedding photographers in New York City. So when they asked me to document their wedding in Brooklyn, New York I was both honored and a bit intimidated at the same time. There was no reason to feel intimidated as this would not be my first time doing this. I have been asked and trusted by other friends that are photographers to document their big day but the pressure never seems to diminish. I often think to myself how hard my job is. It’s like each and every weekend I shoot I have to play for the championship. I can’t just write off a bad performance and say-“there is always next week”. However, when half the guest list includes some of the best wedding photographers in the world the pressure seems to go up a notch or two knowing all those eyes will be on you. It is always an honor and a challenge I welcome however. I was asked to be a part of a team that would be documenting this event. It consisted of two days and I was asked to document Ryan and Tatiana’s ceremony and dinner for close family and friends on day one while my good friends and amazing photographers Lanny and Erika Mann of Two Mann Studios had the task of documenting the crazy dance party for the rest of their crowd the following day.
Photographing a wedding in New York City was always a dream of mine so it was perfect that this was to be my first one. To mount to the pressure I was to be flying solo on this one with no second shooter so I had to really think ahead and make the best decisions possible. It was such a joy to be a part of this event and there are tons of great moments that came out of this day but one moment truly stood out to me. So for today’s Teaser I have decided to something a little different and only show images that tell one particular story. You all will have to wait for a blog post to see the rest. I then had the idea to have Ryan and Tatiana tell the story and how they felt during this moment on their wedding day in their own words. Another first for the Wirken Blog and Teaser Tuesday. I often tell my clients that I hope something, manageable, goes wrong on their wedding day. Every time that has happened in the past it has turned out to be the most memorable part of the day. That mindset is also why I do not interfere with anything on the wedding day. The more spontaneous the better. When Ryan and Tatiana told me they wanted to do a first look and travel to their ceremony together I told them I typically don’t do first looks but if they wanted one that they should come up with an idea on how to meet that would be as meaningful to them as possible. They indeed did come up with a great idea to meet on the subway and ride the train to their ceremony and just like I like it things did not go totally as planned resulting in an emotional moment I was honored to witness. I will let Ryan and Tatiana tell the story so sit back and enjoy a little story of what was perhaps my favorite moment during my time as a New York City wedding photographer.
From Ryan and Tatiana-
“There are a lot of things that we wanted from this wedding, but one of the most important was that it be intensely personal. Over the past few years, we have become “Brooklyn people.” We have found so much happiness in our neighborhood that we wanted to share it with our loved ones, and, above all, we wanted to make sure no part of our wedding felt like something that we had done 50 times before, making it feel like “our next wedding,” instead of our wedding. One of the many things we love about our home is that it is about 30 feet from the subway stop. And, as photographers, we have always appreciated that it is an “F stop.” Sure, New York subways are dirty and grimy and filled with peeling paint, but almost more than anything else, they give the city its character. They are practically and symbolically integral to our sense of home.”
“The hour before the first look was the only time this week that we spent apart. It seems crazy to be nervous about seeing someone you have already been married to for a year, especially as I was Tatiana’s confidant in picking out the dress in the first place. But I was filled with excited, nervous energy as I walked to the Jay Street subway stop, and I could almost feel Tatiana’s nervous energy from a half-mile away.”- Ryan
“Of course, it might be that because of muscle memory, BOTH Tatiana and I went to the wrong side of the tracks. Only an epiphany and some last-minute sprinting kept us both from winding up in Manhattan.” – Ryan
“Going to the wrong subway entrance was reflexive. I entered through the Manhattan side with every intention of staying in Brooklyn. “Bride brain” is real. Suddenly, the scenery was wrong, and I realized that I might have milliseconds to meet Ryan on the opposite platform. If I was lucky, I might have one transfer left on my subway card. Tyler and I darted up the stairs, across traffic and down to the Coney Island-side entrance. I gave Tyler my only transfer and motioned for him to open the gate for me.”- Tatiana“Those tears that ensued? I wish I could pin them on stress due to breaking MTA transportation laws. But truthfully, I was overwhelmed by the thought of nearly goofing a very special moment with Ryan.”- Tatiana “Don’t get me wrong – I goof so many moments. That he loves me despite it is incredible. But when you meet the right person, you want the very best for him. You want to do the best for him. You want to meet him on the doggone right platform.”- Tatiana
“As I got on the correct train and hurtled toward her, anxiety gave way to elation. I was coming home in more ways than one. I have no words to describe how beautiful she looked, and luckily I don’t need them — we have pictures.”- Ryan
“The first look combined our great loves of each other, our home, and New York with another obsession: logistical simplicity — after a few minutes of being alone together, shutting out clicking cameras and rushing commuters with intense, myopic connection, we simply stepped back on the next train traveling one more F stop to our wedding.”