Ambers Quinceanera – Paying It Forward

Ambers Quinceanera – Paying It Forward

So it was last weekend, I am proud to say I was the one who shot a remarkable families day. For more on the ins & outs as to how & why, you can read that here.  As to Saturday, it was an emotional day, of what was planned, what to expect, and some things which were unexpected.

I had spoken to her Mom Debbie only a few times beforehand. She happened to have her phone stolen just days before the event, although, putting everything into perspective it becomes just a minor inconvenience her. She’s definitely a strong person & has raised a great family which she supports and cares for deeply. As for me, well all I needed was a time & location to arrive at, and I’m good to go.

Beginning at Mora Salon in Cherry Hill, NJ I got to shoot plenty of bridal prep (Quinceanera Prep?) of the 4 of them. From there, I headed directly to the church, Transfiguration Catholic Church in Collingswood NJ. I knew from speaking with Debbie that the Quinceanera was alot more than just a party, and the the church aspect meant so much to her. I’ve shot many, many weddings, and while several do have their touching moments, I can honestly say that watching her at the Blessed Mary was the saddest thing I’ve witnessed while shooting. I made sure to have my camera out of the way as after a grueling 3:15 she stood up, I hurried back down the aisle before she turned around. Kudos to her Mom & Uncle Peter being there to support her throughout.

From there we ventured on to the cemetery, it’s hard to even think what the boy went thru, I can’t even imagine. I made sure to stay out of their way, although they stated they wouldn’t mind, I felt it was their moment to share,  I was just capturing it from a distance.

Finally, she had a beautiful egyptian themed reception, and grand entrance being lifted in on a chair, carried over to her throne. This led into Father/Daughter & Mommy/Daughter dances where Mom changed it up after a few minutes into Chubby Checkers “The Twist”, segueing back into nice dance song to end their dance.  As is tradition during quinceanera’s, the girl gives 15 candles to important family & friends. Mom led the way, followed by sisters, Aunt Kim, her Dad, friends, softball coaches and finally in a touching moment, her grandmother. From there the party began and dance floor opened up. I used my Sony Z5U’s slow motion feature to run a slow motion video booth, which both kids & adults got a kick out of. Kudos go out to my man TG Gainey for stopping in to 2nd shoot the dances, candles and dance floor footage to help the videos all wrap up.

Below are the videos today, it was difficult to go from the powerful ceremony scene into the reception, so I edited it into 2 videos. Which should be a testament as to how strong & supportive this family is, to stand back up & move onward after going thru something like this.

Wedding Photographers


Updating this as I go, however I often get asked if I know any great photographers, and tbh, I do. Who better to get to know, follow, interact with and sometimes even learn from.

So as I stated before, I often get asked “Do you know any great photographers?” and the truth is that, why yes, I do. For who better to get to meet great photogs better than the person who nearly works side by side with them, interacting with them throughout the day, and seeing how they interact with the bride & groom. So, without further ado, I present to you, the list:

Josh Dehonney

Josh is great. Not only does he have a great porfolio and do really nice work, he also interacts well with the bride and groom and yes, even the disinterested groomsmen. He can ad-lib making dull moments fun, and has an eye for creative ways to pull off shots exploiting colors, scenery, and sunlight.

Craig Pitelli

– Craig is sick. Flat out a ninja who has in his mind the shot he wants, and knows how to get it. He works quick, and can get in & out and come away with the shot he was looking for, that’ll have you speechless.


Kate Duffy

I first heard alot about Kate before ever shooting with her. So admittedly going in I had pretty lofty expectations. She lived up to the hype;) Truly has a vision for capturing the moment.

Dawn Snell

Dawn is great to work with. A true professional, she cares about her craft, and your wedding photos. Plus she’s really good at it. Willing to get the shot you want, yet flexible to seek the days vision you perceive.

Leah Gallo Leah is a really great photographer with an eye on details, and using a creative vision. Great at showing beautiful viewspoints of your day, she will capture what you didn’t see.