A Classic Second Shooting Gig by Zack Wussow

I photographed Aneil and Katarina as second photographer for Matt Noonan, a friend of a friend.

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The ceremony was lovely, but for me most of the fun was the reception, held at the Ethan Allen Hotel (who knew there was such a thing?).

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The decorations were amazing, and Aneil’s family’s traditional outfits were gorgeous!

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And I can’t forget to mention the candy table… So much fun!

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Congratulations Aneil and Katarina!

Throwback: Picture Perfect by Zack Wussow

I knew after I did Alli and Dan's engagement photos at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens that they were going to be an amazing couple to work with. Laid back, head over heels, and so fun.

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The wedding day started at Alli's mom's house, where the girls (a tight knit group I got to work with again in Chicago) were joking around while Mean Girls played in the background.

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Alli got dressed at the venue, St. Clement's Castle, while Dan put on the finishing touches at his parents' house.

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The ceremony was held outdoors, at a beautiful spot overlooking the river. It was short but deeply personal and touching.

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We did some quick posed photos - St. Clements has an amazing variety of beautiful spots for pictures, but this ivy-covored walkway is probably my favorite.

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The reception was held in the nearby ballroom, a beautiful space, and it was a lovely evening with lots of dancing and wonderful speeches.

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Congratulations, Alli and Dan!

Ophelia by Zack Wussow

Say hello to Ophelia!

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I’ve previously done Sophy and Jeff’s engagement, wedding, and maternity photos. It’s so exciting to see couples I’ve been working with for years starting a family!

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Ophelia was very cooperative (though she did politely request a lunch break) and so so SO cute.

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Congratulations, Sophy and Jeff!

Progress Report by Zack Wussow

I'm in a somewhat unusual career. 

I know that I've developed and become a better photographer as my experience has grown, but it's hard to... Prove it? Every wedding is different, every venue is different, so it's hard to look at old photos and new photos and know what change is me, and what change is circumstantial.

Which is why I love the events I photograph for UConn every spring. Not only are they often in the same venue year after year, but quite often the same people speak, wearing the same regalia. It's a rare chance to compare apples to apples.

I especially wanted to compare this year because I made a substantial change, switching from ambient light/bounce flash to using a remotely-triggered flash on a stand. It's not a huge change, but I feel like it makes a real difference. 

Just a little something I thought was interesting! Next week more adorable couples, or possibly a baby.

Throwback: Backyard Blowout by Zack Wussow

In retrospect, it's possible that I got a lot of ideas for my own wedding from David and Brian's backyard tent wedding. Certainly the laid-back, intimate atmosphere is just what Heather and I were looking for. (I also just realized this was perhaps the first wedding I worked with Mary Pugh, who was also our Justice of the Peace!)

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I also give a big thumbs up to their vest-and-bowtie look. Though unlike them I wimped out and got pre-tied bowties.

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The ceremony itself was lovely, short and sweet on a perfect fall day.

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The reception, held in a backyard tent, was a ton of fun with great food and lots of good times.

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Congratulations Brian and David!

Baby Makes Five by Zack Wussow

I had a lot of fun doing Sophy and Jeff’s engagement photos at Elizabeth Park, and their wedding was beautiful, so I was so excited when they reached about about doing some maternity photos for their first child!

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We met at a park in Vernon on a chilly (but thankfully not windy) November morning. They brought their adorable little Dachshunds, Hannah and Roxy, who were very cooperative. The trick to getting Roxy to look was to call out Hannah’s name - clearly a bit of sibling rivalry!

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Our timing wasn’t perfect - we missed some of the best foliage - but there were still lots of great settings for pictures.

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Plus, Sophy had brought along some props. You can probably guess that they are expecting a little girl!

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A quick break for story time…

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And then we called it a wrap and went to get warm.

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I can’t wait to meet the little tyke - we’ve got a plan to do some newborn photos when she makes her appearance in January!

Classic Litchfield by Zack Wussow

On Friday I wrapped up editing on my last 2018 wedding. Saturday, I went to Litchfield to do my first one of 2019! Fiona and Brian’s wedding brought in the new year in fine style.

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The day started with prep for the ladies at the Spa at Litchfield Hills and the Litchfield Inn (a wedding venue I’ve shot at before and a beautiful building). Their daughter was cracking us up the whole time.

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Then it was off the St. Anthony of Padua for the ceremony. There was just time beforehand for a few photos of Brian. His suit jacket’s plaid is in honor of Fiona’s Irish family, a great touch!

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The ceremony was great. Its my second wedding with Father Tucker, and he’s wonderful for weddings. Lots of great little moments, and he’s very photographer friendly, which I of course appreciate!

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Then it was just a quick run through the rain (hey- it could have been snow!) to the Sanctum Club next door, a wonderful old building. Perfect atmosphere for Litchfield!

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Speeches and cake cutting were the only major events at Fiona and Brian’s laid-back reception, but the afternoon was full of great food and conversation. A lot of Fiona’s family was in town from all over the world, and you could tell everyone was so excited to be together.

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A wonderful start to the new year!

State of the Business - 2018 in Review by Zack Wussow

2018 is behind us, which means it’s time to look back.

CATCHING MY BREATH

2017 was a crazy year - not only my busiest year professionally but also pretty crazy personally. I got married and bought a house. So I’m happy to say 2018 was all around more sedate. Fewer weddings, spread out more evenly through the year, and no giant changes in my life. One tiny change though…

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A NEW FURRY FAMILY MEMBER

Heather and I adopted a stray kitten named Peach. She was and continues to be a handful but is adorable and endlessly entertaining. If you feel like you didn’t get enough cat photos this year, we sequestered all of ours on a separate Instagram account.

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EXPANDING HORIZONS

While weddings were down, I did more maternity photo sessions than ever before, and my first newborn sessions! I was hoping to expand this branch of my business this year, so seeing this grow is really nice, and 2019 is looking promising too.

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THE NUMBERS

WEDDINGS: 21 (DOWN 5 FROM 2017)

Like I said, a quieter year! And even more than it seems, as two of those were second shooting gigs, which are substantially easier. And the change didn’t even hurt my bottom line too much, as rising average prices made up some of the difference. This is actually a return to baseline of sorts, as I did 19 weddings in each of 2014, ‘15, and ‘16. I think ideally I’d sit somewhere between 2017 and 2018, maybe with even a few more second shooting jobs in there as well.

ENGAGEMENTS: 4 (DOWN 4 FROM 2017)

This is somewhat a deceptive number - I actually sold more than 4 engagements, in the form of included ones with weddings, that for various reasons never happened. In 2019 I’ll be making up for it with those couples as well as new ones. Going forward I’d like to get every couple to have an engagement session, as it’s a great way to get to know my couples.

OTHER PORTRAITS: 12 (UP 6 FROM 2017)

Babies! Specifically breaking this down, it was 4 family photo shoots, 2 headshot sessions, 4 maternity sessions, and 2 newborn sessions. I love doing these for several reasons - they are smaller and more relaxed than weddings, more evenly distributed year round, and a great way to keep working with my wedding couples as they go on to the next steps in their lives!

CORPORATE GIGS: 4 (DOWN 2 FROM 2017)

As in years past, this category could really be called “UConn Events”. Mostly the same ones as years past, and only down because a couple events didn’t happen this year. Always fun to help out my Alma Mater, though.

COMING OF AGE/MISC. EVENTS: 3 (UP 1 FROM 2017)

One bridal shower, and two events with the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, where a friend of mine works. The museum is a tough spot since flash isn’t allowed in most rooms, but they are fun events none-the-less and feels like a great cause!

TOTAL: 44 (DOWN 4 FROM 2017)

A quieter year to be sure, but I really needed that after 2017!

OTHER STUFF

The one area 2018 wasn’t so restive was travel - beyond a travel packed yearbook season, I also took three bigger trips. Heather and I went to Florida in January to visit family, in April we went on our belated honeymoon to Bar Harbor, and over the summer we went on a work-related trip to Provincetown and to visit a friend who lives on Cape Cod. All very fun trips!

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I also rediscovered the joy of going to my local library in a big way - I read 68 books this year! (Gotta do something while resting up, right?) Highlights for me: Brain on Fire by Susan Cahalan, Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, and A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. I’m also really glad I read Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow but won’t sugar coat it - it’s a slog. It took me all year, dipping in periodically, to finish it.

COMING UP

2019 is a bit more up in the air than I would like so far. Feel free to fix that by recommending me to your friends and family! I am very much looking forward to photographing three weddings of dear friends next year, including one that will mean a mostly free vacation.

I do expect to see even more portrait, maternity, and newborn sessions which I am excited about!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR

I hope you have had a wonderful year, and that 2019 is even better!