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!

Throwback: Raucus by Zack Wussow

I've run into Sarah at many weddings since I photographed her and Chris's wedding in 2014 - seriously, I should just put her on the payroll given how many people she's referred to me - and anytime I see her face I know the reception is going to be a fun party. But few can match up to their blowout of a wedding.

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I don't think I've ever had another bride with as much energy and excitement before the ceremony. No worries, no anxiety, just thrilled to be marrying her partner in crime.

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The same energy extended to the wedding party, who could hardly keep a straight face through posed photos.

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And then, of course, the amazing reception. If memory serves, this was also one of the best DJ's I've ever seen, who's contact info I've unfortunately lost.

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Oh, and one last cute detail: ring photos with the pooches. 

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Congratulations, Sarah and Chris, hope to see you two around again!

Newport Engagement by Zack Wussow

I met Amanda and James at the Newport Cliff Walk for their engagement photos. It’s a favorite spot of theirs that they’ve visited often.

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In a bit of perfect luck, the very first spot I had them pose for a photo was the exact spot he proposed to her!

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The day was chilly but otherwise beautiful, and the Cliff Walk is full of great spots for pictures.

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Just before sunset, we made our way over to Beavertail State Park. It’s a perfect spot for evening photos, with the rocky coastline looking west into the sunset.

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So perfect, in fact, that almost everyone there had a photographer with them, whether they were doing engagements or family photos.

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The day rounded out with a stunning sunset. Beautiful!

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Can’t wait to photograph Amanda and James’s wedding next year. It’ll be great!

A Pumpkin On The Way by Zack Wussow

Brittany and Vinny contacted me to do some fun maternity announcement photos. Since it was October, they got permission from Krell Farm in Farmington to do a quick photo shoot for the announcement.

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It was a short session (in part because that morning was hovering around 45 degrees…) but a lot of fun and really cute.

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I’m looking forward to seeing them again in the spring - I just know Brittany is going to be a beautiful mom-to-be!

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Too Warm For Christmas by Zack Wussow

I met friend and fellow UConn alum Sarah and her daughter Marie at a park (which will remain nameless, as I’m not actually sure we were allowed to be there…) to do some photos for their Christmas card.

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Of course, the weather in Connecticut being what it is, despite picking a day in October, the weather felt more like July: warm and muggy. So it took a little imagination to get into the Christmas spirit.

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None-the-less, the park was a beautiful backdrop for portraits, and Marie seemed to have a lot of fun wading into the lake.

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Probably only one photo will make it to the Christmas card, but I sent the best 50 - you can never have too many pictures of a cute kid.

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All this reminds me, Heather and I have to figure out what we’re doing for our card this year…