Category Archives: news

Inspire Photo Seminars | At It Again.

This year, I can say for sure. Cannot be topped. Really? Where do we go from here. Insanely inspirational people all cooped up in one remote hotel in Sturbridge Village (with lots of indoor Gazebos), and this is what you get. Imagine if you took this crew to somewhere far away and inspirational on it’s own?! It would be an inspiration meltdown. This event, INSPIRE goes to show that if you take the right group of people, you can plop them anywhere and make magic. Eric and I are insanely grateful to have the opportunity to partake and share in this great, one of a kind group.

We have pictures in the works. But please watch the video, share, comment and register for 2014! It will be unstoppable.

Inspire 2013 from MKD Photography on Vimeo.

NEWS FLASH: Raw Photo Design Merges with Carla Ten Eyck Photography

For the past month or so Amber and I have been working on one of the most significant and far-reaching decisions we’ve ever made since starting this business. Throughout the whole process I’ve been trying to find an easy way to describe our partnership with Carla Ten Eyck Photography. Is it like a company merger? Is her company “buying us out”? Hmm… At 1am on my way home from one of our weddings this past weekend, the perfect representation popped into my head (which is how most of my ideas seem to happen).

We’re forming like VOLTRON baby! Yep, you heard right….we’re joining our individual strengths and forces together to form a super robot to defend the galaxy from evil


This is EXACTLY how it all went down at the C10 Studios headquarters!!


Ok well, we still have a long way to go before we’re able to maintain peace throughout the universe but this is a huge step in the right direction for Raw Photo Design. If you haven’t heard through the grapevine or seen on Facebook, numerous wedding forums, or twitter lately but we kind of suck at managing our business. The number of times I’ve heard the following sentence from a past client makes my stomach turn upside down and keeps me up at night trying to find a way to make things better: “Raw Photo was so awesome on the day of my wedding/boudoir/portrait/editorial/etc and I’m absolutely in love with all of my pictures…. but, it takes too long to get an email reply or phone call from them and it took a long time to get my pictures/album/disc/etc.”

Similar to most wedding photographers I started a photography business because I loved PHOTOGRAPHY. I loved working with people during their photo shoot or wedding day and capturing beautiful photographs of them. My single most favorite aspect of this job is witnessing the progression a person (or couple) goes through during a shoot… everyone always starts very nervous and insecure and somewhere in the middle of the process, they get comfortable… let their guard down, and the real them comes out…and that’s when I get to capture who they really are… You can almost see the exact moment it happens at every single session when you look at a series of photo thumbnails on your monitor. I can honestly work on anything photography related all night long without even noticing it’s 3am or that I haven’t left my desk in 6 hours. There’s no doubt it’s my passion and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

BUT, that has NOTHING to do with running a business. I’ll be the first to admit I am absolutely clueless when it comes to managing clients, employees, subcontractors, or anything else related to my business. It’s not because I haven’t done the work to learn how to properly do these things…trust me. I’ve read countless business books…some of them at least 5 times, attended numerous business workshops and seminars, downloaded every “management application” you can think of, etc. Conceptually I “know” what to do but just have no clue how to follow through with the processes and/or manage the people that I had implementing those processes.

Fast forward 5 years later to the beginning of October, 2012 and I had decided to shut Raw Photo Design down for good. I had been turning down new business for months explaining that I will no longer take new clients for the 2013 wedding season and focus all my attention on the weddings I had already booked for next year. I was stressed out beyond belief, hopeless, and defeated. Amber and I had done the best we could do with what we had and that was it. We were working like machines, day and night, and not a single client was happy. Being a typical man with too much pride, I hadn’t told anyone about our situation or my decision to dissolve the business; and being a typical woman who is way smarter than her typical man-husband, Amber had reached out to a number of close friends explaining our situation and asking for help.

Carla had been a close friend of ours for years and had seen us progress from our first wedding to our 100th wedding and has always been a huge help and inspiration since day one. She manages a well-oiled production MACHINE in Hartford. Sometimes I pull up to her driveway and I can hear the mechanical wheels turning, phones ringing off the hook, and production lines in full swing. Their customer service is incredible and a force to be reckoned with. It is pretty impressive to see and trust me…Amber and I did everything we could to implement the same system…in fact, Carla and I had first started meeting once a week a while back so that she could walk me through setting up the same system for Raw Photo. After 3 meetings or so it was pretty clear we were far beyond the point of no return and Carla presented me with a solution that her and Amber had been thought of and been working on….without me knowing!


wedding photo studio partnership

It was an offer I could not refuse. Especially since the only other option was to throw in the towel. Starting today, the C10 Studio Management Team will be responsible for ALL of the client-related office tasks and back-end studio work for RAW Photo Design including all emails, phone calls, albums, production, and delivery of finished products. Now all RAW Photo Design clients will finally get what Amber and I had TRIED to provide and what they absolutely deserve more then anything: the same AMAZING customer service that C10 Studio Management Team of Dominique, Julie, Rebecca, Dave, Jazzy and Philitha have been providing for Carla and her associates for years!

Where does that leave Amber and myself? It leaves us focusing ALL of our attention, time, and resources on where they should be: the creative work. This is what we are good at, enjoy doing, and jump out of bed in the morning just thinking of it. It is why I started the business in the first place…THE PHOTOGRAPHY….NOT the business. I’m drooling just thinking about it, “You mean I get to do what I’ve always wanted to do and you will do the rest?” I swear it is Christmas a month early at the Langlois household and I just got the gift of photography for the first time in 4 years!

The finer details are being sent to existing clients as everyone is reading this but in a nutshell RAW Photo Design will still be OUR brand…same website, same look, same awesomeness. Zero portion of the photography, retouching, or awesome sauce that has defined the RAW Photo brand and style will change because Amber and myself will still be in charge of all of it. In fact, it will only improve and thrive now that we don’t have to spend so much time on what we suck at: business. We’ll finally get to spend all of our time and energy on the reason I started this business in the first place: photography.

MAD MEN | An inspired shoot at The Yale Study Hotel in New Haven, CT

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

As inspired by…

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

So, I bet you are wondering who is responsible for all this delicious madness?

Event Designer: Jubilee Events | Venue: The Study at Yale | Makeup: Jennie Fresa Makeup & Skincare | Hair: W Salon | Cakes: A Little Imagination Cakes | Fashion Stylist: Beth Chapman, The White Dress by the Shore | Flowers: Datura, A Modern Garden | Groom’s Attire: Valentino Tailors | Jewelry: Aquinnah by The White Dress by the Shore | Shoe Designer: Grace | Veil and Hair Accessories: The White Dress by the Shore | Prop and Furniture Rentals: Party Rental Ltd. | Linens: La Tavola Linens | Gowns and Dresses: Jenny Yoo, Amsale, Coren Moore, Anne Barge | Cardigans: Ivy and Aster | Gloves: Carolina Amato | Fascinator: Bijou Van Ness | Cardigan Pin: Haute Bride | Necklace: Aquinnah for the White Dress by the Shore | Earrings: Haute Bride

Hugs and Kisses to Brenden Farinha, Janet Taub, and Renee Descoutures for assisting and shooting with me & E.

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

vintage modern wedding ideas 1960s mad men photo shoot pink bridesmaids

Exceedingly Inspired | the 2012 Inspire Photography Conference…a success

First of all, I have to thank my husband. I am a total freak when there is a big deadline or presentation, I panic, I get emotional, sometimes that energy makes me knock whatever it is completely out of the park and then sometimes…I shut down. Completely blank, no ideas, and I can’t get all my thoughts organized…which just creates more stress. Eric is the best husband on the planet, he is always cool, calm, and collected. He knows exactly what to say to me so that I can bring it back. He reminds me that I know this material inside out, that this is something we volunteer our time to be a part of…because this is FUN.

Right.

Without him by my side to reassure my insecurities, I can get all worked up unnecessarily. And you know what? The last 4 days in Sturbridge, Mass. at The Inspire Photo Conference was exactly that…really freaking FUN.

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

We met lots of RAD new people, and reinforced relationships with some friends that are already so special to us. And the best part, connecting with so many attending photographers, all various experience levels seeking the same thing, Inspiration. We take the responsibility of teaching very seriously, there is so much gratification and fulfillment in our job of taking pictures and it is amazing to me how comprable the feeling is of sharing and teaching photographers in our community. We are so grateful for the experience, owe a huge thanks to the Inspire Dream Team for this opportunity and cannot wait to follow up and strengthen the new friendships we have made.

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

so true.

“IF YOU WANT TO LEARN SOMETHING. TEACH IT.”

I know that I could shoot boudoir in my sleep, I just know it. But really stepping outside the shooting mentality and constructing a presentation that hits all the big and little pieces of boudoir was a challenge that I learned a lot from preparing and presenting. Some candids shot by our assistant & editor, Brenden Farinha.

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

I am always amazed by how much we can learn by being open, sharing real stories and the mistakes we’ve survived. As a speaker, I go into the experience of Inspire with an open mind but carry the weight of our responsibility as leaders, mentors, and educators. My favorite part of Inspire Photo Conference is connecting in those smaller groups, at lunch, at the bar, or unexpectedly. Those are the times that we are not speakers and conference attendees, we are all just photographers. Every person that opened up and shared with me, taught me something valuable that I plan to absorb and evaluate as we get into this new season.

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

Leeann of Leeann Marie Photography taught us all of the ShootQ branding & customization possibilities that we can integrate | Jim, CEO of Pictage (not PICTIGE) rocked our world with his opening address and forced me to think about the following exercise, which I plan to modify and revisit often this year (it was really fun to do, and thank you Jim for giving me a reason to think about this).

Describe 10 characteristics of your favorite client:
1. Has an iPhone and an iPad, but uses a PC at work
2. Not crafty, DIY or wedding detail obsessed
3. Her wedding doesn’t have a theme that consists of more than color(s)
4. She has $1000 designer shoes for her wedding day, but dances barefoot at her reception
5. They make extra time for wedding day pictures and collaborate with us on the ideal timeline for their wedding day
6. She carries a handbag that costs close to as much we charge to photograph her wedding
7. Drives an Acura
8. She has long, healthy hair and great skin
9. They workout at the gym, but not obsessively
10.Watching the Jersey Shore is her guilty pleasure and she subscribes to at least 3 fashion magazines

(Jim is laughing during our talk below at bottom right, sitting with C10).

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

Huge shout out to Joel Meisels of Adorama for the eye opening (money saving) discussion of features on the new Canon 5D Mark3 vs. the new Canon 1DX | Jared Bauman of ShootDotEdit shared some tips to verify that we get what we pay for from our ISP, especially in terms of upload speed | Carla Ten Eyck shared solid tips for motivating our team, happy hours and baked potatoes are definitely on the Raw Photo Design team calendar agenda

And…with all that inspiration going on, a little letting go and letting loose is required.

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

Now before I get into our amazing Inspire Lighting Shoot, I want to thank our talented peeps.

Thank you to Beth and Rachel of The White Dress by the Shore in Clinton, CT for styling and accessorizing our models so beautifully | To our stunning models, Ashley wearing Nicole Miller and Mary Rae wearing Anne Barge, we cannot thank you enough for looking so hot, being so patient and putting up with the cold | The finished looks for this shoot were executed by the talents of Stacey Palancia, professional makeup artist of Blush Couture and hairstylist Meagan Raccio | Tom Morlock of Vantage Point Films completely saved the day with his video footage of me shooting a Boudoir session for our Boudoir presentation

I just love working with the best.

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

lighting and boudoir photography by raw photo design inspire photo seminars 2012 sturbridge mass

You gotta watch the amazing video produced by our dear friends, The Boka’s of The Light Mill and Photographer RE. Truly Inspiring. xo!


Taylor Family Session + Meet Janet, our new Associate Portrait Photographer!

Baby Carina made the kind of entrance that I thought only happened in the movies, she came so fast that she was actually delivered at home by her Daddy, Tim. Crazy and totally amazing! We had the pleasure of photographing big sister Mikayla back in 2008, when she was a baby, and we are extremely fortunate to add her new baby sister Carina, to the blog! We do not get to shoot family sessions that often, but can say for sure that there is nothing better than catching the excitement {and controlled chaos} that a newborn brings to a family dynamic.


family photo shoot lifestyle session

We know the situation all too well, and at the time I can remember wondering how I could possibly keep up with an energetic toddler, while meeting the around the clock needs of a new munchkin? But you do it, and those days fly by.

then, you can’t believe when you actually miss those days that you sat on the couch in sweats….guilty over the hours of TV you allowed your toddler to watch….actually worried that you might have held your newborn too much {which I no longer believe is possible} – life is so crazy in that way.

As cute as these pictures are, I had to take the opportunity in this blog post to announce our new Art Director and Associate Portrait Photographer, Janet Taub. This position has been a dream of ours to fill, and we could not be happier that all elements fell into place at the right time to make this happen. Janet’s experience with children, passion for photography and involvement in our community makes her simply over-qualified to handle the portrait business for our studio. We are so excited to see what she can do. In addition to lifestyle sessions, Janet will also be managing all of our album design process and album production in house! hoo-rah. HUGE, big changes coming. All to make our amazing clients happier, and allow us to each focus on our strengths in this business. Big shout out to Janet {who has been shooting with us and Joanne like crazy lately}, who shot the Taylor’s in New Milford with Eric. Totally Adorable shoot.

Enjoy the cuteness that is the Taylor Family!


family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

family photo shoot lifestyle session

Time out.

Because sometimes we all need to be brought back and remember what really matters.

…it’s love.

I have to share a moving, inspiring wedding photographed by a hugely successful, inspiring, innovative, husband and wife photography team, the one and only AltF. Eric and I have been fortunate to attend seminars and an epic Concept to Execution NYC workshop with John Michael Cooper, and all I can say is that if AltF continues to crank out this top notch inspiration, we will all be pushed to raise the game.

So please guys, keep it coming.

wish upon a wedding altf

click here to see the full, stunning post, moments, words and portraiture on the altf blog.

And to kick your tears up a notch to a level like mine, watch this sweet video by Memory Lane.

FLASH EXPOSED photography lighting workshop | RAW off camera flash 2011

We have been really eager to share these images, already for 2011 we have had some exceptional models to shoot, worked with some of our favorite wedding professionals, and most importantly had great workshop attendees who inspire us in a major way to share what we love.

To learn more about Flash Exposed, the Raw Photo Design Off Camera Flash Photography Workshop or to secure your seat for an upcoming date, click here.

Allow me to introduce our gorgeous friends and models for this year, Desiree Delia, Carla Ten Eyck, and Suzanne Mancheski. Give these ladies some love and leave a comment below.

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

So…March, April and June.
different weather, different locations, different models, different results. I am always amazed by the unique dynamic of each off camera flash photography workshop that we teach. We cover the same material, tweak our presentation slightly if needed, but still…no two are alike. The personalities of the attendees and models have a huge impact on the tone of the day – and so far this year we have been really fortunate to have such a great time teaching.

The March Workshop | location: the patriot garage located in downtown danbury, ct

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

Our intentions are always to have the shooting portion of our lighting workshop outside, using off camera flash on location is really what differentiates our style and what most photographers come to learn. Especially as wedding photographers, we need to be problem solvers when we are faced with unpredictable variables (including weather). We started our shooting at Meeker’s Hardware, a favorite historic spot on White Street in Danbury. Unfortunately, as soon as we all unloaded our gear it started to rain, and we made the quick decision to shoot in a nearby parking garage which can be an awesome blank slate to shoot in…when you have LIGHT.

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

Below Lam demonstrates the leap he wants our model to take for his shot, showing your model what you want them to do is often easier than verbalizing it. It also makes you realize pretty quickly if you are being realistic, if I feel too awkward or silly doing it then I can’t ask someone else to do it. Check out a few of Lam’s shots here that he posted on Facebook.

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

I love this next picture of Eileen Broderick, totally cute in her orange coat! Definitely check out Eileen’s work and blog post about her experience at our workshop…she shared some really sweet words and we were totally impressed with the images she captured of Desiree.

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

The April Workshop | location: the candlewood inn on candlewood lake in brookfield, ct | carla’s hair and makeup by stacey of blush couture | video shot by matt fink of digital media odyssey

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

If you do not know this next lady, you need to, end of story. Carla’s Hartford photography studio, Carla Ten Eyck Photography is a force to be reckoned with in professional photography, we are lucky to consider her our very close friend, and couldn’t have been more pumped to photograph her at our April workshop. Huge thanks to the Candlewood Inn for allowing us to infiltrate their property for the day, my talented sister Stacey who made Carla even more gorg with great hair and makeup, and also thanks to Matt of Digital Media Odyssey for your time and video coverage of the workshop. Below, Carla and Matt (who just met) bonded immediately while cracking up at Eric’s sarcasm – I was happy that at least two other people (besides me) were laughing so hard at his jokes.

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

The June Workshop | location: brookfield public works in brookfield, ct | suzanne’s makeup by MAC at the danbury fair mall

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

Suzanne was such a trooper, I am not exaggerating that it was probably 95 degrees on the day of this June workshop. I don’t know about you, but when I am sweating standing in one place it is pretty hard to turn it on for the camera – but she totally killed it and did not complain once. I cannot thank our peeps, Rob O’Brien, Joanne Vandal, and Janet Taub enough for their time, and for contributing so much to our studio on every level.

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

So, our shooting was a complete blast. We were all loving the sky, the crazy color of the buses, Suze was doing a great job…and then I realized something.

OMG, this whole time we were posing Suzanne in front of the SHORT BUS. Not that it was necessarily a bad thing (although it has been the punch line of more than one derogatory joke) I found it completely hysterical that in a lot of 50 school buses, we chose “The Short Bus” section to pose our model in front of….only us :)

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

One of our favorite things about off camera flash photography is freezing movement…this is so freaking cool. come on?!

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

Check Rob out on the White Lighting…LIKE A BOSS!

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

photography lighting tips digital photography workshops canon photographers professional photography

To see more images from past lighting workshops, go to the Workshop category on the Raw Photo Design blog. For specific info about Flash Exposed or to secure your seat, click here.

Spread the word, fan the Raw Photo Design Facebook Fan Page and tell us what you think in the comment form below. xo.

Lighting Workshop at Inspire Boston 2011 | we are inspired.

we are inspired.
thank you to enna and matt grazier of Grazier Photography for the opportunity to contribute to Inspire Boston 2011.

Eric and I spent the past 3 days in Boston at the Inspire Boston photography conference and we feel so inspired by the people we met, the people we already knew, and we are so fortunate that we were a part of the experience. We started the week off getting to model for the one and only, Carla Ten Eyck who is an amazing friend to us, and also a fantastic photographer. It was so fun, I love getting dressed up, and as a photographer it is a really good experience to be on the other side of the camera once in a while. I was very lucky to have a Modern Trousseau dress provided by the White Dress by the Shore, hair styled by the Ridgefield Salon, and makeup by Lindsey Gallagher of Like Flutter for Lashes. Cannot wait to see everyone’s images!

Eric and I also had a opportunity to teach some lighting – which you all know by now that we are completely obsessed. Our Inspire Boston lighting workshop was a very compressed version our monthly Flash Exposed lighting workshop that we teach in Danbury, CT at our studio. We were challenged to squeeze a day’s worth of information into 2 hours, while giving everyone the opportunity to shoot, luckily, it worked out great.

Our models, Stacey Palancia, Lisa Barker, Suzanna Lombardo, and Andrea Leahy were insanely hot, looked awesome, and were really fun to work with. I cannot wait to see all of our attendees images from the shoots. Shout out to Stacey of Blush Couture who not only modeled, but also did ridiculous hair and makeup!


inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

So, the last night…teaching was done. Inspiration was in full swing – we get to wrap up with a great party at the LensProToGo studio in Concord, MA. The guys there are super cool and Eric was a kid in a candy shop, playing with ring lights, octobanks, and geeking out with some other “gear guys” in the business. Very good times…there was even some “jowling” involved.


inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

inspire boston photography conference seminar retreat 2011

Thank you everyone for a great few days, we learned so much, and are truly inspire by all of you. xo

Meet our New Associate Photographer | Joanne Vandal

This is a little story about a girl that used to wear “sensible shoes…”

Joanne Vandal is one of the cutest, most sincere, like “I want to have her around at all times” people that we have ever met. She finds Eric and I hilarious, and I don’t want to shock anyone, but not everyone “gets” Eric’s sarcasm, she is an extremely hard worker and is completely dedicated to learning her craft. I can’t think of a single thing bad to say about Joanne, however, I should mention that a wedding guest last year did find a minor wardrobe flaw, and was compelled to call Joanne out on it.

“Well, aren’t those shoes you’re wearing sensible”.

I am sure I was shooting in something completely unsensible and kicking myself for it, while my poor JoJo is receiving sarcastic remarks for her comfortable shoes – as if! Obviously, we just laughed it off, but, to this day Joanne can bring me to snorting convulsions by telling me the story. I knew she would be thrilled when I found some research posted by Chenin Boutwell and her search for the perfect pants (plus cute & comfy shoes) – Joanne WIN!

What does this have to do with the Raw Photo front? Well…this has been in the works for a while and we are so excited to be growing, diversifying and building our business in such a positive way. Teaching workshops and belonging to the photography networking groups in CT allows us to interact with and meet some amazing people that all bring unique experiences and personalities to the group dynamic. Joanne is one of those sparks that has a magnetic personality, an obsession with learning and improving her photography skills, and shares our philosophy that this job should be fun – we shoot weddings, duh! Last year we worked with Joanne on many of our shoots and weddings and now we are excited to announce her as our very first Raw Photo Design Associate Photographer and she is going to be booking her own weddings for Raw Photo Design. Trust us, spend 5 minutes with her and you will love her – and we cannot wait to witness and help Joanne continue to grow. We are so excited for the endless possibilities in store for her!

Here is a little sampling of Joanne’s amazing work, and you can click here to filter the weddings that she shot with us last year.

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

From Joanne:
“You know when there is a group of friends and they want to have a picture taken together, they always knew there was one person in that group that will always have a camera on them, yup, that was always me! Never, ever in the picture, always behind the camera to get a shot that people love. I have always loved photography. I know alot of people say that, but no, I really mean it! After taking photography in college, I was hooked! Im the one who will hike waist deep in the snow to get a different perspective of a shot, the one who will roll up my pants and head into ocean to get an awesome shot of the bride and groom from a different angle, the one who will be lying on the ground in to get the perfect portrait for my client. There is taking a photo and then there is taking a kick butt photo…why settle? It took me a few years, a lot of confidence and a ton of support to make the leap into making this my career. Go big or go home, right? I immersed myself into learning as much as I could from people I admire in the industry. Workshops, classes, lectures…I took them all. 5 years later, I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones that loves my job and cant wait to go to work! Its definitely a passion! I like long walks on the beach at night, the sounds of gently crashing waves and im a virgo, wont you be my friend! ;0)”

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

raw photo design modern wedding photography

FLASH exposed. An advanced off-camera lighting workshop for photographers.

“Times have changed. And so has journalism. But that available light {crutch} argument works so well at keeping us from learning to light when we are young.

But light is a tool. You have to know how to use it and how to make it when you need to. So do not fall for the “putting-yourself-on-the-available-light-pedestal” excuse. You can always choose to use available light when you know how to use flash. Heck, it is always available.

So drop the excuse and learn your craft.” -Strobist

learn flash photography digital photographer workshop

learn flash photography digital photographer workshop

Lots of goodies to discuss.

We have some very exciting updates to share and of course…some yummy images. If you did not already know this, we are obsessed with off-camera FLASH – we love using it almost as much as we love teaching and talking about it. Our monthly FLASH exposed workshop is off to an awesome start for 2011, the most recent group was a dynamic one and our model, Renee Descoutures did a stunning job. Renee is our friend, a fellow CT photographer, completely beautiful and insanely sweet…to say the least, she was an absolute pleasure to photograph. She didn’t even make a fuss about the sequin hot shorts I picked for her to wear – I knew she could rock them like the hot mama that she is. Thank you to Stacey Palancia of Blush Couture design for providing the rockin’ hair styling and makeup for the shoot. Take my word and buy “Funny Face” the Nars lipstick that Stacey chose for Renee…it was amazing and I think the perfect color for Spring.

learn flash photography digital photographer workshop

learn flash photography digital photographer workshop

learn flash photography digital photographer workshop

If you are interested in signing up for an upcoming workshop, click here for additional information. We believe small, intimate groups are the BEST way to learn this stuff, so we limit the group to 5 people…space is very limited.


learn flash photography digital photographer workshop

learn flash photography digital photographer workshop

Also coming up for us this month is Inspire Boston. We are super excited and honored to be teaching 2 workshops at this very intimate photography conference along with our friends who are also some of the most talented, inspiring people in the photography business. Unfortunately, the 2011 conference is already sold out, but if you are registered to attend, we look forward to seeing you there.

learn flash photography inspire boston photography seminar conference

There have been a lot of lessons for us this past year, personally and professionally, most of which, we haven’t wrapped our heads around..yet. But, one thing I know for sure is that we were able to get through a recent personal tragedy because we belong to a network of diverse, outstanding photographers that believe in sharing and helping any way they can. More than ever before I clearly see the importance and value of belonging to our photography community, and I believe that we all have a responsibility to contribute, share, and show up to the monthly gatherings. Eric and I have made the commitment to do everything we can to attend the monthly meetings hosted by CT PUG and CLASS a priority, it is more than important it is critical. Thank you to those that volunteered their time, and went above and beyond to help us out, we are eternally grateful and cannot wait for our opportunity to return the favor to each of you. And to our friends, Rob and Kathleen Photographers that provided us with the opportunity to speak last night at the monthly CLASS meeting that they host. For us, there is nothing better than sharing our passion with other photographers.

If you are a local photographer and would like to know more about either group, click the links above for more information.

learn flash photography digital photographer workshop

learn flash photography digital photographer workshop

learn flash photography digital photographer workshop

Thank you again Renee for modeling and to our attendees, Jacob Bergemeier, Anthony Decarlo, Janet Taub, and Mary Beth Morrissey.

Click here if you would like to see the images from previous off-camera flash workshops that he have hosted.

feel free to post any comments below. xo, amber & eric

A Boudoir Photo Shoot featuring NEW lingerie from Beneath the Gown

We have made some really great friends in our industry…who also happen to be some of the best in the business! Our friend, Beth Chapman, owner of the White Dress by the Shore in Clinton, CT put us in touch with her girl Josie from Beneath the Gown. We shoot Boudoir, she sells lingerie, makes sense – right? When Josie contacted us to shoot a new lingerie line that she was going to feature, we were completely siked about the opportunity.

If you are looking for your wedding gown or lingerie {or both}…definitely go see these two leading ladies, they are so sweet and so talented. We would love to hear your thoughts, but we think that this lingerie is completely beautiful, sophisticated and glamorous. Perfect for a boudoir session! Josie was a huge help with styling the day of the shoot, and our model Leah did an awesome job – she was totally great to work with.

Big thank you to everyone that contributed their amazing talent to this shoot.
The White Dress by the Shore
professional hair and makeup by Jennie Freesa Beauty Library
Beneath the Gown


modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

And…I found this when I was picking images…I didn’t even realize Eric took my picture while I was demonstrating the next pose for Leah :) rawr.

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

modern boudoir photography

August Lighting Photography Workshop at Tarrywile Park in Danbury, CT

Another rockin workshop, more great photographers and SO MUCH FUN!
Want to know more about upcoming workshops? We still have a few seats in the Sept. 23rd session!
click here!

Here is the well deserved shout out to the amazing vendors that we collaborated with on this workshop:

Host Venue: Tarrywile Mansion and Park in Danbury, CT
Our Stunning Model: Alicia Candelora of No Eye Has Seen Photography – give her some props, she killed it!
Hair and Makeup: Stacey Palancia of Blush Couture in Watertown, CT
Styling: Jenny Yoo bridal dress, and glam accessories provided by The White Dress by the Shore in Clinton, CT
Floral Design: The one and only Datura (the floral images have been submitted for publication, therefore we can only post a few at this time)

Look OUT:

advanced lighting photography training in CT

Our favorite game…Natural Light:

advanced lighting photography training in CT

Artificial Light (BTW FLASH ALWAYS wins this game):

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

Go Girls, Rock It!

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

Love it, Love it, Love it. Miss Katie Slater…PUMPED!

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

These are PEPPERS, for real! And how hot do they look next to all of that bling? If you “Color Outside the Lines” – Datura is the ONLY florist for you. LOVE it!

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

Workshops rock on so many rewarding, fun-ness levels. Eric was super siked to have some guys to shake up the typically “mostly female” dynamic. We loved this kid, Chris Roque, he has a super cool gig shooting live shows, bands and concerts…check him out!

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

If you haven’t seen our Boudoir Video, then you don’t know what a good poser Eric is.

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

Natural light IS very pretty.

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

And sometimes, you just gotta pick that thing up.

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

Cutest Husband/Smile Combo EVER!!!

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

advanced lighting photography training in CT

Woot Woot! Thanks so much everyone, we LOVED having you, you were SUCH a FUN bunch! Can’t wait to see your images. xo

advanced lighting photography training in CT

Announcing the RAW “Queen of all Things” | Jilly Bean

At a certain point we have had to come to terms that we cannot do it all, we must delegate – or we will surely fail. But this person that I have been dreaming about, I found, was not an easy person to find. It had to be someone we could trust with this business (the 3rd child), someone that understands our personality quirks, someone that would jump in, take the reins, and run with them. We dreamt that this person would bring their own expertise to the table, and help us find a better way to do things – to help take this business to another level.

Well…I am happy to say that we found her, and that person is one of my very best friends, Jill (I call her “Jilly Bean” or “Bean”…but you can call her Jill).

I have always loved my Jilly Bean, from the first day we were introduced at Southern, she was someone that just got me (not an easy feat). My unpredictable behavior, my irrational outbursts, my table dancing, my giddy all nighters before exams, my Starbucks addiction, and my obsession with then boyfriend, Eric (and cat, Ralphie). I can really say she has been there through most of our major life events and us for hers (click here to see her wedding images), I love that she quietly came into our room at Yale and held Avery the day she was born, she flew to Vegas to be in our wedding, and was an accomplice to so many of our shenanigans.

The best thing? She thinks Eric is the funniest person ever, and laughs out loudly at both of us, often. Many of you know that we have been seeking some help on the business front, some organization, and I have been on a serious mission searching for our “Queen of all Things” for quite some time.

Please welcome Jill everyone, she has changed our lives so much already, and you will love her – she’s exactly what Raw Photo Design has been missing!

www.rawphotodesign.com

Bring That SKY Back | Friday, June 18th | 2 Spots Still Open!

***THIS IS A PINNED POST…SCROLL DOWN BELOW FOR REGULAR BLOG UPDATES***

You know the drill as photographers, we get a willing subject(s), cool location, and then there is that whole vision thing.
We dive in, get a rocking pose…WE SNAP… and we get this:


Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

So, that’s a pretty HOT shot Eric grabbed. Even picked it as one of our favorites for the blog. He exposed for his subjects faces like we are “supposed to”, but in doing that, what happened to the sky?

Oh yeah, there it is in all it’s white-ness, completely blown out.

Hmm…But, if we exposed for the sky then our cutie pie couple would be in darkness beyond repair…Fail.

I am going to venture to guess that maybe some of you have experienced this while shooting at the beach. You know, when your client actually wants that pretty blue sky, those fluffy white clouds, AND the water in the shot.

I think we have a dilemma. Well you do, if you don’t know how to fix it with a little bit (sometimes a lot bit) of flash. Here is what happens when we bring in some flash:


Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

WIN! We actually CAN be greedy photographers and have BOTH, our subjects and background properly exposed in the same frame. No magic tricks…just EPIC light.

Come learn how Amber & Eric Bring That SKY Back into our shots, in addition to other more dramatic, multi light set-ups with off camera flash.


Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

To Register for June 18th, go to: www.rawphotodesign.com/makemagichappen, create an account and reserve your seat. For more info from our last workshop click here.

Important! You do not need to buy any new equipment to attend this workshop! We have managed in the past by sharing our extra Pocket Wizards (if you do not currently own them)…we bring the LIGHT! Questions? Bring it on! We can’t wait.

raw photo design DOES boudoir.

Grab a cocktail, sit back and enjoy. This is a biggie. We have video, we have words, we have announcements, and we have some super sexy, hot NEW images posted below.

Tom Morlock of Vantage Point Films shot video at our last Boudoir Workshop, the goal was to help everyone understand a little more about us, and what is behind our process} The RAW approach to the art of boudoir photography.

Thank you to Sue of Naomi’s Studio for hair and makeup styling. Gummy Bear Tom, you are a keeper! Slammin’ work on this video! HUGE thanks to the amazing Josie of Beneath the Gown for providing the lingerie for this shoot. If you have not checked out her custom pieces and bridal lingerie it is a MUST.



Try to resist the temptation to go flying past my “monologue” down to the images (tough I know). I may be biased, but I think this explanation will make you appreciate our boudoir images just a little bit more…

A year ago we shot a boudoir session together. To me, the client was ideal (meaning that she was fun, had great shoes, good lingerie, and she was also beautiful). From my perspective (as second shooter that day), I thought the session rocked! So, we get in the car to leave, and I can see that Eric is really disappointed and frustrated. I automatically assumed that I must have done something to piss him off, but it turns out the reason that he was so bummed out was because he didn’t get the shots that he wanted. I was so confused, it seemed it would have been hard to take a bad picture. But when we pulled up the images and he showed me exactly what he meant, it was crystal clear that there is so much more to a really good image than pretty people in pretty clothes. My ah ha moment!

To this day, we are not satisfied until our client has connected with our camera. As photographers there are many different things that we do to facilitate that connection, and we are so fortunate to shoot real people. Nothing is more rewarding than that moment working with someone, when the switch flips, and they are transformed – instantly real, uninhibited and natural.

We encourage our boudoir clients, brides, actually anyone that we photograph to practice their facial expressions. A pose is virtually dead without that “look”, if you can close your eyes, imagine a thought, then open your eyes and sell that thought – you are on your way. The most expressive feature on a person’s face is their eyes, and they are seen as the “window to the soul” because they can give clues as to what another person is thinking. We all know that when people just smile with their mouths, the smile is probably fake, but when the smile includes the eyes, it is always genuine. Credit for makeup and styling of all the ladies below goes to Stacey Palancia of Blush Couture and Lindsey Gallagher of Like Flutter for Lashes.

Here is how our a few of our sophisticated, stunning, glamourous, clients get it DONE:


www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

www.rawphotodesign.com Boudoir Photography

Our exciting announcement is that we {aka Amber & Eric} are going to start shooting boudoir sessions separately, which means we can shoot more. Depending on our availability {and your preference for a male or female photographer} you will be working with Amber or Eric, and will have the option. We wish that we could be in two places at once, but this time of year with weddings and engagements full throttle we have had to turn down quite a bit of boudoirs. This will allow us both to focus on what we really love doing, and provide better service to our clients. Yay! Huge thank you to everyone that participated in the workshop, the professionals that made everyone look so beautiful, and to our RAW clients…thank you is not enough for letting us post your gorgeous images! xoxo

we are throwing down the gauntlet.

The challenge? The wedding day timeline.

We don’t make a habit of preaching on this blog and try our best to keep our opinions on most matters quiet, but on this issue – since wedding season has officially started – something has to be said about the factor of TIME on a wedding day.

The amount of time that we have on a wedding day is THE ONLY FACTOR that will dramatically impact the images that we are able to provide. Not the rain, not the cold, not the light or lack of, not the spot on a bridesmaids dress, not the droopy flowers…I could go on and on, you get it.

BUT…if we have 10 minutes to shoot bridal portraits they cannot be comparable to the portraits we had 2 hours to capture, pretty simple, right?

Will they be good? Yes.
But, will they be great?

This is not a blatant promotion for the “First Look”, I understand that it is a personal decision, and we want your wedding to be yours. If it is important to you that your groom sees you for the first time coming down the aisle, do you know where this custom originated? catholicbrides.com

The Groom Not Seeing The Bride Before The Wedding – (Superstition)
“Many of our current wedding “customs” originate from century old superstitions that would avoid incurring bad luck. In ancient times, marriages were considered a business arrangement made between family members, rather than a celebration of love. Marriages cemented alliances between families and insured transfer of land and wealth between them.

Often the groom had not met or even seen his future wife before the ceremony. The bride was kept hidden to eliminate any disapproval of her from the groom. It was feared that once seeing her he may have refused to proceed with the ceremony. This of course would have bought bad luck, by putting the family’s financial arrangements in jeopardy.

Today this custom has lost its relevance. Arranged marriages are not very common in our modern North American society nor will the Catholic Church condone a marriage between people who have never met. A Catholic wedding ceremony is a sacrament that couples administer to each other, so it must be a ceremony of mutual consent. Many couples are abandoning this custom of hiding from one another, choosing instead to have private time together for prayer and reflection before the ceremony. They then as a couple greet their guests upon their arrival.”

***What it comes down to is this, how important are pictures to you on your wedding day?***

We like the “First Look” because it is an obvious way to maximize the time available on a wedding day, without sacrificing the moment of seeing each other for the first time. With that said, IT IS POSSIBLE to have a well planned wedding day timeline allowing for EPIC, ROCKSTAR pictures even without doing a “First Look”.

I know that our opinion on the timing topic can seem biased, so I asked our past brides (some that did the “First Look” and some that did not) about it, here’s what they said (I will continue to update as I receive testimonials, oh and don’t miss Audrey’s promo video – SHE ROCKS):



Christine: “I think the “First Looks” idea definitely has it’s pluses. The ‘moment’ may be easier to capture since both photogs can be in perfect places to get the reactions of both the bride and groom. It can also be more intimate since the eyes of the world aren’t on them. It can be a special moment in and of itself. I was more traditional and wanted the “First Look” to be walking down the aisle. I don’t know if you remember, but our Priest was not the nicest guy in the world and asked both you and Eric to stay in the back of the church!!!!! Kind of makes capturing that moment much more challenging. I think every bride needs to be told, and have driven home, the idea that however much time you think you need to get ready for your wedding, DOUBLE IT. It’s a good idea to plan the timeline out at least a couple of weeks before the wedding. I’m a teacher, and I always over plan my time…and it really, really pays off. People make fun of me b/c I am so scheduled, but ya know what?? It works!!! The day of my wedding, the last thing I wanted to do was rush…I cannot stand that feeling of being 2 steps behind!! I gave myself 2 hours to do hair, an hour to do make-up, and made sure there was time built-in to eat lunch, relax a bit with my girls, and ‘just in case’ time. It’s funny, because all we did all day was wait!! The flowers were late, the trolley was late, etc…but we didn’t have to rush through anything at my parents house or during the portrait stuff at Longshore. We also made sure there would be close to 2 hrs before Cocktail Hour started to get ALL of the pics done when we got there. Since most (usually!!) girls haven’t been through the wedding day timeline as a bride before, it’s a pretty overwhelming task to accomplish. It’s the whole ‘unknown’ factor that is SO hard to tweak once the day starts. Breaking the day down into pieces and considering travel time, getting ready time, bathroom time, etc, etc can give a good picture of how it could work, too.”

Jill: “I am so happy that we chose to do our first look photos. It was such an amazing experience to see my husband to be before all the madness of a wedding can separate you and stress you out. I loved seeing the reaction on his face when he saw me for the first time, it was such a great moment. It wasn’t rushed at all, we had plenty of time to appreciate each other as well as what we were about to do! I think it really gave me the time I needed with him in order to calm my nerves before our ceremony. I also had the peace of mind that once our ceremony was over, we would be able to go enjoy our guests and our reception!”

Shannon: “It was never an option for Anthony and I to NOT have a first look on our wedding. Since neither of us are superstitious we thought this first look moment would be an intimate and relaxing way to see each other before the craziness began. It turns out that our first look was the most precious, intimate and special part of our day because it was the only moment where we felt it was just the two of us. It started to feel like our wedding day the moment we saw each other. I don’t think we would have felt the same “spark” if this were to happen as I walked down the aisle as I was so nervous I don’t even really remember much of the ceremony. At least I have my moment with Anthony that I replay in my mind every single day. Apart from the memorable part of the first look, it was practical for us. Let’s be honest, we spent a lot of money on the wedding and we wanted to enjoy every last moment of it. We didn’t want to miss the cocktail hour or any part of our party. As it was, we were 45 minutes late getting to the Waterview because of hair and makeup and if we didn’t plan for the first look, we would have had no time to take pictures. Also, we got even more pictures from our wedding because we had the first look, cocktail hour and family portraits. I have convinced numerous couples that I am friends with who are getting married to do a first look photo shoot because of the reasons mentioned above and they have all agreed because it makes both the bride and groom breath easier! Just imagine if Big and Carrie from Sex and the City would have seen each other before the wedding ceremony…it would have actually taken place!! The first look is a must in my opinion.”

Kate: “If Dave and I agreed on one thing about the wedding – it was that after all was said and done and the wedding was over, the pictures were the one thing we would get to keep forever. We wanted to be sure we LOVED our photographer (which we did!), and that we had plenty of time for pictures. We have been to way too many weddings where the bride and groom spend the entire reception getting pulled away for pictures, and we did not want to be that bride and groom. We had a ton of time in between our ceremony and our reception, so we did not choose to do the First Look. The gap wasn’t ideal for our guests but it was our only option for a timeline, and we were siked because we had plenty of time to get our pictures done and get to the wedding in time to attend our entire Cocktail Hour! Obviously, not every wedding will play out that way. Even though time was not an issue for us in between, I wanted to be sure that the morning schedule was well planned and not rushed. When I met with Eric and Amber, they gave me the best advice – they suggested that when I was selecting my vendors for hair and make-up, to use PROFESSIONALS and to MAKE A SCHEDULE. Boy, were they right. Professionals will be on time, come prepared and get the job done! I hired Susan Houde from Naomi’s Studio and Salon for make-up and Paula Lopes Abrantes from Adam Broderick for hair. Susan did my make-up along with 3 other ladies in about 2 hours. Paula did the hair of myself, 7 bridesmaids, 2 mothers and 3 children in enough time to leave for church by 1:45 p.m.! I may have been a little over-organized with my hair and makeup schedules and the timing of breakfast and lunch, etc. but because it was all orchestrated in advance, I was so relaxed on the morning of my wedding I actually took a nap! By the time the photographers and videographers showed up I was well rested, well fed and ready to put on my gown and go get married! If my morning had run over, everything else would have backed up and we would have lost that time throughout the day. In short…hire good people and plan your day in advance! Good Luck!!”

Stefanie: “We originally planned to be ‘traditionalists’ when we booked Raw. Slowly, over time my both logical and romantic side started thinking. I had to really think about the day and how it would go. I am SO glad we chose to do the First Look. Here’s why….I was really nervous- it’s my wedding day. I was so glad to see my ‘rock’ before the ceremony to help me chill out! It was an amazing moment to see the look on each other’s faces and be able to share some private time and a little conversation that day- there is not much private time on your wedding day! It was an extremely intimate experience to share seeing each other for the first time- alone. Coming down the aisle with my veil on and all the onlookers was a completely different experience. One did not take away from the other. Walking down the aisle is a moment that is ingrained in my brain and will always be! It was so great to be able to get right to the party after the ceremony. After all we paid all this dough for it- we wanted to enjoy it too! It was really nice to use the cocktail hour as time to mingle and greet all of our guests. That way there was no time taken out of dinner to visit tables. We actually got to sit and enjoy our meals! And everyone said we wouldn’t have time to eat…ha! I would have never thought about doing a First Look so I credit Raw for that fabulous idea. Not only did it make sense logistically but it made the day very romantic in a way I never imagined. I LOVE LOVE LOVE our First Look pictures and seeing the expressions on our faces brings me right back to that moment. We took a traditional wedding and added a little twist and I am so glad we did.”

The takeaway? Weddings are unpredictable!

What makes us love our job is that no two weddings are alike, and we have learned to make the absolute most of every minute we are given. This discussion is really about managing expectations, giving couples the foresight to plan their wedding timeline the best they possibly can, and prevent anyone from being disappointed, or having regrets.

If you have questions, email amber@rawphotodesign.com.

CT Photography Lighting Workshop | Friday, June 18, 2010

Register…quick! Go to www.rawphotodesign.com/makemagichappen, create an account and reserve your seat.


Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Important! You do not need to buy any new equipment to attend this workshop! We have managed in the past by sharing our extra Pocket Wizards (if you do not currently own them)…we bring the LIGHT! Questions? Bring it on! We can’t wait.

2009 Best of Weddings | Bridal Party + Our Style Me Pretty news!

We have an exciting announcement today! We are new members of the Little Black Book } for Style Me Pretty.


Style Me Pretty Little Black Book Certified

What is the Little Black Book you ask?
“…In an industry saturated with long lists of anybody & everybody, our book is the most thoughtfully edited resource on the planet: a refreshingly couture idea”.

If you are not already a stalker of the Style Me Pretty blog, I highly recommend becoming one!
Style Me Pretty is a style savvy wedding resource devoted to the modern bride. They cover everything from gorgeous real weddings to up and coming vendors and seasoned pros in the invitation, floral, fashion and photography industries. They feature only the most chic and style centric wedding related content, continually discovering new and brilliantly talented vendors, brides with an eye for all things gorgeous, and the personal loves of editor, Abby Larson.

We wanted to leave you with some 2009 wedding yumminess while we are away next week shooting a destination wedding in Turks & Caicos. These are some of our favorite bridal party shots from 2009. Enjoy!

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Photography Lighting Workshop III Announced | April 9th 2010

Register…quick! Go to www.rawphotodesign.com/makemagichappen, create and account and reserve your seat. To see the images and reviews from our recent lighting workshops, click here.

This workshop…
- IS going to cover why lighting matters, how lighting has transformed our business, defined our style, and unintentionally given us an edge in our market.

- IS an intense day packed with information, including a deep dive review of all the lighting gear that’s out there, what each tool is intended for, what we use, what we don’t use, when we use it, and why.

- IS going to encourage you to use the tools you already have in your bag…NOT to go out and buy new gear.

- WILL include tips to be more efficient and confident with off camera lighting, including implementing WITHOUT losing the connection to your subject.

- WILL involve shooting models on-location to give you the opportunity to practice the techniques covered.

- WILL wrap up with a review at the studio, including a critique and discussion.


Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Important! You do not need to buy any new equipment to attend this workshop! We have managed in the past by sharing our extra Pocket Wizards (if you do not currently own them)…we bring the LIGHT! Questions? Bring it on! We can’t wait.

Note: We will be announcing another “Nail it in Camera” basic photography workshop in the very near future, contact me if you are interested in more information.

Best of 2009 Weddings | Bridal Portraits

Wow, hands down, Favorite Category. We have the Raddest couples in the world! I am not sure if it is just because we enjoy taking our couples away from their reception, making them stand very still, and setting up the tripod so we can get an in focus night shot with crazy sky, and insane lighting….or if it is just because every wedding deserves an Epic Money Shot! Some of these are “Day After” sessions, some are actual weddings, 2 are me (from our Winvian workshop earlier this year)…they are only posted because Eric claims they 2 of his favorite pictures that he has ever taken (he’s the sweetest for saying so).

These are the rock star pictures we are talking about!


Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography

Connecticut Modern Wedding Photography


Valentine’s Day + Boudoir Hotness = $150 in your pocket

You want to know how we create Boudoir alchemy? You’ll just have to sign up for our Epic Boudoir Workshop and find out! To recap, this workshop will be a little less techie (a.k.a. geeky), a little more artsy, and we will definitely dive into our techniques for post processing Boudoir images.

In honor of Valentine’s we are giving a $150 discount off our upcoming Boudoir Workshop for this week only. Book your seat by Sunday 2/21, and receive $150 off your workshop tuition…more details below!


Connecticut Boudoir Workshop

Connecticut Boudoir Workshop

Connecticut Boudoir Workshop

Connecticut Boudoir Workshop

Connecticut Boudoir Workshop

Connecticut Boudoir Workshop

Connecticut Boudoir Workshop

Connecticut Boudoir Workshop

I am siked to announce that our models for the Boudoir workshop will be wearing only the best lingerie from Beneath the Gown, a huge thank you to Josie at Beneath the Gown for hooking us up with the incredible “preview” pieces worn above for our Valentine’s Day promotion!

- Stunning models, check.
- Gorgeous styling, check.
- Insane wardrobe, check.
- Eric’s jokes, check.
What are you waiting for?

Sign up quick, we don’t have many spots left because we like to keep the groups small….space is very limited!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Mastering Light 2010 at the Palace Theater in Danbury, CT | A Raw Photo Design Workshop

Lighting is not easy. Executing technically perfect lighting is a huge challenge in itself, but for wedding and portrait photographers that shoot “real people” (not models), have limited time and budget with unpredictable shooting situations it is understandable why many photographers are anxious about it. You asked for it, and we delivered the first workshop of 2010, Mastering Light.

We love teaching, we love meeting new people, and the best part was leaving yesterday feeling completely inspired and energized. We are so thankful that we get to do what we love and a huge bonus is that we got to spend the day with some super RAD photographers! We started the day off with me covering the importance of lighting and why it has been such a critical element to the growth and success of our business. Eric took everyone through an extremely deep dive into covering the gear, including what we use, why we use it, and when we use it, which we followed with shooting and a critique. The day was very intensive (we even worked through lunch), and I think it was very obvious to everyone how passionate, technical, and self admittedly a little geeky Eric is when it comes to off-camera lighting. I personally wish that we had video rolling to show you everyone’s faces when Eric started covering The Inverse Square Law, but I have to say, once shooting began it was so amazing to see all of the technical concepts just click for everyone.

Thank you to Jeff and Lindsey for being our awesome models! A big thank you also to the Palace Theater in Danbury, for giving us full rein to shoot in your venue for our workshop! You will see in the images below that I shot available light all day and used very little post processing to hopefully demonstrate the dramatic impact that lighting has on Eric’s images below. Let us know what you think!


CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

Jeff getting ready for his big jump…

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

CT wedding photography | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Raw Photo Design

Make Magic Happen | Mastering Light | Raw Photo Design 2010 Workshop

It’s THE workshop you guys have been asking about…that’s right….the lighting workshop. Ready to take your photography to the next level? Bored with available light?

We’ll show you how to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary with off-camera flash and other lighting techniques.

The day will be broken into three parts:
1) Quick overview of what we use and why we use it
2) Shooting…and lots of it.
3) Image review

We’re keeping the number of attendees VERY limited…and only have 3 more spots open! Everyone will get our 100% undivided attention and no one will be left behind.

When: January 22, 2010
Where: the STUDIO, 7 Old Sherman Tpke, Danbury, CT
Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Cost: $425 (lunch and light snacks provided)

Ready to book your seat?
1) Go here: www.rawphotodesign.com/makemagichappen
2) Sign up for an account
3) Book your spot
4) Get excited


CT Photography Lighting Workshop

Holiday Party at The Studio | The Recap

For those that don’t know about The Studio, let me share. It is the home away from home for Raw Photo Design, Tom of Vantage Point Films, and Candice of Jubilee Events. To quote Candice “Our planning and design studio is where our couples come to be inspired!” and we think partnering in a joint meeting space was one of the best decisions that we have made yet!

A party was definitely in order to thank our friends who are some of the most amazing partners to have in the wedding industry. We had not hosted an event in our space previously, and during our brainstorm meeting it became pretty clear that we were all in the mood to throw a party where everyone could just relax, have a blast, and let their hair down after a very busy wedding season. Nothing fancy, mostly just quirky, silly, and even a little random. To set the stage for our debut event, a portrait was needed for the invitation. We wanted to be authentic and JC Penney’s portrait studio seemed to be the guy for the job…but Eric loves a challenge, and he knew that tackling the JC Penney’s portrait would be a valuable skill to have. And with those big shoes to fill, I must say…I think we may have pulled it off.


cheesy christmas photo

The decorations were in place, the response from everyone was awesome, and we were completely pumped to feature one of Connecticut’s best caterers: Jordan’s Caterers! Jeffrey from Jordan’s Caterers has been an amazing partner this year, and he was thrilled with the opportunity to be involved in our event. To say the very least, the food did not disappoint and was absolutely incredible. The menu included mini fondues, coney island pigs in blankets, ants on a log, and baby twice-stuffed potatoes with truffle oil. For dessert – white chocolate covered popcorn and individually wrapped red velvet whoopie pies! AMAZING!!! We were so fortunate to have Jeffrey and his wife, Debbie collaborate with us and we cannot wait to work with them again in 2010. They are the very definition of excellence in the industry.


jordan's catering

jordan's catering

jordan's catering

jordan's catering

jordan's catering

jordan's catering

jordan's catering

jordan's catering

jordan's catering

jordan's catering

By default the wedding business puts you in the company of some extremely talented, creative people. We are so fortunate to have industry partners that inspire us, constantly innovate, and raise the bar for their craft. As photographers, the make up, bridal attire, florals, event decor, and catering all have a dramatic impact on the photography that we capture. We want to thank all of the vendors that make our job of shooting weddings better than ever.


And another huge thanks to Tony of Datura for bringing a centerpiece:

jordan's catering

And Meredith of Pygmalion Design for also bringing a centerpiece:
jordan's catering

A few fun photobooth pics as well (the tame ones anyways!!)


jordan's catering

jordan's catering

jordan's catering

jordan's catering

jordan's catering

jordan's catering

jordan's catering

Happy Birthday Avery!

Our Shmoop, our first baby, Avery is turning 6 years old today.  I can say for sure that this little girl has effected us, and so many people that we love in so many positive ways. If it were not for her, I do not think Eric would have found his love of photographing people. After she was born, he would dress her up and take her to the park every weekend to take pictures while I worked…let’s just say that we have thousands…

Happy Birthday sweetie, we love you so, so much!


But of course….what’s a family post without a little Ryder action!!
 Raw Photo Design

 Raw Photo Design

 Raw Photo Design

 Raw Photo Design

 Raw Photo Design

 Raw Photo Design

 Raw Photo Design

 Raw Photo Design