Lil Monster’s going to be a big brother soon, so we went on a “hiking” trip to celebrate our transition to becoming a family of four. The kid hardly lasted 20 minutes, and I only lasted a few minutes longer. Meanwhile, mom-to-be was doing cartwheels all up and down the mountain. It didn’t seem so long ago when I had a 3 month old Lil Monster strapped on while I was burning the midnight oil. How time flies.

“Yes, son. That is the bridge that connects us New Jersey-ians to civilization.”

My running backwards while shooting fast-moving objects is getting kinda rusty; because, you know…brides in heels can’t run that fast :).

We found a waterfall on the mountainside. I wouldn’t drink the water though :).

We found a tunnel next to the waterfall. I sometimes wish I had blinking LEDs on my shoes too.

Enjoy your youth, kiddo. And enjoy those shoes while they fit too, because I know your little brother will :).

T-minus 12 days folks!

Ben & Karis

When we first met Lisa and Kai, we knew we were in for a treat. They were a couple who enjoyed exploring off the beaten path, unshackling themselves from the conventions of modern-day wedding planning and all its frenzied glory. It didn’t matter that they did things differently, as long as they were being true to themselves and doing it together; it’s no coincidence that this has always been our approach to everything in life, both personally and professionally. For starters, our first meeting was conducted inside a hole-in-the-wall German biergarten on the Lower East Side, a minor indulgence for the german-speaker in me. They didn’t seem to mind (they may have even enjoyed it!), as they shared their vision of their wedding day over a hearty German breakfast. It was going to be an intimate wedding, outside of the city. No chandeliers, no winding staircases. There would be no formal reception, just a long, extended celebration of two people who fell in love and wished to share it with their closest family members and friends.

Ja, we could totally dig it :).

Bride poses on stairs before her wedding at the The Foundry in Long Island City, NY. Captured by NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Groom poses for portraits outside The Foundry in Long Island City, NY. Captured by NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau.

Bride and groom share a kiss inside a vintage taxi outside The Foundry in Long Island City, NY. Captured by NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Bride and groom dance in the Foundry in Long Island City. Captured by NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. The dancefloor at the Foundry in Long Island City. Captured by NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau.

Sneak peeks for now, more to come soon.

As of this writing, Karis still hasn’t gone into labor.
I will literally die from laughter if she gives birth this coming Monday…on Labor Day.

Here’s to different strokes for different folks :).

Ben & Karis

Contrary to the common belief that most photographers view the world in shapes and colors, I actually see the world in numbers – almost like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix. Aside from the obvious “ratios here, ratios there, f-stop this, shutter speed that”, I occasionally keep myself entertained with provocative questions like:

“What’s the probability it’ll rain this weekend?”
“How many more meetings will I conduct in a Starbucks until the barrista knows my order by heart?”
“If two splenda’s go into a tall, how many go into a venti?”

I blame it on my Asian genes, and therefore I blame my parents for this curse of viewing the world as a giant math problem. But nevertheless, there’s this very giant, pink elephant of a math problem descending upon us these coming weeks: “What’s the probability that my wife will go into labor while I’m out shooting?”

“Pretty darn high.” is probably the most accurate answer.

Karis is due in about two weeks, but she’s officially full-term now. From now until the week following her official due date (9/11), there are a total of 6 weddings and 4 engagements on my calendar – that’s 10 shooting days in a span of 17 days! All of our clients are fully aware of the situation, but we’ve reassured them that I would be there through rain, snow, shine (or birth of our second child). That’s a 58.82% probability that Lil Monster 2.0 will be arriving while yours truly is out of town!

I’m seriously thinking of giving a prize for one of these lucky couples if our second kid’s birthday happens to coincide with their wedding anniversary. It’s the least we can do, since we’re all celebrating for all kinds of reasons anyway. So without further ado, here the contestants!

*Cue theme song*

 Kelly & Rob – 38w3d – 35% probability

Sandra & Drew – 38w4d – 40% probability

Lisa & Matt – 38w 5d – 45% probability

May & Lee – 39w5d – 90% probability

Maricar & Izaak – 40w4d – 70% probability

Nicole & Gregg – 40w5d – 69% probability

And there you have it folks! Who do you think will win? And what do you think the prize should be?

Please comment below :).

Happy Tuesday ya’ll!

Ben & Karis

PS. I just totally made all those numbers up. I have valid scientific data, but my interpretation’s probably faulty at best :).

 

If you’ve ever gotten your hair cut professionally (I’m assuming most of us have, anyway), then there’s a high probability that you’ve endured the mundanity of staring yourself in the mirror for about 20 minutes while someone with a sharp object snip-snips around all the sensitive parts around your head (ears, eyes, etc). But if you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll get a barber/stylist who’ll make those 20 minutes seem as painless as possible by filling that potentially awkward silence with some small talk. “Where ya’ from?” ” This weather hot enough for ya?” “I know this girl who will be PERFECT for ya!”

If you’re one of the luckier ones, the person doing your hair could very well introduce you to your future wife – which was exactly how it happened for Sandra and Jamal.

And here I am realizing the most awesome thing I’ve ever gotten from my barbershop was a free jar of pomade :).

Sandra and Jamal exchanged their vows on the picturesque grounds of the Coral House in Long Island. It was another reunion of sorts, an ongoing theme for most of my June weddings this year. One of the best things about capturing a friend you’ve known since first grade is the freedom to be yourself – both creatively and professionally.

Rings and wedding program for Sandra and Jamal Bride Bride

Bride puts on her dress before her wedding at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Children play by the window during a wedding reception at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau.

Groom Groom preps for his wedding at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Sand jar for Sandra and Jamal Bride prepares to walk down the aisle for her wedding at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Bride smiles during her wedding ceremony at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Groomsmen look on during a wedding at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Bride and groom pour sand during their wedding at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding Ceremony at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Bride and groom pose for portraits at their wedding at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Bride dances with her father during her wedding reception at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Father and daughter dance at her wedding at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau.

Wedding cake at Sandra and Jamal The woman who introduced Sandra and Jamal at their wedding at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau.
Best Man Speeches during Sandra and Jamal

Maid of Honor

Hands down, by far the funniest series of speeches I’ve ever heard this year.

Sandra and Jamal laugh during speeches during their wedding at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Cake cutting at Sandra and Jamal Bride dances during her wedding at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Bouquet toss at Sandra and Jamal

It’s not every day the bride tackles the maid of honor for catching the bouquet :).

Garter toss at Sandra and Jamal Bride dances during her wedding at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Bride and guests dance during a wedding reception at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Bride and guests dance during a wedding reception at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Bride and groom with Ben Lau Photography during a wedding reception at the Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau.

Thanks to the following folks who made this day possible!

Reception : : Coral House
Gown : : Private Label of Bijou Bridal
Shoes : : Badgley Mischka
Hair : : Kier Johnson, Bangz Salon
Make Up : : Make-Up by Oksana
Grooms Attire : : Dante’s Tuxedo
DJ : : DJ Franky Productions
Cake : : Black Forest Bakery
Floral : : Wick’s Florist
Favors : : Etsy
Stationery : : Wedding Paper Divas/ DIY

 

Sandra and Jamal, thank you for having us there not only as your photographers, but also as your friends. You guys are so incredibly blessed to have found one another (so to speak), and we wish you two the very best on your journey towards happily ever after.

This week marks the last week of my moderate shooting schedule. It’s about to get bonkers starting this weekend as we kick off the Fall wedding season. With the impending arrival of Lil Monster 2.0, we won’t know the definition of sleep until Thanksgiving!

Cheers to childhood friends forever :)

Ben & Karis

Had you seen me twenty-five years ago, you would’ve found a squat little six year-old Asian boy waiting by his bus stop wearing a hideously atrocious brown school uniform. And next to this bespectacled boy, you would’ve found a (much) taller girl, same age, wearing the same hideously atrocious patterns on her schoolgirl dress. Had you approached this little boy, he probably would’ve looked at you strangely with his gimungo eyes filled with paranoia and trepidation…just moments before the taller six year old girl pushes you away, and demands that you stay away from her friend.

Yes, that was me, the shy and socially-awkward one. And yes, that was Sandra, the Don’t-Mess-With-My-Friends-Or-I’ll-Beat-You-Up kinda gal you always wanted on your team :).

Unless you’re family, there’s nobody on my FB friend’s list who’s known me longer than Sandra. 25(ish) years later, now I’m the extroverted, socially-awkward one. Go fig.

For obvious reasons, I never realized I was Asian till I was in high school :).

I couldn’t have been more thrilled for Sandra when she told me about Jamal. When I first met him for their engagement session, I immediately knew they were perfect for each other. His shameless sense of humor and not-too-shabby Burt Reynolds impression, even we were smitten!

Bride and groom share a kiss near the pond at Coral House in Baldwin, NY. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau.

We love these two, and we can’t wait to share more with you!

Smitten as a kitten,

Ben & Karis

  • Sandra Gilot West - Wow this is gorgeous!!!!Man was I tall lol!!!! And no worries, I’ll still push anyone that messes with you :)ReplyCancel