We had been looking forward to getting Nicole and Gregg in front of our cameras for quite some time now. Not because we were looking for an excuse to head off for a lil beach weekend getaway (we wouldn’t dare!), but because we’ve photographed pretty much everyone else in their rolodex of friends and family members who’ve also hired us for their respective big days. The irony in all of this was in the fact that Nicole and Gregg were among of the first to meet/hire us, but among of the last to actually get in front of our cameras! We would be remiss if we didn’t thank them for all the love and support they’ve given us this past year. They have been nothing short of awesome :).

Nicole and Gregg kiss on a row of surfboards in Long Beach Island, NJ during their engagement session with Ben Lau Photography.

We had photographed Nicole’s cousin Alexis (with her charming fiance Mike!) just a few months ago on Long Beach Island. It’s a very family-friendly destination without the frills of resort towns and their touristy boardwalks filled with souvenir shops and hot dog stands. If Coney Island was on one end of the spectrum, Long Beach Island would be on the end furthest away from it :). After our last trip to Long Beach Island, I really thought we had exhausted all the possible shooting locations on the island, so I crossed my fingers for some magic to happen on the day of their shoot.

Nicole poses on a wall of ivy in Long Beach Island, NJ during their engagement session with Ben Lau Photography. Gregg looks out to the bay in Long Beach Island, NJ during their engagement session with Ben Lau Photography.

When we drove into town that morning, I remembered spotting a large boat in the middle of the woods. I never thought to write down the location because I figured it was so out of place, it would be easy to find later during our session. I mean, how often do you find large watercraft just sitting out there in the middle of nowhere?
Nicole and Gregg kiss on an old pier in a marsh in Long Beach Island, NJ during their engagement session with Ben Lau Photography.

After driving around for a few hours, we never did find that boat. But we did find a marsh (a really wet, muddy one at that).
And guess what? Those two totally went in on their own and I didn’t even have to twist any arms :).

Gregg poses on an empty road in Long Beach Island, NJ during their engagement session with Ben Lau Photography. Nicole and Gregg kiss on a boat in Long Beach Island, NJ during their engagement session with Ben Lau Photography.

Gregg makes the universal sign for “flawless victory”, because we actually did locate that boat. I swear it was much larger when I remembered it :).
Nicole and Gregg walk along a sand dune in Long Beach Island, NJ during their engagement session with Ben Lau Photography.

And what’s an engagement session on Long Beach Island without the beach? :)
Nicole looks up at the camera on Long Beach Island, NJ during their engagement session with Ben Lau Photography.

Gregg looks into the camera on Long Beach Island, NJ during their engagement session with Ben Lau Photography.

Nicole and Gregg pose on the surf in Long Beach Island, NJ during their engagement session with Ben Lau Photography.

Nicole and Gregg view a sunset on Long Beach Island, NJ during their engagement session with Ben Lau Photography.

Nicole and Gregg, we are so tremendously thankful that our paths have crossed this past year. You guys have been so awesome with your kindness and generosity that we can only hope to reciprocate the love many times over. We hope you enjoy these images as much as much as we enjoyed capturing them, and we can’t wait to see you guys again in just a few more months!

And as fate would have it, the day I talk about Coney Island is the day I’ll be shooting on it. The best camera is the one you have by your side, and the best shooting location is the one where you’re at. When it comes down to it, it really just comes down to capturing what’s in front of you. You don’t really need anything fancy or gimicky to make it work. As long as the love is there, we’ll be there to capture it :).

Here’s to capturing all the love that life throws at you,

Ben & Karis

Bride and groom stand by their antique car on the causeway, en route to their wedding reception at the Rams Head Inn on Shelter Island, NY. Bride and groom kiss under the trees on the back of their convertible antique car, en route to their wedding reception at the Rams Head Inn on Shelter Island, NY.

…racing through the woods in an antique convertible with the love of your life.

I remember looking at the weather forecast on my screen and seeing a row of storm clouds with flashing thunderbolts throughout the week and into the weekend. We would’ve hit the jackpot had this been some weather-channel-themed slot machine. But as it appeared at that very moment, we were clearly not the winners. A dark overcast descended upon us as we drove across Long Island early that morning. As long as it didn’t rain, we were still in pretty good shape. And even if it did, we’re still pretty handy with using umbrellas as props anyway :).

And then just like that – the heavens opened up and showered us with abundant sunshine, along with a cool breeze that swept away the stagnant humidity that had been lingering throughout the entire week.

Jackpot :).

Ben & Karis

I think it’s a common story among many families, especially the Asian ones that I’ve seen (including my own). The parents work their entire lives to create a better life for their children, and in the process missing out on all the key milestones and celebrated accomplishments of their children. Parents become known as those mysterious strangers who sleep in the house, leaves early in the morning, and returns late every evening with bacon in hand…for the next 20-some odd, lonely years.

We’re fortunate enough to have a set-up where we’re able to work from home, and see our son every night for dinner. We’re also very fortunate to be working at all, in the competitive world of wedding photography. We’re also super-fortunate that we have some of the best clients in the world, who won’t mind if we take a day off to celebrate this Lil Monster’s birthday a few days early :).

Happy 2nd Birthday kiddo. We love you more than you could ever imagine!

Love,

Mom & Dad

If there’s one word we could use to describe this couple, it’s “hilarious” – a fact we’d already established when we did their engagement session a few months ago. While it was a more serene affair in Patrice’s bridal suite when we arrived that morning, Josh and the fellas were already doing cartwheels in their room (figuratively speaking, of course). And because they are peas from the same pod (or cement tube, etc), we already knew they would be letting their hair down by the end of the night (again, figuratively speaking of course!). Here are some sneak peeks of their wedding day at the beautiful Manor in West Orange, NJ.

Bride puts on her earrings on her wedding day at The Manor in West Orange, NJ. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau.

Groom puts on his jacket on his wedding day at The Manor in West Orange, NJ. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau.

Bride and groom share a kiss on their wedding day at The Manor in West Orange, NJ. Captured by awesome NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau.

We hope you enjoy these sneak peeks. Please stay tuned for more!

We’ll be heading out to Long Island tomorrow for another beautiful wedding.
Forecast isn’t so promising, but it’s a good thing I’m kinda an expert with using umbrellas as props :).

Happy Friday and hope ya’ll have a great (and dry) weekend!

Ben & Karis

Hot dog at Hiram

Our engagement session started at Hiram’s, an unassuming shack hidden under the canopy of high-rises in Fort Lee, NJ. They sell deep fried hot dogs there, and has been a local institution of comfort food for many, many generations of Bergen County residents (as Anthony Bourdain will happily tell you). Being a NY native and Nathans fanatic, it was almost blasphemous I would ever set foot into such an establishment. But then again, I’m hardly ever able to resist anything that’s deep fried :).

Ed and Sarah share a hot dog at Hiram

We discussed our battle plans for the day, over all of that deep-fried yummilicious goodness. They wanted something spontaneous, unusual, and off the beaten path. Check, check, and ummmm, how does Hackensack, NJ sound? Yah, I thought so :).

Sarah and EdIn the years I’ve been doing photography, I’ve always said that my town is incredibly underrated as far as photography session backdrops go.

Sarah and EdThis is how I get my couples to relax in front of the camera. No joke :).

And just when she was about to release that fireball, it began to drizzle.
Sarah and Ed

It was way too early to get messy in the rain, so we played around some more indoors.
Sarah and EdAccording to legend, Ed had been pursuing Sarah over a period of quite some time. But according to Sarah, he pretty much tried everything short of serenading her with a mariachi band by her bedroom window. As a one-time-Casanova in a previous lifetime, I can expertly say that persistence (along with a dash of irresistible charm, a super-star personality with a touch of good timing) does pay off in the end for all of the world’s would-be Romeos :).
Sarah and Ed Sarah and Ed Sarah and Ed Sarah and Ed Sarah and Ed Sarah and EdEd and Sarah, thank you for joining us on such a spontaneous adventure! As it is in life, love and weather, things always work out in the end. We hope you enjoy these, and we can’t wait to see you guys again in a few more weeks!

Thursday is here, and we’re blasting through our post-production pipeline at super-speed. We can’t wait to share what we have in store for you guys :).

Much love, ya’ll!

Ben & Karis

 

PS. Special thanks to VickyC5 for such an awesome job on the hair/make-up trial. Can’t wait to work with you again!