Miguel and Sarah in San Pancho, Mexico

I've been living in San Pancho, Mexico since Jan. and have made friends here that feel like family. Miguel and Sarah are two members of my new family. They met, fell in love, and decided to get married 2 1/2 weeks later! As someone who met, fell in love, and married my sweetie 2 1/2 months later it was truly a gift to celebrate their new love with them and let them know, no, you're not crazy. This is how love happens sometimes and it takes courage to follow your heart this way. I insisted on shooting their wedding as a gift. The whole town came together on the beach, new friends and people they didn't even know! It was a ceremony for Miguel and Sarah yes, but it was also a ceremony to celebrate love in general. Love for ourselves, each other, this land, this time...so much joy and hope and happiness. Erica led the ceremony, mixing in her laughing yoga games. To end the ceremony we all lined up to create an aisle, Miguel and Sarah each walked down the aisle with their eyes closed as everyone leaned in to whisper a message of love...I whispered to both "Give your love away". Because when you give your love to all, really truly give with your full heart, your heart grows, the love around you grows, love with other people and with your partner will grow as well. I love you both and I'm so happy for you!


Rebecca and Adam at Wolffer Estates

I love shooting at Wolffer Estates! Adam and Rebecca had the most picture perfect day. A deep blue sky and little, perfect Simpson clouds. Shooting at Wolffer is like shooting on a movie set; the rows of ripe grapes on the vine, the deep green of the grass and of course the stars of the show Adam and Rebecca! Such a sweet couple and boy could they dance! Congratulations!

Laura and Andy at Gedney Farm

Andy cast Laura as an actress in one of his horror films. It must have been the way she glowed through the slime that made him fall in love;) One of my all time favorite "how did you meet" stories. There wedding was anything but a horror show. It was so warm, and full of emotion, my favorite kind of wedding. Getting married at Gedney Farm is like getting married at the family farm. The light was spectacular! Really dramatic clouds that just emphasized the brightness of the sun when it burst through. After the "I do" moment Laura and Andy walked up to path to be alone and held each other so tight. To see them both trembling with love was so powerful. Later Andy surprised everyone with his version of Huey Lewis and the News, man can he sing! Congratulations Laura and Andy!

What have I been up to?

A lot! Not that you can tell from this blog, I haven't posted anything since 2012! Yikes! But that doesn't mean KG Studio didn't do anything, it just means that I'm the kind of person who would rather live in the moment than write a post about it. But that is no excuse and I vow to be better from here on out. But just to prove I've been busy here is a quick synopsis of the past 3 years: The studio shot 45 weddings, we were published in New York Magazine 3 times, I started a wedding industry networking group for NYC called WeDo, we organized high end networking events once a month for two years (our 1year anniversary party had over 300 attendees), I dropped everything for 5 months to volunteer with OccupySandy during Hurricane Sandy. I was an onsite coordinator for the main hub at a church in Brooklyn, I organized logistics for goods coming and going. They called me "Flo" because I kept everything flowing smoothly-over $15million in donated goods! I picked up surfing and have now travel surfed to Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Spain, France and Brazil. Long Beach is my home beach and I surf any chance I get. I also joined Batala NYC, an all women afro Brazillian Samba Reggae percussion band. I play the Surdo and I love it! I've marched in numerous parades, more than one in a bikini;). I became obsessed with AcroYoga and deepened my meditation and yoga practice. I started going to Burningman...I don't even know where to start with that one. I jumped out of an airplane, ran with the bulls, danced...a lot. But most importantly I met my wife, we fell in love instantly and were married two months later on the the roof of her apartment building, in the cold, surrounded by a couple friends, drummers and passengers on the passing M train. Then we moved to Brazil for 5 months and were basically off the grid. I drummed in Carnival in Salvador, studied dance, shot photos, rediscovered my love of drawing and of course surfed. When I got back to NYC I decided to do things differently. I wanted to keep making my art (I'm a sculptor and painter) and breathe new life into the business I've been running for 12 years. I wanted to simplify my life and my business. So I got rid of the Manhattan office, the interns, the associate photographers and now run KG Studio much like I did when I first started in 2002. I feel lighter, re-energized and excited to shoot weddings again! I'm a sucker for love, always have been, being able to shoot that love so intimately is such an honor. It's simply the best job there is. If you know someone getting married anywhere in the world (clearly I love to travel) I want to shoot it! Send them my way, can't wait to hear from you!

WeDo 1yr Anniversary Party!

I co-founded WeDo over a year a go with my partner, event designer Ara Farnam. It's a members only wedding industry networking group, the only one of its kind in NYC. So when I tell potential clients that I can hook them up with amazing vendors, you know I mean it! I know everyone in this town in the event business. When you hire Kelly Guenther Studio to shoot your wedding I come with an entire network of amazing people at my fingertips. Planning a wedding can be overwhelming. Having solid referrals from vendors you can trust makes it so much easier. That's why I started WeDo. I can't believe how far we've come in a year! And that deserved a party! No one knows how to party like those who throw parties for a living! Over 250 wedding industry insiders gathered to celebrate the 1yr Anniversary of WeDo. We started the party right away with a bar in the elevator serving bubbly. Guests were then given their first clue, a string of beads with a message encouraging them to make friends at the bar. The WeDo scavenger hunt had begun! Clues were sprinkled throughout the party that encouraged everyone to mix and mingle and eventually lead to The Golden Ticket and a spin at the prize wheel! Dimples Dakota played Vanna White cheering everyone on. Of course we didn't let anyone leave empty handed, WeDo sunglasses for all! Three Sixty degrees was bathed in a sea of pink and orange thanks to Nice Uplights. Rountree Flowers dazzled all with the decor, The Booth kept everyone smiling (see photos from The Booth here password click) and bands The Engagements and 45 Riots kept us dancing all night long! Best cake (thanks Sugar Flower Cake Shop) and cake cutting ever thanks to Batala, an all girl drum line troupe, who surprised all of the guests and got everyone pumped and ready to party! WeDo has come a long way in just one year. Our events always attract the best of the NYC wedding industry not only in their skills but personality. WeDo members are fun, open people who get the value of meeting new people and growing their networks. We have lots planned for 2013 and hope you can join us! Click here to apply for membership. We are so very grateful to our members who joined early on and helped WeDo grow to what it is today. WeDo love our WeDo members!

Steven and Katie at the New York Palace Hotel

I met Steven and Katie via wedding planner extraordinaire (and WeDo member) Richard Newton of Atelier Weddings. Such an open, lovely couple. Katie is the kind of person who wears her heart on her sleeve-one of my favorite qualities in a bride to be. As you can see from the photos she is just beaming. I loved our walk around the city; I get a warm fuzzy feeling watching hardened New Yorkers soften when they see us walking up the street. We're all a bunch of softies. Heck even the hot dog vendor gave them the thumbs up and a complimentary pretzel! Once back at The Palace we took a peak at the reception room before all of the guests arrived and Katie immediately burst into tears "It's so us!". Richard and everyone at NY Palace did such a phenomenal job putting the room together. I LOVED the banquettes. I've never seen them in a formal setting. It really made the grand room much more homey. The ceremony room was also exquisite with all of the candles. So warm and inviting.  Right after they said "I do" Steven and Katie were shuttled off to a side room and that's where I got my shot of the day. I was just heading out to give them time alone and Katie joyously raised her arms up. I love that shot. It's always the 5 min right after the vows that I get my favorite images of the day. I also loved the last shot....they went into 2 hours of overtime that night! They were just having too much fun to stop the party. I wanted to document what 2 hours of overtime looked like and I found myself going back to the table settings. Melted candles, half empty drinks, shoes, cameras and my favorite Katie and Steven's names written out in wikki sticks. I kept revisiting their table the last hour of the party and it kept getting better: a half eaten piece of wedding cake, Katie's shoes on the table, an unfinished glass of champagne. Sometimes the story is in the details.


Angela & Michael at The Viceroy in Anguilla

Anytime I book a destination wedding I do a little happy dance. Obviously it's awesome to go somewhere tropical in the middle of a New York City winter. But I also love the close bonds that I form with the couple, the wedding party and family over the days we spend together. The beauty of a destination wedding is it's a small intimate affair and the wedding isn't just an 8hr day, it's a love fest weekend with all your favorite people! Angela and Michael are such lovely, generous people. They were the ultimate hosts all weekend making sure everyone's needs were taken care of. And ahem, can we talk about the resort for a moment? The Viceroy is THE resort in all of the Caribbean right now-I've never seen such relaxed luxury! It was organic modernism and yet everything was beyond beyond. If you ever have the opportunity to go-GO! Perfect for honeymoons;) Highlights from the wedding: The double rainbow, playing on the beach with the wedding party, surprise fireworks and of course the unexpected dip in the pool by Angela at the end of the night! Amazing and a week I'll never forget. Thank you Angela and Michael for letting me be a part of your celebration and introducing me to the pristine island of Anguilla, I know I'll be back someday.....  

And check out this awesome video highlight by videographers husband and wife team Ryan and Brittany Rossman from Moetic. They're as talented as they are fun!

I had to add a couple personal photos from the trip. Me on the beach hard at work and a little self portrait of me and the video crew from Moetic Films.

Then I extended my stay and moved to more humble lodgings;) I can't say enough wonderful things about the family at The Ferry Boat Inn, they adopted me right away and I had a blast! Here are a couple snaps I took with my iphone. Thanks to Christian, Brenden, Andy and the rest of the gang-I will be back!

Our "Wrestlers Meet Bride" photo featured in NYMag Weddings Issue!!

When New York Magazine asked us if we had any unique NYC wedding moment photos to share I knew exactly which image to submit. Associate photographer Mike Nagle and recently wed Tae and Jade just happened to stumble upon the DUMBO Arts Festival during their portrait session. And how can anyone resist having their wedding photos taken with blindfolded wrestlers? Talk about a memorable day! That's just the kind of shooter Mike is, he sees an opportunity and he works it! I love this image, it's so layered and I mean C'MON!! How wacky is this?! We're thrilled that New York Magazine appreciates real wedding photojournalism, so much so that they gave us the full page. And just in time for the big New York Magazine Expo next week, Wednesday the 28th. We'll be there exhibiting, it's the only bridal show we participate in every year. It's hands down the best of the best. Click here to buy tickets. Stop by and say hello, I promise not to put you in a figure four leg lock:)




Help me help women and girls around the globe

I know I usually just write about my weddings but I'm feeling inspired. I just came back from the Women in the World conference at Lincoln Center and the stories I heard from women around the world have me fired up. As most of you know I started as a photojournalist. I wanted to change the world with my camera. Over the years I've journeyed away from that profession for a number of reasons, but I have always felt that it is my true calling to use my camera to effect change in this world. I've been feeling that more and more these past couple months and am now actively looking for a project to work on. So it must have been fate that my friend offered me an extra ticket to this incredible conference. I went to be inspired and to find a story that needs me. I found so many I don't know where to begin. What happened to the Arab women who helped lead a revolution in Egypt? Will their Arab Spring turn into an Arab Winter? Will they have a voice in their new government? Or did they risk their lives for nothing? One of the revolutionaries summed it up: "There is no Spring without flowers and there can be no Arab Spring without women!" Or what about under age marriage? Everyday-EVERYDAY-in this world 25,000 girls under the age of 18 get married. It's still legal to get married in West Virginia at age 12! Or the Kamlari girls from Napal. I heard from Suma who at age 6 was sold by her parents to be a servant girl where she was beaten everyday. She was rescued by Room to Read Girls Education program. She wrote a song about her experience and sang it to us all. "Selfish were my parents, they give birth to a daughter..." listen to it, it will give you chills. To see her standing on stage, knowing all she suffered....20,000 girls a year are still sold into Kamlari. Then there was Molly Melching, who has been fighting to end female genital cutting for 20 years. She brought with her male tribal elders who ended up being her biggest asset. This man participated in FGM practice for most of his life. It was hard for me to believe that someone could honestly be ignorant that genital cutting is harmful but they simply didn't know any better and were doing what their fathers had done before them. It wasn't until he took a basic education class that he understood the consequences of this practice. "Intelligence is the only thing that will help to change a deeply entrenched tradition." Once he understood he was "deeply pained and saddened to say that every woman in my family had this done."  He did his research, learned from Muslim leaders that this was not a religious necessity. He talked about putting on his shoes and going to see his extended relatives in other villages in order to educate them and bring about change. They believe that by 2015 the practice of FGM will be eradicated in Senegal.  Or how about the Burmese Spring that's getting ready to bloom? Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was even freed from 15yrs of house arrest and is now campaigning for a parliamentary seat. We heard from Zin Mar Aung, a Burmese woman who was imprisioned for 11 years in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT for handing out pro-democracy leaflets. When asked how she possibly survived such isolation she said "Someone can imprision your body but not your mind."

At this point my heart is full and my mind is spinning. There is so much that needs to be done. It's overwhelming and where do you start? It was then that 17 yr old Talia Leman took the stage. She started at age 10 organizing kids to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina. She and kids across America ended up raising $10 million! She started Randomkid.org, a place where any random kid can help solve real world problems. "You don't have to wait to grow up to be somebody, you already are somebody!" Then I heard "Think what can be, unburdened by what has been." by California Attorney General Kamala Harris. Those statements really hit a nerve for me. I think sometimes I don't try things because I feel they've already been done. I give up before I've started. Or I think I'm not good enough. Well guess what? I am good enough, and even if it's been done it hasn't been done by me. We all have the ability to make real change happen in this world. As one of my southern photography professors put it "Keep a fire in your belly". That's southern speak for stay informed and be passionate. Go out and be part an active part of the world!

All this said I'm getting involved. I'm still not quite sure exactly what that means but I'm going to start here:http://www.womenintheworld.org/learn-more. I plan on traveling the world and documenting women and girls in their struggles and their triumphs. Everyone is talking about socially responsible business these days. While I don't claim to be a business on par with the likes of FEED, I do want potential clients to know that by hiring me to shoot your wedding you're helping me to fund personal documentary projects that will help effect change in the lives and rights of women and girls around the globe.

It's through story telling that we gain awareness. Awareness will bring about education, and it's education which will bring about real change in this world. I've heard the call and I'm going to do something about it. So can you.

Allison and James at Studio Square

The first thing you notice about Allison and James is....well I was going to write a little joke about their size difference but now that I'm writing this I'd have to say it's their warmth and kindness. Ever meet people and you just like them right away? That's James and Allison. They're just good people. Ok there's that AND the fact that James is HUGE!!! Like "Does this guy play for the Giants?" big. And Allison is teensy tiny! I could not stop giggling when I was shooting the detail photo of their rings together. Allison's ring looked like it was sitting inside of a platinum bracelet. The weather looked pretty ominous that day...it was raining and everything was set for the outdoor ceremony on the roof. Looking out the window you could see the light rain on the puddles. But there was no going back. The wedding planners made sure everyone had umbrellas-we all just figured we'd get a little wet. And then it was like a love force field protected the roof or something because it was raining everywhere EXCEPT on their ceremony. I kid you not. I even made sure to shoot a wide shot to document this little wedding day miracle. Made my heart swell. The force field held out long enough to shoot family photos then BAM it poured! That was just fine with us because we were ready to go inside and party! They wanted the vibe to be relaxed and playful, they even had a pool table and video games to keep their guests entertained. The photo booth was a big hit and made for some of my favorite photos of the night. I'm not sure who danced more, Allison or their priest! That man had some moves. It was a fantastic party, just what James and Allison wanted. Congratulations you two!  


Williamsbrides-Finally a bridal show for hipsters! This Sunday 2/12.

We're psyched to be part of Williamsbrides, a new bridal show in Williamsburg. It's at a new venue with a unique approach to bridal shows. I'll be in very VERY good company. Some of my favorite vendors will be in attendance. This ain't your sister's bridal show;) Come on out and meet vendors who "get" you and your wedding.  WeDo is a corporate sponsor so if you're a vendor, be sure to stop by our booth to find out how you can stay connected to all things NYC weddings.

Melissa and Michael at The Foundry

Melissa was the picture of old Hollywood glamor in her dress. It fit her beautifully and when she walked it's like she was gliding on air. So graceful. The Foundry is one of my favorite venues in Brooklyn because you can get married outside rain or shine thanks to their clear top tent! The lights strung between the railings gave the wedding a kind of night time in Paris vibe (I've never been but I'm sticking with my description because I have a vivid imagination and watch lots of movies;). Tip of the Tongue did the food....OMG! Soooo crazy good. My favorite were the passed desserts at the end of the night. They were festive and delicious and refreshing, especially the mini ice cream cones. Guests pounced on them! I hardly had time to take a photo! After the wedding when Michael and Melissa picked up their photos Michael thanked me for making them go outside during the sunset. Those were their favorite photos of the evening. It's always a delicate situation for me to pull a bride and groom away from their guests. But I also know that this light and these photos will only take 5 min. to shoot and they'll cherish them for a lifetime. Thanks for indulging my creative whims and congratulations! Photos by Kelly Guenther with Assist by David Filipponi



Tae and Jade at Aureole

Tae and Jade hired us about a week before their wedding. They live in L.A. and were having the big wedding in London (where Jade is originally from). They had to get married in the states to make things legal over here before they headed across the pond and figured, why not have a party for all of our friends and family who can’t make the trip to London? It was a cozy affair at Aureole with all of NYC watching through the big windows as the couple said “I do”. I love the photo of the guy giving them the thumbs up in the reflection of the window! So New York. After lunch the couple went to DUMBO for portraits. As luck would have it the DUMBO Arts Festival was in full swing. What follows are some of the most original wedding portraits I’ve ever seen! My favorite is the image of Tae and Jade framed with the ropes and all the action from the blind wrestling match. That’s right BLIND WRESTLING! It’s just all so surreal, and so Brooklyn. Photos by Michael Nagle for Kelly Guenther Studio