Frequently Asked Questions

answers to your

"Engagement session” is a misleading term, I prefer “lifestyle couples session." Engagement sessions were originally a way your parents obtained a nice photo of you together to announce your engagement in the local paper. While we still love a great photo to announce the engagement in social media, and your parents will often want this for their local paper, or the NY Times, now engagement sessions are much more than that. There is no better way for us to get to know each other and for you to feel confident and comfortable with your photographer than through an engagement session. I can’t count the number of couples who have told me they were so nervous about getting their wedding photos taken, but once they went through the experience of an engagement session and got their photos back, they were totally at ease for their wedding day. It gives you a chance to experience how I work and direct, it gives us a chance to talk and get to know each other, and it’s also a great opportunity to create whatever kind of images we want without the timing and location constraints of a wedding day. We don’t always have the time on a wedding day to create unguarded images at a beach at the perfect time of day. These images will reflect this time in your lives and have an authenticity to them that will make them worth far more than a thousand words when your grandkids are looking at them in 30 years, back when you were "a fun, hip couple." These sessions are for much more than a pretty background, we will work out a plan to have it reflect the places you love and the things you love to do. For some couples it means cooking together, going to their favorite cafe, walking their dog, or photographing at the place the groom proposed. It's certainly not a requirement to have this session, but I do feel you will be much more comfortable in front of the camera on the wedding day, you will be be happy that you have these memories of this time in your life.

Your investment will be matched by my own and my goal is that you fall in love with your wedding photographs. All weddings are photographed with passion, discretion and attention to detail no matter the size or destination. Our collection for weddings with a typical scope of 100-250 guests, in the Tri-State & New England region, begins at $8200. Most clients spend upwards of $12,000 for their collections with rehearsal dinner coverage and heirloom wedding albums. Collections are customized to reflect each unique wedding celebration, needs and aesthetic cues and our starting package is created to give you the best possible experience with the highest quality photographs. The most popular type of wedding in our New England/Tri-State region, with 100-250 guests includes: - up to ten hours of wedding day coverage by Melani, with a lighting assistant through the formals - a second photographer through the last wedding event - an edited, categorized online image gallery for sharing images with friends and family, live for nine months - a download link of your collection of unlimited edited captures - extensive pre (20 hours average) & post (average 50 hours) work, such as boutique and timeline assistance, location scouting, magazine submissions, continuous communication with your wedding team, image editing, gallery creation - all images downloadable in unwatermarked printable resolution jpgs The collection varies for example, a NYC elopement, a brunch wedding with 10 guests, a 12 hour wedding day, a three day wedding with 600 guests in India will all have different pricing proposals. Smaller weddings, elopements and weddings which take place the months of February and March have pricing which reflects a shorter day and workflow. We are happy to provide additional information on rates for our commissions. We understand that you need to invest in that which is most important to you. Keep in mind that since your photographs and albums are the only things that remain after your wedding day, you will want them to have the power to bring you, and your grandchildren, right back to the moment. There are no do-overs in wedding photography. You want your photos to be moving and extraordinary, for your children and grandchildren as well

Nothing makes me happier than having the opportunity to document love, whichever your pronoun, and whomever you love. I am grateful to live in this time period where gay marriage is legal.

My signature aesthetic has been described as timeless, natural, and romantic with understated elegance and beautiful lighting. I specialize in capturing genuine emotions and joyful moments — the photos you don’t know to request and the ones that other photographers overlook. I use an editorial eye to document events without disrupting the couple or taking them away from the experience of their wedding weekend. I understand that your wedding photography collection is not just about the bride and groom, but the entire family. My goal for your wedding day is to document the family relationships, expected and unexpected moments, and to make you look better than you have ever looked. I hunt for those honest, unaware moments and always step back to document the context of those moments in a wide, atmospheric view. I am acclaimed for creating a documentary style that captures those unscripted moments with gorgeous lighting. In sum, I shoot for feeling, emotion and history, striving to be as unobtrusive as possible, yet I take a playful leadership role when necessary. I always bring an upbeat atmosphere and a calming presence. Your resulting heirloom images will be natural, full of authentic personality and joy, and will tell your story in both an intimate and grand way. Technically, my photos are vibrant and clean, with an emphasis on emotion and making sure that those skies you love are not "blown out" or white. I have a commitment to excellence, uncompromising quality and to giving you photos that you never could have imagined. My goal is that you view your photos decades from now and remember exactly how you felt each moment of your wedding. Your wedding images will make you feel exactly as if you were there. I create photographs that matter.

For a 10 hour day, you will receive no less than 1000 images, but it is often in the 1500-1800 range. If there is a first look, we typically have about 80+ more images.

You will receive a full set of printable jpgs. MLP will retain the copyright to every image. Your contract licenses you to print the high resolution files for personal use. "License" is different from "Copyright." What it means basically is that, while you have the right to make reproductions for personal use, you do not have the right to sell or transfer the images to a third party.

All of your images receive personal attention and editing, they are color corrected (converted to black and white in some cases), contrast & tone is perfected, and images are cropped if necessary. All test shots, closed eyes, unflattering shots, shots where someone walked in front of the camera, etc., are discarded. We only retouch the images that are going into your album, and this is included in the album fee. Retouching includes actual pixel manipulation: softening of skin, removal of stray hairs, removal of simple distracting background elements. Additional excessive retouching, such as contouring, adding/removing people, head swaps, adding hair, changing backgrounds, is billed at the rate of $100/hour. You will be notified & invoiced if additional retouching work is required, normally it is not. We think it is important to not change the facts of the wedding day, if it is fall, we want to keep that color, if your dress had sleeves we won't remove them, if your veil fell in to the water, that is part of your story, and we won't "add" a veil in post production. The wedding day itself is magic, and it's important to be honest with your photographs and make you look the best you have every looked with our strategic prompts and direction IN camera.

Shopping for a photographer can be overwhelming, so I like to keep it as simple and straight-forward as possible. We have created a basic collection that includes everything you need to create the highest quality images: two photographers, a lighting assistant, up to 10 hours of coverage, all of the edited images are yours with license to print. Of course all of this comes with my pre and post-wedding devotion to your vision and images (which typically totals 7 hours per each hour of wedding coverage). I want to serve YOU first and foremost and it starts from your inquiry. There is plenty of room to add on to your package as your plans take shape. To give you an idea, my average local to NY & CT all day Saturday, 150-guest wedding price point is $8200. My average local elopement or small wedding is $2500. Each wedding is given a custom proposal which includes everything you will need for the highest quality images and complete coverage of your wedding.

I use Canon mirrorless professional bodies, Canon "L" series and Zeiss lenses. I shoot with two camera bodies, currently the Canon R5 and R6. I have two backup cameras: a Canon 5D Mark IV and a Canon 1DX. I will arrive at your wedding with the following lenses (all Canon RF "L" unless noted): 70-200 mm f/2.8, 85 mm f/1.2, 85 mm Petzval f/2.2, 35 mm f/1.4, 17 mm tilt shift f/4, Zeiss 100 mm Macro f/2, 15-35 mm f/2.8, and two 2RF 4-70 mm f/2.8. I also will bring a 1.4 extender, six Profoto A1x AirTTL w/Soft Bounces, four flash stands. I also bring my three Profoto B1 500 AirTTL lights, with a 5' Octabox and a small softbox for formals. An LED light panel and an all purpose flashlight find their way into my second suitcase. As well, I bring two reflectors, one sun swatter, 1/2 cto gels for each flash, a bridal umbrella and four Burberry umbrellas. To power the flashes during the reception I use two backup Profoto Li-ion batteries. The most important thing I bring is vision, experience and a genuine excitement to photograph your day, regardless of weather, timeline changes and unexpected events, we have seen it all!

While MLP must be the exclusive photographer for your event, I am happy to have your guests take photos. I ask that they do not photograph at the same time I am photographing the formals, as the eyes of those being photographed will be looking at various cameras in different directions which will result in awkward looking and potentially unattractive portraits. After I photograph each group, I will step aside to allow the guests to capture their shots, if time allows. I also request that the guests not come along to the creative portrait coverage as this can be quite distracting to the couple as I am doing my best to get you both relaxed and focused on each other (a friend yelling "smile" will take you right out of that authentic moment I'm trying to cultivate for you). And, please, we request that guests be respectful by not pushing us out of the way or standing in front of us while we are trying to capture the important moments. We always love an unplugged ceremony, however, as many iPads, selfie sticks, iPhones, cameras, shoulders, extended arms and hips leaning into the aisle block our view of you coming up and down the aisle and can ruin many incredibly emotional moments.

Once I get back to my home office after a wedding I am typically up until 6 am uploading and backing up your images. At this point, the images are uploaded and I am completely exhausted, so I finish backing them up the following day. Once your images are completely processed (6-9 weeks), they are also backed up in Georgia with Shootproof, so if Ida or Sandy ever comes to town and destroy my hard drives, please be assured your images will be safe. We do request that you also make backups once you download your images, as you will be responsible for your images once you receive the link to your images.

Yes, we have full liability insurance and are happy to provide your venues with certificates of insurance. If your venue needs insurance, we require that you notify us three months before your event date because Dominick at Allstate needs time to write your venue into our rider.

We are exclusively a photo studio and are happy to recommend videographers to you. When you do hire a videographer, make sure that they also take an unobtrusive approach to your day. Check also on their style, it's important that they also have a clean, natural, candid style. We have had the experience of coupling with hired videographers who work in a dramatic high contrast style, and their strong, shadowy light hindered our ability to document the day in a natural way. If your videographer isn't unobtrusive, and is right in front of you during the ceremony and first dance, etc., then we will have to adjust our shooting style, instead of shooting invisibly from the back of the church, or corner of the room with our 200 mm lens, we will have to stand next to the videographer, so that we are able to get a clean shot, without the videographer and their equipment in the way. This forces us to use shorter, more unflattering lenses, and to be visible to your guests during your important moments, possibly interrupting their view as well.

Because of my art history background, you can find me in a museum, or an architecturally important church, on my days off for inspiration. Other days, I'm on the court! I'm on two USTA 4.0 tennis teams and I love to play tennis in between editing and I go to the US OPEN every year! My oldest son is a classical music composer and my twins play the sax and viola, so I am often at one of their concerts!

I grew up in San Diego and then I moved to NYC to study dance at Alvin Ailey. I worked with Abrams Artists, where I was hired for jazz dancing for companies such as American Express and Vidal Sasson. I then worked in Gail Conrad's tap dance company performing off Broadway and danced in small parts around the Tristate region before getting my MA in Art History at NYU. During my studies I worked at Sotheby's Art Auction house where I enjoyed the dynamics of researching, preparing and curating 19th C European paintings in their biannual auctions. The experience was akin to having a museum move in and move out twice per year, I loved it!

Where I’ve been. Egypt, Tanzania, Morocco, Japan, Cambodia, India, Thailand, France, Spain, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy (I studied art & literature in Florence), Belgium, Great Britain, Greece, Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Jamaica, St.Barth’s, St. Martin, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic, Harbour Island, Canada, Hawaii, Panama, most of the USA. Where I was scheduled to go Pre-Covid (for work & for pleasure): Cameroon, Portugal, Vietnam, back to Cuba. Hopefully in 2023!

We require a signed agreement and a non refundable retainer of 30% in order to reserve your wedding date. We book on a first come first serve basis and once we reserve your date, we turn down all other inquiries for that date. We cannot hold a date without a signed contract and retainer. Prime dates (June, September & October Saturdays) can book two years in advance, so don't wait, we'd love to hear about your wedding and how we can document it for you!

Relax and enjoy your engagement! We will work together on your timeline, confirmations and details in the months before your wedding to ensure proper coverage and the highest quality photography possible. Then, be present at your wedding, have fun and we will document it all.

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