Robert & Kathleen Photographers | Documentary Wedding Photography Blog
Robert and Kathleen Trenske are husband and wife fine art photographers available for weddings and engagements in New York. Using a documentary approach, they capture candid moments and timeless images that encompass the raw emotion of a wedding day.
There are some weddings days when everything seems to go exactly as it should be. The morning is calm, because the bride is calm. The weather cooperates, all the planning comes together; the families are happy and the bride and groom look as thrilled as Sara and Jamie. Because these are two people that are head-over-heels in love and planned a day that focused on sharing that love with the people most important to them.
They wanted a day that was elegant and fun, but stress-free so that everyone could just focus on having a great time. And that was exactly the day that they had. One filled with big smiles and little moments, emotional vows and funny speeches. In short, pretty much the day they dreamed of having from the moment they knew that this relationship was different from all the ones that came before. Because once they knew this was the relationship they wanted to be in forever, they couldn't wait to let their friends and families experience the joy they had first hand.
One of the best parts of working with an amazing family like Jen & Dan’s over the course of many years, is that not only do we really get to know them but we also get to explore with them. We have photographed them in Central Park (returning to the spot where Dan proposed for a maternity session with their first son), in Connecticut during the snow when Jen was pregnant with their second son, in their neighborhood in TriBeCa on the cobblestone streets and with their extended family so multiple generations could be captured at once. We always know a session with Jen & Dan is going to be a good time because spending time with them (with or without a camera in hand) always is too.
This past October, Jen suggested one of her favorite spots in New York for their session: South Street Seaport. With the large ships, distinct streets and views of Brooklyn Bridge it was the perfect spot to display the boy’s personalities and capture the essence of what it looks like to be a young family in New York.
It was a wedding that first brought Jen and Chris together. A wedding in her home state of Vermont for which Chris had traveled all the way across the country to be a guest of the groom. Jen was a guest of the bride, having made the short trip from Boston to Vermont for the nuptials. Had it not been for that couple, for the love between those two people, these two may not have crossed paths. But it was that joyous celebration that brought about their own joyous celebration - leading Jen and Chris to always have an especially soft spot for weddings.
So when it came time to plan their own, they wanted a day filled with love and family. A day where all the people they love, from both sides of the country, could come together, bask in the California sun and soak up the happiness radiating from the couple at the center of it all.
I believe, based on my own experience, that there is a moment where they idea of committing to one person for the rest of your life goes from a scary proposition to a massively appealing one. And that transition of thought is in direct correlation with the meeting of someone particularly amazing. Suddenly, the idea shifts from could I do it? to how could I not? Because when you’ve found that one person who makes you feel happier than you ever have before, the idea of being without them is far scarier than the idea of being with them forever.
If you want a visual of what that looks like, take a look at Melissa and Jon. These are two people who were clearly meant to find each other and are fully confident in the monumental decision they have made to commit to one another for the rest of their lives. From the moment they saw each other on their wedding day, they were exuberant - knowing that they are about to publicly declare the promises to one another they truly made long ago. Their day was beautiful in so many ways - their style, the flowers, the stunning city skyline and all of those things were compliments to the real centerpiece of the day - a couple whose love for one another could light up even the simplest of spaces.
We photographed our very first wedding at the Gramercy Park Hotel way back in 2010 and since then we have been very fortunate to be there many, many times to photograph the weddings or some incredible couples (and occasionally personal events for some super important people). The main thing I love about the hotel is that while it has a presence all it’s own - it’s distinct architecture, incredible art collection, plush, rich-colored decor - it inherently simply becomes to backdrop (albeit a super chic, sophisticated backdrop) to the couple at the center of it all.
At the center of this particular day was Alyssa and Kosta. They are a sweet, shy couple whose quite-evident love for one another could brighten the day of even the crankiest New Yorker who may have bustled by on the sidewalk that day.
Alyssa and Kosta said their vows under the twinkling string lights that mark the ceiling of the Gramercy Terrace and then enjoyed a gourmet candle-lit dinner with their closest family and friends while toasts were given in their honor before a short and sweet first dance. It was a perfect evening to celebrate a couple who inspire all of those around them.
Even though Jaime and Jeff met online before they met in person, Jaime already had a seal of approval from Jeff’s father, who had met Jaime even before Jeff did. Jaime had met Jeff’s dad in the course of her studies to become a doctor and, even in short period of time, had left an impression on him that she was an impressive young woman.
When Jeff met Jaime in person, he agreed wholeheartedly. Jeff quickly discovered that Jaime is as brilliant as she is beautiful and, he would discover later, happens to share his passion for chasing adventures. They complement one another, make each other laugh and push one another to dream and strive for even more than they would on their own. Their relationship has brought them to many stunning places and, as Jeff’s mother notes, Jaime and her doctor-tendencies works to make sure that Jeff doesn’t chase any thrill that just might be a bit too risky.
We met Jeff and Jaime on a very early Sunday to capture the light of the Brooklyn Bridge as Jeff sees it on his commute to work in the morning. It was a wonderful way to spend an Sunday morning, not just because we got to see the sun rise over lower Manhattan and stroll the Brooklyn Bridge, but also because it gave us the chance to get to know these two wonderful people (and their pet bird, Turtle) and look forward to their wedding day.
I love it when a couple has a clear vision for their engagement session. From the moment we arrived at Central Park to meet Alice and Gary for their session, we knew it was going to be a lot of fun. They are super sweet together, laid back and comfortable in front of the camera and a complete joy to photograph.
For their session, they had planned what I could imagine to be a dream day in New York City. It had pretty much what any one would want to do on a particularly gorgeous day in the city - a visit to some of the prettiest and most iconic parts of Central Park, drinks on a chic rooftop terrace in Midtown and then a stroll around Lincoln Center to cap it all off.
It was a whirlwind of an afternoon that resulted in some of our favorite engagement images in New York.
I could tell the kind of day Jennifer and Stephen’s wedding day was going to be from the moment we were getting ready for the two of them to see each other for the first time that day. Jennifer was giddy, maybe a touch nervous, wanting to make sure everything was perfect. Stephen was excited and emotional, with tears welling up in his eyes before he even heard Jennifer approach.
When she walked up behind him, the swoosh of her gown and the click of her heels the only sounds on the wide boards of the deck as she was coming closer, Stephen closed his eyes. He took it in, letting his feelings wash over him. When he turned and saw her, and he smiled and he let the happy tears flow. He pulled her in close and closed his eyes once again, relishing this moment that was theirs alone and his good fortune that this woman he so dearly loves was about to become his wife.
There was a similar exchange when she walked down the aisle to him later in the day. On her father’s arm, Jennifer smiled her big, beautiful smile at Stephen and he smiled right back, eager to take her hand when he father passed it over to him. By the edge of the water and under the shade of enormous, leafy trees, they exchanged sweet, emotional vows. They spoke of how they felt when they first met, how they will treat one another in the decades to come, and vowed that all those promises they had made to one another in the years since they became a couple - they had meant every single one. He teared up, she held his hand tight. When they walked down the aisle hand in hand, they were overjoyed.