Capturing The Wedding Reception

My favorite part to capture in a wedding is usually the end of a reception party. This is when  most people finally let their guard off and show a side of themselves that only appears only at this moment. I captured these images during the last hour of my first Indian wedding in Pennsylvania.

The reception is usually preceded by several hours of work that requires the most intense focus and concentration from all parties involved. The wedding couple can be nervous as they hope that everything will be just right on their special day.  As a photographer you are fully aware of your responsibility to hopefully capture all of the key moments as history is made for your client and couple. So by the time of the reception I definitely feel a bit drained from hours of intense work. But I always feel a resurge of energy when I see the joy and exuberance on people’s faces  as they celebrate this special and joyful occasion.

From the technical point of view I usually set my camera on full manual mode to capture just enough ambient light without pushing my ISO too hard to avoid too much digital noise in the images. I like to keep my shutter speed fairly low to capture a sense of motion as people dance the night away. Then I use my flash to as a fill in to give the photos a punch. By setting my Canon 600-EX speed lights on a second curtain sync mode, I can add nice light trails to the images. Finding just the right balance requires some experimentation but once I hit the sweet spot, I get onto the dance floor and fire away… while trying to stay out of the way:)

If you are interested in booking me as your wedding photographer, send me an inquiry using the form below or via my website by clicking “contact” in the menu.



Portrait Photo Shoot in Downtown Manhattan

Here are a few shots from a portrait photo shoot I did in downtown Manhattan recently. All photos are taken with Canon 5d Mark iii and 85mm f/1.8 USM lens. Do you need photos for your social media presence, modeling portfolio, business or engagement? You can send me an inquiry or book me for a photo shoot by clicking the “contact” tab under my website menu.


Taking It Back To The Roaring 20’s In the Gotham City

The MTA’s Holiday Season Nostalgia Trains run on the Sixth Avenue line between Queens Plaza and Second Avenue stations on four consecutive Sundays, November 30th-December 28th between 10am and 5pm. (Technically, it’s the M line but since that train doesn’t run in Manhattan on weekends, you’ll actually be catching a special shuttle.) For your regular fare, you can enjoy a classic ride on vintage R1 to R9 subway trains that date from the 1930s through the 1970s. Old-school advertisements, from quaint to downright funny, and overhead displays have all been maintained and refurbished by the New York Transit Museum. Some commuters like to showcase their vintage fashion while dancing to the music of the several swing and jazz ensembles in the train and on the 2nd Avenue F train station. You can also check my video from the train on Juha Photography Youtube channel.

The vintage trains will hit all of the stops along the M line every 90 minutes or so. 34th Street/Herald Square, 42nd Street/Bryant Park and 47-50th Streets/Rockefeller Center are all on the route, so you can take an old-fashioned ride to some old-fashioned seasonal fun, like Macy’s Santaland, ice-skating rink at Bryant Park and all of the department store holiday windows on 5th Avenue.





DUMBO Couple Photo Shoot

I did another couple portrait shoot in DUMBO, Brooklyn in early November. It turned out to be a gorgeous day out after rescheduling the shoot a few times due to weather and scheduling issues. DUMBO is such a great location for getting that classy NY look to your portraits. Wether you are on Washington Street at the famous scene of Once Upon A Time In America, a movie starring Robert De Niro, or on Plymouth Street with the view of the impressive Brooklyn Bridge in the background, there is no doubt that DUMBO is one of the most spectacular locations for NYC portraits. On the day of our photo shoot there was a considerable amount of construction work going on in various streets, but by carefully framing the photos and using shallow depth of field to our advantage we were still able to get satisfying results. This is why I love my Canon telephoto zoom lens; it allows me quickly to zoom in and out to crop the shots to my liking without running back and forth. It also allows me to shoot from a comfortable distance relative to my clients, which encourages them to interact more freely by keeping my lens out of their personal space. There are moments though when I find the wide angle lens irreplaceable; like when I want to include that stunning Manhattan landscape in the shot with my clients. This kind of a shot really gives a sense of location and space. After all, if you only want to have stunning shots of your clients, you might as well be shooting in the studio. Wide angle lens gives you both, a sort of cityscape-portrait. But you do need to use extra caution when shooting portraits with the wide angle lens due to the fact that it distort the proportions at the edges of the lens. Ladies love it when a wide angle lens makes their feet look longer than they actually are, but not so much when the lens stretches their shoulders or face out of proportion. But when correctly handled, wide angle is a great gadget in a photographers box of tricks. In addition I used two off-camera Canon Speedlites, which my lighting assistant held in a extendable boom arm with an shoot-through umbrella, to give a little extra punch to the photos in the shady streets of DUMBO.

After about two hours of shooting in DUMBO we walked up to the Brooklyn Bridge and did another session up there. On any given day the Bridge can get crowded by tourists as well as local bicyclists who don’t look favorably on pedestrians wondering on the biker lane, so take extra precautions when walking and working in that environment. But if you and your clients can weather it, you will be rewarded with some stunning and uniquely NY portraits. In addition to the regular hassle, we got literally swarmed by about a hundred school students this time. At first it seemed it was a bit too crowded to get any decent shots but thanks to my Canon telephoto zoom lens I was able to frame the shots tightly so as not to have any unwanted distractions in them. Also my clients ended up loving the few shots that had some Jewish school students in them:) Shooting outdoors in NYC is always unpredictable and in my opinion the best strategy is to go with the flow and try to use any random distractions to your advantage. After all, its all a part of living in this wonderfully crazy city. Its like Taylor Swift sings in Welcome To New York, “Like any great love, it keeps you guessing. Like any real love, it’s ever changing. Like any true love, it drives you crazy. But you know you wouldn’t change anything, anything, anything… Welcome to New York.” And this is why we all love (and sometimes hate) this city so passionately.

Summer Wedding In Connecticut

Here are a few shots from the latest wedding I shot this summer in Connecticut. The ceremony was held at the Ethel Walker Chapel in Simsbury, CT. The church has great window light from both sides of the building, which is wonderful from a photographer’s point of view. The reception was held at the Riverview in Weatogue, CT. We did a quick post-ceremony portrait shoot at the beautiful Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge in Simsbury, CT. It was recognized as a 2014 “Editor’s Choice” winner in Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide in New England.

Pre-manhattanhenge sunset

Today was supposed to be the big Manhattanhenge. Lots of people anticipated the bi-annual phenomenon by hitting the streets of Manhattan with their cameras and phones. However it turned out tonight was big dissapointment, especially for those who missed last night (see my previous post), the reason being that the clouds completely blocked the sun when it was perfectly aligned with the street grid of the city. Only 30 minutes before there was a gorgeous sunset which I was able to capture a little bit at the Meatpacking District were the hight of the buildings is not an obstacle to seeing the sunset. I think they came out alright although they might not officially make it to the Manhattanhenge archives of the world.20140712-232943-84583177.jpg



Manhattanhenge brings the Big Apple to a stand still… For a moment

Here is my second attempt at capturing the Manhattanhenge tonight at 42nd Street in Manhattan. Twice a year the setting sun aligns with the east–west streets of the main street grid in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The neologism is derived from Stonehenge, where the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices with a similarly dramatic effect. The sun peaked for only a couple of minutes between the skyscrapers but it was stunning. Lots of people flooded the streets taking pictures of this unique phenomenon, much to the regret of the cab drivers. For a moment it felt almost as if this city that never sleeps came to a stand still as people stopped to take it all in. Much to the relief of the cab drivers it was all over in a couple of minutes.