cambridge city hall wedding photos elopement photography boston

Cambridge City Hall Wedding

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civil ceremony at cambridge city hall wedding photos elopement photography boston

Cambridge City Hall Wedding Ceremony

After checking in with the City Clerk's office, we walked up to Sullivan Chambers for the civil ceremony.   You don't have to be residents on Cambridge to get married here - you just both need to show up and say I do.

cambridge city hall wedding photos elopement photography boston

cambridge city hall wedding photos elopement photography boston

cambridge city hall wedding photos elopement photography boston

cambridge city hall wedding photos elopement photography boston

cambridge city hall wedding photos elopement photography boston

Cambridge City Hall Wedding Photos

After the civil wedding ceremony in Sullivan Chamber, we had access to the Mayor's Reception Room for more portraits of the bride and groom.  It's beautiful in there with gorgeous window light.  We had a rainy morning so we made the most of it inside.

cambridge city hall wedding photos elopement photography boston

cambridge city hall wedding photos elopement photography boston

birdcage veil cambridge city hall wedding photos elopement photography boston

groom adjusting his tie blue suit cambridge city hall wedding photos elopement photography boston

bridal portrait inblack and white birdcage veil cambridge city hall wedding photos elopement photography boston

Cambridge City Hall Wedding Cost

So you want to get married at Cambridge City Hall?  There is a 10 person limit to your guest list (a big higher than Boston City Hall weddings). To book your civil ceremony at Cambridge City Hall, you can call the City Clerk's or drop by in person.

As this is a functional municipal building, the Sullivan Chamber (where the City Council meets and where this couple was married) is only available if there is not city business.

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cambridge city hall wedding photos elopement photography boston

cambridge city hall wedding photos elopement photography boston

Cambridge City Hall Wedding Photography Packages

When I photograph city hall weddings and small intimate wedding like this one, we usually shoot for up to two hours. That will cover the moments before the civil ceremony, the civil ceremony itself and leave time for location portraits. In this case the beautiful building of Cambridge City Hall itself.  Which was great because we had a drizzly and grey day. 

I love photographing intimate wedding like this one at Cambridge City Hall - creating beautiful and authentic images of this turning point in your relationship. Thinking about eloping? Let's chat.  

 

 


children playing boston family photojournalism playdate

Family Portraits At Home

winter day activity for toddlers finger painting with feet having fun at home family portrait session

IN HOME PORTRAIT SESSIONS

winter day activity for toddlers finger painting with feet having fun at home family portrait session

We are grateful in many ways for living at Midway Artist Studios and one of the biggest reasons we love living here is the community.  And the building friends who are ready for make the most of any afternoon.  Leonardo and Lulu are just about two weeks apart and they are great friends.  Having friends in the building is even more awesome in the winter when the playground is just too cold.  

We invited Lulu over to play and eventually I pulled out a roll of paper and we got them into just their diapers to really get into the experience of finger painting. As the painting was not limited to fingers -  toes got their fair share as did bellies and hair and backs. And so they just had to take a bath before lunch. Which it just may have been one of the highlights of their lives.  

When was the last time you had this much fun?  

winter day activity for toddlers finger painting with feet having fun at home family portrait session

winter day activity for toddlers finger painting with feet having fun at home family portrait session

red finger painting toddlers having fun at home family portrait session

winter day activity for toddlers finger painting with feet having fun at home family portrait session

winter day activity for toddlers finger painting with feet having fun at home family portrait session

red finger painting toddlers having fun at home family portrait session

tied after finger painting family at home portrait photographer boston

FAMILY PORTRAITS TAKEN AT HOME

One of my favorite things about doing at home portrait sessions? No need to worry about the weather.  And you don't have to gather all the things and the kids.  You stay put.  We come to you.  This is huge if you have a newborn, or say live in New England. 

The two biggest questions I get from parents about doing a family portrait session at their home are about lighting and about what they need to do to get the house ready.  

LIGHTING INDOOR FAMILY PORTRAITS

We don’t all have great Architectural Digest rooms with sweeping natural light.  Ok, sometimes I do have a client that is excited to shoot under their skylight, or actually has an apartment with great light.  But most of us can’t say that. But it’s in knowing how to see the lighting that you have and where to photograph in that lighting that matters.  

We will want to use natural light as much as we can. Open the blinds and pull back the curtains so we can immediately see the best light coming into your home. Natural light is ideal but we also bring off camera lighting equipment if we need it.  If we do set that up, it will still be a soft and natural feel to the final image.

CLEANING UP BEFORE A FAMILY PORTRAIT SESSION AT HOME

I’m sure that no matter what I write here, you actually do some amount of tidying before people come over.  But no need to Konmari your place. One of the best things about photography is that I get to decide what is in frame and what is out.  And the space that you live in and the space that your children play is matters to them.  As my mother always says  - unless it's a realtor, people are there to see you and not the house.  

It’s normal to have extra things around and not enough closet space.  For your at home portrait session, we don’t need much space (especially for kids).  I may move some (movable) furniture around to make space for me to move, but everything goes back to its place when we are done.  

winter day activity for toddlers finger painting with feet having fun at home family portrait session

Interested in booking a playdate for you family?

Ready to get messy and have fun?  I'm in!

Email us to get on the calendar! 


boston city hall elopement packages photography

Boston City Hall Wedding

boston city hall elopement photography packages

GETTING MARRIED AT BOSTON CITY HALL

We had such fun!  On our planning phone call we discussed ways to extend the celebrations after the City Hall wedding.  I suggested champagne. He thought they should pair it with cake! And that is a pretty good combo.  They decided on Carrie Nation - the gm graciously let us shoot in the back room and pop a bottle of champagne there. 

Behind the red velvet curtains, they cut into a red velvet cake! So we basically had a mini private reception and I loved the scene. If you haven’t been in the back room there - it’s well worth a look. And a lovely way to keep out of the unpredictable Boston weather.

After photographing dozens of wedding up at the City Clerk’s office this was my first time photographing on the second floor (which if you know City Hall is the floor below the entrance just to make it extra confusing).  We walked through the record room - volumes upon volumes of marriage and birth records. It was an amazing glimpse into history. I even ran into my friend and neighbor registering his son’s birth.

This couple is originally from the west coast and were happy to have some brick and snow in their photographs  - things they didn’t grow up with and are now a part of their east coast lives.

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ELOPING AT BOSTON CITY HALL

Considering eloping in Boston? What are the reasons to just elope?  Each of the couples I have photographed at Boston City Hall have different reasons that they are choosing a smaller wedding ceremony; budget, pressure, speed, not wanting to be the center of attention in a big party. As a photographer in downtown Boston, I love photographing elopements at Boston City Hall.  They have just as much excitement and romance as a big Saturday wedding just on a small and sweet scale.

Sidestep the pageant - and get back to the basics. You are in love. You want to be married. The rest of it is not as important. And if you scale down your wedding you can choose other things - like putting more down on a home or like a fantastic honeymoon with unforgettable meals.

groom holding ring before ceremony boston city hall clerks office boston city hall elopement wedding photos clerks office boston city hall elopement wedding photos clerks office boston city hall elopement wedding photos

clerks office boston city hall elopement wedding photos

winter elopement boston wedding photographer winstons bouquet calla lilies pastels

winter elopement boston wedding photographer winstons bouquet calla lilies pastels bridal portrait winter elopement boston wedding photographer

How to Tell Your Parents You Want to Elope

Elopements means you aren’t required to invite anyone. Though this might mean that some important people in your life might feel excluded. Part of the fun of eloping is that nearly all of the obligations are easy to address. Want to execute this tearlessly?

Tell them in ahead of time.

  • Explain your why and be sympathetic to how they’re feeling without backing down on your plans. If they are disappointed, acknowledge that.  Being heard is important - even to parents. Just how far in advance to tell them is up to you.

Make sure your parents know it's not about them.

  • Though let’s be honest - sometimes it can be just a little about them.  But there are reasons you and your fiance decided to have an intimate wedding and you’ve probably already talked out the why between you two.  Explain your reasoning to your parents. Firmly. Without hesitation. Remind them that you love them and tell them the ways that they can share joy and excitement with you.

Find ways to include them.

  • From choosing flowers for a small bouquet or facetiming them just after or just before the ceremony to suggesting that a formal dinner with them later - there are ways to make them feel like they are part of the event even if they aren’t present during the ceremony itself. You never know, they might even not mind your decision.  

Share the Excitement

  • You are celebrating - and photographs that set the scene and tell the story of your wedding day are a wonderful way to share (and that’s the key part making sure your family feels included) the love and joy of your elopement.  This bride and groom called their parents before the ceremony began and then kept them on silent speakerphone so they could hear the ceremony in live time.  

boston elopement wedding photography city hall government center boston elopement wedding photography city hall government center boston elopement wedding photography city hall government center

HOW TO CELEBRATE AFTER ELOPING

I suggest a glass of champagne and a dessert or a fancy lunch at your favorite restaurants of course.  

You can also plan a celebration with your inner circle and family either that night or another day. An after party can be a lovely way to share your vows and include people. And of course you get to wear your wedding clothes again. Or wear whatever you like.

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SHOULD YOU STILL HAVE A PHOTOGRAPHER IF YOU ELOPE?

Obviously, I’m biased.  I feel deeply that photography, specifically documenting your life milestones (and w wedding, even if it’s at City Hall counts) is important part of your shared history.  I LOVE photographing small wedding, like Boston City Hall weddings, Cambridge City Hall weddings and elopements. It’s the essentials of the wedding day, and even paired down it is a thrilling and awesome way to begin a new chapter in your lives.

You can use the images from your Boston elopement photographer in your announcements and holiday cards and of course on instagram.

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BOSTON MA ELOPEMENT PACKAGES

When I photograph elopements, or city hall weddings, most clients book me for two hours. This covers the moments before the ceremony, the ceremony itself, and we have time for location portraits in and around Boston or Cambridge.

It’s more of an investment that a typical portrait session.  Why? The equipment we use is the same, the time invested in processing time is the same and the end product is the same caliber.  Even if it’s untraditional it’s still a wedding and a one time event. I photograph elopements with the same attention and care that I would a large wedding.  

Boston Elopement Photographer

I love photographing elopements in Boston, creating beautiful and honest images of this moment in their lives. Get in touch for more ideas about your Boston City Hall wedding! 


Parenthood: 90 Days

boston family portrait photographer

90 Days of Parenthood

play group new moms north end

Nardito and I have just returned from a few days traveling solo, without the engineer. Wow.  What a difference it makes to have a second parent around! We were staying with friends, none of whom have children.  I realized how different my life rhythms are 90 days later.  We survived our 48 hours away and happily cozied up at home together as a family again.

Gratitude

In a section in the end of happiest baby on the block, the author notes that we live in a time people are raising children in nuclear families.  And I am so grateful that James and I are not in fact doing this. We have a several spheres of loving support. 

three month old pajamas bed

 Our families have been tremendously helpful. Our neighbors at Midway (including the other new parents) have been amazing. And the moms group that I've joined have also been wonderful. (I'm the kind of person that's reluctant to do something like join a new mothers group. But I'm so glad that I did.)

Special shout out to one of my best friends since high school, Margot, who forged this Motherhood and business woman path ahead of me. She has been not only giving us material items, but also sharing wisdom and making sure that we take the time to reflect on and enjoy parenting.  

Firsts

documentary family photography newborns in car

Our baby book has lots of blank space for writing.  I haven’t filled out much of it yet.  I would have excessed that chore, though the legacy of both my and the engineer’s lengthy baby books keeps the guilt on that front going.  But I have been taking an absurd amount of pictures.  An astute reader will have noticed the distinct shift in my instagram feed.  So far he’s been to Maine and Rhode Island and the Berkshires.  He’s taken adventures into the North End and Brookline.  He’s been to Chinatown.  Erupted in his first fit of giggles. Endured bath time without tears.  And received a blessing from the priest at the new Shrine of Our Lady of Good Voyage.

Challenges & Solutions

changing table family photojournalism

Balance has not been attained, but the idea of it seems like less than a mirage week by week.

These things are what we have worked on together: 

Learning to nurse in bed and Nardito’s growing head control were game changers for me.  Learning his cues, particularly for sleep, was key.  

Figuring out what to wear for easy breastfeeding access that wasn’t looking like pajamas. After spending much of the winter in layers of leggings and dark colors I was ready to slip back into my spring clothes.  They fit, mostly.  Though many of them weren’t quite suitable to feeding the baby and absorbing spit up.   

Finding time to exercise.  Once my baseline strength came back, I wanted to be moving and getting back to the yoga studio.  Having trouble finding the time.  The downtime I get is filled up with my own basic needs (shower anyone?) and my work.  I’ve been fitting little bits in here and there.  And when I can find an uninterrupted stretch of time I pull out the yoga mat and put on Yoga with Adriene.

More in Love Every Day

This selfie pretty much sums it up! 


WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY QUESTIONS TO ASK

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY QUESTIONS TO ASK

Wedding planning guides, and wedding planning websites, suggest some standard questions.  They usually come up naturally in conversation and they do get asked during initial meetings.  

Comparing Wedding Photographers

The primary three things when you are looking for a wedding photographer:

Portfolio (Do you love the way this photographer sees?)

Price (Is the price point something you are comfortable with?)

Personality (Will you and do you get along with this person?)

Every has their own way to doing business that is right for them. Hourly coverage, packages or collections, unlimited hours. Our pricing is based on what works for our individual businesses.  So it can make it a challenge to compare.

The Big Questions

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What follows are a list of the big questions that we, as wedding photographers, regularly get.  You may desperately want to know there answers. You may not have thought about some of them at all.  When you talk with wedding photographers their answers to these questions should help you feel like you are working with a professional wedding photographer.  

Do you have backup wedding photographers who will shoot the wedding if you're sick?

Will there be a second shooter or any assistants? Is there an additional fee for these?

Have you ever shot at my wedding venue(s) before? I understand it’s comforting to have a photographer know your venue and it’s quirks and magical spots.  Even if it’s the same physical location every wedding is different, and the days unfold in their own ways.

Will the wedding photos be exposure corrected and color balanced?

What gets retouched?

What is the deposit and total fee if we want to book you as our wedding photographer?

When do we get to see the wedding pictures?! 

How many weddings have you photographed, and how many do you do in a year?

Is wedding photography your main business? What percentage of your work is composed of weddings?

How many images do we get of our wedding?

When do we get to see the wedding pictures?! 

Do you shoot both digital and film?

How do you process the images?

What are the restrictions for sharing photos online or for publication?

Do you own the copyright to the wedding photos?

When do we get to see the wedding pictures?!

And The Big (usually unasked) Question

Why is it so expensive? 

wedding photographer danvers glen magna

Cameras, lenses, lighting, back up gear, insurance (business and health), studio rent, self employment tax, software licensing, advertising, equipment repair - it all adds up to a lot for a full time photographer.  

Photography is a luxury.  You don't need a wedding photographer any more than you need a wedding dress or a bouquet or a diamond to get married. 

Questions Your Wedding Photographer Wants To Ask You

Are you already thinking wedding day logistics and lighting? Might you be planning the wedding ceremony for sunset?  

Will you want family portraits done before or after the wedding ceremony? Inside or outside?

Are you open to talking through the timeline of the wedding day so your photographer can capture what you want?

How will you and your partner be if your wedding doesn’t unfold exactly the way you imagine it should? Spoiler: it likely won’t.

Will you trust us to capture the magic and moments are we see them? 

If you send us a wedding photography pinterest board, will you want us to replicate other people’s images or are you using pinterest as a tool for research and learn what style of photography you like? 

How do you want to display your wedding pictures?  Will they languish forever on a USB drive or in a facebook album?  Will you post some to Instagram?  Will you want to share prints with your family for the holidays?  Are you interested in getting an album?

What are you most excited about on the wedding day? The dance party? The ceremony? Seeing family? Eating? Pictures? What are the most important parts for you?  


I’m Boston wedding photographer Allana Taranto of Ars Magna Studio. I love photographing wedding in downtown Boston, and throughout New England. My wedding photography is beautiful and honest that celebrates your love story. 

Great Lives deserve Great Art. 

boston wedding photographer allana

Planning a wedding in downtown Boston?

Get in touch to learn more about our custom photography packages


Parenthood: Two Months in

Parenting: 2 Months In

The delirium has worn off.  Mostly. The adoration has grown. Absolutely.  The routine is starting to reveal itself.  We are just getting to know this beautiful boy.

At some point in the last two months, our neighbor Roberto told us that the first few weeks were the hardest.  But that we wouldn’t remember it. It was true.  We barely remember the first six weeks.  We definitely don’t remember the first two.  

first bath in the kitchen sink
first bath in the kitchen sink
photo of me and baby where we both are lucid and happy by our neighbor Roberto Mighty
photo of me and baby where we both are lucid and happy by our neighbor Roberto Mighty
family self portrait at passover
family self portrait at passover

I’m in love. With the gummy smile and the goofy baby talk.  With his pensive stares and furrowed brow.  With the growing strength of his long fingers that wrap around my thumb.  With the way that he sits perched on his dad’s shoulders and intently takes in his surroundings.  

On the heels of my first Mother’s Day, so far this trip has been both exhausting and wonderful. I wasn’t sure what parenthood would be like.  Helping my parents with extended care of my disabled sister prepared me somewhat with bathing and diaper changing rituals, with the power of music and setting routines.  Seeing so many of my friends take this step before we did also gave me some idea of the major changes in our future.  But experiencing it first hand is a different thing.  

As new parents, we’ve talked about how we are both finding the process of integrating the identity of parent to be a slow one.  We are three.  And that changes things small and large.  Learning to navigate both the dog and the stroller on walks.  Embracing the microwave for speeding up meal time.  Tackling nursing in a carrier, so I can eat my own dinner.  Saying yes and thank you when people offer help.  Accepting that our days are consistently damp with milk and spit up and diaper leaks.  

boston family photography father and son photojournalism

Last week, as Mother’s Day posts on facebook prevailed, I read an interesting NYT article about matrescence (the act of becoming a mother).  In this common but nevertheless complicated life shift, we must integrate parenting into our identity, navigate a new family dynamic (in our immediate family as well as extended families) and reflect on our own relationships with our mothers.  It’s worth a read:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/08/well/family/the-birth-of-a-mother.html

if you follow me on instagram, you may have noticed that the feed has been taken over by this charming little man.  

boston documentaryfamily photography  

One of my favorite portraits of father and son above.  As I am the one with the camera, there are many images of these two and not enough yet of me and the boy.