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AA Batteries Included: Anna + Alex = Supercharged Wedding

Boudoir Marathon 2016 by Zorz Studios (1)
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AA Batteries Included: Anna + Alex = Supercharged Wedding (3)

Here’s an example of a supercharged wedding, when everything looked so fabulous, that you cannot believe it was planned that quickly.

I was recommended to Anna and Alex by their family friends whose wedding and a dope trash-the-dress session in an abandoned psychiatric asylum I shot some three years ago. During their visit to the studio, they shared their story and a unique proposal on a helicopter, photographed by Catch Z Moment. Things are moving fast here: proposal in October, hired me in November, engagement session shot in December, wedding in January, this blog in February. 🙂

If you think you cannot pull off a gorgeous wedding on such terms, you would be mistaken, as I was. All wedding planners and professionals, including photographers, recommend at least half, if not full year, for preparations, even to just keep sanity. I don’t know how these guys managed but one thing I picked from them before the wedding was an easy-going state of mind and a positive outlook on all things working and not. Needless to say, shooting them on the day of so positively supercharged wedding was a breeze and sheer delight.

There were a couple of unusual and pleasant things worth mentioning. First, for the first time in my engagement session experience, the couple was accompanied by the bride’s father. Oftentimes, someone is hanging around during engagement sessions, either my own assistant for difficult jobs, or a curious and helpful friend of my couple. Never was I given such active attention by a parent. I learned that he is a hobbyist photographer and could not say “no” to this unusual request. He did prove to be very helpful so I wasn’t too shy in directing and using him with my equipment.

My encounters with photographers didn’t end there, I’ll have a little story at the end.

Among the highlights of the evening was a joint joined parent performance. All four of them put together a fantastic singing show complete with custom-written lyrics about the couple! This is something that photography cannot express, unfortunately, but it truly kept my ears up in enjoyment and amazement! And again, reminding me of all Indian weddings were family members and friends walk a long mile to entertain the guests by own performances.

Lots of credits for the beauty and success of this wedding are due to the cooperating vendors:

Getting ready: Heldrich Hotel
Makeup: Yanina Yafa
Hair: Ivan Shatrov
Wedding dress: custom by Nataliya Toponarova at Lace and Satin
Bridesmaids dresses: Alfred Sung
Groom’s tuxedo: John Varvatos
Groomsmen’s tuxedos: Joseph Abboud
Limo: Exotic Limo (stretch limos), Santos VIP Limo (1964 Cloud I Rolls Royce)
Venue: Addison Park
Officiant: Rabbi Harris Cohen
Flowers and decor: Sunshine Flowers
MC: Boris Sirkis
Singers: Slava Poltavskiy and Dinara Mirsaidova
DJ: Mike Alaev
Cake: Alfonso’s Pastry Shoppe
Video: Pearl Films

(Click images for full size)

Here’s the second photographer-related story. Turns out, perhaps the most famous event photographer among Russian-speaking New York, Nikolai Komissarov, is also a good friend of family, and was invited to the reception… not just like a guest, but to actively cover the ceremony and reception… Now, every established photography studio would cringe at the thought of bumping and competing with an outsider. Heck, they would just firmly say “no”, starting with the contract (I have such clause there as well). I didn’t want to create tension, considering the super short wedding preparation time, plus I thought this would release me from some of the duties, like guest photography, allowing to focus more on the couple instead. I had similar arrangements  with two of my weddings shot in India where I worked shoulder-to-shoulder with several local photographers for greater coverage. Similarly, this wedding worked out fine and I finally met and worked with Nikolai, who was considerate and respectful while managing to take a ton of guest photos, and—making framed prints. He does it best! Here he is, loved and shining.

Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov is a creative director and lead photographer of Zorz Studios, Manhattan-based boutique photography studio, offering arousing and daring fashion, commercial, beauty, and wedding photography. Multiple Fearless Photographer™ award winner, named among the top 50 US wedding photographers, top 10 NY wedding photographers, winner of Adobe contests, featured by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle et al, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week photographer, and a distinguished member of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style‘s Platinum List, he is eager to step out of his and willing clients' comfort zone to pursue original artwork with a lasting impression.