mona’s top 13

Greetings fellow blog stalkers! #1 fan Mona here to share my list of favorites from 2010. Let me tell you a little about what this involved – I had to choose from over 100 blog posts (102 last count). Engagements, weddings, family shoots, videos. How can I choose just ten? Well, I made a few adjustments. First of all (and sorry JP) I decided to choose 13. Why? Because that’s my favorite number, and it’s my blog this time 😉
Secondly, there is an “Honorable Mention” section as well. Now before I go any further, let me insert my disclaimer below.

DISCLAIMER: Dear current and past brides/grooms – I could not choose each and every one of you, and please know that my choice does not reflect how beautiful I think you all are, and how amazing your wedding days/engagement shots were. We’re talking about Big Joe and JP’s work here, so you all know you look incredible. This blog has been 3 weeks in the making, with over 20 pages of notes, and three other drafts narrowing it down from 100+ to what we have here. To put this in perspective, about a year ago I was trying to pick 102 pictures for our wedding album – this has been even more challenging than that.

The following events are listed in the order in which they occurred, not by any rating system. Without any further ado, let’s get to it!

1) Anjella and Sarmad
What can I say? I love weddings that incorporate special parts of the bride and groom’s culture and heritage. Well, perhaps being Persian myself I especially enjoyed this wedding. But really, what’s not to like? Beautiful bride and groom? Check. First look? Check. Dancing? Check. I’m like JP and Joe in that I also enjoy seeing brides with their hair down, and in this case Anjella had the best of both worlds with a little hair change midway through their evening. The details were adorable… the mini wedding cakes, are you kidding me? So cute. Above all, the shots from this wedding were so fresh and unique with the chair shot outdoors, and the curtain-framed window shot of the couple. But we know Big Joe and JP always make an a favorite venue look brand new.

2) Tiffany and George
This one knocked me off my feet. Look at the skyline… look at that *sky*. This is the blue light JP always talks about, and that sky turned such a warm blue after the sunset. Adding to the beauty of that picture was the coordinated, fashion-forward couple. I’m thinking Tiffany knows about blue light, and figured her dress would be just perfect. The other shots around town and on the cobblestone streets were just as great. You have to love engagement shots that make you say “Wait, this was all in the same city?” Overall, this session had so many different tones to it, and was extremely memorable. Tiffany and George added a little something extra to the skyline that night.

3) Jamie and Eamon
Have you noticed that the last two weddings I’ve profiled here have our lovely ladies wearing mermaid dresses, huh? Well, I have to say both these brides wore them beautifully!! I was looking forward to Jamie and Eamon’s wedding since seeing their engagement pictures. Jamie was a knock out. Her hair, make-up, veil, and her dress all had that retro-meets-modern feel, and still keeping a classic look. The whole bridal party looked amazing. There were too many great ones to choose from (aren’t there always?) but I really loved the ones with the Bentley – totally old Hollywood glam.

4) Natalie and Ryan
I have to show some love to one of my fellow blog stalkers here. I was so excited to see these pictures. After seeing their engagement pictures, can you blame me? Natalie was just aglow the whole day. And the colors? To quote JP “The colors were just so damn awesome”. Every time I see the picture of Natalie and her bridesmaids scroll atop the blog I can’t help but smile. Such happy colors. I felt like, without knowing them personally, you could feel their personalities jumping off the screen. Some of my favorites – the shots by the water and pier, and that beautiful blue light.

5) Connie and Peter
Just when you think “Ok this post is winding down…” NOPE! Big Joe and JP just keep throwing more our way. The tents were a piece of work even during the day, but they were really something else lit up at night. Loved the shots in the field with the black eyed susie flowers scattered everywhere. It’s so amazing they were able to do all of this at the Amedore house. And again, as the blog starts to wind down, BOOM… literally. The firework photos are some of the most amazing I’ve seen of fireworks period.

6) Clarissa and Neema
Not only did I have the honor of attending this wonderful celebration, but you might say I know the couple fairly well 😉
My brother and sister-in-law’s wedding day was just wonderful. I love love love the look in Neema’s eyes as Clarissa is approaching him, and then his elation at seeing her. The feeling of the day was pure joy – if a picture is worth a thousand words, then I encourage you to revisit the one where they are sharing their first kiss as husband and wife, you’ll see my mom cheering proudly in the background. And I can’t forget Paul – from the very beginning, it has always been Neema, Clarissa, and Paul, so it only made sense for Paul to be the man to give his mother away. Too sweet.

7) Elizabeth and Adam
I loved everything about this engagement session. Let me just skip ahead to the Brooklyn Bridge shots. Incredible. For as crowded as that bridge becomes, in most of those pictures you don’t notice anyone but Libby and Adam. That’s how you work a bridge, people! Really though, I *loved* these shots around downtown too, it looked like something out of a magazine ad with them standing in the middle of the road (completely at ease too, I rarely look that relaxed even just crossing a Manhattan street).

8) Melanie and Chris
Two words for this shoot: Sexy & Fun. Such a unique spot for an engagement shot, and this one was smoking hot (totally unintentional rhyme). You couldn’t have better props than old military planes, and a very photogenic couple to spice up the air museum. Melanie’s eyes draw you right in to the teaser JP posted, and Chris is definitely into his woman. You can see the connection and energy between these two for sure. Also, who else thought “Captain Elario” did a great job with the pilot commentary. Hilarious.

9) Keather and Brad
Rain. Who knew that rain could make *this* amazing a shoot? The shot of Keather and Brad under the umbrella is beyond incredible. In fact, if JP only took this one picture of them and went home, I’d say his job was done. That said, he had the rest of the session to shoot them as well, and those shots did not disappoint one bit whatsoever. Jersey City is beautiful, and the shots of Keather and Brad against the skyline were very sweet. But again, my favorites are the series in the rain. How many romantic movies have the couple throwing caution to the wind, embracing under a downpour?

10) Melissa and Jerome
Details, ladies and gentlemen! Details. Bright green details everywhere: her shoes, his socks, their cake, the candy station, their welcome basket, the hankies, you name it. Very well done without being overdone. Melissa and Jerome started their theme early with their save the dates (adorable, by the way), and continued through their wedding day. They essentially branded themselves here – their little JM logo was everywhere! Also, a bride who makes E blog stalker buttons is tops in my book. Their photos, much like their Boston e-shoot, were beautiful, and they both appeared totally relaxed the entire day.

11) Alicia and Frank
I might have mentioned about 30 times how much I love fall weddings, and this is a perfect example of why…
Alicia and Frank’s big day was quite calculated – from what I understand Frank really was hoping to have the peak foliage, and he really nailed it. The colors are amazing – the leaves, the bridesmaid dresses, the flowers – so crisp, so vibrant. A few of my favorite shots involve Alicia’s dad seeing her for the first time, and Frank watching his bride walk down the aisle. I adore seeing emotion and love like this just jumping off the blog.

12) Jessica and Phil
As if your engagement pics weren’t beautiful enough huh guys? 🙂 I really loved the details and colors of this wedding too. The flowers really tied in their bridesmaid dress colors. And while JP has a thing for the Casino, I have a thing for the Hall, so I couldn’t get enough of the shots out back by the water. But one of the shots I *really* loved was of Phil picking up Jessica in front of the Hall. The golden color behind them was just perfect. Reminded me of their e-shoot where Phil sweeps her off her feet.

13) Elaine and Dale
Closing out the season with another wedding that tied in some beautiful cultural traditions. This is also one of my favorite ring shots this season. Love each of her wedding outfits and hair styles. Color is the key here – the fall colors, the red, the gold – everything was spectacular, and Elaine looked so elegant all day. Their first look definitely choked me up as well – just perfect.

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order whatsoever and thank you JP for allowing so many) 🙂

1) JP and Kris Ann
Sorry JP, you *did* say I could choose from all the posts!! So although I think you belong in the list above, I’ll put you in this section. I know you’re not trying to steal anyone’s thunder – but you guys looked amazing. For all of us who have been fortunate enough to work with either (or both) of you, I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say we could not wait to see your big day! For all that you and Kris Ann do to make our days perfect, you two deserved all that and more for your own wedding day. It was so great to see you both on the other side of the camera, with the perfect flowers, gorgeous dress, and (your own) tux – you two looked spectacular, and so in love. We all have different reasons why we continue to blog stalk; to a great extent this is because we all continue to marvel at you and your dad’s talent. I also think all of us who have worked with you guys know what genuinely good people you are too. Frankly, we enjoy seeing people we like succeed, and be happy. To see some pictures of Kris Ann and your big day was such a special treat, and I thank you for sharing that with us all. 🙂

2) DMB
Truly, this is really among my top list too, but my list was getting long and I hate to bump any others. We all know how much JP loves DMB, getting to shoot this was such a treat… I love how he made shooting a Dave show analogous to shooting a wedding. It makes sense though – he’s been shooting weddings with Big Joe since he was 11, right? He knows when those magical moments are likely to happen during the wedding day. Same with a Dave show… how many shows have you seen JP? By now he knows every wince, every smile, every moment Dave is about to really break it down. This was so incredible you could almost hear it through the blog…

3) Lexie’s 1st year: Seriously, this pup has a lot of style (thanks to Kris Ann) and swagger. She’s a sweet little thing, and is ridiculously cute mugging for the camera. I really loved cooing over this post.

4) Kara and Paul – beautiful shots of the couple, and I just could NOT get over how they transformed Saratoga National!

5) Family/baby shots. I’m sorry. Your kids are all far too cute. I just couldn’t do it!!

6) Jessica and Jeff – I’m a sucker for grooms picking up their brides 🙂 Love the red flowers and shoes. Gorgeous gorgeous.

7) Marie and Chris – Lake George in the fall? Yes please! The shots of them with her shoes in the water is easily among my favorites here.

8) Deah and Chris – matching family tattoos, MJ figurine, jumping shots, lots of love, fun and beauty overall

9) Elisabeth and Jon – Adorable. Look at the loving, meaningful looks on their faces in all these pictures when they are gazing at each other. Among my faves – shots on the dock.

10) Recent addition – surprise engagement shoot. Words don’t even do this one justice. The list had already been compiled, but consider this one on a “favorites” category permanently. Amazing.

Big thanks to JP for inviting me to grace the pages of the blog. It’s no secret that I love the work you and your dad do, and it’s truly a honor to be a guest here. To the JEP brides, grooms, and families – thank YOU! I had so much fun revisiting all your weddings, engagements, and family shots of 2010. You ALL looked beautiful, and brought your individuality to each post. Hope the new year brings everyone continued health and happiness. See you all in 2011! Happy commenting and blog stalking!!! 🙂


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merry christmas!