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“Did you guys miss New York?”
This is one of those questions we have been asked by everyone since moving back East. And it’s a good question, but the answer is complicated… When we moved to Colorado in 2016, we were veryready to move. But it wasn’t because we hated NYC, it was just time. It was time to be in nature and time to be in an unknown place together. Big moves like that can make or break a relationship, and for us I guess we got lucky.
When I first moved to New York City a few years before that, I barely knew anyone and the people that I did know were in different boroughs. Despite always having the city close by, the UWS was as much of a mystery to me as if I had moved to Los Angeles by myself. I learned a lot about myself in that first year while I was getting my MA and living in a tiny studio apartment on 105thStreet. It was just me and Riddle, a mini fridge, an oven that leaked Carbon Monoxide, and a sort-of-view of the Hudson River if you hung your head out of the prison-sized window.
I was still living in that death trap of an apartment when I met Terrence. I was riding out my lease before moving farther uptown, but I can still remember one of our first dinners together there. We were eating on the couch because I only had one dining room chair and Terrence was cautioning me about how he didn’t eat onions, fish, tomatoes, etc. I had no idea how to feed such a picky eater, so I just went ahead cooking like I normally did anyway. How far we’ve come since those days.
For as much as I learned about myself being single in NYC, I think we learned as much about each other when we made the move to the mountains together. We had very few connections in CO when we first moved and had to learn how to lean on one another in ways that we hadn’t before. Even though we had lived together in New York, we always had additional roommates (such is life in Manhattan). We had a very familiar neighborhood in New York filled to the brim with drinking buddies, walk-able pubs, and enough libations to stay busy until 4am any time we felt like it.
We landed in Colorado and everything quieted down. We only had each other and our little cottage. We found ourselves less intrigued by urban life and much more content hanging at a local brewery in town with a couple beers and a board game. We got bikes and went hiking, we spent afternoons at the dog park and evenings cuddled up on our couch. Life was good and it was hard to miss NYC at that time.
We were still flying back East multiple times a year for weddings and holidays. We were always happy to come back to familiar faces and good ethnic food. Distance helps you weed out the drinking buddies and bring family to the surface, or at least that was the case for us. Don’t get me wrong, we can still throw back a few shots at a dive bar, but suddenly, we were more interested in making a push for spending time with our siblings instead.
Our decision to move back was multidimensional. We are looking to buy a farm to turn into a wedding venue and the numbers just weren’t adding up in Colorado. The real estate market there was pretty volatile: we were part of a huge boom of fellow transplants making the Rocky Mountain move and we got in too late. By the time we were ready to look at properties, everything was selling above already-high asking prices. Zoning was a nightmare, and anything with a mountain view was just plain cost prohibitive. With the average all-in price of a CO wedding coming in at $26k and NY suburbs at roughly $65k+, we weren’t about to take that kind of business risk just to keep our beloved mountains in our backyard.
So as you all know, at the end of September we packed up our little cottage into our Highlander and drove back East. Animals and cameras in tow, we hit the ground running—getting married, wrapping up busy season, and honeymooning in Jamaica while settling into a new house. We are finally slowing down (but not for long).
We’ve moved into a cute yellow house in East Northport, five minutes from Terrence’s dad and stepmom. We went from a 550sq foot cottage to a real house, which after a few Salvation Army raids is beginning to feel like a home. We are living well by Long Island standards: fenced-in backyard, walking distance to the LIRR, and a ten-minute drive to the North Shore.
Despite being an hour train or car ride from the city, this is a very different lifestyle than when we were actually living in NYC. We are very much in a commuter / family town. The delis and pizzerias are good, but that’s about it in the way of local flavor and small town charm. It is nice to be closer to family again. We have been into the city a few times and it’s been great. We hit The Whitney for the Andy Warhol exhibit and gorged ourselves on international food. We ride the subways like nothing has changed, and traversed up and down the blocks with the sharp cold air lingering on our cheeks.
New York will always be our city, even though if we’re being honest I don’t think I’ll ever live in it again. It doesn’t fit our lifestyle, business trajectory, or relationship anymore. In a perfect world, we won’t be on Long Island for very long, either. We would love to end up on a farm in Bucks County PA or upstate NY. We have big dreams of hosting weddings, homesteading, and photographing more and more amazing couples. We envision an old barn, a big fireplace, chickens and kiddos running through the fields, and a labor-of-love property that gives us as much as we give it.
So the short answer is, yes we missed New York but we also miss Colorado. We like walking through museums as well as walking up mountains. We love our family here and love our friends in CO. We miss the big western skies and the “300 days of sunshine” that we got so used to. But we’re glad to get a decent bagel again. We are lucky because we get to experience such a range of landscapes, and because of our business, we don’t have to choose one or the other. We get to go back to the Rockies for work and play, and in the meantime we are stoked to start to look to the future to find the quirky farm venue that will turn into the biggest passion project we’ve taken on so far.