Apollo Fields Photojournalism

Running a Business with Your S.O.

Running A Business With Your Significant-Other | Husband and Wife Photographers | Destination Weddings Lifestyle Blog | Apollo Fields

I woke to the sound of a sweeping rain over Montauk Lake, spraying the French doors of our friend’s guest bedroom like the ocean smashing against a cluster of coastal rocks.  White caps shifted about the marina like tiny crowns of the sea as the wind buoyed the boats with a sort of smooth violence. Emerging from beneath the clean and warm white sheets of the bed posed a difficult task as Heather and I have been traveling up and down the eastern seaboard the past few days, but such is the hustle of the life of wedding photographers.  

Since this past Friday, Heather and I have spent over 20 hours in the car together.  As much as I love her, anyone who’s traveled that much with their significant other can imagine the frustrations that might arise.  Now imagine that your significant other is also your business partner.  Those 20 hours now sound like they could be that much more tense—and they absolutely can be. Yet as tired and frustrated as I have been (and still am) I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The sounds in our car during a road trip vary from Kendrick to talk radio, from laughter to earnestness, and business to barking dogs.  The mood shifts from conversation-to-conversation, state-to-state, and from day to night. Long road trips with a significant other are common litmus tests to see if the relationship is the real deal; but a long road trip for a professional and romantic partnership is an endless loop of perfecting the way you communicate.  Heather and I’s flare-ups range from disagreeing on something as trivial as choosing where to eat or when to stop, and something as serious as our next big business move.  But the most important thing is to keep the conversation going.

Ironically, sometimes the best way to do that is to embrace a silence.  So often we are quick to fill a void in time with mindless chatter, a podcast, or background tunes and we forget that our seemingly restless minds just wants us and our senses to shut the fuck up.  Silence can be a great teacher, and giving the space for the tensions of our relationships to dissipate into the air can prove to be much more productive than spewing whatever our egos or inner selves are dying to say.  Sometimes in a disagreement—no one person is right—and sometimes you both are. Taking the time to share a few moments of silence together has helped us more times than I can count.

This morning was one of those mornings when you wake up after you’ve traveled so much that you forget where you are.  The constant waves of rain gently splashing against the doors gave me a sense of ease amidst the chaos, reminding me that there’s always beauty to be found in any given situation.  Sometimes we don’t realize how fast we’re moving until we stop for a moment to look at how far we’ve come; then after we wipe the sweat from our brow, rest a little, and take a deep breath, we can go back to bouncing up and down in the tide, moving naturally with the wind through time with a sort of smooth violence.  

– Terrence

The Best of 2018 Wedding Photography

Apollo Fields Wedding Photography | Best of 2018 | Colorado and New York Weddings

Happy Times Lift All Spirits, Sad Times Fortify Them

As the rain continued to fall on that foggy, cool, northeastern October day, all I could feel was Heather’s cold hands. I remember holding them as our dear friend and wedding officiant, David Miller, recounted Heather and I’s relationship with his warm, welcoming voice. I can still see him smiling when I think about it. I can still imagine being hoisted up by my friends during the horah, even though neither Heather or I are the slightest bit Jewish. When I think back on it, every height we reached on our wedding day seems untouchable—like your most nostalgic childhood memory—only we were just a couple of adults in love.

Two months later and we were back in sunny Colorado but Heather’s hands were still cold. Only this time I looked into her shivering eyes and watched as she tried to speak through her quivering lips, still blue from the anesthesia. “I’m sooo cold,” she muttered, as tears ran down my cheeks like warm little streams of gratitude. “We’re going to be all right,” I told her. The laparoscopic surgery to remove the ectopic pregnancy from Heather’s Fallopian tube was a success, but it ran longer than expected, and just fifteen minutes earlier I was pacing in an empty hospital waiting room like I needed to be admitted to a psych ward. It was 6:00 am on Christmas morning and I’d never felt so devoid of emotion—my heart as vacant as that waiting room—yet there we were, still just a couple of adults in love.

As 2019 begins I can’t help but ruminate on these highs and lows and think of the constant, unshakeable love that saw us through all of it. The end of 2018 dragged my heart through depths that I never wanted to know, but just a month prior we were literally leaping with joy from cliffs into the aquamarine waters of Negril, Jamaica on our honeymoon. Life apparently has a funny way of teaching us important lessons—and by funny I mean unforgiving and agonizing. If it’s anything I learned in 2018 is how important it is to cultivate and maintain a steady love as much as possible—because one minute you can be celebrating with ease—and the next minute you can be holding the hand of the person you love in a hospital bed. It is only with a constant love that you can weather the harshest storms and ride the highest highs and always come out on top.

The rest of 2018 was filled with a medley of moments, both big and small, that made us grateful for everyone in our lives. From launching Apollo Fields, shooting Hailey & Mark’s, Don & Aaliyah’s, and Kate & Jeff’s weddings in Colorado, to joining all of them on their dance floors afterwards. To seeing my first moose and calf on a hike to Lake Isabelle near Nederland, Colorado! Not to mention the friends who came to see us off at our going away party at Sloan’s Lake and Oasis Brewing Company, affirming the quality of people that we are attracting into our lives right now. This was further proven in the endless red carpets that were rolled out during our traumatic December in Colorado while we were working through our ectopic pregnancy. I don’t know if we will ever be able to appropriately thank you all.

What I can promise you is that I will be there for all of you like you were there for us. Where happy times lift all spirits, sad times fortify them. Heather and I have never been stronger and for that I am thankful—to her, to all of you—I will hold your hands tightly when they are cold, and I will let them go to fly into the air when they are good and warm. I love you all.

Here’s some of our awesome couples this year! Ranging from Colorado to New York to Pennsylvania to Connecticut

Some of our 2018 Venues:

This One's For You, Colorado

September is here…

For someone who’s moving across the country and getting married in the next few weeks, I’m surprisingly calm.  The opposite of having cold feet, Heather and I are inching towards our departure from Colorado with equal parts celebration and anticipation.  Of course, leaving will be hard, but our two years in Arvada has only shown us that our ambition cannot be contained in our cozy cottage on Cody Street.

The friends we’ve made here caught us at a pivotal developmental phase of our relationship, and because of that they mean that much more to us.  From the dinner parties to dancing like idiots at Red Rocks, Heather and I have never quite had the community that we’ve fallen into here.  I’ve never felt more like myself than when Heather’s sampling sauce from her wooden spoon and I’m welcoming friends in through the front door.  To know that our Colorado friends have helped us realize that – these core parts of who we are – is to understand an achievement of friendship that we will never feel worthy for. 

It would be scarier to leave if we didn’t have such a solid plan in place.  When we land in New York on October 1st, 2018, we are emptying Joey (our car) into our interim home in East Northport, NY, on Long Island, and scooting over to Ramsey, NJ, to prepare Honeymoon Acres for our wedding.  It will be a week of tedious logistics where we will transform inevitable accidents and miscues into laughter and memories.  After that, we get married, cry, and party.  It’s that easy.

From there, we will take our wedding brand, Apollo Fields, into its next iteration: a wedding venue.  We dream of a lush green piece of land with a barn and a farmhouse with a long, wrap-around porch, complete with a swinging bench that creaks as you reminisce in those long moments before dinner is ready.  We see hard work and love coexisting in a space where relationships are honored as partnerships, and where friendship is built into the bones.  The best part about this dream is that we cannot only see it, but that it is fully within our grasp.

I’m not going to pretend to say that I won’t cry when we leave (mainly because I already have), but I will say that the hit won’t be as hard because we have so much to look forward to.  When we left New York for Colorado two years ago, we packed everything we cared about into Sacajawea  (our now deceased Subaru), and now as we return we will be doing the same with Joey.  With Riddle, Rumor, (and Limbo living the luxury life in a commercial trailer) in tow, Heather and I are turning the music up and making our way back home.  Who knows when it will hit us, as the tears began to pour as we drove over the George Washington Bridge last time, but I know that I’m ready for them.  This one’s for you Colorado.

 

Your Immeasurably Grateful Friends,

Terrence & Heather

(The Apollo Fields Family ) 

Cookbook Sale!

We’re also having a dope sale on our books to lighten our moving load! Click HERE.


Some of Our Favorite Memories in Colorado:

Photos Credited to our wonderful and talented friends:
Sam Hines
Kim Klein
Sarah Valencia

Wedding Photographers in a Wedding Party

Wedding Photographers in a Wedding Party

The night before my little brother Matt’s wedding, Heather and I held the rehearsal dinner on the porch of the farm style home at Handsome Hollow in Long Eddy, NY.  Hands reached across the table, snagging pieces of charred corn on the cob while friends and family snickered over stories and helpings of nostalgia. It was the first time Heather or I were in a wedding party and it was enlightening to view the wedding experience from the other side of the lens. 

            I never knew how it felt to stand at the altar during the ceremony, looking into a crowd of people as they stare intently, listening closely to a story of love, each person waiting for that one line to fall upon their ears and strike a chord inside their respective hearts – well now I know that it feels awkward.  “Does the way I’m standing look weird?” “Should I put my hands behind my back or lock them in front?” “Who should I be looking at?”  All of these thoughts prodded my mind, sending my body into an awkward shuffle in between the vows and traditions and it made me realize how all of our wedding parties must feel.

            As wedding photojournalists:

...We see people in their most intimate moments, vulnerable and exposed, and it’s our job to bring their emotions to the surface and capture them as accurately and as beautifully as possible.  Experiencing a wedding from our client’s perspectives helped us empathize with the subtly awkward moments of the day, whether it was standing at the altar or allowing someone to photograph you while you put your pants on.  These funny memories will help us help our future clients navigate their own insecurities assuring that we will be snapping away when their souls start to smile. 

            As wedding guests

...We sought to make the jobs of the vendors as seamless as possible; rounding up wandering family members for formals, keeping track of the bride and groom, and worst of all trying to keep my father, Jim, our oblivious “Uncle Bob” from popping into all of the photographs.  Lucky for us the photographer, Monika Eisenbart, was very go-with-the-flow, allowing my embarrassing father to double-click his time-stamped photographs in all his glory while she professionally snapped away.  Many guests overlook the hospitable hand that wedding photography requires and we were happy to help the hosts and vendors in any way we could. 

            When it comes down to it, weddings are about vulnerability and accessing emotions that are typically dormant in our hearts.  Whether you’re attending a wedding or photographing one, do your best to empathize with those around you and enjoy the awkward shuffles that happen on the dance floor, the altar, and everywhere in between.  That’s what love is all about.

Mary & Brad's Hudson Gardens Winter Wedding in Colorado

Mary & Brad's Winter Mountain Colorado Wedding | Hudson Gardens | Apollo Fields Photojournalism 

Springtime weddings in Colorado can mean flower blossoms, cherry trees blooming, tulips sprouting, or blizzards.  Mary and Brad got a little bit of everything on their wedding day in March at Hudson Gardens.  The day began with full blazing Colorado sun, and by the afternoon had grown ominous and cloudy, then the skies broke into rain, which became hail, which became snow.  It was crazy, but sort of perfect for them because they got SO many different looks for their photographs.  And Mary, especially, wanted snow.  So when the sun went down and we finally got these big huge snowflakes, we couldn't help but to run outside and snap some dreamy romantic snow pictures. 

I loved the modern and simple touches of Mary's lace wedding dress.  Personally, I've always loved lace sleeves, I think they are so classic and surprisingly sexy.  Less isn't always more, and I just love the way that a delicate sleeve can flatter our brides.  Her veil was also simple and classic, it was so fun to photograph through because of the shapes and textures that it creates, and her updo looked great with it on and off.  Modern boho braids showed off her blonde highlights and beautiful cheekbones. 

Their friends and family gathered for a sweet and heartfelt ceremony.  We got to snap fun photos of their friends all gathering together to celebrate and toast their new journey, while kids got to run around and play, and a big fireplace kept everyone toasty as the weather began to turn.  A cozy dinner and then dancing wrapped up their perfect night together, and everyone had such a great time coming together to celebrate their love. 

Hudson Gardens is a great venue for weddings year round because they have acres of countryside gardens with awesome mountain views.  There is a quaint red barn in the back of the property, which is one of my favorite rustic looks.  The farmhouse feeling on one side of the property is perfect for country brides and the cabin in the front of the property is a warm and rustic mountain look.  When the weather is nice, they have plenty of space to celebrate outside, among the trees and flowers and gardens.  With manicured paths and woodsy retreats, there are so many different looks that can be photographed at this venue!

Hudson Gardens Winter Wedding

The day started out as many Colorado days do in March:  A strong sun brought the daytime temperature well into the 60s and I got to ride my horse outside before heading out to shoot Mary and Brad's wedding.  

By the time the afternoon rolled in, so had ominous rain clouds that lingered, but stayed at bay while Mary and Brad arrived at Hudson Gardens with their family and bridal parties.  They say that rain on your wedding day is good luck, but Mary had her heart set on snow instead.  

Here's what I love about shooting in Colorado though.  By the time the night ended, we seemingly had all of the seasons in one day.  Soon after the ceremony, the skies opened up into a hard rain that felt like every element of spring, which was right around the corner, as the little flowers that have recently popped up through the mulch have suggested.  Then, for just a moment it seemed, the rain turned to hail, and then as soon as it started, morphed into big beautiful snowflakes.  Mary got her wish. 

Her elegant and timeless dress was so flattering, and classically beautiful.  I am a sucker for lace dresses with sleeves because I just think they photograph so well, especially when they flow on the bottom without being this big cumbersome and heavy dress.  Mary was able to dance and move effortlessly in her wedding gown.  And her veil was light, simple, and classy.  

The cabin at Hudson Gardens is cozy, with big fireplaces that were adorned with eucalyptus and other woodland greenery.  The floral design was modern, with little roses peeking out around the bolder flowers.  The gardens are beautiful, even in the off-season.  It seems rare to find cactus growing around the evergreens, but feels natural there.  

The big red barn in the back of the property rounds out the property to remind us of the working landscape and rural nature of a garden.  With big open fields and manicured tree lines, we just loved this space for bride and groom portraits.  Rustic details weren't forced in this setting, and the wedding guests had an amazing time celebrating and dancing the night away with their friends.  

Photography:   Apollo Photojournalism shot for Laura Anderson
Venue:  Hudson Gardens 

Bethany & Jono's DIY Wedding in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Bethany and Jono - Intimate DIY Wedding in Colorado Springs, Colorado | Union Printers Home | DIY Wedding Photographer

            When Heather needed me to second-shoot a wedding down in Colorado Springs I wasn’t particularly excited to spend a day in a predominantly conservative town, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Bethany and Jono’s DIY wedding in the Springs reminded me of several unexpected benefits of working in the wedding industry: exposure to different belief systems, the immersion of oneself into the intimate moments of another person’s life, and the power of a family to come together to get things done.

            The morning of Bethany and Jono’s wedding I found myself drinking coffee and eating biscuits in a stranger’s (Bethany’s mother) home, talking to a stranger (Jono) about his relationship with God.  While some cower away from polarizing topics like religion, my background in philosophy piques my curiosity into the mindset of believers. I quickly noticed that Jono was intelligent and relatable, making this dense conversation easily navigable as I openly questions and he provided thoughtful, honest answers.  Jono’s relationship with God was not based in fear but rather a means to hold himself accountable to the decisions that shape his life—it was refreshing to hear such clear insight to such a complicated subject.

            There we sat as the sun poured in through the living room windows as Heather snapped Bethany’s first portraits in her wedding dress.  Jono and I continued our conversation where just a few moments before he peered over the sunflowers in Bethany’s mother’s garden in her backyard during their first look.  It’s crazy that Heather and I are welcomed into intimate moments like these and even crazier than we can have substantive, meaningful conversations amidst the stresses and logistics of the day.

            In the garage, Bethany’s family were putting the finishing touches on the wooden benches that would serve as the seating for the ceremony and the reception.  The image of family members carrying the benches from site-to-site still hangs in my memory to this day like a glimpse into an Amish community or something.  It was like everyone was living in a town and each person had a role and did their part because they are part of a community rather than working for a wage.  That day the sun danced between the clouds, casting shadows for moments but never leaving us for too long.

            The day ended when Bethany and Jono hopped into an old, refurbished 1940’s car with their hands raised into the air.  We said goodbye in the parking lot and when Jono embraced me I saw a real sense of gratitude in his eyes as he appreciated the comfort of our exchange hours earlier.  His family stayed in South Africa and our conversation occupied his otherwise running mind and I felt tears welling behind my eyes.

            Open minds lead to connection and connection can alleviate the unceasing operations of our thought processes.  I’m grateful to meet kind people like Bethany and Jono and hope their families can build little towns like the one I watched them create on their special day in Colorado Springs. 

Apollo Fields: Let Us Tell Your Story

Apollo Fields Wedding Photography | Wedding Writers | New York City | Colorado

            It’s officially launch day for Apollo Fields, Heather and I’s new photojournalistic approach to wedding storytelling!  After working together on The Immeasurable Cookbook: An Ode to the Dirty Apron and countless weddings in between, our new installment, Apollo Fields, represents an extension of our brand, relationship, and ideology. 

            With a literal interpretation of photojournalism, Heather and I will work your wedding, capturing every moment in photo and word while we laugh and smile along the way.  Equipped with an intimate understanding of how to communicate with others both professionally and personally, Apollo Fields is a wedding experience that turns your wedding day into the story it deserves, providing a creative and hospitable service available nowhere else.

             Through creating The Immeasurable Cookbook and working on-site together, Heather and I have developed a love for telling stories.  Whether it was writing our first recipe together or dancing in Chautauqua Park with one of our favorite couples, Alli & Dylan, we couldn’t get enough of putting onto paper the stories that make our lives worthwhile.  Things come and go and people change, but we’ve learned that the way you feel at pivotal points in your life are the peaks of your personal story and they deserve to be more than fleeting memories.  Apollo Fields is a wedding service that eases your mind on the day of your wedding and delivers a handcrafted memento that brings you back to it in the years that follow.

            Invite us to your wedding and let us tell your story through the eyes of your loved ones.  Allow us to help navigate your experience photo-by-photo and sentence-by-sentence until your cheeks hurt from smiling and your stomach hurts from laughing.  When we arrive on-site we are less like vendors and more like family members, immersing ourselves in dance circles and listening to grandpa’s stories for the hundredth time.  Our goal is to let you spend these precious hours floating about your family and friends, sharing stories and reliving the memories that are usually tucked in the back of your mind next to your dreams.          

            Don’t let planning, logistics, or traditions get in the way of the celebration of your love.  Honor the people and institutions that have given you the smiles you wear today and don’t look back.  Keep your eyes towards the future and the adventures you will embark upon.  As for your wedding day – enjoy yourselves – and let us at Apollo Fields tell the story of your love.     

Boho_Bride_Madeleine_Fig_Wedding_Dress_Heather_Erny_Mountain_Weddings_Photography_Adventure_Bridal.jpg

Callie & Josh's Intimate Mountain Wedding in Rocky Mountain National Park

Callie & Josh's Intimate Mountain Wedding in Rocky Mountain National Park

There’s something special about reaching high altitudes after traversing treacherous terrain that rewards tired legs and beating hearts.  It could be as simple as endorphins being released from the exercise or something more complex like measuring our mortality against the backdrop of conquering massive mountains.  Either way, climbing mountains and taking in epic views defines the meaning of awesome.

Andrea & Arash's Destination Wedding in Punta Cana, DR

Andrea & Arash | A Story of Connection and A Relaxed Destination Wedding in the Dominican Republic

            The first time you meet someone you have no idea how big a role (if any) they are going to play in your life.  When I met my friend Mitch at SUNY Cortland, a state college in upstate New York, who would’ve guessed that several years later my fiancé and I would be the photographers for his wife’s sister’s wedding in the Dominican Republic—but as Kurt Vonnegut would’ve said about life’s unpredictability, “and so it goes.”

            In February 2017 Heather and I stepped off a plane into an overcast, muggy day in Punta Cana to head towards a resort complete with the canopied huts and aquamarine waters that define vacation prizes on game shows.  Eager to dip our toes into the warm water, we made it to our air-conditioned room, dropped off our stuff, threw on some flip-flops and swimming trunks and headed to the beach.  As we approached, Andrea and Arash were standing among family and friends, laughing and smiling in a relaxed circle of reclined beach chairs. 

            Between the telling of stories, their eyes lifted to meet ours and they gently drifted towards us with open arms.  I remember their skin being sandy and a little sticky but when you meet someone for the first time and their first move is to hug you rather than shake hands—you know you’re in good company.  We grabbed a couple of drinks from the poolside cabana and joined the circle as we quickly felt like part of the family. 

            We captured Andrea and Arash’s first look beneath an opal dome made of stone, it’s curves and edges as clean and crisp as the vest hugging Arash’s body.  Andrea’s smile shone like the bright glare reflecting off of the white granite floor—almost too beautiful and overwhelming to look at directly.  When they embraced and his arms wrapped around her lower back they whispered into each other’s ears the words reserved for lovers and their eyes slowly drew closed as their smiles pushed their eyelids into a happy recession. 

            Andrea and Arash carried this intimate gentle air all around the resort, strolling on scorching hot stones with the lightness of a breeze flowing across a rippling pool of water.  When they stood at the altar during their ceremony, the guitar strums of Somewhere Over the Rainbow followed suit and the stride of passersby slowed in relaxed admiration of a scene so serene. 

            To think that we would’ve never been in attendance of such an occasion without the meeting of two 18-year-old college kids in upstate New York over ten years ago is an idea that’s hard to wrap your head around.  It shows that life can bring you all sorts of places if you are mindful about the connections you make and the people you decide to keep in your life.

                          Dedicated to Andrea, Arash, and Kayla; Mitch, Diana and Maya.

We love you all.

Caribbean Destination Weddings | Andrea and Arash have their winter wedding in the Dominican Republic

I'm always up for a good destination wedding, but *especially* one in the Dominican Republic during the winter!  The weather was perfection and the company even better.  No better way to break up the cold months than a trip to the islands.

The best part about a destination wedding is that you are surrounded with the friends and family that you will probably have for life.  People make that extra effort to be there, and literally go the distance with you.  Plus you get multiple days with the people you are closest to, rather than just one day with everything packed into the course of a few hours.  

Planning a destination wedding can be surprisingly easy!  Andrea and Arash had an intimate wedding with small wedding parties.  The resort took care of a lot of the moving parts that usually weigh down the planning process.  Catering, cake, decor, room rentals, hotel blocks, DJ, and other vendors were essentially taken care of.  

Hiring their wedding photographer was one of the few vendors that they did not want to use the venue for, however.  It was really important to them to have timeless wedding photography and beautiful albums to look back on, and this was not one of the areas that they wanted to compromise on!  I couldn't agree more.  

Terrence and I flew down a few days early to ensure that we wouldn't have any problems with travel since international flights in the winter can sometimes get a little tricky.  Lucky for us because that is exactly what happened to a few traveling guests.  We flew from Denver International Airport to JFK to Punta Cana.  Little did we know, we just missed the big snow storm in New York!  Unfortunately, a few guests did get stuck in NYC airports and missed the ceremony.  

PLANNING AN INTERNATIONAL DESTINATION WEDDING?  

Always leave extra time for travel!  Flight delays, rental cars, all of these moving parts can go wrong.  We were so glad that we got down there early!  And it meant that we got extra time hanging on the beach and going snorkeling so that was also a bonus! 

Enjoy some of our favorite shots from the day!

Destination Wedding Photography:  Erny Photo CO | Apollo Fields Photojournalism
Venue:  Melia Caribe Tropical Resort | Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Jon & Jen's Destination Wedding at the Chateau De Frontenac in Quebec City

Jon & Jen's Destination Wedding at the Chateau De Frontenac in Quebec City

             Heather and I love road trips.  Being trapped in a car with someone for several hours is the ultimate make-it-or-break-it for a relationship and after the first one you pretty much know how the relationship is going to go.  We like to fill ours with silly games to pass time with the occasional deep talk about various human rights issues or whether we’d prefer to be a reincarnated as a carrot or an apple.  Our eight-plus hour drive from New York City to Quebec City was no different.