Janelle Rodriguez Photography Blog » Award Winning Wedding Photographer

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I have been so lucky to have my hometown always supporting me and my craft. Every time I get an inquiry from someone that I went to the same high school with I’m tickled to think that their childhood was quite similar to mine. I grew up in a small town in central New York where everyone knew everyone and when I look back at those days, it was humbling. Although Erica has moved on from that small town living it was fun to reminisce with her. She told me about getting her degree from Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, life in the Albany area, and of course, meeting Justin. And I was excited to meet the man that has swept Erica off of her feet. We all met in Cooperstown, New York for their engagement session and Justin was exactly who I expected. He makes Erica light up. They laugh and play and that chemistry is easy to photograph, so thanks Erica and Justin, for making my job easy. It was so awesome to finally see them together and get a better understanding of their relationship. I’m very excited to watch them get married and live happily ever after. Congratulations, Erica and Justin!!

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Caitlyn & Gianni from Janelle Bonagurio on Vimeo.

This year I’ve been thinking a lot about ceremonies, symbolism, and promises. I’ve come to a point in my career that I can both shoot and listen to the officiant speak. At Caitlyn and Gianni’s wedding their priest spoke about the power of love and how we need more of it. And I completely agree, especially with current issues happening in the world, we need more faith in love. And what better people to join together to promise their lives together than Caitlyn and Gianni? These are two kind, humble, caring individuals that are both teachers and are passionate about knowledge. As friends of mine, I can tell you I have plenty of faith in their love. I couldn’t be more proud of it. They are perfect examples of strong companionship.

Caitlyn and Gianni met in a dive bar in Clinton, NY and spent the entire night talking. Several days later they went on their first date and I guess you would say that the rest is history. Gianni made a marriage proposal based on Caitlyn’s favorite animated short, Paperman. He had his students make paper airplanes with memories written on each one. He lined them on the stairs of their apartment and surprised her with each memory and of course, a ring!

June 11, 2016, I went to Caitlyn’s family home to photograph prep. Caitlyn was cool, calm, and collected even though it was down pouring. Yes, it was raining and REALLY raining. The forecast called for heavy rain all day long. But it didn’t really matter to Caitlyn and I give her so much credit for that. Her family was happy and her bridesmaids were having fun. And low and behold, right as everyone was finishing getting ready, the rain cleared out and the sun began to shine.

Caitlyn and Gianni got married at St. Mary’s church in Clinton, New York. They had an amazing ceremony with 3 kisses! I’ve never seen it before and it was awesome! After tying the knot, they exited down the church stairs to all their guests ringing bells. And you guessed it, rain rain go away! The day turned into perfection. We continued on to take photographs around Clinton and even at their new home. I was so glad to see it because Caitlyn had told me about it’s unique character and history. It was the perfect home for Caitlyn and Gianni.

The reception took place at Dibble’s Inn in Vernon, New York. I was happy to walk into a beautiful table of flowers, a seating chart, and an illustration that Caitlyn drew for their wedding. Yeah, amongst other talents she’s artist as well! All night long the most amazing playlist played clearly because Caitlyn and Gianni have great taste in music. Everyone was having a good time! Towards the end of the night, I will never forget the beginning to “Virtual Insanity” came on and people weren’t quite sure yet what was playing. I said “Jamiroquai!” and Gianni replied “Yes!” That wrapped up such an incredible day with great people. I am so happy for Caitlyn and Gianni on their new marriage and it’s going to be an amazing life together. Congratulations to my friends, Mr. and Mrs. Notaro!

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Photography: Janelle Rodriguez Photography

Secondary Photographer: Elisha Hill

Wedding Dress: Alfred Angelo

Ceremony Venue: St. Mary’s of Clinton

Reception Venue: Dibbles Inn

Catering: Dibbles Inn

Jaime & Zack from Janelle Bonagurio on Vimeo.

It was evident that Jaime and Zack were in love. I met them for the first time during their engagement session and although they stated they weren’t the best photo takers, each one taken was full-encompassing of joy, laughter, and love. Undoubtedly, that gave me the ability to predict a wedding that is inspiring and formidable.

Elisha and I packed our bags and headed to Watchung, New Jersey to find Zack and his brother Garrett setting up ceremony chairs. I took a look around at his parents house where the wedding day was taking place and I could not believe my eyes. The property was covered in pristine gardens, a pond, and even a tennis court where I pictured Zack growing up playing tennis. It was apparent that his family has been working hard to make their home into the perfect wedding venue for Jaime and Zack and they exceeded everyone’s expectations.

I headed to Jaime and where all of the girls were getting ready. It was no surprise for me to find Jaime in a completely calm state. She was ready. She was ready to marry Zack and enjoy the celebrations. I watched as the chatter and busy bodies bounced around the house but as Jaime revealed herself in that gorgeous dress there was a silence and awe.

Now I’ve witnessed a lot of wedding ceremonies throughout my career and every once and awhile one really stands out. Jaime and Zack had a beautiful exchange of vows and even had close friends and family members participate. The musicians were even Jaime’s students and traveled to play music for her wedding. This is the perfect example of who Jaime and Zack are, people who always make the effort to involve their loved ones and build strong bonds with those they care for.

The sun was setting and as I borrowed Jaime and Zack from their guests for a little photo session, I could sense their feeling of relief. They did it, they got married! The day was nothing short of amazing. The rain that some were worried about never came! They had a night full of fun ahead of them. And a lifetime of memories to create together. It was such a joy photographing Jaime and Zack’s wedding day and getting to know these two wonderful people. Congratulations to Jaime and Zack!!

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Photography: Janelle Rodriguez Photography

Secondary Photographer: Elisha Hill

Videography: Ian Applegate

Venue: Private Residence

Caitlin & George from Janelle Bonagurio on Vimeo.

I would have to say that the word electric sums up Caitlin and George’s wedding day. These two pharmacists met in high school and since day one have been crazy about each other. Both are intelligent and kind and are so supportive of each other. To the point that they would celebrate each other’s successes in academics all the way up to their careers. The day of the wedding I found Caitlin getting ready at Time for Me Day Spa in Clinton, New York. There was not a spot of nervousness but only excitement and certainty. Some of her bridesmaids made her a scrapbook that allowed me to take a glance into their history together. And it was clear to see that there was a tight group of girls about to witness Caitlin get married.

The moment that I saw George all cleaned up and looking so handsome, I could tell that he was just as excited as Caitlin. As the ceremony began at Hamilton College Chapel in Clinton, New York, I could see the tears rolling down George’s face. These are definitely my favorite moments, to see a man shed tears of joy because he is purely happy to be marrying the love of his life. From that point on the entire day with George and Caitlin was electric smiles. These two were so happy to be married and they were not afraid to show it!

After some fun photos at Root Glen at Hamilton College we headed to the Yahnundasis Golf Club in New Hartford, New York. The sun began to set and Caitlin and George’s guests we’re settling in with some cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The band Atlas introduced the newlyweds into a ball room full of George and Caitlin’s family and friends. The night was full of joy, laughter, and the essence of celebration. It was amazing to spend Caitlin and George’s first day as husband and wife together. And I will let all of the photographs speak for themselves. Congratulations to Caitlin and George on their new marriage! I know only the best things are in store for you as husband-and-wife!

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Primary Photographer: Janelle Rodriguez Photography

Secondary Photographer: Elisha Hill

Makeup Aritst & Hair Stylist: Jammie Sue Hairstylist & Makeup Artist

Preparation Venue: Time for Me Day Spa

Florist: Chester’s Flowershop & Greenhouses

Ceremony Venue: Hamilton College Chapel

Reception Venue: Yahnundasis Golf Club

Entertainment: Atlas

Catering: Yahnundasis Golf Club

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Spring has finally arrived and even hints of Summer is emerging. The day I met with Danielle and Michael the warm air welcomed us into Cooperstown, New York which just so happens to be one of my favorite places in this state. Cooperstown is a village full of beautiful historic buildings, parks, gardens, and various things to do. One of the most popular would be The Baseball Hall of Fame, if you’re a baseball fan you won’t want to miss it.

I met Danielle and Michael and was so happy to see two gleaming faces ready to enjoy the afternoon together. Crazy thing is, I shot a previous family member’s wedding and I clearly remember thinking to myself, “Man, I hope I get to shoot their wedding one day”. Danielle and Michael stood out! So when they reached out to me it was a “NO WAY!” kind of moment. I am so excited for their wedding, their marriage, to see their family again, and create some awesome photographs with them. Until then, cheers and congratulations on your engagement, Danielle and Michael!!

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