Bride and Groom at the Bowery Hotel
Susan Stripling Photography

Bride and Groom at the Bowery Hotel

At this 2013 wedding at New York’s gorgeous Bowery Hotel, the bride and groom took some time post-ceremony to take portraits on the bridal suite balcony. The couple live in Manhattan so I wanted to incorporate the city that they love into their portraits. I chose to create a double exposure that features both the couple and the city and I love the final photograph.

Meaningful wedding portraits

To me, wedding photographs are nothing if they’re not meaningful to the clients. I see many wedding photographers who seek to impose their "vision" on their clients, even if it’s not true to who the bride and groom are. Faux-fashion images with disgruntled brides and grooms staring in different directions, strange images of heads cut off by trees or traffic cones - I just don’t understand why anyone would want images of themselves not looking like, well, themselves! For that reason I strive very hard at every wedding I photograph to create images that ring true to the bride and groom. I want them to see themselves in their wedding photographs, not some version of themselves that I’ve invented for them. 

Getting to know your clients

Upon booking every single client that I have, I send a getting-to-know-you questionnaire.  This allows me to learn more about them!  I love getting to know my clients, as it gives me helpful insight into their personalities, likes, and dislikes.

I also send out a wedding day worksheet about six weeks to two months prior to the wedding day.  This lets me get to know more about what is important to them on the wedding day itself. That information helps me better tailor the day to their needs.

For example, the love these clients have for New York came out in the questionnaire they filled out.  Knowing that the city was important to them helped me tailor this portrait session to who they are as a couple, and as individuals.


Portraits at the Bowery Hotel

The staff at the Bowery Hotel is so excellent when it comes to portraits.  They go above and beyond to make sure the clients have a great experience on their day.  This extends to helping the photographer!

Just after the ceremony, the staff whisked us up in the elevator to the balcony for portraits.  It all happened so efficiently that it really allowed us to maximize the time we had for sunset portraits.  I especially love the balconies off of the suites at the Bowery Hotel.  The sun sets directly behind them, giving us ample space and light to create brilliant wedding day portraits!


Location: 335 Bowery, New York, NY 10003.

Keywords: New York City (207), The Bowery Hotel (33). 1/800; f/9.0; ISO 100; 200.0 mm.