Two weeks ago, I had the honor of helping lead a free photography workshop for the emerging artist called IGNITE!  Organized by the incredible women of NJ Spark, IGNITE was designed to inspire, build community, and shine a light on the love of Christ.  God has freely blessed us in so many ways, and in turn, we want to freely bless others!  Over two days, 37 photographers gathered in one cozy farm house to learn all about posing, conducting meaningful client meetings, second shooting to grow your business, blogging, album design, and how it is never too late to follow your dreams.  We shared a pot luck lunch, photographed a gorgeous styled shoot, and indulged in way too much hot chocolate. Today I am excited to share a behind the scenes look into the workshop!  Enjoy reliving so many fun moments captured by Cassady Adams, Lisa Hibbert, Mekina Saylor, and yours truly below.

Jessica OH was kind enough to open up her cozy farm house in the Poconos for the IGNITE workshop!

The Leaders and Speakers from NJ SPARK!  Pictured from left to right: Cinnamon Wolfe, Cassady Adams, Mekina Saylor, Cassi Claire, Amy Rizzuto, Jessica OH, Deborah Ryan (not pictured: Lisa Hibbert)

I spoke on “How to Conduct Meaningful Client Meetings”.  A few of my favorite takeaways are:

  1. Show your couples you care about them right away by drafting a personal, upbeat, and informational initial response.
  2. Try not to “overdress” for your first meeting!  Think about the environment you will be in and what your couple might be wearing.  I often meet in coffee shops and opt for dark jeans, a cute top, and boots or heels!
  3. Bring samples of your work on either an iPad, album, or both!  Also make sure you have a contract handy so you can walk your couples through the next steps if they would like to book!

Mekina Saylor shared so many helpful tips on “How to Second Shoot to Grow Your Business”.

Cinnamon Wolfe dropped some serious knowledge about “Becoming Besties with Blogging + SEO”.

LUNCH BREAK…family potluck style. 🙂

Many of the attendees were kind enough to share reviews after the workshop!  Here is what a few had to say:

“The IGNITE workshop is so much more than a meeting of experienced professionals seeking to teach you their craft; it is like reconnecting with family. Although I hadn’t met most (almost any…) of the ladies before the workshop, they literally all greeted me with open arms, smiles and hugs. It was truly an incredible experience. I was tangibly “brought into the fold” 😉 The talks were informative, relatable and inspiring, and the styled shoot was so much fun! We captured some truly beautiful moments to add to our portfolios and made some lasting friendships that will help grow our businesses. Only a few days after the workshop I had already made significant improvements to my business workflow and strategy!  I hadn’t been to a workshop before and this experience has definitely set the bar very high. Thank you so much for everything ladies!” –Anne Molnar

“I was fortunate enough to attend the Ignite Workshop not only once but twice. From the first minute I felt welcomed and instantly at home in the presence of Ignite ladies. They indeed turn darkness into light. The first time around the girls generously shared their knowledge of posing, pricing, marketing and then answered numerous business questions long after the workshop time was over. No topic was off limits. I left with so much valuable information. The second workshop was organized in a similar fashion but also included a styled shoot where attendees could start implementing newtechniques right away. The workshop is great for both new and seasoned photographers. Doesn’t matter where you are in your photography journey, you will learn a lot, meet new friends and leave re-energized and motivated to move your business to the next level.”- Tanya Isaeva

“The Ignite workshop was one of the best things that I’ve ever done for my business. The girls were a complete open book and everyone was friendly and helpful. I learned about business, posing, finding balance, and ways to serve my couples well. Every attendee and presenter was kind, open, eager to learn something new, and so supportive of each other. An incredible team of vendors came together to create a magical winter styled shoot and the day was filled with positivity, and God’s grace.”

To hear more of the top takeaways from attendees, check out the Focus(ed) Podcast Cinnamon and her husband Paul put together here.

Cassi Claire shared all about “Mastering the Album Process”.

Deborah Ryan made everyone cry when she shared her inspiring and encouraging story about how it is never too late to follow your dreams!

Jessica Oh blew everyone’s mind when she revealed exactly how she captures authentic and emotional wedding portraits!

Ready to see more from the IGNITE workshop?!  Follow Red Oak Weddings and make sure to check out their blog tomorrow for a first look at the styled shoot!  It really was filled with so much magical snowy goodness!  A huge thank you to all the amazing professionals and models who generously contributed:

Florist – Kerry Patel Designs
Tables + Chairs – Beyond the Barn Rentals
Hair + Make Up – Nancy Caroline Bridal Styling
Calligraphy Signs – Penned By Alice
Jewelry – L Priori Jewelry
Bouquet Ribbon – Honey Silks & Co.
Dresses – Rent The Runway
Videographer- TONEmedia

If you think this looks like a blast and are interested in hanging out with us on a weekly basis, email me at amy@amyrizzutophotography.com for more information on joining SPARK!  We are a group of female photographers who meet every Wednesday from 12pm-4pm in NJ to pray for each other, spend time with Jesus, and of course, talk about photography. 🙂  We would love to get to know YOU!

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Amy Rizzuto is a NYC and NJ wedding photographer
who specializes in capturing the authentic joy of adventurous couples in love.
For more information visit www.amyrizzutophotography.com!

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Shin + Minami met when they were in the same class in elementary school and have been together for over 16 years!  Their love for each other was apparent in so many small ways. The sweet glances back and forth.  The way Shin carried Minami’s dress around the city without being asked.  The easy laughter between them (that was totally contagious).  It was a true joy to capture their gorgeous wedding portraits on the Brooklyn Bridge, at Grand Central, and on the Top of the Rock.  Enjoy reliving a few of my favorite moments from our time together below!

Want to see more pretty images like Shin and Minami’s Top of the Rock wedding photos?  Follow along on instagram and facebook!

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Amy Rizzuto is a NYC wedding photographer
who specializes in capturing the authentic joy of adventurous couples in love.
For more information visit www.amyrizzutophotography.com!

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Oh how I adore this sweet couple! Lia and Anthony fell in love in high school and spent many Friday evenings going on dates in Madison, NJ. This past summer, I had the pleasure of capturing some pretty photos in their hometown!  We revisited the train station, city hall, their favorite “date night” restaurant, and the streets where it all began. Enjoy reliving a few of my favorite moments from their Madison, NJ engagement session below!

Want to see more pretty photos like Lia and Anthony’s Madison, NJ engagement photos?  Follow along on instagram and facebook!

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Amy Rizzuto is a NYC and NJ wedding and engagement photographer
who specializes in capturing the authentic joy of adventurous couples in love.
For more information visit www.amyrizzutophotography.com!

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Spring is officially here and I am so excited to be gearing up for an amazing 2017 wedding season! YAY!  Before moving forward, I wanted to look back on a few of my favorite behind the scenes photos from 2016. Grab a cup of coffee and take a peek into how I go about capturing all the happy tears, sweet first looks, and carefree spins on the dance floor!

I will literally do ANYTHING to get the best shot…even if it means wading into a running fountain!

One of the perks to photographing so many weddings…you learn how to put on a veil!  I love being able to help out my brides if they need it on their wedding day.

Sometimes the best angles are up high…other times they are on the floor!

If a car comes, the couple will tell me right?!

Beth and Pete were married under the Brooklyn Bridge.  It was so romantic!

One of my favorite first looks!  There was a rainbow and everything!!!

While I am with the bride for most of the getting ready, I love taking time out of the day to also focus on the groom!

My second shooters look so cool, they often get photo bombed!  Thanks for being amazing Rosemary!

Large wedding parties are my jam.  The more, the merrier!

Maybe if I quickly jump into the water, Rosemary will be able to get a romantic shot of Lia and Anthony in the gondola!  #worthit

Showing off a few of my favorites to this gorgeous bride!

Hey ya’ll!  Over here please!!! 🙂

Family portraits with the prettiest reflective light!

Doing a little dress fluffing to make sure these gorgeous sunset portraits are PERFECT!

If possible, I love capturing iPhone photos of my favorite pose for instant sneak peeks!

It doesn’t get much more romantic than barefoot sunset portraits on the beach!

Double duty for Stephanie and Alex’s wedding as bridesmaid and photographer!

Just ONE MORE photo…I promise. 🙂

The 70-200mm is my go-to for being discrete during the ceremony!

Veil fluffing time!

Getting a little silly with the bridal party!

When the day allows for it, sunset portraits are my favorite!

RECEPTION TIME!!!

Seeing and catching up with past couples makes me so happy…especially when they have cute bumps to gush over! 

Sneaky sneaky!!!  Always looking to get a little extra height for epic dance floor photos!

Dance floor twirling!

Photo booths are the best…especially with best friends and rockstar second shooters like Mekina Saylor and handsome hubbies!

Attack of the uncles!  I love how Cristin is just laughing in the background. 🙂

When the bride and groom and half of their wedding party feels like family.

Sparkler exit conducting and air kiss practicing for the perfect “end of the night” shot!

To all of my sweet couples, THANK YOU for welcoming me into your hearts and for treating me like family on such a special day in your lives.  Capturing the beginning of your journey together is an honor and a privilege.  You have given me the opportunity to live out my dream, and for that I am forever grateful!  I LOVE YOU ALL!

Want to see more fun behind the scenes wedding photos?  Follow along on instagram and facebook!

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Amy Rizzuto is a NYC and NJ wedding photographer
who specializes in capturing the authentic joy of adventurous couples in love.
For more information visit www.amyrizzutophotography.com!

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Fran and Sam’s wedding at the Loeb Boathouse at Central Park was filled with classically romantic touches, a little sparkle, and so much love!  This sweet couple was married on a gorgeous fall day in November!  Fran spent the morning getting ready in a suite at the Lotte New York Palace with her girlfriends and all of their sweet kiddos!  Sam and his guys had a drink at the hotel bar before heading to Central Park.  Brilliant reds, yellows, and pretty pops of orange greeted the wedding party and guests as they made their way down the winding path from 5th Avenue to the Loeb Boathouse.  Fall was in full bloom in New York…and it was BEAUTIFUL!

Right after the sun set behind the buildings on the westside, Fran made her way down the aisle. The time had finally arrived to marry the man she had fallen in love with back in college!  Fran and Sam actually met at a cops and robbers fraternity party.  They were handcuffed together, forced to chat, and the rest is history!  The sweetest expression made its way on Sam’s face as he watched his gorgeous bride walk towards him and laughter and tears filled the room as they promised to spend their lives loving one another.  This joy filled ceremony was one of my favorite parts of the entire day!

The lights of the city twinkled through the windows and the wodden beams overhead brought a cozy feeling to the room. Family and friends were enjoying themselves, dancing the night away!  It was a magical celebration and one I feel so lucky to have been a part of.  Enjoy reliving a few of the incredible moments from Fran and Sam’s Loeb Boathouse at Central Park wedding below!

The Team: Photographer- Amy Rizzuto Photography, Second Shooter- Rosemary Green, Getting Ready Venue- Lotte New York Palace, Ceremony + Reception Venue- Loeb Boathouse at Central Park, Dress- Pnina Tornai, Shoes- Jimmy Choo, Florist- Arlene of Stefan Event Decor, Band- Empyreal Orchestra, Champagne Glasses- Kate Spade

Want to see more pretty images like Fran and Sam’s Loeb Boathouse at Central Park wedding photos?  Follow along on instagram and facebook!

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Amy Rizzuto is a NYC wedding photographer
who specializes in capturing the authentic joy of adventurous couples in love.
For more information visit www.amyrizzutophotography.com!

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