The last time I saw Kristen Somody Whalen was our wedding day, in June of 2012. She’d shot our rooftop-lounge engagement party in NYC, and everyone—including Philip and me—thought she was one of the coolest people ever (in addition to being a celeb-caliber photographer). Just what we were hoping for! We signed her up for our wedding, excited to spend time with her on that most important day. And what a day it was: sunny and warm, a light breeze; our boardwalks and tents in the lush field at Philip’s family’s farm; our horses around us for the ceremony, beautiful stalls under the tent; open-air sunset cocktail hour, then into the reception tent; swing band and family-style feast, while the fields around us glowed with fireflies; guests leaving with jars of our bees’ honey, through the enchanted birch grove lighted with paper lanterns.
Kristen captured it all, including the exuberant preparatory chaos. One thing that happens when you have a handsome “bridesbro” in your wedding party and you invite him to get ready with the girls: your bridesmaids convince him to recline on a bed while they feed him chocolates, brush his hair, etc.
Then later, as you’re writing a note to your soon-to-be husband, preparing to put on your wedding dress, you hear giggling from down the hall, your photographer’s assistant runs in and grabs one of the dozen red roses your beloved sent you that morning, and you wander down the hall in your robe and discover this scene:
Well, we wanted everyone to have a great time at our wedding…
Here we are as newlyweds, with Grappa:
Kristen came to the new farm to document its current state: perfect for that genre of photography that takes derelict buildings and abandoned places as its subject. She captured the eeriness and junk and wild tangles of vines, and all the gorgeous textures—weathered wood, rocks, old metal latches. Even the bright shag carpet and curling, flowered wallpaper made for great pictures. In the old barn and farmhouse, she kept saying a fashion shoot needs to happen there. I’m all for it!
She’ll shoot more in the summer, and there’s even talk of photography workshops at the farm. Here are a few of her pictures from this round.