Ilene Squires Photography

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Vintage Harlem Engagement Shoot: Erika and Donald

Erika was researching Harlem photographers when she came across my website. Without knowing who I was, she then saw my own engagement pictures and immediately reached out to Jorge, who she had gone to college with. What a small world! Naturally, Jorge referred Erika back to me and it was a done deal. When she explained her concept about doing a Harlem Renaissance engagement shoot as a prelude to her upcoming wedding, I was over the moon. Vintage + Harlem?! Two of life's little treasures that inspire me to keep chasing my dreams as a photographer.

Donald and Erika will tie the knot on October 15th, in Memphis, her hometown. Both in medicine, they met by chance a few years ago at Vanderbilt's Homecoming Weekend, their beloved alma mater. Though Erika and Donald didn't know one another as students, they shared an undeniable attraction which has carried them through a long distance relationship (she's wrapping up her studies in Memphis and his medical practice is in South Jersey) and now, their journey to the altar. 

I met up with the lovely couple at the new, illustrious, Aloft Hotel, where they were spending the weekend. After a quick rendezvous in the hotel lobby, we proceeded on to the brownstone lined blocks of West Harlem. Later, we shot over to Lenox Avenue, where we took advantage of the landscape, and topped off the first round of their shoot in the historic Mt. Morris Park District. After a quick wardrobe change into an elegant pairing which channeled 1920's Harlem, we traveled to the Cotton Club. It's Spring, but it was freezing! So this last stop was a quick one but captured the essence of old Harlem, and the bride and groom to be. 

Erika and Donald, you are one handsome couple. Period. You epitomize beauty and brains and are so lucky in love, it made me want to get married all over again! I hope you revel in your images as much as I enjoyed shooting them. Congrats and love to you!

All images shot with my new Canon 50mm/ f 1.2

14 comments:

  1. Wow, you've outdone yourself. These are awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  2. leandrea cristis lockridgeApril 10, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    these are so beautiful! erika you are so pretty! congrats and much love to you and donald! can't wait to see you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. AHHHHH these are so nice!!! You look like Grandma in alotttt of these....gorgeous! I love them all, but the ones closer to the end are my absolute favorite!! Can we have like ten of those black dresses?? Those can be the bridesmaid dresses haha! LOVE IT AND YOU BOTH!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is so original and an appropriate prelude to your wedding. Pics are gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ilene these photographs are BEAUTIFUL. Seriously so gorgeous! Who did the styling? Everything is impeccably done.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks everyone. Erika is a real diva and knew exactly what she wanted, which made my job so easy! She scoured the net and local thrift shops to assemble her 3 looks. All thoughfully put together to tell her story!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I absolutely adore everything about this shoot! Please know I plan to share on the Facebook and Twitter pages of my site, BlackBridalBliss.com!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am Erika and Donald's wedding planner and designer. These images capture them SO well. They are so funny and fun together so I know you enjoyed shooting them. As I'm designing their Harlem Renaissance themed wedding your images get me more excited about their big day. I will shoot you an email to request copyrighted images that we can use on our blog and Facebook page.

    Erika and Donald you guys look FABULOUS!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Bridgette, please let me know when you publish to the net so I can post the link to my social media sites! THANK YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Absolutely adore these photos!!!! You are so creative. I love you two as a couple. Cant wait until the wedding!!!! My fav was the hat close up, the nose wrinkle on his face, and the lighting his cigar......that's real. Love ya sis-----Nicole and Kahil Cole

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great pics! Love yall both! - Big Al

    ReplyDelete
  12. These are beautiful, Ilene. You are so talented, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  13. These are absolutely gorgeous! I shared them on my FB page.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I LOVE IT !!!! these pictures are so great ! i agree you do look like Grandma. Yeah those would be the best brides maid dresses! CUTENESS !!!

    ReplyDelete