Saavedra Photography, a photographer based in NYC bio picture
  • Welcome to the website of wedding photographer Saavedra Photography (formerly known as Shang Chen Photography) Enjoy your stay, I'm glad to have you visit! I photograph couples who love life, each other, and express it through genuine, energetic personalities.

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Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

After some internal debate and getting feedback from friends, I’ve decided to blog my honeymoon in Japan by 5 “Art of” themes rather than in a travel guide-like format. This is because I think it’s a better way of tying together the imagery I had created. If you’d like a view into my suggested itinerary and travel tips and must-sees, never fear, I’ve created a Google Doc in public form where you can view and download for your own edification.

I decided to start my 5-part series about Japan with the Art of War. One thing I didn’t realize going into the trip was how violent a history Japan had, with its feudal system that essentially had the island kingdom divided into various city-states for many centuries. Indeed, they were lorded over by samurai – who fought as soon as they could with firepower (muskets) rather than swords. For this reason, there are several spectacular castles you can still visit today in Japan that show the military technology of the time. I also highly recommend watching Akira Kurosawa’s movie, Ran, if you want to see Japanese battles in action. It’s a wonderful movie, epic filming, and a great interpretation of King Lear. One of the castles we visited on this trip – Himeji Castle – was used in the movie.

Matsumoto Castle is a gorgeous castle that you can visit when you are based in Tokyo, it’s about a 2.5 hr train ride into Nagano Prefecture
The main castle keep (the tall building pictured) also has a secondary donjon attached, and a poetic moon viewing platform

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan matsumoto castle 04 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

We walked through the city of Matsumoto and came upon these guys

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan matsumoto castle 01 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

My favorite part about the castle is its black wainscoting – which earned it the nickname of “Crow Castle”
This castle’s keep is empty and retains its original structure – you can go inside and climb the entire structure and see how it was used in war. We were really lucky to get an English guide that day who taught us a lot of unique facts about the purposes of different windows, slots, floors, etc.

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Nagoya Castle is one of the castles you can visit while you’re making your way from Tokyo to Kyoto

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There is currently a large project underway to restore the lower palace. Right now you can see some of the replicas of the beautiful tiger silk screens

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan nagoya castle 01 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

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These golden creatures are called tigerfish, though I prefer to call them dragonfish. They are often placed at the edges of a roof on the top of a castle. Nagoya’s happened to be made of gold leaf

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NYC photographer Saavedra Photography samurai1 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

The last castle we saw was Himeji Castle, one of the most famous Japanese castles

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan himeji castle 01 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan himeji castle 02 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

The main castle keep is still under construction so we could only wander the outer defense walls – which were used both to house concubines and could also be easily moved for defense purposes NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan himeji castle 03 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan himeji castle 04 Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

Not to end on a complete somber note, but we took a whole day to visit Hiroshima and its Peace Park as well as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Given the devastation that the a-bomb had inflicted on Japan, I was very surprised to find how the museum presented all the facts in as unbiased a manner as it could. It was raw and painful, but not hateful. Ultimately, the museum and park stand as testament to the horrific effects of using nuclear weapons, and I agree with their stance that these weapons should never have to be used on anyone

Since the Art of Peace is my next blog post, this is meant to be a transition to that blog post NYC photographer Saavedra Photography japan hiroshima bomb dome Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

Don’t miss these related blog posts and links

0. Shang’s Japan Travel Guide (Google Doc) 

1. Japan Honeymoon (1 of 5) | The Art of War

2. Japan Honeymoon (2 of 5) | The Art of Peace

3. Japan Honeymoon (3 of 5) | The Art of Specialization

4. Japan Honeymoon (4 of 5) | The Art of Rain

5. Japan Honeymoon (5 of 5) | The Art of Spirits

Shang Chen Photography has rebranded to Saavedra Photography
she takes photographs of celebrations of love and life
Based in NYC | Open for select photography commissions on Sundays only

enjoyed this blog? make me smile and follow me on Facebook for my latest work and announcements for special shoots and contests!

Laura, in(SP)ired | Greenpoint Brooklyn Fashion Session

I’m pretty excited to finally post these photographs from Laura’s in(SP)iration session that we did around her rad Greenpoint neighborhood in Brooklyn. Laura is extremely talented and accomplished. I first met her through friends when I learned that she is the co-founder of the awesome lingerie company, Flora Nuit, which brings you unique collections from designers all around the world at private shopping events – be sure to check them out and go shopping for some beautiful underpinnings! Second, Laura also blogs about fashion at BrokeSnob and it always makes me want to travel!

For Laura’s session, I really wanted to capture her beauty, her sense of style, and the unique neighborhood she lives in. It was also the first time that I got an up close and personal look at an Hermes Kelly bag (be still my beating heart). Please enjoy these photographs. If you are in the NYC area, please contact me if you’re interested in such a shoot. I’m taking a couple of commissions for fall!

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography laura inspired brooklyn fashion photography 02 Laura, in(SP)ired | Greenpoint Brooklyn Fashion Session

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography laura inspired brooklyn fashion photography 01 Laura, in(SP)ired | Greenpoint Brooklyn Fashion Session

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NYC photographer Saavedra Photography laura inspired brooklyn fashion photography 07 Laura, in(SP)ired | Greenpoint Brooklyn Fashion Session

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography laura inspired brooklyn fashion photography 08 Laura, in(SP)ired | Greenpoint Brooklyn Fashion Session

Shang Chen Photography has rebranded to Saavedra Photography
she takes photographs of celebrations of love and life
Based in NYC | Open for select photography commissions on Sundays only

enjoyed this blog? make me smile and follow me on Facebook for my latest work and announcements for special shoots and contests!

Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding

With their first official date across the Atlantic Ocean in Barcelona followed with years of long distance, Teresa and Bill finally wed together on a gorgeous day in Boston with big smiles on their faces. Their happiness and enthusiasm was contagious, I really enjoyed being at their wedding and partying it up with their friends. You can see how much they care about each other in the way they hold hands, look at each other, and enjoy life together. For example, when Bill visited Teresa in Seattle for a weekend, she surprised him with a trip to the Boeing factory because he loves airplanes. In turn, Bill undertook one of the most analytic tasks known to man – finding the perfect diamond ring for Teresa. He did deep research into the 4Cs and as you will soon see, he did a super, fantastic job finding something that would grace and enhance Teresa’s beauty. I am so excited for these to embark on a life together, and I know there will be countless adventures in the future once you find your new home!

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 four seasons boston wedding portraits 03 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 four seasons boston wedding portraits 01 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding

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Did you know that if you send your wedding invitation to the White House, you get a card back from the President?

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I love all the beautiful lace details and flowers in Teresa’s Oleg Cassini dress. Her veil was so soft, ethereal, and feminine, just like her. There was a lot of romance in this wedding

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Teresa and Bill bent tradition and got ready together at the Four Seasons Boston hotel. I love this sweet moment in between them

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First look at the grand staircase

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Their wedding was right at the peak of peony season (late May through early June) – and these beautiful, pink layers were a dream. Table & Tuulip did a fantastic job on all the flowers!

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Teresa – you are so beautiful, inside and out! NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 four seasons boston wedding portraits 14 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding We went outside to the Boston Public Gardens for more portraits

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NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston public garden wedding photos 03 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding

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NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston public garden wedding photos 01 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding

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We had to bribe the flower girl – a daughter of Bill and Teresa’s friend – with lots of cookies

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As the officiant spoke during their beautiful and intimate wedding ceremony, I couldn’t help but smile at seeing how much Teresa and Bill were in love, looking at each other

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston four seasons wedding ceremony 02 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston four seasons wedding ceremony 03 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston four seasons wedding ceremony 04 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston four seasons wedding reception 14 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston four seasons wedding reception 01 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston four seasons wedding reception 02 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding

Teresa’s friend made the table numbers, and the super adorable fish-shaped pouches held candy. Symbolically, the fish also stand for good luck

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The Four Seasons always has excellent food. Their wedding menu included lobster bisque and lobster ravioli to start, and guests had a choice of filet mignon or fish

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NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston four seasons wedding reception 04 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston four seasons wedding reception 05 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston four seasons wedding reception 06 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston four seasons wedding reception 07 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston four seasons wedding reception 08 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston four seasons wedding reception 09 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston four seasons wedding reception 10 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston four seasons wedding reception 11 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston public garden wedding photos 02 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding Thank you Teresa and Bill for having me at your wedding, it was truly an honor and privilege to know you guys and be able to make your dreams come true!

NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 140601 boston four seasons wedding reception 12 Teresa and Bill, Married! | Four Seasons Boston Wedding

Wedding vendors:

Photography by Saavedra Photography, assisted by Caroline Talbot Photography
Wedding venue and catering: Four Seasons Hotel Boston
Wedding dress: Oleg Cassini
Bride’s shoes: Tory Burch (a birthday gift from Bill!)
Wedding Rings: Blue Nile and Kay Jewelry
Groom’s suit: Indochino
Officiant: Stoddard Meldaho, Littleton, MA
Bridesmaid dresses: J. Crew
Groomsmen’s attire: Brooks Brothers
Hair and Make-up: Tammy Tan Hair and Makeup, Boston, MA
Florist: Table & Tulip, Boston, MA
Cake: Dessert Works, Westwood, MA
DJ: Michael O’Neil
Videographer: Caddigan Films, Boston, MA

Shang Chen Photography has rebranded to Saavedra Photography
she takes photographs of celebrations of love and life
Based in NYC | Open for select photography commissions on Sundays only

enjoyed this blog? make me smile and follow me on Facebook for my latest work and announcements for special shoots and contests!

 

7 month baby L in Central Park

Take one look at this 7 month old baby L, and you can’t help but fall in love with her. I’m so lucky I know her parents personally, as they are a wonderful, positive influence in my life. Thank you TJ and Kaitlyn for letting me spend some time with your family in one of the prettiest parts of Central Park!

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Those chunky thighs… I just.. I can’t…. NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 7 month baby portraits central park 14 7 month baby L in Central Park NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 7 month baby portraits central park 15 7 month baby L in Central Park NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 7 month baby portraits central park 16 7 month baby L in Central Park NYC photographer Saavedra Photography 7 month baby portraits central park 01 7 month baby L in Central Park And thank you to my friend Jimmy Z. for being such an awesome assistant, doing whatever it takes to get little L to giggle =)

Shang Chen Photography has rebranded to Saavedra Photography
she takes photographs of celebrations of love and life
Based in NYC | Open for select photography commissions on Sundays only

enjoyed this blog? make me smile and follow me on Facebook for my latest work and announcements for special shoots and contests!

Versailles Palace

If there is one day trip you should make while in Paris, it should definitely be to Versailles Palace! You need to take a commuter rail train (RER) that drops you off at the stop called “Versailles-Rive Gauche”. It’s considered a Zone 4 stop. Feel free to ask a customer service rep at a train station for help. Once you get off at the train station, it is literally a straight 5 minute walk to the palace (we took the diagonal Av. Nepveu / Av. de Sceaux route). If you want to avoid the large tour groups and give yourself time to explore the ground, go early! We got there around opening time and were able to quickly get tickets. Your tickets include a free audio tour guide that will then take you through the rest of the grounds quite easily. I would reserve about 4 – 5 hours for the palace itself.  People are pretty respectful about not hogging one spot too long to take a photograph

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The chapel inside the palace is one of my favorites

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The hallway of mirrors is what most people say is the most spectacular room in the palace

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There are also various small palaces on the grounds you can visit if you walk and find your way to them

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My favorite kind of cherry blossoms!

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The grounds are huge! To put it in perspective, you can fit three Central Parks in the palace’s backyard. There are some places where you can grab food

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Marie Antoinette built a hamlet on the palace grounds so she could pretend to be a poor farmer

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There are still live animals, including these gigantic bunnies!

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And that is the close of our European honeymoon! We leave for Japan in just a little over a week!

Don’t miss these related blog posts

1. How to travel well on a budget

2. Switzerland: Lucern, Basel, Bern, Zurich, and Geneva

3. Switzerland: Riding the Bernina Express

4. Switzerland: Riding the Glacier Express

5. Interlaken, Thun, GoldenPass train, and flying business class on SWISS

6. Lyon in 10 hours

7. Paris: Museums and Eats

8. Paris: The Beautiful City

9. Versailles Palace

Shang Chen Photography has rebranded to Saavedra Photography
Based in NYC | Open for select photography commissions on Sundays only

follow me on Facebook for my latest work and announcements for special shoots and contests