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Anna & Peter, Married! | Four Seasons, Central Park, Eleven Madison Park

I had the honor of photographing a most beautiful, intimate, and perfectly planned family wedding. You may have already read a little about their love story through their West Village engagement session. They envisioned a day when all their family members could come together from across the country and from China, over some of the best food that New York City’s fine dining scene has to offer. The small wedding allowed them not to be over stressed, and allowed them to pay ample attention to each guest who attended. Everything was super classy, from the garden flowers that perfectly matched the garden wedding ceremony, to Peter’s modern blue suit, to Anna’s breathtaking Vera Wang dress, to the artful way all the food came together, this wedding represented all the best that New York City could offer. While they had met at Harvard and were friends, sparks did not fly until after graduation. Anna and Peter joke that the workplace they shared was their matchmaker. I was so touched to see how happy everyone was for Anna and Peter at this wedding. From the enthusiasm of their ring bearer, to Anna’s sister’s and mother’s constant doting on every detail to make sure everything ran smoothly, to the many toasts that everyone offered, it’s very evident that these two are extremely talented, accomplished, and their families are very proud of them. We could not have asked for a more perfect day, the whole city was buzzing with energy under the summer sun. Congratulations you two and thank you for having me!

Everyone got ready at the Four Seasons hotel

Reiko is one of the hardest working, detail oriented make up artists I have met. She made Anna (who is already beautiful) look every bit the flawless beauty she is

So it’s no secret I LOVE veils (wore a cathedral length to my own wedding) and love playing with veils. There is no other time in one’s life when you can wear a veil, and that’s why I find it so special

Central Park – as usual – was packed on a weekend. However, the crowds are so nice and ever accommodating to allow us to get some photos. Thank you nice people visiting Central Park!

We then took the car up to the Conservatory Garden

One… last… dress shot

Here’s the wonderful thing about the Conservatory Garden. It is a beautiful, tranquil oasis of flowers and beauty in the upper east side of Central Park, away from the crazy hub-bub towards the south end of the park. Call ahead to reserve your time to get married there before it books quickly

Anna’s father got emotional during the vows

All the guests in attendance. Did I mention I love intimate weddings?

The wedding was held in the private upper room of the Eleven Madison Park restaurant, and you can see everything that happens in the restaurant below. Once the videographer and I set up our lights,we had to close the curtains so we would not disturb the other dining guests

Some fabulous appetizers

Anna and Peter treated there guests to a great tango dance

Thank you to the chefs at Eleven Madison Park for a) making the most amazing filet mignon I’ve ever tasted in my life b) allowing me to go into the kitchen for some behind the scenes photos

Originally I wanted to get closer to the twinkling lights for this photo but the Madison Square Park people closed the gates. Still, I think this picture is pretty sweet

Photographer: Saavedra Photography
Wedding ceremony: Central Park Wedding
Wedding Reception: Eleven Madison Park
Wedding Rings: David S. Diamond
Wedding dress: Vera Wang
Wedding shoes: Vera Wang
Groom’s attire: Hugo Boss
Bridesmaid dress: Ralph Lauren
Florist: Artsy Flora
Hair and Make-up: Makeover with Reiko
Invitations / paper: Crane & Co
Officiant: Valerie Coleman
Videographer: Frank Ahn Films
Earrings: Ben-Amur Bridal at Thomas Laine

Saavedra Photography on Facebook Instagram
Based in NYC | photographer of celebrations of love and life | champion of helping everyone see the beauty I see in them

Carmen + Brian + S

Let me tell you about one of the wonder women in my life.

I first met Carmen, of So Graceful Photography, when she assisted me at Lisa and Dan’s wedding. All you need to know about her, is that she absolutely embodies the concept of light and love, and kicks life’s butt. In fact, in years when I felt super down, she would send me encouraging messages, leave loving comments on not-so-happy photos I post. She is one of the reasons I’ve grown up, grown stronger, and become more adult in the last couple of years. There’s so much she is teaching me, and I learn from her every day. Oh, and the fact that she rocks pink hair basically makes her my idol.

I photographed Carmen, her daughter S, and her fiance Brian as part of my mini session marathon in October 2015. As most mini sessions go, given their very short length – 15 minutes – I set the expectation that usually only one great photo comes out. I met both S and Brian for the first time that day, and boy was I nervous. Nevertheless, it became apparent immediately that there was something magical about this session. When sessions are magical, it’s not my doing. I firmly believe that what makes photographs are the personalities of the people I am photographing. So please enjoy the photographs of one of the best love stories I’ve gotten to know. Thank you Carmen <3

Saavedra Photography on Facebook Instagram
Based in NYC | photographer of celebrations of love and life | champion of helping everyone see the beauty I see in them

Discovering the holy land, Israel

We did a 7-day driving circuit of Israel, pretty much hitting every part of the country we could safely go to. You need to be a skilled driver and know where you’re going. For most people I say, go with a tour group. You can check out my more detailed travel guide towards the end that will provide travel estimates and highlights to see


Masada and Qumran Caves


Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, and other sites of Jesus’s ministry

Zefat / Safed / Tsefat – the city on a very steep hill where our name, “Saavedra” comes from

Haifa’s Bahai’i Temple and gardens

Sunset at Tel Aviv

Please enjoy my travel guide by clicking here

Don’t forget to enter my Valentine’s Day contest for a free shoot (psst there haven’t been any entries yet as of 1/31 so you could very well win)

Want to book me as your wedding photographer? Please remember that I can only work Sunday weddings!

When in Rome

My favorite photos from my trip to Rome over Christmas, 2015. Up next: Israel, Istanbul, and Athens. Scroll to the bottom to find my travel guide with highlights, timing, and restaurant / hotel recommendations

Trastevere neighborhood

Basilica Santa Maria Degli Angeli (foot photos is from another basilica)

St. Ignatius / Chiesa di Sant d’Ignazio

Sant’Andrea della Valle

Trevi Fountain

San Giovanni Basilica

The Coliseum The Vatican Museum

The Roman Forum

St. Peter’s Cathedral

More random photos

Please enjoy my travel guide by clicking here. I’ve been writing these very detailed long-form travel guides since my Japan trip of 2014. I hope that it will help you have a great trip!

NYC 2016 Valentine’s Day Love Story Contest

Valentine’s Day for me has always been about all kinds of love, not just the romantic one. I am pleased to announce that I am offering one free morning photoshoot to the best submitted Love Story.  If your story wins, you get a free photoshoot with this person

Contest Rules

- Must be age 18 or older to enter and based in the NYC metropolitan region
- What is shared in the love story may be published as part of the photoshoot blog
- All entries must be received by 11:59PM EST, Wednesday, February 10, 2016
- Photoshoot subjects must agree to allow the publishing of photographs resulting from the shoot and be willing to be tagged in these photographs on social media
- All entrants who submit their love story will be added to the Saavedra Photography mailing list, which sends out emails once a month or less. You can unsubscribe at any time
- Grand prize winner will be contacted on Saturday evening, February 13, 2016, and later announced upon acceptance of the prize

Grand Prize

- The Love Story that wins will receive a 90 minute photoshoot at a mutually agreed upon location in Manhattan
- Winners can be past and/or current clients of Saavedra Photography but may not apply the value of this photoshoot to a currently signed contract
- The winner must confirm acceptance of the grand prize within 48 hours of the winner announcement, which will be via email
- Winner will receive all the completed digital files from this session
- The photoshoot is timed for shortly after sunrise, 6:45AM, on February 26, February 29, March 1 – 4
- This photoshoot is valued at $600
- The grand prize cannot be transferred to another recipient
- Not sold on a morning shoot? See these shoots for further proof why they’re awesome – no tourists in your photos, fewer cars, and great light

To Enter

Send an email to shang@saavedraphoto.com with the following:

1. You and the other person’s full names
2. The Love Story which answers the following two questions: Why do you love this person, and how has this love story changed your life? 500 word limit
3. Like the Saavedra Photography Facebook page if you have a Facebook account
4. Follow the Saavedra Photography Instagram if you have an Instagram account

Good luck and I can’t wait to read your stories!


The chorus of the song “Army” written by Ellie Goulding, intended for her best friend, applies to me and my husband. I moved around too much to have one best friend, even through college. This marriage is meaningful to me because I finally have one person with whom I will travel and move for life, and I have a Best Friend.

Take the most recent visit we took to Israel. The Masada was the highlight of my trip to Israel, it is a physical testament to human determination, ambition, conflict, and sacrifice. The Masada is most famous for its system of cisterns, one of which one could climb down a steep set of stairs at least 3 stories tall. The stairs are not perfectly made, they’re uneven, guarded by a rusted steel railing that extends away from the stairs, with ample room for someone to slip through.

I’m afraid of heights. Always have been. My husband went ahead of me and down the stairs first, piquing my curiosity. However, he quickly climbed back up and told me to explore it by myself. I asked him to come with me. He said no. I groaned.

With my knees shaking, my knuckles turning white, I gripped the railings of the steep stairs as I inched downwards. These bars were spaced too far apart, I mused. I could fall through them at any moment. I stopped halfway down and whimpered. I was ready to give up. I was going to fall. I was going to die. Did he not care? He sat at the top, encouraged me every step of the way, told me I was doing great, and reminded me that there was a great picture I could take at the bottom.

I finally made it to the bottom and was able to take some photos. Then I self-timed a photo of myself. It was one of my favorite photos of the entire trip. The feeling of having conquered my fear for that brief moment was empowering.

There are many ways in which I love my husband. This marriage has completely changed me for the better, trained me intellectually, emotionally, physically, to be the best version of myself. This was what I prayed for – a marriage that would defy all expectations, in which I am loved for everything that I am, and everything that I would become. Relationships and love are hard, but shouldn’t be so hard that it makes me give up the most important parts of myself. Through our marriage, I’ve been able to focus like I’ve never done so before.  The right relationship is built on shared beliefs and values. And marriage, above all, is built on commitment. A lifetime commitment is a war against the other side of temptation, strife, failure, disappointment, and conflict. And I’m standing with an army.