Taking off on an epic New York City honeymoon after getting married in Singapore, Azhar (the eagle-eyed lensman behind Alittlelightplay) and his wife Eza decided (rightfully!) that there was no better time to take wedding photos than during their Big Apple escapade. And when a wedding photographer gets hitched, it goes without saying that his own wedding portraits would be no less than phenomenal. Fadly from An Analog Affair, an incredible film-only wedding photographer and long-time pal of the groom, joined them on the trip to capture their journey through the city's amazing sights, from the Grand Terminal's majestic architecture to Central Park's astounding fall foliage. They even managed to squeeze in a trip to the edge of Niagara Falls! Azhar tells us all about the shoot below...
How did you decide on these shoot locations?
Shooting in New York in November was perfect. For a start, the place already has so much character – every other street you roam through offers a different take on the city. Also, the light during that time of year is exceptionally well suited for photography – a nice glow throughout the day that isn't too harsh and a warm hue when the sun sets that makes everything magical. We knew Fadly would die to shoot in such light.
We didn't really decide on any particular location. We generally wanted to take a couple at Central Park because of the fall foliage, and then we stumbled upon a merry-go-round, which also became part of the shoot. After that, we bundled into a cab during rush hour to get to The High Line, and ventured on to the Brooklyn Bridge to take advantage of the gorgeous light and sunset during that time of year. We got to see it reflected by the glimmering Manhattan skyline, so that was nice. Many shots were taken while travelling (by subway!) to and from our accommodation in Brooklyn and these areas. At night, we went out again to see Grand Central Terminal, since we were already dressed up anyway. The remaining shots were taken at the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, an eight-hour bus ride away.
What was it like having Fadly as a photographer?
Fadly and I go way back, so he's more like a brother than anything to me. We've shot weddings together so many times, and being his subject wasn't much different; the shoot was fun and relaxed, but we still had focus and got work done. It's a bonus that our wives also got along very well (Fadly's wife came along).
How did the day of the shoot go? Any stand-out memories?
It was COLD. The day we planned to shoot turned out to be the windiest out of our entire stay in NYC. Fadly's wife, Trish, had to help Eza cover up to stay warm in between takes. While we were shooting, she was also our walking coatstand/assistant/make-up artist – definitely an integral part of the shoot.
Apparently New Yorkers love seeing people get married. Walking around in Brooklyn with Eza in a gown got us a lot of attention, with trucks sounding their horns and absolute strangers waving and shouting their well wishes. That was one of my favourite parts of our time here.
Another fun anecdote: we missed the bus to Niagara Falls. Since everything was somewhat impromptu (we were unable to rent a car in time, being only our second real day in the U.S.), we only bought tickets online about 90 minutes before the bus was to leave, which meant a mad scramble from Brooklyn to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in mid-town Manhattan. We didn't know that the trains at that time of night ran slower and stopped at all stations, so we were running The Amazing Race-style from the platform to the sales counter to collect our tickets. Couple that with finding the right gate out of 233 different ones in the building, and we ended up missing the bus by about two minutes. The next bus out was in six hours, so we spent the time exploring the city by night, having Halal Guys for supper and just taking in alternative views of The Big Apple.