Artsecond Media: Blog en-us (C) Artsecond Media [email protected] (Artsecond Media) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:45:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:45:00 GMT Artsecond Media: Blog 120 90 Danielle + Andre: The New Royal Couple It was something from the pages of a storybook.
The bluest sky.
The greenest grass.
The faintest breeze danced with the veil. 
A king marries his queen and the court is there to celebrate. 
Danielle and Andre are the new royal couple. Raising two beautiful girls and navigating entrepreneurship and hospitality careers, these two are no strangers to fast-paced, on-the-go family life. But if only for a short while, time seemed to slow down.
The groomsmen were royal with purple shirt and tie combo while the bridesmaids floated along in floor length black gowns. 
We photographed their wedding within the hedge-walled garden the William Penn Inn in Blue Bell, PA. It was there, sheltered from both hustle and bustle, these two best friends said 'I do.' Danielle's father, John, officiated over the ceremony with moments profound wisdom, laughter and the pride that only the father of a stunning bride can know. 
There is something magical about this wedding. Maybe it was John's message and during the ceremony. Maybe it the way the afternoon sun warmed our faces. Maybe it was the sweaty dance party. All I know is that we are grateful to have been there to witness these two become one. Congratulations!
[email protected] (Artsecond Media) Alston Blue Bell Dawkins Gwynnedd William Penn Inn outdoor wedding philadelphia philadelphia weddings spring spring wedding Mon, 04 May 2015 13:22:05 GMT
New Year, Same Me: Why I'm not rushing to reinvent myself Now that the holiday madness is behind us, I have something to get off my chest. I've always hated New Year's Day. I'm serious.  New year's day is the worst. It marks the absolute end of the holiday season. There's no easing back in to the swing of things. You clean the dishes, you say 'goodbye' to dinner guests, pack up the remnants of the black-eyed peas and its over. You wake up on January 2nd to find yourself in the bitter cold alley behind the year that's past, trying to find your way to front door of the new one. It's commonly the start of the"new year, new fill-in-the-blank" tag lines and "I'm going to quit doing ____ this year" promises. 

Good People of the Internet, I offer to you today that I'm going in the opposite direction:

New year, Same me.   

Same attention to detail. Same other-centered disposition. Same witty, if slightly silly sense of humor. Same desire to offer clients the best product I can. 

Join me! Why abandon all we've become and the experiences we've garnered because we've hung a new calendar on the wall? Who's with me?!

Don't misunderstand me. I'm not against change nor am I saying I refuse to adapt. I'm only saying that we shouldn't be forced into completely reinventing who we are because the the calendar now reads 2015. Let's embrace our strengths and our weaknesses. Let's celebrate places where we've improved and identify those where we can grow. 

If you can't get away from the need to start fresh, opt for a "firmware upgrade." A firmware upgrade adds new features and fixes known issues while maintaining the characteristics and attributes of the original device. In other words, be you, version 2.0!

Let's hold our heads high as we venture boldly into this (still) new year and let's be better, together. Let's be better leaders, better followers, better neighbors. Let's be better craftspeople,  better consumers. Let's be better educated, better communicators, better lovers, better friends. 

I realize that these things may seem like lofty goals but that's the beauty of a firmware upgrade. When we buy a phone, a camera, a tablet, we do so based on what it does when we buy it. We have little if any knowledge of what that same device can become. A firmware upgrade can take a piece of hardware that you know and even take for granted and breathe new life into it.  

Good People, now that the ball has dropped, the christmas lights have come down and we're bundling up in reality that it's just a cold January day, what version will you be?

Thanks for reading.


Just to remind us of the happy-go-lucky days of spring and summer, check out these fun images from a shoot with our friends, Danielle & Jude Gavin!



[email protected] (Artsecond Media) Wed, 14 Jan 2015 22:44:55 GMT
Amanda + Max: Lovers and Friends It's always great to see friends get married. It's even greater when those friends marry each other. Such is the case with Amanda and Max. 

Max, a pastry chef, and Amanda, a law student, are the ultimate connoisseurs of low key. In the face of wedding stresses, these two had southern sweet tea in their veins.
Max and Amanda
Amanda and her bridesmaids dressed in the nursery of the church. Against the backdrop of building blocks, tiny chairs and toy cars, the girls donned flowing salmon colored frocks.


Max and the boys came ready for action sporting three-piece gray suits and celery green ties. 

They asked us to shoot their portraits near a body of water. After a lunch reception and an epic dance party, We took them to the banks of the Schuylkill River, bouquet in tow. The juxtaposition of grand structures, sweeping vistas, and the glass-like river made for a fun shoot with some breathtaking results, not to mention several cheers from passing joggers and bikers along the trail. 

People throw around the phrase "I married my best friend" a lot. The Carmonas are living it. Here's to you and the greatest level of your friendship yet!

See the Whole Story!

[email protected] (Artsecond Media) McCall Golf philadelphia philadelphia weddings schuylkill schuylkill banks Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:09:19 GMT
Danielle and Jude There we were, drenched in sunlight, strolling past the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. The early afternoon Saturday sun, kissed Danielle's cheek and she appeared to float on air. Her new husband, Jude, strode with the swagger of a small army of James Bonds. With the bridal party in tow, we set out to photograph this couple in the first few minutes of their new life together against the canvas of a living, breathing cityscape. Horns honked. Congratulations were offered. Handshakes stirred the spring air. Camera shutters clicked. And the pictures, well you'll just have to wait and seeā€¦

-Lucien and Steph


Danielle and Jude 4.12.14Newlyweds celebrate during their spring wedding in Philadelphia.

[email protected] (Artsecond Media) broad couples philadelphia philadelphia weddings street weddings Mon, 14 Apr 2014 12:45:00 GMT
Great things in small packages or All About Mini-Sessions Good People of the Internet, it has been far too long since last I wrote to you. As Paul Desmond's rich alto sax lines dance out of my speakers, I'm reflecting on life's endless to-do list.




Take the Dog Groomer.

Hair Appointment.

Kids' School Projects.

Dishes again. (At my house we never seem to have enough spoons...)

With the steady barrage of unchecked tasks and calendar reminders, it can be hard to carve out time for things like family pictures or capturing that new face that kids have discovered how to make. It may seem daunting to dedicate an afternoon to booking a session, wrangling family members into the car and heading off to meet a photographer. We often settle for the convenience of our smartphone of choice, leaving the preservation of precious memories to our trusty camera roll, Facebook, and, the 'Gram.


While these options are a great tool for keeping up with friends and loved ones, they are no substitute for handcrafted, life-like images, taken with professional gear, guided by an artist's eye. Herein lies the beautiful simplicity of the Mini-Session! Sometimes, you don't have a three or four hour window to stop time for a new portrait for above the mantle. But a mini-session is just that, mini! The Mini-session is a half-hour in front of the camera, from which we'll get about 8-10 great images. It may seem quick but even in that condensed time, we can create an image worth treasuring forever.


On the other hand, if you're new to the Artsecond experience, it's a great way to check out how we work and get some really beautiful pictures taken at an incredible rate. Perhaps you've been on the sidelines, admiring our work, but you haven't been able to afford a full blown session. The mini-session is perfect way get a bit of the Artsecond magic for your wall without breaking the bank or taking up all the time you've set aside to glue macaroni on construction paper or proofread that brief for next week's court date.


Full Disclosure: The mini-sessions aren't for everyone. If your kids are shy or fussy about meeting new people and cameras, 30 minutes will not be enough to great that great shot we're after. We also discourage using the mini-session for newborns as we like to take our time to be extra careful with your most precious bundle of joy. An exception is made for a family session including the new addition. :-) I encourage you to visit the mini-session page for more info.


So that's it. Stephanie and I are really excited to offer this new experience and we hope that you will take advantage of it! What's that you say? You want to book a session right now? Click here!


Thanks for reading and Happy Spring!


[email protected] (Artsecond Media) Mini-sessions couples family kids seniors sessions Fri, 21 Mar 2014 04:21:38 GMT
Prevention vs. Regret A few weeks ago, Stephanie and I went out to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday. A group of friends gathered at a restaurant for some yummy grub and a little live music. Just as the band began to play, a rush of commotion set the dining room in a frenzy. People were jumping up from tables and running to aid of a woman who passed out in another section of  the eatery. The last we heard, the woman suffered a massive heart attack.

She didn't make it.

This story is an incredibly tragic reminder of the fragility of life. Our prayers and condolences go out that woman's family, many of whom surrounded her in the restaurant that night.

That same night, I came home and found an interesting article in my inbox. It was all about the idea that our nature is more reactive than preventive. The author stresses that it's difficult for us to do something costly (either money or time) for a result that we will benefit from down the road whether that's tomorrow or twenty years from now.

As photographers, the article points out, my wife and I are in the prevention business. We capture moments, expressions, events that are just passing by. Sure, we all remember the big details of our wedding day or how much hair our first child had when he was born. It's the smaller details (the aunt from across the country that made a rare appearance, the dimples in baby's chubby legs) that we need to be reminded of once life returns to its usual breakneck speed.  

Take stock in the blessings that surround you now. The funny faces and toothy grins your kids make. The butterflies you get when your special someone embraces you unexpectedly. Be thankful for those moments and do all you can to preserve them.


They won't last forever.

Thanks for reading.


[email protected] (Artsecond Media) Wed, 08 May 2013 02:54:14 GMT
On Tangibility... Nomads vs. Fixtures Greetings, Good People of the Internet! We're so glad you stopped by.

My wife and I are 80s babies and as a result we're children of technology. We've seen the rapid evolution of computers, video games, and, of course, digital photography. I remember when consumer digital cameras first debuted to much fanfare, even with their expensive price tags. As time progressed like most technologies, digital cameras became widely available and accepted. If you're like us, you've had one or two (or a bunch) of cameras, memory cards, and folders upon folders on your computer with pictures that you don't even remember taking. During our time together, Stephanie and I have amassed somewhere around 15-20,000 images! These pictures exist in all sorts of media, Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, you name it, we've probably tried it. Within the last few months, however, we've been busy printing actual tangible photographs for customers and it has affected us in a very interesting way. Here's a quick story to show you what I mean.

A few weeks ago, we had an awesome shoot with the Effunuga family. After the shoot, we (mostly Steph) edit and refine the images, picking out the cream of the crop to show our clients and post to the website. They ordered some large prints and 10x10" storybook album. When the packages were delivered we got really giddy--"Kids-on-Christmas-morning" giddy. After all of the clicking, swiping, and slideshowing through pictures, to hold a finished work overwhelmed us a little bit.

I didn't immediately get the phenomenon but I'm starting to understand. Digital photos are great because they are easy to share with any and everybody. Text them from your phone, email them to aunties, upload to the your social networking site of choice. They are transients, nomads. A framed print, photo album, a gallery wrap, these are finished works of art that can be a fixture in your home. Their journey is finished. They can now be admired as the photographer intended, there's no more cropping, color changes, mouse arrows to get in the way of the message.

We are often asked about the rights to images, or delivering a disc of images for the client to print later. We do offer this but it's not our preference. The images on a disc have not finished their journey and we haven't finished our job. We have invested a lot of time and resources to make sure that what we produce is of the highest quality we can make it. This includes cultivating relationships with professional photo labs, album makers, and press companies. If you spend the time to have us photograph you, we implore you to let us give you something tangible. Let our work make you giddy, too.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to check out some of our "nomadic" images while you're here!

Warmest Regards,


[email protected] (Artsecond Media) Blue Bell Gwynnedd outdoor wedding philadelphia philadelphia family photography philadelphia weddings photo albums prints summer Mon, 07 Jan 2013 15:38:40 GMT
Korey, Nykki, Daniel + Anaiah Shooting with Korey Nykki, Daniel and Aniah was so much fun! We met at Penn Park in University City on what seemed like the coldest day ever. We found massive textured walls and rugged steel structures along side tree lined paths and technicolor green grass. Our formula for the day was equal parts shooting without jackets, running to get jackets and dreaming of fireplaces and hot chocolate! Grab your favorite sweater and check out the results!


[email protected] (Artsecond Media) Thu, 20 Dec 2012 18:06:19 GMT
Sophia + Jason Sophia + Jason
Stone Creek Settlement in Salado, TX
I had the honor of being a bridesmaid in the wedding of my good friend and her new hubby and then I got to do this shoot two days after the wedding. Lucien and I have never done a post wedding shoot but I must say, if they are all like this, we'll have to make a habit of it. For weeks Sophia and I were trying to decide where to do this shoot and we never came up with a place so we just "settled" on shooting at the B&B they were staying in. Turns out that the place quasi-magical.
[email protected] (Artsecond Media) Fri, 02 Nov 2012 21:00:00 GMT
Africa + Dwight Africa + Dwight
Art Museum area in Philadelphia, PA

Lucien and I have been caught in a crazy whirlwind schedule of late but we had a blast shooting and laughing with Africa & Dwight. When I asked Africa what she and Dwight would consider a fun date, she laughed and quickly replied, "anything without the kids!" They have been married for over 6 years and they realized they hadn't had a pictures of just the two of them since their wedding day! Well that's if you don't count snapshots at family reunions and the occasional birthday party :)
We met on a beautiful Sunday near the Art Museum and tried our best to not photo-bomb the quinceañera, wedding portraits, and engagement sessions that were also happening around us. Africa and Dwight also know a thing or two about busy schedules juggling kids, work and other activities. Thankfully, we managed to squeeze out some shots and soak up the late October sun.
[email protected] (Artsecond Media) Tue, 30 Oct 2012 11:31:00 GMT
Selena + Will Selena + Will
Philadelphia, PA
Last month we had the pleasure of doing the engagement session for my aunt, her dog, Indie, and her fiancée while they were visiting from Charlottesville, VA. They were only in town for a few hours so we had to wiz through things pretty quickly. It was so much fun to hang with them and celebrate their pending nuptials! 

[email protected] (Artsecond Media) Wed, 24 Oct 2012 20:39:00 GMT