More Than Just Memories: Blog en-us (C) More Than Just Memories [email protected] (More Than Just Memories) Wed, 05 Aug 2020 22:27:00 GMT Wed, 05 Aug 2020 22:27:00 GMT More Than Just Memories: Blog 120 80 Our Most Recent Weddings  

Once the COVID-19 pandemic began many of our couples were faced with the most difficult choice: giving up their dream wedding for a micro wedding or postponing until restrictions lightened. It’s been heartbreaking to see them face this uncertainty surrounding such an important day of their lives. Being on the other side of it now, it’s easy for Phil and me to say we should have eloped in hindsight and saved some money. But weddings are never truly about the couple, point blank they’re about the couple’s loved ones. Couples throw these big and expensive weddings with all of their friends and family because they care so much about them and can’t imagine causing them hurt by not including them on such an important day. 

That’s what has been so beautiful inlight of the pandemic, seeing a couple’s family and friends come together to support and assist in any way possible with the couple’s special day. These micro weddings have such a uniquely magical place in my heart because they’re actually about the couple.

We’ve been really privileged to be able to capture some of these extraordinary days over the past few months and though I’ve been awful about posting blogs for them, these couples deserve all of the love possible! So today we’re looking back at some of the recent micro weddings we've shot due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gionna & Fred married April 3, 2020
I’ve loved Gionna and Fred’s love story since they first told us about it at their consultation over a year ago now. Gionna and Fred met in their high school chemistry class. They started dating later that school year on April 3, 2010. Fred was in the culinary program at the school and would often make Gionna baked goods and leave them in her locker. Every year as they would celebrate  their anniversary on April 3rd they’d have a pastry of some sort with a number candle in it coordinating with the year. This year with them planning to wed on their ten year anniversary they were understandably heartbroken when it seemed their wedding would be postponed. Gionna tried to find positivity in the circumstances, looking forward to their new date of April 3, 2021, coming up with the slogan 4-3-2-1 MARRIED! However, the ten year mark just felt too important to them. Though they will still be having their big wedding on April 3, 2021, they chose to hold an intimate celebration on their original date/ ten year anniversary. Surrounded by immediate family, with friends on Facetime, Gionna and Fred said “I do” under the pavilion at Wild Acres in Pittsfield, MA. Gionna’s mom surprised her that morning with the dress she had worn for her wedding. Gionna had no clue her mother had secretly had it altered for Gionna. With her mother also being a baker and originally supposed to be baking their wedding cake, she made cupcakes for the event. In the couple’s traditional fashion they topped them with a 1 and a 0 candle before feeding them to one another. Gionna’s dad toasted the couple before everyone gathered around for some sparkler photos complete with confetti cannons. We ended their special day by heading over to the high school where it all began for photos of Gionna and Fred on the front steps. Though there was not any music they had a very brief first dance; just as we were wrapping up the lights on the front steps automatically came on for the evening to end in some night shots. It was truly such a special day to witness.   


Bethany & Jeremy married June 13, 2020
Bethany and Jeremy had planned a beautiful wedding for June 13, 2020 at a farm in upstate NY but in order to do their part in keeping their friends and family safe during the pandemic opted for a small ceremony in their front yard. One of their
friends became an officiant just for the event while other friends also lent their talents, creating Bethany's bouquet as well as the boutonnieres for Jeremy and for Bethany's two sons. While another friend created a pie for the couple to enjoy later that night, an additional friend did Bethany's hair and makeup. Even another friend created the chuppah they stood under. Long before the pandemic began Bethany and Jeremy had chosen community as their wedding theme. The couple share a love of running and have found a family in the community they run with, hence their theme. Surrounded by their running community and friends, watching on from the street in front of their home and family watching through a laptop in front of them via Zoom the couple was able to tie the knot. Bethany's boys were the perfect ring bearers and also accompanied her down the aisle. Before the ceremony, Bethany & Jeremy shared an private moment during their first look in the backyard with the boys bashfully peaking, excited to see how beautiful their mother looked in her gown. Following the ceremony, the couple gave a toast to thank those who made the day not only possible but so special for them. We headed over to Thacher Park for some sunset photos before heading to downtown Albany, NY for the most amazing night shots. I swear someone knew they had just tied the knot and was celebrating for them, as we were fortunate enough to get some shots with fireworks by the Egg! It was a day that will not be soon forgotten and in a way was even more special than the event they had initially planned.  

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COVID Safe Reception Ideas

Wedding are different than we've ever seen before due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With dance floor not being permitted currently in many states, the way we've come to expect a wedding to look is completely foreign now. We thought inlight of this situation, now would be a prime opportunity to introduce some of our favorite reception activities both you and your guests will love! Here are our top five reception alternatives to dancing:  
Shoe Game
The Shoe Game: No surprise there, the shoe game is absolutely adorable and will make your guests laugh and chime with “awww” as you answer a variety of questions about your relationship and one another. If you have yet to see this sweet game in action, you and your new spouse sit back to back, you each have one of the shoes you were wearing as well as the one of the shoes of your spouse. Your DJ, maid of honor, or best man will read a list of questions; common questions include things like who is more likely to be late, who steals all of the covers at night, or who chews the loudest. At each question you raise the shoe (or shoes) of who you believe best fits the answer to the question. The game always ends with a sweet question along the lines of who do you love more than anyone in the world. 


Table Rush: We’ve really only begun seeing this trend more recently but it’s definitely a favorite for us! The rules are simple; with the help of your DJ choose a song (you’ll want something a little longer), the song acts as a timer. You have that long to rush to each table and we’ll get a photo of you guys with Table Rush
the guests at that table. Your guests are encouraged to be silly with these quick shots. It’s a great way to get a photo with each of your guests!


Anniversary Slideshow: If you’re heartbroken over the idea of not being able to honor your grandparents’, relatives’, or friends’ many years of dedication in their marriages with the anniversary dance, fear not! When hunting down RSVP’s ask your married guests their wedding date and to send you a single photo of them from their wedding. Compile them into a slideshow with what would have been your choice of song for the anniversary dance. Your DJ can make a special announcement about it, having the couple married the longest stand for an applause and then have the slideshow play on loop throughout the reception.

Charity Cake Smash:
This is a great alternative to the money dance and an excuse to have a memorable cake cutting! Have your maid of honor and best man (though any attendant will work, as long as one represents you and the other will represent your now spouse) go around to each table and collect cash from your guests. This could be to help with your honeymoon or perhaps, be donated to a charity you two particularly love and support. Whoever collects the most money (maid of honor for bride or best man for groom) will determine who gets a free pass for smashing cake in the other’s face. So, should the maid of honor collect most the bride would get to smash cake in the groom’s face; she obviously has the option to not but she gets the chance to if she’s like. The groom though would have to politely feed her without smashing it and vice versa for if the best man collected the most money. Be sure your maid of honor/ best man informs your guests who’s basket they are donating to so they can help decide who will win the free pass. 

Watching Love Grow: Unity ceremonies have been popular for years now and are normally worked into the ceremony itself. This sweet idea takes the tree ceremony trend and turns it into a group activity. On a table near your guest book and card box, set up a container with a sapling in it and next to it a container of dirt with a small cup. Each guest should pour a cup of the dirt into the container with the sapling. It’s so easy so forget how we rely on the support of those around us when it comes to our marriage. When you watch this tree grow over the years you’ll remember how each guest helped plant it, supporting its growth, just as they’ve supported your marriage. Once all guests have had the opportunity to pour in some dirt, you and your new spouse will water the tree. 


We understand how truly unusual these time are and are so honored to be able to still capture your special day, even if it isn't the way you had envisioned. So much of planning a wedding and marriage in general (pandemic or not) is around adjusting expectations and compromising. At the end of the day though, whether you celebrate in your backyard with 10 people or have a giant party of over one hundred, you will be spending the rest of your life with the person you love more than anyone else in the world. That is the most beautiful part of any wedding. 

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Starting the Year Off Right; Shoots from Sunday, January 19, 2020

A new year is always a bitter-sweet time for me; I’m sad to see 2019 go as it was such an amazing year for Phil and me, both personally and for our business! We accomplished so many things in 2019 that I hadn’t expected. As 2020 is just beginning it is already showing potential to be the best year yet! On Sunday I had my first shoot of the year and a few hours later I had my second shoot of the year! I normally avoid taking on more than one shoot per day but this was one of those rare occasions where the stars aligned for both of these shoots and everything turned out perfectly! 

Stephanie and Steven reached out back in the fall about a snowy couple’s shoot. We had decided on the 19th as a potential date with the agreement that it would be adjusted as needed. Until Saturday we haven’t had too much snow, but someone was clearly looking out for us as there was plenty on Sunday for their shoot! These college sweethearts met me at the Pittsfield State Forest, a favorite hiking spot for them; the plows for the park were just beginning to come through that morning. We headed straight to the Lulu Cascade and began our shoot there. Stephanie and Steven are a ridiculously sweet couple and just too adorable together! They styled their outfits to compliment Stephanie’s engagement ring as it has smaller blue diamonds around the main diamond. This created a beautiful icy look against the fresh powder. It was so fun watching them play in the snow together towards the end of the session and made for some cute shots in addition to the more posed shots! To view more of their preview just click on their photo! 

Shortly following their shoot I made my way to East Greenbush, NY to photograph 13 day old, Judit. The newest addition to the Nicoli family was named in honor of the Hungarian chess player, Judit Polgar. Seth is an avid chess player making this a wonderful name choice for their newly arrived daughter. I first met the Nicoli family a few years ago when Caitlin was pregnant with her oldest, Soren. This sweet family reconnected with us again recently and stopped by our home back in November for some maternity photos of bump number two! Upon Judit's arrival they reached out again for some newborn photos; we decided it would be easiest and make the most logistical sense to have me come to them this time. In home sessions have quickly become a favorite for me; it's wonderful to be able to capture a family somewhere as important to them as their home! We setup in Judit's nursery, a sweet peach room adorned with floral motifs. She was truly the easiest newborn I've ever photographed, she slept sweetly the entire time! We were able to get a great array of photos and Soren even wanted to be involved (this is a huge deal for a two year-old little boy.) Soren is such a great big brother, he was very gentle with his new sister while hugging and kissing her. He's a super sweet little guy though! If you'd like to see more of this family's preview from their session, click on the photo of Judit!  


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Save the Dates for a Wedding

For a while now we’ve heard the question of “do you offer save the dates?” The save the date magnet has become such a popular trend in the wedding industry and we absolutely love it! It’s a fun way to more officially announce your wedding and showcase your engagement photos; it can also set the tone of your entire wedding! This is the first official piece of the planning process your guests will see, and will drive the theme of all that will follow. 


Until now we’ve simply been referring clients to standard online print labs that offer save the dates as well as an array of lower quality photo products. Most of them are very affordable but you certainly lose photo quality. We recently became familiar with Basic Invite, a Utah-based company specializing in wedding-related products. This company truly stands out from the rest due to the quality of their products and the services they offer! Classified more as a stationery company than a photo lab, Basic Invite offers a variety of beautiful products to fit your wedding theme. Additionally, you will find cheap save the date magnets at a higher quality than many competitors, a true value so you can save more for that amazing honeymoon! Alternatively if the magnet thing isn’t for you, they offer an array of stunning save the date cards! Either direction you go, there are so many options of predesigned templates that can be easily customized to better fit your unique wedding vision, through a variety of paper types, available colors, and a vast option of fonts. If you’re feeling truly inspired you can even create and upload your own design! 


One of our couples had already gone through Basic Invite this past summer and before we had even heard of this company, we loved this save the date! Beth (our client) also had such wonderful things to say about Basic Invite, particularly her experience with their customer service! “I’m ordering my invites through them as well! I can tell you from my personal experience they are amazing! I couldn’t figure out how to get my 180 contacts in with their addresses and they went through and hand added each one for me!” Basic Invite is our go to now when our couples ask us where to get save the dates for a wedding.


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It’s GREAT to be a Berkshire Bride! We first met Jerrid in August 2018 as we were interested in being a part of the Berkshire Wedding Expo for 2019. If you’ve had the pleasure of working with him through one of his many local businesses, then you know firsthand what a great person he is as well as being a pillar of our community! I knew right away upon meeting him that this would be a great fit for our growing business and I was not wrong! The 2019 expo was our first wedding exposition ever as vendors and it was amazing! When Phil and I were engaged, we attended an expo in Albany, NY (timewise in our planning process that was the only expo going on that time of year anywhere near us). We were extremely underwhelmed by it and would even go as far as to say it was a waste of time. There weren’t many vendors there and absolutely zero events to attend at the expo; we were on our way back home within 20 minutes. 


That was my experience with wedding expos until January 2019 and so I was truly blown away by the Berkshire Wedding Expo! There were so many vendors; the setting of the Stationary Factory was beautiful and made each booth really stand out! I honestly had no clue there were so many wonderful resources for wedding needs in Berkshire County! We learned a lot that day, though I knew one thing right away: we would be back in 2020 for sure! 


This past summer during our annual meeting with Jerrid, we were flattered when he asked us to photograph the event! We’ve been eagerly awaiting the day, which came and went this past Saturday, January 11, 2020. The experience exceeded last year’s event, and we have a sneaking suspicion we'll be back next year.


This year’s amazing vendors included:                      


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Welcome to Our Blog!

Whether you are just hearing about us for the first time or have been working with us for years, we’re so excited to have you checking out our blog.

So you may have found yourself asking: what is K Shot Photography exactly? K Shot is a husband and wife wedding and portrait duo. We are centrally located in Pittsfield, MA; the heart of the breathtaking Berkshire County! Our company has been passionately capturing your most treasured moments since 2014, however K Shot was more formally established in 2018. 

I, Kaileigh (Hyman) Rachwal, began serving the Berkshire County in 2014. I had found myself back in Pittsfield following some time spent in Marlboro, VT in 2013. I had been studying photography there but found the program to be too centered on fine art and realized I had zero interest in that scene. That summer I began assisting a wedding and portrait photographer in Hoosick Falls, NY. Much to my surprise, I instantly fell in love with wedding work. My second year into working for her I shot my first solo wedding as K Shot. The next few years were rough as I struggled to start my business. In fall 2017 things began to really lookup; I shot an engagement shoot for a friend, which turned out to be a major turning point for K Shot! A few couples booked their weddings with me after seeing this shoot and loving the photos! I had been wanting to offer a second shooter option for a while in our wedding package. After having reached out to a couple of people interested in potentially learning more about weddings and portraits, I continuously found myself frustrated as none were the right fit. 

Phil, my husband, had repeatedly inherited my hand-me-down cameras over the years. He’d had a long rooted interest in photography but knew nothing about it; early into our relationship I began teaching him basics of how to use a camera on manual settings and how to take a decent picture. Nature photo walks were a regular event at that time and served as an opportunity for him to learn and practice. Being the amazingly supportive man he is, he often accompanied me to shoots to assist me, hauling props, equipment, and setting the shots up. In late 2017 we decided he would begin second shooting as well. I always call the years prior to 2018 the “dream years”, when K Shot Photography was nothing more than a dream. 2018 was when it became a reality; we were finally able to serve the community.

That’s exactly what we’ve been doing for the past couple of years now, finding ways to capture memories for those in need of quality photography. Though making it a full time operation for me last January (2019) truly aided in getting us to where we are today with this company, none of this would be possible without our amazing clients who have trusted in us! We’ve met so many wonderful people along the way and have been so honored to have had the opportunity to work with them all! 

As we begin the ‘20’s, we look forward to better serving our current clients as well as meeting and working with so many new ones to come! Thank you so much for your interest in our work and supporting our small business! 



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