Thursday, December 18, 2008


After putting together some images from a recent wedding, we were going to update our blog this weekend but nature changed our schedule. On Thursday, December 11th, we'd just gone to bed when the electricity went out. At first, we thought no big deal, we'd been through this before. There was a storm outside and we thought that when we woke up, the power would be back. We were wrong! Using a flashlight, Phyllis got ready and left for work. While waiting for the power to come on or the sun to come up, I laid in bed listening to the loud cracking noises coming from outside. Soon these sounds were followed by large thumps.

By seven o'clock, the sun was bright enough for me to walk downstairs and look out the front window. What I saw was amazing! Our yard looked as though a hurricane had swept through. The driveway was blocked with large tree limbs and branches. A twenty foot tree limb snapped from our birch tree was sprawled across our front lawn. Beside our garage, another birch tree standing twenty-five to forty feet was covered with huge amounts of ice. From the weight of the ice, the tree's highest branches were stretching to the ground. The weight was so heavy, the old tree's roots stuck up from the ground. Where there was once flat ground around the base, the lawn had been pushed up a foot.

By the time Phyllis came home that night, we needed to move to a hotel. We still had no heat, no water and no way to cook but since there was no damage to the house, we managed the minor inconvenience. We stayed at a Holiday Inn in Salem which is about twenty minutes from our home. Phyllis went to work each day and I checked on the house and our two cats, who were more comfortable staying behind. It was a little cold at forty-eight degrees but I kept lighting a fire in the fireplace to take out the chill. By day three, the temperature was in the fifties but we were still at the Holiday Inn. According to the authorities, we were one of 322,000 customers who were without power. It would be a while.

Every day, I would check on my laptop from the hotel for updates on when the power might return. I found a very useful site called the "Londonderry Home Town News". It was the one place that posted current updates all day long.

By Monday, the fifteenth, many people were still without power so restaurants, hotels and gas stations were all extremely busy. The power company called for additional help from as far away as Canada to assist their employees working twenty-four hours a day to clear the roads and replace lines in an effort to supply power to the people of New Hampshire. On the fifteenth, we learned that our street was scheduled for restoration in two days. On the seventeenth, I went to the house and waited and waited for the power to return. Nothing happened!

By six o'clock, Phyllis and I went to dinner at the local 99 Restaurant and then checked the house one more time for power. Nothing! We returned to the hotel, relaxed and around ten o'clock started getting ready for bed. Preparing to shut off my cell phone as I had done for days, I dialed the house one final time. Immediately, I heard Phyllis' voice on the answering machine not the automatic voice provided by the phone company. (I actually redialed the number to verify it and let Phyllis hear). We were really excited!

Within thirty minutes, we were back in our own home . The temperature was reading fifty-five degrees and climbing steadily and once again all was right with the world. We were extremely surprised that although the house had been without electricity for six days, the temperature had never gone below forty-four degrees. Even the refrigerated and frozen food for the most part could be saved. We knew we were luckier than some but we learned a valuable lesson. We have a generator being delivered on Friday. We have attached some images from our yard that first morning. Of course, I had to take pictures lol.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Kathy & Jason's Wedding Day!!

In the future, we will discuss our most recent weddings but since this blog is new, we thought we would mention some of the weddings we've photographed this past year. In our experiences, we've met some really great people. One such couple was Kathy & Jason, who were married this October. From the start of the engagement day, straight through to the wedding, you could tell these two were in love. Although it wasn't far, it was our first destination wedding. We drove to New York the day before the wedding and stayed at the Hotel Marriott that Kathy and Jason reserved for us.

We drove the day before, for a few reasons. First, you don't want to get stuck in traffic or have car problems on the day of the wedding. Can you imagine that phone conversation telling the bride you were not going to make it? The second reason is that we like to attend the rehearsal. It is really a good idea to see as much of the wedding ceremony as possible, especially if it's at a place you've never been or a style of ceremony that you've never seen. This way you know what to exspect during the service and can be prepared to be in the right place at the right time to capture those special memories.

The rehearsal went well and we were invited to the evening dinner being held at a terrific place called Shadows. Shadows sits right on the Hudson River with a great view of the George Washington Bridge. This location had a really large venue for groups. There were two sections: one, a restaurant/sports bar and the other, a function hall. Inside the sports bar, we found ourselves looking at the largest tv screen we had ever seen. That night the Red Sox were playing Tampa Bay but the Red Sox eventually won the game. (We couldn't believe we were watching a Red Sox game in the middle of all the New York fans). We had a great meal and were able to meet the members of wedding party and both families of the bride and groom. This is another advantage of attending the rehearsal. Not only do you meet more people but they get used to having you photograph them.

At 9am the next day, we gathered at Kathy's parents' house to photograph the preparations for her big day. Kathy's mom and dad were great people and a lot of fun to be around. Besides them, we were able to photograph the bridesmaids getting ready and interacting with each other. One of the bridemaids, Ashley did Kathy's makeup and worked like a professional. The two of them had great fun and gave us lots of good images to photograph.

After Kathy finished dressing, we decided to take some pictures on the front lawn. When we began photographing Kathy and saw her mom and dad wearing sunglasses, an idea came to us. We asked if Kathy had a pair, too and all three of them wore them. We captured a very funny moment which we're sure they will remember fondly.

Kathy and Jason hired a driver with a vintage Rolls Royce to transport them during the wedding. When the Rolls arrived, we left Kathy and her dad at the house while we took pictures of Jason and the best man at the church. When we finished, there was time plenty of time to photograph Kathy arriving with her dad.

The ceremony took place in a small but quaint church in Fishkill, New York. The service went smoothly and we captured many fine moments to share with friends and family.

After the ceremony, we drove to Mills Mansion to photograph the formals. It was a wonderfully sunny day with the warm colors of the foliage shining in the background so we were able to shoot many of the sets overlooking the river. We also took a couple of images from the front of the building which allowed us to spread the wedding party out among the columns. These images were some of our most favorite and received high praise from the families.

When we finished the formals, we drove to the Villa Borghese in Wappingers Falls, where the reception was being held. This facility had everything a bride and groom could want. There was an expansive hall, colorful landscape with a lighted gazebo and amazing food. It was truly exceptional and made for a memorable day. If you ever have the chance to be part of an event here, we know you'll enjoy it. The reception was truly entertaining with the best congo line we have ever seen, led by an enthusiastic gentlemen. The wedding party surprised the bride and groom with an archway of light sabres that they ran under to get to their table.

The father and daughter dance was very special and showcased what Kathy's relationship with her dad is all about. There was much laughing and smiling through most of it but near the end the emotions of the moment took hold of the both of them. This image conveys that emotion quite well.

This wedding had many laughs and funny moments. It was a
very successful wedding event for everyone and Kathy, Jason, their families and friends all had a great time. As did we!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Engagement Days

You might be asking yourself , "hmm what are engagement days" , let me answer that question.By the way it is a great question. Engagement Days are when the future Bride & Groom, accompanied by a photographer, (hopefully one from JP Brandano Photography) take a trip to some destination in which they feel connected and celebrate their engagement. The place can be a busy downtown area or a place by the sea. It may even be the place where the groom proposed or where the couple's first date took place. It is a romantic and fun day with many memories and we strive to capture them. The days are important for another reason. It gives the Bride & Groom a chance to see how the photographers work. It helps build a relationship of trust between the photographers and the couple which helps the couple feel more comfortable so the wedding day photographs look more relaxed & natural.

We photographed two engagements in the month of October. Kathy & Jason (pictured below) and later April and Edwin. Surprisingly, both couples chose Portland, Maine as their location.
On the way to Portland, April & Edwin stopped at a local farm stand and picked out a pumpkin.

Both couples enjoyed a beautiful day with blue skies and warm temperatures. If you're not familiar with Portland, it is a great place to spend a day or the weekend. It has great scenery on its coastline, some really great restaurants, many well known hotels and a very nice ice cream parlor, which Jason appreciated!!!!
Both couples were a joy to photograph. They both had a great sense humor and truly were in love, as I'm sure the pictures show.

If you're planning your wedding, try to include an engagement day or night. As a special offer during the months of November & December, an engagement day or night can be booked for 2009 at the 2008 price of $125. This includes a cd of all images.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Welcome to JP Brandano's Photography Web Page. The J stands for Jim Brandano and the P stands for Phyllis Brandano, my wife. We are finishing up our season and it was a very successful one. We photographed some really fun weddings and met some great people in the process. We started the year with Heather & George's wedding (where we met their wonderful daughter Prudence) and our latest wedding was April & Edwin's. We will talk about all the weddings and engagement sessions in the next couple of weeks including our first destination wedding which took place in Fishkill, New York.
The galleries on this web page will have images from all the weddings added in the next few weeks. Please drop in and stay up to date with our web page, we hope to make it informative and interesting. You will find a FAQ section and a product section where we list some of the products we offer. There is also a package section that outlines different packages that are available. If you don't see a package that works for you, please contact us and we will make a reasonable effort to accomodate you in these trying economic times.
In the meantime, stay well, keep coming back and tell your friends about us.