2005 Weddings photographed by Neil Cowley

A Note from Neil

The start of a new year is a reflective time for all of us. I start my reflection of 2005  with the gratitude and humility 2004 taught me. During that period I was focusing on developing a unique personal style putting my energy into making and thinking about inventive imagery. I looked for every opportunity to use lighting and composition to do something I had never done before. The results of that process were rewarded in  2005 with a top 5 ranking in the US by the WPJA. At the same time I was forcing my personal will into stretching my own conceptual boundaries of my craft – concepts of controlling and creating with light, shadow, perspective, and tonality – the people I served enlarged my spiritual boundaries as I stated last year  “I wanted to make clear that God has given much more through you, than your dollars as I have received a new appreciation and understanding of love and art this year. I hope that I have been an equally effective conduit for God to give my talents away to you.”

Well enough for review, my personal goal for 2005 was to expand my consistency. The artistic inspiration can fall at unpredictable times and while that’s nice for winning awards, its not necessarily a reflection of skill as much as an ability to capitalize on good luck. So my intuition told me that I needed to really look at what went into those flashes of creativity I had in 2004, and learn to repeat them as a skill instead of as an accident. I’m only finishing my third year of professional service for weddings so maybe its too lofty a goal to ask myself for consistency after such a short period. But as I write now I feel a tremendous satisfaction looking back over the mountain of work that I’ve completed in 2005. Possibly I’m deceiving myself, but I am satisfied knowing that I have not overlooked the good to make something great. Sounds funny, but it has been a tremendous challenge to face this year – boredom – that could have eaten away the quality of my work as I sought to continue to top my own pictures. What brought me back to that point, was  you again. Times where I began to feel rote, where I was being distracted by the small things – you gave me the expressions of Love that can not help but snap you back into focus. Love, the miracle that we give to each other; that we go through all these rituals to express and to seal; that I have the privilege to have the invitation to help you develop.

My reflection for 2005, has the same heart of the lesson learned in 2004 – learned more deeply.  “The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve. (Albert Schweitzer)” This year I’ve matured enough to realize how I should act to reinforce my reflections. I see better the Tao that has helped keep me in balance and I will seek to nurture that harmony through my business practices.  “We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are.(Talmud)”  So this turn of my personal quest for photographic vision leads me to work to see you more clearly. I will draw upon my experience of over 100 weddings to help you express “How your Love is New” in photos and in person. I excitedly anticipate what you will teach me as my experience shows that it will be volumes.

Much  respect,

Current images posted at http://makelovereal.net/

2005 events page has been dedicated to the bridal portrait

Micaela & Toby – Elim Gospel Church – January 7, 2006

Christina & Jacob – November 11, 2005 – Newark Club, New Jersey

Michelle & Brian – October 22, 2005 – Lodi New York Historical Society and Wagner Vineyards

Alexandra & Stephen – Oct. 16th, 2005 – Belhurst Castle Wedding Ceremony and Reception,  Geneva New York

Sandra & Chris – October 9, 2005 – Westmont Country Club Patterson, New Jersey

Nicole & Andrew – Oct. 8th, 2005 – Saint Patricks Church and Binhampton Club

Kim & Will – Oct. 1st, 2005 – Butler Mansion Buffalo, NY

Lindsay & David – Cadet Chapel & 49’er Lodge West Point New York

Jessica & Greg – September 24, 2005 – Sheldrake point vineyard

Jen & Dan – September 18th, 2005 – Glen Iris Inn at Letchworth State Park

Leanne & Andy – September 17, 2005 – Saint John’s and Monroe Country Club

Sara & Tim – Sept. 10th, 2005 – Boldt Castle and Edgewood Resort

Lorraine & Aaron – September 4th, 2005 – Letchworth State Park, Glen Iris Inn

Elaine & Grant – September 3rd, 2005 – Chapel Hill and Monroe Country Club

Nicole & Jake – August 27th, 2005 – Belhurst Castle Geneva, New York

Shannon & Andy – August 20th, 2005 – Saint Rita and Shadow Lake Country Club

Christina & Ben – August 6th, 2005 – Bethel Christian Fellowship and Casa Larga Vineyards Fairport, NY

Mary Grace & Matthew – Auguest 5th, 2005 – Canandaigua Inn on the Lake, New York

Heather & Mike – July 30, 2005 – St. Charles Borromeo & Cobblestone Creek Country Club

Sarah & Dean – July 16, 2005 – Wedding and Reception at Glen Iris Inn Letchworth State Park

Mary & Paul – July 9, 2005 – Blessed Sacrement and Rocheter Club Ballroom

Karissa & Jim – July 2, 2005 – Perry Methodist Church and Wadsworth – Jerris Estate reception

Robyn & John – St. Louis Church Pittsford & Steamboat Landing Canandaigua NY

Audrey & Mike – June 12th, 2005 – Lauxmont Farms, Wrightsville Pennsylvania

Deb & Jim – June 11th, 2005 – Walker Bible Baptist Church & Senator’s Mansion Chili

Kelly & Peter – June 4, 2005 – Trinity Reformed Church and Woodcliff Lodge Fairport

Ella & Chad – May 28, 2005 – Sacred Heart Cathedral & Rochester City Hall Atrium

Juliette & Kevin – May 21, 2005 – St. John’s Church & Glen Iris Inn Letchworth State Park

Heather & Matt – May 20, 2005 – Saint Joseph’s church and Owego Treadway


Jeanne & Mark – April 23, 2005 – St. Thomas More & Memorial Art Gallery

Corie & Michael – April 9, 2005 – The Waterview in Monroe Connecticut

Allison & Jason – April 2, 2005 – University Presbyterian and Hemingbough Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Jodi & Dan – January 22, 2005 – Our Lady of the Lake and Crystal Springs Resort, Vernon New Jersey

Amanda & Shervyn – Jan 16, 2005 – Mansion on Delaware, Buffalo New York

Jan 5-8, 2005 – Manti Temple, UT & Strong Todd House Rochester, NY

2004 Weddings Photographed by Neil Cowley

A note from Neil – 12.29.04

I have a debt of gratitude to pay with these words. I’ve been putting off lifting this weight from my mind due to its extraordinary size. But I recently found the catalyst, a quote:  “God will give much more  through you than  to you.”

I am truly humbled at what you (my clients) have given me this year. You have invited me into your private moments of emotion, and extended the generosity of your families to me. You have provided reason and opportunity for me to expand my artistic vision deeper into the soul of human emotion. You have contributed your lives to my lens and you have generously donated your dollars to see my manic passion. Before this gets too self centered I wanted to make clear that God has given much more through you, than your dollars as I have received a new appreciation and understanding of love and art this year. I hope that I have been an equally effective conduit for God to give my talents away to you.

Gratitude and awe,

Naomi & Ken – November 13, 2004 – St Rose and Shadowlake Golf Club Penfield, New York

Heather & Todd – November 6, 2004 – St Francis of Assisi and Clarion Inn Niggard Falls New York

Carrie & Eric – October 23, 2004 – Geneva Presbyterian Church and Belhurst Castle Seneca Lake, NY

Christine & Jesse – October 16, 2004 – Interfaith Chapel and Crowne Plaza Ballroom Rochester, New York

Rebecca & Justin – October 15, 2004 – Annunciation and Rich’s Atrium Buffalo NY

Sarah & Jared – Oct 10, 2004 – Niagara Club, Niagara Falls New York

Chrissy & Chris – October 3, 2004 – Highland park overlook and Lilac Arches Rochester, NY

Yat Ming & Jon – October 2, 2004 – Rochester Interfaith Chapel and Daisy Flour Mill, Penfield – New York

Jackie & Brett – September 25, 2004 – St. Francis Xavier and Sherwood Inn, Skaneateles, New York

Pam & Joe – September 24, 2004 – Adam’s Mark, Grace Lutheran and Rich’s Atrium Buffalo, NY

Amy & Mike – September 18, 2004 – Hershey Country Club, Hershey PA

Sara & Tim – September 17, 2004 – The Krebs Garden and Welch Allyn Lodge Skaneateles, NY

Amy & Joe – Sept 11th, 2004 – Our Lady of Victory Basilica and Klocks Grove, Buffalo New York

Anita & Dave – Sept 5th, 2004 – Family Estate Skaneateles, New York

Cassie & Rich – Sept 4, 2004 – Saint Mary’s and Rochester Club Ballroom; Rochester, NY

Katie & Jeremy – August 28, 2004 – Letchworth State Park and Glen Iris Inn

Melissa & Anthony – August 21, 2004 – Whately Congregational Church and Delaney House, Holyoke MA

Jessica & Deron – August 20, 2003 – Wagner Vineyards, Seneca Lake New York

Michelle & Jason – August 8, 2004 – Prospect Mountain Lake George

Emily & Ryan – August 7, 2004 – Saint Louis Church and Buffalo Yacht Club

Nicole & Iain – August 1, 2004 – Grace Bible Church and The Glen Oak Country Club Amherst

Erik & Danielle – July 31, 2004 – Camp Fowler and Lake Pleasant, central Adirondacks

Amanda & Peter – July 24, 2004 – Boldt Castle Heart Island

Maureen & Eric – July 17, 2004 – Family Estate East Aurora

Sue & Mark – July 16, 2004 – Keuka College Chapel and Belhurst Castle

Christine & David – July 10, 2004 – St. Charles Borromeo and Hyatt Regency Rochester Reception

Lauren & Dan – July 3, 2004 – Saints Peter and Paul and Old Orchard Inn, East Aurora, NY

Jillian & Ben – July 2, 2004 – Clymer Hill Church and Cook Homestead, Chatauqua NY

Sara & Nick – June 26, 2004 – Nativity of Our Lord and Adam’s Mark Hotel, Buffalo, NY

Mindy & Dean – June 20, 2004 – Rich Atrium Buffalo

Staci & Mike – June 19, 2004 – University of Rochester Interfaith Chapel

Julia & Ben – June 12, 2004 – Temple Beth Zion, Buffalo New York

Ria & Jon – June 11, 2004 – St. Peter’s Church & Saratoga National Golf Club, New York

Bethany & Jarek – June 5, 2004 – St. Philip The Apostle & Samuels Grand Manor, Buffalo

Kate & Aaron – May 30, 2004 – St. Monicas Church and Genesee Valley Club, Rochester

Annique & Matt – May 22 – St. Peter & Paul Basilica – Pensylvania Academy of Art, Philadelphia PA

Marley & Chris – May 1 – Greystone Castle, Canastota NY

Amy & Chris – April 24, 2004 – Skaneateles New York

Sherrill & Tom – April 17, 2004 – Rochester New York

Wanda & Rich – Feb 14 – Syracuse New York

Wes & Dana – Jan 2 – Westchester County New York

Calendar Year 2003 Wedding Photo Essay Pages