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Cliff Mautner Photography

Rittenhouse Hotel Wedding

Over the course of my 35+ year career, I’ve made millions of frames. This image still remains one of my favorite images. There nothing specific that is technically proficient. There is nothing that stands out compositionally except for, well, the obvious. In this modern era of photography, it's rare that a photograph remains timeless. No matter how old this photo is, it evokes a smile from whoever views it. To me, and many other photographers, that's what makes a photograph relevant. This image was captured with an old Nikon F5 film camera with a Nikkor 17-35mm F2.8 lens. I'm generally known for my use of light, yet I used direct flash on camera, and it still stands out as one of my all time favorites.


This image was captured on new year’s eve, many years ago, and the couple was in the middle of the dance floor during their wedding reception at this gorgeous Rittenhouse Hotel Wedding. I was shooting something on the other side of the room when I glanced over to this scenario and saw the grandmother of the bride standing next to the bride’s cousin…. who happened to be wearing a rather low cut gown. The juxtaposition of the bride's cousin’s bust line and the grandmother’s eyes instantly grabbed my interest. I ran quickly to capture this photograph. I usually show this image at the end of every one of my photography seminars and workshops, and it never fails to make people laugh. It reminds me that no matter where or what time of day I’m shooting, there is always a picture to be made.


This lovely jewish wedding was the first of two that I had the privilege of shooting for this family, and I will always love this photograph. It’s hanging on my wall in my Haddonfield New Jersey Wedding Photography Studio gallery, and many people around the world have shared their laughter when they see this photo. Eddie Adams, the great photojournalist once said, "If it makes you laugh, if it makes you cry, if it rips your heart out, that’s a good picture". I think this falls into that category.