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A Brooklyn side story



It was two weeks ago that Leslie called me up to schedule a session. But she wanted to meet with me first, so we did at the local Shelton Star bucks. I knew I was going to love working with her because she was really excited and it showed in her bubbly personality. She sat down and pulled out her parents wedding album. She had seen a photo session of an elderly couple that resembled the movie, "The Notebook". I knew exactly what she meant as I had fallen in love with the idea myself and had hoped to find a couple to do the same with. But then she paused and said, "They never saw the movie".

If you have ever worked with me you know that every photo has to tell a story and the story has to be genuine to the couple. I did a photo session for a couple incorporating Oreo's because the groom to be said, "Had she not pulled out those Oreo's there would be no second date". Imagine the voice with giggles behind it. Today years into their marriage when people see the photo they have to explain the rings sitting on top of a stack of Oreo's. So I asked Leslie to tell me the story of her parents, how did they meet?

Tony and Elba's Love Story


"Papi came to Waterbury from Puerto Rico and Mami to Brooklyn. My father used to "hang" out with Mami's brothers in Brooklyn all of the time so he was there often. One day he noticed a picture hanging on my Uncle's wall and asked him "who's that in the picture?" pointing to one of the three ladies in the photo. My uncle said "that's my sister, Elba"... My father's response was "that's the woman I'm going to marry, she's going to be the mother of my children!" Shortly after, my uncle drove to Waterbury with his fiancé and sister to meet with my dad. They went to a drive in for a movie and afterwards to McDonald's, that was their first date! For an entire year my father would go visit my mother in Brooklyn every single weekend, rain or shine and even through snow storms.

One year later, in 1973, they were married in a church in Brooklyn, NY.That one comment about that one photograph has turned into 43 years of marriage, 3 daughters, 5 grandchildren and just recently, their first great grandchild" - Leslie Plaza


With a huge smile on my face I looked at Leslie and said, "what about West Side Story" and she nearly jumped from her seat proclaiming it was her moms favorite movie. Leslie shot out of there ready to do her shopping and I had to go home and watch the movie "West Side Story" to get all my visuals straight.

Both Elba and Tony are Puerto Rican so the story is not the same, but boy oh boy the love they share, is movie material. In my profession I see young love all the time and I'm constantly moved by it, but to see a love that has gotten better with age... thats unforgettable.

On the day of our session they were nervous and excited. Elba felt as if she were getting married all over again and a few times during our session she said in Spanish that she felt the urge to cry. Once past the nerves they giggled the rest of the session, cracking jokes about each other. It was a chilly day and Tony was really concerned that she would get sick. He said, "they don't make woman like her anymore, we can't break her".

I don't write many blog post of my sessions but I had to write about Elba and Tony. Its nice to see a love that is standing the test of time. Its nice to see a woman like Elba get emotional over photos with her love. Its nice to see a man like Tony ready to make his bride of 43 years smile. And it was really nice to make Leslie's dream come true. A family like this deserve recognition and praise. Her personality is the product of her upbringing in a loving home with two loving parents. Upon leaving the happy couple, my only desire was to go home hug and kiss my husband and tell him I hope we grow closer with every passing year as they are. I hope you enjoy their photos as much as I did capturing them.

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Zaibel Torres of Zai Photography
email: zaibel@icloud.com
Tel 203-685-5186
305 Knowlton St. CT. 06608