I'm changing everything again. Stay tuned...
I recently went on a road trip/vacation with my kids. We spent five days in New York City (partially for a dance competition, partially vacay), a few days in Connecticut visiting my sister, and a few days visiting my brother and his family in Boston. I shot mostly film with an old medium format film camera. I’m having those rolls of film developed and scanned just a few rolls at a time so I’ll be sharing them once I have them back from the lab.
I had my digital camera with me as well but I only used it one day, while driving through northwest Connecticut. I shot a lot more on film, but the images above are a few from my digital camera.
I grew up in a small town in NW CT called Torrington. My grandmother had a house in an even smaller town called Lakeville and I spent summers there along with my niece. Hiking through the woods, splashing around in a creek, swimming at the Lake…. this was how we spent our days and these make up the majority of my happiest childhood memories.
It meant a lot that I was able to spend an afternoon sharing these things with my kids.
I started a tumblr:
I love tumblr and its easy to see/use format so I thought it would be a great place to share some of my wedding photos. There, I will post old favorites as well as some current weddings and engagement sessions that I’m working on. Right now, I’m just putting up some of my favorite photos from the last few years but in a few days I’ll get some current stuff up as well. I figured tumblr would be a quick and fun way to get some pics up on the internet, the work-in-progress stuff, before doing a large post here.
“I’ve had an attachment to books & words for as long as I can remember. You hold a book in your hands and you want to read it, right? I suppose the way I make pictures is similar to how I read text on a page: following a path, a flow of sentences, a train of thought, and underlining phrases, words or passages that resonate subjectively in some way. Composing a photograph is like highlighting a passage of the world that holds my attention, or like taking notes in a journal or a detective’s notebook, or making a short field recording of some ambient noise. (Whenever somebody asks me “what do you photograph,” two words come to mind: “things” and “nature.”) Over time the picture-types start to repeat and accumulate into a kind of language, and can function as a kind of text.”
I could have written these words. This describes my feelings, thoughts, and process exactly. It's nice when someone else can translate your ideas to words so eloquently.
This is the dinner I cooked yesterday. (I was too full and buzzed to post these last night.) I try to cook a big dinner every Sunday (when my schedule allows) and I usually make enough to last a few days for leftovers. Sometimes I’ll even make two different dinners just so I won’t have to cook again for a while (although I do love to cook!). Yesterday I wanted to make a French-inspired dinner. I don’t like to follow recipes or anything, so most of what I cook is just “inspired”….I’ll glance cookbooks or foodie websites to get ideas, but I always put my own spin on the things I make. Here’s what I came up with:
Spinach Salad with egg, pancetta, cherry tomatoes, and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
Herb roasted chicken marinaded with white wine, dijon mustard, thyme, parsley, and dill. The organic chicken is split along the back and roasted whole. The next time I cut a chicken like this, I’ll put it on the grill.
Quiche with asparagus and leeks (one of my favorite things).
Potato and fennel gratin with red onions and Gruyere. I’ve never cooked with fennel before so I only used a little because I didn’t want to overwhelm the dish with the licorice flavor… but we were all pleasantly surprised, I’ll definitely make this again.
Of course, white wine, La Ferme Julien. It’s a light white wine that I absolutely love. I’ve only seen it Trader Joe’s.
And for dessert, a Raspberry Tarte. I take no credit for this. I got it in the frozen dessert section of Trader Joe’s. It was perfect… a flaky, delicate crust and the raspberries were firm and tart, not too sweet.
Above is a dinner I cooked a couple of weeks ago. This photo was on the same memory card as a shoot I did for a client so I came across it this morning as I was finishing up editing photos. You can’t really see what all of the food is and I didn’t do any close up pics but it was a Mediterranean inspired meal I made with some of my absolute favorite dishes.
The big bowl in the middle is all different toppings of a chopped salad I had at some weird restaurant once. Diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green peppers, garbanzo beans, corn, and sliced salami. You mix it all together with clopped lettuce and a healthy handful of roughly chopped basil and top with a balsamic vinaigrette. I didn’t mix it all together here because I made enough for leftovers so I didn’t want the lettuce to wilt.
Also pictured: curry chicken (the next time I make it, I’ll shoot each step and post the recipe…it’s the best curry chicken I’ve ever had!), some sort of spicy tomato pasta dish, saffron rice, falafel, and breaded eggplant. There are also some kalamata olives, feta cheese, a sliced tomato and cucumber salad, some warm pita, and a homemade Tzatziki sauce.
Also, my husband baked chocolate chip cookies.
This is seriously such a good meal…I need to make it again soon! (with more pics)
I've been meaning to blog this engagement session and wedding AGES ago but the problem with some really great sessions is actually narrowing down the number of images to post and share. I absolutely fell in love with Rachel and Ryan-- their energy, their sense of style their sense of humor. They are truly special and I'm so glad that this profession I've chosen for myself has led me into their lives.
They are huge classic movie buffs so it was no surprise that they chose to incorporate that passion and style into their engagement session and ultimately the theme of their wedding.
Here are a few of my favs from their engagement session we shot on a gorgeous Spring morning in Bexley:
Rachel and Ryan's wedding took place on one of the most beautiful Fall afternoon's ever at the historic Bryn Du Mansion in Granville, Ohio. Their classic movie theme fit perfectly with the architecture and sensibility of this impeccably preserved landmark. You really couldn't ask for a more perfect day. Take a look:
A few from my recent trip to New York. They're all edited a bit differently because to me, they all feel a bit different. I don't know, really. I just like what I see.
I'm very fortunate to have had some of the greatest clients a photographer could ask for. (Most photographers say this, by the way). But I have proof that this is true... when a client becomes a friend.
I photographed Alonna & Jarrod's NYC wedding about five years ago, and since then, they have become some of my very best friends. So of course, I jumped at the chance to photograph their first maternity session! And I can't wait to be there for the first photos of my gorgeous new niece!! Here are a few of my favs from our session:
People think they know just by the small bit of impression we put out there into the world. What most people fail to realize is that who we show is only a very small part of who we are. At least most people. I suppose there are people so thin and lacking any sort of depth that what you see truly is what you get, but it doesn't matter much. People who matter, the people who will matter to you and to your life are hardly easily readable.
We owe it to ourselves and to each other to not judge so quickly, to dig further and deeper, to take a closer look and to not assume.
If you want to know anything about me at all, this blog will only enlighten you a small bit. If you want a slightly larger bit read my tumblr. It's much more truth than fiction.
Obviously, writing can be cathartic and just know that something recently happened to cause me to write the following. It feels good to get it off my chest:
I am a professional photographer. Do you know what that means? It means I have been extensively trained in all areas of photography and I earn my income from making and selling photographs and photographic services.
Photography has both the honor and the burden of being not only a (somewhat) lucrative profession but it’s also a great hobby enjoyed by millions and millions of people. And herein lies the problem: this is my hobby, my passion, my favorite thing to do, my first love, my obsession…. but it’s also my JOB. And I definitely need a job. (Just ask all of the people, companies, and utilities to whom I owe money.)
It is my job. It is my job. It is my job.
I have to keep saying this because I don’t think anyone is hearing me.
I admit I am lucky. I have a fun job that looks very glamorous (looks can be deceiving, let me assure you). I work primarily from my home so yes, there are days that I don’t even shower until 7pm only to put yoga pants and t-shirt back on. There are days when I watch a movie at two in the afternoon, but please understand that I was probably up until 2am the night before editing photos. There are days when I can have a long leisurely lunch with my mother or friends, I can pick up my kids from school and attend most, if not all, of their school events and activities. I easily schedule doctors appointments and avoid long lines at the bank and grocery store by running errands on a Wednesday morning instead of Friday afternoon or Saturday like the rest of you. Working from home has its perks.
But do not be fooled into thinking that I have a life of leisure. I work. Hard. I shoot on weekends while you’re enjoying time with your family. When you’re asleep, I’m editing photos and working on projects for clients. When you leave your job, you leave your work behind you, mine is always staring at me so even at 11pm on a Friday night I’m probably working.
And let’s not talk about sick days. I don’t get them. Ever.
But here’s the larger truth, and indulge me, please, while I repeat myself: This is my job.
So no, I won’t “just snap a few head shots” for you for free. Please don’t invite me to your wedding as a guest but yeah, don’t forget to bring your camera. I actually get paid to photograph weddings. Again, it’s my job.
If we make an appointment, please show up. If you have to cancel, please have enough courtesy to call or even just send me a text. I had a “friend” not show up to a meeting to discuss her wedding and I sat there for nearly 90 minutes because you know, she was my friend and I gave her the benefit of the doubt, certainly a friend wouldn't just stand me up like that! Two days later I received a short email that oops! she decided to hire some guy from her church who’s cheaper.
You know what happens when you don’t show up for a doctors appointment? They charge you. And guess what… your neighbor, who is also a doctor, won’t perform your surgery for free because ya know, you guys are such great buddies. Well guess what else… I won’t photograph your kids for free either. Same reason.
It’s my job.
The definition of a job is this:
1job noun \ˈjäb\
: the work that a person does regularly in order to earn money
Please don’t ask me for a “deal” or any “specials”. Please don’t think that just because we kinda sorta know each other that I will hook you up. Please don’t think that I’m willing to photograph you just for free, to you know, boost my portfolio because honey, look, I’ve been shooting for twenty odd years, my portfolio is far from thin. If you know my son or my daughter, that doesn’t give you the friend of my kid discount. That doesn't exist, in fact. And please don’t assume that because “someone” else received a special rate, that you will too.
My rates are my rates and they are adjusted yearly based on demand.
I have bills. I have a mortgage. My family likes to eat food and we like hot water. I have a son in college, a daughter who is probably one of the greatest dancers you’ll ever meet who needs dance shoes and lessons that are sooo worth it but certainly not cheap. I have an adorable eleven year old who seems to have overdosed on human growth hormone and needs new pants and shoes every two months.
I have, on occasion, given people discounts. I stress on occasion. For friends sometimes. For people whose Life Event I feel like I really need to be there because I really love this person so much and they already know the deal, they respect me and what I do so it isn’t even work it’s a gift and I’m glad to do it. Trust me, you probably don’t fall into this category, sorry.
I’ve bartered with people. I give them photos, they do work or a service that I need. I actually have no problem with doing that… Any good mechanics or roofers or house painters need some photography? Too bad Kroger or Time Warner didn't have a bartering system. Oh wait, they do, it's called money.
I provide a service that is unique to me. There are dozens and dozens of photographers out there. Some are more expensive than I am. Some are cheaper. Some are reallllly freaking amazing, I cry at how inadequate they make me feel. Some should probably get their eyes checked. So if my prices are not in your range, there’s likely someone else who is. And that’s okay because we are all different. Each photographer, each artist, brings something unique and special to their craft. We bring our experience and our outlook on life and our education and creativity and energy and ideas and our Vision.
I had to remind myself of something just last night:
If I don’t value what I do, I can’t expect anyone else to.
So this is me, valuing what I do. I’m placing value on the work that I make, on the images that I create, on the services I provide. Art is hard work, and it’s certainly not free, or even cheap. But it has Value.