Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Watch This Baby Grow!

My wife reads the Young House Love blog daily, and sends me links to her favorites (of which there are many!). It is written by a couple who love DIY projects. As each project develops, they talk about what they are doing, and why they are doing it. It really is a great source of information and advice.

The other day, my wife saw this post and had to share. I am so glad she did! It was all about how this couple photographed their new baby girl every week over the course of her first year (see photo below). I really liked what they did, and how they used these photos. At her first birthday party, they printed a bunch of the photos and hung them up. I was really impressed, not only with their dedication at doing this every week, but more so because it was such a simple setup, just a plain white onesie, a yard of fabric, and a camera, all setup next to a window.

It all goes to show that you don't need a fancy setup or a studio or big lights to capture the growth of your little one!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Great Evening at the ICA

Monday night, I had the pleasure to visit the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston to photograph an event for clients and friends of Jones Lang LaSalle, a commercial real estate company. Thanks to the hard work of Jones Lang LaSalle employees and Jana and Christine from Altieri Events, the experience was a lot of fun for everyone.

As the evening progressed through the cocktail hour to the Q&A session with their special guests Bill Belichick and Roger Staubach (Mr. Staubach actually threw an autographed football to three lucky winners in the audience), the look of the ICA changed. The darkness of the night set in, allowing the accent lights to make the space feel vibrant and more and more exciting to photograph.

For a football fan, seeing (and yes, shaking the hand of) both Roger Staubach and Bill Belichick was just awesome, made even more exciting because I just learned Mr Staubach is a fellow native of Cincinnati, OH. For those of you that know me, you know how close Cincinnati is to my heart. On top of meeting him, having an excuse to go to the ICA was very welcome. While there, I learned that admission is free on Thursday nights from 5-9 pm (hint, hint).

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Photographer gets Photographed!

Yesterday, I had a second family shoot with two little boys, their mom, dad, and grandma. They are an energetic and fun bunch, and it was great to work with them again. As usual, I got out my camera and sat on the floor to start photographing the boys, the oldest of which was running around the house yelling: “Take my picture! Take my picture!” followed by “Can I see it?!”

The younger one had other plans, though. Within moments of me sitting cross legged on the floor, he ran right up to me, flopped on my lap, curled up, and got cozy. It was so awesome to feel like I made such a connection with him, and that he was so comfortable with me. He kept doing that throughout the day, then as the session was about over, his bigger brother joined in. They were crawling and climbing and giggling all over me! Their mother, caught up in the laughter, picked up my camera, which I could not use because I was tickling and wrangling her boys, took a few shots of us having fun. This is not the first time this has happened, and it feels so good when it does!!

Just figured I would share my joy. Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Celebrating Mister Rogers

Two days ago would have been Mister Rogers’ 83rd birthday.
For me, Mister Rogers has always been a source of inspiration, and his magical view of the world is one I try hard to share. As a way to honor him, I have collected ten of my favorite quotes of his below.

  1. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers-so many caring people in this world.”
  2. “As you continue to work on your understanding of yourself and others, you are really engaged in love.”
  3. “People whose work is self-expression of the most obvious kind-artists, writers, musicians, dancers-seem to be drawing heavily on play to do what they do. What they all have in common is the urge to take what is known and rearrange it in new combinations.”
  4. “Pretending doesn’t require expensive toys.”
  5. “The child in me is still…and sometimes not so still.”
  6. “On the occasions when I did something with a child’s block building that was more than I was asked to do, I quickly discovered how important it was to respect the architect within the child.”
  7. “Think of the ripple effect that can be created when we nourish someone. One kind empathetic word has a wonderful way of turning into many.”
  8. “Listening is where love begins: listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors.”
  9. “There is no normal life that is free of pain. It’s the very wrestling with our problems that can be the impetus for our growth.”
  10. “I find out more and more every day how important it is for people to share their memories.”

I have two Mister Rogers shirts I like to wear, and it’s not surprising how many people smile and or comment when they see this one. He helped so many people feel special!

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Gallery Opening at the Harvard Museum of Natural History

On occasion, The Harvard Museum of Natural History hosts special events (even weddings!), and last night, they hosted a very special event to honor the kindness of the Zofnass family, who donated generously to support the newest exhibit, New England Forests. This exhibit is amazing! It is all about the flora and fauna in New England, and how that ecosystem functions and responds to change.

I visited the Museum shortly after I moved to the Boston area less than three years ago, and immediately fell in love. From the minerals to the glass flowers to the Africa gallery, this newest exhibit is another great reason to go. The attention to detail in this gallery is amazing. There are so many little things that support this exhibit, like the woodpecker perched near the top of one of the trees, that it is doubtful you will be able to take it all in on your first visit.

This gallery opens to the public starting tomorrow, May 21st. General admission for adults is $9, for children only $6, and Sunday morning from 9-noon, admission is free to Massachusetts residents. For more information about planning your trip, go here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Childlike Curiosity

There was a post on Boston Mamas this morning called A Penny For Your Walk. That post talked about how curiosity can motivate a granddaughter to take a walk with her grandmother, and it got me thinking about the power of curiosity.

Each child I have met has wonder and excitement in their eyes. Seeing that is so rewarding and life-affirming! I mean, I spend time with them and their families in their own home, but they still see most everything around them as if it was for the first time. It is in these moments that I am reminded about how exciting the unknown can be to children.

For years, it was that unknown that I was constantly preparing for, believing that getting the next thing (be it a flash or lens or camera or whatever) will ensure that I get good results, but great photographers like Henri Cartier Bresson wandered around the streets of Paris with one camera and one lens (can you believe it?!?!). It was that childlike wonder and that presence in the moment that allowed him to be open to the moments happening all around him.

The chance to be around the energy of children has saved me from the trap of wanting the next thing. I am constantly challenged by a variety of issues, but keeping curiosity and excitement in my heart that I have learned from so many kids gives me the perspective I need.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Communicating Your Vision

I read a blog post this morning from Real Maine Weddings called emailing with your vendors(excerpted below), and it reminded me of the power of a clear idea.

Crafting a clear vision for your gathering, be it a first birthday party, a wedding, or somewhere in-between, can be difficult, but will pay huge dividends in the end. For example, Knowing that you want a Dora The Explorer themed birthday party makes choosing the birthday cake simple. Or, as the Real Maine Wedding blog said, “For me, it was “laid back white wedding on the coast of Maine.” Not only did my vendors appreciate the clear direction, it also helped me stay focused. Yes, those aquamarine stilettos are killer, but they come nowhere close to being ‘laid back’--or white for that matter. And while a taco bar would certainly be laid back, unfortunately nothing about tacos says ‘Maine.’ “

The vendors you hire are there to support your vision, so talking with them about it helps them turn your words into a stronger vision so that they can craft the event to match your mood. When I have a consultation with a client, I like to ask them “Could you tell me five words that describe the feel of your event?” That really helps define the look people are going for, and it helps me look more closely at the details that help support their vision.

Not only does a clear vision help you make decisions, but it helps your vendors support that vision, and most importantly, it really helps your guests appreciate all the little touches, and gets them in the mood that you were trying to convey.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Power of Wonder

NOVA is one of the programs I set my DVR to record, and thanks to a lazy Sunday, I was able to catch up on some past episodes while getting my knitting project started.

I watched the episode about Stonehenge; the way it was built, the technology perhaps used to build it, and new theories on the purpose of it.

It moved me. Stonehenge has always been intriguing to me, but I always felt like it was something that was studied and understood, and the mysteries had been figured out. However, there was someone on there that was trying to understand how they moved such heavy stones. After working on this question, he had an "ah ha!" moment, and postulated that stones formed into uniform spheres (seemingly common around that time) were actually used as a type of ball bearings to help move these stones, sometimes weighing tens of tons.

For me, this spoke to the power of wonder, and how seeing things in new ways exposes me to the magic of the world. On a good day, it is that wonder that moves me, and that magic that compels me to be a photographer.

I found this photo of Colin Ashley's, and wanted to share a view of Stonehenge that I don't normally see.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ballroom Dance Photos For Fun!

I went to a dance competition at MIT a few weeks ago, this time to watch, not to compete, and I had planned to take some standard photos of the competitors, but after a few shots, I started to experiment with the shutter speed, slowing it down to capture the movement of the people and the flowing dresses.
Editing down these photos to only a handful was difficult. I am enthralled with the shapes the dresses create; it was like watching a campfire or those Siamese Fighting Fish, just amazing and hard to look away!
This was a personal assignment, one I did out of the sheer joy of photography, and I am compelled to share. Perhaps you won't be able to look away, either!

Sorry for the delay...

I follow a great blog called The Broke Ass Bride that's focused on helping soften the blow of the cost of weddings, which can certainly feel overwhelming sometimes.
It has some great advice on it, and some great ideas to not only save money, but to get crafty and really add great personal touches to your wedding day/weekend.

Their post from yesterday was talking about how long it takes to hear back from your vendors sometimes. If you want to read that post (highly recommended), called "Oh, Vendor, Where Art Thou?" check it out here.

For me, it makes me feel really bad when I can't respond to people's emails or phone calls right away. I want to be responsive, and never want folks to think that I am ignoring them, but sometimes, I just can't respond very quickly. Do you want to book an engagement session in 3 Saturdays from now? That sounds great! I would love to, and might be available, but sometimes I need to wait until another client, who booked that date already, confirms times with me. Do you want me to photograph your little one's first birthday party next weekend? Great, I am available, but let me write up a contract for you first.

Trust me, I try to respond to emails and phone calls as quickly as possible, and give you the attention and time that you deserve, but sometimes, it's not so easy to do. I will never send an email when I am distracted with other work, because your event is special to me, and I want to be sure I am in the mindset to be attentive and respond to your needs.

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding!

Friday, May 13, 2011

The value of candid photos

One of the blogs I follow (So You're EnGAYged) posted this on their blog yesterday, and I couldn't agree with it more!
Below is the excerpt that really resonated with me. If you would like to see the whole post, go here.

"It’s really quite fun to capture a moment with your family (four-legged or not). Even if the photos end up being a little cheesy, it represents a time of love and connection. I never let a holiday go by without a photo-ops. Right now, we still feel like newlyweds but also have the excitement of an engagement as we plan our vow renewal. With the addition of the new puppy fitting in with our little circle, we are on Cloud 9 most of the time. I couldn’t help but get as many pictures of our happy little family as possible. And I’m so glad that I did!"

Capturing these memories is the important thing, of course. Sure, they might not look as good as you would like, but it's the moments that are important, and with digital cameras, these don't really cost anything to take! So, get out there this weekend, photograph your loved ones, and share these memories on Facebook!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Architecture Shoot for Haycon

Many of you know I don't normally post photos of my architecture photography, but this space, especially the bathroom, was gorgeous! Another jewel in the crown of Haycon, a design/build team I have been shooting for since last year.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jen and Brian's Maternity Session

I can't say enough about this couple, and this photo session! They had requested that we do it at Regeneration Tattoo in Allston (where he works), and that made me so happy! I love tattoos, both collecting them, and seeing what others have gotten, so this couple and this space just fit with everything I have been looking for recently.

Jen and Brian are a great couple, and I hope to work with them again!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ten Mother's Day Gifts

This week’s list is dedicated to the moms out there. If you haven’t thought of a good present for the mom in your life yet, or, moms, if you just know your loved one has no idea what to get, and you don’t want yet another jug of foul smelling perfume, here are some ideas.

What was your favorite mother’s day gift? Post it as a comment at the end, I would love to hear it!

  1. Photo Books- Some of my clients have wanted to do a photo session because they wanted to send these photos out to their parents out of state, or give them to their spouse to put on their desk at work, such as the one I made (below). There is a variety of places online like Shutterfly or Blurb that could make photo books for you. Their interface is easy to work with to create a wonderful personalized gift.

  2. Photo Mug- If you don’t want to do a book, there are all kinds of ways to put photos on gifts, like a desk organizer, a mouse pad, or, if your mother can’t get started in the morning until her fist cup of coffee, a photo mug would be a perfect gift!

  3. Photo Quilt- For our wedding, Tara, a friend of ours, had a great idea to put out fabric squares for our guests to sign, then make those squares into a quilt. That wonderful and cozy gift has been on my mind recently, and I just found out about printing photos on fabric squares and making those into a quilt. There are many patterns available online for free, or you could work with this site to have them make it.
  4. Photo Lamp- In looking up different photo gifts for you, my dear readers, I came across this site. It looks like such a neat option, and I know I would really enjoy a photo of my loved one who already lights up my life!

  5. Photo Album- Shortly after my wedding last October, I collected about 25 images from our wedding and put them into a small photo album and mailed it back to my mom in Cincinnati for her to show her friends. Many of my recent clients have parents who live several states away, or even out of the country. Just making a small photo book of your spouse and kids, or of you and your mom, or of photos from your childhood would likely make her as happy as my mom was when I sent her my small wedding album.

  6. Photo Gift Box- My mother-in-law is a sweet and bright person. Her smile and her giggles are infectious. She is a great argument for the old axiom of “you are what you eat.” She has always had a huge sweet tooth, the brighter the candy, the sweeter the treats, the better they are! I certainly share her love (for the candy as well as for her daughter!), and if your mom is anything like her, there are all kinds of options for sweet presents. I found a really nice photo gift box here that includes chocolate covered nuts, Ghirardelli truffle squares and mini chocolate covered pretzels. I even found a photo box with a safe in it, for those mothers who have husbands or kids that like to steal her treats!

  7. Paper Flowers- Lorena is a friend of ours whose skills at crafty projects and baking is legendary! She made our wedding cake, and it was delicious! Several months before our wedding, she made my wife an impressive bouquet of paper flowers to pose with when they went dress shopping. I loved it right away, as did my wife. We put it in a vase right inside our front door, where it still resides today. There are many options for making gorgeous paper flowers, such as origami lilies, or Paper Source (I love that place!) has kits here to guide you through the project. To add a personal touch, print out some photos and use them for the petals.

  8. Photo Collage- If you’re not a fan of following directions, or buying a mostly made gift already, a photo collage is a great option. Not much to say about it here, just get some photos and/or some magazines to cut or tear up and paste!

  9. Photo Pendant- For those that like finding old treasures, or have moms who love those treasures, going to antique shops or finding modern takes on these pendants is easy to do.

  10. Frames- For the mom (or mother-in-law) who is hard to shop for, or who has everything they want already, a simple frame would be a great gift. Either give them an empty frame with an invitation to get some photos of her and/or her family this summer, or use it to replace a frame in the house that no longer matches the d├ęcor.