Several years ago, just about four to be exact, Olivia's mom Evangeline reached out looking for a photographer for Olivia's baptism. Evangeline was happy with the results, and now four years later reached out again for photography.
As a birthday gift for her mother in-law, Evangeline was looking for a full family portrait as well as smaller groups of the family. Thankfully, she reached out to me, and once again I was headed out to meet up with the Bellon family, only this time in a little more relaxed environment than before, one of the family members' home. The parents were all gathered around the kitchen island snacking, while Olivia finished her nap and I got set up in the living room. Once Olivia was awake, the fun started, and we went through group after group of family members.
Toward the end of my time with the family, Olivia handed me a hand-drawn "Thank you!" card, complete with a drawing of me and my camera. It's difficult to believe it has been almost four years since I last saw her, and I let her know I don't believe for a moment she's four years old. Olivia was certain I was joking, and I was certain that I was not. To wrap up the afternoon, we got a few photos of her and her Uncle Nick, as well as hamming it up for the camera a little bit. Or maybe a lot. :)
I'm excited to get these photos edited and to Evangeline and her family, and hopefully get another excited phone call as well.
I was talking with Carrie not long ago, and found out she and her husband, Eric, are now expecting a baby boy addition to their family. During our facebook conversation, I had to ask if Eric still goes by "Snake" (mind you -- the nickname "Snake" conjures up images of someone who is far less gentle than Eric) and she said "Yes he is definitely going by Snake and has taken to calling the baby Snake Junior!"
I've been slow (very slow) in posting these photos, but not for a lack of liking them -- I just kept putting it off and putting it off. Why that is, I couldn't tell you. Carrie & Eric's wedding had everything you could want in a wedding: a host of attendees, closest friends telling embarrassing stories, fantastic location (Winmock at Kinderton in Bermuda Run, NC), great food (Eastern NC style barbecue!), and the highlight of the evening -- a surprise visit from Elvis!
In July of 2010, I shot my first NYC wedding for Matt and Di on a rooftop of Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. When Matt contacted me last week to tell me a friend of his was planning to propose to his girlfriend, asking me if I would be interested in working with them, I of course said yes. I know that friends of my clients must be awesome by the transitive property of awesomeness. I quickly set a time to speak with Jaren about what he was looking for, and we agreed to work together for his proposal.
The weather for the morning of his proposal was nice and warm, it wasn't windy, and basically was just what I had hoped for, and what Spring in NYC so far has failed to deliver. Jaren's friend Terry, the distraction for Mary Beth while Jaren got in position to propose, and I chatted for a bit waiting on Jaren and Mary Beth to arrive. Moments before they were to get to the bridge, it seemed a tour bus of people came to the bridge to take photos, chat, enjoy the scenery, and in one ladie's case to begin pre-run stretching in a hot pink jacket exactly where Terry was to be positioned to meet Jaren & Mary Beth.
Thankfully, just moments before they were to arrive, the crowds thinned leaving only Terry and me on the bridge as Jaren and Mary Beth arrived. All the planning, misdirection, and preparation led to a quiet proposal on a bridge by the Jacklyn Kennedy Onassis reservoir in Central Park. Moments later, at the conclusion of an emotional proposal, Mary Beth said yes, leaving nothing for Jaren to do but stand up and embrace his new fiance. As we walked to meet a cab to take them to see their friends for the first time as an engaged couple, Jaren and Terry laughed about the effort that Jaren had put into planning the event, causing Mary Beth to perk up: "I was just thinking last night that it's a good thing I know you so well, otherwise I might think you'd been cheating on me with all these late nights working!"
Tony contacted me a month ago after his high school friend Richard sent him my way. Last summer I worked with Richard and Alex to get photos of their wedding at NYC's City Hall Marriage Bureau, so going back with Tony & Helen was going to be a little bit of a challenge from the get-go, just trying to get new and different photos. As seems to often happen, I was thrown even more curveballs as we were in and out of the Marriage Bureau in under 30 minutes. Even the officiant was the same as Richard & Alex's, and he seemed to be in just as much of a hurry to get us in and out.
After leaving the Marriage Bureau, we headed over to the actual City Hall, amid good luck wishes and congratulations from friendly New Yorkers. As we arrived, Tony & Helen were serenaded by a local lady who was having her lunch on one of the many benches in the park around City Hall. Not that the excitement was over at City Hall. When we arrived at the Brooklyn Bridge Promenade, several tourists tried to get Helen to write the name of her friends on the bottom of her shoes. None in our group quite understood what they were trying to explain, unfortunately. Thanks to my trusty Googlebox, I was able to figure it out afterwards, however.
Several hours later, Tony & Helen seemed quite ready to head back to their hotel and get a beer, relax, and prepare for another day of touring New York City.
Recently, when working with clients for a portrait session, I've been advising against my longest portrait session option, which comes in at 2.5 - 3 hours of photography. Some people actually do want this much time, and do need it, but for the most part I have found that my clients are more engaged and excited at the beginning of the session.
As an example of what can be done in a quick session, I have a selection of shots from my session with Erin. Erin wanted a new LinkedIn profile picture, as well as some more portrait-y type photos for herself. Also, because she's good like that, she had a few printed up and sent to mom for Mother's day. My mom is still waiting on the portraits she requested of me back in 2007. Oops.
We met around 6pm, wrapped up just before 7pm, and never strayed more than 2 blocks from my office. In that short window of time, we were able to get some fun photos, some LinkedIn options, and never had to break a sweat. In a new first for me, Erin also got a "hey there!" from a G train conductor in the form of a horn blow and a smile as the train passed.
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