Thursday, November 29, 2007

the A-B-C-10-ike Mix Master in the HOUSE

My secret ambition of becoming a DJ, a secret no more!

It is ALL about the music, most times in life. How much better do you like a movie when the soundtrack is awesome? Does 'Reality Bites' come to mind? The movie was good and all but that soundtrack was great. 'Garden State' was the stuff of music legend. And batting clean up I have a dual volume here, 'Elizabethtown.' And before you jump all over me and say the only reason I saw that was because of Orlando Bloom, I say what is wrong with THAT? And then the soundtrack made me LOVE it! And him, even more! Is that even possible?

So on my iPhone I have this rockin' mix, before I created my 'on-the-go' playlist so it was all alphabetized and stuff. And I had to keep pressing play for the next song, but I figured it out. After. Later. When I stopped!!

Thursday's running mix:
'Are You Gonna Be My Girl' Jet
'Beautiful' Pharell & Snoop Dog
'Beautiful Day' U2
'C'Mon C'Mon' The Von Bondies
'Cars & Trains' George Michael
'City of Blinding Lights' U2
'Closing Time' Semisonic
'Elevation' U2
'Give It To Me' Timbaland feat. Nelly & My Boyfriend JT
'Hung Up' Madonna
'I Used to Love You' Kanye West feat. John Legend
'Let Go' Frou Frou
'Like I Love You' JT

What's on *your* playlist?

ding dong's big adventure

I have been getting so many supportive emails from a lot of my loyal friends and blog readers, THANKS!! A lot of you are asking how I came to get into running- and I have to say reading this book 'The Courage To Start' by John Bingham was SO helpful. It is a great book, I highly recommend it! If you are looking to get in shape, or just take better care of yourself- I have learned a few nuggets of wisdom that I would love to pass on, after this little story...
So Tuesday was a running day and I decided that to keep things fresh I would run in a new neighborhood. There is this pretty boulevard in West Hartford I have driven by my whole life and never gone down, so I decided I would run down it before driving down it, sounds all noble, right. So I park nearby, start running, have my big moment all early in my run- wow, this street is nice, nice Tudor style houses, pretty landscaping, yadda yadda. So then I start taking a left here, a right there, a curve here a curve there and before I know it I am super lost! The streets aren't in a grid system, for one and the street names are like 'Cliffmore' 'Edge of the World Be Careful Running on This Crazy Street' 'It's All UpHill' crap like that. Yeah, HILLS galore! I ended on Mountain Road and had to stop and really think about where I was before I ran in the total wrong direction. So, 46 minutes later I got back to my car. But it was fun. Seriously. I totally meant to run that long.

OK, so here is some advice:

- Have supportive people in your life

- Create a goal, no matter how small you may think it is- mine right now is to finish the 5K on 12/9 and to run a 12:30/ mile pace. I did a 12:59/ mile pace for the last one, so shaving 29 seconds off per mile is kind of big.

- Make a good work out music mix- THIS IS KEY!! I will post some of mine, I had a killer one on today that just kept me SO motivated, it was great

- Really look at yourself / or hang out with a ton of photographers (honestly this is probably what kicked my butt into gear the most- how often do you truly sit and check yourself out? I mean, honestly. I had SO many pictures taken of me and posted for the world to see that I wasn't necessarily psyched about. But the reality is too bad for me! That is what I look like and this is what everyone sees when they see me- if I didn't like it I needed to do something about it)

- Have fun doing it, whatever 'it' is. Otherwise, what's the point?

- Use technology! There is a cool site that tracks your routes for you and tells you how far you have gone. Or you can get all fancy and get one of those Nike shoe hoo has. Can you say 'Christmas present'

- Run with your iPhone- I know, I know- screw me, right. But really. Music, access to 911 if I get hurt, MAPS, a phone to breathe heavily into, I can trade some stocks as well, Text people... it was awesome.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

wedding at the spa at norwich inn

In early November the power of our CT PUG group was tested- by a hurricane. One of our PUG members, Richard Esposito, got stuck traveling in the Bahamas a week longer than he had planned on staying and couldn't get back in time for a wedding he had. What a nightmare, not only for the photographer but his clients, who had already established a great relationship with him. Krystal of Studio Foto and I were able to cover at the Norwich Inn & Spa for RE and had a great time doing it. For one, we both really love shooting and were excited to shoot together. Krystal is one of those photographers who just gets lost in her shoots, she loves it so much! So we were happy to know that we were really helping out our friend, RE. It's just good photographer Karma to be there to help out a colleague! The funniest part is that RE eventually made it to the very end of the reception! So as a current client or potential client reading this, know that there is power and security in our networking group, our awesome CT PUG!! A big thanks to Cindy & George for being so wonderful to work with under such unusual circumstances!

Friday, November 23, 2007

'the amazing race' part 1 of many

Steve and I looking svelte before the race

This is what I drove down in, super beautiful!

Guilford in the fog

Steve likes his calves

I love this light!

Steve and his Mom

Bob 2.0 representing North Branford

You know it's Mary by the Starbucks cup

Yes, Steve is totally getting passed by a child

I can look peppy, even though I am totally faking it

Taking pictures was a nice distraction

I took this sign literally. I am not a law breaker

Towards the end of the race, I really just want some hot cocoa and a foot rub.

More nice light

I couldn't seem to stop shooting, although technically I think Steve took this one. I art directed

Almost done!

Race results posted- Justin said, and I quote ' Wow! I can't believe there were 346 people that finished before you guys!'

Who said running any kind of race was a good way to start Thanksgiving? Someone smart, I think... What a day yesterday was! Steve and I ran that Branford 5K like we were being chased by wild dogs! Well, sort of. I am a steady and slow runner (mostly slow), Steve, is way more in shape and ready to just charge ahead. Lucky for him I held him back so that he wouldn't be that guy puking at the end. That is a direct quote from him! It was a lot of fun but really hard for me- there were some slight long inclines aka HILLS, which Steve is in total denial about but man they kicked my ass. The whole time we were kind of stuck running behind a guy who was easily in his 80's with a shirt that said 'this meat don't loaf!' It was a new form of torture for me as I had to keep up with my own goal of just finishing and not really caring who passed me but secretly loving it when I did pass others. OK so what if they were walkers, I still passed them! This guy was neck and neck with me and Steve, well OK me, and every time we would pass him Steve would say 'can you hear that?' Because all I could hear was this guys feet slapping the pavement behind me, ready to pass me. Believe me, it was way more thrilling of a race when you were there! But it totally threw me and I couldn't focus because I was being stalked by Meat Loaf Man! At the half way point I was so tired and kind of wondering why I decided to do this so soon! And there was such a sight for sore eyes there!! Mary & Justin were there with their pom-poms and noise makers and 70-200 VR cheering their hearts out! I almost cried but had to hold it together. So I gave Steve my camera (hell YES I was taking pictures while running a race!) because I forgot to free up the card and had run out of memory. So I distracted Steve for a bit and then we were at the last turn of the race, ahead of 'this meat don't loaf' mind you and there was Mrs DePino and Tara, Steve's sister and her husband cheering us on! And of course Steve knew the guy announcing the finishers (I think he is a DJ for WPLR) and he is like 'STEVE DEPINO! Is crossing the finish line!!' Nice way for us to finish! I admit I tried to take Steve in the last straight away but I think I started too soon and he caught on and totally beat me!! Next time DePino, next time!

The moral of the story is that if you put your mind to something, you can do it. And having the love and support of your friends and family is the way to do it! I had so much more fun having people there to support me and Steve to run side by side, and sometimes backwards with me than I would have had alone. Thank you to everyone who lent moral support and to everyone who donated to The Portrait House, I will post my total soon! And you can bet I will beat Steve at THAT!! ;)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

tomorrow is the BIG day!

and this is the LITTLE picture, apparently!

So tomorrow is the big day, the Thanksgiving 5K in Branford! I read that it's going to be like 50 degrees, which is awesome. Today I am taking a break from running as yesterday I ran, though not in all of that bizarre snow! What was THAT about? I wasn't really prepared for it, and was actually kind of bummed because my running mate Renee and I created a cool 3 mile loop through my neighborhood that is pretty challenging and I was really looking forward to running it. I didn't want to hurt myself though so I decided to run on the treadmill instead. BORING! I have to say that I am not a fan of tread mill running at all. But I have a kick ass running mix on my ipod that kept me motivated as CNN most certainly did NOT. God I hate TV sometimes! Except for LOST!

Wish me luck and we still really need donations! So far I have some awesome sponsors but can you really ever give enough? Come on people dig deep! I really really appreciate it!! Remember it benefits the awesome Portrait House!

Have a great Thanksgiving and remember to check back and see how we did! I am sure there will be some really embarrassing footage to post!

Monday, November 19, 2007

kristin + matt wedding at the aqua turf

There are parts of weddings that touch certain people, photographers, I guess I am talking about more than others. For me it's the parent dances. They are about pure emotion- a Mom dancing with her little boy, now all grown up and starting a family of his own. I see it from my point of view, as a Mom- I wonder how I'll be when I dance with my Jack on his wedding day. I just don't see me keeping it together at ALL. I mean, I remember when I first found out I was pregnant with him- I remember feeling him kick for the first time- I remember every second of my labor- I remember when he got really sick for the first time, when he had to go under for surgery, when he made his first joke, or sang his first song to me. Wow, I gotta stop!! I am losing it over here! Not to mention seeing my brides dance with their Dad's. Enter Dave and our little Georgie Girl dancing! OK, good night! Sorry. The whole point of my giant emotional tangent was to say that I have an emotional affinity to the parent dance and really loved the images I captured of Matt's Mom, clinging to him and Kristin and her Dad laughing.
Those two are just my sweetest couple ever. They are also my youngest couple and I have to say that despite that their love is soulful and deep and so real. It not only is present with them but with their entire families and community. Absolutely everyone at their wedding at the Aqua Turf was radiating the most positive and loving energy it was wonderful!
Not to mention the adventure we had shooting their formals- I had to shoot in the pitch black of night so I decided to do it up and bring my studio lights, got them all set up outside, exposure is down, yadda yadda and then WHAM! And I'm not talking about the George Michael kind of WHAM, I am talking about the not so bright photographer who decided to set up lights with an umbrella outside in gusty wind-ville with no sand bags! Yeah, so they got toppled over and I blew my modeling light right as it started to rain! Very exciting but that is just how I roll. Good thing I can think quick on my feet and I had the awesome and calm Heather Colt with me... she got some fantastic stuff! Check it out on her blog!
Congratulations Kristin & Matt, hope your move went smoothly! I look forward to visiting! :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

portrait house

So Steve beat me to the punch and posted about sponsoring his portion of the run with all proceeds going towards The Portrait House. You can read all about it HERE. Our great friends Mary & Justin Marantz started this organization and Steve and I are both board members and are actively trying to raise money to build a house in New Haven once we reach our goal! If any one is interested in sponsoring me per mile or kilometer, that would be wonderful! Please email me if you are interested in donating!

I couldn't run this afternoon, my legs were way too sore! But I am up for a run for tomorrow, my goal being a 35 minute run. I learned while training with my friend Renee that it is not about how far you run but for how long. It's a hard concept to embrace but once I became a 'runner' I started to get it. Just saying I ran for an hour was wonderful- it didn't matter that it was a 5 mile run, but that I ran for an entire HOUR. I still can't believe I did that, and only once. I was running with my sister Tere. We were just chatting the whole time and going all around my neighborhood and Elizabeth Park and just lost track of how far we went- just a 'can you go another block?' 'Sure!' It was killer, and yes I burst into tears when she said that we had gone an hour. It just had seemed like such an insurmountable goal when I first started- I mean- I couldn't even make it to the end of my block when I first started running! Now I run, listen to music and kind of space out a bit only to snap out of it and realize, wow, I am all the way over HERE? Then if I'm tired I'm bummed that I now hove to get my lazy butt all the way back home!

That being said I am really excited about the 5K, am greatful that I am not doing it alone and thankful that there may in fact be at least one person there to cheer us on! Bob 2.0 in the HOUSE!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

come on STEVE! RUN WITH ME!!!

So I decided to make a decision about my goals for the coming year and start working on them sooner rather than later. Topping the list is an outwardly non-photo related item: getting in shape. The benefits are obvious, and I really need to buckle down and just do it. So I did- I re-joined my old favorite gym where I love the people that not only work there but the people that go and ran for 35 minutes on the treadmill yesterday. It felt so good, I really miss running! So, to that end I have thrown a challenge out to my buddy to run a 5k with me on Thanksgiving! It benefits the Branford Y to help them build a new Teen Center. He was all excited about it when we spoke but now he is totally avoiding my emails! ;) We had been talking about getting in shape and he has been really great about getting to the gym himself, not to mention that he used to run track, so this should be a piece of cake for him. But doesn't a nice, slow run on Thanksgiving morning sound like fun? It's a race in Branford CT that sounds really cool- and it's always better with a friend. So pop over to Steve's blog and tell him to pony up and run it! If anyone is interested in running it with us, hey the more the merrier- or you can just come and cheer us on! You can sign up HERE!