Saturday, December 29, 2007

pull over!

mike grabbed this shot of me- I was helping him focus for his self portraits- you know you love my hat!

On Friday I helped Mike with his latest shooting assignment. Jean and Mike are going to be entering some pieces in a juried art show as part of our photography sessions. What a great way to conquer so many things that we all want to do! Here is how we got started:
1) research the guidelines of the show
1a) come up with a realistic timeline- when to be done shooting, printing, framing etc. Give yourself more time than you need
2) look up the juror or jurors- check their styles out, see what they are all about
3) come up with your concept. (for this show they ask for 3 pieces that are a portfolio of work)
4) Schedule your shoot!
5) Keep post production in mind, it helps to visualize your finished product- or fly by the seat of your pants and be spontaneous, both approaches can work!

One of the first things that I told Jean and Mike was that they needed to have some of their work framed and hung in their houses. Looking at your own work every day is the best way to kind of secretly build self confidence and validate yourself. So part of this was going home and seeing where you have space to hang stuff, and what you want to hang. Come up with a concept, could be something personal- like portraits of your kids, or pictures of your favorite things. Could be still lifes of flowers you grew in your garden (I had shot a whole series of that b/c I was such a proud mama gardener!) The most fun part is coming up with the idea- and it is also the hardest part- narrowing it down... But we did.

Think you're done then? Now comes the fun part! Post production! There are so many different directions to go in that this can prove to be as overwhelming as coming up with your idea. Try some different things! Don't be scared to really put yourself out there- what's the worst that can happen?

I am really excited to see their finished products! When it's all said and done they are both going to have some killer stuff to have in their houses!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

easy like sunday morning

looking a little like wet rats, but at least we're smiling!

the push up challenge

mike hanging his head in shame after getting WHOOPED by a girl

We did it, we ran in the shyte drizzle rain for a little over 3 miles- and we had quite the group! There were THREE first timers (with our group anyway) my girl Nikki Nicole, Renee's good friend Christine and Mike's wife Kim! Along with the usual suspects, Renee and Mike! They kicked BUTT! I think I could have stopped WAY more times than we actually stopped, to be honest. It was a nice time out, next time I am confident that Renee won't be so nice!
Once we got back to the house and stretched out we all did planks which SUCKED but I can already see my improvement from when I started. I used to not be able to hold one for even five seconds!! We only did two thirty second planks but I was able to do both. What a sight though, five women and one giant man all doing planks on my front porch!
So of course, not to be out done, Mike challenges Renee to a push up race or whatever. I know, what is he thinking? Of course she beats him! Maybe next time dude!

I will see you tomorrow Nikki for our run! This was SO much fun!

Friday, December 21, 2007

run forrest, RUN!

Just thought I'd do a running update with a different kind of shoe shot! You know I love my shoe shots.... what a way to personalize it though, right?
So I have a training plan in place, thanks to Renee: 3 days of running cut with 3 gym days and one day off, usually Fridays. It's great because I love my gym, it is so non-threatening to me and comfortable. That is one of the most important things if you are considering joining a gym- you have to feel comfortable there or it will be just that much easier to talk yourself out of going, right?
Another thing I am realizing is to stop patting myself on the back so quickly for getting there. Once you're there, WORK yourself. Don't waste your time! I take classes there, 99% of the time and I really have pushed myself in all of them- I am taking a spinning class 3 days a week after my power pump weight class which kicks my BUTT, I am drenched with sweat and my knees are shaking by the end of every class, but man do I feel great! In spinning it is easy to hide your levels and kind of coast a bit but why bother? It's fun to feel my improvement at each class the harder I push myself.

Another key to success that I mentioned in a previous post was finding a buddy. Does that help! Mike has joined me as my regular Tuesday & Thursday partner and now we have created quite the Sunday training group! This is where Renee joins us and whoops us. Anyone is welcome to join in at any point- so Nikki? I expect you there! Mike's wife Kim is going to be joining us as well! We start running at 10:00!! :)

The thing I really love about training with Renee is that she never makes you feel like a beginner, she constantly coaches and encourages you right when you need that little boost. But boy will she call you OUT if you talk too much- that means you aren't pushing yourself hard enough! Mike was chatting it up last week and Renee punished us both for it! Funny stuff. I am confident Mike did that on purpose to get me....

So my running 'plan' so to speak in general is longer runs Tuesday & Thursday's, for at least one hour. Distance isn't all that important, really, I am going for duration. I have to say that it's kind of fun plotting it out after though.... in a few days I will be able to post my stats like Steve on my blog (Santa came early for me! ;) so you can see my duration, distance and even my pace! Love that feature! I am not that diligent about logging in my times, so this should help.

I know a lot of you out there have either started running (Congrats!!!) or are considering it (Do IT!!!) and have been letting me know how nice it is to see my progress, so, here it is!! Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can!

The NEXT 5K is Sunday January 6th at 1:30 in East Hartford- it's the 'Brian A. Aselton Memorial Snow Dash 3.05 mile Road Race' You can register on-site at 12:00 or ONLINE NOW

Thursday, December 20, 2007

say hello to my little friend mike

So you may have noticed my fancy new header up top? Well let me introduce you to the man behind the shots- the newest addition to my regular shooting team- Mike Romano! I met Mike through Dominique, my best friend and assistant- he works with her husband. So Mike and I met up to talk shop and as soon as I saw that first off he was a Nikon shooter (he actually has almost an identical gear bag to mine) and secondly he was a Mac guy, it was like- well he must be a terrible photographer because what are the odds? Kidding! He turns out to have a terrific eye and a brain like a sponge, he is constantly soaking up everything that he has been hearing me chatter on about in regards to shooting, work flow, directing your clients, light etc.
So I decided to take Mike in and along with Jean, create a workshop environment where we come up with shooting assignments and goals and then we figure out how to do them. So for this shoot I had Mike join me on a head shot shoot I had on Saturday at Constitution plaza. I wanted him to observe how I do what I do but also had him get some secondary shots as well to get him in second shooter mode.

Once we were done with my shoot I told Mike that he was going to shoot me. I even had him advise me on what to wear, because I do that for my clients too- a lot of times they have no idea and need a little direction. So he said wear a white jacket and I decided to add a splash of color with my pink gloves and scarf.

We then started with natural daylight and shot into the night. It was fun watching him find the light as everything is ambient light, there was no flash for any shots. Things you wouldn't necessarily think of as a main light source were used and other things became great reflectors, like the snow.

One of the highlights was seeing the big difference changing lenses does for a shot. You could be in the best spot but your lens choice could be totally off and not really deliver what you wanted.

Shooting by the big lit tree was a prime example of this- We tried a fish eye 10.5mm 2.8 lens just to show how radically different you can see things- wasn't what we wanted for this shot- everything was too in focus.

Then Mike grabbed the 70-200 2.8 VR lens and stepped way back so that the back ground became all compressed and pretty, much better. It made the lights just blur out nicely in the back and really was a flattering lens.

But the best choice was the 50mm 1.8 opened all the way. It just let in all of that beautiful christmas tree light and the extreme shallow depth of field had such a nice effect on the lights in the back ground.

The shot of the empty martini glasses really illustrated this concept perfectly.

It became like a treasure hunt going from location to location. What did he see here? What did I see here? The best part was being a photographer and being the subject, nerve wracking for sure, but necessary, I like knowing how my clients feel so I am going to be doing this regularly! OK and really if I keep getting such great shots of myself??? why NOT? :)

Keep checking back for more from Mike & Jean's shoots and assignments with me, they should be fun to say the least!

Monday, December 17, 2007

trash the dress, hartford style

Amanda Harris took this shot of me shooting! Where do I think I am, Antarctica??

So on Sunday I coordinated an impromptu trash the dress session with my good friend and trainer Renee at Hartford's Constitution Plaza. I feel like I have spent the past week there, I had another two shoots there on Saturday- one was a head shot and then I had a friend of mine, Mike, shoot me. That is a whole other blog post, wait for it! But on a side note, can I get an big ASS HELL YEAH for my new blog header pictures, courtesy of my man Mike! And to Martin for fixing the stupid code crap that was stretching me out and totally taking away from my svelte new figure!

OK, enough about me...for now!

So Renee was a trooper for us all- and there was a crowd of us- I called my great friends Paul & Krystal of Studio Foto and the amazing Amanda Harris of Orchard Cove Photography to shoot with Mike and I. Everyone was dressed like we were in the Arctic, except our fearless model Renee! She had on jeans and long johns underneath her dress and had to warm up in between shots. We didn't have a lot of time to shoot as the weather didn't really cooperate, in addition to the absolute freezing temperatures it started to rain, and then the wind would kick up. My camera was SOAKED, I was getting rain on my mirror and I had a bear of a time focusing- so it was a literal race against the clock when it started really raining we had to duck for cover. Luckily since Mike and I had shot there on Saturday we knew of a place that had a whole covered area that we were able to set up in, which let us do some fun painting with light series.

All in all this was so much fun I am setting up my very own session soon, so check back for THAT! My shooters Jean and Mike are going to have a field day, especially since I am so bossy- but I have some fun ideas that they are going to run with! Their only goal: make me look HOT!!

Thanks Renee for 'chilling' with us!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

becky + steve wedding at the hartford club

My last wedding of the 2007 season wrapped up November 10th with Becky & Steve's ceremony in Wethersfield and the reception at The Hartford Club in downtown Hartford. With a stop at one of my favorite places to shoot portraits, Hartford's opulent City Hall. It's funny because I have shot there a bunch of times and there was this brightly colored canvas that I sort of noticed (actually wished it was not there, to be honest!) but never really focused on as part of anything I shot. Until Becky & Steve's shoot. The funniest part about that is that Becky is an art teacher so it fit perfectly! Not only is it a really cool painting it tied in with the whole wedding & love & art theme so nicely. It's one of my favorite shots of 2007, for sure!
Another image I really liked from this wedding is Becky & Steve hugging on the stairs. Now when they called me for their wedding I was very hesitant to take the job- mostly because it is so late in the year that any natural light would be gone by the time it was time to shoot their formals and I am a natural light kind of gal. In meeting with Becky one of the first things she said was that she and Steve were planning on seeing each other before for portraits and family shots. I can't stress how wonderful this is for many many reasons!
First, the moment. Seeing each other for the first time, alone, is so powerful and special and wonderful and makes for some great pictures. It was only Becky seeing Steve when she walked down the stairs, and I was there off to the side doing my thing, quietly, taking it all in. They both were so overwhelmed with emotion they just clung to each other for a long time, there, on the stairs of her childhood home.

Second it's great because we shot all of the family stuff at the house and then they were done! That's right. DONE, as in no chasing people down for a picture during the craziness of cocktail hour! Now for that reason alone it makes sense, right?

Third, we had plenty of time for our formals at City Hall- we shot Becky & Steve and their bridal party first on the steps of the Old State House, got some outdoors stuff and then went inside to warm up at City Hall, relax, laugh and shoot.

Fourth- we were able to utilize natural light for our shoot. May not seem like a big deal but think about it- when you are checking out photographer's sites, think about which images draw you? I can guarantee that the majority of them are naturally lit! Just something to think about when planning your day!

Now Becky & Steve were the sweetest couple, I don't think I ever had a bride laugh so much! Becky cracked me up the whole day, her family brought me to tears several times just watching them watching her and Steve. It was wonderful!! Their flowers were by A Victorian Garden and were awesome!! Just had to give them a shout out... :)

I can't wait to put together my Best of 2007 slide should be fun!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

asuka book + carla ten eyck

I love pumping people up, it is something that comes easy to me, I enjoy it, it's real and I think I am pretty good at it. Now, when it comes to pumping myself up, I have been told that I am not as good at it. I'm shy, what can I say? Well, maybe not shy but I am not sure what the word feel me though, right? Well I would be seriously remiss if I didn't post about this very exciting email that I received (and many of you photographers received as well, I'd wager) from Asuka Book, one of the coolest album companies, ever.

I am listed as their current Studio Spotlight!


their September 2007 Book of the Month! Scroll all the way down and you can click on the book to check out each page.

I just had tried writing more about myself and I can't seem to, so I will just let you check me out and come to your own conclusions!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

amazing race part 2 of ?

my teeth look AWESOME!!!

the reward...

Don't I look super hot when I run?

Me and my boy .com

Renee trained me well!!

This morning I ran my second of this 2007 holiday season with my old friend & trainer Renee and my new friend and fellow Nikon shooter Mike! Christopher Martin's 5K race in New Haven was outstanding- in so many ways- great energy, a super flat course, hilarious costumes and at the end? FREE BEER!!! Can't really get too much better than that. So, I had some lofty goals going into this race after the Branford 5K- I wanted to shave off some time on my pace. I had run a 12:59 mile pace on Thanksgiving and so my goal for this one was 12:30. Well, I totally met and passed my goal!! You'll have to watch the slide show to see what it was but I still can't believe I did it!!
My buddy ran this one as well but since he is light years faster than me he ran with his friends and got a killer time under his belt. We are now researching our next 5K and have plans to run a 10K in the spring. You can bet your sweet cheeks there will be a serious C 10 ike shirt made up special for that race!!

In preparing for this race Renee helped me come up with some training goals for myself for the 2 weeks in between races- 3 days of running mixed with 3 days of lifting and mild cardio with one day off. The second week we added one nutritional goal into the mix, nothing crazy but something manageable to help me keep up the weight loss. So far so good- I am due for a weigh-in next week, so we'll see what's going on there!

I have to say I got a little psyched out today- but I kept coming up with mini goals like pass that 100 year old man or that 4 year old child, nothing fancy. Mostly I just kept moving forward and tried to step it up. Mike joined us today kind of spur of the moment and he did great! He even sent me a motivational text during the race! It made me laugh out loud.

I am off to shower up, I decided to make and post this slide show before and now I am offending myself! :)

Thanks Justin for the awesome shots!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

see real women: really see women mini documentary

So Jeff Reilly and the Face First Films crew have out done themselves with this mini-doc on my show opening this past October. I can't explain, but I sure will try, how big a deal this is for me. I remember when I had the idea to start shooting this project. I remember thinking this was bigger than me, that it really had nothing to do with me, per se, but it had everything to do with the question- 'How do you feel most beautiful?' Simple enough, right? Not entirely. It has been such an experience, not only as a photographer but as a woman.

I mean, if you're a woman, stop and ask yourself this very question.

If you are a man, how do you think the women in your life would answer?

Then GO ASK THEM. You may be surprised and learn something new!

What a wonderful thing to know about someone you love. What a wonderful thing to know about yourself.

So I had dinner with Jeff a while back and we were talking about my opening that was still a few months out and Jeff said kind of quietly ' this needs to be shot.' I'm like, uh huh, yeah I hear you. Thinking he meant in a grander scheme of me and my work video. He followed up later with a call to get the ball rolling. He had meant all on its own. And how right he was!
So Jeff and Bob 2.0 came out on the opening day and shot- I gave them full control of everything. I mean I gave myself zero say in it all, I felt that Jeff truly heard me and got what my project was all about. I felt very safe with what I knew he would create. I couldn't have been more right.

Thank you thank you thank you to Jean Molodetz, second shooter to the stars, world's best listener, sushi sister Queen and articulate Momma! It's a feeling. That's THERE.
Literal life saver Marsha McCurdy for not being all freaked out that I totally approached you in a bar for my project and calling me the next day about me photographing you! You rock!
And my home girl, Brownie Troop 69 throwback OG brick city stalker, Susannah McGlamery. Seriously? Seriously.

I love you guys!!!

face this

Today was a big fear-facing day for me. I feel like I have been kind of preaching to a good friend of mine about how wonderfully talented he is and how he is going to do well for himself if he ventures out on his own and believes in himself. Easy for me to say for many reasons- one being that I truly believe it, I see it as clear as day. And two being it's not me that has to leave the security of my job to freelance and start my own company. I mean I did do that but it is still a hard thing to take that first step.

Facing your fears is one of the hardest things to do.

Well since I started running I have been nervous about really pushing myself- in a variety of ways- blogging about it, for one. Because then I have to actually follow through! But it's been helpful actually, so one down. Then running straights, I hate them SO much, I need trickery when I run, curves, not long, daunting streets. Or hills. There is not much love going on there either. Well, my past two Tuesday runs have been one gigantic long straight run. With hills. Long, slow, painful crazy ass hills! The first time I ran I turned before the biggest hill with plans to tackle that one the next time I ran this route. Well, I ran it sooner than I thought I would, in the freezing cold with a hearty wind whipping around! Just for fun, right. Well, I made it up that big hill, almost puked, but I made it! Did the longest run to date of 4.5 miles in 58 minutes! What was the worst that could happen? People seeing me in spandex? Well, too bad for them. It's not like I busted out with a unitard or anything. That's for the spring. It's not like I looked like Richard Simmons or anything.

Oh and the best part, but also the saddest part is there is now officially less of me to go around. Sorry! I seemed to have misplaced about seven pounds? Has anyone seen them? :)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

kate + dave wedding at the bond ballroom

I had to end my season off Hartford Style with my second to last wedding of 2007' ceremony taking place in Hartford City Hall, which rocks! What a beautiful place, I can't say enough about it. Having shot portraits there many times (and yes you do need a permit so get one if you are even CONSIDERING having portraits taken there, they book up fast), Kate & Dave's wedding made this my first ceremony there. We then ended with the reception at The Bond- again, I love shooting here! Not only is it right down the street from where I live (a definite bonus, I won't lie) but it is beautiful, and offers a dazzling view of the sun setting over Hartford. Really and truly! This place offers such a great variety of light throughout the reception- warm sunny light changes into thick buttery late afternoon light and then into sunset. Yeah. Kate's flowers were by A Victorian Garden and they did a bang up job! Now, Kate and I have a good friend in common and would be seriously remiss if I didn't give my girl Sarah a special C 10 ike shout out on the B-log! Sarah was RELENTLESS in pushing me into becoming a wedding photographer. Did I say she was relentless? And HOW. She would just not stop telling me how much she loved the images I took at her wedding back in the day. I shot film! Yes, I did. But I got some nice stuff, and I can certainly attribute that to not having to be 'on.' It wasn't my wedding and I knew all of the players, so I was that 'photographer friend' that has the home court advantage that annoys all of us wedding photographers! I'm kidding. But get out of my shot dude, seriously! Thanks for the constant kick in the butt, some may call it harassment, but not me! :) Congrats Kate & Dave!