Archive for 'Personal'
This post is for you because next week you start preschool and I still haven’t filled out your baby book. This post is for you because I want you to be able to look upon it someday, when our memories of this time begin to fade around the edges, and know that I adore every little thing about you at this moment. And always will.
This post is also for me because I want to be able to pull it up on your fourth birthday, and your first day of high school, and when you leave for senior prom, and remember all of the little things I have taken joy in along the way. This post is for me because I have broken countless resolutions to bring my camera home from the studio more so that I can document our every day life. Thinking I could somehow capture the little details that I love beyond words. I’m beginning to realize that even if I did bring my camera home more, I could never do it all justice. And that perhaps I don’t even want to. I’m beginning to realize that all of the time spent trying to capture it perfectly (and I’m known to be a bit of a perfectionist) would just take away from living it. So rather than attempting to capture it ALL in photography, let me dust off my writing skills and record a little bit about the beautiful person you are growing to be and already are.
I recently had a client with a toddler remark that she wishes she could bottle up this age. The wonder. The personality. The imagination. The giggles. She read my heart. I suppose this post is my bottle.
Usually when I meet new people and tell them my profession, the first thing they say is “you must have so many beautiful photos of your daughter!” Truth be told, I don’t. The ones I do have however are cherished. They are proudly hung in our home and they bring a smile to my face every. single. day. With life moving so quickly I have to make a real effort to take portraits of my own family. While I finally hired a portrait photographer to take our family portraits this summer (go me!), with G’s 3rd birthday already approaching I decided I had to schedule a shoot in my own calendar or she’d be in preschool (gasp!) before I got her back in front of my lens.
I’m so happy I did.
I am in love with this session. I am in love with this girl. These portraits are the first time I’ve looked at her face and the thought “my girl” replaced “my baby.”
Don’t get me wrong. I was tired after shooting all day. My wrist hurt from editing. The enthusiasm for this set that I had while shopping had long since past and I’ll be really lucky if my body isn’t covered in poison ivy in 48 hours. And let’s not forget that 6pm is not a toddler’s most stellar time of day by any means. But I sit here looking at these images and I feel like I did the impossible. I sit here mesmerized by them. The thought “my girl” is replaced by “my angel.” I captured something intangible. And I feel it every time I look at them. And I will forever.
And I’m so happy I did.
St. Patrick’s Day.
I woke up at 4:30 am this morning so I could hit the gym before a busy day. I needed to make room for some fun later! In my adulthood St Patrick’s Day has been filled with the traditions we save solely for the day of the Irish. Oh “black and tans” and “car bombs”, how I’ve dreamt of you since last March. Yes, with Irish blood, I love just about anything that contains Guinness. Of course after having a baby, one can’t indulge in so many liquid calories without some Irish guilt. Sane? No. Irish? Yes.
This year, to reward my efforts, I’m really looking forward to these Sweet Indulgence Guinness cupcakes after lunch, and a nice cold pint of the real thing after dinner!
What makes St. Patrick’s Day so special? What I really love, besides rocking my green sweater, is the memories of my childhood. In elementary school, while all of my classmates were taking ballet and jazz class, I was dutifully holding a ruler behind my back learning to Irish Step Dance. In elementary school, one doesn’t necessarily like being different. I, for one, just wanted to fit in. But when St. Patrick’s day rolled around each year, everything changed. My parents would take me out of school and we would travel with my dance troupe hitting every local Irish Pub along our travels. It was something special. Something my two brothers didn’t get to do. Something the rest of my class didn’t get to do. Somewhere I could shine.
We started the morning at Warwick City Hall, dancing on the steps for the mayor. Then Warwick Mall. The State House. The Harp and Shamrock. The Shannon View. The Wind Jammer at Rocky Point. But the very best part was finishing the day at Twin Oaks. My grandparents were regulars in the Oak Room (the back bar as we called it). We would meet them for a late lunch, they would prop me up where everyone could see, and I would dance for the room as all of their friends passed a cup around! If you’ve met me before, you know I’m currently about the size of a 12 year old. Approaching 30, I still get carded. I’ve been that way my whole life. When I was 6, I looked 3. (Just by looking at the photo above, you can see my dance shoes were smaller than a 4×6″ note card!) I had strawberry hair, freckles, the whole Irish bit. Everyone gushed. “Who is that red-headed toddler dancing so well???” Of course I was 6, but they didn’t have to know. Those early days of Irish Step dancing pretty much paid for my first car!
My grandfather once said to me “I don’t get it. When I was a kid, nobody wanted to stick out. We all wore the same thing, parted our hair the same way. No one wanted to be different. Your generation, everyone wants to be unique!” But, deep down doesn’t everyone want to shine?
Well, St. Patrick’s Day is that day for the Irish. A day to shine. A day to celebrate. A day to remember your smiles and forget your troubles. And for anyone who isn’t Irish, go throw on some green and join us in the party!
“May the sound of happy music, And the lilt of Irish laughter, fill your heart with gladness, that stays forever after.” – Irish Toast
Head into Twin Oaks today for some corned beef and cabbage and one of these delicious Sweet Indulgence cupcakes. Unfortunately I won’t be dancing in the back bar, but perhaps you’ll see some other Irish Step Dancer in your travels, enjoying her day to shine!
I began this business out of an all-consuming love for photography. Then the demands of running a successful business took over as it grew in leaps and bounds. When Shaun and I took it a step further and began working together, we made an effort to leave work at work every day. So I kept my word and, much to my relief at the time, left my camera at the studio each time we locked up. It gave me some space from my professional life and probably kept me from becoming burnt out at our busiest. Now that we have our amazing team in place and I’m not totally buried in work (thanks girls!) I find myself missing the camera at home more and more. I’ll see the way the light illuminates a small detail of my home, or stare down at my daughter’s lashes when she’s laying on my lap, and wish I could capture it some how. What is photography to me? Work? Play? Love affair? All I know is that once again I want my camera by my side to record all of the beautiful little details of my life.
This past weekend I brought my camera home and enjoyed a warm Saturday morning outside with G. She still doesn’t like to look at the camera, so instead of trying to get her attention, I let her run and play and enjoy herself as much as I was. She grabbed one of Yia Yia’s hula hoops and took off! My favorite image is the first. She twirls her hair and sucks her finger like that when we cuddle… and I never want to forget it.
Each New Year, among a long list of resolutions, I resolve to take more pictures of my own family. Sunday provided me with the perfect opportunity to make good on that.
I was standing at my kitchen window pouring coffee when the sun began to rise. As the light grew, I noticed our wintery neighborhood was draped in a blanket of fog. The wheels in my mind began spinning. I had been waiting for this for a long time. A picture in my head I couldn’t quite get rid of, but the weather had to be just right for it all to work. I didn’t have the perfect outfit ready (what I had gotten for this idea last year had been long since outgrown), but I rummaged through G’s closet and found something that would suffice. I grabbed my coffee cup and hopped into the car heading for the studio, leaving Giuliana and Shaun behind watching Tinkerbell. I called my mom on the way.
“Hi mom.” – me
“Hello” – her
“What are you doing this morning?” – me
“You want to come take pictures with the fog in my yard?” – her
How did she guess?? My family must now be accustomed to my “creative” insanity. I loaded up the car with things to keep Giuliana entertained. She still doesn’t like mommy’s face obscured by the camera… or doing what she’s told for that matter. I need to be creative if I’m going to capture anything besides pouting. G’s latest interest is monsters, so I rushed around grabbing everything I could think of that would be essential for a monster hunt in the woods. Oh! And I almost forgot a lantern to catch the snow fairies. We had to beat the rain and melting snow!
Shaun, who still marvels at my spontaneous inspiration, just went with the flow. He agreed to head out into the snow with us and even helped to lug the furniture. If he thinks I’m crazy, he at least keeps it to himself! Out in the snowy woods Giuliana had fun hunting for monsters as I clicked away. It was much warmer than average so we lasted out there for a while. When it is warm enough, I adore shooting in the snow. It acts as the perfect reflector and it seems to soften the world. The rising fog was just as I envisioned it. When G finally tired of our game, I had some trusty fruit snacks to get those last few shots. We then headed inside to warm up and dry off in Yia Yia’s kitchen. Just another Sunday morning.
Happy 2011 to you and your family! I hope you are finding success in keeping your resolutions as well!
Have you ever heard the saying “the shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot”? I always wonder how my family and friends must respond when they hear “You’re so lucky your “sister, daughter, friend” is a photographer. You must have so many great photos!” because sadly, none of us have a whole lot of photos taken by me. This past year has been so busy that when I leave the studio, I generally leave my camera there too. My right arm hurts, my memory cards are full, my batteries are charging, and I need a mental break and a nice glass of red wine. If you ask my husband to see a photo of his daughter, he will proudly whip out his wallet and show you G’s 10 month photos. She’s now 27 months. You see what I’m saying?
My new years resolution this year was to take more photos of my own family. I have taken some photos of G, but the raw files are still sitting in folders on various external hard drives, likely not to be touched until I retire and take up scrap booking. With only a few months left in 2010, I’ve decided to renew my resolution and bring that camera out in my personal time. Come to find out, it’s not so overwhelming when you set out to take one or two candids rather than a whole session. In fact, it’s downright fun! I had a blast chasing around my daughter, nieces and nephew (all ages 3 and under) this weekend to capture a few shots of them in their Halloween costumes. Enjoy your preview family :0)
“In my life, as an artist, I will never create anything as beautiful as you already are…”
- Jesh de Rox
Oh her eyes, her eyes
Make the stars look like they’re not shining
Her hair, her hair
Falls perfectly without her trying
She’s so beautiful
And I tell her every day
She already has good taste.
It started a few weeks ago. G’s second birthday was approaching and we decided we were going to go all out and get her a gorgeous redwood swingset for our yard. She’s really into playgrounds these days so we were sure she would be thrilled. The Walpole Woodworkers brochure was laying around the living room for weeks and we continually asked G if she was excited for the new playground. Her reply EVERY time was “yes. And Gu-ee-aana have birfday cake?” Clearly she had priorities. And of course the question “what do you want for your birthday” was always met with the same answer: “cake.”
On Thursday we had the swingset installed and after playing on it all evening, thoroughly exhausted, G stumbled inside and remembered something important was missing from her birthday surprise….. “Gu-ee-aaana have cake?”
We called our good friend and cupcake queen Kerri from Sweet Indulgence to make the cupcakes for the little party we were throwing G on Sunday. When we asked Giuliana what flavor she wanted, she replied “how bout red velvet?” She’s two. She not only knows red velvet is a flavor, but she knows that’s the flavor she wants. I love this girl.
Sunday afternoon rolls around and while G was napping we decorated the whole yard with ladybug balloons and red roses. We thought G would be thrilled when she woke up! Boy, were we wrong. She was all dressed to head outside and she stopped dead in her tracks. She wanted those balloons. Inside. I offered to bring one balloon inside for her and much to my dismay, this was how G felt about my offer:
“I WANT ALL OF THE BALLOONS INSIDE” she declared as she banged her head on the floor. Oh boy. Welcome terrible twos.
Only one thing could save the day. Cake. Kerri’s cupcakes. (Just voted RHODE ISLAND’S BEST by-the-way :0)) Kerri swung by before the party and as soon as she got out of the car, G perked right up. She took one look at Kerri and said “I have cake!” Kerri set up this awesome display and saved the day :0)
Giuliana turned out to be one happy birthday girl… and got to eat her cake too!
I’m about to head home for the weekend. It will be one filled with a few fun photo shoots followed by some time with my family celebrating mother’s day. One of the best gifts a mother can receive is simply staring into the beautiful face of her children. Soaking up all of the little details. Last weekend after taking some product shots for Sweet Indulgence, I played around with the macro lens that was left on my camera and snapped some shots of G in the yard. I finally peaked at a few of those shots today and had to share them. They make my heart melt! All I need on mother’s day is this little face smiling at me… or making some of the sassy faces you see below no doubt! Couldn’t you eat her up?! This post is also a gift to all of my moms who always tell me I need to post more photos of G! Happy Mother’s Day everyone!