Saturday, December 29, 2007

Yes, I Am A Pirate, 200 Years Too Late

Christmas is over and I've been able to decompress a bit, although I still have a lot of cleaning to do around the apartment. Hopefully it won't be too hard to integrate the new stuff with the old stuff. I definitely think there's a trip to the Salvation Army in store for me. I dug back into my archives and wanted to post some more photos from my road trip in November. When you write an entry about driving up the A1A, it stands to reason that you would quote a Jimmy Buffett song from his "A1A" album. I chose "A Pirate Looks At 40" because it's pretty much my favorite Buffett song. And, of course, when I saw the A1A sign (as we drove past it), I had to take a picture...

The next few photos were taken at The Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine. I am all for preservation and restoration, but the place was a little hokey. Some of the damage done in the earlier days can not be undone. Plus, there were a lot of discrepancies in the tour guides speech. I wasn't going to call him on his math, but things weren't adding up. Also, when we were walking around the grounds they encouraged us to, I fell into a sink hole. One minute there was ground under my feet, the next minute, one of my legs was about a foot in. So, we skedaddled, dirt all in my shoe and on my pants.

Essentially, the place is now a big tourist trap, but that didn't stop us from drinking from the fountain!

Our next stop was Savannah. It was a gorgeous city. We spent some time in the Historic District, checking out the old houses and the parks. It's a city I would love to revisit with some more time. We stopped in a bookstore devoted to the book/movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and the woman working there told us some fun facts. She was nice, but she had witchy eyes.

This is Meg sitting on someone's front step. I liked the red door.

An old cemetery in Savannah - lots of Civil War era graves.

As we were leaving Savannah, we passed this sign on the window of a diner. It was closed, but I have to say, that's advertising!

In the northern part of South Carolina, there was this "town" called South of the Border. It's a tourist complex that is made up of crazy souvenir shops, diners, dives, all of it with a Mexican theme. Except for the one weird store that seemed to have an African/Mexican theme. This is the giant sombrero tower you can see from I-95.

In North Carolina, we decided to take in some more history and we stopped at a Civil War battleground. The Battle of Aversboro took place in March of 1865 and the site is preserved, along with houses used as infirmaries for both the Confederate and Union sides. There was also a small cemetery along the route. Most of the graves were only marked with number of men buried there: "4 DEAD", "11 DEAD", etc. This one had a little more information. You may notice this young man passed away about a month after the battle.

And our final stop - Baltimore. This is a huge flamingo outside Cafe Hon. They had some yummy sandwiches and lots of cats-eye glasses. Loved it!

Wow! That was a long post, but now I don't have to feel guilty for not having posted the rest of those photos. I am shooting a wedding on New Year's Eve, so I'm sure those photos will keep me busy for a while. I hope everyone has a safe, healthy, and happy New Year! 2008, here we come!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Not A Creature Was Stirring

My uber-talented friend Kristi bakes millions of cookies every Christmas to hand out for gifts. Not only does she put tons of time and energy into the actual baking, but she actually packages them really nicely, too. She's in the process of starting up her own bakery of sorts, the Itty Bitty Bakeshop. In the midst of the cookie madness, I went over to help her bake and to photograph her yummy creations. Hopefully some of the photos will make it on to her website (which doesn't quite exist yet) in the New Year. All of the goodies from the Itty Bitty Bakeshop are miniature, so these cookies are all somewhere between one to three inches (I'm just estimating - I didn't actually measure them when I was there). So, enjoy! And may visions of miniature sugarplums dance in your heads tonight!

Merry Christmas to everyone! May you all have wonderful holidays and thank you for making my 2007 so happy and successful! Here's to 2008!

T'Was the Night Before Christmas and All Through the House

Yes, I am blogging on Christmas Eve day. I have to keep myself busy otherwise I'll just be twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the holiday fun to start! Plus, Krista has been very patient about seeing these photos and finally I got myself in gear to post a few. We shot these on a beautiful chilly day in November in an attempt to take advantage of the foliage and the autumn light before it all disappeared into a winter wonderland.

This is a little moody, which I like.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Weather Outside is Frightful

We've had two big days of New England winter weather around here and I swear we've already seen more snow this year than we saw all last winter! It's raining now which means everything will be a sheet of ice tomorrow morning. Doug takes the train to work, so he doesn't have to worry much; my little car will most likely get stuck, wheels spinning on the ice.

I photographed Madelyn and Noah this summer and when I saw them last month, I couldn't resist snapping a couple of casual photos. They're just too cute.

I think she's going to ride a motorcycle later in life - just look at this pose!

And this guy is just so squishy - you totally want to pinch those cheeks!

This is a very busy social week for me! The holidays are coming - part of me can't wait for them to be over so life can return to "normal" and the other part of me wishes the Christmas build-up would last so much longer! I hope everyone is enjoying the season and taking a few minutes here and there to just take some deep breaths and look around.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Over the River and Through the Wood

Well, Christmas is eleven days away and everything is crazy hectic around here! As we speak, Boston is being hit by some major snow, which is sure to make tomorrow fun. Luckily, I got my errands done before it got too messy out there. All I can hear are the plows and people shoveling the sidewalks. I'm glad I get to be tucked inside watching TV and working on Christmas presents. I should also mention that the Golden Globe nominations came out this morning. I have seventeen movies to see before the awards air on January 13, 2008. The more I see in preparation for the Globes, the less I have to see for the Oscars. So, wish me luck, and anyone who's up for a movie, let me know!

This little Christmas cutie is Rendell. She's almost one and all she wants to do is walk around holding on to somebody's fingers - preferably daddy's because he seems to be a sucker for his little girl!

What on earth was I holding above my head and why is it that adults are as easily distracted as the little kids?

Rendell is going to have a magical first Christmas and I have no doubts that she will be wonderfully spoiled by her grandparents, aunts, and uncles!

Mama Don't Take My Kodachrome Away

Over the past few months, I have been meeting with my aunt and going through all my grandmother's old photo albums. It's been an amazing experience, albeit a little bittersweet. I never knew my grandfather and poring over these photos week after week has given me a little glimpse as to what my grandfather was like, what my grandmother was like when she was young, what my dad's childhood was like, and so on. We're just about done with the project and I'm going to miss it (and the meatball subs that came with it - yum!). When my grandmother was alive, I visited with her about once a week and I am so happy to have had that time with her. Working with the photographs allowed me to keep visiting with her. Maybe everything will hit me once we put the photo albums away, who knows. The holidays should keep me busy. Check back with me in January. The reason I brought all of this up is because I found this photo of me in my grandmother's slides. I'm probably about 2 or 3, totally rocking the plaid shirt. I guess I really have always loved to take pictures!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Green-eyed Lady, Lovely Lady

I took Rebecca's senior photos back before the snow and, although she wore a few different outfit combinations, I love the way this one looks. I am totally a hat girl, so I love the hat. And all the colors she's wearing show off the color of her hair and her eyes. When I was a senior, I definitely couldn't coordinate that well, despite the fact that when I turned 15, my aunt took me to the mall to have my colors done.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Came Along a Dolphin, He Said "Jolly Mon, Hello!"

I wanted to post some photos from my recent road trip before I forgot I had them. I don't ever want to be one of those people who takes tons of photos and never gets them off the computer. Taking a look at them today was the first step towards getting them printed! My friend Meg spent three months training at Marineland, which is a dolphin conservation center right outside of St. Augustine, Florida. Lucky for me, that means I got to get up close and personal with some of the dolphins! They were extremely playful and definitely showed off for the camera.

This guy is tossing water up in the air and catching it in its mouth...

This guy is clearly posing...

And this guy came right up to where I was standing and smiled...

Okay, I admit that these might all be the same dolphin, but they might not be. Hopefully when Meg reads this post, she'll clarify who's who and I can make the corrections. Here are some other guys I saw while I was there:

This is Petey, the turtle. If you drag your finger along the surface of the water, he totally follows it.

This is a very scary, yet photogenic, eel...

After we went to Marineland, we stopped at the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine. It's a zoological park, which means it's only a little less cheesy than a kitschy tourist trap. We got to see feeding time, which included giant alligators eating dead rats. Awesome! Mainly, the alligators just hung out.

They're scary on the land or in the water. Which means, of course, that when given the opportunity, we had to hold one. So, we coughed up the money and had our picture taken holding a baby alligator. Meg held the part with the mouth (I'm no idiot) and I got the back end and the tail. I was really surprised by how soft and smooth and leathery its belly was. The weirdest part was that the alligator's mouth was held together by Scotch tape. It looked like someone literally took Scotch tape and wound it around the poor thing's snout. It reminded me of when you buy lobsters and the lobsters have the tight elastic bands around their claws. I digress. So, that was the first day of the road trip. I have to get back to my people pictures, but I'll post more from the trip later!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Let the Snow Come Down, All Over the Ground

That line comes from a song we had to sing in the elementary school holiday pageant. The things you remember. There are probably a few of my friends reading this who could sing along...

The day I photographed Abby, the weather had suddenly turned wintery cold so we could only shoot outside for short bursts because our hands started to freeze. We decided that fun could be had inside as well. Abby was an extremely cooperative two year old and she made my job easy!

I love the light in this photo - there's some great flare, too.

The holidays can certainly be hair-raising! Ha ha.

Just look at the way she's looking at her dad. Adorable.

I'm totally catching up on my work - two posts in one day! I hope everyone is enjoying the start to December. All of the holidays will be here before we know it!

Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Early yesterday evening, I walked into a restaurant with some friends of mine and when we walked out less than two hours later, it was like a winter wonderland! This morning I even went out and scraped the heavy wet snow off my car. Just to be nice, I even scraped off Doug's car. Aren't I good?

Here are some more Pez photos. They're too fun to keep them to myself! Look at this stud! It's like a Village People Pez dispenser!

And this would make a great Christmas card... I should have edited these sooner!

Friday, November 30, 2007

I Want to Hold Your Hand

It was so much fun working with this family. They have two teenage sons and this little one. I love families like that, mainly because they mirror my own. I have a brother who's not even two years younger than me and a sister who's sixteen years younger. She wasn't even three when I left for college. It's a crazy age difference, but so much fun (or it was until she became a teenager...). These two boys doted on their sister during the time I spent with them. And let me tell you, teenage boys do not always want to get their pictures taken with their family, but these two couldn't have been more cooperative. I love this picture because it shows the difference in ages, and it shows who's really the star of the show at this point!

I went to see White Christmas at the Wang Center last night and it was so great! I absolutely love that movie, and to see it performed on stage was pretty cool. The costumes, the sets, the musical numbers... It really put me in the Christmas spirit. Next, I'll tackle present wrapping!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Maybe I'll Count the Stars Until Dawn

I'm back in the swing of things now - two posts in two days! The title of this post is taken from one of my FAVORITE Christmas songs, "Hard Candy Christmas" by Dolly Parton. It's one of those songs you need to sing at the top of your lungs. Growing up, we had this one cassette of Christmas songs that my parents' friend Jay made us, titled "Rock and Roll Christmas Party." It had songs on there by Bruce Springsteen, the Eagles, the Beach Boys, Paul McCartney, Greg Lake, Stevie Wonder, John Lennon.... and this was way before they had the "A Very Special Christmas" series. We overplayed this tape year after year. A couple of years ago, we managed to recreate the tape in CD format and I listened to "Hard Candy Christmas" today. Let me tell you, it was the first of many times this season! On to the photos...

There are just some babies who are happier when they're naked, and this delicious cutie was one of them! I got to hang out with her and her parents for a little bit for a fun family session and they were so much fun. These are just a few of my favorite photos from our sitting.

Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with more! I'm thankful I don't have to adhere to a regular work week - going back tomorrow would be a rude awakening. But I definitely enjoyed the holiday weekend with my friends and family and hope you all did, too.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Halfway to Work and Halfway Home

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday, and their holiday weekend. I had the best intentions of getting up wicked early on Friday morning and hitting any one of the "early bird specials" but chose to sleep in a little instead. Today was my consumer fun day, although I don't really feel like I made a dent in my shopping list. However, I did buy two new pairs of tights for an outift I need to wear later this week. Let's hope at least one of them fits/goes. Also, you may remember I went on my road trip - got back safe and sound Tuesday night. My friend and I did such a great job driving (she drove, I navigated - like a rock star) and we managed to avoid any major rush hour/holiday traffic until we got about ten miles away from home. It took three hours to finish the last ten miles or so. Are you KIDDING me? We're lucky we didn't kill each other, ourselves, or anyone else on the road. The trip was fabulous though. I drank from the Fountain of Youth, so don't expect me to age any from here on in, plus we stopped at a Civil War battleground in North Carolina, which was really cool. My friend Meg and I travel well together because we both love history, so we love stopping at all sorts of wacky random historical sites off the highway. I took a bunch of photos, so once I go through them, I'll post some.

To hold you over, here's a senior photo I took before my trip. Jane was a great model, and although she donned a couple of outfits, I think this one was my favorite. Also, I'm a huge fan of hats.

Just in case you hadn't noticed, it's officially Christmas season! That means I can listen to my Christmas music now without being ashamed!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

Tomorrow morning, I'm boarding a plane to fly way down south, only to drive back up to Boston with a friend of mine. She drove with me to Los Angeles when I moved out there in 2001, so it's about time I returned the favor. Plus, my friend Meg has been down in Florida training dolphins, which means there's a good chance I could be coming in close contact with some marine life. Road trips are awesome vacations. Love 'em. Since Thanksgiving is next Thursday, we can't exactly dilly-dally, but we have a couple of stops planned. As long as I can take tons of photos, I'll be happy. So, if any of you need to get in touch with me, just give me a call. You can always check in to see what state I'm in! I'll also check my email when I get the chance.

Since I don't want to post without including a photo...

Yes, I had a shoot with pez dispensers. There are a lot more where this came from, but I'll have to work on the rest when I get home!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

You and Me Together

I grabbed this line from the new Alicia Keyes single "No One" which I've found to be very catchy. Also, the lyrics remind me a lot of Rihanna's "Umbrella." All that talk of rain and being together. Songs like this really apply to any relationship and the relationship between sisters is a forever sort of bond that I thought fit.

These little girls were so much fun to play with! Running around, raking the yard, doing mom's hair, showing me their toys - they did it all. Both girls have such beautiful eyes and were totally photogenic. Take a look for yourselves...