Thursday, April 30, 2009

You Gotta Know When To Hold 'Em

There are so many things to blog from my trip to Los Angeles, but I'll start simple. While I was there, I visited with my cousin's family. Back when I moved to Los Angeles, my cousin and his wife had no kids. By the time I moved, they had two kids. Now, they have three. After all the taking care of me they did on the west coast, the least I could do was snap a few photos of their gorgeous, sun-kissed boys! I can't even tell you how well-behaved these kids are (despite a little poker habit they seem to be picking up). I know my east coast family will be thrilled to see this photo, too.

Three Boys

Since the last time I blogged, I had some crazy adventures that I can't wait to share with you. Really. I've come up with blog post titles and everything. I just need to edit first. Suffice to say, my trips back to L.A. I think will happen a lot more frequently! Maybe I'm on my way to being bicoastal. Too bad I have to take a plane to get there.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rudolph Valentino Looks Very Much Alive

Falcon Lair

When I lived in Los Angeles, I started a personal photography project documenting historical sites throughout the city. Having grown up in the Boston area, I took it for granted that history would be honored and preserved. I was shocked at how callous Los Angelenos seemed to be in regards to their own history and legacy. Many of Hollywood's landmarks were razed to make room for shopping centers and parking lots. So, I went around photographing said shopping centers and parking lots. Some buildings still existed but were being used for different purposes, like most of the old movie palaces on Broadway in downtown L.A. One of the biggest tragedies to me was that they bulldozed the Ambassador Hotel and the Cocoanut Grove. It was closed off when I lived here, used only for filming. The Los Angeles Unified School District owned the property and instead of preserving the building, decided it was cheaper to knock it down and build a new structure. But can you imagine how inspiring it would have been to learn literature in a place where Hemingway and Fitzgerald stayed? Or to learn government in the same place Nixon wrote his famous "Checkers" speech? I was lucky enough to get inside the building before it was destroyed and I was in awe of the structure. It was clearly neglected, but you could just feel its past whooshing by you. It was easy to imagine the glamour of its bygone days. So often with these structures, I think if they could have held off a little longer, they would have made so much money for the city. Who wouldn't want to eat at The Brown Derby? The one shaped like an actual hat? Many of these wonderful landmarks survived well into the 80s and 90s before someone decided they had no more use to them. The same can be said about some of the wonderful and unique architecture of the stars' homes. And I'm not talking about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie; I'm talking about Rudolph Valentino and Douglas Fairbanks and Errol Flynn. The above photo is of Rudolph Valentino's house, Falcon Lair. From my research, I think the front gates are one of the only original things left. Since I don't actually have access to the house, this was the only view I had, so I have no idea what's on the inside. It only makes me sad that instead of updating and modernizing, people knock down and rebuild. When will they realize the value of what they have?


The above photo is what Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks' house has become. Pia Zadora and her husband bought it and although they announced plans to renovate the historical building, they ended up demolishing it and constructed this in its place.

Rubber Duckie, You're the One

California Duck

I am hanging out in my swank Los Angeles hotel, looking through the photos I've taken over the past couple of days. I have had such a good trip so far! I've visited all sorts of places I meant to go before I moved (you know, when it seemed I had all the time in the world to visit those places). I even saw a celebrity (Ivan Reitman). Today I met up with Rachel, who's in town for a wedding. We hung out at The Getty Villa, which was amazing! It's full of all sorts of cool Roman artifacts and antiquities. Better than that, though, the space is amazing! The architecture is stunning and you could just hang out there all day without even seeing any ancient art. I highly recommend it if you have the time to make it to Malibu. That's where I took this photo of this lovely duck! He was just hanging out and strutting his stuff. Tomorrow is Tara & Dave's wedding. It's going to be so much fun! I'm going to watch some bad hotel TV (and by bad, I mean cheesy, not the other kind of bad hotel TV) and get a good night's sleep!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Flying First Class, Up In The Sky

I am off to Los Angeles tomorrow! I will still have access to all my technology, so if you need to reach me, you know how. I am going to be taking tons of photos and just entertaining myself. I've got a couple of shoots lined up and am attending a wedding. The attire for the wedding is "creative black tie" so I will be rocking an awesome outfit with some fun details. Woo hoo! And of course, the best accessory - my camera. And I will make sure to get some photos of me, too. Enjoy the week!

She's Been Living In Her Uptown World

Model in the Alley

This weekend I had a great session with Haley! This is just one of the many many MANY photos I took that day. What makes me so happy about this photo is the off-camera lighting. Hooray! See, as a photographer, I really love using natural light as much as possible. However, I still want to know how to master my flash. Over the winter, I even took a couple of wicked fun classes on using your flash off-camera. Hopefully, this experiment of mine will make James and Doug proud! I also had a newborn shoot and an engagement shoot this weekend, so I have lots of editing to do! Happy Patriot's Day and Marathon Monday!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Man With All The Toys

Just in case I don't say it enough, or in case you've forgotten, I LOVE MY JOB!

Santa Claus

Jolly Old St. Nick

Santa's Close-up

I was lucky enough to photograph Santa a few weeks ago. Even Santa needs some new headshots every once in a while! I shared the photography spotlight with Rich and Ashley of Pizzuti Studios and we just had a lot of fun playing off of each other. I focused on a traditional headshot style - I love the close-ups!

Even though it's been a while between posts, things have been busy around here! I am preparing for my trip to Los Angeles and right when I get back, wedding season really kicks off! I am so excited! I have an amazing batch of couples (of course) and we're going to have a ton of engagement sessions coming up. Plus I've got a bunch of shoots this weekend! Hope everyone is doing well! Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

You Are The One I've Been Waiting For Today

In the beginning of February, I photographed Katherine's maternity photos. We had a ton of fun playing around and coming up with new crazy photos (the silliest of which were not posted). How excited was I when I got to photograph her new baby?! Meet Emeline. She was less than three weeks old when we took these photos and already a pro in front of the camera. I mean, come on, babies this little aren't supposed to smile for the camera! Instead of blaming her smiles on the usual excuses, I am just going to joyfully assume she loves me.

Baby Toes

Baby's Funny Face

Sleeping Baby


Swaddled Baby

Baby With Tongue Out

There were so many fabulous photos, but I figured I should limit the post. Plus, I want Emeline's parents to be surprised when they see the rest of them. And thanks to Katherine, who, when I walked in and said, "So, you trust me, right?" didn't even flinch and totally let me be creative. Plus, she let me cuddle the baby for a few.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Easy Street, That's Where We're Gonna Be

Hello blogland people! It's been a few days since I last posted something, but I've been VERY busy shooting. This past week I photographed a newborn and Santa Claus. But not together. I can't wait to post the photos! I'm slightly distracted at this exact moment because I'm watching this show on TLC called "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant." Did anybody else get sucked into this show tonight?

My big excitement for today is that I met Bernadette Peters! "Met" might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it was cool nonetheless. She's written a children's book titled "Broadway Barks" and she did a reading this afternoon at Barnes & Noble. I have to admit, despite being a film school graduate, "Annie" is one of my all-time favorite movies (a film snob, I am not). I can pretty much recite every word and sing every song. As a child, I owned the record. As an adult, I own the CD. As a kid, I owned the movie on VHS. Now I have it on DVD. I will continue to upgrade my copies with the technology. So, seeing Bernadette Peters today in person was pretty exciting. For those who don't know, she played Lily St. Regis, Rooster's girlfriend, in the 1982 movie. It always make me happy to take advantage of free events cities have to offer. Something fun and different for us to do this weekend. And a nice break from the spring cleaning!