Friday, January 29, 2010

If Love Affairs You Like

Blog posts are coming out of the woodwork now, I tell ya! I figured I should post Maggie & Bonnie-Jeanne's engagement session before I posted their wedding photos. We just spent a couple of hours one fall afternoon hanging around in places that are special to them - their house and yard, the local pond. It was perfect.

Maggie & Bonnie-Jeanne, engagement session

I love happy bare feet!
DSC_5465 logoMaggie & Bonnie-Jeanne, engagement session

Maggie & Bonnie-Jeanne, engagement session

Maggie & Bonnie-Jeanne, engagement session

The engagement session was the perfect pre-cursor to their wedding, which was only about a week later! Their wedding was gorgeous, but I'll save those details for later. Until then...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Have You Ever Thrown A Fist Full of Glitter In The Air?

I had one day to photograph Adriane & Dave before they left to go back to California and what happened? It snowed. A lot. Lucky for us, it made for great photos (although not-so-great driving). Adriane & Dave are getting married this coming fall on Coronado Island in San Diego. That's right - I'm a bicoastal wedding photographer! Anyway, they were in town visiting family, so we grabbed the opportunity to do their engagement session. They were so awesome in front of the camera! And they were troopers in the snow, even though Adriane was wearing stiletto-heeled boots!

Adriane & Dave, engagement session

Adriane & Dave, engagement session

I love how romantic and snowy this photo is.
Adriane & Dave, engagement session

Adriane & Dave, engagement session

There are definite benefits to living above a restaurant, besides the delicious food. When we got too cold to stay outside, they gladly let us finish the shoot up inside. Not many places actually let you do that; most will kick you out. As you know, I've been kicked out of some pretty fancy places.
Adriane & Dave, engagement session

Adriane & Dave, thanks so much for making the snowy trek out this way. Choosing which photos to include in this post was not easy. I can't wait for your wedding!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

You're Every Line, You're Every Word

Isobel and Jimmy got married this past fall and I am just now getting around to posting some of their images. Better late than never, right? I am so lucky to work with such wonderful and in-love couples. Isobel is a kindred spirit when it comes to movies and awards season, so it was a thrill to be able to photograph her wedding! Here are a few photos from the big day.

The bride getting ready at home.
Isobel & Jimmy, wedding

The bridal party before leaving for the church.
Isobel & Jimmy, wedding

A little rain didn't stop anybody from having a wonderful time. I love that it didn't faze anyone!
Isobel & Jimmy, wedding

This church was so different! It's St. Michael's Church in North Andover and it has the coolest layout and lots of windows. The light hit the bride and groom perfectly! In this photo, I'm showcasing the cross, of course, but it was so fun to play around with the natural light!
Isobel & Jimmy, wedding

A non-champagne, post-ceremony toast!
Isobel & Jimmy, wedding

The happy couple!
Isobel & Jimmy, wedding

The wedding took place at the Danversport Yacht Club in one of their beautiful ballrooms! Unfortunately, due to the weather, we weren't able to really explore the gorgeous property. Like I said though, the weather could not keep these people down. This crowd knew how to dance. Any wedding that features a dueling rendition of "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" is okay in my book! This is a photo of the bride & groom at the end of the night.
Isobel & Jimmy, wedding

Isobel & Jimmy, congratulations and thank you for allowing me to be part of your day! Less than one week until the Oscar nominations are out! To see more photos from their wedding, click here.

Like I just mentioned, the Oscar nominations come out next Tuesday (the same day as the final season of LOST premieres - busy day for me). I'm hoping I don't have too many movies to see. I think I did a really good preemptive strike with the Golden Globes. Here are a couple of other movie reviews...

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - Cute movie. Good voices. I think it's important for animated films to be entertaining for adults as well as children and this one accomplishes that. However, it's a tough year for animated films and I don't think this one has what it takes to beat out Up.

Broken Embraces - I'm a fan of Pedro Almodovar films and Penelope Cruz is at her best when she's acting in her native language. I love the art direction in this film - the colors, the homes - they're full of life. This one is not my favorite Almodovar film, though. I haven't seen any of the other foreign films yet, though, so I'm not sure how it stands up to the rest of them (or what will be nominated for the Oscar). I've heard really good things about The White Ribbon, which won the Globe.

I'm hoping to hop back on the movie bandwagon, so hopefully I'll have more reviews for you as I go!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Raise Your Hopeful Voice

This past week we celebrated Doug's birthday and for his present, I got him tickets to see The Swell Season at Radio City Music Hall. I don't even know where to begin; we had such an amazing New York City adventure. Radio City Music Hall was exquisite. The inside was so opulent - every little detail spoke to its history. I was in Art Deco heaven. I had been there before, once, when I was a kid, to see the Christmas Spectacular, but not since. I would go back again in a heartbeat! Imagine my surprise when our tickets landed Doug & I in the 6th row! Amazing! The show was fantastic. If you haven't heard of The Swell Season, I highly recommend doing a little research and checking them out. They won the Best Song Oscar in 2008 for "Falling Slowly" from the film "Once," which they starred in. During a break in the show, I started chatting with a man who ended up inviting Doug and I to the afterparty. WHAT THE WHAT?!!?! We weren't sure how legit the whole situation was, but we decided to give it a go. So glad we did! Not only did we get in to the party and hang with supercool people, but we got to meet Swell Season's lead singer, Glen Hansard (such an amazing voice)! Not only that, but actors Bobby Cannavale and Edward Norton were also hanging out. Granted, I never spoke with them, but I stood pretty close to them, and that's a start! Needless to say, as we walked back to our hotel in the wee hours of the morning, along the quiet Manhattan streets, we were 100% happy.

Glen Hansard, Swell Season

In an effort to be less critical of myself in photos, this is SOOC. Over the years, I have learned it is impossible for me to be both cool and excited at the same time. In moments like this, excitement always wins out. Hence the crazy-person smile. Now go out and buy some Swell Season on iTunes!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I've Seen Your Picture, Your Name in Lights Above It

Phew! That crazy night is over! One of these days, I'd love to attend an awards show. At the very least, it would be fun to sit on the red carpet and watch the stars walk in. Yes, I do think that would be fun. I love movies. It's that simple. Some thoughts on the Golden Globes (in no particular order).

1. Thank God George Clooney was there. He makes everything better.
2. Mo'Nique totally deserved to win. She was my one bet for the evening.
3. Mo'Nique's speech was great, but also a little sad and creepy. Also, it's funny to remember that when all this Award Season buzz started, she was all, "I don't care about awards. I want money."
4. Mariah Carey needs a better stylist. Her boobs need their own stylist.
5. Best dressed? Sofia Vergara, Drew Barrymore, Toni Collette, Anna Paquin, Kate Winslet
6. Worst Dressed (that stuck in my mind)? Amy Adams (very matronly - she should talk to Catherine Zeta-Jones and Cate Blanchett about hot awards season maternity wear), Mariah Carey, Tina Fey (I love her, but I do not want to go to there), Cher (doing her best Morticia Addams), and all of the porcelain-skinned ladies who felt the need to wear dresses the same color as their skin (although Christina Hendrinks is a fave of mine regardless).
7. Biggest guy trend? BEARDS! Did you see William Hurt rocking his? Awesome! And props to Daniel Day-Lewis for not wearing something wacky.
8. Did anyone else notice how HORRIBLE the camera work was? The operators had no idea where they were supposed to be or who they were supposed to be filming, which led to a lot of jerky movement and cuts. I think I heard the sound of people being fired.
9. Best sense of humor in regards to himself? Mel Gibson! I loved that he followed Ricky Gervais' drunk comment by speaking with a "drunken slur" when he started to present his award.
10. Worse sense of humor in regards to himself? Paul McCartney. Although maybe he had no idea he was being talked about. It was a pretty funny joke though.
11. Overall, I thought Ricky Gervais did a fine job. I was hoping he'd be a little more risque, but that's cool. He seemed underused for a host, though. What's the point of having one if he's not going to be out there? I think one of the great things about the Globes was that they weren't slowed down by a host. Ricky Gervais didn't slow the show down, but he didn't raise the bar, either. The show would have been just as good without any host.
12. Felicity Huffman flubbed her lines, but was adorable doing it. That's what live TV is all about!
13. George Lucas was there, sitting right in front with Marty Scorsese, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why. Anyone know?
14. Know who wasn't there? Brad and Angelina! Made for a very pleasant evening.
15. I might get a little criticism for this, but I thought the ribbons for Haiti were a bit too much. I think it's great that people "care" and are getting involved and donating money, but there's a twinge of insincerity to it all. I couldn't quite put a finger on it, but my friend figured me out. I think it's that so few of them genuinely cared about Haiti before the earthquake. Now it's the crisis of the moment, so everyone wants to take part and show their support. That's great, but Haiti could have used some help before this.
16. Ah, NBC, you really screwed up with this Late Night debacle. Even movie stars are taking sides. Publicly. At the Globes. Which were on NBC.
17. Speaking of which... Hooray for Julianna Margulies! I love The Good Wife and was happy she won. I also loved her speech and her mention of the 10p drama. I also loved that she kissed George Clooney on her way to the stage. Lucky lady!
18. Nurse Hathaway and Dr. Ross 4 eva!
19. How funny was it when Jon Hamm walked up on stage after Mad Men won and there were no other cast members up there? He was just up there looking like a fool until the rest of them showed up! Hilarious.
20. Robert Downey, Jr. had a funny speech. Drew Barrymore had an unfocused one (although I liked that she said she had been coming to this since she was 7 and that these people were her family. In a way it was very sad.).
21. Martin Scorsese gave a great speech. Very genuine. The man has done so much for film. His movies have paved the path for the future, but he has also reached out to save the past. The man eats, sleeps, and breathes movies. It's inspiring. I love people who love movies.
22. Glee over Modern Family. Thoughts?
23. I get James Cameron for Best Director, but not Avatar for Best Picture/Drama. I was disappointed with that win. The Oscar race should be interesting this year. They don't separate Comedy/Musicals and Drama, but this year they are allowing 10 Best Movie nominations. Should make for an interesting category.
24. I think if George Clooney met me, we would fall in love.
25. Jason Reitman loves his wife and his parents. That makes him awesome. Ivan Reitman was actually my one celeb sighting when I was in LA last spring. Yes, I am aware that very few people would recognize Ivan Reitman.
26. Loved Sandra Bullock's thank you to her husband. He has her back.

Now that the results are in, I can narrow down the movies I still need to see. I think Crazy Heart needs to be seen and I'll probably want to see A Single Man (just because). Oh, and White Ribbon, which I heard is really good and won the Best Foreign Film Globe. The Oscar nominations come out 2/2 (also the season premiere of LOST - very busy day for me), so I'l get back to business for that. I know there are other things I should be mentioning in this post but am forgetting. What were your thoughts - on the wins, losses, broadcast, red carpet - anything? Do you agree with me? Disagree? Please share!

El Pollo Loco, here I come!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Like A Perfect Scene From A Movie Screen

Milena is one of those very organized brides who first met with me over a year before her wedding, which was great because it gave us that much extra time to communicate! It was so easy to fall into a friendship with her and Kevin. They were fun, nice, and easy to be around. I knew from the very beginning that theirs would be an awesome wedding to photograph!

This is my film noir shoe shot. I guess it would be more noir in black and white, but I'm leaving it in color!
Milena & Kevin, wedding

The flowers were done by A Whole Bunch Flower Market in Burlington.
Milena & Kevin, wedding

The bride, looking totally gorgeous!
Milena & Kevin, wedding

The ceremony was at St. Barbara's Church in Woburn, MA.
Milena & Kevin, wedding

This photo was taken without using a flash and the ceremony started in the early evening! I love my camera!
Milena & Kevin, wedding

The happy couple!
Milena & Kevin, wedding

I love this photo of the cake! It's made by Montilio's Bakery, one of the big Boston bakeries (that's a lot of b's).
Milena & Kevin, wedding

Ah, the dancing! Let me tell you, this couple, and their guests, knew how to tear up the dance floor! It was great getting to watch them, and if I'm honest with you, participate just a little bit. I can't help it - when I hear music, I want to dance. The reception was held at the Hilton Hotel in Woburn, which is a great hotel. This is the second wedding I've photographed there, and it's always nice to work at a venue that has great outdoor space and great indoor space for photos!
Milena & Kevin, wedding

Milena & Kevin, wedding

The whole wedding was so much fun! Milena & Kevin, thank you for being so great, and for being so patient for your blog post! I haven't been very prompt. If you want to see the slideshow from the wedding, all you have to do is click here.

Since the title of this blog post also applies to movies, here are a few more little reviews for you...

It's Complicated- It was funny. Really. Laugh out loud funny. I thought the kids were the weak links, specifically the son, but the rest of the cast was great. John Krasinski played his part a little slapsticky at times, but I thought overall it worked. Steve Martin could have been put to better use, but he worked with what he had. I enjoyed the complexity of the main characters. And I won't give it away, but I really liked the ending. With a title like "It's Complicated," it couldn't exactly be a nice neat ending all wrapped up in a bow, right?

Sherlock Holmes - The best thing about this movie was the relationship between Holmes and Watson. I thought Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law played off each other so well, but we never really see the origins of this friendship. They have this wonderful little bromance going, with all the banter of a traditional romantic comedy, which makes the dialogue between them sharp and fast and fun. The movie could have been shorter. I liked the explanation of the crimes at the end, and the way it's told. I didn't like Rachel McAdams. Her character was blah and her clothes were ill-fitting. How hard could it be to make her look good? For what it's worth, this is also a Guy Ritchie movie and at times, it really seems like it.

Brothers - I was reluctant to see this movie because it looked so depressing. And it was. But it was also better than I expected it to be. It's raw and honest and terrifying. I happen to think (and so does my movie-going companion) that the best acting in the film came from Bailee Madison, the little girl who played the oldest daughter of Tobey Maguire and Natalie Portman. She's nominated for a Critic's Choice Award because they acknowledge "juvenile" actors and it would be pretty cool if the Oscars gave her a Best Supporting Actress nod, but I'm not holding my breath.

Okay, that's all for today. I haven't been to the movies since Saturday, so I need to see a few more so I can review another bunch for you!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Butterflies Are Free To Fly

Now that it's January and the holidays are over, as are all the weddings, I'm finally going through all my busy season shoots to find the sessions I never blogged. This little baby killed me with how cute she was!

Newborn Photography

Newborn Photography

When you get to play with babies and dress them up in fun hats, it's so easy to love your job!
Newborn Photography

Newborn Photography

I went to high school (and junior high) with this baby's mom, so it was such a blast to hang out and catch up. As I'm writing this post, I don't have a title for it yet. I'd really love to figure out a song that has a school bus lyric since we used to ride the bus together, but that might be wishful thinking. Being a photographer keeps me in touch, and puts me in touch, with so many wonderful people. I tend to be hard to get rid of, but I'd like to think that's a good thing.

Now here's the movie section. People have been asking me for some reviews, so here goes nothing...

Avatar-If you're going to see it, definitely see it in 3-D. Since the entire movie is based on the visual, I recommend seeing it in the best format possible, and at a good theater. James Cameron spent over a decade creating a new technology and this new universe and it's really gorgeous to look at. However, I feel that spending all that time on those things detracted from the script. The plot is pretty basic, which I don't mind. It's very similar to "Dances With Wolves" and a myriad of other movies. Some of the lines are just so cheesy, though. Really. And the plot had some decent-sized holes in it. I forsee Avatar winning technical awards, and maybe even Director, but I don't think it deserves anything else.

Precious- Very moving, traumatic movie. We've all seen movies about abuse and what elevates this one from the level of Afterschool Special/Lifetime movie, is the acting. Gabourey Sidibe and Mo'Nique are pretty amazing. If I could choose only one to walk out of the season holding a statue (or statues), it would be Mo'Nique. Her performance blew me away. Mariah Carey did a pretty good job, too, which is amazing considering "Glitter." And, of course, Lenny Kravitz is adorable, but I expected nothing less.

A Serious Man-This is a Coen Bros. movie, so I feel like often you either like their movies or you don't. I didn't really like this one. Out of all the movies I've seen this season, this is my least favorite. For the Golden Globes, it's nominations are in the Comedy categories, and although there are funny parts, this is far from being a comedy. It might take a second viewing for me to really get it, but I'm not sure I want to sit through it again.

Young Victoria- The film is beautiful, especially the costumes. I thought Emily Blunt did a great job (and I love Jim Broadbent), but it definitely left me wanting more. Dare I say the film could have been a little longer? I mean, if Sherlock Holmes can run over 2 hrs, this one should be able to do that, too. At the end, you get the requisite written epilogue to fill you in on the rest of Victoria's reign (you know, when she's Old Victoria), but there was so much writing! Don't tell me, SHOW ME! Also, they didn't really show her making any big governmental decisions, really taking the reins of her country. I wanted a little more action. I was lucky to be viewing the movie with an anglophile who was able to fill me in on all of the British monarchy details. I recommend if you see this movie, you bring your own anglophile friend with you so you know exactly what you're watching. Not only will it enhance the movie, but it will explain the written parts at the end.

Okay, that's enough reviews for today! Maybe I'll come back with more for tomorrow!
(PS- I opted for a butterfly lyric since that was the motif in the baby's room)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

All That I Have Are These To Remember You

I just got back yesterday from a photography conference/convention/seminar that just overloaded my brain with so much information. I kid you not, we were listening to speakers from 9:30a to 12:30a with a break for lunch and a break for dinner. It was insane, but also entirely energizing and inspiring. I could list every speaker and tell you what I learned from them (I take nice, neat notes), but I want to focus on one. On the very last day of the conference, the very last speaker was David Williams, a photographer based out of Australia. Sure, he spoke about the business and about taking good photos, but that's not the essence of what I came away with. David emphasized the importance of heirloom photography - photos of your friends and family. This covered a couple of different issues. One being that as photographers, we're rarely in photos. If you're the photographer in your family, don't forget to step in front of the camera. It's not a complete photo if you're not in it. And one of the things I have to take to heart is that the people who love you don't care what you look like, so don't be afraid or self-conscious or ridiculous. HAVE YOUR PHOTO TAKEN! Another issue is that with digital, we tend to delete our memories if they're not perfect. When you developed your rolls of film, very rarely did you ever throw a print out because someone looked silly. The best photos are the ones where all the kids are crying or where your little brother is picking his nose. Those are the ones that say family. So I encourage you, and myself, to go easier on the delete button and to PRINT UP THOSE PHOTOS!

Now, before this particular session began, I was warned that people often cry when they hear David Williams speak. I'm a total softy, but this seemed a little strange to me. However, I will admit that by the end of his nearly 4 hr talk, it was taking all my energy not to sob. I would have flown right by regular crying if I had let those tears past my eyelids. It was ugly. When everything is said and done, photos still remain. I know it sounds dramatic, but you never know when someone will be taken from you. David Williams kept asking us to close our eyes and think of our families and the people we loved. Then he would ask, "Do you have all the photos you want of them?" The answer always seemed to be no. My challenge to myself, and to you, is to take more photos. Be in photos. Print your photos. My one regret, something I can't seem to shake, is that I didn't take photos of my grandfather when he was dying. He was at home, always with family and friends around. There were such moments of tenderness. I have this memory of him, sitting up on the edge of the bed, with his back to me. My mother is rubbing his bare back, while my other aunts are buzzing around. I can still see the outline of his body, his posture. I never brought my camera because I believed my family would think it was too morbid, that injecting a camera into the situation would ruin something. In fact, writing this now, I worry about what my mother will think when she reads this. Hi mom. I can see the photo as a black and white, with emotional light and shadows. Maybe sharing this will hold the memory longer. All I know is that I learned to be better about taking photos of the people I love. This photo was taken of my grandmother and I on her 89th birthday. I took a lot of photos that day, and even made sure I was in some. My grandmother passed away only a few months later. These photos are priceless to me now.

Gram & Me

As a photographer, I constantly grapple with the decision of whether I should be taking photos or just be in the moment. I think every situation is different, and I know I drag my camera a lot of places and never take it out. All I know is that I'd rather have it on me if the opportunity presents itself than not.

So, to repeat. Here's our New Year's Resolution (and I'm talking to you): TAKE PHOTOS. BE IN PHOTOS. PRINT YOUR PHOTOS.