::a sweet city engagement::

One of the greatest things that has come from my photography business for me is the connections it has either created or reestablished with my clients.  Shannon and I knew each other a long time ago as we both attended Genesee Valley Central School.  Once Shannon started her graduate program at Houghton College, it was nice to see a friendly face on campus once in a while when we would run into one another- usually in the local coffee shop : )

So a few months ago when I got an email from Shannon asking if I’d be her wedding photographer, I was again thankful for the chance to ‘run into’ her and the ways in which my business helps me connect with people I’ve known for a long time.  But enough about that… Shannon and Jon met a long time ago as well and dated throughout high school and college.

For their engagement session we met up in Buffalo and started at the Albright-Knox for some creative urban shots.

Shannon and Jon are pretty incredible together- both juggling impressive careers and living in separate cities (Shannon in Buffalo and Jon in Syracuse) while maintaining a great relationship. They were so casual and comfortable with each other it was easy to document.

I love this moment.

 

We headed across the street to Delaware Park which still had some amazing blooms and blossoms to work with.

Shannon loves her ring- and its pretty easy to see why!

So sweet.  I think everyone needs a classic ‘city bench’ shot.

I can’t wait to document their wedding day and celebrate with them.

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::a memorable Christmas gift::

Any time I receive an envelope with “DO NOT BEND” posted on the front and back I know it’s going to be something good.  It usually means photographs are inside! A few weeks ago I got one such envelope from a friend and client who is having me put together a Christmas gift for her Dad- a collection of family history collages.

We’re still debating what exactly to turn this into- maybe just 4 or 5 pieces to print and hang collage style on his walls, or possibly a short album… even without deciding entirely I started on creating the pieces.

Photographs like these just mesmerize me. The tones, colors, and expressions of the past represented are all hauntingly beautiful reminders of why I’m so glad I do what I do. Taking a photograph preserves so much- memories, people, lifestyles, fashion, environment, personalities, change.

Even simple things hardly preserved like a loved one’s written words and handwriting. My Grandma always writes on the back of her photographs just like this person did and seeing her writing, reflecting on her effort to record family times is powerful. I decided to scan in the back of these photographs and use it as part of the actual pieces.

My goal in creating these pieces is to present the viewer with several outlets for experiencing this memory… the photograph, artistic and aesthetic creation, and the handwriting of a loved one.  I have a few ideas spinning to create even more ‘memory outlets’ out of each piece which I’ll hopefully develop into concrete ideas.

The first piece is complete (above) and I can’t wait to see how the rest of these pieces turn out.  Can a Christmas gift be more meaningful and memorable?

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::Will & Kat wedding(pt 2)::

With my last Will & Kat wedding post on the blog I wanted to show you the portraits we captured.

I think most of them really speak for themselves and capture the feelings and memories of the day.

The colors and tones turned out pretty perfect and I loved how the landscape matched their fantastic wedding attire. So romantic.

One of my favorites. Leave a comment and let me know which ones you liked best!

 

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::oscar::

If you’re my facebook friend or blog follower there are a few easy observations you’ve made about me.  One is that I like taking pictures. Two is that I love fabulous food. And three? I am obsessed with my cats. My facebook ‘mobile uploads’ album is a pretty good indicator of this.  It seems to be a way to blog moments in my day visually and 9 times out of 10 the photos are of food or my cats.

Some of my early blog posts introduced you to our first set of felines, sisters that were found in the woods in a plastic bag and left for…well, we won’t mention what they were left for. Today they are large and healthy and slightly pompous and comfortable in their pampered environment so I’d say they were left for a good life indeed.

About a month ago we were sitting in the hot Georgia sun at a community yard sale when a skinny legged child walked by carrying a small basket.  Inside was the smallest ball of orange fur you’ve ever seen and glassy green eyes peered up at me. I asked her if it was her kitten and she said she’d like it to be but her Momma wouldn’t allow cats in the house. My heart almost burst with compassion and excitement when she explained that the kitten was free and homeless and a nice man was giving him away. I immediately scooped the little guy into my arms and took him home.

Later that afternoon we dubbed him ‘Oscar’ because, well, don’t all orange striped kitties need to have a name that starts with the letter ‘o’? It just seemed to fit.

Just like his sisters (who have slowly and regretfully adjusted to having him around) Oscar greatly enjoys our large living room windowsill and the billowy curtains that hang from ceiling to floor. He’s currently fighting an upper respiratory infection which I find sad but incredibly adorable as he skitters about the house sputtering the tiniest sneezes and wheezes and coughs. And despite his tiny size he’s ridiculously easy to track down… during his best attempts at hide and seek his desperate little snot nose can be heard a mile away.

 

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::Will & Kat wedding(pt 1)::

Great friends always mean great memories and Will and Kat’s wedding weekend in August was one of the most memorable weekends of the summer. If you missed their engagement shoot we did last spring in Atlanta, check it out here. It’s fun to be at the stage in life when lots of get togethers revolve around weddings and this wedding was especially amazing. Will and Kat got married out in rural, western, Ohio where Kat is from.

The timing of the day was perfect for me as a photographer since the ceremony didn’t start until early evening. The nearby town where the girls got ready was having a festival so sweet potato fries were the morning wedding snacks- yum.

A wide open afternoon allowed for some time for bridal party portraits- such an important part of your wedding day and waiting until after the ceremony to try and squeeze everything in can be stressful. I’m glad we were able to include some of the ceremony details too- these gorgeous pies the bridesmaids made from scratch!

These shots were done right in Kat’s backyard.

While the girl preparation shots were taken more than several hours before the wedding, these shots of the guys were taken just a few minutes prior to the ceremony starting… : )

The small country church where the ceremony was held had some gorgeous natural lighting and large old windows.

They rocked those suspenders!

Did I mention the church had amazing lighting? I’m always a little squeamish about shooting the ceremony because sanctuaries can tend to be dark and poorly lit and have regulations about movement and flash. One benefit to this church being so small and rural meant that there were no wedding regulations so I was able to move about and even requested that we open all the curtains and blinds! The soft evening light made that reflected into the windows was amazing and set the mood for their meaningful ceremony.

Part two of their wedding photos coming soon!

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::a colorful kiss::

The last two weeks have had me traveling down to Ft Myers, Port Charlotte, then up to western New York, then back down to the Tampa area. I can’t count the number of times I saw the gigantic face of the Atlanta airport staring up at me while my plane circled to land. But my travels were safe, there was only one small delay, and my luggage (including my camera gear) made it through safe and sound.

While in NY I had the pleasure of doing an engagement session for Shannon and Jon and I’m really excited to share their photos with you. First, I’ve got some sleep to catch up on, but I thought I’d post one of my favorites from their session for now.

Oh, and my sister happened to be with me in Buffalo the morning of their shoot and took this with her cell of me taking this very shot! Thanks Mag! : )

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::Ghost adventures follow-up::

Hey everyone! It’s been a crazy but very blessed few days as I sit here reflecting from my parent’s couch in western, NY.  I flew in for my first gallery show presented at The Fountain Arts Center in Belmont, NY from my summer collaboration with Dave Huth.  It was a bit insane framing all the prints and setting up the entire gallery in less than 24 hours but it was worth it! So many wonderful friends and family came to support us and it reminded me so deeply why I love this community and embrace it as my home. For you readers who attended, thank you so much. Your support means the world to me.

Another exciting thing happened last night. The episode of the Ghost Adventures shoot I did aired on the Travel Channel. I can’t believe that shoot was only a few months ago and I’d almost forgotten about it. I guess that’s the difference between handling your own work and turning your work over for someone else to use and produce.

I haven’t checked out the episode yet but I think it’s available online. However, they did post the photo album from the episode (which kicked off a new season) and that’s online today! You can check it out here!

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