A few months ago I had the pleasure of photographing Allison Brennan. If you love romantic thrillers, then you’re familiar with this New York Times and USA Today Best-seller. Allison has authored over 20 novels and short stories. Yes, that’s over 20 and she continues to write more! I met her a quaint and sunny bookstore, Time Tested Books. It was cold day with the early morning sunlight streaming through the windows. Beautiful light, exposed bricks, wood shelves, and the charming reading nooks made this an ideal location and I felt as if I was in a storybook setting. Allison’s arrival to her success is also somewhat of a grand story to me-one of those feel good movies.
I always seem to take away a little something from people I photograph and meet along the way and that’s one of the reasons why I love my job. Allison is such an inspiration for me, as a woman, a mother and a small business owner. She is one of those I’ve met along the way who will stay with me. You see, not too long ago Allison had a full time job but had dreams to write a novel. At first, she wrote when she could- early mornings and after the kids were in bed. She was able to juggle family, work, and writing but with obstacles, feelings of uncertainty, and stress. Thankfully, she continued on her path to follow her dreams without compromising what’s truly important to her, family life. Working moms often have this inner dialogue on whether or not we’re providing enough of ourselves to produce a thriving career or making time for family. A balance between the two is really difficult to achieve so when I come across women who have succeeded in creating a happy home and work life, I take notice and feel hopeful that this inner struggle we women have sometimes can be peacefully resolved. Bravo, Allison!
This is Ann. She belongs to an elite group of social media royalty. I dub thee the Queen of Social Media. Forbes on the other hand, has named her the #1 Women Social Media Influencer and overall #2 Social Media Power Influencer of 2013. That’s quite a feat considering many have difficulties gaining a following at all.
How does she do it? It’s a given that being at the top of any list takes dedication and hard work but in the social media world, you’ve got to have the personality and the skills to constantly engage your followers which Ann has mastered. Ann is really such a nice, genuine, person that it comes across in her tweets and posts. With close to 355,000+ followers on twitter, she captures a global audience with her innate ability to connect with people through different social media platforms which highlights her social media knowledge as well as showcases photographs of her travels. It’s a two way street; Ann’s followers are active, responsive, and engaged in a cyber dialog with her. For more on Ann, you can also visit her blog about travel, leisure, and social media advise.
It was really an honor to work with Ann on creating the look she wanted for her session. She wanted something fun and fresh and she delivered. With the help of the fabulous makeup artist, Shabana, we provided a really unique, boutique photography experience. This was a treat for Shabana and I too as we gained some insight on the social media world.
Evening photography comes to life without the use of flash such as the ones I’m sharing with you here. Next time you find yourself with what you think is minimal lighting from the warmth of a bonfire or 4th of July fireworks, turn your flash off and play around with your camera. If you have a DSLR, the secret is keeping a wide aperture, increasing your ISO and staying really still, not allowing any camera shake. Bring your tripod and creativity out to play. You’ll be amazed at what you can capture!
I though I’d share some my photos from a recent trip to Buttler’s Orchard in Maryland with some of my very special friends (who all happen to be photographers) and our families. At Buttler’s you can reserve a private picnic area complete with bonfire and tractor-driven hay rides around the farm. We started off with photos, of course. Lots of photos! After we got that out of our system we roasted hotdogs and had a pleasant dinner. We were fortunate enough to have a beautiful clear fall evening with the harvest moon cresting as we enjoyed our evening hayride. We ended our evening huddled around the bonfire enjoying our s’mores. It was truly a magical night enjoyed by all of us.
And to drive the point that you don’t need a flash, here are photos from the 4th of July. This is all 100% available light-no flash. As you can see, fireworks and sparklers provide enough illumination to capture your kids, provided they’re close enough to the light source. You may get some grain, but it really adds realness and texture to the photograph and if you’re taking photos of family, that’s exactly what you’re capturing. Happy shooting!
For those of you expecting mamas, Gena Roma offers a special Evolution Collection just for your expanding bellies and growing family. We can start with photographs for your big baby announcement, followed by pregnancy portraits, then newborn, and finally baby’s first birthday. You choose what 4 stages of your pregnancy/baby’s growth you’d like photographed and we’ll work together in creating how your newborn’s story unfolds.
The photos here are of Baby R. I love how Baby R’s story is told through the seasons. Baby R is such an amazing model. He was recently featured in The Online Mom Best of Fall 2013 Photo Contest. BTW, if you’re interested in in showing off your photography skills, take some photos of the beautiful fall scenery around you and enter the contest. You may win a Samsung Galaxy Camera. Visit the The Online Mom for rules/details.
I am so happy to be working with Style Solutions NYC. The owner and fashionista of this blog, Sydney, just knows how to create the latest and greatest looks and has finger on the fashion and beauty pulse. She has worked with Rachel Zoe, interviewed celebrities, designers, and stylists, and continues to cover Fashion Week and events in New York and Los Angeles. Her fashion centered blog is listed on the Boston Globe Blogroll under fashion and design. Sydney has been featured on SINGER22, Teen Vogue,Allure.com,Eco-Chick.com and HerCampus.com. Style Solutions went print in the Hamptons for a special Fourth of July Edition in 2011. Head on over to Style Solutions NYC for fashion’s sake!
I’m really looking forward to our future projects so stay tuned!
And they are everywhere. You may not even know it but you could be standing next to one at the park, the grocery store, or even in the elevator. They come in all shapes, sizes, religions, race-they’re a diverse bunch. These heroes I speak of have all seen and experienced one of the scariest monsters that plague our world today and have conquered it. I am privileged to know one of these fearless warriors- my brave friend, Addy. She may not have bulging muscles, nor can she fly around the world in 5 minutes flat, heck she’s barely 4 ft. tall, but she’s every bit a super hero as Superman. Addy has fought off enemy number 1! We know this evil attacker as Cancer. Yes, at 5 years old Addy has beat cancer into submission with sheer determination, bravery, and inner strength. She is now cancer free and is a happy girl in kindergarten and she is pretty AMAZING. I was honored to be one of the photographer’s (along with Mud Stew Photography & Design, LLC.) at Addy’s party recently, aptly dubbed Addypalooza. Here are photos captured of such a magical day and a video I created for her family to always remember such a carefree and fun day with dear friends and loved ones.
I thought I’d kick off the school year with an updated issue of Twelve Magazine featuring the class of 2014 graduating seniors I’ve had the pleasure to photograph and get to know. It was really difficult for me to choose the cover model. As you can see in the cover choices I had, this wasn’t a slam dunk decision. Just look at all these smart, beautiful girls who are all really remarkable in their own way. Now you know why the decision to pick just one for the cover was so extremely tough for me. If you want to see who it is that made the cover- click here.
I’m working on another editorial spread- this time for an upcoming project with my good friend and Northern Virginia’s own Shabby Chic Makeup Artistry. More on this project soon! Our model for the day was breathtaking beauty, Anni. Yeah, Anni is drop dead gorgeous but what stood out for me was that she uber nice, great to work with, and isn’t affraid to tackle the best hot dog stand around, The Bottom Dollar Dog. After our morning shoot, we definitely needed to treat ourselves.
If family sessions had a theme, this family’s would be Live, Laugh, Love. We’ve heard this saying before but this family exudes this sentiment. There were definitely lots of laughs and love in this family.