So many people love photos just like I do. I am so drawn to them. When I go into antique stores, which is quite often, I always find old portraits. I feel intrigued about what their story is, and sad at the same time, that their family does not have the images, but strangers do. It doesn't seem right that the photos are orphaned.
I feel so fortunate to possess some old portraits that are actually from our family. I am so grateful to relatives that came before me, who spent the time and the money to document family. The above portrait is of my husband's grandmother. It is such a beautiful image. Her features are so clear and the styles of the period are clearly reflected.
The family resemblance to my husbands's cousins is remarkable. Without the skills the portrait artist had, we may not have been able to see her so clearly.
This is a photo someone took at our wedding. I am grateful that they did, because we did not have a photographer. (I know, the irony of it all, I now photograph weddings.) We chose not to have one because we both felt that photographers could be so invasive at weddings. Its nice to have this picture, but it's not very clear and it doesn't show much of the detail of my dress, or anything else. Looking back and knowing what I know now, not having a photographer, who knew what they were doing, was a mistake.
Here is a sharp, well lit image of a wedding I photographed last summer. There is a big difference. Sadly, I don't have any images like this of our wedding.
Here is an image of my dad when he was little. I can clearly see what he looked like and I cherish this photo. I'm so glad my grandparents felt it was a good idea to preserve family history.
This is my dad now. He is a healthy, 85 year old , living with my mom in Maine.
Here is the one and only family portrait my own family had done when I was little. I am the one farthest to the right leaning on the arm of the chair. My younger brother was born after this was done. Since we never had another one taken, his baby picture was placed in the corner of the frame. This was hung on the wall in our home. You display things that reflect what is important to you.
Here is another family member that a print was made of. Again, I love the story it tells with its clarity.
So, do you need to hire a professional photographer to document your family? The answer depends on a few variables. If you are adept at capturing images that are clear and well composed, then you don't need a professional. However, professionals are trained in how to light and pose people and then edit, to get the best results. Some people prefer only candid photography and I totally understand that, too. There is a place for both.
With the ever changing technology world, photography has entered a new age where many people's images live on some digital device and are not printed out to be passed on for generations. I can attest to the fact that hard drives fail, and your images can be lost forever. It has happened to me. I still mourn the loss of so many images I loved. Each photo I take is like a family member to me. So be mindful to print images on a regular basis. I like to make photo books periodically, as a way to preserve my images.
Professional quality prints from professional labs, are vastly better than those printed at drug stores and other places that don't solely print images as their business. Labs that professionals use, take great pride in creating meaningful print art that is important to our emotions, our families, and our legacies.
On a side note, my oldest daughter is really interested in family ancestry and through her researching, has found many photos of family members on Ancestry.com. We now have the above image of my husband's grandfather in his military uniform. Being able to see his face is really exciting. It makes family connections seem so much stronger when there is a face to go with the stories.
This awesome family does.
I had the good fortune of meeting them my first year in business, and they have been back every year.
This was the first year.
....and this was last year.
This year started with me working with each one separately, as usual.
Then this started to happen.
Then I give them a strand of lights and make a few suggestions, and this happens.
Might as well get mom involved.
And a good time was has had by all, especially me! LOVE this family! Happy Holidays everyone!
There are so many reasons I love to photograph weddings. I love capturing the emotions, the interactions between people and the children. I am always drawn to them at a weddings. They are just so much fun to watch. In honor of the fact that I will soon be a grandmother, here are some children at weddings that I have photographed. They steal my heart. I can't wait until I get to photograph my own grandson!
A neighbor recently asked me about doing her son's acting head shots. She told me he had just been in a play and he has a big bushy beard. She wanted to know if there was anyway I could do both beard shots and then shot without the beard. She was curious of how one would go about that.
Well she asked the right person. I love to have fun, so I suggested we make a whole photo essay of it. I said we could document the whole process, if her son was up for it. She asked him, and to my surprise, he said sure!
My plan was to first go to a wooded area near our house to get the outdoor woodsy guy look. I must say, I really liked the beard. Mom was not such a fan of it. The light and the background were great. We quickly took a few shots before we had to vacate the area because the mosquitoes started feeding on us.
Next stop was the train station where it was less buggy and there was some good light with interesting backgrounds. Drew was really chill and easy to photograph. He was not nervous at all and we were having a great time.
Then it was time to change the look. Off to his house we went. I couldn't believe he was letting me do this. These kind of crazy shoots are right up my alley, you know "crazy!"
First, Drew used the trimmers to get rid of some bulk.
What a good sport.
Next step, shaving cream.
Now a closer shave with a razor.
Ta dah, a clean shaven Drew!
Now we are off to Patriot's Place where I saw a wall the other day that I thought would be a good backdrop, not before I scape the side of my car on their stonewall backing out of the driveway. Oh I can just "Photoshop" that out, no wait, this is real life.
When we get there, I couldn't quite remember where the wall was. We traipse along looking for it. Again, Drew is so easy going about it, or he's a really good faker. When we finally locate it, I took a few shots. I really didn't like it. He looks good, but I don't like it as a background, it's not the right colors for him.
Here are a few of the ones we got.
This is the shot I took right before Drew looked away......
because a man was driving right toward us in a security cart. The man questioned me as to what I was photographing. I thought it was kinda obvious, so I not so nicely said, "Ah, him!" pointing at Drew.
He then asked, "What else?"
I assured him I was only photographing Drew. He then told me he saw me taking pictures of doors and that was not allowed for security reasons. He said that I could go take pictures in the parking lot if I wanted to take pictures.
Well, I thought we gotten enough anyway. It was time to quit. I should have taken pictures of the man, but I used my better judgement. That probably would not have went well. Don't think it didn't occur to me. Oh well, it just makes for a better story.
I would like to close with my favorite shot. This will get him all kind of comedic roles.
Seriously, good Luck Drew, I know you're going places! Thanks for letting me be part of your journey.
I am teaching again, this time it is photography. I am so delighted to be doing this. I have 4 students that I teach one on one, and we have a blast!
This is a photograph that one of my students took of me. We were going for that blurred background look with only the subject in the focus. This has to do with depth of field. (Great job, Judy!)
In the two above pictures, we were again practicing depth of field. In the first image, the goal was to get everything in the frame, in focus. In the second photo, the iced tea was to be in focus and everything else out of focus, hence , a shallower depth of field.
In order to use these above techniques, you need to know how to use your camera. Cameras do look pretty scary with all those different buttons and knobs, but that's what I am there for, to help you learn how to use your camera.
So many people ask me what camera they should buy. Well, if you don't plan on doing anything but recording life's events, a point and shoot camera works great, so do many cell phone cameras. I use mine all the time because it is always with me. However, if you want to get more creative, or you have a "fancy" camera and only use it on automatic mode, I would love to teach you how to use it.
This is Ashita, one of my students. I am so excited about the progress she is making. Yesterday, we ventured to Borderland for our lesson. I asked her to take a picture of something she liked with my camera while I was figuring out the settings on her camera. (She has an awesome Sony mirrorless camera that I am falling in love with.) The photo below was the first shot.
Before anyone is quick to judge, I wanted it just to be what ever it came out as. I then asked her to use her knowledge of the exposure triangle that we were learning about, to improve it.
Here is the second shot, getting better. You can see me off to the left fiddling with her camera.
This is her 3rd attempt. Wow, what a difference! She is really getting it!
Here she is working on photographing in dark, indoor light without a flash. Not that easy for a beginner, but she did it.
Today, my student Ashley and I went out to shoot at a nearby waterfall. We had been talking about using shutter speed for stopping action or blurring action and waterfalls are a good place to practice. Also, it was the perfect day to experiment because it was overcast out. Too much sun when you are trying to get that blurred effect of a waterfall, will blow out the picture.(overexpose it causing loss of detail) You need to have a UV filter to do that. We didn't have one.
This picture is the waterfall at a slow shutter speed, notice the blurred water.
This one is at a fast shutter speed. See the difference? I t really is not as easy as just changing the shutter speed. Other setting adjustments have to be made and a tripod should be used, but the difference is easy to see.
While we were at the waterfall, a swan came over to interact with us.
We took off to go to the lake in Sharon to get a few shots, but it started to rain.
Serendipitously, while at the lake, I ran into a former 3rd grade student, now an adult, while I was with a current photography student. And what was that previous student doing? He was taking photos. What a nice way to bring the blog about returning to teaching to an end.
If you have an interest in taking lessons, too. I would love to include you in my growing number of students. Just contact me through my web site contact page or on Facebook.
What a treat to be able to photograph a wedding for two wonderful people at very unique and interesting place, The Metropolitan Water Works Museum in Boston.
Liz and Leland were such a great couple to work for. They know what they like and they know how to have a good time. The unique venue, with a mix of industrial machines and rich textures of brick and wood, made for great pictures. I love the mood brought on by the lighting around the museum.
I love this image captured by my second shooter, Axie Breen.
There were so many special moments that night. I love the emotion here as as Dad and Liz share a special dance together.
The vows were beautiful. Look at the way they are looking at each other....
..and how both sets of parents are looking at them.
The groom's sister helped Liz get ready and was such a delight to be around.
Mom, dad, (he's behind there, see his hand) ,sister, and groom share a moment. I am a sucker for seeking out and documenting emotion.
I truly enjoyed photographing this wedding. Here are a few more shots from this memorable night.
The favorite cousin!
A special shout out to Jules Catering of Somerville, MA, the food was fabulous! http://www.julescatering.com
Congratulations Liz and Leland. I wish you many blessings in your life together!
For any of you that know my husband and I, you might find it strange that we bought a vacation home in Maine and not in warmer North Carolina, like we originally planned. We actually made an offer on a piece of property right on the water in N.C., which was accepted. Sadly, we had to pull out of that deal because erosion had compromised the septic system.
tFast forward to the summer of 2016, my husband continued to look a properties online. He asked me to come look at one he had found in Maine. He said, " It's the one!" I was surprised he was looking in Maine and even more surprised that he was so excited about it. I was born in Fort Kent , Maine and went to college in Maine. I took a look, and he was right, it was the one. There was just something about it. A bonus to its location, my brother and his family live only 25 minutes from it in nearby Camden.
The house was listed as "For sale by owner" so I asked my brother to look into it for me. He contacted the owners for me and was excited to tell me what he found out. He said, " You're not going to believe this, but the people selling the house have the same last name as you and the wife's name is Ann and they are originally from Massachusetts."
He gave me her number and we talked on the phone. I liked her right away. We made an appointment to go view the property.
My Brother met us, and we went to view the property. I absolutely fell in love with everything about it. Bob Ford, the owner, built the home himself, what a perfectionist and a super nice person. Everything was so well done. It was the perfect size and surrounded by nature. Bob built a larger house for them on their land on the other side of the road. So they would be our neighbors if we bought the house.
This is the granite step to the wood shed, it says, "FORD." How cool is that? We knew we had to buy this place.
We did buy the house and know God led us to the right property. We love it so much! We have enjoyed picking out the right furnishings, my husband is awesome at that, and getting the house ready to enjoy and share with others.
It wasn't long before the house was set up and feeling like home. One essential piece was the piano. Like I need photography, my husband needs his music. We had piano movers and a pianist Bob Barry, from Pennsylvania, where my husband purchased the piano, come and join us overnight after they delivered the piano. What a great time we had.
They were the first to sign our guest book.
I love to listen to him play.
My new bedroom is huge and overlooks the woods and stream.
Gotta have wood in Maine.
No pool boy here, just a happy woodshed man.
The wildlife here is amazing!
Our new fall fashion color is orange.
and the views, are beautiful.
There have been so many wonderful memories made here already, and a wonderful friendship has started with my new neighbors, I look forward to what the future will bring in Maine.
Every wedding is unique, that's why I love photographing them! Mary and Darren's evenig wedding was just beautiful! Take a few minutes to enjoy. Mary actually sang the song, "At Last", by Etta James, to Darren. It was awesome! Congratulations to both of you!
Recently I had the pleasure of photographing this sweet boy who is almost 1 . He really was not into it. Kudos to his mom and dad, who came well prepared for our session.
They brought bubbles and snacks.
Dad showed him pictures of himself, which he usually loves, on his cell phone.
Lots of strategies were used to get him more in the mood.
We were able to sneak this one picture in thanks to a little teardrop removal in Photoshop.
The important thing to know when photographing children is that it is on their terms and not ours. You need to give them time to play and relax. I think he was clearly giving me a message when he turned his back to me.
He was just so cute and clearly not interested until.............
wheels were introduced. He still didn't care about having his picture taken, but he no longer seemed to even notice me.
Then out came the wagon. What a change! I love how he put his tongue out when he was immersed in play.
This little guy not only enjoyed the wagon, he just loved being outside. Here are a few more that really show off his personality.
And.........we're done. I am so glad we took the time to let him get comfortable. We had a really great time, and I love the results. Who he is really comes across in the photos! When taking photos of children, take your time. It will be time well spent.
This August I had the pleasure of photographing Chelsea and Dana's wedding. I loved this couple from the first time I met them. They are just the perfect mix of traditional and modern. They care so deeply about each other and they know how to have fun!
The day started with the typical getting ready. Chelsea and her attendants were beautiful to begin with, so the makeup artists and hair designer just enhanced their looks.
I really enjoyed being with everyone while they were getting ready, it's always such an exciting time, but I especially liked getting to know Chelsea's mom. We had a lot in common and I felt like I had known her for longer and we could have easily been friends.
Chelsea's very talented sister, made the amazing cake.
Dana, his groomsmen and his dad, got ready and then shared a toast.
All the details of the wedding were beautiful.
The bride had killer shoes and pretty lace on her dress.
The centerpieces were so romantic.
The colors were so pretty.
I just loved the guy's socks.
The flowers were stunning!
Iv'e taken so many pictures that I have loved, but this is one is one of my all time favorites. It just captures their personalities.
There were so many special moments to capture, so scroll though and enjoy a few.
After 31 years of teaching, I have decided to retire and start a new chapter of my life as a photographer. It has been my passion for about 7 years now.