While on Nantucket this summer, we were introduced to a new beach, Steps Beach. You come out of this leafy passageway and look out over this diverse hillside with wooden pathways, sandy dunes and aquamarine water. I had taken a walk in the morning of our last day on island. I was thinking about swimming, but decided instead to just sit on the beach and watch life go by. Best decision ever. I had forgotten how much happens when I just stop and pay attention. A woman in a turquoise bathing suit and straw fedora came down to swim. She swam a long way out and then met up with another swimmer who she joined and they swam together. Do they do that every day? The seagulls were flying overhead along with a random helicopter, the ferry appeared and headed in past the jetty, a couple walked by me holding hands. The cloud formations were striking, one looking like a lady striding across the sky in a flowing dress. For a quiet beach, there was a lot going on.
When I headed up to the Ridgefield School of Dance, I expected to do a quick shoot of the lead ballerina for their upcoming Sleeping Beauty performance. But as happens often in my business, my shoots evolve when I arrive. The ballerina had a beautiful tutu intricately embroidered and was so accomplished. So I did the traditional shots of her in position and then leaping. But then we decided to try some fun shots with props. The owner of the school had roses, tulle, plastic and little tutus. My shoot became an adventure, playing off the new materials, getting in the flow.
I love the story that happens at bar mitzvahs. There is this undercurrent of excitement, with the anticipation of the bar mitzvah boy's reading and the support and love of the family. There are precious moments like the brother locking arms with his sister and waltzing in together. Or the uncle picking up the brother and holding him upside down. The beautiful strips of red light added a spiritual quality, which seemed fitting for the occasion. And since the bar mitzvah boy is into theater, his jump outside was just a preview of what was to come at the party later.
This is a family I have photographed for a couple years. This year, the littlest one, kept calling me Pampela, which totally made my day. We played outside running and swinging and then came inside at the end. After talking with the mom, I looked back and the grandmother was reading to the kids in the beautiful light. And then the son, who had disappeared, came back with a camera made of construction paper and took my picture! I never know what will happen on my shoots, but love all the surprises that come, totally unexpected. They are gifts!
On my birthday this year, I had the opportunity to shoot in the morning. An extended family was coming together from all over: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and just down the road in Fairfield. The cousins had so much fun being together and the whole family played and laughed and so it was the best way to start my birthday!
Had a fun shoot with an exceptional baby. This baby looked at the camera, paid attention to mom and dad, smiled occasionally, did not cry once and fell asleep at the end of the shoot. Even his older brother was very low key and also happy. It was a magical shoot. The baby reminds me of a little man, with all his little expressions. Very animated for a baby. That is why he is the Zen Baby!
One of my long-standing clients asked me if I would photograph her with her mother and grandmother two days before Christmas. And as a bonus, my client is pregnant with a baby girl! I love photographing multiple generations in a family. So meaningful! We got some beautiful shots of the three women. At the end, my client's one-year old son came for a guest appearance. He had so much fun playing with his mom's belly and the grandmothers showered him with love as well. What a great gift to all be together for Christmas.
A family that I have worked with for years had one day when they were all together on Nantucket. We planned for a Saturday evening. On the way over on the ferry, I got a call saying that it was pouring on Nantucket. A moment of concern! Then I looked in the direction of the winds and less dark skies were coming. So we decided to go ahead and were rewarded with beautiful skies that cast a gorgeous even light. I've learned that almost every kind of weather has a unique beauty.
A family that I photographed 10 years ago, came back for a session this summer. The oldest son is now heading off to college. The boys were so connected with each other and the whole family when we photographed at Burying Hill Beach. One of the best parts of my job is getting to know families and watching them grow.
This shoot reminded me of a shoot I did many years ago for my client when she was getting ready to go to an elegant party. I photographed the excitement of getting ready, the beauty of her dress and self and the juxtaposition of being all dressed up and being out in nature. This Thursday, it was like deja vu. My client and her daughter were all dressed up to go in to New York City for a special dinner. The love and connection were so evident inside and out. It is a milestone to see my client take her own daughter to an adult event, since I started photographing their family almost ten years ago when she was eight!
This foggy morning reminded me of a foggy Sunday morning a few years ago when I was walking at Compo Beach with my camera. There was a football game where the men were playing like in a dream, they would come in and out of focus. I took some photographs of the action. I love some of the ones where the game was like a dance of football players, with no background or context. It was so ethereal and beautiful.
Some children do seem like old souls and this little guy seems old beyond his 5 months. He is like a little entertainer. I have never seen a happier baby who liked to smile and laugh throughout the shoot. I've photographed this family with their two daughters for several years. Adding a little boy into the mix, as well as one with such an exuberant personality, has changed the family dynamic and added much happiness! I could have been at a comedy club while I was looking at the images with the mother today. We could not stop laughing!
A lovely young mother and her confident daughter and her doll met me at Earthplace for a fall photo session. They played on the playground and then we took off on a short walk on one of the trails. The light was magical and the two of them connecting was beautiful.
Looking back over shoots from the year, this was a funny weather story. It was pouring rain a half hour before the shoot! But on the radar, it looked like the rain would pass. So the family was open to trying the shoot and so was I. Nothing like the beautiful weather right after a rain. The shoot was at Compo Beach and the teenagers had not been very excited about having all their friends see them during the shoot. Problem solved! Almost no one there and the light was spectacular. The family often looked like they were in a spotlight and then the rainbow came. As my father used to say, "You don't have to be smart if you're lucky!"
I love working with clients over the years and seeing how their lives evolve. I met this young woman when she needed headshots for work. Then a few years later, she wanted engagement photos for she and her fiance. And now I just had the privilege of celebrating her pregnancy by capturing images of this special time. It was a beautiful sunny day and there were many inspiring props and places to shoot at her house. At first, I had her sit on a tan rug with a very organic shape that mirrored her belly. The colors in her house are creams and whites and so the color was so soft and muted in the images. Then the shadows in one of the rooms captured the shape of her belly. Her husband went out to pick some tulips. They looked like a metaphor for my client's growing baby, as they were blooming so beautifully too. And then, as luck would have it, my client had pink pants that matched the tulips. I could never have planned this! And that's what makes these shoots so special.
I know that life is full of sad and happy times, but not often do they both happen in the same day. About a month ago, we received an email from my son’s college saying that 3 boys were killed in a car accident. We felt heartsick as one of the boys’ mother had helped Connor with his essay to get into Carleton. The family asked me to photograph the memorial service and internment at the cemetery. It was one of the saddest things that I have ever done. But I was moved by the incredible love and caring that surrounded the family. As it happened, the night of the internment I was booked to shoot a father and daughter going to the Princess Ball. The little girl and her two sisters were having their makeup put on and their hair curled. There was a beautiful princess dress and a big dog and dancing with Dad and lots of hugs. Again I was moved by all the love and caring. I know life has ups and downs, but that day I photographed the extremes of love.
It was a bright sunny Sunday up in Newtown and I had a shoot with a family with a 5 week old baby and their 2 year old animated daughter. During all the activity the baby slept so peacefully. There was a white fluffy rug in the daughter's room which became an amazing backdrop for the 2 kids. Lots of great interaction. And the two Boston terriers were a bonus!
This was a wonderful project for the grand opening of the cafe at Wave Hill Breads in Norwalk, CT. The owners wanted to give their customers a sense of what goes into their artisan baking and put a face to the dedicated staff that works overnight. The images were used in the announcement materials as well as for a wide-screen digital slideshow for the opening and the 1st month of the show.
The light snow this morning reminded me of a snowy shoot last January. Outdoors in winter can make a wonderful backdrop for fine art portraits. This family has older kids which made it especially interesting and dramatic.
This is one of my favorite places to shoot, Old Mill Beach in Westport, CT, at low tide. Usually in the summer, but this year November was even an option! It is a magical place that is always changing, has a lot of energy and provides many beautiful lighting and background options. This family I have worked with and enjoyed for years. There was walking and dancing and hugging out on the flats. When we got back to the shore, we went over by the lagoon and found some rough wood and boats which looked great in B&W. Taking time with them as the tide came in and the daylight faded was such a creative treat. . Then we headed home.