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.
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!
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!"