Archive for March, 2009

Keeping me busy | Syracuse Family Photographer

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

This has to be quick because I still haven’t packed for my conference, but these were from my second session yesterday.

First of all, I can’t believe I got this shot! When I arrived I thought that the front brick walkway would make for a really cute group shot. I usually try to get the group shot first while I am still pretty new and interesting to the kids. What I forgot to think about was that this was one of our first nice days in Syracuse and the baby was ready to explore.

She was soooooo fast for a little thing and I really didn’t think I got this image before she ran off.



The boys were total hams and wanted to be a part of every picture. They were so cute they could make any picture look good.

Love these types of images.


One other problem with going outside at first, was the baby didn’t want to come back inside. We were able to distract her a bit, but I think this family will be spending a lot of time outside this Spring and Summer.


Thanks for having me out yesterday. I did get plenty of cute pictures despite some tears.


Such a sweet girl. | Syracuse Newborn Photographer

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Well, I’m heading out of town for a few days to go to a conference in Albany and I haven’t done anything to get ready–except peek at a few of the images from today’s sessions.

I had two sessions today and I am really hoping to get a few pictures up from each before I go, but a UNC game is on right now and it is slowing me down! So, I can’t think too straight , but I can show a few pictures.

This was from my newborn session. I love that I have been getting some newborn smiles recently!


I take this smile as a sign that she forgave me for this…


She was born on the first day of Spring.

Oh, so sweet. I love the yawn and the smile mom is giving.


And yes there was a big brother at the session. He was very cute as well.


I’ll certainly have to post a few more from this session when I am not under a time crunch with a UNC game on!


An Interview with She Takes The Cake

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

It is time for another interview on my blog. This time I sat down with Jen Comfort of She Takes The Cake.

Actually, I let her answer my questions over email, but I did force her to let me come over to her new shop to take her picture, and let me sample a little cake. I hope you enjoy these interviews as much as I have been enjoying the process. It has really been fun to meet some of the other wedding vendors out there as well as do some different types of photo sessions. If you missed the first interview I did check it out here:

Now onto the interview!

Thanks for agreeing to be a guest on my blog. I’ve just spent a bunch of time looking over your website and my mouth is now watering–everything sounds and looks so good.   blog122

Perhaps you could start off by telling everyone a little bit about your business.
I’ve always considered myself creative, even went to school for graphic design, but the business started really by accident.  Would I recommend doing it the way I did…no! But I love it and often wonder now what I would even do if I weren’t creating cakes.  I did a cake for my oldest daughter’s first birthday almost 10 years ago when I realized I wouldn’t be happy with a cake from someone else or the store.  So I jumped in with both feet and it was a hit.  Pretty soon, folks starting asking and it wasn’t long before I realized I was pretty good at it so I kept going, absorbing as much as I could from photos, websites, books, etc.  I haven’t taken any actual classes and have no culinary training except for having a mother who is a terrific cook and baker.  I have always been the type that learns by doing, so it was no surprise.  She Takes The Cake (TM) was born out of this.  It’s grown from a few cakes for friends into the business it is today.  I provide stylish and trendsetting cakes and desserts to clientele all over central New York. If you need a cake, you can go anywhere – but if you WANT a really different, delicious and unique cake, you come to me.  In addition to the cakes, I create cookies and I even create edible stationery with Erin from Bride Design.  You can’t get this unique product anywhere else in our area.  She Takes The Cake is a woman owned business and currently it is just me at work on the cakes.  I’ve had plenty a helping hand from family and friends, but I try to manage the business in a way that allows me to do the orders I love and still have some time to be with family.  It’s tough, but like I said, I have no idea what else I’d be doing!  It has grown to the point of needing a second showroom and soon I’m sure I’ll be taking on an intern or two.

blog410What are you up to today? Today I’m in the showroom. Mondays from 9-2, clients can find me in the new space in Manlius where they can come in and browse photos and ideas and place their orders for their cakes.  While I’m here I usually catch up on paperwork and of course take emails and calls for  new and current orders.

What’s your favorite part of your job? Making people happy and the interaction I have with my clients really is very enjoyable for me.  Of course I love the artistic aspect of designing and decorating the cakes very much, but knowing someone will devour that cake when I’m done makes it worthwhile.  I especially love it when kids get that wide eyed look when they see their cake for the first time, or when a bride sees her cake and realizes it’s better than she ever imagined.  I wish I could be there for that part more often – seeing everyone enjoy the finished product.


Do you have a favorite wedding cake–flavor/design? Can you believe I don’t eat cake very often?  One flavor I will still eat for sure is my White Almond cake with a special Raspberry Citrus Schnapps’ Syrup I make to soak on the cake layers, then I fill it with homemade lemon curd and raspberry filling.  It’s one of the most popular flavors I make and I just love the tangy lemon curd.  As far as design goes, I like to do anything different, I don’t do your grandmother’s cake here.  I would have to say though, that designs with subtle carving on the tiers and decor that mimics textiles is my favorite design style.  A lot of my brides have me do a cake that is inspired by their gown.


What was your wedding cake like? I wasn’t making cakes then, but I did take some ideas to the baker when we ordered it.  It’s funny how styles and even my own preferences have changed since then.  My cake had pillars and I sort of stay away from pillard cakes now.  But it wasn’t traditional even though it was pillared.  A small tier with a topper (gasp) was set inside the pillars instead of on top of them.  And it had a little detail on the borders of the cake.  Gosh, if only I knew then what I know now.  I would have paid my baker a lot more for her time, and I would have done something a little more daring.  Cakes have come a long way!

Are there any trends this year in wedding cakes? This year, everyone seems to be downsizing.  Smaller cakes with more personal elements are being ordered.  I think there will be a continuation of couples wanting unique and spectacular cakes, but we have to find creative ways for them to be able to get what they want without breaking the bank.  That can be difficult, but once a client figures out their priorities, I just make it work for them.  Of course, now and then a big cake with tons of wow factor is required.  A big trend right now I’m seeing in color is black and white with an accent color that really pops.  And metallics; mostly silver.blog75

I see that you also do birthday cakes–are these mostly for large parties or do you ever do kid birthday cakes? You can get any kind of cake you want from me.  Kids’ cakes are always fun to do, but usually it will be for larger party.  I also do cakes for corporate events like business anniversaries or grand openings.  You name it.  There’s always an occassion for cake!

What are your favorite online resources for brides? When I have a bride that needs actual planning info, I often will refer them to the website of a vendor I know personally, but for general planning questions, the site I send them to The Knot – I direct them to the message board area where they can ask other current brides for help.  I find that this type of word of mouth help is really great for them.  Other than that, you’ll hear me tell them to put a specific search string into Google to find the info they’re looking for.

What types of questions do you ask couples who are not sure what type of design they want for their cake? I like to have them show me at least 3 things they love and one they hate.  And it doesn’t even have to be about cake !  Inspiration comes from anywhere.  I like to get to know couples a little to see if we click before they order and usually this amount of time and chatting will give me a clue as to what they might like if they’re not sure.  I prefer to design for my couples.  We’re not picking a cake number out of a catalog here, the more personal the better.  When the couple and I click, they also get very comfortable and they’ll say they like something or a personal joke or story between them and there is always a way to incorporate that.  Like teddy bear pilot and copilot nick names for each other – a couple I’m working with now is having that incorporated into their cake; they weren’t sure how to add that in without the cake going in a juvenile direction; this is where I help them see their vision.  It will be a lot of fun to make that one!


Do you have a favorite photograph in your house— If so, what is it of? My favorite photos in my house are of my kids.  I have two daughters, both beautiful and both very talented in their own way.

Oh, and what is this open house I hear of? The open house is next week!  I’m launching the new showroom at 8195 Rt 92/Cazenovia Road in Manlius on March 30th through April 5th.  I’ll be here from about 9-4 or so each day.  If you call ahead that you can’t come until 5, I can stick around.  I’m making lots of my desserts and will have info on hand about what you can order, as well as info from some of my favorite event and wedding businesses in the area.  I hope that a few of my favorite vendors will stop by too to chat with people.  This showroom is a second location for me and I’m very excited to have a stylish location where clients and I can meet to discuss their cakes.  My licensed and inspected kitchen is still located out of town, so having the space in Manlius will make it really convenient for clients to come and meet with me or place and pick up their orders without having to drive out into the country where it can be easy to get lost if you’re not sure where you’re going.  We’ve been driving it for years of course, so it’s old hat now, but I love this new location.  And it’s cute too! blog59

Finally, I just love those last page Proust questionnaires at the end of the Vanity Fair magazine. I won’t give you the whole interview, but here are a few final questions.

What is your greatest extravagance? Hmmm, that’s hard.  Honestly, I would say the gorgeous furnishings I just purchased for the showroom.

Which talent would you most like to have? I can without hesitation say that I wish I was more tech savvy.blog614

Who are your favorite writers? I like John Grisham.  Sadly I don’t make time very often to sit with a good book.

What is your most treasured possession? I have no idea!  My most treasured anything is my family, but I don’t think that’s what you’re asking.  I do have a piece of furniture that my grandfather made, he made the most incredible things – both functional and for decor – and this piece was one of the first things he made.  So, while it’s not perfect, it’s perfect to me.  I can see the beauty in it even though he saw flaws.  He has lost most of his sight over the last few years so he’s not creating anymore.  I think I will never let go of that big, bulky piece of wood!

Thanks again Jen for agreeing to be on my blog and especially for being such a good sport that you let me drag you outside for a few pictures despite the fact that we almost got blown away by the wind. I ended up thinking this series was pretty cute–notice how she is holding on to her hair.


Find out more about She Takes The Cake at her website and blog–or just go on over and visit next week during the open house.


With a Wink and a Smile | Syracuse newborn photographer

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

That’s how this session started for this little 11 day old fellow.

With a wink …


and a smile.


Then his cutie big sister gave him a little head rub—look how gentle she is being.


And doesn’t mom look so great and relaxed!?


Awww….two babies.


And–one of my favorite family shots EVER.


Thanks for sharing your lovely new son with me for a few hours. He is super cute.




Three adorable kids | Syracuse Child Photographer

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

When I got to this session I was greeted by a real charmer.


When his mom came downstairs he said, “There’s my mom—-she’s so beautiful”.

The children were just full of life and personality, and mom and dad have created a home that is just so much fun for kids. It also helps that mom and dad were pretty playful themselves. At the end of our session the kids were helping to make some muffins. I’m not sure how many of the chocolate chips made it to the final steps.


Isn’t the baby so happy up on her wardrobe with all of her animals?


It wasn’t me making her laugh.


And oh my goodness don’t you love this hat, and of course this laugh.


The baby looked good in her hat as well. Gotta love those fingers in the mouth.


And finally, I love this one. This is a painting that the dad is working on I thought it would be a cool background. She just happened to look down and perfectly matched the painting. How cool is that?!



It’s Spring Baby | Syracuse newborn photographer

Friday, March 20th, 2009

And a baby soon to come.

I think this nursery needs some photography on the walls! No worries, I can help with that.


Thanks so much for having me out today. Be sure to hit the movies lots until the little one arrives–see you soon.


Yeah for Spring babies!


Smitten by the smiles | Syracuse Baby Photographer

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

The  sun was out today and I had a baby session–love this kind of day.

And wouldn’t you be joyful too if this little gal greeted you with such a smile?


And I love love love this shot–the movement in it is just right.


First I took this shot.


Then I left the room to move a chair for another picture and when I came back in this was happening! Yeah.


And one more lovely shot with mom.


While I can’t say it was warm outside, we did sneak out for just a few pictures.


Thanks so much for having me out today.



Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

I was inspired to look back at my Ireland pictures. I had a whole bunch I was going to show, but I narrowed it down to just a few.





*Sorry for the small size on these photos.


Luck of the Irish to ya!

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Enjoy one of my favorite Irish ballads.

I went to Ireland almost two years ago and stayed at a B&B. While there an impromptu jam started with many Christy Moore tunes. Afterwards I had to pick up a Christy Moore CD. It was our only CD (no iPod) and we listened to it a lot.
It is a lovely CD. This is the one that I have.

Do you know who this Irish fellow is that I am standing next to?



A Walk in the Woods

Monday, March 16th, 2009

It is funny how living in Syracuse changes your idea of Spring. I’m not sure I would have been thinking picnic when I lived in NC and the temperature reached 50.  I do know that the lovely 50 degree weather we had this weekend put many of us in good spirits. On Sunday I went on a hike with my family in Green Lakes and it was wonderful–especially at the end (keep reading to find out why).

I’ve been working on my landscape images.




And my kids always make great subjects.




There was a lovely view.


And the pocket camera came along as well. We love taking little videos with it.


Video making.


Video viewing


And then the most awesome thing…On our way back we spotted an owl!


Anyone know what type of owl this is?

Hope you all enjoyed the weekend as well.