Archive for January, 2013

newborn season| Syracuse, NY baby photographer

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Winter for me means babies.

This little one was too old for sleepy newborn shots, but on the upside we did get some adorable first smiles.

What a sweetie.

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Thanks for having me out at this special time.

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Liz & Connor married–part 2| Syracuse, NY wedding photographer

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Okay–here is part two of this amazing wedding. I think you will see lots of my favorite things–laughing, a tent reception, a bluegrass band during cocktail hour, acrobatics, lots of dancing and singing. I think I will let the photos do the taking.

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Liz and Connor thank you so much for choosing me to capture these moments.

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Liz & Connor –part 1 | Syracuse, NY wedding photographer

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Since I spent all weekend at this wedding I thought it was only fair that I showcase it in two blog posts.

Liz and Conner got married in New London, NH where they had spend their summers vacations. All the guests stayed in cabins (or camps), they had a little golf tournament the morning of the wedding and it seemed like a big fun family reunion. I don’t often travel for weddings, but I was persuaded to travel for this one because (a) I had photographed the brother of the brides wedding last summer and it was really fun (b) the location and laid back vibe of the wedding seemed right up my alley.

The cabin that the bride got ready at was pure camp–wood paneled walls, rocking chairs, stone fireplace–loved it.

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My second shooter Tara came on this road trip with me and we had a great time. She even got to become a part of the story when she had to leave the guys to hunt down the grooms suit which he couldn’t find. Luckily we found the suit and Tara rushed it over to Connor.

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Love dad’s first look of his daughter.

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Connor got ready at an equally cool cabin.

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A few of Tara’s shots of the golf tournament. There was much excitement when there was a hole in one.

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I loved the lace on this dress.

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The guys took a dip after golf–what a perfect day.

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mother daughter love.

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Blueberry cottage.

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so beautiful and classic.

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lakeview cabin

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Next up–part 2.

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backtrack to cuteness| Syracuse, NY family photographer

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

If you have stopped by my blog lately you may think I am only a wedding photographer, but I am actually a child and family photographer who also photographs weddings.

I can’t wait to show you some of the sessions I photographed this fall and summer. Up first–a group of ridiculously adorable kids all with their own cute personalities which I tried to capture the essence of.

I love love love this series.

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I got some super cute smiles from this guy, but I just love the expression in this one.

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So cute.

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Another classic family shot from me.

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I hope this images give you a good idea what a session is like with me.

And–any more book recommendations from my year in review? I’d love to hear what you are reading.

Happy Wednesday.

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My year in books 2012

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Happy 2013 to you and to my poor neglected blog. It will get lots of attention this winter–especially since I have weddings that never got shared and  plenty of sessions that only made it to Facebook.

As for books it was an okay year. A few books that I really liked, but mostly okay books. I didn’t actually read that many books. My “to read” list is getting longer every year and it is starting to stress me out that I will never get around to reading all the books that I want to read. I think if I give up on the NY Times I could do it, but that would be hard to give up. This is now my forth year blogging about the books I have read.  Here is 2011, 2010, and 2009 if you are ever stuck looking for a book to read. Mostly I keep this list to help me remember what I have read. I know there are all sorts of online ways to do this, but for now I like just jotting the titles down in a notebook and then at the end of the year looking back to see what if anything I remember from each book.

This year I added the concerts and shows I have seen that stuck with me because–I am starting to forget them as well and thought it would be a good way to remember. Maybe this is why I became a photographer–I have such a bad memory I need visual assistance to help me remember anything.

As always, let me know your one or two favorite books of the year. I want to add them to my ever expanding to read list.

The books are in the order I read them.

1. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. 

This was a book club book. I had loved Bel Canto so I was really excited for this book. While the book was very readable and we had a good discussion at our meeting, I was left disappointed and felt it was just a little too far fetched and left too many questions unanswered.

State of Wonder: A Novel (P.S.)

 

2. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

This was one of those books that I was seeing everywhere, but when one of my bride’s recommended it after last years blog I decided to pick it up. I don’t normally get into self-help books and although I really wanted to like this one, I didn’t.  Everything she said was great, but I just couldn’t get over the fact that I was reading a book about how to be happier and I was reading about it instead of being out there and living it.

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3. The Radleys by Matt Haig

What to do when you need a vampire book to read and you have already read the Twilight books and the Sookie Stackhouse books? I came across a review for this book about a suburban vampire family and decided to give it a try. It was an entertaining read and I haven’t had to read about another vampire since finishing it. I hear the book was made into a tv show as well, but I haven’t checked it out yet. Maybe when I get bored with True Blood I will try to find it.

The Radleys: A Novel

 

4. Enders Game by Orson Scott Card

This book has been sitting on my husband’s book shelf forever. I think he read it back in college. The cover of the book never really appealed to me, but once I started the book I think it was one of the favorite books I read this year. It is squarely in the YA  science fiction genre, but don’t let that discourage you–it is Ender that you want to read about. I hear it is going to be a movie this year. I think there are a few more in the series that I may check out this year, but this one stood on it’s own.

Ender's Game (Ender, Book 1)

5. An Unexpected Twist (Kindle Single) by Andy Borowitz

I just discovered the Kindle Singles. They are short stories, memoirs, or essays that run no more than .99-1.99. They are perfect in-between reads for when you just finish a book, but are not ready to dive right into another one yet. This one was a very humorous account of the authors experience with a serious medical issue. I laughed aloud on many occasions.

An Unexpected Twist (Kindle Single)

6. Three Cups of Deceit by Jon Krakauer

Another kindle single. I had seen many people read the Three Cups of Tea, and family members had recommended it to me, but I hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet. When I saw this single by Jon Krakauer (an author I have always enjoyed ) I had to see what his take was. As always, an eye-opening read by a journalist who knows how to make facts interesting. If you have read the Three Cups of Tea book, you should definitely check this book out.

Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way (Kindle Single)

7. The Man of my Dreams: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld

The American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld was one of my favorite recent reads. I passed it on, recommended it, and they story just stuck with me. So, when I was looking for a book to read I thought I should try out another one of her books. I had no trouble reading this book, it kept me entertained, but I can’t really remember anything about it now.

The Man of My Dreams: A Novel

8. Legend by Marie Lu

This was another one of my favorite reads this year. Last year when I read the Hunger Games it was so great to get swept into a book–I had forgotten what it was like to stay up half the night to finish a book and I wanted that feeling again. It seems that YA books do the best pacing jobs to give me that feeling and all YA books right now are dystopian stories. This is another one of those stories, but well done. I am excited to see that another book in this series comes out later this month.

Legend

9. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

This book was getting a ton of press, but I wasn’t really into reading a memoir. Then I read Dwight Garner’s review of the book in the NY Times. In his review he tells how he was “puddle-eyed” while reading the book. He also said, Parts of this frank and witty book belong in “Best American Sex Writing 2013.” So–I gave it a try. It is a great book, but didn’t quite affect me the way it did Dwight Garner, and I wish it had.

Wild (Oprah's Book Club 2.0 Digital Edition): From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

10. The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

This was my book club pick this year. Mitt Romney had been in the news a lot, and so had talk of Mormons so I thought this book that recounts the story of one of Brigham Young’s wives while also telling the story of the history of this religion was a perfect fit. This is a long book, but my whole book club read it and we had a really interesting discussion. Perfect bit of historical fiction.

The 19th Wife: A Novel

11. That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo

I like Richard Russo, and there were parts in this book that were really funny, but overall just an ehh book for me.

That Old Cape Magic: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)

12. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This was one of those books that I had downloaded the free part from my kindle and although I didn’t intend to read it right away I couldn’t put it down once I started it. I ended up having  to buy the kindle edition because it was way too popular at the library. Then I wanted my friends to read it so I could discuss the ending with them.

Gone Girl: A Novel

 

13. Room by Emma Donoghue

I was kind of uncomfortable reading this book about a kidnap victim who is kept in a shed with her small child. The book is told from the viewpoint of the 4 year old kid. I found the voice she created for the child was very effective and it was memorable.

Room: A Novel

14. The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow

I enjoyed reading this book, but it never fully got me.

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky

 

15 . Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan

This was a tiny book, full of obvious food rules. A very simple, fast read to remind yourself stuff you probably already know.

Food Rules: An Eater's Manual

 

16. The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas  by John Boyne

A sad well told story about a boy who lives next to Auschitz where his father works. I cried, and so did Echo when she read it after me.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

17. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This was a book store grab. I bought the book because someone at the book store recommended it and I like the reviews on the back.

I was disappointed. It was okay, but didn’t really stick with me.

The Night Circus

 

18. Some Assembly Required: A Journal of my Son’s first Son by Anne Lamott

I’ve heard either you like Anne Lamott or you hate her. I loved her book Operating Instructions: A Journal of my Son’s First Year which I read back when my 12 year old was first born. I was excited and surprised to see that her son which she wrote about in that earlier book is now a dad himself and that story has now been documented. It wasn’t nearly as good as Operating Instructions, but if you had read that book I would recommend this one to see how everyone is now doing.

Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son

 

19. Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War by Deb Olin Unferth

In 2011 I traveled to Guatemala to visit some friends who were living there. This story tells the story of  the author’s journey from Guatemala north determined to “join the revolution”. It is also the story of falling in love when you are 19 and wanting to do something with your life. Like many of my books this year, it didn’t blow me away, but it was a good, quick read, and since I had been to Guatemala it felt a little more personal.

 

Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War

 

20. The Fault in our Stars by John Green

If you haven’t already heard of this book you will soon. I heard about it from my former bride, and it was a really powerful story of two teenagers with cancer and their love of a book. I really fell in love with these kids, and while teens reading this might relate to Hazel and Augustus the two teenagers, I found myself relating to the parents in the story.

The Fault in Our Stars

21. Green Witch by Alice Hoffman

Back to YA fiction. This one was okay.

Green Witch

 

22. The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

As many of you know I have been heavily involved in the world of  cancer, recently documenting my friends journey with breast cancer. Although this wasn’t always an easy book to read and I did get a little bogged down half way through, I would highly recommend it. Mukherjee somehow turns what could be very dry information into a page-turning story.

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

 

23. Beyond the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

This is a great book, but reading another non-fiction book right after finishing The Emperor of all Maladies was a bit too much and the reading was slow going for me.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

I still try to read aloud to my kids (9 and 12), but it is getting harder and harder. I did get in a few books this year, and Jason continued to read them the Lord of the Rings series.

Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters by Matthew Cordell (really fun book that I read to Sadie-great to read aloud, but she could have easily read it herself), Bread Crumbs by Anne Ursu(the kids and I enjoyed this while we were reading it, but I don’t remember much about it now), The Princess Bride by William Goldman ( I had read this book in high school and I forgot how exactly like the movie it is. Still, really fun to read to the kids and then watched the movie together).

Didn’t finish: Mink River by Brian Doyle (the writing was just too weird for me, but I’m sure it was genius), Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel( I am going to come back to this one), Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (really enjoyed this one, but lots of other books on my night stand made me want to rush it).

I saw two great live bands this year.

Alababma Shakes

Wilco

When we moved to Syracuse I promised myself that we would take advantage of living so close to NYC. We try to get out there once or twice a year and we try to see a show every time we go.

This year we caved and bought tickets to Wicked. We like to just get cheap tickets to things last minute, but Wicked is one of those shows that you can’t find cheap tickets to, and the kids really wanted to see it.

I got to go to NYC once with my girlfriends and I talked them into seeing One Man Two Goveners with me. I thought it was hilarious.

We were in NYC on opening weekend for the revival of Annie. It was fun, but packed with kids who had to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes and that was pretty annoying.

Peter and the Starcatchers was my surprise favorite this year. We drove out to NYC in time to see the 2pm Annie show. Then we had a big dinner, and at the last minute I decided that we should see another show. Jason was sure he would fall asleep. We got to the show and for the first 30 minutes Echo kept saying, “I don’t understand what is going on”–she said that while laughing her head off. This was one of those shows that I could see myself seeing over and over again. I loved it.

And that is my list this year. Happy Reading and Happy 2013!!

 

 

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Ellen & Dan Married| Syracuse, NY wedding photographer

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Hello blog. I have lots of stuff to share with you. I’ve missed you, and I’m sorry to have neglected you.   First up–the awesome Ellen and Dan.

This wedding was so so much fun. I got to photograph at Green Lakes State Park which is my all time favorite. I got to work with Kate Brown at Lovewell Design, who is amazing. Ellen and Dan were a totally fun and relaxed couple to work with, AND we had a photobooth at the reception.

Hopefully in the images you will be able to tell what a great wedding this was.

Ellen got ready at her childhood home with her mom watching on.

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I like getting some found still lifes when I photograph at the home of the bride or the groom. Ellen’s house had many to choose from.

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The wedding was on October 27th so signs of Halloween were at the house.

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Ellen has two sisters and a younger brother. The little brother with three older sisters made a great dynamic and offered up lots of cute shots.

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Ellen looked so beautiful. Her flowers were done by The Backyard Garden.

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Can you see Ellen’s dad in the background? He noticed a rope in the background that he wanted to cut down.

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While I was photographing Ellen and the girls my amazing second shooter Tara was out with the guys.

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We both love the laughing shots.

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The kids in wedding were adorable.

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These two shots are some of my favorite for the ceremony photos. Do you see the thumbs up the groom is giving the little kids?

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Married!!!

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Watching the kids scream and play after the ceremony while the bagpiper was playing was so cute.

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We headed to Green Lakes with all the family and bridal party for the formals.

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Had to photograph the awesome socks.

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The reception was at The Links at Traditions.

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These two were the most expressive couple to photograph. So cute.

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I loved the cake topper.

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And dancing photos– When everyone gets out on the dance floor it is one of my favorite things to photograph.

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Mr. Expressive.

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And dance circles make for the best shots—I love how many people I can get in the shots and the reactions are always awesome and they are never looking at me.

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Behind the photobooth were important family photographs–love that.

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Congratulations Ellen and Dan. I hope married life is treating you well–I’m sure it is. Thanks again for choosing me to capture these moments.

**next up–my annual book review, and then an amazing wedding I photographed in New Hampshire.

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