How many of us know where we will be in 50 years? I doubt any of us, least of all me. Maybe Mary and Frank didn’t know the details, but something tells me that when they exchanged vows a half a century ago, they knew they’d still be together. So we were thrilled when they asked us to be a part of their magical night, a Fiftieth Wedding Celebration filled with family and friends. Their original wedding was a simple one so Frank pulled out all the stops for his bride, and the night was elegant in every way, thanks in part to our great friend Gary the DJ who kept the crowd on their feet.
Here’s to another 50, you two lovebirds…
I’m all ready for Camp Creek.
The first time I went to camp, I tossed some beers into a cooler, and headed off to upstate New York. In a few days I’m packing the car with my D90, my D7000, an armada of lenses, lots of blank SD cards, batteries, and lots of bottled water. Then it’s off to Maine. Another show I’ll be seeing through my lens.
It was music that first pushed me into photography. I’ve been around music since I was a teen, working in the studio, schlubbing gear for any band in Queens that would either pay me or give me free beers. All that time, I sat around, unable to participate because to be honest, I can’t even play a radio. So what could I do? Well I figured it out once I got a camera into my hands.
The first show I brought my DLSR – the old Nikon D40 – to was an Earth Day show in NYC. I got there as Jon Anderson of Yes was finishing up his set. Between the NYC lunch time crowd and the people who were there to see the seventies prog-rock icon, I couldn’t get close to the stage. By the time Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams hit the stage though, I was front and center. I shot, even though I quite frankly had no idea what the heck I was doing.
I wandered around during set break, and stumbled upon what was more or less backstage. It was there, as I was hanging out, trying to act like I belonged, that I watched Grace Potter walk up with her band. I’ll never forget the fact that Grace was helping the guitar and carrying some of his gear. I got to say a few words to Grace before I found another place in front of the stage, and she was as polite as she is beautiful.
I’ve got a much better understand of shooting concerts now, I can’t even count how many of them I’ve done, especially Max Creek. The photos I shot that day are rough – over exposed, poorly framed and with no personality. I like to think I’ve gotten better but it’s interesting sometimes to look back at old memories.
By this time next week, it’ll be over, I’ll be home, and I’ll have lots new memories
What a terrific way to start my “First Year Package” program but with an adorable little peanut of a girl names Samantha. Just three months old she’s got the biggest most beautiful eyes and cutest little smile.
Taking her picture was an absolute joy, and I’m glad they turned out so well. The best part is now I get to watch her grow as I visit every three months for another session.
See more images of her first shoot … here
Why not look into booking your own session? All the information can be found on my site… Here
Ten years ago, on a hot Tuesday night, my little boy came screaming into the world. He was a little peanut, 5lbs, 1 oz. He was so small his cries for the first few weeks were soft, like a kitten.
I don’t have to describe how your entire world changes when you become a father. All that was important isn’t and you find yourself worrying about feedings, diapers and sleep schedules. James didn’t like to sleep when he was born, and there were nights I’d hold him for hours, walking around, signing a lullaby version of “Franklin’s Tower” until he fell asleep.
He’s 10 years old today. My little boy isn’t so little anymore
Happy Birthday James. Daddy loves you so very, very much.
I got an email last week… “You are invited to participate in the One Life Photography Competition”. No, it wasn’t sent to me personally, I get on a ton of mailing lists, and used to have a subscription to PDN magazine. PDN is one of the best trade magazines, and one of the most respected. I try to pick it up whenever I can.
The run competitions often, and I decided when I got the email I might go for it.
Them came the hard part questions… what was I going to submit, and how was I going to afford the $10.00 an image entry fee.
For the later part I turned to my GraspTheMoment fans, friends and family and I was stunned by the out pouring of support. Some people stepped forward to be a “benefactor of the arts” and before I new it, I had the needed $200 for 20 images. Now I could sit back and pick 20 images… so not the easy part.
After much thought, then some pacing back and forth, then re-reading the rules, then thinking some more, then more pacing… I finally picked and submitted the images.
So now I turn to the general public… again I need your help. There’s a people choice category, the photographer who gets the most votes for his whole body of work gets a $2500 prize and a spread in PDN Magazine. (Maybe I could get a subscription again! LOL)
SO PLEASE VOTE FOR ME!!!! Head to my contest page… http://graspthemoment.see.me/onelife2011 and vote… vote once a day for the next month!!!
I can also use all the publicity I can get, so tell your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, even the bill collector who calls you at 4 am!!!
And even though I want you to head to my page and vote… here -> http://graspthemoment.see.me/onelife2011 … I’ll give you a tiny peek at the images I chose..
Oh … and BTW… VOTE FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!! http://graspthemoment.see.me/onelife2011
This isn’t the first time I’ve attended the New York City Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Parade by any means. I make it a point to attend annually, not just to hone my photography skills, but to show my support and help celebrate this slice of NYC.
But this year, something was different.
Every year, the parade is a complex mix of pageantry and color, pride and happiness, with a dose of somber remembrance and social consciousnesses thrown. This year had all those things, but there was something else in the air. A wonderful look of celebration burned brightly in the eyes of every participant, as well as spectator. Just the day before the parade, the NY State Senate passed, and Governor Cuomo signed the Same Sex marriage act, joining only 5 other states that allow marriage to be based on love and not gender. It was another step forward along the path of granting all Americans equal civil rights.
I tried to capture some of this joyous attitude, as well as the pageantry and colors and all else that goes into the pride parade. My brother took the year off, enjoying to watch and not march, but a close childhood friend did pass us by, and it was great to see him so happy and celebrating the day.
Kim and I watched for a while – not only was there a lot to see, but I had new gear to play with. We finally headed home as the parade passed our spot, on it’s way towards Greenwich Village. When the crowds reach the Stonewall Inn, where the gay rights movement began over 40 years ago, the parade ends.
But maybe this is the year that won’t happen. Maybe this year even though the parade will end physically, it’s spirit will carry on, state to state, until we, as a nation, allow two people – regardless of gender – to dedicate their lives to each other. Maybe this is the year the rights we are supposed to be granted under the constitution will apply to every citizen.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr Suess
Even though I shudder at the thought of becoming a wedding photographer, there’s no denying the magic that is captured when you look through the lens and see the pure love of a happy couple. That’s the reason I readily agreed to take on my second wedding, for old friends Jess & Billy.
They tie the knot in October, but I was lucky enough to do an engagement shoot with them in a lovely park near their home in Pennsylvania. Their son was there too, and in some accounts, stole the show. But for now, lets just look at the spark in their eye for each other and the smiles they have during tender moments.
If I had the world to give, I’d give it to you
Long as you live, would you let it fall, or hold it all in your arms?
If I had a song to sing, I’d sing it to you
as long as you live, lullaby or maybe a plain serenade
wouldn’t you laugh, dance, and cry or be afraid at the change you made
I may not have the world to give to you
But maybe I have a tune or two
Only if you let me be your world
Could I ever give this world to you
But I will give what love I have to give,
I will give what love I have to give,
I will give what love I have to give, long as I live.
If I had a star to give, I’d give it to you
long as you live, would you have the time
to watch it shine, watch it shine
or ask for the moon and heaven too? I’d give it to you.
Well maybe I’ve got no star to spare, or anything fine or even rare,
only if you let me be your world, could I ever give this world to you.
could I ever give this world to you.
And then there’s some loss just to balance things out. - Lou Reed
That line ends Lou Reed’s masterpiece album “Magic and Loss“. If you haven’t heard it, you may find it a bitter pill to swallow at first, except for that time when you need it. When your heart is heavy and breaking with grief, it just works.
This has been a week of loss. A personal loss hit my children, something they will deal with for a long time. A great woman, their grandmother, who was generous and kind and filled their lives with love and happiness departed too soon. Their world, and ours, is a little sadder without her here.
I was also stunned to learn of the passing of fellow blogger and photographer Charlane G. Her blog Ramblins… was a favorite of mine. Her southern charm and sassiness reminded me of my Grandmother – maybe that’s why I was drawn to her. I admired her photography style as well, and I’ll admit, I often tried to imitate it. Visit her amazing flickr stream to see for yourself.
So if Lou was right, and it’s a balance of things, then we’ve expressed the loss, so where’s the magic? For that, I’ll give you some images of smiles and laughter from a day at the park. And no.. the dogs aren’t ours.. they belong to some great people who were nice enough to let three happy children invade their dog park for a while.
I’m gonna work like I don’t need the money … I’m gonna laugh like I’m not afraid to cry … I’m gonna dance like nobody’s watching … I’m gonna love while I still got the time
WC Fields once said he’d never work with children or animals. I had his words in mind as I entered the Glendale branch of Bobbi & The Strays.
Bobbi & The Strays is a 100% non-profit no-kill animal rescue organization, located in Queens. They rescue stray dogs and cats from the streets, and from situations of abuse and neglect. Before today, the only contact I had with them before today was my kids looking through the windows at the cute dogs & cats. But a volunteer from Bobbi & The Strayscontacted me, needing photos done for publicity purposes.
The day was challenging at best… it’s damn impossible to ask – even politely – a cat to smile, or to turn it’s head, or to do anything in fact. After a few hours, I for what I came for, and I worked on my photos as for the rest of the day as Kim peered over my shoulder with a constant song of “AWWWWWWWW… I want a kitten!!”
I don’t collect old cameras, I collect old cameras that mean something to me.
It began with a Kodak Vest Pocket Model 8 which came from an old friend who thought I might like it. He gave it to me in return for taking photos of his turtles. It was in perfect condition and it looked neat on my entertainment center. A few months later my dad found his Aunt Catherine’s Polaroid Model 80A in the basement. It was a pretty popular model in the late 50’s and early 60’s, it was the same model camera used by Mary Moorman who captured some of the photos of the Kennedy assassination.
Then came my grandfather’s Crown Graphic, a camera that was not only beautiful but had immeasurable meaning to me. This was the camera he held, that he learned on, that he shot with.
Kim suggested one day we put up shelves for the cameras. We could add some old photos of our grandparents, and this great one I have of my mother and father on a snowmobile. They were young and happy – a time I wouldn’t know, not because of their happiness but because of their youth. When we were done, it looked great except for the one piece I felt was missing.
So finally, one day, I asked my mother for her old camera.
I can’t think of a time I knew my mother without her camera. She carried it to every function, every trip, every day at the beach, or zoo, or whatever museum we were going to explore. It was always right there in her “Kenya bag”.
What I remember most though, was not being able to touch it. Partially out of fear of breaking it – but mostly because mom said not to. Her camera was always there and always just out of my reach. I did however lay my fingers on the strap. It always seemed to swing in the breeze when she wasn’t using it, off the picnic table or from the edge of the breakfront in the dining room while we all ate Thanksgiving dinner. Printed along the length of the strap was a rainbow, a playful nod to my mother’s hippie days perhaps.
And when that strap wasn’t dangling in the air where I could touch it before mom saw it me, it was around her neck and that camera was to her eye.
Through that camera came not only amazing images, but also the photographic record of my family. All of my sister’s dance recitals, my brother’s football games, trips, vacations, birthdays, anniversaries, and everything else that fills page after page of our albums.
So now a simple old Canon AE-1 sits comfortably on my shelf, in quiet, restful retirement.
Enjoy your retirement little guy … you and that rainbow strap earned it.