Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My son

I saw the date, September 28th on the calendar. It put me in a slight panic. Okay, I lie...maniac mode. 

You see, I was one of those people who before having kids, swore I was not going to forget to write down when their first tooth came in, the moment they said their first word, their first sentence. And I was certainly going to have a picture of them every month of their life (at the bare minimum). I was not going to be one of those people who had a million pictures in albums and frames all over the house of the first born, a few less for the second, and none for the third. Nooo sir, it wasn't going to be me.

So when I saw the date, I knew that I was late...26, 27, 28, 29...Ahhhh - I needed a picture on the 26th. 
He was seven months old.
It's happening. 
Time is flying by and I'm missing it. I would have usually said my regular - ohh, I'll wait until I dress him up, or I'll wait until the holiday pictures...or until that scratch goes away on his face - but instead this time I seized the moment. He was in his high chair, with food on his face and a messy bib. I turned around quickly while doing the dishes and caught his eye. We froze. Stuck in a moment together. He looked at me with this gummy grin and my heart melted. I needed to remember this second, his face, the ache in my heart - forever. 

Sometimes it's just not about the perfect pose, or the perfect outfit or the special occasion. 
What it is about is life. Life, as it's happening. 
If you blink, you'll miss it...and we're all going to miss it.

Don't mind the food on his face or the images not edited - I'm a rebel like that.

Yes, my son is all ears...or is it eyes...or maybe cheeks?! 

Why do the boys always get the eyelashes?!

My 'out of the box shot'.
These kept him busy for ohhhh, I don't know, a minute.

and this bottle top - for an hour. 
If you want to save some money this holiday season - give your toddler an empty box. 
It may sound cruel but I really they will be thrilled. : )

I promise not to feel too hurt when you realize there is more to life then Mom...thanks for making me feel like I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. 
If only for right now. 
Even more important then that bottle top.

Taking pictures is tough work, right? 
Tell me about it kid... ; )

 You're happy. You smile. A lot. People cross the street to meet you. 
Your eyes sparkle. I've heard the saying but have rarely seen it happen. I see it every day now. 
The smallest, most ordinary moments are extraordinary with you. 
Thank you little man.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Options - Smithtown, Long Island Children's Session

As the trunk of the SUV opened, out came all of clothing. 
Blazers, dresses, jeans, bows, shoes, jersey's...colors, textures, options.
I was seriously in l-o-v-e. 
Talk about coming prepared! 

Now, those of you that know me, know I'm a girl that loooves options. 
Imagine how completely giddy I felt upon the clothing revelation. 
It was heaven!. 

I can't tell you what a tremendous effect the clothing choices have in your images. You know yourself how different you feel when you slip into high heels, or sweat pants...a high power suit or a sweet sun-dress. With each and every item we wear - it adds a little somethin', somethin' to our character. 
I was so excited with this session to see (with each outfit they pulled out) what possibilities/inspiration 
each choice would lead us to.

I was lucky enough to be blessed photographing two families this past Sunday afternoon. Two sisters, well Mom's, with five kids between them both. They were referred to me by the wonderful Mannino family. 
So a quick shout out to them...for that gesture (referring) is the best compliment ever to me!

The one thing I love capturing is relationships. 
Not just guy and girl. Siblings. Brothers, sisters, or cousins. 
I think there is something so magical about it. 
The ease in which family can laugh together, talk or just tease. 
They are just naturally themselves when in the company of people they know best. 
Relaxed and comfortable.

These children were so well behaved it would have knocked your socks off to see. What was interesting was how each one of the children adored one another. They were sweet. They were compassionate. 
The older boys were watching out for the younger kids. 
Holding their little sisters hand - and all without really being prodded. 
They did so naturally. Instinctively. 

I was reminded of a quote with this session. 
"We do not remember the days...we remember the moments."

How sweet a moment this was...

and this...

I heard a rumor that it was hard to get these next two boys to smile. 
I didn't believe it for a minute! ; )

Their baby sister...
What a face!

I seriously need to have another boy so I can have a picture of my own like this. 

One of my faves from the day...

For macho, sport lovin' boys, I thought this image caught a softer more vulnerable side to them.

I just like this next picture. 
The swoosh of the skirt, the swing of the hair. The expression. 
Pretty darn precious! 

Okay, raise your hand if you want to eat him up?!
Another favorite...

I love the emotion on her face...and the great eye contact on his. 
 Plus they look so cozy it makes me just want to squish them! be a kid again.
For those of you that 'follow' the blog,
my "Out of the box", shot.

Thanks Tracy and Christina for the amazing and stylish clothing options you brought along. It totally made my day. You thought of everything! I loved how laid back and comfortable you both were and how you both allowed me plenty of space to get silly and playful with the kids.

Hey Readers!
Help these folks get a complimentary 8x10  
just by leaving your thoughts right below under the 'comment' tab. 
Once they reach twenty...the print is theirs!
P.S. Tracy and Christina - your comments count too ; )

Friday, September 24, 2010


Her arms teetered wildly at first and then slowing down they became steady as her tiny feet walked the cobblestone boarder while waiting for the bus. Her back was toward me and I wondered if her face was showing shear determination or a slight smile. I heard the excited sound come from her lips as she neared the end, filled with pride that she had accomplished what she set out to do. As she finished and turned toward me it was as if she was lit up like a Christmas tree. Pure happiness. 
Her smile reached her eyes, her cheeks were rosy and she sparkled a little extra.

The bus finally pulled up and we all kissed, hugged, and some of us cried as the kids went off to start their 
first day of the school year.

As "A" was getting on the bus, she turned to me and said "Mom, this is going to be a good day."

When the bus pulled away I wondered if she truly 'got it'. 
Which lead me to my next thought - 
if what I have been telling her since she was able to understand me had sunk in. 
When she would pout, cry or even scream -- I would turn to her and ask her, " 'A', everyday you have a choice - to be happy or sad - what do you choose today?" and everyday she would say happy. 
Then it got to the point that all I would have to do is look at her and she would know. 
No words were ever said as she got older, just the intense stare down. 
Then she would scream - 
"I knooooow, don't say it...I'm HAAAPPPPPPPPPYYYYY" and burst into tears. 

Yeah, I'm not sure if it was really getting through to her or she is going to need years of therapy for it.

I heard a saying once that stuck with me. It moved me so much that I don't think a day goes by that I don't think of it. It puts things into perspective for me and makes me feel that we are personally in charge and capable of our destiny...if perhaps by only changing our attitude.

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company ... a church ... a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. 
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude ... 
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. 
And so it is with you ... we are in charge of our attitudes."
- Charles Swindoll

The next day at the bus stop the happy girl was giggling and chasing a dragonfly. 
I liked her. I liked her spirit. Her spunk. Her glee. 
I wondered why children's dispositions are so different. 
Is it their environment, society, genetic or their parents influence? 

As we waved again to our children on the bus and yelled out our goodbyes...the father of the happy little girl said "Make it a good day." I froze. I did. It was, dare I say, epic. Not 'have a good day', but make it one.

Did you make it one today?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ms. Sarahfina Rose - 11 days young - Newborn Long Island Photographer

I heard the cooing coming from the nursery as soon as I entered their house for the session. Sweet shushing noises and loving talk coming from the proud new Mama. As I tip toed up the stairs, my eyes were greeted  by the petite face of their new baby girl resting peacefully in her Mama's arm.
Euphoria: a defined emotion, an intense state of transcendent happiness combined with an

overwhelming sense of contentment.
Yep, that was Mom and Dad.
 Sarahphina Rose? 6 pounds, 2 ounces. Pure. New. Un-affected. Whole-some. Flawless.

As if time had stopped, I stood almost breathless as I stared at the new little bundle of life that she held so tenderly. Having three children of my own you would think I would be immune to the site of an infant,  but no, I certainly was not. There is something so profound, so pure, so godly (if you will) about new life. The intense protectiveness you feel, the teeny tiny look, the smell, the emotion, their sound. Your sense's are just heightened when in their new company. What an amazing creation. 

During one point of the session, baby Sarahfina curled up her tiny fists and gingerly placed them below her chin.  She then pursed her small lips in the shape of an 'o', and let out the slightest little yawn. We just stopped. We stared. We enjoyed. We loved. Nichole's big eyes met mine, filled with tears and her voiced raw with emotion said, "I just love her soo much, you have no idea. Thank you so much for being here, taking time away from your family to be with mine. This means so much to us."


Nichole, I do have an idea. Because I should be thanking you. You see, my heart is not the same after each session. Whether I'm photographing a newborn, a child or a couple for that matter. The feeling doesn't change for me. I get attached. My heart grows slightly bigger for being able to feel and see the love that we are all sometimes just to busy to witness during everyday life. I was blessed with the gift to be a part of my clients achievements, history, and their milestones and I am eternally grateful to be given such a
prestigious opportunity each day that I work.

When I say, I feel like I won the lottery because I found something that I love to do, that is truly an understatement. Today, I may not be any richer dollar wise, but I'm richer none the less then I have ever dreamed possible...for being able to share moments like this, with you.

Please help me welcome, Ms. Sarahfina...

The birthday suit...

         A different angle, but I think she looks like a doll here.

Love this pose!

"Snug as a bug..."

There is something so significant about hands to me. 

"Out of the box" shot.

While we are on the subject of 'hands' I thought I would include this next one - only just to show the comparison and perspective of how tiny of a tot Sarahfina really is.


Thanks "Dad" for helping me with the gear and offering up the eggs!
Mom, for helping me chase the light around the house (literally).
We were moving furniture, taking down curtains, braving the winds of the tail end of hurricane Earl...all to find the magical yummy light.
We found it sparingly peeking through the trees and windows. 
We shouldn't have put forth such an effort though Nichole, because she lit up a room
like the brightest rays of sunshine!

Help me congratulate this couple by leaving a comment below.
As you have seen on my previous posts, if they get 20 comments, they get a complimentary gift!

Want to see where it all began?
Have a look below at the slideshow to see Jason and Nichole's maternity session/newborn session.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Kelly + Michael - Glen Sanders Mansion, Albany, NY Wedding

I was six when he came into this world. Up until then I was an only child. He came along with these crazy blond curls, amazing eyelashes and dimples to boot. I didn't have a chance after that.
He was wild, crazy and as funny as heck. Despite our age difference, we find the oddest things funny, and laugh until we cry when re-telling stories of our crazy family.


I was distracted to say the least. My girls were both in the wedding party.
So, it was an adventure just to get everyone ready and on time.

Child number two is screaming, someone has child number three (who I can't seem to locate) and child number one has not stop tapping my arm, "Mommy, this is soooo cute", "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy. MOMMY!" I was really trying to hold it together but I was clearly hanging on by just a thread. 

The wedding march began, and I took one look at my little brother and it all went to hell. I tried. I did, Mike. But it's impossible though to frame and have composition when you can't see a darn thing.

As the song goes, " gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold, know when to walk away..." so I put the camera down and just enjoyed being a Mom and a sister instead of being the 'photographer'. When your emotionally attached to the subject, you're bias. Nothing looks 'wrong' through the lens because the feeling feels so right.

Michael, I'm so proud of all that you have accomplished. Who would have thought the kid that was bumming out at my house for four months would have gotten to this point in three short years?! Your master's degree, your career, your home...your awesome wife!

I'm sure if Nani was here still, you would have found a bunch of 'Chiclets' (for those of you who don't know, it's a type of gum) in your honeymoon suite on your wedding night. Although she didn't leave the gum, she sure did have a hand in leaving you with the perfect wife for life. In fact, I'm sure of it.
Kelly, is perfect for you.
I. Love. Her.

So without further is a look at the ummm five pictures I captured of your big day. Sorry I suck. But, let me tell you, the memories I have from that evening will last me a lifetime and I'm forever  grateful for that. Thank you.
   Getting dolled up!

Finishing touches...

"Out of the Box' shot, love how my little girl is looking on...

          Father and son...

The men.
You may have seen this pose in a previous post.
I just like it. I think the men look distinguished in it.

My little bro...

Baby number 2, who took a running start before child number one was ready.
No flowers, no sister and saying "hiiiieeeeee (her favorite word), down the aisle.
She still got a round of applause.
It helps being cute!

'A' took her job very seriously.
Holding her flowers, getting down the aisle/steps and dropping petals...
It goes to show, that all girls multi-task quite well!

So I debated about posting this next series of shots.
Well, you see society has an image of men having to be 'macho' and of coarse
I didn't want to embarrass him.
But as I thought about it more and more, I don't think there is a girl in the world that wouldn't want to see a reaction like this from her husband.
   Complete raw overwhelming emotion.
   Michael's first look at Kelly descending down the aisle...

I can see why Michael.
What a vision...

This is where it all started to fall apart. As if we weren't all a mess before, they begin to read their own written vows!!! There wasn't a dry eye in the house when they were both over come by emotion while reading them. I was bawling at this point and couldn't keep the camera still. This next shot is out of focus but I wanted to include it anyway. It gets me choked up now, just looking at it.

     The folks...

Party time!

I'll close with prince charming and his beautiful new bride....

  Welcome to the family Kel.
 Thank you both for making my life so complete.

If you want to see a more complete look of their day, check out the slideshow below for a peek!