Thursday, June 30, 2011

Portrait's in the Park - Part 2

Hellooo dear blog...
we meet again.

Just wanted to post a few more from the 'Portrait's in the Park' workshop I attended a few weeks ago through 
Professional Photographer's of Greater NY. 
It was great seeing all of my friends there and catching up. 
Looking forward to doing another 'meet-up' soon.

For any photographer's reading along, the image below was off camera flash...
finally used those 'Pocket Wizard's', yay!

The next four images were natural light, no reflector.

The next is off camera flash.

This was the 'out of the box' for the day. 
We were taking images of the model on the pillar when I asked 
the male model to come into the shot for a quick sec. 
It's different but I liked the way it turned out. 

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect - Part 1

A year ago I was shooting a wedding when a guest walked up to me and gave my camera the 'once over'.

'What camera are you shooting with?
Man, I would love to get my hands on a camera like yours.
I would start my own photography business like that...' he said, while snapping his fingers.

We spoke about photography for a quick minute and I got back to work.


The biggest debate these days on photography forums is over what brand of camera you use or prefer.
Nikon or Canon.
I never quite understood that.
They both do the same thing.
We behind the camera though, don't.
We see things differently.

When 'Uncle Bob' is fighting for a spot with me in the middle of the church aisle, 
do I worry he will be getting a better shot? 
Nope. Not really. 
I think there are so many different ways to tell that story. To see that shot. 
Maybe the aisle shot is great, but maybe over the ring bearer's shoulder is better.

Professional photographers are professionals because we try to understand what our equipment can do for us. 
We like to tell it what to do, instead of letting 'automatic' tell us what we can and cannot do.
Some of us push ourselves to think outside the box. To see what is not only right in front of us...
but all the way around.

When the gentleman that had approached me was about to walk away, I tapped him on the shoulder 
and told him that he could actually start his new career in photography today...
cause we were shooting with the same camera make and model. 
The only difference was, mine looked a bit bulkier with my battery grip.

So the moral of the story:
The camera does not limit us, we limit ourselves. 


I never want to be limited by my ability to see things only the way I see them. 
 I believe in learning new techniques and continually pushing boundaries so that if there is such 
a thing as 'perfect' you can certainly get there with enough practice...someday. 
Cause after all, it's not the destination, it's the journey, right?


Recently I had a fabulous opportunity to work along side three great photographers in my industry at a wonderful workshop called 'Portraits in the Park.'  

 Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some images with you, 
as well as featuring each instructor from the day.

So, let's begin with the first teacher of the series, Ms. Lindsay Adler
Simply put...
she sees beauty beautifully.

If you have a chance to attend one of her it!!
If not, she has written two fabulous books to help you get started in fashion photography and social media.
I'm half way through one of them and it's certainly worth the price of admission. 
It's full of super detailed information.

Click this link to read a review about the book

The 'Portrait's in the Park' was hosted by Professional Photographer's of Greater NY (PPGNY).
I have to say they completely out did themselves. 
The instructors were top notch, the day was planned out thoughtfully and even the food was delish! 
You can check out their upcoming events and about their organization here.

The lovely model in the series below is Cynthia Carvajal. 
She is outrageously stunning.
Have a peek...

Photography is so wonderful because it's completely subjective. 
We all see life, art, and love a different way. 

I think it was such a treat to be in the company of such wonderful instructors 
and fellow photographers.
I walked away that day with a few new friends...well, even better,
'friends with benefits'.
; ) 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Eye Opening Experience - Make- Up Monday

'I put on an extra coat of mascara for you today.'

I have heard that statement from my friends on more then one occassion.

They know how I love it.
I think it's the icing on a cake. A frame for the picture.
The curtains for the window or the the fringe on a dress.

I will stop a stranger, just to tell her I love her eyelashes.
I'm obsessed.
I don't really consider a face complete without the lashes coated.
And I'm not talking a quick sweep...I'm talking layer upon layer of sultry black to frame your eyes.
Too often I see people spend so much time on their face and not enough time on their eyelashes.
I love flirty perky lashes.  
It totally draws you in and really defines the eye in pictures.

I have cheated on every mascara I have ever had. I can't help myself.
They just make all of these fabulous promises and I find myself falling into their trap.

I have a few favorites...but I'll touch upon just one of them today.

Rimmel - Extra Super Lash

Love this mascara because it allows for the building of unlimited coats of mascara on the lashes. It's also great because it maintains lash separation and definition, without clumping or sticking.

If you use this or have another brand you would like to share...leave a comment below or on Facebook.
I'd love to hear all about it!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Love Lives Here - Matt + Maureen's E-Session

I saw her head thrown back in a laugh from across the room.
He pulled her in closer, and grinned from ear to ear wrapped in her hug.

I had seen Matt and Maureen through out the night and there was no question that they were in love.
During the reception I had made my way to Maureen and asked her two questions.
How did you meet and is he the one?
I already knew the answer to the second question before I had asked it though.

Love - intrigues me.

I'm curious.
Okay, and a little bit nosey.
I think those two questions came right after I said, 'Hi, I'm Stacey'.
When I meet people I want to know their story.
What makes them tick, where have they been, to get to where they are?
Am I brash? Maybe...

But if I see an older couple holding hands, I want to know about them.
What makes it work, what do they remember about meeting their spouse.

I don't want to just observe.
I want to engage. I want to know answers.
What was the spark that ignited the flame?
I want to know how their marriage has sustained through life.
Teach me. Tell I can learn and keep from being a statistic.

It may be cliche to ask a couple I'm going to be photographing on their wedding how they met, but I really want to know.
In fact, I can tell you where almost everyone I have ever met has met their spouse.
My past poor co-workers and friends I'm sure can attest.
You would think it's because of my profession now, but oddly it's not.
 I have done this way before I even got into photography.

Their stories I know as well as I know their names.
It's a part of them, a part of their history.
It's a moment in time, that cannot be forgotten.
It's a topic that brings light to their eyes, and excitement to their voices.

In a world that can be so's nice to be reminded that people find love everyday.
In everyday situations, in odd circumstances, through friends, through work, by a chance encounter.
And albeit rare...even sometimes through a blind date.
Just like Matt and Maureen.

A few short years ago his brother's mother- in- law had set him up on a 'blind date'...
this August they will be tying the knot. 

Introducing...M & M
Come on. That just plain rocks.
And...they're just as sweet ; ) 

'Home, sweet home'
'home is where the heart is...'

I like to have my clients choose the location for their e-session. It's super important to me to incorporate their lives into the pictures. So, Matt and Maureen sent me an e-mail...they wanted pictures at 'the wood pile in their yard'.  Sure, it might be odd to most photographers...but then again, I try not to be like 'most photographer's ; ) 
I liked their vision, even though I didn't know how I would make it work. really don't need to make it work when it just does. 
That's when you know when you got the real deal.

Trying to keep with my theme this week of a frame within a frame concept to keep things fun.

So as we came upon the woodpile, I saw the big stump. Super cute, I thought. 
While scouting out the location, Matt says to me, 'the new wood looks nicer then the old wood right?'
...kinda how a girl might talk about shoes. 
'I thought you might like them better'.

A quick outfit change, and a second location...

The next three just look simply like love to me...

From the moment I met you both at Lauren and Paul's wedding, 
I knew it was just a matter of time before you would be having a wedding of your own.

While the date may have been blind...I sure as heck wasn't ; )


Thank you Matt and Maureen for being yourselves... 
for meeting me at a wood pile, and for singing in an open field.
When I use to drive by your cute house and daydream about who might live in such a charming home,
now I know...that love lives there.

A special thank you to Mrs. Markowski who got these two lovebirds together! 
And another big thank you to her daughter Lauren for the super fabulous referral!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wishes - Zahara's 1st Birthday Event

I remember driving in the car with my Mom when I was about seven year's old
when the car clock turned 11:11.
'Make a wish', I yelled.

A second later she asked me what I wished for.
I told her I couldn't tell her because it wouldn't come true then.

She told me what she had wished though...'for her family to always be happy and healthy'.

I was crestfallen.
My wish for a new cabbage patch kid seemed to all of a sudden pale in comparison.
How could I have wasted a wish on myself...and with a toy no less?

From that day forward every wish I have made on shooting stars, clock numbers, or
 blowing candles out on a cake - has remained the same.

As I have grown older I have always wonder what other people
wish for when they blow out their candles.
Do they even wish anymore? Or are they much to grown up for that sorta thing?

What do you wish for?
Do you wish big? 
Do you wish for health and happiness too?


I had the pleasure to photograph the moments of Zahara's first birthday this past weekend.

While there, I thought how wonderful it is to get to this first milestone.
Not only is it a milestone for the child but for the parent's as well.
The pregnancy and birth is slowly fading into a memory,
the adjustment period of making bottles and changing diapers is more
of a routine now then an interruption.
And gummy grins have turned into Jack-o'-lantern smiles.

What on earth was your life like before them?


When we sang 'Happy Birthday' and blew out the candles...I think I heard
Zahara's Mom and Dad make their wish.
And I'm pretty certain it wasn't for a cabbage patch kid either ; )

So, if you know me...I love themes.
If you are having a 'theme' party or wedding...I better be invited to shoot it! ; )
Zahara's Mom did such an amazing job putting together all of the details for the party.
I loved seeing how it all came together.  

So it poured, but luckily with the tents we stayed pretty dry...and the birthday girl was only concerned 
with the happy people then the raindrops!

Mama's other babies...

Some beautiful faces there...

Wishes are fleeting.
A thought. A quick moment. An unexpected surprise.
I think wishes are like dreams, and if you dream hard and long enough they do come true.
I also think they are what you make of them.

Do you believe or do you think you are make-believing?

We all make our own realities.
I've said it before, but I can't help myself from saying it again...
what ever we think about, we bring about.

*note to self...start thinking 'skinny' thoughts ; )


Zahara, may happiness and good health let you accomplish any goal and desire you set your
heart and mind too. With those two things, you can do anything.

Thank you Campos Family for making me feel like family rather then the photographer!
It was wonderful to see your family and friends together celebrating such a wonderful and happy time.
I loved every minute of it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cheeky - Make-Up Monday

I love rosy cheeks.
They're different from the bronzed, coco skinned tan look.
Don't get me wrong, bronzer has it's moment in the sun too. But that's exactly it.
When I think tan, I think beach.
When I think flushed cheeks - I think of excited, happy and flirty.
There is a sweetness to blush that a bronzer can't do.
Youthful, playful, flirty, and feminine.

Meet Tarte!
I love everything about this product.
The packaging, the smell, the colors, the application, the texture and the long lasting staying power.
It's a tricky one though for some people to get use to.
The texture is funny and the application is weird, and the saturated color looks nothing like
you think it will look like on.
A little dab goes a long way.
It's sheer and lovely and highly addictive.

If I'm running to the bus stop and I have only a second to apply one thing.
This is it.
A quick dab on each cheek and a slight rub and waaallla...a healthy little glow.

Friday, June 10, 2011

One of 'Those'.

I shouldn't have attempted it. I should have had back up. I should never have gone in alone.
I juuuuust needed one thing though.

You've heard that before right? Have you ever gone into a store and bought one thing?
That has NEVER happened to me. Ever.

I never wanted to be one of those moms that brought their kids to the store,
kicking and screaming, and flinging their heads backs with temper tantrums.
You know...while people stare and whisper in the aisle over, 'if that was my kid...'

So I avoided it.
With three kids, the odds are not good that it will be a pleasant experience.
For some reason I must have been feeling quite invincible this particular day.

Adryanna needed a white plain tee shirt for field day.
How hard could it be?!
Just grab the tee shirt and go.

An hour later, with little Miss. V buried up to her eyes in an over flowing cart,
we were heading towards the check out line when it happened.

Wailing. Screaming. Hysterics.
A temper tantrum.
I turned, and in horror I see it was MY child.
And he was pissed.
Not only was he pissed, the girls caught on quickly too.

Not that I condone beating your children. But I certainly can understand it at times ; )

 I couldn't think quick enough, so I did the most logical thing at the time.
I opened up a box of cookies from the nearest shelf to shut them up.
And no I didn't have one. Although looking back now, I think it could have pacified me too.

I'm a bad mother.  
I know.
But whatever.
I have seen moms do this in the past and I have judged you.
I'm sorry.

I couldn't understand why your kids couldn't behave. 
I couldn't believe that you didn't come prepared with *gasp* food or bottles for your freakin' screaming kids.
I didn't think it was fair that we all had to suffer hearing the high pitched screams through out the store because you didn't have it together.

I stood on line with my items thrown carelessly on the conveyor belt as I tried to herd (yes, animals) Vienna and Adryanna who were playing ring around the rosy in the middle of a busy aisle.

My son had cookie pieces in his hair, on his face, all over his outfit and on me.

The cashier was probably the slowest (insert explicit language here) cashier I have ever had.
I watched the line grow longer and saw two pretty young things that stood behind me.
They were texting and making idle chit chat with one another while they watched from the corner
of their eye what my crazy kids were doing.

Between bagging, getting the stuff in the cart and keeping track of my kids,
I noticed they came in for one thing. 
Suntan lotion.
I also noticed at that point that the one thing I came in for, wasn't even on the $#@^  belt! 

I sighed loud. I couldn't help myself.
The look of pity was on all the faces around me.

I really didn't know whether to laugh or cry when one of the girls smiled politely at me as if she felt sorry.

'I never thought I was going to be one of those mothers', I said.
With that they began to laugh.

It was meant to be funny, but for some reason I just felt bad.
Defeated, disheveled, and disheartened. 

I turned back to my little man who at that moment looked right at me and put his
chubby one year old hand to his mouth and went,
as loud as his voice could carry the sound...
and blew me a kiss.

The 'awwww's around me were audible.
I smiled, and so did he.
He knew, I think, that I needed it.

I turned back...and finished a sentence, but with a renewed outlook.
'I never thought I was going to be one of those mothers...
but I'm so glad  I am.'


When you walk out of Walmart without a plain white tee shirt because they didn't have any (in the kids, women's or men's section) something is amiss. Seriously. They were 'all out'. That's what they said!
Walmart use to be 'one of those' ; ) places where you can get something simple like that.
Instead I walked out with my grocery shopping done, and vegetables
from their new fresh foods department they have now.
I know.
I have no idea what the world is coming to either.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Trials...errr...Trails and Tribulations

I'm a liar.

And it's not really a lie per say, but it's certainly not the truth. 
Like, if I tell you only one more picture...I'm sure you will hear me fire off two or three shots. 
Or if I say I will stop at one cookie...yeah, you know where that's going don't ya? 

Remember when your Mom would tell you 'it's only for your own good'?
That's kinda how I feel. 
That extra picture is good insurance, just in case someone had a funny face on.
And as for the cookies...well, maybe Mom didn't know what was good for me, but I sure did. ; ) 

Soooo if I say it's just around the corner, ummm it might be the hike of your life. 
Kinda like this session the other day.

I was with a 2 and 3 year old and a Mom with a heavy diaper bag. 
We took a 'trail' to go and see a goat. 
Yes. A goat. 
And this goat may just as well have been in Ala-freakin'-bama. 

We ended up taking the scenic route, that's for sure. 
What was I thinking?!
It was pretty, fun and we did manage a few keepers, but I'm sure those kids had a good nap after. 
Hey, who knew that I could not only give you a portrait experience,
 but an afternoon with kids napping experience too?! 

You hear that? 
That's the sound of my phone ringing off the hook! ; ) 

Here are two quickies:

This shot was taken while trying to tickle him and balance a pine cone on my head. 
Oh, and of coarse trying to take the picture too. 
I'm not gonna lie. 
He made me work for it. 
But then again...wasn't it I who sent his little legs on that walk?

and sometimes - a look can be more captivating then a smile. 
I love when a child has that pensive expression. 
It's one of my favorite looks...and one I find the hardest to achieve in an image. 
You want serious, but not sad - and you want direct eye contact. 
Try telling that to a child under 4!
Please note, this is also the look you may get with extensive walking and play! ; ) 
It was literally taken in the 'parking lot' next to our cars right before we left.

I'm not sure the post would be complete if I didn't add a picture of the dang goat!

Jill, I feel the need to not only say thank you for being so fabulous during the trails and tribulations, 
but also for cursing me only in your head which was nice. ; ) You were so calm and cool. I love you for it.
Thank you!

Also, a special thanks to Stacey who was kind enough to send Jill and her family my way!

I think I'll close with a Roy Roger's lyric that I think is apropo...

"Happy trails to you...until we meet again...
Some trails are happy ones, others are blue.
It's the way you ride that counts. 
Here's a happy one to you."

Thanks Jill, Delaney and Liam for making it a happy one!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Window to your Soul - Make-Up Monday

They say they are the 'windows to the soul'. I would have to agree.
Expressive, moody, sultry..whatever the look you're trying to achieve,
you can usually accomplish it with the eyeliner.

It frames the eye.
Gives just the right amount of definition, and adds a little pop of color to brighten up your look.

There are so many different kinds these days. Kohl, automatic, liquid, waterproof.
I have tried them all, but have finally settled in with a favorite.

The make-up line Prestige. I have been loyal for over ten years with this specific eyeliner.
I know. Hard to believe, but true.

 It goes on super soft. It doesn't smudge or budge and it's not impossible to take off.
They're even reasonable priced at under 5 bucks and can be found at your local drug store!

As far as colors, they have eight to choose from.
What is so fabulous is that three out of the eight colors they offer are different shades of brown: Suede, Charcoal Brown and Teakwood. I think that's their way of saying they think brown
 is a universally flattering color. I'm on board with that thought too!

If you're looking  for a new eyeliner,
try it, and let me know what you think.
I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Portrait site is down

Just a quick note to let everyone know that my portrait web site will be down until Monday morning.

Sorry for any inconvenience!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rich, Kathleen and Melanie - 'Change' - A Long Island Wedding at the Watermill

Can you please change her diaper? It's a bad one, Kathleen said.
His answer did not have a sarcastic tone and there wasn't a sighhh before hand.
It was simply...'sure'.

Never was the saying, 'actions speak louder then words' more relevant.

When my husband and I first got married our biggest spat would revolve around where
his pocket contents would lay around the house.
I know. Trivial. But back then, it was a big deal.

I just couldn't understand why you couldn't keep your change in the same spot each day!
To be fair, I'm sure he didn't get why I couldn't put my make-up away either.

Time changes things.
Perspective, our minds, and even our attitudes.
When nothing is certain in life, our actions speak louder then any words can.

We try to adapt to new chapters in our life.
Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's hard. 
We change everyday.
Our opinions, our moods, our lives.
Yet the one constant, our actions.
How will we greet the new change or chapter?

Three kids and nine years later...pocket change has taken a back seat to changing diapers at my home. 
We don't sweat the small things like we use too.
We changed. We learned. We grew. Together.

Back then I thought the measure of a man was his morals and values and what he said they were.
I know now it has to do with how he proves it.

Love is in the little things for sure.
But more in the doing, then the words I think.
Never is it more apparent for me then seeing a man become a Dad.
Seeing Rich with their daughter Melanie, proved that fact even more for me.

The way he spoke to her, held her and played with her,
showed me more then any words he could have told me.


The first time I spoke with Kathleen we giggled like we were long lost friends.
We laughed at ourselves, motherhood, and about the fact that
she did not have a color coded wedding calender...well, just yet.

She's beyond playful...dare I say, goofy?!
But goofy in the happy-go-lucky kinda way.
Like, expressive with funny faces to match her mood.
She is the type of girl that you can fall in love with easily,
or would want to immediately trade friendship bracelets with. 

When I heard Rich take on diaper duty (literally) that day, it was as if he was saying I love you. my world anyway.

They are a team. They get what a relationship is about.
They are showing each other everyday...with Melanie.

a small little package of wonderful that changed their lives.
She is all smiles and has a happy disposition just like her folks.


The night of their wedding the band began playing the moment people entered the room,
 and it did not stop until the end of the night.
There was no, 'let's wait until after dinner to party'.
It was...'you came here to PARTY' - when you walked in.
I loved that.

I also loved that Kathleen and Rich spent the entire night together.
To often couples get separated and end up on opposite sides of the room,
when really they should be enjoying their party together.
They did just that, and that makes me happy.

The band was cued and their song 'Lucky' began to play....
and indeed they are.

Waiting for his bride...

My first view of Kathleen in the limo. Yep. She even took my breath away.

It's safe to say he agrees...

The architecture and light is amazing at Holy Cross.

I love how Grandpa is holding her hand and the fact that she is just spellbound!


and happy...

and entertained...


So I scouted out a gorgeous location for the pictures ahead of time.
I had approached the home owner a few days earlier and he was kind enough to let us use his yard.

When the 15 passenger limo and five other cars all pulled up at his home and we got out,
 he yelled, ' HEY! GET OFF MY LAWN'.

You know when you want to crawl in a hole and die?!
Yeah, I had that feeling for like 5 seconds before he followed it up with a hearty laugh and 'just kidding'...

A family picture in 90 degree weather, dressed up, and the nine month old baby is smiling?!
That made my day!

The happy family...

a different perspective...
see a change in scenery is good ; )

Remember those Estee Lauder perfume commercials...the next one kinda reminds me of that. are gorgeous!

so debonair...

 Melanie, Mom and their happy disposition's.

I love the whole porch thing.
My next house needs to have a large wrap around one.
Looks a little like an old postcard, right?

a nuzzle...

and a fine place to lay your head...

all is fair in love...

and war...

Check out the maitre d in the bottom right corner.
I do have to say he looks more like a referee though, don't you think?!

The best part of it was, just when you thought he got away with it,
she was holding the plate with the cake on it.
So...he got what was comin' to him!

Is it just me - or can Kathleen pull off looking hot even with icing on her?!
The girl seriously can't take a bad picture!

You know, I'm rarely ever surprised.
but for some reason, this cake thing surprised me silly.

Mischievous, playful...and loving...

I like that combo.

some fraternity love

I spy...

something a little different...

One of my favorite parts of the night was when the band separated the dance floor.
Guys on one side, girls on the other.
You all know the movie 'Grease' right?

He started the song, 'I got chills...there multiplying...'
and with that Kathleen and Rich had a 'mini dance/sing off'.
It was hysterical. I caught myself actually laughing out loud.

Sweeping her off of her feet...

I love the look of happiness on her face...and his folks in the background!


Change is a funny thing.
It scares the heck out of most of us.
It changes well, almost everything.
And sometimes that's a good thing.

With Melanie came change, as it does with all new parents. the size of your hearts.
Who knew change other then in your pocket, could feel so good?!


Thank you Rich for making your girls happy.
Whenever they looked at you, they grinned from ear to ear.
You made my job easy.

Kathleen...thank you for being so warm, happy, funny and relaxed.
 I adored seeing the playfulness you have with one another.
I hope to catch some more of it at your 'family' session in two weeks!


A special thank you to Mindy (a past bride of mine) who referred Kathleen to me.
It means the world.


Readers, help this family out by posting your comments or notes right below.
If they receive 20 comments, they get a complimentary gift!
 (is there a rule on how many s's you can add to p.s?)

Thanks to the 'A' team who helped me lug around equipment and helped me 
catch some amazing perspectives.
You were wonderful!