Party Time…

About a month before her due date, a mother of two young boys contacted me about scheduling a portrait party with a few other families. Having done something similar in the late Fall, I was really looking forward to a full day of photographing families.

Just 3 days before the scheduled party day new baby arrived…just in time to join the celebration!

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Portrait Parties are generally scheduled in one location and often several families will come to have their pictures taken. I like to have time with each individual family so instead of everyone arriving at once, I set aside an hour for each family.

There are so many things to love about Parties. I get to see lots of families and meet lots of great kids all in one day which sounds exhausting, but it is actually the opposite. Because every family is different, every hour renews my energy! It’s exciting! The light changes transforming the location for each group…I get to do what I love for an entire day.

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And not everyone is willing at first…

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But, by the end of the hour, we all know each other a little better and always have fun.

If you have a great location and a group of families who want to create a party, lets do it while we still have long days and warm weather! I will also be suggesting a few of my favorite locations and booking my own party days starting next month. Keep an eye out for postings!

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We Have Arrived…

Finally.

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Spring is officially here in little Rhode Island which means it is time to get outside. It is also time to put my iPhone down and take out my “real camera.” In the past couple weeks, I have been working on getting back into the groove, working outside with the kids and bringing my camera along.

This week I was turning my winter rye under in one of my garden beds when I noticed my little guys sitting in the neighbors yard picking “wish flowers.” I began to eaves drop and heard some of their wishes…simple requests like wanting all of their grandparents to be at their birthday party this year.

So I dropped the pitchfork and grabbed the camera.

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The Little Guys aren’t always so agreeable to having their pictures taken, so I need to be stealth or sneaky to catch a dirty face…

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Or a super hero moment…

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Or just wait until they are sleeping…

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This summer and fall have come and gone so quickly. Filled with gardening, farming, birthdays, play time adventures, weddings…

Without much more commentary, here are some captured moments.

Summer began with a trip to Muskoka, reuniting these five siblings and their families and the patriarch. Traveling from the US, Norway, Kosovo, and Canada they try and meet each year.

Autumn lunch break.

Enjoying the last light of summer.

Imagine you are a fire fairy…

Birthday BoyA little man turns fourteen…I mean four.

Newborn livestock and his caretaker…

Looking forward to posting more from the season!

Brothers…

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It is fairly safe to assume that when I am asked to photograph children, families are hoping for that great image of their children all facing the camera with genuine smiles…perfect. And I work really hard to make sure we get that photograph. But, what I really love is all the interaction in between that tells the real story of the unique relationship between siblings. I love working with all types of sibling combinations, but there is something so special about photographing brothers. They are active, creative, full of energy, physical, without abandon…and when they really need to band together for the money shot, they get the job done.

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Cheryl in Wonderland

Dear curious Alice could not help herself when she saw the White Rabbit dressed in a waist coat. She had to follow him just to be sure of herself. Poor Alice had no idea that when she peered into the rabbit hole she would find herself falling endlessly and landing in a place that would be so dreadful, delightful and filled with wonder.

I feel like I have fallen into my own Wonderland following the White Rabbit of my personal history. Without question, I knew that as an adoptee, choosing to access my original birth record would have me spiraling down a mysterious tunnel and meandering through a world that has simultaneously filled me with excitement and joy countered by fear and sadness.

Once I was able to see what was before me, names and faces I have never met (yet I resemble) in places I have known through other life experiences, I knew I needed to sort through this transition with paint. I set my camera aside, dusted off my easel and dragged out a blank canvas that had been in storage for five years. I had no idea what to paint. I had no images in mind so started by painting all 48 by 60 inches yellow.

I started at the bottom and worked my to half way through the canvas when I realized I had plenty of images I could place on the canvas. I opted to start at the beginning with an image related to my birth.

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Why a painting in a photography site? Lately, my artistic heart has been spending a lot of time painting while my camera takes a little rest. I actually feel like my photography is benefiting from the break. Holding my camera is like reconnecting with a dear friend who also understands that as life changes so do our relationships with one another.

For now, painting is truly therapeutic as I move through this emotional adventure in my own version of Wonderland.

 

Winter (sort of) Hibernation (sort of)

Winter is generally a slow time for me and I rather like it that way (sort of). It’s not that I don’t like taking pictures in the winter, it’s more that I like working on my other creative interests, like knitting and painting. They are more cozy. And I get a chance to recover from the holidays and refocus on what I want to do next. It’s time to breathe…

But, we have not had much of a winter here in the Northeast. Just today it was 60 degrees and sunny and not a huge shock, because we have had so many days like this lately. This does make for some interesting picture taking opportunities.

Last week we had our first snow and string of below freezing days. Then the warm air returned. Snow and ice began to melt and created a beautiful mist over the pond nearby. After my morning coffee and a quick shoot with a local jeweler, I made a quick stop to get a few images of the pond and the neighborhood swans before the rain really came down. Good thing I stopped. The next day, the ice was gone, the sun was shining, and our brief encounter with winter was over…for now at least.

Willet Pond

Technically I live in the city. Not a city like New York, Boston, or even Providence, but it’s not quite the suburbs either. Like most cities there are green spaces, parks, and in our case the bay. There is also Willet Pond. When you drive by it ‘s almost a  blip, but if you slow down (or better yet stop), it’s a lovely little slice of nature. `

My children love the pond. They get to see frogs, bugs, birds, turtles, fish. We hike and collect sticks that become “fishing poles.” This past week we stopped on our way back from errands. As soon as we pulled up, a pair of swans swam over to the bank to have a closer look. And then closer and closer and closer….they were really close! The boys wanted to pet them, but of course I had to corral them away and explain that swans are large and sometimes angry birds! Once the boys settled down we just sat and watched each other. Then the swans sauntered back to the water and we started off on our walk.

They escorted us for a ways. When we stopped to watch each other a little more, I took a few pictures. This being one of them.

Majestic and handsome. Floating quietly in a small city.

Willet Pond is right across from the Providence Coffee Roasters plaza. If you come by on Thursday, you might catch a glimpse of our friends…