I am a lucky photographer in that I have had quite a few clients move ahead with gorgeous Cypress products.  When this last one arrived, I decided it was worth a shoot in my home to showcase what these pieces of art really look like in a natural environment.

This family was a handsome group I photographed back in fall at Castle Island in Boston.  They decided that they wanted the large sized (12″x 12″) Cypress book in order to hold a large collection of the photos from that day.  I had actually never seen a large one of these albums before, as my sample and prior client purchases had always been 10″ x 10″.  But I have to say, I may have to get a larger sample now.  It was gorgeous!  What I loved most is that you can fit larger prints and more creative layouts in a book this size.

In terms of color selections, we moved ahead with a crimson box and navy album cover to incorporate the wardrobe colors that the family donned.  Navy too for the water of the Boston Harbor.  All in all, I am in love with this book, images, and family.

A very belated newborn session share from last year in the middle of winter (I think we forget that there was a bunch of snow then too!).  I drove down to the South Shore to meet this young, attractive couple and their adorable baby girl.  She was tiny but spunky and curious!  I loved how mom broke out her fancy tulle dresses (you should have seen how full that girl’s closet is already!  I have never seen any like it…).  My favorite moment is the shot of mom’s finger being used to soothe Natalie during a crying spell.  Just shows it like it is…

 

I have been married now almost 3 years.  But I only just got around to making an album with my honeymoon photos.  Sound like a familiar story?  Well, if you have a disk of your wedding photos or from a special trip sitting in your desk drawer and would like a special book or album made, please be in touch!  I LOVE bookmaking, and have designed books for clients with photos that aren’t always those that I took.

I want to share this album because the style is definitely on the more rustic side, something I don’t show a lot of in my studio.  But I enjoy working with all kinds of styles!  Dan and I went on a road trip honeymoon out West.  We flew to Denver and drove up to Boulder and then into Wyoming to Jackson Hole where we rented a breathtaking house for 5 days.  From there we continued west into Idaho and then finally Oregon.  I got to don some of my old crunchy numbers for lots of hiking (spot the Mountain Man version of me??…).  By the end of the trip I was able to sport a slightly more glamorous version of myself sipping wine amidst the Willamette Valley vineyards (where we stayed in a funky farm B&B milking goats… back to the granola..).  Our last day was spent in Portland which left us knowing we would need to come back again for just that city alone.

For the record, all these photos were taken with only my iPhone (I left my nice camera behind in the hotel room – not exactly the smartest move but we left the morning after with 4 hours of not what I would call sleep…!).  It’s amazing what you can do with so little…?  The images bring back so many memories, and I am thankful that we have the technology we do on our smartphones!   The album itself is made by KISS albums, a company out of New York that makes my linen books and colorful leather albums.  This is from their Tuscan line which features distressed leathers and a matte finish paper.  The pages are super thick – this is one heavy book and I have to say I like bragging with it out on the coffee table : )  Next up is Calvin’s 1st year book for which I plan to try Loktah’s beautiful press books with a funky yarn-like cover… (and yes, it has been some time since that milestone was passed…!).

I love watching movies.  In fact, when I was younger I really wanted to get into movie-making instead of photography.  Well, that obviously didn’t happen, but my appreciation for the art form hasn’t dissapated.  This year has been the first in many that I have actually gotten to see a fair amount of films (though never enough!).  I had thought to write a post about my picks for the awards (and the Birdman vs. Boyhood debate), but instead of taking on a movie critic’s job, I figured out a more relevant blog post idea (though, if anyone wants to discuss the best picture debate, I am happy to exchange some words on it – just email me!).

So, let’s take a look at two movies that I find worth watching if you are a fan of fine art photography (and I hope you are, if you are a fan of mine : )).  The first movie is a documentary, Finding Vivian Maier.

Though it didn’t win the Academy Award, I think this movie is must-see if you are a lover of black and white photographs, street photography portraits, and mystery.  The premise is this:

“Finding Vivian Maier is the critically acclaimed documentary about a mysterious nanny, who secretly took over 100,000 photographs that were hidden in storage lockers and, discovered decades later, is now among the 20th century’s greatest photographers. Directed by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel, Maier’s strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never before seen photographs, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her.

Maier’s massive body of work would come to light when in 2007 her work was discovered at a local thrift auction house on Chicago’s Northwest Side. From there, it would eventually impact the world over and change the life of the man who championed her work and brought it to the public eye, John Maloof.

Currently, Vivian Maier’s body of work is being archived and cataloged for the enjoyment of others and for future generations. John Maloof is at the core of this project after reconstructing most of the archive, having been previously dispersed to the various buyers attending that auction. Now, with roughly 90% of her archive reconstructed, Vivian’s work is part of a renaissance in interest in the art of Street Photography.”

Her images are extremely vivid, powerful and inspiring.  They were the type that gave me goosebumps, often.  I felt like I was looking at some of Diane Arbus’s and Robert Frank’s imagery, but stronger (can I even say that?!).  She captures strangers in a way that is both tender and humiliating at the same time.  The interview with Joel Meyerowitz is awesome too (sidenote:  I took a workshop with Meyerowitz at Castle Hill in Truro when I was 17 and fell in love – he is insightful, encouraging and optimistic – a lot of successful photographers are not).

I was also intrigued by the fascinating story of who Vivian was.  For she was a peculiar person and far from a saint.  As many of you know I am on the hunt for a nanny and I don’t think I would want her to be it!  All in all, I really recommend not only watching this movie, but also taking a look at the beautiful interactive website filled with her images.  If a show makes it’s way to Boston it’s definitely going to be on my must-see list.

The second movie was named the Best Foreign Film movie this year, IDA.

On their website, they give the following synopsis:

Poland  1962. Anna is a novice, an orphan brought up by nuns in the convent. She has to see Wanda, the only living relative, before she takes her vows. Wanda tells Anna that  Anna is Jewish. Both women start a journey not only to find their family tragic story, but who they really are and where they belong. They question their religions and ideas  they believed in. Both are trying to go on living but only one of them can.

IDA is an example of art house film perfection.  Short, deliberate, poetic, and beautiful.  Again, I encourage you to take a look at the movie’s website, because it too reflects the approach of simplicity director Pawel Palikowski takes.

To me, this movie ranks up there as one of the most beautifully shot movies ever (I think it should have beaten Birdman in Cinemotography!).  The film is shot in black and white, often in low light situations, with strong compositions and deliberate placing of the subject (often tucked into a corner of the screen).  Each scene seems like a photograph.  It took me a bit to figure out why this was.  The reason? Each shot is taken with a camera still on a camera.  No panning, no zoom, no hand-holding.  All that moves is the scene in front of you.  Photographs are made this way – not movies!  (well, rarely).  So it’s a real nod to photography.  There are only two shots in the movie that are handheld and panning.  I will let you spot them : )

I encourage you to check them out.  Both can be found On-Demand.  Enjoy, and let me know what you think : )

 

Still catching up on some fall client sessions – but this one will hold a special place in my memory.  Not because this family is super cute (which they are), but more because something really scary happened.

Towards the end of the session we were taking photos by the ducklings, when all of the sudden a guy ran by so fast, followed by a cop with his gun held out right in front of him.  I have NEVER seen a gun brandished in my life.  Within seconds the cop had the perpertrator by the pond telling him to put his arms up or he would shoot, and we were turning the other way and quickly heading out of the park.  Moments later sirens and flashing lights were blaring everywhere.  At that point I decided to snap a few more shots of the commotion, but we pretty quickly wrapped up and head on home.

As it turned out, the perpertrator had stabbed two park rangers.  You may remember the incident from last October.  It was tragic.  It also serves as a reminder that no matter where you are, even in one of the safest areas of a very safe city, that bad things can happen.  I tend to take a pretty relaxed approach to life – where I think you can’t air on the side of too much precaution because there is always risk.  But I think once there is danger present, best not loiter but to instead head to shelter (unless you are a brave soul who wants to help!).

Anyway, from these images you would guess nothing of the sort had happened, as it was truly a glorious fall day.