Bella Means Beautiful.


November 10, 2007:

I was hired to photograph a “Super” Sweet 16 party in Randolph, MA. When I went to meet with my clients we spoke about the details and their plans for this big Gala Event. It was going to have a Cinderella theme with all of the “stops pulled out”. I was then introduced to the birthday-girl whose name is Bella (pronounced Beh-jah). In Spanish, Bella means Beautiful.

Well, when Bella came upstairs to meet me, I immediately told her parents that they had chosen the correct name for their child. Bella IS a Beautiful girl and I was looking very forward to photographing her and this event. She shares an equal amount of features from both her Mom and Dad, two more good-looking people. Bella has hopes to be a professional model someday. In my opinion, she should have no problems. I hope that when she hits the big-time she will at least send me a “shout-out”. 🙂

I did however have a wedding on this day and I was not going to be able to be in both places at one time. There was NO WAY I was going to pass this up. So, I enlisted the help of my friend (and fellow photographer) Alice. I had Alice go to the Sweet 16 and start…and then I would join her later, after I was done with my wedding. I don’t normally book two events in one day, but in this case I made an exception…and now, I’m glad I did.

WOW is the only word I could come up with to describe the evening. I could get used to this. It was a blast! Being able to work side by side with another professional photographer was great! It was almost as if we had worked together before. We both fed off each other’s inspiration and together we made lots & lots of great images. We both have very different styles (I am more Traditional and she is more Photo journalistic) but together we made a great team.

Thank you so much for your help Alice! I’m looking forward to our next team effort (hint, hint).

What can I tell you about the Sweet 16 that you can’t see in the images posted here? How difficult it was to choose from among all the great images we captured that night. I was a very hard task to just choose a few but I managed to select a small sample here.

It was lots of fun! The food was great! The dancing was great. The cake was great. All the guests were great. The whole event was great!

Thank you Carmen & Victor (Mom & Dad) for welcoming us into your lives. Bella, may you have many more great birthdays ahead. Good luck with your future career as a Model.

PS. When you are ready to get your Modeling Portfolio done…call me…and I’ll try to team up with Alice again. 🙂 Thanks very much!
Beauty Discovered.

The Lodge, Webster, Mass – Wedding




November 10, 2007:

Sometimes when I’m looking for inspiration in my photography it doesn’t come right away. That is the main reason I like to visit the locations of the weddings & receptions I’m going to shoot a few weeks prior to the wedding day. In my case, inspiration builds.

This was indeed the case for this wedding and reception I shot at a restaurant in Webster, Ma.

I always make it a point to pay a visit and speak with the event coordinators. Most times I can get an idea from them of how, where and when to shoot. Some may call that cheating, but I like to think of it as research. I don’t like surprises…so that’s why I do my research ahead of time. I don’t want to be trying to think of what would make a nice photograph while I’m running around with the whole wedding party. Not the best time to brainstorm.

I have to admit this one was a challenge! The restaurant has very low light which is not good in photographing most events. The reception was to be at the same place so there was no way to avoid taking too many photos there and taking more at another location.

That coupled with the fact that the wedding was at 4PM (in November), which meant it was quickly getting dark outside too. The inside of this restaurant was as Brown as the outside and I couldn’t think of how to make these images “Pop”. (I’m worried now.)

Then it came to me! The Brides dress was going to be a Beautiful White with a Red Train and I knew I wanted to be able to accentuate the Red in her dress. So, while I was visiting the restaurant two weeks before, I took some photos of the inside and outside and went home to study them in my lab.

The miracles that can be done with today’s digital technology and software continues to astound me even after all these years! Here are some before and after shots of the wedding day. Thank you Photoshop! You saved the day and this photographers @$$. The after (Red) shots where done after the wedding day using Photoshop tools & techniques.

So with that worry out of the way, I had the best time photographing this wedding!

Tony & Shannon were awesome! Shannon was a bit nervous, but not as bad as she was at the rehearsal the night before. Tony was nervous too, at times pacing (like an expectant Father) before the ceremony. Everything went as planned and I feel everyone enjoyed themselves a whole lot that night.

I’ll tell you a little secret. I got a little “choked-up” during the 1st dance. I’m not sure if it was their wedding song playing or the sight of Shannon’s tears of joy. I slowly looked around to see if anyone was noticing me and I see the DJ looking right at me laughing! He held up a handkerchief and edged it towards me as he laughed.

Can you believe it? I still get emotional at weddings? Geez! What’s wrong with me? (hahaha) I hope that never changes!

If I ever become numb at the sight of love in it’s truest state, then it’s time to take pictures of Landscapes and Wildlife…not people in the moment of true love.

I didn’t stay for the whole night, I had my new assistant Debbie stay and shoot some more. I had to high-tail it to Randolph, Ma to shoot a Sweet 16 party that night. (more on that soon)

Tony & Shannon, thanks for entrusting us with one of the most important days in your lives. May you both enjoy your images, your love and each other for many years to come.
Best Wishes!
Beauty Discovered.

Family Portrait Month 2






November 2, 2007:
Okay, I know that the Family Portrait Month Promotion I was having was only for the Month of October, but I wanted to extend it a bit to raise more money for Operation Smile.

Kim, her Sister Kelly and their kids came in for another FUN session! The kids were not bashful at all when it came to being in front of the camera. In fact, they seemed like they were used to being photographed. They did a real good job at following my leads and their portraits show it.
Kelly’s baby daughter Sophia even liked being there. She is soooo adorable!! I think I could watch babies smile all day long and I wouldn’t grow tired of it. It’s just so great when you see a really happy baby. That’s what we all want our kids to be – happy.
Well, take a look at how happy these kids were during the session and then you will have an idea of how happy I was to have photographed them. Every time I see these they reinforce the reason I love being a photographer and the personal rewards that come with that great responsibility.
Kim & Kelly, Hope you love the portraits! Make sure you get those kids back in here before too long. They sure do grow up fast!
Beauty Discovered.

October is Family Portrait Month



October 28, 2007:

I had a brief but nice portrait session with the Orrell family. They were interested in helping out with the October fundraiser I am participating in…(Operation Smile).

Operation Smile is a world-wide effort to give children back their smiles. They are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year! Operation Smile offers FREE reconstructive surgery to infants and children who are born with cleft-lips and cleft-pallets. All of the surgeries are done by Doctors who donate their services and lots of other people who give their time and hard work to make this all happen. It is pretty remarkable when you really think about it.

How important is your smile? In today’s world, for young children, it can mean the world!

This facial reconstructive surgery costs only $240.00. Just that small amount can give a child their life back. I’m not going to preach to you but go see for yourself and see why I have been sooo moved by this cause. Go to: http://www.operationsmile.org/ and find out how you too can donate or help out.

So during the month of October members of the PPA (Professional Photographers of America) have chosen to donate to the cause. For each portrait session we do we will donate a certain portion to Operation Smile via PPA Charities. The amount each studio donates is up to each owner.

Here are 3 of my favorite photos from the quick 1 hour session that I had with this wonderful family. We were on a tight schedule but I feel we succeeded in our task. It was fun, entertaining and I am pleased with the results.

Thanks goes to the Orrell family for helping me donate to my cause. Giving a child a smile is what my business is all about and I am happy to be able to help out. I look forward to next October when we will do it all again.

More Family portraits on the way…

Beauty Discovered.

Okay…You Can Dance, But Can You Pose?





September 30, 2007:

I had the privilege of being able to help a new dance studio in my town that recently opened!

Gina Mandella Dance Studio in Oxford, MA has just about every type of dance instruction anyone could need or want! The list is so long that I can’t name them all. But if you go to: http://www.ginamandelladance.com/ you will learn all about what they have to offer.

Gina is the owner/instructor and what a sweet, sweet person she is! She has a lot of experience having come from some of the best dance schools herself and she is GREAT with kids…I know for a fact, I have seen her in action. She’s fun, patient, understanding, she listens to input from her students and she’s open to try new things as well. Anyone interested in dance is welcome. She offers instruction to all ages.

Gina asked me to take photographs of her three 2007-2008 Scholarship recipients for a large wall hanging she wanted to put up in her school to honor them. I happily agreed and confessed that I had never photographed dancers before. She said not to worry cause she was going to come to my studio along with the three dancers and she would be able to tell them which poses to do for the portraits. No worries – right?

Well, guess what? The day before the portrait session she became very ill and could not make it to the session. Instead, she sent the three dancers (Jordan, Summer & Natalie) to my studio accompanied by their Mom’s. No problem. When they get here the Moms can just tell them what poses to get into and I’ll just snap away.

Right?

Yeah right!

When they all showed up none of the Moms nor the dancers knew what poses Gina wanted them to do for the portrait. Neither did I! (Now what?)

(“Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!” – Bullwinkle)

After the three girls gave me a brief lesson on what the dance positions are, I proceeded to do a little “dance” of my own – if you know what I mean. Can you say – “Wing it”?

The girls were all very good sports & the Moms were too. We went through the series of poses that I had just learned and then I chose my favorites from them. After those shots I asked each dancer to choose her favorite dance position or favorite pose and I photographed those.

Then we all agreed on a pose for the wall portrait of the three dancers together.

It was a lot of fun and I’m glad to have been able to capture their portraits. I am also a little smarter now and I know: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th position. 🙂 I am ready for dance school now!

Gina was very pleased with the results of the session and in fact, so were the Moms!

(Of course I was also.)

The Moms even purchased prints from that session and because I had “winged it” I felt I should give them a discount on the prints.

It was a very fun session and I hope to be able to do it again someday soon.

Gina, I am happy to have met you and I look forward to a long relationship with your school and all of the families whose children attend there. I’m working on getting you pictures for your website! I’ll have them to you soon!

Thanks for this great opportunity and see you at the Festival (recital) if not sooner!

Thank you Jordan, Summer and Natalie! I’m going to go practice my moves now. 🙂
Beauty Discovered.

Mickespace.com


October 14, 2007:

I had a nice Senior Portrait session with Micke (pronounced MIKE) this day. I must say it was a bit of a challenge. You see, I’m the type of person who will spark up a conversation with just anyone about anything. So, I didn’t see this one coming…

Micke’s mom comes into my studio and the first thing (pretty much) she says is “He doesn’t like to smile.” So I’m thinking – GREAT! What the heck do I do now? Well I wasn’t nervous at all until then.

Don’t get me wrong, Micke is a nice guy, it’s just that not only does he not smile much, he doesn’t speak much either. So, what will we talk about? How do I get him to unwind and relax? How do I not screw this up?
Then it came to me! Comedy! Everyone likes comedy. Humor always break the ice.

So, I reached into the depths of my mind and pulled out some of my best comedic material…that ought to get him right?! (Wrong) I thought – he should be rolling on the floor laughing with this material! This is Grade A Hollywood stand-up stuff! Nope. Nothing. Not even a giggle.
Then I really got nervous.

The short story is he eventually did unwind and we had a nice session, and I was able to get just one (tiny) smile out of him for his mom’s photo -(center image/last photo). The rest of them were all Micke…and I have to say I really like how they give him a pensive, mature nature.

My confirmation that he approved of the photos was not until they came back in to look at the proofs and he picked quite a few (almost all) of the shots for a Softcover Brag Book I designed for him. I also provided him with a CD of images to use on his Myspace.com pages. Mom got her one (smiling photo) and everyone was happy. (Whew!)
I liked the brag book so much, I ordered two (one studio sample). Above are three pages from Micke’s Brag Book.

Micke thanks for the opportunity (and for the single smile).

Good luck in your future endeavors!
Beauty Discovered.

Larry and Gina’s Wedding









September 8, 2007:
Wow! I have to share this with you. I had sooo much fun at this wedding! (I know I keep saying that) but it’s true! Gina & Larry are the best! They had a really sweet (laid-back) wedding and everything was beautiful. The Bride, Bridesmaids, the location, the ceremony….everything.
I even got a bit teary during the ceremony (yeah! I’m not ashamed to say it!) You would think after being at so many weddings that it is all the same, but it’s not. Or maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic. Whatever it was…it was powerful and swept me. I struggled to keep my camera dry.
This one was at the Provincetown Inn (Cape Cod) and everything turned out great. We even had a few Wedding Crashers there who were staying at the Inn. (hahaha) That’s Great! No worries said the Bride & Groom. The more the merrier.
Did I ever mention how I love my job? I do. I think I could never get tired of shooting weddings. It is an endless Sea of Love and togetherness that I look forward to participating in and contributing to each and every time.
Gina, Can’t wait for you to pick your Album photos. I know the choice must be hard with so many good images, but I know you will do fine.
Don’t forget to send me an invitation to the 1st Annual Wedding Reception Reunion next year. I am sooo there!
Best wishes!
Beauty Discovered.