lake wedding, my best work ever?

This lake wedding was so lovely. It was a rainy day, and the lake was mostly calm. It was set on a slope, a small lawn, with rented tables and chairs and small tents and umbrellas here and there. For some reason, I felt like I was in Florida or something. This was partially due to the plush, green environment. Flowers everywhere. Colors abound. While editing, I found myself loving a large proportion of the images. I was only there for 4-5 hours. At the end, I marked over 200 as my picks. If I go by this parameter, it would be my best work ever. It was located in Holland, MA, on the border of MA and CT. On the Hamilton Reservoir.

Some of the guests were enthusiastic about Rainbow Gatherings, which is something I only knew about through my friend and former housemate in San Francisco, Diamond Dave. He’s counter culture, and supported peace and community. While we were housemates, I was impressed with his activities with Food not Bombs.

Dave may have been to a Rainbow Gathering or two, but when I lived with him, he was far from the edges of National Parks. He was deep in the community, promoting urban gatherings and justice (in a peaceful optimistic way) around San Francisco. I used to loan him my bicycle, on the condition that he wore my helmet. He didn’t like that. But he agreed. Once, I saw him riding up our alley street (Heron Street, SF) and he had my helmet on, unattached and wobbling around on top of his head.

Dave and I also collaborated a bit. He held poetry events at the SF public library called On the Page, Off the Page. I loved taking pictures. Since 2005 he’s been holding poetry events at the SF City Hall called Poems Under the Dome.

What a guy.

Anyway, back to this wedding. I’m not usually a lake person, unless the lake is the size of lake Michigan. But this lake, this lake wedding, was extraordinary. I hope you like the photos as much as I do.

union station northampton ma

Union Station Northampton MA

I shot a beautiful wedding a few weeks back, before the sweet sixteen party on Long Island, NY.

The couple took pictures at the Quad at Smith College. The bride lived at Martha Wilson House. I lived in the Quad as an undergrad and didn’t appreciate how very pretty and harmonious it is. The pictures are coming soon. It’s crazy season for me and I have little time for anything at all.

It was the first time I’d been to Union Station. It’s beautiful. Not too big, not too small, warm, with a gigantic fireplace.

Hope I’ll be able to shoot there more often. Besides fields and farms, it’s for sure the prettiest location in Western Mass that I’ve seen.

In other news, my sweet kindergartener just graduated. We had a party at Look Park (another great place for weddings by the way). It was the sweetest thing needless to say. The kids played at the waterpark and I took pictures with my new-to-me 1968 Hasselblad, a camera that I bought on Ebay. Nobody had ever used it before. It came with all the trimmings including the original aluminum case. Some things I had to take the original wrapping off. I’m still pinching myself that I have it.

Happy Summer, Everyone!

 

New York City vacation

New York City Vacation

This February school vacation, we went to New York. Why would I go anywhere else? It’s very close to where I am, it’s a great city for kids, it’s a quiet week because New Yorkers are out of town and there are relatively (loose term) few tourists, and the weather was perfect. (40s to 60s). I went alone with the kids. Atlas, 6, had a little cold, but he was a trooper. We were in Brooklyn, near Prospect Park, so day one we went to the cute little zoo there. The highlight is the baby baboon and his mom. The baby kept trying to wander, and the mom just held onto his tail. Then the baby would just jump on her back and they’d go ambling around. Lots of other cute things happened in the baboon area. Like teenage baboons playing and jumping from branches and landing in ninja fashion. That occupied us for at least 30 minutes.

I am not too familiar with the park, and I loved it this week. But I can only imagine how amazing it would be in Spring, Summer and Fall.

We spent a lot of time in Bryant Park. Why, because that’s where my 15 year old was spending a lot of time. (Don’t ask why.) We watched jugglers, ping pong players, ice skaters. Atlas went on the carousel and read books. They have a reading area for kids there. We both had colds so we didn’t partake in too many activities other than that. We spent a lot of time at Kinokuniya, a mostly Japanese bookstore. It also has lots of stationery, paper and gift items from Japan. One of those places that isn’t too too crowded and you think to yourself, “I sure do hope this really cool place stays open.”

And, there was the new 43,000 square foot Whole Foods……. which could be better organized. It took us a few tries to figure out how it all works.  I know people who work around there who can’t stand the layout and refuse to eat there. C-.

I also took Atlas to our neighborhood on the Upper East East East Side, with the amazing secret Carl Schurz Park, and beautiful Promenade along the East River. Having stayed in Brooklyn, I can say that my neighborhood wins in convenience, beauty and peace and quiet. It’s also missing the overpriced band-aid retail establishments that are adhered over former working class neighborhoods in Brooklyn. In short, it seems to have changed less, which is a good thing. Not heartbreaking to see an affordable neighborhood gone bad, like in Brooklyn. Gentrification certainly did happen on the Upper East in areas, but earlier and not as badly as in Brooklyn.  It’s still “affordable.” The fancy areas were always fancy.

It’s even easier to get downtown and around from the UES, relative to Brooklyn. Believe me, I did it from Brooklyn with a very easily bored child all week long.  On the UES, you have the the Select Bus, the new 2nd Avenue subway, and the 6 train that is hands down the most reliable line in town.

It’s luxurious, compact, and super convenient.

You get Central Park and the Museums and even the Upper West Side is walkable.

In Brooklyn, people are tempted to have cars and get Costco Memberships. (I have friends there who do that.) On the Upper East, there’s none of that. (Unless you are an incorrigible car person and enjoy the thrill of alternate side parking — what a waste.) To top it off, there are great, new protected bike lanes, which mostly benefit delivery people. (I boycotted getting delivery orders a long time ago because of how dangerous is was for cyclist delivery people.) Lastly, there is the proximity to Harlem. You can walk there. With a shopping cart if you want. And you can get your suburban fix there: There’s a Costco, Target, Old Navy and Aldi. Most importantly, you are near the Heart of the city. Harlem.

Yes, it goes without saying that you get less space on the Upper East Side than pretty much anywhere in Brooklyn. Small spaces are the thing now, right?

We visited the new-ish Whitney. Emile had been there. I did a professional headshot of someone there and on the extended Highline. We had been on the Highline during Christmastime. This time was much less crowded. Even when it was overcrowded, the Highline is one of my favorite things about NYC. Such a cool perspective. I would love to be able to walk around the entire city among flora, looking at buildings at eye level, without a care in the world about a car or bus.

Atlas played in mulitple playgrounds, including the one on Bleecker Street, and around Brooklyn. We brought his Spaldeen and we played inside handball courts. Emile’s favorite neighborhood is the West Village. He says, “It’s so pretty, like Northampton, only bigger!” Sort of.

Speaking of, it’s always fun to come back to the beauty of Western Mass. I had met with some clients at Woodstar Café yesterday, and on the way home (walking) I picked up some bread from The Hungry Ghost Bread that we ate with soup for lunch. Now I know why so many of my friends from Brooklyn are moving out here. It’s a relief to live in a place that bans plastic bags, has municipal composting, a recycling center, bike kitchens, and bike trails. I share a car and only have one about 3 days per week and on those days I drive less than 5 -10 miles, if that. I can get groceries, work, meet clients, all on bike. I can even walk on a trail along a creek to get to the downtown.

Emile is obsessed with Copenhagen (He did a report and made a beautiful pop up map with watercolors.) and the bike lanes there. He dreams of a NYC that looks like that. With the Highline, and the Citibikes, and the bike lanes, it’s getting closer every year, and not a minute too soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Mission to the Moon?

Mission to the moon?

Companies in the field of manufacturing and production have no idea how horrible their websites look and they have no idea how much they need your photography to bring them into the spotlight. At least that’s what the Chief Operating Officer of my biggest client told me regarding Industrial photography.

He competes with companies worldwide, for contracts with organizations like NASA, and he’s one of the few who takes the time and effort to make sure that his ideas are translated beautifully in visual terms. He even has a hallway in his building with historical photos from the beginnings of his company to the present. He has such passion for his products and how they are improving technology and innovation. Before taking the pictures, he gets me coffee and cookies. We just talk. He tries his best to explain to me what the machines do, and how they will serve the greater good. I nod my head, less because I understand what he’s describing and more because I appreciate that he’s taking the time to describe it. Over the years, we’ve become friends.

Whatever your beliefs about nuclear energy and mining, there’s an idea that getting back to the moon, and mining Helium 3 from the moon will help us create a safe nuclear energy.

One would think that I spread myself too thin with all the different types of photography that I do. Industrial photography is among my favorite, if not my favorite. Taking pictures of widgets and machines and factories and factory people is strangely intriguing, I love the challenge: getting up on high ladders, solving lighting problems, zooming in and finding beauty in manufacturing, wearing a hard hat. The people working in the factories aren’t used to photographers coming in. They’re very welcoming.

  • Industrial Photographer Western Mass

Art Reproduction photographer Western Mass

Art Reproduction Photographer Western Mass

 

 

You may know me as a photographer of families and professionals and actors and couples getting married, but there’s a lot of things I do that you don’t know about. I do a lot of pictures of art. Reproduction of well-known art for a big art foundation. I go to warehouses, galleries, auction houses, museums, and private homes to take photos. It may seem quite boring, taking pictures of art, but it presents a technical challenge, and it allows me to get up close and personal with some of the best art of the last century. Most recently, I photographed Andy Warhol pieces for a catalog for a show called Andy Warhol: Works from the Hall Collection. It was from last year in Oxford UK. Here’s a review of the show. Nearly all of the images in this art catalog from the show are by me. It’s a lovely catalog that’s displayed proudly in my kitchen of all places.

professional headshots western mass college presidents

Professional Headshots Western Mass: College Presidents

I’ve had the opportunity to photograph college events and people, in NYC and in Western Mass.

Dr. Robert Pura is President of Greenfield Community College, and Marty Meehan is now President of UMASS.

Both presidents were affable and kind, and it was a pleasure to work with them.

Marty was actually in Manhattan at the time that I photographed him, a few years back.

 

I’ve also done quite a bit of work for Smith College, my alma mater, and the number of winning pictures are too numerous to post here.