Monday, August 31, 2009

Final Destination

Shinks almost reached her final destination this weekend. No joke. And I'm not talking no movie, this was real life.

I was driving home from dinner with some friends yesterday evening, along a road that is surrounded each side by lush and lovely trees. A forrest if you will, and I'm just driving and talking and singing along to Lady Gaga. Then suddenly, with zero warning and in a matter of nano seconds, less than 100 yards ahead, a tree just collapses, right across the road. A big tree, complete with truck, branches, leaves and I'm sure the odd nest or 2, falls as if out of the sky, right across the road. 

I swear to you, my heart skipped a beat. Luckily I wasn't going fast. I was in Sunday driver mode, so I was able to break and slow down with good time. But once stopped I sat there for a good minute or 2 in utter disbelief. That tree could easily have fallen on me. No joke. If I had to do anything that day even a fraction different. If I had not gone to the restroom before leaving the restaurant. If I had taken a gamble and powered through the amber light (which is not unheard of for me.....oopsie), me and my car would have been completely crushed. Shinks would have become a weekend road carnage statistic.

But on the upside, I didn't. I missed my final destination connection, or on a less dramatic note, I missed having to make the call to Husband telling him that I'd killed or injured yet another car. My reputation as far as cars go, hasn't been great. But I assure you, in each and every case, I was the victim. Simply put, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Could happen to anyone, right?? 

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Beth & Joe Are Married

So I finally get to post some of my photos from Beth and Joe’s wedding and as I’ve already mentioned a couple of blogs ago, this was a tough learning experience for me as a photographer. One that made me realize yes, I am improving but wow, do I have a ways to go. 

So with that brief little recap out of the way, let me power on and talk a little bit about the Bride, Beth and her Groom, Joe.

The first time I actually got to meet both Beth and Joe was the evening before their wedding. I arrived at the house of Beth’s parents which was bursting at the seams with family and friends, all helping to pull together last minute arrangements and details for the couples big day. The atmosphere was chaotic, but it was the type of chaos being fueled by nervous energy and complete excitement. Everyone was pumped and everyone was ready for the wedding day. 

In the middle of all the excitement, both Beth and Joe noticed my arrival and within seconds they were over, smiling widely, embracing and bearing hugging me like I was a good friend they hadn’t seen in years. This couple is amazing. Hearts so big and bursting with love and kindness. But it didn’t end there. Once Beth was done welcoming me the rest of her family took over. Again more bear hugs and declarations of how excited everyone one was to meet me and have as part of their day. Honestly, at one point I was on the verge of tearing up. Being surrounded by so much love, concern and kindness with a dash of some sibling bickery was making me miss my own family terribly. But thats just the kind of people they are, nobody, and I mean nobody, is a stranger. Their home is a home to anyone who crosses its threshold.

And now that I’ve shared how much I loved being around this amazing couple and their family I will get to the part where we check out the photos.

The Church and a perfectly warm and sunny day.

Behind this door was complete girly chaos.

Bridal bouquet and shoes.

Last minute touch up.

Mom just can't hold it together when she sees Beth in her wedding dress.

A few shots of the Bride with her Bridesmaids before the ceremony. 

And of course the men.

Ring Barer and Flower Girl talk tactics.

This little Flower Girl needed some last second support from her blankie.

Poised and ready for action.

A proud and loving glance from dad.

An emotional delivery of his daughter to her future husband.

The vows.

A ring AND a high-five seals the deal.

Mr. & Mrs.

Its official.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hand Me Down

Why in certain situations, do hands become the most awkward thing in the world to have?? Honestly, I don't get it. Most of the time my hands and I exist in complete harmony and I never really think about them too much. They get on with the job of doing what I need them to do without much of a conscious effort from my good self. Then BAM! all of a sudden I find myself in a pressure situation, like, I don't know, an interview or a 6 month, 9 month or 12 month review at work and suddenly I have a heightened awareness of my hands and I have no idea what I'm suppose to do with them. Yes, in the blink of an eye my hands have gone from being my allie to my enemy. While I sit/stand there and try to give the appearance of cool, calm and collected, my hands are cooking up a plan of sabotage, drawing attention to themselves and making me look awkward and self conscious.

So what should I do, cross them? Bad idea, gives the impression of guarded, hostility or attitude.
How about I put them in my pocket? You know, like I'm just chillin and everything is cool. But no pockets in this skirt. Damn it.
Something to hold. A pen, a file, a phone, a bottle of water, something, anything, seriously, I need my hands to stop looking and feeling like foreign objects. They're exposing my inner turmoil and making me look like all kinds of negative.

Hands need to get onboard and start pulling together as a team. Separating themselves and behaving in an erratic, random and unfocused manner is just making me look insecure and guilty of something.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I Just Couldn't Resist

I really didn't plan on posting anything from my shoot with the adorable Boyd family this past weekend yet. I'm still sifting through all the photos. Plus I haven't yet completed my shots from the wedding. But I came across this one shot of Amy and thought, "Wow, how absolutely fierce does she look in this photo?". A complete Yummy Mommy and I just couldn't resist posting it. 

Amy, you look so stunning here. I love it. Way to lock eyes with my lens. I'm excited to finishing going through the photos and posting some more soon.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mental Lists

I've been struggling for something to blog about the past few days. Life has been pretty non eventful and just bursting with "To-Do" lists as long as both my arms. And nothing on my list is very interesting, unless your the type of person who holds last second phone calls from one's Husband in Europe telling you to "get to the phone store ASAP, purchase a new Blackberry and ship it to me in Italy, no, make that Switzerland, wait a second, Italy, no Switzerland, my final answer", in high regard.

Outside of that there's just the endless list of chores, house and personal that I never ever appear to have the time to get to. As a result, they just pile up and up and I become so overwhelmed that I am paralyzed into compete inaction. It exhausting not getting anything on your "To-Do" list done, trust me.

But I did spend a bit of time this evening uploading and sifting through photos from the Wedding in Michigan. I'm nowhere near done, but here is a little peek.

The Bridesmaids line up.

Some very smart and shiny shoed Groomsmen

P.S today I got back to some shooting. Yeah me. The damage from last week was not permanent. I spent the afternoon with an adorable little family and I'm excited to blog and share the photos soon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

World Championships, Berlin

You may or may not remember my good friend Derval O'Rourke. Take a peek back at my blog post from our photos shoot if your memory escapes you.

Anyway, I mentioned that Derval was a kick-ass 100m hurdler and today she took her kick-ass talent to a new level when she became the first Irish sprinter to make the final at a major championships. Not only that, but in the final she finished 4th. Yes 4th, as an athlete it has to be THE worst position to finish in any event. So near, but yet so far from getting your hands on a medal. She did however set a new Irish Record by running 12.67 sec. Unbelieveable.

So BIG CONGRATS  to Derval. Girrrrl, you did you and our country proud. 4th at the World Championships, amazing.

P.S Answer your damn phone, I'm tryin to call you.


Monday, August 17, 2009


I don't know what to say about my weekend other than, WOW, did I get a kick in my photographic ass. I seriously underestimated how much of a rookie I still am in the world of wedding photography. 

I've been forcing myself to shoot fully Manual, which basically means I am in control of every element of my camera. I make all the decisions as far as exposure and settings go and really, right now, I am not making those decisions fast enough. And let me tell you, things are happening very fast on a given wedding day and moments, precious and emotional moments are unfolding all the time and you are responsible for capturing those from the perfect angle, in a clear, in focus, well lit manner and honestly, I felt like I was falling short. At one point I almost broke down, emotionally. My settings were not giving me the images I wanted. My camera was refusing to focus and/or locking me out and I was making lens choices hastily. I was in total panic mode and my mind was in such a spin. For some reason my internal self talk kept looping the flight attendants "In case of Emergency" instructions. "Please take a moment to locate the Emergency Exits and bare in mind, the closets exit may be behind you". And thats all I wanted. An escape route, a way out.  

In the end, what kept me there? Well that would be the amazing Wendy Lebel. Wendy was the main photographer and she was nothing short of a blessing. She saw me sinking, she saw me struggle and she immediately stepped in. Honestly, I don't think I would have gone the distance without her. Her support and encouragement was huge. Sadly, it didn't suddenly turn me into a seasoned pro, but it did help to keep me trying and shooting. All I can say is thank god for Wendy.

I haven't had a chance to upload my photos from the weekend yet. Truth be told, I'm a little terrified. But it must be done. Much and all as I want to hide from the results, I can't. This is a learning opportunity. A painful one, but one nonetheless.

And here I am, in photographic action.  

Friday, August 14, 2009


Yes, this weekend I am off to Michigan. To a place called Canton, which I believe is about 20 miles from Detroit and I am so friggin excited. Why? A couple of reasons really.

  • I've never been to Michigan and anyone I talk to who is from there, never has a good thing to say about the place. I hear all kinds of negative stuff, so I'm super excited to see first hand why the place who gave us Axel Foley (from Beverly Hills Cop fame), 8 Mile, the Great Lakes and of course all those automobiles, gets such a bad rap.
  • I'm helping shoot a wedding. Yes. Really, REALLY, super excited and SUPER nervous about getting an opportunity to be Second Shooter at a wedding taking place this Saturday in the town of Canton. I swear, I'm in the middle of packing right now and I must have checked my equipment like a 1000 times already. Lens, memory cards, chargers, camera, camera bag, check, check, check. One more time, just to be sure. Ok, I think I have it all. Let me just run through it one last time. Hard to tell from that how nervous I am, right?
Anyway, got to dash. Must pack some actual clothes to wear too. But wish me luck. Hopefully I'll have some photos worth sharing from my experience.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Check This Out

I'm not sure what this really says about me, but when I watched this happen during a Red Sox game last night, my heart skipped a beat and I immediately developed a crush on Kevin Youkilis. 

Such a bad boy. And I love me a bad boy.

Click the link for a snippet of what went down.

Kevin Youkilis Fights Tigers Pitcher Rick Porcello Video

Disclaimer: Violence is NEVER the answer kids. Both men should have found a way to sit down, talk about their feelings and come to a mutual understanding. Do not try this at T-Ball or Little League.

Posted using

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Kristen & Stephen Wedding

Last June I mentioned how I got the opportunity to travel to Charleston, SC and assist an amazing wedding photographer by the name of Jill Higgins. While my primary job was to make Jill's job of shooting the fabulous Kristen and Stephen on their special day run smoothly and effortlessly, Jill is so cool and completely awesome that she released one of her spare camera's to my nervous, excited, enthusiastic and greedy little mitts so I could do a little shooting of my own, you know, for practice. Later she even burned and mailed me a disc loaded with all my images. Yes, Jill is that cool and awesome. 

Now if the wedding took place all the way back in June, why oh why, has it taken me this long to post some of my images. Well the answer is simple, yet complicated. Quite simply I was scared. Yeah I said it, out loud, sorta. I was scared. Scared that once uploaded, I would discover my images were in fact crap, out of focus, badly lit, bad angles and bad composition, just straight up garbage. And since wedding photography is something I am absolutely passionate about and would eventually love to do more of, I wasn't sure I could handle the blow to my fragile, developing, photographer ego. But this past weekend I bit the bullet, took a deep breath and finally took a long hard look at my images. Seriously, even if they were crap, figuring out why, would be a learning opportunity. And yes there were some crap shots, but scattered among the crap were a couple of keepers. And the keepers is what I chose to present here. 

I know my photos will not have Annie Leibovitz shaking in her Vogue shooting boots, but surely even she had to start somewhere, right??

Kristen's dress.

The bride, petit and stunning. 

The bride and her bridesmaids.

Putting the finishing touches on the wedding cake. The pattern was identical to the bride & groom's china.

The handsome groom.

Groom and his entourage.

Both Kristen & Stephen opted to do a "First Look" before the ceremony, giving them an opportunity to steal some private moments before the days celebrations. 

The First Look took place on the marina pier.

A couple of photos as Mr. & Mrs.