local favor flavor at the Oscars

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Simply Divine Brownies, based in Brunswick, Maine, provided gift bag goodies for an Oscar after-party, Children Uniting Nations, an LA based mentoring program for foster children.

These are yummy wedding favors, too!

Texas- wrap up

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Ok. Ok. I promise I'll stop talking about Texas soon. But not yet. The official liveBooks (yes, the company J works for) website for the Foundation Workshop is up: www.fworkshop.com. Take a peek at all the students' great work!

Recognize that smile? A picture from Robert Mirani's picture story on the animal shelter.

A screengrab of the talented Anne Ruthman's portfolio:

And be sure to watch the great slideshow of the week by Sergio who was our official photographer for the week.

Inside Lacrosse TV

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A friend of mine from college (and colleague from our days on staff at The Daily Orange), John Jiloty, is the editor of Inside Lacrosse magazine. His business is dabbling in a new venture- TV!- and a new special aired on ESPN2 last week! I missed the debut, but it will reair several more times on ESPNU. A second special is scheduled for June. So proud of you, John!

Inside Lacrosse TV – Season Preview Special
ESPN2: February 22 at 4:00 pm
ESPNU: February 23 at 1:30 pm; March 1 at 4:00 pm; March 2 at 5:00 pm

Inside Lacrosse TV – Season Review Special
ESPN2: June 11 at 4:00 pm
ESPNU: June 12 at 5:00 pm; June 13 at 7:00 pm; June 15 at 6:00 pm

Texas- reflection

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Wow. What a week! I am home, exhausted, and completely inspired. I walked away from the Foundation 5 Workshop with such a sense of excitement and hope for our industry, and a slew of new friends and colleagues. Many thanks to everyone who gave of their time, skill and friendship to create such a magical experience. I am most definitely already looking forward to next year!

Last night, we celebrated everyone's success with a lavish meal and slideshow presentations of all the amazing photography from the week. Below is a video clip of one of the students, Becca Spears, talking about her experience. Very cool.

email issues

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Hmmmm... I seem to be having trouble receiving emails. If you have sent me an email and not heard back, that's why. Sorry! Please call my cell phone if you need me! Otherwise, I will be home on Friday afternoon and will resolve these technical difficulties then.

Texas- assignment recap

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It's hard to believe that the students are already done shooting their assignments! I really enjoyed checking in on their progress, and watching their growth in such a short amount of time was inspiring! I didn't photograph each student I visited, but here are a few I did:
Geoffrey Horowitz works a cool angle at the library.
Robert Mirani gets down low at the dog shelter.
Matt Chou gets in close to the card game at the senior center.
David Murray, Brooks Whittington and Greg Gibson consult with student Becca Spears at the skate park.

Don't forget, there are many more pictures from the week on the Foundation blog.

Visiting Robert at the animal shelter was tough. I have never been to one before, and now I know why. Within seconds of walking in, I had tears streaming down my face. The dogs' soulful eyes and obvious desire for attention and affection was overwhelmingly powerful. I was *this* close to walking home with this adorable black lab mix this afternoon! The Foundation Workshop could have had a mascot!



After many tears, some romps with a dog or two in the 'exercise pen,' I left and later ran into David at another student's assignment. With sunglasses still on to hide my red eyes, I explained that I "lost my s@*! at the animal shelter." He looked immediately concerned, asking questions about what I lost and should we be looking for it. We both got a huge chuckle when I reminded him of the expression and that I simply couldn't keep it together and had been crying. Maybe you had to be there, but nonetheless, it certainly lightened the mood!

I didn't really take any pictures at the actual assignments (it's not about what I could do!), but I did take snag this quick snapshot at the dog agility course that student Tina Carter covered. Cool light!

Thursday will be spent making final edits of the student's picture stories and assembling them for our wrap-up dinner party Thursday evening.

Texas- Wednesday?

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Walking down the hall just now, I passed a man firing up his iPod for his morning jog. Me? I am just returning to my room for the night... morning? Whatever. Either way, I haven't gone to sleep yet.

Tuesday was a fantastic day being out in the field assisting the participants with their assignments, offering suggestions and tidbits from my experience (and yes, it made me miss journalism!). Tonight (last night?) was spent editing the student's work on projection screens. Those conversations were as much a learning process as the actual shooting. I loved being a part of it, somuchso that I decided to forego the strangely comfortable hotel bed for a night of back-and-forth banter among colleagues (again, another thing I really miss about journalism).

Wednesday, the students head back out to their assignments again and will try to incorporate what they learned from Tuesday's edit and make their images better. Cool!

For now, tho, I am going to close tight these bat-cave hotel blinds and try to catch some zzzzz....

Texas- Fat Tuesday

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Here is our group picture from last night, as well as the link to the Workshop blog (I love that the picture of me from Sunday night is right after Becca told me the bit about me not being intimidating).

Heading out in the field now, to mentor four students today. Their assignments range from a truck stop to a feature on a dog agility trainer. Should be pretty cool! More soon....

Texas- Monday

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Phew! I am quite relieved that the most stressful part of this workshop for me- lecturing- is over. And you know, I think it went a-ok. I was both nervous and nauseous- likely from little sleep and too much caffeine. ;) But going first worked out great, because I have been able to enjoy the rest of the presentations without wondering how mine will compare.

On a short break from the talking, participants are out right now taking portraits of another participant. It's a neat exercise and a way to warm up to their intensive journalism assignments which start tomorrow. I was briefly sitting in my hotel room a little bit ago (where I was lovingly greeted with some beautiful congratulatory flowers from J!) and snagged this snapshot out my hotel window of a team working the scene on the pavement below (dear Becca is the model who told me, upon meeting me, that I am a lot less intimidating than she expected based on my credentials. Love her). No, it's not the most amazing photograph... but it gives you a real sense of place, and where the heck we are (or aren't!)- in the middle of nowhere! When I think of Texas, I always think of water towers (thank you, 'Friday Night Lights'), so I was happy that one was positioned correctly behind this quiet road on the backside of our hotel.

Texas- Sunday

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After nearly missing our connection in Detroit (literally, by mere minutes), photographer David Murray and I arrived in Texas and have settled into our comfy digs. Most people were arriving today, so we decided to use our only down-time of the week to treat ourselves to pedicures and manicures w/ Jenn Domenick. It was David's first time, and a total hoot (I have pictures on my cell phone camera I will download). After a staff meeting, we all went to Gary Donihoo's beautiful house for a yummy catered Mexican meal where we met all the participants. There is some great talent here! The highlight? Gary's photo booth he rents for weddings... check out all the photographers checking it out below. There's something funny about photographers getting giddy about a photo booth, no? For more info on the photo booths (it's a sweet set-up!), check out boothbooth.com.




Monday is lecture day... and I'm up first at 8:30a. Wish me luck!

Valentine's follow-up

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As I am sitting here waiting for J's plane to arrive (yes, really. finally!) and my bags are nearly packed for Texas, I checked in on my friend Rachel's always fun blog about knitting (the Rachel who is a much appreciated regular commenter on my blog and the Rachel who will be celebrating a birthday on Monday!), I decided to share some of her wit with you all.

Below is part of her post about how she celebrates Valentine's Day. Click on the image to enlarge. If it's too small to read, and you want to check out her post in its entirety, mosey on over to www.licketyknit.com (and do so regularly. I do, and I don't even know anything about knitting!)

Happy Birthday, Rache! I'll be thinking about you at 5:19pm!

out of town: Texas

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I am heading to Texas tomorrow, where I will be teaching at the Foundation 5 workshop (I've posted on this before, so I won't bore you again with details. If you want to learn more about it, click here). I haven't been to Texas, or taught at a lengthy workshop before, so this will be an exciting new experience.

I will be back in Maine on Friday, 2/23. I hope to be checking email daily, but if you need me sooner please call my cell phone: 207.272.2285.

J still hasn't made it home because of the weather, but check out the weather I have to look forward to next week! It's not the tropics, but it sure beats here!

There:
Here:
Have a great week! Happy Birthday to Kate and Rachel!

Sleepless in... Denver

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J is finally on his way home after being stuck in Denver since Tuesday. He posted this short video he made using my point & shoot camera's video feature on SimplePhoto TV from early this morning. He looks SO tired!!

Wedding guest

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Last month I had the pleasure of attending my friends'-- Lawrence and Pam-- wedding in DC. Matt Mendelsohn was the photographer and snapped some pictures of me boogieing down. I had a blast being able to hang out and not work!


My longtime friend Margaret was my date, as J stayed behind in Mexico after our vacation to photograph a wedding.

Congrats again, Lawrence and Pam! Looking forward to seeing you again in a few weeks! Yippee!

fun with widgets

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Click on the photo to check out this cool widget from goodwidgets.com

Happy Cupid Day!

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Wishing you all a warm and cozy day indoors watching the snow with your loved ones!

I am missing my Valentine today... J is stuck in Denver as there are no flights coming to the Northeast because of the weather. A florist brightened my day with a very thoughtful delivery:

Valentine's Day is a very popular day for proposals! If you get engaged on this special day, be sure to email me and set up an appointment to discuss your upcoming wedding plans and photography needs!

I have heard many proposal stories over the years photographing weddings. I think my favorite was a couple of mine from DC who was eating a spaghetti dinner at home on Paint-your-own-Pottery dishes made by the boyfriend. As the girlfriend ate more and more, she realized there was a message- a proposal!- at the bottom of her dish!

Or, my dear friend Erica, who was led on a scavenger hunt around Philadelphia, collecting clues as she visited places that were significant to her and her boyfriend's relationship, including a favorite bar and b&b they stayed at. The last clue led Erica to a romantic dinner in the middle of a park, prepared by a private chef, and her boyfriend Steve, who had a question. After she said yes, both of their families appeared from the other side of a hill to offer their congratulations!

Way to go, grooms! Love your creativity!

What's your proposal story? Share with the group by leaving a comment!

Valentine links:
• The History Channel's history of Valentine's Day
• Bake Me a Wish (30% of sales are donated to the Make a Wish Foundation)
• Tiffany diamonds
• Oprah's Valentine's Day episode
• Valentine crafts for kids
• Careerbuilder.com's list of most romantic jobs

Lunch with Boston's finest

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I was lucky to scoot down to Boston this afternoon to dine with a dynamic group of female wedding photographers. Enna Grazier, who I met last week at the Boston PUG group, invited me to attend this lunch at Sel de la Terre, full of great talent. I really enjoyed meeting many more of my New England colleagues. Thanks for organizing it, Enna! (We had the hostess use my camera to take a photo, but unfortunately, it was terribly out of focus and not worth posting here. Oh, well).

Inspired by the Boston group, I will be forming a similar group of women wedding photographers, in Maine! We'll have our first lunch on Wednesday, April 4th. If you are local and want to attend, please send me an email to be added to the list!

Stay warm out there! Looks like we're in for quite a storm tonight...

catch-up

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I am back from the busy week of travel and have a few tidbits to catch you up on.

First, seeing as this last week was all about J's business, I thought you might want to know what he's doing speaking to all these photographers! Check out the video below that his friend Dane made (Dane has a great site, by the way, called Simple Photo Minute, that gives weekly video tips to photographers) that describes liveBooks.


Looking for another neat blog to bookmark? Heather Bailey is the wife of Arizona photographer Isaac Bailey and has a great blog about her craft business: Click here.

My friend Kim owns Trips With Pets and let me know she has an overstock of these adorable mugs. If you know someone who loves animals, perhaps this would be a nice gift for Valentine's Day. Enter FF10 for 10% off your order at www.bonzobeans.com.


Lastly, have you all heard about the Norovirus yet? It's a nasty bug (to put it mildly) that has spread from my nephew, to my sister and brother-in-law, and then to my mother and stepfather. They have been to the ER and all lost a lot of weight. Be careful! It's apparently spreading quickly in New Hampshire and Maine!

Philadelphia

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On our way to Philadelphia today, we stopped at Canon in Jamesburg, NJ, to have our equipment cleaned. While we were waiting, the amazing Yunghi Kim was waiting, too.

J spoke to another PUG group in downtown Philly at Drexel University earlier tonight. My friend Erica, who lives there, came too, and then we met up with her husband Steve and my childhood friend Nat for dinner.




Erica and Steve's adorable English Setter, Bubba.

the big apple!

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We're having a blast in NY! Last night's PUG group (Pictage User Group) was enormous by Pictage standards- more than 30 people! The group leader, Shari Silk, is an old classmate of mine from Syracuse (and she just had a baby last month), so it was fun to catch up. One of J's colleagues from LiveBooks, Corey, also attended the meeting. Afterwards we hit up the W for drinks and strolled around Times Square.

J giving his talk about liveBooks.

Chloe, Phil and Dasha's 11-year old beagle, wasn't impressed.

Check out our near hotel, less than a block from the action of Times Square, Hotel QT! Cool little modern space at an affordable price.

In other news, I heard from a couple I photographed in 2004, Eileen and Mike Ferrier. They had a baby girl and named her Emily- inspired by me! Altho spelled differently, that's a pretty amazing compliment! I can't wait to meet her!
Here's a pic Eileen emailed:


Ok. On to Philly...

out of town: Boston, NY, Philly

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I'm on the road this week with J as he talks with photographers about LiveBooks in Boston, NY and Philly. Last night's Boston group was small, but very nice and gave him some great feedback on the product. A special treat? My dear friend Lisl came to share a beer after the meeting.

Planning for Texas

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Later this month I will be on staff at a photo workshop in Texas (see earlier FW5 post) and have to assemble a presentation. I've spent the evening reminiscing, looking through old newspaper clips and random photos from high school, college, and my days in Washington, DC to accompany my lecture. And, wow, it's bringing back memories.

A few examples of looking for unique moments or angles:

If you look in the lower right hand corner, you will spot me, photographing Gore and Lieberman back in 2000.

And this is the shot I got! A bit different than the standard, straight-on press op.

While everyone else was photographing the protesters on the steps of the Supreme Court, I spotted this adorable girl away from the large group with a humorous take on the Gore/Bush results in 2000.

More examples to come...
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