going manual and never going back

December 22, 2010 § 1 Comment

i know. hang your head in shame…i wasn’t shooting manual. as i slowly learn my way around a digital SLR i’ve had it mostly in aperture priority. yesterday i made a vow to myself to shoot only in manual for a week. and after just a day of it, i’m hooked, transformed, converted. duh. as if it should be any surprise. that my colors are clearer, images sharper, bokeh better. already i’ve gotten the hang of how things work together in the camera so i don’t have to rely on post processing as much. but this is only day one…

(just to give myself a point of reference to look back on, i didn’t do any PP on any of these. all SOOC)


tonight is the one night of the year where i am susie home maker. i make loaves of bread and fudge for Jack’s teachers, the crossing guard, husband’s company. being added into the mix this year is peppermint bark (a wrap up of this adventure later) but tonight i liked the fudge. and the way it looked on the side (both in and out) of the pot.

i love this. endless learning. onward and upward…


someone once told me i was a weenie.

December 20, 2010 § 1 Comment

December 17 – Lesson Learned What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

i already knew i was a people pleaser. that i’d rather say yes than disappoint you. the thing is, this seems to be a much more noticeable problem when you’re starting your own business. because you can’t so much say “sure, i’ll do that for free” or “why not give you a huge discount” because you start noticing how all the time ads up.

at first you think “sure, no problem to edit 30 pictures for you that i’ll pop on a disc and just hand over” and then you start to notice. how long it takes to work through the photos to even get to the 30 that are worthy. then you go through those and spruce them up a little here and there. and before you know it, you look up and 2 hours are gone, maybe 3. that’s 3 additional hours on top of the time it took to take the pictures in the first place. now someone with my pathetic confidence level can justify freebies and discounts because well, am i really worth it?

what i’ve learned this year is that yes, my work is worth it. my time away from my kids and husband and gas and coffee and sleep lost or whatever. my work is worth it.

putting things into practice was never my strong suite, but i have to try. because the feeling i get when i see a client or a friend or family really see the value in what i do, is amazing. but it’s all been pieces of the larger puzzle. the business puzzle. because the big giant most important lesson i learned is that i want to have a successful business, and i can’t do that by second guessing myself. it’s required a lot of math and i still don’t have it 100% figured out, but i’m getting there.

boston MA engagement session | Lindsey and Al

December 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

i love love. it seems corny i know, but i just get so giddy at the thought of capturing love. Lindsey and Al and i had a great time wandering through the boston common trying to soak up a bit of christmas. thanks again guys for sharing a little love with me!

seriously, how romantic are they? ah, love.


christmas time slowdown

December 19, 2010 § 3 Comments

the patriots play tonight, and i’m going to try my hardest to play some #reverb10 catch up. for some reason though, everything slows this week. the long walk to christmas. no more time left to stress about what you didn’t get or what you couldn’t afford. the morning will come, the lights will glow and paper will be torn.

as per usual, our family does things a little slow. we just got our tree today, which is a vast improvement from our christmas eve tree last year.

and it will of course be a week filled with family. so pardon me if the blog takes a turn towards the personal side of things.

guys, mary has a new trick and it’s cute. drool. so shiny.

the family that rock bands together, stays together.

now. go pats and go WRITE! oy.


daily life…

December 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

sorry folks. i’m fighting hard against a cold. i think i’m winning, but damn i’m tired. for now, here’s a few from our day today. Pops (my dad) and Mary came to visit. i love visits from my dad. it’s always super relaxed and i never ever feel nervous about the fact that my house might look less than perfect.


Leo is big into singing these days. love this guy. it’s that time of year where things move fast and slow all at the same time. trying to just keep on swimming and get to the good stuff. today was the good stuff.


a skipped prompt worth going back to

December 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

i think i’ve skipped a prompt or two so far. and i’m ok with it. especially when i read this amazing entry from a fellow reverber (is that even a word?!) i felt i could let myself off the hook a little. look, forcing yourself to sit and write every single day is really hard. harder still among christmas hustle and bustle, work, kids, husband, friends, work, work, work.

but this one, this one was too important to who i’ve become this year. i had to go back.

December 16 – Friendship How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

besides all the wonderful people i praised in a previous post, there is one that sticks out in my mind. one who when i read this prompt i said “yep, it’s gotta be about him” one who has always supported me in every way i ever needed in this journey to becoming myself and following my passion and my talent. the weirdest part of this is that he lives on the other side of the country, and we’ve never met in person.

i’m not quite sure how far back to rewind this thing, but for the sake of keeping things relatively short i’ll start when i became friends with his wife. Amanda was on my mothering forum, when we were both pregnant with our 2nd kids. just one of those women i clicked with. we took our friendship outside of our forum and onto facebook. and in doing this i noticed “uh, wow, your husband is a pretty damn good photographer…” and after stalking his facebook business page for a while, i got up the guts to start asking him questions. gear questions, questions about how he had come to do what he was doing, what got him into photography. and one day i looked up and he’s one of my best friends. i pretty much tell him and talk to him about anything and everything i would tell my other closest friends. we constantly marvel at how bizarre the world works these days, two friends, connected through wires.

i don’t know if this is worth mentioning or not. today, it feels like it’s worth mentioning. that Ryan didn’t complete school. not art school, not college. he’s one of the most amazing photographers i know with talent and wisdom beyond his years. and he’s taught himself all of it. mentors have come and gone throughout his life and he’s spent the time picking the gems, keeping the good stuff for later, making the most out of learning through the life experience. maybe that’s what drew me in the most. as long as i can remember i’ve struggled with school. i got through one year of college and wanted to run screaming. who knows, maybe if i hadn’t been so afraid to be myself, i’d have paid attention to my love for art. alas, life was too noisy. still, it’s one of my biggest insecurities, that and the fact that i did the whole get married and have a baby thing a little backwards.

i don’t know if i should say any of what i’m doing is because of him, but i think i can firmly say that i don’t think i would have gone for it, not this year, without him. i am doing the same thing he has done, gone to people i trust and respect with questions about every little annoying thing. but the resentment builds, i can feel it. recently someone said it was because i hadn’t gone to school. it had been eluded to before. don’t ask us these questions that we went to school to have answered and you just get to sit there and ask us. you know who never made me feel less than? who never once has showed even one ounce of annoyance? who even when i apologize over and over for asking what i think are stupid questions tells me that not only can he answer them but he’s happy to answer them? Ryan. he’s never once doubted my skill or talent or my ability to learn anything i want to learn. it’s never a competition, we’re always just two people who are crazy interested in the same thing. when i come home from a shoot where i think i messed up 101 things, i’ll show him some of the shots and he’ll bring me back to reality. it’s never harsh with him. it’s always a learning experience. it’s always kind.

he has changed my perspective on myself. he believes i can do this and i can do it the way i need to. the way that works best for me. he believes in my work and my talent. it’s been really refreshing having someone who actually knows anything about all of this to tell me  i’m good. i almost can’t believe it. i only hope that someday i can do the same for someone else. thank you never quite covers it. and i can hardly wait for the day we’re in the same state, cameras in hand, enjoying this thing we share together.



if you’re in CA you should look up Ryan Daley even if you’re NOT in CA you should look him up.

i appreciate you

December 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

December 14 – Appreciate What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein) #reverb10


so, one of the previous posts was about community. and i ultimately said that i didn’t really feel i belonged to one and that i’m still just kind of gathering. gathering the people up who i love and want to be around . gathering people who inspire me. near and far.

and then i get to this prompt. what’s the first thing i think about? all the people i would thank. all the people i’ve grown to appreciate and the relationships that i feel have strengthened in the past year. the friends i’ve bugged approximately one million times about web crap. how do i do this and how do i do that and what the fuck is a widget!? the friends i’ve bugged approximately two million times about photoshop and random digital film knowledge (cough cough Ryan Daley omgthanks). what does this setting do and how do i get it to do this and oh crap, i should probably take the lens cap off…and then there is the rest of the crowd, friends and family alike, who have listened to me endlessly doubt myself day in and day out and whine about how hard it is to start a business and having epiphany after epiphany about how i’m going to do this that or the other thing.

these people are also mostly the same people who have let me in a little this year. friends who have hired me for sessions, and put their trust in my abilities and my work and my passion. my huge family who lets me follow them all around endlessly with cameras, and adjust slightly left or right or just a step or two closer to that window, without blinking an eye. who lets me put these moments up, to share with other people. for all of this, i am more appreciative than they probably know.

i appreciate the photo-bloggers that i’ve found, that i bug (probably too much) about how much i love their stuff. and they’re all the same kind of photographer in a way. they all see these magnificent little moments that burst into importance. it’s comforting to know i can do it. i can keep just taking pictures of quirky moments, interesting things, the people and stories that i see and succeed. i appreciate the photographers i’ve found who just want to share their art and their love for it and don’t make you feel like you’re an underling. one of my favorite photo-bloggers, Donna Boucher over at Quiet Life says at the end of her posts “encourage one another” and i always hear a tiny me saying “yes! yes that’s how it should be!”

i appreciate my husband who never gets annoyed when i have to lock myself in the “office” aka a freezing corner of our bedroom, to work. who wrangles the kids and makes dinner…well at least he makes a box of macaroni.

i appreciate every vein of this community, near and far. i might have run scared without some of them, i might have had no babies to practice on without others! i’ve enjoyed sharing it all, with you, my dear people. and i appreciate the opportunity i’ve been given to do so.


…ok. and i appreciate these two. who offer me endless inspiration, love, support, and the most beautiful moments life has to offer.

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