Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hallmark: Featured Work

In June I graduated from Hallmark Institute of Photography. Every few weeks, Hallmark changes images on their website and features work of its most recent students. It's been encouraging to see my work featured on there a few times, like here and here. And just today I went on and saw another of my pictures on the homepage:

It's a teaset I talked about here just about a year ago. It still is one of my more favorite shots from the commercial studio.

And yesterday I got an email from a staff member at Hallmark informing me that some of my images are in the new Hallmark 2012-2013 catalog; a copy is coming in the mail soon. How exciting!
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Thursday, October 27, 2011


Here's an attempt at a haiku about a tree I photographed while we were picking pumpkins:

Tree barren of leaves
Caught by an autumnal gaze
Majesty displayed

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Luca, Lititz, and "loss"

Last week my mom and I traveled to Lititz, PA (near Lancaster) to have lunch with my cousin and aunt. My cousin has a handsome little boy who was on his best behavior during our visit. Poor kid....he had to hang out with 3 chatty women.

Meet Luca - the adorable little redhead.


We went to this great place for lunch - Ten Thousand Villages - and had amazing turkey chili and quiche and yummy desserts. Ten Thousand Villages is one of the world's largest fair trade organizations; they sell wares of artisans from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Their goods are sold in North America and the funds are sent back to their countries to provide for things like food, education, healthcare, and housing.

It was so wonderful seeing the works of art that were contained within the store....beautiful pieces of jewelry, paintings, ceramics, baskets, kids toys, sculptures, and stationery. But I think my most favorite thing to see was the variety of nativities they had placed around for the upcoming Christmas season. There were tiny, delicate nativities from Sri Lanka, colorfully decorated ones from Peru, ornate ones from ...but my absolute favorite was this one entitled "Roly-Poly Felt Nativity" from Nepal.

Here's a small pic from the website:

But go to the link above and see it for can click on the image there and see portions of it larger....the sheep are just so whimsical. The whole thing was crafted by using wool felt balls.

Isn't it just precious??

All in all, we had a GREAT time in PA visiting with our family. Upon leaving for home, we just haaad to stop at one of our favorite places to pick up some traditional PA food we like to get; the store used to be called Farmer Brown's, but years ago was taken over by a market known as Martin's. When we arrived, we were SHOCKED to see that our beloved Farmer Brown's is going out of business. The shelves were becoming bare and there was no fresh food. We came home sans everything we love but Herr's potato chips, made with the good stuff - lard. :-)

Martin's - aka Farmer Brown's - in Morgantown, PA

(Photos courtesy of Google search)

The building was also home to another favorite - the Country Porch Primitives store, chock full of country folk items. I was like a kid in a candy store every time we'd go in there.

So another era passes as we "mourn the loss" of childhood memories, of trips to Farmer Brown's so we could run around in the quilt shop upstairs, get a hot pretzel from the vendor on the way out of the supermarket, hit the bathrooms before heading on our (seemingly) long journey home to NJ when we were kids, and throwing our pennies into the water where a small waterwheel spun water into a pool of tiny fish.

But I'm sure as we continue to go, we will become fond of the places we now go, and look forward to the new places we've not yet been to.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Great Pumpkin

I guess it's time to pull out Charlie Brown's "It's the Great Pumpkin" and watch it with my nephews. Yesterday we went pumpkin-picking with them and had a good time. Of course I was busy trying to get them to pose for pictures while they were wanting to run around and find their own "great pumpkin".

But I did get some good silhouette shots in as the sun was setting. As excited as some get about pumpkins, I like the array of gourds that are in the big buckets for the picking.

I picked one of the orange and white pumpkins to take home as my souvenir for the evening. I'm sure this weekend will consist of some gutting and carving and lighting some candles. Here's what it looked like last year after all was said and done....can't wait to see the designs this year....

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Why God Made Little Boys"

I stumbled across this poem (author unknown) and really liked it:

God made the world out of His dreams 
Of magic mountains, oceans and streams, 
Prairies and plans and wooded land, 
Then paused and thought "I need someone to stand 
On top of mountains, to conquer the seas, 
Explore the plains and climb the trees. 
Someone to start out small and to grow, 
Sturdy, strong as a tree…" And so, 
He created boys, full of spirit and fun, 
To explore and conquer, to romp and run. 
With dirty faces and banged up chins, 
With courageous hearts and boyish grins. 
When He had completed the task He'd begun 
He surely said "A job well done".

And it made me think of this little boy who I had the pleasure of meeting two weeks ago for the very first time....what a sweet-natured, vivacious, and handsome little one. I tell you, he is going to be one of those boys mentioned in the poem above...he will most definitely be one to romp around and for sure will have a very courageous heart.

He was a champ riding around the house in his
"car"...he's going to be walking sooooon!

Baby "J" with his friend Ted

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Fallin' in love with fall....

Here are just a few reasons why I love fall:

crisp mornings
caramel apple spice at Starbucks
bonfires and smores
the changing leaves on trees
wearing down vests
apple cake
fall colors: oranges, yellows, browns...all in glorious mixtures
crunchy leaves under your feet
light breezes that make you wish for a blanket while outside at a fall sports game
post-season baseball and the World Series
sleeping with the windows open

Here are a few fall images that I think about each year:

Craft fair in Deerfield, MA - fall 2010

Dean at Ort's Farm in NJ - fall 2009

Some of the most beautiful foliage I've ever seen
Maine - fall 2007

Maine - fall 2007

Maine - fall 2007

Hacklebarney State Park, NJ - fall 2009

Ort Farm, NJ - fall 2009

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Prior to attending photography school, I worked at PBU as the Director of Student Programs. One of my roles was to advise the Student Senate, which is the student government for the school. Two years ago I had the opportunity to advise this great group of students. They decided they wanted to go on a quick retreat away from school, and one of the student leaders offered up his farm as the getaway place. When we arrived, we realized we'd have the opportunity to see all sorts of animals - piglets, goats, cows, and a few farm cats. While there, we had the opportunity to meet this incredible family - the Mecks. They were so hospitable, serving us a great Lancaster county meal, enjoying lots of laughs over a competitive game of Dutch Blitz, and wonderful company.

The Meck's son - Derek - was one of the students on the cabinet (whose engagement pictures I posted here). They have two other kids - Kyle and Rachelle. When we were there for our retreat, Rachelle had just gotten a job with a hospital and was leaving for her hospital shift. Since that meeting, I've kept up now and then with Rachelle. She has such a sweet personality and is one of the most kind people I've had the opportunity to meet. So when I went to take Derek and Jen's engagement pictures at the family farm, I got to see Rachelle again. Her mom asked if I could snap a few pictures of Rachelle, so in this very impromptu mini photoshoot, I took just a few pictures of her. 

Rachelle, you have such a depth to you, and a beauty that is characteristic to those who love the Lord as much as you do. I hope you know how beautiful you are.



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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wedding:: Victoria and Skip

While I was still in school at Hallmark, I had the opportunity to photograph a couple for my final portfolio. While at this couple's house, they mentioned their granddaughter was getting married. They mentioned a family member was going to take some pictures, and casually mentioned they'd call their daughter and see if they would like me to come along and take pictures.

It was raining (hard) on and off the day of the wedding, but when I arrived to the bride's house, the skies cleared and the sun came out. Victoria and Skip live on this beautiful farm in Historic Deerfield, MA, which is the place where we took our very first field trip while in photography school. The church they were getting married in was just a stone's throw away from the house and has just as much history as some of the other buildings in the town.

Here's a picture that I found online:

First Church of Deerfield (photo credit: Google images)

Here are a few pictures as the events unfolded:

Getting ready in the farmhouse

Victoria's grandpa, who I met when I took a portrait
of him and his wife for my portfolio.

Loved the historicity to this church, especially its pews.

Victoria, Skip, and CC with Victoria's parents

Victoria, Skip and CC with both sets of parents

Victoria's beautiful bridal portrait. I used
this picture in my final portfolio for Hallmark.

The happy newlyweds

Victoria's brother Andrew and his (now)
fiancee Alicia.

Victoria's dad - Eric - and
granddaughter CC
Victoria's brother Andrew giving a toast.

Craig of Hillside Pizza did the catering
and made a special groom's cake
with a cow on it, as Skip is a farmer. 
Victoria and Skip - thanks for allowing me to come and document the events of your special day. Your family was so kind and I am glad that I had the opportunity to meet you. All the best as you begin your life as a married couple.

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