Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ho-ho-Holiday Boutique

Julian at last year's event © Kristin Burns

I've been busier than a Kardashian at a shoe sale, so pardon the last minute quality of this post. Our local park is hosting a fundraising Holiday Boutique on Sunday and you should all come. I'll be taking Santa photos (free to take, $5 for a print) so stop by and sit your little one's kiester in Santa's lap without trekking to the mall.

Sunnyside Gardens Park Holiday Boutique
Phipps Social Hall 
51-01 39th Avenue
Sunnyside, NY 11104
Sunday December 5th
10AM - 4PM

Monday, November 1, 2010

Boston Area Portrait Day

Photo: Rachel Ford James's Flickr

I'm very excited about coming up to my hometown of Arlington for a day of mini-sessions Saturday November 13th. I have a few time-slots open if you are interested in joining in the fun. Here's the info again:

November 13, 10-3
Robbins Farm/Skyline Park (51 Eastern Ave, Arlington, MA)
Rain date November 14th
Come join me for a 30-minute mini-session at a local playground with a gorgeous view of Boston on Saturday. The sessions are $50 per family (not per child, all included) and an online album of the best photos. Please bring along your baby's favorite toys, blankets, even their fancy holiday clothes!

Email me or call 718-791-0536 to schedule a session. Can't wait to see all the kids!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Fun: Male Model walks the Chanel show with his Toddler Son

Image via @vogue_london

I love fashion week in NYC, but I try to keep up on the subsequent weeks in London and Paris too. Chanel held its Spring 2011 show in Paris this week to excellent reviews - for Karl Lagerfeld's designs, the amazing location and its A-list crowd. But now all everyone's talking about is the runway walk Brad Koenig took with his toddler son. In matching jackets & jeans, they make an adorable pair. Click to enlarge the photo.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Fun: Man Babies

ManBabies.com - Dad?
GET MORE AT ManBabies.com!

So simple, so disturbing.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Fun: Real-life Candyland

Photo & video from Craftster via Ohdeedoh  

Need a little break on this Friday afternoon? Since it's unlikely you have an aromatic garden modeled after childhood-favorite board game Candyland to escape to, why not watch a video of one?

I loved Candyland growing up - a great mix of luck and skill not too hard to enjoy or too boring (I'm looking at you Othello!) to finish. I also love candy - and fear for my health if a real Candyland existed. But this garden takes the fun of the journey through Candy Cane Forest and Molasses Swamp sugar-free. Plus it only took 7 months to create/grow, but think kids - or anyone who loved Candyland as a kid - would love it forever.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gone Fishin'

Captain Juliet at the helm

I've obviously taken a break from the blog for a while.

It's been a busy summer. Not just for the usual suspects - long lazy weekends enjoying the city, exploring the world or visiting family - but also due to huge increases in my photo editing & photography work. At one point I worked 2 weeks straight between travel photo editing, corporate portrait photos, TV fan site photo design and of course baby photography.

But it wasn't all work and no play. We've taken a few little trips and will definitely take more soon. With a husband in academia, these summer days are fleeting. And given the choice between late nights chasing fireflies with my daughter and updating here, I'm chosing fireflies.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Big long Memorial Day post

I had so much fun taking free family portraits at the Sunnyside Gardens Park last weekend, I can't pick just a few favorites. So here are a lot.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Preview: Memorial Day Fair

More to come soon, but here's a sneak peek of the free family portraits at the fair.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Inspiration Wednesday: Christopher Niemann's Abstract City Blog

"I am always amazed at the diverse lot underneath the highchair of our toddler." - Christopher Niemann

If you follow Christopher Niemann's blog Abstract City on the New York Times site you already appreciate his humorous visualizations of city life.

Today's post, The Haunted Household, will strike a chord with anyone who wonders if there is some invisible force (or tiny monsters) derailing our attempts at keeping a passibly clean house.

Add kids to the mix - he has a toddler - and the identifying may border on paranoia that he's been peeking in my dishwasher (always full, either clean or dirty) or junk drawer (mystery batteries) while I'm out. Good thing he didn't look under the couch.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Free Family Portraits Saturday in the Park

Please share/tweet/print this photo to spread the word.

Happy Memorial Day! My family recently joined our local community park and Saturday is the annual Memorial Day Fair.

I'm volunteering to photograph families in the newly renovated park. There will be music and food and good weather. It's one of the only days that the park is open to non-members so stop by and enjoy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Fun: Morality in Babies?

Nicholas Nixon for The New York Times
All photographs taken at the Infant Cognition Center at Yale University.

OK, well I think sociology & science are fun anyway. I had a photo shoot in Long Island yesterday. Which meant a rare luxury - driving alone. Made more of a luxury by a really interesting show on WNYC's (our NPR) Leonard Lopate Show. He interviewed Yale professor Paul Bloom who wrote last week's New York Times magazine's cover story "The Moral Life of Babies."

Listen to the interview here:

I have noticed very strong moral reactions in the babies I've photographed, especially when they hear another baby cry. The empathy and worry is really heart-warming. It's incredible that these traits can be inborn as well as amplified through parenting. Once again I'm blown away how amazing babies are!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May goals (as in "may" get done...)

In like a lion

Well, looky here! It's already May. If you'd like to join our Monthly Meetup check-in, post your goals to Athena Dreams blog the first Monday of the month.

I truly enjoyed April - lots of family events, plenty of work and general running around. The weather was either pouring rain or gorgeous, so those sunny days meant we HAD to get outside and explore our neighborhood. My daughter is a pure joy to watch hoofing down the sidewalk, usually on the way to the park, a look of concentration easily broken by whatever (cat, dog, car, motorcycle, squirrel, baby, bike, truck, etc.) catches her fancy. Sometimes the walk there was longer than the time at the park. 

Work-wise, I did OK. Still doing my photo editing assignment for a travel publisher 30 hours a week, which is my main time commitment. Also did a family photo shoot and plan for more this month. Got some business planning done too, include new pricing (effective after 5/31) to reflect my market and budget research. Still feel like I could be hustling more, but when all of my childcare time is used for photo editing, the photography work has to come when I can make time.

A look back at April goals:
1. Finalize pricing changes (update site, facebook) - done, need to publish
2. Contact past clients (assemble email list, write email detailing new pricing/return client discount) - done
3. Photograph wine bar - nope, but tried to get in touch with owner - try harder this month
4. Pursue guest bloggers - nope
5. Enjoy the outdoors - done!

On to May:
1. Publish new pricing
2. Schedule 2 days of lower-price-point mini-sessions
3. Pursue guest bloggers
4. Research craft fairs (unfortunately cannot do the 2 where I could have shared a table) 
5. Plan a few summer adventures, both professionally & personally

The last one has me the most excited. I'd really love to book some out-of-town photo shoots for this summer and will talk with friends/contacts to find someone who'd like to host. Other than Boston and NJ, I've mainly shot in NYC. Friends in other cities - let me know if you'd like to set something up.

Awesome Mother's Day gift ideas

I'm a mom, but I also have a mom, a mom-in-law, and a nana who all deserve amazing Mother's Day gifts. Since the big day is coming up Sunday, why not surprise the moms in your life with one of these last minute creative gifts? No vacuums allowed!!!

New moms may feel less than gorgeous right now - lack of sleep, saggy bellies & drool-covered clothing will do that to the most confident woman. Why not give her a spa trip to help her get her mojo back. Bliss (a great NYC-launched spa chain) has a new Rookie Mom massage that sounds perfect. Make sure to include free babysitting (no, dads, watching your own child does not count as babysitting!) to ensure she'll really relax.

Photo: alexindigo

Instead of flowers - which are perfectly good gifts but tend to, you know, die - I think if the mom has a yard, buy her a tree for each of her children. We've given this gift for a baptism before, but there's something adorable about giving a new mom a tree as old as her baby and watching both grow. In NYC, I like Garden World in Flushing since they stock native organic plants in their locally-owned family business. 

A baby photo shoot with me! Purchase a gift card for a single session or a series of shoots and I will email it in time to print out and slip into her Mother's Day card. This one is extra-perfect for moms-to-be since they can have something reminding them of the baby on the way. I've sold these to grandparents and friends of some of the coolest kids around, so it only seems fair to give one to the moms that made them.

Other ideas you can plan last minute are gift certificates to local restaurants (babysitting included please), arranging for a house cleaner to deep clean mom's home, and of course chocolate. You know the women in your life best, so whatever you give her, your love and respect are sure to shine through. Hope everyone has a Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Baby Names

Maybe we should have named her Star.

I guess it's not surprising that as a baby photographer I would hear a lot of names in my work, but I'm still sometimes surprised. No, I haven't met any twins named Ima & Ura Hogg or any Tracy Junior Juniors. Usually I'm surprised with just how well-suited the names are to the children I meet.

Reading the recent Ohdeedoh article on hip 2010 baby naming trends, I'll have to say I breathed a sigh of relief when my daughter's name wasn't on the top 100. Maybe it's because I was one of 4 Kristins (aka Kristin D.) in my grade-school class. On the other hand, it's certainly not like when we were bandying about name ideas my husband and I wanted to make a name up or have it be so exotic it would either sound crazy with our last name or be impossible to spell.

Who knows why names become popular anyway? As much as I loved Freakonomics & their take on baby naming trends, there is sometimes just a cultural feeling in the air that makes certain names stick in your brain.

Turns out I may have let that sigh out too soon. Only after naming our daughter did the name scream out every time someone mentioned it. From Shakespeare (duh!) to LOST & Psyche & Taylor Swift & a movie premiering this month, suddenly Juliet is everywhere I turn. Luckily I've enjoyed most of these Juliets. In real life, they are coming out of the background too.

Just days ago I toured a local preschool where Jules may go a few mornings in the fall. First words out of the director's mouth? "Oh we have a Juliet in her class!" Well, there's no escaping your name - Juliet B. has a nice ring to it, right?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Jules & I enjoy some "nature" on campus

Hope you are enjoying Earth Day 2010 with your little corner of nature. This year we may be more likely to explore the urban jungle but even in New York City we do our part. From Community Supported Agriculture to beekeeping to Safari 7, there's a surprising amount of wildlife here. Let's try to protect it for our kids too.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Newest Newborn: Isabella

Just days after she was born, Isabella's mom called me to set up a newborn photo shoot. Within the week I was there, taking photos of her tiny, sweet hands & feet. Her soft smiles and sleepy yawns.

And of course her big sister Victoria. 

Love the shots of her gazing up at her Mama.

The early days pass very quickly but luckily this family will have these photo to look back on and remember. Email me if your family would like newborn photos too.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April Goals

 At least my dining table is in full bloom

Spring has sprung in New York City and it's been hard to stay motivated when all I want to do is run outside in a big field while cherry blossoms rain down and clouds roll by above. Or (even better) let my daughter run crazy for a bit at the local park and then meander home through Sunnyside Gardens's walkways between the tree-lined blocks. Neither really jives with all the computer-related goals for this month, but I'll try.

First a look back at last month's goals:

1. Focus on end of Bakery's Half-Dozen business course & organize all the material they provided - Done, I downloaded all the info and organized it, but need to review the work I've done and adjust my business plan.
2. Take photos for our local wine bar's website - Stopped by a few times (to drink, naturally) but haven't talked to the owner about a good time to shoot.
3. Reach out to people I admire to guest blog - have a few people interested, need to figure out what I'd like from them.
4. Blog ahead more - Somewhat done.
5. Schedule 4 in home shoot (one down already) - Only 2.
6. Enjoy my office work even if it triggers insane wanderlust - Really enjoying this project. Definitely focused on "day job."

Not bad, not great. But I will say that sometimes when starting something new - like my travel photo editing assignment - it can take away from original plans. And I subscribe to the practice of devoting effort towards paying work over less-/non-paying work.

On to April, I'm hoping now that I'm settled a bit more into this project, I can properly promote the baby photo business. One thing I learned from the Bakery course was making a business plan. Sparked by that, I made a big decision on pricing so I need to flesh that out.

April goals:

1. Finalize pricing changes (update site, facebook)
2. Contact past clients (assemble email list, write email detailing new pricing/return client discount)
3. Photograph wine bar
4. Pursue guest bloggers
5. Enjoy the outdoors

 Not too ambitious but with 30 hours a week in the office and a couple of photo shoot too (both baby and corporate) I think this is possible.

Friday, April 2, 2010

National Autism Day: Photos of Hope

Today is National Autism Day. Other than cheering on Yoko Ono as the new Worldwide Autism Ambassador by Autism Speaks, I'll be looking over some of the photos I took last autumn at the Brooklyn Autism Center. I loved spending time with the kids and their amazing teachers.

The BAC is running a terrific program with one-on-one teacher to student ratio. They use a variety of methods - music, art, trampoline and even horse therapy. If you know someone in the New York City whose child is on the spectrum and might benefit from that kind of attention, check them out.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Inspiration Wednesday: Hop on Pop

"Up Pup, Pup is Up". And with that we're off with Hop on Pop a book short on words but big on wordplay. And when we get to "No, Pat, no. Don't sit on that!" my daughter is so wrapped up in the book that she says a mournful "No!" before I finish turning the page.

I'm not under any delusions (other than the stereotypical new mom belief that everything Juliet does is BRILLIANT!!!) that she's reading at 18 months but love that she's interested enough in books to chime in when she knows what's coming next.

Dr. Seuss could (should?) have a whole month of Inspiration Wednesdays all by himself. He lived many lives before writing children's books - a Massachusetts native son, former ad man before Don Draper made it cool, creator of cartoon Navy training films in WW2. Check out Seussville.com (caution, like many kid's sites, the music is LOUD!) to read about his life and work.

He tried his hand writing children's books but found huge success only after writing a reading primer commissioned using a 220-word vocab list. That book, The Cat in the Hat, became not only a classic but also helped children both learn to read and love to read.

Dr. Seuss/Theodor Geisel/Ted to his friends, whatever his name, he knew how to take the sometimes frustrating process of learning to read and brought humor and rhythm to combat it. His later work touched on war (The Butter Battle Book), environmentalism (The Lorax), anti-materialism (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) and other weighty but universal themes without preachiness. His early-reader books - like Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish - may have lacked big plotlines but helped raise a generation to value books.

I grew up reading his books and watching cartoons & movies (The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T is a trippy masterpiece) based on his imagination. But now I'm more interested in checking out a couple books on Geisel. Donald E. Pease just published brand new biography, Theodor SEUSS Geisel (Lives and Legacies), but I'm more interested in his work than his life. So I'm looking forward to flipping though Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel
His drawings - despite or maybe owing to lack of training - show chaos, catastrophe, mess and most of all fun as commonplace in childhood. His villains are often just closed-minded or snobbish and can be redeemed though expanding their heart a few sizes. His heroes mess up and get scared but generally everything works out OK, even if the house gets trashed. You know, like a typical day with my daughter.
What's your favorite Seuss classic?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Inspiration Wednesday: A Monster at the End of This Book

Watching Sesame Street (warning: loud! NSFW!) now is surreal compared to when I was a child 8 million years ago. Gone are the scruffy Muppets that looked handmade & the city streets that were believably run down. The kids and even grown-up actors could have been our neighbors and the occasional guest star flew right over my head. Clean/shiny/new/technocolor Sesame Street just makes me long for that grit. Plus you rarely see a kid walking his llama.

Of course NYC in the late-70's/early-80s was a very different place than now too.  But there were no pink fairies, gag. OK, I'm old. Get off my lawn!

But my daughter loves Elmo so we'd occasionally check in for the last 20 minutes of the show. I kinda love Elmo's World too - probably because it's a blatant ripoff of Pee-Wee's Playhouse. Our flat-screen broke last month and while we decide on the replacement we've just been using our computers to keep up with our favorite TV shows. Hulu has a lot of Sesame Street clips but not enough Elmo for Juliet's appetite so we've expanded to my old-time favorites. Turns out she hates Kermit but loves Grover. Probably due to reading The Monster at the End of This Book.

Grover is one of my favorite Muppets - he's brazen but easily scared, adventurous but messes up a lot, goofy but lovable. You know, like your own little monster. This book is a whole lot of fun packed into a short story. I don't want to ruin the ending but the title is not a lie!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Fun: Oh, you're THAT Kristin Burns aka Googlegangers

 Happy just THINKING of all my new Googlegangers - Big Pink Photography

Like many people, when I married, I changed my last name. It was a decision I didn't take lightly but I'm glad I made the switch since now my husband, daughter and I all share a family name. But one consequence was going from a much less common name to a more common one. Sure, that makes things easier when spelling it or pronouncing it. But I also gained a whole bunch more Gogglegangers.

What the heck is a Googlegänger? Glad you asked. Basically a person with your exact same name & spelling who may come up in a simple web search for you. I am certain someone has lost a job prospect (or worse, been falsely arrested) due to someone confusing their Jim Smith with the ax murdering Jim Smith. But some people, like those profiled in this funny 2008 New York Times article, embrace their namesakes and their inevitable similarities.

My matches run the gamut, but if you're looking for me online, where are a few detours you may take along the way.

 Marketing & Communications Manager for Undergraduate Admissions at UC Davis
Kick-ass rock photographer & chronicler of the Smashing Pumpkins
 Realtor in Northern Virginia

Hartford CT Radio DJ & bulldog rescuer

I don't know any of these women personally, but I find myself rooting for them. Yes, even the one who has the coveted URL of our name. Who knows? I may someday need a house in Northern Virginia and why wouldn't I call on my Googleganger.

But my favorite namesake may be the fictional character, Kristin Burns, in James Patterson's You've Been Warned. I have not read this book yet, but next time I'm heading to Cape Cod I might have to throw it in my beach bag. This quote alone from the plot description is just like looking in the mirror:

"Kristin searches desperately for what's real through the lens of her camera, only knowing two things for sure: that no place is safe and the fate of everyone she loves lies in her hands."

Words to live (or die!!!) by. And pass on to my other Kristin Burns's.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Inspiration Wednesday: A Little Prairie House

buy the series of "My First Little House" books at Powell's Books

Honestly, my daughter loves the whole collection of "My First Little House" books - adapted from Laura Ingalls Wilder's stories of growing up in Wisconsin and moving out to the Kansas prairie - so picking just one was difficult. Living in New York City, I have a hard time understanding how tales of covered wagons, sewing patchwork quilts and building your own house are so entertaining to my citified baby. But I'd go beyond entertained to transfixed.

Why A Little Prairie House over equally beloved Dance at Grandpa's or Going to Town? While Going West - where Pa decides (apparently without Ma's input which will provide a lesson on equality of the sexes soon enough) to move the family out to Kansas - is the biggest tear-jerker of the bunch, A Little Prairie House combines the best qualities of Ingalls Wilder's writing in one short story. By focusing on Laura - the 5 year old middle daughter - the wonder, fear & excitement of venturing into unfamiliar territory are easy to identify with even years and miles apart.

Plus it has Mr. Edwards who can dance like a jackrabbit and spit farther than Laura could imagine. Nice!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Fun: Child-friendly Street Art

Playful posies patch potholes - Photo of Pete Dungey's project, "Pothole Gardens"

 I realize municipalities are forced to do more with less. But the crumbling infrastructure leaves cities looking worn and sad. Leave it to 2 artists working on other sides of the world to find beautiful ways to shore up some cracks in the surface.

Over in Britain, Pete Dungey is planting miniature gardens in potholes. The Pothole Gardens project encourages others to fill in the unfilled potholes in their area with pretty little bunches of plants. After reading about him on Apartment Therapy, I checked out Pete's website to discover that he's a design student in Brighton whose work tends to the site specific provocative bent. Depending on your feelings on the word "Rabbit," you'll probably enjoy his other work too.

Legos line ledges - photo of Jan Vormann's Dispatchwork 

 Back stateside, artist Jan Vormann is filling in holes of a different sort in New York City buildings with Lego bricks. Gothamist posted a few photos, but check out Vormann's site for several more of his Dispatchwork project. I especially like the jaded city folks' reactions. 

I'm going to be on the lookout for more artists dealing with public spaces creatively. There's something sweet and optimistic about the 2 installations - both in the childlike materials and the colorful designs.  Let me know if you've seen more examples in your city.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Newborn love

Mmmm, sleepy sweetness

Nothing quite says Spring like all the little newborn creatures. From lambs to chicks, the fuzzy babes are up there with crocuses (croci?) as harbingers of renewal and new life. Newborn babies come year-round but who says they can't help us welcome Spring too?

I have a photo shoot this morning with a family who just had their second daughter only last week. It's been a little while since I've been lucky enough to photograph such a tiny baby and I'm pretty excited. Plus 2 of my daughter's friend's moms (aka my friends) are due with their 2nd babies within the month too and I can't wait to meet them.

If you know someone who is due soon and would like photos of the newborn, send them to my website or email me to book a photo shoot in their home. Those first sleepy/crazy/milky days pass so quickly but those sweet photos will last for many more Springs to come.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Inspiration Wednesday: Caps for Sale

 You monkeys you! - buy it from Powell's Books

This month, Inspiration Wednesdays is dedicated to children's books. One of my daughter's favorites (and thankfully mine since it's a daily read) is Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina. Subtitled "A tale of a peddler, some monkeys and their monkey business," the simple picture book was the first to illicit a big response from Juliet. Sure, it was shaking her fist in fake anger at those naughty monkeys. But since we're all trying to show our kids the joy of reading, what's better than when they catch the bug?

She now grabs books off the shelves and climbs up on the couch saying "oooooh" to entice us to read to her. Luckily, when the stories are as sweet and funny as Caps for Sale, my husband and I happily oblige. Even the 79659th time.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday Trinkets: Five O'Clock Crows Textiles

All future baby shower gift shopping, done!

I have mentioned Sara Hopp Harper's work before in this blog, but now I can share some photos I recently took of her new line of baby quilts. When I cut open the big brown cardboard box fresh from the postman, I was blown away by the goodies inside.

Sara is the brains & brawn behind 5 O'Clock Crows, hand-dyed batik cotton linens and textiles. She designs the patterns, paints on the wax, concocted lusciously-named (cherry pop, peacock, gold sand) colorways and dyes the fabric in big vats all by her VERY talented self. The fabric alone is artwork. But then - the overachiever - she uses the fabric to make gorgeous tea towels, quilts & other practical masterpieces. You can buy it on Etsy, 1000 Markets or email Sara for commissioned work.

When she started a baby line, she naturally turned to me for photos of her wares. First little bundles of joy? Baby quilts. They are super-soft as well as brightly colored to stimulate your budding genius's spongelike mind. You are all getting the first look at my photos which will soon be expanded to include photos with real live babies cavorting on the quilts. Stay tuned!

Friday, March 5, 2010

March goals: In like a lion

All about the Benjamins (or in this case, Sophies)

Whew! Made it through February into an already crazybusy March. Yes, that's a word now.

A look back at my goals for February :
1. Focus on Bakery's Half-Dozen business course - Very much so! Did business plan, press kit, marketing plan (although I think this has to be redone), added Press section to my site, generally kept up with the Bakery assignments 
2. Take photos for our local wine bar's website - no, and I really should because I could use a drink
3. Reach out to people I admire for more support & ideas, including adding a blog-roll here - done!
4. Blog ahead more - done!
5. Schedule 3 in home shoots - done! Although 1 was a party, it counts.

February was pretty exhausting, work-wise and life-wise. The shortest and bleakest month (in NYC anyway), I dealt with 2 big snowstorms, job interviews, photographing a corporate portrait shoot, a friend/former co-worker's sudden death, movie contest, and grandparent visit. Short month my arse. I'm very glad it's over.

One goal I hadn't listed but accomplished was to find a new photo editing assignment. As of Tuesday, I've been working for Frommers doing some travel photo editing for their site. I'm trying to compress the 30 hours per week into 3 days onsite and so far so good. It gives me 4 days home for hanging out with my daughter & husband and OH YEAH scheduling photo shoots.

On to March & my more time-limited goals:

1. Focus on end of Bakery's Half-Dozen business course & organize all the material they provided
2. Take photos for our local wine bar's website
3. Reach out to people I admire to guest blog
4. Blog ahead more
5. Schedule 4 in home shoot (one down already)
6. Enjoy my office work even if it triggers insane wanderlust

Hope everyone has a fabulous month!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Inspiration Wednesdays: The Red Balloon (Le ballon rouge)


A fanciful short film about a young boy who is followed around Paris by a friendly red balloon. Screened daily at the Museum of the Moving Image right here in Queens, I remember first watching this movie in elementary school and connecting with this little boy in France.

Watching the movie again years later, the first thing I noticed was just how gray everything other than the balloon is. Seeing post-war Paris - with its bombed out buildings, gray stone cathedrals and buildings, dour citizens - transformed by a simple balloon back into a city of life and hope is heartwarming. The little boy, naturally dressed in gray, with his local bullies, strict grandmother and mean schoolmaster, needs the balloon most of all.

Pascal was played by Pascal Lamorisse, the son of the director Albert Lamorisse. Pere Lamorisse was trained as a photographer (and later invented the board game RISK), and had already directed the also wonderful Crin blanc: Le cheval sauvage (White mane: the wild horse) and won the Palm d'Or at Cannes for each and an Academy Award for Le ballon rouge. In both films, he shows he understands children very well. Their love of wandering, the fact that youth is not always easy, the wonder in simple pleasures.

It is a short movie at just over 30 minutes, but perfect for the youngest viewers for just that reason. My daughter squealed with laughter more than once and loved the ending. In the midst of a tough winter, maybe we need the balloon now too.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Fun: The Kids of "Everything is Terrible" are Wonderful

The mouths MOVE!!! Around 1:55 will scare you to your very core.

Everything is Terrible is an amazing found footage site. My husband is obsessed and because of him I've watched such gems as Phone Manners. But who know they had so many great baby videos?

I'm kind of in love with the push-up/kiss combo.

Oh Matthew, I hope you eventually got to go to the park without a camera crew.

As you can see, found footage - especially from the 80s - is comic gold. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fashion Week and Grandmothers

The big question - do I look at the camera or my adorable grandson?

It's fashion week in New York and yes, I can be a totally uncool mom who no longer goes to any shows or parties and still love fashion. Women's Wear Daily posted a slideshow on fabulous designers who had their grandchildren at their shows this week in NYC. I always thought it was fun to see designers bring out their kids at the end of their shows for a little walk on the runway. Gwen Stefani & Kimora Lee Simmons come to mind.

Double the pleasure - could my parents be cuter with their 2 grandkids?

This week we also had a visit from my parents & aunt which gave my daughter her very own entourage. Of course my mom was in 7th heaven and I started thinking about some of the grandparents I have photographed with their grandchildren. It doesn't happen that often, but I love to immortalize the bond.

Some more cake? Don't mind if I do!

Ah you lucky grandparents - like parents but without all the rules, schedules and responsibility! 

Why not schedule a shoot with your grandchildren as a gift for their birthday or a big family event? I have even had a grandmother book a secret shoot while she was babysitting her granddaughter so she could give the photos to her daughter as a holiday gift. How cute! Send me an email to book a photo session today!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras Baby!

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Happy Mardi Gras! Whether you are heading out for some pre-lenten gluttony or fixing your favorite traditional Fat Tuesday foods at home, here's hoping you get all your yayas out today. My daughter is thoroughly enjoying her beads at home - alternately slinging them over her arm and transferring them from pot to pan in her play kitchen.

Photo by Tina Rupp via weightwatchers.com

Speaking of food (which I usually am), if you feel like starting your healthy eating today, here's a recipe for King Cake on WeightWatchers.com from back in the day when I was their photo editor. We had a lot of fun with the baby on the photo set that day & I kept some of the more hilarious polaroid test shots pinned to the board next to my desk way past Easter