Saturday, November 26, 2016

Roots

I have always been fascinated by our family history.  I love the stories of my grandparents and great grandparents as immigrants from Poland establishing a new life for themselves and their families in the United States.  I have an extensive family tree on Ancestry.com, thanks to contributions by family members, and my parents were also available to fill in the blanks .  My husband, Scott, however, was not as fortunate.  His parents passed away years ago, leaving photos but not much else in the way of written history.  Scott wanted to know his roots, too.  So this year I decided that it was time to find them.  I signed up for the trial subscription for Ancestry.com, and we began our search for the McMahon family from South Dakota.  We didn't sleep much during the next 2 weeks as we uncovered clues leading us to  Scott's great great grandfather from Tralee, Ireland.  This new information inspired us to travel to Ireland so that we could explore and experience a little family culture. 

Stone walls galore...




Phenomenal clouds...



And quaint villages


One of our favorite stops was Cohb, the port where Patrick McMahon, 14 years old, took a ship to the United States in 1875.   This was also the last port of call for the Titanic in 1912.

 As I was contemplating a category to submit to for this year's Tri Club competition I was inspired by one the photos that I took of the Colman Cathedral in Cohb.   The category was "steeples".   This beautiful building was perched atop the highest hill with a full view of the harbor.


I was so pleased that it was selected by our club as our entry and it placed in the show!



In our travels we had many adventures off the beaten path.  Fabulous food and so many breathtaking vistas.  And wonderful people everywhere we went.  Scott not only found his roots, he felt them. 
And that is a wonderful thing.








Thursday, October 27, 2016

Meredith and Kevin

The only thing that makes me happier than photographing fall color is when my photos include favorite people.  I have known Meredith for more than half of her life; she spent much of her high school years hanging out at our house with our kids and their friends.  I purchased my first professional Nikon back then and captured some special moments in her life on film: drama productions, senior portrait, prom, graduation. I was thrilled when Meredith announced her engagement to Kevin, and asked me to do an engagement photo session!


We met at one of my favorite spots in Sandwich, which was much quieter on a Sunday.   



Despite the stiff breeze we were able to find some protected areas and work with the wind.  


The autumn glow was inconsequential compared to the glow on Meredith and Kevin's faces.




I know that these happy smiles would have been abundant even if I wasn't there with my camera.  Capturing this joy was such a joy!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Emily's Story

One of the best things about being a photographer is that it gives me the opportunity to tell a story.  Often it's a short story, a snippet of life captured in a few hours.  But sometimes, as in the case of Emily's senior photo session this week, it is part of a chapter book, one that I contributed to 12 years ago when she was a preschooler at Art Play Nursery School in Portland, Maine.  Photography was one small aspect of my role as a preschool teacher.  Art, dramatic play, reading countless books, lots of snuggles, giggles, some tears, and the always popular snack time and outdoor play.  During this time of learning and growing a preschool teacher develops a relationship with a child that extends way beyond the classroom.  Their family also becomes an important part of your life.  That's the best, along with the birth of new siblings, which extends the family attendance time frame!  I was thrilled when Emily's mom, Wendy, invited me do this special photo shoot as their family was vacationing in Cape Cod.  It was such a happy reunion to meet Wendy, Pete, Emily and their dog, Moses, at one of my favorite spots in Brewster.  Emily has grown to become a beautiful, funny, confident, independent, smart, sweet and loving young lady.  And while her outward appearance has changed since I knew her as a 5-year old, I still detected some familiar elements - the tilt of her head when she smiled, and the sparkle in her eye that let you know when she was happy.  I loved that Emily wanted to include Moses, in a few of the shots, too.  Our time together flew by!  We chatted like old times and caught up with each other's lives in between shots.  Like every good story I have to admit that there a few times I had to swallow back some tears.  I know that Emily is excited to start her new chapter as a high school senior; I am so honored to have shared a few moments in this one.









Saturday, June 25, 2016

Beach House

Architecture has always been near and dear to my heart so I was quite excited for an invitation to photograph a home for a real estate listing in Harwich.  Jacquie Newson of Oceanside Realty Group was our real estate agent when we purchased our Cape home and she is fabulous!   I knew that this was going to be a fun adventure; I was looking forward to working with Jacquie and seeing this oceanside property.  The house was abuzz with activity when I arrived so I decided to start my story upstairs, where it was quieter, and I had room to move without disturbing anyone.  As I made my way through the bedrooms and living spaces, all with incredible ocean views, I began to get a sense of the history in this place and the memories that have been created here:  children playing on the lawn while the grownups relaxed on the front porch, early morning dips in the pool,  shell collecting, wave jumping, and evening walks on the beach.  Warm sunlight and ocean breezes through the open windows filled the inside of the house with the unmistakable pine and salt scents of Cape Cod.  If I lived here I don't think that I would ever leave!  As an added bonus there is a boat dock just down the road and another path to the beach.  Oh wow.  I loved capturing the essence of this home, and I know that the buyer will appreciate all that it has to offer.  I can't wait to photograph some smaller properties, too, and find the personality in those homes.








If you want to see more information on this house you can click on the link below:

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Love is in the Air

I love spring, with it's longer, warmer days, and abundant flowers!   This weekend I celebrated all of these things with our newly engaged daughter and fiancĂ© at the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain. This is understandably one of Lauren and Daniel's favorite spots; 265 acres of grass, trees, rolling hills and ponds provided a stunning backdrop to the flowering dogwoods, azaleas and lilacs.  





And buttercups!

We walked about 4 1/2 miles, intoxicated by the scent of lilacs, and captivated by the beauty of this place.   

At the end of the day I realized that as much as I have always enjoyed photographing our children, I especially loved capturing these spontaneous, happy moments.

Pure joy and true love.
.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Georgia On My Mind

I've been taking a watercolor class because I wanted to play a bit, and I haven't had a painting class in quite a while.  There is no preliminary work; we are drawing with the brush, which means there is no sketching or grids to lay out a plan in advance.  I realized that this is a challenge for me - I am a planner!  And as a photographer I am accustomed to seeing the world through a frame, too.  Our subject for the day were pots of tulips.  I thought of one of my favorite painters, Georgia O'Keefe, and how she would approach these blooms.  At the end of class, as everyone was packing up, I decided to look closer with the viewfinder in my camera.  The painted floor became my canvas backdrop and I was loving what I saw through the lens.  My painting wasn't nearly as much fun as the photographs that ensued!  I think I need to play more with this....
  

Friday, February 26, 2016

Buttercup's First Selfie



 I think that it is so intriguing how animals have such distinct personalities.  I witnessed it for the first time when Scott and I got our first pet shortly after we were married.  Elliott, our cockatiel, was a bird extraordinaire.  In his first years he was out of his cage enjoying life on his little perch or on our knee or shoulder.  He loved having his head scratched or doused with kisses, and whistling along with Amy Grant.  Scott's sister, Kathie, taught him to wave a greeting with his foot when prompted, and his favorite color was yellow, exhibited by his enthusiastic whistling when anything in this hue was near his cage.  So when I came across this forgotten shot, taken this summer at a local farm, I had to laugh.  This little goat insisted on following us around as we checked out the chickens; every time we turned around, there he was.  Now I really have no idea what the farmer calls this little guy but he had such a sunny disposition that "Buttercup" was the first name that popped into my head.  This is not a typical shot for me and last night it won a ribbon at a photo competition - a spontaneous, unplanned shot that was a fun entry.  I love when that happens!