Archive for March, 2012

March 08, 2012
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elizabeth and I met, via email, for the first time about 2 weeks before her wedding. although meeting my couples for the first time on their wedding day was the norm in the early days of the studio, nowadays by the time we walk into the venue, we feel like we are spending the day with old friends. so if I’m honest, I always get a small case of the “I hope they like me’s” when I go into a wedding never having met them face to face. robert was the first to the church with his groomsmen and any pins and needles I might have had were washed away – they were all so nice…. and hysterical. then, once elizabeth got there I went down to the lower floor to introduce myself. as soon as she saw me with a camera in my hand, she crossed the room and gave me a big hug. awesome! these are two of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever met and I was so happy to be spending this day with them

okay… now we are to my favorite part :) when talking with elizabeth before the ceremony, I asked if there was anything last minute I should know. she and robert are expecting their first child, which I already knew. but what I didn’t know is that she had been given the sex of the baby (which neither of them knew) in a sealed envelope. so she said it was possible that she may give the envelope to robert during their first dance – and that maybe, just maybe.. they would open it. as we all got to the beautiful hotel monaco for the reception, I couldn’t wait for their first dance. michael from my deejay and I coordinated so as they took over the dance floor, I watched and waited. suddenly she handed it to him and he looked at her like a kid at christmas, SO excited. as they opened it, there were huge smiles, tight embraces and tears. I’m not sure if a lot of the guests had a clue what was going on, but I did and I wasn’t going to miss a minute of it! after the dance, it was decided that they would give the envelope to elizabeth’s father and her would let everyone in on the big news. now understand that elizabeth is one of 4 girls and that all of her sister’s have had only girls – so when mr. murphy took the mike and opened the card, his face said it all as he announced “we are happy to welcome our FIRST…” he didn’t even need to finish the sentence before the room erupted in applause!

I am so SO happy for you both and know that this is the beginning to a life filled with happiness for you and your new family – congratulations!!

March 07, 2012
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I come from a family of entrepreneurs- my dad had his masonry company, my mom’s parents created a trucking company, my great-grandfather Clifford had an automobile shop and my grandfather’s parents had the Wetiquin (pronounced: wet- ip- kin) Country Store.  I asked my grandfather how the store came to be and he said because of him- of course ;)  His house used to be 2 miles off of the main road down a dirt path located on the Nanticoke River.  When he turned six and had to attend elementary school, the family had to move closer to the ‘hard road’ so that the bus could pick him up and drop him off.  “In 1933, Dad borrowed $800 to build a house on the road.  In order to pay for the house, Mom and Dad decided to build a store with the money they had,” he said.  “It started out 25 feet square.”  Business began to increase and they had to add onto the store, which is on the right hand side.  It was located right in their front yard. :)  (I wouldn’t mind that commute to work everyday!)

“People would line up outside the store on Saturdays for neck bones and spare ribs,” Pop Pop said.  “Hog neck bones were considered a poor man’s pork.”   They carried the essentials- canned corn beef, flour by the sack, corn meal, baking soda, salt, coffee, lard, meats and even gasoline.  Mill’s Meat Company would deliver every Friday from Salisbury and took an order for the following week.  He told me that they used to sell gas from a huge glass globe for 6 gallons for a dollar!  That would make me wait in line on Saturdays! :) “Made enough that we could eat.  I was still wearing second hand clothes til high school.  I was still wearing knickers that went out of style 7 yrs before but they were clothes and they didn’t have patches on them so we made the best we could with them.  The store was self supporting.”

The business sort of died off in the 1950′s but the store stayed open.  My parents actually had the building moved to their farm to preserve it. :) There was only one unpaid account that my great-grandfather had opened for someone.  That piece of paper is still nailed up inside the store.

March 06, 2012
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we met kate at a bridal show last year in delaware and were immediately taken with her friendly spirit and great smile! as she and her mother were talking about her wedding, we knew we wanted to be a part of it and were thrilled when they booked us that very day. in selecting a location for kate and mark’s e-session, 2 things were definite: one, it would be by the water because mark is a caption of on of the large charter boats in west OC – and two, their adorable (and huge!) chocolate lab, brant, would be joining us. docks, amazing couple and a cute big dog? I’m in! we met up on a nice and sunny afternoon and proceeded to mark’s boat – unfortunately it was low tide so we couldn’t get on the boat (correction: we could get on the boat by jumping down, but getting out, especially with brant would have been impossible) but the harbor allows for many other scenic opportunities. on top of that, kate brought some great props, including some signs she made just for brant’s photos and I loved every minute of it!

thank you all for such a great afternoon! I had a blast and loved making a new four-legged friend – t minus 2 months until the big day and I can’t wait!!

March 05, 2012
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Ever since I can remember I have enjoyed painting. From the beginning with finger painting, to my first watercolor set and then in high school when my mentor Marge Coyman taught me about painting with oil paints. There has always been a sense of freedom with paint, everyone expresses what they see in their own style, and no one can say whether it’s right or wrong.  Painting has taught me so much about myself. There are days when I get so frustrated I put my brushes down and say that I never want to paint again, but I always turn around and work on the piece for a few more hours, and every time I am surprised by the result. I find that  the smallest part of a painting is often my favorite; it can be a brush stroke or a use of a certain color, but it’s almost  as if it speaks to me from the canvas.

Through the years I have taken many painting classes, learned a few tricks of the trade and I in no way view myself as a great painter, but I enjoy it. There is something deeply satisfying about going into the studio with an idea and being free to explore it in many ways with color and a brush. Pablo Picasso once said ‘one never knows what one is going to do. One starts a painting and then it becomes something quite different.’ I like to think of life the same way, we go in with all of these ideas and in the end it’s not at all what we expected, but it’s lovely nonetheless

March 01, 2012
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this was my 5th time going to wppi and every year as registration time rolls around the debate begins… it’s always a busy time here because the studio is buzzing with client consultations, wedding bookings, e-sessions and general ‘off-season’ responsibilities. plus this year kris has a dive trip that she’s saving up for so I knew she wouldn’t be going with me. so should I? would I? the question was answered with a one two punch a couple of months ago. first my friend and crazy talented photographer trinity said she was going – she’s based in LA and I hadn’t seen her since last year’s wppi so that alone got me thinking. THEN, just several days later, the annual thirst relief auction went live. I always look forward to this as they always have so many amazing photographers offering everything from mentorships to software and products they’ve designed. this year I dove right in because last year I really wanted a spot on the benefit shoot but got busy and forgot to bid before the auction closed – so, I mused,  if trinity was going, and there was a spot available for the shoot then…. maybe I should? I quickly hit ‘bid’ and the decision was made. not only was I excited to go on the shoot, but thirst relief is such an amazing organization that does so much to help others and I was so happy to be a part of it. you’d be shocked what they can do with just the amount of money we spend just for a venti mocha latte – I urge you to go check out their site! we all gathered in the lobby of the MGM signature and loaded onto buses and headed into the desert with the destination being the nelson, nevada ghost town – this place was made for photographers… seriously it was almost too much eye candy. we shot alongside mike colon, rocco ancora, cm lueng and luke edmunson as our incredible models braved the chilly temps while wearing beautiful corsets made by one of our models angela of glamtastik. the whole afternoon was inspiring, fun-filled and full of creativity. after the shoot we were taken to maggiano’s for a family style italian feast where thirst relief’s founder jim davis-hicks spoke, surprising us by sharing how many thousands of people would now have clean drinking water just from the money raised by the shoot alone! to which we all raised an appropriate glass of water that we, in the states, take for granted for being clean and safe. then roberto valenzuela gave an awesome and thought provoking presentation as we enjoyed our desserts (real tiramisu… yum) the night was ended with giveaways including kelly moore’s new bag that she created just for thirst reliefmike had been shooting with the bag while we were in the desert and it took restraint on my part not to grab it right off his shoulder :)  (if you follow the blog, you know I have a pretty serious kelly moore bag habit!) in addition to the shoot, the whole conference that is the wppi experience was just what I needed – I found new products, heard some great speakers, met new friends, caught up with old friends and had a fabulous time with my roomie trinity! no matter how often I go, I always seem to learn something new, meet amazing people and get a creative jump start right before wedding season. will I be going in 2012?? we’ll see :)

jim documenting the whole day