Our families live here, not that I see much of them in the winter since I tend to hibernate, but there is still the chance to see them. Although.....my mom has recently moved down south, I might need to rethink this one. But living up here, I do get the opportunity to see this cutie:
The other day, I posted this picture on Instagram:
with the caption, "Why do I live here again?" I am not going to lie, this question comes up in my brain a ton at this time of year, especially when it is SNOWING on March 28th and all of 40 degrees on March 29th and snowing again on March 30th!. Oh, and when it snowed on March freaking 28th, it was the 10th straight weekend that it has snowed around here. When we are experiencing this kind of weather, it is really hard to explain to myself, never mind to others, why I subject myself to this. Well here are the reasons (by the way, I think that I am answering this question mainly for myself, at this point I am the one that needs this answer the most). I will also try really hard to keep this in mind when we are celebrating Easter with a layer of freaking snow on the ground!. Anyway, why I live here:
Our families live here, not that I see much of them in the winter since I tend to hibernate, but there is still the chance to see them. Although.....my mom has recently moved down south, I might need to rethink this one. But living up here, I do get the opportunity to see this cutie:
The snow is pretty. The first couple of times, not on the 10th straight weekend at the end of March when it has never melted away and has caused ice damns and looks disgusting and wasn't even thoughtful enough to come around at Christmas time when people actually want it. Okay, bit of a rant, just end at the snow is pretty, here's a visual (of course, the picture is at the beach, everything is prettier at the beach!)
Spring, when it gets here, is truly a breath of fresh air. The anticipation makes it so much sweeter, too. I have friends that celebrate the opening of their local ice cream window like it is a national holiday. And after months of ugly, dirty snow, flowers do seem to be heaven sent.
Summer for the most part is fantastic and living in a state that is on the coast means that we have several beaches within an hour's drive. In addition, Cape Cod and several beautiful Rhode Island towns are also easily accessible.
The fall is sublime! People actually travel across the country to see what we get to live with on a daily basis, how cool is that?
So that my friends, is why I live here. If any of those reasons would like to show up anytime soon, it would be greatly appreciated. Well, except for the snow one, we have had quite enough of that one for the moment, thank you very much! Happy last day of March, good riddance to the coldest March in history.
For me, senior pictures are the best part of senior year but I have a feeling that I may not be the best one to make that determination. Besides not being a senior, I am also a little biased because I have so much fun doing them. So even though I feel this way, I know that does not mean everyone feels the same way. For some seniors, fun is not the word that comes to mind when talking about having pictures done. If you are a senior that feels this way, then I have some tips that may help a bit.
You know the old saying, location, location, location? Well it is true, where you choose to take your pictures is a pretty important choice. Not so much the specific place but more the flavor of the place you choose. It's best if your location reflects your personality. If you aren't sure about a place, please ask your photographer for some suggestions. If you do, please help them out a bit by letting them what type of places really speak to you, let your preferences be known. Are you a beach person? Make sure they know that. More of the woodsy sort? Don't be afraid to speak up if they suggest a beach location instead. Another suggestion is to check out some of their other pictures to see which ones appeal to you the most.
Just as important as the location of your shoot is the timing of your shoot. By timing, I mean both the time of day and the time of year. I plan my shoots either earlier in the morning (approximately 2 hours after sunrise) or later in the afternoon (about 2 hours before sunset). They differ partly because the sun gets harsher as the time goes by in the morning whereas in the afternoon it gets softer as time elapses. but it also becomes a race against the setting sun and ultimately darkness. Also it is important to take into account whether or not you are a morning person. Remember you have to leave time for getting ready so if it is 2 hours after sunrise, a morning session is probably not a great idea if mornings are not your favorite. In addition to time of day, time of year is also important. If you are a beach person and want to be nice and tan for your portraits, then summer is probably the best time for you. Love sweaters and the fall colors? Then your best bet is probably to schedule something in the fall (please note, whatever your choice, you should contact your photographer in plenty of time to make sure they have availability). Be ready to be flexible though, this past senior season, I had a senior choose the fall because she's a self-proclaimed sweater girl. Unfortunately, the late September day that we chose ended up being unseasonably warm. No matter, she still rocked the sweater!!
Try to bring at least one classic outfit in classic colors. Solids generally work best as well. I realize that you want to show off your unique fashion sense and I encourage that but I also think that it is important to also have some pictures that will stand the test of time. Once those are covered, then you should definitely plan an outfit that is 100% you. I encourage you to bring your favorite outfit, no matter what anyone else says. Most photographers will allow you at least one outfit change so take advantage of this. My policy is to let you change as much as you want. Speaking from experience though, I have found that any more than 3 outfit changes tends to get a bit overwhelming, 3 seems to be the optimal maximum for outfits. Also accessories can be a great way to change the look of a classic outfit quickly.
By all means, bring some with you. I have had seniors bring uniforms, sports equipment, color guard flags, instruments, favorite books, favorite sweatshirts, pets, those are just some that I thought of off the top of my head. I, and most photographers, firmly believe that the more personal your session, the better.
Hair and make-up:
I am a low maintenance kind of person, I can count on one hand the number of times that I have worn make-up, so I certainly don't consider myself an expert on this. My rule of thumb would be to do what will make you feel confident and comfortable. If you want to get it done professionally, go for it. If you would be more comfortable doing it yourself, then, by all means, do that. I have had seniors do both, to much success. The only recommendation that I would make is that if you are going to have it done by someone else, then it is probably a good idea to have a test run to make sure that you are both on the same page.
To bring or not to bring:
Someone with you, that is. Again, this depends on your own personal preference. I have had seniors come alone and I have had senior bring someone with them. There are benefits to bringing someone with you: you have someone to offer opinions and perhaps more importantly, carry your stuff. Moms are always good to bring along, just saying, (although there is a slight chance that I a little biased about that one). Then again, some people are not comfortable with an audience, if that's you, then it may be best to plan to fly solo.
I think that just about does it. Well, except perhaps the most important piece of advice: speak up. If you have an idea or a pose that you would like to try, let your photographer know. But also, don't be afraid to go with the flow as well. Just like you have a vision of what you'd like and what will look best, your photographer most likely has a vision as well. Your pictures will come out the best if you both respect and listen to each other. I hope this helps a little. If you have a question or a concern that I didn't address or you just want to say hi and get to know me a little better, please feel free to get in touch with me or check me out on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (icons in sidebar)..
This one's for all those 1-D fans that got their hearts broken this week when it was announced that Zayn is leaving the group. And for anyone out there that thinks that it is silly to be so emotional over this, well I say remember how you felt when Justin Timberlake left NSYNC or when Ginger Spice left the Spice Girls or when the Beatles broke up. Or if you aren't a music fan, then think about how you felt when your favorite sports team lost the Super Bowl after an undefeated season on a fluke catch that stuck to someone's helmet. The point is we all have things that we care passionately about that others don't or that others think are silly but when you care, you care and there's not much that you can do about it. So for all the One Direction fans out there, I feel your pain and it's okay to feel sad about it, things are changing and change isn't always easy to deal with as 1-D themselves so eloquently explain in this week's Friday night video. Please click here to watch the video, I was not able to put the actual video on here this week. Happy Friday, everyone, have a great weekend!
Today my throwback is to a post from last year when I wrote about my revelation that I could use my Boston Public Library card to check out e-books from their collection. It is not an exaggeration for me to say that this discovery has changed my life. I have read so many great books this year. Just this past week alone, I read The Storied Life of AJ Fikray and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, both of which I really enjoyed. I am getting older so my vision, hearing and sleeping aren't what they used to be. For example, I find it difficult to read traditional books at night because it never seems bright enough in my house. but my Nook e-reader is backlit so that solved that problem. I also don't sleep as well as I used to, I suffer from insomnia somewhat frequently. Before my BPL revelation, I would want to read but I would not want to get out of bed (that seemed like an admission that sleep was never going to come) and I wouldn't want to turn on the light for fear of disturbing my husband. Again, the Nook came to my rescue and has made my sleepless nights much more tolerable. Now if the Nook could just do something about my hearing issue, then it would be the greatest invention of all time, ha! All in all, I think that such a great discovery deserves it's own throwback post, don't you?? Now if you'll excuse me, I think that I'm going to go check out the library website for new material. By the way, my own library network's collection of electronic books has vastly improved, double bonus!! Posts are always better with pictures, I am going to include a couple of pictures from when I took my daughter and her friends to the courtyard there to take some senior pictures. Favorite place + favorite seniors = happy Thursday, I hope that you all have a happy Thursday as well!
Yesterday, I got a call from a Google analytics person asking me how I grew my business and if I was happy with my methods. I told him that I get most of my business through word of mouth Then I thought about what exactly what that means. A lot of the people that I have been lucky enough to work with come from my "village" (mostly church, including the senior that got me started on this crazy journey, Brendan). But I have also some that have come to me through others and then in turn, work with me on multiple occasions. First, and foremost, are the Leo girls, their mom got my name from one of my co-workers (I took pictures of her boys). I first met the Leo sisters in 2012 and have taken pictures of them every year since (one year I was lucky enough to take their pictures twice!). I now count them as friends and look forward to working with them each and every year (this year, their mom brought me the most delicious lemon poppy bread.) As a matter of fact, one of my goals now is to be in business long enough to take their senior pictures (heaven help them, if they think that they are going to anyone else to have them done, just kidding, sort of). A couple of weeks ago, I did some head shots and those came about because I had taken her daughter, Anne's, senior pictures last year. Anne got my name from one of her friends and then contacted me this year to do a family portrait as a Christmas gift for her mom and then her mom came to me for head shots. Then this year, I did portraits for a couple of brothers of seniors from last year. Jacob and Alex are the brothers of Nick and Cameron, respectively. They had gotten my name from the same person that Anne did. I was thrilled to work with their families the first so you can imagine my delight to hear from them again this year. I could go on but you get my point, it was very easy to tell the Google analytics guy that I was very happy with the growth of my business. Not only do I stay busy but I have met and worked with the most wonderful people throughout the last couple of years!
Yesterday I wrote that I am not having much success with my new attitude project. Well I realized that a big part of my angst needs to be acknowledged and dealt with and until I do that I will probably continue to be stuck in my rut. So you guys get to be the lucky ones and hear it so here it is. We all know that it takes a village to raise our children, right? Well we have been extraordinarily lucky with our village so far, like really, really lucky. For years, we have had an incredible network of friends that we can always count on, lots of family that is close by and always ready to help out and a wonderful church family of both kids and adults that have been instrumental in shaping my children's character. But now it is all changing and honestly, I am having a hard time dealing with it. Between everyone being so busy and how isolating this winter has been, I don't see nearly enough of my friends lately. And also in the past year, the pastor at our church was replaced so the church that was as familar as my own house for the past decade has become a place that is not nearly as familar or as comfortable (through no fault of the new pastor, he's great, it's just different now and I am old and set in my ways, I don't handle different all that well). In addition, this year, for the first time in a decade, none of my children were involved in the children's choir or the participated in the annual Christmas play. Also my mom who has been my go to person for fun activities for as long as I have had kids, (as just one example, a day trip to Block Island with 4 kids under 10 would never have been possible without her), not to mention my go to person for all sorts of help, moved out of state this winter. Additionally, this is all happening while my oldest is in her senior year and preparing to go away to college. And let's not forget that winter is not my favorite season and we just finished the snowiest winter in the history of keeping records and we are well on our way to setting a record for the coldest March EVER!. I think that it is fair to say that all of this may have something to my bad attitude. But, as I was mulling all this over in the car on Sunday, I happened to pass a sign that read, "Don't think of it as an ending, think of it as a new beginning". I am a big believer in signs (and in this case, it was a literal sign so how cool is that?) so that is what I am going to try to do. I just hope that new beginning doesn't take too long to get under way, I really need it!
I am really trying to adjust my attitude about the weather but it seems like everything is conspiring against me. This time it was Timehop. Normally I am a fan of the Timehop app but I was not a big fan yesterday at all (although I guess it isn't really timehop that I had a problem with but Mother Nature, again). I thought it was bad enough when I saw the entry from last year and it was 57 degrees out, not only that but you can also actually see grass...
but then I scrolled down and it got worse because 3 years ago, it was 82 degrees!
The temperature yesterday? Around 25 degrees! Yup, that means that the difference between 3 years ago and yesterday was 57 degrees, coincidentally the temperature last year! Although I have to say at this point, I don't think that I would want the 82 degrees yet because after this winter, there is no way that this body is beach ready (although I would still happily take it). Anyway enough daydreaming, happy 19 degrees Monday to you all. Oh, wouldn't it be nice if the temperatures decided to timehop to the past, sooner rather than later?
I have to admit, it is a little depressing that it snowed on the first official day of Spring and more than a little depressing that it is snowing this morning, the first full day of Spring. But since I decided yesterday that I am going to get a new attitude, I am not going to let it get to me. Instead I am going to relish (and relay to you all) the reason that is it snowing, according to one of my fifth grade students. It came up during a discussion that we were having during library yesterday about how Greek mythology explains Spring. First, a quick summary for those that don't know the story. Persephone is the daughter of Demeter, the goddess of the Earth and the harvest. One day, Hades kidnapped Persephone and brought her to the Underworld. Demeter was so sad that she let everything on Earth die. This concerned Zeus so much that he sent Hermes to broker a deal for her return. She had eaten 6 pomegranate seeds while she was there so she is only allowed to return for 6 months each year. This is why half the year is beautiful and the other half is not, and why February is really, really awful, especially this year with 100+ inches of snow, oops a bit off topic there. Anyway, when we finished the story, I mentioned that Spring means that Persephone is back home and that means that Demeter is happy again. Then I felt the need to sarcastically add, "Not sure why it is supposed to snow if she is so happy?" Hmm, apparently it is going to take some time for this new attitude to kick in. One of the kids put me right in my place and told me he knew why it was going to snow, because it is so hot in the underworld that Demeter is trying to cool Persephone off. Well then, a mother doing something special for her child, that is a lot nicer way of thinking of it than just more snowflakes in a winter filled with them. Keeping with the Greek mythology theme, this Saturday morning cartoon features Pluto being influenced by a satyr.
We all know that posts are better with pictures so I have added a touch of spring to this one. Hopefully it won't be too long until we see the real thing! Happy Saturday, everyone, have a great day!
Since Spring starts later today, at 6:46 to be exact, I was thinking of using a song that reflects the season. Of course, "Spring" by Vilvaldi instantly came to mind but then I saw a different suggestion, a suggestion that gave me pause. I decided to take that suggestion and instead use "New Attitude" by Patti LaBelle. I am desperately in need of an attitude adjustment, I am deep into my annual winter funk. That is a big reason that there haven't been many posts lately, I've been operating under the "if you have nothing good to say, then say nothing at all" philosophy. But I am going to try to get over myself and adopt a "New Attitude". Happy Friday and happy Spring, hopefully it is not too long before the weather catches up to the season, like me and my attitude adjustment, we desperately need it. If nothing else, the big hair will give everyone a chuckle, except for those of us that lived through it, we may be more inclined to grimace instead!
Hi all, I just wanted to let you know that I will be taking all the online galleries for the Class of 2015 down at the end of May. Part of the reason that I need to do this is because of your total awesomeness, you hired me in record numbers (for me, anyway). I was fortunate to work with 60 seniors last year, up from 22 the previous year. And what's more, it was all word of mouth so thank you for that! But it means that I need to free up some space for the next class. I wanted to let you know in advance to give you plenty of time. By the way, don't think that this means that you are getting rid of me or that I am moving on, I will be around plenty in the next couple of months!
So since tomorrow is March 14, otherwise known as Pi day, I have chosen a special song for our Friday night video. Pi Day has become an annual occurrence commemorating the mathematical constant and a chance to celebrate mathematics. This year has special significance because the date 3/14/15 matches up with the first four digits of Pi, 3.1415. If you have been reading for a couple of years, you may remember that my daughter was very excited that this would occur during her senior year. Well she would be even more excited if she had applied to MIT. MIT traditionally chooses this day every year to announce their decisions. But this year, they are taking it a step further and have said that student acceptance notifications will take place at precisely 9:26 because, you guessed it, those are the next 3 numbers in Pi. How cool is that? My daughter of course, thinks it is the coolest thing (she also thinks that we should go out for pie on Saturday). If you're not completely geek overloaded at this point, check out this link for some fun Pi stuff. Or this link which will let you see if you favorite number sequence (birthdate, for example) is in the first 200 million digits of Pi. I did the latter with one of my classes at school, they loved it!
And let's not forget the more literary minded out there, this weekend is also special to them. Sunday is March 15th, the day to "beware the Ides of March". Originally the ides of March was just another date on the Roman calendar until the fateful day in 44 B.C. when Julius Caesar was assassinated. The "beware the Ides of March" saying was made famous by Shakespeare in his play, Julius Caesar:
Beware the ides of March.
What man is that?
A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
Okay enough geekiness for one post, happy Friday, everyone!
I took my daughter out driving yesterday. Sitting with her in the car made me realize all over again how quickly time is passing. My oldest already has her license and now this daughter is closing in on it all too quickly. And my son will be 15 in June so he is not too far behind. Anyway while I was thinking all these things, I couldn't help but recall the days of this picture when all that they were driving were amusement park cars. I love watching them learn new skills and gain independence and I can't wait to see all that they accomplish in this life because I am sure it will be special. But I would totally be fooling myself if I didn't admit that I miss these cute little faces every now and again.
I would like to take a moment to send a quick note to those parents that have never been through a senior year. Next year is going to be crazy. That's it, that's all that needs to be said. As a matter of fact, it may be one of the craziest years of your life as a parent so far (I can imagine that, for the parents of girls, the wedding year could rival it). If you are like me, people have already started telling you this and if you are like me, you have plenty of reasons why it will not be like that in your house. Reasons such as we have already started getting organized about the process, my child is a very dutiful student so this should be a breeze (a word to the wise, the fact that my child is a dutiful student was one of the biggest obstacles, go figure), my child is so easy going and laid back, etc. My hope is that, unlike me, you are right. But if by chance you are not, then my best advice to you is simple, buckle up and enjoy the ride! Because what a ride it will be, the whole year will be filled with enough ups and downs to rival any roller coaster on the planet (and I say this now and we have not even gotten to the end yet!). Besides my advice, I would also like to offer my prayers for a successful senior year for all. Good luck and if you ever have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with me. I probably won't be much help or have many anwers but at least you will know that I know where you are coming from.
We all know that posts are always better with pictures so I have included one of my very own senior on here. By the way, I need to keep a picture of this wonderful, smiling face close by because between not seeing much of her some days because she is so busy and the stress she is under other days, a picture is sometimes the only way I get to see that smile!
Oh, and if anyone that has already been through the process, either as a senior or as a parent, has anything to add, I would love to hear what you have to say. Just leave a comment below, thank you.
So on Saturday, my daughter and I went into the Museum of Fine Arts so that she could accept her Gold Key award for photography. We arrived a little early so that we would wander around the museum a bit (admission to the museum was included as part of the award). It was wonderful to have the opportunity to visit the museum, I haven't been in years and sadly my daughter has never been. I know, bad mother, although in my defense, we have been to the Museum of Science a bunch of times. Hmm, maybe that is why she wants to be a doctor instead of an artist, ha! Anyway, we visited a couple of exhibits, including one on Hollywood glamour that was pretty cool.
Then it was on to the award ceremony. It was very nicely done, they had some students of the Museum's school, past and present, serve as master of ceremonies. Then they called the students up to present their awards. Of course, they pronounced my daughter's name wrong, for such a simple name, it sure does get mispronounced a lot. Maybe if we had actually named her Holly like we joked that we would, then people would realize that it is pronounced just like the adjective! During the ceremony, I realized that my daughter was kind of out of place, most of these kids were artists through and through and she is really not, she is more of an academic sort. But as someone pointed out yesterday, how awesome is she if she can succeed at something that is outside her comfort zone?
Then we took a shuttle over to the 808 Gallery at Boston University where they were displaying the work of all the Gold Key reciepients. You know what is so cool? Seeing your child's work displayed in a gallery. Even Kate thought it was pretty amazing to see her work hanging in a gallery. She told me that she never thought that her work would be hanging in a gallery, she thought it was more likely that my work would be!! It was such a thrill to see someone you love so much succeed, especially because she works so hard all the time. She had a full plate this fall with college applications, essays, classes but she still managed to give her photography projects the care and attention that they deserved, a gold star effort that earned her a very special Gold Key!
But even then, our day wasn't over yet. We were only about a mile away from the Prudential Center and it was actually, gasp, pretty nice out so we decided to walk over there and get some lunch and do a little shopping, including a stop at Barnes and Noble. She is her mother's daughter when it comes to books so the pile of books that she purchased there just may have been the highlight of her day!! All in all, it was just a wonderful day with a wonderful kid and one that I am sure that we will always remember!! We even got a selfie!
Wow am I feeling a little sluggish this morning! Part of it is the fact that we had an extremely busy weekend (it was also extremely fun and I hope to have more on it later this week). But I think that another part of it is the fact that since we moved the clocks this weekend, it is once again pitch black out when we get up. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that it's light in the afternoon now but I still think that I would appreciate the light more in the morning at this time of year. I just find it a little premature to move the clocks at the beginning of March. Since it is still cold and we still have snow (a lot of snow), I would much prefer the morning light because let's face it, I am probably not going out in the afternoon/evening anyway. But as a 100% a morning person, this rant will need to be taken from the source because I am more than a little biased about this issue. I do have to say that I find it curious that it's been moved to March to "save electricity". Really, and how does it do that? We changed the clocks this weekend so it was once again pitch black when I got up at 6:00 this morning. Because it is so dark, we end up turning on every light in the house (and those with kids know that it is indeed every single light). And because it's bright out when we leave there is a good chance that some of the lights will go unnoticed and remain on all day. I may not be good at math but it's easy to figure out that leaving lights on all day does not equal electricity savings. And now, instead of feeling like spring is right around the corner, the mornings feel like December all over again. Like with most of my "issues", my husband is not all that sympathetic to my plight so I am not really allowed to talk about it at home. Every time I bring it up, he just rolls his eyes and gets that "watch out, she's on her rant again look." Which is why you all are lucky enough to hear it instead!
Anyway, enough of that. I was talking about the time change the other day with my classes and came across a fun tidbit. During the time change in the fall of 2007, a woman gave birth to twins. The first twin was born at 1:32 am and the second twin was born at 2:04 am but because of the time change the offical birth time of the second is 1:04 am. Kind of crazy, huh? By the way, this can only happen in the fall, in the spring in the U.S., there are no babies with official birth times of between 2:00 and 3:00, well with the exception of Arizona and Hawaii.. For more fun facts, check out this link.
As we all know, posts are always better with pictures so I have included a picture of two of my daughter's pieces of photography portfolio (the red and the blue on the left) hanging in the 808 Gallery at Boston University. Consider this kind of a teaser, I hope to have more on how cool that was later this week. Happy Monday, everyone!!