Okay I have a little bit of a confession to make. I was a tiny bit tired and cranky when I met with Cameron. We had been out late on Saturday night and when I woke up Sunday morning, it was raining and dark and gloomy. Plus wasn't everyone in Red Sox nation a little tired and cranky after this play (I can link this only because the RED SOX WON THE WORLD SERIES LAST NIGHT! So now that call is just part of the lore of this championship winning season whereas had they lost the series, it would have been a heartbreaking sports moment). But honestly it took about 2 seconds of hanging out with Cameron to shake it off since not only was it obvious right away that Cameron is a real sweetheart but the light on Sunday morning was incredible!! Plus the obstruction call was a real conversation starter (I can pretty much find the silver lining in any black cloud). By the way, these were pretty much the very first pictures that I took. I think that conversation starter worked!!
Like a lot of the seniors that I have had the pleasure of working with, Cameron is an athlete. One of the sports that he plays is football and now his team is playoff bound. A bit of a tangent here, in the it's a small world category, he also knows my nephew, a sophomore on the JV team. Anyway the playoffs start this weekend and Cam's team will face Newton North on Friday night. Cam's team will not be playing Stoughton in the playoffs so I am free to root for his team. Although he was such a great guy, I might have found myself rooting for him even if they did play Stoughton. There are a couple of pictures that I love when he had what I thought of as his "fierce football face", loved it!! But his smile was pretty great too!!
Cameron also had what I like to think of as a "knight in shining armor" moment during our shoot. There was a spot that I wanted to shoot but there was a big spider web looking thing that would have ended up getting in the shot. I wanted to remove it but didn't want to touch it, even though I had gloves on at the time (in my defense, I really like these gloves). Cameron had no such hesitation and just swiped it away, with his bare hands, no less. My hero (cue, hero music). It did make for some cool shots so I was really grateful that Cam didn't mind getting his hands dirty.
Cameron wants to go to school to be an engineer. I tried really hard to talk him into my alma mater, University of Lowell (now UMass Lowell) which has a great engineering program (no, I didn't study engineering but my husband did) but I don't know how successful I was. I think that I was more successful convincing him that I was funny although my kids beg to differ. As a matter of fact, when I told my kids that Cam and his mom said that I was funny, they accused me of bribing them to say that, hmm, there's an idea!
Cameron, it was a honor and a privilege to spend a beautiful Sunday morning with you. Thanks for helping me clear out the cobwebs, both figuratively (from my mind) and literally (from the covered bridge)!! You're the best, good luck in the playoffs, I'll be rooting for your team to win it all. I hope that you have a great rest of your senior year and I wish you all the best in the future. Please click here if you would like to see the rest of Cameron's pictures.
I could tell that Mike was a senior that I wanted to get to know from the moment that I got the first text from him. As I pulled up to my shoot with Cameron on Sunday, I happened to notice that I had missed a couple of calls from Zach's mother. On the voice mail, she told me that a teammate and friend of Zach's was interested in working with me but she didn't want to give out my number without checking with me first (see, told you, very considerate) so she was going to leave me his number instead. I felt a little strange calling him so I decided to send him a text explaining who I was and that I heard he may be interested in taking some senior pictures with me. The text I got back in return was very respectful and well-written, and (shocker) not an abbreviation in sight!! Since his yearbook submission is due this Friday, we quickly made plans to meet the next afternoon (and in case you are wondering, this is why Michael's post leapfrogged Cam's, Cam's pictures aren't due until the 15th). It turned out perfectly because Monday was a gorgeous fall afternoon: great color and just the right amount of crisp in the air.
Speaking of the crisp air, Mike and I both decided that we were big fans of fall, and really how can you not love scenes like this? We also decided that winter would be perfect if it lasted about a month (okay, who do we need to talk to about this one? Mother Nature? Snow Miser? His brother? I am thinking that we really need to work on this one!!)
Mike's also an integral part of the high school baseball team that made it pretty deep into the playoffs last year. So integral in fact, that after the first round the coach had this to say about him, ""Mike Gallagher is our best pitcher....I wanted [Gallagher] in there in the late innings because he's the guy who can close the door." And the local Patch had this to say, "Gallagher was one of a number of players who seemed to elevate his game for the tournament, also getting on base three times (walk, double, single) and stealing a base." And after talking to him, I saw firsthand that he can be a pretty competitive guy. Well, I didn't actually see it, I heard. When I asked him about last year's playoffs, he told me that the team that they had lost to had gone on to win the whole thing. I then asked him if that made it easier to swallow and he answered with an unequivocal, "No." Instead of feeling that there is no shame in losing to an eventual champion, he said that he was too much of a competitor to feel that way, that all it made him feel was disappointment because they could have been the team to win it all. By the way, he thinks the team will be even better this year. Honestly, nothing I saw during my time with him gives me any reason whatsoever to doubt him!!
It was funny too, we got to talking about some of his classmates and I mentioned (okay, I may have been name dropping at this point, lol) that I had taken some of his classmates' pictures. When I mentioned which ones, he said, "I have seen all of those, I just didn't realize that the same person had taken them." Yeah, that would be a marketing fail on my part. Michael told me that he wants to study business in college. Now I'm thinking that as far as business people to emulate that I should definitely not be one of them!!
Mike, it was truly a pleasure to have an opportunity to spend some time with you. Thank you for being such a good sport and for placing your trust in me. I wish you all the luck this year and beyond. I know that you will be a huge success in life. As a matter of fact, it won't surprise me in the slightest if someday I have reason to say, "Hey I know that guy, I took his senior pictures!" Please click here is you would like to see the rest of Michael's pictures.
I'm working on Cameron's pictures but I thought you all might like to see a sneak peek of my senior from this afternoon. And I must say, my streak of amazing seniors continued, Mike could not have been more amiable, approachable, affable, agreeable or awesome (just to finish off the "a" theme and for that matter, the alliteration, ha, another a!). Enjoy this sneak peek of Mike and be on the lookout for more of him and of Cameron sometime this week, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Here's a sneak peek from my session with Cameron this morning. And it's a bonus because I am actually going to share 2 pictures with you all today.
The reason that I am sharing 2 is to try to show you what type of guy Cameron is. These 2 spots were right across from each other and when we finished with the first spot, I asked Cameron to sit on the other bench. His response, "Oh, I knew that was coming." Of course, this was after I had told him that we were all done, um, actually I told him that more than once. So not only a good sport, but smart too!!!
Once again, we are celebrating a birthday in my house and once again, I can't believe how the time has flown. Today is my youngest daughter's birthday!! Happy birthday, honey, I love you more than I can ever begin to express. You are growing up so fast and I am so happy with the person that you are growing up to be!! Although I will always miss the wonderful, affectionate child that constantly bubbled over with personality, you are growing into such a wonderful young lady. I am astonished by you every single day: by your spirit, by your kindness, by your perseverance and by your will. I am so proud of you and even prouder to be your mom! One thing I do ask myself every day is how did I, the least flexible person on the planet raise someone that can do this? Her father will say that she get it from him, he's probably right, he can do a pretty mean cartwheel!
PS. It may come somewhat natural to her but she works really hard on it too!!
This one's for a dear friend that celebrated a wedding anniversary this week. Besides being a great friend, she is also a loyal follower of this blog and I know that she loves the cartoon series, she's told me that she likes to watch them with her Saturday morning cup of coffee. Hope you had a wonderful anniversary!! Hope everyone has a nice relaxing weekend!!
Before I get to this week's Friday Night Video, I have a little housekeeping that I would like to take care of. A couple of weeks ago, my Friday Night Video was "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars. In the time since I posted that, I took the portraits of 2 more special and amazing senior girls, Tess and Gennie. As is only right, I have recently added them to that post. Please click here to check out that post if you missed it the first time.
Now onto to this week's Friday Night Video. A very exciting thing happened to me on Tuesday night. I was going to the library and 3 of my kids asked me to get them books while I was there. And 2 of them had specific requests of books that they wanted to read. I know this may not be very exciting to most people but in these days of constant technology the fact that they wanted books made my night (even my week!). Of course, it would have been more exciting if they had gotten off their lazy butts and come with me but beggars can't be choosers and I certainly wasn't going to cut off my nose to spite my face and not get them books (hmm, let's see if I can throw in any other phrases here). What does this have to do with this week's Friday Night Video selection? Well let me tell you. One of the books requested was "The Fault in Our Stars", a truly amazing book by John Green that deals with teenage cancer. I think that I have mentioned this book before but it certainly deserves mention again since it is one of the best books that I have ever read. The funny part about the book too is that just the night before one of the 8th graders in my CCD class told me that she had just read it and finished it. But I hate doing reviews of books because I am horrible at them. I have a really hard time articulating what it is that moved me about a book, especially a book as moving as this one. Because of that, I wasn't going to share it on here but then I found this version by Children's Hospital at Dartmouth of the Katy Perry song, "Roar" and I knew that I had my connection. I challenge you all to make it through this video without welling up or even full-fledged crying, I know that I couldn't. Happy Friday, everyone!! Have a great weekend!
So I met with Zach on Monday afternoon when he was kind enough to come and meet me at a place that I already had to be, our church. I had to be there to drop off my daughter so Zach and his mom thought it would be the easiest for me if he just met me there. So considerate! It also led to a funny text from his mom to me. Zach beat me there by a few minutes so his mom sent me this text, "Zach there... not sure who u r ...told him to look for lady with camera". That's me, lady with camera, I love it!! It may seem kind of random to shoot in a parking lot, a church parking lot no less but the foliage around there is fabulous this time of year, and the light is not too shabby either.
Zach is an athlete, he's a member of the SHS baseball team that made it all the way to the Division 2 South Sectional finals last spring. In fact he came in to pitch in the semi-finals and got the final two outs, including a strikeout to end the game. He's also part of the athletic trainer program at the high school, a program that requires the same time commitment as participating in sport. Since he wants to go to school to study physical therapy, I'm sure that this hands-on experience will serve him well. He was also a really good sport about posing for me and you all know how it is with me: go stand over there, please sit down there for me, lean against that tree, stand with your arms crossed.... Zach did it all and made it look natural to boot.
Like all my seniors this year, Zach was great: great to hang out with, great to chat with, great about laughing at my stupid jokes. My husband told me that last night that I can't keep saying that all my seniors are wonderful and awesome because people won't believe me because they can't all be so wonderful. Well, he's wrong, they can all be that fantastic and they have been! It has truly been my pleasure to get to know and work with all of them!
I wish you all the best in your senior year, Zach. I know that you said that senior year has been a lot of fun so far, I hope that continues all the way through. I look forward to watching some SHS baseball games next spring, I'll be rooting hard for you guys to build on your success from last year. Thank you for allowing to be a little part of your journey and best of luck always. Please click here if you would like to see the rest of Zach's pictures.
Sunday was a multi-bonus day. Not only did I get to meet and work with Nick, I got to spend a gorgeous fall afternoon outdoors and I also got to miss the end of that debacle of a Patriots game. No offense to Nick who was truly awesome and a lot of fun, but missing the game was my favorite part of the day because I can only imagine how incensed my husband was. To lose to the Jets is one thing, to lose in that fashion? Well let's just say that I am sure there was a lot of screaming at the T.V. (and maybe even some stuff flying around). And not only did I get to miss that, but instead I got to work with Nick. Nick could not have been more delightful, he was personable and polite and really, really funny. When he showed up, he had a Ron Burgundy t-shirt on and when I asked him if he wanted a picture with it on, he immediately got into his best "Anchorman" pose:
Like I said, Sunday was a beautiful day with lots of great foliage and Nick was nice enough to pose in front of some of it for me.
Nick's girlfriend came along as a consultant and I am so glad that she did since I was then able to get some shots of the two of them. And I also got to hear the funny story of the text that Nick accidentally sent her Sunday morning asking her to please do his laundry and buy him something to wear (he meant to send it to his mom!) She had a good laugh about it, it seems that Nick has met his match in the sense of humor department.
The great thing about the place that Nick chose is that there are a lot of cool places to pose and to check out. Nick was a good sport and let me drag him all over the place. Plus what did I tell you, is Nick's smile must see or what?
His mom did a great job of picking out a few shirts for Nick, you know once she got the text, and Nick was great about changing it up for a couple of different looks.
Thanks Nick for getting me out of the house and ensuring that I didn't get hit by any flying debris that may have been aimed at the T.V., and more importantly, for being such a pleasure to work with. I wish you all the best in your senior year and beyond. Keep flashing that winning personality and that incredible smile and you are sure to be a success!! Please click here if you would like to see the rest of Nick's pictures.
Life has just been crazy busy around here lately. And that includes the weekends. Actually the weekends have been just as busy, if not busier. Zach my 7th senior since October 5th and 6 of them were taken on weekends (well one was the Monday of the long weekend, I'm still counting it) and I also did a photo fundraiser most of the day this Saturday. Not that I am complaining, I have gotten a chance to work with a truly terrific bunch of seniors (and a bunch of great families on Saturday). No I mention this because Zach and his mom were kind enough to schedule his session so very conveniently for me. Zach's mom asked me if we could do Monday instead of Wednesday because the weather looked better for Monday. When I told her that all I had to do on Monday was drop my daughter off at CCD at 4 and then I would be free, she just said that she would have him meet me there and do them there. How lucky am I? Not only do I have the best seniors, I have the most considerate parents as well!! Enjoy this sneak peek, I hope to have the rest by the end of the week.
I am not sharing this picture now because it's my favorite from my session with Nick. To be honest, it is not even one of my top 10 favorites, although I do really like it. But he's not smiling in this one and trust me, Nick smiling is a must-see, his smile is great!! Well actually, you don't even need to trust me, you can come back later this week and see for yourself. No, the reason that I shared this picture is that it was the very first one that I took. When a shoot starts like this, then I just know it is going to be great shoot, and it was! Enjoy this sneak peek and as usual, I am hoping to have the rest of them done by Tuesday or Wednesday. On another note, I can't believe the weekend is almost over, I hope that everyone had a great one!
This week's Friday Night Video has another purpose this week besides just entertainment. We are having a photo mini fundraiser for our church tomorrow and we still have some slots to fill. How does the video tie in with the fundraiser, you ask? Well part of the proceeds will go to the youth ministry (100% will go to the church). The song refers to an Awesome God, well our youth ministry is pretty awesome in it's own right. Through this ministry, I have witnessed teenagers, one in my own house, gladly go on missions (and come home changed), dress up as sheep for a Penance service, lead prayer service, partake in food drives, fast and sleepover in the church basement as part of a "lock-in" fundraiser to raise money for food pantries, I could go on all day but I will end with one last one. I have also seen teenagers, even boys, most of them athletes, perform the hand motions for this song at church without a trace of self consciousness. It was a pretty cool thing to witness, I must say. If you are free tomorrow, please contact me and we'll see if we have a spot open that fits your schedule. And oh yeah, it's supposed to be a perfect day for photos, sunny in the mid-60s, peak foliage time, it doesn't get much better than that!! Have an awesome Friday, everyone!!
Okay confession time. I totally fell down on the job the other day. Not the picture taking job, I did okay with that, I think (and of course that is the more important part). No, the part that I messed up on was the learning about Gennie part so that I could write about her part. It is no excuse but I was just having so much fun that I forgot to ask her questions. See part of the reason that I learn things to write about it is that I find that getting people chatting puts them more at ease. It takes their mind off the fact that you are taking their picture which we all know can be an incredibly awkward process. But Gennie and I hit it off right off the bat (at least I thought so), so much so that I forgot that the chatting had another purpose as well and now I have nothing! Well actually that is not completely true. I learned that Gennie has beautiful blue eyes and that even though it made them water if she looked into the sun she would do it gladly if I asked her to.
I learned that she looks ethereal (thanks to my sister-in-law, Barbara for the word) when engulfed in the wonderful morning fog that we thought might ruin our shoot but actually enhanced instead.
I learned that we all (her mom was with us) are afraid of coyotes and that none of us can tell a coyote from a deer from a far distance. Gennie is an athlete so I have no doubt that she would have been fine if they had been coyotes. But even that, the fact of her being an athlete, I didn't learn that the other day, her mom had mentioned in one of our messages that Gennie played field hockey. And I didn't even ask her what position. Not that it would have mattered what position since I saw my first ever field hockey game the other day.
I learned that Gennie was an incredibly good sport about posing. Some of these spots were trickier to get into than they look. As a matter of fact, her mom thought that we were both going down a couple of times!
I learned that Gennie (and her mom) were a ton of fun to hang out with on an early fall morning. I have said on numerous occasions that I have the best job ever, well spending a morning outside with a fabulous senior, a holiday morning that I probably would not have even been out of bed, never mind outside in a beautiful location just reinforces that feeling.
I learned that they were highly amused by my bartering system with my brother in law. He lets me have free rein in his backyard and access to the cranberry bog and I take pictures of his cars. When we walked back up to the front of the house and discovered his car all posed and a note on my car asking me not to leave, we all got a good chuckle out of it. I think that it's a fair trade though, don't you think?
Thank you Gennie for being so much fun. I wish you all the best for your senior year and beyond. With your winning personality, I am sure that you'll be a success in whatever you strive for in your life. Thank you for choosing me to help you document a small part of your journey, it was a pleasure!! Please click here if you would like to see the rest of Gennie's pictures.
My streak of awesome seniors continued this past weekend. I got to meet Tess. Like most of my seniors, Tess is very busy and very accomplished (and awesome, so awesome!). Tess is a member of Stoughton High's award winning marching band (like multiple awards including an "all high caption awards, 1st place, and gold" performance yesterday a couple of hours after she met me) as well as the Jazz Band. That's right, Tess went to a competition after our session. Actually she went to practice and then to a competition. So if you are keeping track, Tess went to practice and a competition after we met whereas all that I did was watch football and a little baseball. Again, I complain about being busy but these kids have it all over me in the accomplishment department.
On a personal level, I am really disappointed that I have not seen the band yet this season. I love to see them perform, is always such a unique and spirited show. But it has been a weird season so far for the football games, the team was away for the first 3 games and then they played during in the afternoon for the next 2 (traditionally they play at 7:00 on Friday nights). The first home game I was able to go to but the band did not play because it was rainy and the second game, I was not able to go to. I really hope to get to see them because they are awesome!! In addition, I will now keep my eye on a certain alto sax player (is that right? or is it saxophonist?) because I would love to get a picture of Tess in her natural element. During our session, I couldn't help but notice that she has a beautiful, really contagious smile. In fact, her smile made me smile quite a bit when I was editing her pictures. If it is that nice on a regular Sunday out shooting with me, then I can't imagine how wonderful it must be when she is doing something that she loves!!
She also has incredibly beautiful, chocolate brown eyes, so dark and warm and very sparkly, especially when the light catches them just right.
Sometimes without even really meaning for it to happen, the place fits the senior perfectly. That was certainly the case this time and I tried to adhere to my new mission statement and just stay out of the way and be quick enough to capture the natural beauty of both the place and Tess.
As a member of the marching band, Tess has spent a lot of time sitting in bleachers. So you can just imagine my delight when we happened on a wooden set of bleachers that is part of an amphitheater out in the back where we were shooting. And not only that but there was a gorgeous blue sky behind it. A quick funny story about the picture below, I asked Tess (okay, I told her, I can get very bossy when we shoot) to sit in the middle of the bleachers. Well, doesn't she start counting up and across to make sure that she is in the precise middle (I made her stop and sit, told you I was bossy!). What a great kid, I really enjoyed her!
Tess wants to go to school to be a teacher. She thinks that she wants to teach middle or high school but her friends keep telling her that she would make an excellent elementary school teacher because she is so good with little kids. I could totally see that, Tess has such a warm, kind and nurturing air about her. But I wouldn't rule out the upper grades either, she seems so comfortable with herself and has such a wonderful personality that I think that she will be great, no matter what she chooses.
Thank you, Tess, for spending a wonderful Sunday morning with me and congratulations on your band's award winning performance. It was truly a pleasure to have met you and to have the chance to get to know you a bit. Keep an eye out for me at one of these football games because I really would love to get some pictures of you in action!! Have a wonderful rest of your senior year, I wish you all the best for the year and for your future!! Please click here if you would like to see the rest of Tess's pictures.