Sunday, February 25, 2007

Scroll Down for your lucky numbers

Matt just did a fun shoot for the Poo Poo Platters' album cover. Check it out!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Form over Function? A family visit to ICA Boston

We were elated when we learned that the newly built Institute of Contemporary Art would be free for families on the last Saturday of every month. Matt and I have long believed that major museums should invite the public to enjoy and appreciate art for free on a regular basis, if not every day. The Museum of Fine Arts does offer some free events (unfortunately I couldn't find any info about it on the mfa website at the time of writing this post). Plenty of other major art museums have an open door policy (free or "suggested donation" admission), either on weekends, or every day, below are just a couple of our favorites:
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Getty Museum

The ICA has been under construction for a couple of years, so we've eagerly anticipated its opening for a long time. So today we packed our diaper bag, threw the double stroller in the car, and headed over to the harbor to finally visit the much-heralded new museum.

With its re-opening, the ICA has become a collecting institution, and this first exhibit showcases many of the artists whose work has been recently acquired by the museum. We were really excited to see a whole gallery room dedicated to Matt's MassArt classmate Kelly Sherman. Kelly was the last person on the dance floor at our most outrageous prom party in 2000. Kelly is in good company, her work exhibited shoulder to shoulder with Cornelia Parker, Yoko Ono, Nan Goldin, Rineke Dijkstra, and other luminaries of our time.

The glass-walled Founders Gallery on the fourth floor was a beautiful space, and probably the most popular stop for both of our boys.
Another favorite for Ollie was the glass-encased elevator, with its mechanical aparatus visible through it's protective glass case:
I was pleased to learn that the cafeteria serves Pete's Coffee, and the food is catered by Wolfgang Puck. I enjoyed my BLT but Matt thought it was lacking a little oomph... I suppose it was a little small, but at least it was fresh and the potato salad that came with it was delicious!
Popcorn is always a sure bet for Ollie, but he decided to jazz his up with a little extra pepper.

Most of all, today we were really looking forward to experiencing the building that houses the ICA. We've seen plenty of pictures of the metalic Z-shaped building cantilevered out over the harbor and encased in glass - and envisioned a wonderfully open and bright complex where we could not only enjoy some of the most cutting edge contemporary art being produced today, but also enjoy walking about and experiencing a thought-provoking built environment.

The building is indeed gorgeous. But walking with a stroller (perhaps similar to travelling by wheelchair) has a way of making all of the shortcomings of a building very apparent, and can seriously impact one's enjoyment of a place. By far the most disappointing aspect of the new ICA was its accessibility. From the outside, the approach to the entrance is not clearly marked, and there appears to be no walkway or driveway of any sort that takes visitors right to the doors.
On the inside, everything is much smaller than we imagined. Doors, aisles, and public thoroughfares are astonishingly narrow, making for difficult passage to the restroom, cafeteria ordering window, and even from one gallery to the next. Perhaps the building isn't completely finished yet, but we couldn't help noticing that the elevator lacked any sort of signage telling us which floors were open and what they held.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Kai Alexander Maeda

Last week Will and I made a trip to Washington DC to visit my best friend Cassie, her husband Takeshi, and their new baby Kai. Cassie is my oldest friend, we've known each other since I was in the the 2nd grade. After college we moved to Japan where we taught English, and Cassie met her husband Takeshi. It was so exciting to see them embarking on their journey as parents!

Kai is a perfect baby in every way: he's beautiful, cuddly, and only cries if he's hungry or tired or needs a diaper (all of which happen fairly often).

The visit was essentially a 5-day photo session/pajama party. We ate, laughed, took pictures, watched cable TV, and took turns entertaining each other's baby. Here's one of our favorite pics of Kai. Cassie collects gold frames, which she keeps empty and hangs on her bright red living room wall. I wanted to incorporate the frames into some of the photos, so here is what I came up with:

Will came along with me, and Ollie stayed home with Dad. I was very happy to have 5 days with Will - I have never been able to spend so much time alone with him, and we got to fit a lot of snuggling and playing into our days. He was very happy to not be bossed around by his older brother all the time!

I want to say that Kai was a very easy model to work with - newborn babies usually are. But since we were taking our time (it was after all a pajama party/photo session), he needed a lot of breaks... for diapers, meals, and r&r... fortunately for us, his naps were good photo ops too!

Here is proud dad Takeshi showing off his "shuji" calligraphy of Kai's name:
Our old friends Eric and Katie came over for dinner one night too. Eric says he's not very photogenic, but what can he expect when he makes faces like this for the camera?

Sunday Globe

We were honored to have our photo of Sarah and Jason selected for the cover of the Boston Globe Magazine's annual wedding planning issue. These two were such romantics and had a wonderful wedding at the gorgeous Blithewold Mansion in Bristol Rhode Island.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Getting Things Done

February is here... are you keeping up with your new year's resolution? Ours was to find more order and balance in our daily lives. We finally started reading this book (which has been recommended to us countless times by countless friends), and already it is helping us to put our daily tasks into perspective.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Poo Poo Platters - Rocket Man!

Our nephews Max and Jake just finished making their first music video!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Photographers in Love

Will and I are getting ready to get on a plane to visit my best friend Cassie and her new baby Kai in Washington DC.... we're excited to see them, but I'm sad to not be spending Valentine's Day with Matt. Here's a picture from around last Valentine's Day... Happy Valentine's Day Matt and Ollie! I love you! Let's make Valentine's pancakes when we get home!

Our new guest books!

We are excited to announce our new hardcover guest book! It is a hardcover coffee table book, just like what you would fine in the fine art section of a bookstore. We design the book with images from your "getting to know you" engagement session, leaving plenty of room for family and friends to write their well wishes. Use it for your engagement party, rehearsal dinner, or wedding guest book!

Monday, February 12, 2007

King of the Radio

Our son Oliver is very particular about his car environment. He always insists that the windows stay up, seatbelts on (that's a good thing), and radio off. Or so we thought until this week. His language skills are developing by leaps and bounds, and yesterday he was finally able to tell us "No, not that music... I want BIG music!" "Big music?" we asked... "Yeah, BIG music." He couldn't tell us what he meant by "Big Music", but we were elated that it was finally acceptable for us to listen to anything in the car, so we franticly surfed the radio channeluntil we found the aforementioned "Big Music". Want to hear big music? This is what Ollie settled on.

These pictures are of Ollie on the day he smeared diaper cream all over himself.

In other music news, one of our very favorite children's musicians won a grammy! Go Dan Zanes! If you know any kids (or kids at heart), run out and grab one of his albums.

Friday, February 02, 2007

though short in stature she is fierce!

On Saturday I got to meet Ashley and James and take pictures of Ashley's beautiful belly. They were expecting a baby girl, and it was so much fun to get to know them as we did our maternity session. They are going to be wonderful parents!

Here is my favorite photo of Ashley. She has such an expectant and dreamlike look to her in this image. It was one of the coldest days of the winter, and I was outside on the porch photographing her as she peered out the window. I don't like to do much noticeable photoshop work, but I do like to do some "behind the scenes" photoshop work. This image has a very painterly feel to begin with, so I used a Kubota action to soften and bleed the dark tones, and added a layer of fine film grain. This picture will look absolutely stunning printed on a very large sheet of watercolor paper.

At the end of our session I made sure that Ashley took down my cell phone number, because I'm on call for a quick hospital visit with my camera for all of my maternity portrait clients. A maternity session towards the end of pregnancy is always a kind of emotional turning point for my clients, at least I sense that it is, and because my photographs signify such a great point in their lives I feel a real sense of connection with them. It's important to me to maintain this connection, so I try to meet each of my clients' babies and photograph them as soon as possible.

I was absolutely floored when I checked my email the next day and found this message:

This little girl was not due until February 24! She waited just long enough for her mommy to get photos taken, and then she was ready to meet the world!

I visited them in the hospital on Wednesday, and she is just perfect. Although I loved taking the pictures, my very favorite part of the visit was when Ashley invited me to touch her baby and I got to feel that delicate softer-than-soft newborn baby skin with the back of my finger. Just precious.

Congratulations Ashley and James, and welcome baby Leighton!!!