Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Big Winners!

pug Pronunciation: \ˈpəg\ Function: noun Etymology: obsolete pug hobgoblin, monkey Date: 1751
1: any of a breed of small sturdy compact dogs of Asian origin with a smooth, short coat, tightly curled tail, short muzzle, and broad wrinkled face 2 a: pug nose b: a close knot or coil of hair : bun 3: acronym for Pictage User Group, a savvy group of super-cool photographers who gather once a month to share business ideas, fun, and photography.

Our online proofing/printing lab, Pictage, recently had a contest to see who could have the biggest increase in attendance. Matt and I had 72 photographers show up to our March meeting, winning the contest by a landslide. We received the email telling us we won the contest during our April PUG meeting and everyone there got together for a fun group shot.

For having the largest increase in attendees, Pictage is giving us $500 to put towards what ever we want. It's still a tossup between candle-pin bowling party at the Milky Way, or a clambake on the beach. We will discuss the plans and hopefully set a date during the next PUG meeting, so if you want to have a say in the date, time and location we suggest coming to the May 13th PUG:)

Enna and I took over running the Massachusetts PUG not to long ago, and we have worked hard to find ways to make it interesting so people will come. April's PUG theme was "Spring Training" and we all shared our techniques for photographing inside dark churches. We have had ShootQ demos, marketing talks, and product previews. For the summer we have a great lineup of guest photographers coming to talk about their work.

Here is the gang. Check out The Feds and the gang showing their gangsta style on the left. These are some of Boston's hottest wedding and portrait photographers!

The best "2nd kiss" ever! Tony and Anna were um, kind enough to re-enact there first kiss for us as we played with lighting. If this is how comfortable they are now I'd love to have seen their real "first kiss" shot!;)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Operation Heirloom

When hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans Enna and I sat on our couch in awe watching the news. We were a new photography studio, had a baby on the way, and wanted to do more than just call in a donation. As we watched the news we saw an interview with a lady in her 50's who brought the camera crew into her home. The house was destroyed. The water had receded, and she was trying to put into words her loss. She then stopped, slowly leaned over and lifted the family photo album off the soaking wet floor. Water dripped from the album and she open it to see the damage. She broke down in tears and could not continue with the interview. It hit home with Enna and I. As photographers we understand the unique power images hold to instantly evoke memories and emotions.

So as we sat there watching the news we started talking about what was important to us. The tv, the computer, the furniture can all be easily replaced, but trying to replace photos is hard. Now with digital tech we can store files in multiple locations, but people lost negatives and prints. We then saw a local report of families being flown into the Otis Airforce base to live. Enna and I realized that we could offer to make new family portraits for them and help them rebuild their family heirlooms. We worked hard to try to get a portrait day organized on the base, but had no luck. We contacted our local photo lab, Ultra Color, and they agreed to donate 3 units (8x10's) to each family we photographed. Calumet Cambridge donated rental gear. Then we lucked out, Marta Fodor, a good friend of mine, was working as a photographer for Mayor Menino's office. She put us in contact with the right people and next thing we knew we were at holiday parties and town meetings for the evacuees with lights and a backdrop making new portraits for these families. We went to several events and photographed well over a hundred families. We heard stories of families separated, living in cars, living from motel to motel, hoping to find a place to settle down and get their children back in school. We made friends for life with some of these families and have kept in touch with them.

Just a little while ago we receive an email from a mom who had reunited with her family. She and her husband had to split up, each taking some of the kids, until they were able to find a home and work. I photographed the mom with her son 2 years ago. They now live just 20 minutes from Boston and are all together and doing well. I drove to visit them and made family portraits. It was great to see them all together and doing well.

Enna and I called our project "Operation Heirloom" and it meant so much to us to be able to do this. Here is a shot of the kids of the Thomas family happy to be together.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Boston and New England's Top Wedding Planners, Designers, Bakers, and Florists Come Together for La Bella Bride Magazine

We have developed a very strong relationship with La Bella Bride Magazine. Owners/publishers Steve and Katina LaFazia are great people and we always have an incredibly fun time hanging out /working together. The first editorial shoot I did for them was a runway fashion show in NYC. The dates for this year's fashion show have yet to be announced and I hope that Enna and I will be available for the shoot. After last year's show we all planned to go to one of NY's top restaurants after the show... We never made it to dinner at the restaurant because the Red Sox had an important game that night and Steve luckily convinced the ladies to join us across the street at a taco shop that had a tv:) When I photographed David Beahm for them a few months ago (see blog post here) we ended up at Matt Murphy's enjoying pub food and drinks. We worked together again recently on a spread for their 09 issue. After this most recent shoot they treated us to dinner at the Intrigue Cafe, which was amazing, and Katina introduced us to her own creation... the Katini. It's her own martini that I am still waiting for the recipe!!

For their latest shoot we went to the Boston Harbor Hotel and had an "A" list of wedding planners, designers, bakers and florists bring their latest designs to show off in the 2009 issue of La Bella Bride. So the work is top secret folks! Only snapshots of us working here:) If you want to see the great creativity you'll have to run out to the news stands when the issue is released:)

At the end of the day I snapped a shot of the group that remained. From left to right - Karen from La Bella Bride, La Bella intern Rachel, Steve and Katina LaFazia, Magdalena Andreozzi, and Angela from Rentals Unlimted.

Event planner Alexis Eliopoulos O’Mara who ownes Unique Weddings by Alexis (who Enna and I love!) set an amazing table on the waterfront. We documented several weddings for Alexis last year and can't wait for our next wedding with her! Her events are always top notch, decorated with her unique creative eye, and run so incredibly well.

Tasha Bracken of SD Events is such a good sport, smiling for me while she is hard at work trimming flowers for her table. Tasha had these cool clear plastic chairs for her table that allowed her floral design to be viewed without obstruction from wherever you stood in the room.

My new friends! Jay and Melissa Lane of Golden Gate Studios. Their table was bursting with color and elegance. They had a lot of cool details at the table for me to photograph, and I was able to play with all sorts of points of view to show off their work.

The Event Diva! Need more be said?! Magdalena Andreozzi is a blast to hang out with. I only recently met Magdalena and I can't wait to shoot events for her. She shared with me some of her plans for this coming year's events and she has some pretty amazing stuff happening! She is also a fan of the Katini, how can you not love a fan of the Katini?!

The fabulous Katini!!! Love ya too babe!!

Other rock star vendors who were at the shoot were:
Jenny's Wedding Cake
Jeri Solomon
Toria Dolce
Blooming Blossoms
Silver Toad
I Dream of Jeanne Cakes

Friday, April 25, 2008

David H. Wells Came to Boston!

I love it when you meet someone in life who you immediately connect with and become instant friends. David and I met while I was a student and was given the opportunity to be his assistant for a workshop on editorial photography. He is a great person, photographer, and teacher. I am honored to have him as a great friend and always look forward to our annual day at the beach with his wife Annu, daughter Adena, and my family. It's difficult for us to connect as he travels the world A LOT, and I work weekends A LOT. So to have him come to Boston to teach a workshop was a real treat. The idea of this workshop came to me after spending a day at David's house and learning about his image workflow. David is a photojournalist, and a stock photographer. As a photojournalist he has documented some heartbreaking stories and has been published in, well, you name it. His stock photography resume is just as impressive. So as David travels the world documenting lifestyles, he also creates masterpieces of stock imagery. His workshop in Boston focused on the importance of registering ALL of your images with the Library of Congress, and how to select, apply to, and work with a stock agency. Those who attended the workshop absorbed every word he said and left with a new challenge in life - registering our work with the Library of Congress! The process is actually very easy and fast, but it takes a commitment to be consistent. Check out David's website to find out where he will be teaching next.

Thank you for coming to Boston to teach your workflow David!! See you on the beach soon:) ~Matt

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Conductor Ollie Hard at Work

Ollie thought he would get a nice relaxing train ride but instead the conductors put him to work!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Matt with the 2004 and 2007 World Champion trophies:) Matt asked the security guard if they had any trophy of any kind for the earlier championships... non that the guard knew of. It was great to watch the Sox play the Yankees in NY on tv at Fenway while the park was relatively empty. Manny had a great night and is closing in on 500 homers. GO MANNY!!!!
sent from my Treo.

Dinner With a View

We're at an event for Room To Grow... It's such a peaceful and beautiful view of Fenway. Go Sox!

posted from my Treo.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Boston Magazine Shoot

I was recently asked to be one of four photographers to be featured in Boston Magazine's spring wedding edition. Each photographer was given an hour with a model and the magazine will compare our styles.

I started with our beautiful model Jamie in a chair by the window. Jamie BTW is getting married this month!! Congratulations Jamie and we wish you the best for you wedding day!!! ~Matt

I loved the curves in her hair. Jamie was very elegant and I wanted to show the details of her style.

This shot is my fav. I love the angle and the light. It shows off her hair style, you can see her lush eye lash, the pearls resting on her neck and ear, and the delicate lace of her dress.

I love the Native American sculpture on the staircase. This shot, actually all of these, are with nothing but available light, meaning no flash or video lights.

I promise to be better!!!

Enna and I have been so busy re-arranging the office for new work stations, getting organized for the busy New England wedding season, photographing weddings, engagement shoots, family portraits, attending charity fund raisers, PUG meetings, magazine shoots (2 this month alone!) hosting and attending workshops, mentoring....am I forgetting something? Oh yeah, and raising a family:) LOL. So we have let our blogging slip, but I promise to start catching up as best I can starting today:)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Room to Grow

I am so excited to learn about Room to Grow! I'm creating a special Portrait Package that will benefit our local Room to Grow program. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Mattion!!!

Our very favorite kid-friendly restaurant is Full Moon in Cambridge. They have a wonderful play area that the kids can visit during dinner, and a yummy menu that caters to foodie adults AND kids. Ollie and Will love that they can romp around and be themselves at this restaurant, and Matt and I love that we can linger over a bottle of wine while we let the kids take their time. So this is where the boys and I took Matt for his birthday dinner on Sunday. We've been so busy getting ready for this year's weddings that it was really great to take some time out for family. It was a perfect place to celebrate Matt's 21st birthday too! ;)

PS - Centre St. Cafe you're still our fave for breakfast :)