Friday, November 29, 2013

black fr EYE day

happy black fr EYE day!

Friday, November 22, 2013

fr EYE day...?

for most people, today is fr EYE day!

for me, it's an unholy combination of Friday/Monday/Tuesday: Frmotuday! it's a wacky schedule due to the holiday next week. all week long, i kept forgetting what day it is. what work i'm supposed to be doing. i still don't know. stinkin' Frmotudays!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chris Rowlands at the Ansonia Nature Center AKA the Return of Ray Cycle

My recent pictures on social media seem to have confused some of my followers. Why was I posting shots of a childrens concert? It's a long story, that goes back a good 20 years. Anyone that grew up in Connecticut in the late 80's and early 90's will remember a special school assembly. We were taught about recycling by none other than our own superhero, Ray Cycle. A green spandex wearing muscle man with a belt buckle in the shape of the state of Connecticut and green goggles, Ray Cycle was a hit amongst the kids. An article from the New York Times written by Robert A. Hamilton, explains Ray Cycles creation story as: "the character was born in a dump when lightning struck a cartoon character drawn on a piece of paper. After coming to life, he said, he used his X-ray vision to see the ''dump juices,'' including motor oil and other nasty substances, moving toward drinking-water supplies."

About five years ago, my coworkers at the newspaper and I brought up Ray Cycle in conversation. We all remembered the school assemblies and the songs that went along with it, but none of us knew what became of Ray Cycle. That's when I found the article from the NY Times, which revealed Ray Cycle's true identity: Chris Rowlands. With a little more searching, I found that Chris was still a performer, making his own puppets and singing environmental songs, living in Ohio. My coworkers joked about booking him for a party so we could all relive the Ray Cycle memories of our past.

A couple weeks ago, as I was checking over the Valley Gazette before sending it to print, I noticed a picture of a man with a large puppet and a guitar. I zoomed in to take a closer look and excitedly exclaimed to my coworkers, "Ray Cycle is coming to Ansonia this Friday!" Yeah, it's pretty ridiculous that I remembered the performers name off the top of my head, especially because we hadn't talked about it in five years. I went right to the editor and offered to take pictures of the performance. I was in grammar school the last time I'd seen Ray Cycle perform and I wanted to let Chris know that he had made a really positive impact on a bunch of people's lives.

The director of the Ansonia Nature Center brought up Ray Cycle as she announced Chris, much to my excitement. Chris went on to explain that it was his first job right out of college. He also pointed out had he known ahead of time that he would be wearing green spandex for several years as he toured schools in Connecticut, he most likely would not have taken the job.

Today, Chris Rowlands engages the children in a very similar way to his Ray Cycle past: through song. His lyrics are factually accurate and really gets the kids excited about nature and animals. As I watched his performance, I was struck by how similar his sense of humor is to my brother's shows. (For those of you that don't know, my brother is a shadow puppeteer.) Chris makes sure that the adults are laughing along with puns specifically for them.

The tiny space in the Ansonia Nature Center was completely packed with kids and their parents, which made shooting a little difficult. I would have loved to have gotten some reaction shots of the kids, but there was no room to move.

At the end of the night, I waited for the families to clear out before heading down to talk to Chris. I brought up Ray Cycle and he was genuinely touched that he'd made such a lasting impression. We also went on to talk about puppeteers in the area, and as it turns out, he is in fact friends with my brother. Who would have thought that all these years, my own brother is friends with Ray Cycle? What a crazy night!

I'll be sure to post when Chris is heading back to the area, because he performs in Connecticut often. If you would like more information on Chris Rowlands, check out his website here. Until then, sing it with me:

Re Re Re Re Recycle! Re Re Re Re Reuse it! Don't, don't don't abuse it!

Here I am with Ray Cycle himself, Chris Rowlands. Of course, I wore green in honor of his super hero past!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Happy Anniversary Rachel & Zach!

As I was searching through my old posts to find a shot for their anniversary, I realized I had made a HUGE mistake! Somehow, I managed to schedule this post in the future, so it never actually posted. ARRRRRRRRRG! I'm so mad at myself because this was a beautiful wedding. Better late than never, I suppose.

Rachel is one of my dearest friends and I love her family to bits. She's a former editor of the Monroe Courier, a paper I've been shooting for a lot this year. Rachel moved down to DC and met an amazing man named Zach, whom everyone agrees, is the sweetest guy you will ever find. I was excited to shoot their wedding because Old Town Alexandria is absolutely gorgeous. We had several amazing spots set aside for their portraits. That yellow wall? LOVE! Rachel and Zach are so natural together, which made my job super easy. It's been long over due, so I'll get right to the pictures.

Zach sent gifts to his bride to be periodically throughout the day. 

Rachel also left care packages for Zach. He's holding up a pack of tissues in that shot, and boy howdy, did he need them!

They did a first look before the wedding, and just as predicted, Zach let his emotions show. How sweet is he?

See what I'm saying about that wall?

Every corner of Old Town Alexandria has ridiculously picturesque facades. 

I grabbed Zach and Rachel to do a few shots at night outside the venue. The little girls on the street told Rachel she looked just like a princess and I couldn't agree more! I absolutely love the long exposure with people moving through the shot. I actually had to convince people to walk in front of the camera; they were being so polite and stopping!

Their guests came to party! From air guitars to the rabbi doing a head stand on the dance floor, every moment of the reception was a blast!

Rachel and Zach, I couldn't be happier for you and I'm still so touched that you allowed me to take part in your day! Happy anniversary!!

Hair & Makeup: Marc Rolleri
Florist: Petal’s Edge
Cake: Buzz Bakery 
Dresses: David’s Bridal
First Dance: “Without You” by Keith Urban
Father/Daughter Dance: “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
Mother/Son Dance: “Love You Like a Rock” by Paul Simon

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Addy was a little jealous about last week's post, so I'm giving her the spotlight once again. Here she is helping me with my Alphabet photo shoot. You might be asking, what happened to that project? I lost interest in it and let it slide. My yearly goals have a lot of failures, however, a lot of unexpected things have happened as well. I can't really complain.

Anyway, here's to the only cat in my life. She's so great, I only need one!

Friday, November 15, 2013

fr EYE day

welcome to fr EYE day!

I think this is one of the best brown eyes I've taken to date! You can really see the patterns in it, and once again, a lot more green than I expected.

Monday, November 11, 2013

2013 Autumn Round Up

Every year, I tell myself I'm going to get out there and take some amazing foliage pictures, and every year I put it off until there are no leaves left on the trees. This year I didn't wait that long, but I came close. While I didn't get on any hiking trails and take wide shots, I took a few details that I liked. These are all shot on my Canon EOS M with either my 100mm macro, 40mm pancake or the kit 22mm lens. The colors were spot on and the details are just as good as my DSLR. It was nice to have a compact set up instead of my usual backpack full of heavy gear. Maybe next year I'll get out there and do some long exposures. Maybe...