Friday, January 31, 2014

fr EYE day

This eye is certainly one of a kind! I've yet to see another like it! It's yellow-green with some blue undertones and also has contraction furrows, which I usually only see in hazel eyes. Dang!

Happy fr EYE day!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Wienermobile in Shelton, CT

Last week, The Wienermobile came to the Stop N Shop in Shelton, CT, which just so happens to be right next door to my office! I knew exactly what picture I wanted to take: a diptych on my SX-70. Of course, it was absolutely freezing outside, which is not a good thing for the sensitive film. My solution was to purchase a pair of hand warmers and move the shots into my jacket pocket as quickly as possible. You can see that the hand warmers cooked the film in a couple of spots, but all in all, it was a success!

I brought along my Canon EOS M to be able to take pictures of my coworkers enjoying the Wienermobile as well. We had gotten a nasty storm earlier in the week, to which the Wienermobile drivers complained, "It's really hard keeping the Wiener clean!"

Michael Tierney, one of the current drivers, gave us all sorts of Wienermobile facts. There are six versions of the 27-foot-long vehicle that are touring the country. They hire recent graduates to promote the company. It must be one of the greatest jobs in the world because everybody that stops to say hello has a childish smile on their face. Michael was super friendly as he handed out Wiener Whistles and gave us a tour of the vehicle. He even snapped a group shot for us!

The smiling Wiener Whistle cracked me up. The Wienermobile is making its way to the Superbowl, so keep your eyes peeled. It's quite a site! And in case you were wondering, this is not the first food related car I've come across, but I was definitely more prepared this time around.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Caturday Selfie

Happy Caturday!

Addy has really fallen in love with the front facing camera on my phone. She's always been photogenic, but she's taken it to a new level. I, of course, felt the need to photo bomb her selfie. Sorry, Addy, I'm sort of a jerk like that.

Who knew Addy had her own watermark?

Friday, January 24, 2014

fr EYE day

happiest of fr EYE days! if you've been following this weekly post for a while, you know that brown eyes are a challenge. they just soak up the light and are harder to focus on than blue eyes. i'm really happy with the detail in this one.

Monday, January 20, 2014

14 New* Things

Ok, so every year I set up a list of goals that I want to accomplish. I dislike the word resolutions because I feel like that puts a lot of pressure on yourself. Last year, I didn't reach many of my goals. This year, I'm repeating some of those goals and I've added new ones. I'll repost this at the end of the year to let you know how I've done.

1. Grain free by the end of January
I had a pretty decent paleo diet going that lasted 4.5 months. I went off of it for the holidays and immediately felt the effects. I'm not gluten intolerant, but I definitely feel better without it in my diet. I also know that it's not realistic to expect myself to jump back on it after eating whatever I wanted for 1.5 months. I thought I should try to ease back into it and try to remain paleo for as much of the year as possible.

2. Photo Challenge: Shooting Calendar
I've written objects on 31 slips of paper. Each day, I will pull a piece of paper and take a photograph of the object listed. At the end of the month, I'll start over. I think I'm going to upload these at the end of the month as a collage on my blog, but hopefully I'll upload them onto pinterest each day. I'm not starting this until February because I've gotten such a late start on my goals post.

3. Go to the gym 5x's a week for 10 weeks
The first week of this year has been a wash as I'm recovering from a sinus infection. As soon as I feel better, I'm heading back to the gym.

4. Give Blood
Since I'm posting this late, I'd like you to know that I've already achieved this goal and am signed up for my next donation!

5. Play Basketball
I had a friend from URI already offer to get together with me and play a pick up game. I do have to say, John, Rob and I came in second place in our dorm basketball competition my freshman year. Nobody thought the band geeks would be so good!

6. Run a 5K
I have several friends that are runners, and although I don't think running is the greatest thing for my knees, I want to give it a try. I have some nifty new Xero shoes that I need to test out!

7. Shoot with online photographer friends
I used to shoot with my friends all the time, but really haven't done that in the past few years. I have a couple of tumblr photographer friends that are in the area and we've talked about getting together to goof around with our cameras.

8. Shoot more concerts than last year
I think this is my most ambitious goal this year as I covered a lot of shows last year.

9. Fall foliage
I want to get outside and get some nice scenic shots this year.

10. Find a new dentist
I've been going to the same dentist my whole life, but my current insurance isn't taken by that dentist. Le sigh.

11. Take a trip to Maine
I haven't been to Maine since I was a teenager and I wasn't much of a photographer then. I want to get up there to hike and take some scenic shots, hopefully even catch the Northern Lights.

12. Find a word press template I like and transfer website over to it by 2015
I'm hoping this will force me to learn a bit of web design.

13. 30 second flexed arm hang
This is my ol' reliable goal that I've failed for the past three years.

14. Convince Andy Stochansky to record a new album and tour so I can photograph him
I feel like I should include one truly outrageous goal for the year and seeing how it's been at least a decade since I saw Andy play live, I've come up with this one. No pressure, Andy, no pressure.

And since I've been slacking in my blog posts, I'm throwing in my 2014 playlist. The new songs have been uploaded into the player up top there. Check them out; it's a pretty chill mix this year.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Happy Caturday!

This week, I'm featuring my little munchkin, Addy. If you follow me on social media, you know that Addy has had a rough week. She's been getting sores on her chin on and off for a while now, but when I came home Sunday, I knew we were going to have to do something about it. It turns out that Addy has cat acne, which yes, is a real thing, and Addy actually had cystic acne. Our trip to the vet included shaving her chin, cleaning out the open sores and getting an antibiotic shot. At least I don't have to try to give her pills! It took a couple of days, but Addy came around and realized I was looking out for her best interests and we're friends again.

I've been really lucky with Addy health wise and I can't believe she's already going to be nine years old. The whole ordeal made me really grateful. I think we take our pets for granted sometimes, and it's not until something bad happens that we realize just how lucky we are to have them. I can't tell you how touched I was when she came out of hiding and curled up with me in bed. She gave me a lick as I pet her as if to say all was forgiven.

Give your pets a big hug and spend some time playing with them. They are only here for a short while and make our lives so much better.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Iguanas at Cafe 9 01.11.14

My first concert of the year! I couldn't have asked for anything better: an old favorite at a familiar venue with my best friend by my side. I first saw The Iguanas open for Jimmy Buffett in 1992 at the tender age of eleven. That was the concert where I decided I wanted to be a concert photographer, so photographing the guys 22 years later, was a big deal for me. When I was younger, I played trumpet and I had a bad case of nerves before each big performance. Twelve year old Audra wrote The Iguanas a letter seeking advice, and one of the saxaphonists, Derek, replied. It was incredibly cool of him and to this day, I still have that letter tucked away. V and I saw The Iguanas at Cafe 9 in 2001, which was a memorable concert in itself. It was the first show I attended there, even though I wasn't shooting. We danced and had a great time and even got the band to dedicate a song to "the ladies in the back". We cheered our heads off.

The lineup of the band has been different each time I've seen them play. They are down to a four piece with Joe Cabral on tenor saxaphone and guitarist Rod Hodges sharing vocal duties. Rene Coman on bass and Doug Garrison on drums bring up the rhythm section. While the smaller line up does effect the sound of the band live, saxaphone harmonies were sorely missed on a few tracks, The Iguanas are still fantastic live. The standout tracks of the night for me were Poncho, Boom Boom Boom, Benny's Cadillac and My Girlfriend is a Waitress. The band has fun on stage and are tight from all the years of playing together. Garrison keeps an effortless beat that had the majority of Cafe 9 dancing throughout the night. Cabral could wail out solos all night. Hodges has such a soothing voice and plays a mean guitar. Coman bounces around the stage, slapping out the bass while watching his band mates for the changes. It was such a fun atmosphere with respective fans having a great time, it really recharged me.

Thanks to Paul from Cafe 9 for hooking me up at this concert and thanks to The Iguanas for putting out such great music for so many years. You've been a huge inspiration to me and getting a chance to photograph you was an absolute blast.

As always, I'll leave you with a shoe shot, 22 years in the making.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

fr EYE day

happy fr EYE day! there are some really distinct flower patterns in this particular eye and contraction furrows that are just as pronounced as mine!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Christmas Roundup 2013

Christmas was a whirlwind of activity. Party after party with family and friends, as well as plenty of handmade crafts and cookies. I start of course, with the obligatory out of focus Christmas tree shot. This was the first year we'd set the tree up since Addy and I moved back home and she behaved herself. Good work, Addy!

The first get together I attended was a Milford Camera Shop Reunion. MCS closed in January of 2003 and although we'd gotten together a few times after the closing, it had been several years since we caught up. I was absolutely thrilled with the turn out and got to catch up with a lot of my former coworkers and friends. These are the people that got me into photography, so they are all dear to me.

Derek, who you've seen before on my blog with these family portraits and one of his wedding pictures is the first image on my main website, and I were taking selfies on film cameras before that was even a thing. This was a pretty typical pose for us.

Bruce was the man that told me to inquire about a job at MCS. He'd been taking my picture ever since I was a little kid; my dad used to hire him for team photos in sports for as long as I can remember.

Jeff, Derek and Dave were really sporting some beards!

For a friend's holiday party, I finally busted out the Ninja Bread Men cookie cutters my brother had gotten me last Christmas. They took a while to decorate, but they were a hit of the party.

That is of course, until they got to their Christmas gift. These friends only asked their guests to bring a handmade Christmas ornament to add to their tree. I thought it would be fun to make them personalized ornaments of their two cats, Murray and Lucy. I found a website that sells dried and cleaned gourds and painted them on a snow day. Jo Ann's sells scraps of suede which I used for the ears. They came out pretty ridiculously cute!

A family tradition that my brothers and I do every year on Christmas Eve day is make cookies. Grandma Soup used to make these and we've carried it over. The May side of the family always smiles to see them and Uncle Richie says we are getting better each year. This year, Aria and Grace got the feel for the dough. We teach 'em young!

Jimmy and Nick are much better at working with the dough than I am. Below is a shot of Grandma Soup in the middle of bow production.

The end results are what we've been calling Bows and Balls. The bows look like aids ribbons and are covered with powdered sugar while the balls and covered in honey and rainbow nonpareils. As per usual with our family, we didn't know there was a specific name for these cookies, we just know how to make them. I brought a batch to another party and I got a response I would never have expected. Several members of the family rushed over to me in shock, exclaiming that I had brought Struffoli! Apparently, that is the Italian name for the honey balls. After some online research, I found that they are a Neapolitan Christmas cookie and in Calabria they are known as Scalilli. So there you go!

On to my cousin's Christmas party, where my holidays are complete with a cup of hot wassail and a piece of steak tartar. Don't judge; it's the one time of year I have it!

I cracked up at the wrapping of this present under their tree.

Hannah is getting better at that standing and walking thing...

My friends host a Christmas Eve party called the "Fon-do / Fon-don't" party. You bring an item that you know will be good in the fondue and one that will probably be horrible. We alternate between cheese and chocolate, and this year was a cheese year. My do was soft pretzels and my don't was a tangerine marshmallow. I expected it to be worse, so I was a little disappointed. The winning don't was a junior mint. It was ghastly. The rules of the night are that you have to try whatever you bring, so that keeps everyone honest and has helped us avoid crickets and anchovies. Of course, Santa Cletus makes an appearance every year. That's him with Mia above. Cletus is one of the most calm cats you will ever meet.

What about Addy? Don't you worry; she was treated to a brand new gigantic scratching post. She went to town on that thing acting pretty playful and of course, providing me with some ridiculous photo ops.

Christmas morning. Hannah has developed this annoying adorable habit. When you raise a camera, she squeezes her eyes shut and holds it for a few seconds. Then she opens them and laughs about it. It took me a few tries of waiting it out before I recognized the pattern. Oh you little devil, you!

Papi was the center of attention this year.

Grace playing with Grandma's orange pillow.

Hannah constantly on the move!

Aria and Michele opening presents.

James hamming it up over his Skylanders toys.

Presents with four kids was a little bit chaotic. It felt like everyone wanted each others presents and to open everything in sight.

My brother Jimmy made the ladies earrings based off of the birthday pig stamp I created for Grace's birthday. Michelle, mom and I model above.

Nick and I try to get each other silly presents every year. I thought the funny side up egg mold was pretty ridiculous. Below, he's testing out the foul smelling scratch and sniff stickers I got him.

James loved his mother's present, which was a couple of pictures of himself and Aria.

Jimmy showing off a nifty mask from Bali Thai Imports.

My mom was super excited to get a family portrait.

Jimmy finds another use for one of Hannah's toys and James had to follow suit.

James V. and James N.

Papi and Aria

Hannah and James spending some quality time together.