Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2014 PPAM Slam!

So as we do every year, we attended the Professional Photographers Association of Massachusetts 2014 convention this past weekend. Yet another great convention with friends and new faces. This year will mark a biggie for me personally as I was bestowed with my PPAM metal for photographic excellence by none other than my lovely wife. As Merit Chair, Gail has been the book keeper for the organization for about a year now keeping track of all the merits and points that our members receive for print comp and service to the organization. Unbeknownst to me she knew I was getting this award but kept it a surprise. And surprise me she did!
That would have been all I needed to make this year memorable enough but it did not stop there. The creative theme award category, this year for “Wild”, was something that for once I knew I had a GREAT image for. When I heard the theme, my mind went right to this image. Well, my instinct paid off as my image “Feeding Time” was awarded as the judge’s choice.

This year I also chose for the first time to enter an image into the Masters Choice category. This image must be chosen by a panel photographers that have earned there Photographic Masters degree within the Professional Photographers Association of America. I was floored once again to see my image come up on the screen. Both images happen to be of actresses/dancers from the Chelmsford High School Theater Department. Looks like I owe you all one. =) A big thanks to everyone in the PPAM organization for all the inspiration and of course to Gail for keeping me from blowing apart at the seams some days! Your love and support mean the everything to me.
Other personal highlights from the evening were watching Nancy and JB receive the PPAM Lifetime Membership award as well as our beloved Joyce receiving the National Award.  The organization would not be where it is today without the three of you. Thank you!

As always, thank you Tracy Gilford for the images!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Keys to Adventure

So we were slated to leave at 6AM on a Thursday but, with an impending storm, we decided that we did not want to get lost in a snowball of canceled flight if the weather got bad, so we made the call to push things up to mid-day Wednesday and fly down to Orlando to stay at a friend's house for 1 night and beat the storm. So on Tuesday night while we were prepping for the next day, Steven sneezes and slams his nose into his arm so hard he actually blows an artery in his nose (unknown to us at the time). Not knowing it to be anything out of the norm as far as nose bleeds go, we stopped the bleeding and continued our prep to leave the next day. 6:30 AM Wednesday morning our friend, a frequent traveler, decided they would check our flight and realized that the flight we had moved to was in fact canceled! He started texting us immediately. We got the text and Gail leaped out of bed to get to the computer figuring that this was the beginning of a long day that could result in us driving down to Key West!. Well, Gail did a great job and got us on a flight that left 1 hour earlier and off we went!  The flight was rough as you could imagine as we were dodging a storm system that was bearing down on New England.
The landing in Baltimore was sketchy and Gail was in rough shape. I know now that the past two times we had taken trips with the kids she was being brave just for them. That landing in Baltimore …. snow, rain, snow, rain crosswinds…I was going to have to tranq her! Catching our breath in Baltimore, we start getting the calls from Steven’s school because his nose started to bleed yet again and Grammy had to take him home. The flight from Baltimore to Orlando was far better however Gail already had a dent in her armor and she was on edge the rest of the way down. Another sideways landing in windy Orlando and I thought she was gonna cash out!

"...here is your keys and your car is parked in B13 sir."

So with our feet safely on the ground we arrive only to find that our rental car was missing from the lot! “Wow” I thought to myself…“I just signed for the thing not 5 minutes ago and it had been stolen already! Lawrence ain’t got a thing on this place!”  I went back to the booth and this time the car they gave us was there! We finally got to our friend's house and stayed over in Orlando that night. The next morning we were on our way again for a 7 hour drive down to the Keys.

 Steven went back into school the next day as he had seemed to be fine since Grammy picked him up. Somewhere in the midst of our drive down to the Keys, we received another call from Grammy.  Steven had to be taken out of school again. Apparently they have a thing against kids with perfuse bleeding. Having first hand experience in the matter Grammy took him to the ENT and while on the phone with us they cauterized the rupture in his nose. We pulled over in an Orange grove (plenty of those around) and Gail had a conference call with he doctor. Feeling like this had finally come to an end, we continued our drive down to the keys. Steven spent yet another night at Grammy’s. At this point we were starting to get pressed for time. We made it all the way all the way down to Marathon Key when everything came to a COMPLETE stop.

The one really bad thing about Key commuting is that when there is an accident…the world stops. With only one road in and one road out…and without a boat… you’re screwed. So all that coupled with a schedule change in the dinner cruise, we were destined to miss it. Luckily, we arrived 10 minutes before the rehearsal dinner cruise returned and we met our Bride and Groom at the dock for a quick picture.

So we went back to the Inn finally to unpack. The storm back home seemed to defy logic and intensify to the point that school looked as if it was going to be canceled. With that we found ourselves looking for emergency kid coverage as someone was going to have to stay home with them. The next morning was the first time we really got a chance to take a breath since we left. Over breakfast the next morning, I was walking my father through how to start up the snowblower as school had in fact been canceled due to the snow. At this point that I turned to Gail and said “we better enjoy ourselves…our families will never let us leave again!”.

Where Rt 1ends!

...and where it starts!

Casa Marina

 After we stopped in and touched bases with our clients, we went on a walk-about on Duval street and started capturing some images to us in the wedding album. We spent that afternoon at the Casa Marina following the timeline of the wedding day as there were just SOOOO many great locations to photograph at the Marina we wanted to know where to be and when. The lighting is just so different down there. All the structures and ground finishes are lightly colored and light just fills in from all around. We were out of our minds with options. It was then we realized our biggest hurdle was going to be picking just two or three of these spots as the options were just endless!

Two thumbs up for "The Smallest Bar"

With the snow thrown and the Steven’s nose bleeding seemingly stopped, we took a little side trip to...of all places... the Home Depot!  Who would have thought they had one on Key West! We picked up some additional hardware to help us set-up our flash units for what we knew were gonna be fromal group pictures taken in high sun.

After that we went to dinner on Duval street and close the night out with a couple of cocktails.

Saturday morning, the BIG day, and we were on task! Everything went off smoothly which was amazing given all the craziness that happened up to that point. It was a bit foreboding to say the least.

The next day we said goodbye to our Bride an groom and their families spent the morning packing up and began our drive up to fort Myers. First stop was Biaha Honda Key where we spent a beautiful day some 14 years ago when we drove down to Key West as girlfriend and boyfreind = ).


Once off the keys we hung a left onto rt. 41 though the Everglades and literally traversed Florida from East to West.  
Quite literally miles and miles of gators...

...and highway signs that you just don't see up in our neck of the woods.

We stopped at the Big Cypress Gallery which, as photographers with our roots in film, was an awesome stop.

We finally made it to Fort Myers just in time for sunset and had dinner on the water right next to our hotel.

We were so ready to see our boys again and this time we had a direct flight home in much better weather. Steven, being Steven, played it up for Nonno and swindled his way out of yet, another day of School and surprised Gail at the airport.

We spent our ride home sifting through some 4000 images from the trip!
It was most definitely an adventure and a trial by fire as destination weddings go. Somehow through all this may lay we had a blast. Definitely the most complicated destination assignment we have had yet and it was, by all accounts, a blast!

Oh!! and a big congratulations to our Bride and Groom Courtney and Nick!

Friday, March 22, 2013

PPAM Convention 2013… a family experience??

So this year for the first time the boys came with us to the 2013 PPAM seminar.

Finally they are old enough where we can pretty much say “sit here, don’t move, shut up and don’t break anything” and they will listen all the while knowing that we love them more than anything. Even with the two of us also being the hosts for the hospitality suite, the boys were great the whole time. They definitely enjoyed the pool time they got, a handful of movies during the session that both Gail and I attended and got to experience the thrill of print competition even though we did not pull off any Blues this year. Personally I just missed on two of them even though I had a couple of judges trying to talk everyone up a point but to no avail. Steven was bummed and wanted to have a talk with the judges too as he was convinced that the Red Tailed Hawk shot we got together while camping was worthy. = )  Gail and I really need to put more time into it next year.

One of our favorite speakers this year was Gary Hughes out of Florida. Despite being up till 3AM on Saturday night closing down the hospitality suite, he had me awake the whole time....SHAZAM! THANK YOU GARY! He focused on getting the most out of Facebook, proper SEO optimization for your website and some tips and tricks on branding... oh, and flying pink Unicorns (it’s a long story). All this in exchange for his beloved flavored Polar Seltzer. Apparently they don’t get that down there in FLA and Gary was nuts over it. To top it off I won a picture album certificate from Millers because my birthday was closest to his. I should have known only a fellow Sagittarius could be so cool.


Also fun was Jacklyn Greenberg's “Breath In -Capturing Emotion in your Wedding Photography”. She had Gail and I showing off our unique hugging skills to everyone on stage. It paid off though, Gail won one of the raffle prizes here.

We sent the boys to Grampy’s for the last night so we could attend the awards ceremony and put the final nail in the hospitality suite.

Gail once again helped out at the podium to give out merits and she was tickled pink to  be the one that gave our beloved Joyce Holt her first PPAM Service Achievement Award to. Joyce is the sweet smiling face that has greeted us every year at the convention. Congrats Joyce!

...and...asalways...what's a PPAM seminar without some sort of fire alarm incident!  I sware it wasn't us.  Trouble just seems to follow us!  Somewhere in the middle of all the dancing, the fire alarm went off and we were forced to evacuate the building.  This was not good for the ladies as most didn't have jackets.  Thinking fast (as she always does) Gail pull one of teh table skirts off and rapped herself in it. Well, after that the flood gates opened and no table cloth was safe!! 

We were eventually let back inside and we continued to have a blast dancing and also posing with Mrs. Nancy Green's photo wall.  Thanks Nancy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Fiddler on the Roof has been posted!

After a GREAT run, the memories and images will carve this one out it's place in Acting Out Theater Company's  history.

The casting was superb.  Leading the pack was Ed Siegel who, in my opinion, embodied the roll of Tevye and Sandra Vitti who played the roll of his wife, Golde.  

The whole cast helped to drive this production home. When you have young actors in the ensemble that can give you this visually (above left),  you know it's gonna hit the mark.

A familiar face to ASA was Gabriella (above) who shared the  roll of Chava, one of Tevye's daughters.  Gabby dropped in to see us more than 3 years ago years for some headshots.  She has grown a little!

Not to be left out here was tech and crew that did a great job with the set and lights. It's  like candy to shoot as a photographer when they have there stuff together and always renders kick-but images!
Congrats to everyone at Acting Out!