Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Our New Purses Are In

We got our first samples of our new photographic purses and bags that we ordered at the Tampa trade show. They are awesome! For a guy to be excited about a purse they must be good. I'm getting in touch with my feminine side. The one below is a two sided purse showing both sides with the help of some Photoshop magic.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Loveable Lucas

What's not to love about this little guy? He had a perpetual smile the entire shoot.

Why should Lucas have all the fun? Ladies, don't forget about our "Just for Him session" for Valentine's Day. The one hour session consists of a tasteful Boudoir shoot with several outfit changes. One of our female photographers are available at your request. You will receive a CD slideshow set to music in elegant packaging and your one hour session for $99. Appointments are limited, so call the studio at 585-393-9242 to reserve your session.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

In Today's Paper

The great wedding-dress massacre

Photo by Submitted photo by Steve Chesler
Stanley resident Crystal Hansen took washable children’s paint to her wedding dress and headed to a graffiti-covered wall in Rochester as part of a Trash the Dress photo shoot by Canandaigua photographer Steve Chesler.

By Stephanie Bergeron, staff writer
Daily Messenger
Sun Jan 27, 2008, 01:36 AM EST
Story Tools: Email This Print This
Canandaigua, N.Y. -
Tara Siracusa’s husband loves his Honda Civic so much that she decided to wash it for him — while wearing her wedding dress.
The September 2006 bride from Hilton gave her fancy strapless, beaded dress one last twirl last August, nearly a year after her wedding, in a Trash the Dress photo shoot by Canandaigua photographer Steve Chesler.
They’re pretty unconventional when it comes to wedding photos: Siracusa’s husband throwing a bucket of water in her face. Siracusa leaning against the soapy Civic with sunglasses on.
“It was great,” she said. “Just the opportunity to do something that you would never do in a wedding dress is wonderful.”
The idea of the Trash the Dress concept is simple: A bride dons her wedding dress after the big day, does something different, and doesn’t care if she gets dirty. Chesler’s past subjects have included a woman riding her horse through a snow-covered field, a bride walking in the rain on the shores of Canandaigua Lake and another jumping backward into the lake.
“It’s an opportunity to be queen for a day again, to get more use out of the dress,” said Chesler.
But it’s not just about ruining the dress. It’s about telling a story and being artistic, said Chesler. In a shoot staged at Columbus Circle in Manhattan, Chesler told the story of a bride who couldn’t seem to do anything right on her wedding day. One shot shows her broken shoe; in another, she closes a taxi door on her dress; and in the end, she sits on the ground in the rain.
For Stanley resident Crystal Hansen, the photo op was a way to put on some red pumps and start painting. Using children’s washable paint, she headed to a graffiti-filled wall in downtown Rochester for her photos. She got her dress covered with a rainbow of colors shortly after her wedding — and it mortified her grandmother.
“She called me on the phone when I was washing it, and she was screaming,” said Hansen.
Lucky for her grandmother, the paint came out. But even if it didn’t, Hansen said it was going to be worth it.
“You have that one day where you get to wear your dress ... and you’re just like ‘I want to put it on again,’” she said. “Most women traditionally save it away and your daughter can wear it some day, and realistically that’s not going to happen.”
It is a rare occasion that wedding dresses are passed down, said Antoinette Infurna, owner of Antoinette’s Bridal on Ontario Street in Canandaigua. She said she has been asked to do alterations on a used dress only a few times — but she gets plenty of calls from people who want to sell their dress back to her.
“You put them in a box and then years go by and that’s it,” she said. “Good for them, have fun with the wedding dress.”
Infurna said the “Trash the Dress” concept is nothing new. Many years ago, a bride she outfitted hopped on a Jet Ski with her husband after the wedding. Another said she put the dress back on for her first-year anniversary and had a candle-lit dinner with her husband.
“Then, she didn’t care if she spilled wine or food on the dress,” said Infurna.
It’s not only an American thing. Mark Eric, a Louisiana-based photographer and founder of, said he has seen a lot of people trashing dresses in Europe, too. His Web site has featured more than 200 brides since it first started in 2006. Eric said he puts the best photos on the site, not necessarily the ones that are the most messy.
“For a while, it became a competition to see who could mess up the dress the worse,” he said. “It’s not about destroying the dress, it’s about creating great fun art for the bride.”
Siracusa put her dress in the washing machine after her car-washing adventure, and it looks like new — not that she’ll ever need to wear it again.
“Right now it’s hanging in my closet,” she said. “Really, what are you going to do with the dress?”

Here is a link to the story on the website:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Just for Him

Ladies, we have come up with the ultimate gift for your special someone for Valentine's Day. We are offering our "Just for Him session", which is usually only available as an add-on to our wedding packages, now through Valentine's Day. The one hour session consists of a tasteful Boudoir shoot with several outfit changes. One of our female photographers are available at your request. You will receive a CD slideshow set to music in elegant packaging and your one hour session for $99. Appointments are limited, so call the studio at 585-393-9242 to reserve your session.

Friday, January 18, 2008

My Sister

~ by Amanda Lee

So now that I'm back from Tampa safe and sound, despite that awful wind storm that we flew into Rochester with last Wednesday. I'm alive. Thank god!
I wanted to share a few of the images from my sisters maternity session that we did right before I left for Tampa. Kolton did a great job, he was very cooperative-it was his 4th birthday. Daddy Ben did pretty good too :)
Here you go Adrienne-I know you've been wanting to see these- Enjoy!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Universal Studios

After the conference we headed out to Orlando for some R&R. The trip to Orlando was not without drama. We were on I-4 just a few hours after the 70 car pile up. We detoured off on to a small road in Polk County and were devoured by a smoke plume from the crash and brush fire that was so thick we couldn't see the hood of the car. It took us an hour and a half to go 3 miles and we came out the other end smelling like a pig roast.
In Orlando we spent the day at Magic Kingdom before heading to the Royal Pacific Resort at Univeral Studios. The hotel was taken right out of an island in the South Pacific with old planes everywhere and a great Polynesian theme. The service was first class. We spent two days at Universal Studios and Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park. With our room key we were able to by-pass all the lines which was worth it's weight in gold.
Here are some photos from our stay in Orlando. My two little "Things" had a blast despite Sarah's run in with an "old" friend.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Images from Tampa

The PPA Conference in Tampa concluded this evening with the awards ceremony where I received a Photographer of the Year award. After the ceremony, we went to the closing party at the Tampa Aquarium. Sue, Amanda and I had a blast this week. It was a nice change of pace. Now it's off to Orlando to spend a few days at Disney and Universal Studios with the kids. Here are some images from the past few days.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Tampa Bound

We made it. We're in Tampa for the PPA National Conference. I thought we made a detour though and landed on an aircraft carrier as harsh as the landing was. Nevertheless, we're here in our overrated 2 star hotel with the convenience of live adult entertainment right across the street. Ah, the power of the Internet to allow you to book a room in a place that can be made very pleasing looking with creative camera angles. It's just for one night though since we flew in late and needed a quick option near the airport to get the kids to bed. Tomorrow it's off to Busch Gardens before the conference starts on Sunday.

In the airport we had the chance to watch the Inside Edition story in the bar near the gate. It was cool, but I couldn't give it my full attention since we were about to board the plane.

On the plane I began reading the book "The Secret". I'm only a third of the way through it, but I'm a firm believer in positive thinking and the ability to choose your life's path with that approach. I can already recommend the book, especially if you're someone who has a tendency to find the negative side of things. Ironic how I read that as I'm being harsh about our stellar accommodations this evening. The positive side is that it's not 4 degrees out and our luggage made it to our destination with us. After all, I am down here to receive a Photographer of the Year award, so how bad could it be.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Inside Edition Airs Today

I just received word that the Trash the Dress story will run tomorrow on Inside Edition. For those in the Rochester area it will air Friday at 5:30 p.m. on Channel 8 (CBS).
In other markets check with the Inside Edition website at

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

My Favorite Places

I love where I live. Canandaigua is one of the greatest places in the world to live, raise a family and run a business. As great as it is though, it's always nice to get away and experience something different every so often. There are a few places that I'm particularly fond of though, that if you find yourself near them, it's worth the extra mile to pay a visit. My top ten list of favorite places other than Canandaigua are:

10. Sanibel Island, Florida

9. Key West, Florida

8. Las Vegas, Nevada and the Valley of Fire

7. Alexandria Bay, New York in the Thousand Islands

6. Ocean Grove, New Jersey

5. Bolton Landing, New York on Lake George

4. Great Barrington, Massachusetts

3. Montauk Point, Long Island, NY

2. Townsend, Tennessee

1. Cade's Cove, Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee

I'm sure as I explore more my list will evolve. There is so much I haven't seen and so many favorite places yet to be discovered. Here are a few photos from my trip down to Ocean Grove last week.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Years Resolutions with a New Perspective

I began 2007 with some New Years Resolutions that came from the heart. I resolved to be a better father and less of a workaholic. I was able to do this within reason, but it's the nature of the business as a photographer to be a workaholic. I spent a lot more time with my kids, but to them it's never enough which I am thankful for.

On the business front, I resolved to get my destination weddings going, which I did with weddings in Mexico City and the Thousand Islands. What I didn't anticipate was the explosion of the Trash the Dress Sessions and their associated media attention.

Despite the business and personal successes in 2007, there were also major setbacks which really puts life into perspective and brings on a whole new set of resolutions. Sandi's death has shaken the very foundation of our reality and takes whatever perspectives we thought were important and turns them upside down. In one disastrous moment, we lost a sister, a twin, a best friend, someone we shared our secrets and dreams with, our successes and failures and everything in between. Because of that, my resolutions are much more heartfelt and come from deep within my soul.

This year and forever, I resolve to be a better husband. My wife Sue is the reason I look forward to getting out of bed every morning. In 2007 I took that for granted and I now realize that every day with her is a blessing and one that I will cherish.

I also resolve to spend more time with my family and not let "life" get in the way. My siblings and my mom are irreplaceable. I know that after losing my dad in 2001, but this past year just reinforced my need to be with them on a more regular basis.

I want to finish by saying Happy New Year and that I hope you ring in the year with a positive outlook and meaningful resolutions that will really make a difference in your life.
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