Monday, March 30, 2009

Da Girls!

Yay for Ellen and Amanda. Amanda received her first blue ribbon this year in her first ever competition. Ellen received two blue ribbons and a Judges Choice ribbon for one of the two. I'm so proud of them. Someday I hope to be as good as they are. :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rich's First Blog Post

Here is a copy of Rich's first blog post on our Chesler Photography New England page. I'm so proud to call him my brother:

Sometimes it seems as though we are inexplicably drawn like
magnets toward the very things to which we least want to be

Case in point. No wait....first an analogy. It is my
modus operandus to wax metaphorically via analogy. Though
sometimes esoteric, analogy is the Brett Favre of language
devices for conveying a simple idea in 12 different ways,
each one further and further from the original idea, usually
punctuated by an apology, and an attempt to get back on
topic, usually via anecdote or another analogy.

If there was a road through the desert (any
doesn't matter which) and there was a single tree, more
than 100 feet from the side of this road (either side, it
doesn't matter which, though it will in the next part of
this story) somehow, seemingly unrelated events would
transpire, and circumstances would align, to cause a single
car (mine of course), to somehow, find this tree, and
attempt to merge with it.

Ok...forget the whole desert thing....and the tree. Just
the car. Keep the car. I was driving along the Merritt
Parkway in southern central Connecticut last Sunday,
keeping with the flow of traffic at about (will my students
be reading this piece?).....highway speed. As we entered
the Fairfield, CT theoretical dome of unusual circumstances
(which actually exists (I have encountered multiple strange
events in this area)), the hood of the car inexplicably
popped open. Ghosts? Gremlins? You decide. With
hurricane force winds attempting to lift my hood and fold it
back over my windshield, I quickly stood on the brakes, and
moved the 6 foot-wide car immediately into the 5 foot-wide
breakdown lane to get out of the way of the rest of the pack
of cars traveling at (er...) highway speed. Naturally, in
the middle of the narrow breakdown lane was a 40 lb animal
carcass. I could neither stop in time, nor turn the car at
all given the guardrail to my right, and the speeding cars
to my left. I had to straddle it and hope to clear it. One
out of two ain't good. I successfully straddled the
animal, but the car was just about an inch too low. Bang!

Now what are the odds that I would find a reason to hit the
only animal on this 65 mile stretch of highway? Actually,
this animal wasn't on the highway. He was off to the
side. The odds of my encountering a reason or set of
reasons to savagely challenge this dead animal lying
peacefully on the side of the road, with my 3,000 lb car,
are approximately 1. Or 1:1 or 100%. I stay out of deserts
for this reason. Hitting this animal was an inevitability.
A certainty.

Fortunately, he missed the front air damn and hit something
very sturdy under the car. Nothing a wire brush and some
liquid hair remover couldn't fix. I still don't
know why the hood popped open. In 25 years of driving, this
has never happened before, and probably never will
again...unless there's another dead animal on the side
of the road needing a shave.

PS. So what else has happened in this dome of unusual
circumstances? I've encountered a 100 foot-wide
hailstorm (over my car of course), I've had a llama run
between my car and the car in front of me while traveling at
60mph only 10 car lengths apart. (Revisionist history now
calls it a deer. I was sure it was a llama at the time.)
I've gotten off the highway onto Black Rock Turnpike,
traveled 4 miles in a straight line and gotten back on the
highway at the same exit I got off. I could swear I'd
even passed myself going the other way. I didn't wave
at myself, but there was a llama in the passenger seat.
Strange place

Albany Bound

After yesterday's wedding, I was able to sneak in three hours of sleep before waking up at 3:30 a.m. to drive to Albany for the state photography conference. MK, Ellen and I arrived at the Desmond Hotel at 7:30 this morning for a great program by Rod Evans.

After the program, I was disappointed to learn that my prints in the competition did not do as well as I was hoping. On the bright side though, Ellen, Amanda and Daryn all received multiple blue ribbons. Way to go guys, I'm proud of you. My little chickadees are growing up.

Here are the four prints I entered. I'm still happy with them even though the judges didn't feel so strongly about them.

Haers Wedding

MK and I shot the wedding of Justin and Melanie yesterday at St. Stephens in Geneva and Belhurst Castle. Justin unveiled the new stock car which coincidentally has Chesler Photography on the side of it. It was hard to believe it was March, with clear skies and temperatures approaching 70. Fortunately for Justin, the first race of the season down in Maryland was rained out yesterday, so he didn't miss it. Congrats Melanie and Justin! Looking forward to a TTD session.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Star is Born

Sarah grew up today right before my eyes. It was a magical transformation from a timid little girl to a young woman poised for stardom. She participated in CA Idol, which is the Canandaigua Academy version of American Idol. She signed up for it months ago and been agonizing over it for weeks. The fear became almost paralyzing as we got to the school, with self doubt consuming her. She wouldn't let the fear win though and with an extreme amount of courage, she stepped out on stage and sang "I Miss You" by Miley Cyrus to a sold out crowd. Seeing how nervous she was, the crowd cheered her on, shouting words of encouragement. Then it happened. Sarah opened her mouth to sing and the voice of an angel filled the room. She hit every note and every beat even with the nail bending grip she had on the microphone. As she finished, the crowd burst in to a thunderous cheer. You could see the weight lift off her shoulders as she sighed with relief, a huge smile spreading across her face. It took all I had to hold back the tears. She conquered one of her biggest fears in grand fashion.

And now, the rest of the story...not only did Sarah step on her fear and grind it in to the dirt, she brought home the first place trophy. There are no words to describe the pride I felt as a parent, watching her walk across the stage to accept her award.

Before she began her song, she dedicated it to Sandi and Janie. I can feel them smiling down from heaven.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

John and Annette

Michal-Kathryn and I photographed the wedding of Annette and John today at St. Mary's church in Canandaigua, then Belhurst Castle in Geneva. It was a nice way to kick off a run of weddings, including another at Belhurst next weekend and then my sister Caren's wedding in Ocean Grove, NJ on April 4th.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lisa and Seth in Philadelphia

My cousin Lisa is getting married in July, so part of this past weekend's trip to Philadelphia was to do their engagement photos. We went around to some cool Philly landmarks, such as the Love sculpture, the steps at the art museum from the Rocky movies, city hall, Independence Hall and then over to Camden to get a view of the Ben Franklin bridge and the Philadelphia skyline.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I just got back from a weekend trip to Philadelphia to see my cousins Debbie and Lisa. Debbie is like 13 months pregnant. We did some really cool maternity photos at her house before heading into the center of Philadelphia to do Lisa's engagement photos. Lisa is getting married in July. Here are a few of the photos from Debbie's shoot, along with a maternity session I did a few weeks ago.

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