Saturday, December 31, 2011

Shoot Your Own Session

As a child, my dream was to become a fighter pilot in the Air Force. That dream died in tenth grade when I got my first pair of glasses. As a photographer, I'd give my right arm, wait, make that my left arm, to go up in a fighter jet and photograph the ride. I'd also love to practice in goal with an NHL team just to see if I could do it, with both arms of course. If I could do someone else's job for day, the list would be long - driving a freight train or 18-wheeler, a stock car, a writer for a car magazine, a fly fishing guide...

A few weeks ago I was brain storming to try and find ways to bring in some income during the slower winter months. One of the ideas was to offer my expertise to those who ever wanted to have my job for an hour. With all the new cameras people receive as Christmas gifts, I thought this was the perfect time to offer a "Shoot Your Own Session" promotion. Here's how it will work. For $75, you get to bring your family/friends to the studio for an hour and use my backgrounds, strobes, props, etc... under my guidance to create your own portrait. I will then walk you through some Photoshop skills where we will print an 8x10 for you to take with you. All the images you create are yours to keep.

We will be offering this for a limited time before the studio starts filling with senior portraits. You can book this for yourself or buy it for someone as a great gift. Call the studio at 585-393-9242 or e-mail for more details or to book your session.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Photography Classes

For years I have been toying with the idea of offering photography classes at the studio and now is the time to get it going. I will be doing a wide range of classes, some more basic than others, covering a wide range of topics. I've decided to offer classes on the things people ask me about most from simple camera settings to sports action to Trash the Dress portraits. Below is a list of classes along with the dates, times and price for each class. Contact me directly to reserve your spot at or by calling the studio at 585-393-9242. Class size is limited so call early to get your spot.

Camera Basics - Learn what each button does and how it fits in to real world situations to get the most out of your camera.
Tuesday 1/17 7-9 p.m. $25

Sports Photography - Geared toward those wanting to get the best shots from soccer field to the ice rink. We'll go over camera settings, equipment selection and shooting techniques as well as some after the shoot computer tricks and products.
Tuesday 1/24 7-9 p.m. $25

The Art of Lighting - This is for the photographer wanting to take their photography skills to the next level. Knowing the camera is one thing, being able to see light differently to turn snap shots in to art is another. We will explore natural light, on and off camera flash as well as alternative light sources.
Tuesday 2/7 7-10 p.m. $40

Winter Trash the Dress - Have you ever wanted to shoot a Trash the Dress session but could never find a bride willing to do it. Here is a great opportunity to photograph one of the hottest trends in photography and at the same time getting some spectacular winter scenery. We will start at the studio and then travel to several locations. We will have model brides and touch and several different lighting techniques to create truly dramatic images. We will finish back at the studio sharing some of the images using Photoshop and Lightroom. This class if not for the faint of heart as we will do the class regardless of the weather.
Wednesday 2/15 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. $75

We will also be offering one-on-one classes with topics and dates at your convenience. Classes will be based on an hourly rate of $25 per hour. Call for availability.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gift Certificate Sale

Back by popular demand, we are once again offering our gift certificate sale for Christmas. Beginning now and continuing through Christmas Day, we will be offering "Buy One, Get One Free" Gift Certificates or "Double Value" on one certificate. The gift certificates are for new sessions only and will be valid from January 1st, 2012 through April 30, 2012. The certificates are good toward sessions and product orders. After April 30, 2012 the certificates are still good, they are just at face value. Call the studio at 585-393-9242 to purchase a certificate which comes tastefully wrapped for immediate giving.

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Blog

I've started a new blog separate from this one devoted specifically to my journey through shoulder surgery. I didn't want to bore everyone here with it, but if you're one of the tens of thousands of people with shoulder surgery in your future, the blog may help, or scare the crap out of you depending on how this journey turns out for me.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ten Years

I finished my photo shoot in Rockland County last night just before midnight. I was an hour north of my sister Caren's apartment in Manhattan, so I didn't want to head south for an hour to drive five and a half hours north in the morning. I figured I would head north up Route 17 and see how far I could go before I needed to pull in to a rest area and get some sleep. Surprisingly, I made it as far as a rest area on Interstate 81 25 miles south of Syracuse. After an hour of tossing and turning in the drivers seat using Mushy, my plush bear that I bought Freshman year of college, as a pillow, I decided to get back on the highway. I don't normally travel with a teddy bear but he was accompanying Sarah who took the trip downstate with me to spend time with my little nephew Eddie, who is named after my father. We pulled in to the driveway at 5:52 a.m., so I texted my wife telling her we were home so she didn't freak and smash me over the head with a shovel when I came inside. I climbed in to bed and slept until 1:00.

I woke up, had a great breakfast of stuffed french toast that Sue made and then watched the Jets game. It wasn't until my sister Ellen called to see if I spoke to Mom yet that it dawned on me that today was the tenth anniversary of my Dad's death. How could I forget such a huge date? For the first 31 years of my life, my existence seemed to revolve around my Father. He was the center of the world. He was as powerful and vital as gravity and air, never faltering, just taking for granted that he would always be there. And then he wasn't. He lost a heartfelt but inevitable battle with esophageal cancer.

It is now ten years later and his gravitational pull is still as strong as ever, binding our family together. We all still feel the loss as if it were yesterday while at peace enough with it I suppose to be able to sleep half the day away before remembering it was December 4th. With the grief of my Grandmother's passing so fresh, it kind of puts some distance back to my Dad's passing. I see him everyday though looking back at me in the mirror. Sometimes the resemblance is so real I just chuckle and say, "Hi Dad."

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Small Business Saturday Sale

In honor of Small Business Saturday, we are having a sale on our wicked cool custom holiday cards. Today only, all of our card orders will be discounted 25%. The studio is closed today so send your card orders to to receive your discount. We have both folded and flat cards as well as boutique cards with die cut edges. We have an entire PDF of card designs. E-mail to see the PDF.

Check back Monday for a cool Cyber Monday Sale!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bess the Great

For all of my four decades of existence my Grandparents have always been on top of the family pyramid. Even when their parents were alive when I was just a wee grasshopper, my grandparents were still at the top, caring for their aging parents. When my Grandfather passed away back in January, we knew it was only a matter of time before Grandma would follow, dying from a broken heart. Last Friday, my Grandma Bess was reunited with my Grandpa after a 10 month hiatus in their 74+ year marriage.
Their marriage was one for the record books. They were frequently asked the secret to their longevity and healthy marriage and Grandpa would always reply with a sly grin, "Lots of oral sex." It's hard to grieve for the loss of my Grandmother when it coincides with the reuniting of such an amazing legacy of marriage. It's like peanut butter existing without jelly or macaroni existing without cheese. Sure it can happen, but it's just not complete. When Tom Cruise uttered the words, "You complete me," to Rene Zelweigger in Jerry McGuire, he must have been inspired by my Grandparents, because there was never a more complete couple in human history.
Here is a news story that ran in 2009 on their 73rd Anniversary.

One of the big questions that came up the past few days was where to go from here? Who is at the top of the pyramid now. We realized that we are all at the top of our own pyramids now and that's how it's been throughout civilization. When the top of the pyramid falls off, ten new pyramids are created. Our family is different though. Our Grandparents instilled such strong values of family in to each one of us that even though the top came off the pyramid, we're all throwing ropes to each other to keep the base together.

Grandma, you will be missed terribly. Your chicken soup and apple cake will forever warm my heart.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Project 9-11 Slideshow

On September 11, PPSNYS member photographers captured what they were doing that day to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9-11-2001. Here is the slideshow that PPSNYS put together as a tribute. My embedded videos have not being showing up when viewed on Facebook, so here is the direct link to the blog.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Trash the Dress, In Diapers?

I was interviewed yesterday for an article on Trash the Dress that ran online today on The article was on 5 New and Unusual Wedding Traditions, Trash the Dress being one of them. Here is a direct link:

One of the new and more unusual trends in weddings appearing is the use of bridal diapers for brides wearing dresses that are too difficult to go to the bathroom in. I guess forgoing the diaper would bring new meaning to trashing the dress.

My brides don't wear diapers, they just wash their dresses on the cold cycle while they're still wearing them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I couldn't have said it better myself, Santa's coming and we're just as excited. November 19 and 20 we are once again offering our awesome photos with Santa with a 15 minute session 1-8x10, 2-5x7s and 25 Holiday Cards for $75. Book your appointment today because we sell out quick by calling 585-393-9242.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Remembering Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

When I saw the headlines come across the news last night about the passing of Steve Jobs, I was shocked, not only about the news itself, but also my reaction to it. I knew he had pancreatic cancer and stepped down as CEO of Apple in August, but I never would have guessed he would go downhill so fast. Although I didn't know him personally, I really feel a personal sense of loss, greater than just hearing of the passing of a celebrity or sports star. His innovation of products as well as the marketing of those products has been such an intrinsic part of my life, I couldn't help but be affected personally. My iPhone and iPad are such indispensable tools in my life now. We are in the process of transitioning the studio from PC based to Mac based as well. It's a slow process as finances become available, but it is a direct result of the influence Steve Jobs has had on my life. Weekly I would browse the Mac-Life app on my iPad to see what new products Apple was introducing, as well as the way they were introducing them. Jobs was a marketing genius that I would love to emulate on even the smallest level. Rest in peace Mr. Jobs. I'm sure you will be missed by millions.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Life Lesson

I have my cameras with me all the time, so much so that I'm sore from carrying them on my shoulders. I woke up this morning to the sound of torrential rain on the roof and my wife getting my son ready for his football game. I shoot as many of his games as I can, but today I made the decision to abort and keep my equipment dry and give my body a day off. Instead, I set my attention on dressing appropriately for two hours in a 48 degree monsoon.
It's been raining for days, so the ground is completely saturated. Cade came home from football practice yesterday in tears he was so cold and wet. At today's game we were armed with rain gear from head to toe and enough hand warmers to cook a turkey. I knew the game would be a soggy one, but I never anticipated the four inch deep puddles on the field. With every tackle, tsunamis of water would hurl up in to the air. My mind began snapping photos, still shots of water dripping off the ends of noses, the agony of cold fingers slamming in to helmets and the never ending spray of water shooting up, showering the pint sized athletes. Unfortunately, my camera lay peacefully tucked in it's warm dry bag in my house. From now on, it will come with me whether I plan on using it or not.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mini Sessions

Believe it or not, we're gearing up for Christmas already with a collection of Mini Sessions that make great Christmas gifts. Each half hour session will cost $75 and include 1-8x10, 2-5x7s and 25 Christmas Cards. Some of the themes will be ongoing with studio appointments while others will be limited dates with limited appointments available.

Here is a list of some of the themes we will be doing:
-School Photos - October (This is the perfect alternative to the single pose school photos each year)
-Dog Days of Autumn Pet Portraits - October and November
-Pumpkin Patch Children's Photos - October
-Fall Foliage Family Portraits - As long as the leaves last
-Couch in a Field Family Portraits - October 22-23
-Rustic Barn Photos - October and November
-Santa Photos - Mid November 2 days only Dates TBD (If you've seen our Santa, you'll believe!)
-Christmas in the Studio - November and December

We will start immediately with our School Portraits. Call the studio at 585-393-9242 to book your after school session. Why settle for rapid fire fake smiles when you can get a half hour session with multiple outfit changes?

Bring the pets out before the snow flies with our Dog Days of Autumn sessions. This is the perfect gift to surprise your dog lover this holiday season. We can do lakeside photos, in a park, urban alleys, etc... Please bring a bag to take out what your dog leaves behind.

We are still searching for the "perfect" couch to bring out in a field for family photos. If you know if a couch that would look really cool for this situation let me know.

Our Pumpkin Patch Children's Photos and Fall Foliage Family Portraits are weather dependent, so book early before the seasons first wind storm takes all the leaves down.

Stay tuned for details on our Santa photos.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kudos Budweiser

Great 9/11 tribute from Budweiser.

Project 9.11

As a member of the Professional Photographers Society of New York State, I was invited to participate in a book project commemorating the ten year anniversary of the attack on the United States by terrorists. Project 9.11 will be a collection of images from member photographers across the state, documenting life ten years later.
I had the opportunity to photograph this years Thunder Over Niagara Air Show in Niagara Falls. It was an honor to participate in something so powerful with members of the military who have so valiantly given of themselves to protect our freedom. Words can't fully express the pride I feel being an American but hopefully the images can.

9/11 Remembered

I remember the day vividly. Our morning consisted of watching The Wiggles on TV as Sarah prepared for her first day of preschool. I was going to fly down to NYC that morning but I put it off until the afternoon so I could be with Sarah for this milestone.
My father was staying at my aunts house in Lynbrook, Long Island while he commuted to Sloan Kettering in Manhattan for his cancer treatment. He was in a clinical trial for Esophageal Cancer after surgery unsuccessfully contained it from spreading.
Sue and I dropped Sarah off at the YMCA preschool program and then headed down to the Post Office in Canandaigua with a quick stop at Burger King for breakfast. We heard a few people murmuring about a plane crash but didn't think much of it. At the post office the employees were talking more about it and we heard a plane had hit one of the twin towers.
It was hard to believe, so we rushed back to the car and turned on the radio only to find out this was no accident with the second plane hitting the South Tower.
I had an appointment at the studio which I half heartedly completed before rushing home. Back in the car I listened in shock as the North Tower fell. The next 36 hours were a blur as we sat glued to the TV. My trip to NYC was obviously cancelled.
While all this was going on in the uncertain safety of Canandaigua, my mother and father were on their way in to Manhattan for one of his treatments and to find out the results of his most recent Cat Scan. On the train in, they could see the smoke from the towers looming over head. They arrived in Penn Station and switched from the Long Island Rail Road to the subway, only to have that shut down after one stop. They had to walk the rest of the way to Sloan Kettering on the streets. As they walked, people began gasping in horror and as they turned around, they could see the North Tower come down.
When they finally made it to Sloan Kettering, they were seen and dealt the news that would forever change their world. The treatment was not working and he was out of the program.
September 11, 2001 was not only one of the darkest days in our country's history, it was also the day my father was given his death sentence.

Now, ten years later, the wounds have healed as a country and as a family, but the scars are deep. It doesn't take much to bring the emotion flooding back. Seeing the country come together today both locally and nationally lets me know that I'm not alone. I spent the morning with my family watching the news coverage of the events of today and ten years ago. My kids were either too young or not even born yet when our world changed, so they sat riveted to the TV trying to grasp the magnitude of what took place. For ten years they have heard about it and learned about it with each passing anniversary. I don't know if it's a sign of them maturing or the increased awareness with such a big anniversary, but I think it sunk in today. My daughter posted on her Facebook page today, "It has been 10 years. And although I was very young, I will never stop praying for the people who risked their lives and the families who lost loved ones that day. It was a hard day on my family and many others. We will remember you always♥"

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


My Freshman year of high school I was the only rookie on my high school hockey team. I had never played in a check league before so I was deathly afraid of my first shift. It wasn't until the last minute of my first game that I actually got to touch the ice. I skated in to the corner after a loose puck and immediately got sandwiched to the boards like a panini. I wobbled back to the bench as manly as I could, climbed over the boards gasping for the breath that had been knocked out of me and said to my line mates, "That didn't hurt."

A few weeks later, I had been promoted to the second line. All the stars aligned one game and as I was standing in front of the net I got knocked to my knees as the puck landed in front of me. I hacked at it with my stick and got just enough of it to send it gracelessly bouncing on the ice. It was like slow motion as the goalie bent down to pick up the puck that was barely moving and in true Bill Buckner fashion, he missed. It trickled in to the net for the most technically inefficient goal ever scored, but it was my goal. At the end of the game as I stepped off the ice, I saw the twinkle in my Dad's eye he was so filled with pride. I will never forget that moment as he put his arms around me and said, "You're not a virgin anymore!" He always had a way with words.

For several years now, I have been taking my son fly fishing. He has caught a few chubs and blue gills on the fly rod, but never a trout. It was becoming an obsession of his to catch that first one. Earlier this summer I brought him down the Springwater Creek south of Hemlock Lake. The creek is not known as one of the areas best streams, but it was perfect for him with lots of small rainbow trout. Rainbows tend to be a little more aggressive and the young ones aren't as wise as their elders. Right off the bat Cade began to have a few tugs on the line but his inexperience got the best of him as he couldn't set the hook quickly enough. Cast after cast he slowly noticed and corrected his mistakes until it finally happened. A beautiful six inch rainbow hit the line and didn't let go. Cade was so excited he wasn't sure what to do beside dragging the little gem out of the creek on it's side.

I was so excited for him I almost forgot to take pictures, but I was determined to document this moment three years in the making. The pride I felt inside was intense at my little guys accomplishment. The excitement of his first trout didn't last long though because the second one came shortly after, and a third and fourth and fifth...for a total of nine trout that day. He was so excited we went back the next day and he caught six more.

Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for life. Teach your son to fish and you'll smile for life.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Auto Art

With a career as a wedding photographer, inevitably I miss a lot of the fun summer events that happen on Saturdays. I go to the stock car races every chance I can, even after getting smashed in the shin with a hundred mile per hour pyramid shaped rock that left an inch long gash in my leg through my jeans. Luckily it was my shin and not my head.
On Father's Day, my family took me to Chemung Speedrome near Elmira. I should say the indulged me since I drove and paid. Given the choice, I would much rather go to an asphalt speedway than a dirt one. In July I had the opportunity to shoot at Canandaigua Speedway with track photographer Jeffrey Stalker.
I finally had a chance to edit some of the images just in time for summer and the racing season to wind down.

Sign up for our eNewsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust