Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Project Healing Waters

A few months ago I heard about a program called Project Healing Waters, a program that helps injured and disabled veterans heal both physically and mentally through fly fishing. As an avid fly fisherman myself, I wanted to find how I could participate, to help honor those who have given so much for my freedom. I recently discovered that the Canandaigua Lake Chapter of Trout Unlimited, which I belong to, joined Project Healing Waters and is offering programs at the VA. I immediately signed up to volunteer in any way possible.

I went to my first meeting this evening and helped a handful of vets learn how to tie flies. Saying that, visions of house flies bound a gagged, spinning in circles upside down on a table pop in to my head. To be honest, although I've been fly fishing for a decade now, I am a rookie when it comes to tying flies. I've tired it a few times, but the end result usually looks more like a cat turd after a hair ball episode. Nevertheless, I was able to copy the instructor well enough to help one of the veterans tie a nice looking Wooly Booger fly. I then tried my own and made another cat turd with a hook. The next time I go fly fishing I'll try it and if it works I'll just sift through the litter box for bait.

All kidding aside, I'm proud and honored to be a part of this program to help and give back to those who have given so much. The caption below is from the Project Healing Waters website which can be found at www.projecthealingwaters.org.

Since its inception, PHWFF has been helping disabled active duty personnel and veterans to overcome the obstacles associated with their military service-related disabilities. The relearning of the fine motor skills required in fly fishing and fly tying has proven to be particularly effective in the overall rehabilitation of the disabled.
While PHWFF emphasizes the skills of fly fishing and fly tying to help the patients regain the use of their damaged bodies, perhaps the greatest benefit is in their realization that a more normal life is possible. Fly fishing can be a lifelong re-creation, both physically and emotionally.

Monday, March 14, 2011

What Would You Do If......?

Imagine if you will, you're lying on the operating table, and just as the Doctor is saying, "Now count backwards from ten...", you discover that he was actually a recently laid off school teacher who bought a doctor's kit on eBay. What would you do? Nothing obviously because by now the medication has kicked in and you're out cold.

Imagine if you will, your going down the runway on a flight to Florida and as the nose lifts off the asphalt, the pilot comes on to the PA system, "Good Afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to flight 93 with non-stop service to Ft. Lauderdale. It is an honor to have you on this flight since it's my first one after just getting my pilots license. Don't worry though, I was a truck driver before this so I know how to drive big things." What would you do? Nothing without a parachute I'm sure.

Imagine if you will, you hand the usher four tickets that you spent $300 to go to a Buffalo Sabres game. You get to your seats and the Sabres enter the ice. The crowd goes wild. Something's odd though. You don't recognize any of the names and they're not skating very well. The announcer comes on and says, "Due to budget cuts, the Sabres have been replaced by the local beer league team, but don't worry fans, it's dollar hot dog night." What would you do? Would you feel like you got your money's worth? I doubt it.

None of these scenarios are likely to happen at all. But there is one that's happening every day. Imagine if you will, you're a bride on the most important day of your life. You're walking down the aisle in the dress you've spent a few thousand dollars on during the wedding you've spent tens of thousands on. You smile at Aunt Betty who you haven't seen since you spilled grape juice on her white carpet in third grade. You catch a glimpse of your soon-to-be husband as a tear slides down his left cheek. Everything is perfect. If only someone where there to capture the images. The photographer you hired is in the back of the church, rummaging through his bag looking for another battery because his ran out shooting all the attractive bridesmaids. Experience should have told him to keep extras on him, but he doesn't have any because last month he was sales person at a car dealership before getting laid off. He had an entry level digital SLR camera, so he decided to call himself a "Professional Photographer." Even though you liked another photographer much better, you couldn't pass up the savings of going with this one.

What would you do? Even though the price was cheaper, you still paid good money for countless missed moments, poorly exposed images and an inexpensive wedding album to cherish all those out of focus memories. The old saying is never more apparent on the most important day of your life, "You get what you pay for."

You wouldn't trust an unqualified doctor or pilot, or settle for less with your favorite sports team. You certainly wouldn't settle for the same qualities on your wedding day. Or would you?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Match Maker

I've decided to be proactive with my wedding business by helping singles find their soul mates. We are now offering a fun, artistic alternative to uploading photos to your favorite dating site instead of using the blurry photo you're friend shot with their cell phone. Come to the studio for a one hour session and go home with a CD of artistically edited images to upload to your profile. Already found that perfect partner? We can also do these sessions to spice up your Facebook profile. Each session is just $75 and includes as many outfit and background changes as we can fit in an hour. Call the studio at 585-393-9242 to set up your appointment.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Secret Millionaire

I just got finished watching "Secret Millionaire" on ABC. What an amazing show. It was totally inspirational. I want to live my life by that example, even if I don't have the means to give financially. I want to give in other ways. There are so many families in need in this area. I've decided to give what I can by giving of what I do best and that is through photography. I know there are plenty of families who can't afford senior portraits or the wedding of their dreams, so I'm going to give away five senior portrait sessions and the prints that go with it, as well as do wedding photos for a couple in need at no charge.
If you know a family that is in such a situation, have them write a letter to me by either mail or e-mail and tell us their story. Sue and I will go over the letters and choose the ones we could be of most benefit to. I only wish I could help everyone.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Snow White

Last Saturday, snuggled tightly between two snow storms, was the wedding of Jerry and Shannon in Rochester. I was at a hockey tournament in Jamestown for Sarah's team when the first snow storm hit on Friday. We were nice and comfortable in the hotel while the rest of her team battled through snowy conditions to get there in time for the game. The Thruway was closed near Hamburg due to numerous accidents, so many of them had to take the longer route down Route 86.
I woke up early Saturday morning to make the trip back to Rochester. By then the roads were acceptable. The wedding went flawlessly. We had a great time shooting at Durand Eastman Park on one of the frozen ponds and then we went down to High Falls before heading east to Shadow Lake.
During the reception the next snow storm began making the perfect setting for the winter wonderland photos Shannon was hoping for.
Right after the reception, I got back in the car and headed straight back to Jamestown for the rest of the tournament. That was not a fun drive. Traveling 119 miles at night in a snow storm is not recommended for the faint of heart.
I arrived in Jamestown at 2:00 a.m. only to be up again at 6:30 for an 8:00 a.m. game. My body is still recovering from the lack of sleep.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

End of Winter DVD Sale

The other day I walked outside as the snow was thawing and to my surprise I saw the tops of the Daffodils emerging from the ground. I don't care what the groundhog says, Daffodils are a sure sign that Spring is rapidly approaching. I like winter. I'm an ice fisherman and a hockey player, so winter has it's allure for me. Nevertheless, seeing life emerging from winter's grip brings with it the excitement of warmer days and the end of the annual slow season at the studio.
With some exciting connections developing in South Florida, my goal is to have the slow season disappear with some winter weddings in much warmer locales. Until that happens though, we will continue to offer a sale or two on some of our items to make the slow season a little less, well, slow.
With that in mind, we are starting our winter DVD sale for weddings. Through the end of March, our two options for hi-res wedding images with reproduction rights will be discounted by $200 for the full set or discounted by $100 for the set of 200 images. Call the studio at 585-393-9242 to take advantage of this limited time offer.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

50% Off Sale Extended

When I offered the 50% Off Sale, I forgot to take in to account that it coincided with the week the kids were off from school, so we were not in the studio very much to answer questions. In light of that, I am extending the sale by another week to allow people who may have been away on vacation to take advantage of it.

50% Off
Print Sale
Extended Through 3/10
*Sale is for regular priced prints only and does not apply to specialty products
or special promotion pricing.

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