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.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New England Romance

I'm way behind on blogging. I have to admit though, I did enjoy the short vacation from it. I put so much stress on myself to keep up with it even though I have no real reason to stress about it. It's like when we go on vacation and set a fictitious deadline as to when we want to get on the road. The stress of not meeting that deadline is very real even though the deadline isn't. I do the same thing watching the number of blog posts each month as if I need to meet a certain quota to have a "real" blog. If I had a shrink I could imagine spending an entire session on this.

Now let's get to the reason we're really here and that's to see some cool images. On July 9 I was out in Massachusetts to shoot Ali and Joe's wedding in Cambridge with Rich. The wedding reception was at the Charles Hotel on the banks of the Charles River, also known as the "Chals Riva". We drove through the heart of Harvard Square to get there. What a cool place. I wish I had time to explore the area more.

We had so much fun with Ali and Joe and their bridal party. So much so that we closed out the party with them. Here are some of the images from an awesome day the Charles.

Beautiful Finger Lakes

As a child, I spent many summers at the Bonnie View in Bolton Landing on Lake George. It was a beautiful lakeside retreat surrounded by towering mountains. Growing up on Long Island, Lake George was as close to the wilderness as it gets.

Last week, I took my wife and kids back to Lake George for a short vacation. We didn't stay at the Bonnie View, but we did visit it bringing back a flood of memories. Where we did stay was a cute place called Capri Village. Any other time of the summer it may have been great however this week we felt like we were vacationing with the cast from Jersey Shore, complete with grotesquely tan muscle heads having a push up competition on the beach. There is nothing more relaxing than listening to a dozen or so drunk people yelling with thick Long Island accents at 3:00 a.m. every night we were there. I even thought I caught a glimpse of Snookie, or maybe it was a pit bull.

Looking out at the lake, it looked surprisingly similar to the south end Canandaigua Lake. I began to wonder why I would travel several hundred miles away to go on vacation when perfection is in my backyard. It certainly was not for my subconscious desire to be immersed in the Jersey Shore lifestyle.

The Finger Lakes are perfect with the right blend of nature, tourism and year round residents. It's home. My sister Ellen, another Long Island transplant who quickly fell in love with the area, used her web design talents to create a new website devoted to the splendor of the Finger Lakes. is a destination for both tourists and locals alike, with a nice mixture of articles, events and attractions to satisfy every taste. Bookmark it and check back often for the latest happenings in and around the Finger Lakes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fair Game

For weeks, all my daughter talked about was going to the Erie County Fair to see the Big Time Rush concert. Nothing could excite me more than standing knee deep among 5,000 screaming girls reminiscent of scenes of the Beatles or Elvis. My wife lucked out and she got the call to chaperon Sarah and two of her friends in to the concert. I on the other hand spent some quality guy time with Cade, who wasted no time in getting as much use out of his unlimited midway ride wrist band as possible. I lost count after 21 rides. Fortunately I only had to go on two of them with him. The rest of the time was spent playing with the Nikon P7000, taking some cool fair photos. It took me while to get acclimated to the capable little camera's controls, but nevertheless, I came away with more than a few keepers.

Watching Cade go on the rides alone brought back memories of when I was young and went on a few rides myself. I always felt self conscious, as if enjoying myself too much while I was alone on a ride was a bad thing. Fortunately, Cade has no issues with it and enjoyed himself thoroughly, even making a few acquaintances along the way that he shared a ride with.

When we rejoined Sue, Sarah and her partners in crime, they were floating a few feet off the ground as if they had just experienced their first kiss.

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