Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Flipping the Bird

Growing up near New York City, it's unavoidable to get sucked in to the battles of every day life, whether it's fighting for your lane on the crowded streets, your space in line to buy a bagel or playing chicken for a parking space. All too often, the attitude is every man for himself. I'm making a huge generalization here where there are plenty of exceptions, but all too often the battle culminates in someone getting flipped off. I grew up thinking that's just the way life was, not knowing it could be any different. 

 Going away to school in Brockport, I discovered how different every day life could be in a small rural community in Western New York. I fell in love with the easy going attitude where people go out of their way to hold a door or give you their spot in line if you had fewer items than they did. I'm not saying people don't rub each other the wrong way every once in a while, they just react to it differently.  

As a business owner in a small town, I really have to watch the way I react when something happens, because inevitably that same person will be walking in to the studio. I've had it happen where I'm trying to get to the studio for an appointment only to be held up by someone going 15 mph under the speed limit the entire way. Sure enough, the person holding me up ended up being my client that I was rushing to meet. 

 Last week my brother Rich and I were on Long Island shooting a Bar Mitzvah for an old friend of the family. When we got to the venue they were finishing another event so there were no parking spots left except for one. Rich found the last spot and was about to pull in when an SUV came flying around the parking lot the wrong direction and stole the spot. I can't say that I'm surprised when stuff like this happens down there, but I still don't understand why people think they have the right to do stuff like that. Rich and I sat there in disbelief as the guy gets out of his car, looks at us and says "How ya doin?" and walks inside. 

 After a few deep breaths and restraint from giving the pompous guy a piece of our minds, we found another spot and brought our gear inside the venue. We met our friend Dave inside who promptly introduced us to the owner of the venue Mr. Pompous himself. It's a good thing we showed self restraint or it would have been a very long day with no doubt a fresh loogie on our dinner. I guess the moral of the story is "Don't flip off the hand that feeds you."

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Wine, Wind and a Wedding

I first met Krista and Doug at Starbucks down in Mamaroneck in Westchester. I knew right away that they would be a blast to work with. They traveled up to the Finger Lakes for their wedding at Belhurst Castle, on a windy early Fall day. Krista's veil had a mind of it's own during the ceremony, creating some interesting and humorous moments. The broken over cast sky made for some great textures over Seneca Lake. Congratulations Krista and Doug!


It's time! I've been in a rut for a while, doing the same things, thinking the same things, just basically sticking with the status quo. There is nothing wrong with sticking with something that works...normally, however with the speed with which the photography industry changes, standing still gets you left behind. One of the biggest things that's been missing lately has been inspiration. I love being inspired but somewhere in the hustle of every day life, I stopped looking for it. It's time to start looking again and the best place to start is right here. Since 2006, my blog has been a great source of inspiration for myself and my army of 18 followers. Over the last year or two though, I've been posting less and less, and just throwing things up on Facebook, which is not nearly as satisfying. It's time to reignite the passion that has brought me to where I am. 

 One of the things that fuels the passion is helping to inspire others. I'm going to offer more, bigger and better photography classes, to share my knowledge and vision with others. The next class will be a Fall Foliage class this Saturday, October 12 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. We'll be taking a hike to find some breath taking vistas and gullys surrounding Canandaigua Lake. The cost is just $45. Call the studio at 585-393-9242 to reserve your spot.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sowing Seeds of Love

On Saturday, Ellen and I photographed the wedding of Sarah and Andy Mussack at Keuka College on Keuka Lake with a reception at Kings Catering. I first worked with Sarah and Andy last year for their engagement shoot which we did at a winery on Seneca Lake and then their hobby farm in Seneca Castle. An amateur gardener myself, I was blown away by the size and quality of the garden they had going in their backyard. This past Spring, Sarah was one of the students at several of my photography classes, so it was like photographing the wedding of old friends more than clients. I joked with them that I would trade photography lessons for gardening lessons. 

 Norton Chapel at Keuka College is an amazing backdrop for a wedding in the Finger Lakes. We were able to get some great shots right behind the chapel out on a dock on Keuka Lake before heading back to Canandaigua for the reception. We were initially going to stop at a spot on Flint Creek in Seneca Castle for some photos, but with the ridiculous amount of rain we've had lately we had to nix those plans due to the high water levels. The river looks more like chocolate milk right now than a quiet rural stream. Congrats Sarah and Andy! You guys are the best.

Love Knechtion

I've been doing so many sports leagues and Bar Mitzvah's lately that we've actually gotten a late start on our wedding season. We dove in with both feet this weekend with two weddings in a row. We started the weekend on Friday with Jennalyn and Brian Knecht, who were married at St. Stephen's in Geneva with a reception at Belhurst Castle. Even though it was about 9,000 degrees in the church, it was nice to be back at a wedding with Father Mull who was recently reassigned to Geneva from St. Mary's in Canandaigua. Father Mull has been a fixture in our community for the last decade, so it was nice to know that I will see him regularly in Geneva. Jennalyn and Brian were great to work with. They took the heat in stride even with Brian wearing a three piece tux that must have been torture. I give him credit, I would have jumped in the lake. Congrats Brian and Jennalyn!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Photography Stuff For Sale

As I stated in a previous post, I'm selling a bunch of stuff at the studio that we're just not using anymore. This does not mean I'm going out of business, just cleaning house. Here's the list: Nikon D2X Camera Body. This camera has 179K acuations on it but with a titanium shutter it's rated to go to 450K. It's a 12mp workhorse that's built like a tank. I paid $5,000 for it in 2006 and I'm asking $575 for it now. It comes with the box and battery however you'll need to get a charger since I have another camera that uses the same charger. 

 Fuji S5 Camera Body with Grip. This camera is a Nikon D200 with Fuji guts so it takes all my Nikon lenses. It has a unique dual sensor which exposes for the normal exposure and one for the highlights giving it a range closer to that of film. The colors are amazing. I'm selling this one because I have two of them and don't use both. It has high mileage so I'm only asking $450 for it, but it's in really nice condition. I baby my cameras. This is a great camera especially for the "natural light" shooters out there. 

 Nikon 17-55mm f2.8 lens. This is a nice lens for the DX series cameras. It has Nikon's typical quirky rubber for the zoom and AF rings but other than that the glass is perfect. I'm asking $750 for it. 

 Nikon 80-200 f2.8 lens. This is Nikon's ED D lens with separate zoom and focus rings. This lens does not have VR. It also has loose rubber on the zoom ring. The glass is perfect. Asking $650 with box and case. 

Pocket Wizard MiniTT1 and Flex TT5 set. 1 MiniTT1 and 2 Flex TT5 Units for Nikon allowing full TTL operation converting Nikon's wireless infrared system to a radio signal to go around walls and much greater distances than infrared. Barely used. $575 for the set.

 Off the Wall set with columns and matching sandstone 12x24 backdrop. Asking $475. 

 Off the Wall two sided wall unit. This unit has a cool doorway on one side and a Mediterranean looking plaster wall with window on the other. It also has a set of steps going up to the door. It's very tall so I had to remove the studio windows on the second floor to get it up there since it wouldn't fit around the corner to go up the stairs. I paid $2400 for it and I'm asking $1250. 

 I also have a set of Bogen Autopoles which mount between the floor and ceiling to attach accessories to such as the expan drive system to mount rolls of seamless paper for an at home studio. I used these when I had the studio out of the house 13 years ago. I also have a brand new set of expan drives never taken out of the box. Asking $125 for the poles and $75 for the expan drive set of 3. If interested in any of these items, please call me at 585-393-9242.

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