Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Belly Shots

I can't even tell you how many emails I've gotten asking for photos of my growing belly on my blog (thank you!). You would think that being a photographer I'd constantly be turning the lens on myself to capture every single second of my constantly expanding waistline. To be honest, I haven't. I've mostly been taking little iPhone pictures every month to send to my family here in the U.S. and in Argentina. Only recently, when my belly (and not just my hips) started to grow, have I decided that it's time for some actual photos and not just some camera phone ones..albeit my trusty and genius iPhone which if you read this blog, you know I love. The irony is that now that I'm ready to take some self-portraits again I can't make it in time to the self-timer because I'm in slow motion and can't run into place quickly enough (and, I'm too huge) :)

So, without further ado, here are some photos from the (almost) start to the almost finish of my belly. I feel pretty enormous right now. I still have 9 (eek!) weeks to go so more to come...

PS--Can you tell I LOVE stripes? :) Part of it is that I've tried to wear the same thing in my photos so I could see all the changes in my body while wearing the same outfits. But, honestly, I really do love stripes!

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman - Approximately 8 weeks
Approximately 8 Weeks

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman - Approximately 12 Weeks
Approximately 12 Weeks

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman - Approximately 16 Weeks
Approximately 16 Weeks

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman - Approximately 20 weeks
Approximately 20 weeks

Approximately 22 Weeks - This was the beginning of the crazy growth spurt.

Approximately 23 Weeks

Approximately 24 Weeks - Clearly not an iPhone photo

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman - Approximately 26 Weeks
Approximately 27 Weeks

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman - Approximately 30 weeks
Approximately 30 Weeks - see all those boxes? I'm in full nesting mode and decided that I needed to pack up half the stuff in our apartment and send it to storage to make room for our Little:)

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman - Approximately 31 Weeks
Approximately 31 Weeks
By the way, how cute is my husband? So cute that I had to share another outtake...

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

If you want to see some non-pregnant self-portraits...visit me here.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Few Notes About Ciao, Chessa!

As you may know if you read this blog, husband and I are not able to stay at our apartment for the next few days because we're having water damage repaired on our ceiling and we're getting a new paint job. All this is happening not only because our home desperately needs the facelift but also in anticipation of our little girl who we will be welcoming in late June (yay!)

I'm looking forward to getting back to our apartment and getting things back to's fun staying in a hotel but I miss my home. With all the moving around, packing and moving things to storage, unpacking and organizing, I'm looking forward to going back home and getting things back on track - ie. not having boxes everywhere and pushing furniture back to its place rather than having it all in the center of a room! This can also be referred to as nesting but I think that I've taken it to a completely different level with everything I've been doing. I'm sure other moms and dads know what I'm talking about!

In any event, one of things that I'm looking forward to getting "back on track" is this blog! In the meantime, if you're new here, or even if you're a regular visitor (thank you!) catch up on some archives or read About Me and see some of my Features from around the web.

Also, would you like to advertise on Ciao, Chessa!? With my brand-new layout and amazing increase in readership I am now offering sponsorship space on my blog! I have a wonderfully wide, international readership and my rates are created with small businesses in mind. Take a moment to check out the fabulous sponsors that I already have on the right column.

If you'd like more information, please email me at

Also, did you know that I sell certain of my prints via
Etsy? Well I do! Some of my popular prints are available in small sizes in open editions via Etsy and outside of Etsy! Also, because it would be nearly impossible to have every print in my Etsy shop, if you see something on one of my other sites, including this blog, let me know!

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Need Some Pretty

It's been raining in New York since Sunday. I know it's only Tuesday and while the rain usually makes me feel melancholy I'm not at home today. I'm at a hotel while my apartment is being repaired and painted. I am feeling adventurous and trying upper west side living for fun. I love coming up here, going to the park, visiting boutiques - but it's wet out and I just want to lie here and stare out the window. Maybe I will just get myself out there and risk getting wet for some photographs.

In the meantime I'm staying in and visiting one of my favorite sites for all things pretty...The Drifter and the Gypsy. Head over there and see for yourself. Here are some images that were shared over there just yesterday. Such loveliness, no?



Images via The Drifter and the Gypsy. Head over there to see more work from each of the photographers.

Today's Soundtrack:Remy Zero - Save Me

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Pencil vs. Camera

It's Monday! I've already accepted the craziness of this week for me. We moved a huge amount of "stuff" to storage on Friday including random kitchen appliances, furniture, clothing, etc. to make room for baby girl. The day was so busy that I even forgot to publish my post for Friday. This week we are having our ceiling fixed thanks to the monsoon rains we have had all winter and spring here in New York (by the way, it's raining AGAIN today) and we're having the place painted. We are going to a hotel for a few days because there's no place for us to sleep here and dust and fumes from sanded ceilings and paint jobs are no good for me right now. Friday where are you?! In a few weeks the girl's furniture gets here and her nursery will begin to make its way from an idea in my head to reality.

Just because my computer is packed up and my head is in a general state of disarray does not mean that I'm not going to continue blogging this week. There is just too much beautiful and fun art and photography out there to share. At some point in the next few weeks once I actually have time to sit in front of my computer and go over my own recent photographs, I will start to share some of my work again.

In the meantime, take a look at this fun project by Flickr photographer Ben Heine. How cool are these images? He makes all of the pencil drawings and creatively places them in real life situations. Check out his Flickr page here and the rest of the images in this Pencils vs. Camera project here.





All images Copyright Ben Heine

Today's Soundtrack:Snow Patrol & Martha Wainwright - Set Fire to the 3rd Bar

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

I've been celebrating this day here on the blog all week but really it's something that we should celebrate and put into practice all year.

I still haven't had a chance to go through my images from my recent vacation to Miami but I can't wait to get to it. For the most part we were on the beach and were completely lazy just taking in the sun and the breeze. Every morning the sound of the ocean lulled me back to sleep while I lounged under an umbrella. I ate pineapple (one of my random cravings) and the baby would kick and stretch while I napped under the umbrella - no doubt the sweet fruit combined with my overall relaxed mood calmed her and excited her at the same time.

I also clicked away with my iPhone, playing with different apps to make fast and easy photos - and, even though they're fast and easy they are no less fun and they do just as great a job of capturing the moment.

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

So, in celebration of Earth Day, the 40th anniversary actually, here are some fast and easy images that I took from the comfort of my lounge chair on my recent vacation.

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

All images are my own and were taken with my iPhone using various applications including Hipstamatic, Old Camera and ShakeIt.

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Today's Soundtrack:
An End Has a Start - The Editors

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Portraits of Nature - Earth Day Exhibition at Lumas New York


Continuing with the Earth Day festivities this week, I'm excited to share this great exhibit opening at Lumas New York. Lumas is one of my favorite galleries in New York and it is having its first ever Earth Day exhibition - celebrating the fortieth anniversary of Earth Day. I can't wait to go check it out. The opening reception is this Thursday, April 22nd from 6pm to 8pm - Earth Day!

The landscape portion focuses on both color and black-and-white images, featuring the work of Bernhard Edmaier and Michael Poliza, among others. The exhibit’s second theme will feature a selection of water imagery and its subsequent documentation and representation through the camera lens by artists such as Josh von Staudach and Wolfgang Uhlig. As a counterpoint to the majestic images of land and sea, the last portion of the exhibition features the animals that inhabit these domains and considers the ways in which they are able to reflect and in turn reveal the nuances of their natural landscape.

OPENING RECEPTION April 22, 2010, 6 - 8 pm
EXHIBITION April 23 – June 6, 2010

77 Wooster Street, 10012 New York, NY

Here is some more information about the exhibit from the Lumas website (visit the site to learn more about the exibit and to see some more incredible images):


The Earth Day Show


The landscape portion focuses on both color and black-and-white images, featuring the work of Bernhard Edmaier, Helmut Hirler, Michael Levin and Michael Poliza, among others. The photographs by Michael Levin have honed a magical aura. A powerful silence resides in the images and can be felt in every little detail. The nature photography of Bernhard Edmaier rests between landscape photography and land art. They’re pictures of the earth as we’ve never seen it, authentic and beautiful, but also without any romanticism or esotericism.

Urbane photographer Helmut Hirler takes his motorcycle, his panorama camera in his back-pack, for the treks he now finds short, like from his native Allgäu, Germany to the Spanish mountains. Hirler is part of an unbroken tradition of bold pioneers, who for centuries attempted to describe the earth’s strangeness and beauty.


Michael Poliza went on an eight-week journey, an astounding and unusual adventure from Hamburg to Cape Town by helicopter, with about 150 stops in approximately 14 countries. The result is an unprecedented collection of landscape and animal photographs taken from a bird's eye view. The distinct visual language of each singular image will aid the viewer in examining the endless manners in which the landscape is portrayed through the photographic lens.

The difference between the color and black-and-white images encourages viewers to consider how their perceptions of the represented landscapes shift with the addition or subtraction of natural colors. Each of these images manifests the majestic qualities of the natural landscape – and may perhaps even provoke viewers to reflect on their daily interaction with the environment.


The exhibit’s second theme, show will feature a selection to water and its subsequent documentation and representation through the camera lens. As it covers over 71 percent of the earth’s surface and is essential to all life, it is important to examine how we impact our local waters. Through the images of Josh von Staudach, and Wolfgang Uhlig, Celebrating Earth aims to plumb the depths of the earth’s bodies of water.

The simple things are often the best. Wolfgang Uhlig, artist and photo designer, has taken this saying to heart and created pictures of enchanting peace and beauty. The Stuttgart photographer Josh von Staudach presents his blurry, yet clear images. Staudach’s works, always follow the horizon showing a manifold spectrum of nature and the sea, calming and meditative and yet always new.


As a counterpoint to the majestic images of land and sea, the last portion of the exhibition features the animals that inhabit these domains and considers the ways in which they are able to reflect and in turn reveal the nuances of their natural landscape. Animals rely on the earth’s resources to assure their survival and the images of Laurent Baheux, Horst Klemm, and Alexander von Reiswitz provide viewers the opportunity to ponder this. It is interesting to analyze how differences in environmental conditions can affect the animalkingdom – the images featured in The Earth Day Show are meant to stimulate this discussion for further examination.

The talented eyes of LUMAS’s photographers offer an in-depth look at the manner in which the photographic lens captures our lands, bodies of water, and the beings that inhabit both. LUMAS New York’s Earth Day exhibit provides an aesthetic springboard from which viewers can reflect on the importance of the environment in sustaining life and renew their awareness of the earth.

All photos and certain text via Lumas and Copyright individual photographers listed there.

Today's Soundtrack:
Keane - Everybody's Changing

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Earth Week in Photos: Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull Volcano

With my vacation officially over I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things - work, home, blogging, more work. Over the next few weeks we're working on getting our home ready for our little girl who is due at the end of June. The trip was amazing - beyond the fact that it was so relaxing, it was great for my husband and I to spend time together and really enjoy some quiet time.

I didn't shoot as many images as I normally do on vacation but I will definitely be sharing them here over the next couple of weeks. This week though, in honor of Earth Day (it's the 40th anniversary!), I've scouted some great photos and projoects from around the web to share.

Unless you live under a rock you've heard of the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland. As ash from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano continued to keep European airspace shut down over the weekend, affecting millions of travelers around the world (including my in-laws who had a wonderful trip to France planned but had to cancel), some government agencies and airlines clashed over the flight bans. Some restricted airspace is now beginning to open up and some limited flights are being allowed now as airlines are pushing for the ability to judge safety conditions for themselves. The volcano continues to rumble and hurl ash skyward, if at a slightly diminished rate now, as the dispersing ash plume has dropped closer to the ground, and the World Health Organization has issued a health warning to Europeans with respiratory conditions. Collected here from one of my favorite photo blogs, The Big Picture, are some images from Iceland over the past few days.











Certain text via The Big Picture. All photos via The Big Picture and copyright individual photographers listed there.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Let's Hear it for Vacations!

Starting today I am officially on vacation! Well, mentally I've been on vacation for the last two weeks but now it's finally here.

We're going to the beach and it will be our last pre-bebe trip. The next vacation will be with her - it will be so different but it will be so yay! In the meantime, we're enjoying this last trip and getting excited for the many more that will come when we are more than just two.

I won't be back for a couple of weeks but I promise many new photos and a lot of exciting art and photography from around the web.

To continue from yesterday's post, check out these images that I took with my iPhone using the Hipstamatic app on our pre-vacation vacation.

Don't miss me too much! See you soon...



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Monday, April 05, 2010

iPhone Hipstamatic on the Weekend

Happy Monday! What better way to start the week than to combine two of my greatest photography loves - Photojojo and my iPhone. If you've followed this blog for a while then you know about my obsession with each of these - and if you're new to Ciao, Chessa! then you'll learn about it sooner or later. I am a Photojoaholic. I'm also an iPhoneaholic. Combine these two loves of mine and WOW-ZA! Holy wonderfulness.

Last week Photojojo wrote a post about my latest iPhone addiction: the
Hipstamatic app. Check out these great tips from Photojojo and take a look at my recent Hipstamtic prints from our trip to East Hampton this weekend - the weather was incredible and we definitely took advantage of it by going to the beachHipstamatic, taking a long walk, having a picnic and watching kites. What about you? Did you enjoy your weekend?

John S with Ina's 1969 Film, No Flash

John S with Ina's 1969 Film, No Flash


We’ve been addicted to Hipstamatic lately, this iPhone app that lets you take retro-look photos with your future phone. You can change up virtual lenses, flashes, and even films.

Thing is, since each lens, film, and flash produces a different look, it can get overwhelming. You know, like, what does the Jimmy lens look like if you use Pistil film and the Dreampop flash?

6 lenses + 7 flash options + 8 films = 336 different combinations. YIKES!

So we took 336 photos with every possible combination of the Hipstamatic arsenal. (Because we love you.) And we even broken it down into an easy guide to tell you which combos go together. (Ditto.)

Photojojo’s Ultimate Hipstamatic Guide - Here’s where we break it down by lens, film, and flash


Be sure to check out all these awesome links!

John S with Blanko Film, No Flash

Kaimal Mark II with Ina's 1969 Film, No Flash

John S with Ina's 1969 Film, No Flash

Kaimal Mark II with Kodot Verichrome, No Flash

Jimmy with Ina's 1969, No Flash

John S with Ina's 1969 Film, No Flash

Jimmy with Ina's 1969, No Flash

Kaimal Mark II with Kodot Verichrome Film, No Flash

Jimmy with Ina's 1969, No Flash

I still have to try out so many of the other options but these are some of my favorite images from the weekend...

Today's Soundtrack:
The Richest Man In Babylon - Thievery Corporation

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