Friday, May 28, 2010

Looong Weekend

We're heading to our home away from home tomorrow for a few days. A long weekend in the country is just what we need to get ourselves ready for the next four weeks before we officially become parents!

I plan on going for a walk in the sand in my bare feet, wearing a sun dress and eating lobster.

I'll be back on Tuesday. Cheers!

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

Sede more of my East Hampton photos here.


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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Become a Fan of Ciao, Chessa! (On Facebook)

Happy Thursday! With the long weekend looming here in the U.S. I've been feeling like the week is dragging and today is finally Friday. I am beyond exhausted from all of the work we've been doing getting our home ready for the babe - from moving a lot of our belonging to storage, painting our entire apartment, getting her room ready, cleaning, etc. All the while we've been having the best time and we are so excited! I suppose the exhaustian is something that we just have to get used to - I can live with that!

In an effort to get my professional life in order before the babe comes, I'd like to set up some guest posts by bloggers from around the web so that Ciao, Chessa! can continue to publish on the same schedule as usual (Monday to Friday every week) while I'm taking time off to be with my new daughter. I'm not taking on any new projects or clients until at least after Labor Day but I would love to keep the blog going!

I've also set up a Facebook Fan Page so that you can keep up with everything Ciao, Chessa! This page supplements my professional photography Fan page - Monica L. Shulman Photography!. If you're on Facebook, head on over and join us HERE!

Happy Thursday!

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Oil Spill

It's been over one month since the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Crude oil continues to flow into the Gulf and oil slicks have slowly reached as far as 12 miles into Louisiana's marshes. According to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, more than 65 miles of Louisiana's shoreline has now been oiled. BP has pledged to do all it can to make it right and apparently they are going to try using heavy mud and cement to plug the leak, a maneuver called a "top kill" - this represents their best hope of stopping the oil after several failed attempts. Based on low estimates, at least 6 million gallons of crude have spewed into the Gulf so far. Some scientists have said they believe the spill already surpasses the 11 million-gallon 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska as the worst in U.S. history.

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Here are some images shared on one of my favorite photo blogs, The Big Picture. The damage to the coast, the ecosystem, the wildlife, the fishing industry, is staggering and the images are very sad and disturbing. It's quite possible that the Gulf Coast will never be the same after this terrible disaster.

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All images via Boston.com and Copyright the individual photographers listed there.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Baby Art and Animals

We're in the process of getting the Little's nursery together and it's so much fun. I'm not really into themed anything, especially home design, so I love the idea of creating a whimsical and non-themed space for our girl. I'm having a great time doing it. At some point I will definitely post photos of the finished room but in the meantime, I'm looking around for some beautiful and fun art that she can enjoy now and when she grows up and that doesn't scream nursery or baby.

I remembered reading about photographer Sharon Montrose in an issue of PDN a while back and I recently came upon her blog and her Etsy shop. Sharon is a french-fry loving (me too!) Los Angeles-based animal photographer. She also photographs families and children but from her bio and her websites, it's clear (to me, at least) that animals are her favorite subject. She also makes it clear on her site that all of the animals photographed are real and not taxidermied and nor were they harmed in any way.

Take some time to look through her pieces which to me are really creative and humorous and childlike but also serious art without taking itself too seriously. Does that make sense? In my mind it does. I can imagine hanging these in my office or den, not just in the Little's room. I'm thinking of getting three and hanging them just above the dresser/changing table.

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I'm absolutely in love with the giraffe and we're still deciding over the others. What do you think?

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Images via Sharon's Sharon Montrose shop where she sells small format, open edition prints. You can also learn about purchasing limited edition, large format prints here. Visit her website and blog too! She's everywhere!

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Images Copyright Sharon Montrose.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Feeling Lost About Lost?

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If you're like me (and about 99% of people), you dedicated your night last night to the Lost series finale. Also, if you're like me, you cried your eyes out but also walked away still feeling a bit confused. Among the many questions I was hoping would be answered:

Who are these people?

What is the smoke monster?

What is the loophole for killing Jacob?

Who the hell is Jacob anyway?

What is this place?

What's with the Others, the Dharma Initiative, the time travel, the polar bears, the electromagnetic energy?

I guess I could say that I am mildly satisfied with the ending. There won't be any spoilers here...mostly because I've always found it difficult to properly articulate my thoughts about this show and the plotlines and twists. But also because, come on, this is a photography blog (usually)!

Some of my recent favorite images are from a shoot for blog by Mark Seliger, one of my favorite photographers.

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Also, one of my favorite blogs to read about lost is the
Vanity Fair Blog, so check that out
here.

Here's an excerpt from the interview and a peek at some of the photographs.

Lost has been one of the highest-rated TV dramas since making its debut, in 2004, with a U.S. viewing audience that has ranged from 11 million to 23 million and a greater combined number of viewers tuning in from an estimated 160 countries around the world, but with its crazy sci-fi philosophy, head-scratching supernatural elements, and impossible-to-track plotlines, it's really a cult show at heart. Die-hard fans have learned the secret handshake, while casual viewers look in from time to time and pose questions like “Wait, did that guy just turn into smoke?”

Photos and text via Vanity Fair.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Would You Like to Advertise on Ciao, Chessa! ?

It's Friday and my response is "already"? Don't get me wrong, I'm so happy that the weekend is here but the weeks are just flying by so quickly! This weekend we're working on the nursery, assembling furniture and folding a lot of just-washed baby clothes. I'm also doing some basic housekeeping on this blog...so....

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 ciaochessa@gmail.com

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
CiaoChessa.etsy.com


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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dear Summer

Dear Summer,

I know you're almost *officially* here. I simply cannot wait.

The sun is shining today and I'm daydreaming about taking my Little out in her new stroller and feeling the warm breeze on my face while I push her around in the fresh air and introduce her to her hometown that her parents love so much. On the weekends, we will visit the beach for a long walk and let her listen to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore and the calming sound of seagulls flying above our heads. When she's bigger we'll show her how wonderful green grass feels on your bare feet and we'll dip her tiny toes in the cool ocean. This summer she might be too small but it will certainly be a summer like no other and no less special than the summers that came before.

Please hurry.

Love,
Chessa

Copyright 2009 Monica L. Shulman
New York City, August 2009

Copyright 2009 Monica L. Shulman
East Hampton, New York, August 2009

See more of my images of summer and in general on my Flickr page.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Are You Hungry? Visit Tartelette.

I'm not sure how or when I came across the fabulous and delicious blog,
Tartelette, by Helen, a French expat living in South Carolina.

Tartelette is a blog devoted to food photography and styling, food and life.

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According to her bio, Helen works as a food photographer, food stylist, food writer and occasionally she teams up with her husband to do portrait and wedding photography.

I visit her blog on an almost daily basis - especially these days when I'm always hungry and my sweet tooth gets the best of me. I absolutely love her photographs and I just love how passionate she is about food, cooking, baking and eating. Her photos are simply beautiful. I think you will fall in love with
Tartelette just like I did.

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Visit Helen's food styling photography portfolio here.

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All photos via Tartelette.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Olivia Bee - Teenage Inspiration

What were you doing when you were 15 years old? What interests did you have? I had so into so many random things - I was spending the summer in Argentina with my family and making friends, I was listening to Smashing Pumpkins and Tori Amos in my room, I read Vogue and Sassy, I was on the track team and yearbook... A while back I came across the work of fifteen year old photographer,
Olivia Bee. Her photographs look like something out of a dream - they look like moments that could only be imagined and not captured on film or a memory card. And they remind me of that time when I sat in my room listening to music, doing my home work, reading, thinking about a boy or hanging out with my friends.

This is her bio on her website:

"my real name isn't olivia bee it's olivia bolles. i'm 15. this is a diary of sorts."

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And here's an interview she recently did on Dazed Digital:

At the age of just 15, Olivia Grace Bolles from Portland, Oregon, USA, has shot distinctive documentary pictures of her teenage friends and family for the likes of Converse and Nike, and had her work featured in Seventeen, Frankie and American Photo magazine. Olivia Bee, as she is commonly known, started to take pictures almost accidentally when she was forced to study photography instead of video production, which she had signed up for in sixth grade. It wasn't until the summer before her freshman year that she really fell in love with photography and it was the confusion and chaos of growing up that caused her to start recording what was going on around her. “I realised that I could document my feelings, and things that take place in my life through a camera,” she says. ”The tangibility and the immediacy just appealed to me so much.”

Bee’s pictures are a raw and honest description of her life, showing herself and friends going through the sometimes hazy, uncomfortable and occasionally, almost delirious, experience of teenage life. “I'm inspired by the people around me – the interactions between my friends, and the interaction between people and nature,” she says, adding with a knowing slant, “but mostly just being a teenager is the greatest creative fuel for me”. Citing Ryan McGinley as her main inspiration, Olivia’s photos are like a beautifully shot diary – a way for her to remember this period of time, and how it felt. “I’m really bad with words, so I use pictures,” she says. “Seeing photos of my parents when they were young was pretty inspiring, and it made me have this huge desire to have these really beautiful memories. I make my photographs for me, it’s my diary, truly, and I want these images to document everything that is happening now, because these are memories that I know I don’t want to lose”.

All photos Copyright Olivia Bee and via
Olivia Bee and
Dazed Digital.

Check out her Flickr stream too.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Window Shopping


Remember my obsession with holiday windows last winter?


Well, it's not something that I've been able to give up. Last month during our baby moon in Miami we went for a long walk one gray afternoon and I found myself staring in all of the windows. It had been raining and my camera was a bit heavy so my husband was carrying it for me - when I finally took it out one of the shop owners came out and told me that photos weren't allowed. That never stopped me before so I managed to grab one photo and then it started to pour rain. I saw it as a sign so I put the camera away and we got into a cab and went back home.

Luckily I fell in love with the one image that I was able capture.

Copyright 2010 Monica L. Shulman

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Palomita!

I cannot believe that Paloma is two today. It blows me away just how quickly the year has gone let alone the last two years.

I love you baby girl.

Copyright 2009 Monica L. Shulman

To see more portraits by me of my beautiful niece click here.

Happy weekend, everyone!

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