Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Visit the High Line

I have my share of favorite places in the city (this one tops the list) and last week when I needed to get out of my apartment and most importantly out of my own head I visited the High Line and was reminded of why I love this town so much.  The High Line is an elevated park on the west side that had been abandoned as a public project for an above-ground train for years (years) until a few years ago it was repurposed as a beautiful public space owned by the city and maintained by Friends of the High Line, the non-profit group that fought tirelessly for its preservation.  It is a gem in our city and I love to visit it.  I try to go if I have free time during the week because on the weekend it is so crowded that it resembles a cattle call but it is definitely worth a visit.  I like to pick a bench and just watch the world go by.  You can hear the chaos, hustle and bustle of the city on the streets below and then look up and feel inspired by the evolving skyline and rooftops of New York.  I go there when I need a time out and I want to stay close to home.  Even though it's a busy place in its own way, visiting the High Line calms me and gives me perspective that I can't really find anywhere else in New York.

It looks like I have a giant bowling ball hanging from my torso. 

I love this sculpture next to the graffiti walls of this building.  Art is everywhere in this town.

Old and New York living side by side.

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Friday, April 26, 2013


I gave myself a time out yesterday.  I've had so much on my mind and the weather finally turned for the better so while my toddler was with her babysitter I went for a long walk and ended up at the High Line.  It's one of my favorite places in the city and I've always gone on a weekend when it's been so crowded we could hardly walk and we certainly can't enjoy it's intended purpose of being a quiet, calm oasis above the city.  I walked the entire length of it and even sat down on a bench for a while to admire the rooftops above New York and actually have some quiet.  I was only out for a couple of hours but when I got home I felt so refreshed.  Having that time for myself to just reflect is like a vitamin that I'm usually lacking so it feels good when I remember to take it. It's going to be a beautiful weekend in New York and I plan to enjoy every minute with my sweet family.  I hope you have a good one and here are some fun links from the web.

Find Your Images Online Using Reverse Image Search on Google.

One of my recent iPhone photos is featured on Aline Smithson's photography e-zine Lenscratch as part of a new exhibit. (yay!)

Have you seen the You Are My Wild site?  It's a weekly portrait project that brings together 14 photographers to document how they see their children.  The work is stunning and SO inspiring.

The true story of success.

There's a new Flak Photo call (this time for portraits) and I'm going to submit.  

Cool ways to see the world. (via Cup of Jo)

I'm a little in love with the Bright Bazaar blog.  No idea how I find it but so glad I did.

Everything I know about socializing I learned from Seinfeld.  Hilarious and true.

Writers on writing.

What's your status? (via Man Repeller)

Hilarious reasons Conan O'Brien is crying.

And, did you see that my friends at Pinhole Press are offering my readers a 10% discount in time for Mother's Day?  Check it!

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pinhole Press Signature Photo Book and a Discount

She loves going through all of our picture books and asking me to tell her the story of the day the photos were taken.  She notices all the details in every shot (definitely my kid) from the gold shoes she's wearing in one picture to the juice box her cousin is drinking in another.
I just finished making my second Signature Photo Book from Pinhole Press and it's beautiful.  You might know, if you've visited my blog before, that I love working with this company and not only have I recommended their products to my clients and friends but I've used them multiple time for my own photo keepsakes.  I was so in love with the first volume that I made extras for my parents, in-laws and my grandmother, and they were a huge hit.  I decided to make a second book to start a collection - a different version of the photo albums that I grew up with (that my parents still have in their basement along with boxes upon boxes of negatives, slides and prints.)

Recording memories and keeping them in print, not just online or in an external hard drive, has become a passion for me.  I'm not the best editor when it comes to my own work (personally or professionally, I'll admit) and I've been known to make three or four (ok, sometimes five) prints of a similar photo because I like something about one and not about the other (I am a bit of a hoarder after all) so making these books is no easy feat for me.  Pinhole Press makes it very easy because their layouts are pre-designed and the website is super simple and straightforward.  Of all the books they have available, the Signature Photo Book is my favorite option for several reasons.  Most importantly, in my opinion, the eggshell archival paper is exquisite.  Second, the binding is available in a variety of classic colors and it's bound by hand which to me makes it not just a picture album but a family heirloom.  Plus, it's the largest of all the book options with space for 98 photos with a wrap-around front cover image (great for someone like me who can never decide what to include).  To be fair, in terms of their books I've only ever made one Signature Photo Book before as well as a storybook but I like the presentation as it appears on the site and the size (8.125 inches by 10 inches) fits perfectly within my personal aesthetic. 

The initial volume I made covered the first 15 months or so of Lucia's life so it was a little easier to choose favorite images from big events - the day she was born, her first week at home, her first visits with family, her first bath, food, vacations, birthday, Christmas, etc.  I waited a bit longer to make the second volume and I learned my lesson because it was very difficult for me to narrow down my favorites to fit within the size of the book.  Plus let's face it, as our kids get older we do a lot more with them and there are many more opportunities to take photographs (although obviously I'm one of these people who shoots thousands of photos a year of every random second of our life).  For example, in hindsight I would have made a book just of photos from last summer because I have so many great pictures from that time so I learned my lesson. I can already picture what my bookshelf will look like one day with all the red hand-bound volumes taking up a few shelves...especially with another kid on the way!  There are millions of memories to be made!

These books are great for recording your own memories but they make the best gifts too and from now until May 1st you can order one (or any other Pinhole Press product) for 10% off with the code "CCMD13" at checkout.

PLUS, Pinhole Press is offering FREE shipping until May 1st on orders of $50 or more.  Just be sure to check out their order-by dates for guaranteed delivery by Mother's Day.

If you decide to order anything I'd love to see what you choose!  Here's a few examples of things I've made on Pinhole Press and of course, feel free to ask any questions.

Happy printing!

Choosing a cover is always difficult because I think it has to set the tone for the entire book.  I ended up choosing my favorite picture from 2012.  Incidentally it was also the same photo that we chose for our holiday cards last December.  Also, this book does a good job of hiding my bump.  Trust me, it's there!
The color photos look incredible because the saturation on this beautiful paper is so rich but the tones of the black and white really get me.  The contrasts are so lovely and the paper almost has a satin-sheen when the pictures are black and white.

The thickness of the paper, due to the heavy stock, is amazing.  Plus my toddler can put her hands all over it and there are no fingerprints to be seen anywhere.  This is MAJOR.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lucia Griggi and the Surfers

Lucia Griggi is a photographer truly dedicated to her craft.  A lover of the ocean and the sport of surfing (she's a surfer herself) she really gets in on the action swimming under enormous waves in order to capture her subjects riding them.  Her photos are so evocative, telling and quite simply, brave. HOW does she do it and so beautifully at that?  Looking at them I can almost feel the power and energy of the water and the strength, grace and passion of the surfers.

According to her interview on My Modern Met, she "first discovered her love for photography with a simple point-and-shoot while vacationing in exotic locales like Morocco, China, Australia, and New Zealand.  From there, her passion developed into documenting the surfer's lifestyle and the adrenaline-rushing excitement that goes along with it."

See more and learn more about Lucia on My Modern Met.

Via My Modern Met

All images by Lucia Griggi 

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I record memories


I had a brief moment of panic yesterday (okay, I had several) after I got an email reminding me not of how many weeks I had progressed in my pregnancy but of how many I had left.  The number stared back at me through my screen and I instantly felt my blood pressure drop.  Could that be right?  14 weeks until number two comes?  14 weeks until we welcome another person into our family?  14 weeks until Lucia is no longer an only child?  Panic.  Panic, excitement and amazement but mostly panic. 

My first baby is going to be three in a couple of months and when I hold her at night as we cuddle before bedtime I am reminded of how tiny she was and how soon I'll be holding another newborn.  Every night as I sing her a lullaby and she makes her way to my shoulder for a long hug I think about how her legs are so long that they now hang half way down my body.  When did she get so tall? 

I'm so looking forward to making new memories as a family of four but part of me wishes I could just freeze today.  Freeze this moment and hold on to it for as long as I can.  I've worked hard, both as a parent and as a photographer, at recording memories in photos.  I'll be telling my mom or dad a story about something amazing that Lucia did -- like the time she busted out singing a rendition of Cinderella's "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" in the middle of Citarella in East Hampton and I literally cried in front of many random strangers -- and one of the first things they want to know is whether I took a video.  Sometimes yes, sometimes no (even I don't want to experience every part of my life behind my lens or my iPhone screen).  "Yes, I recorded it with my heart," I'll tell them.  Because that's what I did.  But 90% of the time the camera is there to do what I know my mind won't always be able to do...record memories. 

I won't forget this day when my big girl came to cuddle in my bed in the morning and I asked her if she had sweet dreams and she proceeded to make up (or remember, I'll never know) a wild story about us going to the park in princess dresses and jumping on the slides and swinging from the monkey bars making crazy animal sounds.  She was so earnest and sweet in her rendition that I could imagine myself really there with her.  I grabbed my camera off my desk and jumped back into bed with her so we could snuggle and we seemed to reverse the role of the night before where I'm the one who got a story instead of having to tell it.  She was moving around and talking fast and really excited about what she was saying.  These blurred, of the moment photos look like snapshots from my own dreams and I'm glad I have them.  Now to fantasize about the day when I have two tiny humans in bed with me telling me stories - but let's not rush it.  14 weeks.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Instagram Weekend

Last week was so intense.  By the time Friday was over I felt such relief it was like a weight was lifted.  We went into the weekend with so many plans but we were sure to carve out some quiet time for ourselves.  It was the perfect combination of busy and relaxing which was exactly what we needed since this is going to be a crazy week.  Here's a glimpse via Instagram.

A little pizza picnic in the park with my baby and her baby.  She brings her EVERYWHERE.  I can't tell you how many baby clothes I was in a week since I'm paranoid about putting her doll in her crib with her "playground clothes."

The cape is a major accessory these days.


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