Saturday, March 31, 2007

Full Circle

This afternoon we spent a few hours hanging out with Traci Romano at her new boutique and design studio in charming SoNo. Her attention to detail is simply remarkable, you have to see this place! Everyone there is working really hard on putting the final touches on the amazing space in preparation for the Grand Opening. Mary and I even pitched in, helping to put together the coffee table. Perched high above the floor was lighting design extraordinaire Andy Rubenoff, working his magic from the ladder. It was great to finally cross paths after hearing so many great things about him.

Of course I had to shoot a few details. Its kind of strange, but everything I pointed my camera at today seemed to have this repeating circles theme. Here are just a few.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Cool Shots

Ok, I have to be a little bit vague here, so please bear with me. Yesterday we went out on an awesome shoot... the thing is, I'm not allowed to talk about it at all! ack! But I'm so pumped about it that I have to at least share something! So, here are a few cool shots I grabbed during the production.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lets Go...Mountaineers!

Just wanted to give a huge shout out to the WVU men's basketball team for their awesome season. They had an amazing run this year despite playing in one of the toughest conferences in college basketball. Tonight they are the 2007 NIT Champs!

Editing, Editing...

Came across this one that Jus took as I was going through all of the editing and it made me smile :) We know how you feel!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Aperture Automation

I came across this today and thought I'd share it with you guys. For anyone using Aperture to manage your image database and workflow, I highly recommend checking our this awesome Automator action for importing into Aperture.

Aperture Card Importer!

It allows you to download up to 8 cards at a time (not that I have 8 card readers, but you could!), as well as add IPTC metadata including keywords to each image as it imports into Aperture. You can select if you want to import directly into your library, or if you just want to create a reference to the files. Its perfect for any event when your time is critical as well as when you want to catch some zzz's and let it do the work for you!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Word of Mouth Marketing Rant

Ok.. so we got stuck behind a truck today with a big yellow sign staring us in the face: "You've seen us Everywhere!"

Wow...someone clearly doesn't get it.

Same goes for the radio ads where super excited Sue tries to tell us about the great rug she just got for wholesale down on route 10 South, just off the interstate.

I'm not buying it Sue.

Don't know ya...don't trust ya....and to be honest, don't really like ya. In fact, you actually really kind of annoy me the way you're always breaking in during my 80s flashback weekend.

I guess the moral of the story is that we do see this kind of thing everywhere...but it's just not something I would go braggin' about.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

For Anyone Who is Not Yet a Believer in Slideshows!

We just walked in the door from a very long drive back from the wedding (darn crazy Sunday night traffic!!). We were dragging, exhausted and just completely drained....UNTIL we got this amazing email from our lovely and incredible bride, Vanessa. Y'know it's this kinda thing that just makes it all worthwhile.

Mary and Justin,
I can't tell you enough times how touched we were by the photos in the slideshow at the reception. I cried several times today just thinking about them. I think I had remembered you talking about doing the slideshows at the end of the reception before, but I had TOTALLY forgotten about it and it was the most amazing wedding present (and surprise) we ever could have received!!! EVERYONE is talking about the photos and asking about you guys! I've been giving out your website address a ton!!! Thank thank thanks again, a formal thank you will follow, but I just got in the door at our home in Fairfax, and couldn't wait the 2 days that the mail takes to express how much your gift has meant to us!!!

Vanessa (and Zach)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Friday, March 23, 2007

Getting Ready for the Big Dance

Well, after a very long day of driving (and lots and lots of rain) we finally arrived in Motown (home of the WVU Mountaineers!) for Vanessa & Zach's wedding!! We got here just as the florist was finishing up for the night on the absolutely unbelievable ballroom....this place is just insane! It's all old hollywood glam and has all these remnants from it's heyday in the 1940s. So of course, we had to break out the cameras and grab a couple shots before finally crashing for the night. Keep in mind that this was just the FIRST round of set up...the event designers will be back first thing in the morning to do the final round and all the finishing touches. We can't even imagine how awesome this place is gonna look! But for is WAY past our bedtime!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Marchin' on to Full PUG Status!

Last night we had yet another smokin' hot PUG meeting. I swear these things just keep getting better and better... and the festivities keep going longer and longer into the night. I don't think we left the studio until 1am! As always, many thanks are owed. To our amazing and lovely host, as well as Roundtable discussion leader, (not to mention RIT grad) Carla Ten Eyck!! Carla just rocks! She is so passionate about helping other photographers and is perhaps the funniest person we've ever met. She also came up with the INGENIUS idea to set up a photo booth for the end of our meeting. This was the coolest thing should've seen all of us piling in. We can't wait to see the pictures! eh hem, hint hint :)

And there's no way we could forget ** CT Wedding Photographer ** Steve DePino for an awesome, entertaining and informative presentation on improving your ** CT Wedding Photography ** website. rules! ** CT wedding photography! **

And of course to the whole group, for coming together and spreading the love! You guys all rock! (but Nikki definitely gets the trooper of the month award for coming out even though she had to catch a shuttle to JFK at 3:45 am! now that's dedication, baby! have fun in Aruba!!)

We had a bunch of new members join the ranks last night, which is always awesome!! Our good friend, Bruce Plotkin made the long trip from Weston, was such a blessing to have him there and to hear all incredible things he had to say about our (not so) little group. We ARE awesome! :)

Can't wait to see what next month brings!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


With this post, we have officially met our goal of posting every. single. day. since the last PUG meeting! woo hoo! Tonight is our March meeting and we're so pumped...we have a ton of exciting things to talk about. See ya there!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Portrait House Sneak Peek!

Well you guys asked for it...and here it is! For the first time ever appearing in public, it is my pleasure to introduce to you, the brand spankin' new Portrait House website and logo! There's definitely more coming, but this will give you an all-access pass to the sneak preview!

I know a TON of you have mentioned wanting to get on board. We're so thankful for the overwhelming response we've had since we first pitched the project. Now it's time to get moving! We don't officially include a photographer in our directory until they have completed their first shoot...but to celebrate the launch, we're offering the first five photographers who contact us and pledge to get involved a spot on our featured photographers page. There are only five spots, so it's gonna fill up fast!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Big Changes in the Works

So today, Mary and I sat down with our web designer/image consultant/marketing guru extraordinaire, Tracie Valentino, for a three hour, closed-door, no-holds-barred, brainstorming strategy session on some pretty big changes in the works for us. We're not ready to reveal anything just yet, but soon...very soon.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pictage Community

I'm so excited for the launch of Pictage's new community website! They really put together a beautiful, clean, simple site that is open to all Pictage partners to submit content, and open to the public to view! We just got through uploading a couple pictures ourselves.

Pictage has been the backbone of our new CT PUG, and I'm so thankful for all of the amazing photographers I've met because of it. We have a really strong community, both local and national, and the new website only brings us closer together. Thank you Pictage!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hope for a Cure

To any of our brides out there who are looking for a gift for your bridesmaids (or mothers, or grandmothers...or you get the idea!), we wanted to let you know about the Melissa Hope for a Cure Bracelet being sold by our friend Beth Chapman at The White Dress By The Shore. The bracelet came about because of Beth's incredible inspiration from a woman who battled and beat breast cancer while pregnant with her second child. Both mama and baby are now doing just fine!

All net proceeds from the sale of the bracelet go to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation So far Beth & crew have raised an unbelievable $35,000 to benefit breast cancer research. They are featured in the latest issue of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style New England.

I cannot think of a better gift to give the women in your life.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Link Link Link

So this morning we were checking out Me Ra's blog and saw this great little video clip from their PUG meeting on blogging. They invited Steve Makofsky of (who gets 100,000 hits per week!) to talk about some tips and tricks to being a better blogger. We were stoked to see some of the same tips we talked about at our last PUG meeting mentioned like... link link link! Check out the video for even more cool tips!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

So who is gonna do your.....

We get asked a lot who is doing all the stuff for our wedding since we're also in the business. We're getting pretty close to having everything here it is, our vendor list as it now stands!

Location: The Branford House
Planner: Traci Romano of The Romano Group (Traci is opening an awesome new studio that we can't wait to see! You can read more about it on her new blog!)
Florist: Jessica's Country Flowers
Cake: Kristen Lynn, A Bakery
Caterer: Coastal Gourmet
DJ: Kurt Krausse
Photographer: DJ
Dress: Reem Acra from Mariella Creations

We still have some smaller things to book, so check back for updates. We can't tell ya how excited we are to have all of these incredible people involved! We were so blown by each of them and we just know they're gonna make our day rock!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dinner Club

So tonight our dinner circles came together for one big get together at Skappo's in New Haven. What a rockin' time! We had Carla Ten Eyck, Paul and Krystal, Steve DePino, Matt and Teresa Wagner, and us in the house. All of us were gathered around some *incredible* food and wine, sharing ideas and a ton of laughs. Thank you so much to all our awesome friends who could make it tonight, and I hope even more people can join us next time. So drop us a line if you'd like to get in on all the love. I promise that no one in this group is a lunch table kinda kid, and all are welcome to share in the mischief & merriment. Besides, how else are you going to find out the significance of "two thorns and a rose"? Now, you definitely wanna come!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Put on your wide lens.

So often in business...and in life...we get focused on the details and miss the broader view. Our eyes adjust to seeing only what's directly in front of us, and we become oblivious to what's going on outside our focus. Essentially, we're walking around with blinders on. We are so obsessed with getting closer to where we want to be, that we forget to look up at the world around us. But remember that in life, like in business, it's not just about moving's about expanding beyond your limits too. That way, we see the end result we're striving for from every angle. So today, take out your wide lens and spend a little time looking at the big picture.

Monday, March 12, 2007


It's no secret that Justin and I are HUGE Rascal Flatts fans (although it took forever for J to even admit he likes country). Their lyrics just speak to me in such a powerful way. We use them a lot for our slideshows... and we're going to have some good friends of ours read the lyrics to "My Wish" at our wedding.

Today I was driving back from the gym and I heard the lyrics to their new song, "Stand." They're incredilbe! I think we all find ourselves, from time to time, pushed to the ground by the challenges of life. What's important is that we always remember to get back up, and make a stand for something...otherwise we'll fall for anything.

When push comes to shove
You taste what you’re made of
You might bend ‘til you break
Cause it’s all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you’ve had enough
You get mad, you get strong
Wipe your hands, shake it off
Then you stand.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

That's what I love about Sunday...

Saturday may have been the night to set your clocks forward, but Sunday is the day for recharging your batteries.

Our pastor, Bill Keane, did a sermon on this once and it has stuck with us ever since. Today was that kind of day for us. We went hiking with Cooper to the top of Sleeping Giant (and got to see a little fluff n' stuff golden retriever puppy on the way back down).Then we came back and did lots of little catch up stuff around the house. We did laundry, Mary ironed, I installed a new smoke/CO detector (with brand new batteries), and we just did all the sort of things that make our home a nice place to be.

So whatever you do on Sunday, make sure it fuels your soul and recharges your batteries. And if you need some help thinking of things to do on this awesome day, check out "That's What I Love About Sunday" by Craig Morgan.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Old friends and fine wine

It's always wonderful to catch up with old friends and tonight was definitely no different. One of my best friends and my college roommate at RIT, Julie, came in from NY to visit us (and Ikea) with her boyfriend Sergey. Mary and I whipped up a pretty awesome meal (if I do say so myself) which was perfectly complemented by a great bottle of wine that Jules and Sergey brought over from their collection. We were already planning on doing one shoot with them for The Portrait House, but now they're going to be donating for TWO ph sessions! How amazing is that!? It's so great to have the love and support from such great friends! We can't wait to take some killer pictures for you guys! Be safe on your way home.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Ok, I admit it....

I am a new book junkie! I love that feeling of knowing that all the secrets of the universe *might* just be there waiting for me behind the front cover. So far, that hasn't quite happened...but each one gets me that much closer. :) I just picked up The Anatomy of Buzz and How to Win Friends & Influence People. I've been wanting to read both these books for a very long time now and I'm super excited to see what I can get from them.

I've started How to Win Friends first... and in the foreward the author, Dale Carnegie, talks about a man who came to one of his courses (this was back in the 1930s, btw), who was:

"So stirred by a talk on these principles that he sat far into the night discussing them with other members of the class. At three o'clock in the morning, the others went home. But he was so SHAKEN BY THE REALIZATION OF HIS OWN MISTAKES, so inspired by the vista of a new and richer world opening before him, that he was unable to sleep. He didn't sleep that night or the next day or the next night."

I can't tell you how many times Justin and I have experienced this...we get so amped up from thinking about new ideas and ways to do things differently that we end up staying up most of the night making it happen. What an awesome feeling...when the hours just fly by and you don't even realize it because you're doing something you love so much.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Tahiti, Hawaii, Cabo, Greece, Fiji and Las Vegas honeymoons, oh my!!

So it's about time that Mary and I settle on a honeymoon destination. So far, Tahiti is way out in the lead as our ultimate dream...but we're always open to suggestions (so long as it's not the islands of Long or Rhode). Sooo...where do you guys think we should go?


Cabo San Lucas

Cancun, Mexico


French Rivera

Virgin Islands

Galapagos Islands



Las Vegas ????

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Speaking of Dinners with Great Photographers...

We've had the pleasure of dining with some of the area's best photographers recently. A couple weeks ago we hooked up with Paul and Krystal of Studio Foto in Stafford Springs for an amazing dinner and a tour of their (almost finished) phenomenal new studio. And tonight, we got to meet up with Steve DePino and spend a great couple of hours talking shop. He really knows his stuff. I can't tell you how amazing it is to be friends with these people because we learn so much from them every time in just a couple hours. It's just another reason we are so blessed to be a part of our CT PUG... for bringing all of these awesome people together.

Here is a shot of us with Paul and Krystal...sadly none of us photographers had a camera with us tonight with Steve, so we'll have to make up for it next time.

Chicago, Here We Come!!

We just booked our registration for the Pictage PartnerCon Chicago on May 8-9!! We're so pumped! PartnerCon LA was such a turning point for us and we can't wait to see where Chicago will take us! So....who else is in?!

Mentoring Rocks!

We know a lot of you are heading out to WPPI pretty soon (we so wish we could go, but we're already booked for an awesome wedding down near Pittsburgh)...and we really hope you'll go bid on a mentoring session to benefit Thirst Relief. There are so many incredible photographers volunteering their time, I don't know how we would ever begin to choose who to bid on! But ranking at the top of our list would have to be Davina Fear. We got to hang out with Davina at PartnerCon in LA and she's just nothing short of amazing! Her insight for truly connecting with your clients totally changed our business. Check her out!

We can't say enough about the importance of mentoring...everytime our business has gone to the next level, it's been because of what we learned from other photographers. In September, we won the bid on Mike Colon at PartnerCon and it was SUCH an eye-opening experience. He really showed us how to step up and we continue to be so grateful for his guidance.

I think the bidding ends TOMORROW!! So hurry up and go BID on Davina or Mike or DJ or Jessica Claire or whoever! Just make sure you go and do this for yourself. I promise you won't regret it!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Dinner with DJ

Tonight we had the amazing privilege of hanging out with our friend and (for those of you who haven't heard) the photographer for our wedding, David Jay in Newport. DJ is just an incredible person and to be around him is to be inspired. We spent hours just talking about life and love with him. He is one of the most down to earth, genuine, generous, and kind people we have ever met. Many of you already know him to be all of these things...but did you also know he's somewhat of a master magician too?! Mary and I had every intention of grabbin' the check the second it arrived...but when it came, there was DJ's card and a receipt. He just smiled and said it's already taken care of. We still have *no* idea how he did it! (DJ, we're already plotting on how we're going to get you back in Chicago!) What an awesome night!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Alison & Paul

Check out their slideshow HERE! We're running out the door, but we'll post more later.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

First Portrait House Shoot!

Tomorrow Mary and I have our first shoot for The Portrait House! We're really excited to be doing an engagement session for Alison and Paul, who are getting married down in Virginia in August. So the fundraising begins here. We're going to need all of your help and support in the coming months to reach our goal of $50,000, but I have no doubt that we can do it! Email me at to get going on your own sessions.

Tomorrow night we're also headed up to Newport, RI for what is sure to be a rockin' good time. Stay tuned for more on that!

God bless!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

30 hours completed

Hey guys, we just got back from the 30 Hour Famine. It was an awesome weekend spent with some of the bravest teenagers I've ever met. We broke our fast at 7pm after 30 hours, with a feast for the ages. Mary and I are both pretty exhausted now, so be sure to check back tomorrow for more info on the event.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Like much of Connecticut, Mary and I spent the entire morning bailing gallons upon gallons of water out of a friend's basement. I have NEVER seen water push its way through a foundation with such force. We are literally talking about waterfalls pouring out of the walls and windows and every little crevace in the old stonework.

As if there wasn't enough excitement, I decided it would be a fun idea to fall down a flight of wet stairs while trying to salvage boxes from the rising water. Luckily, the fire department had already been called for the flood, so 2nd Lieutenant Kevin from the Chester Fire Department was there and checked all my vitals to be sure I was going to make it. It was touch and go there for a little bit and they thought they were going to have to put me in the ambulance...but after a little rest, a glass of orange juice and a well placed ice pack for my backside I was back on my feet. I fell right in front of Mary, and she raced down the stairs after me. Apparently, I was a little incoherent when I first tried to get up and I turned about 7 whiter shades of pale... so needless to say, she had a pretty good scare. As for me... all I have are a couple of nice bruises and a good story, but luckily, all's well that ends well.


Hey guys! Check out our new Cbox on the sidebar!! Brian recommended it to us and we think it is so sweet! Feel free to drop us a line there!

You can get your own Cbox here.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Hittin' the Ground Runnin'

At the meeting, we told you guys about the book Lovemarks by Kevin Roberts. We thought it would be awesome if we could get our own little group book list goin' what's everyone reading/what do you recommend we pick up?

Puttin' our money where our mouth is!!

So last night was another rockin' PUG meeting for our CT group! We had 27, count 'em TWENTY SEVEN, photographers there from all over the state and even up in Mass. This group is just *phenomenal* and we can't even tell you how awesome the vibe is when all of them get together. You guys should be so proud of this community we're building, because you make that happen! Thanks again so much to Nikki Nicole for hosting and Matthew Wagner for leading a super helpful session on slideshows and ShowIt.

Mary led the other session last night with Brian Khang on "blogging and how to make it work for you." The #1 tip on their list was "post often, ideally everyday." Never ones to refuse a challenge, we decided to take our own and commit to posting EVERY. SINGLE. DAY between now and the next PUG meeting on March 21. So it's up to you guys to keep us accountable (lest that "delete post" button become too tempting!) and call us on it if we start slackin! Will we be able to do it? Will we see it through? Only time (and checking back to see :) ) will tell!