Its Gonna Take a Long Time

November 11, 2011

I’ve never advertised before. In fact I was never a proponent of self-promotion. When I began to photograph commercially I really had no idea how to run a business but only that I knew I could take the pictures that would warrant running one. I started slow, following all of my favorite bloggers and writers and photographers on the internet. I poured over any and all information that could propel me into internet stardom. I started Facebook albums. I wrote my own blogs. I was given the “How to Build Your Own Website for Dummies” book and handcrafted code line by line four times over to create what my website is today. When I came back to New York City I jumped on any and all jobs I could find. I photographed nightlife parties. I ran around the city on the subway with my equipment in a messenger bag. I assisted at weddings. I bought professional lights. I took pictures every day. Then I hit the wall. I was making little to no money doing what I loved and finally had to take several other jobs to be able to pay any sort of bill that was coming in. I lost my momentum completely. I began to think that I shouldn’t be trying at all. I worked at ABC Kitchen for a year and a half before that feeling started to turn itself over. Before the wind smelled clear again. I began to see my photographs happening. They would appear to me out of nowhere. Down a Long Island City alleyway. A rooftop sunset. Simple pleasures that were mine for the taking. I started booking weddings and shoots again. I remembered to trust myself.

I know that everyone has their success story.
But this is not a story of my success. This is a story about how to get up and keep going.

I’ve had the same business cards for three years. After reading a few articles over at Matchstic, I made the decision to rebrand my cards into something more tangible. An object of affection.  I make my living off of my sight and my intuition. I needed a card that would help me create a piece of myself to show others how I see the world. I used Moo Business Cards to accomplish my vision. (Who by the way I am now obsessed with. Rounded corners, double sided cards, beautiful accurate coloring, and thick cardstock- ohmy!)

I also for the first time ever this year decided to run a couple of advertisements. This is the latest one from the November 2011 issue of the Chronogram. Heres a peek !

In a moment of pure and open honesty, I’ll admit, I am not nearly where I’d like to be professionally. I may not have all of the latest gadgets or the fanciest flash website, but one thing remains the same as when I ventured into this. I’m confident that I know how to take the pictures which warrant running this business.

So I’m working on it.

As Mayer Hawthorne reminds us,

Its gonna take a long time,
Its gonna take it but we’ll make it someday.


Irene Part 2

September 6, 2011

180,000 Central Hudson customers lost power during the storm.
Shandaken Residents were being boated out of their homes, some in other areas trapped for days.
Upstate, NY experienced massive flooding and power outages. Homes uprooted 50 feet from their foundations. Roads completely washed away. I took a drive on Monday, to try and find out information about the areas affected, but only went as far as Phonecia. In Big Indian, Windham, Prattsvile, and Margritville there was so much damage that it was declared a State of Emergency and the National Guard came in. FEMA, Social Services and the Red Cross are still at Belleayre Mountain every day to this day to offer laundry services and hot showers.

Hurricane Irene
Woodstock, Mt. Tremper, and Phonecia, NY
August 29, 2011

Irene Part 1

August 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene
Kingston, New York
August 28, 2011

With the recent closing of iconic NYC locations like Mars Bar and Film Center Cafe, I thought it appropriate to render a tribute to the city that I am from.

I have always been nostalgic. Even for places and events and people that I have never been to or attended or met. Certain weights that tug on my heartstrings. They are simple, like fire escapes, or fading painted advertisements on the sides of older buildings. They are ghosts of the past of a city that was raised by ambition and seems to be taken down by the natural element of ‘progress’. Establishments that have existed for years are closing. Huge skyscrapers are being built in the midst of beautiful characteristic low-rises. I am interested in documenting the things that are fading. In the buildings and the blocks. In the telephone wires and the phone booths. The neon signs.

I once wrote a letter to the Landmarks Commission in attempts at saving 35 Cooper Square which as a federal style house is one of the oldest surviving buildings on the Bowery. The following is an excerpt from that letter;

“There are reasons why tourists come to Manhattan. There are reasons why people from all over the world come with not more than a weeks’ saved wages to try to ‘make it’ here. There are reasons why numerous artists, writers, revolutionaries, business people, great thinkers, and big dreamers have chosen New York as their home base. I can tell you right now, its not because of our newly built glass towers, or the gastro-pubs, or the bottle service nightlife clubs. It’s because Manhattan was raised with charm. It has a grace that not many cities posses. It gives off the potential that anything is possible and part of this element is the structures that exist here. There are buildings that have dated back to the 19th century. They hold the city’s secrets. They have been standing throughout fires and floods, bombings and shootings. They are older than all of us, and deserve to have a chance to continue to show newcomers what the city is really made of. That throughout everything, New York buildings, like New Yorkers themselves, are durable, are resilient. That they have a strong history and past to settle their roots to, and because of that past, have a chance to to root their future in something promising, something real.”

Place is extremely powerful. There are spirits and lives that are buried beneath these streets. Under the concrete, under the cobblestone. They permeate every inch of the air on this island. I wish to document what’s been left and what is soon to go. Not only for a cartographical basis to determine footprints of the city’s mindframe, but for an artistic sense of seeing as well, creating in our time, a similar likeness to the times of those past.

I have lived in New York City for my whole life, and just this year I have begun to document it correctly. Here are a few images from this journey.

Images vs. Words

July 27, 2011

I’ve been struggling lately with my words. I have always been a somewhat private person in many ways and to share with the internet my thoughts and feelings seems.. well, scary to put it bluntly. I try to throw caution to the wind and express myself, but the fact of the matter is that I am simply not a writer. I am many things, but writing is not my strongest suit. Being a photographer in this day and age where every person with a computer is a blogger, somewhat makes me a writer by default by choosing to have a blog to display my work. I go back and forth with myself over whether my blogs should let the images stand alone or if there should be some kind of story that accompanies the photos. I have always been part of the school that likes the combinations of words and images and feel that they often contribute to one another. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but on the other hand that words can confuse and complicate things. I will be experimenting with both forms of blogging- including photos with no story, some story and some full on paragraphs. I’d love love love if some of you can let me know which ones you like best 🙂

It was Rachel, Simon, Eric, and I. Three months of a full time internship had just ended for me and we went out to celebrate. It was my first time back out in the world wearing not-work clothes and actually enjoying myself after a few months of non stop work. We were sitting at dinner at the restaurant I work in, ABC Kitchen, when Ann Marie came up to our table. She told us about the few ideas that she had for all of us to start getting involved in good community causes. Food banks, urban organic community gardening, and the AIDS Walk, to name a few. We jumped on the AIDS walk idea automatically. I remember it well, Ann Marie saying “There’s so many of us, we can do so much good if we just put ourselves to use”. Over the next few weeks we signed up, created a team, campaigned for funds, even dropped flyers off with the checks at our tables just to get the word out that we were walking. On the day of, everyone was super excited, the energy was great and even through it rained, we still had 30 staffers from ABC, raised $2,000 and represented ourselves with a great cause. I wanted to document it right so I brought along my camera. Heres a few shots from the day 😀

Ann Marie

One of our star bartenders who also happens to be a cheerleader. We didn’t even know he would be there!

Rachel and I

I haven’t been much for blogging these days and have just been getting out of the winter slump so bear with me!

We went to East Hampton this year for Mother’s day. It was the first time i’d been to the Hamptons as an adult, and it was an interesting experience to say the least. My mom has gone there the past few years on Mother’s Day weekend to spend time with her group of girlfriends. Instead of her rushing back on Sunday and us brunching in the city, we decided to spend the weekend out there with her and enjoy the sights and scenery. To be honest, i’d always avoided going out there because we have a place in the mountains and I never saw the point in spending four hours in traffic when I could zip up north in two. But after being there that weekend, I will definitely be back this summer.

Its taken me quite a while to write this blog post for a few reasons. It begun as a birthday post for my mother in January. Obviously the ball was dropped. I kept trying to think of reasons to post these wonderful photos of my mother for a few months until alas, Mothers Day was upon us, but again, I missed the blogging boat for putting these up on that particular day. ( We were too busy sitting on the sunny deck and brunching and walking on the beach ). But the other day my mother came home from a woman’s retreat in Connecticut and when I got home from work there was a small package on my desk. She’d brought me back beautiful earring and a painted box filled with wonderful smelling scents. There was no reason for these gifts. In my family, we don’t need holidays or birthdays to appreciate each other, so I figured why wait until another holiday to put these up! My mother is a wonderful, strong woman and while there are albums worth of photographs, these particular shots stood out and I wanted to share them. Plus and they were all taken by my dad so you can see where I get it from 🙂

Mothers Day brunch in East Hampton