These are some highlights from an event I shot the other week at the Tribeca Cinemas. The first annual Video Art and Experimental Film Festival. Because they said it better than I could, “The festival aspires to shed new light on the definition of the video art genre by showcasing the work of ground-breaking contemporary video artists and experimental filmmakers from all over the world”. It included two hours of screening, a panal discussion and an afterparty. The panal included Ross Harley, Professor and Head of the School of Media Arts, College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales in Sydney; Ed Bowes, an SVA professor and winner of the Guggenheim Fellowship 2010; Blake Whitman, Director of Community and Product at Vimeo; and moderated by Bonnie Friel, a video and performance artist and instructor of Media Theory and Production at ( no other than my alma mater ) Temple University.

As someone who is creative in their profession, its so important to have portals in which you can share your work with others, especially others from all over the world. The panal touched on the importance of social networking sites and how they are specifically impacting the way that people communicate their art.

On their website there are videos that you can take a look at from the event including interviews with a few of the filmmakers. It was a wonderful event, and I was glad to be able to shoot it!

loveee this one

A shot of one of my favorite films, Manuela from Marco Castro

If you follow any of my personal sites ( tumblr, twitter, facebook) you know by now of my obsession with neon signs πŸ™‚


Guerilla Photoshoot

March 27, 2010

Sorry for the delay! I’ve been trying to put together this blog post for weeks now and every time I sat down to choose which photos were going up, I couldn’t decide on a reasonable number. No, Sam, 45 is not a reasonable number of photos to put up in one blog post! In any case, I wasΒ finally able to sit down and force myself to choose the ones that were gonna make it up.

In any case, in efforts of trying not to blab on too long, I just want to say that I think this first shootout was a long time in coming. Photographers and creatives need to ban together, help each other, support one another. All too often does our classic east coast standoffishness come across as us plain ol’ disinterest , but alas that is not the case! We just need to get the ball rolling so that in the long run, everyone can benefit. Working as a community in your field is one of the most important in keeping business alive. Although I could ramble on about this for hours, here are the photos from the first ever Guerilla Photoshoot, which I look at as something inbetween hanging out with your good friends who happen to be photographers, and a full on workshop. Its the perfect balance! We had some great models and some wonderful photographers and I hope that you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them πŸ™‚

To get to know me a little more, heres an interview I gave at the end of 2008 with a younger student studying at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. The project was to interview a professional artist in their field and write a paper about how art and business coincide. I plan to create a new “About me” section on my website and this will be one of the components of that page, but I wanted to let everyone see it first and get some feedback!

Teresa: What inspires your photography?

Samantha: My photography is inspired by so many things its very hard to list them all. For me it’s a very loaded question because everything in my environment is inspiring. The sound of trains running on their tracks and whistling their bells late into the night inspires me; walking through old book stores and touching their bindings, reading words that people have written who have died many years ago inspires me; the sun- the sun and the moon are both huge keys of inspiration for me-and their many forms and shapes- the way that a sunset is the same concept but will look different each time you see one. Art, window panes, the people who are close to me- also all things that inspire me. All of these things get filtered through my brain and when I’m out shooting, its those types of inspiration that provide me with strength and a calm mind. Thats one of the things that noone seems to talk about when doing these kinds of interviews- but its not just the ‘things’ themselves that are inspiring, but the fact that these things are beautiful to me, and its not so much that i look to them for inspiration or for me to try to replicate them, but that they integrate into who i am as a person and as a photographer. They help me find that place, that state of peace where I can be creative.

Teresa: How do you use polaroid film to its full advantage?

Samantha: Polaroid film is great, there are so many fun quirky things you can do with it. I begun shooting polaroid film just for my snapshots.. if i wanted a fun set of people or things on the street, polaroids weigh next to nothing and lets face it, who doesn’t like watching a photo develop in front of them. Only the last two years or so I got into the alternative processing motifs and found ways to create polaroid emulsion lifts where you lift the actual emulsion of the print off of the polaroid paper and harness it to another surface.. it could be newsprint, tuperware, even a pillow case- anything you want really. This was amazingly fun for me because when form supports content thats the photographers little inside joke. For example, when you take a picture of a cat lets say, and then polaroid emulsion lift it off of the paper and stick it to an empty litter box or a food bowl, its like “ha ha ha” what a cute joke. However, that is form supporting content and makes for a great little installment if put into a larger series. Another example would be a picture of a candle on a lightbulb, or vice versa.

Teresa: How do you exhibit your creativity with Bridal Photography?

Samantha : Bridal photography is a new and exciting form of photography for me. Its definitly grown a lot since the posed pictures with the bride’s huge trains fanned out in front of them. Dont get me wrong, we still do those! But in addition to all of those “formal shots” a lot of brides nowadays get a wedding photographer and personal style shoot all in one. A lot of the weddings we shoot brides will rent space at gardens or at the George Eastman House, or even take us to the park and we’ll do a whole lot of fun shots with the bride and groom , as well as each of them alone, and their bridal party. Its great when brides play in front of the camera, posing, laughing, getting picked up by the groomsmen. There are a lot of fun ideas that both us as photographers, as well as them as brides have ( having seen different shots in magazines, other photographers websites, our websites, etc).

Teresa: Do you think living in an urban area most of your life has influenced your work in any way?

Samantha: I definitly think that living in an urban area most of my life has influenced the way that i shoot. I love ruins, old buildings, graffitti, parts of the city that some people might not know about or might not think to go, and im already there in my mind thinking about the shots that could be gotten. However I also think that living both in an urban area as well as in a country/ rural area have influenced my shooting style because i love shooting in nature and greenery. There are different ideas for shots that come to mind when im in an urban area as opposed to a suburban/rural area and i definitely feel blessed to have the inspiration from both.

Teresa: Did you always want to be a photographer?

Samantha: I didn’t always want to be a photographer. In fact, I wanted strictly not to be a photographer for a long while because it was my passion, something I did because it called to me, something that calmed me down, something I could meditate on- both shooting in the field and in the darkroom editing. I thought that if I began to pursue photography full time, my passion for it would wane, and it wasn’t until later that I realized passion does not corrupt when put to the test, it only becomes stronger. Still, as far back as I can remember there has been photography in my house. My mom would tell me that when I was younger I would steal the photos from her albums to have in my room! It wasn’t enough that they were in the albums, I needed them in my room to be closer to me. Well now we know why !

And because no post is complete without at least one image, here are some images from a few weekends ago. I invited some friends of mine from Brooklyn to the country and we had a ball! To see all of the images from that weekend, click here. We went on a few hikes and during one of them found an abandoned ski resort and and a lift that hadn’t been operated in eleven years ( almost to the day ! ).

Last weekend I had the pleasure of photographing one of the best families I have ever met. Meet Jeff, Anna, Tommy, Dylan and Alex. From the moment you meet them you just can’t help but love their silliness, their devotion to each other, and the deep deep love that is evident just by watching them interact with one another. A couple of months ago, Anna approached me with the idea of a photoshoot for Jeff’s Fathers Day gift. I’m so happy that we were able to make it happen and I hope you all enjoy my favorites as much as I do…

After we finished shooting with the kids, I shot Jeff and Anna alone. They have all sorts of bright colors and awesome furniture in their house so it was a no-brainer when it came to backgrounds πŸ™‚

Midweek Specials!

August 27, 2009

Hi All!

I am happy to report that Shannon Fluet Designs is up and running and boy is it exciting! Some photos of mine are featured on the site and I think that’s just swell. Not to mention the fact that the whole thing looks redonkulously amazing!( Ok not a word but that’s how fabulous it is )

Also- so very excited that Earthdance New Paltz 2009 is coming up in September and not only will I be shooting the whole day ( its from 2pm-10pm) but did the teaser flyer and created the website for the event as well. You can find it atΒ  AhlunamaRising . If anyone is interested in awesome dance parties in the Hudson Valley, you should contact them immediately as tickets are selling fast!

Happy Wednesday!

Andi and Ty met in college, Johns Hopkins to be exact, on the Taekwondo team. He a senior, she a freshman. Second semester they began dating, and three years later Ty brought Andi to lunch on his birthday to propose. Their love is storybook, and they have beautiful personalities to match each others radiance.

I had the honor to shoot their wedding in Rochester, NY a couple of weeks ago.

The night before the wedding, we were welcomed into Ty’s family home for the rehearsal dinner ( complemented by the famously amazing Dinosaur Barbeque ). We were back there again in-between the ceremony at the Nativity Church in Brockport and the reception at the Shanghai Chinese Restaurant in Rochester for some gorgeous photos with the family and bridal party. The day turned out to be sunny and warm, unlike most of the rainy summer this year, and I think everyone felt truly blessed to be in the presence of such pure love.

I’m not sure why I love the following photograph but it makes me smile πŸ™‚

Andi’s flowers were done by Lisa Meyer who designs custom floral arrangements. They were elegant and perfect for Andi! The bear was a present from Ty πŸ™‚

Addicted to the blackberry.. had to put this one in for Andi πŸ™‚

Ty was a male model in another life πŸ™‚

Andi you are just too fabulous for me πŸ˜€

Everything about the reception was individualized perfectly for Andi and Ty. The scripted name cards, the 9-course traditional Chinese buffet dinner, the karaoke brought by Starlite Productions, and of course the 3-tiered wedding cake from Gruttadauria Bakery!

Listening to Andi’s dad’s toast…

For cake cutting, the couple brought their own special sword to do the honors. It was pretty terrific πŸ™‚

I love love love love beautiful rings and handmade figurines!

There were no formal dances after dinner, but I caught this one of the couple…

Carly’s Dance Class

August 10, 2009

Carly is definitely one of my favorite people, ever. She is a boxer turned dancer turned model all rolled up into one big ball of gorgeousness. Now, she’s starting up a dance class here in town and wanted some media to spread the word….sooo of course that lead to a photoshoot in the studio where the class will be held. The place used to be a clothing boutique and still has all the funky stylings of zebra print and chandeliers. We had tons of fun shooting, and if you’re in the Woodstock area, make sure to check out her class on Tuesdays and Thursdays!

These are the flyers we made with the chosen photos from the shoot…