New Beginnings: Generocity

As some of you may recall, back when Pete popped the question, I also had some other exciting things to celebrate that same day. Generocity, the Greater Philadelphia area’s source for nonprofit news and networking, had contacted me for an interview. To be given the opportunity to put the spotlight on the nonprofit world really excited me, so when I found out last week that I would be joining the team as their Content Associate, I was elated.

In addition to helping spot and tell stories, I’ll also be given the opportunity to represent the content visually, whether through photography or other visual mediums. As someone who (humbly!) considers herself a writer and photographer (and illustrator!), I’m often asked “Well, which one do you like the most?” in job interviews. Even though I know the interviewer wants to hear “Oh, of course I like ____ the most” (depending on the job’s focus), I never quite know how to answer. The truth is, being able to potentially blend provoking imagery with compelling content is very exciting to me. I enjoy the challenges writing and photography bring and look forward to growing stronger as both a writer and an artist.

With my first story for Generocity, the photos inspired the opening of the article, which is often the hardest part to write (at least for me, anyway). Having the visual experience gave me the opportunity to bring readers along with me during my tour of the Philadelphia’s Children Alliance. Ideally, I’m hoping to be able to touch people in small ways so they will be encouraged to give, whether through volunteering or even donating to some of these amazing nonprofits. That being said, I was incredibly inspired by the obvious strength at the PCA, both by the professional staff and the children who have the courage to speak up and tell their stories.

I look forward to sharing all of the stories I’ll be rolling out during my adventures as a staff member of Generocity. I encourage you all (especially Philly readers!) to check out the website, “like” them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter to connect with people who have the same interests, concerns, and passions. Anyway, that’s my little plug, I will be sure to share some insights into my daily work life once my position begins (on Monday!).

For those of you who are local to the Philadelphia area, what are some of your favorite nonprofits that you feel deserve some extra love?

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30 Day Photography Challenge: Days 25 to 30

Here are my final photos for the 30 Day Photography Challenge: Days 25 through 30.

Something pink (Day 25): As fellow East Coasters are probably aware, we got quite a bit of snow this past Saturday. I figured I’d capture a photo of Betty White in her winter attire, since she is a shivering mess when she doesn’t have her pink coat on.

Close-up (Day 26): I decided to go for a bit of a photo walk around the block, where I usually walk Charsi during the afternoon. For “close-up,” I focused on holly leaves, which always reminds me of the winter season.

From a distance (Day 27): For “from a distance,” I made the trees in the background in focus since they are a brilliant shade of red right now.

Flowers (Day 28): I always see these flowers while walking the pooch and they stand out to me as being the most interesting on the block. I have no idea what kind of flowers they are, but I’d love to find out so we can plant our own in the future.

Black & white (Day 29): Not to get all nature photographer on you guys, but I liked the contrast of the organic shadows with the rough grain of the wood.

Self-portrait (Day 30): This is me being a noodle with my puffy South Park-esque hat on because it was COLD outside this weekend. I don’t care if I look ridiculous, I was cozy and warm and that’s all that counts.

Long exposure (Day 16): Here’s an oldie from when Pete and I started dating and we were playing around with long exposure photos. Hoping to recreate this in our new home once I gather the motivation to set up my tripod (these cold months make me lazy). He spelled out our initials in a heart while we kissed. I like my weird grimace face transitioning to us getting our smooch on…I’m sure I was asking him why he was spelling our initials backwards (I was a dumbfounded long exposure newbie). And yes, that is Betty White curled up to the right of my head on the couch arm.

I had a lot of fun doing this photo challenge, but I’m looking forward to creating new challenges for myself this November (perhaps removing all of the wallpaper upstairs?). Check out days 1-5 and 6-10, 11-15 and 17-24 if you haven’t already.

Happy Halloween, everyone! Betty White (sad panda) and I (Slytherin student) are psyched to hand out giant-sized candy to trick or treaters!

{Engagement} Kate & Erik

I had the pleasure of recently photographing Kate and Erik during their engagement session at Swarthmore College, where the two originally met as students. During my e-mails with Kate, I could tell we would hit it off—anyone who mentions bringing bubbles and animal head hats as props gets an instant thumbs-up of approval from yours truly. During the shoot, we began our journey near a rail overpass that the duo filmed a scene of a horror movie at when they were students.

We made our way to the Scott Outdoor Amphitheater on campus, which was constructed way back in 1942 and designed by noted Philadelphia landscape architect, Thomas W. Sears. The college holds their commencement here each year, so while remaining symbolic, it was also a beautifully serene backdrop for our shoot.

My heart pitter pattered when they brought out the bubbles, because I cannot resist swirly, rainbow-y goodness.

Erik even crafted handmade signs for their save the date cards, which was a sweet detail to capture during our afternoon together. As a side note, who doesn’t love a good moose hat?

Back when they were students, Erik became instantly smitten with Kate after he met her while she was hosting her own show at WSRN 91.5 FM, Swarthmore’s student-operated radio station. Kate tried ringing the station to see if they were open so we could snap a few photos there for nostalgia’s sake, but no one answered (sad face).

We crossed our fingers and made the short trek to the station, to see if someone might be around to allow us inside. As fate would have it, the station was open and several students were broadcasting their show live on air. They were kind enough to allow us to recreate the moment when Erik first laid eyes on Kate (who couldn’t be cuter, by the way), which was a ton of fun.

We flipped through the albums and stumbled upon one of their favorites, Skinny Puppy, a band that Erik introduced Kate to when they started dating.

It was absolutely adorable to watch the two browse records while rehashing memories from their college years. We covered everything from music to horror movies during our time together and they couldn’t have been easier to talk to.

I’m a newbie when it comes to Swarthmore traditions, but apparently a visit to the college must include a trip to the oversized Adirondack Chair, one of the many works of public art on campus. I am really happy we were able to fit it in during our session, since it led to me being photo bombed for the first time ever during an engagement shoot!

I couldn’t stop cracking up at the kids who started hanging upside down from the chair while I was snapping photos. I had an absolute blast with Kate and Erik, so I can’t wait for their wedding at the Philadelphia Magic Gardens next summer.

Congrats to the happy couple!

30 Day Photography Challenge: Days 17 to 24

Here are my latest photos from the 30 Day Photography Challenge! I skipped the “long exposure” day for now because I keep slacking on setting up my tripod, but I pinky swear I won’t forget about it! Anyway, here are days 17 through 24.

Technology (Day 17): Here’s a glimpse of what our office/critter room looks like when the lights are out. I spend a lot of time editing photos in Lightroom with the lights out during the day and by the time Pete gets home from work, I realize I’ve been sitting in the dark for several hours. Whoops. I’m 27 and I still haven’t gotten used to daylight saving time ending. We have double monitors since Pete can work a lot faster with web developing and it helps me multitask (*cough* watch tv on the other monitor) while editing photos.

Your shoes (Day 18): I apologize for the blurry photo, but I tend to take these photos at the end of the day when there is little to no light in our living room. Here’s a view of my shoes, with Betty and Charsi in the background…this is typically what they are doing (watching me attentively) while I work on my laptop.

Something orange (Day 19): Thanks to my parents, our sunroom is decked out with light-up pumpkins and the goodies we bought from Linvilla Orchards. We still have to carve our pumpkins this week…I think I might carve Han Solo to give Pete a pumpkingasm.

Bokeh (Day 20): Bokeh is the aesthetic quality of the blur in out-of-focus areas of an image. I took this photo in our sunroom with the crazy witch my parents gave us as a decoration. The lit pumpkins in the background are the “bokeh,” or blurred orange and yellow circular shapes.

Faceless self-portrait (Day 21): Whenever I go anywhere, the dogs follow me. For my faceless self-portrait I wanted to show a typical view when I look in the mirror. Betty White flops on the bed and falls asleep and Charsi stares at me until I pet her. In this photo I’m wearing the JCrew sweater Pete bought me over the weekend…cuddly sweaters and generous ginger boyfriends are the best.

Hands (Day 22): Checking my Twitter feed while multitasking (usually while cooking or in bed). Note to self: take off chipped nail polish. And yes, that is a blurry Betty White staring at me in the background like a stalker dog.

Sunflare (Day 23): There was plenty of sunflare at this engagement shoot, since the sun was pretty much directly above our heads. I really love the rainbow effects that happen when you have sunflare, but cloudy days tend to be my favorite for shooting since shadows can be pretty harsh in this lighting.

Animal (Day 24): I had the pleasure of petsitting this pooch for a little while this past week. She is super cute and didn’t stop smiling. Betty White definitely could have learned a thing or two from her since Betty is always grimacing in photos.

Be sure to check out days 1-5 and 6-10, and 11-15 if you haven’t already. I can’t believe we’re already nearing the end of the month, October flew by fast!

Radnor Hunt: An Equestrian Engagement Shoot

My photography blog is in the midst of a redesign, so I thought I’d share some of my latest shoots on here for the time being. I had the pleasure of photographing Michelle and Marc, who won my contest for a free engagement shoot. We were joined by Beka, co-owner of Styled Creative, who was a blast to work with and brought some awesome props, like horse show ribbons and other vintage goodness.

The property at Radnor Hunt, where the couple will be sharing their vows next year, is one of the oldest recognized hunts in the United States. At every turn inside the venue there was gorgeous fox artwork and antiques, and the outdoors had its fair share of fox nostalgia. From fox hunting to horsemanship, this venue is breathtaking and we lucked out with an incredibly gorgeous (albeit windy), sunny day. This tree swing was so lovely and reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Big Fish.

How cute is this pumpkin, painted with a silhouette of a horse and rider? Radnor Hunt definitely has an eye for details and their staff couldn’t have been nicer by allowing us to shoot inside their stables.

Beka brought all sorts of goodies to snazz up our shoot, it’s amazing how much a few props can really give the photos more depth and interest. Be sure to check out Styled Creative’s website and “like” them on Facebook to stay up-to-date with their latest happenings (like their upcoming pop up prop shop!).

I never asked Santa for a pony when I was little, but after spending some time with these guys, I’m half tempted to this year. They were ah-dorable.

Good luck to the happy couple and congrats for winning my free engagement shoot contest!

30 Day Photography Challenge: Days 11 to 15

Here are my latest photos from the 30 Day Photography Challenge!

Something blue (Day 11): For “something blue,” I resisted the temptation to capture our very blue toilet and instead focused on our vintage globe.

Sunset (Day 12): This sunset actually happened over this past weekend after the Philadelphia Union game. I decided to swap it out for the other one I had taken because I have a major crush on this bridge. (Taken with my iPhone.)

Yourself with 13 things (Day 13): This was the day I made the ginormous cookies. There are only a few left now, turns out Pete actually likes them quite a bit! I think I look like a cartoon character in this photo.

Eyes (Day 14): Pete looks like he’s impersonating Salvador Dali with his huge eyes, but perhaps that’s because we were watching Midnight in Paris at the time.

Silhouette (Day 15): Another shot from our trip to PPL Park for the Philadelphia Union game (I cheated and used two photos from this day, oh snap!). We went with Pete’s family, who had awesome box seats. Nothing makes me happier than free potato salad and an entire crowd wearing pink scarves. (Taken with my iPhone.)

Be sure to check out days 1-5 and 6-10 if you haven’t already! How is everyone else doing with the challenge so far? Are you like me and mixing days up a bit depending on where you’re going that day?

Veronika & Bryan: Vintage Love by Live It Out Photography

When the lovely Veronika from Tick Tock Vintage asked if she could use our house as a backdrop for a photoshoot with her husband Bryan, I was totally flattered. It was an absolute blast watching behind the scenes as Amber from Live It Out Photography captured the gorgeous couple and vintage styling (all by the uber talented Veronika!). From handmade pies and mojitos to barbecued deliciousness, Veronika and Bryan totally spoiled us by providing dinner for us all.

Here are some of my favorite shots from the always-adorable Amber…seriously, this girl has major skills and you’d be crazypants not to hire her for photography if you’re in the D.C. area! Thanks again to Veronika and Bryan for hosting such an amazing photo adventure in our backyard…it’s pretty darn exciting to see how much potential our new home has for future shindigs. Keep an eye out for a glimpse of Betty White hiding behind me, per usual!

{Photos courtesy of Live It Out Photography}