Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Skinny Jeans

This was taken mid-shoot when Dylan Mars, supermodel, asked to change into his skinny jeans. This 5 year old has more style and fashion vocabulary than most people already.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Extended, Accidental Hiatus

I certainly didn’t intend to let such an extended length of time pass between postings. I can blame it on many circumstances and life adjustments, but at this point, I feel the best thing to do is pick it back up and keep going. I will begin with this image from a shoot last week with Heatherlynn and Angelica, the lovely founders of a not-yet-live online boutique which will definitely please all of you who love vintage and one of a kind styles. I photographed the girls donning items to be featured on their site around Prospect Park on a perfect Fall day. I have not yet had the opportunity to edit the forty, or so, contact sheets, but I did notice this portrait of them both looking gorgeous.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Final Print

Back in February I posted an entry about the beginning stages of an experimental project, one that I fully executed, shown here. The initial experiment was shot digitally from the television screen primarily to find out if the image would relay in any desirable way. It did, considering that the ultimate intention was to make an image with a distressed quality to enhance the surreal and dreamy aspects of the image content. I started by choosing color palettes that mimic the muted, faded colors of an old photograph and then used materials that would have an inherently worn looking quality. I first shot the images with a neutral toned chrome film and then exposed them onto a Polaroid film which can be used to make dye transfers. I then transferred the dyes onto watercolor paper and made high resolution scans of the these prints. After a small amount of adjusting (mostly contrast adjustments) I then printed the final images onto canvas. I felt that the canvas would best emulate the texture of the dye transfers while allowing a large print size (34"x 22"). I stretched the prints over wooden bars, like one would do with a painting, so that the result could be unframed without looking unfinished.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Vacation

Every summer I take a trip to the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, where I grew up. I have just returned from a short vacation there. I would have liked to stay longer to enjoy the relaxation, clean air, running along the shore, and to satiate my craving to swim in the fresh water which I didn't get quite enough of. One thing I miss during hot, humid NYC summers is the ability to jump in the water on a whim. There is no better way to cool off. As a young girl my parents had to lure me out of the water even when my lips turned blue and I proclaimed that I wasn't cold and wanted to swim longer. It was also a pastime to collect shells and the coveted Petoskey stones. I kept them in a jar full of water in my bedroom, their colors and patterns more brilliant when wet. During this trip home I spent a few days at my Dad and Step-mom's house where the guest room has a beach theme, influenced by both the lake and the ocean. The palette is blue, white, and beige, and the room is adorned with items such as signs for fresh oysters and a glass bowl full of shells on the nightstand.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dirty Dolls Lingerie

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending and photographing an event featuring Dirty Dolls Lingerie. The event was held at Town Shop, the famous NYC lingerie store on the Upper West Side that was opened in 1888. They specialize in beautiful, well made, and well fitting lingerie, as suggested by their shop slogan "Your support is our business." What a perfect venue for Dirty Dolls Lingerie! Not only is every piece gorgeous, well made, and flattering, but the Dolls themselves (Dirty Doll Lingerie owners and founders Courtney Leigh Newman and Erica Rosalind Paul) will make sure you are getting into the right size with a personalized fitting. The collection consists of brassieres, shapers, and panties designed to flatter the figure under clothes while the brassieres can also add a feminine and tasteful touch when exposed as part of your outfit. For example, the peek-a-boo camisole is the perfect solution for a low neckline, providing support and coverage! The Dirty Dolls will also also host a lingerie party for you- check them out, read their blog (you can also see many more photos from the evening), shop, and stay in the loop for more events at I would also like to mention that there were delicious cupcakes by Sugar Mama NYC, mini make-overs by The Glam Fairy, and a burlesque lesson by Jo Weldon, headmistress of the NY School of Burlesque. We walked out with our Dirty Dolls purchases and a goody bag that included a discount card for a future DD purchase, the latest issue of BUST magazine and samples from Booty Parlour. I have never plugged so many in one post, but they were all fantastic and I encourage you to look into them!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Limited

Here is some more work from a recent shoot I did for The Limited, it's a screen shot from the website featuring "going-out tops". If you'd like to take a better look at the photos or to shop the tops (they are beautiful!) go to .

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Faking a Sunny Day

I recently had a shoot with The Limited during which we had planned to include a series of images to showcase pieces from their new athletic line and the idea was something to the effect of "urban yoga studio awash with sunlight". It sounded great in planning so we scouted our location (it was a bright yellowy, sunny day) excited for the shoot. When the day arrived, along with a crew of 7 people, it was gray, rainy, and quite dark. The building in view through the windows was also gray. While this was not ideal, it was an opportunity to conquer a photographic challenge and produce the look we wanted regardless of Mother Nature's plans to rinse the city that day. Although it may have been easier and less stressful to actually have a wash of sunlight, I will admit that it is quite gratifying to utilize some of the tricks up my sleeve.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Epitome of Summer

There are few things that represent Summer quite as intensely as raspberries for me. Aside from sun, sand, and water, the menu of summer in general also brings a sunny nostalgia: sweet corn, cucumber salad, watermelon, barbecued chicken, and so on, but raspberries surpass these taste associations by far. Growing up we had a raspberry patch in the back yard. It started as one plant, which I believe my grandfather had transplanted from his yard to ours, as a sort of experiment to see if we could cultivate a few handfuls of berries to garnish our corn flakes. We had already tried growing strawberries to no real avail and as I recall they were eventually mowed by accident. Not only did the raspberries thrive, they multiplied exponentially without much in the way of manicuring on our part. Every summer the bramble spread until it was growing far beyond the yard's edge and into the neighboring field and woods. So many summer mornings I would get up ready to head straight to the beach or out for a bike ride only to find my fate on the kitchen table, that of several empty mixing bowls and a note from my Mom, "Please pick before you go. Love, Mom". It was one of my sole chores in the summer (the other was mowing the lawn) and eventually there were no notes, only empty bowls, no explanation necessary. Our crop yield was astounding. I could spend over an hour filling containers and still see ripe red fruit spotting the shrubs. We froze many pounds and gave bags to the neighbors encouraging them to come into the yard and help themselves anytime. We had raspberries on cereal, we made raspberry pancakes, muffins, we put them in salads and on ice cream and, of course, we ate them by the handful as I did whilst picking. For as much time as I spent engaged in the chore, I'm not sure I ever disliked it. In fact, they are fond memories, these Summer mornings. It was often meditative and also productive, a good way to start any day. I often gathered solo, but it was also something that my mother, sister and I would do together, usually laughing over the astonishment of the overgrowth of our raspberries that exceeded in confirming our hypothesis that the plant would survive. Probably the only bad thing was how scraped up my arms were so frequently from the thorns, the raspberry bush is in the same family as the rose bush after all. I no longer tend to a crop of berries, but I bought some today and after taking the photos I popped one onto my tongue and thought, "tastes like Summer."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring Blossoms

The cherry blossoms come and go so quickly each Spring, as does Spring itself. Every year I dedicate myself to setting aside a day to photograph them, ideally when they have just started to fall and there is not only an abundance of flora covering the branches but also an ethereal layer of petals on the ground below. These few days are magical in New York City. While I always notice when they begin to bloom, planning for the fleeting days of sylvan perfection can be rather difficult. One can never be sure exactly when this will happen and often waiting one more day will result in missing it altogether. Not this year though. Angie, my frequent muse and sweet friend, has helped to keep watch over the progress of the blossoms in Prospect Park. When she called me with news that they were looking lush I knew I had to embrace the sentiment "carpe diem", regardless of my busy week. So, in between pre-production for tomorrow's job and uploading the fruits of yesterday's job, we made it happen.

Friday, April 10, 2009


I am in the midst of editing the many images from this shoot, but so far this is a favorite of mine and also a couple of others who have perused the contact sheets. Editing is both a pleasure and a pain. It is satisfying to see the fruits of your labor, but choosing can be difficult and it often takes me several editing sessions to make final choices. I believe this will stay in the final running.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pygmy Seahorse

I am presently fascinated with a variety of fossils and other relics of nature, with and without decay. This is a Pygmy Seahorse, and pygmy it is. The actual height of this fantastic creature is equal to the length from the tip of my thumb to the first knuckle. I have two of them and will photograph them together as well. The roster also includes mini starfish, a variety of butterfly wings, and a selection of fossilized nautiluses. All of these things are very fantasy-like so I would like to explore some different ways of shooting them. This first example is not quite clinical though it does suggest science before fantasy. Strange sea creature discoveries definitely make one want to encapsulate and study, get to know the subject before deciding what to do with it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hibernation is Over

I have not been very diligent about posting lately, but the good news is that it's because I have been busy working! Even with less down time I am putting great effort into my personal portfolio, determined not to get drained by my commercial jobs which, while I enjoy many of them and am grateful to be working, can leave one with less motivation to take on additional projects. I attribute some of this determination to the arrival of Spring. It is still slightly out of reach as far as the temperature is concerned, but the extended daylight certainly helps. This image is part of a new series of portraits I am working on. I have several shoots planned over the next couple of months and a few that are waiting to be edited. I hope that this change of seasons and longer days will initiate a surge of energy and inertia to produce many, many images.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Since the Mixtape show I have started to explore different images and methods of printing in an effort to create a new project that will ultimately be a large series of images, a body of work on it's own. Many of the images have a worn quality that I'm liking for the series, very dreamy, albeit a bit strange in some cases. This is a portrait I took of Bradley in a costume he made. The outfit was based on the idea of a steampunk astronaut, but also had a very 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea quality to it. I'm still experimenting with these images, the top is a little lost, but I like where it's going. I would like to make a fairly large print as well, the details on the helmet are beautiful, a lot of gauges and tubes. It is a collaboration for us in a way beacuase the image is very much about the attire.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Anatomy of a Show

It's been a very busy couple of weeks and I am working on so many exciting things including preparations for the show "Mixtape" which is opening at 717 Studio tomorrow night. Laina Karavani, Graham Slick and I have joined our curating efforts and managed to organize 28 artists for this show. The most difficult part of this process was completed last night: hanging the show. Hanging and placing the work with the artists present inevitably becomes a scenario of "too many cooks in the kitchen". In many instances the artists want what they consider to be the prime and most flattering spot for their work, which is understandable, but it misses the big picture which is that a group show isn't about the individual, it's about collaboration. The geography of displaying diverse work from so many artists has to allow a certain flow and for work to compliment each other, not compete against each other. As an example, there is a light piece on one wall near the corner and on the perpendicular wall three framed pieces had been hung so the light was creating a lot of trouble with viewing these pieces through the glass. When I suggested we swap them with something else I was met with much resistance, maybe because some simply didn't want to re-do this area or maybe they were focusing on their own work. In the end, I gave a convincing argument and the framed pieces traded places with my own work in the show (a photograph printed on canvas) and as a result, the framed work can be seen clearly and rather than the light creating conflict in viewing my photograph, it illuminates it beautifully. So, after 6 hours of hammering, drilling, and litigating, we have produced a collaborative show that we are all proud of. The music for the show is made up of compilations or "mixed tapes" by each of the contributing artists. In addition, we are very excited that "Mixtape" has been chosen as a pick of the week on . If you are in the NYC area please join us tomorrow night at 717 Studio, for information click on this flier or go to .

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Windmills and a Car

It was almost 50 degrees here in NYC yesterday and it inspired me to do a little pre-Spring cleaning. In a box that I have been moving from apartment to apartment over the last 7 years I found an old high-8 video camera and decided to review the tape inside. There was footage from a road trip I took from San Francisco to South Florida. I remembered that passing the windmills near Palm Springs was an impressive sight and while we were driving through this area we passed this amazing old car and the juxtaposition of the windmills, car, mountains and power lines was so surreal to me. I was in the passenger seat and grabbed the nearest camera, which was the mentioned video camera, and recorded the scenario thinking I could later print still images from the video tape. Well, it's been more than 7 years since that trip and I am yet to make these prints, but I still like the idea. As a preliminary experiment I set myself up in front of the television and shot off the screen. Here is a sample of a still image from this.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wyatt Siplak Peterson

After spending a long weekend in Pittsburgh with my brand new nephew Wyatt, I wouldn't dream of letting anything or anyone else be featured today.  It is very different photographing a subject who has no vanity whatsoever, it doesn't happen very often with people. Everything he did was amazing and he didn't even know it. I couldn't keep track of  how many squeaks he made or how many minutes I spent listening to him breathe. I spent more time with the family and holding him than taking pictures, but I'm excited about the photos I took. The most extensive photo shoot was during his bath time. It wasn't his favorite thing but I think he felt pretty good when it was over. After he was rinsed, Mommy (Sarah) and Daddy (Scott), put him on his plush towel and together they gently rubbed him with apricot oil. This photo shows Wyatt getting a post bath baby massage by both his parents during which Sarah lifted his little feet so I could get a good look at those toes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Portrait

So far, I've been lucky enough to work on many different jobs and projects with varying subjects and situations. Sometimes the subject is jewelry, or fashion, sometimes food, finials, or handbags, and it's all been a very good way to discover what works and what I enjoy. While I continue to work in several genres, I love fashion and beauty, one thing I have discovered is that I will always feel that taking a portrait is like home. There is nothing that compares to getting an honest moment from another person whether they are a friend or a stranger, although with a friend there is already a sense of trust and ease. This portrait is of my friend Chelsea, although we were just getting to know each other when this was taken. This is one that has been waiting patiently on my G-drive for a year.

Monday, January 19, 2009

After plenty of inner debate about the self indulgence of starting a blog, here I am. I thought that with a website (and a second site in the works), Facebook and MySpace profiles, Flickr, Snapfish, and Photobucket accounts, I had enough cyber real estate. However, one question I always get regardless of my publicly posted information is, "What are you working on?". I seem to have come to a place where I am only sharing work as it is completed or published and the truth is, I'm constantly working on projects that may not go in my portfolio and so they sit in the wings indefinitely. I always have a camera with me and with an archive of images growing by the day, I thought I should start somewhat of a journal. Goodness knows I don't need to carry another book around with me so, for now, this will be that journal.
I hope to use this not only to share random photos and explorations but also as a place to post the workings of some projects, for example my cookbook. Today's photos of thistle were taken during a walk in Frick Park in Pittsburgh while visiting during Christmas. It was overcast, fresh, cool, and peaceful.