Shillelagh #wordoftheyear

  Shillelagh.  Tricky to spell and fun to say, it’s a wonderful Irish word.  And it’s my word of the year for 2023. You may know the shillelagh as an Irish walking stick, and so it is. But wait, there’s more! Often seen as a symbol of Ireland, the shillelagh is traditionally made of blackthorn wood,  each one a lovely  work of art that delights this Irish heart. (Garlock may not sound Irish, but the Kathleen Ann Bridget Lafferty that comes in front of it gives me away every time.) Look beyond the obvious, and you will discover that the shillelagh … Continue reading Shillelagh #wordoftheyear

My Little Pony (in real life)

When I was 10, growing up in Chicago, my sisters were embarrassed to walk to school with me. The fact that I ‘galloped’ all the way on my imaginary horse was more than they could take.I galloped anyway, fueling my cowgirl dreams with visits to the library. I read every horse book they had, especially the Black Stallion book series by Walter Farley. At 45,  I finally signed up for a four week series of lessons, learning to saddle, groom and ride. I have a powerful memory of walking to the corral, leading the horse, and feeling like that kid … Continue reading My Little Pony (in real life)

The Four Gracielas

Once upon a time, families had portraits painted of their children when they reached a certain age. The paintings were displayed in their homes (or castles, as the case may be) to celebrate their long lineage. A number of my clients have kept up this tradition, and had me create a special portrait of each child, usually around 5-7 years old. Today I can combine the realism of a photographic portrait with the elegance of a painting. A true likeness, that captures their sweet young faces, before their adult teeth came in and everything changed. A true portrait of childhood. … Continue reading The Four Gracielas

The Luxury of a Wonderful Portrait

     Have you seen the new portraits of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, created by photographer Paolo Roversi, in honor of Kate’s  40th birthday? They are beautiful, joyful, timeless; in a word, wonderful.  Of course, there are thousands of photographs of Kate, since pretty much everything she does is documented, pretty much all the time. She even takes lots of fun photos of their kid and she is pretty darn good at it.  But a portrait session for a milestone birthday, that is a special. A moment in time, dedicated to her.  Now, for Kate, it will also be part of her … Continue reading The Luxury of a Wonderful Portrait

The Friends You Keep

Three days in DC, by the numbers: 4 amazing families 952 miles driven on the turnpike 54 deluxe cookies 16 Beanie Babies Countless hugs and laughter. So. Much. Fun. The best parts of my job, hands down, are the friendships and relationships I get to enjoy with my clients. Year after year, we don’t just watch their children grow, we document the changes. So many of “my families” have made me part of theirs. From newborns to high school graduations, I have been blessed to be part of their lives. And they have been blessed by having a legacy of … Continue reading The Friends You Keep

Sorry you can’t come in…

I was thinking today about the time our son invited his 90 year old great-great-aunt to our home for his upcoming birthday party. He was even baking his own cake. Ange accepted the invitation, but when she arrived, she realized she couldn’t get up the dozen stairs to our home. A proper, gracious lady, she was not one you carried, thank you very much. She was going to return home, but happily, we lived on a corner lot, and drove the car up on the lawn to the backyard picnic table and moved the party outdoors. Win win. I recall … Continue reading Sorry you can’t come in…

How to Look Great in Photos: Part 2 Lean In

Lean in. It has become quite the catch phrase. Meaning, of course, to go all in. Give it all you’ve got. Isn’t that how we all want to live? Not just in business, but it life itself. Part of my job as a portrait photographer is to convey that same feeling through my clients’ images. And the ‘Lean In’ pose is just one of the ways I do this. It helps you look sincere, and interested in the viewer. So if you would like this confident, classy look for your portraits or company website, give me a call! And meanwhile, … Continue reading How to Look Great in Photos: Part 2 Lean In

What Should I Wear for Photos? (Part 1)

Do you really know what looks on you? Color, neckline, style? Let’s start with colors. I have noticed over the years that most “What to Wear for Photos” guides simply tell people what colors look good in photos, or how to coordinate your family’s outfits. Good information, certainly. However, they don’t really tell you how to determine what looks good on YOU. When I ask a client which colors look best n her, she will often say she doesn’t know. Too often, we purchase clothes because we like the color of the season, without considering whether it is our best … Continue reading What Should I Wear for Photos? (Part 1)

I Facilitate Time Travel…

Imagine you had a portal to your past, which you could open at will, and travel back to when your children were small. You could see them laughing and playing, hugging you and kissing your cheek. Remember them walking with you and being swung high on the count of three. You could revisit the year their front teeth fell out, and their tiny faces began to assume their current look. You can stay as long as you like, and even bring your children with you for a visit. Then simply close the portal, replace the photo album on the shelf, … Continue reading I Facilitate Time Travel…