Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Year in Review 2010 - Diane

2010...has come and gone. I remember thinking that this year is not going to be good. I have little superstitions about how my business year is going to be. One of which is the date of the first wedding of the year: the earlier the date, the better the year. I panicked when I saw May 8 as our first date....May...not January, not April...nothing, nada, zilch. First time in I can't tell you how long that I started so late.

But that just opened a door for me. I took the leap and went to my first WPPI Conference in Las Vegas. I spent one week away from my family and soaked up everything imaginable to the wedding and portrait photographers' world. I met some wonderful new friends from different parts of the country, participated in some really fun shoots, and even won Kevin Kubota's alphabet challenge.

Here's Kevin Kubota during closing ceremonies (yes, I was in front row of 2000 photographers!):These are some shots from the Trash the Dress sessions in Vegas:

Wow...that's not a bad way to start off the new year!

"Maybe 2010 will go against my usual superstitions..." I mused.

It did!

Thank you to everyone who has touched our lives in 2010! I have taken every experience as a learning experience - whether it was good, bad, or indifferent; I feel like I have grown considerably this past year! Everyone that has crossed paths with me this year has done so for a reason and I have learned and grown from all of our experiences - thank you to those who have stayed in my life and probably a bigger thank you to those who have moved on, I learned many lessons this year.

2010 also brought a new addition to the Parsons Photo "family" - we built a studio! We now have an awesome studio so we can accommodate many of our sessions and requests! It's been so popular, we haven't had a chance to officially welcome everyone with an open house! :)

Here's my wrap up, award winning style! ;)

The Most Talked About Wedding All Around - Scoring the most comments on their engagement session at Max's Oyster Bar and both ceremonies (JP ceremony and reception at St Clement's Castle and Muslim Nikah at Hartford's Downtown Marriott) - Melissa & Kevin!

Best Food at an Event - Hands down - Dave, Jess and I are all unanimous on this one! Toni & Jim's Wedding at Salem's Cross Inn. We actually sat down and finished our plates...and even thought about how we can score some more! ;) Excellent food! (They rank #2 in all over...Pooja & Will's Indian Cuisine still ranks #1...sorry!)
THE Couple We Want to Fold Up and Keep in Our Pockets - Dava & Seth...they're just toooooo darned cute! Separately, they take on opposite personalities but together they become this amazing personality! LOVE!!! :)

My Favorite Bride - Brooke...because she's normal, beautiful, sexy, and trusts me when I tell her that!Best "Force Diane Out Of Her Comfort Zone" Shoot - Lake Compounce media photo shoot by far! I loved having to think way the heck outside of the box and shoot commercial - it's not a career I would pursue, but I enjoyed it for the day! (still can't post photos from the actual shoot, but here's one of my kiddos ENJOYING the roller coaster!!)
Photographer Lookalike - Toni's brother, Mike and my hubby Dave! :)

Coolest Prop At A Wedding - Marie & Jere's 3rd set...they had bridesmaids, groomsmen, and Mustangs. What more can I say about photographing a bunch of Mustangs at a wedding? :)Coolest Serendipitous Moment - Photographing the 250th Engineering of the National Guard's return from Iraq. I had so many connections to this Unit, it was awesome! Read the full story with all of the connections here.
Best Wedding - and I know she's scanning the entire post looking for her name...and she knows it's her wedding...Amanda & Todd's Wedding. I have to say that their wedding was our favorite because Amanda put me through all sorts of torture with her checklist - but I took her challenges head on and came up with some really cool shots! So, we thank her...even though I had to shut her up! ;) We still love them!Most inspiring moment - Joe McNally's seminar on lighting. Didn't know it at the time - but after I sat and chewed over it...I had my "a-ha" moment. Thanks Joe!

Greatest Tearjerker - Hands down, Toni & Jim's wedding. Sobbing...we were sobbing. Toni lost her father and brother in a car crash and the way they were honored at the wedding....let's just say I'm surprised any photo was in focus I was bawling so hard! Here's Toni with her brother Mike during their brother/sister dance honoring their dad:

My greatest gift - has been a gift from Bert Fonseca, of After Hours DJ Entertainment. He introduced me to Jess, my right hand (she's not just my right hand gal, she's my right hand...I wouldn't be able to function without her...well, maybe golf since I golf left handed...but you get the point). Jess has been invaluable to me this past year - thank you, Jess for helping me in a pinch, remembering my cameras, keeping me in line, being my light model/meter, taking flack, stepping up, being an amazing photographer, and just being an awesome friend!
Best Reactions from Spectators Shoot - Opening Day at the Coventry Regional Farmers' Market. Three of our brides Trashed their Dresses! We had so much fun showcasing the fact that brides can shop local (we found some great favor ideas) and then we used only local items for the trash the dress portion. It was a lot of fun!Best Reaction to A Boudoir Shoot - Kevin...hands down. Fortunately, Dan caught his real reaction on video and it went along something like "forget the ceremony, let's get back to the hotel..."! ;) Love it!!

Most Popular Prop - DOGS! This year dogs made it most in our shoots! Check out some of these!

Most organized (albeit a little bit crazy) Bride - Kate and her BINDER of checklists! ;) I love Kate and her organization skills - she's one of my favorite brides and I probably would have hired her to work with me as a wedding planner! But as a photographer, she sent me into a little panic attack with a binder! ;)But we love Kate and Dane and their amazingly beautiful wedding! They still get a big 2010 shout out! And I'm also going to rank them with the largest bridal party of the year...and the MOST cooperative! Thanks guys! :)
Thank you everyone who helped make 2010 amazing! I wish I could put you all here but I would be writing for the entire year again! (Check out previous posts for more details!)

Happy 2011!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Piano recital for my babes!

My previous post was a brag about my kids' performances at school. This one is a brag of their performance at their piano recital! (and yes, it all happened on the same weekend)

This year, they each chose Christmas songs: Alexandra played "Away In A Manger" and Evanthea played "Jingle Bells"
Can you tell who's been paying attention to Mommy's posing tips? ;)
While we waited, Evanthea wanted to try some fun reflection shots! A girl after my own heart!
Evanthea exercised her creative right to arranging her own piece...ok, so she forgot to do the repeat...but she turned to everyone and whispered "I'm done". It's a good thing she's got the cute thing working for her! ;)

Alexandra & Evanthea's teacher, Miss Paula, has two very talented daughters - who also performed for the recital.

congratulations to everyone who performed!

Thanks Miss Paula! :)

My kiddos sing their hearts out!

Dave & I are so proud of our girls! At ages 5 & 6, they have this amazing confidence where they can step up in front of a full room and perform! So far, they both have participated in three recitals (this year's will be posted soon!) for piano, Christmas and Spring concerts for school for the past 2 years, and Alexandra has had a reading part during the mass for All Saints' Day.

We're just bursting with pride!! here they are at their school Christmas Concert!

Aidan, Catherine and Luke - their best friends!
We joke that Alexandra and Aidan are going to get married - I'm guessing with this pose that they're ready for their photos! ;)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Portraits at Coventry Farmers' Market

Sunday, Jess & I had a fantastic opportunity to photograph at the Coventry Farmers' Market once again! We were asked to do winter portraits of the Friends of the well as their Friends too!

We decided to step it up - we waived our sitting fee and asked people to donate a toy or game to the Rockville Hospital Emergency Room (see explanation blog post here). For people who did not bring a game, we accepted monetary donations and we'll do the shopping! We met our goal of filling the bag AND we hadn't made the shopping trip yet! Thank you EVERYONE for your amazing generosity!!

Our first shoot was such a big celeb, we couldn't bring ourselves to ask for the toy...thanks Bert! We were honored that you smiled for us - and you really do look the same in person as you do on TV! ;)

These two had us laughing! I told them to show Jess how they eat their gingerbread men...
Everyone who joined the market as a Friend was put into a raffle. Violet, of Hurricane Farms, was the lucky name picker!

Violet was just too cute!!

I think this is one of my favs - Jess caught it while wandering around and I played around with the color a bit and viola! :)
Here's Lila, of Farm to Hearth - She cracked us up because she would go from serious to cracking up in a second!!!

Little Jacob - how cute is that hat?
Dot (in the middle) is another photog - nice to see her IN FRONT of the camera!

A rare shot - getting Market Master Winter and her hubby Nick to sit AND take a photo! ;)

(and a little silliness too!!)
Laura, another photog (obvi)! ;)

Our little Lila again! She reminds me of a living Cabbage Patch Doll - only cuter!!!

Violet - it's such a tie over who was the most photographed of the day, her or Lila!!
Violet with mom, Erica! I love the real smiles - no "cheese" here! ;)
Here are my two friends, cracking us up again!
Thank you everyone for coming out and donating! We had a wonderful time and we cannot wait to deliver the toys to the ER!!! Happy Holidays!!

I'll be posting the images soon!