New Teen Fad

New Teen Fad

My most recent “Dorie for Day” clients were four teen-age girls who love having their photographs taken and wanted me to spend some time with them in Central Park. It was super fun.  I am always impressed by how they all know how to have their photo taken.  The true test of succcess with this age group is will they post these images on their Instagram accounts.  And YES, they did.  When a few of them changed their “profile” pics to one of the photographs I made- I knew I had hit it out of the park.

Having super cool photos of yourself and your friends doing  things – is well, super cool.  Booking “Dorie for the Day” is an investment in making sure their teen years are photographed as much as their baby years.

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Have teens, tweens or need an outing photographed, get in touch.

Oh Yes I Did

Oh Yes I Did

After booking me to photograph her wedding and bridal shower Jennifer calls me later that week and says, “Do you do artful nudes?” My answer, “Artful -Yes. Sleazy – No.”

But  before this photo shoot my nude portraits shoots had included either new born babies or pregnant women – tushies and tummies. This was new and way cool.

It couldn’t have been a more ideal photo shoot. First of all their pool and backyard in Westport, CT is stunning, and well… so is Jennifer.   But for me, the most beautiful thing I saw through my lens was how comfortable she is in her own skin.

So, I will be adding “art nudes” to my list of offered services. Thank you to Jennifer for allowing me to share these photos of our super fun shoot.

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Are you game?  Get in touch.

Match Made In Michigan

Match Made In Michigan

You can just look at how Haley and Matt look at each other and its obvious why they are getting married. These two never stop smiling when they are together. They smiled all through their engagement shoot and throughout their whole wedding. Some couples can just turn it on for the camera, but this is the real deal. It made my job super easy, well and so did THAT dress. OMG. Shout out to J.Mendel for one of the most fluid dresses I photographed this season. And mother nature turned it on for the ceremony which can never go wrong when you are shooting on the patio at The Liberty Warehouse. I am so happy Haley and Matt found each other and I am super glad they found Shoot-The-Cake.  I Love my clients. Oh and by the way if Haley and Matt and their friends are any indication of the University of Michigan, I want both of my daughters to go to college there.haleymatt002haleymatt009haleymatt006haleymatt004haleymatt001haleymatt003haleymatt008haleymatt013haleymatt005haleymatt007haleymatt014haleymatt012

Are you planning a fun event?  Need fun photos? dorie@shoot-the-cake.com

White Gowns

White Gowns

White gowns are beautiful-on a bride or on a baby. You may remember Lila from an early blog entry that I posted just weeks after she was born.  And now, I had the honor of being asked to photograph her baptism. And even though she is only five months she listened like a theology graduate student, taking in every word that the priest uttered. And even in the 90 something degree church there were no tears, just smiles. She was totally onboard to be anointed with oils and delighted to have water poured over her head

I am very certain I will be there, camera in hand, for the next several white gowns that Lila wears. I cannot wait.

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Event Designers: The “Christo and Andy Goldsworthy” of Weddings

Event Designers: The “Christo and Andy Goldsworthy” of Weddings

When I worked at a weekly newspaper I often referred to my job as a sand painter. I traveled all over the county taking photographs of various events for paper. Like the short life a spiritual sand painting or mandala, after being published on newsprint, those same images would be tossed in the recycling bin or perhaps have a second use as tinder for someone’s wood stove.

And then this morning it dawned on me that wedding design is also temporary, like a sand painting.  Much like a Christo and JeanClaude or Andy Goldsworthy installation, a space is changed for less than 24 hours and then it is gone. And like the best installation artists – event designers and florists spend months planning, designing and hammering out the logistics. Coming up with backup plans in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.

These spaces, unlike some installations, are also meant to interact with the guests.  They are not roped off in a museum, they are intended to add something festive and engaging for the celebration. Other than the dress hanging in the closet and wonderful memories, the only thing that lives on past the day are photographs.  Some of the spaces and parties that I have photographed are marvelous. And I mean that in the truest sense of the word – I marvel at the depth of creativity that goes in to the execution of these weddings.  My images are often the only testament to the hours of creativity and labor involved.  So this is a shout out to those professional who I again and again tip my hat to. Below are photos highlighting the work of some of my favorite event designers – Claire Gordon Events, Swank Productions, BelleFleur, Lindsay Landman Events and Roey Mitzrahi Events.

This was a party on Ellis Island. Design and flowers by Swank Productions and BelleFleur

This  wedding on Ellis Island included a custom see-thru huppa. Design and flowers by Swank Productions and BelleFleur

At this Winvian wedding, Claire Gordon Events used the natural beauty indoors and out to create an elegant, yet rustic design.

At this Winvian wedding, Claire Gordon Events used the natural beauty indoors and out to create an elegant, yet rustic design.

Table setting by  Claire Gordon Events.

Table setting by Claire Gordon Events.

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Lindsay Landman Events transformed the Museum of Natural History into a stunning ballroom beneath a blue whale.

Swank Productions understand that the design has to enhance the party and encourage the guests to celebrate.

Swank Productions understand that the design has to enhance the party and encourage the guests to celebrate.

Robin Landan's beautiful huppa with hanging candles added romance to the ceremony and a great place for me to be discreet while shooting. And the dance floor encouraged everyone to get their groove on.

By Robin, a beautiful huppa with hanging candles added romance to the ceremony and a great place for me to be discreet while shooting. And the dance floor encouraged everyone to get their groove on.

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An elegant and simple huppa by Roey Mizrahi Events  lit perfectly to allow for the drama of the ceiling. And again, ByRobin’s lighting and flowers add to the festive elegance to the New York Historical Society’s ballroom.

It makes my job so fun to be able to use the artistry of these designers in my photographs.  Like what you see?  Get in Touch.

 

Processions, Parades and Protests

Processions, Parades and Protests

I rarely photograph tourist stuff. I don’t shoot sunsets or rainbows or my children’s milestone events, that as a mother, I am supposed to document. So why was I in Antigua, Guatemala during Semana Santa, where you can’t throw a tortilla without hitting another photographer?

Because, I love a good procession – be it parade, protest or penitents. These events, have a lot in common with weddings; passion, costumes, and dedication. I love the excitement and chasing the event down the street. I love the challenge of finding the exact right place to be so that the late afternoon light falls on faces in that way that makes me sigh out loud.

I am also drawn to photographing events that have to do with faith and tradition. The day I arrived in Guatemala was the day of the Procession of San Bartolo where hundreds of Guatemalans volunteer to carry a 500 year old, 7000 pound carving thru the streets for 8 hours.

While most of the weddings I photograph do not include carrying a 7,000 pound statue around for 8 hours, they do include ritual, family, community and are also quite beautiful to photograph.  I am so fortunate to have found such a wonderful balance between photojournalism and event photography.  They each feed the other in a really great way.

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BUT, the real reason I was in Guatemala was to bring my children to visit the village where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer 20 years ago. Those photographs and that story I will save for my next blog post.

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Thank God I Didn’t Get Cast as Annie

Thank God I Didn’t Get Cast as Annie

In 5th grade I tried out for our school play.  The production was Annie and like every other girl in the grade I wanted to play Annie. I practiced and practiced singing, “ The sun will come out tomorrow” and all the other songs on the soundtrack album until my family was so sick of hearing about the sun coming out. I had myself convinced that I sounded a bit like Andrea McArdle who was playing the part on Broadway. (Truthfully, I can sort-of carry a tune and that is about all.)

And then, the day of the audition I was up on stage and singing in front of all those people and it all fell apart. I was flustered and sang the lines of one song mixed up with the lines of another.  We all got a part in the play, but thankfully I was not cast as Annie.

I say thankfully because I know my real talent is behind the camera not in front. But, I always admire the children who get up on stage and give it their all.  I photographed the United Nations International School’s annual talent show this past month. Students from all over the world grades K-4 danced, sang, told stories, fenced, and smashed wooden blocks in two. Having the opportunity to photograph and capture their grace, confidence and their generosity in sharing their gifts was truly an honor.

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Wouldn’t you love to have photographs of your kids/grandkids doing their favorite activity? I can help you get from “something you’d love to have” to something that is on your wall.  Get in touch. Have camera. Will travel.

When Time Stands Still

When Time Stands Still

One of the best parts of being a photographer is that I get to be the witness for so many special occasions – it really is an honor.

This was a beginning.  New baby, first time mother and that especially surreal time of living with an infant. New mothers spend most of that time feeding, burping, changing and comforting their tiny new person while functioning on very little sleep.  Elena allowed me to be a part of this time, if only for a few hours.  And someday she and her baby can look at these photos and see a time of their lives that I am pretty sure neither of them would remember otherwise.

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Are you interested in having ‘Dorie for the Day’? Do you know someone having a baby or who just had a baby? Buying a photo shoot for them makes for an unforgettable and very special gift.

Need Help Choosing A Wedding Photographer? Answer These 3 Questions.

Need Help Choosing A Wedding Photographer? Answer These 3 Questions.

First a quick Story. I got married 18 years ago on Shelter Island at the Rams Head Inn.  I was not living in NY and from afar I was having a hard time booking a photographer who, like me, was a photojournalist.  Back then most wedding photographers were far too traditional for my taste and I couldn’t peruse the web searching for someone bc no one had websites or blogs back then. Finally a friend of mine recommended David Coventry.  I called him and he sent me a book of his work.  It was a small black book filled with bold portraits of drag queens. (see photo below) I never saw a single wedding photograph he had taken when I hired him, I just loved his style and knew we would get along.  Btw: I love my wedding photos and David is now a photographer for National Geographic.

photo by David Coventry

photo by David Coventry

1. Do you like the person enough to spend 8-10 hours with them on your wedding day?

The person you hire to photograph your wedding will be with from the time you are getting ready until you are sweaty on the dance floor.  When I shoot a wedding I am with my clients in cars, hotel rooms, at the altar, and all thru the reception.  By the end of the event, we are near to bff’s because I’ve seen everything.  I can’t think of anything worse than spending 8 hours on your wedding day with someone you just don’t like.

2. Do you know why you like their work?

Be specific. Then you can communicate with the photographer about it. I always ask my clients, “ Which photos of mine do you love and which ones don’t you love?”  We each have our own tastes.  I like to know what really excites them in my work so that I can dial in that sort of style when I am photographing their wedding. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your photographer about these sort of things than please go back and read # 1 again.

3. Can you afford them?

What kind of package do you want?  Do you want the rehearsal dinner photographed?  Do you want engagement portraits? An album? Maybe two?  Prints?  Does the package include a drive with the photos on it? I’ve heard many stories of couples splurging to pay the shooting fee of a photographer and then realizing after the wedding that they couldn’t afford to buy prints or an album. My packages include the engagement portrait and the rehearsal dinner – this makes it more straightforward when trying to budget for your photography expenses.

Have a number #4 or #5 question?  Please let me know.
Have questions you need answered about your wedding photographer? Get in touch.

Waggers at Weddings. Dogs Are Allowed, LLamas Too.

Waggers at Weddings. Dogs Are Allowed, LLamas Too.

I love when my client’s furry friends join the wedding fun. Not just because I am a dog lover, but because if a couple has a dog, then that dog IS part of the family. Maybe Fido shouldn’t have a speaking role during the ceremony but haven’t a pooch or pet around makes for good photos.

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Getting Married?  Do you have a dog?  Llama? Did you send them an invitation? I’d love your comments.