Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Okay, I asked Joel for his opinion on this, and- while I can see his point- I can't decide what to do.

One of the reasons I haven't been blogging much is because I've been designing a DVD of my wedding work for prospective clients. I have two sections on the DVD, one that includes six full-length slideshows of my six most recent events and one that shows a one-page collage of my favorite photos from each of the my other weddings. I'm most proud of my six most recent events. I used the highest quality gear, and it's most reflective of the current work I'm doing and what clients could expect if they hire me.

Here's the issue: two of my most recent six events featured on the DVD are same-sex weddings. Joel is advocating pulling the same-sex slide shows off the DVD, and/or making two versions, one with gay weddings, one without.

Here's my side:

I shoot weddings by referral only.
The people who refer clients to me are friends or friends of friends.
I want to carve more of a niche for myself as a photographer for same-sex weddings anyway.
This isn't how I make my living. I can afford to be choosy.
If someone is offended by photos of two men or two women getting married, tough.
The photos are lovely, and in some small way, I think people may be moved and/or think differently about the subject if they see the family-oriented, positive loveliness.

Yeah, the couples who hire me may be okay with same-sex marriage, but what if they want to show the sample DVD to their parents, who aren't okay with it. "It's not a good business decision," says Joel.

Granted, it's not THAT hard to make two different versions. On the other hand, I am proud of this work. I am proud to DO this work. I want to be the change I wish to see in the world, and that means same-sex marriages go into the DVD album right next to the hetero ones. Viewers can always opt NOT to view the slideshows with two women's or men's names.

I am putting this question out there for respectful debate. Any Godbag blowhardery and I will swoop down upon you wherever you are (apparating Harry Potter style) and beat you with my radical militant feminist stick. Diverse views and opposing viewpoints welcomed, but please play nicely or I am taking your toys and sending you home. In particular for recently married and engaged people, would seeing same-sex weddings on a sample DVD/website/etc have caused you NOT to hire a vendor? If you have conservative parents, particularly if they helped pay for the wedding, would this have been a deal-breaker?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Scenes from last weekend...

Yeah. I'm behind on the blogging. But my dad came up for a Phillies vs. Mets game, which was a lot of fun.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Mah-wage. Mah-wage is what bwings us togevah today.

The full slide show from Matt and Keith's commitment ceremony is up and running! Please click here!

(Although, just a heads up? All 313 photos are in this slideshow. So unless you're one of the grooms, or you're friends with the grooms and have some extra time, it lasts about ten minutes. I mean, please go look. I'm just sayin.')

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Rabbi Boobland

I was so incensed as I was reading this, that I didn't understand what Joel was saying when he told me Joe Rosenthal died at the age of 94.

Joel was like, "How do you not know who Joe Rosenthal is?" (Believe me, Chunky Photojournalist Barbie knows who Joe Rosenthal is. He shot the famous photograph of soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 1945.) And I was like, "Oh. OH! Sorry. I'm still distracted here in Rabbi Boobland."

So, seriously... This is SO offensive. This rabbi is what Twisty Faster, one of my heroes here in cyberspace, would call a "Godbag Blowhard." If you aren't feeling very clicky on the links today, I'll just tell you that Rabbi Shmuley blames the fact that one of the couples' he counsels "sex life had died completely" on the wife's "obsession" with breastfeeding her 11-month-old child. Apparently she "turned one of her most attractive body parts into a feeding station, an attractive cafeteria rather than a scintillating piece of flesh."

Some other pearls of wisdom from the article:

"In the end, there are two effects of breast-feeding that we often refuse to acknowledge. One is the de-eroticization of a woman's body, as her husband witnesses one of the most attractive parts of her body serving a utilitarian rather than romantic purpose. This is not to say that breast-feeding isn't sexy."

OH GOOD. Whew. Cause God knows a woman shouldn't do ANYTHING with her body that isn't "sexy." But wait! Two paragraphs later, (after a plug for Rabbi Schmuley's book,) we find a short concession to logic and reason:

Obviously, breast-feeding is not the same as carrying on an extramarital affair.

Ah good to know. However, the next sentence is...

"But when a mother gives her breasts to her son and takes them away from her husband, the effect on the marriage can feel the same."

I wonder, though, what happens when a woman gives her breasts to her DAUGHTER instead of her son. Is that comparable to -gasp!- a lesbian extramarital affair? But WAIT! It's not just boobs that become unsexy when they're used for, like, their BIOLOGICAL FUNCTION. Not even cootchie snorchers are safe from Rabbi Schmuley's "counsel."

"I believe this same problem comes up when men witness childbirth up close. There are certain poses in which a husband should not see his wife. By all means, be there for the entire labor, as I have been for the births of each of my eight children. But I strongly agree with the advice of the ancient rabbis that husbands should not be staring at the actual delivery. That is just too erotic a part of a wife's anatomy for it to become a mere birth canal."

Ah, yes, God forbid the vagina be reduced to being just a "mere birth canal." I really want to click on the "Ask Rabbi Schmuley a Question" button. Rabbi Schmuley, why are you a Godbag Blowhard?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Every now and then, I get to work on a story that moves me so much, I end up crying behind the camera. For this one, I sat beside one of my subjects and told her: "Mi corazon esta rompiendo. (My heart is breaking.)" And we cried together.

I encourage anyone who advocates the "Build a big fence around Mexico; immigrants=locusts because they send money home; Learn English or LEAVE" position to watch this and read this.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Cuteness Takes Manhattan

Shannon does a really good job of recapping our weekend in the city, including the only time- ever- that I've been afraid of a terrorist attack since I moved here. Maybe it was the headlines in the Post reporting the interception of a message from Pakistan: "Do your attacks now." But when an unmarked car sped through the heart of Manhattan followed by 40-50 police cars- all with lights and sirens- and about 10 fire engines- I was *this close* to pulling Joel's hiking boots off his feet and making him walk up the West Side Highway three hours to Stepford in my sequined aqua Anne Taylor Loft flip flops. Funny how our instinct was "Save the men and child! Run toward danger!"

In the end, we decided it was probably best not to visit the top of the Empire State Building, though the 90-minute wait was the clincher on that choice. It was probably just a drill. We rode the carousel in Bryant Park instead. No wait, and our ears didn't pop.

Gaby washes the city right out of her hair.

I was touched at how good Joel was with Gaby (and really, all kids). His instincts re: avoiding electrocution and not throwing Bella's retrieval toys near hot BBQ grills are waaaay more advanced than mine.

Then again, I was slightly less appreciative when that same instinct inspired him to rescue a whimpering boxer whose head happened to be stuck between the jaws of a big fucking mastiff at the dog park Sunday night. Me? I just grabbed Bella by her collar and got away from the action.

Owner of Boxer: What the fuck, man?
Owner of Mastiff: Dude, with dogs, shit happens.
Owner of Boxer: Control your DOG.
Owner of Mastiff: I have him on a leash!
Boxer: Whimper.
Mastiff: Pant.
Bella: Quizzical look of frowny eyebrows.
Me: Joel, where is Bella's leash?
Joel: I don't have it. You don't have it?!
Me: No. It's on the ground, um, UNDER the mastiff.
Joel: Great.
Other Guy: were you the one who slid into the dogpile?
Joel: Yeah.
Me: WHAT?!?
Joel: I didn't think about it.
Me: Gah.

You see more photos from the weekend here.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Weddingy Goodness and Gratuitous baby Photos

Okay. Hi. Here's the thing. I shot a kabillion photos last weekend. I have two close friends hitting two of life's most exciting milestones, and photographs are the best gift I can give them. At the moment I am spending hours every night editing pictures, and... I don't have much else to report.

After all the talk of "spirit fingers"(see above) last weekend, I may or may not have had an atrocious blight on our culture on my television in the background tonight. Not *watching* it, of course. Background noise only. Ahem.

The thing is, I'm trying to get as much cropping, editing and color-correcting done as possible now, because Joel is driving through directly westward toward home, crossing through Iowa as I write. Plus,the Cuteness will be doing her charm thing in the Big Apple this weekend. (And incidentally, if you clicked on the entry I just linked to, the touching wedding song from this latest event is "Someone to Fall Back On," which my friend sang to his husband at the reception.)

You can hear a recording of him singing (and my camera clicking and me "WOOOO!" at the end) right here.

MP3 File

And yes, the gratuitous baby photos...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Home again!

My vacation was wonderful. The wedding was beautiful. It's nice to sleep in my own bed again. More later, but in the meantime, I'm back.

This was taken outside Crabbers Cove in Dewey Beach, Del., but doesn't it LOOK like I went somewhere really exotic?

Friday, August 04, 2006

My Vacation So Far...

Tomorrow I leave for West Virginia, for a friend's wedding and a continued vacation-style adventure in manner of "cabin in the woods. Taking stock of the trip so far...

I have:

1. slept in every morning until approx noon, with no alarm clocks
2. swam in ocean on three different days, didn't get stung by jellyfish
3. napped on the beach, drifting off to sounds to waves, arcade games, sea gulls, other people talking
4. went to rental community pool with my dad, accidentally stole flotation toy from child
5. hid Scary Doll in shower, laundry hamper, my parents' bed and the microwave
6. got hour-long massage at day spa
7. went for pedicure with mom even though weird scheduling thing meant she just sat next to me
8. spent lots of time with Brad
9. read four books, two magazines and a rental listing for next year, (sleeps 14, oceanblock, elevator/wc accessible)
10. actually took time to figure out iDVD, despite frustrating software, ( Imade it MAH BITCH, sucka)
11. ate favorite beach foods in smaller portions one time each without feeling need to call old therapist, perhaps will use as deadly weapon against Uma Thurman in future nightmare (PG ladies, my apologies)
1 cheeseburger sub from Gus and Gus
2 slices of Grande pizza from Grotto
1 vanilla/orange twist soft-serve Kohrs Brother cone
Thrasher's french fries (with ketchup, a crime against potatoes everywhere, so sue me)
3 chocolate covered strawberries, two chocolate covered pretzels, small piece of fudge from Candy Kitchen
Crabbers Cove meal: watermelon, corn-on-the-cob, hush puppies, steamed crabs, Alaskan crab legs
12. Went tax-free outlet shopping, didn't spend any money
13. Hit Happy Hour at the Boars Head and walked the boards

Do I have to go back to work? Really? Why, exactly, should I do that?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Oh, yeah. I'm on vacation. I forgot to tell you? Really?

Hi from the beach. Mmm, I am happy. It is HOT here, hotter than it usually gets with sea breezes and low pressure systems moving in off the ocean. It's actually so hot that sitting on the beach is uncomfortable. Mrs P sat UNDER AN UMBRELLA; people, those hoofbeats and buckling sounds you hear are the four horsemen of the apocalypse in the tack room, MY GOD.

Yeah, so... My brain is pleasingly empty. I had this total time crunch last week, trying to tie up loose ends at work and finish all my projects before I left and doing laundry so I could pack. Blogging kind of slipped away from me. The beach house is less crowded this year, what with people buying houses and then, like, moving into them, going to work conferences, relocating to internship placement sites and giving birth and stuff.

I actually am taking a break from shooting, in part because I'm resting up for a wedding this coming weekend. I still find myself editing pictures for a few hours a day, which in reality is a good thing. I don't think I could just go cold turkey off my laptop. ;) I didn't think I was picking up wireless here, since the guy who had it last year seems to have password-protected his account. But now I'm in a different bedroom, and voila! Three happy bars of Internet connectiness!

But yes, I have edited a few photos of Kristen and Adam's baby that Mrs. P shot. He's a cutie-patootie, he just had a little eyedrop goop.

Then I retouched some photos from a family friend's wedding. The mother of the bride came down to the beach and hung out with us for a few days before driving back to Michigan. I replaced a bottle of beer in the bride's hands with her bouquet. Who needs party tricks when you have Photoshop?

And I am Girlfriend of the Year for looking through 12 CDs of images Joel has mailed me from his trip out west, which, can I JUST say needs to end soon? Because I miss him.

Now, I need to go see about some hush puppies and crabs for dinner.