The next two days, I’ll be spending part of my time at Linden Hill School in Northfield, MA, taping their commencement ceremonies. Linden Hill is a middle school dedicated to helping boys with dyslexia or language-learning differences realize their full potential. Thursday night is their awards night, and Friday morning is their more formal commencement. A portion of their commencement is given over to “book awards” where faculty members get up to speak about their personal connection with two boys in the school, and present each of them with a book, specially chosen. There is never, never a dry eye in the house (camera operators included!), and the faculty members usually need to recover themselves in the middle of their speeches. It’s amazing, and I’ve never seen anything like it.
So, what was I doing in a room of 120 women last Friday night? Rudy Wilson Galdonik, a very funny woman, was entertaining a lively crowd at the Girls’ Night Out at Trinity Covenant Church in Machester, CT. I was videotaping Rudy so she could use the footage as a demo. Her humor covers a wide range of topics, including mammograms, ugly cars, cancer, raising children, religion, hiking, and dogs!
I had posted earlier about my favorite Massachusetts wedding sites. Well, I shoot a lot of weddings in Connecticut, too, and I have some favorites there:
The Branford House, owned by the University of Connecticut, is a colossal building with a spectacular view in Groton.
The Gwyn Careg Inn, very romantic, has 14 acres of manicured landscape, including a majestic enclosed stone wall Spanish Garden. In Pomfret.
The Wadsworth Mansion, in Middletown, isa beautiful mansion with lovely grounds and a long, long lawn stretching out from the terrace.
The Hill-Stead Museum, in Farmington, has hilltop views of the Litchfield hills, expansive acreage, and a gorgeous sunken garden.
The Pavilion at Rocky Neck State Park, in Niantic, is a most original building with terrific views of Long Island Sound.
Someone asked me this weekend where in Massachusetts I’ve enjoyed shooting the most. It got me thinking about my favorite wedding sites. Here’s a list, in no particular order:
The Log Cabin, terrific views from the side of Mt. Tom in Holyoke, MA. Has the added benefit of being only 5 minutes from my house!
The Gamble Mansion, at the Boston Center for Adult Education. A hidden gem across from the Public Garden, with a spectacular ballroom.
The Boston Harbor Hotel, elegance on the water.
The Cranwell Resort, Lenox, MA, a beautiful building and extensive grounds for photos. Enjoy a 60-mile view of the surrounding hills.
Elm Bank Reservation, Wellesley, MA, home of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Spectacular!
Lyman Estate, Waltham, MA, great old building (1793) with lots of room inside and out, and gorgeous landscaping.
My daughters get very creative with their toys, often leaving my wife and I quite astounded. They’ll take a bit from this set, a bit from that, add some found materials and, presto!, they’ve made something you’ve defintely never seen before. Take, for example, this:
Keep in mind, though the photo doesn’t do it justice, that this doll is only two inches high, and the wrappers aren’t just pasted on, but have arm holes and it’s a separate top and bottom. It was quite a surprise to walk in the bathroom and that waiting by the sink!
I occasionally get e-mails or calls from “funny video” shows looking for outrageous wedding footage. Here’s something a little different for someone who wants to be on TV, from someone at ABC who likes to use a lot of exclamation points:
“I am casting a show for ABC about Newlyweds and they will compete against other couples for the chance to win a Dream House!
I know you have contact with a lot of diverse couples so if you wouldn’t mind sending them info about this! That would be great! Our definition of newly married is married less than 2 years or will be married before July! If you could send them to www.abcdreamhouse.com where they can fill out an application and send it in through the website…that would be great and they will also find out information about a 5 minute video audition tape that we’d like them to also submit.”
So there it is—I’ll be letting my recent wedding couples know about this. Feel free to check it out if you fit the definition…
So I’m working on a montage of photographs for Valley Women’s Martial Arts’ 30th Anniversary, scanning about 200 photos. Here’s my favorite image from the batch:
The woman in red looks perfectly balanced and at ease—and yet ready to spring! And the woman in the upper right is not only a black belt, but also the poet laureate of Northampton. VWMA is an amazing dojo in Easthampton, MA. Owned and run by women, they hold classes in martial arts almost exclusively for women and girls. My nine-year-old has a yellow belt in their Powergirls class, and will soon be testing to add a blue stripe.