Flashes of Hope fills me with inspiration and gratitude

   Today I get to go to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/  with Mark Bealer from Studio 66  http://www.studio66foto.com/  to photograph the inspiring families whose children are being treated for life threatening illness.  Mark Bealer, Vicki Daniels and I are chapter directors for the local chapter of Flashes of Hope http://www.flashesofhope.org/. Flashes of Hope is an all-volunteer organization. We donate free portraits to the families we photograph at CCHMC. It was my privilege to be the photographer this past January. Here are my favorite pics from that session. I am continually inspired by the families and the medical staff I come in contact with at Children’s. Thanks to all the photographers who donate their time and our family and friends who donate money to help fund our chapter.

 

Mother's day mini sessions!

Please join me at Camargo Trading Company  http://www.camargotrading.com/  May 12th and 13th for mini sessions with mom.

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The Stout Family - children and family portrait studio Cincinnati

   This adorable family came down from Columbus Ohio so I could photograph their children.  It was early spring and things did not look good outside so we opted for a studio session. The studio eliminates a lot of distractions for young children. Babies who are Lucy’s age  seem to smile more in the studio.  Little boys like Colin sometimes need the four walls of the studio to keep them reigned in a bit. Check out Lucy’s shirt! My clients often say “What will I do with all of these photos?” I suggest wall collages or albums. Here are 2 of the collages I created from this portrait session.

 

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Greek Orthodox Baptism Ceremony

    I love rituals. This was the first time I have ever witnessed a baby baptism at a Greek Orthodox Church. This took place at Holy Trinity on Winton Road, where the annual Panegryri festival takes place. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. http://www.holytrinity.oh.goarch.org/panegyri/panegyri2016  The baptism begins with the Godparents denouncing Satan. The Godparents stand with the baby during the entire ceremony while the parents watch. The naked baby is anointed in olive oil that has been blessed by the priest. The slippery baby is dipped into the baptismal font and then placed on a white cloth in the arms of the godfather. The baby is dressed in a beautiful white christening outfit before having three locks cut from his hair as an expression of gratitude for receiving God's blessings in baptism and confirmation. Of course the baptism would not be complete without a reception that rivals a wedding and includes traditional raucous Greek dancing! I was amazed when the priest invited me to stand right on alter with the family. He told me that the photographs are as if not more important than the ceremony! It was a privilege to witness such a beautiful rich tradition. 

The Seven Hills High School senior portrait

      My previous post was about my portrait session with high school senior Caroline at Ault Park. I had scheduled back to back sessions that day. My next appointment was with Harper, who is a senior at the Seven Hills High School. I had no idea Caroline and Harper had been friends their whole lives! I have been photographing both of them since the beginning. We ended Caroline’s session (or began Harpers) with a few shots of them together. Harper also brought her sister Mason who graduated a couple of years ago, and her adorable dogs that have been in several of our family portraits. We were still shooting after the sun went down. The light went from warm to cool quickly. Twilight gave the landscape an almost cinematic feel. It was the perfect end to a great day. I am very grateful for the relationships I have built over the years with my clients. Here are my favorite pics from Harper’s senior portrait session. 

Cincinnati Summit Country Day senior portrait

      I have grown very fond of Caroline and her entire family over the past 18 years or so. I remember photographing them all in matching PJ’s in my studio when they were young. Sooo cute!  Now she is part of The Cincinnati Summit Country Day senior class of 2017.  We chose Ault Park for our portrait session partly because it has the most beautiful flowers of all the parks, and because she lives so close. I prefer shooting at Ault Park near the end of the day when the sun is lower in the sky making everything glow. Here are my favorites from our session. As we were wrapping up, my next appointment arrived and happened to be a childhood friend of Caroline’s, so we got a bonus photo of them together. See my next blog post for that one!

Northside 4th of July Parade 2016

      The Northside 4th of July Parade is my favorite parade in Cincinnati. It is truly a celebration of diversity and freedom. It is unique, eclectic and beyond colorful. My husband and I lived in Northside for several years in our early 20’s. It is a neighborhood where anyone can feel at home. After 30 plus years of marriage I look back at that time and remember being madly in love, poor and unconcerned and full of the innocent hubris that comes with youth. 

     At that time, I was just beginning my photographic career. My favorite subject to photograph happened to be parades. I was drawn to street photography, and parades were a safe place to be voyeuristic. I am endlessly curious about people and this exercise feeds my curiosity. This year the rain gave a nice gloss to the street and made it easier to shoot in all directions. The political climate added an extra layer to the parade this year. I hope you enjoy these photos.