Each year Lighhouse Youth Services honors humanitarians with its prestigious Beacon of Light Award. Honorees are recognized for leadership and service, community impact, and involvement with children, youth and families. This year, the gala will be held on April 16th at 6:30 PM at the Hyatt Regency downtown Cincinnati. It is my privilege every year to have the opportunity to photograph the honorees. Ryan Messer and James Musuraca-Messer brought two of their children to the studio for a fun albeit slightly chaotic photo session. They have since added another child to their family! Ryan and Jimmy are passionate advocates for LGBTQ equality. They are active in the Over-The Rhine neighborhood in which they live. Edgar Smith is an advid volunteer and has served on the boards of many nonprofits, including ArtsWave, American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America and others. He also inspired me to add hot air ballooning to my bucket list!. Rabbi Gary Zola is the execturive director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives. He is an advocate for interfaith relations, justice, human rights and community understanding. He is also passionate about photography. We spent more time talking about photography than actually making portraits! Iva Brown is also being honored this year. I had the pleasure of serving on the Beacon of Light committee with Iva for over 15 years. Sadly, Iva passed away before I had the chance to photograph her. She was a dedicated volunteer in our community serving Lighthouse, the National Underground Freedon Center, they YWCA and the CIncinnati Symphony Orchestra. She is greatly missed. For more information about Lighthouse Youth Services please visit http://www.lys.org
I photographed my first school in 2015. A big shout out to The New School Montessori. http://newschoolmontessori.com/ My kids went to The New School. My parents were founding parents of The New School. My husbands Uncle was director of The New School back in the day. It is a magical place that has a special place in my heart. I had a BLAST. The kids and families are a pleasure to work with. When I was growing up, school photos were dreadful. The smiles were fake and the poses stiff. I thought it would be fun to re-invent the school portrait. My goal was to make school photography that was fun, relaxed and authentic. This is a tall order when you have less than a minute to spend with each subject. There is no time to wash faces or fix hair. When it comes to portraiture, capturing personality is better than perfect hair every time! I couldn't have done it without the help of parent volunteers Melissa Robinson and Julianna Ndikintum. I can't wait to do it again!
The latest issue of Best Magazine has hit the newsstands. The current issue features six talented and fascinating local cincinnati artists including painter Jimmy Baker , www.jimmybaker.com, Loren Long, illustrator of President Barack Obama's Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughter's www.lorenlong.com, painter Gail Morrison www.artgaia.com, sculptor and plaster artist Ted Gantz of www.sycamorestreetstudio.com, sculpter Matt Kotlarczyk of www.refinedsugarstudio.com, and painter Carl Samson www.carlsamson.com. The talented painter of all things delicious Pat Olding is also mentioned in this magazine. I am the proud owner of several of her paintings. You can find her at www.thependletonartcenter.com.
It was a thrill for me to photograph these artists. They inspired me to be my best. The magazine is designed by the talented Steve Sullivan who makes me look better than I really am!
Alyssa came to my photography studio to model for the cover of Cincinnati Parent Magazine. She twirled and tossed glitter up in the air creating fun movement for the photo while keeping a perfect smile on her face. She reminds me of the energy, joy and optimism that youth AND the New Year brings. Happy New Year!