Heartbreak and Resilience: The 2013 Boston Marathon and Beyond

I went to the marathon this year (for the first time!) to cheer on two of my runner friends. I got there early enough to catch the elite runners finishing. After I saw one of my friends pass by around 2pm, I walked up Boylston to meet my friend Kelly at Starbucks and find our other runner friend. I was waiting there when all hell broke loose. It's hard to believe how such a perfect day went so wrong so fast.

When my school, the Center for Digital Imaging Arts, decided to have an exhibit featuring student, alumni, and faculty work of the marathon and the aftermath, I knew I wanted to be involved. I submitted a photo I took that day of the race from where I was standing most of the morning, on the corner of Hereford and Boylston. The work will be for sale with all proceeds going to the One Fund! If you're interested in checking it out, there will be an opening reception on Friday but the show will be up until September 13. Here are the details: 

Opening Reception: May 31, 2013 6pm-9pm

Featuring work by students, graduates, faculty and friends of Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts Professional Photography Certificate Program

Exhibit on display May 31 - September 13

274 Moody Street
Waltham, MA 02453
For directions and parking:

For more photos and stories, check out the Facebook fan page set up for the exhibit:

AIDS Action Committee 2011 Annual Report

My last project at school was working with AIDS Action Committee, which I mentioned here. I was assigned to document the donation process at the four locations of their Boomerangs stores. Last week, I did the event photography for a cocktail reception they had at Eastern Bank for World AIDS Day and I picked up a copy of their 2011 annual report. Right in the middle is a spread about Boomerangs which included my photos (and a credit!). You can check it out online here.
Seeing them in print was pretty thrilling, and I'm proud that my images could be used to support such a worthy cause!

Practicum: AIDS Action Committee

The final project we are assigned at CDIA is one the school is very proud of- they pair each student up with a non-profit (which they call "practicum"). The student works with the non-profit for three weeks to complete an assignment for them, anything from photographing an event to building a website. This provides the student with professional experience and the non-profit with free creative work.

For my practicum, I was paired up with the AIDS Action Committee. I had actually done some volunteer work for them back in high school so I was familiar with their organization and its one I definitely support. The project I will be working on is highlighting the donation process with Boomerangs, their resale retail stores where all proceeds go to AIDS Action. I will be hanging out in their four locations, going out on donation pick-ups, visiting their sorting facility, etc.

The project is right up my alley (I love documenting processes, like my work with Silverbrook Farm), the people I've met are really nice and enthusiastic, and I think it's going to be a cool three weeks!

Wedding Photography II

I was all set to head out on a dog walk this morning when I looked out the window to what appeared to be a monsoon. Dog will have to wait, so I figured I'd post some new photos instead! Last week we were doing engagements sessions and we were lucky enough to start the day off at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square which was a gorgeous place to shoot!

We even managed to make a dingy alley a romantic setting-

Ok the rain seems to have stopped so I'd better take out the poor dog. Have a great weekend!

Fashion Photography & Working with Models

Once again I was surprised by how much I enjoyed a photography genre I never had too much interest in before- fashion! In fashion photography, it is about so much more than the clothes- it's about a look, an attitude, a feeling conveyed through the image. It's not easy but it is fun! We had a blast working with the models this week (our first time with professionals) as well as the make-up and hair artists. There is such a difference working with people who are used to being in front of a camera and just know how to move, how to look, and just how to work with you.

Hanging out with gorgeous people all day, I could get used to that! Here are the ladies:

And now the guys:

Photo Shoot at Black Sheep Knitting

Last week in location portraiture, one of our assignments was to go to a local business and take a nice "executive" portrait of the owner in their store. One of our awesome classmates, Terry, contacted several shops in her hometown of Needham so we headed there, and I got to shoot the adorable Black Sheep Knitting. What a local gem! As a photographer, it was fun to take photos in such a colorful, inviting space. As a knitter, it was fun to be surrounded by such beautiful yarn! The women we worked with, Nancy and Randi, were fantastic and so nice about letting us take over their store without lighting equipment for a few hours-

I didn't have a chance to make any purchases that day but I will definitely be back. Black Sheep Knitting is located at 1500 Highland Ave, Needham, MA 02492.

Collaborating with Graphic Designers

When we were in our Product and Still Life class, we got to work with the graphic design students on a poster project. They worked as our art directors, telling us their concepts, what they need for the photos, etc. I worked with three of the designers, one being Tara Lindberg who needed photos of records and a record player for her "Record Store Day" poster concept. Turns out records are harder to shoot than we thought! We got it though, and I thought her final poster looked pretty awesome-

And the final!
(Click on it to make it bigger)


Last week my class was all about speedlights (or external flashes). While many people thought it was weird we could spend a whole week learning about them, I (and probably my classmate) actually thought we could use two or three! We'll be working with them in the next two modules so hopefully it will become second nature soon. As it turns out, they are actually pretty complicated! But they can also do some pretty cool things, like light painting, and also portraiture which we did a lot more of-

Lovely Jess

Painting with Light

Amy, woman of mystery...

Steampunk City

Last weekend was the Steampunk City event in Waltham, what a scene! I was there volunteering at CDIA, taking portraits of steampunkers all decked out for the event. All proceeds went to the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation. From a photo student standpoint it was well worth the effort- at the end of the day we had a big group come in, dressed to the nines, children included. Love it! They were kind enough to let me share their portrait here-


What a fun week we had! Most of our time was spent in the studio managing lighting, positioning our volunteer models/classmates, and just trying get it all to come together in photos. It was a blast and a half; next week we're doing even more!


Terry and Amy!

We had to light a group shot for one of our deliverables. Can you guess what mine was inspired by?

Photoshop 3

We survived yet another week of Photoshop, thanks to our extremely patient teacher, Phil (aka Photoshop Phil). This week we were working on Smart Objects, Smart Filters, Vanishing Points, HDRs, Panoramas, Action Scripts, and Blending, to name a few. Gah! Here are the deliverables I wound up with:

PRC Student Exhibition Reception Tonight

It's here! Tonight is the reception for the Photographic Resource Center's 2011 student exhibition. My photo (taken on Georges Island in Boston Harbor) will be there reppin' CDIA along with seven other CDIA students. We won't be alone though; students from photography programs all over New England will be exhibiting as well.

Here's a sneak preview of my photo-

My classmate, Raquel, also has a piece in the show-
The reception is open to the public and will be from 6-9pm tonight. The show will be up until May 8th if you're interested in visiting! Details below:

Photographic Resource Center
832 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
Hours: Monday: Closed
Tuesday thru Friday
: 10am-5pm
Saturday-Sunday: 12-5pm

More Product/Still Life Photos

Last week we were doing product & still life photography again but this time we were working with the graphic design class on poster projects they were creating. Each student presented their concepts to us and we worked in groups of two to try to fulfill their photo needs.

I worked on three projects (they're going to be posters when the designers are done with them). I'm looking forward to seeing the final results!

Yes, these are little action figures from the movie Alien.

On the Street

After weeks of learning technical photography, this past week our class started to really focus on composition and concept. We were given a list of ways to explore these ideas and spent much of our class time outside trying to capture them. I've always been intimidated by street photography but the techniques we learned definitely helped. It was challenging but addictive!

Ok so this last one (my classmate, Rachael, and my dog) is just silly, I love it.

Also, I'm working on revamping my website and I included all of my street photos in a portfolio called "On the Street;" check it out and let me know what you think-

Shooting in the Rain

Yesterday my class headed up to Gloucester and Rockport to take photos of Cape Ann's lovely natural landscape. Unfortunately, it poured rain the whole morning/early afternoon but we were troopers and went out in it anyway. This is what a bunch of soggy photographers looks like:

In the Studio: The Bag Shot

One of the "deliverables" I had in my Intro to Light class this week was called the Bag Shot. The idea was that we were supposed to set up a scene where someone has dropped a bag, all of the stuff has fallen out and, using props and lighting, tell something about the person who dropped it and the circumstances (night/day, indoors/outdoors, etc). Everyone in my class took the concept and ran; one person did a beach scene, one did a forest scene, they were all really elaborate!

I decided my scene was set in India in the early morning on a hot day and the bag dropped was a grocery bag, right at the poor person's front step (they almost made it home...). There is an Indian grocery store next to the school so I went there for the food, and I printed some rupees to be falling out of a little purse I bought in India (the slippers are from India too). For the ground I used brown kraft paper and hay brought in by my classmate, Kim, who has pet rabbits. We used a gold gel to create a warm look and a cucoloris for the shadowing. It may look like a big mess but it is actually a really styled one!

In the Studio

This week was the very first time we were in the studio (for Studio Lighting 1). It was a lot of work but also so much fun. Our teacher, Sharon, really encouraged us to play around with all the different ways light can be manipulated and as a result, we learned so much about shades, reflection, diffusion, gels, etc. We started with portraits and on day two we moved on to shoes:

Wrapping up Photoshop I

Here is the 2nd image I completed during Photoshop I last week. To do it, I put my camera on a table, set the 10-second timer, and took a bunch of shots of myself in various positions all over my roof. I then layered the images and used "masks" to get all of the Lucies in one photo together. Freaky, huh?