#Instagram Round-up: June 2015

In June I really amped up my fitness game for the Cohasset Tri and also just because it was so damn nice out! Lots of running, biking, long walks with the dog, and general outdoor living. I could get used to this! I also had an awesome time photographing the super duo Caroline Earle and Laura Mucci at the beginning of the month, travelled to Martha's Vineyard to photograph a yoga retreat, and even fit in a pop-up photo shoot at Castle Island with patientMoon (we're doing another this month- details here!). Even with the disappointment of the Tri being rained out, the majority of June was a blast and July is shaping up to be awesome too.

What have you been doing outside this summer?

Where I've Been and Where I'm Going

I know I've been quiet on this blog this summer but I'm finally ready to tell you why- I've been dealing with finances, insurance companies, mortgage lenders and fun stuff like that because *drumroll please* we bought a house! It's amazing how much of your free time that takes up but we're finally near the end and closing next week (!!!) so I decided it was safe enough to announce it.

The move is not without some sadness as I will be leaving the city I've been a resident of all my life. We are moving to Cohasset which is 20 miles south on the coast (not on the Cape, not in Rhode Island, as some people have asked me) so I won't be going far. If you're wondering why we chose this area, I will show you this map which is the walking distance from our house to one of the prettiest beaches in the area:
Other than the beach, the main reason this property appealed to me is what is behind the house- a beautiful, relatively new carriage house/barn/garage (the house was built in 1870 but the barn was just built 10 years ago). It gets gorgeous light and has an open layout so I'm turning it into a studio! It's move-in ready, all I need is some gear and I'll be ready to start shooting-
There's a cupola up there too which you can only get to my climbing that ladder/post in the middle.

The back yard which has some fruit trees and a little orchard. Looking forward to shooting here too!
The creek behind the barn. You better believe we'll be getting some kayaks asap.
Roses next to the house
So that's my news! While I'm sad to be leaving Boston, I'm beyond excited to start exploring the South Shore and spending more time doing outdoor activities. I'd love to hear any recommendations for things to do or places to see in the area if you happen to know any! Stay tuned for updates, I can't wait to start sharing more when we are all moved in and setting up the place.

How has your summer been? Any big things on the horizon?

Fitness in Boston: Free Zumba at City Hall Plaza

Here's another free class series to add to your schedule! The Z-Spot, Boston's first Zumbaยฎ studio, is offering free classes at City Hall Plaza. In conjunction with the Boston Moves for Health initiative and Mayor Menino's Fitness in the City series, the Z-Spot crew will be leading hour-long classes starting at 6:30pm on Mondays all summer long.

But it doesn't seem totally accurate to call it a class- it's a scene. From twenty-somethings in workout gear to curious tourists, the crowd is a diverse bunch and includes people of all ages and backgrounds. It even draws an audience-
It's definitely a workout but I've never spent an entire workout laughing like I do during Z-Spot classes. They just have this energy that's infectious and you really can't help but have a good time. New to Zumba? Seasoned veteran? Z-Spot welcomes participants of all levels and abilities. For more information, check out their website and Facebook page. Have fun! :)
Lena Andrade, Z-Spot founder

When: Mondays, 6:30pm
What to Bring: Sneakers, water bottle
Cost: FREE

Pilates Photo Shoot with Jennifer Phelan at Castle Island

Last month I did a gorgeous evening shoot with Pilates powerhouse Jenn Phelan at Castle Island in South Boston. The look we were going for was two-fold; we wanted to showcase Jenn's impressive athletic moves and physique, and also her new workout style she had been working on with Keely Witkowski of B. Fetching. I brought my photog buddy, Joe Chartier, and we shot to our hearts content for several hours until the light went away!

Here are the more fashion-y photos:

And now the athletic shots:
We had so much fun it was ridiculous. The weather was perfect and the sky made for an incredible backdrop. Thanks again to Jenn and her crew, I had a blast!

Need a promotional portrait for your website or blog?
Contact me ( for more info.

Nantucket Fishing

This weekend Seth and I visited his sister's family on Nantucket. His brother-in-law just bought a sweet fishing boat which he was more than happy to take us out on. The insane, roller-coaster waves (thank goodness for Dramamine) tossed us around but it was so nice to be out on the water. As much as I love boating, I don't think I've ever been out fishing so this was a new experience! Seth's sister was fishing for bonito and blue fish for a tournament and she managed to snag two-

Fish on!

A small bonito. Don't worry, he was returned to the sea after being measured!

Puppy in the Garden

This weekend I checked out my friend's garden (really a mini-farm) and also got to meet Akira, this adorable 4-month-old lab/husky mix. She was both chill and playful which is rare in a puppy! She was also nice enough to let me take a few photos of her-


We also witnessed a first time potato harvest-

A Fine Frenzy at Fairmont Battery Wharf, Boston

Last night, the hotel Fairmont Battery Wharf held a free outdoor concert featuring the delightful Allison Sudol of A Fine Frenzy. I heard her song "Happier" on Pandora a while ago and was instantly smitten so I was psyched when I heard she'd be performing in my 'hood. My friend, Mairi, and I managed to get pretty close to the stage and I brought my 70-200mm lens so I was able to get a few decent shots-

He totally caught me! Awesome!

Thank you A Fine Frenzy and Fairmont for an awesome concert, we had a great time :)

CSA from Silverbrook Farm

I belong to a CSA that comes from Silverbrook Farm in Darmouth, MA. What is a CSA you ask? CSA stands for Community Sustained Agriculture and consists of a group of consumers who agree to purchase products from a local farm, or a โ€œshareโ€ of the farm, and each week they pick up their share of produce either directly from the farm or at a pick-up spot in their area, like a farmers market or store. This helps farms sell their product and consumers to eat locally. Everyone wins.

I pick-up my CSA share at Government Center; it's like Christmas once a week and Scott (above) is the CSA Santa, bringing me delicious veggies and fruit, often things I've never tried (like kohlrabi) which is part of the fun. Yesterday I picked up a mountain of fresh produce and Scott let me take some photos-

What's your favorite farm stand or CSA in your area?

A Visit to Sharpe Hill

Today we made a trip out to Connecticut to visit Sharpe Hill, a vineyard in the northeast corner of the state. Who knew CT had vineyards? Not me! It was a completely picturesque setting; we had a nice wine tasting outside and then lunch inside (which was good since it did eventually start to rain). Such good wine and food! When we were leaving, the rain let up just enough for me to get some photos-

~*What a lovely spot to enjoy some wine*~

Waterfire in Providence, RI

Last Saturday after a Boston Handmade meeting in Seekonk, Arthur, Beth, Beth's husband Justin, and I piled in the car and headed to Providence for Waterfire. Waterfire is a public art exhibit that takes place on certain dates throughout the summer and consists of one hundred large bonfires set in the rivers of the city. It draws a huge crowd but the mesmerizing fires keep the noise level significantly hushed and peaceful; it was unlike any event I've ever been to.

This is the view from Justin's office (he snuck us in), how cool is that?!

We like fire.

Even from the shore, the heat from the fires was intense; we were lucky it wasn't a really hot night. In addition to the fires, there were singers stationed around the canals, gondola rides, and even a few living statues. There are still a few dates left this season to catch Waterfire; I highly recommend that you do!

Western MA Getaway

My friend Kelly's family moved to Northampton, MA when we were 15 and it did not take long for me to realize what a special place it is. The people, the restaurants and shops, the houses, all enclosed in beautiful countryside, it is a perfect escape from city life. Kelly is home for a little while this summer so I planned a last minute visit, 24 hours in western MA-

The Eric Carle Museum in Hadley, MA, home of the Very Hungry Caterpillar!

A stop at the Atkins Farm Country Market, locavore heaven.

A BLT on country wheat. Drool.

I also took the opportunity to take some portraits of Kelly's beloved Toby, the perfect dog. He is thirteen now and he is still active, swimming in the river almost every day!

Happy in the river...

Sad about the subsequent bath...

Happy to be getting towel dried.


Beagle Ice Cream

I have the week off (!!!) so today my friend Mary treated me to ice cream at J.P. Licks. Since they now have a "dog sundae" (non-dairy ice cream sprinkled with treats), Apollo was treated as well. I think he was suspicious at first since the whole thing was for him but as you can see he dove right in-

Done! And let me tell you, that bowl was licked clean.

Apollo's Fourth of July

I wanted to share the pictures I took over the 4th of July weekend when we were in Fairhaven and New Bedford... and realized the majority of the pictures taken were of the dog. So here you go, Apollo enjoying the 4th of July in Southern MA:

Seth and Apollo at Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven, MA.

My parent's backyard in Jamaica Plain, one of his favorite hangouts.

And finally a non-beagle picture.

Happy Thursday

This is the window sill in my office/studio. With all of the getting ready for the New Bedford Summerfest this weekend, the rest of the room looks totally chaotic. The sill is currently the cleanest spot in the entire apartment and it looked so pretty with the sun coming in. The sunflowers are a new addition; I got them in my first CSA pick up last week!

Tonight: First Thursday in JP! Check out their new blog.

Quiet Time at Squam

Last Squam post... while I could go on and on about the lovely kindred spirits that attend Squam every year, one thing I look forward to almost as much as meeting new people is the down time. I love walking in the woods, feeling as far away from the city as possible, the only sounds heard are those found in nature.

Here are some pictures from Squam that reflect that precious solitude I enjoy so much:

For more pics, please visit my Flickr page.

A Leap

Recently I was asked by a good friend to shoot her wedding next year. She didn't put any pressure on me (it was either me or no one!) but I decided this was the push I needed to bring my photography to the next level. I've gotten pretty comfortable with my little Canon Rebel XT but it's been years (since college, eek!) since I've taken any kind of class or workshop. A quick Google search led me to the Digital Photo Academy which listed several classes at the Griffin Photography Museum in Winchester, somewhere I'd always wanted to visit.

I signed up for the one day advanced class which involved a two hour review session at the museum with the rest of the day spent in Gloucester, MA. We really lucked out with the weather and had three long shoots: on the docks, at Bass Rocks on the water and at Annisquam Lighthouse at sunset.
It was a long, wonderful day. At the end I had some great shots, more confidence in my work, better understanding of the technical stuff and a renewed love of photography. Now to upgrade my equipment....

Urban BBQ

Who needs a yard when you've got a roof? Last week the rain took a break long enough for me, Seth and our neighbors, Court and Franny, to have a lovely summer BBQ on the roof of our apartment building. Court lives on the top floor which has the roof access and he was kind enough to invite us up to do some serious grilling.

For food we kept it simple- fresh veggies cut up, tossed in olive oil/salt/pepper and skewered with marinated garlicky beef, lemon chicken and shrimp. Salad fixings from the farmers market at City Hall Plaza, corn on the cob and some wine/Dark 'n Stormies. For such an easy, simple meal it was really quite heavenly.