As we entered year number two of a global pandemic, we all felt many different things. Like myself, we all had highs and we had lows. A glimmer of hope. Life saving vaccines had become available and we thought that once again, we could resume living our lives like we had before we even knew about COVID-19. I don't know about you, but 2021 was a freaking roller coaster of emotions for me. Family gatherings seemed to be safer. Indoor weddings were becoming a thing again. Clients felt more comfortable working up close and personal with a photographer once again. My husband and I went to an outdoor concert in late summer and it just seemed like 2021 was really looking up. Things were starting to feel a bit normal again. Then at the tail end of the year, we found out about the highly contagious, but not as severe Omicron variant and whether you were fully vaxxed/boosted or not, you weren't completely out of the woods. SIGH! Buckle your seatbelts. Here we go again!
Although 2021 will not be remembered as my favorite year (to say the least), I do have to say that 2021 was the year that I grew the most professionally. In the beginning of 2021, I decided that I was going to do more photo shoots that made me feel fulfilled. Saying "no" to work that didn't bring me joy and getting to really exercise my creativity. And the result was SO SATISFYING. I got to do a bunch of colorful, playful, edgy shoots, which made my heart so happy. It felt like the stars had aligned. I finally felt like an artist and not just a documentarian. It reminds me why I became interested in photography in the first place. I feel lucky to have worked with clients that allowed me to take full creative control.
I LOVE it when clients are willing to just go along with my vision. Jess was interested in doing a photo shoot in Philly. So after explaining my vision, she said she was in. I told her I wanted a lot of color. Cool, edgy, but also fun and casual at the same time. Jess and I video chatted from the mall and she sent photos from the racks at the thrift store. Her and Mike really put an effort into it. Mike wasn't as excited about the shoot as Jess was, but I think we really brought him out of his shell and he started to enjoy himself. Fabián was there to assist and capture some videos for social media.
I've been dying to shoot at this location since I found out about it. Electric Street is an art installation on Percy Street in South Philadelphia. We planned the shoot to start at 4:30 PM. I grabbed some fries and a Coke from Pat's in Passyunk. They have these vibrant red tables. I had this idea that it would feel like a casual hang out with the two of them. Chilling on the tables, chatting, munching on snacks. Then we took our snacks to go on a walking tour. I mapped out some really colorful spots and finished the session when the neon lights came on at Percy Street. It was like the grand finale. All I have to say is "Wow". So far, this was my favorite shoot to date. Probably because it was my vision brought to life. Can't wait to do more passion projects. Who wants in?
After our session, Jess and Mike invited us out grab a beer under the stars. Not only did we create some fabulous photos, but we also made new friends. Cheers!
Alex reached out to me about doing a photo shoot to celebrate her 30th Birthday. At this point in time, everyone has celebrated their birthday during the pandemic. But what do you do when you hit a big milestone, like thirty? What better way to celebrate a quarantine birthday than to have a 30th birthday photo shoot!? Get dressed up, do your hair and make up, feel damn good about yourself and have some gorgeous photos taken.
Alex and I corresponded through e-mail quite a bit before decided on downtown Wilmington, Delaware. Alex really liked the Rodney Square area. So that's where we met. Oh and I forgot to mention that it was about 34 degrees that day. So while myself, Fabián and Alex's boyfriend were all bundled up staying warm, Alex was throwing off her jacket and camera ready at every stop. She soldiered through like a champ! Can you tell how cold it is looking at the photos? Probably not! After wandering down Market Street, we took a trip to the Sugar Bowl Pavilion at Brandywine Park. I also had a special surprise for her. Bubble guns! While Alex was working the camera, we were standing around her shooting bubbles at her. It made for some fun, interesting photos. When I asked Alex how she would have celebrated her 30th bday if we weren't in a pandemic, she said she would have traveled. We took advantage of her lust for travel during our session. She brought a globe, a suitcase and some travel books. When it's safe to travel again, she's off to Buenos Aires. I dream of the day when traveling is safe once again.
Moving to Delaware County, PA has posed a bit of a challenge for my business but it is also a golden opportunity. I don't have any clientele in this area, so I have had to start over in a way. After spreading the word about doing some photo shoots in Philly, I was contacted by Maureen and Zak. They live in the next town over and were totally down to meet me in Philly for an Engagement shoot. Not being from Philly, I decided to get online and do some research. And it REALLY paid off! I found a starting point at Comfort & Floyd in South Philadelphia and created a loop. Almost like a walking tour. We wandered along side streets, posed in front of old buildings, found some cool murals. Then ended up back where we started. It was fun! We got to explore and create some beautiful photos at the same time. And it was so great meeting Maureen and Zak. They were so sweet and even gifted my husband (Fabián) and I cupcakes.
Like a lot of things, our tastes change. One of the things that Philly has presented to me is a new way of creating. There are so many interesting backdrops and locations. Not that I don't love to shoot in a park or open field, but these backdrops make for some cool, edgy photos. I love the idea of doing something a bit different. And I love it even more when clients are willing to put their trust in me. Giving me the power to be even more creative. So, Philadelphians....here I am! If you're looking for something fun, colorful and a little "out of the box", you've found your photographer right here.
Phew! What a crazy year it's been. Happy freaking New Year! I've never been so eager to say goodbye to an entire year before. Even though it was a year mostly everyone wants to forget, some good things DID happen in 2020. My husband and I decided to elope in Virginia. It was a spur of the moment decision and just our style. It was perfect. Why don't more people elope!? We also purchased a 1940s era fixer upper in Norwood, PA (relocating from Wilmington, DE). Now that I'm super close to Philly, I plan to get out and explore the city and meet some new clients in 2021.
Here is the last event I captured just a few short weeks before the country shut down and masks became the new norm. I love the saturated colors and glamorous dresses. The birthday girl was not camera shy either, which I loved! We ran off to Longwood Gardens to snap some fun and gorgeous photos. Birthdays are a bit different now, but they won't always stay this way. Cheers to once again be able to part-ay!!!! It will happen. Stay strong and stay well, my friends.
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