Archive for the 'Websites' Category


Dance Skirts!

This week, I had the pleasure of photographing dance skirts for my friend, Neeta Maniar. Neeta and a partner in India have a business selling beautiful Indian dance skirts. Their website is Taal Dancewear.  The images we shot will go on the website soon. For the shoot, Neeta brought in six models and over 20 skirts – a big production for my modest-sized studio, but somehow everyone fit in!

For each skirt, we shot one full body image, usually in a dance pose, and then one closeup shot of the lovely waist bands. Both images will appear on the website, so Taal Dancewear’s customers can really see the beauty of the skirts.

All of the models are experienced dancers and most had danced together many times.

For the lighting, I had two lights on the white paper background and two lights in front on either side, to provide a fairly soft, low contrast overall lighting setup, which I felt would be appropriate for the website.

I know very little about proper dance poses, so Neeta was just behind me, checking the view from the camera and coaching the models on the poses she wanted.

Neeta and the models could see each image on my laptop as we went along – a big help in getting just the right look.

The shoot was great fun for me and I think for the models as well. I truly hope these images will lead to a big jump in sales for Taal Dancwear!

In a few of the pictures the models hammed it up a bit. Wonder if this one will make it to the website? You can see more images from our shoot here.


my photo in “usa weekend” – this weekend!

So, it’s a big rush for a photographer to have an image published in the newspaper. It’s an especially big rush if the picture is in over 700 papers around the country!  This image appears in “USA Weekend,” a Sunday suplement magazine published by USA Today.

I took the picture above of three dynamo women, Maggy, Pam and Sharon, who have a cooking blog called Three Many Cooks. Check it out here.

For this image, we had in mind a “Charlie’s Angels in the kitchen” look, so I had Maggy and Sharon turn towards the outside.

These amazing women are starting a weekly column in USA Weekend this weekend. Check it out, including a short video (and, of course my photo of them with a photo credit!)  here.


my blog stats for 2010

I just received these interesting stats from WordPress, the company that hosts my blog,  about activity on my blog for the year 2010. I like the idea of 29 full 747’s.  I’m truly grateful for those who read my posts. Everything below comes straight from WordPress:

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2010. That’s about 29 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 58 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 90 posts. There were 190 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 291mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 22nd with 205 views. The most popular post that day was baptism and joyful family gathering!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for philip johnson glass house, beauty, glamour model, glamour, and jessamyne.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


baptism and joyful family gathering! November 2010


Glamour Model Shoot January 2010


Beauty Lighting October 2009
1 comment


Philip Johnson’s Glass House October 2010


High School Senior Photos August 2009


“I have a crush!” – photos for on-line dating services

It’s been a long time since I was in the dating scene – Richard Nixon was president and we didn’t have personal computers or cell phones, much less web dating services.  The world has changed a bit since  then.

So, I’m clueless about web dating services, but I do know they are now mainstream. has 30 million members and is adding 20,000 a day. Recently, I had the privilege (and fun!) of helping a young woman create images to put up on some dating sites. Here’s her story, in her own words:

When the decision is made to attempt on-line dating for the first time, many questions swirl through your agitated head.  Will this even work?  Am I brave enough?  What about the horror stories I’ve heard?  Like my cousin Barb and that man who was not really named Clarence?  Really, of all fake names…he chose Clarence?  And this is what I was walking towards?  This place of the unknown. 

Well, I set a date.  A date for myself before the actual dates where my best friends would be instructed to call at a certain time so I could have a possible out. I planned to have many creatively legit emergencies. 

The date was to have some pictures taken by a professional photographer.  I have had this done before…numerous times…but this time it wasn’t for an agent in Los Angeles or to appease casting directors.  I wasn’t going to wear the suggested layers of cobalt blue.  The session was to only document me – a close-up of my head or a quarter-body shot.  I wanted freedom and Blake easily agreed, “Sure, whatever you want.”

Flashes caught me in mid-air while I jumped.  Flashes captured simple moments while I relaxed on my back.  Flashes followed me as I looked over my shoulder. 

While sitting at Blake’s laptop scrolling through the finished shots; something came over me.  I got excited to put myself out there.  I would so date me!  Blake and I worked together and created moments that were simply me.  He instructed and other times I lead but in the end, I couldn’t stop smiling at my smiling image.

Four weeks in and I’d like to report that the dating world is fun…and I have a crush.  And we will be seeing each other again for the third time this Friday.   And his name is NOT Clarence.


headshots of men

This month, I had the pleasure of taking headshots for a wonderful small company based in Fairfield County.  We did headshots of all 11 employees for the company website.  As I have mostly shown images of women in recent blog posts, I wanted to write about photographing men today.

There are some obvious differences.  With women, I normally use big softboxes for  lighting, to create a very flattering look.  A somewhat harsher light is appropriate for men – especially if we are going for the chiseled, manly look.  (If you’re old enough, think: The Marlboro Man.)  However, in this shoot, I used the same lighting for all 11 headshots (8 men and 3 women), in order to have a consistent look on the website. So the men got the flattering, smooth skin look.  They still look masculine, for sure!

In the three images shown, you can see a fair amount of shading on the left side (as we look at the images) of each face. With women, I generally bounce some light back into the shadow side with a reflector, reducing the shadows for a softer feel.

A note about glasses.  You will see both men below are wearing them. Reflections in the lenses can be a problem, so you have to position the light carefully.  Sometimes people will actually take the lenses out of the frames to avoid this.  To me, this can give kind of a strange look. I don’t mind seeing a subtle reflection of the glass. In both of the images below,  I did a bit of work in Photoshop to reduce the appearance of lens reflection, without totally eliminating it.

These guys were great fun to shoot with (as were all the others in the company – men and women).  You can see the relaxed and open smiles; everyone worked well together and there was a real sense of family – nice to see in today’s tough business environment!

As always, would appreciate any questions or comments.


Review of Tap App

On January 6th,  I wrote about a shoot for an iPhone application, Tap App, which teaches tap dancing. here’s a video review of the application:

Incidentally, Eli Newsom, the talented dancer who designed and did the dance steps  in the app, is now starring in “The Full Monty” at Curtain Call in Stamford. here are the details:


Images for a Website

Part of my photography business is helping clients create images for their websites.  I recently did a project for Patricia Phelan, an attorney who concentrates in special education law and advocacy.  Her web designer had given us specific images to create for the website. The first one, above, was Patti having a conference with a client family.

The second image, to the left, was Patti sitting at her desk, talking on the phone with a client. The lighting for this one was fairly tricky. We turned off the fluorescent office lights (which tend to make people look green) . It was a gloomy day, and thus very little window light was available to light the image. So, we had to light the scene from scratch. I used three strobe lights, which had to be set up to be invisible in the shot, but also not bounce reflections off the diplomas, the computer screen or Patti’s glasses. This took a bit of trial and error.

Then, we shot Patti with her own family, in an atrium with lovely plants on the ground floor of her office building.  The clients who hire Patti are not just looking for an attorney; they are looking for someone who is compassionate and understanding of the issues around special needs children – and Patti Phelan has these qualities in spades.

 With these pictures, we are trying to show a bit of Patti’s personality, so that potential clients will feel comfortable approaching her for representation. 

Once the website is up and running, I’ll put a link to it on this blog. For me, this was a special and fun project, in part because Patti is a dear friend. If you, gentle reader, are thinking about photography for your website, please keep me in mind! Here’s one last image from our shoot, a headshot with a bit more of a formal feel than the other images.