Saturday, August 13, 2011

Life at the top - The Staging begins

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a Penthouse overlooking the ocean?  I have, down here in Florida - land of the high-rise you see them stretch for miles throughout the towns of Hollywood, Aventura, Miami and so forth.  With the housing economy as it is - half of them are occupied by the small percentage of the still obscenely wealthy, and the other half seems to be split between vacant or occupied with people desperate to unload due to financial  change of circumstance, something I can relate to wholeheartedly (The state of our world and my personal economic problems will surely be a rant for another day)

So how to capitalize on this bad real estate market and economic downturn?  As a photographer - gigs for shooting happy pregnant people, smiling babies and loving couples are far and few between these days.  Then for my Mother, a talented interior designer, people are not exactly knocking down the door in droves to pay her to re-do their homes as they once did. 

So mother and her friend Paula have started a company called As You like It (more on that in the future as I help them build their website and Facebook page etc etc) They still do interior design but have branched out to start "staging" residential and commercial spaces to help them sell, as well as designing and organizing events.

The bonus for me is being her daughter - God love nepotism and mothers desire for me to make money so I may one day be able to move out of her house - is, as they get jobs, and book event plans - who do you think the go-to photographer will be?  ME! That was a rather obvious answer I know - just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

I shot the before photos for a job they are pitching on yesterday, and while I am new at real estate photography - and found it trickier then anticipated - I will continue to work on it because I have discovered there is a market for it.  

In the meantime while the 6,500 sq ft 2 story condo was a disaster and a lesson in the perils and bad choices in "collecting" masses of kitschy random shit, the view was astounding and I couldn't resist taking the time to fire off a few shots.

While I still love living on ground level and being able to step outside into a yard , there IS something to be said for highrise dwelling - when you have a view like THIS!

Ahhh living in South Florida - it has it's moments.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oh how they grow

I've been missing my friends in California lately.  My little friends, who are not all so little anymore.  I am sad that I am missing so many of them as they grow up - beacuse we all know how quickly they grow!
So I found myself going back through old photo shoots and picking out some of my tried and true faves and doing a little re-editing.  (My post production skills have grown a bit since these shoots)

 you lookin at me?

 and THAT's my final word on the subject!

 anyone who knows me knows this is my favorite!  She is my business card for goodness sake!

 my old next door neighbor Seven - she was SUCH a model! 

She LOVED being a test subject for me - I must have shot her half a dozen times at least!

Then there were the family shoots.  This family I am biased in my love for as they have been part of my close circle of friends for well over a decade - pre-marriage, pre- kids and I can't BELIEVE I am missing these monkey's as they grow!  :-(

 What a good big brother.  Jackson and Ryan

 Action Jackson - this kid was hard to shoot as I had to chase him all the time!

Mommy and Ryan

And then my favorite.  The Belly shots followed by the baby a few months later.  I am getting geared up for doing that with my sister in the next few weeks - if it would just stop storming here in South Florida every evening and killing our plans!

 Mom and dad getting ready for the new arrival

 And then comes baby Kaya!

Those little feet are going to be 2 years old soon!  I can't stand it!
I guess I was in a nostalgic mood today - missing my little friends, their parents and southern california.  Sigh.  

Working on getting gigs to shoot little ones here!

Monday, August 1, 2011

and along comes a boy

There has been something/someone that has been on my mind quite a lot these days.  Its the arrival of a VERY important boy into my world.  A boy who will become a major part of my life, a serious commitment ....until death do us part.

No not that kind of lifelong relationship - the girl IS still single and as I am living in Fort Lauderdale I'm not anticipating THAT status update to change anytime in the foreseeable future......

No this boy will be of the infant variety.  My first Nephew.

He is due to arrive in exactly 10 weeks.  10 weeks and our lives will be forever changed in this house of estrogen horror.  3 generations of Italian women will soon be invaded by a little wee babe.....with a penis.  He will show up to be cared for and adored by fun, social, loud, opinionated women galore and a bevvy of fun "fairy godfathers" - a term our neighbor has bestowed upon himself and his friends,  the core group of gay men who are regular fixtures at our Sunday night dinners.  Oh my....this child will be ushered into more feminine energy then should be legal under one roof.  10 weeks of remaining estrogen dominance.....the clock is ticking......

Now granted I am not the one giving birth and living with him 24 - 7, that gig goes to my sister and her boyfriend, who are both in some sort of blissful denial of how different their life is about to be and how a full night sleep is something they will not see again for quite a while, but as we live so close to each other and are the type of family who is constantly up in each others, life, shit etc.. I know that life will change here as well.  Already our garage is filling up with, well...STUFF.  The stuff needed for babies. And I tell you - we only have maybe half of what is needed yet - and it's a LOT of stuff.  It's amazing that something so small can take up so much space!

So being the good sister that I am I threw the baby shower.  The party that honors the glowing mother to be, and allows everyone to get good and buzzed to be able to tolerate watching her open mounds of pastel wrapped presents for the boy.  Also being the crazy gluten-free-martha-stuart-type nut job that I am able to be while still jobless and full of free time, the floral tea party themed, gluten-free desert fest that took me 2 days of baking was received with much aplomb. Thank goodness
 Wanting the deserts to be Gluten Free I contacted the people at Pamela's Products - the company with the best gluten free all purpose flour and cake mixes on the market in my humble opinion) and found them to be SO incredibly accommodating!  They emailed me some special recipes in advance of publication so I could make my sisters request of Red Velvet Cupcakes.  If you have Celiac or ever need to bake for someone who has it, I must urge you to try Pamela's Products goods.  I have raved about them before on my blog and have to say it is WORTH $16 a bag of flour.  Yes being allergic to Gluten is an expensive annoyance but all things being relative - not so bad.

 I did go a wee bit overboard on the amount of pastries and cupcakes I baked, but god forbid there was a lack of sugar at the event was my theory.  I found that the best way to avoid answering probing questions about my own chronic single and childless status was to keep people liquored and shove pastries down their throat. (Well not literally but you know what I mean)

My one disappointment of the day was discovering that being the caterer, host and sister of the mommy-to-be leaves little time for focusing on photographing the event to the best of my ability.  These will suffice, I guess..... although along with being a crazy baking perfectionist I am also hyper-critical of my work.  I guess it comes with the territory.

I am however looking forward to the next few weeks of photographing sister in all her pregnant-ness, and once the little man arrives, well lets just say he will be one WELL photographed baby. My permanent guinea pig for practice.  I can't wait!

Meanwhile, Lucy better enjoy the silence now - I can't wait to see how the animals react to a screaming infant.  Oh joy!