Monday, November 30, 2009

Learning to Fall (in Public)

Do you ever find yourself thinking, "I wish I could go back in time and not say what I just said or do what I just did?" I do - and I always get hung up on the feeling of well, feeling just plain silly - like I'm the person that never really has it together...know what I mean? It's a downward spiral and pretty soon you start thinking of every embarrassing moment in your life (at least that's my method) - like the time I tipped my entire desk over in the middle of my Algebra 2/Trig class my senior year of high school.

People will try to comfort you and say it was no big deal, and that no one noticed, but for some reason you just can't get past the sinking feeling that you just made a bit of a fool of yourself.

I've decided to do a little test - every time I feel that way, I will try to embrace it rather than let it get me down. Imagine a baby learning how to walk - it doesn't care that it doesn't know how to walk and that everyone will see it fall, it gets out there and tries again and again to succeed...

I've noticed I'm particularly vulnerable to this feeling when I'm trying something new in life - for instance, right now I'm in the early stages of my business and everything seems well, new - I'm in the infant stage, and unless I learn to try and try and try, that's where I'll remain. So I guess I just need to learn how to fall in public and not care so much...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Plenty To Be Thankful For

Nothing like a little Bing Crosby to start your the Holidays! I love the movie Holiday Inn – I used to watch this movie with my grandparents when I was a kid – it's funny how with such a generational gap, we could still sit and watch the same movie and enjoy it... I think I had a little crush on Bing Crosby - he was always such a polished gentleman. I love the motivational speech that Mamie gives to the downtrodden Bing...

A Little Unknown Fact:
The cartoon turkey has to trot between the two dates in the opening clip because around that time, Thanksgiving was briefly switched to a different day so as to allow more Christmas shopping days. Then it got changed back.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hot Pot of Coffee

Here's a little treat to test out in the kitchen - courtesy of one of my favorite chefs, Rick Bayless:

Cafe de Olla: Mexican pot-brewed coffee with raw sugar and spices

Makes about 1 quart, serving 4 to 5

  • 4 to 5 ounces piloncillo, roughly chopped or ½ to 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 inches cinnamon stick, preferably Mexican cinnamon
  • A few anise seeds, optional
  • 2/3 cup (2 ounces) dark roast coffee, medium to coarsely ground
  1. In a stainless steel saucepan, combine 1 quart water, the sugar, cinnamon and anise seeds. Heat to a boil to melt the sugar. Stir in the coffee, remove from the heat and let steep for 5 minutes.
  2. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into cups or mugs and serve immediately.
I wasn't sure what piloncillo was, so I googled it - turns out it's an unrefined sugar commonly used in Mexican cooking - it's been around for 500 years!

And since we're on the topic of beans, I thought it was only appropriate to show off my little niece (aka The Bean)...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A New Approach

Ok - I'm trying something new since I've had a hard time being disciplined about updating my blog (which now that I have about four followers, I'm ready to commit a little more time and effort to this - thanks followers!).

I'm taking a cue from a blog I follow ( and am going to start posting at least 3x a week using these predetermined topics - here's the line up:
• business as usual (topics pertaining to growing a small business)
• eye spy (anything that seems cool to me - events, products and blog recommendations)
• creatively yours (thoughts on making, doing and being)
• red letter special (photography & design features)

I would consider the following an "eye spy" moment:


I asked my step-dad (who happens to be a carpenter) to create a headboard for me - this makeshift bed frame from Anthropologie has me rethinking my choice...although you would lose valuable under-the-bed storage space - at least you wouldn't have to worry about monsters hiding under your bed!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Looking out on the morning rain...

I used to feel uninspired...WaaOop - you know the rest of the words, right? You know, the Carol King song - the one that used to be in the shampoo commercial (can't remember which one it was)...Anyway, you guessed it, this blog post is about what to do when you're feeling uninspired, and wouldn't it be nice if it was as easy as washing your hair with a certain shampoo and tada - you're inspired again?!

Here are just a few things that have helped me get back into the inspirational groove:
  1. blog hopping - you know when you look at one blog and then you see a link to another one and then five blogs later you can't remember how you got there...
  2. visiting a museum or gallery - I'm a really visual person, so just looking at the color of a painting or the texture/shape of a sculpture can get the wheels turning
  3. going to the bookstore - no need to buy, just browse - it's amazing what interesting tidbits you learn by reading the back of a book or an article in a magazine
  4. window shopping - I'm lucky to live in a city where people spend a lot of time on their window dispalys - I love checking out the window displays at Raulph Lauren on Michigan Ave.
  5. play with your kids (or your niece or nephew) - kids always have the best imaginations and lots of energy - I remember once I was babysitting for my nephews and instead of watching a movie we took a deck of cards and tried to build a mini fort for all their little army men - I had a blast (and I think they did too)
  6. watch HGTV - I'm a huge fan and I love watching the transformations of little run down offices into a functional and stylish space
  7. get your heart pumping - sometimes all you need to do is go for a run, a walk or visit the gym
  8. play with a pet - dogs and cats never seem to worry, they always just go with the flow and are a good way to take your mind off your worries (in turn leaving your mind a little more clear to pick up on anything that might inspire you)

  9. cook or bake something and don't follow a recipe - sometimes the best way to let go is to not follow the directions - experiment - go wild - and if it doesn't turn out - no big deal, there's always take-out
  10. write or doodle - it doesn't need to make sense, sometimes if you just get whatever is in your head out on paper it has a freeing effect - you don't need it taking up space in your brain when it's already recorded in your notebook

I'm interested in hearing what works for you? Please share...

Picture credits: © 2009 Suzy Rohan

Monday, November 9, 2009

In front of the lense

Thought this was an interesting article for all my photographer friends (found on - it's helpful to know what questions a client might ask before they select you as their photographer...even though these questions apply to a wedding photographer, they might also be helpful for a portrait photographer...

Essential Questions for Your Photographer

There are SO many amazing photographers in the world - how do you find the one that’s perfect for you? Well, not only do you need to blog-stalk them, see images from a full wedding, and find out all of the details about the specific packages that they offer, but you also want to ask these questions:
  1. Will I receive a DVD of images from the event?
  2. How many images do you post-process (the more the better! All of those amazing images you fell in love with from their website and albums are post-processed. If the images on the DVD you receive are SOOC (straight out of camera) you should know and understand this.)? Can I see multiple examples of before-and-after images?
  3. Do you color correct all images?
  4. How soon after the wedding will I receive my proofs? My DVD of images? My album?
  5. Do you write up every event on your blog?
  6. How soon after the event will you blog?
  7. What types of images do you include in your blog post?
  8. Do you shoot in film or digital? Color or black and white? RAW or JPG?
  9. What is your contingency plan if you are ill or otherwise cannot attend my event? {Be sure the answer to this is specifically stated in your contract}
  10. Who retains copyright to the images? Reproduction rights?
  11. Are the number of hours included in my contract continuous or may they be used in blocks? In the event of overtime, what are your rates?
  12. Are proofs available online or via a proof book?
  13. How many images can I expect to see from the event? Can I see your “throwaway images” as well?
  14. Do you have specific lighting requirements or suggestions?
  15. Will you work from a shot list to be sure that all of the details that are important are captured?
  16. Are you available to come to the rehearsal? The hotel room while I am getting ready? The salon while my hair is being done? Will you ride in the limo with me from the ceremony to the reception?
  17. How many photographers will be present at my event? Will you specifically be one of them? Do you coordinate the receiving of digital negatives from the associate photographers and the purchase of any prints?
  18. What is your cancellation policy? {Be sure the answer to this is specifically stated in your contract}
  19. Do you include an engagement session in your fee? When will I receive the DVD of images for that session? Can I use those images for my guest book, decor, etc?
  20. What is your blog/magazine submission policy?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Maternity Photo Session

Here are just a few pics from the maternity shoot I did for my good friend Thea – it was so nice to spend some time with her before the big day... She has the most beautiful pregnant belly I've ever seen! And she looks so at peace and happy in all of her shots. We luckily had really beautiful weather and the leaves on the trees in the neighborhood park made a great backdrop. Thea's husband, Geoff, her two dogs (Lilah & Ryker) and her mom, Connie joined us for the session as well.

Picture credits: © 2009 Suzy Rohan