We had a rare treat during the school year with a weekend get-a-way to the majestic Black Swan Inn in Lee, Massachusetts on the foothills of the Berkshires. We were planning on doing a small talk on our One Dress, One Woman, One World project, but hadn’t intended to do a photo shoot. However, when we took Munson for a walk along the local Pinnacle trail we found that fall was still in full glory. We decided to go back the next morning and do a wedding dress shot. The light wasn’t as good as we had the day before, but it was still gorgeous. Help us decide which photo you like the best and vote below? Thanks!
Given our extensive set of photo shoots in Europe this summer we decided that in Brazil we would focus solely on race walking and take a token One Dress shot to count Brazil in the county list. It sounded like such a nice, simple and non-painful plan. Our trip progressed relatively smoothly. If anyone is interested in our initial impressions of Brazil please see our initial story on racewalk.com. Given the exorbitantly inflated Olympic hotel prices we rolled the dice with Air BnB. We selected our place from very few, affordable rooms near the race walking courses, near being 15km away. Yes, Rio is a very large place. To say we brought the luck of the Irish with us is an understatement. We rented a room from an apartment with the family still living there. Carla, Rodrigo and their two children Pedro and Valentina were amazing. Without a huge agenda and the family on holiday for the Olympics, we spent a lot of time with them. What an amazing treat to see how a kind-hearted, local family lives. We went to the mall together to take care of our cell phones and had dinner out so Valentina could have pizza. […]
After two weeks in Ireland, we headed to Scotland, because as Mike Meyers would say, “If it’s not Scottish its crap!” While the people are just as kindhearted as Ireland, they are definitely more reserved and measured in their responses. We parked ourselves at the Loch Ness Clansman Hotel with the ability to see Nessie from our room. Our first stop was the 13th century castle Eilean Donan. It was renovated in in the early 1900’s and is absolutely exquisite. You may have seen it in the Highlander movie (There can be only one!) We were not given permission to photograph inside, which appears to be a consistent restriction in Scotland. However, we were told that we could shoot on the island grounds after 6PM. We decided to leave our hotel at 12 and have a leisurely countryside drive and lunch in route. We arrived at 3PM as planned, toured the castle and had a snack as we waited until 6PM. However, we failed to plan for tidal waters. The water was already low when we arrived and would disappear at low tide around 7PM. In addition, we had zero light, just mushy, gray skies. Sadly, we also had a […]
While we didn’t originally have the Titanic Experience on our to-do list with the wedding dress, when Stewart at the Guinness Storehouse suggested it would make a great shoot we reached out to them. They were very enthusiastic about our coming so we made it our first stop. Titanic is one of Jennifer’s favorite movies. For me, the technical aspects of why the luxury liner sunk and the challenges associated with its rediscovery and recovery have fascinated me for years. The Titanic Experience which opened four years ago does a wonderful job satisfying all facets of interest in the titanic in a wonderfully immersive way. Below is just one of the many exhibits. This one surrounds you with three walls of video to take you virtual walkthrough of the historic ship. Another great exhibit takes you with a floor view of the explore the wreck of the Titanic as the underwater submersible would have seen it 12,500′ (3,800 meters) below sea level. We were too tired to wait for blue light and photograph the building properly, but we did snap a shot from above so show you the amazing internal architecture. The endless amount of detail was overloading in an […]
Next we headed north to Northern Ireland, country #34 and the Coastal Causeway Route. We stayed at a wonderful bed and breakfast called Wanderin Heights. It was run by the sweetest older woman who made breakfast and all your time there feel like you were visiting you dear, sweet grandmother. Our reservation was completely messed up, not her fault, and she fixed everything including giving us the best room in the house. Complete with an ocean view. We had a busy agenda that was shortened when we saw scaffolding over the Dunluce Castle. Still there was plenty to do. We spent a day or so scouting our locations and the best time of day to do each shoot. Sadly, it rained a lot. Like most of the day every day. So we had to balance light with the weather forecast. First up, was an early morning shoot at the Dark Hedges (also known as the King’s Road in Game of Thrones). Unfortunately for us, getting morning light this far north in the summer meant getting up at 4:30 AM and hitting the road immediately. We had a difficult time deciding which shot we liked the best, so please help us by voting […]
Going into our trip, the Cliffs of Moher were certainly one of the most anticipated and challenging photo shoots. To find a great location without hoards of people and the proper light was going to be difficult. Looking at the weather forecast we knew the evening we arrived was out best and possibly only chance to get decent lighting. Apparently it rains a lot in Ireland. A lot! On our way we had a few challenges. The roads out of Dublin were reasonably wide and well paved, however as we got closer to the cliffs, the roads became unforgiving, literally. It was hard enough driving on the wrong side of the road, but when there were centimeters of space on either side of the car. Next thing we knew, we blew a tire. Spare you ask, yes, but there were funky caps over the lug nuts and we sat puzzled and called for help. All the while, our precious light was mocking us. Perfect skies, but for how long? Fortunately, we figured it out, swapped on the donut and frighteningly putted down the road. If it was bad before, it was far worse on a donut. We eventually arrived at the Elements B&B with the sun […]
Before marrying Jennifer, I had the opportunity to visit Dublin, Ireland 4 times for the World’s Friendliest Marathon when I coached for the Leukemia Society. It’s odd to have visited a country/city for the 5th time, but since Jennifer had not been to Ireland we decided to go along with our friend Mike who traveled with us to Jordan. While Dublin is known for many things, it is the home of my favorite beer, Guinness. While one might say I am biased by the creamy goodness in a glass, both Jennifer and Mike were notably impressed by the seven story experience at the Guinness Storehouse. Indeed, even I was blown away by the upgrades to the tour. Guinness was kind enough to allow us early entry and provide an escort to help us get the photos we wanted. We were met at 9AM by Stewart, who enthusiastically embraced our challenges. Our first, attempt was the dimly lit, majestic waterfall which presented many lighting challenges. Stewart watched and Mike and I set up and adjusted multiple remote flashes to capture Jennifer, the dress and the waterfall in one click. Many clicks later, we got our keeper just as the hordes of people […]
Once every decade or so the sun, moon and stars align and Jennifer and my spring breaks fall on the same week. This was that year. Unlike many of our far out adventures, we spent the week participating in a relatively tame cruise through the Caribbean. The best part of the trip was spending time with our extended family. Yes, it is possible to travel with family, even in-laws, and all have a great time. We often met for breakfast and always met for dinner. In between, we explored and of course had the dress in hand. This was our second trip with Holland America and we highly recommend them as a cruise line. The food was great, the staff very friendly and helpful, rooms were clean and reasonably spacious, and the selection of excursions was extensive enough to give us some options for interesting photo shoots. Our first was swimming, playing and kissing wild stingrays. The excursion started just off the boat where we were walked over to a smaller boat. First, we headed out to the reef for a bit of snorkeling. Given that we were getting wet anyway and we’ve had plenty of underwater scuba shots previously, […]
After 1,500 miles of driving (3,000 if you consider the round trip) we came home and had to do one more photo shoot. Our neighbor from across the lake, Amber Merefield, has the best Christmas (yes the local Jewish man refers to it as Christmas 😉 display in all of Medford, maybe all of NJ. This is the last year for the display and Amber was kind enough to have us do a shoot. Coincidently, Fox News showed up and did a dual interview, but then said they want us to do a separate interview. Perhaps for Valentines Day. Until then, Enjoy photo shoot 229, Amber’s Christmas Lights!
For something a little different, we drove down to Key West this Christmas with Munson. We had many breaks on the way down, stopping with family, but also to charge our electric car. Driving to the southern most tip of the USA in an electric car was full of highlights both good and bad. You can read about them on our Tesla blog if you like. Our first stop was Robbie’s Marina in Islamorada Shortly after, we arrived at the Gates Hotel. We originally had booked a room using Flip Key and got totally screwed when they cancelled our fully paid room less than a month prior to our dates. Given that we were traveling on the busiest week of the season and with a 50+ pound dog our options were limited. We rebooked at a dumpy, way-overpriced Holiday Inn Express for way too much money. However, on Cyber Monday I found a flash sale for the Gates Hotel. It looked gorgeous and was not more expensive so we cancelled the Holiday in and upgraded to the Gates. We arrived at noon and they let us check in early. We were not disappointed. Not only did the rooms and décor live […]
Get all three books for $25 + $5 S&H. That’s the original One Dress, One Woman, One World hardcover, Jennifer’s new memoir When it Clicks, and the companion smaller full color photo book also called When it Click. Deals are good thru December 1st.
Given our car issues we decided to book a second night at the airport hotel (originally we planned just one for our flight). From there we figured we would take a train to Slovakia. In one way, this was our one big mistake of the trip (Not that we had much of a choice). Cheap, yes. Location, yes. Everything else a big no. Noisy, smoky, cruddy, and exactly what you’d expect from an airport hotel. However, we weren’t doing much there other than sleeping so we made the best of it. Also, we grossly underestimated how long it would take to get back to Vienna. What should have been a 5 ½ hour drive turned into a 10 hour, four border-crossing ordeal. So in some ways we were lucky we didn’t add a fifth crossing into Slovakia. We had a crappy dinner at a local restaurant and crashed for the night. The next day we headed to the train station to navigate our way to Slovenia. We purchased the tickets from a machine without a hitch, but figuring out the right way to go was problematic. Either option seemed to get us close, but not there without some level of […]
We were sad to leave Croatia and Carlo’s hospitality, but excited for our next stop, Bosnia. It wasn’t on our original itinerary, but it was only about 10 miles out of the way. How could we pass up the opportunity to see a country we normally wouldn’t have a chance to experience? Our jubilation ended quickly though, because as we crossed the border, the guard asked for the car’s registration, which turned out to be expired. We were both at a loss for words. What do you do now? The guard repeated to us, “It’s expired.” We gave him a dumbfounded look. Really, what are we supposed to do? He directed us to a building and said buy one there. OK, not the end of the world, but when I headed in no one spoke English. I held up the registration. “No here,” was the response. I tried a few more doors, but had no success. So we went back to the guard, got the look, and he waved us on. Fortunately, it was only a few miles to the hotel. However, we hadn’t listed Bosnia as a country we were visiting so we didn’t know the ramifications if we […]
Croatia was our next stop. Pictures of Plitvice National Park drew us to the heart of Croatia and was our only planned stop in the country. Originally, we hoped to hit Dubrovnik, but the thought of a 9 hour drive back to Vienna deterred us. Instead, we planned four days staying at the Plitvice Lodge so we could explore every nook and cranny of the park and make sure we shot during the best light and hopefully the least crowds. Our ordeal started when trying to find the lodge. The GPS took us to the Plitvice Hotel. Strike one. The receptionist pointed us in the right direction and said we were about 5K away. After driving 4K we stopped and asked again. We were pointed in the same direction and given exactly the same directions and told we were still 5K away from the lodge. At this point we plugged the lat and long into the GPS. PAIN! It said we were an hour and a half away. So we trusted the 2nd set of directions and continued on. We found the supposed turn by the blue bridge and were dumped into no man’s land. After winding around for a […]
Next we headed to the postcard perfect Lake Bled. Expecting a tourist trap, we found nothing of the sort. The crystal clear greenish-blue lake was 6 kilometers around and feature the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria planted on an island in the middle of the lake, the Castle Bled sitting high above, and another quaint church at the foot of Castle Bled. The water was clearer than any natural body of fresh-water we’ve seen. You could see the fish, fallen trees, and plant life right to the lake bottom. We stayed at the Hotel Jadran, a vine crusted hotel with views of Lake Bled. Although, we didn’t pay for the balcony rooms facing the lake we got one of the rooms with a window view. The hotel was basic, but we were paying ~$65 euro a night during peak season. We quickly went to work and explored the circumference of the lake for all vantage points. We decided to focus on shooting the castle and trying a night shot with Jennifer in a row boat. Besides the technical challenges, there were logistics to work out. After walking around the entire lake, everyone had the same schedule for boat […]