I GOT TAGGED - FINALLY!

If your a photographer and your reading my blog, you probably already know about the tag game thats going around.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'll tell you.  There is a tag game going around. 

Not sure where it started but photographers are tagging other photographers via blog sites, and they must tell 8 things about themselves otherwise not known, and then tag 8 other photographers.  I was tagged twice, by Margaret Singer & Amanda Harris, two great photographers.

Here goes!

1)  I've been on Larry King Live.  It was the episode with Larry Birkhead and Anna Nicole's daughter Dannielynn.  Interested?  Click here to watch!

2)  I have been working at the same restaurant for over six years!  (I am 20 - that's a long time).  It's a family owned joint in Newton called Cabot's.  We are 50's style and have ice cream too.  (I blame the scooping for my tendinitis).  There actually aren't many places around who are willing to hire high schoolers, so when I turned 14, off to Cabot's it was.  My sister (now a nurse at Mass General) had her first job here too.  It's a great place to work instead of a chain like cvs or something.  Plus I think everyone should wait tables at some point in their lives, for obvious reasons.

3)  I have a twin.  Sorta.  There is a small hardware store not far from my house, and one of the guys who works there apparently looks JUST LIKE ME!  I shouldn't say apparently, I've actually discussed this with him, and yes, we do sorta look a-like.  At least 25 times over the past 6 years working at Cabot's, someone has said to me "Do you work at the hardware store??" or, "Do you have a brother at the hardware store??".  He reports that customers at his store frequently ask him about "the kid at Cabot's"!  One of these days I am going to get a picture of us together so I can post it!

4)  I <3 NYC.  My first visit to the Big Apple was around 94' with the fam.  Since then I've been back a dozen or so times.  Going there is actually not what makes me love it so much.  I guess I am just intrigued by the history of it.  My thesis on the race to build the tallest New York skyscraper in the 30's won first place junior year...  I also love old photos of the city.  After 9/11 I slowly realized that everything isn't always going to be here, or look the same.  This fueled my desire to photograph things.  It also started my NYC/WTC collection which includes all kinds of artifacts and memorabilia.  I also buy negatives and slides of the WTC/NYC in hopes of some day publishing a book of other people's photos.

5)  I've never eaten a whole tomato.  I love broccoli and carrots, but tomatoes gross me out!  (As do onions and pickles and mustard... Ahhhhh!)

6)  I actually enjoy going to the doctors/dentist...  I love the smell, ambiance, and personal attention there.  I feel lucky to live in Boston for the chance that someday I will need to be hospitalized.  We have some of the best in the country!  HOW WEIRD AM I!!??

7)  I think my second calling in life is Real Estate.  Lately those house-flipping shows have really gotten my attention.  If you don't watch them, you must start.  My favorites are "Flipping Out" and "The Real Estate Pros".  The guy on flipping out is neurotic and loony, however, I really appreciate his work.  He spends a lot of money on quality renovations that take time.  I wasn't brought up to do things quick and easy (see our home renovation) rather, I like things done right. 

8)  I'm getting a new toy!  MichaelBlanchard.com will be making its debut in the fall!  It will have one of the best looking blogs in the industry, a gallery stocked with photos, and a gift page featuring a line of frames and some one of a kind art work.  Send me your email address so I can keep you posted!

Now it's your turn lucky 8!  (Actually I did 9, deal!)

1.  The Martins - The personal blog of my amazing web designer Brock and his wife.

2.  Taslim Sidi - Another young Boston photographer!

3.  Tony & Ana Yu - A husband and wife photo team also from Newton.

4.  Heather Kincaid - A California photographer with a great eye.

5.  Heather Owens - A portrait photographer from Maryland who really captures emotion well.

6.  Jessica C. Moritz - A stunning photographer from Malta.

7.  Katie Higginbotham - A Florida photographer who loves "real" smiles!

8.  Michelle Howell - A blog dedicated to unique floral designs out of Kentucky.

9.  Crista Chitwood - A 21 year old from Illinois just doin what she loves!



Visiting Newport

Day trips are often proposed, but rarely executed.  Amanda and I have been talking about going to Newport, Rhode Island for months.  We finally came to a date that worked, and we went!

A boat-fixer-upper place.  Restoration, I think its called?  Yeah, that's it.

Doesn't this make you want to get outside and work in the yard...  Or at least call a landscaper?

Dream on!!

And over to Bellevue!

The street of the Newport Mansions.  I love this street because it's concrete and not asphalt paved.  Some day I want to live on a concrete paved street...  So neurotic!

I hate to associate this with Newport, but while we were walking down the street this disgusting tour bus drove by projecting gasoline into the air for hundreds of feet.  Cars were stopped behind it because they didn't want to get it all over their cars.  This bus was such a piece - that I couldn't even make out the license plate because it was covered in black suit. 

Everywhere I go, I try to leave it a bit nicer then when I came.  Even when this is impossible, I'm still always conscious of myself.  I always try to do my part, whether it be cleaning up after myself at a friends house, or simply taking home a plastic/aluminum can for recycle - instead of throwing in the trash.  That's why it pisses me off to see things like this, which I see a lot it seems like!

...ON TO PRETTIER THINGS!

For some reason this house drew us in.  Small but very elegant.

On the side of the estate.

Million dollar porch.

Heading to the Cliff Walk!

The Cliff Walk has an un-finished part to it...  We made it though!

With my new aviators.

Surfers - In Newport!

Self-timer portrait.  Love this one.

BAD DOG!

The Breakers Mansion. We didn't go in (although I've been before) rather we just walked along the Cliff Walk. We spent a lot of time at the shops, and out to eat, so we no longer felt it was absolutely necessary to go into the mansions. The Cliff Walk was pretty good substitute anyways!

Side gate to the Breakers.

Iron & lock detail. Certainly no Jessica Claire lock!

Me portrait.

I LOVE round trees like this!!



An Afternoon at Grammies

Tater tot came over and spent a day at our house last week.  There was never a dull moment.

Playing the piano with gramps.

Concentrating.

He loves watermelon especially.

He also loves Newton fire fighters.

No clue what she was getting into...

I think he knew something was going to come out eventually.

My sister at the controls.

A little more cautious this time.

That was fun!

Grammie.

Going in for the kill.

I love this one.

Favorite.

Colder than you thought?



Friends of Summer

Summer is almost over.  For everyone else that is!  My fun doesn't end until September 24th...  Anyways, I've been trying to make as many plans as possible before everyone leaves, and August has been fun so far.  In the past week or so I've hung out with my friend Kim a lot...  She has a great pool which I always find myself in (sometimes as late as 2am!).  One night I took over my equipment and we set up some pool shots.  The pool lighting makes photos come out very neat.  Here are some shots:

Meri, Kim & I.

I don't have a remote so every picture required me to get out & dry off before I could set the timer again.  Not fun.

Walking on water, kinda.

I'm holding my underwater digital camera in this shot.  We used it to take pictures, but also to illuminate our faces in the long exposure shots.

Like in this photo.

The flash didn't work here but I still like it.

On Sunday we went to see the Hopper exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts.  It was the last day of the exhibit.

And it was sold out.

But we had tickets!  Photography was not allowed inside the exhibit, and I actually followed the rules.  The show was really great - Hopper was an amazing painter and it was so cool to actually see his famous pieces up close and personal. 

In front of her grandparent's sign.

That night Kim threw a party by the pool.  We had a cake for Naven who happened to be celebrating her birthday - it was very good!

Lighting the candles.

Naven works for Kim's family, she is such an amazing person!  Last year she helped me make a  video for my nutrition class which really helped me out.  You can check it out Here.

Happy Birthday!



A Gift For Their Mom
Last year I shot around 33 senior portraits. I started doing seniors when I was a senior - though the first year they were mostly just for my friends. Every year since I started this, I've been doing more and more kids, and each year, they just get better!

Anyways, one of my seniors from last year called me up to do a group portrait of her with her sisters. It would be for their mom's birthday (hope she doesn't check my blog!). They were lots of fun, and most importantly, willing to try anything I suggested.

Kate, Sarah & Jen.
The sun was coming through the clouds in spurts, so it was go time while we had it!
First time I ever did this but I love it!
An older gentleman was walking by and offered to take a shot of me with the girls. Luckily I was wearing white too!
Don't mess!
I pass this row of massive sunflowers every time I go over my friends house... I always wanted to stop. Finally an excuse!
Traffic!
Those are some tall sunflowers...
Favorite!


The Power of the Internet!

Yesterday turned out to be one of those days where you go for something and you realize that life is about more than just 9-5.  That's because I took off my 9-5 to go meet up with the infamous photographers, Becker & Jessica Claire from California.  Seriously, if you are ever bored, check out their work, it will entertain you for hours. 

I spend so much of my free time checking up on my favorite photographers because I can't tell you just how inspiring they are to me as a young photographer.  [b]ecker & Jess are two of those people who I have come to really admire.  Their entire attitude towards work and play totally agrees with me, and through them I've discovered that it is possible to be in this business and REALLY enjoy it! 

When they announced that they would be in Boston over the weekend, I immediately canceled all of my plans ;)  They were at Boston Beer Works on Saturday, awaiting anyone that wanted to come and say hi.  I ended up not only meeting [b] & Jess, but also 5 other great people from the Boston area, (stalkers like myself).  Needless to say, it really was a very fun evening.

Becker with his crazily recognizable [b] logo!

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Jess, playing with my camera... 

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Becker with Paula, a portrait photographer, and Taz, a really talented everything photographer. 

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The BPD on to you Becker...

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Becker was also nice enough to show me how to use my camera a little better.  He hooked it up with some sweet custom functions, which he tested on me!  I love these photos he took... I may use them on my new website (coming in Sept!).

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Can you believe this guy uses THAT camera!?  I couldn't... haha!

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Jess, Becker & I.

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It was such a nice day to be in Boston...

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By the way, this image is straight out of the camera...  The settings on my camera that Becker left me with are really awesome... and I had no idea it was even possible. 

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After we all departed, my sister met me at Fenway and we tried to get tickets to the game...

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Never wait till the last minute...

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My sister Carol while we waited in line for tickets.

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We usually don't have a problem with her hospital ID but the game was completely sold out... too bad!

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I don't usually do an "after thought", but today I will.  I feel that life is too short to do things by the book.  Well, some things you have to do by the book, but I do think lifes short enough that you should try to take advantage of every opportunity that you can.  Going to meet those guys was very random - but I'm really glad I did, and who knows what may come out of it.  I've noticed that little things can sometimes turn into really great big things, especially when you want them to!  At least in this business, that is 100% true.  Networking and getting out there is SO important, and it's something I'm really going to work on.  If your in the Boston area (or anywhere actually), leave me a comment or send me an email to introduce yourself!  Who knows what it could bring you!




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