On Becoming a Resident Artist at The Art League of Long Island

It’s OFFICIAL, yo.

Note: The views expressed on this blog are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Art League.

Whoa, what a WHIRLWIND of a Summer! I have been extremely busy, and for freelance photographers like me, “busy” is good ;)

As much as I love shooting portrait sessions, this summer brings a new and different opportunity that has revitalized my photography practice: I have been selected as one of 6 “Resident Artists” at The Art League of Long Island in Huntington! This award is particularly special, as this is the first time ever that the ALLI has awarded Resident Artist Memberships and, based on the success of our experiences during this coming year, the ALLI might make this program a recurring annual opportunity! 

We are the guinea pigs…and let’s just say this RAM Program offers some delectable little food pellets: 50 hours of free classes per semester, access to the Lorraine Graves Grace Memorial Library (the largest art library on Long Island), as well as use of Open Studios to make new work and collaborate with other artists.

Really, my favorite aspect of being a Resident Artist is the COMMUNITY. Through ALLI events and monthly volunteer opportunities, I am meeting and connecting with so many creatives whom I otherwise might never have encountered. 

(Most of) the RA Crew: Craig, Adrienne :), Andrea (our fearless leader / Arts Education Program Coordinator), Angeli, Diane, & Simon (Not pictured: Beth)

Staying COOL at Art in the Park: Michael, Adrienne, Charlee (ALLI Executive Director), Bobbie (Director of Operations & Events Coordinator), & Simon

Though I have only been a RA at the ALLI for a couple of months, I am already feeling connected, revitalized, and inspired to make new work. I have taken one class so far (Mixed Media with Carole Jay: highly recommend!), and I have several more classes coming up this summer. 

Right now, the biggest change is that I have started a NEW PHOTO SERIES (working title: “Cover Me”), and I am in the process of seeing what that series will become: 

Vintage magazines and dried foodstuffs. That’s all I can tell you for now ;)

I am also working on building a *separate* website for my creative/fine art work…a place to showcase my personal work (like my new series)…so stay tuned for that!



Baby E’s 1st Birthday CAKE SMASH!

One happy, messy baby!

Yesterday, I did a super-fun 1st birthday cake-smash session for Little E! We shot at her house, and I handled all the set-up and clean-up. Mom, Grandma, and Grandpa helped during the session and cheered Little E. on when she was unsure what to do :)

This was actually my FIRST cake-smash session ever, and I started preparing for the session WEEKS in advance by custom-painting a backdrop, building a DIY log cake-stand (for less than $20), and collaborating with E’s mommy about the cake colors (E’s mommy baked the cake from scratch, and iced it right on the cake-stand…she’s such a pro!)

Mom wanted a camping-themed session, inspired by New Deal-era National Park Service brochures… I hand-painted this backdrop using some visual references I found online as inspiration!

The frosting had a coconut oil base…YUM :)

Like most Little Ones, E. was kinda apprehensive about smashing the cake at first–but she got messy and silly pretty fast!

We wrapped up when she started to seem sleepy, and I simply rolled up the backdrop and discarded it for easy clean up.

All in all: a SMASHING-good time!



Black FoamCore: Food Photographer’s Best Friend

One of the most powerful tools for food- and product-photography is available at Dollar Tree, is light and portable, and is with me at all times in the back seat of my car…

Yes, I’m talking about black foamcore.

Whenever I am at Dollar Tree, I stock up on black and white foamcore sheets to take with me on restaurant shoots. The white pieces can create a clean white background or be used as reflectors, and the black pieces make excellent backdrops, as well as functioning as a ”black flag” when manipulating light and shadow.

Shooting on-location in restaurants is always a wildcard: I never know whether I am about to enter a 5-star establishment, or whether I will be stuck in a dirty-deli, shooting out the backdoor of the kitchen on a milk crate.

Fortunately with my foamy friend, I am always ready for any assignment…

Using Format