Please enjoy my previously posted April Newsletter (including a special offer) by clicking here!
If you’re the parent of a high school senior, you probably know about the long-standing tradition of creating a yearbook memory page for your student. It’s a wonderful way to pay tribute to your senior, and it’s also a wonderful way for the yearbook to offset some of its production expenses!
If you are planning to design the ad yourself, BRAVO…I salute you! But if you are filled with terror at the prospect, then I have the perfect solution for you….ME! I love designing yearbook pages, and I have created over 200 of them in the past 3 years!
The process is simple – you select the message and photos that you’d like to use, and I’ll do all the rest. If you’d like a little more control, you can choose the colors, fonts and embellishments, too. Whatever works for you, works for me! My job is to create a unique and valued tribute for your child to be remembered by in their yearbook. I’ve designed ads for Wellesley High School, Dana Hall, Belmont Hill, Rivers, Beaver and Milton, and I look forward to designing one for you! Some yearbooks have deadlines in early December and some in January and February, but whatever your deadline, I would love to help. Here’s what some of my past clients have had to say…
“Beth is a gifted designer whose creativity & patience make her a dream to work with. She exceeded expectations with our yearbook ad. Looking forward to working with her again in the future.” Maura G, Wellesley, MA
“I’m clueless when it comes to designing anything on the computer. A friend told me about Beth. What a gift. Beth not only helped design my “parent page” for my son’s senior yearbook, she helped create his graduation party invitation. Both were fabulous. The best part however was working with Beth. She is a perfectionist; professional, creative, quick and most of all a joy to work with.” Liz G, Wellesley, MA
“Beth is a dream to work with–she is creative, efficient, impressive, professional and truly saved me a ton of time during this very busy senior year. When I contacted Beth about the senior yearbook piece, I was desperate–the due date was near, and although I had selected my daughter’s photos and some captions for the yearbook, there was no way I was going to be able to put these together in any dignified way. I contacted Beth and within hours–HOURS–I had the most gorgeous photo spread for the yearbook. Beth, thank you for your talents and for your time! I feel so lucky to have found you!” R. Elwy, Wellesley, MA
Please take a look at my website and be in touch! I’d love to hear from you…
I had a rare opportunity yesterday to watch someone create extraordinary art and provide healing at the same time. I was only 2 miles from home, and for 30 minutes I watched in silence as two monks delicately filtered colored sand particles into an elaborate and complex mandala pattern. It was gorgeous, mindful and like nothing I have ever seen.
Until yesterday morning, I had never heard of Sand Mandalas or the Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca, New York, but thanks to Wicked Local, I found out about them just in time. At Wellesley College’s Davis Museum, over the course of three weeks, two Tibetan monks from the Namgyal Monastery have been creating a mandala made entirely of colored sand that has healing powers for those suffering from mental or physical afflictions. The belief is that just by seeing this mandala the healing can occur because of the deep subconscious visual impression that it leaves. And I must say, I felt the energy.
I watched in silence (with camera in hand) as they delicately tapped sand in a fine stream onto a large table covered in the most intricate and colorful design I have ever witnessed. Spectators watched in fascination as the monks quietly selected the perfect color and proceeded to tap/vibrate two metal ‘siphons’ together so a focused stream of sand fell to exactly the right place on the design matrix. While one monk tapped, the other “carved” through the design with a pencil, pushing sand in one way or the other to further hone the pattern. I witnessed a peaceful concentration and laser focus like I have not witnessed before.
As for the mandala’s healing powers, as if the mesmerizing design wasn’t enough for me, the silence and penetrating “sssszzzsssszzzzs” sound of the metal siphons rubbing together made me feel about as zen as I’ve felt in months. I highly recommend a visit to the Davis Museum in the next 2 days while they finalize the mandala. On Wednesday, October 11th, they will symbolically complete the process by depositing the sand into Lake Waban. ⌛️
My daughters are well past high school now, and how I miss the rhythm of it. Pickups, drop offs, college visits, deadlines and everything in between. Those years were so alive and full of connection. So now, when I am asked to photograph a high school senior, it’s like grabbing just a tiny bit of that electricity and energy again…. and I love it.
My favorite time of day for portrait photography is during the late afternoon when the sun is deliciously kind to skin tones and foliage. It’s called the ” Golden Hour” and for good reason, as it bathes the environment with warm tones and a beautiful natural glow.
My favorite location is anywhere outdoors that provides open shade and late afternoon reflections. I have learned to ‘hunt for the light’ and I know that finding it is a key to great portrait.
I have also found that the key to a great portrait is a relaxed senior, and that as much as good light matters, feeling relaxed and at ease matters more than anything.
So, it’s a handy thing that I love connecting with people, and in this case, high school seniors who have so much ahead of them and so many stories within them. I love learning about their lives and what fills their worlds. From football quarterbacks to swimmers and photographers, I love them all and treasure the opportunity to hear from and capture the “real” them. Their future dreams, weekend plans and honest stories are fascinating, important and real.
The resulting portraits bring a smile to my face and one to the student and their parents as they remember that late afternoon photo session during their high school senior year. My job is to make that memory count, and I love every moment of doing it.
To schedule a portrait session for your senior or to see more of my senior portrait work, please visit my website at http://www.photoptimist.com.
Event photography is a blast. You never quite know what to expect, and the energy is fabulous. Although I started my photography business doing only portrait sessions, after photographing my first event, I was hooked!
A bit of a back story on why this may be so….I spent nine years in capital equipment sales and those nine years were filled with a lot of “firsts.” First sales call, first sales meeting, first lost sale, first won sale, first equipment failure in front of a chief decision maker…you get the picture. A LOT of firsts. The night before every sales call was filled with a mix of preparation and anxiety, and each day was filled with knowing new people and new environments, and I loved the energy it filled me with. Connection became my calling and fed my heart and soul as I sold hematology equipment throughout New England. I saw myself as a problem solver and I prided myself on making people’s lives easier because of my equipment. What to some might have looked like ‘just a sales job’, was something entirely different to me, because I loved connecting with my customers. Finding out what they loved and what mattered most to them was my joy and lead to many wonderful friendships and sales. Sales was not my focus, connection was.
Flash forward to my photography business and what has driven my energy….yes, I love the technology and the light, but what truly drives me is the people. Connecting with people because of my photography has been such a joy. And through an event, you come to meet so many people doing what they love to do while they are connecting with those they love doing it with. It’s like speed dating 20-100 people at a time, and it’s a perfect match for my personality. The added bonus is solving the event-giver’s ‘problem’ of how to capture the memories and yet still enjoy the party…click! I completely love my portrait business and getting to know the families, teens and adults who I have the privilege of photographing, and I am happy to say, that I also love my event photography and being a part of the memories, joy and connection that is the wonderful by-product of group gatherings.
So, there you have it, I’ve once again found a career for myself that thrives on firsts, and I’ll be the first to say…I absolutely love it! 💕
These photos are all from a recent event I photographed for the Spear family at Woodland Golf Club. I so enjoyed capturing their ebullient and beautiful daughter, Jenny, at her high school graduation party. Her gorgeous and fun-loving friends surrounded her in celebrating this important milestone, and their willingness to ham it up for the camera was a pleasure. It was a non-stop 3 hour event full of gathering and re-arranging the guests in multiple poses and settings, and we all had a great time doing it.
“We contracted Beth to take informal and formal pictures at our daughter’s graduation party. The girls loved having their pictures taken and Beth made them feel so comfortable and captured unposed moments that ended up being all of our favorites. Beth was able to gather groups together without being intrusive or taking too much time. I would highly recommend Beth for any occasion!”
Linda Spear, Wellesley, MA
Why am I doing it anyway?
To be honest, I started with the end in mind, and although I love a good challenge, my goal was simple….to create a book that combines my love of photography with my life-long obsession with quotable wisdom…and what easier way to do it than one day at a time.
I’ve been collecting my favorite quotes since I was about 13 years old. Some of them came to me from my friends, some came from Readers Digest (thank you Quotable Quotes), some came from music lyrics (thank you Dan Fogelberg), others came from required reading (thank you Hermann Hesse) and many came from Bartlett’s Quotations.
As a teen, I treasured these bits of truth and steadfastly journaled them into a beautiful cloth-bound book. Over time though, I began to haphazardly stuff the clippings into the back of it until it would no longer close. What I had created, however, became a personal ‘quote-bible’ which I referred to frequently for support, wisdom and guidance. As the years passed and technology evolved, I began to log these bits of wisdom onto my computer and organize them by genre….Acceptance, Joy, Life, Parenting, Resilience, etc. and now, thanks to Google, at the touch of a button I can access an endless array of them in seconds. Continue reading →
This photo session was beautiful and bittersweet. I was asked to capture the close relationship between one of my senior portrait customers and her precious dog who was battling an aggressive cancer. We met at their home after school one sunny spring afternoon, and what followed were some of the funniest, sweetest and most poignant moments between Bruce and his girl, Kate.
The funny moments came thanks to the 3 workers from National Grid who were jack-hammering right outside the window where we were shooting. Poor Bruce – the ever dutiful family watchdog – didn’t know whether to bark, whine or run for cover. Thankfully, he hung in there and settled into some beautiful poses with Kate, and what unfolded were the sweet and poignant moments that they had hoped for. RIP dear Bruce…you will be missed.