Heads Up Tioga – November 1st & 2nd in Owego!

Hey, Tioga County residents! Don’t miss this amazing event on November 2nd and November 3rd! The Camera’s Eye will be shooting portraits to be displayed and for sale as posters throughout downtown Owego during the month of December. All proceeds benefit the Tioga County United Way! Just bring $20 and your best smile. You’ll walk away with a hard copy and a digital file to show your community pride all over social media!

Thank you to our co-hosts: Farmer Brown’s Marketplace, Fuddy Duddy’s, Tom Ash Insurance, Tioga Tourism, The United Way, and The Tioga Arts Council! We are so thrilled to be supporting our local United Way and giving everyone a chance to be a part of the Tioga County community.

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Check out the Heads Up Tioga event page on Facebook! And if you’re a client of The Camera’s Eye from Tioga County, you KNOW I would love to see you again! Mark your calendars for this Friday and Saturday, and get ready to be the face of Tioga County!

 

Owego Custom Planting Auction This Week!

As the owner of The Camera’s Eye, I find networking with business owners vital to thriving in small upstate NY!  Last week, I shared my love of gardening with the owners of the soon-to-open Belva Lockwood Inn and scored a fun gardening project that exploded with creativity and opportunity for two other local shops! Read through to learn how THIS WEEK you can own a piece of our project and support The United Way at the same time 🙂
Belva Lockwood Inn by The Camera's Eye, Owego NY
Locals Julie and Ike Loveless purchased a dilapidated building at 249 Front St. Owego, NY and gained more than they bargained for with both a spot on the hit HGTV television show House Hunters AND a striking piece of history from the 1800s.

Belva Lockwood Inn by The Camera's Eye, Owego NY

When Julie asked me to “fancy up” the half-torn-down porch for an official tour by travel bloggers converging for an international TBEX conference in Corning NY, I was “game on!” I drew in Logan Keeney, the new owner of Farmer Brown’s Marketplace, not only because his flowers adorn my property; his brother-in-law designer, Adam Coney, also created a stunning arrangement across the street from my studio that I used as a photo backdrop all summer!

Belva Lockwood Inn by The Camera's Eye, Owego NY

Adam wanted to incorporate a shabby chic style to match the re-purposing of the old house, so off I went to Rusty and Jewel to beg owner Lisa Bystrak for wares that could create the look Adam desired.

#belikebelva, #belvalockwoodinn, #owego, NY, #IloveNewYork, #hgtv, #TheCameraseye
Adam named the custom arrangements “A Cinderella Story” because they literally came to life in one night! The event went off fantastically, and construction at the Inn is now back in full force.  Logan and I can’t handle seeing the Cinderella arrangements become covered in deck stain and wood-working dust, so we’ve decided to auction them off on Facebook with proceeds benefiting the United Way! Bidding is Friday and Saturday, September 28th and 29th – check out our sneak peaks all week!
#myflextbex, #belikebelva, #belvalockwoodinn, #owego, NY, #IloveNewYork, #TheCameraseye
Belva Lockwood Inn by The Camera's Eye, Owego NY

The Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY

I recently spent a weekend at The Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY with two of my FAVE local Owego artisans – Lisa Bystrak of Lisa B. Contemporary Art and Chris Knickerbocker of Old Souls Home!

Some wares from Lisa B:

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And the lovely Chris Knickerbocker, recently featured in the local news:

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These two ladies filled out the applications for the Country Living Fair as a way to challenge each other and up their motivation. They made their applications as crazy and unique as possible, and it seems to have worked – they were both accepted to take part in the fair in Rhinebeck! I tagged along to photograph all sorts of art and antiques, and to meet awesome creative folk!

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Both ladies bubble over with excitement and pride when talking about their experience at the Country Living Fair. It was a huge professional affirmation of their talents. There’s nothing like being supported and uplifted by other artisans with the same interests! It was a major instance of getting a foot in the door professionally, and it lets both ladies “take [themselves] a little more seriously” as artists.

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The fair features about 200 vendors from all over the country – a mix of artisans and those who purchase goods for a store, such as antiques dealers.
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So let me introduce you to a few of them! Striking Swedish country antiques from Jeffree Turney at Lone Ranger Antiques, South Florida/Sweden:

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Heart of Ohio Antique Center. Abbey Knight came all the way from Springfield, OH to showcase the goodies she buys and sells all over the country!

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GORGEOUS jewelry from Mary DeMarco /La Contessa, based in Baltimore.

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Stunning handmade jewelry from Andrea Lithgow / Dandy Craft, down in Texas!

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Meet Heidi from Hi Ho Home Market in Gardiner, NY:

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Beautiful (and often hilarious) fabric collage pieces by Sue Handman:

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The Camera’s Eye at the Mud Mountain Rock and Run 5K

I was on such a high after shooting the Mud Mountain Rock and Run 5K last month! Time to finally share some photos 🙂

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The Run is crazy, crazy fun….and funny at the same time. You see all kinds of runners – those who take it seriously, those who are there to laugh and maybe avoid some of the nastier obstacles, and a non-competitive group who could walk and have fun!

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The obstacles aren’t impossible, but they are HARD. I was glad to be behind the camera rather than neck high in mud, like some of the runners.

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At the end of the day, it’s an awesome cause. The money raised went to the Family Enrichment Network. All the runners get to wash off with hoses and enjoy some yummy food and great music. There’s a very communal atmosphere, where everyone gathers with friends at picnic tables.

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I get so jazzed by the energy at events like the Mud Mountain Rock and Run, and it’s really when I’m shooting something like this that I’m at my BEST!

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A Knight for a Princess 2015!

The Camera’s Eye recently had one of our FAVORITE yearly events to shoot – A Knight for a Princess at The Epiphany School in Sayre, PA! We had a blast last year, and this year was no different…

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I’ve been photographing A Knight for a Princess every year that it’s been around, and I always love seeing these ladies dressed up with their dads. Hard to believe that these ladies are going to be contenders for “Best Dressed” at prom in a few years!

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Some other people who make the magic happen at The Camera’s Eye – my mom (my #1 money-maker) and my assistant Patrick…

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…and my long-time friend Jason, wearer of AWESOME shoes and subject of hilarious photographs 🙂

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Of course, none of this would be possible without the organization and support of Epiphany’s AMAZING Sister Anne Quigley!

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It’s easy to tell how much everyone appreciates having A Knight for a Princess around, year after year.

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For the full gallery of candids, head over to the proofing page on our new and spiffy website! Password for viewing is Knight15.

Back to the Garden: The Camera’s Eye and VINES

With all the things to love about summer in the Southern Tier, one of my favorites has to be gardening. I have 13 (!) of my own garden plots at home and, despite a constant war with slugs, deer, and other foes, I love cultivating my own vegetables and flowers! That’s why I was so excited to learn more about VINES, a community gardening and education group in the city of Binghamton. My social media manager has a VINES garden plot, and invited me to a Saturday morning “work party” so I could learn more.

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The work party was at the Corbett Avenue garden in Binghamton’s south side, a site that’s been going strong for five years now. Members sign up to rent a plot for the season at a garden location of their choosing. The raised beds are already built and the soil is already cultivated – all that’s left to do is start growing!

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Dick Andrus, a professor at Binghamton University, manages the site. He gave me the grand tour before the everyone arrived, starting with a spot of particular pride – the newly developed compost pile.

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As I chatted with members and wandered between the beds to snap photos, it was clear that the name “VINES” was more than appropriate. There were vines EVERYWHERE!

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Yes, some of them were weeds, which the garden members were taking to task….

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…but many hinted at deliciousness yet to come!

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Even though the program is well established – and obviously popular…look at the turnout at 9 am on a Saturday to pull weeds! – it was a nice reminder that improvement, growth, and change is always possible. The group added a long-awaited official VINES sign to the front gate while I was there.

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VINES does a lot more than just provide gardening space for its members. At their Urban Farm, volunteers grow food that goes out to farm share subscribers. It’s also available for sale at the weekly Binghamton farmer’s market (9-2 on Fridays in downtown Binghamton).

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In addition, VINES hosts numerous events and workshops that anyone in the community can attend for free. Upcoming events include “Season Extension on a Budget” on August 16th, “Freezing Vegetables” on August 20th, and a “Lemonade in the Garden” social event at Corbett Avenue on August 27th.

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A big thank you to VINES for all the work they do for the community, and for letting The Camera’s Eye shoot some wonderful summer images!

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A Knight for a Princess at The Epiphany School

A few weeks ago, The Camera’s Eye photographed an event that is near and dear to my heart. Every spring, The Epiphany School in Sayre, PA, holds an event called “A Knight for a Princess.” And no, that’s not a misspelling – it does take place at night, but it is also an event full of royal luxury! Velvet ropes, a drawbridge, food almost too pretty to eat…I’ll let the pictures tell the tale:

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Girls in grades K-8 attend the event with their fathers, their effective knights for the evening – and beyond. More than just a night out, the event is devoted to the idea that your dad is the one who shows you how men should treat you right. These lovely ladies and their dads dressed to match the part – tiaras, corsages, the whole nine yards:

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Could these guys be any prouder of their girls? I’ve been photographing this event for all eight years of its existence, back when it started with first-graders. That makes this year especially poignant, since some of the beautiful young ladies graduating from eighth grade were also in attendance eight years ago – and arrived in high style this year!

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A few of them spoke about what the event means to them, and they were NOT shy about sharing what they learned. One explained that going to this dance every year with her dad definitely raised her standards. Another added that whoever it she ends up with, he “has to be able to dance.”  Good life lesson, don’t you think?

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A big thank you to Sister Anne Quigley and the rest of the organizers and participants for letting me share in this event year after year! I can’t get over how much everyone involved loves being there.
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It’s always fun to dress up for any reason but what I love about “A Knight for a Princess” is that these girls and their dads are spending time together, and everyone truly loves it!

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First Communion at The Church of the Epiphany

Springtime is here! The flowers are finally starting to bloom and we are packed with events to photograph – proms, senior sessions and, of course, The First Holy Communion at The Church of the Epiphany in Sayre, PA. On the first Saturday of each May, the children of Epiphany Parish receive the sacrament of First Communion, and I’ve had the honor of photographing candids and portraits for them for several years now.Card Front

This year, 18 children celebrated this sacrament, a mix of second graders from The Epiphany School and children from public school who are a part of the Sunday religious education program, taught by parent volunteers John and Cathy Moliski.

The Camera's Eye Studio

Holy Communion is a huge milestone for families and kids alike. Dressed all in white, the children receive the Body of Christ for the first time, along with a special set of rosary beads, traditionally handed down from a relative.  At The Church of the Epiphany, this event is organized by Sister Anne Quigley, who has taught for over 25 years at The Epiphany School, and presided over by Reverend Andrew Hvozdovic, who celebrated his Silver Anniversary last year. Clearly, we are a set of seasoned veterans here. I still have my own set of rosary beads from my First Communion at this same church, along with a tiny crystal set given to me by my aunt!

The Camera's Eye Studio

The Camera's Eye Studio

The Camera's Eye Studio

The Camera's Eye Studio

The Camera's Eye Studio

In addition to portraits, The Camera’s Eye offers customized necklaces and personalized thank you cards to commemorate this special day.

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For even more photos, check out the candids courtesy of Dr. Rick Rilloraza, one of the proud parents!

The Camera’s Eye is looking forward to more events celebrating growth, change, and renewal as we dive into spring and summer!

Athens ArtsFest This Weekend!

It may be Wednesday, but it’s never too early to ask – what do you have on tap for the weekend? I’m looking forward to the Athens ArtsFest in Athens, PA! There will be over 175 booths, featuring artisans who work with clay, fabric, metal – well, pretty much everything! The Camera’s Eye won’t have a booth there this year, but check out our inspired setup from 2011:

My trustworthy assistant Patrick hangs wall art in the "living room"

My trustworthy assistant Patrick hangs wall art in the “living room”

Straight chillin'

Straight chillin’

A couch – why not? The motto we used “Are Your Walls Naked?” is still one that we work to at The Camera’s Eye. It also marks the point where I shifted my focus from simply creating prints to creating full-on wall art.

Naked wall? How embarrassing!

Naked wall? How embarrassing!

Right at home!

Right at home!

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Check out the festival this weekend, May 3rd-4th. Who knows what you’ll find to adorn your home!