The Just Keep Believing (JKB) Foundation in Owego, NY

One of the things I adore about being a professional photographer in the Owego/Apalachin/Binghamton area is getting involved with so many community causes and groups. For the past few years, The Camera’s Eye has been proud to support the Just Keep Believing (JKB) Foundation.

This organization raises money to find a cure for spinal cord injuries, and was started to help Jessica K. Burrell, an Owego Free Academy student-athlete who sustained a spinal cord injury in a car accident in 2008 . It’s near and dear to my heart because I had a chance to take Jess’s senior portraits at Tioga Gardens, post-injury and only shortly after she returned from a rehab center far from this area. Her attitude was, and still is, simply amazing. Just look at the sparkle in her eyes…I love it!

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Every year, The Camera’s Eye supports JKB with gift certificates to auction off throughout their tournament event via gift baskets and raffle tickets. This year, the tournament runs from Thursday June 12th through Saturday June 14th at Owego Free Academy. The proceeds from this year’s tournament will go to The Miami Project, The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, and the Shepherd Center.
Stop by and see us in Owego, and support a great cause!

Senior Photo Sessions at The Camera’s Eye – What to Know

Of course, you’re posing and posting selfies on Facebook and Instagram – but what if you’re not sure what to expect when it comes to a custom senior session at The Camera’s Eye?

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Clothing:

For starters, bring a variety of outfit choices.

If you’ve just vacationed at the beach (I’m jealous!) and you have tanlines, bring some options that won’t show those or wait for some fading. The same applies if you’re at a sports event or tournament – those are classic places to accidentally get sunburned.  Retouching is always free at The Camera’s Eye, but this type costs extra.

Solid colors are usually the way to go, as they’re less distracting than heavy patterns. However, so many seniors have unique clothing that defines who they are. If you have something to say, by all means, say it! – but be “tastefully awesome.” Bring a range of colors – we have a lot of locations with different color themes.

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To make changing and deciding what to wear even easier, think about a few interchangeable clothing pieces that can lead to a whole new outfit. Throw on a scarf, slip on a skirt, change the shoes, and voila!

Wear something that you can move around in. You’re not going to be sitting there primly waiting for the flash bulb to explode – there are tons of locations and pose options, and you need to be able to bend, climb and move around comfortably.

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See this? This is not what we’re going for. (Flickr user robertsharp)

Additionally, wear clothing that covers you in all the right places. Something that’s a little tight or only just the right length might not fit so well once you’re in a fun pose.

Ladies: Your undergarments might be “under,” but that doesn’t mean they’re invisible. Bring bra options that can hide under your trendy shirt style, and remember that anything black underneath a light colored shirt is likely going to show up in your photos.

Guys: Think about socks and shoes if you’re switching from formal pants to shorts.

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Grooming:

Girls:  It can definitely be worth it go to a salon, but make sure that the style is still truly you! Sure, you were stunning at prom – but is that how you always have your hair? If you love to color your hair, do it a week beforehand or so to make sure it comes out the way you like!

Guys:  Similarly, don’t get a new haircut just before your session.  Those first few days after a cut don’t always look like you. Also, make sure you’re freshly shaved!

Extras, extras!

I’m game to chat about ANY props you might want in your photos. Sports equipment, instruments, books, animals – bring it all!

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Glasses often create glare, so think about not wearing them for this shoot. I once had a senior who insisted on wearing glasses… asked for one shot at the end without them. The next time I saw him, he was all about contacts –he’d just never seen himself without glasses before our senior session! All’s to say – who knows how your life will change after a senior session at The Camera’s Eye!
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? – CALL OR contact us via email, Facebook, or Twitter. I use Pinterest as a source of inspiration for my photography sessions, so you can check out my Senior Session Style Ideas and Senior Portrait boards as well!

Traveling for a Wedding Shoot: Or, What to Do With 28 Minutes of Sunlight

At The Camera’s Eye, we LOVE traveling to shoot weddings, something that we started doing in 2009. I guess it’s not a destination wedding for the bride and groom if they live there, but it sure feels like an exciting destination for us! We are headed near Philly this weekend to shoot another wedding at the Brandywine Manor House, which got me thinking about the past weddings we’ve traveled to. The Camera’s Eye has done two weddings in the Allentown area at Lock Ridge Park, one in Scranton, as well as a wedding that sailed away on a boat from Station Square in Pittsburgh! Of course, as far as destinations go, there’s nothing quite like the beach, wedding or not:

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The Camera’s Eye was lucky enough to shoot a wedding in Destin, Florida about two years ago. One of the guests at a previous wedding that we shot closer to home loved our work so much that she flew us down to Florida for her own nuptials.

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The ceremony took place on the beach at sunset, and the reception at a huge multi-family beach house right across the street, named “5 o’Clock Somewhere.” Can’t beat that!

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Of course, we had a wonderful time working this wedding and spending time at the beach. The bride and groom were generous enough to invite us to come to the reception, the house, and to other events throughout the weekend. We usually had to decline because, as much fun as it was, we did still have to work, even far before the day of the wedding. What’s there to work on when you’re in a place that’s so inherently beautiful? Well, when you’re dealing with a wedding at sunset – everything.

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We stayed in Florida for four days total, counting two days before the wedding. This gave us two chances to time the sun. Yes, actually time the sun. The ceremony was at sunset, giving us exactly 28 minutes of sunlight to work with. And of those 28 minutes, we planned out every. Single. Second.

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Sunset or no, this is how I roll on a wedding shoot! I need to know every step I will be taking during the day, every pose I will be asking the bridal party, the groom, the parents, etc. to make. Does it sound a bit, well, controlling? Especially for something so artistic? Sure, but you don’t get a redo when it comes to wedding photography. Taking the time, doing the research, and prepping mentally always, always, always pay off. And when you’re done? Well, just maybe you’ll get a chance to relax on a beach!

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A big thanks to all who have let me shoot their weddings. We’re looking forward to this next big weekend in Philly!

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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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