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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2015 Owego Free Academy Senior – Carrie

I LOVE shooting senior sessions in and around Owego, NY. However, as you saw in our last post, it’s nice to take advantage of all of upstate New York’s beauty with a location shoot now and then! Carrie, a 2015 senior from Owego Free Academy, had her senior session with the The Camera’s Eye in Skaneateles, NY. She really wanted to get her photos done near the water, and as you can see, we got more than just NEAR the water:

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Carrie’s main goal for her senior portrait session? Making sure that she looked just like herself. In this case, that meant a lot of smiling and laughing 🙂

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We had a blast! It took a few months of emailing back and forth and planning out the logistics, but I’m easygoing when it comes to planning.

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Of course, there’s always the behind-the-scenes story – this shoot was either the fourth or fifth time we had to reschedule due to rain (I lost track!). And it’s not like that kept the rain away in the end – we drove up to our location in a downpour, and back home in a downpour to match. During Carrie’s session, we had to duck under a veranda to escape from even MORE rain rolling in.

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The cards seemed to be against us! The best part though? We tried to stop for pizza towards the beginning of our shoot at a local joint. They told us that they hadn’t started making any yet for the day – fair enough. About five hours later, when we had wrapped up the photo shoot and were totally starved, we stopped back at the SAME place…and they STILL didn’t have any pizza! So if anyone has any recommendations for pizza places that actually serve pizza in the Skaneateles area, lemme know 🙂

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A big thanks to Carrie from The Camera’s Eye for a fun (and adventurous) senior session! Best of luck in your senior year at Owego Free Academy!

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Getting to Know High School Seniors at The Camera’s Eye

Diving into AP classes…heading up clubs and other activities…oh yeah, and applying to colleges…with everything else on your plate as your senior year approaches, senior portraits should NOT be another source of stress! At The Camera’s Eye, we make sure that your portrait session is fun and relaxed, and that planning your senior photos is collaborative process!

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As a professional photographer, I pride myself on providing a personalized photo session and REALLY knowing my clients! In many cases, I’ve known my seniors for years and have already worked with their families on everything from baby photos to high school dances. In other cases, our senior session is a jumping-off point for the future – engagement shoots, baby sessions, etc…

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The first step: I’ll send you a quick questionnaire in the mail, which you can fill out, snap a photo of, and text back to me. This is a good starting point to get the juices flowing, since what I need to know is: Who I am working with? Where can we shoot? Where are you most comfortable? What’s going to showcase your personality? This, however, isn’t the end of the road!

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Some of it might seem like the same chit-chatty questions you always get, like “What subject do you like in school?” “What sports do you play?” “Where do you work?” But trust me, we can use this! When we talk about your work schedule, it lets me know when you’re free – but it also tells me a little bit about your personality. Sports and hobbies can add flair to a senior photo session. Some of my favorite senior sessions have involved props, cultural outfits, and settings that seniors brought to ME.

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And, not to sound shallow, but how you dress tells me everything I really need to know 🙂 We’ll be using your personal style to craft your senior photo session style, so that you’ll have pictures that show YOU as truly YOU. Check out our senior style board on Pinterest for some ideas of outfits that can work for your senior session!

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2015 Owego Free Academy Senior – Anya

At The Camera’s Eye, I love working with sporty seniors! We can get some striking shots by incorporating their athletic interests into their senior session. Anya, a senior from Owego Free Academy, was willing to jump into the pool so we could show off her love for swimming!

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Anya has been swimming with the same group of girls since they were all very young, and they’ve traveled to state championships nearly every year. I even had the pleasure of meeting one of Anya’s teammates, who helped her get her knee skin on for our shoot. If you’re NOT a a swimmer – well, let me just say that the whole process is a fiasco, and hysterical to hear about. It took the two of them about 15 minutes to squeeze her into it, and THAT was record timing.

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In addition to the swimming shots, Anya was intent on getting a few senior photos with sunflowers. Anya’s family is Ukrainian, and sunflowers are big in the Ukraine. We searched high and low until we found the right spot!

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Anya just looks like she belongs in the outdoors! Love her range of outfits – I guess the knee skin counts as an outfit in this case? 🙂  We went with a mix of outfits – simpler outfits, more outgoing outfits, and even a traditional Ukrainian top.

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I also love this quiet black-and-white photo…simply pensive and poised.

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Good luck to Anya with everything her final year at OFA will bring, both in and out of the pool!

2015 Owego Free Academy Senior – Coco

Working with seniors at The Camera’s Eye, I learn all sorts of important tidbits about my clients. For starters, Coco’s name is NOT actually Coco. She couldn’t help but pick the name up as a kid when her mother’s European friend would refer to her as “Miss Coco Chanel” in a thick and glamorous accent. And who *wouldn’t* jump on the chance for that nickname?

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Shooting with Coco was a blast – she is all energy and has a really playful personality. I love it because she’s JUST like me – a big kid! Before Coco’s senior session, we collaborated over Pinterest, and she shared her ideas for these unique tennis shots:

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Coco is obviously very sporty, but she also has a soft and gentle look:

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Love it when we can hit all sorts of styles in one senior session 🙂 Best of luck to Miss Coco Chanel in her final year at OFA!

2015 Athens High School Senior – Chloe

The Camera’s Eye recently had the pleasure of shooting a senior session with Chloe, a 2015 senior from Athens High School.

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Chloe was an absolute treat to work with! She’s quiet and composed, but she took direction like she had been working in front of a camera for years. Maybe it’s not just a coincidence that she could be a double for Brooke Shields? 🙂

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I really admire this ability to be comfortable and work the camera. Even though I’m a professional photographer, it’s not something I know how to do myself…my place is pretty squarely BEHIND the camera!

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Miss Chloe is an EXCELLENT example of how to accessorize for senior photos. She’s really into fashion, especially scarves. Notice the little touches of jewelry in each shot! Plus, as we mentioned in a previous post, the patterns in her outfits give her photos some personal flair, without being visually overwhelming.

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Best of luck to Chloe from The Camera’s Eye as she embarks on her senior year!

2015 Owego Free Academy Senior – Nicole

At The Camera’s Eye, we love turning out a successful senior portrait session! When everything’s clicking in a senior session, you just feel it. Nothing beats having both a beautiful environment and a senior with a great personality and openness.

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Of course, as with all things in professional photography, there’s not much you can do when the outside elements are determined to make their mark. Nicole, a 2015 senior from Owego Free Academy, had to reschedule her session TWICE!

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The first time, we got rained out – and we’re pretty familiar with rain in the Southern Tier. The second time, Nicole’s flip flop broke! However, fate was conspiring to make us schedule this third session, where everything came together beautifully. Third time’s the charm, right?

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Nicole is yet another one of my seniors who was just so much fun to shoot. She is quiet and composed, and so warm at the same time, which definitely comes across in her senior session photos. It helps that she was ready to roll with anything, and able to brush off both the weather and a wardrobe malfunction 🙂

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We may be in the last month of summer, but it’s not quite over yet – The Camera’s Eye has many more upcoming senior sessions to shoot before the school year gets into full swing!

Locals We Love – Jacques Gates and Valley Auto Spa

With all the running around I do with The Camera’s Eye, my car becomes my second home. It makes SUCH a difference to my day when my Mini Cooper looks and feels professionally put-together – even if I’m not feeling the part myself 🙂 I recently had my car detailed by Jacques Gates, owner of Valley Auto Spa in Sayre, PA.

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He’s a full-time college student and Valley Auto Spa is a small side business, but he puts an incredible amount of care into his work. Jacques used to live in California, where he would go to a friend’s shop for detail work. Once he moved, he still wanted to keep his car spic and span, so he bought the equipment to do it himself. And that’s how Valley Auto Spa was born!

Jacques loves what he does, and it’s easy to see why – he gets the satisfaction of seeing cars leave his shop looking way better than when they came in.


A big thank you to Valley Auto Spa for keeping The Camera’s Eye riding in style!

 

2015 Athens High School Senior – Nadia

The senior photo sessions just keep on rolling in for The Camera’s Eye! Meet Nadia, who will soon be starting her senior year at Athens High School in Athens, PA.

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Nadia loves science and wants to attend college – hopefully in the New York City area – to become a doctor. She’s already more than familiar with NYC, since she goes there once a month to visit her sister. They’re four years apart in age, but many people think they’re twins!

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Nadia is no stranger to travel, as she has been to South Africa – her parents’ home country.  She loves playing basketball, though she swears she’s not athletic. Based on these photos, I think we can safely call her a fashionista 🙂 She shared great pictures of her outfits before coming to see me, and she still couldn’t make up her mind which ones to wear!

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Even though there were some tough fashion decisions to make, she always knew that she wanted to wear this authentic Indian dress.  She’s definitely a girl after my own heart when it comes to a love of shoes – the icing on the cake, besides that gorgeous smile, is the matching 5-inch heels!

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Stay tuned for more senior photo posts – The Camera’s Eye has lots of seniors on the docket, and I’m excited to meet them all!

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2015 Owego Free Academy Senior – Hailey

The summer’s halfway through, and at The Camera’s Eye we are continuing to meet and shoot our 2015 seniors! One student I’ve had the pleasure to meet is Hailey, a 2015 senior from Owego Free Academy. She plays tennis, loves to read and, like me, loves to Pinterest!

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Love her outfit choices – classic, classy, and stylish all at once. That, combined with the fact that she’s sweet and funny, made her senior session a lot of fun!

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