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!

Athens ArtsFest015

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

Springtime Smiles at The Camera’s Eye

Sit and smile – it’s that easy, right? Not always! I had a recent spring-themed session with this little doll:

Children's Portraits07

Now, would you believe me if I told you that at first she was completely against having her photo taken? That she wouldn’t let go of her stuffed friend? Exhibit A:

Children's Portraits01

But with a little coaxing, I got to watch both her and her smile bloom.

 Children's Portraits06

What you can’t see in the photo? The pile of stuffed animals that are around her feet. I keep them handy for just these kinds of situations. Once she had her support system in place, she added her own little stuffed friend to the rest.

 Children's Portraits05

I have so, so, so much fun with shoots like this at The Camera’s Eye. And what’s funny is that there are parents out there who dread shoots like this! Not because of the outcome, of course, but because they’re afraid that their kid won’t behave “properly” or won’t let go of that favorite stuffed toy long enough to sit for a photo. Guess what? Sitting still is NOT required to get some memorable shots of your little one. Maybe your kid is too shy to even look at the camera or keeps hamming it up for the lens. That perfect smile can come out in a lot of ways, and I don’t have any rules about how to make that happen. The way that I see it, we’re too quick to call things “misbehaving,” when really kids are just “behaving” – behaving like themselves. And the point of any good portrait is to capture the subject just as he or she is, right?

Children's Portraits03

Think about this the next time you’re setting up a family photo or thinking about taking your little ones in to get some portraits done. If you work patiently with whatever the hang-ups are, you can get some honest, beautiful photos of your kids. In my opinion, that’s the best kind of photo to have – a snapshot of that moment in time when they were completely free, goofy, whimsical, whatever. Best of all, they can remind us of when we knew how to act the same way.

Children's Portraits02

Up Up and Away….

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch Club

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch Club

Owego Free Academy Science Club Balloon Launch

Students carry the gadget equipped with cameras, GPS devices and a parachute to the OFA lawn.

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch Club

A sneak peak reveals a note for anyone who may find the device on its travels

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Two cameras secured inside – one facing up to capture the balloon burst and the other facing outward to photograph the Earth below…

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

“Big B” the main GPS device is backed up with a lesser hiker’s GPS unit in case of malfunction from heat.

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

A Lockheed Martin engineer supported the project and teaches kids here how to sync the devices to cell phones in order to track the balloon from the ground.

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Another teacher fills the balloon with Helium to a diameter of 5 ft.  As it rises and pressure changes, it expands to 20 ft in diameter and bursts.  A small parachute carries is back to Earth as the cameras spin images every step of the way.

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Attaching the contraption to the balloon base.

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch Club

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Preparing for take off!

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

UP UP and Away!

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

Teacher John Heath, Owego Free Academy

Owego Free Academy Balloon Launch

One cool Science Kid!

For more information on this totally cool project and to follow the results of this Science Project, contact John Heath via Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/john.heath.338658   To see a full version of the launch, go to The Camera’s Eye, click Client Proofing and type:  “balloon”   This is the Club’s 4th Launch but first Summer Launch.  The balloon and camera’s flight should last approximately one and a half hours depending on wind and heat conditions.  Once the balloon bursts, the camera contraption travels by parachute back to Earth.  The middle school students added their own twist to the experiment by trying to break the world record for highest “egg drop.”  On the side of the box is one small raw egg they are hoping lands in ONE piece!  The last I heard, it had landed 40 feet up in a tree near Chenango Park, NY but they aren’t sure how to get it down…. lol.  Good luck kids!

Better Late Than Never

I love owning up to being human and when anyone else does too.. I support that!  This lovely 2013 Senior was so caught up in her Senior Year, she completely lost track of time and just now ordered her Senior pictures.  Although I don’t recommend this… I whole-heartedly understand it!  This calls for the old saying, “Better late than never.”  She photographed way too nicely to never have a printed portrait.  Don’t you agree?  So don’t worry about the embarrassment.. Just do it.  Order late, admit that you can’t keep up in our minute to minute, instantaneous society and just do it.   You will find yourself in good company at this company!

Senior Photography, Owego NY Senior Portraits, Owego NYOwego Portrait Photographer

High School Seniors… I love this Generation!

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

I always say, “My favorite age group to photograph is 3 year olds.”  They can tell you what they want, they can joke with you and they’re always ‘straight up.’  Case & point:  my last name is McQueeney.  When Pixar’s animated movie, “Cars” hit the theaters, a young boy, Clayton was a client of mine.  His Mom prepped him so kindly to walk in the studio and say, “Hi Miss McQueeney!”  He looked at me… looked again… “Is your real name ‘Stickers?’  You should just go by ‘Stickers’.  It’s way easier to say!”  lol!  HOW can you NOT love that???  So for years, 3 year olds have been my heart throbs.

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

I blogged at the beginning of the High School Senior season about a young man I thought was really exceptional and then the season exploded as it always does… Seniors with sports uniforms, trendy outfits, and interesting hobbies flood into my world every evening.  This year however, there’s something crazy in the air or I’m simply in love with a new age group.  I’ve met kids already accepted in college, kids in programs that allow them to experience their career choice for more than half the year, kids with ‘out of school’ interests like ice hockey and scuba diving and the list goes on and on.  If I could generalize; this may very well be a generation with everything at their fingertips BUT the coolest thing about them is they take advantage of all of it!

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

What’s the second best thing about them???   In the midst of all that they have in their reach, they really aren’t that much different than the generations before them.  Last week I had the pleasure of meeting a young woman, with such a witty sense of humor, she kept me on my toes the entire session.

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

She bravely came alone , so to start conversation, I asked her to run down her outfits with me and give me a sense of her style.  She made this typical but unusually polite “dig” on her Father… “Well I have this shirt with this great scarf, that my Father, all of a sudden thinks is too warm for this time of year!  When did he become a “FASHIONISTA?!!”  Ha!  I didn’t even know what say – I just filled the air with laughter.

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

As we moved along to our location, I asked…”what are you into?  what are your hobbies?”  In this time of mad-crazed video graphics and high tech everything, she replied, “I really love to read and write.”  I continue to fiddle with my photography gizmos and gadgets and she blurts out.. “Do you know ‘so and so’ author?  He’s very controversial but he’s my favorite!”  I stopped everything I was doing… if there was one moment in my entire life that I wished I read more and could have related to her interest… it would have been THAT moment.  A 17 year old with a favorite author… LOVE it!

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

Now she piqued my interest and as we chased the light through the evening, I kept trying to think of different things to ask her while listening VERY closely & contemplating f-stops and apertures because she would hold me to the answers with her humor.  Hmmmm… very much like 3 year olds!  She was currently earning money as a waitress, started cosmetology school- but it definitely wasn’t her style, and for as many times as she changed her hair color- today’s color was closest to her original roots.   (Incidentally, it’s amazing when the light catches it!)

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

As we wrapped up the shoot, I asked for a password for her session and began chatting about the fee and purchasing details.   OUT of no where, she threw a smirky smile my way and quickly interrupted…”are you going to hack my Facebook account!?!?!!?”  DANG!  She got me again!  No words came out of my mouth- just laughter.  At this point in the game, I was robustly belly laughing.

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye, Apalachin NY
© Lisa McQueeney 2012

But that wasn’t the last time she was going to get me before we parted ways.   I asked if she had any more questions or ‘anythings’ for me (hoping she would say her Dad sent a check with him)… pause,  “Nope.”  I awkwardly asked…”How about a check from your Dad?”   This gets real good… “Oh no, I have cash for that!” and she began to count it.  Why I thought I could help this established, pip of a Senior is beyond me.. but I did!  Counting, counting, counting.. “can I help you?”  “Nope!  There’s extra.  I’m a waitress…. I believe Tip Karma!  It’s good energy!”  and away she zoomed, leaving me standing there to pick my jaw up off the asphalt.  Couldn’t you hear that from someone in the 70’s???

Regardless the timeframe, these are savvy Seniors and I love their personalities!

Kate & Bill at Glenora Wine Cellars, Upstate NY

Katy’s dress from Bonjulie’s in Horseheads NY http://www.bonjulies.com/

Last week’s activities landed the crew at The Camera’s Eye Studio in the vineyards of Glenora Wine Cellars  for the celebration of Kate & Bill’s wedding vows.

Vows under the sun: http://www.thecameraseye.biz

Initially greeted by Kathy Marchenese, Wedding Coordinator at Glenora (kathy@glenora.com);  my assistant, Patrick Boyer and I received a complimentary glass of Pomegranate Pizzazz.

Wine and cupcake tower at the Reception at Glenora

So kind of Kathy and very indicative of her nature and business style.  We learned the lay of the land and watched the bridal party rehearse under the arbor that overlooked the grape vines and beautful Seneca Lake.

Ring exchange on the lawn of Glenora Wine Cellars: http://www.thecameraseye.biz

The next day, under the heat of an unforgiving sun, the bridal party and guests engaged in a lovely ceremony as Bill and Katy exchanged vows and rings in the late afternoon.

Maid of Honor, Glenora Wine Cellars, NY

We photographed in the vineyards and off location at an amazing privately-owned waterfall while guests ate gingerly at a wine & cheese tasting on the lawn and then a cocktail hour on a red and turquoise adorned deck overlooking the water.

Privately-owned waterfall near Glenora Wine Cellars

Later, we joined the guests inside for a red and teal themed reception decorated by an Ithaca florist who grew all her own flowers.  You have to see this bouquet!

Bridal Bouquet from Ithaca-based florist

Our DJ on the night was Ryan Bombard from Ryan Bombard Entertainment, who entertained quests with his photobooth pictures that were glued into an album for the bride and groom to use as a quest book.  What an great idea!  Of course… we jumped in with our cameras, mexican hats and enormous red sunglasses!  Not exactly work-related, but hey, how could we tell you how fun it was if we didn’t try it?!!

Bridesmaid’s Bouquet from Ithaca-based florist

Congratulations Katy & Bill and hats off to all vendors involved!  For additional information, don’t hesitate to e-mail: lisamcqueeney@gmail.com, Facebook: Lisa McQueeney or visit the Glenora website: http://www.glenora.com/Weddings/Weddings-at-Glenora

Relief and excitement from our Bride and Groom

This Week’s Adventure: Caretakers Tree Service

There’s always something brewin’ in Upstate New York in the spring & summer, but sometimes it’s not always a picnic… often times it’s a Storm!

Cutting up a storm-fallen willow tree, Caretakers Tree Service

I blogged earlier in the year about understanding the sound of trees falling in the darkness in the middle of a storm.  They don’t always sound like you think they would, nor do they make the noise you would imagine when they land on your house.  A few years back, the tree providing shade over the roof at The Camera’s Eye Studio split in half due to a wild storm.   Later that day, I found a postcard in my mailbox…

Caretakers signature postcard, 607 768 9764

I was skeptical, but thought, “how convenient!”  I didn’t have to search for help or ask all my neighbors “who should I call about this dilemna???”  The person even wrote in their own handwriting on the postcard a short assessment of the damage and offered a free quote.  Who does that in our fast-paced society today?

Working amongst the branches, Caretakers 607 768 9764

I gave him a call about the tree stretching across my yard onto the roof.  This tree specialist was so skilled at tree climbing, professional and informative that I shared him with all my neighbors!   I gladly paid him for his services (even though I would have rather bought something nice for myself ), and offered my skills in return if I could ever help him.

Quartering the stump for grinding, Caretakers 607 768 9764

Grinding down the stump, Caretakers 607 768 9764

Well, he took me up on it!  This week’s adventure covers Patrick Boyer, owner and tree expert of Caretakers Tree Service located in Nichols, New York.  Caretakers’ business motto is: “The RIGHT tree in the RIGHT place” and the business didn’t get its name for the purpose of making money.  Patrick spends a good portion of time educating homeowners about the maintenance of trees in their yard and caring about the potential danger of trees during storms.

Dangerous powerlines, Caretakers 607 768 9764

Clearing branches around power lines, Caretakers

He’s not a pushy salesman…the choice is up to you what you want to do on your property, but you can rest assured in hiring him that he will leave you educated and satisfied with the end results of his labor.

Check out his work here and on Facebook, Patrick Boyer.  If you’re in need of tree work and no one left a postcard in your mailbox, give him a call for a free assessment:  (607) 768 9674.

Notching a tree for falling, Caretakers Tree Service

Removing a tree from the top down, Caretakers Tree Service

If he’s done work for you in the past… take a moment and leave a comment!  There’s nothing better than a good testimonial!

Adopt a Pup on Independence Day!

 

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Visited my favorite animal shelter, Stray Haven again and here’s a showcase of the cool cats AND pups I met this time…

Lilly at Stray Haven, Waverly NY by The Camera’s Eye

Lilly… brought in with her sister or companion, Baby Girl

Baby Girl at Stray Haven, Waverly NY by The Camera’s Eye

came from a family that could no longer keep them.  They have been in the shelter since February and would love a playful family or owner who gives lots of lovings.  Once you see the pictures, you’ll understand why.  They give BIG kisses!

Baby Girl at Stray Haven, Waverly NY by The Camera’s Eye

Lilly is a little milder than Baby Girl and you can see that on her face.

Lilly at Stray Haven, Waverly NY by The Camera’s Eye

Baby Girl would be perfect for kids… she has spunk and energy, but is gentle enough to still give face kisses.  That’s a great dog right there.

Baby Girl at Stray Haven, Waverly NY by The Camera’s Eye

 

Next to jump out of their kennel, were 3 Spaniel puppies,

Spaniel pups at Stray Haven, Waverly NY by The Camera’s Eye

or should I say “waddle” because they were just fed and their bellies were enormous.  Too funny!

Spaniel pups at Stray Haven, Waverly NY by The Camera’s Eye

Like all pups they are super soft, adorable and friendly.

Spaniel pups at Stray Haven, Waverly NY by The Camera’s Eye

This little one kept crawling up my leg while I was trying to photograph.

Spaniel pups at Stray Haven, Waverly NY by The Camera’s Eye

None of these pups were “nippers” which I really like because I can rarely see anything around me while I’m shooting and like to keep my gear in one piece  ; )

 

Then we moved on to a super interesting cat, Sam.  Sam, the fat cat was brought to the kennel when his owner passed away.

Sam at Stray Haven by The Camera’s Eye

He is the biggest cat I have ever layed my eyes on, and remember, I’m a cat lover.  His paws alone are huge!  So cool!

Sam at Stray Haven by The Camera’s Eye

His weight on arrival was 25.7 pounds, lol.  He’s in tough competition with Garfield!

And last, but certainly NOT least were the 2 cutest, 8 week old kittens…

8 wk old kittens at Stray Haven by The Camera’s Eye

Very inquisitive lil’ buggers and friendly!  One had a two-toned face and super soft fur and the other had amazing stripes.

One male and one female, not related but great litter mates.

8 wk old kittens at Stray Haven by The Camera’s Eye

They can be adopted together or alone – just like Lilly and Baby Girl.  Kindred souls are they, BUT having an owner would be the best thing for all of them so adopting them separately is ok too!  I couldn’t resist including this last image… I think the caption should be, “alllllright!  Enough with the lovin’s already!”  Email about your favorite interest, stray.haven.3@facebook.com

8 wk old kittens at Stray Haven by The Camera’s Eye

Rockin’ Seniors

All high school seniors are someone special to me at  The Camera’s Eye Studio… I spend approximately 2 hours with all of them, learn their likes and dislikes, their interests and hobbies, and definitely share some good life stories.

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye Studio, Apalachin NY

Every now and then though, you’ll come by one that stays in your memory and this one happens to be THAT one.   PLUS, he kicked off my Senior Season so I have such a warm fuzzy going into this 2013 Graduation Class.

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye Studio, Apalachin NY

The Session started off with his parents telling me all about his hobbies and places he liked to go in our town.  As I was getting the formal shot out of the way so we could move into the fun stuff, he saw an image of a baseball player on my wall and asked if we could create that image for lacrosse.  I was thrilled!  Of course… but I know very little of lacrosse and so asked him to educate me on the sport.  No attitude, no eye-rolling, no hesitation… he just started telling me what I needed to know.  Bang.. we kick that shot out too!

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye Studio, Apalachin NY

The next several hours – and I honestly could have kept shooting for much longer because it wasn’t even like work – he took me to his favorite fishing spot, through a huge field in his shiny, red jeep  (in which he gave me a front seat ride), to meet his dog, and to a Hose Company, Croton Hose Co.  A fire department??  Hmmmm… why ask why, but because he was so friendly, you know I did!  He’s a Volunteer Fireman!

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye Studio, Apalachin NY

I meet a lot of interesting people in my career as a professional photographer, but this kid I will remember for a very long time.  What a cool cat!

Senior portraits at The Camera’s Eye Studio Apalachin, NY

Senior Portraits at The Camera’s Eye Studio, Apalachin NY