img_5663retouchedsmall

I love coffee. Sometimes people try to switch my coffee to decaf when I’m not looking. I can always tell the difference. I also like Pringles, but only the reduced fat kind because they crunch better when you bite into them and they don’t leave grease on your fingers. I’m…

About Me
celebrate-survival-email-21

As part of our quest to support women’s issues, Katana Photography is excited to announce our first ever Celebrating Survival contest!
Having any kind of cancer is frightening and confusing. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Katana Photography is welcoming all survivors from all forms of cancer to participate…

Weekly Photo
il_570xn268930151

When I was looking to buy my wedding invitations (back in April), I found a lot of designers on Etsy. After narrowing it down to a couple different designs/companies, I contacted both for their pricing list. One was pretty significantly more expensive–almost $2 per invitation more. Which I think all…

Weekly Style
img_2092retsmall

When talking to people about photography, I hear one phrase over and over again: Kids and dogs are the hardest subjects to photograph.
I, personally, don’t have this problem with my clients…kids and dogs are among my favorite things to photograph. Maybe it’s because I like to have any excuse…

Weekly Puppies
img_7445retouchedsmall

Last week, Sean and I had our morning coffee on the balcony and watched as the Enterprise shuttle was pulled down the Hudson on a tug boat. It’s on its way to the Intrepid and I can’t wait to see it up close at the museum!

Weekly Coffee

The Big VDay

For Valentine’s Day this year, we decided to do very small gifts for each other. I created this crossword puzzle, titled How Much Do You Remember involving questions regarding how we met and little factoids about me. He did AMAZINGLY well answering these questions. Quite impressive.

The Big VDay

As for Sean’s gift to me, he bought me a manicure/eye brow wax. Romantic? Not exactly. But definitely something I wanted and needed…but a luxury I can’t afford for myself anymore. Of course, because he’s Sean…he found a way to ruin the gift!

Flash back to sometime last year when he accompanied me to a manicure:

Sean: You should paint your nails blue!

Colleen: Yeah. Totally. That’d be cool…if I was 13 and still had my Hello Kitty backpack.

Sean: I dunno…I bet it would be totally punk.

Colleen: Tell you what…the day you buy me a manicure, you can choose the color I paint my nails.

Flash Forward back to the present. Sean was now paying for my manicure. He chose a cobalt blue nail polish…and sure enough, it doesn’t look punk. It looks terrible. Afterwards, we got pastries and coffee at a little bakery and he couldn’t stop looking at my nails.

Sean: Wow. Those are some blue nails.

Colleen: Yes, yes they are.

Sean: Um, maybe a different shade of blue would have been better?

Colleen: No. No it wouldn’t be.

Sean: (sigh) Yeah.

Colleen: ….so, who was right?

Sean: (heavier sigh) You were.

Ahh, the validation. At least one good thing came of the blue nails…admittance that I was RIGHT. It’s so rare that I hear those words (Not because I’m not right often…but because Sean is THAT STUBBORN. Then again, so am I).

Two Shiners

Sean goes to the gym a lot. I go to the gym occasionally. And by occasionally–I mean 2 to 3 times a week. This is the absolute maximum that I can convince myself to get motivated for. I despise it. I despise working out….though I despise gaining weight even more. So…the gym it is.

Several months ago, Sean and I were doing partner ab exercises together. You lay on that slanted bench thingy and throw a weighted ball back and forth as you crunch up. I use a 5lb ball. Sean uses a 12lb ball. There are universal hand signals…like holding a hand up means: STOP THROWING. Holding a finger up means: Pause, let me catch my breath. Holding a thumb up and pulsing it toward the sky means: Throw the ball higher.

Well, despite the fact that we had been using these exact hand signals for almost a year, Sean got a bit confused. When I held my index finger in the air, he apparently mistook my “PAUSE, I NEED A BREATH” signal for “throw the ball higher.”

Time slowed down. I first notice Sean’s confused face as the ball bounced from his fingers into the air. I watched as the weighted ball came closer and closer to my face. Before my hands could react to the signals my brain was sending (CATCH THE BALL! CATCH THE BALL), it smacked me square in the nose.

Tears streamed from my eyes and a trickle of blood dripped over my top lip and onto my tongue. Sean, of course, rushed to my side apologizing.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…” He tried to put an arm around my shoulder.

“Just…” I held my hand up, “give me a moment.” I stood up from the bench and paced for a bit, walking off the pain. I grabbed a paper towel and wiped the blood from my face. After a few minutes, I felt slightly better and returned to my extremely concerned boyfriend.

“I’m sorry…” he said again quietly.

“If it’s broken, you’re paying the hospital bill.”

He nodded.

“And if I need a nose job because my schnozz is crooked…you’re paying for that too.”

He nodded again. “Want to punch me in the arm? It might make you feel better.”

“I think punching you in the nose would make me feel better…with a 12lb ball strapped to my wrist.”

Luckily, my nose was not broken. Just bruised…giving me two black eyes.Two Shiners

A Place To Eat

A Place To Eat

This is our new table. It’s perfect for our small space and just big enough for two people. However, it is not conducive to hosting dinners at our place. I’m still trying to figure out what to do for dinner parties…maybe get a big coffee table and sit on the floor…? Suggestions are always appreciated.

You Know I’m Really Sick

You Know Im Really Sick

You know I’m really sick when I trade in my daily coffee intake for tea. And a couple of weeks ago…I was incapacitated, I was so sick.

I’ve mentioned before that I typically hate tea with the same passion that Palin hates a woman’s right to choose. There have been rare exceptions such as some of the loose tea brews featured at Alice’s Tea Cup. But any sort of Earl Grey tea bag kind of brand makes my stomach lurch.

BUT Sean found this Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice tea. It. Is. Delicious. It tastes like Big Red chewing gum! It was perfect for the week that my throat was swollen and I couldn’t breathe. And luckily, my coffee cravings have since returned. A sure sign that I am feeling better.

Sidebar: I fully expect to see some hate mail based on my Palin comment. I’m bracing myself…

The Bald Guy

This story has nothing to do with Luna….but…

Sean decided it was time to shave his head again. I prefer long hair on him (not like Fabio long, but boy band long…long enough to style, but not so much that it hangs past his earlobes), so once a year he’ll grow his hair out for me. Last week, he got fed up with the long hair, so he decided to trim it. Only, he forgot to put the safety on his electric razor…so, now he’s bald. And I mean, he was BALD for the first day or so. Like Ed Harris Vin Diesel type of bald.

The Bald Guy

We went to breakfast at our favorite Greek diner for Valentine’s Day. We go to this diner SO OFTEN that the two weekend servers and the owner know us by name. And when we walked in, the one server looked at Sean and lovingly fawned over the new (lack of) hair.

“You look Puerto Rican!” she exclaimed with a thick Brooklyn accent.

“Really?” Sean and I both said at once.

“But he’s so Irish pasty…” I looked at her doubtfully and then whispered, “Really, you don’t have to say you like it just to be nice! We’ll still tip well…” I winked at her.

“I’m not! I really like it! But I’m Puerto Rican, so…”

Sean and I had assumed she was Greek because she looks SO much like the owner. We had assumed she was the Greek daughter of the Diner’s owner. And while I tend to worry about making such statements…always attempting to stay politically correct, Sean thought nothing of it. “We thought you were Greek!” He blurted out.

My head fell into my hands. Could this be offensive? Are we gonna be cast out of our favorite diner?

Luckily, she just laughed. “I’ve worked here for so long that I now consider myself Greek-a-Rican!”

Crowds.

Crowds.

I hate crowds. And I realize what an anomaly this is considering I live in one of the most crowded cities in the world…but seriously, it’s like people’s IQs drop 50 points when they’re in a situation with 100 or more people. Comic Con was the perfect example of this stupidity.

Don’t get me wrong…I had a blast at Comic Con. The costumes, the art, the panels…it’s all a ton of fun. But the most horrible part of every day was the walk from the front doors of the Javits Center to Sean’s booth in artist alley. The amount of people who think it’s a good idea to stop in the middle of the crowded walkways to stare up at God-knows-what (probably some life-size statue of the Joker or something) is astounding. And to the guys dressed as World of Warcraft characters who thought it would be fun to have a sword fight in the middle of the convention….here’s a tip: It wasn’t fun. Not for everyone else trying to walk around and especially not for me, trying to carry 2 cups of coffee and lunch back to Sean after 2 1/2 days straight of working. But I do have to give you props…your costumes looked pretty great.

So anyway, yeah…crowds. They suck. And in this picture? This wasn’t even on the busy day…this was Friday when it was mostly just other professionals in the business. Saturday and Sunday were painful.

Locher’s

Lochers

I bought this shirt a year ago  from Locher’s. In case you can’t read it, it says: I really need a fucking coffee. And..it’s the most amazing investment I’ve ever made because, really? Have you met me? A day doesn’t go by where I don’t feel this way at one point or another.

**Please Note: This is not my photography. I pulled it from their website. But since I’m promoting their product, I figured they wouldn’t mind. Hopefully I’m not wrong about that…

The Thought That Counts

“Thank you for thinking of me, baby.” I stared at the t-shirt in my hands. Seriously? The boyfriend! goes to Las Vegas and this is what I get? It’s the thought that counts, it’s the thought that counts, it’s the thought that counts…

“It’s the Borg! From Star Trek!” He looks at me excitedly…like a puppy waiting for its positive reinforcement.

“Ohhhh, THAT’S who that character is! She’s much cuter as a character,” I run my fingers over the animated Borg on the t-shirt, “Like Peak-A-Choo or one of those cute Japanese characters.” I’m impressed with myself and the fact that I knew who Peak-A-Choo was.

“The Borg IS NOT Peak-A-Choo! You can never compare those two things ever. Again. Or you will be single.”

Now, I know when to choose my battles. Star Trek is what used to be Sean’s mistress…like his dirty little secret. He was embarrassed of her–afraid of what the implications were of obsessing over something so stereotypically geeky. But, you know what, honey? You ARE geeky. And it’s one of the many things I love about you.

And in the past couple of years or so, he finally started to truly own the fact that his dirty little mistress…those slutty Star Fleet Officers…make him a nerd. And I have accepted the fact that I am in an open relationship. Me, Sean…and Captain Picard.

So, this shirt said a lot while saying nothing at all. I accepted graciously, happy that he had thought of me in the city where prostitution is legal, and knowing that it would most likely never see the light of day. It would most likely become part of my pajamas…

However, this weekend at Comic Con……………..

The Thought That Counts

I had a reason to where it with pride. And it was a hit, folks. It was a hit.

Contrasts

Contrasts

This weekend was filled to the brim with stuff to do. The dogs unfortunately tend to suffer the most when we’re so busy.

Sean would leave for ComicCon as early as 8:30 or 9 every morning and I would head out at about 1 or 2pm. But we’d be gone until midnight, sometimes later.

So when I finally would get home, 10 hours later, you’d think they’d be ecstatic to have me home, right? Yeah, not so much. It was as though Luna was so angry that I had left her all day, that my punishment was to be ignored (after their walks and food, of course).

At first, her little plan was foiled…because after a long day of dealing with comic book crap, the last thing I wanted was a needy dog in my face constantly. But by the third night…I was starting to get worried. If I walked over to Luna, she’d get up and walk to the other end of the room. If I went to pet her, she turn her head away. At one Point, I moved her dog bed over beneath my feet near the couch so that she was facing me (and I could rub her belly with my foot) and she stood up and turned her body around so that her back was to me. I know my dog is seriously pissed when she won’t accept a tummy scratch.

And while normally Luna is a complete absent-minded ding dong, today she seemed much more like an old, cranky lady–a neurotic gazelle who listens to music written by men who wear mascara, reads Hemingway and prefers that you wash your hands before touching her. I could quite literally see this dog looking at my cheap Old Navy pj’s and lifting her nose in a gesture of snobbery regarding the fact that I wasn’t sporting Chanel sleepwear.

Red, on the other hand, was his typical, needy self. He’d crawl onto the couch with me, roll over to show me his belly, like SCRATCH IT, SCRATCH IT, YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO, DO IT, DO IT, his tongue lolling happily out the side of his mouth, his tail beating rhythmically as it wags in anticipation of everything the night before him has to offer. Like maybe a leisurely evening of butt-licking. If he could speak English he’d ask for a Corona. Every moment with Red is filled with the noise of his body. He is a dog that wants to be with you all the time–NEEDS to be with you all the time. One who will look at you as you get up to walk into the other room like, “Are you going over there? Because I could go with you. No really. It’s no problem. Here, let me walk right next to your legs, and when you stop I’m going to stand right underneath you and stare at you until you give in and notice once again just how adorable I am.

And there is this constant buzzing hum of having Red in the house. What is that noise? That’s Red, existing. What about that one? That’s Red jumping down off the couch, although I know, it does sound a lot like someone just dropped a giant tree stump off of the balcony.

And then there’s Luna–who this weekend is silent and moody and all, “Dude…step away, we talked about the touching.”

Mind Boggling

I’ve been trying to avoid this topic for several weeks now–but the frustration and anxiety of it is killing me.

Recently, I’ve been attempting to supplement my income by doing random photography gigs. So far, it’s been going very well. I’ve been getting odd jobs here and there and it’s something I really enjoy. Most of what I get is found on CraigsList. However, the amount of people wanting someone to work for free is RIDICULOUS!!! And not only looking for a free photographer, but looking for a photographer who is experienced, has state of the art equipment and lighting, is willing to edit and retouch every single image, and hand over all the RAW files in exchange for “allowing the photographs to be used in a portfolio.”

Let me explain something…as the photographer and the owner of every image I take (unless the subject is under 18 years of age), I have to right to use ANY of my photographs in my personal portfolio. You, on the other hand, are not the owner of said photographs…therefore it is illegal for you to print any of my photos I’ve taken of you without my permission. Now, of course I am not going to make a big deal of this to anyone…if my clients want to print their own photos, I really care at all. But don’t sit there and tell me that you’ll “allow” me to use the photographs that I worked so hard to take. Basically, don’t shit in my shoe and then tell me that it fits better.

Furthermore, equipment costs a lot of money. A good camera is $1000 at least. Add on to that an external flash, a battery grip, lighting, backdrops…you’ll easily have thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Not to mention the cost of marketing and advertising for photographer and the fact that a lot of paid a bunch of money to receive a degree in this field. Now we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars.

If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a photographer–that’s totally fine. I get it. I don’t have a load of money right now either. But then, don’t put a whole lot of ridiculous stipulations and requirements for a photographer that you’re not going to pay.  And I think you should always try to pay a little something to those who provide a service…even if it’s a small something. A small fee shows that you appreciate the person’s effort and time. Even if that person is a student. But don’t expect a professional to work for the “opportunity to use the photographs in their portfolio.” It makes me sick. Would you negotiate with your waitress why you shouldn’t be tipping?  Of course not. If you don’t have the money to tip, you shouldn’t go out to eat. If you don’t have money, you shouldn’t be hiring a photographer.

Ok, rant over. Normal good-natured, humorous posts will commence tomorrow.