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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

Mexico!

It was our third evening in Mexico. We spent the day in Tulum looking at the Mayan ruins and once we got back, all I wanted was a margarita. Fruity, alcoholic goodness to cool off after a long day walking in the heat. We were getting pretty sick of the touristy areas of Playa del Carmen and in trying to find a place to eat, ended up walking a little outside the tourist trap area. It was still 100% safe–well, I take that back. It was probably slightly less safe than the tourist-area of Playa, but safer even than Brooklyn probably.

After walking for a good 20 minutes, we found a place called “Kool Fish” with pitchers of margaritas for $4. I don’t think it gets any better than that, right? Except that this “Kool Fish” had the most amazing fish tacos I’ve ever had in my life. And as the ice cold margarita slid down my throat, I thought it couldn’t get any better than THAT. Except then our waiter started chatting with us. And Eduardo was the COOLEST GUY EVER. So friendly. So chatty. He even added 2 extra shots of tequila to our (already strong) margaritas. Then he offered us pot…because apparently in Mexico, that’s how you make friends. You offer them pot. We politely declined–but it was nice to be accepted.

The following night, we went back to Kool Fish. Mostly because we wanted to see Eduardo again before we left. HE WAS THAT COOL. And he gave us more strong margaritas and great conversation. He even taught me a few phrases in Spanish, the most important one being: Dónde está el baño?

To be fair, Sean also taught me that. But Eduardo helped with the pronunciation. And thank god for learning that…it was used A WHOLE LOT THROUGHOUT THE TRIP. Because my bladder is the size of a pea. Not even. More like the size of a pinhole. And much of the trip was spent with me crossing my legs or sprinting from the beach to find some sort of public restroom.

Another side note–what is with the lack of toilet seats in Mexico?!?! I did more squatting that weekend, than I did in the gym preparing my body for bathing suit weather.

Wow–that was quite the rambling. So, to sum up: Mexico is beautiful; Eduardo is awesome; Playa del Carmen needs to invest in some toilet seats across the board.

Below are some images from Tulum –

Mexico!

Mexico!

Mexico!

Mexico!

Mexico!

Mexico!

R-Rated Warning!~Boudoir Shoots for Valentine’s Day

Lately, I’ve had many people who have wanted boudoir shoots for their 1st year anniversaries, wedding gifts to their husbands and Valentine’s Day. Now, of course to respect my clients, I’ve avoided images with their faces (unfortunately the face shots are the most GORGEOUS of the photos), except for a few where I created a “modesty patch” for their protection.

Anyone interested in a boudoir shoot, contact me! I’ve been inspired by other friends and photographers and therefore I’m also running a special where $50 of your price will be donated to either Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation or Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund.

R-Rated Warning!~Boudoir Shoots for Valentines Day

R-Rated Warning!~Boudoir Shoots for Valentines Day

R-Rated Warning!~Boudoir Shoots for Valentines Day

R-Rated Warning!~Boudoir Shoots for Valentines Day

R-Rated Warning!~Boudoir Shoots for Valentines Day

R-Rated Warning!~Boudoir Shoots for Valentines Day

R-Rated Warning!~Boudoir Shoots for Valentines Day

R-Rated Warning!~Boudoir Shoots for Valentines Day

A Christmas Elf

This is Nicole…photographed as Santa’s special helper! She had all the little accessories needed to transform into an adorable little elf. And BOY was she quick to smile! I had never before been in the presence of such a happy baby. Or maybe I was just used to my niece and the way she used to scream. So the laughter was a little startling.

And not to mention, Nicole’s family was so incredibly nice. We all ordered pizza and chatted while we photographed. I really have some amazing clients and I can’t wait to see Nicole & family again soon!

A Christmas Elf

A Christmas Elf

A Christmas ElfA Christmas Elf

This Can’t Be Serious…

I try hard not to let Craigslist ads upset me. Most of the time, it’s just people who really don’t understand the kind of time photographers put into their work and the sort of overhead and cost of materials for a fullday of event photography, like a wedding. But this?? Here’s the ad:

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Looking for a photographer that can shoot ceremony and reception. Need the following 1-Premium 8 x 10, wedding album (photos sealed inside the album), 1-16 x 20 framed portrait, 2-8 x 10’s, 4-5 x 7’s, and 150 proof book with 2 parent albums and 50 thank you notes. all negatives on CD ( a comparable package would be considered). Can only spend $1000- $1100. Thank you

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This person is looking for 3 albums, a FRAMED 16×20 , other prints, a proof book, 50 thank you notes AND a release of all the images on a CD. For $1,000.

::Blink::

::Blink:: ::Blink::

The only thing I can think here is that she must not realize that WE, THE PHOTOGRAPHERS have to pay for the cost of printing all these things. They don’t pop out of the sky from the magical printers with a free code all photographers have for products.

Those prints, albums and proofs alone would probably cost me close to the $1,000 she/he was paying. Then factor in me having to design the album pages, design the thank you cards, frame the portrait and not to mention, ohhhh, PHOTOGRAPH THE WEDDING. I’m only taking home $200 after a full day of shooting and weeks of post production? Crazy.

The only thing making me feel slightly better is that maybe, JUST MAYBE, she/he meant that the $1,000 would just be the cost of the products she wants. And then shooting time would be on top of that.

It might be unlikely, but to make myself feel better and hopefully sleep tonight, that’s what I’m going to believe.

A Good Book To Go With That Cup of Coffee

A Good Book To Go With That Cup of Coffee

My mom finished her book. Which is SUCH an accomplishment, especially since I can barely focus enough to sit down and write a paragraph on this dang blog! Not only did she finish it, but she also decided to self-publish it, since she wanted to focus on the alumni and nursing crowd. It was a tough decision, but overall I think she made the correct one.

Sean drew and designed the cover and I did the editing of her book. It was a family effort. And after many months of pulling together, it’s finally here and available.

My quick summary is that it’s the story of a sheltered 18-year old girl who begins nursing school in Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital and is thrown into the 60s sexual revolution. It’s the story of her trying to maintain the ethics and morals she was raised with while transforming into a woman.

If you’re interested in reading it, shoot me an email. Buying directly through me rather than Amazon will get you the best price for it. ;0)

The Song

The Song

With every dog I’ve owned, I’ve always created songs. The songs become their theme songs. With Luna, it wasn’t necessarily about lyrics–or even a melody. Her song consisted of a high-pitched tone using her name over and over. Imagine a shrill voice going: LUNALUNALUNALUNALUNA

That was her song. Crazy. Annoying. Hyper…just like her. It’s what I imagined going through her head day in and day out. Another family dog we had was a boxer mix. When he was excited, he’d wiggle and walk sideways toward you with his nub of a tail wagging like crazy. We called it The Little Man Dance. It, too, had a song.

So, I noticed that Bebop likes to dance as well. She stands on two feet and literally hops around. And she can stand upright for a creepy long time. And Bebop is amazingly easy to put into other songs. One goes like this (to the tune of Lollipop): Little Bop, Little Bop, oh little, little Bop–Little Bop {RUFF} Ba-Bum-Bum-Bum.

Another song I like to sing with Bebop is to that song…ummm, well, I don’t know the name of the song, but hopefully you’ll be able to tell: Ain’t No Bopper like the Little Bop Cause the Little Bop Don’t Stop.

But all these are songs that already exist. Bebop needed her own song. And then one day, she was dancing around me for literally minutes. I couldn’t believe that nothing could stop her. I’d push her over and she’d just jump right back up on two feet and continue dancing. And further more, I had just adopted her at this point and she hadn’t yet been spayed. So as she danced around, the fact that she…hmmmm how do I word this gently…..was in “heat” was very obvious. And it simply wasn’t proper behavior. So, Bebop’s song goes something like this: (I know you don’t know the tune, but I’m sure you can make one up yourself)

She is the Little Bopper

You know you just can’t stop her

From doing all those little things

That you know just ain’t proper!

Lisbel and Jason [NY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER]

Lisbel and Jason were married in October and had a fun wedding out in Queens. The weather was absolutely gorgeous the whole day…until we reached the Botanical Gardens. For the 30 minutes we were there, it began raining. We, of course, made it work and popped open a bunch of umbrellas for some super cute shots!

Lisbel and Jason [NY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER]

Lisbel and Jason [NY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER]

Lisbel and Jason [NY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER]Lisbel and Jason [NY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER]

Lisbel and Jason [NY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER]

Lisbel and Jason [NY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER]

Lisbel and Jason [NY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER]

Lisbel and Jason [NY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER]

Lisbel and Jason [NY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER]

Lisbel and Jason [NY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER]

Lisbel and Jason [NY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER]

Lisbel and Jason [NY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER]

Lisbel and Jason [NY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER]

Lisbel and Jason [NY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER]

Lisbel and Jason [NY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER]

From Savannah to New York

As an early Christmas gift and in honor of my first ever holiday tree, Liza and Maddie picked out these two ornaments.

The boat represents Savannah, where we first met (Maddie and I first met in Savannah as well when she was just 3 months old. And she spit up in my mouth.) and of course the NY ornament represents our adult lives here in the city–except for Maddie. I guess it represents her childhood here in the city.

It was a sweet and meaningful gift and for the rest of my life, these ornaments will hang as a representation of our friendship. And every year in December, I’ll look at these and think of this friendship and what it means to me.

From Savannah to New York

From Savannah to New York

La-La-La-La-Layla | New York BABY PHOTOGRAPHER

Ahhh, the beautiful Layla. There are so many songs I can put your name into and the whole time I was editing these, I had a whole list of random songs stuck in my head. Layla’s mom, Tamara reads this blog (Hi, Tamara!) and I just want to say that I LOVED these little tutu outfits she chose for this shoot. We joked that depending on whether Layla grows up to be a girlie girl or a tomboy, she’s going to either love these shots or hate them!

On a side note, Layla’s daddy is a chef at (what I hear is) an AWESOME BBQ restaurant in the city and IAMSOEXCITEDTOGOEATTHERE! As a southern girl, I loooove my barbeque. And if they have classic southern sweet tea (the kind that’s brewed with molasses)–it may just win my heart. The restaurant, that is. If it were legal to do so, that restaurant and I would be living together in delicious sin.

La-La-La-La-Layla | New York BABY PHOTOGRAPHER

La-La-La-La-Layla | New York BABY PHOTOGRAPHER

La-La-La-La-Layla | New York BABY PHOTOGRAPHER

La-La-La-La-Layla | New York BABY PHOTOGRAPHER

La-La-La-La-Layla | New York BABY PHOTOGRAPHER

La-La-La-La-Layla | New York BABY PHOTOGRAPHER

La-La-La-La-Layla | New York BABY PHOTOGRAPHER

BeBop

BeBop

Day 3 of my resolution–not doing too bad. Granted…it’s only day 3. Day 3 is easy. It’s at about Day 33 when I’m sitting on my couch in my bathrobe with nothing to say that this resolution will be difficult.

Anyway–here is BEBOP! The new puppy. Doesn’t she look like a mini coyote?

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT a little dog person. I mean–I love all dogs, of course. All animals, even. But for me, it’s always been big dogs all the way. Boxers, labs, newfs, retrievers. Dogs whose faces and can grab and mush. Dogs who I can lean on and sleep in the arch of their belly and drop my face into crying on a bad day. However, I popped into the Sean Casey Animal Rescue because I wanted to offer my photography services in light of Luna’s passing. And while I was there, of course I looked around.

There were a ton of sweetheart dogs. Some big, some medium sized. Mostly pit mixes (which I am NOT a person who is afraid of a pitbull. I think they are the sweetest little mushes ever), but after Luna I really wanted a dog who I could overpower and not the other way around. Just in case something went array again, I wanted a dog that I could handle and control–for me, I feel it’s the responsible thing to do.

And then there in the corner was this tan little frail thing shaking. All the other dogs were barking and playful and also sweet as can be (and anyone in NY who is interested in a dog, please check out Sean’s establishment! They are SO wonderful there!), but she sat there cowering with this pink harness still on her body. The harness looked clean and new. Like someone loved her and cared for her enough to buy an expensive and fashion-based item.

“What’s her story?” I asked holding up my knuckle to the cage and clicking my tongue at her.

“She was just brought in today, surrendered by her owner,” the man had a gruff voice with a strong Brooklyn accent.

Still shivering, she leaned toward my finger, sniffed…licked, then huddled back in her corner.

“Why? She looks like she was a pet store kind of puppy…probably wasn’t a cheap buy for the owner.”

“Oh, he said his other chihuahua was beating up on her too much and he didn’t think it was fair for her.”

I stuck my knuckle back up to the cage and again she came over for the company. “Hey girl–were you being bullied, baby?” And as I stood there staring at her, so afraid, I started crying. I don’t know if I was crying for my Luna. Or for this new puppy. Or for all the barking, caged dogs surrounding me–none of whom deserved to be discarded like garbage. But I stood there crying for a few minutes.

“It’s alright, sweetheart,” he did his best to comfort me, “She’s a beauty. She’ll find a home in no time.”

“Can I meet her?”

And the second I said the words, he and I both knew the deal was done. He let her come home with me for a couple of nights to foster her–almost like a test trial.

I named her Bebop–a type of improvisational jazz–because my ownership was quite improvisational, too. And, well, after the Cowboy Bebop cartoon too. But mostly the jazz thing–yeah.

So, I’m happy to introduce the newest member of my family–Bebop Java Katana.

The middle name story will be up soon…