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

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

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

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

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

A Post In Which I Use A LOT OF CAPS!

It was a rainy day today.  The kind of rainy day that is so  effing beautiful and glorious after a ridiculously humid, hot summer. The kind of rainy day that results in the heat and humidity lifting and bringing in a fantastic 70 degrees with it.  After weeks of sweating my non-existent balls off, this cool, rainy day where I sat in my apartment with the windows and balcony doors open was VERY welcomed.

I had a meeting at Red Horse Café this morning. I put on my galoshes, grabbed my umbrella and headed out for the 12 block walk to the gallery. And I didn’t complain one bit that the rain messed up my hair or that the edge of my pants were a little dirty from mud or that my purse got drizzled on—because it was cool. And that makes all the difference between me turning into a raving, ranting lunatic and a calm, collected adult.

So—I’m walking. In the rain. Some might even say I have a bounce to my step. And about half a block in front of me is a man walking his dog…a beautiful Huskie type of dog.  It’s morning…but it’s not that early in the morning. Maybe 10:30 or 11am.  And as I get closer, I see the man is bent over doing something in the passenger side of his car. And as I take even a few more steps closer, I notice that he’s wearing those mesh sporty short things—you know the ones I’m talking about.  A lot of jocks wear them….they look like basketball shorts. Only, as he’s bent over, his ENTIRE ASS is sticking out.

Now, as a girl who wears a lot of low-rise jeans, I’ve had my share of experiences where I’m sitting and I don’t realize that the top of my crack is showing. I think most people can empathize with that. But I have NEVER had my entire ass hanging out IN THE RAIN and not realized it. His butt literally has rain droplets covering it. HOW CAN HE NOT REALIZE HE IS FLASHING ALL OF PARK SLOPE RIGHT NOW?

So I’m staring. Because, to be honest, I’m not so good at NOT staring at things like this that catch my eye. And he looks over his shoulder at me while cleaning God knows what out of his car, and catches me staring.

And he starts to stand up. Silly me, I think that they probably just slipped down while he bent over and as he stands, CERTAINLY he’ll pull them up, knowing now that I’m walking in his direction. But no. He stands up and makes no effort to adjust—and the simple act of standing doesn’t help the situation either. If anything, the shorts slide down even MORE. And I’m so baffled by what I’m looking at that I notice my jaw hanging slightly open.

The stranger smiles and gives a little head nod toward me.  “You like what you see?” He asks all cheeky…like he was the most dapper of dans within some high class lounge.

And I’m all: “Are you seriously hitting on me with your ASS hanging out in the rain?”  He doesn’t say anything at first and just as I’m about to walk away, his dog goes over to him and starts licking the water off of his butt.


He nearly jumped out of his skin, like realizing for the first time that I wasn’t just speaking in some sort of riddle. That his ass was actually hanging ENTIRELY out of his pants.

It may be the strangest thing I’ve ever seen…I still don’t entirely understand what happened there.

Bridges of Derry County

Bridges of Derry County

I first saw the Movie The Bridges of Madison County with Sean. It’s one of his favorite “chick flicks.” I enjoyed it, though didn’t enjoy the fact that it was celebrating adultery.

While we were visiting NH and Vermont, we drove around finding interesting covered bridges for me to photograph…they’re pretty much the only interesting things in these states. The moment captured here was taken within the two hours of the entire trip when it wasn’t cold and rainy. I wore my rain boots so that standing in muddy puddles wouldn’t be so terrible. And just as I was focusing my lens for this image, Sean pulled me to the side of the rode and kissed me. With our lips intertwined, a car came speeding by and splashed a big muddy puddle all over us.

Not quite as romantic as Clint Eastwood…

The Night I Flew

Occurred: Sometime in 1987

Whenever I see a feather, I smile. I smile in the kind of way that one would when passing children playing on the street. Or in the way one would watching a stubborn dog stop in its tracks while the owner stands, defeated, tugging on the leash and collar. I smile in the way that other people look at me and know that my toes are tingling.

It was 1987. We lived in a three-story house that had “Betty Crocker-esque” wallpaper and carpet that we would now describe as being retro. I was four years old and I had four heroes. My dad, my brother, my sister, and most of all, my mom. The woman from whom I had received my eyes and my taste in music. The woman who provided me with role models ranging from Aretha Franklin to Hedda Gabler. She was a stunning mother of three. She had pale skin, the color of cookie batter and reddish brown hair that rested in soft curls just below her chin. When she laughed, bangs would fall in front of her deep blue eyes. And she laughed a lot.

She was one of those rare mothers who would play with her children, not just dress them up and show them off. We would have sock wars with our balled up dirty laundry. Sing and dance around the house while cleaning. We were allowed to help her cook, even if the end result was disastrous. We would all dress up in her fanciest clothes, put on make up, then wait for my dad to come home and pretend as if he, a Prince, had just entered the ball.

My dad was the opposite. He was reticent and stoic with glasses that hung on the end of his nose. Dark hair and small green eyes peeked out over the aforementioned glasses; a businessman to the core. He would come home every night and want the house to be quiet as he read his paper. He liked the expected. He liked his routine. He was affectionate, but in a very different way than my mother was. He could be silly when he wanted to be, but usually he was the disciplinary figure in our house. Every night at the dinner table he would have a “question of the day” for us—some tidbit of information that we all had to take a guess at and whoever answered correctly won the right to choose what to have for dessert that evening. I was the youngest and therefore never got the answer right. However, there were nights when he would cater the question to me.

“Question of the day:” his voice boomed over my mom’s mashed potatoes, “Who can tell me who our current president is?” Bridget’s mouth opened revealing a gaping hole where her front tooth was missing. “Ow!” A jerking movement came from my brother as he glared at her. “Oh, uh—hm, that’s a tough one, dad…”

Bo scratched his head and furrowed his brow in exaggerated thought. Exhaling like a leaky tire, he lifted his shoulders to his ears, eyes wide in manufactured confusion. “Psh, beats me dad!”

My mom leaned into me. “Tootsie, you know this. Remember who we were talking about over lunch? What was that man’s name?” Her breath had the bitter smell of coffee.

Biting the inside of my chubby cheek, I thought long and hard recounting the things I had learned that day “Is it Wonald Weagan?” I said after a few minutes.

“Very good, Colleen!” They all cheered at once and my dad nodded, sending me a wink.

“Very good, Doodlebug.” He smiled and continued eating.

My mom, sister, and I used to collect feathers. If while walking to the front door from the car after a trip to the mall, or going to the doctor’s office, I spotted one on the ground, I’d squeal with excitement! Pinching the stem between my two tiny fingers I’d hold it in front of my face like a treasure. The stem felt fake—almost like plastic. I ran the tip of my index finger along the edge of the feather. It felt silky and the edge fanned out beneath my skin spreading and splitting under my touch.

We always found time to through books and try to guess at what feather came from which type of bird. One particular day after school, the three of us were going through our box o’ feathers while my brother did his homework sitting at the table next to us. Swinging my legs back and forth, they dangled lifelessly over the edge of the oversized chair I sat in. I held a pale blue feather up to the light and squinted while looking at it. “I bet this is a wobin’s feather.” I puffed my chest out, certain that this was correct.

“Don’t be stupid,” my sister spoke without even raising her eyes from the book, “A robin’s feather isn’t blue. It’s either red or brown. Their eggs are blue.”

And my chest deflated, defeated again by my sister’s know-it-all attitude.

“Bridget…” My mom’s voice was deep and she drew my sister’s name out about 4 syllables longer than necessary.

Bridget sighed audibly. “But that was a good guess, Neener.”

Neener was one of the many nicknames I developed in my family, along with Doodlebug, Umze, and Tootsie. Take your pick. I still respond to all.

I grabbed several more feathers from the box and cupped them greedily in the palm of my hands. “I wish I could fly!”

“Well,” my mom’s voice was back to its normal tone, “have you ever tried to?”

I giggled while scrunching my nose. A habit I still have to this day. “No, I’ve never twied.” I spoke through my high-pitched laughter.

“Then how do you know you can’t?” My mom looked down and to the right at me without moving her head, still holding a large gray feather out in front of her. “Here,” she took the feathers I had in my hands and tucked the stems underneath my arms, “I’ll try it with you.” She helped me down off the chair, then took a few of the larger feathers and tucked them beneath her own arms. She began flapping her “wings” vigorously and her feet started running in place. I did the same all the while laughing at my beautiful mother who looked as foolish as I did.

Bridget’s lip curled in embarrassment and she dug her face even deeper into the bird book. My brother laughed in spite of us, taking a moment’s break from his pre-algebra homework.

“C’mon Bridget! Don’t you want to fly?!” My mother’s breathing was getting heavier and small beads of sweat were beginning to form on her forehead.

“Yeah, BJ, don’t you want to fwyyyy?” I repeated my mother like a dictaphone. A dictaphone with a speech impediment.

Her face was growing redder with every moment. It made no difference that none of her friends were there to be embarrassed by, she was still the shade of a radish.

My mom and I began running in circles around her, singing, “We’re flying! We’re flying!”

Bo’s eyes narrowed and a look encroached his face that was comparable to any expression Dennis the Menace may have had; a mischievous and deviant grin spread across both cheeks. He disappeared down the hall and came running back to us in seconds holding his Nerf gun. “Not for long!!” He yelled maniacally.

Screaming voices filled our house. We were running—no, flying for our lives. Bridget grabbed her own set of feathers, finally joining in on the game. I ran, trying to find refuge from my brother, the bird hunter and tucked myself behind the couch in hopes that he wouldn’t see me hiding. Our house, which moments ago was picturesquely clean now looked as though it had been ransacked by four thieves. Chairs were overturned, Nerf balls were scattered about the floor, books had been knocked off the coffee table, and feathers were floating pretty much everywhere you looked.

My brother somehow cornered all us ladies in the foyer of our house; we had nowhere to run. He pointed his bright orange and blue gun at our bodies and squinted one eye closed like Clint Eastwood would do in an old western. “All right you yellow-bellied, lily-livered birds…prepare to meet my oven!” And just as he was about to pull the trigger, our front door opened. In walked my dad, wearing a suit, trench coat and hat.

We all froze.


He looked around for a moment, breathing in his destroyed house, and placed his briefcase by the door. None of us dared to move. Except my mom. She flapped her wings over to my dad and kissed him on the cheek, still lifting her knees in rhythm with her flapping. “Hi sweetheart,” her voice was filled with love and if I think back on it, I swear I could hear pure honey dripping from her vocal chords. “We’re being birds! If you want to read your newspaper in quiet tonight, you’ll have to do so upstairs. We’re not going to stop playing right now.” She smiled at him, and still none of us kids moved. We were barely breathing, frozen in fear.

My dad exhaled and pinched the bridge of his nose between his thumb and index finger. “Kids, cover your eyes for a moment.” We did as we were told. I heard a sound that I didn’t recognize…a very quiet rustling and then a soft click, like the sound I made when I sucked on my cheek, too angry for words. I lowered my hand from my eyes, the palm of it brushing the bridge of my nose. Above two chubby, pink fingers, I saw my dad’s arms wrapped tightly around my mother’s waist. He had her pulled in close to his body and I couldn’t tell where her lips ended and his started. Eyes were closed, their heads shifted from right to left every couple of seconds. I wondered how they managed to not bump noses. Would I someday be kissed like that by a man I loved? The kind of kiss that makes your knees turn to Jell-O? The thought of a boy kissing me on the lips made me want to vomit and I scrunched my nose, revolted at the thought. Why were they doing this in front of us? Perhaps they weren’t just my parents–but PEOPLE too. They were husband and wife as well as mom and dad, even though I didn’t quite understand what that meant at the time.

They pulled back from each other and I quickly recovered my eyes so that they wouldn’t catch me peeking. I heard my father’s sigh. “Ok, kids, you can look.” We all removed our hands from our faces simultaneously and I saw my brother send a crooked smile at my sister. They both knew about this revolting display? My chin brushed the floor and I was unable to lift my jaw off the ground. They knew that our parents performed this disgusting act and yet they allowed it to happen? Gross.

A smile slowly spread across my dad’s round face. He methodically loosened his tie and then in one swift movement lifted both Bridget and myself, running down the hallway with us under each arm. My mom followed at his feet and my brother was close behind us, shooting again.

Soon after, for my father isn’t exactly the Hulk, I was passed to my mom. Her fingers pressed into my belly and I extended my hands in front of me feeling the breeze brush across my face.

So now, 20 years later, I still smile every time I see a feather. It reminds me of a simpler time. A time when I still believed that anything could be accomplished if you just tried hard enough. The feather reminds me of the kind of mother and wife I want to be; a symbol of the kind of family I want to have. A symbol of the family that I one day will have.

That night set the standard for the type of love and marriage I deserve; the type of man I deserve. And I refuse to accept anything less than a love that will give me wings and allow me to fly.