Where does the time go?

So here it is the end of April and I am just starting my blog entry for January. Not too far behind, nah. Where does all the time go?

I hope you are wondering what I have been up to, what I have been shooting, what amazing projects have I begun (and finished at this point), what spectacular images have I created? I can say that some great images have come out of the last few months; I have photographed some wonderfully amazing people, some events that were exciting and fun, and so much more. It has been a very busy year so far!

In my last post I was celebrating my wonderful wife and our time together. She thinks it’s corny but hey, I kinda like her so call me corny. It turns out that so many people liked the images I took of her to say “Happy Anniversary Baby!” that I was asked time and time again to do something similar for friends and clients. Who am I to say no? Of course I would shoot these people and help bring out their wonderful personalities!

In fact there were so many requests to create this type of imagery for people I have had to start an entirely new website just for the boudoir images. You can see a few below, to see even more head out to BoudoirPhilly.com and see a lot more!

Photographing beautiful women isn’t all I have been doing (not that I am complaining at all). There have been events like the Mt. Airy Art Garage’s opening to celebrate their quilt show. Needless to say the quilts were stunning!

I have been to Manhattan to shoot a fantastic singer Randy Herman. We shot his new album cover throughout the snowstorm in January. Lucky for us Grand Central is a great place to create images that show him “Moving Through Time”. You can learn all about Randy on his website, therandyherman.com and check out the new album (as well as the cover art of course), I think you will love it!

While I was in NY I had the opportunity to spend time with one of my favorite people in the world, Beate Chelette. I can tell you right now, she is one of the smartest people I know. You should check out her book, “Happy Woman, Happy World”; it’s not just for women. I have it in both hard copy and the ebook. I never want to miss a word of it!

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book cover

StanSmith-001When I got back from NY I continued working with one of my favorite clients, Stan Smith, a Philly guy that is constantly helping the local neighborhoods to grow and flourish. This is the kind of guy who everyone should try to grow up to be. He not only refurbishes aging properties, but keeps them affordable for local businesses so that they contribute to the growth and well-being of the community, and that is before he even starts doing his work for the neighborhood and all the nonprofits he is involved in! Check him out at StanSmith.me, I think you will be impressed, I am.

Then there are the architectural shoots, the marches to help victims of sexual violence, business events in downtown Philadelphia, and so much more. Now that I write all this I see where the time has gone. It has gone into doing a lot of great work for a lot of great people!

This is just the beginning of 2014! More to come and I promise I won’t wait 4 months to post again.

 

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You’ve created your Masterpiece! Now what?

I will be teaching a class at the Mt. Airy Art Garage this February 8th from 1 – 5pm on what to do once you have created that perfect work of art. It’s time to get it out to the world, but how?  This is going to be a ton of information all in one afternoon so bring your notebooks!

Topics covered will include:

  • Showing your art electronically
  • The importance of quality presentation of the art (such as quality photos of the art)
  • Websites, free, cheep, easy and advanced
  • Networking, where and with whom
  • Organizational alignments with community organizations like, oh the Mt. Art Garage for example?

Click the image below to sign up!

So you’re going to be there right?

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Class Flyer

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We have a Winner!

A little over a week ago in my last post, I asked which shot you liked better day or night. For those that voted they had a chance to win a print of the image they chose. There were a a number of votes and more than 60% of you voted for the night version. So did our winner, Don Keane of Thorofare NJ. A print suitable for framing will be going out to Don later this week. Congratulations Don!

Here is the winning image:

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This contest was so much fun that I am sure I will do it again. So keep an eye out for the next contest!

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The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful

It’s been a heck of a summer; the good the bad and the beautiful.

As you know by a recent post I lost my mother at the beginning of the summer. This week we had to have our cat put down too. Too much death this summer but isn’t there always. Keeping the memories is the important part now, not that the internet needs anymore cat pictures. All this definitely takes care of the “Bad.”

On to the good and the beautiful!

Just two weeks ago I had the opportunity to photograph a wonderful home going up for sale in Phoenixville PA.

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189 Pembrooke Circle

This home was amazing; the in-law suite in the basement was bigger than my place! And it has a fireplace – I don’t have one. The people selling are downsizing and retiring to Florida. I have no idea how they can leave such a colorful, beautiful home. Thank you Chris Smith for introducing me to your clients and allowing me to photograph this wonderful home. To see more of this amazing home click here.

Shooting this home was good, now to the beautiful.

Last week I got a call from a fellow photographer Theresa Rivers, who asked if I would help her learn some of the techniques I use for lighting portraits. She had already set up the studio, the models were scheduled and all I had to do was show up. OK, I can do that!

Everyone was super professional, super excited to be working together and we had a great time!

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Star & Mzseduction

The models, Star (left) and Mzseduction, were the perfect balance of fun and professional. We had a great afternoon and here you can see Theresa trying out one of the techniques I showed her.

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Ms. Theresa testing her new knowledge

Jahi of Intricate Photography lent us his studio I had no idea of how comfortable it would be but it was well equipped, comfortable, and had just the right lighting to produce images that will be added to my portfolio.

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Mzseduction all inked up

Today I will be shooting Mzseduction again in my home studio and I hope to have some of those images up for you all to see soon. It certainly has been a busy and interesting summer and it’s not over yet! If you haven’t done it yet, get out and make some memories and make them the Good and Beautiful kind!

 

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Moving Forward

Needless to say that if you read my last post that the month of June sucked. Dealing with the death of a parent is not an easy task. If you have lost a parent then I feel your pain and if you still have your parents then tell them you love them even if you are arguing with them. You never know when the last conversation is going to be.

Our parents always want the best for us and that was true of my mother as well. When I first told her that I was leaving the corporate world to take my photography business full time she outright said, “Are you crazy!? You have a good job and are making good money.” I explained to her that money isn’t everything and that it would mean nothing if the stress of doing something that though I was very good at it, made me miserable.

In time she came to accept that I was a pretty good photographer and a good businessman as well; perhaps this wasn’t such a bad idea. After all the creative gene came from her. My mother was a painter and poet and she was more popular than she even knew. When we went to empty her apartment almost everyone that knew her asked if they could have a painting of hers. I on the other hand can’t draw a stick figure and make it represent anything I intend it to. Although I love all kinds of art, my father’s photographer gene joined with my mother’s creative one and I am the result.

Another thing my mother insisted upon was never sitting still; don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen. Also known as get off your butt and do it!  I can still hear her telling me that being bored was “a sign of an empty mind” and that I had to pursue things not be pursued by them. Of course that is why I was a bit surprised when she thought I should stay in the corporate world.

Although I would love to strictly do fine art photography, photography of any kind is my passion. When my mother learned that I would be showing my work at a library near her home in Delaware County Pennsylvania she was excited and was looking very much forward to seeing her son’s work displayed to the public, especially the public she knew personally.

webposterWhen my mother died unexpectedly on the 30th of May I wasn’t even thinking of the upcoming show. All I could think about was how much it hurt to lose her. After the funeral and the packing up of her belongings I remembered about the show and was considering politely backing out. About then is when I heard her in my head saying, “Are you crazy!?” She wouldn’t have let me feel pity for myself, she would have insisted that I move forward and not stop just because she went and died. Sure I can feel my sorrow and sure it hurts but keep moving while you do so, never stop pursuing the goal.

Starting yesterday some examples of my work are now hanging in the Newtown Public Library, Newtown Square, PA and on July 10th I will be the guest of honor at “An Evening with the Artist” at 7pm. The details are on Facebook.

I wanted to take a moment to invite all my readers to join me on the 10th or at least to stop by the library to visit and see my work. Help me to continue moving forward and let’s pack the house.

Details and to RSVP (not required) are here: An Evening with the Photographer, Michael Albany! And do me a favor, invite your friends!

 

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Year in Review

2012 is over and the new year has begun. I am more than confident that this new year is going to be more than last year. More what you say? More everything! More photography, more business, more work, more creating, more success, more of everything good! How exactly do I know this? I am predicting more. I feel it in my bones that your year is going to take off and so is mine.

I close friend of mine launched a new branch of her business last month, showing her art in a new way. Sonya Sanchez Arias opened a new website (SonyaSanchezArias.com) showcasing her amazing Reclaimed Beauty Jewelry and if you have even half a moment I think you should take a look. Her work is amazing! When you look at her stunning designs you will see artistry at its finest and yet all of her work is made with recyclable materials. I’ll let you figure out what is made of what.

At the very end of the year she became ill for the first time in a very long time. She is doing well now and recovering. I believe it was her body casting off the year of 2012 and launching her into a new life as a creative. Time will tell but once you see her new work I think you will agree that her jewelry is amazing, much like everything she does.

Her positive attitude through it all got me thinking. Sonya is an amazing person and she has helped me in so many ways. She and I actually met via LinkedIn and I have visited her in Florida. Almost every time I speak with her she is positive, strong and creative in all that she does. She has kept me thinking and at times helped me stay excited about my photography when I started to wane even the tiniest bit.

In honor of her positive motivation in my work I decided to put together a bit of the best of my photography from 2012. Below is a gallery of my favorites form the last year. Some have been posted on the blog before, some not.

Farewell 2012. It is time for me to make this next year shine even brighter.

Here is to a fantastic New Year!

 

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CCPA at Reading Terminal

My goodness, where have I been!  Three weeks since a post, not good form for a blogger. Then again I blog but I am not a ‘blogger’. In fact, you may not have realized it but I am actually a photographer. Not sure if anything on this site would give that away or not. 😉

Recently I was hired to photograph an event for the Center City Proprietors Association at the Reading Terminal Market. The event was packed with all types of businesses from Center City Philadelphia. These are the real movers and shakers of this city. They are the people who create the jobs, keep the city clean and make Philadelphia a great place to live. People like John Cipollone, one of the best networked independent sales people in the city.

 

 

Men like Joe Wolf of Liberty Property Trust, a CCPA Board member, have been working to better the city in more ways than I can even mention. Can that man rock a bow tie or what?

 

 

The band was fantastic too! The George Weldon Jazz Trio had us all swinging and swaying all evening.

 

 

Bill Mignucci, the owner of Di Bruno Brothers, and his crew brought some fantastic cheeses for us all to take home (which made my wife very happy I might add). If you have never been to Philly make sure that when you do get here you check out Di Bruno Brothers. You can’t miss a Philly favorite like this!

 

 

I met Freda Magee, and Deborah Levin (National Penn Bank) while cornering Ben Frank the Executive Director of CCPA, near the Silent Auction tables.

 

 

But no matter whether you go to Reading Terminal for the food, an event, or just to experience the busiest and best market in Philadelphia you have to swing by and say hello to Philbert! I had to make sure that he got his own name tag. 😉

 

 

The CCPA, their members (yeah I am one of them too), and all of the people in Center City make Philadelphia a great place to live, work and have fun!

 

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Love in the Dark

First let me say that my thoughts go out to those that probably can’t read this right now, specifically those affected by super storm Sandy. Although my wife did get stuck in Denver because her flight was canceled, we faired very well and have not had to deal with the long term loss of power and short supplies like our friends in Manhattan.

A day or so after the storm I got a message from a photographer friend of mine from Boston and my immediate thought was something happened to her or her partner, thankfully I was wrong. She was reaching out to ask if I could cover a wedding for her that she was supposed to shoot this past Friday. Due to the storm she wasn’t sure she was going to be able to get her car repaired in time to make it down to Philadelphia for the wedding. That close to the end of the storm there was no other way to get from Boston to here.

As luck would have it I was available and I would be more than happy to cover for her. As it turned out she was able to make it down but normally 5 hour ride took closer to 9 hours.

She still wanted me to assist and I was available so why not. I love weddings and this one was special. You see the couple getting married just barely got out of Manhattan just before the storm where they had actually taken their vows. This version of the wedding was for the families. They had decided to get married in NY because here in Pennsylvania if you have two brides they don’t let you get married.

The brides were gorgeous and the bridal party was stunning, it was however very difficult to tell in the dark. Unfortunately the venue they had chosen was one of the harder hit areas in Philadelphia and we had no lights for the event! Needless to say it is very difficult to focus in the dark. With generators running to cover the bare minimum of necessities and with the aid of my mighty speed-lights we were able to witness a very romantic ceremony and a fantastic reception.

These are just a few of the hundreds of images I was able to create that night. Through the sheer determination of the brides and the crews they called together, it was in fact a beautiful wedding and probably one of the most fun I have ever been to.

 

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Gabe, Kate and the Old Mill

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by a friend and fellow photographer Alix Passage (alixpassage.com) to assist her at a wedding. Alix is a fantastic wedding photographer and she and I often assist each other on photo shoots of all kinds. This wedding though was to be a bit different and Alix knew that I wouldn’t want to give up the chance to shoot this one.

These was at an old mill in south central Pennsylvania and not only were the bride and groom going to be barefoot, but the entire wedding party went without shoes. The idea of shooting a semi-formal wedding with barefoot wedding party, in the country, in an old stone building that used to be a mill, heaven! This location was beautiful! Only the bride herself was more awe-inspiring.

The mill at night

When you combine a location like that with a beautiful couple there is nothing that can get in the way of a wonderful, memory packed day. The friends and family were amazing and the bride and groom looked hopelessly in love. I am not big on weddings usually but this one tugged at my crusty old heart strings. Rather than me ramble on I will let the images tell the story.

By the creek

A moment alone

Looking at a future together

Togetherness

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Auctioning Off My Work

As you may or may not know I am involved with the Mt. Airy Art Garage in Philadelphia; it is one of my pet causes. The Mt. Airy Art Garage, or MAAG for short, is a community based artist space where artist can meet and collaborate. This fall I will be teaching a photography course there called People Places and Things and you can sign up for that on the MAAG website here: Fall Art Classes. But before that happens they are hosting their 3rd Annual Silent Auction to help raise funds for the build out of artist studios in the garage.

All the events and shows are jurried including the auction. I submitted a canvas wrap of the lead image on this site of the dancer Deneane Richburg at the Philadelphia Museum of Art titled “Leaping Van Gogh”. The MAAG silent auction is going to be the best place to purchase all types of art and very well may be your best opportunity to get this piece at a discount! Who doesn’t like to save money especially when it is for a good cause!

Leaping Van Gogh

This is the piece I submitted and was accepted into the auction.

If you’re not doing anything this weekend, come out to the silent auction and make a bid or two on some of the best and most original artwork in Philadelphia!  I’ll be there so swing by and say hello! If you can make it out you can get your tickets on the MAAG website by clicking Here.

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