Nexus of 12: Students Take Over The Steinberg

Please join us for: Nexus of 12,  a culmination of several of Long Island’s upcoming and established artists—featuring an array of artwork exploring the depths of human behavior, the essence of life, nature and beyond. The exhibition will be featuring the graduating MFA artists from LIU Post and will be on exhibit from April 11, 2016-May 6, 2016 at the Steinberg Museum of Art. Opening Reception will take place on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 from 5:00pm-8:00pm.   Nexus_of_12

The exhibition will feature over 40 works, varying in a wide array of media and visual language—reflecting of the artist’s backgrounds, cultures and experience both in and beyond the classroom. This particular graduating class has exhibited together in several venues, including Studio 5404 in Massapequa as well as the Ripe Gallery in Huntington.  As in past years, these students will also have their work on exhibit at the SIA Gallery in Chelsea, New York, for a one week exhibition.

We hope to see you there!

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Lets talk about “Available Light Photographers”

We’ve come across many individuals who claim to be “available light photographers,” and we always advise our clients to be on the guard when they hear that. While this may be a bit controversial, I firmly believe there is no such thing.

If we break down the root meaning, photo literally means light. A “photograph” means to make a picture with light, or to paint with light. Therefore, a photographer literally must be the master of light and/or light painting.

If your photographer claims to only use natural light, you should immediately become cautionary. Since a photographer must be the master of light—all light, in all situations—a photographer must know how to manipulate light.

I love natural photography as much as the next—natural light is beautiful and often flattering—but the truth is, you will not have natural light in every situation. As any great photographer will tell you, 75% of photography is trouble-shooting.

Case and point:

We recently had a wedding shoot—we love weddings and were, as always, super excited to get to the venue and scope it out well before start-time. A point of pride for our team is being able to “find the light—“ we love taking amazing portraits and dynamic scenes with natural light shining through windows, skylights, stained glass, etc. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the venue, we were faced with a conundrum—NO WINDOWS—not a single one.

Literally, there were no windows in the entire venue, not even a single skylight in the bridal suite. To make matters worse, there were mirrors—wall to wall, ceiling to floor—everywhere.

We decided that we would shoot our portraits and our bride and groom outside. It was an overcast day in the beautiful Astoria, Queens area of New York and we were sure to get some cool shots with brick walls, or on the water with amazing views of the Triborough (RFK) Bridge in Astoria Park. When we came back upstairs to go outside, there was a downpour. Not your drizzle kind of rain, not the “we can just grab some umbrellas and it’ll still make a cute shot” kind of rain. Nope. Full on monsoon. Our bride made it VERY clear that she was not going out in that – who could blame her

We would have to make our own light.

With 2 cameras, 4 lenses, 4 flashes, and 5 soft boxes for our flashes, we got our game faces on. From bouncing the light off of the mirrored walls and ceilings, to strategically hiding behind our subjects in the mirrors, we were able to really capture some amazing shots. At the end of this work day, we both agreed that this was by far, the MOST challenging shoot EVER.

In the end, photographers must know LIGHT. Period. Available light, natural light, artificial light…. we MUST know it all and know how to work with it, how to manipulate it.

So stay cautionary when you hear “natural light photographer,” because without the knowledge of how to use light, it’s just another person with a really nice camera.

Why I Hate Summer Sunsets

I’m a full time marketer, a full time writer, and Carrie would call me a most-of-the-time critic. I love things that are beautiful, but I really hate cliché, which leads me to this article…sunsets during summer.

Well…I love sunsets and warm weather, especially with a drink on the beach at dusk surrounded by friends and camera in hand. But it’s so cliché! It falls into the category of “everyone is a photographer” because they added a sepia filter to their sunset picture and posted it on Instagram. So to all instagramers—think of something more original! Yes, it’s beautiful, but seriously, google “summer sunset,” is your work really better?

Okay, so you’re capturing your moment. What differentiates that sunset from others? What makes that day stand out? I bet a year from now, you’ll know where you were but not who you were with, what made that day rock or insufferable, and you can’t even remember the date.

To that end, remember that truly great photography doesn’t rest within HDR and editing, it derives from the photographer. Some tips and tricks to help differentiate your landscape shots:

  1. Solid ND filters and polarizing filters still have their place in landscape shots.
  2. Solid neutral density filters reduce the amount of light entering the lens, which extends shutter speeds for long-exposure shots.
  3. Polarizer filters remove reflections from the surface of water and shiny leaves.
  4. Polarizer filters also help boost the contrast between blue skies and white cloud

– T.

The Beauty of Band Shooting

There’s another part of Theresa and Carrie’s lives they haven’t mentioned enough, in my opinion, and that would be me! My name is Catherine Weston and currently I’m interning for the studio in regards to the public relations aspect, and yes, you read that correctly, I’m also Theresa’s younger sister! I’ve worked with both Theresa and Carrie on numerous occasions and I have to admit that working with Carrie Weston Studios has really helped to expand my interest and love of photography. While I do enjoy all different types of photography and I love what the studio has to offer with its unique outlook on weddings, family, etc., I believe that band photography takes the number one spot on my  list of favorite categories because not only is there an aura of excitement and positive energy, but there is also a mixture of passion for the arts that’s hard to find anywhere else…

Excitement is in the air, the lights are low, anticipation is high.

The crowd looks excited and they’re all waiting for the show to start; the equipment is all set to go.

Having the right atmosphere and the proper sound means everything to a band about to perform in front of a live audience, so that’s all they need…right?

Wrong.

New bands need decent marketing—and it’s true, a band won’t get anywhere without good quality recordings and a clean website to display its contact information. So what else is missing?

A photographer!

Photography is one of the key factors in moving a musician/band toward the success that they’ve always dreamed of; how are they going to take the right steps to make it big if there’s nothing to show the world aside from some low-quality demo videos on Youtube? When prospective listeners can see a visual of how hard the band is working and the energy being thrown around on stage or behind the scenes, they become more interested.

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Just this past week, I was doing a shoot for the up and coming band “We Build Tomorrow” as they played a show at the Summer Festival in Potsdam, NY. As I ran, crouched, and climbed on some things I probably shouldn’t have to get the perfect shots, it was one of the more fun shoots I’ve done in my life thus far! The most rewarding feeling isn’t even getting the amazing shot you work so hard to achieve…it isn’t even the gratitude received by the members of the band after the show is over…the real feeling that makes it all worth it at the end of the day is knowing that I helped some talented people gain some really amazing recognition. Throughout the rest of the summer festival there were compliments thrown at the band left and right, but when I got back to my computer and threw those pictures up online for them, the amount of views, “likes,” “favorites,” and “re-tweets” skyrocketed.

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Through the help of this one, single shoot combined with true musical talent, “We Build Tomorrow” is now becoming more popular and they are on their way to recording their first official demo album.

Photography can help achieve many things and not just the expected—it is especially handy in achieving the unexpected too! Shooting for unrecognized bands might just be my favorite thing to do with my camera, and it taught me that through pursuing my own passion and working together with other people involved with different passions, more doors can open and anything can happen.

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* To check out more of my stuff and see how Theresa and Carrie inspired me to pursue my own dreams, feel free to follow me on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/CatherineWestonPhotography?ref_type=bookmark

Revolutionizing Who You Are Through Who We Are

We Are…

Writers

Painters

Musicians

Photographers

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Veterans

Friends

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Siblings

Painters

Vocalists

Air guitarists

Rebels

Marketers

Designers

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Beer snobs

Creatives

Sisters

Beach bums

Daughters

Advertisers

Thrift shoppers

We capture our story, keep it, tell it…and then we share it.

Let us capture yours…time and time again. Turn your memories into artwork.

For the Love of Art

Earlier this month, I (Carrie) started pursuing my Master’s in photography.  For the past several months I’ve been gathering portfolio pieces, putting together essays, requesting transcripts and letters of recommendations…. all while maintaining and running a business packed with assignments and shoots. It truly has been challenging, yet amazing year. So after months of preparing and finally submitting my work, I have been accepted into an MFA program, with a concentration on Photography.

Most people think its super cool to be perusing an MFA, but I have gotten those that have asked me why? Why go back for your Masters? An artist doesn’t really need a masters degree, why not just work in your field and keep getting “experience.” To that I say this –

What will differentiate us from the next guy, gal, fresh young college student? What will differentiate us from the guy up the road who just bought a $3,000 camera and is super excited to be a “photographer?” Or the girl who takes “good pictures?” Or the family member who will be shooting your daughters wedding because “they have a good camera?”

What will differentiate us from those “self proclaimed” photographers other than our outstanding work and attention to detail? Other than my photographic military training? Other than…. well the list goes one…. but one thing we will be able to say – “Carrie has received her MFA in Photography.” And THAT… says something.

This isn’t a hobby for me, this isn’t something I thought would be cool or easy to do. This isn’t buying expensive cameras and calling ourselves photographers.

This is love of Art, and that is what you will always get from Carrie Weston Studios. This degree, will only make it that much better.

I Discovered the Laundromat…Where is your Creative Haven?

Most people dread doing their laundry…I personally get super excited when the clothes pile up. This means that I get to pack a bag and head to the Laundromat—which probably sounds really strange, but within the confines of benched seats and screaming children, I’ve managed to find my creative haven.

After dragging two large bags into the trunk of my car, I grab my notebook, a crossword book, my iPod and some snacks and I’m out the door. Once the wash is in and running, I find a prime seat, tune into whatever music I’m into that day, and start writing. With the TV blaring in another language, children racing around throwing balls and playing tag, the temperature always being horridly uncomfortable and the overall noise of the Laundromat—I somehow find solace.

When you think about it, how many days do we spend too many hours at the office or too long working on a project that undoubtedly could have waited until tomorrow? It’s hard enough to schedule cooking dinner, exercise and a shower into our routines, nevertheless finding the time to sit and write a story (as she was running down the street, hands seemed to be coming up from the earth itself, as if escaping from some underground world…hey, it’s in the works).

Though I don’t have the option, for many it’s easier to toss the dirty clothes into the washer as you’re cooking dinner or vacuuming; however, there is something to be said about forced creative time.   Every week I’m so engrossed in what I’m doing, I hardly realize my wash is ready to be loaded into the dryer.

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Science has proved that creativity can come at the most unexpected times: when you’re drunk, when you’re groggy, when you’re on an organized schedule…I’ve discovered that after an exhausting day at the office, my inner genius takes place at the loud, drafty laundromat down the road.

-T

Five Great Gift Ideas (For Any Season)

Finding the perfect gift can make the holidays a stressful time of year. Whether you’re trying to buy for the person who has it all, or you’re on a tight budget….coming up with the perfect gift for someone can be daunting.

Over the years, I’ve done it all, from sewing pillows to making scrapbooks…Carrie has given away her artwork and we’ve both made some pretty amazing dollar store gift baskets. Over the years however, we’ve decided that the almighty photograph somehow makes its way to the top 5 gift item list.

So, if you’re on a budget and in need of some creative (and perhaps last minute) gift ideas, here are our top 5 favorites:

1457549_735574039790324_2090134288_nThe canvas print. It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s art. We have found that this is not only great for when you’re on a tight budget, but great for when you just don’t have the time to get crafting.

The portrait session.  Portrait sessions can be as inexpensive or over the top as you want them to be. They can include makeup, hair styling, one or a dozen outfit changes, be in the studio or at any location. If you cant decide or if you have a picky friend, just getting them the most basic package is an incentive to start. Helping your friend or loved one feel beautiful and glamorous is a great gift, not to mention it’s fun! Book a double session and do a photoshoot together, turn your gift into a fun day out—the experience and your time spent with them is always the greatest gift of all.
The infamous family photo. Perhaps the last time you received a picture from Aunt Sue 644345_730897133591348_1066737187_nwas from 1998. Whether the kids or adorable or fully grown, get the family together by buying them a family portrait package. Not only will it be a great day out for the entire family, but they’ll be able to update the artwork on their walls and be able to turn the gift received into gifts for others! It’s a win-win for you and the entire family.
Photo memorabilia. This is always a winner…if you’re looking for something unique and completely personalized, photo memorabilia is the way to go. Prior to starting our own studio, I lived for the CVS photo lab, I’ve made calendars, puzzles, etc. What’s better about going to a studio is knowing that you’re going to receive high-resolution images and not run the risk of you not being able to tell if it’s Aunt Barbara or Uncle Mike for the July family photo. In addition, you can get really creative…make a story book, make a bookmark, make a newspaper wanted sign, make a video, make a huge poster, or put your face on a magnet. Regardless, the possibilities are endless and the best part is, you can send the file, send the idea, and let the magic happen, on your budget, and without slaving for hours trying to crop the image into a template.
Couples therapy. Perhaps they’ve been married for 50 years, perhaps they just got engaged, or you know he or she is going to pop the question this New Years…regardless, a couples session can be intimate, reinvigorating and fun. You can get them an engagement session, a portrait session, a canvas print, or an anniversary photo book. My friends recently got engaged and I had photographs from the early 90s when we were kids. I restored them and digitized them, creating a beautiful and long-lasting album for them to have and show their children…yes it was inexpensive and yes…it brought tears to my soon to be bride’s eyes.

Overall, these gifts are great for: the new mom, the mom to be, the family, your best friend who just lost a ton of weight, your friend who wants to feel sexy, YOURSELF, your girlfriend (no girl complains about her hair and makeup getting done and being the center of a photoshoot), your boyfriend (make it fun and sexy!), your husband, your wife, your anniversary, the newly wed, the sweet sixteen package, the pretty princess package for a five year old…the list goes on.

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If you’re out of ideas, get creative…I just made my brother a calendar filled with hilarious photographs. He’s 23. He’s in the Navy, and he’s going to love it, laugh at it, hang it on his wall, and keep it forever.yfriend (make it fun and sexy!), your husband, your wife, your anniversary, the newly wed, the sweet sixteen package, the pretty princess package for a five year old…the list goes on.

The moral of the story? Photography prints and/or sessions make the ideal gift and can conform to anyone’s schedule and anyone’s budget. Just ask us about it!

Two Toddlers & a Family Portrait

When Theresa asked me to write this blog post, I had no idea what I would say. I have to admit – most of the time when she asks me to write a blog post I totally avoid it and ignore it until she hopefully forgets. Sometimes she does… sometimes she doesn’t. We recently scheduled a family photo session over at the Northport Marina. When she asked me to write about the experience, I had no idea what I would say. Until, that is, I began to edit the photos from that day.

I was nervous about the shoot. Kristin and I had spoken weeks before and even in the days leading up to the shoot. Her and her husband wanted a family photo session with their toddler twins. I have to admit, my throat closed a bit as this as I said “Great! What days are good for you?” In as much excitement as I could muster. It wasn;t doing the shoot persay – It was that I had never had to photograph TWO toddlers at once – even more so photographing 2 toddlers and a set of parents where everyone will be looking at me??!

Impossible!! I had to take a breather and was grateful for the few weeks before our session to have time to sit on it and gather my thoughts. In the days before the shoot, I reminded Kristin that I was not “Sears,” that if she was looking for that type of posed thing, that it wasn’t me. She was great and laughed at my concerns – I think my reminding her of my shooting style was actually my reminding me. “I capture the moments.” I said “the interactions between family members. The smiles, the faces, the concerns, the questions… I capture memories. Artwork, that I hope you will hang on your walls for years to come.”

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We were to meet at Northport Park at 4pm – after nap and snack time, before dinner time. I solicited my 12 year old niece to be my assistant for the day. Not only does she have a really good eye, but I needed someone to hold reflectors and such, just in case. When we arrived we cased out the park looking for not the perfect “scenery,” but the perfect light. To my dismay the sun was still very high in the sky which meant harsh shadows everywhere. Still, that is the photographers plight – find the light, manipulate the light, know the light. The blessing was it WAS a beautiful warm day. As we walked around casing different areas of the park, taking into consideration both scenery AND light, I made mental notes of things I wanted to try – “kid sandwich here, tell me a secret pose, parents hold children’s hands and swing… etc”

All of my planning went out the window as soon as these two adorable, energetic, rambunctious children stepped out of their stroller. I know Kristin really wanted to get all 4 of them in a shot and for a while it was a struggle. One parent, one toddler, or Two parents, one toddler – no problem… but all 4? Finally, I reminded myself – capture the moments… let them play. And that is exactly what we did. I attempted some shots where the parents were behind the children a few feet, but these toddlers were exited to run about in the openness and so… we let them. It was an amazing experience. I have to admit I was not only exhausted, but nervous as to how this was going to come out. All the while Theresa’s voice in my head saying “What are you nervous about? You are a national award winning photographer.” Yes, yes I am…. Everything will be fine.

Carrie-Anne GonzalezAnd everything was. To experience a play date with this couple and their children, To capture the two very different personalities of these twins, was truly an amazing experience. The laughs, the running, the learning… seeing how children look to their parents and how parents adoringly and lovingly see their children. The ending result – art work for their walls.
Carrie-Anne Gonzalez

Why the Second Shooter Matters

Unfortunately, Carrie & I don’t have the chance to shoot together as often as we’d like. With conflicting schedules and the demands of scheduling at times that best serve our clients needs—it’s difficult for the two of us to arrive together at a shoot—which is why we value our interns and additional staff so much. Luckily, we had the opportunity to shoot the Leadership Huntington Foundation Gala & Graduation event last week—and we were able to do it together.

I have attended many networking events, galas, graduations and award ceremonies—and typically, there has been one photographer and one videographer. If that. Working with Carrie at this event truly brought out the significance of having an additional photographer. While she was working the room photographing the keynote speakers, the honorees, the politicians and graduates—I was photographing the details: the place setting, the candid moments, the musicians, etc.Leadership Huntington Foundation_CW Studios_2These type of events have a lot going on—while one photographer is being pulled one way, it’s easy for the other to drift around and look for the artistic shots that set us a part from our competitors—and set us a part from those who think they can pick up a camera and just photograph without professional training.Leadership Huntington Foundation_CW Studios_4Her batteries died, her flash timed out, there were awards being given and hands being shaken—yet it was all captured on film because we had two cameras and an extra pair of hands and eyes. Leadership Huntington Foundation_CW Studios_3It’s easy to work with one shooter for a portraiture session, for headshots, or even a small networking event. It’s definitely a necessity to ensure there are two photographers for large events over 50, such as weddings or galas to make sure that all of the details are caught on film. You may not think you care about the minor details during the event—but you’ll certainly be grateful to have them afterward.