Revolutionizing Who You Are Through Who We Are

We Are…

Writers

Painters

Musicians

Photographers

IMG_0597

Veterans

Friends

tw and carrie

Siblings

Painters

Vocalists

Air guitarists

Rebels

Marketers

Designers

rampage_main_5c9e7142e701d72922781d92c5989ffb

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.

Advertisements

Enter the $1,000 Give Away! Seeking Creative Engaged Couples to Enter for a Chance to Win!

East Northport’s Carrie Weston Studios is making a special offer starting this St. Patrick’s Day for brides to be. Starting this St. Patrick’s Day and running through April 18, 2014, the Studio will be launching their first contest for $1,100 worth of services toward five lucky couples.

The Give Away includes $3,000 worth of photography services for only $1,100. Five lucky
couples will be selected to receive day of wedding photography; two photographers; bridal
makeup and trial session; in-studio bridal mini-session; on-location engagement session. To be considered, participants must submit a brief essay (no more than 500 words) stating what makes them “lucky.”

“We’re looking for unique and creative entries,” said Carrie-Anne Gonzalez, partner at Carrie Weston Studios. “We intend for the $1,100 Give Away to encourage entrants to consider not only what makes their story special, but how capturing the essence of who they really are should resonate on camera.”

The contest, which launches March 17, 2014, is open to NewYork residents over the age of 18. Competition details and more information can be found at http://www.carriewestonstudios.com. An active discussion will be held on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #CWLuckyBride.

1796621_801340583213669_301531787_n

How to Fight the Winter Blues

Here in New York, it’s been snowing, freezing, hailing…and mostly freezing. Over the weekend we had a short bout of warm weather—50 degrees. I was outside in a t-shirt, running at the park and driving with the sunroof open.

Unfortunately, that was literally confined to the weekend. This week we’re back below freezing and all everyone has been talking about is the weather and how miserable it is—and I agree! However, in the doldrums of sitting in traffic praying for your car to warm up and leaving the office when the sun has already set, here are some of the ways I’ve been combating the winter blues:

  1. Bust out your creativity: trapped indoors? Get creative. In the summer, we’d rather be outdoors and spending time with friends. In winter, we’re victims of cabin fever. Over the last week I have reorganized my apartment, took at tutorial on sewing and made a photo collage! Carrie utilized her time in the studio and veered away from our traditional shoots and had some fun.carrie
  2. Get healthy! What and when you eat has a great affect on your mood and energy. I’ve learned to juice and finally learned how to cook (only a few minor kitchen accidents occurred in the mean time).
  3. Treat yourself: Nearly all of our posts tend to promote self-pampering! Get that massage you’ve been putting off, a weekend trip, attend a sporting event or host a party to help fight the endless weeks of winter.
  4. Light therapy. I force myself outside despite the cold… the sunlight (although exposure has been minimal lately!) can help regulate the brain chemicals that affect your mood. 
  5. Un-Hermit: I tend to catch myself hiding out in the depths of my apartment, sitting in safe_imagePJ’s on my couch watching the Lord of the Rings for the 100th time. I find that going out, whether to happy hour, meeting a friend for lunch or coffee, helps my mood dramatically.
  6. Train Your Mind: This is the perfect time to enhance your skills and take a training—online or in-person. When we’re busy, its hard to take new courses and stay on top of the latest trends…online trainings are essential to our industry—as they are to most! Exercise your mind!

How do you combat the winter blues?

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.

Valentines Day

Valentines Day is an anticipated and hated holiday. I myself have gone through many phases:
Child Theresa:
Yayyy, I get to hand out cards in class and mommy is going to bake cakes!
Teenage Theresa:
If I have a Valentine, that’s cool, but I totally don’t believe in this holiday. And if I don’t, I’m dressing black and bringing in black roses for my girlfriends.
College Theresa:
I’m broke. This holiday was created by American capitalists trying to make more money. Let’s get a bottle of wine (to anyone willing to partake with me) and call it a night.
Adult Theresa:
We should get off for this holiday. But since we don’t, how should I celebrate it?
Valentine’s Day after all doesn’t necessarily mean COUPLES, ROMANCE, CANDLES, etc. Over the years, I’ve learned that one of the most important forms love can take is love for oneself. I now believe in the ritual of pampering…I’ve had Carrie do boudoir shoots for me and have found that to be the greatest Valentine’s Day gift of all. I had a blast being on camera, getting my makeup done and playing dress up for the day. What did I do with the images? I made a book and eventually decided to let my boyfriend see. But the book is still mine—a strong reminder of my confidence and beauty.
Before I sound too egotistical, Valentine’s Day can also be about family. Since my mom has always baked and decorated and celebrated the holiday, this year I had some photos printed on canvas of me and my siblings. Now we’re grown, at different locations throughout the US…I thought it was a nice way to tell her I love her (and it was…. I couldn’t hold out until Valentine’s Day to give it to her!)
And to be honest, yes, I do have a boyfriend. We typically don’t celebrate (with the exception of the standard Pinot Noir of course) but the last year marked our five year anniversary…and I’ve got something up my sleeve. To be honest, I’m hoping he does too and the ideal gift for someone like me who loves the power of memories, photographs and of course him…would be a shoot. It’s a great day out and encourages you to spend time together.
So whether you’re single, dating, married or happily divorced, remember that this is a day  or love, and love takes on many faces.

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.

Theresa_notebook

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.

1380524_727089627305432_566878284_n

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.”

Carrie-Anne Gonzalez

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.

Why Not Photograph Your Alter Ego?

Halloween is a favorite for most people and I don’t think it’s because they enjoy the sugar rush and influx of chocolate (although that is an awesome perk). I think it’s because of everyone’s desire to embrace their alter ego…their darker half…their lighter half…their opposite.

I’ve been Pikachu, Captain Hook, a nerd (that is definitely far from my opposite…Lord of the Rings and Star Wars for life!), a goth, Cleopatra and the list goes on. The best part of dressing up, as a girl at least, is caking on way more make-up than you’d ever wear, doing your hair or sporting a wig that completely alters your look and trying to be as beautiful or bizarre as humanly possible.

I’m thinking…a great idea would be a Halloween Boudoir-Style photo shoot. My rationale is, you get to dress up and look amazing and capture it on film. I personally think I may take Carrie up on this and create a calendar for the man at home (you can obviously tell he doesn’t read this blog) as a Christmas gift. Twelve different “Theresa’s” for every month of the year…just food for thought…which is why I included the unnecessary photo collage of my various costumes below.

Whether it’s a gift for someone or yourself, a boudoir/portraiture shoot is always a win…who doesn’t love dressing up?

Keep your eyes open for our Groupon special, coming out over the next week or so. Also, if you comment on this blog post, come down to the Studio and receive up to 15% off printing.

 Theresa Weston Halloween Montage