Daily archives "May 7, 2010"

Drum roll, please!

Remember this portrait?  Remember seeing how bad the condition was?  Yeah… pretty bad.

Well… it should be said that this is NOT easy stuff to do.  I don’t recommend it for anyone who likes sanity.

And the final result is…

Raise your hand if you think Diana (the restoration miracle worker) is a genius!

To celebrate a life

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Star Wars was probably the first movie (in a theater) I ever remember seeing WITH my father.  I remember thinking “cool, I’m hangin’ out with dad.”  He’s really been my best friend ever since.  He was tremendously influential to me growing up.  I admired his work ethic, intelligence and unique ability to become virtually anyone’s friend.  He was truly the perfect package when it came to people you want to look up to in life.

Dad was the best man at my wedding in 1994.  He gave me some of the best advice about marriage… by saying nothing at all.  One of the fondest memories I have of my dad is just prior to the wedding ceremony, he steps into the room where I was waiting, stone-faced, solemn, expressionless, and says in the best monotone voice he can muster, “Tony… it’s time.”  I felt like “hey, is this a wedding or a wake?”

I continued to look to my father as a guiding light.  In my best of times, he would always point out things that I might overlook.  In my worst of times, his advice and support was inspirational and always welcome.  There was never a time that I did not want to hear from or about my dad.  He just seemed like that little voice in the back of my head saying “be sure to check the details.”

I continue to remind myself that it was my father who was my inspiration in photography.  Growing up he took lots of pictures of us kids (I have two brothers and a sister), and it was a G-R-E-A-T night when the slides came back from the drug store.  Dad would carefully load them into the carousel or slide tray (more than once loading them upside down, backwards or both) and we would all watch the magic white screen to see what goofy stuff had happened to us over the last month or so.  You are probably not surprised to learn that ALL of those slides are still in metal cases, stored under a bookshelf at mom’s house.

There are those who say I look like my father, have the same mannerisms and kindness as my father, and a respect for people… just like dad.  If I could only have one of those, it would be the respect.  To this day, people genuinely entertain me.  I think dad got a kick out of the antics of some people, too.  There were always moments growing up where dad seemed to chuckle at the silly things that people would do.  So do I.  In private, I laugh uncontrollably… and usually with Diana, who enjoys laughter just as much and almost as often.

To be fair, dad wasn’t the only great influence on my life.  But he was a significant contributor.

He’s been gone two years today.  I’ve made other blog posts about the days leading up to his death.  I don’t need to recount those here.  This is a celebration, after all.

I’d like to propose a toast… lift your glasses, be they adult spirits, juice boxes, or a tall drink of ice cold water… to the man who is truly a hero to me.  Rest In Peace, dad. 🙂

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Casual Friday

We’re flexible enough to offer portraits in formal, traditional or casual attire.  We photograph people, dogs, horses, cows and even iguanas.  We have been up and down the coast, and in our own studio and the portrait park out back.  And nothing strikes me as more fun than a family who enjoys being together.  It showed today. 🙂

Oh… the memories we shall make!

I get mixed feelings about the prom.  I was not a big prom-goer in high school.  I went to one, but it wasn’t a great experience.  I was more a behind-the-scenes type anyway.  So when I get to see all the kids in their finest attire and with their amazing personalities shining through, I get this happy feeling in the pit of my stomach that screams out “YES!!” and I cheer for these kids, having their last blast before the end of the school year.  For many, it’s the end of high school altogether.

We took pictures on Friday and Saturday of last week for proms that were going on that night.  It was for people who wanted something traditional, but that didn’t look like “school pictures.”  No tricks, gimmicks, or overprocessed images.  Just some good old-fashioned fun and portraits like nowhere else.

Now, I wish I could post all of them.  But instead, I’ll post one that kind of epitomizes the great times we had.

We were thankful to learn that there were no major incidents at all three Berkeley County proms, and that safety was the main consideration for everyone.  Good luck to everyone for the remainder of the school year!

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And history walked in…

A lady called us late last week and asked if we did restoration of old photos.  We told her that we do, and she went on to explain that she had two large photos (for now) that were in a sad state.  After a short description of the damage as a result of living through the years in conditions that were less than favorable for images, I asked her to bring them in.

On Wednesday, she was accompanied by her aunt (age 82) and her husband.  The two images (both 16×20) were in worse shape than she’d made them out to be on the phone.  Diana, who is our restoration specialist, reviewed them with the client and talked about what was necessary to get them back in to shape.  But the whole time, I was looking at the one picture (shown below) and hearing its story… the photo is of the aunt’s great-grandmother.  The photo was taken and printed some time in the late 1800’s.  That’s over 100 years of history.

I’m showing you this now, before Diana does her miracles on it, because I want to share with you a portrait from years (over a century) gone by.  I’ll be sure to show you before and after images for both photos, though.