Exploring Central Park in Spring + Some Photos

Hi all! When spring rolls around all I want to do is be outside. Since spring has gotten warmer I’ve been planning a lot of outdoor events, even if it’s as simple as having a drink outside in Bryant Park. Last Friday I had the afternoon off from work for Easter weekend, so I went up to Central Park (a pretty short walk from my office, which is so nice) and took my camera along with me. It was a bright and warm day, and the park was pretty full. I took some photos, and here they are. I hope you like them. transitioning to spring outfits-2

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Snapshots // Midsummer

“I wish I could find words—serious, beautiful words—to describe it in the afternoon sunlight; the more I strive for them, the more they utterly elude me.”

I’ve been having a lovely summer so far, with friends and warm nights. The quote above is from one of my favorite books I Capture the Castle, a book my sister made me read when I was a young teenager. It’s still one of her—and my—favorite books. Summer and spring always make me happier and feel more alive and more at peace, and this year, I’m looking forward to new beginnings, new challenges, new adventures, and putting into motion some big things so I can get some goals met. It’s scary, but I’m really looking forward to it.

I’ve been filled with anxiety this year because of a job, so finding some days and moments to do what I love and be with people I love means the world to me. Here’s what I’ve been up to lately.

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Fall Days & Fall Nights

Every season of the year brings something new and exciting that makes me so happy I live in a place with four distinct seasons. After the heat and excitement of summer fades, there’s nothing I love more than to enjoy the crisp fall weather by either staying in for days at a time with a book, or going outside for those singular fall activities I can’t get enough of. Also I love crunching leaves. 😉

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Here’s my very, very brief checklist of the things I want to do this fall season:

go apple/pumpkin picking

There is no better way to soak in the crisp fall weather than going apple picking—braining yourself in the head with that long picker, eating more apples than you buy, and breaking all the rules by trying to climb trees (and only going up three branches) are all priceless experiences.

dress in jewel tones

Eek! I can’t tell you how excited I am for fall fashion! I already have my scarves lined up and ready, I’ve bought boots, I’ve bought dresses, I’ve bought stockings. I’ve put together some outfits I seriously cannot wait to put together and share.

For me, fall fashion means layering, wearing jewel tones like purple, burnt orange, reds and yellows, and boooooooots.

read scary books

Summer is always a reading slump for me; there are always a million other things to do! So to get myself back in the routine, and to get myself hype for Halloween, I like to read something slightly scary. This year, it’s going to be Libba Bray’s sequel to The Diviners: Lair of Dreams.

As a fantasy/historical/YA novel, it’s not exactly a horror story BUT Bray’s first Diviners book was easily the scariest thing I ever read, so I have high hopes for the sequel.

drink oktoberfest

BEER! Do I have to say more?

take photographs

This time of year, or really, whenever the seasons start to change, I love to go out wandering with my camera in hand. Everything slows down and you have this intense quiet time to yourself to think, reflect, and flex your creativity. I love it, and I get some beautiful photographs out of the mix.

be a tourist

Fall in New York City is not only freaking beautiful, but it has so much more culture and just as many activities as in the summer. PLUS, as an added bonus, the rooftop happy hours aren’t ridiculously packed anymore.

There are so many events and festivals, especially food-related (which are my favorite kind) and I can’t wait to try them out.

snuggle

Cold weather = blankets and hoodies.

Featured Blogger | Laura Kathryn Photography

FEATUREDI’m very excited to bring you this month’s featured blogger, photographer and blogger Laura Kate, of Laura Kathryn Photography. Laura and I connected a few months ago over shared life experiences, and she has constantly inspired me with her philosophy of life, her artistic outlook, and her beautiful art. She’s not only a talented photographer, but she is also a gifted writer—a true storyteller. This is her story:lkphotography (4)

Photo sessions are much more complicated than you may think. Before I started out on this story telling journey, I had the notion that photography wasn’t much more than reading up on your camera’s manual and watching a few tutorials. But it’s much more intricate than that. Photographers and subjects alike will agree that life’s most cherished moments are often completely unrehearsed. Yet we schedule an exact time to meet at a very specific location with our carefully planned wardrobe and practiced poses, intent on capturing contrived spontaneity in hopes it will appear effortless, relaxed, and natural within our 16×20 frame. The task at hand on either side of the camera is enormous.

So why do we do it?

There exists in all of us an innate sense of just how quickly things can change. Time flies — that’s not just an old adage. So we as photographers ask you to step aside from your inhibitions and insecurities, and we work to create tangible evidence of those moments you want to always remember. And at the end of the day, you find it was worth it. Those precious fleeting seconds have now been turned into something permanent that can be enjoyed again and again. Not just by you — but by your children’s children. Maybe even a stranger that finds a connection in the face in an old, crumbling photograph. They have a right to know you, even after you’re gone.

A photograph gives people a chance to hold onto a part of themselves or a loved one that may have been forgotten with the passage of years. It’s a testament to a life and proof to an existence. You’re not getting a picture taken of yourself just for Facebook. You’re telling the world, “I am here. And I matter. And so does my extraordinary life.”

And that’s what keeps me and thousands of other portrait photographers clicking away, whether they are amateur or pro. It’s what pushes us to take just one more shot, in hopes of securing that sweet, unguarded glance that tells your story more than a thousand words ever could.
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Follow Laura Kate for more artistic musings and beautiful photography: website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
Want to be featured on this blog? Get the details heresignoff

Photo Challenge || Things I See Every Day

I read the blog Skunkboy written by the beautiful Katie, and she recently posted a photo challenge in the form of 15 prompts. I decided to participate and see what I could make of these prompts! And since I don’t often have a lot of time to go out and practice my photography skills, I stayed in my own home and let myself see things differently. I used to do that in my college photo class—just stay within my home and photograph the things I saw every day, and try to see them differently. Here’s what I shot:

movementIMG_3884

a shadowIMG_3850

something goldIMG_3855

wavesIMG_3892

the inside of somethingIMG_3872

a relaxing placeIMG_3875

lightIMG_3851

something redIMG_3864

happinessIMG_3869

the letter “r”IMG_3866

windIMG_3876

interesting view of the skyIMG_3874

symmetryIMG_3859

reflection in an unexpected placeIMG_3873

an animalIMG_3880Wanna try this challenge? Let me know if you do! signoff

A day of my life in ten photos

Today I did this exercise of taking ten pictures of my day. These things are just normal stuff I do every day like work and do chores, and I learned some things. The first is that things look a lot cooler when you take pictures of them. The second is that my daily life is pretty boring. However, I always think of each day as somewhat special, whether it’s because I decided to go outside to eat lunch or I listened to a new song on the radio, or because my work that day was especially satisfying. And so I also realized that so many seemingly boring lives are led by really happy people. I have my work, I have my family, I have my friends and my hobbies. And yeah, a mountain of laundry to do!

Here are ten pictures of a typical weekday:

Photo Apr 14, 10 40 35 PM Photo Apr 14, 10 42 15 PM Photo Apr 14, 10 42 43 PM Photo Apr 14, 10 44 48 PM Photo Apr 14, 10 46 26 PM Photo Apr 14, 10 50 04 PM Photo Apr 14, 10 48 28 PM Photo Apr 14, 10 46 56 PM Photo Apr 14, 10 50 38 PM Photo Apr 14, 10 51 27 PM

1. the bottom of my morning coffee, 2. working at my home office/desk, 3. reading break, 4. laundry mountain, 5. makeup time!, 6. going out for the day, 7. my neighborhood and cloudy April skies, 8. Starbucks [lovers] and more work, 9. weekly family dinner table, 10. end of the day and socks with no holes! (win)

What would your day in 10 photos look like? I encourage you to try this challenge! And if your daily life is more interesting than mine, please share.

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First Snow

We just had our first snowfall this season. While the blizzard hit places up north harder, here in New York we had only one inch or so. It was beautiful to see the world in white again.

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When I Go Exploring…

I don’t ever get a lot of time to shut off my life and go exploring. Despite unemployment I do have a lot of commitments (this blog included) and I also cherish my down time at home with my family and going to the same places that I love in my own area. But I absolutely love to explore and I have been toying with the idea of buying a random plane ticket somewhere and just leaving tomorrow. My bank account just hissed at me for saying so, but in the meantime, I can explore the nooks and crannies of my own state of New York.

The Hudson River towns are chock full of history and they definitely display their heritage proudly. I don’t live on the river, being closer to the Bronx than anywhere else, but the little river towns are only fifteen to twenty minutes away and they boast many independent shops, lots of culture, and an old-world aura that I find addictive.

Recently I made a pilgrimage to the nearby town of Hastings to visit a couple of indie bookshops, but I found upon arrival that both were closed. I was really disappointed that I had made the trip, but then I ended up parking on a side street somewhere and I whipped out my camera and took to the alleys.

I loved the silence and seclusion of being that person with a camera. I always get a few stares when I do this but I try to just turn off the world. There’s so much to see in your normal surroundings that if you look around you with the right disposition, everything you see looks different, like it’s been given a new face. I love seeing the world through a lens and with an artistic attitude.

Here are some snapshots of this one little street with some infrastructural idiosyncrasies:

1 2 3 4 56 7 8 9 10

The Riverrun Bookshop storefront was lovely, littered as it was with nostalgia and literary paraphernalia. I peeked inside and saw gold-embossed books! I can’t believe it was closed 🙁

I’ll have to go exploring again soon, and I definitely want to visit those two bookshops the next chance I get. It wasn’t a futile trip after all.

Do you ever get the exploring bug and just go nuts with a camera?