Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone! I apologize for my epic failure to post pictures regularly -- the past few weeks (okay, months) have been rather hectic. My computer continues to give me massive problems, so I'm not even storing photos on it at the moment, just working off an external harddrive. Eventually this thing will get replaced with a MAC! But mostly my time and energy has been taken up with applications for graduate school. I'd forgotten how much I hated applications. I still have some paperwork left, and then am crossing my fingers about auditions and hearing back from the various schools. I applied to a wide variety, and am still shocked that my teacher convinced me to apply to a few of them. I told her that if by some miracle I get in, we'll have to go celebrate.

I have my camera charged and ready to take pictures tomorrow...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

cookie cutter

My iTunes: Santa Claus is Comin' to Town by Bing Crosby and the Andrews' Sisters

Quick post before I head into a week of finals. We had our second annual Bible study Christmas cookie baking. Things got a little crazy with the flour -- I'll include a few pictures below to give you an idea. My friend's daughter, XiXi, really got into it! I think there was more flour spread on us and around the kitchen than was in the batches of sugar cookies we made!

But for now, I'm off to bed. I have an ill-timed sinus infection, and have been trying all my usual stand-bys -- drinking water and tea like it's my job, steaming my head like a lobster, humidifying my room until the windows fog, using nose spray, and taking vitamin C/guaifenesin/ibuprofen. Let's hope I can get through my voice juries tomorrow evening, then off to my new job...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

'tis the season

My iTunes: Quelque part on m'attend by Chiara Mastroianni & Benjamin Boilay

'Tis the season, and I spent a good part of last week baking, a luxury that I don't have as often as I'd like. Silly me, I forgot to take pictures, but I wanted to share a dessert-related shot anyway.

I know I said I was hoping to post some wedding pictures, and I promise I will, but I'm having a bit of computer difficulty (surprise, surprise). Because I don't trust my computer as far as I can throw it -- it has a history of crashing and taking with it everything on my harddrive -- I bought a new external harddrive on Black Friday and started moving all my files onto it. Wouldn't you know it, my computer decided to once again antagonize me and vindictively deleted all my music. "Aha!" I thought, "I thought you might pull a fast one on me, so I made BACK UP discs!" But, alas, I was thwarted again. The computer had made the discs unreadable. I have one more thing up my sleeve, a secret weapon I call a harddrive image, which I make as yet another form of backup each time I visit my parents. We will do battle again with that this weekend, and I hope to come out victorious. If not, I don't even want to think about the hundreds of dollars spent on iTunes music that went to the digital form of Davey Jones' Locker. Perhaps I shall make an effigy of my computer in retaliation...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

black friday sales

Happy Thanksgiving!

No pictures to share today -- soon I'll be posting a set from the wedding. I'm taking the evening off to watch A Miracle on 34th Street. With all the work I've done in the past few weeks, I need the break. My huge paper is handed in -- all 203 pages! Now I have to play catch up on everything that was put on the back-burner while I worked on the paper.

But I wanted to share some good news about Black Friday sales: two of my favorite companies are having sales -- Totally Rad Actions and Shootsac! A shootsac has been on my wish list for ages, and I use Totally Rad Actions for all my editing. Check these links:

Totally Rad Actions

totally rad



Friday, November 14, 2008

pour house collection

I thought I would break with tradition and include a whole slew of pictures in a single post, especially since posting daily seems to be a difficult task these days. I was up FAR too late last night editing these, but I kept saying to myself, "I'm almost done, I'm almost done. I'll go to bed when I finish." 2:36 finally rolled around and I made the executive decision to be done. Thank goodness I don't have work today until 12:30. From now on, no matter how awake I feel at 11:00, I shouldn't let myself get sucked into editing pictures, because I know I'll be up too late for my own good.

Today is our dark day, and Norma opens tomorrow night. Now that we're to the actual shows and not rehearsals, I can enjoy it a bit more, for reasons that I won't say here for professional discretion (though I have had a few good venting sessions with friends). The singers are wonderful, and I look forward to hearing them on opening night.

In other news, I finished the final draft of my massive paper. At this point, it's being proof-read by about eight different people and when I get their comments back, I'll just fix it up a bit before handing it in on the 24th. I also just finished the replacement Latin paper, for those of you who are regular readers, which means I am done with Latin classes for life (hallelujah!).

But now, I need to run errands. If I don't, I'll have nothing to eat for the next week. Hopefully I'll have something to post soon (and time to post)!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

the pour house

The Pour House
November 2008

My iTunes: Spirate, pur Spirate by Donaudy

Yesterday was a sad, sad day -- the Pour House, the best coffee shop I have ever been to (and I've been to many coffee shops on multiple continents), closed its doors. I have so many memories there from the past 3 1/2 years, and it still hasn't quite hit me that they're closed. They were the first place I got to display my photography, and the owners are truly wonderful. I spent the last three days there. Yesterday, two of my three classes were canceled, and the third class was just me and my voice teacher, so we had class there. I was glad we could do that -- having coffee at the Pour House with her was one of the random things on my "Bucket List." I bought 3 lbs of coffee and espresso to continue my addiction.

I did an impromptu photoshoot there on Tuesday morning, and this is one of the shots. I'll probably be posting more as they're edited. But until then, farewell Pour House.

Monday, November 10, 2008

bridal bouquet

Bridal Bouquet
November 2008

My iTunes: Erlkonig by Bryn Terfel

I apologize for the continued lapses in posting! Life has just been a bit too full for the past week. The good news is my paper is nearly done -- I have to pull together a conclusion and edit a few appendices, but the end is in sight!

Since my time has been so consumed with paper writing, I haven't had as much time as I would have liked to work on editing the wedding shots. I was finally able to spend a good part of today editing, though. This is one of the shots I edited -- I like the unusual angle.

Hopefully I'll get back to more regular posting soon, but no promises yet... I do hope to set up some senior portrait sessions soon, so we'll see what happens!

Monday, November 3, 2008

the bride

The Bride
November 2008

My iTunes: Casta Diva from Bellini's Norma

I'm currently sitting in rehearsal listening to the chorus rehearse. It's good to be back in rehearsals. Since I'm not currently being staged, I'm trying to get some more work done on my huge paper, but I wanted to take a quick break and post this picture from the wedding on Saturday.

It went really well, and the bride was absolutely calm and radiant. They were both so excited to be getting married to each other. The weather was really beautiful, so we were able to do some shots outside as well. I can't wait to edit those! But for the meantime, I'll edit a few here and there when I need a break from paper writing...

And now back to the grind!

Friday, October 31, 2008

morning mist

Morning Mist
October 2008

My iTunes: Casta Diva from Bellini's Norma

With the exception of last weekend when I was away on a conference, every spare second of my time for the past two weeks almost has been spent working on my seminar paper on nineteenth century grand opera in Philadelphia. This is the one that I spent a portion of the summer researching in Philadelphia. The first (and only) draft was due this past week, and I thought I'd be able to get it into a polished state, but I had some unexpected glitches with some performance data that resulted in me putting about 22 extra hours into one of the appendices. Currently, the three appendices that are finished add up to a total of nearly 100 pages. So for about two weeks, I've been up until 2:00 a.m. and up at 7:00 a.m. to work on it, which meant no time to blog.

In addition to that, rehearsals for Norma started this week, so I'm driving back and forth from Baltimore quite a bit. Rehearsal tonight was canceled (thank goodness!), so I'll have some extra time to work on this paper.

Last weekend I took a break for a conference and managed to grab a few shots. This was taken at the lake in the morning when the mist was rising.

I'll be doing a bit of shooting tomorrow with Melody & Jake's wedding! I hope to get back to regular posting soon, but between paper, rehearsal, and photo editing, I might be lucky to find time to sleep...

new shots coming soon

I'm sorry it's been a while since my last post -- I promise, though, new shots are coming soon. I just edited a few and was about to post them, but for some reason blogger won't upload images at the moment, so I guess the pictures will have to wait a bit longer.

For the past two weeks or so, my life has been almost entirely consumed by my capstone paper and everything that goes with it. Tonight I worked on polishing a few of the appendices (yes, there is not only an appendix, but more than one). I will be so glad when the whole paper is done and handed in. I think my brain has reached full capacity and won't absorb another thing.

After this weekend, I'll have even more photos to share -- I'm shooting a wedding on Saturday and I'm very excited! But in order to be well-rested, I should get to bed now...

Monday, October 20, 2008


October 2008

My iTunes: Molto Voglio, Molto Spero from Handel's Rinaldo

This next week is going to be VERY full of work. Thankfully (perhaps), I don't have any shows or rehearsals this week, so I'll have extra time to get things done. I've nearly four things off this week's to-do list, one of which was finish editing the pictures for Mark and Renee's photoshoot. I'm going to see them this weekend, so my goal was to get them the pictures then. I think I have achieved my goal. I thought I'd share one last picture that is one of my favorite from the shoot. Thanks for asking me to do the shoot, Mark and Renee! I had a great time with you guys and I hope you'll be happy with the pictures!

Before getting back to my to-do list, I want to share a shot of me and Tiziana Caruso, the soprano from the Baltimore Opera Production of Aida that we just finished. I miss hearing her sing already. I wish that any time I wore body paint, tribal paint, and a red-and-black mohawk wig, I could hear her sing. I think I'd do it at least twice a week. She has the most beautiful voice, is a wonderful actress, and a very sweet person as well. The Washington Post had a great review, and in my opinion was quite accurate. This shot was from the cast party last night after our closing show. Si sono celeste, Tiziana! Spero che ci incontriamo di nuovo! Grazie e ciao!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

go team!

Go Team!
October 2008

My iTunes: Aspettare e Non Venire from Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona

I spent yesterday afternoon at a football game with a friend who came up to visit for the day. The company was wonderful and the light was good, and we both enjoyed watching another friend of ours on the cheer leading team. The football team, however, didn't have such a great afternoon. We lost by nearly a 50-point margin. Ouch.

One more performance of Aida is left. Bittersweet, because I will really miss hearing the wonderful singers but will not miss the body paint!

Friday, October 17, 2008

flower in the abstract

Flower in the Abstract
October 2008

My iTunes: Tel jour, telle nuit: I. Bonne journée by Dalton Baldwin & Nicolai Gedda

This is a shot I grabbed while on one of my photoshoots this past weekend. And believe it or not, there's been no editing done to it. It's probably one of the 5 or so pictures I've ever posted without editing.

This weekend is the closing weekend for Aida. I'll miss hearing the amazing singers, but won't miss all the time spent taking off the body paint!

I have a new thing added to my to-do list: find a floor length black dress to wear for my choir solos. We had auditions yesterday afternoon for choir solos, and I was given three different parts. It should be fun!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

fall leaves

Fall Leaves
October 2008

My iTunes: Chevaux de Bois by Dawn Upshaw

I had the rest of the first engagement shoot yesterday afternoon. I haven't had a chance to edit any pictures yet, except for this one which I snapped while I was waiting since I got there a few minutes early. I really liked it, so I had to open it up in Photoshop.

While I was on my photoshoot, I ran into another photographer and we chatted for a bit. As she walked away, I saw that she had a ShootSac bag with the cover that I want! I wish I could have told her how much I liked it, but she was too far away by the time I realized. But thanks to my amazing research skills, I found her website online -- stop by if you have time, I really love her work! My next photography purchase will be a ShootSac bag -- they look so amazing! Check them out here, and be sure to visit Jessica Claire's blog-site, which is one of my favorite things to look at online (she's such an inspiration)!

Busy day today -- theory class, aural musicianship, lyric and diction (my favorite!), then a coaching session for some French songs I'm working on, then another performance this evening. I think I should get to bed soon, then...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

holding hands

Holding Hands
October 2008

My iTunes: Calmes Dans Le Demi-jour (En Sourdine) by Dawn Upshaw

Another shot from Saturday's shoot with Mark and Renee. As many of my regular visitors know, I love to take pictures of people against brick, especially shots like this!

My weekend of grad school visits is finally over, and thank goodness I have today to recover. Or rather, I have today to try desperately to be productive. My goal is to get my paper from 12 pages to 20 pages this afternoon. I should get started with that...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

happy days

Happy Days
October 2008

My iTunes: Il barcaiolo by Cecilia Bartoli

I know it's a second black and white shot in a row, but I really love this one. I'm not sure exactly what I love about it. It sort of reminds me of something from the Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett because of the old gate.

As we were thinking of where to start shooting, Renee mentioned an old Quaker cemetery that was a few minutes walk away. We laughed for a bit at the thought of doing an engagement-type shoot at a cemetery, but turned it around and said that instead of associating the spot with death and decay, we could associate it with timelessness and legacies.

I don't want to detract from the shots of Mark and Renee, but a few people have asked whether I have pictures of me in my costume for Aida. I didn't, until last night. I thought I'd share these two:

I'm quite recognizable, right? I've decided to embrace the look, body paint, tribal paint, red-and-black mohawk, crazy costume, and all. When else will I get a chance to look this ridiculous? But let me tell you, getting all that off takes forever. I think I'll be finding body paint in my ears for weeks to come...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

mark & renee

Mark & Renee
October 2008

Meet Mark & Renee, two more of my photographic victims. We had a lovely shoot this morning and this is one of my favorite shots. It was hard to decide whether to post the color version, the black and white version, and the "Troy" version (I love TRA!). I settled on this one, I hope it doesn't disappoint.

Mark and Renee are friends of mine and have been married for several years, but never had engagement portraits done. Well, now they will have some! I'm excited to share the rest once I edit them! Tonight is opening night for Aida so I will probably spend most of my non-stage time editing today's shoot.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

a quick preview: take #2

A Quick Preview: Take #2
October 2008

My iTunes: You Opened Up My Eyes by Martyn Layzell

I still don't want to give too much away, because the bride still hasn't see the pictures (unless she's seeing them here!), but I had to post another for today.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Totally Rad Actions? Literally cut my editing time for Saturday's shots at least in half. Maybe more. I like the title of the one I used for this: "Old Skool."

Tomorrow's rehearsal is the piano dress, and the first time we wear the full costumes and the body paint. We'll see how it goes...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

a quick preview

A Quick Preview
October 2008

My iTunes: Marchia trionfale from Verdi's Aida

Today I met with the bride and groom whose wedding I'll be shooting in November. I was very excited to meet them, and now I'm even more excited to shoot their wedding! Since the walk-through of the church went so quickly, we spent a little time doing a practice shoot in the field by the church. I had a long rehearsal this afternoon, so I got to spend some time editing the shots right away. I don't want to give away too much since the bride hasn't seen them yet, but I wanted to share this one as a teaser...

Friday, October 3, 2008

let yourself shine

Let Yourself Shine
October 2008

My iTunes: Fêtes galantes by Ian Bostridge

A good saying to think on today.

In between work and rehearsal today, I'm trying to spend some quality time working on my paper on opera in Philadelphia, and perhaps start rewriting the Latin paper that I lost when my computer died. I thought I'd take a quick break and share a picture, though.

And incidentally, I've been really enjoying learning the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For those of you who aren't familiar with IPA, you'll see it in dictionaries -- they're the funky symbols that show you how to pronounce things. I've been having fun going through all sorts of foreign language songs. I finished Italian and German and am working on French now, so I'm enjoying a few playlists of French songs.

And now, back to work...

Thursday, October 2, 2008


October 2008

My iTunes: Ritorna Vincitor from Verdi's Aida

Today Robert put up two lovely macro shots with blown out backdrops that I really liked, so I thought I'd post this shot to continue in the blown-out trend for the day.

Busy day ahead: teaching two voice lessons, an exam, a meeting, a practice session, and a choir rehearsal. Well, I guess comparatively it's a relatively light day, but when I think about being booked solid from 12:40-6:00, it seems more full.

Happy October.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

sunshine and rain

Sunshine and Rain
September 2008

My iTunes: Singin' in the Rain

I'm posting this picture precisely because it did not look like this today. Or at least not the last time I walked back to my house this afternoon. The sun was not out, nor was it a pleasant temperature. It was raining cats and dogs. So much so that I didn't walk back on a path but in a river. I must have looked quite ridiculous: I decided to wear my button down sweater instead of my dress shirt so as not to soak the one, rolled up my good dress pants so as not to ruin the hem, had my heels in my bag, and was clutching a broken umbrella trying desperately to cover up my books and purse. Pictures of that were not taken and will not be shared :)

But I believe I can officially announce my good news (drum roll, please): I am booked for my first wedding shoot! I'll be meeting with the bride this weekend to discuss details and such.

But now, I'm off to bed. This week is going to be long and exhausting, so I need every bit of rest I can manage to squeeze into my schedule!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

my brother

My Brother
September 2008

My iTunes: Déranger les pierres by Carla Bruni

Meet my brother, G. In all honesty, even though I'm his older sister, I can say that he's a pretty cool guy. Now that my other brother, R, is off to college, G painted their bedroom a dark grass-green that I love. It reminds me of my favorite coffee shop. I haven't seen the final product, but last I saw he was doing a great job. I think he enjoys having the room to himself and making it feel like his own space. For a mini-bachelor-pad, it's pretty stylin'. He is a stylin' guy himself, with a taste for certain brand-name clothing. I knew it was a sad day when I had to ask for his fashion advice about something.

Anyway, I thought a cool guy deserved a cool picture. Here's to you, G! (Might I suggest a new facebook profile picture?)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

johnny's bistro

Johnny's Bistro
September 2008

My iTunes: My Girl by The Temptations

One good signage deserves another, right?

I had rehearsal again last night, but have today off, so I'm going to try to knock some things off my to-do list. Why does it always seem to grow, even when I'm crossing things off?

I may have good news on the photography front soon, but I want to wait until it's certain, so keep checking...

Friday, September 26, 2008

shoemaker country

Shoemaker Country
September 2008

My iTunes: Notre grand amour est mort by Carla Bruni

I seem to have missed a few days -- it's been a busy week. I have an unexpected three-day weekend, though, because somehow I ended up with no students today. I'm determined to be very productive, to catch up on sleep, and to spend some quality time in the practice rooms. I figured right now I would multi-task and eat breakfast while posting since I've missed the past few days.

Rehearsals for the opera have started -- it's so wonderful to be back. The only thing that could have kept me out of the last show was having back surgery. I've also finally started to set up visits to graduate schools... which means road trips and (hopefully) pictures! The first trip will be in a couple weeks, so I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 22, 2008

unconventional post

Unconventional Post
September 2008

My iTunes: Ta Tienne by Carla Bruni

This is a bit of an unconventional picture for tonight's post, but there is still a photographic component, and the file is still a JPG, so I figured I could share it. (That, and I'm too tired to come up with something else at the moment...)

This is the photographer bio that I put together for the coffee shop while my pictures are displayed. I thought some of you might enjoy looking at it. I was pretty impressed with my graphic design abilities, having never taken a graphic design course.

But now, back to paper writing and more homework, and hopefully bed sometime before midnight.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

pictures at the coffee house

Pictures at the Coffee House
September 2008

My iTunes: Je suis une enfant by Carla Bruni

Here they are -- I've just ordered 11x14 prints of each of these. I'll pick them up later today (because it's almost 2:00 a.m. on Saturday) and take them over to the coffee shop. I was there last night and the owners were really excited. I'll try to remember to take my camera with me and share a shot of the line up.

Now, time for bed!