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European Excursion

Blog by our Spring 2017 Intern, Sophia Lupetin

 

Hi everyone! I have just returned from my amazing ten-day trip to Europe! Those ten days went by so fast but it’s an experience I’ll remember forever. I traveled to Europe through a seminar class that I am taking at Quinnipiac so I was able to experience this trip with some of my best friends. As a class, we traveled to four different countries, Switzerland, Italy, France and Monaco.

The first country we traveled to was Switzerland and we toured the cities of Zurich and Lucerne. They were both beautiful and had amazing views of the Swiss Alps. My hotel was on the countryside and had views of the Swiss Alps and the rolling farmland from my window.

The next country we traveled to was Italy and that was my favorite. The first city we saw was Verona and we took pictures in front of Romeo and Juliet’s balcony. We then traveled to Venice and got to visit a glass blowing factory, since Venice is known for their Murano glass. After Venice, we ended up in Florence, probably my favorite city. I loved being surrounded by the hustle and bustle and the history the city had to offer. Next was Pisa and of course everyone took their typical, cliché pictures trying to hold up the leaning tower.

Our next-stop after Italy was France. We stayed along the French Riviera in a city called Nice. The city had a beautiful boardwalk with various different restaurants along the beach. We took a daylong excursion to Monaco, which seemed like a different world honestly. The country is so wealthy and that is clearly evident with all the luxurious cars and buildings it consists of. Our last day was spent in Nice and my friends and I were able to spend quality time on the beach enjoying the ocean in mid-March.

This trip gave me a good excuse to pull out my camera. While I had my iPhone on me to take selfies, I wanted to make sure I was also to capture the true beauty of each country through the high quality pictures my camera is able to take. Comment below and let us know some of your favorite vacation spots!

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Spring is Here (but not really)

The smell of spring was in the air this afternoon (and some wind), which gave us an opportunity to step outside for a little “get to know our interns” video.  Thank you to our Spring 2017 Quinnipiac interns for putting this together.

This House Sold In Four Days

And before we realized it… February is over! During my last blog, I was lounging on the white sand and soaking up the warm sun on our vacation in Tortola. The shock of getting back to reality hit my entire family, but I did have a (very very cold) real estate shoot at 10:00 the next morning after our late night return to the arctic land of Connecticut.

 

I personally love doing real estate work. I enjoy working with the builders, the flippers and all the talented agents. When I go into a home, we always take the “traditional” shots, but I love to really showcase the detail of each home. What make it unique? Why is this house different? What is going to catch the attention of a buyer who looks at hundreds of pictures in their search for the perfect dream home?

 

This Hamden cape was listed three days after our shoot, and was sold four days later. If there is anything that directly proves that real estate photography works… this is it. Yes, the house was recently flipped, it was in a desirable location, and the price was fair considering the updates, but the realtor and myself have no doubt that the photography helped sell this home… even without staging and on a cloudy winter morning.

 

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Beach Please

 

A new beach per day? Sure, no problem! One of the great things about Tortola is the variety of those perfect white sand beaches that line the island. We’ve spent the last few days exploring several of these truly stunning beaches. They are all just a little bit different, some with calm glassy water, some with huge surf-able waves, some with great snorkeling, and some with smooth sandy bottoms.

 

We’ve spend time at two different “Long Bay” beaches (yes, two beaches on opposite sides of the island are both called Long Bay), Brewers Bay, Josiah’s Bay, back to Smugglers Cove, did a day trip to neighboring Virgin Gorda to explore The Baths, and enjoyed a quick trip to a very unique “shell museum”.  We’ve also met a few local restaurant owners who serve delicious cuisine, but just need a little help from A Corporate Image to market their businesses.

 

Personally, one of my favorite parts of our trip is the sunset that falls behind the neighboring islands and over the Caribbean Sea. I’ve gotten into the habit of capturing a few shots each evening, and I am loving each of them. Just like the islands beaches, they are equally stunning, but each episode is unique.

 

Here are a few shots from Tortola Day 2-6. More to come soon…

 

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White Sand Beach + Turquoise Water = Rachel’s Place of Happiness

Today was our first day of our family vacation on the stunningly gorgeous island of Tortola, which is one of the British Virgin Islands (a quick ferry ride over from St. Thomas). My father lives part of the year here in Tortola, which also offers us a “no brainer” when it comes planning a Caribbean vacation. We have been here twice before, when Hannah was almost 1 and 2, but it’s been a few years since we’ve been able to take the time off to come down.

 

We started off the day at “D” Best Cup, a small, yet delicious, breakfast joint. After meeting the owner, chatting about the art of coffee, and discussing modeling with the wait staff, we took a few minutes to check out some of the boats in the marina. From there, we went off to Smugglers Cove, one of the best beaches on the island. Even with a sudden serge of tourists from the docking cruise ships, we had a great time at the beach.

 

It is amazing how water, waves, sand, palm trees, and stray chickens (yes, I said chickens) truly have a calming effect. We use all of our senses at a beach… smelling the crisp clean air, touching the smooth white sand, seeing those turquoise waters with the majestic mountain islands in the distance, and hearing the waves crash onto the sand.

 

Today, I took a few hours at the beach to truly forget the stresses and “to do lists”, and instead focused on my daughter and my family in my own “happy place”. Hannah’s squeals of excitement will be forever etched into my brain when I think back on this trip. She would run into the water, get wet, run back to us, and run back to the water. She jumped the waves, she dug in the sand, she made “sand mac and cheese”, and she smiled pretty much the entire time.

 

And this was only Day 1… can’t wait for tomorrow!

 

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2017: Bring It On

Here we are… the beginning of a brand new year. The fabulous (and I feel “long awaited”) 2017! Cue the fireworks!!!

 

I’ve noticed a pretty strong feeling of “this is going to be the year” going around between my conversations with friends, family, business acquaintances, and all over social media. Some had a wonderful 2016, but there was a quite a bit of sadness in the air and difficult challenges for many.

 

Although I have always liked to look on the bright side of life, this year was personally very challenging for me. Yes, my business grew and we were a part of so many amazing events and projects. The people who I met along the way truly made me feel so happy and proud to be such a big part of their most amazing days. I absolutely LOVE what I do and 2016 gave me my first completely full-time full year to do it. And that was a true success.

 

But on a personal side, there were a few “big deal” stresses, losses, and uncontrollable challenges that presented themselves in 2016. And these certainly took a beating on that normally optimistic attitude. As I discussed with my husband on numerous occasions this year, there was just too much sadness all around. Even during the last few hours of the last day of the year, that heavy sadness was still felt in the air. I know that this wasn’t just me, and that many of you were also struggling with some rough times in 2016.

 

This being said, I also know that many of these challenges are still going to be around in 2017. A new year, a new month, or a new day isn’t going to heal or solve all of the worlds problems. However, it does help us take a look at the big picture and refocus, which is exactly what I plan to do and I hope that you will do the same.

 

I’ve always made those January New Years resolutions, which have pretty much been to “loose weight” for the last 15 years. This year, I have several 2017 goals, and I am getting serious. There is no better time than the present to get those goals in check and come up with a true plan to achieve success.

 

Yes, one of my goals is the loose weight. Not just “weight”, but 50 pounds. And not just “loose 50 pounds” but loose 50 pounds before December 31st. And not just “loose 50 pounds by December 31st” but to loose between 4 and 5 pounds each month so that I actually achieve my dramatic weight loss by the end of the year. And I am telling you all about this now, so you can all help me stay accountable. And I am focusing on the Beachbody program, which I already know is very fun and provides the tools that I need for my success.

 

Another goal of mine is to focus on myself. No, I’m not being selfish, but I usually just run out of hours in the day to get something done that makes me happy. So, I am starting a very simple journal (which I will keep on my nightstand) to jot down the ONE thing that I did each day to make myself happy. For example, yesterday I had a great workout. Today, I spent the day with my daughter and we had a blast at the zoo, running errands, and singing the whole first Taylor Swift album in the car. I look forward to a year of reading, buying (or growing) flowers to keep in my house, exercising, cooking, singing, nature and creative photography, learning to knit, and probably a lot more manicure/pedicures. I’ll also need to throw in some “buying myself new clothes” since I will be getting super skinny… hehehe. I just need to do one thing for “me” every day.

 

As you can see, I am being pretty specific with my goals and my plan to achieve them. Sure, some things might come along throughout the year that may cause me to edit these goals a bit.

 

Check out this great video that shows a bit more about making clear goals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-SvuFIQjK8

 

And as a side note, we can totally build a video like this for anyone. We call it a “Whiteboard Video”.

 

Use this to build your own plan. Think about those challenges that presented themselves in 2016. What can do you do now to make your life just a little better (or a lot better) than last year? If you feel comfortable, share one of your goals in the comments section here. And if you need some help to stay on track and being accountable, chat with my hubby Herman, who does this stuff for a living. J

 

I hope that this sense of “newness” is uplifting to you. Let’s all make it happen in 2017. This is going to be our year. Share this blog with those who might benefit from a better 2017.

 

 

 

Image of this super cute calendar is from Ink and Card. You can actually buy this online here: http://www.inkandcard.com/listing/469556298/2017-marble-and-pink-calendar-lets-do.

The Photographers Blog

Here we are.  A brand new website and a brand new blog.  In all honestly, this is my third attempt at a blog for A Storybook Image, but I am pretty determined to keep this one going.  Through these other trials, I’ve learned quite a bit about developing a photographers blog.
1) Don’t overcommit yourself: My last blogging attempt started in January and I swore that I would put out one video blog each week for a full year.  After about four or five weeks, I determined that I was pretty crazy.  I run a business, I am a photographer, I am a videographer, I manage lots of other people, projects and things, I am a mom, I am a wife, and I do my best to keep at least a little bit of a social life. Fitting in a video blog once a week, where I develop the ideas, do the shooting, producing, editing, uploading, and sharing…. yeah, again, I was crazy.
2) It doesn’t need to be fancy: Nowadays, most of us have short attention spams.  In fact, I may have already lost you here.  Keep it short and simple… to the point.
3) Don’t forget your voice: My original blog contained a lot of lists.  It is completely okay to use information and ideas from another article or blog (giving them credit of course), but don’t forget that people are reading your blog because they enjoy what YOU have to say and share.
4) Mix it up: I’ve really admired some of my fellow photographers blogs, which contain a mix of their work, their experiences, some tips of taking or being in pics or videos, as well as their opinions of things going around within the industry or in the world.  In this blog, I want to include all of that, but I also want to include more about my own experiences as a business owner and mother. I may even include some of my favorite recipes and a little complaining about potty training… nothing is off limits here.  ?
5) Be open: I don’t want to type or shoot just to type or shoot.  This is a form of expression and I want you to read and watch my blog. Therefore, if you have something to say or something to suggest, please do it.

The Traveling Photographer

By Heather Markert

 

Capture the day to day

We’ve all done it, gone on an amazing vacation to get home and realize you only took 15 pictures, none of which even had you in it! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the fun activities of vacation, but it’s important to remember to capture all these moments so you have them for a lifetime. A family picture in front Cinderella’s castle in Disney World, is great… but probably not what you’ll remember most looking back on the trip.

 

Timing

Sometimes you go to take a great shot, and it falls a little flat. Perhaps it’s the lighting or the weather, but the timing of a shot can make worlds of difference. The sun alignment, or morning dew can change the whole feel of a picture.

It’s all about who you’re with…

Vacations can be the highlight of the summer, but it’s not all about where you go, but rather who you go with. Your pictures should reflect the people who got to share the amazing memories with, because it wouldn’t be the same without them. In addition the human element in a photograph makes for a more compelling shot.

 

Lights, camera… ACTION!

Posed pictures are great to grace the holiday cards you send out to all your loved ones, but to make your shots more realistic try having them be raw, authentic, non-posed pictures. Overall, the point of photography is to capture memories and emotions, and there is no better way for a photograph to illustrate this than if the emotions are happening in real time.

The beauty of nature

Vacation is a great excuse to explore new places you haven’t had a chance to visit, so don’t be afraid to let your pictures reflect the new ecosystems you encounter. Each speck of this world is uniquely beautiful, and you don’t need anything more than a camera to be able to see these sights even when you’re back sitting at your desk job.

 

Live a little

I have watched so many of my friends miss great shots because they didn’t feel like bringing their camera or were too afraid it might get a little wet. When you let go a little, great pictures are taken.

Tips and Tricks for the Traveling Photographer

Capture the day to day

We’ve all done it, gone on an amazing vacation to get home and realize you only took 15 pictures, none of which even had you in it! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the fun activities of vacation, but it’s important to remember to capture all these moments so you have them for a lifetime. A family picture in front Cinderella’s castle in Disney World, is great… but probably not what you’ll remember most looking back on the trip.

Timing

Sometimes you go to take a great shot, and it falls a little flat. Perhaps it’s the lighting or the weather, but the timing of a shot can make worlds of difference. The sun alignment, or morning dew can change the whole feel of a picture.

It’s all about who you’re with…

Vacations can be the highlight of the summer, but it’s not all about where you go, but rather who you go with. Your pictures should reflect the people who got to share the amazing memories with, because it wouldn’t be the same without them. In addition the human element in a photograph makes for a more compelling shot.

 

Lights, camera… ACTION!

Posed pictures are great to grace the holiday cards you send out to all your loved ones, but to make your shots more realistic try having them be raw, authentic, non-posed pictures. Overall, the point of photography is to capture memories and emotions, and there is no better way for a photograph to illustrate this than if the emotions are happening in real time.

The beauty of nature

Vacation is a great excuse to explore new places you haven’t had a chance to visit, so don’t be afraid to let your pictures reflect the new ecosystems you encounter. Each speck of this world is uniquely beautiful, and you don’t need anything more than a camera to be able to see these sights even when you’re back sitting at your desk job.

 

Live a little

I have watched so many of my friends miss great shots because they didn’t feel like bringing their camera or were too afraid it might get a little wet. When you let go a little, great pictures are taken.