Zoey’s Morning Routine | PA Pet Photograghy

This morning I looked down our little “s”-shaped hallway to find Zoey sitting by the door, patiently waiting for my husband to come back in with Chewie. This is a morning routine for her and I was hellbent on getting photographic evidence of it! Silently rushing into the office, I snapped on my telephoto lens before crawling across the floor (yes, I actually crawled) to peer around the corner. I had no time to turn on any lights or adjust much in way of camera settings because she was bound to catch on. Zoey dislikes getting her photo taken and has this radar, this strange sixth sense for knowing when a camera is pointed at her. It’s so ridiculous that I had written this previous blog about how to deal with a shy dog like that, and being sneaky is a major key. I managed to snag a few shots before she noticed. The last image you see was right before she rushed towards me like a ball of fluffy lightning.

Zoey patiently waiting by the door for Daddy and Chewie to come back.

Adorable Sheltie waiting by the door.

Shetland Sheepdog waits by the door for her turn to go outside.

Zoey spotted me taking photos of her!

“Is that a camera, Mom?”


A Smartphone-Photographed Disney & Universal Vacation

Is using your smartphone to take photos on your trip really a good idea? Is it as good as using a simple point-and-shoot or a DSLR? Cameras built into modern smartphones are better than some point-and-shoots that I’ve used in the past. Additionally, carrying around your cell is a lot easier than taking a camera, even a small, compact one around with you. Now, as much as the quality of images on smartphones has improved with each year, they are still no match for that of a DSLR camera.

Though I am an avid photographer, I don’t always want to carry around my “big” camera with me. Of course, that all depends upon where I’m going. If I were to go on another cruise through the Mediterranean, visiting such beautiful places as Italy, Greece and Egypt, I would certainly want my DSLR! It isn’t every day that I can visit these places (it can be a bit pricey, you know). Disney World, though, is a different matter.

In January of 2015, my husband and I honeymooned in Florida, staying at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter resort. I still wanted to document our trip but did not wish to carry a bag around with me, so I definitely did not want to take my big camera, especially on all of the rides. I could have brought my point-and-shoot, even though it was still a little bulky, yet I realized that the megapixels on my Moto X was a lot better. The camera was old, but my phone had a 10MP camera (which is quite impressive to me for a phone), as well as 1080 p HD video. I always have my phone on me so problem solved!

I was very impressed with the quality of photos that my smartphone took. See for yourself below!

Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter resort.

A street in the Port Orleans French Quarter.

A fountain in the Port Orleans French Quarter resort in Disney World, Florida.

The great front gates of Jurassic Park.

Over in Universal Islands of Adventure…I get hit with such nostalgia every time I see the great Jurassic Park gates!

Opened Jurassic Park gate.

The t-rex is loose in Universal Islands of Adventure!

AH! The Tyrannosaurus is loose!

The peak of Hogwarts School of Wizardry.

A glimpse of Hogwarts!

I think the Spinosaurus saw me!

Think it saw me…?

Hogwarts castle in Orlando, Florida.

Hogsmeade town sign.

An walkway in Diagon Alley.

Steps in Diagon Alley.

Universal Islands of Adventure.

Outside the Temple of Poseidon.

Poseidon’s temple in Universal.

Cinderella's Castle in the Magic Kingdom.

Cinderella’s castle!

Some Wonderland lawn art!

“Have I gone mad?”
“I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”

Prince Eric's Castle in Fantasyland of Disney World.

I absolutely love this image of Prince Eric’s castle. And again, straight from my smartphone with just slight edits!

Ariel's grove.

Rapunzel's tower.

Delicious cupcake from Be Our Guest.

Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious!” If you ever get the chance to eat at the Be Our Guest restaurant in Magic Kingdom, definitely do it! The food and the atmosphere are phenomenal.

A close up of Cinderella's castle.

A close up of a Mexican temple in Epcot.

Mexican pavilion at Epcot.

A street in Epcot, Disney.

Street view of Disney's Epcot theme park.

A street in France in Disney's Epcot.

Moroccan bazaar in Epcot.

The Moroccan bazaar.

Beautiful arch-framed window in Disney's Epcot.

Japanese Pavillion of Disney World's Epcot theme park.

The great tree of life in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

The magnificent tree in Animal Kingdom. It’s amazing to see in person.

As you can see, taking photographs on your trip is easily done with a smartphone! I would also like to point out that clarity doesn’t always make for a fantastic image- it’s all about the composition and the feelings you get when looking at a photo that really make it great.


8 Tips For Photographing A Shy Dog

Do you have a dog that looks away the second you click to take a photo? Do you have more “ghostly” images of your pet instead of cute, clear ones? It isn’t always easy to snag a good shot of your dog, especially when they have this knack for posing for the perfect picture…only to suddenly get camera shy and ruin it. Well, I have two of those adorable creatures but I’ve figured out ways to work around their shyness. It’s like they suddenly know what you’re trying to do, or that they fear the very camera itself. Whatever the reason, I’ve managed to still be a proud and happy furmom, gathering up a decent portfolio of Chewie and Zoey. Check out some of my tips below on how to take photos of a shy dog and give them a try!

FYI: I have come to realize that secretly snagging some pics from my phone has proven the easiest route, and mostly because I always have my smartphone on me (all of the photos listed below were taken from my phone). These days, phones have pretty good cameras on them; I photographed my entire honeymoon to Disney World with just my smartphone (that will be a later post, so stay tuned) since I wasn’t fond of lugging my DSLR all around the parks and on the rides. Regardless of what you use, being sneaky with a shy dog is key!

Another FYI: I tend to make them black and white because the graininess reminds me of old film photographs.

  1. Be ready, call their name, and then click! This is probably the most obvious option to try, and somehow, my dogs will still know what I’m up to. However, I’ve been lucky a couple times with this method!My favorite shoes and favorite sheltie.My pretty girl doing her Marilyn Monroe pose over the air vent.

    Zoey doing her Marilyn Monroe pose over the air vent.

  2. If using a smartphone, try holding the phone away from your face. Maybe this sounds a little silly, but I’ve found that after awhile, my dogs began to realize what I was trying to do when I held my phone up in front of me. So, when I had them in my view finder, I’d lift my eyes from the screen and look at them or pretend to be looking at something else before snapping a photo. It has worked with my DSLR a couple times as well.

    The adorable little mutt, Chewie.

    Chewie was sitting on my lap, so I held the phone away from me but in front of him. Calling his name, I took the shot as he adorably looked over at me.

    Beautiful bi-blue sheltie posing for the camera.

    She almost looks too tired to care at my silly attempts at photographing her. Lol.

  3. Try a different angle. This is similar to #2 in the sense that you aren’t looking at your screen…but this is being a little less obvious and not holding it right in front of them where they can see it.

    Happy girl!

    I love this one so much. She’s just so happy, excited…and oblivious. Haha. Here, I was playing fetch with her, and as she came back and dropped the ball in front of me, I had my smartphone resting on the floor, ready to snap the photo.

    Close up of a cute sheltie nose!

  4. Lookit that adorable sheltie nose! She was peering over the edge of the bed to see what I was up to.

  5. Take a photo while they’re playing, distracted and happily amused. Treats usually always work, too!

    Zoey bringing the ball back to me. She loves playing fetch!

    Same as one of the images above, she was happily playing fetch with me; too excited to notice me snapping a photo of her on my phone. Candid photography at its best.

    Zoey doesn't like her new haircut!

    Someone didn’t like her haircut and bath! But she certainly paid attention to me when I showed her I had a yummy cookie for her. 😛

  6. When they aren’t looking. Okay, so this is another pretty obvious one, but it works!

    Zoey silently questioning Chewie about whether or not going out in the snow would be a good idea.

    They were so amazed by the amount of snow we were getting and kept staring out the sliding doors. I love how Zoey is looking over at Chewie, silently asking him if going out will be such a good idea.

  7. Take a photo when they are comfortable. Maybe they are so tired that they simply don’t care? Perhaps they are curled up on their favorite blanket…or on your bed that they claim as their own.

    Zoey cuddling with her daddy. This shy dog is too tired and comfortable to care.

  8. Or perhaps they are completely happy and comfortable in Daddy’s arms.

  9. When they are asleep. Photographs of adorable, sleeping dogs is always cute!

    My sleepy Chewie on the couch.

    Awww, a sleepy Chewie.

    Uh oh! Chewie caught me trying to snag a photo of him!

    Be careful, though…they might catch you!

  10. Sometimes, they’ll simply surprise you. So be ready!

    Such soulful, expressionate eyes.

    As I was resting on the couch, Zoey came over and placed her head on my lap. She looked so cute that I had to try and snap a picture! Casually petting her head, I carefully took out my phone and she didn’t seem to care. For once. 🙂

So, those are just some tips I’ve used when trying to photograph my two very shy dogs. Sometimes you’ll luck out and get a very photogenic pet, but do not fret if they tend to turn away from the camera! Patience and some secret and tricky photographing skills can get you the precious photos you are hoping for.


Baby Photography | Gabriel

This weekend our friends Sunday and John decided to visit from Jersey and stay over for a night…and of course, they brought Gabriel! I absolutely love this kid and he is not at all shy of the camera. He was a trooper; enduring the winds at Valley Forge National Park and then the walk around the King of Prussia Mall, only to later still allow me to snap some photos of his adorable face. I might have gone a bit crazy and took a ton of photographs, but how could I not have?

Mr. Grumpy Face!Mr. Grumpy Face! Haha.

Cutie pie in black and white.

Mama and Gabriel.

Gabriel with his mama.

Gabriel in his football hat.

Gabriel in his red jumpsuit enjoying the Valley Forge National Park.

Almost a smile!

Play time with Gabriel!

Baby smiling and having fun.

Smiling black and white photo of Gabriel.

Happy boy!

Lounging, playing with his toys and train.

Gabriel amazed by the musical toy.

Does that taste good, baby boy?


Gabriel's "sexy pose".

Excited to see his Lotso bear!

Gabriel posing with Lotso!

He loves his Lotso Bear.

Close up of those pretty blues.

Happy baby!

Black and white close up of Gabe.

Baby Blue Eyes!

Almost ready to crawl!

Look at those beautiful blue eyes.

Gabriel loves his choo-choo train.

Gabriel with his toy train.

Baby boy isn't shy of the camera.

Gabriel and Zoey checking out the cars!

Even Zoey joined in on play time!

Baby and dog playing with toy cars.

Gabriel with his car.

Smiling baby with his toy car.

Close up of Gabe with his car.

Gabriel making the cars crash!

Close up of Gabriel.

Black and white photo of playing baby.

He loved the rattling noises of the ball.

Gabriel's "Damien face".

This has been dubbed his “Damien face”.

Baby's surprised face!

Chewing on his puppy.

Baby playing with a toy car on play mat.

Black and white photo of baby and his stuffed animal.

Smiling baby, chewing on stuffed puppy's ear.

Chewie on stuffed dog's ear.

Black and white image of a precious boy.


Winter Fog Nature Photography | Norristown, PA

My husband always makes fun of me when there is thick fog because I always claim that the zombie apocalypse is coming. I’m sorry, as much as I love Pennsylvania (I’m a Jersey girl and proud), there is something old and creepy about it, especially when the fog is so thick. I mean, if you think about it, this state would be the perfect place to start the undead epidemic. Left 4 Dead or World War Z, anyone?

Anyway, I had been on my way home from work, taking a back road in Norristown along the Schuylkill River when I had to stop and snag a photo with my phone through the rolled down window. I was pleased with how well it came out, however, I knew I wasn’t going to be satisfied and knew I had to get my big camera out here. Despite the rain, I rushed home and dragged my ever-willing hubby out into the cold so that he could drive me down this road again. With the window down, I managed to snag a few photos without getting rained on…until, for the last few photos, I chanced it so I could get a couple of the road. Fortunately at that moment, someone decided to drive down the road so I could get a few shots of that Supernatural-esque moment! All in all a fun little nature photography session.

Trees in Norristown, Pennsylvania during fog.

A couple drops of rain hang onto thin branches against a misty landscape.

Intertwining branches against the foggy landscape behind.

Peering through the branches.

Mist and rain on Port Indian Road.

Fog covered landscape in Norristown, PA.

Black and white photograph of the foggy trees.

Bare branches against the white sky and fog.

Rainy and foggy landscape.

Wintry fog among the trees.

Careful, zombies might be lurking in that fog!

Green tree among the bare branches within the fog.

Black and white photo of misty road.

Port Indian Road shrouded in fog.

Perfect for some shuffling zombies to come out from the fog!

Car drives on Port Indian road during rain and mist.

Eerie fog creeping up the street.

Car disappearing into the fog.

Landscape in the mist.

Trees coated in the fog.


PA Cosplay Photography | Team Fortress 2

Cosplay is another creative venue that I’ve begun to explore, and I love that I have friends who are also very interested in it! Together we’ve created NCOG (the NerdHerd Cosplay Group) and plan on doing as many group cosplays as possible. After a few cons in our Team Fortress 2 getups (winning Best in Show from J1 Studios), I finally scheduled a photoshoot with the others. Although we had a cosplayer for every TF2 character from the game, not all of them were able to make it for the shoot. Perhaps another time!

Thanks to Eric and Sara for allowing us to use their apartment and for taking some of the group shots for us!

TF2 Red Sniper sighting her next target!

Team Fortress 2 Sniper takes aim.

TF2 Red Sniper patiently awaiting her target.

Sometimes waiting can get rather dull.

The Blu Spy carefully peering around the corner.

The TF2 Spy poses with his revolver.

Team Fortress 2 Blu Spy sneaking up on someone!

Close up of the Blu Spy's switchblade.

Blue Spy standing arrogantly.

The lovely Miss Pawling.

Miss Pawling from the TF2 team striking a pose.

Let's see your "grr" face!

Team Fortress 2 Demoman is always drinking...

Happy TF2 Demoman!

Sad, lonely, drunken one-eyed Scotsman.

KA-BOOM! Surprise from the Red Demoman.

A pose and a grimace from the Red Soldier.


TF2 Red Soldier toying with his grenades.

The Soldier rocket jumping!

Fire, fire! The Pyro cares not.

Team Fortress 2 Red Pyro

The Red Pyro has you in their sights!

Triumphant call of the TF2 Pyro!

Pyro with his traffic cone hat!

Batter's up! Team Fortress 2 Red Scout preparing to strike.

A relaxing moment for the Team Fortress 2 Red Scout.

TF2 Scout contemplating.

Red Scout's lookin' at you, kid!

TF2 Red Soldier brooding with his grenade.

Chaos ensues among the Red Team Fortress Team.

Wait, there is a Blu Spy among us!

Red team just enjoying some drinks.

That spy is a spy!


Blizzard 2016 Pet Photography | Chewie & Zoey

The “snowpocalypse” of 2016 (aka Winter Storm Jonas) has arrived in full force here in the Philadelphia area! We were certainly expecting a decent amount of snow, but we didn’t anticipate this much! Despite being hunkered down in our apartment all weekend (still unpacking and hanging things on the walls because we’ve recently moved to Norristown) and having to dig out our cars, Chewie and Zoey loved every minute of the fluffy, white stuff. They even allowed me to snap a few shots of them before they got chilly and wanted to rush back inside…that, and my mother wouldn’t have let me hear the end of it if she didn’t get any photos.

Black and white profile of Chewie the little mutt.

Our little old man dog enjoying the snowpocalypse.

Chewie the mutt playing outside in the snow.

A winter wind doesn't bother Chewie at all!

Chewie enjoying the cold snow.

Our dog Chewie pretending he's a badass on Hoth.Chewie is such a badass. The harsh cold of Hoth doesn’t keep him down! 😉

Blue Merle Sheltie black and white profile

Zoey loving the snowday!

Zoey after eating a mouthful of snow.She just loves burying her face in the snow!

Zoey the Sheltie playing outside in the snow.Close up of pretty Zoey in the snow.Our beautiful Sheltie girl.


Collected Remnants – Abandoned Photography: PA & NJ

I’ve always had a huge fascination with abandoned places, especially buildings. There’s just something beautiful, yet calming and eerie about them all at the same time. It always makes me wonder what had gone on there before it was deserted, and how long it took for nature to completely take over. So back in college, I decided to start an abandoned photography series called Collected Remnants where I could convey the mystery and beauty of old and worn places of the past. These are the first images of said series that I had taken a few years ago.

Places photographed:

  • An old barn in Boyertown, Pennsylvania that is no longer there.
  • An unused section of the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey that once held the likes of Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra and Richard Kuklinski, a.k.a. “The Iceman” in its cells.
  • A building that looked to be a swim club once that was on the road near Fricks Lock in Pennsylvania. I believe it was finally torn down a few years back.
  • A place in Berks County, PA where a few old Reading Railroad trains were held. This was located near French Creek State Park.

Nature has taken control of an old swim club in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

A look through an open doorway into the vacant building near Fricks Lock, PA.

A look inside a yellow, rusting train car.

The side of an abandoned, rusting train car.

The dark, chipping wood of an old, used train's door.

The coal chamber of an old steam train.

Stone walls of an empty barn illuminated by a spider webbed window.

Thick spider webs stretch across a crack in an abandoned barn door.

The upper section of the Bergen County Jail.

Windows shine light onto the unused bars of an old jail.

Cylinder walkway inside a NJ county jail.

Cell bars of the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, NJ.

Eerily lit walkway of the vacant section of a New Jersey jail.

Bright window highlights the inside of a discarded train.

The rusting innards of an old train car.

Dark, creepy hallway of the empty part of the Bergen County Jail.

A deserted bus, overgrown with foliage.

Inside an abandoned, rusted out train.

Vibrant teal, blue and orange of an old train car.

Open door frame leading into an abandoned swim club.

Shadows play over the white face of an abandoned building.

Dark, desolate building that used to be a swim club.

Old, empty barn with red door.

Sunlight shines down on a spider web in abandoned barn.

Unused inmate area of New Jersey jail.

Caged skylight in Hackensack, New Jersey jail.


Steampunk Photography – PA Renaissance Faire

Sci fi and steampunk lovers united over this last weekend during the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. Time Travelers Weekend brought the likes of Jedi to Whovians, alongside the creative clockwork-covered adventurers of the steam-powered world to Mount Hope Estate & Winery.

I had the pleasure of going with the NCOG cosplay group on Saturday for some fun shots of their awesome costumes. I was also happy to sport a steampunk costume of my own!

Steampunk MegaMan!

Steampunk sheriff has a hand cannon!

Steampunk gives you wings!

Steampunk fella with a mechanical arm and wings - both accessories were functional!

Steampunk alchemist ready for the PA Ren Faire!

Steampunk Alchemist.

Steampunk at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire

Ooh la-la!

Steampunk girl at Time Travelers Weekend during the PA Ren Faire.

All laughs at Time Travelers Weekend!

Steampunk welder at Time Travelers Weekend.

Tickets to the gun show??

Steampunk welder

Steampunk welder has no idea what to do with his hands!

Steampunk hanging out at the PA Ren Faire.

Little ol' me at the PA Ren Faire!

Our steampunk alchemist at the PA Ren Faire!

Steampunk mechanical arm and shield.

Steampunk alchemist's staff.

Steampunk alchemist accessories.

Steampunk alchemist's bird. A bit hungry!

Steampunk Mega Man cannon.

Matt making adjustments to his mechanical Steampunk arm.

All smiles at the PA Ren Faire!

Steampunk alechemist at Time Travelers Weekend.

Steampunk welder

Steampunk hand cannon!

Checking out the vendors at the PA Renaissance Faire during Time Travelers Weekend!

Steampunk Mega Man!

Steampunk buddies at Time Travelers Weekend during the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.

Steampunk gentleman with a mechanical arm at the PA Ren Faire.

Steampunk band? Looks like an album cover!


Steampunk Proposal at PA Ren Faire | Michelle & Matt

It was a beautiful day during the Time Traveler’s Weekend at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire today! Not only was the weather absolutely perfect, but my friends Matt and Michelle got engaged! She was totally taken by surprise and I was so very happy that I could be there to document such a great moment. The beautiful weather and their elation combined with the wonderful steampunk theme led to an amazing moment. Thank you both for allowing me to capture this, and best of luck to you!

Steampunk photography from Time Traveler's Weekend at the PA Ren Faire 2015.

Steampunk at Time Traveler's Weekend at the PA Ren Faire.

Steampunk Alchemist at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire

Steampunk photography - engagement at the PA Ren Faire

Steampunk couple at Time Traveler's weekend.

Steampunk photography - wedding proposal in PA

Steampunk engagement photography

Steampunk wedding proposal.

Steampunk proposal at the PA Ren Faire in Manheim Pennsylvania.Steampunk proposal at Time Traveler's Weekend at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.

Steampunk smooches at the PA Ren Faire.

Steampunk couple at Time Traveler's Weekend in PA.

Wedding proposal at the PA Ren Faire Time Traveler's Weekend!

Steampunk Engagement Photography shoot at the Ren Faire.

Steampunk couple at PA Renaissance Faire.

She said yes! Steampunk engagement at Ren Faire!

Newly engaged Steampunk couple.

Steampunk engagement photo shoot

Recently engaged couple at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.

Steampunk engagement photography

Engagement ring at the PA Ren Faire.