Philly Spring Break With Food, History, and Good Memories

During Spring Break, my husband wasn’t able to take any time off. So instead I spent time with our daughter who is 9 at home doing things locally. On a Saturday, we went to Philadelphia to see Independence Mall. We live in a pre-Revolutionary town here in NJ and we’ve already taken her to Washington’s Crossing and plan on going to the Princeton Battlefield and Trenton Barracks. But the day was nice, albeit a bit cool, so we took the Riverline and PATCO right to Center City.

David and I met in Philly and lived there while dating, so we know the city pretty well. I worked for a time at Quaker Photo on 2nd and Arch St. He went to UARTS for Film on 15th and Broad, that’s where we met, I was on a Mobility Program for Graphic Design and Photography from my Montserrat College of Art in MA. It was fun showing The Kid around this section of “Our City”.

First we took her to lunch at Reading Terminal Market, we forgot that it was crowded with tourists for the weekend. I used to come there all the time. But still, we managed to get a place to eat. I just wanted my chicken kabob plate and Bassetts ice cream 🙂 The two of them had crepes from a French vendor. I packed just my Canon 6D, (this camera body is lighter than my Mark 5D III) and two lenses, the Canon 20mm f2.8 and the Canon 50mm f1.8 in a Think Tank Retrospective bag and other essentials. For Reading Terminal Market I used the 20mm to shoot from the hip for a few and then switched to the 50mm for the remainder of the day pretty much. I rarely use these two pieces of glass, so I thought that day was perfect for them.

We went inside the Visitor’s Center, saw the Liberty Bell and Franklin’s Court. We got off to a bit of a later start than we wanted to that day, but we still had fun. Independence Hall ran out of tickets for the tour. All free except for Franklin’s Court which was just $5. It was great to see everything because the last time we saw it all, it was still decorated from the Bicentennial of 1976 and David used to work for the City of Philadelphia as a Town Crier. He dressed in 18th Century costume and handed out “newspapers” to the tourists in Independence Mall.

We used the Phlash bus which does the tourist stops around the city, $5 I think, for an all day pass. We ate dinner at a nice Italian place near City Hall. Showed her a painted brick wall that was an advertisement for the movie Around The World In 80 Days, and then stopped by our old building to show her where we used to live. Took the PATCO directly from our old building on 15th and Locust to start our journey home.

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Our child is a writer and carries a notebook and pencil everywhere she goes.
CenterCityPhillyByDeirdreRyanPhotographyOur old apartment, The Vida, 11th floor the bay window closest to The Academy Apartment building on the left, 2nd one down from the top floor.

Studio Portraits Of My Friend Roseanne

My dear friend Roseanne has just opened her Pilates Fusion and Barre Fitness Studio here in Bordentown, NJ and I couldn’t be more proud of her! This tiny powerhouse, former ballerina, mother of three beautiful girls,  juggles a full time job, teaches Pilates both as a group class and in private homes, and is a weightlifter who holds the record for bench press at 105 lbs! She won the First Place trophy for the World Natural Powerlifting Federation(WNPF). But something tells me that she can do much more than that 😉

Roseanne Deadlifing

The above and below images are used with the permission of Rosanne Joy.

Roseanne Deadlifing

So I asked if she could help me test out some lighting that I wanted to try out and she said sure! Her youngest came along, and it was perfect because my 9 year old and she could play upstairs together.  We had such a good time, just the two of us, and the images of her turned out beautiful! But of course that’s mainly because she’s in them 🙂

Studio portrait of Roseanne by Deirdre Ryan Photography
Studio portrait of Roseanne by Deirdre Ryan Photography Studio portrait of Roseanne by Deirdre Ryan Photography, fitness, powerlifter, sculpted arms, black and white portrait studio portrait of Roseanne by Deirdre Ryan Photography studio portrait of Roseanne by Deirdre Ryan Photography studio portrait of Roseanne by Deirdre Ryan Photography

Thank you so much to my beautiful friend! These were what I was looking for and more! I can’t wait for our next project together! Congratulations on your studio!

Deirdre Ryan Photography behind the scenes Roseanneshoot

And thanks to my loving husband, David, who took this image after we shooed him away. As you can see, space is tight in our basement. It’s our family room, my office, and our daughter’s play area. I used one Dynalite strobe with a 46″ Photek Softlighter II Umbrella on it with a double sided 5’x7′ Savage popup black/white background. I also had a Savage 5 in 1 Reflector out to help modify the light a bit, that’s what the extra empty stand with the reflector clamps is there for. I tethered my Canon Mark 5D III to my Macbook Pro and used the Canon EF 85mm f1.8 lens.

A Printed Portrait Speaks Volumes To Those In Need

Over the weekend I had the honor to volunteer at Chosen 300, at their soup kitchen on Spring Garden in Center City Philadelphia, PA. The event was for Help-Portrait, is about giving people who otherwise couldn’t afford photography a portrait, a print to take home with them. This event happens once a year in December, a global event, put together by photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, and countless volunteers and donations. I had heard about this a while ago and I could finally make it this year.

My husband was able to join me, so we drove into the city from NJ. We met in Center City and lived on 15th and Locust, so coming into Philly is like home to us.

When we first arrived, we cleared out the tables and chairs to set up our photo stations. People donated their photo printers, snacks for us to eat, and many of us(myself included) brought in frames to put the printed images into. Then once we set up, we all tested our lights on each other.

Photo By Kristina White

Photo by Kristina White.

Me being photographed by Jaleel King by Photo By Kristina White

This is me being shot by Jaleel King, photo by Kristina White.


This gentleman was my first client, and he was a HUGE Cowboys football fan in Eagles country! HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography2_Philadelphia HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography3_Philadelphia HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography4_Philadelphia HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography5_Philadelphia

We had to have some fun by putting some Eagles in the photo, and of course, The Eagles won the very next day!HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography7_Philadelphia

Photo By Kristina White

Here he is with the photograph in the frame that I took and he chose. Looks great! Photo by Kristina White. HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography8_Philadelphia

This gentleman had never had a portrait of himself wearing a suit other than the uniform he wore when he was shipped out to Vietnam. HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography9_Philadelphia HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography10_Philadelphia

Photo By Kristina White

Photo by Kristina White.


This is me with my client with the image he chose in a frame. Photo by David W. Ryan.

In between clients, I got some quick shots of some behind the scenes.BehindTheScenesHelpPortrait-DeirdreRyanPhotography_Philadelphia BehindTheScenesHelpPortrait-DeirdreRyanPhotography_Philadelphia

This is Jaleel King showing his client the portrait he just took on the back of his camera.BehindTheScenesHelpPortrait-DeirdreRyanPhotography_Philadelphia BehindTheScenesHelpPortrait-DeirdreRyanPhotography_Philadelphia

Makeup artist Niki Brennan making a mother of two feel very pretty. BehindTheScenesHelpPortrait-DeirdreRyanPhotography_Philadelphia

Cathie Berrey-Green of BG Productions working her fun station to making the kids and mom have great portraits.

When Carrie showed the mother the printed portraits, she cried, because she loved them so much. We all were crying, it was very emotional, that is why we do this.



This spunky little 3 year old young lady was such a treat! She was a little shy at first, but I got her to warm up to me. HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography12_Philadelphia HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography13_Philadelphia HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography14_Philadelphia

Especially after asking if I had stinky feet, and she said yes! Then I asked if her grandmother had stinky feet, and she said, yes! I got her giggling lolHelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography15_Philadelphia HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography16_Philadelphia HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography17_Philadelphia

This young man was quite and reserved, but I could tell that he loved to be outgoing and friendly.  HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography18_Philadelphia

Photo By Kristina White

He was 6’7 and I’m 5’0, I tried a few with him standing but I preferred the ones I showed here. Photo by Kristina White. HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography19_Philadelphia

This gentleman was also 6’7, so I had him sitting down too. He lost everything he had to a house fire, including family pictures.  HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography20_Philadelphia HelpPortraits_DeirdreRyanPhtography21

I had a quick moment so I shot this portrait of one of the photographers who was there.

Help Portrait Group Photo by Kevin High Photography

At the end of the day, we all got together to take a group photo. Photo by Kevin High. I am so happy that I could participate for this worthy cause to give back, make new friends, and meet new people. Plus, we were able to get back home in time to see our little girl play in her first basketball game of the season, and her team WON!

Thank you everyone!!!!

Foggy Autumn Morning Along A NJ Creek

On December 2nd, 2015 it was very foggy, and chilly with a just the right touch of humidity in the air. The conditions were perfect, so much in fact that it stayed this way for a long time. Best of all, it was my husband’s 44th birthday so we got to spend some time together that morning after dropping our child off at school.

I had my Canon Mark 5D III and my Canon EF 20mm F2.8 and while shooting I saw something out on the water. So I told David to go back to the house, and grab my Canon 70-200mm F2.8 non IS L lens and my Manfrotto Monopod. We only live just up the hill, and I was worried about the fog burning off, but it really didn’t. It was difficult to decide if I wanted these to be in colour or in black and white. I love editing certain images like I did in a traditional black and white fiber based darkroom. It was silent except for that awful traffic sound in the distance. I miss the days when 295 wasn’t there,  even though it is necessary…..

All images are Copyright Deirdre Ryan Photography, do not screen capture. That’s stealing and bad karma will come your way. Thank you 🙂

I had my Canon Mark 5D III, Canon EF 20mm F2.8 and while shooting I saw something out on the water. So I told David to go back to the house, and grab my Canon 70-200mm F2.8 non IS L lens and my Manfrotto Monopod. We only live just up the hill, and I was worried about the fog burning off, but it really didn’t. I wanted to capture the above image because to me it was just so perfect and still, with the webs and dew.

That’s him, wearing the “Ugly Nightmare Before Christmas Sweater” that was his birthday gift from his daughter and I.

Portraits At Dusk

The other day I had my nine year old daughter help me test some new lights in our backyard. It was dusk and the temperature was dropping. I had her sit down in front of 2 of my speedlights, each with a softbox and I wirelessly triggered them. She wasn’t feeling that well, but at the same time wanted to have a little fun.

There were a couple of little birds playing the in pine tree above us and she was watching them.

PortraitOfDaughter_DeirdreRyanEditorialandCommercialPhotography_2 OutdoorPortrait_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditoralPhotography_1

After this was taken she was ready to go back inside. I’m really happy with how this one turned out,  and I love the others too for different reasons. When she’s feeling better I’ll take her out again.

Photographers are always testing new ways of photographing, before we go out and use them with our clients, we do this first. And if we have children and significant others, they are most often our test models. Aren’t they lucky? 😉

The Ocean Blue at The World Cafe Live

Please No Screenshots, All Images Copyright Deirdre Ryan Photography.

I have wonderful friends and one of them turned 50 the other night. So as a surprise, we all gathered together to have dinner at the White Dog Cafe in University City in Philadelphia. It was interesting because traffic was hell, it was Friday night, but unusually bad.  Either way, we were all going to make it! Dinner was delicious and we were able to walk over to The World Cafe Live just up Walnut St.

In 1994, I met my future husband in Center City Philly and we lived on 15th and Locust, so Philadelphia is like home to me. Unfortunately my husband couldn’t be with us, he was working in NYC.

I didn’t bring any big cameras or lenses. I just brought my little Canon s100,an extra battery for it, my iPhone 5, and 2 battery power banks.

We get there, check out coats, and somehow I get separated from my friends. I thought that they were right behind me, but I get right in front of the stage.  We got there just as The Ocean Blue was starting, I took a few snapshots and video, but for the most part I just enjoyed the show.

To view my YouTube Playlist from the concert click here.  For this tour, The Ocean Blue played their first two albums.


Please No Screenshots, All Images Copyright Deirdre Ryan Photography.

Please No Screenshots, All Images Copyright Deirdre Ryan Photography.


Please No Screenshots, All Images Copyright Deirdre Ryan Photography.


Please No Screenshots, All Images Copyright Deirdre Ryan Photography. TheOceanBlue_WorldCafe_Philly_Nov.20_2015_DeirdreRyanCommercialEditorialPhotography5

Please No Screenshots, All Images Copyright Deirdre Ryan Photography. TheOceanBlue_WorldCafe_Philly_Nov.20_2015_DeirdreRyanCommercialEditorialPhotography6

Please No Screenshots, All Images Copyright Deirdre Ryan Photography.

For an encore, Riverside came onstage as a surprise! The card in my camera became full so lucky for me, my iPhone 5 was full of juice, I grabbed it out of my purse and started to shoot video. The reason I did so much video, even for me, was because my husband saw their first major concert at The Trocadero in Philly. As a matter of fact, in one of the videos, you’ll see their tour dates, and the crowd will start to cheer certain dates that some have been too. And since David couldn’t be there, I wanted to share the experience with him.


My friends and I got pictures with the band which is so great of them to do. None of us look our best, which is just fine, we were all in the moment. I bought this beautiful screen printed poster. These were all done by hand so I just couldn’t resist getting one, it’s going to go in a frame. When I was in high school and in college, my walls were literally covered from almost floor to ceiling with posters.

Once again, thank you to the members of The Ocean Blue! You put on a fabulous show, and thank you for taking the time to chat and get pictures taken with us!

That Time I Was A Still Photographer

I lived in Los Angeles for 10+ years, and while out there my husband worked for a few tv studios. He worked on he tv show Profiler, and met up with some people who did a spoof of Allie McBeal called Allyn McBeal during the height of the show.

We had a lot of fun on the set, and I have fond memories. However, I don’t have any of the stills from the spoof because I stupidly gave them all of my slides. But I have this promo shot which I had no idea at the time, but it ended up in various entertainment magazines, like The Daily Variety magazine and tv shows, like Entertainment Tonight. I wasn’t happy about that, because it was never discussed with me previously.  I didn’t receive any photo credit in the magazines, except in the running titles of the film.  True it was low budget, we all worked for free for exposure and to add to our resume of experience. Overall, it was a great time, and I’m thankful for working on set, and meeting great people.


One of the tv shows he worked on was Judging Amy, the first season and it was shot on the Paramount Studio lot.  I worked on the lot with David because there was a little girl on the show who played Amy’s daughter. She had a brother who needed a babysitter while her mother was on set with her daughter. The Paramount Studio lot is still my favorite lot, it’s small, beautiful and very old Hollywood.

We became very good friend with Mike Risner, the A.D. (Assistant Director) on the show, who worked on one of the Star Trek shows. Across the way from our studio Star Trek Voyager was being filmed. Mike knew the cast and the people there. I forget how it happened, but I was cast as a still photographer for the film 9mm of Love, by Robbie McNeal, who was an actor on Star Trek Voyager. It was shot on the Paramount lot and we had a lot of fun on set. 9mmoflovestillphoto_DeirdreRyanPhotography

Here’s Robbie with Ethan Philips, yes those are Ethan’s dogs. I loved talking to him.

This is Sean O’Brian and Carl Lumbly below during a scene.  

Here’s Liz Vassey. She’s so pretty isn’t she? And such a sweetheart!9mmoflovestillphoto_DeirdreRyanPhotography9mmoflovestillphoto_DeirdreRyanPhotography9mmoflovestillphoto_DeirdreRyanPhotography9mmoflovestillphoto_DeirdreRyanPhotography9mmoflovestillphoto_DeirdreRyanPhotography9mmoflovestillphoto_DeirdreRyanPhotography9mmoflovestillphoto_DeirdreRyanPhotography

The guy in the rimmed hat is our good friend Mike9mmoflovestillphoto_DeirdreRyanPhotography9mmoflovestillphoto_DeirdreRyanPhotography9mmoflovestillphoto_DeirdreRyanPhotography

Unfortunately 9mm of Love is not on YouTube but we did see it in one of the larger screening rooms on the Paramount lot. That was fun. I wish that there was some way that it could be released, but then I don’t know what kind of releases the actors signed or what is going on with the film. If Robbie sees this, please let the world see it online!

Back then all of these were shot on film. I did 9mm of Love with black and white film, Allyn McBeal with colour slide film.  We all worked for free and it was also a lot of fun.  On 9mm of Love I didn’t have to relinquish my negatives, I gave them copies of everything, and it was all good.

I have more to share at another time in another post. But these two were my first.

Honestly, I LOVED being on set. Yeah the hours are brutal, but the people are great. I also love the way the sets are built, the behind the scene lighting, I don’t know I just can’t quite explain it. I loved it. If I could do it all again, I would try harder to pursue it. It’s a hard field to get into out there, a Union Still Photographer. But I would love to get on set to photograph the actors and cast for a magazine.

Now THAT would be great….

A Playground In Need

Like many playgrounds, ours is in need of a major makeover. This is the Clara Barton Elementary School playground. It has not changed since I went there and for many other generations of kids and adults. Years ago, it went up to grade 8, and when I went there, it went up to grade 6.


The pavement is hot in the sun, there is no shade. The only place to really play is in the kindergarten play area, but that is closed off to the bigger kids during recess, because it is a safety issue with the smaller children. I understand this. CBSPlaygroundBordentownNJ_DeirdreRyanPhotography2

The reason for the fence in the middle of the playground was to keep the much older kids from the kindergarten areas. But now, there’s really no need for it. There’s some sort of outdated play things here and there that the kids bang on for noise, but the the most part, they are ignored. The basketball court is used, and so is the climbing wall. The school brings out jumping ropes, balls, and other items for the kids to play with during recess. But recess these days even for a school that is for grades Pre-K to 3 is limited because of curriculum. That’s hard because everyone, including the teachers and staff want the kids to play.


The kids play on this after school because they can actually have fun on this structure. Even when they come over from the intermediate school across the street that is grade 4-5. They come over to play on this playground and the rest because I’m told and many of the other parents are told that recess is terrible over there. I’m not there during recess, so I’m only hearing this from several of my daughter’s friends including her.


Honestly, does this look like fun? And really, we all want the best, but playgrounds are really $$$$. A single swing set is around $20,000! The pavement needs to come up and re-done, I mean we’re talking a complete overhaul.

This is where the Friends of The Ecological Schoolyard at Clara Barton comes in, my committee. We are a committee of parents, faculty and community residents dedicated to the responsible and ecological redevelopment of the Clara Barton schoolyard. 

We started this while our children were in Clara Barton, some of my friends who are in the committee have children still there. But we are committed to getting this done. The playground here has been an issue for a long time. Money has been raised, but now we need more. What we have in our account isn’t enough and that is the sad and awful truth. Did I mention how much the swing set is? 

What we want is something that will be lasting and beautiful for generations to come. Something that has been going on for years across the nation and around the world. A playground that is not only safe for our children, but a place for them to learn, an environment of sensory and visual wonders. Not your usual playground of swings and slides.

We teamed up with Lolly Tai who wrote the the book Designing Outdoor Environments For Children: Landscaping School Yards, Gardens and Playgrounds decided that Clara Barton was going to be the school for her students graduate study at Temple. Their research, plans, and drawings for our school was put into a textbook. Some of the above photos of mine were published into her book. It was amazing working with them! To view the textbook click here.   I encourage you to please share!

Quoted from the publisher:

Asphalt to Green Space: Clara Barton Eco-Schoolyard: Clara Barton Elementary School Project was conducted by a Temple University Senior Landscape Architecture Studio during fall 2014. The project involved a comprehensive study of the school to transform the site from an asphalted schoolyard to an eco-friendly school by integrating principles of green infrastructure and best management practices. The goal was to create designs for an educational and active environment for children, teachers, and the community.”

So this past spring, we purchased two Chinese Elm trees, our little city dug up the black top for us in the spots we wanted. They had to go through many layers before hitting dirt 😉  The day arrived and we had to find a way to get water for the trees, here are my friends, Karen and Harry with a boy who lives across the street getting it set up.

ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton1 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton2 This is Mikki, she is also a member of our Tree Planting Committee here in town, and among other many talents(an artists, and skilled gardner), knows a lot about planting these. ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton3 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton4

Another friend, Debbie, told the many children volunteers what needed to be done, and they started to dig.ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton5 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton6 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton7 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton8 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton9 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton10 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton11 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton12 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton13 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton15 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton16 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton18 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton19 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton20 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton21 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton22 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton23 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton24 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton25 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton26 That’s my husband, David with my other camera, shooting video. ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton26 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton27 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton27 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton28 ClaraBartonElementarySchoolTreePlantingDeirdreRyanPhotographyFriendsofTheEcologicalSchoolyardatClaraBarton29

Clara Barton Ecological PlayYard – Tree Planting from David W. Ryan on Vimeo.

Friends of The Ecological Schoolyard at Clara Barton

Photo by Caroline Conroy. This is me and my daughter at this year’s past Green Fair. As you can see, we have the plans for the playground, we’re all very excited! And best of all we’re now 501C3!

This past summer, local artists, past and current students, friends, including myself, worked with artist, Stephanie Neuhaus, on her mural that is being painted on the back wall of Clara Barton’s school. It was hot, but we had a lot of fun being together, working on this beautiful project for the school and the community.

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That’s my husband, David with my other camera, shooting video. Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography8

Here is Stephanie showing local artist, Al Barker what to do. Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography9 Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography10

Hi Vikki!

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My husband got some shots of me painting. I actually used to paint a lot back in the day, mostly in oils. Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography19 Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography20

Stephanie’s husband, Mike, a local fine art photographer, taking some photos of us.

Clara Barton Elementary School Mural Painting Volunteers-Photo By Mike Neuhaus At the end of the day, we got together for a group photo, thanks Mike for the image!


Here is the next time we all got together, this time we used my camera for the group shot. Gotta love a self timer! Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography23 Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography24

Each of us were assigned a colour that was a number on the wall to paint. Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography25 Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography26 Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography28 Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography29 Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography30 Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography31

I love her heart shaped sunglasses! Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography32 Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography33 Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography34 Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography35 Mural_ClaraBartonElementaryPlaygroundProject_DeirdreRyanPhotography36

The mural is not finished yet. What we all did was just blocked out the main colours with what Stephanie told us to do. Then she went back, and cleaned up the lines, and is still working on it. Adding in shading, more details, and other extras that as an artist only she knows what is needed.

What we now is MONEY and LOTS of it.  Our committee is 501C3, so we are in the process of applying for grants, BUT we still need help. Contact me via this site or via our FB Page.

Thanks everyone, and subscribe to my blog to keep updated 🙂

The Pink Mile

UPDATE: The dear sweet woman for whom this glorious event this was for, has passed away this evening, November 21, 2015. As you read this post and view these images, please think of her, her family,  friends and the community.  I met Kelly for a brief moment, and seeing how much she was loved, the photos on her Facebook profile, made me smile. Say a prayer, or a special thought for them all. From what I understand, these photos brought much comfort and joy to them, and I say to, that the honor was all mine. Please leave a lovely comment for the her family and her friends. Thank you everyone. 

Our community does a lot of wonderful things for people. A woman, a daughter, a sibling, a wife, and a mother, has cancer, and is fighting hard. She just came home from the hospital. Battling cancer for 7+ years is hard. I don’t know her, but I want to now. My friend contacted me, because she put together a last minute fundraiser to help the family with meals and money to get through these days.

We met at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Bordentown Township, NJ. They walked a half mile to their home, and then another half mile back to the starting point, this included members of her family, including her mother. What transpired was amazing.   ThePinkMile_TeamKelly_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditorialPhotography1 ThePinkMile_TeamKelly_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditorialPhotography2 ThePinkMile_TeamKelly_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditorialPhotography3 ThePinkMile_TeamKelly_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditorialPhotography4

I got up on a very tall ladder and with the help of others, arranged all of these people and children into one large group photo.
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Then the walk began.ThePinkMile_TeamKelly_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditorialPhotography7 ThePinkMile_TeamKelly_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditorialPhotography8 ThePinkMile_TeamKelly_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditorialPhotography10

The balloons were placed on their front lawn.


I was more towards the back of the walkers, but as you can see, the love of people towards the family was true.ThePinkMile_TeamKelly_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditorialPhotography13ThePinkMile_TeamKelly_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditorialPhotography12 ThePinkMile_TeamKelly_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditorialPhotography14 ThePinkMile_TeamKelly_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditorialPhotography15 ThePinkMile_TeamKelly_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditorialPhotography16

That’s her daughter in the middle with her besties.ThePinkMile_TeamKelly_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditorialPhotography17 ThePinkMile_TeamKelly_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditorialPhotography18

Family photo back at Holy Cross Lutheran Church where we all met and ended. ThePinkMile_TeamKelly_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditorialPhotography19

Our adult choir lost a dear friend, a fierce, fun loving, full of life woman last week. Today is her viewing, and tomorrow, we are going to sing her funeral Mass. It’s going to be so hard. So, I needed this event, and I know my friend was looking down on me yesterday, I can’t explain it, I just know it. Thank you everyone for letting me be a part of something truly wonderful.

Graceful Beauty

I had a former ballerina model for me in Los Angeles and what you can’t see is the fun we had with a hair and makeup artist.  Laughing between takes, she was a natural, with a few directions from me. What transpired is what you see below, beautiful, black and white photographs.

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I asked to let her hair down, shake it out, she looked like a diva, and reminds me of a singer from Motown Records in the 60’s.  African American Woman2

Grace and beauty.