Women Who Turn Wrenches-Silvinas VW Garage-NJ Editorial Portrait Photographer

I met Silvina a few years ago and I instantly adored her. She has this infectious smile, is a great woman to talk about any topic to and overall is awesome. She was showing her VW Bus at our local car show here in Bordentown back in 2016. This is how long I’ve been working on getting this project off the ground for. I knew that she was one of the women I wanted for this, and I’m so happy that it’s worked out.

The day I photographed her, the weather was hot, humid, and sticky, and a huge thunderstorm was on the horizon. She was working on prepping a 1973 VW Super Beetle to be painted. Friends came by later to help out and offer advice. The car is going to be gorgeous once it’s done!

If you haven’t read my last post about Jen and her 1973 Dodge Charger SE 440, I’ve been working on getting this personal photo project about women mechanics, and I’ve decided to call it, Women Who Turn Wrenches.

“What I’m interested in is the women who own their vehicles and work on them as well. Or work at a shop, race, anything.  There are too many images of guys working on cars, and not enough showing women. Yeah, we’ve seen the pin-ups, and don’t get me wrong, I love that, however, it’s high time to show the world the beauty of real women, doing what they love. Basically, I want this to as a woman empowerment in what’s been a “Boys Club”.”

Everyone who agreed to this project I asked them to answer the same set of questions, here Silvina’s answers:
Why did you decide to be a part of this project?
I spoke with Deirdre during the Bordentown car show couple years back.
What drew you into cars?
I can’t pinpoint an exact instance, but my first car was a 67 beetle and then it progressed from there.
How did you learn how to work on cars?
 Books and Manuals
What is the most rewarding part of what you do with vehicles?
The most rewarding part is fixing something and it actually works! And also fixing things on the old cars and leaving them better than I found them.
How many hours do you spend in the garage or driveway working on your vehicle?
As much as I can, I would estimate about 10 hours a week.
How much money do you think you’ve spent? Loaded question I know.
oh, brother…..my garage alone was 25k, I have probably 5k in tools and 50k in cars and parts! ouch.
What would be your dream vehicle if money wasn’t an issue? Details, please! 
1964 VW bus-21 Window
Would you have your own garage as well? C’mon, the sky’s the limit here.
Absolutely! I would love to!
If you race cars, what’s your favorite and why did you choose it?
I’m not really into speed, I am more of a cruiser
If you have another type of full-time job, do you wish that you could do this full time instead?
I don’t know because I wouldn’t want to lose the excitement and urge to actually go out to the garage and work on something.
Are you good at fixing other things as well? Have you always tinkered?
Yes, I am very handy, I learned this from my dad. When I was little I used to take things apart just for fun and put them back together. Now there is nothing out there that I won’t do…from fixing my cars to redoing the bathrooms in my house.
What was your first “project” or “baby”? 
1967 Beetle- my first car. I would wash that thing and polish it every other day LOL from there I went onto fixing things that broke on the car and the rest is history…
What was or is your most favorite car that you’ve owned? Mine was my 2001 Volvo V70 T5, she roared and purred….the photo below was taken on the day she died.
1978 VW Bus, I still own him.

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women mechanics,VW Bug,garage,turning wrenches,portrait,personal photo project,cars,NJ,branding photographer,
women mechanics,VW Bug,garage,turning wrenches,portrait,personal photo project,cars,NJ,branding photographer,
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Do you remember each car that you’ve ever owned like they were your “babies”? I still have a soft spot in my heart for my very first, an ’81 Olds Omega.
For sure, I name all my cars as well. They all have a special place in my heart.
Which do you prefer? 
Other: German cars are my favorite
Why?
I love German engineering. I actually went to Germany and visit the VW factory and museum. It was amazing!!!
Favorite brand of car? Fair warning: there are cars in here from all around the world, like the Ukraine, India, and Australia. I just added everything for the fun of it. To find out more on them here’s the link 
Volkswagen
How many cars do you own?
4
How many cars have you owned?
More than 10.
Do other members of your family work on cars too? 
No

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women mechanics,VW Bug,garage,turning wrenches,portrait,personal photo project,cars,NJ,branding photographer,

If no, do you work on your family and friends vehicles?
I help all my friends and family with their vehicles when time permits. They certainly call me with questions and I am always happy to help. I also rely on some of my friends who are more experienced and knowledgeable. This hobby is really a community of people that like to help each other (The old school VW community)
Is fixing your car or racing something you do with family or friends?
Yes, I have a lot of friends in the VW community. We do a lot of things together like cruising, camping, work on cars and car shows.
Do you see more women doing this now than before? If yes, why?
No, there is still very few girls out there who work on their cars.
Years ago, high schools offered auto mechanic classes, home ec, and other trades and now they don’t. Why do you think they don’t and do you think they should still offer them instead of going to a separate vo-tech school?
Totally, I took Home ec and shop class. We didn’t have an auto mechanic in Bordentown back in the 90s but I would have totally taken that! I think its imperative for young people to learn basic life skills that these classes offered. It is really a shame that they don’t anymore.

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women mechanics,VW Bug,garage,turning wrenches,portrait,personal photo project,cars,NJ,branding photographer,

Are there any nicknames for women who fix cars? How does it differ from the nicknames for guys?
Not that I know of….people sometimes ask me “do you wrench?” but that about it.
Are there nicknames for women who race cars? How does it differ from the nicknames for guys?
Being a woman who loves cars and knows how to work on them, do you find that you have any problems with the “boys” at first or even now? Like when you go car shopping, if a guy is helping you do you see any differences in how you’re treated when you start telling them more facts about vehicles than they were expecting? When test driving?
I haven’t had any “problems” per say but I do surprise some of the boys with my knowledge. Most of my friends who I work on cars with are “boys” so we are cool! We learn from each other.
Do guys respect you in your field? If yes explain? If no, why not?
Sure! The people that I surround myself with are all positive and respectful people. I guess this is because it is a hobby and not a job. I get to choose 🙂

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women mechanics,VW Bug,garage,turning wrenches,portrait,personal photo project,cars,NJ,branding photographer,
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women mechanics,VW Bug,garage,turning wrenches,portrait,personal photo project,cars,NJ,branding photographer,

Do you prefer older classic cars or the newer ones out today? Can you explain?
The older the better. I love how simple cars were back then. We are getting to the point where we may not even have to “Drive” our cars anymore, that is just too much.
My favorite cars since I was in grade school was the 1954 silver Mercedes Benz Gull Wing with red leather interior and the Duesenbergs from the 1920s. Are there any vehicles that still stand out in your mind from when you were a kid?
My dads’ car when I was little and we lived in Argentina. 1975 Citroen 2CV. It was so ugly it was cute!

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women mechanics,VW Bug,garage,turning wrenches,portrait,personal photo project,cars,NJ,branding photographer,
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women mechanics,VW Bug,garage,turning wrenches,portrait,personal photo project,cars,NJ,branding photographer,

Why do you think there aren’t as many women mechanics or race car drivers as men?
Because it is a very physical job, believe it or not, you need to lift parts, get under the car, crawl on the floor and much more. Also, you have to be willing to get dirty, not many girls like that.
Do you feel that as a woman, you feel very much more in control when you are able to work on your own vehicle? That there’s a satisfaction in knowing you are accomplishing what is typically a “guys job” or do you not feel that way at all?
Not really, gender roles were never a huge topic in my family. We all did what we liked, even if was outside social norms.
Last question, what would you tell young ladies and girls today who might be interested in a career that involved cars?
Its just nuts and bolts….go for it! Get dirty and don’t be afraid to fail.

Thanks again for letting me into your home and sharing not just your passion, but your family and love for photography.

Are you a woman who works on her own vehicle and is interested in being a part of my project? Contact me and let’s have some fun!

 

Day 3-The Standardbred National Horse Show at The Horse Park of NJ

If you didn’t see my post on Day two click here to see it.

Day 3 was on a Sunday and I got there later than I wanted to. This time, I brought my husband and our daughter, it was her very first time at a horse show. It was super hot and it did rain a little. But we sat in the covered seating area and we had a packed lunch. My friend showed earlier in the jumping and dressage, and I wished that we could’ve seen her. Oh well, there will be plenty of other times. But still I wanted our daughter to see these events. This is a breed show to show the many ways this horse can perform.

Brielle hurt her back jumping with Baby, but had one last class on Kora in a flat class. She did really well and placed 2nd. All in all, she placed with two seconds and two fourths for the weekend, not bad considering that Kora is a horse that has only been under a saddle for just two months! And I got the word that Kora has been adopted!

They had a HUGE flat class of 25 riders, that benefited the Race for To Cure MS, and one of the riders that was sweeping the entire weekend has MS. She’s wearing the long sleeved blue shirt, riding Xrossing The Delaware. I wanted to meet her badly!

I love Fruit Punch Gatorade on ice and I made a mixed green salad with feta cheese, tomatoes, chick peas, plain macaroni noodles, drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice and Penzeys Ozark seasonings. We also had fresh cherries for dessert. And yes, our daughter loves this salad too.

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I like this one, an English and Western rider….
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Because of the heat and rain, the judge was in the area where we were seated.

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The red ribbon means to stay away because that horse could kick. Kora is not experienced in a show ring, and the day before, other riders were getting too close to her. I’ve ridden an Arabian named Annie who had to wear one, she would literally stop, back up to kick another horse in a show ring or during training. Did anyone pay attention to that ribbon? Nope! Did Annie do her thing without warning? Yup!
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A very exhausted but happy Brielle!
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Because Brielle was hurting, I helped with cleaning out the stalls, holding on to Baby while her other helper cleaned the other stall, and made sure that she was ok. She went one to place at Gladstone the very next day!

If you’re all wondering if I’m going to show soon, yes I am! Stay tuned!

Day 2-The Standardbred National Horse Show at The Horse Park Of NJ

If you’ve been following me online, it’s not a secret that riding horses is a love for me that goes back to when I was a little girl. I didn’t ask for a pony, I wanted a Trakenher. It’s still one of my favorite breeds. I jumped horses in shows, and now I’m back into training since August 1991.

A breed that has gained my attention is the Standardbred . My sister in-law Lillian and her husband, Jim, are very involved in the horse world. I’ve been volunteering when I can at the Standardbred Retirement Foundation in Cream Ridge, NJ.

This weekend, my friend, Brielle, who works there, is showing two horses at the Standardbred National Horse Show here at the Horse Park Of NJ. The park is only about roughly 20 minutes from where I live. I haven’t been here since 1991, so yeah a lot has changed! LOL

She’s been there since Friday, today is the last day and I’m going to head over there soon. Photographing horses in motion like this is “fairly new” for me,I used to photograph team sports for a newspaper. They came out pretty good, I really had a lot of fun, in spite of the intense humidity and oncoming thunderstorm.
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Brielle rode Kora in just one class. Her own horse, Shake Baby Shake, is showing today with Kora.

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That’s Lillian taking pictures from the stands. I joined her there to take the other images.
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After a practice run in the ring, they had opening ceremonies:

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This class is for Standardbreds that are currently up for adoption.

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IMG_4361StandardbredNationsbyDeirdre Ryan Photography www.deirdreryanphotography.com.jpgBelow is Brielle’s horse, Shake Baby Shake:
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IMG_4405StandardbredNationsbyDeirdre Ryan Photography www.deirdreryanphotography.com.jpgAfter this image, I stayed on to watch some more classes, that were mainly Western, with Lillian. It was fun to relax, chat and of course be around horses 🙂
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Event Photography | The Stone Terrace + Hamilton, NJ | Notre Dame High School Class of 1968 50th Reunion

Hey again everyone!
I recently had a blast photographing the Class of 1968 50th Class Reunion of Notre Dame High School , held at The Stone Terrace in Hamilton, NJ. It was a large event with roughly 100 attendants, including business people, those who are retired, including a former sports caster from ESPN radio, and many other classmates from all backgrounds.

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All of the guests showed up with lots of memories, spirit and enthusiasm. They honored their military Veterans, remembering classmates who have deceased, held a raffle, and of course lots of dancing to the Meg Hanson Group with Billy Hill. The venue looked amazing, as well.

All of the decorating and planning were done by The NDHS Class of 1968 Reunion Committee. One of the classmates who wasn’t able to be there, donated two bottles of wine per table, the tables also had these beautiful blue wine bottles that had LED lights inside, the table of memories had items such as photos, class pins, rings, the coveted baby blue blazer worn by only the senior class girls, and yearbooks.
Everyone there had a really good time, getting everyone to look my way during the large class picture was let’s say “a challenge”, and the staff at The Stone Terrace were a huge help in getting what I needed(a tall ladder for the group photos).

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I brought one of my battery powered strobes and paired it with a 48″ octa soft modifier, the staff brought me a tall ladder so that I could get everyone in and the light gave me that nice burst that I needed.


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Some classmates from the Class of 1967 “crashed” the party LOL
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If you saw my other post for the Class of 1967, NDHS is also where I went, as well as my mother, and uncle. This night, Meg Hanson, the singer, told others there that one of the nuns that taught at our school was her aunt, and the drummer also went to Notre Dame. Small world!

I was glad to have been there for all the excitement and happy to share some of that with you here. Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Personal Branding Photography Session For Douglas Herring Attorney at Law Part One

Douglas has been a client of mine for quite a while now. I first photographed he and his family and then a headshot later on. He was in need of new images for his law office in Princeton so a branding session was the best fit for what was needed. We spoke on the phone and in person over a nice sushi lunch, then we chose the date and time for his photoshoot. We actually have another date planned to continue, but we need to find a good location first.

We agreed to capturing Doug working, details in his office, showing people that while there are times when you need a Defense Attorney, and that it’s a scary for most, he wanted to portray who is is in person. A friendly, honest man who will do everything he can to help you. These are his stories.

Below are a sampling of a mixture of his favorites and mine from that day. It didn’t feel like work at all because it was a lot of fun(well minus the moving my gear in and out of the car and all over the place LOL). I brought in Elinchrom portable Ranger Quadra studio lights that I rented from BorrowLenses dot com because right before this photoshoot, I had another one earlier that same day, a headshot in Yardley, PA. I knew that what I needed, flashes weren’t going to cut it and I needed more power.
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He loves to go outside, be with his family, so the last location of the day was a beautiful park that had a wide open field. Of course the sun was directly overhead, so with a little maneuvering and putting the light on full power and a Softlighter II modifier, I achieved the look I wanted for him.
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The best part about these images is that he now has a stock library that is custom made for just him to use however he wants to, in print, social media, video, etc.

Below are some behind the scenes taken with my iPhone SE that I uploaded to my Instagram feed. We also did some goofy selfies, that’s Doug’s sister who is amazing and helped keep everything organized that day. Thank you both so much for making my job easier!

Interested to learn how a branding photography session can help you? Click on this LINK to find out more!

New Lighting Gear!

If any of you have been following me on my blog or Instagram, you may have heard me rant about lighting. It was not an easy decision as I was holding out for Hensel to come out with their Foris light, which would be both AC and battery powered. My situation just couldn’t wait any longer, and renting was not an option that I wanted to keep doing. I did a lot of research, stalked forums, looked at articles and the comments, ratings, etc. Checked out videos, did a lot of Elinchrom vs Hensel, Hensel vs Dynalite, Proto vs Broncolor, Profoto vs Godox Pro 600, etc., I mean I was going a little crazy over here.

The main issue I had going against the Good system was their customer service. Good never returns their phone calls, emails, Facebook or Instagram Messages. It’s ridiculous, if I ran my business like that I wouldn’t have a business. Someone suggested I check out Adorama’s Flashpoint which is the Godox but re-named for them. They offered an additional 3 year warranty and Adorama services and repairs the units. So with credit card in hand, I purchased four Flashpoint Xplor 600 Pro TTL R2 strobe heads. I also had to add quite a few other things because since I’m switching to a Bowens mount from a Dynalite mount, my speedings need to change. I also picked up a Flashpoint Zoom Li-on R2 Speedlight for Canon.

Since my husband loves to get in front of the camera, he immediately signed up to help me test the lights. He works in tv as an Editor, so I thought it was be cool to mimic him being on location on set. Now, these are just test shots, nothing fancy, far from perfect, with a quick edit in Capture Pro One. Looking back I can see where I should’ve used my flags. But overall, it was fun just seeing how to set them up, figuring out the R2 Trigger, it was actually more fun that I thought it would be.

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We went down the street from where we live, because of the weight of these lights, we took the car. I rearranged my Think Tank Photo Logistics Manager 30 Rolling Case to fit everything in it. I grabbed 4 light stands, my Westcott 7′ Parabolic Soft White Umbrella and a Glow 40″ Folding Beauty Dish. Now, I did get extra batteries for these heads, and this does add to the weight in my gear case. Once we put them on the stands, it was clear to me, that you cannot use these on cheap, flimsy light stands. Each one is around 6 pounds, without a modifier to tip them over. Compared to my Dynalites, this will be a bit of getting used to, because those heads were super lightweight, but with a cable connecting each one to a power box.

If you’re interested in seeing my long videos about the Lighting Gear, CLICK HERE.

Right before starting I spotted a turtle, and I at first thought that it was a Snapping Turtle. But it was just a cute little Box Turtle, we left him alone, and he didn’t seem all that into us anyway. 

 

And there you go, my behind the scenes view from yesterday. I’m just happy to be able to work without having to worry about the lights like I used to before.

Email Scams That Target Photographers or How I Almost Fell For An Email Scam

So a few weeks back I almost fell for this email scam that’s been targeting photographers. I already know about the ones claiming to want event photography. Check out my video to see me and share in the comments section below if you’ve ever experienced this too, and what was it about?

Here are some links that talk about them in more detail:

PetaPixel: Photographers, Beware These Fake Gig Scam Emails

Photoshelter: 4 Scams That Target Photographers

The LawTog: How To Avoid Photography Client Scams

PDN: Scam Alert: Phishing Scheme Targets Freelance Photographers

 

Personal Photography Project: Women Who Turn Wrenches-Jen and Her 73 Dodge Charger SE 440

I’ve been trying to get this project off the ground for about 3-4 years now, to photograph women who are car mechanics, women who love what they do around vehicles.
No, you see I love cars. And if I could, I would own a hot rod myself, something like a 1968 Dodge Dart and have some fun with it. Of course I would need help doing this and that’s the point, learning, having fun and seeing the end result!
What I’m interested in is the women who own their vehicles and work on them as well. Or work at a shop, race, anything.  There are too many images of guys working on cars, and not enough showing women. Yeah we’ve seen the pin ups, and don’t get me wrong, I love that, however, it’s high time to show the world the beauty of real women, doing what they love. Basically I want this to as a woman empowerment in what’s been a “Boys Club”.

Now, I can finally say it’s started! Why has it taken this long? Well, getting people together, schedules, not emailing me back, life stuff, etc. To be honest, I was getting frustrated, so I took a leap of faith, dove into my Instagram feed and posted with this:

“For the past few years I’ve been trying to work on a personal project behind the scenes. But now, I need the help of social media in a big way. I’m looking for women who are car mechanics or who love cars and belong to car clubs and fix up their own for fun. If you’re someone who meets this or knows someone who does, please have them contact me. I have some goals that I want to work on and this is one of them. If they want to look at my work please go to my profile or www.deirdreryanphotography.com. This is not for boudoir or pin up. Thank you all so much!”
#carmechanics #women#womenempowerment #cars #carracing#hotrods #showcar
#photography#portraitphotographer#environmentalportrait#editorialphotographer#carphotographer
#thankful #grateful#carlover

I got quite a few responses out of that one post, and I was like YES!!!!
One of the first people to respond is a friend of my friend from HS. Her name is Jenni and just recently she and her “baby” were on Discovery Channels Sticker Shock. You catch a glimpse of Jen in the Sticker Shock promo below, the show with her and her car aired last night, Wed May 2nd, 2018.

Here’s Jen working on her 1973 Dodge Charger SE 440 a couple of weeks ago, these were her favorites. I have more photos that I want to show off, but I’m still working on a separate page for this project, and I need to figure out how to best do this.

Here’s what she was doing in her words:
” I was assembling and replacing my spark plug wires.  (Some assembly required haha). The old ones burned up against my headers meaning my exhaust pipes coming off of the motor. The The new wires that I installed our 8mm superconductors for my V-8 big block 440 Magnum high performance motor.”

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Everyone who agreed to this project I asked them to answer the same set of questions, here Jen’s answers:

Why did you decide to be a part of this project?
Sounds fun!
What drew you in to cars?
The movie Better off dead. When I was 11 years old I saw that little French girl fix the Camaro and I knew right then and there that’s who I wanted to be.
How did you learn how to work on cars? 
Friend
What is the most rewarding part of what you do with vehicles?
Turning the key and going! Well, and saving money on mechanic labor. Thats a big one.
How many hours do you spend in the garage or driveway working on your vehicle?
Ha, well if I had a garage Id be in there as often as possible.
How much money do you think you’ve spent? Loaded question I know.
Oh God I have no idea 😂
What would be your dream vehicle if money wasn’t an issue? Details please!
One of the new Challengers. Mamma’s comin!!!
Would you have your own garage as well? C’mon, the sky’s the limit here .
Does a duck dart in the water? OF COURSE!
If you race cars, what’s your favorite and why did you chose it?
My favorite obviously is my 73 Charger SE, but I will poser brake my little 4 banger if someone tries to pass me on the right at a stop light. Never try to pass a former street racer on the right.
How did you get into racing?
I have a sickness. It’s called “go faster”. And guys. Ever watch a man shift a 72 Cuda in blue jeans?
How many hours have you or can you spend at the track?
Not enough!!!
Is this a hobby, a full time job, or your full time business?
Definitely a hobby.
If you have another type of full time job, do you wish that you could do this full time instead?
Nah. I prefer to not worry about getting paid if I screw up
Are you good with fixing other things as well? Have you always tinkered?
Yes, I love figuring things out, although occasionally there are mysterious parts left over after the fact
What was your first “project” or “baby”?
My 1973 Dodge Charger SE
What was or is your most favorite car that you’ve owned? Mine was my 2001 Volvo V70 T5, she roared and purred….the photo below was taken on the day she died 🙁
My Charger of course
Do you remember each car that you’ve ever owned like they were your “babies”? I still have a soft spot in my heart for my very first, an ’81 Olds Omega.
First car was an 86 Chevy Caprice Classic nick named the Master Caprice Luxury Sedan. All my cars had names.
Which do you prefer?
Domestic
Foreign
Imports
Other:Detroit Muscle baby!!!
Why?
More unique, and comes with a whole elite group of people who own them.
Favorite brand of car? Fair warning: there are cars in here from all around the world, like the Ukraine, India and Australia. I just added everything for the fun of it. To find out more on them here’s the link http://www.autocarbrands.com/car-brands-information-list/ 

  • Alfa Romeo
  • Abarth
  • Aston Martin
  • Audi
  • Arrinera Automotive S.A
  • Acura
  • Aixam-Mega
  • AC Cars Ltd.formerly known as Auto Carriers Ltd
  • Bentley
  • BMW
  • Buick
  • Bugatti
  • Chevrolet/Chevy
  • Cadillac
  • Chrysler
  • Caterham Cars
  • Chevrolet Corvette
  • Citroën
  • Dacia S.A
  • Daihatsu
  • Dodge<——————–
  • Daewoo(remember them?)
  • Elfin Sports Cars Pty Ltd
  • Fiat
  • Ferrari
  • Ford
  • GMC
  • GAZ or Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod
  • Gillet
  • Ginetta Cars Limited
  • Geely
  • Great Wall Motors Company Limited
  • Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur GmbH
  • Honda
  • Hennessey Performance Engineering
  • Hyundai
  • Hummer
  • GM Holden Ltd
  • Isuzu Motors Ltd
  • Infiniti
  • Jeep
  • Jaguar
  • Joss Developments Limited
  • Koenigsegg Automotive AB
  • Lamborghini
  • Land Rover
  • Lancia Automobiles S.p.A
  • Lincoln
  • Lexus
  • Luxgen Motor Co., Ltd
  • Lotus
  • Lada
  • Maruti Suzuki India Limited
  • Maserati
  • Mahindra & Mahindra Limited
  • Mazda
  • Maybach
  • McLaren
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Mini Cooper
  • Morgan Motor Company
  • Mitsubishi
  • Mosler Automotive
  • Nissan
  • Noble Automotive Ltd
  • Opel
  • Peugeot
  • Pagani
  • Piaggio
  • Panoz
  • Porsche
  • Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sendirian Berhad(Perodua)
  • Pininfarina(Carozzeria Pininfarina)
  • Proton
  • Renault
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Rover
  • Rimac Automobili
  • Ruf Automobile
  • Reva
  • Scania
  • SEAT( previously stood for the acronym Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo (Spanish Touring Car Company, in English)
  • Saab
  • Scion
  • Škoda Auto
  • Spyker Cars
  • Smart Automobile
  • Subaru
  • SsangYong
  • Suzuki
  • SSC North America (formerly Shelby SuperCars Inc.)
  • Tesla
  • Tata Group
  • Toyota
  • Tatra
  • The Tramontana
  • UAZ
  • Volkswagen
  • Vandenbrink
  • Volvo
  • Vector Motors Corporation
  • Venturi Automobiles
  • Wiesmann GmbH
  • ZAZ

How many cars do you own?
2
How many cars have you owned?
9
Do other members of your family work on cars too?
Nope. Just me.
If no, do you work on your family and friends vehicles?
Friends yes, family no. Don’t ask lol
Is fixing your car or racing something you do with family or friends?
Friends absolutely
Do you see more women doing this now than before? If yes, why?
I only know one other girl currently who fixes cars.
Years ago, high schools offered auto mechanic classes, home ec, and other trades and now they don’t. Why do you think they don’t and do you think they should still offer them instead of going to a separate vo-tech school?
Probably too afraid of liability and stereotypes. Which is stupid. They should definitely bring those back to school.
Are there any nicknames for women who fixes cars? How does it differ from the nicknames for guys?
I’ve typically been called a motor head or gear head. No gender identity in those names. But I’ve gotten marriage proposals from guys who called me a car chick.
Are there nicknames for women who race cars? How does it differ from the nicknames for guys?
Not that I’m aware of.
Being a woman who loves cars and knows how to work on them, do you find that you have any problems with the “boys” at first or even now? Like when you go car shopping, if a guy is helping you do you see any differences in how you’re treated when you start telling them more facts about vehicles than they were expecting? When test driving?
Omg yeah. Testosterone overload makes them try to trip me up with questions they think I can’t answer.
Do guys respect you in your field? If yes explain? If no, why not?
Most men are impressed, but there are a few that it hurts their wittle ego. Poor babies.
Do you prefer older classic cars or the newer ones out today? Can you explain?
Older. Easier to work on. When this world goes all Mad Max Thunderdome, you ain’t gonna see any Prius’ on the road…

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My favorite cars since I was in grade school was the 1954 silver Mercedes Benz GullWing with red leather interior and the Duesenbergs from the 1920s. Are there any vehicles that still stand out in your mind from when you were a kid? 
Yeah, the Lamborghini from Cannonball Run.
Why do you think there aren’t as many women mechanics or race car drivers as men? 
Not sure, but we have better reaction times, so maybe it’s because men are too afraid of us beating them?
Do you feel that as a woman, you feel very much more in control when you are able to work on your own vehicle? That there’s a satisfaction in knowing you are accomplishing what is typically a “guys job” or do you not feel that way at all? 
Yes. It drives me bananas when a guy tries to take over after I ask them to break a knuckle buster loose.
Last question, what would you tell young ladies and girls today who might be interested in a career that involved cars?
Do it. Don’t be afraid to fix your own car. Saves money, and it turns heads.

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Jen, you totally rocked your photo session with me. Enjoy the photos and be on the lookout for your favorite to come in the mail for you to hang on the wall. You are one badass woman and I’m so happy that we connected with this project! Thank you so much!!!

Are you a woman who fixes cars, races them or knows of any who do? Contact me using the red pop up that says Chat Now.

Hey I’m Amazed by Gigantic A Pixies Tribute Band

UPDATE! Scroll down to see a video from the night that they performed!

So this past Saturday was not a very good day at all. Actually as you may have noticed, the past few weeks haven’t been the best, I haven’t been my best.

My mom suggested that my husband and I go see a band perform called Gigantic-Pixies Tribute, at our friend’s place, Randy Now’s Man Cave, make it sort of like a “date night”. Friends of mine were going to a local bar called The H.O.B. afterwards because Saturdays is karaoke night. I had no idea just how much we needed that night until the music started to play. They made me feel so much better!

I love The Pixies, started listening to them in HS and then throughout college to Frank Black’s solo works, and even now. I brought my Olympus mirrorless camera and the Olympus 17mm f1.8 lens and asked if it was ok to take some pictures, and I was told yeah. Normally I tend to bring a Canon full frame with a 16-35mm f2.8L , Canon 50mm f1.8 and at least my Canon 100mm Macro f2.8 lens. But I was so not in the mood, so I went minimalist.

I got to chat with Joe Ujj the lead singer a little bit beforehand and the wife of one of the band members who was sitting in the back. If I am able to, I try to introduce myself, talk “shop” about gear and let them know who I am, that while I am a pro photographer, I’m there for the music and usually when I do this, it’s my night off LOL

The video embedded below gives you an idea of how awesome they are.

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Here is a list of what they played, I can’t remember all of it:

  • Wave of Mutilation
  • I Bleed
  • Gigantic
  • Crackity Jones
  • Hey
  • Mr. Grieves
  • No 13 Baby
  • Caribou
  • I’ve Been Tired
  • Allison
  • Is She Weird
  • Manta Ray
  • Weird At My School(I think)

They played an incredible set, I can’t remember all of the songs, but anything by the Pixies takes me waaay back to a time of HS with my art, theater, hanging out, studying, boyfriends, besties, and then art college if you didn’t know who they were you did now. Their first 4 albums were in constant rotation on my portable Sony CD/Tape player. Yes, I’m old enough to remember when these albums were first released. Wave of Mutilation has 2 versions, the slower one from the UK Surf,  was used in the movie with Christian Slater in the 1990 Pump Up The Volume.

The pitch of Joe’s vocals was practically perfect, the drums, guitars and bass were spot on. I mean these guys were incredible, and I hope that they continue on this streak because like I said, they were amazing. Check out their Facebook page and keep looking for a venue and date that they’re playing next. You will not leave disappointed.

Later on, we walked to The H.O.B., had a drink, ate something yummy, and met up with our friends. I normally sing at karaoke but I wasn’t feeling it. However my husband sang Don’t You Forget about Me by Simple Minds(he was great and I’m not just saying this) and my other friend belted out Ballroom Blitz among others, and practically took the house down!

Thanks again for letting me photograph that night everyone, you’re awesome! Check out more photos of musicians by clicking here. If you want to get a hold of me, just click on the red Chat Now button. Be sure to follow everyone, especially Randy Now’s Man Cave on Facebook for upcoming concerts and events!

UPDATED: The band JUST released this video from the night of this performance and tagged a bunch of us on Facebook. Thanks guys so much!

Pixies / Weird At My School (by Gigantic – A Pixies Tribute)

Shot by Allegra at Randy Now’s Man Cave on March 24th, 2018 in Bordentown, NJ. Thanks to Randy, Amy, Deidre, Christina, Anawim, JP

Posted by Gigantic – A Pixies Tribute on Friday, April 6, 2018

All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

My grandfather passed away on Feb. 27th, 2018, he was 97 years old, born in Ponce de Puerto Rico. We buried his ashes with my grandmothers on March 17th, 2018, St. Patrick’s Day in here in Bordentown Cemetery, NJ, next to my great-grandmother. He lived a full and beautiful life, but the world is empty without him here with us.

Ramon was a Ret. Msgr Sgt. in the Army, WWII Vet, I called him Popo and “Handsome Boy”. I loved him and Yaya so very much. If you have been following my FB posts, you would see what I posted. These past few weeks have been very hard for all of us. We’re all now starting to catch up with life a little now. My clients have been so kind, supportive and patient with me, I’m forever grateful for them.

The memorial was beautiful, everything was done through the Bordentown Home For Funerals, who are good friends of ours as well. He had military honors, we had a surprise visit from family in Queens and after the interment, we went to Jester’s Cafe in Bordentown, NJ for a lovely late afternoon lunch with family and close friends.

If you have family and friend who are vets and need long term nursing home care, please look into the Veteran’s Memorial Home in Vineland, NJ.  The care that was given to him and everyone there is beyond exceptional and they go beyond the call of duty. This is where Popo lived for 6 years. My mother saw him every weekend, it’s a hour drive each way from us, and my daughter, husband and I went with her as often as we could, so many times to see and be with him.  Our daughter’s schedule or mine changed, but we made sure to visit. Our daughter had a relationship with her great-grandfather who simply adored her.

I miss them all, Popo, Yaya, Tata and Grandma and Grandpa Martin. I miss other family members and friends as well. I would rather them be here than anything else.

Thank you everyone….to my clients who have been super patient and kind during this difficult time for me and my family. I’m starting to catch up, we all are. Find a new routine, we still have lots to do and go through. Right now the best thing to do is to keep busy and work.

IMG_0533Popo's Funeral.jpgHere we are with our cousins who came down from Queens.
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IMG_0698Popo's Funeral.jpgMy husband took video.
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IMG_0721Popo's Funeral.jpgAt this point I wanted to be with my family, so my mother’s friend Leigh, from our high school, Notre Dame, took my camera and continued to take pictures.
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IMG_0773Popo's Funeral.jpgMy friend keeps closing her eyes in every single frame!
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Everyone here, even friend is part of our family, thank you.