Bordentown Rotary Club Young Professionals-Walk 4 Recovery-Love The Addict, Hate The Disease-Covered by Photojournalist Deirdre Ryan

Last night, I volunteered my photography services with my local Rotary Club for the first Walk 4 Recovery(#walk4recovery). We all met at Hope Hose Humane Co. 1 Firehouse, which is literally steps from my home. The night was cold, our breaths made clouds in the air, but the common ground we all stood upon was one to last and encourage.

This walk was also to support those fighting against addictions, which is a disease, their families and friends who are helping them. To get rid of the stigma of addiction.

I saw many who have lost family members, and friends to addiction, a lot of familiar faces. One family here in Bordentown have lost a son and, very recently, lost a daughter to addiction.

Our local police blocked off the streets, making it safe for us to walk. This was all made possible by volunteers, from the t-shirts, the food, everything.  Bill Mercantini, our Bordentown Rotary Club President spoke, then Mayor Lynch. Angelique Flynn spoke of her struggles with addiction, who is now 8 years sober. Father Matt Tucker offered a prayer and spoke out at least 50 names of those lost or struggling. This walk was enormous for its the first time, I think about 200 people attended.

Thank you to everyone who made this possible!

The article below is from The Burlington County Times, their reporter, Kelly Kultys and photographer Dave Hernandez, covered the event, as well as The Register-News(which is now back).

http://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/news/20181114/bordentown-residents-walk-for-recovery

Bordentown residents walk for recovery

By Kelly Kultys

Posted Nov 14, 2018 at 9:40 PM Updated Nov 14, 2018 at 10:41 PM

The Bordentown Rotary Club and the Young Professional Rotary Club of Bordentown hosted the first Candlelight Walk as a way to help break the stigma of addiction.

BORDENTOWN CITY — “I walk for …” signs covered the backs of hundreds of people Wednesday night as they walked with candles in hand around the city.

The crowd gathered together for the first Rotary4Recovery walk, aimed at helping break the stigma of addiction and recovery.

Dawn Walton, of Mansfield, was walking for her son Boomer who passed away on Aug. 12 after he struggled with addiction.

“It’s great to see everyone come together and support this,” she said.

The walk was organized by the Young Professional Rotary Club of Bordentown, a new group formed out of the Bordentown Rotary, which began earlier this year.

Co-chairs Hillary Moore and Katrina Brophy, both of Bordentown City, said they thought it was important to get everyone together and show they supported those in recovery.

“I personally have lost someone to addiction,” Moore said.

That’s why she said it was important to get a large crowd together to “break the stigma” that those with addiction face.

Bill Mercantini, the president of the Bordentown Rotary, said the event had been a vision of his for a while and he was glad to be a part of the walk for those in recovery.

“I’m walking for Nick,” he said, referring to a family member.

For many of those in attendance, the loss from addiction weighed heavily on their minds as they walked. Michelle Trogdon, of Hamilton, Shannon Sticca, of Bordentown Township, and Chris Millington, of Bordentown Township, said between their family and friends they lost three people to overdoses within a three-week span over the summer.

Millington said it was great to see more than 200 people turn out for the walk.

“It’s so awesome and the thing is, it’s a sad thing and it’s a good thing, we know everyone here pretty much and it’s kind of sad because we’re all so connected,” she said.

For Angelique Flynn, of Burlington City, being a part of the walk allowed her to share her story to try and inspire others in recovery.

“I’m active in the community as a volunteer,” she said. “I own my business, I teach yoga. I am a homeowner and I live a truly amazing life and I’m so blessed to have it. I tell you all of this because this wasn’t always my story.”

She recalled trying to fill a void in her life and never being quite able to do so.

“My favorite thing to use was drugs,” she said.

Eventually, she was able to get into a 12-step program and now has been sober for eight years, but she still sees how addiction is affecting her community.

“The longer I stay clean, the more people I’ve lost,” she said.

Bordentown City Mayor Jim Lynch said the best way to try and tackle the problem is to come together for events like the walk to show that the community members support each other.

“You have no better cooperation than we have right now between the two municipalities (Bordentown City and Bordentown Township),” he said.

Lynch highlighted the work of resident Kevin Moore, who has been active with Bordentown Residents Against Drugs, and currently serves as the Bordentown Township/City Municipal Alliance Coordinator, for his work to bring resources and awareness to those struggling.

Before the walk, a list of more than 50 names of people both living and deceased who had battled or were battling addiction was read so that those walking would have them on their minds.

Here are some of the images that I took the other night:

Toscanos donated their fabulous Mac-N-Cheese!

Hampton Behavior Health Center

Sundays Catering

Bill Mercantini our Bordentown Rotary Club President.

Bordentown Mayor Lynch

Angelique Flynn

Hilary Moore of the Young Professionals Bordentown Rotary Club.

Father Matt Tucker

Hilary Moore asking for a moment of silence before heading out.

Once again, thank you all for participating and volunteering. This event I think will be even bigger next year.

Yours In Rotary,

Deirdre

On Being a Professional Photographer: Looking Back On My Career

This is me, the summer of 1992, going into my 2nd year of Art college, working at One Hour Moto Photo in Ewing, NJ. I hated having my picture taken, and I was not having a good summer.

Have you ever looked back on your career and wonder where you gained your skills and experiences?

I have and now I’m showing you what I’ve done and how I sort of came to where I am now. When I was 14, I got my workers permit, for my first part-time paying job. I was a salad bar assistant for Sizzlers, refilling everything from the lettuce, dressings, to pasta, the sauces, puddings, and soups. Shutting down at night condensing and putting all the food away, mopping, sweeping and cleaning both the men and women’s bathrooms. Try as we could, the smell of grease and food would never get out of my uniform.

So here is my partial list of positions, descriptions, and experiences:

Lingerie Model/Product Photographer and Digital Retoucher:
Photographed lingerie models for the online catalog, retouched/color-corrected, uploaded onto the company’s website and added written content of items. Helped to keep the website up to date and created e-newsletters for customers. Worked with the stylists and helped new models to see if they can take direction and work with us.

In-House Graphic Designer creating embedded HTML ads for emailing customers & point of sales displays for car dealerships nationwide.

Digital Scanning Technician and Producer Assistant for a TV Production Studio: Creating digital files of production paperwork of past and present shows. Also managed the Receptionist desk when needed, answering phones, preparing memos, shipping, and other related duties. Help on various shows looking up stock footage, and making phone calls.

Production Assitant, Digital Retoucher and Customer Service: Checked drum scans for correct color, density, and spotting for dust; then digitally saving them, and/ or e-mailing them to clients. Also involved system time retouching, and setting up files for Fujix dye sublimation, large format, Iris printers and LVT. Assisted customers with their orders both in person and on the phone.

Customer Service Specialist: My duties were to assist customers at the front desk as they came in to have digital images printed and retouched. This was at the time the only full-service digital photo lab in the area of Los Angeles. I helped to create orders for small and large format, fine art printing, press printed marketing materials, as well as retouching for old family heirloom pictures. I was then moved to handle corporate accounts by phone and email for large orders. While I was there, I created the orders as they came in, invoiced, and this included walking the jobs from start to finish to shipping everything out or preparing them for pickup or local delivery. Everything was done in-house, we even had our own server, that I would occasionally have to look items up on.

The singer for Three Dog Night, Chuck Negron, came in one day very angry about a job that wasn’t done correctly. I hadn’t taken the order in, but I assured him that I would personally make sure that whatever was done wrong, it would be done correctly by the very next day. I walked that order from start to finish, making sure that everyone down the line understood what needed to be done. By the next morning, he came in and was so happy! Gave me a hug, and a letter of glowing recommendation because he was about to pull his account from us.

Another time, a gentleman came in with a very old photograph, while he was explaining to me that he just wanted a copy made, I saw the telltale tattoo of numbers on his arm. Upon looking more closely at the photo, it was of him as a boy in a Nazi concentration camp. So I showed it to my boss, and we had it completely digitally restored and printed for no cost to him. When he came to pick up his order, he was moved to tears when he saw the result.

Customer Service/Sales and Purchaser for a large camera store: I assisted customers in the then brand new world of consumer-ready digital cameras, printers, and other digital media. Working with professional photographers and hobbyists in person and on the phone with their orders and needs. I was then moved into the position on digital dept purchaser making sure that our shelves were well stocked and special high and low-end orders were met for our customers.

Professional b/w and colour darkroom printer for a large photo lab: Created prints as small as wallets up to 30″x40″, printed Duraflexes, Duratrans, and transparency duplicates, colour and b/w negatives from 35mm up to 8×10 sheet film.

Portrait Photographer for Expressly Portraits in various Malls: Photographer, customer service, sales, darkroom printing.

Customer Service and Lab Tech for 1-hour photo labs while in high school and college. I’ve done everything, cleaning the machines, refilling the chemicals and paper, working with customers, taking payment, explaining how much of their images would be cropped when making larger prints, cutting the negs to put in sleeves, making sure that every order was done on time and correctly. I even worked in a drive up drop off booth in the middle of a parking lot. While I haven’t been able to travel yet, I feel like I’ve been everywhere from checking customers photos to make sure nothing was missing.

I learned really quickly how to work with people from all walks of life when I started to be a portrait photographer at Expressly Portraits. Helping customers into poses, making them feel at ease, understanding what they wanted, I learned to listen first, and add suggestions. This job I did while in art college up in MA and I continued during my summers back in NJ.

My fine art background in painting, life drawing, printmaking, graphic design, art history, and the skills I learned in a traditional b/w and colour darkroom back in art college, has helped tremendously for digital retouching. I still use my experiences when choosing a location, setting up the lighting, working in Photoshop and in Capture Pro One(I used to use Lightroom).

Being compassionate, listening, showing my clients suggestions and helping them to visualize it whether on the phone, email or in person. Having a good telephone voice and interacting online. How? If a client is having a hard time posing, I use my skills gained years ago, to help them be comfortable in front of the camera, and finding their self-confidence and be at ease. The relationship between a photographer and the person they’re photographing is quite intimate. I listen to their needs, fears, and self-doubt, and I work with them. I like to chat, have a conversation to help everyone be comfortable.

I also add suggestions to a clients idea, if I feel it may add or subtract from their vision, thinking out of the box, being creative when something doesn’t go as planned, and keeping calm makes who I am a professional. Keeping calm is huge, and I get this from my years as an equestrian. You need to remain calm, even when your horse decides to be a jerk and bolt from a standstill heading back to the stables. If not, you both get hurt, I mean you still could, but showing your horse that you’re all going to be ok, and that you’re the one in charge, does prepare you for life.

What have you done in the past that helped or hindered the career you’re in now? Post your comment below, thanks!

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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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

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,

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 🙂

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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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.