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).

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,


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.


I like this one, an English and Western rider….

Because of the heat and rain, the judge was in the area where we were seated.


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!

A very exhausted but happy Brielle!


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 is Brielle’s horse, Shake Baby Shake:
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IMG_4405StandardbredNationsbyDeirdre Ryan Photography 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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Laughs For The Left Behind, a Benefit for Our Friend, Pat -NJ Photographer

This is a post that needed to be written a long time ago. It’s still difficult because Pat was a friend of ours, a really good childhood friend of my husband’s, best friend of his sister’s and the best friend of my friends here in town. It’s weird, Shannon and I grew up together, then we moved back to Bordentown. My husband and Pat reconnect via Facebook and find out that Shannon’s husband, John, is Pat’s best friend! It was perfect since we all share the same sense of humor, political views, and John and my husband both work in tv.

We found out about Pat’s passing as we were literally driving down to Ocean City, NJ last summer of 2016. I mean I was reading Pat’s posts on FB I think an hour or so before? Next thing I knew, I get a message on FB that he died while my husband was driving. It was horrible and we couldn’t do anything until we reached our destination. I mean at first we thought it was a prank, but no our Ring Master was gone at the young age of 48.

Pat was happily married to his wife Terry and have two amazing boys together. Their wedding was at Madison Square Garden with Pat in full clown makeup from when he was in Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.
To read a great tribute to Pat go here:
There are links to his wedding and more.

The funeral memorial was touching, sad, and full of people cracking jokes and stories. Afterwards we all went to a great place called The Circus Drive In, which is now closed unfortunately.
I found an article about it here

A group of his friend want to do something, so a celebratory comedy show was out together to benefit the family, friends and community.
I quote the article:
The Laughter Arts Foundation (headed up by Michael Rosman) is putting on the event to remember Pat and to raise money for the family and for the clown community.

The evening will be headlined by Tony Award and MacArthur fellowship winner Bill Irwin.
Other performers include:
▪ Archie Cobblepot
▪ Barry Lubin
▪ Circus Stella
▪ Dick Monday & Tiffany Riley
▪ Drew Richardson
▪ Eepybird (Maine)
▪ Greg DeSanto
▪ Hilary Chaplin
▪ Jeff Gordon
▪ Kevin Carr
▪ Mark Gindick
▪ Michael Rosman and others!

It was held at the Seashore Day Camp and School on April 8, 2017 at 7 pm. Pat was, let’s say an avid collector, of all things that had to do with the circus. So there was a silent auction of his collection, people who volunteered to get a shaving cream “pie” in the face, and more.

We brought our daughter to this fabulous event and had an amazing time! I used my Canon 5D Mark III and I let my daughter use my Olympus mirrorless camera outside. The lighting was what it was and while they had an official photographer who used his own lighting, I of course stated out of the way and captured the event from where I was sitting among friends in the front. There is video, but I think it’s still being edited, I’m not sure. But I can’t wait to see it, and I’m not the only one! LOL

Being among so much talent that night and seeing our caught taking it in was amazing. Meeting people and friends that we know via Facebook was great too. And hearing the stories, I mean there should be a book.

I quote the FB Page for the event:
I need to thank a lot of people…I’ll divide them into the audience people, the committee people, the performer people, and the donor people,. In many cases, people were part of more than one group.
I thank the audience and especially the VIP ticket people for buying the tickets and expending the costs and effort to attend. We actually had people who flew in just to see the show. Thank you all.
I want to thank the committee people for sharing the vision and saying ‘yes’ to everything I asked. Committee people included Joey K, Phil, Brenn, Archie, Cybele, Doug, Kevin, Shane Hansen, and Greg
Here is a partial list of some people I’d like to call out for specific help. It includes committee people, performers, and other overall helpful people:
Joey Klein for doing so so so much of the detail work, including handling and posting our social media content, and donating the shaving cream
Damian Blake for the logo,
 Phil DePalo for the background support, the ticket website, handling the finances, and riding shotgun.
 Cybele for driving VIPs Gary Schwartz for playing piano
 Members of the Williams family and Cashin family for many many tasks including airport runs, helping with diet coke setup, babysitting, concessions, clean up, etc
. Doug Young for pipe and drape
Anthony Parziale for the video screen and the poster work
 John Frangio for sound 
Steve Sarafian Photos and Sharon (Stranger Cinematics) video Greg DeSanto for handling the sale of the collection pieces.
 Brenn for waiting patiently till I needed her, then stepping up perfectly, 
Joseph Salamone (and other Shrine Clowns)
Archie and his wife for poster layout work, 
Dexter for picking up 250 whoopie cushions,
 Spencer Dystra and Owen Sahnow – stage  hands/tech
Elmo for being especially handy and helpful
, Shane Hansen and Andrew Scharf
, Joe Holiday for lending me a valuable prop that didn’t make it into the show
Thank you performers, 
Kevin Carr
, Hilary Chaplin
, Greg DeSanto, 
Archie Cobblepot
, Mark Gindick, 
Jeff Gordon, 
Fritz Grobe, 
Bill Irwin, 
Barry Lubin, Joey Klein
, Dan McCallen, 
Dick Monday, 
Harley Newman, 
Tiffany Riley
, Drew Richardson, 
Ethan Rosman
, Sophia Rosman
, Steve Voltz
Doug Young.

The numerous people who donated but didn’t attend ( including these few who donated last minute; Greg May,  Center Ring Circus School, Ted Baumhauer- Flower City Vaudeville, Ted Lawrence- Slapstick Science, The Bindlestiff,  Family Cirkus, and Keith Nelson and Stephanie Monseu personally, Linda DePalo (for buying 140 2 liter bottles of Diet Coke) Randy Cabral and many more.

Many many people donated to the family shortly after Pat died through the GoFundMe site before they knew about this show. We thank them for their support.

Of course we are indebted to John and Sharon Villapiano owners of Seashore Camp and Day School for giving us their space to use, and for bringing in risers and hundreds of chairs, and a mop and bucket.

I’m sure that there are many others I am neglecting to list here, including people who did helpful things that I don’t even know about. May you all know that I appreciate your contributions.
Thank you again Joey , Phil, Sophia, and thank you Terry, Shane, and Jamie”

Warning! There are a LOT of images in this post. I meant a TON! However if you’re a fan of magic and the circus, then this post is perfect because people traveled far and wide to be a part of this event. This is a place for fans, family and friends to see what transpired and the amount of people and amazing talent who came together for Pat and his family. They did have it recorded, and I know that I’m not the only one who can’t wait to see it. I would also love to see the photos from the other photographer, I’m sure that they were amazing!

Now…On With The Show!

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The entertainment started outside with Stephen and Fritz. They are best known for a viral videos on youtube that involves Mentos and Diet Coke.
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Our daughter took the above and 2 bottom photos with my Olympus. That’s my camera’s flash in the image.
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LaughsForTheLeftBehind 73.jpg with one of Pat’s brothers. My husband took a cellphone video of their performance. I’ve never smelled that much Diet Coke in one place at one, and was an amazing experience!

LaughsForTheLeftBehind 80.jpgTerry and the boys with the guys of and that’s John in the background helping to clean up.
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My husband took my Olympus for a bit.

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Terry, myself and I think that’s one of Pat’s brothers.
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Like I mentioned, I was taking pictures many as a guest and as a family friend. I didn’t want to use my flash if at all possible. But later on, the lights were dimmed and I had to. I think these are in order to the performance, but if they’re not, I apologize in advance. Enjoy, and please, share your thought in the comments section below.

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Archie Cobblepot  and Joey Klein

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That’s Pat and Terry’s youngest son, he’s quite the showman already <3
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LaughsForTheLeftBehind 131.jpg Drew Richardson
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A celebratory comedy show to benefit the family, friends and community Left Behind by the unexpected July passing of Patrick Cashin.

Apparently our friend John had just the right kind of noggin he was looking for! LOL

We all loved this, his two daughters sitting behind me were cracking up saying look at daddy! I know that my husband was laughing and so was Pat somewhere, laughing his ass off at John.

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A celebratory comedy show to benefit the family, friends and community Left Behind by the unexpected July passing of Patrick Cashin.

A celebratory comedy show to benefit the family, friends and community Left Behind by the unexpected July passing of Patrick Cashin.

A celebratory comedy show to benefit the family, friends and community Left Behind by the unexpected July passing of Patrick Cashin.

Bill Erwin, here,  Bill was talking about other clowns taking your ideas and you’re like…..




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Bill Erwin is known for being Mr. Noodle and in a music video Don’t Worry, Be Happy. But his career is so much more than this and it was amazing to meet and chat with him. This act was great!
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LaughsForTheLeftBehind 729.jpgOur daughter was trying something and it didn’t quite work out so my husband got in his trunk of “Old Stuff”.
LaughsForTheLeftBehind 733.jpg I love this images of the four of us, thanks Bill!
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LaughsForTheLeftBehind 745.jpgThis is Barry Lubin, “Grandma”, and I remember seeing him perform as a child at Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus.
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This is our friend Harley Newman, he’s know for quite a few sideshow acts and awesome stuff!

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Thank you to everyone who let me take their pictures that evening. If I made a mistake on a name or website, please let me know. If anyone is interested in an image, just contact me.

Phase One Of Clara Barton Elementary School Playground Is Complete-NJ Documentary Photographer

I’ve been a part of this Playground Committee for a very long time. For four years that me, as a business, I took portraits of kids and parents at the Annual Halloween Spooktacular, and  donated all of the funds from those to this. Other parents and local businesses donated time and money too over the years. We’re all very happy for the children and generations to come.

And it’s not over yet. There are more Phases of this project to come that need to be planned and have money raised for to get started. Here are just some one of the events put together by CBS and our PTO to help raise money:

Get Out and Play

The Vision On FB

Here is what it looked like before and while we were planting trees:

A Playground In Need

Over this summer parents, children and other volunteers, planted along the edges of the playground with a variety of plants. I can’t tell you the names of them, but what I can tell you is that some of them prevent weeds from growing in. Perhaps my friends who were there can comment below on the exact names and who donated which kinds, etc. I just know that they look great and that they are green 😉

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Then the playground equipment arrived and was assembled. I wasn’t able to get there in time for that. But my daughter and I did go to the playground before they put it up after we spent the day at the pool. I just had my cell phone on me.


But the next time I went I had my better camera and took these:

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Then I got word that they were getting the surface laid in, so I headed over again. The guys were super cool and chill and didn’t mind me taking their photos.

The company that came in was The Playground Pros.

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That black surface was just the first layer, then they came back to add the final layer and what you see next is the top green. The day was overcast and I had my daughter with me. They let her play a little on the playground before they moved over to that section.

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Then this past week was the Official Ribbon Cutting. It was great seeing friends and the kids there. The evening was just beautiful, as it’s been very hot and humid so far. They had free Rita’s water ice, school officials were there, and it was a great event. A lot of hard work was put into it, from years ago until the present, and more must still be done.

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Thank you to everyone who helped to make this entire thing become a possibility! I can’t wait to continue to with the rest!

I Am A Pre-Existing Portraits-A Personal Project(Updated)

Amongst my family and friends, it’s no big secret that my political views are liberal. Here my blog, I do try to stay neutral. However I am a big advocate that healthcare is a basic right for everyone. No matter what medical conditions that you have now and not, eventually as we all age, we will have Pre-Existing Conditions.  This is just a fact of life.

Since Trump became the person to be in our White House, I’ve been part of groups to bring about awareness. I may not be able to be able to go to every meeting, but I do my best to spread the word, make phone calls and not just stand in the sidelines. I was part of a small press conference, allowed me to document the Women’s March in Washington D.C. on their behalf, and more.

One of the many projects in our small town is to send out postcards to representatives both local and nationally.

My idea is to take portraits of the very people that the votes affect directly, by putting them on a postcard that gets sent out to local and national government representatives. A face to the causes that they vote on, to make our voices heard visually. 

Because this is a personal project that I needed volunteers for, I asked that everyone I photographed to purchase at least 25 cards and postage on their own. I decided to go with Moo because I can order batches with different images on the front. This is who I order my business cards from and I am always happy with the results. The Dorothea Dix Unitarian Universalist Community in our town is where our groups hold meetings, and they generously allowed me to photograph the portraits there.

I asked for volunteers via our Bordentown Neighbors Acting Together(BNAT) Facebook Group and I had about 10 or more respond. But because everyone has different schedules, who you see here is who I was able to photograph on that particular day.

My goal is to continue this project, get more people so that it creates more of an impact.

Some of the pre-existing conditions that I was told about the people for this project are:

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

My friend’s mother in-law is a gymnast.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

My husband took this one of me.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

Behind the scenes for I Am A Pre-Existing Portrait personal photo project.

This is a behind the scenes for I Am A Pre-Existing Portrait personal photo project.  The oval of light coming through the muslin is the window of the front door. I shot tethered with my Canon Mark 5D III. I tried a few different setups, and decided on one light with a Phototek and a reflector. I’ve had this brown-is muslin for a long time and knew that this was the project that would lend itself nicely for it. I had everyone sit on an applebox or stand. I kept the light up on the boom, but ended up not using it. I have these images in b/w and a sepia tone to them. I wasn’t sure how I liked them that way or not. But in the end, I stayed with full colour.

Below is a behind the scenes video that is straight out of my Olympus mirrorless camera shot by my husband, David. It’s just video clips slapped together in iMovie, because I’m not an editor like he is. Eventually he’ll make something better for me when he gets some time in his busy schedule. You’ll see us having a good time, me being silly and how I like to make everyone feel good about themselves, there’s a swear word in there too.

I Am A Pre-Existing from Deirdre Ryan on Vimeo.

Thanks everyone! And if you want to be a part of this project, please contact me.


You can tell that I’m tired, I had just volunteered all day at my daughter’s school for the Scholastic Book Fair, I’ve been trying to get these out in the mail for the past week and I kept running into obstacles. Plus I had to copy and paste all of the names and multiple addresses of the Congressmen, Women and those in the Senate. Yes, I sent some out to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Vice President Mike Pence and Donald Trump. But you better believe that Senators Mitch McConnell, Cassidy and Graham and my continuant, Congressman Tom MacArthur got theirs among others.

There were quite a few that I couldn’t send out to,  I ran out of postcards, time and something happened to the printouts of the labels. So quite a few I had to hand print the addresses. But overall I’m happy, I’ve done my part and I want to do more.

I managed to finish them and take these to my town’s post office. But I didn’t realize that they close at 4:30! So I was still able to buy stamps and adhere them to each and every one. The video above I did when I had a moment today, shot and edited on my iPhone SE using iMovie. I made a mistake with my website, but rest assured, it’s still LOL I was just too tired to do it all over again. I’m sure you can all relate to days like that, right?

Hey everyone, I need to put this on my blog posts. I’ve been burned horribly, but understand it’s a legal thing I have to do to protect myself. Thanks for your support, here it is: All photographs appearing on this site are the property of Deirdre Ryan Photography. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Deirdre Ryan Photography. Copyright ©2017 Deirdre Ryan All Rights Reserved.

Our Community Stands Together With Immigrants and Against Fear-NJ Editorial Photographer

My friends Jen, Becky, and others put together a peaceful Candlelight Vigil Honoring Refugees and Immigrants. A little over 100 people showed up, that’s huge since this only went out via email, social media and perhaps a few phone calls.
I quote from the description of the event:

“For much of its history, Bordentown has been profoundly impacted by immigrants. From the earliest days of Quaker settlement to the Irish and Germans who sought refuge and employment on the D&R Canal, to the many African-Americans who organized Bordentown as an Underground Railroad stop on heir journey to freedom, to families of all European heritage to more recent refugees from the Balkan wars; we have been welcoming to all.

In remembrance of those who sought refuge and endured persecution to make this nation great, and to recognize that the concern of refugees is still what brings this great community together, we would like to invite one and all to a candlelight vigil.

We plan to quietly and peacefully walk along the sidewalks of Farnsworth Avenue beginning at 6. We will gather at the Veteran’s Memorial on Farnsworth and Railroad Avenues, across from Boyd’s Pharmacy. Bring a flashlight, or a candle and be present to show that our community stands for inclusiveness and diversity.”

Many of my friends were out tonight, my friend and fellow photographer, Phil McAuliffe, played the guitar and sang accompanied by a flutist. We all sang This Land is Your Land and We Shall Overcome.  People shared their stories and struggles, heartbreaking at times….

We are in times of uncertainty for our dear friends of different faiths and backgrounds. What the new White House Administration has done so far has been illegal and unconstitutional. We are better than what is happening and it is up to us to take a stand and make our voices heard and vote those people out. Enough is enough!

Being a person who is a photojournalist, I’m sometimes supposed to be neutral in my blog, however this is way out of control. My voice is my images, my audience is you. Hey, we’re all for having our great and vast nation safer! But they is not the way to do it, not even the governors of the states knew what was happening!

So these are just a few shots, that I took for my own, I’m not with a news outlet anymore. However, I need to be out there with my camera and let stories be told.

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Rebecca  speaking…
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Bassam Rifai, a Syrian American for speaking this evening on the impact the recent executive order is having on people all across our country and the world.

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CALL TO ACTION – If you are in Congressional District 3 which includes Bordentown call Congressman Tom MacArthur and tell him how you feel about this issue. Demand that he get back to you about his position on this issue and make sure he knows you will be paying attention. His DC phone number is 202-225-4765 and his Marlton office is 856-267-5187.

Your Senators are Cory Booker and Bob Menendez.

Bob Menendez’s DC number is 202-224-4744 and local office is 973-645-3030

Cory Booker’s DC number is 202-224-3224 and local office is 856-338-8922

Put these numbers in your phone. Use them frequently. And join us when we visit their offices.

Not sure who your representatives are? Click here
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Linda Holt, author of the book, The Black Spaniard.

Thank you to all who allowed me to photograph this beautiful event in my hometown, especially with so many of my friends and our children.  This is America, we all stand together to fight for what is right. Our town is used to being a part of history, looks like it’s time to get back in the game!

Hey everyone, I need to put this on my blog posts. I’ve been burned horribly, but understand it’s a legal thing I have to do to protect myself. Thanks for your support, here it is: All photographs appearing on this site are the property of Deirdre Ryan Photography. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Deirdre Ryan Photography. Copyright ©2017 Deirdre Ryan All Rights Reserved.

The Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Part 4

I continued to walk when I heard music and saw these three protesting something. Naturally curious, I asked what was going on. Bikers For Trump were behind them. Okay and then on cue someone walked by saying something totally awful to these three because of who they were protesting, etc. Unbelievable.

So I went to check it all out.
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1211024.jpg This woman’s granddaughter made her sign for that day, it’s one of my favorites too.
WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1211043.jpg WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1211045.jpg WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1211054.jpgThe sun was setting, the clouds were grey, the light was fading fast. But my lens was fast as well to continue to capture this family in front of Abe Lincoln’s statue at the top of the stairs of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1211056.jpg WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1211066.jpgThese two best little girlfriends at the end of a long day with their signs.
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1211092.jpgCan you see the people waay in the back? Yeah that’s part of the line.
WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1211111.jpgI don’t know where to begin either….
WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1211113.jpgBut as a business, I do have to pay my taxes every quarter and every year….

No arrests were made.

Half a million people were in Washington D.C. that day. 

Millions more worldwide marched. 

The Women’s March was an historic event that I will never forget.My sister-in law was there with her daughter, my niece. My aunt and uncle were also there. I only wish that my daughter, husband and other family members could’ve been with me.

My group from NJ had left on their bus, there was no way that I was going to be able to make it. Luckily, I have an aunt and uncle that live in Arlington right off the orange line of the Metro. I didn’t plan to stay overnight, much less 2 nights. As it turned out, I wasn’t able to get a train out of town until Monday morning.

I met so many interesting people, and those that I handed my cards to, I hope that you are reading my blog posts. Please comment and contact me! The group of women that I was photographing for, we met up to eat dinner. I couldn’t find a cab, so I got a rickshaw near the Post Office Pavilion. That is my favorite landmark in the city of D.C. and it’s now A. Hotel….I’ve been told by a women whom I met right before getting on my rickshaw, that it does look great inside, she works for the historic preservation of the building(thanks again for the cheese and grapes!).  The guy getting me to dinner was great, he was in the Army, and  from Pittsburgh, PA. He once had Drew Cary as a customer, and said that he was really nice. I’ve heard that too.

Yes, I’m loading images using my Wacom tablet, backing them up onto a portable hard drive. Dinner was fun, delish, and full of satisfying conversation. Thank you Karen for the photo!

Sunday I went to Mass at Holy Trinity in Georgetown, this is where we go, my aunt and uncle do many things with the parish. Holy Trinity is my church away from home. After Mass, Mark Shriver was having a talk about his new book with a Q&A and then a book signing afterwards. I really enjoyed listening to him speak, every sentence was a story. I asked him a question regarding his own challenges, writing, and moving forward with this subject even further. I meant to say branching off, but I didn’t get the words out quite the way I wanted to.

Book Signing with Mark Shriver after talking about his new book titled, “Pilgrimage, My Search For The Real Pope Francis” at Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Mark Shriver signing his book for my father, and then one for myself.

My uncle took this photo for me with my cell phone.

The rest of that Sunday was quiet, dark and stormy. I worked on my images, drank chai tea and noshed. Spoke to my family in NJ and relaxed as well as I could. The next morning I caught my train at Union Station. These I shot with my iPhone SE.

On the train, it was really crowded, sold out! But everyone was nice, helping each other out. I got some work done, and started to read Mark’s book.

The train was bouncing around a bit…I was punch drunk tired…but not able to sleep, so reading was the perfect anecdote. Getting off at the Trenton, NJ Amtrak/NJTRANSIT station was brisk and windy. No I’m not having a baby, my jacket is puffed out LOL!  But I wanted to show you the size of my 25lb bag on me. This is how I was during the entire march. I walked, climbed on top of things, and at one point, jogged/ran.  Being a mother, I still had things to do, errands to run and a daughter to pick up from school who was incredibly happy to see her mommy <3 I didn’t sleep until later that night. 
A HUGE thank you to Becky who organized the bus and everything to get us all down there, the women of,(I miss you ladies already!), everyone whom I met and had conversations with, especially the women who lives in/near Union Station, my fingers are crossed for you. Another big hug and thank you to my aunt and uncle who I was able to stay with. Thank you both for EVERYTHING, I love you so very much!

And of course, THANK YOU to my husband, my daughter and my parents. Without you, I wouldn’t have been able to have gone down. I love you all <3

All photographs appearing on this site are the property of Deirdre Ryan Photography. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Deirdre Ryan Photography. Copyright ©2017 Deirdre Ryan All Rights Reserved.

The Women’s March in Washington D.C. Part 3

This is what Democracy looks like! This is what Democracy looks like! This is what Democracy Sounds like! This is what Democracy Sounds like!

Over and over the chanting through the crowds like a battlecry to make the voices heard and to let others know that once the day was over, it was going to continue. You may ask, well where were these people during the elections and for voting? They were there all along.
What was the Women’s March about?
Read the signs, look at the people, I saw Christians, Muslims, Pagans, Asians, American Indians, Blacks, Spanish, not just Caucasian. People from all walks of life too. You can’t tell a book by it’s cover, instead talk to them and listen to their stories.
As I type this up now, the news is not good regarding healthcare, immigrants, the Dakota pipeline, our children’s education and so much more. Even NJ’s Pinelands are being threatened by a pipeline, and another just 3-4 miles away from where I live.
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210447.jpgThe Onondowa’ga’ American Indians with the Onondaga Nation’s (“People of the Hills”) flag.
We are Onondowa’ga’

The Onondowa’ga’:

Have a Matrilineal Society

Respect Women and Elders

Honor Mother Earth

Give Thanks Daily

The Onondowa’ga’ are smart.

Be like the Onondowa’ga’.
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210457.jpgI managed to get inside the rally with my backpack, it weighed 25 lbs, on me it was huge, as I’m just 5’0 and around 100lbs. I was super polite and determined to get through the crowd. And then I came to a fence. No one would let me in because even though I had a press pass, I wasn’t able to get the Media Credentials. Security said that I should’ve gotten there sooner. Well I tried, but the crowds were crazy, my bus was parked in MD, and it took longer than expected to get there. I was upset, exhausted, sore and more than anything, disappointed. Disappointed because I wanted to do the very best job that I was asked to do, and I was sooo close to getting to the stage.
WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210461.jpgSo I’m just standing there, catching my breath, figuring out my next move while taking some photos. I then hear a woman say to me, you’re making me feel uncomfortable. Thinking that I had hit her with my bag, I immediately said I’m sorry, that I was with an organization and was trying to do my job of documenting the event. I showed her my pass, and yet she kept talking….I’m very uncomfortable with you and your backpack…I’m still not getting it. I had not been able to eat lunch yet, so I said, I’m sorry what? She said, Boston? Backpack? You weren’t checked in by security, so I’m very uncomfortable with you being here. Once again, patiently I said, politely explained who I was with, etc., and she kept going on and on. Finally I was like, where can I go? You’re making me uncomfortable by saying these things to me, you know what’s uncomfortable? Carrying around my gear, all day, gladly, and not being able to go to a certain point to do my job! Then the other women around me started telling her to be quiet, and that I was just fine, and that we are all here to support one another. She finally stopped, but really there’s always one person….
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210474.jpgAs you can see, I was really close, and don’t think I wasn’t tempted to make a jump for it. But after much thought, I decided I needed to get out of there as the march was going to start really soon at this point.
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210483.jpgBack on C St., everyone was filing out, and somewhere the march had started….
WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210485.jpgI loved this guy <3
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210517.jpgSomeone was listening to me…Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richard was walking right by me and a large awesome group of women gathered around her for a group shot. Thank you!!!
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210536.jpgI found another pile of steel to stand up on, so I climbed up and had fun!
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210556.jpgThis mother and her daughters were chanting, this is what Democracy looks like! This is what Democracy sounds like!
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210569.jpgEntire families were there. My aunt, uncle, sister-in law and my niece were somewhere there too! I tried to find them, but phones, and connections didn’t work very well that day.
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210582.jpgI loved how people would stop in front of me so that I could take their picture.
WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210587.jpgMany people were there from Standing Rock. By now I was hearing drums….
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210607.jpgLove her sunglasses, Pink Batgirl!
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210653.jpgPure joy….
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210663.jpgI actually ran into friends on this busy corner! The woman on the left wearing the green jacket is one of my daughter’s Girls On The Run coaches from NJ! By then I HAD to eat. I stood in line, ordered and ate for about an hour from one of the food trucks. I got swayed by the delicious smells of chicken and french fries.
WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210667.jpgAfter eating, I made my way around, taking more photos….the march has pretty much ended it seemed in this area.
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Abe Lincoln still commands…
WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210679.jpgPeople on the stage were still speaking…
WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210680.jpgI just followed everyone and found great people and their signs…
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These two 16 year olds were being interviewed….

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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210729.jpgI said something funny and wrong to get their reactions…
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210743.jpgI took their photos with their cell phones, and then I took one with mine, an even trade…
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My hair had reached the point of no return at that point, but I got my picture.
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So why did everyone march? To be heard, to be seen, to show everyone in the senate, the congress, in the White House, that women, children and men won’t sit down and do nothing. Read the signs they are carrying, they have real concerns, look at those who are in wheelchairs, or look to yourself if you have a pre-existing health condition.

More people showed up for this than the Inauguration, that’s a proven FACT.  This march wasn’t just held in Washington, D.C., but in cities, towns, and countries all over the world. Even in the Antarctic there was a protest. If all of this is going on, with MILLIONS protesting, then you must be really “not liked very much”…..something’s got to give.

Stay tuned for a continuation of this story in another post. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Thank you!

All photographs appearing on this site are the property of Deirdre Ryan Photography. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Deirdre Ryan Photography. Copyright ©2017 Deirdre Ryan All Rights Reserved.

The Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Part 2

It took a REALLY long time to make it to Washington, D.C. I mean every single Metro stop was jam packed with people trying to get on the trains. It was very warm, I felt like I over dressed, and I’m thinking that I’m so glad that I packed a travel sized deodorant!

We got off at one station and wow! There was no way that I could get through. Then I spotted someone with a Press Pass and asked him where C St. was and he said he had to go to that area as well. So we both went back to the trains, and got back on and got off at Federal Station SW Station. Getting out of there took a long time too. But once we broke free into the cooler air, it felt not only better, but the excitement, the sense of knowing that you were meant to be here was so strong! Immediately I started to take photos and so did he.WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210230.jpg
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I found a great place to get a better view of the masses of men, women, and children, all carrying these fabulous and creative signs. I mean, they were really awesome, some were truly works of art. People came by in using crutches, wheelchairs, canes, families had their babies and children in strollers, slings, carrying them on their shoulders. Teens, tweens and elementary school kids came by all with their signs, chanting, singing, I mean it was amazing. The masses kept coming and coming and coming. And this was just to get into the rally to hear people speak.
WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210290.jpg Of course there was a group of extreme Christians, blaring Bible quotes into a speakerphone across the street. They kept turning up the volume. Everyone gets to have a voice 🙂 WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210293.jpg
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This ambulance had to get by, and once everyone got back together behind it I yelled out something about ambulance chasers. People thought that was really funny 😉
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The man on the far right is Kyle Edward Cranston, of WUSB 90.1 FM of Stony Brook, Long Island, NY. Kyle helped me find my way around the Metro after realizing the first stop was so bad, we both couldn’t get through. He’s a Reporter, Commentary and Producer for A Woman’s Perspective on Politics with Zabby!! Thanks for your help and great conversation Kyle! WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210311.jpg
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210321.jpgI loved this sign that simply said…Ugh!
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210351.jpgThis young woman next to me was with her mom who was live Tweeting I think, was shouting out anti-Trump and positive women chants for the crowds. It was really great!
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As you can see, my hair completed frizzed out so much, it lost it’s curl and became very fluffy LOL! Photo by Kyle Edward Cranston.
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210368.jpg I personally love the Catholics For Choice group….
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210398.jpgThis was great! A pink pussy cat shaped like a traditional Chinese Dragon used to celebrate New Year’s.
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210412.jpgI got my picture taken a few times too!
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WomensMarchWashDC2017Deirdre Ryan PhotographyP1210435.jpgThis woman stopped right in front of me so that I could take her picture, I didn’t have to ask her to do anything.
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A group of women were from NY holding up beautiful handpainted Statue of Liberty torches.

This was Part 2, Part 3 is coming up with new images, stay tuned! Did you see Part 1 yet?