Mid-week Thoughts

On my mind…

• Spring is currently waking every New Yorker from a sleep of polar-vortex-induced seasonal depression, and it is absolutely glorious.

• There is really something to be said for shooting on a little, lightweight camera with a little, lightweight kit lens. Not every day, and certainly not for work, but on a Sunday afternoon everything is just easier with a smaller camera.

• I feel really happy to be living in the kind of city that cares about – and truly respects – a student ID card from photography school. And I’m not just talking about the student discount at J.Crew or the waived entrance fee to certain museums; to be surrounded by people who see the career path I have chosen as something to be respected means the world to me.

• Coconut flourless cake does not go well with cream cheese frosting – not even at Passover. Non, merci.

A Walk Through Park Slope and Prospect Park

I took a really roundabout route to the Botanic Gardens yesterday that ended up being an 8-mile walk through Park Slope and around Prospect Park. As I wandered around wearing a striped sweater and black pants and my little red sneakers from France, with my oldest and most well-traveled camera in hand, I felt transported right back to the spring I spent in Paris – in particular one afternoon when I walked from my apartment on the right bank all the way across the Seine to the Jardin des Plantes. That day stands out in my memory as the first time that I really understood and appreciated spring; I remember thinking that the Jardin des Plantes might just be the world’s most magical and beautiful place, and that it wasn’t until a few days later that I realized that trees bloom like this outside the Jardin’s little walls, too.

I think that if you raise your children in California they grow up with a little bit of a skewed perception of reality. And that if those children ever move anywhere else they may very well grow up to be photographers because how could one possibly see this high of a concentration of beauty and not pick up a camera to document every single second of it?

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Brooklyn’s Cherry Blossoms

This afternoon I headed over to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens to see the cherry blossoms. I had never been to the gardens before and to see them for the first time during cherry blossom season was so wonderful. The cherry blossoms were so beautiful and calming – just beyond gorgeous:

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The creative outlet.

The other weekend when I was up in Maine teaching photography at Bates, someone asked me how many years it had been since I graduated. I sifted through the archaeology of time and memory and really, really thought about it and came to this answer: it feels like somewhere between four and seven. I was shocked when I started to think about the years mathematically and I discovered that it has in fact only been three.

The whole it’s-only-been-three-years thing got me thinking and I realized that although college was not technically that long ago, I don’t really care about it that much anymore. With that time in my life feeling so far away, it follows that this blog - a blog “about life after college”  - might cease to feel relevant. In order to stay current - to remain a place about which I – and my readers – care, Champagne for Ducklings must grow up or risk being outgrown.


I was talking a while ago to one of my oldest and dearest friends and he said, My job has nothing to do with who I am and that’s why I don’t like talking about it when I’m out at a bar. And I thought about what he had said and about how I always seem to talk about my art when I’m out at a bar and I asked, But what happens when what you do and who you are are the exact same thing? He said, Well then you’re the exception; it’s always good to talk about what you’re passionate about.

I liked this thought and I think it’s great advice in general: to share your passions. So this is how Champagne for Ducklings is going to grow up: it’s going to leave the bubble of post-college comparisons, checks and balances, and become simply a reflection of the things about which I feel passionately: art, photography, travel, new recipes, new people, deep thoughts, silly thoughts, laughter, and good stories. This blog will be – simply – my creative outlet. An ongoing art project.

A little flute of champagne. Cheers!

Photo Monday: A little storefront

New Yorkers were so happy this weekend in the beautiful weather that made the horrible winter seem long ago and the current season feel more like summer than spring. On Saturday morning I had a photo shoot with the most adorable little two-year-old boy and during a break in shooting I noticed this little store window that almost looks photoshopped, but isn’t. I was interested in capturing it because, while the wedding dress is lovely, the whole window with its scripted overlay and across-the-street reflections is what really drew – and held – my attention.

Oh, New York in the spring. Art and beauty everywhere.


Photo Monday: Spring Shoes

My mom often talks about how when she and my dad gave me my first camera (in 1992!) I seemed to be fascinated with how my own shoes looked through the lens. Over the span of a few years of my childhood, I took dozens and dozens of pictures of my feet: wearing sandals on family vacation, going to preschool wearing one blue sneaker and one red one, et cetera. I even took a break from shooting my parents’ wedding photos to photograph my own little feet!

It looks like I reverted to being a four-year-old again this week; by the end of the weekend I realized I had four new photos of my feet on my iPhone. I know I took them all for a reason (I like my nails – my stripes match – I got a free cappuccino at Milk Bar – I’m carrying a princess crown in my bag for a photo shoot) but all together they have that four-year-old effect of I don’t understand why there are so many photos of shoes:

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Just a silly little post to say, Happy Monday!

Final round of photos from last weekend

When I was prepping for the talk I gave last weekend at Bates about careers in the arts, all of my various brainstorming efforts kept circling around to one main point: It [the arts career] will never look the way you thought it would.

My career is only a few years old and already I could have never imagined any of it. I did not know that it would take this much work – or that the overall arc of my career would be so hard to predict, ever evolving. I never knew, either, that it would bring me this much joy: that the setbacks would hold infinite teachings and that each step forward would bring the highest of highs. And I certainly could not have predicted that three years after graduating college I would be back on campus, teaching photography to others and talking over brunch about what it is that I do.

The arts career, it seems, skips hand in hand with the element of surprise, and I can’t wait to share what’s coming next.

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As I walked home from the subway tonight in the fog that comes at the end of a five-day virus, I realized: It is Wednesday. Maybe this doesn’t seem shocking to anyone else, but it was to me, because It is Wednesday means Soon it will be Friday which means In two days I will be on a plane to Maine for my first-ever all-on-my-own business trip.

When I realized this I felt I might burst into tears and also just so so so wide-eyed excited - all at once. It’s strange how the big things in life seem to come with so many different emotions. And I guess that maybe this one isn’t all that big – except that it is, and I don’t think I can spend any more days pretending to be cool about it.

Because I. Am. So. Excited.

This weekend I am heading up to Bates (where I went to college, not all that long ago) to teach a workshop in dance photography, photograph 3 dance shows, and give a little talk over breakfast about what it is like to have a career in the arts. While I am always aware that I have a lot of work ahead of me in this arts career thing, I can’t help but take a little moment to smile excitedly to myself about the fact that I have my very own business trip this weekend.

I seriously cannot wait.