Reen Fitz Photography

Lifestyle Photographer: Hudson Valley / Westchester County, New York

Author: ReenFitzPhoto (page 1 of 4)

Let’s Dance!

Well I certainly kicked off Spring 2018 right! I got to photograph 2 events all about dancing!- Backstage at the Rivertown Dance Academy Festival, and at the Rockin’ Rave at Westchester Children’s Museum!

First, let’s take a look Backstage at the Rivertown Dance Academy Festival!

At this shoot, I arrived well before showtime to capture the final preparations that go into putting on a great show. From warm-ups, to hair and make-up, and even a group hug and pep talk moments before the curtains open (pictured left of center, above). And when the curtain finally opened and the show began, I was able to captured a backstage view of some of the performances!

A bit about RDA, from their website:

Rivertown Dance Academy was founded on the belief that everyone, regardless of ability to pay, should have the opportunity to pursue high-quality and comprehensive dance education. Rivertown Dance Academy is accessible in location, literature, and in ability to provide need-based financial aid. 

If you are interested in learning more about RDA or taking a class, check out RivertownDanceAcademy.org

A few weeks later, I had the absolute pleasure of photographing the light and sound dance party known as the “Rockin Rave” at the Westchester Children’s Museum in Rye!

This party was geared toward the older kids, and featured colorful lights, dancing, prizes, and lots of yummy food options (including the donut wall, pictured in the center)! The music had kids and parents dancing the night away!

Located right on the boardwalk at Rye Beach, WCM is a place for hands-on learning, offering children opportunities to build, climb, and experience STEAM education in action. I can’t think of a better place for parents to bring their kids this summer- beautiful beach views, an exciting learning experience, and great parties? Seriously, where was this when I was a kid???

To learn more about WCM (and plan your visit!) check out DiscoverWCM.org

These were both extremely fun, new experiences in event photography for me. I love trying new things like this! It challenges me, keeps me on my toes, and expands my comfort zone, which is a wonderful feeling.

Take a peek at some more from these events on my Flickr!

Out of Hibernation!

Oh hey there! Excuse me while I emerge from my hibernation, save up all the daylight, and embrace the first signs of Spring! Isn’t it such a magical time of year? All of nature is just a big glittering message: “The cold is over! We made it! Let’s play!”

 

Although the weather has been playing some tricks on us this year…if you can recall a time not long before the last 3 BIG snow/wind/rain storms (not even counting the intermittent flurries), we had a real, honest-to-goodness 70 degree day! Where did that go?

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to the last few weeks…

Celebrating another new Mrs. Fitzgerald! It was fun capturing the moments at this bridal shower, and the wedding is going to be a BLAST! (but I won’t be photographing…I’ll be taking that night off, thank you very much!)

 

And taking relaxing photo walks, adjusting my eyes to the bright and beautiful sunlight.

I have been spending a lot of time reading, painting, and doing some creative writing. Exploring my other favorite creative outlets helps keep me inspired to dream up new experimental shoots for the Spring and Summer. Unfortunately, I’ve already had to postpone one of these due to the un-spring-like snow on the ground. But I am so sure that these shoots will be well worth the wait! I get so excited about trying new techniques and creating something entirely new and different. Learning and growing are wonderful, wonderful things.

One of the books I read this winter was ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King. Here are some words of wisdom from it that you can take with you:

“It is, after all, the dab of grit that seeps into an oyster’s shell that makes the pearl, not pearl-making seminars with other oysters.”

YES.

See you next time!
-Reen

Lovely, Dark, and Deep

First of all, anybody else get their kites out for the blizzard?

The cold has not kept us inside for long.

There’s a lot of fun projects in the works that I can’t wait to share! While those are cooking up, here are some photos from a snowy hike we took recently at Teatown Lake Reservation:

 

Whose woods these are, I think I know.

His house is in the village, though;

He will not see me stopping here,

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

Those words are, of course, from Robert Frost’s ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’, one of my favorite poems. I don’t think I can hike in the snow without reciting that one in my head.

…The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.

But I’ve got promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

 

 

2017: The Highlight Reel

Every year has it’s ups and downs, and looking back on the best parts is a fun way to end the year.

As this year comes to a close, I’m seeing a lot of people posting their “Best 9 of 2017”. I always enjoy seeing these and making my own. It’s really incredible how much can happen in just 12 months.

However, I’m not big on judging the best moments of the year on what got the most likes. So instead of entering my IG handle into a best 9 website for calculations, I combed through my year in pictures- lots and lots of pictures- and selected 9 of my favorite shoots from the year. Here they are, in no particular order…

This glimpse back really warms my heart. It was quite a year of celebrations and adventures! I’ve certainly learned a lot and tried a lot of new things.

As a bonus, I’ve also compiled 6 of my favorite personal moments of 2017…

In 2017, I finally checked ‘nose piercing’ off the bucket list (Thank you, Keri at Addicted to Ink!), practiced falconry for the first time in almost a decade (and found it to be like riding a bike for me!), welcomed 2 birds, Ukey and Fiddler, and a pup, Tuukka, into the family, met the incredible Jen Blackwood (and got lots of her artwork,  which we adore!), and we had the experience of viewing and sharing the solar eclipse!

Whew. Well, that was fun.

Here’s to even more creation, growth, and new experiences in 2018!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monochrome: A Winter Ritual

“You get the same thrill with any negative; with art, as someone once said, most of what you have to do is show up. The hardest part is setting the camera on the tripod, or making the decision to bring the camera out of the car, or just raising the camera to your face, believing, by those actions, that whatever you find before you, whatever you find there, is going to be good.” –Sally Mann, Hold Still


I know I’m not alone when I say that winter can take a toll on my motivation. There’s so little of that gorgeous golden sunlight we photographers love so much, and I just want to make a never-ending pot of tea and hibernate under mounds of blankets.

But I am getting better at winter! Little by little, I’m finding ways to embrace and enjoy the season more. This often includes taking part in special winter photo challenges and creating my own photography projects.

A few winters ago, I was inspired by Sally Mann’s memoir ‘Hold Still’, to switch my camera to monochrome and explore familiar spaces. Without color, the photos became focused on the light and the way it bounced off of things and created contrast. Everything had new life. Faucets, doorknobs, and kitchen utensils now had “moods”.

It’s a small project I can do to flex my creative muscles, even when I don’t want to go outside, or if I’m feeling under the weather. It’s purely for myself and my own enjoyment, and it reminds me that the light is still there. It may not be glowing, warm and golden, but it is there. Right alongside the shadows.

I’ve also found that my cat is a great subject for black and white photography. He has long, shaggy light tan fur and naps in interesting positions, often on our black couch, which makes for great contrast. Here’s one of my favorite black and white shots of my big sleepy cat:

 

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas,

and may you find light wherever there are shadows.

 

Over the Rainbow & Over the Moon

We just have so much to celebrate these days! I recently posted about my nephew’s first birthday, and here we are again, celebrating yet another new member of the Fitz family!

Last week I posted a couple of outtakes/behind-the-scenes photos from the gorgeous autumnal family photoshoot I did with my brother Dan’s family. I’ve gotten to document so much of their story, and I was so happy to be a part of their very special announcement too.

And here it is…(with behind-the-scenes footage of our session!)…

Oh my, becoming an Aunt never gets old…not even the ninth time! 😉

Autumn is the perfect time for family portraits! Everything’s so sun-kissed and beautifully colored, and holiday cards will be going out so soon! (If you haven’t booked your Fall session yet, there’s still time!)

A little creative editing to celebrate Dan and Lex’s rainbow baby!

See more in the Flickr album!

All in the Details

A little while back, I wrote about my first wedding photography gig (which, if you’ll remember, was AWESOME). I was so in awe of the decorations that I knew I wanted to write a post dedicated just to the details. And without further ado, here it [finally] is!

It was like an Easter egg hunt for me. There were handmade details everywhere, and each one was just wonderful in its own way. Chrissy, the master DIY-bride, had a vision that turned the grounds of her local Rod and Gun Club into a breathtaking wedding venue.

The ceremony space for this wedding was a gorgeous natural pond-side landscape, and didn’t need much additional adornment. A simple archway  draped in fabric and flowers  created the altar and gave it such an airy, bohemian vibe.

 

Hand painted signs guided the guests through the wedding. From directing people to the ceremony, laying out the plans for the evening, and even showing them where all of the fun activities were at the reception! I just can’t get over the creativity, talent, AND attention to detail that went into all of it!

Now, let’s take a look at the Pavilion.  Where others may just see a shady spot to have lunch, Chrissy saw a reception hall. Not only did she have the idea, but she pulled it off in fabulous DIY-Bride style! Just check out these before and after shots.

Initially, I was a little nervous about was how well the space would be lit after sundown. It was in a wooded area, and seemed dark even in broad daylight (see “before” photo, above). But I was so impressed at how well twinkle lights and paper lanterns created the perfect warm glow. And not only that, but  every light bulb in the pavilion was removed and replaced with rustic-chic Edison bulbs just for the reception- and afterwards, the happy couple took their Edison bulbs home to reuse! How smart is that?

Love the warm glow of this dance floor!

 

 

 

 

 

15 Minutes of Family Photo Fun!

Autumn is the perfect time for family portraits! The sunlight and foliage are so beautiful, and soon enough you’ll be sending out your holiday cards! (If you haven’t booked your Fall session yet, there’s still time!)

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to work with Baby Wearing International of Rockland-Westchester (BWI Rock/West) in their mini-session fundraiser. The group offers support to new moms and dads by teaching proper baby wearing techniques and letting members borrow different carrier styles from their lending library. I have family and friends in this group, and I think it creates such a great community and resource for parents.

 

During the group’s mini-session fundraisers, photographers from all over Rockland and Westchester offer 15 minute family portrait sessions (5 final photos), for just $50.

So in the span of just 2 hours, I photographed 6 beautiful families. It was such a wonderful whirlwind of bright eyes, squishy cheeks, and so much personality. Ages of the children ranged from newborns to zooming toddlers (and one little sister that was just a month away from being born!). There were kids that LOVED the camera, and ones that wanted nothing to do with it. There were also some that held the attitude “Sure, you can photograph me…but you have to catch me first!” (Honestly, these are usually my favorites. They get the best action shots with big, bright, mischievous smiles!)

Of course, I came with a few tricks up my sleeve (or, more accurately, in my Mary Poppins-esque tote bag). I was joined by my lion and elephant puppets, my little shaker egg, and a set of juggling balls, which my husband would juggle behind me to catch the attention of an unfocused toddler.
(Whether babysitting, teaching, or just being “Aunt Reen”, juggling has always been my favorite way to catch kids’ attention. No matter what age, they will always stop and stare in wonder. Unfortunately, I can’t do it while holding a camera…yet…)

Behind the scenes…employing the help of my elephant friend!

If you’re a new or expecting parent, check out BWI Rock/West to find out when the next mini-session fundraiser is happening. Maybe I’ll see you there!

For info on having the full, total-package RFP session experience, contact me!

Happy Birthday, Cooper!

My nephew Cooper just turned one, and it makes my heart so very happy that I’ve gotten to photograph so much of his first year!
I photographed his mama anticipating his arrival…

I was so psyched when this photoshoot was featured by Rock & Rollick in their blog series Rockin’ The Bump! (See more on Facebook and Flickr)
Then some sweet ‘Fresh 48’ photos…
(More on Facebook and Flickr)
We also had a shoot for his birth announcement. I wrote about the editing process of his announcement photo here.


And in the blink of an eye, he’s demolishing his birthday cake!
You can see the official smash video (and catch a glimpse of my camera and the top of my head) over on The Fitzgerald’s YouTube channel

And just like that, his first trip around the sun is complete! Happy Birthday, munchkin!

If you’re a new or expecting parent, contact me about booking sessions to document your baby’s first year! It goes crazy fast, so don’t wait!

Walkabout 2.0 – Ossining!

I was so delighted to be asked to photograph 2 events for Walkabout last weekend! The first event was the Ossining Matters 5k, supporting the Ossining school district- where the re-establishment of Walkabout is officially beginning in September 2018! The second event was a community outreach/alumni reunion event in Ossining’s Market Square.

The original Walkabout was a senior-year (and occasionally junior-year) high school experience for selected students in Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties. Some students came in as high achievers seeking an extra challenge, others were disinterested in school altogether, but still had a hunger for knowledge (Raising my hand). No matter where the students came from, Walkabout offered unique challenges that truly prepared them for adulthood. To learn more about the Walkabout Program, check out Walkabout.org

Ready to run!

The original Walkabout program ran for 36 years. Fortunately, an effort by alumni and staff to restart the program has finally come to fruition thanks to the Ossining School District! This year, Ossining students are being given the chance to start shaping their Walkabout experience, and then September 2018 officially begins the next phase of Walkabout at OHS!

The starting line in downtown Ossining

For this event, we started at sunrise. Marc and I are both Walkabout alumni, and we were so happy to help out with the events. Marc worked a Walkabout water table on the 5k route and the raffle table at the community outreach event, while I documented the day in photos. We were part of a team of alumni who gathered early on a Saturday morning to do what they do- photograph, film, talk to people, or just be examples of the wonderful, smart, helpful humans that Walkabout churns out. (Speaking of, remember Gardiner Liquid Mercantile? Owned by Gable Erenzo, a Walkabout graduate!)

Marc at the raffle table

We really had such a fantastic time getting involved, connecting with alumni, and just getting to spend the day in the heart of the city that Walkabout will be reborn in. We know that it will have an incredibly positive impact on OHS students and in turn, the whole community. I just can’t wait to start meeting “Walkabout 2.0” alums at reunions!

Jon and Kyle, 2 photo/videographer alums joining forces to film alumni testimonials

Walkabout staff and alumni from all years (yes, even some who graduated in the 70’s!) often come together for reunions, hikes, and just to show support at events like this. It’s incredible to think that a high school experience can create such a diverse community that is always ready to help each other out.

Some of the companies and organizations that Walkabout students have worked at

To see more photos from these events, check out my Flickr!

And to connect with me and get some sweet eye-candy directly to your feed, follow along on Facebook and Instagram! See you there!

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