Reen Fitz Photography

Lifestyle Photographer: Hudson Valley / Westchester County, New York

Category: Local

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!

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!

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!

Only at the Merc’

I swear, my shoots just are just getting more and more fun! The latest was this Small Business session I did for Gardiner Liquid Mercantile in (where else?) Gardiner, NY. If you haven’t checked this place out yet, you need to. It’s like no other bar I’ve ever been to.

I was really excited about this shoot because in its 2 years, GLM has become a sort of hub of local collaborations. Their menu and house made liquid concoctions are full of local ingredients, local artists’ work can be purchased right off of the walls, and there is a (quite adorable) desk of local information (business cards, brochures, etc.) right next to the front door. Those are just a few examples of how the Hudson Valley is infused so richly into everything at GLM. Naturally, I was psyched to contribute my own talents to such a neat place.

As soon as I walked in, the staff was so welcoming that it almost felt like I was visiting a friend’s house. They were all so proud of and excited to show me everything- from the décor, which included an antique plow suspended from the ceiling, and turquoise inlays on the wooden bartop- to some seriously cool cocktails that were like chemistry projects- like a botanically blended purple lemonade.

A peek into the flavor playground

I was given a tour of house made flavor syrups- a huge variety of flavors that can be mixed to your tastes. I tried a raspberry jalapeno soda and I seriously could have hung around all night trying every flavor. There really are too many possibilities to be listed on the menu, so chatting with the bartender about your favorite flavors will open up that playground!

And I can’t end this post without mentioning one of the best parts of the day- a tiny puppy! This sleepy little guy belongs to a staff member, and was just hanging out at the bar during the shoot. Of course I had to get a few snaps of that sweet face!

There is no better surprise than unexpected baby animals while you’re working.