Philly Wedding and other ish.

Today is a bit on the dreary side. It’s raining, it’s pouring, my kittie cats are annoying. It’s still warm, not a chilly rainy day. The leaves outside are turning and I am thoroughly enjoying this month of October. I have always felt it the month of change, maybe that has to do with the leaves and the weather changing, but I have always believed that October has been the month of personal change and growth. I also turn a year older every October. And alot has happened this month and it is only half way complete. It’s enough to make a person evolve pretty quickly and really press for something new that will hopefully grow into a foundation.
But I’m gibbering. And surprisingly gibbering is a word. Wow. I hope it means what I want it to mean…
The point of this post is to inform you, whoever you happen to be, that I have updated my pricing information. You may now call me your “photogudgeter” or “photographer on a budget”. It’s an interesting term and I’ve coined that mutilation of the English language for my own joy. I just hope that people will be understanding in these times and love me for it, rather than hate me.
I also wanted to talk about assisting Jennifer Childress on Saturday at a beautiful Philadelphia wedding. It was an amazing experience. She is a fantastic photographer and I loved being apart of this wedding. I was so excited when she asked if I could assist. I love going into Philly for photo-ops! We ran all over Philly; from Art Museum steps to Broad St. in front of City Hall. It was a beautiful day for a wedding. The sky was clear and it wasn’t chilly. It was a cool temperature, but a bit blustery. The wind factor can be both a fun photo accessory provided by nature or a real problem since hair will be whipped about as well as veil. But this can also make for spectacular photographs. You know, kinda like the model photos you see in magazines where the model’s hair is being blow around and she looks mysterious. Well, maybe a little wind blown, but still looks purdy.
The reception was held at the Ball Room at the Ben, a really awesome place. It is so nice inside!
All in all, it was a great day and a experience to remember. Congrats to the bride and groom. I had a great time photographing and hanging with the guys for most of the day. They were a funny group. The bride looked amazing, but of course! I do not have any photos, but that is totally cool. You can just use your imagination! 🙂
This weekend is turning into a photoshoot marathon for me! I will be photographing in Philly on Friday for a Trash the Dress! Yay! So much fun! And then engagement photographs Saturday! Mad Dog will be in attendance to this one so watch out world! We getting crazy here!

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The Dream

Last night I had a very intense photography related dream. I figured it was befitting of this blog since it is a “Photo Blog” and  any and all photographers out there can probably relate. It’s also pretty hilarious. And once again, it was only a dream, this isn’t based off any recent experience. I think it makes for a good post.
Ok, the dream starts out at some sort of fancy wedding venue; think high ceilings, burgundy carpet and candelabras all over the walls. I get there with my camera and my assistant photographer, someone I have never met in real life. My mind likes to make up characters and I swear it does a pretty good job of manifesting strangers. My assistant is older than me, but respectable. I am still my same age, not like my mind aged me to compensate for the older assistant.
I meet the bride’s parents. They are two very high class business people, but for some reason they give the vibe they aren’t happy about this marriage, I  might have noticed this because they were crying hysterically in my dream, but I don’t know if that’s a dead give away or not. But either way, so far, nice looking wedding.
I have no idea how I got the job or what the venue is based off of. It seemed unlike the places I’ve been in, but definitely had a big buck value feel to it.
That’s when I met the manager. A cruel looking older woman with a nasty eye for me.
I know it might seem funny that this whole thing came out of my head last night while in a deep sleep, but I’m not kidding, this dream was pretty real deal.
The manager instantly picked from the top of my list of photography related insecurities. She insulted me about my choice of camera, my looks, my age, and my height. (I’m almost 25 and 5′ tall, I don’t think I’m ugly? I just like to pick on myself) And because I like to hate on myself, I’m pretty sure this older woman was a manifestation of that part of my self destructive personality.
But she was not holding back. She kept saying how could such a wealthy family hire such an inexperienced photographer and who was I and who did I know. I felt very aware of my feelings in the dream. I was getting more and more nervous as this strange person snapped insults in my face.
That’s when a friend of mine from a long time ago showed up as the DJ. Totally out of character for him, but my mind made it seem like it fit in as if this were not a dream. He came to my defense, which was nice, but weird.
My assistant informed me that the bride was about to come. The bridesmaids walked by and all I can kind of remember is the color navy, which clashed ridiculously with their flowers. The flowers were of the purple and orange variety with deep green leaves. Interesting choice. Especially when I think the dresses were navy.
I ran to the door in anticipation of the bride and I got a good look at my camera. No wonder the manager was picking on my equipment so bad. This thing, whatever it was, was no camera of mine. It was flat like a jewelry box with a small lens and a giant back panel screen. It was an ugly gray color on top of its ugly design. I stared at it with no clue on how to use it. The bride was about to walk in and my camera was a piece of crap.
My assisant stepped in with her camera, which seemed normal from what I remember. She knew what to do and did it with ease. Here I was, the leader, stumped and emotionally destroyed by the words of someone who had just met me.
The bride walked in and that’s when I laughed.
Yep, I laughed.
Because she was 6 months pregnant.
She was still wearing white. It was a lacey, very 1920s dress. It fell around her hips in the loose fashion of a flapper dress, but hugged tightly to her belly.
If I knew why the bride was pregnant in my dream, I don’t want to, it added to the mess of a wedding I was dreaming about. At that moment this wedding dream took on a whole other form.
I was the photographer of a shotgun wedding at the nice venue with heartbroken parents and a nasty bully of a manager and an assistant that knew more than I did.
Best dream ever.
The last bits of the dream I remember were being in the Bridal Suite with the groom and the bride. The bride was hysterically about being pregnant and having to get married and how ridiculous the dress made her look. She was upset that her parents seemed to not care one bit and that they were actually disgusted by the whole thing.
I woke up. I can see the symbolism between the lines. It drives me crazy to be able to read my dream and know what it is saying to me. I just don’t know what to do. To become a more experienced, more popular photographer, I need the clientele. But where are you clientele of my dreams(I’ll even take this kind of scenario I just dreamt up!)?
In any case. I hope I made you laugh.

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For his eyes only, Boudoir!

This past week was sort of hectic, but I like that. I was asked to do a last minute boudoir session for a wedding that was Friday. I’m totally cool with that. I loved feeling the pressure of a deadline. Shoot on Tuesday, hand delivered by Thursday. It was super fun. The bride was as sweet as pie. We did the photoshoot in my club like back room of my home that has a leather couch and bar that the fiancee built. We made it work and I think the results were pretty gratifying.
Here are some not so revealing shots!

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North Jersey Wedding

What an interesting month September was and how quickly it disappeared. I’m glad September passed, I enjoy October more. Not only is there Halloween and more Fall style weather, but October is host to my birthday. How exciting 🙂
But what I haven’t been able to share from September is Rachel and Antonio’s wedding that I assisted Kamila Harris with back in early September. I got to get close to New York without actually entering the city, but I could see it from the weddings location. I always enjoy weddings that are far from my home. It gets me out of my comfort zone and seeing a place I’d probably would not normally know of, if it weren’t for a wedding. It’s fun, kind of feels like a great adventure every time.

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Apple Cider Donuts Make Great Mock Rings

I can’t believe that kids have gone back to school and Autumn is fast approaching. I go to the Supermarket and see decorations for Halloween and bags and bags of candy to hand out to the little trick or treaters. My mom even bought caramel apples! I can’t believe how fast a season dies these days. Weren’t we just celebrating the 4th of July with the red, white, and blue? Time really does fly…
But in any case.
A bit over a week ago I went to Johnson’s Farm to photograph my friends who will be marrying in early October. The fiancee was away on a 30 mile hike in the mountains and I was clicking away my camera only carrying my bag and going home to sleep in a comfy bed.He had to carry a 40 pound backpack. Who got the short end of the stick?
Originally we planned to use Johnson’s infamous sunflowers as our main background, but unfortunately some hurricane called Irene had to come and mess it all up. The sunflowers took a bit of a beating. Some looked as if they had once been bigger than my head, sadly Irene made sure they were dead. But after a bit of searching we found one tiny sunflower still holding on for dear life. See, bigger isn’t always better! This coming from the short girl.
We proceeded to take some photos with the sunflower survivor and then moved onto the orchards. This was fun because there were so many variety of apples, how could you choose just one to photograph in front of? My friend picked red, and I believe they were Empires. Not that this is significant, but at the moment it was a very official decision.
We wandered around for a few more photo-ops and then went inside the store. We picked up their delicious, highly recommended, apple cider donuts. Yum, yum, yum. My friend opened the bag of sugar assaulted circular goodness and then I had the brilliant idea of using them as rings! Yay My friend and her fiancee took a small bite out of each donut and hooked them together like connected rings. It was both sweet and satisfying(not just the photos, but the actual donuts… mmmm.)
It was great to have spent time with them. I am so excited for their wedding. I won’t be the one photographing the day, as I am a guest, but I was glad to have been their photographer for this.

All photos are copyrighted by me, Kathleen O’Neill. Steal, and feel my wrath!

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Colorado Family Trip 2011

Almost two years ago the fiance and myself went to Colorado for a family trip with his fam. I had just graduated college and needed to get away from home to clear my head of all the “I’m out of college, now what?” thoughts. I was excited about the trip, but I wasn’t sure how it would go. Normally vacations with my side of the family were along the lines of going to Disney World, Williamsburg, the Jersey Shore, or once, London, but never did I head West in the US as a child. I was curious to see how it would be up high in the mountains.
Long story short, that 2009 Colorado trip was amazing and I was itching to get back there as soon as possible.
We got our wish for this 2011 Summer. So over a week ago the fiance and I headed out at too early in the morning to catch a plane and go up about 5,000 ft from sea level. Where we ended up is a little over 9,000 but the transition is always a bit tough at first. We believe in hydrating and advil to solve all elevation problems.
The week was spent chilling we the fam, horse back riding, hiking higher into the mountains, keeping the kids entertained, and cooking dinners. It was another great trip. I always feel blah when we return from vacations, especially  since I have a soft spot for Colorado.
The horse back riding was the second time at the same stables, and I found out that my horse from our first trip to the big CO was used in the movie Cowboys Vs. Aliens. Great job Hawaii!
We looked for a place known as “Sleepy Hollow” on one of our more casual days. It was my future sis in law and future(officially) nephew and niece. Sleepy Hollow is a house located in the mountains that was built by 3 guys looking for a place to sit back and enjoy the scenery. I can’t blame them, can you? The place is a one room cabin with floor to ceiling windows on one side facing the mountain, and placed in a center, hanging from the ceiling, is a giant swing.
Unfortunately after fiercely searching for the cabin, we were unsuccessful due to one wrong turn. But either way, we got pretty close and after getting lost about 600 times, it was still a great time for us.
My fiance’s step-mom treated us ladies to a wonderful massage that relieved so much tense in my back. And I mean, a lot of tension, I kept getting that awful sensation running down my spine that makes you tense up all over because it feels so ticklish but it’s not a good ticklish. But I walked out of there feeling positive. My massage therapist was amazing, so sweet. We talked about life and living in Colorado versus living on the East Coast where she is originally from. We agreed that the shore is amazing and sometimes being land locked blows, but Colorado is still beautiful and you still get mountains and forests. Can’t complain either way.
The fiance went with his father and brother in law to ride quads through the mountains, which left me feeling a little weird, because quads and mountains don’t mix in my mind. But they returned unharmed, thank goodness, and had a wonderful time.
Our last day was spent at the top of the world’s highest road way, Mt. Evans. We climbed over 14,000 ft. Looking down across the valleys and other mountain peaks made you sort of leery and kinda dizzy, but I felt like I was a few steps closer to the meaning of life standing on top of that mountain.
Beauty. Natural beauty. I can’t explain it in words, it is something a person has to experience, but it is breath taking up there at the top. There is a peacefulness up there that is hard to find down at sea level.
I woke up the following morning at 3 am with some serious altitude sickness, but we were traveling home, so after some gatorade and a bagel, I felt better, but not amazing.
We returned home, and back to reality. 😦

Garden in Vail, CO

Vail Farmer's Market

The Start of Day One, view from around our hotel

One of many loved dogs in CO

Garden in Vail, CO

Very Deep in thought about horses

Self portrait

A house in Breck is how much?!

On The Road to Sleepy Hollow

Captian showing us the way

We only found the old mine

The Sand Quary


Rock star

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Newborn shoot!

I’ve been photographing my niece as she journeys to turning one, which will be in the next several days! I cannot believe how time flies! But other than that I have been slacking in the Children Photography department. Until yesterday.
Yesterday I went and photographed a newborn with a family who’s first child I photographed about 2 years ago. It is wonderful to watch their family grow and see how much their first had grown since the first time we met!
Their first had been a girl and this time around they have been blessed with a boy.
I truly enjoy photographing children. It can be a difficult feat at times, but when you capture just one moment of a smile or their personality, it always seems like gold. Even with a newborn, sometimes they make particular faces that just make you wonder could they actually be thinking about what you’re doing and be saying to themselves, “this person is nuts, holding this big black round whatever in my face that makes weird clicking noises….” I’d like to believe they already have some sort of personality developing at this early stage of their life.
Here are some shots from the shoot…..

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