When I first allowed myself to have the courage around 8 months ago to attend my first Rising Tide Society “Tuesday’s Together” Meeting, I couldn’t believe how fast my fears melted away almost as soon as I sat down with the group. This fantastic group of Syracuse and surrounding-area creative professionals has been so extremely supportive not only at our once a month meetings, but in the in-between times as well. The core concept of the larger organization which is, “Community over competition” is proven again and again through all of our discussion and follow up. I can always count on at least one person from this great group to comment words of encouragement on my social media posts, check up on me from time to time, or simply bring encouragement and motivation through their own successes
It was only natural, then, that from these monthly meetings would come about a collaborative project where we would all use our various talents to create something beautiful! Thus spawned the Holiday Photoshoot at Red Barn 20 in Cazenovia, NY. As I arrived with my mother and our dog Scooter to not only photograph other members and their families, but also be photographed ourselves, the nerves of my first initial meeting resurfaced for a brief moment. I didn’t want to fail anyone whom I now cared about by producing photos that they were not happy with, and was also somewhat nervous to be in front of the camera for my own photos! Quickly, though, I was reminded of the value of positive thinking going into any situation - a value that had been reinforced time and again by this very group! I then took a deep breath, looked around at all the gorgeous set-ups already taking shape, and dove right in with my camera and a smile!
There were three intricately designed sets with which each family group could choose to have their photo taken in front of. The first group that I photographed was a fellow photographer in the group, Samantha Ludlow along with her husband and daughter. They shared some truly adorable family moments together in front of an outdoor chalkboard setup designed by Kate Brown of Lovewell Weddings. This setup also included some gorgeous calligraphy work by Elizabeth Shanson of Paper Crane Calligraphy.
The second group was another awesome member of our Tuesday’s Together family, Kelly McClain of Bella Box Gifts, her boyfriend, and adorable little dog. Kelly owns Bellabox Gifts and also provided a cozy winter/holiday gift basket as a raffle prize during this holiday photoshoot. The woodsy setup that they posed in front of was created by Ann of Red Barn 20. I just couldn’t get over Kelly’s dogs tiny teeth that seemed to be smiling after he was wrapped in a cozy blanket!
Last but not least, I photographed Shem and Taylor Doupe of Soleil Cafe (generously providing their delicious coffee to all of us shivering photographers!) and their very energetic dog, Jack. They posed in front of an elegant fireplace setup designed by Carriane Gunn of Emerald Events with flowers provided by Whistlestop Florist, and vintage furniture provided by Naomi Brown. Jack was coaxed into sitting still for a few moments, but was eager to burn off some steam in the open fields outside of the venue. With such an incredible natural view behind him, I couldn’t resist following him and Taylor for a few outdoor shots as well!
All in all this photoshoot was a great experience for me as I not only worked with and photographed three wonderful families, but also had the pleasure of being photographed with my mom and dog by the extremely-talented leader of our group Kerri Lynne Cole. She was so wonderful in making us all feel comfortable, and it was a nice eye-opener for me to be on the other side of the camera for the first time in a long time.
Special thanks to everyone who was involved! I hope that each of your holidays are equally wonderful and that your businesses prosper even more than you could imagine in the coming year! Stay busy, stay resourceful, and stay inspired! You all have a passion that shines through in your work, and I’m sure will experience continued success as this passion drives you forward. Thank you all so much for your encouragement and friendship!
The fantastic people and businesses that helped make these photos possible:
Charcuterie Board: Noami Brown
Chalkboard Display: Kate Brown of Lovewell Weddings
Calligraphy: Elizabeth Shanson of Paper Crane Calligraphy
Woodsy Display: Ann of Red Barn 20
Fireplace Display: Carianne Gunn of Emerald Events
Fireplace Florals: Whistlestop Florist