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February, 2010:

A picture and a promise

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Yesterday, I volunteered at the Go Red For Women luncheon, where I set up a small portrait studio and photographed the atendees donning red hats, feather boas… and lots of attitude.  The idea was for each woman to fill out a card, promising herself something importrant (like to move more and sit less, avoid M&M’s for breakfast, etc) and then get their portrait taken. In a couple of weeks, the women will all receive their cards and portraits in the mail as a reminder to keep their promises. (This was sponsored by North Country Federal Credit Union).

 I also raffled off a pet portrait sitting AND a $25 gift card from the wonderful Kelly Duteau, owner of Paw Bella Pet Boutique in Burlington. The winner was drawn at the end of lunch (in front of everyone, just to keep it honest) and it was Lisa Horan,  general manager of CL Management Services. She has two Australian Sheep Dogs (?) and is so psyched!

 It was a fabulous day and I met so many amazing women who were all there for the same reason: to be empowered with the knowledge and tools to reduce their risks for heart disease and stroke.

The luncheon featured educational breakout sessions, a silent auction, exhibits, comedian Diana Jordan, and a heart-healthy lunch. The  inspiring and generous Kimberly DuBrul was chairperson, who must be cloning  herself because she is so involved with so many organizations!

I have to give special recognition to a few folks: Fabulous fellow photographer Cyndi Freeman, who shot candids throughout the day; Videographer Marion Dane Abrams, who created a heartfelt and inspiring video about heart and liver recipient Nancy Donnelly (shown during lunch),  Laura Cheney and the folks at Flashbags for the gorgeous table centerpieces, and my dear friend Christine Albrecht, who volunteered to assist me all day. Thank you, Christine!

OK… so now, here are the Remarkable, radiant, ravishing RED women of Burlington:

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And then there was lunch!

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 Comedian Diana Jordan entertains the crowd after lunch. She was nominated by the American Comedy Awards as one of the Top Five Female Comedians in the Country and apparently,   Oprah Winfrey selected her as “one of the funniest people on the planet!”:

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Until next year, Go Red, Go healthy, and go with heart!

If you want to see all photos from the event, please click HERE and type in the passcode: red: All proceeds from photo orders benefit the American Heart Association!  (also, I will be posting an album soon on my Facebook page with all of the studio portraits so folks can use them for profile pics and help contnue the Go Red message! make sure you “friend” me!)

Natalie and Brett’s E session

On August 28, 2010, I’ll be photographing Natalie and Brett’s wedding, so last week they drove up from NJ to Vermont for their Engagement photo session and brought along  their two dogs, a spirited Weimaraner named Hayley and a puppy-like Maltese named Gizmo.  All Natalie wanted was a snowy wonderland as a backdrop for their photos. As it turned out, they probably should have stayed in New Jersey.

Still, we had a great time doing some studio portraits, romping around the Flynn Dog gallery space and then, finally,  we headed over to Burlington Country Club, the only place I knew that still had some snow. The dogs got some excersise and the lovebirds got their outdoorsy photos and everyone was happy.

Congratulations, Natalie and Brett. I can’t wait to see how beautiful you both look on your wedding day!

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I hope you enjoy this short video slideshow of our afternoon…

Cabaret at Temple Sinai

My wonderfully talented  friend, Judy Alexander,  and her equally talented husband, Bruce Chalmer, made their cabaret debut Saturday night at Temple Sinai in South Burlington, as a benefit for the synagogue. By day,  Judy is the Religious school director and torah chanting master (not a technical term!).  Bruce has brought new choral music and other educational additions  to the temple.  Together, they are fun, engaging and have a deep love of music that always brings people together.

So, a couple hundred of their closest friends (and Temple members) were more than anxious to come out and hear their broadway-esque program, eat  great food, have a martini-or two- and bid on some terrific silent auction items (including a family portrait session by yours truly).  It was a great night and there were so many people that helped make it happen, I can’t  list everyone here.

 Bruce and Judy summed it up nicely with a quote by Frederick Nietzsche : “Without Music, life would be a mistake.”  If that’s true, then for a room full of friends Saturday night, life had plenty of meaning!  Thanks Bruce and Judy for a wonderful evening!

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If you’d like to see all 100 plus photos from the evening, please click HERE.  Any photos purchased will benefit Temple Sinai!

50 plus and Babyboomers Expo

Every year, I shoot the 50 plus expo for their sponsor, Vermont Maturity Magazine, and it’s always such fun. Held at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center Saturday, the event (this was the 15th annual!) is designed especially for those age 50 and older, but all ages are welcome. Highlights included a fashion show, a dance, lyric theater performing numbers from past shows, and over 75 exhibitors in the areas of health and wellness, housing, arts and entertainment, travel, home decor, finance, etc.

Oh, and my own brilliant wife, Gillian Pieper, director of health promotion at PATH (Planned Action Toward Health) held one of the  seminars offered -hers on the topic of fitness and health for seniors, sponsored by BCBSVT!

As a bonus, besides meeting loads of people and making fun pictures, I even got my H1N1 vaccine, courtesy of the Vermont VNA! Oh, and I loaded up on pens, a sewing and first aid kit, water bottles, a stress ball  and all the rest of the SWAG I could fit in my camera bag! Isnt that the real reason people love trade shows??

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This chocolate fountain at the Heineberg Senior Center booth was a big hit…

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Scooter (the BCBSVT mascot), led my Beth Lewis,  works the crowd…

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Nothing like a game of Wii Bowling!

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Gillian Pieper… educating  with humor!

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Ok, these folks KNOW how to TWIST…

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the University Mall fashion show…

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OK, these feet and legs look much more like Vermont fashion!

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Everyone took advantage of the free vaccines!

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I’ll end with this picture of sweethearts who knew each other in grade school and then found each other again in their “golden years”. Now, that’s BLOG worthy ! Mazel Tov!

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Vt Kids Against Tobacco!

When I am not shooting weddings and portraits, I can sometimes be found wearing my “state of Vermont” contract photographer’s hat, covering events or marketing campaigns for one of the many state agencies that require my services.

Last Wednesday, I had the joy  of  photographing the VKAT (Vt. Kids Against Tobacco) State House Rally in Montpelier. Students  from 51 different middle schools across Vermont gathered for the event, sponsored by the Vt. Department of Health. The day celebrated youth empowerment and the success throughout 2009 of VKAT programs in reaching more than 21,000 Vermonters with tobacco prevention and education activities.

It was an awesome site, seeing these hundreds of kids meet up at the Montpelier Middle School and then, after a great breakfast and some speakers, march together to the State House with all of their banners –and enthusiasm!

At the State House, the students visited with legislators, gave presentations to their peers and had a question-and-answer session with Governor Jim Douglas  in the House chambers. They peppered the Governor with questions on how to make Vermont totally smoke-free and healthy. His advice was to keep advocating and to  keep educating.

As one girl advertised on her sweatshirt, “Are you cool? Here’s the rule: DON’T SMOKE!”

Group shot:

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Breakfast at Montpelier Middle School:

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The march begins…

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Meeting the legislators..

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The Governor gets an education:

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I just LOVED Mr. GROSS MOUTH!!!

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One final pose on the state house steps…

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