Flight 10.10.10

| Flight 10-10-10 |

I shot this footage Oct. 10, 2010 back home in Western New York as part of the One Day On Earth project. My father is the pilot. On this particular flight, he took us from Gowanda, N.Y., where he keeps his two-seater Cessna at a gravel pit that doubles as an air strip, to Dansville, N.Y., where we walked across the street to McDonald’s for vanilla milkshakes. On our walk back to the airport, I spotted a group of kids awestruck by the planes taking off and landing. They’re the heart of this video. I imagine when my dad was a little boy, he looked a lot like the kids I filmed climbing the fence along the runway.

The One Day On Earth project is a collaborative documentary shot by people all over the world. It was open to all people. Anyone with a cell phone camera capable of shooting video could submit footage. The overriding tenant was that ALL footage had to be captured on 10.10.10, hence the name ONE Day On Earth.

I happened to be home Oct. 10 to photograph Kim and Jon’s wedding. So when my dad asked if I wanted to go up in the plane that Sunday, I said sure, on one condition: be cool with me sticking a camera in your face.

The resulting six-minute video has been edited in a way that might make you dizzy. For some reason it made sense to speed everything up.

The first song is Blue Turning Gray by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

The second song is Walking, Running, Viking by The Benevento/Russo Duo.

The third song (one of my personal faves) is Io by Helen Stellar.

Sweet arrival.

Remember my friends Ricci and Mbaye?

Well, they got married last year.

And on Oct. 16, 2010 they had a baby doll girl named Amelia.

Mimi for short.

To learn more about Ricci’s West African adventures in pregnancy, read this post.

MUCH LOVE & CONGRATS YOU TWO! Now move back to the states so I can nuzzle your baby!



Kimberlee & Jonathan | October 9, 2010

Western New York | The Quintessential Fall Wedding

When my friend Kim asked me too shoot her wedding in our hometown, I was honored and thrilled. When she told me it was in October, I was even more thrilled.

The fall in Western New York is breathtaking and Kim and Jon picked a date that turned out to be the peak of fall foliage.

A trolley named The Fonz transported the wedding party from North Collins, where Kim and I grew up, to the church, where I once wrote an article about a pipe organ for our weekly newspaper, to Knox Farms, where the groomsmen dutifully posed along a fence until it broke. (See below.)

Take 1: Down goes the fence.

This one’s even better: the guy in the middle goes down and his fellow groomsmen catch him.

I loved photographing Kim in the makeup chair at John Roberts Salon. Here’s a little fun fact about Kim: in college she used to sleep with a full face of makeup in case there was a fire drill in the middle of the night. The night before her wedding she also slept in makeup.

Beautiful, makeup or no makeup.

Mirror, mirror in my hand. Who’s the fairest bride in the land?

Kim desperately wanted to take pictures with her two pooches, but in the end she decided we didn’t have enough time between primping and trolley pick-up. Instead she brought a framed photo of her fur children to the salon, where they sat in spirit and watched the bridesmaids get up-do’ed.

The wind in the willows & the dress in the tree.

By all means, kick off your heels in the leaves and stay awhile.

A little collage action.

Kim and her dad.

Each lady delicately pinned a flower to her waist.

The unveiling.

Kim has a photo of she and her dad ambling down the street in front of their house when she was a little girl. She wanted to recreate that. Here’s the shot from the front.

And from the back. Hello shadows.

Bouquets courtesy of Etsy. Wise choice!

Pretty maids in a row … boarding The Fonz.

Kim and her mom.

This shot is one of my favorites for a few reasons. We’re sitting in the church parking lot. Guests are filing into the church, including the groom and his groomsmen. Kim is hiding behind the Just Married sign in the back of the trolley so no one will see her. She’s watching all the people she’s ever known in her life walk from their cars to the church to see HER get MARRIED. It’s a surreal moment and she realizes it. I imagine the look on her face is a combination of nervousness and anticipation.

I can’t say enough good things about the bridesmaids. They were all so sweet, patient and lovable. Not to mention stunning in their purple dresses.

Back at Knox Farms. As we meandered through the property in The Fronz trolley, I spotted a few dilapidated barns that I thought would work splendidly for photos. (Juxtaposition!) But of course our farm “tour guide” wouldn’t allow us to shoot beside these crumbling structures. (Liability!) I thought they were being overly cautious until the fence fell.

At one point Jonathan busted out a pink suit coat and aviator shades. I’ve never seen a dude look so dapper in pink.

I don’t know which is more delightful: The fact that there’s a ray of light cutting through this shot. Or that Kim is posing like a model in a bridal magazine.

Wondering how to pump up a hungry crowd at the start of a wedding reception? Make your entrance under an awning of inflatable baseball bats.

The koozies were an ode to one of Jon’s favorite outdoor hobbies. (That’s my best friend Ro holding the beer. She also served as a hand model at my wedding.)

Jon and Kim engage in a twisted-arm champagne toast.

And then dance like no one is watching.

To J+K: Thank you for letting me capture the day. Much love and congratulations. I hope you’re having a fantastic time zip-lining through the Dominican Republic.

To those of you who don’t believe in fate: Kim told me there was a “Post-it note mishap” in the early stages of the wedding planning process that resulted in accidentally booking the church for Oct. 9 instead of Oct. 2 –– her original wedding date. It turns out the mix-up was fortuitous. The Oct. 2 weather was dreadfully cold and rainy. The Oct. 9 weather? Well, you saw the pictures.

The pitfalls of downhill roller skating

The summer I turned 14, I went camping with my mother, my sisters, my friends June and Ann and their mother Wilma.

It was a girls-only kind of weekend. The dads stayed home.

We rented a cabin in the Pennsylvania woods, all of us girls, piled into one two-story bungalow.

Within five minutes of driving into camp I had surveyed the outlying trails for roller skating routes. And yes, I mean roller skate not roller blade. For years I skated on a pair of hand-me-down quads with bright blue wheels. For some reason I never crossed over to inline skates.

June, however, had a slick pair of roller blades — the newest hottest ones on the market.

As we puttered through the campground in Wilma’s minivan, the two of us peered out the windows, our noses pressed to the glass. When we spotted our Everest, we gasped.

It was the granddaddy of all downhill trails. Paved with crumbling black top, riddled with potholes and ending in a sharp plummet, it was the most treacherous trail we’d ever laid eyes on. If it had been any steeper, it would have been a cliff.

As Wilma’s van rounded the corner, June and I implicitly settled on our first skating route. We were fearless.

As soon as the last sleeping bag had been dragged from the van and carried up to our loft, June and I strapped on our skates and announced that we were hitting the trails.

“Don’t go down that hill by the front gate,” my mother said.

June and I exchanged eye rolls.

“I’m serious,” she continued. “DO NOT go down that hill.”

“You’ll kill yourself,” Wilma said.

“Don’t worry,” I lied. “We wont.”

And off we went. June in her roller blades, me in my skates.

Unconcerned for our safety, we blatantly defied our mothers’ warnings to steer clear of the Everest trail. We made a beeline for the summit.

I was leading the way in my clumsy quads, stumbling over potholes, flying through the campground like a jacked up roller derby girl. June was on my heels, gliding in her neon blades.

We rolled to the top of the hill and paused only briefly to take in the free-fall, before howling with glee and pushing ourselves down the incline.

We began hurtling downhill faster than we imagined. Within seconds, the rush turned to terror. We were on a suicide mission.

Using the back brakes on her blades, June managed to stop herself with remarkable ease.

I was not so lucky.

I was flying down a hill on roller skates at 30 mph and unlike June’s brakes, mine were located on the front of my skates. The toe stop.

The longer I thought about braking, the more out of control I became. I was picking up speed faster than Picabo Street, except instead of snow-plowing my way to a halt, I fell knee-first into the pavement and slid for 10 feet, my shin skidding across the concrete.

The resulting road rash ran from my knee to my ankle.

June started to cry.

I pulled off my skates. Pulled off my socks. As June tiptoed to my side, bawling over my fall, I asked her to give me her socks.

“Wh-wh-why do you need my s-s-s-socks?” She whimpered. “You’re totally b-b-b-bleeding.”

“To stop the bleeding,” I replied.

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