The Veiled Woman

I don’t know her name, I don’t know who created her or what she was made of.

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Walking through the famous Louvre, on a hurried three hour tour to see the greats of the museum, one sculpture caught my eye; a veiled woman, standing isolated at the end of a display, solemnly gazing at the crowds inevitably passing her without a second of consideration.

To say art speaks to people is a cliché to be avoided, yet, regardless of reasoning her hollow gaze pierced me, calling me from the crowd to pause a moment at her feet. I took pictures, I lost myself in question and simply stood in her presence, thanking this seemingly avoided woman for reaching out to share this brief moment together.

Paris was beautiful, and the Louvre was more than I could have ever imagined, but in the midst of the Mona Lisa’s fame, and the classic romance of the French capital, she stopped me in my tracks.

Among the Michelangelos, the veiled woman looked into me, and asked me what I saw.

Want to know more about our trip to Paris? Destination: Paris over on The Eddy Folk has a look at how we maximized our short time in the City of Love

Instagram: A Forgotten Friend

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One of the first apps I got after getting my iPhone was Instagram. I thought filters were fun, I thought it was a brilliant way to connect photographers, all was good.

But if you look at my profile, I have a pretty minor 125 photos in the two years that I’ve been on the platform. Maybe it was an attempt to break the habit that everyone else has of violating the Three Fs (Food, Feet, and Flowers), or it was just a matter that I didn’t think my photos were engaging.

Over the weekend though, I realized that avoiding Instagram isn’t the solution to my problem with the platform, rather, creating better content instead of documenting an average life story is what engages the community.

There are also the Instagram elite. I followed them as inspiration, but low and behold, I just got mad at myself for not having the eye that they seem to have.

Who are sitting in my list of elites?

In no particular order:

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kylesteed

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marte_marie_forsberg

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cacahuete_sr

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thiswildidea

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flashesofstyle

And of course PaigeWilhog
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As you can see, there’s a lot to live up to; though while we were in Japan I may have channeled a bit of Cacahuete_sr…

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So with these folks in mind, and a new focus on sharing the beautiful things that I see, I welcome back my old friend Instagram. A friend that’s always been there, but was too quickly abandoned in my struggle to not take boring photos.

Hopefully you like what you see, but even more important, push your own content to be engaging. Don’t use the platform only as a chronicle of your life, but really show off the beautiful things coming in and out of it.

In recognition of the person that pushes me to enhance my own Instagram, here she is in the beautiful light that we found this weekend.

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Wedding Photography: Don’t Be Cheap

In the list of expenses that come with a wedding, it’s easy to lose yourself with venues, menus, and more, but one of the items that needs to be at the top of that list is photography.

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The images that are captured that day should emulate the love that everyone attending has for you, and someone that doesn’t know their camera can blow it. Don’t lie to yourself either, you’ve seen it on Facebook, a white wedding dress in a white room that’s been blown out by the built-in flash of a DSLR that someone got for their high school graduation.

That’s not ok!

Paige and I are coming up on a month since the wedding, and we’d been on edge waiting to see the photos since we got a few teasers while we were in Japan. Last night she finally got the email that said the photos were available, and it was the perfect way to welcome us back to our New York apartment.

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Our photographers were Ron and Briana Randle of Love Shutter Photography.

We knew that we wanted the day to be documented, not a ton of posed pictures, but to capture the candid moments that mattered and made the day what it was meant to be. What we got was more than I could have ever imagined. The essence of family and friends that all love each other pours from nearly every photo, and they’re moments that won’t be forgotten.

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Of course, the photos with Paige are tremendous, and they mean a lot, but having two photographers provided so much flexibility that Love Shutter nailed it when documenting my personal moments with my big brothers.

One fraternal, and one biological, to have these guys around me that day meant everything, and that emotion is evident throughout all of the photos we’ve got.

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In the end, it’s your wedding, you can do whatever you want. I would encourage you to look for an excellent option when it comes to photographers though, because you don’t want to look back on your special day and see overexposed wedding dress or blur monster reception pics.

Besides, photos like these can’t be replaced!

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Believe me when I say they can’t be replaced!

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Photos courtesy of the stunning Love Shutter

The Art of Alienation: Photo Series

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What makes something beautiful is always left to the individual, but what makes a photo great is entirely different.

The strongest pieces don’t inspire happy feelings, but rather force you to question what is happening. To go a step further the question must be based on your own self reflection, and not the piece in front of you.

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To me, that is what makes a strong piece, and there is nothing that brings out those feelings better than photographed alienation. Provocative loneliness speaks to everyone, because it’s what we all fear.

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As the cultural shift toward emphasized storytelling continues, explore your own alienated self, because you could be surprised by what you find.

044c6f72246111e2bfc622000a9d0dda_7Image collaboration with Paige Hogan