Daily Photo Journal Project—April Highlights

I am a journaler. I started penning my life as a kid. This has always been the basis of my work. A space where stories are born. 

I love this quote by Joan Didion, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I see, and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” 

This, to me, speaks to both writing and photography. I learn from what has been written and photographed about what I am thinking at that moment. The real magic happens when the words or images evoke surprise afterwards. But, mostly, my journals are a place to return that feels like home. A reflection of home, all the memories, time, and fictions that happen over the years. A place to dream.

With a desire to create a new body of photographs, I started a new photo journal project in April 2020 as a way to mark time, ideas, thoughts, emotions. It has become the new routine. Small noteworthy moments photographed and taped to journal pages offer comfort during these endless days. 

I thought I would share highlights from April’s photo journal.

Do you keep a journal documenting your life? If so, what kind? Send me an email, I’d love to know…

What’s In My Film Camera Bag | Northampton Portrait Photographer


Happy Monday and Happy (day after) Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there! I hope you and your families are staying safe and happy during this phase of COVID-19. During these past few  weeks, I have been planning out how to manage photo shoots once the stay at home advisory is lifted (possibly on Monday, May 25th) for phase 2 businesses. Mask, gloves, and keeping a safe distance are all in the plan. I’ll report back here as well as in my newsletter (you can sign up here) with the reopen date for the studio. Onto the bag…


A few weeks ago, I wrote about What’s in my Digital Bag in my Digital Bag in answer to a question I get all the time. Today, I want to share what’s in my favorite film bag. 


1. The 4x5 sheets of film are 13x larger than a 35mm negative (resulting in amazing clarity and depth that still champions outperforms the very best digital cameras)

2. Super slow mo photography (each image is made with care and precision)

3. Beautiful portraits in studio and on location

4. Shooting with a large format allows you to move and reposition the lens for complete focus and perspective control

5. Creative and fun


  • Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic 4x5 press camera from the 1950s. The camera uses 4x5 sheets of film individually loaded into double sided film holders. Due to the film’s light sensitivity, the film has to be loaded in a dark bag or a darkroom. 
  • Graflex Optar 135 mm f/4.5 lens (right now I use the original lens that came with the camera) 
  • Tri-X 320 or Ilford HP5 400 4x5 black and white negative sheet film (I have a black and white darkroom, so I do all of my processing in the studio), box of 50 sheets
  • Polaroid 600 black and white film
  • Portra 400 4x5 color negative sheet film, box of 10 sheets
  • Polaroid 600 color film
  • (4) 4x5 film holders
  • Black changing bag (to load and unload film in total darkness)
  • Large clean paint brush used for dusting the camera, lens, and film holders (before each use)
  • Manfrotto tripod
  • Long (30ft) Bulb cable release (to trigger the shutter)
  • sync cord (to connect camera with studio lights) 
  • Sekonic L-358 Flashmaster light meter (a must have for all of my photo shoots)
  • Dark cloth or scarf (to focus using the ground glass screen on the back of the camera)
  • Camera bag: Black Tenba shoulder bag

Capture Artful Moments With Your iPhone | Day 10 of 10


Whether told in images or words, a good story contains a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is true whether you’re photographing a family vacation, daily life, or an event. 

A photo story can be told in a single frame or in a series of three to five (or more) shots. I like to create a shot list for my photo stories. Photograph your subject in a variety of ways in order to narrow down your story later. Use all the tips you’ve learned from days 1 through 9 to create a visually impactful tale.

To create a photo story in three frames, try this: 

Frame #1: A wide expansive shot of your subject.

Frame #2: Your subject in action.

Frame #3: A detail shot.

To create a story in five frames, add a few extra shots:

Frame #1: An establishing shot (creates the setting for your story). 

Frame #2: A portrait of your subject.

Frame #3: A change in perspective of your subject.

Frame #4: An action shot. 

Frame #4: A detail shot.

*Remember to create an arc in your photo story and sequence it from beginning to end. 

To create a story in a single frame, try this:

Show detail and context about your subject, such as an environmental portrait. 

Using Format