Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental

When my son asked me to do a photo shoot with his fiancee, and casually mentioned that they had already gotten the marriage license, I was (1) elated and (2) terrified that I would disappoint them.  Without a ceremony, the photo shoot was likely to be the most public and enduring record of this important milestone. I wanted it to be very special. And I was totally unqualified. I have never done portrait photography. This was one grand experiment – and turned out to be a ton of fun and very successful by all opinions gathered. Whew!

To start, I practiced trying out portrait settings. I knew we’d be outdoors. I live on 56 acres of conservation property, so my front yard was a great stage. My test subject was Jimmy Bear, appropriately clad in his concert tuxedo. He made a fine and very patient groom, but he’s a little short. My music stand gave him a boost.

I learned a lot about fill-in flash, back lighting and bokeh. The wedding entourage of 7 people helped with carrying in props and equipment and providing support of all kinds…and were great photo subjects as family. Here are a few of my favorite results of this joyful experiment. 

 

Experimental

Josh Galasso and Daena Wallace: Wedding Photo Shoot – Part Two

Date: October 21, 2017
Place: Starved Rock State Park, Oglesby, IL
Bride: Daena Wallace
Groom: Joshua Galasso
Good Boy: Charlie
Entourage: Susan Galasso Seleen, Andy Seleen, Rebecca Galasso, Jake Class, Mario Navarez
Newbie Wedding Photographer and Mother of the Groom: Priscilla Galasso (me)

Phase VIII: D & J & Mario

Phase IX: Magical Leaf Shower Rock (good eye, Mario!)

Phase X: Sandy Ottawa Canyon 

Phase XI: Woodland Grotto 

Phase XII: Hike Out and Wrap Party

Josh Galasso and Daena Wallace: Wedding Photo Shoot – Part One

Date: October 21, 2017
Place: Starved Rock State Park, Oglesby, IL
Bride: Daena Wallace
Groom: Joshua Galasso
Good Boy: Charlie
Entourage: Susan Galasso Seleen, Andy Seleen, Rebecca Galasso, Jake Class, Mario Navarez
Newbie Wedding Photographer and Mother of the Groom: Priscilla Galasso (me)

Phase I: The Hike In to Council Overhang and Ottawa Canyon

 

Phase II: Practice Shots – Susan, Andy and Charlie

 

Phase III: Bride and Groom under the Overhang 

 

Phase IV: Setting the Stage

 

Phase V: The Veil 

 

Phase VI: Fun Bridal Portraits by Mario and The Groom 

 

Phase VII: Galasso Family Photos by Jake

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pedestrian

Pedestrian Crossing
Last Saturday, I participated in a fundraising walk sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. My husband died from diabetes and related heart disease in 2008. My oldest daughter was inspired to join the Step Out Walk in 2009 and invited the rest of the family to support her and the cause. This year, she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and thus became a Red Strider, not just a supporter, at the walk. I am proud to say that she is also making great strides in addressing her health issues and making real changes in her life habits.  Here are some shots of “We’re walking….” that I took that day. 

Pedestrian

Team Galasso and the “Die Bees” Walk

The Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes, known to 2-year old Josie as the “Die Bees Walk”, took place on a gorgeous fall day in Chicago. The route was a three mile circle around Lincoln Park and just a mile and a half from my daughter Emily’s home. By a great miracle, all four of my children were able to attend, plus my eldest’s best friend Katie (the mother of little Josie), my son-in-law Andy, and my middle daughter’s boyfriend Jake. I took lots of pictures, got some exercise (seven miles of walking total, I figure), ate a delicious gluten-free vegan meal, and collected hugs and kisses from my children. Totally satisfying! Here’s the gallery:

The Grandparent Project: Part Eighteen

In this blog project, I’ve posted digital copies of my family photo album snaps and a chronological narrative to share with my family in California and my grown children in Illinois and Wisconsin. I’ve gone from 1985 to 2008 so far.

Some time around 2009, my sister Dharam and niece Amrit came out to the Midwest for some winter fun. I admit that I don’t remember exactly when this was.

In March of 2010, after seven years of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, my father passed on to a new life.  My brother-in-law John put together a beautiful slide show of pictures of George.

After the memorial service, we gathered in the Parish Hall of St. Luke’s (where my wedding reception was held in 1984) and shared our memories with Dad’s best friend Tim, his sister Judy, and others. Then we went back to the house, and of course, we ended up singing silly songs around the piano – a very Heigho way to celebrate. (And you’ll notice who ended up wearing The Hat that I mentioned in Part One of this series.)

Today, September 3, 2017, is my parents’ 62nd wedding anniversary. I am so grateful to have them as my role models for marriage, parenting and grandparenting. They were exemplary, and I love them both very much. 

The Grandparent Project: Part Seventeen

My mom and siblings are in California. My grown up children are in Illinois and Wisconsin. It’s difficult to get together very often, and I miss them all tremendously. This summer, I started a photo sharing project on this blog in order to review my memories and convert my snapshots into digital format that everyone could copy and store. It’s taken a lot of screen time and yielded some powerful emotions.

In the last installment, I posted photos from 2007 which included my daughters’ graduations and our last family reunion at the beach cottage in Michigan. My husband was quite ill. In January of 2008, the day before our 24th wedding anniversary, I treated myself to a trip to our Cancun timeshare resort with my oldest daughter and my brother.

Jim was not up to international travel, but did end up going to the East Coast to visit his sister and his nephews. A couple of weeks later, he was having another heart surgery. Ten days after returning home from the hospital, he died in his sleep beside me. My mother flew out immediately to help me cope with logistics, and we planned a memorial celebration to take place three weeks later. I gathered family groups around the piano in the living room for photographs that afternoon. Here’s the Heigho bloodline:I was very sorry to see my mom and siblings board the plane for their return flight and my son and middle daughter return to college shortly after the ceremony. I was not looking forward to a painfully empty nest. My youngest daughter and I went out to California in August for my birthday…and Jim’s. I revisited the places where we met, fell in love, and were married. I felt like one small fraction of a person; being with the people who knew me longest and best helped. 

Emily, my mom and I also took a tour of the Winchester Mystery House. It was the first time I’d been inside. Who knew it’d figure in our family history seven years later…?

We made plans to return the next summer to lay Jim’s ashes to rest in the garden columbarium outside the church where we were married and where my sister’s ashes rested as well.  What I had no way of knowing then was that I would return the next year with a special traveling companion so that I could introduce him to my mother…