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  • V23 Gallery Showcase | What I Learned About Showing Your Work To The World

    Last month, I had my very first gallery show in New York City. Through the magazine I've been published in a few times prior, they had asked if I would like to be a part of their showcase of artists. Of course I accepted. Technically, I couldn't get into my very first venue (being 20 and all), but who cared! This was it.


    Me being suuuuper awkward as always. 


    Anywho, what I learned in the process is just how quickly things can go from grand ol' time, to "oh crap I have to prepare for this- and now."  What event of mine would be complete without things needing to be done in the eleventh hour the night before? (I really need to work on that.) While going through the process of getting everything ready, I discovered a few things I thought I'd share.

    What I Learned (and should of realized long ago):

    1. Print everything waaaaay ahead of time. Due to the nature of my work, a few of my prints came back to me way too dark to show. They looked great on screen, but in real life it sucked. I didn't end up having enough time to re-order them, so it was super-frustrating. This brings me to my next point..

    2. Don't wait until the week before to do giant retouches. It sucks and you may not get everything "perfect" in time. You would think this is a no-brainer by now.. 

    3. See the space beforehand. I went ahead and did a walk-through with the manager and editor of the magazine to see exactly what I'd be dealing with. This way, I was able to come up with a game plan as far as how I would display everything. The walls ended up being not-so-great to hang things, so easels it was. Again, no brainer, but splitting the space with another photographer friend that hadn't seen the layout & lighting was saved last-minute by a stray bucket light in the space that he was able to use to illuminate his prints in an area that was essentially pitch black. 

    4. Have a transport plan. This saved my butt when we decided to pack all the frames into suitcases with plenty of stuffing to keep them all in place. Instead of having 10 opportunities to smash up a frame while carrying them in, they were all tucked safely into two giant suitcases that I could easily wheel & carry on the small streets and down a flight of stairs. 

    5. Ask a lot of questions. Sure, it may come off as slightly annoying, but it's better to know beforehand that drinks aren't included and food was limited to an hour. These are the important questions everyone attending, including myself, want to know. When the heck is food coming and will there be enough. We ended up making a giant cheese & cracker plate just in case, which people ended up making full out sandwiches out of (you know who you are).

    6. Don't piss a lot of people off. This one may seem silly, but hear me out on it. I used to have no problem cutting people out of my life and went by the motto of "may the bridges I burn light my way" for a few months there. Let me tell you how wrong this is. I find people constantly, that I would of never guessed, from my past that still look at my work. Now of course there's a time and a place to distance yourself from someone, but I've found keeping a light, friendly connection with as many people I come into contact with as possible ends up benefitting the most. I appreciate each and every person that came out to support me and my work, each of which I took the time to thank for being there, whether it meant a five minute subway ride or hour and a half train from Connecticut.

    7. Most importantly, have fun. Despite last-minute changes, worry that no one would show, or a too-tight dress that left me walking up and down the stairs sideways (which Jill promptly laughed at me for), I had a lot of fun. It was great seeing old and new faces, interacting and explaining various pictures, as well as just being in the moment. It was great to step back and see how well everything came together. 

    Shout-out to Nicole Mago for the images as well! 

    P.S. - Don't forget extra business cards! This one's tooootally not from experience or anything..

    XO,

    Cassidy

  • Kristy & Dave's Wedding

    Continuing on from my last post about Florida, the whole reason I was down in Jacksonville was for Kristy & Dave's wedding.

    So, I'll give you a bit of the back story to all this. Not only was I asked to attend, but also to be a part of the wedding. Uh oh. Fortunately, the dresses Kristy picked out for us were beautiful and everything was peachy. Until I found out I would have to be an usherette. Let's just say I spend a lot more time photographing weddings (well, not so much anymore) than I do partaking in them, which meant I had absolutely no idea what that meant.

    I found out later this meant actually interacting with people and seating them. So pulling up my figurative cowboy boots, in the world of weddings, you could say this was my first rodeo. Boy, was I not cut out for this. My former shy, 8th grade self emerged and I completely forgot which side the bride's family sat on for starters. The other usher was of no use at this point (I'm looking at you, Krisjon) as we both went down in history as the worst pair of greeters and seaters ever. 

    Fortunately, I was able to distract myself by grabbing my camera whenever possible. You'll have to bear with me here, I haven't shot a wedding in over two years. As things came back bit by bit, I found myself focusing on the emotional part of the wedding. Of course, this was a lot easier when I wasn't the hired photographer and worried about the set shots. So what I did get to see were my second cousin's nerves as they were lacing up her dress to David's genuine expression seeing her walking down the aisle towards him. It reminded me of why I used to love to shoot weddings, so here's to hoping I can get back into it this year. 

    Oh, if you guys only knew how incredible this woman is.

    Love you both and thank you again for letting me be a part of the wedding! Not only did I get to grow closer to one side of my family, but I met a lot of cool people along the way. Congrats guys!

  • Jacksonville, Florida

    Last weeked was some of the best couple of days I've had in awhile. Shivering in long term parking at JFK, I immediately regretted my decision to wear sandals in preparation for warmer weather. The airport was another monster entirely- everyone was unhappy and no one seemed to want to direct you to the right line. Finally, after a quick three hour plane ride, Florida was in sight. Cue slight breeze and sun at your back, we made it. I never really pick up my camera and explore anymore, so this long weekend was a great opportunity for just that.

    My mother's cousin lived in a beautiful gated community which provided me with a new obsession: Spanish moss. Oh, how I would move down South just to be surrounded by these beauties (okay, slight exaggeration, but it was incredible to see). 

    This place was incredible though, here are some of my favorite houses in the massive community.

    Of course I had to channel what a lot of my friends from Hallmark and I call our "inner Michael Zide" and grab some moody nature images. If you're reading this Zide, I hope you're at least a little proud. 

    Now what Florida trip would this be if we didn't go to the ocean? Of course it was overcast every day we spent there, but that didn't stop us from at least exploring the beach on the hunt for shark teeth. 

    Well, that's it for now! I'll be posting some images I took during the wedding, so until then! 

    -C

  • Leon @ MC2

    Whenever I get the chance to, I love to shoot in New York and Brooklyn. Despite lugging all my gear on Metro North, two subways, and up three flights of stairs, it always makes for the best days. Recently I had the chance of photographing Leon from MC2 Model Management. 

    This had to be one of the most laid-back shoots I've had to date. Everything (well, for the most part) ran smooth and Leon was game for some rooftop images despite the wind. 

    I've also learned from a few other photographers I've had the chance of assisting some of the struggles when shooting in cramped areas. I think the biggest lesson I have learned is how to assess, make adjustments, and just compromise. Let's just say you never know what may work as a backdrop.. 

  • Sounds of Silence

    As my 52 Weeks project has spanned out (which you can follow over on Flickr as well as Facebook), I've gone back and forth between conceptual portraiture and images that I just find plain beautiful. This week is no exception, after photographing a friend of mine (she's a photographer too) I found some of the images way too striking not to include in my project. 

    So I present to you, Week 10 - Sounds of Silence

    Any time I listen to that song now I picture a snowy day in Brooklyn where friend of mine sang this to no one in particular as we walked to the subway. He was absolutely dumbfounded I'd never listened to it before and I now understand his sentiment. The song came to me at just the right time. 

    I adored the painterly look these images seemed to have. I've started experimenting with continuous lighting and this is also one of my favorites from it. It also helps that Katie was freaking great, this quickly turned into a several hour long session as I got more excited with the outcome. 

    Sometimes when I start to get frustrated with various elements of a shoot, I go back to Phase One at Hallmark and throw the camera into black & white to eliminate a majority of distractions. I've found it helps an incredible amount with honing everything in to just focus on light and posing. As I was looking through them after, I found I really enjoyed this particular image as a monochromatic, so there you have it.