Karabots Pediatric Center for Children’s Hosptial

A satellite office of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pediatric Center provides primary health care services to the Children of West Philadelphia along with other community services. After the building was just opened, I shot a series of images for Children’s Hospital to use in one of their newsletters announcing the opening of the building. 

Wade Davis Dodgeball Game

Last December Wade Davis, former NFL player and executive director for the You Can Play Project, was in town to speak at  Philadelphia Fight’s 6th Annual Fight to Life Gala at the Philadelphia Union League. A few days before the gala, Davis participated in an epic dodgeball matchup between Fight’s Y-HEP staff and their youth clientele at Lloyd Hall along Kelly Drive. I was fortunate enough to capture all the action along with the camaraderie that took place in between games. Here’s a small taste of what went on:

Bella Grace Magazine

I was thrilled to have a feature in the winter edition of Stampington & Company’s Bella Grace magazine based on a blog post I originally wrote for Mortal Muses entitled 10 Tips for Shooting a Daily Photo Project. Bella Grace is a quarterly publication dedicated to discovering “magic in the ordinary,” and is printed on the most delicious thick paper, rarely seen in magazine publishing today. Truly the magazine feeds my thirst for beautiful writing, beautiful imagery and beautiful paper! I feel very honored to have my writing and images included in this edition!  

The Hours 2014

For the past 12 months, I’ve been a part of a photo collaboration called The Hours (complete with flickr group) alongside a wonderful group of Flickr contacts that go WAY BACK to my beginnings. We started our project at 7am, each one of us capturing a sacred moment in time between the hours of 7am and 8am, which was a serious stretch for this night owl! As the year progressed, so did the hour we documented shooting one photo a month, one hour at a time until reaching 6pm this December.

My project started at 7am clinging to hope that my dear friend Eric Zempol, lying in intensive care with two collapsed lungs, would pull through a bout with pneumonia that eventually took his life less than a week later. I remember not being able to sleep and capturing this image out my bathroom window shortly after the sun had risen.

Minutes before the hour turned in February, I captured my 8am photo on yet another snowy morning from the winter of 2014. My dog Major looked up at me after coming inside from forging his way through the snow in our city back yard waiting for me to dry him off. You can see more images from this shoot in my Stocksy United portfolio.

My friend Eric Zempol’s favorite flower was the sunflower, and in March we celebrated his life at Drexel University where he was an associate professor. Everyone walked away from his memorial with a sunflower in hand and stories of Eric on our lips. I was honored to give a short eulogy talking about our time together while working as graphic designers at Disc Makers in Pennsauken, NJ.

Since we lived around the corner from one another in Old City Philadelphia, Eric and I carpooled to work for most of the 2 1/2 years I worked there, plotting out travels and future dreams. Eric was one of my biggest supporters when I quit that job to travel around the world in 1999 and later of my 2nd career as a photographer. As a teacher and entrepreneur, he always had words of encouragement for my writing and my classes. I miss him every day and think of him often, but this photo reminds me that a huge group of people from all walks of life came together to laugh and cry over a dear friend that touched all of us deeply.

April saw me visiting our favorite produce shop in the 10 O’Clock hour in Spring complete with daffodils waiting to be purchased in the foreground with my husband as a bokeh figure in the background. Sunday mornings around this time is our preferred hour to visit this spot!

For 11am, I captured Major once again on squirrel patrol in our back yard. I’d just received a complimentary copy of Totally Rad’s Replichrome II presets for a review that I wrote for Mortal Muses and fell in love with pops of color all over again!

In June, I was busy shooting and editing photos from AIDS Education Month for my client Philadelphia Fight. My noontime image was shot was taken at this past year’s Prevention Summit with the AIDS timeline in the Philadelphia Convention Center.

June also saw our facebook group reach 1000 likes! We celebrated with a week of amazing giveaways for our community. Check out the page if you haven’t already and “like” us! I know every contributor will appreciate it!

As a child, my mother always had “Hens and Chicks” in her garden, so this year I tried my hand at planting a few in mine! The ones I’d planted the previous year hadn’t done that well. Hopefully these babies will make it through the winter and keep on producing. You can see how beautiful they were in my 1pm image from July. This image along with another are availale in my Stocksy United portfolio.

2pm in August was very much like 1pm in July: spending time in my urban garden. Only this time, I showcased last year’s showstopper, a volunteer heirloom pumpkin! Unfortunately powerdery mildew or the squirrels killed every budding pumpkin that grew including this one, but we had lots of fun imagining the possibilities as the vine grew around most of the garden! You can learn more about my 2pm shots in this Hours Blog Post.

In September we headed up to Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains for a weekend visit where I took this 3pm shot of Rodger, a mini-Australian Shepherd and Major’s best friend!

October was spent traveling around South Africa for three weeks visiting family and friends. On our way to visit dear friends in the Itala Game Reserve, we stopped through a sleepy little town called Wakkastroom where we’ve owned a small plot of land for about 10 years. Every visit we look forward to driving through and enjoying lovely scenes like this. Wakkastroom, which means “wake-up” stream in Afrikaans, is a very quiet country-living town. It’s situated on the edge of a marshland fed by a stream & is a big birding site as several species come through in their migration patterns. I captured this iPhone image while driving around looking for a guest house that could accommodate us.

By 5pm in November, light was getting scarce and shooting with my camera in natural light was becoming less of a possibility, so I captured this image at sunset one evening from my front stoop after a dog walk.

And finally, I close my year out at 6pm while celebrating Winter Solstice. For the past three years, my husband and I have been holding a Winter Solstice releasing ceremony. We write out all the things we want to leave behind by candlelight from that year and then burn them symbolically on the solstice when we light up many candles, burn incense and then celebrate the return of light and longer nights. Winter officially began at 6:02 pm, so it couldn’t have been timed better for my photo.

(There is a different photo up on the blog for 6pm, but this is the one I would have chosen if I’d managed to send it in before leaving for the holidays. I used an iPhone photo from Christmas instead for the blog.)

And that’s 2014 across The Hours! I’m so happy to have been a part of this year’s collaboration, and although I won’t be participating next year, I know I’ll be following along to see where 2015 takes my fellow photographers and friends.

View all photos from the hours on our website: http://thehours.org/

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