I know I haven't posted anything new in a while, but that's because I am currently working on a brand new website with a new attached blog and lots of new work! Look out for some new site features and a whole new look for Kate Mullen Photo!
As a photographer, I think it's really important to capture moments and that is what I try to do anytime I pick up my camera. Time moves so quickly and that is especially true with children. If you blink you could miss what feels like a whole lifetime of these moments. Posed pics are great, but I also think that candids are equally important because they give us insight in to who the subject is. You get to see some personality and what they like (for these 2, Dr. Seuss is a big hit!) When working with kids, I think the best way to capture those really organic smiles and "kid" moments and personalities is just to let them run around and be themselves, so that's what we did here. I had the best time with these two! They just turned 1 and 2, respectively, so they had lots of energy and they were just so adorable and so much fun. We had some props and snacks, and a few different outfits to try on, but I really just let them do their own thing and snapped away. They were so good and so cute, I could have easily taken a million pictures; I definitely look forward to watching them grow and photographing them through out all the different stages of their lives. I think that I captured some really great moments with both kids (and one or two with Mom and Dad as well- I couldn't resist!) I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them! Above and below are 3 of my favorites from the day, but please check out their full gallery HERE.
I've known Kayla's mom since elementary school, so I was very excited to meet and work with her teenage daughter. At first glance, it is obvious how beautiful Kayla is- her hair, her skin, those baby blues. But she is also so much more; she is kind and playful, smart and ambitious with just a hint of that 13-year-old, ready to take on the world attitude. In short, she is awesome! I knew from our first meeting she was going to be great in front of the camera and I was right. She was ready to go from the minute I started snapping. She was not afraid to smile and have fun, but she was also not afraid of being quiet and strong and taking a deep breath to just be there in the moment. Not many adults can pull that off without awkwardness and Kayla was a total pro. It's awesome because in certain shots, we get to see the true teenager, but then at times its her maturity that really shines. See for yourself; take a look at the rest of Kayla's gallery HERE.
I know I posted a sunset pic yesterday, but somehow I didn't think anyone would mind seeing 2 in a row, especially considering how ridiculous this sky is. This was taken in the middle of my trip this summer on my friend's ranch in Gardnerville, Nevada. I absolutely LOVED the time I spent in the desert, surrounded by animals and the mountains and I can't wait to go back. Everywhere you look, there is something beautiful or huge or amazing. Every sunset looks like a watercolor painting and I was lucky enough to capture so many amazing images while I was out there. I am excited to share them all with you once I finish editing! Enjoy day 3 of my Work in Progress week!
Day 2 of my Work in Progress Week is exactly what the title says: a San Francisco sunset. This is taken from Nob's Hill on the first leg of my West Coast Adventure this summer. San Francisco is a beautiful place, even in the hustle and bustle of the city; add the orange glow of the sun setting and you're guaranteed to capture something beautiful.
I know it's been awhile since I posted anything new. The truth is I have been really busy! I enlisted the help of a photo instructor to push me to the next level, technically and artistically, so I have been working really hard and learning A LOT. I've also done a bit of traveling, which means there are lots of new pics coming your way. Since I am learning all sorts of new editing tricks as well, the process is a lot more involved and it takes longer now for me to edit even one photo. I know with practice and time, the process will become easier and more second nature, but until then, please bear with me as the site is officially a "work in progress." That said, I wanted to show a little bit of what I have been up to lately, so every day this week, I will show one of my newer pics with a brief description.
Up first is this shot taken at Mono Lake in CA. It was about 100 degrees (no joke) and the sun was about as bright as it could be, which proved a bit of a challenge setting up this shot, but I think I was able to capture the true feel of the place even over-bathed in light; its pretty amazing actually. These structures called "tufa" which look like sandcastles, are all over the place and, I think, resemble ruins from some kind of ancient, salty, limestone-y world. VERY COOL. If you are ever in Eastern CA, check this place out. You will not be disappointed!
Boston is my home. I was born here, grew up here, and after a brief 6 years away, came back, because I knew in my heart that I belonged here. Today my heart is sad for Boston, for my family, my friends, and especially for the victims of the Marathon bombings and their families. By now, everyone knows what happened at the finish line of the most prestigious marathon in the world. By now, we know there are over 100 injured and at least 3 dead, including an 8-year-old child. By now, we've seen the images of the tragedy: the smoke in the air, the blood on the sidewalks, people running scared, and S.W.A.T. cars trolling the streets. This is not what was supposed to happen; this is not what Boston was supposed to look like on one of its most anticipated and celebrated days of the year. But it did happen. And those streets are stained with innocent blood. And it's a tragedy.
Tonight, rather than focusing on my fear or anger, or looking for someone to blame, I am going to focus all my energy on sending out as much LOVE as I can to the people hurt and affected by today's events and to the first responders and good samaritans who did everything they could to help. There's plenty of time to feel all of those other things, and I know I will feel them on other days, but tonight, I am putting my arms around my city because it's what my city needs.
I took these pictures last summer on a weekday afternoon. I was on my way home from work on my regular route and I decided to stop and pull into one of the lots I pass every day. It was on the water, so I figured it would be fun to explore. What I found was something pretty cool- a nautical scene reminiscent of a shipwreck out of a pirate movie (sidebar: I love pirates). Granted there was no actual ship present, but the way the old fence was distorted and covered in seaweed, it reminded me of a shipwreck, so I decided to photograph it as such. I love the lighting and the colors that came through and I always love anything nautical. This was a simple shoot right in my back yard, but one I find very beautiful all the same. That's the thing I love about art. It doesn't have to be complicated to be enjoyable and you don't have to go very far to find it; you just have to be willing to see the beauty in everything around you :) TO ENJOY THE BEAUTY OF THIS SHOOT, CLICK HERE!
Here is a sneak peek at one of my upcoming galleries. Stay tuned for more to come!
After my experience photographing the old Medfield State Hospital last year, I became very intrigued with abandoned buildings and the stories held within the crumbling walls and grounds. It also made me feel a sort of obligation to make sure that the history, no matter how horrific, and the people who were forced to live there are never forgotten. Last weekend, a friend and I drove out to western Massachusetts to check out the Belchertown State School "for the feeble-minded" and see if what we heard was true- that it was haunted. I should give some background on the "school", which actually had nothing at all to do with education or learning. The difference between these types of schools and an asylum is that they were for those who were deemed "mentally defective" as opposed to mentally ill. Mental deficiency was the term used to describe mentally and physically disabled people at the time the school opened back in 1922, which is the reason I use it here. Also, this school admitted children, many of whom would spend their entire lives locked away or strapped to beds here.
To the outside world, the school and staff at the Belchertown School were legitimate, taking care of the patients left within their care. People sent their children here, unaware of the harsh conditions and the inhumane treatment waiting for them behind closed doors. The school operated without any issues or questions from the outside until the 1970's, when a newspaper article brought to light the horrendous treatment of the patients and the decrepid state of the school. It was finally closed down in 1992, after several lawsuits and 70 years of harm done to innocent people. I will spare the details of the lawsuits and the treatment of the patients, as I don't think it is appropriate for me to share here.
Needless to say, it is terrible to think about the horrors these people had to endure and the fact that people in the medical field would ever think it was okay to hurt the people they took an oath to protect. I am continuously blown away by the way we treated and at times continue to treat each other because of ignorance.
Back to present day- I was expecting that the place would feel creepy and unsettling when we got there and I was right. It was quite chilly with a dusting of snow on the ground, but we were determined to explore, hoping to get into one of the buildings and see for ourselves what was left behind. We explored the grounds for about an hour and a half and, as you will see in the accompanying gallery, we found a few buildings with open doors and we did bravely venture in, though not all the way, as it was very dark down the hallways and super creepy. We wandered to one of the further corners of the property and heard lots of noises coming from one of the other empty buildings, but were not willing to head in even though we saw the door ajar. The sun was going down and the full moon- yes I said full moon- was rising, so we decided we would check out that particular building next time in daylight...and preferably with a few other people. We followed the moonlight back to my car and knew that something was definitely going on there. It wasn't until later that night when I checked out my photos, that I realized how interesting this shoot really was.
A few days ago, I posted a picture of my friend looking into an open building. I posed the question "What's he looking at?" Well, that photo was taken in Belchertown and if you check out the rest of the gallery, you will see exactly what showed up in my photo taken through that cutout...it's strange because I used no flash and there was no glass in the window to reflect anything. Also, curious- it only showed up in 2 of the pictures I took in a matter of minutes in the same exact space. You can decide for yourself what you think you see. Personally, I have no idea, but it's interesting nonetheless.
Stay tuned...the answer will be in one of this week's posts!
This beautiful little face belongs to Maeve, the daughter of two of my close friends. I absolutely adore her and could not resist the urge to take a few photos last weekend when I was visiting with them. As soon as we had some playtime together, I grabbed my camera and started snapping. I love impromptu shoots like these because that's when you catch those little everyday moments which, I think, are just as precious as those big ones (particularly when the moment involves someone you love as much as I love Maeve!) To check out the rest of our playdate, click here!
[gallery type="slideshow" ids="1424,1421,1423"] This past October, I visited Hanover, NH for the day with a friend. It happened to be the 50th Anniversary of the Hopkins Center of the Arts (HOP) at Dartmouth College, of which we were unaware until we heard music playing in the square. It was dark and we were exploring some of the old buildings, so it startled us; it sounded like it was coming right out of the sky. We thought it might be some kind of performance, so we followed the music and it led us to the HOP. There was a video being projected right on the building itself. It was a piece called Five Windows by a British artist named Ross Ashton. There are a few segments to the video, capturing dance and colors and then there was a segment of geometric shapes and blueprints of the building being built up and deconstructed. It was very cool. It played on a loop throughout the night and we found ourselves repeatedly drawn to the exhibit, along with countless other interested spectators, including the couple in this series of photos. I tried to capture the final 3 frames of the video as it tore across the screen until there was nothing left. I edited the series to coincide with the movement of the original piece and I have to say, I kind of like it!
I consider myself very lucky in the friend department, but there is definitely a top-tier of people who I truly can not imagine my life without. Eddie is unquestionably one of them. We met in middle school in chorus; we both loved music and were frequent soloists, so even though we were a year apart in school, we got to know each other at rehearsals and hanging out after school singing around the piano. We stayed friends in high school through singing and theatre and kept in touch when we went away to college. It was during college that we became very close. We just started hanging out when we were both home on breaks and it turned into one of the best friendships I could ever hope for. We have so much fun together and we appreciate each other's quirks and share the same sense of humor (we always joke that most people would run like hell if they knew what was really going on inside our heads). We really understand each other and we are always there for each other, no matter what. We are completely honest and are always there to lend an ear or tell an inappropriate joke if the situation needs one. In short, he is like my platonic other half and I am very lucky to have him in my life.
Eddie has alway been so supportive of everything I want to do in my life, and particularly with my interest in photography. We have been taking pictures together for years, long before I had any interest in actually doing anything with photography. We usually take about 30 of the same picture because we can never agree on one where we both look good. Because we are so close and so comfortable with each other, he is one of my favorite subjects to photograph. He is interesting and handsome and we genuinely have fun during shoots so I always look forward to them. We lived in different states for the last 13 years, but now we finally live in the same state, so we are having a blast hanging out and taking pictures all over the place! The pictures in his gallery are collected from a few different locations and times. The gallery starts in Humarock Beach in Marshfield, MA over the summer, then to Hanover, NH in the fall, and ends in Duxbury, MA this December. I imagine this the first of many galleries of Eddie, so get used to him!
Lauren is the owner/ illustrator of Calm Courage Design. I am a big fan of her work, as it is both introspective and personal as well as whimsical and imaginative. She does prints, buttons, magnets, and she takes requests (seriously, people, if you want it, she will draw it!) I highly suggest you check out her blog and her Etsy site or "like" Calm Courage on Facebook for updates and a peek at new works in progress. I was psyched when Lauren contacted me to do headshots, based on some of my other work. Being new to the game, so to speak, I felt really honored that someone whose work I love, would choose me to photograph her . She is a long time blogger and artist, but like me, has only recently taken the step of showing and selling her work. We, budding artists/entrepreneurs need to stick together and support each other! I mean that whole heartedly and I was really excited to work with her. We got together one afternoon and did a few indoor shots to get comfortable and then took it outside, where her personality really came out.
Lauren definitely has a quiet, earthy, thoughtful side, but bubbling underneath (and often running over) is someone who is slightly quirky and loves to have fun and laugh and I am thankful that she trusted me and let me see and photograph these different parts of her personality. We had a great day and she was a real trooper, even when it got chilly and started to rain; she just went with the flow and embraced the outdoors and it worked! We even incorporated some of her work into a few pics, so keep an eye out and remember to check out Calm Courage Design for Lauren's blog and art. You won't be dissapointed!
I recently attended a close friend's wedding on the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico. It was such a wonderful trip and not just because of the beautiful island or amazing resort where we stayed (Thank you W! ) but because of the people who were there and the love we were there to celebrate. It felt like an extended family of 33 and it was perfect. There are plenty of pics to come but here is one of my personal favorites. It features Shannon (sister of my friend, one of the grooms) at the welcome BBQ down on the beach! I think it really captures the fun spirit of the night and the excitement of what was to come. I am calling this shot "All Grown Up" because I met Shannon many years ago when she was a young teenager. We were always buddies in passing, as I was always sleeping on the family couch during college breaks, and I always thought she was cute and fun but she has grown into such a beautiful, wonderful woman who is supportive and loving to her family and friends which is the best way to be. She is also a lot of fun (just like her brother) which is another reason why I love this shot. I loved getting to know Shannon all over again, and all grown up :)
I have a vivid memory of a younger me riding my mustard yellow bike with flowered banana seat, basket, and bell, barefoot, in a bathing suit down the hill outside my house. While it's not exactly the safest sounding activity, it was fun and it was how I spent most of my summertime when I wasn't playing soccer or near some body of water somewhere. It was the 80's and it was what we all did. My neighborhood was full of kids and hence, full of bikes. I think that growing up in the suburbs, riding bikes was our first chance at real independence and freedom and it was awesome. We rode everywhere: to each other's houses, around the block, and eventually, when we were old enough, to the pond down the street. Our parents trusted us to go in groups and they trusted that when we were out of eyesight, the other parents in the neighborhood were looking out for us. It makes me sad that kids nowadays aren't afforded those same freedoms and opportunities. Sure, they can still ride bikes in their driveways and with their parents, but it's not the same as going off in a group of your friends to your secret forts or spots from dawn to dusk on a summer day. The world is a different, scarier place for parents and they have to take precautions. I understand it, but I just feel bad for today's kids because those are some of my most cherished days and memories. The bike in this photo is so reminiscent of those old bikes we used to ride and of the freedom of summers past, I wanted to relive those days in a quick post with all of you.
One of my favorite things about growing up in Plymouth, MA was having an ocean within 10 minutes of my house. As a kid, my summers were spent either on the beach or doing something beach related. To me, nothing says summer like a sailboat in the middle of the sun drenched ocean. I snapped this photo the other day on the water taxi from Boston to Salem right before sunset. I love the sun, bursting behind the clouds in a last-ditch effort to be seen as the sky beneath is just beginning to change color, and the sailboat, taking advantage of this solitary moment with the water. What a wonderful way to spend a late afternoon. In my opinion this image epitomizes the end of a summer day in the Northeastern US and the best of what I remember about growing up here! Where are you from and what do you remember most about your childhood summers?
In honor of America's birthday, I thought I would share a pic of one of America's most recognizable symbols, the stars and stripes. I hope you all enjoy a safe and sparkly holiday. Happy 4th Everyone! Sidenote: This photo was taken at the JFK Library. It's a fantastic Museum and I highly recommend a visit if you've never been (or if you just haven't been in a while!)