The Nobility of the Common Person-Philadelphia Portrait Photographer

The Nobility of the Common Person

In 2015, I was asked by real estate firm Elfant Wissahickon to come to an organization in Germantown to take a photo of the (its) partners presenting a check (to a local business). I packed up my gear and headed out on a very hot day in May.
 
As I backed out of the driveway, I noticed the landscapers had missed a huge area of mulch and had done a sloppy job of cutting the grass. I then stopped to get a coffee and to fill up my car with gas and started on a journey that I thought would last about 45 minutes.
 
I arrived at an old community center in the Germantown section of Philadelphia and sat in my car waiting to see a familiar face. Once I saw the real estate partners, I locked my car and headed up the stairs that lead to a sign that read FACE TO FACE. We were greeted by the director, Mary Kay, who lead us down the hall  and then into the dining room where I would set up. Distracted by the task at hand, I began to set up my gear, paying little heed to my surroundings. I composed the photo which would  soon show the giving and receiving of the generous 30,000.00 check. 
 
With these preparations finished, I looked around Face to Face for the first time. I saw the dining room filled with staff, volunteers and clients. I was amazed to see that just a few miles from my home was such a vibrant community of people actively supporting and being supported by each other.
 
I arrived back home  but couldn’t get this organization and the people I met that day out of my thoughts. It made the minor inconveniences that in my life feel all the more trivial. A few days later I began to research more about Face to Face.  I learned that Face to Face isn’t just a meal service; they offer many services, from counseling to health care and legal help. Their philosophy was beautifully explained by their powerful mission statement: “Face to Face works to meet the basic human needs and reduce the suffering of those in our community.  With hospitality we provide a safe environment and practical tools, which enable people in Germantown to confront personal challenges, empower their lives, and fulfill their unique potential.”
 
Time passed and then in March 2016, through sheer coincidence, I happened to watch Mary Kay Meeks on the local news. She ended the interview by saying a phrase that has stuck with me: The Nobility of the Common Person.  It gave me an idea.   I wanted to take some photos of the people of Face to Face so that this organization could use sell them at their annual fundraiser, a donation of sorts. I reached out to Mary Kay and we went back and forth for a few weeks trying to organize it.  For a number of reasons, it seemed like it just wasn’t going to work out. Weeks lead to months and this project fell to the bottom of the to do list.
 
New years Day 2017, I ran into Bob Elfant and we chatted about Face to Face. He urged me to follow up again. This time, the circumstances needed to make this project happen were right. As it has grown to fruition, this project has become incredibly impactful and important to me. I hope you enjoy this collection of images, The Nobility of the Common Person.

If you are interested in making a donation to Face to Face please visit this link:

Wish List

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Sweet! Philadelphia Wedding and Event Photography

Woodmere Cake Show- Sweet Inspiration

Woodmere Art Museum hosted local cake artists Sweet Inspiration, in their beautiful museum.

This year’s theme was based on the stunning children’s book illustrations by Philadelphia artist, Charles Santore, for books such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the Wizard of Oz, Snow White and more. Ten of the Philadelphia area’s top cake artists created whimsical cakes inspired by one of the illustrations of their choice, and the results were spectacular cakes highlighting the artistry of cake decorating.

There was a fun and fabulous opening reception, where each cake artist had a chance to describe their cake and some of the advanced cake decorating techniques they used, as well as what inspired them about the illustration they used as the basis for their cakes.

Satin Ice, which is made in the USA and exported to over 65 distributors worldwide, Satin Ice has a long running history of being the professional’s choice for premium quality fondant and gum paste. Check out the Satin Ice’s blog post about the event:

http://www.satinice.com/fondant-blog/sweet-inspiration

Ella Vanilla
7922 Germantown Avenue
Chestnut Hill • Philadelphia, PA 19118
(215) 909-9392
Info@EllaVanilla.com

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Philadelphia Children’s Portrait Photographer• Booking Holiday Mini Sessions Now!

Last Minute Addition!
This Sunday after Thanksgiving
November 26th 12pm to 4 pm.

 

2017 Holiday Mini Sessions! 

How would you like to get this year’s holiday
cards done in 15 minutes?
 
THIS Sunday Nov.26th & Saturday Dec. 9th
Chestnut Hill Studio
 
$150.00- Due at Booking
Your choice of three fun backdrops
Digital Gallery & Print Release
Now Booking
*Kids Only- Family Sessions still available
brianjamesphotostudio@gmail.com
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Rockefeller Center Wedding • New York City • Stephen & Edurado

On Sept. 30 at 620 Loft & Garden, an event space at Rockefeller Center in New York my dear friends Eduardo and Stephen were married. Dave & I were able to spend some special time with the happy couple as they got ready. I was so happy to capture some very special moments at the Palace Hotel and the walk to the gorgeous venue. #smevwedding

 

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Philadelphia, PA Headshot Photography • Lauren

Lauren is a natural in front of the camera! Here are a few of our favorites from her headshot session.

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Frank Furness home in East Mt. Airy from 1885 asks $615K

Yep, that’s a Furness all right

This large home at 7318 Boyer Street in East Mt. Airy stands out with its whimsical exterior, a mishmash of Victorian stick style and Queen Anne architecture. It all makes sense though once it’s learned that Frank Furness was the brains behind the design.

The 3,400-square-foot house was designed by the local architect in 1855 and built by Francis Innes Gowen & the Tourison Brothers as part of the Gowen Estate. The period architecture is evident from the get-go and the home’s bottom half is wrapped Wissahickon Schist stone.

Behind the front dutch door are hardwood floors, French doors, big bay windows, and original fireplaces, including one that features Henry Mercer tiles. There are also two side porches on this level, including a screened-in sunroom and an open deck off the updated kitchen that looks over the property’s big backyard.

Full article here:

https://philly.curbed.com/2017/10/3/16408856/mt-airy-home-for-sale

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Philadelphia Family Portrait Photographer• Booking Fall Sessions Now!

Happy Fall Everyone!

We are now booking Family Sessions for Fall Portraits! 
Holiday Themed  Studio Sessions will be Schedule from November 15th through December10th 2017. 
 
Full Sessions 
During our session we will take several photos that I will edit and send to you via a link for you to view. You will receive a digital gallery of images and select your favorites. You can order prints directly form the site or download the files and have them printed at a service of your choice. 
50% deposit required
Print release included 
 
Packages
Family Plus Session- One Family 
$375.00- Approximately 45 minutes  
Group Sitting, Shots of individual Children and a Sibling Pose, time permitting. 
Studio or Locations Available
Digital gallery 
 
Extended Family Plus Session- 
$675.00- 90 Minutes 
Session will include an Extended Family Group pose, Individual Families pose, individual child/children poses, and sibling, cousin pose etc. 
Studio or Locations Available 
Digital gallery 
 
Make an Appointment Today!!
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Philadelphia, PA Headshot Photography • Alley C

Look out for Alley!  Personality plus in this pint sized performer!  If you know Alley she deserves that alliteration.  A Summer Stars kid who I felt like I knew forever in just a few moments of meeting her and her sweet mom! 

 

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Philadelphia Portrait Photographer• Red Carpet Premeire for Face to Face

Come out to Support an amazing organization, Face to Face of Germantown. There is a new documentary being screened and  my photos of the staff, clients and volunteers will be on display in the lobby before and after the screening!
October 5th at the
Historic Ambler Theatre
7:00 – 9:00 pm
 
Join us for a short film showcasing the challenges, mission, and people of Face to Face, produced and directed by Villanova University’s Steve McWilliams, Ph.D. and adjunct professor Matt Marencik.
 
Whether you are an old friend or new to Face to Face, you will learn  about our work, the community that we serve and our exciting plans for the future. We encourage all guests to bring a friend, neighbor, or family member with them.  You can forward this message to them by clicking on “Forward this email” at the bottom of this page. 
 
Popcorn, snacks, and drinks will be provided.
 
Reserve your Tickets here:
 https://www.eventbrite.com/e/red-carpet-documentary-premiere-tickets-37336686033
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Philadelphia, PA Headshot Photography • Katelyn D

Had the pleasure of meeting this recent college graduate in Rochester this summer.  KAtelyn was a Summer Stars Intern at Rochester Broadway Theatre League, Resident Assistant at Fredonia Office of Residence Life and Owner at The Transpository.

Here are some of our favorite looks. Best of luck to you Katelyn!

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