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Archive for the ‘About Life’ Category

Renovation – Part One

by Blake Robinson

September 13th, 2014    4 Comments     Add Comment
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We’re in the middle of a renovation of our house. Like most renovations, it started with a seemingly simple plan – let’s knock down the wall between our kitchen and family room, open the area up and replace our appliances.

Well the project has gotten bigger! It includes a whole new HVAC system for the first floor, all new furniture, a nifty audio/video/internet system, new hardwood floors, and a bunch of other goodies. But first – the view above features our current meal preparation options. We have a coffee pot and microwave in our dining room (and the old fridge in the garage), paper plates and plastic cups and forks. It works fine.

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We’re still in our dining room in this image. We have this snazzy plastic doorway with a zipper to keep the dust of the renovation out of the rest of the house. It works pretty well.

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The is view from our old kitchen space, now opened up to the family room.

 

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This is part of the kitchen design plan. The new kitchen extends into the family room a bit. As shown, we’ll have two islands.  These plans are hard for me to read, but I have every confidence that our builder knows how to read them! The general contractor is Brian Dean of Bryan and Brian.  Brian and all his subs are doing a terrific job for us.

 

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This is a side view, with the old kitchen space to the left and the family room to the right. The support beam that was installed where the old wall stood starts in the upper right corner. It is a sandwich of wood-steel-steel-wood, 17 feet long. I took a very long walk when they were getting this baby in place. You can see some of the crafty electrical and plumbing work in the ceiling – lots of stuff had to be rerouted.  About the only things is this photo I comprehend are the broom and the shovel.

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We have a lot of scenes like this. These wires will all find something useful to do before long, right Brian?

 

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This is the view from the family room looking back towards the old kitchen space. The pink sponge painting on the wall will be covered over with something more grownup in a few short weeks.

The view out to our backyard, below, remains the same. But now, we’ll be able to enjoy it from a more more comfortable and classy space.

Stay tuned for some pictures of everything finished – sometime in October.

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.
“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

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Find What You Love

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The two pictures in this post are of Megan, an aspiring model. Megan loves to model. During our recent shoot, it was rare that I captured her without a smile. She has found something she loves to do.

Find What You Love. I hope you will read this article by a British concert pianist. Then, please come back here! Find What You Love.

James Rhodes showed extraordinary courage and determination to pursue his passion.

For me, I took a somewhat different – and admittedly easier –  path. I retired early from the business world, without a clear idea of what I wanted to do next. I had always been an avid amateur photographer, so I took some photography courses at a local art school. One particular course, on studio lighting, really grabbed a hold of me. I want to do this! Without quite knowing how to proceed, I began to look for a studio and found my current space five years ago this month. I bought some studio lights and began to teach myself how to use them. While I took courses, workshops and private instruction from more experienced photographers, most of my training is self-taught. This is the hard way, but was the right path for me.

I absolutely love taking portraits of people – in the studio or any other location. It’s what gets me excited every morning. I work really hard to improve my skills and learn new techniques. In business, I didn’t have much of an opportunity to use the right side of the brain. I’m making up for lost time now – and having a ball. Right now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

There was a fork in the road for me. When I took that lighting course, I could have said, “Gee, that looks like fun, but I’m too old to start this now.” Or – “I’ll never be as good at this as the teacher – so why bother?” I give thanks every day that, somehow,  I took a leap of faith.

Have you found what you love? I hope so. Are you doing it? I hope so.  If not, is it time now to make that leap?

“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

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Be Positive: An Extraordinary Girl

Nicole is an extraordinary young woman indeed. This high school junior has a serious, life-threatening disease. She’s doing well now, but was very, very sick in the fall.

Nicole wears this pendant on her necklace: B+, Be Positive. From what I have leaned about Nicole and what I observed when I was photographing her in the studio, this is not just a nice idea for her – it’s a way of life. She is one confident, courageous and determined young lady. I’m sure her attitude has made all the difference in carrying her through these last few months. Nicole got her pendant from an extraordinary organization, The B+ Foundation, Inc. Check out their great work in supporting kids with cancer.

When she got her diagnosis in September, she cried in the doctor’s office, but has not cried once since.

Nicole is always smiling. This, of course, makes the photographer’s job easy. She was a joy to shoot with and has a wonderful easy and relaxed way about her.

I did catch one expression that was not an open smile. The family did not choose this image as one of their favorites, because it is so unlike Nicole NOT to be smiling. But I liked the picture because it shows her self-assurance and strength. Her blue eyes and gold nail polish are pretty awesome too!

You can read more about Nicole’s story on the Blythedale Children’s Hospital website, Nicole’s Miraculous Recovery. Be sure to see Nicole’s video at the bottom of the article.

 

The evening after our shoot, I got a note from Nicole’s mom, which read in part:

” It was the best medicine to spend 2 hours at Nicole’s photo shoot.  I could tell Nicole felt really at ease with you. The pictures are so beautiful. Thank you so much for taking time to create a beautiful keepsake for her.  I have lots of photos from this time — of Nic goofing around, of her getting chemo, with groups of friends — but none that truly capture her inner glow and spirit, which you have so artfully done.  She came home and was bursting to tell her friends about her adventure.  Moments like these are precious to me. I know we will always treasure Nicole’s photos.”

This is why I’m a portrait photographer. It’s a true blessing for me to take pictures of – and to get to know – inspiring people like Nicole. She and her family are in my prayers – this day and always.

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.