Friday, December 28, 2007

'Tis the Season...

...To get on a plane, bus, train or ship, and come visit NYC. I am in Rockefeller Center just about every day and I can tell you that I have never seen it more crowded that in the last few days. The big tree captures most people, like a tractor beam and they fight to be free and find other treasures.
Today people were absolutely enthralled with the Zamboni at the Rock Center Rink. They ooohed and aaahed as it magically skimmed the ice and then the driver tucked it back into it's cubby hole.
As soon as the all clear rang out, the ice was filled to capacity with skaters possessing all levels of balance. You know how drunk people think they can fight like Mike Tyson? Well, I have come to the conclusion that the tourists have decided that upon entering the 5 boroughs, they magically turn in to Brian Boitano. And folks, I have got to tell you, sometimes it is down right entertaining. Mark my words, seeing Blades of Glory on the airplane does NOT mean you can do a triple axel without tasting the ice.

I will grab a sandwich and people watch, maybe talking with some tourists with questions about what to see, where to go and what to eat.

Other than talking with folks from far away places I watch how people take pictures. It is a torturing experience for me because the photojournalist in me wants to just observe them and learn their story, while the photographer in me wants to coach them...just move a little lower and to the right...thats it, now wait 5 seconds until the big guy in the white shirt out of the shade...the shirt will bounce a bunch of light in your daughters face and really make it stand out from the tree in the background.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas time in NY

Well, it is about that time...we are coming down to the wire. Hordes of merry folks are flocking to see the big tree in Rockefeller Center. If you go to join them, take a moment and look for the amazing NY scenes that most folks miss. They are everywhere!
I finally got my Sony K790A linked to my blog, so you will start to see a lot more images that has little or no text. The Cameraphone takes great images (for a cameraphone) but I hate typing on the little keypad, so I will let the images do the talking.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Six Weeks Until My Life Changes Forever !

Only Six Weeks Left!

My Wife and I have our first bun in the oven and she is almost done baking. In late January, we will be having our first child.
We are so excited we are silly about it. This quick snap doesn't quite do her justice because I have never seen my Wife more beautiful.

Even this late in the game, my Wife is not slowing down and vows to keep working until the last. When not playing marketing guru, she is domestic goddess extraordinaire. She went nuts cooking for Thanksgiving, and this year Festivus falls on New Years Eve, so we are combining parties and she is gearing up for entertaining a house full of friends.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Ok, we hope it isn't shocking actually. But walking the streets of New York, you do come across some interesting views. After a rash of electrical mishaps where traffic signal poles and manhole covers seem to be mysterically electrified, I thought this just screamed "FIX ME".

51 St between Broadway and 6th Ave.

And you thought the cop car in Transformers was HOT!

I always thought the the hot cars used on shows like Miami Vice (wow, I am showing my age here, huh?) were bogus. Cops don't get to drive around in Ferraris....or maybe they do.
Walking around NYC today I saw a nice ride. Somehow, somebody very important gets a ride in a Rolls Royce with Mount Vernon Police tags.
Obviously on official Police business as the car was parked at a hydrant on 6th Ave.
Maybe the Maybach is in the shop?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

(Back to) The Grind

I love great coffee. For me, that means hanging out at The Grind in Bellmore. I frequently feature my landscape images there and rotate a gallery with other local artists.

I will be hanging my hat there for the next two weeks. Please stop by for a variety of prints that let you see through my eyes.

They are on Merrick Road, next to the firehouse.
2975b Merrick Rd, Bellmore, NY 11710

Anna & Zoltan's Wedding in the woods

Ok, the Wedding was not actually in the woods. It was in a beautiful Hungarian Church in New Jersey, but the reception was at Camp Greenkill, in Hugenot, NY. The camp is at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains and is a lakeside rustic retreat (think more ski lodge than tents).

I was one of only a handful of folks on site who can not speak Hungarian, and of course most of the night was in Hungarian, so it made for some interesting conversations to say the least. The guests spent the night in bungalow lodges overlooking the lake, and the reception was at the main lodge, on top of the hill. The stars were out and the sky was a deep black, which is a rarity for my eyes to see in the light pollution of Long Island.

The stone fireplaces were roaring and in such a rustic setting the ambiance was right for romance. Even though the toasts and speeches were in Hungarian, I didn't need to understand the words to see the emotions expressed. What a wonderful family you both now have!

Now I am used to working long days, but when I heard about Midnight Stuffed Cabbage, I knew these Hungarians knew how to party! When many guests were too pooped to drink and dance, trays of home made stuffed cabbage came out at Midnight, providing a much needed second wind for all.

Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed...

OK, Maybe not bushy tailed but in spite of consuming copious amounts of home made Hungarian hooch, Anna and Zoli made it to the lake for some early AM photo ops the next morning.

After a few great shots with a woodlands backdrop, they spent the Morning enjoying the scenic countryside before heading on a plane, back to the Old Country.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Canstruction? What's that?

Each year my wife is active in something called Canstruction. The basic premise is that various corporate sponsored teams design and build sculptures from cans of food, that they donate themselves and/or gather from a sponsor. The hours that go into these things is unbelievable!
Canstruction 07 is over in NY, but check the website to see when it comes near you, and how you can get involved. The food really helps out some folks who could use it and it is a lot of fun in the process.
The area highlighted in green, is a smaller crop of the photo, so you can more easily see the image made up by the cans.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Weekend in Philly (Contd)

After an amazing meal at Buddakan, we walked around Old Town and stumbled upon Beneluxx. They may just be the trifecta of foods I love. Like their sister tavern a few blocks away, specializes in Belgian beer. They have tons of hand crafted ales by the ounce in these cool beaker glasses, so you can try a little of everything.

They also have my two other favorite foods (what? Beer is food, there is nutrition in it.). They have over 20 different types of chocolate and 30 cheeses!

If you ask Mr. Rutter nicely, he will even pair flights of beer with cheese or chocolate.
This may just be my new favorite place. If you are in Philly, check this place out:

While in Philly...

I had my wife come down on Friday afternoon and we spend the weekend down there for our Anniversary. Philly is a really great city, with so much to do. I also found it very walkable. Somehow, that did not stop us from taking the double decker bus tour.
We also found some great restaurants, like Buddakan and Continental. Through a friend of a friend (You know who you are and we appreciate it SO MUCH!) we got in for Saturday night dinner at Buddakan on only a few days notice. The ambiance, service and food were perfect! They also had a very nice flight of Sake.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Off to Philly...

I am in Philly this week for Phase III of the FINRA CRCP certificate at Wharton. Aside from the whimsy and joy of discussing SEC statutes in microscopic detail, it is actually really a great program. A three year program, the CRCP is a way to wrap up my 14 years of securities work, boil it down to it's essence and exchange ideas with other compliance and regulatory professionals about the methods and insights used to protect your investments.

Not sure if you are on the right blog? You are.
One of the reasons I provide such strong value as a photographer is that I am doing it because I truly am passionate about it and want to make your event images something you will enjoy for decades. I am well capitalized, so I can offer a package that really fits what most couples need and not push things they don't. That capital also means I don't take shortcuts to save a buck and can use the best equipment for the specific images.

Not that securities law is not fun....

Friday, October 26, 2007

Poughkeepsie (Cont)

Up to Poughkeepsie...

Up to Poughkeepsie for the Baptism of the Daughter of our good friends, Faith & Brian.
Sophia is a cutie and they just look so happy holding her, that I had to snap a pic.

Monday, October 15, 2007

New England in the Fall

My Wife and I make it a point to get a away for 4 long weekends a year, no matter what. Call it couples recharging or alone time, we call it an MMP. Marriage Maintainence Plan. No phones, no internet, no work, no distractions. The rules are go somewhere we have never been and focus on each other. This fall we decided to check out New England.

Wednesday night, we drive from Long Island to the Boston suburbs and spend the evening with the Grandparents. The older I get, the more I realize that the best parts of me come from my Grandfather. My wife might argue that my sense of humor and stubbornness come from him too, but I think it’s a fair trade.

Thursday we are NH bound. The folks who bring you “Live Free or Die” are fond of 50 cent tolls. We drove by mile after mile of beautiful countryside displaying nature’s fireworks, the fall foliage, in spite of the rain. We spent the afternoon wandering quaint towns like North Conway and Silver Lake and the evening enjoying the fireplace at the Cabernet Inn.

Friday we take a ride on one of the last operating steam trains in the US on the Conway Scenic Railway. Perhaps it was due to the rain, but we had the first class Parlor car Gertrude Emma to ourselves and spent a good deal of time on the back porch marveling at the spectacular, if damp, scenery. There are some sounds that make you smile no matter what. The sound of a steam train whistle is one of them, as it clickety clacks through the countryside.

Down East...

Then we headed Down East for some “Lobstah” at Newick’s in Dover, NH. We didn’t have the heart to pick out our victim, I mean meal, ourselves so the staff there chose a nice one from their tanks for us. If you have never been to Newick’s, it is THE place to go for unpretentious but serious seafood. You can see their boat in the harbor used to catch your lunch and like all the best places, it is mom and pop, started from a shack and grown to be a family tradition.

We walked off lunch around Newburyport, Mass and headed back down the ‘Pike to Newton and some quality time with the Grandparents. I got to play Bob Vila, and handled the many home maintenance items that a couple in their ‘90’s should not be doing.

Headin' South

Sunday, we slowly made our way South, stopping in Newport, RI for the day. Newport is just a magical town for sailors like me. I could stare out at that harbor for days and days. Except, there was a festival going on!

Oysters and Beer Every Day of the Year and I'll be fine...

I'm pretty sure Jimmy Buffet had Newport in mind when he wrote that line. We sampled the wonderful oysters, lobster fritters and other treats as we wandered around the Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival.

But Wait! That's not all....

On Newport’s famous Cliff Walk, we walked off lunch by taking turns at which estate we would buy should that lotto thing work out. You know the property taxes must be high when even the very, VERY rich can't afford it. Most of the mansions have been turned into museums or school buildings.

Once the sun went down, we headed back to Thames Street and sought comfort in the Brick Alley Pub.

Two words: Espresso Steak.

Ok, I am a steak fan, and I have heard of this before but never had a chance to try it. Let me tell you, they take a prime NY strip and dry rub it in ground espresso prior to grilling. What a wonderful smokey, complex flavor! And, it was just the thing to perk me up for the long drive home.

With the PDN expo coming up this week, there will surely be some exciting things going on. If you will be at the expo, and want to meet up, let me know. I would enjoy it.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Kali & Matt Wed at the Lily Lake Inn

One of the great things about being a wedding photographer is that I get to constantly surround myself with couples that are having the best day in their life and play an active role in making it that way. The other thing is getting to know and work with other professionals that share my passion for turning a moment in time, into a treasure to be shared.
One such professional is Janie, from Memories and More Photography in Stamford, CT. I worked with Janie to capture Matt and Kali's Wedding on October 6th at the Lily Lake Inn, in Wolcott, Connecticut.
You can check out more of Janie's work at
Kali and Matt are such a great couple and you can really feel the chemistry between them. Great family and friends completed the celebration.

Grooms: Beware! This could go either way!

Grooms always think it will be a great idea to make sure the Bride has plenty of cake. An emphatic amount of cake. OK. They smush the cake into their Bride's mouth.

Gentlement, take warning. This is not always a good idea.

From the looks of things, this was not a planned event, but a sneak cake attack!

However in Matt's case he got lucky, because Kali was not only a good sport, but but got right into it and returned fire!

Look to the Weddings Portfolio on for the full event to be uploaded in the coming days.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

You know Summer is finally over...

When Rockefeller Center closed the Rink Bar and starts the set up for the ice skating rink. I work my day job nearby and frequently walk by the Plaza to peoplewatch. In a matter of 24 hours we went from faint hint of frost on concrete to ice.

You know it's no longer Summer, when they are tuning up the Zamboni.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

LBBCC Kayakathon

A glimpse of the day

September 9th 2007 LBBCC Kayakathon

A beautiful Sunday Morning on the bay provided the backdrop for the Long Beach Breast Cancer Coalition's Kayak-a-thon fund raiser. Empire Kayaks of Island Park, NY was the host and home base for this event. Full catalog of images can be found at

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Christine & John Wray's Wedding

August 11th, 2007 Dateline...Poland.
No, not that Poland.
Poland, Ohio.
Christina and John Wray married today at the Kidston Pavillion in Mill Creek Park. Surrounded in the lush Rose Garden, by family and friends, J. Mitchel Photography provided the couple with images that will bring them back to that moment, for years to come.
The Wedding Reception was held at the couples new home which provided a comfortable locale for the 100+ guests attending. You know you are not in NY anymore, when the caterer brings a couple of mobile hospitality kitchens that would make NASCAR envious. With a mobile BBQ smoker larger than a full size Humvee, and some very skilled chefs, the food was outrageous.
Take a peek at the pictures at

Getting there, was another story.
I had been attending a weeklong certification class at Wharton, in Philly until the previous evening in support of the FINRA CRCP designation. That meant getting all the needed gear from my home base on LI, to Ohio, by way of Philly and Pittsburgh. Playing it safe, I split the gear between my assistant, the lovely Mrs. J. Mitchel, and myself. While I was apprehensive about getting $7k in gear through AMTRAK and airline security as carryon, we had it set up that if either bag didn't make it, we would still be able to shoot a great event. She was taking a flight from NY to Pittsburg on Friday Evening and I was leaving Philly for Pittsburg at about the same time. With good luck and only a few hours weather delays in NY, we met up in the Pittsburg airport for the drive to Poland, Ohio.
Maybe because it was night time, maybe it is because I come from the land of omnipresent construction delays...but the road to Poland as smooth as a baby's butt and there was no traffic.

The next day we were up with the sun for Bridal, Wedding and Formal shots. We had a much needed break in the afternoon, as the Reception did not start until 5PM.
Christine and John, man! Your friends know how to party! While most would have called the event over at Midnight, after the fireworks, some partied until the wee, wee hours.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The long road home from Ohio...

So, we had a long drive back to Pittsburg the next day for an early AM flight to NY.
The roads were empty. So empty, that apparently there had not been another car come thru the toll both on the PA Turnpike in a loooooong time. I felt bad waking her up, but I didn't have exact change I could place on the window edge.

The flight home the was uneventful save one detail. The Airtrain....totally not worth it. If there is one piece of advice you take from my ramblings, this is it. A cab would have made far more sense than lugging gear and bags from the terminal, to the Air Train, to the LIRR, then finally to our car at the station. Did I mention we missed the Babylon local by 8 minutes and had to wait an hour for the next train?