Thursday, October 16, 2014

Reading vs. Being Read To

I recently went on a vacation to a destination approximately 1,600 miles from where I live. If you do the math, that's roughly 27 hours of driving, each way. (Somehow it felt twice as long on the way home than it did on the way going!) That's a LOT of time in the car! Between the time I spent as the driver and my inability to read in the car due to motion sickness, audio books have been a godsend to my family for years!

If you find yourself in a position where reading, whether a paper copy of a book or your trusty e-reader, is not an option, why not consider listening to a story or book???

Most book sellers have a variety of books on CD available for purchase. There are also sources for downloading audio books to your i-Pod or smartphone.

One source many people overlook is their public library! Mine (I live in the middle of the country, in a small "city" of 25,000 people) has a superb selection of books on CD! My husband and I went down to peruse the choices together and found several options we thought we would enjoy during our six days of solid driving. We thoroughly enjoyed listening to Neil Gaiman read his novel, Neverwhere, to us!

[If you've never read it, it's a wonderful fantasy story of a man who encounters an injured girl on the streets of London one night and finds his life turned upside-down when he discovers the realm of London Below. If you've never read Neil Gaiman, shame on you! His stories are AMAZING!]

My library stocks not only fiction audiobooks, but a wide selection of non-fiction options as well. Biographies, humor, how-to, spirituality and religion, history.....the choices might surprise you! I always think it's a special treat when you find an audio edition read by the author him or herself. One note: be sure to check whether the audiobook you have in hand is an adaptation or unabridged. This can save disappointment if you're expecting the full story!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The New Art of Capturing Love

Today's post features a guest review by my daughter, Amanda, who is a professional photographer. Thanks for reviewing this book!

This book landed in my lap exactly when I needed it most! Having just booked my first same sex elopement as a photographer, I was hoping to make it the best experience for my couple. The author reassured me of what I was expecting, and brought to light some experiences I hadn't considered. Paired with examples of photographs from same sex weddings by amazing photographers, the posing guidance and considerations were wonderful!

The way this book focused on how lesbian and gay weddings are still just weddings, while also addressing the real differences we will face as photographers (there might not be one dress and one tux!) was super helpful and super considerate of making sure not to focus on same sex weddings as being "Other."

The posing tips were really the big draw to this book for me. Good considerations like the couples' comfort of displaying affection in public really helped me make my couples' experience more enjoyable, and prepared me for steps to take in posing them.

All in all, I am so thankful to have been given the chance to read and review this book! I think it will become a staple for modern photographers as more and more states join in on the push for equality.

From the publisher . . .

The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Wedding Photography by Kathryn Hamm and Thea Dodds Foreword by Martie Maguire of the Dixie Chicks and Court Yard Hounds

The first guide to posing and thoughtfully capturing same-sex engagements and weddings, THE NEW ART OF CAPTURING LOVE equips all photographers to better serve the LGBTQ client while also providing a wedding-planning vision for couples.

With nearly half of the states in the US (and 13 countries) currently recognizing same-sex marriage or civil unions, the market for LGBTQ weddings is one of the fastest growing segments in the wedding industry, offering great opportunity for today's wedding photographers. These are exciting times for marriage equality—but capturing portraits in this new market requires a new approach to posing, which until now has been almost exclusively oriented toward pairing a larger man in black with a smaller woman in white. What works for Jack and Jill won't necessarily work for Jack and Michael, let alone Jill and Louise.

THE NEW ART OF CAPTURING LOVE shatters the “old standards” of wedding and engagement photography by showing how inappropriate old standards can be for today’s diverse couples, then shares easy-to-implement poses and techniques that can be applied to any couple (and wedding party), no matter their orientation, to create lasting memories.

Featuring a collection of more than 180 same-sex portraits of 72 couples from 48 photographers, this guide is proudly the first—and most comprehensive—of its kind. Whether you are a wedding photographer looking to enter this burgeoning market, or a same-sex couple looking for visual inspiration, these gorgeous images will both instruct and inspire.

This groundbreaking visual guide book is perfect for:
~ Couples planning their weddings and engagement sessions
~ Photographers interested in branching out to a rapidly-growing new market
~ LGBTQ-supportive friends and family, especially those looking for a meaningful shower or wedding gift

AUTHORS ARE GO-TO EXPERTS: Same-sex wedding pioneer Kathryn Hamm and veteran wedding photographer Thea Dodds are the leading experts for same-sex weddings and wedding photography, respectively. Their expertise has been featured in The New York Times, ABC News, CNN, Rangefinder and on NPR.

GROUNDBREAKING IMAGES: This groundbreaking guide features a collection of same-sex portraits that was called "the best I've ever seen" by Professional Photographer senior editor Joan Sherwood.

About the Authors KATHRYN HAMM is president of, the pioneering online wedding boutique and resource for same-sex couples, offering a community forum, planning articles, and a directory of more than 90,000 LGBTQ-friendly wedding pros. She is also an education expert for WeddingWire, the nation’s leading marketplace serving the $70 billion wedding industry, as well as a nationally recognized speaker, workshop leader, and consultant for couples and wedding vendors across the country. She lives with her wife and son in Arlington, Virginia.

THEA DODDS is an award-winning wedding photographer and founder of Authentic Eye Photography. Her work has been featured in Newsweek and New Hampshire Bride, and on ABC News, CNN, and The Huffington Post. Dodds lives with her husbandand two daughters in Rumney, New Hampshire, and can be found online at