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Travel Adventures | NYC’s “Famous” 99 Cent Pizza

When we went to New York City in March, my boyfriend was pretty excited to have me try 99 Cent Pizza. Which I thought sounded a lot like garbage-pizza ;-)  You see, pizza is my favorite favorite favorite food! And I was certainly skeptical that it could be any good for such a price.     I love it and would probably eat it every day if I could. I love it with all the toppings I can get - the more veggies the better! I love it with hot sauce. I love it dipped in ranch (you know, to make it extra classy and healthy!) I love it grilled. I love it from any restaurant on Market Street, but especially Atlas. (I pretty much only scoff at Pizza Hut and I don't think anyone can blame me there amiright?) I even love it from Italy, where he complained that it was ridiculous to serve a pizza the size of someone's upper body and expect them to eat it with a fork and knife. I mean, you COULD cut it into slices and eat it with your fingers if you didn't

Chimping: My Definition and Encouragement

Chimping (v.) - the act of checking one's LCD screen on a digital camera after each shot is taken.      "They" say that "real" photographers don't chimp. That they should just know their settings well enough and be good enough that they don't need to check. If you've ever worked with me, taken a class with me, read my blog, or been around me more than five minutes, then you know I don't put much stock in what "they" say.      In fact, I think chimping is great! It's a main mark of the modern wonder that is digital photography!  I don't have any patience for McJudgypants-type people who are going to approach a photographer and ask them if they know what chimping is (because they want to point out that's what you're doing) and yes this did happen to me once on a shoot and yes I did roll my eyes out of my head. Listen, I've been shooting professionally for years and even on a paid shoot for a client - heck, especially on a

Name Change for Me, Pronunciation Hint for You

Introducing: Same business, same woman... different last name.     I've never had a last name that was easy to pronounce at first glance. So as I make the official transition back to my maiden name, I thought I'd give a little intro and pronunciation hint. It's Rawleigh... rhymes with jolly.     Or like, the capital of North Carolina, but with a "w" (which is way too much to tell people.) So jolly works. And it matches who I am and what my photography is all about... bringing smiles to faces. Spreading beauty and cheer and humor and hope and goofiness wherever I

Cake Smash Shoot | Miss Harper

I had another opportunity to spend some time with the amazing Christofaro family. This time we set up in the comfort of their home to celebrate Little Miss Harper's first birthday!     First of all, I really loved Melissa's choice of The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a theme. Besides the fact that I loved reading that book to my own little ladies, Eric Carle just slam-dunks the bright-colored cuteness!     And just look at the lace details of this dress she found! I die!     As I was setting up my background and we finished blowing up the balloons, Harper needed a quick nourishing nibble before indulging her sweet tooth and I took the opportunity to capture the sweetness of those moments, too.     So first the balloons...     And then, CAKE.     And oh my, did she dig in!     It was funny, the more

Classes with Jess | Travel Photography at The Rockwell Museum

At my recent Travel Photography Workshop at 171 in March, my students and I discussed the ways we can apply specific composition rules to make our travel photography more interesting. I showed them my basic gear and bags and told them my experiences in lugging my camera through 15 countries in the past ten years. My biggest tip: find a favorite "walk around" lens that can get you both wide shots and nice details, and keep your camera out and at the ready at all times.      I have learned that I am often lazy and whiny and I tire out easily if I carry too much gear with me around a big city or on a hike up a mountain. I've also found I need a bag that has side-access (over the shoulder) because I am not very likely to take the time to stop and take a backpack off to change out a lens.     One thing I love about our workshops at 171 Cedar Arts Center is that the back half is always a hands-on photo walk to the Gaffer District. With