Tag Archives: collaboration

Summer Snappy Hour!

28 Jun

We’re very excited to announce that our next Snappy Hour is going to be Monday, July 30th at El Vez from 6:30-8:30 pm! It’s been a good, long while, we’ve received a lot of emails in anticipation, AND we’ve missed everyone and want to catch up and connect with newbies… so come grab a drink, some chips and salsa and catch up with the Betties!

El Vez is located in “Midtown Village”, at 121 South 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107. There’s on-street parking, a lot around the corner on Sansom, and if you’re not driving it’s a few blocks from Market Street East and Broad Street/Market Street SEPTA stations.

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A Lovely Workshop 2012

27 Apr

If you love film, or beautiful, whimsical images, you’ve likely heard of Elizabeth Messina or her super sweet blog, Kiss the Groom. Her work is ethereal, adorned with lovely light and has a truly distinctive, feminine flair. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing her speak at WPPI, and her personality, kindness and down-to-earth nature match her work to a “t”.

Elizabeth just recently announced that registration for her “A Lovely Workshop” is open – and it’s coming to the East Coast, right in our backyard actually! The 800-acre farm is just outside of Philadelphia, where “we will explore the country side & the many acres of the beautiful farm, home to 100’s of horses.” The three-day event is being held on July 10-12th, with a welcome gathering on the 9th, and includes a long list of impressive collaborators, including Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty, Leah MacDonald of Waxworks (who you may remember from our meeting in 2011!), Shira Savada of Martha Stewart Weddings, Claire Pettibone of Twigs & Honey, Adrienne Page of Velvet Raptor and Wiley Valentine.

Shoots are scheduled each day where Elizabeth will educate and inspire attendees on light, branding, marketing and getting published, connecting with your clients, booking destination weddings, expanding your business and much more. There’s also tons of goodies, including a signed copy of her new book, The Luminous Portrait.

Check out the website for details, investment and specifics. And if you’re interested, don’t wait! Registration is limited to 20 students!

Snap to It: “Fall” Submissions

15 Nov

Noelle Andrews

Melania Shertzer

Benjamin James

Amanda Young

William Ohl

Kelly Wilson

Cindi Jones

Brianna Saban

Monique Duke

Brittany Ostrov

Dawn Stephens

Heather DiPiazza

Abbey Bradshaw

Jenna Walcott

Thank you to all who submitted a picture that shows what fall means to you! Everyone sees the world around us a bit differently and we wanted to capture that in this series. The images from our contributors offered a wide range of interpretations from fall foliage to Halloween to the delicious foods that fall brings with it. We were looking for inspiring images and you definitely delivered!

Hope you enjoyed our tribute to Fall! A new Snap to It! will be announced soon!

Snap to It: October Deadline Extended

20 Oct

It’s been a busy month for Betties near and far, so we’re extending the submission deadline for the October “Snap to It” until Halloween!

This Month’s Theme: Fall

Back to school, changing leaves, hustle and bustle, family gatherings… We want to see what this crisp, lovely season means to you! There are no requirements to participate; everyone’s welcome to submit.

Please send your autumnal-inspired photo (from your iPhone, iPad, Droid, point-and-shoot, dSLR, old school SLR, pinhole camera – your choice!) to snaptoit@phillyphotobetties.com by Monday, October 31, 2011. Please size images to 600 pixels on the long edge. Don’t forget to include a URL for your blog OR website.

C’mon Betties… Snap To It!

Women of Heart: Becoming Art for a Cause

12 Sep

Hi, Betties! At the request of Jenna and Heather, I wanted to share with you an upcoming charity event that I’m organizing called Women of Heart! I hope you’ll want to get involved in making it a HUGE success for a great cause!

What Women of Heart is All About

Portrait of a Woman: Women of Heart is a series that I will be offering this September and October, culminating in a gallery event on Wednesday, November 2. A portrait from each session will be displayed, alongside other art submitted by the art community here in Philadelphia. (Read: You guys! You’re part of the art community!)

This is going to be a fantastic event! Yummy food! Live entertainment! Lots of friends and family and ART! And all the profits from each mini session, along with portrait sales during the gallery event, will be going Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia, an amazing organization dedicated to providing support and education for those whose lives are affected by cancer.

How Women of Heart Got Started

One day in July, I did a little math and realized that November 2, 2011 would have been my father’s 60th birthday had we not lost him to cancer 3 years ago. If I thought that my family was the only family affected by cancer, I might have resigned myself to spending the day moping – but cancer is bigger than that. And my father’s memory is bigger than that! So mixing what I do with a desire to honor what would have been a special day for a really amazing man, Women of Heart was born. I wanted to use my best talents (my Portrait of a Woman program) to do what I can to help other people who are also being affected by cancer.

In that spirit, Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia was the perfect organiation to benefit with this effort!  Some of the kindest people I have met since moving to Philadelphia are part of the CSCP, and they do amazing things for so many families affected by this disease. I am excited and honored to be able to donate the profits from Women of Heart to their organization!

So, What Can You Do?

1. Schedule a shoot!

Become the art of Women of Heart – and schedule a shoot with me. Book quickly, because time slots are filling up fast!

2. Submit your own art!

You're welcome to submit anything that lies within your own idea of what "Women of Heart" could possibly mean. You don't need to be a fine art photographer – take this as an opportunity to reach outside of your comfort zone and do something different and awesome that you'll be proud to have on your wall! Dream up a picture in your mind that you are dying to create – even if you think you're not 'good enough.' Find the model (let me know if you need any help with that – a good place to start is somewhere like Model Mayhem), choose the location, and set up the whole thing. Just see where your imagination takes you! You can find the full submission guidelines here.

3. Attend Women of Heart!

Your participation and presence at the culmination event is priceless – bring your friends, your loved ones, those you know may have been affected by Cancer and give them a way to take action. Remember, each gallery purchase is funds toward the cause – so help us fill the gallery with kind hearts and art lovers!

4. Help me spread the word!

My Portrait of a Woman effort is brand new, and with this being the first year for Women of Heart, I am definitely in need of some serious help with marketing! Please like and share Women of Heart’s Facebook page, mention the effort on Twitter and word of mouth, and contact me with any ideas you have about where to place flyers or cards! I’m dedicated to making this an amazing event to support the Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia; any ideas, Facebook posts, tweets and retweets, or plain old screaming from the rooftops will be incredibly appreciated!

Photos for Good: Part 1

2 Sep

The first time I watched Born Into Brothels, I had the immediate urge to pack my bags, jump on a plane, and help out in some faraway place. (I’m pretty sure many other photographers out there did too.) The reality, though, is you don’t have to fly around the world to make a difference.

There’s been a lot of buzz and recent Photo Betties posts about photography-marrying-philanthrophy, so we decided to dedicate this one to getting involved with current charity organizations. We’ll be following up with Part 2 which will cover locating existing opportunities, as well as tips on finding and creating your own projects.

Volunteer Photography Organizations

Started by Kristin Weaver, an internationally published fashion and wedding photographer, Images for a Cure is an annual event held each fall (usually October, in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month) promoting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, their beneficiary charity. Photographer registration is from August to September – and each participating photographer is encouraged to set their own session dates, plans and pricing – and donate 100% of their session fees to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, via their FirstGiving page.


Wish Upon a Wedding, which we posted about in April, is the world’s first non-profit wish granting organization that provides weddings and vow renewals for couples facing terminal illness and serious life-altering circumstances, regardless of sexual orientation. They work with all types of wedding vendors in addition to photographers, including planners, venues, caterers, rental companies, videographers, bakers, officiants, florists, stationary designers, DJs/bands/musicians, salons, transportation companies, and more. With 18 chapters around the country (and 10 more coming soon), you can help out in many ways – volunteering your skills, financial donations, hosting a fundraiser and more!

Operation Love Reunited, or as many call them “OpLove”, is a non-profit organization that assigns photographers to families with loved ones getting ready to deploy, are currently deployed, or are coming home. The participating family chooses a photographer and up to two sessions per year. The photographer volunteers their services for the session(s), a 4×6 album for the service member, and a CD of images from the homecoming. If you’d like to volunteer check out the blog which is filled with information and inspiring photography from OpLove sessions.


Flashes of Hope is a national, nonprofit organization that “changes the way children with cancer see themselves through the gift of photography.” They transform hospital playrooms, waiting areas and even hallways into studios, and photograph children solo, then with their family and loved ones. Photos are delivered as enlargements, prints and on disc, all free of charge. “It’s an indescribable treasure that forever preserves the grace, dignity and beauty of each child.” To maintain the highest ethical and professional standards in the industry, they work primarily with published and commercial photographers, as well as members of The American Society of Media Photographers. If you fit the bill, you can apply as a photographer or, if you want to help in other ways, you can still be part of this amazing organization as a general volunteer, or with a donation.

PhotoPhilanthropy helps to connect, shed light on and reward connections between photographers and non-profit organizations around the world to tell stories that drive action for social change.” Great photography helps inform, educate and inspire volunteers to act, donors and grant-makers to give, people to push for new policies, and to give those who are not heard, or seen, a voice. In addition to helping facilitate Volunteer Connections, they also give annual Activist Awards for winning photo essays, Student Production Grants (which include financial, promotional and supportive assistance), promote Artist Residencies and Workshops, and have a great blog which they update often with inspiring imagery and stories from around the world. It’s no wonder their goal is to “Change the world, one photo at a time!”

Credit: PhotoPhilanthropy 2010 Grand Prize Winner - Josh Meltzer

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS) volunteers offer “gentle and beautiful photography services in a compassionate and sensitive manner” to families who have suffered the loss of an infant. “The soft, gentle heirloom photographs of these beautiful babies are an important part of the healing process. They allow families to honor and cherish their babies, and share the spirits of their lives.” They are always looking to recruit volunteers for their database to be on call to offer Remembrance Photography Services to be on call when needed, as these sessions are sudden and require quick response. If you’re interested you can sign up to volunteer as a photographer, assistant photographer or digital retouch artist – as well as read volunteer articles for background and advice.

Founded by Celebrity Photographer, Jeremy Cowart, Help Portrait is a grassroots movement of photographers giving their time, gear and expertise to offer portraits to those in need. The idea is simple, powerful and global.

Each December, this year on 12/10/11, photographers will sign-up online, create or join teams, and offer portraits to those who wouldn’t normally have access to, or be able to afford, professional photography. People like the homeless, orphans, single-parent families, people of ill health, the elderly, veterans and more. It’s the chance to not just take a photo, but give a photo.

Tiny Sparrow is a non-profit organization who helps provide photography to families with children who are facing life threatening illnesses. Their volunteer photographers provide a session as well as a beautiful album to “carry the love, joy and everlasting memory of each individual family.” Currently located in Texas, but with a goal of expanding in 2011, Tiny Sparrow also accepts donations through PayPal.

Images of Hope is a non-profit organization that brings awareness to childhood cancers and illnesses by offering free portrait sessions to children and families dealing with cancer. Their purpose it two fold. First, to capture timeless moments that will last a lifetime for the families, and second, to spread awareness. Founder, Jessica Oatman, whose son, Montana, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at age two, looks at photography as “a great outlet and a wonderful way to document his journey.” Looking back through the photographs has helped them “realize what we have really been through.”

With an artist list of that spans continents, Heart Speaks photographers worldwide are committed to stopping the unnecessary euthanization of adoptable animals. Their goal is to increase the numbers of adopted animals in shelters by just 3%, and give rescue animals safe, loving homes. The power of a image can speak volumes, so Heart Speaks connects artists with shelters and animal relief organizations to effect social change and better the lives of humans and people alike.

Pictures of Hope is a charitable organization of professional photographers who provide complimentary, documentary-style, photography sessions to babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and their families.  Members are professional, established photographers (many of whom are “NICU mothers” themselves) who hail from across the United States and Canada and are dedicated to donating their time to a cause they believe in, and sharing the gift of photography with families in need.

It’s also important to note that bereavement photography is not their focus. While photographers may be asked to photograph a bereavement session, services are generally geared to babies in the NICU at any point during their stay (not just those terminally ill) which could mean a 27 week preemie or a NICU graduate about to go home. There are specific requirements for membership which are listed here.

Started in 2008 by Felicia Reinhard, Inspiration Through Art (formerly called The Littlest Heroes Project) is made up of professional photographers, artists, children and other volunteers across the world who provide a variety of programs and services to children who are fighting serious illnesses and/or life-altering disabilities. Sessions can be home-based, at benefits and fundraisers, or hospitals or clinic visits, and are specially catered to each little hero. Services include photography, but they also also offer special programs and fun art-related sessions as well. They also have a comprehensive list of partners, other organizations who need volunteers and worthwhile vendors.

The Tiny Light is a Canadian-based, female-run organization that connects member photographers with children and families that have been faced with a life altering diagnoses. Applicants must be professional photographers with a client base as well as a online portfolio, willing to donate their time and talent as well as a disk of ALL high resolution images from the session. Families who are accepted receive these portrait sessions free of charge. Their current list of photographers includes only Canadian-based photographers – but the application does not say whether or not that is a prerequisite for membership. If you’re passionate about joining the cause – get in touch!

Dog Meets World, at first mention, sounds like an animal-based charity, right? In fact, the “Dog” is a sweet stuffed puppy who helps their photographers to spread joy and smiles. Their mission is to give children and families in developing countries personal photographs, often for the first time. DMW seeks to change the way people travel by creating positive cross-cultural interactions and rather than simply taking pictures, to give them as well. Travelers bring along a digital camera, a portable printer and the stuffed Foto mascot dog to photograph children and practice Take & Give Photography! DMW believes with simply sharing a photo, photographers can practice ground-level diplomacy and voluntourism for all travelers.

Celebrating Adoption was officially started by Jenifer Samaha in 2007, and is a national organization of photographers who donate their time to document and celebrate the love and bond of adoption. Volunteers give these sessions at no cost, and families who participate must have gone through the adoption in the past twelve months. Their member list is quite extensive… although we did learn that unfortunately, due to personal issues, they are not able to accept any additional photographers at this time. We still chose to include Celebrating Adoption in our list, however, in case you may know of families who can benefit from their services, or if it inspires you to start a similar endeavor yourself!

We’d like to give a big shout out to Shutter Mission, who we found midway through our research for this post, and helped add a few additional resources to the list. Bookmark their site – it’s filled with photo-related charity organizations as well as stories and spotlights on photographers who serve them. You can also nominate a photographer who gives back that you’d like to see featured, and there’s an extensive list of complimentary resources for photographers who donate their time and services to charity. Simple, straight-forward, informative and inspiring!

If you’ve found this post useful, have something to add or want to share it with your friends, family or fellow photos – please post, tweet, comment, share – and help us motivate others to make a difference, one shutter click at a time!

Insider Info: 2nd Shoot

19 May

Hooking-up with second shooters for many is based on who you know and referrals from fellow photogs. After all, you aren’t just looking for a talented artist, but the whole package; someone who works well with you, is dependable and friendly, accommodating to your clients, and at the end of the day, makes you look good.

Now there’s a whole new way to find photographers, not just around the corner, but across the country: 2ndshoot.com!

Currently in BETA, 2ndshoot.com is planning to go live at the end of May, connecting with 10,000 professional photographers and studios nationwide.

The time is now

If you’re looking to find gigs, this is THE place to be. And NOW is the time to do it. Why?

• TEN THOUSAND photographers being driven to 2ndshoot.com to check out the current list of talent

• Big industry sponsors – including Collages.net, Gary Fong, Vision Art, Emotion, Simply Canvas, Fundy Software, and ThinkTank, and many more – promoting 2ndshoot.com and driving traffic (and offering exclusive members-only deals!)

• A fabulous deal: The first 100 photographers to sign-up receive 3 months FREE!

• A professional, trusted organization that caters to second shooters and hiring photographers alike

• The chance to connect with (and find) photographers with portfolio samples, in-depth profiles and user ratings

Getting Started

Signing up for a listing is quick and easy, and includes:

• A standard state listing


• Customized bio with profile and portfolio photos


There’s no contract, and you can also opt for a Featured Profile, which for a few dollars more gives you a:

• Featured slider on home page


• Featured placement on your state page

If you’re interested in working with new photographers – and expanding your portfolio – 2ndshoot.com is a great place to be.

The Backstory

Charles Bordner

2ndshoot.com was created by internationally acclaimed, award-winning photographer and storyteller, Charles Bordner, to help him source talented second shooters for weddings all over the country. When traveling for weddings, he recognized the benefit of having a photographer who’s local, and able to offer know-how and expertise in the area – in addition to saving on travel expenses and logistics. His search became the inspiration for 2ndshoot.com, which has already taken root in South Carolina, where he’s is based, and is starting to take root in cities across the country.

PS: Charles is still searching for second shooters for weddings coming up at the breathtaking Ocean Edge Resort in Cape Cod this June, and another in Orlando, both of which he plans to find through 2ndshoot.com!

Wish Upon A Wedding

14 Apr

By: Brittany Ostrov

Calling all Wish Granters!

It’s hard to believe that it’s already the middle of April and that I attended The Wish Upon A Wedding (WUW) Philadelphia Chapter launch Party months ago! The Launch Party was a fantastic event hosted at the Top of the Tower on January 31st, 2011 that both gave everyone a brief overview of WUW and showcased some of the wonderful vendors already committed to the organization. WUW Philadelphia was completely overwhelmed with the show of support from the Philadelphia Event Industry, selling out with over 200 tickets sold in just 6 days through Facebook alone! Lucky for me, one of my partners in crime, Meredith Miller (Designer at CloudFish Studios), had informed me of the event so we were able to snag our tickets right away!

Wish Upon a Wedding is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides weddings and vow renewals to couples facing terminal illness or other serious life-altering circumstances, regardless of sexual orientation. Often, couples facing such situations do not have the energy, time, money, or resources needed to plan their wedding. This wonderful organization takes care of all the details, offering couples a chance to relax and enjoy a very special and intimate day while surrounded by the love of their closest family and friends.

Wish Upon a Wedding President, Mark Kingsdorf

There are so many ways to help this organization by donating, fund raising, volunteering and more. What became the most significant way for me to help was to become a Wish Granter. Wish Upon a Wedding relies on the generosity of professionals from the wedding and hospitality industries to provide goods and services for those in need, or the Wish Recipients. The organization is able to call on their large database of regional Wish Granters to make these weddings happen. From caterers, photographers and designers to DJs, bakers, and venues, WUW has the contacts to make a wedding happen almost anywhere in the United States!

Becoming a wish granter is a great way to both share your trade and give back to those in need, and they still really need your help. I know in the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life we sometimes get too caught up in work and not enough on the outside world, but there are plenty of people out there that really need our help. We each have something special within us successful at what we do, and to share that gift with someone that honestly deserves it is one of the most rewarding things we can do.

So, if you would like to become a Wish Granter (and live in the Philadelphia area!), all you need to do is fill out this form. WUW also has chapters all over the United States, so check this list to see if there’s a chapter closer to you. Or to learn more, visit the website to find out more information about this great organization!

Do you know of other organizations or volunteer programs that work with photographers? Would like to write a post to share them with the Photo Betties? Give us a shout! Email heather@ or jenna@phillyphotobetties.com and send us details. We’d love to hear from you!

Did somebody say “Girl’s Getaway?”

13 Apr

There are dozens of conferences around the world each year which cater to creatives and photographers. WPPI. PhotoPlus Expo. Photoshop World. TED. The 99% Conference. And now, there’s a new one catering to the fast-growing population of female photographers who are eager to grow their businesses and build empowering relationships with other female business owners. Introducing the Her Conference.

WHAT?
This conference is a bit different from others you may have attended. First, when you register, you’ll fill out a survey asking a few specific questions about who you are & what you want to learn. The complied survey results will then help guide the speakers on what to cover. It’s like a choose-your-own-conference! Then, once you get there, the schedule will be structured so you can see every speaker in break-out sessions, rather than having to pick and choose. How cool is that?

The all-star lineup includes: Jessica Claire, Sarah Rhodes, Jen Bebb, Chenin Boutwell, Amy Locurto & Angie Arthur of I Heart Faces, Bobbi Sheridan, Christy Weber of Junebug Weddings and Amy Wenzel.

WHEN?
Tuesday, November 1 through Thursday, November 3, 2011

WHERE?
The 4-star Amway Grand Plaza hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan

WHO?
Ladies only!

HOW MUCH?
$699 gets you admission to all the conference sessions, the conference boutique shops as well as the hors d’oeuvres receptions each night before the keynote sessions. There’s also an upgrade option for VIP access; $200 gets you a VIP ticket with access to a “meet & greet” with the speakers in a private hotel suite (which will have wonderful food & drinks!), and first row reserved seating in all of the speaker sessions.

BONUS:
• There will be complimentary WiFi available 24 hours
• You’ll get a discounted rate on Spa Manicure and Pedicure services at Vasaio Salon and Spa (located in the Amway Grand Hotel)
• You can feel good knowing that 10% of your ticket price will go towards supporting International Justice Mission and Beauty From Ashes

This boutique conference has limited space, so if you’re interested reserve your spot! And if you are curious, read more about the inspiring people who made it happen, and answers to many FAQs!

March Quarterly Meeting: Love, Life Images

11 Mar

Come meet Jennifer and Mary of Love Life Images, who will be speaking at the Photo Betties Quarterly Meeting on Thursday, March 24th from 7-9 pm. These award-winning photojournalists will talk about their journey & transformation from owning separate businesses and putting in long hours to a partnership that feels more like a marriage than either one expected. They’ll share their insight into how to effectively manage employees and run a high-volume studio while also balancing their busy home lives.

A little background about this dynamic duo:

Jennifer Domenick and Mary Gardella are business partners who together own the fabulous wedding and portrait business Love Life Images. Their natural-light studio is housed in an old textile mill that has been converted to shops and restaurants, located halfway between DC and Baltimore in Savage, MD. Jennifer manages the weddings (or “Love”) part of the business and Mary heads up the portrait side of the business (“Life”). They have 8 part-time employees – who they say “feel more like family”.


Event details:

This 2-hour event will be hosted by a Betty in her home. If you’re planning to attend and would like to help out by bringing a small appetizer or beverage, please email heather@phillyphotobetties.com or jenna@phillyphotobetties.com to lend a hand.

Electronic invitations will be sent out shortly. If you’ve been on the list for past events, you’ll be included again. If you haven’t but would like to attend (or know someone who would!), please send us an email: info@phillyphotobetties.com

Hope to see you there!