Writing From Personal Experiences

(Recently, I wrote about Spring Village at Floral Vale for the Bucks County Courier Times Best of Bucks 2017. Since I have been there many times over the past few years on photo assignments, I decided to write from my first hand experience of the facility. A few pictures are included.)

Elizabeth Marion (L) shares a moment with her daughter Marguerite Marnien of Levittown, Pennsylvania during a Mother's Day luncheon on the grounds of Spring Village at Floral Vale for their patients and their families Saturday May 9, 2015 in Yardley, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

Elizabeth Marion (L) shares a moment with her daughter Marguerite Marnien of Levittown, Pennsylvania during a Mother’s Day luncheon on the grounds of Spring Village at Floral Vale for their patients and their families Saturday May 9, 2015 in Yardley, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

As a photojournalist, I get to see and photograph a lot of different things. When I see an assignment for any kind of event at Spring Village at Floral Vale, I get very excited. This is a great place. The staff is extraordinary with all of their residents. Every time I photograph an event here, everyone is always happy, from staff to residents this place is top notch.

As their website explains, “There is a place where the best care along with a home-like and quaint environment come together to provide memory care at its best. One visit to Spring Village at Floral Vale and you will understand why our community is the number one choice of families seeking secured memory care.”

They provide individualized care and the entire community is the resident’s home. The residents here are not confined to an area or locked behind closed doors.

The family atmosphere is also amazing.

That starts with leadership.

Spring Village at Floral Vale for the last eight years has been under the leadership of their Senior Executive Director, Deb Bodnar. Her experience in senior care, insight and insistence that this community be ever-ready to change with the needs of their residents, is the driving force of the community goals. Deb and her department head team understand the responsibility that is part of the privilege and honor given to them as a family chooses Spring Village at Floral Vale.

Participants enjoy each other's company during a Mother's Day luncheon on the grounds of Spring Village at Floral Vale for their patients and their families Saturday May 9, 2015 in Yardley, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

Participants enjoy each other’s company during a Mother’s Day luncheon on the grounds of Spring Village at Floral Vale for their patients and their families Saturday May 9, 2015 in Yardley, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

A while back I had the privilege of photographing a Mother’s Day brunch outside on a beautiful spring day. The families arrived first and were seated under an enormous tent. What I witnessed and photographed next was amazing. It was a parade of residents escorted by the staff out to the tent to meet with their loved ones. I’ve never seen so many smiling faces, or witnessed so many hugs and kisses in my 30 year career as a photojournalist.

And the hugs and kisses weren’t just for the family, but staff as well. The staff and residents at Spring Village at Floral seem to have a bond that is equal to family. The care and comfort I see there amazes me. It was an experience that actually brought a tear to my eyes as I was making pictures.

“Spring Village at Floral Vale has a commitment to actively recruit and retain staff with “Serving Hearts”. This is the key to good memory care. Anyone can give care, a “Serving Heart caregiver stands out. They are proud of their work. Each and every day they know they have made a difference for our residents.

We never stop our search for Serving Hearts.

“The disease of Dementia/Alzheimer”s is a reality in our world. We don’t apologize for it but rather work instead toward having each of our residents validated, affirmed and understood. It’s a challenging job but our staff at Spring Village regularly receive hands-on training in safety, care and progressive communication techniques that set us apart.”

Visit them and you’ll see why we they are the best of the best!

Family Portrait Photo Session Avalon, New Jersey

Shot this little one on the beach in Avalon last week. Other pictures from the family shoot can be seen in the full gallery @ http://cainimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/Pizzillo/G0000XprAXA0Vxn8

Das Family Portrait Photo Session Newtown, Pennsylvania Photographer

Can you tell if this was lit by natural or artificial light?

Allot of times photography is about finding the light. Sure a good subject helps, but the right light can make an image pop. That was the case when I photographed the Das family in Tyler State Park in newtown, Pennsylvana recently. For the first 10-15 minutes of the shoot I walked around with the couple placing them in various nooks and crannies of the park until I found the perfect spot. My goal was to make the couple look as though I had lit them with studio strobes. I believe that’s what I achieved in the image below.

Full gallery @ http://cainimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/Das/G0000.9.LAJ7sVEs

Hammond Family Portrait Session Hatfield Pennsylvania Photographer

Photographed the Hammond family in a gorgeous park in Hatfield. What a pleasant experience.
Happy children and happy parents always make for good imagery.
Here are some of the pix.

Full gallery @ http://cainimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/Hammond/G0000rFRaeveVT_A

Frascella Portrait Photo Shoot Newtown, Pennsylvania Photographer

Originally married 5 years ago, the Frascella family had been photographed at the formal gardens on the campus of Bucks County Community College. The photographer they hired had a problem with a disc, so the couple had no images from their portrait session as well as other gaping holes in their wedding photographey coverage from the day.

On Thursday in between thunderstorms, I was able to squeeze in a photo shoot with them at the college. I had them walk through the gardens and act like I wasn’t there and just enjoy each other’s company, eventually while dodging rain drops. There are some really nice moments that show their personalities as well as love for each other.
This may fill some of the gaps, but the original photographer should have attempted to try to help them out a bit more then saying, “sorry, we had a problem.”

See the gallery @ http://cainimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/Frascella/G0000RncSVE69iPE/

Ashley & Michael’s Wedding Photography Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania

A few years ago I photographed Rebecca & William’s wedding at the Centre Bridge Inn in Solebury, Pennsylvania. I had a great time photographing their wedding and was thrilled when Bill asked me if I would photograph his daughter Ashley and her fiance Michael’s wedding in Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania.
It was a gorgeous day for a wedding in the Pennsylvania countryside. The ceremony was held at New Hanover United Methodist Church in Gilbertsville, Pa. and officiated by Pastor Dave Lewis.

The reception was held at Griffith Hall in Lionville, Pa.Check out the full gallery @ http://cainimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/Ashley-Robert-Gilbertsville-Pa/G0000fJZzN3Dn75E/.

Wedding photography site @ http://www.loveweddingphotos.com.

Marie-Helen & Stephane Wedding Photography Newtown, Pennsylvania

I spent the afternoon last Friday photographing Marie-Helen & Stephane’s wedding in historic Newtown, Pennsylvania. The ceremony was performed by Mayor Dennis O’Brien in the borough council chambers. After the ceremony we wandered around Newtown a bit making some pictures of the couple sharing the joy of the blessed event. Both are from Montreal, Canada, so I was a bit hesitant to make pictures in front of the borough council chambers because of the American flag bunting surrounding the building. They didn’t have a problem with it though, Stephane said, because they’d been living here for 10 year and appreciated the visual. After the burough, we stopped by a little league baseball field in town with…more American Flag bunting. There the couple had a laugh and some champagne to celebrate. Then off to a weekend honeymoon in New York City, New York.

Congrats!! And all the best to the happy couple.

See the full image gallery @ Marie-Helen & Stephane Wedding Photography Newtown, Pennsylvania. Check out my wedding photography website @ http://www.loveweddingphotos.com.

You can also check out the slideshow. Click the box at the bottom right of the slideshow to view in full screen.


Infante Engagement Session Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia, Pa.

I photographed an engagement session in Rittenhouse Square a few weeks ago. Great couple. Great images. Beautiful Light!
Full shoot available @ http://cainimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/Infante/G0000jxT3n1aer64/

Also check out my wedding photography site @  http://www.loveweddingphotos.com

Never Thought…

A few weeks ago, I got screwed over by a so-called friend and former student who has worked with me as an assistant.

Lesson learned here is to NEVER, EVER do something without the photography agreement signed, sealed and delivered.

It started out innocent enough. A former student had asked if I would photograph his/her wedding. I was honored and agreed. It was then suggested by one of us that he help me with a job that I had in the books to work off some of the fees for the wedding. Made sense. I’d have someone capable of helping out with a shoot and it would knock a bit of money off the wedding photography package. I never though I’d get screwed over.

There wedding was over a year away. No paperwork. I’ve committed to photograph their wedding on said date. Just an agreement between friends. Paperwork to come later.
Most packages include an engagement portrait session that is free. Out of package the session is $100 which can be applied to the actual wedding package upon booking.
I’ve never done an engagement session and not booked the wedding.

The job I needed help with comes and goes, former student does nice job that day. Their wedding is still over a year away. No paperwork. We’re good.

A few months later former student emails and asks if we can do the engagement portrait on such and such a date. I said fine, I can make the date work. That afternoon I receive an email from a bride asking about my availability on the former students wedding date. I say “no can do” booked that day. No paperwork. Just an agreement between friends. Paperwork to come later.

Engagement portait date comes. That morning, before I leave for the shoot, my wife asks if I have the paperwork complete for the former students wedding date. I said “No, although I probably should. But, it’s a former student, I don’t think I’ll get screwed over.”
She reminded me that I always say never work without some kind of formal photography agreement. I agree, but state that it’s a former student and “friend” not likely to screw me over.

That day, another bride inquires as to my availabilty on the former students wedding date. Sorry, I’ve committed to another wedding. In fact we just did their engagement portrait today.

Engagement session goes very well. In fact the bride says “thanks for a wonderful day and awesome pictures!!!!!!” Pictures were very well received. After the session, I spoke with the couple about their wedding, how they saw it, what they’re looking for photographically, as well as how much time and if they want albums. They proceed to tell me how much coverage, the amount of guests, locations, etc… All good. I’ll send them some packages built around what we’ve discussed. At this point the wedding is 13 months away. I offer discounts worth 20% plus the money off for helping with that job a few months before, but if they book more then 12 months out, I’ll add another 10% off.
OK. So now, the discounts are worth 30% plus.

Former student then asks about downloading some pictures. I state that “You have access to download from when we work together.” I’m thinking they’ll download a few pics. No big deal.

No paperwork. Just an agreement between friends.

All good. I send the package info. Discounts are worth $1,100 plus. No paperwork. Just an agreement between friends.Wait a week, don’t hear anything. When I do hear back, they want to know how much without a book. I tell them. Fine. Wait another week. Now we’re less then 12 months out that extra 10% has to be pulled from the table. Discount is now worth $900. I email stating that and ask if they want to proceed, at the same time I offer to give them an album as a gift. Again stating that the book is worth $200 keeping the actual value of the discount at $1,100. Wait again.

A day later, they respectfully decline my package a full month after we’ve shot the engagement portrait, and I’ve turned down two other brides. WTF!? Quite frankly, they went over their budget and can’t afford the package. Really!? The numbers have been the same for the past month. You realize this now. Oh and by the way, even if they could afford it, they don’t have the deposit.

So, what can you afford? They give me a number. Best I could do for that is a six hour with one photographer, not eight. They insist upon eight. No can do. Good luck. We part ways.