fusion. local artist photography workshop. long island photography workshop





join us….

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 3.09.47 PM

Ink Master finalist, and lead artist of Tattoo Nightmares, the one and only Tommy Helm. Tommy owns and operates one of Long Island’s premier tattoo shops on Long Island, Empire State Studios, based in Oceanside. Along his side he has some of the most incredible tattoo artists around, one being Marvin Silva – tattoo artist & master painter…


together, we will create some meaning to the word art.

A very different kind of workshop. trying to help break the industry mold of conformity and “must haves”. Artist on artist energy.

Why am I doing this? Well, It took me a while to decide to shoot what I want, how I want, when I want, who I want. I have done some personal mentoring and always harp on shooting things you love. I am usually met with the response of, “but I’m good at shooting this..” or “I get a lot of those clients..” or, “I need to make money”, and then, in the same breath I am told that they are struggling to even make ends meet….

I remember in the beginning of my journey having mentors like the incredible CJ Nicolai helping me see the light within myself to evolve around my own personal art as well as providing for a business. TWO very hard things to do. Just because you are an artist doesn’t mean you have to be a professional, and vice versa.

So with the industry struggle of making money doing what you love within the realm of photography, what is the point of shooting what you loathe, and that sucks the life out of you if you aren’t even profiting in the end?

And for those of you that see comfortable profit, are you feeling burnt out and lacking enthusiasm, and losing that artist spark you once craved when you picked up your camera?

Lets put a stop to that now. Let me preface by saying, this is NOT a business workshop. Nor is it a workshop based on learning my techniques, workflow, settings etc… this is more of a cohesive force of photography minds amidst  a learning experience I walked along, alone, for some time. This is something no one could teach me, or guide me along. There is a very small – yet profound – piece of my journey that I found myself on, in solitude. I am now sharing it, and want to see the melding and evolution in others. I found that becoming a part of a bigger community of artists among different mediums of art, I began to grow and evolve in a much more tangible and attainable direction for my business.

I attended the YAN FAM WAY workshop last year taught by Yan Palmer of Yan Photography . Upon review of my portfolio, she said:

do me a little insider favor?

can you write something just short about what helped you find

the most in finding your authentic voice?

and bring that to the workshop

to help inspire your fellow homies?”

The first words out of my mouth when it came time for me to give my intro in that circle of substantial-beautiful-souled-stranger was, “Well, one day I just literally said, “FUCK IT!” I figured we were all grown adults, and artists  – whom seem to be a bit more eccentric and harder to shake – so the F-bomb seemed to be wildly appropriate and necessary to really describe a “defining moment”. I refused to shoot things that were deemed popular since they did absolutely nothing for me. I refused to follow “rules” that made no sense to me as an artist. I understood and honed those rules, and they didn’t help me create dynamic moving work that I wanted so badly. I will never ever ever ever forget the most simple but impactful words CJ Nicolai said to me during our first ever mentor session: “Why are you shooting things you don’t love just because you are good at them? I am great at karaoke but I don’t want to be known as the karaoke singer.” BAM. Nailed it.

Still sits with me.

It was time I left my comfort zone. Finding other areas of photography to try, speaking to other artists, watching other artists work, it tugged at my creativity. Lit a spark for me to evolve and grow beyond expectations.

So I’m taking the time now to help industry professionals. You can be an advanced hobbyist or a seasoned pro. I want you to have a “FUCK IT” moment. It was such a defining moment for me in my business and as an artist. It took a long time, a lot of alone time, trial and error, to get to that point and my evolution is no longer stagnant but it is growing. I haven’t “found myself”, and I hope never do. But I found that bigger purpose for that journey. I want to “Master” the art of…

NEVER MASTERING, BUT ALWAYS GROWING’ (for those social media people… I want to be like #felicia… always goin’ somewhere…. #byefelicia) 😉

So, with that, I am creating a community artist workshop.

Titled, Fusion.

This workshop will not be about settings, and technicalities or niche photography.

I am joining forces with these two fantastic artists, to help channel that artist energy. We are purposely photographing and working with NON-PHOTOGRAPHERS. Utilizing a different medium of art to photograph is grand and liberating.

We will be photographing these talented artists while they work.  Live.  They will be painting, we will be observing, photographing and feeding off the energies of them. Getting creative with our perspectives behind the lens, doing so much more than just “taking their picture”. We will review all the images, discuss beyond a technical standpoint, – what drove you to take that image? What about their art and expressive moment made you shoot that? etc. There will be MUCH discussion on utilizing natural AND available light ONLY, and dynamic perspectives of “that shot”. We will have an honest, casual chat at the end on how we feel about our current business, and what we shoot. This workshop is supposed to help nurture your current professional work, and/or current niche you enjoy photographing (if you are a hobbyist) via other art mediums.

I also hope to LEARN FROM YOU! A collective effort!

Lets tap into that greatness that drives you behind the camera. I will be giving a different kind of critique on your own personal portfolios as well. Hoping to pull up some deeper inspiration for your very own work you do in your business. This is meant to help grow your business AND evolve you as an artist.

July 25th

11am -7pm (dinner/drinks provided after)


if you book by April 18th (midnight) it is only $480!


There will be tons of sponsors, giveaways, raffles…and the art pieces done by Tommy & Marvin will be raffled off as well!!!

NOTE: if you do not want to get a seat in the workshop, for $15 you can come after 7pm to join the raffle for their painting and food and drinks.
Raffle must be paid prior, bring receipt/ID. VERY limited amount.

email for a workshop spot/raffle, and with any and all questions/concerns!




a glimpse. long island new york lifestyle film photographer. grace photography

Another month is here, to blog our film goodness in our Film Mama group on FB!  Some amazing artists lined up.. mine?

just a little looksy into one of our days. I have been trying very hard (not so hard, because my digi cam is of no interest to me much these days…) to only use my bronica to shoot my family and document our days.

I absolutely adore that camera, and it has taught me a thing or two, that has helped me with client work.

thanks, bro. (get it?.. hehehehe..)

so these pics were shot on portra 400, and Tri-X 400. Pretty sure that Tri-X trumps anything I could ever do to a digital black and white conversion.

just stupendous.

soooooo, here you will see my two girls having a play/lunch date with my best friend – sister wife, as we like to say – and her daughter Harper (the one chowing down on her burrito bowl from Chipotle – trust me you will recognize that bowl), and her baby Brother Gunnar – my godson, and probably the only son I will ever have. Love that baby man!

just an exhaustingly boring day inside my home, with some really awesome people.

OH and if you are wondering, when you arrive at those pics of my oldest with her dolls..she said she is “nursing the puppies” – again, you will know exactly which pics I’m talking about. 😉

gunlegsblogand now, head over to the fabulous Jacqueline Rose Photography’s blog for her rendition of this month’s circle! I am lucky enough to be linking to not only another local fellow photog, but another one of my besties as well!

first rolls. long island new york film photographer. grace photography by max grey

I miss it.

film days.

how I learned, and oh how I took it for granted!

I decided to try my hand at a full manual, simple, no bells and whistles required, medium format Bronica. Boy is it fun.

the crank is exhilarating. I feel liberated, and at peace.

I didn’t even care how the scans came back, the act of shooting that bronica was all my artist heart needed.

I became a member recently of a fantastic film forum on facebook, filled to the brim with incredibly talented and helpful women, ‘the film mama’.

we do a blog circle every month, and this is my first post, and appropriately, with my first two rolls of film.

most of these images were shot at 1/15th shutter speed, f/2.8 and 4oo speed film. proud of the mess & all the film “oopsies”, and I can’t wait to dig deeper.

after you spend some time here, hop on over to see Jeanine Phelps of, Bella Jewel Photography for some of her film greatness this month!

a year in review: 2012 | long island ny baby, child & family on location photographer | grace photography

It started with a birth…

February 27, 2012


of a beautiful baby girl, we call Sierra…

12blog 11blog 7blog 9blog 2finalblog

which  made us a family of 4…


and Em a big sister…

emandsierrablog emsierralipblog emandsierra3blog

who turned 2…


and then started school…


when her little sister was just about 6 months…


and a few months later here we are. Full circle. New year. What will it bring?

This post is emotional for me.

Not because it recapped my beautiful family in 2012, but because we are dealing with some health issues with our youngest. Sierra (or as Em calls her, Yaya).

Sparing specifics for now since we are not really sure what exactly is going on, I am praying 2013 will give me answers.



a new found love for life.

the same love  I felt on February 27, 2012.

I wish nothing more than health and happiness for all. I know that is the cliche saying during the new year, but health and happiness are the two most important things in this crazy place we call life.

and I wish it for all.

Happy 2013. xo

I Heart Faces – Hey Girl

“I smile because you are my sister. I’m laughing because there is nothing you can do about it.” – Unknown

Sweet, young, innocence.

A friend for life? Time will tell.

For now, we laugh.

Check out all the wonderful entries for this week’s theme here:
Photo Challenge Submission