I hope everyone is enjoying the lovely weather as much as I have! After having been blanketed in tons of snow, I think it’s safe to say… New Yorkers are welcoming Spring with open arms. I’ve been a bit on the sick side so it’s nice to be able to sit on my porch and take in the sun. The left side of my jaw is swollen and won’t open. I know I just set myself up for a bunch of dirty jokes but rest assured, it’s extremely painful. Before I go and submit myself to the sun’s beckoning call, I shall leave you with a photograph I took yesterday. No amount of swelling or pain will stop me from capturing a gorgeous bride’s smile…
On a side note, I wanted to send out a big giant thank you to Julia for setting up the shoot! Julia… you’re a butterball full of energy and I appreciate every minute with you!
Last night, I went to a gathering of fellow photographers and had such a blast! There was tech talk, pizza, shooting tips, beer, sharing experiences, and oh yeah… more beer! It was nice to see how other photographers are doing their work. Can’t wait for next month’s meeting!
I love ordering online. Risking the chance of sounding absolutely ridiculous, I’m just going to go ahead and say it… making purchases online feel less painful and I love when the package arrives. I know I know… “Astami, a pair of shoes for $250 online is the same as a pair of shoes in the store for $250!” Well, I say you’re wrong. It’s not the same. When I purchase things online, I usually have a code of some sort that’ll take off 10 % here or free shipping there and the absolute gratification I get from receiving the box, to ripping open the box like the mongrel that I am is priceless. My UPS guy always laughs about how excited I get when I receive a package and today was no different. He said, and yes, I am directly quoting “I feel like Santa.” Hmmm… that sounds so dirty typed out. It wasn’t in person though… I swear!
I’ve taken this feeling of excitement and pleasure over to my business. As a photographer, I wanted to feel more like a product and not just a service. While the service itself should never be underappreciated as it is a result of hours upon hours of practice and perfecting one’s craft not to mention hundreds and thousands of dollars worth of equipment, I, Astami T., at first felt bad for charging for my services. I truly did. It took a lot talking to myself “How could I charge somebody for doing something I absolutely enjoy?” And then there were days where I’d purchase an item and it was well… pricey. To change that up, I decided to create a product out of myself. Each client receives a box decorated by me and to this day, every single person writes back to me and comments on the box. Much like purchasing a pair of shoes online, I too am a product. Well, not me per say… but the CD in a box, is a product one would receive a tracking number for and receive a box on your doorstep and rip open. They appreciate the time and attention to detail I put in into each client and that in return makes me… a product.
So you might be wondering what package I received today to start up such a blog entry…
Eeeeeeeee!! That’s right y’all! My very own shootsac!!!
I’m in love. -sigh- I am completely and totally infatuated with this neoprene satchel plus an ever-so-chic poppy flower cover. Thank you Jessica Claire, for being so innovative and brave enough to make such a camera and lens friendly bag without it looking like a camera bag. Homegirl lives in NYC and I don’t want to be walking around with a bag that screams “steal me.” Goodbye messenger bag! You were good to me. You helped me a lot, but now I’m moving on to bigger and better things. I won’t have to put my lens in a sack each time. Messenger bag… you will be missed. Sike! Hello shootsac!
For the past two nights, I have been overindulging myself in the company of good food, good drinks, and best off… great friends. Remember the good old days? The days where we could chat about your new toy, or discuss yesterday afternoon’s episode of thunder cats in the school yard? Nowadays, I have to pencil in time with my friends and I’ve come to realize, it’s not easy… this thing called life, but it’s totally worth it. Like many of you, I am balancing work, a relationship, friends, and family while trying to keep some of my sanity. Wednesday evening, my friend, Ada, and I, went to this magnificent, yet quaint French restaurant in Long Island City called Le Tournesol. The ambiance… oozing with french cool-ness. The service… attentive and genuinely kind. The food… left you saying ‘mmmm’ after each bite. No really… it looked like the scene from When Harry Met Sally. Every single bite was memorable. Delicious! Ada and I spent the entire evening chatting about our lives, catching up on the new, reminiscing about the old, and boy did we have fun!
Last night, me and two girlfriends, went to Martha’s Bakery. Nothin’ special… just a night out with my girls and cupcakes. Do I really need to say more? Probably not. But I can leave you with a picture… which is worth a thousand words. Whomp whomp whommmmmmp… yes, I’m that corny.
I love my iPhone. I profess my love to it almost everyday. iPhone… I love thee. One day, upon checking my e-mail, I started screaming like the mad woman that I am and all Chan does is shake his head. I told him to shake his his head all he wanted, he’s stuck with me. Forever and ever… muahahahahhhh.
I received an e-mail I was really hoping on getting from a woman named Maj. She starts it off by saying “I’m a friend of so and so and they love you.” The idea that my name was reffered out of love absolutely makes me melt inside. Could you think of anything nicer?!? Anywho, she continues on to tell me she just had twins and would like to do a photoshoot. TWINS?? I’ve never photographed twin newborns! You see here’s the thing about photographing a newborn… they’re teeny tiny. But when it’s a twin newborn, they tend to be even smaller and my oh my, was I… um, nervous. Upon entering their home, I immediately start to calm down. Her husband opens the door with a wide smile and says “my wife’s been expecting you. All I keep hearing is “Astami’s coming!!!” I laugh… gush… then continue oh-so-smoothly “well, I’m Astami, in case you were wondering.” That was when I wanted to kick myself for saying something so corny but he politely laughs along and says “the giant camera bag kind of gave it away.” Phew… corny joke swept aside. Thanks man. At this point, I proceed to set up. In case you were wondering where the so-called jitters I talked about on an old blog post went, simple… I allocated myself plenty of time prior to going inside to sit in the car and talk to myself. “Okay. Get yourself together. You’ve done this before. ” Yup. I talk to myself. It’s silly and probably looks absolutely ridiculous but I’m telling you… it works. However, please note that you should probably do this away from your shooting location. We wouldn’t want your client to think you’re completely nutso.
To be blessed with a baby is I’m sure a feeling like no other… but when there’s two? Gosh… one could only be so lucky! Please meet baby amani and baby jasmine. Yup… one boy and one girl. With an occasional smile, the flash of a dimple, and the ridiculously cute yawn comes plenty of squealing. Don’t worry, I apologized to their father for gushing so much. He laughed and said he understood. -phew-
Big sis Jasmine
And now lil’ bro Amani. Already a gentleman letting his sister go first.
Meet the twins…
And I just had to throw this next one in. It was long after we were done. Mom had to step away for one second and as I’m about to finish up packing, I hear someone talking. Dad was having a full blown conversation with the babies and let me tell you… they were listening. Intently. Or maybe they were just looking at him, trying hard to memorize his face. Whatever it was, I knew I had to take the camera out again. It’s a side of a man that I find so endearing. It’s the instinct inside of him that you know, no matter what… he would never, let anything bad happen to his children. He loves them so…
They really weren’t kidding when they say kids grow so quickly. It feels like it was only yesterday that I did little Mady’s newborn shoot and now she’s turning 1. I was blown away when she said “elmo.” The girl can talk?!? Last I checked, she was a baby! It’s bitter sweet seeing a baby grow so quickly. On the one hand, you couldn’t be more proud when she tries to say please and thank you which inevitably comes out more like ” jehh joo”. And on the other hand, you can’t help but wish that she stayed at the baby stage forever so you could hold her and hug her and bite their chunky thighs (parents… you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about). She was just as precious as the day I first met her and photographing her couldn’t be more fun!