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Spring Flowers in West Hartford, CT

I stepped into a field of Spring Flowers in West Hartford, CT at the Elizabeth Park Greenhouse Flower show in March.  I was overcome and intoxicated by the scent, the colors and the beauty.  This is what I saw.  Enjoy.
Spring Flowers in West Hartford, CT, Macro Photography, Kim Bova Photography, Elizabeth Park Greenhouse Flowers Show, Hartford, CT

'Passion'

Spring Flowers in West Hartford, CT, Macro Photography, Kim Bova Photography, Elizabeth Park Greenhouse Flowers Show, Hartford, CT

'Intoxicate'

Spring Flowers in West Hartford, CT, Macro Photography, Kim Bova Photography, Elizabeth Park Greenhouse Flowers Show, Hartford, CT

'Come To Me'

Spring Flowers in West Hartford, CT, Macro Photography, Kim Bova Photography, Elizabeth Park Greenhouse Flowers Show, Hartford, CT

'Delicate Breath'

Spring Flowers in West Hartford, CT, Macro Photography, Kim Bova Photography, Elizabeth Park Greenhouse Flowers Show, Hartford, CT

'Dreaming'

The intention behind these photographs of Spring Flowers, were to capture images that reflected the feeling I had upon entering the Elizabeth Park Greenhouse in West Hartford a couple of weeks ago in March.  I guess it was a long winter.  Viewing the wash of color and intense aroma of these tulips took my breath away.  I just stood there breathing in and looking at the array of colors and the variety in size and shape.   Once I returned to earth, I decided a macro lens would give me the 'feeling' of dreamy, intoxication that I experienced being in the presence of these gorgeous blooms. Therefore, I used a very shallow field of focus, that is, a large aperture on the camera settings like f2-f4.  I wanted a wisp of focus, no details needed, but just enough to be drawn in my the lure of these beauties.   If you love spring flowers, make sure you put it in your calendar for next March, to get yourself to the Elizabeth Park Greenhouses for the Spring Flower Show .  Check their website because the flowers may bloom earlier or later depending on our weather.  This year they bloomed early and I almost missed it - I luckily got myself there on the last day!   If you are interested in prints of my tulip photographs, please contact me by email, phone, or text.  Please share this link with anyone who may be interested in my work, either my Art prints or Wedding & Portrait services.  Thank you. Enjoy your spring as the colors and blossoms emerge.  Kim.  

April Snow!

April snow in CT today!  Just hoping it melts very fast. April Snow, Kim Bova Photography April Snow, Kim Bova Photography, April Snow, KimBovaPhotography, Spring Snow in New England. SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave

Summer Dreaming In March.

SUMMER DREAMING.

Do you miss summer as much as I do?  Well, with another n'or easter rolling into Connecticut today, I am really done with winter.  Earlier today I was reading a blog post about how going to the beach is so healthy for your mind and body and found myself lost in a fit of summer dreaming.  Since it is not a good beach day I started photographing my seashell collection.  Yes, it is kind of dorky, but I love photographing pretty things.  Still, I would rather feel some warm sand under my feet and smell the ocean air.  Hopefully, today is the last snow storm of the season!
Summer Dreaming, Summer in New England, Seashell Love

A little Seashell Love

Summer Dreaming, Kim Bova Photography, Shell Still life

My Favorite Beaches

I feel very lucky to live here in southern New England because there are many nice beaches a few hours away.  These shells and crab leg (above) come from my visits to Cape Cod's  National Seashore .   If you go there in the warm months, the beaches are amazing before 8 am and after 5 pm.  (Less people and free parking.)  We like the open space and feeling like we have more beach to ourselves.  Here is a great spot I found early one morning on the National Seashore in Wellfleet, MA.  Some signs of erosion over the past year or so... but still beautiful. National Seashore, Cape Cod, USA, Kim Bova Photography

Did you know:

  • A walk on warm sandy beaches activates thousands of nerve endings in your feet that are therapeutic.
  • Sand exfoliates your feet and skin and makes them feel softer.
  • The nutrients in sea water help retain our skin elasticity.
  • And the sun and fresh air help our mood.  Just thinking about these things cheers me up!
Click here for the blog post about how going to the beach is great for mind and body and start planning your summer beach get away. Look like the snow is starting to fly now so it will be time for me to get out there and shovel soon.  Thanks for stopping by my blog and please leave me a note about your favorite beach anywhere in the world!  I would love to know about it.                             SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

CT Headshots: No Selfies Please!

CT Headshots: No Selfies Please!

Headshots are so important these days for all professions online and in print.  All professionals need a headshot including business owners, real estate agents, actors, musicians and even photographers.  IF you have a business, you need a good professional headshot.  I created quite a few headshots at the studio this year, however, at least 5 people told me they finally called me after struggling with white sheets, make-shift lighting set ups, cell phones or a friend with a camera to create their own headshot on the cheap. Please DO NOT try to make a selfie as your professional headshot and think that you can get work from it.  Hire a professional photographer - we are here to help you.  It is unlikely, unless you have the skills to do retouching properly, to get a photo from a cell phone or cheap camera that would look professional.  If you want to stand out, do it right and hire a pro.

CT Headshot for Actors:

Like so many others, this young actor below tried a selfie at home with her family but thank goodness she came to me for professional images.  She is graduating from High School and is applying to theatre programs for college.  I could see the talent in her and now she was free from the stress of trying to do this herself.  She was able put all her attention on being herself and as a result her headshot came out much better!  She gave me every expression possible during our session together.  It was fun for both of us and she loved how they turned out.  These are 3 of the different looks she created with me.  She did get into her school of choice, so congratulations to her! CT Pro Headshots_KimBova.com, CT Headshots:no Selfies Please, Kim Bova Photography CT Headshots for Actors, Kim Bova Photography My headshot sessions are customized for your profession or brand.  As a result, this enables us to create something that truly represents you.  For more headshot info please click HERE  . Thank you, Kim SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

Family Portrait Wrangling

Family Portrait Wrangling comes in handy with kids in the portrait session.

Family portrait wrangling is the photographers responsibility at a session with kids involved.  (Occasionally I have had to do it with adults but thankfully, not too often.)  I understand how hard it is for parents to get everyone together because I have I have a family, too.  However, the rewards are great and I encourage you to take the plunge if you have not already done so. Here is a common scenario at home while getting ready for a portrait session:
  • Everyone is grouchy
  • The boys don't like getting dressed up.
  • The girls can't decide what to wear or if their hair should be up or down.
  • Dad could care less and hopes it won't take too long.
  • Mom is feeling the pressure.
  • Sound familiar?  This story before a session has been retold multiple by my clients over the years.
First, let me share some photos of a family of 5 who came to me this past October for Fall Family Portraits.   Below is the last photo we created at our session.  Everyone was relaxed and comfortable. (I think I was making some strange sounds and funny faces to get their baby to look at me, too!)  It did not start this way.  In fact, this family never saw the first few photos I took.  They had nervous smiles and felt awkward.  This is normal!  This image below shows you where we ended up - everyone relaxed and looking at the camera.  Family Portrait Wrangling, Kim Bova Photography , Best CT Portrait Photographers

TIME

With enough time set aside, I have a chance to help my clients feel relaxed and make it a fun experience.  This session took about an hour and 15 minutes and we went to two places quite close to each other near my studio.  Small kids are more cooperative and relaxed with time and patience.  When they feel comfortable enough to roll in the grass and be themselves, you know you are on the right track!  Capturing the natural character of the kids are what parents love.  When they are not constantly being asked to be attentive to me and the camera it is easier on them all. Family Portrait Wrangling, Kim Bova Photography , Best CT Portrait Photographers
Family Portrait Wrangling, Kim Bova Photography , Best CT Portrait Photographers

In this photo above, I gave them all a job to do - pretend you are on a walk together, chat and make eye contact with each other. Kids like to play pretend!

 Family Portrait Wrangling, Kim Bova Photography , Best CT Portrait Photographers Family Portrait Wrangling, Kim Bova Photography , Best CT Portrait Photographers Family Portrait Wrangling, Kim Bova Photography , Best CT Portrait Photographers

Tips on wrangling.

Family Portrait mini-sessions don't always work as well when young kids are in the mix and here is why:
  • They need to time to scope out the photographer and get a feel for the situation.  They have no idea what is going to happen so they may be a little apprehensive.  The kids just want to play.   MEET the kids before the session if possible, it helps.  I did meet mom and the baby before this session and she shared photos of the whole family on Facebook which really helped.
  • The photographer needs to create opportunities to capture them naturally and being themselves.  This may take a few minutes depending on the individuals.  Patience, getting down at their level, learning  their names, being silly like pretending to forget their names and mix them up for example.  Having fun is key and find way to help them feel comfortable.  Remember that a photo session is hard for adults, too, so imagine how the kids feel!   I usually ignore the kids and talk to the parents upon greeting everyone.  This way the kids have a few minutes to check me out.  Then I will engage the kids, get a little silly, encourage them to look at stuff and explore the area a little.  Once they see how easy it is (and quick), they start having fun.
  • The photographer has to teach them all, the kids and parents, how to stand, how to be close together while looking good.  When everyone gets the hang of it they start feeling comfortable.  It is truly amazing to me how everyone, even the kids, just start hitting poses after awhile.  The kids will become more comfortable and then start ignoring me.  Then I can get those unexpected photos capturing them unaware of me and the camera.
Great day, great family! Interested in scheduling a Family Portrait Session? Call me anytime.  But if you want a schedule a Fall Family Portrait, understand that dates in October are highly popular.  Please call ahead in the summer to make sure you can book a convenient date for your family. Thanks for reading my blog, leave some 'blog love' if you like.  I would love your feedback. Kim  

Cantillon Brewery For Beer Lovers

Attention all Beer Lovers

If in your travels you find yourselves in Brussels, Belgium, you must take the time to visit Cantillon Brewery.  It is the home of the traditional 'Lambic Fermentation Style' beer.  The final product is called 'Gueuze' (More about this amazing beer in a moment).  This post is a continuation of my family adventure to Europe in May.  My son Dave voted to visit Cantillon Brewery in Brussels.  I was luke warm on it since I am gluten free so beer and I do not usually get along very well.  So, Cantillon Brewery was on the agenda and as it turned out, I loved this beer and we are friends.
Kim Bova Photography, Cantillon Brewery

My favorite beers from Cantillon

Cantillon Brewery

This Brewery is a working museum of Lambic Style beer.   For a small entry free of about 10 dollars you get a great experience:
  • self guided tour
  • a tasting of various flavors of beers in their delightful tasting room
  • time to hangout and chat with the owner/creators about their delicious beer and their process.
We were there for a couple of hours.  It was a fantastic experience.  The owners shared their passion, pride and dedication to keeping this craft alive for the world to continue to experience.  This Lambic style of beer is one that these people were drinking in Belgium for hundreds of years! 'Lambic' Style Beer.   No one can make a beer that tastes just like this because it is dependent on the local environment.  It is 'air fermented' and unique to this area of Belgium with the river right next to the brewery.  I am not sure of all the environmental details, but it is naturally fermented with what ever is floating around in the air right next to the Senne River which flows through Brussels and right past this brewery - you get the idea.  I am not a scientist but I find it fascinating!  To taste the real thing you have to go there. Gueuze (or Geuze) is a type of lambic a Belgian beer, a little bubbly like champagne and simply delicious.  Because of its carbonation, Gueuze is sometimes called "Brussels Champagne".   I love French Champagne - so this was a match for me!
Kim Bova Photography, Cantillon Brewery

Since the beginning of the 20th century, brewers have added regional fruits - sour cherries, raspberries and grapes to their lambics during the summer. To make these fruit-flavored beers, empty casks are filled with various fruits and macerated for three months to dissolve the fruits; then young lambic is added for fermentation.

Open Fermentation, Cantillon Brewery, Brussels, Belgium, Kim Bova Photography, Beer Brewing

Then the mash is fermented in this open topped copper attic mounted vat. This is a coppersmiths masterpiece, not a single weld to be found! You can see the open air vents in the attic room here with screens to keep bad bugs out. They never kill spiders in the brewery as they keep the insect population at bay during the summer months.

Kim Bova Photography, Oak Barrels Beer Fermentation, Cantillon Brewery

Then it goes into the oak barrels where slow fermentation happens 3-4 weeks later. This is where the lambic is born. They wait 3 years. Sometimes after 3 year the original liquid amounts may evaporate and only have 80 % of the original left. The lambic may be drunk at this stage, but for a more refined beer like Gueuze and Kriek, we have to wait another year. This is why Annheiser Busch does not make this kind of beer! You see why this is quite distinct from all other beers? The brewer now blends 1, 2, and 3 yr old Lambic for secondary fermentation in the bottle, but first goes into the stainless steel barrels to test for taste and selection for the blend which becomes the Cantillon Gueuze.

Bottles of Lambic Beer, bottle fermentation, Cantillon Brewery, Kim Bova Photography

There are many more steps and details depending not the type of beer here, but to simplify, the beer is put into bottles where they are corked and on their sides in the cellar for another several months.

Cantillon is in the middle of Brussels and easy to get to on foot or by taxi.  You probably don't want to drive there as the parking looked a bit tough and if you sit in the comfy tasting room for too long you may not want to drive.  I hope you get to visit this fascinating brewery at some point.  I highly recommend it.  I apparently can tolerate this beer even being Gluten free. Not sure why.  I can truly call myself a beer love now.  Too bad bottles sold in the US are $30 a piece!  But it is still cheaper than traveling to Brussels... so maybe I will treat myself once in a while! Click here to see more photos of my adventures in France. For more information about Cantillon go here. Bon voyage!      

Senior Portrait Photography in Connecticut

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year.  It is a great time for Senior Portrait Photography in Connecticut.  This year has been both a pleasure and a challenge.  The weather for the most part has been wonderful, even with so little rain and unusually warm conditions.  Unfortunately, the colors never really popped.  The only 'reds' I had here were the poison ivy vines!  When the rain and wind did come all the leaves came down except for the mighty oaks which were pretty ravaged in my neck of the woods by caterpillars.  Ah, the challenges of outdoor portraits!  Besides all this, I managed to arrange and rearrange schedules to make it all work this October. Senior Portrait Photography does not have to be limited to High School Seniors.  This year I did a number of College Senior Portraits for graduating UCONN students, both last spring and this fall. Meet Tara, a senior from UConn who called me about senior portraits as a gift for her parents after putting her through college.  What a wonderful idea and I am sure her parents will be thrilled.  Tara is a bright and intelligent young lady from Texas.  She fell in love with New England and wanted an opportunity to be photographed in the beautiful fall colors.

To plan for our senior portrait photography session we did 3 important things:

  • We connected by phone, determined a date for the session.
  • Then we met in person to get to know each other a bit, and I learned about what she loved about New England so I could incorporate those things in the photos to remember her best times here at UCONN.
  • We discussed what she would wear, the colors that she looks good in, and what colors would look good in the environment.
After postponing and rescheduling due to the weather, I think we created some wonderful portraits together.  Here are a few favorites:
Senior Portrait Photography in Connecticut, Fall Portrait Photography, Kim Bova Photography, Best Photographers in CT

Love the soft back light in this lovely grass field.  Her maroon textured dress looks great against the green and straw color of the dry grasses.

Best Photographers in CT, Senior Portrait Photography in Connecticut, Fall Portraits in Connecticut, Kim Bova Photography

Tara rocking her cowboy boots in New England!  The grey weathered barn is a nice combo of color with her outfit.

Senior Portrait Photography in Connecticut, Best Photographers in CT, Fall Portraits in Connecticut, Kim Bova Photography

And the golden back light also looks great with maroon.  Thanks, Tara, for such a fun session!

Let me know if you have any questions about Senior Portrait photography in Connecticut or about my Family Sessions.  I am happy to see if we can squeeze you in before Thanksgiving! Kim