Sister Josaphat Slobodian Creates Ukrainian Easter Eggs with Pysanky

Sister Josaphat Slobodian dyes an egg while she does Ukrainian eggs, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian dyes an egg while she does Ukrainian eggs, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

In May of 1990 I was working on a feature story for the Philadelphia Inquirer about the fact that nuns were getting older and new nuns were not taking their place. The 132 acre province was home to the dwindling order of Sisters of Saint Basil The Great in Glenside. I believe I spent a day and a half there making pictures. It was a time when newspapers would give a photojournalist the time needed to capture images that would illustrate a story and do it justice. They also allotted a good amount of space for it with the Neighbors sections.

Sister Josaphat Slobodan heats up an egg to melt wax while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysnaky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodan heats up an egg to melt wax while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysnaky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) 

 

While I was wandering around the motherhouse grounds I met a few nuns that were kind enough to allow me to hang with them as they went about their day. One sister tended to horses, another maneuvered a tractor across the lawn, one nun was tending her garden and yet another was washing outdoor furniture. Some of the nuns taught at St. Basil Academy. The one I have never forgotten is the sister I met in one of the buildings of Manor College. Upstairs far above the classrooms was an attic which Sister Josaphat Slobodian used as her workspace. There, every Easter, she made Ukrainian Easter Eggs with a technique referred to as “Pysanky.” According to pysanky.info, Pysanky is an Easter egg decorated using a wax resist (aka batik) method. Its name derives from the Ukrainian verb “pysaty,” meaning “to write. Design motifs on pysanky date back to pre-Christian times–many date to early Slavic cultures, while some harken to the days of the Trypillians, my neolithic ancestors, others to paleolithic times.”

 

Sister Josaphat Slobodian places wax on an egg while doing her Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian places wax on an egg while doing her Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

It is a really interesting process to watch. Sister Josaphat allowed me to hang around while she made the eggs. Some of the details in the eggs must have taken her hours to finish. They were so detailed with indicate patterns. I must say, it was some of the most inspiring art work I had seen in a while.

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sadly, Sister Josaphat passed away a few years ago. I just found that information out a few days ago. But with Easter coming, I thought it appropriate to share some of the images I made while she created her Ukrainian Easter Eggs May 1, 1990. A few days after I made these images, a small box showed up in the mail at the office. It held a very cool Ukranian Easter Egg that Sister Josaphat had made. It was one of the finished eggs in her collection that she noticed me admiring the day I was at the Motherhouse. In the box was a nice thank you note.

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Twenty eight years later, I still have that egg. It rests on my mantle.

Every time I look at it I think of Sister Josaphat.

A batch of finished Ukrainian Easter eggs created by Sister Josaphat Slobodian are shown Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

A batch of finished Ukrainian Easter eggs created by Sister Josaphat Slobodian are shown Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

 

Last Days of Visitation at the National Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel in Bensalem, Pennsylvania

Like any residents in the Philadelphia area who know of Mother Katharine Drexel, I too made the pilgrimage in the last days of visitations before the closing of the shrine. The grounds of Saint Katharine Drexel will be sold in the near future, and I am told sale is imminent. They are now awaiting approval from the pope. I walked into the shrine from a bitter cold winter day and made my way through the chapel to the downstairs shrine. The first thing I noticed was how much warmer it is in the shrine area. Not sure if it is just because of all the people who have been frequenting the shrine since the announced sale and closing over a year ago. Or maybe it was the feeling of overall spirituality that overcomes you upon arrival.

The people I spoke with seemed upset at the closing, but understood why it has to happen. You see, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament are older and pretty much dying off one by one. The large residence and shrine is 42 acres and costs a lot of money to maintain. The sisters are also selling 2,200 acres in Virginia. Many of the nuns left the Drexel home as of this past May. The ones that remained were part of the day to day operations.

While I’m sad to see the shrine and property go, I wish the sisters a happy retirement.


Dreaming Of Affordable Housing

In 1992, I spent a few days working on a story about the lack of affordable housing in the Philadelphia suburbs of Bucks County. The other day I read a post on Facebook about how a community came together to help place a family into an affordable home since they were about to lose their residence and it was so close to Christmas. I made the following images in June of 1992. Seems to me that there was a problem way back then that still exists to this day and folks need housing 365 days a year. Not just because it’s Christmas. It’s great that people banded together to help that family, but don;t forget that there are another 364 days a year that people in the Philadelphia region go homeless. So much more needs top be done.

Here are some of the images.

Gwen Thomas, 24, combs her 4 year old daughter Dionna's hair the George Washington Motor Lodge Tuesday June 23, 1992 in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (WILLIAM THOMAS CAIN / For The Philadelphia Inquirer) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Gwen Thomas, 24, combs her 4 year old daughter Dionna’s hair the George Washington Motor Lodge Tuesday June 23, 1992 in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (WILLIAM THOMAS CAIN / For The Philadelphia Inquirer) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

 

4 year old Dionna Thomas looks out the door at the George Washington Motor Lodge, where she and her mother are living Tuesday June 23, 1992 in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (WILLIAM THOMAS CAIN / For The Philadelphia Inquirer) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

4 year old Dionna Thomas looks out the door at the George Washington Motor Lodge, where she and her mother are living Tuesday June 23, 1992 in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (WILLIAM THOMAS CAIN / For The Philadelphia Inquirer) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

 

Stevie Nicole Painter, 3, clings to her mother Debbie's leg as her she holds son Brandon, 7 months at the George Washington Motor Lodge, where they are living Tuesday June 23, 1992 in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (WILLIAM THOMAS CAIN / For The Philadelphia Inquirer) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Stevie Nicole Painter, 3, clings to her mother Debbie’s leg as her she holds son Brandon, 7 months at the George Washington Motor Lodge, where they are living Tuesday June 23, 1992 in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (WILLIAM THOMAS CAIN / For The Philadelphia Inquirer) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

And here is a few clip from the Inquirer, 1992.

Every Picture Has a Story: Marie Noe

Marie Noe arrives at her home in Philadelphia, Monday, June 28, 1999. The 70-year-old Noe plead guilty Monday to smothering eight of her ten young children under a plea agreement with prosecutors in a case that dated back to 1949. Under the plea agreement, Mrs. Noe will serve no jail time in exchange for pleading guilty to eight counts of second-degree murder and will be sentenced to 20 years of probation. (AP Photo/William Thomas Cain) (WILLIAM THOMAS CAIN/AP)

Marie Noe arrives at her home in Philadelphia, Monday, June 28, 1999. The 70-year-old Noe plead guilty Monday to smothering eight of her ten young children under a plea agreement with prosecutors in a case that dated back to 1949. Under the plea agreement, Mrs. Noe will serve no jail time in exchange for pleading guilty to eight counts of second-degree murder and will be sentenced to 20 years of probation. (AP Photo/William Thomas Cain) 

Every picture has a story behind the making of that image.

It’s June 28, 1999. A warm summer day. I pack up a single Nikkormat that had a busted light meter and an 85mm 1.8 lens along with a half a roll of film, hop into my Jeep Wrangler. No doors. No top. Warm air. Dreamy summer day for a drive into the upper parts of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I’m envisioning a long cruise with the radio on.

I leave the house. Head up Rt. 263 to Rt. 413. Make a left. Next thing you know I am in Bedminster. It’s about 11 AM.
The phone rings. It’s Bernadette Tuazon, who at the time was the Pennsylvania photo editor for the Associated Press. She asks if I’m available. I said yes, but all I have with me is a Nikkormat and two lenses along with a half roll of Fujicolor Film. It doesn’t matter. No one else was around. She asked if I can get to North Philadelphia…as soon as possible. Of course, I say yes. Apparently, Marie Noe, the 70-year-old woman who plead guilty to smothering eight of her ten young children was headed home for house arrest. I never in a million years thought I could get there in time and was very leary of the fact that I didn’t have much film (yes, this was way back when we shot film).

Somehow, in 60 minutes I made it from Bedminster to Noe’s home on American Street in Philadelphia. I arrived just as she was about to enter her home. I left out of the Jeep with my camera in hand. Luckily, it was loaded and ready to go. As I ran closer to the door setting my exposure. Remember, the meter did not work. I had to guess at the exposure. Overcast day, 400 ISO = 2000 @f5.6.

 

 

Luckily, she had a rough time with the lock. Her face was looking straight at the door, until Matt O’Donnell (God Bless Him!) from 6ABC in Philadelphia blurted out her name a few times. By that time I was standing next to Matt. I was able to make one image, turn the camera to the next frame and then one more click. She looked right at us with a scary look that I have yet to forget. At that moment, I knew I had the image I needed.

I then went and process the film. All two frames were perfect.

Nikkormat with 85mm 1.8 lens

Years before, one of my old Philadelphia Inquirer colleagues, Akira Suwa, said to me at lunch one day that I should be able to feel the light. He then quizzed me on the different exposures and ISO’s in certain situations. I did get them all correct, but I never thought anything of that conversation until the moment when i was guessing the exposure for Marie Noe’s image. Boy was he correct. That lesson at an every day lunch made me think. I’ve never forgotten that and always try to guess at the exposure before I use my light meter to this day.

That said. Here is the image of Marie Noe. It is with thanks to Bernadette Tuazon, Matt O’Donnell and Akira Suwa.

 

 

 

[a once and a while series telling the story behind the image]

John McCain Receives 2017 Liberty Medal

Last night I photographed John McCain receiving the 2017 Liberty Medal from former Vice President Joe Biden at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
Embed from Getty Images

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!

What Makes A Good Headshot?

Next time you or someone you know needs a new headshot, take the time to ask yourself, “what makes a good headshot?”
To me, and I’ve been working as a professional photojournalist for over thirty years, a good headshot needs three things.

1: Good light (light that shows 3 dimensionality of the subject)

 (William Thomas Cain)

(Above – Studio headshot with grey backdrop and highlight on back of head)

2: Good face (it should show who you are and your face needs to fill a good portion of the frame)

Jennifer Robles is photographed Wednesday December 14, 2016 in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

(Above – Outdoor headshot with background out of focus)

3: No hands (no hands in face. hands are a distraction that take away light from the face)

PHILADELPHIA - MARCH 20: Academy Award winning actress Halle Berry poses for photos at the Four Seasons Hotel March 20, 2007 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Berry was in Philadelphia for a showing of her new film "Perfect Stranger." (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images for the Boston Globe) (William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

(Above – Academy Award winning actress Halle Berry in front of tan wall)

This are three basic rules of thumb. Another factor that needs to be thought about is, what image are you trying to portray in your headshot? Is it for business, acting, modeling, etc.??

 (William Thomas Cain)

(Above – Studio headshot on Grey Backdrop with no highlight on head)

Your headshot should portray what you need it to for whatever the ultimate usage.

Most times what I see that photographers tend to provide for clients is not a true headshot, but a nice portrait. That’s all well and good, but if it doesn’t suit your purpose, it is useless.

REHOBOTH BEACH, DE - JANUARY 25: Deborah Sharp who survived a five day ordeal in which she was raped and kidnapped in 1998, poses for a photo January 25, 2006 in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images) (William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

(Above – Portrait in home)

In my last year working as a staffer at the Philadelphia Inquirer, I worked on the picture desk for a time. In that time, I had many business portraits come though the desk for profiles or news blurbs of people ‘s comings and goings from companies. I’ve seen them all. Nice simple images with a solid grey background to outrageously lit (overlit) headshot with a background of all different colors, cloud backgrounds and lots off what says they are not to be taken seriously. Many of the worst looked like high school portraits. Trust me, you don’t want that.

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 13: Heather Kumor Photographed by William Thomas Cain/cainimages.com for Fox Rothschild) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

(Above – Studio portrait on white backdrop – 3/4 length for client website in which the 3/4 view was requested)

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 13: Heather Kumor Photographed by William Thomas Cain/cainimages.com for Fox Rothschild) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

(Above – Studio portrait on white backdrop – full length for client website in which the full length view was requested)

That said. Here are my thoughts on what makes a good headshot for various uses.

I believe that a serious business headshot should generally have the subject fill the frame in a diagonal pose, with their face towards the camera. Hands should not be anywhere near the face and mostly be at your side or folder in front of you and never be part of the composition. And, a grey backdrop is appropriate. A cloud or various color backdrop is highly inappropriate for any kind of business headshot. If you ever go to a photographer that offers you that, run. By all means run like there is no tomorrow. That will not help you to be taken seriously in business.

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 9: Professor Jeremy J. Siegel (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Black Star) (William Thomas Cain/Black Star)

(Above – Headshot with more dramatic light on burgundy backdrop as per client request)

A more casual business portrait can be made outside, in a shaded area and either lit by available light or strobes (that means flash). Positioning should be the same as a serious business portrait, but in a nice outdoor setting.

5/13/11 12:53:17 PM -- NEW HOPE, PA. -- Veronica Haggerty -- Photo by William Thomas Cain/cainimages.com (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

(Above – more casual headshot outdoors with available light)

I believe that an acting or modeling headshot should have the same good solid light in the subjects face. Maybe not as three dimensional, but more frontal lighting. Maybe the composition should be slightly more diagonal.

One of the things that many people mistake for a headshot is an image that is more apporopr=iately used asa  portrait. A portrait generally shows more of an upper torso type of image which can or can not include hands. Generally, I always prefer that people rarely place their hands up to their face as the light tends to land on the hands and become a distracting plane in the image.

In the past when I was casting for a photo shoot, I would ask models for headshot. You would not believe how many models think a headshot is a three quarter length image or even worse yet, a full length photograph. I probably don’t need to tell you that those were the first ones tossed in the can because they couldn’t follow directions.  So, when someone asks you for a headshot, please, please, please, make sure that is what you provide. And make damn sure that your photographer can provide what you need to put your best foot forward, whether for business or modeling and acting. If you feel they can’t, move on to a photographer that can do it. Correctly.

4/26/11 2:39:27 PM -- Blue Bell, Pa. -- Fox Rothschild Attorney Jennifer L. Schwartz at work in the Blue Bell, Pa. office April 26, 2011. -- Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images for Fox Rothschild. (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

(Above – In office on location portrait with studio lighting)

When I do a headshot for anyone, the first thing I ask is what is their end goal? What do they want to headshot to show? How would they want to be portrayed? Once I have an idea, we can then plan on wardrobe. I always suggest keeping things simple. In many cases dark earthy colors tend to work best. Stay away from any kind of patterns. That might take away from your face.

Dr. Aakash Shah poses for a photograph outside Robert Wood Johnson Hospital Wednesday, November 16, 2016 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images for Ursinus College) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

(Above – Outdoor portrait lit with a portable strobe and backlit from the sun – the key here was to have the background in shade to make it recede in space)

The way we’ll set up headshot shoots is either individually or have a headshot day where we’ll block out a four hour time slot at a company and they’ll have 8-10 people set up a time for pictures. We actually just did a few headshot shoots over 7 hours where we were able to shoot 35 and 45 respectively.
This is done by bringing my mobile studio on location. It’s pretty simple. Lights, reflectors and a stool. People.

Each of the shoots takes maybe 15 minutes. The subject them will receive a link to a gallery of images for them to choose their favorite. In some cases we’ve actually had them choose the image they prefer on location by providing a laptop and showing  the images as we shoot live.

Next time you have to get a  headshot, think of some of the suggestions I’ve made here. The most important thing is to keep it simple. Show your best self and your headshot will be golden.

 (William Thomas Cain)

(Above – Just for fun – Portrait of dogs outdoors)

The day I met the Berenstains and found we shared the same education and a mutual friend

Back in 2001, on this date as a matter of fact, I had the coolest assignment to photograph Jan and Stan Berenstain, creators of the “Berenstain Bears” childrens’ books.

I was even able to have stuffed versions of Sister Bear, Pappa Bear, Momma Bear, and Brother Bear in the image for fun.
What was supposed to be a 30 minute shoot turned into a 3 hour gab fest. We got to chatting and I mentioned that I had actually studied illustration and painting at University of the Arts, and it turned out that they had gone to the Philadelphia Museum School of Art with my old high school art instructor, Ed Smith. If not for Ed Smith, i may not have been accepted to the school. He wrote me a hell of a recommendation when I applied and also helped me receive a partial scholarship. They told me old stories about their days with Smitty at college and what the school, which eventually became Philadelphia College of Art and inevitably The University of the Arts of today. What a day. What glorious people. Sadly, the Berenstains have both passed on, but their son continues the family business.
As for Smitty. Well, he’s still around. Probably making someone laugh, listening to the Grateful Dead and sketching.

Greatest Chefs In Philadelphia History

I believe this image is from some time in the mid 90’s. I was assigned to shoot an Iamy, or David Iams society assignment. The event was at the home of #Chef George #Perrier (2nd from left). It featured some of the greatest chefs in Philadelphia history cooking on the grill. The one I most remember though, is Chef Tell (left), born Friedman Paul Erhardt who owned Chef Tell’s Manor House in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania. It was a place that my wife and I frequented often and got to know Chef pretty well. He was a wonderful, jovial fellow always looking to put a smile on your face as well as feed your tummy. I recall one assignment where he was teaching a grilling class at his restaurant. He was showing the folks how to grill steaks. While I was photographing him, after one demonstration he handed me a fork full of steak and wanted me to taste it. As politely as I could, I declined because I don’t eat red meat. He snickered, then put his massive hand upon my shoulder, and squeezing the back of my neck said, “You’ve got ball my friend. No one tells me no.” Uh, oh!! I thought. Scared to death because he was a big imposing fellow. Then he busted out laughing. Received that he didn’t kill me, so did I. He never let me forget that night. Teased me whenever I stopped by.

I have to tell you. I always had the best doing experiences at his place and wish he was still around today. What a nice dude. To this day, I miss that guy.
That said, I can’t recall who the other chefs are in the photo. #cheftell #erhardt #perrier #dining #masterchef #genious #cook #dine #philadelphia #restauranteur #legend #manorhouse #greatfoodgreatcompany #easterbrunch #grill #barbeque

Image and Caption Sheet From One of My First Philadelphia Inquirer Photo Assignments

Going through my archives recently, I found some old negatives from one of my first Philadelphia Inquirer assignments. It was August 11, 1987, and I was assigned to make your typical grip and grin photo of Jennifer Hai-Ying Tsou as she accepted a sponsorship from the Jenkintown Rotary Club which enabled her to spend a year in China studying music. I recall making images of her address to the rotary, but not really digging the images. Since she was studying music in China, I felt the need to actually show that in a photograph. Luckily, after the luncheon, she agreed to allow me to make some images of her at the piano of her parents home in Jenkintown. These days Jen Su is an accomplished TV and Radio Presenter as well as Corporate Master of Ceremonies and and Actress/Singer. In the days of film, we had to type a caption for every frame we made, because many times we had a lab person, most likely the late, great, Gervase Rozanski, processing our film and then printing the images. The caption sheet was zeroxed to the back of the print and then the correct caption was circled with marker. If was a much, much different process back in 1987. According to the assignment sheet I made exposed 5 rolls of film for the assignment and got to work with one of my favorite writers from back in the day, John Ellis. I also got to meet a very nice young woman who has gone on to accomplish great things. One of the reasons I got into photojournalism was because of the cool people and things I get to meet and do. Beats being stuck in a studio working on an illustration night after night and being isolated from everyone.

In what other career would Bono of U2 promise to have a pint with you when you visit Ireland?

#flashbackfriday #bw #blackandwhite #jenkintown #rotary #pennsylvania @jensu1 @phillyinquirer #phillydotcom

Dentist Cares For HIV Patients

This is from an unpublished photo essay I worked on in 1989 at the Infectious Disease Clinic at Temple University. I spent a few days following around Dr. Michael Glick, who had started the IDC a year earlier. No one in the Philadelphia region was offering dental care to HIV patients at the time. Click and his staff were the only ones doing so that I had found at that time. Here are some archive images, from way back then.

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Long Before Teen Mom on MTV

Long before Teen Mom hit MTV screens, way back in 1989, while working for the Philadelphia Inquirer I spent a few days at William Tennent High School in Warminster, Pennsylvania making pictures of a program geared to keep Teen Moms in school. The school, and mostly, Centennial School District, set up a day care program so young women that had children while in high school could keep on attending school and get their diploma. It was pretty simple. The girls would drop of their child before classes started, then go to school. They could come back to visit the children any time during the day. Then would pick them up after school and in some cases, actually do their homework in the day care while waiting for the bus ride home.

Here are some of the images from the package I did in 1989. Images were shot with Tri-X film and probably pushed to 1600 ISO in most interiors with Nikon F3’s as camera of choice.

A teen mom does her homework while her daughter has a snack.

 

Teen mom and her daughter leave for school as her mother says good bye.

Teen mom and her daughter play during lunch break.

A group of teen moms share a laugh in the lunch room.

During lunch, a teen mom sets her daughters hair.

A young boy and girl play in the day care area of the high school.

Diaper changing time for a young child of a teen mom.

Teen mom drops off her daughter at day care at the school.

Lunch time in day care.

While her daughter is in day care, a teen mom chats in class with a friend.

A teen mom pours milk into her daughters cereal before leaving for school.

A child kisses her teen mom goodbye after being dropped off for day care.

Teen mom and daughter arrive for school.

Teen mom has a snack with her daughter.

Villanova Defeats IUP 94-49 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia

On Saturday I photographed the Villanova and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) basketball game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Villanova won the game 94-49.  The team unveiled their 2016 NCAA Final Four Championship banner in a ceremony before tipoff.
Here is a slideshow.


Full gallery available at: http://cainimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/IUP-vs-Villanova-at-Wells-Fargo-Center/G0000mIWZafkQ4NA/C0000A6_tA8BOb6M

Baseball, Baseball and more Baseball….

Over the last few days I’ve photographed a few baseball games. It’s actually one of my favorite sports to photograph. Mainly, because of the love I had playing the game in my early 20’s. Although, I pretty much rode the bench, except for that one time….

Picture it: 1987. I’m at the plate. First at bat ever in organized baseball. Take a called strike. Then take another. Count is zero balls and two strikes. And just before the next pitch, the umpire calls the game due to darkness. And that was that. Never played again. It took me a year to make the team, and finally got a shot and it was gone like that.

Anyhow back to shooting. Here is some video and stills from the past weekend. Slide shows and videos.

#TBT Pierre and Nick

#TBT I made this image in 1985 while a sophomore at University of the Arts. It was the first time I met Pierre Robert and Nick the Hot Dog Man at the corner of 19th and Walnut. If not for this meeting and photo, I probably would be drawing #Spiderman or #Batman comic books for a living.
Pierre Robert, left and Nick the Hot Dog Man pose for a photo while holding a bottle of Perrier in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

#blackandwhite #photojournalism #wmmr #history #rockandroll #home #philadelphia #classic #assignment #street #photography #posing #perrier #blackwhite #bw #onthesquare #933 #wellington #building #igers_philly #instagram #image #pierre #nick #hotdog #myfirstjob #myphotooffice

Two Days, Two States, Six Assignments….

Friday and Saturday I was in two states and shot six assignments. Sunday seems like payday with all of the clips to share today. One assignment didn’t run yet, but will be published next Sunday.

Here they are. Clips from The Philadelphia Inquirer, Bucks County Courier Times, The Intelligencer and The Burlington County Times.
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bctsports intellsports intellrobots bcctcancer2 bcctcancer bcctsports

Eastern Polar Bear Plunge Raises Money For Special Olympics in Bensalem, Pennsylvania


A group of plungers run into the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

A group of plungers run into the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain)

A group of plungers exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

A group of plungers exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain)

Judy Misoyianis of Vincenttown, New Jersey and Dennis Hart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania dressed as Baby Boomers exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Judy Misoyianis of Vincenttown, New Jersey and Dennis Hart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania dressed as Baby Boomers exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain)

From left, Amber Kenney, Karli Krug and Adam Bockius exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

From left, Amber Kenney, Karli Krug and Adam Bockius exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain)

600 souls braved 32 degree water temperatures to plunge into  the Delaware River and raise money for Special Olympics on Saturday at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem.

They helped raise $120,000 during Pennsylvania Special Olympics’ Eighth Annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge.

For $50 per person, a person could take a dip in the freezing river for a good cause.

Participants waded and splashed their way out into the water and around a banana rescue boat while high-fiving officers as they exited the frigid water.

Members of trevose fire company wore white wedding gowns into the water.

Hot chocolate and coffee was served by duke donuts, a sponsor of the event.

Eastern Polar Bear Plunge in

A group of plungers run into the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

A group of plungers run into the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

A group of plungers exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

A group of plungers exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Judy Misoyianis of Vincenttown, New Jersey and Dennis Hart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania dressed as Baby Boomers exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Judy Misoyianis of Vincenttown, New Jersey and Dennis Hart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania dressed as Baby Boomers exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

From left, Amber Kenney, Karli Krug and Adam Bockius exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

From left, Amber Kenney, Karli Krug and Adam Bockius exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

600 souls braved 32 degree water temperatures to plunge into  the delaware river and raise money for special olympics on saturday at neshaminy state park in bensalem.

they helped raise $120,000 during pennsylvania special olympics’ eighth annual eastern polar bear plunge.

for $50 per person, a person could take a dip in the freezing river fir a good cause.

participants waded and splashed their way out into the water and around a banana rescue boat while high-fiving officers as they exited the frigid water.

members of trevose fire company wore white wedding gowns into the water.

hot chocolate and coffee was served by duke donuts, a sponsor of the event.

Cooper Digs Snow

On Sunday, Cooper had a field day in the snow. This little dude loves, loves, loves playing in the snow. His biggest bit of fun is when he gets to play “snowballs”. For that, I make a nice sized snowball and throw it. he chases and tries to catch it in the air. He then proceeds to eat the dean thing. If he can’t catch it, he will bury his head into the snow until he comes up with it. Not just any bit of snow, but he will find the snowball that I threw his way.
Very cool smart little doggie.

My Pic On Pierre’s Christmas Card….Finally!!

After 30 years, I finally have had one of my images on my old friend Pierre‘s Christmas Card. The image, which shows Rodney, Pancake and Pierre on Rittenhouse Square during a live broadcast celebrating WMMR‘s 47th birthday at the station’s old home on Rittenhouse Square April 29, 2015 in the Wellington Building. Pierre's Christmas Card with my image from Rittenhouse Square

It was a nice Christmas present from something that I just went and shot for fun.