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)

 

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

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.

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.

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.

Digging Out After Winter Storm Jonas in Newtown, Pennsylvania

On Sunday I spent part of the morning shoveling and trying to dig myself out from Winter Storm Jonas. Then in the afternoon, I went to make pictures and video of people in the Bucks County area also digging out. Here are some images and the video report.

Tara Grunde-McLaughlin (right) of Newtown, Pennsylvania shovels snow rom the sidewalk while cleaning up after Winter Storm Jonas Sunday January 24, 2016 in Newtown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Tara Grunde-McLaughlin (right) of Newtown, Pennsylvania shovels snow rom the sidewalk while cleaning up after Winter Storm Jonas Sunday January 24, 2016 in Newtown, Pennsylvania.  (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Jonathan Grunde-McLaughlin (left), 8 of Newtown, Pennsylvania throws snow at his brother Andrew Grunde-McLaughlin, 10, also of Newtown, Pennsylvania a day after Winter Storm Jonas Sunday January 24, 2016 in Newtown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Jonathan Grunde-McLaughlin (left), 8 of Newtown, Pennsylvania throws snow at his brother Andrew Grunde-McLaughlin, 10, also of Newtown, Pennsylvania a day after Winter Storm Jonas Sunday January 24, 2016 in Newtown, Pennsylvania.  (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Stacey Bancroft of Newtown, Pennsylvania shovels snow from the her porch while cleaning up after Winter Storm Jonas Sunday January 24, 2016 in Newtown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Stacey Bancroft of Newtown, Pennsylvania shovels snow from the her porch while cleaning up after Winter Storm Jonas Sunday January 24, 2016 in Newtown, Pennsylvania.  (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Jill McDade (left) and Michelle Cunningham, both of Newtown, Pennsylvania walk along State Street as the region cleans up after Winter Storm Jonas Sunday January 24, 2016 in Newtown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Jill McDade (left) and Michelle Cunningham, both of Newtown, Pennsylvania walk along State Street as the region cleans up after Winter Storm Jonas Sunday January 24, 2016 in Newtown, Pennsylvania. (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

A vehicle remains snow covered as the region cleans up after Winter Storm Jonas Sunday January 24, 2016 in Newtown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

A vehicle remains snow covered as the region cleans up after Winter Storm Jonas Sunday January 24, 2016 in Newtown, Pennsylvania. (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Great Fitness Photo Shoot with Erika Moorestown, New Jersey

Had a great photo shoot with Erika last week at Subversion Fitness in Moorestown, New Jersey.
Check out the pix.


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


Photo Illustration Eyes in Mask Philadelphia Illustrator Artist Photographer

Playing with some old images and made a photo illustration as a demo for my Surreal Digital Photography class.
This is the kind of stuff I wanted to create while attending University of the Arts. Problem then was that it was frowned upon to use photos in illustrations. A while back I had to photograph one of my old professors at the college who told me that this is all the students do now. The illustration was created using Adobe Photoshop CC.

Looks like I was ahead of my time. 🙁


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Defelice Family Portrait Photo Shoot Newtown Pennsylvania Photographer

Met and photographed a lovely couple and their adorable daughter. I met the Defelice family at Tyler State Park in Newtown, Pennsylvania for a photo shoot. While the weather was excruciatingly humid, the baby and the family was cool. This enabled me to make some cute pix in the park. Check them out @ http://cainimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/Defelice/G00009NMIkFlIpzQ

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/

Rooney On Location Portrait Shoot Yardley, Pennsylvania

Made some nice images of the Rooney boys. They were two of the most pleasant munchkins I have photographed in a while. Check out some of the images. Gallery @ http://cainimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/Rooney/G00007gqFmos0_Cc/


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.