Jen Rinaldi Photography

Capturing Life's Fleeting Moments…

T’s First Birthday and THE CAKE! January 30, 2009

Below are some of the shots from T’s first birthday party that I shared a SNEAK PEEK from recently.

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves in order of how they happened!! :)

It was quite fun watching the little guy with his very own cow cake!


Author Nancy Marino: “Neil Armstrong Is My Uncle & Other Lies Muscle Man Mcginty Told Me” January 29, 2009

I shared the sneak peek of the lifestyle portrait session of Author, Nancy Marino, back in this post from November and tonight I’m doing the long overdue follow up.

Nancy’s first children’s book is being released this May and is available online at,, (amongst other places).

In my sneak peek for Nan’s shoot I mentioned that I’m so happy that I could be her photographer and happy to have her as a friend.  I’m looking forward to following her progress and I hope you will too!  If you have little on in your life that loves to read you can pre-order her book now!

You can access Nancy’s website HERE and her blog HERE.

Below is and overview of Nan’s book along with 4 of her top photo picks from the portrait session we did back in November.  I hope you love the photos!

Neil Armstrong Is My Uncle & Other Lies Muscle Man Mcginty Told Me

Product Description

  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (May 12, 2009)

Editorial Reviews

“Muscle Man McGinty is a squirrelly runt, a lying snake, and a pitiful excuse for a ten-year old……the problem is that no one knows it but me. In the entire town of Massapequa Park, only I can see him for what he really is. A phony. It’s the summer of 1969, and things are not only changing in Tamara’s little Long Island town, but in the world. Perhaps Tamara could stand to take one small step toward a bit of compassion and understanding? A terrific debut novel with truly vivid characters and a wonderful voice.”
About the Author

NAN MARINO grew up in Massapequa, New York and now lives on the Jersey shore with her husband and hyperactive dog, where she works as a librarian. This is her first book.


Darkest Before The Dawn January 27, 2009

If you’re anything like me you yearn for some alone time.  Even if it’s just thirty minutes of time by yourself to collect your thoughts calmly or ponder your next move in life.  That’s what I needed this Sunday and so desperately craved.  I got just that…about 30 minutes to get out there and do what I love before it was too dark to capture anything worthwhile photography-wise.  You see my alone time isn’t always spent sitting by myself in my home…sometimes that’s nice…but the alone time I craved this weekend was alone time with me, myself and I (along with my camera) outdoors.

I’ve been working so hard every night finishing portrait sessions, trying to get caught up, in order to begin the large task of creating a wedding album for my close friend.

I needed this time outdoors to look for inspiration.  I had hoped to catch the sunset over the frozen canal but I missed it by under 5 minutes.  As soon as I reached the bottom of the scary icy steps in photo one below the sunset was already gone behind the tree line.  I was very sad and disappointed that traffic on the highway kept me from capturing what I imagined in my mind by just a few minutes.  It just reminded me that life has so many fleeting moments…

Rather than pack it in I tried to made the best of the trip and look for other photo opportunities.  Then I realized I forgot my gloves at home so my hands were starting to freeze and when I went to use my tripod I discovered I left the connector piece home.  I didn’t let myself become discouraged.  I ignored my frozen hands and took everything I wanted hand-held.  No biggie.

Many of you know that 2008 wasn’t the brightest year of my life.  It was probably the darkest year I’ve ever had.  The one constant that brightened my life was my photography.  Without it and the healing in provided me in the past year I don’t know where I would have been.  I haven’t really discussed the darkness I experienced last year much on my blog. I try to keep the blog mostly business with little slice of life thrown in here or there but today I don’t think it’s a bad thing to share a little bit more then usual.

I spent a lot time the past year alone with my thoughts trying to come to a peaceful place so that I could start a new fresh beginning.  I finally am picking myself up, dusting myself off, and making the fresh start.  Winter has been tough…so many challenges at the end of 2008 (some that are still here and will take time before they are just a faded bad memory).  I am optimistic that 2009 will be a good year for me but the challenges of 2008 have not disappeared.  I just need to conquer them one at a time.  I am still optimistic that this will be a good year for me (even with the obstacles I need to tackle).

I am definitely looking forward to Spring.  I feel like it’s going to be my renewal of energy that I need so badly.

It’s always darkest before the dawn…

(Thanks Arla)

I started at the D&R Canal, made my way over to St. Joseph’s Seminary across the street, and then on my way back home I stopped at this hidden gem of an abandoned barn that you may remember for a year or so ago.  I photographed some my favorite photography subjects…pathways, abandoned barns, and churches…I have a thing for them all (I wonder what that says about me?).

I was losing light quickly so this is what I achieved photography-wise in my short time out…alone with my thoughts.

Click on each to view larger


What a Poser! January 26, 2009

If you don’t recognize this little sweetheart you haven’t visited Julie Lawson Photography’s Blog before and met her daughter “E.”

You may remember little “E’s” Christmas photos where she posed with the giant Christmas tree ornament and hid half her face behind the Christmas gift that you all loved – found HERE.

Little “E” holds a special place in my heart.  When I was there we instantly bonded and I miss her sweet little face and amazing personality.

Here are the additional portraits I did of “E” during the Christmas shoot.  If you remember from the last blog post – she makes up all of her own poses for her shoots and these poses are what she came up with during my session with her:

Round and round she goes…

The little DIVA!

If you remember Julie’s family session from a few posts back… “E” likes to make me laugh and her thing of the week was putting her foot in her mouth! LOL

I’ll be sharing an additional photo from this shoot soon of E and Julie but I wanted to keep it separate.


Visiting… January 25, 2009

This afternoon I had a chance to visit with my friend and her 2 boys J & M.  I haven’t see them since the summer so it was great to catch up.

I had the chance to take candids of J a few times when he was younger but this was my first chance to get some of his little brother M.

M is a little wiggler so it was hard to get him to sit still for photos. :) I was testing using the 50mm (f1.4) on the D90 with no flash and ISO around 500-600 so being a bit more still is always helpful – LOL.  When we had good natural light coming through the windows I did really well with this set up.  With the D90 grain in the photos taken with higher ISO is barely noticeable.  I’m really thrilled with that!

I want to be able to take photos without flash in darker situations and I’m seriously contemplating purchasing the Nikon 24-70 2.8 lens after Mike Palmer raved about it and I did some research.  A lens like that might be the ticket to low light natural portraits as well as weddings & parties where you don’t want to use flash all the time.  I have to do a lot of contemplating before the 3 weddings I’m doing to decide about this purchase!

M was enjoying playing his own version of peek-a-boo at the front door with me:

Here is the “enthralled with the TV” look.

My heart just melted with this sweet smile and those big brown eyes!!

J’s blue eyes are gorgeous!  He wasn’t feeling well today so I only got a few photos of him.

I asked him if he wanted to take any more photos with me and he politely replied “no thank you.”  So sweet!

I love natural moments like this…

This is Guinness.  I love his ears!  They are so stinkin cute!

Every time he heard the beep from the camera he turned his head like this. LOL :)

I love the DOF of the 50mm 1.4.  I just wish this was more in focus…

Just like my dog Guinness was enjoying laying in the sun.


The World Should Go On January 24, 2009

A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.  ~Carl Sandburg


Thank You 2008! January 23, 2009

What an amazing first year for my very own photography business!!

When I first invested myself in photography I never thought I’d be this fortunate…

I can’t thank everyone enough for trusting in my abilities to CAPTURE YOUR LIFE’S FLEETING MOMENTS!

Thank you to every friend and customer one who helped me, encouraged me, trusted in me, believed in me, had faith in me, and rooted me on along the way!

Special thanks to friends & family who let me use you as “test subjects” – LOL – I promised if you trusted me I’d make you look good!  (smile)

Super Special thanks to Jo Ann for all of your support!  I don’t really know what I would have done without your amazing assistance!!



Jen Rinaldi Photography in Their Homes! January 22, 2009

Filed under: Friends & Family,Misc,Personal — Jen @ 12:17 am

My friend Scott sent me the nicest email the other day telling me how much he loved the photos and included in the email was a photo of my work framed on his office wall.  I loved that he wrote me to thank me and I especially loved that he included the photo of the framed portraits.

I can’t tell you how much I love messages like that.  It makes me feel so good inside that my customers are pleased.

I can’t express the feeling so well in words but I will say that it’s great that something I love so much can make others so happy.  I love that I can capture their special moments..a slice of their life…for all time.

Below are some of my customer’s walls and displays of my work.  I hope they continue to share with me in the future!

Scotty’s shoot can be seen here

Tyler’s shoot can be seen here

The Lawson Family’s shoot can be seen here

Top left photo was done by me.  The remaining were taken by Julie :)

Heather McCullah of One Shot Beyond also shared photos of my flower macro shots displayed in her master bathroom and bedroom.  I got to see them in person and I think they are well suited there.  I can’t wait to get a new place so I can get some printed as well.  I especially LOVE the standing frames they are in on her dresser & I wished I could take home in my suitcase (LOL!!!)


Meet the Lawsons January 21, 2009

Meet The Lawsons.

Sweetest family in all of Indiana!

Most of you know Julie Lawson of Julie Lawson meet her hubby Doug and daughter’s Brianna and Emmalie (you probably remember Bri & Emmy from my Indy blog posts if you haven’t spent time on Julie’s blog yet).

When I was in Indiana Julie asked me to take formal portraits of her family.

I was totally honored to do so and this is the one that Julie chose to hang in her home:

Julie had a specific idea for this shot.  I don’t think we achieved her vision but I still love the idea of it.

And one for the outtakes!

I love that little Emmy is making like she is eating her toe…and I can still hear Doug’s laugh ringing through my ears!

While I was in Indy I also did a shoot with Julie’s niece Kayla for Senior portraits (which you’ve seen a sneak peek of) as well as of Kayla’s sister Brittany. shown below.  Look at those gorgeous eyes!

Brittany and Brianna has some fun that night with their bubble gum! :)

I think I have more from this shoot to edit that I hope to get to one day…soon…


I Needed a Giggle…How bout you? January 19, 2009

Click to view larger


New Seamless Paper Tests January 16, 2009

I had a session for head shots for a friend from grammar school (more to come on that) and I purchased seamless paper to use for the session from BH PHOTO (my favorite camera shop around!)

I had never used seamless paper before so I called my bud Mike Palmer and he walked me through tips and tricks for lighting the set up.  I’m always very grateful for Mike’s advice and expertise…He’s like my Photography Yoda…like the Jedi Master of Photography! and I  I feel that without my friends in the virtual photography I would be left lost sometimes and I appreciate the guidance.

Below is a photo of me talking to Julie Lawson on the phone and she was telling me about her experiences with her new seamless paper while I did a test shot.  We also were discussing some of the D90’s new features that I wanted to go over.  Having people with similar kits really helps as well because you can help each other learn.  And as Julie knows…I don’t like reading the manual..I’m more of a “learn by trying girl!” LOL!  I know it’s not always right but that’s just me.  Maybe I’ll grow out of that if I can more time in the day to read the manuals.  For now Julie reading and then passing the good stuff on to me!

This photo on the phone is the truest representation to what the new gray seamless paper looks like.  It’s Savage Background Paper 53″x12YD #12 (Studio Gray) if you’re interested.  Mike suggested to go with something basic for the head shots such as a blue or gray so this is what I chose.

This is the next technique that Mike schooled me on.  The gray background can turn almost white with just a simple SB800 pointed at the background at shoulder height.  I stood it on a mini step stool connected to the flash stand right behind the stool to get it too look like this. There is a big of gray still showing in the corners but I learned that can easily be fixed with doing a curves adjustment and setting my black and white points. THANKS AGAIN MIKE!

Besides needing to touch up my gray hair I think these test shots turned out pretty darn good if I do say so myself!  Soon I will share the head shot session with you all once I do some basic editing.

Thank you to all of my photography friends and mentors who helped make my shoot a success (and help to make me feel confident everyday with the work I do)!


Ladies of the Civil War

It’s been a while since I shared photos from the Civil War Reenactment my sister and I attended last April.  For tonight’s blog post I thought I’d mix things up from the usual and share more from the event (Additional photos I’ve posted previously can be seen HERE).  I had to put the editing of this even to the side when jobs started coming in.  I realized last night that I’m halfway done with them and it was time to share more.

This time I thought I’d focus on the “ladies of the civil war period” specifically.  Each woman put some much thought into their character and the details were impressive.



Coming Soon: Tyler’s First Birthday Bash & a Cake All to Himself! January 15, 2009

You may remember Tyler from his Fall portraits in the pumpkin patch (found here) around 9 months of age.

Now Tyler is ONE – how time flies!

The little guy had a cow cake all to himself so you can image what the fun you’ll be seeing soon!



Curiosity of the Abandoned Gets The Best of Me in North Carolina! January 14, 2009

On our way home from the New Bern, North Carolina waterfront I spotted an abandoned house (that I saw on the way to our destination) that we just HAD to stop at!!

I ran around the house for 5 minutes getting the best angles and snapped a handful of shots and peeked in through the windows.  You could still see furniture, the remains of wallpaper and decorations rotting away inside.  It makes me wonder how a house could be left to fall apart like this when there are so many people out there that need a good home…

After I got my shots I made a mad dash back to the car before someone questioned why I was on private property that was clearly marked “no trespassing” — ummm..oopsy!  I just couldn’t help myself!

If you know me…you know that I can’t pass up a GEM like this – especially with one of the most beautiful skies above!!  I can’t get enough of places like this! There is something that just draws me right in.

Pssst!  By the way…REDYNAMIX plug-in for Photoshop ROCKS my sox!  I’m in LOVE.

Be sure to click on each photo below to view it larger…you need to get the full effect!

The above shot in B&W

My favorite shot of the day!  SUN FLARE = LOVE!


New Bern, North Carolina January 13, 2009

North Carolina was beauti-ous this past Saturday.  You can’t beat enjoying temperatures in the mid 60’s while the rest of your friends and family are home in New Jersey shoveling snow!

I had a chance to visit the town of New Bern where half of my family moved away to over the last couple years.  The town is so quaint and charming.  The store fronts are so sweet and there are so many cute cafes, coffee shops and restaurants.

New Bern from afar:

It seemed as if everyone was out enjoying the weather, walking their dogs along the pathway that runs next to the water, or out enjoying their boats.  I spent a lot of time, in good company, at the waterfront near the edge of town and might I say what a perfect cloud day it was (if you know me – you know I love a good “cloud day”)!  It was a great to be outdoors on a beautiful day while trying to get acquainted with my new D90.  Feels the same as the D80 but I have to really get used to the new features (and if you know me you’ll also know that I don’t like to read the manual!)

Click to view larger

Click to view larger

Click to view larger

New Bern is very proud of his history.  They have markers all over the town educating you on it’s past which was interesting to see.

Click to view larger

Click to view larger

I’m trying so hard to be better about enjoying the moments I experience with my eyes first and then with my camera in front of my eye.  I am trying to slow down and not take so many photos and trying to look at a scene and really see what would make a great photo (in my opinion) rather than take many shots to see what I have come up with later.  It’s a hard habit to break but I’m trying!

Oh my goodness…just look at those clouds!  What a sky!

Click to view larger

Click to view larger


In Memoriam January 12, 2009

Robert Lawrence Jordan


Michael Palmer 2008
Photo Credit: ©Michael Palmer 2008 – taken at the Gettysburg Photo Walk

It’s interesting how someone you never met can really touch your heart. I never met Bob in person but I consider him a great virtual friend.  I met Bob through our blogging circle and we became friendly.  I loved looking at his nature work which was clearly his passion.  We would often get into conversations offline about our similar interests. I had hoped to be able to meet up with him to tour around his beautiful neck of the woods but I never got a chance…

Hippy Bob This is my first post! Just wanted to post a pic of me taken in 1976. I changed a little bit now that Im 61! Im sitting in my 1953 Ford 3/4 ton pickup with my transistor radio hanging from the rear view mirror. To the right you can see my bicentenial bouquet.

Taken from Bob's first Blog post back in June titled: Hippy Bob "This is my first post! Just wanted to post a pic of me taken in 1976. I changed a little bit now that I'm 61! I'm sitting in my 1953 Ford 3/4 ton pickup with my transistor radio hanging from the rear view mirror. To the right you can see my bicentennial bouquet." Click on the photo to view his first blog post.

When Bob heard I was heading to the Outer Banks (North Carolina) this past summer Bob emailed me with a number of places to stop by and check out.  I really appreciated all of his advice on where to visit while there.

“An Outer Banks Sunset for Bob”

Click to view larger

Bob shared his gallery of late 60’s photos with me that he had been working on scanning and I adored looking through them…I wished I had been around to capture what he had the opportunity to experience and capture.  Below is an excerpt from the 60’s gallery on his website:

“From 1967 to 1970 I attended many peace demonstrations in Washington, DC. I shot around 3000 images using a Nikon F100 camera. These are just a few of those shots. At present I’m still going through the rest of my negatives and will be posting more as they come. It was a great time to be alive!”

Photo Credit: ©Bob Jordan

For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Bob’s Website:

Bob’s Blog – Canyon Rim Photography:

Winchester Star Obituary

Bob, you will be missed by many.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.