ChatterLog January 2010

Greetings everyone, and welcome to the first ChatterBulletin of 2010! Now although January 1st begins what we all know as our Calendar Year, New Year, according to Nature actually begins with the Season of Spring, in the month of March, and not in the middle of Winter, and the month of January. When you think about it, it does makes sense, but we are all used to wishing everyone a “Happy New Year” when in fact, all of nature is resting and hibernating! So for the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful 2010!

And, I would also like to wish those of you that have a birthday this month a very “Happy Birthday” – but in particular, I want to send a special shout-out to my two “sisters” – Charlotte on January 16th and Victoria on January 21st!


© Louisa J. Curtis

This month’s topic is “Structure” and the image I have chosen to illustrate the ChatterLog this month is one I took on my iPhone when I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art back in October of 2009 when my Aunt and cousin were visiting. We were meant to be going to MOMA that day, but it was closed, so we opted for the Met instead. Because it was such a beautiful sunny day, I suggested that we pay a visit to the Cantor roof garden, which we did, where we stumbled upon the most fantastic installation I have seen in a long time. Titled “Maelstrom,” it was an amazingly complex and dramatic site-specific sculpture (meaning it had to be lifted by crane on to the roof in sections and then assembled there) by a young conceptual artist called Roxie Paine, and it was comprised of more than 10,000 pieces and weighed over seven tons! We were completely enthralled by the magnitude and magnificence of the piece and I am so glad that MOMA was closed that day and we witnessed this shiny steel structure instead.

So why talk about structure? Well, for one thing, we are in the month of January and the sign of Capricorn, many of whom are “builders” of one sort or another, whether it is a building, a bridge, or their career. It is the sign of the sure-footed goat that climbs up the side of the mountain ever so steadily… They are also connected with the earth, and therefore all building materials, rocks and stone. And so it occurred to me that we had not yet featured Architectural photographers up to this point, so what better month to choose, than this?

Structure also suggests something that we can practically apply to our lives and our careers. Perhaps some of us are not the most organized of people, and we need to find some structure and put order to the chaos. In business terms, that might mean simply making a marketing plan for this year, or at least a to-do list! Even if you do not complete everything, at least make a plan. And if you cannot do it all yourself, then get some help and add to your infrastructure, your framework, by installing another branch, whether it is an assistant, a bookkeeper or a consultant perhaps? Or maybe by joining another structure such as a trade organization like APA, ASMP and so on, you will find the additional support you are looking for.

For some of us, structure may be more spiritual in nature where we find ourselves needing to be more disciplined with our meditation or yoga practices. Maybe we must simply sit still for a few minutes each day, or make sure we work out several times a week and exercise regularly, or perhaps what we eat needs some attention, adjustments and “structure.” If we don’t have our health, then what do we have? So we must learn to take care of ourselves – mind, body and spirit, for if we neglect or abuse one or more of those areas, then we shall surely suffer in some way?

ChatterArtists of the Month January 2010

Andrew Buchanan
I was in Seattle back in November of 2009 and following my panel event I met with some new clients, three of whom were all architectural shooters. So we are featuring them, as well as a couple more of my existing clients that shoot buildings, both inside and out. First up is Andrew Buchanan, “photographing the spaces where we live, work, and play.”

Otto Greule

Then we have Otto Greule, whose passion for ancient and classical architecture melds with his images of new and modern structures.

Juliann Tallino

And don’t think that all Architectural shooters are men, because Juliann Tallino can climb up those skyscrapers with the best of them!

Jim Tetro

I thought it would be nice to feature not only photographers who shoot the structures, the buildings, but also ones who photograph their contents, starting with Jim Tetro, a client from the Washington, D.C. area.

Michael Grimm

Followed by Michael Grimm, who photographs interiors and resort lifestyle.

George Ross

George Ross is another client who also photographs interiors and has a wonderful ability to enrich and enhance the “details.”

Lee Brauer

And last but not least we have Lee Brauer, based in Richmond, VA, “photographer of humongous man-made objects and the people that make or live in them.” Lee was one of Chatterbox’ very first clients and has one of the best senses of humor!

ChatterNews January 2010

Mark Segal & SkyPan International

First up in the news section this month, and continuing on with the Architectural theme, is another old friend and client of mine Mark Segal. We go back to when I worked at Archive Magazine (yikes!) Aside from his commercial photography and his panoramic work, Mark is also co-owner of a company called SkyPan International. With his partner Jeff Jones, they are able to shoot panoramic and “corridor” views in between skyscrapers using a remote control helicopter, that is small enough to fit in a golf case. When they first started the chopper was much larger and had to be shipped separately each time, but now the equipment is small enough for them to travel with it. Previously they were gas-powered, but now they have gone “green” using all electric power. I have seen them in action and it is quite amazing, as evidenced by this photo I took when they were shooting off a rooftop in the West Village a couple of years ago!

© Louisa J. Curtis

The panoramic image we are using is from a recent job they shot in New York. The building located on Madison Avenue and 59th Street has views of Central Park only at certain levels, and SkyPan needed to capture those views in a limited amount of time in order to avoid shadows from adjacent buildings, as well as the fact that in the case of this particular client, the legal arbitration required immediate imagery. The shoot involved a view corridor study featuring views in full 360 degree seamless high resolution panoramics. For more information on what they do and to see more fantastic visuals, please visit their website: &

© SkyPan International

Greg Smith

Keeping the May River Wild

Greg Smith is a photographer I met at Photo Plus Expo in October 2009. Keeping the May River Wild is the culmination resulting in his 30 years of documenting the river and it’s inhabitants through both film and still photography. For more information about the project and to see more of Greg’s work please visit: Also read an interview with Greg Smith and the project in the “ASMP Best of 2009” article at:

From the director’s statement:

“The biggest effort was in some ways the easiest: packing myself and my gear into a kayak, morning after morning, week after week, paddling into the marsh and seeing what I found. On the surface, I found mud, heat, cold, corrosive saltwater… But beneath… I learned more patience than rearing children taught me. I confirmed my fears for the river. And I learned I could produce compelling work with simple tools.”

Michael Dobson

2010 Doors of New York Calendar – Photographs by another client of mine, Michael Dobson This year’s calendar features colorful and unique doors from the state of New York. From the diverse boroughs of New York City to the creepy corners of Sleepy Hollow this years calendar captures an interesting array of door images. To view and purchase this years calendar, and calendars from years past, you can view the website Purchase the 2010 calendar at: The Doorbook Project.

ChatterTip of the Month January 2010

Before we get to this month’s tip, I just wanted to reassure you that I do test out the ChatterTips and ChatterRecipes. For instance, remember last month we talked about the brown paper bag vegetable storage solution? Well, I checked it out and it really works! I took a bag of potatoes out of the plastic bag they came in, then placed the potatoes in a brown paper carrier bag with an apple. I clipped the top of the bag together with a binder clip and put it in the coolest part of my “warm” New York apartment. And I’m telling you, it really works, the potatoes are staying nice and fresh and not spoiling at all!

Cleaning Jewelry

© Kan Nakai

I am thrilled to be using an image from photographer Kan Nakai, with whom I worked for a couple of years when I was at Watson & Spierman. So thanks to both Kan and to George for letting us use this fabulous image.

The Astrological sign of Capricorn, which falls in the month of January, is associated with minerals and gemstones, so this month’s ChatterTip is all about cleaning jewelry:

First of all – make sure if you are working at the sink that you put the plug in! And don’t forget to check the stone settings of the pieces in case any of them are loose! Much of your jewelry, especially the pieces that include the “harder” gemstones, can be cleaned with a mild soap and water solution that preferably does not contain harsh detergents. Use a soft bristle toothbrush to gently scrub the pieces clean, rinse with warm water (I use a wire sieve so I can rinse several pieces at a time) and always use lint-free cloths.

Do NOT soak “soft” porous gemstones such as opals, pearls or turquoise and never put them in a sonic cleaning machine! Instead, these “softer” stones should be treated very gently and simply wiped clean with a damp cloth, or dipped briefly into a mild soapy solution before drying with a lint-free cloth. And did you know that you can also clean pearls with a tiny dab of olive oil before wiping off with a soft cloth?

An interesting tip, especially for dull GOLD JEWELRY is to use toothpaste – the white chalky variety, not the gel. This can either be applied with a little water and scrubbed gently with a toothbrush or applied dry from the tube, like a polish, and then buffed with a soft, dry cloth. And while we’re on the dental theme, some people recommend soaking your jewelry in a glass of warm water with either a couple of denture tablets, or even Alka Seltzer. Who knew? And others suggest dipping the toothbrush in ammonia but that is too potent for my money and can potentially tarnish the metal, so how about our good old faithful friend instead? Apparently most “costume jewelry” can be cleaned by dipping it into a glass of vinegar.

And here’s a great tip for getting rid of the tarnish on sterling SILVER JEWELRY. Take an aluminum pie pan, or line a shallow dish with aluminum foil and then lay the silver pieces you want to clean in the dish. Do NOT do this with pieces that include gemstones – this is for silver only! Cover each piece with baking soda until all of the silver is covered. Carefully pour boiling water over the baking soda and leave until the “bubbles” subside. If the silver is badly tarnished you may have to repeat this process a few times. And a suggestion to avoid the silver tarnishing in the first place is to store it in talcum powder – Who knew?

ChatterRecipe of the Month January 2010

Shepherd’s Pie

© Louisa J. Curtis

This is classic English comfort food at its best! Traditionally, a “Shepherd’s Pie” was made with ground lamb, and a “Cottage Pie” was made with beef. Nowadays, you can pretty much use whatever ground meat you fancy, lamb, beef or even turkey. And as we did not have a photo of a Shepherd’s Pie available, what did we do? Well, I made a Shepherd’s Pie over the weekend and once again, pulled out my trusty iPhone and took a picture!


4 large (approx. 2lbs) Potatoes (peeled & cut into large cubes)

1 ½ to 2 lbs Ground Meat

1 large Onion (diced)

2 cloves of Garlic (finely chopped or grated)

1 large Carrot (sliced or grated)

Frozen Peas

Chicken Stock (or Beef)


Salt & Pepper

Cook the potatoes in salted, boiling water until tender (about 10 – 15 minutes). While they are cooking, sauté the onion and garlic with a little olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan. Add in the carrot (and some Celery, if you like) and then the ground meat and cook until lightly brown. Season with salt & pepper, Worcestershire sauce and a spoonful of Mustard to give it a slight “bite.” Sprinkle in a little flour and cook for a minute or so until the fat and juices have absorbed the flour. Then add a little chicken stock (and a dash of Red Wine, if you like.) Let the gravy thicken and finally add in a good handful of frozen peas. You could also add some sliced Mushrooms. Pour the meat mixture (which should be nice and thick) into a deep ovenproof dish and leave to cool for a few minutes before adding the mashed potato – this helps to prevent the potato from sinking. While the meat mixture cools, drain the potatoes and put them back into the hot saucepan. Add a good amount of Butter, SaltPepper and a dash of either Milk or Cream. Mash the potatoes until smooth & creamy but not too loose. Cover the meat mixture with the mashed potatoes and bake in a hot oven (about 400 degrees) for about 20 – 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. For a“Cumberland Pie,” add a layer of grated Cheese mixed with some Breadcrumbs on top of the mashed potato.

ChatterEvents January 2010

And now for this month’s events. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom as I will be speaking for ASMP Connecticut at the end of the month:

Thursday, January 7th, 2010 – 5:00pm – 7:30pm

A Climate For Life Photography Exhibition

@ Fifty Crows Gallery

49 Geary Street, Suite 225

San Francisco, CA

Featuring photographs from the International League of Conservation Photographers.

From the invitation:

“The 35 large format color prints focus on the beauty of our planet, challenge us with issues associated with global warming, and provide us with ways to reduce the risks to human health, economic prosperity and the planet’s irreplaceable biological diversity.”

© Frans Lanting

Saturday, January 9th, 2010 – 5:00 – 8:00pm

The Center for Photography at Woodstock Group Exhibition “Landscape Forever” Curated by Dion Ogus and a Solo Exhibition “Vanitas” Photographs by Justine Reyes – Opening Receptions

Exhibitions on display from January 9th through February 8th, 2010.


59 Tinker Street

Woodstock, NY 12498

CPW is also offering it’s third annual Regional Portfolio Review Event taking place on Saturday, February 20th, 2010. Deadline to register is Saturday, January 16th! For more information please visit:

For more information about the exhibitions as well as schedule of classes, workshops and seminars please visit:

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 – 6:00pm – 9:00pm

ASMP New England Presents Bringing It Home: New England Photographers Share Their Personal Projects

@ E.P. Levine

23 Drydock Avenue, 2nd Floor

Boston, MA 02210

From the ASMP New England Chapter website:

“Please join us for an evening of friendly discussion to showcase our local talent. Four New England photographers will be sharing their current personal projects with us in a panel discussion format. Each photographer will show us what they have been working and discuss the story of each project.”

For more information please visit:

Thursday, January 14th – Sunday, January 17th, 2010

19th Annual Photo LA

@ Santa Monica Civic

1855 Main Street

Santa Monica, CA 90401-3209


For more information please visit:

Friday, January 15th, 2010 – 6:00pm – 9:00pm

“Miracle on the Hudson” One Year Anniversary of Flight 1549 Photography Exhibition Opening Reception

Exhibition on display January 25th – 29th, 2010

@ Calumet

22 West 22nd Street, 2nd Floor

New York, NY

Featuring photos by Stephen Mallon!

Images have been featured on CBS, NBC, MSNBC, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, The Daily News, Wired, Artworks, PDN photo of the day and more!

For more information please visit:

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 – 7:00pm – 9:00pm

NY Monthly Photo Salon

@ SoHo Photo Gallery

15 White Street

New York, NY

Cost: $10 at the door

For more information or questions please contact Rich Pomerantz at, Emmanuel Faure at or Bill Westheimer at

Thursday, January 21st, 2010 – 7:00pm – 9:30pm

ASMP Philadelphia Presents: Focus Philadelphia 2010 Opening Reception

Exhibition on view from January 15th through February 5th, 2010

@ University of The Arts

Hamilton Hall

320 South Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19102

For the second year in a row Chatterbox Enterprises is donating a one hour consultation as one of the door prizes.

For more information please visit:

Also Thursday, January 21st, 2010 – 1:00pm – 6:00pm

Miami Ad School SF Winter Portfolio Review

@ Miami Ad School

415 Jackson Street (between Montgomery and Sansome)

San Francisco, CA 94111

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 – 6:30 – 9:30pm

ASMP CT Presents: “Fruitful Marketing” with Louisa J. Curtis of Chatterbox Enterprises

@ Yale

Exact location TBD

Stay tuned to the ASMP Connecticut website.

Come hear creative consultant Louisa Curtis of Chatterbox Enterprises whet your appetite with ideas for more “Fruitful Marketing.” With so much to choose from and a variety of mouth-watering recipes – what works best from today’s menu? Some methods of promotion may still be essential and effective, others maybe not so much. There is a time and place for it all. The trick is to figure out what works best for you at this moment and be willing to change if necessary. Which options make the most sense and how can you help make your business more productive and abundant in today’s marketplace?

© Louisa J. Curtis

For more information please visit:

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 – 6:00pm

“A Positive Journey – Living Life With HIV” – Photo Stories by Clients of the HOPE Center of St. John’s Riverside Hospital

Photography Exhibition Opening Reception

Exhibition on display January 27th through February 3rd 2010

@ Yonkers Riverfront Library

One Larkin Center

Yonkers, NY

(across the street from the Metro North Station)

Project managed by one of my clients, Raeford Dwyer!