ChatterLog February 2010

Greetings everyone, and welcome to the February ChatterBulletin!
As we move out of the sign of Capricorn, we now find ourselves in Aquarius. This sign is often mistakenly thought of as a water sign, because the symbol clearly resembles the waves of the ocean, and the word for water “aqua” is in his name! However, Aquarius is in fact, an air sign, he is the “water bearer,” a “spiritual aqueduct” and the “captain of the ship” who brings the spiritual waters from the heavens down to us mortals here on earth. So Happy Birthday to all of you Aquarians out there, in particular to my Aunt who will be 79, and to my Father who turns 85 this month!


© Renée Comet

Represented by:

We know this month is Valentine’s Day, so not surprisingly our theme for this bulletin is“Love.” But how many of you know the history behind Valentine’s Day? In most countries, February 14th is the day on which lovers traditionally express their love for one another by exchanging cards, flowers and confectionery. The Holiday is named after two (of many) early Christian martyrs named Valentine, and became associated with “romantic love” only during the “Middle Ages” and the time of Geoffrey Chaucer and “courtly love.” Prior to that, I somehow doubt that the Christian martyrs were thinking a whole lot about sending romantic cards and consuming chocolate hearts, whilst they were being persecuted by the Romans! So how did we get from those violent acts of discrimination to the Holiday that we now associate with Romance? Well, well, well, the first letters of the word “romance” are also in the word “Romans” – so how blatant a connection could that be, however unlikely and discordant?

Growing up in England, it was customary for us to send our Valentine cards signed anonymously so that when you opened it, there was a sense of mystery as to who might be your “secret admirer” and you had to decipher the handwriting in order to figure out just who that might be? And there was none of this sending Valentine’s day cards to your Mum, or “To Billy, love Grandma”… no, this was strictly for the people you had a “serious thing” for. Mind you, it did put a lot of pressure on you at school depending on how many cards you received. And, as in my case, this wasn’t too many, seeing as I went to an all-girls school!

So “courtly love” and chivalry were introduced in medieval times to certain French royal households such as Aquitaine, Burgundy & Provence. This “courtly love” was generally “secret” – hence the tradition of not signing your Valentines – and took place between members of the nobility, not husband and wife! As time went on and as with all Holidays, it eventually became “commercialized” and accessible to everyone! Let’s face it, the greetings cards, chocolate and flower industries all thrive with increased business at this time of year!

Traditions will also vary from country to country, such as for example – in South Korea, women give chocolate to men on February 14th, and men give non-chocolate candy to women on March 14th (White Day). On April 14th (Black Day), those who did not receive anything on the 14th of February or March go to a Chinese restaurant to eat black noodles and “mourn” their single life! Yikes! During the Victorian era, elaborate Valentine’s Day cards such as these ones below were popular, typically featuring the romantic symbols of heart-shapes, doves and cupids that we associate with Valentine’s Day.

So before we get to the Clients of the Month, a couple of thoughts about “Love” and what that means. It is an interesting word as it can be used in so many situations, ranging from affection to adoration, from erotica to romance, or from enthusiasm to compassion – each time meaning something quite different. “I love chocolate cake” is not the same kind of love as “I love my Mum” is not the same as “I love the way you kiss” is not the same as “I love to travel”… and on and on… But without “Love” we have nothing. “Love” does conquer all, no matter how hard it may be for us to feel “loving” towards each other, towards all human beings, towards our activities and our work, each and every day, because we are never going to “like” everyone or everything. None of us is perfect, and we live in an imperfect world, but if we at least attempt to come from a place of “Love,” with everything that we do, and towards everyone around us, then perhaps we have a chance of achieving better cooperation with one another, increased success in our lives and peace around the world.

ChatterArtists of the Month February 2010

Continuing on with the theme of “Love” I realized that this month would be the perfect time for us to showcase a genre of photography that we have not yet given you, and that is Wedding Photography. I have a lot of respect for Wedding shooters, they carry a huge responsibility to capture precious imagery that will last for generations – and with no opportunity to go back and re-shoot!
Emilie Sommer
First up is Emilie Sommer, whose company emilie inc. is based in the Portland, Maine area. I love her beautiful and bold style. Emilie is also married to “J” Sandifer, the Wedding Marketing & Development Manager at liveBooks. “J” also has a great Blog on the wedding industry.

© Emilie Sommer &

Tracee Attlee
Then we have Tracee Attlee, a client from Alexandria, Virginia, who is an award-winning wedding & portrait photographer with a traditional and elegant style, and long-term clients such as the Boeing Company and the Rockefeller Family.

© Tracee Attlee

Lauren Grabelle
Followed by Lauren Grabelle, who when she is not taking portraits of dogs and their owners is photographing weddings with her same documentary, in-the-moment, realistic style that captures the flow of the festivities as it unfolds, just as with this precious image of a bride with her mother. &

Teri Bloom
Many wedding photographers still shoot in black & white for their brides as it brings such a timeless and classic feel to the imagery. This shot of Teri’s for example, could have been taken years ago, or just last weekend, because it expresses a universal and endearing emotional moment that we can all recognize.

© Teri Bloom

Johnson Sarkissian
Robert Johnson and Katherine Sarkissian are a dynamic husband and wife team who were early Chatterbox clients. And when they are not shooting fashion & editorial work, they are capturing weddings with their same lively style! It was a hard choice as to which image to select, for all of these photographers, but this one stuck out because it was so elegant and beautiful, like an oil painting – a simple study of a bride’s dress… &

Andrew Holbrooke
And then last but not least, I wanted to mention a new client of mine, Andrew Holbrooke. Andy is not a Wedding shooter, as you will see from his website, but while we were editing recently, I thought his image of this Vietnamese bride would be a fun one to include with this month’s theme.

© Andrew Holbrooke

ChatterNews January 2010

Callie Lipkin

Here’s an image from my client Callie in Chicago that I thought was a great example and a fun interpretation of this month’s theme.

© Callie Lipkin

Chelsea Brewer

Chelsea, who puts the bulletin together with me each month, has her images as part of a group show that opens in Oakland this weekend, just in time for Oakland’s Monthly First Friday Art Walk called the Oakland “Art Murmur.” Check it out! &

Regina Ress

Regina is a friend and neighbor of mine here in Greenwich Village, who amongst other things, tells stories for a living and this month she will be telling “Love Stories” at the following venues:

1) Tuesday, February 9th 6pm – 8pm

Regina is making an appearance at the Cornelia Street Cafe’s “Storytelling Evening”

The Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street (between Bleecker St. & West 4th)

Cost: $7 (includes 1 free drink)

2) Friday, February 12th @ 8pm – 9pm

“Against All Odds: Love” – Regina’s 7th annual concert of Love Stories sponsored by NYUSteinhardt, Program in Educational Theater – NYU, 35 West 4th Street, Room 303

Cost: Adults $5, Free w/NYU Student ID

3) Saturday, February 13th @ 7:30pm

“Exploring the Riddle of Love” – and evening of exploration w/several performers in conjunction w/Parabola Magazine – The Orchard House Cafe, 1064 1st Avenue @ East 58th Street – http://www.orchardhousecafe.com

Michelle Kawka

Congratulations to my client Michelle, who not only has a show opening this month (see below in the Events section), but was also recently elected to the Board as the new VP of the ASMP NY Chapter.

Miami Ad School’s New York Home is the “Digital District” in DUMBO

From the blog: “Miami Ad School is establishing a new Base School location in New York. We chose DUMBO for–among other things–its status as an emerging center of digital media.”

To read more and for more information please visit:

Wilson A. Bentley “Snowflake Bentley” Vintage Snowflake Photos for Sale in New York

Vermont farmer Wilson A. Bentley was known as Snowflake Bentley for his pioneering 19th-century photography of more than 5,000 jewel-like snowflakes — no two alike.

Bentley, also known as The Snowflake Man, was fascinated with snowflakes, and his observations and experimentation made him the first person to capture a single snowflake with a camera.

On Thursday, January 21st 2010, 26 of his images were for sale at the four-day American Antiques Show presented by the American Folk Art Museum in New York. Ten of the images are of snowflakes, which he called snow crystals, and priced at $4,800 each. The others show winter scenes.

For more information about Wilson “Snowflake Bentley” please visit:

ChatterTip of the Month February 2010

Some Tips About Eggs

© Adriana Mullen

Separating eggs – instead of cracking the egg and then passing the yolk from one half of the broken shell into the other while the white drips down into the bowl – let alone the risk of breaking the yolk in the process – here’s a cool tip on how to separate eggs for you – crack the entire egg into a small funnel – providing the egg is fresh the white will pass through the funnel, apparently, leaving the yolk behind. I can’t wait to check this one out myself!

Boiling eggs I remember learning this tip from my mother, and that is to put a little of our old faithful friend, vinegar in the water when hard or soft boiling eggs, to stop them from cracking and the whites leaking out of the shells.

Fresh eggs – and here’s a way to tell if the eggs are fresh or not – fresh eggs have chalkier shells, whereas older eggs have shiny shells. And always use eggs at “room temperature” so if you keep them in your refrigerator make sure you take them out to warm up for a little while before you start to cook with them. The same also goes for cooking meat – if you put a piece of “cold meat” straight from the refrigerator into a hot pan, the meat will literally react and go “aaaggggggggh!” and consequently turn out a lot tougher than if you were to cook it from “room temperature” in which case, the meat is more relaxed when it goes into the pan and therefore turns out much more tender!

Beating eggs – when beating egg whites, again, make sure they are at room temperature and be certain there is no yolk in the whites and that the bowl and beaters are perfectly clean. On the other hand, when whipping cream, you want everything to be chilled. Adding a pinch of salt and a few drops of lemon juice will apparently keep the beaten egg whites firmer, longer.

ChatterRecipe of the Month February 2010

Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

© Renée Comet
Represented by:

Of course there are a million different recipes with chocolate that I could have featured this month, but I decided to go with one of Ina Garten’s recipes again. This is apparently one of “the best chocolate cakes, ever!” So let’s see!

Parchment Paper (for lining the pans)
Butter (for greasing the pans)
1 ¾ cups all-purpose Flour (plus a little more for the pans)
2 cups Sugar
¾ cup good Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt (preferably Kosher)
1 cup Buttermilk (shaken)
½ cup Vegetable Oil
2 Eggs (extra-large & room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup Coffee (hot, strong & freshly-brewed)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 8 inch round cake pans (should also be at least 1 ½ inches deep) by first lining them with Parchment Paper, grease them with a little Butter and then shake some Flour into each tin, tapping it gently all around so the bottoms and sides are lightly covered before shaking the excess out. Sift the Flour, Sugar, Cocoa Powder, Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. If you do not have an electric mixer, then I am sure this recipe could be made successfully by using a large mixing bowl and some “elbow grease!” In another bowl, combine the Buttermilk, Vegetable Oil, Eggs and Vanilla Extract. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. If you are mixing by hand, then fold the wet ingredients into the dry without over-mixing. With mixer still on low, add the Coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. A cake tester can simply be a toothpick or a thin wooden kebab skewer. Cool the cakes in the pans for 30 minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Frosting
You may have your own chocolate frosting recipe that you prefer, but here is the one recommended for this particular cake. Don’t make the frosting until the cakes have cooled completely, then place one cake (top side down) on a plate, spread approximately 1/3 of the frosting on that layer, then place the other cake (top side up) on top, and spread the remainder of the frosting on to the top and sides of the cake until it is completely covered.

6 ounces good-quality semi-sweet Chocolate (broken into pieces)
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted Butter (room temperature)
1 Egg (yolk only)
1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
1 ¼ cups Confectioner’s Sugar (sifted)
1 tablespoon instant Coffee Powder (or brewed coffee)

Place the Chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until it has just melted and then set aside until it has cooled to room temperature. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or again, in a large bowl if you are mixing by hand) fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the Butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the Egg Yolk and Vanilla Extract and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually adding in the Confectioner’s Sugar, then beating at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the Coffee Powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. (If you don’t have any instant Coffee, then use a tablespoon of strong, fresh-brewed Coffee.) On low speed, add the melted Chocolate and Coffee to the frosting mixture and combine until blended. Don’t whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cakes.

ChatterEvents February 2010

Beginning Friday, January 29th, 2010 thru Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Current Exhibitions at the International Center of Photography

“Twilight Visions: Surrealism, Photography, and Paris”, “Miroslav Tichy”, “Alan B. Stone and the Senses of Place” and  “Atget Archivist of Paris”

© Atget, “Atget Archivist of Paris”

For more information about these exhibitions please visit:

Friday, February 5th, 2010 – 6:30 – 10pm

“Hearts O’Plenty” Group Exhibition Opening – Featuring Photography by my client Edward Badham

@ Daniel Day Gallery

3025 6th Ave S

Birmingham, AL 35223

To view more of Edward’s work please visit:

For more information about the gallery please visit:

Saturday, February 6th, 2010 – 3- 5pm

“People & Characters” Photographs by Michelle Kawka – Opening Reception – Exhibition up through the end of March

@ The Cave & The Creek

10-93 Jackson Avenue

Long Island City, NY

© Michelle Kawka

Thursday, February 11th, 2010 – 7pm

ASMP NY & Blake Discher Present: I Stink At Negotiating Seminar

@ Brentwood Campus of Suffolk Community College

Long Island, NY

Cost: Free for ASMP Leaders and the Student and Faculty of Suffolk Community College, $10 for other Students, $25 for ASMP Members, $50 for Non-members, $40 for Professional Association Members

Do you panic when you have to discuss money with a client? Do you talk too fast, ramble or sound indignant? Do you give in too fast to a lower price or broad licensing terms?

From the website:

“Join Blake Discher for his highly acclaimed lecture on how to win jobs. Blake will teach you the steps to become a top negotiator. This critical skill can change your business in the most profound way — more and better work! Blake will walk you through real world scenarios, show you how to listen and talk to prospects turning them into loyal clients.”

For more information and to register please visit:

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 – 7 – 9pm

NY Monthly Photo Salon

@ SoHo Photo Gallery

15 White Street

New York, NY

Cost: $10 at the door

Presenting the work of: Ben Baker, Gabe Kirchheimer, Pixy Liao, Gary Paige, Jay Maisel and Howard Schatz (subject to change).

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

Thursday, February 18th, 2010 – 6:30pm

Menuez Archive Projects Launch Party

Boutique Stock Collection by Doug Menuez

@ 526 West 26th Street, No. 304

New York, NY

Stay tuned to: and to RSVP please email Menuez or call 212-336-1561.

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 – 5:30 – 7:30pm

Adorama and PhotoShelter Present: Click, Tweet, Repeat: The Power of Social Networks & Blogs for Your Photography

@ The Adorama Building

42 West 18th Street, 5th Floor

New York, NY

Cost: Free, but RSVP is require via email to secure your spot!

RSVP by email to: Please include your name and contact info in the body of the email.

For more information please visit:

Adorama is also sponsoring PhotoShelter’s New FREE Guide: Social Media For Photographers.

To request the free guide please visit:

Coming Saturday, March 27th, 2010 – 7 – 11pm

Slideluck Potshow in Collaboration with Ladies Lotto Present: Women’s Work

Los Angeles, CA

Submission deadline is Monday, February 15th, 2010!

Cost per submission is $15.

From the website:

“Slideluck Potshow is proud to announce Women’s Work, a collaboration with Ladies Lotto that will be taking place in Los Angeles on March 27th, during Women’s Awareness Month.  At this multimedia slideshow and potluck dinner, artists from around the world will present work that illuminates aspects of the contemporary female experience.

This will be our first issue-based event and will explore the current state of women’s lives – from the inspiring success stories to the profound adversities.  In doing so, our aim is to celebrate the positive developments and to create dialog and awareness about the issues women face globally.”

For more information and to submit your work please visit:

For more information about Ladies Lotto please visit: