ChatterLog March 2012

Faith


Pisces – the Fish

Greetings everyone and welcome to the March bulletin. We have moved from our freedom-loving and independent Aquarius to the sign that is connected with a world of imagination and fantasy – Pisces. Last year we talked about Imagination and how many creative people fall under the sign of Pisces, one of whom you will encounter in this month’s ChatterQuote. Pisces is the last of the three water signs and water is connected with your imagination. So then what should our theme be this time around? One of Pisces most admirable qualities is their ability to be compassionate towards their fellow man – simply put – they accept everyone because they are not biased. And by the time we have traveled around the entire zodiac, Pisces has accumulated the knowledge from all of the eleven signs that came before them and is now spiritually ready to ascend back up to the heavens. So our theme this month is the ultimate spiritual quest, that of Faith.

Without Faith, honestly what do we have? An emptiness inside and a deep need or longing to seek out the truth, or anything that can perhaps quell the inner demons and make sense of our pain. We need Faith to move forward in our lives, trusting that the higher powers will take care of us. All we have to do is acknowledge them. Why do so many people take yoga classes for example? Because here in the western societies we are not really taught to look within from a young age, not in the same way many of the eastern cultures do. And if we are not taught to look within, then we may end up spending our lives mistakenly looking for the answers outside of ourselves. Someone asked my teacher recently what his definition of God is, and he said, “God is within.” This is something that many of us have perhaps forgotten or been steered away from, myself included.

If you look up the word Faith in the dictionary one of the definitions you will find is to have belief or trust in someone or something. And with religion we are being asked to “Trust in God” and to have faith that he will take care of us. Many of you will have heard of the phrase “Keep the Faith” in which we must not despair regardless of what may indeed happen to us. Sometimes this is a challenging notion, to trust that everything will turn out all right, even when things aren’t going so well. We’ve all felt it. Another common expression is to take a “Leap of Faith” again asking that we place our trust in the unknown. We have to, because we can never know everything anyway. I even found this illustration of a fish taking a giant leap of faith as he dared to jump from one bowl to the other – how perfect is that for our theme of Pisces, the Fish this month?

To be honest, I didn’t grow up with a whole lot of Faith. I remember the very day that I decided that God was clearly not on my side after I had repeatedly prayed to him for our family to buy and move into this wonderful house our father had shown us, deep in the woods of the New Forest. He had surveyed the property for a client and was tempted to buy it himself, but in the end, we stayed put and I was crushed. How could God (and my father) let me down like this? And thus my personal suspicions and doubts about who and what God and religion was exactly began. I knew there was something very powerful out there that we “mere mortals” needed to acknowledge, but what was presented to me as a child didn’t feel quite right, so I wasn’t buying it. Besides, if “God is within” then why are we told to follow all these rules, go to church on Sundays, or pray five times a day facing a particular direction? Surely church is anywhere that God is present, and God is everywhere. Why is one religion more accurate than another? And from where I stood, each religion appeared to think that they were right.

My sister also had her own doubts, especially after she asked her teacher at school one day “Why don’t we learn about other religions from around the world?” Her question was immediately dismissed and ignored – apparently, they weren’t important! Such narrow-mindedness got our suspicions going even back then. And isn’t it ironic, in a way, that if you examine the 5 major religions of the world, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hindu and Buddhism, although there are naturally some fundamental differences between these “faiths” and cultures around the globe – there are also certain similarities to be found, because at the end of the day, whatever you want to call him, God the Almighty, or his prophets, Jesus Christ, Buddha, or Muhammad – we are all talking about a powerful spiritual deity that is beyond mere mortal man’s own limited knowledge, power and comprehension.


Floating Buddha

I did not grow up in a particularly religious household, but my sister and I did attend a religious school, not necessarily because of the religious aspect, but according to my parents, it was the best choice of school in the area. Our family went to church on Christmas and Easter but I wouldn’t say that we were given a particularly strong spiritual structure growing up – the spiritual connection for us came more from a closeness and connection with nature and the earth. That’s how it was for me in England, anyway. As in all religions, there is some sort of a “coming of age” ceremony when the child leaves puberty for adolescence. And for us it was expected that we would be “confirmed” at a certain age, much like the Catholic First Communion. However, by the time my sister and I got to that point, we felt strongly enough to actually refuse to be confirmed because we didn’t believe in it. Naturally, this didn’t go down too well with our parents or the teachers, but I am proud that even at that young age, we were smart enough to say “no” to something that wasn’t right for us, no matter what anyone else said. We may not have had much guidance, but neither were we forced into a faith not of our own choosing, as many children are. For them, there is no choice and I honestly find this quite fascinating, sad and strange all at the same time.

In closing I wanted to touch once more on Imagination, and our Pisces who likes to live in a fantasy world. This is why so many of them are in the film and television industries. And also because when I saw this particular image on Glen Wexler’s website, I thought it was such a wonderful combination of the watery Pisces and a tribute to the drive-in movie era. But how many of your know for instance that the Oscars which aired on February 26th just recently took place right after we had entered in to the sign of Pisces? Interesting, eh?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years now since my mum died, and last weekend I took a walk by the river and tossed a beautiful pink Gerbera daisy into the water for her. So in her honor we are sending this month’s bulletin out on the anniversary of her funeral, which was March 13th.

So while we’re at it, wishing all you Pisces out there a Very Happy Birthday!


ChatterQuote March 2012

Continuing with this month’s theme our quote this time naturally comes from a famous Pisces, Dr. Seuss, born March 2nd, 1904. Descended from German immigrants, Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American writer, poet and cartoonist, best known for his children’s books, which no doubt many of you will have read growing up. He published a total of 46 children’s books, each one infused with his imaginative characters and rhymes. Some of his better-known titles are Green Eggs and HamThe Cat in the Hat and Red Fish, Blue Fish – excuse me, did he say red fish, blue fish, and isn’t the symbol for Pisces made up of 2 fish? One of his later stories The Lorax, which chronicles the plight of the environment, was recently made into a movie and was released on March 2nd, 2012, which would have been Dr. Seuss’ 108th birthday. Seuss died in 1991 at the age of 87, which was still pretty good!


Dr . Seuss- March 2nd, 1904 – September, 24th, 1991

I like nonsense – it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope… and that enables you to laugh at all of life’s realities.

ChatterArtists March 2012

Glen Wexler
I was thrilled when Glen Wexler agreed to be a part of this month’s bulletin, for he certainly is a master of creative and conceptual imagery in the advertising, editorial and fine art worlds. Glen has been shooting commercially for many years now and has won numerous awards. From his website: According to Eric Idle of Monty Python, “Glen is a seven-foot Scotsman with a wooden leg whom I met Frog Rolling on an Eskimo trip in Northern Greenland.” Believe what you will. That’s the point. Glen Wexler’s pictures have taken the viewer deep into make-believe worlds that look real. His signature style of “improbable realities” has earned an international client base and the following of photography collectors. The image we selected for Glen is from his hilarious “Secret Life of Cows” series.

Alberto Guglielmi
I worked with Alberto Guglielmi a few years ago now and had not seen any of his recent work. And when I did take a look at his new website, I was thrilled to see an entire section of fantastic conceptual work. And even though he was shooting in Budapest when I emailed him, he was excited to be in the bulletin and emailed us the images that night before he flew back to the US! The image we have selected for Alberto was both mine and my assistant Chelsea’s favorite from his “Back to the Future” series, but be sure to go to his website to see the rest.


© Alberto Guglielmi
http://www.albertog.com/

Montalbetti & Campbell
Some of you may remember this husband and wife team Montalbetti + Campbell from a previous bulletin in which we featured photographers who work together as pairs, or as a couple. Now if anyone displays the idea of “concept” in their imagery, it is certainly these two. Their work is often so ornate and carefully crafted – it is like looking at a beautiful oil painting, so be sure to go their fabulous, fun and creative new website to see more of their stunning work. This particular image we selected for you is called “The Dream” which also fits our Pisces theme perfectly.


© Montalbetti + Campbell
http://www.montalbetticampbell.com/

Pete Barrett
I’ve known Pete Barrett for the longest time, and he has always been one of my favorite people in the industry, not only because he’s a wonderful photographer, but Pete is also a really great guy and a lot of fun to be around. Sounds cheesy, but it’s true! We met some years ago when he was my client at the Black Book. From his website: Known for his ability to work with people and also being a master manipulator of the pixels, Pete portrays both a sense of reality and captures the energy of the moment in a way that is very real and believable – and that he does. The image we chose for Pete is a great example of this and subtly illustrates our theme for this month. Look closely at the girl in this picture who is morphing into the mural!

Darrell Eager
I’ve not met Darrell Eager before, but my friends over at WSW Creative currently represent him, so I emailed him to see if he would like to be a part of the bulletin this month. I had to laugh because he is definitely true to his name, and was so “eager” to participate he got back to us right away and sent us some images, which I loved! Darrell’s work has a wonderful quirky style to it, so we selected a pair of his conceptual and Magritte-inspired portraits that also reflect the water sign of Pisces at the same time. Be sure to check out both his and his agents’ websites.

Britton Black
Britton Black was referred to me for some consulting a couple of years ago now, and we worked on his website branding and editing the portfolios. I liked his signature look that he was already refining and since then, he has continued to explore this visual and signature style. The image we selected transports us back in time to when we were riding around on penny-farthing bicycles, and although it possesses a nostalgic quality, there is also an interesting moody side to the work at the same time. Be sure to go to his website to see more of his fantasy world!

ChatterCorner March 2012

Halley Ganges of Go-Studios
My latest article for PhotoServe’s Features Section is a conversation with my old friend, photographer and owner of Go-Studios, Halley Ganges. Not only did we have the opportunity to catch up when I interviewed him, but I also got to see his wonderful new Penthouse Studio space that he has been building for the past year. To read more about Halley and this beautiful studio, please click here:
http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/photoserve/Louisa-J-Curtis-of–4596.shtml


Daylight Go-Studios, New York City

ChatterNews March 2012

Paula Lerner
Some of you may have already heard the very sad news that we lost Boston-based photographer and photojournalist Paula Lerner this week to cancer. She was only 52, but she had accomplished much during her time here on earth. I remember meeting her some years ago when she presented her work at the monthly photo salon. We also featured Paula in a previous bulletin when she won an Emmy for her project entitled “Behind the Veil” – an intimate journey into the lives of women in Kandahar, Afghanistan. She will be missed.

AOP Awards – Call for Entries
Call for entries starts Monday, March 19th, 2012 – Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 6pm.
Awards presentation Friday, October 12th.
London, UK

From the website:
“The AOP Photographers Awards is the most prestigious and highly respected competition for professional photographers worldwide.  Being selected for the Book and Exhibition is one of the greatest accolades available to professional photographers and offers major exposure to art buyers and the creative industry as a whole.  In addition all selected entrants will have an extensive presence on the Awards website.”

For more information please visit: http://www.the-awards.com/

Center for Photography at Woodstock
Registration begins Monday, April 9th, 2012

For more information please visit: http://www.cpw.org/

CHATTERBOX CONSULTING & MARKETING PACKAGES
Some of you may have seen Agency Access’ promotions for their Campaign Manager programs. Many of you cannot afford these programs, and some of you may not even be ready for them. Chatterbox will customize a package for you that is both affordable and appropriate for where you are in your career.

So contact me directly for more details and information – Louisa@chatterboxenterprises.com

ChatterLab March 2012

This month my most recent article on Agency Access’ blog The Lab is about the importance of personal work. In my opinion, if you are an artist, then all of your work is going to be “personal” in some way. I really enjoyed writing about this particular topic, so to read more and see my wonderful photographer examples please click here:http://lab.agencyaccess.com/blog/bid/53670/For-Artists-Even-Paid-Jobs-Should-be-Personal


Gary Oldman with pie on his face, © Chris Buck
http://chrisbuck.com/

And another of the group podcasts went live on The Lab recently, this time discussing the topic of Direct Mail. To check that out, please click here:http://lab.agencyaccess.com/blog/bid/53498/Dialogues-Podcast-Making-a-Direct-Impact-via-Direct-Mail

ChatterTip of the Month March 2012

Tips for Healthy Hands


Coffee bean image © Adrianna Mullen
http://www.adrianamullenphotography.com/

This time last year, we brought you tips for Healthy Feet because the sign of Pisces rules the feet. So what shall we talk about this time? Well, over the last couple of years we’ve pretty much covered most of the body but as I am writing this, we have a Full Moon in Virgo, and Virgo sits opposite Pisces on the Zodiacal Archetype. And where Pisces rules the feet, Virgo rules over our hands – so here are some tips for maintaining Healthy Hands!

Exercises for the Hands:

Chinese Baoding Balls
Traditional Chinese hand and wrist strengthening exercises include the use of both Hand Balls and Massage RingsChinese Baoding or Hand Balls (sometimes called Chinese Health Balls or Qi Gong Balls) have a long history in China that dates back at least as far as the Ming Dynasty. Two or more balls are rotated repeatedly in the hand to improve manual dexterity and strength. These simple tools not only strengthen your hands, wrists, fingers and forearms, they also improve your hand coordination and stimulate the flow of vital energy and blood in your body. They are also said to assist in injury recovery, and with all of the carpal tunnel issues that we now encounter due to being on the computer or hand-held devices all day, this is a great way to work the muscles of the hands. They are available in various sizes and are made of different materials such as steel, bronze, jade, glass and marble.

Stretches for the Hands:
When I was living in Paris and studying Corporeal Mime with Etienne Decroux some years ago, we learned how to articulate each and every part of our bodies, and we repeated endless exercises for this, much like a musician practices their scales. For the hand exercises, we were each given a small wooden board, on which we would place one hand at a time and repeat the following words out loud as we moved from one of the five hand positions to another – palette, trident, coquille, salamande, marguerite – hours and hours we would do this, working the muscles and the finger joints all the while reciting – palette, trident, coquille, salamande, marguerite…. It sounds so much prettier in French too! However, here are some perhaps less challenging hand exercises for you!

Finger & Thumb Stretch
– One hand at a time, one finger at a time – gently extend the fingers back towards the wrist. Then do the same with the thumb and gently stretch it towards the wrist.
– Then take all fingers together and stretch them back so the entire palm of the hand gets a good stretch as well as the fingers.

Hand Stretch
– Open and close the hand from a tight fist into a wide open hand position and keep alternating from one position to the other several times with each hand – open and close, open and close, open and close.
– Place your hands with palms together in the prayer position, fingers pointing upwards. Keep pressing the fingers and palms together as you slowly lower your hands until the forearms are horizontal. Take the hands down further still, keeping the fingers and upper palms together. You should feel the stretch on the insides of your fingers and wrists. Go gently – never force it!

Remedies for the Hands:
I could do an entire section on skin problems, so here are a couple of natural remedies for healthy hands. Interestingly, they say that Eczema or Dermatitis for example, can be brought on by stress, and that Massaging the Hands can help to relax the sufferer. Eczema is simply an inflammation of the skin that causes itchiness and redness and is the feature of many skin disorders.

– The Aloe is certainly one of nature’s most wonderful healing plants and one we’ve mentioned before, and if you don’t have your own Aloe plant, you can easily purchase Aloe Vera Gel from the health food store. Rub the cooling and soothing gel onto the patches of dermatitis to relieve itchiness and aid healing.
– Make your own Hand Scrub with 3 tablespoons finely ground Cornmeal, 1 teaspoon Cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons Honey, store in a small jar and use as you would hand soap. It cleans, softens and smoothes the hands.
– An unusual folk remedy for Dermatitis on the Hands is to take the leftover Coffee Grinds, yes that’s right, Coffee Grinds, and rub them onto the hands to relieve the symptoms.

Some of you may be familiar with the Homeopathic Cell Salts. What you might not know is that each cell salt relates to one of the 12 signs of the zodiac. And although we are talking about the Hands, as I mentioned earlier, Pisces rules the Feet. The cell salt for Pisces is Ferrum Phosphate, or Iron. Why? It is said that a deficiency in Iron can lead to Nail Problems, thus an increased intake of Iron is recommended. And last I checked we have Nails on both our Hands and Feet! But wait, I’m not done yet. White Spots on the Nails are often a sign of a deficiency in Zinc or Vitamin A, and the cell salt that actually governs the nails, as well as the hair, is in fact Silica, the cell salt for Sagittarius. Silica helps to prevent white spots and nail deformities.

Another interesting note on the Cell Salts and reminiscent of the fact that Pisces is the sum total of the all the other signs of the zodiac, it is recommended that whenever taking any of the other 11 Cell Salts, one should also take the Pisces Cell Salt, Ferrum Phosphate, to ensure proper absorption.

ChatterRecipe of the Month March 2012

Creamy Mustard Snapper

With this month being our sign of Pisces, it won’t come as a major surprise to you that our recipe for March is a fish dish, more specifically Mustard-Roasted Fish. I was originally going to give you the recipe from Ina Garten (aka The Barefoot Contessa). However, when food photographer David Bishop and his wonderful food stylist Marilinda Hodgdon very kindly worked on an image for our recipe this month, and because the recipe itself was not that exciting photographically, Marilinda “tweaked” the recipe by putting the fish on top of wild rice and colorful vegetables, to make it all look more visually delicious! And below is the revised recipe, so thank you both!

Brown and Wild Rice Medley
Ingredients
:
1/2 cup of Lundberg’s Wild and Brown Rice Blend
1/2 cup Wild Rice
2 cups of BrothChickenFish or Vegetable
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of Turmeric
Salt Pepper to taste

Vegetables for Rice
Ingredients:
1 sliced Carrot, peeled
1 cubed Parsnip, peeled
1 diced Onion
1 cup of English Peas
1 sliced Red Finger Pepper

Directions for Rice:
Bring the Broth, Olive OilTurmeric and Salt and Pepper to a boil. Add in all the Rice. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook on low heat for 40 minutes. Add in the Vegetables, stir and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, or until the wild rice blooms.

Creamy Mustard Snapper
Ingredients:

4 (8-ounce) Fish Fillets such as Red Snapper or Tilapia
8oz Crème Fraîche (or Sour Cream)
1/2 cup Heavy cream
1/2 cup BrothChickenFish or Vegetable
3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Whole-Grain Mustard
2 tablespoons Shallots (minced)
2 teaspoons Capers (drained)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt Pepper to taste
Hot smoked Hungarian Paprika as final garnish for fish

Directions:
Whisk together all the ingredients except the FishPaprika and Olive Oil to make the sauce. Coat the bottom and sides of a baking dish with the Olive Oil. Spread the Rice Medley evenly in the dish. Lay the Fish skin side down over the rice. Cover the Fish and the Rice with Sauce. Bake the recipe uncovered for 10 -20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish, until it is just done and flakes. Do not over cook the fish. Sprinkle the fish with the Paprika. Serve immediately. Yummy!

ChatterEvents March 2012

Phase One IQ Photography Conference

Cost: $39

From the website:
“Stop by the conference and get an overview of the Bronimaging line. Try the latest in Broncolor lighting and equipment. Work hands on with the Broncolor experts in a photo shoot. Experience for yourself how the IQ camera system can take your photography to the next level. Learn why medium format is the next step beyond DSLR when image quality is paramount! The Phase One IQ photography conference is coming to a city near you! Join us and learn how some of the world’s best photographers have benefitted from using the Phase One IQ camera system.”

Miami, FL: Thursday, March 15th, 2012 – More info
New York, NY: Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 – More info
Los Angeles, CA: Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 – More info

Monday, March 19th, 2012 – 7-8pm
APA NY Presents: Apple Lecture with John Midgley

@ Apple Store
401 West 14th Street
New York, NY

Cost: Free (but space is limited)

About John Midgley:
“Born in London, John Midgley grew up in Nairobi, Paris and London, where his mother, a painter, used to drag him around to see art house films and art exhibitions. That first contact with painting and film finds its way into his work to this day. His first introduction to photography came at age seven, when he modeled for Sarah Moon in Paris.”

For more information please visit: http://apany.com/event/march-19-apple-lecture-john-midgley/
To see more of John’s work please visit: http://www.john-midgley.com/

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 – 6:30pm
ASMP NY Presents: Get Out of Your Cave #4

@ Shades of Green Pub
125 East 15th Street (between Irving & 3rd Avenue)
New York, NY

For more information please visit: http://asmpny.org/

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 – 6:30pm
NY Monthly Photo Salon

@ Soho Photo Gallery
15 White Street (between Avenue of the Americas and West Broadway)
New York, NY

Cost: $10 at the door

Featuring the work of: Bob CareyMarkus HartelRuben Natal-San MiguelHaley J. Samuelson and Jay Maisel (line-up subject to change).

For questions or more information please contact: Beth AckermanEmmanuel Faure or Bill Westheimer.

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 – 7-10pm
Slideluck Potshow Presents: NY Launch of Red, White & View

@ WIX Lounge
10 West 18th Street (between 5th and 6th
New York, NY

Cost: $10 tickets. All proceeds from ticket sales and a portion of the art sales from this event will go to support Slideluck Potshow.

From the evite:
“What is RED WHITE & VIEW?  It’s as simple as enjoying RED wine, WHITE wine with an engaging and interesting mix of people and taking the opportunity to VIEW an exhibition of a selection of some of New York’s most promising emerging artists.

In addition, we’ll have musical stylings by author, artist and philosopher DJ Spooky (Paul D. Miller).  There will be a preview of behind the scenes shots from Naked Sea – Spencer Tunick’s recent installation in the Dead Sea by photographer Casey Kelbaugh.   Forever Young will be pouring their Argentinian wines, Brooklyn Brewery will be providing their delicious beers, Perrier will be bringing the sparkle, and we’ll have foods provided by Shantilly Picnic, Brooklyn Fork & Spoon and others.”

For more information please visit: http://www.wixlounge.com,  http://slideluckpotshow.com/, and here.

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 – 6:30pm
Adhesive NYC

@ ZIO
17 West 19th Street

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 – Sunday, April 1st, 2012
AIPAD

@ Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Avenue
New York, NY

Cost: $40 for four-day pass; $25 for one-day pass; $10 for one-day pass with student ID

For more information and to register please visit: http://www.aipad.com/

Saturday, March 31st, 2012 – 1:00pm
ASMP NY Presents: Student Portfolio Review 2012

@ FIT
John E. Reeves Great Hall
28th Street and 2nd Avenue
New York, NY

Cost: Free (bring student ID)

From the website:
“For the first time, ASMPNY is excited to announce we will host a Student Portfolio Review for students studying in the field of photography.  This event will be an opportunity for young photographers  to meet one on one with leading industry professionals to receive valuable feedback on their work while also helping students to prepare for entering the working world of photography and start developing their professional networks .  For our reviewers, this is a first look at emerging, fresh talent paving the way for the future of the industry.”

For more information please visit: http://asmpny.org/


Sunday, April 1st, 2012 – Friday, April 6th, 2012
Palm Springs Photo Festival

For more information and to register please visit: http://2012.palmspringsphotofestival.com/