Wendy Ringel Photography: Blog http://www.wendyringel.com/blog en-us (C) Wendy Ringel Photography wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) Mon, 23 Apr 2018 22:49:00 GMT Mon, 23 Apr 2018 22:49:00 GMT http://www.wendyringel.com/img/s/v-5/u708026113-o775179682-50.jpg Wendy Ringel Photography: Blog http://www.wendyringel.com/blog 120 90 Spring Wedding in Maple Shade New Jersey - Brandon & Yahnna http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2018/4/spring-wedding-in-maple-shade---brandon-yahnna  

Brandon and Yahnna picked a bright and sunny spring day for their wedding.  The temperatures were a little on the frosty side, but the warmth of this couple made up for that!  Their event was full of smiles, laughter and overflowing joy from everyone in attendance.   

After a morning of preparation and a moving, spiritual ceremony, the couple celebrated with family and friends at Cafe Fontana in Maple Shade, NJ.  The party was chock full of food, dancing and of course there was cake!  These are just a few of my favorite photos from the day - if you'd like to see over 100 more of my favorites, there is a slideshow at the bottom of the page with a beautiful recap of the wedding.  Just scroll on down and hit the play button to see them all (and if you're on a PC you can even hear some music along with it.) 

I have never seen a couple smile so much ~ Congratulations Brandon and Yahnna!!  Your wedding day was beautiful and your happiness was contagious!

 

 

                  

 

Here's the slide show!  Click the gray play button on the bottom right to start!

 

 

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) burlington burlington county cafe fontana cherry hill maple shade new jersey nj south jersey south jersey photographer wedding wedding photographer http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2018/4/spring-wedding-in-maple-shade---brandon-yahnna Mon, 23 Apr 2018 22:49:13 GMT
Lauren & Otto's North Captiva Island Wedding http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2017/7/lauren-ottos-north-captiva-island-wedding First things first, right now you are probably hearing some music if you are reading this on a computer - don't worry, you aren't hallucinating - that music is from the slideshow down at the bottom of the page.  You can go ahead and  scroll down to pause it now so you can read the rest of this story first - or if you are that type of person who needs to know how the story ends before you start the book, then feel free to watch the slideshow first and come back to read and fill in the blanks. No one will judge.   We've all done it.  :)

Now let's talk about Eight Logical Roosters and the island of North Captiva!  My baby sister got married last week and guys, it was so much fun!  When she told me she might be having her wedding on North Captiva Island in Florida, I was super excited - I have wanted to go there for years.  This is an island that is only accessible by ferry and there are no cars, only golf carts and bikes, beaches, turtles and an amazing pool bar at the clubhouse.  Yes, I know, I'm a little crazy, but that's pretty much all I need to be happy.  Our entire immediate family and a large portion of our extended family made the effort to get there, with many renting houses for part of the week - it was just an amazing family reunion and wedding all rolled into one.  Friends also came to support the bride and groom, and it was wonderful to get to know everyone on such an intimate basis.  And Eight Logical Roosters - I know you are wondering what that means.  The short story is that it was a hashtag based on the last names of the bride & groom - the longer story is way too long, so we'll just leave it there.  It was a good hashtag tho, right?

The wedding itself was perfect - even the threat of the regular evening thunderstorm held off that night!  After vows on the beach, we all danced the night away at the North Captiva Island Club.  Plus ... cake!  There was definitely cake.  And it was soooo good!  I wasn't the wedding photographer so I took about 10% of the photos I would normally take at a wedding, and really did my best to stay out of the way, but I had to bring my camera, right?  And now I am experiencing all the feelings of impatience that my clients usually feel when they are waiting to see wedding pictures, lol.  I can't wait to see what the resort photographers have to share, I am sure they got some magical shots!

Here are a few photos from our time on the island, ending with a slideshow that includes my "highlight reel" from the beautiful ceremony and crazy fun reception.  For photos from the entire week, be sure to check my Facebook page - I'll be sharing bits and pieces as I edit them.  

Congratulations one more time to Lauren and Otto and thank you for making your wedding such an amazing event!  We had so much fun! 

 

 

 

 

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) Gulf Coast Florida wedding North Captiva Island North Captiva Island Wedding destination wedding wedding wedding photographer http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2017/7/lauren-ottos-north-captiva-island-wedding Sat, 08 Jul 2017 03:56:50 GMT
Philadelphia Wedding on The Moshulu ~ Denise & Zach http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/10/philadelphia-wedding-on-the-moshulu-denise-zach  

On a beautiful spring day, Denise and Zach invited friends from near and far to join them on the legendary Moshulu in Philadelphia.  Excitement spilled over as they got ready for the festivities, each one on a different side of the ship.  With help from her mom, maid of honor and their three beautiful daughters, Denise got into her confection of a dress.  When every detail was perfect, she emerged on the deck where Zach was waiting.  

After a touching ceremony, the party continued into the night as guests enjoyed the amazing food and danced on the deck of the ship.  As the sun went down, the ship was framed with the bright lights of the city on one side and the twinkling lights of Ben Franklin Bridge on the other.  

For a taste of the magical evening, please enjoy the slideshow below.  Just a hint, if you want to make the slideshow full screen, just hover over the bottom right and you'll see a little box you can click to do just that.  Enjoy!

 

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) Moshulu Moshulu Wedding Philadelphia Philadelphia wedding wedding http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/10/philadelphia-wedding-on-the-moshulu-denise-zach Mon, 31 Oct 2016 17:43:31 GMT
Alstede Farms & Hacklebarney State Park ~ Emily & Justin's Wedding Slideshow http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/10/alstede-farms-hacklebarney-state-park-emily-justins-wedding-slideshow

What is there really to say about a wedding that includes my favorite state park, a bride and groom willing to pretty much hike through the woods for photos and then a reception at a beautiful farm?  Actually, quite a lot!  

Working with Justin and Emily on their wedding day was so much fun.  Our day started with Emily's family as she prepared herself for the fun ahead.  After a lovely ceremony, the bridal party left for photos at Hacklebarney State Park in Long Valley, NJ.  In a park full of families and hikers, our group definitely stood out!  This bridal party was ready for the challenge tho, and I had to chuckle thinking of how many hikers would be going home and saying, "You'll never guess what we saw at the park today!"  Up stairs and hills and down winding mountain paths ... they did it all, some of them in VERY high heels!  

Then the three magic words every hungry photographer loves to hear from the bride .... "Let's get fries."  A quick stop at Wendy's for some burgers and fries made everyone happy, and then it was time for the reception at Alstede Farms in Chester.  The corn, the horses, the sunset and all the special details were made even better by the music of DJ David Perez, who kept the party going into the night.  And did I mention the bonfire with the s'mores?  Because yeah, they had that.

An amazing day and night full of fun and laughter, food and friendship, and so much love.  Thank you for including me in the festivities!  For a peek into the adventure, enjoy the slideshow below.  Just a hint, if you want to make the slideshow full screen, just hover over the bottom right and you'll see a little box you can click to do just that.  To see the slideshow with music, you need to be on a computer, for some reason my web host doesn't play the music when viewing on tablets and phones - you can see the pictures that way, but it's more fun with the music.  Enjoy!

 

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) NJ alstede farms chester farm wedding hacklebarney state park hacklebarney wedding wedding http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/10/alstede-farms-hacklebarney-state-park-emily-justins-wedding-slideshow Fri, 14 Oct 2016 16:06:19 GMT
Spring Lake Manor Wedding in Spring Lake, NJ - Nicole & Brian's Slideshow http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/9/nicole-brians-spring-lake-wedding

Nicole and Brian have a love story that goes all the way back to high school.  With so much history together, it was no surprise to see the joy it brought to their family and friends when they celebrated their wedding.  Their day felt like a joyous reunion, with smiles, hugs and so much happiness.  While the rain poured down and thunder rumbled outside, the inside of St. Ambrose church was full of sunshine and laughter as Nicole and Brian pledged their love to each other.  

With a short break in the storm, we were able to take a quick break for photos at the beautiful Divine Park in Spring Lake, NJ.  And then off to the Spring Lake Manor for an amazing reception.  SCE Event Group provided the fun with music that got everyone dancing.  Congratulations to Brian and Nicole, your day was perfect in every way.   For a glimpse into the festivities, enjoy the slideshow below, full of favorite moments from their day.  

P.S. Just a hint, if you want to make the slideshow full screen, just hover over the bottom right and you'll see a little box you can click to do just that.  Enjoy!

 

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) NJ NJ Shore Spring Lake Spring Lake Manor Wedding wedding photographer http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/9/nicole-brians-spring-lake-wedding Mon, 19 Sep 2016 17:13:41 GMT
Stories of Autism - Part 3 http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/4/stories-of-autism---part-3  

The Stories of Autism project is a network of professional photographers creating fine art portraits.  Their mission is to increase awareness, acceptance and inclusion of people with autism spectrum disorders through fine art portraits and stories.  

I was very happy to participate in this project this year.  You can read about my first two autism superheroes here and here.  Today is all about my third and final submission, Oliver the Zebra.  Oliver is special to me because he happens to be my son.  He is also an amazing and interesting person to know.

Here's what I wrote about Oliver for the project:


Oliver is 14 years old and loves to laugh. He started out life pretty normally, but around age two stopped using the words he used to know. Since he was very social with friends, we were a little surprised to learn he had autism, but his diagnosis opened the door for some great teachers and therapists, and with their help he was able to start talking again by age four. The addition of the gluten/dairy/soy free diet at age 8 helped him to make even more progress. He continues to have a hilarious sense of humor and a very active social life.  At school, his teachers say that he knows everyone in the building and never misses an opportunity to say hello to a staff member.

Oliver loves calendars and maps, and has some savant skills in those categories. If you ask him what day of the week falls on January 3, 2018, he can tell you right away, and if he drives with you somewhere, he can tell you every turn the next time you go. He also loves to give nicknames to his friends, family and even himself. He calls his brothers Whale and Bear, and he says his sister is a monkey. Lots of people he knows are categorized as giraffes, but if he really likes you, he will call you a zebra. He calls himself Oliver the Zebra and calls his dad Zebra Jr. Lots of his friends try to get moved into the zebra category but Oliver won’t be swayed!

Being a teenager has not been all that easy. Now that he is adult sized and has all those pesky hormones floating around, behaviors that were just bothersome have become dangerous. Like many kids with autism, Oliver sometimes “elopes” or runs away, which means everyone has to be extra vigilant to keep him safe.  On the other hand, Oliver enjoys many “typical” teenaged activities like dancing, listening to music and talking to friends on the phone.  Sometimes he even likes getting his photo taken! We aren’t sure what the future holds, but we know that whatever life brings, Oliver will get through it with a big smile.

Oliver's "Stories of Autism" blurb was only part of his story.  Because I believe autism awareness should include ALL the parts of autism, here on my blog I have to add that Oliver is struggling quite a lot.  Puberty is really hard for many kids on the spectrum.  You might see behaviors like self injury, meltdowns and even hurting others.  Anxiety, frustration, limited verbal skills - these all play a part.  Sometimes I think there's also some jealousy as he sees his older brothers doing things that he can't do.  He wants friends, but doesn't know how to keep friends.  He wants freedom but doesn't know how to be safe when on his own.  Friends, teachers, doctors and we, his family, all work really hard to help him communicate his needs, but it is still really hard for him.

 And he is not alone.  There are so many kids like him - smart, funny, gorgeous kids - who have the type of autism that comes with health issues, communication problems, and behaviors that make life unsafe.  Families who live with holes in the walls, locks on the windows, fear of going out in public - families who lose friends, who have neighbors who sue them about their kids, who don't know what the future holds.  Autism awareness needs to include these families too, and wouldn't it be nice to also include real ways to help?

My favorite resource for REAL help is the TACA website.  They have information about special diets, what to do when first diagnosed, and so much family support.  They even offer Mentors.  Check them out at Tacanow.org - tell them Oliver the Zebra sent you!   We also get quite a lot of help from the teachers and staff at Oliver's school and from friends and family members.  In that way we are very blessed.

And now, here are a few more shots of Oliver that I considered for the project.  The first one showcases his, "I'm about to get into some trouble" face.  And the second one is all GQ.  This boy can go from naughty to model in five seconds flat.

April is Autism Awareness month.  If you know an autism superhero that might like to be featured in next year's project, please drop me a line.  I love working with special kids and their special families.   Thank you for joining me for this year's Stories of Autism project.  These kids were all superheroes!

 
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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) April Bucks County NJ South Jersey autism autism awareness special needs special needs photographer stories of autism http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/4/stories-of-autism---part-3 Wed, 20 Apr 2016 12:30:00 GMT
Stories of Autism - Part 2 http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/4/stories-of-autism---part-2 The Stories of Autism project is a network of professional photographers creating fine art portraits.  Their mission is to increase awareness, acceptance and inclusion of people with autism spectrum disorders through fine art portraits and stories.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was honored to be chosen as one of their photographers this year, and loved meeting some special autism super heroes.  Today I am sharing the story of my second subject, the amazing Jeremy.

This handsome teenager was very busy during our session - he shared all of his treasured lego creations with me (that he built himself!) and sang me a few songs as well.  Here's his story, as written by his mom:

My name is Jeremy I am a 15-year-old boy with Autism. I have a loving family that consists of my mom, dad, brother and sister. When I was little I didn't speak or make eye contact. This was a challenge for me, because it was hard for people to know what I needed. 

My parents and grandparents are my biggest supporters. I have learned to overcome my challenges by trying hard and doing things out of my comfort zone. Sometimes it gives me anxiety when I go to new surroundings. This is my first year of high school, I attend Mercer Special Services High School. I enjoy music, building Legos, and art. When I get older I want to get a job in the community.

Check out some of Jeremy's masterpieces:

  

I'm pretty sure it would take me days to build some of these complicated vehicles.

Here's a smile that could launch a thousand ships:

I loved meeting Jeremy and his family.  I was charmed from start to finish.  This is the photo I chose to submit for the project - I love the look of pride on Jeremy's face as he displays his perfectly built lego helicopter.

April is Autism Awareness month.  If you know an autism superhero that might like to be featured in next year's project, please drop me a line.  I love working with special kids and their special families.   Stay tuned for more from this year's Stories of Autism project.  One more amazing autism super hero coming up!

 

 

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) autism autism awareness special needs photographer stories of autism http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/4/stories-of-autism---part-2 Mon, 18 Apr 2016 11:49:11 GMT
Stories of Autism - Part 1 http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/4/stories-of-autism---part-1 The Stories of Autism project is a network of professional photographers creating fine art portraits.  The mission is to increase awareness, acceptance and inclusion of people with autism spectrum disorders through fine art portraits and stories.

I was honored to be included among the photographers this year and would like to share the photos and stories of three local autism superheroes that I met through the project.   Please check out the Stories of Autism website to learn more.

My first subject was this handsome fella. 

This cutie was full of energy, loved cars and was super excited about the new game he was planning to play later that night.  Here's his story, as written by his mom:

Ciaran, first born and the tiniest of our triplets, came into the world 2 months early and has been keeping us on our toes every since. Diagnosed with autism, hypotonia and failure to thrive at 18 months he has struggled with walking, talking, eating and most daily tasks others take for granted. 

Now at age 7 he has succeeded with dance classes, ice hockey and soccer. He lost his non-verbal status years ago and loves to greet everyone he sees. They even call him "the little mayor" at his school. Ciaran still faces daily struggles but he is the happiest boy you could ever meet and every day is a new miracle for him and us!

 

I loved spending time with this inspiring family and these adorable faces.  It was really tough choosing a favorite photo to include in the Stories of Autism Gallery.   This boy loves his sisters.

He also loves his cars, can you tell?

And was looking forward to playing a little Pie Face with the family!

In the end, I chose this photo for the gallery.  His eyes are so full of  happiness and hope -  that is exactly how I feel about this "little mayor".   Happy that he has a wonderful family to support him and hopeful that he will have an amazing future.  

April is Autism Awareness month.  If you know an autism superhero that might like to be featured in next year's project, please drop me a line.  I love working with special kids and their special families.   Stay tuned for more from this year's Stories of Autism project.  Two more amazing autism super heroes coming up!

 

(P.S. Yes, I know I left the blog hanging - more about that later - I have a story to tell and it is a long one!  I also promise to come back and tell you all about the Mayan ruins just like I said I would.  Come to think of it, I wouldn't mind a little side trip to Mexico about now .... fresh guac, drinks on the beach .... who's with me? )

 

 

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) April NJ Stories of Autism autism awareness special needs http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/4/stories-of-autism---part-1 Thu, 14 Apr 2016 13:51:36 GMT
Belize City and Darknight Cave Tubing - Un-Belize-able! http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/1/belize-city-and-darknight-cave-tubing---un-belize-able I'm blogging about our vacation on Vision of the Seas last month, and today will be all about our second port stop, Belize!  I had never been to Belize before so this one took some research.  Everything I read on the Cruise Critic Forums  pointed to Cave Tubing as the best choice for this day.  After checking prices with local tour operators, I decided to go with the Darknight Cave Tubing tour offered by Royal Caribbean through the ship.  The beauty of taking a cruise sponsored tour is that if you are late getting back (for any reason - traffic, car trouble, slow moving tour guide) the ship will WAIT for you.  If you are taking a tour with a local tour guide and you are late for the ship .... well, they will leave without you.  The cave tubing tour included a LONG ride to reach the tubing area, another shorter ride to get to the departure point and then a hike through the forest.  Too much room for error for this crew, so we went with the safest option.

It was another beautiful and warm day when we arrived in Belize City.  Because the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is so close to Belize City, this port required tendering.  Which basically means that the huge cruise ships can't just park at a dock without ruining the reef, so passengers take a smaller boat back and forth from the port.  Some people dislike tendering, but our family mostly views it as an extra boat ride, so we like it.  Here's a view from our tender, as we watched another tender arrive for the next group.  And hey, bonus, I can see our "windows" !

My daughter and I wore our Keens for this trip.  Can't say enough about how much I love Keens - they are the best water shoes because they have all the support of sneakers.  They were perfect for our excursion.  

And here's our view of the Belize City Port as we arrived on our tender.

Since we were on a cruise tour, we had been assigned numbers on the ship, so we just needed to find our tour operator and go.  Easy Peasy.  Our bus ride started with a ride through Belize City and then we passed through Yarborough Cemetery.  Our guide told us that this cemetery is the only one in the world with a major highway passing through the middle. 

Lots of other interesting sights, and lots of good information from our tour guide Javi.  

After a long ride (over an hour) we started to see signs of the mountains where we were headed.  Javi pointed out this mountain range that looks like a sleeping man - can you see it?

And then, because we were running a little late - instead of going to the tubing first we flip flopped plans and had lunch before the tubing.  Which would have made me nervous if we weren't on a cruise sponsored tour, but since we were, the word late didn't phase me at all.  Lunch was really good.  chicken and some rice and some kind of cole slaw, plus a drink.  Shopping available so of course we browsed a little.  They had bug spray available here - we didn't need it but some had to buy it since we were going to be hiking through the rain forest.  This is the bus we rode in.

Here's our lunch that was included:

Everyone enjoyed it.  It looked to be safe for Oliver to eat, and he chowed down, and drank his favorite Izze soda that we had brought from home.   

Bought a few coconuts from the shops.  

Our lunch time view

After our stop, we drove a little longer to the place where we got outfitted for tubing.  At this point there were lockers available to drop off anything valuable that you didn't want getting wet.  We knew this was coming so we didn't bring anything except what would fit into our waterproof bags, and we just left our bag of towels and my super old camera on the bus.  From here on, all photos are either phone pictures or taken with my waterproof Nikon Coolpix.  (AKA - not the best quality).  But again, the best camera is the one you have with you!

Here we are with our spelunking helmets and life jackets, ready to go!  And you can see the waterproof case hubby has around his neck - big enough for our phones and credit cards and they kept everything dry.

At this point we got on smaller buses (you can see them in the background of the above photos)  and headed into the jungle!  Short ride and then we were ready to hike!  The hike was pretty long and the beginning of it was pretty steep, but we are fairly fit and were able to handle it.  Our guide stopped every few minutes to tell us about the plants in the jungle.  My favorite was when he showed us a "tourist tree" - they call it that because the bark turns red and peels off.  :)

They also offered a zipline - we were not quite that adventurous.

We walked through several large caves on our way.

Cool face in a cliff

Nice path through the jungle

I forget what this was called, but it was edible, kind of tasted like coconut.  Palm kernel maybe?

Jaguar tracks - our guide acted like it was fresh to give us a scare, but since they are nocturnal animals, I was pretty sure we weren't in any danger.

Group shot!  I really appreciated that our guide asked us a few times if we wanted a photo.  Since I'm a photographer, my kids get sick of pictures but when someone else suggests it, they are always willing.  And hey, I got to be in the photo for a change.  (In my swimsuit.  Wearing a spelunking helmet.  Nothing says "sexy beast" like a spelunking helmet.  Maybe I don't appreciate this as much as I thought?)

More walking ....

This cave was VERY big.  When we got to the middle we turned off our lights and were in pitch darkness.  No photos of that.  

After our jungle trek, we reached the river and the tubes!

With a little effort, we got ourselves in and headed down the river.  

The jungle canopy kept us comfortably shaded:

We tubed through the caves 

Once again, in the middle of the cave it was super dark.  We turned off our lights for a bit to take it in.   The Mayans who lived in this area used these caves for ceremonies - they believed that they were in the underworld when they were underground - Xibalba.   Not hard to imagine why they felt that way as we sat in the dark water.  

And then we were back out in the sunlight and the tubing was finished.  We made it out of Xibalba!  At this point my kids and I remembered that they used that term in one of our favorite movies,  "The Road to El Dorado" - and we got a little silly saying "To Xibalba!" a few times.   Back at the buses, Oliver wanted a photo with our guide, Javi.  You can thank Javi for the title of today's blog - he is the one who told us that the proper response when asked how we liked Belize was to say - "It was Un-Belize-able!"  So Thanks again Javi for that little bit of corn.

We also got to try some of the food and natural medicines that are taken from the rain forest.

Then we changed into dry clothes and headed to the buses for our LONG trip back to our ship.  We passed a lot of local homes that reminded us that life in the USA is not so bad.

And then it was time for our home away from home - beautiful view of the ships in port - we saw Norwegian and Carnival, plus two Royal Caribbean ships out at sea.

And here's where we talk about how great it was to take a ship's tour.  We were on the absolute LAST tender of the day.  In the photo below you can see the Crew Port Guides (pink shirts), who always come back to the ship LAST.  I know if we weren't with the cruise tour, I would have been sweating bullets on the ride back to the port!  And as it turns out, we heard that two people actually didn't make it - they had to find a way to get to Costa Maya, Mexico the next day and rejoin the cruise then.  Can you imagine??

I enjoyed some great views of the ships as we tendered in.  

And once again, we were back on-board and getting read for dinner!  Our next port was Costa Maya, Mexico!  If you want to learn about the Mayan Ruins, tune in next week.  I learned a few new things that I can't wait to share.

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/1/belize-city-and-darknight-cave-tubing---un-belize-able Fri, 29 Jan 2016 18:17:33 GMT
Roatan Honduras - A Day in Paradise http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/1/roatan-honduras---a-day-in-paradise I promised some posts about our port days and here they come!  We had a few days off because of Winter Storm Jonas, but that just made me more anxious to review these photos and do a little bit of warm weather dreaming!  Disclaimer - on port days I did not generally take my pro camera gear, so these photos are all taken with an older camera, or with my waterproof Nikon Coolpix, which is great for underwater shots but not so great for clear shots above water.  So if something is grainy, blurry or just a little off, that is why.  But you know what they say, "the best camera is the one you have with you!"

When we scheduled our cruise on Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas, we noticed that we'd be visiting some places that were new to us.  Roatan was one of these new places and I have to admit that after reading some news reports out of Honduras, I was a little worried about how safe this port would be.  I did a lot of research on the Cruise Critic website, and also Trip Advisor, to make sure that our day was going to be safe and fun for all of us.  Traveling with a teenager who has autism means that everything has to be planned, with no surprises.  Having said that, I have to commend Rony's Tours of Roatan for taking excellent care of us during our visit.  If you ever visit Roatan, look them up!  We took advantage of their "Freestyle Tour" which meant that we could pick and choose what we wanted to do, with a driver at our beck and call.  I loved this option because it left us open to just leave and go back to the ship if we had any kind of issue.  Rony gave us very detailed instructions so we could find our driver when we got off the ship, and we found him with no problem.  Here's our new friend Arnold, who took awesome care of us all day:

I had heard that Roatan was great for snorkeling and also there was some kind of monkey experience, so we told Arnold that we wanted to see the monkeys, maybe some nice views and then spend the rest of the day on the beach.  He did not disappoint!  Our first stop was at Mayan Eden Eco-Park which was an amazing animal sanctuary with birds, monkeys and butterflies.  They also have zip-lining available, which we did not try.  To get into the park was only $10 each, and that included a private tour guide, a walk through their butterfly house (amazing) and time with the monkeys and parrots.  Really a bargain and so much fun.  We all loved feeding the monkeys sunflower seeds and having them jump around on us.  This young monkey liked taking selfies.  

I think I want to hire this guy to do my taxes.  :)

The parrots were cool too.  

My son with autism did not want to see the monkeys, so he started out just staying in the car and then migrated down to the hammocks they had available.  This was a great part of doing a Freestyle Tour.  We didn't have to pay for him to do something and then find out later that it was too hard for him.  (I don't even want to tell you how much we once paid for a Disney character breakfast that was a disaster!)  

After our visit with the monkeys, we were off to the beach, with a beautiful stop on the way to take some photos of the ship.  Arnold took us to a mountain top area with several shops.  All the vendors were very nice and had reasonable prices for everything.  And what was really cute - because it was the week after Christmas, lots of local kids were off from school and helping their parents or just hanging out trying to earn a little cash.  Since I have working kids myself, I admired their gumption and we made sure to tip as much as we could.  We loaded up on water, tried some fresh coconut and even met a young lady with a rat (named Blanca)  on her head!

And then we were off to the beach!  We headed to West Bay Beach for some sun, sand, lunch and snorkeling!!  As we drove, Arnold told us about the island of Roatan and before we knew it, we were there.  We entered the beach near Bananarama Dive Resort, and Arnold got us a table at the beachside restaurant so we could start with lunch.   We were happy that we could order a lunch for Oliver that was plain rice and grilled chicken.  I'm not sure if it was 100% gluten free, but they cooked it without any gluten or dairy ingredients and he loved it.  For more serious allergies, you'd probably need to ask more questions, but for our needs, it was perfect.  Hubby opted to be a little more adventurous and get grilled fish.  They said they would bring him a BIG one, and boy they sure did!!  I'm pretty sure his meal was gluten free too.

I was a little less adventurous and I think I just got nachos, but I tried some local beer too.

And then it was time for the beach!  I loved that there were occasionally dogs running through.   The beach was not very wide, as you can see, but there was enough room for us.  I was glad that we were the only ship in port that day - I think on a busier port day it would really be a crunch.  The chairs were available for a $10 rental, but we didn't end up using one since we were in the water or at our table for lunch most of the time.  There were also boats coming and going if  you wanted to go out to deeper water for snorkeling or diving.

While the older boys used our snorkel gear, me & the girl rented a paddle board (only $10) and tried it out.  She tossed me pretty nicely at least once (and somewhere on the bottom of the ocean, a fish is now enjoying the sunglasses I bought for this trip.)  But by the end, she had perfected her balance.

And then Oliver wanted to try it too - he was happy to stay seated:

After the boys finally came back with the snorkel gear, us girls got to give it a try.  Roatan is located near the MesoAmerica Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world, so I was excited to see what was under the crystal clear water!  We unfortunately did not have a lot of time, so we had to make it quick (the ship waits for no one!) but we still managed to see quite a lot.  Just a short walk and then a short swim to a bottle (of all things) that was tethered to the ocean floor, and we found tons of coral and so many beautiful fish.   Plus this little mermaid:

Look closely at this next photo  - can you see what my daughter left behind?  :)

Here's a short video so you can see how friendly the fish were.

And then the day was over.  We wished we could stay longer but it was time for our ride back to the port.  Arnold got us back in plenty of time and we were back on board getting ready for dinner before we knew it.  Here's a nice view from the ride home, and a quick shot of the ship in port.

Stay tuned for our next port - Belize City, Belize!  Another new place for us - how was it?  You'll have to check in tomorrow!

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) Cruise GFCF Honduras Roatan Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas autism bananarama gluten free paddleboard snorkeling http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/1/roatan-honduras---a-day-in-paradise Thu, 28 Jan 2016 18:40:55 GMT
Somewhere ... Beyond the Sea ... Vision of the Seas New Years Cruise with Royal Caribbean http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/1/21 Sometimes it feels to me like my family is always in 100 different places, working, at school, participating in sports, after school activities .... I am sure any mother of teens can understand what I'm talking about.  I see my older kids in the morning for a minute, then sometimes at dinner time - or later at bedtime.  Everyone has somewhere to go, someone to see, something to do!  Not ideal, but life is just busy.

I'm happy that our family has been able to take a vacation together each year.  A week away from the hustle and bustle while we reconnect and try to remember the important things.  This year, we took a cruise.  Officially it was designated as a New Year's Cruise, but it happened to be a time when we were all available and really READY for a trip, so off we went!  Now that we're back and the laundry has been done, the suitcases have been relegated to the attic until next time and YES, the photos have all been edited - NOW I can share a little bit about our vacation!

Our cruise left from Tampa, Florida.  Which means that we had to GET to Tampa, Florida, from New Jersey.  For various reasons, we chose to drive down in our van.   A little bit of extra family togetherness.  Yep, it was just as good as you are imagining.  Since I am one of the smallest in the family, I got to sit all the way in back for most of the ride.  Don't be jealous of my view.  Good times.  Yes, that is rain, which is what we drove through for most of the trip.

All was forgotten when we arrived - the weather was beautiful and HOT!  We didn't have a lot of time but we did get to visit Clearwater Beach briefly before our cruise and it was beautiful.

Departure went without a hitch and we loved the views from the Tampa port.  Can you believe those blue skies and white fluffy clouds?

Our ship was The Vision of the Seas from Royal Caribbean.  Did you know that Royal Caribbean is autism certified?  They know just what to do when it comes to guests with autism and they are really great about dietary restrictions too.  Here's my son Oliver, chatting with the head waiter Anca about what he plans to eat for the week.  They brought him everything he asked for.  They gave us a quiet place to wait during the muster drill and when it was time to depart.  We just had to say the word "autism" and people would come out of nowhere to help us.  Gotta love it.

I'm going to save the port days for later, because otherwise this will get long.   Today is just all about the ship.  We were on an older ship, smaller and less fancy than some of the newer mega-ships.  But we like this type of cruise better.  By the end of the week, we felt we knew a lot of the crew members and many of the guests.  I enjoyed having someone else do the cooking and cleaning - and the whole family enjoyed the food, entertainment, pools, hot tubs and the beautiful warm weather of the Caribbean.  

The Captain, Marek Slaby from Poland, was one of the most engaged captains I have ever met.  He played volleyball with the guests in the pool, sang Bon Jovi in the Centrum and then there was the night they had a "Dancing with the Stripes" event.  Kind of like Dancing with the Stars, but the stars were officers and the dancers came from the entertainment crew.  Wow, look at Captain Marek in action.  He didn't win, but we were all still impressed.

Another amazing night - 70's night - and once again, the amazing crew members kept us entertained.  Activities Director Elvis Pinto (in the sailor suit) got everyone moving.  He actually had everyone moving every day - ok maybe not me - I admittedly just watched with a frosty drink in my hand when he did zumba classes by the pool.  C'mon, it was vacation!  I did dance during 70's night.  I can't resist a good ABBA song. 

My daughter enjoyed the rock climbing wall.  She almost made it to the first bell.  

One of the last nights was the Parade of Flags when we learned about the crew and where they were from.  This is the head housekeeper who was from Germany (in case you couldn't tell).   It was amazing to see all the nationalities represented.

It's not a vacation unless you get a good profile picture for your social media accounts, right?  Me and my girl on the last formal night - she's the one in the crown, I'm the one dressed like a zebra.  All the other pictures of me involve water shoes,  a baseball cap and a swimsuit - and no one is seeing those!

We tried some group photos.  Every night the ship's photographer would take our picture,  but we got a lot of this:

Our ports included Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel.  I'll post about them later.  Because I have a lot to say about everything!   It was a wonderful trip for all of us - we came home feeling refreshed and ready for the new year!  My mind is still filled with thoughts of ocean breezes and beautiful sunsets at sea.  Just what the doctor ordered.  "Somewhere ... beyond the sea ... somewhere, waiting for me .... " (Yes, I know that song will be stuck in your head now, and yes, you are welcome.)   Check back in a few days to hear more about our port days - monkeys, Mayan ruins, giant trampolines and girl with a rat on her head.  Yep.  You're gonna want to see those photos!  For now, I'll leave you with that song in your head and my favorite sunset photo, taken somewhere between Cozumel, Mexico and Tampa.

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) Belize Cozumel Roatan Royal Caribbean Tampa Vision of the Seas cruise vacation http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/1/21 Fri, 22 Jan 2016 12:45:00 GMT
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!! http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/1/winner-winner-chicken-dinner Welcome back, I hope everyone had a wonderful winter break!  We had some exciting travels that I can't wait to share!  But first .... we have a winner for the "Top 15 of 2015" Contest!!  

We had a whopping 95 comments when I counted all the blog and Facebook comments - not counting the ones from my mom - thanks mom, lol.   I was super scientific and hand wrote a list of numbers - starting with day 15 of the blog, I wrote the names of each person who commented in the order they commented.  Then I did the same thing for the Facebook posts on my page.  Then to be fair, I plugged the numbers in at Random.org to come up with a random number for our winner.  And the winner is ..... number 87!!

Comment number 87 was this gem, posted on Facebook under day nine in the countdown:  "Love the gown color."  And the winner??  Drumroll please.....

 

Lisa Pagano!!

 

Congratulations Lisa, you have won a free mini session as specified in the contest rules that were posted each day.  I will be contacting you to set up a date and make some plans!  I can't wait!

Thank you to everyone who commented!  So many of you shared your thoughts and encouragement and I truly appreciate each and every one of you.  I hope you will continue to comment here on the blog or on Facebook, because I love to hear what you all think, and I really hope to work with you in the coming year.  

Tune in for some travel photos over the next week or two - nothing better to warm up a cold winter than looking at some tropical vacation photos, right?  OK, maybe some soup with that?  I can arrange that too. Or maybe some coffee?  Sounds good to me!

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) Contest countdown winner http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2016/1/winner-winner-chicken-dinner Wed, 06 Jan 2016 19:12:37 GMT
Countdown Runners Up! http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2015/12/countdown-runners-up-top-15-of-2015---day-16 Thank you to all of my readers who participated in the Top 15 of 2015 Contest!  I'll be picking a winner in a few days, so look for an announcement on or after January 6th.  

There were so many great photos that I wanted to use in my countdown but just didn't have enough room.  So without any commentary, here are some of my other favorite photos that didn't quite make it to the countdown.  We'll call this Day Zero.  I hope that all of you enjoyed the countdown and I look forward to taking many more "favorite" photos in the coming year.  If you'd like to book a session, drop me a line!  And as usual, if you have a favorite shot or just have a thought about the photos, feel free to comment below!  I love hearing from you all!

Copyright_Wendy_Ringel

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2015/12/countdown-runners-up-top-15-of-2015---day-16 Fri, 01 Jan 2016 15:15:00 GMT
Top 15 of 2015 - Countdown - Day 1 http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2015/12/top-15-of-2015---countdown---day-1 We are finally at the end of our countdown - the last day of 2015 (really?) and my last "favorite" for this year.  I have really enjoyed counting down my favorite 15 (100?) photos over the last 15 days and loved all of your comments.  Today I can't pick a single photo, I have to pick a few (again).  The photos are beautiful, but the story behind the session is really what makes these photos special to me. 

These photos are full of freedom, play and beautiful family interactions - the light was amazing, the wardrobe choices were perfect and the family was incredibly gorgeous.  But the thing about this session that makes me happiest of all is how it came about.  

I have been dreaming of specializing in kids with special needs.  My own experience as an autism mom has made me realize how important it is to have a photographer that gets it.  Someone that will be patient, relaxed, able to let kids be kids while they are captured in photos.  No, I can't always get perfectly posed studio style photos - but as a special mom, I don't even care about that.  I just want pictures of my kids that show them as they are.  Happy, playing, having fun.  My dream has been to help other families who have maybe struggled in the past with family photos.  Word has been slowly spreading, but its been spreading too slowly for me.  I have had several wonderful clients who had "special" kids.  But I know there are more out there.  And then ... one day in the summer I got this phone call.  "Hi, I am looking for a photographer who works with kids who have special needs.  I googled that and your name came up."  I could not believe it!!   MY NAME CAME UP.  MY NAME CAME UP!  

Guys, this makes me so happy.  The thought that someone might google "special needs photographer" and then call ME.  Really, I am just so happy about it. (Did I mention that I am happy about this? LOL)  I love all of my photography clients - every family, every couple, every dancing grandma at every wedding - LOVE them.  But when I capture an image for a family that didn't think they could get a decent photo, who struggled in the past, who start out the session stressed and then say to me at the end, "that was not bad at all."  Well, that just makes me feel a special sort of way.  This is why I do what I do. That's why I picked this session, these photos - because this is the family that googled and found me.  They have three amazing children that are so incredibly gorgeous and sweet - and we got some amazing photos for them.  I'm not saying which child has special needs, I'm not saying what those special needs are - I'm just sharing my favorite photos from the session.  Because whenever I look at their photos, I am reminded of that phone call and how it made me feel.  

So, let me know what you think - Which of my "Top 15" photos was your favorite?  Leave a comment below!  Comments on the blog post enter you to win a free winter mini session!  And stay tuned tomorrow for my FIRST post of the new year, featuring all of the "honorable mention" photos that were really great but didn't make it to the countdown.

Contest details:  Enter to win a FREE winter mini session - simply comment on the blog and let me know what you think.  You can enter once a day for each of the 15 days of the countdown.  For additional entries, I will also be posting the link to this blog on my Facebook page - you earn one more entry if you like my page, like the post and comment on the post (you need to do all three to get one entry).  And one more entry if you share the Facebook post with your friends.  So THREE possible entries per day.  I'll be picking a winner on Wednesday, January 6th.  

Fine Print:  Winter mini session includes a half hour shoot at a location of your choice and five(5) digital images with print release.  No cash value - booking date must be before March 1st.  Locations must be within 30 minutes drive of Burlington, N.J.

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) 2015 Bucks County PA NJ contest countdown family photography special needs http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2015/12/top-15-of-2015---countdown---day-1 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 13:00:00 GMT
Top 15 of 2015 - Countdown - Day 2 http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2015/12/top-15-of-2015---countdown---day-2 I can't believe there are only two more days left in the year!  Today's choice for my "Top 15 of 2015" Countdown comes from another wedding.  If you read my first post in this series, you will remember that my first paying job was a wedding.  Most people start out second shooting weddings,  but I dove right in and shot weddings on my own this year because that was just the way things worked out for me.  For quite some time, I was hoping for an opportunity to be a second shooter with a more seasoned wedding photographer, and that finally happened for me in October of this year.  My friend Drew at Meadow Lane Photography invited me to be his second shooter for an amazing wedding out in central Pennsylvania.  I really can't pick one favorite shot from this day, but here are a few that I loved.   A big thank you and major props to Drew for letting me tag along and learn some of his tricks.  And to Monica and Jason and all of their friends for being gorgeous and making me laugh all night at the reception.  

And no trip to Central Pennsylvania is complete without a farm shot.  Here's the Neff Round Barn in Potter County.   I passed by this barn all the time when I lived in PA, but never appreciated it until I moved away.  I figured it was time to snap a photo.

So, let me know what you think - or just answer this question - have you ever been to a wedding where the bride's mother arranges a dance off between the ladies over 50 and the ladies under 30?  Leave a comment below! (Here's a secret - I have, and it was awesome!)  Comments on the blog post enter you to win a free winter mini session!

Contest details:  Enter to win a FREE winter mini session - simply comment on the blog and let me know what you think.  You can enter once a day for each of the 15 days of the countdown.  For additional entries, I will also be posting the link to this blog on my Facebook page - you earn one more entry if you like my page, like the post and comment on the post (you need to do all three to get one entry).  And one more entry if you share the Facebook post with your friends.  So THREE possible entries per day.  I'll be picking a winner on Wednesday, January 6th.  

Fine Print:  Winter mini session includes a half hour shoot at a location of your choice and five(5) digital images with print release.  No cash value - booking date must be before March 1st.  Locations must be within 30 minutes drive of Burlington, N.J.

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) 2015 Bucks County Contest Happy Valley NJ Penn State Wedding Photographer countdown http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2015/12/top-15-of-2015---countdown---day-2 Wed, 30 Dec 2015 13:00:00 GMT
Top 15 of 2015 - Countdown - Day 3 http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2015/12/top-15-of-2015---countdown---day-3 We are counting down my favorite photos of 2015 and we are on day THREE!  Three more days this year, so three more favorites to share!  Today's choice is from an extended family session that I thought was the sweetest idea.  Mom and dad were celebrating a big anniversary and their kids chipped in together to get photos of the whole family together.  As a mom, I can't think of anything I would love more.  (*Cough cough, hint hint kids...)  I love this shot of the whole family together.

And this lovely shot of their daughter's family

And by now you all know that I liked it BEST of all when things started to go just a little crazy ... 

Ok, ok, we do have a few more serious shots.  I love this one with dad's arms opened up as if to say, "look at all of this that we did!"  

So, let me know what you think - would your parents like a photo shoot as an anniversary gift?  Leave a comment below!  Comments on the blog post enter you to win a free winter mini session!

Contest details:  Enter to win a FREE winter mini session - simply comment on the blog and let me know what you think.  You can enter once a day for each of the 15 days of the countdown.  For additional entries, I will also be posting the link to this blog on my Facebook page - you earn one more entry if you like my page, like the post and comment on the post (you need to do all three to get one entry).  And one more entry if you share the Facebook post with your friends.  So THREE possible entries per day.  I'll be picking a winner on Wednesday, January 6th.  

Fine Print:  Winter mini session includes a half hour shoot at a location of your choice and five(5) digital images with print release.  No cash value - booking date must be before March 1st.  Locations must be within 30 minutes drive of Burlington, N.J.

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) 2015 Anniversary NJ contest family photo shoot http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2015/12/top-15-of-2015---countdown---day-3 Tue, 29 Dec 2015 13:45:00 GMT
Top 15 of 2015 - Countdown - Day 4 http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2015/12/top-15-of-2015---countdown---day-4 Happy Monday and welcome to my Top 15 of 2015 Countdown.  Wow, I can't believe we are down to the final FOUR photos of 2015!  Today's favorite is really going to be a lot of different photos because I am calling today's favorite .... "BABIES!"  I had so many beautiful babies to photograph this year!  Instead of sharing just one baby photo, I am going to share a few.  What better than a page full of babies to pick up the mood on a Monday?

I don't really have much to add, because what can I say?  The cheeks!  The little fingers!  Those eyes!  Happy Monday everyone!

So, how's your Monday going?  Any better now?  Leave a comment and let me know!  Comments on the blog post enter you to win a free winter mini session!

And now for the contest details!  Enter to win a FREE winter mini session - simply comment on the blog and let me know what you think.  You can enter once a day for each of the 15 days of the countdown.  For additional entries, I will also be posting the link to this blog on my Facebook page - you earn one more entry if you like my page, like the post and comment on the post (you need to do all three to get one entry).  And one more entry if you share the Facebook post with your friends.  So THREE possible entries per day.  I'll be picking a winner on Wednesday, January 6th.  

Fine Print:  Winter mini session includes a half hour shoot at a location of your choice and five(5) digital images with print release.  No cash value - booking date must be before March 1st.  Locations must be within 30 minutes drive of Burlington, N.J.

 

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) 2015 NJ baby pictures contest countdown http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2015/12/top-15-of-2015---countdown---day-4 Mon, 28 Dec 2015 13:30:00 GMT
Top 15 of 2015 - Countdown - Day 5 http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2015/12/top-15-of-2015---countdown---day-5 I am counting down my 15 favorite photos of 2015 and today is day 5 of the countdown.  It was a beautiful fall day, but it felt more like summer.  This lovely family met me at a beautiful park along the Rancocas Creek, and we captured so many beautiful moments.  This is not one of them.  Kidding!  Kidding!  Actually to me, this is the most beautiful shot because I love the funny ones.   And how gorgeous are they?  And they were just on point with the funny faces, right?

A few more favorites from the day - to prove that these guys also look great when they aren't making silly faces.

So, what do you think?  Do you like taking silly photos during your family sessions?  Leave a comment and let me know!  Comments on the blog post enter you to win a free winter mini session!

And now for the contest details!  Enter to win a FREE winter mini session - simply comment on the blog and let me know what you think.  You can enter once a day for each of the 15 days of the countdown.  For additional entries, I will also be posting the link to this blog on my Facebook page - you earn one more entry if you like my page, like the post and comment on the post (you need to do all three to get one entry).  And one more entry if you share the Facebook post with your friends.  So THREE possible entries per day.  I'll be picking a winner on Wednesday, January 6th.  

Fine Print:  Winter mini session includes a half hour shoot at a location of your choice and five(5) digital images with print release.  No cash value - booking date must be before March 1st.  Locations must be within 30 minutes drive of Burlington, N.J.

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) 2015 NJ Rancocas Creek contest countdown family photos silly faces http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2015/12/top-15-of-2015---countdown---day-5 Sun, 27 Dec 2015 14:15:00 GMT
Top 15 of 2015 - Countdown - Day 6 http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2015/12/top-15-of-2015---countdown---day-6 Less than a week to go and today's favorite is one that pulls my heartstrings a little.  As you all may know, I have a son with some special challenges, and because of that, I kind of love working with kids who (for whatever reason) might not enjoy having their photos taken.  When Gina called me to say she wanted some family photos, she indicated that one of her boys might be a challenge.   I was ready for a tough time - but to my surprise, we had a dream session.  Both boys (and mom and dad) were awesome to work with and we captured some amazing moments.  But I still get a little flutter inside when I think that this family called me because they heard that their photos wouldn't be stressful.  I'm so thankful that I can be there for families that are struggling a little, because I have been there myself.  Every family deserves to have portraits and shouldn't have to be stressed over it.

But enough about me and my feelings.  LOL.  Here's my favorite from that session:

One more favorite from the day.  Love these brothers.

So, what do you think?  Have you ever been stressed over photos because of a child with special needs?  Leave a comment and let me know!  Comments on the blog post enter you to win a free winter mini session!

And now for the contest details!  Enter to win a FREE winter mini session - simply comment on the blog and let me know what you think.  You can enter once a day for each of the 15 days of the countdown.  For additional entries, I will also be posting the link to this blog on my Facebook page - you earn one more entry if you like my page, like the post and comment on the post (you need to do all three to get one entry).  And one more entry if you share the Facebook post with your friends.  So THREE possible entries per day.  I'll be picking a winner on Wednesday, January 6th.  

Fine Print:  Winter mini session includes a half hour shoot at a location of your choice and five(5) digital images with print release.  No cash value - booking date must be before March 1st.  Locations must be within 30 minutes drive of Burlington, N.J.

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) 2015 NJ contest countdown special kids special needs special needs photographer http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2015/12/top-15-of-2015---countdown---day-6 Sat, 26 Dec 2015 13:45:00 GMT
Top 15 of 2015 - Countdown - Day 7 http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2015/12/top-15-of-2015---countdown---day-7 Today is day seven in our countdown, which means there is only a WEEK left of 2015!  Where did this year go?  Am I the only one who feels like it went by a little too fast?

Today's pick is a shot from one of my favorite engagement sessions.  I knew this couple was going to be sharp.  I have known the bride to be for quite some time and she is always put together from head to toe.  Her fiance matched her style - sharp dressed man right?  We had so many great shots from their session but the one I picked for my favorite is something that wasn't planned, posed or styled, it just happened and it was adorable.   A little gravel, some really cute shoes that couldn't be ruined, a willing groom-to-be and BOOM - this is what happened.

We did have some planned and posed shots and they were gorgeous too.

And then we topped off the night with a perfect sunset.  Doesn't get any better than that.   

So, what do you think?  Is their wedding going to be amazing or what?  Leave a comment and let me know!  Comments on the blog post enter you to win a free winter mini session!

And now for the contest details!  Enter to win a FREE winter mini session - simply comment on the blog and let me know what you think.  You can enter once a day for each of the 15 days of the countdown.  For additional entries, I will also be posting the link to this blog on my Facebook page - you earn one more entry if you like my page, like the post and comment on the post (you need to do all three to get one entry).  And one more entry if you share the Facebook post with your friends.  So THREE possible entries per day.  I'll be picking a winner on Wednesday, January 6th.  

Fine Print:  Winter mini session includes a half hour shoot at a location of your choice and five(5) digital images with print release.  No cash value - booking date must be before March 1st.  Locations must be within 30 minutes drive of Burlington, N.J.

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wendy@wendyringel.com (Wendy Ringel Photography) 2015 Engagement NJ contest countdown wedding photographer http://www.wendyringel.com/blog/2015/12/top-15-of-2015---countdown---day-7 Fri, 25 Dec 2015 13:30:00 GMT