Portraits of a Gift

I wanted to offer you a glimpse into my life for a change. My friends and family celebrated my birthday in the most unexpected and glorious ways imaginable that spanned the month of February. They gifted me with travel arrangements to where they are in order for me to spend quality time with them. Not only was this gift exactly what I needed but I couldn’t ever receive a better gift than quality time with the people that I love! They are the most extraordinary gifts in my life – not only on my birthday. Everyday I have so much to be grateful for…..and I am…..extraordinarily grateful.

The Gift of Them.

February 2017

Quotes by: John O’Donohue

Photos taken in: Ocean Park, Washington

Siesta Key, Florida

&

Boston, Massachusetts

©Suzanne Fiore Photography

Ocean Park, Washington “Your friends were once strangers. Somehow at a particular time, they came from the distance toward your life. Their arrival seemed so accidental and contingent. Now your life is unimaginable without them. Similarly, your identity and vision are composed of a certain constellation of ideas and feelings that surfaced from the depths of the distance within you. To lose these now would be to lose yourself.”  “The sacred duty of being an individual is to gradually learn how to live so as to awaken the eternal within you.”

Siesta Key, FloridaThe hunger to belong is not merely a desire to be attached to something. It is rather sensing that great transformation and discovery become possible when belonging is sheltered and true.   

Boston, Massachusetts We were sent into the world alive with beauty. As soon as we choose beauty, unseen forces conspire to guide and encourage us towards unexpected forms of compassion, healing and creativity.   “Your noble friend will not accept pretension but will gently and very firmly confront you with your own blindness. Such friendship is creative and critical; it is willing to negotiate awkward and uneven territories of contradiction and woundedness.”

The Douglass

Brooklyn! If you haven’t stopped into The Douglass for a cocktail and a burger, you may want to consider doing just that. I usually photograph people – but this job quickly opened my mind to include photographing food when the staff allowed me to taste all of the food you see here! Every bite was delicious! I may have sipped a tasty drink or two as well.

The wait staff is exceptional and there is plenty of space at this bar. There is also a room in the back perfect for parties and large groups!

If you like good eats and a fun atmosphere – check out The Douglass!

©Suzanne Fiore Photography

SEE Eyewear

Check out this “Day in the Life” session with SEE Eyewear. I visited their 4 locations in NYC, observing and capturing their phenomenal customer service. The concept of this brand is unique and the product attractive offering a wide variety of styles. I returned to the SoHo location for an eye exam and was so impressed by the care and attention from the doctor on staff.  Visiting SEE Eyewear is a guaranteed enjoyable experience.

Take a look at what you can expect when you visit SEE by watching the video below.

Thanks to:

SEE Eyewear – Greenwich Village

SEE Eyewear – Columbus Avenue

SEE Eyewear – SoHo

SEE Eyewear – Brooklyn

 

Music Credit:
Everybody Got Their Something
Artist: Nikka Costa
Available on iTunes

©Suzanne Fiore Photography

Alexis

A headshot session with this powerful woman, Alexis.

     

©Suzanne Fiore Photography

Ali

This blog post features lovely Ali.

I’m sharing this portrait session with you to give you an example of what it looks like when I bring my studio to your home! My traveling studio consists of one light, a reflector, my camera gear, me and you. A lot can be accomplished with a simple setup.

Home can offer comfort, a unique and personal background, and props that you’re familiar with. I always strive, as your photographer, to make you feel as comfortable as possible with me and with being in front of my lens. I also understand that being in front of a camera can be a real challenge for many no matter how comfortable you feel with your photographer. It’s a challenge for me! Choosing a place where you feel secure can help bring out your most relaxed and honest self. Despite my own discomfort in front of a camera, I always let my nieces take selfies with me or I hand them my camera when they want to photograph me. I do this because I know that one day – when I’m not here – they might want to see me. A photograph gives them that gift. I encourage you to find a way in which to be comfortable in front of the camera. Be in photographs with your kids, friends, family members, spouses, and have a portrait taken of yourself. If being in your home will help you to feel most comfortable, I will bring my studio to you.         

©Suzanne Fiore Photography

Kurt and Ruka

At the end of last year I took a trip to Boston and photographed the wedding of one of my best friends. Kurt has been in my life for 24 years and I can honestly say that it has been, and continues to be, one of my most meaningful friendships. Kurt found his perfect match in Ruka. Their love for each other is exemplary and I was delighted to witness how their relationship inspires everyone who knows them, myself included.

I’m always thanking Kurt for staying in my life for so long. I don’t know how I will thank him for adding Ruka to it! It all seems too good to be true!

    

Women’s March NYC

My words struggle to encapsulate the energy of yesterday’s event. I hope my photos will offer insight to those who were unable to attend or chose not to. I also hope the images continue to be a reminder, to those who were present, of what a meaningful and powerful day it was.

Feeling very proud to be a New Yorker, an American, and a Woman!

Here’s what I witnessed through my lens in NYC.

     

Keep up the momentum here.

©Suzanne Fiore Photography

March with me!

Tomorrow, I will use my legs to march!

Today, I’m using my voice to inspire!

What positive words would you use to describe yourself? I’ve needed to find uplifting words to continue reminding myself of my value. This project, although challenging at times, was a helpful reminder & allowed me to feel empowered.

I invite you to “march with me” by finding positive words that you would use to describe yourself! Share your words with me, if you feel so encouraged.

Love to all!

~Suzanne

(Special love to my #1 man – my father – who has always been, and is still, proactive in showing me my worth!)

Check out my instagram page to see portraits of the incredible women, from all around the country, who have inspired me in many different phases of my life. The words here easily describe them as well.  #womensmarchtribute

©Suzanne Fiore Photography

 

The Ghostlight Project

Advocating inclusion and diversity with New York Deaf Theatre, IRT and Our Voices.

Proud to stand with them.

 

http://www.newyorkdeaftheatre.org/

A not-for-profit, professional theatre organization, NYDT is the longest running company of its kind in the greater New York City area and the third oldest Deaf Theatre company in America.

http://www.ourvoicestheater.com/

Our Voices is a multicultural theater company dedicated to investigating themes of otherness in society whether they are culture, language, gender, or ability. Our Voices actively cultivates an inclusive experience that more accurately represents our shared humanity and the world in which we live.

http://irttheater.org/

IRT Theater is a grassroots laboratory for independent theater and performance in New York City, providing space and support to a new generation of artists.

#ghostlightproject

#BeALight

Julia & Lindsay

Julia & Lindsay

Newsworthy: Everyday acts of kindness. (1)

A new blog series highlighting the art of caregiving.

Photo narrative by: Lindsay Hyland

©Suzanne Fiore Photography

SFiore_LindsJules1BLOG-1024x683I have three sisters. My sister Julia, who shares the middle with me, was born with developmental disabilities. We’ve always had a unique relationship as I had to learn how to communicate with her in ways that were different from how I communicate with my other sisters. When Julia sees me she comes right up to me, smiles, and says “Nose!”.  This might seem strange to other people but this is Julia’s personal word for me.  It’s her way of saying hello and I love it.

SFiore_LindsJules12BLOG SFiore_LindsJules15BLOGWhen people first meet Julia, they might not realize that she is capable of showing love but it is these moments that have proven that Julia can make really wonderful connections with people, especially her family. 

SFiore_LindsJules11BLOG SFiore_LindsJules18BLOGJulia loves her home and we often find ourselves spending time there. It might be just for a quick hello, or for lunch, or for an event that the house is having. The staff at the house will find any excuse to have a family gathering and I know Julia is delighted to have us all over to her home for birthday parties, holiday parties, and special events!

SFiore_LindsJules20BLOG SFiore_LindsJules26BLOGSFiore_LindsJules22BLOG SFiore_LindsJules28BWBLOG SFiore_LindsJules32BLOG SFiore_LindsJules33BLOG SFiore_LindsJules35BWBLOG SFiore_LindsJules42BLOGI often bring Julia with me as I run errands. With our busy schedules, this is one way we can spend time together! I enjoy bringing Julia grocery shopping with me. She is such lovely company and helps make the most mundane activities fun!

SFiore_LindsJules45BLOG SFiore_LindsJules48BLOGSFiore_LindsJules49BLOG SFiore_LindsJules50BLOGHaving Julia take an item off the shelf and put it in the cart might seem like such a simple task but it took Julia many years to accomplish.  

SFiore_LindsJules51BLOG SFiore_LindsJules52BLOG SFiore_LindsJules53BLOG SFiore_LindsJules54BLOG Julia also really enjoys going for walks. We will usually take a nice walk around her neighborhood but we sometimes head over to The College of Staten Island Campus which is close to Julia’s home. It’s a lovely campus to take a walk through. It is also the old site of The Willowbrook Institution.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willowbrook_State_School

SFiore_LindsJules58BWBLOG SFiore_LindsJules59BLOG SFiore_LindsJulesBLOG SFiore_LindsJules67BWBLOG SFiore_LindsJules63BLOGJulia was born just as Willowbrook was closing and I tend to wonder what life would be like for Julia had she been born 15 years earlier. Willowbrook was such an awful place and I always pray that we never go back to that. I wonder what it was like for the siblings of those individuals living in Willowbrook.  Did they have the same fears I have for Julia?  Did they wonder how their sibling was being treated? Did they even know how awful it was?

SFiore_LindsJules61BLOGWalking around this campus makes me think about all the hard work it took families to fight for a better quality of life for their loved ones. I can’t help but feel grateful to the individuals who helped shut down Willowbrook. Julia would never have grown into the amazing woman she is today if she had lived there. I am so grateful to those individuals before me who advocated strongly for programs to help support individuals with disabilities. 

SFiore_LindsJules68BLOGGrowing up it was a lot easier to spend time with Julia as we were all under the same roof, sharing space and having fun. As we got older, and all moved out of our childhood home, including Julia, it got harder and harder to see each other as often as we’d like. Luckily, Julia lives in a lovely community residence run by AHRC about a ten minute drive from my house now.

SFiore_LindsJules71BLOG SFiore_LindsJules73BLOG It’s really wonderful to see Julia living as independently as she can.  The staff at the house continually challenge her and teach her new skills, as well.   

SFiore_LindsJules74BWBLOG SFiore_LindsJules75BWBLOG It makes me so happy to see Julia so happy. It’s a true testament to the hard work of her Direct Support Staff. They love my sister like she is a part of their family, and in fact, the house she lives in is part of our family too! Julia doesn’t just live in a house, she lives in a beautiful home with her wonderful roommates and support staff. I can never find the right words to thank them for all they do. Their job is not easy and they are terribly underpaid for all that they do in order to create the most amazing quality of life for my sister. I am so grateful to them all because I do not think I would be able to give Julia the same quality care on a daily basis. I am relieved to know that there are men and woman who have gotten to know my sister just as well as I have, if not even better than I know her, and this makes me very happy.

SFiore_LindsJules77BLOG SFiore_LindsJules78BWBLOG SFiore_LindsJules79BLOGOften, after spending a day with Julia, she looks up at me and says, “wanna lay down? wanna go snuggle?” and this means she is ready to go home. To her home, not mine. And when I watch her run into her room and grab her toys I can’t help but think of how happy she is and how different life might have been for Julia if there weren’t many people who believed she had the potential to be where she is today.  

If you are a sibling of an individual with special needs, please find information, resources, and support here.

If you’re a sibling in New York City check out sibsNY.