Jess & Aaron

This was SO fun! I am so honored to have had the opportunity to spend the day with my dear friend, Jess, and her wonderful fiancé, Aaron. The connection they share was such a delight to capture. My energy was fueled by their love and respect for one another. Thank you, Jess & Aaron, for letting me be a part of your engagement! CONGRATULATIONS!

 

Instastiore – 2

From the photographer’s perspective:

There are times as you travel through life with a friend when words of advice overlap, ideas coincide, and together you reach for similar goals while traveling down individual paths. Weaknesses are uncovered through the admiration of a particular strength in the other and strengths confirmed when called to sacrifice and show up for a friend during moments when their needs happen to be greater than your own. Support for one another ebbs and flows. Ideas divide then reunite again. My version of the Instastiore project evolved as I looked more deeply into what happens when a choice is made to share our innermost thoughts with another. I explored the cycle of support that occurs when choosing to commit to a friend – the repetition of words from one to another, the continual effort towards the balance of giving and receiving. Finally recognizing that such an exchange of thoughts, encouragement, differences, separation and unity, over many years, can influence our own internal thought processes, our choices, and the way in which we move forward in life. In order to relay this idea, by way of this project, I imagined Lucas’ internal thoughts as words of advice from me to him and from him to me. This allowed my mind to shift from the imagery that originally accompanied his writing as an internal process to a version of the journey that is seen from a friend’s external point of view.

The road. Long with perseverance. Sometimes glancing back. Always looking forward. Departing the paths of familiar. Searching to find the unknown.

Deep in the woods lie blessed moments of light. No thought. Presence and balance align.

Then comes the dark. The monsters unrest. Fear. Doubt. Judgement.

Seclusion becomes the default. Illusions of safety mired in decay.

Terror circles.

FIGHT!

FORWARD. It is the only way.

To let go of that which you hide behind.

To float upon that which is uncharted.

To stand victorious above the obstacle.

Armed with experience to navigate the dark, knowing the night will undoubtedly return.

And the woods become your comfort.

And the path becomes your own.

And the road that now you travel.

Is the dream you’ve always known.

                                                                                                        By: Lucas Steele                                                                                                                      Photography by: Suzanne Fiore

(Special thanks to Lucas’ lovely mom for the photo of us.)

©Suzanne Fiore Photography read more

Unexpected Trio

There is so much beauty and talent in this Unexpected Trio. What a gift it was to have the opportunity to capture them and to experience their show at Don’t Tell Mama.

Don’t miss your chance to see Meg Flather, Rosemary Loar, and Tracy Stark on July 22nd, 7pm at Don’t Tell Mama 

©Suzanne Fiore Photography

Instastiore

Artist Statement:

In April 2016, photographer Suzanne Fiore and I traveled to Northeastern Pennsylvania to shoot a set of still images amidst the rural backdrop of the country landscape. What began to evolve was a journey that superseded the present moment. It was my past, my roots, my aspirations, my dreams, my ambition, and my future. It was the path my creative life had taken since I left the place I was raised. At the end of our time there, Suzanne and I unearthed around three quarters of what the story would be. The end was rather elusive. It was some months later, while in a tiny harbor town in Italy reviewing the images, that I jotted down some prose that came to the surface of my consciousness. A reasonable concept of written word aligned with the images, but after much discussion, it was clear that the ‘ending’ was still lacking the organic clarity needed to keep the work cohesive. It was only as the year evolved, and Suzanne shot several other projects with me, that the vision ultimately became clear. What I hope to present through these images is a metaphorical evolution of dreams by way of the challenges that ultimately shape who and what we are – both from an artistic point of view and a personal one. While each individual’s journey is unique unto him or herself, I choose to believe that humanity is connected by a fiber that is woven beyond one’s chosen profession. We all have dreams. It is merely the pursuit of these dreams that connects or divides us.

The road. Long with perseverance. Sometimes glancing back. Always looking forward. Departing the paths of familiar. Searching to find the unknown.

Deep in the woods lie blessed moments of light. No thought. Presence and balance align.

Then comes the dark. The monsters unrest. Fear. Doubt. Judgement.

Seclusion becomes the default. Illusions of safety mired in decay.

Terror circles. FIGHT!

FORWARD. It is the only way.

To let go of that which you hide behind.

To float upon that which is uncharted.

To stand victorious above the obstacle.

Armed with experience to navigate the dark, knowing the night will undoubtedly return.

And the woods become your comfort.

And the path becomes your own.

And the road that now you travel.

Is the dream you’ve always known.

By: Lucas SteelePhotography by: Suzanne Fiore

©Suzanne Fiore Photography

Communion

Enjoy a peek into a lovely communion celebration.

 

Last night…..

She said YES!!!!!

 

  

Thanks to the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park for hosting this beautiful moment!

The Celentano Family

The Celentano Family

Newsworthy: Everyday acts of kindness. (3)

A new blog series highlighting the art of caregiving.

Photo narrative by: Teresa Celentano

©Suzanne Fiore Photography

My life, the life I thought I was supposed to have, was supposed to be simple.  Quiet.  Mundane.  But that’s not what I got.  I got a roller coaster ride of a life instead.  A wind-swept, turbulent, upside-down, loop-de-loop of a life.  And the truth is, now that I’ve lived this life for quite some time, I see how I’ve grown as a person and I see how I never could have become the person I am today without riding this roller coaster ride of a life.  It’s the toughest, sweetest, most rewarding life I could have had!

My son, Thomas, was born with a rare genetic disorder: Ataxia-Telangiectasia. The frequency of A-T is only 1 in 100,000 births.  It attacks children, and, in addition to the high risk of cancer, the compromised immune system, and respiratory system concerns, it also causes a progressive loss of muscle control, including their eyes, their arms, their hands, their legs, and their feet.  It means their words are slurred, reading is difficult, playing is difficult, and dressing and feeding themselves is difficult.

Navigating their world is a challenge, and my world is filled.  It’s filled with love, laugher, smiles, hugs, kisses, a lot of trials and errors, and patience.  Lots and lots of patience.Thomas has always been an early riser, so up we go right around sunrise!  Richie helps him shower and dress while I pick up the bagels and set the table.  I always try to sneak around the house and complete some household chores as quickly as possible, but Thomas is not one to wait for his bagels!  He comes downstairs on his “stair chair” and chats the whole way down!   A typical weekend with Thomas starts out with his favorite: Bagels!!  And don’t forget the Lox and Cream Cheese spread!! Thomas has accepted that there are certain things he can’t do for himself, but that doesn’t stop Thomas from enjoying life!  He instructs us as to what his needs are at any given time.
“More cream cheese, please!”  “Another bite of bagel, please!”  “Drink, please!” And when Thomas is done with breakfast off he goes into the living room to play his video games. “Come on, dad, I’m ready!”  While I clean up I can hear the two of them intently playing on their video games.  It’s one of the few things Thomas has learned to master with confidence, conviction, passion, and fervor.  He can play for quite some time on those games!  It gives us peace of mind to know he’s happy and believes in himself.  Thomas has never ever considered himself handicapped, and he has clearly and enthusiastically stated so on several occasions!  “I’m not handicapped!  I just need this wheel chair to help me walk!” or “I’m not handicapped!  Give that space to someone who needs it!”  Ronan, our service dog, has been an important and inseparable part of our lives for almost 3 years now.  The process of receiving a service dog is a long and arduous one, but it is very well worth the wait and preparation. Ronan has miraculously given Thomas the courage to know he is important – that he has a job and a responsibility and that someone needs him instead of the other way around.  It was great for Thomas to see that someone was now dependent on him. Ronan assists Thomas with things he can’t do for himself, such as picking up what’s fallen, opening doors, opening drawers, and tugging and pulling items across a floor.  Ronan also knows our names!  With one quick “Get Alysa!”, “Get Daddy!”, or “Get Mommy!” off Ronan goes to grab our attention!  He pokes us with his nose or just stares at us and we know Thomas needs us!  Thomas’ responsibility to Ronan is to groom him and feed him, and Thomas takes his job seriously as Ronan enjoys the pampering!  It’s a perfect, poignant and impenetrable bond.

    Thomas has many pastimes.  He’s an avid passionate sports fan and a zealous movie theater attendee!  Richie and Thomas devote several weekends a month frequenting the atrium!  This is truly a special time for them to sit back and enjoy their time together.  It brings them a strong sense of bonding .

The day my children were first placed into my arms was surreal.  I felt an immediate surge of love, pride and joy.  And, as they grew older, I also felt the unparalleled surge of worry.  When I became a parent of a special needs child I felt my worries now were exponential, but, thankfully, they, too, would be balanced with unsurpassable contentment when his milestones were finally met.      

While I’ve come to accept and acclimate to our unique way of living, I know how hard it’s been, how hard it is, and how hard it will be.  Although I’ve left the tears and the sadness behind, I remember how many tears I cried wishing and praying for a cure, and how many tears I cried knowing he’ll never be able to walk, skip, run, jump, play, hit a ball, hold a pencil or crayon or hold a cup to drink.  I know how we’ve all had to make changes to accommodate him.  Growing up my mother engrained in us physical, emotional, and intellectual strength & courage.  She taught me “If you’re in the water, you have to swim.”  I thank her for this gift.  Although I’m always exhausted and I’m always drained, I will never give up! 

For more information about Ataxia-Telangiectasia please visit this link.

The Skivvies

Spent some time photographing The Skivvies, and their incredible guests, yesterday as they prepped for their show at Joe’s Pub. I also had the honor to capture some photographs of the show itself. If you haven’t seen The Skivvies yet – I highly recommend that you do! My extreme thanks to Lauren Molina & Nick Cearley. It was a pleasure to tag along with you both!

Sound Check: Dressing Room:

The Skivvies Show:

Erin & TJ

A wedding at home, a family with strong bonds between them, and a celebration of love. It was a beautiful day for a wedding in Pennsylvania.

    

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.”