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.

The Katz Family

Fun with this new family is featured here today! I love meeting new clients and this family was no exception. The parents welcomed me into their home and we immediately connected and had a wonderfully relaxed and enjoyable session. I also had the pleasure of meeting their son’s loving Nanny. When I was teaching music, and had the opportunity to witness not only the parent child relationship but also the Nanny child relationship, I always thought how lucky that child was to have an extra dose of love and support around him or her – when the Nanny was as wonderful as the one who works with this family.

When I walked into the family’s house with my equipment, this young boy gave me the biggest smile as if he knew me and was excited that I was there! He, and his family, were a joy to photograph! So grateful to have been invited into this loving home.

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Happy Holidays!

Thank you for sharing your incredible families with me this holiday season! I have thoroughly enjoyed working with each and every one of you. I also took a photo of this incredible family – my own. Wanted to share them with you in return!

Happy Holidays from my family to yours!

SFiore_FIOREWEB

Friends and Family

I’m always so grateful to the families who have asked me to photograph them from the beginning of my photographic explorations until now. It’s a special honor to be able to capture their children as they grow over the years. In addition to that honor, it’s always exciting for me to meet a new family and to have an opportunity to witness new relationships. On this day I had the best of both worlds. I’ve been photographing the first set of kids featured here since the oldest was a 1 year old boy! He is so comfortable in front of my camera. I’m sure you’ll see it in his poses! His younger brother makes me work a bit harder, but when I find him, his face melts me. The second pair of siblings I met for the first time on this day. They were adventurous, fun, creative, smart, and shared an obvious bond with their friends! I encourage you to think about bringing another family along with you for a back to back photo shoot! It makes it an extra special experience for everyone – especially the kids! It was an absolute pleasure to photograph these two families on the same day!

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Rangel Family

I can honestly say that, when I start my day photographing a family in the park, I am 100% content and carry that energy with me for the rest of my day! Getting to have that feeling makes me so grateful to my clients for giving me that gift!

I had a wonderful morning, this weekend,with a family that I photographed when their oldest son was a newborn. We met in a park that I hadn’t been to before and the sun showed itself enough to keep us warm. I so enjoyed reconnecting with the Rangel family and to have the opportunity to get to know their sweet and adorable boys. I also LOVE this season! (I may have mentioned that in other posts!) Playing in the leaves or throwing them in the air, building piles of leaves and kicking them around just never gets old to me! It’s my favorite time of year. Today, we also went digging for treasures. Yes – we found gold!

SFiore_Rangel6BLOG   SFiore_Rangel5BLOG SFiore_Rangel4BLOG SFiore_Rangel2BLOG SFiore_Rangel18BLOGSFiore_Rangel9BLOG   SFiore_Rangel14BLOGSFiore_Rangel15BLOG SFiore_Rangel11BLOGSFiore_Rangel36BLOG  SFiore_Rangel16BLOG    SFiore_Rangel23BLOGSFiore_Rangel13BLOGSFiore_Rangel17BWBLOGSFiore_Rangel34BLOGSFiore_Rangel30BLOGSFiore_Rangel22BWBLOG SFiore_Rangel35BLOG SFiore_Rangel31BLOG SFiore_Rangel25BLOG SFiore_Rangel26BLOG SFiore_Rangel27BWBlog SFiore_Rangel28BWBLOG  SFiore_Rangel39BLOG SFiore_Rangel38BLOGSFiore_Rangel37BLOG

Cold Day in Queens

I love meeting new clients! This family braved a very cold and windy day but we had SO much fun. They had an enormous amount of energy which kept us all running around and helped us to stay warm. They have an obvious, loving bond between them which always makes me realize how lucky I am to witness so much support and love. I was also reminded how much I used to love playing with the fall leaves when I was a kid. Ok maybe I still love that! All in all – I felt very grateful for the opportunity to capture this playful, fun-loving family!

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