Please let me introduce you to Laura Hughes. When the time came to tackle this website project, my first inclination was to do as much of it as possible myself. That’s kinda what I do. Jump into things without a real plan. Figure it out as I go. Wing it! I’m fairly competent with a camera. I can write a simple sentence. How hard can this be?!
My wife, Dianne, is so much smarter than I am!  “You have the opportunity to do this right. You know a million talented people. Let them be involved. Let them shine.”
She was more than a little bit right. I reached out first to Richard Kline of Shannon Rose Design in Saratoga. Why? Because we are “Instagram friends” of course. Somehow, somewhere in the binary world our arrangement of 1s and 0s suggested that we should “follow” each other and we became “Friends.” I saw their work. I loved their work. We began to make plans.
I was still thinking I’d supply all the pictures when Amanda (Shannon Rose) offered me another SMACK!! She reiterated what Dianne had said. Get a pro involved!
It’s funny. Forty years of dinners, weddings, retirements, parties here at the Cock ‘n Bull and I’ve never been the one to supply a photographer. So how do I do this? With whom do I feel comfortable working? Who ‘gets’ the feel of this building and understands what we really do here? I don’t want a “Photoshoot.” I want to trust somebody to come and go and offer perspective.
Warning!! Sometimes my stories involve tangents.
My very favorite thing about my job is the people I’ve met. Customers. Vendors. Staff. Friends. On Wednesday evenings, as the kitchen is winding down, some of my very favorite people straggle in. They bring with them guitars, fiddles, dobro, resonators and an upright bass. (Notice I didn’t say BANJO !) My best buddy brings his mandolin. We play, sing, tell stories and generally enjoy each other’s company. In this close knit “family” of minstrels is a woman who was once a casual observer of the circle. Until the night she got up her courage and sang for us. Big Dave will deny saying this, but he did! “Can we adopt you?” Laura’s been part of our crew since that moment. As it turns out, she has a really great eye for photography as well.
Back to the story about the website…remember the website project?
It was important to me that the photographer be able to shoot this place from the inside out, not as a disconnected onlooker. Someone who I’d be comfortable giving “all access” to our kitchen, gardens, dining rooms, bar at any and all hours. Someone who could stop by on a snowy night or an inspired Sunday morning. Someone who could lend new perspective to familiar sights. I asked Laura Hughes if she’d be interested in getting involved. Laura graciously took the project on and now most of the characters are in place.
That brings me to the original idea of this entry. Perspective.
Early in the shooting process, I was showing Laura some vantage points I thought she might find helpful. Tall ladders in the main room. Deck off the office. The wooded lot behind the gardens. Then I took her up onto the roof. There are a couple of really terrific shots to be had from that perspective. I don’t really know why my arms tend to fly when I’m telling a story, but they do! My father tells me it’s something I inherited from my Italian grandmother, Rose. I’m OK with that answer.

Anyhow, while showing Laura the different vantage points, she snapped this shot of me. She emailed it to me a couple of days later titled “Pride Rock.” I looked at the same shot and thought “I’m the King of the World” as in “Titanic.” I guess it’s a matter of perspective. Mufasa’s Pride Rock, Scar’s Pride Rock…two entirely different meanings. Jack didn’t really know what was in store for him either when he yelled those famous words. Perspective.
No matter how you look at it, Laura’s done some incredible work here. Take a look at her site, her compositions.
Keep her in mind if you have something special to capture. Good people.

Thanks for stopping by…