Buried under plastic bags

Okay, so this is kind of an off-topic post for us, but it’s been something we’ve both been thinking about for a while and I saw an article today that I just had to share. (Hang on; we’ll get to that!)

Have you ever been driving down the highway and suddenly become aware of the alarming number of discarded plastic bags you see caught in trees or just blowing across the interstate? Ever go swimming at the beach and get spooked by what you think is a giant jellyfish only to discover it’s a plastic grocery bag? How about lose your cool trying to close the cabinet door under your kitchen sink, but you can’t close it because it’s overflowing with all of those stupid plastic bags that don’t really seem to serve a very useful purpose because they inevitably end up with holes by the time you unload your groceries from them, but, you don’t have the heart to throw them away so they get stuffed in a cabinet?

Well, we’ve been there and it got Andy & me thinking about how we can do our part to cut down on the usage of plastic bags. I swear those darned baggers at the supermarket have stock in the production of plastic bags because they refuse to put more than one or two items in a bag. And, after a week’s worth of shopping you end up with dozens of the flimsy little good-for-nothing polluters.

Our first step in cutting down on our plastic consumption was to purchase some of those reusable cloth bags at the supermarket and use any leftover plastic bags we still have under our kitchen sink for household trash rather than buying new trashbags. We also decided it might be fun to make an art project out of it (no, not a plastic bag sculpture….we don’t have quite that many bags saved up). Instead, we thought it would be fun to put together a photo series showing all of the places that these menacing bags seem to find themselves.

I admit, we haven’t progressed very far with our photo project and we sometimes forget to bring the cloth bags with us to the supermarket, but, we’re trying. And so is China. Yesterday, China’s State Council announced that starting this summer all shops can no longer provide free plastic bags to their customers and production of the super thin plastic bags is strictly forbidden….I think they might be on to something. Of course, they use lead paint to make children’s toys, so they don’t earn huge points from me, but still…it’s a start. Here’s the story:China Bans Plastic Bags

As for us, we’re still working on gathering photos for our plastic bag project, but we thought it might be fun to get some help. If this is something you’ve ever thought about, or even if you haven’t but it sounds interesting to you, help us by sending us some cool photos of plastic bags you see in places where they shouldn’t be and hopefully later this year we’ll have a cool collection to show you.

Here’s a couple to get us started….we took these with our little point and shoot camera on the one day we made it to the beach this past summer. It was a really windy day and in the first shot this tattered bag was hanging on to the lifeguard chair for dear life.

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The beach grass made for a great net for several bags, but we choose to photograph just this one…What really struck me was that the bag appeared to be new and unused. I imagine someone brought it to the beach to collect all of the trash they accumulated, but the wind took it away and they either didn’t notice or couldn’t be bothered to run after it.

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Don’t worry, we picked up all of the plasic bags we saw and took them home with us to throw away. Let’s just hope they don’t end up blowing off the trash truck they’re carried away on!

** ADDENDUM **

Since at least a few of you (thanks Sandee, Patrick, Linda & Andrea for your comments…you guys rock! Can’t wait to see what you capture Andrea!) seem to have some interest in our plastic bags photo project, we thought we’d up the ante and make it more interesting by turning the project into a contest. Contest means prizes and who doesn’t love free stuff!

We need at least 20 submissions to pull this off, so all you photo lovers grab your cameras and get out there and start shooting plastic. Here’s what we want…send us your best photo of a plastic bag found in a place where it shouldn’t be and we’ll put all of the entries on our blog. Then, we’ll let you, our loving blog readers, vote on the one you like best. The shutterbug behind the winning photo will receive a free portrait session. The contest isn’t limited to clients, so have some fun people! And depending on the response we get, we may add additional prizes.

Well, get out there and start shooting. The contest ends on Earth Day, April 19, 2008, so you have plenty of time. Please e-mail your photo submissions to contest@bellophoto.com and don’t forget to include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address so we can contact you if your photo is chosen! And, have fun!!! Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

 

 

Team Bello heads to jail for the holidays…

Just before Christmas, we took a little break from the holiday madness to spend a couple of nights in Boston, soaking up some holiday cheer. We spent two nights in Boston’s swanky new four-star Liberty Hotel, home to the former 19th century Charles Street Jail. We were welcomed to the reservation desk by a very nice young man pouring glasses of yummy pink champagne. The hotel’s gorgeous lobby was filled with lots of holiday makers hanging out near the hotel’s hip and aptly-named Clink restaurant. We considered sticking around the hotel, but decided, after checking in, to walk around the city. We ended up enjoying a quiet dinner at Bombay Cafe, overlooking Harvard Square. Nothing too fancy, but we’re suckers for Indian food, especially if we can watch the world walk by as we’re eating! The food was only fair, but the restaurant has large windows along two of its walls that overlook the square, which made for a really lovely setting.

After a restful night’s sleep, we spent the whole next day walking around Boston, (wish I had a pair of wellies like all the city girls…very cute and definitely a good idea when it’s slushy, which it was that weekend!). It was so fun riding the T again…I know that sounds weird if you’re a regular commuter, but its’ been a while since I did that and so it was an enjoyable novelty.

All day, we kept seeing people with these funky little boxes from a place called Johnny Cupcakes, so I had worked up quite a craving by the time we found the shop on Newbury Street. Needless to say, I was more than disappointed when we discovered that Johnny Cupcakes sold hip t-shirts and NOT cupcakes. Andy & I really didn’t get it and left saying we should open a gourmet cupcake shop across the street. We definitely felt silly wandering around looking at the bakery-style display cases filled with t-shirts and other knick knacks and muttering out loud, “Where are the cupcakes?” but we weren’t the only sad, unhip people scratching our heads. Seriously, I think a gourmet cupcake shop across the street would make a killing!

Anyway, after we got home, I decided to see what all the hubbub was about and it’s actually a pretty cool story. Johnny is this very smart young guy who seems to have a knack for turning a “What if?” idea into something profitable. Check the above link yourself if you’re not already hip to this guy. Go Johnny!!! (I still wish he made cupcakes!)

During our two days in the city, we also bumped into a couple of people from weddings this summer/fall – Mark, the brother of one of our brides, Molly, and Mary Kate, the bridesmaid of another bride, Tracy. So fun to see them both! Our second night concluded with a late dinner at the cozy Somerville restaurant and tapas bar, Dali. Good food; great atmosphere and the sangria is a must!

Our trip to Boston helped check some holiday shopping off of our list and it was definitely good to get away for a bit.

Here’s a couple photos from the Liberty Hotel:

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Inside the very cool lobby…you’ll notice they kept a lot of the jailhouse feel to the space, with a large courtyard like lobby and railings that give a feeling of jail bars. And the lighting inside the lobby is very moody and dark.

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The rooms don’t actually have bars for doors, but there is a strip of the original cell bars in a section on the first floor. The “cells” are accented with changing colored lights. Does Andy look like he could be an inmate or what? Wouldn’t want to mess with that tough guy…yeah right…tough guy with a middle as soft as a pillow.

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A special thanks goes out to our amazing clients and friends, Erin & Patrick, who were incredibly generous and gave Andy & I some very cool gifts as a thank you for loving their wedding photos so much. Andy got a very cool overnight bag that we used on our trip and I got this total gorgeous clutch bag that I use everyday! Thanks guys…we love you! xoxo

Happy Days…

The holidays have put us a bit behind on blogging and we’ve got lots of catching up to do. Big apologies to our faithful bloggers who have likely been disappointed to still be staring at that goofy Elf photo of us! And a special apology to Amy & Terence for not getting their wedding photos on our blog sooner. Usually, we like to get a few of our favorites up before they see the whole collection, but that just didn’t happen this time. So, while this won’t really be that exciting for Amy & Terence, hopefully it will be fun for those of you who just enjoying seeing new stuff on our blog!

Amy & Terence were our last wedding of the 2007 season. They exchanged their “I dos,” on October 27th at the beautiful St. Joan of Arc in Orleans, not far from Amy’s parents’ summer home, which was where we met them when we shot our engagement session with them earlier in the season. We had such fun with them at our engagement session. We started in the backyard, which had views of the water, then headed to the beach for an hour or so before we all went back to Amy’s parents’ house for some delicious champagne and wonderful conversation with her parents, Lucille & Gene (We just love them!! Lucille is the kind of mom who makes you want to be a mom and hope you’d be half as good as she is!). Also joining us were Amy’s brother, Brad (her man of honor), and his very sweet wife, Abby, and Amy’s adorable cousin, Corry, and her hubby, Chris. They were such a fun group; we could have stayed there all night with them sipping champagne!! Thank you all for immediately welcoming us into your family!

Needless to say, we were looking forward to Amy & Terence’s wedding and also to getting to know Terence’s family! After the emotional “I dos” we headed to the ever-elegant Wequassett Inn,for the reception. The food, as always, was delicious and Kalson and his crew once again put on a flawless event. The Marsels of Boston rocked the house and the atmosphere was electric.

It was a perfect ending to a phenomenal season for us. And we’d like to thank Amy & Terence and their families and friends for once again making us feel totally blessed to get to do what we do!!! Just getting to be creative would be enough, but getting to meet and be welcomed so warmly into the lives of such amazing people makes us wonder what we did to deserve such riches!!!

So, without further ado…here are some of our favorite shots from Amy & Terence’s wonderfully heart-felt wedding.

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Here’s Amy looking gorgeous!!!

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And demurely adorable…

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Terence gets some guidance on putting on a dickie bow (American translation…bow tie) from his big brother.

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Can’t you just hear the James Bond soundtrack with this shot? I don’t know why, but guys just look so darned handsome (and cool) walking in tuxes.

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Amy gets some help ducking raindrops as she makes her way to the church for the ceremony. (Could she be any happier?) Fortunately, the rain stopped by the time the ceremony was over. Luck was certainly on our side this year as we didn’t get rained out once!

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All the work and planning certainly take it’s toll even on the most gung-ho couples, but seeing reactions like Terence’s in this shot surely make it worth all of the effort!

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Smiles seemed to dominate the day…

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Here too…

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Amy’s mom (on the right) just couldn’t stop smiling. Lucille is seriously one of the most lovable people you could ever hope to meet.

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Terence gets some loving from Amy’s grandma…how much do we love these moments??

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Glam girls strike a pose…looking good ladies!

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I love this shot…

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Heading to the beach for a few minutes of alone time.

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Amy’s dad works for Godiva and so all the guests were treated to what I like to call “love in a box.” Man, I wouldn’t look like Amy if my dad worked for Godiva!!!

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Here’s Gene getting down and dirty to Mustang Sally….it was a brilliant performance!!! I think the Marcels may be contracting Gene for some upcoming tours. Rock on Gene!!! Who says white boys can’t dance?

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Thank you again to Amy &Terence. Your wedding was a perfect ending to an incredible season of weddings!!! We love you guys! xo

Thank you and have a safe and happy New Year!xo C & A

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