Years ago we were asked by our friends to list about 20 things that people don’t know about us. Better late than never right? It gives us a good excuse to share some personal incidental things about our life.
Eric (picture of Eric and our daughter Marlie)
2. I love to laugh. Laughing is the cornerstone of who I am and I like to surround myself with smiling, happy people too.
3. Ever since I was a kid, I wished people had tails. I love dogs, I’ve always had dogs growing up and one of the best things about them is their honesty. You always know their true emotion by their tails wagging or sagging and their honest eyes. I wish it were that easy with people.
4. I rode Brooke’s coat tails through photography classes in college. I majored in business and she in photography. I was her chauffeur bringing her everywhere for photo assignments. She used me for my car, and I used my car as a way to spend more time with her. We spent countless hours in the darkroom together. She was always too scared to be there alone late at night (or so she said): so lucky me! We spent hundreds of hours in the darkroom together, the darkroom is where our love for photography and our love for each other blossomed.
5. My first camera was a hand me down from my Grandpa, Paul. It’s on display in our studio.
6. We love our family and our grandparents are very important to us. Their memories still inspire us to always give 100% to anything we do. You may find this weird, but we named our computer servers after each of our grandparents so that we could be reminded of them every day. And yes – we have 4 different servers to host the images we work on actively (not to mention the 20+ tera bytes of backup drives)
7. Cupcakes – I love them, I am obsessed with them. As a matter of fact if you bring a Magnolia Cupcake to a meeting for me I will give you a$25 print credit. I will also take Crumbs cupcakes, but they only get $20 print credit. Must be vanilla cupcake with a colored frosting. (Please limit it to max of two cupcakes, since I am watching my figure and can’t possibly resist the temptation)
8. I went to a sleep away camp that did not allow candy. Somehow I stumbled upon the mail room with a closet overflowing with the campers candy that was seized from packages. I filled one backpack a day and gave the candy back to the campers. I was a hero and soon was called Robin Hood. After a few weeks, the owner set up a sting to catch me, which led to me getting kicked out of camp. Campers today still speak of the legend of the candy closet and the year of Robin Hood.
9. Family is everything to me. My core family; Brooke, baby Marlie our dog Maggie and cats Chloey & Caymus, are the light of my life. Both Brooke and I have two siblings, two divorced parents with significant others and 7 nieces/nephews. Even our extended family rocks. A family get-together is always filled with laughter and warmth. The bond and fun times I have with my family are a key motivation for me to document these good times for my clients.
10. A pivotal moment in my life was when I was 5 years old. I followed an ant around my yard for a half hour intrigued by its doings. Suddenly and regretfully, I decided to step on it. I never forgave myself or understood why I did that. In that moment I learned compassion.
11. My dad really is Dr Lagstein, the dentist you hear on the radio all the time, Straight Teeth in 6 months. Smiles are a big part of our family.
12. I am madly in love with my wife Brooke. Without her I am incomplete. She is my motivation, business partner and best friend. Her morals and compassion make me so proud. She is a better mother then I could have ever dreamed of for our daughter. I am blessed.
13. I love to fish. I have a little bass fishing boat. Brooke and I used to drive my Jeep Cherokee around with the fishing boat in tow on the back. She actually would get up with me at dawn to go fishing. These are some of my fondest memories with her.
14. I am proud to be a disc golfer. I love how disc golf has combined a technical sport with hiking. And it’s FREE! I challenge you to a round at Campgaw any time. Bring it!
15. I was a financial advisor for 5 years before I became a photographer. I loved helping people, but found it to be a hostile environment at times. One day a lightbulb went off in my brain to be a photographer, and everything in my life started to make sense. By switching careers, I learned the value of being in a positive working environment. The whole photography experience is so positive, It’s a celebration of love and relationships. I love that I can call any client any time and they authentically love to hear from me and talk about their precious photos and what they mean to them.
16. Video games were not a waste of time for me – as a matter of fact I believe they have made me a better photographer. For example, one of the intense parts of a wedding is during the processional of the wedding ceremony. (Play along with me…)
In Eric’s head (please read this quickly and very enthusiastically!! ): Here comes the bride walking down the aisle, Dad is giving her a kiss before walking down the aisle, Snap, got the kiss 10 points! Oh no, to my left, grandma is crying, hurry Eric, change your settings, snap, got her, 20 points! I hear a Sniffle to the side of me, it’s the GROOM and he has shed a tear, hurry you only have split second before he wipes the tear away in fear of losing his masculinity, snap got it, triple bonus points! (Yes, that’s the way I think!)
17. My daughter Marlie’s middle name is Bea (pronounced B) after my grandma Beatrice. I love to walk around the house chanting Marlie-Bea, Marlie-Bea…
18. My most important quality that I value is integrity. I believe that integrity starts in your personal relationships and must carry over to your business relationships. I don’t sleep well if I haven’t given every client more than they expected.
1. I am the B in “BE” Creative Photography
2. I love to smile and laugh just as much as I love to cry over happy things. I received the sunshine award from my principal Mrs. Spangler in 3rd grade for being so smiley. And chances are if you are shedding a tear I will too.
3. I never cry at weddings, I just get a lot of things in my eyes.
4. I prefer camping and hiking over hotels and the mall.
5. I started a program called Share Who You Are. It’s a photography program for kids. They learn to use the camera to document their life and surroundings and they share their photo diaries with another set of children across the globe. Through the experience they learn about themselves and and get a chance to see how other communities live and play. I have high hopes for Share Who You Are!
6. I am obsessed with garage sales and antiquing. I’ve even managed to infect Eric with this obsession. We love to go to the street fairs and craft fairs in New Paltz where we got married.
7. My family calls me Brooker and Eric’s family calls me Brookie
8. One of the highlights of my life was Eric’s proposal to me! In the summer Hoboken has Movies Under The Stars. It’s quite beautiful. You sit on the grassy pier with a blanket and a bottle of wine along with 100’s of other people. The big screen is set up in front of the NY skyline. Eric hooked up with the movie crew and told them he was going to propose to me and he needed their help. They were IN! Eric filmed a little movie of himself and got the crew to air it right before the movie started. So I was sitting in the audience along with friends and family and 500 other people waiting for the movie to start. I look up and ERIC IS ON THE BIG SCREEN. WHAT THE WHAT? OMG! I turn to look at him and I look at the screen again. Eric is on screen telling Hoboken who we are and that he loves me. On the big screen he pointed to himself out in the audience (he was standing up at this point) and told himself to propose. The rest is history. Can you believe him! That was August 18, 2004. We were married on July 15, 2005 and started our business that September.
9. My first camera was also a hand me down from my Grandpa, Deda. It is a Minolta with a 35mm lens and the coolest camera strap you will ever see. It’s on display along with Eric’s grandfathers’s camera in our studio.
10. I was chosen for a bridal makeover and featured in a Modern Bride article before I became a photographer. It was so much fun! This was in the fall of 2004 shortly before our wedding and before we launched the business.
11. I am obsessive about my work. Sometimes, I lay in bed at night thnking about a particular picture, wondering if I could enhance it a little bit better. I have trouble settling for excellent when perfect is possible.
11. My grandparents had a film developing company when my father was just a child. They developed negatives out of their garage; It was called Frey Photo. I always admired my grandfather’s obsession with gadgets. He had every cutting edge camera apperatus, automatic remote, tripods, etc. No wonder I married Eric. He spends all of our money on lenses and gadgets and tinkers around with them all day and night.
12. My mom influenced my love of photography – she was obsessed with documenting our family history and the joy of capturing a beautiful moment. On car rides we would suddenly pull over anywhere to take photos of a sunset, grass, a cow, the family – anything. I remember pulling over and being ushered along with my brothers and sisters into a field of tall grass at sunset. Of course we still have that photo. She taught me how to look at the world through a camera lens.
13. My favorite time of day is the “golden hour”, probably because of my mother’s influence as discussed in the story above. At dusk when the sun starts to go down and everything is warm, quiet, and golden. It makes me feel so good and it’s the best time of day to take images (or sit and enjoy a glass of wine outside). However, if you are a morning person then dawn would be your best time to take images (not drink wine)
14. I am very afraid of birds. Don’t like beaks, claws, or flapping wings. AGH!
15. When I watch a movie, I want a happy ending! If I invest my time in a movie, fall in love with the characters and someone dies in the end I get really mad.
16. Some call me Calamity Jane. I’m prone to injuries like sprained ankles, broken limbs, and dislocating knees. It does not stop me from scaling walls, climbing on chairs or tables, for the sake of capturing a good shot.
17. I fancy myself an athlete and adventure seeker. I play volleyball and softball. Our vacations usually consist of something adventurous and exhausting like hiking in the Tetons in search of the Ansel Adams scenes or our most recent trip which was camping and white water rafting in Costa Rica.
19. My biggest rush is to watch people viewing their pictures for the first time. Wether it’s a wedding or portrait session. It means so much to me to know I’ve made a difference in their lives.