Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My adventure with Flat Stanley

One day, Uncle Steven (that's me) was home working on his computer, when Uncle Ray opened the door and said "Look, here's a letter from your niece Alexis". "Wow" said Steven. "I wonder what's inside". So Steven and Ray sat down and opened the envelope. When they looked inside they found Flat Stanley.

"I guess we have a house guest for the next week" said Ray. "Seems so" said Steven. "This is going to be fun."

So that day Steven and Ray went to the Architectural Digest Home Design Show. That's where many amazing artists go to show their work. Ray and Steven met two of their friends there, and introduced them to Flat Stanley:

This is Pamela. She's a ceramicist. She makes sculptures out of clay.

This is Paul, he's a very talented painter and photographer.

After meeting their friends, Steven and Ray looked at all the other exhibits. It's amazing how many talented people there are. Being an artist is a wonderful thing to be.

One of the places they went was Artists for Humanity
They are an amazing group in Boston that help teenagers learn about the arts. They also make beautiful furniture out of recycled magazines and plastic bags, so they help keep the planet clean too. 

After the show, everyone was hungry, so Steven, Ray, and Flat Stanley all went to IKEA to get Swedish Meatballs. 

There was a very long line, but they were all patient and polite, and had a nice conversation while they waited. This is Ray and Flat Stanley while they waited in line. 

Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce. Yum!

The next day Uncle Steven decided to take Flat Stanley to Times Square to see what they could see, and boy did they see a lot.

First they went to Ripley's Believe it or Not where they saw a statue of this guy who can pull his lip over his nose.  

 Next they went to Madame Tussaud's wax museum where they saw a wax figure of Morgan Freeman.

And a wax figure of Duane (The Rock) Johnson

While they were walking around they saw Mary Poppins. So Flat Stanley sat on her arm as they took a spin.

Later on, in the giant Toys R' Us store, Flat Stanley finally met someone his size. So he decided to hang out a while and make some new friends. 

As Steven and Flat Stanley left Toys R' Us, they saw the Naked Cowboy performing in the street.
The Naked Cowboy isn't really naked. He's wearing shorts. Plus his cowboy hat and cowboy boots. Uncle Steven was about to ask him to pose with Flat Stanley when he said "Look, it's Flat Stanley. Do you want me to pose with him?"

It seems that the Naked Cowboy has posed with Flat Stanley before. I guess they're old friends. 

Steven and Flat Stanley had a great time in Times Square. "I want to come back!" said Flat Stanley. 
"Maybe" said Uncle Steven, "but right now we have to head home. Let's go to the subway."

So Steven and Flat Stanley went to the subway and went all the way underground to catch a train back home to Brooklyn.

"Good bye Times Square"

A few days later, Uncle Steven had a big job to do. Uncle Steven is a photographer and was going to be taking portraits at a big costume party called The Night of a Thousand Gowns. People come from all over the world to this party and everyone wears beautiful costumes. They put on a great big show and raise a lot of money for charity. Some of the guests posed with Flat Stanley. 

"Wow!" said Flat Stanley. "This is the most glamourous night ever!"

"It sure is!" said Uncle Steven. "Maybe next year you can come back and we'll get you a costume."

The next day Uncle Steven and Uncle Ray surprised Flat Stanley and went back to Times Square. Here's Uncle Ray showing Flat Stanley around.

But Uncle Steven and Uncle Ray had a bigger surprise in mind for Flat Stanley. They went to the American Eagle store and had a picture taken.

When they were done, they went outside and their photo was on the billboard! It was huge! Almost 50 feet high. 

And the message read:

Hi Alexis!

"That's so cool" said Flat Stanley. "That's because New York City is totally awesome." said Uncle Steven. And Uncle Ray agreed.

The next day was Flat Stanley's last day in New York. He was sad that his New York Adventure was coming to an end. 

"Let's make it a big day" said Uncle Steven, "and we'll see lots of stuff".

So off they went. First they walked over the Brooklyn Bridge.

Then they went to Macy's to see the Spring Flower Show.

The flowers were beautiful and the store was enormous. Macy's in New York City is the largest store in the world.

 After Macy's, Steven and Flat Stanley saw the Empire State Building, which is the tallest building in New York. At least until the new Freedom Tower is completed. 

Next, they went to Grand Central Station. and the nice man at the Tourism booth helped them find a place to pose.

Grand Central Station is one of the most beautiful train stations in the world. 

On the way to their next stop, Uncle Steven ran into his friend Michael. Michael is always a very snappy dresser. Uncle Steven could learn a thing or two about how to look good from his friend Michael. 

Finally after seeing so many wonderful things in New York, Uncle Steven had one last surprise for Flat Stanley. He wanted Flat Stanley to go where all the other flat people go.

The Public Library! Can you find Flat Stanley in the picture above? The library is very big, so Flat Stanley is very small. I'll give you a hint. Look on the stairs.

Flat Stanley was so excited. He went in the library and met all the other flat people that came out of books. 

"Gee Whiz" said Flat Stanley. "I sure had a great time here in NYC". 

"I'm glad you did." said Uncle Steven. "Uncle Ray and I were happy to have you as our guest."

Say hello to all the kids at Bradford Elementary School, especially to our niece Alexis.

Have a safe journey home!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Day at Bartow Pell

I've been doing some projects recently for the Historic House Trust of New York. One of their properties is the Bartow Pell Mansion and I spent last Saturday taking pictures of Dandies in the mansion's beautiful rooms.

These images will appear in the Historic House Trust Journal in June. I'm looking forward to seeing the layouts. There's rumor of a centerfold.

I have to thank my wonderful models, James, Matteo, Barrett, and the Brothers Meuller who all shared their time, talent, and style to help me create these images, and my assistant for the day, Alan Barnett (a terrific photographer in his own right) who was truly invaluable and also captured many behind the scenes shots that I will be showing off soon.

Many of my portraits are shot in small spaces in nightclubs, so having the space and the lovely furnishings of the mansion was very freeing.

Location shooting is such a different experience from studio work or working with a tiny space at a nightclub. Nothing prepares you for shooting under just about any circumstance more than shooting weddings. So it was actually my wedding work that helped the most in arranging my models and lighting.

Check out a few of my favorites below, and of course feel free to visit my at www.stevenrosenphotography.com to see more work.

These are Nate and Kirk, aka the Brothers Meuller. They're fellow RISD Grads (we met at an alumni event), and wondeful arists in their own right. Plus where else can you find such stylish twins.

This is Barrett. I've been taking his portrait at nightlife events for years. One of my favorite models. He's all angles and lines. I saw this staircase while I was scouting locations and I immediately thought of him in this pose. And the finished image is pretty much exactly how I imagined it. 

This photo and the one below are of James. James is the epitome of Dandy aesthetic. He is wearing original Victorian clothing for this shot. I've been taking his portrait for many years and he always knows how to work the camera.

This is Matteo, and architect from Italy who is currently visiting our fair country. The early 20s is his period of choice. I love his huge fur. It always reminds me of Edward Gorey.