Redding CT Photographer – First Communion

Redding CT Photographer – First Communion Belle

I first met Isabelle on the day she was born. I met Belle’s Mom, Jeanette, when our sons did Kindermusik. They were the ones raising cane outside the circle and getting disapproving looks from the instructor. Jeanette is the same age as me, we were married in the same year, we both have a boy and a girl and our kids are born within weeks of each other…..we often joke that we have lead parallel lives! We were honored to be among close family members to celebrate Belle’s first communion on a perfect day last spring. She requested red velvet cupcakes with blue frosting so that’s what we made for her – she’s a girl after my own heart!

We love you Belle Belle!

If you see any of those BFF products in the mall there is a good chance that Olivia and Belle would be interested! They are proud of their

“Best Friends Forever” status.

This is Belle’s cousin Molly – doesn’t she have amazing eyes!

Her cousin Anna is just getting interested in photography so we had to have a little portrait session….

Oh to be so popular!

Photographing Children – Look how they have grown……

Photographing Children – Look how they have grown……

One of the things I love about photographing children and their families is documenting how they grow and change over the years. I have been photographing these adorable little girls for a few years now and my have they grown into independent, beautiful young things. I hope I will get to see them for many years to come!

Personal Photography: An inspirational disabled artist living in Singapore

Personal Photography: An inspirational disabled artist living in Singapore

Singapore based Chelsea Fairclough is a very talented young artist – who also happens to be in a wheelchair….


“When you can’t hold a brush in your hands, mouth or feet – just use your wheels and dance!”

For most teenagers having a professional art exhibition, with paintings sought after by private and corporate art collectors, under their belt at 14 years of age would be a remarkable feat. For Chelsea, every day is remarkable, every day is a challenge and every day is a miracle. Chelsea was born with a mass in her neck that meant that she spent a considerable amount of time in hospital, but despite all this she had a “normal” childhood. She travelled back to the UK to visit family there and she attended school in Singapore. She was a strong student, a great swimmer and she loved dance and music. But in 2007, after a period of declining strength and stamina, she suffered a massive stroke resulting in another extended stay in hospital. She had strokes before and bounced back after time and extensive physiotherapy. This one was different. She didn’t regain the use of her legs, in fact she was paralyzed from the neck down and unable to breath for herself. She needed a tracheotomy and the realization that she would be wheel chair bound for the rest of her life began to set in. It was an extremely difficult time for the whole family.

The school community at Singapore American School have been amazing and a particularly dedicated art teacher Ms. Mac was not willing to give up on Chelsea’s artistic talents. She developed an art program just for her and they have weekly appointments to create art by music. Chelsea picks the music, the paint colors and, in a typical bossy teenage kind of way, directs exactly where they should go!

I wanted to document the process so that you can see just how much goes into every canvas that she produces.

There is so much to tell about this remarkable teenager – please leave her some love on her blog –

The music selection needs to be just right and reflects Chelsea’s moods and interests. She is a movie fanatic and will watch a favorite over and over again. 

Her wheelchair is controlled by the cork ball – she nudges it with her chin and gains just a tiny bit of very important personal freedom.

Pat, her helper, guides her to achieve the results that Chelsea has determined.

The wheelchair is very responsive to small movements so it is sometimes difficult to maintain a straight course, but boy she can move in that thing!

The finished canvas is left to dry overnight and the floor bears the evidence of the evenings activities. They have a deal that the first class of the day are the first to critique each new canvas and marvel over the paint on the floor!!! 

Ms. Mac and her daughter Lilly are Chelsea’s biggest fans and supporters.

After the painting session is over Chelsea zips around the empty high school and checks out the news posted in the hallways. She is comfortable there and the other students are used to having her in class, but the normally crowded hallways make it difficult for her to speed. The teachers have grown wise to her ways and know that she pretends to be asleep when she doesn’t want to participate in class!

After school there was one more activity for Chelsea. A young artist named Gelyn Ong had an art exhibitiion at the Red Sea Gallery. Gelyn was raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and had supported Chelsea at her own exhibition. If you look at the Make-A-Wish Singapore homepage you will see that they love Chelsea’s story!

One of the Make-A-Wish Singapore staff members. And below Chelsea poses with Gelyn Ong. A quiet, polite and extremely gifted young artist from Singapore. This was her second exhibition and each time she has donated to the Make-A-Wish foundation.

All that time in her chair is exhausting for Chelsea and at the end of the night she wants nothing more than to get comfortable in her bed and read. With someone to turn the page for her of course!



Family Portraits – Meet My Family

Family Portraits : Meet the Planet Photo Family

My children are 12 and 9, I can’t believe that my kids are pre-teen already! They are getting older and the cuddles and bed time rituals of old are no longer top of their list of fun things to do with mom and dad. I certainly miss it, but at least they still have a list of fun things to do with us.  So for now, we cherish every moment of family life and don’t think about the day when we are just the dumbest adults on the face of the earth…..

Mitch and I count the years until Sam leaves for college, (usually we are panicing about the lack of college funds) but a huge part of me is panicing at the thought of them moving on and moving out. So for now, I will enjoy the craziness of homework, sports practice, revising for science tests and trying to find a movie that we all want to see at the movie theater, and I will keep sneaking my snuggles whenever I get the chance.

I wanted to you to see my inspiration, my not so willing test models, and the loves of my life. Sam and Olivia.


My kids would never forgive me if I didn’t include a couple of Penny Lane! She is a Chatham Hill Retriever and we really couldn’t imagine life with out her. She steals tissues, jumps up at anyone who comes to the door and is crazy about ice cubes but she is gentle and extremely patient with the kids and we love her.

Putnam County Family Photo Session at Averill Farm

Putnam County Family Photo Session at Averill Farm

These three little girls are part of our family. The family we have chosen in Connecticut to fill the gap of being so far away from our “real family”. Susannah is older than Olivia by 12 days and don’t you ever forget it – she might be a little shorter but she is the oldest! Elizabeth is a chatterbox and full of personality and gymnastic moves. She will talk her way out of anything and keep you on your toes. And then there is Rebecca….my kids call her Webeccah. She is always scared of “that big boy” when she sees Sam and then by the end of the day she loves him again. Olivia gets to pretend that she is a big sister and not the baby of the family – she has a huge nurturing gene and “Webeccah” doesn’t seem to mind if she carries her around and treats her as part of the family.

We have a long standing apple picking family outing every fall. We mix up the destination, although Averill Farm is our favorite. Somehow we always end up with all the apples that Rebecca picked!