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Massachusetts FoamFest 2013

Every once in a while it is very refreshing to photograph a really fun event where people don’t take themselves very seriously and are just out to have some fun. I was contacted to help shoot this event as a sports photographer but it turned out that the photo booth got backed up and I ended up shooting groups for much of the two days.
It was a weekend about having fun groups of friends and families descended on Haverhill, Massachusetts at Kimball Farms where they set up a fun 5k and obstacle course. I was stationed at the finish line and had to pop back and forth photographing team and family groups. It was a long day but it was great having people, not worried about how they look in the photo and nearly all of them had fun poses that showed they had a great day. The finish line turned into a mud pit late in the day and many ended the 5k race with a foamy mud bath.

Here is a slice of last weekend at the New England Foam Fest.

Boston Strong! by Boston photographer Joel Geist

This week has been hard for the Boston area. First off my heart and thoughts go out to all the People injured and the families of those who were lost in this tragedy and law enforcement who worked so hard and gave so much to apprehend the suspects. I am not going to go through details that you have already heard what I am going to attempt to do is show you how the city is trying to get back to some state of “normal” although it is clear to see it will not be forgotten.

My story starts at the starting line in Hopkinton Massachusetts where this feather flower was placed along with others along the road.
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As I started to shoot I happened upon this quote from Benjamin Franklin along the starting line and I got to thinking about the history of Boston and how I didn’t really feel like I was a part of it, as the adjustment to the area has been slow. I took it upon myself to try to tell this story as I see it and I had hoped I somehow would come out feeling more a part of it.
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While the days events of Friday unfolded everyone was told to stay inside and the city was basically shutdown to insure the safety of the public. There was an all clear put out and people ventured out. Then shortly after a David Hennebury tipped off the police, sirens and gunfire rang out through Watertown Massachusetts. It had not dawned on me the impact this would have on the public until the next day.
I hit the T in the morning to go into Boston to do my photography walk, the subway was packed full with Fenway traffic. The Copley station was closed due to the proximity to the blasts and there were armed guards in the station. Unfortunately I was not prepared for that as my camera was still in my bag. I got off the subway and headed to the memorial sites.
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This last photograph I felt was very powerful. This little girl was writing a message on her own, to put up with the rest of the messages on the memorial. When schools are closed and parents have to explain why, the level of fear this could impart to our children of the future is scary to think about. Yet this little girl is telling us to stay strong, and the she hopes Boston will be safe.
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I saw everyone holding there children a little tighter and snap to attention when there was a siren as if on high alert. It may take some time for people to get over some of that anxiety when they hear a siren, but Boston is not the city to give into terror and stay in their homes. I started searching for ways that people were trying to move on from this tragedy. There were multiple locations where people had placed notes, but a local sports store Niketown Boston had placed chalk on their sidewalk for people to leave messages.
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Others looked for places to shop and have lunch these two were having what looked to be a quiet normal lunch at first glance, but if you look in the background you can see the crater where the second bomb was detonated, and signs posted on the barricades.
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Boston-Strong-Photographer-Joel-Geist
Others just needed to do something to show how happy they were the suspects were arrested and the mayhem was over. Walking through the city on three occasions I saw people bringing gifts as a way to thank law enforcement and National Guard personal that were dispatched.
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Boston-Strong-Photographer-Joel-Geist
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Acts of kindness and gratitude are often overlooked in a large city but nonetheless they are out there if you look for them and one way for Boston to stay strong is to pull together and make them happen more.

Boston is a proud town and many people take pride in their homes here and I met Jeff who was working on a landscaping project. I stopped and chatted with him for a bit. We talked about his project and the history of the his house that was built for John Quincy Adams family before he became the president.
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This image is close to the western memorial site where ladder 15 company fire department house has stood in front of every Boston marathon. It was built in 1888 and is still in use today and I just felt the look of the older gentleman is as classic Boston as the firehouse he was standing in front of.
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113th running of the Boston marathon was the center of the attack but it is clear the tradition will carry on and next year I foresee more runners than ever. As I walked along the route on the way to another steep tradition. I saw a man running holding the flag running towards the finish and snapped this image of him. As I walked away I could hear loud cheers as he neared the crowds of the memorial.
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As I headed further down the course, I heard the cheers in area that have been there in summertime since 1912. This is Fenway! Home of the Green Monstah.

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The tradition and pride housed in this green cathedral of our American pass time can not be matched. It is the oldest stadium in Major League Baseball and there is a unique feel to the stadium. The fans came out in force on the day after the suspects were apprehended to show that this city will not tremble in fear. There was an intensity as they beat the Royals and everyone was leaving. It looked like just as many came as a show of support to the city maybe more than to see the game, they were decked out in full Boston Gear and American flags were abundant in the crowd.
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There was a sense of pride some showed but there was also something different in the air, you could feel people were on alert and parents seemed to grip their children’s hands a little tighter.
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In the end the kids were happy to go to the game, get a win for their Sox and spend a day with their families.
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This week will live in the memories of many and the Bagpipe player on the way to the T station was a perfect ending as I was trying to layout my story in my head. His song rained sad somber notes, I was curious if I could do this story justice? Just then the tune changed to a more upbeat music as if to give a sense of hope and reassurance to all passing by and to my question.
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Everyone had different ways of mourning and bouncing back, mine was to do this piece. Some lives will be changed forever, it may be a tough road and that is why it is important to….
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Boston-Strong-Photographer-Joel-Geist
Boston-Strong-Photographer-Joel-Geist

BE STRONG, BELIEVE Boston will get through this and grow stronger as a city, and NEVER FORGET!

Never be afraid to learn new things, thanks Boston WordPress Group!

As a photographer it is important to wear many hats, as you are forced to do things that are not at all related to photography. So I was very pleased today to get some information from people that really knew what they were doing! I have recently moved here from Tampa Florida and I have been trying to build a new base of clients. After months of posting and working on my site and researching SEO, with few results in search I was at an utter and complete loss. I vowed to start hitting the pavement and getting out there and meeting new people to get me headed in the right direction and get me out of the bubble I was working in. So tonight I went to meetup.com event The Boston WordPress group. A big thanks to the organizers of this group it was very informative.

Boston Wordpess Meetup

Boston WordPress Meetup

As a first time person to this group I was very nervous that I was going to be absolutely overwhelmed and would not understand anything. The group started and they had a raffle for a free t-shirt from a sponsor from WordPress Engine, I won  a shirt so the night started in the right direction. Then there was some networking,  people with openings for jobs that I did not even understand most of the titles to… Uh-oh I was suddenly thinking I was going to be a deer in headlights for two hours, and was wishing to be teleported out of the room. I figured throwing myself into the pool to learn to swim is the best way to learn. I went to the class that seemed like it would help the most “How does wordpress fit into your social strategy?”

Enter Zac Champigny.

Boston WordPress meetup

His presentation was great, in depth, but not at all over my head. He spoke about how everything should lead to your page and why. Ways of seeing how effective your posts are, how commenting plays into your content, and touched on some parts of seo and analytics. I was very impressed with his speaking skills, as he spoke in terms that were effective and not overwhelming in a subject that could have quickly had me drowning for understanding. It might have been different had I gone to the other class. I had quite a few great takeaways from this presentation as I had some familiarity with the topic. I will be back this was a great group. Thanks to everyone else who added knowledge from the audience, and especially to Zac.

Here is a link to Zac’s post about his presentation. http://zacchampigny.com/wordpress-as-your-home-base-my-presentation-for-the-march-wordpress-meetup/

5th Annual Timeless NYE Party by Synergy of Boston

New Years Eve was a great night to be had by all that attended the “Bond” themed 5th Annual Timeless NYE Party by Synergy of Boston. It was a grand evening with 5 beautiful women competing for their spot as the “Timeless Bond Girl 2013″. Each of whom sported great gowns from great fashion designers. Congratulations to Lisa Van Orden who won the title! Also Miss New Hampshire and Miss Massachusetts were in attendance. Here are some photos from the great evening.

It was a great evening but after the shoot I had the arduous task of traveling home from Downtown on the green line on New Years Eve, which was a challenge and never had I been so close to so many people in one subway car. Packed in like sardines I was hoping that everyone close to me was o.k. with their level of intoxication and the movement of the subway.