This child. This child is mine. With dreams so big that all I can do is nurture them. That’s my job. To nurture, guide and give him the tools to go for them no matter how many times they may change. As his mother, it warms my heart that he can be so focused on trying to figure it out.

Three years ago he shot his first commercial, and we’ve been on this journey of modeling and acting ever since. Each time a casting call or Go See request comes in we talk about it. He makes the decisions. Do we go or not? Modeling and acting aren’t my dreams, after all, it’s his. I just provide him the details. We talk about what’s on the agenda that day. What it will affect school, sports, His responsibilities if he goes. We talk about the earning potential, the experience he’ll have. I let him process it, and he makes the decision. Again… not my dream. But it’s mine as his mother to raise an independent decision maker who’s not afraid to go after his dreams.

It was only last year while filming a commercial, that he sat in the directors chair, all smiles and said to me, “Mom, I want to make movies like George Lucas.” Two years before that he wanted to be like Steve Jobs. This year, he’s back to Steve Jobs and still loves George Lucas. Regardless the pattern to both of them is that they are intelligent, creative and innovative. He knows his path.

So this day, as the fog was rolling in over the harbor we grabbed his guitar and walked down to the dock to update his headshot. It’s during these shoots, when it’s just him and I that I catch glimpses of his future self and my heart becomes overwhelmed……… how fast he is growing.

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I’ll never forget the words Marjorie said to me the day she called me about booking me for her wedding.

” I want to smile on my wedding day. Will you capture that? ”

I just laughed and replied, ” I want to smile on your wedding day too. Would you mind? ”

I knew what she meant right away and assured her after going through my work that she would be captured smiling on her wedding day.

Despite the big dark storm that rolled in, nothing could dampen this beach front roof top wedding at Le Club Avenue nor the smile Marjorie wore on her face all day long

as she renewed her vows with the love of her life, Anthony.

Dress : Vera Wang

Makeup : MJ

Flowers : Westchester Florals

Videographer : Moving Pictures

DJ: Xtravaganza Entertainment

XOXO,

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As a child, I always found Easter to be one of my favorite holidays. Dressing up in my Easter Dress, usually hand made by my mother who was a crafty old soul. I would wear it proudly as I’d walk into the church and then change into sneakers when I got home to run around looking for Easter Eggs that my parents had hidden around our yard. I remember a specific image, me in my blue frilly collared dress. I was holding my Easter basket high into the air with one hand and an easter egg in the other, and a grin to laugh about because my top two front teeth were missing. Pretty much the stage that my youngest son is currently in as I think about it.

We had our Easter traditions, but none were as important as dying the Easter Eggs. A Moment when my brothers & I along with my Mom and Dad would hover around the dining room table. Engaging in some form of conversation with the inevitable mild bickering and elbow jabbing between us kids as we would all want to dip our eggs in the same cup of blue dye. Regardless these are the memories that I hold sacred about my family. A tradition that I try to keep alive to make those similar memories with my children. Memories that I know they will hold so dear in their future as well.

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The boys keeping the tradition alive with their cousin.

 

 

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I was in Boston recently with my friend Aida for a shoot. On our way out we decided to take a detour to a small town just north to visit all the antique shops. As we were leaving, we were embarking on a farm stand and stopped. ( It was the Pies I was after ). We pulled into the Farm stand where we were greeted by the stand owner, John. During our conversation, we learned that he boarded horses on his farm that was down the long gravel driveway that continued past the stand. With my love for horses, John began to lead us down to the old weathered barn so that I could photograph some of them. A pickup truck pulled in past us and out of the passenger side jumped a young dark haired boy, Austin, who gave a simple, quick look and walked on by towards the barn. His mother, Shiloh greeted us with a smile as John introduced us and she reached out and shook my hand. We follow them into the barn where their horse’s stable is, and Austin was already brushing him down, prepping to ride.

Backstory:

Austin was diagnosed with Autism at a young age. Since the time he could speak conversations were pretty limited as he would answer mostly with a blank look. There were days you could ask him what he did in school that day, and he would reply with one to two words, “work and recess”. His conversation was limited to a “simple” answer pass. No embellishments and no emotion. They always thought it was the “Autism Milaise” until the day they met the “Sensory Skill Master”, an old barn pony named Aladdin. At first meet of Aladdin and Margo ( Austin’s riding instructor ), his eyes came to life, but he was still quiet. But from the time Austin began riding there was a change in him. Sitting in that saddle so comfortably, slowly he started responding to her instructions. It wasn’t long following that he was engaging in conversations with Margo. A scene that at first had Shiloh emotional because in the ten years since his birth she had never seen this side of her son. Austin was responding to his riding partner.

After three years of riding Aladdin, the well loved horse he had to retire. That was when they knew they needed to get another. Austin needed it. After a long search, they finally found the perfect one. It’s been a year since they have had Criquet, a seven -year- old Oldenburg mare from Germany. She has been the Equine Angel they were hoping for and has had an indescribable inseparable maternal like bond with Austin.

” Through the past four years of Aladdin and Criquet I’ve learned NEVER to be surprised. Austin has grown so much, not in just size, but in his social capabilities. We have now developed; social awareness, reasoning skills, conversation that can last all night, empathy, sympathy, intellectually, and most importantly an engaging son. It was always there…I just needed an “Equine Expert” to help it grow!! ” – Shiloh

What a way the world works. Who knew that a simple stop at a farm stand in rural Massachusetts would lead to a profound encounter with Shiloh, Austin and Criquet. It was such a beautiful experience to witness the intimate relationship between a boy, Austin and his horse, Criquet.

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Did you ever stop and think about how much you could tell about a person through the images they capture?  With this day in social media, peoples lives are an open book. Not just with their status updates, but the images that they share. You can see their heart, their fears, their joys, their loves, their passions, their vices, their demons and so on …….

Last year my best friend Anthony  and I went to NYC for the opening day of the  Vivian Maier Documentary at the IFC Center.  It’s a compelling documentary about a NYC Nanny that kept her personal life fairly private. It was after her death that it was discovered by a young, man who purchased a pallet  of negatives at an auction, that she was a hidden gem of a street photographer. I was so anxious and excited to see it and was glad to be seeing it with someone that has an even greater passion in photography then I do.  Her story was so much more then I had expected. It hit home, it hit hard. Though we still have no true knowledge of her life,  I felt like I got her. I understood her. I knew her. In some ways…. I am her. She shared bits and pieces of herself through her imagery and it was powerful. It was an emotional awakening and a must see for anyone that has a love of mystery, photography, people  & psychology.

After seeing this film I realized that telling stories through my camera has always been therapeutic for me ever since I was a teenager.  It was a trait I inherited from my Grandmother who had an attic full of BOXES  of pictures she had taken through the later years of her life.

A few months later I had  the pleasure of meeting Brandon Stanton, Photographer / Author of the Humans of New York Project, in Grand Central as I was leaving NYC. I’ll thank my son for this. It was him that saw “the man with the camera” leaning against the wall. It was almost like a sign, a confirmation that I was doing what I am meant to be doing. Capturing the lives, the stories, the connections, the hearts of others. And in some small ways, through the work that I create, sharing  pieces of myself.

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( iPhone shot of Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York and I taken by my 10 year old son and let me point out…….. the man shoots CANON ! ! !  ;-)   )

Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York in Grand Central Station NYC  with Street & Lifestyle Photographer Nicole Taylor of Nicole Taylor Photography

Prior to taking this image this man had been pushing a cart of umbrellas around just outside the IFC theater. It was a cheap little umbrella made out of aluminum that was so sharp it could cut you. I didn’t need the umbrella, but I bought one. I still have it. When I came out of the theater later, he was sitting on an old milk crate… his cart and umbrellas were nowhere in sight.

Street Photographer Nicole Taylor photographs the real stories of the people of NYC , Milk crate seating, NYC homeless , One love,

I captured this shot of an engaged couple while i was in Florence, Italy. We were just across the way of the Ponte Vecchio. Their smiles were so infectious I couldn’t help but to capture this moment of them being real and celebrating each other.

Travel and documentary Photography Nicole Taylor captures an engagement session in Florence Italy, real moments of an engaged couple in Italy by Nicole Taylor Photography

While in Waco, TX visiting a really good friend of mine she talked about this church service that took place under a bridge so appropriately called Church Under the Bridge. It was very moving to see a mix of cultures, classes and races celebrating life & humanity together. Boxes of clothes and shoes and bagged meals were being passed out to the many homeless and those in need. They do this every Sunday. I can’t tell you how many stories I listened to, the tears, smiles and hugs I shared with so many beautiful people.  ( more on this to come in another blog post  but here’s an article I found on it : Church Under the Bridge:Relevant Magazine )

Documentary Photography by Nicole Taylor of a  man praying during service at Church Under the Bridge in Waco Texas , homeless

Ecuador was such a spiritual and soul fulfilling trip for me as I was there volunteering at an orphanage. I don’t even know where to begin ( eventually I’ll blog this trip too ). But it was my first time out of North America and I got to experience it with one of my BFF’s who understands how deeply effecting a trip like this can be for someone like us. One of our days there we got to explore a town called Banos. It was here that I walked into the Basilica Reina del Rosario de Agua Santa Cathedral ( Also known as The Church of The Virgin of the Holy Water ) . Walking down this dimly naturally lit stone corridor ( constructed of Volcanic Rock ) the locals were lighting candles in prayer. It was such a somber moment.

A somber moment lighting prayer candles in The Cathedral in Banos Ecuador captured by Documentary Photographer Nicole Taylor

Ok, so typically I LOVE winter. I’m an outdoor adventurist. But this winter has had me holed up in my house screaming for mercy. My niece came out to visit  and we took a drive down to the beach where I could show her the NYC skyline from my favorite spot. It was bitter cold, but the sunset was worth it.

Sunset at Tods Point in Old Greenwich, CT Fairfield County captured by Nicole Taylor Photography

While on a trip this past summer in the Catskills I had been seeing this man every day walking around town wearing the same clothes and with his dog. On this day he was at the corner of a grocery store I was going into. When I came out he caught my eyes with his smile and the lines that framed his porcelain ice blue eyes shared many stories. I smiled back and said hello and asked his name and that of his dog ( Jake ). We talked about his struggles briefly but more about his beloved dog.

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Vietnam Vet in Woodstock, NY Catskills taken by Street Photographer Nicole Taylor Photography

Another moment in NYC. Hugs are Free……….

An emotional moment in NYC by street photographer Nicole Taylor

 

 

 

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  • March 24, 2015 - 6:49 PM

    Antoinette - Oh Nicole, I love your photos, but more so the stories they tell. And then when you tell the behind-the-scenes, it does my soul good. I am so thankful to have met you but to also see your work. And the couple in Italy, my absolute favorite- even if it is difficult for me to say I have just one favorite image of yours. You are such an inspiration. xox