Kerry Cozzolino: Blog https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog en-us (C)2016-2021 Kerry Cozzolino Photography LLC (Kerry Cozzolino) Mon, 20 Sep 2021 15:55:00 GMT Mon, 20 Sep 2021 15:55:00 GMT 2020 and a Little Bit of Normalcy https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2020/11/2020-an-a-little-bit-of-normalcy In these last few weeks of 2020 I have been thinking about how thankful I am that I have a job that brings smiles to people's faces.  Whether on the sidelines of sporting events, when kids know I am there to capture their successes and teamwork, or in sessions with families on front porches and fall scenes, I get to see happy, smiling faces.  Although I have always felt blessed to do something that brings joy to people, this year more than any other, it has truly been a gift.  In the first few months of the pandemic, I was happy to be photographing high school senior "events," from car parades celebrating seniors because they didn't get their final season on the field to a real, although socially distant, graduation! I participated in the National Front Porch Project with other photographers across the country to take family portraits socially distant from the sidewalk.

My moments behind the camera this summer and fall have been at times when both the families and the kids on the field are having treasured moments of "normalcy" in this uncertain and chaotic time.   Family sessions have taken on a whole new meaning to capture the love and happiness in this time of togetherness.  When EVERY DAY is unpredictable, the one thing for the high school athletes and marching band musicians that has been "normal," is their time on the field.  More high school athletes than ever participated in this summer's workouts and conditioning.  They needed the exercise and to see their peers, but more importantly to do something normal.  To see them play this fall, enjoy their sport and especially each other, has been awesome.  To see them smile has been priceless.  To be able to capture these memories is truly a gift and I am beyond grateful.  I hope you enjoy these photos of the happy, smiling faces and a few precious moments of "normal" in the year that is 2020.

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(Kerry Cozzolino) 2020 family joy smiles sports https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2020/11/2020-an-a-little-bit-of-normalcy Fri, 20 Nov 2020 02:54:50 GMT
United Sports https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2020/3/united-sports

In these uncertain and anxious times I wanted to share a heartwarming experience.  A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to photograph basketball games for the Chatham United Basketball team.  This team consists of a few kids from the high school and the majority from ECLC which is a school and community for children and adults with special needs.  The team was competing to represent New Jersey in the Special Olympics!  The Chatham United team exudes camaraderie and happiness.  These kids work so well together and are a true representation of good sportsmanship. The joy in the gym emanates both from the court and the sidelines.  The coaches, parents and other teams cheer each other on and all feel so emotionally invested in the game.  The officials were smiling ear to ear throughout the games.  I am always on the sidelines and up close to the action, the players and the officials, and sometimes see and hear things that I would rather not hear or see.  But these games were different.  Everyone was upbeat, positive and happy.    The coaches and high school kids give something that is not tangible, but you can see the effects on the faces of the kids participating in the games. The pride and sheer joy is something I will never forget.  

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(Kerry Cozzolino) basketball Special Olympics https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2020/3/united-sports Fri, 27 Mar 2020 19:52:21 GMT
Winter Sports https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2020/2/winter-sports

This winter I have photographed more winter sports than ever before. Winter sports take place on all types of surfaces, on the ice, on a court, in a pool.  I was struck by the contrast between the beauty and grace of swimming with the brutality of ice hockey.  The boys and girls basketball teams for our town's high school have been doing well and the teams are drawing crowds, especially student fans, including elementary students.  The camaraderie and energy between fans and players on the court and sidelines definitely raises the play of the game.  While some sports have new rules, Wrestling has changed very little since I was a cheerleader for wrestling in the 80's (although I am VERY thankful that the uniforms have).  The strength and determination exhibited is visceral and the flexibility of the wrestlers is incredible to watch close up, and I am literally on the edge of the mat.  I have witnessed high school athletes achieve remarkable milestones including making 1,000 points in basketball, 100 wins in wrestling, and swimmers breaking team and state records.  While I primarily shoot high school sports, I had the opportunity to photograph the New Jersey PBA Ice Hockey team play the New York FBI Hockey Team.  It was so great to see members of all different communities come out and root on the teams.  I truly enjoy capturing so many exciting moments in the lives of athletes.  I have a friend who says I can make anyone look like an athlete, but it is just the art of capturing someone at their best.  I am blessed with a talent and job that makes me smile. 

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(Kerry Cozzolino) basketball fans hockey ice hockey photography sports photography swimming women sports photographers https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2020/2/winter-sports Fri, 28 Feb 2020 17:24:21 GMT
Searching for Surfers in Hawaii https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2018/7/surfing

I think my love of surfing and surfers started back when I was a pre-teen.  My family used to go to Nags Head, North Carolina each summer for vacation.  We drove in our Buick Electra 225 listening to the Beach Boys the whole way there AND back.  How my father listened to three little girls belting out the Best of the Beach Boys for 10 hours is a wonder!  I fell in love with the idea of surfing and surfers listening to those songs.   While in Nags Head there were plenty of surfers to watch!  

Now I love to photograph surfers at any surfing area I get to; LBI in NJ, Dana Point, Cali and now Hawaii.  I can stand on the beach for hours waiting with them for the perfect wave.  Surfing is actually my favorite sport to photograph.  I love the whole surf culture.  Hanging on the beach, the serenity of waiting on the wave and staring at the ocean, the exhilaration of (getting the shot) catching the perfect wave,  The surfer Zen philosophy of life, ALL OF IT.   I haven't photographed any surfers I know, but I have this vested interest in capturing the greatest ride or trick of each surfer I photograph.   I recently took surf lessons while vacationing in Hawaii.  I can say I have an entirely new appreciation for good surfers!  While I did manage to stand up and catch a few waves, it didn't look anything like the surfers I have photographed over the years.  

I was really hoping to photograph some professional surfers while in Hawaii, but ironically summer is not the high season in Hawaii and the pros were on tour elsewhere.  I made my family stop at beaches along our routes on every island we visited so that I could check for surfers!  In Kauai, we stopped at a state park beach with a dedication to the professional surfer Andy Irons, who suffered from depression and committed suicide in 2010.  The surroundings were beautiful and there had been a bonfire on the beach for the 4th of July. We stopped at another state park beach called Hookipa, in Maui, just down the road from the famous "Momma's Fish House" with a lot of novice surfers and a few windsurfers.  I even insisted we drive out to the viewing point for "JAWS" in Maui, just to see it!  JAWS is famous among surfers for big waves.  Every year Billabong hosts a surf competition in February and the surfer catching the biggest wave gets $1,000 per foot of the biggest wave surfed.  Last year the winner received $82,000!!  The "road", and I use that term loosely, to the viewing point is not marked.  I stopped in the "Jaws General Store" to see if I could get directions.  The girl behind the counter explained where to leave the main road, but said the rest was unpaved and "pretty gnarly."  Her description was accurate!  Luckily we had a Jeep Wrangler 4x4 or we would have been swallowed up by the craters in the dirt path.  Surrounded on either side by overgrown sugar cane, bouncing like we were on an amusement park ride, I'm sure my family will say that they thought I was nuts!  The trip was worth it though!  The view was SPECTACULAR despite the fact that without surfers to give perspective you cannot judge the height of the waves.  The view from the cliff overlooking the ocean could literally take your breath away.  I could imagine the photographers camped out to get the best shot from above, let alone the photographers riding the wave runners trying to get the shots in the middle of the action.  

Although it seemed there were novice surfers everywhere we stopped, I eventually did catch some local surfers that were really good and one day there were 10-12 foot waves!  The locals come to the beach with their friends and dogs who hang out while they surf.  At the state park beaches there are barbecue grills and some have covered areas.  Families and friends come and hang out for the day or have celebrations on the beach, we saw more than a few bounce houses set up at the parks.  I also caught two brothers from LA, who were jumping off a cliff at a beach where I was photographing surfers.   I hope you enjoy these photos of my adventures and the surfers trying to catch the perfect wave.

 

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(Kerry Cozzolino) hawaii jaws surfers surfing https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2018/7/surfing Sun, 22 Jul 2018 17:21:42 GMT
Daily Life in Venice https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2017/8/daily-life-in-venice I have been lucky enough to have visited Venice, Italy several times in my life.  Venice has a deep and rich history from 421 AD when the Celtic people settled in Venice to more recent times where the city has thrived for its art, architecture and tourism.  There was an article not long along in the Harvard Business Review titled "Why Innovators should study the Rise and Fall of the Venetian Empire" highlighting how the people of Venice did not strive to innovate and accepted that their current success would continue inevitably.   The Venetian Empire in the thirteenth century was the home to the munitions factory for the Naval industry that incorporated a production-line system of manufacturing, light years ahead of the world.  Venice was the leader in developing "(then unusual) a trading and money lending economy" according to the Harvard business Review.  Due to its location it was later an important trading center.  Venice, while no longer an empire, is still an amazing place that has reinvented itself into a tourist destination unlike any other in the last century. 

On my most recent visit to Venice, I began to see things I hadn't in the past.  Venice is a magical place and I will never forget my first visit while I was in college.  I made my friends order $7 sodas (in the 80's that was an outrageous amount of money for a diet coke!) and write postcards in San Marco Square, surrounded by the amazing architecture, the sounds of classical music and the many tourists feeding and posing with the pigeons.  It was a cold, grey day but I soaked the moment in so deeply that I still have such a vivid and visceral memory of that experience.  Recently, as I walked the alleys and sidewalks of Venice, I began to see the residents in their daily life.  The tasks we take for granted are more complicated for Venetians.  From the delivery person with his stepped hand cart to go over the many steps for the pedestrian canal bridges, the musicians carrying their instruments through the throngs of tourists, the fishmongers carrying their daily supply of fresh fish to the market and the the many delivery vaporettos in the canals carrying cargo to be delivered to local residents and businesses, to the commute to work via water taxi.  Although you could get swept up in the magic of this beautiful unique city for its architecture, art and music, there is so much to see and consider in the life of a Venetian.  

 

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(Kerry Cozzolino) italy tourism venice https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2017/8/daily-life-in-venice Fri, 04 Aug 2017 01:42:36 GMT
Batter Up! https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2017/5/batter-up

Well spring came in like a lion.  It hasn't really felt like baseball and softball season, but I start every season in a parka and end the season with a tan!  I've been shooting a lot of baseball and softball from the little guys through high school.  I watched the number two high school team in the state of New Jersey play baseball  and WOW!  They were impressive!  That said, the opposing team made some serious plays and held their own!  It's always fun for me as a photographer to see the kids progress over the course of a season in skill,  but also in their relationships with each other and bond as a team.  At the end of the day, that's what is most important!  It is so nice in this day and age to see high school girls root for each other and congratulate a teammate on a great play!  The smiles on the faces of the softball girls are priceless!  In our town, the seventh, eighth and ninth grade boys play in the same recreation baseball league.  The older boys mentor the younger ones.  When those seventh grade boys strut off the field after being complimented on a great play by a ninth grader, you know those relationships will continue long after baseball season is over.   I recently attended a game of seventh and eighth grade boys in another town.  The sportsmanship displayed warmed my heart.  There was a child on one of the teams with issues, who wanted desperately to pitch.  His team headed out on the field for a new inning, and the opposing team took their last ups, even though they had already won the game, to let this boy pitch.  Everyone in attendance at that game was a winner!  

Another important aspect of any game are the coaches.  Coaches can have a tremendous impact on the kids they coach, not just in the skills of a particular game, but in life skills.  There are any number of adults who will tell you the story of the coach that had the biggest impact on them or taught them something they use everyday off the field.  Take the time to ask your child who their favorite coach is and why.  I guarantee you will learn something new, not only about your child, but an adult as well.   I know my kids have been greatly influenced by amazing coaches, who are also amazing people, and who taught them so much both on and off the field.  Thank you to all the coaches who volunteer their time in recreational leagues to help shape the youth of our great nation.  

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(Kerry Cozzolino) https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2017/5/batter-up Fri, 12 May 2017 19:38:55 GMT
Mindfulness https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2017/3/mindfulness In this crazy world we live in, MINDFULNESS, is a concept bubbling up to the forefront.  From the politics of our nation, to our everyday hectic lives, it is a time to concentrate; not only to focus on the matters at hand, but also to focus on what is important to us.  I'm in the middle of a renovation on our house which has turned my whole family's life upside down.  Nothing is where it is supposed to be, daily routines are altered, everything is under plastic, and it is very disruptive (but my family knows it will totally be worth it in the end).  More importantly, there are family members struggling with illness, and some we have lost recently.  It is incredibly important not to get weighed down by people's bad attitudes and the disruptive parts of our lives but to be mindful of all that is good and all that we have.  One of my favorite people recently posted this quote, "Ships don't sink because of the water around them, ships sink because of the water that gets in them.  Don't let what's happening around you get inside you and weigh you down."  That is what mindfulness teaches us.  Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment with an attitude of curiosity and kindness.  Mindfulness has physiological effects; it can lower your heart rate, reduce stress levels and release chemicals in the brain to make you more alert and receptive.  I have recently seen advertisements for mindfulness seminars for general adult classes and even a specific seminar geared toward attorneys.

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to photograph the Mindful Kids NJ Camp for children.  With the onslaught of electronic devices and games not to mention the many social media platforms geared toward children, it is an important life skill to focus and to concentrate.  While photographing the children, I could feel myself being more mindful just by listening to what was being taught.  It is a good practice to hit the "reset" button and be in the moment.  Mary Lea Crawley, the founder of Mindful Kids, is a fantastic instructor who is calm and patient, she emanates mindfulness.  Check out her website www.mindfulkidsnj.com.  I'm going to go take a few deep breaths and I encourage you to do the same!

 

 

 

 

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(Kerry Cozzolino) mindfulness https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2017/3/mindfulness Fri, 03 Mar 2017 21:27:28 GMT
Fall is for Football https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2016/10/fall-is-for-football

I love football and this Fall, for me, has been all about football.  My love of the game started when I was in third grade.  I was a cheerleader and my Dad (who came to all my games for cheerleading and field hockey through high school) stopped me as I was coming off the field.  He said, "You know the first cheer you girls did was ‘FIRST AND TEN DO IT AGAIN?’ Well, the other team had the ball.  I need to teach you the game of football."  From that Sunday on, my Dad and I would gather our snacks and watch all the televised NFL football games together as he taught me the game.  Not only did he want me to learn the game, but also it was his way of bonding with his oldest of three daughters.   Today, my kids know when I'm watching a Giants game that I've recorded when I scream out, "Where's the O LINE?"  (Although I've been screaming less of that lately).  

I have taken more football photos than anything else this Fall from the NFL to youth football.  I've been to a preseason Steelers game in Pittsburgh with my family (Steelers fans in the family).   I'm looking forward to a regular season Giants game soon (equal time for Giants fans in the family).   I also had the honor of accompanying my nephew's high school team on the field at a Jets preseason game.  The only way to describe how happy those boys were, is as my sister said,  "They look like 5 year old boys who got everything they ever wanted on Christmas morning."

There are reports that NFL viewership is down for a variety of reasons.  If you are not watching football because you don't agree with Kaepernick or you’re fed up with the bad behavior of the NFL players, both on and off the field,  I urge you to seek out your town's high school and junior football programs.  These kids play with a passion for the game that is palpable.  This season I've seen a high school defensive lineman pick up a blocked punt and almost score a touchdown for the first time, a 9 year old pull three defensive players with him to gain the yardage for a first down, and a high school freshman score three touchdowns in the second half of the game.  If you love the game, these kids will make you love it more.  Their respect for the game and camaraderie with each other is what I love the most. #Family.

 

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(Kerry Cozzolino) Fall Football https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2016/10/fall-is-for-football Fri, 28 Oct 2016 14:12:02 GMT
Pittsburgh https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2016/9/pittsburgh Pittsburgh is a city that has completely reinvented itself.  Once a city known for its steel mills, it has now become a home to the tech, legal and banking industries.  It has a mix of modern and gothic architecture.  The thing I loved most about Pittsburgh is that is a very walkable city.  The baseball and football stadiums are easily accessible by walking across the Roberto Clemente bridge. Be sure to take note of the "locks of love" attached to the bridge left by lovers pledging their undying love for each other.  Great views of the city are best from the Duquesne Incline, a funicular that travels steeply up to the Duquesne Heights/Mount Washington neighborhood.  Pittsburgh fans are always decked out for game day and wear their colors proudly all through town and while tailgating on their boats riverside!  There are also many universities in and around Pittsburgh, most famous among them are University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon.  I had the opportunity to take in the beautiful architecture on the University of Pittsburgh campus.  No visit to Pittsburgh would be complete  

though without stopping by Primanti Brothers in Market Square and why not stop by for Sunday morning yoga in the square before devouring that Primanti Brothers sandwich!

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(Kerry Cozzolino) https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2016/9/pittsburgh Fri, 02 Sep 2016 19:41:10 GMT
Serge Onik Dance Lesson https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2016/7/serge-onik-dance-lesson

I recently photographed my sister's ballroom dance lesson with Serge Onik at the Dance with Me Soho Studio.  Serge is an accomplished, amazing professional dancer and choreographer who has competed on So You Think You Can Dance and has appeared on Dancing with the Stars. Serge has also toured in Sway, Ballroom with a Twist and 100 Days of Dance among other projects.  Dancing brings my sister such joy and it was so great to capture these moments for her.  Not only is dancing a good workout, I truly believe dancing is good for the soul!

 

 

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(Kerry Cozzolino) ballroom dancing Dance with Me Soho Serge Onik https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2016/7/serge-onik-dance-lesson Fri, 08 Jul 2016 17:41:58 GMT
Memories of Brussels https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2016/6/memories-of-brussels

With all the talk of BREXIT and the EU in the news, it brings back memories of my college semester in Brussels studying, what was then still called, the EC.  The EU is still plagued with many of the same issues it was back in 1987.

Last year we took a family vacation to Brussels.  I still love Brussels and think it is one of the most underrated and under appreciated cities in the World.  It is a cosmopolitan, thriving city with amazing people, architecture, culture, great food and, of course, plenty of chocolate, frites and beer.  You have to love a place that gives you a "raincoat" for your shopping bag filled with hand-made chocolates.  Enjoy some photos from my latest visit back to Brussels.

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(Kerry Cozzolino) https://www.kcozzphoto.com/blog/2016/6/memories-of-brussels Tue, 28 Jun 2016 17:10:40 GMT