Molto Carina » philadelphia wedding and portrait photography

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Camping in Harriman State Park, NY

It’s that time.  Sausage on a stick time.  Smoke in your eyes time.  Moss for a mattress time.  Dirt under your fingernails time.

A few West Philly friends and I officially kicked off camping season a couple weekends ago at Harriman State Park just over the New York border.  I arrived to the park at sunset, and by the time we hiked to the spot our friends staked out for us darkness had fallen completely.  But even though I had to wait until morning to take in my surroundings, there’s nothing like unzipping the tent at dawn, popping your head out, and discovering you’re situated at the top of a rugged hill that overlooks a pond on the one side and an entire valley on the other.  Even though temperatures dipped below freezing that night, the next day slowly melted to a heavenly sun drenched afternoon.  Between my snug sleeping bag cocoon, the peepers that sang us all to sleep, the leisurely pace of cooking breakfast over a campfire (that inevitably segues into cooking up more sausages for lunch), and a relaxing nap in the sun, I came back to the city feeling completely refreshed and ready for spring!  The ten mile hike (that was probably only supposed to be six) left me with slightly sore muscles, but it was a good sore.  Just like the touch of sunburn on my nose.  Fresh air and scenery sure did this city kid some good!

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Our perfect little hill.  (Click to expand.)

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April 19, 2013 - 4:34 pm

jeanne giamerese - Whenever you blog, I always wished i was there. Whereever ‘there’ is for you! Your entries are so inviting with the beautiful enticing picture that you take, to capture the moment! So nice!

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Sometimes you see amazingly epic masterpieces created by people on the internet, and you think, “Wow, I wish that could be me.”  But when you see these amazingly epic masterpieces have been created by your friends and your peers, it makes you realize, “Man, that could be me!”

It has been nothing short of incredible to watch fellow Temple alumni Brian James Kirk and Chris Wink create something big out of a brilliant idea and a lot of elbow grease.  I saw Technically Philly start off as a local niche blog in 2009 and quickly grow to become a trusted media organization and leader among Philadelphia’s burgeoning tech scene.  But the founders didn’t slow down once they conquered our own fair town.  Instead, they dreamed even bigger and launched a new branch in Philly’s southern cousin, Baltimore, to continue spreading their message of “Better cities through technology” to a new audience.

To reflect their expanded vision and reach, a fresh website and a slight re-brand was in order. is the new home base for the network’s signature local divisions, Technically Philly and Technically Baltimore (soon to be joined by Technically Brooklyn!), alongside a bigger picture of nationally relevant tech stories.

And with every new website and re-brand comes a fresh promo video!  I was honored to assist videographer and director Stephen Metzger in producing this video for’s new About page.  The sheer number of interviews we conducted with Philadelphia’s tech visionaries is a testament to’s incredible ability to create something bigger than content: a community.

And when I see the work of, it reminds me of my own power to create my own something big.

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The Philadelphia Flower Show’s Horticourt Story Video

I must have turned the Zipcar around three times looking for the correctly numbered mailbox.  We were on one of those country roads that seems impossible to navigate now that I’m accustomed to a land of numbered streets with numbered rowhomes on a generally orderly grid system.  Not even a passenger with an iphone could explain why the numbers between two houses suddenly jumped by a prime number, so all the K-turns weren’t the fault of my defective inner compass for a change.

We eventually took a lucky guess down a long gravel driveway that led to a tiny cluster of houses set back among the trees, and after catching the glimpse of a sizable greenhouse, Steve and I knew right away which one belonged to Dr. and Mrs. Barad.

I was ecstatic to shoot video of such an accomplished horticulturist and all his award winning plants in the same New Jersey area code as my hometown with my favorite videographer.  Talk about a great day at work!  Dr. Barad has such a vast wealth of knowledge and so many seriously cool cactuses and succulents that I couldn’t help but nerd out just a little bit in his greenhouses.

Stephen Metzger worked his usual magic to put together this video for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and I can’t wait to see it displayed this weekend at the Philadelphia Flower Show!  Enjoy/nerd out to this Horticourt Story!

March 17, 2013 - 7:31 pm

Jon Metzger - Carina:

Great stuff. You and Steve are quite talented and I believe you will go far. Looks like a great team in the making. Good Luck and keep up the good work. Nice blog.

Love you guys!

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Happy 90th Birthday, Abuela!

I always have to explain to people why I have an Abuela.  There is no Spanish-speaking blood in my body, yet “Hola, Abuela!” and “Te quiero mucho mucho mucho!” were parts of my vocabulary at a young age.  My family was adopted by Abuelo and Abuela before my sister and I were even born.  I’ve heard the story so many times how my parents could smell garlic and potatoes wafting from their landlady’s kitchen on the other side of the wall…about a half-hour before they would find a fresh, warm tortilla waiting on their doorstep.  I can’t drink ginger ale without thinking of Abuela.  She always took care of me as a kid when I was too sick to go to school, and we would drink ginger ale and watch soap operas in the kitchen while she cooked.  And when my own Grandma and Pop Pop lived too far away to come to Grandparents’ Day at school, Abuela and Abuelo were there with me instead.

On my birthdays, Abuela would always write me out a card I couldn’t understand.  But I knew somewhere in the curly Spanish script, she was telling me she loved me, she thanked God for me, and she wished me years of blessings.

And last weekend, we all got the chance to tell her the same.  Because Abuela just celebrated her 90th birthday!  Happy birthday, Abuela!  Te quiero mucho!





March 5, 2013 - 12:40 pm

Marie - This story made my day!

March 5, 2013 - 2:51 pm

Carina - Thanks, Marie! :) It made MY day to see her for the first time in many years!

April 1, 2013 - 3:08 pm

Vanessa Marie - Aw, adorable. Congrats to your abuela turning 90! That’s amazing!

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Mimi’s Gothic Lolita Beauty Shoot

Step into her rowhouse and you’d think you walked into an art gallery.  Mimi’s walls wear a vast collection of beautiful women and doe eyed dolls who fill the room with a feminine energy that is sexy but sensitive, soft but tough.

Now her body, her body is an art gallery all it’s own.  Over the past, gee, seven years or so, I’ve watched Mimi’s skin collect more and more ink.  First, I saw her chest piece emerge.  Then, a few more tattoos on her left arm.  An old timey bicycle on her leg.  The ladies on each side of her neck.  Doll face on her knuckles.  I started to lose track, but in a good way.  Now whenever I see her, she always has some new art, another piece to hang on the gallery.

Mimi also happens to know her way around a makeup kit, and I’ve been wanting to photograph a creatively painted face lately.  It was a match made in February afternoon heaven, which was amplified to 11 when Ricky showed up to style her hair amid a Misfits playlist.  The three of us collaborated to put together an amazing gothic lolita inspired look and created some new artwork of our own.

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