Kacey Crawford Photography » a Philadelphia, South Jersey and Tri-State portrait and wedding photographer

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…a photo walk with friends…

My poor camera has been lonely and neglected, tucked away, getting dusty in the closet in my office. And while I often would wish I could do something to change that, I had to accept being in a season that was calling me to focus elsewhere. But the longing and the pull to that need to create, that need to see again the way I used to has been ever present and tugging at my core…then, my friend Emily {Please check out more of Emily’s work on her June Day Photography site} decided to guide and facilitate a photo walk in Philadelphia as one of our mini-courses at church this summer…and it was just the inspiration I needed to dust off the ole girl and put her back to work. I intentionally went out with only one basic lens in order to push myself to imagine bigger.  Despite my rustiness and feeling like I am having to learn some basic photography principles all over again, I cannot even explain how liberating and satisfying it felt just to be shooting again…with no pressure, no agenda, no shot list, just me and a couple friends meandering, conversing, exploring and practicing our craft. In other words, a perfect way to spend a summer Sunday eve. Thank you Emily for planning such a fun outing…and I already look forward to our next photographic adventure together, whichever one that might be.

Enjoy some of the images I captured on our walk. ~kpc

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… Redemptive Architecture and a View for Miles …

Like many who reside on the upper east coast, I remember exactly where I was, what I was wearing, what I was thinking,…and what it felt like…on September 11, 2001..when time stood still and surreality set in…and what it has felt like everyday since then, as we all try to make sense of the senseless, repair gaping holes left in our hearts and minds, and rebuild our lives, cities and the structures that help define them.

It’s been almost 14 years…since the New York City skyline was forever changed…and while the lives lost on that tragic fall morning will never be replaced and will never stop being mourned and missed and loved, it couldn’t end there…it just couldn’t…that big gaping hole…in the sky and in our hearts, couldn’t just be left there without trying to make something new and beautiful in memory of and to honor those whose very lives are forever ingrained and immortalized there.

On May 29, 2015, I had the privilege and honor to visit the One World Observatory on its opening day with my brother. While I expected it to be a sobering yet exciting experience, I was not prepared for the depth of emotions that welled up inside of me and came pouring out as I listened to the stories of those involved in the imagining and building of the new One World Trade Center. And in that moment, I was reminded how profound and powerful redemption is.

We will never forget, we will always remember and as we gaze out at the view that stretches for miles, high above the hatred and evil and brokenness below, may we take pause and be still… and know that God makes all things new, all things beautiful, and clothes us, all of us, again and again and again in garments of grace.

 

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All Upon A Winter’s Day in New York

One of my favorite traditions around the holidays is an annual McCrawford Christmas adventure to New York with my husband and brother. We pack as much as we possibly can into 36-48 hours including 3 Broadway shows (see list at bottom of post). Every year we try something slightly different than the year before whether it be the hotel we stay in, how we spend our random times between shows, where we eat, etc. This year, not only did we try staying in a different part of the city but we also added time in Central Park and Bryant Park, which were both welcome meanderings.

If we’re all honest, we’re a bit smitten with NYC, and there is just this inexplicable feeling we experience when we first come up out of the tunnel…probably because we don’t have to try to survive and thrive in it daily like true New Yorkers do, but whatever the reason, it’s exhilarating and already has me counting down to our next.

In the meantime, I wanted to share just a few images from our time…I didn’t pull out my camera nearly as much as I could have (you know, trying to walk the often tightrope balance of being present and capturing experiences…which is for a whole other post on a whole other day) but glad to have at least these few mementos.

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As we strolled through the iconic Bethesda Terrace and Fountain section of Central Park, we heard voices — beautiful, angelic, soulful voices – and as we followed them, we stumbled across this eclectic family of musicians and singers who were there just playing and singing their hearts out for all who passed by. Now I know what you’re thinking, because we have all heard some pretty “interesting” street performers but these men and women were truly truly gifted. And this sweet man was the stoic yet gentle patriarch of the group. Before long, a crowd had gathered and I looked around at all of us standing there partially in awe, partially in curiosity and partially in disbelief that this… this somewhat magical, inspiring musical scene was unfolding right before us, in Central Park no less, and we got to witness it and enter into it. At one point, I found myself tearing up and I leaned over to Cameron and told him in that choked up, barely get the words out kinda voice that this was what I imagined heaven would be like someday —  a multi-generational, multi-ethnic, multi-walk of life, multi-story choir of angels just giving everything they had to give and leaving it all out there on that terrace that day. I choke up again just thinking about it. And then my husband and brother proceed to make fun of me just a bit 😉

 

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——-Now for some further details of our trip:———–

Lodging:
Hotel Mulberry – located in Chinatown and not far from Little Italy
52 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10013
This hotel turned out to be somewhat of a hidden gem, for us at least. It was a quaintly modern boutique hotel on a very quiet street overlooking Columbus Park. The staff was very friendly and helpful and the rooms were simple, somewhat modern and clean. Our only “issue” was with controlling the temperature in the room – but since we were only there for one night, we didn’t make a big deal out of it though I am sure they would have worked to make it right.

Parking:
Download the Best Parking app – you can find early bird deals and coupon codes at lots all throughout NYC.

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Broadway Shows:
This Is Our Youth starring Michael Cera
Pippin
Disgraced
starring Gretchen Mol and Josh Radnor*Stay tuned for a future post containing a review of some of the above shows
*Stay tuned for future post containing a review of some of the shows above and possibly a guest review

   

Savoring the Off Season

Every November, our family gets to spend some wonderful off-season time in Ocean City and Cape May, New Jersey…and it is so peaceful. The streets are quiet, parking is abundant, skies are rich with watercolored texture and beauty, the air crisp and clean, and the light…that late fall, mysterious and fleeting light is some of my favorite.  And there’s no line at Mancos and Mancos Pizza!

Enjoy this handful of captures from the month.

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