Category Archives: Lessons Learned

Blessed to be in Philly

The likelihood of overwhelming crowds wasn’t influential.  The panic ridden media hype wasn’t a deterrent.  The historic event of Pope Francis visiting Philadelphia was not to be missed.  It was, and will be, something to remember.

for weeks before the event, signs warned of the large crowds
for weeks before the event, signs warned of the large crowds
Even the entire Ben Franklin Bridge was closed to vehicular traffic
Even the entire Ben Franklin Bridge was closed to vehicular traffic
got our tickets to ride
got our tickets to ride


walking up to street level at 9th and Locust Street



all kinds of vendors hawking all kinds of wares
all kinds of vendors hawking all kinds of wares


media coverage was intense
media coverage was intense
the immense crowds were orderly and patient
the immense crowds were orderly and patient
even the staff at Hotel Monaco took a break to photograph the historic event
even the staff at Hotel Monaco took a break to photograph the historic event
Pope Francis arrives at Independence Hall
Pope Francis arrives at Independence Hall


Pope Francis up close. Very cool.
Pope Francis up close. Very cool.




everyone wanted to get a photo of the pontiff
Everyone wanted to get a photo of the pontiff
The Pope speaks to the crowd and dignitaries at Independence Mall
The Pope speaks to the crowd and dignitaries at Independence Mall


Thanks Caite, Jay, Natalie and all the amazing people at Hotel Monaco and Red Owl Tavern!

CHOP Voorhees 2012

It means so much to us to be able to give back. Christmas wouldn’t feel the same without us helping our friends at Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, Voorhees Division. The annual holiday event makes a wonderful evening for those in need with leukemia, and other blood disorders.  Shirley Landgraff has done an amazing job at coordinating this event, but after nearly 16 years, she is retiring to spend more time with her family. All of the amazing volunteers, from the Waterford Woman’s Club to the “elves”  from a local school help to make the season bright. And, let’s not forget Santa!!  After 7 years, we are blessed to be a part.

And of course a PICTURE WITH SANTA!


OK, so DJ graduated. Hoo-Haah!!

After all that hard work and great accomplishment, the plan was ambitious, but simple.

Have a drink.

But that was the simple part.

The ambitious part was to have 12 drinks. (because of graduating in ’12)

At 12 different places!

So, after the actual graduation ceremony and stopping at a reception held at the Pennoni Honors hall, the journey began.

We made our way down Chestnut Street into center city.  How could we resist getting a picture of the graduate on the Chestnut Street bridge?

The new graduate ready to set the world on fire. Iconic Amtrak and 30th Street Station buildings in the background

First stop, but not officially “a” stop (because they didn’t serve cocktails), was “Fuego”, at 21st and Chestnut. Got some tortilla chips and guac, and a few bottles of Mexican soda.

ONE – First official stop was at Drinkers Pub, 19th and Chestnut. 5 pm. Local hangout. Loud and casual. Shots of Jameson.

TWO – NoChe was next. Right next to stop one, upstairs. 5:30 pm. Very cool place. Great space. Bright and hip. And how great when we found out that Happy Hour started just as we walked in. $3 beers, $5 drinks and half price on brick oven pizzas. The drinks and food were awesome. I smell a return trip here : )

man those $5 pizzas were great

THREE – Alpha was next. 17th and Walnut. 7:05 pm Way too crowded. So it was a quick shot of SoCo and Lime. One and done.

FOUR – The Happy Rooster. 16th and Sansom. 7:20 pm. Cool little place. Nice barmaid. Miserable waitress. This is where we met up with Robyn. Also, a shout out to the cool customer from Haddon Township who also was a Drexel grad and bought DJ a drink.

FIVE – Nodding Head Brewery. 15th and Sansom. 8 pm. Nice place to hang out. Super nice bartender (nice enough to take the group photo). Here’s where we met up with another of Djs classmates and her friend from Cali.

A jaunt in Philly isn’t complete without a stop on Broad with Billy Penn in the background!!

DJ and Lindsey hamming it up on Broad

SIX – Tavern on Broad. Broad Street and Walnut. What else can you say about this underground, bustling sports bar but FUN. We were singing, dancing and having a blast. Kudos to the bartender for buying DJ a redheaded slut (that’s the name of a shot, yo)

SEVEN – XIX. Broad and Walnut inside the Hyatt at the Bellevue. 9:15 pm Breathtaking view of the city from the 19th floor (hence the name). The single malt scotch tasted that much better with the amazing vista.

EIGHT – Locust Rendezvous. Locust, between 14th and 15th. 10:00 pm. Divy little bar. Noisy and crowded, but fun. Time for more drinks and more food. Cucumber melon shots, beer, loaded fries, wings, and a sampler of a bunch of stuff. Gosh, don’t recall most of this. Hmmm…..And where else can you get a set of giant beads from a total stranger at 11 pm?

NINE – Parc Rittenhouse. 18th and Walnut. 11:30 pm More drinks and more food? Basilics around the board, tuna carpaccio, wild mushroom tart, fresh baked breads and infused butter. Ooo-la-la

TEN – Wrap Shack. 18th Street, just off of Sansom. 12:30 pm.   Lagunitas IPA, Dogfish 90 min, and vodkas. Nice and informative barmaid.

ELEVEN – the Dandelion. Corner of 18th and Sansom. 1 am. Steven Starr English pub. Beer of course.

TWELVE – It became quite a challenge to find #12. Most places were closed, at least in the area we were. We walked for a bunch of blocks with no success. Closed, closed, closed, you just missed it. Then, in the distance we heard some faint noise. Down a dark, dirty alley at 13th and Drury Street we came upon McGillin’s Olde Ale House. The place was jumping!! The final stop. At 1:50 am What better way to end the night, just as we started, than with a round of Jameson shots.

As the clock on City Hall showed, it was 2:07 when we finished.

Final call was heading back home via the Speedline at 8th and Market.

What an unbelievably momentous night. That was so much fun.

Thanks DJ and congratulations again on graduating summa cum laude, with honors, and a Masters Degree from Drexel University.

DJ graduates college

The day finally arrived —  Friday, June 15, 2012.

Not just any other Friday. This day was special.

It was the day Daniel James Capone would graduate from Drexel University.

Five solid years of hard work and determination, and one of only a handful of students, DJ graduated summa cum laude,  with honors, AND a MASTERS DEGREE.

Drexel Banner, Master Degree, Honors College, Summa Cum Laude


So at 1:30 in the afternoon, the stage was set, the place was packed, and the students began to enter into the room. It was a great moment when the students graduating summa cum laude were asked to stand up..

stage, students enter, a packed room, DJ stands for summa cum laude announcement

The keynote speaker was internationally recognized environmentalist, biologist, and author Dr. Paul Ehrlich.

Afterwards, DJ accepts his diploma from school president, John Fry.

DJ gets his diploma from school president John Fry

then congratulated by Provost Mark Greenberg, College of Arts and Sciences Dean, Donna Murasko, and Dean of Students, David Ruth.

….and of course mugging for the crowd  : )

DJ mugs for the audience

Afterward, DJ poses with “Mario” the Drexel dragon statue.

DJ and “Mario”, Drexel Dragon mascot and statue on campus at 33rd and Market


DJ in cap and gown



C.H.O.P. Voorhees Holiday Party 2010

It wouldn’t be Christmas without us helping our friends at Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, Voorhees Division. Shirley Landgraff does an amazing job at coordinating this event, and all of the fabulously wonderful volunteers “help to make the season bright” for those in need.  After 5 years, we are so happy to see the progress of many of the children. Hope. Faith. Believe. We are blessed to be a part.

CHOP Voorhees Holiday Party

For the last 5 years or so, we’ve helped try to make the lives of children, and their families, a little brighter during the Christmas Holiday by volunteering to take and print photos of children with cancer, leukemia, sickle-cell, and other afflictions. The kids and their families come in, meet with Santa, get their picture taken with him, get gift certificates, candy, choose wonderful toys, have a great meal (AND lots of cookies, candy and ice cream!), play games, and generally have a great time. It is very rewarding.

Here are some of the highlights from the evening.

We couldn’t have worded it better ourselves, so We’ll share with you a note from Executive Secretary, Shirley Landgraf (left in small image below), that sums up the evening nicely.

Good Day All,
I just wanted to thank everyone who helped make this year’s party a tremendous success once again! From the family whose child was in foster care last year to the mother who has completely recovered from her own catastrophic illness to the teens who are preparing to celebrate “last day of chemo” soon, every family remarked on how important the holiday party is to them. Many thanks to all of you who included behind the scenes preparation of the staff such as our “mini-Martha’s crafters” of the PEZ containers, the tireless registration desk ladies, our own Georgia Peach Energizer Bunny, Peggy, organizing the games and so many who worked with me to get it all together.  And what would we have done without the Kidz in Concert who kept the party really bouncin’, Licata’s fabulous food, and the thoughtful & caring Santa, the Marines Toys for Tots, all the elves from the Waterford Twp Women’s Club and St. Paul’s Catholic School, and Capone Photographers’ very kind family!  Over 325 present for 68 families, 160+ kids and 80 volunteers. What a wonderful evening! The joys on our patients faces was priceless!
So, thank you all for the care and compassion you gave our patients and their families. We have been blessed once again for your thoughtful participation.
Somehow, this seems like the true spirit of Christmas.
If you would like to help support CHOP’s mission in “helping all children experience the gift of childhood,” contact them or make donations  HERE.


Photo Plus Expo 2009

This past Thursday, we traveled up to New York City’s Jacob Javits Center for what was another informative year at the Photo Plus Expo.  The event is something we always look forward to.  Yes – it is a time to ‘explore hundreds of exhibits’ as well as ‘gather information on the latest photographic advances’, but it’s also a time for us to get together with so many of our fellow photographers!


After the convention, a group of us meet up and get ready to enjoy the evening together.  We call on our favorite limo driver, Alex, to pick us up and head over to Little Italy on Mulberry Street.  This year, we dined (and of course “wined”) at Lunella Ristorante Italiano, followed by a little shopping, and even stopped at the landmark bakery – Ferrara’s for some tasty treats.   This year, we wanted to share with so many of you the great time we had.  A special thanks to fellow photographer and friend, Eric Weeks, for the awesome images!  We’re already looking forward to next year.  🙂


We’re going to be MARTIANS!

Yup, that’s right!  It’s that time of the year again, when we blast off to M.A.R.S.  No, not the red planet!  M.A.R.S. stands for “Mid-Atlantic Regional School of Professional Photography.”  We’ll be heading down to Cape May, New Jersey for a week long program of education in our craft, long hours, and lack of sleep…but don’t worry, there are some parties scheduled in there too!  😉

We’ll be sure to post some images for all of you to see, so keep your eyes peeled.  In the mean time, feel free to go to the M.A.R.S. website and take a peak at what we’ll be doing.  Have a great week everyone and we’ll see you when we get back!!

                             MARS logo BLACK background

PPANJ Convention

We spent this past Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at the PPANJ Statewide Convention. Held at Bally’s Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, it was a great opportunity to see old friends, connect with new ones and learn a thing or two from the seminars by Don MacGregor, Jeff Lubin and Curt Littlecott. The weather was outstanding for the entire trip. Thanks to all the hardworking members who made the Convention a success.

Pete and the Magic Knee

So, this past Monday, father, father-in-law and Pop-pop Pete had knee replacement surgery. A remarkable, yet painfully challenging operation for anyone.

Unbelievable the day after surgery, Pete's up and readyto go.
Unbelievable the day after surgery, Pete's up and ready to go.

But pete is 84 years young. He dances almost weekly, and has quite a ‘cult’ following whenhe belts out his terrific rendition of ‘Ole Blue Eyes’ tunes at local clubs and parties.

Daughter Nancy ("with the smiling face") checks out some minor swelling on her dad's hands
Daughter Nancy ("with the laughing face") checks out some minor swelling on her dad's hands

He’s in rehab now, but we have every reason to believe that he will, at his age, make the therapists and doctors alike, scratch their heads in amazement with his remakable progress and recovery.

Way to go Dad! Hope none of us has to go through the same thing, but if we do, hope we can be as resilient and determined as you. Get well soon. You’ll be kickin’ it out in no time.

OK, so he had a little leftover morphine in him, and perhaps the codiene was doing its thing, but Pete still had a smile and a laugh--even through the pain.
OK, so he had a little leftover morphine in him, and perhaps the codiene was doing its thing, but Pete still had a smile and a laugh--even through the pain.
Pensive moment? Nope. That's Pete just being silly.
Pensive moment? Nope. That's just 'Pe-tare' being silly.