“Rosey” wins Merit Award from PSA & Honorable Mention from NJFCC; portrait photography by Tracy Bodeo of Bethlehem, PA

I was very pleased to find out that one of my images {“Rosey”) from a studio session this fall won a Merit Award from the Photographic Society of America (PSA).  The image was also just awarded an Honorable Mention by the New Jersey Federation of Camera Clubs.  In both competitions the image was entered into the Pictorial category, which is a digital competition that covers a little of everything.  I am always pleasantly surprized when a studio Portrait wins an award mixed in a group with beautiful landscapes, interesting street photography & amazing nature & macro work.  My image received a 14 out of 15 points (in the PSA competition), which means that the judges must have been very happy with both its technical quality and its overall impact/presentation.  Of course, having this beautiful girl as the subject certainly doesn’t hurt!

Sneak Peek- Maternity Session; family photography in the Lehigh Valley by Tracy Bodeo

It was such a pleasure to meet this nice young couple.  They are both so excited about their upcoming new arrival.  I look forward to finding out all the details– boy? girl? tiny? chubby? — and their whole birthing story!  Here are a few images from the session….

Adorable Duo– pet portraiture by Bethlehem, PA photographer Tracy Bodeo

One session that had me laughing this fall was that of this adorable chihuahua duo.  I can’t help but smile whenever I look at their portraits.  I’m not sure why 2 little dogs dressed up and forced to sit on a sled or couch is amusing, but I think it has to do with the fact that you have to wonder what they are thinking.  And they are just so cute!   Here are 2 of my favorite images taken during this session.  Neither chihuahua was happy about having to stay seated on the sled.  But, not surprising to their sisters, they had no problem jumping up and lounging on the couch!

“Soft” wins Color Print of the Year (2008-09) at the Hillcrest Camera Club

At the end June 2009, the Hillcrest Camera Club (HCC) had its annual awards banquet and end of the year competition.  As always, it was a very enjoyable evening spending time with the members of this camera club.  It was also a very exciting night for me… for the 3rd year running, I received the award for “Nature Image-Maker of the Year” and “Pictorial Image-Maker of the Year”!  Also, my photograph “Soft” (shown below) won “Color Print of the Year” (2008-09)!  I love this photo (taken of the adorable baby of one of my clients)– but with all of the amazing scenic prints that were entered this year for “color print of the year” I was surprised that the panel of judges chose my image– very pleasantly surprised!


“Discovery” chosen as a NWF Magazine photo group finalist!

Several weeks ago I entered my photo “Discovery” into the National Wildlife Federation Magazine’s first online photo competition.  The photo was taken on a trail in the woods near our house.  My kids were running up and down the path picking up and showing each other all the neat insects, worms and other bugs they were finding.  I was ahead of them on the path and stopped to watch what they were doing.  I loved the way the light was coming through the trees and hitting their blonde hair.  It was perfect when they both leaned in to see a very interesting little creature they had found, and the light illuminated their hair as well as their hands and what they were holding (although we will never know what it was exactly!).  They had made a golden, glowing discovery.

Over 1700 photos were entered into this “Nature in my Neighborhood” competition, and my “Discovery” was chosen as one of 6 finalists.  The public can now vote to determine the winner of the NWF Magazine’s first themed photo contest.  If you would like to vote for my photo, please visit the following link:  http://surveys.polldaddy.com/s/1640e0770bcb8748/ .  (If the link doesn’t work directly, copy and paste it into your browser).  Then click the dot next to Photo #6 (Discovery) and submit your vote.  Thank you so much for your consideration!



Dealing with the Loss of a Beloved Pet

Earlier this month a good friend of mine had to endure the pain of watching her beloved family dog get sick and eventually pass.  Their 12 yr. old chocolate Labrador was a member of the family, their oldest “baby”.  In December, during an “emergency” trip to the animal hospital, they received the painful news that C was terminally ill.  Before Christmas their Veterinarian recommended that the family put the dog down.  They were not ready to do that; it was too sudden.  They made the decision to give C whatever medication and care necessary to make her comfortable until they could decide what was best.  Two months passed and C was still with them.  It was a roller coaster ride where they experienced many good and many bad days.  But, at least they got to experience them.  Although it was difficult and the family knew that an end was in the near future, they got to spend that extra quality time with this furry member of the family.  In the end, C passed away at the Vet’s office when, after a very difficult day, they realized that nothing more could be done for her.  I believe C died knowing that her family loved her and will miss her dearly.

I experienced something very similar to this just over 4 years ago, when I lost my 12 year old lab/border collie mix to cancer.  Taylor was my first “baby” and the first pet I adopted as an adult.  She was with me from the time she was 8 weeks old and followed me everywhere.  She came with me on every car ride I could take her on.  I adopted her when I was in college in Virginia and she traveled with me from Maine to Florida.  She was a wonderful people-loving dog.  When she died I was devastated.  She went from what seemed to be happy and healthy, to having such a large cancerous tumor that she couldn’t digest her food.  She spent several nights at the animal hospital and we were all so sad.  The Vets recommended that, since it was too late to do anything about the cancer and she was too weak to even walk, she be put to sleep.  But the look in her eyes and her wagging tail when she would see me, told me that it was not yet time.  I took home a very sick dog along with lots of medicine.  I had to carry her in from the car.  She weighed now only 55 lbs., but it was still very difficult for me to lift and carry her by myself, and it was very painful for her.  I put her on her bed where she slept most of the day.  She could barely get up at first, but this amazing dog, refusing to urinate in our house, dragged herself out our front door to go to the bathroom and then back in to her bed.  She was still very weak, but didn’t seem to be in pain.  After a few days of medication she started gaining some of her strength back.  I had to cook her fresh meat, chop it into tiny little pieces and hand feed her all her meals for the next few weeks.  She was worth every bit of trouble.  It was heart-warming to see her make it all the way to the top of the hill in our yard to once again survey her property.  It gave us both great pleasure taking those last few car rides.  My decision to take her home from the Vet’s when they left me with little hope, gave me 3 extra weeks with my “baby girl” Taylor; days I will always remember and cherish, even as hard as they were.  Taylor died in my arms on a Wednesday evening after a day of sneaking out and trying to sleep under the evergreens in our yard.  I knew what she was trying to do, but I just couldn’t let die alone outside.  I kept forcing her into the house and into her bed.  I will never forget the look in her eyes in those last few moments; she was saying goodbye and I had to let her go.

Anyone who has not experienced the love and loss of a pet & family member, will never understand the void that is left in your heart upon this loved-one’s passing.  In some ways it is more difficult than the death of another member of your family that you don’t see on a regular basis.  With a pet’s loss, you are given a daily dose of your pain every time you turn around and that beautiful dog is not at your heals where she has been for so many days and years.  Dogs just don’t live long enough.  I wish my friend and her family, the ability to find joy in the memories they had with C, and take comfort in the fact that she knew how much she was loved.  C’s passing will also allow them to provide a loving home for another homeless pet when they are ready to open their hearts once again.  And knowing that, I know, will help heal the pain.


C’s last formal portrait

Reflections Competition

The Hillcrest Camera Club held its latest competition meeting last Monday evening and the assigned subject was “Reflections” in all catagories (Monochrome & Color Prints, Pictorial Projected Images and Projected Nature Images).  It was a beautiful competition to see… wonderful use of color and shape, interesting compositions and many unique images.  I was very happy to be the recipient of 4 of the awards that evening!

waterlily-b1WaterLily— 1st Place – Nature



Warped Building3rd Place- Pictorial



Swan’s Rorschuch— 3rd Place – Monochrome Prints



Getting My Ducks in a Row— 2nd Place- Pictorial


To learn more about the Hillcrest Camera Club, please visit their website at http://hillcrestcameraclub.tripod.com/.  We love visitors and new members.

Tracy Bodeo Photography in New Exhibit – Open Now

The Eagle’s Nest Gallery at the Nazereth Area High School has just opened a new photography exhibit featuring the photographers of the Hillcrest Camera Club.  I have been a member of the Hillcrest Camera Club for the past few years, and I am very excited to be participating in one of their exhibits.  The exhibit is open until February 26th, 2009.  There will be an artists’ reception on Thursday evening, February 12th from 7:00-9:00 pm.  Come out to meet some of the artists, learn more about the club and see some wonderful photography!


The Hillcrest Camera Club is made up of many talented, interesting and diverse members.  It has been a real pleasure to be a part of this group.  If you are a photographer, would like to learn more about photography or just enjoy viewing this type of artwork, feel free to come to a meeting and visit the club.   To learn more about the HCC, visit their website at http://hillcrestcameraclub.tripod.com/