I first discovered The Glass Bar when my son was invited to a birthday party that took place in the glass studio. I had never seen glass work done before and it was so intriguing to watch and really fun for my son to learn. It wasn’t long before I came back with my daughter for drop in hours and we made our first mosaic together. After that, we were hooked! We started coming in for drop in hours pretty regularly. Working with glass is so fun and relaxing, but the best part is that no two projects ever look the same. And although you might have a vision for what your final piece will look like as you’re making it, there is such a fun sense of surprise when you see it after it’s been fired in the kiln.
Over the course of my visits to the Glass Bar, I’ve had the honor to get to know Jordan and to hear her and her mother Sheryl’s incredible story about how they both battled cancer at the same time and came to love glass art as a method of therapy while they were undergoing their treatments. It is so obvious when you meet them how much they love each other and how passionate they are about their craft and their business. I am thrilled to feature The Glass Bar in my A Mother’s Work portrait series.
Tell me the story of how The Glass Bar began.
The idea for The Glass Bar has evolved greatly over the course of the past few years. In the beginning, we were called Arte Mozzafiato (Breathtaking Art, Italian): a space focused on supporting many different types of art and artists. The idea began in 2011 when my mother (Sheryl) and I were both going through treatment for cancer. Surrounding ourselves with art, beauty, and creativity was the best way for us to cope with all of the ugliness that we faced on a daily basis. Originally manifested during a bleak time in our lives, The Glass Bar has transformed into a beautiful and comforting space for not only us, but also the many different types of people who join us for classes regularly.
Briefly describe The Glass Bar: who can come, what kind of projects are there, why is it fun, etc? The Glass Bar is a fun and interactive glass studio that focuses on bringing glass art as a medium to the community. Over the past couple decade’s glass art has decreased in accessibility due to the lack of studios and the expense of classes/materials, making it very difficult for many to try this medium.
We are very passionate about keeping glass art alive and accessible, which is why we have developed a teaching technique that allows people as young as 6 to learn the techniques of glass cutting and fusing. If you come in during drop-in hours, you will have the ability to choose your project (plate, nightlight, coaster, etc) and learn how to cut and design glass. Though you do not get to take your project home that day, each participant leaves proud, knowing he/she has made a fused glass masterpiece.
We also teach stained glass sessions in 1-day introduction sessions, as well as more advanced 6-week sessions. We are constantly researching and introducing new classes: in our future we are looking into frit painting classes and lead-caming, plus many more classes offering an introductory insight to new glass art techniques.
Drop-in hours are held Sat & Sun 12-5pm, in addition to days that schools are out/released early. Specialty classes & private lessons can be scheduled throughout the week. View our calendar for a list of upcoming classes: www.theglassbarboston.com/classes
What is your favorite part about owning a business with your mother? People always tell you not to go into business with friends or family, and it has been hard. But at the end of every long night or sleepless weekend there’s my mom with me. The hardest was in the beginning as we learned each other’s strengths and weaknesses when it came to running the business. Now that we have learned how to properly and effectively deal and communicate with each other we are closer than ever, we even spent two weeks traveling through Western Europe together last year. I don’t know anyone else who could put up with me for this long and still love me unconditionally.
What do you find is the most challenging thing about running your own business?
Sheryl: The hardest part is balancing my work schedule between two businesses, (Bookkeeping & the Glass Bar) raising my kids with their crazy schedule and finding time to socialize. The bookkeeping business kept the bills paid. I could work around my kids schedule and I got to work with some great people. Having The Glass Bar is great because I get to be creative. I love working with others to teach them (more…)
Late last October, I had the opportunity to create some beautiful maternity portraits for this sweet couple in Beacon Hill and at the Boston Public Garden! Sarah and Justin are first-time expecting parents and I was so excited to capture this special time for them.
Beacon Hill Maternity Session
Sarah and Justin are so excited to be first-time parents; But what’s even more exciting is that they’re expecting twin boys! It was important to Sarah that the images from their session be natural and relaxed. I can completely relate to this request! It can feel awkward to be in the front of the camera sometimes. I like to give plenty of direction during sessions to help people feel as relaxed as possible!
Since it was October, we wanted to be sure to capture some fall colors and of course a little bit of Boston in the background. We decided to visit Acorn Street in Beacon Hill, which happens to be one of the most photographed streets in America! There is nothing more picturesque than the red brick buildings, cobblestones and all of the greenery that surround the homes here. After Acorn Street, we headed down to the Boston Public Garden. You can’t get much more ‘Boston’ than these two locations!
Justin & Sarah were so sweet together, and it is always so fun for me to witness relationships like this. They were so comfortable, easily making each other smile and laugh the whole time we were together. I could tell they are a really great team and will be wonderful parents to their baby boys.
Boston Maternity Photos | Cara Soulia Photography
This maternity session is part of a “Belly to Birth package“, which includes a maternity session and a newborn session. I can’t wait to share the photos from their newborn session in an upcoming blog post!
Are you expecting? Maternity photos can such a sweet memory to look back on. Please get in touch to learn more about having a maternity session with me!
Cara Soulia is a Boston maternity photographer who specializes in capturing real and beautiful connections in a unique and artistic way. See more of Cara’s work on the blog!
In the Spring of 2017, I got to photograph this wonderful mother and daughter in a gorgeous, flower filled photo session at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, MA. I can’t believe it’s been six years already since the first timeI met and photographed these two!
A Springtime Mother & Daughter Photo Session at the Arnold Arboretum
This is actually the fourth time I’ve photographed this mother and daughter and every time it is so much fun! They have such a special bond and are not afraid to show it. Sarah and her daughter are so easy going and natural in front of the camera and they’re always truly a joy to work with.
The Arnold Arboretum is a National Historic Landmark located in Boston’s Emerald Necklace and this place really BLOOMS in the Springtime and I always jump at the chance to do photo shoots here. Even on a busy day at the arboretum, it doesn’t feel crowded. There are acres and acres of beautiful space and we can always find a private place to walk and take photos.
Do you ever notice photographic prints around your house wrinkling a little bit? Want to know if there is something you can to do to prevent it?
Love the photo, don’t love the print. I ordered this one unmounted by accident and in less than a year it’s already wrinkling 🙁
Boston Family Photographer Tips & Tricks
The most likely reason your prints wrinkle is because they aren’t mounted. I recommend mounting any image that is printed at 8×10″ or larger to significantly increase it’s longevity, especially if it’s going to be in a place where the temperature and humidity levels fluctuate.
There are lots of options when it comes to mounting: mat board, styrene, foam board all with different levels of sturdiness and thickness. If you’re planning to frame your print, go for something thin like mat board. If you’re planning to hang the print unframed, go for thick ( 3/4″ foam board ).
Styrene is thin and durable, great for framing.
I love the unique, modern look of unframed photos, mounted withe 3/4″ foam backing.
Include mounting to your print and you will increase the cost a bit, but your prints will have a much longer life, I promise!!
(Psst: All prints ordered through me are printed on Kodak Professional Endura Premier Paper. Images 8×10 and larger are mounted on styrene for durability and longevity! They are also lustre coated and UV sprayed. These are not CVS 19cent prints!! )
Cara Soulia is a Boston Family Photographer who specializes in capturing real, honest moments in a beautiful and natural way. Click here to see more of Cara’s work, or get in touch to schedule a session!
In January, I launched a new portrait series called “A Mother’s Work” which features female entrepreneurs who are also mothers. The idea for this series quite literally came to me in a dream one night a few years ago and I’m so excited to finally be devoting energy to making this dream a reality in 2019. In the last two months, I have already met so many wonderful inspiring women and look forward to those I will be meeting in the future. The positive feedback I have received about this project has been amazing and I can’t wait to share more!
One thing I did not expect when I started the series, however, was the amount of comments and questions people would send me about my OWN journey to becoming a photographer. You may or may not know that I used to have a career as an analyst in investment management. I worked in the corporate world for 15 years before making the leap to full time photography! So many people have asked me questions about this switch: Was it scary? How’d you plan for it? What are the things that have helped you succeed the most? Do you wish you had done anything differently?
Career Change to Boston Newborn & Family Photographer
Because I’m on the other side of this big life/career change, I thought it might be helpful to jot down some things down that I think were most helpful in achieving my goal of becoming a full time photographer. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but having owned my own business for almost 9 years now I do have a few solid ideas about things that are helpful in achieving your goals
1. Talk about it. A lot.
I think this is the single biggest way to start making your dreams come true. At first it might feel weird to speak out loud about your secret dreams, but I promise you the more you talk about it, the closer it will come to reality. Even if you are still a little hesitant, you have to do it. Just start with a close fried. Or your Mom. The more you talk about it, the more you will start to feel comfortable with your ideas and eventually you will start to be more confident in your dream coming true. AND the best part? When people know what you’re working toward, opportunities will start to appear!
I remember when I first started thinking I wanted to be a photographer, I mentioned it my friends and family first. Soon I was photographing their babies and kids for practice. I did pro bono work for a friend’s nonprofit because she knew I was interested in expanding my portfolio. I learned so many valuable lessons during that time about photography, but also about working with people, editing images, being organized, etc. None of this would have happened if I kept my big dream a secret.
2. Make a plan and write it down everywhere
There are number of different ways you can make a plan to achieve your goal, but one thing is for sure — if you only talk about it and don’t actually do anything, you are not going to meet your goal! duh!
To start, sit down at the computer (or if you’re like me, at the desk with pen and paper!) and just start writing. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or being too organized with your thoughts. Set a timer for 5 minutes and just write. This is called ‘free-flow writing’ and a highly effective way to brainstorm your ideas. Don’t stop until the timer goes off. Write about your dream, with details big and small, write about what it looks feels like to achieve your goal, write about what you want your life to look like in 1, 5 or 10 years when you’ve achieved your goals, make a list of steps you could take to get there.
If you are a highly visual person, it might be helpful to make a ‘vision board’ that is a collage of all the things that you goal looks like. Hang it somewhere prominent where you will see it every single day!
Hang up sticky notes everywhere to remind you of your goals! Motivational quotes on the bathroom mirror are acceptable and encouraged!
Once you have written down your goal and a rough plan for reaching that goal, break it up into smaller goals. Keep breaking it up until you have at least one action item for each week.
3. Seek Inspiration and Advice
One big thing I have realized in the last two decades of soul searching and dream chasing is that most people are more than willing to help you out; all you have to do is ASK. If you are thinking about a new career, find someone in that career and ask them to have a phone call with you or to meet up for coffee! Pick their brain and ask tons of questions. Dedicate a journal where you take copious notes on things you notice and learn. Even better, go on a job shadow with someone. This is really the best way to figure out what how it feels to do this job!
I know podcasts are certainly not a new thing, but I personally just started getting into them about 2 years ago and they have introduced me to so many amazing people that have literally changed my life! The best part about podcasts ( besides the information and inspiration they provide ) is that you can listen to them almost anywhere ( unlike a book where you read three pages and then fall asleep or are interrupted by your kids!). Podcasts in the car, podcasts while out for a walk, podcasts while cooking dinner, podcasts while doing laundry, the options are endless. A few of my favorites right now: (more…)