PHILLY CHIT CHAT 2008 WRAP UP – Mission Accomplished

Happy New Year, a little wrap up of a few events and my thoughts about them.

A lot of people want to know why I started covering the Social Scene.i love people, what they do, say, how they interact and what they’re all about. I love promoting Philly, I especially love promoting any charity cause. These days with the economy faltering, newspapers cutting back and the obsession with celebrity, why can’t we celebrate Philadelphia and it’s people. That’s what I set out to do:
In January, Michael Nutter is elected and shakes about 5,000 hands of the voters. Everyone has high hopes and is excited about the future. This is one of my favorite photos, it says it all with the look on her face.
Anytime I can get a photo I took in Philly in a national magazine is a feather in my hat towards showcasing our City. Here Rendell & Nutter endorse Hillary and this photo shows up in Us Magazine about Hillary’s clothing choiceSomeone tipped me off to Wachovia’s plan to put remove the PNB letters and put a scrim around the bell tower. Now that Wachovia has been sold, plans are on hold. (thanks to for the improvements on my photo with the thumbsup/down)Every couple weeks I travel to NYC to photograph celebrity events, which is where I started my “event” photography career. A photo of Amy Smart I took during NY Fashion Week in February, appears in Us Magazine
February: I shoot “Taste of Philly”. This is the first time I ever get to see the Crystal Tea Room, I live a sheltered life. It’s one of the first charity events I photograph, and I think how great it is that all these people would spend $300 ticket to support the liver foundation and how really great it is that SPONSORS & VOLUNTEERS donate time, money and silent auction items for the benefit. I’m gonna enjoy getting the event just a little more press by blogging about it. I also got a photo in the Inquirer of Bam Margera’s mom. By the end of the year I am impressed by how many different ways the CT Room can be arranged,

especially during one Philly Style Magazine “Best of Party” where it is transformed into an amazing casino atmosphere. (This is the event where I didn’t know who this guy was and I had him spell his name. P*a*t B*u*r*r*e*l*l, then I thought to myself this would be a good shot for Inqlings, and I was right. Jayne Laychak, Nola Dabs, Megan Stecher and Sarah Haas at PSM Best of Party

March St. Patrick’s Day at McGillian’s. It was amazingly fun and garnered a lot of hits for PCC
March 24, 2008 I photographed America Ferrera at Bryn Mawr College where she was doing a “Get Out The Vote” for Hillary Clinton.
In April, Tigre Hill invites me to cover his wrap party for his new movie “A Barrel of a Gun” re: Mumia/Faulkener titled this way because I am sworn to secrecy about specifics. Larry Mendte is at the event; Originally I don’t post his photo or even offer it to Michael Klein as I didn’t know if it would hurt his reputation. This is one of the many times people in the business and friends remind me that I am there to observe, capture and report, I am not there to let my personal feelings make judgements, although I of course will always respect peoples privacy’s and when they say NO to a picture, I don’t take it.
South Moon Under Spring Preview with Lisa from Q102 and Nicole from the Biggest Loser. I’ll cover your store event, but if you have a Philly Celebrity I might even be able to get you press too. I love shooting all of Philadelphia Film Festival’s. People are excited about their projects where they put their heart, soul and money into and they are dreaming big. It’s always good to have a dream. Mary Patel & Joe Barber have sold their party house. I’m gonna miss that place, it was beautiful. Who wants to host a party?
I love candid shots
Professionallythe month of May was an awesome month for me. I took a lot of photos in Philly that appeared in the glossies, press and media around the world including Owen Wilson and Eric Dane, Jennifer Aniston, Parker Posey, and Demi Moore. There’s nothing like showcasing Philly to the world.

This Demi Moore photo accompanies an article in People Mag Online about Demi and Family eating dinner at the Continental at 18th & Chestnut Streets on Mother’s Day. Some of you may recall that the photo also appeared in the Inquirer with the story of how Ashton bought Demi the “Lago’s Key” Necklace (thanks to the person who told me the story at a party the day after I took the Demi photo of her leaving Tria on a Wednesday at 3PM), which to this day people still stop by the store asking to buy the Lago’s Key because they either read the story or saw the piece KYW did on me being the “Friendly” Philadelphia Paparazzi. This photo occurred because I asked for two shots, and promised never to bother her again, and for the next month I was tipped off left and right, but told the tipsters of my promise to her and refused to shoot her, especially on Mother’s Day.

I also went to NYC to shoot the “Sex in the City” Premiere. It was great, I am a huge fan. I get a photo of SJP in Elle Magazine. I love Cynthia Nixon.
Then in June I met Peter Breslow who invited me to shoot a few things at Pearl. I covered a party for the inaugeral Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car race to be held in NJ. The photo was picked up by Contact Music which features entertainment photos of the day. The Internet is a huge resource for photos and the demand for different images is high. Many times photos I take in Philly are picked up by websites, blogs, etc on the net. It’s all good, it’s good PR. (I don’t know when I went to featuring larger versions of photos on my blog, but for the better part of a year they were always this size. Kinda small and unreadable)

Transformers 3 filmed in our City, and then was nice enough to leave a few of their props behind which are now used as an outdoor cafe in the summer.
I am so excited to be shooting Phila Mag Best of Party. A magazine that I have been reading since I was about 14 years old.I meet about 5 fans of PhillyChitChat there. People actually recognize me and tell me how much they like the site. It’s bit embarassing, as I think Mom’s the only one that reads it, ok Mom doesn’t read it, but a boy could dream. One of the readers is Dr. Shareef Jandali with Erin Elmore. I also photograph Sabrina Tamburino and Nina Tinari for the first time.

The Barrymoore Awards
The Philly Style Magazine White Party. A few weeks earlier I had met John Colabelli, he told me he was a fan of Philly Chit Chat and said he would personally invite me to all their events. It was definitely a turning point in my mission of covering the Social Scene of Philadelphia. After this point my photos would appear in every issue of PSM which for me was really exciting.
Although I was covering the social set in the evening, I still like to catch the celebs that come through our town. I rely on generous tips from well I can’t tell you where they come from, but with any photo that is published it’s required to state who, what, where and when. Here’s James Taylor coming out of the Ritz Carlton. Originally this photo was only carried nationally as I took it on a Friday. The deadline for the Inquirer is Friday, so it wouldn’t have met the deadline for that week. But two weeks later I attended the unveiling of the chandelier at the Academy of Music where they announced that James Taylor would be the special guest at the Ball in January. Well then the photo worked, and I sent it in for consideration.
In September an organization called FBH Phila Fashion Week had a weekend event of fabulous fashion in the courtyard of City Hall. Amazing venue, horrible PR. The shows were poorly attended and it was sad because as someone who has covered the NY Fashion Weeks for 6 seasons, it is impossible to get tickets to those events unless you are in the biz, and everyone wants to go to those events, and it’s one of the top “google searches” on my blog “Confessions of a Paparazzi” because people want to know how to get tickets to the NY Fashion Shows, I have an entry that gives suggestions. SO PLEASE, please, please do your homework, get the word out and get the people in. If you build it they will come, but they have to know you built it!

Laura Burkhart invites me along to “shop” with her and Stewart Bradley as he prepares for an upcoming photo shoot. Laura gets me and what I want to do for Philly.
Sometimes when I go to NYC, I get photos of Philadelphian’s in the Inquirer – Here is the Will Smith family at the premiere of Kitt Kiderige produced by Julia Roberts.
Philly Style Magazine invites me to the Ladies who Lunch on the Mainline with Tory Burch. Thanks to Cashman & Assocs. to see the value in PhillyChitChat to arrange for me to run out there on my lunch hour. As a commentor said for this entry: [M]any of these women devote a great deal of their time, efforts and talents to charity, raising significant amounts of money for cancer, diabetes ( to mention a few). They also contribute significantly to the arts in Philadelphia. (It seems that we have a lot of similarities in our love for the people that help other people)
Then there’s my friend Jessica Hawkes who recommended me to Terressa Thomspson’s PR agency who has called me to cover over 4 events at aloft. I love the vibe there, and it was there that I met GN Kang, confessions that I had a bit of a crush on her. Having read a lot of her antics on her blog, and in Dan Gross’ column, I knew I needed to meet this girl, so much fun and interesting. And she is. I also met Meesha Miller or Michelle, I should ask her which she prefers, rounding out the fab trio is Ania Khalupsky, who I am just getting to know. She’s the quiet one.
Ladies who supper. If you’re eating at Table 31, Butcher & Singer, Del Frisco’s, Union Trust, The Palm, Capital Grille or anywhere the bill is $100 a person call me, I want to cover it. In fact if you eat at Applebee’s call me too, they advertise in the Metro and I appreciate them.

So much fun, hard work and very little sleep brought fulfilled a lot of goals I had set out for myself last year. Just know that I really appreciate you my readers, you probably wonder what’s in it for me, sometimes I do get hired, but 75% it’s just me and the satisfaction of covering the social scene, writing about the people and promoting the charities that appear on these pages. (I decided not to do advertising on the site for a couple reasons, so once in awhile I will hire myself out and in those cases I provide a CD of the photos so they may distribute them to various media outlets including, Philly Style, Philly Mag or some of the social pages in the papers in the surrounding area.)For about 5 months I filled in at the Metro with the “On The Scene” column. I knew it wouldn’t last, and it didn’t. It was tied in with some advertising and the contract was up. I was really disappointed that the paper didn’t think that their readers would be interested to see photos of peeps on the scene around Philly. Oh well, more the reason PhillyChitChat is relative.
2009 holds a lot of promise for my mission to cover the scene in Philly. The low hum is now a serious buzz, this town is happening. My goal is to bring it to you, to tell you a few tidbits, a few behind the scenes secrets, the details that go into creating the events, the people behind the events, and especially the CHARITIES that benefit from many of the events. Although Mission accomplished is in the title, there is still a lot to do. I just am excited that I set out to cover the social scene, not to be confused with the bar scene, and have done it. My readership was at 6,000 a month last January and now it’s nearing 20,000 unique hits a month (no pressure please).

Mission Accomplished, I set out to cover the “social scene” and believe that 2008 was a banner year for PCC and coverage of the under reported scene as I read about growing in the papers have disappeared; even the “neighborhood” section of the Inquirer has been cut.

Update: Forgot to mention big thanks to Mike who puts up with me going out to cover these events, then staying up all hours of the morning to write about them. Plus of course the Law Firm I work for who allow me to be very flexible and are big fans, my family who well, they’re less supportive and just think I am crazy, and of course I am grateful to all the friends I have made through PCC and who allow me to photograph their lives for your enjoyment as well as the people I don’t know who allow me to photograph them too.

OK I have a few things to talk about for the future, and well I’m outta time. I will fill you in in the coming days.

This week a photo I took of Ashlee Simpson at a CD signing in Philadelphia appears in Us Magazine’s 1/5/09 issue. So 2009 is starting off on a very good foot.