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Alliance Française – Molière 2.0

In March, Columbia’s Alliance Française put on a very special play:

…an original artisanal distillation of Molière’s best known plays, including, in prose: La jalousie du barbouillé, Le médecin volant, Les précieuses ridicules, Le mariage forcé, L’amour médcin, Le médecin malgré lui, L’avare, Le bourgeois gentilhomme, Les fourberies de Scapin, Le Malade imaginaire;  and in verse: Sganarelle ou le cocu imaginaire, L’école des maris, L’école des femmes, Le tartuffe, Le Misanthrope, Les femmes savantes.

Phew! That’s a lot to include in one performance. If you’ve ever seen The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), you have some idea of what kind of ride this is. This script, though, was created locally, by the members and performers of Le Club Théâtre, piecing together Molière’s dialogue to create a coherent (and hilarious) tale of love, lust, deception, and pride. Oh yeah, I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but the play is performed entirely in French.

You see:

The Alliance Française is a worldwide non-profit organization founded in Paris in 1883. It is part of a network of over 1,000 chapters in 133 countries. In the United States, the Alliance Française counts more than 140 locations…The mission of The Alliance is to encourage the study of the French language and the various cultures of French-speaking countries and, more specifically, to foster friendly relations between the French-speaking and American peoples.

The Alliance puts on several events throughout the city including plays put on by Le Club Théâtre , conversation groups (groupes de conversation), a book club (club du livre), and recently, a contest to create original 60-second films performed in French.

Now, if I’m perfectly honest, I (J.P.) didn’t understand everything said in the play…or, well, very much of it at all. (My French is more See Spot Run than Shakespeare.) That said, I was able to follow along thanks to a helpful summary of events in the program and the wonderful, expressive performances of the cast. Speaking of which, here they are:

Moliere 2.0

Moliere 2.0

Moliere 2.0

Do you see those wonderful wigs they’re wearing? They were all hand-made for this performance.

And here is Molière himself, or rather Dr. Jeff Persels, who both assembled the script, wrote the original frame story, and directed the play. (He was also one of Wendy’s professors at USC, and directed her while she was a student as le chat botté in a theatrical performance that was a mélange of various France fairy tales by Perrault. (Antonio Banderas is fine, but I still prefer her interpretation.))


And here is the whole cast, just after their performance at Columbia Museum of Art.

The cast of Moliere 2.0

If you are a French-speaker, would like to be, or would like to move your skills beyond the scope of DuoLingo, I highly suggest visiting the web page of the Alliance Française. Perhaps meet up with them at The Publick House and have a chat in the language of love. It’s a great group of folks and they almost certainly won’t break out those giant syringes…probably.

La Ville en Rose

(Today’s post is light on photography-talk; if you’d like to look at gorgeous brides you have some options. Hopefully, though, when you choose your wedding photographers, you’ll seek out folks who are multi-talented, like my gorgeous wife, to whom I’ll now hand the mic…or keyboard. -J.P.)

I enjoy pointing out how freeing it is to draw on the wall of one’s home. It’s the kind of art that lets you feel like a kid again. J.P. and I have built in the wall-drawing experience at our house by coating one of ours in that wonderful invention called chalkboard paint. My advice: Do use chalkboard paint; do not use magnetic primer, and do not neglect to sand your wall sufficiently. Ours is a little gritty in places, but despite a few scuffed up fingers, I still enjoy it.

Here’s a time-lapse video of my latest wall art created for submission to the Michaels Springtime in Paris contest. If you’re familiar with the expression “la vie en rose,” which is usually used to talk about seeing life through rose-colored glasses, you will notice that in my project title, “vie” has been changed to “ville.” In springtime, the city of Paris is adorned with pink cherry blossoms which only enhance its elegance and allure.

La ville en rose:

Finally, the finished product:

Chalk mural of Paris in the spring

Maternity Photos and a Sneak Peek of Baby K.

This is an especially fun shoot to post to the blog because it reminds me of Christmas. The first five photos are like a beautifully wrapped Christmas gift, and at the end, you get to see the wonderful present that was hiding inside. The analogy breaks down pretty quickly after that, though–please don’t go shaking any pregnant women to try to figure out the baby’s gender.
We took the first five photos of Joy at her maternity session back in December (when we actually were getting ready for Christmas). Here are a few of our favorites:

Maternity photo of beautiful mother
“Screw ‘positively glowing’, I want to look hot!”
-Not anything Joy said to us at any point, just to be clear

Maternity portrait

Couple maternity photo


Beautiful pregnant mother

As wonderful as pregnancy is (I can say that because I’ve never had a small child drive their heel into my bladder from inside my body), it’s the present at the end that we’re all looking forward to, and here she is!

Newborn baby
If you have a baby who’s ready for delivery, or one who’s already here and you’d like to capture this magical time, contact us about booking a shoot today.

Freeway Music Fall Showcase

This past Sunday, Freeway Music held their Fall Music Showcase at the new Music Farm here in Columbia. All told, there were over 100 different performers, with students and instructors singing, playing guitar, bass, drums, violin, mandolin, keyboards, saxophone, ukulele, and most likely some other things that I’ve forgotten. It was awesome. First off, the Music Farm is a fantastic venue. I’m so glad that Columbia finally has a great mid-sized music venue with fantastic sound. Last year when we photographed the showcase, I got up and played bass on Counting Crows’ “Hanginaround”. This year, I opted out of playing so that I could focus solely on the photography, but after seeing the venue (and how much fun everybody was having), I’m kind of wishing I’d gotten on stage.

In case you’re not familiar with Freeway Music, they offer a wide range of music lessons (see above) to a wide range of folks, from wee rockers to folks who decided it was finally time to take up the drums after the kids moved out. I’d been playing bass for almost ten years when I started taking lessons from Don a couple of years ago and I’m sure I’ve grown more musically in those two years than in the ten before that. The point is, wherever you are in your musical journey, I highly recommend the teachers at Freeway.

That said, on to  a small selection of the many, many photos from Sunday!


Music Farm Sign



White Point Gardens Engagement – Ana+Peter

A couple of weeks ago Wendy and I headed down to Charleston to photograph an engagement session at White point Gardens with Ana and Peter.

Peter and Ana in front of the sunset in Charleston

If Ana looks familiar, it’s probably because you remember the portraits we made of her family a couple of years ago.

Portrait of mom and three daughters(Any excuse to show off this beautiful family again.)

Well, now the family is growing with the addition of Peter…and his family is growing with the addition of Ana…so everybody wins.

Peter and Ana in White Point Gardens

It was a gorgeous day in Charleston for photos but it was also a little chilly (at least for South Carolina), so we kind of had Peter and Ana snuggle up a good bit. They were such good sports about it–Peter didn’t seem to mind wrapping his arms around Ana one bit.

Peter hugging Ana during their engagement session in Charleston, SC

Peter looking suave with Ana (more…)