It's December, 2013, the weather forecast is snow and I have this new passion for photography! I am not a fan of winter and its dreary, gray days, not at all! Just the hearing the word Winter can give me a pit in my stomache! But, for the first time in a very long time I am excited, almost happy! SNOW! I grabbed my camera, put on my hat and gloves, two pairs of leggings, my heaviest coat and ventured out. I drove 20 minutes north to a town called Centerport, Long Island. Although we don't have mountains, Centerport happens to be a hilly, beautiful town on the north shore of the Island where I often go to take photos. There are beaches and a harbor and lots of curvy roads. I headed to the Vanderbilt Mansion and Museum, which was once the estate of William K. Vanderbilt II. This location is 43 acres of waterfront property that was deeded to Suffolk county upon Vanderbilt's death in 1943 and was opened to the public as a museum in 1950. (And that is the end of our history lesson for the day!)
Ok, picture this...it is snowing. Not a little bit, but giant white flakes, the kinds you see in movies where children are usually laughing and running and having glorious snowball fights! I drive up this massive hill till I arrive at the estate, pull through the black iron gates and stop at the security house. The guard came over, took one look at me and politely told me that the estate was closed! Closed?? Why closed I asked? So he quietly pointed up to the sky and said that they were closed due to the fact that we were in the middle of a giant snow storm! Duh!! I am sure that he had to physically refrain from rolling his eyes at the sheer absurdity of the situation! I told him that I understood and that I was just hoping to take a few photographs of the estate all covered in white. At this point he inched a bit closer to me and asked "are you a student?". Well, those were the nicest words I had heard in years!! A student??? I was 43 years old! Yes, I was a student of life! lol! I chuckled and told him that I was not a student but just a very enthusiastic, amatuer photographer looking to capture a moment. Well, I am sure that is not exactly what I said, but something like that! I guess whatever I said made some impact on him because the next thing I knew he decided to not only grant me entrance but gave me free reign to walk around the estate and take photographs!
And there you have it! This photo was taken close to the entrance of the estate and it is looking down at the boathouse. Beyond the boathouse is the Long Island Sound. It was truly a heavenly scene! I explored the estate property until I could no longer feel my fingers and toes!
Fast forward two years later and this photograph had now become the most well known in my collection. It won a photo contest, was chosen to be on display in a gallery in New York City and was the first photo that I have ever sold, not to mention it received thousands of "likes" on social media.
Now that winter is just around the corner again can I honestly say that I am excited? Well, no. I still get a that same, darn pit in my stomach. But now I also have a winter photography bucket list that I look forward to completing! Someday!