Thursday, February 26, 2015

My new website is here: Introducing SandiMoynihanMultimedia.com powered by Squarespace

It's HERE! It's finally here!

Introducing the new, the improved official website of Sandi Moynihan Multimedia!


As much as I loved my old website, this was certainly a long time coming.

After finding a terrible virus in my old Wordpress powered site with my grad school application deadlines looming closer, I had the perfect excuse to redo my site.


After seeing my boyfriend's new Squarespace site, I didn't have to think twice about how I  wanted to re-do mine. Squarespace makes it SO easy to create beautiful, functional and adaptable website tailored specifically towards your needs.


My photos look great. My videos look beautiful. My text layouts look clean. What more could a girl want?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Stories on stories on stories for the USO

It's been a while since I've been out on a video shoot for the USO, which consequently means I've been spending a lot more time writing blog posts, feature stories and vignettes for the organization over the past few months.


Between writing about USO supporters and entertainers who were nominated for industry awards this year, to traveling through time for the USO's 74th birthday, to interviewing a mom who's son made the ultimate sacrifice, I've had some really interesting stories to follow over the past few months.

I think one of the most powerful stories I worked on, however, was the story about a recent USO President's Award winner, Shannon Huffman. During her shift at the USO center in Germany, Shannon took a series of actions to save a potentially suicidal service member from taking his life -- something that really resonated with me and shows what the USO is all about.

See, people seem to think the USO is just an organization that provides food and respite to service members around the world, when, in fact, we do so much more. See, the USO is there from the moment a troop enters boot camp to the moment he hangs up his boots. We're there for wounded and recovering soldiers, their caretakers and even veterans looking to land a civilian job. The USO is always by thier side -- and I'm so proud to work for them.

Anyway. Now that you know how much I love working for the USO, here's a full list of what I've been up to:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My first cover story and photo for Fiterazzi Magazine

It might be the end of February, but I'm still celebrating this one big-time.

Earlier this month, I wrote about a cover photo shoot I did for a feature story I was writing for Fiterazzi Magazine, which ran earlier this month.

Not only was the first time a photo of mine was featured on the cover of the magazine, but it was also the first time my story was the lead cover story!


Guys, I worked really really are on this story. From vetting the sources, to attending events, to interviewing the Grip the Mat girls, to actually sitting down and editing the photos and writing the story, this piece was multiple weeks in the making.

Here's a snippet from the actual story...
In the summer of 2014, Christy Skarulis and Ashley Braun noticed that their friends were all asking them same sort of questions.

“Ashley, should I hang out at a happy hour with my friends after work or should I hit the gym?”

“Christy, should I go to that yoga class Sunday morning or should I meet the girls for brunch?”

For the two twenty-something yoginis, who met in yoga teacher training in Washington, DC, it seemed ridiculous that their friends were having to decide between socializing or taking care of their bodies.

Why wasn’t there something people could do with their friends that combined the social aspect of a happy hour and the mind-body benefits of a yoga class?

Realizing that there were no existing options to solve this dilemma, the entrepreneurial duo took matters into their own hands and started a never-been-done kind of fitness social event company called Grip the Mat.
Read more here.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A final shoot for DC's United Women in Business

As some of you may or may not know, for the past year, I've been volunteering my time and talent serving as United Women In Business (UWIB)'s DC Vice President of Digital Media -- cool right?


It's been an awesome year of event planning, photographing, website development and networking, but, like all good things, my time with UWIB has come to an end as I shift my focus toward my new role as assistant editor at Fiterazzi Magazine and my job at the USO.


I'll admit, it was quite bittersweet attending my last UWIB event as a board member at the Advisory Board company last month -- the wonder atmosphere of female empowerment, entrepreneurship and friendship just made me want to clone myself so I could stay on the board forever!


Plus, the topic for January's event -- Women in Tech -- was so interesting! The panelest were extremely engaging and inspiring -- what great last event to photograph for such an amazing organization.


While coporate-style events are never the most interesting to shoot, in the past year, thanks to UWIB's events, I've really been able to practice my business-event photography skills and have improved quite a bit.


In fact, I've gotten quite a few gigs from my work at UWIB -- I never would have guessed that would ever happen!

Monday, February 9, 2015

My First-Ever Live Event for Fiterazzi Magazine at Wonderbread Factory, DC!

Sundays are for waking up late, snuggling in bed with coffee and, of course, Grip the Mat's Bendy Brunch!

If you don't know what Bendy Brunch is ... think yoga, unlimited mimosas by Vinolovers, KIND Snacks, Buffalo and Bergen fresh juices and a gourmet brunch by Spike Mendelsohn. Noms.

Anyway.

A few weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a Bendy Brunch at the Wonder Bread Factory in DC not as a photographer for Grip the Mat, but as an ambassador/booth host for Fiterazzi Magazine -- something I've never done before!

Let me explain.


See, Fiterazzi had been wanted to partner with Grip the Mat ever since we found out about the company in the fall of 2014. After a bit of brainstorming, we decided that we would sponsor our very own Fiterazzi Social Polaroid Photo Booth at a Grip the Mat Bendy Brunch.

The idea was that people would leave with a fun Polaroid photo memory of the day -- but only if they took a photo of the booth, tagged Fiterazzi and Grip the Mat and shared the photo on Instagram and/or Twitter. We wanted to help boost both Fiterazzi and Grip the Mat's social footprint in a way that was still fun and not SO labor intensive that it turned people away, and I think we totally accomplished that.


Besides playing host, handing out flyers and taking snaps of people, I also got to practice yoga at the event -- something I normally don't get to do when I'm busy taking photos. It also helped that my awesome buddy Alisha was there to help me out so I didn't go totally crazy brained during the day -- kudos girl.

A photo posted by Sandi Moynihan (@sandimoynihan) on

I think we had about 40 people come through the booth to take photos, which was totally awesome!

All in all, it was a really fun event and I can't wait for an opportunity to host a booth again for Fiterazzi. Here's to the next time!

A photo posted by Sandi Moynihan (@sandimoynihan) on

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Behind the Shoot: Grip the Mat Cover Shoot for Fiterazzi

In the creative world schedules are never predictable. Shoots happen at 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. People are late. Cameras break. Things go wrong.

But sometimes, just sometimes, everything goes right.

That was exactly the case for my recent (well, sort of, late-January kind of recent) photo shoot with the lovely ladies of Grip The Mat for their recent February cover on Fiterazzi.

Now that the cover is finally published, I can share my awesome photos with you and tell you a little bit about the shoot.


I've blogged about Grip the Mat before and how I've photographed their yoga social events, but this shoot was extra special. See, although I've written and photographed for Fiterazzi for over a year, I've never had a cover photo or cover story before.


Add that excitement to the fact that I totally love the concept behind Grip the Mat and you've got the formula for awesomeness.

 
We toyed around with the idea of doing the shoot outside in the winter cold (stupid, I know), going to an art gallery or doing it in someone's apartment, but none of those seemed fitting. As the deadline of the cover story loomed closer, I realized the perfect place for the shoot: Tryst Coffeehouse and Bar in Adam's Morgan.


Bingo.


The ladies of Grip the Mat and I arrived bright and early at Tryst at 7 a.m. morning before work and basically struck gold.

I mean. The lighting. The colors. Everything was spot on, for the most part. In retrospective, some of angles are a bit off, but hey, I can't win everytime.


... or can I?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Behind the shoot: My USO Show Troupe Story About Performer Larissa Klinger Goes Live!

If you can remember, way back in September I took a whirlwind trip to NYC to film a number of projects for the USO, including a profile story about USO Show Troupe performer Larissa Klinger.

While I posted the photos I snapped while spending the day with Larissa earlier in 2014, I finally got a chance to put the long-feature video together at the beginning of 2015, and guys, I'm super proud of this one.

To bring this story to life, I basically spent the entire day with Larissa, carrying my 40lbs of gear around NYC on my back, documenting her day-to-day experience.

Layering all of the day-to-day footage I captured with the steller interview she gave me really helped formulate a very special, unique profile piece that the USO really hasn't produced much of in the past. I'm not going to tell you Larissa's story, because that would give the story away.

So really, you should just watch.


Side note, I didn't know Larissa well at all until I showed up on her doorstep at 6 a.m. Luckily, her and her husband were super kind and welcoming. What could have been an awkward day of stalker-ish shooting turned out to be a day full of fun.

Although a 14-hour shooting day sounds daunting, in reality, the biggest challenge in this project was the editing.

See, I'm a one-man-band.

In projects like this, its' only me doing all the work. Meaning only me is wafting through hours of footage trying to splice together a cohesive narrative that makes people feel. Don't get me wrong, I love doing it. It's my job. My passion. But man, the pile of footage I had to go through for this project was a little intimidating at first.

I think the only bigger volume of footage I've had to wade through was for the Romanian orphans peice I worked on with Brad Horn when I was producing at the Washington Post. That was a doozie.

Anyway. Take a look. Let me know in the comments what you think!





Monday, February 2, 2015

Holiday Flashback: My Holiday Trip to Hawaii -- Part 2: Kona

Last Thursday, I dished all about my fun layover in Seattle on my way to Hawaii this December for a holiday vacation with my family.

But this week it's all about the main event. The big kahuna, if you will.


Before this vacation, I had never been to any of the Hawaiian islands, so I really didn't know what to expect. I knew there would be beaches. I knew there would be warm breezes. But I didn't know there would be everything that the big island of Hawaii has to offer.


My family and I stayed on the Kona side of the big island, sort of near where the old airport used to be. My parents were celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary and decided to go all out by renting a gorgeous beach side home for us to enjoy for two whole weeks. I got to sleep in the upstairs, outside "bird's nest" which was basically like sleeping in paradise.


I could spend pages and pages telling you about all the amazing things we did while we were there, all the amazing food we ate, and all the amazing people we met, but I'd much rather show you.


There were sunsets.




Turtles.


And gorgeous ocean scenes.



And for the first time in a long time, I felt truly relaxed.


And very caffinated.


I'm quite proud of the photos that I took while I was there, although, it's almost difficult to take a bad photo while you're in Hawaii.