My Poetic Nature

A poem from Mary Oliver:

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

Yes–tell me, please.

 If you would like to fill your home with beautiful photographs, or need a portrait, or if you are an interior designer and need photographs of your projects, contact me for a consultation.

Drawing on that degree in Art History, a passion for telling stories, and years working as a portrait and documentary photographer (And owning an Art Gallery) helps me bring a heightened sensitivity to my photography. Let’s make the world a more beautiful place!

Salmon with Tomato-Orange Salsa

Tomato-Orange Salsa (Based on a recipe from Moosewood)
1 large ripe tomato, diced
1 green jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 orange sectioned and seeded, each section cut in quarters
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, and let sit for 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Covered and refrigerated, this salsa will keep 2-3 days.

Green Pigeon Peas and Rice Salad (Based on a recipe from Moosewood)
1 can Goya Green Pigeon Peas, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked Basmati rice
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/4 cup sliced Spanish olives
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onion
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
2 tablespoons fresh parsley

In a mixing bowl, combine the beans with the rice, celery, and Spanish olives. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the beans and rice mixture, and stir thoroughly.

1 1/2 pounds Salmon (Coho, King or Sockeye) Grilled or Baked at 450 for 8–12 minutes. When I grill salmon, I put it on aluminum foil, close grill, and I do not turn salmon over. I used the leftover salmon for salmon cakes (recipe to follow).

I also served the salmon with braised and barely blackened carrots with fresh rosemary, based on a recipe from Patricia Wells.

Welcome to My Kitchen!

It seems somehow appropriate that I give birth to this Blog, Bruce’s Kitchen, today, August 12th, the birthday of one of my biggest fans, my daughter, Danielle.

I can still see her sitting in her baby high chair years ago in our brownstone in Weehawken, New Jersey, eating meatballs, her face covered in tomato sauce, giggling “More. More”

I have always loved cooking and I can remember I would help my father and mother prepare meals when I was a child; dicing the pepperoni for the lasagna, cutting potatoes for the frittata, slowly and gently stirring the ravioli.

Maybe the love of preparing and serving food is simply in my genes. My mother’s parents owned a small diner called Lawson’s Little Diner which was near the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California.

Cooking for me is all about love. Love for friends and family. Healthy, simple, inspired recipes for everyday celebrations.

May you find inspiration here.

Be Astonished!

A few days ago I commented on a William Coupon photo (On his Facebook page) that it was a beautiful portrait of an elderly man and it reminded me of a painting by Odd Nerdrum. Another photographer commented on my comment saying he would be upset if his photographs were compared to paintings.

Here is a portrait of mine of Katharine A. Tillman, a friend who is a lover of language and of art:

 I don’t really understand why a photographer would take offense at his photographs being compared to paintings. William did not; the other person did. Who cares! Photography is an art of seeing, of observation–and I meant it as a complement. In fact, I think it is my degree in Art History that has helped me as a photographer; that has helped me to see and observe and create.

For me, photography is a poetic experience, often finding something beautiful in the ordinary–and when I photograph people I believe I have a spiritual connection with them; as someone once wrote to me: “I guess there is a reason people pay to get portraits taken……stunning……it also takes a very special artist to make such a portrait. The connection and human understanding are vital. I expect that few people truly have such an opportunity–to see their souls in their own faces.”

And as I wrote back in July:

Photography is my passion. The pursuit of wow. This is the way I try to live my life. Every where I turn and see I truly am astonished. I celebrate life and the spiritual ties that bind us together and I do this by trying to be always astonished. Simone Weil said: “Absolute attention is prayer.”

When I photograph an icon, for example,  I both draw upon my degree in Art History and years working as a documentary photographer, and then in a profound sense I also forget the past , turn toward the icon in a prayerful manner and I become truly astonished.

Tielhard de Chardin wrote: “Seeing: We might say that the whole of life lies in that verb – if not ultimately, at least essentially.”

I truly see myself as an artist, whether I’m photographing people, nature, or wedding. And, I believe, I work with my camera in the same manner a painter works with a brush or a pianist a piano–every day. And it is my training as an Art Historian that impacts my way of seeing and makes me a great photographer.

I leave you with a landscape, a country road.

Where are you going?

Who are you?

If you would like to fill your home with beautiful photographs, or need a portrait, or if you are an interior designer and need photographs of your projects, contact me for a consultation.

Drawing on that degreee in Art History, a passion for telling stories, and years working as a portrait and documnetary photographer (And owning an Art Gallery) helps me bring a heightened sensitivity to my photography. Let’s make the world a more beautiful place!

Beautiful Days

WOW! When I woke this morning I remembered when I went to bed it was thundering, lightening, and raining. And now a few steps out the door I was met by the Rose of Sharon awash in last night’s storm.

A few more steps and I was in our backyard on my way to photograph the tomatoes which now in mid-August are finally turning red  (Soon I will be making fresh tomato sauce! The other night, it was Shrimp Scampi and Pesto! Last night it was Tuna, Cannellini Bean, Orange, Fennel Salad! Tonight? Five Spice Turkey Burgers With Wasabi Sauce!).

But before I photograph the tomatoes, which I can barley see as they are so hidden in the blaze of leaves, a butterfly makes this morning’s moments of beauty ever more so:

The bright–the FUN–color of the hundreds of zinnias reminds me of this past weekend’s family get-together and little Lola’s red hair:

A bottle of gin on the kitchen counter. Tonic. Limes. A serving bowl of Sangria. Outside children in the pool. A whiff of kielbasa cooking on the grill. Beer. Wines (Made by the host!). Water. Soda. Chips. It is an annual summer party. Susan and I talk with Shelia. We love Shelia. Here, meet Shelia:

And now a wedding awaits us. My niece. Sara. August 20. Another party. Another beautiful day awaits us.


“The true creator may be recognized by his ability to find about him, in the commonest and humblest thing, items worthy…he does not have to surround himself with rare and precious objects. He does not have to put forth in search of discoveries: they are always within his reach. He will only have to cast his glance about him. Familiar things, things that are everywhere, attract his attention.”
~Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) “The Poetics of Music” (1947)

Montreal at Night


Often, when I walk in the woods, I feel as if I am in a church or temple and I am reminded of:

“Do you know that you are God’s temple
 and that God’s spirit dwells in you?”
~1 Corinthians 3:16

 The woods are where I find a great peace. A stillness. My spirit and soul come to rest and find a wonderful joy. The woods are is always beckoning.

 On my walk in the woods yesterday, I stopped and gave thanks. “Thank You. I am prospered and blessed. My life is enriched in every way. I speak peace and love. Divinely guided, I move forward with confidence.” 

Truth & Beauty

There are many schools of painting. Why should there not be many schools of photographic art? There is hardly a right and a wrong in these matters, but there is truth, and that should form the basis of all works of art. ~Alfred Stieglitz, American Amateur Photographer, 1893

Brides, Why Choosing Your Wedding Photographer Is Like Choosing Your Husband

Your loved one is someone like you. He accepts you. You can be yourself when you are together.  He is your partner. Your friend. There are hundreds of men, but there is only one husband for you–your kindred spirit, your soul mate if you will. Likewise there are hundreds of photographers, but there is only one Bruce Barone, one kindred spirit.  Drawing on a degree in art, a passion for telling stories and years working as a portrait and documentary photographer helps me bring a heightened sensitivity to my wedding photography–artful, real-life images that excite and inspire.