Mar 302010

This is usually a busy week for most of us. Its the week of Easter and many are planning a weekend with family and friends. Plans are being made, work reaches a peak as we try to fit it all in before the long weekend begins. For many there will be Sunday service at the church of choice, for others maybe a sunrise service at the beach, and for some a quiet inner reflection will do. Whatever your spiritual path may or may not be its a nice time to be grateful, for this week is usually the real kick off of Spring and its wondrous weather and activities. The temperatures are slowly creeping up into that smile range, as I like to call it. The range of warmth where the climate starts to suit my clothes, to steal part of a phrase from Jerry and the boys.

It will be a fun time at Access 21 as old friends make their first trip of the year back to Wrightsville Beach and the tourists start to fill up the rentals on weekly and weekend vacations. The long dark, quiet winter is leaving and the solitude of the street and beach is slowly , but surely, being replaced by people and laughter. Scenes like the one below, of a quiet, desolate beach, will be no more. And thats cool. We long for the quiet of winter after a busy Summer season, but can’t wait for the activity of vacation season to begin again each year. The local businesses that have survived the economy can breathe once again as traffic increases and cash registers start to ring. T-shirts and shorts once again become the standard apparel and everyone seems to have a smile on their face. Porches once again become a place to sit and enjoy this wonderful place. I look forward to this week every year. Before I began living here I would look forward to coming down for several days. Now that I am a resident, I relish the activity as the beach really starts to wake up and welcome the many visitors who will make the trip over the ICWW to visit the island. No more photos like the one below, as it will be hard to view the beach with no one walking its strand. And thats ok. It really is.


This is a first of a continuing project I am doing called Wilmington Artists in their Studios. Todays featured artist is Rachel Kastner.  Rachels medium is primarily oils. She has an education background on the creative side having completed a BS in Interior Design from the University of Georgia and a BA in Studio Art from UNCW. She has also studied at various workshops in Penland, NC.

We had a lot of fun doing the shoot in her studio and I was lucky enough to watch her work. I lurked around while she worked on one of her current paintings. Rachel’s studio is located in Acme Art Studios at 711 N. Fifth Street in Wilmington, North Carolina. She has exhibited at numerous galleries and art shows in the area. She is currently on exhibit at the DIVAMADE (Female Artists of Wilmington) show at Bottega Art and Wine. As a matter of fact if you are out in Wilmington tonight you can see Rachels work at Bottega and other artists as part of the Wilmington Fourth Friday Gallery Night. The studios in Acme will also be open to view artists work. Rachel also will be represented at the Woods Gallery on Bald Head Island and later in the Spring will exhibit at the Community Arts Council in Kinston, NC.

So you can get out in Wilmington tonight if you are local and meet the artists and if you do stop by Bottega Art and Wine and personally say hello to Rachel Kastner. You can also reach Rachel at

Stop by as I feature other local artists in Wilmington Artists in Their Studios.


I am in the midsts of the start of a new project which I am calling: “Wilmington Artists in their Studios”. It is simply portraits of local artists at work in their creative environments. I have thought about doing something like this for some time and finally decided that I needed to get motivated and get it underway. I enjoy meeting and hanging around other creatives and what better way to do that than by meeting and photographing them in their creative surroundings. My plan is to take each artist(s) as an individual and feature each shoot on my blog. I will also post on the social networks that I use. Hopefully this will help get the artist more exposure than they already have and new people can learn about them and their work. I haven’t made any decisions about the where the project will lead beyond that, but we’ll see. Right now I plan to have fun with it and meet and photograph some neat people.

If anyone reading this knows of an artist in the Wilmington, NC vicinity who may want to participate they can contact me through my web site, blog, Facebook or Twitter. I haven’t a time line for completion, nor a limit to the number of artists I’ll shoot. I’m making the decisions about the project as they evolve, as I want it to be fun as well as rewarding for myself and those involved.

My first shoot was yesterday, but I have to tell you that this week end in Wrightsville Beach is going to be just beautiful. That said I have made an executive decision for Rick Ricozzi Photography to not spend it in front of the monitor editing photos. Its nice when you are setting the deadlines. You can make these decisions! I promise that I will kick off the series soon, but today its a day for the outside.

Mar 112010

Its raining with impunity in the Port City today. It has a softening effect and lends itself to a feeling of solitude. Unless of course you have to be running around in it. Then you just have to adjust and keep that “what a great day” attitude!

Usually photographers look at rain as a negative thing, especially if you have an event to shoot that is scheduled with good weather in mind. We have all had to deal with that kind of dilemma at some point in time. Shooting after it has rained can be fun as you get different saturation of colors and reflections. But when it is an intense rain it kind of makes taking that electronic piece of equipment out into the elements not high on the list of to do’s. There is one thing that can be done if you have nothing to do and just want to experiment. I do it occasionally and get some interesting images. That is taking your camera out in your car and snapping through your windows and seeing the different textures, muted colors, and light patterns produced in an image when shot through wet glass. Just don’t do this while moving! It becomes a whole new way at looking at rain and photography and you get to stay relatively dry. Then when the rain stops, you have your camera with you so you can venture out and attempt to find images with reflections and that deep saturation. Here are a few I have done as an example. I need to remember do this more. It really is fun.

Mar 052010

So many times we get caught up in our work as photographers, that we don’t take the time to just get out and shoot for ourselves. I mean taking the day and just go somewhere, shoot, and do it for the reasons that probably got us into this business. Because we love it!

Now I love to shoot and interact with people and this gives me great satisfaction. However, animals hold a special place in my heart as well, but I don’t often get the chance to put myself in a situation to capture them. Sure, there are the occasional shore birds, pet portraits etc. Just not a great variety of animal species. Thats why I love the zoo. Sure, you have a captive audience, but you can still get creative and your subjects are endless.

We are fortunate in this area, because we have two wonderful zoo locations. Asheboro in North Carolina, and Columbia in South Carolina. They are great places to spend the day with your gear. The following photos were taken at both locations. If you are fortunate enough to have a zoo near you, take a day for yourself, grab your kit and enjoy. Its a great smile generator!