Monday, January 31, 2011

Sneak Peek: Grace

I spent 6-1/2 hours with this little one yesterday...   By the end of it all she was so ready for me to leave and I really couldn't blame her!

I'm working on editing all of her photos - but just had to share this one!

It's my first 'newborn' session - what do you think...?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Model Home

So I just finished this book - Model Home.   And I gotta' say that this photo sorta' represents exactly how I felt about the book.   Kinda' dark and moody with a glimmer of light, a glimmer of hope - every now and then.   Moments of extreme clarity and other moments when you just can't see or understand why this is all happening.

I can't remember the last time I had such a strong reaction to a book - I mean the kind of reaction where I'm yelling at the characters in the book to..."just snap out of it already...", but yet at the same time I kept turning the pages - wanting to read more...   I'm sure that had something to do with my pre-disposition to the "happy ending" - to make sure it's all going to be ok.

On some level it's a comedy of errors...   Any minute someone's going to say - just kidding - that didn't really happen.   On some other level it's a nod to the human spirit - our ability to survive even under the worst of circumstances...

Seriously - if you think you've got problems - read this book!  If you do read it - I'd be interested in hearing your reaction.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blast From the Past Wednesday: Caryn & Bill - I Do!

I think it was the end of October 2009 when I got the phone call.   I'd just landed in Atlanta, rented a car and began my 3-hour road trip into Savannah...

At that point Bill and Caryn had been engaged for a few months and the last thing I expected was to be asked to shoot their wedding...   I don't think Bill had gotten the question out (fully) before I said "yes!"

I mean, come on...being invited to Palm Springs to shoot a wedding is never a bad thing.   Unless of course it's in the middle of the summer and 120 degrees...   Luckily for me the wedding was in May - when Palm Springs is at its most glorious!

I love them together - kind, gentle, stolen glances, finishing one another's sentences, how they look to one another for support and each in turns gives it.

Thanks Caryn & Bill for allowing me to capture such precious memories...  xoxo

The best man giving a little advice???   I think this alcove is really interesting - the stripes, the mirrors, the reflection of the wallpaper in the mirrors, the reflections of the groom and best man in the mirror...   This shot was taken by my second shooter - Matthew.

Everybody got a good laugh when the best man acted as if he'd forgotten the rings...

Caryn's ring went on without incident...   But when the time came for her to put on Bill's ring...

...she had a little trouble.   Why?   Because if you look closely at the shot above, right finger, but on the wrong hand!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

10th Street Preschool Silent Auction

A couple of months ago I received an email from my good friend Smrithi asking if I would be interested in donating a photo-shoot package to families with kids.   Her daughter Riya (here) just started attending preschool last November and of course Smrithi is already sitting on the school's fundraising committee.  Smrithi gets more done in a day than I can only dream about...

Every year, the school has a big party for the parents of the students - where they raise money for the school's scholarship drive (which allows kids whose parents cannot afford preschool to attend 10th Street) - how wonderful is that!

I'd never been asked to do something like this before and I was more than honored to donate my services to the silent auction!

My brand packaging finally arrived (see below), so I wrapped up one of my gift certificates in the chocolate box, tied a ribbon around it and attempted to make a flower out of the bow (re: bow - it's the thought that counts - right?)

Smrithi - I hope the auction is a huge success...   Thanks for thinking of me!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Napa & Castello di Amorosa

So my Napa trip was good.   Actually, I can't believe I'm posting so soon after my trip - usually I'm weeks behind!

The first couple of shots were taken on the 6-1/2 drive up the 5 fwy.   There were so many photo ops and of course I was more than a little annoyed that I couldn't stop traffic on the freeway to shoot!   I did pull over a couple of times though...

Thanks to Cathy Buck (Cameo Cinema) and Rodney Vance, I was lucky enough to get a private tour of Castello di Amorosa - a 13th century, 107 room, Tuscan style Castle and Winery (owned by Dario Sattui who also owns V. Sattui Winery).   The castle is beautiful - check it out here.

The walking tour is followed by a tasting of their handcrafted Italian style wines.   Here are a few of my favorites...

Red: Sangiovese
Reserve: La Castellana (Super Tuscan Blend) ***and by far my favorite!
Sweet: Il Raggio Del Sole (Muscat Canelli)

Got any favorites you would recommend?

This sheep (an ewe maybe???) is cracking me up!   They were all just walking along when this one decided to stop and stare.   Probably waiting to see if I was going to get hit by the 18-wheelers that were whizzing by...

This "caution" sign was sitting just outside this orchard...   Which of course in my mind means go right in :-)

No grapes on the vines quite yet...   But plenty of mustard flowers!   The shot on the left was taken from inside the castle.  I was up in one of those tower thingys (like Rapunzel)!

 The sky was amazing that day - just the perfect shade of blue.   The stone work on the castle is extraordinary!

Our tour guide gave us so many interesting tid-bits about the interior details of the castle  - none of which I can remember :-(

From barrel to bottle...   We're actually pretty far underground in these shots.  I think she said there were over 4000 barrels of wine down there...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blast From The Past Wednesday: LA Zoo

I have a question.   Why are the animals always inside "feeding" or "sleeping" whenever I go to the zoo?   Seriously - I don't understand it...   Or here's one - "they're on loan to another zoo".   I've been to at least 5 zoos in different parts of the Country (is Country supposed to be capitalized) and it's always the same thing...

So after living in LA for almost 20 years I decided it was time to check out the LA Zoo...   Last April (yes...April 2010 - it's 'Blast From The Past Wednesday' remember), some friends and I headed over to see what we weren't going to see.

On this trip, I only had my 100mm 2.8L lens so I couldn't get as close as I wanted to.   Next time it might be interesting to bring a longer lens and shoot abstracts of their different body parts.  Hmmm...

Got any recommendations for a really good zoo?

I just think Giraffes are such interesting creators!  Nothing really seems to fit together - the long, knobby legs, the kinda' too short for the rest of the body tail, the bulging eyes, the long tongue, those crazy wacky ears...the two horn looking things on the top of the head...  what is happening!

I love this shot because it seems like they're having a secret conversation...talking trash about the other zoo animals...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

On The Road Again...

I'll be on the road again tomorrow morning...   I absolutely love road trips - always have!   When I was a kid, my parents would pack up the car and we'd head south!   We'd stop off in Clinton, NC to visit my Aunt & Uncle - they had this huge house that sat on what seemed like a dude ranch (and a really big, scary dog - maybe two).   There was absolutely NOTHING for miles and miles...   Seemed like we would stay there for 60 gabillion years (in reality it was only a week - if that...), but I knew where we were headed next and I wanted to get the show on the road - Disney World baby!

Those were the days...starring out the window, letting my imagination run wild with possibility!   Playing "punch buggy" with my sisters, trying to keep my Backgammon chips from moving all over the place (I'm such a nerd)...

This time I'm headed north - to Napa.   So I'm packing up the car (minus Backgammon), rolling down the windows (it was 88 degrees yesterday), pumpin' up the jams (that's hysterical) and letting my imagination run wild!   I may even play "punch buggy"...

What are your fondest road trip memories?

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's a Small World - Ethan

My nephew is the cutest kid I know!   Those long curly eyelashes, his dimples and that little mole by his lip...   Let's not forget his super duper Michael Jackson dance moves...   Watch out he's 7, but one day he'll be 17 and breaking hearts!

On a recent trip to Jersey I took him shopping for clothes (I loved it - he hated it).   I picked out a bunch of stuff and sent him into the dressing room.   A while later, he pulls back the curtain to reveal himself in the cutest pair of jeans...a little baggy, dark, a little tattered, funky...   He stands in front of the mirror, with what I could swear was a gansta' lean...hands in his pockets...

Me:  What do you think?   You like 'em...?
Ethan:  Yeah.   I like them Auntie.   I need to look good for my girlfriends at school.
Me:  Huh?!   You have a girlfriend?
Ethan:  No.   I have girlfriendssssssssss (as he turns to go back into the dressing room)

What is happening!   And why is it all happening so fast....!

(If I can pry him from my sister's arms), he'll be leaving his girlfriendssssss behind and coming out to LA to spend the summer with me - can't wait!   Love you Eaty Eat!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Blast From the Past Wednesdays...

I'm really trying to be a better blogger...   Short-term goal (which could turn into a long-time accomplishment) - blog at least twice a week!

Because I've been a naughty blogger, there are a bunch of sessions that I've yet to blog about.  Sooooo...I decided to turn Wednesdays into Blast From the Past Wednesdays.   At least until I'm caught up (then I'll think of something else).

Today however is just a sneak peek of each of the sessions I'm currently working on.   A full blog post about each starts next Wednesday...

Without further adieu (no more rambling from me), I bring you Blast From the Past Wednesdays!

This first shot is from Caryn & Bill's Wedding...

This shot is from the Narayan Family session - My first session with Riya was when she was only a year old (here)...

This shot is from Frazia & Greg's Wedding... 

This shot is from Jenn & Sverre's Engagement...

This shot is from the Larsen Family session - I first shot them when the little one was really a little, little one (here)...

This shot is from the Olazabal Family session.   Can you remember the last time you loved something this much!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Inspiration Has Arrived!

For me books are a great source of inspiration.   I could spend hours upon hours in the bookstore...  Feels like there's so much knowledge to suck up!

With everything else that's been going on - I haven't been able to get to the bookstore lately so I decided to take the road most easily traveled...and I ordered my next batch of inspiration online.

But then, because I'm Facebook illiterate, I actually ended up going to the bookstore this past weekend anyway - get "Facebook for Dummies" (sad face...)

Me being a dummie aside - I'm looking forward to some interesting reads.  Thanks Lor Lor and Tamara for the recommendations!

BTW - if you just so happen to be reading or have already read any of these books - whadya' think?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy New Year (One Week Later...)

Someone recently told me that if you're not challenged in life - you need to rethink your goals.   Hmmm...

On New Year's day I looked back over my goals for the past year - they were simple, rather easily achievable goals.   Nothing really all that challenging. Hmmm...

What's the most challenging (and at the same time - best) thing I could do for myself...

It took a few days to figure it out (a week exactly) - but I've got it.   I'm excited!   I'm nervous.  I was a little - no scratch that...I was a lot uncertain as to whether or not it was achievable.   But then I remembered...

My thoughts are based on my beliefs...   My actions are fueled by my thoughts...   My results are in direct correlation to my actions...   My beliefs are reinforced by my results...

My goal this year?   Well I only have one and I'm playing this one close to the vest.   Believe me - it will be challenging!

Stay focused.

How do you overcome challenges?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Photography Gift Certificates Now Available!

So excited!   I feel so "official"...   My gift certificates arrived from the printer today and I really, really like 'em.   Now I'm just waiting for the beautiful chocolate-brown box (with my logo engraved) and the stunning teal & chocolate striped ribbon to arrive (any day now)...

If you'd like to give the gift of a photography session to your BFF and her family - now you can!  Send me an email and I'll fill you in on the details.