Saturday, December 29, 2007

Out of Town!

I am heading out the door right now to go ring in the new year with my family and friends in the desert! I wish you all a very Happy New Year and I'll be back in the office on Tuesday. Thank you for your patience with email until I return.

And just for fun... a photo I took in the car a few nights ago. Festive and fun :) Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Wishing everyone who celebrates the holiday a very Merry Christmas. I hope that you all are enjoying time with friends and family. I for one am eating profusely :) Tonight is our big family dinner so I must get back to cooking and baking, but I just wanted to send out a quick holiday greeting. Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Very, Very, Sad Day

For those of you who don't consider pets part of the family you might as well stop reading now.

Ben and I had always wanted a dog and when we moved to Los Angeles we finally had the chance. We made sure to rent a place that was large enough, and with a yard, and that allowed pets. We knew we could never buy a dog, I was brought up with rescue dogs (we always had at least two, sometimes as many as four) and they were always the quirkiest and sweetest mutts imaginable.

We adopted Rita in early August of 2006 and she was quite the feisty pup. A rescue dog multiple times over, she was up in years (about 6 or 7 when we got her) so she wasn't a dog that anyone else wanted. But she was sweet and adorable (in an unidentifiable mutt type of a way) and we loved her immediately. From the day we adopted her she became an important part of our family, traveling with us every time we hit the road, and taking up most of our conversations with friends and family.

Last night she had a terrible accident and didn't make it. Ben took her to the emergency vet, but it was too late and there was nothing they could do. We are so so heartbroken. While she wasn't young she had so many years left in her and since it was so sudden and unexpected, it was especially hard to handle. If you're not a pet person this whole thing may seem a little over exaggerated, but if you've ever loved a pet as a part of your family, I hope you'll understand how much pain this has caused us.

At this Christmas time it's just another reminder to me, to love your friends and family fiercely, and to tell them every day how much they mean to you. Savoring every moment is the only way to live life. We will miss our little Rita dearly!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Lighting Fun - More Photos!

Ok well I finally have a spare second to blog! The holiday craziness is definitely catching up to me so I haven't had much in the way of free time lately.

On Sunday Crissy and I brought our gear and husbands out to a park in LA to try out some new off camera lighting techniques. Having spent the morning poring over strobist and trying to memorize some rules of thumb, we pretty much just decided we'd try a bit of everything and see what happened. Trial and error if you will... we definitely learned a lot and we will definitely be heading out again to try out some more fun tricks. Here are a couple of my favorite shots from Sunday.

Marcus and Ben were both supposed to be our guinea pigs models but Ben preferred to be on the other side of the camera helping out with the equipment, so most of the shots we took were of Marcus. Thanks for being such a ham :)





After the sun went down at the park it got absolutely freezing cold, so we decided to move to a new location. We found some abandoned railroad tracks and old buildings... perfect for trying out complete blackness off-camera lighting. (which I must admit is trickier since you have no ambient fill light)



This is one of my favorites!


As we were walking back to the car we noticed a couple of "found light" opportunities, which is what the next two shots are. No flash/strobes here... just a tripod and whatever light was around.



Thanks Marcus & Ben for being such great sports... and Crissy... we MUST do this again soon!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Lighting Fun - Sneak Peak!

This afternoon Crissy and I got together with all of our gear and our wonderful husbands/models and headed out to experiment with some new off camera lighting tricks.
It's WAY past my bedtime and I have to be up early tomorrow so I can't post a lot right now... but I just had to put one shot up because I think it's hilarious. We did learn a lot and get some awesome and actually useful shots, but we had a lot of fun too :)

More to come soon...


Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Little Something New

Well I am just finishing up editing photos from my last engagement session and I decided to try something a little bit different on one of my images. I'm usually more of a vibrant colors type of person... but this one seemed a little moody and so I decided to try out a more desaturated look. I have been seeing this look in a lot of my favorite photographers' work so I thought it was at least worth a shot :) What do you think? Like it? Love it? Think it stinks?


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Your sweater's so ugly...

It's the holiday season and that means it's time for Christmas parties. They can be great, but more often they're terrible and overdone. Most people have heard of the "ugly Christmas sweater" party before.... after all, this article in USA Today was written in 2004 so must have far surpassed the mainstream designation by now. But have you ever been to an ugly Christmas sweater decorating party? I hadn't... until this weekend when Ben and I attended one, and I brought along my camera. Here are a couple of photos...

Everyone brought along an old sweater that had outworn its welcome... or was otherwise retired. There were piles of felt, hot glue, and googly eyes to add to your creation.



Not everyone made a sweater... there was also a hat.



Some people went high class.... substituting the hot-glue method of decorating for actual needle and thread


And some of the designs got quite intricate :)


All of the sweaters were pretty awesome... but here are a few of my favorite designs...


So this year if you're tired of attending the same old bad Christmas sweater party... why not turn it into a Christmas sweater decoration party? It's a ton more fun and only a little more messy :) Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

What did I tell you?

If you saw Bridget & David's portrait session a couple of weeks ago, you might remember me saying that she was in a play. I also said that it was amazing funny and awesome and that you definitely should go see it. Well I'm no expert on theater, but the critics over at the New York Times certainly are and they just came out with their review of "Is He Dead?" , the play that she is starring in.

Here's a little excerpt:

“Is He Dead?,” a previously unproduced play by the long-dead Mark Twain, has at last made its Broadway debut. And for something that’s basically been lying immobile for more than a century, gathering dust in archives, it has a remarkably sprightly step.

...once Mr. Butz puts on a pink dress, this Tony-winning comic actor (“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”)... shows the true comic genius of which he is made. From that moment the whole production feels as if it’s been pumped through with nitrous oxide. Jokes you would swear you would never laugh at suddenly seem funny.

And if you're interested here's the link to the New York Times review of "Is He Dead?"

I just have to say that I'm so incredibly proud of Bridget (and the entire cast of course) for doing such an amazing job. I always knew you were going to be a star B, looks like you're on your way. Congratulations!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Oh how I love Paris

Wow... I just realized that in all of the hustle and bustle of getting my recent portrait sessions up on my blog I never had a chance to post photos from our trip to Paris this fall. Paris is hands down my absolute favorite city! I love love love everything about it and I was so happy to get to spend several days there at the end of our Normandy trip this fall.

Here are just a couple of my favorites... oh how I wish I could go back again :)

Paris is so gorgeous at night.


My favorite museum in the city is the Musee d'Orsay. I love the art in the museum but even better is the architecture. It's a fabulous place to stroll around in.


And of course the obligatory stop at the Louvre.


The funny thing we noticed on this trip was how few people actually look at the artwork itself. Most people are either watching it through their cameras... or like these people... reading about it in their book instead of forming their own opinions about it.



Some of the paintings in the Louvre amaze me simply for their enormous scale. These ones are even bigger than life size.


We can't go to Paris without stopping by our old neighborhood. Oh the memories :) This is the street Ben and I lived on back when we we got engaged. It's gone quite upscale since we left.


And since we were in our old neighborhood we HAD to stop by our favorite bakery which makes these delicious mini breads filled with tasty treats like olives or goat cheese. Mmmmm.


If there's one thing Parisians know how to do it's enjoy a park. We spent much of our trip relaxing in the various gardens and enjoying the sunshine. Some of our favorite parks are not the big tourist ones but a bit off the beaten path. This is the parc des buttes-chaumont.


We also happened to stumble across a fantastic exposition going on called photo-quai which (not surprisingly) was installed along the quai near the new Musee Quai Branly (which on a side note is absolutely horrendous.... although I'm the first to admit that I can't stand Jean Nouvel)



On this trip Ben and I formally decided that our suspicions were true and that yes, France is the future. Tiny fuel efficient cars, smart chip credit cards, and now this... digital tags in the grocery stores. Very very futuristic :)


One last shot... gorgeous candles in the Notre Dame cathedral.


What an amazing trip and even though we just returned I can't wait until I get another chance to go back. Destination wedding anyone?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Raquel & Eddie engaged!

On Saturday I met up with Raquel and Eddie for their engagement session in Encinitas. The first thing that Eddie wanted to do when we started taking photos was to climb up in a tree... so I knew it was going to be an interesting session! We started out ... well... up a tree, and then wandered around for a while before making our way over to the beach where we finished by waiting for the sunset. It was a great time and I absolutely cannot wait for their wedding this summer in Costa Rica!

Here are a couple of my favorites from their session.... starting with one from the tree :)


Eddie likes to surf so I couldn't resist a photo with this sign!




Sorry Eddie, had to post this one... I just love it!



When we got down to the beach the lighting was quite delightful.



This is one of my favorites!




Thanks Rocky & Eddie for coming out to the beach with me. I can't wait for July!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

super-quick Thanksgiving recap

Well Thanksgiving vacation came and went in a blur. I can't believe it's already almost time for Christmas!

Ben and I flew out to Kansas City for a couple of days to visit his family for the holiday. I didn't actually take my camera out for the Thanksgiving dinner portion of our trip... but here are a couple of my favorites from the rest of our vacation.

Our trip got off to an exciting start (again) as our original flight was canceled. The good news was we had advance notice the night before we were supposed to leave of the flight cancellation. the bad news was that the only flight we could get on that would get us in by Thanksgiving left in about 4 hours from the time we go the phone call, and we were not AT ALL ready to go! It was the most hurried packing and airport experience I've had in a long time... thank goodness we made it!


On Friday night we had "wiiza" night (wii + pizza = wiiza) which was a lot of fun. We got a chance to see a bunch of friends that we don't see all that often, and of course look completely ridiculous while playing wii. Lucky for me since I was the one holding the camera there are no incriminating photos of me :)



The other great thing about our wiiza night was that we got to hang out with Charlie, who is pretty much the cutest puppy ever


And of course Houdini as well, who as it turns out, loves any box, even if she's too big to fit in it


On Saturday we went on our little tourist outing of Kansas City, stopping by the plaza to see their annual holiday display. I LOVE Christmas lights!!



And since we were right next door we decided to check out the Nelson-Atkins museum's Bloch addition at night. This museum is definitely an amazing piece of architecture and if you're in the area you should go check it out! It lights up at night and when we visited there were tons of people checking out the sculpture garden at night and kids playing on the hill. Very cool.



Overall it was such a fun and fabulous trip, and it's always great to spend time with family! Yay for the holidays!!