Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Airstream Life Magazine Spring 2011

I am thrilled to have my photographs included in the Spring 2011 edition of Airstream Life Magazine, including the cover!  As I traveled the country, I was fortunate enough to meet so many amazing people and on Labor Day weekend, Max and I headed to upstate New York to gather with Westy owners for their annual Westyfest event.  The cover photograph was a candid moment between Tim Frazier, his wife Margaret and their dog, Lucy in front of their Westy.

Inside, there are more photographs from the event including Zach and Deb Wood's son Zane.  I just love Zane and he is a joy to photograph.  When I first arrived, I was able to take a portrait of friends Peter, Dick, Bill and Juju.  Bill owns the property that everyone camped on and even offered Max and I our own Westy to stay in while we were there.  We accepted and fell in love with this way of camping.  I love my tent but have to say that the Westy is easy to fall in love with.

There is also another article on Robert Ramirez's Pin Up Hair design and his Airstream.  I met Robert when I went to the Johnny Cash festival last year and took photographs of all of the pin ups and festivities. I was immediately drawn to his airstream and business.

A huge thank you to Rich Luhr for the opportunity!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Date Shakes In Indio

I spent the weekend with some friends in the desert and if you like dirt, cactus, golf and the's the place to be!  Indio is known for dates and Shields is the place to go for the their world famous date shake.

We stopped there on the way out to sample some dates and partake in what many say is the best date shake in the world.  Most stopping by are tourists looking for a sugar rush and to sample some of the many varieties of dates.  One couple I talked to at the counter live in Colorado and they make it a point to stop by Shields just to continue their tradition of drinking a shake every time they come to California.

I sampled several dates and the shake.  Delicious!  I haven't had a date shake in the desert since I was a little kid and it was just as I remembered.  If you are in the Indio area, it's a stop not to miss!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Photographs Published in Trailer Life Magazine March 2011

"We have more fun than anyone" is the motto of the group, Sisters on the Fly.  I found out about this group a few years ago and decided that since I had a teardrop trailer, it would be a good idea to join them to meet other women who love to camp.  I joined and went on a few outings with the Sisters in Arizona and Sisters in Califonia.  Indeed, they do have a lot of fun.

There is a bond between these sisters that is as tight as family, or sometimes even more so.  I'm always up to join and support groups that empower women to do what many are afraid to do, like towing your own trailer or ditching the husband and kids at home to get out on your own.

A few of the photographs I took of these wonderful ladies have been published in the March 2011 edition of Trailer Life Magazine in an article written by Becky Blanton.

Thank you ladies for the great time!  I hope to see you again down the road.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Painted Max

On Halloween, Max wanted me to enter his photo in a costume contest that painter, Kellie Straw was having on her facebook fan page.  He dressed up as a fisherman.  You can see the photo HERE.

Max and I were so thrilled to learn that he won!  For a prize, Kellie painted Max doing his favorite thing...having fun at the beach.  She painted his portrait using a photograph I took of Max on the beach in Cape Cod last year with the wind in his face.

I love her work and I love this painted portrait of Max!  She even has note cards available of this painting HERE.

Thank you Kellie!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Taking A Class And Watching A Fight

I am always up for learning something new.  I was lucky enough to be able to take a flash class at the Julia Dean Photography School in Venice beach for the day.  Most of my photographs use natural light so I wanted to take a class to use a flash the correct way in certain situations.  It was very informative with both technical learning in the class room and a few assignments in the field.

I love people watching in Venice beach.  We all had a partner and an assignment to go out and practice using a flash for a fill light.  My partner and I walked down the boardwalk and I found a spot where he would be sitting in the shade for practice.  He sat there and I started taking his photograph and playing with my camera settings when this man approached us.  He stood pretty close to me and was obviously out of it.  He couldn't focus on me and he smelled like death.  He tried to tell us how to get the best shot and how to compose it to make it look interesting.  I didn't like how close he was standing next to us.  My partner was nice and said, "oh yes, thank you for that information" while I backed away and waited for him to leave.

He left and we continued our practice taking photos of each other making sure we remembered everything technical we learned in class.  About a minute after meeting our new stranger "smells like death" friend, my partner pointed behind me and said, "hey, isn't that the guy that just came up to us?"

I turned around and sure enough, he was in a fight with a Venice regular, "Mr. Muscle Man."  I don't know if that's his name but I see him each time I am there and he does have muscles and I am pretty sure he's a man so that's what I will call him.  As soon as I saw them fighting, my instincts kicked in.  No, not to break up the fight but to take photographs of the action!  They first wrestled to the ground then popped up with a few punches here and there while a crowd formed.  It got pretty nasty when "death breath" started flicking his blood on "Mr. Muscle Man."  I kept snapping away, forgetting what I was there for.  Shortly into the fight, my partner said, "ummm...ok, you want to practice over here?"  Practice?  What?  Oh yeah, I forgot that I was taking a class and we were on an assignment.  Eventually I had to pull myself away and put my technical brain back on.  I felt like a kid at the park wanting just a few more minutes to play.  I pouted a little inside and broke away from the action.

After our outside assignment was up, everyone gave their CF cards to the assistant to upload on the computer so we could all share what we did on the big screen.  Uh oh, I didn't expect for that.  While everyone followed the assignment correctly and had three pictures on their card, mine was full of the fight that, at the time seemed more interesting.  I tried to hide and not give my CF card to the assistant, but he remembered me and asked for it.  Of course I was first to be critiqued since my name starts with an "A".  Julia flipped through my images trying to find the flash assignment and then said, "what is this?" I had to say, "oh, um...yes I slightly veered off the assignment for a few minutes."  A little embarrassed, she was kind enough to look through them and give me feedback on each one and the class thanked me for capturing the moment.  I felt a bit of relief after that.

I am glad I took the class.  Very informative and Julia is a wonderful instructor.  If you are in Southern California, I would recommend looking into their program if you want to learn something new about photography.

Here's the sequence of the fight until I was pulled away...
My money is on "Mr. Muscle Man" to win.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How To Pull Off A Surprise Party

My good friend Jamie turned 30 the other day and Traci thought it would be a good idea to throw a surprise party for her at my home.  Well, I suggested to have it at my house.  It's been a few years since I've had a get together here since I've been traveling most of the year in my tent while the house is rented to vacationers.

We started planning this party about a month in advance and I don't know how she pulled it off.  Each time I would see Jamie, I wanted to talk about the party or tell her who was coming.  There were several moments where I almost blew it or freaked out that someone might blow it by accident in her presence.  Each time someone would bring it up around me I would say, "shhhhhhhh!!!!!"  People looked around and thought I was crazy.  That's not unusual but I just didn't want to talk about it out loud just in case Jamie was standing near by.

Durning the last few days of coordinating, I seriously don't know how Traci was able to pull it off.  Jamie would call when we were setting up or the taco man would call while Jamie was in the room and panic would settle in on whether or not Traci should pick up the call.  Then it was time to get her to the house.  That was another roll play on why I would want to bother them before dinner to drive all the way to my house when the restaurant they were supposed to eat at was in the opposite direction.

Everyone got to the house, Jamie walked in thinking I was going to give her a gift and as she walked in the door..."SURPRISE!!!!!" She was surprised...and very touched I might add.  Seeing her expression that moment was worth the month of stress and lies.

No slip ups. No, "I'll see you at your party" mistakes.  As soon as she was surprised and I snapped some photographs, it was time to relax.

This was Max's first party and he stayed put under the taco man all night and then coming in the house to beg for cup cakes for a while.

So, how do you pull off a surprise party?  A little mix of luck, faith and hope.


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