Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflecting on 2012

iphone Instagram Photos from 2012
At the end of each year, I like to reflect on what I accomplished throughout the year and then set intentions for the year to come.  One of the good things about blogging is you can look back at posts and remember what you did.  There was a lot of "oh yeah's" as I reviewed posts from the year.

Resolutions have never been successful for me.  It seems like too much pressure to change something about yourself at the beginning of the year just because the calendar changes.  However, I like to set goals and intentions for the year to come.  It's a good practice to look back and remember the things you've done and appreciate those accomplishments instead of beating yourself up if you didn't complete something you set out to do.  I admit that I can do a better job of writing down things I want to do and review it every now and then, rather than expecting a major change to happen overnight.  I plan to write a list of goals for 2013 and once I do, I will share it with you.  

Ralph Lewis getting kisses in Maine
Beating myself up is a "not-so-favorite" pastime of mine.  I admit that I am hard on myself instead of looking at a situation in a different, positive light.  Pushing myself is a good thing, but dwelling on something I didn't do (or didn't do perfect) is not particulary a good thing.  At first thought, I would consider my year of traveling a failure in respect to photography and doing what I set out to do.  In my mind, I didn't take enough "big camera" shots and instead, took hundreds of iphone photographs (collage above includes photos from the road taken with my iphone) and posted them on instagram or facebook.  Was that a failure?  Maybe so in my mind in some respects, but what I did do instead was enjoying where I went and what I saw.  I suppose you could argue the fact that the iphone had a camera and it's still a tool to capture a moment in time even though the quality is poor and the only control you have is holding it steady and pointing in the direction you want to capture.  Did I mention my not so favorite pastime?

To focus on the positive, here are some of my personal favorite accomplishments and moments of 2012:

-Max and I took another trip to Bombay Beach on the Salton Sea
-Started a new project of taking portraits of my neighbors that I came across by chance.
-Todd Hido selected "The Wedding Guest" for Onward Compe´ in Philadelphia 
-PDN (Photo District News) selected me as the emerging photographer of the month
-F8magazine featured my series, "Bingo Culture" 
-I got out of my comfort zone of photographing American strangers on the street to photographing beautiful models in a studio setting
-Took a trip to Big Sur to be on the other side of the lens (which is a challenge in itself for me) to be photographed and featured with my friend, Kristiana for the August edition of the French version of Marie Claire magazine.
-Took Portraits of strangers and trailers at the Palm Springs Modernism Week Vintage Trailer Show
-Featured in the MOPLA (Month of Photography, Los Angeles) group show.
-Selected for the 3rd Annual Julia Margaret Cameron Award by the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards to be shown in Paris this year.
-Photographed Alumapalooza for the 3rd year in a row for Airstream and Airstream Life Magazine
-Headed out to live on the road for the fourth year. This was the third year with my dog, Max
-Went to Yosemite the first day on the road
-Selected for shows at the Center for Fine Art Photography, Center for Photographic Arts, The Kiernan Gallery, Photo Place Gallery, Black Box Gallery and the Guatamala Photo Festival in Guatamala.
-Wrote a Feature Article for Women's Adventure Magazine about living in a Van for the Winter Issue
-Was artist of the week for Resource Magazine and Visual Overture Magazine
-Featured on fototazo, Feature Shoot, F Stop Magazine, 591 Photography Blog, Lenscratch and Photographer's Forum "Best of 2012" book
-Spent the day at the Topsfield Fair
-Wrote about Being Lonely on the road
-Talked my way into spending a day on a Lobster Boat in Maine
-Finally traveled to Marfa, Texas.  Love it there.
-Drove along the coast of Oregon

...just to name a few

I am so fortunate to be able to travel with my dog in any direction I decide to go.  Even though I didn't take as many photographs of strangers as I had hoped for or blogged about my experiences as much as I thought I would...I consider 2012 to be a good year.  I am healthy, have loving friends and family, and the best traveling partner, Max.  

Most of all, I am thankful for another year of sobriety.  Without that, all of the activities and accomplishments listed above wouldn't have been possible. 

I look forward to writing intentions for 2013 and am hoping that it will be even better than 2012, as I'm sure most of us hope for the same.  Thank you for following Max and I on this journey through this blog, facebook and instagram.  I wish you all of the best in the new year and I hope you too are reflecting on the good things in 2012 in order to set goals and intentions for the new year. Happy 2013!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

"Living Life Unleashed" - My Feature Article And Photographs Published In Women's Adventure Magazine

For years, I have been blogging about my adventures on the road and how to "Live Life Unleashed." I am happy to have the article I wrote for Women's Adventure Magazine published (the feature in the magazine is different from the online version) in their winter 2012 edition...on newsstands now!

Most of all, I am thrilled that women are searching for more in their life and I'm happy that there is an interest to hit the road and live a nomadic life. It's the best thing I could have done for myself. I have learned more about my myself during these past few years, then I did in all the years in my corporate job.  I recommend this life for anyone that has interest in it.  Our time is so precious, that it's important to go out and live life the way you want, do things you want to do and make a difference in your life as well as lives around you. 

I blog a lot about where I've been and what I've seen, through photographs.  It was nice to be asked to dig deeper and talk about my experience in an emotional way and list things to think about if others have a desire to live on the road.  I will continue to write about my adventures and will not be shy about what I have been though.  I think it's important to take the leap to do what you want, even if there are doubts.  As you will read in the article, I had plenty of doubts at the beginning.  

How will you ever find out if it's right for you if you don't take the leap and do it?

The article includes my photographs including a portrait I took of the talented, Charon Henning.  Above is a photo of me (courtesy of Sheryl Vickers) on the job, taking Charon's portrait during Alumapalooza in Ohio this past June.  It also mentions my photo series, "Bingo Culture."  Most of all, I am just thrilled to share my story with you in the hopes that you will also follow your dream, no matter what it is.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Marfa, Texas

Marfa has been on my "must visit" list for a long time.  When I tell people that I want to visit Marfa, it is always followed by a confused look on their face. "Muurrfa? Huh?, Where's that?"

Marfa is a small town in West Texas.  Founded in the early 1880's as a Railroad Water stop, now it's a tourist destination for people to come and see the mystery lights, Chinati Foundation and many galleries in town.

I was mostly interested in visiting El Cosmico.   Although I admire all of the trailers they have on their property, I was so delighted to learn that I could park campy overnight and use their facilities (for a small fee).  Max and I were the only overnight guests in the lot outside of their trailers during the week and that was fine by us!  I spent the day on my bike, "Lucy" to tour the town and snap photographs along the way.  With each block I peddled through, I kept telling myself, "I could live here!" I could picture myself living in a trailer and making art all day long.  However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I don't think I could do it full time.

I asked each person I came across that wasn't a tourist, "how do you like living here?"  It's a question most people get all day long.  The answer was the same... "it has its up's and down's like any other small town."  I suppose I am always fascinated in how people live.  Perhaps that's why I enjoy taking the back road to travel.  Everyday is a surprise and the people who live far away from the major highways are the most interesting to me.

During my stay in Marfa, I spent the day on my bike riding around, enjoyed the museums, relaxed at El Cosmico, and toured the outskirts where the Prada Marfa art installation is located.  This town has captured my heart and I know I will be back.  Here are some images I took during the visit:

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Day At The Topsfield Fair

Danielle Dale, 2012 American Honey Princess
Who doesn't enjoy a day at the fair?  I can't think of a better community activity then going to the fair with friends and family and take in the sights, sounds and let's not forget, the food!  My friends, John and Ellyn were performing their Bubble Show at the Topsfield fair in Massachusetts so I had to take a drive out there to visit them!

I met John a few years ago on "my space" and we've become friends ever since.  My friends thought I was crazy to go to Mexico to meet a stranger (it was a little crazy) that I met online but I took a chance and I'm glad I did.

Little did I know but Topsfield fair is the oldest American fair that is held at the same place each year since 1910.  I've been to a few fairs across the country and I have to say that this one is most likely the nicest one I've visited thus far.  

John, Ellyn and Butch
As with all fairs, I find the people in attendance the most fascinating of all.  I get lost in the fair culture throughout the day with my camera, photographing people and things I find interesting the moment I see them.  During the day, I took photographs with my point and click and my iphone until both batteries died. After that, I had to just enjoy the fair without documenting it, which was an entirely new experience for me.  

I would highly recommend attending your local state or county fair.  You might be surprised at what you will find.  Here are some images of what I saw during my day at the fair.

Be a fan of the Bubble Show on Facebook by clicking HERE  They are touring all over the states so be  sure to catch a performance!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lobster Fishing In Maine

Ever since my first visit to Maine, I've wanted to get on a lobster boat and spend a day with the lobster fishermen.  I am fascinated with the people who do it and why they continue to do it.  In a series of events one morning, it seemed as it happened in an instant.  One moment I was having coffee with Ralph and the locals and the next minute, I was on a lobster boat.  Jon the captain agreed to have me on board as long as I kept out of their way.  I agreed, hopped on board and the adventure began.

I'm always prepared to change direction at a moment's notice and this was no exception. As soon as I jumped on board, I stood to the side  to observe them and witness the synchronicity in their moments without speaking a word.  As if they could do it in their sleep, they knew the specific job at hand and did it seamlessly throughout the day.  Jon would locate the traps, bring them in one by one, discard lobsters who had eggs or weren't large enough, saved the ones that were while Ray put new bait in, and stacked the traps to drop into the sea once again.

In between traps, I would chat briefly with Jon and Ray about their lives and about fishing.  I didn't talk much since the idle time was very limited.  Mostly, I kept to myself and stayed in places on the boat where I wouldn't get in the way.

At one point, Jon suggested that I jump on a buoy (the one you see below in the distance) to get a shot of them in the boat, floating away.  I did and as I stood on the buoy, I started to wonder if the joke was on me. They circled around, laughed, took pictures of me and eventually picked me up once again.

I am thankful that captain Jon agreed to have a stranger jump on board during his workday.  After it was over, he said that not many visitors get on the boat with them so I felt fortunate.  It's always a thrill to be able to do something I've always wanted to do.  Sometimes it can be as easy as telling someone you want to do it.  Don't be afraid to ask for what you want because chances are, you just might get it!  Below are some images from the day on the water, fishing with Jon and Ray.

 Captain Jon
 Deckhand Ray


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