Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Bingo Culture" Series Image Selected By The Worldwide Photography Gala Awards For the 3rd Annual Julia Margaret Cameron Award To Be Shown In Paris in 2013

I woke up to a nice surprise yesterday morning.

Each morning, I sip my coffee and scan my emails on my phone. Not thinking much about it (or anything really at this time in the morning), I opened up an email announcing results to the 3rd Annual Julia Margaret Cameron Award by the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards.  As I read the email, I completely forgot that I entered this contest back in December.  I browsed the names of the selected winners and then I thought I saw my name.  There had to be something in my eyes so I put my phone down, rubbed my eyes hard and drank more coffee before I looked again.  Just to be sure, I clicked on the link to the selected winners and there was my image, "Christmas Bingo In Colorado" selected as 5th place in the Documentary and Editorial category!  Shortly after that, I realized that because I am a finalist, my work will be shown in Paris in 2013!  I am completely honored.  Although I have circled the country for three years in my car, I have never been to Europe, so perhaps this is a good excuse to go.

Just last week, I was informed that this image was also selected by juror Holly Andres to be included in the Portraits exhibit at the Black Box gallery in Portland, Oregon.  If you are in the area, the show will run from June 1st through the 22nd. I'm so thrilled to be a part of it.

Little did I know that what began as a curiosity of the game of bingo and the urge to document the players and culture, that ultimately, it would be so well received.  

If you are new to my blog, here's a little background with my statement on this ongoing project: 

"... While traveling in Maine, I discovered a Bingo hall and it provoked a curiosity about a subculture that I was aware of but hadn't given any thought towards.  What I discovered was a community of dedicated players who travel to the same place, set up in the same spot, and bring along the same good luck charms with the hopes that this will be the day they win big.  It’s a place where hope and despair come hand in hand throughout the night as the mind lets go of everything but what numbers are being called. Each location I encountered would bring in a true sense of community, each with their unique set of personalities and characters.  As I continued my travels and visits to Bingo Halls across America, I realized I was looking at a cultural phenomenon that will be lost to future generations."

To see more images from my "Bingo Culture" series, click HERE 

To see the images that were selected by the Worldwide Gala Awards for the 3rd Annual Julia Margaret Cameron Awards, click HERE

I am grateful to be able to share with you, all of the wonderful people I meet each time I enter a bingo hall.  They have been nothing but supportive and appreciative of my efforts to document the game they love so much, because we both know it's about so much more.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Travels With Max

I can't imagine living on the road without my dog, Max.  There are many alone moments traveling and when he's with me, I am never really alone.  The few past years when we lived in a tent, I was a bit afraid in some of the remote places we settled in since rangers were quick to remind us at every step that we were in BEAR COUNTRY!  Max sleeps inside of my sleeping bag (yes, true story), so at times I was a bit afraid that the bears would think I'm hiding a snack for them.  We made it through and now I feel a bit safer sleeping with him in the van.

As much as I think this journey is for me, it's really for Max.  I make decisions on where to go based on how Max would like it and how comfortable he would be.  He LOVES the beach!  It's the only place besides dog parks that I will let him off leash.  When we get to a safe area where there are no roads close to the beach and there really isn't anything for miles, I click him off of the leash.  He knows once he's off, he gets to run as far as he can and dig like a crazy beast in the sand.  I've attached a few videos to prove it.  Once he digs a hole, he likes to lay in it and doesn't mind if I start to bury him in the sand.  He's been relaxed enough a few times to let me bury him.  

On our first getaway with the Van, I keep looking back to make sure that he's comfortable since he doesn't have a "routine" in the van yet like he did in the car.  He quickly found that he likes the back (after I built a throne of pillows and blankets) of the van to hang out in.  Each time I look back and see him there, he makes me smile.  

For those of you who don't know Max, I adopted him three years ago from a rescue group that had him at a farmer's market.  I've never had a small dog as my own before so I wasn't sure.  He has brought so much joy to my life.  Not to sound like a crazy dog lady, I really do love him so much.  He keeps me laughing each day.  It's amazing how a rescue dog can bring so much joy in my life.  If you are thinking of adopting, please rescue a shelter dog.  They will rescue you right back.

Why Max stays on a leash (above)

Learning at the beginning how a freak Max is at the beach

Monday, May 14, 2012

Big Sur Photoshoot And Towing On The Edge

What do I do to get ready for a big photoshoot from a major Women's magazine?  Get my hair and makeup done just right to look as glamorous as possible? Well, in my case last week, I  camp and not shower for three days.  Wooo Hooo, I am ready for my close up now!  Yes, that happened and now it's time to wait for the article to come out and just hope for the best.  I didn't mean for that to happen, it was a slight miscalculation in the distance of an available shower. I suppose it's not bad, especially since the article is about women living on the road.  No makeup and maybe a brush through my hair once did the trick. We shall see.

Anyway, I was honored to be asked to participate in the article! The best part is that it was my first outing with Campy so that was exciting. I traveled up to Big Sur and camped at an amazing campground called Kirk Creek.  If you haven't been and you like to camp on a bluff overlooking the ocean, this is the place for you.  Each morning I woke up to an amazing view and mild weather.  It was bliss.  My campsite was right next to the tent spots and I have to say that I felt a little sad for them.  For two years, that was how I camped and let me tell you... I love my van and can't wait to live in it full time soon.

My friend Kristiana and her dog OSA joined me on the adventure and she brought one of her vintage Airstreams. We camped a few days until Nick and Catherine from the magazine came to interview and photograph us.  Since the Airstream is such a beauty, we took her out on the cliff to escape the fog and to take some photographs of us relaxing next to it while completely stopped in the middle of a narrow road on a turn at the edge of a steep cliff, with no guardrail.  You know, just like we would do in real life.  "Hey, here's a dangerous spot to tow and stop...let's get out and look cute watching the ocean next to the trailer!" is what all of us camper gals say during these "relaxing" moments of cliff towing.  I have to hand it to Kristiana, she towed like a pro and why wouldn't she?

Needless to say, the light agreed with us and was just perfect for the shot.  With all of the excitement going on, I ran out with just my cell phone but still managed to capture the moment.  

While we were waiting for the photographer to scout a site, I shot some fun jumping pics reflected off of the trailer.  It's silly and I have to admit I love jumpie pics so it was fun that she went along with it. 

The next morning, Kristiana and
OSA headed home while I stayed one more night of ocean front camping with no internet or cell service.  It was bliss... I recommend it.

Friday, May 4, 2012

It Doesn't Last Forever

Time.  Where does it go?  Sometimes I reflect back to when I quit my job to tour around the country to "find myself."  That was four years ago!  Sometimes it feels like just yesterday I headed out with "Trailie" and other days it feels like that trip was a long time ago.  Regardless, it doesn't last forever.

I adopted Max almost three years ago.  I found him at a farmer's market and adopted him through a rescue organization.  He's my best friend for life and I can't imagine being on the road without him.  Today, Women's Adventure Magazine reposted an article I wrote on the past three years and it got me thinking about the beginning and how I felt at the time.  The first year really was a blur and the past two years in a tent is what I remember most.  I adopted Max and about a month later, we hit the road together.  I was looking back at the photos from my point and shoot camera from that year and found a photo of Max on the first day out.  I paired it with a photo I took of him last year and this is what living on the road looks like for a dog.
Each time I look at it, I crack up.  Max had no idea what was in store for him.  He's circled the country for two years and now he's about to embark on another year of road travel.  However, I think he will enjoy the van much more.  
We are leaving for a trial run of campy in the next day so we'll see how that goes.  I will be sure to take lots of photos and share them with you here. I look forward to it!  If you would like to read the story in Women's Adventure Magazine, click HERE


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