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Nothing but love…

Graham and Janet are getting married and I am lucky enough to photograph their wedding this summer.

They wanted to have engagement photos for announcements. Graham, who is an emerging photographer, said that he tried to set the camera up and take their own engagement photos with a remote, but he said it was harder than he thought to get the photos to look natural.

So we made a date in Golden Gate Park, and we did a quick one hour engagement shoot with their new love, Jasmine.

Our mini-photo shoot was just enough time for us to get to know each other a little better, and for them to practice being in front of the camera, and for me to capture natural photos of them being in love, with each other… and with Jasmine.

And then Jasmine had enough of the love…

A list for Santa (Rosa)….

Both my brother and one of my best friends recently made requests for prints to decorate their homes. Their requests turned into a fun project for me… it’s like cleaning out the closet and trying on a pair of forgotten pants and realizing you love them, and suddenly they become your new favorites.

But the fun part about photos is that not only do they become my new favorites, but I get to share them with other people too. I am making my list and sending my order off to Santa (Rosa,) so if you see something you like… it’s not too late to share the photo spirit this Holiday Season.

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LA Cowboy.

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Oak Hill Farm, Sonoma.

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Behind Mia

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Farm Art.

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London Graffiti…. above and below.

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Ann and her girls….

This is one of my best friends from high school, Ann, and all her girls…

First came Susie…. and you can see her several times on my websites

And then came Allie….

We wanted to make sure Allie, the second child, has as many baby photos as her well documented big sister… so when Susie took her nap today, we had an “Allie Exclusive” photo shoot.


Well, it was an “Allie Exclusive” photo shoot except for poor Luna, Ann’s first baby girl, who has moved into a lowly third place, but with a little love, all is forgiven.

Taking Time to Play….

As a “professional” photographer, it can get overwhelming photographing all the time… and sometimes the last thing you want to do is take photos during your free time because taking photos means editing photos and that means more time in front of the computer… but playing with your camera is the best way to keep photography fun. So this summer, I tried really hard to balance my computer editing time with my playing time… and what’s better than a cartwheel competition.  Although another important lesson to remember as a photographer… put down the camera and do cartwheels too, or if you can take a photo while you cartwheel, that’s cool, I just haven’t figured out how to do that with the Rollei.

Featuring Bulky Knits

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These are some of the fun shots from our Wool Farm Fashion – Shoot #2 (to see session #1 click here.)This time we were doing product shots, which isn’t as fun for me as working with farmers/models, but it is still pretty fun. It is much harder than you would think to make everything look perfect but natural and beautiful at the same time. But I think we are off to a good start.

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Marlie was inspired by the rows farmers make in their agricultural fields near her home in West Marin for this sweater.

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Not only is Marlie a fiber artist, but she is also a fantastic ceramicist. So it is really cool that she has found a way to combine her two arts into one, like in the sweater above.

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And finally Cassie, the love-monster, helps us out by doing what she does best. Although, you can’t tell from the photo, Cassie is completely stressed out at this moment. I saw her sleeping there and decided it would be a good photo… and of course as soon as we starting moving unwanted background objects out of the way, she decided she should move too… so we had to convince her that staying still was a better idea. In the end, I think she understood us when we promised her lots of diet breaking treats as soon as it was all over.

To find more of Marlie’s handwovens and ceramic creations go to her store in Pt Reyes Station… Blackmountain Weavers.


Nervous

So now I am back in London…..with a box of prints and a stomach full of nerves. While I was in the US, I had thoughts that maybe I didn’t even need to come back, because I had already learned what I needed to learn.

I learned how to photograph with a medium format camera, I learned how to tackle a big project, I learned how to put myself out there, I learned how to make mistakes and fix them….so why should I come back to London where it is so expensive and far away from my loved ones.

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But to be honest, I was not looking forward to sitting down and showing my work. I was dreading it. I was insecure that my work wasn’t good enough. That my portrayal of a small American town would be insignificant and dull next to my classmates’ worldly adventures and documentation of major current events. I would try to remind myself that it doesn’t matter what other people think, this is the type of work that interests me, so that is the most important thing……but still the nerves twitched. So I knew that this was yet another lesson that I needed to face and learn….

I was happy and relieved when my first tutorial with Oliver went well. He was complimentary; he said I had some good images and that I had mastered medium format…..(which means I did a really good job editing and he didn’t see the mountains of out of focus or flared images). So that day I felt good…..but then we had our group presentation…..and now, in our third term, I know how this goes, and I know what to expect….

It means, a long day of seeing other people’s work, which is good…..but because there are so many people in the class, it is kind of pointless as far as getting feedback from the other students or our tutor, who may or may not be paying attention, and therefore it generally leaves me feeling pretty unsatisfied and frustrated…..and this term was just the same…..maybe even worse, because I am much more fragile and desperately craving feedback.

I don’t need someone to tell me everything is good and I am the best photographer in the world, I need someone to be thoughtful and look at the images and make critiques and tell me their honest opinion….it is called constructive criticism. In my opinion, that has been a huge gaping hole in this program.

So after the group presentation, the confidence roller coaster dipped down again….until I had a great meeting with Homer Sykes. Luckily the person who signed up after me didn’t show up, so I got a longer time with him than the meager 30 minutes allotted and during that time he filled me with hope again. Homer told me the things that didn’t work, but then we looked through other photos that I had not selected. The process was so helpful and when it was over I actually smiled, which he was relieved to finally see.

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Homer chose this one from my pile of extras……and because he was choosing more of my atmospheric photos, it sent me back to my original files to search for others that I may have skipped in my initial edits, and I found this one of the fire house, it makes me smile too……

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And the roller coaster goes up again.

Taylor

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This is Taylor. She just turned 10 and for her birthday she wanted to have a boy-girl dance party. Her favorite presents were a razor to shave her legs and a toothbrush with a picture of a new boy-band singer who sings when you brush your teeth. She is wearing her new favorite clothes she got for her birthday.

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Unfortunately the party was not a huge success, because it seems 10 year old boys are not as into dance parties as 10 year old girls and so Taylor spent most of the time upset that her boyfriend was not acting the way she wanted. And by the end of the party there was a rumor that he was going to break up with her which made her upset because she really wanted to have a boyfriend for the fifth grade. Taylor’s mom (left) and step-mom (right) tried to make her feel better by giving her their relationship advice.

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Moments later the grandmother’s ex-husband, who she is dating again, rough-housed with this dog until the dog bit his arm and made him bleed.

this is boo’s father, todd

every year todd has an easter egg hunt in one of his giant pastures, for all the neighbor ranch kids. this is the pre-hunt egg filling party in todd’s hunting room. todd is the real deal when it comes to ranching…..you can’t get more authentic.

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