Thursday, November 27, 2008

Out Walking

We got out today for a lovely walk on the reservoir. The earth is beginning to return our step, giving ever so slightly to our footfall. No longer hard and unyeilding. The rains are beginning to transform the landscape.

I picture the rains we received yesterday being hungrily devoured by the soil. Even on the slopes, the first rains are quickly absorbed and the earth puts the bounty to work. If the rainfall had been more generous, the earth would release some if it to roll downhill, joining other drops in seeps and seasonal creeklets on their way to the low point, the reservoir. But for now, the reservoirs only reflect the few drops it has captured along with the water which has been impounded from the last raining season.

The ravens gathered for a quick meeting in the oak quitting their agenda abruptly at the sound of our clapping hands.

The buckeye is right where it has always been, and I fancy it enjoys the appreciation. I've photographed it dozens of times.

With the last rays of the day, a flood of sunshine low and mellow slips through the pass and bathes the landscape while I stand astonished, forgetting for a moment that I was at this place at this time simply to admire the graceful leaves of the grapevine.

A beautiful day.

Happy Thanksgiving aka Playing with my Food

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Leftovers for us, by choice. But we did cook up this beautiful stuffed squash to go with leftover turkey. And, of course, half the fun for me is photographing my food.

We have much to be thankful for in our lives, not the least of which is that we have our health, we have each other, our boys are well and happy, our parents are doing ok, our siblings seem happy and we continue to see much beauty in the world, despite the challenges.

Monday, November 24, 2008

a Vineyard

Saturday afternoon we got the chance to attend DeRose Winery's New Release Party, in full swing by late afternoon. It was fun to taste the newly bottled wine and get out to stroll in the vineyard. The light was lovely.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Baby Roberto

I got to meet Baby Roberto and his very sweet parents yesterday. This little guy is now 6 months old but he jumped into the world at 24 weeks gestation giving his parents quite a scare. He's doing wonderfully. Thanks mom and dad for allowing me the privilege of taking Roberto's first portraits.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Working with little ones like this just make my heart sing. And yes, she's the same Madeline in the portrait below. She's a big girl now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Poppy Jasper Film Festival

I got to be a member of the press on Saturday and covered the Saturday events of the Poppy Jasper Film Festival, including the Women Filmmakers Panel on Saturday and the keynote address later that evening. I even got to see a few films and had a photo published in the Morgan Hill Times today from those I took at the Festival.

I love what this kind of cross-polination does to an artist's ideas. While I was watching a short film on the 100th birthday of a female matriarch in a Filipino family, it occurred to me that one of the personal projects I want to do this year is multi-generational portraits. So I'm giving away four portrait sessions between January 1st and March 1st to four families who step up to accept my offer. The families chosen will receive an 11x14 print and each member of the family participating will receive an 8x10. Entries will be drawn the last week of December. So drop me a note and let me know why this is important for your family.

I'll announce this competition again in the coming weeks. You heard it here first.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Need Rain

I've been out walking today. Walking on the Coyote Creekbed in Coe Park. The creek is just beginning to show the first sign that the water table is rising. Nothing's flowing yet. That's how I got to visit and sit next to one of my favorite snags in the park.

Yes, I love trees in that last chapter of their life. This Sycamore grows in the middle of the creek on a small bar of gravel. When the river rises, its feet get wet. I love its form and the two raised branches and gaping hole just makes it funny and animated. This time I imagined the tree making a plea for the winter rains...bring it on !!

On the knot that you see on the left, small ferns grow during the rainy season. They are just beginning to show up. Next time I get near, if the creek allows, they will have grown enough to be photographed.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Madeline and Max

I love this time of the year, I get to see a lot of my favorite clients as they get portraits or Christmas cards made from late fall sessions they book or from previous sessions they had me do during the year. I love them all, but this family is truly special. I worked with them photographing Max during his first year of life and had the pleasure of meeting his big sister, Madeline when she was about two years old. They are now three and five. How fast they have grown!!

Madeline’s grandmother chose a perfect time to have a portrait of Madeline made, right around the time Maddy was turning three. I agreed with the family that this is the time when our little ones are beginning to mature into their looks but also, they retain that sweet softness of babyhood. Viewed from behind or in profile, the baby is still there but they are stepping out into the world with growing maturity.

When they commissioned the portrait of Madeline, at the age of 3, Max was a newborn. They were planning ahead and wanted me to photograph Max, at the same age so that they could hang the two portraits together. They purchased beautiful matching Strasburg outfits for each of the children and put away the romper for Max.

As part of the deal, I put away the canvas I used for the session with Madeline to be used again when Max was ready for his portrait. And we waited for Max to grow into his outfit.

I photographed Max this past summer and we are just now having the second canvas prepared.

I can’t tell you how much I love these portraits of Madeline and Max and how delighted the family is to have these to hang together on their wall. I’m delighted to have helped them preserve these images of their children at this wonderful developmental stage and look forward to being there to capture more moments as we watch them grow.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

San Benito County

When I'm not photographing people, I still have the camera in my hand, most often photographing the landscape.

We always enjoy visiting the Cienega Valley in San Benito County. It is a beautiful drive along oak-studded grasslands with mountain vistas. This image was taken from the Calera Winery picnic area, a favorite stop. Great wine and great people at all of those wineries - Calera, Pietra Santa, DeRose.

One of the reasons why the wines are so great in this area is the prevalence of limestone, as can clearly be seen from this vantage point.

I thought this photo deserved a sepia approach. It captured the remote, open, wild nature of the landscape.

Monday, November 10, 2008

First Family

Meet Rossi. His family was the very first family to enter into my "Watch Me Grow" program way back when I first began my business in 2004. You gotta love how much time they have given me over these past four years. Even allowing me to use Rossi's image for my marketing campaign. The photo of him with Ribbett the frog is quite well known as I've been using that image for my print advertisement off and on for the past three years.

I continue to follow him, catching up with the family a couple times each year and I always try to catch up with them in the fall, around Rossi's birthday.

It's such a pleasure watching him grow and I've become very fond of this family.

Rossi's four now and he and I had a grand outing adventure to Mt. Madonna County Park this past weekend to mark his birthday. It was so much fun to watch him explore the redwoods.

Here's a little trip down our memory lane with him.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Holly and Kaitlyn

It is always great when a family comes back to me again and such fun to watch these children grow. I'd not met big sister, Holly, but Kaitlyn came to me for her four month photo session and she's already a year old !!

They sure gave me a workout that afternoon, but everyone enjoyed the session.