Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Cup Runneth Over

A couple of weeks ago, I had the misfortune of dropping my brand new camera and my most expensive lens. Fortunately, the good people of Nikon were able to fix them both and send them back to me. I had meant to insure the camera as soon as I bought it, but I was so excited to use it, I forgot. That would be a very, very costly mistake. Ah experience, why must you be such a cruel and expensive teacher?

This time when my camera arrived, I did the smart thing and took it to the insurance office (along with all of my gear). Then I took it all home, put it in the corner, and left it there. Partly because I am afraid I will drop it again. But mostly because I don't feel worthy of having such nice equipment. And oddly enough, I just didn't have the desire to take any photographs. Perhaps it is my way of punishing myself for such a bonehead maneuver. Whatever the reason, it is the first time in two years that I didn't feel compelled to photograph something, anything.

Until tonight.

I fed the girls dinner, they took a shower and got dressed for bed. I turned on the TV so they could veg out. A little while later, I noticed it was very quiet. I tiptoed down the hall, peeked into my room and found the sweetest thing. My babies, who are usually running 110 miles per hour (especially when it is time to go to bed) were fast asleep. And for the first time in weeks, I pulled out my camera. Because I wanted to freeze this moment in time so I can always remember how fortunate I am to have these two little girls in my life. For those times when I question why I ever wanted to have children, one look at these photos will remind me that it is all worth it. The tantrums, the potty training, the fight to brush teeth and the nightly battle to go to bed in their own beds, they are all a part of our life and I wouldn't trade it for all the Louis Vuitton on the planet. Not as long as I can have moments like this.

My cup runneth over.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Be Still My Heart

I had the most wonderful session last week. It was the perfect session for me... an 18 month old boy and his momma, a dog, a parrot and some chickens. I was in heaven!

I met Tisha at her home, a wonderful old house in Sacramento, complete with leaded windows, wood floors, glass doorknobs... the kind of house I would love to live in. Levi was still napping when I arrived and Tisha showed me around. She introduced me to Jackson, an awesome black lab who was chewing on a bone in front of the fireplace. And then to her fish, her new parrot and to her chickens. I could hardly contain myself and I pulled out my camera.

I saw this photo of Levi hanging on the wall and I could hardly stand it any longer... I had to meet the handsome little man. I asked Tisha if I could take some photos of Levi sleeping. I realize it makes me sound like a stalker, but I just love to photograph people when they are sleeping. Tisha opened the door to Levi's room and he was awake already. No sleeping baby shots, but his room was so beautiful, I got a few pictures while Levi was waking up and adjusting to the fact that a stranger (with a camera) was in his house.

The shade of blue on the walls is so serene. And the Raggedy Ann and Andy pictures brought back memories of my childhood. But the most amazing part of this room is the form of Tisha's pregnant body hanging above Levi's crib. I wish that I was able to celebrate the changes that gestation had brought about in my body, as Tisha did... but I felt too fat and gross and uncomfortable to go there. Which is one reason why I admire Tisha so much: she appreciated all that her body was going through in order to bring this beautiful child into the world.

Are you ready to meet this beautiful child? Well wait no longer - I give you Levi:

Snack time with Jackson... a little for me, a little for you

Heading out to feed the chickens

Snack time for Delilah

Levi loves to play with water...

I'm gonna get you momma!
These two are so unbelievably cute together.

Whether it be going for a ride on the vintage car

or taking a spin on the trike

or simply putting on a pair of boots... this mother and son made my heart melt.
I mean, are there any words to describe them?

This has to be one of my favorite photos. Ever.

This guy is so stinkin' cute, he even makes a Jets warm up look good
(sorry, I'm a little bitter from last week's game).

We headed inside to get a few more photos.
Check out Levi's swing. I want one.

No, seriously.
I. want. one.

Turns out the birdie likes to swing, too.

Tisha, thank you so much for inviting me to your home to spend the afternoon with you and Levi. I wish that I could find the words to adequately express just how lovely you and your son are. There is such a sense of calm and peace and love and genuine happiness... simply and honestly beautiful.

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Levi
Happy Birthday to you.

And because I love it so much...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


If you know a vet, you know that we tend to be fanatical about our pets. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a not-so-good way. You see, we learn lots of scary things in vet school... For some of us, if our pets so much a sneeze, we automatically think it must be suffering from at least 3 major, scary disease processes. Sometimes knowledge is a bad thing.

I work with a vet who is incredibly smart... I always marvel at how much this woman knows. Any time that I listen to her speak on the phone to a client, or watch her do surgery, or read out a radiograph, I am amazed at what an amazing veterinarian she is. Our schedules don't overlap anymore, so we rarely see each other. But when I read her notes in patient records, I am reminded of how lucky our hospital, and our patients, are to have Dr. Hench on staff.

Dr. Hench has a little poodle named Dewey. To say that she loves him would be a gross understatement. Dewey, the little apricot poodle, stole Dr. Hench's heart many years ago. Alas, she and Dewey were able to make room in their lives as they married Dale in 2007. And if the rumor mill is correct, Dale has fallen for Dewey just as hard as his wife has.

A few weeks before Christmas, Hench (for some reason, we vets refer to each other by last name) sent me an email asking if I would take some portraits of Dewey as a surprise gift for Dale. I was so excited to photograph the legendary Dewey! Although I was a little nervous that my portraits would never live up to the legend himself. We set up a date and had ourselves a little photo session. Which included 4 wardrobe changes. In a word - awesome.

I now give you Dewey:

I'm not sure where dog begins and carpet ends...

Ensemble number 1 - the red Woolrich wool coat.
And yes, Dale has one to match.

I got my snowman PINNED!

Dewey under the tree

Dewey playing some poker.
Nice hand, eh?

Ensemble number 2: tuxedo.
Dewey wore a tux to his parents' wedding.

Although Hench tells me he wouldn't wear the hat during the ceremony.
Which is a shame, because he looks so stinkin' cute!

Ensemble number 3: Halloween costume.
Dewey was a veterinarian.

And ensemble number 4: camo jacket.
Has anyone seen Dewey?

Mama has! And look, she's wearing camo, too!


We unplugged for a bit to get some photos of Mr. Dewey in his natural state. Freed from his couture, Dewey relaxed on the bed for a bit. Although I think Dewey secretly enjoyed his afternoon as a model.

Hench, thank you so much for inviting me into your home to photograph your most precious Dewey for your most wonderful husband. It was an honor to do so. Please give the Dewey man a kiss from his personal paparazzi.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Never judge a book by it's cover

One of my dear friends (who also happens to be named Nicole) asked that I photograph her daughter and her sister together as a Christmas present. For Nicole, I will photograph anything. Not just because she is super awesome or because I feel sorry for her about-to-burst-with-child belly. But because she has been incredibly supportive in my new photography career. And for that, I am truly grateful.

Nicole's sister, Angela, had been up to visit for the past month, helping prepare baby Kingston's room. Angela is uber talented, hailing from FIDM where she is now an instructor. She also is the creative director at Rolling Greens Nursery in Hollywood (click here to visit their website), where she brings her dog, Sophie, to work each day.

Now if you follow my photography Facebook page, you may have noticed that I am a fan scruffy dogs and dogs with underbites. Much to my pleasant surprise, Sophie is a scruffy, prognathic little girl. She was rescued as a puppy, the offspring of a Jack Russell Terrier and a Shih Tzu. That's right, she is a new designer breed known as a Jack Shit (I wish I could take credit for that, but I can't). Whatever you may call her, Sophie is nothing short of fabulous!

Here is a look at our festivities New Year's Eve day:

Shy little Sophie, sitting in momma's lap

Am I right? She's cute, huh?

And those little underbitten teeth? Help me Rhonda!

Miss Kezia, experiencing a little static cling

And having an "I love mommy" moment.

Kezia and her Auntie Angela

Is it wrong for me to be envious of this family's good looks?

My favorite.

And just as we were finishing these photos, we turn around to find the quiet and shy city dog:

Sophie, running amok in the country. With her sweater on (I love a girl who is prepared).

So we had an idea... would the city girl return to her wild roots and chase a stick?

Looks like the terrier half may be taking over...

Do you see the stick?

How about now?

When I first met Sophie, I never would have thought she was the type of dog who would chase sticks and then chew on them until she was spitting out moss and splinters. Just goes to show, never judge a book by it's cover. Unless the cover has scruffy hair and an underbite. In which case I always know that it is fabulous, inside and out.