Friday, February 22, 2008

Feb. 24-Feb. 29

The week of February 24 through February 29 promises to be my trial by fire as I head to Dallas to attend a workshop given by the best photojournalists in the wedding industry. It's always been my goal to tell a story in my images, and the assignments and critiques and hard work of the coming week will all go toward making me better at that.

I'm excited and nervous, to say the least, but it will be soooooo worth it, not only for me, but for YOU!

But why I'm posting about this now instead of afterward is because once I leave, I will not have access to e-mail and I wanted you all to know that. So you can send them, but a reply won't come until the following week. However, if you really need to get me, you can always call me at 614-203-2113 and leave a message and I will try my very hardest to call you as soon as I can.

For my trip, Hildy will be staying with her good friend Lori Price, who runs PawsitiveEnergy, just absolutely the best doggie daycare ever. Find her at She's simply amazing and Hildy loves loves loves her. All I have to do is say, "do you want to go see Lori??" and she goes ballistic!

And, as for Howie, big man that he is, a friend will be coming to stay at my house with him all week so he won't be lonely. And for that I'm very grateful!!

So, that's the scoop for next week! I hope to come back refreshed and rejuvenated after having my butt kicked by the best in the business!!! Woohoo!

Monday, February 18, 2008

I'm back . . .

You didn't even know I was gone, did you?? I was and have pictures to prove it! I spent last week in one of my favorite places, Islamorada, Florida, in the Keys. The weather was nothing short of glorious, even though it rained the first day. Mostly the temperatures were in the mid-70s during the day and the low 70s at night - warm enough to sleep with the balcony door wide open. It was awesome and relaxing and I'd be lying if I said I was glad to be back to Ohio! The only bad thing was that I came back with a nasty cold (and a sunburn!).

One thing I did on vacation was to shoot the entire thing using only my fisheye lens. I love that lens. Love it love it. I thought what a great challenge to me to shoot my vacation with just the fisheye, and that I did. Here's what I got:

Clouds, but they still beat the cold!

Down to South Beach for sushi and a walk by Miami Ink. The windows are blacked out because they're remodeling, so I didn't get to go in.

I love the curvature the fisheye gives to everything, especially large landscapes.

This is the view from my room balcony in Islamorada. I've stayed at this resort three years in a row now. I never used to like revisiting the same places over and over (aside from NY), but this place is really starting to feel like home.

The little pier outside the resort.

I love the evening light and added to it with a red flashlight to get this shot.

View into the resort laundry room through the fan.

The next day, I went out to a beach park and for some reason these wetsuits were just hanging from this tree like decorations. There was nobody around that they appeared to belong to!

Poochie paw prints. Awwwww.

Stopped by a roadside nursery so I could figure out names for all the different palm trees I saw and spotted these pretty little flowers with the raindrops.

Another view from my balcony, but this one of the great Croc shoes I bought. OK, I gotta say - I LOVE these shoes! Talk about comfy!

Next day, it was a visit to the HGTV Dream House, which happened to be only 10 minutes up the road from where I was staying. I'd seen the house on TV and it was just as beautiful in person. The furnishings and decorating were what I liked the best so I took lots of pictures to inspire some design ideas for my own house. And of course I registered to win the house when I got home! Wish me luck!

Without a doubt, this was my very favorite room in the whole house and it was only a little nook! I love the horizontal stripes and the colors felt just right. I'd love to try this at home. OK, I'd love to have this done in my home - not so sure I want to tackle it myself!! I'm already behind on painting as it is!

I loved this color too. It reminds me a little of the color in my living room. The green was so inviting and vibrant - it made me feel good just to be surrounded by it.

This is the bathroom attached to the green bedroom. I love the windows over the sink - what a fabulous idea. And the sinks themselves were really cool.

And the kitchen. The walls were covered in tiny brown square glass tiles. It was a very nice look.

Turning around from where I shot the kitchen is one of the two living rooms. The house was three storeys and this was the middle level. Each level had a patio or balcony with a view of the long yard and the bay.

The view from the middle level balcony. All the balconies had great outdoor furniture.

This is the master bath. The shower/bath combo was really remarkable with the windows and artwork. Very nice indeed.

A view from one of the stairwell windows.

The outside of the stairwell I'd just been standing in.

A walk to the end of the yard for the long view of the grounds and house. Gotta get the shoes in the shot!

This is the "Doggie Dream House". The website says this house has a value of $1500 but it looks like it cost about 20 bucks to build. Seriously. It's really cute, but $1500?? Puhlease!

OK, onto some driving to catch a beautiful sunset. I waited a while to get this shot so I could get the girl and her dog in just the right spot. They kept walking back and forth, so I had to time it just right to get them between the posts. The light was gorgeous.

Another shot of the same sunset, a little later. There was a picnic table at the end of the pier and people were out drinking beer and having a good time. Made for a nice shot, I think!

And one more sunset shot taken through the fronds of a palm tree. A nice way to end this post!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Leslie, Part Deux

Last Saturday, Melissa and I got together with Leslie again to shoot her in the Oregon District of Dayton. First, let me say, although it's small, it's a very hip area with cool shops and restaurants. I'd been there before, but never to shoot, so I was happy to have the opportunity even though it was a tad on the chilly side.

Leslie, as always, is such a sweetheart and just a doll to shoot. She's a painter who teaches art to children with autism. She has a great eye for "the light" and is super in front of the camera. Melissa and I just adore her and really enjoyed our afternoon together.

Here are some of the images I got from the day:

We started out on this great vine-covered wall:

Then on to this tiny space between some buildings:

I got some fun shots of Melissa shooting Leslie:

Love these boots!

To warm up, we stopped in Jimmy Modern furniture store on Fifth St. What an awesome store! We could've shopped there all day - the furnishings are 20th century modern and ultra hip. The owner was super nice and gave us the run of the place, allowing us to shoot whatever we wanted and even invited us back for other shoots. So, beware, Elaine and Mark (whose wedding is in Dayton) because we might just end up at Jimmy Modern's for some cool wedding shots in November!!

This is Jimmy's dog, China. She was a sweetie, even though she's giving the wary eye here:

"Uh, Jimmy?"

Time for a scratch.

This shot is looking down the stairs into the basement which was filled with lots more goodies, including some really cool lamps. I love lamps.

China wasn't too wild about the camera getting too close, and when it did she let us know.

Back onto the street where we asked Leslie to act like someone had just dumped her there. Nice, eh? See what I mean about her being a good sport?!

Then we headed over to some old warehouses that had been converted to studio spaces. This shot was taken in the ladies room.

Near the freight elevator Melissa broke out one of her Christmas presents: a neoprene snoot for her flash. We played with that a good bit. Love how it intensely focuses the flash, but it definitely takes two people to use it since the flash is actually off-camera. I'm gonna have to get me one of those and an extra arm!

Back out into the cold for more fun. Isn't this cute?

And, now, this I LOVE. We drove to an abandoned factory - a very scary place to say the least - and on the outside of the building someone had spray painted these "clouds" or "wings". Leslie hopped up and balanced herself on the tiny ledge so we could shoot her wearing the wings. It looks like she just came in for a landing. I really love this.

Inside the building, Leslie found this gorgeous shaft of light. The light fell just perfectly, illuminating part of the graffittied (if there is such a word) wall.

This one has a really dark feel to it, but that's what I like about it.

Just another day at the office.

Again, we had such a fun and relaxing time wandering around Dayton, shooting in unexpected places with different set-ups, and I want to thank Leslie for spending the afternoon with us.