fiona – sneak peek.

It is late, and I have to get up early tomorrow. But I haven’t posted in a really long time, and I’ve needed to. Several posts that I need to write and put up, but school has been crazy and finals are imminent.

That being said, I really wanted to share with all of you a little peek at what’s to come. If you follow me on twitter, you probably know that I just shot my first senior photo session on Sunday. Really excited to post those. But last month, I had a super fun little fashion/editorial kind of shoot with Fiona modeling and Kelsey doing makeup and styling. Details on that soon, I hope. For now, enjoy these two shots from that awesome day.


cristie.

Cristie is a lovely and exuberant girl — so full of energy and always taking life by the horns. She is the catering manager at The Tea Gardens and is training to be an opera singer. Cristie and I met up for a quick portrait session at the beginning of last week. When asked what she was hoping for out of the shoot, she shrugged and said, “Pretty pictures?” I did my best to follow those guidelines, and I’m fairly certain we achieved just that. It was a very simple shoot, but so much fun. It was also my first time shooting with a 5D Mark II, which I borrowed for the shoot and for Watson and Mindy’s party. I am hoping to be able to use it for several more future shoots, and eventually get my own. The combination of the 5D with my 50mm L is just amazing.

But enough about that. Let’s look at some pretty pictures of the stunning Cristie!



I love this location so much. These were taken not 20 feet away from where I had my shoot with Clare, but you’d never guess. So much versatility in look, feel, and lighting, and in such a small area. I like to call this particularly spot my Terabithia.

Is this girl a natural in front of the camera or what?









The lighting here was so beautiful. I love it when I can catch the sun at just the right spot in the sky.


I can’t even handle how beautiful she looks in these. Those eyes!



She brought so much personality to the shoot. So many simple little poses and facial expressions, and they all worked out so well.


Oh, lens flares… how do I love thee?





And the last few frames of the day before we packed up and she went off to her singing lesson.



I am so happy with how these shots turned out, and I’m thrilled to have finally gotten a chance to try my hand at using the 5D! Thanks for a fantastic session, Cristie!

watson & mindy – happy 1st birthday!

Yesterday was Watson and Mindy‘s 1st birthday! We wanted to celebrate this red-letter day right, so we threw them a party. Call us crazy, but I have to say: it was pretty awesome. There were pink (Mindy) and green (Watson) decorations, doggy-themed desserts, and even a cake for the dogs! Enjoy these photos of our ridiculous tribute to the best puppies ever.

Poop cupcake anyone?


The doggy cake consisted of over 5 pounds of meat (ground beef and lamb) with mashed potato frosting. Mmm… tasty…

Watson knew there was food being prepared…

… but was unamused when told he had to wait to eat it.

The cake looked awesome, as did the decorations.



Mindy and family!


Cake time!





And finally, a quick picture my mom took of me and my puppy. I love him so much. I can’t believe he’s already a year old! I am so very much looking forward to celebrating many, many more years of Watson.

keep calm & drink tea – the tea gardens.

School has been so completely insane. I have a few exciting posts I would like to put up, but I’ve been so lacking in time. I take my last two midterms today and then I will be done with school until January. I have so much to say about all of that, but for now, let’s talk about The Tea Gardens.

The first word that comes to mind when I think of this place is “warmth”. It just has such a warm and comforting vibe. Such charm and whimsy from the moment you walk in the door. Then, of course, there’s the tea. I love, love, love tea. There are so many different kinds with so many different flavors. From the light and refreshing iced teas, to the rich and soothing hot teas, The Tea Gardens really succeeds at providing something for every mood and every taste.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to take a few photos for their brand new catering menu. It was a very quick shoot with very little prep time, but I think we pulled it off.

This is their boxed lunch, which gives you the option of a sandwich, wrap, or salad, with a side of fresh fruit and a scone. They opted for the egg salad sandwich for the shoot, which happens to be a favorite of mine.

Next is their dessert gift wrap, which you can add on to any box of their tasty desserts.

Lastly, their scone box, which you can get with an assortment, or choose any two types of their scones.

Such a fun little shoot. I love opportunities like this. Last weekend, I went back for Clare‘s birthday party (I got croissant french toast, which was awesome) and got to take a look at the new catering menu. It’s so much fun to see your work in print. Such an amazing and satisfying feeling.

Speaking of print…

The holidays are fast approaching, and with it, a new year. What better gift to give than my Puppies! 2012 wall calendar? It’s full of fluffy cuteness, and 10% of the profits go to ACT V Rescue & Rehabilitation. There are some other totally adorable puppy products here, and my art prints can be found here. After you get a calendar or print, you should go get some tea and croissant french toast (oh my goodness it was so good).

Thank you, Tea Gardens, for this totally fun shoot and all the tasty food and drink! See you again soon!

The Tea Gardens
www.theteagardens.com
Santa Clarita, CA

clare.

In the first play I ever did, there was a girl. She had an amazing laugh, a powerful singing voice, and an adorable smile. She was ever so talented and ever so sweet and ever so… strange. Let’s face it: she was really, really strange. So naturally, we became friends.

It’s been six years. Six years of laughs, tears, countless inside jokes, numerous random walks, and late night phone calls. We are avid Harry Potter fans and we solemnly swear we are up to no good. We survived my grand Minnesotan excursion and now that I’m back, we will continue to put up with each other. -sigh-

She was the first person I ever had a photoshoot with (back when I still had my Lumix!). She’s always been incredibly easy to photograph. She was born to perform and she takes that same presence from the stage to the camera. And she’s purrrrdy.

I am pretty sure I am posting way too many photos from this session, but I can’t help it! I am so proud of them and had so much fun with the shoot. I can’t believe this is the first time Clare has been on my blog. It certainly won’t be the last.



This next one is one of my favorites. How freaking beautiful is she!?

Couldn’t resist a hipster photo to show off her Deathly Hallows necklace.





Another favorite. Her eyes are amazing.




These next three are so very Clare. I can’t help but laugh every time I look at them. Once a theatre kid, always a theatre kid.



Always up to something.







I am so happy with this last set. The lighting was pretty much perfect. Plus, I decided to play around with some editing techniques on a few of them, which is always fun.





That smile!



Yup. Way too many photos. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did, though. Thanks for an awesome evening, Clare! Can’t wait for our next shoot!

vedera – the farmhouse.

A little over 2 years ago, I went to see the Plain White T’s at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis. I only had my dad’s little point-and-shoot (which I didn’t know how to use very well and kept accidentally firing the flash — oops), but I took a ton of photos during the show. I also took a ton of photos during the preshow, when an amazing band called Vedera played. I had never heard of them before, but there was no way I was ever going to forget them.

On Wednesday, my mom called me into the kitchen to ask me if I thought I’d be busy that evening. She went on to say that Vedera was doing a free house show at The Farmhouse. That night, as the sun set on Hollywood, I found myself under a giant avocado tree with 20 other people, listening to… well… magic. There’s really no other way to describe their music. It’s just magic.

The yard was amazing, and when I say ‘giant avocado tree’, I really do mean a giant avocado tree. We all stood under the canopy of leaves, surrounded by a string of lights and some tiki torches. It was beautiful.


There was a slight problem when Jason Douglas was tuning. One minute, there was sound and light…

The next, everyone was wandering around with flashlights, trying to figure out which fuse blew.


Once we got the power back on, though, things went swimmingly. Everyone finished tuning, they finalized the set list, and the show began. Someday, I hope to get a press pass to a show with stage lighting and the ability to get whatever angle I want on the band. However, this was a truly unique experience that I would not have missed for the world. The show was amazing, the band was incredibly nice, and I am extremely happy with the photos I got, given my lighting and positioning circumstances. Also, I kind of fangirled out and bought a t-shirt and a CD, and then got the band to sign them both.

Thank you Kristen May, Brian Little, Drew Little, and Jason Douglas for an evening beyond all compare. Hope to see you all again soon!















Vedera
www.vederamusic.net
twitter.com/vederamusic

something to look forward to.

I had two fantastic shoots today — an adorable session with 6 amazingly cute puppies and an awesome portrait session with the wonderful Clare. I have so many photos to go through, but I wanted to post a quick sneak peek to tide you all over until I can get the full posts up.

Believe it or not, these puppies are all from the same litter! They are all so different in every way and were such a joy to photograph. Enjoy this shot of them, and one of their lovely mom, Ginger.


My session with Clare was a such a dream. The lighting was perfect. Our locations were wonderful. And of course, Clare is absolutely stunning. I can’t wait to share the rest of her photos, but here are just a couple from this amazing shoot!

puppy models needed.

Hey everyone!

I have a request. I’m looking for puppy models under 16 weeks old for a photo project in the Los Angeles area. Compensation would be one 8×10 print of your choice, from the shoot. See some of my previous dog work here, or just browse around the blog. If you have an adorable little fluff, or know someone that does, let me know in the comments or via email. I’d like to be done with my project by October 8th, and those pups are getting bigger by the second, so time is of the essence!

Thank you so much for your help!

baked mussels & green tea pound cake.

Just a quick food post, because I was looking through some of my photos from earlier this year and these two made me hungry.

I like to make dinner for my family on occasion. There was a time when the plan was for me to do it once a week, but that has never completely worked out. Still, cooking is one of my favorite things to do (aside from eating). This past February, I cooked several meals, including this one.

The main dish was Japanese baked mussels. This is one of my absolute favorite dishes. I order them so much, our favorite sushi chef puts them into the oven the second he sees me walk in the door. That being the case, it seemed obvious that I learn how to make them myself. I first made an aioli with garlic, egg, powdered horseradish, fresh lemon juice, rice vinegar, and olive oil. Just before spreading the aioli onto the mussels, I added a bit of half and half, Sriracha, and tobiko. The mussels were laid out on a foil lined baking pan, sauced, and broiled. 15 minutes or so later, dinner was served.

They turned out pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. I served them alongside miso soup, a seaweed and cucumber salad, and some spicy edamame.

For dessert, I made a green tea pound cake using this recipe. It didn’t turn out quite how I expected, but was still pretty good. A dollop of sour cream and some black lava salt completed the dish.

Nothing like pretty food that tastes good, too.
More food posts, and several other posts, coming soon!

julia – the getty center.

Howdy, folks! It’s been a while. I’ve been sick for over a month. I tried to tell the germs to go away, but they just wouldn’t listen. Not very obedient little buggers, are they? Luckily, I was able to have more than my fair share of fun before being bedridden. My friend Julia came to visit for two weeks in June and we paraded all over LA. We spent some time in my town, went cherry picking, hung out at the Getty Center, did some shopping in Hollywood, and spent an entire day at Disneyland. It was a pretty great trip, up until I got sick. We then spent the rest of her time in LA watching Doctor Who, but hey, that isn’t bad either. I didn’t take quite as many photos as I had planned to, but Julia and I did have a little photo day while we were at the Getty.



The Getty Center is really one of my favorite places in LA. The exhibits are beautiful, the architecture is stunning, and the garden is magical. Julia and I spent some time looking around one of the touring photography exhibitions (of course), grabbed some lunch at the cafe, and then spent the entire rest of the afternoon in the gardens. At first, we napped. I don’t think that was on purpose. Like I said, the garden is magical; it probably cast some sort of sleeping spell on us. After our brief moment of narcolepsy, we had a mini portrait session!



Isn’t she stunning?
Julia even took a few photos of me! It’s weird to be on the other side of the camera, but I have to admit: it’s kind of fun, too.

But we switched places again. I really can’t go too long without having my camera in hand.



Be sure to check out the rest from this session here!

The new school year is starting, so I’m going to be pretty busy settling in to that for a while. However, I do have a few posts that I would like to make, so I will be getting on that in the not too distant future. I’ve also been making some more adjustments to the blog (scroll up to the header and refresh the page a few times ;D). Plus, I’ve got a senior session coming up soon, as well as what I hope will be a fantastic artistic fashion shoot… thing. I’m not really sure what it is yet. It’s a little pet project that I’m still working out the details of. I hope you are all as excited as I am to see it come to life!

Ciao for now!