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!

trials, tribulations, etc.

My calendar was pulled off of CafePress yesterday. Now, there’s no reason to panic. I have already fixed the problem and gotten the calendar back online. It is available here, and you should totally check it out. And tell all your friends. And all of their friends. And all of the random people you meet on the street. Because… well… puppies.

The reason why it got taken down is quite fascinating, really. As you can see in the mosaic in my previous post, there is a photo of the adorable Darby facing off with a dreaded Dalek. It’s really one of my favorite photos that I have taken. CafePress, however, did not like it so much. Their Content Usage Policy says that “NO pictures or photographs of products (such as toys). Even if you own a product, trademark laws may still prohibit you from selling merchandise that features pictures of it. For example, you cannot take a picture of your Barbie and sell Barbie merchandise with that picture.” Clearly, I am not taking a photo of my Dalek and using it to sell Doctor Who merchandise. I am selling a puppy calendar, which happened to contain a photo of a Dalek threatening to exterminate a puppy**. It really isn’t copyright infringement, nor am I trying to offend the fine people of Doctor Who in any way. However, CafePress just has a blanket policy that no photographs of products can be used.

So, there you have it. No more Dalek. Too bad, so sad. I have shifted things around so that my Watson can be featured prominently on the November page. All other pages remain intact. Also, don’t forget to check out the other puppy products here and my art prints here. Have a great week, and keep an eye on the blog. Photos from my session with Clare are coming soon!


**No puppies were exterminated in the making of this calendar

puppies 2012.

Hey everyone!

I am very excited to announce the launch of my 2012 ‘Puppies!’ wall calendar! I have been working on this project for close to a year now and I am so happy that it is finally done. The calendar features thirteen adorable rescued puppies, six of which were our foster puppies at one time. This calendar would make a great gift to a friend or family member, or even to yourself! 10% of the profits from each calendar sale will go to ACT V Rescue & Rehabilitation, which is the rescue we did all of our foster work for. Plus, the world is going to end in 2012 anyway, so you might as well get your fix of puppy photos now.

Special thanks to Ben, Mark, Darlene, Vicki, and ACT V for their help in making this project possible! Thanks also to all of my wonderful puppy models, of course. I hope you all like the calendar!

Check out the calendar here. For some more cute puppy products, click here. Also, don’t forget to check out my art print shop!

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!

doctor watson.

So, speaking of puppies…

I really feel the need to talk about my Watson for a bit. I spend approximately 420% of my time every day thinking about him. He’s been such a weird and wonderful thing to watch. And when I say thing, I really do mean thing. Some of you may recognize this photo of the three little orphans about a week after they came to us as fuzzy, wiggling worms.

He then proceeded to grow…


And grow…


And grow!



While he has been growing, so has my adoration of him (cue studio audience ‘awww’). I don’t know how to explain the joy I feel when I come downstairs in the morning to be greeted by my Watson. My day hasn’t started right unless I’ve had a couple of minutes to sit down on the floor with my (over 50 pound) puppy in my lap. He rides with me in the car on my way to school and is sitting in the backseat waiting for me when my mom comes to pick me up. He just makes life good.

I’ve been spending some time taking him to the park nearby to work with him on modeling paying attention to me even when there’s lots of other stuff going on around us. Lately, I’ve been combining that with some photo time, because he quite frankly has become a truly handsome specimen of a dog.



This next one is really just an outtake… but I’m sharing it with you all because it makes me laugh every time I look at it. Watson is generally such a zen dog. Curious, but not spastic… well, that’s a lie, but you get my drift. However, there was a game of catch going on behind my head while I was taking these photos and at one point, he apparently just couldn’t take sitting still and watching it anymore.

The last few are a bit more personal. Their main purpose is to provide more puppy-filled fodder for my profile picture on facebook, and are therefore not really my best work. They mean a lot to me, though. They are really a perfect display of why I love photography. These are moments, captured. Frozen in time forever. These are all moments I find myself in several times a day with my dog, and now they have been documented. Just the way they should be.




I kinda, sorta love him.

Okay. I’ll stop obsessing over my dog now. Thanks for reading. =]

huzzah – southern california renaissance faire.

My friend Emily (the girl from the ballet photos) worked at the renaissance faire this spring. So, I decided to don some ren garb and spend the day with her at the faire. There was food and festivities aplenty, and much to photograph. I spent a lot of the day drinking iced hibiscus tea and hiding in the shade of the booth where Emily worked. Next year, I plan to go in much more weather appropriate clothing and do nothing but take photos and eat food. However, despite the ridiculous number of layers of clothing, I braved the heat and sun for a quick photo expedition. Here’s just a few shots from that crazy day!



Emily!



My favorite shot of the day. So happy with the colors.


I finally have my twitter account all set up with my phone and everything. I’ll be updating it with news on photoshoots, availability, and other random stuff, so make sure to follow me and say hi!

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!

published – widener university.

I’ve been published!
I was contacted at the beginning of this year to see if Widener University’s alumni magazine could use one of my photos in their May edition. I was thrilled by the request, but even more excited to see the finished product! You might recognize the photo from the February project I did in 2009. Who knew when I took that photo that it would find its way onto a two-page spread?

Pretty fancy, eh? This is my second time being published, but the excitement hasn’t faded in the slightest. You can see a digital copy of the magazine here.

Only a few more days of the grand opening 10% off coupon code! Check out my print shop and enter the code GRANDO10 at checkout!