Friday, August 30, 2013

Nothing But A Memory

We've all felt it ~ sometimes you find yourself at a point where you need to feel grounded. Whether it's returning to our childhood home, or having a particular food that reminds you of days gone by, at one point or another we all seek it out.  I felt that way recently, so I decided to head back to to the home where many of my fond my childhood memories live. I connected my iPod to my car's stereo and played The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert on repeat the whole drive.  When I arrived, I got out of my car and just stood there for a while, frozen. I couldn't even get my camera out of the trunk for about 10 minutes because I couldn't seem to put one foot in front of the other.

I can count on one hand the times I've come here in the last 2 1/2 years.  Not because I don't miss it, but because it's not the same. In fact, I've spent so little time here that one of the neighbors tried to kick me out like I didn't belong.  After a little explanation of who I was, he decided I belonged and let me on my way.

It was where my parents brought me home from the hospital when I was born. I learned how to pick the right lure, tie my own line, bait the hooks, and cast away right there off the dock.  I learned that when the cobwebs were floating on the breeze in the twilight, you needed to grab your rod and reel and head out to the water.  I learned what peace really sounds like, and what a beautiful sight it is when the little fish jump out of the water after tiny bugs and shimmer in the sunset.

All that's left of my "happy place" is just a bit of melted boat trailers and some artichoke plants.
August 19, 2013, Taken with my iPhone 5. No edits, straight out of the phone.

My Grandmother's house burned down four days after my son was born in January of 2011.  It used to be a 3-Story house and a 2 car garage that my Grannie and Papa built with their own hands in the 1950's. You can see the walkway and the stairs still stand, leading to nowhere.  The firemen had to just let it burn because there were live power lines they couldn't cross. Every family heirloom, all of my Mother & Grandmother's jewelry, every photograph, keepsake and memento collected over the last 60 years is gone, including my Mother's wedding ring, her collection of spaghetti poodles, and her wedding dress.  Not to mention the fact that my Papa's ashes that were on my Grannie's nightstand. (Grannie said he wouldn't have left the house anyway).

This is the only image I have of the damage. I couldn't bring myself to take any more as I stood there with my husband and just...cried.

January 14, 2011 - Taken with my iPhone 4S. No edits, straight from my phone.

It is always a little rough going back, but I hiked up the walkway (you can see it on the left in the first picture, still just like it's always been) to the top of the levee and stared at the boats and the Delta. I decided since there wasn't anything left of the house, I'd head down to the dock and sit there a while.

As I've grown, I've begun to look at things in a different light.  Sitting on the junky old dock that I spent so much time on growing up, looking at the boats floating peacefully in their berths covered in dust and bird crap, I realized that memories have nothing to do with money or luxury.  They have everything to do with time. Here are some images I took with my "big girl camera" that reminded me of parts of my childhood.








If nothing else, take a minute today and connect with a memory - whether it's chasing down the ice cream man for a Rocket Pop, calling a friend you haven't spoken to in a while, or going to a place that holds a special memory for you.  It will brighten your smile a little.

And now you understand why I call myself a "Moment Preservationist". You never know when the photos of those special places and times you have shared will be all you have left of your memories. Cherish them and have copies made. Share them with everyone so if something tragic like this happens to you, copies are out there.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Fair warning: this is a wordy post. If you're a bit pressed for time, you might want to come back later. It's also a little disjointed, but hey, it happens.

As much as I love me some technology (if you know me personally, you know I do), I also hate it. The art of conversation seems to be falling by the wayside. Instead of talking, we text or email because it's faster and can be done privately while still in the presence of others. I get it - I really do - but the need to be constantly in contact with the entire world has taken over some of the most intimate parts of our day. Friendships used to be forged by hours of conversation and quality time, not 4,782 text messages. Love blossomed as a result of courtship and manners. There were rules and society (generally) stuck to them.

I spent a few hours with my Grandmother on Sunday. She's 89. No texting or emailing happening there. Shopping with Grannie and my Sister reminded me how important it is to solidify the personal bonds. Time is really all we have and when it's gone, it's gone forever. You'll never get a single minute back that you spent on the phone with someone else while in the physical presence of others.

In her 89 years, Grannie has seen some serious change and major shifts in the world. The Great Depression, the invention of the guitar, the rise & fall of the Berlin Wall, vinyl records, Woodstock, radios, televisions, the attack on Pearl Harbor, creation of the interstate system & roadways, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, Sputnik, the Apollo Missions, the Mars Rover, touch-tone phones, sending her son to Vietnam, cars, airplanes, washing machines, microwaves, the internet, mobile phones, Harvey Milk, JFK, the Golden Gate Bridge, record players, Ranch Dressing, Y2K, Civil Rights Movement, Feminism, the technology boom, and countless other innovations and historical events have happened since she was born. It's very sobering to take a look at the timeline of your life or those around you, and I'd encourage you to take a moment and think about your parents or grandparents and their lives.

At any rate, all of this thinking has led to inspiration. What do you carry with you throughout the years? What says the most about a person? Their financial status? Their education or lack thereof? Their character & morals? And how do you capture it in a photograph?

I'm going to be working on a photography project for a little while. I might even call on some of you to help me out. When all is said and done, I'll be sharing it.

This is a first real "project" for me, and there's something so liberating about doing it for yourself rather than a graded assignment. Maybe it's because there is no wrong answer...

Follow my journey on Instagram: ladydphotography_ca or

For now, I'll leave you with a photo of me and my Grannie having a glass of wine. Cheers!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Toga, Toga, TOGA!

Having a birthday party for you and one of your besties? Why not have a TOGA PARTY! That's what these girls did and they had a total BLAST, let me tell you! This was really a fun party to shoot and the guests had an absolute ball. They've already announced their Halloween party and I can't WAIT. The jury's still out on if I'll dress up or not...

Back to the togas!









Thursday, August 1, 2013


Time flies when you're having fun, right? I hope you will kindly forgive my prolonged absence. I've been a busy bee. Since we last "spoke", for lack of a better term, I've been busy. I bought a house, moved into said house, and had a portrait session at MY HOUSE!

It's been a glorious transition for me and if you know me, you know it's been a struggle and a constant series of ups and downs. There were days where I wasn't sure I'd ever wanted anything more, days when I wanted to give up and rent a house, days when I was seriously pissed at myself for even THINKING of giving up, and days when I was really excited inside but didn't want the world to know - just in case it fell through.

I've been HOME for a little over a month, and now that it's finally sunk in that no one is going to come by and say "Just kidding! Give the keys back", I can finally relax and regroup.

As with any move, it's been time consuming. It's also been exciting and monumental. I finally have a place to store all of my photography gear and props, and our back yard is lovely. I can see many a portrait session here in the future. Of course, the inside of our home is light and bright, making for a great photography space.

Matter of fact, I had a recent shoot with some awesome kiddo's in my yard over the weekend - spurring me to publish a new blog post. My lovely friend J and her kids A & K were great to work with. They were in and out on their way to Grandma's house - although they didn't have to travel over the river and through the woods to get there. Oh, there I go... turning into my mother again.

Here are some of my favorites from the shoot. Enjoy!

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