Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Denise has been talking about cutting her hair really short for a while now and she asked Ann to cut her hair today. For most of the folks reading this (anyone who has known Denise for over a couple of years) knows that she used to have pretty long hair. I think it is kind of cool that she is trying new stuff and I think her new do is pretty hot! But that's just me! :) We both just figure if she doesn't like it she can always grow it back out.

So I haven't really posted since I got back from the seminar. All I can say is that the studio portion was AWESOME. Working in a real studio with professional models was a real eye opener. Fortunately they were all well aware that everyone was really new at working with models and they were great! The first thing they did was break us into groups of three photographers and I ended up with two great guys Steve and Ken. The models responded really well to direction and would jump into character when we would say what we were looking for. I have a bunch of photos to process and post. I did finish 5 last night, which were accepted today, and I had my first sales on them. The two girls on the ends were actually photographers and the middle one was their model friend - all from Vegas. I am not sure what happened but they ended up helping and modeling. Anyway more to come as I can get photoshop time!

Oh, BTW, if anyone is interested, Denise is hotter than all of those girls!

Here is another shot from the model shoot. This is Tiffini and she was our first model of the day on Sunday. She was really amazing and was able really express the different emotions we were asking her to try to do. You all know me and my dark depressing images. This is the exact shot that I had in my head and she just nailed it. The really amazing part is she was really a bundle of energy and very upbeat person. Throughout this particular section I would make some wise crack - she would laugh and go right back into character with missing a beat. It was REALLY COOL to watch!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Day One

Day one is just about over. I am back at the hotel and just pulled the images off the 3 2GB memory cards. I am not sure how many images I shot - but it was a lot. The day started with a simple q&a session and then moved into some practical shoots. It started out with some of the fellow members of the crew acting as models - it had to look kind of interesting with 15 photographers pointing their cameras at a single person. At one point two girls came up and wanted to model for us so they got into the screen and had a tone of shots taken. It was all pretty interesting and pretty crowed with everyone jockeying for position. From there we wandered around Venice Beach with the idea of people looking for images within the scene. At lunch we all met back up - well at least most of us a few people were MIA - and just relaxed for a bit. After that it was back on the Blvd lookng for shots. I connected up with one of the guys (Steve) and we ended up breaking off from everyone else walking the back alleys looking for shots. I still haven't really gone through anything so I am not sure what I got - but it was fun. It was weird how some folks didn't seem to be taking many images. Anyway I am just setting back in - I am going to take a break - get some food - and then start checking out the shots. Tomorrow in the studio should be interesting!

Here is another series of shots from the location above. This is Anne is was one of the photographers in the seminar and was sitting in as one of the models on Venice Beach.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Starting the adventure...

Denise finally talked me into just getting a room down below instead of trying the insane idea of driving back and forth. Anyway I loaded everything up and hit the road and made the short trip down there. I stopped by Samys on the way down - mainly because I got lost and I needed a point of reference to get back on track - and then made it to the hotel. So that is where I am now just waiting until I head back over to LA for the dinner. It sure sounds like it is going to be an exciting time! The weather is wonderful and the predictions are more of the same - so it should be good shooting weather for the outside stuff.

Well, just got back from the dinner! Pretty impressive. Very nice place and the food was amazing. Quite a few people where there too. It was really strange to meet people that I have been talking to online for the last few months. I feel a bit more comfortable now that I have gone through that. I still hate social things but it was good. The table I was at had Bobby, his wife and the models - so I am feeling a little bit better about his shoot. Right now I am schedule to be in Laurin's class tomorrow and I will get his advice on this. I think doing the thing with Bobby would probably be a good idea. Anyway I just got back - took about 1 1/2 hour to get there and about 25 minutes to get back - go figure - and I am REALLY tired!

Monday, February 19, 2007


Well, the plan was to head into town, Bakersfield in this instance, to do some shopping and just run around. We headed toward Bakersfield through Tehachapi however because of a accident involving a semi the freeway was pretty well shut down. We did stop in Tehachapi and got something to eat and checked out some new homes. It was also snowing a bit so the kids got to walk around in the snow for a little bit too (though it wasn't enough for them). We tried one final time to continue our journey but the traffic indicated otherwise.

So we ended up go back down the hill and into Lancaster/Palmdale. Denise found almost everything she wanted and we did a bit more driving around just checking places out that we hadn't been to before. On the way back home the lighting was pretty nice so I stopped off a few different places to make some deserted desert photographs. Denise and the kids stayed in the van watching movies and I just went from spot to spot capturing the scene.

OBTW - The release version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (APLR) was made available yesterday. So I downloaded it, upgraded my libraries from the beta to the release and I have been working with the new version. So far it is VERY nice, fast, and seems pretty darn good. Well worth the money I have to pay for at - and at least I am getting it for $100 off right now by ordering early. I have been looking for a Digital Asset Management application that melded well with the way I work and this application has been spot-on. The beta had some bugs but this release version seem like they ironed it out. So hopefully my box with license will show up in the next few days - while I use the 30 day trial.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Forget me not Sunday...

Today was a pretty relaxed day and after everyone left and we settled down for the evening we setup the studio to shoot a reminder string series. I think the shots turned out okay and I have a batch uploaded to see what happens.

Nana and Max left today. They still have a lot of work to do at their house and the construction (finishing) crew is suppose to be at the house tomorrow. Hopefully they will clear out the rest of the open items and finish this project up! They are really looking forward to having it done - and we are really looking forward to seeing it!

Last night the kids wanted to sleep out in the trailer with them (Nana and Max) so it was like a little mini camping trip! The trailer seems to be working out pretty good for the extra space. We did take it to the dump station today to clean everything out. Once everything settles down we should have a chance to take it camping again soon! At least I hope so!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Desirae's (early) Birthday

We celebrated Desirae's birthday today - it is really mid next week. Nana and Max made the long drive down again to celebrate. It was really wonderful for them to do that especially considering everything they have going on. Desirae was really happy with all the stuff that she got (mainly clothes) and has had a really nice day. Denise and I will give her our present on her actual birthday. Desirae also decided that she wanted to do the Ramon's thing for her birthday (I think because of the ice cream) so we headed there again for that.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Wow - the week is gone...

Okay, so it has been a while since I have posted an entry. It has been another one of THOSE kind of weeks. Today was pretty good though (I took it off) and when I got home after shooting (pictures) Desirae wanted to play outside on the play set. The weather was pretty nice and we stayed outside for a while. Long enough for Desirae to get a little bit of a sunburn. Deanna also got in the act and was playing around with the swing set and with the other stuff we have outside. Denise got me to use the blower to move all the rabbit turds (alot of them) off the grass. Now that is one disgusting job!

Earlier in the day I connected up with Kris to search out some areas and try to make some neat photographs. We ended up heading out for breakfast first, then to a park, then a dam, and just searched around. Next time we need to get a shot list planned. I think that would really help focus the shoots.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Devin's 8th Birthday

Today was Devin's 8th Birthday. Nana and Max made the trip down from Livermore to help celebrate his birthday. It was pretty low-keyed compared to previous years because we are planning to take the kids to Disney Land for their birthdays. Anyway he still received some presents and we took him to lunch/dinner to Ramons (yes we do sometimes go there - just not that much) and they did the hat singing thing too him - which made him very happy. The rest of the day he basically spent watching Sponge Bob movies/cartoons (that's what he wanted for his birthday). It was really great that Nana and Max made the trip down, especially with all the work they have going on at their house!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Medical Studio...

With everyone feeling sick - and us not doing any studio work for a while - we decided to try something with Deanna and some medical stuff we have around the house. She wasn't really going for it at first - but Deanna started having fun and I think we got some cute shots out of the session. The ones here are the out takes. So I will try and edit/keyword/upload tonight before shutting down - but it may not happen...

I guess you could say everyone is starting to feel better. Devin should be going back to school tomorrow and I should be going back to work. I really hate this sick thing and it seems to come on more often now. I am sure having three kids running around the house will all those little germs they attract doesn't help - but it does appear that a lot of folks are sick at work too. So maybe it will end SOON!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

More sickies...

Well, I am not getting any better and last night Devin got a pretty good ear infection which took him out of play today. So Denise was able to get a same day appointment so she took him into town while I stayed home with Deanna (hoping to sleep - but that didn't work out). Anyway the doc said that Devin has a double ear infection and is loading him up on new medication. So it is just a joyous sick house around here. Fortunately Denise has been able to miss getting sick - hopefully it will stay that way!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A slow Sunday...

Well today was kind of a slow day. We did end up going out to lunch and then Denise and Deanna went into town to do a Costco run. On the way back home I had all the windows down and Desirae's hair was going all over the place - but they wanted me to keep the windows down. Anyway, since I had my camera with me I snapped some shots over my shoulder. Basically when we made it home we, well Desirae and I crashed - and Devin watched movies and played his Sponge Bob XBox game.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Long week...

Well, everyone has been not feeling well this week and today seemed like the first day when everyone started feeling a little better. We ended up going into Mojave for lunch and then stopped by the park on the way back. The weather is starting to get a little warmer so there were a lot of folks there. This shoot was a nice one and something that I thought might work for stock - we will have to see on that!

Also while we were there a couple of kids were doing tricks on their skate boards. After shooting some other stuff I asked them if I could photography their tricks and took a series of shots that can be found here! It was fun shooting them and I thought they were crazy with what they were doing.

Mike Rundle also came by earlier in the day to help me with my broken generator. For some reason the darn thing stopped working and I haven't been able to get it to do anything for weeks now. I mentioned it to him a week or so ago and he said he would come by and take a look. My confidence wasn't really high but within about 10 minutes he got the darn thing to fire up and in another 10 minutes he had troubleshoot the problem. We didn't have the parks to fix it - but he found the problem and knows someone who could fix the broken part. So in theory I should be back up and running again by next week. I was pretty darn happy with that because I really thought the thing was toast...

OBTW - I finally hit my first stock photography payout! I passed the $100 mark on iStock and already have the money sitting in my account. I missed the $100 mark on ShutterStock by a quarter! That was pretty frustrating. Anyway it was nice to hit this milestone! Actually had I lowered the pay-out limit on ShutterStock I would have received payment from them as well. As, according to my tax person I am not operating a business!