Thursday, March 29, 2007

Back From Vegas!

a message found on the refrigerator just this afternoon...

Kate runs through the bedroom wearing a vintage, Italian-made outfit from the 60s that Nicki and her brother Andy wore while growing up in S. Africa.

Sidewalk Superintendent...Kate watches the gardeners do their work through the front window...

Vegas was, as always, quite an experience.

It's one of those things that sometimes take a while to digest as while you're there it's almost a whirlwind effect because there's so much coming at you.

On Monday afternoon I presented at the Canon booth as part of their Explorers of Light program. It was great to see some familiar faces in the audience.

Trade show presenting is quite unique especially when you compare it to doing a 4 or 5 day seminar or an evening event where you are the featured presenter.

At the trade show the presentation has to be a bit different (more bold, perhaps?) the limited time frame (45 minutes in this case) the message has to be condensed and very specific. It was a lot of fun [and Steve Inglima from Canon made some images of me on the podium which I'm hoping to get for Kate & Nicki to see (and maybe post here)] -- even if I did feel I was sweating more than Albert Brooks in "Broadcast News"!

That night I attended a WPPI session where my friend Greg Gibson was presenting.

Greg's a former news photographer like me, having spent the bulk of his editorial career in Washington covering the White House first for AFP (Agence France Presse) and then the Associated Press (AP). Greg is one helluva shooter, a two time Pulitzer Prize winner, and a great guy.

Greg was introduced by Matt Mendelsohn, another former news photographer turned wedding shooter (Matt had a jump on both of us) and is terrifically talented as well.

And, as his introduction of Greg that night showed, he's almost as good of a writer as he is a photographer.

It was great to be there to hear Greg speak, and then hang out with a couple of long time friends and buddies.

We all came of age, so to speak, photographically in our 20s in Washington and it's amazing how much of a bond that common background is reflected in our work and our humor.

Tuesday morning, bright and early, I had my Digital Wedding Forum talk at 8:30 a.m. What was I thinking agreeing to that, I ask?? ;-)

Actually it was a good thing and I was very stoked to see about 125 souls who braved the early morning hours (yep, that's early for Vegas) and attended. And they were an incredibly gracious audience -- thank you all!

It was a kick to share some of my journalism images, as well as some of my current and past wedding work and talk about moments, lens selection, and using flash in ways to capture life as it happens.

So thanks to the great folks at Canon, Jeff Caplan at the DWF for asking me to present. It was fun!

At noon I was part of the DWF Mentoring program that pairs photographers with members of the DWF community who want to spend 30 minutes talking with a fellow photographer. There was a fee for this which was donated to the charity called
The Vision for Tomorrow Foundation, which seemed like a very cool thing to do.

I had four sessions with four very unique and wonderful people and it was an honor to be selected by them for this. My hope is that they found the sessions useful and helpful to them in their situations. I am anxious to hear what happens to each one of them throughout the course of the year.

Well, time to give Kate her bath and put her to sleep...she had a two hour nap today--the second time this week (Hallalujah as Nicki would say) so maybe we're on the road to a 2-3 hour afternoon nap? We can only dream...


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Late Wedding...

Back from my first wedding of the year...a beautiful ceremony at The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana...

I photographed George & Lory and their family and was full day...can't wait to edit the images...they were really a sweet couple and I felt honored to be a witness...

I'll have a look at the photos as soon as I can....

Heading up to Vegas tomorrow for WPPI and The DWF Convention.

This is the equivalent of The Oscars for Wedding Photographers.

This year will be a bit different than in the past...this will be my first time speaking at the Canon booth as a Canon Explorer of Light and will be at the WPPI tradeshow (Monday, 1:15 pm)...

Then Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. I'll be speaking at The DWF Convention...It's an honor to be asked to speak at both...I've been a member of the DWF since even before I left newspapers and we have made some really great friends from our affiliation and sharing work at the Canon booth is something I've wanted to do for a long time...

It should be quite a week, though I will really miss Nicki and Kate (Nicki's idea of fun for some reason doesn't include a 15 month old, a one room hotel suite, and a non-stop, heading pounding of casino chime music--go figure!)

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Nicki purchased these spring flowers and they looked great yesterday afternoon with reflected light on them.

Yesterday warmed up nicely and she did some gardening -- she's adding splashes of colorful little plants amidst the rose bushes and by the lime tree, to brighten up the front even more. She's been hugely influenced by her Dad's first cousin Doff, who lives in Huntington Harbour. Doff and Boris have a fantastic garden, right along the water and Doff is a fountain of knowledge for all things horticultural. Doff is like a chef and just adds knows what to add to make the garden "work."

Even though Nicki didn't claim to have much of a green thumb before, she does now. Plus she enjoys it, and Kate plays alongside her has well.

Oh how the mighty career chick has become a total suburban mommy!

Today though, we're back to a chilly winter afternoon. Long sleeves, and long pants as opposed to the 90+ weather of one week ago.

Oh well, that's fine, there's plenty of time for those warm, dog days...we just got teased a bit last week.

Cat & Adi meet Kate

This Friday we had a lovely lunch with Cat and Adi from Next Exit Photography in West LA.

They were heading down to a gathering in San Diego and then a wedding on Saturday in Temeculah so they left a bit early to hang out with us.

It was the first time meeting them both in person, though I have spoken with Cat at length on the telephone.

We got to know of each other through the Digital Wedding Forum, a forum for photographers around the globe. Nicki and I have met many good friends through this site over the years.

It was great to meet Adi and spend some time speaking with him about the business, technology and his unique background.

They've recently renovated on their property as we have to create a studio space and it has done great things for their business not to mention the feeling of having a special space dedicated to the business.

We're looking forward to seeing them again and spending more time. Nicki and Cat bonded famously, which didn't surprise me. While Cat has been raised here in the States, she was born in Cape Town to S. African parents. There's something to be said for being raised by South Africans. And Adi relishes that as well...he's been to SA for a visit and knows what's magical about the place.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hopefully she'll forgive us...

At Christmas time, on a whim, Nicki purchased a pacifier that would give the appearance of two large front teeth.

Back then, Kate wouldn't keep it in her mouth for even a second, it just wasn't as comfortable, it seemed, as her usual dummies, as we call them.

Well, now that it's a few months later and we're trying to wean her a bit from using the dummies, Kate will now keep this "hillybilly" dummy in her mouth (any one will suffice, these days), at least long enough for me to take a few photographs.

Here's hoping she won't hold this against us when she's older ;-)!!

I've been good about leaving the camera out and ready with a fresh battery, card in the slot and a 24-70 on for these photos.

It's important to keep the family documentation consistently strong as she grows older. I notice the changes, even when gone for only a few days. For example, after coming back from Aurora, I noticed that she was yelling louder than she had been before I left. She is one noisy little girl.

I now know why portrait photographers encourage clients to do several photo shoots during a child's first years--the changes are dramatic.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Back at the Pool - First time this year!

Since it was about 92ยบ today (hard to believe in early March) we thought it would be a great day to head to the kiddie pool at Covenant Hills Club and get Kate back into the water.

Last summer, she was a total waterbaby and loved every moment of it.

This time, though, she was a bit tentative (perhaps even a bit tired) before getting into the water and clinged to Nicki, crying.

But slowly, we got her into the pool and soon she was back smiling and loving it.

After freezing last week in the midwest, it's nice to be walking around in shorts, sandals and heading poolside.

Ben's Birthday Party on Saturday

One of the nice things about Nicki being a member of the Ladera Babies Club 2005 is that she's developed a great network of friends who are also new moms.

It's been raining first birthday parties and this weekend was Ben's first b-day. Katie & Matt had a sweet party for Ben at Flintridge and we were honored to be attending.

Kate was her usual self always exploring, and I love the b & w of Shelby, another one of the crew.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Back from Chicago

It was a great week with my One Light Wonder Class at SSU in Aurora.

And it was CCCOOOLLLDDD too!

Oh well, such is the price for heading to the midwest in March -- you take your chances.

A really good group of folks and we had a great time. I've always enjoyed the classes at SSU and this one was particularly good. There was a great connection between the students and I've never seen a class that went out almost every night for a group dinner (virtually all of the class--a couple of the students were staying in the area, so they would head home for the night)...but what a great group...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Off to Chicago & SSU

...just a quick note as the sun begins to rise...

heading off to Chicago and then to Aurora, IL for a warm retreat ;-)!

Actually heading off to teach at Shootsmarter University and the One Light Wonder class.

Should be a great week.