One Shoe On, One Shoe Off

posted on: March 30, 2007

Wow, what a week. I think I had maaaaaybe 21 hours of sleep total over the last 7 days?! Waking up at 7 am and going to bed at 3 or 4 am every night is just crazy! And I wasn't even partying hard! I didn't see a single show or gamble at all! My entire time was basically spent meeting new people, attending workshops, and staying up late talking with people over food & drinks. I even missed two parties which I feel really awful about because people were expecting me to be there. One of them was scheduled at an impossible time for me to attend and the other one was entirely my fault because I had written down the wrong day (stupid, stupid, stupid!) I felt so bad that I let those people down who were hoping to see me. If you're one of those people, I really hope that you give me a chance to make it up to you in the future... I was really bummed that I missed seeing some of my favorite people. I know there will be a next time, it's just a matter of when that next time is.

So, to give you a little idea of what life is like in my shoes right now, check out this crazy schedule...

Here's what I did yesterday....
8:30 am Woke up
9:00 am Joined Abby @ Bally's Spa
10:00 am Received my first facial (Thank you Abby!!!)
11:00 am Showered & Dressed
12:15 pm Met Dan @ Bally's
12:30 pm Met Huy, David, and Leigh @ Westin
1:00 pm Sushi Lunch with Huy, David, & Leigh
2:30 pm Talk with Tech Support @ Bally's so I can check email
3:15 pm Finally get on Internet to confirm flight times & check email
4:00 pm Start packing (should have happened sooner)
5:00 pm Grab a Taxi to airport & sit in rush hour traffic
6:00 pm Board plane -- switch from Vegas time to Indiana time 6 pm=9 pm

Today...
12:45 am Arrive in Indianapolis
2:14 am Arrive in Terre Haute
2:30 am Respond to urgent email, confirm hotel, print maps, charge cell phone, download audio book for car ride
4:00 am Blog this crazy schedule
4:15 am Sleep
7:15 am Wake up, Shower, Dress, Repack for Wedding gear & clothing, Call bride & confirm times
9:00 am Drive to Plymouth, MI for Wedding Rehearsal (hoping to get there on time... chances=slim)
3:00 pm Wedding Rehearsal
5:00 pm Check into hotel
6:00 pm Eat dinner, double check gear & charge all batteries
8:00 pm Get to bed early in order to be well rested for wedding the next day

Saturday - Wedding
Sunday - Visit mom for first time since she got married but will miss Jim since he's in Egypt. Visit my sister who had her first baby shower while I was at the wedding on Saturday. Shoot a Film Noir Boudoir™ session (???).
Monday - Drive back to Indiana and hope to catch up on emails and uploads

I hope this might explain why you may not have heard from me recently. I'll definitely be catching up with everyone once the dust has settled on Tuesday. If you don't hear from me by Wednesday, it's because something got lost along the way - which can occasionally happen when bouncing from place to place and computer to computer. Thank you for understanding!!!!

PS... Here's what I've been listening to while I travel lately...


If you'd like to see more books on my reading list.. CLICK HERE.

WPPI - Las Vegas

posted on: March 26, 2007

Just a note to say hi from Vegas! The Wedding & Portrait Photographers International Convention is probably the largest photography convention in the United States. There are a ton of great speakers with valuable information and I'm doing a lot of research into different products that I'm thinking of offering in the near future.

Of course, my favorite part is getting to meet and hang out with people that I barely get to see because we're all so busy. It's the best time to bounce ideas off of each other and to really think about what we're doing and why.

I have some of the best roomies in the world!!! Pictured below is me, Jessica Hill, Abby Rose, and Kristen Taylor. All are excellent photographers and the coolest chics you'll ever meet! If you get the chance to hire any of these girls - do it!!


Today I had lunch with some more of my favorite people, Mike & Bobbi of By Bobbi.


I'll update with more pictures tomorrow!!

Update: 3/27

How did I get so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such phenomenal people?!! Seriously.. I could go on and on about everyone pictured in this post, but you just have to trust me that they are all amazing. Each person is an incredible photographer, artist, and just all around good person.

Tim was my "fake fiance" during a presentation at OSP Indy. He's infamous in the photography community because he has traveled around the world working with some of the most amazing photographers, and he has the images to prove it! On top of that, he's just an incredibly nice guy and generous person.


Garrett & Joy Nudd are some of the coolest and friendliest people you'll meet. I first met them at a free workshop they hosted in Chattanooga, TN and was blown away by their generousity and willingness to share with others. Garrett also has an incredibly smooth way of getting his brides to do just about anything! Take a look at his blog and you'll see what I mean!


The Weibners have so much fun and personality in their work! When I first saw their images, I just knew I had to meet them one day because I could just tell these were two cool cats... and last night I found out just how cool they really are.


There are no words for me to describe the gestalt that is the LaCour team of Erin, Mark, Rachel, and Andrew. They have it all - talent, art, business, intelligence, intuition, personality, creativity, and total generosity. They walk the walk and are consistently at the top of their game in everything they do. I have so much respect and admiration for each one of them... to know that they consider me a friend is just completely amazing to me. Man, I'm lucky!!



Jos and Jason, The Photographers, are crazy cool cats who I met for the first time here at WPPI. These guys are characters unlike any other and they have facinating stories to tell. I can't wait to keep up with them and see what they get into over the course of the year... I have a feeling they're going to come up with all kinds of crazy ideas!


Aundrea is one of the powerhouses behind BluDoman.com, the company that created my website. Not only is she smokin' hot, but she's incredilbly smart and talented. I'm so infactuated with this company, and their growth is just amazing to watch.


Daria Bishop is such a sweet person!! She totally waited outside of a seminar just to meet me today!! She's such a talented artist and an incredibly warm and genuine spirit. Not to mention her style of fashion is out of this world! You should have seen the back of this shirt... it's haut!


Could Sticky & Brandy be any hotter?! I got to meet them for the first time here in Vegas and I'm so glad I did!! They are just adorable together and are such wonderful people. I'm looking forward to keeping in touch with them throughout the year because hotness like that just can't be contained. ;-)


Update: 4/6

I was finally able to download the rest of my point & shoot images, so I have to give a shout out to the rest of the awesome people that I had a chance to hang out with while I was in Vegas!!

On the last day of the convention, I finally had a chance to wander the tradeshow floor and check out some of the albums and new products that I was thinking of offering this year. It's kind of amazing how you can be in the same hotel with people you know all week long and never ever run into them! That was definitely the case with Dan Schimpf and Cindy Wagner!


Even though the last night was awards night with a big spread of food, a lot of attendees had already left. One thing I learned from photojournalists Greg Gibson and Emlie Sommer was to always arrive early and stay late because that is often when you get the story you really want. ;-) In the case of WPPI, it's when you get to hang out with some of the hottest photographers, like Marcus Bell and Cliff Mautner. I've learned from both of these guys in workshops and found that they have a lot of experience to share with fellow photographers.


Since you've already met Daria and Andrew in pictures above, let me introduce you to Rustin Michael Cerveny (far left) and Alexander Morozov (second from right). Both of these guys are excellent photographers and just all around great guys. Will someone remind me how it is that I end up meeting such awesome people??


On my way to dinner with the LaCours, I met Jay Premack, great guy from Washington, DC. I have to admit that I felt a little guilty telling him where I was from and that I had three weddings in Washington, DC, but I truly believe that there is plenty of work to go around. I'm so glad that we ended up meeting and hanging out for a while. He's a wonderful photojournalist with beautiful storytelling skills.


As we were walking back from dinner, the fabulous and full of energy at 1 am ,Pepper Nix jumped out of line from one of the cafés inside Paris and literally pulled me into line to have a late, late, late night snack with a bunch of her friends! I knew Pepper through Pictage and she gave me some great advice with a tough situation last year, but I hadn't yet met her until this evening - it was so nice to finally meet her in person! She has so much energy - it's contagious!


The beautiful Michael & Anna Costa and I sat next to each other at the café and got to talking about business and marketing stuff. This is another totally hot couple who shoots together and I have to admit that I'm fully jealous of couples who get to work together to create such beautiful imagery!!


Across the table from me were the creative eyes of Nick & Signe Adams. Unbeknownst to me, Signe already knew me from my PhotoLoveCat Blog for photographers. It was so cool to meet some amazingly talented photographers who I may have helped in some small way. Their work is edgy and original, which I absolutely love! You can bet that I'm going to become one of their blog fans now!!!


About half way through our night meal, Becky sits down next to me and tells me that she's not a photographer, but she's here at WPPI to be a sponge and learn more about the photography world. I'm intruiged! I imagine it to be the equivalent to me sitting through a medical convention and trying to understand the technical language without having too much experience in the field. She asked a lot of great questions and I hope I answered them the best I could! Eventually she mentioned that she was helping Joe Photo as a type of business coach. How cool! Once we got on the topic of business, we had a lot in common and pretty much just spent the rest of the night chatting away. I felt very honored and humbled when at the end of the meal she turned to Joe Photo and said, "this woman is AMAZING!" I don't think I've blushed like that in a long time. ;-)



My flight left late Thursday afternoon, and since I had missed the Foundation party on Tuesday night (thinking it was Wednesday night), I wanted to make sure that I met up with some of my mentors from the workshop. From left to right: Leigh Miller, not one of my mentors, but definitely an inspiration!, David Murray, one of the nicest people I've met and an excellent mentor, me, and Huy Nguyen, one of the few people who probably really understands my sense of humor and who keeps my ego and enthusiasm in check. ;-) I'm so lucky to be surrounded by such incredible people.


What a great week I had - full of inspiration and fuel for the future!!! I feel so incredibly fortunate to be in such talented company and among so many wonderful people. I feel blessed beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I hope to be back next year and meet even more amazing people!!

Pandora

posted on: March 23, 2007



Yesterday I had a great Film Noir Boudoir shoot with Pandora (she asked that her real name not be revealed). The image above was taken with her point & shoot camera. The real images were shot on B&W film and will be processed when I get back. I don't think I'll have permission to post the rest because she's in a pretty high profile profession, so enjoy this one!!

The California scenery really is just beautiful... and I feel totally envious of the photographers who get to shoot in this beautiful SoCal light all the time! When there are clouds and the sun breaks over the mountains, it's absolutely gorgeous!

Now it's off to Vegas for a whirlwind week of workshops, meetings, and awesome photographers. If you're going to be at WPPI this week - I can't wait to see you there!!! Please don't hesitate to say HI!

PS!! Don't forget to enter for a chance to win a free tote bag!

Random Thoughts on Airline Travel

posted on: March 21, 2007

Flight Cancelled. New Flight Booked. Sitting in the Phoenix Airport, 5:37 local time:

I used to live here.. I forgot how pretty mountain scenery is. I loved painting mountains... so simple and pretty. In elementary school (3rd grade?), my art teacher took one of my mountain paintings to a conference to show everyone how perceptive I was about the way that colors and sharpness of objects fade the farther away from you they are. I didn't know why my art teacher made a big deal out of it, afterall, couldn't everyone see things the way I saw them? Apparently not, and thus began my fascination with perceptions and optical illusions.

Phoenix has expanded a LOT since I lived here (20 years ago)? I love that this airport has free wi-fi. Why don't all airports have free wi-fi? I could get more work done when my flight is cancelled! So yeah.. the second half of my flight was cancelled. I guess the plane I was supposed to be on is grounded in Chicago due to bad weather. The weather in Indy was great and it's really nice here in Phoenix as well! Come to think of it... it's pretty rare that Indiana has really extreme weather. Maybe more airlines should make Indy their hub... at least then people could drive to Chicago in 3-4 hours even if their plane is grounded.

Here are a few random thoughts about airline travel...

  • Arrive at least an hour early.
    Not so you can get to the plane on time, but so your luggage can (I really pushed it today by arriving 20 minutes before my flight)

  • Get the first flight of the day.
    It always leaves on time (unless weather plays a factor) and there will be few, if any, screaming babies.

  • Wear slip-on shoes.
    You know you're going to have to take them off when you go through security, and because there's rarely a place to sit down and put them back on, you end up bending over and holding up the line if you have to tie laces.

  • Don't get your Starbucks fix until after you get through the security check-point.
    It would suck to pay $5 for an espresso that you only get a few sips of before you have to dump it in the trash.

  • Bring healthy snacks.
    Airports and airlines take advantage of hungry travelers by offering less than healthy food options at fine cuisine prices.

  • Check in online the day before.
    Not only will it allow you to check your bags at the curb and avoid a line at the ticket counter, it will also give you a better chance to choose the seat you really want (depending on the airline).

  • Let others board the plane first.
    Unless you're concerned about finding a spot in the overhead compartment for your luggage, or you absolutely must have an aisle or window seat (for those who fly Southwest), what's the advantage to boarding early? Having people smack you in the head with their luggage as they walk by? I fly Southwest quite a bit and I just prefer not to wait in the boarding lines. I sit in the comfy leather seats with my laptop battery plugged in and wait until most of the people in my boarding line have gone through and then get up when the end of the line is near. I like to choose who I sit next to, and you only get to make that choice when other people have already chosen their seats. Spend one long plane flight next to a guy who hasn't showered in three days and you'll want to choose who you sit next to as well!

  • The window seat is roomier.
    I used to love aisle seats because I could stretch my 60" of legs out into the aisle. (That's 30" x 2 in case you thought I was freakishly tall.) But now that butt room is more important than leg room, I choose the window seat for that extra inch you get between the seat & the window, as well as the chance to lift up the armrest to create even more space. If you happen to be a toothpick, choose the middle seat so that the fat guy (or fat me) doesn't get stuck in the middle where he'll take over your window or aisle seat with his blubber which has no where else to go.

  • Chew gum.
    If you're chewing on something, you either won't notice your ears popping with the change in air pressure, or it will happen so effortlessly that you won't have to plug your nose and try to equalize it by adding pressure inside your head.

  • If you start to feel sick...
    Don't try to read. Don't look out the window. Either lean forward resting your head on the seat in front of you and take long deep breaths, or look straight ahead in the plane and again, take deep breaths. Not sure if it works for everyone, but that's what works for me!


2 more hours until my next flight.. woo hoo!

Leavin' On a Jet Plane...

There are just NOT enough hours in a day!! I've been very productive and taken care of a LOT of things while I've been back, but I'm by no means caught up with everything I need to finish!! Editing and processing images on the road sucks because laptop screen brightness and tonal range vary depending on the angle of the screen. So, in order for me to provide consistent and accurate processing, I need to work on my calibrated system at home. Oh, how I miss film!!! (But, I'd never totally go back.) My only solace is that when I return at the beginning of April, I will have nearly three weeks of uninterrupted time to complete projects... woo hoo!!

Here's where I'll be over the next 12 days:
Hesperia, CA March 21-23
Las Vegas, NV March 24-29
Detroit, MI March 30-April 2

As usual when I'm traveling - I'm not sure when I'll have access to internet, but I'll definitely try to respond as soon as I can! Thank you for your patience! PS. I got new frames - so I have my eyes & identity back!

To my hubby: I miss you already!!

My Eyes. My Identity. Broken.

posted on: March 20, 2007



I was looking for some last minute items at the store, took my glasses off to wipe away a smudge on my lens, and without any effort, they snapped in half. Not what you'd expect from an Anne Klein product. Well, every place that accepts our insurance is closed after 5 pm so I have to find a way to get a replacement in the few hours before I have to leave tomorrow. Otherwise I'll have to wear contacts, which means no one will recognize me! Crossing my fingers and toes that I can get a replacement tomorrow before I go!

Yellow Rose Inn Wedding - Karen & Tim

posted on: March 19, 2007



Karen & Tim had a very romantic wedding with tons of casual elegance topped off with a dollop of fun! This couple just oozes joy and happiness in everything they do. When I first talked to Karen, she had so many crazy things happen to her that would make most people pull their hair out or sink into depression - but she always managed to laugh it all off and concentrate on the positive.. I really admire strength like that!!




When I first heard that their wedding and reception would be held at a bed & breakfast in Indianapolis, IN called The Yellow Rose Inn, I instantly knew it would be charming! Little did I know how much I would fall in love with the place once I actually saw it in person! Such a fabulous location with tons of photographic opportunities!!! After the ladies sat down for their breakfast at the Inn, they headed off to Studio 2000 in monument circle (just above the Starbucks). I loved the whole art deco feel of the building, and what a great view of the circle!



From time to time I get asked to photograph the guys getting ready, so what exactly do guys do before their wedding? 90% of them watch the game on TV, eat some food, and maybe have a beer. It takes them like 3 minutes to put their tux on and usually no one helps them with it. So... feel free to give him a few responsibilities on the wedding day... after all, you have to get up before noon... it's only fair that he should too!! (Sorry guys!)



Isn't Karen absolutely stunning? I swear she looks like she came straight from a victorian painting... just gorgeous!! And I loooove her bouquet with red feathers!! I love feathers with flowers- they add such an interesting texture and touch of whimsical to a bouquet!



The ceremony was held under the tent in the backyard and her brother walked her down the garden path..



After the ceremony, they had a cocktail hour on the porch while the tent was undergoing its transformation. What a bunch of happy, beautiful people!!





You have no idea how much I wanted to snag one of those chocolate covered strawberries as I was photographing this... they looked sooo good!! Luckily Karen & Tim beat me to it! ;-)



The band, The Noteables, were a really swanky bunch. They were really sensitive musicians always aware of what was going on and what the appropriate music and volume was... not to mention, they can crank out those swing tunes!



I love finding interesting lighting after the sun goes down. Even though I never had a chance to get Karen & Tim up to the rooftop, I still managed to grab a neat view of the downtown skyline while I was up there. Congratulations Karen & Tim!!! You deserve many, many, many more days of pure happiness!!!

3 Easy Ways to Be More Green

posted on: March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!! If you want to know the real story behind St. Patrick's Day, and why it is associated with the Irish, Good Luck, and Clovers, check out the Saint Patrick's Day post on wikipedia. Since March 17th is when many people strut their love for the color green, I'm going to take this opportunity to share 3 ways to BE more green in your everyday life!! (Read on to find out how you can win a free reusable tote bag!!!)

1. Drive less.
Find ways to carpool with the people you work with and/or utilize public forms of transportation, which is improving across the country! As gas prices go up, it may actually be MORE economical to your wallet and the environment to fly instead of drive! Since airlines are a public form of transportation, it helps more people utilize less fuel and emits fewer harmful gasses into the environment over time as opposed to that same 200 people driving in cars for several days instead of planepooling for a few hours. (I would love for someone to do some real research on this!) Trains are my absolute favorite form of travel because you still have many of the benefits of traveling on the ground like talking on your cell phone, connecting to your wireless internet, looking at the local scenery, having more leg room, and not having people frisk the heck out of you, but alas, we Americans haven't made it as easy or cool as the Europeans have. Jet Blue, Southest, and AmTrak make it very easy and economical to travel long distances with ease. If you absolutely need a car when you get somewhere, Enterprise has great rates and offers a hybrid Toyota prius at some locations.



2. Reuse more.
It isn't enough to recycle by simply buying disposable products and putting them in a recycling bin. We need to reuse more. It's about using and buying things that are reusable rather than buying things that are meant to be thrown away. Imagine how much space we'd save in landfills if everyone brought their own cups to fill up at fast food chains, coffee shops, and gas stations. Imagine how much oil and how many trees we would save by trading in the disposable grocery store bags (which may get reused once before they break) for cotton totes that are washable and reusable. How about wearing jeans and sweaters more than once before washing them, which will result in using less energy, time, money, and strain on the environment (unless you went to a really smokey bar and the Febreze isn't doing the trick... no one wants to smell your smokey bar clothes!) Try using Dryel instead of driving to the dry cleaners and having them wrap plastic bags around your clothes. Check out ReusableBags.com to find all kinds of reusable items that have been made in ecofriendly ways. I could go on, but if even 1/4th of my blog readers committed to doing just one of those things, we could make a big difference!

3. Buy Locally.
Studies have shown that people who purchase foods and goods that were grown and produced locally, tend to be healthier overall. How can this be so? The farther your food has to travel to get to you, the more preservatives have to be added, and the more waste and disease have a chance to affect the quality of that food. I think we can all agree that fresh produce which is in season always tastes better than produce which is out of season. If you want great food out of season, find out which local farmers can their produce and make it available for sale, or head to your local farmer's market to get the good stuff grown nearby. As great as the internet is, there's also a high value in buying things locally from small mom & pop shops that make their own products rather than having mass produced items shipped from who-knows-where. Not only does it help you support your local and US economy, it also helps save the environment by reducing the amount of waste created in producing and shipping mass market items. That's one of the things I love about Etsy and EBay, because they allow you to search for products and sellers near you!!


WIN A FREE: LIVE. LOVE. GREEN. ANNE RUTHMANN PHOTOGRAPHY TOTE BAG!!

This reusable, washable, carry-all is usually only given away to my clients who order full size albums, but you can now get your own for free!! One winner will be chosen at random, and there are three different ways to enter, just pick one that works best for you! * Make sure you include your email address when posting a comment so that I can notify you via email if you're the winner! Here's how to enter:
1. Leave a comment below with another easy idea for living a greener lifestyle.
- OR -
2. Make a promise in the comments below letting us know which of the ideas mentioned above you're going to put into action immediately.
- OR -
3. Make a donation to the Environmental & Energy Institute and leave a comment letting me know who made the donation.

The winner will be chosen on April 9th! Thank you so much for your participation!!

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