what _____ looks like | month twelve

hard to believe i've been sharing these monthly posts for a full year now. although technically, this is really post eleven since i didn't share last month. BUT i think i had a pretty good excuse, being in tanzania and all -- and  i think i made up for it with my RIDETZ posts. :-) july was an exciting month for us, filled with lots of traveling: san diego, CA carson city, NV tahoe, NV san francisco, CA vegas, NV (an unplanned stay & ER visit) battle lake, MN.

we spent less than a week at home in july, which was perfectly fine by me.

what our july looked like begins at camp oma's in NEVADA...

with the cousins

my animal lover

izzy and her walking stick, on our hike

at the top

and back down again

the 1989 van

hands off

sky & great grandma mary

guitar practice


TAHOE lake stop

our hotel in SAN FRANCISCO

cool paintings that filled the walls of an entire alley way

overnight at alpana's

sick at the airport causing an unexpected two-day layover stay in vegas, NEVADA

back home in TAMPA & boating with our besties

a week family vacation in MINNESOTA with martha & her family. new friends...

sometimes, but not often, cheering up was necessary

with daddy

at our cabin, which we didn't spend much time at all (thanks to martha & her fabulous family :-) )

photo shoot of ellie & sky (shooting with and styled by martha)

cabin break

paint by number

soul sisters

lots of swimming in the lake and some super fun time shooting in the water.  a separate post on that coming soon.

there’s a small circle of photographers participating in this what ____ looks like monthly project.  i hope you’ll check them all out [clicking link to link] — starting with stephanie moore | tucson family photographer.

and with that, i say good day and...

an evening in the water

last weekend, our dear friends asked us if we'd like to go out on their boat with them.  we absolutely love spending time with the skubins, so of course, our answer was an overwhelming yes, yes, YES!!  having not shot underwater for quite a while, i decided to bring my D700 and underwater housing with me.  it was different than what i'm used to (shooting in my pool) but i loved it just as much.  there's something about shooting in the water that so resonates with and speaks to me.  i don't think i could ever get enough of it (except for dealing with my wet dreads).  lucky for me, we're headed to MN for a week -- to a cabin on a lake, where i'm connecting with the amazing  martha (of i see the moon photography). martha and i dream and talk about lots of shooting together, including underwater.  :-) and i so cannot wait!!! here's a few of my favorites from our amazing evening together just off of our (almost) private island...

ETA:  nothing like just finding out that tropical storm debby is continuing to leave her mark in the pinellas county waters.  the pinellas health department just issued a health advisory declaring that the waters at five popular beaches are a potential health risk because of high bacteria counts.  why? because of...

FECAL MATTER that was washed from the land into the gulf.

OMG, how gross!  of course, the waters we were in is one of the affected areas.  yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck!


let the season begin

super excited that the season for underwater shooting is about to begin. i actually was already underwater with cheryl jacobs during her film inspires! workshop.  but this shot -- mostly above water -- happens to be my favorite from the afternoon.

but how i love this one too.  red-haired CJ with her ziploc-bagged holga.

and a couple of my holga shots from the workshop, taken while walking around the neighborhood where the workshop was held.  hopefully more fun film shooting in the near future.  maybe even some home-developing too.

p.s. more exciting raffles being announced very soon!!

your voice

let's be honest... i had a rough couple of weeks. beyond my husband being gone, a bathroom renovation that is going anything but smoothly, and a re-roofing that left me saying "i really just hate that" [although they are fixing it]...my photography journey had me in tears [more times than once].

wondering... where i'm at. where i'm going. just trying to make sense of it all. of anything really.

but it's like trying to make sense of things in the midst of a tornado.  the eye -- the center of the storm -- is there. you know it. but you can't get there. you can't even see it. you can't get to that bit of clarity...that bit that makes sense. it's all just swirling. that's how things have been and felt lately.

but today, my friend sent this to me, prefaced by...

saw this today and thought about you.

don't dilute your inner voice by soliciting the opinions of others, heeding them over its counsel. why ask mere mortals for advice when you're guided by sacred wisdom? treasure your sixth sense. treat it like gold. wear it close to your heart, and don't allow anyone to rob you of its power. -sonia choquette

can't even begin to share how much this quote speaks to me. so much about this photography journey is trusting yourself. allowing yourself to just be. and learn. and grow. but trusting, and listening to that inner wisdom, along the way. and not being influenced by the craziness that surrounds you. and well, there's a lot of craziness going on in this industry right now.

with that being said, another wise, inspirational friend emailed me last week and shared how i need to just be patient. there's so much i still don't know. i'm still not educated on. instead of focusing on what isn't happening at this moment, i need to embrace and be grateful for what IS happening.  words of wisdom from someone who has been there and done that.

behind the scenes

as many of you probably already know, i'm pretty obsessed with underwater shooting.  so i thought i'd share a couple behind-the-scenes photos and thoughts. shooting underwater is WAY tougher than it seems.  i use equinox housing, which is large and heavy (originally designed for diving videography and photography), but the quality and security of the housing is amazing.

my friend, emily, who was visiting me last week said,

"you couldn't pay me enough to photograph underwater!"

although she did so-graciously oblige to be my underwater subject a time or two, while here.  :-))

here i am in our backyard pool (photo courtesty of emily corey), being held down by ryder, while photographing underwater.  i think i'm going to have to invest in a weight belt, to keep me down, in the very near future.  and a swim cap for my dreads.  it takes my dreads eight-plus hours to dry every time they get wet.  it's kind of like having a wet dog wrapped around your head and neck for eight hours...not fun!!

and most of my dresses have now made their way into my pool.  steve's bike has became my drying rack.

and a new 'flooded reverie' image from last week...

and a photo of em and lu, while they were visiting.  capturing this photo of em reaching out her hands to lu makes my heart so incredibly happy (they waited a long time for their precious little girl).

super exciting things on the forefront with this underwater adventure.  hoping to share some news and updates VERY soon.

maui | part three

visits with old friends.meeting new friends. lunch and shopping at the super cool town of paia. gin and tonics with cucumber and mint. photo session on fleming beach. steve... kite boarding lessons. times two. early morning snorkeling at molokini crater. clear water. lots of fish, an eel and seven sea turtles. an incredible last-night's dinner at nick's fish house. and through it all, i feel so blessed to have experienced the most amazing reconnection with my husband. i never want to forget our time spent together in maui.

steve, thank you for loving me!!

and now... on to vail, for the awesome NAPCP retreat.  so excited to be speaking on the 27th.

maui | part I

we arrived in maui TUESDAY afternoon.  photo session that evening.  and dinner with awesome (new) friends, who were visiting maui, from denver.  lucky for me, i get to see them again next week, while in CO for the NAPCP retreat that leah and i are speaking at.

WEDNESDAY was an admin type of day, for most of the day.  that afternoon, once everything was done, we drove out to this interesting area on the SW edge of the island, where in 1790 the lava exploded, after hitting the ocean. the phenomenon created this area looks like freshly tilled dirt except it is actually rock hard lava.  the trail we had been hoping to walk was closed; however, we did find another awesome trail that walked along the ocean's edge. there, we saw two wild goats that were standing on a lava rock cliff that jutted out into the ocean. from this land of broken-up lava rock to the random goats, it was all a bit surreal.

THURSDAY: we got up at 3 AM and drove to the top of haleakala (a 10,000 foot mountain) to view the most amazing (yet painfully windy and cold) sunrise ever. the entire horizon was clouds and as the sun rose, the clouds lit up like the filament of a lightbulb.  there was also a few locals, who sang a beautiful ceremonial chant.  truly a breathtaking moment to witness, but i have to say...i don't think i have ever been so cold.  we went home, took a nap and chilled most of the afternoon.

after dinner, we went snorkeling at a nearby area, where i almost drowned and was attacked by a shark (i mean a rock).  it really was quite comical.  but we did see a couple sea turtles, which was awesome.  steve got this photo (i could barely handle myself, let alone a huge camera).

YESTERDAY: we followed the road to hana (north side of the island).  along the way, we stopped to do various hikes.  each...absolutely majestic!!

hike 1 | puohokamoa falls:  this hike was pretty tough because we took it further than most do.  the falls were far away, but so beautiful.

hike 2 | punalau falls:  this was probably our favorite spot of the day.  we hiked through this dry stream of boulders, which ended in this pool of water.  the falls weren't much yet still amazing.  it was our own private waterfall and pool.

hike 3 | three bears falls:  pretty easy, short hike (all except the first few steps), leading to three incredible side-by-side falls.  there were quite a few people at these falls because they're easily seen from the road.

hike 4 | pua'a ka'a state park:  a super muddy hike.  towards the end, you have to walk along and across this viaduct on a platform that is about 1-1/2 feet wide.  as long as i didn't look down, i was just fine.

on our way out of hana, we stopped at red sands beach (wish i took a picture, but i was drained by this time).  the hike there scared the shit out of me because it was on the edge of the cliff and i had no traction on the dirt / sand (thanks to the chucks i was wearing).  we also stopped at hamoa beach, where steve did some bodysurfing.  by this time, i was really exhausted and simply enjoyed relaxing on the beach, while steve bodysurfed.

after hamoa beach, we continued driving south, which also scared the shit out of me -- super windy, narrow roads (most could not fit two cards side-by-side, without going up on the edge of the mountain side a bit).  also, most of the road was dirt and super bumpy.  i don't get car sick and towards the end, i did think about it.

all in all, the day was beyond spectacular, starting out at 7:30 AM and arriving in paia at 7:30 PM, for an incredible dinner of flatbread and salad (everything local, fresh and organic).  oh yea -- the cucumber, mint gin and tonic was pretty darn awesome too.  will definitely make that when back home.

today, we head to the west side, for more hiking and exploring.

H2O love

be careful what you water your dreams with.water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream. - lao tzu

here i am in tampa. trying to get my business going. not easy task. uninspired by the landscape. missing the open fields. and the trees. wondering if i'll find my way here. knowing deep within that i'm on the right path. yet still struggling.

i've had the most incredible opportunities that wouldn't have been possible if i was swamped with client sessions. i know i'm right where i'm supposed to be, yet i yearn to be inspired with tampa and it's landscape. and today, it happened. that spark has been reignited and is burning bright.

i received my underwater housing today and tested it out a bit this afternoon, in my backyard pool. and i can't even begin to tell you how excited i am about the possibilities.  about the future. the adventure has just begun.

i will be bringing my housing with me, to hawaii (for the next nine days), to continue testing it out. i still have TONS to learn and luckily have a cooperative subject, who can hold his breath way longer than i can (my husband).

YES...i'm exactly where i'm supposed to be. and i'm dreaming big. really big (although i'm really sore and my shoulder and back are killing me. not sure if it's crossfit or heavy housing related.).

i'm so optimistic about the future, i can barely stand it.  more super big news coming soon!!