Sunday, April 06, 2008


That's what the birds are saying. And I am so grateful. One has moved into our awning, one has moved into the hornets nest that was constructed last summer. It makes me glad we didn't take down the hornets next last year. Lawns are starting to turn green again. Today we took Gramma Gaye's raised-bed garden boxes out of her basement, where they were built, and placed them out in her yard (AK made one of them 8' x 8'. It was magnificent. And it had to be dismantled to get out of the basement). We're planning out the summer's physical activities. AK is putting tomato seeds in peat pots, and I'm looking at calendars to plan scouting trips. I do believe spring has sprung.

Triangle Institute of Professional Photography That's where I was all week. My concerns were in vain it would seem, as I definitely got our money's worth in education from the seminar. I took a course in portraiture and it was just perfect. I learned from the other students and from the administration and others as much as I learned from the excellent teachers of my class. I learned about the business of photography, I learned about marketing and pricing, I learned about lighting and most importantly studio lighting. And I was lucky enough to learn all of this from working photographers who volunteer their time to teach others. It was an intense, fulfilling and tiring week. And while the cost was certainly a stretch for us, in truth it was a bargain when we consider the food and hotel expenses. I got to do stuff like this . . .

And I learned a lot about equipment. Everyone tends to believe/teach/preach that what they use is the most important and necessary equipment. So it was a challenge for me to remember that what I need is based on what I want to do. It was easy to remember that, well, I don't yet KNOW what I want to do. So I think I left Pittsburg, specifically the vendor show, having spent much less than most on equipment. One piece I did fiend supremely useful, and I knew it would be something I could use as soon as I saw it in one of my books about outdoor portraiture, was a giant 4' x 6' "gobo" with a black fabric frame hinged to a white diffusion fabric frame. It allows me to make a photo like this . . .

. . . even in the harsh noon-time light of a sunny day. Gotta get me a gobo. Or, as my shooting partner called it, a "gooboo". And a lightmeter. And a D300. And a large studio with a wall of northlight windows and 13' ceilings.

My goal for now is to try and NOT think about the business. This will be a challenge, I do so love marketing and I am so anxious to learn a new way to earn money for my family in a way that better suits us. But I feel these are distractions from the important question: what pictures do I WANT to create? What pictures would I get up everyday and create even if I had to pay to do it? What I've learned about the business is that you have to love it that much to stand out and have a truly marketable product. So for now, I take pictures. All kinds, of all people, in every type of lighting and context. In doing this, I hope to find my own joy and my own vision. I trust that if I can create something that is genuinely inspired, it will find it's own place as a foundation for business.

Going gobo shopping . . .




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Pupp Daddy Dog spends his days working as an entrepeneur and as a Dad. He is passionately in love with/obsessively neurotic about his family. Imagine Kicking Bird mixed with Albert Brooks. Oh, and throw in some Notorious B.I.G.


Alaska is the frustrated but caring cat at the center of our canine universe. All of us alternately worship, rely on and ceaselessly whine to her. Her need to control everything is confounded by the fact that she really pretty much does control everything, so in her few free moments, she knits and searches desperately for things to fuss about.



Max is smart and handsome, with a big heart. He is not only growing like a weed, but he has the attention span and concentration abilities of a weed. Despite my best efforts, AK keeps feeding him and he keeps growing. Our plan is to keep him so busy with school, sports & the arts that he won't notice he's a teenager and is supposed to hate us. T minus 2.5 years to teen launch, so far so good.



 Ben and Milo are phenomenal little creatures who remind us minute-by-minute not only how little control we have in this world, but why we should cease our controlling efforts and just laugh at all of God's jokes. Lately, Milo likes to dance and is good on the piano. Ben likes to mimic Max and enjoys manipulating adults and anyone else who has no idea how quietly brilliant he is. Both of them would love your full and complete attention. Really, stop reading silly blogs and join the fan club now. Ok? Ok.









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