Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category
First of all, I have finally figured out how to get my slideshows on YouTube so if this smattering of images leaves you breathless for more, take a few minutes to view the slideshow of this photoshoot. Yippee! Now to get on with the story… I’ve been happily working with Amy and Heath since their wedding at Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colorado in 2009. It was so beautiful and rustic. Perfect weather, breathtaking scenery, deep red roses, a stunning bride, sexy groom, newly renovated venue, the finest wedding planner in Colorado, and wonderful guests. For what more could a destination wedding photographer ask? Their engagement portrait session at Chautauqua is one of my favorites of all time. I visited their barn in Virginia a couple summers ago to meet and photograph Amy’s beloved horses whom she was boarding there. Since then they have purchased their own dream farm and have moved all four dogs and four horses onto the property. Amy finally has her wish. Her whole brood is together under one roof- well under two roofs very close to each other. And they have acquired a couple barn cats just to make the collection complete. I was as happy as could be to visit their new home, to get a tour of the completed renovations and plans in the works and meet the newest additions- Cody (the border collie that reminds me a bit of Wile E. Coyote for some reason). Of course I was thrilled to learn that one of their mares is expecting a baby in the spring! I’ll be flying back out to capture newborns portraits of the little one so you have that to look forward to here on the Recherche blog.
As most of you know, in late September and early October Jay & I traveled to Italy & Croatia to catch our breath from the crazy pace of American life. We may have been able to catch our breaths a bit better had we not traveled to a different spot every single day but it was still a fabulous get-away. We came home with a renewed appreciation for our home, family and work here in Colorado.
We covered a lot of ground in 17 days: Hadrian’s Villa + Villa d’Este in Tivoli, Herculaneum, Paestum, Amalfi Coast, Ravello, Croatia, Plitvicka National Park, Split, Dubrovnik, Florence, San Gimignano, Siena, Volterra, Lucca, Cinque Terra and Amsterdam. Sheesh!
So for SOME reason I had a very difficult time narrowing down the images I wanted to share on my blog. Out of the 1200 images that made the final edit, I choose 550 for our personal slideshow and then 80 for the blog. Eeeek! Obviously a few too many, sooooo:
First destination the morning we arrived was Hadrian’s Villa.
This was my favorite of the 100 fountains in Villa d’Este in Tivoli. This place unbelievable. We walked for hours (our first day in the country) in complete awe.
Paestum. It took our breath away.
Our first day in Croatia we drove up north to the Plitvicka National Park. We hiked through the park in the rain and it was resplendent. Waterfalls around every bend, waters surging beneath our feet almost up over the miles of painstakingly built path.
Walking into Dubrovnik was one of the most magical breathtaking experiences of my life.
Florence. The art is exquisite. The tourists are thick. The traffic is tumultuous. The shopping is divine. To be honest, I got my fill of naked men statues and violent artwork in roughly eight hours, just as Jay was really finding his stride. After less than two days I was beyond ready to get out into the tiny Tuscan hill towns.
Sunset over the Ponte Vecchio. Serene. Love the white birds flying through.
It turns out that the Boboli Gardens does not actually have any flowers. Except this hydrangea. The rest of the “garden” is graveled paths between trees opening into big lots with a few sculptures here and there and some museums of dishes, etc. I was running low on inspiration and energy this morning and when the first sound that greeted me was a chainsaw I just about went to pieces. I slogged my way through since we’d paid and entry fee and Jay was (as usual) in high spirits. Jay has some nice video footage of me glaring into the camera making scathing comments. Anyhow, I got this beautiful image…
One of my favorite images in one of my favorite spots: Lucca.
We stayed in a beautiful old seminario in Volterra. I adored it primarily because it was so quiet. After the hustle and bustle of tourists, traffic and travel I was desperate for some peace. Thankfully Jay read the signs of a full on meltdown brewing and sought out a perfect spot for me to pull myself together.
Cinque Terre… this is the reason we came to Italy. My expectations were perhaps a bit quixotic so I was startled when a cruise ship dumped hundreds of tourists off for the day and also to see CARS in the tiny villages. And by the time we reached our greatly anticipated destination our knees and feet were aching from the billions of stairs and hills we’d travailed over the last 13 days. Luckily it poured rain the entire day we had slated for hiking so we cuddled up in our little apartment and drank wine.
This shot is a maybe a little more true to form…
Thanks for your patience while I pulled this together for you all. It’s hard to make time for the personal images in a photographer’s life! Hope you enjoy the images! I loved shooting them! And Jay managed to catch got a few nice shots of me (which means he’s turning into quite the photographer as well!!)
One of the most poignant quotes I’ve read about being an artist (and I believe that word is synonymous with being ALIVE) is from The Courage To Create by Rollo May. This quote so accurately describes my experience- daily, monthly and yearly. My whole life has been a cycle of inspiration and desolation. Death and rebirth. Courage and fear. Optimism and depression. I am sustained by metaphors and visual symbols. (is that the same thing?)
“Zeus was outraged. He decreed that Prometheus be punished by being bound to Mount Caucasus, where a vulture was to come each morning and eat away his liver which would grow again at night. This element in the myth is a vivid symbol of the creative process. All artists have at some time had the experience at the end of the day of feeling tire, spent and so certain they can never express their vision that they vow to forget it and start all over again on something the next morning. But during the night their “liver grows back again.” They arise full of energy and go back with renewed hope to their task, again to strive in the smithy of their soul.”
It is hard to be in an artist, to work in service to others, for my work to be an expression of my heart and soul for all to see and judge, to put a price tag on my art, to photograph all of my friends’ and clients’ babies when I’ve longed for my own for so many years and have not been able to have one. It would be much easier to move to France where I don’t know anyone and start some sort of a garden business or get a job working for Anthropologie and be surrounded by beautiful meaningless things all day long. I’ve considered both options. Often. But I desperately want my life to matter, to make a difference, to have a lasting impact. And I love to photograph. I love my friends and my clients and love being a part of their lives. It fills me up. But to be honest, it also empties me out- at the same time somehow. So after ten years of pouring everything I had into my photography business, I now feel compelled to make time to be filled back up. That means MAKING the time to go for walks, for hikes, for yoga class, to spend time working in my garden and to cook. It means spending time reading, doing my own personal projects and just puttering around the house rearranging and organizing cabinets. Did you know I am obsessed with organizing? It’s true. I think it’s not so much that I’m a control freak, it’s more that my heart and my heart are both so saturated to the brim ALL the time that I require my surroundings to be in order so I can get anything done. I’ve had an idea for a professional organizing business in the back of my head for years called “Muddle Jumping”. Juli has actually designed the webpage for me. I am passionate about helping people dig out of material clutter so they can engage in this world in a real way. Someday maybe… in the meantime, I do it for friends.
The image above is also from England. It is in the Kew Garden last April. It is a different sort of image for my collection. It feels very Jumanji to me. It might be one of the only images I have that represents hibernation.