The Power of Acknowledgement

When I was ten years old, I discovered the book Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. Harriet was a little girl about my age who wrote observations of life around her in great detail. Her practice intrigued me, so I took it up. My foray into journaling coincided with my discovery of swear words, so sadly, when my parents discovered my profanity-laced observations of playground life, they destroyed them. Mom and Dad may have been able to destroy those pages, but they couldn’t keep me from writing new ones! Now that I think about it, my love of documenting every day life is […]

I Am An Artist. There, I Said It.

I am an artist. There, I said it. It’s taken over 3 decades to accept, embrace, and love this part of my identity, but at last, I do. If you had asked me if I considered myself artistic 15 years ago, when I was composing songs to mourn the death of my father, 5 years ago, when I was cantoring in a church, or 2 years ago, when I left the legal profession to pursue my cheese blog and photography, I would have told you I wasn’t an artist. But then, just in the past few months—my painter cousin happily […]

Travel to Puerto Rico

A couple weeks ago, my husband and I set off to Puerto Rico to celebrate my birthday! I’ve never been to that part of the world, and didn’t know what was in store for us. We visited the rainforest, toured old San Juan with its gorgeous, colorful buildings and forts, and swam in the most clear, warm blue waters I’ve ever laid eyes on. I wrote more about it on my other blog, but am really excited to share more of the images here! With so many pastels and bright colors, it was a photographer’s dream to capture.

Let Your Photos Resonate

After photographing Jane Erwin Hammett, a local acting and singing coach, mentor and performer whom I had the privilege of working with this year, I started trying to articulate this connection so many of us (me included) have to music. She shared her passion for resonance with me, and explained how it can be used to calm anxiety. She mentioned that things want to vibrate at the same frequency as a neighboring object—they seek accord naturally. Carrying her tuning forks with her, she demonstrated the healing power of sound. It got me asking, “Why do I sing classical music, or […]

San Francisco Maternity Photo Session: Bobby + Karissa

Recently, I had the distinct honor of photographing Bobby and Karissa’s maternity session in the Presidio of San Francisco. Bobby and I first met when we were singing in the same church choir; I still recall singing one of his choral pieces with great fondness! Karissa, a labor and delivery nurse, often graced the choir’s presence with her characteristic warmth and wit. When I learned that these two beautiful people were pregnant, I rejoiced inside because I couldn’t think of any more deserving and positive parents than these two. When they asked me to photograph them, I was absolutely elated! […]

Planning a Sunset Creative Portrait Session

We had already had one beautiful portrait session at sunrise, Sarah and I. We realized, though, that it wasn’t enough. Our sunrise session captured her in a hyper-stylized, posed way–which we both loved–but as we reviewed our images, we both felt like the need to capture Sarah in a more relaxed way. And so we planned a another portrait session at sunset. Lucky for both of us, the sunset that day was absolutely spectacular. So many people stopped us to congratulate her (they thought she was getting married because of the white and light grey gown she made and wore). I can’t tell you enough […]

Annie Leibovitz’s WOMEN: New Portraits In San Francisco

Recently, I had the chance to see the exhibit entitled WOMEN: New Portraits by Annie Leibovitz. In a relatively small square exhibition space, viewers were nearly on top of each other to see the small wall of portraits strung up along one side. Two large screens on two other sides projected a rotating display of portraits, while a large image of Queen Elizabeth II shone along the 4th back wall. There were so many great things about this show! First, seeing so many images together allowed me to appreciate the extreme diversity in Ms. Leibovitz’s work—from lighting, to mood, to […]

San Francisco portrait photography. This lovely lady is a great opera singer and artist. I was so honored to capture her in these, her first portraits in many years!

Portraits for Paul at the Palace of Fine Arts

Recently, I had the great privilege of photographing Paul, a San Francisco-area actor, musician, and blogger who is full of joy for life and the stage. Paul needed portraits for auditions and his upcoming one-man cabaret show. We talked about his dream roles (Robert from Company), and the types of characters he loves playing (he tends toward the idealistic ones). We went over his extensive collection of colorful shirts to choose just the right ones. The day of the shoot, we headed toward the Palace of Fine Arts, and had a great time capturing that winning smile! He is a bright, loving […]

You Are, And You Are Beautiful

I had the great pleasure of photographing my dear friend Sarah, a talented costumer and opera singer. We met over a year ago, when we performed together in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide. Back then, she always said that she hated all photographs of herself. The next time we performed together, her words changed slightly to say that she loved all of the photos I took of her. Fast forward to today, where she not only was willing to be photographed for over an hour, she made her dress, did her hair and makeup, and drove to my house before dawn so we could find that perfect light for […]

Reach Past The Naysayers

I’m going to tell you a little story. When I first started taking photography seriously, which isn’t that long ago, the person who I looked to to guide me warned me off photographing people, events, and portraits. They made it seem like a Herculean task that required some unascertainable technical and artistic level that I hadn’t yet achieved. And so, I believed that person because I valued their insight, and always felt inferior and unready. It happened for a long time. Needless to say, we parted ways. But now, I no longer have that burden of this person’s judgment. I […]