Wednesday, April 30, 2008

THE workshop post!

Spread the Love was pretty much INCREDIBLE! I'm sorry it has almost taken me a full week for a real post but that's how life goes when you have a zillion people living at your house:)
Everyone: Justin and Mary(my workshop partners), Shyla(model/assistant during workshop), Andrew Smith(workshop videographer extraodinair), and Abby Smith(workshop attendee/amazing friend).....all arrived on Monday for a fun night of everyones favorite - Oberweis....those that aren't from around here may not know what I'm talking about but it's basically getting ice cream straight from a cow...that's how creamy and fresh it is!! lol! Pretty much changes everyones lives!

Tuesday was a fun day of planning and eating at the new all time favorite cafe, Honey. Then heading out for our very special welcome party to meet all the new friends that were coming to the workshop! We ate at an UNREAL place called Butterfly that served Thai AND Sushi...perfect mix if you ask me!
(wow this blog is all about food! lol!)

Onto the good stuff though! Wednesday we jumped right into the full two days of was both mine and Justin & Mary's first workshop and let me tell you... I learned a TON from Justin and Mary! They are quite amazing and no one would ever know that they have only been in business for a couple years! They are so well established in everything! It's awesome!

I did 3 talks over the 2 days and I was pretty surprised at how NOT nervous I was! I guess this teaching thing is really growing on me! Now it's a complete blast and I look forward to every new talk which is TOTALLY new to me! :)
We had several different photoshoots which makes it all the more fun for PHOTOGRAPHERS;)
The first shoot though Justin, Mary, and I shot and we had the students only shoot a little bit so that they could watch our style and how we direct and the second shoot the students had their cameras so we could assess how they direct! It was so fun!

The gorgeous Shyla came to help out in any way and to look hot for my family adores her so any excuse to get her out here from Boston we would find it! :)

The oh so hot and spiffy Justin and Mary showing there moves.
My beautiful prairie friend all the way from Oklahoma Abby Smith! She is wonderful and is probably one of the sweetest people I've met.

My "David Beckham Physique" friend Steve who came to model on the second day. He was quite entertaining! He was very much into the shoot which was awesome because he is wanting to be a fashion photographer, model, AND stylist! So he'll be in this arena a lot! :)

We held the workshop at a SWEET studio in Chicago run by David Wittig and Nancy Beale! They are some of the funniest and most generous people! I love it! Here are the two of them....the second picture is an idea Justin had but turned out more hilarious than artful! lol! David and Nancy also were the test couple for mock client meetings that we did....and with every new student there would be a new wedding plan and some of them were HILARIOUS! Including a safari wedding with a grass dress, riding away on a lion, and David falling in love with Nancy after she had shot an elephant...needless to say...I was crying from laugher.
David also did a session for us on being DIFFERENT in the industry! Totally revolutionized my thinking! :)

My sister Natalie came to model on the second day.... she's WAY to much of a natural...It makes me mad;)
Our OHIO friends! These guys were a riot! And so genuine! :)
A group shot at the end of the last day... we totally forgot to take one when everyone was still there! So this is half the group.... but you can see the Ohioan's above:)
YAY!! What an incredible time! The last guests left on Monday which was sad but I know that I'll see them all soon! :) Video from the workshop will be coming soon TOO!! I can't wait to see it all!!
Hope you all have a wonderful night!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Geeks unite.

What do a group of photographer friends do when they get together to watch a movie??? Geek out on their Macs! LOL! We're hopeless!
We are watching one of my all time favorite movies...Enchanted! It's the most perfect fairy tale movie that I just want to sing and dance to!
I'm SO incredibly blessed with the best friends! Shyla, Steve, Morgan, Abby, and Andrew! Definitely a house full...but what's 5 more when you already have 9! hehe!

Friday, April 25, 2008

YAY! I can sleep!

lol!!! I'm SOOO sorry for not posting the past week!! I've definitely been a slacker:(
But for good reasons!
We just finished up last night the 2 day Spread the Love workshop!! It went incredible!! I'm really so pleased in how it all turned out and the incredible new relationships that I made!! This industry is the best!
The time was jam packed with talks between Justin and Mary Marantz and I and our host David Wittig, photoshoots and plenty of wonderful food! :)
I will post plenty more about the workshop tomorrow.... but tonight I am wiped out! A crazy day today of driving Justin and Mary to the airport(so sad!), veging, shopping and eating ice cream... pretty tiring I tell you! lol!
Ps...the top pic I stole from Shyla's blog who came in to model and just hang out with us for the workshop! I love her so much! :) The pic is of....Abby Smith, Me, Mary, and Shyla!! :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Sawyer Family!

I really don't shoot family pictures but there are those occasions when I make an exception to shoot! Down in the Dominican the families there are really serving and hardly ever get a chance for a professional shoot! So I LOVE doing it for them! I'll post the 3 shoots that I did down there over the next couple days:) The first one is the ridiculously adorable Sawyer family! Now THIS family made me want to start doing family pics! I loved how they let each of the kids dress in whatever they wanted which totally said their style!! I'm sure the next one on the way too will have just as much character as the others! I love it!:)

Sound asleep.....

Well I guess living in a family of 9 you have to learn how to sleep REALLY good! We can really fall asleep anywhere..even in a room of 100 people! Which is a good life skill....but sometimes it has it's not so good survival.....for instance sleeping through an EARTHQUAKE!!!
This morning when I woke up my mom was like "Did you feel the Earthquake??" I guess it had totally jolted her awake! Apparently Illinois got hit with the most massive earthquake that we've been hit with, 5.4! Tied with one back in the 60s or something!!
Kinda scary since we definitely don't have earthquakes here... but I think they're sort of fun so I'm sad I missed this one! HA!
I hope you all are doing amazing! I'm finally really making some progress in catching up on work from the past couple weeks so I'm excited about that! Some actual picture posts coming soon!! ;)
Ps...that picture is not of Chicago... just what I thought a nice looking fault line would!
::EDIT::...just a couple seconds ago a SECOND earthquake hit!!! AHH! It was cool to feel but not so comforting that there now have been two in one day!! Yikes!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ahhh! Freedom!!

I can breath finally!
It has been insanely non-stop since I got home from the DR... and I just sent out the taxes this afternoon to a huge relief!
I don't know how things can possibly get so busy but they do! Now onto the next project but thankfully it's not as grueling as taxes and emails! It's the Spread the Love workshop!!! Exactly a week from now!! I'm sooo extremely excited about it!!! It's going to be unreal! And the sweet part is all the benefits are going to Habitat for Humanity which is all the better! Training people in photography while providing shelter for people! It's going to be SWEET!
Anyways....I just heard that we have two spots open up last minute!!! So get it while you can! Check out the website here - - if you want any details or to sign up!!!
Hope to see you all there!
PS...the above pic is on my sister JuliAnna's birthday a couple days ago!! I made an outfit out of the streamers for a new style I'm designing;)

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Piano Man

My thirteen year old brother Mark is simply amazing...we always knew he was a genius ever since he was born! Basically anything he tries out he is INCREDIBLE at but I think he is meant to be a musician! He is seriously amazing in that he can basically pick up any song that he hears! I was upstairs a couple days ago and thought one of the kids had turned on Coldplay...but all of a sudden it switched to an unknown key and it ended up being Mark! Holy Cow!! Here are some of his best songs... that he just picked up on his own just by listening to the songs... he can't read music.

Sorry for the lack of posting!! After babysitting for my family for 6 days and then catching up from that and being out of town for 18 days I am finally getting back into the flow of things!!! :)

Monday, April 07, 2008


Yesterday, my sister, my friends Vickie, Rebecca and I went to see my newest favorite movie.... Penelope!!! I had already seen it once with my cousins when I was on tour with them...but I just HAD to see it again because I love it so much!! Plus I needed a break from babysitting which right when I got home from the DR found out that I had to do for the next 5 days...since my mom is out of town! Ahh!! (time for a good cry!!)
Anyways...I think it's only in a couple theaters now... but you should GO SEE IT!! I totally thought it was going to be a cheesy movie since it's about a girl who has a curse of a pig nose! It's not though!! It's completely unpredictable, has such a good message plus some amazing actors: Reese Witherspoon PLUS James McAvoy... my favorite actor ever!! So treat yourself to a nice lighthearted movie that will just make you all warm and fuzzy inside!! Go see Penelope!!:)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Last journal from the Dominican....

I'm sad to be leaving here in about 7 hours!! :( This has been SUCH an incredible trip!!! I may be coming back at the end of the summer....for a missions trip...but we'll see! Either way the Dominican Republic has such a place in my heart! Thanks for all your comments in the posts!! They helped me still stay connected to the outside world!:)
Here is a little goodbye video!


Last night we went to THE most popular place for everyone here on campus, in Jarabacoa called Gilberto's! It is a little "restaurant" on a sidewalk that just fries tons and tons of chickens! Ha!! It was SUCH an experience and pretty good food too! I know most people would be completely grossed out by the sight of this place...but I think I'm made for roughing it....I like things not so prim and proper and clean ALL the time....:)

Here's a picture of Nicole on our way down the mountain...I just thought it was so cool! She was probably worn out too from the shoot I had just done of their family! :)

Here is the one and only Gilberto's....they just found an empty plot of sidewalk and drape a tarp over it every night!! What a business!

Here is THE Gilberto himself! Doing what he does best!

When he saw me taking pictures he signaled me to come over to one of the workstations! Here is him teaching me how to flatten plantains (kind of like a banana but not sweet).

I now work for Gilberto's too!! hehehe!

Here is something that did scare me a little...this was sauce to put on your chicken...apparently it tasted like pickle juice...definitely not brave enough to try it...especially coming out of a Gatorade bottle! LOL!

Here I am sitting in the very "vibey" Giberto's....dogs and children begging and all!! I LOVE this country! :)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


YUM YUM!!! This is what my lunch looks like today....I don't drink the milk down here because it is freeze dried and not so tasty....but Fruit Loops in a martini glass always makes up for that;)
This has been one of my staples down here! I never even touch the things in the States...but down here they look very appetizing:) ha!