Where Have all His Ghoul Friends Gone?

Did you ever meet Harrison’s Ghoulish Friend?  If not, you can meet him here it’s worth it. 

Well, had we ever wondered  what became of him after the Blue Light Special was over we now have our answer.

I stumbled upon him at the Rose Bowl Flea Market- literally.


I had a Mom’s day out at the Rose Bowl Flea Market a few months back. {I love going up there whenever I can; which is only about once a year}  As I was rounding a corner in the far end of the farthest end of the flea market, there he was! 
Of course, I had to snap a picture for Harrison.

Headless Harry sat on the ground still holding his head as if nursing a permanent headache.
I can’t say that I blame him based on his current condition.


Poor Headless Harry. 

Now he’s body-less too.

Redondo Beach Portrait Photographer | All Grown Up

If I dug deep enough I know I could find some images of her five-year-old self; one of the last few times I saw her.

I got married and moved away; soon after, her family moved away. 
And then time ticks by in leaps and bounds.

However, with today’s technology, her mom and I are only a Facebook update away from each other now days and when my dear friend asked me if I would take her daughter’s Senior portraits I was THRILLED to accommodate – even drive out to Temecula for the honor.
I had NO idea that there were so many vineyards in that area.  We drove around on a Sunday afternoon to find just the right vineyard to shoot at; being a gorgeous late-Spring day, the vineyards were bursting with people out for a day of music and wine-tasting. Lucky for us we found a little piece of heaven hidden off the road.


It’s hard to believe I was a Bride’s Maid in her mom’s wedding, it doesn’t seem like that long ago and now she has a high school graduate. And what a beautiful mother and daughter they are.

Linked In | Memories on the Shelf

Growing up, my mom had a lot of nick-nacks, on Ah. Lot. of shelves. 

And as soon as I was old enough, it was my job to dust them – All. Once or twice a week, I would take EVERYTHING off those shelves one by one, dust the shelf and the trinket and put them all back.

I hated it.

Yet I unwittingly fed into this curio collection by buying little things are yard sales in the neighborhood, coming home and joyously presenting them to my mom.  She in turn proudly added each one to a display on a shelf and I began the process of dusting yet another useless piece of junk found treasure

20100802-IMG_0247 (My most cherished find for my mom. I still remember when and where she came from.)

After my mom passed I was tasked with cleaning out her home. All the years of tchotchke collecting stared me in the face. Wooden Buda's and elephants from Thailand and India, porcelain dogs and figurines from England,  a trio of nuns that wound up to play a tune, vintage Avon bottles shaped like Victorian women a collection of brass piggybank 1920’s style cars from a bank, little cottages and don’t forget all those little add-ons from my childhood yard sale days – plus SO much more.  They all has sentimental value. I couldn’t discard them, but I didn’t want all of them either.


I was conflicted.

Thank goodness for shows like Clean House and Clean Sweep, though!
I loved watching these shows any chance I got and I learned a few things.  Two things I gleaned: 1) I kept what I loved and what meant the most to me (all the vintage books and most of the china) and 2) I took pictures of the rest for memory’s sake then lightened the load.



Now days I still have Tchotchkes; what can I say, I am my mom’s daughter.


But I have a lot less of them and
They are VERY dusty any given day.

And we won’t talk about my obsession with vintage Asian bobble-head dolls and globes!

Go visit other “Link-In” memories with Jenn,Heather, Tracey, Stacey, Andrea, Amanda, HeatherJanet, JeanKristi,Carla, Rose, Tracy, Heidi, Kristin, Hanne, Liza and Rhonda.

Redondo Beach Portrait Photographer | Wordless Wednesday | Portraits in Black and White

Sometimes I need to put everything aside and be creative.

Sometimes “being creative” is just spending time on an image in the “digital darkroom”.

Converting to black & white and color tones or adding texture and grain, like my film days.

justaddcolorPortraitsboy in hatjustaddcolorPortraitsjustaddcolorPortraitsb&wCulver_Hotel_justaddcolorPortraitsjustaddcolorPortraits

I forget just how passionate I am about black and white images.
…and how powerful they can be.

Want some REAL B&W inspiration? check out this link, eight famous black and white photographers.

More Wordless Wednesday here and here.

Redondo Beach Senior Portrait Photographer | “Take These Wee Little Hands…”

I remember that little, two-year-old voice calling out those sweet words like it was yesterday.

I’ve known her mom since our college days and when our circle of friends transplanted to Southern California one by one we became better friends. That group friends are an extended family to me, we were there at each other’s life moments, new love, broken hearts, careers, weddings, births, loss...  And I was there shortly after she was born. Nervously holding her tiny body in my arms.

Two years later, she stood in the middle of a group of adults who were busy talking and planning an event, she wanted someone to stop and play with her. The adults towered over her like a forest of Redwoods, their words rustling like a wind above her head.  Then in the brief lull, she stretched out her small hands like an angel in an Italian Renaissance painting and asked, “Will Anybody take these WEE little hands and play with me?” 

Right then and there she commanded the room.  Everyone was silent, everyone focused on her.

Since that day, she has grown into an incredible young woman – ready to take on the world.  She has lived as a Missionary, she loves God, she loves her family, she is beautiful and I was delighted when her mom contacted me to take her Senior portraits.

It was like coming home.

Senior Portrait PhotographySenior Portrait PhotographyBethany-7451Senior Portrait PhotographySeniorShoot1

And as most things in life, a senior shoot is best shared with a good friend.

Senior Portrait PhotographySeniorShoot3

Thanks Ladies for trusting me with your senior pictures and for coming out to play!  It was a blessing!

Redondo Beach Portrait Photographer | Lovin’ Me Some White Space

I love those days when the moon and the stars all line up and everything falls into place perfectly… smoothly…just like butter.  That’s what it was like the day my previous employer, Temple Menorah, hired me to do a special shoot for a new marketing campaign early last month.
They had an idea that meant taking pictures of individuals of all ages, almost 60 people in less than four hours, on a white background. As much as I love shooting outside or in and around client’s homes with natural light, I happen to LOVE the look of clean white, high-key backgrounds so I was excited to take on this challenge.
And now, every time I look at these images, from editing to delivery - I do the happy-dance.  I can’t help but smile.  TM6_MG_8124
Honestly I could say this woke me up out of a creative slumber.  So many changes hit me at once this summer that I felt like I was quickly sinking and then I spent a few wonderful hours with all these incredible people and I found myself pumped full of bubbling excitement to go shot EVERYONE in this way! 
We had So. Much. Fun!
Check it out.
All I had to do was… Just Add COLOR The rest was… magic.
Thank you everyone from Temple Menorah for coming out to play!



Monday I dropped everything. Everything I needed to do and everything I thought I needed to do. 

It was Labor Day and we were at home with no concrete plans to go out.  I had pondered a trip to the Zoo or to the Natural History Museum, but honestly I didn’t want to venture  inland to the heat of the city.  And anyway, I had a list a mile long to accomplish – a house to clean, laundry to do, business to take care of and I won’t even go into how Harrison had schlepped almost the entire contents of his room to the living room to build a Lego universe.  {Yes. A Universe.}

Then I got a text, “We’re meeting at the park, want to join us?”
Why, YES!

Yes, I do!!

I dropped everything because more than anything, we needed social time - outside.  As I left the house I thought to grab my camera and chose to leave it behind.  After all, I let the Project 365 die once again.  (plants and daily 365 projects – they don’t flourish well in my hands…)

Now I wish I had that camera, just to snap a few pictures of our day, our kidsUs

It wasn’t anything special, it was just four hours in a park with moms and kids.  Our kids played together, rode bikes & scooters, ran around senseless, hung out and we sat under the shade of a big tree on big picnic blankets in the late summer breeze talking, laughing, relaxing.

We were privileged to have lunch together compliments of one of the husbands.  Pizza, chicken tenders, cheezy bread and ice-cold water.  Perfect meal to share in the park.

There was nothing special – just the satisfaction of having girlfriends – even the busy moms that we are. 
The joy of sitting in the shade of that tree, feeling the breeze, enjoying the blue sky peppered with fluffy-white clouds in the distance. 
The gratification of listening to our happy kids playing nearby and hysterically looking around at our kid’s shoes, scooters, helmets, bikes, snacks strewn all about us in the grass.

And knowing that at least for those four hours it was a Perfect day.


(And because every post needs a picture, one random picture  from another perfect day this summer when my older brother came out for a visit.)

Sunday Self #15

sunday self #14-2

I started this post months ago, before I went Blog MIA.   The last time I actually blogged was back in April and it was a Sunday Self, how appropriate that the first post since then is another Sunday Self.  And I think I can honestly say that this image is as poignant now as the day I looked at it’s imperfection on the back of my camera. 

Even though technically the focal point shifted (most likely I moved) and the picture above is just an incorrectly focused image, I saw more to it.  I realized how my own view of myself has gotten blurred. How I don’t see myself the way that God sees me, “the unfading beauty” of my inner self.  How I let my self-criticism distort my vision, how I couldn’t see myself clearly.  

I had a lot more to say about it all those months ago. When it was fresh in my mind. 

What I did (and continue to) do really, is to reset my thinking, to love and embrace who I am right now.  Inside and OUT.  I’ve struggled with pictures of myself for the last two years – I am as critical as the next woman – all I can see is that droopy eyelid that changes my face, those puffy circles under my eyes, that spot of white hair in my eyebrow… and the twenty pounds I need to lose.  (All I can see.)

The thing is, we need to see that inward beauty in a physical manifestation from time to time.  Sometimes we need to FEEL and BE pampered. There is nothing more relaxing (to most women) then going to the spa, having manicures or pedicures (the later I’ve never experienced) or getting our hair and/or makeup done.  When we look in the mirror and feel good about what we see, we walk a little smarter, there’s a kick in our step and our inner beauty spills out all that much more.  And when we feel good, those around us feel good. 

I’ve slowly been working on a project with a friend and one day we made some images of ourselves.  I stared and stared at the images of me. Not sure what I felt, if I liked them or not. There is nothing wrong with it in fact, it’s one of the best pictures I’ve ever had taken of me.  That’s when I realized that how I view myself was skewed.  I’ve talked to so many other women who see themselves in the same way – all their outwardly, physical shortcomings. Photographing children and families it comes up over and over again with the moms.  We are so hard on ourselves as women – especially here in Southern California. The pressure to stay looking young and perfectly fit is oppressive.

I don’t want to wait until the perfect weight or whiter teeth or what ever the excuse may be to have pictures of me with my husband or son.  Life is too short.  But I do want women to see themselves how I see them in my lens - beautiful.  More than once I have been taken aback by someone who’s picture I captured.  The beauty that shines through their eyes.  Only recently a 60+ woman took off her glasses for her portrait with me; I’d never seen her without her glasses in the seven years I’ve known her and I was blown away.  She is beautiful!  I couldn’t even hide my response  when those glasses went down out of camera range and when she saw in me that positive reaction, she glowed even more. 

Those are the portraits I want to make. The moments I want to capture. The reason I love being a photographer in the first place.
Because the life that God gave to each of us is Beautiful.

Happy Labor Day!

Sunday Self #14

1Peter 2-9

Ahck. Haven’t done Sunday Self for a while. Exactly the reason to bring it back. 

Sometimes I forget that God brought me into His beautiful light.

Crafty Tuesday

I LOVE Anthropologie.

Love it.
Although I can’t go in and buy every single thing I see in the store,
just walking through and browsing is {happy-dance} relaxing to my senses.

The smell.

The texture.

The décor.

It does it for me (and I know I’m not alone).

Which brings me to my circa 1970’s condo which has no interesting history and leaves me feeling uninspired - but I have a great fireplace that works – I love that! However, fireplace mantles have always been a bit of a challenge for me and then I was motivated by a post from a Facebook friend and a couple blogs I happened upon all within a 12 hour period of time. 

One day later I had my own Anthropologie inspired wall.

flower diptych

I used clip earrings from the collection I inherited from my mom. They get to sparkle with a new, repurposed life!

flower collage1paper_bag_flower_ web

I used old sheet music for the carnation shaped flowers because I just couldn’t bring myself to tear out pages from ANY of my vintage books I have laying around. 

flower triptych

As proud as I was of my new decorations, I didn’t say a word to the Guy-I-Dig. I wanted to see his reaction… Ironically, even though the fire place is the first thing you see when you walk into our living area, he didn’t notice for two full days.

He even set down and picked up his glasses from the mantle.

Three days later, as I sat at the table working with Harrison on something, I glanced up to see him looking intently at the wall above the fire place, “How long has this been here?”

“All weekend.”

He laughed, “DOH!”

I love my husband.
…and he gave the wall décor his two thumbs up.

Linked | Body Parts

Okay I admit, the words Body Parts, conjures up all kinds of images better played out in a crime drama.  I obviously watch far too much CSI and Criminal Minds.

I’ll work on that.

Then I thought of all those sweet babies that I’ve photographed [and neglected to get posted here], with their little toes and fingers and faces… but why break a bad habit now by posting some cute little client pictures.  Especially since I got sick yesterday and can’t really hang with my computer for long enough to go back archives (and isn’t “going back to archives” kind of cheating for Linked 52 anyway?)

And frankly, I’d LOVE to trade in a couple of MY body parts right now!

So alas, I give you…





I know!
It’s like a Lego body part grave yard!


Heads, arms, bodies, strewn all over Harrison’s room


It’s not like we don’t have organization in place for these small, sad creatures with their missing hands or legs…


I’d love to blame this scramble of body parts across the floor on the weather, or us ALL getting sick by the end of this week.
But let’s face it…


With 90 Mini-figures floating around the house, a Lego grave yard full of body parts was bound to happen sooner or later.

[it was a busy week around here with a sick boy and a deadline – trying to get it all done before I go out of town. I’ll be in Vegas next week for WPPI. But I’m scheduling a “Sunday Self” post this Sunday.   Pray that this cold lets go of me before I get on the plane Sunday morning.]

Want to join  Linked? Jump in and play! Check who else is playing: Stacey, Michelle, Tracey, Heather, Andrea, Jenn, Jessica, Amanda, Amanda, Kristin, Sara, Tracy, Lesli, Janet, Naomi, Rhonda, Carla, Heidi, Kristin, Heather, Amy, Liza, and Veronica.


Now back to casting off MY unwanted body parts, like this cold-ravaged nose…

Linked | {in the} Quiet {time}

This afternoon I stepped away from my computer and work to take a break and make some lunch.

I remembered the brussel sprouts waiting for me in the fridge, so I turned on the oven and pulled out a cutting board to prepare them for roasting.

That’s when I became inspired to photograph them.


As I took in the kitchen preparing and photographing those little green brussel sprouts, I realized something –

It was quiet. I mean REALLY quiet.

I had been so busy creating that I wasn’t even cognizant of it at first.  But it struck me as I stood in the warm sunlight of the kitchen; my home was empty and quiet. I breathed in the contentment of that moment. 

Sometimes I forget just how powerful and healing the quiet can be. When there is no TV, no music, no family members talking and most of all – no noise in my head of what needs to get done, where I should be, what is next, who needs to be where. Just   QUIET.

I prepared the brussel sprouts for the oven by marinating them in a couple table spoons of olive oil, some Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. 

brussel sprouts -6964

They roast in the over at 400 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes.  It’s ironic, I've gone from swearing I would never eat brussel sprouts – ever again, to loving the smell of them roasting in the oven. 

brussel sprouts -6979

They end up dark and crunchy outside, flavored by the salt and pepper and soft on the inside with a more mild taste when roasted long enough.

Within the hour I was back to work, the noise in my head turned  back up  to full, albeit I longed for more of those yummy little balls of crunchy green. I’m telling you, it’s a serious new love affair! I actually make a conscious choice to BUY brussel sprouts!

Brussel Sprouts?
Seriously, I’m not in my right mind.
But I just want MORE!



Linked In: Stacey, Michelle, Tracey, Heather, Andrea, Jenn, Jessica, Amanda, Amanda, Kristin, Sara, Tracy, Lesli, Janet, Naomi, Rhonda, Rose, Carla, Heidi, Kristin, Heather, Amy, Liza, and Veronica.

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