Wednesday, January 31, 2007

You Might NOT Want to Click to Enlarge

Photo Friday - January 26 - Brother

I shot these gorgeous photos of my OLDER brothers that I like refer to as Charles Manson Jr. (top one) and Einstein’s Younger Brother (bottom one). I like to refer to my OLDER brothers with these monikers because of how NICE they treated me when I was growing up telling me that I was adopted and my parents had found me in a trash can, and if I wasn't good they were going to put me right back into the trash can. Oh, also we lived in racially charged Detroit in the 60’s (dodging race riots) they told me I was really black (or as we used to say in the 60s Negro) but that my parents whitewashed me while I was asleep. And that was the reason I got so dark in the summer was that they were too busy to keep painting me at night. I am the baby, you see, and the only girl, so I was THE PRINCESS DAMMIT!

Sometimes my brain is still 12 years old.

Dad: Lee Ann will you take an ID photo of your brothers for their campground membership card with your new fangled camera. (Notice how parents always use your FULL name)

Me: Sure Dad… (he didn’t say it had to be a nice photo)

Me: Dave.. Mike.. line up over there (I point to a shadowy part of a wall and line them up like they are on the firing squad)

Me: o.k. hold still Mike (as I inch lower and lower and lower so he looks like he has a nice double chin, should I tell him to comb his hair? Naw! NotMyProblem)


Me: O.K. Dave, hold still while I zoom in real close and give me a nice smile… (PSYCHO!)

CLICK - one shot. Not the usual click click click, turn your head this way, o.k. part your lips slightly, lower your chin, raise your chin, look at me, look away from me. Just one click.

Later that day Dad wants to get the photos off the camera… being the super genius computer guy that my dad is, I give him the software CD, cables and camera and I go hide in the livingroom under the couch.

Dad: Ugh! Arrrrr! Honey we’re going to have to reshoot these. Michael didn’t even comb his hair.

Me: bwahahahaha (my evilest laugh) Something wrong? (I call from under the couch)

Dad: Your Mother is going to have to call Your Brothers and take new photos. These are TEERRRRRRIBLE.

Mom: Let me see... (she looks at them) They are what they are. Michael didn't comb his hair, but that's how he looks. And David, well, that's just David.

Dad: But these are ID cards that they will have for a long time...

(Payback is a biotch.)

Illustration Friday - Jan 26 - Red

A photo illustration I did in Photoshop using various filters and layers (click on image to enlarge). The image is from a wedding that I photographed last week. Approximately 5 minutes after the wedding, I came down with influfenza, the real thing, and have been in bed coughing up a lung for a week.

Here are more pics from the wedding. The couple, Nick and Andi made my job real easy by being such beautiful people. How could I screw that one up?

True Confessions: (I'll confess my ugly shoe purchases in a later post and yes, the boys toe nails in the photo below ARE painted green)

Every time I shoot a wedding, a couple of hours before the event I'm nervous (more nervous than the bride usually) and sweaty and feeling a little queasy. Well, that could have been the flu this time, but in every other case its been a serious case of classic stage fright. About 5 minutes before I'm supposed to be there I'm running through my head every plausible excuse I can give for not being able to do the job, including sending a ransom note from Guatemalan kidnappers.

A good friend of mine is a mural artist who creates huge room size murals for rich-people's homes in California, doing them right in their big fancy schmancy houses. She admitted she suffers from the same performance anxiety or stage fright as I do, and in a girl-to-girl counseling session gave me her best advice: Just start it, just begin, don't think, just do, just take the first shot, just look thru the lens and focus and it will all come back. She admitted that she has to FORCE herself to make the first brush stroke. WOW, I thought... and she's really good and professional and charges people A LOT for her stuff, and still has this angst like me? My "stage fright" had gotten so bad that I had considered not photographing weddings anymore. Why do something that makes me uncomfortable or makes me feel yucky? Life is too short!

Now that I realize what's going on in my brain, 3 to 4 hours before the event I have to lay down and meditate (which hopefully leads to a 1/2 hour nap) and then I go online and review my wedding photos and past shots. About an hour before the event I walk the beach, since it changes from moment to moment, looking for clear sand and nice water. I come back, drink a big glass of cold water and then I head out on my boy's bike in my dressy skirt and camera bag. (Yes girls, you can ride a bike in a skirt, just keep your knees together. Oh, yea, I should mention, it shouldn't be a SHORT skirt either)

For this wedding there was no such luck with the sea. All up and down the shore, from end to end it looked like the sea had upchucked its lunch by disgorging tons of seagrass on the beach overnight and the breeze had driven it ashore in foot high berms. So I made the best of it camoflauging it as best I could and shooting around it.

And at the end of it all, it was another great day with happy people full of love and joy. It was bound to rub off on me!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bicycle Carts – Easier Said Than Done.

For years and years we have been using the porters on the main peir to back our goods off the water taxi to home. Boxes and bins full of groceries every week, refrigerators, beds, that can’t make it to the Caye Caulker barge in time have to go via water taxi with all the passenegers. For years and years its been 5 bzd ($2.50 U.S.) a cart load, since we’re a stone’s throw from the peir. As with everything else, the price has been inching up and up. If the bin is too heavy or they have to take it up stairs, its an extra 2 bzd. If its more than 1 bin or box then they add a few dollars extra for each additional box now. Bigness refuses to pay extra (so they hate him). He reminds them regularly that they are not gasoline operated so they shouldn’t raise their prices. I just pay them unless the price is ridiculous, then I barter with throwing in a free cup of tea or coffee or cake or whatever.

For ever and ever we’ve been moaning about the cost of transportation to Caye Caulker, so finally we bought a bicycle cart, which Bigness was so excited to put together in the dead of night with UNBaby sitting at the top of the stairs to the beach waving the plastic golf club in front of the motion sensor light. She was so delighted to be encouraged to trip the light on over and over and over that we didn’t get the usual moaning and groaning - I’m tired - my arm hurts - this is boring – when can I stop - diatribe.

Our first trip using the cart was an adventure, we found out the hard way that its easier to push the cart than to try and ride it. But we saved 15 bzd and I lost about 5 lbs of water weight, so there is an upside. I have a new appreciation for all the manual labor involved, I feel like I’m training for a triathlon now. Once Bigness finished putting together the cart he wanted to ride me all over the island on the little bench he built, as his queen, but I nixed the idea. Our Health Center doesn’t have a defibrillator.

Monday, January 22, 2007

It All Started When...

... Bigness began to refer to his whoseywhatzit as his teapot...

and now every time I see a man on the street, or in the gallery, or in Chan's Minimart or any other place that is NOT the beach, wearing a godforsakenspeedo and showing his junk, its all I can do to contain myself from singing out the words...

I'm a little teapot short and stout
Here is my handle
Here is my spout
When I get all steamed up
I do shout
Tip me over and pour me out.

To placate myself I quietly hum the tune...

UNBaby asks me in her biggest-grandma-can-you-hear-me voice asking the question... "Grandma, why is that man wearing his undey wares inna de store?"

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Photo Friday - January 12, 2007 - Peaceful

"The shore is the magical place where water meets land and deposits tiny messages of shell and coral. On the shore objects come in to be examined, are pulled back, then reappear to be examined again. Treasures dropped by the child are picked up by the adult they were meant for.”
--Lee Vanderwalker-Alamina

A bit late, but nevertheless, I'm here, ah yes, my first post in 2007. I bet you all were wondering if I'd flown off to Paris or Istanbul, but alas, no, I'm just here working my little fingers to the bone in Themakingofthecoffee.

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