Monday, November 30, 2009

Rachel Yurkovich- Steamy Alert

She's the No. 1 javelin thrower in the US. She's talented, she's athletic and oh yeah, did I mention that she's smokin hot?

Rachel Yurkovich is one of the newest athletes working with Husband's Management Agency, Doyle Management and a couple of weeks ago we got together for a fun and experimental photo shoot to help build her portfolio and media packet.

We wanted to do something with a little edge and attitude. Something to show that she is a serious competitor, with a rockin athletic body (intense training will do that to a girl) and a lot of attitude. But bare in mind that we are not your Sports Illustrated, your Cosmopolitan or your Vogue, so there were no fancy stages, props or lighting. No celeb hair and make-up. It was just Rachel and I, a simple black backdrop, a bit of creative lighting, a lot of imagination and fun. And shooting Rachel really was fun. If memory serves me right, she said "No" to nothing. Not when I had her hanging out of her javelin. Or when I made her arch back into a crab and hold it way past her pain threshold so I could adjust my lighting and camera settings in an effort to get the shot. Not when I made her balance on one leg or when I eventually asked her to remove her top. This girl is confident, comfortable in her own skin and has such a fun and positive outlook, thats what makes her successful. Hanging out with Rachel was definitely not dull.

Here are the results of our photo shoot. I think we both did pretty good. I may blog some of the "Out Take" photos from our session in the future, just to show you how weird things got and what a sport Rachel was, but until then you'll just have to enjoy these tastier shots.

A women with a weapon.

There she is, hangin out of that javelin.

Her balancing act.

Oh yes she did.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Disturbin The Peace

Question: You have a commitment free Sunday. You live on 12 plus acres. What do you do?

Answer: Obviously you hire yourself a BobCat and build yourself a running trail, duh!

And thats exactly what we're doing. Shortly after the crack of dawn this morning, Husband fired up his new, hired toy and got working on a walking/running trail we're designing to run the full perimeter of the property.

Now I'll be the first to admit I'm not always on board with many of Husband's plans and ideas, but this project gets my full support, for selfish reasons mostly. As we all know, I like to run, always have, so the fact that soon I will be able to step out my door and go running on my very own trail, taking in all corners of our property, including the lake, forest and open areas is going to be the best, nay, its going to be amazing. I can hardly wait.

The goal is to design the trail so that one full lap of the property will = 1 mile. We've spent the past 3 days, walking it out, measuring, mapping and remapping to the point that we think we have it nailed. Its going to be awesome. The work is definitely not easy, but for some reason, you through a Husband behind the controls of a machine of mini destruction and all of a sudden he's the happiest Husband in the world. What is it with men and machinery? I just don't get it.

Regardless, here is the happy man himself in action.

A happy man.

Our trail in the making.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the US and for the 3rd year in a row myself and my good friend Mike, kick started the days celebrations by participating in the annual Gobble Jog. Yes, this 5k has become a Thanksgiving ritual for both f us. Its a great way to get not just the blood flowing but the appetite prepped for a day of guilt free feasting. So for that, I am Thankful. That and the fact that I got to spend the day feasting with my good friends.

Oh and just so you know, the photographer for the day's Gobble Jog was Husband. And although I was nervous to see my expensive camera in his grip, I think he did a good job.

The sea of runners.

Yours truly getting into her stride.

Look at this little guy, working hard to keep them legs turning. I think my Fintan is bigger.

There I am, 2nd women home and a 30 second PB.

I'm not gonna lie, it did hurt a little, a lot once both calves started cramping.

Mike taking it home, also in a new PB.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bootcamp Photoshoot

Lauren and Ben were our models for the mock wedding shoot we did in Oregon last week and they were nothing short of amazing. They braved the freezing temperatures, moved around and interacted like complete pros. It was hard to not get an amazing shot of these two. I loved every second of this session. And the fact that they were so obliging, gave us photographers, all 20 of us, the opportunity to try new things. That and we had Kevin schooling us on various camera settings and suggestions so we could try new ways of getting shots that were a bit more edgy and not our norm. It was fantastic.

I’ve probably posted waaaay too many photos from the shoot here, but I couldn’t help myself, Lauren and Ben gave us so much to work with it was hard to stop clicking.

Oh, just so you know, Lauren and Ben are really married, to each other, so that should explain the smokin chemistry between them.

Love this one cos of Lauren's simple glance back.

Another one of my favs.

Workin the dress.


Cool and sophisticated.

This is Bootcamp guru Kevin, coaching Lauren on a little hip action.

A fellow photog friend, Bryan Mikota (s'up Bryan) snapped this shot of me trying to work my angles. Don't you love my boots? I do. Am a boot girl by nature and these are a favorite pair, so warm and cozy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

You Know Your Getting Old When.....

You know your getting old when you get crazy excited about a new washer and dryer and I mean CRAZY excited. We are talking jumping up and down excited. Swinging out of Husband’s neck excited. I seriously could not contain myself when I came home from work yesterday to find these new appliances, big, blue and shiny new. It felt like Christmas.

I can’t wait to go shopping for some detergent so I can let these babies rip. Honestly, I may even crank open a bottle of wine, pull up a chair and watch them work their laundry magic. Sad? Maybe, but I don’t care. I love my new washer and dryer and I feel like celebrating.

Go on, admit it, your jealous.

Even Fintan is impressed.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Boot to the Head

Last week in Oregon I went to camp, Bootcamp that is. Myself and 20 other amazing photographers (Hey y'all) from all over the US and Canada (Hi Rachel) spent most of the week being drilled, bombarded and basted by photographer extraordinaire, Kevin Kubota.

When I tell you this camp was challenging and intense, it was challenging and intense. Never have I felt more tired, more overwhelmed, defeated or elated all at once. This was Bootcamp in every sense of the word. But I learned so much. Kevin is nothing short of amazing and every day he and his team, Kecia, Mike, Eryn and Courtney (who by the way are all going to be sainted in the next life due to the amount of times they had to jump in and rescue me from the pits of confusion) worked us hard, pushed us to find better ways, forced us to think outside the box and to get more organized. In short, they hit us hard. Some days my brain hurt so bad I had to pop a migraine pill. No joke. By the end of the week, I had "Boot to the Head". I had reached the point of complete mental saturation. My cupp'ith did run over'ith, or whatever the posh Shakespearian type saying is and I just couldn't take in another ounce of information. Nothing. But I would do it all again, in a heart beat. It was that good.

We did a few photo shoots during the week too and even had a couple posing as a bride & groom so we could work on our camera skills. Hoping to share some of those shots along with tons more soon. The problem is we still don't have internet at our new house yet, which is affecting my ability to stay connected with all things cyber. Its beyond the joke at this point. They're telling us next Wednesday and we should be hooked up. I'm telling them "Hell No, completely unacceptable. Do it and do it yesterday, thank you".

Anyway, while I wait patiently for 2009 technology to arrive at my house, here are some photos I should have shared last week of our little cabin in the Oregon mountains. They were taken with my new Lensbaby Fisheye, pretty cool eah?

Our little cabin, compete with a snow flurry.

A shot of the inside, toasty.

This is where Bootcamp took place.

This is where I got Boot to the Head.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dear New Home

Dear New Home,

I've been gone for a full week. Gone to the chilly, fresh, snowy mountains of Oregon. Gone to get a break. Gone to focus. Gone to meet up with an amazing group of photographers. And gone to learn. And it appears that while I was gone, you did nothing. NOTHING.

All of my boxes remain sealed and piled high in corners. Clothes, shoes and accessories still find themselves beaten, squashed and pounded into bags and suitcases that look fit to explode. You haven't finished vacuuming or dusting and you promised to open all your windows and doors each and everyday to allow the fresh smells of Fall to circulate. Yet I come home this evening, tired and drain and there you sit, unapologetically with not a thing done. It makes me sad. It makes me emotional. Seriously New Home, what the hell were you doing while I gone??What??

I am pretty disappointed I have to say, but I'm too tired to deal with you tonight. I need to get ready for my return to work tomorrow and a busy week ahead doing all the things YOU were suppose to do in my absence. I hope you fell guilty.


(Boot to the Head blog coming. I haven't forgotten.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Laying Down Game

EDIT: Hmmm, I notice the photos of my fellow photographers refused to reveal themselves, so I recollected and have re-posted. Check them out below.

Don't ask me why. Don't ask me how all this started but a group of photographer friends have been doing this crazy thing they are calling "The Laying Down Game". The premiss is basically to capture yourself lying face down randomly, in places you would never expect to see a person lying down. Its hilarious and some of the things people have done are everything from imaginative and freaky to downright gross and weird.

This morning after a workout at the gym I got Husband to capture me doing my bit for "The Laying Down Game". I dashed into the cardio-room and threw myself down on a treadmill. The lady next to me was in the middle of a serious workout and was not at all impressed with my childish display and let me know by giving those disapproving mother looks.

On the way back to our cabin I couldn't resist the opportunity to lay down on this sign. It was too obvious to pass up. Oh and just so you know, technique is hugely important. Your face must be touching the surface your lying on. Your hands must be straight and locked by your side and your toes pointed straight into the ground. Many's an amazing and creative capture has been disqualified because of failure to observe the technique.

Here are some of what our other photographer friends have been doing.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Life in the Overwhelmed Lane

I am fatigued. I am worn out. I am sleep deprived. I have spots. Last week was a crazy week. A burn the candle at both ends type of week and not because I was partying like a rock-star or anything of that nature, but due to working, moving, cleaning, unpacking, settling and stressing. There seriously were not enough hours in the day and most evenings I was left feeling like nothing had been accomplished. That I hadn't even made a dent in my workload. I was overwhelmed and emotional and on top of all that 3 lushes spots decided to show up, front and centre on my forehead. Yes people, life was hard last week.

However, this week I have flipped the script completely and decided to run away. Run far away from my real life responsibilities and hide out in the mountains of Oregon. Yes Husband and I have taken a little trip. Its a combination business and pleasure trip and we are spending most of the week in an adorable little cabin, complete with log fireplace in the mountains of Oregon. And its amazing. The views, the rivers, the trees, lots and lots of trees and the snow, not a lot of snow right now, but some and its perfectly picturesque. We are loving it.

I do want to mention something I'm excited to be blogging about much later in the week and that is the wedding of Gianne and Dominic. You probably don't remember, but waaaay back in March, Gianne and Dominic came to me and asked if I would shoot there engagement photos (click HERE for a reminder). At the time I was terrified. This was my very first photo shoot and I was afraid I would mess it up and the fabulous Gianne and Dominic would have no pretty pictures to document their engagement. Thankfully it went well and as result both Gianne and Dominic asked if I would shot their wedding.

I will admit that I was tempted to say "No". Fear had me convinced that I was not ready. That this task was too huge for a photographer with little/no experience. I did not want to be responsible for photos of possible disaster. But I said "Yes" anyway. I said "Yes" cos this is what I love to do. I said "Yes" cos how are you going to get better, how are you going to improve if you don't take a chance. This brave couple was taking a chance on me, so the best thing to do was to hold hands and take the leap together. And this past Saturday, we did.

I'll be going through the photos in between some work commitments during the week, but I am excited to get them posted.

Until then here are a couple of shots of the brides dress. It was soft, elegant and fierce and the room the bride was given to prepare was amazing. So much character and so much detail. It even had its own red bathtub. Something I had never seen before and we just couldn't pass up a chance to incorporate it into some photos.

The dress.

That amazing bathtub.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Boonies is a Whole Other World

I've dashed back to our old house for a few minutes this evening, cos the one thing our little home in the country does not have yet.............. internet. How in the world did we ever survive before the internet?? I have no idea, but I can tell you, I miss it dearly.

I'm also going to confess a little bit here and say, while yes we are excited about our new property and all the potential it holds, I will admit the move to Boonie'ville has been tough for Shinks, especially at night. Being so isolated and surrounded by mostly trees is very VERY scary. Such a setting is ripe for sending a girls thoughts and fears into complete overdrive. I swear I have myself convinced that all that is evil and wrong with the world shows up a night-fall in the woods surrounding my home and stays there all night watching me. Watching and hoping I'm brave/silly enough to stick my head out the door. Characters and creatures both fictitious and real e.g. The Blair Witch, all of the killers from Saw 1 thru 60 (or whatever number they're on now) as well as Halloween 1 thru 72, are all hanging out, biding their time waiting for a chance to do me some harm. Its crazy I know, but its true. I am a complete girl when it comes to isolation, darkness and nothing but trees. This adjustment is tough and one that will require large amounts of time for me to become acclimatized. But I will get there, I know I will. I have no choice. Its where I live now.