Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm delighted to be featured on Papernstitch in an online exhibit! This juried exhibit will run from September 27, 2010 through October 24, 2010. I would love if your could pass the word along and stop over! Find my featured space HERE. Happy Autumn!

31 Strangers Project Goes to Northwestern Michigan!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Last week, I took 3 days off from my crazy busy schedule (which will just keep getting crazier until year's end) for some R&R in Northern Michigan. Of course Maggie came along, & so did the 31 Strangers in 31 Days Project! There are many reasons I'm drawn back to Michigan (in fact it feels like my home more than my "real" home), the landscape is incredible & the perfect inspiration for an artistic soul and the people you meet here are just the best!

So, on my first day north, I wandered up to one of my favorite towns - Empire, Michigan. I was on my way to stop in at Joe's Friendly Tavern to grab lunch to take to Empire Beach. I saw this interesting little camper on the street & just knew the owners had to be in The Friendly.... & they were! Meet Strangers 20 & 21: PJ & Roger. They were more than happy to show off their Teardrop Camper. They have owned the little camper for 4 years, after tiring of doing the tent thing.The couple, from Springfield, Illinois had been camping in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and were returning home. I now want a Teardrop Camper! This little thing had everything you could imagine - a queen bed, tons of storage (for something so small) and a camping kitchen on the rear complete with a small sink and stove top! And... the camper charges while rolling on down the road!

While oohing & aahing over the camper, Stranger #22 came along! Joseph had stopped by the Post Office and saw PJ giving a tour and was drawn in! He had the most fabulous blue mirror sunglasses I've seen & of course I had to do a self portrait with them! Roger got in on the mirror portrait action, too!

And after saying my goodbyes, I continued to Empire Beach to watch the waves and have my lunch!

Stranger 19 ~ John

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The North Market always seems to draw a very eclectic crowd - both in vendors & visitors. There is a certain mood/feel that I love about the place- & apparently so do a lot of other people! There are farmers markets here on the weekends (in season) & small art fairs... & of course musicians. I have never seem more than 1 at a time - perhaps there is an unspoken agreement or unspoken schedule they adhere to. The day I was there, John was serenading the lunch crowd. What really drew me to him, other than his great voice, was his big smile. He was quite happy to take part in the 31 Strangers in 31 Days project! And as I was leaving, he thanked me for maybe giving him a bit more exposure!

When I started this project 19 days ago, I wasn't sure I would be able to finish it. Now I don't really want it to end!

Stranger #18 ~ Reika

More of my North Market strangers! After savoring Lac Viet pho ga for lunch, we had to stop at Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. Their goat cheese & cherries is to die for! So while at Jeni's, I photographed Reika. She had the most beautiful smile. I am really loving this project! It is becoming easier to get the feel for who will probably participate in the 31 Strangers in 31 Days Project. And I'm discovering that this connecting with people I don't even know is having an effect on me similar to the 30 Days of Gratitude Project! I find when you open up to people, take a real moment with them & smile, that they will usually do the same!

Stranger 17 ~ Sarah with an H {31 Strangers in 31 Days}

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It was a good day at the North Market for photographing strangers for the 31 Strangers in 31 Days Project! I was feeling very happy & content after having a big bowl of soup (pho ga) at my favorite place, Lac Viet. It seemed everyone I photographed was happy & content! I ran into Sarah (Sarah with an H!) at Market Blooms - another of my favorite spots. They have THE best flowers! Sarah was happy to help me out & was surprised that I was so fast & caught her working. She had wanted to pose! So, she posed with Japanese Lanterns!

Stranger 16 ~ Matt

I met a friend for lunch at the North Market Friday (Lac Viet pho ga & then Jeni's ice cream). It was a good thing - I was behind in photographing strangers and I knew I would catch up during this lunch! The North Market is one of my favorite places to go - aside from all the great eateries, it's a wonderful place to people watch!

Stranger 16 was Matt. I picked him because of his reading glasses... & for some reason he reminds me of someone famous, but I just can't put my finger on who. Matt seemed a little shy about being photographed so I told him to carry on with what he was doing (Reading Business Day). I wanted to process this in color because of his red glasses, but liked the overall feel in black & white.

Stranger 15 ~ Joel {31 Strangers in 31 Days Project}

Friday, September 17, 2010

Well, day 15 was coming close to an end, and I was wondering if I would get my stranger for the day! I usually do my evening walk with Maggie at Hoover Reservoir, but I was pressed for time. Blendon Woods was closer, so we hit the trail there. I hear someone running up behind me - I turned & held up my camera & quickly asked if he would participate in my project. Joel agreed - stopped for a moment (literally!) and then went on his way. I saw him running one of the other trails as I was leaving. He must put in some serious miles...

It wasn't until I was processing the photo that I saw his shirt - I like!

Strangers #13 & #14 ~ Darren & Ashley/ 31 Strangers in 31 Days

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Meet Darren & Ashley (father/daughter). As I was leaving the Main Post Office, I ran into Ashley who was entering. Her colorful tattoos caught my eye and she was happy to take part in the 31 Strangers in 31 Days Project. As I waited outside for her to finish her postal business, I spoke with her dad, Darren. He said they were visiting from California, and were in town for the funeral of Ashley's guy - Sgt. Jesse Balthaser, a Marine who was killed September 4, 2010 by an unexploded incendiary bomb in southern Afghanistan. He was 23. He was based at Twentynine Palms, California. I was once again reminded to really live each moment & be present - we can take nothing for granted. We talked a bit about the economy and the housing market. I learned that Darren is going through a divorce. And it was obvious he loved his daughter.

That evening, as I sat down to watch the late news, it was almost a surreal moment as I looked at the screen & saw Ashley. The story was about the funeral and they were handing the flag to her

I'm only halfway through this project, & I've realized that while I may notice the sunset, I'm not noticing people. Through this project, I'm focusing more on people. And I'm realizing that if we take just a moment to slow down, make eye contact and talk to someone, we become a little richer... & there is one fewer stranger.

Strangers #5 - #12 {31 Strangers in 31 Days Project}

Friday, September 10, 2010

After I met Ric (Stranger #4) at the Lotus Pond in Goodale Park, I wandered further into the park where I saw a group of people with their dogs. Goodale Park is a bit of an informal dog park, where owners congregate & chat while the dogs romp! I had the good fortune to meet Strangers #5-12, who all happily agreed to be part of my 31 Strangers in 31 Days Project!

Strangers #5 & 6
Jack & Jason were there with their pup Kiki, who I believe was 10 months old. They agreed right away to participate!!

Strangers #7 & 8
Also in the group were Andi & Blair with their dog Atticus. Andy & Blair said people often mix them up because of their names, but Blair has the ball cap on! They have a wedding coming up!

Stranger #9
Rajesh initially was hesitant to participate in the project, but just look at that smile! He quickly agreed and began striking poses! Handsome guy!

Strangers #10 & 11
Kenny and Allen were a bit quieter - I caught them unawares! They were watching all the activity going on around them!

And lastly Stranger #12
Layla came to the park with her grandmother and was completely amazed with all the dogs! She was especially fond of Kiki, but made the rounds to all the dogs!

So, it was a very good day for the 31 Strangers Project!

Stranger #4 ~ Ric

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I usually have Maggie May (my lab/greyhound mix) with me & it has been easy to talk to strangers & meet people with her. Doing this 31 Strangers in 31 Days Project has made me approach people with just camera in hand. And I was getting a lot of "nos". Columbus has gotten very large and I'm finding if you don't have a child or a dog, people aren't always friendly. I met Ricardo (Ric) at Goodale Park photographing lotus blossoms. After receiving 5 "I'd rather not have you take my picture", I saw Ric & knew a fellow photographer would be happy to participate in my "strangers project"... & he was! Ric, who has been married for 20 some years, enjoys wandering to various spots in Columbus to see what he can shoot. This beautiful Sunday, it was yellow lotus flowers. He was practicing his technique and composition. Framing is important he said. Ric has dreams of having his work appear on the cover of a magazine. The day I saw him, he was practicing shooting to leave enough blank space for a magazine title and cover articles. Ric - one day, I'm going to see your work on a magazine cover!

Stranger 3 ~ Sally

Monday, September 6, 2010

I ran into Sally at Rife's Market in Grandview Heights. When my family first moved to Columbus many years ago, we lived in Grandview Heights. Rife's Market (circa 1936) was my Mom's favorite haunt. And after all these years it is still the same inside & out - it has a wonderful timeless feel. The great corn brought Sally to Rife's the day I saw her. She agreed to be photographed, but asked that she not look at the camera. Sally's husband, a painter, often takes photos of people for his painting without asking (much to their ire!). So she was appreciative of my asking first!

Pink Icing {Central Ohio Family & Child Photographer}

Friday, September 3, 2010

There is no better way to celebrate a 1st birthday than with a cupcake smothered with pink icing, your sisters & your mom & dad!! We had a fun time celebrating Jules first birthday at the Park of Roses!

31 Strangers in 31 Days {Columbus Ohio Fine Art Photography}

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Like many of you, I go through phases where I am deeply ensconced in my comfort zone! But staying there too long can get me aching for something new & looking for a jump start to my creativity. Last year I did a photography project of shooting everyday things every morning (Year of Mornings). Some of my favorite shots from 2009 were taken as part of the Morning Project. So... this year I was inspired by Caroline & her 31 Strangers Project! So, I will photograph 31 strangers in 31 days!

Meet Strangers 1 & 2: Barb & Patsy

Barb & Patsy agreed to be photographed... as long as I shot them from behind - no faces! I saw them talking on a bench at Inniswood Metropark - one of my favorite haunts both for portraits & flower shots. Patsy had worked in a corporate wellness program before funding was cut. She is now a self employed wellness coach! Barb is in the health industry and had some great suggestions for future projects! They were both quite interesting to talk with!