Category Archives: Photography

Artist dates + How to find the fairy doors in Golden Gate Park

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Fairy door in Golden Gate Park, SF

This is a fairy door.

Left by magical fairies in Golden Gate park. Don’t you love it?

I had been searching for it for months (unsuccessfully) when a friend told me a hilarious story. “I was changing Owen’s diaper in a little woodsy area near the Japanese Tea garden. You know, for privacy, right? When suddenly I looked up and I was surrounded by a team of Segues. They were all looking for a fairy door precisely in the grove where I had stopped. It was disturbing and surreal.”

She gave me the best instructions she could, Along the side of the Japanese tea garden, there is a fence, a path, a log, etc… but I was still confused when I went searching again last week. I had an artist date with my friend Danny Gregory who flew out for the Hockney show. After marveling at the paintings for hours, I proposed we get some air and search for the mythic fairy door. (I have a history of taking Danny weird places. Last time he was in SF I took him to the Pyschic Eye for a chakra healing)

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Inside were wishes and bells, rocks + shells, love notes + acorns. Fairy stuff. Next time I will bring my kids + some glitter.

If you’d like to find the fairy door, here are some simple instructions:

  • -Head to Golden Gate and try to park near the Arboretum or the Japanese Tea Garden

  • -There is a paved pathway that lies between Stowe Lake and the Tea Garden.

  • -Walk up the paved pathway for about 100 feet (Stowe Lake will be on your left) until you see a big eucalyptus log (approximately 18 feet long) that is broken in two. It will be on the left side of the path.

  • -At the end of this log is the fairy door!

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Paved pathway between Japanese Tea Garden + Stowe Lake, Golden Gate Park, SF

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The eucalyptus log with the fairy door, Golden Gate Park

 

 

 

Family photo shoot by Blue Lily

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Thrilled with how the photos turned out from our Blue Lily photoshoot! Wendy + Tyler are a photographer duo who travel the world (while road-schooling their kids) taking photos. So inspired by their story + their talent! Thank you Wendy…

Adventures: Big Basin in Santa Cruz

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Nico, Big Basin, Santa Cruz, CA

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Impossibly big trees, Big Basin, Santa Cruz, CA

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Nico and Ben, Big Basin, Santa Cruz, CA

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Ben, Big Basin, Santa Cruz, CA

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Self-portrait, Big Basin, Santa Cruz, CA

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Cousins, Big Basin, Santa Cruz, CA

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Ben in his happy place, Big Basin, Santa Cruz, CA

August Adventures: Glide church + Dim Sum in Chinatown

The Glide gospel choir, SF

The Glide gospel choir, SF

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Blue slippers in Chinatown, SF

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Lanterns in Chinatown, SF

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Me, Ben and Nadie in a very big chair at the Clift hotel, SF

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Ben looking like a city dude, downtown SF

August Adventures: The dahlia garden in Golden Gate park

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Dahlia in Golden Gate park, San Francisco

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Dahlia in Golden Gate park, San Francisco

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Dahlia garden, SF

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Dahlia in Golden Gate park, San Francisco

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Dahlia in Golden Gate park, San Francisco

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through the bars

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Closeup grapefruit dahlia, SF

Superhero Photo tip: Welcome the clouds

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Superhero Summer Photo Tip #1

Right before I took the photos above, I shouted urgently to my friend, “Watch Nico! I have to get my camera!”

It had been bright and sunny all day – a gorgeous day by every measure – except that it was too bright to take a great photograph. The shadows were too harsh, too blinding. Too much middle-of-the-day sun. I regretted having lugged my big old camera  all the way to the beach.

But suddenly, the sun went behind the clouds! We love the clouds! and created a perfect diffuser for the sun. The shadows softened and the light became hazy and almost yellow. I snapped like crazy and Nico hammed it up for the camera. The sun returned shortly after, but I was delighted to get some beautiful shots in that dreamy light.

This summer, pay attention to when the sun goes behind the clouds. Instead of lamenting the cold, celebrate the light! and grab your camera.

More great photogaphy lessons in Superhero Photo!

Class begins next Monday, June 24th, 2013.

 

Adventure at Heart’s Desire Beach in Pt. Reyes

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Taking portraits of the beauties in your life*

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Laurie Wagner

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Laurie Wagner

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Laurie Wagner

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Laurie Wagner

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Laurie Wagner

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Rachel Cole

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Rachel Cole

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Rachel Cole

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Elizabeth Sullivan

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Elizabeth Sullivan

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Rebecca Brams

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Rebecca Brams

I love taking head shots. They sound boring if they conjure up images of something you have to take for work, something shot in a cubicle maybe, or those posed school pictures from grade school.

But I love intimacy of the head shot. Just me, my subject and the best light I can find. Since we ALL feel awkward having our picture taken, I take it as my sole mission to have them say at the end, ‘That was totally painless and fun!”

The real joy however is if they actually love what I’ve shot in the end. If they can say, I never like photos of myself, but I love how you see me. I love what I see in these images… it’s the best feeling ever. It’s reflecting someone’s beauty back to them. It’s like saying, See? This is how the world sees you! And when it’s received on their end, it feels like an even bigger gift on mine.

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Want to transform the way you take photos?

Superhero Photo starts June 24th, 2013.

Join me! Spend the summer learning all of my best tricks and create a beautiful collection of images you are proud of. You can learn more here.

“Superhero Photo has been more than just a photography course; it has felt more like a celebration of life with a friend who has been helping me to experience more joy in the world around me and to express that joy through photography.” -Tamara, Superhero Photo student

*The portraits above are my most recent headshots, Laurie Wagner, Rachel Cole,  Elizabeth Sullivan and Rebecca Brams. All creative, beautiful and awesome ladies up to some really cool things. 

Celebrating Myriam

 

 

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You might remember a ritual I did with a few friends last year. We gathered feathers and let them go. For Myriam, pictured above, it was a long infertility journey on her heart – a lot to let go of – but we all felt so much hope as we gathered again on the sand. We knew that baby was on its way.

I visited Myriam last week in southern california and it was my total delight and joy to photograph her, her husband and that gorgeous belly on the beach in Laguna. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Myriam more beautiful, and that’s saying a lot.

I just wanted to share these photos today, to celebrate Myriam and also to celebrate how life can surprise us again and again.

This is me, looking into my own eyes with kindness.

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Self-portrait, shot with Canon 6D

I caught myself today, telling my sister a tired old story on the telephone. You know the ones I mean –the thing you have been complaining about for years, the thing that never seems to change, the one that always brings you anguish. When I hung up today (after venting at length) I noticed how my body felt- icky, tainted, like I had just eaten an entire bag of fritos.

I think I’m done telling that story, I thought to myself.

I need a new narrative. One that’s still true but makes me feel empowered + hopeful.

I went on a photo walk this afternoon. I wanted to shake my legs and get in the mood for the Treasure Hunt course starting in a couple of days.

I found myself taking self-portraits, click click click and then peering into the tiny screen to see how they came out. Sometimes it’s hard to look at yourself, isn’t it? My skin is mottled, my eyes are too small, I should wear makeup… the critic had a steady stream of commentary. Then I remembered something that Vivienne McMaster had shared with me, a self-portrait exercise where you look into the lens with total kindness + love.

I decided to try it, peering into the camera with the kindest part of my heart. I acted as if I were looking at my own boys, tiny and perfect and beautiful. Not only did it feel good to do this, but the shots turned out so much better.

I’m not sure what this new story is. (I will have to call on one of my life coach friends for this one)

What I do know, is that the key will be starting from this place of kindness and love. From this angle, things are bound to look so much more hopeful + beautiful.