You Belong Among the Wild Flowers

You belong on a ship out at sea...(Tom Petty)

I had an absolutely wonderful session with a beautiful girl yesterday.  The light was perfect, the setting couldn't have been better.  Fields of clover, historic stone walls and Lake Pontchartrain all in the same shoot. Can't go wrong with that.

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Texas Easter

One of the best things about spending a week in Texas for Spring Break is all the Bluebonnets are in bloom.  These were taken with my new, beautiful X-E1, some with the 60mm lens and some with the 35mm lens.  But the very best part was giving my Funny Bone photography lessons on the Texas roadside, surrounded by flowers, she was using the x100 and I think she's going to be another Fuji girl.

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Welcome Aries

Yesterday my talented friend Sara came over for us to shoot the first photos of our new series.  As she is an Aries we decided to depict her with ram's horns and full face makeup.  Sara did her own styling and makeup and I chose the backgrounds and most of the poses.  Here are the resulting photos (I have to add, this was such an incredibly fun shoot). 

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Mardi Gras Indian Portraits

My brand new Fuji X-E1 came in on Friday, just in time for SUPER SUPER SUNDAY!!  Super Sunday is the BIG Mardi Gras Indian Parade held in Central City each year.  I edited over 200 photos from the day so I'll be splitting these up into several blog posts.  I can not say enough about how fantastic the X-E1 performed with the kit/zoom lens, anyone who says the zoom lens isn't sharp doesn't know what they are talking about, these are some of the sharpest photos I've ever taken.  And the image quality beats the pants out of anything my Pentax ever produced. 

These are the first of the portraits, I'll also be posting others later that show the general spirit of the day. 

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She's Beautiful and Strange

I went out with my friend Vanna- who just happens to be a smoking hot roller derby girl, to Metairie Cemetery for a quick, fun shoot. A Mardi Gras Indian loaned me a set of deer antlers and we thought it would be amazing to play around with them.  This was the result of our shoot, I'm thinking a couple of these will be included in my submission to this years ArtMelt! 

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She's Got Stickers on Her Locker

I am listening to Jack White as I sit here working through my MA Thesis footnotes (big meeting with my adviser on Friday- YIKES!) so I thought I would share some of the pictures that I took of him during last year's VoodooFest.  I love, love, LOVE, getting to shoot from the pit, and when I found out that I made Jack White's pit-access list I was over the moon!  Only three pits were limited access the entire festival- at least I got into one of the three!  (and for the record, I was much happier about making Jack White's list than I would have been about Neil Young, he was an odd fit for Voodoo anyway)

These were taken by my Pentax K-5 as my Fuji just doesn't have enough reach for the big stage. 

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Anime Boudoir

I love taking photographs of beautiful women, and almost all women are beautiful (the ones who are not have nothing to do with looks or weight, it is just that they are so ugly inside that it seeps out to the outside).  One of the most important things to me is that the women that I photograph feel beautiful, feel glamorous (make sure you read that glamorous and NOT glamor shots- HUGE difference), feel sensual. 

This particular client was amazing to work with, and because she is a super cool person she brought along a couple of fun wigs to play with.  This was one section of her shoot with her blond "anime" wig- so much fun. 

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FiYiYi (Mardi Gras Indian Gang)

This year I timed my arrival at the Backstreet Cultural Museum perfectly, less than an hour before FiYiYi came "out the door" debuting this year's new suits.  Being a part of a Mardi Gras Indian Gang is truly a family affair, there is not only the Big Chief, but his Queen, his Princesses, his Wildman, and his drummers.  They mask Indian together not only on Mardi Gras Day but Super Sunday, St. Joseph's Night, Westbank Super Sunday and other special occasions throughout the year.  Hours of painstaking sewing go into each suit, and each suit is a true work of art.  Every single one of those beads are sewn on by hand- not a machine or a glue gun- and it is an incredible labor of love. 

The Treme is, in my opinion, the best place to spend time on Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans, and during my time enjoying Carnival at the Backstreet I not only caught FiYiYi coming out of the door, but another Indian Gang coming by as well (pictures of them will follow later in a separate post)

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Playing Catch Up

It's been longer than I intended since I last blogged.  There was Mardi Gras, quite a number of Boudoir sessions, a house guest, and a migraine that lasted four days.  There was Valentine's Day, my birthday, a PhD application (!!!) and wonderful times with the kiddos.  I'll be catching up over the next few days so there will lots of new stuff.  But for now, I'm calling it a night as I am both content and tired.  But I'll share this image with you, my Valentine's Day tulips are starting to open!

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Blueberry Stuff

I actually made breakfast this morning (read: Apocalypse imminent).  Blueberry cream cheese pastry and sausage.  Yes indeed.  My children think I am a super hero. 

Blueberry Stuff:

Butter the pan, use one to one and half packages of crescent rolls, unrolled and flatted for the bottom layer.  Mix one block of cream cheese with about half a cup of sugar until smooth (I microwave the cream cheese for 30 seconds before mixing in the sugar), spoon this on top of the crescent rolls.  Spoon on top of the cream cheese one can of blueberry pie filling.  Top with a second layer of crescent rolls.  Then pour half a stick of butter (this isn't diet food) over the entire thing and using a sifter, shift about a half a cup of powdered sugar on the top.  Bake until the edges are starting to brown and the middle is not doughy.  Then- EAT. 

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Krewe du'Vieux (not for young eyes)

The parade that kicks off Mardi Gras season each year is Krewe du'Vieux, a not for the kids parade that rolls through the Marigny and French Quarter, followed by the relatively new Krewe Delusion.  It's a fun parade, full of shock value, risque floats, sarcasm and irony.  It's Carnival Time, and everybody's having fun!

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Poetry and Pretty Girls

I really like poetry readings where sexy girls say really dirty words through red singing lips while wearing tight silver dresses and cowboy boots. Yes. I really do.

Last night there was a poetry reading, sponsored by the UNO English Department and held in the Fine Art Gallery.  It was really amazing, I was there to work (photographing Liberal Arts events is my job) but stayed longer than I had to just because I enjoyed it so much.  The words tripped over each other, reminding me of what it was like to be a teenage girl trying to discover who she will be as a woman. 

(While photos from my Fuji x100 will make up at least 90% of the photos here, sometimes I have to use my DSLR (a Pentax K-5) simply because I need the extra reach.  Therefore, some of these were taken by my Pentax and some by my Fuji- but all of them are mine.  If Fuji would ever make a telephoto adapter the way they did a wide angle I would be so very happy)

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Take me away to nowhere

"I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth." (Steve McQueen)

I love my city, but sometimes I miss open spaces, natural beauty, clean cold air.  I miss Colorado, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.  I miss being on an epic roadtrip with my Sweetheart, never knowing where we would stop for the night. I would gladly trade Superbowl Weekend in New Orleans for a few days exploring the mountains and mesas and painted deserts of the West.

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Chinese Society Tomb

At one of my favorite cemeteries in New Orleans, Cypress Grove, there is a Chinese Society Tomb.  I would love to know what the writing means, and who comes and leaves the offerings. 

To those buried there, I hope you had a happy life and now are at rest. 

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Some Days are Perfect Days

On Sunday my husband and I took Funny Bone to the Undefeated Divas Second Line in the Treme.  It was a fabulous Second Line, full of joy, and we followed it for quite a number of blocks, long after I finished taking photos.  After we walked back to our car under the overpass (also known as Treme Under the Bridge), stopping to admire the painted columns, we were discussing where to go for lunch when we saw them- cops with their lights on, blocking the street. Somehow the Second Line was coming right toward us so Funny Bone and I jumped out and caught it a second time.  Funny Bone caught two stuffed animals, a bag of candy, and a CD of brass band music.  Awesomeness.  We let the line pass us and picked up chicken sandwiches from Rally's, taking them to Metairie Cemetery for a picnic.  After we finished eating we prowled the cemetery a bit before heading toward home.  On our way we stopped at City Park because there was a Pirate Ship in the lake, and seeing as how my husband is a pirate (yes really), I decided he needed a picture of it.  Suddenly my friend Judy and her dog Luke appeared, like magic.  Funny Bone had super amounts of fun playing with the big boxer and Judy and I made plans to share a booth at an upcoming market (she is an artist as well).  We came home to eat apples on the front porch (such is January in New Orleans) and see how my oldest, Little Red Wagon, was enjoying the day.  (She does not like Second Lines or City Park or anything that requires her to be outside or do any walking, she'd rather stay home, have some time to herself and watch Supernatural marathons).  Turns out her crush asked her via Facebook to be his girlfriend- so she was over the moon.  It was a rare absolutely perfect day for everyone in my family and for that I am exceedingly grateful. 

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Storyville Reborn

I had my first of the KDW shoots yesterday.  KDW stands for Krewe of Drunken Whores which is a reference to the Storyville history of New Orleans.  They dress in corsets and bloomers, chemise's and striped stockings, in the traditional garb of the ladies of Storyville, the area that brought about Jazz.  I am their official photographer and I do enjoy being a part of, and getting to work with, such a group of vibrant ladies. 

The doors used as backdrop were reclaimed items, I saved them from the trash pile and my wonderful husband helped me rescues them and set them up.  Gorgeous women and a kind (and very handsome) man- I am so lucky.

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St. Louis Cathedral

We took a short walk today through the foggy and overcast weather through the French Quarter.  I succumbed to being a tourist in my own city and took photographs of St. Louis Cathedral, I couldn't help it, it looked like a fairy tale castle under the heavy skies.

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