Monthly Archives: September 2009

Baby Face

There is nothing like a good close-up. And nothing like a great face.  I can gaze into this little guy’s eyes for days, and I can giggle at his laugh every time I take a peek at his pics.  I LOVE faces.  If you’re 80 weeks young or 80 years old…  Give me a face and I’ll give you a good close-up 🙂


And here are a quick couple of sneak peek pics of Mr. Blonde & Blue-Eye’d with his mom, who had a baby the very next day after our shoot!  Pics of the new family to come soon…


Have a fabulous day, and I hope you get a chance to get in closer with the next great face you run into 🙂




“Women are Crazy, Men are Stupid” by Howard J. Morris and Jenny Lee has just hit the bookstores, and I couldn’t be more excited.  The couple had commissioned me back in April to shoot their author photographs for the book jacket… The shoot was a blast and the pics are meant to look like a photo booth strip (take a peek at their session here.)

The couple and the book are already receiving positive reviews and have been featured on “Good Morning America” and in The NY Times.  So run to the bookstore and buy this hysterical and honest account of how stupid and crazy clash and accomodate each other.

Then flip allllll the way to the back….


…and scan way waaaaaaaay down…  Let me zoom in for you…


Lol!  Published!  Kind of.

This past weekend, I brought my mom into the bookstore to surprise her, and when I opened the book to the back flap – she just said “Wait, I have to get my glasses.”  lol!



Nudes No. 5

Friday Night Nudes… These are a few of the final shots I took on the Weston Estate and a nearby forest in Big Sur, during a workshop with Ed Weston’s grandson, Kim.  I highly recommend the experience to everyone – pro and amateur, male and female, film and digital 🙂


I had so much fun shooting this whole series of Weston-inspired Nudes!  And I hope you enjoyed them too…

Here’s an opportunity to win a free print – for all of my awesome blog readers who continue to come back and leave some love 🙂  I’d love to hear which picture is your favorite from this series –  Nudes No. 1, Nudes No. 2, Nudes No. 3, Nudes No. 4, and Nudes No. 5.

Let me know in the comments below by next Friday, Oct. 2nd, and I will select someone at random for a free 8×10 print of your favorite image 🙂



**Updated to add** The snake is REAL, and it’s a 9 foot Albino Burmese Python weighing 25 pounds.  It feels like it’s way heavier though – I held it (albeit not while I was naked!).  Find out more info about Eugene the snake by clicking here.

Jack and Sam

Jack and Samantha are two of the sweetest siblings I’ve ever met. These two are thick as thieves!  They have a unique bond, which is apparent the moment you meet them… They adore one another, and I don’t say that lightly. Just look at the sepia pic above – how their hands are gripped tight, Sam’s foot on Jack’s foot, her hand on his arm, his arm around her  – it’s my favorite shot, it speaks so much of their relationship.  Sam looks up to her big brother with total love and abandon, trusting him to take her into the water, hold her up high, hug her tight, and follow her when she shouts “Jack, come with me!” And in return, Jack absolutely worships Samantha – can’t get enough of her! – he’ll even jump on the bed listening to a Katy Perry song, even though he hates it, just because it’s Sam’s favorite.

Here’s just a glimpse of this brother and sister in action…


Oh my goodness – how cute is this?!


Protective eye 🙂


Late summer sun…  Popsicles…  Playhouse rooftop… Childhood!


Wow, this session makes you feel so happy and nostalgic right?!  Well that’s the beauty of my job, photographs, and kids 🙂



Boot Black, No. 2

Driving by, you just might miss “Jack’s Polished Act”… a tiny shack floating in the middle of a busy and enormous car wash parking lot on Pico and Beverly Glen in Los Angeles.  The shop consists of just two chairs on top of a big drawer full of tools, and the owner ain’t Jack… his name’s Billy.

Billy started shining shoes at 9 years old on a street corner in Oklahoma. Billy knew exactly what Boot Black was when I mentioned my Boot Black project to him, and he agreed that it’s an interesting profession rich in history that would make for a great photo book.  Then Billy educated me a bit: he said you can call him a Boot Black or a Shine Man, but if he were still shining shoes at a barbershop, then you’d call him a Porter.  Sometimes he’s also referred to as a Dye Man.


Two customers came for a shine the few minutes I was there.  Billy works fast, and he used old socks for shine cloths.




Apparently a shoe shine today at Jack’s Polished Act will set you back six bucks.


After his last shine, we sat down to take a break and share some shoe-shining stories.  He told me about his family of 7 kids and 14 grandkids – one son was a photographer but sadly passed away.  We talked about the old days, the hot weather, the kindness of people, and staying active into your older years.  All the while, the nearby car wash employee’s are watching us and yelling at him: “don’t break the camera!”


As I was leaving, Billy said “you’re very kind.”  I said that I would be back, wearing my boots…

…and expecting a great shine and good stories 🙂



Bed Portraits

Intimate, honest, casual, loving, contemplative, everyday and real… That’s why your bed is my favorite shooting location.  Hands down.  So much of our lives are spent in bed, and how a family hangs out, plays around, cuddles, and sleeps together tells us so much.  Shooting bed portraits has become my thing, and I encourage my clients to get in to bed together wearing just their PJ’s and let’s see what happens… 🙂

This is a sneak peek from my latest shoot, and we’ll see more of this beautiful blonde family soon, as well as more bed portraits!

Have a fun weekend – sleep in! and take pictures!



Nudes, No. 4

More Nudes from experimenting with Kim Weston at one of the Weston Workshops… Nature is very inspiring, and the lines of trunks, leaves, rocks, beaches etc. beg for bold composition… not to mention the beautiful lines of a curvaceous female form 🙂


Kim Weston was shooting this model right before me, and as he handed it off to me, he encouraged me to “cut the limbs off!” … so I tried 🙂  Usually, I’m not attracted to bizarre tense cold harsh images  — I tend to be attracted to voluptuous full of life positive happy fun images, but I went with it – and Kim’s suggestion – so I tried cutting off some limbs!…

I’m a Catholic girl, and I can get into images of Christ’s sacrifice…


Ok, enough of chopping limbs off… I’m going for the full body, in nature…


One last installment of Nudes from the Weston Workshop to come… :))



Meltdown, Part 2

Family Photo season is in full swing!… And you all know what that means: tantrums over not wearing that sweater, fits of screaming No-no-no-no-NO!, and meltdowns of epic proportions.  LOL!  Every mother at some point during a photo session feels like Mrs. S in the above pic.  So I’m doing this post to show moms and other photographers how I deal with the dreaded Meltdown (as pictured above) and turn it around to capture those beautiful happy smiling faces you adore 🙂

First, allow a bit of the tantrum to take place – don’t resist or threaten.  Take a pic or two for posterity, to remember the good times, and to keep it real 🙂  Then the key word is: Distraction.  Change it up – you’ve got to shift the energy: your tone of voice, your posture, your proximity to the child… and then Engage the little guy/gal in a quick activity that they can really get into – I usually pick something that gives them control (especially over their siblings or parents)… For this little guy it was Head-butting.  That’s right Head-butting.

Who doesn’t looooove to head-butt their brother…


…And the wrestling and head-butting continues… Meanwhile, your primary job is to keep the energy high and the laughter up throughout the whole thing.  I do this by laughing and egging the little guy on!  Rooting and cheering for him, doing wrestling blow-by-blow commentary, etc.  And of course keep clicking so they don’t know when “the real” family photos are taking place…

See?… he’s starting to kind of enjoy himself…


And that’s when I make my big move.  I dare the little guy to try and head butt ME...


But I’m no chump, and I take him down! 🙂  Tickling and shooting and laughing and teasing the whole time.  I keep it moving fast, so he doesn’t sink back into Meltdown.


…and how about tackling Dad?!  Look how much FUN this kid is now having… and big brother joins in!…


Ah, here’s what we love… nice big genuine happy faces :)))


Hope this helps 🙂

Whew, I’m exhausted!




Ah, we’ve all had one of those days. When you just don’t feel like… well… “cooperating.”  Stay tuned for pics that demonstrate how I turned this little guy around and got him smiling, laughing, running, playing, and – darn it – to take the family photo!  lol!



Nudes No. 3

Emotion, passion, vitality… I want to FEEL something when I create a photo, and when I look at a picture.  I strive for that with every shot.  Don’t know if I’m always successful, but if just one person is moved to laugh a little more, cry a little more, love a little more, jump, play, hug, dance, squeeeeeze someone a little more, then I’m happy 🙂


I promise to return to my regularly scheduled family programming soon 😉  just a few more nudes though, lol!  I’m hooked!



Nude No. 2

Larva X is a model who looks very art deco, no? Here are a few more nudes for a Friday night 🙂  Posting more soon… xoxo, C


Oh Brothers!

Family. No relationship like it.  And it’s pretty safe to say no one knows how to make you laugh or press your buttons like your siblings.  And I love photographing them!  The bond is unique and special and should be honored and captured at every stage.  Because these two brothers, Oliver and Matthew (Ollie and Matty), may not always giggle like this, hug like this, play like this…  or who knows, maybe they will 🙂


I am just this funny.  lol!!  Actually, big brother Ollie is behind my head doing something silly to Matty’s delight.


Yeah, that’s him – that’s the guy causing all the trouble.


I love how you see the roles of “big brother” and “little brother” here…


…and here…


Ugh, this one gets me right here.  My favorite of the shoot.


I always say you can’t get close enough!!!


Lol!!  So much for a picture of the kids with Leo…


More family pics, art installments, portraits, nudes, and a HUGE announcement coming soon!… (waiting for it to be 100% solid before jinxing it 🙂