Sunday, January 26, 2014

This blog has moved

I have moved in to my new website and deleted a bunch of things from here. My blog is now over there. Go check it out! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The new site is coming along...

I'm almost ready to move over completely. I have a lot of photos to put up, and then some general clean-up, but the major stuff is there and I love it.

I will be leaving this blog here, but from now on, all blogging will happen on the new site.

Here it is:


Monday, June 3, 2013

We have babies!

Just outside our bedroom window, a bird built a little nest and there are baby birds in it now. They're loud little birds. I went out yesterday and took a couple of photos of them...from a distance, of course...

I did a little bit of investigation and I'm pretty sure this is a Say's Phoebe, which is a type of flycatcher. Very cute little bird. These guys nest somewhere on our house every summer. They're welcome to continue to do so.  I'm happy the wildlife likes our yard.

The first three photos are of mama giving me the hairy eyeball. "What are you doing, lady?" The last photo is the babies. I didn't get any closer than that, which is taken from ~10 feet away zoomed in at 200 mm. I didn't want to stress mama out.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

The summer of 2002

It has been more than 10 years since the last time there was a major upheaval that led to something beautiful in my life. Now is as good a time to look back on it as any. Before...let me say this...I can talk about all of this so plainly because I've done a lot of work to move on from the place I used to be.

I firmly believe that the only person that anger poisons is yourself.

And maybe this is better for a personal blog, but this is something that I feel strongly about and I guess it's time to start giving back because I'm so grateful for breaking the cycle in my family.

Without going into too much detail about specific events, I grew up in house full of yelling, name calling, flying objects, and hitting. Not many people outside of some family - even my friends - knew until the summer of 2002. I was in my 20s.

In 2002 I was married to someone I really shouldn't have married. The wonderful and amazing man that I'm married to now was just my very good friend at that point. That summer we were taking a photography class together. (How funny) You should always examine what you spend 99% of your time thinking about or doing - it's what you really want. One afternoon, he was dropping me off from a gym outing and my husband was on the front porch holding the phone. I had a phone call.

The phone call that changed everything. My mother was at a friend's house and hurt. Could I come up? My husband asked if I really needed to go up there. (He didn't like my family) Andy said he  would go with me. We got there and my mother was in a state I had never seen. The worst event of the 25+ years my parents had been together. The image will be burned into my mind forever. I'll spare you the details...Once we determined that my mom was settled and would be sort of okay, Andy took me home. The next day, I told my husband I was moving out. Life is too short to be something you don't want.

Sometimes the worst events can lead to the best and most amazing things. There was a backwards slide for my mother (read: she took him back), but a few years later she got out and even though it was and is hard and she still struggles, she has been successful on her own with my sister and brother for ~7 years. Andy and I are married with a family of awesome. He saw the worst of my family on the first day he met them, so you could only go up from there, right? haha

That photography class Andy and I were taking together had a self-portrait series as a final...just before everything happened. The images I made for that final:

Obviously, these aren't representative of my current photography. But they remind me that when I have issues, I used to put them into my art. And I've been being safe...

Here's the thing...this is still pretty quiet, aside from billboards with shocking photos of bruised and bloodied women or the occasional movie on 'that network for women'. (Does anyone really watch that?) And be honest...when you see those billboards, you probably look away. I'll admit it. I do. I don't think they do their intended job. Shock value doesn't really work for me. I think when people hear about domestic violence or emotional abuse, there are probably some stereotypes that pop into their mind...economic or racial or whatever. Those shocking photos don't really help with that either. What people don't realize is that the family that lives right next door could be one of those families and the secret is so well protected that nobody knows it's going on. My family was a middle class family that seemed pretty normal from the outside.

So what to do? We can stop looking away. We can recognize that this happens in families that might surprise us. Women, children, and men are living with this quietly. They might not have visible marks and the main form of abuse may be emotional. Physical abuse that doesn't happen regularly is still abuse. Nobody should feel like they have no option but to continue to live with the person that continually calls them names, screams in their face, and blames them for all of their shortcomings.

I have some ideas for the one thing I know I can do. As I said in a previous post, I have a few series in the works. The one dealing with this is going to be particularly difficult for me, so it will probably take some time.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Some news? And the zoo.

I'm about 27 weeks pregnant. What's that, like around 6 months?  I'm getting pretty close to the third trimester. We're excited :) So that's pretty great.

The not so great news...Friday I got laid off from my day job. They said it had nothing to do with performance and it was because they just don't have anything for me to do. Anyway...not here to talk about the why and how of being let go or to bad-mouth them, because that's not my style... But, being 6 months pregnant doesn't really give me an advantage at interviews for new employment, you know?

So it's time to spin it into something good. It's not really how I wanted it to happen, but I guess now is as good a time as any to do more with photography. Don't get me wrong, I'm going to continue to search for jobs as well. But I'm going to use my new time for some good things.

Yesterday, Ailin and I went to the zoo with his little friend again. We had a great time. We took the train from the zoo to the aquarium and back, which was really fun. I spent most of my time trying to keep up with Ailin, which is getting more difficult because I swallowed a beach ball...but I did get a few photos of him. Here's my favorite one. He always has this look in his eye. He's a little mischievous imp.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

The ABQ Biopark Zoo

I went to the zoo a couple of weeks ago with my family and Ailin's friend and his family. It was a good time. The zoo is super awesome from a 2-year-old's point of view. We had fun running from one exhibit to the next. We saw the whole zoo in a couple of hours. Warp speed zoo-ing.

I took a bajillion photos of the peacocks. They were especially cooperative that day, so that's good, but mostly I wanted some reference photos for a painting I'm working on. I also took a bunch of photos of Ailin and his friend, but I'll spare you. haha

The ABQ Biopark Zoo is a cute little zoo. We actually have quite a good zoo for such a smallish city. I adore the Biopark. Not just the zoo, but the Botanical Gardens (my favorite) and also the aquarium. We have a newish baby rhino at the zoo, and he/she is extremely cute.

The obligatory photo of a peacock. There are a million of them at the park, but they're always gorgeous. I think you're required to take a peacock photo...

 Baby. Rhino. Cute!

No idea what they were looking at but it cracked me up that they were doing it in unison. 

 I'm pretty sure this guy threw poop at the crowd not too long before we were standing there. Also, he was in a mood and throwing lots of stuff. He chucked a heavy block of salt or something right after I took this. Grumpy Gorilla.

These guys are just silly looking. 


Saturday morning fun!

My husband started a new business recently doing GIS work. He's part of a larger consortium with a bunch of our geogeek friends and they have a poster going out in a few days. They needed his logo on there. Except he didn't have one.

I'm not a graphic designer, but I did take some design in art school and I love Illustrator. So I made one for him this morning. I still see some imperfections in it, so I'm going to have to get in there and clean a couple of lines up, but I did a pretty good job. I made my own logo a while ago, which has gone through a few versions, but I'm happy with it now. Don't know that it says "I'm a photographer" but since that's not all I do...

Anyway...the logo I made for him... :)