Free Crab

September 23rd, 2010

I love this sign.

Every time we eat at this restaurant, I stop and look at this sign and inevitably crack up.

It makes me want to look at the person standing next to me and say, “Get IT? . . . See, because the sign reads ‘Tomorrow,’ but then if you really come BACK tomorrow, then the sign reads ‘tomorrow,’ and . . . [nervous laugh] then, of course, you never really get the crab for FREE . . .”

But I never, EVER get to say anything because my husband always grabs my hand a few seconds after I’ve stopped to read the sign and says, “Yes, hon. They GET IT. Now stop embarrassing me.”

Then, of course, he heads inside and neatly ties a bib around his neck before diving into his fish dinner.

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Low Man

September 22nd, 2010

Here he is as promised: High Man’s little brother.

Low man, just like his older sibling, was also trying to tell me something as my husband and I were making our way to Reno.

“You’re the only people my brother and I know who will drive four hours round trip for a hamburger and a set of tires.”

That just makes us interesting. Or really picky.

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High Man

September 21st, 2010

I met this fella at a truck stop on the way to Reno.

In retrospect, I realize he was trying to tell me something, like, “Hey, woman. The tires on your truck will barely make the trip. Here’s the number of a Pep Boys in Sparks where you can get a good deal on a new set.”

Fascinating how they can speak, but the living don’t listen.

Tomorrow I’ll introduce you to his little brother.

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That’s One AWFUL Burger

September 20th, 2010

Meat Meet the Awful Awful burger.

This bad boy is made with 1/4 pound of beef, fresh lettuce/onions/tomatoes, freshly baked buns, cooked on a flat-top, and served on a bed of no less than one pound of hand-cut fries. All for the amazingly low price of $6.25.

To enjoy one yourself, you’ll need to drive to the Nugget Diner in Reno, Nevada (hidden in the back of the “Nugget Casino,” on Virgina Street). Where they also serve two ten-inch pancakes and an egg (the “Pancake Sandwich) for $1.99.

Clearly, these people know how to feed the hungry and broke.

Which is why you shouldn’t be surprised to find yourself sitting next to college kids and homeless people when you visit.

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Visualization — A Birthday Gift

September 17th, 2010

We’ve all heard about visualization: Imagine yourself where you want to be, and someday you’ll get there.

What most people DON’T hear about is all of the hard work that goes into the “getting there” part.

The image below is a rough sketch of what I wanted my logo to look like once I went pro. I drew that on November 17, 2009, and kept it in my wallet until today. (Which is why it’s all wrinkly and blurred. And you thought it was the image . . . ) It reminded me of where I wanted to be in a year.

In between then and now, I’ve taken thousands of images, listened to hundreds of photography podcasts, and read dozens of photography, business, and human behavior books.

My poor family has had to endure me running around every event with my camera, acting like a maniac and even throwing elbows to get the best shot of a kid blowing out birthday candles.

I broke the Nikon my husband bought me for my birthday last year.

Then got a new one.

I’ve done practice sessions and pulled my hair out over streamlining my workflow. I spent hours learning Lightroom and Photoshop. I built a pricing structure I could be proud of.

I even made sure to thank everyone who helped me get to where I am today.

And I finally got my logo. With two months to spare.

That’s right. I finished in TEN MONTHS. On my birthday.

Today is September 17, 2010, and I’M OFFICIALLY OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

Visualization works. But only if you do something about it.

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Can You Hear Me Now?

September 16th, 2010

I love LOVE this image.

From the hat to the wood paneling to the suspenders to the mystery of what they were whispering to each other that afternoon — I love it all.

Between the two of these guys (my sister’s father-in-law on the left, and my father on the right), there was over 160 years of wisdom sitting in my mom’s living room that day. Add to it the age of the living room itself — the walls of which could tell HUNDREDS of stories — and the number leaps to well over 200 years.

Whether or not they heard what the other was saying, though, is the true mystery of the day.

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Empty Bottles Go HERE

September 15th, 2010

Over the weekend, my brother and I went to Sacramento’s “Second Saturday” event in Midtown.

During one of our stops for a cocktail, my brother nabbed a table that we could lean against while chatting and sipping. When he first claimed it, the table was empty.

Then, one-by-one, as people were exiting the bar, they used the table we were so proud of finding as an empty bottle dumping ground.

Never ones to let others ruin our spirit, we decided to arrange the bottles for a blog photo. The blue hue is coming from a bright neon sign behind us.

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A Rare Glimpse

September 14th, 2010

Meet Benny. A.K.A. “Benzilla.”

I am rarely able to get a good shot of Benny, as he has two speeds: Fast, and Speedy Gonzales. This photo was taken as he was running down the stairs to watch his brother play football. Thank you, Nikon, for your exceptionally fast shutter speeds.

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Football: Game One

September 13th, 2010

Last month, my seven-year-old son made the decision to turn our household upside-down and make our family “Event Widows” for the next ten weeks.

No weekend getaways. No quiet weeknights. No more empty laundry baskets. And CERTAINLY no more once-per-week grocery shopping trips.

Next month we’re buying acreage and some livestock so we can keep this boy fed.

But it’s all worth it . . . he was born to play this game.

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Remembering the Photojournalists of 9/11

September 11th, 2010

The videos and imagery that emerged from the September 11th tragedy is indescribable. Without them, we would not have been able to fully comprehend the extent of the disasters that took place in New York, Virginia, and Philadelphia.

So many gave their lives that day so that others could live: Firefighters, police officers, municipal workers, and average Joes and Janes alike. What would it have been like if there were no one there to videotape or photograph the events of that day?

Not very many people know, outside of the photography industry, that Rudy Giuliani had dozens (if not hundreds) of photographers arrested and jailed for several days without cause after declaring a one-mile radius of Ground Zero a crime scene.

Scott Bourne, a world-renowned photographer and author wrote, “What Rudy Giuliani did was impose undue restriction on a free press. And the cost of that decision may never be known. What photos did we miss? What if we had missed Tom Franklin’s moving photograph of the three firemen raising an American flag over the WTC rubble? Now that was an important photograph. It was so important that it is already the basis of a US postage stamp and the memorial to the slain firefighters to be erected at the WTC. But few realize that Franklin risked arrest by making the picture. If the police had seen Franklin, he would have been arrested and the world would not have had the chance to be moved by the story his photo told.”

We owe so much to the heroes of September 11th — especially those who traded in their civilian clothes for military fatigues and went to war to fight for our freedom following the attack on our country.

We also owe a huge debt to those who brought us the images a from a day that we we’ll never forget, and will remember for generations to come.

(I encourage you to read the rest of Mr. Bourne’s article, which can be found at his website “photofocus.”)

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