Wednesday, November 29, 2006

voting is good!

to keep things uber democratic (sort of), as well as to help me make a decision... I'm taking votes on your favorite shot(s) of the following, for a contest I'm entering. please help me decide!


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

and that's not all...

I forgot to post the photos that Megan took of me (my brother took those other ones, on my strict instructions), so here they are as well!

I love them!

Now we just need to find time to get her to take pictures of me and Devon. Can you believe we still haven't done our holiday card shot yet?! Good thing we do a New Year's one every year. Sneaky, huh? : )

our friday shoot-out!

This last "Black Friday" (day after Thanksgiving), I met up with my photographer friend Megan Clouse in downtown Petaluma to photograph each other. We've been trying for months to get together to exchange portraits, but who has time during the wedding season? So it was great to finally take the time to do it, although freezing and grey outside.
I must admit, I was pretty nervous beforehand - I am getting so unused to being in front of the camera! What a hypocrite, right? But she did a great job at putting me at ease, and I was soon hamming it up and feeling less silly (even when tons of passersby were staring at us).
She also made a great subject - very pretty and very patient.

Here are some of my favorite shots of her:

What fun! The sunlight was softly diffused through tons of grey clouds and that pretty wintery sun was just barely poking through all the clouds to give us a nice bit of glow. You wouldn't ever mistake these photos for summertime shots at the beach, but there's something so lovely about that winter light - there's a cheerfulness in the gloom. And that's coming from me, a virtual winter-phobe! (please note: I am okay with New England winters because a. I never had to actually live there through them during the worst months (Jan and Feb) and b. they keep it like 90 degrees inside. Also c., the snow has magical powers to make everything beautiful, as well as to remind you that "you can't leave the house without gloves, two sweaters, a huge coat, a hat, a scarf, and boots! What're you, crazy?!" Whereas here in Northern California, I forget (even after 28 years) and say, "I'll just toss on a cardigan". And then freeze. But I digress.)

Anyway, I had a great time with her and can't wait to do it again (a shoot for every season, eh?). We both learned a lot in front of and behind the camera, and got great shots for our portfolios and websites.

Then I popped over to my folks' house - they were out of town but my "baby" brother was dogsitting - and saw this beautiful little spot. I dragged Austin outside away from his drum practice and made him switch off with me. What a lovely day!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Working on my art book samples

I'm starting to design coffeetable / art book style albums, by a company called Asuka Books. You can get the pages in glossy or matte finishes, and the books themselves are either hard cover and stitch bound, hard cover and book bound, or soft cover and book bound. There is also one available that has laminate protected pages (i.e., they're much harder to damage) and comes with a slipcase and cover. The samples on the website are pretty cheesy but these are beauuutiful quality! I ordered one sample and am working on my second so that I can start offering them to clients.

Here is the second sample - I know the images are small (the book itself will be 10x10"), but take a look if you like.

Enjoy the slideshow, and happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Upstate New York, Oct 2006

Earlier this fall (wow, has it really only been a month and a half? So much has been happening this year!), Devon and I got to fly out to New York to photograph my good friends, Emily and Mike's, wedding (and since Emily's a newspaper editor, maybe she can edit the awful grammar in that sentence for me?). I knew them in college and remember when they met. And now they're married and we got to capture it! Thanks guys!

We flew into NYC and rented a car to drive upstate with. However, we didn't get in to JFK until about 9pm Eastern Time, and had 4 hours to drive to get to the Binghamton area, soooo, by the time we got there, we were pretty dang loopy. A bit North of Yonkers I got all excited about going to a Friendly's restaurant (the East Coast equivalent of a greasy, and kind of disgusting, Denny's or Swenson's with more fried food). Then I remembered that I only liked it in college after eating in the dining halls for months and finally getting to escape for french fries, fried mozarella and ice cream sundaes. So going back as a fully fledged adult hungry for real dinner was less thrilling.

We spent a few days in Oneonta and a few in Ithaca at a bed and breakfast. The entire extended weekend we spent was AMAZINGLY gorgeous and sunny and warm - I think the drive back to NYC got up to 80 degrees! All of the leaves, everywhere, were in the height of their beautiful fall color; the grasses were all green, creating that lovely New England contrast, and the blue sky just topped it all off.

But enough talk; I'll let the images do the talking.

I loved the colors in the B&B's room (we stayed at a GREAT all vegetarian/ homegrown/ organic farm B&B outside of Ithaca) but this photo makes me miss my hair a little.

I also loved that there was this NY State Neighborhood Watch sign in the middle of absolutely nowhere.

We got to visit the beautiful Taughannock Falls on the Finger Lakes outside of Ithaca. I don't know if they're all as beautiful in poor weather, but we were honestly blessed with the nicest weather I've ever seen in upstate NY, and made the short hike, and lounging around by the lake, just fantastic.

And little known fact: Taughannock Falls is taller than Niagara. Or wider. I forget.
Something impressive, that doesn't seem true.

Last but not least: here is the slideshow. I realize that they are glorified vacation slides, but I hope you like them anyway.

some old, some new

I am now getting some time (here and there - not tons) to catch up on all kinds of project. Updating the blog is fun but takes time! So here are some photos from all year long... more to follow.

Devon and I took our honeymoon in increments - married Dec 2005, we had an immediate long, rainy, beautiful weekend at the W in SF; then in May we had 5 days at my aunt and uncle's beautiful vacation property in Mendocino (where we sometimes had Thanksgivings and other fun family events when I was little); this coming December (in about three weeks!) we are taking our first tropical vacation to Kauai for our anniversary. Eight beautiful days!

Anyway. Here are some shots from Mendo:

(mom - note the old family wagon wheel! we've got extended family photos with that dang thing going back how far? at least the 50s.)

Next up - a really weird and random silly one by Devon:

In case you think that is just a random odd behavioral moment for my lovely husband, let me show you his Halloween costume:

Can you guess what he is?

Well, OBViously, he's a fiddler crab.

I'm not sure how this originally came about, but I do know it was last year. He spent all evening Halloween 2005 making this big ole crab claw out of the box his wicked rocker metal guitar's coffin case came in (now he has two - and yes, they are very spooky). Then he spray painted it and his spare boxing glove to match. Apparently the fiddler crab has one huge claw and one tiny one. Who knew?

So this year he vowed to wear the costume, so his sister Alyssa made him a tshirt that says "Crab Claw" on it, with, again obviously, a sewn picture of a crab claw.

Not following this? Don't worry about it, let's move on to our friends Sean and Mikayla's costumes:

She was a lovely, elegant birch tree, and he was a lumberjack, complete with cardboard ax (in the car) and chainsaw.

I had $2 devil's horns and a tail and stayed in handing out Nerds and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

More soon...

help me choose a photo

I'm updating my ad with and adding new photos. I have three pretty color shots from earlier this year to use, but I'd like to pick a black and white one.

anyone want to vote on a favorite?

Help me make a decision?!

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I just signed up for this thing online (greeting card photo store thing, don't worry about that) and that was in the terms and conditions... "6. INDEMNIFICATIONIABILITY."

I just thought that was a funny word. maybe I should put it in my contraacts?

is it even a real word, or just "indemnification" with an "ability" added on for flare?

back to work.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Jennifer and Scott's Engagement Photos

Oh, goodness, I meant to post this weeks ago (well at least one week ago). I had a blast shooting Jennifer and Scott's engagement session one a beautiful, WARM and sunny November day in Berkeley. At the Berkeley Rose Garden, in fact! I thought I had been there when I was young but as we explored it did not feel familiar. No matter, it is a lovely place even in the off-season, and there were lots of cute kids and families playing while we moseyed (mosied? moh-zeeed, you get the idea) around the garden and through a tunnel to the park!

Truly a beautiful, fun day. And they love their photos! Hoorah! Nothing makes my day like an email with the subject, "the pictures are so amazing!". Thanks Jennifer!

edited 1.2.08 - the slideshow has been taken down for server tidiness. Please let me know if you're interested in seeing it.

Friday, November 03, 2006


I heard from Chris and Christine regarding their slideshow and Christine said:
"Hi Jessamyn,
I LOVE them!! You really have a talent of capturing
the moment! The night went by like a blur and it's
slowly coming back together with these shots. Also,
everyone has told me they had the time of their lives,
but I had no idea there were that many people dancing.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you. You
were the perfect photographer for us. I will
recommend you to anyone I know and will definitely
call if we have ny future photographer needs."

This makes me so so SO happy! I am not used to shooting so much black and white (their request, which is fine, but I'm a color girl most of the time) so it was kind of a different experience.

I had such a blast shooting the wedding (especially when the entire party got rockin - singing - air guitaring on the dance floor to Journey!). And they say that the only things you will take away from your wedding day are your spouse (duh), rings, and wedding photos, which is what makes them so important. For someone to tell me that my photos bring the emotions and moments of their wedding day (which is always an ecstatic, crazy blur that goes by faster than any other day), is probably the highest compliment I can receive, and my goal with each and every wedding. Yay!

I think that this is the reason wedding "photojournalism" has become so popular - people want to remember the moments from their wedding day as they happened, not look at their album going, "okay, that's when we were posing for the camera. That's when we were recreating our ceremony after the real ceremony, posing for the camera. There's where we held a fake pose about to slice into our wedding cake." Etc.

Anyway. When I dropped their photos off (we live in almost the same neighborhood!), I got to see their cute new house with beautiful light blue painted walls and a red door and lots of space inside... now I'm thinking maybe Christine will let me use her as a model sometime, hmm... of course I haven't asked yet! We shall see : )

rockin' the vote

I voted earlier this week, via absentee ballot. No reason - I just like doing it on my own time, so I'm a permanent absentee voter.
I already knew how I wanted to vote except for a few things that I decided to leave because I didn't feel strongly one way or another. So as we've been getting all kinds of brochures and flyers in the mail for all of the MANY many candidates, measures, propositions, and so on, I've been tossing them in the recycling without giving them any thought. Did I mention we get automated electioneering calls all the time? I've taken to not answering the phone because I know what it's all about.
Well, I have also been volunteering just a little bit for SMART/ Measure R/ Sonoma County Conservation Action because, without getting overly politicized here on my blog on a Friday afternoon, the idea of a super cool commuter train through the North Bay just really, really does it for me.
A friend of mine told me, "my life would probably be perfect if we had a train going from here to SF", and I agreed. Of course, I have a 0 mile commute (work at home most days) and she walks about 2 blocks to her job. But it's our dream and we stand by it.

Anyway, today at the Measure R Headquarters, I had a free minute and browsed some of the candidates that they are endorsing. And, WOW, there is some super cheesy photography on these brochures! Both sides, all candidates, everyone seems to have only the most awkward, posed photos of them playing with their kids, looking serious in their office, studying over some huge books while slyly showcasing their wedding ring, shaking hands with other politicans, etc. My goodness! If I was going to vote on these brochures alone, I don't know WHAT I would do!

I wish they had come to me ;)

Although, who knows... maybe it is just impossible to get a politician to look natural.

At the gym yesterday, I encountered two other awful examples of judging a book by its cover. On my way in, I passed a frail, elderly woman in a wheelchair being pushed by her 40-something daughter. I don't know where the conversation had started, but there was a third woman telling the frail, ailing woman, "I would love to be as skinny as you!". Then the 40-something daughter said, "yeah, I'm always telling my mom I'd gladly trade 20 pounds with her!". Yikes! This woman was obviously doing some kind of physical therapy to try to build muscle and these relatively young and healthy women were envying her?!

Then the tv in the weight room was playing an interview with Michael J. Fox, who recently called a phony by Rush Limbaugh, among others. He has Parkinson's disease, which makes him twitch all over the place uncontrollably. We know he is not faking it, and I have encountered other people with the same problem. But with the sound on the television off, it was truly strange (and sad) to watch him unable to control his tics.

Anyway. I guess I got a little political after all. But there was one more incident at the gym (all in one evening!) to remind me that I also tend to judge by someone's exterior - a man in the TINIEST shorts I've seen in a while passed by me and I made some assumptions about his life and how he sees himself. Yikes! All I can say is, I didn't really want to see that much of himself.

Hold on to that feeeeeelin'...

I am almost done with editing the proofs from Chris and Christine's wedding (check out the slideshow!)

edited 1.2.08 - the slideshow has been taken down for server tidiness. Please let me know if you're interested in seeing it.

This was a seriously awesome event. All of their friends and family were friendly and, more importantly, had so much fun it was really inspiring. I couldn't help but dance a little as I took some shots of everyone shaking it, slow dancing, performing some wicked air guitar, and so on. See for yourself!

edited 1.2.08 - the slideshow has been taken down for server tidiness. Please let me know if you're interested in seeing it.

Christine was a gorgeous bride with a fun and mellow attitude:

Another thing that made this wedding so great were the top notch vendors. The flowers were done by City 205 Flowers (in the same building as my friend Kerri at Elle Lui Salon - she's the only one who can cut my hair!) and looked absolutely amazing:

And the food was delicious! I can't rave about this caterer enough - Park Avenue Catering in Cotati - they were very professional, friendly, and so very tasty:

And then the dancing: