Days of Summer

Warm air, sunshine, swimming pool…what could be better than a summer photo session?

The inspiration was an outdoor light box – a tent-like structure with billowy sheer white curtains filtering out the sunshine above a kids’ pool partially filled with water and two sisters posed beautifully in it….and photographs!

Flexibility & a sense of humor are key when the wind was blowing, the temperature an unusual cool day for July and…a very gray, hazy sky.

The sisters who came to model were wonderful in their attitude. Even as I boiled water and poured it into the pool, their teeth chattered yet they kept their spirits up!

 

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Before images are beautiful young women.

After professional hair & make up artistry they are ready for the photo session.

Beautiful sisters!

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What could be better than warm air, sunshine, a swimming pool for a summer photo session?

 

Wendy’s Flower Wall

#WendysFlowerWall is my recent project where women are given an opportunity to select one word to follow “I am…”  Women volunteer – some after a yoga class, some on a Saturday morning, most without advanced notice, therefore, no make-up application or hair adjustment.

I’m grateful to the women who feel confident in their skin to be in front of my camera, knowing their image would be used on social media and on the internet.

My Flower Wall project started when the winter darkness dragged on and I anticipated spring. I decided to create my own spring with colors out of my comfort zone….and #Wendy’sFlowerWall was born.

It’s my mission to help women see their beauty and their strength through Portraits. Sadly, so many women feel they aren’t good enough, skinny enough, pick-something-enough to have portraits of themselves done.

The thing is, a professional portrait of you today will out-last you. It’s a gift for your children, for your parents, for your girlfriends, for your sisters….for eternity.

My mission continues with my Flower Wall. To provide positive thoughts to women, to remind them…us…that we are strong, confident, remarkable, fearless, inspired, enough….

and beautiful beyond measure.

In the moments when I took these images, I had the opportunity to hear some of the stories behind the word selection. (I provided a variety of words). Some stories were incredible and heartfelt.

Everyone has a unique and powerful story.

What is yours?

How would you like to tell it?

#existinphotographs

We all deserve to feel beautiful-

During her photo experience, she was a natural beauty in the street clothes she had selected just for her photo shoot. She changed into her softball uniform and swung her bat like a pro. Each pose and expression easily achieved with her electrifying smiles, her eyes sparkling, her personality bubbling.

Toward the end, we left her mom and grandmother at a picnic table in the shade as we went back into the woods. She gave me more expression, energy & if it were even possible, more enthusiasm. We laughed a lot. 

When she thought our session was about to wrap up, I pulled out her flower crown. (During our consultation and wardrobe follow-up messages, I found out her favorite colors & then I hand-made a crown to compliment her personality). It’s sometimes a gamble–a flower crown and a tulle skirt by surprise.

This client had given me her trust and allowed me to place the crown on her head, and just went for it. She transformed from the girl in street clothes, to the athlete ready to play ball to a princess in the woods. 

During her photo reveal where she saw her slide show and images for the first time, I know she felt special. She felt seen. She got a chance to see herself the way the world sees her.  Full of life. Beautiful. 

photographs in nature | WAVphoto |Autumn walk

 

I walk, I look, I see, I stop, I photograph.
-Leon Levinstein, 1955

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Every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
-John Muir

 

 

 

 

 

flowers

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I’m so fortunate to know such strong & beautiful women.
To have the opportunity to photograph one in this field
of flowers is a dream come true.

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http://www.Migratoryhaven.com
Willsboro, New York

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15 minutes

I walked down the aisle past the piano keyboards, past cymbals on display looking like shiny branches on short trees, heading toward the loudest drum section in the back. Music equipment was everywhere on display – calling for
a test drive. The chairs were set up facing the stage. A jazz clinic was about to take place, the special guest performing at a local venue.

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I arrived with little background information, yet was immediately defensive at what I observed. A man appeared to have cornered the guest asking for a LOT
of autographs and kept referring to his phone. Immediately I suspected these autographs were headed for ebay and this man was actively listing each item.

I applaud myself for how wrong I was.

The actual story is so much better.

The local music store had invited our high school jazz ensemble to participate in a clinic with Randy Brecker. Before you immediately judge me on my “I’ve read the album covers and know all the musicians involved for the past 50 years knowledge”, I’ll share with you that I cut my teeth in the 80’s dancing all night to every song I could sing & dance to. Certainly the birthplace of karaoke.

The jazz band took the stage and performed their first piece. Randy Brecker
rose from his seat, ascended the few stairs, greeting the musicians on stage. Humbling even the band director, the clinic began with Randy taking the microphone – ‘I can’t critique this…can I play with you guys?’ I think only a handful of the students could grasp that they were about to play with a
musical legend.

A little background: Randy Brecker is a trumpeter, composer & one of the founding members of Blood Sweat & Tears (1968 album), a Grammy Award winner, has toured behind the Iron Curtain in 1989. A studio musician, sometimes never actually playing with the artists but with ‘credits’ on albums by: Steely Dan, Ringo Starr, Aero Smith, BB King, Chaka Kahn, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross (see?, I sort of ‘knew’ Randy Brecker…), Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Frank Zappa, George Benson, Paul Simon, The Average White Band, Lou Reed, The Brecker Brothers…to name a few.

According to allmusic.com Randy Brecker has 2,208 credits on albums.

Next, a 17 year old trumpeter from the jazz band came forward to solo – he exchanged some effortless musician-to-musician strategy with Randy. The music they played-back & forth jazz trumpets with support from the band was just incredible. This young trumpet player got a ‘thumbs up’ from Randy Brecker.WAVphoto Randy Brecker

That moment will probably always live with that young man as it began to sink in that he just jammed with a legend.  Unsure if he even heard what Randy said into the microphone to the crowd…”keep your eyes on this kid” kind of thing.
A memorable experience for this group of musicians to share the stage with living history.

The guy with the autographs?

Sometimes I just can’t walk away. I started a conversation with the man with the autographs & a few hundred record albums. Prior to the clinic, Randy sat, patiently signing album cover after album cover with this man.  The best part – they were not going on ebay. This album collection is his hobby. He has several thousand albums in his basement with over 20,000 signatures – his wife draws the line that they must remain there. I asked how willing the musicians are to sign autographs. He told me one person met him for coffee the morning following a concert and signed a few hundred while they talked.

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Randy Brecker at Cascio Music 2014

After all the albums were autographed, Randy Brecker took a small breath, handed the marker back, reflected saying, “Wow, that was my whole life
in 15 minutes”.

I doubt he’ll get credit on an album for his appearance on a small stage in a music store on a winter afternoon, but the almost 70 year old Randy Brecker made a difference that day.

 

bloom

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Four days of spring!

Each year I look forward to the arrival of spring at the Milwaukee Art Museum where flowers are the art. ‘Art In Bloom’ is the museum’s four day event that fills each room with the scent & colors of spring.

The Shepherdess, Jean-Honore Fragonard/ floral artist: LaTulipe, LLC

The Shepherdess, Jean-Honore Fragonard/
floral artist: LaTulipe, LLC

Art in Bloom pairs one piece of incredible art to a talented floral designer or group. It’s quite an honor among florists, garden centers and garden clubs to be selected as a designer for this event.

The challenge of the day: deciding which arrangement receives my “people’s choice” vote.

I found it difficult to walk away from this arrangement! It was fascinating from all sides.

Green, Red, Blue  Mark Rothko floral art: A New Leaf Floral, Inc

Green, Red, Blue Mark Rothko
floral art: A New Leaf Floral, Inc

Elegant in simplicity.

Yellow Guitar & Blue Vase, Fernand Leger floral art: Milwaukee Flower Company

Yellow Guitar & Blue Vase, Fernand Leger
 floral art: Milwaukee Flower Company

Three panels of abstract flowers – an interpretation of
Yellow Guitar and Blue Vase.

Campbell's Soup, Andy Warhol floral art: Tulipomania European Flower Market

Campbell’s Soup, Andy Warhol
floral art: Tulipomania European Flower Market

Floral humor: grilled cheese & tomato soup

Woman with Cat, Kees van Dongen floral art: Elmbrook Garden Club

Woman with Cat, Kees van Dongen
floral art: Elmbrook Garden Club

Simple, stunning, creative.

 

The Two Majesties, Jean-Leon Gerome floral art: Metro Market-Downtown Milwaukee

The Two Majesties, Jean-Leon Gerome
floral art: Metro Market-Downtown Milwaukee

Vision, skill, artistic creativity.

Art in Bloom – always worth the trip.

Milwaukee Art Museum, www .mam .org