Category Archives: Photography

10 on 10: August – Flash Friday: Mini Portrait Sessions

The portraits that we all need for LinkedIn, dating sites, Facebook profile photos, etc., –that’s my work every Friday–creating these portraits for many.  This is where my attention has been focused lately and I haven’t had quite as much time to get to the beach for my ocean shots.

It’s been a good time having new faces in front of my lens, as well as those whom I’ve photographed a few times before, but I love giving them three or four shots, and one inevitably becomes their avatar for various websites, or one that they love so much, it becomes the portrait they never had of themselves.

Here are a few:

I’ll be shooting mini headshots/portrait sessions every Friday either in San Diego or Los Angeles.  Please contact me if you’ll be in the area and want to schedule a session!

Please follow around the 10 on 10 circle of women starting with the uber talented, Bonnie.

Enjoy your Summer!



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10 on 10: June: The Cliff Hanger

And the cliff hanger is……me!   Now that I’ve begun to discover the beauty of Sunset Cliffs, it’s where I’ve been hangin’ in my free time!


The Daring One


I’ve had my old favorite beaches before. It used to be Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and Moonlight Beach in Encinitas.  Then it became La Jolla Shores for the Pier and long stretches of sand and then Windansea Beach for it’s rocky terrain that is easily accessible by foot with beautiful scenic vistas of turquoise waters.  Now, though not necessarily a beach, Sunset Cliffs is right up there with Windansea for me.  Well, just about.

Shot on iPhone6

I love being able to have a birds eye view of the these beaches and the ocean.

Shot on iPhone6

Shot on iPhone 6

shot on iPhone6


Because a client wanted to do a photo shoot here, I’ve taken the 15 minute drive to check it out at different times of the day.    Although I still haven’t been here at low tide, when I imagine you can walk through the caves (if you can find a safe way down the cliffs), I completely fell in love with this place, and I know I’ve only tipped the iceberg on what I will discover here.

It takes a bit of hiking on uneven ground to get onto some of these rocks.  I’m oftentimes a little bit scared when carrying gear, but I’m learning my way around and finding my footing.

Shot on iPhone6

I had only been briefly before when I realized that if you choose to watch a sunset here, with only one street out, you can count on being stuck in traffic for a long time, so you might want to bring some audio books, snacks and water for the drive home.

Diving in!


I went for it again yesterday…Sunset, that is, and although I was indeed stuck in traffic on the way home, it was totally worth it!

It’s almost Summer, so I imagine I’ll be working my way down the cliffs before too long and I’ll have many images of clients to share–so stay tuned!

This image below is not Sunset Cliffs, but I shot it from atop a cliff in La Jolla, so I was a total cliff hanger for this one too! :)

La Jolla, but from the cliffs (iPhone 6)

In the meantime, please follow around the 10 on 10 circle of fabulous and talented photographers starting with someone whose work I greatly admire, Bonnie Martin.  She will be linked to the next woman in the circle, and so on, so please do check them all out!

Enjoy the outdoors especially now that Summer is nearly here and I will see you soon!!





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10 on 10: May: One Month with Bella

This was our first full month with our pup, Bella, who is now six months old.   She has completely changed our lives by bringing extra love, joy, play, and yep…frustration to our daily routine.   The frustration part is completely over-shadowed by the goods she delivers to our hearts.

This portrait (above) is Bella to a tee.   She’s adorable, right?   But she’s got that sly look that says “I’m more than just don’t turn your back on me for a second!”.

She’s got a lot of energy, so we’ve just started taking her to the dog park.  Bella is pretty little — she’ll only get to be somewhere between 20-25 pounds, so we found a dog park just for the littlies.   She loves showing off with the Dachshunds and Chihuahuas – feeling like the big kid on the block.

The other day, we took her early and there was no one there.  She was bummed.  Then, voila!  In came a tiny dog that she wanted nothing more than to pounce on.   His Mom eventually had to pick him up to give him a break, and we watched with horror as Bella excitedly jumped up towards the lady, knocking her sunglasses to the ground.   Just as Phil went to pick them up, she grabbed them and proceeded to take off running through the dog park.  For Bella, it was a game of cat and mouse and it took a bit to stop her.  Phil finally retrieved them and went to hose them off  before giving them back.  There was something up with the water pressure, and the hose went crazy like a wild water snake.  It had a mind of it’s own, flying through the air in every direction, drenching Phil, and ultimately spraying the lady and her dog too.   Phil finally got a hold of the wild hose and turned the water off.  After trying to dry the lady’s glasses with the one dry part of his t-shirt, and having one of the lenses pop out, Phil and I were ready to run and hide from this ‘Marley’ moment.  The lady was very kind though, and said not to worry–that pups will be pups.  The hose was another story.   :)

I had never noticed it before with other dogs I’ve had, but Bella has been losing her puppy teeth.    We see the signs when it’s about to happen, starting with very little appetite, bad behavior, and the need to chew anything that comes near her mouth.   Then her paws go to her face like she’s trying to get at something, she licks feverishly, and then pop! — out comes a tooth.   She bats it around like the bugs she finds.    So far we’ve seen her lose about 10 of them!

We have to be sure to have her chew toys always near, and her mini bully sticks that keep her busy enough to stop chewing on us, the furniture, or perhaps a favorite book?

She loves to gather her toys and keep them right near her crate.   She destroys them all so quickly, that I keep looking for those that are not so easy to rip open and pull the stuffing out.   The other day she chewed the squeaker bit right out and we never found it.   I wonder if she’d squeak if I squeezed her tight enough?

She may be a little girl, but she’s long and lanky and stands up pretty tall!

We had a beach day not too long ago too.   There will be much more of this in her future!

Our Bella is an absolute love.   She’s got the fastest tongue in the west, so when we pick her up, we are prepared to be drenched in kisses.   This is what she did when we saw her at the adoption agency, and she continues to this day!  Fortunately, we love it!

We are so grateful for this girl in our lives.  She snuggles up to us all the time–wherever we are sitting, and lays between us when we watch TV, gets us out in nature more often, and the pitter-patter of her feet throughout the house makes our hearts do back flips.   I tell her often that if she were someone else’s dog I’d steal her!  She has completely won me over.  We look forward to what the next six months brings.

Please follow around the 10 on 10 circle and see what my talented and wonderful friend Kathleen Ries has been up to for the month.

On the beach at sunset. Look at Bella’s white lipstick!

Enjoy your Mother’s Day whether it be with a two or four-legged little one!

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10 on 10: Beauty From the Inside Out

Though she is one of my best friends, I feel so fortunate that she hired me to take her portraits for her new health business.   Ali, who has spent years as an acupuncturist working to heal people in their addictions, is in the process of growing a new business called Simply Wellness.  She is committed to helping people improve their health, wellbeing, and quality of life by teaching simple, sustainable daily practices.

She practices what she teaches, and as beautiful as she is on the outside, she is that beauty squared on the inside.   She smiles, listens, and inspires, and always radiates the light that shines inside of her.


Until her website is up and running, you can follow her on twitter here.    Her business will include health for the mind, body and soul, through nutrition, exercise, and so much more!

We spent a few hours shooting on a private beach in Laguna, an absolute dream for me, so we played around in the caves at Three Arch Bay.

We spent a good portion of our shoot doing a fitness segment too, so here’s a sneak peak…

I will certainly keep you posted on Ali’s new business, as I know it will have something for everyone!

Please follow around our blog circle, starting with the uber-talented Bonnie.   I’ll see you a little bit earlier next month for our 10 on 10 post.  It will now be available on the 10th!  See you then!

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10 on 10: The Color of Love

For this month’s blog circle, I decided to go with our optional theme of love…and chose the color of love for me…red!

These are images I’ve photographed and worked on in the past month either just for fun, as commissioned pieces, or as submissions for challenges.

The three images below were commissioned by my friend Ana.   She’s worked with me a lot and  wanted to create something poetic in red, that expressed her feelings of love that she is experiencing in her life.   She gave me artistic freedom so we had some fun!


The following Red Riding Hood Series was shot on a whim for the weekend hashtag project on Instagram — Fairy Tales.   It was a blast to work with Lily and to quickly use my imagination to piece together  a fairy tale in a very short amount of time.


Can you spot the spooky eyes in the above image?

I thought it would be fun to show a behind the scenes shot.  It was just me, Lily, my favorite red piece of fabric, and my very reliable assistant — my remote.  Here I was flipping Lily’s hair in hope of using it to show some movement in a shot or two.

Finally, although this image has nothing to do with the others…it’s a little touch of red in one of my favorite flowers,  french tulips.  Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Please follow around our blog circle starting with Trine Lise, all the way from Norway!  From there you can click on each subsequent link and you’ll see that our circle has expanded!  Please be sure to take a look at each woman’s blog posts!   Thank you for stopping by!

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10 on 10: A New Year, A New Phone, and a Wiser Me

It’s good to be back to my blog for my first post of the year!

I’ve taken some time to get settled in, set some goals, and say goodbye to anything that wasn’t working for me in 2014.

Solana Beach

I spent a lot of time by the ocean in the first ten days of this year — taking time for reflection, time with visiting friends, and time doing what makes my heart and soul soar with glee —  getting to the ocean to capture and share the beauty I see.    I began to love taking photos with my new iPhone 6,  which I used to take all the photos in this post.

I’ve been loving the freedom in only having to carry my phone–such a small device, while climbing rocks and hills, or running through the sand to get to the shot I see off in the distance.

La Jolla Shores

These days on the beach seemed to be more beautiful than any days I’d ever seen.  Sometimes the beauty made me feel my heart would explode!

Solana Beach

I’ve recently asked friends if they feel the elation and exuberance that I do while at the beach with perfect light, amazing clouds that diffuse and dapple the light onto the ocean, seagulls flying, pelicans soaring in the spray of the waves, colorful sunsets after the storms, etc.,  and for many the answer was no.  Sure, they liked it, but there was something else in their lives that made them feel the bliss that I do when I’m at the beach with my camera.   I’ve realized that I’m on the right path.   Living where I do definitely suits me and so does my work.

Ocean Beach PierWindanseaOcean Beach

So I’ll continue photographing families and women in nature, and I’ll continue creating  the seascapes that I love, and I’ll continue to run to the beach each time I sense that the sky will be lit up by the greatest brush strokes of God and Mother Nature, because the way that makes me feel is the way I want to feel every day of my life.

Solana BeachWindansea

Ocean Beach


Please follow around our circle of women photographers, starting with Kristina Rust.  Each post will lead you to the next of 5 or so women with different interests in photography that will inspire.

Oh, and since I’m such a little iPhone-aholic these days…please follow me on instagram here.

Also, these images are all available as prints and other products at my Twenty20 shop here.

Thanks so much for your visit!


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10 on 10: High Noon on the High Sea

This Saturday’s portrait shoot with Ana was a breath of fresh air.  I wasn’t sure it was going to happen because the day before had poured down rain, but I was prepared to shoot inside if the weather failed us.

With the amazing clouds in the sky, we decided we’d be out in nature as originally planned.

It would be an adventure.  We’d find a spot near the ocean where neither of us had ever been, and we’d create images.   We’d know the place when we saw it, and after searching for a while, at the end of one of the arbitrary streets, there it was!   Other than wave-scrutinizing surfers high up on the cliff where we’d parked, it was just us two.   The sun was so high up in the sky I was pretty certain we wouldn’t get much of anything, but with a limited window of time with Ana, I had no other choice but to go for it!

We climbed down the steps to a few flat rocks where we could set up, and a trail of more uneven, slippery moss-covered rocks that dropped off into the rough sea.  I had my reflector and did my best to hold it AND my camera.   I competed with the sun and the wind to put a little bit of light on Ana.

After a few trips up the steep stairs back to my car to find whatever I could to make it work, I settled on the tripod and remote allowing me the freedom to hold the reflector with two hands and it worked!  Enough for my liking, anyway.

As we were there a while, more daredevils came out to surf and kayak in the treacherous sea.   You can’t tell from the photos how rough it was, but I was scared for all the surfers who dared jump in to this spinning cycle of the ocean hoping to paddle over to waves that weren’t accessible any other way than to jump off a cliff.

Here are some of the shots of Ana and a few of the thrill seekers.








Please follow around the 10 on 10 circle of women, starting with the lovely Kristina Rust!   You won’t be disappointed!  This is our last 10 on 10 post for the year, so I wish you all very Happy Holidays!

P.S.   You can find me on instagram for images daily!




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Playing With Food

For this month’s 10 on 10 post I’m playing with food!

Though I already love cooking, I’ve been in the kitchen even more than usual these days.   I think because it’s fall and there’s something even more special about the aroma and the warmth it provides as it permeates the house this time of year.

Walking through the produce section at the grocery store one day last week, I passed some figs and knew I needed to cook with them.  The closest I’d ever come to eating one was the fig newtons my grandma used to give me as a kid.    So I grabbed a bunch and headed home to see what I could do.


Before I figured out a recipe, I took a few shots because I think they’re so beautiful alone and make great subjects for still life.   I love the burgundy/green colors — they remind me of the upcoming Holidays.

Then I started looking online for fig recipes.   Not that this recipe needed figs, but these pancakes looked so good with their crispy brownness, they were vegan and gluten free, so I thought I’d give them a go and have some figs on the side.   I’m not vegan, but I do try to eat gluten free whenever possible because I like the way it makes me feel.


They were delicious, and so were the figs!

Then I looked through a new cookbook of mine by world renown chef,  Yotam Ottolengi.  The book, ‘Jersusalem’ is filled with gourmet vegetarian dishes.  I hadn’t made any of his recipes yet, and noticed there was this one savory recipe that included figs–Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Fresh Fig.   I loved all the ingredients together– sweet potatoes, figs, green onions, red chile,  topped with a balsamic reduction.   This was absolutely delish!!   Both Phil and I gobbled it up the second I finished photographing it.

For this recipe, go here.   I replaced the sugar with honey and it was amazing!

Continuing with figs, this was my go-to snack for as long as my figs lasted.

A slice of toasted gluten free bread, topped with thinly sliced Machengo cheese, fresh fig slices, and sprinkled with a balsamic reduction.  To die for!

That was it for the fig portion of my cooking fest.   I am also really drawn to pomegranates so I picked up a few!


I hadn’t actually eaten a pomegranate since I was a kid so I thoroughly enjoyed munching on these yummy seeds. I didn’t even mind the work it took to get to them.

I decided to try a savory recipe so again chose one by Yotam — Aubergine with Buttermilk Sauce.

Well, I’m not a big fan of eggplant, but decided to give it a try anyway.   I figured maybe I just needed to try them prepared a different way.  I was excited to try something completely new, sprinkled with za’atar – a middle eastern spice I’ve never used, but is common in Yotam’s recipes.

Needless to say, I didn’t like this recipe, but I gave myself props for trying!  Phil ate part of it because he was super hungry, but didn’t think pomegranate seeds worked well with eggplant.  It could be that I left out buttermilk because I don’t eat much dairy.  If you want to give it a try, the recipe is here.   Sure is pretty,  eh?  Looks like Christmas to me.

So…lastly, on this particular cooking spree I made paleo brownies.   While in Australia last month, my friend Cath and I frequented a paleo cafe called Primal Pantry.  Nearly every day we’d grab one of these treats to take with us on our daily adventures.   Fortunately they had the recipe available to go.

I like that there’s no sugar, grains or dairy, yet they’re still moist and taste fantastic!!   Some of the ingredients…

And here’s the finished product!  They didn’t last long!

Paleo Brownies

If you’d like the recipes for the pancakes (gluten free and vegan), or the paleo brownies, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll be sure to post.

Please follow around the 10 on 10 circle starting with my dearest friend, the very talented, Kathleen Ries.

Enjoy the upcoming holidays!  For Thanksgiving I’ll be trying a new recipe.. paleo pumpkin pie!  What will you be making?

P.S.  My still life images are available at my Society 6 shop!





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The August Break

I have been following Susannah Conway’s blog, and decided I would take part in The August Break 2014, that she does each year.  We are given a daily prompt and given a little guidance each day, but mostly, I post an image of what the prompt means to me.

My Guilty Pleasure

This has been great for me because I’ve actually taken the time to bring some ideas to fruition– those that I swept under the rug long ago.


It’s also gotten me back on instagram where there is a beautiful community of photographers sharing their creations.




On the Table


Today is...about kissing this face as much as I possibly can!

Today is…about kissing this face as much as I possibly can!


My man works many hours and my dog is not very active these days so working at home alone forces me to really get my creative juices flowing, with no one to pose for me. It’s been an adventure and I look forward to more creating throughout the month. If you’d like to follow me on instagram, I’m here!

This is for my 10 on 10 circle of fantastic photographer friends. Please follow around the circle, starting with Laura Bastien, and see what every one else has been up to this month!

Enjoy the rest of your Summer!

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10 on 10: April – Lily in the Fields


In the search for a new location for a family photo shoot this Friday, I decided to check out this spot of trees and wild flowers, about 10 miles from my house, right off the freeway. This is the time of year that I take advantage of the short time that the wild flowers are bright and colorful before the heat of the San Diego sun dries them out.

Lily, my favorite muse, came with me and wanted some new photos too, so when we arrived and saw that we had this place all to ourselves, we were ecstatic! I had to avoid the angles with all the zooming cars coming off the freeway, but that was definitely easy enough in this expansive space.

I love working with Lily. She is so willing to sit or lie down on the raw earth,even with the possibility of bugs and bees, and she often throws in her ideas which are always in sync with what I like too. Here are some of my favorites from that day.









I enjoyed playing with different styles, and even bringing out the light, for more of a ‘senior portrait’ shot of Lily.


Please take a look at the work of those in our 10 on 10 circle starting with the images of Michelle Kirnan and follow around our talented circle of women. It seems some of the links are not working…my apologies…I’m sure they will be fixed soon!

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