Baby, It’s Cold Outside
I feel extra out of sorts this holiday season. Thanksgiving came late. Hanukkah came early. And my car got smashed up. Saturday morning, as my son and I were leaving for the Santopticlaus holiday sale. A neighbor intervened when she barreled out of an icy alley and collided with the front of my car, on the driver’s side. Thankfully no one was hurt.
That was a bummer, of course, but it’s not all doom and gloom around here. We’ve got our holiday decorations up – including a real tree. Our household watched Elf together and we’re baking cookies this week. We might even have time to check out some Christmas tours at historic mansions in the area. I’ve done all my shopping already and mostly online (I try to purchase useful gifts for friends and family, if I buy anything at all) and I’m ready to start wrapping! We’ve also attended one lovely holiday party so far and a few more are penciled in. And we’ve been invited to a Winter Solstice event at our neighborhood masonic temple. I’ve always wondered what it’s like on the inside. Hopefully they’ll allow me to take a few photos.
Here’s to Safe and Happy Holidays for all!
Trick or treat, trick or treat, the bitter and the sweet
Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. This Fall has been so very busy, and so very warm, that it sort of snuck up on me. Initially in the form of unexpected doppelganger strangeness. I was out last Saturday night, wrapping up a wedding shoot, when some friends dropped by the venue…dressed as my boyfriend and I. The fake me was spot on! Down to my tattoos. Well, not all of my tattoos, but close enough.
Last year my son declared he is too old for trick or treating, but he still enjoys Halloween. So Sunday we hosted our annual pumpkin carving party and the weather was gorgeous! We were able to hang out on and contain our messes to the front porch.
Tuesday night we drove out to Skateville in the suburbs to be part of a music video shoot for our friends’ band, Kitten Forever. We were asked to either wear Halloween costumes or brightly colored clothing. Somehow I managed to skate around the rink as a giant squid without injuring myself, though my tentacles were dangling dangerously close to my wheels. The one and only time I wiped out? It was on CARPET. On my way to the drinking fountain. I’d forgotten just how heavy those old-school roller skates are but I’ve still got it! Sort of.
And lastly, Halloween itself. Once again my co-workers at Clockwork went with a couple of main themes for Halloween costumes. I joined the Orange is the New Black group while ten others opted to dress up as…one of our other co-workers. We also had some clever standalone costumes in the mix.
Last Day of Summer, First Day of Fall
I grew up in a weird in-between place. Not really a city kid, though I had strong ties to the city. We lived in an outer ring suburb that is remote and nearly rural but not quite. I’ve spent my adult life living in more urban areas. Not any major metropolis, just Minneapolis or St. Paul. But I find myself needing breaks from city life now and again. That’s why I find farms and orchards so charming. And I’ve always enjoyed pizza. So of course I adore pizza farms! A to Z Produce has a pizza night/picnic on the farm in Stockholm, WI that has been our go-to for years now. But it is a long drive and only open on Tuesday nights. We tried another elsewhere in Wisconsin that we didn’t much care for. But the latest? MUCH closer to home. Maybe a half hour drive out to Long Lake, MN. Apparently pizza night at Two Pony Gardens has been cranking away the last few years in relative obscurity. Then they received some media coverage and the quiet pizza nights are a thing of the past. The crowd jumped from 20-30 patrons on a Saturday night to 150-180. We had a lovely time but I wish we could have experienced the smaller scale version. In an attempt to control the chaos Two Pony’s Pizza Night is RSVP only and the size is limited. Since the press exposed them they’ve been full up each week. Thankfully I RSVPd for our group of five two months ago. And I’m glad I did. The transition from freeway to highway to tree lined dirt road was soothing. We parked in a field and walked up to the pizza tent to place our orders. We’d arrived early but there is only one brick oven and were told the wait for our food would be an hour and a half. Carriage rides are offered to pass the time and I’d packed some snacks to tide us over. And there is a gorgeous dahlia garden. Sadly I didn’t make it over to until dusk, hence the darker photos. Two Pony only has just one more pizza night this season but I look forward to returning next summer.
Yesterday was the first day of Fall, and a gorgeous one at. And it was also the first wedding anniversary for a lovely couple I know. They asked to meet up at Como Park for a photo shoot with them and their adorable three month old son. Once we got away from the crowds (it was busier than I’d seen it in ages) we had fun with that. I hope to post a few of those photos soon.
Tell Me More, Tell Me More
Relationships are hard work. I have firsthand experience with this. So I’m always overjoyed when friends, acquaintances and even strangers call upon me to help them document the happier moments in their relationships. The moments that have been worth fighting for. Celebrating engagements, weddings, wedding anniversaries, maternity photos, family portraits. All of it. The good stuff.
I don’t believe that couples who choose not to marry are any less real. Domestic partnerships are just as powerful as the marriages that come stamped with a governmental seal of approval. But still. It should be an option. A choice. There are benefits that come with taking that particular big step. And it has always saddened me that this choice and those benefits were not available to same sex couples. I’ve attended my share of same sex weddings but those weren’t legally recognized in my home state. Until now. (Well, starting tomorrow, August 1st, 2013.) This past Spring made me so proud of my city and my state, as we became the 12th in the nation to legalize marriage equality. And through legislation, no less! I know the civil rights fight isn’t over yet but this was a big step.
And yes, I would be THRILLED to photograph upcoming same sex weddings! Get in touch. Below are some examples of my past wedding work.
Always the Sun
Until last week I hadn’t flown with my son in over four years. We’ve been taking vacations separately instead. It’s just the two of us – all the time – we do need to give each other a break now and again. The last several years I’ve been flying to Los Angeles without him, to visit friends. And he’s been flying solo to his grandparents’ place. A little nugget I just learned? These last few summers when he’s been flying unaccompanied, the flight attendants have been giving him a free upgrade to first class! It’s probably easier to keep an eye on him there. And I sure feel better about it. One highlight of last week’s trip was a Sunday drive up the PCH and a visit to Malibu. Though I couldn’t help snickering when I thought about the sheriff from The Big Lebowski.
Earlier in the trip we’d engaged in a lot of touristy activities at a break-neck pace, some of which weren’t photographed. Our morning at the Fairfax Farmers Market. A day of walking around LACMA (where my son isn’t considered a child but rather “Next Gen”). But I did get some good snaps in and around Griffith. We planned to get to the observatory right as it opened, at noon, but arrived super early. My son noticed the signs for the LA Zoo. I am not a great fan of zoos. I could have said no and found something else to do. But we had a good chunk of time on our hands and it was RIGHT THERE. So we went in. And my son, in true pre-teen form, was as difficult as possible when I pointed my camera in his direction. Even so I like the shots.
Follow the Leader
It has been an exceptionally hot and generally dry summer, filled with activities. I’m pausing on this rare rainy day to look back at a subset of these outdoor activities. Marching band parades. One was a dry run along the West Bank, from the Mixed Blood Theatre to The Nomad World Pub. That was just a week before a bigger performance with the full band, for the 2012 Northern Spark festivities on the Stone Arch Bridge.
Saturday, June 9th, 2012 – for Northern Spark
Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 – on the West Bank
Heliotrope Nine at The Lab Theater
I’m still in happy blissed-out mode after three days of Heliotrope – an annual experimental music festival. This year marked its 9th installment. The week before a “Players Without Instruments” interview was posted with me, where I tried to namedrop Heliotrope as much as possible as it really is my favorite live music event in the Twin Cities. A gathering for and by our “oddball music community” as Zak Sally put it in this City Pages article. This year I was in attendance for the entire thing and saw (and photographed) nearly every performance. If chronological order is your thing or you are a completist you can view all the photos here:
Otherwise my favorites are posted below. I took nearly as many candids as performance shots and have divvied them up into those two groups.
Photos of People
Photos of People Playing Music
Arp of the Covenant
International Novelty Gamelan
Rana May, on the dangers of music
Unhappy Virgin Damage
Unhappy Virgin Damage
Tips For Twat
Tips For Twat
Another Walk About, After Dark
Intentionally or subconsciously…lately I’ve been shooting plenty of pairings. Often completely random – or random-ish – in compelling combinations. Friends, lovers, co-workers, but also people meeting for the first time. I’d like to do more of the latter. Another photo project to assign myself!
Are you listening, more or less?
Last week I had the pleasure of being in the presence of the legendary Genesis P-Orridge not once, but twice. Genesis (born Neil Andrew Megson) is known for pioneering industrial music with Throbbing Gristle, and later for performing with Psychic TV and Thee Majesty. In 1993 Genesis married Lady Jaye and they started their project to become Breyer P-Orridge, a single pandrogynous entity. Genesis Breyer P-Orridge continued this project after the death of Lady Jaye in 2007. Genesis was at the Walker Art Center with film maker Marie Losier for a screening of their movie The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye last Wednesday:
Pandrogyny is a very serious attempt by myself and Lady Jaye to push the boundaries of how people perceive humanity and the body in order to jump-start evolution. We came to the conclusion that this is a larval stage. The human body is not sacred. It doesn’t have to be male or female, that’s just an approximation that came out of primitive nature and we’ve got to a point where we can actually make decisions about how we evolve physically, mentally, spiritually and that’s what pandrogyny is all about.
The film and the Q&A afterward were interesting. I enjoy discussions surrounding different ways of being. Saturday night our local “Institute for the Advancement of Visual Culture” put together a private after party with a performance by Genesis with Thee Majesty. It was AMAZING. And so far beyond my expectations. One of the most memorable shows I’ve ever attended. Punctuated at the end of the performance by a super fan who grabbed the mic at the end to perform her own rendition of Throbbing Gristle’s Discipline. Naturally it turned out to be an old friend of mine.
9th Annual Fools Day Variety Show
Spring sprang and suddenly it’s April. Which means today is APRIL FOOLS DAY. A day I generally try to ignore (ever since my son learned about whoopee cushions) but this year we were invited to a backyard variety show. Billed as “a time for feeling foolish, and acting on those impulses for idiocy!” We only caught the middle part but that included an adorable duo with a guitar and an accordion, a man who sang a funny Irish song about itches in britches, several comedians, a poet, someone banging on pots and pans, and a guy performing yo-yo tricks (while wearing a Blade Runner hoodie).