Michael recently wrote a book and needed a photo for the author bio. I was thrilled to help out, especially since it's about a photographer set during World War I in Colorado. It sounds right up my alley. It's called The Trench Angel, by Michael Guttierrez. It'll be out in September, so you will have to wait a little while to give it a read but it'll be fall and chilly outside and the perfect time to curl up inside with a good read.
Okay, so I never win anything. Ever. No wait, once I won $5 in the lottery. It was pretty cool and I was super excited, then went and bought a latte. This is the first time ever that I really won something. It's super cool. Especially when you think that 5,000 votes were submitted to Durham Magazine and that there are like 1,000 photographers in Durham. No, seriously, there are almost 1,000 photographers (kinda crazy). So, I am super duper excited that I got Gold because the talent here is really amazing. So, thanks Durhamites for submitting my name and for getting me in there, amongst all sorts of cool places like Nana's, Bull City Burger, Duke Gardens, A Swanky Affair (who I always say is the very best in the area) and all those other places in Durham that make Durham one of the best places to live. I'm so jump up and down happy, kinda like Tom Cruise on Oprah Winfrey's couch (but hopefully not creepy like Tom Cruise on Oprah Winfrey's couch).
On the right: Over there next to the ad for Only Burger (who makes my favorite veggie burger in town) is where it says "Rebecca Ames Photography". You'll have to squint a little to see it. Squint more. There it is. Oh, it's too small on a computer screen. Go pick up a copy at your local Barnes & Noble or Whole Foods that way you can see all the other places that are awesome.
I picked up an old Pentax K-1000 last month at an antique store for $15. It's pretty sweet and it makes me all nostalgic for the good old days when I learned how to shoot on an even older Canon AE-1 back in high school. I shot black and white back then and got to develop and print the photographs myself and it was way fun. But I never shot color and I had never sent film away to get developed and I really had no idea how it would turn out.
The first roll was exciting, but quite honestly most of the images were underexposed and muddy. I was a little disheartened. The second roll, I pushed it one stop and still overexposed. This roll came out much better. Here are just a few.
I really like how it slows me down. I love the sound of the shutter click and cocking the film to the next frame. I love having to think more about each shot, to have to plan it out. I love the excitement of the prints coming back to me, like it's Christmas.
This morning, I sat in front of my large dining room window and sipped my coffee while reading the news on my ipad. It was wonderful and one of the headlines read Heavy Fog to linger until 10am. Fog! I literally just turned my head to the left a little and I was like, Whoa! FOG! Seriously, how did I not notice that?? And of course I thought about taking my kids outside to take some early morning photos of them but they were getting ready to go to school. So then I put a shout out on Facebook looking for a muse and offering a free mini session if anyone was willing to go out within the hour (You should follow me on facebook if you don't, if only because sometimes I just need a muse). Of course no one could because it's a Wednesday morning and people have lives and jobs and all that other stuff. But I was desperate. I wanted to shoot in the romantic, other wordly fog. So after I got my kids to school I washed my hair and tried to make myself appear presentable. I didn't try hard. It wasn't near as foggy as it was at 8am....
It's been quite a year. Amazing. There were so many fantastic moments. A few very hard moments. I've gotten to explore more of North Carolina and the East Coast. I've made some friends. And I've had so many special happy moments that just thinking about them make me tear up a little. These are some random shots throughout the year. Most work related and some very personal.
Here it is. 2013.
It was so great to be there at the beginning of lives together. To see baby's come into the world. I learned so many things. New tricks. What I really like and what I don't. For one, I decided that I really love hora's. I love the faces fathers make when they get the first glimpse of their baby. I love seeing how people interact with each other.
This brings us to October. Then something awful happened. When I was a kid, we always lived very close to family. If not with extended family. When I was really small we lived my an gong (grandfather) and ah ma (grandmother), my auntie mama, uncles up in San Francisco. Then we moved back down to San Diego and we always lived within a few miles of my Auntie Peggy and Uncle Min and my two cousins, Erika and Marika. We were super close. We were always there. Uncle Min's cooking was my comfort food. Erika used to take me out with her friends to movies and always spent alot of time with me even though she was 8 years older. Then in October we lost my cousin Erika. She was one of the kindest people ever. I zipped on down to San Diego. It was wonderful because I got to see family that I haven't seen in years. I got to meet new family members that had been born. I got to get closer with my cousins than I ever had.
Erika had a traditional Chinese and Burmese funeral and her ashes were scattered in the Pacific. The Burmese monks came down from Los Angeles and the ceremony was at home. When Erika's sons put the urn in the water the pelicans flew over. These are the saddest photos I've ever taken.
(note: The gold paper boats are to give her wealth in her next life. They were burned after the ceremony.)
And then back home. I was glad to be back but I have to admit I was off for a little bit. Emotional. Everything seemed so much more important. My family especially. My babys. My time. Even the photographs I took. Everything. It was so great to get back to normalcy. It was especially to come back and photograph a baby come into this world.
Things I'm going to do this year differently. I'm going to make all my clients feel special. I'm going to try to be a bad ass at customer service. I'm going to set hours. I'm going to do more things for me. I'm getting some new hobbies (like right now, I'm trying to learn to speak mandarin. And I'm gonna get good with my bow and arrows)
It was an incredible year. I am so ever grateful that I got to photograph all these families. It is so incredibly flattering to be invited to be such an great part in so many peoples lives.
Thank you thank you thank you thank you Everyone For making it amazing.
As I was driving out to Elodie Farms I kept wondering how Liz and Eron found this place because it is out in the middle of nowhere. It turns out, of course, Google. When I arrived at the Farm, before I even made it all the way up the gravel road, I was already smitten. This place is so cute. It has such great charm. Being from Southern California, farms are still a bit of a novelty for me and I've decided that farm weddings are my favorite. I love the quaintness. The simplicity. The back to the Earth feel. In case you don't know, Elodie Farms is a goat farm and a restaurant. Liz and Eron wanted all the food to be local, and they got that here. It was delicious too. I love their priorities.
Then came the ceremony. Love! It was sweet, romantic, mom cried, gramma was there, everything was perfect. Then came the vows. "Do you Eron promise to put your dirty laundry in the hamper, instead of on the floor next to it?", "Do you Liz promise to get ready to leave a little quicker?". I loved this. It was just so personal and so funny.
On to the photos....
You can see all of the images and order prints here.
Thank you so much to Katherine Miles-Jones for second shooting.
Vendors Eron's getting ready location: Arrowhead Inn // Wedding venue: Elodie Farms // Catering: Elodie Farms //
Earlier this month, Grampa came to town and we did some touristy things and explored North Carolina. We ventured over to the American Tobacco District and walked around, because that place just screams out DURHAM! and had a couple slices over at Mellow Mushroom. YUM! Then we headed over to Mapleview Farms and had a scoop of ice cream. I got butter pecan because it's my fave.
The next morning we headed out to the Outer Banks and went to the beach (of course) and took a ferry ride to Ocracoke Island. I think this was my little girlies favorite part of the trip. Yes, my kids jumped around in the ocean, fully dressed and with rain coats on. They are crazy like that. It's been a year since they've seen the beach again, so I didn't even try to contain their excitement.
All in all, it was a great trip. Camping on the beach was great fun, even though it rained for a good portion of the trip. But it was great to see my hubbies dad again.