Archive for June, 2009


Once she told me she was an ocean person & when she combed her fingers through the seaweed she heard the songs of the mermaids & it was easy to believe all the old stories.Story People

This is Jackie.  When Jackie was little, she used to pretend she was the Little Mermaid.  Once, her mom had to stop her from jumping off the dock to swim away with the mermaids.  And like the Little Mermaid, she also likes to sing.  I met Jackie in the dorms at University, and she was always singing, usually My Fair Lady.  Her parents had to make a rule of “No Singing At The Dinner Table.”

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Weeki Wachee is my favorite park of “Old Florida” (which includes attractions that are often overlooked by Disney-goers, like Gatorland, the glass-bottom boat rides at Silver Springs, and Leu Gardens).  Weeki Wachee’s natural springs make this attraction the most magical place of all because they contain something no mouse can beat–real mermaids!!

The park was almost closed due to waning interest, but the state saved it (yayyy!), so I’m hoping to make another trip there before I move out of the state.

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picturing time

My friend Jacqueline invited me to come shoot on her Aunt’s farm. It’s an old Civil War era farmhouse with beautiful old furniture, hardwood floors, no air conditioning, and a huge porch with six rocking chairs and a swingy bench. Pretty much amazing. And then there’s the outside–a gorgeous garden of black eyed susans and zinnias with dragonflies zooming all around; a tiny old red barn; a lake with an island in the middle (Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn style). The whole place had an air of Southern charm and mystery. There was a huge juxtaposition between Jackie’s history there and how grown up she is now, dressed up in old prom dresses that she hasn’t worn in years. It was like diving into the pages of a story book. But the stories Jackie told me were even better.

This is the bed that she and her cousins used to stay in when they visited. It’s upstairs–those really steep wooden stairs that old houses have. It’s scary enough climbing those stairs as an adult, but I can imagine the climb being even more daunting as a small child. At the top of the stairs is a small foyer, and straight ahead are two strange wall panels that look like doors, only they don’t have handles or keyholes.

“Is that a secret passage?” I ask Jackie.
“Sort of. There’s a hole back there that my cousin used to climb in.”
And so cool.

Then there’s the bedroom. A Georgian sofa sits along the right wall, and late afternoon sunshine pours in on the hardwood floors. And filling up the rest of the room is the huge bed. You can see the headboard here, but what you can’t see is the solid wood canopy above Jackie’s head. The whole thing is covered in intricate carvings–flowers and trees and Indians. It’s mysterious and amazing, but Jackie says it was terrifying to sleep in when she was a kid. What an adventure!


Before we drove over to the house, I had asked Jackie if she had any prom dresses to wear during the shoot and she said she had three, but that she stored them at her boyfriend’s house. So she called Steve up to see if he could bring them over, and he said, “Yes. I’m bringing the green one.” (: It’s his favorite! And I can tell why–Jackie looks like a Southern Belle! This was the dress she wore for Steve’s senior prom.



On the table on the patio is a sculpture of Jacqueline’s Aunt Linda, who’s house it is. Linda is an architect and is the one responsible for the amazing gardens around the house! She just redid the front, adding a stone wall and steps up to the lawn. It looks beautiful. Jackie says the house looks different every time she visits because it’s Linda’s ongoing project. We wonder what the place will look like 10 years from now!

Jacqui and Aunt Linda

So, the shoot with Jacqueline had quite a nostalgic air, and I wanted to create one shot with a much more light-hearted atmosphere.  Enter the Jackie clones!  Jackie has a very mischievous personality sometimes, so we really brought that side out of the clones (:

Drumming clones

To view more from the farmhouse shoot, including the black and white version of some of the photos here, check out the set on Flickr.

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picturing summer

I saw lightning bugs outside my window yesterday evening, which means it’s truly summer now!  So I thought I’d share a shoot I did with Heather and my friend Gabi.  Gabi was here in Tallahassee taking a mini-break from her summer-job-hunt back in Orlando, so we thought we’d take an afternoon at Dorothy Oven Park for what summer is really intended for–relaxing!  Here’s what we like about summer:

1)  Fern.  Or as Heather put it, “Oooooh, fern!”


When Heather and I were kids we used to take hikes with our family over at Devil’s Hopyard in CT.  In some places the light came softly through the forest and the fern surrounding the trail would wave in the light breeze.  It would look so soft and plush.  But when I herded Heather and Gabi over to sit in this lovely patch of fern at Dorothy Oven, we soon found out… it’s not. (:


2)  Going barefoot.  Especially on moss.  Side note–can I just mention that Gabi (on the left) has Maurice Sendak feet (like his illustrations in Dear Mili), which is super cool.


3)  Sitting and telling stories.  In my family, extra hours of daylight means sitting around longer after dinner and regaling each other with funny memories or simply catching up with each other’s lives.  Gabi just got back from a semester in London–something Heather and I did two years ago.  We loved sharing stories and finally having someone who knew all the places we were talking about!  Plus Gabi told us a great story about morphing through street lamps.  (;



4)  Cooling off at the creek (lake/river/ocean/anything but the neighborhood pool).  Cause really, you should be able to have fun without some whistle telling you it’s “adult swim” or whatever.  Heather was dying to get her shoes off and sit by the little manmade creek they have at Dorothy Oven.  (Shhh! I’m pretty sure we weren’t supposed to be sticking our feet in the landscaping!)




5)  Flowers!  You’d think they’re a Spring thing, wouldn’t you?  But when I was little, my Dad would spend all day outside working on the garden in the summer, and we’d have a huge haven of perennials and butterflies and hummingbirds (and japanese beetles, unfortunately).  He got off the gardening kick for a while when I was in high school, but now he and Mom own their own house for the first time since they first got married, and they’re doing some fierce gardening!  So, yes, flowers are for summer (:  I shot Gabi and Heather in front of these beautiful impatiens to create lovely pink bokeh.



You can check out more photos from our trip to Dorothy Oven Park over at Flickr!

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