Thursday, June 24, 2010

I found the Carson family in the wildflowers...

And soon you will too.

To succeed, we must fall in love...

"There is an intrinsic and basic problem in my life and career. It is a natural consequence of what I do, of who I am, and what I feel. You see, to be a photographer requires an openness and an ability to look deep into someone’s eyes, to regard them with care and affection, and to ultimately fall madly in love with them. There is some discrimination to this, but as I usually choose my subjects, for the most part, it is uncontrollable.

It begins with attraction, and ends with an intimate knowledge of their soul. It involves letting them speak to me, watching carefully, and finding their specialness.

With men, this seems not to be a problem. They quickly become like good friends and confidants. We are able to laugh together, and enjoy each other’s company, but for women (for me), this is a different matter.

I find myself pulled in, looking ever more closely, finding their strength, their delicacy, and their beauty. If they are willing to return the gaze, the game is afoot. In order to succeed, I must slowly disrobe my emotions. I must slowly unveil my feelings, and for the portrait to be successful, she must be willing to do the same. There is a far greater intimacy exposed, although not necessarily in the touch. There is a connection, an openness, an ability to reveal both of ourselves completely, with all our strengths and vulnerabilities. This is a very difficult thing to do, both for me, and for her. It is what distinguishes greatness from mediocrity. How far you are willing to emotionally travel is as important as your talent.

To succeed, we must fall in love, take the pictures, and then slowly take deep breaths, realizing who we are, and walk slowly away from the edge."

Rodney Smith, his blog The End Starts Here, May 4 2010, May I Feel, Said He

All images © Rodney Smith

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Looky looky who named the Nook-y

So while stalking Rex for a minute I came across this article. He has been credited with the naming of the Barnes and Noble eReader, the Nook! As he says, "the Kindle-killer" though he claims it has more humility than that. Congrats Rex!
To refresh memories, Rex Wilder is the talented poet that I collaborated with for the Beauty and the Books show. And I feel that words, not pictures are needed for this post. One of my favorites from our book.

Moods Descending a Staircase

Moods are infants, wary

And unwary. Lofty moods

Miniaturize worry.

Moods overdo it. All’s well

With no mood. The finest

Moods are not made

From clay but forged

From the sands of time

Into glass, and blown

All out of proportion until

They become vessels

Of brittle happiness.

The only mood I care

About is yours. Your cirrus

Mood that tips the blues

Of your eyes with

Mischief and cues

My heart’s stage manager

To silence the overture

And open your blouse.

Rex Wilder

Friday, June 18, 2010


Met him last night.
Isn't he adorable.
He reminds me of Eddie,
the hyena from Lion King.

big slobbery kiss

Free concert in the park

There is so much that Saint Louis has to offer in the summer. Really, what an amazing city! On Wednesday nights my friends and I listen to free concerts at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Sitting on a blanket munching and drinking and laughing.
This is a shot of the reflection in one of the pools. Reminds me of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Big hug

Monday, June 14, 2010


kiss kiss hug hug little kiss little hug BIG KISS

Think Like A Tree

Think Like a Tree

Soak up the sun
Affirm life's magic
Be graceful in the wind
Stand tall after a storm
Feel refreshed after it rains
Grow strong without notice
Be prepared for each season
Provide shelter to strangers
Hang tough through a cold spell
Emerge renewed at the first signs of spring
Stay deeply rooted while reaching for the sky
Be still long enough to
hear your own leaves rustling.

Karen I. Shragg

Thursday, June 10, 2010

When does one settle down?

My mom is a constant source of reflection. She helps me see the inside out and outside all the way in. With Europe quickly approaching, my sister to Afghanistan, Luna in limbo while my mom hovers between Oklahoma and Missouri, it really makes me put my relationships into perspective. How can one gypsy maintain so many deep relationships and fleeting addresses and still remain close? And how long is too long for a life like that? My grandpa asked my mother what could possibly be in Europe that makes a possible visit into a permanent mom answered,
"I don't know and
you don't know and
she doesn't know but
the fact that she must go
is certain."

BIG HUG little kiss little hug BIG KISS BIG KISS

The Trio

"Wherever you are it is your friends who make your world."
William James

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Fam is in Saint Louis

Luna in our backyard

Our dearest Luna is now two and a half.
My sister is preparing for another tour overseas.
My mom is living life, lovin livin.
Winston found himself a family that shares the love.

Luna is at the point she wants to take the pictures, tired of being in them, I suppose. Here are a couple she took. Hands free, I just provided a safety net for my camera :)

Sis-and Luna's mamma

Our mamma-Luna's Ogma
Winston-Luna's miniature schnauzer
I wish I could put long videos here...I'll figure that one out so you can see the head of curly blond hair with a personality to rival many monarchs.

BIG KISS hug kiss BIG KISS little kiss

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beauty and the Books

"Vanessa, you are constipated.
You need to rid your bowels of that book. Then everything will flow free.
You'll be all good."

-My mom, one of the wisest people I know...and most ridiculous

Last May...over a year ago now, I had a show in LA. My first big solo show. Beauty and the Books, a nude series I shot in Arundel Bookstore in Seattle. It was quite an experience. The evidence is in the form of a book, a gold-embossed, fabric-covered box containing the images from the show and the accompanying poetry of Rex Wilder. Rex is a fantastically talented poet from LA. The collaboration was put together by Phil Bevis. Phil published the book. And due to my underestimation of the books success, I didn't print enough images to currently own a book of my own. Now I'm leaving in August for Paris and I want a copy to have in hand.
Who knew that so many would buy a $500 book?

I'm flying out to Seattle mid August and just hope that when I board the plane to Europe the book will be on board and this project will be at rest.

XOXO to Kelsi, Megan and Yulia my spectacular models and Dawn Tunnell the MUA with the muchness