Sunday, February 22, 2009

Designer Portraits

San Jose, California
Michelle was looking for some fun, different portraits to use for her interior design business website. We met in downtown San Jose and walked around looking for some cool backgrounds. Michelle is a woman after my own heart - she loves the urban feel of downtown. The distressed brick and old gates remind me of my hometown, Chicago.

We started out with more traditional headshot photos. Michelle is absolutely gorgeous!

Then we saw this gate.

We passed by an intriguing but rather dingy alley. I wasn't sure if Michelle wanted to take photos there - after all she was dressed up and clean. But Michelle was just as excited as I was to shoot here. We walked down the dark, dirty corridor and found this doorway.

The alley was rather narrow. Some workers were moving furniture and we tried to hustle so as to not be in their way. They were super sweet and waited for us to finish taking these photos.

Thank you Michelle for a fun session!!! If anyone is looking for an interior designer in Northern California, check out Studio K Kitchens & Design.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Closing Time

San Jose, California
I love the night. It's quiet. Peaceful. All the doors close, the lights go out, and everyone sleeps, except for those few nocturnal souls like mine.

Cities truly shine at night. Here the lights never go out completely. The doors at Original Joe's stay open past midnight. Which was good for us since that's about the time we finally got to eat.

After the doors are locked and everyone leaves with full bellies, a lone worker remains.

Fresh crisp tablecloths adorn each table, perfectly in line with the next.

For those far from home, a bed and pillow await here.

Time to go.  Back to L.A.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Walk Like an Egyptian

San Jose, California
We met the lovely Dianne and Dominik for The Day After portrait session at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. I fell in love with the museum last year, and was happy to photograph here again.

We started at the house by the pond in the peace garden.

Dianne is simply gorgeous. I couldn't help but think of Cleopatra as we walked around the grounds which were adorned with Egyptian symbols like the ankh below.

All of the windows and doorways made for endless photo possibilities.

I can't decide which doorway photo I like the best.

I shot this one facing the sun which made an unusual lens flare.

Dominik has a strong, handsome profile.

I love this moment!

Leaving the garden...

Dianne's only photo request was that we take photos in the water. San Jose is far from the ocean, so we went to this fountain instead.

Dominik on the other hand, had absolutely no desire to go in the water.

But he ended up surprising his wife and going in anyway.

And we ended up with my favorite photo from the day.

It Is Her Love that Gives Me Strength

My sister's love is on the far side.
The river is between our bodies;
The waters are mighty at flood-time,
A crocodile waits in the shallows.
I enter the water and brave the waves,
My heart is strong on the deep;
The crocodile seems like a mouse to me,
The flood as land to my feet.
It is her love that gives me strength,
It makes a water-spell for me;
I gaze at my heart's desire,
As she stands facing me!
My sister has come, my heart exults,
My arms spread out to embrace her;
My heart bounds in its place,
Like the red fish in its pond.
O night, be mine forever,
Now that my queen has come!

~ from love poems found inscribed on The Cairo Vase,
a vase from the New Kingdom Period excavated at Deir el-Medina

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Do You Know the Way To San Jose?

San Jose, California
We met Katrina and Jeremy for an engagement portrait session.

The couple first met at The Cheesecake Factory, where they both worked.

Katrina and Jeremy are super cute together.

They weren't sure of how to pose but once we started shooting they were naturals!

I love Katrina's ring!

We found this cool old door...

and a funky spiky tree!

Thank you Katrina & Jeremy for a fun shoot!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mummy Dearest

San Jose, California
We went to Egypt! Well not exactly... But we did go the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum.

We were the only ones in the gardens that mid-morning. As we walked around the pond admiring the papyrus what struck me most was the quiet. It was so serene and peaceful.

The crisp white buildings with maroon and green accents stood out against the deep blue of the sky. I would love to photograph a bride here. Or an engagement shoot.

The museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts. After seeing the mummies on the first floor, visitors go inside a tomb, if they dare.

Past the statue is the sarcophagus chamber, decorated by brightly colored murals.

The museum also exhibits many cylinder seals and other Babylonian artifacts. Among these are figures of Ishtar, the goddess of love and fertility. Ishtar went by many names. The Greeks called her Demeter as well as Aphrodite and the Romans Venus. The figure on the right was found at Uruk.

One Babylonian myth tells of Ishtar descending into the underworld in order to rescue her lover. Now that's a really long-distance relationship!

Do you ever wonder how wedding traditions started? Today some grooms carry their brides over the threshold for good-luck. Don't know if newlyweds did that back in 1,000 BCE, but they did bury small statues of Ishtar, often broken into pieces, before their doorway.

All too soon we had to leave and start our long drive back to Los Angeles.

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