Friday, December 25, 2009

Play-Doh, Ball

These two words were uttered tonight.
I am beside myself.

I got the greatest gift today, my son spoke two additional words. He said; Play doh and ball when identifying these two objects.

He says on command and when he sees it the following;


and now;

play doh

I love being shown optimism and being proved wrong. he's going to talk and i'm just beside myself in tears of joy.

My god he will talk.....

The other woman, Racheal Ray.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Im part of this private photography group and we call ourselves F-11. One of the photographers (Wolff) decided to make a book with all of our work in it.

There it is. have a look through and support us.

All of the profits of the book sales would be donated to "Friends Without a Border" "Friends Without A Border" is committed to improving the health and well being of the children of Cambodia by providing quality medical care, extensive outreach and crucial medical education through Angkor Hospital for Children.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wet Plate

Currently in DC. Korean Spa tonight, shooting tomorrow, then Philly then back home... which I am equally looking forward to... but a different wet plate.

I will have to return a camera i've had for 3 years a photographer loaned to me. The Agfa 6x9. It is and has been my favorite camera for this entire time. Alas...

Mark Sink 2009 NYC. Wet Plate photography, which I have fallen in love with.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Deathproof - Lucky to Be Alive

This is long but i'm still a bit shaken up after sleeping for 4 hours in my own bed;

I started out driving to Chicago from Columbus around 9:30 am yesterday morning. Got to Chicago, fine around 2pm CST. I had a shoot for 3 hours and went outside to see it was wet snow that wasnt sticking too much so I assumed the highways were better, they were .... until I attempted to drive north to Milwaukee.

I got 40 miles north and 2 tolls later to discover near white out conditions. Now, my car is a 10 year old car with almost 200k miles on it and 2 front bald tires but i'm used to driving in rain and such... but nothing like this. It kept getting worse and worse. I recieved a phonecall then from the photographer in Green Bay (2 hours north) whom I was scheduled to shoot with the following day saying; "the storm is moving north and is going to hit us hard. If you slide off into a ditch it could be two days before you are dug out." Right then in struck me, that could very well happen. Called a friend of mine for the conditions. He went over that it said; "ice pellets/sleet/freezing rain in Chicago and blowing snow in Milwaukee. Snow totals 2-4 inches in Chicago and 8-12 in Milwaukee. Green Bay - much worse. Temps falling and a low of 4 degrees tonight with a -15 wind chill along with 25-35mph winds." He advised me to turn around because it would only be worse tomorrow and if I turned around I could avoid the worst as I drove south and east back home.

Here's where it gets scary; This is 6pm at night i turned around and headed back on I-94. I was going 35mph on the highway in the Middle to left lane (or so I thought). No one could see the lane divisions at this point so everyone was just making lanes - again this is rush hour Chicago traffic. So i'm actually in the far left lane behind an SUV and hundreds of other cars in the front. A semi truck comes down my right hands side going at least 50mph (very very dangerous) when he passes me he throws slush/ice/snow all over my car from the road and I cant see. So i immediate let off the gas and brake lightly because I know there are cars feet in front of me. When I do this (i still cant see at this point) I slide and immediately instead of going to the right or directly in front I go to the shoulder because i knew i was in the left lane. What I didnt know is that the lane is ending due to construction and that is why the left lane is braking to merge into the right lane. I hit a road cone, a closed road sign and the concrete divider. What I didnt know was that a semi truck was right behind me barreling down about 50mph. If i hadnt went to the left it would have smashed into the back of my car. My tires spin but i managed to maneuver out of it and fishtail to where my car was pointing to the highway. Waited for a break in traffic and got back on the highway. I was so shaken up but alright....

Doesnt end from there... On the way home on I 65 south it turns into rain. I hydroplane probably 20 times total on the way back but as I was in the far right hand lane I can only go 45 when I do this. Trucks are passing me throwing water from the road on my car (similar to before) so i slow down throw my hazard lights on and pull over onto what i thought was the shoulder, it was an exit ramp and an SUV was behind me and had to swerve to avoid hitting me almost hitting the exit divider to the highway. I stopped at a gas station and sat in my car and cried for a minute and then realized this could have turned out so much different. Got myself together and drove the rest of the 4 hours home.

After driving for 9.5 hours on a drive that should have taken 5.5. i'm lucky to be alive and in one piece.

be thankful you are breathing people. When you're faced with situations like this you realize we take life for granted so much.

And one more thing I learned? My car is fucking deathproof.

Last Night;


Tuesday, December 1, 2009


American Sign Language;

Learn three words today;




Just a portrait;

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Tears

is what i'm shedding right now. My son just said 1 1/2 words tonight. He pointed at my virtual facebook panda and signed and spoke "baby". He said; "b-ba-baby". After that He saw a picture of a balloon and said; "b-ba-balll". Half of a word but it still counts.

I cant believe it. He WILL talk. He's going to talk !!!!!!!

I'm pretty sure I am the happiest person in the world right now.

I took these with my webcam shortly after;

My little man is the greatest thing in my life.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lovecraft in Brooklyn

Around this time of year we gather with friends and family and are supposed to give thanks. We live in a world where it is easy to take life for granted. It's easy to think you have a rough life, or a bad day even.

You are alive and healthy. Be thankful for that.

If you have kids kiss them right now and tell them how much they mean to you. My son helps me realize everyday how wonderful of a life I have with him in it. His disability isnt a disability at all but its a part of him and we intend on letting the world know that. Besides normal is overrated.

(turn the captions on) you will cry. But sometimes it takes powerful images to make us see things we take for granted.

This is why I am behind and in front of a camera.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Space Intentionally Left Blank

Being woken up at 4am by a little blonde guy who took too long of a nap earlier in the day wasnt pleasant. He finally went back to sleep around 7 in my bed. Slept until 10. I was woken up by a text that made me smile.

Grabbed my camera and shot Aidan sleeping and waking up. I dont think i'll ever see anything more beautiful in my life. I cried.

Ordered Rodinal today. Develop next weekend. Shooting the last 9 frames Tuesday morning of a new development in my life that makes me happy... I cant wait.

I'm off to North Carolina next week... it just wont be the same without the old motivation to drive down there anymore.

Come on and raise up doesnt have the same ring to it anymore....

The real Lauren - image by me 35mm

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Intelligent Choice

An issue of the MENSA bulletin found its way to my coffee table recently and there was an article that I was told I should read.

The article was on Intelligent Choice, meaning in the year 2019 there is a real possibility there could be a choice to have a baby "the old fashioned way" or you can elect to ensure your child is not retarded or if you wish has a Mensa-level or even higher intelligence defined beyond IQ - for example social intelligence or creativity.

The article's author has a position that intelligent choice should be allowed, and funded by both private and public sectors yet carefully regulated by government.

I obviously am personally effected by this. I am withholding a firm opinion until it comes to that choice, if it does. I do have many ideas and theories however...

Speaking of Aidan, I finally scanned all of the negatives i've had sorted for 3 or 4 months now. I have to edit 20 of them and send to publishers.

Wish me luck.

Sometimes there are gems you forget you took....


2007 self portrait, I got lucky;

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Yesterday on the train ride from Portland to Seattle I met this woman who reminded me of myself when I reach her age. She was 73 but didnt look a day over 50. I was amazed. Showed me her license and everything - born in 1937. It was sort of uncanny how much we had in common. She was a psychologist for years, loves art and Europe and grew up in Ohio. She travels all over and said she wouldnt get married and had broken off 4 engagements. She said; "i'm too independent and I dont think I could ever live with anyone. Dont get me wrong sex is great and I always have a male friend for that but i'm not interested in anything else." More power to her. I have a feeling i'll be the same.

I had the most enlightening conversation recently. Mainly about art but mostly about life. Why does everyone have to do things that everyone else does? Why do we have to do certain things to achieve a certain status of something as if that's what we wanted in the first place? Perhaps i'm just thinking out loud as if we've evolved past this pack mentality we have that in order to figure yourself out you need to do what society tells you to.... I generally find unhappy people do this.

I like my friends, that 73 year old lady and wine.

candid image from a shoot in Portland. We'll call this; "October".

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Looking In View

Alice in Chains new album rocks. HARD.

I'm heading to Kalamazoo Monday afternoon then onto Chicago/Milwaukee/Minnesota for the week. I'm pretty positive I'll put 200k miles on my car before the year is up.

I hope to go camping in October in the U.P. of Michigan. Showing people the beauty of this place the way it was shown to me makes me incredibly happy.

Aidan is saying; "yuck" on a regular basis now. But typically when he does say a word he'll never say it again. So we'll see...

here he is watching his girlfriend;

and about to drink the water;

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shiny, Happy, People

I'm getting ready to head out the door to drive to North Carolina. I dont have much to say other than i'm incredibly happy in my life right now and I had one of the best days i've had in a long time yesterday.

I'll leave on that note... and perhaps take some self portraits this week....

John Green Portland Oregon

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I had a very serious conversation today with one of my best friends about myself, my son, and my family. Everyone goes through times in their existence on this earth where they dont know what they want to do with their lives. I'm at that point currently. I'm aware I cant be a model forever but I know I am an artist and a photographer. I feel like I have so much artistic talent and I care a lot about people.I suppose I just want to take my experiences and talent and do what I can to make the world a less horrible place.

The backstory in my photography is what i want to touch people and make them think and be aware. So having said that, my first step is to get involved in nonprofits and outreach groups related to things I think need awareness and my help. The first two are obviously Fragile X Syndrome and Autism. I'm going to put all my efforts in this as well as publishing a book on Aidan and his struggles and achievements. My hope is that people will relate to images and think and be well, human. I'd like to photograph a lot of these events as well and hopefully a huge goal is to photograph the Special Olympics.

This world sucks and I want to at least put a dent in the humanitarian effort. Not just to do my part but to make a difference.

Walk with us;

Thank you Lauren, for being you.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Wish Me Luck

I'm driving in this tomorrow.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

West Coast Adventure

I'm currently in Vancouver, BC. I've been on the west coast for about a week now. I arrived in Seattle last Sunday night then off to the Northwest coast of Washington for Shi Shi Beach for a couple of days. We arrived after some delays around 5:30. After hiking for an hour and finally figuring out where we were supposed to be we sat up camp about 8pm. Camping for 2 days there was amazing... except we never saw the sun, unfortunately but it was still an amazing site to see.

Then off to Portland. 3 shoots later, the Columbia River Gorge, mud, sand, dirt, frigid waterfalls, and people always gawking, along with a Guinness and some wine Portland was a success. I really love Washington and Oregon a lot, i'd venture to say they are my favorite states so far... but alas must move onto Vancouver.

A relaxing day ahead then two shoots then home to my little guy on Thursday. Ah how I miss him and his kisses.

This trip, aside from the lack of sun, has been amazing. I got to see and show the best parts of these two states and of course do what I love to do, model and photograph.

Oh and thanks Nicole for the thermos of wine at the airport. You're alright.

This is an image taken by a shitty POS in a cave overlooking tiny tidepools and a couple examples of the wonderful Point of the Arches;

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lost World

I'm currently receiving kisses from my baby love (Aidan)... i'm going to miss him. I wont see him for two weeks.

The bright side is i'm finished packing for Shi Shi Beach/Portland/Vancouver all in 11 days. I'm so excited I havent been here in nearly a year yet I havent shut up about it since then. I remember the crashing silvery waves rumble over sand and stones, interrupted only by looming sea stacks and towering bluffs fringed with sitka forests. What could be a scene from a land before time is real now, part of Olympic National Park and considered the Northwest's purest stretch of coastline. Having gained notoriety as the most gorgeous of the beaches in the US and even hemisphere... because it is.

I cant wait to see it again. then off to Portland for a few days seeing the most talked about Oregon coastline while shooting in it. Then of course what northwest trip would be complete without seeing my good friend/photographer Michael and shooting there? Ah it's all so exciting. I remember why I love the summer now.

This photo is taken by a more talented than he knows photographer, Mike, in Indianapolis just two days ago. My first visit to an Observatory which has been abandoned for many many years.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Aidan's Take on Iran and Outsmarting Mommy

I came home from New York a couple of weeks back and Aidan picked up my Time magazine I had in my purse. He opened it up to a page with Mousavi addressing the crowds of protesters. He kept pointing at him;

and then this;

and something monumental... this is when it started raining last weekend. I said; "no Aidan you cant go outside, it's raining." He went into his room and came out with an umbrella and pointed at the door. As if to say; "but I have an umbrella, now I can!" I couldnt believe it. He typically just spins the umbrella ... I had no idea he knew what it was for. So I let him, because he outsmarted me;

They're baby steps but man if they arent loud and heavy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Little Prince

In the grocery store a few days ago, with Aidan. As we were checking out he kept smiling at the cashier as she was asking his name and how old he was. He just kept pointing and making noises. I said; "his name is Aidan and he is 4." After a few compliments we were ready to go and she asked; "if you dont mind my asking, what is his disability?" I answered her and then started reflecting on the fact she noticed he had a disability. This was the first time I was faced with that, and it was hard. Very very hard...

Then Aidan smiled and kissed me and I was happy she was curious and concerned.

I had a friend tell me one of the greatest things last night, it will stick with me forever. "most of the time, I don't want kids, but when I see your pictures of aidan, I want a child so I can love them as much as you love your son."

here he is chewing his blanket. My little Mr Wonderful.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Arrived home tonight around 4ish. Took a well needed shower. After the infant wailing for 1.5 hours straight around 4am last night... and maybe 4 hours of sleep cleverly placed in the airport chairs with my packed t shirts as blankets... I kind of needed that.

I woke up at 6 am flight of French Canadians looking at their Iphones and at me. The guy to my right said; "rough night?" I said; "well my idea of a rough night isnt spending 24 hours in Newark Airport." he laughed.

I'm home, and it feels great.

My little man did something quite amazing tonight. I captured it on film and i'll show it this week.

Until then..

Dean, when he has motivation, he can be incredible.

Friday, June 26, 2009


I am currently stuck in the Newark airport due to "weather"....meaning there wasnt a storm until 5 hours after it was delayed so they can blame it on weather to avoid compensating for hotels or the flight. I'm spending the night in the Newark airport - i've never done that before. Nor have I ever had these issues with as much flying as i've done. My flight is at 8 am to DC then home... finally.

Otherwise I had a great time in New York, aside from the monsoon season they seem to be experiencing in late June... I modeled in the rain for 2 hours which was fun. I also modeled with my good friend Melanie who is one of the best art models in my opinion and a wonderful photographer. She is currently 7 months pregnant. We modeled for Constantine - who is just a beautiful person inside and out along with a very talented painter/sketch artist/photographer. I had a wonderful time with both of them. The photos are going to be unbelievable - I just know it.

Thursday my great friend James Graham and I hung out. Enter George Pitts around 6:30 pm telling us the news that Michael Jackson had died. Floored. I couldnt believe it. An American icon, innovator, and musical genius wasnt here anymore.

James shot George shooting me in his apartment. We went out to dinner afterward and they were playing Michael's songs - which was pretty damn great. Walking back to the apartment we saw a bunch of kids with a boombox on the corner dancing to his music. It was epic. George and James are great company during an iconic loss.

So here's to Newark Liberty fucking Airport and my dark little corner I found far away from people. - I always see the positive side to everything - typically.

And RIP Michael - you were a legend.

Photo by Ron Skei in Vancounver, BC about 2 weeks ago. He said I smell like flowers. :P

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Aidan Adore

I'm driving to North Carolina tomorrow... I always love this drive. I've not loved a drive as much as I do this one in a long time. I will update this in August when I make my way down the eastern seaboard and Washington/Oregon coast.

It's just theraputic and the perfect drive with enough highways to keep you psychologically and attention satisfied and the gorgeous Appalachians. NPR helps as well.

I had the most amazing weekend with my son. He let me photograph him waking up. I cant tell you what an amazing feeling that is when someone let's you photograph them. I suppose I take it for granted. Sita Mae Edwards once told me; "you let the person in to capture the real you." I didnt really understand what that meant until this morning... With his disability I have no idea how he knows what to do but he does. He said; "OM" today a million times... that means Mom....


Thursday, May 21, 2009


My fixer fucked a roll up... which wasnt anything important I was expecting but it was.... If you're a photographer/film shooter you know what that means.

San Fran and a great night;

The best thing in the world;

Two completely different images yet both incredibly happy moments. Fixer fuck up or not... I not only dig these, but I see some great things here. I'll re-fix them next weekend.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Art of Words

I'm currently in San Francisco with a friend mine from high school who I make a point to connect with on a regular basis. She's great, taking me around the city and everything else - on the only day off I have here. So far I dig this place. It isnt like the rest of California - which I loathe. It sort of has more character than any of the other cities.

My travel schedule is in full swing. Next week is the only week I am in Ohio then i'm gone for pretty much the rest of the summer with a few weeks here and there back home. I'm definitely excited.

I'm kind of sick of seeing galleries and museums unless they include nude work or some of my favorite photographers/painters. I truly believe the key to modern art is words. The majority of people are ignorant and will believe anything you tell them if you use some great wording/adjectives to describe something they dont understand.

I remember looking at Jackson Pollock's work and thinking; "alright." I watched this social experiment and they placed a splattered painting a 4 year old did beside a Jackson Pollock painting thinking they were both his. The guy doing the documentary asked; "why do you like the one on the left (gesturing to the 4 year old's painting)?" A woman said; "oh it has so much depth and soul. Like a lost hurt soul." He said; "Well that painting was done by a 4 year old. Perhaps she was so hurt because her mother told her she couldnt have cookies until after dinner."

I try to convey a story with my photography and evoke emotion and something to relate to the viewer or to make them understand something. I mean christ, there was a white paper with a black circle on it that went for insane prices because people thought it was; "interesting and moving." .....

I mean we live in the media center of the world. Tell the public something and the majority will believe it to be true. Ah what's the old Hitler quote; "How fortunate for the leaders the masses do not think." - kind of related.


I title this airport aggression.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dear Momma

I love you for the similar reasons Tupac wrote his song.

I'm packing for San Francisco tomorrow. I havent been there before. I've been all over California and the west coast but never this city. So we'll see.

I've been home all week which is stange for me so i've been doing a lot of networking and contemplating life which is what I do best - Miss Thinker.

Between conversations with one of my best friends Lauren about gangsta rap and dolphins to - philosophy...

Happy Muthaluvin Day:

My son made me a paper plate with his handprint and threw a card at me because he hoped it would make a sound. My little Mr Wonderful:

Friday, May 8, 2009


My first Chuck Palahniuk novel was GUTS - if you have a weak stomach please leave.

I appreciate great writing just as I do photography.

I could have titled this blog "HANDS" but how interesting would that have been?

Self portrait with Arista 400 - 35mm - Rodinal developer - in Canada.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nine Inch Nail

My job is my passion. Whether the conditions to model in are - 17 degrees in a blizzard, above the treeline in 50mph winds, in fresh waterfalls which feel like you are in an icecube, or when you step on a nail and push through two shoots because you dont want to let the artist down and you want to do your job...

and well, this happens;

by George Pitts - who brought racks of clothing up only to find my purist nature intriguing.... while my foot was swollen and infected.

I offered to take the bandage off - he liked it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

In the Thrall of It All

I want to document my life - i feel i've been doing well so far but I want to concentrate on it. My life is quite interesting I think, as it has very many aspects.

On that note I developed 2 rolls today of Arista 400 with Rodinal - perfect combo. I feel they say volumes:

Aidan cannot speak but....this is right after he said; "Melmo" when he stopped working and then shoved him on the ground;

This is when he fell asleep on the floor;

I walked into his room today and almost started crying when I saw everything turned upside down and the way things were positioned/stacked due to his obsessions. I grabbed his blanket and sat down on the bed and just cried.

I decided I should document it.


Monday, May 4, 2009


I had a conversation with a very intelligent and very talented photographer recently who was apparently interested in my answers to his questions.

At the end of our shoot he mentioned something that was interesting to me and makes a lot of sense. He said; "you are a purist." I thought about it and he's right. I hate labels, but this is more true than false.

I could list things from I am a real person, I like real people, emotion, music that combines those, film, i hate clothes, and most of all things at their purest form are beautiful and go on and on. But.... it is true I appreciate original things in all form.

Thanks George, you are right.

Naked is good.

Self portrait - 35 mm.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Come As You Are

The first record that meant anything to me was when I was 11 years old hearing Smells Like Teen Spirit for the first time. Soundgarden, STP, and everything else made sense then. You heard that song and thought; "yeah this is it..".

Keep in mind the first actual record I heard and remember quite vividly was (remembering my parents had a lot of records)... was Gimme Shelter on Let It Bleed from the Rolling Stones. When I was younger I pulled out the record with a song I knew and genuinely liked as a 6 year old and played it over and over again with Bob Seger and Fleetwood Mac. It was music to my ears so to speak.

I remember about 15 years ago introducing my dad to Nirvana. He liked Come As You Are because there was no "bullshit".

Indeed Dad.

I took this of him a year ago and i'm proud of it as this is how he is. He is used to his daughter with a camera - so no need to pose.

Friday, April 17, 2009

"A Different Life"

I dont have much to say tonight.... all is good now. I mean after all the worst is the fact I could be captured by a Somali pirate....

I was listening to NPR on my drive back and remembered a program I heard a few days before. A young man around his mid 20's struggling with Velo-Cardio-Facial syndrome. It's the second most common genetic disorder. It affects thousands of Americans, many of them have no idea it is cause of their learning disabilities. This young man knew a child with Fragile X Syndrome and mentioned how similar some of the symptoms are. I almost called into the show to ask how his parents tell him they dealt with it, but I didnt. His book is the title of my blog, which I intend to read.

He said something that struck me which was how his doctors told him he's never be able to do math... in high school he excelled in Algebra. His thought on this? You can do Anything you put your mind to.

Indeed. There is the program.

The first image is his version of bowling.

The second is him burping his baby after feeding 'him' a cheeseburger - this imaginary play is very crucial....

If only we could all be this happy.