Monday, September 28, 2009

Shooting Shinavia

Saturday, one of my oldest friends, Shinavia, and I embarked on a photo shoot to showcase her cakes, because she may potentially need them to put together a website for wedding and specialty cakes (and other pastries). A really good friend of mine has one of the best kitchens I've seen, and he was so gracious to let us hold the shoot at his home.

I have to say, Shinavia was an awesome model! She came up with ideas, followed direction very well, and never once said she was tired of smiling, even after two hours of shooting! I think she's rather spoiled me for future shoots!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Grant Writing...Fun oh one

Tonight, I attended a class by an organization called First Class Inc., called "Become a Professional Grant Writing Consultant", that I saw on for the discounted price of about $20. The organization holds LOTS of classes, from learning about Feng Shui, the Laws of Attraction, Drawing for Beginners, Budgeting, and tonight, Grant Writing. This class was held at First Class, a row home on 1726 20th St. near Dupont Circle from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. It's a two-hour class, so I figured, what do I have to lose?

The instructor, Lynn, introduced herself and explained that she's been writing grants and proposals and teaching for 20 years all over the country, in case we were wondering if she was qualified to teach us. Then we all had to introduce know how it goes. I didn't have a pic of her because I didn't want to be all in her face with my camera, lol. She was a bit outspoken and I didn't want her to call me out!

I was starting to figure that I wouldn't learn anything new in this class, but guess what? I did! I learned a lot more than my $20 was worth, even if I thought the instructor was a tiny bit scatterbrained, lol. I would actually take another class through First Class too--they have something for everyone between about $39 to $99, including:

Start a Personal Shopper or Errand Business
Secrets of the Caterer
Creating a Successful Business Plan
Start Your Own Gift Basket Business
Break Free From Your Food Cravings (wasn't expecting that one, were you?)
Crochet 101
Chocolate Tasting with a Professional Chocolatier (seriously)
Speed Spanish
Write Your Life Story
How to Market Your Homemade Baked Goods (Sue!!)
Create Your Own Handcrafted Soap
and even...Secrets of Better Photography!

There are many more classes in addition to these and I can't wait to take the next one, this one was so easy! Now, who wants to take a class? :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shooting Teddy

Great shot! :-/

Man, it is HARD trying to practice shooting with new equipment alone. I had to use a teddy bear half of the time, or just my remote. Grrrrrrr.

See poor Teddy, cast off in the corner once I've focused on him and then moved into the shot?

Bowie-Crofton Camera Club

A fellow member of the photography ministry at my church told me about the Bowie-Crofton Camera Club, which holds meetings every Monday in Bowie at 7:30 pm, and the first meeting of the year was coming up. I wish my friends and I (wink, wink) would start our own camera club but until that happens, I'll try this one. So last night, I went to their first annual meeting.

The meetings are held at All Saints Lutheran Church in Bowie, MD (at the corner of Mount Oak Rd. and 301), a nice, modest-sized church. As soon as I walked into the lobby, I quickly discovered two things: that annual membership dues are $25, and the Bowie-Crofton Camera Club could easily be mistaken for the AARP (or the Senior Citizens Ministry).

This is the only picture I could sneak, with my camera phone (I was a visitor after all, didn't want to stick out by taking pictures!) and it is a good representation of the 50+ people who showed up to the meeting.

After I got over the geriatrics of the membership, the meeting got on its way, with the current club secretary welcoming everyone back for a new year, introducing new members and visitors (where I had to say my name and tell how I heard about the club), and giving out awards from the previous seasons photos and slides, via plaques and pins. This club has a lot of field trips, and there is one coming up on Saturday at the Bowie Skateboard Park near Allen Pond, after which, everyone is eating at DuClaw and then possibly going to shoot a re-enactment scene of the Revolutionary War at Newton Mansion. Some people might think that's boring, but I think it's Interesting. I'm actually wondering why more younger people aren't in this club.

Then, the night's featured guest speaker was up to present that night's topic: Fine Art Nudes and Landscapes. At first, I thought this guy was going to exhibit some fine art nudes (which I thought was funny in a church, but ok, it's art, right?) and landscapes, but no, his work consisted of fine art nudes within landscape shots. Some of his work was very artistic, but others were naked-chick-on-a-tree-stump style. Imagine a scene like this, with a naked model, blending in, somewhere (sometimes you had to look for them).

If you weren't sure, the male members made it clear they were intrigued. For instance, there was an exhibit of one nude model shot showing five still dance poses, and the sequence was called "Dancing Alone". The photographer, Bert Pasquale, even captioned this particular work with a poetic anecdote on the bottom border of the photo, referencing the woman's lost lover, and how "in the end, she'll be dancing alone." The silence was quickly broken by one of the oldest and most outspoken member in the front row, exclaiming, "With a body like that, she won't be alone for long!" illiciting laughs from everyone. Geesh. They're a fun bunch though. Old people say whatever comes to mind, whether it's funny or not. They've gotten over nobody laughing years ago.

Oh!! One of the great things about this club is that much of it is about competition, and they compete against at least 20 other clubs, some of them international. Next week's meeting is all about competition and new rules...and I just might be there.

UPDATE: Find Bert Pasquale's photos here:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Beach Pleasure

My cousin Sean turned 26 this weekend, and his wife, Geneva, surprised him by renting a house in Virginia Beach! Just as he was starting to think that she forgot about his birthday, SURPRISE!

The beach house she rented was called Beach Pleasure and it was way cool...

The beach was really close to the house too

This dragonfly had a little bit too much fun

A beach wedding!

Inside, my cousins, aunts, uncles, and Sean and Geneva's friends were having a really good time...

Then I heard some story about Yolanda face-planting in the grass one night after drinks...and my Aunt Tracy decides to re-enact that maneuver...

This was a celebration of Sean's 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th AND 26th birthdays since he was away and we couldn't celebrate his other birthdays with him.

Then, the next day (because why have a one-day party when you can have a two-day party?), we took full advantage of the house, grilling, relaxing in the hot tub, playing horseshoes, ping-pong, basketball and watching the NFL games.

Sean and Geneva's daughter, Nicole