In America as soon as Halloween has passed, Thanksgiving is upon people's minds. And while Thanksgiving comes and goes, signs of Christmas are everywhere. Now that Christmas has been celebrated, bits of wrapping paper and holiday trinkets will linger, Hanukah will persist for two more nights, and thoughts of the coming new year are even stronger.
The new year offers the sense of opportunity for renewal. The date marker not only the start to a new calendar where the cycle starts anew, but the commencement of a fresh period of time. An occasion for changes. I like to think every day of the year can be a day to modify your life to live to the fullest, but if a concrete break from old and new is helpful, I can embrace that (this is, after all, tradition). I, too, am cooking up a list of goals for 2012 - professionally and personally. Are you?
A year ago I had it all figured out. Or at least, I had my general schedule worked out to have me work nonstop in 2010 and to jet to South America come the start of 2011. I was to embark in a 6 month backpacking trip and spend as much time speaking Spanish and as little time speaking English as possible. Then life happened.
I am spending the bulk of January in Europe. A plane ticket and a shoot goes a long way. If anyone here reading this has ever wanted me to come shoot with you - make it happen! This is going to be my year of a bit more spontaneity.
Today I commence my journey home. After a full day of travel, I will return from the future and be in Oakland to once again experience today. Crossing the international date line make possible bizarre statements like this.
Lisa Jupiter lives in Sacramento, which conveniently enough is only a train ride away from Oakland where I will be spending a fair amount of time this winter (December through February). If anyone is traveling through the San Francisco Bay Area, I think it would be wonderful to team up with her for another shoot. (hint, hint)
Instant coffee cannot truly be considered coffee, but mixed with a bit of milk, the warm, sweet, coffee-like flavor has become a familiar experience to me while in Australia, staying with people who typically do not drink the caffeinated beverage or choose to purchase the milky flat whites from corner cafes. I am enjoying my second cup of the morning (so it may be noon - morning and afternoon is all relative) and liken my experience to that of a beverage half way between a chalky-rich hot cocoa and a real coffee.
The weather has been uncooperative here in Australia; less than the balmy to warm as I had hoped for, rain and overcast skies have been a continue part of my experience. Today I take a trip to the Snowy Mountains (which currently do not have snow) with a photographer I met at Zoefest last year, Brett. I hope the wind and cold will be to a minimum. Originally light painting and shooting with stars was part of the agenda, but between weather issues and a broken camera, the plan has changed. Two zoefests ago, Rebecca Lawrence and I shot with Brett and did some light painting, but not with stars.
Happy Thanksgiving! Australians do not celebrate Thanksgiving as people in the United States do, but Thanksgiving has always been an important holiday in my family and I find myself feeling incredibly thankful for these past years of my life.
Still on US time, I woke at 5:30 am for a shoot that had to be postponed due to weather and proceeded to cook breakfast and plop myself down on a couch with lightroom, the internet and Season 1 of Mad Men. Perhaps not the best use of my second day in Sydney, but I'm content. I feel being able to sit and enjoy simple pleasures, rather than feeling pressured to constantly tour around, is part of the nomadic lifestyle as opposed to a tourist lifestyle. Yesterday I took a ferry to Cockatoo Island and photographed the artwork and installations that are currently exhibited, as well as the permanent structures of the place.
Between a few flat whites (coffee!), a photo exploration and ferry ride, upbeat music, grilled vegetables and scotch, I've managed to stay awake and energetic until now (9:23 pm) despite the fact that it is probably obscenely late back in California where I was a day and a half ago, but now I am starting to crash.
I'm not convinced my body is thoroughly happy after being cramped on a plane for so many hours, but tomorrow's morning shoot will tell.
I smell onions and tofu cooking on the stove and have homeroasted coffee in my belly...
My previous two weeks in the bay area have been a perfect balance of relaxation, work and play. My good friend Rebecca Lawrence stayed this past week, and learned that the West coast may be pretty awesome, at least up until midnight.
Sometimes I joke about how my job is to be pretty and creative, and to withstand the cold. The weather is always unpredictable in the bay area, and Robert and I were worried about our plans to shoot outdoors during our shoot the other day. Our backup plan never came to fruition, as we braved the cold all morning (the locations were well worth a dose of chill) and shot in the guest bedroom until dinner.
Shooting topless across from a Texas police station, and being able to see stationed cop vehicles surrounding the location, makes for a slightly perilous shoot. (Take note of the cop truck directly in my line of sight)
I am slowing down with my travels as this year comes to a close, and going to be in only a few more states and locations. Of course, this is all relative as my concept of "a long time," is about a week or two in a city. :)
Booking : Texas, California, Australia
San Francisco/Sacramento/San Jose: November 2 - 13, December 14 - January 2
Australia (Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne): November 16 - December 12
I have spent the past week in Mexico with a group of art models and photographer as part of a yearly event called "zoefest." There have been an abundance of naked, beautiful girls running and the proportion of talent and art making has been equally as high, as each model here is highly creative and talented. I have enjoyed seeing my friends and making new ones, creating art and socializing, but after a week I can easily say it is time to go home.
I am a believer in using hotels as a convenient and good shooting location. All hotels offer some basic backdrops for shooting, and depending upon the hotel, can provide anywhere from a basic to a grungy to an elegant location to shoot in. There are often ample lamps around for available light shooting, or a few lights from your home or studio can transform a hotel into your own studio for the duration of the shoot.
And if a model needs a place to stay while in a city, she's usually happy to make use of the bed after the shoot.
Crisis averted. I am traveling in my usual manner - with only a modest sized suitcase. However, I appear to have neglected to bring several key clothing items I generally live in. I need to keep busy modeling so people don't realize I only have about one set of actual clothing. :)
I ended up working with two photographers from Houston when at the NIN event in Maryland - these photos are from one of them. I found myself climbing a tree and balancing on a perhaps not so stable limb (sometimes I may think I am Tarzan) and climbing onto a pile of sticks and twigs because I was drawn to the texture (and I wondered why I was a bit scratched up).
I am packing for warm weather and cold weather. Clothing to wear when not shooting and wardrobe for shoots. Lacy, pretty clothes and shiny, clunky heels. Some things are clean and others stuffed in a bag awaiting laundry. Clothing for the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere. This is an excessive amount of stuff.
As much as I hate it, I have deemed this the time for my large suitcase. Oh how I detest the thought of dragging this massive bag around and feeling like a typical girl.