A Conundrum of Contradictions

The musings of one born in the wrong decade

>Photo Shoot Pointers May 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 8:28 pm

>We had a photo shoot not too long ago that made it clear to me some folks have no idea how to run a successful photo shoot. So I thought I would make a few points (some probably no-brainers) that should help all participants:

1. Show up. Flakes are not appreciated or booked for future gigs.
2. Show up dressed, made up, and ready to shoot.
3. Attitude is everything. Make sure you bring the right one (i.e. positive and helpful)
4. Roll with it. Photographers get inspiration at random moments and great things can come from it when you participate.
5. Read the model release BEFORE you sign it. It’s a binding contract; know what you agreed to, what you can and can not do. If you don’t understand, ask questions. Stick to the rules – you don’t want to be sued for copyright infringement.

1. Get the model release signed and dated. It covers you like a good wing man.
2. Be flexible. On our last shoot, the location was unexpectedly taken and we had to come up with something else on the fly. Plan B’s are a good idea unless you think fast on your feet.
3. Use your shutter release finger, not your mouth. More photos, less chatter. The people using our location took about 4 shots in 30 minutes because they wouldn’t shut up. This is not effective in any way.
4. Keep the model busy and engaged. You don’t want them wandering off, making phone calls to gab with girlfriends, or losing interest in the shoot.
5. Be fast. Dragging out a shoot is not necessary or appreciated. If you can get everything you need in an hour – great. The model will love you and want to work again because it’s not an all-day affair.
6. Produce your vision. This is the hardest step for most: getting what’s in your head in the finished shot.
7. Don’t promise what you can’t produce. Enough said.
8. Equipment malfunctions happen. Be prepared, work with what you have, and make the best of it. Don’t complain or get negative – it’s bad for the shoot.
9. Deliver the finished shots in a timely manner.
10. Remember: reputation is everything. Be professional at all times. Don’t touch, ask personal questions, direct the model in reference to their significant other, or ask them to get naked. It makes you creepy and the stereotypical sleazy photographers. The good ones don’t appreciate it.


>Memorial Weekend May 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 9:13 pm


I’ve been advised recently that more paragraphs are necessary for “improved readability” of my blog posts. This one’s for you, Terrell.

Honey has officially been published in a magazine!! TransWorld MotoCross, April 2009 issue, second to last page features the ‘helmet for your neck’ braces and the face of the very lovely Megan O’Hare. Credits are visible if you nearly split the glue in the center.

Tomorrow night is Honey’s birthday get together. We seem to be recruiting people in staggering numbers. At lunch the count was hovering at 12, counting myself and the family of course, but I think we’re long past that. We’re having Mexican shrimp cocktail, marinated chicken, strawberry shortcake, and enough beer to sink a small vessel. If I can’t be fishing – this is the second best thing.

Mom’s new bedroom furniture came today so if any of our stray friends need a temporary place to crash the futon is now free (in a room with its own TV no less).

The rest of the gang is outside talking shop still. It’s getting a little photo techie for me and I can’t contribute, so I’m in here writing to you good people. Feel special.

For everyone who gets tomorrow off – party it up!! And I shall leave you with a quote:

“I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth.” -Steve McQueen

>Big News and Sugar May 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 8:13 pm


Howdy neighbors! The pace has finally picked up in several areas. Firstly, I’m about to be gainfully employed. I have to pass a background check, which will be cake because I’m not very interesting, and then off I go. I’m pretty excited about it even though it’s not the kind of money I’m used to. In this economy any money is better than no money. Also it’ll allow me to cultivate clients for my own interior design business, which I’m gonna take the plunge and do. The best part: the company doesn’t mind and my design clients who shop where I work will pay my commission. Ha! The second equally exciting thing is I’ve finally broken the 200 pound barrier and as of last night weigh 195. That’s in the vicinity of -35 pounds and a very big deal. So despite girl’s night with the sugary contraband, progress continues. 🙂

Speaking of girl’s night, I wanted to share a recipe I tried for this past one. I tore it out of the Ladies’ Home Journal while waiting at my mom-in-law’s eye appointment some weeks ago and finally make it. It’s called Coeur a la Crème with Raspberry Puree. Basically it means “dome of cream” in French. Ok, here’s where I encountered a number of problems; firstly, the recipe has lengthy instructions (though easy) and I didn’t want to take up the whole blog with it, secondly, my laptop doesn’t speak to my scanner, so scanning a picture of the recipe for those who are interested is also a bust, thirdly, I haven’t been able to locate the exact recipe on any website I’ve searched so far, including the Ladies Home Journal where the damn thing came from. So if you’re not into recipes stop reading here and skip to the next chunk of large text.

For Coeur/Dome
3 oz white chocolate, finely chopped (I used ½ C of chips, which is 4 oz but close enough)
1 8-oz package full-fat cream cheese, room temp (yes, it says full fat, that’s not me)
1-1/4 C heavy cream, divided
¾ C powdered sugar, sifted (I didn’t bother sifting, no issues)

For Puree
1 10-oz bag frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
3 T sugar

1. Cut two sheets of cheesecloth large enough to line the colander; the sheets should extend far enough beyond the edge of the colander so that you can cover the filling when you fold them over the top. Wet the cheesecloth and wring it out well, then place one on top of the other. Press the sheets down smoothly inside the colander, letting the excess fall over the side. Set aside.
2. In a microwavable bowl, heat the white chocolate on high for 20-second intervals, stirring well after each go, until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Combine the cream cheese, ¼ C of cream and the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer set to medium speed, beat until light and fluffy. Add the white chocolate and beat until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
4. In another medium bowl, beat the remaining cup of cream until it forms stiff peaks, and then gently fold into the cream cheese mixture with a spatula. Spoon the batter into the colander, smoothing the top with the spatula; fold the cheesecloth over to cover it completely. Place the colander on a rimmed dish. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or over night.
5. Next, prepare the raspberry puree. In a blender or food processor, combine the thawed raspberries (with their juice) and the sugar. Blend until smooth. Press the puree through a sieve into a small bowl to remove the seeds. Cover, and chill until ready to serve.
6. When you’re ready to serve, remove the colander from the refrigerator and discard and liquid that collected beneath it. Pull back the cheesecloth and invert the dessert onto a serving platter; gently pull away cheesecloth. Serve in generous dollops in shallow bowls and top with a spoonful of raspberry sauce. Serves 6-8.

Now, a few things I’d like to point out: firstly, the cream portion of this recipe is extremely sweet and I found liberal amounts of sauce helped tone it down a little (my husband who doesn’t eat raspberries and tried it plain described it as kicking his teeth in), secondly, I used a blender for the sauce because I don’t have all the cool kitchen toys and had to add water to get anything moving and the blender to stop spinning fruitlessly. We’re going to try again but substitute dark chocolate and strawberries instead. I’ll keep you posted.

You may begin reading again.
In other news, Honey has taken to beating the neighbors at darts, dominoes, and now chess. I mention this because he’s very proud of it and they’re very upset by it. He does keep things interesting.
The photography has been pretty sparse lately. I know this is dubbed as our “travel and photography” blog, but I figure it’s mine and I’ll put up whatever I feel like, thank you very much. Besides, without our usual wandering ways, the impromptu and amazing finds have definitely dropped off. Hopefully when things get situated again, my new schedule worked out, etc, etc, we’ll be back at it and there’ll be too many pictures to post. Also, Honey’s birthday is Memorial Day and I am woefully unprepared, not to mention broke. All ideas are welcome. Until next time…


>8 Days in the Wild May 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 7:11 pm

>We returned last night from 8 days of camping, fishing, getting beyond gritty, and having an overall good time. This trip wasn’t like any other. We went to our favorite place, a little wildlife reserve called Kirch; it’s not much to look at usually, but this time it was very green and the sunsets were absolutely amazing, looked like the sky was on fire and then reflected off the lake. There were more people than we’d anticipated, usually it’s rather empty, maybe two or three other campers. By Saturday there wasn’t a free space and some people were being friendly and sharing.

The trip didn’t really get going until Wednesday because we took turns having something similar to the stomach flu, first him for a day plus and me for three. That part of it was hell. Nothing like diarrhea and vomiting in the wilderness. Woo. So our buddy Darryl came up Wednesday afternoon, which was good cuz Honey was bored to tears watching me lie there miserably. They went fishing and left me to my queasiness. I stayed in bed all day Thursday too. Walking the 100 paces to the outhouse was about all the exertion I could handle. So for me, the trip really started Friday.

We made friends with the guys in the camp next to ours, Mike, Gary, and Doug (the brothers) and Mike’s son-in-law, Jake. We’ll be seeing them again, either locally or out fishing. Little rowdy (I heard something about a penis in someone’s eye) but a good group.

I’ve learned something important on this trip, a couple actually:
1) I’m not a long-term tent kind of girl. I need something that closes reliably (the zipper on the door is breaking) and that I can stand up in without hunching to get dressed. 2) That many days without a shower are far too many; it gets the hair going down the road of dreadlocks, and the chaffage is unbearable. 3) The smell of fish (after filleting them) doesn’t really come off no matter how much soap you use and washing with lemons is a temporary fix. Mike showed me around his fifth wheel and I want one. I’d need a job first of course and I’m working on that, but it was really nice. We got home without a scrap of clean clothing and took turns spending over thirty minutes in the shower becoming human again. Honey tanned so much he didn’t realize it until he tried to scrub off the ‘dirt’ and nothing happened. I joke he’s a true Mexican now, the proper shade of brown. Anyway, overall it was a good trip. We caught some fish, brought some home, managed to survive being sick and each other, and made some friends. Back to lazy cloud watching.