Dandelions to Zombies – 122 Days of Summer

This summer I decided to document my life with a daily photo project which I titled 122 Days of Summer because well, that’s how many days there were.  I counted. 🙂
Here’s the link to the blog post introducing the project for those who may be curious.

122 Days of Summer

The images were sometimes what I was doing on a particular day, or something that caught my eye, or something I just felt like photographing that resonated with me…  whatever choice, I had fun and I recorded my days rather than let them fade by.  I love going back through the images.  So many memories.

Today, well yesterday by the time I post this, was day 122 and I ended my summer with taking my kids to the 8th annual SLC Zombie Walk benefiting the Utah Food Bank.  It was such a great event and we had a blast.

For those who may want to see them, here is the link to all 122 images…enjoy! 🙂

122 Days of Summer Album


122 Days of Summer


About four years ago I did a 365 day photo challenge which ended up being incredibly therapeutic and the best thing I’ve ever done for myself creatively. I’ve been wanting to try something simliar again but haven’t been able to think of a compelling enough theme.

I am in school right now doing a dual major of Musical Theatre and Theatre Education with a minor in English Education. Life gets a little . . . nutty, and I was SO looking forward to my summer break. I realized I wanted to document my summer and not just let it disappear. Voilà, my theme! 122 days of summer – 122 stories. 🙂

The image above is from Day 1.  Here is the link to the album for those who might want to glance at more. 🙂

122 Days of Summer

Much Ado about Much Ado

MuchAdoI am in the middle of finals but if I don’t blog about this movie my head will explode.  I have been so so SO excited to see Joss Whedon‘s adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing.  I adore his work just shy of the line of being creepy, add Nathan Fillion and there isn’t much more I could ask for.  I was lucky enough to see a special advanced screening of it last night (thank you Ben) and my world will never be the same.  It’s like they went inside my head and made a movie to be exactly what I aspire to.  It’s a little alarming in a way because now it’s been done, but I’m not going to think about that.  The words of course are brilliant, the acting was phenomenal, the cinematography…..angles…textures…nuance…passion…ARGH I don’t have words!  It was just pure deliciousness to the soul.  Ok, this comparison might work.  Y’know when someone makes better than sex cake and you take a bite and you’re like ummmm this doesn’t really taste that great which makes it so wrong on so many levels…well…if this movie was that cake it would sooooooo live up to it’s name and would probably be outlawed.  At least in polite company. 😉

images-1p.s.  Nathan Fillion is beyond delightful…jic you were wondering.

Thoughts on the Secret Garden

919022_637010136324558_765804957_oPhoto  by Ron Russell

I didn’t expect The Secret Garden to be a life-changing show.  I didn’t even expect to like it all that much.  I’ve done it before and friends can attest that to me it was always the only show I’ve ever done where I was actually bored while doing it.  I auditioned for a few vague reasons.  I’d heard the director, Jim Christian, was brilliant (and he is).  I thought it might be a good fit for my voice (and it is).  I thought it might be the last chance for me to do a show for a loooooong time if ever (don’t want to think about that).  I never expected it to be one of the best theatrical experiences of my career.

Why one of the best?  A multitude of reasons, starting with the people.  I’ve never worked with a cast, crew, and production team with this level of professionalism. I’m spoiled forever!  Everyone works so hard and is so positive.  Our time was respected and we were able to get an amazing amount done in such a small time that I was shocked. I remember being panicked that we only had six weeks but that is all we needed.  I’ve also watched as people have genuinely shown concern and love for each other.  There were a few instances when help was needed and people rushed in to take care of each other.

It’s also a beautiful story with beautiful music.  Love, forgiveness, redemption.  It is an honor to be a part of bringing this story to an audience.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that I really really really LOVE my costume!!

I’ve started trying to find a lesson learned with the shows that I am doing.  For this show the lesson has been that not only will everything work out the way it is supposed to but that I am exactly where I am meant to be.  I was uber stressed this week with school starting.  I didn’t realize that summer blocks were a regular terms in half the time and I couldn’t see a possible way of doing all that I was asked to do.  I was completely panicked and stressed and miserable.  I thought about asking my counter to do the rest of my shows.  Before we go onstage the cast says a prayer in the Green Room asking for help to touch the hearts and uplift those in the audience who are in need.  Wednesday night I needed it.  As my heart was uplifted and I was comforted I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was where I needed to be and on the path I was meant for.  If there was ever any doubt in my mind about the path I’ve chosen to study it’s gone now.  To be able to share even an eighth of the comfort, inspiration, and uplift that I receive through theatre (music etc.) with either audience or students is a life worth living.

It’s a Mac Mac World

photoIt’s been a week and a day since I took my last step of abandoning the Android/PC Universe and stepping squarely into the world of Apple.  Within the last year I have switched to an iPhone, iPad mini, and now my new MacBook Pro.  I kinda love it.  Of course I will love it even more when I have figured the darn thing out, though to be fair most of my head-banging frustration has been about software {curse you new crop tool in Photoshop CS6!!!}.

It’s interesting how different EVERYTHING seems to be on my Mac.  I spend a lot of time staring at it blankly trying to figure out where things are.  Oddly enough my biggest stress has been figuring out my email.  I may be horrid at social media but I am VERY good about checking my email and I have a “system“.  Needless-to-say  I have been kinda bad about switching all the way over and I keep checking my email on my old PC.  No more!  I just spent an hour this morning organizing mail into folders {didn’t know you could do that} and deleting about a year’s worth of old messages that popped up when I made the switch.  I’m very proud of myself.  On a sidenote I did get all my info and music transferred over all by myself so I’m not completely hopeless.

I figure the best way to make a change is to just throw yourself in so I am trying to make myself switch completely over right now.  I wrote my first journal entry on Sunday and other than spending about ten minutes looking for the right justification tab I did great.  I designed an album page in photoshop and the new crop tool defeated me for about an hour but I eventually prevailed {yeah, I’m ordering a Kelby book to help me with Photoshop as soon as I finish this post}, and today I am blogging.  There was a few minutes of panic when I realized I didn’t know how to find my own blog without my old bookmarks but I found it.  Thank you google.

My favorites parts about my Mac….It’s so darn pretty!  Clean, and sleek, and streamlined.  It’s perfect for a minimalist like me.  Also, when I plugged my Wacom in, it worked!  I didn’t have to worry about installing the driver software that I’ve misplaced, it just worked.  It’s blindingly fast and the retina display is gorgeous.  Also, it glows.  The keys and the cute little apple in the back.  Silly perhaps but that’s just a little sparkly confetti sprinkled on top of the delicious cupcake of life.

Now, I’m off to order more software and edit a wedding.  Life is good!

Not Really About a Temple Pic

 DraperTemple05This post isn’t really about these images of the Draper UT LDS Temple.  Well, it is and it isn’t.  You see, last summer I had something hideous happen.  The kind of thing that you hope will never EVER happen to you.  But it did and I had to deal with it.  So on August 22, 2012 I bought a new camera, a Nikon D800 to be precise.  Now don’t get me wrong, I wanted this camera anyway, I just wanted it on my terms.  I have dreams that are grandiose to say the least and so I chose to view this whole situation as the Universe giving me a push out of my possible complacency.  More like a catapult, but hey it did the trick.

Moving forward a couple of days to the 24th of August.  I decide to have a positive attitude, make the best of things, and take Leap of Faith {that’s what I named my camera}  out for a spin.  I spent an hour or so outside of the Draper Temple as close to dusk as I could manage, though sadly the skies wouldn’t blue that night…there may have been fires, can’t remember.  Anyway, I get my images home, download them, pull up my Hulu queue for a happy editing session…and find that my Photoshop won’t open the RAW files.

I’ll save you the boring details, suffice it to say that it is now February 8, 2013 and I finally got those darn Draper Temple RAW files from August 24, 2012 opened, edited, uploaded and now blogged.  5 1/2 months.  Good times.  It’s interesting for those few among us who see life as a movie to note that on film I would have played this a whole lot differently.  Hopefully in a few years I can zip through the years right now with a montage set to a snappy musical beat.  The truth is, life isn’t fast or easy.  Things don’t just fall into place.  We work our tails off and take one small step at a time.  But that’s okay.  You just can’t get discouraged.  So here I am, with my snazzy new camera that takes video and a new updated version of photoshop that I’m not really bothering to learn because I’m switching to yet another version as soon as I get my new Mac this week…but that’s a story for another blog post.  In the meantime, I think I’ll see what’s in my Hulu queue and finish my Grand Canyon pics from last summer.  I can take my next step forward on Tuesday.

Happy dreaming.


Sundance 2013 Wrap Up – Top 13

I have been wracking my brain about how I would wrap up my Sundance 2013 experience and I finally thought of just posting my favorite ten images from the festival and adding a little explanation to go along with them.  Of course I got stuck narrowing it past 13 then I thought well, 13 is my favorite number, it’s Sundance two-thousand 13 and voilà, 13 it is, problem solved.  So here we go starting with 13.

01_19_2013 Inequality20

Number 13 January 19, 2013 Inequality for All Q&A.  Listening to the Q&A made me want to see this film!  The gentleman holding the mic is noted economic police expert Robert Reich and standing image right of him is director Jacob Kornbluth.  This film did win an award and I have hopes of seeing it.  Perhaps it is the world economic situation right now that makes this so poignant for me.

01_22_2013 SAwards008 Number 12 January 22, 2013 The Shorts Program Awards and Party.  This was held at the Jupiter Bowl which is a bowling alley.  They covered about four lanes with the stage and it was such a fun event.  I was all worried about where to stand and how not to get in anyone’s way but it was so fun and low-key.  I ended up sitting right in front of the stage on the floor out of sight of the instant feed cameras and cranking my ISO up so I could go handheld.  Major ab work out but oh so fun!

01_25_2013 Marc42Number 11 January 25, 2013.  This was my crazy day where I wrapped four theatres, two venues, three events, the festival insider pro volunteers and the transportation hub then stayed up all night editing (except 4-5:30 am when I tried to nap) and got my images in on time to my editor at 9:30 am the next morning. Boo-yah!  Awesome, awesome day.  Loved it!  Anyway, on my shot list was volunteers having fun doing their jobs and the volunteers at the MARC theatre were hysterically fun!

01_25_2013 Misc06Number 10 January 25, 2013.  Another image from the awesome day.  I forgot to add ambiance shots to that list.  We were always to be on the lookout for ambiance shots and I count this as one though I guess the real story is that these are darling friends of mine who came to visit and walked up and down Main Street with me for an hour or so.  I was so grateful to all of my wonderful friends who took the time to message/text/call/facebook me while I was at the festival.  It was a brilliant experience but I did have some lonely and tired moments and it made a world of difference to be sent a kind thought.  Thank you friends!!

01_25_2013 Trans06Number 9 January 25, 2013.  Yet another from that day!  I needed images of the transportation system.  People using the ap, looking at the map, talking to the transportation liaisons, and having fun riding the shuttles.  These ladies were only too happy to oblige and I had so much fun talking to them as we shared a shuttle for awhile.  I may never see them again in this life but they brightened my day and we laughed together.  That’s one of my favorite things about Sundance.

01_17_2013 DayOne35Number 8 January 17, 2013 Day One Party at Legacy Lodge.  I believe this was my second official event and it was a blast.  Crazy, crazy packed.  This event is where I ended up ducking through the service doors and getting lost in the kitchens and having to have the awesome workers back there help me get out.  I was trying to get from one area to another and that was the only way I could think of, it made me laugh.

01_23_2013 VolParty81Number 7 January 23, 2013 Volunteer/Staff party at Music Café.  Every year they have a volunteer appreciation day and put on a party to say thank you to the volunteers and staff.  I believe this year there were 1830 Volunteers, then add the staff.  I know (from Film Church) that Kenneth Cole had 2500 jackets made.  The party was fun and my favorite part of this image is that you can see one of our Drivers, Dooley, front and center (he has the red creds around his neck and my logo is half on him).  He is the nicest guy!

01_28_2013 BofF053Number 6 January 28, 2013 Best of Fest Screening at Rose Wagner in Salt Lake City.  This was my last festival gig and when I went home and took my credentials off for the last time it was a sad sad moment (I so loved my credentials).  This night was extra special because my best friend Josh Allen, who was the one who got me involved with Sundance in the first place ,just happened to be there.  I got to see him first and last days of Sundance 2013, perfection!

01_17_2013 Artist_Table14Number 5 January 17, 2013  An Artist at the Table event at New Frontier.  My first official Sundance 2013 event and at New Frontier where all the art exhibits are, what could be nicer?  This event was a kind of kick-off event for the festival and I was told that it is their biggest fundraiser of the entire year.  There were lots of importants there and festival director John Cooper did a kick-off toast.  I like the colors in this image.  I was joining in and being “artistic”.  Fun, fun, fun!

01_17_2013 Artist_Table30Number 4 January 17, 2013 Another image from the Artist at the Table event at New Frontier.  Our shot list asked us to capture each exhibit and I was struggling with this one because it was very dark and it’s a film projected on a dome.  You go in, lay down on the comfy’s and watch the film above and around you.  I needed to capture not just the film but the people watching the film.  I’m smashed against the entrance with my tripod (so dark) trying to stay out of the way and to find something to focus on {it was all black at first with what looked like shooting stars}.  A nice lady came up and started talking to me and I kind of told her what I was doing and how I was struggling to focus and she said that there would be a really neat part coming up with seals and that it would be a lot brighter.  Sure enough, I got a bunch of images that I really loved and this was one of my favorites.  A little later she asked if I got what I needed and I thanked her profusely for her help.  It was only at a later event that I realized I had been speaking with the artist.  Sundance is awesome!

01_20_2013 Signage63Number 3 January 20, 2013  This was my epic day of capturing every single sign on main street for the Sundance marketing/signage department.  My official with me was so nice and patient and let me do “pretty” shots as well as basic.  I figure if I’m going to take pics of signs I still want them to look artistic.  This is the Music Café venue which is, of course, one of my favorites.  I was able to photograph three different performers there during the festival.  See the red and black cubes in front of the stage?  Those are chairs and they’re squishy.  Big squishy cubey chairs.  Still fascinated by those.

01_22_2013 Ambiance01Number 2 January 22, 2013  I am SUCH a sucker for street performers.  They add so much flavor and color to well…anything.  I love that there were many at Sundance.  I also really love the lighting in this one.  Perfect afternoon/early evening light, my favorite.  Image left you see Michael, an Insider Pro volunteer so I got Insider Pro AND ambience! 😉

01_19_2013 MainStreet20aaaaaaaaand Number 1 January 19, 2013 Opening Weekend Main Street night ambiance.  So many things to make me love this image.  Opening weekend Main Street is crazy nuts and so much fun.  I’m up on the balcony by (I believe) Wah So so I can get a shot of the people and the cars and the lights.  I’m on tripod and dragging my shutter to blur the lights of the cars to try to convey the feeling of excitement and energy and motion that was going on at the time.  It was also a fun night because I ran into my brother Ben, who was there for press (Deseret News).  I got my pay-it-forward gloves from a kind stranger (have I mentioned I love Sundance) and it was actually my 17 year wedding anniversary.  Ironically we spent our honeymoon in Park City and stayed at the very place where I was given Sundance Lodging.

Well, that’s my Sundance Film Festival 2013 wrap up.  It was an amazing experience.  I made new friends, had incredible adventures and worked really really hard (my favorite part).  Here’s looking at next year!!