Embed code:

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Letters From Alcatraz ~ Book Cover

Letters From Alcatraz - Book Excerpt

I am excited to report that I have signed with Trafford Publishing and my first non-photography book should be released by March, 2010!
The photo that I am posting is the proposed book cover.
Y'all have been so very supportive during this process and I am so excited to leave you today with an excerpt from the book! Feel free to leave comments!
Letters From Alcatraz:
40 Years Later
Dear Tina,
I'm writing you today from my daughter's home in San Diego. I received a phone call from her day before yesterday informing me that she had kicked her husband out of the house. She was crying and I could hear my grandchildren in the background. I didn't know why she had kicked him out of the house, and she made no attempt to tell me, but I had the feeling that I should come down and try to help her through this difficult time.
Last night Isabella told me that she had caught Michael cheating on her. It wasn't just a suspicion, or a telephone number in his wallet, but she had actually caught him. She came home early from work and found Michael in her bed with another woman.
As a father I wanted to track him down and beat the living hell out of him, but as a man all I could think was "what a dumb ass...he can't even cheat right!"
Of course I told Isabella that she deserved better than that and if he couldn't be faithful then he wasn't worthy of her love. But inside, I wanted to tell her something all together different. I wanted to tell her that his cheating had nothing to do with her. I wanted to tell her that she should give him a break and realize that he was just doing what men do; acting on male instinct. We are born with an uncontrollable instinct that tells us to merge with the opposite sex.
I have often wondered if monogamy is at all natural. How could anyone be expected to find a single mate and stay with that one person for the remainder of their lives?
I realize that I go back and forth on this, but I think my stand on the issue varies depending on what I'm feeling on any given day.
It's the same old problem that I have dealt with my entire life. Loving one person, but still having the need and desire to experience pleasure with another.
I wanted to tell Isabella that the fact that he took pleasure with another woman has absolutely nothing to do with his love for her. I wanted to make her understand how a man thinks.
This was my opportunity to share with Isabella a part of myself. To help her. To give her information that most people, or more importantly, most women, don't get. I could have sat her down and explained how I have learned why I do the things I do. I could have told her about my own struggles. I could have explained to her the love that I have for her mother and the amazing marriage that we have had, yet I never stopped indulging my own sexual urges. Maybe that would have helped Isabella understand her own husband. But I did not.
I feel that I have done my daughter a great dis-service. I could have spoken to her as a man to a woman, but I did not. Instead, I spoke to her as a father to a daughter. I attempted to build her up by knocking Michael down. I told her he was immature and didn't understand how his actions affected the lives of others. I told her that she deserved better than a cheating husband that would allow another woman into their bed. I even went as far as to use a Dr. Phil line...I actually told her that you don't solve marital problems by going outside the marriage. As I said those words I wanted to kick my own ass! A man doesn't necessarily cheat because there are marital problem! Dr. Phil should know that!
So, in closing, I screwed up. I'm going to stay here a few more days and spend time with the kids. If I grow a set large enough to tell Isabella the truth about men I will let you know!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Because You Asked ~

People ask me all the time "Why don't you ever post pics of your husband?" In fact, I'm asked that so frequently I'm beginning to think most of you wonder if he exists or not. Truth of the matter is he doesn't exist...HAH! Just kidding!
David avoids the camera at all costs. Sometimes I will try to snap his picture when he's not paying attention, but he always catches me and makes sure I don't get a good shot. Being married to him is a nightmare for a photographer. Unless we're on vacation somewhere then he wants no part of it.
The photo that I'm posting today was shot at Orange Beach. My brother had my camera and David didn't have a problem letting him snap this.
Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm the only one that David won't let near him with a camera. I wonder what that means?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I Resolve....

It's rather funny how we get all geared up for Christmas; spending weeks shopping, wrapping, cooking, shipping and mailing out Christmas cards. Then, the moment Christmas is over we all start pondering what our New Years Resolutions will be.
Oh, there's the usual... lose weight, spend more time with the family, make more money, but have you ever wondered why we set ourselves up for failure like that? I mean, really? Do we need January 1st to be the day we decide to improve our lives? Shouldn't we be doing that every day? I am not one to make New Years Resolutions, and this may surprise some of you, but this year I am! So, what will my resolution be?
I resolve that in the year 2010 I will not only finish my first novel, but I will publish it before the year is over! Do you think I may be aiming too high? Possibly, but here's the thing: Two years ago I began working on this project (if not on paper, then at least in my head). I have managed to write the story beginning to end, but that's where I left it. When it came time to make changes I walked away from it and it's still sitting on my desk. And...what's a novel if it never leaves the comfort of my desk?
Very few people are even aware that I have been working on this project and you may be wondering why is that? I have kept quiet about this because once you put it out there it's expected that you will finish it. Ah Ha! Now this New Years Resolution thing is making sense! If I tell people about my book then perhaps they will hold me to the fire! Now I will have to finish it! The way I see it is like this: We may all have the best of intentions, but if you're the only one that knows what your intentions are, then it seems rather easy to disappoint ourselves (Hey, I never said my rationalization made sense). However, when we think we may be disappointing other people we tend to put forth our best efforts. So my dear friends, there you have it! I'm telling you what my New Years Resolution is so YOU can keep me on track!
Best wishes to all of you for a very happy 2010!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Where Have I Been?!

One would easily assume that being retired would offer one an abundance of free time! That's what I thought, but have found out that it's just not true. Even I am amazed that it has been nearly a month since I wrote in this blog! The days, weeks and months are flying by and every day seems to offer another challenge. Add in the holidays, and voila, time becomes a precious commodity.
So, where have I been? Well, since my last entry I have been to Franklin Tennessee and Tupelo Mississippi. I have spent countless days shopping, wrapping Christmas gifts, sending out Christmas cards and maintaining a household. I have no idea how I managed to get these things accomplished when I worked 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. Add in Holiday decorating, chatting with friends on Facebook, turning people into Elves (YES! Who doesn't love Photoshop?!) and shooting photographs for a photography challenge, and there you have it! Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into a month, and I realize I'm still running behind!
I am posting two photo's today. The first was shot specifically for a photo challenge and the other photo was shot during a shoot back in October. I received a request from the model asking me if I could turn her into an Elf! Why, Yes! I can!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Favorite Subjects ~

People have never been my favorite photography subject, but when it comes to my grandchildren I can't seem to put the camera down! I absolutely love capturing their little faces on any given day.

The photos that I'm posting today are of Aria, and were shot a few weeks ago. The black & white was shot 4 years ago.

Aria loves the camera and the camera loves her. I wonder if she may have a future photographer hiding somewhere inside her! She has been picking up camera's for as long as I can remember and has requested her first digital camera for Christmas; of course Grammy is more than happy to grant that wish!
Photos: Eastcreek Photography
Copyright 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Road Trip ~

I took a little road trip yesterday to Franklin Tennessee. Franklin is a little town about 25 miles south of Nashville. I had never been before, but over the years I have had several friends tell me "Oh, you just gotta go! The little shops are fantastic, the restaurants are amazing, and it's just a wonderful day trip!" Well, work and life have always gotten in the way of road trips, but yesterday I thought what the hell and went on up.
I learned a long time ago, unless you're just running down to your local grocery store, always take a camera with you! It never seems to fail; you go somewhere and don't have a camera and you're guaranteed to see something that will make you kick your own ass for not bringing one. Afterall, one never knows when a photo op will occur!
I have seen a lot of graffiti in my lifetime. I have seen graffiti walls, bridges, overpasses, train cars, buildings, road name it, I have seen it covered in graffiti. However, I have never seen a car covered in graffiti until yesterday. The detail was absolutely amazing and finding this car made me feel like a kid in a candy store!
Once again, I am simply in awe of the artistic ability of a graffiti artist! I'm just hoping that this car belongs to the artist and wasn't a late night work of expression!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Life Interrupted

Life Interrupted ~
For a week now my life has been completely and utterly interrupted. Actually, it's been worse then interrupted... it has been: Life Standing Still!
One week ago, while reading my private messages on Facebook, I made the fatal error of clicking on one that contained a virus! Within minutes my entire computer system had been hijacked; leaving me standing still.
Fear sent chills up and down my spine as I realized that my entire life was inside this box and I was denied access! Today my computer is free of any viruses, trojans, and spyware, but now I'm left with an uneasy feeling. What did the hackers gain from this? And, what kind of damage can be done? Was I able to avoid long term destruction? And, how long will it take before I know if any damage was done?
Computers are part of our lives, there's no doubt about that, but I wonder if the instant gratification is worth the risk?
Photo: Eastcreek Photography
Copyright 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Concentration ~
Eastcreek Photography
Copyright 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Soup for the Soul?

It seems that everyone has something that makes them feel better when they're sick. For some people it's their favorite blanket. For others it may be mom's soup, music playing, or watching old movies while they slip in and out of sleep.
I haven't been feeling very well today and nothing seems to be making me feel better. That started me thinking...what makes me feel better? I realized that for me, it's not something that I can touch, but rather a state of mind. It's the warm feeling of home. Having been born and raised in Chicago you would wonder why the feeling of home for me would be in the country, but it is! There's something comforting about the smell of country air, the warmth of a fire, the feel of old wood, and the sounds that are unique to the south. I was born in the city, but I'm proud to say my home's in Alabama. Alabama is where my parents and their parents before them were born and raised. It's where I was conceived. And it's where I call home.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Women Like Football Too!

Photo's: Eastcreek Photography
Copyright 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Different Angles ~

An old friend of mine, back from high school, has recently discovered a renewed interest in photography. His interest led him to take a photography class last night and today he was telling me all about it. Basically, the instructor explained the functions of the camera. However, he did mention that the instructor discussed shooting objects at different angles. "Hallelujah" I thought!
I see this time and time again. People go out and shoot something, but it never occurs to them to shoot it at a different angle. Lets face it, anyone can point and shoot. How many times do you see the same object shot in the exact same way? Sometimes you just have to put yourself in awkward situations to make an ordinary photograph interesting.
So, next time you pick up your camera and find yourself pointing and shooting, think about how you can make that ordinary picture extraordinary!
Photo: Eastcreek Photography
Copyright 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Now you see it...Now you don't

Ignore the quality of these images. They were shot shortly after my arrival a couple of weeks ago at the Birmingham Museum of Art. I was contemplating the lighting situation and fired off a couple shots just to see what I would need to adjust. I shot two frames, back to back, took a quick look at them on the screen and made my adjustments. During that time I never saw a person in the frame. Nor did I see a person afterwards. However, this morning, as I started viewing the pics, I was stunned to see a male figure walking directly toward me. Where did he come from? It's amazing how in the blink of an eye, or the click of the shutter, your entire image can change and it's not until later do you realize how much we don't see at any given moment in time.
I still don't understand how this figure appeared. I'm not talking minutes between shots...I'm talking perhaps a second. It appears as though he walked straight out of the waterfall behind him. I'm usually pretty good at surveying my surroundings and taking notice of what may or may not appear in any given shot, but I missed this one big time!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Texture ~

Texture lends a dimensional quality to photo's. Often times you find yourself drawn to a particular photograph and unable to put your finger on what or why you're drawn to it. It may be the crispness of a fallen leaf, the crashing of the waves, the roughness of bark, or the softness of an individuals skin. Whatever it is, texture plays an important role in photography. The mere idea that there's something in a photograph that makes you want to reach out and touch it, or brings to mind a specific memory, is what the photographer is aiming for.
Photo's: Eastcreek Photography

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Photoshop the hell out of it!

Have you ever gone out, taken great photo's, and then realize everyone else is getting better results? How is this possible?!

Let me fill you in... They're photoshopping the hell out of it!

Here's the truth of the matter...All photographers photoshop pictures; especially portraits. In fact, it's now even accepted in major photo competitions; including Nikon's worldwide competition.

Okay, so you may think this is "cheating" but in the world of digital photography there's no escaping it. No one looks the way you think they do. It doesn't matter what your personal opinion is regarding "fixing" photo's, it's expected! Everyone wants to look their best, and we as consumers expect everyone to look their best! So, we not only use photoshop, but we are expected to use photoshop.

Certain photographers are sought after because they have a reputation of taking amazing photo's. In reality, when it comes to portraits, the photographer isn't actually taking amazing photo's, but they're amazing at editing!

Whether you agree or disagree with the tricks of the trade doesn't matter. What matters is whether or not the client is happy. So, next time you look at a photograph and wonder how that photographer got so good ask yourself if what you're seeing is really what the photographer shot!
Photo's: Eastcreek Photography

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Danger in the Park ~

Shortly after arriving at Vulcan Park on Sunday I noticed a small child, perhaps 5 years old, standing with his father. I wandered around a bit, trying to decide the best place to start shooting, and just a couple feet from where this little boy was standing I found someones leftovers.
I absolutely couldn't believe what I was seeing and my mind began to race. What if that child picked up that needle? It was lying on the ground and children will pick up anything! Or...what if that child had reached up on the ledge? He was too small to see what was waiting on top of it!
It's common knowledge that IV drug users are at a higher risk of contracting the HIV virus, and how do they get that virus? By sharing needles! This small child, or any other child in the park that day, could have easily been stuck by any of the needles lying around. I will never understand why a drug addict would choose to use in a public park, let alone just leave their deadly weapons lying around. They may not have a desire to live their own lives, but that doesn't give them the right to potentially end the lives of others.
I found it even more interesting that an attorneys business card was also left there. Did the drug user leave the card? Or, did the attorney find the same leftovers that I found and left his own calling card? Afterall, the drug user may be a potential client! Either way, it seems to me that Mayor Langford needs to spend more time cleaning up his city and stop worrying so much about how to promote himself. Oh, nevermind...I forgot...Mayor Langford is too busy trying to keep his own ass out of prison. He's currently on trial for Fraud, Conspiracy and Money Laundering. Maybe after the trial???
Photo's: Eastcreek Photography
Copyright 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pretty in Pink ~

After many failed attempts, due to constant rainfall, I was finally presented with the opportunity to visit Birmingham, which I now refer to as the "Pink City."
As I reported in an earlier post, Mayor Larry Langford decided to paint the city pink using pink light bulb covers at a cost of $5000.00 Like many others, I wasn't convinced that this was the best way to spend 5 grand. Yes, it's wonderful to promote Breast Cancer Awareness month, but I wondered if the 5 grand couldn't be spent in a more productive manner.
The photo's that I am posting today were shot at the Birmingham Museum of Art, City Hall, and Vulcan.
I was a bit peeved when I realized that there was a charge of $6.00 per person to enter Vulcan Park. Not because I don't understand that the money they collect at the park is used for maintenance, but because this is Breast Cancer Awareness month. The Vulcan statue is standing proudly in pink and it seems to me that the money brought in this month could be donated to the search for a cure. I'm convinced that Mayor Langford's heart was in the right place, but I'm not sure anyone took the time to use this campaign as a means for making a difference. Overall, the city was spectacular lit up in pink. I just wish the city had used this as an opportunity to make a real difference.

Photo's: Eastcreek Photography
Copyright 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dreaming in Black & White

Dreams are illustrations...from the book your soul is writing about you.
~ Marsha Norman

Photo's: Eastcreek Photography
Copyright 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Too Much of Anything ~

We've all heard the old saying "Too much of anything can't be good." I must say, as I get older I'm beginning to understand just how true that is! What I've had too much of is rain! We have had more rain this year than I can remember ever having. I'm talking rain non stop for weeks on end.
I have had to postpone one shoot after another and in fact, have only been able to shoot 2 times this year on the originally scheduled dates. Today is no different. Today I was suppose to be in Birmingham shooting at the zoo, but am I there? Of course's raining!
Out of frustration, I grabbed my camera last night, went out on my front porch, and captured my nemesis. What else is a photographer to do?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Green Tea ~

Green Tea... Who knew?
While watching "The View" this morning I became interested in a segment about Breast Cancer. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month it seems that once again we're bombarded with information, and I think the majority of us don't even hear what's being said. At any rate, a Breast Cancer surgeon was being interviewed and she mentioned something that I had never heard of before, so I thought I would pass it on.
Did you know that 3 glasses (or servings) of Green Tea daily can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by 50%???
I don't know about you, but I think this is HUGE! I had never heard this before, and I consider myself pretty informed when it comes to this topic. So please pass this information on to the women in your life. They may be walking around like so many of us; aware of Breast Cancer, but unaware that simply adding 3 glasses of green tea to their daily diet can possibly save their lives! Lets not forget that 40,000 women lose their lives to breast cancer every year in the United States.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Unique Breed ~

Photographers are a unique breed, and during a telephone conversation with my husband last week I found out just how unique we are. This is how the conversation went:

David: Damn it!

Me: What???

David: There's a cow!

Me: A cow? Where are you?

David: Driving down the road!

Me: Where's the cow?

David: Walking down the middle of the road!

Me: Shoot it!

David: What???

Me: With your camera! Shoot it!

David: I'm not pulling over to take a picture of a cow! You can get a picture of a cow anytime!

Me: Not walking down the middle of the road you can't!!!

Well, David refused to get out of his warm truck to take a picture of that cow and it occurred to me just how differently a photographer sees the world. If it's unusual, interesting, or just downright funny, a photographer sees an opportunity. To anyone else, they just see a cow walking down the road.
Photo: Eastcreek Photography
Originally published in "Southern Comfort"
Copyright 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009


So Many Choices ~

A day rarely goes by that I'm not asked "What editing program do you use?" I have also noticed while browsing through photo albums on Facebook that the most frequent comment made on any given photo is "What software are you using?"

As technology has improved, the world of photography has seen amazing changes! We can now take a picture with our cell phone and upload it for the world to see instantly! And, with that technology, we now have the ability to alter, enhance, and create any image that our imagination can conjure up.

So, what program should you choose? That really depends on what you're interested in using the program for. If you just want to have fun with your children's photo's and make collages or scrapbook pages, then obviously you won't want to spend hundreds of dollars for Photoshop. There are so many photo editing programs out there, literally too many to mention, but here are a few: Picasa 3, Corel, LunaPic, FotoFlexer, and Adobe.

I would recommend figuring out exactly what your needs are, doing a little research, and then experimenting with different programs. Most editing sites will give you a 30 day free trial.

So, have fun with your photographs, and make them as individual as you are!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun ~

It's always fun to go out on a shoot! This past week I had the opportunity to work with a model originally from Alabama, but now living in Texas. We shot at four separate locations and the shoot lasted approximately six hours, but the time flew by because we were having so much fun! We endured a temperature of 86 degrees, humidity was nearly 90% and we literally were attacked by mosquito's at one location, but somehow muddled our way through the day.
Here's the thing: Too many models and too many photographers take themselves too seriously. I love photography and will just about do anything for a shot. But, if I can't have fun and enjoy what I'm doing, then I'm probably not where I need to be.
Shea was an absolute pleasure to work with and I wish her much success!
In closing, for all you photog's and models out there, lighten up! The day will pass much quicker and you might just be surprised at the end result!