Archives for category: landscape

The other day I roamed around Folsom looking for places for a photo shoot, and I mistakenly only brought my little camera with the lensbaby on it. So I couldn’t document what it would really look like, but I did manage to snap a few shots that looked kinda like paintings.

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I got to help photograph the wedding of Jason and Nichole recently, and the fashion obsessed bride had these fabulous Christian Louboutin shoes that I was pretty much in love with.

There were lots of family and friends around getting ready at the beginning of the day, and then the bride’s Mom and soon to be Mom-in-law helped lace Nichole up into her dress.

Once we got to the venue, I snuck into the reception room to get some shots of the tables,

and then the bride headed up to meet her groom for the first look.

There was this great tunnel on the golf cart path that we took advantage of,

and then the whole bridal party joined us for some group shots.

A little sister love.

Then it was time to get married.

From the ceremony to the toasts, this wedding was so touching that I found myself fighting back tears a couple of times.


Before heading to the reception, the newly married couple took some time to pose for pictures together and with family, and we got a few more of the gorgeous bride right after sunset.

Then it was time to party! First thing first, a toast from the best man, Jason’s 10-year-old son. More tears!

There was a photo booth at the wedding, which seems to be the most popular attraction at any wedding besides the bar these days.

After a delicious meal it was time for dancing. Great wedding!

Photos taken with Jacqueline Photography

A week and a half ago I was honored to have been included in Press Day at the Great Reno Balloon Race, partnered up with my friend Amy who never fails to hook me up with the most interesting of gigs.

To say that I was worried to go up in a hot air balloon was an understatement. I have what they call a fear of heights, but I call it a crippling bout of despair and horror. But I mean, come on. Who passes up this kind of opportunity?

So we arrived in Reno the night before, where we stayed in a very nice room at the Silver Legacy. Around 5:45am the next morning, we headed out to the site to get checked in and matched up with a pilot.

There was a lot of waiting around to see if the wind would die down, before any balloons could safely go up in the air. Half the sky was bright blue with white clouds, and the other half (in the direction the wind would be taking us) was filled with dark gray ominous clouds.

A couple of balloons started to go up, but our pilot decided that it was too dangerous and didn’t want to waste a trip up to just have to come right back down.

His little granddaughter Eleanor entertained us for a bit with her cuteness,

and then someone walked up and gave her a feather to play with, which she got a kick out of but the rest of us adults were very concerned about. I sure hope someone took the feather away and washed her hands immediately.

More and more balloons were going up, but they seemed to only be the ones that had corporate sponsors,

so right around the time we started to think we weren’t going to go up in a balloon and we wasted all this anxiety for nothing, Rebecca from the PR company who hooked the whole thing up, worked her magic and found us a pilot and a sponsor.

He inspected his balloon,

fired it on up,

and had two shaking girls pile into the basket while people held it down for us to have time to sign the releases.

Within seconds we were lifting up off the ground and rising very, very fast!

We got a view of Reno I never knew existed,

and it wasn’t as scary as I thought it’d be, except for the extremely loud firing off of the flames just inches from our heads.

Before we knew it, we were landing in the middle of a street in front of the amphitheater at UNR, and we were giddy with joy since we didn’t die.

Then we all teamworked it up and helped put away the balloon and basket and equipment.

I was so thankful that I was included in this event at all, but extra happy that we didn’t miss out on a balloon ride. We were worried there for a couple hours, but it all worked out, and now I can say I conquered another giant fear.

Our flight to Paris wasn’t until later that evening, so we got up early and headed up to Parc Guell, way up on the highest hill in Barcelona.

The trek to get up the hill involved lots of walking, several sets of outdoor escalators, sweating, and much complaining. Once we reached the top Becca couldn’t help herself, she had to buy a fan from a tourist vendor stand. Then some officials came up the hill and the vendors picked up all their stuff and split. I guess it’s illegal to sell stuff there, but you wouldn’t know it unless you saw that happen.

Parc Guell is this crazy labyrinth of pathways that go up and down hills, and it all leads to a park full of structures designed by Gaudi way back when,

and benches with broken ceramic tiles,

crazy looking performers in little alcoves of the trails,

and then a big platform held up by these enormous pillars,

and then you walk up the stairs and this is your view.

Downstairs, there is another trail that led to the house Gaudi actually lived in.

It’s filled with furniture he designed,

as well as light fixtures, fabrics, pretty much everything was all his.

After Parc Guell, we were exhausted. I was in a bad mood because I’d accidentally ordered two sandwiches for lunch and had to pay way more than I’d anticipated, and Becca was in a bad mood because of the heat. Our feet were also killing us, so while roaming around near the beach we stopped in and bought orthopedic sandals. Best 50 euros I could’ve spent.

We picked up our stuff and got ready to leave, and then Becca (thank god) realized that the airport we were flying out of was a different one than we arrived at. It’s a good thing she was paying attention because it took about an hour to get to the other airport on a bus, in a different direction. If I’d missed one second of Paris I would’ve been so disappointed. Good job, B!

On the bus ride there, Becca passed out immediately, and I was left to take pictures out the window. There was a storm coming in and the sky immediately developed these insane clouds. It was straight out of The Nightmare Before Christmas (which was actually kind of fitting seeing as how we were in horrendous weather, headed to the perfection that was Paris in September).

What they don’t tell you about these cheap, short flights between the countries in Europe on Ryan Air and the like, is that there’s a very strict weight restriction, and the airports are way out of the city on the outskirts of a neighboring town. So it’s a pain to get there, and then they weigh all your stuff and you have to either throw some stuff out, or not get on the plane. Becca was way over the weight limit, so I had to shove three pairs of her jeans, 2 books, and whatever else we could shove into my massive purse and bag so that she wouldn’t have to throw it out. It was a stressful experience dealing with them because their airline philosophy is that you’re getting cheap tickets, so no customer service.

We flew into another out of the way airport in Beauvais, and took another long bus ride into the city. The heater on the bus was turned up to “boiling”, and so the two most overheated girls in France were miserable and didn’t know what to do about it. I think Becca complained audibly enough to finally get the bus driver to turn it down.

Once we got to the city, we took a taxi to the apartment we were staying at. Then we had to try to figure out how to get inside, because the key was hidden somewhere in the courtyard and we had the hardest time finding it. A nice rastafarian French girl came into the courtyard and helped us with the door code, and then I figured out that we’d been looking in the wrong place the whole time. It was a moment of panic, but we eventually figured it out.

We slept like queens that night, in the privacy of our own bunkbeds without strangers all around us.

All photos taken in Spain:

The final day of the tour brought us to an ancient graveyard with really cool headstones,

and cute cows in the field next to it.

It was raining all day, so getting everyone off the bus to explore each site was a task. Let’s just say, we enjoyed a lot of things through a bus window. One thing we did get off the bus for was a “fairy circle” which was this trail we walked through where mythical fairies apparently had been fabled to exist at one time. This a great example of why I’m not a tour person.

The tour also stopped at the Jameson whiskey factory, but it was something like 20 euros to get in and to be honest, we aren’t whiskey people and these breweries and factories aren’t exactly riveting. So we hung out at the restaurant next to the factory while the rest of the people went in, and then we saw our tour guide go up to the counter and pick up an envelope of cash, basically his commission for bringing a bunch of tourists who will pay that kind of money for a 45 minute tour. I was so glad I put my money toward stickey toffee pudding instead.

Eventually, we made it back to Dublin that day. We were dropped off in Temple Bar, the area of Dublin that has cobblestone streets and tons of bars and shops. We were staying at the Temple Bar Hostel, so we were right in the middle of it all, which was convenient. We checked in, and then took advantage of our free hours of internet before going out and exploring.

Becca was feeling really sick, so she tried to get some rest while I used the computers and went out to get something to eat that night. One of the things I remember about that particular hostel was this American girl in the rec room (same room as where the computers and wifi were), who was living there while doing a semester abroad. She was sitting in one of the lounge chairs, laptop on her lap, sick as a dog blowing her nose like crazy, and talking on the phone to a friend back home for the ENTIRE TIME I WAS ON THE COMPUTER, which was probably 3-4 hours, in a WAY LOUDER than normal voice as to make sure everyone in the room could hear her business and be so impressed. The room was full of people watching TV, playing games, etc, and this girl was having the most inane conversation about her life and how she wasn’t sure she wanted to stay in Dublin, her sex life, her parents, how she’s so beyond the people they went to high school with and even her college friends at this point, a guy she wasn’t sure was worth having a relationship with back home. I mean, everything was covered, and she was the most self-absorbed, self-indulgent, ridiculous person of all time. I had to hear every second of this conversation, and so did the entire room full of people. I mean, if you’re around a bunch of people, how ’bout lower your voice a touch, and maybe don’t throw your sick tissues all over the place like you’re alone in your own house. She couldn’t have been more comfortable. Becca laughed at me because when I came back into the room I went off about this girl, and she knows how fascinated I am with extreme personalities and people who inconvenience others and don’t think twice about it. But I mean, come on. I will definitely never forget that girl.

Day two of our tour included a stop at the beach,

which we had to hike down to,

(check out the sheep!!!!)

and then we drove through lots of gorgeous countryside,

until it was time to load our bus onto a ferry to cross the River Shannon. It was our particular tour guide’s last tour ever, and as if his sarcastic wise ass sense of humor could get any worse, he really had nothing to lose so he would take every opportunity to make up lies about everything we were doing. Some of us took a while to catch on (me), so when he was talking about this ferry and how it had a glass bottom and a snack bar on board, I seriously got off the bus and was like, “so let’s go find this snack bar and look at some fish!” Becca was never so embarrassed to be my friend.

Once we crossed the river, the bus drove us up to the main attraction, which was the Cliffs of Moher, which might look familiar since they were the setting in the scene of the “Princess Bride” when they climb the Cliffs of Insanity to escape the Dread Pirate Roberts.

We were there at just the right time of day when it was close enough to sunset to watch the sun go down into the ocean while eating our giant ice cream cones they were serving at the gift shop . Truly, one of the most beautiful sites.

The night, what do you know, we went to a pub! To listen to Irish folk music! We ended up meeting a big party of Brits who were having a bachelor party and invited us to join their festivities. Lots of Irish jigs were executed that night.

We hopped on a bus to tour the Southern countryside of Ireland that day, along with two college students from Ohio, two couples who didn’t speak to anyone, and about 20 rowdy Australians and New Zealanders. The first stop was this castle, which was uninteresting inside, so we decided to take advantage of the photo-op it provided. This kind of sun is very rare in Ireland. It’s normal for August to be rainy and gloomy, which it was for the entire duration of our time there, except for an hour or two this morning:

After picking up lunch and eating it on the bus, we went down in some caverns, and at the bottom there was a natural “stage” where some musicians had held concerts for small groups because of the amazing acoustics. The tour guide asked if anyone could sing, and one woman volunteered to sing “Amazing Grace” to demonstrate. Then we headed to the famous Blarney Castle.

We hiked up to the top through the twisty ancient stairs made of stone, and this was our view:

It was so ridiculously windy at the top of the castle that I could barely hold my camera (or myself) straight,

so after being held upside down through a hole in the wall three stories up to kiss the Blarney Stone, we climbed back down and explored the beautiful grounds.

Later that night we had dinner with the Aussies and then went to a pub to see an Irish storyteller.