Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Debrena Jackson Gandy - All the Joy You Can Stand

Debrena Jackson Gandy is a business consultant and success coach. She truly embodies what the title of her book says: All the joy you can stand
I photographed her during the Women in Small Biz Expo some weeks ago. It was fascinating to watch her speaking. There was so much beauty in expressing her mission:  " To empower others to create the life they desire and deserve."
You can hear - and see - her speaking tomorrow morning at 7am at the WBE breakfast at Washington Athletic Club.





Two amazing women: Big Hug with Bettina Carey, the founder of Women in Small Biz

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

FRIPP and FRIPP - The quality of our attention

On Saturday I attended an event with Patricia Fripp and Robert Fripp at Microsoft in Redmond. "How to be an Hero on and off the Platform, from Beginner to Mastery in Business, Performance and Life"
I nearly did not go, but thanks to my friend Jaxie Binder, the co producer of Tuning The Air, who helped organizing the day, I did. I am so glad and grateful that I did.
Patricia Fripp is a well known speaker and executive speaking coach. Energetic, funny, on the point and very present. She literally jumps in front of you with open arms, waking you up..  Her brother Robert Fripp, the legendary guitarist and founding member of King Crimson, has a different kind of presence: modest and preferring to be in the background, but extremely sharp in analyzing complex connections and bringing them down - or up - to basic (and wise) principles. With that there is a wicked sense of humor and a very generous spirit. You can see it in the twinkle in his eyes..
I met Robert Fripp for the first time in 1992 - I was still living in Berlin in Germany - when I attended my first Guitar Craft course in Texas. I did not know too much about King Crimson or Robert Fripp at that time, did not consider myself a "Fan" or having any musical ability, but suddenly I was sitting in an airplane to Austin, Texas with my newly acquired guitar, following an inner voice that this was the absolutely right thing to do and a question of life and death.
And it was the right thing. I did not become a musician - I gave up the guitar some month after that- but I got very involved in Guitar Craft projects in Germany and in America as well as in Seattle after I moved here 11 years ago. I also met my husband Frank on the first course. He was teaching the Alexander Technique for many years on these workshops in Europe, North and South America.
What does this all have to do with Photography? I believe that my experiences on these courses, many of them in a two hundred year old farmhouse in Grossderschau, a small village in former Eastern Germany, helped shape a certain sense of attention. Attention and openness for moments of sheer beauty, often connected with silence. Sometimes painful "lessons", stripping away the clutter in my head and the self perception and deception.
I believe it had an influence on my photography, on who I am in the act of photographing people. I feel I can "see" better because of that, the other person I photograph and myself. What I am aspiring to - to allow the truth and the beauty of the other person come through - became a little bit more available, by not getting into my own way all the time.
In Robert's talk on Saturday there were so many beautiful and eye opening things that hit me in the mark and that I can apply to my work as a photographer. It is still settling in in me and will be material for the next weeks to work with. The sentence that is there with me all the time like a subtle bell and sometimes like a rambling alarm clock is:
"The only thing we have in life is the quality of our attention"
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The event in Seattle is over, the next one will be in Phoenix, but there are cd's available and more information on Patricia Fripp's website.
A funny description of Guitar Craft by Patricia.
Some clips on Youtube.
Tuning The Air, a project by some Guitar Craft people in Seattle, worthwhile checking out their weekly performances.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mary

Mary gave herself the present of a photo shoot for her birthday, to celebrate herself a little bit. She looks so beautiful and there is something special about her eyes.






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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ezra at 10 (nearly 11)

With Ezra and Deborah at Sandpoint Park. It was raining a little, but that did not take away the fun. The light was beautiful and the sprinkles in the air too. I photographed Ezra before. We did a shoot when he was eight and three. It's so interesting to see a baby become a boy and then (nearly) a teenager.









This one was Ezra's idea!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Nancy Rawles, a Little Bit More

I want to tell a little bit more about my photo shoot with Nancy Rawles.

Nancy initially was not so happy to be photographed. She is not very fond of publicity. I pointed out she would do the shoot for the other women, who will be happy to learn about her in the magazine and who will be encouraged and inspired by what she is doing in her writing. It's important for other women and girls to see which wonderful creative and productive women we have in Seattle.

Nancy Rawles

Very soon into the shoot we talked about things that were close to both our hearts . Nancy showed me pictures about the creation of the sculpture "Sadie" and the story behind it. Sadie is Jim's wife from the book "My Jim", which refers to the story of Huckleberry Finn and the slave Jim, who escaped from slavery. For the book "My Jim", Nancy asked several artists to create objects and music that are part of the story. For the sculpture "Sadie" she asked a good friend to be the model for the artist. Many hours were spent to create just the right expression and body posture. You see all the attention and love that went into the sculpture and you get a very good feeling for the life and the struggles Sadie went through.

You find more about this on Nancy's site.

I just started to read Nancy's book "Crawfish Dreams". As in "My Jim", "Crawfish Dreams" is about one woman's struggle to create a life of dignity and meaning for herself and her family. Camille is 68 and has the dream of opening a restaurant. She "cooks up a plan to bring her family back together and discovers that love, sharing, and a dash of daring are the secret ingredients that can turn drams into reality." The language with a wry sense of humor and the love of how the people are described in their weaknesses and in their dreams are captivating.

Nancy Rawles is also a teacher. By listening to her stories about her work as a teacher you can hear that she does it with a lot of love for her profession and for the students. I wish I had a teacher like her. I was very touched by what she said about the importance of daydreaming and the importance of giving students some space for that in the daily duties. The daydreaming part comes often to my mind. It has kind of a bad reputation. You are so used to filling up your days with all the things of the list. You need to be productive and show results. It's often overlooked that there is another kind of productivity working in daydreaming.

I discovered a beautiful website with interviews from Seattle related authors: Booklust by Nancy Pearl.

Look for the one with Nancy. She has a beautiful voice...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Grotto by Niki de Saint Phalle

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Here are some pictures from my trip to Germany some months ago. This unassuming building is part of the Royal Herrenhaeuser Gardens, a large Baroque garden in Hannover. Once there was a castle too but it was destroyed in the Second World War, I seem to remember. The remaining gardens are very beautiful and open to the public. It was just across the street from my former art school.

I wasn't here for at least 12 years, and I remember this small building always closed. This time I went with my good friend Heide and she said "Let's see the Grotto". I had no idea what was waiting for me. I went inside and was shear overwhelmed by the colors, light and the sparkle I was surrounded with.

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The artist Niki de Saint Phalle created this piece of art you can walk into. It's magical. There was this surprise in me that it is possible to totally “follow your bliss,” no stops in going for your own sense of beauty. It makes you dance. The room around you becomes an inner one.

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It is remarkable to me that this was her last project the last project she completed herself * before she died in 2002. There is this feeling of going into another world…

. . . . . . . . . . .

And here we go again into the historical part of the garden.

It's amazing how it all works together and complements each other, the old and the new, the formal and the playful.

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* ETA: Someone left a comment pointing to this: Queen Califia's Magical Circle in Escondido, California which started after The Grotto and completed posthumously. Well worth a look

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  • Thursday, April 3, 2008

    Amalia Martino, owner of BlueShoes Media

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    I recently photographed beautiful Amalia Martino.

    Amalia is the owner of BlueShoes Media, offering publicity, marketing and business consultation for music groups.

    www.blueshoesmedia.com/blueshoesmedia/Welcome.html

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  • Monday, March 10, 2008

    Cover Shot: Megan Griffiths, Film Director

    Megan Griffiths
    Writer and director Megan Griffiths.

    The Off Hours, Director and Producers From Left to Right are Off Hours Producers Mischa Jakupcak, Joy Saez, Megan Griffiths and Lacey Leavitt.

    Megan with the three women she brought together to produce The Off Hours, a new indie film starring Alicia Silverstone and Aidan Quinn.

    Ingrid did this shoot at Randy’s Restaurant, an all-night diner on Seattle's E. Marginal Way and the primary set for the film. It's often frequented by test pilots and crew from nearby Boeing Field and well worth the quick detour off I-5.

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