Sunday, March 29, 2009

Monday Memories - 3

The other day on my other blog I mention last year's Prom and the fact that we didn't do it up like most, i.e., we didn't make a lot of fanfare about it. We did, however, have something a little different cooked up. But she had to get the "group" together first. Taylor knew it would be her 2 best friends (her art teacher called them napoleon ice cream because one is a blond, the other a brunette and taylor a redhead) - that part was easy, but getting the guys was a bit of a challenge. Taylor's boyfriend asked one of his friends to go with the blond and another one ofher guy friends agreed to go with the brunette (he actually had a girlfriend who didn't want to go to the prom but she agreed to let him be in the photos to even out the numbers). Ok so all was well - 3 boys, 3 girls.
Now we had to find our location - she didn't have the traditional azaleas, flowering trees and grassy lawns in mind - she wanted rubble. My photographer friend had shot some portraits in an abandoned location downtown so T and I drove to check it out.
When he had shot there it looked like this...

and now looked like this...

That wouldn't work in high heel shoes. So, what now? She had a brilliant idea! She would use her old suitcases that she had been collecting from goodwill stores and do the photoshoot at a railroad track. "Yeah this will be cool". They could be walking the tracks, sort of like they're on a journey - destination to the next phase in their lives. We searched and search and found the perfect location.

And as an additional idea she wanted to do couple portraits - taken looking through a picture frame something like this.

Ok so I guess we were making sort of big deal out of it but anyway here's what happened.

Found the perfect dress, Vera Wang (highly marked down) in her favorite color, purple; found the perfect location and had the perfect small group, all willing for an adventure but... now they had an extra girl that didn't fit in (the guy brought his girlfriend - she made the even number odd) and... it was raining.
We drove down to the train tracks (about 20 mins) anyway hoping the rain would let up. My photographer friend was meeting us there. The rain did let up a little bit so we shot the "framed" photos. There was a building across the tracks that had some nice vines growing on it and the warm ochre color was great with the frames and the girls dress colors. The girls were getting worried about their carefully straightened hair - the mist and rain was causing curl and frizz.

aw what a gentleman - he gave her his coat
each of the couples did a photo similar to this and they were so cute

While shooting those photos in front of an old building a security guy drove up and told us we couldn't shoot there. This was not good. But we were determined to get some cool photos even if we couldn't do the railroad track idea. So I drove up the street to see what I could find. There was some sort of loading dock that I thought would be a good place to at least get out of the rain while we thought a minute, and as I looked at it I realized it would make a perfect "train station".

I loved the dark red door - perfect with the suitcases and their dresses (I liked how none of the girls were the traditional long gown types and how their dresses naturally worked well with each other - except for the extra girl).

The guys acted bored "waiting on the train" while the girls chatted
(sorry, but doesn't that one girl look out of place?)

So that is what we did. The young people created a story that they were on a great journey together, off to new and exciting adventures, new experiences - a new world they were about to embark on - college. The photos shoot was a lot of fun - the girls relaxed about their hair (you can see Taylor's change from straight to curly); they played with colorful dollar store umbrellas; they laughed and acted silly but we got some serious photos out of it too.

$1 doesn't buy you a very good umbrella - it broke right away

the serious photo - "waiting on the train"

the sweet couple shot

I think my friend and I got many interesting photos (I wish I could show you more) and the experience was one I doubt any of them will ever forget.
We finished up a little early - too early for them to head to their dinner reservation at The Geisha House, so they went to a local coffee shop, Octane, to kill some time. Of course I went home at this point but I was thrilled to have been a part of the photo shoot. Later T told me that at the coffee shop they had been having a little garage sale of sorts and moved it indoors because of the rain. There happened to be a straightening iron for sale - $3. Taylor bought it and the girls went into the bathroom and straightened their hair...

Now isn't that more exciting, and memorable, than this?

boring (we did take a few of these for the traditional parents - they just weren't on my camera)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

monday memories - 3

Gayle at PlanetM hosts Monday Memories - check out some more here
I'm reminiscing college days a lot lately. I suppose because of the facebook thing. I've recently found several of my old college friends through facebook and so I've been rummaging through old photos trying to find some photos that I could post and, just for fun, maybe a few to embarrass people with. I'm not coming up with any real good embarrassing ones but I have found great memories in these boxes of old photos.
I had a friend in college that was a photographer and he loved to take photos of me and for some reason I don't remember minding it - today I hate for people to take my picture. I guess I didn't mind it much because he made me look good. Pretty much the only photos I like of me, he took. I guess that proves that a professional photographer (which he is now) can make anyone look good - it's all in the lighting - and the setting.
Back in college, I wore Ralph Lauren clothes and my signature scent was Lauren cologne. I'd say I had a classic style back then (I'm wearing a pearl necklace with this otherwise very sporty look). My friend made me look sort of like a model in this moody shot taken in a little log cabin in the middle of a field where deer were grazing . I wish he could work that magic on me again.

I went to Berry College in Rome, GA. It's the largest land mass campus in the world. On a beautiful spring day like today - blue skies and 70ยบ, and a Sunday - we would ride our bikes down a flat 3 mile stretch, past huge fields filled with deer, a lake, and the woods were you might see a wild turkey cross the road, to the older part of campus were we would hike to the reservior or the Old Mill, spread our blanket, intending to study, but just taking a nap in the sun instead.

The Old Mill - considered one of the largest overshot waterwheel in the world

That is when I could find my bike. I rode my bike everywhere... down the hill to breakfast, to classes, to work (I worked on the paint crew painting houses) and to my art studio at night. But if someone thought they needed it more - maybe they were late to class or something - they would just "borrow" a bike and leave it somewhere else. Mine was a very unique bike - a tiny Schwinn (like a junior bike - I'm only 5'2") painted to match my car (remember in the previous memory post - not the most common color for a car or a bike) and for some reason it got borrowed a lot. Of course I would eventually find it. Worse than that... more than once it was thrown into the reflection pool along with a few other bikes. Swimming wasn't allowed in the reflection pools but on days like that someone had to go fishing for bikes. That was a great old bike - it developed a lot of character through those those 4 years and I suppose I did too.

This is the reflection pool in front of the dorm I lived in

Those were great times. Don't we all sort of wish we could go back to those college days?

photos of Berry taken from the website

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

monday memories

1979 - camping in Panama City

Monday Memories - Part 1
I can't believe I forgot about Monday Memories with Gayle at Planet M. Because when she mentioned it a week or so ago I was pretty excited to join in. Just days before I had dug up some old photo albums in search of some photos of my friend from college. So many people have been talking about reconnecting with old friends through Facebook – it just got me going down memory lane a little bit. Anyway I did find a bunch of photos that took me back. This one is from a camping trip my best friend and I took to Panama City. To be continued. (At the moment T is home and my mind is focused on her so I will add to this post a little later.)

So to continue this post from last week... I had this great old Volvo station wagon in college. It was a 1973 and perfect for hauling my paintings around (I was a fine art student) but it was also perfect for camping trips. This was a camping trip that I went on with my best friend, S, from college when I was 21 - wait is that right? '79? yeah I was 21. In a way it seems like I should have been younger because for some reason my mom went with us. But anyway, it was just the 3 of us. S brought her big tent because all I had was a little tent. Well, she thought she knew how to set it up and maybe she did but she was missing a pole which caused some problems. Our tent was the funniest looking thing - all lopsided - but it stayed up and it protected us. However I think it's a good thing it didn't rain because I feel sure we would have gotten wet. We had a great time soaking in the sun, eating seafood and buying airbrush t-shirts.

Monday Memories - part 2
I love camping. I love waking up to the sound of coffee percolating and the smell of bacon wafting in the air throughout the campground; I love how the sun warms the inside of the tent as day breaks; I love late afternoons reading in the hammock after a day of activity; I love sitting by the campfire drinking earl grey tea, talking or whittling on a piece of wood; I love the sound of metal clanking during a game of horseshoes, I love walking around the campground late at night with a flashlight seeing who has the tallest flame going in their campfire, children are playing hide and seek, and grown ups are talking and laughing - I love all the laughter and chatter you can hear through the campground as families have fun and people mingle, meeting new friends. I love crawling into the sleeping bag, listening to the crickets sing and going to sleep by the glow of the moon. I could go on and on about all I love about camping... I even love that it's ok to get dirty.

1963 - my dad cooking

1982 Lake Lanier - dad cooking a pot of stew

I have been camping literally since I was a tiny baby. All of our family vacations involved camping. We went from sleeping in the back of an old station wagon, to an Apache pop- up, to a more modern Starcraft camper that had pull out beds and a table that made in to a bed, even a sink and closet. We played Rook late into the night by kerosene lanterns. My dad would cook the most incredible meals over the fire, creating elaborate fire pits and cooking in the dutch oven. I have SO many stories to tell but I won't do that all here. After we children went our own way, my parents sold the camper. But that didn't stop us. We bought my parents a 4- man, 2 -room tent (and 2 cots for their older bodies) and gave it to them when they turned 75 - we all headed to Alabama's Oak Mountain, set up 3 tents and enjoyed one of the best camping trips ever. 

Seems every trip had some crazy memorable experience... like the time we camped at Edisto Beach after I graduated from college. We had more people than allowed on the campsite (I have 2 brothers, plus one girl friend and my boyfriend in addition to my parents) so we sort of fibbed and told them we had one less than allowed. We continually had to "hide" one of my brothers (they sort of resemble each other) when the park ranger drove around. And he drove through a lot!!

1980 - Edisto Beach - me, my mom and my dad

So many stories I could share. Oh these "memory mondays" are dangerous for me.

All this because I found that first photo and it made me remember how much I love camping, and how much miss it now. Let's pack up the car and go.