Aug 202012

Zebra walking past an inflating balloon after the Dawn Patrol

Balloon taking off

All I can say about Albuquerque is if you ever get the chance to go there and experience the Balloon Fiesta, GO!  It is an experience that you will never forget and you will not regret it!  In 2011 I witnessed a world record being broken as they launched more balloons in an hour then had ever been launched before the first weekend we were there.  It was beautiful to behold and the sky was just filled with balloons!  There are many different events to behold, some very early, and some late.  The day starts with the Dawn Patrol.  And it is just what it sounds, balloons taking off in the pre-dawn light and it’s a site to behold as you can see the balloons gradually inflate and glow as their fires are lit and fill them with hot air…and then they sail up into the dark sky just before dawn, then as the sunrises, they can be seen floating around as the rest of the balloons fill and take off.  One of the great parts of the Fiesta is that you can walk around the field as the balloons are laid out for their flights, and then watch as they are filled and then take off.  Their are officials who monitor the take offs called zebras and I have to say that the zebras keep everything orderly and clear the area as the balloons take off.

There is little going on during the day after the morning balloons take off, so the park clears around 10-11, as the food and gift vendors close until the evening when the Evening Glow takes place.  In the evening no one takes off, but the balloons are laid out and inflated as everyone walks around and beholds all the unique balloons.  There is everything from standard balloons to special shapes that come in all shapes and sizes!


I’ve been to the Balloon Fiesta twice now and this past year I even got to go up in a balloon.  I was honored to represent the media at the event and will never forget my first balloon ride.  I hope to be able to up again in the future, too.  My flight almost didn’t happen because it was a windy day, and the pilot almost chose not to go, but the winds improved and we went.  It was not as long as many other people got to have, but it was long enough to make me want to have the experience again.  I’ve been in a chase crew twice now and that is almost more fun then going up…but as I said, ALMOST!  Sailing up and away from the field and then floating in the air with a balloon keeping you up is not something everyone would want to do, but most the pilots are very experienced and they know what they are doing.


don’t know for sure when I’ll make it back to another Balloon Fiesta.  I wish I could go every year, but that just isn’t in the cards.  But I know I’ll go back almost every chance I’m given!

Official Fiesta Balloon lowering the Stars and Stripes for the National Anthem after the Dawn Patrol but before most other balloons take off

Sep 052011







The last few weeks I find myself getting more and more excited about the beginning of October fast approaching.  The reason I’m excited is because on September 29 I leave for about a week and a half in New Mexico and Arizona.  John and I will be attending the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, their 40th year actually.  We are even going to be doing a photo walk while out there, John is leading it.






We are dividing the trip up just a little, leaving New Mexico and heading towards Arizona Sunday night to go to Page and see Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, The Upper and Lower rim of the Grand Canyon, and coming back to Albuquerque via the Petrified Forest.  The sites will be amazing and I hope to get a lot of fantastic photos!






I also can’t wait to compare with my photos from 2-3 years ago when I went to Antelope, right after getting my first Canon 40D camera…and a few months later when I first went to the Balloon Fiesta.  We’ll see what comes from this adventure.  🙂

Aug 282011

This past week has seen several natural disasters here in Maryland.  I’m sorry to say I don’t have pictures to share.  I guess I should have gone out this morning when the tail end of Irene buffeted at Maryland, but it was dark through the worse and didn’t think flash would do it credit.


For the earthquake I was at work at Children’s National Medical Center in DC, so slightly closer then I would have been if at home.  I swear that I thought a 500lb person was jumping up and down between the floors or in the room next door.  The booms that came with the shaking helped me have that idea.  I didn’t feel any of the aftershocks…and truthfully just kept working and taking care of my patients.  That was the end of it all for me.  I did look at pictures online and such, but other then a crack on a door jam at my boyfriend’s house and a few things falling to the floor in my room at home that took me a whole 30 seconds to clean up that night, that was the end.


Hurricane Irene affected me a whole lot more.  It lasted a lot longer, the winds and rains kept me looking out the window, and my home has been without power since about 3:30 am, although I haven’t been there.  I do feel bad for my Mom, step-father, and brother.  They’ve had to go through the day without power and who knows exactly how soon it will be back up.  I sure hope they get it back tonight or tomorrow!  I spent the day Saturday glued to the tv watching all the news on the storm, staying awake until about 2, at least I think I was awake that long.  I may have fallen asleep about 1 for a while, but went to bed about 2:30.  I got up this morning and by mid-day the sun was shining.


I do wish this storm didn’t go through, the worst part being that my plans to attend the Jimmy Buffett concert with my sister on Saturday evening was postponed until Thursday.  That is a much less convenient time, but luckily I can still make it.  The 3 days of work afterwards may be a bit harder, but I get to see a great artist and get some much needed time with my other half.  Don’t get near enough time with my sister!


Mother nature sure has been letting herself be known lately.  I don’t know the meaning behind that, but maybe she is trying to show us humans that we can’t control everything.  We have limits and as hard as we try there is going to be upheavals, there is going to be deaths, and the air, sea, or land is unpredictable.  They can shake, rock, and roll with no notice.  Life is full of unknowns, and we have to always be ready for them.  Sometimes I think that is what makes life worth living.  If we could control everything what would be the adventure in that?

Aug 212011



This summer has sped by and though it isn’t quite over…fall is fast approaching.  This fall watch for a few blogs on The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in October, Disney and Shiprocked Cruise in November, and few smaller events in-between.  But this summer has found me gaining experience with a few other things.  I had the honor of doing my first child shoot with 2 beautiful girls (ok, one was a 13 year old).  I did a couples shoot.  I also did my first maternity shoot with a wonderful model Fallyn.  I also did a couple shoots with a couple local roller girls who are Roller Derby players here in Baltimore.


Working with children is something I do daily, but it is very different working with children and young teenagers in the studio then working with them in a hospital.  They can be more cooperative because this is something they actually WANT to do, unlike being in the hospital.  It is fun to watch them start to have fun changing positions and loosen up in front of the camera as you work with them.  Sometimes the camera can be a daunting thing, and the pictures improve as model gets more used to working with you.  The pictures become more natural.  Sometimes the studio isn’t the best place to have younger kids, they need to have toys or fun objects to interact with in order to get good pictures.  But I worked with an older school aged girl and her 13 year old sister.  They both seemed to have fun and relax once we got shooting, creating a few very good images.







When a couple is together for a while they want photographs together and Anna and Mick are no exception.  This was fun to work with a couple friends and to get some great shots of them as individuals and together.







A new model, Brittany, also modeled for me this summer:






Fallyn is a model I’ve worked with in the past, but it also happens that now she was expecting a little girl to come into her life, so I was given the chance to get some beautiful maternity pictures.







The last couple shoots I participated in were with Ela Trick and TwiBite a couple local roller girls who play in Baltimore.  This was fun and added the challenge of having roller skates in the studio.  This was fun and the girls were thrilled with some of the images I was able to provide them with.

Ela Trick













These are just a few pictures from each shoot.  I’ve shared more on my Flickr site, feel free to check them out there!  This has been a great summer with a lot of portraiture on my part.  Hope you’ve enjoyed some of the images I’ve collected this summer and I look forward to what the fall has to bring!  Think I’m most excited about going to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in October.