Archive for August, 2010

Carb It Up

August 31, 2010

Today I have beef with Mr. Dr. Adkins and Mr. Dr. Barry Sears, why? Well because these 2 fabulous doctors are the masterminds behind the worlds fear of all things carbohydrate. For god knows how long now, women everywhere have been afraid to smell a carb, look at a carb or heaven forbid, eat a carb. Things have become so obsessive that we women have taken to underground bunkers in an effort to comfortably consume a slice of bread, anything with pasta or rice and dare I say it, potato chips.  Yes, carbs in hiding is the only way to go, cos as everyone who’s anyone knows, if nobody saw you eat it, then absolutely those calories do not count. Its the same as ordering the salad but picking fries off your Husbands plate. Hey, the fries weren’t on my plate, so no way I’ll be getting fat.

However, the past 2 days I spent in Italy, would drive the world to shake an angry fist in the direction of both Dr. Adkins and Dr. Sears for the years of carbohydrate depravation and guilt. Cos what do Italians everywhere enjoy in complete abundance, for every meal? Why pasta or course. Lovely homemade ravioli’s basking in cream or tomato based sauces, served with a side of warm fresh breads and chased down with an assortment of pastries. Yes my friends, Italians love to eat, but more importantly, Italian’s love to eat carbs, by the truck load. To them the Glycemic Index is nothing more than a myth, like Big Foot or the Lough Ness Monster. And judging by the lack of fat people in either Reiti or Rome, I’m thinking these Italians have it all figured out and while eating pizza and sipping on a second glass of merlot, they wait for the rest of us to catch on. So carb it up people, all the disgustingly attractive and skinny Italians assure me, you have absolutely nothing to fear.

And for the track fans out there who may not already know, the track meet in Reiti saw a new world record in the mens 800m, by Kenyan athlete David Rudisha in a blazing fast time of 1.41.01. Seriously, I was trackside during the race and let me tell you, this guy was phenomenal. I was in amazement at how fast and effortlessly he appeared to be moving and once he broke the world record, I was so excited I almost forgot I was holding my point n’shoot and therefore had the ability to capture a few shots of this history making athlete.

Also competing in Reiti, at his final meet for the season was Irish 200m athlete Paul Hession.

Mini Tour de Europe

August 29, 2010

Traveling with The Husband while he’s on the job and I’m on the job of pace-making, is nothing short of a whirlwind. Yes we get to hit up some of Europe’s finest cities but unfortunately, not as tourists. Generally we’ll fly into each city the day before the meet, compete the following day and leave, well before the crack of dawn the very next day. No sightseeing, no shopping, no coffee’s at little sidewalk cafe’s, just airport, hotel, track and airport. Its intense and exhausting, but as an agent for 50 plus athletes, its how The Husband spends his summer months. I join him occasionally for a couple of pace-making races or to bridge the gap of long spells without seeing each other, but essentially, my suitcase dragging competition days are well behind me.

However, this weekend I’ve stepped back into the chaotic life of a professional athlete by pace-making the women’s 800m in Brussels, Belgium (last Friday night) and then onwards to Reiti, Italy where today I will pace the women’s 3000m. But who did I meet in Belgium, fresh from her silver medal performance at European Championships in Barcelona 2 weeks ago, why my BFF Derval O’Rourke, also known as Scratcher to her best friends. Scratcher and I have a bit of a history together. During my days on the Irish track team, Scratcher and I were serial roomies. Every meet, every country we traveled, we roomed together. In fact, I’m certain she still has my hairbrush from Helsinki World Championships 2005. But then again, I believe I have a sweater of hers from Pairs 2003, its hard to actually say, since all of our stuff (clothes, money, makeup and snacks) were just pooled together and we pulled from the stash whatever we needed, regardless of who owned it. A true sign of our BFF’ness. And although brief, hanging with Scratcher for a couple of days in Brussels, was a great blast from our athletic past.

Once I was done competing, I hung out track side for a while so I could grab a few pics of Scratcher’s race. Please take note of her fabulous hair style, I did it. Yes, my creative talents know no bounds. As for the photo on bottom right, not sure what exactly we were going for, but we ended up with something more like a mugshot than any kind of glamor shot, very Lindsay Lohan of us.

At 4am the morning after the meet, The Husband and I packed up and flew to our next city, Reiti, Italy. There after an afternoon power nap, we took a minute to take a wee stroll around the city square where Husband became inspired to do some deep thinking by one of the town statues. Until I showed up and demanded a cheesy one handed couple’y shot.

When we were young my mother ironed everything and I mean EVERYTHING. Curtains, sheets, but not towels, for some reason towels were not deemed worthy enough to get the iron treatment, but if memory serves me correctly, mam maybe you can confirm this, I do have a faint recollection of her ironing my underwear once or twice. I may be wrong, but knowing my mother’s compulsion for ironing, I seriously doubt it. Ironing was something my mother took very seriously. No child or husband of hers was allowed out into the world without looking like they had be starched and pressed to within an inch of their lives. She didn’t care if we were only going out to ride bikes, play tag, climb trees or head to track practice, you were not getting out the door “looking like a tramp” as she put it. “What kind of mother would I be if I let me child out to play without a nice crease in their jeans or tracksuit?” Oh, yes, that crease was very important and yes, she even ironed it into our tracksuits, something my brother Edward and I absolutely despised. We’d beg, plead and whine for her not to put the dreaded crease in our jeans and sweats, “mam its not cool, nobody is wearing it like that anymore, seriously, stop“, but she flat our ignored us. And everyday we’d rock up to training looking like we were partaking in some sort of wedding olympics. The shame.

Fast forward to today and guess who just spent the morning ironing all her clothes, then packed them neatly (cough, cough) into her suitcase, where they will sit balled up for the next 12 hours or more, to be unpacked at their final destination of Brussles, Belgium more wrinkled then they ever were to start with?? Well, that would be me. Yep, logically I knew it was a waste of time, that all clothing will have to be re-ironed once I get to the hotel, but something in me, my mother’s DNA, would not allow me leave the house with a bag full of un-ironed clothes. I mean who wants to walk the streets of Brussels or pace-make the Diamond League women’s 800m “looking like a tramp?” , ah not me, I do however draw the line at the crease.

Also for this trip the only camera I’m bringing is my brand new point n’shoot, who for some reason is refusing to upload any photos to my laptop right now. Guess who’ll be spending some time with her camera manual on the 9 hour flight today? But not wanting to leave with a post containing not photos, I’ve included a random picture of myself, my boots and my camera, not my point n’shoot, taken by my friend Tessa many months ago.

Bridal shows are in full swing in Atlanta right now and today at the Perfect Wedding Guide show I got the opportunity to hang with my new good friend and amazing florist Laura Taylor of Perfect Stem. Laura and I met at a Downtown luncheon a couple of weeks ago and instantly hit it off, so the other day when she called and asked if I would come down to the show and snap some photos of her floral arrangements, I was pumped.

When I shoot weddings the details are always one of my favorite things to capture. Todays brides are a little more modern and edgy, they are clear on their wedding visions and like to think outside the box when it comes to the decoration, center-pieces and floral arrangements for their wedding day. As a result many vendors now have the freedom to unleash their creativity and come up with many unique and stunning pieces for each and every bride that reflect their own personal style, and Laura is no exception. Her flowers are amazing, original and creative and I was excited and honored to get the opportunity to capture that today. And brides, if any of you out there are looking for a florist, be sure to check out Perfect Stem. Laura will take amazing care of you. You’ll fall in love with both her and her work.

And without further ado, here are a few photos of Laura’s work from Perfect Wedding Guide bridal show today.

Laura and her team also put together the bouquets for the bridal fashion show.

Loved this prop, very creative.

And you can never go wrong with red roses and candles.

Peacock feathers, love them.

Some of the amazing details of the ballroom where the fashion show was held.

Laura (on the left) and her team who worked tirelessly to pull everything together. Great job ladies.


August 20, 2010

Last night I had the distinct honor of co-hosting the first ever SmugMug group here in Atlanta. SmugMug for those of you who may not know, is an awesome awesome site that allows photographers a convenient and professional place to showcase their clients images. Clients can log on, check out their photos, share them with friends and family and if they so desire, order their prints right there from the site. I’ve been using SmugMug for almost 2 years now and if I, a girl with the technical ability of a nat (whatever a nat is) can tell you its amazing and so stankin easy to use, then believe me, its amazing and so stankin easy to use. Photographers out there, if you haven’t checked these guys out yet, do it, you’ll love em.

Anyway, on top of all that, SmugMug is all about trying to bring photographers together to talk, share and basically chew the fat on everything connected to the business of photography. Many successful Smug groups have already been set up in various cities around the US and now finally Smug has targeted Atlanta. My good friend Rupa Kapoor was selected to be the leader for our city and me the co-leader, wha-what, and last night we had out big launch and it was amazing. Photographers from all corners, sports to wildlife, architecture to wedding, came out to mingle and learn. Our guest speaker for the evening was Liana Lehman, an amazing amazing destination wedding photographer based out of Atlanta that I envy and adore and for her presentations Liana decided to challenge us all to think about who we are, why we do what we do and what makes us stand out from our competitors. It was a little bit of a reality check for some of us, but truth be told, a necessary one. Otherwise how else are you suppose to learn and grow, right? So a big THANK YOU to Liana for braving the Atlanta traffic on her brand new scooter to bring us a presentation full of cold harsh realities.

And thank you too to everyone who came out. You really were an enthusiastic, energetic bunch. It was a pleasure to meet you all and I can’t wait for next months meeting. Its gonna be even better. Rupa and I are working hard to ensure it. Lastly we have to give a shout out to PPR Atlanta for letting us use their studio space to host our meeting. Really, truly appreciate it. Finally, I’m done gushing, so here are a few photo from the first ever Atlanta Smug meeting.

Rupa gives her welcome speech while I appear somewhat spaced out in the background, wondering what super-power I would choose if given the choice.

My turn to speak and I believe I’m telling the crowd that invisible would be my super-power, or wait, in light of recent events, maybe I should choose the ability to fly.

The straight shooting Liana.

Some of our Smuggers

Liana wanted to shake things up a little, so she decided to sing the second part of her presentation. No, not really.

Rupa models some of our high-fashion Smugwear.