Signs of Spring

24 03 2010

Signs of Spring

We moved to the Pacific Northwest in April 5, 2004, from Colorado.  It was quite the caravan:  One car with a dying transmission, 1 flatulent dog, one constipated and very unhappy cat, a very chatty African Grey Parrot,  5 hermit crabs, 3 curious Arabian horses in a trailer, being pulled by a F350.  It took three days and two nights.  There were no problems, although the car did not last the first week in our new state before it was traded in.  Anyways…

When we first we moved here, we rented a house with 7 acres and a barn (that’s why I started with the caravan story…)  It wasn’t long afterward, that we noticed that the barn and sky were full of these little acrobats joyfully flying through the morning and evening skies.  The Violet-Green Swallow makes its summer home here and other parts of the West.  They are so much fun to see zip through the sky catching and eating flies, mosquitoes, and other small insects.  The spring after we moved into our current home, we nailed a swallow nest to the back of the house and it was quickly adopted by a pair of these wonderful little creatures.  For the past 4 years that nesting box has been used and each of those years, a clutch of swallows leave the box, spend a few weeks around the neighborhood while the juveniles gain strength and endurance.  During this time, I always have a camera in hand or at least close by. You will see their photos at different locations on my site.  (Yep!  One of them are on the splash page.)  Before the end of August, the newly enlarged families start disappearing and start their flights south.

It is getting close… they’re getting close, returning from their winter vacations in Mexico.  There are plenty of bugs flying now and I’ve cleaned last year’s litter out of the nesting box, ready for clutch number 5.  Everything is ready.  I cannot wait, because the return of these little acrobats is my sign that spring has arrived!!

Thanks for reading!

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Family Touch Points

18 03 2010
The Distifeno Family

The Distifeno Family

I had the privilege to photograph another family under the Operation: Love Reunited program: The Distifeno family.  Chris is about to be deployed to Afghanistan and I will be sending him his album shortly after he deploys.  They are a fun loving family and their love for each other shines.  It was a great pleasure for me to share in their afternoon.

It is obvious to anyone who knows or has worked with me that I love working with families.  Capturing these images, these slices of time in their lives, preserves the moment long after the memory of the event has faded. In fact, when the children grow older and they look at the photos on their… iPhones, iPads, iWhatever… they won’t remember who took it or even that there was a photographer present.  They will see their lives – their childhoods – as they remember them and almost from the viewpoint of an omnipresent story teller.   As they grow older, photos will become the anchor points to their life’s memories, feelings, sights and sounds.  It is being the anonymous ‘man behind the curtain,’ providing these photographic touch points, that motivates me.

I created a short slide show from the shoot.  You can view it here:

Thanks for reading!

— Jeff





First OpLove Session: 2010

5 03 2010

Sybil, Ryan and Little Enoch

I had the pleasure of shooting my first OpLove photo session of 2010 yesterday.  Ryan, who is currently stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, was able to come home for his son’s birth.  Enoch was only 4 days old when we took yesterday’s photos.  (Yes, so today he is 5 days old…  I thought I would state that cause I know SOMEONE, Amanda, was going to test my addition skills…).

So many people listen to the news and radio reports of the on-going wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and never really meet those who are serving on our behalf.  Regardless of our political, social or moral views… we need to support these families.  Yes, the soldiers serve, but their families remain – listening to the same news; watching their Facebook groups for any word from loved ones.  I encourage you to get out and meet these families.  I also encourage you to join an organization that supports them.  In this area, the Hawks Prairie Rotary Club hosts an annual Military Appreciation Day where 100% of the proceeds go into support these families.

Enoch was born into a proud, strong family.  It was my honor to serve as his first official photographer and it is my honor to give just a little back to his mom and dad for all they sacrifice on our behalf.

Vaya con Dios, Sybil, Ryan and Enoch.





Port Angeles, WA

1 03 2010

A couple of weekends ago, I drove with Sherry to Port Angeles, WA.  She had a day and a half of Rotary meetings which,  left me free to run wild photograph the town and the surrounding area.  That part of the state is now known for the Twilight series of books and movies.  Fortunately, because there was no full moon, werewolves were not on the prowl, so I only had to worry about the vampires, or those looking for vampires while driving, and texting and talking to the person sitting next to them!

Port Angeles is also where the entrance to Olympic National Park is located.  The Park is beautiful at all times of the year.  On one side of the mountains is a true rainforest.  The other side (the Port Angeles side) is in the ‘rain shadow’.  According to the owner of the B&B we stayed at, (the house at the beginning of the sideshow) told me they only receive 27 inches of rain a year.  Heck, in Olympia, we may get that in a weekend!  Twenty seven is still more than we got in our last year in Berthoud, CO, but more appealing to me.  Anyways, the point of this story is that Port Angeles has more to offer than vampires and rain.  It is a beautiful area to hike, bike, eat and… oh, yeh… photograph!

Since early on, I’ve always enjoyed the power of music and visuals to capture emotions and to tell stories… correct that… not to tell stories rather, set up the scene and let the listener/viewer create their own storyline.  Sometimes that storyline is straight forward, such as a wedding. But other times, much more can be left to the imagination, such as in the slideshow I’ve put together below of Port Angeles.

Enjoy!