2010 Military Family Support Day

15 11 2010

It has been a busy summer.  It is slowing down now with the fall so it is my intent to get somethings posted that have long been delayed.  First and quickly, I want to post the slideshow from this year’s Military Family Support Day.  The MFSD was established 8 years ago by the Hawks Prairie Rotary Club to recognize the sacrifice of the families left behind when a soldier deploys.  Money raised in the community for the event are directly back into programs to assist military families in the Lacey and Olympia, Washington, area.  It all goes back.  It is a wonderful program and one that I help sponsor through my donation of photographs the event for the Hawks Prairie Rotary Club.

You can view the slideshow on YourTube here: 

Stay tune for more updates in the coming days.  I have photos from sessions this past summer and fall I will be posting!





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!





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!





Boy Scouts Pinewood Derby

3 02 2010

Ready! Set! Go!!!!

This year the Boy Scouts of America celebrate a 100 years of Scouting!  Since its incorporation on February 8, 1910, Scouting has been a leader in providing leadership for America’s youth.  In fact, Scouting has been very important to my family. Starting with my father who obtained his Eagle Scout award back in 1947, there are nine Eagle Scouts in our family – my brothers, their sons and me.  In fact, our 10th Eagle Scout was just born January 22.  Alexander Ott arrived to the world as the son of Ana and (Eagle Scout) Jon Ott, of Hawarden, Iowa.  In seventeen years, he can sign his name in his Great Grandfather’s Scouting book, along with the signatures of all the other Ott Eagle Scouts.

Scouting is important not only to our family, but to families all around the world!  The first step in a Scouts journey is made in Cub Scouts.  There are many different activities throughout the year, but one of the most exciting is the Pinewood Derby.   In this event, the Scout builds a racing car from a block of… what else, pine!  They are encouraged to be creative and customize their cars. Then every year about this time of year, the Scouts hold their Pinewood Derbies and race against all the other Cub Scouts.

Last year, I photographed a local race and captured some of the excitement and pride.

Apprehensive Expectation

The Race is On!

Unfortunately, I arrived late to this race (ironically, due to a car accident) but I did capture the final heats.  I fondly remember my pinewood derby as a Cub Scout and I am certain these Scouts will too.

The Day's Fastest Car and Driver!

If you are interested in Cub Scouts or in Scouting in general, I encourage to go to the Boy Scouts of America website or visit your local Scouting Troop or Cub Scout Pack.

Thanks for reading.