“I Am” Projects- Sydney, North Shore

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I Am projects

When I was 11, I started a new school with high hopes, no friends & one bully. I quickly forgot ANYONE loved me. So when my kids entered the tween years I started photographing their peers, making ‘I Am’ projects for kids 10-20 yr. old. It blows me away every time I see a tween look up & see they are important & that they have people in their corner!

I want to give kids a boost of confidence when they need it most.

An “I Am” project is… a collection of portraits & personalized affirmations for your tween. I photograph each tween in my home studio while parents reach out to family, friends & teachers to privately tell me how your child lights up the room or give words of wisdom to help them through life’s rough patches. A final collection of between 17 and 20 strong, beautiful portraits is presented to your child with the unexpected addition of quotes from their favorite people.

Who is eligible? This project is for adolescents starting at 10 year old through to young adults and even parents and grandparents can be given an I Am project.

What happens after? After I compile the quotes and sort the images I create a presentation of your child’s “I Am” project. You and your child return to my house for the screening to see the images in a multimedia presentation (tissues included).

How to participate… If you want an I Am project for your child, I will be photographing projects through the Spring Holiday and have space for only 5 tweens. I will take bookings until this Friday, 18 September by midnight… Email me directly at:

Print collections start at $450 (AUD). This would make a great birthday or graduation gift. But, really, this is a perfect ‘just because’ gift.

Spread the word… I am very new to Australia and I know very few people… if you could spread the word about my “I Am” projects I would be very grateful.

Fine Art Photography- “Caged”

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Fine art photographic image transfer to wood with gold leaf and arcylic paint.
Months ago I took a drive to the local Costco. While driving, the radio began playing the song “My Body is a Cage” by Arcade Fire. The words brought to mind my friend who was in hospice care, her end near, her family gathered. In the spring, she was gifted enough health to attend, and even dance at her youngest daughter’s wedding. But as I listened to the song I realized that she was trapped, unable to dance with the ones she loved. Her body was a cage, had become her enemy.


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Color photograph of two bookbinding needles, one straight and one curved along side a handmade book, near Denver

I had the opportunity to teach a bookbinding workshop at my friend’s place in Mississippi. The binding I taught is very complicated so I decided to make a workbook to outline each step. I wanted this to be a skill my students could go home and replicate.

Some 50 hours later I birthed a comprehensive workbook on the Coptic binding that has been in my head and at my fingertips for the last 20 years. I tried to find a tutorial to use as a skeleton and no one else seems to sew the Coptic stitch quite like this.

a color photograph showing a handmade coptic bound book opening completly flat near Denver, Colorado

I love this binding because the book naturally opens flat. Coptic bound books make really great sketch books and photo albums. The binding is sewn without any adhesive which makes Coptic binding very durable. Most paperback books are glued into a text block, without any sewing. It is very difficult to repair a paperback book who’s spine has been cracked. Once that glue breaks, it’s pretty much over. Coptic binding is my perfect binding.

a color photograph showing the inside binding of a handmade coptic bound book made in Denver, Colorado

In my Mississippi class everyone was having a blast gluing the paper to the covers and poking the holes in each signature. Then came the real challenge- sewing to the covers. It’s tough, counter intuitive the first time or two- but well worth it once your book is done and beautiful.

a color photograph showing the endsheet of a handmade coptic bound book near Denver, Colorado

I plan to teach a class here in Denver some time soon. I’ve considered approaching the library to see if I can teach in their new maker space… I would probably teach simple bindings and ways to print your own book using your desktop printer. I’ll get the word out soon.

Learning from a Master

Color photograph of the side of a building, twin windows and twin poles, Fort Collins, Colorado
Every once in awhile we are given the chance to learn from someone who knows what’s up. A few weeks ago I got to hang with a photographer named David Carol. He specializes in photographing what ever he wants… which is mostly street photography.

He had juried a show up at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins and was offering a quick workshop to share how he sees. I jumped on it, feeling good that I would finally get up there to the Center and actually meet David after following his FB feed for about a year. I’m not a street photographer, but I am fascinated by the thought process of any artist. And I knew it’d be entertaining, at the very least. Besides, I had been scolded by many photo friends when they found out I hadn’t ever been up to the c4fap.

Since Zach’s oboe professor was performing in Loveland after the workshop, we loaded the kids into the van and headed up. I had a great time listening to David talk about his work ethic (get out and shoot!) and how opportunities opened to allow him to publish and sell his work. Hard work, dedication and single mindedness. We talked, photographed together and the group all went to lunch and chatted even more. He razzed me for not photographing my family while they sat beside us eating their lunch. Ya, ya. Still working on that work ethic piece. and I need to see more, is really what he was getting at. I could use a David on my shoulder, egging me on.

So I’ve been here in the Denver area for 8 years and pretty much live in my own little bubble. I have a great network of friends who live around the world but only a handful in my area. You know who you are- xo. Really, I am a suburban soccer mom. GAH!

So it was exciting to meet real live photographers who aren’t in my mom world. Christopher Perez runs a place called Processus that has a wet darkroom, printmaking equipment… he mentioned something about framing your own work and doing stuff in a wood shop. I plan to get over there soon.

Another photographer I met is Preston Utley. He’s a wedding photographer who’s personal work resonates with me. Check it out: the snap shot diaries… a photographic travel log that is beautiful in it’s simplicity.

Around Town- Gallery Opening

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Friday I had the chance to visit Walker Fine Art Gallery for the opening of their latest exhibition entitled “FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING“. While there I saw a few pieces by Sally Stockhold, whom I’ve seen several times before and love! A new favorite is Tim Main. His photo realistic pencil drawings of Polaroids were powerful in subject matter and visually stunning.

So now you need to head to the gallery and take a look for yourself… and if you aren’t local, do a little web surfing.