Since Beautiful Together was founded over four years ago, we have been able to start and happily finish sixteen projects. The projects all focused on supporting children without families. Along the way we have done our best to advocate for these children. Many do not have an opportunity to even be adopted. This is due to a significant amount of red tape and doors closed by government policies.
I am grateful to have been invited to speak on the realities of failed international adoption policies at Harvard Law School. This is a subject near and dear to my heart – especially given my personal experience with this matter over the past 5+ years.
Thank you to all who have supported Beautiful Together and the work we do. We only hope to do even more over time.
I LOVE PUPPIES. They are sweet, soft, loving, playful, vulnerable and incredibly snuggly. But 40 puppies in the course of 48 hours with Nikon Gear? Well, that was a whole new level of wonderful madness.
This brand new campaign for Nikon has the most complex and wonderful combination of subjects I am lucky enough to photograph yet! FORTY tiny little, sweet, adorable puppies paired with a huge variety of brand new Nikon gear.
For this brilliant shoot, we rented out a large commercial space that has giant cyc walls painted a clean white. Nikon HQ shipped us a bunch of brand new Nikon gear. Lights and equipment were set up. As well as puppy gates, blankets and pillows. And we greeted all of our on-set Puppy Handlers, which is a real job description for these shoots.
And then got to work.
Because “Work” included welcoming puppy after puppy after puppy, we had to constantly wipe away fur, dust, puppy licks. As well as all the “gifts” they kindly left us while setting up shot after shot.
Keeping the Nikon gear dust, fur-free AND in position while constantly being knocked over by 12 puppies going in 12 different directions was not easy. I know that this gear is tough, but it is definitely confirmed with all the puppy chewing. Because they didn’t even leave a mark, hah!
I shot the entire campaign with the Nikon Z7 mirrorless system. Also paired with the adapter for F-mount lenses for a variety of images.
Major props to Kim Williams Pollard, our Studio Manager, for meticulously checking in and out an *enormous* amount of gear, as well as orchestrating tons of model releases while also working to set up, break down and very actively assist on all of the shoots.
And more major props to our Special Projects Producer Rhesa Versola for also helping to set up and break down both days – and for all of her rather detailed pre-production efforts, coordinating shoots with so many puppies from so many places (wow, such an effort!), as well as filming on set, too.
And big gratitude to Robert Cummins for filming the shoots, assisting with lighting, bringing more great energy to the shoot, and creating our puppy BTS!
Photo Shelter Blog names our Workshop as one of 40 most exciting for 2019/2020 – Don’t miss out!
Joe McNally, Ami Vitale and I are all thrilled to be named within this amazing group of the most exciting Photography Workshops! And, we still have spaces available, so make sure to check out our Amazon Workshop page.
Come join us for the first few days in Quito, Ecuador and we will explore the City before heading out to La Selva Lodge in the Amazon Rainforest. You will see a variety of Flora and Fauna that make up this amazing location.
At the Lodge, not only will you participate in our Workshops, but you can also enjoy the Spa and much more that the Lodge offers.
We are in the thick of filming 12 episodes of our new series Chasing Frames. This is our new television show airing this fall on PBS’ regional affiliate Public Media NC. The show will reach into five states along with incredible Emmy-Award winning content & some amazing shows on UNC-TV!
I am SO very grateful to have Nikon and ON1 Software underwriting this series!!
One of our recent episodes was all about Search & Rescue Dogs. These rather furry guys do pretty big jobs. One of the coolest things I learned while filming this episode, is that in order to track someone for miles, these dogs open up pretty much all of their pores. This, of course, is also a bit exhausting for a four-legged creature racing through the woods. Even though they were training hard for life-saving work, I also loved that I could get a pretty hilarious shot like this during this dogs recovery.
Look out for Chasing Frames broadcasting on PBS in the Fall of 2019!
Join THREE renowned photographers: Ami Vitale, Joe McNally and Tamara Lackey on the trip of a lifetime to Ecuador. You will experience the culture of its historic capital, Quito, as well as the abundant wildlife of the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest.
This all-inclusive 10 day and 9 night adventure is a complete immersion into photography, storytelling and exploration.
This unique workshop will focus on landscape, portrait and travel photography. The days will be full of lectures and daily post-processing lab time.
It will be impossible not to be overwhelmed by gorgeous Quito, a UNESCO heritage site and the country’s capital. A visit to magical Old Town will be filled with colorful people and culture, panoramic vistas and brilliant historic cathedrals. The people of Ecuador are what make this destination so very special.
After two days, you will travel in-country to the Amazon basin where you float by the banks and tributaries of the Amazon River. You will spot wildlife, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the jungle.
The majority of the workshop will be held at the stunning 5-star luxury eco-resort La Selva Ecolodge & Spa, located in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. The Lodge is located off the Napo River, inside of the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.
The Reserve is one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet, home to millions of species of plants, birds, rare animals and stunning scenery. There you will find your accomodations in breezy, stylish cabanas. The sounds of the rainforest will soothe you to sleep while the singing of birds will awaken you in the morning.
As an all-inclusive workshop, all freshly-made, deliciously cooked meals will be included, too.
Spring is finally here! It’s time to get your macro lens to photograph bees.
This is the perfect time to re-visit an episode of The reDefine Show: Animal Edition! See it here:>>>Backyard Bees <<<
It’s all about photographing bees using a macro lens. I have always been nervous/terrified of bees while some people are all, like, One With The Bees. As for me, I am pretty much the exact opposite of that. I feel the hairs on the back of my neck rise up anytime I see a bee or hear a buzz nearby, so, to put on a beekeeper’s suit and walk into the same space as 70,000 bees? Well, it was a full-on personal challenge.
This is where photography comes into play because every time I photograph something or someone I am struck by how beautiful they are, in so many ways. I love that my job is to look for that beauty, which is one of the coolest parts of the work, and yet, I was surprised I still felt the same way during this shoot. These little fuzzy bees are intricately beautiful and hard-working and expressive, looking directly at you with head tilts, butts out, wings splayed out & more! My job was to photograph them as well as possible while speaking to what I was doing and using a variety of means to do so, and I got lost in it almost immediately. This was not just a wonderful shoot, it was personally transformative for me.
A Macro Lens to Face Your Fear
It’s amazing how spending time with that which you fear can change everything. Oh, and wearing a beekeeper’s outfit helps.
I’d LOVE to invite you to check out our first episode:
Triangle Area Welcomes Its First 100% Vegan Market
CHAPEL HILL — Nested inside a local, family-owned coffee shop, customers will find a rare resource for the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area — Coco Bean Vegan Market. This newly-opened 100% all-vegan market is the only one of its kind in Central North Carolina offering a wide variety of plant-based products, including foods, artisan chocolates, and gifts.
Locally Made Goods
The vegan market is a natural expansion of Coco Bean Coffee Shop and Cafe, which opened its doors in September of 2016 and won Chapel Hill Magazine’s 2018 Best Coffee Shop in Chapel Hill. The eco-friendly cafe offers a bounty of vegan baked goods, pastries, and fresh farmer’s market foods like grain bowls, salads, tamales and soups, all made by local bakers and chefs. Many selections are gluten-free, as well.
As a natural complement to this, Coco Bean Vegan Market offers pre-packaged vegan and gluten-free foods, including refrigerated and frozen grocery items, making it easy for customers to grab a basket, stock up and go. Both the cafe and the vegan market provide options for consumers with other food allergies or sensitivities, as well as simple grab n’ go or heat-up-at-the-shop items.
Find More than Food
Inside the cozy and well-stocked market space, customers will also find candles, essential oils, skincare products, sundries and gifts made by local artists. In addition, there are great reads and resources from the mini bookshop, specializing in plant-based living and vegan cookbooks, as well as subjects like mindfulness, minimalism and creative journaling.
“We’ve enjoyed amazing growth in this wonderful community of ours and are so heartened by the kind feedback,” said Tamara Lackey, who co-owns Coco Bean Coffee Shop and Coco Bean Vegan Market, along with her husband, Steve. “The initial response from our customers was even more enthusiastic than we’d hoped for, and we’re delighted at how quickly the market has taken off.”
Plant-based Diets on the Rise
Coco Bean Vegan Market seeks to meet increasing customer demand for more vegan and vegetarian options, and plant-based owners Tamara and Steve Lackey are ahead of the curve on this upward trend in the food industry. Sales of plant-based food increased by 20% in 2018 over the previous year, which amounts to over $3.3 billion, according to data from Nielsen and the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA).
The Economist and Forbes magazines published articles declaring 2019 as the Year of the Vegan. Uber Eats reports vegan meals as the most-ordered trend of 2018. And, Grub Hub reports vegan burritos as the most popular food in 2018. The food industry continues to see a steep rise in demand for eco-friendly, plant-based, meat-free diets nationwide.
For more details, contact Kim Pollard or Anna-Rhesa Versola at 919-883-9003 or email@example.com.
OUR NEWEST PROJECT — Dinner for 40 at The Joy Home Orphanage in India
We created our Dinner for 40 Project to provide nutritious dinners to 40 children between the ages of 6 and 15 years old for the next four months. Dinner will include lentils, chapatti flour, oil, semolina, rice, vegetables, and fruit. We hope to do more over time, but we want to have an impact as soon as possible! Your contributions to this effort will go a long way to help support this orphanage. And, with your support, these children will know someone cares for them because none of these orphans can actually be adopted, due to current government restrictions.
An estimated 20 million orphans live in India alone. It’s a country that has the largest child population in the world. That is such a staggering number, 20 MILLION children. Many are homeless, living on the streets and resorting to begging for food. It is almost impossible to envision it. Orphaned children in India are in great need of care and protection, too, being susceptible to not just poverty and illness but also child labor and child trafficking. Even worse, current projections show that number to grow to 24 million orphans by 2021.
We are working to support The Joy Home Orphanage, located in a village called Madhapur, near Hyperdad. Their orphanage facilities include accommodation, food, schooling, healthcare, clothes, and an initial counseling session with children who are entering the orphanage. 100% of all donations to The Joy Home Orphanage go directly towards meeting the needs of these children.
Personal projects are a powerful way for professional photographers to focus on topics that are most important to them. It’s a way to fuel their creative spirits and explore another source of inspiration. My focus will be on my work with Beautiful Together. Jen will be speaking about her experience with breast cancer – and some powerful resulting imagery. And Stacy will be sharing her striking work with veteran portraits.
If you’re not going to be in Vegas with the million+ other CES attendants (bejeebus, it’s big), you can tune in to watch my program and panel discussion via nikonusa.com/live. Plus, you can watch ALL of these seriously amazing speakers — some of the top photographers in the world — via nikonusa.com/live.
You can check the speakers schedule below to find out when Nikon will livestream globally!
Here’s part of the line-up:
There are so many speakers to choose from, like Joe McNally and Jerry Ghionis. Also, you can catch multi-speaker panels where they offer insights through interactive conversations. For example, if you are just starting your career in photography, you can watch Taylor Gray, Kiamarie Stone, and Nicolas Bruno share their experiences during On the Rise|Getting Started in Photography.
Just don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to listen to Nikon’s photography experts!
Announcing the Fall Photography Contest Winners with Nations Photo Lab – and Honorable Mentions!
I teamed up with Nations Photo Lab, who I have partnered with on previous contests, and we launched this new one together. I am excited to now announce the photography contest winners! This brand new photography contest which was opened for submissions, and we were excited that so many of you shared your beautiful fall images. The winners had a chance to win $50 with them, and there were multiple prizes to win and a lot of submissions to judge. I was inspired by all of your contest submissions, as I got to judge the contest, alongside the team at Nations Photo Lab.
Here are the three photography contest winners and three honorable mentions:
First Place: Kristin Hoag with The beauty of Fall
Second Place: Kimmarie Keane with Beauty Beneath the Bridge
Third Place: Marie Schmidt with Stocking up a few peanuts for Winter
First Honorable Mention: Monita McCool with Be still and know that I am God:Psalm 46:10
Second Honorable Mention: Jimmy D. Baker with 8 Point Buck on a Cloudy Fall Morning
Third Honorable Mention: Erin Lamirande with Miko’s Lion King Moment!
I didn’t enter the contest, hah, but I did photograph this fall image at the base of Reflection Lake, at Mt. Rainier National Park, in Washington. Woke up before dawn to watch the sun rise and capture a near-perfect perfect reflection while the water was still … well, still. Shot this with the Nikon D5 and 24-70 f/2.8 lens. (If interested, you can see a lot more images, with information about gear and camera settings, on my instagram page.)