December 19, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

I'm back in Stockholm with the Viking for another magical Swedish Christmas! This year we have just a couple days in the city before we fly north to Luleå, then drive up to the far, far north to Haparanda. We got on a plane about twenty hours ago in sunny LA, and for the first time in my life, I got upgraded on a flight. It was probably because the plane was half empty, but whatever--we had free booze, way more leg room than necessary and it was GLORIOUS.

mostly empty plane SO MUCH ROOM

This time the Viking booked us a cozy room at the Hotel Diplomat, right on the water. I opened the window and this view is undeniably Europe.

View from the Hotel Diplomat

We slept on and off on the 11 hour flight, and have forced ourselves to stay awake by wandering. Right next door to our hotel is the gorgeous Royal Dramatic Theatre.

Royal Dramatic Theatre

We had to stop and see the big lit up reindeer and moose around the skating rink. America needs more moose and reindeer. 

Then we headed to my favorite part of the city, the Gamla Stan, or old town section of Stockholm. I've only ever seen it at Christmastime, but the golden buildings and narrow cobblestone streets are lit with white lights, every window in the city has white star lights and/or electric candles called adventsljusstakens (these have seven lights representing each day of the week), and all the shop windows have whimsical little scenes of elves.

Gamla Stan Gamla Stan Gamla Stan


One even had these two drunken crawfish playing (cheating at?) cards. 

we say crawfish you say crayfish

We stopped at the Gamla Stan Christmas Market, set up in the center of old town, following the scent of vanilla toasted almonds. We sipped hot glögg and even snagged a killer piece of jewelry from one of the artist stalls.

We wrapped up with a quick drink at the Bishop's Arms, a favorite British pub. We aimed to stay up til 7 pm and did it. I'm going to fall asleep and hope not to wake up at 3 am, starving.

Tomorrow we get to see the family and enjoy the city in a non-zombie way. I can't wait! 

Gamla stan




Grand Canyon

December 30, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Grand Canyon from Eagle Point

Green Christmas in LA didn't quite measure up after the massive holiday in Sweden last year, so we threw our things in the car and sped off to Vegas. In the early morning hours one day, we drove to the Grand Canyon in the dark to catch sunrise. At the western edge closest to Las Vegas is Grand Canyon West. It's run by the Hualapai Tribe, on their land, offering an awesome alternative to just viewing on the edge. At Skywalk you can walk out on a glass walkway hanging 70 feet out and 4,000 feet above the canyon. They don't let you take any phones or cameras out with you, lest you drop one and crack the floor and, presumably, fall to your death. We arrived so early there weren't any other tourists there yet. The sun had just crested the canyon and so the light was a bit tricky, but except for the helicopter tours, it was totally silent. This is the sun cresting a rock formation called Eagle Point, which you could see if the sun was on the other side. Use your imagination!

Sunrise over the Eagle Point rock formation

From Eagle Point, the tour takes you on to Guano Point, an old bat guano mine hanging up on a cliff over the river. 

Guano Point

The mine was closed in 1959, and shortly after, a fighter jet blew through and tore the cable wires. But the structure still stands, and you can hike all around the rock formation for 360 degree views of the canyon. 

Guano Point mine

the moon? the top of Guano Point mine cable gear, Guano Point Guano Point, Grand Canyon West view from the top of Guano Point Guano Point, Grand Canyon West

There are no guard rails or fences to stop you from tumbling down the cliffs. Makes it feel like a real adventure.  no guardrails to protect you from these gorgeous views at Guano Point Colorado River from Guano Point Gorgeous morning. Helicopter for scale! view from Guano Point, helicopter for scale

It was a great little side trip. Next time I'd go at sunset, just to see the sun hit the other side of the mountains. Maybe bring along some dramamine so I could take one of those crazy helicopter rides. 

As ever, thanks for the visit!



Leigh Jones

December 20, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Leigh Jones

This is Leigh Jones, and she's drop-dead gorgeous. Leigh reached out to me after liking a shoot I did with a mutual friend, hoping to get in a shoot before the end of the year. She was such a marvelous surprise. Leigh was game for an idea I've been wanting to try for months. It's been a long time since I did a shoot with a complete stranger, and I can't say enough about her: she was totally into this, gave 1000% and helped bring my concept to life with her boundless energy and humor and creativity. I can't wait to shoot with her again. Today, mostly I just want to brag about her and show off a few of these amazing images we made together. I can't wait to see what she does next.

Leigh Jones

Leigh Jones Leigh Jones

Leigh Jones Leigh Jones Leigh Jones Leigh Jones

If Leigh ever records an album, we've got the cover ready to go.

Leigh Jones

I hope you liked these! As always, thank you for stopping by!



Gingerbreads go to the beach

December 16, 2017  •  Leave a Comment



The first thing the Gingerbreads wanted to do was to get their little gingery feet in the sand. They brought their Baywatch red suits and played lifeguard while Snowy chilled in the shade below. 


They are so happy to be where it's sunny and warm, they don't mind a green Christmas at all. Mmm, smells like someone is baking gingerbread! 

Gingerbread baking

We don't know where Snowy got off to.

Mr. Snowy loves the beach I'm sure we'll find him snuggled safely in the cooler.

Snowy goes swimming



December Muse: Gingerbread

December 15, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Injured bread menInjured bread men

Over the last ten years or so I've done an annual gingerbread photo project around Christmas. It started with this sad batch of burnt and broken cookies I decided to decorate anyway. These were the original injuredbreadmen.

Injured bread menInjured bread men Ouch!Ouch!injured bread men

The next year I got a package of Christmas cookie cutters from IKEA in Iceland that had odd shapes, including snails and porcupines, and I repurposed them to make some fun scenes with my b-movie victims.

Feel lucky, punk? Feel lucky, punk? Feel lucky, punk? I've had them precariously posed, about to be devoured.

One year we got a Christmas village and baked crazed gingerbread men to pillage the little town. I always know I'm onto something good if I'm cracking up when I'm decorating and shooting them.

Pillaging the Village 2013Pillaging the Village 2013 Christmas PillageChristmas Pillage SURPRISE!SURPRISE! March of the gingerbread menMarch of the gingerbread menPillaging the village Oops!Oops! Last year we were in Sweden, and instead of making gingerbread men we made a house, as my niece Sydney had never made one before. While it looked great in the kitchen, it really needed to be out in the snow. We took it out and left it for the wild Swedish gingerpeople.

We're having our first Christmas in LA and this year, the Gingerbreads have come to visit us! They showed up with their bags and even brought a snow friend from the forest. I'll have to find some room in the freezer for him. 

The Gingerbreads have arrived!

Stay tuned for the Gingerbreads' Christmas vacation adventures in LA! 



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