Cheerio and Bonjour {European Vacation…and some work}

We had the trip of a lifetime last week for spring break. It was exhausting and some tears were shed (mostly by a jetlagged me), but we made it through and got to see and experience some amazing sites and places.

Carolyn Mendelsohn, (check out her work, so beautiful and very poignant and thoughful portraits) asked if I might be interesting in heading to Yorkshire to teach a day of her Residential Workshop. It was falling during the girls’ spring break, so we decided to make a week of it…and cram every damn thing we could think of into said week as well.

We flew into London, stayed for a few days, took the train to Paris (the 5:40 train, I might add) for 24 hours, then train-ed back to London, up to Yorkshire, taught the class (the girls modeled and Mike pub-ed:), headed back to London and went home. Easy, right?

A few highlights of our trip…
Lion King in the West End.
Getting pictures drawn of the girls in Montmartre.
Climbing the Eiffel Tower with no crowds.
Pretending we were on the Amazing Race when almost missed our train from Paris.
I had zero fear flying over the Atlantic (I am a terrible flyer generally) but my relax-y pills chilled me just enough to make it through just fine.
Indian food in London.
Bread and croissant in Paris.
Gelato.
Gelato.
Gelato.
The amazing and awesome women in the class in Yorkshire.
The moors.
Teaching a class in the same place Wuthering Heights was written.

Some of the images from our trip.

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Cheerio and Bonjour {European Vacation…and some work}

We had the trip of a lifetime last week for spring break. It was exhausting and some tears were shed (mostly by a jetlagged me), but we made it through and got to see and experience some amazing sites and places.

Carolyn Mendelsohn, (check out her work, so beautiful and very poignant and thoughful portraits) asked if I might be interesting in heading to Yorkshire to teach a day of her Residential Workshop. It was falling during the girls’ spring break, so we decided to make a week of it…and cram every damn thing we could think of into said week as well.

We flew into London, stayed for a few days, took the train to Paris (the 5:40 train, I might add) for 24 hours, then train-ed back to London, up to Yorkshire, taught the class (the girls modeled and Mike pub-ed:), headed back to London and went home. Easy, right?

A few highlights of our trip…
Lion King in the West End.
Getting pictures drawn of the girls in Montmartre.
Climbing the Eiffel Tower with no crowds.
Pretending we were on the Amazing Race when almost missed our train from Paris.
I had zero fear flying over the Atlantic (I am a terrible flyer generally) but my relax-y pills chilled me just enough to make it through just fine.
Indian food in London.
Bread and croissant in Paris.
Gelato.
Gelato.
Gelato.
The amazing and awesome women in the class in Yorkshire.
The moors.
Teaching a class in the same place Wuthering Heights was written.

Some of the images from our trip.

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Football to Cotillion. A Weekend in the New South. {Photo Essay}

Gender roles are challenged and accepted all in the same weekend.

This photo essay captures 7th grade girls from Georgia who take on the boys in an otherwise all male flag football league on Saturdays. Then on Sundays, they head en masse to the southern tradition of cotillion classes. Scrapes are covered in makeup, eye black is replaced by eye liner, and muddy cleats are swapped for black flats.

On Saturdays, the girls fought hard for a 1-7 record. Their coach, Steven Sweigart, was impressed with the girls: “Coaching these girls was one of my favorite experiences with the game of football. It’s a demanding sport that requires each player to do their job during every play. Even though the girls didn’t know football when they started and they got pushed around in the beginning, they kept fighting. These girls never gave up and impressed me every week. They are beautiful warriors.”

On Sundays, the girls take out their ponytails and don their cocktail dresses and name tags for cotillion at the local country club. Cotillion is a series of classes popular in the South that offer instruction in manners, deportment, social graces, and dancing.

With the girls cleaned up and blown dry, scrapes and bruises can still be seen on legs and faces from the day before. But today they aren’t blocking and tackling the boys; they are accepting their arms to lead them to the dance floor and following their lead in the cha cha.

The girls seem to revere the camaraderie and challenge of football and endure the directives of cotillion. One emphasizes manners and acting like nice southern ladies and the other completely the opposite.

“I go to cotillion because my mom makes me. I hate wearing a fancy dress and shoes, but it is fun since my friends are all there” explains Logan Speckhart, a receiver on the team.

Parents saw changes in the girls as the football season progressed, “I saw her confidence soar after she saw that she could compete with boys her age who have played football for years.” Jennifer Ford, parent of Gracie.

When asked if the girls had any trouble with the boys playing against girls, Gracie Ford said, “No, but they didn’t think we were going to be as good as we were.”

Well played, ladies.

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2014…favorites

So, yeah, I know this is late. About 13 days too late, so much for starting the new year in a timely manner.

So 2014. You rocked pretty hard…so thankful and humbled by some of the accolades and recognition that came professionally…gallery show, speaking, named bored panda‘s Best Family Photographer in Georgia, wrote and ran my first (and much smoother second) workshop through clickin moms, got a (kick a$$) agent, my photo projects were featured on some amazing sites (Huffington Post, NPR, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls at the Party, Vanity Fair Italy, Elle China, Washington Post, and Buzzfeed) to name a few. I wrote and shot the campaign for Girls on the Run and Athleta and it set records on their social media. Hands down my most fufulling shoot ever. And the family and I head off to England in March to teach my firstinternational workshop *cue Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road”.

And personally, we got the cutest, sweetest most adored nephew and cousin, Sam, added to our family, so really can’t beat that. Here are some of my favorite images from 2014.

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Some of the recognition that came for both of my personal projects “Blended” and “Strong is the New Pretty“.

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And the Girls on the Run/Athleta campaign “Power Up for Girls on the Run”.

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And my favorite people in the world at my favorite place in the world, the beach.

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