Spring 2013 Celebrate Home Magazine: Artist-in-Residence

4 04 2013

Camilla and Jim Houghton’s laid-back Florida home is featured in the spring 2013 issue of Celebrate Home Magazine, now available for FREE download in the links below. Read my interview, “Artist-in-Residence,” starting on page 12 of this issue.

The more clicks we get, the better we do with promoting and getting advertising! We thank you for your support.

Single pages version: Celebrate Home Spring 2013

Reader spreads version (my favorite!): Celebrate Home Spring 2013 Spreads

Order a print copy (at cost, plus shipping): http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/540569

You can also view it on issuu.com here.

Photography © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

ArtistInResidence





Re-post: Ellie, Claire and the manatees

1 02 2013

Originally posted Feb. 9, 2010. I just love this shot of the twins with a manatee and wanted to share again!

Michael and I just got back from Sarasota, Florida, where we had been visiting his parents for a few days. Later this week I’ll be posting some images from our various adventures, including visiting the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on Thursday, a windy walk through Historic Spanish Point on Friday, and showcasing and selling my Polaroid transfer notecards with his mother at an art show in their lovely community on Saturday.

On Sunday I spent a truly blissful day with my friend Camilla and her children—son Nolan and the twins, Ellie and Claire. After breakfast, we headed to the Mote Marine Aquarium and Laboratory. The twins were especially enamored with Hugh and Buffet, two manatees who were born at the Miami Seaquarium and brought to Mote in May 1996 to help teach the public about sea cows. Mote Marine Laboratory is the first facility to have been granted permission from US Fish and Wildlife to conduct basic husbandry training with captive-born manatees.

I’m not sure if the manatee below is Hugh or Buffet, but he was as drawn to the twins as they were to him (he probably thought he was seeing double!). A Mote employee told us that this one had weighed 2,000 pounds, but currently weighs 1800 pounds. The average weight of a manatee is approximately 1,000 pounds, but it can exceed 3,000 pounds. Learn more about manatees on the Mote Aquarium site here.

According to the aquarium’s website, Hugh and Buffet eat about 72 heads of lettuce a day! (Which begs the question—if all they eat is lettuce, how do they pile on all that weight? Are they going heavy on the ranch dressing, shredded cheese and croutons?)

The manatee below would grab a head of lettuce with his tiny flippers and slowly eat it as he sunk to the bottom of the tank (slow food fashion). The other manatee stayed up at the top of the tank, swimming in circles and grabbing chunks as they floated back up (drive-thru fast food style).

Interesting fact: Manatees are not aggressive and they have no social hierarchy. Humans could learn a lesson or two from them, couldn’t we?

Speaking of seeing double, the twins are identical, so it is very difficult for me to tell them apart. I learned that at this point in time, Ellie has all of her front teeth but Claire is missing a few. Unless they smiled and showed me their teeth, I kept calling them by the wrong names all day—despite my internal repetition of this refrain—Ellie Teeth, Claire No Teeth, Ellie Teeth, Claire No Teeth. I took a closeup head shot of them facing the camera and when I showed them the photo on my screen, I asked “which is which?” They both pointed to the face on the right and simultaneously said, “that’s me!” If they can’t tell each other apart, how are we supposed to?!

The Orlando Sentinel reported on manatee deaths in record numbers here. Most of the deaths have been linked to the cold snap that hit the state in early January.

It was a bit chilly that day, so you’ll notice that the twins are wearing coats. What you don’t see are their summer shoes—blue thong sandals and pink Crocs! And speaking of chilly—we left mostly mild and sunny Sarasota yesterday to return to Washington, D.C. and the remnants of the weekend’s blizzard…just in time for another possible snowstorm beginning today and not ending until tomorrow (with a predicted 10-20 inches more of the white stuff). Oh, joy.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

EllieClaireManatee





iPhoneography: Turtle Beach, Siesta Key, Florida

14 12 2012

Shot in early November © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Sarasotabeach





52 fish pile-up

23 07 2011

Sorry about the lame title…my other contenders were “a fine kettle of fish,” “fish soup,” and “koi calamity.” Photographed at the Marie Selby Botanical Garden in Sarasota, Florida

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





HLM Cover Feature: Lynn Rousseau

9 05 2011

The May/June 2011 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine (HLM), which I design and produce bimonthly for the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), is hot off the press! This month’s “cover girl” is my dear friend and HLAA member Lynn Rousseau. I first met Lynn in October 2008 in Denver, Colorado, when we both received a Focus on People Award from Oticon, a leading hearing aid manufacturer. Barbara Kelley, Deputy Executive Director of HLAA and editor of Hearing Loss Magazine, secretly nominated me for the award. Oticon flew all the winners (and a guest) to Denver for the ceremony, and I wrote about that amazing experience (thanks again, Barbara!) on my blog here.

Lynn and I hit it off instantly and talked for hours that weekend. She was very funny, sweet and a great listener. Last year I told her that she needed to share her life story with the hearing loss community. She has led quite a colorful and creative life, so I knew she would have great photos to illustrate the article. She didn’t fail me with the visuals—she mailed a big bag of newspaper clippings and photos collected from a lifetime of dancing, performing and modeling. It was hard to decide which ones to use first! I had the pleasure of photographing Lynn for the cover when we met up at the 2010 HLAA Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin last June. Lynn confessed that while she didn’t think she was a writer, she would do her best to repeat some of the stories she shared with me when we first met. I enlisted the help of my father, Hershel M. Dyer, as editor (thanks, Dad!). He crafted a beautiful article from Lynn’s notes and stream-of-consciousness prose. You can read more of his work on his blog at www.thekingoftexas.wordpress.com.

Lynn’s love of dance and performing garnered her several “15 minutes of fame” moments—in her teens she was just one of three girls chosen to perform every Saturday on the Rick Shaw Show and the Saturday Hop Show in Miami. She performed at legendary Miami Beach hotels and her first television show was with Paul Revere & the Raiders, Simon & Garfunkel and Neil Diamond. She also had a small part on the big screen in Smokey and the Bandit, starring Burt Reynolds and Jackie Gleason, had the opportunity to dance with the June Taylor dancers, and was an extra on the movie, Doc Hollywood, with Michael J. Fox.

In this month’s feature article, she shares both the sad and funny moments in her life concerning hearing loss, introduces us to her incredibly supportive family (husband Joel, three children, and eight grandchildren), and reveals her diagnosis of and subsequent recovery from breast cancer in 2008. On this month’s cover I wrote Lynn Rousseau: Fearless, Persistent, Resilient. Lynn is all those things and I’m thrilled that readers will get to know a little more about her colorful life. My father has always told me that I march to the tune of a different drummer. Lynn most certainly does, too, (sometimes literally!) and I am so proud to call her my friend. To read the entire article, click to download the pdf file here: Lynn Rousseau





Who-o-o, who-o-o

12 02 2010

I photographed this handsome (beautiful?) owl at a wildlife rehabilitation center near the Mote Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida. I had to photograph him through a cage, so I’m surprised the resulting image was this good (couldn’t avoid the lumpy tree limb to the right, though). The rehabilitation center is free to walk through, but they take donations to help their cause.

I was researching how to spell the “hoot” sound that an owl makes and found this site here that lists superstitions associated with animals. (How in the world does one keep up with all of these superstitions?) They are from a book published in the 1920s—Kentucky Superstitions—by Daniel Lindsey Thomas and Lucy Blayney Thomas. Here are the ones I found concerning owls:

3617. If an owl hoots, someone will die. (Fortunately, this fella was a quiet one.)

3618. If an owl hoots on the top of a house, there will be a death in that household.

3619. It brings bad luck to imitate the hoot of an owl. (I must confess that I did utter, “who?” when I saw this owl, which prompted him to look me straight in the eyes. What does that mean??? Am I’m in trouble???)

3620. If an owl hoots at the door for three successive nights, the sound foretells a death in the house.

3621. An owl’s hoot about midnight is a sign that a member of the family will meet with an accident.

3622. Tie a knot in your dress or skirt to stop an owl’s hoot. (I was wearing jeans.)

3623. Avert the disaster of an owl’s hooting by turning an old shoe upside down. (Is it too late for me to turn an old shoe upside down to avert disaster?)

3624. To make an owl stop hooting, take off your left shoe and turn it over.

3625. An owl will stop hooting if you pull your shoes off and cross them.

3626. To stop an owl from hooting, turn the toes of your shoes to touch the wall. (What is it with owls and shoes?)

3627. To avert the disaster that follows the hoot of an owl, heat a poker until it is red hot. (Then what do you do with the red hot poker?)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Jellyfish

11 02 2010

Photograph of a jellyfish at the Mote Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Fun at the Mote Marine Aquarium

10 02 2010

At the Mote Aquarium, my friend Cam purchased a bucket of sand for $6 and the kids got to mine through it for shark’s teeth over a trough with running water. They had a blast finding various types of shark teeth and fossilized stingray tails. We all got a chance to touch several types of stingrays (a first for me!). Over at the laboratory, we watched two resident dolphins do tricks with their trainers and met Harry and Buffet, the manatees. There are several sea turtles at the laboratory, too.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Ellie, Claire and the manatees

9 02 2010

Michael and I just got back from Sarasota, Florida, where we had been visiting his parents for a few days. Later this week I’ll be posting some images from our various adventures, including visiting the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on Thursday, a windy walk through Historic Spanish Point on Friday, and showcasing and selling my Polaroid transfer notecards with his mother at an art show in their lovely community on Saturday.

On Sunday I spent a truly blissful day with my friend Camilla and her children—son Nolan and the twins, Ellie and Claire. After breakfast, we headed to the Mote Marine Aquarium and Laboratory. The twins were especially enamored with Hugh and Buffet, two manatees who were born at the Miami Seaquarium and brought to Mote in May 1996 to help teach the public about sea cows. Mote Marine Laboratory is the first facility to have been granted permission from US Fish and Wildlife to conduct basic husbandry training with captive-born manatees.

I’m not sure if the manatee below is Hugh or Buffet, but he was as drawn to the twins as they were to him (he probably thought he was seeing double!). A Mote employee told us that this one had weighed 2,000 pounds, but currently weighs 1800 pounds. The average weight of a manatee is approximately 1,000 pounds, but it can exceed 3,000 pounds. Learn more about manatees on the Mote Aquarium site here.

According to the aquarium’s website, Hugh and Buffet eat about 72 heads of lettuce a day! (Which begs the question—if all they eat is lettuce, how do they pile on all that weight? Are they going heavy on the ranch dressing, shredded cheese and croutons?)

The manatee below would grab a head of lettuce with his tiny flippers and slowly eat it as he sunk to the bottom of the tank (slow food fashion). The other manatee stayed up at the top of the tank, swimming in circles and grabbing chunks as they floated back up (drive-thru fast food style).

Interesting fact: Manatees are not aggressive and they have no social hierarchy. Humans could learn a lesson or two from them, couldn’t we?

Speaking of seeing double, the twins are identical, so it is very difficult for me to tell them apart. I learned that at this point in time, Ellie has all of her front teeth but Claire is missing a few. Unless they smiled and showed me their teeth, I kept calling them by the wrong names all day—despite my internal repetition of this refrain—Ellie Teeth, Claire No Teeth, Ellie Teeth, Claire No Teeth. I took a closeup head shot of them facing the camera and when I showed them the photo on my screen, I asked “which is which?” They both pointed to the face on the right and simultaneously said, “that’s me!” If they can’t tell each other apart, how are we supposed to?!

The Orlando Sentinel reported on manatee deaths in record numbers here. Most of the deaths have been linked to the cold snap that hit the state in early January.

It was a bit chilly that day, so you’ll notice that the twins are wearing coats. What you don’t see are their summer shoes—blue thong sandals and pink Crocs! And speaking of chilly—we left mostly mild and sunny Sarasota yesterday to return to Washington, D.C. and the remnants of the weekend’s blizzard…just in time for another possible snowstorm beginning today and not ending until tomorrow (with a predicted 10-20 inches more of the white stuff). Oh, joy.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Picture this. Miami. Christmas day. 1991.

4 01 2010

(FYI, the title borrows from the character Sophia Petrillo in Golden Girls…”Picture this. Sicily. 1912.”)

With no plans to visit our respective families for Christmas that year (no particular reason not to either), we declared that Christmas must be spent in the Everglades National Park. We loaded up the car with cameras and camping equipment and embarked, with unbridled enthusiasm, on Great Aventure #17 (remember, this was early on in our courtship, so the adventures hadn’t stacked up just yet!) to the Everglades. What surprised us most is how close the park is to Miami. One minute you’re at the mall, the next minute you’re surrounded by alligators.

Camping + Nachos + Steve Martin = It Must Be Christmas!
Michael, master camper that he is, set up a fine tent. It was getting late and we were too impatient to cook over a campfire (okay, so I was the one who was too impatient), so we did what any camper would do if they were just a mile from a city—get in the car and drive to a Mexican restaurant, followed by a late showing of the newly-released movie, Father of the Bride. Mexican Food and a chick-flick. How Christmas-y is that?

Gators + Marshmallows + Open Boat = Are You Kidding Me?
One afternoon we booked a tour on an airboat that took us through the glades to spot alligators. At one point the guide spotted a rather large one, slowed the boat down, then tossed out a marshmallow in its direction. The guide then joked (insert Captain-Clint-from-Jaws voice here), “Aye…ya know…he could scamper onto dis boat in no time flat if he really wanted to…arghhh.” The group was so silent, you could have heard a marshmallow drop.

Mama?
One morning we were walking along the Anhinga Trail…camera in hand, I searched for something to record in the saw grass marsh. I came around a corner and there sat a miniature alligator…not more than a foot long…and a mere five feet away from me. I stopped and snapped a few shots. Then I kneeled down and shot a few more, moving very slowly so as not to frighten him away. Michael was a few feet behind me. I paused, then turned to him and asked, “umm…this is a baby alligator, right?” He nodded yes. “umm…so…where is its mother?” He replied, “in the tall grasses near this boardwalk, probably watching you.” We had seen several “mothers” sunning themselves on the banks when we entered the park. This little guy? I could take him, but I was no match for his mother. “Ummm…10 shots of this little guy is plenty, I do think. Oh, my, I think it’s time for lunch. Let’s go. Now.

Do You Get The Feeling We’re Being Watched?
I photographed these Black Vultures in a tree overlooking our campsite. In retrospect, I think these vultures must have seen our license plates, figured we were lost Yankees, and were just waiting for us to run out of prepackaged R.E.I. meals and simply perish…our bodies ripe for the picking. Little did they know that in town we had supplemented our MRE’s with refried beans, enchiladas, buttered popcorn and Nonpareils. We lived to tell the tale.

Vulture #2: “So, how long do you give ’em?”

Vulture #1, shrugging shoulders: “I dunno. Whaddya think? Two, three days, tops?”

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Dolphins, oh my! and snorkeling gone awry

3 08 2009

On June 2, the day after Chantell and Austin’s sailboat wedding in Key West, our entire group went back out to sea in two boats for our great dolphin watch and snorkeling adventure. As Captain Gary predicted, we did see a plethora of dolphins. He told us that they were taking an afternoon siesta—that explained why they didn’t come up really close to the boat or show their faces very often—but I still got some nice record shots.

The morning started off beautifully—smooth aqua-colored water, sun in the sky, dolphins encircling both boats. We got to the snorkeling spot and disembarked. By the time I got the hang of the mask-in-the-water-tube-above-water-don’t-forget-to-breathe procedure (thanks to Kathy), the waves picked up (making it hard to keep the salt water out of our tubes!). We knew it was getting a bit dangerous to stay out. The sky went from sunny and blue to a menacing shade of gray. The boats were rocking so violently that we had trouble even getting back into the boat when our trusty captains called us in. The snorkeling jaunt was supposed to be 45 minutes long—we weren’t in the water more than 20+ minutes before the weather ended it all. The ride back to shore was incredibly violent and the rain started coming down so hard that we were soaked by the time we got back to the dock. It was so choppy that I couldn’t even shoot photos to show how rough the weather was! Despite the rocky and abrupt ending to our adventure, we certainly had a “Champion!” morning—as Zimbabwe-born Captain Gary had promised.

The Muchemore family was on Captain Gary’s boat. Michael and I shared a boat with A.J. and his girlfriend, Christina (the couple shown in two of the photos below). A.J. is in the Army and was home on leave from Afghanistan and vacationing in Key West with Christina. The two met in Pontiac, IL (where he is from) four years ago and became the best of friends, which evolved into a “fairytale love story,” according to Christina. When he gets home in December (they’re hoping), he’ll be moving to Schaumburg, IL, where Christina majors in Interior Design at the Art Institute. She plans on getting her masters in architecture. A.J. will attend Harper Community College to finish his degree. And it appears that there’s an engagement and wedding in their future—need a photographer, Christina?

Check out these links below for more photos from our weekend in Key West, including Chantell and Austin’s wedding:

Birds of a feather
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/what-20-bucks-will-get-ya-in-key-west/

A rather unusual tree
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/amazing-tree-in-downtown-key-west/

Weekend in Key West
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/04/weekend-in-key-west/

Here lizard, lizard, lizard
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/here-lizard-lizard-lizard/

Cloudspotting
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/cloudspotting-spinal-column/

Much more of the Muchemores
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/much-more-of-the-muchemores/

Muchemore redux
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/25/muchemore-redux/

Chantell and Austin
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/chantell-and-austin-on-the-pier/

Yes, another wedding photo…
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/yes-another-wedding-photo/

The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/the-key-west-butterfly-and-nature-conservatory/

A few more butterflies…
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/a-few-more-butterflies/

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

SnorkelAdventure





A few more butterflies…

28 06 2009

…from the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

KeyWestButterfliesx3





The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

28 06 2009

While in Key West, we visited the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory before we met up with the Muchemore family for the big event—Chantell and Austin’s wedding.

This conservatory is definitely one of our favorites now! As you walk around the winding pathway through the conservatory, you’ll hear classical music playing. Not only are there 60+ species of butterflies, they also have an array of exotic birds, tropical plants and a koi pond. Ever notice that most butterfly conservatories are hot and humid? That’s the case here, except for the strategically placed cool air tubes throughout the conservatory—these are to help cool the air for the birds. We humans appreciated that touch on a hot Florida day, too! There’s also a Learning Center and a wonderful gift shop. Founders Sam Trophia and George Fernandez established the Conservatory and the Trophia Butterfly Foundation in January 2003. Read more about Sam Trophia in this article on www.SunSentinel.com.

I photographed a plethora of butterflies at the Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland last year. If you fancy butterflies, click here and here to see those photos. I often find butterfly subjects to photograph in our garden—check out the Monarchs I photographed last fall here. Last year I designed a Monarch Butterfly Habitat poster for my friend Mary Ellen of Happy Tonics in Shell Lake, Wisconsin.

I have no idea what kind of butterfly this is below, but it’s a beauty, isn’t it? I made a half-hearted attempt to identify it for you but it’s late and I need some shut-eye (it may surprise some of you, but yes, I do sometimes sleep).

As my father often writes on his blog www.thekingoftexas.wordpress.com, “I’ll get back to you later with more details.”

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Butterflylorez





Yes, another wedding photo…

28 06 2009

Can I help it if these two are so photogenic? I used either the “Rusty Cage” or the “Super Fun Happy” filter from Doug Boutwell Studio’s Totally Rad Action Mix to achieve this warm and dreamy effect.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

SweetPhoto





Chantell and Austin on the pier

26 06 2009

I had such a blast photographing these two on the beach the day after their wedding. Both were spontaneous, up for anything, clearly crazy about each other and photogenic to boot. I had complete creative freedom, trusty assistants (the groom’s parents), a tropical backdrop, magical afternoon light, and easy-to-direct and very appreciative “models.” This assignment truly could not have been more ideal! I’ve photographed over 100 weddings in my photography career (most during and after college in Texas), and this one was the most laid-back, go-with-the-flow, low stress events of any of them!

Be patient and one day I might share an image or two and some really crazy stories about some of the most memorable weddings I have photographed. I shot one wedding during a tornado alert! I actually have photos of the mariachi (Mexican music) band swaying in the fierce winds with a turbulent navy sky in the background—at 4:00 p.m. on a South Texas afternoon. The bride and groom were so much in love and anxious to marry that they were apparently oblivious to the impending storm. Then there was the bride who paid half down, then went off to work as a migrant worker for a year. (Half down was $75, if you can believe that—I never charged more than $200 for a wedding—at the time, “top” photographers charged anywhere from $500-800. Those were the days, huh?) She came back with the balance in a piggy bank— we had to break it open to get the money (I can still hear the quarters, nickels and dimes as they rolled across our coffee table). Sweet couple—although a little slow on pickup and payment! Trust me…I’ve got the stories!

In those days the contemporary photojournalistic style wasn’t in use at all—we had a checklist of posed images to get and then we could play after that. I love the new approach and it suits my shooting style so much better. And we shot print film then; digital wasn’t available yet. Having immediate feedback makes the job much more enjoyable and guarantees you get the shot. It almost makes me want to hang out my wedding photographer shingle again. We’ll see.

You can view the previous Key West/wedding photos here, here, and in the posting below this one.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Pier Collage





Amazing tree in downtown Key West

11 06 2009

I’m fairly certain that a Ficus aurea, or strangler fig, has taken over this tree (or group of trees) in downtown Key West. I did some research online and learned that they are common throughout the Caribbean and tropical Americas. You’ll find excellent and very detailed information about strangler figs with illustrative photos on this site: http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ploct99.htm

Michael serves as my scale reference in the first photo. Doesn’t the second photo look like a backdrop from a Harry Potter movie? If I have misidentified this unusual tree, enlighten me!

THIS JUST IN…Artist Val Webb posted a comment on my garden-only site, http://www.gardenmuse.wordpress.com. Here is her comment:

“It has been many years since I visited Key West, but I seem to recall that the tree in question is a banyan tree. There is a large one on the Thomas Edison property there.”

I looked up “banyan tree” and learned that a banyan is a fig tree that starts its life as an epiphyte when its seeds germinate in the cracks and crevices on a host tree. The seeds germinate and send down roots toward the ground, and may envelope part of the host tree…giving them the name of “strangler fig.” So apparently banyan is another name for it. Thanks for the input, Val!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

StranglerFig





What 20 bucks will get ya in Key West

5 06 2009

(Delicious bruschetta not included) While eating dinner Saturday night at Caroline’s on Duval Street, we watched a cockatoo dancing in time to reggae music on a nearby bench. The bird is on exhibit at Jungle Greg’s Rescued Animals booth in downtown Key West. A sign lists prices at $10 for each animal for photographs. He also had various birds and two large snakes on display. So Jungle Greg must have been feeling pretty good that night because he attached four birds to Michael for just $20 so I could get this shot. Whatta deal! The money goes to his rescue projects (at least that’s what the sign purports; the  animals on display aren’t rescues). I did observe that the animals were far more lively and conversational than the proprietors. But $20 isn’t too bad considering he usually charges $30 (plus tax) to shoot a photo for you and that gets you one 4×6. As we were leaving, two twenty-somethings came up and said, “we’re scared to death of birds, but can we get a photo of the python wrapped around our necks?”

Coming soon: See how fast you can part with $35 in 15 minutes in the tropics!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Bruschetta & Birds





Weekend in Key West!

4 06 2009

That title should explain my brief (and abrupt) exit from my blog. Michael and I flew into Key West on Saturday afternoon. We spent that evening exploring Key West, followed by a visit to a botanical garden and a butterfly conservatory on Sunday. Late Sunday afternoon we met up with the parents of the groom, Kathy and Kevin (groom’s parents), who are my parent’s neighbors in San Antonio. They had asked us to join them at their timeshare in Key West; the trip soon morphed into the impromptu sailboat-at-sunset wedding of their son, Austin, and his lovely bride, Chantell. I was asked to photograph the event and was thrilled to do so. This is just one of the photos I’ll be posting. I shot this shortly after they said their “I do’s.” (Notice the sunset behaved well for the shot, too!) It was the most fun wedding I’ve ever photographed (and I’ve shot over 100 of them since college)! Chantell and Austin—with their unbridled energy, enthusiasm, and sparkling white smiles (not much to improve in Photoshop there!)—were such a joy to photograph. Perfect weather, perfect wedding, perfect couple with perfect smiles, perfect day!

We had to get back so I could photograph an event for the American Horticultural Society (which I’m leaving for now, in fact), so we (sadly) couldn’t stay with them the rest of the week. This was our second time in Key West, but we saw quite a bit more than we did on our first trip many years ago. I felt like we were in some exotic country—almost forgot we were still in the U.S. It’s quite a different atmosphere—lizards, iguanas, roosters and chickens running loose everywhere…very laid-back atmosphere…brightly colored cottages and exotic flowers in bloom…and bicyclists and mopeds galore. It was a short but very adventurous four days!

More photos to come of botanical garden lizards and flowers, butterflies, Key West shots, parrots, Hemingway’s house, cats, boats, interesting clouds, dolphins, snorkeling…and, of course, more wedding and sailboat shots.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Chantell Austin Wedding