The Fallbrook Fruit Packing Plant

I’ve been shooting the old Fruit Packing Plant in Fallbrook for years – I’ve blogged about it before.

The renovations are almost complete, and I wanted to get a shot of the building at this stage – that was my main goal today. But I also wanted to play with the plastic sheeting, and chain link fence on the west side of the building. The way the sheeting was looped and tucked, and the way it blew and shimmered in the breeze was compelling to me, and I knew I could get some fun images of it.

And my final goal today was to get a shot to submit to a Day in the Life project some friends were putting together – today is Leap Day, so what better day for a bunch of photographers all over the world to all submit one photo, and then create a slide show that takes the viewer all over the world, all on one day, hour by hour, and minute by minute. Fun!

Fallbrook Fruit Packing Plant

Fallbrook Fruit Packing Plant

Fallbrook Fruit Packing Plant

Fallbrook Fruit Packing Plant

Fallbrook Fruit Packing Plant

So those are the documentary shots. Now onto the fun stuff!

Fallbrook Fruit Packing Plant

Fallbrook Fruit Packing Plant

Fallbrook Fruit Packing Plant

Fallbrook Fruit Packing Plant

Fallbrook Fruit Packing Plant

Fallbrook Fruit Packing Plant

Fallbrook Fruit Packing Plant

And finally, this is the shot I submitted to the Day in the Life Project. It’s the lock on the front gate – and I love the way the light hits the fence, and the shadows on the sidewalk. It’s a very simple image – just a picture of a gate – but I love it!

Iconic Portraits: Part Two

Yesterday I blogged about an iconic image – an image that I created – that defines me as an artist. It’s an image that defines my art, my business, and my style.

But I’m not always the one taking the photograph…

I think that everyone has a favorite image of themselves. I have several! And I want to share them, because if I have one wish for my business it’s that I hope to give my clients images they love of themselves as much as I love and treasure these images of me. Everyone deserves that! Everyone deserves a little magic – and the right photograph can give you that.

Cheryl Spelts

This first image is in my opinion, the best image ever taken of me! It was shot by one of my closest friends at the time – the incredibly talented Kevin Mann during his first semester in a beginning photography class. We were in my backyard, it was dusk, he had a cheap clamp-on lightbulb, and he insisted on spraying me with a hose. I thought it was a little nuts! But he believed firmly in what he was doing – and he was right – and he shot a magical portrait. He printed it huge, and it still hangs on my wall in my bedroom. When I think of myself, this is the image in my head.

Cheryl Spelts

This next image is my first real headshot – from my hugely successful acting career in LA. Not really… I took lots of classes – from a well-known teacher who had published a book on acting – he was the real deal. But auditioning in LA was very different than auditioning in San Diego, and I was just not ready. So I decided to take a break, moved back and started to study photography, so that I could shoot other actor’s headshots when I went back to LA. But I fell in love with photography, and never went back to LA. It was not the plan, and I never would have guessed I could love something more than acting – but I did and I do and I have no regrets. But I still love this headshot! It was shot by Willa Burns in Oceanside and I was 22.

Cheryl Spelts

And this one was shot by me! With a plastic camera, a big fan, a tiara, and some BBQ tongs so I could trip the shutter – really weird setup, but I love the results. I shot this in 2004 as part of a whole series of self-portraits – but this one is my favorite!

So those are the three iconic portraits of me. Everyone should have at least one!

Cheryl Spelts

This last one is not iconic – but it is fun! I found it as I was looking for my first headshot, and wanted to share it too. It was shot at the very end of my big acting career – right before I started to study photography. I wasn’t very happy as an actress at that point – and I think you can see that in my face. I just look a little off. But you gotta love the hair!

Iconic Portraits: Part One

Patrick

In 1994 I got my first job as a photographer. I wasn’t hired because of my portfolio, or my education, or my skills – I was hired because of my enthusiasm and passion for the art. I REALLY wanted it, and luckily the person doing the hiring thought that was a big asset and took a chance on me. I got a little training – basically set the camera and the lights up like this, use these poses, and work as fast as you can, while making sure the client has a great time. It was a great job! But after a month or so I got bored with the standard poses, and I started to focus more on finding the perfect angle for each person I shot. I started looking for the beauty in that person. And my sales shot way up! I got used to having at least one person dissolve into tears each day – because they never thought they could look that beautiful. It was a very very cool time in my life!

But I started to get bored… I wanted more. I wanted to change the way the lights were set up, I wanted to move the camera, and I wanted to go outside and shoot. I wanted to actually understand how the camera and the film and lights worked. I didn’t want to just set it and forget it, and follow a standard set of poses anymore. Was that asking so much?

So I left that job and started to take photography classes, and then spent the next ten years in the darkroom. I loved everything about the darkroom – the smells, the chemicals, the way you work all day to get one perfect print. There’s just nothing else like a black and white darkroom…

During that first year of school I shot an image that still perfectly defines my style as a photographer. I consider it to be one of my iconic images. There are several very sweet shots on that same roll of film, but this one image, with the wet hair, and the thumb in the mouth, and the big dark eyes – it just says so much about me, as a photographer. I initially titled it “Pure Rock n’ Roll” and I still think that’s a very fitting title.

I’ve thought about retiring it – it was shot in 1995, so it’s nearly thirteen years old now – and I’ve shot thousands of other beautiful images. But something about this one is just so special, and so rock n’ roll, and so me.

For me, it’s an iconic image. It’s who I was at the time I shot it, and it’s still pretty much who I am now – all these years later.

Karina

Back in December – back when the weather was gorgeous – I did a session with Karina and never blogged it, so I’m posting it now!

Karina
This is my favorite image from the session – it’s all about the eyes!

Karina

Karina

Karina
And finally, Karina with her violin – such a gorgeous instrument!

Studio Update: The Inside!

I got some more painting done this week, so I figured it was time to finally shoot some pictures of the interior of the studio. It’s not officially done yet – there are still little tasks I want to complete – but it’s pretty close! Close enough for photos, anyway…

studio

This is my favorite part of the whole studio – and it’s what you see when you first walk in the door. The big images are gallery wrap canvases – exactly the same as painters use – only these are a photographic image. Canvases like this are really hot right now – and I can have them made in just about any size you can imagine. More on those on another day!

The couch is over a hundred years old – I bought it last summer from a family in Point Loma – their great aunt had brought it with her from the East Coast, and it was custom made for her family in 1904. I’m totally in love with it, and at some point I plan to get it reupholstered in white Matelasse – but for now I’m enjoying the green. It’s not a color I would have chosen, but I really like it!

The one thing I don’t like is that outlet right in the middle of the wall – but you know, it’s awfully convenient at times… I’d like it better though if it was lower on the wall – like low enough for the couch to hide it? Maybe someday!

studio

Backing up a little, here’s a wide view – and you can see one of my skylights. The table in the foreground is also over a hundred years old. The grandfather clock was made by my grandfather, for my grandmother and as the oldest grandchild I inherited it. It needs to make a trip to a clock doctor – it’s not working right now – but if you walk by it, the chimes shimmy in it, and it’s a pretty sound.

studio

From this view you can see the front door – and the backside of my cute little sign. And the LCD TV where I show my work…

studio

Another view of the LCD TV and the fireplace – and yes, I’d love to hide those two cords… Give it time, and it’ll happen!

studio

And this is my work area. I designed and made the desk and the black table in the corner – they both use legs from tablelegs.com and from there it was just a matter of doing the math, to get the size and shape and mass I wanted. I had a very specific picture in my head, and couldn’t find a desk that fit – so I made my own!

studio

And this elegant sideboard – circa 1885, or earlier – is my favorite purchase in the past year! I actually designed the whole studio around it. It doesn’t look it in this image, but it’s absolutely massive – taller than I am, with a nice high counter perfect for wrapping up packages and doing other tasks you need a counter for. I would love to get all the clutter off it, and let it just sit there, elegant and beautiful, but the truth is I use it and work at it and it’s very functional. Some of that clutter is going away in a week or two, but it will never be just a pretty piece of furniture – it’s a working counter and storage area!

studio

And here’s the final corner. I can and do shoot inside – with natural light from all the windows or with studio lights. So I’ve hung a rod between two antique cloak hooks, and I’m able to hang fabric to use as a background. Right now I’ve got five different fabrics I can use, and I plan to replace them occasionally – so I have something new and fun to use!

studio

And finally just my desk – with some sun flair! The rest of the images in this post are so straight and documentary in feel – can you blame me for wanting to have a little fun? And the light and the colors reflect how I feel about my desk and computer. I feel like I make magic here at times – so why not shoot it the way I feel it?

So that’s the studio part of the studio! If that’s all you’re interested in you can stop reading now. But if you’re like me, and you like seeing how other people live, I have a few more images you might be interested in…

Whenever I go to a show at an art colony or anytime I’m in an artist’s loft, I’m mostly interested in the art, but I’ll admit it – I also love to see how they live. I want to see where the bed is, and what the kitchen is like. Because it’s usually not like your average house – it’s a chic loft with paint on the floor and interesting people wandering in and out, and it’s intriguing! I don’t live in a loft – it’s just an old farm house – but I do have some paint on the floor still, and interesting people do wander through occasionally…

studio

The bedroom…

studio

The bathroom, complete with the famous red clawfoot tub!

studio

And my tiny kitchen, which I designed and built myself. I have a dishwasher, a great toaster over, one burner, a crock pot, and a refrigerator/freezer – but no microwave. And I don’t miss it at all! And I do plan to call an electrician at some point and hide those cords too.

studio

And to end the tour, I’ll include this photo of my front door at sunset. If you come to visit me in the early evening, this is what it looks like!

Innkeeper Wanted

Tori & Dean are Gone

I’m posting this just because I think it’s fun!

For those who don’t know, the reality show Tori & Dean, Inn Love was shot here in Fallbrook, at Oak Creek Manor Inn, which they renamed Chateau La Rue after her dog – but that was just for the show! Once they stopped filming, it reverted back to Oak Creek Manor.

The ad above appeared in our local newspaper, and it just strikes me as funny that when a monetary value was placed on the job Tori Spelling was doing, it’s only $1100 a month? No wonder she bailed on the project!

Studio Update: New Signs!

After painting my front door, I installed my new signs, and compared to the painting, hanging signs was a breeze. And I think they look lovely. I’m VERY pleased!

sign
You can see both of my new signs in this shot – the main sign at the foot of the stairs, and at the top of the stairs, you can see my front door and tiny little sign…

sign
Another angle of the main sign.

sign

And my tiny sign on the door. It’s only ten inches across, but for this door and this logo it’s the perfect size! I designed it myself, printed it out, and lived with it for a few days before ordering it, to be sure it was just right – and it is. In fact, it’s even better since it’s installed.

Thank you to Jim’s Sign Shop for all your help – you rock!

Rock Star: Season Three

Rock Star: Season ThreeGot some lovely news yesterday! Rock Star III is still a very real possibility! In an interview with thedeadbolt.com, Mark Burnett said…

“Yes, it’s funny… you look at these online studies and one of the most requested shows to come back, from anything I’ve done, is Rock Star. And yes, I’m in discussions with various bands. But there is one flaw as a business in that you have to find a suitable rock band that actually wants to find a new lead singer. So you’ve got a barrier to entry, but yes, we are in discussions and people do want to see that series again.”

He’s looking for a band? He’s in discussions? Such GREAT news!

Mr. Burnett, this is a direct plea to you! Please listen to those who are telling you they want the show back! And don’t worry if you can’t get a band – we WANT you to find a band, but if you can’t find one that’s no reason to discard the show… Just do like we did with All-Stars and let the public decide. We had a lot of fun, and had a GREAT ending with All-Stars, and I firmly believe you don’t need a band for this show. And if you feel you need the star power, invite Tommy Lee and Tim Farriss back to join Dave Navarro as judges, and give them a say in the decision, but make the “prize” for the winner, a record contract and solo tour with the House Band. It could work…

And to anyone who loved the show as much as me, this is a direct plea to YOU! More letters! More letters! More letters! If Mark Burnett is considering it, let’s give him even more reasons to go for it!

Join our Big Letter Writing Campaign at RBL! It’s clear that the public is being heard, so I’ve decided to split my letters between CBS and Mark Burnett Productions. In the past it seemed smarter to concentrate on CBS, but since Mark Burnett is the one talking about the show right now, and he has serious clout, I wanted to throw half my letters directly to his company.

Ghen Maynard
Executive Vice President
CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group
7800 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Conrad Riggs
Mark Burnett Productions
640 North Sepulveda Boulevard
2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Just do it. Just write a letter or two. When your favorite show comes back it’ll feel really good to know you were a part of the reason it’s on!