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A few photos from my window sill on this wet & wintry day .

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As Mr. Rogers Would Say…

“…would you be mine, could you mine, won’t you be my neighbor Facebook Friend!”

Come visit me over on Facebook and become a fan!  I can’t substantiate these claims, but it’s been rumored that fans of Megan Clouse Photography will:  fit back into their favorite pair of jeans, find a $20 in a coat pocket, make a hole in one, meet Pat Sajak, grey hairs will reverse, and the IRS will determine that you’ve overpaid for the last 6 years. (ok, maybe not Pat Sajak)

a PUG and a Camera

With 2010 in full swing and a renewed energy for ticking off those New Year’s resolutions, I decided to partner up with Pictage (my photo lab) and take on the leading role of a new networking photographer’s group here in the Sonoma/Napa region called PUG: Pictage User Group.  Our PUG group is a monthly gathering for local photographers to meet, share, learn and build relationships.

This new year has invigorated a lot of renewed energy and goals in all of us, and I’m very excited to add this new project to my repertoire!

Here are a couple photos from our first gathering.  Mind you there were many more of us earlier on, but leave it to photographers to scatter before I could take the group picture!  🙂

Don’t Mind Me

I enjoy keeping up with other photography blogs and forums, so when I saw this little gem from Yanman Photography I just had to share it with you.

If a videographer is on your wedding wish list, I implore you to have the specific conversation of “Where exactly will you be standing during the ceremony”?  (And for that matter it’s a good idea to have the same discussion with your photographer.)

So when this happy couple arrived at the alter and all of the guests found their seats again, this videographer decided to set up shop only 5 feet away from the couple, smack dab in the middle of the isle, with a spotlight, for the entire ceremony!  Tisk, tisk, tisk.

On the other hand, here is a good example of a professional videographer that I worked with at Meghan & Wiley’s October wedding, which brings me to my tip for the day:  When hiring vendors such as your videographer or photographer, seek out professionals who understand and respect the balance of capturing the moment without compromising the ambiance.

With our inland home socked in with fog & clouds for days upon days, me and the Hubby thought we’d try some reverse psychology and drive out to the Sonoma Coast in search of the sunshine.  I was so hopeful that this bait and switch would work, I even lathered up with SPF 30.  The sun never made a full appearance, although at one point I felt like a groundhog, when I shouted out that I could see my shadow, all be it faint.  Even though the sun didn’t join our beach walk, the ocean stepped up by flaunting some beautiful Mediterranean-like colors, that we normally don’t see.

Having grown up on the Russian River, spending squelching summers swimming and canoeing, it’s always fascinating to actually see the very, very end of the river.  Here it is reaching towards the ocean.  The mouth of the river is a living entity, always opening, closing and changing and as I stood there I felt compelled to grab some driftwood and dig a trench to help it out.

Is it just me or is there anyone else out there that would NEVER dream of picking up a seal, even if it was injured!?  They might be cute, but their teeth are not.

Here is a set of old railroad tracks that are disappearing into the sand.  A reminder of a long-ago era that is literally deteriorating into only a memory.

I don’t take New Year’s resolutions that seriously, but one area of my life that I vowed to improve as the clock striked midnight on Dec. 31st was to expand my adventuresome spirit.  So to stretch my comfort zone I took a drive into San Francisco last Thursday to see my friend’s hip, urban loft, despite all of the – or should I say my issues; The address is south of Market St. which somewhere in my head I drew the imaginary line to never pass; second it’s in the heart of the Mission District which they tell me is an area that is filled with respectable citizens sprinkled with crack addicts and prostitutes; and lastly as I made my way down Hwy 101 with my printed Google directions resting on my lap, a 4.1 earthquake struck the Bay Area, just to add to the “adventure”.

I understand that you’re probably reading this with a perplexed look on your face and your adventure meter would never even flinch with this day trip, but you have to understand that I grew up in a town with no traffic lights and it’s just the way I am – I mean used to be!  But in my defense, I handled the city like a pro.  I zipped around Muni buses, squeezed between pedestrians in the crosswalk, and I even honked at the car in front of me who wasn’t yielding to my liking.

With that big intro, this now leads me to the loft…

It’s amazing and I instantly felt like I had cinched up my “hip belt” a few notches just by visiting my friend who is a very talented painter and is taking this new year to expand her other talents; floral and organizational design.  It was a nice treat to escape and I enjoyed seeing another side of our beautiful state.  Thanks sweetie for having me over!

Atwood Ranch is like no other experience; a complete cornucopia of thoughtfully staged vignettes and beauty that keeps me gasping out loud.  First of all, I’m crazy for antique/vintage stuff.  I was born that way.  So when Julie Atwood invited me and all of her friends and vendors to a “Thanks for a Great Year – Let’s Kick Off 2010” party I quickly slipped on my favorite boots with a subtle western flare and slung my camera onto my shoulder and couldn’t wait to see what was in store!

It was amazing, and I did my best to act like a socializing guest, however many times it came down to either (a) sip my drink or (b) take a photo, and well… here are my photos.  Now I just need to remember where I set my glass.

Me and the hubby enjoyed some chilled beverages outside in the 60 degree sunshine in the beginning, but as the sun waned, we switched to a calorie filled (but worth it) Eggnog Chai Latte courtesy of Java Wagon!

And if the caloric intake wasn’t enough with the latte, we tipped the scale by eating an insane amount of pizza, made to order in a wood fired pizza oven on wheels with an exuberant cook-time of 90 seconds.  With that turn around time we couldn’t eat fast enough!  Thanks Rosso!