Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Photo Shoot with Karen Custer Thurston
Turkish-Egyptian Dancer, Choreographer, and Instructor
Flagstaff, Arizona

"Dancing is like dreaming with your feet! "

After a year in the planning, I finally had the amazing opportunity to photograph my Mamacita in her dance costumes for her new Middle Eastern Dance website that I'll be working on this spring. I had earlier photographed her over several shoots for her fitness website which I completed a year ago.

We had such an incredible time doing the fitness shoot two years ago together in Santa Barbara (she called me her favorite "slave driver" might have been the countless push-ups I made her do at the shoot) that she re-hired me to do her updated dance photos during my visit to Flagstaff this past month.

The following is a slideshow which I put together for her to share with her students and clients. The photos have been compressed by youtube so keep in mind that the slideshow on television is a higher quality than watching on the computer.

It's such an honor to work with her and to photograph her. She is a powerful, radiant woman who is at the top of her game and she continues to be a role model for her dance and fitness students through Flagstaff. She leads a MIddle Eastern dancing and drumming troupe, "Al Rakasaat," which performs throughout the region. I've only known her as a dancer and grew up on the stage with her. To see her more radiant and beautiful than ever from behind the camera is an incredible treat and privilege. I took over 700 photos over two hours...we were exhausted afterwards but I think it was well worth it!

In an effort to set myself apart from other photographer's and to make the photo shoots even more impactful, I've been continuing the tradition of making slideshows for my clients which highlight the best photographs from the shoot and are created on DVDs which can be shown to their friends, family, and clientele. I'm stoked that she's super excited about the photos and is going to be showing the slideshow to several of her students this coming week!

I'll be photographing Lisa Beck, African Drummer and Dancer, this coming weekend as well as beginning work on my Mamacita's new dance website. I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to work with such distinguished dancers, choreographers, artists, and musicians! It's an absolute joy to be creating beautiful work with women whom I admire so much!

Check out Karen's Websites:
Fitness Website: (I designed and did all the photography on this site)
Middle Eastern Dance: (This is her old site that I'll be redesigning this year)

"Learning to Take Nothin' For Granted!" or "You're Sitting In A Chair In The Sky!"

I rarely post videos on here that aren't directly travel related but this really hit all the right buttons for me. This comedian really gets it right about how far beyond a natural state of awe that we've moved these days with all the new technologies around easy it is to take the internet, cell phones, and jet travel for granted.

So the next time I'm complaining about the cramped seating during a torturously long flight across the Pacific, I'll just remember the miracle that I'm "SITTING IN A CHAIR IN THE SKY!"