Thursday, April 28, 2011

Panzumo's Spring Equinox Concert at the Music Academy of the West~

Montecito, California
by r.s.thurston photography

"We ought to dance with rapture that we should be alive and in the flesh, and part of the living, incarnate cosmos."

D.H. Lawrence

Please feel free as well to share this link with your friends and family~ The more "likes" and shares I get the more opportunities there will be for these photos to reach a larger audience~
I felt so euphoric after this concert for several reasons. It's a true gift when you find a sense of home among a group of individuals. Over the years, I've sweat, I've laughed and I've cried with these men and women. Many have become good friends and others I'm just getting the chance to know.

On Friday, March 25th I had the unique opportunity to both perform with the Djun Djun Mamas as well as photograph the whole event. I've been involved whether as spectator, supporter, or performer with Panzumo for the past 10+ years and this, by far, was their most amazing performance to date.

Set in the Music Academy of the West's brand spankin' newly renovated Hahn Hall the seats were nearly packed. Lisa Beck and Budhi Harlow organized and choreographed the night's program of West African rhythms fused with keyboards, viola, and horns as well as Tribal Fusion, West African, and Bollywood dance performances and a thundering performance by the Djun Djun Mamas. Afterwards, we poured outside to fill our bellies with scrumptious homemade dishes of coconut pudding, soups, fresh fruits, salads, and drinks.

It's a rare thing to have the opportunity to watch world-class dancing in a venue like Hahn Hall and then get fed afterwards!

Please make sure to watch the slideshow and tell me what you think~ If the music doesn't come on right away then "refresh" your web page and the click "play" again~ Lisa and I both thought this song would be a purrfect fit for the night!

If you're interested in purchasing any prints, click on "visit gallery" in the upper right hand corner of the slideshow. You can purchase prints individually from the gallery~ Feel free to email me with any questions~ Enjoy and thanks again for your support!

Monday, April 25, 2011

"Rachel S. Thurston: Entertaining and Lovable"

Featured Guide by Santa Barbara Adventure Company

Turns out I have attributes curiously similar to a Border Collie. ;)

I had the distinct honor of being featured by The Santa Barbara Adventure Company on their website blog this past month. I've worked on and off with them for around six years as a kayaking, biking, hiking, ropes course, team building, and wine tasting guide. During the last eight years I've known him, Mike Cohen has done an extraordinary job of growing his company into a force to be reckoned with in Santa Barbara. He and his fleet of super fun, experienced guides put together some truly awesome trips.

But enough about them and more about me.

Check out this article. It was so fun doing this interview and reflecting on where my interests and attention has been going the past several years~
A big thank you to Suzanne Cohen for putting this all together!
Check it out here:

For more info about their uber-fabulous trips check out:

Photo by Karen Custer Thurston

Full Version of Article From Santa Barbara Adventure Company:

Monday, April 04, 2011

Alpha Resource Center’s Circle Of Life Luncheon
With Host Dennis Miller

rsthurston photography

April 3, 2011

I had the honor of photographing Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara’s Annual “Circle of Life” luncheon this past month which was hosted by comedian and talk show host Dennis Miller. I was truly touched by the amount of love and dedication in that room.

To many people, the name Alpha evokes images of their favorite thrift stores throughout town. But many Santa Barbarans may have no idea that behind these nifty threads lies a much bigger cause: Alpha is a non-profit devoted to empowering “individuals with developmental disabilities, supports families and fosters a community that values the contribution of all people.”

Many of the top sponsors have had personal friends and family members with disabilities so the organization’s mission is close to their hearts. It's an incredible organization to become involved with here in Santa Barbara driven by a very hard-working group of individuals.

Alpha will be holding a fundraiser and party this coming fall on Saturday, September 24th at Molly Houston's that will be a party not to be missed! For more info visit

*For the slideshow, I picked the music track "One Tribe" by The Black Eyed Peas which I thought especially captured the love felt in the room that day~ If the music doesn't play with the slideshow, make sure to refresh your web page and click play again~