Wedding Words

A few weekends ago we trekked to northern California for our nephew's wedding. We decided to make it a road trip, typically we never drive anywhere more than 2 hours. We arrived to Livermore, a little quaint town in Read more

Brown Mermaid

I have always loved the water, as far back as I can remember and that's a long time. I was the kid that on family trips to the beach I stayed in the ocean the entire time, just riding Read more

Change

Being on the planet for more than half a century there have been people I have come in contact with that have inspired me and encouraged me to grow as an individual. Some of them are still in my Read more

Relationship Goals

I will be celebrating 27 years of marriage in a few weeks, add in the 2 years we dated that brings us to 29 years- a long time! More than half of my life. While no relationship is perfect- Read more

MERAKI

  I'm a word junkie, I like discovering new words. So my new word that I discovered that I just love is MERAKI. "Greek. maraki {may-rah-kee} (adjective) This is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with Read more

Wedding Words

Posted on by Gigi in Weddings Leave a comment
jumping the broom

jumping the broom

A few weekends ago we trekked to northern California for our nephew’s wedding. We decided to make it a road trip, typically we never drive anywhere more than 2 hours. We arrived to Livermore, a little quaint town in the wine country, after 6 hours on the road, to an activity filled weekend, celebrating a birth, a nuptial  and a bridal shower, btw all these were for different family members.

I love weddings, I love everything about them, the flowers, invitations, the gowns, rings, decor, themes, colors- I love all of it! Not enough to be a wedding photographer, I’m content at being the guest with a camera.

My anniversary is around the corner, we will be celebrating 27 years on July 23- so after witnessing the exchange of vows of this young couple I could not help but to reflect about my own marriage and all of our experiences.

Like most modern wedding ceremonies, the couple wrote their own heartfelt vows, expressing their love for one another. I thought about my own marriage and my commitment regardless of the challenges we encountered over the years. When we got married we did not write our vows nor did we have a traditional wedding with all the trimmings, we eloped to Hawaii and had a simple ceremony.  Being the romantic I am if/when I decide to renew our vows with a ceremony I have a few poems files away for that special day hmmmm perhaps our 30th since we missed the 25th.

Wedding Day july 23, 1989 1 week before 30

Wedding Day july 23, 1989 1 week before 30

“Our Union” by Hafiz

Our union is like this: You feel cold, so I reach for a blanket to cover our shivering feet./

A hunger comes into your body, so I run to my garden and start digging potatoes./

You asked for a few words of comfort and guidance, and I quickly kneel by your side offering you a whole book as a gift./

You ache with loneliness one night so much you weep, and I say here is a rope, tie it around me, I will be your companion for life.

A & A wedding

A & A wedding

The Journey by Nikki Giovanni

It’s a journey…that I propose…I am not the guide…nor technical assistant…I will be your fellow passenger…

Though the rail has been ridden…winter clouds cover…autumn’s exuberant quilt…we must provide our own guide-posts…

I have heard…from previous visitors…the road washes out sometimes…and passengers are compelled…to continue groping…or turn back…I am not afraid…I am not afraid…of rough spots…or lonely times…I don’t fear…the success of this endeavor…I am Ra…in a space…not to be discovered…but invented…I promise you nothing…I accept your promise…of the same we are simply riding…a wave…that may carry…or crash…

It’s a journey…and I want…to go…

the dance

the dance

He’s no perfect, by Bob Marley

He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, He’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.

Love this man

Love this man

Did you have a “reading” at your wedding?

Happy Monday,

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Brown Mermaid

Posted on by Gigi in photography Leave a comment

IMG_1932.PNG

I have always loved the water, as far back as I can remember and that’s a long time. I was the kid that on family trips to the beach I stayed in the ocean the entire time, just riding the waves.  A year ago on a whim I took an underwater photography class and fell in love! Both of my passions together, what more could I ask for…

After taking that class, I rented the housing for my camera to try it out in my own pool and I was hooked, I knew I  wanted to add this to my slate of specialities. So I made the hefty  investment and have been going down under ever since.

 

gigi underwater

gigi underwater

I have done numerous sessions now and I am still fascinated with the variety of results I get each time I do a shoot. Sometimes I’m photographing a dancer or a new swimmer, regardless of the person’s skill set I love creating something unique and magical for each person. Depending on the time of day, weather, location in my pool, and my position, no shoot is ever the same. The light and shadows create a surreal little world.

Sara

Sara

I have quite a variety of “underwater outfits” that add to the experience, including shoes and various other props, everything potentially can go in the water…

"love of reading"

“love of reading”

Sessions go for 3 to 4 hours, I’m in the water the entire time, building a bond with my mermaids and sometimes mermen. I don’t use scuba gear I just free dive and am able to hold my breath for a really long time, allowing me to position myself to get the best shots.

"Red"

“Red”

"Cynara"

“Cynara”

I have even done a few maternity sessions which were really fun. My “mom’s to be” are so flexible in the water.

"Tea-Zap"

“Tea-Zap”

"Myriam"

“Myriam”

I’m dreaming about doing some sort of coffee table book featuring underwater images, another one of those bucket list items, so many of them. I have lots of sessions scheduled this summer and I know I will capture some incredible images- I’m also working on a new website to showcase my work so stay tuned.

Happy Tuesday-

Xoxo,

Gigi

quote

quote

 

 

 


Change

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Leave a comment
Gigi

Gigi

Being on the planet for more than half a century there have been people I have come in contact with that have inspired me and encouraged me to grow as an individual. Some of them are still in my life and some are not.

Change is a part of life and our growth as human beings. It is not always comfortable, matter of fact it can be painful at times. Part of this life journey is getting places we want to go. Setting goals and having a vision is only one part, you have to execute and follow through. Recently everyday I have been writing my elevate and execute tasks down in a notebook and it has really helped my productivity- like writing my blog daily again.

Figure out who you are and focus on your talents, no matter what your age is or where you are in your life journey it is never to late to explore another path. Limit your time with those individuals who feel they are superior to you the ones who you would like approval from, but sometimes these are the ones that will never see you as “good enough”.  I have run into photographers in my short career that love telling me how much I don’t know… I limit my interaction with those types in exchange for those photographers who are willing to share and inspire me.

As this month is rapidly coming to an end, I am embracing some changes in my personal and business life. I’m excited and will be sharing changes here as they develop.

Who or what  inspires you?

Btw if you are looking for a great book to read this summer check out the book my club is reading here.

Those of you that really know me – know that I am a cat woman- check these dolce gabbana cat-ture dresses out…and yes I would wear one of these-lol

IMG_1699-0.png IMG_1700-0.png

cat dresses

cat dresses

Happy Monday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Relationship Goals

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Leave a comment
Mr. & Mrs.

Mr. & Mrs.

I will be celebrating 27 years of marriage in a few weeks, add in the 2 years we dated that brings us to 29 years- a long time! More than half of my life. While no relationship is perfect- and if it were I think that would be quite boring. I was thinking about what makes my relationship rock? Here are a few things I came up with.

1. I know this seems like a no brainer, but we still sleep together in the same bed, same room. Not always the case. The other day a guy was sharing with me some doggie drama that now because of it his wife sleeps in another room with one of the puppies.

2. Don’t hold grudges. Speak your mind, have disagreements  and move on. Oh and COMMUNICATE! The quiet BS does not work if anything it just builds resentment.

3. Your spouse should be your best friend- the one you want to share stuff with- the good the bad and the ugly. The person you can share your fears with, the one that will not judge you- the one that understands you-

4. Treat your spouse with respect. Adore him. Adore her. Continue to give compliments to one another.

5. Do and try new things together. Travel. Bottom line continue to date, don’t let your kids, work etc. stop you from having private time together.

6. Always have some interests of your own- Continue to grow as an individual.

7. Remember why you fell in LOVE…

Happy Friday- What are your plans for the weekend? I will be working, but my Sunday will end at the Hollywood Bowl one of my favorite summer venues.

Happy Friday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

Our villa in Ubud

Our villa in Ubud


MERAKI

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Leave a comment

 

Gigi

Gigi

I’m a word junkie, I like discovering new words. So my new word that I discovered that I just love is MERAKI.

“Greek. maraki {may-rah-kee} (adjective) This is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing, whatever it may be.”

I feel this way about my photography. Discovering what one is passionate about is not easy, I did not discover mine until about 3 years ago. Yes, I have aways liked taking pictures all my life, but I never thought it would become a career that I absolutely love.

Over my life I’ve been sort of ADD with all my passions, in the past I would lock into something that I thought was the one and then the interest would wane. Self doubt would creep in making me question my purpose and if I am good enough to be doing this or sometimes I would just loose that initial excitement.

I dabbled in interior design for a few years, loved it, did the program at UCLA, worked at the Pacific Design Center, did a few clients, opened a home decor boutique and something happened where my enthusiasm was no longer there, I realized I just wanted to design my own space and buy things that I loved personally.

I was passionate about my brownie business, did it well, developed it from the ground up with my best friend had a lot of success, but then I got married and had Amani and my interest shifted to other things.

When I changed my diet I became obsessed with the vegan lifestyle, I started being an educator for others, hosting cooking classes in my home, living breathing everything vegan…and then I went to France and had a little piece of cheese with a glass of wine and I have been going back and forth trying to recommit.

And then there was my knitting binge, where I would knit nonstop, buying yarn from all over the world, reading knitting magazines, totally consumed, and then I would stop just like that and pack all the yarn away.

I could go on and on in all my distractions and paths my passions have led me on only to end on a dead end road.

So there are times when I wake up in the middle of the night, and I think “I’m a photographer” a sort of historian for others, capturing and documenting their lives, and what I do is valuable and I love every minute of it. Knowing that keeps me motivated and excited – it may have took a half a century to discover but I’m at a good place and the time for me is now.

So back to my word, maraki here is my sentence using my new word:

My meraki is in everything I photograph. What are you passionate about?

quote

quote

Happy Thursday,

xoxo,

Gigi

 


Summer To Do List

Posted on by Gigi in My Life 2 Comments
Gigi

Gigi

Every year my family and I have been fortunate to take a family vacation- a destination selected and planned by me without many restrictions, the only one being, that travel takes place in August. We usually alternate years with an exotic trip abroad with something in the states the following year. This year we will be going to Kauai and Maui.

Hawaii is a special place for me for 2 reasons: 1. Kauai is where Reggie and I got married way back in 1989.

Wedding Day july 23, 1989 1 week before 30

Wedding Day july 23, 1989 1 week before 30

2. It is the first place I traveled alone as a child.

My girl scout troop went to Hawaii when I was in the 6th grade. I remember the trip vividly, my mom gave me $30.00 for spending money and I was going to be there for 7 days which was about 4.00 per day, by the way most of our meals were included, but I wanted to bring all my family members a souvenir back from this tropical paradise. So even back then 30.00 did not go far, so my 11 year old brain decided that I could shoplift the 5 gifts I needed for my family. There was no rhyme or reason to what I stole just the right opportunity, I just could not return empty handed, so hence my gifts were a collection of oddities but never the less a gift from Hawaii.

Now that summer is here, this is my

list that I would like to cross off by the time Labor Day arrives.

  1. Take advantage of our Cali beaches
  2. Host a couple of fun dinner parties.
  3. Give a face lift to my back yard.
  4. Create a studio space to “paint” some portraits.
  5. Hollywood Bowl summer nights.
  6. Scrubs at my favorite Korean spa.
  7. Paddle boarding
  8. Mermaid shoots.
  9. A boudoir b-day celebration with some of my BFF’s
  10. Fix and or get a new bike and start riding again
  11. bump up my workouts so I’m not hiding behind a coverup on my Hawaii trip
  12. Try some new outdoor brunch spots that are veggie friendly

What’s on your summer wish list? I’d love to know-

Xoxo Gigi

Gigi & Tea

Gigi

 


Timelessness

Posted on by Gigi in Aging Leave a comment

Gigi

Timelessness is what I am striving for- age is becoming like a friend that I have a love/hate relationship with. The friend that you really love, the one that will “check” you when you are wrong and “call you out” we all have one. I can’t outsmart my age- it is what it is…I’ve never been interested in guarding it like a top secret pass word protected number (“56” soon to be “57”) shhhhh. I know some like to elude to being a younger age that has past many moons ago, and I get it, there is a lot of age discrimination going on out there especially in the work place.

Some of us grew up with moms that taught us to hide our age, and most of us have been told “never ask a lady her age” because it is not polite. Not polite because? I wonder when that phenomenon started- denying ones age? It is just an arbitrary number that rises once a year, a time that I look forward to celebrating being me and my existence.

Beauty does not have to be defined or constrained by a number- even if we live in a society that gives out expiration dates. Being a photographer I have captured numerous young gorgeous ingenues. I can photograph them at high noon, late night , early morning and they always look beautiful, I on the other hand have to be a little more particular about the light I’m photographed in and that is ok. The important thing is to do what gives you pleasure- explore, never stop learning and continue to be the best version of you.

Celebrate your “good” whether it is your career, fabulous body, personality, family, loving eyes, compassionate spirit, yoga moves, etc. just remember you are your number 1 fan.

Happy Tuesday,

Gigi


Happiness Seeker

Posted on by Gigi in My Life 2 Comments

 

GiGi

A year ago I was in the throes of my son’s high school graduation, transitioning to being an official empty nester, as my son prepared to depart to upstate New York for college while at the same time juggling my young photography business. I’ve been thinking about time and how we can mark our lives by these little landmarks. Birth. Preschool. High School. College. Career. Marriage. Children. Repeat the cycle with your own kids and add in some unfortunate mishaps such as, death, illness,  unemployment, aging parents, addiction, divorce, etc. and you have this thing called life.

I’ve learned that it is those unpredictable moments that keep life interesting- those moments when you feel literally on the edge, those moments where your heart just drops to the ground with no warning, moments where you wonder how will you go on? Like your son coming home after Thanksgiving and not returning to school, or a friend unbeknownst to you is suffering from depression and decides to check out permanently. These moments reinforce how important it is to embrace each day and live your life to the fullest.

Deleting what no longer gives you pleasure and restructuring your life to the best of your ability. Like when my son came home from school I encouraged him to take some cooking classes, which he did and as a result he catered a dinner party for 16 people a few weeks ago, discovering a passion that he did not know he had.

I’ve always been a “happiness seeker”. I don’t function well under duress, matter of fact I shut down totally, rejecting the source of madness. This started a long time ago when I was a child, my mother and father would argue most of the time, loud screaming matches and I remember going into the closet and hiding until it was over. I was also the person, who would walk off a job not knowing how I was going to pay next month rent because I was not “happy” with the situation.

I will always continue to grow as a woman as long as I am on the planet- embracing my passions, regardless of naysayers, willing to take risks, willing to change something that is not working, understanding that failure is a big part of the growth and is a good thing.

Happy Monday! I know it has been a while –

Xoxo,

Gigi


My new year…

Posted on by Gigi in Aging Leave a comment
Gigi in Bali

Gigi in Bali

So in a little over 3 months I will celebrate another birthday. Yes, I’m getting older but I am happy to be here to celebrate. For me, my birthday is a lot like New Year’s, I start preparing for it in advance, my own personal year end. Typically it begins with the intense recommitment to my workout program, which I have been slacking on lately, along with a revamp of my diet. Next I come up with an event, or gathering I want to do, and then the planning for that starts. Then, I come up with the lists of what I what do for the following year, career goals, things I want to learn, places I want to go etc.. And lastly, the appointments, I have this thing that I want to have all my personal maintenance done, such as fresh hair color and cut, maybe a facial, trip to the Korean spa, all of this the week leading up to my birthday, which is July 28.

Growing up I had a few birthday parties, one at 6, a slumber party when I turned 12, a little beach party at 18, a 25th birthday party given by a boyfriend, ten years would pass till the next party at 35. From 35 on I started celebrating every year making up for all the ones I felt I missed.

This year I won’t have a party, maybe a small dinner at home with a few friends over, something with my girlfriends, and perhaps a weekend away with Reggie somewhere local, like Santa Barbara.

How do you celebrate your birthday? Are you the party type or do you like to have quiet celebrations and not draw attention to another year gone by, and another number added to your age. Please share I’d love to know…

Gigi @ 25

This is a pic from my 25th birthday party- I remember being so happy that day- My boyfriend at the time hosted a party for me- I felt so grown up!

Gigi @ 40

This is from my 40th birthday- I remember feeling so old once my 30’s were over…now 40 seems so young!

This is from a 40 something Pole dancing party I had with my girlfriends-

This is from a 40 something birthday Pole dancing party I had with my girlfriends- and my long dark hair…

Gigi with flat ironed hair

My 50th Birthday party- was a blast! Now 50 even seems  “young”…

51

For my 51 birthday I had a pool party-

52

52 hmmmm I was is a real pink phase- dinner party 

Gigi breaking the speed limit-55

Gigi breaking the speed limit-55

Have a fabulous Monday- embrace today by recommitting to something- join me in bumping up your workout if you have been slacking off like me…

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Recalibrate- Post Bali

Posted on by Gigi in Travel Leave a comment
gigi

gigi

While I love traveling, coming back home and getting back to “the routine” can be difficult. We were in Bali for 10 days. Our trip was a dream! For 20 plus years I had been wanting to go there and finally the time came, just Reggie and I- sans the kids.

Funny thing is that this trip started off as a underwater photography workshop that I was going to attend with an accomplished underwater photographer that I admire, Jenna Martin, unfortunately Jenna is pregnant and had to cancel the trip, and we decided to go anyway.

Our days were filled with sunshine and sandy beaches, delectable delights and lots of exploring, sprinkled with a little shopping. Here are a few of my favorite pics from our trip.

Amandari

Amandari- This is the resort we stayed at in Ubud- All the rooms are villas and some of them have private pools- This is the main pool and I just loved the reflections.

visiting the temples

visiting the temples- everyone had to wear a sarong to enter the temples- Bali is a small island and 98% Hindu, there are 1000’s of temples and we visited quite a few.

LocaVore

LocaVore– This was a passion fruit based drink that I had a Locavore, a restaurant in Ubud that I was lucky enough to secure a reservation prior to arriving- everything they serve is from local farmers- our lunch was beautiful and delicious.

Our villa in Ubud

Our villa in Ubud- The resort is designed like a traditional Bali village in the middle of the jungle-There are about 40 rooms all gorgeous.

Reggie Bond-

Reggie “Bond”- On the way to Bali we had a day layover in Dubai, so of course we took advantage and went into the city for dinner at Atmosphere which is in the tallest building in the world-Burj Khalifa.

beach at Nusa Dua

beach at Nusa Dua- southern part of Bali-

I am looking forward to a weekend at home taking time to recalibrate and move forward on numerous projects and lists that I created on my 24 hour flight. It is amazing how being away from all normal distractions can really clear your mind. Bali is a magical place and the Balinese people are so happy and content with a very simple life, it was humbling and a reminder of what is really important at the end of the day…

Have a wonderful weekend- I will be “working” but I really looove doing what I do- so it really isn’t work.

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


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