I want to make 2019 our best year yet!

I want to make 2019 our best year yet!

I’ve done a lot of thinking about what I want 2019 to be like and I know with certainty I want it to be filled with love, encouragement, and much more building up then tearing down so here is what I am offering to round out the year, get us all in fighting shape for 2019 and kick this studio off in the best way!

These packages are for the creatives in Los Angeles who have been busting their asses, putting themselves and their talents out there, day after day and who deserve a break and some recognition. I can’t promise you the moon (I mean I can give you a sticker I made w/ the moon on it?) but I do know the power of a good image and a good discount for good people, so here it is

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Mooning With My Honey, Oh Wait That Sounds Terrible, And Other Stories


 
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Friends, family, clients and all of those that fall into multiple categories,

It has been a hell of a couple of weeks over here. As you probably have noticed from me posting a pile of photos to social media, the Mr and I just got back from our honeymoon. Just as in, last night so forgive me if all of this sounds like the rambling of a jet-lagged woman, because, well, it is.

First up on the exciting news front- I have just signed on the dotted line to share a studio space with some incredible other artists starting in a couple of weeks, which I am THRILLED about even though sleepy, (seriously what time does my body even think it is?) and will have all of the glorious details about that later on this week including some really killer “welcome to the neighborhood” promos to get everyone in the mood to come visit me for photos and just generally as a big thank you to everyone for their support and a little way to get everyone what they to kick off 2019 with their best face (shrug?) forward! More deets later after several more sleeps.

 
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In the meantime, since I think of you all as friends (yes even if we have just had one tiny shoot years ago!) I wanted to share some of the images from our trip, because sharing is caring. The Mr and I had never been to Europe at all, either as a duo or a singlet so we thought we would take the opportunity to have a cold weather, Christmas-y honeymoon! Our first stop was London, where we stayed at the Apex Hotel, which sent us up the most incredible plate of sweets and upgraded our room when they found out we were on our honeymoon. It was just about the nicest way to recover from a long flight! I would definitely recommend them if you are in the area!

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London, as we fast learned, is a walking town, so a lot of what we found was by chance or necessity (bathrooms, pints, and feet resting breaks) or from watching an awesomely cheesy youtube show called “What’s Good” but if anyone is interested in the specifics of any place shoot me a message! Here are some good things.

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Pints + Pies (my favorite was a classic mushroom), Raclette from Borough Market (not pictured: the grilled cheese sandwich I consumed gleefully or the donuts from Bread Ahead), metal head bar “The Cro Bar” where I uncontrollably burst into laughter when a drunk kid yelled “I fucking LOVE Soundgarden” (I mean we all do I guess but..chill Bruh) , SO much mulled wine and Christmas markets, and the incredible Black Daal from Dishoom (pictured after we attacked it) that looks nowhere near as utterly, unreasonably good as it was.

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We got tea from the “Secret Tea Room” in Soho which is up a narrow set of stairs from inside a pub, that was so secret that even inside the pub we were wondering if we were in the right spot, and explored the British Museum, which was beautiful but pretty weird to see all the huge pieces of tombs, mummies and art that had been “excavated”.

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English breakfast room service, then off to Paris!

Musee d’Orsay had a collection of Picasso’s blue and rose period, hot chocolate from famous literary cafe Les Deux Magots was beyond opulent and a peek of the Eiffel Tower hiding. Also the best falafel/shawarma place in Paris that I wish I could eat at every single day and a dumpling spot called Ravioli Nord Est that had a line well out the door. We definitely ate some pate, escargot and divine duck confit but it was really cool tasting the differences in the flavors of some of our favorite types of food in LA.

We were fortunately right next door to a really lovely little boulangerie which made the best bread and breakfasty snacks, but was so small it didn’t come up on yelp or a map. I really wanted to just go here every day because it was so perfect and no one made fun of how many heart eyes I made at bread. The sandwiches here are ham and cheese with veg and salmon and cream cheese. Also pictured was a chocolate bread that I am really not sure of it’s name but if you know it tell me because I am in literal love with it. Also those tiny little beautiful donuty puff things were Chouquettes and I am also in love with them. Don’t make me choose. While we are at it here were some macarons we ate too because when in France don’t stop eating until you explode.

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Of course we had to go to that famous tower thing. It goes pretty high up. No photos do it any justice but you can see an incredible distance. Also I learned that the higher up one goes, the more windy it gets so, uh, bring a scarf. You can buy different passes to the Eiffel tower which might include you walking up stairs or taking the lift, and going up to only the first or second floor or all the way to the top. We figured we’d go all in tourist and hit the top but walked most of the way down at a leisurely pace.

We also hit up the Louvre to go visit M. Lisa, but she had a lot of friends already. Going into the museum we knew it was going to be big, everyone says it is big, but I didn’t think it was “we actually got lost in the Louvre” big, but um, spoiler alert: it is. The Mr and I who are both at least medium good at reading signs got totally lost and had to wander around looking for the way out like confused, non French speaking toddlers squinting at the windows looking for the “pyramid” that got us inside. Don’t worry, we got out. I am not writing this from the Louvre. Probably. Also every article I saw about the Louvre reminded one to “look up” as if you could possibly miss the awe inspiring paintings and sculptures on the ceilings. I mean I guess if you were never planning to look up, here is your reminder. There is rad stuff up there.

Also Notre Dame…

Then we skipped off to Bruges for some Christmas market heaven and got ultra festive with some street food and picked up present. The main square had an awesome little market with some food stalls where we got some Bratwurst, fried shrimp and shrimp croquettes, this sea snail stew which was awesome on the cold night and this potato and cheese mountain of glory. I forgot what it was called but if you ever see this run to it. It will embrace you with warm, gooey, cheesy potato arms.

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Hot chocolate + waffles from Lizzies Wafles and Belgian Chocolate! To make the hot chocolate you drop the bowl of chocolate into the warm milk! There was a long line for this place but totally worth it! To mediate the sweets we also stopped in at the Bruges Torture Museum which was an illuminating glimpse into all the ways I don’t want to be questioned about my interest in the occult…

Finally we wrapped our stay back in London at the CitizenM hotel which was a super futuristic and cool arts focused spot in Shoreditch (they gave you an ipad that controlled the color of your bathroom lights…I mean what!?!) that apparently also heard it was our honeymoon and had to top the other hotel’s generosity…

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The last night in London was a little bittersweet as we knew things were wrapping up and we’d soon be on another LOOONNNNGG flight home but wow, what an incredible honeymoon! Thank you so much to everyone for all your travel tips, nice thoughts, and comments along the way, we appreciate you all!

Now it’s back to business and trying to beat that jet lag so I can be my best for you!

Thanks for following along and happy snacking!

xoxo,

RP

Boots: A Love Story


At the beginning of time there was a teenage baby goth in rural New England kicking snow in ripped up sneakers, dreaming of a better life- a life of better shoes. It was then that the clouds parted in the middle of an army navy store in Brattleboro, VT (why are there clouds inside a store RP? Don’t worry about it pals..) and she saw her first pair of combat boots. Those boots lasted 1 million and 3 years and were a huge game changer. Following the untimely death of those boots (why couldn’t they last forever) she thought she would never love another pair of boots again, until the clouds parted again in a thrift store on Melrose Boulevard in California (ok seriously w/ the inside clouds again?).

These new to her boots were made by Gripfast, a company out of England and were the most beautiful boots in all the land. They had metal screws in the bottom that set off literally every metal detector she walked through, natural white contrast stitching (not like that annoying attention seeking yellow of Docs) and were tough unbeatable leather, 10 holes of glory (that sounds awful but leaving it) and were comfortable and confidence inducing to wear, something the girl did for roughly the next 6 years.

Now a grown up goth, the girl was finally ready for a new pair of shit-kickers that hadn’t had the shit kicked out of them. So she once again turned to Gripfast for a brand new pair of expertly made boots, which she is happily wearing as she pens this ridiculous post. But while out with the old and in with the new is a nice idea, she wanted to take a moment to thank those boots for all the miles along the way, the terrain they’ve taken her to, the puddles she avoided getting wet in and all those metal detectors they set off. Old boots, thanks for a good time. New boots, are you ready?

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So like, did you get that the girl is me? Because…

Ok sorry. The end.

xoxo,

RP

*this was not an ad I just liked those boots a lot*

Bridal Shower, Wedding Prep and Dye, Dye, Dye My Darling (Veil)


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Hello friends it’s been awhile, but for good reason…I’m getting married in less than a month!

As I am sure any of you who have planned a pretty DIY wedding know, it sucks up all your time and mental faculties, so boy am I ready for October 13! In the meantime I wanted to share a few not strictly photography related projects along the way.

For those who don’t know, the almost Mr and I are big wrestling fans and generally pretty non traditional so scrapping the white wedding princess vibes was a must. In place of billowing white satin and and Swarovski crystals we are opting for a wrestling ring and a Morticia Addams- Eat-Your-Heart-Out dress. Here is a background on our match of the century!

One of the big challenges for me has been finding wedding attire that is black as our collective souls, not too costumey and of a reasonable price because, let’s be real- in planning a wedding, everything costs $$$!

One of the best projects along the way was tackling the creation of a black veil. Most veils obviously are white. Most of those are pretty expensive. Occasionally companies make a yet more expensive black version but usually the color range is limited to “champagne”, “blush”, “rose gold” or other names for totally not black. So I set upon seeing if I could dye a white veil “actual black” to save a few doll hairs. I purchased a veil from a newly married lass and figured it was worth a shot. Here is where we started with my second hand veil attempting to live it’s brand new bold life.

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Since the tulle I got was a poly blend I had to make sure my dye accordingly matched. Some tulle is apparently natural fiber based so in those situations grab the cotton based dye. Here is what I used:

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I only ended up using black so the purple is just there for moral support. Bring a big ass pot of water to a boil on the stove and combine the dye. Use a pot you don’t ever plan on using again unless it’s for some other stupid project. That pot will never be your pasta pot again. RIP pasta pot.

The instructions provided will let you know if you need to add vinegar or any other nonsense. While that is happening OPEN A FUCKING WINDOW because it’s about to get nasty in there. Prepare a really lame looking work station and give your tulle a good rinse.

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After it has properly taken a bath, it gets plopped into the pot at a simmer. Since I didn’t want to kill off any spoons I smooshed my veil around with some takeout chopsticks. You could probably use something smarter, but live your life.

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Obviously the most important part of this is making sure you look REALLY cool while you are crafting. I think I accomplished this superbly. But real talk OPEN THOSE WINDOWS. Even with them open you might want to consider some kind of good ventilation or face mask. Since I am pretty dumb I went with this bandana.

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I didn’t really need to stir this a ton but tried to keep flipping it over to ensure it dyed evenly. It’s a double layer cathedral length veil (in normal speak: that wicked long one, extra floofy) so there was a lot of terrain to cover but it wasn’t a full time stir by any means. Just keep an eye on it. The package recommended at least 30 min so I left it on the stove about 40 min total. It was pretty solidly saturated as early as 15 min though.

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From there drain the dye and rinse, rinse, rinse this bad boy. Like rinse after you think you are done rinsing and then rinse some more. If you have some Woolite detergent wash it with that. This dye was S-T-I-N-K-Y and needed a few passes.

The package says wash it in the washing machine but if I were you I would skip that. My trusting ass put the VERY WELL WASHED veil in the dryer on air dry and well…that’s how I ended up with a goth dryer and a not stoked fiance. Don’t be like me. Just leave that sucker outside for a bit.

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But look, black veil. Super black, not grey, not weird maroon black, or brown purple, ACTUAL black! Hooray!

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Here is where I will glue the comb back on and probably sneak in some glittery stars or something because I’m drunk on power now.

ANYWAY…

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Projects aside my bridal shower last weekend was by far the biggest hi-light of this whole intense planning experience.

Hosted by a couple of my most favorite people (Hi Kim and Audrey!), a group of us got our fancy on with a proper tea party at Rose & Blanc teahouse in Los Angeles. We got to sit in the most pink room ever, eat tiny sandwiches, scones that actually tasted good and an array of pastries too adorable for me to even describe, you know…PLUS TEA. Really, really good tea. That troublemaker pal of mine with the purple feather tried to stump our tea associate by asking which was the “least popular” tea (sage tea turns out) and ordered it and even lowest ranking tea was incredible!

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Our incredibly thoughtful hosts treated each of us to fascinators or hair flowers so we all looked like we were off to the races. We played some bridal shower games that taught us about the origins of a bunch of traditions (SPOILER ALERT: everything is to ward off evil spirits, watch out vengeful ghosts invited to weddings) everyone had an incredible time and I had the absolute most magical day. I feel like usually when people say “magical day” they are exaggerating but look at that place!

Ma-gi-cal!

Best photographer pal Aurelie Davis (>>>>www.aureliedavis.com<<<<<) went above and beyond snapping these shots which meant a ton to me because everyone knows when you invite a photographer to an event as a guest you never say “maybe you should bring your CAMERA”. If you don’t know this, now you know. Don’t be the worst. Be the best, like Aurelie. I got so distracted with real life fun I didn’t take a single photo so thank you again for saving the day, and thank you to everyone who made this day and this whole wedding experience fun…or at least let me FB messenger you while I was stressed about tamales.

Only a 4 weeks left to go! Fingers crossed!

Until next time,

Happy snacking.

xoxo,

(Soon to be Mrs.) RP

(all bridal shower photos by Aurelie Davis in case you missed me subtly pointing that out. She is really good at photo taking and a very nice human. You should probably hire her.)