Saturday, June 18, 2011

All our Dreams can Come True...a Tribute to Walt Disney

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them" This is a quote from Walt Disney, a man with unfailing determination and vision.

I used to look down my nose at the vast Disney empire with its amusement parks, cutesy fuzzy animals, and too formulaic movies. I was especially annoyed when he took my favorite children's stories of all time, A.A. Milne's, Winnie the Pooh and "Disneyfied" them. In the original, the characters have depth and the humor is sweet but sophisticated. Not so in Disney's version.

As I have grown older and wiser, I have to admit that good, old Walt was quite a guy. There was a lot more to him than a keen sense of what would sell to the masses. He truly was a visionary and had the single mindedness and perseverance to bring his dreams to fruition. 

He knew exactly what he was about.... what "Disney" was about, and knew how to lead others along with him without falling into the traps that most of us do along the way: self doubt, distraction, running down side paths and forgetting the main focus. 
"Disneyland is the star, everything else is in the supporting role." This quote may not sound earth shatteringly brilliant but it gives great insight into how he built his empire. He knew that if money becomes the focus, the dream will be lost."Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money."

I think that is why so many great companies falter when they get bought out by huge corporations. Remember how cool Snapple used to be? "Made from the best stuff on earth." It was quirky and cool. Now it seems to be just another bottled beverage lost in a crowded field since it was bought by Dr Pepper. They should have taken a few lessons from Walt Disney.

My favorite Disney movie is "Meet the Robinsons." I love it because it is quirky and different and doesn't follow a formula. I watched it thinking it was just a light hearted romp until the very end and they hit us with that quote from (guess who?)..... Walt. Suddenly, the movie became more than mindless entertainment. It was a testimony to a great man.

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." Walt Disney

May I remain curious and always moving forward.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sonia's Senior Pictures: Dallas High School

Sonia just joined the ranks of high school graduates. I have photographed her older sisters, her little niece, the family....what's next?

I hope you are heading out into the world to do great things, Sonia!

Can you tell that Sonia has a thing for Nike's?

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Epic Battle of Miriam against THE WEED

I better start out by saying that I am no Martha Stewart. You won't find me creating perfect centerpieces and creative name cards for all my soirees. My cooking is basic, my home is hardly pristine and the decorating is less than picture perfect. I hardly dare to say that I like gardening. That might cause one to come to my home with visions of lush flower beds brimming with color and a neat and tidy vegetable garden laid in symetrical, neat, weed-free rows. The reality is that I am still trying to figure out how to keep the flowers from drying up in the heat of summer, how to keep the deer from eating the tulips and tomatoes, and how to keep THE WEED from taking over my garden.

I have been doing battle with THE WEED when I can squeeze in time between photography and family time. I don't know what it is but it has been slowly taking over my garden for the last three years. Maybe someone will tell me what it is and I really hope they will tell me about some nasty chemical that will kill it.  It looks like an ancient plant that has been around since the Paleozoic Era.

Here is what I have learned about it after three years of battle: 1) It thinks that Round-up is a new kind of plant food. 2) It laughs in the face of Cross-bow. 3) Hoeing or pulling doesn't get rid of it because it sends out runners underground and reproduces itself from this underground root system. 4) Think you can go after all the underground roots? Guess again. The roots break easily and I strongly suspect that breaking the roots is like cutting an earthworm in two. Now you have two earthworms.

I do have a battle plan. It came to me this morning as I was digging up huge clumps of earth and painstakingly breaking the clumps apart and fishing out every root. I have boards that define my low lying raised beds with wood chips covering the walk ways between the beds. THE WEED has invaded the beds but they are the thickest in the walkways between the beds. My new plan is to whack down the plants that are above ground and lay down Preen over the wood chips. "If I can keep it from sprouting in the walkways and keep digging it out of the beds, maybe it will be gone in another three years?" she says hopefully.

Neil and I thought of a new business venure. Is there anyone you don't like? We could go plant this in their garden for you. At night, of course. Please pay in advance. :-)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Publicity Portraits Should Not be Boring!

I get to know the most interesting people! Yesterday it was Janie.

Janie Martin is an entertainer. I first met her as a singer with the Salem Big Band a few years back but her singing goes far beyond the big band style. She can croon or belt a song and have a crowd eating out of her hand.

When she contacted me about doing photographs for her new website, I knew that the images had to sell her dynamic personality and the way she comes to life in front of an audience. They had to show how her eyes dance and sparkle. They had to make you sit up and take notice and want to listen to her.

Janie is also a hypnotist! How cool is that? If you need a good hypnotist, be sure to visit her website.

If you want to hear her sing Big Band, you can give her a listen on YouTube.
You can also hear some more recent vocals on her new singing website.