Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Adventures in The US: Welcome Back Adina"

On July 15th I flew back "home", more specifically into Washington DC. It all started out with a loooooong day of packing and such. By long I mean that I actually didn't go to sleep that night. An hour and a half before going to the airport I still wasn't finished packing, and was absolutely positively going insane over the new airline baggage restrictions. Fortunately my friend Patri and my sisters kept me from losing my mind or simply setting my suitcase on fire.


My flight was leaving at 6:45 am, so we promptly showed up at the airport at 4:45am. The airport was closed. What? Who knew that airports closed. So we just stood there waiting and discovered that apparently the airport opens at 5.


We quickly went over to check my baggage and all that fun stuff (which along with actually entering the plane is my most hated part of flying) and the airline lady quickly told me that my name wasn't on the passenger list, therefore I don't have a plane ticket. I'm sorry, I know I am repeating myself but...WHAT??!!


I bought my tickets months in advance, and apparently the confirmation number that I had was for the online travel agency I bought them through, not the airline, so that didn't help. I really thinks she was new and possibly didn't know what she was doing, but eventually she managed to get me a boarding pass. She did explain that since I wasn't on the passenger list she wouldn't be able to check my baggage all the way through, so I would have to pick it up during my connection in Madrid. This is when I was glad that I went for the 3 1/2 hour layover, and not the 1 1/2. The flight 45 minute flight to Madrid was mostly uneventful, and after walking a few miles in the airport (I am sure that's accurate...) I was finally going to pick up my luggage.


The baggage carrousel was really long, and as I sat there and waited for the suitcases to start coming through, I noticed that the first bag to come out looked like it was mine. What luck, I thought, since I've never ever had my stuff come out first. As I walked towards it though I realized nothing else coming out. As soon as I got my suitcase off the carrousel the whole thing stopped. Seriously? I was the only person from a full plane picking up luggage. I couldn't help but feel that everyone else's suitcase was checked all the way to their destination! Haha. Oh, well... at least it got there.


I guess the rest of the flight experience was pretty normal, with eating mysterious airplane food, 7 hours at 30,000 feet, not being able to sleep, and watching my share of girly movies on the little tv in front of me. Namely I saw "Valentines Day" and "Dear John" which I thought were pretty good, except I was really disappointed with my dear dear Patrick Dempsey playing such a jerk on Valentines Day.


When I finally got to Washington DC I was picked up by my awesome "#1 Stalker" friend Renee. She ran a couple errands with me and I got dinner with her family. Good times. By about 8 pm we were sitting in her house and wanted to watch Grey's Anatomy. It was a nice thought. By that time I had been up for about 30 hours, and I was SO exhausted.


I am too stubborn to let exhaustion stop me. My eyes would stop focusing and all that fun stuff. But I am too stubborn to let that stop me. So on the first try I was laying down on the air mattress, and I fell asleep 3 times in 10 minutes, and had one of those "my body has decided to twitch and it scared me" moments. Then I moved to sitting on the couch with her, and after several "I didn't notice my eyes were closed" and one big "my neck relaxed and my whole head fell backwards and hit the wall" embarrassing moment, I decided to give up and call it a night.


The ridiculous thing is that my body knows me all-too-well, and decided that since I was going to bed at 9pm (which is only 3 am in Spain) I must be taking a nap or something, because I woke up refreshed and ready for a new day, convinced that it would be around 3-4 am, only to find that it was only 12:30 am! I actually could hear my friends still up and walking around upstairs! So sad. So I woke up several times between 3 and 5 and finally just got up at 5 and started editing just to be productive, and wondering what to do through the rest of my Adventures in The US!!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pau::: First Communion


Pau2

June 6th was the day that I shot my cousin Pau's first communion. It was a weekend trip, having to go down to the mediterranean coast. I must admit that I jump at any opportunity to go to Valencia, as it is one of my favorite places to be. It has everything that you would love about Barcelona, minus the noise and craziness.







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This was definitely a family affair, and as it always is when we all get together it was way too loud and way too much fun. Now, Spain is a Catholic country so shooting first communions is a big deal. I was actually hired to shoot all the fun, and not the actual ceremony since kids take their first communion in big groups and so the whole group of parents hire a single photographer for the ceremony. It was alright with me though, because that way I get to just work with the fun afterwards.


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I will say that psychologically this was one of my most challenging shoots because I had to "split" myself between being the hired photographer for the event and being a guest. The whole reception I was getting up from my table to run and catch a moment on camera, and then the next thing you know my uncle is making sure that I've had something to eat, dessert, etc. Quite draining, but also totally worth it.


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Me and my dad's cousin who I had a huge crush on when I was little.



Anyway... so these are basically shots of happy people. Here we go! :)


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I did manage to sneak in this shot! ;)


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He decided that if I was going to take pictures of him he would take some of me! How cute. :)



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The pirates "found" my dad an asked him where he hid the treasure! :)


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Pau4


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I love my cousins in suits! :)


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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Adventures in Germany with Adina Noel, Amber, and Charlie. Part Two.

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The next day I was still loving "my pseudo-america" and all the men in uniform certainly didn't hurt my eyes. I wrote "If lost please return to Ramstein Air Base" on my arm. Had lunch an All-American lunch and set off to go on an adventure.







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We visited a town and castle in Germany, and guilty as I feel about it I can't for the life of me remember the name of it. What can I say? I am not a natural when it comes to German.


Amber On View


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House And Vespa


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Kudos to Charlie for agreeing to pose like that! :)


Hanging From Wall


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At some point we were in some big plaza, and I drifted off to one of those "tourist traps" to look for a good Germany magnet. I have a small collection. When I turned around to go back to Amber and Charlie, they were utterly and completely gone. Yup, I actually got lost in Germany. I promise that when I wrote that line on my arm that morning I had no intention of actually using it! I tried not to panic, but I couldn't help thinking that I had: 1) No money. 2) No car. 3) No cell phone. 4) No phone number for Charlie or base, and to make things more interesting... 5) No clue about my location.


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Mountaintop View


Germany Church





Here's an Adina fun fact: I have no internal GPS. It's a well known fact that when God was handing out a sense of direction, I wasn't there because I got lost along the way. No joke. So there I was standing in the middle of Germany, hoping to not stay there for the rest of my life. I remembered back to the many many many times when I would get lost as a child. It was actually quite humbling to find that even at 23, a seemingly good enough age to take care of myself, I still felt the slightest bit like crying... I'm not even ashamed to say it because I think that deep down we're all still kids. We're just bigger, more independent, and with better and higher priced toys! ;) I stood there wondering what to do when I realized that the same principle of "stay where you are" applied, so I just stood in that plaza, looking around, hoping that at some point Amber and Charlie would notice that I wasn't there.


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This is where I got lost.


It didn't take long until I got distracted taking more pictures. There was even a cute little photo opportunity as a small group of teenagers playing cellos from a local school did an amazing street performance. I had fun getting some shots, and in the middle of it Amber showed up. Thank God, seriously.


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Celloists 1


The poor guys only got to play about 3 or 4 songs before it started pouring down rain. It seriously rained SO hard that Amber, Charlie, and I had to run into a little covered area for shelter. I have to admit that the more I travel the more I learn to appreciate the weather in Spain, and I don't even live in the really warm area!


German Rain

They're serious about their rain in Germany. Look at that roof!


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Hiding from the rain. This is our "band" picture! :)


We were supposed to meet a friend of a friend at a local restaurant, but she was a no-show. It was just as good of a reason as any to sit in a bar and have a margarita, so no harm done! We just decided to chill at the restaurant and get some dinner. I had snitzel with fies and a delicious mushroom sauce. So good. With happy full bellies we went back to base knowing that we only had a few hours left of our visit.


Time Goes By


We decided to not get any sleep, since we had to hit the road before 3 am anyway. There was a fun little sports bar on base that we decided to go to and play some pool. Five minutes after we got in the bar, Amber and Charlie were playing pool when I called her over. Amber turned around to find me sitting down at a table with 7 army guys! Rescue chopper guys + me being an EMT made for a fun conversation about search&rescue, life, family, photography, and everything in between. These guys were headed for Afghanistan just a few hours later.


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Their drinks, not mine.


They closed the bar on us which left us with about 20 minutes before we had to hit the road. I of course amused myself for a few minutes by trying on Charlie's uniform and getting a few shots of me looking "Combat-Chic". Later, I know it sounds silly, but I just sat in front of the window and watched the planes sitting under the night sky. I've always loved the Air Force.


Mirror Shot


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Air Base At Night


We got to the airport at 430 am because Charlie had to report for duty at 6, and had about an hour drive to get back from the airport. Out flight was leaving at 10:50. Then it got delayed. Then people started cutting in line. Then the crazy Ryanair lady decided to go after me because my carry on was too big for their little demo box, though it fits in the overhead compartment, and under the seat. I tried politely to explain to her that I can't check in my gear, and this lady would repeat the same sentence no matter what I said. She was a robot, I am pretty sure. Fortunately I had a plastic bag I always carry with me (mostly in case of rain) and I ended up putting all of my gear in the thin plastic bag and checking in my carry on. I was pretty upset about it though... I won't lie. The flight was pretty normal. My dad was late to pick us up because there was traffic on the way to the airport, which made me late to my first class, in turn falling straight back to my routine.

"Well hello daily routine, I hadn't missed you one bit!"


Germany Airport

Finally getting sleep.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Xabi&Kathrin::: Engagement



On Cliff
One day in early March I got a phone call while at music school. A really nice german girl, Kathrin, had somehow come across one of my business cards and was interested in me for her wedding photography. We decided that we should have a proper meeting to discuss the details, but our schedules wouldn't agree for the first month. During this time, the internet took over. We started emailing back and forth, first with general questions about pricing and coverage and such. As the month went on, "facebook stalking" took over and (dare I say it?) we even started talking about things that weren't wedding or photography related at all!








After my trip to The Netherlands, and before my trip to The US, Kathrin and her fiancé Xabi and I managed to meet, book the wedding, and shoot the engagement session. It was an overcast day and we were all worried that it might rain on us, but the rain held out until we were on our way home and as it turned out it was actually
a great day after all!

Here's some of my favorites:

Frame it!

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On Grass1

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B&W On Grass

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Against Wall 2

Red Confetti

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Vintage House

Abandoned House

B&W House


Congrats Xabi&Kathrin, I can't wait to shoot the wedding this fall! :D