Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Procrastination….and a Mexican treat

April 1st, 2010 | Personal, Travel, Wedding

I hate hate hate that I am such a procrastinator. So in light of doing better, I am procrastinating on the work I should be doing so that I can bring you some lovely images from The Jose Villa workshop I attended in November that I have procrastinated on posting since then…. Make sense?? wow that sure is a runon sentence, but if you have been reading my blog long that shouldn’t be new to you, I am terrible at grammar and spelling and such get over it 🙂

First off I must give credit where credit is due. These photos were made possible by an amazing team of people:

Jose VillaTEAM Hair and Makeup / Stylist: Matthew Johns /  Location: Hacienda Del Carmen / Jill La Fleur /Jessica Claire / Joel Serrato / Citro Modelos

Attending this workshop was such a great investment for my business and excuse the cheesyness of it but also for my soul. The hacienda was so incredible, so serene and naturally beautiful. I met so many amazing photographers and learned as much from the other workshop attendees as I did from Jose.

From the moment I stepped foot on the grounds of the hacienda I was in awe. Even though it was the middle of the night by the time I got there, and I wanted to PASS out from exhaustion, I wanted to stay up all night and explore that beautiful place! I literally couldn’t believe the grandeur of it. Jose had every detail worked out and it seemed that each day it was better and better. I have to say that one of my favorite things was the the first official night. Jose had arranged for a mariachi band and traditional Mexican dancers to entertain us for hours while we enjoyed hor dourves & drinks. I literally almost cried when they started playing (and I am SERIOUSLY absolutely not… for real not kidding, a big cryer). I could go on and on about what a great time we had, and how much I loved it, but I don’t want to bore you anymore so here are some photos of the Hacienda Del Carmen.

This may have been my favorite spot of the Hacienda. I LOVE the stairs. and the photo to the left is what you got to once you went up the stairs. If I could just put my office up there I would be in heaven…. Well almost heaven, there would need to be an ocean out there too 🙂

This is on the inside of the front porch from the first photo of the post.

By far my favorite picture of the dancers…. And me and the first person I met while in Mexico, Kim Ing

This is my favorite one from the engagement shoot…. i think?….

**Sad that that was the last picture?? No worries, there is a Part II to this post coming soon!

1 comment
Becky Griffin wrote:

They look like models.

 [ May 17th, 2010 3:22 pm ]

Angkor Watt & A Cambodian Orphanage

February 9th, 2010 | Personal, Travel

We got up before the crack of dawn to head over to Angkor Watt to watch the sunrise. Did you know it takes the sun a little while to come up? I must have shot 100 pictures that almost look exactly alike, I am sharing one on here. It was a great experience and has even been featured on the travel channel. There were a ton of people there to watch. Much like when we were watching the sunset at the ruins, watching the people was one of my favorite things. I was SOOOOO tired but stayed to walk around for a bit. It was so massive and beautiful. There were so many things I could say about it but I will just post a few pictures for now.

This is actually at the entrance and not the building. Everything about these places are so grand. It isn’t something you can explain, you have to experience it for yourself. I wish I could live a day in the past and know what it was like to walk the halls back then.

Here are a couple of the MANY details I shot while inside. I can’t even imagine how they made such beautiful details without the use of modern tools. The one all the way to the right was actually on the ceiling and that is stone my friends… Not pressed tin.

I was seperated from the group for a while and decided to go find our tuk-tuk drivers. I know I have said it before but these guys were AMAZING. I had walked around for about 15 minutes in a sea of Tuk Tuks when my driver ran across the “parking lot” to get me. While we waited for everyone else these kiddos kept us entertained. We even played a game of hakey sac (sp?) with them and the tuk tuk drivers.

Here is one of my favorite shots from Angor Watt and a photo of the view from inside the Tuk Tuk.

We spent the mid day napping and maybe a little shopping 🙂 We were headed to an orphanage that evening. We had no idea what a treat they had in store for us! We got there and there was a stage set up and kids in costumes. They did some traditional Cambodian dances for us. They were so dedicated and talented! They perform these shows some weekends to raise money. These kids were not oppressed. People have made comments on how sad they thought it would be to visit an orphanage. These kids were so happy. They didn’t cry when we left but they did ask if we were coming back, it broke my heart to say no. They would hug on us and ask us our names and what our jobs were. You could tell that they were in a very loving and nurturing environment. Bobby and Lindsay had visited this orphanage before but they were only in a hut in the jungle and now they are in a brick and mortar building.  I hope to update this blog with contact info for the orphanage so you can get involved or donate to them if you wish.

I double puffy heart LOVE this kid. He is an amazing dancer! So he’s got lots of photos! Seriously the next night we paid money to see a traditional dance and these kids were 100% better than the adult professionals!

The little guy with me in the middle is the dancer behind that monkey mask! That’s Richelle with some puppies (we thought this picture looked like a 2 headed puppy)

Here Megan is with some new friends!

So I am a SLOW blogger…. I picked these photos out to blog a couple weeks ago and I wanted to share a story on what a great mother Lindsay is going to be someday, but now we know that she will be a mom sooner than we thought! Bobby and Lindsay just announced that they are expecting. I couldn’t possibly be happier for them, they are quite possibly the CUTEST couple I have ever met. I’m not kidding! I don’t think I saw Lindsay without a kid in her lap the entire time we were there!

After the formal dancing, the place turned into dance party USA (oops I mean Cambodia). We were all dancing around with the kids. It was so much fun. you could tell they were having the time of thier lives! Here are a few of the boys right before they tackled bobby.

I think Dane got a little lovin from the Giant Puppet thing!  😉 I just love that picture of them dancing for some reason!

Here are the kiddos showing off  for us. They probly could have done this all night. It was such a treat. Bobby put it best when he wrote this on his blog… ”

Visiting an orphanage can be a very emotional event. The temptation for many can be that you feel guilty for going just for a day — almost like you’re using the kids to make yourself feel good. I’m too big of a pragmatist for this. As a group, I’m guessing we left enough money for food for the kids for an entire month. That’s a net gain, in my opinion. As a group, we danced an entire night away with these kids — all of them smiling, laughing, and wrestling their little hearts out. That’s a net gain, again, in my opinion.

So we weren’t miracle workers, I know that. But we got perspective on life, the orphanage got much needed money, and the kids got a fun night of playing. These are all better than not going because you feel bad about not being able to be a bigger help. I’d rather help a little than not at all. It was such a great evening 🙂 ”

Meg wrote:

You captured awesome pictures of the kids and the kids during the dance!

 [ Feb 9th, 2010 3:34 am ]
Bobby Earle wrote:

Wowzers. So many great photos/memories. I freaking love so many of these, Amy!!!

 [ Feb 9th, 2010 1:43 am ]

More of Cambodia

January 19th, 2010 | Personal, Travel

So…. where to start…

All of the temples were insane. It is so hard to believe that a very long time ago there was life here (besides tourist). I can’t wrap my head around what it must have been like to live in those days. These temples are so beautiful.

Thom Bayon – Cambodia

I heard someone say that the faces (they were ALL over this temple) were supposed to be the king and he wanted his face everywhere so that he could watch over his people forever. I don’t know if it is true but it sure sounds good.

This is right inside the gate of this temple. Imagine trying to get away with this riding situation in America!

Here I am during one of Cherish and I’s impromptu photoshoots. I think we were both unaware of the lack of sleep that showed on our faces! LOL seems those photos were all a waste of time. I was able to salvage a few thanks to a little patch tool in photoshop to get rid of the bags under my eyes!

Here I am again with some of the traditional Cambodian dancers

Whatever this foot was attached to had falling off at some point in time. It kindof looks to me like its a hand trying to climb out of a grave… creepy right?

Here is a photo that I took of my brand new handy dandy Shootsac that I won at the Jose Villa workshop that I attended before I went to Thailand! I cannot wait to blog that stuff too, but have vowed to finish this first. The shootsac has completely changed the way I shoot. I was more if a one lense shooter before I got this.I could go on and on, but if you are a photographer or a amateur and you don’t have one… get one! They are worth every penny!

After we visited this temple, Bobby (you can read more about our trip on his blog) asked our Tuk Tuk drivers to stop whenever we saw any wild monkeys. This was my favorite experience of the trip! If you didn’t check out the video trailer of our trip do so here and watch a monkey sneak some fruit off my head (i think it is around the 2 minute 38 sec mark).

This little guy was with his mom and a couple other kids selling fruit to pesky tourist like us. I think I bought all of the green fruit you see below that he had.

Here are a couple pics of me stolen from Bobby’s blog

Let me just preface this by saying that these are not tamed monkey’s, this is not at a zoo. These animals are wild and on side of the road. It would be same as stopping on side the road and hanging out with some squirrels here in the states (closest thing I could come up with at 2am… its a lame metaphor I know) (wait… is that a metaphor?)

Anyway…. Everyone was feeding the monkeys and of course they will hiss at you and you can see those teeth. And its a little scary. But I coaxed a few to get on me. There were prob about 50 monkeys at least and also a giant boar that actually frightened alot of the monkeys back into the trees. At one point I think I had 3 monkeys on me. I know that it may sound stupid to most of you, but it was SOOOOO awesome! I can’t explain it really! I am an animal lover. My friend Claire said her husband saw her on my Facebook page and this next photo was my profile pic and he said “Tell me she didn’t get a monkey… She got a monkey didn’t she?” It’s the joke around town that we have a zoo, and I am okay with that 🙂

I would live right there on that street just to relax and hang out with the monkeys all day… If you would all agree to send me like $5 a day for the rest of my life I think I might could afford to do that 🙂 not too much opportunity to make money there.

LOVE those mohawks!

Given my recent Dentist bill for my kids I am printing this up and hanging it in the bathroom!!!!

This was my favorite temple, Ta Prohm. The movie Tomb Raiders with Angelina Jolie was filmed here. It was magical.

I became obsessed with these spindles (on the right), I guess that is what you would call them. I think I photographed every one there was at this temple for a project that I thought of while I was there.

Here are Erika and (blogless) Erin at Ta Prohm.

Here is a heard of Tuk Tuk’s waiting for their passengers. Someone compared them to a heard of wildebeest cooling off under a shade tree. And who could blame them it was SOOOOOO HOT that day. They basically drop you off and wait for you, and for only $15/day! It’s crazy!

Kim Ing wrote:

Hey Amy!!! Amazing trip and images! What a dream! Cambodia has been top of my list for ages…

 [ Jan 29th, 2010 3:32 pm ]
Kim Charlet wrote:

OH AMY!!! I want to be there! I want to escape America and eat raw foods, play with the monkeys, and ride on the Honda! Of course, all with my family!

 [ Jan 19th, 2010 7:35 pm ]
Meg wrote:

I stayed up to read this! Love that you’re posting, Amy!

 [ Jan 19th, 2010 2:56 am ]

Saying Goodbye to Thailand…. Cambodia bound

January 3rd, 2010 | Personal, Travel

On this day we woke up early to get on a an all day long train ride. To be honest I was glad to have this day to be by myself. We were all together but we were on a train with the wind in hair and the sun on our skin and that is one of my favorite things. Rolling up the windows and turning on the AC wasn’t an option. For at least an hour of the first train ride I sat on the edge of the caboose hanging my feet off of the train listening to my ipod. Alone with my thoughts reflecting on all the insane things we had done and experienced and looking forward to the next adventures in Cambodia.

I orginally thought it was cool we were going to Cambodia but was most excited about Thailand. Turns out I LOVED Cambodia. Don’t get me wrong I could spend my whole life laying on Freedom Beach or any of the islands we were at or around on the day we  chartered a boat. But to be honest if I had to choose a place to waste my time in, it would have been Siem Reap, Cambodia.

These lily pads were in the river as we waked over a little walkway bridge to get to our rooms at The VN guesthouse. I loved them.


We were all tired, the night before was pretty eventful. Several people went out and stayed out almost all night and the rest of us tried to pack while the electricity went on and off for long periods of time. Finally able to lay in the bed when some other noisy guest were having a great time and making sure everyone else heard! Here are some people resting at the train station waiting for the train.


I didn’t take too many pictures during the time on the train. But here are a few. The one to the left is Erika looking so seriously out of the window. The other is of these two little boys who boarded the last train right before we arrived at the border town. They were so cute!! Letting us all take pictures of them. They must have felt like movie stars. Look at those smiles.



We spent the night at a hotel in the border town. We couldn’t cross the border into Cambodia until morning. I soooo wish I had some video of that night. I was soooo delirious. I was talking crazy and if they didn’t know me better my new friends would have sworn I was drunk. A few of us went into the Karaoke room and I was exhausted and decided to go back to the room and go to sleep. I walked straight out of the door and into a glass wall. And I hit it hard!!!! There was a little Thai guy standing there with his jaw dropped and his arms out. I went back in the room to tell everyone, I was laughing so hard that I was crying. About 5 of the workers from the hotel walked in laughing out loud. When I finally got back up to leave again the workers held my hand to make sure I made it out okay. It made me laugh bc I know they thought I must have been wasted….. But I promise I wasn’t I don’t even drink.

Here is the Cambodian border. I love that it is a Kingdom.


The smell at the broder was almost unbearable. And the children there begging was so sad. As we walked up Bobby warned us by saying “Hey guys…. These kids are so cute but they will take everything from your pockets so be careful”. As we were walking from building to building during the visa getting process we saw many locals carrying large things and hauling carts with goods back and forth across. It was so sad to see little kids barefooted pulling carts (much like a horse is the best way to put it).  This little guys cart wasn’t half as full as some of them.


We arrived at the 2 Dragons guesthouse, and this is the owners son (4yrs old I think). He was sooo adorable. And very smart too.  On the right you will see the picture he was drawing, there were some snakes on there and I made a comment that they were scary and he quickly informed me in the cutest little voice that… “Rat snakes aren’t scary they eat Rats not people”


These ducks were still alive……


We took a Tuk-Tuk ride to Go watch the sunset at one of the Temple Ruins. These guys are victims of land mines. Bobby has said that they have held that same spot for 3 years. Here they are as we walked up to watch the sunset.


You have to walk up some pretty steep steps….


There were hundreds of people there to watch. Watching them was one of my favorite parts.


How beautiful is that.


The picture to the left reminds me of the Lion King.



Here they are again still playing on our way out.


Muriel wrote:

Wow Amy!!! these are wonderful, looks like an amazing trip!

 [ Jan 21st, 2010 6:52 am ]
Leslie Lancaster wrote:

Wow, Amy!! Amazing 🙂

 [ Jan 17th, 2010 3:32 am ]
Amy Martin wrote:

Thanks Richelle… I guess there are some advantages of not being the BB 😉

 [ Jan 3rd, 2010 10:25 pm ]
Richelle wrote:

These are awesome!! I love the ones of the two boys from the train… they were so cute!! I love that I get to relive the trip as you post new blogs!

 [ Jan 3rd, 2010 10:19 pm ]

Don’t go chasing waterfalls….. (shout out to TLC)

December 30th, 2009 | Personal, Travel

Day# I cannot remember: Erawan Falls…  I loved these trees at the beginning of the trail. Here are Megan and I before the sweatfest began.


This was a fun and challenging day. I knew we were going to get to see some really awesome waterfalls but what I did not know was that it was an intense hike to get to the top…. I was unprepared, I wore flip flops! My friend Richelle let me borrow the water shoes that she brought. THANK GOD FOR RICHELLE (she gets two links for that). I don’t think I would have made it without those shoes! Anyway at the bottom were a few little cascades and there were some little monkeys down there who would steal your food, and who are also apparently fierce! The first monkey I saw wouldn’t come down bc a local was there shaking the tree and throwing stuff at him. It made me kindof mad. There were tons of Thai people there. Apparently if you are Thai it cost over $400 less baht to get in than if you aren’t. Because of that, there were tons of locals there picnicking. Here is the first monkey that I got to feed. I was giving him huge chunks of watermelon, I figured he must be starved bc he kept coming back for more. A few minutes later I noticed these square shapes protruding from his neck… he was storing them.there like a chipmunk.

Notice the sign… Everytime I saw a monkey I would say Beware a Monkey steal your belongings…. It makes me smile.


A local girl walking around at the bottom of one of the cascades.


This was the first big waterfall we got to and one of my favorites. it was like a lagoon. I loved it. The only bad thing was there were these BIG fish who would nibble at your feet and legs… much like one of those fish pedicures, but I was not down with that!

See it was pretty steep. And this was a good area where there were stairs. Most areas were giant rock that was hard to climb.


We finally made it to the top and got to swim and play before making our way back down. This little guy was up there waiting on us, there was no food allowed up here but someone how I forgot something in my bag. I fed him some Colons…. Yes you read right Colons… they are like chocolate filled mini biscottis. Bobby called me a monkey killer, but I fed him anyway. See he has a little chocolate on his chin 🙂


On our way back down we explored some of the falls that we passed up originally.Here are some rock slides. The first pictures shows some locals who were there having a great time. They all yelled Heeeeeeyyyyyy to us when we first walked up then they all cheered Go Go Go Go Go Go to me when I was scared to go down the rock slide. You can’t tell in the pictures but it was really steep. Oh and the guy in the middle, you know the one who looks like he is wearing speedos…. Nope … He is straight up wearing his Drawers/underwear/tighty blues or whatever you like to call them. I got to see them up close and personal on the rock slide 🙂


And here I go…


I loved this Bamboo with everyones etching in it.


Geez I almost forgot to tell you about the monkey attack!!! Okay it wasn’t that bad but it was definitely hilarious!

So we all (well almost all about 10 of us) walked across this big log to where some monkeys were. There was a baby one at the other end who reached out and held bobby’s finger. Of course me the monkey lover asked who had some food left. Andrea said she had some melon and reached in her bag to get it and hand it to me… Apparently that is a sign of come eat to the monkeys (when someone reaches into a bag). Out of no where this big monkey swings from some trees and starts running down this log toward us…. I thought he was mad that Bobby was touching his baby…. I was wrong!!!!! He saw Andrea hand me that bag of melon. I was trying to hurry and grab a small piece of the melon out of the bag when he basically charges me and I go to hand him the piece of fruit and he swats the entire bag and grabs it and up the tree he goes…. LOL I still have a scab on my hand from where his dirty little fingers scratched me!! It was hilarious, everyone was freaking out as he was coming yelling GO GO GO get off the log!!! haha! I so wish someone had this on video! Any RPTE goers who read this please leave comments about this and how crazy funny it was! I know my story hasn’t done it justice!

Unlike the other Monkeys we met in Cambodia, these were definitely FIERCE 🙂

The guy to the left who is chilling on the scene of the crime, isn’t a fierce one, he is the one from the waterfall who followed us down. He looks pretty laid back.


Katie Lewis wrote:

Okay, I’m pretty sure that I nearly shoved Josh off the log to get out of there. I was under the impression that we had to go across this log to get down but apparently you all just had to see a baby monkey up close. One of those big monkeys jumped right behind me on the log and brushed by me and that was the end of that for me. I was off that log in a flash! I didn’t want my face to be ripped off by the fierce monkeys!

 [ Dec 30th, 2009 8:09 am ]
Nick Simcheck wrote:

Yes, the monkey snatching the bag was beyond hilarious!

Almost everybody except me (cause I’m smart :P) were standing on this huge log like 6′ in the air, and this monkey starts runnin… no, CHARGING in front of everybody with his eyes dead set on Amy. He sure got that bag too, I got pictures to prove it!

I thought for sure somebody was going to fall tough.

LOL I LOVE the censorship btw.

 [ Dec 30th, 2009 7:04 am ]
Meg wrote:

Love the pictures, Amy! And I just noticed the “Blower’s Daughter” playing here on your blog! If I ever get married, that’s the song I’d walk done the aisle to.

 [ Dec 30th, 2009 1:56 am ]
Bobby Earle wrote:

HA!!! I freaking LOVE the censor sign!!!!

 [ Dec 30th, 2009 1:45 am ]

Merry Christmas

December 25th, 2009 | Personal, Travel

Unless this is your first time on my blog, you know I just got back from Thailand and Cambodia. This was seriously the most amazing experience of my life. I have to agree with one of the other attendees that I had culture shock coming back to America rather than when I arrived in a foreign country. I went with 13 other people on this trip who were all strangers with the exception of 1 person. We all got to know each other by talking  for months via facebook, but in the LA airport was the first time I met them. For some people  that may seem scary but I loved it!  Anyway, I could go on and on and prob will over the next several blog posts but here is a teaser video from the trip. You can see me with my little Monkey friend at about the 2:38 point.

Raddest Phototrip Ever Teaser Video


1 comment
claire wrote:

the clip of you with the monkey was hilarious! too cute! glad to have you back home in z-town~!

 [ Dec 25th, 2009 9:24 pm ]

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