Best of 2016

I have the time. I should look at all the photos I took in 2016. This is like a good thing to do that will make me grow as a photographer. Right? I hope so. Ask me in July if I feel grown. I can tell you right now I’m sick of looking at all the photos I took in 2016. But wait there were some good times! I loved all the photo adventures I got to have!!!! I got to shoot bikes! bikes and people. Tons of them! loved it. I always love going to the sewer district and getting to see in people’s houses. I got to see people be awkward during headshots.  I would try so hard with my whole heart to not say something weird. Mostly I did a really good job. I talked about restaurants and tv shows and tried to find out all their secrets. I love all my Madison Magazine shoots! you know like at least 75%. People in love are always nice. There are no bridezillas in Madison, WI. It’s been years since I’ve had one. I also think all brides probably want to be nice to me cause I’m taking their photo so there’s that. Talking to the bridesmaids might be a whole other story. (insert funny emoiji here.)

I took photos in schools, at the humane society, in restaurants, up by the Capitol, in rooms with beautiful windows, and in rooms with no windows. I took photos of cats, mice, bikers, businessy people, trans people, comedians, pizza makers, mentors, friends, orange and white, teachers, grandparents, and people drinking.

yeah 2016. yeah.

oxox  sv

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The District. It’s really the sewer.

I have a favorite client. It’s true. I love shooting at the sewer. They call it The District so I call it The District too. You can take a tour–did you know? Anyone can take a tour. And it’s so pretty. They have the coolest architecture and all the buildings have beautiful windows with beautiful window light. I’ve been there so many times that I recognize the workers. I like that. And man are they nice. I almost wonder if they send out a company email that says, “The photographer is coming today. Be nice. Do whatever she wants with a smile on your face and then ask if there is anything else you can help her with.” cause that’s pretty much how it goes. Michael, the Chief Engineer & Director, is the greatest to work for. He’s on my side. And let me tell you–if you’re on my side. I’m on your side.
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I think I will say “Go gett’m tiger” more in 2014.

2013. BOOM 2013!!! Yeah!!! There was some good and some bad–right?? I suppose that is what happens every year. I’m going to focus on the good parts cause nobody wants to read a debbie downer blog. (well….more people would probably like to but not from me SUCKAS!!!) I got to shoot some fun fun fun photos in the world this past year! Lots of Isthmus and a few Madison Magazine shots (which is new!! or newish!!). Shot more commercial stuff than in the past which I really loved doing and of course the 100’s of orange & white photo shoots took up some time. Weddings & Families & Seniors & Baby shoots!!!

some things I learned yo: Philanthropists really are happy. Happiest group of people I have ever shot. People always relax around animals, every old(er) person thinks they are going to break your camera, and 97% of brides are a delight to be around.  oxox

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tina + nick :: married

Tina is about my favorite person in the world. And Nick is probably my fourth favorite person in the world! AND THEY GOT MARRIED! It was a nice little ceremony at the HIlton Head with family members. The day was easy and cute and heartfelt. Good work team. I’m glad I got to be at your wedding! I did get to the wedding about an hour before the ceremony….a little stressful….but it works! Tina wore a dress she got at BHLDN-which is the Anthropologie wedding dress store. SO CUTE. SO SO CUTE. One of my favoritest dresses so far. And Tina couldn’t quit smiling. It was perfect.

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Indestructible Tour-St. Louis!

Ok, so we were really in St. Charles. I think it’s close to St. Louis. St. Charles has the most friendly RV roads ever. They are nice new road where no one is driving. & big empty parking lots for turning around once we’ve made a wrong turn. This happens every once in awhile. Eric got us the hook up in St. Charles. It was a hit! We visited 2 fire stations in the area. The first place let Eric go up 100 feet on the ladder where he dropped the flashlight to see if it would still work. yes, mostly it did still work. mostly.

Then we went to another location where a firefighter went through a firefighter obstacle course that was fogged! it was all halloween like. or if you were a firefighter at halloween you would say it’s just like the obstacle course. You get the idea.

We, with the RV, stayed in front Eric’s Aunt Linda’s house. It was lovely. We took showers there. I moved half of their furniture outside to take photos while they were at work. Thanks Aunt Linda & Uncle Chad. I don’t really think his name was chad. She was for sure linda though.

we sorta found this orange cone in Memphis and started putting it out by the bikes every time we parked. we would maybe even put it out if we were getting gas.  that cone cracked me up.


This is John Yi, a 10 year veteran of the Warrenton fire department and rescue crew. I liked him. I think we could be friends. Like if i was getting a donut & coffee in the morning & maybe he was doing the same thing…..we might sit and eat our donuts together kind of friends. 
They had a house they used for the smoke fog obstacle course. The photo on the right is the upstairs dining room. It’s kinda funny. 

see-check out the cone! i loved having people pose in front of the RV. I wish i would win one in a raffle. 
Eric went up 100 feet to throw the flashlight off! i was jealous.




gas station portrait. it’s beautiful.It’s nick at the gas station. I think it cost a lot of money to fill the RV. I was always busy buying watchamacallits & cool ranch chips.

This is a weird photo, where did that shovel even come from? i don’t ever remembering seeing that on this trip. weird. ox

Indestructible Tour-Memphis

Memphis! One city left after this. I drove the RV from Charlotte to Nashville. I think i screamed sometimes & maybe had a panic attack. Did i already write about this? probably. Memphis was ok. I really wanted to like Memphis. Graceland was cool….memphis really was just ok. I was getting a little worn out with the photos & the camera & the whatnots. I shot all of Graceland with my iphone!

I think i’ll do a whole blog post with my hipstomatics from the trip! I’m worried i’m over doing with the photos & this trip & the blog. It is a photo trip….i am a photographer. so there’s that.

Tennessee. Yes, we’re here.

a fun movie! watch this!

ok, so the movie that goes along with the fireworks photo is really great. you might even laugh out loud. i promise.

the table broke. computers were everywhere. so was nick. we didn’t die. eric fixes things. i take the photos. 
we met this guy in Memphis. You know I really wish i could remember all the details about his life but I was preoccupied. I think Eric knows all about him, he was doing the audio. 

while i was driving the oil light came on. we pulled over. I only made nick throw the flashlights in the air like 3 times. Then we ran back to the rv and drove drove drove. oh, the oil business was fine. at least while we were on the road.
This is Buddy! He has worked in the airline repair business for years, a lot of them. maybe 20. 
more bar/flashlight fun times. oh, we ate at the BB Kings restaurant & it was pretty delicious. ribs & coleslaw! no photos, very sad. 

Indestructible Tour-Charlotte-Part 2

It’s always weird on blogs when the part 2 comes before the part 1. well, here is my part 2. We also did some screen printing in Tina’s back yard. Nick is like a renissance man. He got the whole dinner ready to be made & then got the screen printing started and i’m sure the whole time i was working on a blog or something that was taking me too too long. I think this trip is making me a faster worker. I have to get the photos done & uploaded to the Rayovac people in a timely manner. & the longer i take on the computer the more time i’m missing out on the fun things I could be doing in the new cities.

Ok, so i’m back in Madison now. I’ve been back for about 2 weeks! It was weird getting home, I thought i was going to be so happy to be back into my regular life. Cause you know i’m having a good time in my regular life. But I was a little depressed. I’m sure my experience is similar to those people who go to summer camp every year and have all that summer camp nostalgia. I know about this summer camp-nostalgia from my favoritest podcase This American Life.

I miss the flashlight trip.

Nick had his friend Josh make us a screen. We made shirts in Tina’s back yard. The weather was dreamy. Perfect afternoon.


we went out on the town! I brought the flashlight. We were hanging out with Tina’s work friends. & Then sometimes Tina & I would ditch the group to take flashlight photos. Sometimes just sitting at the bar is not enough for me. I might start bringing this flashlight to the bar in Madison. maybe. 
flashlight bar time. It was so bright we felt like we were disturbing the dark bar atmosphere. mostly i guess we didn’t care. 
nick drinks giant PBR’s. He really likes them. we all wore our screen printed rayovac shirts to the bar. I think nick thinks he’s too cool to match with the crowd. he wanted to change when he saw we were all wearing ours. it’s like a team shirt! nick wore his. he’s like the lead singer. i’m the drummer. that’s how i see it.
how cute is tina?? very. the answer is very. I tried so so hard to make this into a animation type thing. i sorta figured it out I just don’t know how to put it on my blog. I bet someone knows. You could help me please. ox

Indestrutible Tour-Charlotte, NC

North Carolina! We made it! My friend Tina lives in Charlotte so it was nice to have a real bed & shower! we shot some really great things in charlotte also-good worky things. It was 100% all leads that Tina gave us. Tina is the best! I’m going to caption these photos, I’m starting to forget what is what & where these days. so much traveling! I asked Eric & Nick how long they keep this up and Eric said “indefinitely” I liked that answer. I could do this for awhile longer. In my perfect world I’d like to park the RV longer in one spot & get out the bikes more. We’re so go! go! go!

Waffle House in North Carolina. Leaving Greensboro to get to Charlotte we saw the waffle house. I was so excited! Since this waffle house i’ve seen like 59 more. i’m not as excited anymore.  but but but….they were nice to us. most people are. but we’re nice back. so there’s that.
This is Jamie! He is an electrician. I liked him. Easy to talk to, easy to hang out with. Like most of the people we’ve interviewed on this trip. Oh & the best thing about him is that he (for reals!) keeps on older rayovac flashlight in his front pocket all the time. he’s had it for 4 years now. He works out of his house & we went with him to a local barber shop to get photos of him doing some electrical work. 



Tina took us to the downtown Charlotte! Mostly we were excited to drink a beer but we first went to take photos of iconic-ness Charlotte for work. we’re hard workers. uh huh. We went to a sculpture garden by the art museum. It was really cool stuff. we took a group photo. I love a group pyramid. people should do this more often. The world should have more sculptures you can climb on. i hope it was ok we climbed on them. 
we look like this a lot. sometimes we might just run out of things to say to each other. 
This is Chris from Sign World. Chris is the middle of making a Coca Cola billboard. It’s huge! & it’s 3D-ish made of tin or something. he has a giant press like tool that doesn’t even need electrical cords. that’s a real tool! He is one of two people that work in the production part of Sign World. It was nice….he had some music going & a garage door open off to the side….fresh air & working with his hands. seems like a good gig. Right across the street from Sign World was a boat sales & repair place.  So we strolled on over to see if they would be interested in trying out or flashlights and putting them to the test. We talked to a repair guy for a few minutes and took some photos of an engine he was working on. He’s cute with a nice smile. Oh, & this is a rare boat. There are only some left. Whatever the some number is….I guess it’s not very many. you know I think 5 is not very many but i’m sure it’s more like 5,000. I wish i had stars on my car. oh, 

Indestructible Tour-Richmond, VA

Pittsburg was a bit of a bust for finding people to talk to for the Rayovac project so we did a quick stop in Richmond, VA! Nick got some leads! It does seem like you need an in to get people to talk to you….hey, does anyone have any friends in Memphis that would be good for this project??? We drove into Richmond and hung out with Carter right away. He has the cutest house in a hip part of town. Richmond feels good, I might go back. Then we went & met some hard work’n boys who do water &  fire damage  restoration work. They were great! Enthusiastic and fun! The best part was that they wore these alien-like white suits. & the coordinated their look with a pop of pink! it’s a dream come true really. I think we were in Richmond for like 4 1/2 hours. oh, & i fell again in Richmond! Now my already bruised knee is bloody. Gross. I don’t think i wrote about the first fall. i was a little embarressed. I feel down a half a flight of stairs. i’m a mess sometimes. it hurt.

So Richmond was a hit! GOOOOOO RICHMOND. That’s my richmond, va cheer.

nick doesn’t sleep much. this is where nick is when i go to bed & wake up. I think he takes a nap sometime during the night.we ran out of water. i bartered some rv water for batteries. everybody wins.


This is Carter. He is a woodworker & music man. I think in Richmond he is famous.


downtown Richmond! ok, i don’t really know if it’s downtown. a cute neighborhood in Richmond!Eric went into the crawl space with with the workers. He saw spiders.
we stopped in west virgina to take photos. we maybe got yelled at for being close to someones property. i wasn’t quick enough to get that photo.
RV camp ground! They have all the fancy amenities that the truck stops don’t have. like water and a sewage drain. oh, & the fancy rayovac flashlight is lighting this! Did you know there is a RV culture out there. i might get into it. 

Indestructible Tour-Philadelphia!

I think i can finally write Indestructible without spell checking it. Day 5. Right now we’re headed to Greensborough, North Carolina. But i’m still a day behind in Pittsburgh. So Pittsburgh was great. We went out of the town one night & had the greatest time. The people were nice to us! We were at this bar sitting in a booth and kinda looking at each other and I think Nick was like, “we’re not gonna meet anyone sitting in this booth.” yeah, ok, nick. I agree. By the end of night I had traded some face masks with some girls and was playing some cards with them! I heart Pittsburgh.

We spent some time in Braddock, Pennsylvania. There is a famous John Fetterman who is revitalizing the town. It’s looking good, a little down & out…but look’n good. I think the pbs or sundance people made some movies about this guy. I will netflix them. oh, what makes this Fetterman so famous is that he looks super tough. I think.

ok, i should caption some of the photos, might make more sense.

this is the tallest statue made of steel. according to my new roadside app. i don’t know if i believe it. but still a very nice stop in niles, ohio. we had lunch at a delightful little lunch place in Youngstown, Ohio. I had tofu! those boys love the live cam. we haven’t been into it the last few days. good. yeah, i said it. good. i don’t need people listening to me when i forget their there. 

we stopped & talked to some nice firemen in Pittsburgh, PA



We met this guy in Braddock, Pennsylvania. He works for Grow Pittsburg! they plant urban gardens. Professor Eric! He will be in every blog post. i’m sure.

This is a strange place to live-by the amusement park. Everyone who lives by the amusement park has a dog. it’s what they do.