Category Archives: Lifestyle



I was watching the U.S. Presidential debate live last night, in bed with a glass of red wine, around 4am French time. As I listened to Hillary Clinton speak (looking chic as F in Ralph Lauren, IMO) I was so impressed with how knowledgable and studied she is. Dedicating your life to anything, especially in her case of public service for 30 years, is a huge statement to passion, purpose and incredible knowledge on the subject. I was contemplating how that related to my own purpose.

Change makers start by first learning, then with doing. The power is in knowledge. The expertise is in experience. That’s what I took away. If you have been following my Snapchat this week I have been sharing what I’ve learned about photography. Quick little daily tutorials on knowledge I’ve gained either in the class room or from experience in my breathe thus far as a photographer which is and will be my life’s work.

On Photography

My journey started when I was 13. My mom handed me her 1970s Pentax 35mm film camera. The kind that is so basic and manual all you can do set the shutter and aperture. A far cry from the endless options and controls we now have with digital.

My first lessons in photography started with basic balancing of the camera’s built in light meter and a LOT of trial and error. I learned quickly that I like to overexpose my images by a stop, especially when shooting faces. I learned how slow I can set the shutter before the image begins to reveal the shake from my hand, or breathing. I learned how to communicate movement, not just freeze it. This is knowledge I still use today when I want the image to feel alive. From there I read books, I took every class I could for the next 10 or so years. Post college, I still study. I watch youtube videos, I take classes in alternative photography, I buy random cameras and learn how to shoot with them. I play, experiment, challenge myself and discuss daily.

The Continued Study

I’ve studied photography. I loved photography. I still love the history of photography, btw THIS is the best podcast on the subject. We are now all photographers. We all take pictures, communicate through imagery and share with the world. For those of you who want to make it a profession… take a lead from what inspired me about Hillary. Be studied, do the work. Take your time on the journey. Here I am 20 years later and I am still doing just that. She makes me excited for who I will become as an artist (and business woman) in the later years of my life.

Please, this is not a political post but one about being inspired about another human’s knowledge and commitment to what they belive in, if you belive in it with them or not… #ImWithHer

Above self portrait, in Baukjen dress & wrap coat,

inspired from the painting “San Gerolamo” by Caravaggio


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My Day in Provence


So, as you know, I’ve been spending a great deal of my time in a tiny town in the south of France. Nothing about my life is the same as it was. Life in New York has me up at sunrise working, emailing, off to the gym, running errands, doing photoshoots, taking meetings, then social engagements until I finished the day around 10pm with dinner and way too much to drink. Not so anymore…

My day starts at 8am when I naturally wake up. I don’t set alarm clocks. Not a lot happens around here until 11. So, relieved that it’s still early, I go back to sleep until noon. I know, outrageous, but I typically work late here – until about 3am when there are no distractions and America is awake and buzzing.

I go to the café and have my daily cafe créme, something I NEVER would have done in New York. Not taken the time, not taken the milk. Since I don’t have cell service here, a blessing AND a curse, and wifi hasn’t hit this town yet, I listen to podcasts I have stored like Claire & Erica’s “A Few Things“. Today’s episode was especially inspiringI buy my baguette, whatever is left of the varieties they sell, since it’s pretty picked over by the time I roll in. Sometimes they come out with a fresh hot batch midday which is really a shining moment for me, when she hands me the loaf and it’s still warm. That’s when I stand outside and munch.

I come home to my little 17th century apartment. The light is perfect this time of day. I have so many options from direct light to filtered window light, reflected light, and softly diffused. I thumb through inspiration images and I shoot from 2pm to 5pm, mostly on black and white film. Still lives, flowers, self portraits, life.

I clean up, I make dinner, I build a fire. I edit digital stories for social media, I edit client work. I do more research on upcoming commercial projects, and look for inspiration for personal ones.

Living here, that small town life, was super scary at first. I cried every day for a month. There were so many challenges at first. How do I get a taxi cab? Why won’t UPS deliver my boxes? How do I tell the butcher I would like a small steak? Where does one buy scotch tape… and why do I have a washing machine but no dryer?

It took a while to actually reset. To want to shoot. I was so burned out.

I also needed to break out of the hard shell I had built for myself. To find inspiration in creating, not being overly stimulated by a mountain of activity. I have discovered, most importantly, that being here limits what I can do. There is not a lot going on, I don’t have a car (yet). I don’t speak French and everything is basically closed 99% of the time. However, it is in those limitations that I am finding freedom to do so much more. Fewer distractions, more time to create. And that is what it’s really all about.–

Above self portrait, in Misha Nonoo jumpsuit,

inspired from the painting “The Red Beret”

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A Picnic in Provence

  A picnic in Provence

Anyone who has been to Provence knows the south of France has the most stunningly opulent markets. Delicately viened melons, the softest greens and figs so lush they break open in your market bag revealing their dark red seed. Cured meats: wild boar, sun-dried tomato, olive, chèvre. And the cheese… I die for the cheese.

Today’s adventure, a picnic overlooking the ruins of a famed chateau, tucked just above the mountainous village of Lacoste. On the menu: oysters which I shucked myself, washed down with a coupe of Champagne, followed by sticky red grapes, figs, olives, saucisson, and cheese.  I arranged everything on a beautiful blue and white picnic blanket I found in the market and lay peacefully watching the sun fade off the vines of the valley and appreciating the rich flavors of Provence. Delectable. 

Un samedi parfait.

A picnic in Provence A picnic in Provence

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The Ruinart Champagne Harvest


Ruinart represents elegance through time. Savoir Faire – the knowledge and precision built upon generations of learning: care of and for the vines and land. While I’ve sipped their elegant rosé on many vast occasions, this particular harvest began in Paris. In a quaint Marais bistro I sat, par hazard (by chance), next to a coiffed Parisian gentleman. When I told him I happened to be attending the vendage (harvest), he expressed his intimate experience of what Ruinart meant to him.

I was utterly enchanted.

He said the beauty of Ruinart lays in the elegant curve at the neck of the bottle. The way the slender cork releases herself with just the slighted murmur. That the difference between her and other champagnes is found in both the sense of nostalgia for the past which we carry in our hearts, a tradition we capture each and every time we partake in her pétillantes (sparkling bubbles), and found in her relevance as a modern lady who has no interest in being left on a shelf. Each evening she wishes to be appreciated to the fullest.

That particular evening, in a house of Baccarat, filled to the very brim with the most glimmering crystal, we dined and celebrated the two houses, models of history and their elegance.


The following day was the harvest. Each vine must be picked at precisely the right moment. 220 hectares of grapes sweep through the rolling countryside of Reims. A vast field of vines: chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier. This was apparently a challenging harvest year.  Early hail and rain, followed by a sultry summer led to a smaller harvest, quick maturation and sweet rich grapes. According to Chef de Caves, Frédéric Panaiotis, the reds in particular possess just the perfect balance of elegance and tension.

ruinart_champagne_harvest_004 ruinart_champagne_harvest_005

I personally picked grape bunches off the vine. Extraordinary. My fingers were sticky and sweet. I felt of the land. Completely enamored. Such a far reach from the lives we spend at desks, engaged constantly with the cold feel of technology on our finger tips.

There is something profoundly beautiful and timeless in cultivating the land; an enamored symbiotic relationship between the touch of soil, the history of this legendary champagne house, the cycle of seasons. Past and future joined in intimate perfection.


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