Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Our Kansas City Trip Was AWESOME!!!

The sight of Phoenix from the air at night has always been (in my mind at least) one of the most beautiful sights in the world. A glimmering galaxy of lights and life teeming below.

Peering out my window in the half empty plane, watching the ground beneath me I am reminded of all of my favorite parts of Phoenix as I see them pass by. The lights on the Mill Avenue bridges, the mountain Kirk proposed on (he knew I loved the city lights), the flickering rivers of headlights, the tall buildings downtown all make me think of home.

Usually for me, the view during the 20 minute descent into town is joyful but somehow I was just a little sad to see them this time. I had such a good time in Kansas City, I was sad to leave. I think I would love to live there.

As you may recall, I was in Kansas City to photograph products for a friend of mine. Heidi is incredibly talented and makes all sorts of beautiful things to spoil puppies and kitties. The photo above is her and her little friend Beetle Juice.

The four days I spent with her and her zoo were absolutely wonderful. Her family is so sweet! Her home is incredibly warm and elegant in a lovely neighborhood with mature trees- a beautiful place to go for a visit. We shot 8 sets both location ad work and studio images and ran around Kansas City enjoying the nice weather and incredible sights.

From the moment I arrived, it was a blast. We visited Dottie Mae's - an old costume shop to find some cool stuff for our shoots. While we did not find too much, that place is really neat... Just watch out for the owner...she's a bit of a grouchy character.

Dottie Mae's happens to be across the street from one of two tattoo shops owned by Heidi's husband, Blake. We stopped in for a quick visit to say hello to Heidi's sister who is a piercer there and to see what Blake was working on. If you are in KC and are not terrified of needles, the man is an incredible artist. Seriously. Incredible. If you are a big chicken like me, he designs a lot of the art work on Heidi's awesome tattoo inspired products and even hand paints collar buckles with tattoo inspired themes or amazingly detailed portraits. He did the art work for "Puppy Love" for pet flys as well. At least your dogs will look awesome.

The Plaza had tons of beautiful places to shoot and while most of the fountains were still off for the cold season its a charming area packed with store fronts and art work. Heidi's niece, Cassidy, is about the best little model ever. She was a good sport and posed with Gary (a sassy little xolo) for us.

We spent the evening working with the studio set and Heidi's cute little clan. Heidi has two sphynx kitties as well as a pug, two Chihuahua's, and a xolo that occupy her home and her heart. They were incredible little models for us and did great!

The next day we all piled in Blake's 1961 Lincoln Continental and hit the park for some vintage inspired images. I tell you, that car is something else. Its quite drool worthy to say the very least. I think Blake likes it too.

We brought along Beetle Juice and Clyde (chihuahuas) in their finery for some great shots.

That evening, Heidi's friend Lee came over with her adorable pups. Saryn is a gorgeous little Chinese crested with a personality to match her sweet face and Hans is an intermediate xolo who I am pretty sure might be a human in a hairless dog suit. They did great! Saryn and Cassidy did a sweet but simple Alice in Wonderland inspired set and Hans and Gary had to pose together to show the difference in size.

It had stormed pretty bad that night but the next morning I got up early to photograph Blake and Heidi's huge koi fish in their backyard koi pond. Two of them are roughly the size of beluga whales.

It was a little chilly out, but Heidi and I headed out to photograph some of her new sweatshirt designs with Gary on the plaza and on the side wall of Blake's Westport shop just a few blocks away.

That evening I sat and edited while visiting with Heidi and Cassidy. Heidi and Blake worked on some REALLY cool new sweatshirt designs- I can't wait for her to put them up- they are AMAZING! As a team, the two of them are especially genius. Blake comes up with incredible designs, Heidi digitizes them and colors them up and just a couple hours later they are ready to wear! The detail and work that goes into them is incredible. We were up long into the night planning out what else we needed to get done, playing with Cassidy and enjoying the evening.

The next day I got up early and to business. So did Clyde, one of Heidi's Chihuahua's. I just have to say now he is the tiniest, cutest, sweetest little snot ever. Hes super cute. I photographed a bunch of Heidi's products on their own as well, and we also photographed her wildly popular Denz. For what its worth, my hounds love them as does every other hound I have ever met with them. They rock- and are so cute!

Ok, ok, I might have just tortured the pug a little bit too. Its ok, she likes it. Just ask her if she wants a greenie, or meanie, or a martini.

I will be back next month with one of our Italian Greyhounds (Mirabella) for their pet expo fashion show (and more great photography). I had a great time and I can't wait to see Heidi, Blake and Cassidy again (and the puppies and kitties too!).

At the end of the day, I was sad to go but there were puppies and a Kirk and work waiting at home for me. I will just have to enjoy the beautiful warm glow of Phoenix for now and be thankful for the great friends I have both here and a short flight away. Thanks so much for having me out for a visit- I can't wait to see you guys again soon!

As always, watch the slideshow. Its got some images omitted from the post and is in general, pretty darned cool.

No comments: