Sunday, December 17, 2006

Colombian Affair

A Colombian Affair, the Best Buddies Miami event to support one to one friendships for people with intellectual disabilities was held on December 16, 2006. Over 400 people attended the festivities located on Watson Island in Miami Florida.

From the NBC television show The Biggest Loser, Melinda Suttle, Kim Lyons, (Red team trainer), Mark "Wylie", Marty Wolff and Amy Hildreth.

Tamie Sheffield, Omarosa Stallworth, Carl Lewis, Kelly Hu and Mitch with Buddies.

Performing in the Buddies Idol Contest, Janessa Alguino sings "Que Le Den Candela."

Tori Ackley with American Idol's, Ryan Seacrest.

Best Buddies John Castaneda and Carlos Vives.

The Carlos Vives performance.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Best Buddies Ball

Reza Pahlavi, Avi, an Israeli Knesset Member, Best Buddies Founder and Chairman Anthony Shriver, The Honorable Dalia Itzik, Speaker of the Knesset, State of Israel dance at the Best Buddies Ball on October 28th. In the spirit of "Tzedakah," a Hebrew term for righteous giving, this year's event will support the launch of Best Buddies programs for people with intellectual disabilities in Israel.

David Caruso, star of CSI:Miami, was honored at the Ball with the Spirit of Leadership Award for his continuous support to Best Buddies over the years.

The Honorable Israel Meir Lau, former Chief Rabbi, State of Israel with Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Blondie performed for the 750 attendees.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Biketoberfest, Daytona Beach

The Daytona Beach Biketoberfest October 22, the parade of people on Main Street. In between doing several photo shoots for GEICO, we had the opportunity to see some of the fun.

More photos at GEICOSY

Volvo Hearst Castle Challenge

On October 12, 500 plus riders took part in the Volvo Hearst Castle Challenge, a series of bike rides along the Pacific Coast Highway from Carmel to San Simeon, CA. This event raised raised $2.5 million to support Best Buddies.

Biggest Loser Personal Trainer Kim Lyons with Buddy Katie Meade at the celebrity tandem race on the Hearst Ranch.

Third Eye Blind at the Hearst Ranch.

The celebrities


What do you get when you have warm evening light, green luscious grass, some fallen leaves and a willing and handsome model?
Patches' fall photograph!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Atlantic City Chopper Expo

Another interesting motorcycle event. To view the show's images go to the Geicosy site. I was extremely fortunate to get a room on the 30th floor overlooking the bay and Atlantic City. We had gorgeous weather. At the show, I was able to be a papparazzi-----

Duane "Dog" Chapman the Bounty Hunter

Beth Chapman

Discovery Channel's "Miami Ink" star Ami James

Discovery Channel's "Miami Ink" co-star Chris Nuñez

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Delmarva Bike Week

That little Gecko has an incredible following. It seems that everyone at the Delmarva Bike Week in Ocean City Maryland wanted something to remember him by. It rained most of Friday, so we didn't have many visitors, Friday night the rain ended and the booth was ready.

On Saturday the crowds came. Our Honda motorcycle with the Gecko Tiki Bar continues to attract attention. In the days of the event, GEICO staff handed out over 30,000 items with his image. We were handing out over 2000 items per hour. It never ended.

Hannah Moore working the crowd. The GEICO people worked as a team, meeting new people, saying hello to current policy holders, answering questions and just having a grand time. Although we all worked hard; it it seemed that it was not really "work" it was just fun.

Hannah Moore, Kirk Kimble and Abby Faison

Sy Pilz

Just One More

This is the last image for the Life is Sweet 2 Event. Although, Michel Richard of Citronelle will be on his book tour during the event, his exuberance and excitement for cooking will be with us.
Buddy Chef Jennifer Holden will represent Michel at the event by promoting his book, Happy in the Kitchen. Signed copies of this wonderful book will be on sale and the proceeds will be benefit Best Buddies Virginia. This book will make a great gift or wonderful addition to your kitchen.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Life is getting Sweeter

On Sunday September 10th we completed the last six photo shoots for the Life is Sweet event. A daunting task to go to six different locations and get 12 people to smile pretty with desserts. But we did it. An incredible experience, a feeling of accomplishment and re-establishing old friendships and making new ones.

Our first stop was with Chef Laurent Merdy of the Willard Hotel, one of the most elegant and historical places in DC. He and Buddy Chef Caitlin Donovan shared time in the kitchen learning to fill little pastries. Afterward, we were treated to a fantastic assortment of peanut butter, oatmeal raisin and chocolate cookies.

Vidalia's Chef Caitlin Kelly recently returned to DC after surviving Katrina in New Orleans. Her warm smile and graciousness radiated as she met Buddy Chef Greg Voldish. Their friendship instantly grew as the two of them melted chocolate and hand dipped plump ripe strawberries.

Chef Naomi Gallego and Buddy Chef Chelsea Murray were matched last year. However this year, Naomi is at a new restaurant, PS7. When we visited, the restaurant was not officially open. However, Naomi was more than happy to meet up with her buddy Chelsea and spend time together.

Chef Geoff's Pastry Chef Nichole Ferrigno delivered a baby two weeks before our photoshoot. It was amazing the she was able leave her baby and look so good during her photo shoot. Buddy Chef Pounhe had some trouble making it on time to the restaurant. But that is OK, things happen and the two of them will be able to spend plenty of time together before the big event.

As the day got later, I was getting tired. However, Chef Megan Seward of Equinox and her Buddy Chef Russell Kelly were extremely patient with me. Megan brought out two incredible desserts and Russell eyed both dishes as I requested them to smile and pose before eating. Finally, I reliquished my request and they both indulged before I could say "just one more."

The last shoot of the day, Buddy Chef Cesar Rojas was in for quite a treat. After meeting Chef Stefan Jarausch of the Madison, they both went to work in the kitchen. First, filling some pasties and then learning knife skills. They started to cut into pineapples. Cesar never used to like the fruit. But after learning to properly cut them, Chef Stefan encouraged him to try it. And try it he did.....And he liked it!! Not only did Cesar gain a new taste for pineapple but he gained a new best friend. What great way to end our photo journey!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Lisa & Dan's Wedding

One of the hardest assignments for a photographer is shooting a wedding. Everyone is on edge and you want everything perfect. The reason I did take on this task was that I knew the couple. (Plus it is my wedding gift.) I have known Lisa for over ten years, so I was like part of the family. That is a real bonus because Lisa and her family were comfortable with me taking pictures at some very special moments. They were relaxed and most importantly accommodating to my "one more" requests. Even though everyone was nervous, we were able to have fun which translates to good pictures.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

L'Auberge Chez Francois

Over the river (I drove over the Potomac) and through the woods (along Great Falls Road) and passing by the horse farms and mcmansions of northern Virginia, one arrives at a restaurant disguised as a quaint farm house. Upon entering you are taken to a far away place, a charming French country styled house. In Chef Jacques Haeringer's restaurant, L'Auberge Chez Francois, you are at home. With warm smiles he and Buddy Chef Eric Latcheran concoct an incredible surprise for the Best Buddies Virginia Life is Sweet event.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ritz Pentagon City & The Fairmont

In the top floor lounge of The Ritz Carlton of Pentagon City, Pastry Chef Noree Hatheway and the Ritz staff pampered and catered to Buddy Chef Maddie Leasure. The eloquent furnishings, the quality service and panoramic view provided a dignified atmosphere to discuss plans for the upcoming Life is Sweet event. Although you might find Maddie at her favorite local hangout for a fast burger and fries, she always appreciates her friends and Buddy Noree at the Ritz.

Sometimes it is really a balancing act, deciding what pictures to take and what the chefs will do. One chef throws eggs, another lemons, another plays with fire, guess we are lucky no one yet throws knives. When we only had raspberries to do something with, I just didn't know what kind of raspberry the group would do. Luckily, they only balanced them on their noses. At the Fairmont you can keep your nose in the air only if you have a piece of fruit on it. Pastry Chef Pierre St. Pierre (who is leaving us in September) Buddy Pouneh Bahri, Buddy Chef Michael Apps and his Chef Aron Weber, the new Fairmont Pastry Chef, all keeping it real........

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Our original intention was to photograph all the buddy chefs with the apron and chef's hat. But sometimes conformity must be thrown out the window or even looked through another way. Restaurant Eve an elegant contemporary restaurant nestled in an Old Town Alexandria townhouse provided several fun challenges. The kitchen was too full of activity for us to interrupt their dinner preparations and the servers were having their nightly meeting in the main dining area. So we chose a secluded area in the second dining room. Then when Buddy Chef Natalie Mills entered with grace and style we knew we were doing the right thing. Her formal dress was perfectly suited to meet Chef Cathal Armstrong. The two of them enjoyed a refined yet casual conversation about their dessert plans for the Life is Sweet event.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Acadiana & Marcel's & Bazin's on Church

Each participating pastry chef provides a unique experience for their Buddy. Acadiana's Executive Pastry Chef David Guas really got things on fire with his Buddy Chef Jonathan Converse. After making a lemon tart, they decided to make a Louisiana style dessert something with bananas and added a bit of rum to it. (I really wish I remembered what it was called but I was busy trying to protect myself from the flames.) Luckily, there were no singed eyebrows and the place is still standing.

Buddy Chef Will Donner loves to fly among all his other interests that include baseball and sports...and an incredible memory for all types of information and statistics. So after a quick lesson in slicing fruits, Marcel's Chef Paul Stearman, who is quite an outdoorsman and can juggle quite a few things himself, let the lemons fly during the photoshoot.

You may have to wait to get a reservation in Bazin's on Church in Vienna, especially even more so now, that Chef Patrick Bazin has taken cooking TV show fan and Buddy Chef Cameron Graham and shared his secrets of making strawberry shortcakes. Cameron learned everything and just like her TV cooking mentor Emile! before serving their creation to her family, Patrick and her shouted.....BAM!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Ritz Carlton DC

Ritz Carlton DC Chef Jerome Giradot learned the hard way, recovering from a deep cut on his finger from slicing his dinner at home, he made certain that his Buddy Chef, Ryan Gutkowski, learned proper knife etiquette. A fast learner, Ryan became proficient at slicing and dicing strawberries, kiwis, pineapples and passion fruit. Then, they meticulously placed the fruit on a tort that Ryan brought home for his family's dessert.

After completing the task, we were treated to a wide assortment of Ritz's cookies, all the usual flavors, that are favorites to Ritz clients. The Saturday morning pastry crew joined Jerome and Ryan in a group picture.