AARON, SARAH AND C.B.

When I think about it, so much of what I photograph is about beginnings.  The beginning of the bride and groom as they seal the deal and join there two separate paths together to walk as one down the road of life.  The celebration of that senior year and the leaving behind the “drama” of high school and the beginning of the important things in life: school, job, career.  And of course the beginning of the new life as two parents prepare to welcome their newborn into this world and into their life.

Aaron and Sarah are expecting their first.  As is evidenced in the following images, they are positively giddy over the prospects of their first child.  I never once during the whole session had to ask them or remind them to smile.

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Aaron played football for me back in my former life.  Some of the best memories I have of coaching occurred during the year Aaron was on my team.  I remember the time Aaron invited me to a team dinner at his house.  When i got there, his parents came up to me and said “thanks for babysitting for us tonight, coach.” and left the house and me with 20 or so high school sophomores.  But we had a great time.  I brought over some NFL Films and Aaron’s mom made the best Pineapple Upside down cake I have ever had.

There was also the time that Aaron invited me to church on the day his congregation was honoring the coaches and teachers that were making a difference in kid’s lives.  I was very flattered and honored that Aaron asked me to attend that day.

WARNING: the following is a football story…if you don’t want to read it, scroll on to the rest of the lovely pictures.  You have been warned.

One of my favorite football stories involving Aaron comes from a game where Aaron played a huge part in our victory.  We were playing a team on the east side of town, which we affectionately called “the rich kid” school.  It was a close, close game with the good guys holding a slim lead on the rich kids.  Aaron was my fullback.  Our passing game was not clicking like it normally did, so I decided to give the other team a huge dose of 17 base, Aaron’s best play.  I ran that play with Aaron about 10 times in a row, just marching down the field.  In fact, from the other stands, one the parents in complete exasperation yelled at the head coach of the other team “C’mon coach!  They are running the same play EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!!!!”

Late in the game, hanging on to a thin lead, we needed to get a first down so we could run out the clock and win the game.  Unfortunately, the rich kids weren’t going down without a fight.  We were facing 4th and 12.  I really did not want to punt the ball.  A time out was called by the defense.  I went to the huddle and asked for suggestions.  Did we have a play to get the first down or did we need to punt.  Aaron says “17 base, coach.”  “Aaron, we need 13 yards.” “I can get it coach.  I promise.”  “OK.  17 base.”  Now I know what you are thinking, but face it, there is no hall of fame for a JV coach.  Why not gamble a little and do something unexpected.  Snapped the ball and 15 yards later they finally tackled Aaron.  And the visiting fans, who a few seconds ago were quite vocal in questioning my sanity, were gong crazy at the effort they had just witnessed.  Kneel on the ball a couple of times and chalk up the W.

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I love the above shot in black and white.
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This was my second time meeting Sarah, and the first time was just a brief, quick introduction at a football game Aaron was coaching.  She is a remarkable, engaging young woman.  Sarah is an elementary school teacher.  When Aaron and I weren’t reminiscing about football, Sarah and I had a great conversation about education and her teaching.    I know I don’t have to tell Aaron how lucky he is, but Aaron, you are one lucky guy.  Just sayin’ bro.
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I thought this little tee shirt was a great idea.
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Aaron getting the boy ready for football.  I really wished it was a girl so Aaron could be holding a doll.
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In a very short time, baby boy Monnet will be arriving into this world, surrounded by two parents who will love him dearly.  I had a great time keeping up with Aaron’s posts on Facebook about his pending parenthood and all the valuable lessons he was learning.  As for the CB in the title.  That is the initials for the name he called his son these last few months; Chalupa Batman.  Great name!  Although we are all fortunate that Sarah will do the naming when the child is born.  Good luck, kids.  Thanks for allowing me to capture these images and memories for you.

Photography by Tim Poole of Poole Photography LLC

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“BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE TO FLY…”

fly away…high away…bye bye.” As I was editing my photographs these lyrics from Elton John’s “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” kept running through my head. These photographs were taken last week when I went on a little photo safari with a photo buddy of mine, Vonn, (see more about Vonn here)  to the Butterfly Wonderland located in Scottsdale. Two of her clients highly recommended the place to her. So (cueing up the safari music here) Vonn and I met up at the headwaters of the Amazon Rainforest located right here in Scottsdale, AZ, off the 101 freeway.
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2013-08-14_0002.jpgI tried out my inexpensive screw on macro lenses for the above two shots.  The first shot is with a +4, the second one is with all three lenses screwed on for a +7 magnification.

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Throughout the Butterfly Room there are several of these yellow posts which were covered with butterflies. Vonn suggested that they are drawn to the yellow. When she said that I remembered my football coaching days during the hot, humid nights in August. Those of us that wore yellow coaching shorts were swarmed by mosquitoes. The next day we all wore navy blue.
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“When a small child, I thought that success spelled happiness. I was wrong, happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights us for one brief moment, but soon flits away.”  Anna Pavlova
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2013-08-14_0007.jpg“I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.” Zhuanga

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The butterflies are definitely not shy about landing on anyone.  In fact, as you leave, you go through an airlock to make sure none of the butterflies are catching a free ride with you out of the room.

At the moment I walked into the room, 2 or 3 of them landed on me. A little bit later, just as I was ready to push the shutter button to take a picture, one butterfly landed right on my trigger finger and lingered a bit. I am going to say right here and right now for all to know…that was way too cool!

I will be returning again to this marvelous place again, to spend a bit more time with the butterflies of the Rainforest. And this time, I will be the guy in all yellow.

And not to limit myself to just Elton, this song as well swirled its’ way in and out of my mind.  Sort of like, dueling butterflies.

“So butterfly, here is a song and it’s sealed with a kiss and a thank you miss.”

Lyrics from “Butterfly Lady” by Crazy Town.

The two quotations used in this post were found at Brainy Quote http://www.brainyquote.com/

WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE

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In my last blog I mentioned the DSNetwork family pool party, (or Poole Party, the way I originally typed it and so many of you graciously pointed out to me that I had. What can I say? Habits die hard.) I want to share with everyone the marvelous pool that was the site of this event. The event was held at the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center in South Phoenix.
When I was told this was a pool party, I remembered the pool of my youth: big pool, baby pool, shallow end, deep end, two diving boards, outside, hot sun, lots of sun screen, you know, the typical city pool that we have here in Phoenix. Nothing prepared me for what I walked into last Saturday.

The pool was indoors and built like the Disneyland of pools. Huge slide of death, tiny baby slides, geysers of water, traditional pool, baby pool, whirlpool, tiny buckets of water that when filled will tip over and baptize all children waiting gleefully down below. I think the only method they didn’t have incorporated in the pool design to get people wet was a fire hose that could be turned on everyone. And I am not sure that didn’t exist. Some of those life guards had a mighty tricksy look in their eye.

While shooting the children coming down the water slide, I suddenly heard this big loud “KERBLOOSH!!!” behind me, followed by the shrieking, happy voices of many children.  While thinking in my best DC comic book thought bubble “what the…?”, I turned and I saw swinging high above everyone the “Bucket of Doom”. A huge giant bucket was high overhead and being slowly filled with a gagillion gallons of water. At the filling of the bucket, the water was dumped like the epic flood of Noah’s day, minus the ark, on the waiting masses below.  It was fantastic! 2013-08-03_0009.jpg
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