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One of the things I like to do is look at other photographers’ blog and websites.  When I come across a newborn or infant photographer and I decide to comment on a photo or two, I would say “this almost makes me wish I photographed children…the key word being ALMOST.”  Taking these photographs of the Lovely Lyla has made me seriously reevaluate my position on that subject.

Shontionn and Maria are no strangers to this blog.  I have had the pleasure of shooting and blogging both their engagement and maternity sessions.  And the next shoot will be the one year cake smash party.  What fun!

Although Shontionn and Maria were married in a small, private ceremony, they plan to eventually have the big wedding  when Lyla is old enough to be the flower girl.  That will be a very special moment indeed.  In the meantime, enjoy these photos of the Lovely Lyla with her rightfully proud Mama and Papa.

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Thanks, kids.  Doing your sessions has been a wonderful experience for me.  Blessings on your little family.  See you in 6 months.


Andrea was one of the bridesmaids for the lovely wedding of Hana and Mike, posted in my blog here.  When in high school, Andrea was our baton twirler.  One of the best around.  I remember being in the weight room … Continue reading


Some lovely images from Karen’s family session.  Karen wanted some family portraits to make into an album for her parent’ 40th wedding anniversary.  These included her family and her brother’s family.  Another lovely Arizona day and a nice little park to shoot in provided some great photographs for their parents album.

Karen, Chris and the Boys

Karen, Chris and the Boys


The Cousins

The Cousins
























As I was trying to figure a seamless way to share a few sessions that I haven’t posted yet, I realized that I am not that talented to make it seamless.  So I am just going to be honest.  I have been procrastinating about posting these photographs.  But it is time to get off the dime and do it.  So within the next week I will be posting some of my favorites images from these sessions:  Chris and Karen’s family session, Ron and Terri’s family session, Hazel and her boys, and Andrea’s portrait session.  Here is a sneak preview of those images:

Karen, Chris and Family

Karen, Chris and Family

Terri, Ron and Grandchild

Terri, Ron and Grandchild

Hazel and Children

Hazel and Children




Photographer Airi Katsuta has been mentioned in a few of my previous blogs.  I first met her at the 2013 Phoenix Matsuri Festival.  She was displaying her 1,000 origami cranes that she had made as part of her fundraising effort to travel to Japan as a volunteer to help rebuild the tsunami ravaged village of Ishinomaki.   Her exhibit also included images she had taken while on that mission.  Since that chance meeting at the Festival, I have been sure to attend her other exhibits over the course of the year.

Last night I attended the opening reception for her new show “Voyages” at the Method Art Gallery in Scottsdale.  The show is photographs that she took while on traveling on the Peace Boat last year.

The Peace Boat starts from Japan and tours several destinations in the Southern Hemisphere on a 105 day cruise.  But the Boat is not a typical sightseeing cruise.  The group that Airi and her sister, Riho, were with are on a more purposeful mission, which is said best in the Peace Boat’s own words:  “Peace Boat is a Japan-based international non-governmental and non-profit organization that works to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment.”

Riho served as a translator on the ship.  Airi’s job was to report and photograph the journey.  The show last night featured 25 of her best images, one from each location she visited.

I had the opportunity to visit with the sisters and find out a little more about their experiences.  Both sisters mentioned that the Easter Islands was their favorite location.  They were impressed with the statues, as anyone would be, and the skill and hard work it must have taken to create them.  The girls were less impressed with my theory about how aliens had probably built them  I found out Airi had also seen the movie “Rapa Nui”.  We both agreed it was interesting to watch, but in the end a really bad movie.  One of those movies that came on late at night on Starz that one starts to watch, keeps watching hoping it will get better and fascinated that it doesn’t, and when it is finished one is overcome with regret for the time spent watching.

Airi took over 30,000 photographs.  I can only imagine the amount of time and effort that went into the culling and editing of that many images.

Many times such exhibitions of travel seem to drone on in the sameness of the images.  Not so with Airi’s exhibition.  Each photograph is different in composition, subject matter, feeling and creativity.  It is a wonderful documentation of the lands they visited while on the Peace Boat.

Airi is a very talented young photographer.  She is going to go on another Peace Boat adventure in the near future.  I look forward to the photographs and stories from that adventure as well.

The exhibit “Voyage” is up at the Method Art Gallery through October 3rd.




Sister Riho and guest discuss the finer points of one of the images.


Notice the map in the middle?  Each photograph had one of those tiny maps with a red dot indicating the location where the image was taken.  (great for a geography challenged person like myself)

The Hello Kitty photograph was taken in Japan.  She looks as though she is ready for the adventure.  This is one of Airi’s favorites.


Previous blogs featuring Airi

Matsuri Festival

1,000 Cranes

“Resilience” Exhibit”

The 411 on the Peace Boat

Method Art Gallery Scottsdale

More images and info


(Bonus points if you know what song the above lyrics are from)

Prescott Arizona, the town I grew up in, always knew how to celebrate the 4th of July in grand style.  The Frontier Days Celebration.  The World’s Oldest Rodeo.  Whiskey Row.  Fireworks at Watson Lake.  And three days of city slickers coming up from Phoenix to participate in all the festivities.  Prescott was a spectacular place to be on the 4th of July.


One of the service groups held a fund raiser during Frontier Days.  Basically, if a person ventured onto the Courthouse Square without western duds on, a “sheriff” would arrest and that person and put them in the “hoosegow” in the middle of the square.  The bailout money for that person went to the service group sponsoring the jail.  I would assume that the flat-landers found this cute for the most part.  It certainly boosted the sale of western clothes.  The best was always when one of your friends who should have known better got arrested.  And of course, all of that person’s buddies never had any money to bail them out.  Kind of like “you live in Prescott you idiot.  You knew better!”

On the downside of this, I was forced to wear bolo ties whenever we went down to the square.


During the night, the street in front of Whiskey Row would be shut down for a street dance.  As I recall one year Buck Owens and his Buckaroos performed.  One of bars on the block had a life size horse statue above its entrance.  The highlight of the evening was when the first drunk cowboy managed to climb up on that horse and try to ride off into the sunset with the roaring approval of all the cowboys and cowgirls on the street.


The last summer I lived in Prescott was 1971.  And this particular 4th of July was a very special 4th in the history of the town.  The film Junior Bonner, starring Steve McQueen, Robert Preston and Ida Lupino was being filmed in Prescott, with the 4th of July activities being central to the story.  My last chance for Hollywood fame and glory was during the filming of Billy Jack in Prescott the year before.  A few of my friends and acquaintances had been hired to beat up Billy Jack down at the Courthouse Square.  Alas for me, my leg was in a cast so I couldn’t audition for the part of one of the local Prescott thugs.  I thought that with Junior Bonner being filmed I could some how manage to get my charming face into the film by being in the crowd at the rodeo or the parade.  Dream big, baby!  Dream big!

During Frontier Days, the community theater would perform an old fashion melodrama.  I got a small part in that summer’s production.  I played the Devil.  Really just a walk on part.  I walked on, collected the bad guys, and herded them off to my “home” at the business end of my pitchfork.  Easy peasy.


The cast of the melodrama was also going to be in the Frontier Day Parade, which was also going to be filmed  as part of the movie.  Robert Preston, who played Steve McQueen’s father, would be riding in the parade as part of the movie.  I must admit that I was a little excited.  This was my first time ever being in the parade, AND it was being filmed for a Hollywood movie.  On parade day the cast piled in to the back of an antique pickup truck.  I even carried a sign that said HISS…just so people wouldn’t confuse me with the good guys.

Notice the HISS sign.  Figured Phoenix people would need some visual aids.

Notice the HISS sign. Figured Phoenix people would need some visual aids.


The film was released in 1972.  I couldn’t wait to see it.  I remember they filmed a lot of the truck going by.  I couldn’t wait to me as Satan traveling across the big screen.  I had even decided to play it real cool and NOT jump up in theater and start pointing saying “THAT’S ME!”

If life had a sound track, right about now the sad music would be playing, indicating that not all  has gone well for yours truly.  The truck barely made it into the movie.  I did catch a quick glimpse of my hand waving but that is about it.   Took a lot of self control NOT to stand up and yell “WHERE AM I?”


So maybe  Junior Bonner didn’t get my face on the silver screen…no agent…no contract…no costarring with Steve McQueen in his next movie…

In rekindling the memories of the 4th of July, 1971, I did figure out something.  If on some rare occasion someone were to ask me what Jack Nicholson and I have in common, I would tell them that both Jack and I appeared in a film playing the Devil.


(title are lyrics from “Born on the Bayou” by Creedence Clearwater Revival)



I was blessed to have a 31 year career in teaching, where it was my hope to have a bit of positive influence in the lives of my students.  Now these students are fine young adults, many college graduates and pursuing life, love and ambition as we all do.  Such as it is with Hana, a four year student athlete of mine who was now embarking on the biggest adventure of her life so far.  I have to admit that there was a touch of sweet emotion in me, and even the Pooleman got a bit misty eyed during the proceedings.

The afternoon got started in the Bridal Preparation Room in the ranch house.

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The ranch provides a nice outdoor waiting area for the bride and her party.

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All brides are beautiful.  All grooms are extremely lucky.  The expression on Mike’s face as Hana comes down the aisle says it all.

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A ceremony under the trees.

Nuptials-0160 Nuptials-0162 Nuptials-0163 Nuptials-0164 Nuptials-0165The Newly Pronounced Mr. and Mrs.

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Portraits_Family-0217The kids and the sign say “It’s now official!”

Portraits_Family-0224And what’s a wedding without a little “public display of affection”?


A trip outside the Ranch for some more photographs of the Newlyweds.

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The Whispering Tree Ranch decor is a throwback to old country style and old fashion charm.

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The sun goes down, the chandeliers light up and the evening’s fun begins.

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Thank you Hana and Mike.  It was an honor and a privilege to photograph all the laughter, love, tears of joy and fun of your wedding day.  God bless you and watch over you in your long journey through life


The venue, decorations and catering were expertly provided by The Whispering Tree Ranch.  The DJ and Master of Ceremonies who kept the evening rocking was Ramzy Saba. Photographs provided by Poole Photography, LLC.  Lead Shooter: Tim Poole – Assistant: Brianna Yahraus


I shared Hana and Mike’s engagement photographs a few months ago in my blog “The Lumberjack and the Princess“.  Well, the big day finally arrived last Sunday.  Hana and Mike got married. I was privileged enough to photograph their wedding. … Continue reading