First Fridays // Temescal Alley // Oakland

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a new friend's art show which was being hosted at Walrus in Temescal Alley. The little store itself was really well curated with many covetable upcycled home decor items. My favorite of which were lamps made from recycled glass bottles. But mostly I was impressed with Jennie's art! Jennie Lennick is a "San Francisco-based artist who reinterprets traditionally domestic and feminine imagery into drawings, sculpture, animations, and functional items that investigate the relationship between high art and kitsch." For her collection Reheat on High, she created a series of hand-embroidered vintage meals. They are adorable.

reheat on high Jennie Lennick

All the shops were open late so Nicole and I did some shopping. 

homestead apothecary

Homestead Apothecary has more herbs and remedies than I knew existed. And everything is beautiful. Nicole found a really nice lunar calendar for $12. 

homestead apothecary temescal alley

Another favorite shop is Crimson, which carries a great selection of plant varieties and pretty pottery (which is surprisingly hard to find! If you know of any places I can find good pottery, let me know. I feel like our options are very limited in the Bay Area).


For dinner we enjoyed carnitas nachos (street style) from Doña Tomás, which were absolutely delicious. 

dona tomas carnitas nachos

Altogether a really lovely evening. I can't believe it's my third August living in Oakland and that was my first time going to First Fridays. If you live here, check it out, even if just for the people watching, window shopping, and free beer! But definitely stay for the food. 

New Additions

Taking advantage of some pretty afternoon light to capture my newest additions. I started in on the dishes, but then got distracted by how good my plants look in the window. Priorities. On the left: button fern from the Half Moon Bay Nursery that we picked up on our way home from Santa Cruz. On the right: mistletoe fig from the Berkeley Horticulture Nursery, which I purchased almost two months ago (it hasn't grown much). 

I think they balance one another nicely. Jeffery and I have started stopping by our favorite nurseries whenever we're in the area, on the off chance something jumps out at us and we can't leave without it. It's kind of like checking out an animal shelter, but less risky. I recommend both of these nurseries. Fantastic and varied selection and knowledgable and friendly staff. (I purchased both pots from the Berkeley nursery as well.)

And a couple shots of the kitties. I think I really captured their personalities in their expressions. My wild little light catcher and my crotchety old man. They also balance one another nicely. 

Environmental Portraits of a Photographer // Oakland Hills

I am really lucky to have such a great photographer friend. It makes it even better that she's gorgeous and doubles as a pretty spectacular model. I have learned so much from Sadie. We met in a photography class, and one of our assignments was to team up with a classmate and take portraits of one another. Looking back at our portrait session from just over a year ago I didn't know the first thing about taking portraits. I used my kit lens, all the photos were take in f/5 and didn't know where to stand in relation to my model and the light, which is really the most important part. In February she generously photographed me for my website, we walked around Golden Gate Park at sunset and froze. It was time to return the favor. 

For this shoot I wanted to play around with a wider angle lens to incorporate more environment. I had a difficult time location scouting. The day before I drove around Oakland and Berkeley for about an hour getting increasingly frustrated because I couldn't find a spot that wasn't littered with background distractions. It made me want to move to the country. Immediately. So I decided we'd wing it, trust our intuition and maybe discover some place new. We drove up to the Oakland hills, winding our way up to Joaquin Miller Park. We found a gorgeous patch of eucalyptus trees on the top of a hill that was all lit up. And then she found a stump to stand on. Genius. Our second location was a turnoff off of Grizzly Peak Blvd up above Claremont. That last photo was taken after the sun had set.

Being up so high, we got the most out of the early setting sun. And there were trees but there was also so much sky, which is the beauty of being on a hill, you get light filled images. I could have shot for a while longer, it was so beautiful, but we were both freezing.  And there wasn't very much room for us on the side of the road. It was a pretty sheer drop. When I got home I made some black been and sweet potato chili. (Recipe here. It was definitely on the sweet side, but with a generous amount of salt and a drizzle of lime on top it was really good.)

Maybe for our next shoot we can be in the tropics. 

Recipe for a Successful Family Session // East Bay Family Portrait Photography

Start with the lovely Miss Charlotte. 

Add a healthy dose of bouncing on Mom and Dad's bed... (white linens are so good for photos!)

...and a tickle fest... 

...and then try for some group shots. 

But the toddler really wants to play at her water table...

so change her shirt and let her play.

When she's had enough water play, go for a walk.  

Pick some flowers... 

...and when that gets old, go for a ride on dad's shoulders...

...and then throw her in the air. 

By now your little one may be a bit tired and reluctant, so you'll probably have to carry her. 

(Now is a good time to sneak in some kisses.)

Have a destination in mind...

...like the playground!

Let your little monkey play.

Watch for indications that she's tired. For Charlotte, the sign is hair-twirling.

Head home for lunch.

But never stop playing!

And keep trying for that group shot. 

Lastly, always bring along a toy monkey! 

Thank you Stephanie and Kevin for being so welcoming and relaxed and for having fun the whole time!  You guys are a photographer's dream.

Temescal Farmer's Market

Temescal Farmer's Market
happy boy farms produce
carrots at the farmer's market
chives fresh farmers market produce
children dancing to music at the farmer's market
strawberries at the farmers market
farmer's market booth produce flowers
dutch irises in buckets
wrapping ranunculus
kitty sniffing flowers
kitty and ranunculus
ranunculus mini multicolored

Open Sundays year 'round, from 9 to 1. Live music, hot food. Affordable local and organic produce, beautiful flowers, and I can walk there.

I can't get enough of those little carrots. They are really nice roasted whole with parsnips and a protein of choice. Also, right now cauliflower is amazing. I made cauliflower mac 'n [three] cheese[s] tonight, which was a hit.

Jeff is pretty excited about basketball playoffs, the Warriors are putting on a show. We went into the city Friday night and caught the game at Yancy's Saloon, the sports bar where I celebrated my 21st birthday, and it was packed. Pizza, beer and donuts for dinner. It was really nice spending the evening in the city, I think we're going to have to do it more often.

This weekend was really beautiful. Feeling blessed.

East Bay Roses | Looking Forward

These roses were blooming down the street from the house of the girls I watch in Berkeley.

berkeley roses
english garden rose
full garden roses wide open
berkeley rose

And these were blooming a block away from the little girls I watch in North Oakland.

ombre roses
ombre rose
pink tipped roses in the sky
pink tipped roses white picket fence
pink and white garden roses picket fence

Ombre garden roses, dark wooden fence, white picket fence, it doesn't get much better.

I've been nursing a pretty nasty cold for a week now. I had to miss my soccer game today, which is a bummer. But after breakfast Jeffery and I might take a drive up to the top of Mount Tam, I've never been before. And my parents will be here in a week! We're having a Russian Easter celebration with family and friends next weekend, and the weekend after that I am photographing another birthday party. The niece of one of my best friends is turning one! And then it's mother's day and Jeff's birthday and then we might go camping for Memorial Day. After that we're off to Grass Valley for our friend's wedding, and then up to Willits for Jeff's ten year high school reunion. I get some time off mid June, and I'm planning on taking a road trip to Colorado with a friend. Time is going by very fast, and we have so many things to look forward to in the next few months. I'm also thinking about getting a new lens, which would probably make all of those experiences even better. :)


flowering plum tree victorian oakland
plum tree blossoms
plum flowering
fruit trees houses
spring tree
pink blossoms
blue house oakland plum tree blossoms pink

And after one rain they are gone.

I was inspired to go out in my pajamas one morning and catch the sun when it was still low. I'm glad I did. I love spring. I love longer days. I love flowering trees and warmer weather. Today I walked past a "wish tree" with the six-year-old I spend afternoons with. She asked me what my wish was. I couldn't come up with one on the spot. I guess that's a sign that I'm in a good place right now. I'm going to go shoot it tomorrow.

I've done a lot of research in the last few days on starting my photography business and I feel motivated and empowered. It's coming together faster than I imagined. I'm excited. It's going to be great. If you live in the Bay Area and like my work email me: thenakedrose at gmail. I charge no session fee, there's no minimum order and prints start at $10. Hi-res digital files start at $15. You buy what you love.