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How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With patent pumps, and stylish accessories

And pretty girls all in a row.

…well, it’s true.  Spring is here and it’s time for one of the most relaxing things to do this time of year, which is gardening.  I can’t remember one spring, summer or fall that one of my Grandmomma’s wasn’t in the garden.  They grew all sorts of yummy vegetables, some of the sweetest berries and melon, and bright colorful fragrant flowers.  As an adult, I’ve had a few gardens of my own that I filled with the likes of Night Jasmine, Lemon Verbena, Herbs and Rosemary.  On a clear Southern California Summer night, this Southern girl loves to relax under the stars to the sounds of Miles, Monk, and Lady Holiday, sip cool Sweet Sun Tea made earlier in the day and breath in the aromas of the ocean mixed with those of my garden and the surrounding Honeysuckle.

When I heard about a special garden in Riverside from the fabulous Make-up Artist, Kimberly Bragalone, I was more than a little intrigued.  As I came upon the garden, I found these Beauties playing and laughing amongst the flowers and even in the trees!  But these weren’t just any Garden Beauties; each of them had a fresh colorful spring style that could bloom right into a summer soiree.  They were sweet, playful and fierce; not even a tree could get them out of their stilettos!

Many thanks to the creative Merissa Garcia for organizing the day, the amazing Kimberly Bragalone for Make-up, and our Gorgeous Garden Beauties, Kaylie, Alex and Brooke.

Don’t forget to send me your “shoe shot” to be featured here on the blog.

I can’t wait find out where your shoes have taken you in life!

Amber Fox - April 12, 2010 - 6:35 PM

You have so many gorgeous shots in here. Their skin is like porcelain!

Tamara - April 12, 2010 - 10:18 PM

Thank you so much Amber. Kimberly is a make-up magician!

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These Boots Were Made for Hiking…

.. and that’s just what they’ll do..

Hey ya’ll!  I bet you’re wondering what’s up with the song choice.  Don’t worry, there’s no video link of me singing it.  I like you too much for that  ;)  .  It’s all related to the newness that awaits you.  T Style has a new series about….shoes!  (Who didn’t see that coming?)  To be more precise, it’s about where your shoes have taken you in life, where you stand in them today, and where you’re going in them.

So, let’s take a stroll…..

My good friend Mark Teskey of Mark Teskey Photography T3 Imagery in Chaska, Minnesota is one heck of a Wedding and Fine Art Photographer.  Mark recently spent a few days in Nevada doing some Landscape Photography.  One of the things I love about Mark besides his creativity and love for adventure is his sarcastic sense of humor.  You’ll see what I mean in this email he sent me for the first installment of this series.

“As promised, I’ve got a couple of ‘shoe shots’ for your use on your blog.  I’ll have you know that these are no pain / no gain shots – I wiped out while taking these pictures and I badly bruised my left heel since I was barefoot.  Fortunately, it was literally 5 minutes before heading out so no impact on the trip.  It’s pretty tender today!

These were taken at Valley of Fire State Park about an hour north of Vegas.  It’s a crazy place – it’s like if Dr. Seuss designed a State Park.  I was going to get a long exposure shot of my boots on a rock in a river in Zion yesterday – but it was below freezing with snow on the ground.  It would have been unpleasant to take my boots off. :)

Vasques in the Valley of Fire

Mark almost didn't get his boots down after this AWESOME shot!

Details on the shoes?  Why of course!  They are Vasque hiking boots.  They’ll cost about as much as a funky pair of Steve Maddens, but they feel about 10x better on your feet.  They are also 100x better for landscape photography.  Just sayin’.

Vasques vs. Steve Madden:   Fight!

River Wading:
Advantage, Vasque

Club or Men’s Restroom Wading:
Advantage: Steve Madden

Smoothin’ on the Ladies:
Advantage: Maddens (unless it’s a Hippie Chick, then the Vasques)

Advantage: Vasque.  Three words: Steel Toed Death

So, there you go.. if you intend to go clubbing with Hippie Chicks in the river, Vasques are your choice.  Or, if you’re me.. they’re pretty good for landscape photography.”

Mark my friend, I can’t thank you enough for risking the dangers of standing barefoot on a rock so that I could share this awesome post with everyone.  This image really makes me want to visit the Valley of Fire.  Do those Vasques come in Turquoise with Pink laces?

I’d like to invite ya’ll to send me your “shoe shots” with a note about where you’ve been in them or where they’re gonna take you.  We’ll get to know someone through their shoes a few times a month.  Please don’t feel like you have to face any environmental dangers like Mr. Teskey or even be a photographer to have your “shoe story” told.  You can even send in an iPhone pic.

To send in your “shoe story” or ask any questions, please  email me or click the contact link on the menu above.

I’m so excited to hear from you.  Until then, remember this..

“The shoe always tells the story.”

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Teskey, Tamara Young. Tamara Young said: RT @markteskey: Photography and shoes? Check out @tamarayoung99's cool blog post about my boots at http://bit.ly/9oSid7 #fb [...]

michelle cunningham - April 10, 2010 - 12:36 AM

this is hilarious! i love the post. now i have to think of a shoe story to share.

Tamara - April 11, 2010 - 9:18 PM

I can’t wait to share your “shoe story!” I know it’s gonna be insanely funny!

[...] forget to send me your “shoe shot” to be featured here on the [...]

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Sad News, Delectable Dishes & Fun With My iPhone

I have some sad news to share with you, my friends. Our favorite Lavender Pear Cupcake is no more. I was informed that it was a “seasonal” flavor. (What season screams Lavender more than Spring?! I’ll deal with that later.) Anywho, this denial of light and dreamy yumminess reminded me of a delicious dinner I shared at Scott’s Seafood in Costa Mesa last week.

Before we go on, it’s only fair that I share a few things about myself that I think will help you understand where I’m coming from:

  1. I love pretty food and when I see it, I want to photograph it
  2. I’m not completely OK with food touching on my plate. I’m still working on that, but I’m making a lot of progress.

Growing up in the South, food is a big deal. So much so, that during dinner you may hear plans for the next meal or people, places and things being rated based on food. Meal time isn’t usually rushed, not even when dining out. For me, when the service is great and the food is visually stimulating, everything seems to taste that much better.

By the way, I’m not too loyal to restaurant chains, well known famous joints, the place with the most stars or the most expensive menu. Mainly because I like to try new places, support local businesses and most of all, eat good food no matter where it is. I mean, if I’m gonna spend my time, calories and cash; I want a dining experience that’s worth writing about.

I’ve had lunch at Scott’s Seafood in the past and really enjoyed it. So when I was asked to choose a restaurant for the weekly dinner I have with one of my friends, I thought about giving Scott’s a try for dinner as well.

From the time we arrived until the time we left about two and half hours later, the service was impeccable, the food was not only delicious but visually stimulating and the atmosphere wasn’t half bad either. After finding that Scott’s doesn’t serve Cakebread Chardonnay by the glass, I took my friend’s suggestion and ordered the A.B.C. Non-Chardonnay Wine Flight. I quickly got over my disappointment. It was a great start and all three tastings complimented my dinner very well. I can’t comment on the Oysters since I didn’t taste them, but I did snap a pic of them. While my friend was enjoying them, I was busy tasting the Calamari Provencale while having conversation about the sauce on them and how it paired with the wine. Once our main entrees arrived, I took one look and knew I was about to get down to business. But not before I photographed the platter of beauty. The aroma of freshly drawn butter combined with the sight of a succulent lobster tail resting alongside a bed of slender and vibrant green beans that balanced the Bliss Potatoes nearly left me speechless. That is until I saw what looked like an art display on a plate. It was a beautiful collection that included Grilled Shrimp, Fresh Ahi and Grilled Peppers. We didn’t eat this meal, we savored it.

Just when I thought I could take no more, Alex presented the dessert menu. I started with a Cappuccino that had the perfect amount of light creamy foam. Then they arrived. The Cheesecake Stuffed Beignets, with Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta, Caramel, Crème Anglaise and the sweetest fresh Strawberries. It was sweet glory on a plate, ya’ll! Now, I make some pretty decent Beignets, if I do say so myself. But these were almost too pretty to eat and tasted like…..LOVE!

I really can’t say enough about our server, Alex. This guy wasn’t just knowledgeable about the menu; his timing was perfect, never rushing our meal. He didn’t “deliver” or even “serve”, he presented each course for our dining pleasure. Alex gets extra brownie points for not giving me the evil eye when I broke out my iPhone for a little iPhoneography for this post. (Thanks, Alex!)

During all of this delectable dining, I decided to carry a light on my keychain in the future for better iPhone pics in lowlight. I also decided to get my geek on and do this post via my handy-dandy WordPress iPhone app. Yep, I love my iPhone!

Before I go, I’ll leave you with this quote from Virginia Wolf…

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed the installment of iphoneography.

Who knows where my shoes will take me next….

Artie - April 10, 2010 - 9:26 PM

Looks yummie!

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Tears, Shoes, and the “Secret Weapon”

So here we are again, my friends. Oh, are you new here?….. Welcome! Come on in and get comfy. I’m so glad you came to see what the fuss was all about. I have to tell you, WPPI is not for the birds! We talked about that last week. Where were you?

Can ya’ll believe I’m still looking over all the things I collected, implementing even more things that I learned and most importantly, staying connected to new people that I met? I’m still excited, can you tell?

In my last post, I promised to tell you how water made me cry on the Trade Floor at WPPI.

See, what had happened was…..

There I was minding somebody else’s business, I mean minding my own business when this lady who shall remain nameless (It was Roxanne) asked me to deliver some items to the Thirst Relief Booth with a nice fellow named Jim for the show opening the next morning. (So it wasn’t exactly like that, you get the picture though, right? *grin) When we finally arrived at the booth, Jim started to tell me more about Thirst Relief as he welcomed me to have a look around. He even turned on these cute little string lights for me. It’s what was behind those lights that pulled my heartstrings that are directly connected to my tear ducts. I was captivated by them as Jim told me about his visit to Tanzania with a few other photographers and how it changed his life. As I looked into the eyes of the children on the canvases displayed behind the twinkling little lights, their smiles wide and happy, the tears began to fall. Jim was telling me about how happy those children really were but that they also didn’t seem to realize the danger that they face every day because the water that they drink is filled with waterborne disease. He went on to tell me about the death rate of young children due to waterborne illness and why he got involved. And when I say he got involved, he really got involved. So did those other photographers that went with him, and so did a whole host of other photographers. I stood there with tears and eyeliner streaming down my face, unable to speak. I wish I could describe what I was feeling more accurately. It was much more than a mixture of sadness and hope. I felt humbled to be a member of the photography community, a community that used its individual talents as a group, without competition to make a significant impact on this situation. And when Jim said that $5 per person helped to build a water filtering system for a small village, I thought about the second Venti Non-fat Triple Shot Dark Cherry Mocha that I’d had that day and decided that I would give up my vice once a week for something bigger than me. Water. Clean water. (I’m not saying that everyone should follow me and no one asked me to tell you about Thirst Relief. But if you’d like to get involved, click on one of the blue Thirst Relief links in this post or go to www.ThirstRelief.org. ) So, there you have it. That’s how water made me cry and it’s also how I left the land of Lost Wages and Fabulous Shoe Shopping WITHOUT a new pair of shoes.


Just because helping to save a few lives left a pair of fabulous shoes available for the Shoe-lover who came along after me, does not, and I repeat, DOES NOT, stop me from trying on and/or getting pictures of shoes. One of my mottos “If I can’t wear them, may another Shoe-lover with fabulous taste wear them for me!”

Check out the fabulous shoes this model was rockin’ during one of the shootouts led by Mr. Rob Ninja of the Photog Shootout Group in Downtown Vegas. Yep, sky-high wooden heels, you know I love ‘em. There’s quite a bit I could say about our second beauty, but I’ll let her eyes and exotic looks tell you.

If you’re still reading this, you’re getting the scoop on the secret to dancing for 5 hours in a pair of 5” stilettos.

Allow me to introduce you to Dr. Scholls for Her Gel Insoles. Someone on Stiletto Avenue in Foot Care Village really loves YOU and me! I’ve told ya’ll before that when music is playing, my body starts to move with the beat and I just want to dance “one more song” until I realize that I’ve danced another hour. I can say to you that it took the 5th hour and slight muscle fatigue for me to stop. It wasn’t my feet, ‘cause I was wearing my secret weapons. Ladies, arm yourselves with secret weapons. Gentlemen, score major Brownie Points and give your Ladies a pair of these, with the spa certificate, of course.

So tell me….where are your shoes and “Secret Weapons” gonna take you next in life?

Allen Taylor - March 23, 2010 - 8:23 AM

Nice Vegas shots, it was great running into you there. I’ll send you a link when I get my images up.

Holly - March 23, 2010 - 10:16 AM

You are too cute! I love this post and pics.

Tamara - March 23, 2010 - 11:03 AM

Thanks Allen! It was great shooting with you. Thanks for getting me out of the cold, too. You’re my Hero for that one!

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WPPI, Boots, and Upgrades….

How ya’ll doin?! First, let me thank you for being such good folk and coming back here after I went jetting off to Vegas for a week. Maybe jetting is stretching it a bit. I actually drove. I kinda like a nice road trip every now and then. I get to see our beautiful country, contemplate a few ideas, & blast my music while singing really loud and off-key. The best part about a road trip…no extra baggage fees and unlimited space for my SHOES! Confession, my BFF Roxanne had a cute little “bag” of shoes…. I had a large “suitcase” of shoes and boots. She laughed. I was slightly embarrassed, only slightly. (The suitcase was Turquoise, of course.) I know it’s sad, but it was necessary.

Remember the last time you were here and I told you about WPPI and all that jazz? Well, there’s no way that anyone could have told me what I was in for. My friend Hanssie told me about her first year and having a nice schedule of classes that she planned to take. I told her about my neat little schedule, too. Then she said “Just don’t bother.” I tried so hard to stick to that schedule and make it to all of the classes that I chose, the outings, and parties that I was invited to. I had a great start with Bob & Dawn Davis on Monday. What an inspirational lady that Dawn is? Her hubby Bob is Rock Star Photog, too. And boy can they dance! Then I spent a bit of time with Carey Schumacher. She’s a sweet lady. In fact, “I wish my hair was soft and supple like @careyshair”. (*giggles*) My BFF made her a few fan shirts with that quote on them. Way cute! From there, I was all over the place meeting some amazing photographers, checking out lots of new toys at the Trade Show and upgrades to existing ones.

Speaking of upgrades, did you happen to notice the upgrade to the Blog-site? Yep, I added a Portfolio link! Some folks that knew me before I secured my “digital real-estate” asked about my previous work. So I added this link. I know you’re gonna wonder what’s with the “Tamara Young Photography” signature on the T Style site. It’s a long story, I’ll tell ya about that later.

Now back to the WPPI lowdown. As if meeting lots of amazing photographers and learning all sorts of things were not enough; I got to spend some quality time with friends and acquaintances. I’m talking shootouts and soirees, parties and good food and wait for it……Karaoke baby! There’s no better way to bond than belting out “Single Ladies” with a couple of Photog friends in front of a group of complete strangers. I’ll tell you now; my weapon of choice remains my lens ‘cause I could do permanent inner ear damage with a microphone. (*giggle*)

Oh yeah, about those boots I told you about in my first post. As you can see, my boots took me to Vegas. Seriously, these are my favorite boots. I know what I said about the red ones, but come on, who can deny turquoise boots? Me and my new favorite boots walked the Trade Show floor in style and comfort.

We even did a shootout in Downtown Vegas on Freemont Street. It was freezing that day and even rained. But our foxy models were real troopers and didn’t seem feel the cold at all. I hope ya’ll like the 70’s look, a fast car, and some high heels! Here’s a sneak peek of what I’ve got in store for you.

There’s so much more to show and tell but I just can’t do it all at once. Next time I’ll present you with the rest of the shootout images. I’ll also tell you how water made me cry and the secret to dancing for 5 hours in 5” stilettos & live to tell about it!)

Ya’ll come on back now, ya hear!

Lorrie Prothero - March 16, 2010 - 7:39 AM

lovin your writing style T ;) Usually I tend to skim through to get to the pics, but I read the whole thing! Your boots pic is neat with the Vegas sign – love how you “humanized” your boots – they look like they enjoyed their time there!

admin - March 16, 2010 - 9:50 AM

Thank you so much Lorrie! I’m glad that I was able to connect with you. And you’re right, the boots had just as much fun as I did!

Jeremiah Pasculado - March 16, 2010 - 9:56 AM

love the boots shot! love your eye on details T!

DAWN DAVIS - March 16, 2010 - 11:23 AM

I LOVED every single thing about you. You are girlie~icious!!!! Thanks for dancing up a storm with us and for all your sweet words! Love you to pieces!!! I’m so glad Roxie introduced us!!! ~ Dawn

KEDRA SCOTT - March 16, 2010 - 12:37 PM


jennifer owens - March 16, 2010 - 3:10 PM

Tamara, my friend, you make me laugh. It was wonderful to see you in Vegas, and your pictures are beautiful, as usual. The blog is nearly as amazing as your turquoise boots. Nearly. HUGS!!!

Kia Gregory - March 16, 2010 - 7:30 PM

Annnnd now i want some hot boots! Love the shootout images. Cannot wait to see more.

Tamara - March 17, 2010 - 12:00 PM

Big ((HUGS)) to all of you! I’ll have the rest of the shootout images up in the next post. Glad the sickies waited until I got these up for you before taking me down. Do you think I’ll get better faster if I wear REALLY Fabulous shoes that I can barely walk in? How about my Mano-no Blahniks? You know,the knock-offs? :)

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