Mirror Lake

Went camping with the boys a few weeks ago up at Mirror Lake and learned a few things along the way:

1. It gets pretty cold at night 10,000 ft up.

2. Campsite rangers don’t like it when you make huge fires.

3. Never get tofu kielbasa again.

4. The stars are absolutely stunning and breathtaking that high up.

5. Bring more avocados cause the guac goes fast!

6. Men love their bacon.

7. Mirror Lake is one of the most beautiful places i’ve ever camped.

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Park City Chillin

The road trip across country may be over but the adventures aren’t ending.  I’ve decided to stay in Park City, Utah for an open-ended visit.  Since I left Florida, I’ve been trying to figure out the dreaded question, “What am I doing with my life?!”  So that’s exactly what I’m trying to figure out.  Utah has a little bit of everything and isn’t far from some amazing places.  I’m setting out to figure out what kind of photographer I actually am.  While I’m here, I plan on shooting anything and everything that catches my eye.  The sky is the limit.  So if you happen to stumble across this blog and like what you see, don’t be afraid to shoot me an email if you need a photographer!  jessgruneisen@gmail.com 

I’ve been in Utah for a week now and so far I’m having a blast!  The first night I was here I witnessed an amazing double rainbow.  It was so bright and intense I didn’t ever think it was going to fade out.  I took it as a good luck sign and I got a sense of, “This is where you’re supposed to be.”  The stars seem to be aligning because the next day I went out with some friends for a round of golf and had an amazing little photo shoot.  The lighting, scenery, and vibes were perfect.  I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect evening.  So, take a look, let me know what you think, and stay tuned for more blogs about my adventures.

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Lake Tahoe and Hot August Nights

We finally made it to California.  Our first stop was a delicious breakfast establishment in Sierraville.  We shared a breakfast burrito with a cute dog and then headed to Lake Tahoe.  It was beautiful in the morning, but by noon, the traffic was so congested we were delayed for two hours.  We would have liked to explore more but we were over it, so we headed over to Virginia City, NV.  Not much has changed in this historic town, and they roll the sidewalks up by 4:00PM.
Next stop: Hot August Nights in Reno.  HAN is one of the largest car shows out west with some of the most beautiful rides in the country.  Mom and I really enjoyed checking out all the beautiful cars and riding along in a sweet ‘68 Camaro.  There are a lot of photos here so I hope you enjoy them! 

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Utah is Rad and I Don’t Care What Jay MF Floyd Says

Moab.  That town is so cool.  I’m pretty sure you can do every outdoor activity known to man.  After we got checked in to our cute little B&B we headed for the Moab Adventure Center to go on our Hummer Safari Tour.  That was the first time I had ever been off roading and, man, that was fun!!  There were some pretty sketchy climbs that I didn’t think we were going to make, but we did!

The next day, Mom and I decided to go on a hike at Arches National Park.  I wanted to do a quick little hike at first but Mom wasn’t going for that.  She pushed my butt to do the 8 miles at Devil’s Garden.  Wow!  Those arches and views are absolutely breathtaking!  It’s quite humbling to feel so small in such a magnificently vast place.  Once we reached the top of our climb, everything was so peaceful and serene..until all the vacationing Europeans showed up.  Boy, do they like to talk..all the time.  Mom and I quickly discovered that nobody was speaking English.  It was either French, German, Norwegian, or Swedish. So, we decided to make a game of it.  Every time we passed someone we would say, “Hello” to hear what kind of accent they had and try to guess where they were from.  It made the hike even better.

After Moab, it was time to hit the road again.  First a quick stop in Park City, then on to Lake Tahoe.  As we were leaving Utah, we remembered this really cool thing that was there.  The Bonneville Salt Flats.  That place is so bitchin’.  When you go Bonneville, one can’t simply just drive, one must race; and that’s exactly what Mom did.  She raced her little Honda and got up to 92 mph! Woo!!  Okay, it’s really not that fast but it was still a ton of fun!

Yup, that was my rad experience in Utah.  This one guy I know told me that place was boring.  Pshh!  I beg to differ Mr. Floyd.  Check out what I shot and let me now your opinion.

Colorado

Mesa Verde was neat but insanely hot; that Colorado sun doesn’t play around.  We got to climb up and down and all around ancient American cliff dwellings.  It’s astonishing to see how the Native Americans used their natural surroundings to adapt to a harsh environment.  Climbing up 32ft ladders with just the canyon below, made Mom’s stomach queazy. 

The next day, Mom and I decided to take the Durango train ride up to Silverton.  Mom’s been wanting to ride this train ever since she was a little girl, so we splurged and got the car that had a glass roof; it was definitely worth it.  Traveling in that car made the ride so much more enjoyable and relaxing.  We were able to view the beautiful canyon, cascading river, and waterfalls.  While on the train, I also found out that train whistles actually mean something other than, “Get out of the way, I’m coming through!”  It’s like a morse code that all the employees on the train know.  A certain number of whistles and lengths mean different things. 

Overall, Colorado was fun, historical, and informative.  Took a few photos while I was there, so check ‘em out!

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The Journey Begins

Hey guys!

Sorry to keep you, but the wait is over! I hope you enjoy reading my first blog post about my road trip across America!  It’s been a week since I’ve left NC and every day has been fun and exciting; and a bit challenging since I’ve been mastering my stick shift skills along the way.  So far I’ve traveled through NC, TN, AR, OK, TX, NM, CO, and now I’m in beautiful Utah!  Each state is a little bit different with its own little quirks.  I’ve been sure to write them down so I can share them with you.  Here are some things I’ve noticed along the way:

Tennessee:

- Pretty countryside

- Jerk drivers that are always in a hurry

- Memphis - it’s a sad, rundown town where the cab drives don’t want to give you a ride, and their road system is seriously screwed up.

Arkansas:

- Avoiding “mongo” potholes (according to mom)

- Lots of dead armadillos 

Oklahoma:

- Mom likes to randomly start singing the musical the entire time we’re in the state

- Unique good food..Bloody Mary’s to be specific

- Chevy vehicles everywhere..no Ford drivers in this state

Texas:

- 75 mph on the freeway (hell yes!)

- Not much going on with Route 66 :(

- Only saw one cop

New Mexico:

- Every other radio station is spanish music

- Santa Fe was way too touristy

- Taos was really cool

- The Pueblos are extremely polite

Colorado:

- Unrealistic speed limits driving up mountains (65mph)

- The higher the altitude, the hotter the sun

- Not a lot of cell service going on

So here are some photos up to New Mexico..Colorado and Utah will get their own personal blog post:) So, check it out and I hope you all enjoy!

Car is packed full and Maddie is pissed we’re leaving.

Photo bomber

Sun Studio in Memphis (where Elvis recorded)

Pueblo village in Taos, NM

Bought a beautiful turquoise bracelet from these little cuties.

Frozen dirty chai and a chocolate milkshake

Earthship Biotecture homes made out of recycled materials..and half way under ground!

Denhalter Wedding

Over the summer I received a call from the lovely and talented Miss Becky Parker.  She wanted me to shoot the Denhalter wedding with her.  I had never shot a wedding; never really wanted to, quite frankly was a little terrified, but I trusted Becky.  I knew that if I encountered any problem she would be right there to help me fix it quickly.  So, I accepted her offer and was ready to take on the challenge. 

I had met half of the wedding party two years prior.  The groom and his band were on tour in Florida and during that same tour stop, the band’s van just happened to break down.  While they were waiting for it to be repaired, Scott “the future groom” had met this adorable little lady named Kelly.  Neither of them expected anything to happen, but it did.  Love decided to plant its little seed and grow.  

I had a blast shooting the wedding!  It was the best experience a first time wedding shooter could have asked for.  Good people, good vibes, and lots of love.  Not only did I overcome my fear of shooting weddings, but I also learned a few things too..

1.  You never know till you try.

2.  If it’s meant to be, it will happen.

3.  You can’t predict the future…or the weather.

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Baby Bump

I did a little maternity/family photo shoot for some friends of the family a little while back.  I never posted any of the photos due to my busy schedule.  So, here they are.  Hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed shooting them.

Om Nashi Me

*This is a repost from my old blog but i’ve added a few photos that have never been seen.*
 
I’d like you all the meet my little cousin Emily.  I’ve been living with her since I moved Florida and she has become more like a little sister to me than a cousin.  Emily is seven and is easily one of the most creative people I know.  She likes swimming, drawing, playing with bugs, and dinosaurs.  Her favorite color is pink and she will devour anything that has sugar in it.

When I came home from work yesterday, she was running around in her underwear and had  pieces of paper taped all over her body.  She was pretending that she was a grasshopper.  How could I possibly not pull out my camera?  For the rest of the afternoon I decided to follow her around and document everything she got into.  There’s never a dull moment with her, that’s for sure.  So take a look into Emily’s world and stay posted for more exciting adventures.
 
 

No Particular Place to Go

So I went to the Turkey Run again this year. Good people, good vibes, and a fun time. Saw some cars that came last year as well as some new beauties.  Take a look at some of the ones that stood out to me this year.

No Particular Place to Go by Chuck Berry

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(Source: jessicagruneisen)