Happy Fathers Day

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Happy Fathers Day to all you dad’s out there. You have the most important role to play in the entire universe – to be a good dad. So great job thus far, and keep on keepin’ on. One day (loooong down the road) you’re kids will actually thank you for it… even if sometimes they seem like “ungrateful little freeloaders” :) Your words, not mine. It’s an uphill battle, but well worth it in the end. All of you out there who grew up with GREAT dads can attest to that – so THANK YOU DAD(s) – Dennis Christenson & Dennis Keating – for being such attentive, gracious and loving fathers. We love you both dearly.

– Gary & Courtney


“The Dirty Half” Marathon

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Joelle and I are extremely proud of Courtney for training the last few months and finally running (and finishing) “The Dirty Half” marathon this morning here in Bend, OR. She did awesome, met her goals and finished at 2 hours and 12 minute!! WHAT WHAT!!! “The Dirty Half” is a pretty tough race in the middle of nowhere. It’s mostly single track trails winding up and down the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Great job Court!!! Here’s more pics from today:


A shot of Joelle and Aspen waiting for the girls. Jamie Fitch ran with Courtney, so John Fitch and I hung out together while the girls got their RACE ON! Yah, John and I did some pushups and burned some calories too. We burned about 10 calories in 2 hours, and the girls burned about 1,250.


Joelle was stoked to see her mom again, as was I :) We’re proud of you Courtney, great job!!! Oh, just THIS MORNING Joelle started fully crawling… crazy!

Somethin’ Somethin’

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In an effort to get back to our roots (expressing WHO we truly are on this blog – our journey in life), we decided to open it up and let something personal out… Something Honest. Something True. Something Heartfelt. This is what WE think, how we feel , and what we question on a beautiful day like today:

We decided to get married 10 days after we started dating. We’re scared to raise a daughter in Southern California. Life is complex. Being prego with Joelle was a complete surprise to us. Child-rearing is extremely challenging (we pretty much don’t know what we’re doing) and yet, being parents is way more rewarding than we ever imaged. What’s with H.O.A.? What kind of person honestly has the time or desire to pink-slip people in their neighborhood for lame-ass stuff… are there not bigger things in life to worry about? Say the fact that you’re a “dirt bag”… you should be concerned about that :) We went out on a smokin’ hot date the other night… sushi is the best!!! We need to go on dates together more often. We moved to Bend, Oregon without jobs or a vehicle, rented a place online and drove a rented mini-van from San Diego to Bend with everything we owned in it. We now have way too much stuff. Because our personalities don’t balance each other out, we have a hard time living in balance and we tend we live in extremes. We believe the issues of human suffering should be more important than whales, trees, global warming or bunnies. We’re burnt out on church, hate the “show”, and often question the form our faith has taken. The newest car we own was built in 1996 – almost 13 years old… and that’s the way we like it (our other car was born in 1991). Radio is the worst. We love love love traveling. Over the last year we accidently got addicted to way too many TV shows. We default to Mexican food for dinner. We don’t have one group of friends but travel around to various different groups. We’ve tried mixing them together and it hasn’t really worked out quite yet. Gary’s first job: paperboy. Courtney’s first job: playing her harp. We’ve been fired from working at churches. Of all the furniture we own, only one piece is new…the rest is from Craigslist and Goodwill. We have the most supportive families ever. Gary doesn’t read books… of any kind. Courtney is addicted to reading. Gary is addicted to working. We’re generally not very introspective.  As much as we love the people on Maui, we never want to live there again. Our government is a joke. We want to raise our kids overseas. We have no debt.  We don’t have “our shit together“… never have, probably never will. We’re overly excited to move to the beach. Christians are often too spiritually minded to be any earthly good. Being engaged was hell on earth for us. The happiest day of our life together was… um, the day we got engaged (ironically enough)… what a story though!!! Ask us sometime and we’ll share. We are one of the few people in our groups of friends who DID NOT vote for Obama. We stalk peoples blogs (religiously), and they most likely have no clue we exist… blog stalkers are welcome here – you’re among friends. Today we had Costco pizza for lunch. Back in the day we both were employed by Starbucks at the same time (trained together in the same store) – that didn’t last long… we’re not nice enough people. Life is ultimately messy… but we have hope.

What’s somethin’ honest & somethin’ true that’s on your mind? We’d love to hear from you.

Emote360: India Trip

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Had a spare second and whipped up this little slideshow (below) that documents emote360’s documentary trip to India. I was fortunate enough to be the photographer on this trip (we were there this last January). Since then, emote360 has sent a media team to Rwanda, Burundi and Congo (visit the emote360 blog to see updates). We’ve also been very busy helping local and global non-profits with their multimedia needs (branding, websites, videos, newsletters, blogs… etc). Exciting stuff is happening with our little international media group and I couldn’t be more stoked to be able to help non-profits be more effective (equipping them to grow and ultimately help more people).

And now, an inside look at emote360’s documentary trip to India (through the eyes of the photographer – actual video to come later): Gary Christenson: Photographer. Mark Ellis: DP, Producer, Video Cam A. Peter Wiley: Location Audio, Video Cam B. Organization we documented: Harvest India. Music: Beck – “Missing”.



(Easy there tiger… If it’s having trouble loading. Press PAUSE and let it load for a few seconds :)

Website: http://www.emote360.com
Blog: http://blog.emote360.com
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Joelle Zoe

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Just wanted to post a few pics of Joelle from our travels (taken in PDX while we’re waiting to catch our last flight home from SoCal – great looking photos can happen ANYWHERE… not just in puuuurrrrrty parks or fancy-pants studios. Life happens and we’re about capturing it – wherever, whenever). Joelle is such a champ you guys, she’s already got 20 flights under her belt and she’s only 7 1/2 months old… what a rock star. Anyways, she’s beginning to take more of an interest in EVERYTHING, and she’s just so fun to be around right now. She’s also taken up clapping… a lot :) Life is good. Have a great weekend everybody.

“Merry / Happy Wedding!”

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“Merry Marriage and Happy Wedding” to you Matthew Solomon Strubhar. I have massive amounts of respect for who you are… you’re ganna be an amazing husband, and someday down the road you’re ganna be even a more stellar father (just let me know and I can tell you the secrets to makin’ babies – I’m basically a pro)… Anyways… seriously stoked for you bratha! Your friendship means more to me than you know, and I couldn’t be more proud of you for what you are doing today. I wish you and Michelle the very best. Much love to you both on your wedding day in beautiful Maui!!! I hope it was a celebration of epic proportions. Apologies for not being there in person to party it up with you all. Mahalo, Aloha and Goodbye.

Weekend of the Solomon

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(PRESS PLAY to view the above video) You just got time-lapsed!!! Here’s a little Maui sunset for ya from the weekend. Love the colors at the end… breathtaking, and I love the natural fade-out with the clouds at the end… radtastical. That literally just happened. Sorry about a few of the jiggles on the video… shady camera work by yours truly :) But who doesn’t love a good time lapse… especially one from Up Country Maui. Enjoy.


Also, here’s a little style-ee shot I took of Matthew Solomon Strubhar (the reason I (Gary) made a quick weekend trip to Maui – he’s getting hitched and we had to CELEBRATE properly with ALL the boys before the big day ). We had some brews on the beach the night I arrived and we played around with our cell phones and the big camera (Canon).

Off to Warmer Weather

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Yup, we’re back to traveling again… man, our flight hiatus didn’t last long :( Here’s the plan… All three of us are flying from Central Oregon to Seattle tomorrow afternoon. At Seattle, we split for a few days: The girls keep going south to SoCal (where we’ll start workin’ on the Oceanside house, but we’re mainly flying down to shoot a wedding next weekend), and I (Gary) will make a quick jolt over to Maui to spend the weekend kickin’ it with my BOYZ (in celebration of Matthew Strubhar’s wedding, which is happening the following weekend, but us boys are celebrating BACHELOR STYLE this weekend).

The plan is to surf, eat, rally, surf, kill things, grow beards, jump off stuff, camp, surf, throw some high fives, get a few bumps and bruises, ride a cow, wrestle a wild boar, surf some more and just be SO STANKIN’ MANLY that our brains melt from the awesomeness that went down over the weekend. Here’s a photo collage of a few of the manly men and some of the scenes that will most definitely be happening over the weekend.


Sunday night after the mayhem, I’ll take a “red eye” (to get some Zzz’s) from Maui to San Diego. Over the next week and a half we’ll be working on the Oceanside house, probably surf a few times (since it’s just down the street from the new casa), eat some In N Out, shoot a wedding, work on the house some more, grab a few Rubios tacos, maybe do an engagement session or two, eat In N Out one more time and then *WHAMMY* – back up to Bend, Oregon!!! Phew. Makes me tired just thinking about it. Wish us safe travels!!!

Follow us as we travel via Twitter: GARY | COURTNEY Also, check out the TRAVELOG if you haven’t already (it’s under the INFO tab on the blog header). Oh, we also decided that we will be moving from Bend to SoCal the third week of August. There it is. Late.

Ba – Boom

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Our little branding project has finally come to a stopping point… at least for a few weeks before we think of some more marketing stuff for our photography biz… but for now, everything is good to go and we’re gettin’ booked up like crazy. We have a new logo, new look and feel, new website(s), new business cards and a new approach to our photography business. We’re stoked… so stoked that we’ll grace you all with a parting image of Joelle… just for kicks and giggles. Joelle is now 7 months old and she’s got some teeth… and a new mission in life: To destroy everything that is within arms reach. She’s quite good at destruction, so watch yourself.


Pac Northwest

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We did a massive roadtrip this weekend up and down the Pacific Northwest… it was awesome! EVERYTHING was in bloom, lush and b.e.a.utiful. It’s a nice contrast to Bend (central oregon) where it’s a bit dryer climate. Joelle had a great time on the trip… she’s gettin’ SO BIG you guys, and SO much fun to be around! Here’s a few shots (top: by Gary, bottom: by Courtney) from Seattle where we shot an engagement session… which we’ll be posting soon, so stay tuned.


What Goes Around, Still Goes Around

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Well folks, our life over the past four months has been an absolute whirlwind! And it doesn’t look like things will slow down until fall of ’09 when we make the pilgrimage down to SoCal to plant our roots for awhile. But we’ve really enjoyed the journey and wanted to share briefly about the two major things that are keeping us busy:


FIRST UP:  Joelle. Almost 7 months old now, she’s become quite the handful… but she’s crazy amounts of fun right now! She’s become an expert in the language know as “jibberish” and will have conversations with you about God knows what for hours on end… she’s just so entertaining! We love it! Here’s a recent photo of Joelle having a conversation with her great grandma Connie. When she first meets someone she wants to touch their face (mostly the nose) and then leaves them in a pile of drool… it’s pretty great.


SECONDLY: We’ve been traveling quite a bit, which is exhausting but very entertaining (especially with a baby – but we’re not ganna let that stop us). Since January we’ve traveled twice to San Diego from Bend, Gary flew half way ’round the world to India, Thailand and Singapore for an emote360 project, we’ve road-tripped up north to Vancouver and south to Klamath Falls twice, and we took a couple weeks of vacation in Maui. In the short time Joelle has been alive, she’s managed to fly on 16 separate flights bound for various parts of the nation. What a great little traveler :) We’re kinda over traveling right now though, in the past 6 weeks we haven’t been in our home in Bend for more than four days straight… ridiculous!  That’s one expensive storage unit :) Also, traveling from little ole Bend is very inconvenient. The only way in and out is by a small commuter plane to an actual airport that will take you to your final destination. So we’re looking forward to being closer to legit airports once we move down to SoCal – that will make traveling a bit easier on us… b/c we ain’t stoppin’… we love traveling too much.

Anywho, here’s a few random travel pics of Joelle. Left: Joey is extremely unstoked during an afternoon of lounging in Maui (in need of a nap-skee). Right: Joelle is extremely stoked to be kicking it with Grandma & Grandpa Keating at the beach while her parents catch some much needed surf at Oceanside (just minutes from the new casa in California).


UP NEXT: We have a trip to Seattle for a photo-shoot and then a trip to SoCal for another wedding we’re shooting. Good times, Great Oldies, KOOL 105.1

Dennis + Marsha

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Meet Dennis and Marsha. We didn’t shoot their wedding photos, but we did make them a wedding album… 30 years after the fact. (In case you don’t know, Dennis and Marsha are Court’s folks). Courtney “borrowed” their old & faded photos, scanned them into high-resolution digital files, cleaned them up in Photoshop and created a new wedding album all from scratch… yah, she’s amazing.



Now their wedding photos can be preserved forever in a quality hardbound book with professional photo paper that will last for a lifetime. We presented this gift to them in celebration of 30 years together!!! (Congrats Dennis & Marsha… you two are an inspiration)


It was really interesting to look at the way their photographer captured and developed their photos… he was basically the man. He was getting all crazy with vignettes and effects… all done in the darkroom. It was a blast to look at the old wedding photography trends and compare them to the new ones today. Pretty sweet stuff.  We also really liked this photo below, of the two dads shaking hands, and want to recreate it someday at one of our weddings that we shoot. Classic.


Simple Things

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img_3426-800The simple things in life bring us so much joy. Joelle has begun eating “real” food… as real as glop, goo, squash or rice cereal can get. It’s unbelievable how fast she is growing up. It leaves us a little uneasy.