For the last four or five years I’ve been making portraits of the ladies that attend Cowgirl Yoga Retreat that are created and produced by my friend Margaret of Big Sky Yoga Retreats. So, at the prompting of my friend Margaret, I put together a little slide show that is worth sharing.
As I was editing these images, I was stopped in my tracks. It was the face of lovely Su, who is no longer with us. She was a breast cancer survivor that had been nominated to the Cowgirl Versus Cancer Retreat that I donate my services to. All of a sudden this slide show took on a whole new meaning for me. It reminded me to enjoy every moment that we are given and be grateful for the rising and setting of the sun each day.
So enjoy the faces of all of these great women, but most especially the last bright smiling face of Su at the top of the page and most fittingly, at the very end.
In just a few short weeks I’ll back at the Rainbow Ranch for another gorgeous springtime wedding. By then it should be green instead of white! The snow will be gone, the river will be full and the sun will not set until 9 pm. If you’re looking for an amazing venue for your upcoming wedding make sure to have a look at this gem in the heart of Big Sky, Montana!
Antonia and Rance married there last June and it was a day to remember. Check it out!
Families and friends gathered at the beautiful Tarrytown House in New York for the wedding of Sarah and Phil. This historic estate along the Hudson river glowed with love and excitement from Friday night until the final Sunday morning brunch and a lot of happy goodbyes. After a painterly sunset on Friday evening, the weather changed to deliver magical snow that fell on the wedding day. The pictures tell the story.
This post is not about wedding photography directly. However, it was a wedding in New York that gave me leave to visit this magic place in Walden and find Inspiration from the East.
I have always been fascinated with the culture of Tibet and it’s people. In 1999 I had the great fortune to visit Lhasa for 9 days and it was life changing for me. In 2007 I went to visit my daughter Jennie Lynn who was attended college in Poughkeepsie, New York. She told me of a Buddhist center that she visited as part of her studies. She had made the acquaintance of Lama Kalsang and Ani Kunga which led to the invitation to come and stay for a weekend retreat. It was wonderful. It was a quiet weekend at the center. Jennie Lynn and I were the only visitors on Friday and Saturday. Lama Kalsang welcomed us warmly. He answered any and all of our questions and we spent hours with the Lama sharing thoughts, laughter, meals and his kind wisdom. Then on Sunday 20 or so people came from around the state for meditation, practice and a delicious afternoon meal.
Fast forward to fall of 2014
I booked a wedding in Tarrytown New York and realizing that Walden was only about an hour north I attempted to contact Ani Kunga. Ani is a western monastic, a highly educated and well studied Buddhist Nun. She has worked with Khenpo Lama Kalsang for years in translating and publishing many Buddhist texts. I called the number that I found for the Buddhist Center Tsechen Kunchab Ling and Ani answered the phone. We did a little catching up during which I found out that His Holiness Sakya Trizin was coming to the US and would be teaching there in March… during the week that I would be in NYC for a wedding. Everything was coming together for another visit!
During conversations and emails I found out that my old friend Khenpo Kalsang had suffered a stroke and nearly lost his life a while back. He has progressed miraculously thanks to the quick and excellent work of surgeons and the great care of several doctors since the surgery. Needless to say, my desire to see Khenpo Kalsang again was prominent in my heart.
OK… so, all that to preface these images. It was so wonderful to see my friends again – alive and well, smiling from ear to ear. Seeing the rituals, hearing the sound of the mantras, the cymbals and the bells, the very fragrance of devotion took me back to Tibet.
Such inspiration from the East! Many thanks to Ani Kunga for making this all possible.
the grounds of Tsechen Kunchab Ling – Temple of All-Encompassing Great Compassion
Count down to blast off. Leaving for JFK in just a few minutes to return to the wide open spaces of Montana. NYC has been amazing and time spent with my family here was delightful.
Thanks to Frank and Theo Stanley for hosting us in Brooklyn and to Ani Kunga and Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen for their hospitality in Walden New York. And especially to His Holiness Sakya Trizen for allowing me to photograph with him during his retreat. Photos of all this will be coming soon, but for now here are a few special images for Sarah and Phil. Sarah you are so lovely!
I had no idea I would be walking so much in NYC! We ride the subway to some other part of this amazing city and take off walking and seeing, and walking and seeing… walking and seeing. So here is my second installment of images from Prospect Park, Central Park and Saint John the Divine Cathedral.
I love this city and it’s most amazing history, but I don’t love the noise. My ears are ringing. It is so loud and noisey everwhere we go. People plug their ears with headphones or ear plugs and close their eyes or divert them to their smart phones while riding the subways to escape the cacophony. I sense that people shut themselves off because of the overload of sensory stimulus.
After too many long hours suffering the confines of a smallish place in a large aluminum tube breathing the recycled breath of a couple of hundred bodies, the sights and sounds of a new environment began to appear. Day one of our adventure leading up to a Tarrytown Wedding on Saturday
A fascinating hour in a cab with a young man from New Deli, a happy reunion with my brother’s sons and their families. An authentic East Indian meal, some wine and laughter then much needed sleep.
This morning, I awoke to the reverberations of the city, Brooklyn New York. I was not expecting to find such comfort and brightness of heart in my new surrounds.
Here begins a collection of images from this adventure, which I have chosen to define a pilgrimage of sorts. A pilgrimage of seeing and capturing new things. NOW… I am looking forward to the arisings of each day.
Big Sky Weddings at the Rainbow Ranch are always something very special. Tonie and Rance’s June wedding was amazing. Here is the wedding album that I designed for them. If you are considering the Rainbow Ranch for your wedding, be sure to see the final album at the Ranch.
I know, it sounds complicated. But not so much. Montana boys with a farm in Grahamsville is not such a far-fetched reality. A Montana wedding in upstate NY. Yes.
Last August Heather, Jennie Lynn and I packed our bags and headed to the Catskill mountains(?) (more like foothills) for the wedding of Darlene and Frank. It was, by all relative measures, a smashingly wondrous occasion.
Here is the first draft album design. It’s crazy luscious! Enjoy.
In a couple of weeks we’re heading off for Tarrytown, NY for another wedding. OG I hope the snow is melted! Sarah and Phil are making it real. Then we’ll be visiting family in NYC and paying my respects to a Tibetan Lama friend in Walden.