Monthly Archives: February 2013

Travel Thursday: Be Smart with your Vacation Photos

Ryan and I on the funicolare in Napoli, Italy taken by my friend and photographer,  Liisa Roberts.

I have always considered Napoli, Italia fondly with a special place in my heart.  I had the pleasure of living in this historical city twice in my life during my childhood.  For a total of six years Napoli, also known as Naples, still holds the ranking title of the longest place I have lived in my lifetime.  I begin this travel post in this way to explain quite clearly why ‘I should have known better’.  That was a statement I said quite frequently after having my phone stolen.  It is pictured here in a newly acquired (but not for long) case from one of the amazing markets in downtown Napoli.  

When I go on vacation I travel with my DSLR, which I carry like my baby and protect with my life.  However I have not always been as smart with that precious item either.  Whether you plan to take photos with your phone, a small point and shoot digital camera, or a higher end DSLR with a range of lenses, these would be my tips for traveling with said items.
Be Smart with your Vacation Photos:
1. Be prepared.  Decide which camera/s you will be taking and make sure you bring all the necessary accessories.  Depending on what is normally in your camera bag, pack accordingly.  Make sure you travel with your battery (and spares), your charger, memory card/s, and a memory card reader. I would also suggest your lens cloth to clean your lens.  
2. Be smart.  For those with multiple lenses a tip I would share is making sure your lens caps have an elastic attachment so that when you take them off they are still tethered to the lens.  Its really easy to lose a cap or look like a target for a thief when you are juggling many items. I’ve nearly dropped and lost a lens cap or two trying to capture a photo in slightly dangerous spot.  The less you have to worry about can be the better.
3. Be cautious.  Do enjoy your vacation and do not allow negative stimgas to ruin a memory.  But with that said remember this ‘everyone is suspicous’.  So if you are in a more crowded area, tighter space like a train, or just out in a busy part of a city be aware of your surroundings.  I lost my phone while I was holding my DSLR tightly but then snapping a photo of a delicious Neapolitan pizza.  My phone was quickly and easily grabbed from my hand and it went on a chase with a thief who jumped on the back of a moped and was gone in a flash.  I was too comfortable being ‘home’ and should have really been more cautious. Lesson learned.  
4. Less is More.  Piggy backing off of the previous tip I have learned that less is more in regards to the digital age.  When I lived in Italy before I was taking photos by film and new exactly how many exposures I had left on that roll of film. No I can easily take hundreds of photos in a day with both my phone and my camera.  I will use my camera for certain shots and my phone for less conspicuous and more artsy shots with fun filters.  I would say rely on one camera for one moment and don’t get so distracted by capturing that you miss out on the moment or let someone take advantage of your touristic endeavors. 
5. Keep it safe.  Back up at the end of every day when you are on vacation.  Clear those photos off your phone and onto your hard drive.  Load them online to a drop box, flickr account, etc.  Its best to have your photos saved and stored in more than one place.  If you do happen to get something stolen or lose a bag, you can rest assured that your photos are safe.
My favourite thing about traveling is being able to reminisce the moments and memories in the years to come and share with my family and friends.  I have lost photos from my phone being stolen and from back up cds being lost in a move.  Enjoy your travels and be smart when taking and saving your vacation photos.  
An extra word of advice: Do not let your photos collect dust inside your computer to not see the light of day.  Photographs are getting lost and forgotten in this digital age.  If you are going to take the time to capture your experiences, print them and display them in your home.  
What advice or lessons have you learned why traveling with your camera?  I would love to hear your stories, comment down below. :) 


Ronan and mummy in 2005.

No I am not pregnant.  Though I have been diagnosed with a bad case of baby fever.  My temporary remedy is living vicariously through all my friends who are having babies.  Recently it seems like the number of those involved in family growing is way up.  My newsfeed on facebook is filled with people pregnant, ready to give birth, or showing off their precious bundles of joy.  Those little babies just grow up so fast.  I can attest to that fact because my sweet babies are now eight and five years old respectfully.  My eldest just had his brithday this past month and I can hardly believe eight years have gone by.  In that same amount of time he will be sixteen and that just seems unfathomable.  I would love in the next few years to have one more and try for my girl. I’ve only had her name picked out since 2004. 😉

With my sweet Ronan in 2005.
I have been looking back through the photos of Ronan when he was born.  My husband, son, and I  have all changed quite a bit since those photos were taken.  It was the end of our days in University and were were so young.  Neither of our parents were able to be there for the birth, but we had a lot of friends from campus come visit.  I realized the baby pattern I mentioned above is quite true with our friends in the pictures below.  My high school bff and roommate at Harding University now has her own precious little girl.  We went to summer camp with Lauren (also pictured) is expecting or is now a new mum.   Then my friends Grant & Miriam have three sweet boys and have just announced they are expecting again.  Getting older is not so depressing, as it is so beautiful to see how well everyone is doing.  Children are such a blessing.  
My BFF from HS in Italy and Uni roommate, Caroline, with Ronan
My cabin-mate from Camp and friend from Uni, Lauren, with Ronan 
Friends from University, Miriam & Grant with Ronan

So until that time when we announce another one is on its way, you can find me on Pinterest pinning away things on Pregnancy, Oh Baby, and When I Have a Girl.   What will be her name?  You’ll just have to stick around and find out. 😉 
PS. Lauren and +Miriam Pinkston  you both are in my thoughts. 
P.P.S. Cannot wait to meet your sweet girl Caroline

Ask B: How did you get involved with photography exhibits?

My post last week How did you get into photography leads me to the next question: “How did you get involved with photography exhibits?

I got involved because I was inspired.  For me my inspiration came from viewing an art exhibit for a couple friends of mine.  Most of the artwork in the show was paintings but my friends were showing their prints from a conceptual photo shoot.  I had seen photographs in museums but this was the first time seeing them showcased from ‘people like me’.  I appreciated the art, the concept, the work, and how the photographs were finished in post processing.  They were beautiful.  I remember leaving that night knowing that I wanted to do produce art from photographs of my own.  These photographs were from my very first conceptual photo shoot and Its been really cool to see the growth from that moment.  But perhaps it can inspire you to chase after you dreams. 

Behind the Scenes shot of Alice in her shrinking room. I constructed it out of a box covered with fabric and filled the bottom space with tulle skirts that I had on hand. By making use of our bamboo floor it cost me all together $0.

I threw myself into the process of putting together my first conceptual photo shoot entitled ‘Malice in Wonderland’.  I wanted to bring forth a fashion photography edge but when confronted with the characters of the White Rabbit and the Cheshire Cat I knew I could not have them appear cheesy.   Through my networking as a hairstylist I met a body painter which inspired me to not go over the top with wardrobe for a very well known theme.  In the end three of the characters were portrayed nude, two of which in stylized body paint.  I enlisted a friend to portray Alice (Veronica from Key to my Tart) and found the rest of my models and my make up artist on the networking site Model Mayhem.  I orchestrated the shoots in two parts, shooting half the models one evening and the other during the day.  In the end I was ready for the exhibit which landed on Halloween and it sparked a creativity of photo shoots from there during the rest of my time in Hawaii.  

I shot the portion with the White Rabbit and the Cheshire Cat just as the sun was setting.

Bess Marie, who played my Queen of Hearts and the Cheshire Cat, helping Veronica Daylight with the final touches. Lead singer of Dolls to Daylight and now mommy blogger, Veronica Daylight used her fashionista skills to supply the Alice wardrobe.
Melissa Hurley, make up artist, with models Veronica Daylight and Bess Marie.
Original image of body paint models post edited in this version to be able to post on the blog.

An outtake with Caleb as my Mad hatter as he practiced balancing the tea cups. We had a few causalities by the end of the shoot.

Alice in Wonderland by Bonnie Rose Photoraphy
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2009 All Rights Reserved

Bonnie Rose Photography © 2009 All Rights Reserved

Bonnie Rose Photography © 2009 All Rights Reserved

Bonnie Rose Photography © 2009 All Rights Reserved

“For concepts, I saw a slightly darker/edgier version of Alice in Wonderland. I gave Alice a smokey eye and pink lips, to keep her slightly innocent looking, the mad hatter had very dark eyes and a goth look, and the queen of hearts was a little playful, with her lighter smokey eyes and heart decal on her face. I was one of the darker shoots I had done, and it felt good to push myself creatively.” – Melissa Hurley, Make up Artist

The images featured in this post are from the photo shoot with Bonnie Rose Photography in Mililani, Hawaii.
Make up Artists: Melissa Hurley and  Lady Painte

*Behind the scene photographs and photography copyright to Bonnie Rose

I Found my Smile

One reason I blog is because I love to write and share photographs. When we moved back to England I wrote a piece entitled ‘I found my Smile’ and shared it with my friends on a facebook note.  It was written during a big turning point for me as this nomadic free spirit.  As a Third Culture Kid (TCK) I have no real home to go back to and I always wondered what direction life would have me go.  I really wanted to share this letter with you all.

Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 – All Rights Reserved |
“The last fourteen weeks have flown by and I have yet to cease photographing every second of my return back to England.  So much so, that between my iPhone captures and my  DSLR photographs, I have filled up almost all my available space on my latest external hard drive.  From capturing daily memories to photographing the beautiful aspects of my European surroundings, there always seem to be something catching my eye.  My taste buds have also been continually won over by a variety of Cadbury chocolates, copious amounts of tea, and delicious meals my husband has prepared with all English ingredients.  The most meaningful of these are the ones that I have grown up with as my personal ‘soul foods’.  I have long been teased by Americans for my extreme fondness of Beans on Toast, and now I can not only order it at almost any food establishment, but it is also common to find jacket potato with beans & cheese on the menu, which is another of my favourites.  These once believed ‘bonnie-isms’, have been clarified in my mind recently that I claim more to being English, than just holding my UK Passport. Of course I am not saying liking a certain type of food is sole reason to claim a nationality.  Being a Third Culture Kid,  I can compare it to waking up from a coma and suffering amnesia.  It is the little things like tastes, sounds and smells that instantly take me back ‘home’ and for a mobile girl with no home per-se, that means the world in my eyes.  Finding happiness and a sense of peace, has cemented itself as an important milestone in my life.  It has been a decade since I moved from my ‘homes’ in Europe to the USA, and I have had my share of loss, persecution and trials specifically in the last three years of that time.  I have also experienced growth and knowledge through the hard times, forever changing myself into whom I am today.  Through the thick of it I cried out in anguish to God, but now  I can now look back and see the work that has been done on me. The devastating loss of my dad, the loss of my marriage at one point, and the loss of friends when I needed them most  is an accumulative total of pain I would not ask to be put on anyone else.  I have learned to rely on myself and that being on your own will not kill you, but make you stronger.  Looking back in retrospective on my life, I can honestly say I know who I am and everything that is my world today, holds so much value against any stressors that may come my way now.  

Since the day I moved away from Europe in 2000, I knew I would return back ‘home’.  Any friend I have made in the USA  in the last decade has known that has been my goal. I have not faltered with that dream.  But along the way from acquaintances,  friends, family, and even now to people I have just met here in England, I have been asked why I would want to move away from the USA.  I hold US citizenship, I have an american accent, and I was born to two Americans. Although they grew up in the USA, I grew up moving across military bases in Europe until I was about seventeen years old.  I personally feel I have never been able to assimilate into American life, with other Americans, in the USA (despite the numerous places I have lived over there) and from my study of Third Culture Kids as Adults, I understand that it is perfectly normal for that to be the truth of the matter.  But in the last decade I have been forced into this Mold  ‘ala Americana’ by my peers, my teachers, my bosses, my mother, and my husband’s family.  Yet all I have wanted is to be accepted for being different, having a multifaceted life of culture as my nationality, and for being a girl who just loves to live and experience all life has to offer.  Every therapist or psychologist that I have met with has met my goal to move back to Europe with a rigid opinion that doing so would be a bad life choice on my part.  To this day I still do not know how to relate to people who are not personally a TCK, despite their professional qualifications, that I’m not moving to Europe to relive the past in a unhealthy mindset.  I have moved back to Europe because of growing up there in my developmental years, I have formed a sense of nationality and home to that area, and it holds something for me that America could never offer.  It is like the analogy I have heard of where you live in a blue society and everyone is trying to force you to dress in blue, but you come from a yellow society where as much as you could acclimate into that world you were not fully accepted as yellow.  So you step out, standing out in green because that is who you truly and are most happiest.  For me, I am a mixture of more than just two cultures, countries, or continents.  I am a Third Culture Kid and I have always been proud of who I am, even if I am continually misunderstood.  Which is why this move has been so important to me.    The one question, spoken by many, looming over my head, “What if you move back, and find that you are not happy?”  It is a pretty big ‘What if’ and especially given the big process of moving my family to another country.  There was a slight fear, that what everyone felt would happen, would be true.  Because then I would truly not have anywhere in the world I could ‘move home to’ and feel at peace.  With such a long wait to return to Europe, with leaving so much pain behind me and mixed in with everyone’s opinions about moving, I embraced life by the hands and took the leap. 

 Still I may be in the honeymoon stage of living here, but theres an undeniable fact that resurfaces daily.  Despite any stresses that have come along the way with uprooting to another country, I have indeed found my smile.  For the first time in my life, I am not waiting to move somewhere else or wanting to be somewhere else.  It feels like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Its not even a specific of wanting to be in Brighton, England, but just being back home in Europe that means everything to me.  It has been eighteen years since I was in England before, and I am enjoying every aspect of it.  Its familiar and comforting, but new in its own right.  I love my days off because I can enjoy all England has to offer with my family, who have not lived in Europe before.  I enjoy going to work because everyone I work with is a pleasure to be around.  I love my coworkers and I love my clients, it feels so rewarding.  I’m not going to make this a blog about ‘American girl drama’, but from the social interactions I’ve experienced in the US compared to England there is is a huge difference with how people relate, respond, and problem solve with each other here than what I’ve experienced before in the USA.  It just drives home to me that this is where I am supposed to be, because I finally do not feel like I’m not having to force myself into a cultural way of acting or acceptance that is foreign to my upbringing in a multicultural and mobile world.  It has been a huge moment of clarity for me, for witnessing the way I react to negativeness that may come my way.  In just the last three months I have heard negative things said about me through other people, I have had people say toxic things to me directly, and I have witnessed things that are simply stated not very compassionate.  Yet the overwhelming state of peace and an almost zen like attitude that has befallen on me since being here has made resilient and accept that toxicity will always be present, but I am in control of how I react to it.  I am so happy to be here, so happy to be having my family here to experience a life I have wanted so much to live that it simply does not matter.  I am stronger than I have ever given myself credit for and I can be indifferent..but I don’t have to be angry.  That is how finding my smile has changed my life.   If my life of growing up in lands far, far away is the beginning of my fairytale, this return to Europe is certainly not the end to my story.”                      
 Written by Bonnie Rose August, 2011

A year and a half later I look over that letter and at the girl who felt and wrote those words.  What I really take away is how important it is to be yourself and to find the happiness in life.  I mentioned in the letter that I was experiencing the ‘honeymoon’ stage and to be fair I feel like I am still experiencing it.  Granted I did move to a different city in England this past December   However the finer points of noticing the little things, finding happiness in the simple things, and sharing each cherished memory with your loved ones are key.  Who says you cannot live live with a ‘honeymoon’ outlook.  Life is so short and I hope you all find the love and happiness you each deserve.  :) 

I would like to thank the close few whom have been there for me especially in the last several years.  You know who you are, and I am who I am today because of your kindness, acceptance, forgiveness, and love.  

Hastings, England

I have lived near the coast for the majority of my life.  Somewhere between living in Naples, Italy and on the island of Oahu I have realized that the ocean is like a home to me.  Its vast stretches of blue becoming a calming element for a nomadic wanderlust person.  While I am not partial to cruises, traveling to towns that reside on the coast  are definitely my thing.  On this month last year we decided to take our boys to see a castle. Our bus connection fail through and it led to an unexpected detour into the town of Hastings.  Although the castle there was also closed, we enjoyed a beautiful day exploring the narrow streets and hidden treasures Hastings had to offer.  This day trip reminded me that sometimes its best not to focus on plans, but enjoy the voyage and the experiences that happen along the way.  It ended up being one of my favourite Valentines Days spent with my family. 
Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 – All Rights Reserved |
Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 – All Rights Reserved |
Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 – All Rights Reserved |
Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 – All Rights Reserved |
Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 – All Rights Reserved |
Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 – All Rights Reserved |
Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 – All Rights Reserved |
Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 – All Rights Reserved |
Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2012 – All Rights Reserved | 
We enjoyed a delicious meal at the Ye Olde Pumphouse.  
64 George St  Town Centre, Hastings TN34 3EE
I definitely reccomend this place if your feet take you to Hastings.

Self Portrait Saturday: ‘Gateway’

Today is my first self portrait for ‘Self Portrait Saturday’ for 2013.  Hope to see you every week for each new photograph in the series.  If you have not checked out the self portraits for 2012 you can see them at Self Portraits 2012 Pt. I and Self Portraits 2012 Pt. II.  Would love to see other people’s self portraits.  If interested grab the icon from the side bar for your blog and post a link in the comments to your post. I look forward to the rest of 2013!

‘Gateway’ self portrait by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |

My family and I like to go on country walks on Saturdays and so I brought along my wardrobe selection, camera bag, and tripod for the journey.   I would like to start adding more videologs to my posts so here is the first one.  I have changed to a new You Tube account, but will be uploading previous videos soon.  
Video Log 23.02.13

There was a car passing by me on the narrow country road during the middle of this video.  Hense the pause and quick segway to my familia.  Thank you for checking out today’s post and hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

xx B. 

Five for Friday

Dress: Primark; Belt: Bebe; Jacket: Kohls; Necklace: vintage consignment 

1. I love being a mum in England.  All the little things about my English childhood are becoming the memories that my boys will remember about their own. Ronan’s first two years of school in England were the same years I spent in primary school in Norfolk. I love sending them to school looking sharp in their school uniforms.  They will learn to spell words they way I do like ‘colour’ and ‘flavour’.  Instead of knowing the names of states, they will know the countries and capitals in Europe and to which ones they have traveled.  They will continue to learn more about the history of the royal monarchy. Then of course the memories like the country walks, just like my dad used to do with me.  The english birthday parties, the royal jubilees, and bonfire nights.  Accents.  I had an english accent twice, and one day they will too.

2. If my husband had to go away on a business trip, we would starve. Okay that is not necessarily true. I do know how to cook. Italian is my go to theme. Of course picking up a pizza does not constitute real Italian food unless it involves a short stop over in Napoli.  However my husband does cook and I love to tell him how much I love his food.  I can look into our european fridge and exclaim ‘We have nothing to eat’.  While Ryan can look into our european fridge, whip something together, and it tastes amazing.  From being a boy who ate canned vegetables to becoming an Expat man that cooks with a vast variety of organic vegetables he is like an artist.  I may be biased. Lets be frank, I’m married to him and still get butterflies when he looks at me.  There are many ways to my heart, and his cooking is one of them.

3. With as many times as I have had to say ‘goodbye’ I have a hard time parting with items in my wardrobe.  I have at least five things in there that I owned back in high school (I graduated 2001) and still have quite a bit of my clothes from living in Hawaii.  (because you know those tank tops are going to come in handy in the rainy cold english weather) Over the years I have gone through my wardrobe and gotten rid of things. Although I hold true to the fact that clothes must get together and multiply behind those closed doors.  Then of course I have my (mostly black) clothes for working in the salon that have a little hair dye here or a bleach stain there.  Clothes that would be okay to keep for work, but I could probably get rid of them just as easily.  To be fair as hard as I am about my clothes I am sure I do not have half the clothes many fashionistas have in theirs. I would like to streamline my wardrobe to to only my favourites that I wear the most often.  Must add that to my 2013 ‘To Do’ list.

4. I have started watching a new television programme with my husband called The Americans with Keri Russell, Mathews Rhys, and Noah Emmerich.  The show centers on Russian sleeper spies operating in the USA in the 1980s.  I got hooked after the pilot.  I am hoping it does well and continues to progress as it has started.  I get nervous starting new shows in case they get cancelled.  Let me not forget Ringer with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ioan Gruffudd or Pan Am with Christina Ricci.  Has anyone started watching this show?

5. I am sure much like blogging, there are things we do out of passion that suffer the ‘highs and lows’ through out life.  Photography I love.  I was doing so many shoots in Hawaii and so much so that when we got to Arizona I was still editing work from over there.  Then came a few more moves and fast forward to just having moved to Bath, England.  Back at starting my business again.  I would not do photography as a job if I did not love it.  So I pick up hobbies to keep the inspiration and motivation going.  Tomorrow will be my first self portrait for 2013.  I had such a great time with this in 2012, and I hope you find it fun too.  Anyone who wants to participate in Self Portrait Saturdays can and let me know so I can follow your work too.