Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Family Feud!

I never seem to realize what I am getting myself into when I plan a family reunion on my mom's side. But after all the planning is done and I've got all the peeps together, it's without fail a blast of a time.

Just today I sent out my proposal for a Christmas family reunion. I'm proud to say that the last two get togethers were concieved by my email proposal. I'm doing it again because my family is so cool. Here are some shots from our most recent reunion. I think this was like, 3 years ago!

Granny sinks a putt in our putting competition! My cousin Matt in the background is two weeks younger than me and is a Dentist in Scottsdale.

Shelby, takes advantage of an opportunity for some human kibbles. My Granddad's pocket protector in the foreground.

My nephew Jay is upset because Shelby at his torilla chip. My job is not to comfort my nephew, but to DOCUMENT the emotion! ;)

Here's what my Granddad looks like when he's in a good mood. He's in a good mood because it's cocktail hour.

My cousin Russ is at Creighton becoming a dentist, just like his bro. Look how hice his toofs look.

Here's my older sister Gina, under the supervision of my cousin Matt, the dentist. Matt has great teeth too, and Gina lives in a concrete basement with her imaginary friend. We let her out for a quick photo.

Gina pretends to be normal in this one. Man Geenie, you're short!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

$4000 for a wedding album??

I know it seems rediculous. I just got my studio sample for the famous $4,000 album set. It's a three-album set that comes in a beautiful leather triple slip case. It's the Leather Craftsmen 3500 series flush album. Comes with my Mandolino package, which I have named in honor of my grandfather. I photographed these at my studio this morning. Later I'm going to do a more comprehensive blog post featuring my WHOLE studio, including the flat-screen, martini bar, 1600 square feet of shooting area, and even my very own staffed Starbucks! (kind of!)

The first volume holds images from the "preparation" of the wedding. You know, the bride getting ready, guys fooling around, some nice detail shots, etc.

The second volume holds images from the "ceremony". Father walking the bride down the aisle, the exchange of rings, all that good stuff!

The third book is of the "Celebration"! The party, details, cake, dancing, etc... (my favorite book).

Check out this classy cork finish on the inside of the cover! And that classy logo (design by my delicate flower, Jenny!).

Late Night With...

Conan O'Brian is my favorite late night personality of all time, so I wanted to give a shout to my man with the big hair.

It's been kind of a tradition of mine, I love to end the day with his monologue and I've been doing it for years. His humor is right up my alley and rarely do I ever find myself laughing out loud from something on TV, but he gets me laughing every time. It's the best way to end the day. I love how he's often the butt of his own jokes. If you haven't given him a chance, you need to. Jenny is also a Conan lover. I have definitely found the woman of my dreams. In fact Conan O'Brian was one of the topics on our first date! Awwwww!

Actually, Jenny and I waited like 2 hours to see him in NYC and we got cut from the line last second. It was heart breaking, but we're going back some day and we're going to try again!

This is borderline "too stupid", but it still makes me laugh: Stupid, but Funny

On a related note, I think Jay Leno has gotten really lazy with his jokes. I can't even watch his show anymore. JayWalking, where he goes out and finds ditsy people to make up silly answers to easy questions is a perfect example. And some people love it. I don't get it. I also hate that he's always bragging about his cars, and he seems to set himself up so that he gets to talk about how wealthy he is. BO-RING!

David Letterman is a classic, but I don't watch him either. He was even in the same Fraternity (Sigma Chi) that I was in, back in the frat days, but I don't speak publicly about that! :)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Casio Exilim Point and Shoot

Here are some images from my pocket camera, a Casio Exilim. I don't even know how many "megapixels" it has. 5MP, maybe. But I'm not using it for printing. Just to have something handy when I'm on the go. My big ol' Canon lenses don't fit into my pocket too well.

The funny thing is that at every wedding I shoot, without fail, I get asked by someone at a wedding, usualy a guy, like an uncle or something... "How many megapixels does that thing have?". It doesn't bother me, but it's just funny.

Once Jenny was shooting and someone asked her how many "megaplexes" her camera had. That's even funnier! Megaplexes!!! What are those?

Here's a random story.

Yesterday I was at 7-11 getting a protien bar, and I wanted to get a diet pepsi slurpee, but their slurpee machine was down. I was a little disgruntled about that. But anyway, there was this girl buying a grape soda behind me. I didn't think much of it, except, "she better brush her teeth after she drinks that".

So I got in my car and started to pull out of the parking lot. There was the girl, crossing the street. She was looking somewhat frantic, and she couldn't get across because there was too much traffic. Then I realized why she was frantic, she was missing her bus! The bus was stopped.

Finally a car stopped and let her go by. This whole time I was waiting for traffic to stop too, so that I could get going, but I was really involved with what was going on here. So the girl starts running, like full speed. I could feel that the bus was just about to go. I was really cheering on this girl in my head.

So she's running and running and she had a bag and dropped it! By this time I was gritting my teeth as she turned back to get her bag. You could really feel her tension. It was making me anxious! By the time she grabbed her bag from the ground and started heading back, the bus was leaving.

I was heartbroken for the girl, and was contemplating whether or not I should offer to give this girl a ride to the next bus stop or something. Meanwhile, she's chasing the bus at full speed on foot, waving her arms, and yelling, "STOP STOP STOP!!!".

This story has a good ending! The bus driver saw her and stopped! I felt like cheering.

Anyway, there's story time for you. Did you know I'm wearing a robe and smoking a pipe right now? OK, you got me, I'm not.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Union Station: Denver, Colorado

I'll let this be more of a visual post. Here are some of my shots from a recent photographic field trip that Jenny and I went on a while ago to the old train station here in Denver.

What is a "telegraph"? ;)

I didn't step on any cracks. You can thank me for that however you feel necessary, Mom.


Probably my favorite shot. Just really random. If you ever get a chance, do a google search on legend photographer Henri Cattier Bresson. He's REALLY random, but visually stimulating. It's a lot of fun to see his work.

This is a rubber cone that I found sitting next to a janitor's supply door.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My Secret Weapons!

I don’t know how many of my peeps are self employed, but it’s definitely not easy. I’m about to post (next week), a more comprehensive story of my journey from being a liquor store employed ski bum in Silverthorne to Wedding Photographer in AZ, CO and wherever people want to have me.

But to make a long story short, it’s an extra challenge being the ADD person that I am. A long time ago, I read a study of a Harvard class where the professor took a poll to see if any of his students were in the habit of writing out their goals. Of his entire class, there were just six students who admitted to writing out their goals every day. He saved the list.

Ten years later, the same professor contacted all the members of his class (or as many as he could, I’m sure), and took another poll in regard to their income. There were exactly six students who reported making over $1 Million dollars a year. You guessed it, they were the same students who wrote out their goals.

My goal in life is not to become a millionaire. It is simply to succeed in doing what I love, which is wedding photojournalism. As of now, my goal is to photograph the nicest weddings and the most beautiful venues in the world. I love traveling and I love witnessing the birth of marriage between two people. It's awesome to look through a 200 mm lens into the eyes of a bride as she's listening to her fiance's vows at the very moment of their wedding ceremony. Sounds silly to most people, but I love capturing the emotions and personalities of the friends and family of those two people. I love photography. Always have.

Anyway, I have been writing out my goals every morning and again every night for years. I write out my goals for the day, month, year, 5 years, and 10 years. Twice a day. I never allow myself to fall asleep before I’ve taken the 10 minutes or whatever to write it all out, and I do not do a SINGLE thing when I wake up, until after I’ve written them down again.

I feel totally blessed that I have found Jenny because she not only supports this crazy habit, but she has taken it to a new level. She designed these cool goal books that have my logo on them. I have new pages that I never had until now that I fill out, like what I'm going to do THIS WEEK to improve myself… (with several tables: financially, personally, on efficiency, and health & fitness).
My Blackberry phone is awesome, too. It allows me to respond to email quickly if it’s urgent. The calendar feature syncs to Outlook so whenever I get a wedding inquiry, I can tell right away if I’m available or not.

Finally, the little leather book is something that Becker Photographer gave to me at his work shop in NYC. Becker is one of the hot photographers in Orange County, CA. I use the book all the time to write out ideas whenever they come to me.

People assume that having your own business means you can just do whatever, whenever, that you can just sleep in if you want. I wish I could just sleep in and eat Bon-Bons in my boxers all day, watching reruns of The Brady Bunch. Or McGyver. That guy is so cool.

Anyway, there’s a peek into the day in the life of me… Some think I am a workaholic, but I do make a real effort to put the work away one day a week and just have fun. SPLURGE DAY!

Here's a shot Jenny took at one of our EARLY MORNIN coffee and goal writing sessions! I love this shot!

My Nonnie can KNIT!

Over Mother's Day weekend I was out shooting a wedding (see below) and a fashion shoot (see below) in Arizona, which was great because I got to see my Nonnie and family out there. Let me tell you about my Nonnie.

Her real name is Matilda Cafiero, hails from Naples, Italy, and is about 4'10" and can roll a mean meat-a-ball. Her english is a little rough and to this day, she has not been able to pronounce my name. "Mark" is very tricky. It comes out, "Mike". "Mark" is way cooler, but the woman just can't speak the best english. And she's my Nonnie and I love her.

Her favorite show is "Docta Pill" (Dr. Phil), and not too long ago she was at the deli and needed service. She said, "Push-a the butt, and the butch will come out", which means "If you ring the buzzer (by pressing the button), there's a butcher in the back who will hear it and come to your assistance".

As I was growing up, she'd always give me good advice, like, "Don't say no to drugs". I think she meant "JUST" say no to drugs, but I decided not to doubt her just because her english is "no so good".

Anyway, she knitted me a beautiful hat and scarf, just in time for summer! Bless her heart. I wore it out this weekend and I just wanted to take use of this blog to say THANK YOU NONNIE!! I love my new duds!

On Saturday, Jenny and I hit up the City Park Driving Range. It's no Troon, I'll tell you that!

And I did a little shopping...

Here I am, hoping that no one sees me stealing a honeydew.

On Splurge Day, Jenny and I had HOT DOGS and BEER! Mmmmm

Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about!


Is it hot out here, or is it just my new hat and scarf? Maybe both. The temp got in the 90s here in Colorado!

Here I am this morning on my AM jog at Wash Park. Let me tell you, I was turnin' some heads this mornin!

Photos by my woman, Jenny. ALL IMAGES (C) 2006, so don't even THINK about stealing these photos and selling them to modeling agencies!!!!!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Yanni's! OPA!

This weekend I went to what is officially my favorite restaurant in Denver. It's a little "Greek Taverna" in Denver off of Monaco and Evans. Yanni's! You'd never guess... this little Greek Restaurant sits in a little strip mall in nowhere in particular.

I found Yannis about 7 or 8 years ago, I suppose... I went out to England to visit my sister Gina, and her hubby Nick. One night we went to a greek restaurant out there, which was pretty much my first taste of real, greek food. I LOVED IT.

Long story short, when I came back, I had a major hankerin' for some really good, authentic greek food. I went to the most reliable source, the Yellow Pages and I suppose I got lucky.

Here's a random shot of a wine glass with a reflection of clouds and peeps at Yanni's.

The first thing I noticed was a guy cruising around, kissing everybody on the cheeks. I thought that was cool. I assumed they were family. I thought that was cool, too. I didn't get a kiss, but I got the best service ever! Yanni, the owner... the guy who was kissing everyone, filled up my glass of Ouzo (WHICH I LOVE) like 10 times while I was there. I was a little nervous about my bar tab, but guess what, the Ouzo is free! But it's not like you should go there and just expect free Ouzo. The Ouzo is a gift, from Yanni himself. You don't order a gift.

Yesterday, Yanni was feeling CRAZY and decided to express himself with some really bold fashion. I thought being Italian made me automatically stylish. Yanni is Greek. There is a difference.

Anyway, I have been going back to that little strip mall greek restaurant ever since and it's a favorite splurge day destination. My favorite is their Pastitsio, which is like a really big hunk of macaroni, beef, spices and who knows what else, but I LOVE IT.

This is not the Pastitsio. It's Veal something-or-other. Jenny ordered it and it was tantalizing. I took a photo of my Pastitsio, but it was after I had already started eating it, so I ruined the photo op. It's why I could never be a food photographer.

If you're in Denver, I HIGHLY recommend Yannis, a Greek Taverna! Best service and food EVER. Oh and I love when I call to see when they close. They just say, "Well how long do you want to stay?". They never rush you out when it's "about that time". I love Yannis!

And so does Walt. He doesn't like Ouzo, so since he wasn't going to drink it, he decided to balance it on his head. I tried to do that, but I have too much hair. ;)

And finally, dessert! This is a caramel thing. It was good. I ordered the greek yogurt with honey and walnuts! Mmmm... once again, I ate that before I thunk to take a photo of it. And my embarrassing moment of the evening: I ordered a greek cafe drink. It's sweet coffee in a teeny tiny mug. At the bottom, there appeared to be mocha! Like chocolate fudge! It was splurge day, so I took a huge spoonful of it... turned out to be coffee grounds. What the heck are those greeks doing, leaving the coffee grounds in the cup! I didn't want to spit it out and offend Jenny's family, so I took a big gulp of water and washed it down. "Poor little fool. I was a fool,I was a fool oh yeahhhh..."


Sunday, May 21, 2006

"Don't trust anyone under 14,000 feet"

For some of my veteran Peeps, this is a re-run, but I figured, Conan O'Brian (my FAVORITE television personality) does it all the time and people still love him, so I'm going to have a little re-run since I've been a little pressed on time.

ANYWAY… I’ve just planned another trip with Terence, who’s one of my very good friends, for another adventure in the wilderness this year. We’ll be taking three days to head out to the wilderness, deep into the woods, far beyond civilization, and into the land of the bears and rocky mountain bighorns and who knows what else.

Here I am with a bad llama at the trail head. This was taken after our trip.
For some reason, this llama got left behind by his owner. I think he was being a bad llama.
I started looking through the photos from our last escapade. When Terence asks me to go on an adventure with him, I force myself to say “yes” and commit to it. It’s just harder to do this now that I’m a wedding photographer, but it’s also what life is all about. Some of the most valuable moments in my life are on our wilderness adventures, so I found a good week late into the wedding season where I’m not going to be hard pressed to come back from the mtn’s, having to clean up and go straight to a wedding with blistered feet.

Let me tell you a few things about my friend Terence… he’s not what you and I would consider ‘normal’. Terence is a Paramedic here at Denver General Hospital. He sees a lot of crazy stuff, but that’s for another post… in some other blog. Terence enjoys long, painful, arduous treks and prefers to start moving at night. One year he dragged me out on my most brutal trip to try and bag Challenger and Kit Carson (two 14ers) in one day. We started hiking at like, 10 PM and reached the base of Kit Carson at 5 AM. We took a 2 hour COLD nap on a rock, and headed up. That was the only sleep we got, as we finished our trip, returning to our car in the middle of the next night, hiking straight through.

Here's Terence leading me through our trip last summer. It was probably about 5 AM in that photo.
Our bags were covered because of all the thunder storms, and as you can see, we travel light. ;)
He’s a little nicer to me now. Last year we started our hike at like 2AM and reached our camp a little lower. It rained and stormed and I was too afraid to take out my camera for the most part. And it was so bad that I skipped to the section on “Lightning” in my Outdoor Emergency Care book, to pretty much find out that I was just KIND OF screwed. I brought along my OEC book because I was trying to get certified for Ski Patrol, which I wasn’t even guaranteed a spot for, but very hopeful. Anyway, I did get certified and I did work my first year of ski patrol and it was awesome. And now I’ve gotten off track.

Shot from the inside of my tent. Bear Mace, my OEC book, flash cards and gummy treats!
I got a lot of studying in on that trip because of the thunderstorms.
One thing I value from the adventures I’ve been on with Terence is that he pushes me. Not off mountains, and not to where I’m in a life or death situation (I’ve been on one too many of those), but just a teeny tiny bit past my comfort zone. And as a result I have seen some of the most spectacular views in the world that not just anyone gets a chance to see in their lives.

Summit of Mt. Sneffels. It was freezing and I had some good blisters on my feet.
Legs felt like rubber bands. Hurt so good! To give you some interesting perspective,
the solid thing by my left hand is an alpine lake that we would have camped at if it weren't for the thunderstorms. Instead we camped out lower, below the tree line.. Our ending elevation!
I met Terence in college when we both set out to American Adventure Expeditions to become whitewater raft guides. We were rookies together. We became good friends when we were going through a painful and freaky three weeks of training for that job. We have been on a lot of crazy excursions from there on out. Terence is also the person responsible for leading me to 3 Pikes Peak Ascents, which is a RUNNING race from Manitou Springs to the summit of Pikes Peak. About an 8,000 vertical foot gain in 13.6 miles. Oh and one Pikes Peak Marathon, 26 miles (we had to run back down). I did OK, placed in the 400’s of just a little over 800. Terence did awesome and came in like, 82nd place.

Terence running through a field of flowers. Looks like one of those commercials you
see on TV advertising... uh, nevermind.
Anyway, I wasn’t planning on this becoming a tribute to my good friend Terence, but that’s what has become of this post, so here’s to my wing man, Terence. Looking forward to our adventure!

CAFIERO, switching to MAC!

OK my peeps, it’s time. Next week I’m diving head first and not looking back into the Apple store here in Cherry Creek and getting my first Mac in years. I was a mac user about 6 years ago. Bilingual, actually. I had a mac for work and PC for personal use. I preferred the PC and decided to go all PC based. I now have three PC machines, and was convinced that the Apple vs. PC debate was all just a bunch of hype, and there’s no way a Mac can make my image work any better. I still don’t…BUT I am sold on the point that PC’s are just way more susceptible to viruses, and crashing, etc. I have been through hell and back on my PCs over the winter. Two got viruses, one required a new hard drive, the other required a new machine altogether. I usually get top of the line stuff too, and my new PC had issues, and I had to deal with getting a replacement, which was just a MESS!! Oh and by the way, all of my wedding clients were safe because I have three copies of all their images on external drives! I am so smart!

Here it is... I'm going with the BIG 20 inch screen!

Then last week, Jenny and I went into an Apple store and were sold immediately after just 5 minutes or so of seeing an iMac in action.

Why do you care? Well let me tell you what I’ll be able to do with my new 6 Peeps blog! (ahem, I mean ‘iBlog’) ...

Once I switch over to iBlog, I’ll have a fully customizable blog and guess what, now you’ll get to see slideshows… to music! Of every wedding I shoot. My plan is to have slideshows for every wedding I shoot, posted here at 6 Peeps within days of shooting an event. There’s more, but you’ll just have to see.

These commercials are pretty good too. You can tell that Apple has a pretty good marketing department. I hope that my new iMac is as good as they make it sound in the commercials.

These advertisements are funny, they feature the guy who played the cheerleader in Dodgeball! (5 D's of Dodgeball, 'DODGE, DIP, DUCK, DIVE, & DODGE'):

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hank... H-A-N-K, Hank

After looking over my posts and my 6 Peeps weekly announcements, I noticed that my spelling and grammar has gotten lazy! How unprofessional of me!

As a former 5th Grade Spelling Bee champion who made it all the way to the regional competition (finally lost to the word, "physician"), I am sorry to say that I have lost my pride... but I'm going to try to get it again! Announcing new spell-checked 6 Peeps from here on out! Maybe if I start updating my blog during the day when I'm not half-asleep will help.

NOW... sometimes I intentionally mis-spell words, so that doesn't count. Just because it's fun. Sometimes I like to mispronounce words, just to get a reaction. That's fun, too. I like talking to my dad and saying things like, "I'm in the mood for a good expresso"... one time I was telling him a story and I kept saying, "So I says" (blah blah blah), and "THEN I says" (blah blah blah). Or I'll pronounce "groceries" as grosheries". It gets him all fired up. It's funny.

Even with my friends, I'll say something like, "I expecially love this or that" and I watch their faces to see if they caught it or not. You can tell by looking at them. I just want someone to correct me, but no one does!

If anyone knows me, they know I like to get reactions out of people. I like making up far-fetched stories and seeing if I can convince people that they are true. Once I had someone convinced that Ben & Jerry's has a new ice cream called Burrito Supremo and that it's a play off of Taco Bell and that the ice cream is refried bean flavored with swirls of sour cream and cheese pieces. That was fun. :)

Anyway, back to the spelling... spell check and grammar check for now on, people! No more lookin like a horses - - - in public! ;)

(shot from my car window. I just thought it was funny. Hank is so loved that his owner took the time to write his name on his very own trailer!) :)

Ode to my WOMAN...

I just found this shot of my special little lady, Jenny. This was taken at a ski patrol party we had this year. Is she not just the cutest thing ever?

In fact, let me tell you a little more about her. She's my no.1 competitor in Denver, but it's cool, we work together. She's new out here and I really want her to do well, she's crazy talented. As you know, she designed my logo, among help with all sorts of other stuff. She's adding a very nice feminine touch to my packaging and presentation, and every Monday we go on field trips to talk business.

I'm personally a freak when it comes to task management. I have ADD so that's a must for me. I write out all my tasks every morning when I wake up and right before bed. Most girls would think that's wierd, but Jenny supports me so much and has even joined me! We write out our goals every day together and it's so great to have someone in my life who supports me, believes in me, and laughs at my jokes... most of the time!

I finally got to meet her family this last week and they are awesome. Her brother is an extremely passionate chef. It was so fun to watch him work his magic in the kitchen. He's a perfectionist and I'm thinking we'll see him on Food Network some day. Not even kidding. I considered bringing my camera, but you know when you meet the woman's family for the first time, you want to make a good non-paparazzi first impression.

Anyway, this weekend... ON SPLURGE DAY!!! We're taking him and his wife and Walt and Lori, who are close family friends to my personal favorite Greek Restaurant, Yannis. That will be another blog entry for next week! ;)

My New Competition

Recently Gina, my older sister sent in some images that my nephew Jay took with her point and shoot when they went to visit my other sister, Katherine. Jay is I think 5 years old now and Gina, please don't let Jay move in on my territory here in CO or AZ.

Photos by 5 year-old Jay Radovcich:

OK, Jay has a thing for animal butts. I'm going to pretend I didn't notice.

Marlin's Hiney:

Tootse's Hiney:

I love this shot, a little action shot of Tootse, ready to put the smack down on Marlin:

Here's a shot of Jay's foot:

And a close up of Katherine, my younger sister's mouth. Heavy, profound stuff, Jay! To me, this image represents life and society, and ummm... yeah, life and society today.

Way to go JayBird!!!! You're a great photographer and I can't wait for more submissions!!!!