i have unintentionally abandoned this here space.  it is time to do something else.  if you are interested in fewer words and more pictures, i'll be turning out my photos here instead: http://raenacolby.tumblr.com/

all the best,



double threes.


The Day of High Voltage

i was born on the Day of High Voltage (according to The Secret Language of Birthdays). upon learning this, i thought it sounded a) pretty badass; and b) appropriate. evidence: i once was walking down the street along the river on Flagler Drive (west palm reprezent) around dusk when i felt a prickly sensation, causing me to stop and turn where i stood. at that exact moment, all the lights on the street went on like BAM! and i was all "i did that."  in the winter, i am shocked by everything, even water running from the faucet. oh and when i was 12, my house was struck by lightning.

if i was a superhero, my name would be High Voltage and my powers would include electrifying all the bad guys.  you can see where i'm going with this?

today is this day, and today i am double threes.  i have read more than a few accounts of smart people/celebrities that quantify their thirty-third year as their best. so BIG expectations there. it's already starting out pretty great, aside from running late for work and a slight mishap at the gas pump (i.e., not being able to actually get gas). my mom already called!  it's always a contest between her and my brother to see who will call me first. i think they're running neck and neck over the past 10 years or so.  

i still get very excited for my birthday every single year like i'm 5 years old.  i was laying in bed thinking about my birthday last night and it kept me up!  what the heck? i was visited by the Ghost of Birthdays Past and these gems were bestowed upon me from a birthday exactly 20 years ago:

for comparison sake, from last night, whilst enjoying a pre-birthday celebration with my main homegirl, Jesse:

as you can see, not much has changed.  HAPPEE BURFDAY TO ME!!


of a sunday afternoon.


::tap tap tap::

is this thing on?

i unintentionally abandoned this here blog, i suppose due to lack of motivation/inspiration, or otherwise occupied-ness (and general sense of guilt a la not picking up my camera for months on end) . but yesterday was a relaxed sunday, and i found myself with the magical trifecta of motivation, inspiration AND time. 

i recently upgraded my 50mm lens with the f/1.4 version and hadn't even opened the box yet. as i glanced around my clean kitchen, i noticed it sitting on the counter, begging me to break it open and smell it's divinely fresh, new metal/plastic/glass scent. so i grabbed it.

my beautiful feather headdress was also begging to be worn. so i grabbed it.

i quickly found an outfit that seemed appropriate and went outside. a brief rain shower was passing and i had to keep wiping down the lens to get rid of the condensation. this is where i'm a moron . . i should've let the lens sit and get used to the humidity, but i was all gung-ho and just went for it. thus, some of the shots have a dreamy/diffused feel about them that is undesirable and not as sharp as i wanted.  lesson learned. however, when this wasn't a factor, the shots are pretty damn fantastic. i'm super happy with this lens. this was all with ambient light under the cover of my back porch. not even a reflector. pretty swell. (*clickies* for full size)

 shirt: Target; shorts: Urban Outfitters (my FAVORITE for this summer)

and there it is. 


a hallmark birthday: six.


my nephew is now entering his sixth year of life. SIX!!!!! that's a pretty big deal. so what better way to kick it off than an awesome Lego® party with your family and friends who love you?

i mean, when you have that magical combination of your super-cool friends (some who have been at every party since the very FIRST one!!) . .

and hop-scotch and drawing on stuff with chalk . .

and delicious chocolate cake that will definitely end up all over you (and your loved ones) . .

and super beautiful babies/toddlers hanging around . .

well. you just cannot help but love every minute of it.

i'm ready to do it all over again now. luuuh yew, duney!!!


paris: behind the scenes.


i have been struggling to find the motivation to go through the almost 1,000 photos from the paris trip.  it's just too much.  the task is daunting and i have walked away from it repeatedly. so i'm just going to have to do this in stages.

firstly i shall address the behind the scenes photos from the photo shoots Terribly Girly did with some very lovely ladies (which was the underlying purpose of the trip in the first place). i arrived there around 8 in the morning on my first day (the other girls had been there a few more days, already doing some shooting) . . took about 3 hours to actually get to the flat where we were staying, then we hit the ground running.  we went to an old cabaret theater called Madame Arthur's and went to town.  it was FREEEZING cold inside this place and Vanessa and Desiree were troopers for enduring the cold in their winter-unfriendly wardrobe.

that night the rest of the crew was treated to a Burlesque show in which our hostess (of sorts), Belle (see below!), performed.  sadly, i did not attend as i had been awake for something like 30 hours and was dead on my feet.  REALLY wish i could've gone as it was probably the one really awesome night out.

the next day, we did shoots with two more beauties, the sultry Louiza Ventura and blonde bombshell Vanda Lou, at our apartment, which lent itself nicely to the look we wanted.  and these ladies killed it.

we all ended up with great big crushes on Louiza.  because how could you not?

our last day in paris, we fit in one more shoot with the fabulous Belle who wanted to turn out her Marquis look.  Marilyn did an AMAAAAAZZZING job on hair and makeup and brought the look to life.  i admire Belle's fearless nature . . she was done up like Marie Antoinette and we all walked from her apartment down to a park without displaying a shred of self-consciousness.  the looks on the faces of the people we passed were priceless.

isn't she just awesome?

one of my favorite parts of being involved with this Terribly Girly venture was watching Janette show the girls the pictures on her camera during the shoots.  their faces lit up to see how she captured them.  and it was damn cute every time.

so great to be involved with such wonderful people.  doesn't hurt that they're all so dang purrrty.

next up: adventures around town. that is, if i can get thru the rest of these photos. xoxoxo


bonjour et au revoir.


wow. the entire month of february and nothing. my photographic year in review for 2012 is going to have a big fat hole in it for the month. it even had an extra day! i just can't seem to find the time lately. i haven't used my big girl camera in literal months. hmph.

recently i decided to take on like 3 more hobbies and i didn't actually have time to add any. i think if you do some complex mathematical calculations, you will conclude these factors equate to no-meaningful-free-time. which means i've been coerced into forced free-time by my exhausted body that can't find the strength to move off of the couch in an attempt to buffer my barely-managing immune system.

man. i just want to do everything.  my body likes to remind me that this is not possible due to the limitations of time, space, and the biological human condition.  i get it, body, i get it. you have my attention.  i'm listening.

all i have to show for the last 6-ish weeks are the following iPhone photos that feebly document things happening around me.

an illustration of low-function-lazy hair vs. hair-with-effort.

the pilates studio and an unwieldy rogue spit curl (over which i have no control).

circus party preparations for the lovely Kelly! who is actually not pictured here because i'm a moron, but who will be forever 32 no matter if she just turned 33. Tara and i are doing our best Kelly impressions with our Kelly hair in honor of our friend.

hmm. i look decidedly sullen in all of these.  i'm just tired. don't worry. it'll be ok. 

next week: PARIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! where i can/will/must bring my camera and take meaningful photos. and will be smiling. 'twill be my first time across the pond.  very excited.  now off with you and enjoy your friday!


the girl with the whale tattoo.


alt title:  
The Most Elaborate Tramp-Stamp Cover-Up of All Time

so. i spent the last 8 months getting my back upgraded with some Extra Extra Detail by the amazing Matt Brotka of Salvation Tattoo in Richmond, VA. whom/which shall heretofore be referred to as "My Favorite Tattoo Artist Ever"/"My Favorite Tattoo Shop Ever", respectively.

this was a large endeavor.  i met Matt last march after scouring the internet for an artist i really liked.  i told him my general idea about wanting a Moby-Dick-inspired-whale-attacks-ship back piece and brought him some artwork i'd collected for reference.  like so:

he was into it and started drawing everything up and my first session was scheduled for a couple of months later in may.  i told him i was ready to approach this aggressively and just wanted to GET 'ER DONE. so . . 8 months, 11 sessions, and 33 hours of work (and 8 flights to/from richmond!!!) later, it was complete.  

it was all pretty grueling, truth be told. people have asked me what the worst part was and honestly, it was all just . . awful.  but the 10th session was the absolute worst and i have no idea why.  i was writhing in pain and had to actually go next door to get a shot and a beer to get through the last hour and a half. ridiculous.  and after the sessions, sleeping with my back bandaged and sealed in cling wrap was just gross and difficult, as was sitting on a plane the next day heading back down to FL. and then trying to clean/moisturize while healing is a feat in itself when you have to do it by yourself. i probably looked pretty hilarious contorting myself to get to that little spot in the middle of my back between my shoulder blades.  ha.  but it's done and i am ecstatic and it's perfect and exactly what i wanted and my ancient old tattoo is all covered up and i am tramp-stamp free!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i can't say enough about how wonderful Matt is.  he is clearly an AMAZING and talented artist, he put up with my incessant whining, he is hilarious and comfortable, and was just as committed as i was to this project.  i couldn't have asked for more.  for all the time we spent together through this process, we should be honorary best friends.  next time i come up there, we're getting BFF tattoos, Matt!!  you're welcome.

the other reason that Matt and Salvation are awesome is because they let me photograph every single session. i set up my camera to take photos at 1-minute intervals through every session - 1,988 photos in all!!  and then i compiled them in this here video so that you can experience all 33 hours compressed into about 5 minutes!!  yesssssssss.

oh, disclaimer: i will apologize in advance for incidental/gratuitous side-boob.  couldn't be helped.  carry on.

music: "Watch Song" by Shellac

i managed to take a result photo after every session, except of course, the longest, most productive one (session 7).  moron.  oh well, it couldn't be absolutely perfect, but it still makes me happy to watch.  and even happier that it's all O-V-E-R.

and, for reference, a little before and after action for you, click-for-full-size style:

thank you AGAIN to Matt!!!  time for some i-feel-awesome-and-happy-high-kicks.  kbye!


2011 photographic year in review.


2011 has certainly been quite the year. it is ending much differently than it began and i have faced quite a few major changes. some good, some bad, but i'm not trying to keep score there. i have also met some of the most wonderful new friends this year and have reconnected with old friends (and family!) as well. i am over-the-moon grateful for that.

there was quite a bit of photo-taking in 2011, although may was an entirely lean month photographically speaking . . all i have to show for it is a few iPhone photos. (well, truth be told, there were several hundred photos taken that month, but that's for another project that i am not quite ready to reveal yet, so you'll just have to wait.  oooh suspense!! and that's how you keep 'em coming back for more.)

ok ok ok, so, without further ado, i present to you my 2011 photographic year in review! 


thank you, friends and family. happy new year to all!


my nephew is my fave.


last friday my parents and brudder trucked it down south to my house for a sleepover, picking up my nephew along the way. he is totally my fave.

i've been dreaming of having him over since i moved into this house . . i could just picture him running around and playing in the pool.  well, dreams do come true.  the weather was amazing, so we had the house all opened up and he could run from the back yard into the house at leisure. he went in the pool several times and stayed in until he got too cold and then was snuggled in towels and blankets to get warmed up and was generally the most awesome kid of all time ever.

it's funny, i've always considered myself a baby fan. i have said over and over how i lose interest in kids after the age of about 4.  i like them from that whole 3 month to 3 years period and then i'm like "eh, you're too much of a person now who has opinions and sasses me, fuhgetaboutit. where's your baby brother/sister that i can play with and make smile/laugh?" i wondered how this would affect my interaction with my own flesh and blood. and clearly, it's blown out of the water because my 5 1/2 year-old nephew is probably the best person i know right now. my brother says he's "the sweetest guy", which is totally right on. true, he will try to trick you into thinking that his "tummy is full, yeah really full" when presented with a plate of thanksgiving leftovers and then change his mind when he finds out there's a bowl of cereal with his name on it ("you have CEREAL? i LOOOOOOVE cereal!!!!"), but gastrointestinal deception aside, he is one spectacular specimen.  

his face in these photos tunnels right to the core and kills me every time.  aaahhh!!!

*clickies* his little foot sticking up in the last photo! those ears! hahaha!
 he was fully into using the pool skimmer in his world o' imagination.  sword and shield perhaps? whatever the case: awesome.

looooooove hiiiiiim.

highlight of the holiday weekend, for sure. glad i got my tree up before he came over too. just made it all the more festive. first time i've had a proper christmas tree in 4 years!! happies.


west coast weekend.


last weekend i hopped on a plane and mere hours later i found myself on the opposite coast, reuniting with one of my favorite people on Earth, Brittany!!!  we calculated that we hadn't seen each other in 8 years, which is completely ridiculous, but all is well as we have now rectified the situation and have a plan moving forward. which is for Brittany and her awesome husband Wade to use derisive tactics to lure me to the west coast at every opportunity and tell me all the wonderful and amazing adventures we would/could have if only i were a full-time resident of southern california. and for me to eventually give in. it's simple, really.

friday morning i awoke to Britt and Wade's awesome loft and the view of the LBC. i met cats. and we got ready to head out.

we headed first to Mozza for the best danged pizza i may have ever tasted. i had the squash blossoms, tomato and burrata pizza and it was pretty much amazing.

then we headed to the Beauty Culture photography exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography and it was completely fabulous and interesting and we all left feeling like better people for it.  

next up we went to The Bazaar in Beverly Hills for cocktails and it was easily the coolest place i may have ever been for anything. this place is incredible. they are all about "molecular gastronomy" and have a "process" for everything they make. Britt and I had "magic mojitos" that are made using a huge pile of house-made cotton candy. 

saturday i walked all around Manhattan Beach while Brittany did some hair and i had the best day. i bought lots of things and ate food and walked everywhere. it was lovely.

that night we went to a birthday dinner in Orange County then to Javier's for drinks and cougar-watching (though sadly they were not out in force), then to the Prospector (where Wade works) for more merriment and band-watching. we saw the awesome Cowboy and Indian perform, rounding out the evening nicely.

sunday we had excellent brunch at The Coffee Cup CafĂ© (baja burrito with veggie chorizo?! yessss!), got some Yogurtland, then met up with another long-lost lovely, Keri ♥ for some shopping on Retro Row in LBC.  we had super-fun times trying on stupid/awesome clothing and accessories and walked around until it was dark outside.

sadly, i had time for just one more amazing meal with Brittany and Wade (it's so nice to be hosted by foodies), then headed to the airport for the red-eye back to FL.  i forgot how much i loved SoCal and had such an amazing time with these fwends that i will most certainly be returning soon.  now for a no-travel weekend in FL to gear up for my very favorite holiday, thanksgiving!!  longest post ever!!