Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Power of a Picture

This past Saturday,  I participated in the Annual Help Portrait event with Kern Photography Association, again.  Essentially Help Portrait is about:
  • Finding Someone in Need
  • Taking their Picture
  • Printing It
  • Delivering It
But it's really more than just those four simple steps. It's about spending time with that person and getting to know them and their story.  Even during the event, we get so wrapped up in making sure everything goes smoothly that we forget the real meaning behind Help Portrait.  

While adjusting my tripod height, I looked at the young man standing behind the gaffer's tape I placed on the ground in front of my backdrop.  He looked tense and his eyes were cast downward.  I asked if he was okay, and he looked up and said that he was thankful that we were donating our time to take pictures of him and his compadres at the facility.

I stepped out from behind my camera and asked if he wouldn't mind sharing what he planned to do with his picture.  He said he had runaway from home, which was back in Virginia, and through bad choices ended up incarcerated for four years in California.  Although he stayed in contact with his parents, they haven't seen him in over 6 years.  He told me that he would be sending the picture to his parents to let them know he is doing "okay", and that he is in the process of making amends for his past decisions.  We talked about his goals and what he planned to do once he graduated from the facility, and then we got ready for the picture. 

I stepped back behind my camera and said, "Let's show Mom and Dad how great you are doing"  He smiled from ear-to-ear and his eyes glistened.  As soon as the picture was taken, we watched it appear on my iPad, he smiled even bigger and said that his parent would like that picture.  

That is what Help Portrait is all about!!!

What Did I Learn?

  • Help Portrait is only 50% about taking a quality photo - it's also about connecting with another person.  It's too easy to forget how fortunate and blessed I am to have a family, friends, health and a job
  • Do this more than once a year - One of the things I did during this event was to perfect a way to shoot and process a picture on-site.  I need to purchase a portable printer so I can take this "on the road" and shoot anywhere and anytime

I'm proud to be a member of Kern Photography Association and their charitable endeavors.  Wishing you and your loved ones a Safe and Joyous Holiday Season

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Heidi and Nikki

The last two White Sheets shoots didn't quite end up as expected, on one I forgot to dry the sheets, and the other I changed the entire lighting set-up.  I still attained decent results, but something didn't click.  I decided to go back to my standard lighting and made sure the sheets were dry.

I found Heidi on Kern Models and Photographers (KMaP) Facebook group as a Make-up Artists, but noticed she had some cool tattoos, so I asked if she would be interested in being in my White Sheets, and she agreed.  As with most White Sheets sessions, I asked Heidi to bring along a chaperone.  She brought Nikki, who is a model on KMaP.   Nikki hasn't shot in awhile, so I told her to bring some clothes she would like photographed.

The White Sheets was my standard lighting set-up,  86", "broken", PLM shot-thru my white muslin and my 22" White Beauty Dish for Key and Einstein with the 8" Reflector bounced off the garage as Fill.  Heidi was on my blow-up mattress and I also laid down the bamboo flooring in case I wanted a full body shot.

The Metering for ISO 200 and Shutter 1/125 was:

  • Key: F/8
  • Fill:  F/4
  • BG: F/11 

And of course, my Grey card for more accurate White Balance.

Heidi was a real trooper, not having done Boudoir stuff before, she kept visualizing that she was at the beach and we kept things light and funny.  After a few White Sheets shots, we switched models and wardrobes.  Nikki brought along a really cool Gold dress, so while we shot, Heidi warmed up.

This image of Nikki with her eyes closed is really for Heidi, since she did Nikki's make-up.  I love the colors Heidi chose and Nikki was definitely relaxed in front of the camera.

The ladies had two to three wardrobe changes and we shot for a total of three hours, which isn't too bad for two models and different lighting set-ups.

For the balance of the shoot, I switched the B/G light to a Rim light using my Strip box, but kept the key and fill.

I left the white muslin up instead of switching to my grey seamless, I need to drive to L.A. and pick up another Grey Seamless; my current one is depleted.  $44 for a year's use isn't too bad.

So What Did I Learn?

  • I need more space -  Actually just a taller space.  I really like the image I got of Lara, but my garage door opener and it's track kept getting in the way
  • Get casters for my Studio stands - The Boom stands are fairly heavy and moving them around is laborious, especially for minute adjustments
  • Use my PEN, iPad and Eye-Fi when shooting as a mock Polaroid - I used this set-up during my shoot with Heidi and Nikki and  it gave them an idea of how they looked and the lighting.  In fact the first image above was taken with the PEN
To date, I've photographed 14 models for my White Sheets, including some with tattoos.  I still would like to add more, but I'm tired of the same look and feel.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, November 25, 2011

PLM = Pretty Lame Moment

I have been doing the "Dad Thing" lately, and teaching Drew to drive his semi-new car.  He wasn't quite ready a year and a half ago to start driving, but recently he's been showing motivation to drive.  So for today, I told him we would make the 35 mile round-trip drive to Hart Park with the condition that we stop and shoot him and his car.

I figured we would need a break for two reasons: 1) to go over the drive and talk about any events that happened along the way, and 2) to let me practice some Noon day sun shooting.

We made the trip safely with no close calls or with me pretending to press on an imaginary brake pedal.  We parked in a dirt spot and I proceeded to unload my gear.  I brought along my AB1600, 86" PLM, Combi-Boom and my Vagabond 2, which weighs about 19lbs.  I setup the PLM, attached the battery to the light stand and headed back to the car since there was no apparent wind.  As I was looking in the trunk, Drew said "Dad, your light fell."  I looked over to the spot and saw the light stand on the ground resting on the PLM.  The shaft was bent at about 45 degrees.  It was still usable, but couldn't be freely rotated.  I realized I had placed the battery on the same side as the PLM.  I usually make sure I place it opposite to counterbalance the stand, which means placing the battery on the windward side of the lightstand.  At least the PLM cushioned the fall of the AB1600 and spared me an additional expense.

After propping up the light stand and adjusting the PLM, I proceeded to shoot.  My metered settings were f/11, 1/125, ISO 200 with the AB1600 set to 1/16th power.  I decide to use my 24mm  - 70mm so I go wide, I used my Pocket Wizards trigger the set-up.  I was also playing with my Sekonic Light Meter to get a mix of 70% Flash/Ambient .  We shot for about 20 minutes and then wrapped as the sun never came out and the wind started getting stronger.  We packed up the Scion and made the drive back home.  Again, Drew did very well and we arrived safely home.

I checked the Paul C. Buff web-site and found out that replacing my PLM will cost $92 with S&H, but most likely I call Customer Support and see how much it'll be to repair it.  I guess I'll have to use my 64" PLM for tomorrow's White Sheet shoot.

What Did I Learn:

  • Even if there isn't any wind, always set-up your modifier opposite the battery - I knew that and had done it on four other shoots, but most likely I was still thinking about teaching Drew.

Hoping everyone had a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for reading.  BTW, yes the car color looks different in each image, which is due to me playing with different warming and cooling filters.  The middle image matches the car's actual color.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Back Alley


After my marginal model shoot in Vegas, I really needed to get out and shoot "On Location" again. Fortunately a tatt'ed make-up artist (MUA) responded to my inquiry about being part of my "Tatt'ed Sheets" session, but to make her comfortable I suggested that we do a "test" shoot just to see if she felt comfortable working with me. We discussed the wardrobe and met downtown. After looking around for wet pavement(it rained earlier in the day), I chose the alley behind Stars Theater. The alley is narrow enough with sufficient light and a gritty feel.

I brought my three speed lights, brolly, SABER STRIP and my traveling suitcase. First I wanted to re-create car headlights to give the alley an added sense of place, so both SB-600s were set down the way on Nano stands about 2.5' high and even with each other.  No modifiers and no Pocket Wizards, just Nikon CLS to trigger the speed lights. The brolly was set-up Camera Left with an SB-900 and a full cut CTO gel. I figured I would set the White Balance to Incandescent so the available light would be "cool" and evoke a cold winter's night.

Purple Rain
After a few shots, I then photographed Heidi up against a wall and gel'ed the SB-600s with purple gels and set the power to 1/32.  The lower the power, the better the color from the gels show.  However, they were still too white, so I added a second set of gels and the color was satisfactory.  Again I used the brolly as key.

For the last image I used the available light from three fluorescent lights in the alleyway.  I had Heidi walk towards me until the I felt the light was close to create a butterfly pattern.  I had to up my ISO to 3200 and shoot at f/1.4.  If you look at the shadows, you can see the noise.


So What Did I Learn?
  • Nikon CLS has it's benefits - I mentioned it before that Manual control provides consistent control of your lights, but since it was dark and the available light wasn't changing, CLS worked perfectly.  I use Manual Mode on controlling the lights and not TTL.
  • Buy some hair bands - I had to rig the second set of gels onto the speed lights by using clips, hair bands are cheap and light.

In the end, Heidi and I worked well together, so hopefully our next shoot will be a breeze.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Jesi Gone Wild!!!

Time flies, and it's hard to believe that the last time Jesi and I collaborated was June 2010.  My original shoot fell through last weekend, but I received a message from Jesi asking if I wanted to shoot.  She was supposed to attend a "Rave" wearing a Native American Indian costume, but her plans fell through, too. 

Jesi arrived ready to shoot, in her wardrobe and makeup done. We left Bako at 10 AM and made the drive up to Mt. Pinos, which took about 2 hours.  I've wanted to shoot up in the Los Padres National Forest for quite some time and wanted to use the forest for my Red Riding Hood shoot. Jesi's costume was perfect for the locale and she was available. 

We arrived at the Nordic Base, which is about 8,300 feet above sea level and headed down a trail to the nearest campsite.  Thinking that it would be a simple hike, I brought along my lighting bag and camera backapck (30lbs of gear).  Huge mistake!!!  I figured all the cardio work I've been doing at the gym would help, it didn't.  Actually at first it wasn't a big deal, but then with all the squatting, to get low and standing up, by 3 hours into it, I was getting tired, but I'm getting ahead of myself. 

Planning on arriving at Noon, I figured we could scout around and look for some decent areas to shoot, and with the tall trees, we would have enough shade to provide for some dramatic lighting.  As usual I brought my SABER STRIPS, speedlights, Nano Stands, all my HONL modifiers and gels, and sandbags, and just in case it wasn't windy my Sunbounce.

Along for the shoot was fellow photogs, Brian Redden and Joe Vasquez.  We all liked the idea of getting out and shooting somewhere else besides the flatlands of the Central Valley.  Brian brought his new PEN Camera and his TLR, Joe brought his Canon and some lighting gear, too.

We decide to set-up near the campground since there was enough fauna befitting of a wooded area and the first thing I noticed was the clarity of the air and the blueness of the sky.  Albeit, the contrasty nature of shooting at mid-afternoon is difficult when trying to maintain shadows and highlights, so I opted for my SB-900 and bare flash at full power to lift up some of the shadows.  After a few images, we moved into the shade, where I bogart'ed Joe's Umbrella.  I brought my Westcott umbrella, but since he had his set-up, I just put my flash next to his.  I also decided to use Nikon CLS instead of my Pocket Wizards because 1) I paid for that feature, and 2) because I'm lazy and didn't want to exert any extra effort, getting up and down adjusting the flash's power settings.

We shot for about three hours, and after taking a break to give Jesi a chance to eat and warm-up, we called it a wrap.  Mainly because I was getting tired, Jesi was getting cold, and Joe mentioned he was getting light-headed a couple times.  Overall, we agreed that we got the images we wanted and the shoot was a success.  Then came the difficult part, hiking back to the car.  It really wasn't that bad, but  it reinforced my "travel light" mantra.

I shot with a bare speedlight, umbrella-modified speedlight, handheld reflector and available light. See if you can identify the light and/or modifier used in each image.

So What Did I Learn?
  • Travel Light - I blogged about it after my Santa Monica Beach shoot with Darnah.  With this shoot I could've used my 85mm Prime, one speedlight, a Nano Stand, Ankle Weight, and Umbrella to achieve what I wanted with a total weight of 10 lbs.  My excuse? I haven't shot up there and didn't know what to expect.  I probably should have left all my gear in my vehicle except that I drove the Jeep and having a soft-top, it doesn't make sense to lock it up, or keep valuable items in it.
As a side note, I seem to be plagued with cancellations when posting on Facebook the name of a model, or when I'm shooting, so from now on it'll be a surprise.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


There are times when you first work with a model that something clicks, whether it's a shared vision, or a concept, and then the finished image meets that expectation. I have come to recognize that "click" when after shooting I'm left feeling discouraged; I know that sounds counter intuitive, but I get a  feeling that I should've done something differently, that I didn't bring my "A" game and start doubting my abilities. When this happens, I usually put the camera away and not look at any images until the next morning.

That "click" happened with Anahy, Tonya, Torey, and Darnah. Okay, maybe not with Darnah, but definitely with the other models. Well, that same feeling happened when I photographed Lara last weekend. I felt that the images never really materialized into what I envisioned.

We decided to do some White Sheets images followed by One Light on Black and then some Twiggy type photos. That meant white, black and grey backgrounds. I also told Lara that she could bring back her humongous suitcase, basically her closet-on-wheels.

Once we selected the wardrobe, we began shooting at 4:00 PM and worked on the White Sheets for about two hours.  I used the 86" PLM behind my White Muslin and then used a strip box for the key light.  Usually I have the model on a bed, but this time I tried something different, I placed the bedding on the garage floor so I could shoot downward from a ladder.  I think that slight change in lighting configuration made our shoot take a little longer than usual.

We then moved on to a black background and a single light (43" Brolly) with a reflector.  Lara picked out some fun clothes to wear and we shot for about another hour and a half.  I know I overuse the term "fun" when speaking about working with models, but Lara is both energetic and relaxed when shooting.  At that point it was getting late and we originally wanted to do a "Twiggy" theme shoot.

So as Lara changed her make-up and hair, I removed the black backdrop and put up the grey seamless paper.  An acquaintance, referred to as Old Pro, told me how they used to shoot those 60's style images.  Basically a key light, my Beauty Dish and a huge softbox for fill, my 86" PLM, and that was basically it.

I went in to check on Lara and review some of the clothes for our 60's style shoot.  After a quick break, we shot for another hour and a half.  Holy crud, it was almost 10:00 PM.  Lara was great and worked right up until I called a wrap.  She neither complained, nor asked me to hurry up.  As Lara left to put "ALL" her clothes away,  I decided to review some of the images and got discouraged.  While walking Lara to her car, I began apologizing for not keeping my end up of the shoot, that I felt the images I captured were mediocre at best.  She said, "No worries, we'll shoot again in two weeks."

In the morning I downloaded the 400+ images and began reviewing them.  I was surprised to find some images that were a bit better than mediocre, so I did a quick edit on one, converted it to Black and White and posted it on FLICKR.  That same night, my iPad kept beeping every time I got an e-mail.  I woke-up and checked to see that several people had commented on, or favored this image. Then on e-mail said "Stunning! Congrats on Explore."  Seriously, EXPLORE!!!  I just posted the pic to get some comments and critiques.

In previous posts, I've mentioned that FLICKR uses an algorithm to determine Interestingness, which is based on views, favorites and comments from all over FLICKR land.  FLICKR estimates that 5,000 images are uploaded every hour, and they select 500 everyday to showcase in their EXPLORE category.  We hit position #149 out of the top 500, not bad because usually I add my image to Photo groups on FLICKR, but this one I only posted.  I messaged Lara, and she responded "Mediocre turned out Most Interesting!! ...FAR OUT...!!"  

So What Did I Learn?
  • That's an easy one - Keep your thoughts as thoughts.  Even if you don't feel good about your images after the shoot, keep it to yourself.  Lara did a GREAT job and for me to admit anything less than being pleased with our session before really viewing the images was totally inconsiderate.
I've got a shoot coming up in a week, keeping my fingers crossed that I can execute, but more importantly I'm going to make sure that I keep a positive attitude throughout the entire process.

*** UPDATE *** 
Apparently the image with Lara jumping (above) also hit EXPLORE on the same day.  That's a first for me, two images on EXPLORE in one day.  With that good news, here's one more image from our shoot. 

This was part of our White Sheets, but decided I add both the actual image and an Outtake to show Lara's personality.

- Posted using BlogPress from my Illusive iPad

Eye Spy

Last week Brian reminded me about the Eye-Fi SD card that allows you to wirelessly transfer images from your camera to your computer via Wi-Fi. I checked into it about two years ago, but dismissed it since my D700 uses CF cards for storage. Since then I've acquired my Olympus PEN e-PL1 and iPad and didn't look to see if that technology had advanced.

After visiting their site, I discovered that they released the Eye-Fi X2 Mobile which works with Apple IOS and Android operating systems. So during lunch, drove to Best Buy and picked one up.

Installation has to be done on a computer connected to your own Wi-Fi network for the purposes of "pairing" the card with your mobile device. Once the software is installed on your computer, you then download the app for your Mobile device, my iPad, and then pair the device with the SD card.

All went well until it came time for transmitting the images. So I'll jump to the What I Learned.

  • Make sure you disconnect your mobile device from any wireless networks
  • Make sure you can save your image in RAW + Small JPG
Once I did that, everything worked flawlessly. I was able to shoot from 20' away with my PEN and the image took 5 seconds to show up on my iPad. After it transfer, you can upload  your images to a multitude of sites, including FLICKR, Facebook, etc...

The user interface on the iPad looks pretty much like iPhoto, but what's cool is that once the transfer occurs, the image pops up full size. 

Q1) So when would I use this?  Good question.  I planned to do a model shoot tonight using PEN, speedlights, Pocket Wizards and some modifiers and have the iPad near the model, so we could shoot and she would get instant feedback, without having to "chimp" on a 3" LCD screen.

Q2) Aren't there SD-to-CF adapters out there? Yes, and that is my next purchase so I can use this on my D700.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lighting Lara

A few weeks back one of the photographers, that is a member of our Facebook Models and Photographer Group, got upset that one of her clients was added to the group. She posted a RANT accusing members of stalking her clients and coercing them to join our group.  My take, don't post photos of your paid shoots.

The posts got pretty ugly until the "Admin" stepped in and re-iterated the goals of the group.  Then mysteriously the photog's rant was deleted. So why am I writing about this incident?  I found out while photographing the model in question that she asked to join the group.  Rewind - while Brian and I were looking at her photos, Brian commented that she looks a lot like Taylor Swift.  Uhhh...who is that? I asked.  To me she does look like Taylor Swift crossed with Claudia Schiffer.  Fast Forward - so I messaged Lara and she agreed to shoot with me after much stalking and coercion.

Turns out that Lara modeled in the past and is working on re-establishing herself.  She has great cheekbones and eyes.  She has a very free-spirited attitude and an outgoing personality, at least based on my sole experience.  We discussed wardrobe/themes and a fellow Photographer, MUA, H/S joined us for the shoot. I enjoy having other photographers join me on my shoots, especially women because they have an eye for detail.  Also, I see my backyard everyday and don't notice opportunities for backgrounds.

This shoot included Natural (Natty) light and Mixed light, and also included reflectors and speedlights. We had Lara change several times and it was great having a MUA/HS on-site. During the shoot I shared what I know about lighting with the other photographer.  It was a memorable shoot and I think we captured some  decent images.

I shot in Aperture-Priority Mode, Manual Mode, used CLS, used Pocket Wizards, used scrims, reflectors and speedlights.  We played with all the tools and tricks intentionally so the other photographer could see the difference between light and modifiers, and the mood each creates.  We also used a grey card and a light meter, in addition to our in-camera meter.

What Did Learn:
  • Be specific with wardrobe - Lara brought a suitcase of clothes that basically contained her closet.  When she laid them out for us to review, the floor disappeared
  • Look at routine locations with fresh eyes - I would have never thought about shooting by my Birds of Paradise because they've been there for 5 years.
  • It's a bonus to have a MUA/HS during the shoot - They are constantly looking at the model's appearance which frees me up to concentrate on posing, lighting and composition
  • If possible, work with experienced models if you are starting out - Experienced models require very little direction, understand posing angles and can work the "key" light.

As I wrote earlier, Lara is a fun model to photograph because she doesn't take herself too serious and her playful attitude keeps the atmosphere light.  Hopefully we'll get to work together again. Here's an outtake from our shoot, and "yes" the finger tattoo is legit.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ahoy Mayte

So this post has nothing to do with pirates, but instead with a model named Mayte.  I photographed Mayte back at the end of June this year and since she lives near Los Angeles, I called to see if she was available after my Photowalk. We discussed wardrobe and the two locales I wanted, Los Angeles Union Station and the Walt Disney Concert Hall (WDHC).

Earlier in the day I was warned by our Photowalk compadres that we might have some problems shooting at the WDCH based on their previous experience.  Apparently they brought reflectors and as soon as they started shooting were told to move along.  Well, I brought a nano stand, a mini-softbox and my pocket wizards, but with the latest information on restrictions, I'd have to shoot using Available light.  Not a big deal, I brought my Nikkor 85mm f/1.4.

Shine After lunch we headed to Union Station, and upon arrival I asked the security guard if I could shoot inside.  He said as long as I don't use a tripod or lightstands I was good to go. Mayte went to change into the first outfit while the five of us photographers looked for places to shoot.  Having shot there a year ago, I knew there was a mix of window light and warm fluorescent light, so all I needed to do was place Mayte where the Window light would be the key.
My original idea for Union Station was to have Mayte stand in the center of the Main Hall and hold a pose for about a 1/15 of a second as passengers strolled by.  I fired a couple test shots with Brian as a stand-in and achieved what I envisioned.  Mayte and I set-up and waited for the people to start walking by us.  As the first wave came upon us, they dispersed and moved away.  We waited for the next group of people and again same result. that idea went down the drain.

We moved around the station and ended up shooting outside.  It was about 2:00 PM and the sun was still a little high, so I asked one of the ladies to be my Voice-Activated Lightstand (VAL).  I gave her my SB-900 with an Omni Bounce and had her position 45 degrees camera left high and pointed downward.  I believe I set my camera to -1 E/V and the flash at 1.7 E/V and used Commander Mode from my camera.
After struggling with the light we packed up and moved on to the WDCH.  It's about a three mile drive from Union Station and we had Mayte change into a black dress.  Knowing ahead of time that we might get booted out, I brought  my camera equipped with a 24mm - 70mm f/2.8 AF-S G lens.  We made our way up the flight of stairs and was amazed by all the light that was bouncing around.  Who needs reflectors when the building is basically a silver reflector.

We moved around from walkways to corridors and never had to worry about light.  We shot for about another hour as the sun began to set and got some really warm images.  I really want to go back there again and shoot, but I need to come up with  concept.  I just needed to test the waters with regards to security.

What Did I Learn?

Hmmm...well not much aside from sometimes shoots don't always go as planned, but I am satisfied with what I did get.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Going Home

On October 1 -2, 2011, the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk was held.  The first Photowalk I participated in was back in July 2009 and I signed up for the Paso Robles Group.  Last year I participated in a local Photowalk on the Downtown streets of Bakersfield.  So this year I signed up for the walk that was held in Downtown Los Angeles.  There were 1,116 Photowalk organized with over 28, 041 walkers participating.

 Growing up 20 minutes from Los Angeles, I wanted to photograph a city I visited often and also (here's the real reason) photograph some models at Los Angeles Union Station and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.  More in another post.

I coerced Brian and Rob to join me on the walk and even two photographers that I met on FLICKR.  We had to leave Bakersfield by 5:00 AM so we could make the drive and save some time to eat at my favorite "Big Bang for Your Buck" eatery, Philippes. Phillippe's is known for their Beef Dip sandwich, but they also serve breakfast.  The walk began at 8:00 AM and started down Olvera Street and since we would be doing a lot of walking, I wanted to travel light, so I brought my Olympus PEN e-PL1 with the 20mm f/1.7 lens.

 The shopkeepers were busy opening up their stands and the restaurant cooks were prepping food.  After we finished walking up and down Olvera Street, we then headed towards Union Station and boarded the Metro Link for a brieft one stop trip to China Town.  We walked through the shops and malls of China Town, but were told many times, "No Pictures".  So I basically tried shooting from the hip and did a real lousy job, but at least I've got a new challenge: "Learn To Shoot from the Hip."

The walk ended at 10:00 PM, so we hung out on Olvera Street with our two new friends,  Lynn and Sharon ( who happen to be sisters that grew up in the San Fernando Valley the same time as I did), until lunch time. We then headed back to Philippe's for Beef-dipped sandwiches with our Model in tow.

Was it a great Photowalk?  Not really, but it was definitely a change from Bakersfield and the diversity of people is always energizing to me.

What did I Learn?
  • Order an extra drink at Philippe's -  because the glasses are only 8 ounces and served half full of ice.
  • Get Blue Cheese with your Beef Dip - Much better than the regular sliced cheese
  • Carry Cash - Philippe's only takes Cash