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An award, a show, my book and the day before my photo retreat

July and August were lovely and terrifying. While my work was being recognized with Photo Independent in July, I was preparing for the 20th Anniversary of my annual photo retreat, Zoe Fest. I had also entered my first contest, the famed and prestigious PX3 Paris Photo Prize, and this month they announced I won Gold in the fine art category. So honored happy and jubilant about that. Thank you jurors!

Today, I write to my blog from The Big Island of Hawaii after a week long recovery of swimming pools, massage, and general Aloha wellness after having brain surgery on August 10th. What a trip. On August 3, after doing my virtual shows with Photo Independent, I went in for a routine eye exam to make sure my prescription was correct. I always get retinal scans as the routine checkup, a) because they are beautiful and I like looking at them, and b) because they can find hidden little complications concerning not only your eye health but many other things. In my case, my optometrist saw swollen nerves. So she gave me an emergency MRI referral to the nearest emergency room and saved my life. It was discovered that I had a two inch meningioma tumor, 100% cancer free, pushing up against a major artery that would have caused a coma then death, not to mention it was pushing on my brain. I immediately called Cedars Sinai and literally got the best neurosurgeon and head of neurosurgery at Cedars to perform my craniotomy exactly one week after my eye appointment. I experienced absolutely no symptoms leading up to all this. So, dear reader, always get your retinal scans when you have your annual eye check up. I am fine thanks to my eye doctors keen eye and the good people at Cedars. It was one wild and terrifying ride, but once the surgery was done things started healing fast. I had no pain and only had to take Tylenol every so often. And now I’m sitting in Kona, Hawaii typing this while listening to the waves and thinking about ordering a Virgin Pina Colada. Dr. John Yu says I will have no life expectancy issues, it will be like it never happened. I’m starting to believe him. What an amazing doctor!

Yes, so that happened, all while designing my first monograph. I have a book deal (!!!) and I wasn’t going to let, as one of the models I work with puts it, “a stupid brain tumor,” get in my way. The design is complete and now we are into printing, tones, color (black and white of course) perfection, paper quality, book binding and all the finishing touches. In total 188 pages. I’m so excited to finally be able to announce it and send it out into the world. You will know first.

Tomorrow, I fly to Kauai to meet up with old friends and new for Zoe Fest. You can follow our snap shots here: And there is also an Instagram!

Enjoy my favorite tree in Hawaii, the shadiest most life giving, Monkeypod Tree.

Hawaiian monkeypod tree
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