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Archive for the ‘personal’ Category
January 24, 2013

New Headshot of Meeeee!

Ha ha – I finally had some pictures taken of myself. I figured that since I cut all of my hair off I should at least have a new headshot!

Here’s a screen shot from my portrait website. What do you think?

a headshot of jill carmel

June 21, 2012

wilderness horseback riding vacation | bishop, ca

Thought I’d share a little vacation that I just came back from in Bishop, CA. I did what’s called a “horse drive” where you move a large group of horses across a long distance. It was so. much. fun. I’m already trying to figure out when I can go again…ha!

We rode almost 100 miles over four days, putting in somewhere between 6-9 hrs a day in the saddle. I was in heaven!

First day at camp and we were meeting the horses. The light from the setting sun couldn’t have been prettier.

There were about 25 guests and 15 staff and we all gathered around for a sunset dinner. The food was so great from bacon and eggs for breakfast to steak and pork chops for dinner. I felt so spoiled!

One of our campsites with the sun coming up. I should get up at 5am more often.

The first horse I rode was named “Ears” because his ears are floppy. I thought he was trying to channel his inner mule…

Driving the horses on the streets. We had the right of way, so cars had to pull over for 10-15 minutes while our huge string of horses and mules passed by.

We covered some pretty large stretches of desert.

Our campsite on the third night was so pretty with a little stream running right down the middle of it. If you want to check the place out, it’s called Mill Pond Campground. Rock Creek Pack Station set up some live music for us that night for Father’s Day which was a real treat.

My second horse, Maime. I think she’s the most fun horse I’ve ever ridden. Aw, I just adore her.

We had real live cowboys on our trip, lol! They were all such gentlemen and worked extremely hard not only driving the horses, but helping all of us have an amazing experience.

This was an alpine meadow in the mountains where we had lunch and let the horses water and graze.

Back to good ‘ol Ears for the first half of the day. He’s actually got his ears up in this picture – amazing! ;)

This is a shot from the last day just a few hours before we pulled into our final stop. Can you believe this view?! I think we were up around 10,000 feet in elevation.

Here’s (almost) the whole crew from the trip. I went by myself and wasn’t sure what to expect but got to experience some of the best riding of my life and made a few really amazing friends.

If you’d like to look into taking a trip with Rock Creek Pack Station, you can check out their website HERE. They have special trips for families if you’d like to take it easy and bring the kids along. They also have wild mustang trips…might have to do that one myself next time!


June 14, 2012

a little trip

Just wanted to let you know that I’m taking a little trip for a few days. I won’t have any access to phone or email while I’m gone so we’ll be closed from Friday, June 15th – Thursday, June 21st.

I’m so excited, though! Earlier this year, I made a promise to myself that I would take at least one trip every year…alone…just to make sure I stay connected with that person called “me”, lol! So, this year, I’m going on a horse drive near Bishop, CA. It’s like a cattle drive, but instead of driving cattle, we’re driving horses (while riding horses) from one side of the mountain to the other for five days. When I called the pack station I asked the guide, “What’s the one ride you offer where you really put us to work? I don’t want any of that nose-to-tail walking stuff — I want to really get my hands dirty!” He said they had one ride like that and it was the horse drive. That’s all I needed to hear and I signed up on the spot. It should be quite an adventure! I’m taking along my trusty pocket camera, so I’ll have some photos to share when I get back.

And since a post is no fun without pictures, here’s one of a girl and her horse (seemed fitting). :)

a girl kissing her horse for her senior portraits in granite bay

May 2, 2012

my niece | los angeles newborn portraits

Hello. My name is Olivia and I am cute.

baby smiling on a moroccan bedspread in los angeles

My mommy and daddy live in a house in Silver Lake that they designed themselves. They are really good at that stuff. My sister is a French Bulldog named Ava and she already loves me even though she’s only known me for nine days.

dwell baby on a chair with black french bulldog

My mommy also really loves me and she likes to snuggle all day long. That’s okay with me because I like to snuggle, too. And nurse. A lot.

mommy kissing baby in front of luc schwab art piece

Sometimes my daddy wants to hold me, too. That’s really the only thing my parents argue about these days…who gets to hold me. I like it.

modern home with staircase and sunken dining room with mom and dan holding baby in los angelese

I think my mommy and daddy love me. Like a lot. They can’t stop looking at me. Sometimes my Auntie Jill asks them to look at her while she’s holding that big camera, but they can’t stop looking at me. That’s okay with me, though.

los angeles parents holding baby outside with turquoise frame and bouganvilla

Oh, and this is my cousin, River. She’s really cute, too. She never stops smiling. And drooling. But then she smiles some more. I like her.

cousin baby smiles for the camera in her aunt and uncles los angeles home

Okay, now my auntie gets a turn…

If you haven’t already guessed, Olivia is my brand-new niece.  You saw a sort of “sneak peek” of her from her parents’ maternity session a couple of months ago. I got to spend some time with her in LA recently and everybody is completely, head-over-heels in love with our newest family member. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of her…I’m addicted. :)

P.S. – This post features a beautiful piece of art by our good friend, Luc Schwab. He’s an incredibly talented artist based out of Monterey, CA. You can find more of his work at

March 1, 2012

lauren + adam | pregnancy portraits

I feel very lucky to be able to call these two gorgeous people my family (the handsome guy on the right is my husband’s brother, Adam). Their baby girl, is expected to arrive in April, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! She will be the first grandbaby on Drew’s side of the family, and all of the grandparents are SO excited.

Lauren and Adam came up from Los Angeles for their spring-time maternity session, and we had a lovely reception from the local blossoming almond orchard. It was the perfect backdrop for such a gorgeous couple. Isn’t Lauren just stunning?!

I love how the light comes through the fabric of her dress, showing just enough, but not too much.

Lovely light, beautiful location, awesome people. Ah, it was a good day. I can’t wait to share pictures of my new niece!