Monday, December 27, 2010

Beach holiday

The TCM tour ended back in Atlanta which coincidentally is only about five hours away from my Mom's new home in Florida so I decided to decompress from tour by visiting Mom & the beach. 

I lived about four blocks from the beach in St Petersburg, FL for over two years prior to moving to Texas and I miss it a lot - sort of like the way you miss an old flame.  Although I'd planned only to stay for a few days on this trip, once I got there I realized how much I'd missed both Mom & the beach and called the airline to extend my stay.  I also made plans to come back for the holidays...  


St Augustine running south into Flagler is such an incredible stretch of beach, relatively free of noise and people save for the repetitive rhythm of the waves crashing on the shore.

It was so invigorating to wake to that amazing sound every day...


This stretch is So desolate, in fact, that at times it almost took on the appearance of some sort of beautiful post-apocolyptic fairy tale land - At least in my mind & lens... 


Several mornings I went for a run down the beach and never saw a single person (except for my own shadow)...

(My apologies for the phone chirp at the beginning of this one.)

I found this awesome little abandoned dome home as well.  It appeared that the ocean essentially just decided to take the property back, as evidenced by the lack of a road to get to it  

though I can't say for certain. 
Whatever happened to precipitate it's current condition, I can imagine that once upon a time it must have been a fantastic little home by the sea for someone...

I was also lucky enough to be staying just down the street from Sculpture Artist, Paul Baliker.  


Paul and his Mom, Joan Baliker, own this incredible beach studio.  When I walked up, he was putting some finishing touches on this massive piece with a chainsaw, which, he said, he just sold to someone halfway around the world. Figuring out how to move it, he said, was going to be another project entirely...   


He calls it, "A Matter of Time."  My Mom had given me a beautiful framed photograph of it for Christmas but to see it in person was pretty incredible.  It's size alone is impressive....And the detail - right down to a tiny teardrop falling from the eye of the figure in the middle, is nothing short of magnificent.  I can't imagine how it must feel to let go of something you put so much time and energy into but it's all part of the creative process i suppose.  In the end, I'm sure wherever it ends up, it will astound everyone who sees it the way it did me.   

We talked for awhile about making a living in the creative realm;  How he started carving images into wood he found on the beach many years ago and selling it to whomever he could wherever he could and how he'd built his career and his studio literally piece by piece.
It was inspiring.  I'd been feeling a little shaky about my own future still being the new kid in town and I was reminded that imagination & vision mixed with a little persistence & perseverance, can pay off - with a little patience.


Finally, due to distance and a number of other factors, this was the first holiday I'd spent at my Mom's in a number of years and it was a feeling I haven't felt in a long time.  A really good one.  Safe.  Loved.  
Thanks, Mom.  This was a good one.  <3 

Happy Holidays to you and yours!!

See you in 2011!!  :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Turner Classic Movies "History of Hollywood" Tour

Busy Busy Busy.  

Back in Austin for just a little over a month and back out on the road again.  This time I have the pleasure of managing and photographing a fantastic tour for Turner Classic Movies called, "The History of Hollywood - Movies & Moguls" Tour.  Aesthetically it looks amazing, having been designed by the Image Management team at Turner.  It even comes complete with branded trucks featuring the revamped version of the old HOLLYWOOD sign (which incidentally we learned, used to read "HOLLYWOODLAND)."   

Promoting the seven part documentary series on TCM of the same name, we're set to visit five cities over the course of eight weeks - Atlanta, NYC, Denver, San Fran, & L.A.

I should finally reach Holiday Inn Priority Club gold level by the end of this one.  Yaaay!
(It's the little things that count.)

So far it's been fantastic and setting up at Grand Central Station in NYC in the middle of the night while it was empty was definitely one of those once in a lifetime experiences I'll always remember.


The acoustics in there were so phenomenal and I couldn't help but to sing a song. ;) 

We're also displaying some pretty incredible vintage movie relics including the Oscar from Casablanca (which incidentally is VERY heavy), Marilyn Monroe's red jacket from Niagara (which, despite her buxomy look, is extremely tiny), and the famous blue (now grey from fading) dress from Gone With the Wind (which was rented out as a Halloween costume for many many years after the film).  I get to dress the mannequins each day, with assistance (and security, of course), and thanks to some rather avid visitors who truly LOVE 'Gone with the Wind,' I now understand the true meaning of the term 'fanatic.'  After many years of managing these types of events, I still find people on occasion who fascinate and astound me.  They're the ones who keep things interesting. ;)  

Anyway, I should be back just in time for the holidays.

Happy trails as always! 


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Website revamp!

So I'm working on a total website overhaul as my work has progressed significantly since the Sasha Rae Photo website was initially created. I appreciate your patience as I sit at coffee shops throughout Austin sifting thru the thousands of pix I've taken over the years to choose & edit the bests of the bests, in addition to (still) sorting thru the hundreds of pix I took over the summer on the Lilith Tour.  In the meantime, my current work is here:

I've been shooting lots of fun stuff lately, including my recent trip to NYC where, among other things, I was lucky enough to be able to assist my friend, Photographer David Bergman at a Jets game at the New Meadowlands Stadium in NJ for Sports Illustrated.

It was awesome being on the sidelines (minus getting hit in the head by a cheerleader's pom pom;) and meeting so many amazing veteran Photogs.

In addition to his work with Sports Illustrated, David is Jon Bon Jovi's tour Photographer and also runs TourPhotographer.Com, an awesome site allowing fans to purchase high-quality licensed pix like the one below from the concerts they attend.

The "F Stoppers" recently made a fantastic 10 min video documenting David's fun life as a music & sports Photographer.  Check it out here: F Stoppers / David Bergman

Equally as interesting was my introduction through my old friend, fellow Photographer Aaron Edwards, to the Bushwick Boat -

A ship docked in a canal in Brooklyn currently being used as a residence for nine people.

I've seen some cool houses and lofts over the years but this was most definitely the most unique living situation I've ever encountered.

Check out the rest of the Bushwick boat pix HERE.

I was also fortunate enough to be able to shoot Brooklyn band, The 45 Adapters.

Great band and a great bunch of guys too!

Uber thanks to Dave for the guided tour of Brooklyn on day 1 and to Dave, Amanda, Rachel, and my long lost GodFather "Uncle Flip," for the great hospitality.

Last but certainly not least, this post is dedicated to "Guruth."  In the very short time I got to spend with her, she was truly one of the most amazing human beings I've maybe ever met.  I can only hope in the end to have had a life even a smidgen as magical as hers was.  I'm sure she will be missed by so many but she is back with the stars where she truly belongs.  ♥

Until next time NY...

Much Love as always... <3

-Sasha Rae
(The Artist formerly known as Shanna)

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lilith Tour

So I was fortunate enough to be able to spend the summer on tour w/ Lilith.  It was such an amazing experience.  It's been a bit crazy trying to catch up with life since I've been back and I'm just now really starting to be able to dive into the hundreds of images I took. Rather than post them all at once, I thought I would just start posting some of my favorites (along with a few great memories to go along with them).

Thanks to the EVERYONE on the Lilith tour for making this one of my best summers ever!

You can find all my Lilith pix (which I will be updating regularly) at:

Here's a few of my faves:

Sarah, aka "The Boss" ;)

Erykah Badu, who I was fortunate enough to be able to meet and share a very brief conversation with.
I met Lots of great musicians on this tour and shared lots of great conversations but I think everyone, even the biggest artist, has that one musician or artist they're just kind of ga-ga over.  I'm a huge fan of Erykah's and actually even cover one of her songs with my band here in Austin, Hot Sauce ATX (Oops, personal plug;), so meeting her was definitely super cool for me!

So, I had never heard Grace Potter & the Nocturnals before this tour but they came out like a bolt of lightning, snapping everyone within earshot of the "B Stage" to attention and gathering such an enormous crowd in every city that she was eventually moved to the main stage. Holy Moly, i can't say enough about her and her band.  They were phenomenal.  I guarantee they are destined for more big things.  If you haven't heard them, give a listen or better yet, catch them live somewhere.  They'll rock your pants.

Each night during the finale,' Sarah would bring all the Artists of the day up onto the stage to join her in an ever changing version of the classic "Because the Night."  On this night, she was joined by, among others, The Bangles, (who also put on a great show of their own, of course) and all eyes were on them.

Lastly, here's a fun one I made of our bus (Bus 8!).  Special shout out to Pema for the decorations. ;)

Thanks to everyone who kept up with me and my travels via facebook.  It was nice to feel the love and support on those long crazy days!

More pix coming soon!

See all Lilith Tour pix at:


(aka - 'Sasha Rae')

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sat. 3/20/10

Sat. SXSW -  The fun continues...

I roll into town just in time to get in line for the Black Keys, get a wristband, and get back down the street to catch "The Tenant" from Orlando, FL at Side Bar, per Joran's request. Dig it. I get some great, sort of intimate-looking shots with the filtered light coming in through the front window,
enjoy the gritty chill vibe, and then literally hop, skip, and jump back in the hopes of weaseling my way up to the front for the Black Keys.

The Mohawk is PACKED, of course, and they won't allow anymore Photographers into the little press area so I'm forced to fend for myself and I politely ask a short girl if I can borrow the chair she's standing on to grab a couple shots from above. She agrees but I realize the shots are crap and well, screw it, I love this band and I'm done being polite to all these out-of-towners who have not always been polite to ME this week. I decide to do it A-Hole style, throw my camera with it's visible press pass up on my shoulder and do the "excuse me, excuse me, I'm with the press" shuffle until I finagle my way right up to the front, pissing off several people who've clearly worked really hard to garner and maintain their positioning up front.  I know this because I hear them bitching in between songs as one of them fires up a smoke and blows it directly at my camera.  I honestly don't blame her and normally I wouldn't do this for a band like this but hey man, I had another band to shoot up the street and I didn't have the liberty of standing here for an hour holding my spot before they went on. So there.

Ok, now I feel better...

Anyway, so the Black Keys blow my face off completely. I am standing no more than four feet from guitarist-vocalist Dan Auerbach but you'd think he was in a room by himself; eyes closed, gripping his guitar like a woman he's clearly shared a tumultuous relationship with for a LONG time. He beats her and he...well, let's just say my brain was toying with ways to meet him after the show and I'm not even like that (For the record, there was a ring on his finger anyway.). I actually hear myself talking to my camera under my breath, going, "Oh yes, right there - Yeah, Oh Yeah - Give it to me."

This is by far the high point of SXSW for me.

By the time they finish, I feel like I need a cigarette and a cuddle so I meet back up with friends and eventually Joran at Habana Calle for 'Visqueen.'

I can tell almost as soon as we enter that Visqueen is from Seattle by the crowd of dark clothing and detached "nothing can impress me" faces, but Singer, Rachel Flotard cracks jokes in between songs and lightens them up a bit.
They're good and it's nice to see a chick so confidently rocking lead guitar and vocal but again, it's really not my thing so I grab my shots and head back over to Light Bar only to be distracted by the goings on at the Red Bull Thre3 Style Party featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff (Yes, Fresh Prince DJ Jazzy Jeff) for a few minutes but the cold and the surly crowd put a damper on it quickly.

Fortunately, Joran appears along with his cabbie and we head FAR east for "The Mantels" from San Fran at Club 1808.

Anyone who's spent any time in Austin will tell you that the east side crowd is quirky, hip, and often very young, and this was definitely no exception. At least there's good lighting. We are out in no less than twenty minutes, sending Joran with hugs back to the hotel to pack for the trip back to Tampa in the a.m.

Scott and I make it to the "You Make Me Function" Detroit techno party at the Hogg Building, two levels of various rooms with dj's, vodka, and energy drinks. We dance the night away trying to ignore the crowd which becomes increasingly douchy after 2 a.m.
The music is great though until we realize all of Scott's friends have left and he can't leave me for more than two minutes without some collared shirt sleazing up next to me, so we follow suit, head out of town and fall into respective comas until almost 4pm the next day...


Thank you to everyone who made it great, but most especially to Creative Loafing, for giving me a badge and trusting that I'd get some great pix!  It was truly an awesome experience!!

See all my 'South By' pix here:

See you next year!! :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

SXSW Day 3 - Friday

I totally miss Fanfarlo yet again, along with another band I've been assigned to cover for CL because sleep has become increasingly scarce.  Fortuntely, they're playing again tomorrow.  Unfortunately, due to continuous running around like a chicken with no head and a small cold at the beginning of the week, I have lost my voice.  Naturally, this is also the day my friend and I are playing host to a trio of Brits (Meat Katie, Kid Blue, & friends) who've come in to spin at various electronic parties.  The no voice thing makes me sound a bit like Marlon Brando choking on glass in a library but I try my best to just keep nodding and smiling, knowing that come night fall, it won't matter anymore so long as I can still shake my can.

Lunch at Iron Cactus begins the day with the tastiest spicy broccoli ever, then we meander with the Brits over to the swanky Shangri-La on the east side.  Sugar Sugar Sugar

lays down some uber-heavy, melodic, Sabbathy, White Stripes-ish strangeness.  A husky voice which sounds, oddly enough, like mine at the moment, growls out from a 'Cousin It' looking hesh in the front.  The drummer is a smokin hot mess of sticks with a saucy red flower in her hair to match her red kit and lipstick.  I make fun of them a little bit, mostly just because it's just too damn early for my fuddy-duddy brain to handle such noise.  My prog-rock friend, Skippy however, loves them enough not only to buy a disc but also to buy me a t-shirt as a joke which I will later wear to bed if I ever find one..

Next up is Emo's, outside stage, since once again, the whole max capacity thing prevents us from getting anywhere near Neon Indian on the inside.  Japandroids, a two man wall of sound, start off their set by yelling "We're gonna tear shit up!" (or something along those lines).  The Singer/Guitarist stands on the drum riser slamming into his guitar Who-style, and otherwise goes bananas, perhaps to compensate for the fact that the actual music itself really isn't all that, but hey, maybe i'm just getting grumpy and critical from the lack of proper sleep.

My good friend Matt's band Quiet Company, who I genuinely love and even have a little cameo spot in the back of their video for "On Modern Men," has played three times during South By, including a showcase, and I've not been able to catch any of them so after he texts me to say that they are on the east-side (as am I), I exchange friends and make what turns out to be about a fifteen block trek only to find they played a short set and I've missed them yet again, dangit.

For the first time since moving to Austin, my tired, sick body demands a pedi-cab ride back downtown to Club Deville; that is, until we get up to 6th St, at which point my friend leans over and says "You know we've lost all our street cred by staying in here," and we tell the guy to let us off early.

After enjoying a much needed "Stray Dog" at the Hot Dog King, I catch Tan Lines at Club Deville, an experimental pop duo out of Brooklyn.
The singer says, "You won't hear music like this anywhere else at South By."  He's right. 
It's cool but not really my thing so I bail and realize as I pass Stubb's that Muse is playing tonight not tomorrow.  Amazingly I'm inside within 15 minutes and though cams aren't allowed in the front half of the venue (just for Muse), the tail end of the show is an amazing array of epic arena rock with an entire venue singing along loudly.
I make a little gay friend in line and he offers to 'smoke me out' in his car after the show but seeing as how I haven't partaken in those sorts of festivities in about a decade, I pass and head for Shakespeare's Pub where once again, I amazingly only wait about 15 minutes (thank you Creative Loafing for the badge!) and score a spot dead center right next to the stage.

I may have mentioned, I got hooked on Fanfarlo off and have been addicted to their happy, infectious pop ever since.  The singer sounds uncannily like David Byrne of the Talking Heads so for some reason, I'm expecting someone older but he's just a kid.  A very talented kid with a Fanfarlo-astic band behind him.

This show is the highlight of my night.  I dance hard to "Luna," the last song of their set and then hobble my broken carriage back east across the 6th St gutter mayhem to The Independent, where my friend, Scott says "Daedelus is Killin It." 
"It" turns out to be this insane sort of thrashing techno.  I'm told he started with dub-step and lo-fi doo-wop and then worked his way up to the thrashing point but never the matter cuz I hit the wall about two hours ago and this is more than my brain can stand. 

Walk back across 6th, find my bike amongst the insanity of drunk people, half eaten pizza slices, and general mayhem.  Ride to the car, go home, soak, pass-out, rinse, and repeat again tomorrow if I can get out of bed...

Sasha Rae

See all Sasha Rae Photo SXSW pix here:


Shooting SXSW Day 2 - Thurs. 3/18/10

Day 2 SXSW

Three strikes and I finally get to see a band.  After a much too long first night at 'South By,' I get a late start and spend the first part of the day riding my big brown old school Dyno cruiser all over town only to find lines much too long to actually get into anything. 

First attempt and biggest disappointment was 'Fanfarlo'
at the Ghost Room, the Talking Heads sounding band I first discovered on (the greatest music site next to Pandora). 
On a positive note though, as I pulled up to the front, I approached the first approachable person I saw and Said, "Did I miss them?!" to which he replied, "Yeah, we're done," to which I replied, "Wait...You ARE Fanfarlo?" 
Indeed, he was the horn player and a very nice guy, to boot, so of course I gave him my card and told him to look me up.  *Smile*

Second try was Sharon Jones and the Dap KingsThe Mohawk was filled to capacity but I could hear her whaling from outside as I stood sweating and cursing the extraordinarily long line and the long bike ride I had just made with a camera bag that was starting to feel like a bowling ball slung over my shoulder (parking is not even a possibility).  I've heard from several musician friends that she puts on a show like no other and judging by the crowd noise and the excitement emanating from the people in the upper level visible from the street, I'd say they were right. 
O-well....maybe next time.

Back on the bike to traverse across town yet again, this time to Mellow Johnny's bike shop to find yet another line wrapped around the building.  I decide to wait this one out though and am rewarded with a sleepy, blue-eyed California mellow trip from Rogue Wave,  including the song "Lake Michigan," which I recognize also off  I realize this is the first time I've stopped moving and exhaled possibly in several days.  It's quite nice. 

Knowing these lines though, I leave early to get up north to Urban Outfitters where I find myself wading through a veritable sea of young people who look like they've just finished shopping there.  Washed Out takes the stage promptly at 6:10.  'Washed Out' is one guy.  One super smiley, sweaty, happy guy; Part DJ, part Singer, and all fantastic.

Immediately following his set, he is joined by the rest of his band mates and quickly transforms into "Mexican Summer."  They sweat and bump their way through their set and by the end, even the most jaded and cynical hipsters are smiling and bobbing their heads. 
Very impressive.  Now a quick run home to change clothes for 'STP' tonight.

*One hour later*

So the plan was to shoot Stone Temple Pilots, however, as it turns out, no cams are allowed unless you're on the list.  The list has two people on it and I'm not one of them.  Neither is CL writer, Joran, so I offer to swing by the venue anyway to pick up his video camera so he can at least go inside and see the show but when I get to the corner near the venue, he just jumps in the car and says, "Eh, screw that place.  Let's go hit Stubb's and catch Band of Horses and Local Natives."
I'm already booked to go catch a drink and enjoy some peace for a second with a friend who lives in one of those downtown condos everyone's always bitching about, which I have to admit is Quite nice (concrete floors, floor to ceiling glass door/window out to the balcony overlooking two beautiful pools below and an amazing view of the entire city.
Sorry.  I get the complaints but it was gorgeous), so I drop Joran at the corner and tell him I'll meet him there soon.

Two vodka ginger ale's later, I've lucked into a killer downtown parking spot in his garage and I'm off again on the bike to Stubb's.  Being sadly out of touch, I'm unfamiliar with Local Natives
but they knock my socks off with their 'making love to their instruments, totally "in it"' performance and like many times throughout the festival, I find myself thinking that if I didn't have somewhere else to be, I'd gladly catch the whole set.  However, I'm off to meet friends for afterhours electronica to destroy my immune system some more...
Peace out.

See all SXSW pix here:

Creative Loafing SXSW blog where some of my SXSW pix are being published

Wading through the biggest mess of Photogs I've ever seen, Austinites, 'Spoon' took the Stubb's stage at around 12:30, playing to a packed house of head bobbing hipsters from all over the country and the world (I'm hearing so many different accents this week, I almost feel like I've traveled to some distant place).  Their live sound, amazingly, is just as thrilling as their recordings and despite getting constantly bumped, I managed to get some nice shots out of it.

See all SXSW Sasha Rae Photo pix at:

See 'Creative Loafing SXSW blog featuring some of my pix at:

Tomorrow promises to be pure mayhem...

Catch ya on the flipside,

-Sasha Rae

Sunday, March 21, 2010

So I've been shooting SXSW on behalf of 'Creative Loafing' - Tampa, FL, my old alma mater and I've been journaling my experiences, starting w/ Wednesday, 3/17/10 here...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Website up & rockin

So Eddie's finishing the website as we speak and I am STOKED!
It looks SOO Awesome and if you don't know Eddie, he's the most spectacular Photog and Graphic Designer ever:

Seriously, his photography is so startlingly brilliant in it's simplicity. It has this pervasive theme of solitude playing with light and shadow. Stunning. For real. LoVe lOvE Love his work.

So, this is the first official Sasha Rae Photo blog to accompany the new site with many more to come, i'm sure!

Love & Light!