End of Summer Thoughts

Hello TLBP Readers!

With Labor Day Weekend in my rearview mirror, I am wondering, “Just where the heck did summer go?” Seems like just yesterday I was blazing across eastern Montana on a TLBP “pre-Memorial Day Weekend photo spree”. I shot in Billings, Miles City, Sidney & Poplar and on Friday afternoon found myself racing to Fort Peck Reservoir to meet my husband, his two brothers and all seven Vermillion kiddos for a wild and wooly camping trip at Downstream Campground. (I am planning on doing a post on this terrific trip.) Boy, do I wish it were still May.

TLBP - Fort Peck

Photography by Lynn Donaldson

Summer was a blur of assignments for me. I don’t think I’ve ever racked up so many miles and days of shooting between June and September. Good for the pocketbook; bad for the social calendar and family. As a freelancer, I always feel like a farmer in the warm months; I gotta make hay while the sun shines!

Here are a few things I’ve been meaning to share:
Check out this super cool post – A Photo Editor – on one of my favorite photo biz blogs by Suzanne Sease, my fairy godmother/photo consultant. Suzanne showcases photographers’ personal projects, and these portraits by Dave Moser are fantastic. The interview and his answers are as good as his images.

I recently had the honor of photographing writer Sarah Vowell, a Bozeman High grad and friend of mine from MSU, for a magazine. For inspiration, I combed through images of Joan Didion and came across these shots of her (taken by Julian Wasser for a Time profile) looking young and glamorous in Hollywood. I used to spot Didion’s bony frame and giant sunglasses pretty regularly near where I lived on the Upper East Side of New York. She’s so very talented and so very cool—as is Vowell. Each has her own distinct voice, but they’re two of my favorite non-fiction writers.

The day before I photographed Sarah, I had a New York Times assignment to shoot Anna Sale (host of WNYC’s Death, Sex & Money). I’m a longtime fan and re-listened to this exceptional, heartbreaking yet inspiring podcast, which features some of the best advice I’ve ever heard on love.

For ‘Back to School’ we bought each of our kids a Gizmo Pal (a watch/GPS/phone that can call two numbers) by Verizon. They love them, and I can’t recommend them enough. I truly believe it helps keep them safe—not only in town, but here in the country as well. We have rattlesnakes, mountain lions and horses out here, and our kids are always playing outside or walking down our driveway to visit their cousins.)

I keep thinking about this Rolling Stone essay on Donald Trump. Especially this sentence: “When a politician says dumb thing X, it normally takes ‘Murica about two days to start flirting around publicly with X + way worse.

My awesome Aunt Lila, my mom’s only sister, passed away a week ago today at the age of 81. She lived in Big Timber with her husband Rick Letz and was quite a character—a feisty Montana gal who loved good food, good friends, family, and road trips. I sure am going to miss her.

One of my favorite bloggers, Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom, turned me onto It’s Not Worth It. I connect with it because I shoot for ad agencies, but it truly applies to any career. Heavy stuff but definitely worth reading.

While part of me wishes I were still at Downstream Campground picking ticks off the scalps of the little Vermin (Downstream is notorious for ticks) ….I am excited about fall. We have a lot of fun stuff in store on TLBP in the next few months. I hope you had a happy, Montana-adventure filled Labor Day weekend and thanks for checking in.

All the Best,

TLBP - Fort Peck


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