Can I get an Aloha?

February 9, 2011

Aloha from beautiful Hawaii!

We have finally settled into our new home in Keaau, on the Big Island, which is more beautiful than I can describe. My better half Bert will be finishing his PhD research here, and I’ll be cooking up photos and food as usual… and starting a new project or two 🙂

We’ve spent the past 7 weeks in transition, moving from Illinois in our teal Mazda with our kitty in tow, which makes it strange to finally settle into a more permanent home. On our way west we hit Austin, the Grand Canyon and Los Angeles, took some great photos and saw lots of friends and family. Lucia totally earned her traveling stripes along the way.

And now that we’re settling into our “normal” lives, my goal is to get this little blog hopping once again (of course this past year included many weddings, my thesis show, selling everything we own, new jobs…  “normal” is relative I suppose). As I look through the past 6 months of work, I’ve got everything from new Moweaqua work, portraits, landscapes, weddings… some killer boudoir and beauty queens… Basically I dropped the blogging ball to make this move happen!

So forgive me if the upcoming posts are out of order, but it feels good to have a space and time to think again, instead of the go-go-go rhythm of too much work, too much work, too much road-  there are too too many pictures that I’ve been waiting to share!


Herald and Review?

November 3, 2009

I have to thank Bob Holstrom for coming all the way down to Moweaqua to visit the new gallery. I met Bob while speaking at the ROMEO club of Decatur (Retired Old Men Eating Out) when I was making community appearances as Miss Illinois Galaxy 2008.  Bob has been with the Herald and Review since 1948 and has met a good story or a million in his day 🙂 I knew he was on his way to visit the Panama Canal on a cruise, so I was so glad he could fit me in to his schedule before taking such an amazing trip. 

I just found out that the write-up for the studio has been added to the Herald and Review website, and I hope to make a few corrections before the paper is published tomorrow, mostly because I won’t have a chance to clear them up otherwise.  I would hate to give anyone the wrong impression of what this is all about… The question is where do I begin?

First of all, my MFA thesis project about Moweaqua was not an assignment given by the Rural Documentary Collection. This specific program has existed at Illinois State for the past 30 years, headed by photographer Rhondal McKinney. The goal of the RDC is to document life in rural communities, the people, places and surroundings as they grow and change in an ever changing world. I chose Moweaqua not because my family has been here forever, but because I grew up here and my family has always been here. I have literally fell in love again with my hometown by photographing it.

Second of all, I don’t want to attract people to the gallery to be photographed per se. The gallery exists in order to show the work I am making concerning the people and places in Moweaqua today (and for the family portraits that I do as a studio photographer). Anyone who wants to be interviewed has my full attention regardless of the damn gallery. And to correct the quote “Photography will be my career”… photography is and has been my career for the past 8 years. I don’t teach and make work for my health. I do it because I love it.  

Also, I would like to state for the record that I was never a waitress in Brazil. Dear lord, I wish I had!  Nor do I ramble my stupid accomplishments from the past 10 years like a laundry list (by the way, I was also a wreath maker at 4-Es Christmas Trees, a jewelry girl at Von Maur and a translator at ADM… did I leave anything off my resume?). I had hoped this interview would be about the work, the town, the gallery to show the work… and in a way, it touches on those aspects. 

Finally, this work did not come to me “suddenly” as I have spent the past 6 years photographing in the Midwest. Thousands of negatives, countless hours in the car. It has been a slow, dedicated artistic process of creating a body of work that I am dedicated to with all my heart and soul, that I hope people connect with and that I hope does some good to bring light to an amazing period and place in our strange world. 

It’s not that I’m disappointed by the article, I just think it misses the point. Our conversation was about the artwork, about the community. I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea, and that’s where the artist in me loses out to the small town girl in me. I still do worry about what people will think.

And by the way Herald & Review, if you need a writer and photographer interested in the Midwest while Bob is on his cruise, I’m for hire.

It runs in the family

September 30, 2009

A huge congratulations to my cousin Andrew, whose fabulous store Bon Vivant Wines in Columbia, IL was just voted BEST WINE STORE in the St. Louis area by the Riverfront Times!

I must admit I love my wine, but Andrew’s knowledge of fine bottles and brews is incredible. He also makes great suggestions and the store is a delight to spend time in. Check it out on-line, or better yet, go visit and pick up a bottle or two!

Fine Art and Fine Wine, you might say we Traughbers have good taste!

Performance Rocks!

September 2, 2009

I am here with my Performance and Photography class. We are discussing blogging, and will be adding photos of our performances soon- look for it!

Jack and Cally’s Wedding

May 5, 2009


Congratulations to my cousin Cally and her husband Jack who were married last Saturday in Moweaqua! It was a really wonderful ceremony to witness… (I promised them only a few pics will end up being used for my Moweaqua project)  These two crazy kids are just too adorable, so much love!

A Free Woman for Now!

April 27, 2009


Year two of Grad School, done!   I fell like Chyna here, doing a little strut in the dirt and kicking back my heels…

With all this free time during the Summer  and a ton of new projects (what free time, right?) look for more frequent updates from Moweaqua and around the Midwest here on the blog! 

New Year, New Blog

January 15, 2009

On the recommendation of friends and fellow Bloggers, I’m using the New Year as an excuse to switch to This will allow me to easily categorize images and posts, and I like the look as well to be honest. I will repost some of my posts from here, and that site will stay up as well for the time being. So enjoy, leave a note, or contact me with more questions about my photography or buying prints at