. . . Because every picture has a story to tell.
Thank you for visiting. I think you will find my blog posts as varied as my photographic and personal interests--a few of which I hope also appeal you. - Tammy Russell-Rice CPP

Monday, August 8, 2016

Las Vegas Son Cody Miller Mines Bronze in Rio De Janeiro!

World Class Breaststroke Swimmer and Nice Guy Cody Miller
Last night, Cody Miller realized a life-long dream, he is now an Olympic Medalist! Swimming the 100-Meter Breastroke in Rio De Janeiro as a member of Team USA, Cody dug deep and pulled out a Bronze at the games of the 2016 Summer Olympiad. No small feat considering his competition included Britain's Adam Peaty who was favored to win, and his own teammate Kevin Cordes who also was favored to metal--leaving Cody as a bit of an underdog going into the Finals. In fact, Peaty would take the Gold setting a new World Record in the process (57.13). Although, it would be Miller (58.87) who solely represented Team USA on the podium.

Prior to heading to Rio, Cody's mother, Debbie Miller, summed up his talent best: "I think you are born a breaststroker." However, that's not to say that Cody's road to Rio was an easy one. He also was born with Pectus Excavatum a condition that causes the ribs and sternum to grow abnormally resulting in a diminished lung capacity and consequences for the heart. His doctors suggested that swimming might help counteract the progression of the disorder. Regardless, his mom wanted Cody to learn to swim as she saw it as a life skill--one she did not possess growing up.

Working in his favor on all fronts, Cody was always comfortable in the water. He started competitive swimming at the age of eight. Shortly thereafter, Debbie Miller moved Cody and his little sister Catie (also an accomplished swimmer) to Las Vegas. It was here that with hard work he excelled as a member of the Sandpipers of Nevada until he graduated high school. He would go on to swim for Indiana University becoming an 8-Time All-American, hold eight Big Ten titles, and set several records in the Big Ten Conference. Today, Cody is a member of the US National Team and holds the American record for the fastest times in both 100M and 200M Breaststroke.

To say that Cody is the very model of a Champion who has overcome great odds is an understatement. He is a nice guy too. And, I, for one, love to see the underdog finish on top!

Congratulations to Team Miller!

- Tammy

Friday, July 1, 2016

Archie - An Unlikely "American Hero"

Upon meeting Archie for the first time, I had no doubt he was the real deal. His gaze did not miss a thing as he surveyed the room, yet he always had at least one ear finely tuned to his partner in crime, Officer Sean Malia.

This partnership, however, almost never was as Archie, formerly British Military, was diagnosed in late 2010 (shortly after being brought to the United States) with heartworm disease. Fortunately for all of us, with proper treatment and conditioning, he made a full recovery. In 2011 at 3-years of age, Archie, a Belgian Malinois (Mal-in-waa) began the intensive training of an American police dog. And, as they say, the rest is history.

From the moment they were paired together, Archie and Officer Malia have excelled at every aspect of their work on the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Often working with SWAT, this dynamic duo leaves no stone unturned--finding criminals (my words not Officer Malia's) when more traditional methods fail.

Pictured L to R: SSKC Chair Sandy Brannum, Archie,
Officer Sean Malia and SSKC Member Judy Shoup.
While not at liberty to share particulars about their successes on the streets of LV, when the pair did have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills last year at the K-9 Trials in Riverside, the performance spoke volumes. Archie and Officer Malia took 5th Place in "Evidence Search" and placed 3rd overall out of 63 top police dog teams.

Officer Malia and Archie are just one team out of 20-some serving the greater Las Vegas area. When it came to the attention of the Silver State Kennel Club's Canine Giving Committee that these civil servants did not have safety shields, its members stepped up and donated $4,000 to Friends of the Las Vegas Police K9s to purchase four state-of-the-art shields.

Today, more than ever, heros like Archie need our support. So, this 4th of July, I thought it only fitting to focus on these highly trained professionals and unsung American Heros: our K-9 Cops and their human counterparts, and otherwise pay tribute to them for all they do to protect and serve. You may too by giving them a LIKE on Facebook.

Happy 4th of July to ALL!

- Tammy

P.S. - I thought Archie should get a red cape to go with his new shield, but Officer Malia assured me that he flies just fine without one.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Selling Sexy

How's that saying go? The only constant is change? This certainly has been true of my photography business since I began in 2003--back in the darkroom days.

Some of you will even recall a time when my specialty was boudoir photography. I went so far as to even create a separate brand for the genre (see LOVE stamp logo above). At the time, the letyoursexyout.com website was the perfect showcase for the sexy side of TRR Photography and allowed me to keep this imagery separate from my more G-rated work. It also kept my male executive clients from getting into trouble at work when attempting to view their professional headshot galleries. lol

While Let Your Sexy Out (LYSO) once served a beneficial function within my photography business, that time has passed. In fact, just earlier today, I permanently removed what had remained of Let Your Sexy Out in the form of the WordPress blog (by the same name) from the world wide web.

Actual Client in Promo Image for Let Your Sexy Out - The Sexy Side of TRR Photography
Thus, I am now offering letyoursexyout.com for sale--and not necessarily to a photographer. LYSO could also be put to good use by a boutique lingerie shop owner, adult novelty retailer, or the like. So, while my business model has changed, I hope to see this domain name take on a new life apart from TRR Photography. After all, change can be sexy too.

- Tammy

For more information on how to acquire Let Your Sexy Out, the domain, please feel free to contact me. Terms are negotiable.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Meet A Real-Life "Rosie The Riveter"

Before she walked into my studio, I knew Carmella Wood was a special lady. While affectionately known as Aunt Millie to many, she is actually best know as a real-life Rosie The Riveter. Rosies, as they are collectively called, are women who worked factory jobs during World War II and bolstered the war effort, and subsequently the role of women in American society.

Even before she ever was a Rosie, Carmella already had a strong sense of self. As the eldest of five, she grew up helping others and believed in her abilities. When WWII broke out, Carmella knew she wanted to do her part and serve her country. As a women, she could not enlist, so she did the next best thing. She went to work on the home front. Armed with a power riveting gun, Carmella worked over the next two years on three configurations of the Corsair bombers in East Hartford, Conn. not unlike the Rosie character first mentioned in a 1942 tune:

"She's making history, working for victory..."

Today, at the age of 93, Carmella is still going strong! And in more ways than one, she is the very picture of a model Rosie.

Carmella Wood proudly wears her Rosie The Riveter attire everywhere she goes,
creating smiles and new friends along the way.
Inspired, her nephew approached me about photographing Carmella and otherwise recreating the Rosie character from the now iconic poster. Always up for a challenge myself, I agreed to the session. And, once I looked Carmella in the eye and shook her hand, I knew we could do it!     

While the true story of Rosie isn't about any one woman, Carmella Wood will forever be Rosie The Riveter to me. And, she can be your favorite Rosie too. Like her Facebook page and like an American Hero!

- Tammy

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Super Bloom 2016 - A super experience

Desert Gold makes up the majority of the Super Bloom display in Death Valley, CA.
I missed the last so-called Super Bloom in 2005, so I was bent upon getting to Death Valley to experience this one. Anticipated for months (as the result of rains received this past October), I am here to tell you that the 2016 Super Bloom is living up to its name.

While there are several different species of wildflowers present (some harder to spot than others like Purple Mat which grows close to the ground), the most notable is Desert Gold (shown here) which blankets most of the valley. Rising out of the desert floor up to three-feet, it also is the easiest photograph. And I found the best spreads lie at the southern end of Badwater Road. However, if you venture that far south into the park, be advised that a road closure will require you to go back the way you came. So, plan for the extra time required to exit the park, or at least get back to Badwater Basin (282 ft below sea level). For in the desert, amenities are scarce--need I say more?

This also could be a good time to take in some of the other sites in Death Valley, including the Devil's Golf Course (the salty remains of Death Valley's last lake) and, one of my personal favorites, Artists Palette (an amalgamation of colorful minerals on display in the rock).

While more flowers presently are blooming everyday, I was reminded that as living things they are susceptible to heat and wind--both of which can cut the blooming season short, especially here. So, if you want to witness Death Valley in full living color as I did, don't delay. Pack your camera and go!

- Tammy

Before you plan your trip out, visit: nps.gov/deva/learn/nature/wildflower-update-2016.htm

Thursday, September 10, 2015

See The Difference

See The Difference a Professional Photographer Can Make for YOU! Actual Client: Amy Lubawy
"The Drape" is dead.

As the mother of a recent high school graduate, I know firsthand just how much has changed since I was a senior sitting on a posing stool in the one-size-fits-all for girls simply called, the drape. However, some things do not change. Hippie attire apparently is still IN--who knew? And while taking pictures is more popular than ever, selfies are not portraits.

"Selfies" may have become this generation's normal (fad), but let's face it, selfies are rarely flattering. The lens distortion alone turns most people into caricatures of themselves. Not exactly the look that teens, especially young ladies, want to show-off beyond Snapchat.

If anything, today's high school seniors are very image conscious (probably due to all those bad selfies). And, this is where the professional photographer comes into the picture. After all, when her iPhone acts up, she goes to the Genius Bar for results. When she decides to go ombre, she's not asking her BFF to give her a color and cut--she's going to see a pro!  

My real challenge as a certified professional photographer is educating my senior clients to See The Difference in photography too!

Because while some things inevitably change about being a senior in high school, quality never goes out of style. Go pro and show the world who you really are!

- Tammy
Now booking senior sessions for the Class of 2016!
Text me at 702-308-2671 before November 1st and

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Queen of Seventynineville Merits!

At this time last year, I was in Atlanta observing International Print Competition (IPC) with the hope of gleaning the insight needed to take my photography to the next level, specifically exhibition merit level! As the Queen of Seventynineville for several years running, I was ready to quit.

In print competition, 80 is a magic number. Ideally, the goal is to go even higher, but a score of 80-84 is considered to be "National Merit Level" and will earn you one merit toward a Masters Degree as conferred by the Professional Photographers of America. Images are judged against the 12 Elements of a Merit Image aka the Gold Standard. These include Impact, Technical Excellence and Creativity to name the top three. Story Telling, while listed at number 12, may well be one of the most important as evidenced by judges' comments, especially when an image is challenged. In such a case, a good story can be the saving grace of an image. I, personally, observed judges collectively over-look technical flaws (especially on a composite image) when it conveyed a good story.

Armed with the experience of observing the process firsthand, past failures and receiving feedback from more than one mentor, I entered print competition this year with the goal of finally getting that first merit. And as you can see here, I succeeded in my quest. In fact, I received not one but THREE merits this week in International Print Competition! All three portraits* will be on display at Imaging USA in Atlanta come January as part of the General Collection--that's what I call a happy ending!

In the meantime, I've got a tiara for sale.

- Cheers! Tammy

* IPC limits a "case" to four image submissions.

With my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the following talented women for their support of my quest: Master Photographer Sue Altenburg (NV), Photographer Kate Caudillo (TX), and Photographer Nancy Green (MA).