Steel City USA

Happy 2020!!!!!!!!!  I hope you had an excellent holiday celebrating with family and friends over Christmas and the New Year. Many I talked to were happy to see 2019 in the rearview mirror and were looking forward to a new year of success and happiness. All I can say is every year is what you make of it and I wish you all the success in making 2020 all you need it to be.

I closed the year out by staying close to home and not doing my annual trip to Mesa, AZ to visit family for Christmas. I had come to the realization that I had not spent the holidays home in Alabama since the mid 90’s. I was always traveling to spend time with family either in Florida or Arizona. It just felt like it was time for a change. Luckily I had a few invites to spend the Christmas with friends in Alabama that did want me to the “home alone” character. I am forever grateful to those friends and to those that extended invites.

It was hard to keep up with my blog on a weekly basis in 2019 and it may not be any easier in 2020 but my plan is to carry on and as time and photographic journeys permit I will be able to offer up something worthy of your time and interest.

The last part of 2019 I was on travel the entire month of October and one of my journeys took me to the “Black and Gold” city of Pittsburgh, PA. I have a dear friend, Ms. Natalie Shugars whom I met during my days of teaching workshops and we have remained close friends. It appears that Natalie is becoming something of a pretty big deal in the area and asked if I might come up and assist her photographically with some of her promotional needs. In doing so she was able to get access to some of the very interesting areas that Pittsburgh has to offer that provided me some ample opportunities to document my visit including Pittsburghs’ very impressive skyline. The view of the city of “three rivers” was taken from the Grandview overlook on Mount Washington.

The reason for my visit was to document some activities that Natalie was to be involved in and to capture images that could be used for promotional purposes sounding her upcoming single and album release the first of 2020. Natalie is a model, spokesmodel for the city, die-hard Pittsburgh (all sports) fan, and a singer/songwriter to mention just a few things she is involved in. To say the least, a woman of many talents. During the three days I was there shooting we traveled to the Mr. Rogers museum, the historical Carrie Blast furnace, the Arnold Palmer airport, many sites around the city and attend a homecoming event at her former high school where she was being honored. We took advantage of every opportunity to capture what was offered!

Carrie Blast Furnace, which is a former blast furnace was built in 1884 aand operated by US Steel. The current site covers over 135 acres and the two remaining furnaces, 6 and 7 were designated as National Historic Landmarks in 2006. The facility is open to the public for tours and the city and county are working to make it a destination of interest.

It was an amazing place to tour and even more so to have it for a period of time as our not-so-private studio. As you can imagine it was totally my kind of outdoor studio.

I must say there is not better person to give you a tour of a city then a spokesmodel who earns part of her living promoting everything wonderful a city has to offer – sites, sounds, food and libations. To say Natalie is the best would be an understatement. I think we did not leave anything untouched.

Even though it was October, it seems like only yesterday that we were running the streets and chasing the flavors of the Steel City. One of the last things we did were some conceptual photos to go along with the promotion of Natalie’s upcoming video and single – Arcadian (Melt Away) which just dropped and can be heard at She is quite the incredible songwriter, vocalist and entertainer. I see nothing but great things ahead for this beautiful and very talented lady. Many thanks to Ms. Carrie Eckert for all of her support and assistance.

Happy Happy New Year ….. And here’s to 2020 and all the Miss-Adventures this year will have to offer. If you want to see all you have missed, just go to my web page – blog. It will take you to all of my previous year’s ramblings of my Miss-Adventures that are perfect for a cold winters night.