Random Rants

Gilt-Y as charged– the not so great deals at Gilt.com


so i said it.  the deals are just MEH at Gilt.com.  Where they USED to be my destination for a great find every now and then, were loaded up with EXCELLENT promotions — credits up to wazoo, birthday promotions etc…., they are now only another on the log list of Flash-Sale Discount Sites.

Has anyone else noticed their new mandated SLASH-THROUGH PRICE disclaimer?  O, I have.  I’ve noticed 2 alarming things about Gilt

1. They are guilty of the inflated MSRP trick [just like anything on Amazon, Invicta watches, tools, hairstyling products– you get the gist]

2. Private label branding– they buy cheap-ish imported products and resell them under an “invented” brand that they own.

while to you this may seem– not so alarming– combine items 1 and 2 and you’ve got the perfect storm for getting over on customers!

take their RENVY brand of shoes.  they claim a retail value of $275 and a sale price of only $99.  Sounds like a great deal, right?  But if ZERO retailers sell RENVY shoes they have NO retail value– and if they are just a run of the mill Chinese brand with no indication of quality or workmanship, how much are these shoes really worth?  If I can go buy the same pair on Ebay for $26 plus $12.99 shipping, who’s “retail” value are we talking about?!

that leads me to my next point– they aren’t as cheap as they used to be!  there once was a point where Gilt would be about $15 to $20 bucks cheaper than the BEST price shopping around the net.  Ugh no more!  Look at the example below on the Cusinart Juicer listed today.  noticeably they leave out the exact model number so you can’t compare at other places but the photo tells the story of exactly which one to look for!

gilt juice amazon juice

no… it is not a joke.  this is not a test!  that’s the same juicer– just $30 bucks more.  so, no i am not kidding when i say i could order them from Amazon, have them shipped to me for free and re-sell them for $30 bucks more just like Gilt.  ugh– WTH– I will stick to Amazon and my offline discount stores!




winds of change

i’ve pondered a million times over what way to go with my business. to blog or not to blog.  to have a main site or no main site.

do i continue to photograph babies, seniors, toddlers, ect, weddings, editorial, models— circus acts?…… does that make me happy?  does that continue to push my creativity?

after some deep soul searching i have decided on only 4 areas that i will devote my talents to.  in a way i can still emcompass all the elements that drew me to photography as an art… really become at peace again with my craft and take it to new heights.

with no further delay….. i present to you:

B A R E // a boudoir experiencebare web






ENCORE // after the wedding and couples portraitsencore web 






WED // wedding photography by Donnatella MacKenzie

wed web









POSE // editorial photography

pose web







this year will be filled with new work from me…. a new love affair



Nature Calls– Hermann Park Photo Walk in Houston, Tx

Some days you wake up and ask yourself “WTF was I thinking?”

Wednesday was one of those days… I decided that it would be a good idea to wake at 5:30 am, Shampoo and style my hair then go on a photo walk with a Photog buddy of mine…. Idiot move– especially since it’s like 199 degrees outside at any given time of the day.  Mother Nature must be pissed this summer  ;o)

So as cranky as I was– off the Hermann Park in Houston I went…. At 7 am in the morning.

Sweltering doesn’t even begin to explain the heat.  I don’t sweat– except that morning I REALLY did.  Mr. Lacy of Arganious Lacy Photography and I shot the morning away.  Both of us focused on wildly different scenery.  It’s funny to watch another person photograph something beside you. 

I look for everything pretty– he was looking for the grunge.  Sky’s and clouds– broken Wine bottles and such.  Hilarity issued as I watch him photograph a Hawk attacking a squirrel.  I had ZERO interest in the 3 of them, lol.


Here’s my take on the photo walk.  I encouraged Mr. Lacy to blog his Walk…we will see if he posts anything!!

Until later…



Addicted to Lux Addiction– DIY Haute Couture Samsung Vibrant Cover!

My Lux Addiction DIY– Samsung Vibrant Cover! 

OMG, talk about addictions.  talk about girly– talk about flirty– talk about crafty!  you all know by now, that i get my DIY on pretty frequently.  for a while i hadn’t found a project that made me want to get it poppin’…… until yesterday when my co-worker Veronica bought a new I-Phone 4.  she had this hideous cover for her phone and was complaining that she didn’t want to walk around looking like a man even if her phone was protected enough to kick across the room and still survive unscathed!

she had me check out www.luxaddiction.com and look at the phone covers.  i mean WOW.  sooooooo super fab i had to have one.  but you know me.  im inpatient.  i can’t wait and i didn’t want to pay for a cover that i could have 10x’s the fun making. 

so last night i went through my jewelry drawer and picked out the stuff that i dont wear, was starting to discolor, smelled funny [i have a sensitive nose], or all the many broken pieces and laid them out.  sorting through them i found that i changed from the stones i bought earlier that day specially for the project.  \

vintage rose and gold was calling my name….  i could hear it whisper to me from the cabinets and drawers.  i couldn’t help it….. i cut into a necklace from Forever 21  — chopped the chains on another necklace, pulled a couple earrings apart, de-beaded a charm and 45 mins later i had this:

The Cover!

My Lux Addiction DIY-- Samsung Vibrant Cover!

the camera hole & main medallionthe goods!  broken jewels never looked so good!from the sideclose up

Assorted broken jewelry– i had a necklace with chains that were about 20 ins long, a hoop earing with 5 small charms [a bow, a diamond, gold beads, a hanging chain, and small flower], another broken pearl necklace with metal wrapped pearls, and the large peach/pink statement pearl, an arrow head earing on a chain, cream earring with hanging pearls, and one faceted chandelier earing with quartz colored baubles!

[i purchased extra chrystals and assorted things when i was going with an alternate design]


Dante Marshall–The Extraordinary Photographer

photo credit: Dante Marshall

photo credit: Nicole Woods– this is Dante


if i ever had a photography crush—he is the one.  dante marshall—the picture taker, the photographer, the director— the all-around extraordinary talent.  im sure he’s the type of guy to pass through burn rubber [http://burnrubberdetroit.com/] and hang with the collective of fashion forward artists in detroit.  a clique i only wish i was cool enough to hang with! 

 i loved his style before i knew who he was.  it was a few years ago that i was exposed to his portfolio on model mayhem.  i wanted to be this bad ass fashion photographer and shoot the editorials he shot.  i was super excited to find out he was young and talented and from the d [for those who don’t know—that’s detroit].  with portfolio so diverse it’s hard not to want to immulate his style.

 i have to admit for a while i lost touch with the mm world—i focused on weddings – aka “the pretty stuff”.  i miss the edge—the grungy locations—the lighting—hard edged with a little extra bi-pass sharpening for effect—the picture perfect models– everything.  that kind of work is not often seen in weddings. 

 one major influence i have take from his work is the posing—the fresh way he allows his subject to interact with the camera. to me he allows each person to showcase a bit of their inner person but he still is able to mold the experience and elevate it to a whole-nother dimension.   

photo credit: Dante Marshall

its more than dope to know a photographer from your city—its an honor and privilege; to know you come from the same stock.  a city where art thrives even in the graffiti is a beautiful thing.  detroit is by far and wide– underestimated—from its talent to its ability to rise from the ashes. 

 dante marshall is one man you should not sleep on.  i see big things for him in the future;  hell –the man is already doing big things. 

 check out his work here: http://dantemarshall.com

 here: http://iamdante.com

 and follow him on twitter like it was your religion!


 to Dante:  if you read this—you have my support and if you ever want coffee you know im only about 3,000 miles away.  btw, if you are ever in Houston i’d love to photograph you—it would be an honor



photo credit: Dante Marshall


Valentines MY way!– Inspiration for Valentines Day

Food Love– Houston Food Photographer

i love food.  yes, i admit it.  not all food but most food.  mostly exotic food, lol.  my father would tease me mercilessly about my adoration for anything “out of the ordinary”—he ate his words the first time i made hennessy braised chicken with a cranberry chutney and smacked potatoes with french fried greenbeans!  he told me he had no idea his daughter could cook so well and he ate every bite on the plate.

since i was little i’ve always been a foodie.  i watched julia child on pbs, anyone on the food network, and my mother in the kitchen tool away on her famous maccoroni and cheese or her renown’d potato salad.  i gleaned from them the finer points—the basics and dare i say my ability to try anything.  i remember fondly watching my mother cook “broccoli-a-la-crunch and thinking—“what the hell is this”.  it was simply broccoli, tortilla chips, and velvita cheese.  it was late in the evening—nothing was open and she “improvised” with the ingredients she had on hand! 

improvisation is the key, in my humble opinion, to becoming a great chef.  use what you have right at your fingertips and create something beautiful and appealing.  this is improvisation in action!  enjoy



Gifts of Christmas Past! pt 3

ok last ones!

Gifts of Christmas Past! pt 2

picture porn— pure and simple: