Posts By Kurt Thigpen

The Food of the Fourth (and Drink)

This is a repost from two years ago. We are once again in Greagle, with the exact same menu. The only thing that has changed is the kids- how did they get so big?!

I am sharing today to inspire your 4th of July menus! Enjoy

There is just something about summer time food.
Things you don’t usually eat unless the temps and the fun are running high.
Here is our Fourth (or the weekend before, in this year’s case) of July Menu.
We enjoyed “Mundo’s Ribs” also know as “Andy-que
This is the basic idea/recipe that was used this year for the ribs.
Start with 6 racks of ribs.
For the Rub:
4tbls brown sugar
2tbls paprika
2tbls essence of emeral
2tbls garlic powder
2tbls black pepper
2tbls kosher salt
2tsp cayenne pepper
Mix the rub ingredients well and rub thoroughly on the racks of ribs.
Wrap the ribs and put in the refrigerator over night.
Grill all day long (about 6 hrs) on a Weber grill 200-250 degrees. Start with ribs, bone side down. The first hour of cooking, smoke with apple and cherry wood briquets.
Rotate the rack of ribs from back to front about half way through the total cooking process.
Grilled corn on the cob and garlic bread. The gang likes to wrap the bread and corn in foil and grill until done. The bread gets unwrapped and grill marks are ‘applied’. We fancy it up that way. tee hee.
Grilled zucchini
I wasn’t in on this recipe, but slicing the zucchinis into ‘steaks’ and then marinating in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, smashed garlic, salt and pepper and some lemon juice usually does the trick.
Grandma’s Mac Salad
This recipe will  yield about 6 servings
2 cups dry elbow macaroni, cooked, rinsed, and drained
1/3 cup diced celery
1/4 cup minced red onion, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, drained (I have left this out when I made it while pregnant/nursing, because onions and Fifi weren’t agreeing, and it still came out really good)
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/3 cup sweet pickle relish
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl combine the macaroni, celery, onion, and parsley. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, 2 mustards, Worcestershire sauce, relish, sugar, vinegar, sour cream and salt. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold (it just doesn’t taste right unless it has chilled, so plan ahead for this one, it’s worth it).
Store covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days. I promise, it won’t last that long though.
Also enjoyed before dinner, Garden Party Cocktails.
Garden cocktails in the making #weekend #greagle #latergram

SnapseedAfter dinner?Root-beer floats, of course.

I hope your Fourth of July is filled with good food, good friends and FUN.Happy Birthday AMERICA!!!

New Beginnings


As the family becomes settled in the Pacific Northwest, my photography business is also doing the same. I am excited to announce a new space on the internet. My portfolio and a new blog are up! Please have a look around and follow along if you like what you see. This space will soon be password protected and primarily for close friends and family.

Click on over to Focus In Photography! I am so excited for this new start!

February’s 5 on 5

Even though it’s only two or three days shorter than other months, February moved at the speed of light! My family and I have been busy packing and preparing for our relocation to Tacoma, Washington. 

    From a creative shoot.

We said several goodbyes to friends and family, and we celebrated my nephew’s (6th) and my husband’s (40th) birthdays.  It’s been bittersweet, to say the least.

 Yummiest cupcakes for a 40th

Over the part month, I was able to take photographs, that I think will go down as some of my favorites yet during a few special client sessions and photographer meet ups.

Fun session with a friend and photog.

I shot film, digital, and iPhone images and still can’t decide what my true favorite camera is, I like it that way.

    Amazing boudoir session

Please excuse any grammar or spelling errors in this post, I am writing from my iPhone as my computer is tucked away in the moving truck. One more sleep unit we hit the road north!

     Spinning in the sun

Now head on over to see what Adrian was up to last month.



I never realized how much I had been missing a creative community until last year. 

I have been connected to amazing photographers and creatives for a very long time on the internet, and while I truly have made friends with many of these people, there has been a void. I didn’t have many people I could talk shop with or who walked around with more than one camera on them on a regular basis. I sort of figured I was a goofball because of my camera love. That is until last summer.  


I was added to a local photography group on Facebook and my world changed. Sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s sorta true. I started meeting people in my own community who were as passionate (if not more so) about the art of photography as I was.  I networked, met up with, hiked (and fell on my face), joked with and I was able to “work”with a handful of them. And I put the word,work in quotes because when you’re doing what you love it’s not really work at all. I am lucky enough to have gotten to know several as friends and fellow photo-geeks.

On Sunday evening, I went to a gathering under the guise of “off camera flash workshop” and was hit with such generosity and friendship. I was humbled. I hadn’t realized that so many of my fellow Facebook friends had been following along and that I had made an impact on them. I mean, look at me, I am kinda cra-cra.


But you guys, they brought a GIANT cake, bacon wrapped something or others and then we went out and played with off camera flash. It was pretty awesome.
Thanks again to my Reno Photografriends. You all have no idea how much I have learned from each of you. I feel honored to be a part of your gang and to be allowed to stay despite my zip code change next week.


Tacoma Bound

Big news, big changes. Andy was offered a job in Tacoma, Washington. That’s two states away. We thought about it, mulled it over. Pros and cons, and all of the above. We have actually been thinking about some sort of a move for a long time. And decided it was one of those, “if not now then when”, moments and he accepted the offer.


Packing the house, selling off things that we don’t want to lug two states away and gifting other things. I have packed a bag of clothes for the kids and threw the rest of their things into boxes with labels. I have done the same for my things. I have filled up several garbage bags with random what is this? stuff that have amassed in the past year and a half. Pack and purge, pack and purge.

night fishing

We will be renting an apartment for about six months until we can get our heads wrapped around the neighborhoods of Tacoma. Eventually, we will purchase a house if everything seems to be settling in the way we want it to.


The idea of having a big going away part was tempting, but honestly, we knew we wouldn’t get to see and talk to everyone in a way we wanted so we are each doing our best to meet up with friends and family before we are north bound.


It’s scary and exciting, but mostly exciting. I can’t wait to show you a new city, a new state for that matter through my lens. Here’s to adventures!!



The Breakfast Club

I woke up super early this morning. I tossed on some clothes, brushed my teeth and headed out the door with my gear in hand. My first stop at Starbucks met me with dark windows. You know it’s early when they haven’t turned on the lights yet.

darkest before

I headed north and found my way to the second coffee shop. Extra hot latte in hand, I made my way up to the windy meeting spot that we had all agreed to the day before. I was the first one there, but was soon joined by three other cars. We unloaded and realized that we couldn’t get to the part of the park we wanted because of locked gates.


south east



A quick change of plans and we piled back into our cars and headed to one of the parking garages in downtown. We shot as long as we could stand with the cold wind and then decided it was time to head over to breakfast.

hot chocolate 1 
left overs

I love that I have local photography friends that will dork out over ISO and shutter speeds. Who talk shit to each other about Nikon or Canon and who are all willing to teach and learn from one another. Thanks for waking up early gang! that was a fun morning.


January 5 on 5

January was both extremely fast and yet, I sort of don’t remember what happened all the way back at the beginning of the month. Maybe the best way to define the month would be to call it FULL. Photographically, I had some great opportunities – I got to play with off camera flash. I hung out on a fairly big photo shoot, results from the day will befeatured in some large name magazines. I spent the day twirling an umbrella, cutting up apples, being a good assistant the photographer, models and stylist. I went on two epic and super silly photo walks with a great group of local photographers. Andy and I got a four day get away visit to Tacoma, WA. I was asked to do photos for The Nest. Owner, Tessa outfitted the boys of Vokab Kompany before their show at the Brew Haha and had me come in and photograph the chaos and fun. 
Personal projects for the new year, I started two new 365 challenges and a 52 week challenge.One of these has caught on like wild fire over on Instagram, and I now have well over 60 people “Shaking it Out” with me on their iPhones and androids. I was asked to be a part of a fantastic group of photographers for a new blog project called The Hours. We are only a month deep, but we have caught the attention of the Flickr blog and Tracy over at Shutterbean.
February has a ton of promise and excitement both professionally and personally. I am looking forward to the whirlwind I know it will be. If you are local, I would LOVE to have you come see me and my work at one or both of the group art shows I am participating in this month- February 6th head down to Never Ender for the Broken Hearts Collide Group show at 6pm. The second show will be February 8th at Atelier Beauty Bar. Help them celebrate their grand opening at the Launch Party and Art Show. I am also working out the details for a workshop that involves packaging and washi tape. More news on that soon!
Now, on to my favoirte photos from January!
Austin 1
Off camera flash with Austin
Part of the Off-Tract blog photo session. 
9 | negative space
Lights of Tacoma, WA
VokabNest (21 of 47)
Burke and Robbie finding their way at The Nest.


Mad love for the Yashica that we found while exploring American Flats with the Photowalkers of Reno.

Now head over to see what Adriana has going down for her five favorites this month.


I have been fortunate enough to find a great group of photographers here in Reno. A few weeks back, four of us hiked in 3 miles to see a frozen waterfall. There were so many laughs, a few falls (ice and mud and backpacks full of photo gear really don’t play nicely together). The trip was so fun that we started plotting a second adventure.

20140107-20140107-IMG_3225 20140107-20140107-IMG_3219On Sunday we drove up to Virginia City and grabbed a quick bite to eat and then kicked up some dust and caravanned into a spot known as American Flats. Oh, and did I mention that part of the goal for the day was to get some killer bubble photos? I will let the images do the talking. Thanks again to a great group of people willing to be silly and awesome at their craft.


20140126-20140126-IMG_377020140126-20140126-IMG_373520140126-20140126-IMG_3701 20140126-20140126-IMG_3696 20140126-20140126-IMG_3690 20140126-20140126-IMG_3697

And when your with other photographers its, “Shoot or be shot…”
Comparing Android to iPhone.
I like it round, and big….
Quick draw
 Triangle Pose – photog style.

December 2013 – 5 on 5

December was so incredibly full. I celebrated my birthday, we had lots of family time and friends around. Christmas was sweet and simple. I finished my 365 challenge and photographed three special families. I can’t express how full I felt as the year ended. It was almost a complete opposite from last year. My word, my heart, and my life is pretty amazing. I can’t wait to see where things lead in 2014.
Make sure to head over to see what December 2013 looked like at Smallroots when you are done here. 
Andy and I during my birthday date in Tahoe.
O flying his new glider toy at the park. I love how both he and the toy are on the edges with the big blue sky filling in the space behind him.
This lovely lady and her family made my heart fill with love. Laughter really is good medicine.
An adorable fluff ball that belongs to a family that I was incredibly honored to photograph.
20131225-20131225-IMG_2577 Christmas Day, chillaxin by the tree.
Cookies were made...  #pictapgo_app #holidazzle #december #baking #bakingforsanta
And one more because it’s my blog and I can, tee hee.So much baking and eating. yum!