deborah cull


Restaurant Review: Miss Saigon January 26, 2009

Filed under: Restaurants,Uncategorized — Deb @ 5:13 pm

Ok, I admit it.   Matt and I are foodies.  When we can, we love to go out to eat.  Which isn’t very often, admittedly.  Or we end up at that gastronomic palace “Cici’s”  for all-you-can-eat pizza cheapness.  But we decided a long time ago to track some of the local Naples and Fort Myers restaurants that we love  Starting this week I hope to keep a weekly update on restaurants in this area.  Today we start with Miss Saigon.


Miss Saigon is Vietnamese at its finest.  This hole-in-the-wall restaurant seats fewer than 30 people at a time (although they will fit you in where they can), but the food is phenomenal.  If you haven’t tried Vietnamese food, Miss Saigon will make you a believer.  They have everything from traditional pho to sauteed vegetable and meat dishes and bowls.  My personal favorite is to start with the spring rolls, which come with a peanut sauce.  Then I get the sauteed veggies and tofu with yellow noodles.  Matt gets the pork bowl, which comes with lettuce, cabbage, pork, white noodles, and a really special sauce.  The best part is the price.  Two of us can eat there for under $30, and that includes an appetizer and a tip.  It’s located on the east side of US 41 between Golden Gate Parkway and Pine Ridge Road.  Make it a date and try it out.  Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.


A few from Saturday January 21, 2009

Filed under: Portrait,Uncategorized — Deb @ 10:12 am

I have some new projects in the works, so I took all of Saturday out to take photos. I don’t have time to edit them yet, but I wanted to post two of my favorites. These are of Rachel and Sarah Naples. They came with me Saturday to help out while I tried a few new techniques. I’ll be continuing a few of these projects over the next few months. And then we should be introducing a new line of photography very soon.


Historic Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Deb @ 10:06 am

I couldn’t log on to WordPress yesterday because, I assume, everyone was blogging about the inauguration. And I have to admit, I felt proud of our country yesterday. No matter who you voted for or who you support, it was really amazing to see power pass from George Bush to Barack Obama so … uneventfully. And I mean that in a good way. This past election was quite possibly one of the most divisive elections our country has had. I am still amazed by the numbers of people who vote against Barack Obama strictly because of his race. I hope and pray that those days are over. Look at the man and what he stands for, but judge him not by the color of his skin. I may not support all of Obama’s policies, but I can say that neither race nor sex factored into any of my political decisions this year. When I look at all the fighting around the world and the political uprisings and overturnings, I’m awestruck at how peaceful the change of power was. And here we are – a new day, a new president.


Naples Daily News Half Marathon January 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Deb @ 1:02 pm

4 years ago I trained with TEAM in Training to compete in the Anchorage, Alaska marathon. It was one of the best experiences of my life, but I’m not sure it’s something I want to repeat any time soon. Since then I’ve competed in 5 half marathons. I’m not a racer, I actually enjoy training more.  When I sign up for races, I wonder “why in the world did I sign up for this?”  But last year I didn’t sign up, and Matt and I passed a bunch of the runners and I thought, “why didn’t I sign up?  I’m missing out on the race!”  I can’t win.


My normal thought process goes like this:  The day before the race I begin to wonder why in the world I decided to sign up.  At 5AM on the day of the race, I wonder if I should just sleep in and miss the race.  I finally show up and drag myself to the start line (after using the port-a-potties at least twice).  At mile 5 I really start to wonder what I was thinking. After mile 8 I wish I could take everything back. When I finally cross the finish line I usually think “Phew, done. Totally worth it.”  Well, except  yesterday. Yesterday’s Naples Daily News Half Marathon was tougher than most. My back hasn’t fully healed from my car accident so it started cramping up soon into the run. I didn’t train for the race – just a few long runs.  I was on my feet the entire day before.  It was a recipe for disaster. 


But I’m glad I did it.  I’m glad I raced.  I’m glad I put myself in that position at least once a year.  I think it’s good for all of us to challenge ourselves in a way that forces us to grow a little.  For me, that’s doing things that don’t come natural to me.  Calling someone I don’t know on the phone.  Running for 2 hours at a pace I can’t keep for 20 minutes.  Raising over $4000 for a cause I believe in.  Traveling too long to run too far to get too lost while I’m way too sore in the middle of Denali National Park.  But all of these things that I force myself to do help me to branch out and grow.  I get a little more determined.  I learn to do something that causes great physical and mental anguish.  I tell myslef “dont’ ever do that again” and yet I know I will.  Because ultimately I come out a better person.  I just hate the process.


Two From This Weekend January 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Deb @ 12:16 am

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to create portraits for Briggs & Rogers, a PR and Marketing firm out of Fort Myers. They are doing the marketing for highly acclaimed artist Peter Max when he comes to Naples this February (February 7 & 8). Peter Max is painting a portrait of both women and he will be using our portraits. Everything from lighting to posing effect the impression of a photograph and it is important to think through what impression you want to make.  I wanted these to be fresh and inviting.  By looking at the camera, they engage the viewer.  Having them look away would have created a different impression.  Both women are strong and  I wanted to convey a sense of that strength tempered with a slightly softer pose.  Peter Max portraits are colorful additions to photographs and I thought it important to have soft, but noticeable shadowing to give the faces shape and depth.  These were my two favorites from the shoot.  I feel they convey a sense of beauty and softness yet are very engaging.  I am looking forward to seeing which pictures the two woman will choose.




Workshop Craze! January 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Deb @ 5:49 pm

I am excited to be attending two workshops in March. The first workshop is a one-day intensive with Susan Stripling. We’ll be working on everything from business to working with (not against) the Florida sun. Then at the end of March I am attending Shoot with Beckstead with David and Kassandra Beckstead. I have had this workshop on my list since last year and I am so excited about attending! I’m putting a high priority on learning this year and I can’t wait to come back with more ideas for my photography.


Everything I Know About People I’ve Learned From My Dogs January 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Deb @ 4:50 pm

Matt and I have two neurotic dogs: a Border Collie named Baxter, and a Miniature Australian Shepherd named Petey. While I was getting ready this morning I heard the normal chomping sound of dog food and looked over to see Petey chewing on a Nylabone and Baxter’s rear end sticking out of Petey’s crate, tail wagging away. Every time I shouted his name, his tail wagged a little harder. Clearly he was happy to be eating the rest of Petey’s food.  So I filled up Baxter’s dog bowl (with the same food as Petey’s), and I dragged Baxter out of the crate. He looked at his food, then at me, then at the crate, then back at his food. Then he turned around and went straight back into Petey’s crate and started eating.

Mind you, we can’t get this dog to eat on his own. Baxter is the pickiest dog I have ever met.

And today he proved that no matter what we have, we always want what someone else has — even if it’s the same thing. I see this so often when the two dogs play. One dog will grab a toy and the other immediately drops whatever it had in its mouth, and goes over to steal it. Or I will come in and pet one dog, and the other barges over and cuts in. We even bought two Nylabones so they wouldn’t steal from each other. But even when one has its own Nylabone, it wants the one that’s in the others mouth.

It’s funny to see this behavior in dogs. It’s sad that as humans, we act the same. We get jealous of what other people have, forgetting that we have the same thing. Yes, I’ve learned a lot from my dogs. Unfortunately I’ve still got a long way to go.