Thursday, October 30, 2008

What a weekend! I spent a whirlwind 30 hours or so in Reno, Nevada on Sunday and Monday shooting thousands of photo's of beautiful women, handsome guys, amazing animals and great food in a gorgeous restaurant co-owned by one of my closest friends.

Dave Powell and Mark Hansen own a restaurant in Sparks, Nevada called the Vista Grille Dave used to work for the restaurant company I work for and he is easily the most talented chef I have ever known as well as a man filled with integrity and honor whom I am proud to call my friend. The Vista Grille is a very community oriented restaurant. They donate regularily to various charities in the Sparks community and this year Dave's partner Mark came up with the idea to create a calendar featuring their crew, the restaurant and a very cool exotic animal sanctuary called the Animal Ark. The Animal Ark was founded by a wonderful couple named Aaron and Diana (seen below). They've dedicated their lives to taking care of disadvantaged wildlife. The Animal Ark doesn't receive steady funding from the Government so all funding is through admissions, donations and grants. The Vista Grille is creating this calendar and donating all proceeds to the Animal Ark.

Special thanks to a partner of the Animal Ark, Master Falconer Martin Stiasny owner of Birds in Flight for driving all the way out from San Francisco for the day to bring his incredible birds to fly all around the crew not only giving us all a great show but giving the staff of the Vista Grille an incredibly unique, memorable experience.

The Calendar should be ready to ship by December. The price isn't set yet but should be somewhere between $15-$20 from what I understand. If you would like to order one (and I sure hope you do) please call Mark Hansen at the Vista Grille. The number there is 775-626-9922 or email Be sure to tell him Mat sent you!
One of two intense Asian Tigers (there is also a White Tiger seen below)

"Effie" the photogenic Arctic Fox
One of two beautiful Gray Wolves at the Animal Ark
Cheetah's have always been my favorite cat. There are two at Animal Ark and they are amazing.
Chelsea and a Cheetah.
"Whoopi" the Peregrine Falcon
Some of the girls striking a pose
Some of the crew posing with a Eurasian Eagle Owl
The African Pied Crow put on quite a show!
Naomi in front while the African Pied Crow zooms away
Megan and her friend the Yellow-Headed Vulture.
"Khan" saying hello
Aaron and DianeDiana and Aaron Hiibel, co founders of the Animal Ark and all around great people and extraordinarily gracious hosts.
On the way back to the cars I spotted this cool spot for a dramatic portrait. Are these girls natural models or what?
A very enthusiastic Vista Grille staff (check out Marks high flying in the back)
There is quite a story behind this one
Some of the crew near the entrance to the Vista Grille
Giving the James Bond pose out in front of the building
A tasty (I know first hand because I ate it) Margherite Pizza cooked in the super hot wood burning, brick oven
Jen in the front with her winning smile
Mark showing off his expertise behind the bar.
Mark and Dave...a couple of happy guys.
A quick shot of the "Biggest little city in the world" while on my way home.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday's Photo

Male Lion in the Serengeti giving a nice pose. Shot with a Canon 1D Mark III and a Canon 400mm f/2.8L IS lens.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Christmas Cards

This photo demonstrates why "pooper scooper" laws are important to follow. Notice the younger sister pointing and laughing in the background :)

It's that time of year! Christmas is closer than you think! Today we headed to the Seattle Arboretum for some Christmas card portraits of some very entertaining, seriously funny and photogenic kids. The Autumn colors were amazing down there!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


This was the elephant I photographed coming out of the wall of dense fog in the jungle on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater. It's very exciting to know I was close enough to shoot this with my wide angle 16-35mm lens!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More from Africa

I just opened Lightroom to look for a photo and my African uploads popped up automatically. For fun I scanned through a handful of the thousands of pics I have yet to edit and this one grabbed my attention.

I'm going to try to edit a couple each week to add to the blog for fun.

I remember spotting this kid in a small,town. Believe it or not, this village was considered to be one of the nicer areas I saw people living.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sophie at the beach

While her Mom was working on her buns of steel at the gym and her sister was stuffing her brain with multiplication tables, spelling tests and the names of cute boys in her class, Sophie and I found ourselves with some free time this afternoon.

We watched one of our favorite movies Ratatouille together while I edited some photo's and were simultaneously hit with a strong case of cabin fever. I had her put on her brightest sweater, we raided Savannah's hat collection, loaded up the car seat and made the 5 mile drive to the beach.

For whatever reason we hadn't been there in a couple of years and we were both thrilled to find a new playground had been built. It was a gray, drizzly day out which was great for us because it meant hardly anyone was there and the light was soft and even for photo's. I took advantage of my daughters beauty and enthusiasm to grab a few shots for my stock portfolio, we played on the swings, threw some rocks, grabbed a bite to eat and it ended up being a great Daddy/Daughter day.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

On Display

For the next several months I am proud to announce that I have around 35 images from my Wildlife Photography Web site on display throughout the Alderwood Mall. The Alderwood Mall is one of the biggest and busiest malls in the Seattle area so I am very excited for the exposure.