My name is Diana Elizabeth. I'm a photographer, writer, graphic designer and model who had memorable days reporting from the LA red carpet for E! Online. I love sharing my life as a creative professional and the things that I discover along the way - with camera in hand.

My husband and I live in a restored 1952 red brick home that sits on a former citrus grove in Phoenix. I enjoy traveling, home improvement projects, and gardening. This is a glimpse into my life and work.

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Category Archives: Travel

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This month I’m so excited to be on five assignments for PHOENIX magazine – it’ll be for the April issue, the Top Doc’s publication!  I’m documenting locations to go along with a story on meditation areas and one of the places included Sedona.

Benjamin and I decided to go up for a night to settle in and rest and then the next morning drive to Boynton Canyon Vortex area – it’s by Enchantment Resort (where I shot the cover of PHOENIX magazine years ago).  It’s just one of several vortex areas in Sedona.  I’m not sure what a vortex is – but they just say it’s energy, just a force, just something that pulls energy and whether or not you can feel it, it’s kinda personal.  If you want to check it out, this website was the most helpful and comprehensive guide which was wonderful!

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The parking was ridiculous and small, so I suggest going early morning, before 10 am especially on a Saturday to ensure a spot – there a $5 day fee so make sure you pay and put the ticket on your dashboard. The hike was incredibly easy, if I can do it with a backpack of heavy equipment, you can do it.

Back to the vortex energy – juniper trees grow straight, but where there is energy/vortex it spirals like this – twisting around itself.

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I also swear there’s truth to it – I had taken a few shots of Benjamin (my model) not yet at the prime spot of the vortex.  Everything was fine, we walked to the main part of where the vortex is said to be the strongest, I took out my camera and the back screen was cracked.  Nuts.

Then I pulled out my iPhone and part of my protectant screen was cracked too.  Ugh.

I posted the news on Instagram and a comment was posted that their Nikon broke there years ago at that spot.

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I rented a 16-35mm/F2.8 L series lens from Tempe Camera for this particular shoot because I needed a wide-wide-wide angle.  I’ve debated investing in buying the lens but for $1500 I’m not quite sure if I’ll need it as often for assignments just yet.  Renting it for a half day (weekend) for $65 is definitely worth testing it out to see.  I can’t report back on my decision just yet but if I get a few more jobs that require that type of scenery I might bite the bullet – but that new Canon 5DS that’s about to be released – that’s quite tempting too!  OK enough camera talk.

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I’ll be able to share the images from our hike in April, sorry to make you wait but PHOENIX has first dibs of course!

Lifestyle, Personal, Southwest, Travel

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Blush tote / Toothbrush / Luggage / Initial bag tag (small, not luggage) / Travel toiletry case

My girlfriends and I are heading to Las Vegas for a 3 night trip this early spring, I’m so excited I’m already buying things for the trip!  We had so much fun last year we are doing it again only this time flying in instead of driving.  This laser cut blush tote will be a great carry on and also bag to the pool.  I decided this was a good time to invest in a new luggage set.  Do you use the Vio Light toothbrushes?  I am crazy about them because of how small they are and I can take an electric toothbrush with me.  They came out with a destinations line – including Vegas!  I do have my eye on Paris and London of course. Also my travel toiletry bag has sort of fallen apart and so this patent leather Kate Spade will hold up well for the upcoming trips I hope to take.

Vegas for us means good food, pool time and shopping. What do you like to do when you go to Vegas?

Lifestyle, Style, Travel, Travel Tips

ireland-travel-blogger-republic-of-ireland-northern-ireland-castle-tour-tips-photos054 At Ashford Castle, in Cong, Republic of Ireland – aka French Court on Reign

Christmas break is always the time I pick up on a new show – it’s usually the only time I have to veg in front of the TV.  I decided to look up Reign, a show that I heard about two years ago because Melayne and I were at the scene of where Reign is filmed – Ireland!  OK, and Toronto I hear.  The day we left we watched a partial filming which I should’ve taken pictures of had I known the show would be such a hit!

Have you heard of Reign? It’s based on real history.

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Christian discretion

Just a bit of passion (it’s not completely clean like Downton Abbey) more PG13.  LOTS of bloody slayings – the time period.  You can’t watch with kids around.

About Reign

Have you ever watched the movies Elizabeth or Elizabeth: The Golden Age played by Cate Blanchet?  The second movie gives the history a little about Mary, Queen of Scotland which I would recommend you watch if you have time (though know it’s not favorable towards Mary in her older years).

The show Reign is based upon the true story of a young Queen Mary of Scots and her engagement to the future King of France for power.  It’s very well explained in the pilot episode.  It goes into Queen Mary’s ladies (her group of servants/bffs).  There is drama because the Queen of France (future King’s mom) has a right hand man who has visions, and he said if her son were to go through the engagement to Queen Mary, it will cost him his life.  Therefore, drama of deaths!   And keep in mind, it is Hollywood so there are real-life history mixed with Hollywood entertainment (like Noah, they sure jacked up that biblical story).

Why I love it

There are a few reasons why I love Reign – the location, the story based upon a true story (even the fictitious events) and the amazing costume worn by the Queen’s ladies, oh so Anthropologie/BHLDN-like!  Also the gorgeous braided-hair.

Scenes of “French Court”

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The bridge where Mary and Francis often have their chats (see below pic the bridge behind Melayne).  This is the way to the town called Cong.

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Look how adorbs these girls are!  I’m dying.

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I think I need a cape now – and more fur.

Most of the outdoor scenes that are the French Court are filmed at Ashford Castle.  Melayne and I stayed for two nights at the end of our week long Ireland trip (see pics here).  It was our favorite castle for a long list of reasons but on our last day on the way out, we were waiting at the hotel as filming was going on – all scenes we recognized in episode two.

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We saw some characters on horses and they went through a few takes crossing over the bridge and through the gates.  I wish I had paid more attention to the characters or taken photos of the production so I could say which characters were there.  There was a helicopter flying around to capture the bridge scene.

The grounds are gorgeous, and I am hoping Melayne will get married at Ashford - we joked where her wedding could be set up and how she could walk down an aisle.  We were hoping for an excuse in the future to return.

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Pardon me as I say hello to my new Irish pet, a hawk.

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Looking at these photos just take me back and there’s nothing in the world like traveling with one of your best girlfriends.

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You can kinda see why they decided to film the show here.  I only wish I took more photos as I began to recognize the different areas as I watch the show – which is now on Season 2.  You can watch Season 1 free on Netflix, and what’s already been shown for Season 2 on AppleTV/iTunes for a $32 season pass.  I bought it so I am now caught up!

Doesn’t this make you want to see the show, or maybe visit Ireland?  I’ll go with you!

Equipment used: Sony NEX-5R (c/o), 50mm f1/.816mm f/2.8 + 18-55mm (c/o), 18-105mm f/4 (c/o)

Ireland, Lifestyle, Personal, Travel

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My girlfriend Rachel from Nor Cal came in town to run a 100 mile race – the Javelina Jundred (get it?).  Running is not anything at all what we have in common and we don’t spend our time together running – because then she would find me as the worst running partner ever and would probably never call me again!  Since she already knows that about me, we do what we always do together – go on trips (like my Hawaii 3-0), road trips included, shop, and do overnight hotel and spa days.

We drove up to Sedona since it was her first time and Benjamin offered his Hilton points for us to use so we could stay the night at the Hilton Sedona and make a full day out of it!

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First stop, Rach wanted to see where Mr. Wonderful and I got married, L’auberge de Sedona, right by the creek.

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We decided to stay and enjoy the setting and enjoy a late lunch.  I went with the flatbread of the day, a caramelized onion, artichoke and chicken flatbread.  Rach went with a beef sandwich.

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We had a guest – for the record we did not give him any food – he probably sniffed an acorn.

The vanilla creme brûlée was amazing, the best I’ve ever had!

Do you see the leaves climbing up the tree trunk?  They were changing from green to orange, to red.

We walked around the heart of Sedona, 89A where all the shops were, and took in a few more views of the sunset on the red rocks.  If you’re wondering about what makes the rocks red, it’s the iron content.

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Then it was off to our Hilton hotel for the night where we watched movies, and ordered room service, of course.

What a perfect day trip!  Have you ever been to Sedona?

Lifestyle, Personal, Southwest, Travel

Now I know not all of you are 49er fans but I thought this would be a fun post for you to experience a little behind the scenes glimpse that I recently experienced.  This post is dedicated to my dad.

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My love story with the 49ers is basically that I came out of the womb in a 49er cheerleader outfit.

My dad was born in SF, my grandparents immigrated and lived there, and summer camps used to be in Roseville (before they moved to Stockton) which was the town next door.  When you are from Nor Cal, you cheer for the Niners.  We have autographs, I have a photo with Terrell Owens, and we have a Niner wall upstairs in my brother’s old bedroom.  My dad is a die hard fan and before a game would start he would say, “Ask homework questions now because the game is starting and you cannot ask me for four hours.”  We were not allowed to talk to dad during a Niner game.  If we came downstairs and the game was turned off prematurely, we knew what that meant – and it was to remain unmentioned.

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Team Bus

Today, my best friend from college Jackie, works for them.  Here we are on one of the team buses from the Ritz Carlton heading to the Arizona Cardinals Stadium.

They presented a unique opportunity for their employees-  if they attended a certain number of educational classes about the 49er organization which were optional, they would be sent to an away game and able to enjoy it (when there is a game day, all 49er employees work the game).  A handful were able to make time in their schedule (many were busy with the preparation of the new stadium), and one wasn’t able to make it so I was lucky enough to be invited to attend.  I’ve never been to an NFL game before – I’ve been to every other type of professional sporting event (even hockey, what?) but not NFL because there’s no team I’d want to see other than the niners which was near impossible given I now live in Phoenix.

But bestie was in town, the opportunity was a blessing, and here’s how the day went.

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It starts with several buses on their way to the stadium, escorted by sheriffs.  The sheriff cars close down the streets, drive around us with their sirens on because there is no time to be late for a game.  You get a lot of stares of people looking like what the heck is going on?  And some fans, well, they know.  So you get 49er fans driving along side showing off their hats and all excited about the bus arrival.

Arriving at the Stadium

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Here we are at the Arizona stadium.

Kids, we have been doing selfies before you were even in elementary school and before they were even called selfies.

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We arrived at the Cardinals Stadium around 10:30 a.m. and had quite a while until the game would start – 1 p.m.  So we sat and took a ton of photos and watched players work out and stretch.

Waiting for the game to start

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That above is Frank Gore.  Go Frank Gore.

Look what my friends are taking photos of … those aren’t even Niners!

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Even though I have no ties to Arizona other than going to college and living here, I cannot get myself to be a fan when there’s just no tie.  But the Cardinals Stadium is very cool – the grass rolls out and they did all this crazy fancy stuff to it since the team upgraded from their games at ASU’s football stadium.   I also know it’s not officially called the Cardinals Stadium but this is not a sponsored post so I don’t care. *wink*

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Jackie bought me all this 49er gear including the shirt I’m wearing.  Faithful is truth – been a fan even when the team wasn’t winning for years (crying emoji face).

Watching the game

Found our seats.  Any guesses how much these seats cost?  $100.  So mom and dad, I hope you enjoy your club seats/non birds eye view at the Levi’s Stadium I managed to hook up for you (thanks Belem!) next month.  Dad, you should get a jersey or polo at the team store at the stadium.

Can you see whose family I’m sitting behind?

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This Red Zone area is where I took a lot of those selfies I posted earlier – also that table area behind is where we went after the game.  It’s where the family of the opposing team hang out post game and say hello to their family.  Sure, I feel like I’m part of the family.

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Sadly, we didn’t win.  I mean a win would have of course been better, but I still enjoyed the game and had lots of cheering for my team as they did do fairly well until the second half – yikes.  I blame a lot on the refs too – some were whack calls.  To cheer for my favorite team in the entire world in person is just the best.

Post game

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Live interviews take place here, 49er fans and family hang out (with a ticket that says you can).  I don’t think the players have much time before they hop on the bus.  TSA comes and they go through a pre-check screening so they can hop on their private plane back.

Then when it’s time, you load into one of the 6 buses headed to the airport.  Traffic? No problem, sheriffs have it handled.

I also want to mention that I saw so many “birds” flipped at us.  And while I know people who do that do not read my blog, sheesh people – one guy did an “L” sign and that’s just rude.  I think that says more about the person doing it than the person it is intended for.  I could go on and on about how many badly behaved people I saw from Cardinals fans, but I’m sure every team has their bad boys – and girls!  It just made me think players have a lot to deal with and fans are doing things for fun, but everyone has feelings.

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It was a great time, what a fantastic memory – this one goes down in the books!  Hope you all had a great weekend and your team won!

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Lifestyle, Personal, Southwest, Travel

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Storm King

To continue on from this week’s earlier post about exploring Upstate New York, we were hired to capture the cutest rehearsal dinner later that night, so on our first day, we headed up and stopped in Storm King, a suggestion of the bride when I inquired other things to see on the way up.

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The cost is $15 per adult, and if you’re a photographer, you definitely would want to go – it’s like paying a location fee for great photos.  It’s 500 acres of mowed down fields with wildflower fields, artwork in the middle and fun.  I would say bring a picnic basket and eat there, there are tables in one area and a trolly-like cart that resembles what you would take from the Disneyland parking lot to the park which takes you around the place for 45 minutes.  We unfortunately didn’t have enough time to take it.

But I did have time to do a quick cartwheel.

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Hm, my form looked so much better in my head.

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We got up the hill to see this Harry Potter like mansion which has a museum in it.  I’d say skip it – it’s just figurines in there made of ash and other materials.  It was a humid day and there was no AC, horrific.

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But the view from up top is amazing and worth going – or driving up to that spot.

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I’m so tiny!!!!

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I was so fascinated with fall leaves – Phoenix sadly doesn’t have that.  I know, we’re totally deprived.

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I plan on flower bombing the back bunny area and running a lawn mower path like so, in hopes that I could get a similar effect, below.

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East Coast, Travel

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Earlier this month my trusty sidekick (second shooter and long time friend) Amy flew out for a wedding up in Garrison, New York.  While it’s uncommon for me to travel for work, I wouldn’t say that I don’t, because for the right job paired with my love of travel, it’s a great excuse to book a wedding on the other side of the coast.

We flew into Newark, NJ, landing at 11 pm, picking up our rental car then proceeded to get completely lost.  As I drove over some random bridge I pointed out at the skyline, “Is that the city?” I asked.  Yep, it was NYC.  So, I decided to chase it for a better view.  I mean, really at 11:45 pm, why the heck not when you’re not at all tired.  Yes, it was probably dangerous, no I didn’t tell Mr. Wonderful or else he would’ve not be thrilled with my choices, but how often do you get to do something so sporadic?

Liberty Park

I found signs pointing to Liberty Park and so I figured, hey let’s just go!  We parked and walked close to the dock to get a better view.

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Here’s an idea of where we were:

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For those wondering, I shot at super crazy high ISO on my 5DIII, and in LR I fix the noise.  If you don’t have a tripod, shooting at a crazy high ISO at night is fine when you shoot against a black sky – you can for the most part fill in the grain in post so it looks decent (adjust the noise in Lr).

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Even got a peek at Miss Liberty.

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The New World Trade Center

Here’s One World Trade Center also known as 1WTC.  I had a friend named Gina (we met in high school in Seattle for a journalism high school conference and have lost touch since MySpace went away) who worked in one of the twin towers and she made it out alive.  She said she was in an elevator heading down (before realizing how unsafe it was and made a mad rush for the stairs).  She heard the cables snap of the elevator next to her and I’ll leave it at that, because the thought makes me sad.  I’ve already cried my eyes out on Sept. 11 watching documentaries on History channel – it happens every year.

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The second time I was in NYC I visited Ground Zero a year after 9-11.  I remember seeing the work done, the signs everywhere and I had a heavy heart and I didn’t want to take pictures or smile in the photos taken.

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Yes I am sweating in this picture, it was freaking humid, East Coast, how do you do it?

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This was a monument dedicated to the fallen from 9-11.  On it has names.

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I would also guess this piece was from the damage.

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Afterwards, it was around 1 a.m. and we thought, hm, maybe we should check into our hotel, but I was hungry.  So, after a quick drive back into town, we went to Elizabeth, New Jersey and found a 24 hour NY Pizza place!  Yessss!  I miss living in big cities.  In LA, you could find food at all hours of the day – even 3 a.m. it was fantastic.  When I moved to Phoenix at age 23, I nearly died of boredom from everything closing early and nothing to do or eat – not even a McDonalds stays open late.

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Pizzzzaaa!  I’m half Ninja Turtle.

And, we had NY pizza again the next night, can you blame us?

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It was my fourth time in the state of New York, but the three previous times I spent in the city, so this was a real treat to take a car and explore a little more north.

I spent the next two days enjoy the view of the Hudson River – let’s say you will be blown away by the location of this wedding.

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No, that’s not where they had the ceremony, that’s just a fun little spot. I had the bride twirl around in her dress inside though.  There were so many spots everywhere on the large property overlooking the Hudson River.

Our drive from Fishkill (30 minutes north of Garrison) down south was absolutely amazing and worth the drive.  My best friend Jackie lived in NYC for a few years post college, she didn’t stay long in LA after graduation when we both lived there.  But then when I left LA a few years later, she left NYC and returned to LA staying for many years before going back to SF.  I just think of how incredible it is to live in the two biggest cities and experience that when you are young.  If I could do it over again I would definitely give a year in my 20s to live in New York, what a place!

East Coast, Travel

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