Love & Gratitude ... for YOU

WTOWW - Aug 10 2018 - 300 W.jpg


Mega Gratitude, Y'all!  

It has been a busy summer of photo-shooting, film-making and fund-raising, and I am so very grateful for YOU. We are always stronger together, and this project is no exception. On August 10th we hosted a Fundraiser Party and a Rough-Draft Feedback-Screening of the film in SLO, and it was truly an epic experience. Thank you to everyone who made it so (I'll list all the yummy details below).  You all rock my world, and I feel quite lucky to be walking this path with you. Thanks to you, we now have the funds and the feedback that we need to finish this film... Yee Haw!

For my Sacramento peeps!  You are invited to a Rough-Draft Feedback Screening of Where There Once Was Water at the The Yisrael Family Urban Farm on Thursday, September 6th. We hope you'll join us!  There will be limited seating, so please reserve your ticket early.  

Get tickets HERE


Extra Special thanks are due to these lovely folks who helped to make our recent Fundraiser Party such a walloping success. Please show them your love & support if you are able...

Our Fiscal Sponsor, Ecologistics : www.ecologistics.org
Tablas Creek Vineyard & Winery : www.tablascreek.com
Zoo To You! : www.conservationambassadors.org
Cafe Musique : www.cafemusique.org
Florencia Ramirez & Eat Less Water : www.eatlesswater.com
Nature's Touch Nursery & Harvest : www.natures-food-templeton.com
Jada Vineyard & Winery : www.jadavineyard.com
Haute Skillet Food Truck : www.hauteskillettruck.com
Pepper Daniels & The Krush 92.5 : www.krush925.com
Kaori Funahashi : www.kaoriphoto.com
Tony Tran : www.tonytran.photography
Lonnie Scott : Bobcat Properties Farm

And to all the lovelies who donated to the Silent Auction, and to my helpers & besties... you know who you are... I LOVE YOU.  Thank you so much.

I'm excited for an upcoming film trip during which I'll be traveling throughout Northern California - grabbing the final bits and pieces to add to this expansive California Water Story.  This is an incredible process, and quite a marathon. It feels right and true and good. Thank you for your continued love & support, friends!  Let's continue to be the change we want to see in this world.  We need each other now more than ever. 


"To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right."   - Confucius



Mini-Portrait-Sessions are BACK!  Book yours while they last...

These sessions are great for families, couples, doggies, head-shots, kiddos, modeling, maternity, you name it.  It's a bit of double-whammy goodness : You get 40% off normal portrait session prices, AND 100% of the proceeds will go directly towards post-production of "Where There Once Was Water", Brittany's first feature-length documentary film.

Here's how it works:

1) You donate $200 to "Where There Once Was Water" (from the dropdown menu) on the Ecologistics Donation page….. HERE

2) You pick a desired date/time/location slot from the following list:

Sunday April 15th : Morning
Cuesta Park : San Luis Obispo, CA

9:30 am - BOOKED : Cathy D.
10:15 am - BOOKED : Jennifer S.
11:00 am - 
11:45 am - BOOKED : Sarah L.
12:30 pm - BOOKED : Natalie B.

Sunday April 15th : Afternoon
Morro Strand Beach : Morro Bay, CA

3:15 pm - BOOKED : Jewels C.
4:00 pm -
4:45 pm -
5:30 pm - BOOKED : Kristen B.
6:15 pm - BOOKED : Michael M.
7:00 pm - BOOKED : Mariah B.

Sunday April 29th : Morning
Los Osos Oaks Reserve : Los Osos, CA

9:30 am -  BOOKED : Josh M.
10:15 am - BOOKED : Andrew C.
11:00 am - BOOKED : Terra P.
11:45 am - BOOKED : Danielle M.
12:30 pm - BOOKED : Aja M.

Sunday April 29th : Afternoon
Sweet Springs Nature Preserve : Los Osos, CA

3:30 pm - BOOKED : Adrienne H.
4:15 pm - BOOKED : Shannon E.
5:00 pm - BOOKED : Jeremy B.
5:45 pm - BOOKED : Natalie R.
6:30 pm - BOOKED : Alice M.
7:15 pm - BOOKED : Ashley O.

3) You email/forward me a copy of your donation receipt & your preferred time slot to brittany@appsphotography.com

4) I give you a Mini Portrait Session (approx 30 minutes) on the date/time/location you select.  Approximately 2 weeks after our shoot, I deliver to you an online gallery of high-res image files, complete with 16 final images, BW & color, ready for print & web….

5) Taa Daa!  Everybody is stoked!  You get a portrait session at approx 40% OFF the regular price (16-proof sessions are normally priced at $350 plus tax).  And you help bring "Where There Once Was Water" to life!

Easy cheesy, lemon squeezy.  Let's do this!  Please feel free to spread the word!

Only the 22 spots listed above will be available.  First come, first served.  Please be sure to indicate your desired time slot/s when forwarding me your donation receipt.  Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for your un-ending love and support on this project.  Cheers!


See more of my photography at www.AppsPhotography.com

Standing Rock Stories

Being present in California while my heart is on the ground in North Dakota has been a challenge. The status of camp changes day by day, hour by hour, it seems. On December 4th, in the 11th hour, President Obama & The Army Corps of Engineers announced that they would NOT grant the easement for Energy Transfer Partners to bore under the Missouri River at Lake Oahu. This was a HUGE victory for Indigenous Sovereignty.

Since that announcement, with some uncertainty still on the horizon, and with severe winter storms battering the front line camps, the focus has begun to shift towards energizing a global movement. Take the energy & intentions of Standing Rock everywhere - to every pipeline - to every polluter - to every black snake. Continue to divest from all the corporate banks funding this project. Mass Bank Exit. People Power. And so it begins...

"The shortest distance between a human and the truth is a story." - Cynthia Brix

I felt heart-called to travel to Standing Rock - to help share the story of the Water Protectors - heart to heart - human to human. I am honored and grateful for those who spent time with me and who trusted me to share their story. 

I have many stories to share with you in the coming weeks, three of them today. The first is Donna & Curly - they are Rosebud Sioux, and the leaders of Rosebud "Sicangu Oyate" Camp at Standing Rock, North Dakota. They welcomed us in from the moment we arrived. They kept us safe, warm, fed, prayerful, and protected. Please, take a moment to listen...

And then there's John from Alabama. Along with being a jolly soul with a tremendous heart, he's a Vietnam Veteran, a talented (and wonderfully wiley) photographer, and the Hurricane Creekkeeper for the Waterkeeper Alliance. When I asked him about the behavior of law enforcement here at Standing Rock, he said "North Dakota is the most lawless state I have ever seen." This, coming from a man who lived in Alabama in the 1960s, and who witnessed the way the Freedom Riders were treated. Friends, meet John. 

This is Melaine Stoneman and her sister J.C. Begay. These women are Sicangu Lakota from Rosebud, South Dakota. I met Melaine at the Women's Meeting on my first day at camp. She and her sister J.C. speak to the importance of standing united as women all over the world. Please listen & learn from the wisdom these women have to share..

YOU can help defeat this Black Snake for GOOD.  Divest from the corporate banks who are funding this monster. Join me - put your money where your heart is. #DeFundDAPL Today. Every day. Everyone. Everywhere. Let's DO this! http://www.defunddapl.org

On the day we call "Thanksgiving"

This is Bill. He's a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. His people have lived on and cared for this land for hundreds of years. I met him in the early morning hours on my first day at Standing Rock. His dog Angel introduced us, as dogs do. I was overwhelmed with the energy of this sacred place, and was walking towards media hill to acquire my press pass. I was unsure what the days ahead would bring. Bill's first words to me... "Thank you for being here." 

Tears immediately welled up in my eyes. "We need you," he said, "All of you. All of our allies, from all over the world. It really means a lot to us that you are here." And in that instant, I'm pretty sure my heart exploded within my chest. "Thank YOU for inviting us," I said, "It is a true honor", and I meant it from depths of my being.

Land sacred to these people is being destroyed. Again. This is nothing new. They stand in prayer. To protect the Water. To protect Mother Earth. Arms outstretched. Hearts wide open. 

This photo is from the day we call "Thanksgiving". Law enforcement was stationed on top of Turtle Island, a sacred site for the Standing Rock Sioux. Their ancestors are buried on that hill, and the police are stationed up there, parking, driving, walking all over it. There are snipers, there are guns, mace canisters in hand, fire hoses, all at the ready. All at the ready for the prayer & ceremony that is about to take place on the banks of the Cannonball River. 

Bill & his tribe, along with 300 other tribes, plus thousands of non-Native allies, are standing up for all of us. For Life. For Water. For your children. For Indigenous sovereignty. For peace. 

The Natives are fulfilling a prophecy - that the youth would rise up, and that people of all colors would stand together - to kill the black snake. Because the black snake brings with it great sorrow and great destruction. This prophecy is now - the black snake is DAPL - the Pipeline. This is happening in real time, and I still cannot quite find the words to illustrate the immensity of this movement. These are the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota. This is The Great Sioux Nation. This river is their relative, and they will stand and pray until the black snake is defeated.

We are heading to Standing Rock

Friends, I will be traveling to Standing Rock, accompanying my dear friend Erin Inglish, to join the peaceful demonstrations there against the Dakota Access Pipeline. We are feeling called to be there in person, and are honored for the opportunity to contribute in this way.

For those who live here in SLO County, we will leave November 15th, and we would like to fill up our caravan with as many locally donated supplies as possible, to help them get through the winter. The Sacred Stone Camp Wish List includes : warm winter coats in good condition, sub-zero rated sleeping bags, wool and/or fur blankets, heavy tarps, non-perishable food, cured meats, batteries, headlamps, wall tents, wood stoves, lighters, ropes & tie-downs, heavy duty storage bins, propane, solar power, and more. Click HERE to see a full list of their needs.

If you have, or can give, any of these items, please begin to gather them up. You can drop off your donations at K-Man Cyclery in Atascadero or Paso Robles, or Gulliver's Travels in SLO, any time before November 13th.  (The sooner the better!)

Standing Rock : Photo by Dallas Goldtooth : #WaterIsLife #NoDAPL

Standing Rock : Photo by Dallas Goldtooth : #WaterIsLife #NoDAPL

There are many other ways you can help too!

Click HERE to donate money to the camp directly, which we recommend.
Click HERE to donate money to their legal fund, which we also recommend.
Click HERE if you'd like to send money to us, so that we may purchase larger ticket items, or bulk items, to bring along with us to camp to donate.

THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts - for sending your love & support in whatever way you are able. #WaterIsLife #NoDAPL 

I recently had the honor of talking with Kandi Mossett, "Eagle Woman", an Indigenous leader on the ground at Standing Rock. This is her story in unedited form - and i think you'll understand why when you take a few minutes to truly listen.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Water Protectors & A World Upside Down

Where There Once Was Water

Life feels heavy, my friends. There is much a-stir on our planet. Our Indigenous People, praying together as Peaceful Water Protectors, are being met with militarized police in North Dakota. Journalists there are being arrested for doing their job. The election approaches and continues to be an embarrassment. Undesirable predictions for our future are coming true. And Climate Change is no longer looming on the horizon - it is here now.

We need LOVE, now more than ever. We must work together, starting TODAY, to bring about a peaceful loving future for all life. Profits should never be more important than People. And this means that we likely need to look deep inside ourselves and ask some tough questions... What ingrained beliefs or behaviors must we change? What is standing in the way, in our own hearts & lives & habits, of moving us towards a just and equitable future? And what are we willing to live WITHOUT to arrive at that future?

So I challenge you... BE the love, my friends. Every day. To everyone you meet. Make decisions out of LOVE. Not greed. Not apathy. Just pure LOVE. Because the answer is simple... the answer is LOVE.

Standing Rock : Photo by Dallas Goldtooth : #WaterIsLife #NoDAPL

Standing Rock : Photo by Dallas Goldtooth : #WaterIsLife #NoDAPL

Have you heard about Standing Rock? Do you know what is going on there, and why it is of the utmost importance? If not, please get informed immediately. America is currently being forced to take a hard look at what it is founded on, and it's not pretty, my friends. It is time to Stand Up with our Indigenous People - United - against hate, against greed & oppression, against Fossil Fuels. We must stand together, with LOVE, for each other, and for our Mother Earth. 

I recently had the honor of talking with Kandi Mossett, "Eagle Woman", an Indigenous leader on the ground at Standing Rock. This is her story in unedited form - and i think you'll understand why when you take a few minutes to truly listen.

Sign a petition urging President Obama to reject the pipeline HERE
Donate to the Water Protectors, they need ALL the help we can give HERE
GO to Standing Rock. Stand with them. Find info HERE

#NoDAPL #StandWithStandingRock #WaterisLife 

So much has happened since my last email - WOW - please forgive me for bombarding you with so much info this time around - I promise I'll get better at sending out monthly updates - haha! In September I attended the National Heirloom Seed Expo in Santa Rosa and talked with some heavy-hitters in the world of Permaculture - John JeavonsChristy WilhelmiMatt Thompson, and more. I filmed harvest at Tablas Creek Winery, a biodynamic winery near Paso Robles, CA. I attended the Greenbuild Expo in downtown Los Angeles to learn about radical advancements in net-zero architecture & urban one-site water reuse. I visited renowned Water Lawyer Eric Garner of BB&K for an informative conversation about CA water law. I attended the SAWPA Riverwalk and had an inspiring conversation with Celeste Cantu, GM of the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority, about the importance of managing watersheds as a whole.  

It was an absolute treasure to spend a day with the deep souls of Walking Water as they finished a pilgrimage from Owen's Valley to Santa Clarita, walking along the path of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. I attended a free (yay!) rain-water harvesting workshop at the TreePeople headquarters in Bevery Hills. And to round out two great months with an overwhelming bang, I attended the Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, and talked with some of today's leading voices in the world of water, urban farming, and regenerative agriculture - Brock Dolman from O.A.E.C.Ariel GreenwoodRyan Camero,and Wanda Stewart. Wow, friends... this story, OUR story, the story of WATER, which is truly the story of LIFE, is enormous. I remain humbled and honored to be on this journey. xo

I feel called to end this update as I started it - with a call to action. Let's BE THE CHANGE.  Let's live in LOVE. Let's uplift and support one another. Let's ALL be Water Protectors, in every choice that we make, every day. Let's all learn to care, truly and deeply, for each other, and for our Mother Earth. Let's challenge our current paradigm, let's question our outdated belief systems, let's stretch, let's grow, and let's do all of this TOGETHER.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Regenerative Bliss & Head Bonks

This past Saturday I took a rather significant bonk to the head while photographing my husband's mountain bike race. Mountain bike vs. Spectator, if you're hungry for a visual. I mention this mishap because I am feeling quite lucky today. Lucky to be alive, lucky to have a thick skull, lucky to have a bad-ass gang of angels following me around, and lucky to be able to continue to work on this film, albeit at a slightly tamer pace for the next few weeks. I am a firm believer that life doesn't throw anything our way that we cannot handle, so onward and upward I go, gently....

This month I spent time in the northern reaches of California. I traveled up to Mendocino County as spent a day at Frey Vineyards in Redwood Valley. Frey Vineyards is a certified organic & biodynamic winery, and not only are they doing all kinds of good for the earth, they are making some delicious wine too.

I took a walk on Shasta Dam. The US Bureau of Reclamation wants to raise the dam by 18 feet, which would flood the Winnemem Wintu tribe off their remaining lands, cost taxpayers a fortune, and provide only a small amount of very expensive water to an elite few. Please read the fine print whenever you are given the opportunity to vote on what may, on the surface, seem like a "water fix", as the reality is often quite different.

I continued north to the tiny little town of Fort Bidwell, sitting in the tippy top eastern corner of the state, a part of California I had yet to explore, and WOW, I think my brain exploded (but this time in the best way possible). I spent two days with Abbey & Spencer Smith at the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management, a hub for the Savory Institute.

These beautiful souls are practicing Regenerative Agriculture and Holistic Land Management - mimicking the behavior of ancient grazing herds in order to heal and regenerate the soil. The incredible importance of healthy soil it is relatively new to me, my friends, and you would be amazed, as am I, at it's potential... not only in regards to healing the water cycle, but also in regards to reversing our climate crisis. This is a BIG deal.

And finally, a word about our trees... the lungs of our planet. After spending a couple of days in the Southern Sierras for hubby's mountain bike race I realized the gravity of the situation. Our Mother Earth has lung cancer, and we must do everything in our power to HEAL this planet, not destroy. With 113 degree days in June here on the Central Coast, and fires already raging all across the state, it's beginning to feel like we may already be too late. But I refuse to despair. We can do this, together, from the ground up, with love and care and community. Much love, my friends. Namaste.

Personal Responsibility

Flooded rice fields are a common sight in the Sacramento Valley. The average pound of rice requires 449 gallons (1,700 liters) of water to produce.

Flooded rice fields are a common sight in the Sacramento Valley. The average pound of rice requires 449 gallons (1,700 liters) of water to produce.

It's heating up out there!

June is here. Yowza! El "None-yo" is in our past, it's HOT, record hot in some places, and Lake Mead is at an all time low. This is heavy stuff, my friends.

As I continue on this wild adventure, I am learning that the consequences of our personal choices are not as abstract & removed as they may seem. Our personal choices & habits are, in fact, at the root of our planet's struggle. I am learning that I must do everything in my power to minimize my footprint on this Earth. To use LESS. Less water. Less stuff. Less everything. We all must. And the good news is ... YES, it absolutely makes a difference.

In early May I had the opportunity to meet (and film!) one of my all-time favorite filmmakers, Josh Fox, as he visited SLO on his "How to Let Go & Love" tour. AMAZING. I traveled to Sacramento to participate in California Rivers Day at the State Capitol with Friends of the River, California's only statewide river conservation organization. I also spent a couple inspiring days at the Yisrael Family Farm, a 1/2 acre urban farm in Oak Park, whose mission is pure... to "Transform the Hood for GOOD." 

And I flew. Yew! Thanks to a long-time friend, and his shiny new pilot's license, I had the opportunity for a bird's eye view.... of thousands of nut trees in tidy little rows, sprawling urban developments, the intricate and delicate Delta, and freshly flooded rice fields stretching for miles.

Steven and I traveled to Yosemite Valley for a few days to celebrate two super fun years of marriage, and it was refreshing to hike amidst the roar of the waterfalls and to feel their cool mist on our faces. Mother Nature is wondrous indeed.

This film, this project, is already the biggest and most rewarding of my career.... and I still feel like I'm only just beginning. AMAZING. You may have caught my mug smiling at you from the cover of the Paso Robles Magazine recently, or perhaps from the Art pages of the New Times. Whee! I am honored and thrilled to be making headlines along the way. Thank you all for your continued support & care. Y'all are truly the BEST!  xo