Fresno Zoo Lights

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] think what might be a bit of a best-kept secret around Fresno is a really cool event that has been going on over at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo for quite a few years. It’s Fresno Zoo Lights, which takes place over several nights through the holiday period. It’s a special admission event where you can stroll through the grounds of the zoo at night and take in all the brilliant lighting displays the staff has set up there. Although most of the animals have gone night-night by evening time, the colorful lights, themed music and other entertainment transforms the zoo into a winter wonderland worth a look.

Although it’s cold outside as it often is this time of year,the folks at the zoo are right there to offer hot cocoa, cookies, churros and pizza specials to keep you warmed up while you take in the spectacle. I believe you can get a cup of cocoa and a cookie for free! If you’re like me, you might want to sip it while enjoying the fire at the Kopje Lodge.

Of course, Santa Claus is there to take pictures with the kids and listen to their Christmas wishes. And, as usual, Taman the Zoo’s tiger mascot is around. This year there’s a new but familiar face joining in on the fun:  A full-costumed Pikachu is there to point out special Pokémon Go PokeStops to help you catch ’em all. I started playing that game on my phone last summer and I think the zoo has got to be the perfect place to get your pocket monster fix.

Also on the grounds is a cool snow machine to help you feel even colder than it really is. For an extra $2 you can view the lights with something called HoloSpex holographic glasses.

This is a really cool event and something fun to do with the family during the holidays. I’d put it right up there with Christmas Tree Lane as an event you’ve got to do every year. Zoo Lights goes on over a bunch of dates beginning in November until December 30. Check the zoo’s website for further information and to purchase tickets on the dates that work for you.

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Attorneys’ Office Photos

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ere’s a story of how small Fresno really is – or even the world for that matter. I got a call recently from a woman named Chelsea who asked if I could do her attorneys’ office photos. I said “of course”, and then when I asked about further information about her company I realized that I knew one of the partners. Toni Lerandeau of Lerandeau & Lernandeau in Fresno and I had been friends for a few years but she didn’t know that I was running a side photography business.

While working for the Bee she contacted me about photographing kids at her son’s school who would be putting flags out on veterans’ graves for Memorial Day. I didn’t have much going on that day so I went out and made some nice photos of the class putting the flags out including Toni’s son. After chatting I realized I used to work with Toni’s sister at the last paper I worked at. Tonya was also a photographer and was doing an internship at the Appeal-Democrat in Marysville. Well that was amazing to both of us and we remained friends and stayed loosely in touch for the past few years.

That’s when Chelsea called. So I gave her my proposal and was happy to find out Toni and her husband Paul Lerandeau had said that they chose me to their attorney’s office photos including head shots and group shots. We had some fun doing those photos in the lobby of their Fresno office. I set up lights to work with the cool backdrop art they had there right in the lobby. We even did a nice image of Paul in a chair looking like the Godfather.

For more information about my commercial photography service, please contact me.

Lerandeau and Lerandeau
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Zoo Boo 2016

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his is the second year I photographed the annual Zoo Boo at The Fresno Chaffee Zoo. I picked Saturday, Oct. 23 to shoot, which was sold out. Everyone looked to be having an awesome time and especially the kids who could trick-or-treat vendors all over the park. Kids were given a chance to burn off some of that sugar at the dance party toward the end of the night. And as usual, a costume parade topped everything off.

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Zoobilation

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he latest event I covered for the Fresno Chaffee Zoo was Zoobilaton. This is a special event for members of the zoo and adopt-an-animal sponsors. It’s really cool because the park is closed off to everyone but those special people and they get to see what goes on behind-the-scenes at several exhibits including Sea Lion Cove, the animal hospital and the African elephant house. Additionally, there are lots of fun games and activities for kids as well as entertainment from my buddy Oklin, face painting, hula dancing and playing with bubbles. And although it was a super warm day, there were ice cream cups available to cool things down.

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Breakfast with the Animals

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Fresno Chaffee Zoo’s Breakfast with the Animals event was a little on the wet side but that didn’t keep thousands from coming out to participate. I think I heard it sold out. The rain didn’t seem to keep the kids from having fun. They seemed to love twirling their umbrellas or stomping through puddles while also getting a tasty breakfast and seeing the active animals. It was also my birthday which turned out to be a fun way to spend it. There were plenty of great photos to be made. It was all good since I went up to Yosemite to spend the weekend with my wife as soon as I was done at the zoo.

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