Over the past 2 years I’ve had the opportunity and in many cases privilege to meet some very amazing people(many I have featured on my blog) I would like to add to this list the lovely Somerhalder family, and before you get overly excited this post has nothing to do about the most well-known member Ian(in fact this will likely be the last mention of him, sorry)
Bob and Dena Somerhalder are the charming owners of both Built of Barnwood (B.O.B for short) and the gaming app Somerhalder Secrets. The intrepid and hardworking Somerhalder’s are truly delightful and always have time for the various fans who come up for autographs and pictures at each and every convention they attend. They’ve also created a Facebook group to help fans keep up with their various con appearances. Contrary to popular belief there isn’t a huge company behind anything the are associated with, Bob actually creates each of his pieces himself, with Dena’s help of course. It’s refreshing to see that they don’t just put their name on a product or use the popularity of other family members to create sales. Bob and Dena are genuine and have created products they are proud to sell.
Built of Barnwood is based in the charming coastal town of Bay St Louis, Mississippi. Bob Somerhalder’s focus is on reclaiming, recycling, and repurposing vintage wood and building materials. Once reclaimed, the wood is handcrafted into home decor, furnishings, and design accent pieces. Bob strives for a greener, more sustainable economy. With this green desire in mind, the Somerhalders have launched a clean and sustainable business of contemporary products with a vintage flare.
Though best known for their crosses B.O.B has an array of beautiful and unique pieces including the newest addition: the autograph boards (autographs not included) which can be customized if preordered, popular with convention goers and the celebrities have also endorsed them. If interested in ordering an autograph board or for more info on them you can email Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org
Their newest creation is the gaming app Somerhalder Secrets – Raised on the Bayou which is a highly addictive tile-matching puzzle game with a twist, after you successfully complete challenges you will receive secrets about the family, and these are little known facts provided by all the Somerhalder siblings, yes including the aforementioned screen actor. This game features sea creatures commonly found in the Somerhalder’s native home of the Louisiana bayou. The app is available for purchase on the iTunes and GooglePlay stores now.
You can keep up to date with this busy couple by following them on twitter: Dena, Bob, Somerhalder App
Writing can be both cathartic and daunting, over the past few months I’ve felt an increasing pressure to create interesting content for this page and continually felt that I was failing at providing. Sadly this has led to far less posts and procrastination. Last month this blog had it’s first anniversary, a milestone that I met with both pride and melancholy, looking back I’ve accomplished so much more than I had imagined for this blog. I’ve made friends, had amazing adventures, and it’s allowed me to enter back into the world of the living. I spent much of my adult years sitting on the sidelines of my own life, never willing to fully take the risk of being present, thanks to my blog and the wonderful experiences it’s brought to me it’s opened me up to an entire world I hadn’t thought existed.
So here’s to another year of madness, and movement, of making new friends and falling more in love with life. Happy Anniversary to my blog and thanks to everyone who’s made it memorable.
Creation Entertainment’s Amazing Photographer Chris Schmelke and I
Carts off a bridge – credit Chris Schmelke
London – Chris Schmelke
With one week until Creation Entertainment’s TVDNJ convention I wanted to introduce you to the man who’s soon to become your new best friend, and no I don’t mean Ian Somerhalder. A big part of the convention experience is the photo op, and I was lucky enough to meet the man behind the lens who helps immortalize the fans’ dreams. Chris Schmelke is the professional photographer for Creation Entertainment. Photography has always been in Chris’ blood, His dad was a photographer, and Chris remembers being intrigued watching his father develop photos in their darkroom as a child living in Vietnam. “Something about the red light and seeing blank pages become something else was very mysterious to me. ”
He got his start in photography after his band split up and he began photographing his friends’ bands. For the last 10 yrs Chris has been working in photography, 9 of which he has been working with Creation Entertainment. Chris’ relationship with Creation started when he was in elementary school, “I used to buy comics in their store. My mom started working there in the 80’s and I started helping out.” Later when Creation was looking for a photographer Chris was right there to fill the spot. Chris has photographed all the various Creation conventions including: The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Supernatural and of course The Vampire Diaries.
When asked which convention was his favorite Chris is quick not to play favorites, “I have actually enjoyed them all, tough to pinpoint a specific, though all the TVD and Supernatural casts have been great.” Throughout his years with creation Chris has been witness to many interesting fan moments, including a time when a fan dumped the water from a celebrity’s glass over their head to “have their essence”. Chris admits to having his own fanboy moment when he got to work with Star Trek stars William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, “I mean I had a lunchbox with them on it!” Though he prefers to remain less demonstrative in his fan worship, “I’m the silent crazed type.”
Chris would love to work as the set photographer for a film, but is perfectly happy with his work now. Chris’ camera of preference is once again influenced by his father, “My dad had a Canon, I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II and III, so I guess I’m carrying on the tradition.” When not shooting fans and celebrities Chris enjoys shooting in a very interesting space, “May sound strange, but I am a big fan of industrial wastelands such as abandoned asylums. Not an easy thing to shoot but I secure permits before going in, some places require respirators which add to the fun!”