Veterans Day 2015

© Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery  Published on

© Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery   

As a US Coast Guard Veteran who was forced out of service due to MANY issues that were deliberately overlooked and ignored for the sake of saving a buck, along with many of my brothers and sisters who were treated the same way over a 4 year span within all branches of service, I took this photograph on Veterans Day. No one will ever know the trauma that all of us have endured in our own ways. Some will never heal. We’re given companions to try and take our minds off the sorrow. They help, but I can’t help but think that they suffer with us to an extent.
I have been lucky enough to overcome my greatest of burdens. I am still working on recovering from them. It’s been more than half of a decade. Piece by piece and year by year I find a new accomplishment and a new goal to appreciate. I’ve been told “no”; I’ve been knocked down; I’ve lost many friends who didn’t want to understand; I’ve helped others like me; I’ve admitted the truth; I’ve healed myself spiritually because of that realization of truth, and now the physical shell that has maintained this tattered soul is very slowly finding its form for what it was. Hopefully, one day, this body will come close, if not exceed what it once was in it’s prime.
Giving in to asking for help and letting go of shame or pride is the first step I took to finding a better way. I’ve learned to ask for help when I really need it in the hardest way possible!
To all the others who sometimes feel that they’re invisible being wanders this world alone with their special companions at their side to drown out the things that make us weak and weary. So many of us know one another’s pain even though no two are the same. For all that you’ve given and continue to give: Thank you!

Process and Discovery

Wedding and pre-wedding photographs of Dotty Hall and Ralph Stevens wedding on November 11, 2015 in Carmel, CA.  Photographs taken by Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery solely for the purpose of use by the wedding couple and Syrenia Imagery.  All images are copyright protected and not for use by any other party(s).

                                      © Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery

I was working on editing photos for a family wedding and ran across an image I deliberately took with artistic views in mind. These young adults have a lot of life ahead of them.  I’m not going to share any opinions as spectators will always create their own. I’m letting the image tell the story.

As one of my favorite photographers said,

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” –Ansel Adams


“It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.” – Paul Caponigro

Sharing my talents

As I’ve been working this short time as a freelance writer I have already worked for a newspaper, a small reputable publishing company, and a strong developing SEO Company.  Now that I’m happily working to help Paradigm SEO serve their clients, I’m currently having the priviledge of helping promote Stick With It.

Stick With It is a local San Diego company that has quickly grown to serve clients nationally.  Originally designed with the traveling makeup artist in mind, the Stick With It Palette was made to serve the needs of it’s creator, Monetta Plassmeyer.  She constantly had trouble finding makeup palettes that were easy to clean, use, and keep the makeup she wanted to use.  Eliminating the restrictions set forth by most similar products out there, the product used for her Stick With It Palette (the Clingfinity Surface) makes all the difference!

As Monetta was marketing her product, crafters managed to get a hold of her palette and instantly fell in love.  Now, it’s not only being marketed for makeup artists, but also serving for various uses within the creative industry as well.  Crafters and hobbyists alike are fully enjoying all the possibilities that come with using the Stick With It palette for supplies and as a working surface!


Image provided by Metanno Designs and Paradigm SEO

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For more information about the Stick With It Palette, visit  You can find the on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +

Stan Lee’s Comikaze helps to support unite4:good

Panelists greeting fans after talking about how their ventures in the tv and film industry has influenced their lives and how they work to help make a positive difference in society. United4:Good booth for Stan Lee's Comikaze 2015.

Panelists greeting fans after talking about how their ventures in the tv and film industry has influenced their lives and how they work to help make a positive difference in society. United4:Good booth for Stan Lee’s Comikaze 2015.

The former unite4:good has now become DoMore4:Good. This nationwide nonprofit organization works to “help make the world a better place” and motivate people to do what they can to help make a positive difference in society. Stan Lee’s Comikaze 2015 has come together with the organization, along with Wilmer Valderrama (Minority Report TV Series) and Blair Underwood (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) to speak with Trevor Goring (Artist and Illustrator) and Dr. Robin Rosenberg (Psychologist and writer of “What is a Superhero?” and “Our Superheroes, Ourselves,” etc.) about how we relate to the superhero persona and how performers who portray those superheroes even help to motivate others to do good in the world.

“At their best, superhero origin stories inspire us and provide models of coping with adversity. Find meaning in loss and trauma, discovering our strengths and using them for good purpose,” said Dr. Robin Rosenberg, ‘The Psychology Behind Superhero Origin Stories’ article in Smithsonian Magazine (2013).  Consider all of your personal aspects and how to use them as a power for good.  Exercise those talents that are above average skills that you possess in order to find the Super within yourself.  The smallest of actions can change the world.  Often times, when we are doing something so extraordinary, we don’t even realize that we are actually doing something so grandiose as the effort is being carried out.

Sure, the heros we grew up with are so admirable because they posses powers that expand our imaginations and break realistic limitations, but the mind proves to allow us the ability to surpass these limitations in life in order to exceed all expectations and go beyond limitations of the present and potentially leave a legacy of good for everyone to benefit from.  Our mind is an amazing mechanism.  Regardless of the limitations placed upon us, our weakness are proven to serve as strengths when we pay enough attention to who we are and adapt those characteristics to allowing us to function at your highest potential.

DoMore4:Good inspires people to come together to inspire people to keep dreaming and aspiring for greatness in order to make the world a better place.  Exercise empathy, remove segregation, and realize that we are united and a part of each other.

“Exercising unity leads to understanding,” said Wilmer.  We forget how inspiring we are to society in general.  As performers, we are role models, especially to those that don’t have them in their lives.  As a message for people when looking for inspiration, “don’t wait for permission, and don’t wait around for someone else or something to happen.  If you really want to do something.  Get out and do it.”

“I think the overall theme to this is to find what you can within yourself to find those heroic powers or dynamics within yourself to give back, pay it forward and help other people,” said Blair Underwood.  Being of service to others is the main goal.

For more information about DoMore4:Good, visit or visit or as they transition to into their new image.

Cute Cakes Grand Opening




There was a full house all night for the grand opening of Cute Cakes in Escondido, CA tonight. Members from the community came to welcome the business with open arms as they have spent their years growing helping other businesses within the community thrive. Jill Reilly started out in her own kitchen seven years ago, working to get where she is now, and continuing to thrive throughout San Diego County as she has been operating her downtown location for the past two years. The room was filled with friends, family, government officials, and honorary guests.


I have been lucky enough to find myself in the company of this group of wonderful people. They show great talent in their work as they design the baked goods featured in their stores to fit the dreams and inspirations of every body that walks into their assemblage. My husband and I were impressed at the work they had done to create our wedding cake three years ago and have gone back every year since to get the same exact Virginia Apple Walnut Cake with Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jelly filling for our anniversary. I spent months looking for a local baker that would do gingerbread for our wedding and Jill was the only bakery to answer to the challenge. They did an amazing job. Even their own staff has yet to forget that cake order.

Hall-Walbourne wedding cake by Cute Cakes November 3, 2012.  Photo by Leslie Dunn.

Hall-Walbourne wedding cake by Cute Cakes November 3, 2012. Photo by Leslie Dunn.

Now that Cute Cakes has been blessed enough to grow to the size they have as present, they are using their space wisely and helping other businesses in ways that help them to promote their own companies within the same location; share the space for meetings and group events; and promote their work throughout the bakery; even hold meetup groups. Now, guests that frequent Cute Cakes can come in for tea, have party’s, join in on fun baking classes, and enjoy breakfast and lunch along with all their well known treats. The bakery will continue to be hosting Gingerbread Haunted House decorating this Halloween Weekend. And then continuing the fun by doing gingerbread houses for the Winter Holiday season.

Having fun making haunted gingerbread houses with Cute Cakes, by Anne S. Hall.

Having fun making haunted gingerbread houses with Cute Cakes, by Anne S. Hall.

All this week Cute Cakes will be officially celebrating their Grand Opening. This Wednesday will officially be day 3 of the festivities, as they will be holding raffles all throughout the day. See more of the festivities at and

Cute Cakes - Escondido.  From a small team of three to this wonderful growing team of today!

Cute Cakes – Escondido. From a small team of three to this wonderful growing team of today!


Calendar of Events provided by Cute Cakes of San Diego.

Calendar of Events provided by Cute Cakes of San Diego.

North County Arts Network has a successful year


North County Arts Network (NCAN) has successfully completed its first year of operation and concluded with its final quarterly meeting for the year.  What’s next?  Action!  With more than 80 members of the arts community attending the gathering in Carlsbad this evening, Coordinator, Daniel Foster, greeted participants with encouraging motivation to act now in order to reach out to local government officials to share funds to help support the arts within the North County region.

With North County San Diego being one-third of the entire population of San Diego County at 1.3 million people, from a total of 3.5 million people strong, most of the attention and support for the arts radiates around the city of San Diego itself rather than the surrounding communities.  North County has grown to these vast numbers in just the last decade and will continue to grow as rapidly over the next.  Cities like Encinitas, San Marcos, Carlsbad, Vista, Oceanside and Escondido all have their own resources and focuses within industry and towards the arts.  The evenings panel discussion focused on combining all of these assets in order to help each community promote these qualities in order to help the region as a whole.

“I believe every city will create their own experience and focus,” said Jerome Kern, City of Oceanside Council Member.  Regional assets are all different.  Attracting businesses to the regional benefits should be considered as an attraction point to our communities.  Point to those assets to help other cities and we will all benefit together.

This network of community has proven a desire, motivation and need.  Thus, the NCAN will be spending the rest of its efforts in 2016 establishing the previously proposed committees for Visual and Performing Arts Programming, Arts Education, Civic and Public Art, Arts Funding and Economic Development, and Arts Marketing and Audience Development for the population of North County San Diego.  All of these committees will begin action early December.

Council Member, Jerome Kern, of the City of Oceanside; Carl Morgan of the Economic Development Council of San DIego North; Coordinator, Patricia Frischer, of the San Diego Visual Arts Network; and Daniel Foster, Coordinator of North County Arts Network.

Council Member, Jerome Kern, of the City of Oceanside; Carl Morgan of the Economic Development Council of San DIego North; Coordinator, Patricia Frischer, of the San Diego Visual Arts Network; and Daniel Foster, Coordinator of North County Arts Network.

There are 2,500 regional art resources.  Yet, it is still untapped.  More than 700 billion dollars in revenue comes from the arts, but California is 44 in support of the arts.  “We’ve always seen art as a catalyst for change all throughout history,” said Patricia Frischer, Co-ordinator for the San Diego Visual Arts Network.  We should take the art so that it can travel and change in order to adapt to its environment and make that the image of NCAN’s foundation.  To move within our communities and identify with the various cultural aspects that thrive within our region.

There are 429 nonprofit organization in San Diego and 44% of those nonprofits are located in North County.  The arts help to support aspects of life that are economically driven.  The city of Fallbrook is a great example of this, with its Avocado Festival attracting more than 100,000 tourists to their community every year, along with their hosted arts summit and support of the arts in their yet to be accredited School of Arts and Arts Center, according to Carl Morgan of San Diego North’s Economic Development Council.  “If we make art the center point it becomes the economic driver” that our communities need to enrich the culture and support the arts community that helps community and business flourish.

The next quarterly event for NCAN will take place on Thursday, January 21, 2016 at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts.  For more information, contact Daniel Foster at

Loss and Revitalization

Etching by Eylish Sweeney of her father, Tim Sweeney, replicating my promotional photo of his comedy show.

Etching by Eylish Sweeney of her father, Tim Sweeney, replicating my promotional photo of his comedy show.

So, I’m baaack… officially. After taking nearly two months to consider what I’m doing with my work and how I should consider taking my skills and using them to better contribute to community. After the loss of Wayne Dyer, and wondering how much I should reconsider how my work is purposed, with two people who have quickly come in and out of my life with passing on to something beyond living… I considered how much they both worked to bring people together in order to help ‘community’ above all else. Considering how we can all benefit one another with a common goal of making the world a better place. And loving every bit of it all.

Katie and Tim Sweeney always said, “Take the cards you’re dealt.” They’ve been given to you for a reason so use them to the best of your benefit! Looking back at life seems to make it easier to see those prosperous traits that always existed in my nature. The natural state of being that came so easily before judgement and question of talent ever came to play. I had been writing since I was six years old and could write 10 page papers in two days before I hit the age of 10. Piles of journals full of poetry that I wrote since I was a kid, up until I turned 20… and then everything stopped.

I was too concerned about making it to tomorrow. Wondering how getting by was going to be achieved. By then, there was a huge recession. It was the beginning of the 21st Century. I was looking for my place in life and was completely lost in the uncertainty of it all. My ambition to be a scientist drove me to my next adventure, but during those years I truly lost all recollection of that natural state of being that kept me up late at night and poured out of me like provenance.

Going back to college, I got it all back like a serendipitous mistake; looking for ways to expose myself as a photographer and forgetting that I had the skill to write because of all those years of writers block that lingered beneath that resonated haze that kept me from remembering how much I could do and how versatile I was at making words make sense on paper so much more than I could in practice physically.

At this point, with so many stories to tell… so many that have proven to help others, yet I’ve continued to lack the courage to share them beyond people I could trust or knew that truly needed to hear them… the loss of these two great man left me to consider whether I should be doing more with this skill…

Following this path in life has driven me to amazing people! I keep following this path and I keep finding myself rewarded with each moment that I work to help people and bring people together. Finding a life within the art community was one that I never fathomed for myself! I was always told that it was something that wasn’t profitable and could not be a means for supporting ones self in order to thrive in any society. I’ll admit, I never worked as hard in my entire life as I have and continue to as I pursue this line of work, but I have also never seen quite as much accomplishment and fulfillment has I have with every tiny step I’ve taken to help others in their endeavors as a writer/photojournalist.

So, with these near two months past, and attending my last NCAN (North County Arts Network) meeting for the year, I have been reminded of how much people value my skills and how much I AM needed in doing what I do. For the better.

I help nonprofits in various ways! I’ve written news articles to help inform the public about important issues. Even one’s that I preferred to avoid… I’ve continued to find amazing work with wonderful people that have a common interest in helping others. And I’ve done so much to get to this point where I am skilled and able enough to help the arts community in San Diego.

Maybe it wasn’t so much of a coincidence that I ended up finishing college with a BA in Arts and Technology, with am emphasis in photojournalism; a double minor in Film Studies and Dance; and two AA’s in Art and Studio Art. The people I am finding at this point in my life are working to improve life and culture within my community and can very much use these types of skills.

So, after all this personal debate, I’ve come to the conclusion that not much is going to change. The personal rewards keep coming and they’re continuing to make others happy, so I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing until something else comes up to make me reconsider the focus of my work. Sure, all the Arts and Entertainment coverage I provide is great fun, but everything I do in the background that doesn’t appease the masses in pop culture’s highly rated industry work deeply touches the lives of individuals and community that profoundly appear to benefit in development and outcome.

May the good times roll!