Gisele O'Grady

"Giddy-Up"
Second place Peninsula People

The song's refrain goes, "Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys," but it might already be too late for the subject of Gisele O'Grady's second place winner in the "Peninsula People" category.

O'Grady's image, "Giddy-Up," depicts one-year old family friend Lucas Turchet riding a plastic horse while a real horse watches in the background. O'Grady took the photo at Ramos Ranch off of Deer Creek Road in the Palo Alto hills.

Lucas' love of horses comes from his parents, Giselle and Dino Turchet, Jr., who lease land from Stanford University and board horses.

It was a combination of serendipity, the right exposure and plain old good luck that created "Giddy-Up." O'Grady took her photo of Lucas in color because recent thumb surgery made it impossible for her to develop and print in black-and-white at home. In addition, the color enlarger at De Anza College, where O'Grady takes photography clases, was broken. She took the photo the weekend before the contest deadline, and had the film developed at Costco and the negative enlarged at Phototime. "The exposure was right so they couldn't screw it up," she said. "Phototime came through."

O'Grady's photo of Lucas reflects a common theme in her work. She enjoys taking candid photos of children, animals, and landscapes in both black-and-white and color. She has lots of photos of Lucas, she said, adding, "he's very photogenic."

Although she is not currently employed as a photographer, she would like to be, said O'Grady, who is currently working part-time for Events Merchandising Inc., selling t-shirts at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View. "I would really like to do something with photography, because it's my passion," she said.

--Christina Ziegler-McPherson