This is the first June in three years that we aren't releasing a brand new installment of the Gray Malin at the Parker series. It's bitter sweet to not have to share this year. All good things must come to an end though, right? I'm so proud of this series and all of the joy it's brought to so many! The culmination, of course, was the translation of the series into an imaginative children's book, Be Our Guest! To celebrate the tremendous effect this series has had on so many people, most especially myself, I thought it'd be fun to take us through the years!
Up first, the sweet and not so little "Tiny" the giraffe. We were shooting away when all of a sudden, he decided to take a break from being the “Lifeguard on Duty,” for a quick snuggle.
Without a doubt, he was the star of the first installment, being featured as the Lifeguard, Valet, enjoying an Afternoon Croquet, and of course, being the first to let us know - Welcome to the Parker. A fan favorite, we recently released the second adaptation of this moment.
And, of course, this was the beginning of something VERY special with our friendly Monkey the Bellman.
To celebrate the release of the first installment, we had an event at the Gene Autry house. You’re invited to take a look back at all of the fun we had, as well as see how the series decorated the entire home.
For the second installment, we invited a few more feline friends, including a lion and tiger...oh my! The first was more than ready to offer a friendly roar of a Welcome Back to the Parker ...and the latter just wanted a Spa Day and some lemonade..
Working with these beautiful creatures was an incredible experience, and then, of course, there was this big guy...who turned out to be the break out star on the shoot.
For the third and final installment, I was ready to GO BIG! Enter the gentle giant Tai, the stunning elephant who graced us with her zen-like demeanor. Needless to say, she was such a joy to photograph and a fast favorite for so many of you!
She was more than happy to let us all know that we're Always Welcome at the Parker. Also, by the time this shoot rolled around, the idea of creating a children's book inspired by this series was already alive and well! Thus, we were sure to have our favorite little monkey back on set, not to mention a few other new friends, who we'd meet again in the book.
While on set in 2017, I was shooting for two reasons rather my usual focused one. Over the years, I have been so delighted to see this particular series utilized in so many nursery and children's rooms. The idea of parlaying it into a children's book quickly followed, as it just felt so natural and appropriate. However, I truly think the book appeals to all ages, as it's a fun story combined with artistic photography.
For me, the Parker Palm Springs is a fantasyland for those young and old, but the series I created there truly brings out one’s inner child. The images tap into one's imagination, so it was very instinctive to translate them into a children's book.
The book was officially released in May, and it's been making children smile, ever since! Along with the release of the book, I also released some prints from the archives as well as images that were specially created for the book.
Last but certainly not least, we commemorated it all with a fun event at the GM studio....and yes, of course, Maurice the Monkey was in attendance. He stole the show...per usual!
Thanks so much for joining me as I remembered so many highlights from Gray Malin at the Parker. There has been many special moments over the years, and I really enjoyed sharing the with you all!