Category Archives: Fine Art

veterans… Veterans… VETERANS!!!

Like most people, as I had grown I was trying to find my own way in life. I had gotten wrapped up in a family, career and the hustle and bustle of every day living. Then my father became ill and most of us know what happened with the Arizona V.A. I believe at that point I started opening my eyes more to the veterans…

I remember growing up knowing my father was in the US Navy. But being a girl (that’s not an excuse) never really thought to question him about it. Even if I did he wouldn’t talk about it… All I remember was him showing me a picture of his unit and being told only a couple survived. He was a landing craft driver.. The boats that drove up to the beaches in Normandy with the men (LCI).

As I’ve mentioned I’m sure many times that my project Diminishing Generations (DG) had become more than a professional project to me but a personal journey. Nothing can replace learning history first hand…. By the voices of the ones who’ve lived it…

It’s coming up on a year that I released these books on the USS Iowa… Since then I never stopped learning… As I move forward to gather more stories for Volume 2 of Diminishing Generations (DG) I had begun a new project. These new books will tie in with the WWII section of DG called Allegiance: Our Heroes Not Forgotten.

This new project had taken me to places I’ve never been before, such as Belgium, France, Netherlands and Germany. Talking about going full circle with history I felt I had accomplished that just by going to these countries our men fought and died not only in WWII but also in WWI. I was in aww when I had seen the original fox holes the veterans talked about in the DG-WWII book. Such an eerie feeling being there, standing in those dug out holes they call “Fox holes” and seeing the field the enemy was approaching on… Being where the Battle of the Bulge was fought… But the hardest time for me was standing on each of the beaches our men fought and died on in Normandy… Seeing the battle damage still there from bomb craters to blown up pill boxes… Nothing has been moved… The emotional feeling just being there and specially hearing the stories of what actually happened.. Americans are told over time how difficult it was for our men to fight on those beaches… You just don’t understand the magnitude of difficulty it REALLY was…. Seeing is much more heart wrenching than hearing about the obstacles our men faced that day in history.

Allegiance: Our heroes Not Forgotten will be about our veterans of WWII as well as WWI. They had fought and died and still remain in either Belgium or the Netherlands. Again, with WWI you will still see areas of war. The villagers still find the bodies of our soldiers as well as ammunition along with other war items.. Most Americans had forgotten about these soldiers that were not brought back home. But the people of Belgium and Netherlands have not forgotten. The people have adopted at least one soldier but most have more. They appreciate to this day the sacrifice our men had made for their country. So no one there will forget them…

This book is about our soldiers, the battles they fought, the adopters, and the families of the soldiers that were found, and much more… My goal is to have the WWI book completed by 2018 as it will be the 100 year anniversary of the war… But my ultimate goal is to have them both done… I’m on track for that now…

I will be heading back to Belgium in May of 2017 seeing my friends and meeting more… Most of all I will be seeing and learning even more of our history…

Veterans Day is coming soon…. Please take the time to thank a veteran for their service and sacrifices. BUT still thank a veteran even if it’s not a holiday…

** Enjoy the video as Patrick is an adopter of 2 soldiers in Belgium **

Thanks for following… 🙂







New Site, New Project and Good News

I am very excited after several years I finally been able to get my new site up and running. I’m very proud to be able to show my work the way it’s supposed to be… Check out one of my favorites (Although, they are all my favorite) “Waiting on a Friend” a typology project.

I am proud to say I had received amazing news this week. My project/Books Diminishing Generations have been accepted as a permanent collection into The Library of Congress. So these veterans stories will now be available for all future generations to learn what war was really like. So happy I was able to do this for the veterans… I am continuing this mission…

For those who have read my books or know me personally understand I am an emotional person. I am not an author in a sense I don’t write novels (But who knows)… I actually call myself or shall I say my books “Hybrids”… They are much more than a photographic book but yet not a novel. You will always get a story told in a way as if you were with me on that journey. Because the stories I tell are real… I don’t elaborate I just tell it as I see, feel it or what I’m told. Which brings more of a humanistic approach to what I do. The projects I do are on everyday individuals that have done or gone through some amazing things. I am not politically correct as I am not a perfect writer but you certainly will feel what I have to say…

My new project “Allegiance: Our Heroes Not Forgotten” is completely different from all of my other work. This project is about WWI and WWII soldiers that were killed in the line of duty that has not been returned home. I started this journey not really understanding what I was going to learn, but I actually felt like I have been going through a time machine. I had learned first hand what our soldiers had done to save their country through the semblance of the landscape while in Belgium. I’ve seen what was left of cannons, shells from ammo, containers of the chemical bombs, and the damage that was done and still shows. I’ve stood on the grounds where some of the major battles took place in both WWI & WWII. Absolutely amazing and humbling… some areas a little eerie…

So each week I will talk about my first trip to Belgium, Holland and France while documenting for this project. I will share with you some amazing things I have learned or seen. But… also sharing with you information on the Volume 2 of the Diminishing Generations project.

So excited about these amazing stories that will be told…

Until next time…



2016 Plans… What will it bring…

Happy New Year!! I hope this New Year will bring happiness in everything you do…

2015 was busy and an amazing year… It started off slow but ended with a big band!! I’ve been working hard for about the last two years on collecting interviews, research, editing, writing ect… When June of last year came Jim Dailey of Digital Delta Design with Javier Campos, David Riley, Cathy Felty and I work so hard to complete this amazing project in time of its release of November 14, 2015, and we did it!!! The turnout for this amazing project was so overwhelming.. As well as making some positive changes in lives of some people…

The books of Diminishing Generations are different because they utilize the Augmented Reality technology, which places digital content between the user and the physical world. In this case, the AR-enabled apps allow the user to “scan” the images of the veterans in the books and access additional content such as videos and photo galleries, sharing more of each veteran’s story”.

With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and image recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable. Artificial information about the environment and its objects can be overlaid on the books.  Who could have imagined videos coming right off the pages of a book?

So make sure you check out these books as you will learn history not only in a new way, but you will hear it directly from the person who lived it…  Order right now at under books. Other locations to purchase will be available soon.

So what does 2016 have in store for me? The overwhelming response from the books have led me to continue the work. So the stories of our veterans will be told in one form or another as It is so important not only to hear these stories of our history, but it’s giving the veterans a chance to tell their own story of war-time… So “Diminishing Generations” Volume 2 has begun….

Flanders_Field_119th_Infantry (1)

In the mean time while I am collecting the interviews for volume 2, I have started another project that will tie in with the WWII book of Diminishing Generations called Allegiance: Our Heroes Not Forgotten. This will bring the stories of our WWI and WWII veterans that were killed in action and buried in other countries to the present. More details to come in the near future as I get ready to travel and see first hand where some of these soldiers were killed and try to bring closure to their families today.

So this year will be very exciting as I will be visiting Belgium, Netherlands, France (Normandy), Bastogne (Where the Battle of the Bulge was fought), and Vietnam… This not only will help with my new project but I’m working on bringing the stories I’ve learned first hand from our veterans to a full circle… Not only am I doing this to preserve our history but it also now has become a personal journey.

More to come in this new year.. 🙂 To follow both stories while I document to progress there is a Facebook page called Diminishing Generations and Allegiance: Our Heroes Not Forgotten.




What a Turnout!!!

The day finally came… November 14, 2015… The build up… The anticipation… lol and the stress…

When you have an event, any kind of event there is always bumps and detours along the way. For this event there were just a few, but actually I’m really glad they happened. I was hoping and actually praying that this would turn out to be an amazing event not only for the books but for the veterans.

I was so pleasantly surprised at the turn out of this event. Of course as I’ve told many before that day I would probably be in some kind of la-la land… As the stress, excitement was going to be over the top.

I was clueless to the fact there were lines waiting to come in. I never expected, always hoped, but never expected the amount of people who had attended this event. People came from all around the U.S. just to come to this event. They came from as far away as New York, Louisiana, Arizona and Oregon just to name a few. I pretty much never really had a chance to take a break as I stayed in the chair signing books one right after another. Yes my hand was cramping lol

I achieved my goal… The first and foremost goal was giving a voice to our veterans!! Opening up communications within families, neighbors and even strangers. Getting the youth today wanting to learn about our history in a new way… Getting some veterans to start talking about their time in war… Endless reasons like this is why I started this project.

On this day I wanted our veterans to feel special… They didn’t realize people actually wanted their autographs.. 🙂 It was awesome.. For some it was so overwhelming… appreciated but emotional…

The day was full and busy… People coming and going… I was approached a few times by the employees that we were well over the fire code… Which meant we were out of room and had to many people in that locations… lol I’m thinking that’s a good thing lol… So to fix that problem the employees of the ship decided to take groups of people on a tour of the ship to somewhat thin out the crowd.

I was amazed when a woman approached me from the side while I was signing books… She was the head woman of the so-called ticket counters. She had to come and meet me and shook my hand… She said she had never seen so many people and lines for an event like mine… So she wanted to meet me in person…  lol

Well, now that the event is over and I’m trying to relax.. I got to sit back and think about it.. I came to the conclusion that it was like having a baby.. lol That proud but anxious time.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day… Thank you to our veterans for your service and being part of this amazing project…


photography by: Brewster Gonzales











Press Release!! – It’s time!!


“Diminishing Generations” sets its voyage on the Battleship USS Iowa on November 14th, with heroes cast.

Jodi Champagne’s (Author, Photographer, Historian,) latest project is an exquisite in-depth look at our Veterans, as she traveled across the country collecting their stories, valuing our nations history from those who actually made it. “Diminishing Generations” is a personal interactive adventure in book and video in a high-tech presentation never done before. Champagne chose the Battleship USS Iowa as the place to launch her latest accomplishment, “Diminishing Generations” a biographic and photographic journey with a heroes cast of Veterans to autograph their lives in memoirs set to a series of books about WWll, Korea and Vietnam. The event will take place on November 14, 2015 from 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Battleship USS Iowa located 250 So. Harbor Blvd, San Pedro, CA at Berth 87 at the Los Angeles World Cruise Port Terminal at the LA Waterfront / Port of Los Angeles. Attending from 12:00 noon to 2:00pm many of the interviewed Heroes will be on hand to meet, greet and sign autographs.   The event is FREE, a tour of the ship, if desired, is $10.00. Proceeds from the sale of 3 – book series “Diminishing Generations” , go towards the Gary Sinise Foundation, who serves our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in needs by creating and supporting programs to educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities.

“These books are powerful, emotional and very personal as veterans from WWII, Korean and Vietnam talk about life in wartime as well as their return home. They never had the opportunity or never chosen to share their stories and perspectives until now. “I started this project because I feel we need to hear the stories from these veterans, whom we are losing everyday” declares Champagne “I never, realized the magnitude of this journey I would take with these remarkable people, The excitement, the emotions and frustrations as I let them freely talk. The loss of our veterans I’ve interviewed, while some others I was scheduled to interview unfortunately passed before I had the chance. Guided by my heart, I decided to call it Diminishing Generations, because we are losing these veterans every day and we lose their stories along with them.”

“Each of our veterans has a story, most untold, unheard before now.   Like for instance Ford Rice – WWll, a 100-year-old Navy Veteran who was at Pearl Harbor, as the Japanese attacked, who watch the eyes of the first kamikaze fly in blowing everything up. He never uttered a word of this to his friends or family Mr. Rice agreed to tell us his stories of his 20 years in the Navy . It will bring tears to your eyes, of a frightening world he survived for pride in his country.” Recounts Champagne. Or there is the story of Robert Smalley-Korea: Robert was amazed at the helicopter pilots. He thought they had to be “some kind of crazy” to do what they had to do and go where they had to go. Most of the time in Vietnam our soldiers were put into a battle zone right in the middle of the enemies. Being around that much artillery fire the helicopters stand a good chance of getting hit, and Robert was in a helicopter that was shot down.

The Diminishing Generations project is utilizing Augmented Reality technology, which places digital content between the user and the physical world. In this case, the AR-enabled apps allow the user to “scan” the images of the veterans in the books and access additional content such as videos and photo galleries, sharing more of each veteran’s story. With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and image recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable. Artificial information about the environment and its objects can be overlaid on the books.  Who could have imagined videos coming right off the pages of a book?

You will have the ability to hear and see the veterans tell their personal stories of war directly from themselves, Diminishing Generations app to learn more about our veterans and their experiences can be downloaded at The Apple Store or Google Play online Apps for both Android and iPhones.

For more information visit Http:// or contact us via email at

#                                    #

Interviews available so please contact CLW Public Relations, (805) 584-1222 or email

Finally Done!!

It’s finally done… I really don’t know how to feel. It’s like having a child the grows up and leaves home… What they call the empty nest syndrome. That’s how I feel… This has been my baby for almost a couple of years and now you will finally see it…

I’ve been going about 150 mph the last several months… From sun up until I would dropped asleep on the computer… (Thank heavens no pictures were taken of me doing that lol) Almost every waking moment not only writing and editing the books but also editing the videos.

Along the way I’ve shared with you all the trials and tribulations that I’ve gone through or felt. The excitement, the emotions and frustrations. The loss of our veterans I’ve interviewed, while some others I was scheduled to interview but unfortunately they had passed before I had the chance.  That’s why I decided to call it Diminishing Generations, because we are losing these veterans more and more every day and we lose their stories alone with them.

These books are the first of its kind. Using Augmented Reality to bring these images and stories to reality right from the books. As Jim Dailey of Digital Delta Design explains, “The Diminishing Generations project is utilizing Augmented Reality technology, which place is digital content between the user and the physical world. In this case, the AR-enabled apps allow the user to “scan” the images of the veterans in the books and provide a direct link to additional content such as videos and photo galleries, sharing more of each veterans story”.

It’s always hard to explain how these books work in just typing about it, because most individuals are not familiar with this technology. And for that matter who could imagine, videos coming right off the pages of a book. But that’s how these books are. You will have the ability to hear and see the veterans tell their personal stories of war directly from the veterans themselves.

So November 14, 2015 the book launch will be held free on the USS Iowa from 10a.m. to 4p.m. From 12-2 will be the meet and great of the veterans in the book. So come and meet the veterans and have them sign their part of the book. Learn some real history from the ones who’ve lived it.

Keep a watch out as there are more exciting things coming your way.

I hope to see you on the USS Iowa on the 14th and if not you can still order the books at under “Books”. Shortly thereafter they will be available elsewhere.

Thanks Jodi





AWE 2015

I’ve talked and posted about my project Diminishing Generations being shown at the Augmented World Expo 2015 in northern California. They finally released the video of Jim Dailey of Digital Delta Design discussion the process. Apparently it was a big hit 🙂

I’m so excited and can’t wait for this project to be released.  Yes I’m going crazy because I’m still in the middle of editing and writing and not counting everything else I must do… But when you see and hear these veterans tell their own personal stories you will be amazed…

I’m so proud as I go though editing the stories of the veterans. Even though I’ve heard it being told the original time, for some odd reason it seems more special as I sit in front of my computer privately listening again with no interruptions. Hearing every word they have to say… So much emotions along with some tears… I want to go back and talk even more… I never thought I could learn so much… It really makes me want to learn even more.

Here soon you will have the chance to also hear these amazing stories… We can listen to their stories which is so important to them but we will really never know what it was like to have fought in a war during that generation.

Thanks again for your support.


Take a deep breath…

Let me take a quick deep breath…

Life still goes on no matter what you do or what you are in the middle of doing… While documenting this project “Diminishing Generations” I’ve had to deal with my own personal emergencies… Not counting I do have a family… Being a person that doesn’t know the meaning of 100% only 250% that can be devastating… So I’m going to take a deep breath….

While I’m wrapping up the last bit of interviews of some WWII veterans I’ve begun editing the ones I have. It’s fascinating even though I was present at the interview it’s like I learn and hear more… While I’m editing I research things they tell me… the what, where and when… For example Eugene, a Navy man, was on the USS Helena when it got torpedoed… So I research the location of where it happened, the survivors ect… So not only am I editing I’m also learning more in-depth American history. And of course one thing leads to another…

Time is coming close to the release of the book… November 14, 2015. Although to the average person it’s actually far away… But for me lol it’s to close… So I’m not only working on editing, writing, interviewing… I’ve also been working on designing the book covers and preparing for the release…

I want to really thank a few special people who have helped me so much along the way… That is Bob Alvis, Linda Willis and Dayle DeBry… When I need something they are there for me.. Johnny on the spot… Sometimes it’s a short notice but they always come through… I can’t thank them enough!!!

Take a deep breath… Now for some amazing news… Not only is the release scheduled for November 14, 2015.. The release will be held actually on the USS Iowa. You will be able to meet some of the amazing veterans that are in the books… So stay tuned for details coming in the near future…

Thank you for letting me breathe….



It’s been awhile, But I’m back…

1150270_502090733201676_897721011_nIt’s been a while… Have you ever published a book? Either a written or photographic? It’s harder than I thought. I’ve mentioned in the beginning I’m not a writer I’m a photographer.

I was told by one of my mentors that since I am not very good at writing I should not worry about the images but to start writing my story… Well, I took her advice.. I started writing but couldn’t figure out how to even start.. So much information but how to put it into words. So I solicited help from a professor at UCLA, Jennie Nash, and she was willing to help me.  Help me!! I said graciously… I don’t even know where to start. She said write me a letter as if no one else was going to see it. Don’t hold back and don’t worry about offending anyone. I thought to myself, I could do that and next thing I knew I had several pages written in no time. In a matter of a couple of weeks I was done with my story.. Yay

I started this documentary about 2 years ago. I was so excited and only cared at the time what I was shooting. I knew I was going to get everything I needed. But it never dawned on me how many images I would have at the end. I am a prolific photographer. I don’t keep my finger pushed down on the button but I do take various images because I know what I want but you never know which images will work better with others, so I never limit myself. Yes, I could have gone through the images each time I had a shoot with him. But the problem I was faced with was that each time I photographed him it was very emotional. Most of the time it would take me a few days just to get over that day of shooting. I don’t want to say I eventually got used to it because I didn’t. I just got better at handling it. By that time it was too late I only had a few days left of shooting.

My story was done and I now had a grueling task of going through all the images. It’s not like going through wedding pictures and being able to sit back and enjoy and even smile at the ones you took. Having to look at images where you remember the crying, screaming and even the smell was so hard. So editing down the images took so much longer than I thought. Almost down to the last day to have it published for the book release. Too many good images but only so many can go into the book. As it was there is a total of 289 images and 142 pages. I could not take it down any more because if I did you would not get the whole story.

The book is now published and had received great reviews. Part of the proceeds goes to medical research.

Now the book has been released I can continue on with my work. I have some excited new project that will be released this year. As well as completing a few project that has been in the works.

I will now be posting on a regular basis. As I said… 🙂 If you’re looking for perfect grammar you will probably won’t find it here.. But what you will find is information, emotions, options, art or just plain talk.

Have a good day 🙂


Waiting On A Friend

As a photographer you can shoot everything from documentary, weddings, portraits, sports, commercial, fine art and the list goes on to the type of genre you can shoot. Over time you develop a style of your vision. Then you find yourself naturally and sometimes unknowingly lured to a very specific genre that you enjoy the most. For me I find myself being drawn to the unknowing stories of individuals I see or come across. Life that is normally over looked by our own daily pursuit of obligations.


I took a break from working on my book called “Courage Under wraps” to go out street shooting with some friends.


One of my projects I thought I had finished was called Waiting On A Friend. I found myself yet still drawn to it or maybe it’s just the idea of it that draws me in.  My passion is and always will be telling a story with my images. So I’ve decided that this project will probably never be finished until things change in our society.


This is one of the new images to become part of that project.


Waiting On A Friend

Waiting on a Friend is a typology of images taken of benches across Los
Angeles. As a street photographer, I search for ways to reflect the culture
of the unnoticed, the community that exists under the radar and is rarely
celebrated or documented.  The irony of these images are that these are not
people waiting for buses, they are looking for a place to pass time, spend
the day, and perhaps, wait on a friend. Transit comes and goes but yet they
are still there. I don´t need to know their stories, but I do need to
acknowledge them.