Saturday, October 22, 2011

It's my Birthday...Oh yeah & Bev's too!!!

So, it's Bev's & my birthday today & just for the record, Yes!, I told her "Happy Birthday" First, Again!!. She's getting slow in her old age, I keep kicking her bootay at this,....& I know, I know, I just admitted I'm getting old too, but I'm not the one in denial. She says she keeps letting me win.... Yeah Bev, that's what you would say if you didn't win. I have an extra 3 minutes more of worldly knowledge on you sis...After all, I was born 3, that's 3 (count them with me, 1-2-3) minutes before you. Like a sponge (soaking up 3 extra minutes of knowledge more than you), like a sponge, that's all I'm sayin'.
See, this is an old contest we've been running since I think we were about 20ish (& since we're only 29 now, ha ha).
Ahh yeeees, chalk one up for Ole Kimster!! Take That....Bubbles!!!! (In case you didn't know, dem deres er fightin words, yep). Maybe next year Bev, we all need something to look forward to, bring it on =D =o
The reason for the pumpkins you ask, (besides it being close to Halloween, the obvious) they were some of my gifts this year. I love the fact they're pumpkins, just started this cute little obsession & can't wait to get the real ones tomorrow night for our home pumpkin carving contest, I'll be asking friends & family for their pick of the winner so stay tuned).
The green one is made of metal, it's super light weight & a gift from the teacher of the 2nd grade class I volunteer at, how cool. That, along with a cold starbucks coffee mmmm & soup for lunch (double that previous mmmmm). I totally cried when they gave me a card, signed by the class with extra little notes of love. Thank you was hard to say out loud since I was busy getting my ugly cry on, front of all the kids.
And so much more happened too, I was an absolute emotional mess within an hour of arriving in the classroom, ha ha. I am soooo incredibly happy for these little things, you really have no idea. The other pumpkin & gourd are from Jon, he knows how cute that little pumpkin is to me. I LOVE them all, so flipping precious & that's our 2nd gourd (but still just as happy). Jon is going to finish weed whacking the front yard today, then I'll get a few photos from the sunrise tomorrow morning & post them soon (if all goes as planned). Sunrises are best in the front yard & the sunsets are the best in the back yard. We are so lucky!!
I'll also be posting my settings again, along with the how's, for my niece Amanda @ Although as you can see from her blog link, she's doing a Great job on her own, learning from Digital Photography School & applying it to what she captures (I LOVE the shoe shot on her blog). I can't wait to see her in August during her sister (another one of my nieces) Mary's wedding.
It's been a great year, a hard one in some ways but still a great one, I try to stay positive. Besides, I shouldn't complain & what good will it do, I can't stop life from happening but I did try to bring a smile or two to a few others faces, brightening their day a little. It's good for my heart (as the teacher would say) & maybe it becomes contagious. Maybe those I did good thing for this week, remembers how good it felt & they do good for the next person & the paying it forward continues. A smile is limitless, is a good thing to give & a great thing to receive. Happy Birthday to Me And Bev!! Really Bev, I Love you! I don't say that word enough.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pretty Pink Perfection...

...found all by herself. I LOVE the start of Fall!!! I love working in the yard, getting the dead brush trimmed, collected & some cozy fires burning. The faint chill of damp mornings & cool afternoons, when the sun is low in the sky & you don't have to leave the property. Ahhh, yeah, it's the best. October is also my birthday month & "Think Pink" month, add that along with the fact I LOVE plants, especially flowers, my favorite color is pink,....& What are the flipping odds...?
Jon & I had been working in the front yard on Saturday (on an acre closer to the house), getting it ready for winter when we decided to go shut our driveway gate before it got dark.
As we reach the gate (which is 100 yards from the house), we spot this little pretty pink flower planted all by herself in the hard red clay. Um, where did that come from? Jon swears he didn't plant it (I believe him) & I know I didn't, so how did this pretty little thing come to be in our yard. The ground had a little bit of loose dirt from the bloom pushing out of the clay soil, it was definitely not recently planted. I immediately started to run (that means I walked super fast...for the first few seconds at least) back to the house to get my camera for a few shots while the sun was shining on it (less than 10 mins of sunlight remained) as I yelled back to Jon, answering his question..., "Yes, I'm really going to do this."
I think he questions my insanity sometimes (ok, ok, so he definitely does, all the time, lol, but we're truly doing this together). Besides, how could I miss out on this pink beauty amidst all the dead pine needles & dry grass (& dead stickers), being strong all alone, in our yard & it's pink....did I mention it's
Again I ask, What are the flipping odds?...
I'm thinking it's God (or maybe the spirit of Shane), he's thinking about me & letting me know He's always there, for all those times I might feel all alone (just like the flower was). He's showing me how precious life is & be thankful for these little things, even when they don't last long (like Shane). God's way of saying he loves me, I'm sure of it.
I don't know how long she'll stay in bloom but isn't she a bute?
Yep, Lady agrees, it's her favo color too. Another girl after my own heart. I'm going to transplant her (the flower, yep, she's a girl, cancha' tell) before winter so we don't forget she's there & something happens to her. Can't believe the critters haven't destroyed her before now, wow. Didn't think there was anything the rabbits wouldn't eat.
We're so incredibly lucky & blessed for what we have in our lives, even for cute little unexpected pink flowers we can't take credit for. I'm so glad we get reminded of that each time I see what God has given us for a view & how lucky (blessed) we truly are. We don't take it for granted, trust me, that's why I'm sharing it the only way I can.
No matter what brought this pretty little pink gift, I appreciate it very much, Thank you.....(echo)!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"What would you do if you could never fail?" - Matson Vineyards

I wish I'd heard that question when I first got my camera 3 years ago. I could never imagine where my life would be today without it. There was a time when it was always by my side, wouldn't leave home without it, I might miss that Once-in-a-lifetime shot & that wasn't going to happen to me. Now, I don't take it out of the house if it's raining unless I'm headed to an appointment & rarely when I know I'll be strickly donating my time during my 2nd graders classroom visits. Back then I took only a few photos of people but I mainly searched out nature shots, I wasn't considering myself a people photographer. Added to that, I'm completely self taught, only the internet (just got high speed about a yr ago), listening to just about every professional photograph that would give any advice through their websites or blogs & tried to cram a lot of data, into a little amount of time. Even getting a little local photography store portrait courses. thinking I would become a professional in no time (which I would highly recommend to others wanting classroom interaction. I barely knew there were so many rules to photography, little lone I was allowed to ignore them after I learned them. Yep, I was a little overwhelmed... Come on...I bet somebody out there relates to what I'm saying, I can't be the only one....right? Recently, I turned to a professional photographer that I have followed since before we got high speed internet, Amanda Pair (based in Birmingham, Alabama & emailed her asking for some advice I was seeking. Saying that I was amazed she got back to me the same night I emailed her is a complete understatement, not to mention the fact that I contacted her in the first place (only 2nd time I've reached out to a pro to ask for their opinion). If you knew me, you'd know why. For the others that don't know....I have security issues, it's as simle as that. I'm not necessarily proud of it, it's simply who I am. Amanda actually responded to my email (that resembled a novel to her I'm sure), with the best advice. To make a short story long, I applied her ideas into what I was comfortable with & just went for it. The future outcome is still to be determined & it's something I'm learning to move past & just let God handle it. I'm almost there....I hope :) Anyways, the point I'm trying to make (like I said, short story long), I wanted to include a post that gives you a few of my favorite blogs, websites & inspirational photographers & sites of all shapes & sizes. These helped me continue my love for photography, they seemed to be there when I needed them the most, times I would read a blog post or article, I could totally relate to what they were saying, it seemed that God put that little something in front of me when I truly needed it the most, to just keep going in what I love. He has a way of doing that you know. Sometimes you notice it when it's happening, sometimes it takes a little longer. He has this way of touching our lives... For whatever reason, you just found this site (or a follower) & you might think something I have to say is interesting, you might follow a link I added, then discover yourself & what truly makes you happy. Isn't it time to make ourselves happy from time to time, I'm still learning to take my own advice on that part. So for those of you interested in photography, here's a list of places you can visit that inspired me or just simply taught me something new (online anyways)....I would also recommend adding Showit to your fb page, I love how giving & inspiring they are. David Jay is awesome & btw, he was also Jasmine Stars wedding photographer & the reason she started her wedding photography career in the first place. See, didn't I tell you, God has a way of touching our lives when we need him the most. Ahem, I know, I know....back to the list....

Well, there you are, just a few cents I wanted to give. It was hard narrowing down my huge list this far but I hope this helps somebody out there. Btw, these photos are sooc (straight out of camera, I didn't even take the time to resize them), I really love them just the way they are.

They were taken at Matson Vineyard during their Crush on Sunday, October 2nd. I hope to go back to the next event for more photos. I'm really enjoying this creative Marketing avenue it gives me. If you haven't saved Matson Vineyard on your facebook page or stopped by for a visit and you love wine (or just interested in it), you should & go by their tasting room too.

This last pic is my favorite photo from the day & for my niece Amanda...I used my 50mm 1.4 lens, the camera settings were Manual mode with the aperture @ f/3.2, Shutter speed 1/640, ISO 200 on overcast morning with the sun peeking through here & there. I got down a little lower than the grape bunch & shot a little upwards & tried to get the leaves in the foreground for that nice blur. I use my back focus button for a sharper image, used the center focal point, focused on the grape pod then reframed the camera for a nicer shot with the grapes off center. Yep, I'm pretty happy with it if I say so myself! I hope to be posting more pics in a future post soon.

And if you're asking now how I would answer the question in the title at this stage of photography, I would're looking at it, you can't fail, especially at art, it's all subjective & how I "see" things, so there's no reason to give up on my dreams so soon.

I thank "Showit" for asking the question in the first place, LOVE that site!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bubbles & Big girls - Emi & Abi - Redding Photography

Emi & Abi, these 2 are a couple of my favorite kiddos I get to photograph & Abi is one of my very first babies I ever photographed (Katie would come into my work to see her hubby Brandon with their baby, Abi...small world huh). Lots of special memories with this little sweetie. They have since then had Emi & what a cutie (again of course), she sure had fun in their new backyard with some bubbles in my new tub. And we finally got to use our new bubble machine Katie gave me some months ago. Here are just a few photos from that evening.
Emi has such a sweet little scrunched nose in the photo below & her head piece had a little pink veil type of tulling on the back of it, so cute. I also love the little ribbon going along the bottom of the skirt & all the special hand touches all around, What a sweet gift to her from a friend.
Katie stated after seeing the family photo above " you managed that is beyond me..." & to all of those parents out there, that should pretty much sum up the evening with some uncaptured mental images we'd rather forget huh Katie, lol. But I wouldn't change it for a thing, I love taking pictures of kids & I absolutely love this family. BTW, I think Katie is super cute as always & Brandon looked great too, I loved his smile & they both look so happy. Honestly, I would not have managed any of these photos without Katie & Brandon. A huge THANK YOU(!!!!!!!!) goes out to them.
Some ideas don't get accomplished 100% the way I envision them & that's just a fact I have to live with. The very last photo is one of those I want to fine tune but the good part is, I have a way to help others see what I see, I was really lucky to get it. The light was going down fast & the natives were getting restless, I just needed something drawn on the board so Marissa did a quicky drawing (her art teacher would flip if she seen it, lol Marissa). I love the idea though, how the lines are directing your eyes to the real family even though they're blurred in the distance, just imagine the drawing matching the actual photo scene. But hey,...It's a start, whadaya think?
All in all (lol, I say that all the time), new little walkers & almost all toddlers are as unpredictable as knowing if a wedding will go off without a hitch. So I pretty much let their moods determine the whats, the wheres & the hows, to help everything go smoother. Thank you again Katie, for believing in my ideas & thank you to both for allowing me this time in your lives....again. I already can't wait til our next session, lol.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Winner of the Contest!!! & a fav of Katies family

Oops, did I say I would post the results early this morning?....Well, it is Saturday & I took advantage of sleeping in a bit (til almost 6am, I know it's not really sleeping in to some people but it is for me). I started my morning off with a little Lady time (our golden retriever) while Jon slept in (even more) & I totally forgot to post the winner of the contest, my bad. At least I did it before noon so it's still technically morning, lol.
Before I announce the winner, my sister told me (yes she gives me her opinion often, lol), it was a little difficult entering my contest & I'm sorry if anybody else had the same difficulty, it was the first time trying to go through fb & wasn't sure how it would turn out. I will try to make it simpler in the future contests. I hope to be doing another one soon.
So,....THE WINNER IS RHONDA T. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Please get ahold of me before midnight October 5, 2011 to schedule your Free session. I can't wait to meet you!
No, this is not Rhonda in the photo below. This is Katie, Brandon, Abi (the cutie on daddys lap) & Emi (the cutie on mommys lap), we all went to the Sundial Bridge for a few family photos last night, this one is my favorite. I love this family like no other, they are super special in my heart, Love you guys, thanks for giving me this time with you & the kiddos. I'm hoping to go back & have a little tea party lunch with Abi soon. She makes the most delicious pretend cake ever ;) Mmmmm Mmmmm!
Have you scheduled your family photo?

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