Archives for the month of: November, 2010

Yesterday I spent half the day at a photography workshop…wait, let me clarify…a fabulous photography workshop.  Anyone in the Birmingham or Atlanta area who has a DSLR and no clue how to use it should consider enrolling in the Click Workshop series. 

Saturday I took the introduction course.  While I already had a good solid background of how my camera works & have been shooting fully manual for the past 1&1/2 years, I wanted to start with the introduction course to make sure there weren’t any big gaps in my knowledge.  Plus, I honestly believe you can always learn something from other people.  *And they aren’t offering the advanced course in Birmingham until March and I just couldn’t wait that long!

The class was wonderful! I learned a few new tricks that I didn’t know previously.  I learned to read my histogram and about a few new playback modes.  I learned more about how to adjust & spot meter.  I also got to practice on a couple very, very cute little models.  (Sorry I can’t show the photos though since I don’t have a model released!)  The instructors Lori & Jody  (both ah-mazing photographers) were very sweet, easy to follow, and encouraging.  They really made the class fun and interactive!

Most importantly though this class helped re-start my creative energy &  my excitement about photography.  Sometimes it’s good just to see things from a different perspective. 

Sorry about the lack of photos in the past few posts ( I really hate posts without photos)!  I’m working on a 25 by 25 list update from my recent trip to Chicago….coming soon (including photos)!

Help Wanted: models needed for budding photographer to polish her skills

I need you help. I am working on growing and expanding my portfolio…working on bettering my skills…trying new things…and since I don’t have kids (ie a free source of practice models 🙂 ) I would looove if some of you would volunteer yourself, spouses, kids, families, pets for photo-shoots.

I think this would work out great for both of us:

Here’s what’s in it for you: photo shoot with no session or sitting fee, all photos will be processed and posted to a password-protected gallery on my proofing website, you have the option to purchase prints from gallery or to purchase high-res DVD of all photos with reproduction rights, no minimum purchase required.

What’s in it for me: Practice, fun, photos to add to my growing portfolio

I’m looking to photograph all parts of life: babies, mamas-to-be, kids, families, couples, engagements, seniors, head-shots you-name-it!  I’m available for shooting in the greater Birmingham, AL area or in the St. Louis-metro/Streator area on select weekends. I travel home a lot of weekends so feel free to contact me about my travel schedule 🙂

I think this will be a win-win situation for you and me…I hope you’ll help me out!

If you’re interested, please contact me with an email ( or leave me a message here, and feel free to share this with your friends!

Remember Colin?  I started his sneak peek about, oh, 4 months ago…well it’s time for a few more photos of this handsome man!

Colin was so much fun…full of energy, excitement & silliness!  All my favorite traits in a kid!  He really is a sweet boy too. (I know it’s not cool to call boys “sweet” but look how he loves on mom!)

Like most boys…he’s fast.  Always running, jumping, making weapons out of found objects…you know boy-stuff!

We got a few great shots & I think we managed to truly capture is fun, fun spirit! Colin is such a good kid! Thanks for hanging out with me for a day.

Tis’ the time of year to be thankful! Although really I think that is silly…we should be thankful throughout the year, not just when there is turkey on the table.  Last January I wrote a post about being thankful…I think it’s time to add to that list.

1. I am thankful for my family.  Thankful for their support, guidance, and love.  They have been the best role models &  supporters anyone could ask for. 

2. I am thankful for my friends.  I feel very blessed to be surrounded by so many good people.  People who put others first and are fast to lend a hand to help out someone else…even when it isn’t easy to do.  Being away from home this Thanksgiving was sad…all the loving texts, emails, & phone calls today was a nice reminder how lucky I am.

3. I’m thankful for my boyfriend.  Thankful that he has been so loving and supportive even though I live so far away. Thankful that he is so giving, sweet & that he laughs at all my jokes (even the really bad ones).  

4. I am thankful to be free to make my own decisions…right or wrong.  I am thankful that I am able to make my own mistakes & learn from them.  Thankful that my mistakes haven’t really been all that big.

5. I am thankful I have a roof over my head, running water, heat, and food.  I’m thankful that I don’t have to worry about any of these things disappearing next month or the month after.

6. I am thankful to be employed.  No matter how much I may mutter about work or complain about my level of stress I am thankful to have a job.

7. I am thankful for my sanity.  This may sound like an odd thing to be thankful for, but I’m thankful that I can make rational decisions, use common sense, see the big picture. 

8. I am thankful for my education.  It was a long road, but I’m thankful that I was able to stay focused long enough to finish, get that diploma, and put it to work.

9. I am thankful that I am willing to take risks.  Thankful that I feel strong enough as a person to do things outside the box, off the beaten path, to march to my own drummer. And thankful that I have supportive people behind me all the way.

10. I am thankful for my creativity and thankful that I have the means to express my creativity.

11. I am thankful for my health.  It may not be perfect, but I’m thankful I can get up out of bed every morning and do all the things I want or need to do throughout the day.

12. I am thankful that I realize these are things to be thankful for (this is a direct steal from the last list…but one that I believe so fully in…one that often gets missed…and one that I just need to say again!

I think it’s important to remember to be thankful for all things in life…both big & small.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Having a weekend which did not involve a visit to the airport resulted in lots of quality photoshopping time.  Which is good considering I had lots of photoshopping to do!  Butgood great news I actually finished all my pending sessions! Wooo!  I hate being that far behind…it just makes me feel guilty which makes me feel uninspired…which makes me feel more guilty.  What a silly string of emotions!

Anyway…this was one of my favorite  photo sessions to date.  Maybe because it involves my favorite people

Let me tell you why I love these kids…

Miss M…oh Miss M where do I start.  Well we can start with the obvious…those eyes!  Oh those eyes are going to break hearts some day!

Miss M, you are the most loveable, sweet baby girl I have ever laid eyes on. You make us all work hard for those sweet smiles & giggles…but when you do reward us with one…hearts melt! You are so content and loving!  You’re such a snuggler!  I see the love in your eyes towards your big brother (he can make you laugh much quicker than the rest of us).  I can’t wait to see what a wonderful girl you are growing to be. 

My handsome Landon you stole my heart 3 & 1/3 years ago in that hospital room the first time I held you. Watching you grow into the little man you are today has been wonderful!

You are a sweet boy.  Kind and gentle, loving and sweet.  You are active & coordinated like no child I’ve ever met.  You are silly, funny and quick to smile & laugh!  Such a handsome little guy too.  You are a great big brother…always loving on your sister with sweet kisses and silly faces to make her laugh.  You’ve got such a good heart in that little body…I hope you never lose that!

I know you’re not supposed to pick favorite people…but these are mine!

Being that it’s Veterans Day I want to take a few minutes to publicly send a big thank you out to our veterans. 

When I started my new job this year, I felt good that I was going to work with veterans…but I never imagined just how proud I would be.  I love working vets!  I enjoy being able to give back something each day. 

But every day I see the price of service.  I see first hand the lasting-effects of service both good and bad.  These men & women consistently put themselves in harm’s way for the rest of us.  The fact that someone is willing to do that to protect us is something to be thankful for. 

Does this mean I agree 100% with everything the military does? Of course not. I don’t think I 100% agree with anything that comes from the government….but I do think we need to support those who people who step-up to the plate and serve their country.  I feel thankful that those men & women did & are doing everything they do. 

I hope you’ll all join me in a big, heartfelt Thank You!

On my last birthday I decided to put together a list of things I wanted to do before my next birthday. I’ve managed to complete a few tasks on my 25 by 25 list. Although I didn’t mean not to bring it up again for 4 months (that’s 1/3 of the way through my 1 year time line!) Yikes…that went fast! But I was busy actually doing thing! I’ll try to do better. Promise! I’ve added a tab to the top of my page…just so I would remember to keep it updated.  I need to be held accountable people!

Ok back to the list…Here are my completed tasks thus far!

#3  – Cook Fish

I’ve actually cooked fish several times.  Tilapia to be exact…..annnnnd I actually like it.  Go figure!

I snapped a very quick picture (which got lost in the great computer debacle of 2010) of my honey nut crusted tilapia with chipotle cream sauce.  Plus I made this without any recipe.  That means I’m making progress on #5 too!  Bonus!

#7 – Visit Nashville

Check & mark! Also we had such a great time that I plan to add this to every year’s “things to do” list.

#17 Visit a winery & #12 – Go to a wine tasting

Thanks to our visit & wine tasting at Arrington Vineyards, I have a new-found love…raspberry dessert wine!  Mmmmm…I think I’ll have a little glass tonight!

#18 – Learn to how to decorate a cake

I’ve officially graduated from 3 cake decorating classes.  I’m not sure that I’m still really great at this cake making thing…and I should probably hit the gym after 3 months of cake & icing every week…but I think I can officially cross this one off the list!

#21 – Reupholster my grandma’s side chairs

Ok – So these pictures are of 1 of the chairs….I still need to reupholster the 2nd.  But honestly that first one was such a pain-in-the-rear…I’m going to go ahead and procrastinate on the second one.  I also have a few more stitches to finish up on the back of the 1st chair.  But I’m calling it done!  Plus I’m kind of  a big fan of the new fabric…less dust, must, and less scratchy!  I adore these chairs! They are sentimental, classically shaped, and way comfortable.  My Grandma did a good job picking these babies out!

#23 – Visit local art festival

Well I actually could cross this off 3 times.  Within 3 weeks I went to 3 different art fairs…in 2 states.  I also took 0 pictures.  Who has time for photos…I needed to shop! I did buy a few things…but mostly prints so I just don’t feel right crossing #15 (buy an original piece of art) off the list just yet.  Or maybe that’s just an excuse to keep buying art!

Writing my post a few days ago about my need to grow got me thinking about creativity and the role it has played in my life.  I come from a very creative family.  We are all creative in different ways…but creative none-the-less.  I think for this reason, creativity has become a very important part of my life.  I am forever grateful to my parents for raising me in a creative environment where I was encouraged to stretch my imagination, make things with my hands, write stories, act out plays…etc  There were no wrong answers when I was drawing/painting/playing.  There still aren’t wrong answers.

I am truely forever grateful. Thanks Mom! Thanks Dad!

I decided to try something new with my photographs.  And I’m LOVING it!

This is a far cry from “traditional” photography, and I don’t think this is the final product just yet.  But for right now I’m happy to be able to stretch my creative-legs.

It’s been a year…unbelievable.  It’s mostly unbelievable that I’ve stuck with something with regularity (mostly) for a whole year.  That says something.  I think it’s great to have a place to document things happening in life both big and small.  I also love to have a creative-log of the things I’m doing.  It helps me remember where I’ve been and where I’m heading.  It’s not only fun but also a great learning experience to see how my photography has evolved over time.  The styles I stick with…the styles I discard quickly.  The way other artists influence me…the way my surroundings influence me.  The techniques and skills I’m working on and becoming much better at…the techniques and skills I still have lots to learn about. Having a living document of those things has both been a fun reminder of the past year…but has also been a therapeutic way to put what I love into the world. 

Many things have changed in the past year…what I do, where I live…but one thing has truly remained consistent.  I still love to hear my camera shutter *click*.  To see the moment captured through my lens, to feel the rush of excitement knowing you’ve captured that perfect moment … the perfect light.   My love for those things has not changed.

Now let’s take a quick look back shall we?