Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wet dog...

 got a little nerve and decided to enter a photo in my very first contest.  This is a big step for me because I am learning to be more confident in my photography.  MeRa Koh hosts the contest and it is always so neat to see what people come up with.   

The contest this month can have anything to do with water.  I have had this shot in my head for about a week now and I am happy to say that I pretty much nailed it today.  I did have to "set up the scene."  I suited the kids up and had them give Sam a bath.  As soon as Sam would shake, I would shoot like it was my job...hahahaha.  So, after 140 shots...I got the one that I wanted to enter.  

Oh yeah, I can't forget...I met the famous Cindy Cieluch today!  I can't say enough how wonderful she is.  What an amazing woman!  She is so sweet and a HUGE encouragement to me.  I so look up to her and am thrilled for her success.  You rock girl!!!  I am looking forward to hanging out again :)

Tell me whatcha think of my entry?  Do ya think I have a chance?  Oh and to let ya'll know, the winner is based on the votes of da people.  So if you really want me to win..."VOTE FOR ME"

PS...the file I gave to them did not have the case you were wondering ;)


Saturday, July 26, 2008

My sis....the supermodel

I have been a bad girl.  I went to eat at the Macaroni Grill...I should really be truthful and say that I OVER-ate at the Grill.  I don't know if it was sad emotional eating due to my kitty not doing very well...or if I was happy emotional eating because I ran into some friends and was having such a great time talking and laughing across the isle.  Whichever it was, I just need to stop stuffing myself because of emotions.  I also met a co-worker of Dave's and his beautiful wife.  They all were so awesome and I hope we all can hang out again.

I have to test tomorrow with the Strong and Healthy Team and I honestly don't know how I'm gonna do.  I ran a 11:20 something mile last time and I can't even remember how many sit-ups and push-ups I did.  So, my goal is to at least beat my time on the mile.  We'll see...

My mamma has been begging me to get my sister's photos up.  I kinda have been putting it off so I wanted to get some sneak peaks for her.  She came down a couple of weeks ago to get her car down here to sell.  Anyone need a gas friendly vehicle?  So, since she was here we celebrated her birthday and I wanted to take some shots of her.  She is so gorgeous and makes me laugh so hard I get stomach cramps.  Yes!  She's that funny.  I love her so much and am so thankful that we are best buds.  So here she lovely sister...the supermodel :)




Thursday, July 24, 2008

There's no number that starts with a "W" on Wednesday

1. I am waddling like a pregnant lady in labor because I'm so sore from the last Strong & Healthy meeting...thanks Nicole :)

2. My husband got a day job with Home Depot

3. Awesome lightning tonight...

4. I think I just found a new favorite song...
"The Heart of Life" by John Mayer

5. Why do chocolate chip cookies have to be so good?!?!

6. My mom is so fabulous...Love you mamma!

7. Doesn't this sky remind you of "The Never Ending Story?" One of my ultimate fave movies of all time...don't remember when I shot these but I was surprised when I found them in my stash and wanted to share :)



*edited to add: Kendi helped with pushing me to go furthur with my workout, even though at the time I really didn't want to hear, "C'Mon Ali! One More!  You can do it!" (cause Ireally could do one more) I really appreciate the encouragement.  You guys rock!*

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Parker's Flip Flops

This is my baby. It's sometimes sad how I can forget about him amongst the fast pace of life...c'mon moms...don't tell me you don't occasionally leave your 2nd and subsequent offspring in the know, void out the whines and "mommy's" just to save your head. So, this morning when my sweet 3 year old came walking down the stairs in his new "big boy" flip flops (no strap in the back) complete with poofy diaper that needed to be changed, my heart melted.

He is in this stage right now where he IS almost a boy. I feel the sting in my nose just blogging this. He's not quite potty trained but he's oh so Mr. I wanna-do-everything-like-my-big-brother independent man.

I feel that the whines of him needing me to give him some attention will soon disappear. I would have missed all those opportunities to love on my baby...the last product of Dave and mine's reproducing career.

I love my Parker and though it has been very hard having my two so close, I don't think I would do it any other way. Sometimes I feel that both of my children were robbed of my attention due to me being pregnant while one was a baby and having a newborn when the other one was still a baby. But, I can't dwell on what could have been. It wasn't in my plan but this is the plan He had for my life and I am thankful that I have been given supernatural grace to raise my kids.

So a little tribute to my sweetheart of a son. He truly is so sensitive and wonderful...though needy most the time. But I guess I should eat it up while I can...I love you Parker!




IMG_9766 copy©

Sunday, July 20, 2008

4th Ave Studios

Ok, I am excited because I have never taken pictures of stuff before.  Usually it's people.  A friend of ours asked moi to take pictures of his studio.  Mr. Matt liked my website so much that he decided it would benefit his business to have one too.  He needed some updated pics of the studio and some cool angles of his awesome equipment.  Let me just say that this guy is super talented at what he does...he has been in business for a few years now and God has favored him immensely.

Oh yeah, and his wifey-poo is amazing.  I love you Jo!  Thank you all for being such awesome friends to Dave and I.  I feel so blessed to know you and always have a blast when we're together.

In other news, Dave is undergoing some changes with his career.  We are trying to stay positive though it's hard at times.  He really wants me to be able to go full force with my business but I'm just not sure if it would be wise at this point.  Thank all of you who have been thinking about us and praying for us.  Ya'll are awesome and we love you bunches :)

Ok, I'm not gonna delay any longer...Here ya go Mr. Matt...the studio is fabulous!   










News Flash...I got a new flash!

After many liters of plasma, I have finally been able to save up and purchase my AlienBee flash unit.  I honestly didn't know what to do with it so I just stared at the cardboard boxes for awhile.  

Excited yet nervous I decided, "I guess I'll just have to try it out."  Has anyone else been here?  So, I put it together and being a little man brained didn't read the directions.  I figured it out just fine by myself thanks.  After a bit of bribing I was able to get my children to pose yet again for me.  I can only imagine what my neighbors across the street were thinking as poofs of light randomly emitted from my windows.  

I have been so super busy working my day job full time this last week.  I have to work a full week next week too.  I will be so happy when I can get back to my regular scheduled programming...

I'm on the hunt now.  Babies.  I want fresh babies.  I am so excited to start photographing newborns I can just see their little wrinkled feet right if you know anybody who has a newborn and wants some photos please let me know.  I would love to try some children's stuff too.  

Until I get a hot bun out of the oven, here are my own offspring.  Oh yeah, I am trying out this awesome new thing where my pictures are awesomely bigger...what do you think???


playing peek-a-boo


not quite sure why this one is so pixelated...hmmm



i just absolutely LOVE his expression in this one :)



i love my boys!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Come home safe...

Becky & Chris never got engagement, we did some still happily married pictures.  Toby sat alongside happy as a clam.  What a cute little puppy!  It makes me want another puppy...but I really can't.  My "puppy" is enough right now...  

These two were so comfortable in front of my camera.  They did exactly what I asked...acted like I wasn't even there.  As they coddled and caressed, I just shot away.  I am so happy that Becky will have these to look at when Chris is away.  You see, Chris is deploying to Iraq next week so we fit a time in to get these done before he left.  

I know Toby will be a help in keeping Becky company, but if anyone thinks of it, keep them in your heart and prayers.  Thank you Chris for serving and defending our country...I know you will come home safe :)

Isn't he adorable!?!?!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Shake, Shake, Shake it!!!

These were the words that this little guy LOVED to hear!  As soon as "shake it" came out of any one's mouth...he bounced up and down like an antique bobble head...but he bobbled all over!  It was SO stinkin' cute!  

This amazing family called me asking if I could do a session of their little boy short notice.  They are from out of state and were visiting family for a wedding so I was happy that I was able to do it.  I always know I'm gonna have a blast at any session but this little one cracked me up. Talk about an easy shoot...he was so much fun even though the poor guy had to deal with the chilly morning... 

Also, I was able to assist with a wedding this last Saturday!  Christel was nice enough to let me tag along.  I got to help find a mirror, fluff the dress and hold reflectors on top of this huge rock thing to block sun off the parties heads.  Talk about an arm workout.  I looked like a strange bird.  

The bride was LOVELY and her colors were so chic...I didn't shoot the "formal" pictures but I did get to help with some shots at the ceremony...I will get those up later though.  It was so helpful for me to be able to just see what goes on from a photographers perspective......I am so excited to be able to start that soon.  Thank you Christel so much for letting me learn from're a great friend and photographer :)

I don't know if any of ya'll noticed this but Google servers have been down and so hadn't been able to post the sneak peaks until now.  Thank goodness they're online now.  So, no more you go little guy...and one more from me "Shake Shake Shake it!!"

Doesn't he look like a Victorian baby doll?

This is the moment of bobbling...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Michael Ray & Kim

It was as if they were doing an engagement session all over again.  He was mesmerized by her.  And she was totally into him.  From enchanting porch to mosquito infested road, these two couldn't be phased by anything.  

We had some unexpected ambient music at the park thanks to the Great Falls Orchestra...later in the session there was comical relief from the nastiness of the skeeters provided by my awesome sis AKA. Whitney.  She flailed her arms frantically in the air...complete with eye patch.  Kim couldn't stop laughing...I can't tell you how many of those pests I had to photoshop out of the awesome silhouette shot.  There was even one that was attached to Michael Ray's arm!!!  

So, here are the sneak peaks for your viewing pleasure...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Second shooter training

After church today I was feeling confident about how I looked so I asked Dave if he was ready to take some pictures for me.  I need a good updated picture for my website and he's been buggin' me about getting my pictures taken anyway.  He was up for it then,  but I bet now he doesn't want to be my second shooter.  

I was trying to explain to him how everything works and let's just say that I probably expected too much from him and gave him input overload...poor thing.  But, I think out of the 200 some odd pictures that he took, we got a few keepers.  

By the way, if you don't know how to shoot pictures other than in Auto, I HIGHLY recommend Me Ra Koh's DVD Beyond the Green Box...she explains everything so it makes sense.  This is how I started out.  She offers exercises and tips.  If you want something less expensive than a photography class, I would get the DVD for 30 bucks plus some shipping and handling.  

I usually don't like pictures of myself but after a little editing and yes, I'll admit it...some photoshop trimming on one image, I think they look ok.  Now for me to get down to a size where no trimming is needed...

I found this sweet chair in an alley and had to use it...

This next one is me squatting next to a dumpster near my house believe it or not ;)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

My first retouch project...

David's Grandparents and myself had a fun time talking via our i Macs and taking over each others screens...They just bought their Apple recently and they learned alot today.  Kudos to them for taking the time to learn new technology :-)  

Grandpa B was interested in my photography software after showing him my website, so I shared my screen with him, and he was able to view my desktop on his computer.  It's amazing that even though we are in Montana and he is in Florida, I was able to show him how I work my magic on images like he was right in the room with us.  

After seeing how amazing CS3 was, he asked me if I would take a stab at retouching an old photo he had of an airplane he flew...he called this airplane his "friend."  I didn't know how I could help, but I spent about 45 minutes on the picture and I must say that I am pleased with how it turned out.  I already emailed him the retouched version and thought ya'll would like to see the before and after photos.  

This could actually be another aspect of my business...some people can make 30-50 dollars an hour retouching old photographs.  It's something that I may consider in the near future.  I tried to keep everything about the photo as true as I could.  It was badly damaged from a deep fold/crease down the middle and mold all over.  I restored some color to the sky and sharpened the airplane...the clouds look a wee bit different, but I think it turned out pretty darn good.   Tell me what ya'll think.... (you can click on the image to make it bigger)