Saturday, September 27, 2008


So, it's Day 8 of trying to get better...but I had a nice break when it came time to shoot this fun senior!  Only with Ali would your wish come true of getting your picture taken with two walking Pizza slices...


HAHA!!! What a hoot!!! Alright Jakki, now enjoy your sneak peeks from this awesome session...









Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I WON!!!

Yay!  After many votes and time to count them all, it was announced today on Me Ra's blog that I won the Water Photo Contest!  


It is so nice to have a surprise like this after all the weird stuff that has been happening lately.  From my poor chicken to our orphaned squirrel to me being sick for almost a week gives me something to smile about :)  

I am trying to rest and get better but my boys are making it hard for me to do so.  It's like they know Mamma doesn't feel good.  I discovered a chunk of random hair on my bathroom floor...yes, my youngest found some scissors and decided that he needed a hair cut.  Thankfully I can make it look "blended" but goodness.  The things these boys will do to keep me wired so I can't rest.  I guess moms don't get sick days...should have read that part over more carefully before I signed up.  

So what am I doing to get better?  Lots of fluids, lots of medication and cough drops and finally, lots of movies.  I finally gave in and let the TV babysit for a bit.  My kiddos don't get to watch alot of TV because I think they should use their imagination and play...that's what I did as a kid.  So, I don't feel so bad doing this so I can rest and get better.  

I haven't forgotten about my children's studio stuff.  In fact I have a funny story about that...funny now...I was irate then:

I went to the Antique mall to look for a chair.  It's so frustrating to me that I can find the same chair down in GA that I would here but it would be 100 bucks less.  All their chairs are like 165 dollars...and they aren't even in that good of shape.  So, I ended up purchasing a 1940's vanity bench...someone had covered it in this cool orangy-red material and I couldn't resist.  So excited, I got home and immediately set up some of my material and plopped the bench in front.  I told the boys to take their shirts off and they were gonna be my guinea's again.  Now, I don't have a backdrop stand yet, so I was using some paint buckets....

Do you see where this is going?

Here's before:



And after:



Moral of the story...Ali needs to buy a backdrop stand...I spent about an hour scooping up paint with a Pampered Chef Spatula...I was able to recover almost the full gallon, but it's a little dirty. I don't know know if I'm gonna still use it for my living room or not. I dunno...

Parker looks so pitiful doesn't he? Well, I laugh about it now. Ok...gotta get some sleep so I can get better. Take care!!! And Thanks again if you voted for my photo! Ya'll are AWESOME!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Meet Peanut...

Peanut is the 5 week old squirrel that happened to land on my 4 year old's head Saturday morning  during my workout routine.  I was on the ground on my belly doing "supermans"  I am told that these are a good alternative to back extensions...anyhoo, getting one with the earth I hear my son say, "Mom LOOK a squirrel!!!"  "Cool bud" *not even looking up*  "LOOOOOK mom, it's a squirrel."  "That's awesome Ash" *more sarcasm this time, because I'm getting a teeny bit annoyed*  Then at last, "MOM!  LOOK!  A SQUIRREL!!!!!!"  And I finally look up to see these bulging eyes staring at my face.  I first gasped...because I am known to do that.  Then I said, and imagine this in the slow motion sound, "Puuuuuuuuut iiiit dooooowwwwwn..."  

Ashton gently set the rodent down  and I noticed, this was not an adult squirrel, this was a baby squirrel.  It was so helpless.  It just layed there making these horrible grunting noises because it was threatened.  I am one to first let nature do it's thing, and then if nothing happens, then intervene.  So my boys and I went about 20 yards away, maybe it was more, and just watched and looked around for mamma squirrel.....nothing.....still nothing....after almost an hour, nothing.  I went home, and no, I didn't finish out my routine...I went home and called a vet technician that I knew for advice.  I looked up a rehab place for Great Falls and there isn't any.  She told me that if the Humane Society or the F&W folks gotta hold of it, they would probably just have it put down.  She said if, the mom had not come back after a couple of hours then, I would just have to feed it and let it go when it got bigger.  So, I did just that,  I waited till it was a little over two hours.  Went back with the kids and he was still there.  I gently encouraged him into the carrier and went immediately to the pet store for the formula.  Yes, internet, I know that Peanut is in a towel for the pictures and that I'm not supposed to have him in a towel because his claws might get stuck.  That has been remedied.  I was just grabbing anything I could for warmth...

Being the animal saver I am...I have done this since a child.  I have taken care of a puppy that was hit by a car, a dove that had broken its' leg, several fowl that have had numerous a baby squirrel would be different.  I have read everything I can look up on the care of a baby squirrel.  

I know he's about 5 weeks because he still doesn't have his top incisors yet and they get those at 6 weeks.  I found images of baby boy parts and girl parts for a squirrel and I'm pretty sure Peanut is a boy.  At 5 weeks they open their eyes.  They are still nursing, so I purchased some kitten starter formula...cows milk will kill them so I'm glad I went with my instinct on that one.  I am feeding Peanut every four hours...he will eat anywhere from 5 ccs to 7 ccs of formula and then contently go back in his little ball.  He is on a small blanket...with a heating pad under half of the kitty carrier.  If he gets too hot, he just goes to the side that the heating pad isn't on.  When he gets three weeks older, we are going to build him a cool place outside that's sheltered with lots of branches and things he can climb/play on.   At 12 weeks or when he's able to figure out how to open a nut up by himself, we will let him go.  Worst case scenario is that we will have Peanut visit us to say "thanks" every once in awhile.  

He had his first poopy for me today which is what I've been waiting for...this means he is digesting the formula well.  I will keep ya updated on how Peanut is doing.  He is doing well so far.  I hope there are no internal injuries...that's my only concern.  The kids named him Peanut...I think it fits him well...

Friday, September 19, 2008


Senior sessions are such a blast for me.  I have to tell you a quick story and then onto my next senior...  

When I first moved here, I wanted something to do.  I was married to a hottie GI Joe and unfortunately, Uncle Sam wanted us to be apart for 5 days at a time.  Well, when said hottie and myself found out we were havin' a baby, I was really bored and needed something to keep my mind off of him being gone.  Before, I had been working at Victoria's Secret.  I honestly think this was to blame for the whole baby thing ;)  So, after quitting Vicky's I decided to start substitute teaching.  I could handle it...right?  Pop a movie in, kiddos would be quiet.  That's what my subs always did.  WRONG!  They had me teaching little 6 year olds...  You know I love here's one:

Ali 9 months preggo + Crazy 1st Graders = Labor

NO KIDDING!  I seriously got SO stressed out by the smaller kids that I actually went into labor and had to go home!  

So I requested that I only sub in the High Schools.  And you know what?  I LOVED it!  I don't know what it is about teens.  Maybe it's the ever changing fashions, the not caring who's looking attitude or the whole "finding themselves" thing.  But I LOVE 'em!  I have always been more of a youth group leader than nursery/children's church kinda gal.  So, the fact that I have been able to meet all these awesome seniors and hang out with them for a couple hours has been so much fun for me.

I am so blessed to be able to do this and I'm super excited for what's in store ahead. Kyle is my fun-lovin', curly-headed, BIG dimpled guy who is one of these awesome seniors I speak of.  He's one of those guys that you feel like you've known for awhile from the first handshake.  

So for my photography friends, I have something fun to show and I'll use my buddy Kyle here as an example...

Have you ever had a difficult time deciding whether to keep an image in color or put it in black & white?  I am no expert but the way I usually decide is by sometimes feeling the mood of the background or subject or by simply looking at the contrasts.  Sometimes images look "cooler" in B&W.  What do ya'll think about these images?  Which one would you choose?



I was having a tough time deciding myself so I was interested in what you thought...

Here's the rest of the sneak peeks...






Wednesday, September 17, 2008

*Brittany* I have known Brittany for over 5 years though her mom.  This is so cliche but I have watched her grow into a beautiful lady.  To give you an idea of how goofy and fun she is, here is the first picture that was for the yearbook:


What a nut huh?  Well, I was SO excited when she wanted me to do her senior pictures...I knew that we were going to have too much fun.  I light up around Brittany.  You can't help but smile and crack jokes when you're around which she lets out BIG "belly" laughs.  I think the toughest thing about this shoot is that we couldn't stop laughing!  I would say give me a soap opera/super model look, and she would try...but those amazingly cute dimples would get bigger and bigger :)

Brittany, thanks for hangin' with me...and for goin' to McEE D's with me too :)  You're awesome and I hope that you like these as much as I do...they are so YOU!!!










Sunday, September 14, 2008


What spawned from an awesome senior shoot with Zach led to Jared's artsy style...then came the call from Trevor's mom.  She loved the picture's from Zach and Jared's shoot and wanted me to do Trevor's senior pictures.  I excitedly accepted!  It is so neat for me to see these three different and unique.  I am so glad I was able to meet them all.  But back to Trevor.  Talk about a sweet guy.  He wanted to portray the outdoor feel like Zach but trusted me enough to do some of my funky stuff.  You can still see his personality through these though.  I just wish I could get all three of them together to do a best bud shoot or something.  

As usual, the session was a blast for me.  I also think it's neat that Trevor's mom's name is the same as my mom's AND she has a daughter Ali...I don't know if it's spelled the same though.  Thanks guys for everything.  I will always think of my three amigos and hope you guys the best in your senior year!!!!  God bless!








Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sweet Twins

So, before I get to the twins I have an announcement to make...I did it...I turned my part time job hours in.  I had given my two weeks letter to my boss on Monday and Friday was my last day to work my normal hours.  I am still going to fill in 3 and a half hours on Friday, but for the most part, I resigned.  I am so stinkin' excited!!! nervous at the same time.  I feel that this will be a good walk of faith for me.  I love what I do and I love the people I meet through my photography.  I have developed so many wonderful relationships.  It's such a blessing to be able to call this my job now :)  So if you ever think of me just pray that this thing will keep going through the winter...I know God will take care of us regardless.

The twins came on Thursday and boy was that a fun experience.  Mom and I made the conclusion that when I've got twins coming, plan on not doing anything for three hours...haha.  They were so adorable!  It took a little time to get baby boy to sleep but I enjoyed talking with mom and dad while the babies happily ate.  It was so cool that had two tiny ones together.  I loved it!!! 

Thank you Katrina for making the call and giving me the opportunity to meet your awesome are gonna just LOVE those babies when you meet them :)

I took some of baby girl while brother was eating

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I LOVE the expressions they are making here...almost like, baby girl has a brilliant idea and brother is thinking about getting in on the idea with cute!!!!

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Papa with baby secure

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I love baby feet!!! Especially two sets

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bad Rain...go away!

So I had my first cancellation today :(  Because of the weather.  But we rescheduled for tomorrow.  I have my twins coming in the morning and then in the afternoon a senior.  I am so excited about these babies!!!  So many ideas have been running through my head.  Since the weather was crummy and I needed to get out, I decided to go on the hunt for my urban studio stuff. didn't know???  YES!  I am getting together a whole lot of cool stuff for a new children's photography idea I have for the winter.  Think Funky.  Think Cool Hats and Scarves.  Think Color.  Think Old Awesome Chair.  Just think of how fresh this will be for the folks of Great Falls.  I've done a bit of investigating and I don't know anyone who is doing this so far.  I am VERY excited.  But back to  my treasure hunting story.  So, I originally was going to supply the brown blazers and scarves and hats...but I started thinking...multiple blazers in lots of sizes + lots of kids = more loads of laundry for me to do AND lots of money.  Then I started imagining how horrible it would be if a kid put on one of my blazers and swelled up like a balloon because he had a reaction to my detergent (which is Gain Lavender Lilac BTW).  I can't get my own laundry done  as it is, I don't have an Epi Pen handy and I don't have a huge amount of moolah to invest at this time so I nixed the blazers and am just looking for more scarves and hats...I have a couple backdrops...I found a chair today that I'm still "thinking about."  So, I'm almost ready to guinea on my two munchkins.  

So I have a question for you?  What are you thinking of this urban studio idea?  Do you think the Great Fallsonites will accept this change in studio setting?  

Monday, September 8, 2008


Amanda is a super sweet senior who just moved here.  New surroundings, and new friends await.  I know it won't take any time at all for her to have a group of folks who will fall in love with her heart.  The weather was iffy but we went for it and many adventures followed.  My shoes are still not dry from the mud that caked on the heels.  And I think this is the dirtiest I've been on a shoot...BUT...what FUN we had!!!

Amanda, thanks for toughing it out with me.  Through the drizzle and mush.  Sorry your cute shoes got dirty...but I hope these pictures made it worthwhile...



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