Archive for 2012

Oh, my, these two boys are growing into knockouts, aren’t they? Our photographic journey has included many stages, so far, but the session today was the best. So, so cooperative and full of great ideas for poses and those eyes and eye lashes. Wow, GQ here they come! Dad, Nathan, suggested getting out a fan – LOL! Seriously, to see how these kids change over a few year’s time is heart-warming. These aren’t your typical Christmasy, cutesy setups but they are perfect for Andrew & Jacob.

Jake & Andrew

Jake

Party

In the Zone

y

Kelby immediately corrected me when I called them “Urban Chickens” since, technically, they do not live in the city limits so they are not truly urban chickens. However, Kelby’s family is surrounded by a housing development so, it doesn’t really seem like they are outside the city limits. They have struggled to maintain a small flock of chickens but, sadly, the urban predators find them time after time. Hopefully, these will last a little longer. Dawn and her Dad added the coop’s side panels so the flock will be protected during the cold weather.

Saturday the weather was beautiful and warm and we were able to be outside playing and studying the newer chickens up close. On Sunday, I used four little eggs in the pumpkin pie I baked.

chickens

Kelby assured me that the chickens do have ears.

Chickens

Luv these Chickens!

I’m a little slow to become aware of the need to recycle everything. I just read that plastic grocery bags never break down in the environment and have been regulated in many places which then led me to look at how I clean and store things and make changes there. My latest change has been to always look at ways to re-purpose furniture that I own or that needs a new home. Enter Lily Field Furniture.

I have been watching Heidi’s Facebook posts since purchasing the cute turquoise piece; waiting for the right one to become available to hold our new TV. The size was right in every direction and appeared to be a quality, well-made piece of furniture. Now, it’s sitting in our “West Wing”, adding a beautiful design statement with its color and form. Seeing the inside label in the drawer made me do some further research into the rich history of White Furniture company of Mebane, NC. I learned that the company was started in 1881 and finally closed in 1993. This research led me to Bill Bamberger, a photographer known for documenting social issues, who shot over 350 rolls of film when the factory equipment was being dismantled. His images of the laid off workers are especially touching and emotional. I’d love to find a space just like that old factory to re purpose into my own photography studio with an abundance of natural light.

Fits TV Perfectly

Fits TV Perfectly


White Furniture Mebane NC

White Furniture Mebane NC

Lily Field Furniture

Dovetailed Drawer

Dovetailed Drawer

Lily Field Furniture

Thelma & Louise We Are Not – But We are going on a Road Trip! Betty & Nancy, my sister and I, are leaving this week for a huge road trip of about 5,000 miles. There will be no guns involved (or Brad Pitt) but it will be an adventure for both of us!

We have talked about it for a long time and finally started doing some serious planning last year. Our plan is to see lots of family from our newest great-great-nephew Micah in Des Moines to our older sister and brother-in-law in the Phoenix, AZ area. Our farthest destination is Scotts Valley, CA, to see our niece and her family. She has lived in CA forever but neither of us have been out there for a visit.

My planning included losing weight before the trip. I was worried about my back with all the car sitting and my energy level so last September I re-joined Weight Watchers. My goal was to lose 40 lbs before the trip or an average of 5 lb/month. I’m thrilled to say I will meet that goal before we leave.

Am I nervous about this trip –yes! There will be so much driving to get to these destinations and it’s hard to know how that will affect us. I’m still worried about my aching back so, have had regular massages during the last several months. We will be sharing a hotel room on several nights and there may be some sleeping issues?? I’ll be gone from Jim for over two weeks and that will be hard but, thank goodness, for Face Time! Andrew will help care for our dogs and for his Dad! Thank goodness for that! Since Jim is haphazard about putting away dishes I’m worried about finding my stuff when I get back.

Jim has a few concerns of his own about “me leaving him”. He has never, ever learned to use the “Tower of Terror.”

I”m uncharacteristically picky about the laundry and never, ever give him that chore to do. We will have a brief lesson before I leave and hope for the best.

Another planning aspect for me has been the technical equipment I’ll be toting – iPhone, notebook computer, video camera, all my SLR camera equipment and lenses and then there’s this little gem which is my latest geeky acquisition. It’s a mini stand for my iPhone so I can capture images and video of us along our route without seeing a wide angle, closeup version of my face – yikes!!
Gilf for iPhone
My travelling companion, Betty, is really looking for some respite time and that will be great for me, too. We will not be cleaning our houses, washing clothes, unloading the dishwasher OR working on client photography. Betty and I are best friends and we never run out of things to talk about.

ITINERARY
Iowa City – watch Erin play softball
Des Moines – meet baby Micah and Mommy
Kansas City – visit niece, Debbie and her family AND see Jersey Boys
Norman, OK – rent a bike if there’s time and sleep
Santa Fe New Mexico – visit Georgia O’Keefe Museum
Laveen, AZ – drive Route 66 and stop in Sedona on the way to my sister, Diane’s house, in the Phoenix area
San Diego, CA – visit the ocean and dine oceanside
Scotts Valley, CA – stay with niece Denine and see great nephews and great-great nephews and possibly other cousins
DRIVE BACK HOME –

Other hopes for the trip: visit new National Parks, eat at least one restaurant recommended by Guy Fieri on Diners, Dives and Drive-Ins, drive the Pacific Coast Highway, Exercise and lose weight. Relax in the hot tub. Listen to multiple audio books.

I’ve been thinking back to 1955 when the five of us took a similar road trip to California (my oldest sister was already gone by then). Then, we drove a 1948 Ford with no air conditioning cross country, through the Mojave Desert and were gone for a month. We visited Disney Land the year it opened! My mother was an avid vacation planner. We didn’t have much money but somehow she squeezed money out of their tight budget for this vacation. I wonder what the gas prices were then? Our wonderful Dad would have turned 100 years old this September. We often wonder how they stood travelling with three kids in a tight back seat like that.

This time we drive a super comfy Toyota Highlander and have excellent interstates to get us to our destinations fast. Let the adventure begin!

After finishing up a wonderful session with brand new Abigail and her first-time parents, I started replaying the planning that was involved in capturing these images. Even though I love to photograph the spontaneity of a toddler, the newborn session is approached in an entirely different manner. Steps accomplished before the session:

Four weeks in advance analyze carefully sites like Pinterest and my Google Reader for inspiration like Shannon Sewell and Sarah Ulrich.

Order newborn hat well in advance of session from A Bit of String in case baby arrives early. Abigail did! Cost $20. And, another hat from MadAboutColour which took even longer to arrive from Canada (didn’t end up using it). Cost $33

Renew National Association of Photoshop Professionals membership (NAPP) partially to get free shipping from B&H Photo and Video. Spend time watching video tutorials on lighting and Lightroom 4.0. Cost $99

Three weeks in advance order roll of wide, replacement paper in white from B&H Photo Video. Order warm white by mistake but love it in the chair shot. Also, order three short rolls; Sea Green (used in spring shot), Sky Blue and Marmalade. Cost $124

Order ruffled romper to take advantage of sale from Ashley’s Posh Tots. Cost $15

Search for another perfect chair and find one at Grasshoppers in LeClaire, IA. Also, purchase vintage planter and Spring setup starts to formulate in my mind. Gas plus new props. Cost $150

Find paper flowers and butterfly for background of spring setup at JoAnn Fabric. Cost $20

Order two yards of caramel fur fabric from Fabric.com. Cost $28

Two weeks in advance arrange for chair painting and distressing to remove all lead paint. Labor plus materials cost $75.

Order gray throw from Pottery Barn. Cost $63

Two days in advance carefully cut caramel fur per research on YouTube (I cut my gray fur all wrong!).

Wash new clothing and throw. Test rolling throw in yellow egg basket.

Morning of session turn on additional heat in the studio and waiting room including space heater and heating pad.

Utilize iPhone womb sound app. Wait for Abby to be fed.

Position dad close by (just out of shot) for safety.

Two hour session with a marvelously sleepy baby and so, so helpful parents. Resulting images captured: PRICELESS!

Curled Up in an Egg Basket

Sleepy Girl

SpringNew Family Addition

Daddy's Boots

I have sorely neglected this blog but, again, am pledging to do better! This is one of our recent birthday girls from the Cuter Every Day Club, Megan. It’s amazing for me to see these little ones as newborns and finish up with this wonderful “cake smash” session” on their birthday. Megan used a two-finger technique for sampling the cake – they are all different. Some are tentative, some want to share, and they all are happiest when the cake arrives! My, my – see how she has changed in one short year.

NmB PhotographyNmB Photography

 

NmB Photography

NmB Photography