Welcome to my blog!

I believe that if you love doing something, it's impossible to fail. I have always loved taking pictures but never would have guessed that I could have this much fun doing it. Take a look around, get comfortable, and let me know what you think....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Santa Baby

So the holidays are approaching like a runaway locomotive and everyone's scrambling to make those lists, check them twice, act a little naughty, act a little nice...you know the standard early December activities.  Another very important thing on everyone's list is getting their Christmas Cards ready to go, and for many that includes an updated picture of their children or family.  For this post, I'd thought I'd share some recent pictures of my favorite little ones campaigning for Santa's "Nice" list.  Can you tell which one is campaigning a little harder? 

This is my favorite little guy, Cooper. Cooper is just right at 6 months old now.  He was the first newborn I ever photographed (and one of the only so far really).  I love Cooper and his mommy because they have an edgy style that allows me to really have fun and take some original photos. 

And this....is baby Emersyn. Em is about 8 1/2 months old now - you might remember her from my September post when she had her 6 month birthday.  I've vowed not to include the photo from that day when she sat in the grass in a tutu and leg warmers crying...but someday I will just HAVE to post it because it is too funny not to share.  Anyway, this is Emersyn putting her most angelic expressions on in an effort to maybe charm the gifts out of old St. Nick. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Story of a Friendship

I can't believe it was almost a decade ago that I met Tracy.  We were working together and one evening (two nights before Thanksgiving as a matter of fact) she invited me to happy hour after work.  I reluctantly agreed to go and only planned on staying for a little bit.  Somewhere in the middle of a few drinks, a giant plate of nachos, and too many laughs to count Tracy and I became friends. 

Fast forward 9 years-ish  - we are both married...Tracy has two children, Ethan and Ava...we work at different places...no longer live in the same city...and no longer spend nearly every weekend together - and...Tracy is still once of my closest friends.  So as I sit here getting ready to upload pictures of her beautiful children, only a few days before Thanksgiving, I can't help but think of my friend and feel a little nostalgic.  I think I'll have some nachos....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fall Fun

Hasn't this fall been so fun!?  The weather has been crisp and blustery but not annoyingly so.  We have sun and rain and falling leaves from color turning trees, and wind and calm and everything in between.  It's really been the most perfect fall season I remember for a very long time.  Maybe that's because I've been busy busy taking pictures and researching workshops - at least I'm sure that's part of my obsession with this season. 
Some of you will be happy to hear that I've applied for membership with the Professional Photographers of Iowa as well as the Professional Photographers of Nebraska.  Being a member of those two associations should help expose me to some new learning opportunities.  I'm excited to tell you that I'm going to attend the PP of Iowa Winter Convention in February.  It's 5 days of concentrated learning and sharing about the creative and business sides of photography.  And...it's only 2 hours away in DesMoines.  This has certainly helped catapult me out of that nasty waiting place. What makes it even more exciting is that I think Shanda and Teresa (my new photo bug friend) are going to go too!
Okay, so back to my obsession with this fabulous fall season...perhaps I've been so obsessed because I've had the opportunity to be outside in the brisk weather with some old friends that are entering new exciting phases of their lives....

This is Emily and Jared -they are expecting their first child (isn't he cute?!) in early December.

Joyce and Rich are engaged and getting married next summer.  Best wishes to them for a long and happy marriage!

This .... is Sky.  She moved to Arizona with her family and is starting her new adventure there.  On a visit back to Omaha to see her Grandma, I got to steal her away for a morning of pictures at the park.

Don't you just LOVE fall!!??

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Waiting Place

I was driving home from the grocery store tonight when something occurred to me - I've somehow ended up in "the waiting place" when it comes to this journey.  Those of you familiar with "Oh the Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss will know exactly what I'm talking about.  For those of you who are not familiar - you should read it.  My version goes like this -I am waiting until I can justify buying that new camera or lens or I want, waiting to find the "perfect" workshop to attend, waiting for approval and criticisms, waiting waiting waiting.  And amidst all of this waiting, I've become a bit stagnant in my learning phase...maybe even a bit disillusioned. 
So, I've had this self revelation, now what?  I wish I could say that I came home and instantly signed up for 3 more classes and a workshop and miraculously found a pile of money laying around to buy all the things I want and think I need.  But my friends that is not the case.  What I did instead was to quickly put all of my frozen and refrigerated foods away.  I grabbed my favorite 19 month old, Lola, and my camera and headed out for a walk.  I just needed the fresh air and to spend some time with my girl. We got to the park near my house and I let her off her leash.  Don't panic, she's a well trained dog and I've done this with her before.  We ran and played and I managed to snap a few pictures of her before the sun finally set. 
I needed that walk, and the fresh air, and the fun with Lola to remind me why I started this journey.  I also have to remember balance and patience.  I can be patient... and yet still make progress.  So, for now, I will sign up for 1 more class and commit to pick a workshop to attend for my birthday in March.  And, just like that...I begin to leave "the waiting place."  

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Labor and Delivery

Well everyone, here are the much anticipated first ever labor and delivery photos I've ever taken.  Okay...so maybe I am the only one that was anticipating this day? Surely not...at any rate, I had been waiting in anticipation for many weeks for this day to come and finally it did - Kristen delivered baby Levi on Friday, September 17th at 7:53 PM.  I was honored to be invited to photograph the whole thing.

Having never witnessed a live birth, let alone photograph one, I was filled with a variety of emotions when I pulled into the hospital parking lot.  Excitement, nervousness, anxiety, and fear all took their turns in my mind as I walked through the doors.  I found Kristen's room, which was filled with a very warm friendly family - to say I was nervous would be an understatement. It wasn't long after I got there, when the nurse sent the family out of the room and announced that we were going to be pushing soon.  I could hardly contain my excitement.  After only about an hour, baby Levi was born - 21 inches long, 7lbs 10 ounces.  Words cannot express what a beautiful and emotional experience this was for me.

  Congratulations to Kristen and Ryan and thank you a million times over for allowing me to experience such a deeply personal and special moment in your lives.  You made this experience one that I'll never forget.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

So Much to Say

Okay okay...yes I've been slacking on my blog.  I will fully admit that.  I have had a busy month and so tonight I'm going to spare you my endless ramblings and witty storytelling. Ha...witty, ah I'm sorry but I do make myself giggle. Anyway, I promised no rambling, so - I'm just going to share some of my favorite pictures from the last month. I hope you enjoy them!

 7 a.m. was early at the Caldwell Vineyards, but it made for some great photographs! And that's Audrey with the grapes in her hands.  I've known her for quite a few years now, and I'm very greatful that she invited me to take pictures of their harvest.

My high school friend, Shelby's two sons.  They were too cute and too much fun!

Emersyn turned 6 months old! Her mom, Renee, and her dad, Kevin, made it so easy that we didn't even realize it when 2 hours had passed!
My Nephews - (l to r) - Zach, Ray, Robert  - I mean come on, do I need to say more?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Parties Parties Parties

So, one thing I'm very much intrigued by is small event photography.  Over the last two weeks I've had the opportunity to take pictures at 2 such events.  One of them would be Easton's birthday party.  IF you read my last entry, you already know that he's my nephew.  The other event would be Kristen's baby shower.  Kristen is a coworker of mine and is due in early September.....although I think she'd love to deliver early!   Let me tell you friends... it was not as easy as I thought.

Easton's party was at Pump It Up in Omaha.  Once again I used my trusty 50mm macro lens.  Getting the right shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings were quite a challenge.  I guess I just assumed since the lights would be bright that everything would just work itself out.  Ha, not so much. I tried to get some "bouncing" action photos that would be super sharp. Do you know how FAST 5 year olds can move?  I think I underestimated them.  So, with the action shots, I was not as successful as I'd hoped.  Due in part to the lighting conditions and my lack of experience.  I'll know better what to do for next time though.  In my opinion it was a success and great experience,so I'm extremely grateful to Stef for inviting me.  Once we moved into the party room and got situated for cake and gifts, I had figured out some of my settings and things went a little more smoothly.

Kristen is such a great mommy to be. Her shower was full of cute and cuddly gifts and some of the funniest gifts I've ever seen.  She even got a Sock Monkey! I was so jealous.  It was by far the most I've ever laughed attending a shower. 
A little secret...she and her husband Ryan, have agreed to allow me to take some photos at the hospital during early labor. This will be a definite first for me and I'm not sure who is more excited...Kristen or Me?!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Easton is going to be 5!

So, today I got the priveledge of taking Easton's 5 year old pictures. Stef (his mother and my sister-in-law) and Jeff (his father and my brother-in-law) brought him to Standing Bear Lake at around 10:00 this morning.  It was blazing hot and not a cloud in the sky.  We started with a few family poses so we could get them out of the way before the adults melted in the heat. And trust me...they melted fast..we all did!

Easton was a great sport and didn't complain about the heat at all.  He did need to rest a few times, as he was up late last night cutting a rug at a wedding reception.  Isn't he handsome!? Oh, and if you could only meet him...he's so super smart.  Which, somehow, makes him extremely funny too.  It was a great morning.

I finally was able to use the chair that I purchased at the junk store several weeks ago on an expedition with Shanda.  I painted  it red, cut a new seat and recovered it. It's not exactly professional quality refinishing, but not bad for my first attemp.  Okay, it's not even close to professional refinishing, but I'm still proud. Ha! For this shoot, I used  my new 50mm  macro lens - yes I broke down and bought one - and I was even able to use the old metal bucket I bought (at an entirely different junk store) with Shanda.

For those of you learning to use your DSLR - I tried to use my flash for fill light under a tree today.  The sun shining through the leaves was giving crazy shadows all over their faces.  I was  shooting in Manual, and my meter kept blowing up as over-exposed.  I hope to find a solution to share with you.  If anyone else has an explanation, I'm open to hearing your advice.  Otherwise, I plan to make a trip to see my friends at Rockbrook Camera next weekend to see if they can help clear things up for me. More to come...

Easton is turning 5 next weekend and I can't wait to celebrate his birthday with him.  Stay tuned for next week's post which should include some shots from his birthday party at Pump It Up. 

So - this one probably won't make it in a frame, but I had to put it out here for Easton.  He was so proud of how well he could kick the soccer ball! He kept asking me to take pictures of him as he was kicking, so I know he'll be happy to know that this "Beckham" pose made it on the blog. Happy Birthday E!

Monday, July 26, 2010


Well my first official family portrait session was yesterday and I couldn't have asked for better people to work with.  Gary, Christy, and sweet little Mae were such good sports and let us drag them all over the ISD campus in Council Bluffs for picture taking fun.  We played with frogs and bubbles and...yes I said FROGS! A big Thanks to Shanda for assisting me on this one.  I didn't love the "bubble shower" she gave me but it's all part of the fun!