Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Pilot's Wife - Part 2

In case you missed it, here was Part One

I remember class the very first day. MSN Messenger was ALL the rage and he messaged me that it was time to go to class, so I met him downstairs just outside the lobby to “walk” to school. It was a quick 5-minute walk, but I was walking on air. We walked side by side with our backpacks on (probably Jantzen) and I was beaming at anyone that we knew that walked by. I just knew what they were thinking. “Are those two dating? When did they get together?” Even though I knew that nothing had really happened yet.

We got to class and sat down. Low and behold my ex hadn’t shown up yet. But as soon as he walked in the door, his eyes went directly to me. Oh, crap. I slid down in my chair and turned toward Josh to start up a fake conversation. I was looking out of the corner of my eye and he was walking towards us! What the…? As I did a quick scan of the room, I realized with horror. The only empty chair was directly next to me. My heart sank into my stomach. Of all the places he could have sat. Luckily I had Josh there to “protect” me. It was a class that we had to attend 5 days a week, so we got to walk together 5 days a week. Luckily my ex didn’t sit by me ever again. I made sure there was never an empty chair nearby.

The nights and weekends were spent on the phone for hours with Josh (mostly me talking) or in each other’s room “studying”. But I was too enthralled with him to ever really study. I wanted to keep talking to him. But, he never really talked back. I didn’t understand why he kept hanging around if he didn’t like me. So, I just kept talking and telling him everything about me. Later on, he told me that he loved those nights when he could just listen to the sound of my voice. He is more of a listener anyways. He likes to take everything in about a person and get to know the real them before he reveals himself. Many people think that he doesn't like them when really, it is his way of getting to know them (by sitting back and just "observing" - he calls it). Then one night in my room while we were watching a “Friends” episode and trying to study, he leaned over and kissed me. Oh. My. Goodness. Fireworks! Bright Lights! Cupid’s Arrow! Need I say more? It was the greatest night ever. He gave me butterflies and all that good stuff.

Side Note - I had this poster :) 

We became an official couple in November of 2000. This was almost 3 months after we met. And since we had done A LOT of talking and spent A LOT of time together, we really felt like we knew each other. He would leave me little poems on MSN Messenger for me to home to after classes we didn’t have together. Remember all those little icons you could post, too? (hearts, flowers, smiley faces). He did those ALL the time. We went to each other’s houses for Thanksgiving and Christmas. On Valentine’s Day, he asked his manager to key into my room and left hearts and decorations and flowers COVERING my room. We took a residence hall trip to Canada together, and were a stable relationship amongst our friends.

Josh has wanted to be a pilot ever since he was a young boy. We have a picture of him when he is 9 or 10 in an Air Force Jet seat (with facemask and all), beaming a grin the size of Texas. His mom was a reservationist with a major airline for more than 30 years before that airline went bankrupt during the Recession. She said the most exciting part of her job was getting to solve the travel issues of people all across the globe. She got to talk to people from countries in different time zones and had to decipher accents that she had never heard before. She said, even now, she misses that sometimes.

Josh decided to go to our college because he knew he could receive a four-year degree and come out with all of the training, certificates, and documents that he would need in order to get a job at a major airline. At that time, our college even had a “direct hire” program with a regional airline that he liked and hoped to work for. Right after his senior year in college, he was a flight instructor, hoping to gain hours and experience needed for the minimum to get hired on by that regional airline. Things were going great! We were happily dating. I was a junior in college now, a manager of a residence hall with my own apartment, and we had our lives ahead of us.

Then September 11, 2001 happened.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

1,000 Fan Giveaway Preview!

I don't want to give away TOO much of the goodness before we start gaining some fans, but here are a couple of things that will be "up for grabs" once we start the giveaway (just to entice you to share our page with friends)!!!!

Some of our vendors include:  

More sneak peeks to come next week!!!!  
If you would like to be a vendor, please e-mail
If you would like to enter the giveaway, please share my facebook page with your friends.
Once we reach 1,000 fans, I will reveal the ENTIRE giveaway as well as how to enter!

The Pilot's Wife - Part 1

Ever wonder what it's like to be a pilot's wife?  Is it glamour, riches, jet-setting and walking (holding hands of course) into the sunset? Every Thursday, I am going to post a little more of our personal story, so you can get to us on a deeper level.  It is WAY too much to put in one post, so we will see how many weeks this becomes.  Thanks for reading and thank you for supporting us!!!

The Pilot’s Wife

I have always loved flying. As long as I can remember I have loved to travel. As I look back on my family memories, the best memories I have are vacations. My mom said that she and dad decided when we were young to take at least one big family vacation a year. They wanted to create lasting memories for our small family of five. And that they did!

My first flight was uneventful. To this day, it doesn’t stand out in my mind. But I do know that it was to California because our favorite family vacation was to Disneyland. We go there at least every other year. My two-year-old daughter has gotten the chance to go twice, though, in her young life. And she LOVED it. She talks about it to this day. Especially since I created a video and a picture book for her to look through at any time.

But, I am getting a little ahead of myself. When I was a freshman in college, I was hot on the trail of finding a future spouse. I had just dumped my boyfriend and in between tears, my mom said, “Why don’t you just find yourself a pilot? You love to travel! Don’t they have a pilot program at that college of yours?” That they did. I think it’s funny that this conversation sticks out in my mind 12 years later. I didn’t intentionally decide to seek out a pilot, but as fate would have it, my sophomore year of college is when I met Josh.

Josh was a senior in college at Central Washington University. He was a residence hall manager and I was an advisor in the hall next door (some of you might think of these as dorms, just with a different name). We met during training in the summer of 2000. I remember thinking that he was very attractive as he walked toward me during one of our training sessions to introduce himself. I had heard his name before around campus and remembered thinking that he was popular and wondering why he was seeking me out to say hello. But, it was exhilarating nonetheless! I wanted to get to know as much about him as possible.

Later that week, a couple of advisors and managers were hanging out in his apartment, so I decided to tag along. He was flirting with other girls and holding one of their babies. At one point, I thought that the baby was his. He may have even said that out loud. Dashed my hopes right there. But in the midst of this nightly hang out session, we got to talking about our class schedules. Josh said he needed to take one more class in his basic and breadth to get it done and it was this Religious Studies class that I WAS TAKING WITH MY EX-BOYFRIEND! I knew I couldn’t face my ex-boyfriend alone, so I blurted out the whole sad sob-story (very out of character for me). “You have to take this class with me! I just can’t do it. He’ll try to sit by me. I think he still likes me. Please!!!” Josh remembers at the time – “A hot chick is asking me to take a class with her. Score!” I remember the lighting in his apartment (not great) and the sound from the fish tank in the corner. The very next day, he signed up.

Stay tuned next week for more!!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Portland Wedding 2-18-12

What a beautiful February Portland day!

Jane found me on a wedding search engine and booked me through my website.

I am SO glad that I was able to share in her special day...

From a BEAUTIFUL Catholic Church, to a Bentley, 
to the Multnomah Athletic Club (no, the Timbers were not playing),
it was a wonderfully planned affair.

I was so excited to get to know her family and other vendors, as we are all booked
together for her sister's wedding this fall!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I Heart Faces Challenge - Hugs and Kisses

I have all these pictures of beautiful weddings......brides and grooms kissing and hugging.  Little kids kissing their siblings.  But, as I thought about the best hugs and kisses, I realized that a mother's touch and hug could also have healing powers.

This summer, I had the opportunity to film and take photos of two of my dear friends that had their babies prematurely. This picture was one of my favorite because it was the first time that this little guy's smile was ever caught on camera.  If you want to read my blog on their incredible story, please grab some tissues and check it out here:  My Cherished Mentor and Friend

This photo was submitted to the I Heart Faces photo challenge –

Photo Challenge Submission

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fun Website, Word Hunt, and Giveaway!!!!!

Whether you are an educator, a small business owner, or just a PERSON, you might enjoy this website!  A fellow educator of mine showed me this today and he was using it to have students look up information on Black History Month and create a montage of words about that person in a shape that might exemplify them.  Pretty cool!  I thought it might be fun to type in "" into the URL box and see what words it came up with for ME.  I can't believe over 4,000 people have viewed my blog in only a month and a half that it has been up and rolling.  It brings joy to my heart.  (Thus the shape today!)

Now, I love all these words except for ONE.....

If YOU can find it, you are entered in the drawing to win a headband from:
BBB Crochet

To be entered:
1.)   "Like" BBB Crochet and tell them I sent you
(I will be checking their wall before I draw on Monday)
2.)   Leave a comment telling me what word it is!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Photographer Interview - Heather Beam Photography

I am loving these Photographer Interviews!!!!  Not only am I learning a bit about their style, but I am learning about the person behind the lens as well!

Today's interview is Heather Beam of Heather Beam Photography.  She is an amazing, fun-loving mom that has turned her love of photography into a business in the Vancouver, WA area.  She loves to get other friends involved in her work and organized a shoot out at a barn the other day with some of the other photogs that I hang out with and admire.  Bummed I was working that day!  Check out what she got!  Seriously fun...

One thing that I have noticed about Heather is that she is always thinking of others. She is quick to give out compliments, but not quick to receive them herself. She has done a fantastic job learning a craft and honing her skills and she will have MANY more years of work to come, I'm sure!

Please enjoy her interview and "like" her on Facebook....

Q:  Tell us a little bit about yourself, family, hobbies, etc...
A:  I am blessed with two busy little boys. My husband and I celebrate 9 years of marriage next month. I love spending time with my amazing girlfriends, they keep me sane. I’m addicted to Pinterest and all things photography!!

Q:  Are you a self-taught photographer or have you had any mentors along the way?
A:  Self-taught, always learning and hopefully growing! I have fabulous mentors who just happen to be dear friends as well! Koren Faust from Kaptured by Koren pushes me to see only the best in my work. She is so encouraging and supportive. Anna Hollister from Anna Hollister Photography is my creativity sister! We could create so many styled shoots together if we had the time! She is so great and supportive with critique as well! Last but not least Angela Pollard from Diamondheart Photography. She is always willing to take the time to answer any and all of my “duh” questions and give me hands on support!

Q:  Whose work has influenced you the most?  
A:  Wow, I am influenced by everyone!!! I love trolling facebook and pinterest to admire photographers. It is inspiring to see so many Moms following their dreams of photography.  I LOVE editorial, fashion and beauty photography and drool over the work of Pascal Demeester and Stephen Eastwood (google them-awesome!!)

Q:  What made you decide to do photography? How did you get started?  
A:  I have always loved editorial and fashion and beauty photography. Obviously I don’t have the opportunities and life to be able to pursue that right now…ahem two children under five… so I went with what I was given! My hubby bought me a DSLR because a point and shoot was not cutting it. I started photographing my kids and my family, my friends and their kids which turned into family sessions, weddings, etc.

Q:  What camera do you use and why?  
A:  I use a Nikon D7000. I love it.

Q:  What is your favorite lens?  
A:  If I’m doing beauty type shots or anything where I can completely take my time I love my 35mm 1.8. For everything else I love my 17-55mm 2.8

Q:   Before you put your work online, do you ever have someone critique it first?  
A:  Not always but yes I have many times and will continue to do so!! I think it is SO important, especially when you are a “newbie”, to get critique from photographers you trust and respect. You will never grow if you don’t ask for help. I’m blessed to have people like this, who I can take what they have to say about my work and learn from it.

Q:  Have you had any "disaster" shoots? What did you do?  
A:  Oh yes… well let’s just say fake it till you make it…then vent to your girlfriends later!

Q:  Do you ever use artificial light or is it all natural light?  
A:  Mostly natural but I recently got a umbrella studio light and have been experimenting with that.

Q:  What is your favorite thing to shoot?  
A:  Faces!!

Q:  Are you a Mac or PC lover?  
A:  PC

Q:  What editing program do you use and why?  
A:  I use Lightroom… I like it because it is pretty simple and there are great presets out there to play with.

Q:  If you could photograph ONE place in the world, what would it be?  
A:  I would love to photograph Fashion Week!! Beauty and fashion and accessories… that would be amazing!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Video Tip - Plan Ahead - wedding edition!

One of my friends recently asked me how I pick and choose what video clips I put into my video.  I hate to say it, but I don't have TOO much of a formula. I ask the couple what their favorite "love songs" are beforehand and listen to them a couple times to get the "feel" for that couple. I also take a look at the decor of the wedding, the attitudes of the people around, and the interactions of everyone and everything that day. As I walk through the day, I envision what I want their website clip video to look like and try to create clips that match my vision. But this all happens within 5 minutes....

If you know what you want to shoot beforehand, it cuts your editing time afterward in half!!!! Here is my go-to list for a 3 camera basic wedding shoot. I got the majority of this list from back in 2005 when I first started thinking about doing my own weddings and tweaked a couple things to fit what I shot.

Camera 1 – Canon 7D
1.  Exterior of Ceremony and Reception Areas
2.  Guest book signings
3.  Guests arriving and sitting down
4.  Any special touches in the ceremony, like the song, unity candle, lighting, etc.
5.  Reaction shots of bride and groom's families, as well as the bridesmaids and groomsmen during the ceremony
6.  Cutaways (5-10 seconds of each) - cake, presents, food, decorations, flower arrangements, the DJ, etc.
7.  Walk around and video each table of guests (if they want to say something, let them!  Otherwise, just get cute shots of waving and smiles, etc)
8.  Follow Bride and Groom out the reception to the car (from behind)

Camera 2 – Canon GL2
1.  Continuous roll of ceremony, from processional (prior to bride's entrance) to the couple's walk down the aisle at the end (recessional). You will be in the back third of the ceremony area on the right (the video should stay on the couple and the pastor the entire time – minimal zooming in and out).
2.  Bride and groom entering reception
3.  After some mingling, stage a reenactment of the ring ceremony with Bride and Groom. Get a good close-up of rings being slipped onto fingers. (remember that the floor will show – try to match the same or similar floor).
4.  Best man's and Maid of Honor’s toast
5.  Cake cutting
6.  Garter toss

Camera 3 – Canon GL2

1. Continuous Roll - Starting at processional all the way to recessional. If you are up in balcony, you will be responsible for the wide angles of the entire wedding party, bride/groom, and pastor.  Minimal zooming in and out.  If you do, do not zoom in past the maid of honor/best man.
2. First dance (as a couple)
3. Mom's dance with the groom
4. Dad's dance with the bride
5. Special dances and ceremonies at the reception
6. Guests saying goodbye (from the car)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mini Session Success!

Alright, for my first crack ever at mini-sessions, I would say they went pretty well! I had NO idea (really) what I was getting myself into, but had a positive attitude that the timing would just work itself out.  And, it did! Since the sun came out, we even got to go outside for a couple of standing pictures, since my make-shift studio in the house doesn't lend itself to true standing poses. I had a couple of open time slots and breaks in between sessions, so we didn't really have to rush anyone or set a timer on them.  One person was late, but it didn't matter because I had a half hour free after their session. So, all in all, this was a relaxed, fun, stress free day!  Enough that (am I crazy?!?!?) we are going to do it again!!!!  Before then, I HAVE decided that I'm going to re-paint my wall....IF I can talk Josh into it :)

One thing that I was little bummed about was that after I posted photos from 7 different sessions, I actually LOST 2 fans on Facebook and didn't gain any new ones.  So, help me get to 800 fans (without me myself joining a networking ladder, of course!) and I will announce the next mini-session date to benefit our "Making Strides for Breast Cancer" Team!  In the meantime, here are some of the cuties from yesterdays shoot!

1.)  My maternity shoot with Jessica and Jeff:

2.)  6 month old Jossilyn with mommy Tashia

3.)  Ryan and Dana with their daughter, 10 week old Eliana

4.)  Tabetha and her 3 year old daughter Alexia

5.)  My former student, Terra and her 2 week old Ayden

6.)  Gabby and her entourage!!  They did two sessions - one for her and hubby and one for her niece and nephew.  They were all a blast!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Photographer Interview - Jenn Davenport Photography

Once again, we have another great photographer on the blog today for our "Interview Wednesday" segment.  Today is a family friend Jennifer Davenport of Jenn Davenport Photography.  I have been following her work this past year as I embark on my own journey and have been thoroughly impressed at her talent!  Her images are always so bright and crisp!  She really knows how to use light to her advantage and gets the BEST expressions out of everyone she works with.  It was REALLY hard to choose my favorites on this one, but I went back a little ways to a couple that have always stood out to me.  Most photographers have a speciality, but Jenn rocks EVERYTHING!  (From newborns to weddings to families) She just amazes me.  Please enjoy her interview!

If I ever have a baby boy, I hope Jenn takes a pic with this hat for me :)
Just because I adore this family!!!!
This is just amazing!
This image captivated me the first time I saw it.  I was in awe.
And this is my favorite picture by her of ALL TIME!  I just love it!!!
Q:  Tell us a little bit about yourself
A:  I'm a Mom, first and foremost and I've been married for almost 6 years to my wonderful Hubby! We have two crazy, happy, lovely little girls, Adylyn who is 4 and Edyn who is
almost 2! We live in Kalama WA which is where my studio is located as well!
K Tobin:  I hear part of Twilight was filmed there, too :)
Q:  Where did you grow up?  Go to school?
A:  I grew up in Longview WA and I attended Concordia University in Portland where I got my BA.
K Tobin:  Longview is where I met you!  You were in the same class as my sister 
Q:  Are you a self-taught photographer or have you had any mentors along the way?
A:  I am mostly self taught although I did establish a relationship with a mentor about 18 months ago to develop my newborn photography.
K Tobin:  I had no idea.  That is awesome!
Q:  Whose work has influenced you the most? 
A:  That is really difficult for me to pinpoint. I follow many photographers who I feel are very accomplished and technically and creatively mature. I make a point to not frequently look at the work of local photographers because I feel that I wouldn't want my work to purposely mimic anyone in my area. I want my work to look different and reflect my personal style so that 
clients will choose me for my work being unique :) 
K Tobin: I think you have done a fantastic job at that.

Q: What made you decide to do photography? How did you get started?
A: I have been interested in photography since I learned by shooting film in high school. My husband gave me my first DSLR when we had our first daughter and I started practicing, practicing, practicing.

Q: What camera do you use and why?
A: My primary camera is my Canon 5D MarkII. I also have a 60D and 50D as backup cameras. I use my MarkII primarily because I love having a full frame camera. I love the 
images I get out of it, the color saturation, clarity...Me and Mark have a good thing going :)
K Tobin:  I know we already talked about this earlier, but I am SO jealous!!  If you EVER want to part with Mark, I would love to take him for a spin!  LOL.....
Q:  What is your favorite lens?
A:  Ooo...that totally depends on what I'm shooting. I have a different favorite for each type of shoot or subject. If I have to pick I would say that my 70-200 F2.8 L is one of my most favorites.
K Tobin:  I remember you mentioning that before!  Again - you have some GREAT equipment.  I love how versatile that lens is.
Q:  Before you put your work online, do you ever have someone critique it first?
A:  Depends on what it is. If it is of a subject I am very comfortable with and critical with myself, then no. If it is a new area I am experimenting with, then absolutely.
Q:  Do you ever use artificial light or is it all natural light?
A:  Both. I tend to a lot of work in my studio, where I use off camera flash for all my work. I enjoy natural light when I am outdoors, but I am comfortable with studio lighting and do a lot of work with it.
Q:  What is your favorite thing to shoot?
A:  I love newborns and babies. I love shooting weddings, seniors and families as well, but my favorite subjects would be anyone under 12 months old :)
K Tobin:  Those are my favorites of yours as well!!!!!
Q:  Are you a Mac or PC lover?
A: question.
K Tobin:  Good answer!  hehe....
Q:  What editing program do you use and why?
A:  I use Lightroom (couldn't live without) and Photoshop.
Q:  What is the farthest location you have ever had a photo shoot?
A:  I've traveled to the beach several times, Seattle, Portland but the furthest I think would be Bend, OR.
Q:  Any other funny or interesting shoots that you would like to share?
A:  I sat on a kid one time. Literally, sat on a 4 year old. Oiy! I was photographing a birthday party event and while the parent was getting the cake all prepped, I had stepped a little closer to get a couple shots and without looking I took a step back to where I was before. I had moved for no more then 30 seconds and a kiddo had moved their chair directly behind me so when I
stepped back, I sat down onto his lap. EMBARRASSING!
K Tobin:  That is amazing!  Thanks for sharing :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fix it baby!

So, my friends and I belong to a photography group and we try to inspire each other and help each other become better photographers.  Today I suggested that we try a "Fix it Friday" which we have seen on other sites.  But, the point is to get out some old photos that you love, but didn't quite edit right the first time (or need some help on).  I'm not going to post the other friend's photos that I edited, but I WILL share the edits that they did of my baby girl's photo from the first month I got my camera! :)  Enjoy!  We had a lot of fun!!!!

The Original Photo
Edited by Kaptured by Koren
Edited by Anna Hollister Photography
Edited by DiamondHeart Photography
Edited by ME!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

November Wedding - A Learning Experience

Yesterday I got asked AGAIN to do a video/photo combo at a wedding in September, so I thought that I would re-post this blog :)

If you don't already know by now, my day job is that I am a high school special education teacher. As if I don't already have enough to do with a 2-year-old and the extra duties I took on at school before she was born (that I haven't been able to talk my admin out of yet - hint hint, if you are reading this), I decided that I would further my summer business of wedding videography.

Last April, I bought an SLR to help me with HD Video. In order to figure out how to use it, I had to learn the art of the SLR. Hence came my new photog friends and then my new love for photo. As I was starting to get into this, some people at work asked me to help them out with senior photos. Then, my co-worker Lexie mentioned she was looking for someone to do photo and video for her wedding. She was willing to let me experiment as my first wedding doing both - SOLO.

Let me tell you.  It was a beautiful wedding! And it was fun!  But, I don't know how many of those I will do again, unless I have a 2nd shooter.  I was worried the ENTIRE time that I would miss something. But, I think it turned out great and she loved them, too. YAY! If you want to see any of my "reviews", you can always click the "Wedding Wire" link to the right...

I learned a lot of what I liked and what I didn't like. I also got a lot of tips on wedding photography from my photography friends.  There are a lot of things that are different from being the videographer and just following the bride around.  One of my favorite tips was to make sure that I had one designated person to ask who different family members were (in case I forgot). I wanted to make sure I had a lot of shots of them in both photo and video so the bride and groom could remember who was there. I have used my favorite pictures before in some posts, so I tried to pick new ones for this post that you may have not seen before.

Here was their demo video! (Done to a song that her sister sang at the wedding)