Monday, April 30, 2012

Conroy Twins again!!!!!

I had the distinct pleasure of going to the NICU here in Vancouver to take pics of the Conroy Twins a little while ago.  If you want to see those pics, here them out here:  Conroy Twins

Today, they came over to check out the pretty flowers in the backyard and we had such a great time!  Big sister Hannah was a big helper as we posed and messed with her little siblings, Skylar and Triston.  They are so pickin' cute!  But, man, they did NOT want us to mess with them at all.....they just wanted to be held by mommy and daddy.  Poor little things.  If one wasn't crying, the other WAS.  Here was their fun day!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday - Zippered Pouch Giveaway!!!!

Hey all!!!!  My friend, Allison, started selling some great products and to help her get the word out on her new 31 business, I decided to host a giveaway for her! :)  And since thirty-one reps can't have a Facebook page, this week's giveaway is an EASY mandatory entry!!!!!

Check out the picture of her family that I entered in a weekly contest!

Zipper Pouch valued at $12

Here is her site:

Check out all the wonderful ways that you can win!!!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pilot's Wife - Part 8

I am sitting at home sick right now on the couch and realized that I hadn't written this week's post.  I can't keep my head up, so I am literally curled up in a blanket with my comfy pillow propping me up while watching the Today Show and surfing the internet.  The only constructive things I did today were drive Josh to the KIA dealership to drop off his car, mailed a package, and cleaned my bedroom.  Then I got too exhausted and had to lay down again.

Thanks to Josh for writing last week's post. If you missed it, check it out here:  Pilot's Wife - Part 7 Right now, he is out in the garage cleaning out our file cabinets.  Good times.  Good times.

If you know me, you know that I have the WORST memory of any one on the planet. Literally. I always thought the Bible said to "forgive and forget", but as I did my research today, did you know that it doesn't say that ANYWHERE IN THE BIBLE? God DOES say to forgive people....and to keep forgiving them. Interesting.....the closest verses I could find were:

"I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins. Put Me in remembrance; let us contend together; state your case, that you may be acquitted." -Isaiah 43:25-26

"Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more." -Hebrews 10:17

So, now I can't say that my forgetfulness is of God!!  haha...

The whole point of that last tangent is to say that I don't remember many details from 10 years ago when we were first married, but Josh's last post talked about the summer in Ellensburg while I was getting my masters degree.  What I DO remember is that the last quarter - which was during the summer - completely SUCKED.....and I will say that over and over again.  I believe it was the most stressed out I have ever been in my life. I was in the library almost EVERY day researching my thesis exam (because I didn't have to write a paper).  So, it was almost better that my poor husband was training in  between Portland and Seattle because I was busy almost every day. I was sleeping on an air mattress in a room in my friend's apartment.  It was absolutely gorgeous outside that summer (80-100 degrees every day) and all I wanted to do was float the river with my friends, but I was always inside studying or researching.

Josh came to visit me and brought with him pictures of a couple of houses in Vancouver, WA where he had been house-hunting with a couple of his friends from his training class. Due to my Masters and being through surgery I wasn't able to go to Vancouver with him to hunt for houses.  He thought he had found "the one" he wanted.  He asked me to trust him to make the right decision, as I wouldn't be able to go see it.  I told him that I did and we called the bank and signed the papers in Yakima after it was all completed.  I make it sound like it was a quick process, but really it took a couple months.

I got back the results of my test, and I had only passed 4 of the 7 essays on this exam.  I had spent 4 hours in a small room with only a computer and a page a typed notes.  So, I had to go back and re-do the 3 essays that I had messed up on. And to top it all off, I found out I had a cyst that I needed to get removed the day after my big exam.  It was quite painful and the recovery would be about a week, so I was IN PAIN during my exam.  That was probably one of the worst parts of all. After that last re-take, I had my surgery and was holed up on the couch watching the latest DVD of Friends to come out and ended up gaining 10 pounds.  I'm not even kidding!  I vaguely remember Josh coming to visit me through my pain meds. :)

In early July of that summer, we rented a U-Haul and our wonderful friends and family in the Ellensburg/Yakima area helped us pack up our little apartment. Josh drove the U-Haul BY HIMSELF to the new house to unpack it all, as I was still finishing up school.  My mom, sister, brother, and other members of our family helped Josh to set up THE ENTIRE house that week.

In mid-July of that summer, I bought a '97 Honda Accord on the way home from church camp and drove to our house for the very first time.  It still amazes me to this day that the first time I saw our house was after it was ALREADY BOUGHT, ALL SET UP, and all of my things were already moved in and in place.  We didn't even have to paint the walls because everything went with our style.  Can I just tell you, that I have hardly re-arranged anything since then?  I LOVE the way my mom and sister set it up!  It has almost been 8 years since we moved in here!  haha...I can't find our old pictures of the house, but I did find these two that I took this past winter of Christmas Lights at night.

I thought something looked weird on this until I realized I had photoshopped out our address!  LOL...
I went back to Ellensburg to finish up that quarter and then came to Vancouver to go through their 2 week "New Teacher Training".  Really it's one week in a large cafeteria with all the other new teachers and then a week in different smaller break-out sessions depending on what your assignment is.  I was hired to teach high school "learning support English" which means kids with learning disabilities in reading and writing.  It was not my first choice, by far, but I was so glad to have a job closer to my husband that I didn't care!

Josh is sitting here watching me type and just reminded me that the Interns from Central WA actually lived in our house before we did!  haha!  That is right!  Josh wasn't around much because he was in Seattle now working.  And once I moved away from Ellensburg and into our house, I was living in it with 2 college boys!!

I never had roommates in college because I had a single room my freshman year and was a resident advisor the 2 years in between before Josh and I got married.  So, now I've had more roommates AFTER I was married than before!!!!  2 girls during my masters and interns living in our house.  I find that so funny!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Photographer Interview - Marissa Gifford Photography

I don't believe it!  I have found another great photographer right here in my town!!!  I love the talent that this gal has. Meet Marissa Gifford of Marissa Gifford Photography. Every single new image she posts just blows my mind away! She has done an amazing job of creating a style and niche of her own and does a fantastic job. My favorite photographers are those that get a crisp, clean image with creamy tones and Marissa does just that. She has become another one of my favorites this year, for sure!

Take a look at some of her latest work.

Seriously - can you get any more snuggly than this?
This image just AMAZES perfect! 
I love that you can sense the love in this picture 
I love how crisp this image is - every detail is just perfect!
Okay - how pickin' cute is he?
My interview with Marissa:

1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I'm married to my best friend and a mom to 3 rambunctious boys. My passions in life are faith, family, photography, football (my husband is a lucky guy that way), and learning foreign languages. I've lived in the NW for 10 years and love it up here. I wish it was a little warmer and sunnier though. :)

2.) Where did you grow up? Go to school?
I grew up in Palo Alto, CA (and grew up a big Stanford fan) and went to school at the University of Arizona and graduated in 2002. I got my degree in Political Science and Spanish, and minored in Humanities.

3.) Are you a self-taught photographer or have you had any mentors along the way? 
I'm a self-taught photographer in that I didn't study it in school. However, I'm a part of a great photography community called Clickin Moms that has great classes and tutorials that I've been able to take advantage of. Between that, and a lot of trial and error, my photography has grown by leaps and bounds.

4.) Whose work has influenced you the most? 
I love Stephanie of Bellini Portraits' work. I love how light and airy and clean it feels. I also love Sarah Cornish's (My Four Hens Photography) soft and whimsical style. I'm really drawn to that type of photography.

5.) What made you decide to do photography? How did you get started? 
Like many photographers, I fell in love with it after the birth of my first son. I became so intent on capturing our daily lives and all his milestones. I just had a regular point and shoot camera until 2008 when I got too dissatisfied with the shutter lag on my camera and finally upgraded to my first DSLR. Getting that camera (a Nikon D60) was like an a-ha moment for me. When I started realizing all the things I could do with my DSLR I started getting serious about learning how to best use it and learn about the world of post-processing. After doing free sessions for a while for family and close friends I decided to go into business at the end of last summer. It's been a whirlwind ride since then, but I'm loving every bit of it!

6.) What camera do you use and why? 
I use a Nikon D700 because I love its clarity and high ISO capabilities. I do a lot of newborn sessions and indoors on a dark and dreary winter's day there isn't always much available light. I'm able to capture images that I would never have been able to get with my old D60. I even did an outdoor family session not too long ago where I had to crank up the ISO to 2000 (outdoors!) to get the shot b/c a dark storm cloud literally took all our light. Fortunately we finished up before we got drenched. But those are things I would never have been able to do if it weren't for my D700.

7.) What is your favorite lens? 
My current favorite is my Nikkor 50mm 1.8 lens. I also shoot with a Nikkor 85mm 1.8 lens, but it's a bit quirkier, so I mainly use it for personal shots and outings. My 50mm is razor sharp and shooting with it is like putting on a comfortable pair of jeans. I also love my Nikkor 60mm 2.8 micro lens that I use for newborn super-close-ups.

8.) Before you put your work online, do you ever have someone critique it first? 
Sometimes. It just depends on the shot and the session.

9.) Do you ever use artificial light or is it all natural light? 
I try to use all natural light. I've only ever had one newborn session where there genuinely wasn't enough light to get away without using my studio lights. So, I have the studio lights, but I won't use them unless absolutely necessary.

10.) What is your favorite thing to shoot? 
Maternity sessions and newborn sessions are my favorites. The love and joy of expecting a baby and having a new little life come into the world are so amazing. I have been known to get misty-eyed at newborn sessions and while editing both maternity and newborn sessions. It's just incredible. I also love doing Seniors/teens.

11.) Are you a Mac or PC lover? Mac.

12.) What editing program do you use and why? 
I use CS5 because I love the flexibility and the possibilities I have when I use it. I know so many photographers love Lightroom, but I haven't been able to get into it myself. I own it, but it's languishing away from disuse, sadly. I do have a Lightroom class on my wish list though, so maybe I'll learn to love it and it'll speed up my workflow, which would always be a welcome change. :)

13.) What is the farthest location you have ever had a photo shoot? 
The farthest location I've ever had a photo shoot is Idaho. We were visiting family there over New Year's and I did a family session for my sister-in-law and her family (of 7 kids!). It was great though, the light was yummy and warm. You'd never know by looking at the pictures that it was only about 25 degrees out.

14.) Any other funny or interesting shoots that you would like to share? 
Nothing too bad has happened to me on a shoot yet, thank goodness. Although at my last newborn session I called the dad by the wrong name on accident. I caught it and corrected myself, but it was still a bit embarrassing.

15.) Where would your "dream shoot" be? 
Oooh, do I only get to list one? I have a few! My dream shoot would be in a field of tall, dry grass with a gorgeous sunset and maybe some oak trees. There were lots of oak trees where I grew up and I miss seeing them so often up here. Add in a gorgeous Senior or maternity couple and I'm in heaven! :)

16.) What is one "tip" you would give newbie photographers? 
My tip would be to learn as much as you can. Take classes, scour the internet for tutorials, browse Flickr, join a photography forum (like Clickin Moms, which I love), and follow your favorite photographers to find out exactly what it is about their work that's appealing. I've found that the more I learn the more I feel like there's so much MORE to learn. I love that photography is a journey and that there's always room for growth so boredom won't set it. So I guess that's the long way of saying don't be complacent and think you're done. Dive in and keep learning as much as you can! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

World Book Night 2012 Giver

I don't know how many of you have heard about this fantastic event, but today, April 23rd, 2012 was World Book Night!!!!

For those of you that do not know, I teach a group of what we call "reluctant readers" at a high school here in Vancouver, WA.  They read any where from 1st grade to 8th grade level. Needless to say, it's a roller coaster ride every day. They hate the class and because of that sometimes say they hate me. I know that because they have trouble reading, they hate school.

But a lot of them like science fiction and a lot of them like "free things". So, my friend, Julia, told me about this great organization called "World Book Night USA" and told me to apply for a box of free books to give away on April 23rd.  I got the e-mail!!!!  I was chosen!  I would be a giver! It was fantastic, but I started to get really nervous.  What was I going to do.  How would I "convince" my readers to take this free gift.

The day was here. Still nervous, I went to school.  I told the kids all about the organization and what they were trying to do and asked how many of them wanted the book "Kindred" that I had to give to them.

Hands shot up all over the room!  By the end of 2nd period, I only had 5 books left, which I handed out in 4th period to a happy group of kids that I NEVER would have thought would take a book from me EVER!  One kid told me today that he would never like any books.  And then he took one!  Who knew?

I don't know what these kids will do with the books.  I HOPE they read them.  But even if they don't, I want them to know that I tried really hard to get these books for them.  I want them to know how much I love reading.  Some day, I want them to love reading, too.

This is right outside my classroom in the "memorial garden" for our fallen teacher, Mr. Patterson

My friend, Julia, got the book "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian", which she personalized for each one of her "reluctant reader" students. She is such an amazing teacher and has some of the BEST ideas! She and I would LOVE to do this again next year and want to plan out an even BIGGER event. Perhaps a "boot giver" party in one of our classrooms?  Eh, Julia?  WHO KNOWS!

Photo Tip - How to photograph on a bright/sunny day

We've been complaining and complaining. The wind. The rain. The gloom and doom of the winter months.  And now, spring has hit.  Now we complain about the sun being TOO bright!

1.  Unless you are going for a crazy effect, try NOT to shoot directly into the sun OR with the sun directly behind you.  Directly behind you, the poor subjects you are shooting will be squinting in every single picture.  Off to the side, or at an angle is best.  Here are a couple examples from this weekend :)

Beautiful, yet squinting baby
Shot into the sun for some flare
2.  Choose the best time of day.  "High noon" is named that for a reason.  It's not necessarily the best time to be getting out your camera.  We took pictures around 3pm and it was STILL completely bright outside.  Time to get a little later in the day!

3.  Find some shade?  If there is not any around, try an umbrella.  This weekend, we had to roam around to find some shade, but eventually it happened!!!!

I love that we finally got some beautiful eyes!!!!
4.  Reflectors....I have YET to master these.  I really hope to try them out again soon.  But, I keep forgetting them at home.  Biscuits! So, no examples from this weekend.

5.  Flash - off camera or on?  Have any of you photographers done this?  I am up for a lesson!!!!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Saturday's Festivities

I have been staying the entire weekend with my sister and brother-in-law.  This is only funny because I only live 20 minutes away from them :)  However, I decided that it was easier, because I had 4 things happening in their town this weekend.

1.)  Family Dessert Birthday Party
2.)  Photo Shoot at their Tulip Festival
3.)  Soccer Game
4.)  My sister's birthday party with her friends

So, rather than waste gas (right, Josh?) which we know is creeping it's way up to $5/gallon, I just figured I would get in some much needed family time.  Isabella has been sick off and on for the past couple weeks, so she missed her cousins and the rest of our family.  She has been having a blast so far!!  Since we wore them out this morning in the kiddie pool, she is now sleeping, and I figured I would catch up on some photo editing and blog about the weekend!

Friday night was our Family Birthday Party. We all went out to Olive Garden. This wouldn't have been eventful had it not been for my guest!!!!  I invited my toughest to reach teenage girl student to dinner with us, and she said YES!!!!!  She came with us and was completely quiet the whole time.  It was Twilight Zone, let me tell you.  My family said she was the most well-behaved girl they had ever seen.  I can't wait to tell her that!  I also can't wait to see how school will be from now on :)

Saturday morning was pretty uneventful.  The girlies watched Dora and we all sat around and chatted. Then we put them down for naps and I headed out to Woodland's beautiful Tulip Festival.  I happened to run into a friend about 30 minutes before my scheduled photo shoot, so I decided to snap a couple of pictures of her adorable little girls!  She was delighted :)  The day was bright, so we have a couple of squinters, but that's ok! They loved the flowers.

Then, I had my scheduled photo shoot with a couple that bought my services through an auction to benefit the senior class party at my high school where I teach.  It was really neat to meet them.  The husband works at the fire department at the airport, so we "talked shop" for awhile when I told him that my hubby was a pilot!  So fun!

Seriously bright day.  So glad the couple suggested that we go to the Lilac Garden, too, because we FINALLY found enough shade to take some pics with their eyes wide open!  Love!

Saturday night we had our co-ed adult soccer game that my sister, brother-in-law, hubby and I play in.  Unfortunately, hubby was gone in Florida all weekend visiting his best friend, Kyle.  So, we had to find a bunch of guy subs to help fill spots :)

We ran our hearts out and really played well against a much young, much more athletic team.  You wouldn't have been able to tell, though.  We really kept up!  However, we weren't able to finish our runs with goals in the end.  So, we lost our last official indoor game this season. We were sad that we didn't have all our regular players to finish out strong!  Plus, Danielle got hurt when a guy kicked the ball out from underneath her and she landed on her hip.  After ice and some Tylenol, she is feeling a TON better, though!

Now the girls are napping and we are waiting for Danielle's friends to come over to hang out and celebrate her getting a year older (thanks to Tasha for arranging such a wonderful day)!

Then tonight it's off to a Young Life Leader Dinner for me, so I hope to get the rest of these photos edited and up so I can enjoy the rest of this sunny day as well as not have anything to work on during the week after school!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Friday Giveaway - Peek-a-Boo Seat Covers

I LOVE small businesses. And, I love to help small businesses whenever I get a chance! This company found me on Facebook and loved my work and asked me to create a "commercial" for them for their website advertising their products. I was MORE than happy to help. In return, owner Paulette made me a custom cover for a friend that is having a baby!!!!

Here was her completed commercial:

From Facebook:
“Car seat Canopy covers with several options for you to customize it to fit your style and theme. My name is Paulette, I am a Wife and Mother to 5 Beautiful Children.

Mission: Dream~Design~Create your customized Peek-a-Boo cover.

Elegant, Personalized, fun and great gifts for all

Company Overview: We have a Unique car seat canopy 3-in-1 design available for each cover. Pocket for Diapers & Wipes, Binky holder and Nursing Strap. Monograming and Custom covers are available.

Pricing or Questions:

Friendly Customer services and quick delivery..

Your baby will stay covered from germs, sun and the elements with our beautiful and professionally designed Peek-A-Boo Covers.”

Okay - so the GIVEAWAY IS:

A CUSTOM SOAKER PAD! Pictured here (without straps):

In your choice of print
Prize worth: $12
Winner to pay $3.50 shipping

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Pilot's Wife Part 7

Catch previous episodes here: Part 6

Have I mentioned to you how much I love this man? I have been in a writing slump for 3 weeks and asked him to write the next installment. And he did! On an IPAD! Seriously? Awesome guy.

“After a few months of living in Yakima and working in Chicago it became evident that it was not going to be easy on our relationship to continue the commute. We were young and newly married, so we were still finding our identity as a couple. It was hard to build this identity and to grow with each other with me being gone so much. Part of the problem was that there was not going to be much advancement at that job for a long time, so I would be on the bottom of the seniority list for a while. My place on this list would directly effect my schedule.

I had started to send out resumes again looking for jobs closer to home. At the same time, we started to look for housing in the Chicago area. Those were the two options for us. We didn't know where life was going to take us in the future, but these were our two best options. Then one day in the afternoon, I was home and got a call out of the blue from another airline. I wasn't expecting this at all. I didn't even know they were hiring. All I did was update my resume with them in the previous months hoping for a call.

I ended up getting hired at the airline closer to home and they had a base in the city that Karina had been hired in the previous spring. I started there and spent another two months away from Karina during training. We only had one car at the time because I was gone in Chicago so much, so I spent two months in a hotel with no car with nothing of much interest near that hotel. I relied on a friend of mine from class to take me to the grocery store to stock up on my weekly food. Training pay is less the normal salary, so I remember eating a lot of Top Ramen and taking advantage of the hotel's free breakfast.

As I started working, Karina was the one who wasn't home much. I flew home to Yakima and she was in Ellensburg living with her friends and finishing her masters. It was summer time, but my teacher wife was the one in class all summer. It was interesting. We had our apartment in Yakima, she was renting a room in Ellensburg and I was living on the road four days a week. Still with one car, it caused her to drive the 45 minutes to Yakima to pick me up and sometimes we would stay in Yakima and she would drive to school, or we'd stay in her room in Ellensburg. It was a very interesting time for us as we continued to build the base for our future.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Photographer Interview - Sarah Costa Photography

Today I want to introduce you to one of my new favorite photographers.  When I first saw her work, I assumed she MUST be from a major metropolis and lived far away from me. But, I came to find out, she lives in the same town I do!  Meet Sarah Costa of Sarah Costa Photography. She is a natural light photographer whose crisp images have captured the hearts of 1,000s of people in the Vancouver, WA area. Whether you are looking for a newborn studio session or an outdoor wedding, she is game! I love that she thinks of shots and angles that I wouldn't even begin to dream up. Her editing style is so natural, organic, and clean. She gets such wonderful creamy skin tones. She also loves to craft, so her props are fun and original as well!  Give her a "like" on Facebook and tell her that I sent you!  Check out some of her latest work:

Sarah has her own studio now!
I love the light in this one.  Plus, I wish I had a pic of me with my violin like this at her age!

Her attention to detail is exquisite
I love her collage ideas 
I almost went out and shot in this same field on the same day!
Glad I didn't because Sarah did a MUCH better job than I would have!
And now for the interview....

1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself
I love learning new things. I am always working on a million projects and can honestly say I am never bored. I love art and making things with my hands and finding new ways to use things I find while thrifting. It is a rare day that I don’t have my camera in hand. I love taking pictures of everything.

My husband Rob and I have four daughters who are our whole world. Iris who is 12 ½, Stella who will be 10 in May and twins Larkin and Ruby who are 4 ½. Experiencing being a parent to these four has brought so much light into our lives and are continually educating us about life and love.. as well as patience ;-)

We also have two silly little dogs who are a great source of comedic relief in our family and bring us tons of love. We love spending time exploring the pacific northwest, going to famers markets, antiquing, gardening, cooking and working on art and craft projects together and spending time with our family and friends.

2.) Where did you grow up? Go to school?
I was born in southern California and lived there until my family moved here when I was 9 years old. I lived in the hazel dell area until I was 15 then moved to Ridgefield.

3.) Are you a self-taught photographer or have you had any mentors along the way?
I am! Along the way I have met some wonderful photographer friends and gained support from them.

4.) Whose work has influenced you the most?
That’s a hard one. I love do many different photographers work! I love work that bends the rule and shows genuine emotion and creativity. Joy Prouty, Tara Whitney, Amy Boring, Shannon Sewell, Stacy Wood’s, Jose Villa, Jenny Cruger, to name a few

5.) What made you decide to do photography? How did you get started?
The decision to become a photographer professionally came from years of shooting for myself, friends and family. I have loved photography my whole life. I love light I love color I love watching how different things can appear just by changing your perspective. I love looking back on old photos and instantly being drawn back into that moment in time. As I learned more the more I wanted to learn…. When it came down to it I knew I needed something to help feed my addiction to fast glass and great cameras ;-)

6.) What camera do you use and why?
Nikon D700… I love how accurate and fast it focuses and the high ISO capabilities.. I love the way it feels in my hand. I love the sound of the shutter I love the weight.. everything about it.. I can’t wait for my new baby D800 which should be arriving in the next couple of weeks.

7.) What is your favorite lens?
85mm 1.4G. I love everything about it! The focal length, how sharp it is wide open… 99% of the time you will find either the 85 or 35 1.4G on my camera depending on where I am and how much space I have.

8.) Before you put your work online, do you ever have someone critique it first?
Nope, I think I am my toughest critic

9.) Do you ever use artificial light or is it all natural light?
I use natural light in just about every situation. I do have some great continuous lighting as well as flashes for when I need it

10.) What is your favorite thing to shoot?
I love photographing connection. I love taking pictures of everything from births to weddings to my kids being silly in the tub. My goal in every session is to remain genuine and have my work reflect who my subject really is. If it is a senior, 6 month old baby or a family ;-)

11.) Are you a Mac or PC lover?
PC since my husband’s college training was in Microsoft software… I really had no opinion when it came to the kind of computers we had.. lol. Although those apple commercials sure make me want to jump ship haha

12.) What editing program do you use and why?
Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS5. I like lightroom for my library and for culling my images to edit. I use photoshop because…well is there anything else that works as good?

13.) What is the farthest location you have ever had a photo shoot?
My work has remained in the Pacific Northwest since I have young kiddos with busy schedules. I do love to travel to new places and hope to get some destination gigs ;-)

14.) Any other funny or interesting shoots that you would like to share?
During one of my early weddings the power went out after dark in the Columbia River Gorge. It was pitch black! First dance, cake cutting ..etc all by candle light it was sure some added ambiance.

15.) Where would your "dream shoot" be?
Big open space, lots of tall grass and wild flowers, with some gorgeous evening summer haze. Family together playing laughing, vintage quilts, guitars playing, flower head band making… people snuggling .. throw in an old VW bus and I am in heaven!

16.) What is one "tip" you would give newbie photographers?
Learn how to use your camera. Investing time in learning the camera is going to pay off so much more than trying to fix it in photoshop! You can be a great photographer with a 50mm lens and a mid range camera. When you have a portfolio built (as well as a business license) make sure you are charging enough to make it worth your time to pay for your taxes and for your equipment. Push yourself to find your own style and what makes your heart happy. Focus on what makes you happy, shoot what you love and you will attract more of that into your life. Look for friends in the industry who are supportive, kind and encouraging and always make time for your family and for your own creativity!

KT side note:  I LOVE this advice!!!  I think a lot of new photographers out there are undermining their abilities/not charging enough. If you feel you are professional enough and have gotten a business license, BY ALL MEANS, become a legit business and start to charge like one. Also - I would not be where I was today without my business friends...they have encouraged me to get where I am as well.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Video Tip - My Trip to the Apple Store in Portland

If you edit video and are a Mac user, you have probably "upgraded" to Final Cut Pro X.  Now if you were a Final Cut Pro 7 user, you may not be happy with the change, but for a poor school teacher like myself, the switch from Final Cut Express to this has been delightful, to say the least.

Every single app update since then has BLOWN my mind away because it's like the writers have bugs in my house listening to my complaints to my hubby about what I didn't like about the program when I first bought it in July and THEY FIXED THEM ALL! it!  I love that Mac automatically updates all the apps that you buy from them because I know that I'm getting a constantly improving product every time. And, it always gets better.

So, the other day I had a spare hour (I know - crazy), so I went down to the Pioneer Square Store and had a one to one session with my new favorite employee there.  I seriously love two people, now, that work at the Apple Store.  There are a couple of employees there that can hit the road, but there are two gentleman that don't make me feel stupid and actually listen to my questions and talk me through it.

One was the Final Cut Pro Guy :)

The Other was the Guy with the goatee that told me ALL about the mentally challenged people that come in and take the one to one sessions every week day and sing karaoke to people around the store.  We seriously had a good 10 minute conversation about this.  He had me rolling laughing.  I now know why I can never get a stinking appointment every time I want to get in there during random times!!!!

(Side Note - can you tell I'm horrible with names?!?!??!)

Back to Final Cut Pro Guy - I spent a good hour with him talking through short cuts in the program and found a TON of great new things with Color Correction, Exposure, and how to import audio only or video only (which I used just yesterday!).  Also - he showed me some short cuts that I hope to use this summer!  Here are a couple that I can share quickly before I head off to bed!

W - Insert Edit (will place your clip right where the cursor is, thus overriding any clips you had there)
E - Append Edit (will place your clip at the end of the timeline, no matter where your cursor is)
Q - Connect to Primary Storyline (will place your clip OVER the video that is already there - on top)

This is a screenshot of Final Cut Pro - The Main 3 buttons that I just discussed are right above the yellow box

1. Audition - says "With the new Auditions feature in Final Cut Pro X, you can stack multiple shots in one place in your timeline and cycle through them to choose the best one." I can look at multiple clips and see what they would look like in my video without copying/pasting/messing up what I am editing. I have been doing things the hard way for YEARS!!!! Time to get a little more fine-tuned and start to edit more efficiently and specifically.

This is a screen shot of even LOOKS fun!
2. Synchronize Clips - oh yea! Get 2-3 cameras at different angles, import them, select them and right click!  Wa-hoo!   It will analyze the audio FOR YOU and create a clip with them all put together.  Now, I didn't have a good clip to practice on at my session, so Mr. One to One and I couldn't figure out how to go back and forth between the actual video of the clip from camera to camera.  That's my next task.  I am hoping this saves me at least 30-60 minutes while editing weddings this summer.  That is an extra hour I can spend with my ever-growing toddler!!!

So excited that I went to Apple the other day :)  Hope to see my two new best friends, again, soon!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Recent Work

It's been awhile since I have seen you all!  How are you doing? :)

I have been REALLY busy.....with Spring Break, sick baby, student teacher, and just life in general.  So, the blog (unfortunately) took a hiatus for a couple weeks.

But we are back!

I have at least 2 photographers lined up for interviews and will try to get some video/photo research done tonight as well.  2 photo shoots next week for some "recent work" and will try to get a couple of giveaways so that I can entice you to send your friends.  For now, this is what I worked on the past week!

Promo Video for Lake Mayfield Teen Camp 2012

Commercial for the Amazing Peek-a-Boo Seat Covers!

Check them out on facebook!

Friday, April 6, 2012

April Breast Cancer Fundraising

Okay ya'll....I have been a slacker in the past month on my breast cancer fundraising. And, I realize that the walk is now only a month away!!!!

So, I am planning on donating 80% OF ALL PROCEEDS FROM ALL MY BUSINESS VENTURES during the month of April to my breast cancer walk team in order to try and reach my goal (Only keeping the 20% for business expenses incurred during that time).  This means a heart-warming feeling for you if you book a photo session, advertise with me, or buy any make-up from my online mark. store.  

Fundraiser Number 1:  $100/hr photo session or $75 for 30 minutes

I will even throw in one 8x10 for every session booked.  Just e-mail:

Fundraiser Number 2:  As for Advertising, here is the current special:

I will also put your company logo in a photo album on my facebook page and tag you 1x a week during April to say "Thanks!" Just e-mail

Fundraiser Number 3: The next 3 people to order over $30 from my online boutique get free shipping and these earrings from ME for free!  Check out the great sale items!

Code "Welcome" is for free shipping on orders $30 and up

Fundraiser Number 4:  Just donate to my team directly!!!!  Here is the link: