Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Inspiration

Fairies are invisible and inaudible like angels.  But their magic sparkles in nature.

Lynn Holland

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Inspiration

The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand.

Frederick L. Knowles

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Engagement Photo Shoot

Two weeks ago, I received a phone call from my favorite niece,  Dayna. ( Don't worry my other nieces, you are ALL my favorite!)  She requested that I take her and her fiance's engagement pictures.  I was thrilled beyond belief.  I was thrilled because she is my niece and her fiance is a great guy and they are so happy and she wanted me to document through photos a very important event in their life.  To say I was a tiny bit nervous is a HUGE understatement!  And could I have them done in time for their engagement party in two weeks?  Of course I said, "No problem!".

Since this was my very first "formal" (and I use that term very loosely) portrait session, I scoured the internet and magazines for ideas and received advice from the photography forum on Two Peas in a Bucket, I was anxious but felt a wee bit more confident.  I shopped both my house and my local craft store for props and made sure I had fresh batteries and a new compact flash card for my camera.  I watched the weather that morning to be sure no rain was in the forecast.  We had talked back and forth about wardrobe (I let her call the shots on that), places to take the photos and different ideas we had.  I had laid awake for nights thinking about the pictures I wanted to take and was very excited.

They came at the appointed time and I wanted to take a few "test shots" to hopefully set them both at ease and untangle my nerves (which I tried really hard not to show).  Here is the result of a couple of those shots:

Aren't they gorgeous?  My niece and future nephew-in-law I mean.  There should be a law against such gorgeousness!  I took these photos in front of a yard of black velvet taped to my dining room wall and just used natural lighting.  I was fretting about not having an external flash, but the nice photographers on Two Peas said it would be okay.  And they were right! :-)

I took a few pictures outside in our backyard and while they were changing their wardrobe, I took these pictures plus a few more.  

I asked my niece to bring along her bridal magazines and notes and such to use as props.

After spreading everything out on my kitchen table, I asked them to relax and look through the magazines while I snapped away.  I know I was annoying and probably making them nervous, but they were good sports.  I explained to them that this is one of those things that they will forget as time goes on and it is a snapshot of what it was like to plan a wedding and gather ideas.

We then went to a couple of places around town.  By the river and behind the convent that my hubby and I like to go to for walks.  They are both beautiful settings.

One more wardrobe change and we were off to the banks of our river that runs through our town.  Here are a couple of more shots:

There are several more pictures where this came from.  These are just a sample of what I took.  Since it was my very first portrait session, I put my camera on "auto" mode.  I know that I am supposed to use manual and set the aperture and exposure settings as I go.  But I'm still learning and felt more comfortable with that.  And I used my iphoto software on my computer for editing.  Here is the equipment I used for this shoot:

Canon Rebel XTi
50mm 1.8 lens
70-300mm lens
18-55mm kit lens

I want to give a special thanks to my hubby and son for their support through all of this.  They gave me ideas, helped me set up shots and gave Sean a hard time for being a Spartan!  (We still love ya, Sean!).
And a very special thanks goes to my wonderful niece and her wonderful fiance for having faith in me and for all of your patience and being such good sports!  I love you to the moon and back! :-)

Good News, Bad News Part III

Another good news/bad news post.  Mostly good. :-)

Good news is:  We had a houseful of guests for the last week and loved every minute of it.

Bad news is:  They all left this morning and all is quiet and we have that "let down" feeling.

Good news is:  As of a week ago yesterday, I lost nine pounds!  Yay! :-)

Bad news is:  I know that with all the parties and gatherings and dinners out, I have probably gained some of it back.

Good news is:  I was finally able to button and zip a couple of pairs of capris that I had set aside.  And I had no "muffin top" on a pair of favorite jeans that I have managed to button and zip at my highest weight.

Bad news is:  I am really wanting to shop for clothes,  especially with all the sales going on right now.  But I refuse until I am at least close to my goal.

Good news is:  I am saving a wad of cash by my self-imposed clothing shopping spree fast.

Good news is:  I bought a new pair of running shoes from the running store and am anxious to try them out.

Bad news is:  I am probably going to be in traction since I haven't worked out with all the company and busyness we've had the past week.

Good news is:  We had great time with family and friends and our Fourth of July was a blast!

Bad news is:  I can't think of any. :-)

Well, that's all for now.  Wishing everyone nothing but Good News now and in the future. :-)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Inspiration


The gold of her promise
has never been mined

Her borders of justice
not clearly defined

Her crops of abundance
the fruit and the grain

Have not fed the hungry
nor eased that deep pain

Her proud declarations
are leaves on the wind

Her southern exposure
black death did befriend

Discover this country
dead centuries cry

Erect noble tablets
where none can decry

"She kills her bright future
and rapes for a sou

Then entraps her children
with legends untrue"

I beg you

Discover this country.

Maya Angelou