Sunday, March 28, 2010

My New Photo-edting Assistant

So I was editing this photo I took yesterday of Jaxon and his best buddy:

... when guess who jumped up onto my desk and had a word to say about how it should be done:

"Color, not black and white." ~ Fred

Everyone's a critic.

And yes, my desk is always this messy.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I Love This Face!

And soon it's going to change forever!

(Sorry for the drama, but he's my baby!)

Luke's about to lose his first top front tooth. He's lost several on the bottom already, but never a top front tooth.

And then he'll have a gap.

And then he'll have a big boy tooth and he'll never, ever look like a baby again!


Thanks for listening, I'm okay now.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thanks Heaven for Photoshop

When I was growing up, Dad was the designated family photographer. He had a nice SLR camera - at least later on - and he took pretty much all of the family pictures. Which was great, except that he mostly took slides, which is great, except that the only way we were ever able to view our family photos was to have a twice yearly family photo viewing night and watch a slide show on the living room wall. Which was great, it got to be a happy family ritual, but other than twice a year, we never viewed the family photos.

A couple of years ago, I bought a slide scanner, retrieved the family slides (all 7 trays or so) from my mom and went to work. I started in October, spent every minute I could spare on the project and finished just in time to complete my Christmas album. And I only scanned about half the slides.

But at least we have them, at least there are pictures in existence. And since one of the reasons I blog is to have a book at the end of every year to print for my family history, I'm going to start including some of these old family gems from time to time.

This is one of my favorites:

Isn't it great? It's my beautiful mom in labor with me and on her way to the hospital. Can you even tell she's pregnant? Amazing.

As I scanned all the slides, I had to spend several minutes on each one -bringing it into Photoshop and fixing it up a little. I couldn't spend a lot of time, but just a few clicks got me from this:

to this:

I could still work on this photo some more, but this is the result of about 39 seconds worth of Photoshop editing. Pretty cool, I must say.

If our houses were on fire - heaven forbid - I think most of us would retrieve our families, pets, and photos - everything after that would be replaceable. And I think it's cool that in this digital age, every photo I've ever taken of my family can reside on a 3" x 5" external hard drive instead of a trunk full of boxes of slide trays. Love that.

P.S. Doesn't my mom have pretty legs? This picture was taken almost 40 years ago and her legs still look this good. (She has pretty much that same haircut, too, actually.)

P.P.S. My Mom had me 9 months and 3 days from the day she was married.

Just thought I'd throw that in.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Allison's First Birthday - Phases 3 & 4

I while back I blogged about how my good friend Jenna's little Allison turned 1 and about how Jenna had so many fun things planned to celebrate this momentous occasion. We had planned to take a couple of photo sessions plus the party, but it turned out to be 4 different sessions.

Whew! I do think we got it covered, and I've decided that I love photographing this age of child - they're cute and expressive and fun, but they're too young to be self conscious or have fake smiles. I felt like we captured a large variety of cuteness - - you be the judge:

(her new Easter dress)

(one of the hats I had made as her birthday gift from me)

(another of the hats - my favorite.)

I love the backlighting shining through her big girl pony tails!

We got so carried away with these that we ran out of light for the cake pictures, to we ended up doing them the next day: thus, phase 4.

There's a gal near us who makes really great cakes and Jenna commissioned her to make one that matched Allison's "1" outfit. Get a load of this adorable cake-art:

all completely edible, of course - the candle was one of those rolled Italian cookies with the cream inside covered in fondant - so cute!

She had figured out how to blow out candles by this time:

... and had a great time eating her yummy cake.

Jenna and I were having such a good time that we may have encouraged her to eat the cake just a little too long....

Oh well! She'll appreciate it someday.

Love you, Allison! Happy Birthday!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Trip Back in Time

I've been talking a lot lately about Jenna's little one year old daughter, but we also had a fun session the other day with her - almost - 4 year old son, Dallin. Jenna and Jeff bought a house a few months ago and Jenna's been wanting to decorate Dallin's room with old car stuff. She had a great idea to take photos of him with some of the neat old cars and trucks around town. And then, while I was on a baby shoot, another friend offered to let me use her little old fashioned car.

We dressed Dallin up like a little gentleman from another era and we were all set. Even though we had to wade through some mud, it was so great to finally have a nice sunny day after the kind of winter we've had.

Dallin liked being able to play in and on the old trucks.

Jenna's neighbor down the street, and one of my husbands really good friends, has a whole bunch of old International pickup trucks. Pretty neat - this one's called "the pretty truck".

He even got to drive it:

(these just seemed to beg for some antique editing)

Some of my favorites were of him looking out the windows:

And then we had the borrowed little blue car.

Isn't that the cutest thing?

What a fun little trip.....

And a fun little guy.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Faces of Nursery

Today in nursery I finished getting photos of all the kids. We've been wanting to have their pictures up on the door for them to see when they come in. We have a few more on our roles who don't come, but these are our regular little sweeties.

And they are SO sweet, every last one of them. The oldest just turned 2, her name is Sadie.

Isn't she pretty? And such a good girl.

Then there's Mr. Hogan, he's such a happy, fun, cute, cuddly boy.

The baby of the group is my friend Jenna's little dollie, Allison, who just turned one. Jenna comes and stays with her part of the time since she's so little, but she played great today, even without her mama there.
(she's sporting new piggie tails these days!)

And last, but certainly not least is our Hammy boy. He's decided the last couple of weeks that nursery is fun. I love it when he sits on my lap or talks to me in sign language. Smarty.

Aren't these sweet faces? I'm really enjoying being back in the nursery, even though I do miss the lessons in my big girl classes. But these little people are a joy and the older I get, the more I appreciate them.

And then, at the end of the time, my baby came in to find me - - and he looked HUGE compared to all our little guys.

Sniff..... My baby.

Friday, March 12, 2010

This Woman's Work

I haven't seen this movie in so many years, but for some reason the other day this gorgeous song came into my head.

And I remembered how much I loved it. Kate Bush's voice is so unique, clear, haunting.

Easily my favorite scene of this movie.

"Pray God you can cope.
I stand outside this woman's work,
This woman's world.
Ooh, it's hard on the man,
Now his part is over.
Now starts the craft of the father."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

All the Pretty Horses (and Donkeys and Mules)

Every Christmas, in the horse department of the animal sanctuary where I work, we draw names for gifts. We have a $10 limit and we always have a really fun gift exchange and a super-yummy pot luck lunch.

This year I drew Jackie's name, which was great because I just LOVE Jackie. (Actually, I really love all my co-workers, but I also really LOVE Jackie! We all do. But I digress...)

I wondered for a couple of weeks what in the world to get her, and then it hit me one day while I was in the shower - that's where I do all my best thinking.

I'd take pictures of her equine family and make her a little album!

Yay, the idea's the hardest part. So I recruited our mutual friend, Linda to help me and we snuck to Jackie's house on a day she was working and took pictures of her crew of cuties.

Here are a few of the pictures we ended up with:


Dudley ~

Bertram ~

Norman (and Berts again)

Bubba ~
And the belle of the ball, Miss Berry ~

Berry is a little welsh pony who's as friendly as she is pretty. We'd brought along a mirror to give the horses something to perk their ears up at - lots of horses are a little bit afraid of mirror and it makes them bug out their eyes and look pretty for the camera. But Miss Berry wasn't afraid, she was fascinated! Engrossed! Intrigued! In love!

"I feel pretty,
Oh, so pretty,
I feel pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity
Any girl who isn't me tonight.

I feel charming,
Oh, so charming
It's alarming how charming I feel!
And so pretty
That I hardly can believe I'm real.

See the pretty girl in that mirror there:
Who can that attractive girl be?
Such a pretty face,
Such a pretty dress,
Such a pretty smile,
Such a pretty me!"

(name that movie!)

Miss Berry couldn't take her eyes (or nose) off that gorgeous, breathtaking horse in the mirror. She flirted with that horse for a long time - and that lovely mirror horse flirted right back. It was just toooooo funny. I've never seen anything like it.

So it was fun to give Jackie her little album, and she seemed to really like it. I wanted to post these pictures at Christmas time, but in the off chance that Jackie might see them before the party, I didn't. And then I forgot about them. But I've been needing another horsie post, so I was glad to run across these tonight.

You gotta love horses - and donkeys and mules, of course. They're a fun change of photography pace for me.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Allison's First Birthday - Phases 1 & 2

My friend Jenna's little Allison (from the kissing post a few days ago) just turned one year old!

Jenna is one of the party throwin'est people you'd ever want to meet and she seriously had a PLAN for her little girly's one year celebration.

Phase 1: Take photos in her custom made "1" outfit complete with tutu and matching hair pretty (that crafty Jenna made for her) to put on her birthday invitation.

(This was the photo used on the invite.)

and a few others from the phase 1 session:

(she also got her toes painted for the occasion:)

Phase 1 - check! Now on to Phase 2, the party:

So we went to the party today and there were lots of friends and relatives who'd come from far and wide, including Allison's great, great grandma.

There was lots of yummy food and gourmet cupcakes and a house full of great presents. But the highlight was Allison getting to dig in to her own little personal birthday cake:

I think I'm going to eat cake that way on my next birthday. Seriously.

Anyway, we're through with Phase 2, now on to Phase 3 next week - a full on, 1 year commemorative photo session complete with several wardrobe changes and another custom cake. It is sure to be fun, so stay tuned next week for more Allison birthday photos.

Every one year old should have a mother this dedicated to making their first birthday special!