This little gumdrop just turned ONE! Of course, Auntie had to document it in photos.
The day after she was born, I fed her for the first time in the hospital, and she immediately puked up her entire bottle on me. I remember feeling sooo bad (I don't think I propped her up high enough) and thought my brother and sister-in-law would never let me hold, feed, change or watch her again! Turns out she had a weird form of reflux, so some of my guilt has been lifted, although they did tell me not too long ago that I should probably never have kids. This was in response to a discussion about how much I enjoy sleep. :) THIS IS WHY IT IS GREAT TO BE AN AUNT!
It's been quite a fun year of buying dresses, shoes, boots, jean skirts, leggings, hair accessories and all the other sugar and spice that little girls are made of. Boys are fun, but if you are a Pinterest-loving shopaholic, you need a mini female in your life, no doubt about it. THIS IS WHY IT IS GREAT TO BE AN AUNT! (**Note that the flower in the hair was crafted by yours truly, "rosette"-inspired, from Pinterest. Yesss indeedy. Want to make one? Go here and here and here.)
You may remember this backdrop because we used it in several of her newborn pics. It's one of my faves - some random find at IKEA that I bought on a whim. It photographs really well thanks to the texture. HEART!
We created an "at-home" studio for these most recent pics by hanging the blanket from my backdrop stand on Mark & Mandy's covered porch. One end has french doors so we could open those up to let the light shine in, and that's where I shot from. I wish I had a pullback so you could see the whole setup, but I forgot to take one. Boo.
Anyway, here's a SOOC (straight out of camera, for all you non-photog peeps) shot showing the partial setup; she's sitting on foamcore that I laminated with faux wood paper, believe it or not. I can get crafty when I need to. :)
We ended this session with her falling flat on her face (on the concrete) after trying to get her to stand and use a stool for support. What Mandy and I failed to realize is that the back of the stool also collapsed forward... and when it did, Alice went boom. That was the end of the photo session. I will spare you that picture.
Is she not the cutest? I suppose I'm biased, right? Have I mentioned IT'S GREAT TO BE AN AUNT?! Happy Birthday to the little pop tart!
Little Bean just turned three. I love him growing up and I hate it at the same time... so bittersweet! Everyone comments on those lashes, and I must admit they are envy-worthy. (Telltale sign of allergies; who knew? Note peanut-allergy bracelet below. When you ask him about it, he pipes up with his line: ON'T FEED ME EANUTS!)
All summer long I had been waiting to do some photos of blue-and-yellow-color-coordination... I bought this outfit for Alice when she was first born and we suddenly realized she wasn't going to fit into it if we didn't hurry up. So we scurried around one Saturday evening in September and Mandy found this AWESOME little patch of goodness at a park near their house. The sun was setting at just the right time which made for perfect light. Might I also add, these two just redecorated their living room this year in pale blue and yellow and I keep thinking this photo, blown up into a large canvas, would be a lovely complement to it. :)
Check out Bean chillin in the picture below. Cracks me up.
Me with the munchkins:
We attempted one of all of us, but by that point Alice was sort of over it and Carter was fishing for his promised candy-bar reward (back in the car.) Result:
I'm always curious as to who reads my blog (particularly because my posts are so infrequent, which is a HUGE blog no-no that I would love to curb, but probably won't, if I'm being totally honest) so I'd be really excited if you left me some love in the comments below!
Attending a photography workshop has been on my bucket list ever since the day I created a bucket list (which, naturally, was right after I saw the movie The Bucket List. Novel, I know.) Earlier this year I realized that most of the Bucket List bullet points were things that I had mentally stowed away for a much later date in time. I guess I unconsciously think that someday the heavens will part, and suddenly there will be an overabundance of vacation time that I can't figure out what to do with, or a windfall of money that I am struggling to spend, and that will be the prime opportunity for Bucket List Checking-Off. Perusing my list this past winter, I realized this reasoning was seriously flawed, and I righted myself, saying "Self, it's time to make things happen. Pronto." So I did.
That's why when I found out Laura Siebert was hosting an outdoor workshop in Dallas in June, I didn't think twice about carving out some much-needed vacation time or depleting the savings account a bit more on the heels of a seventh-month run of unemployment. I also managed to shrug off the notion that Dallas might be sporting ungodly hot temperatures of, like, 104 in an attempt to serve up a hearty dose of southern summer. Nope, I didn't worry about any of that. I just signed up.
I've long been a fan of Laura's blog and her breathtaking ability to capture pureness & authenticity in emotion, relationships and interactions. It's something that's hard to describe in words, but when you see her images, you'll understand what I mean. As for me, I've been struggling for a while with my style, trying to figure out how to define and position my "look." I'd see other photographers doing cool things, and I'd try to adopt ALL of their techniques and wrap them into mine. One minute I'd be crazed over fresh, flirty, highly saturated images, and the next minute I'd find myself drawn to moody, less processed looks. I'd go from traditional, posed, fill-the-frame smiles and then want to break out of the mold and shoot only candid, carefree shots with unexpected crops. I bought I-can't-even-tell-you-how-many sets of Photoshop actions. I was all over the place. I think every photographer goes through this for a period of time, particularly when starting out. Problem is, I didn't feel like I was making much headway in cruising out of this funk. I know we're always our worst critics, but truly... I was a hot photographer mess.
As I thought more about my style, I started to find that I really wanted to develop classic, timeless images. I always kept coming back to Laura when I thought about someone I'd want to learn from. I realized that so much of her lure was not about her photos themselves, but about the way her subjects were connecting with one another in her imagery. So, a chance to be mentored by her was truly Bucket List worthy.
All of this build up to say, of course, I was not disappointed. Laura had so many tips and tricks for getting subjects to "engage" in front of the camera, which has always been one of my main struggles. She also spent an entire day on post-processing, helping me recognize that more is not always better. i think most exciting of all is that I feel inspired to get out and start shooting again (yes, I'd been in a slump, if you couldn't tell.) I will leave you with the images from the workshop, which in my opinion speak for themselves.
Three cheers for Laura. Take her workshop if you ever get the chance. xoxo.
P.S. "AUNT" TAMMY, IF YOU'RE READING THIS... I EXPECT A COMMENT BELOW! I posted this just for you. :)
This is a super-duper-belated blog post from a newborn session I did around the holidays with Jamison, Ellen and Jeff (friends of Micki, Ben & Lola, here and here.) I just saw a snap of Jamison on Facebook the other day and he is looking very grown up, sitting and smiling and growing a bunch of hair. :) Who loves that teal wall in Ellen and Jeff's bedroom?! YES, PLEASE!
I'm not sure what's up with my blogging - or lack thereof - lately, but I can't seem to get in the groove like I once used to. (Ironic, because every morning the first thing I do is check my Google Reader for all my daily bloggy-updated-goodness.) Twitter has diverted some of my cyber attention, along with an "I'm-falling-hard-and-fast" love affair with Pinterest. Have you scored an account yet? Oh MY. MegaEpicSupersizedTimeSuck. At first I thought it was simply a brilliant way for me to catalog all the lovely things I find all over the internet and corral them into one place. I've since realized it is not only that, but also another digital black hole - enticing me in with all the pins of my virtual buddies who have way better taste in clothes, decor, hairdos and photography poses than I could ever hope to.
So when you can't find me on this abandoned blog, come join me in the Land of the Pinners.
My friend Amber is this amazingly gorgeous southern belle with tons of sass, a boldness you'd dare to reckon with and a never-ending supply of energy. These are all things that I am not, which is why I find her and our friendship so intriguing.
Amber has this tendency to crack me up in hysterics, and I'm pretty sure she's not even trying when she does it. As in, she doesn't realize her comments or actions are funny until I bust a gut and start rolling. And then it kind of dawns on her, and she gets this look on her face, and she lets out this howl and we both just keep giggling until tears are running down our faces. And then that makes it funnier. It's usually over really mundane things that are not literally funny, but take on a comedic effect with her delivery. She reminds me of Elle Woods from Legally Blond in that respect. One of my favorite stories hails from the three weeks we spent in New Jersey during training for our last pharma sales job. (And if you know me, then you know my love for Jersey leaves something to be desired.) One day we were griping and complaining about being stuck there for so long, just jonesing to get home, and she turns and says to me with the most serious look on her face: Carla, you know... there's just two things wrong with the Northeast. Expecting a rather complex explanation, I was eager to hear her thoughts. What's that? I asked. In her very best Elle impersonation (except - it's not an impersonation), she says with conviction, the North, and... the East.
Well, dang. Right on with that one.
During this same three-week period, we spent our days and nights talking contraindications and pharmacodynamics, along with how to best deliver this encyclopedia of information to a physician in a 10-second window of time as he dictates, stands on his head and rubs his belly, while also juggling 18 balls in the air AND eating his lunch with only one eye open. (I'm only half joking because that's a pretty fair assessment of what it's like.) We role played ad nauseum, as one typically does in these training sessions. It's grueling, exhausting and boring, and the truth is, it never comes off as polished because the reality is that we're simply ACTING, and none of us are actors. Combine this with the fact that you're talking about overactive bladder disorder and it's even more mind-numbing. About two weeks in, we're feeling pretty much toast and Amber says to me one night, Let's role-play with something else. Something that's fun and we actually like talking about. "Like what?!" I'm excited; she's on to something here and I think to myself, yes, it would be nice to sell something we have a real passion for. Amber meets my thoughts with, Well, I dunno... how about cereal, makeup, and gum! BINGO!! Have you ever tried applying selling system principles to cereal? FUN. WAY MORE FUN. WAY FUNNER.
So tell me doctor, what are you looking for in a cereal?
Doctor, help me understand what makes that attribute so important in choosing a cereal.
So what I hear you saying is that you'd like your cereal to be...
If I recall correctly, I think I won "Best Role Play" during that training class. Not even kidding. Amber. I owe her. Can you see why I love her so much!?! That little devil won Champion's Club the same year.
Here's just a few pics from my last trip to Austin. These were headshots for her to apply for a rather well-known TV show. But I'm not sayin which one, and no, it's not the Bachelor. :)
Um. Absolute fave!