This family is amazing! I know this because I’ve known Bryan since intermediate school, and Geri since they were married. Now they have two AMAZING little boys, and I was so honored when they asked me to photograph their Xmas pictures this year. With preschool age children, you never know what you can expect – smiles or tears. It isn’t hard to see which one we got for this shoot! As an added bonus, the boys were happy to ham it up for me. Thank you, Bryan and Geri, for a super fun time hanging out at the park and getting to capture some great moments with your beautiful family!
There is nothing like having an adorable baby to take photos of, and Elena and Kevin sure delivered on that note! Such a joy to spend a few morning hours photographing this beautiful little bundle. Ruffles and cuteness were all over, much to Kevin’s dismay, but of course us moms totally get it. :-) Thanks, Elena and Kevin, for letting me come into your home and capture these memories for you!
Another great holiday photo session this year with Heather and David and family! I’ve known Heather since we both worked at Annalis Scraptique in Ahwatukee. Since then, Heather has gone on to open her own crafting business, married the man of her dreams, and become a mommy to a beautiful little princess! Such great people to work with!
Thanks to Marlene Jolley of The Vintage Barn in Gilbert, Arizona for the use of her venue.
I’ve known my friend Rhonda for many years. She is a fellow scrapbooker (another thing I try to do in my “spare” time), PTO president at my kids’ school, and a business owner, among other things. So when she asked me to photograph the water baptism of her two awesome boys, I was honored! Not only is the church she belongs to an amazingly friendly place (and photographer friendly, too – whatever the family wanted, that was okay with them), she also has a great group of friends who all came to cheer her boys on!
Now, there were several folks – maybe four or five – who were called up before Rhonda’s boys. As each person’s name was called, you’d see them walk up to the water pool with a handful of supporters, go through the ritual, and then file out of the room to dry off. There were a lot of chairs set up in the audience, and they were all full, so I figured we’d have quite a number of people to go. It turned out that Rhonda’s boys were the last ones to be called (as in names #6 and #7), and when they were called, I’m not exaggerating when I say they emptied the entire audience out. Pretty much the entire room were people there just for Rhonda’s boys! The pastor performing the ritual was amazed and remarked that he’d never seen this many people crowded around the pool before!
So, needless to say, Rhonda’s boys are fortunate to have such an amazing group of friends to support them and help them grow along with their church! And thank you again, Rhonda, for letting me share in this special day!
Photos may also be viewed on my Facebook page.
When you want to showcase a big design, you find yourself a little elf! At least that’s what my good friend Sue came up with for our latest photo shoot. Okay, well, technically we didn’t have an elf. Sadly, our requests for models sent out to Rivendell and Lothlorien went unanswered. Our letters must have been intercepted at the border by the Nazgul. But I digress (this is what happens when you’re brushing up on Lord of the Rings in preparation for the Hobbit movie coming out this winter). In any case, Sue roped in our adorable elf stand-in, Lorelei, who was only too happy to oblige. Also debuting for the artistic lens is Brickles, who didn’t take much convincing once Sue mentioned the word “treats.” :-)
I mentioned a big design and it truly is. This session’s offering from Sue features a double wide collar with custom etched brass plates, ala “Armored Warrior Dog,” by the awesome Eden of Eden Design Garden. Her work is amazing, and with this collar, tough guy Brickles was prepped and ready to defend the lands from the invasion of Sauron’s army of darkness! Ooops. Slipped again. In any case, Brickles sports the collar and Lorelei wears one of Sue’s classic belt designs for her elf costume. Also featured in the product photos alongside the warrior dog collar is a more delicate “Warrior Princess” collar for the Xena dogs in everyone’s life. Enjoy!
Yet another shoot showcasing the amazing work of the talented Sue of Big Bad Collars! Many thanks to our models, the fabulous Savannah and the beautiful and dignified Tilly. Savannah, our model of the two-legged variety, is sporting a sunny yellow belt with Swarovski crystal buckle. Tilly is showing off a latigo leather collar with hand-tooled silver and turquoise Native American pieces.
Sue does all of her own leather work and sewing and can custom make just about any design you would like! Her stuff is made to last and she can size it big or small! You can go to her website to read more about her or go directly to her Etsy store here. Just do it! :-)
You can view and comment on a few more of the images from this session on my Facebook page here.
The Household Ghost and the pool on the roof of the school!
It’s always nice when you get to ooohh and ahhh your kids with your photographic prowess, especially when it’s something fun and entertaining like ghosts and the legend of the pool on the roof of the school! What started out as a simple question turned into quite an entertaining morning project for us that led us from photographic “trickery” to the examination of a school legend. For details, read on!
My youngest daughter has been asking off and on whether or not ghosts are real. Now, on a professional note, I am not in any way addressing the question of belief or disbelief in ghosts. Suffice it to say, growing up in Hawaii, I was raised around a lot of spiritualism and things that can’t be explained. However, being an engineer, I also know there are a lot of ways to manufacture things that seem impossible. So when my daughter asked about this picture taken from one of the books I gave her on the topic of ghosts, I took it as an excellent educational opportunity.
According to the book, this photograph was taken by the vicar of a church in England sometime in the early 1960s. My daughter insisted that this must be a photograph of a real ghost, and so ghosts must be real. My question to her was, “Does it show a real ghost? Or did they fake it?”
Of course, her next question was, “How could they fake it?” And naturally, no photographer could pass up this kind of an opportunity to teach their kids a couple of photographic tricks! So we set about making ourselves a setting for a ghost shoot. Of course, we had to make do with plastic bones and a flat hearth instead of an altar in a church:
That being done, our next step was to find a ghost. Thanks to my photographer’s white backdrop, some black construction paper and scissors, and a willing older sister, we got one:
Now, admittedly, in the light of day, unprocessed, and in full color, this looks decidedly cheesy. However, apply a few tweaks in Photoshop and you get this eerie image:
Spooky, right? And my daughters admitted that, had they not participated in the making of this photograph from start to finish, they might have been fooled into thinking there was a ghost standing next to our fireplace. I went on to add that, while I was not saying the photograph in the book was faked, we can’t always believe everything we read and see. We have to think for ourselves! From there, the topic went on to a discussion of how someone could have done this in the 1960s when there was no Photoshop and no digital photography. This led to my breaking out one of our old Olympus film cameras and a roll of Kodak 200 Gold 24 exposure film – relics that the kids had never seen before! Who knew you could get into the history of photography from a kids’ book on ghosts? :-)
But the fun didn’t end there. My inquisitive daughter then launched into the topic of why someone would want to “lie” on a photograph – a direction I didn’t necessarily want the conversation to take! However, on that note, my older daughter mentioned the legendary pool on the roof of their school and how that might be something that a grown-up talks about but is not necessarily true. For those who don’t know the background, there is an age-old story at my daughters’ elementary school (for that matter, it might be in every elementary school) that there is a pool on the roof of the school that all the teachers and staff swim in when they aren’t teaching. We even had some investigative reporting done by some of the students to try and determine whether or not there is indeed a pool up there, but the only conclusion drawn was that the teachers and staff want the kids to keep thinking!
At this point, my youngest insisted that the pool was there and that she had been told so by her teacher. But, I asked her, “Have you ever seen it yourself?” She had not, but she cited the additional word of her PE teacher, who allegedly said he swims in it after he finishes teaching. She also mentioned seeing a ladder on the roof visible from the ground with no apparent purpose other than, she assumed, to climb to the pool. My older daughter additionally cited the word of her third grade teacher who allegedly also referred to a pool on the roof. However, neither girl could admit to having seen any sign of the pool themselves.
I stopped the debate here by asking the girls if they had ever checked the satellite images of the school. After all, if there was a pool on the roof, pictures taken from a satellite would see it and that would be undeniable proof, right? :-) So, after pulling up the images, here at last is “solid” photographic evidence of the pool on the roof of the school … or is it? :-)
What do you think, dear reader? A pool? Or a fake? The debate continues … :-)
Summer is here and I can finally make some time to catch up on my blogging! Lately I have been doing more graphic design than photography, which is why I jumped at the chance to get out of the house with my good friend Sue and her sister visiting from out of town. Gotta love visitors! Without them, I don’t have many excuses to get out of the house and find cool “ordinary” stuff to photograph. Here are some of the day’s take from our afternoon excursion to old town Scottsdale.