Water Baptism – 9/9/12

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.



A Little Elf and a Big Bad Collar

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!


Ye Olde Worlde Fun

When spring comes around, our family starts thinking of flowers, bunnies, butterflies … and turkey legs! That means Renaissance Fair time!  The whole family headed out a few weeks ago with our good friends, Sue and Deuce and family, to enjoy bread bowl stew, high flying street acrobats, and jousts to the death!  Here are some of the sights we came across.

The biggest attraction of the Ren Fair for the kids, of course, are the rides!  So we started off small with a butterfly ride for the little one of our bunch.

Unfortunately for the big kids, the butterflies were not able to accommodate them . . .

Lucky their disappointment was short-lived thanks to the wooden jousting horse.

Next came the ship ride – a family favorite!

This ship ride is a big human-powered swing.  Even though these ships have some ropes and pulleys hooked up to allow the riders to keep the swing going, somebody still has to get them swinging in the first place, and that involves muscle!  To that end, there are some hard-working young men standing by to make the swings work.  Make no mistake – if you think they just stand around collecting money, just take a look at these images of our guy working hard to get a swing with 5 kids in it going at maximum speed, and I think you’ll agree they earn their wages!

It took him a good dozen or so pushes of this whole-body variety to get the swing going this high, and as you can see, his efforts were very much appreciated . . .

Having sailed the Seven Seas and sated our thirst for adventure, it was time to sit down and be entertained.  Gotta love those acrobats and, of course, the legendary (and very politically incorrect) Ded Bob!

Nothing like a little horseplay between angry knights to accompany your lunchtime meal.

By this time, everyone was ready for a nap.

Following the afternoon siesta came more miscellaneous shopping and sightseeing, including henna tattoos, parasols, orange ice balls, and chocolate covered strawberries!

Deuce wanted to do a little shopping of his own, but he couldn’t decide whether he should go Conan or Dragonslayer.

So he settled for buying the elusive pretzels for himself and my little K, the two pretzel fanatics in the bunch.  We don’t call these the elusive pretzels for nothing – they are everywhere when you don’t want them but nowhere to be found when you do.  It took Deuce searching high and low over half the entire loop of the village before he found these.  Notice he got an extra.  After that much searching, he wasn’t about to waste the opportunity to buy his fair share of dried up salty bread.  Oh, sorry.  I meant yummy, delicious, fresh (cough cough) baked pretzels.

The kids ended their day with the biggest thrill ride of them all.  Even though this looked like extreme fun, we adults were happy to stand and watch … and keep our lunches in our tummies where they belonged.

And that ended our annual trip to the Renaissance Fair.  Until next year, fare ye well!




Celia and Darren Family Shoot – 12/18/11

I had the pleasure this past weekend to shoot photos of Celia and Darren and their beautiful family.  They braved the cold and damp weather to spend some time with me at the park, and when mom and dad busted out the sparklers, you can imagine the boys’ eyes lit up right along with the sparklers!  Thank you, Celia and Darren, for an awesome time at the park with your wonderful boys!


Heather and David Family Session – 11/19/11

Wow!  That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think about this photo shoot with Heather and David – just a beautiful couple with the cutest little girl ever.  Add to that the fact that Heather is an extraordinary artist and designer, and you just can’t go wrong for photos!  Here’s a sampling of some of the shots we took this past weekend.  Thank you so much, Heather and David, for this great opportunity to create some amazing photos!  Also a big thank you to my good friend Sue of Big Bad Collars for the loan of photo props.

You can also view these photos here on my Facebook page.



Courtney and Yancy Family Session – 11/13/11

You have to love it when you have a family who is just beautiful in front of the camera every time.  Not only did they provide smiling and happy faces for me, but Yancy provided his old car, which gave us a fantastically fun prop to shoot around!  Thanks, Courtney, Yancy, and family for an amazing time this weekend!  You guys are the best!


View more photos from this session on Facebook by clicking here.



Dave & Laura Family Session – 10/29/11

Announcing the concert of a lifetime!  In town for three days only on special engagement – Rage Against the Magazine with Special Guest Seesa L!  :-)

Sometimes the Photoshop bug strikes you and you just gotta go with it!  :-)  As you can see, I was having a little fun with one of the photos taken last weekend when I had the special pleasure to shoot for my great friends Dave and Laura and Laura’s sister Lisa, who was in town for the week and able to join us for an awesome family photo session!  We were able to catch some great images, especially of the kids, who were smiling and hamming it up big time for the camera.  Good times!  As always, Dave and Laura, thank you so much for letting me do your pictures all these years!


Ellie, Joe, & Family – 9/3/11

What’s another thing you can do if it’s 110 degrees outside and you want to do a photo shoot with the kids?  Stay inside!  That’s what my good friend Ellie suggested when we were trying to come up with a good location to photograph her boys.  Sometimes we photographers get so caught up in trying to find a mega-awesome blow-it-away location that we forget that KISS principle – Keep It Simple Silly!  (Well, that might be slightly edited for family friendly purposes.)  Our mega-awesome living room location made what could have been a hot, sticky, sweaty, and (worst of all) fussy miserable children shoot into a doggie kissing, fort building, giggly good time of a shoot!

Thanks again, Ellie and Joe, for being such good friends over the years and letting me photograph your awesome family!  We love you guys!


In Search of Dystopia – 2/21/11

Colorful Sentinels

What does a photographer mom and her artistically inclined friend do on President’s Day when the kids are out of school?  Why, pack the kitchen sink, half the contents of the craft room, and the kids into the back of the van and go off searching for someplace to have an avant-garde dystopian photoshoot, of course!

It wasn’t easy and required a lot of research!  Sue (the talented owner and designer extraordinaire of Big Bad Collars) and I got the idea for this several weeks ago, and with readily available models (i.e., our kids), we figured it would be a piece of cake, right?  I mean, this is Arizona and we should have dry lake beds coming out of our ears … NOT!  As it turns out, yes, we have many dry lake beds … right in the middle of suburbia with civilization always lurking on the outer edges of the scene.  Sure, a little creative angling of the camera and Photoshop could fix that up, but we wanted it all … plus a cool place for the kids to explore as well.

To make a long story short, it eventually took a trip to the ranger station, several sessions of Googling, and finally a genius leap of inspiration by Sue to look up Spanish translations for the more commonsense words we had been searching on, like “salt flats” or “dry lake bed.”  How she made this leap, I’ll never know, but she pulled out the word “playa” from all this and came up with Willcox Playa as our location.  It pays to have smart friends!  :-)

Following several trips by Sue to Goodwill to gather props, a 24-hour rain delay (as every mom knows, it only rains in Arizona when you have outdoor kids activities planned), and a session of packing the back of the van like a sardine can, we were off!  The trip down took us many hours with food breaks, potty breaks, and stopping to ask for detailed directions, which involved such advice as “Just turn left at the power plant,” and “Pay close attention to the ground … you don’t wanna sink in.”  That last one we almost did … yikes, no joke.  In any case, we finally made it with only an hour or so of daylight left – the perfect time for photographs! 

So here are some samples of the photos we took on our little adventure into dystopia.  And as for a lesson from all of this?  Persistence, smart friends, and a multilingual thesaurus can get you … er, nowhere … which, in this case, is exactly where we wanted to go!  :-)


Mary and Richard Family Session – 1/22/11

Some families are just naturals in front of the camera, and Mary and Richard and their children are definitely one of them!  Thank you, Richard and Mary, for allowing me to photograph your beautiful family and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you in the future!