Elena & Kevin Baby Shoot – 11/9/12

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!




Heather & David Family Session – 11/7/12

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.


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.



The Making of a Ghost … and a Pool!

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 … :-)


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.



Meagan & Keith Family Session – 11/12/11

What a great pleasure it was to be able to capture pictures of a beautiful couple, cute puppy, and an amazing sunset this past weekend!  The awesome weather made for a bit of a crowd at our location, but there were plenty of great shots to be had!  Many thanks to Meagan and Keith for a thoroughly enjoyable and beautiful session!

See 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!