Category Archives: Scenic
So, I had a plan A. Found out to complete plan A I would have to spend about $50 which I wasn’t going to do so I trashed it. I went to plan B. The son I wanted in plan B refused participation. So… Plan C… what would be plan C…. I looked outside, saw the overcast skies and told my daughter she was officially plan C.
The trickiest part to these images was making sure no modern buildings were in my shot. This field is by my house. To the south are houses, they are in the distance, but unless you are careful, you can see them. To the South West is Noahs in Lindon. It’s a pretty obvious building. Directly west is a HUGE company that does scrapbooking supplies. To the North West is our church, new construction and to the North is our community and some apartments. Angles and depth of field played a huge role in todays shoot. Still, glad we went with plan C because A and B were not this epic.
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Today was my kids first horse show. They have been training with my friends horses, so they weren’t going to be riding Smokem today. However, last minute, decided not to compete. He is still a little nervous after falling, though he keeps getting back on, and he was nervous about the crowd and people watching him. I did convince him to come and watch and at least see what it was like.
Well, since he wasn’t going to be competing, I brought my saddle and last minute entered myself. I had never ridden this horse, and have never neck reigned in my life, but what the heck. So it became my daughter and I’s first horse show. She did fantastic, getting a ribbon in every event she entered, including first place in the walk/trot class. Me… I came in dead last in both barrels and poles. But we both had so much fun!
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Life is life. I just need to accept that if there is a chance for something to go wrong, it totally will and have like five back up plans because I will always need them.
I was going to go to the mountains today to do some in the wildflowers, but plans changed. So I decided I would pull out my backdrops for school portraits and use my kids for my demo images. But the drops were so creased and wrinkled they looked horrid. Even after ironing one for 45 minutes it didn’t look any better. So I bagged it and didn’t know what I was going to do. Then my daughter came downstairs, all dressed to model for school portraits. I took one look at her chosen wardrobe and decided we would do something with it.
We jumped in the car and went to a favorite spot of mine. Tucked behind the home of my dear friend and fellow photographer, writer, sugar addict and crazy person, Erin Summerill (Click her name and check out her work, because she is seriously the bomb diggity. Book her for your awesome weddings and tell her you want me to second shoot.) Anyway, since I am a total stalker I know the awesome spots behind her house and this is one of them. Ad: formal bridesmaid dresses
My daughter, in the skirt which is really my size, but we brought it in to fit her for her report on Annie Oakley at school last year, the shirt, which is way too small for her and we had set aside to give to her friend, the belt, which she also wears with her Native American costume, and the hat, which she inherited when my neighbor and dear friend passed away earlier this year. This is her. She is very much my daughter. Her own person, despite the world. I hope she never changes.
For a shoot I have had in my head for almost a year now, I don’t think more could have gone wrong. I was going to do this Thursday or Friday, but with plans always changing at our house, I had to move it to tonight.
The idea came for this last fall. I have a garden every year and I LOVE growing my own pumpkins. My youngest is also in LOVE with “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”. While my garden was growing last year, I started getting the idea to do a great pumpkin themed shoot. But by the time the pumpkins were big enough, the pumpkin vines had all died off and weren’t pretty anymore. I decided this year to do it early, which meant, I had to come up with pumpkins.
I had originally started making a HUGE paper mache pumpkin for this. It took a couple of hours to make the ONE pumpkin, but it was looking awesome. And then one day, while we were at the horse, it began to rain, and no one was home to save my paper pumpkin from the back yard downpour. When I got home, it was nothing more than a wet pile of paper. My friend had offered to help make another, but I was running out of time, so I went to the craft store and picked up some realish looking fake ones, smaller than I wanted, but they would have to do.
I had found the shirt at a western store while buying horse stuff. I was going to make one, but why should I, when I could buy one ready to go for $10?
We got to the garden tonight at dusk and my daughter and son and I carried all of the gear about half a football field length to our pumpkins. As I am starting to set up I realized that the plots just North of mine, the direction I wanted to shoot, had weeds growing taller than me (NO FREAKING JOKE) so the three of us immediatly started stomping them down. After 15 minutes or so and dripping with sweat, I finally had the view I wanted.
So I start to set up the lights… and out come the bugs. Mosquitos and they were horrid. I am setting up as fast as I can. I get the moon light up and gelled, I get the second light on the stand and the beauty dish up, I hook up my triggers and one of my triggers fail. The second light decides not to sync off of the first one so I had only one light working at a time. So I had to take what I could. I set up my moon, got the shot, told my son if he moved he was grounded for a month as I ran the trigger to my main light and got that shot. It was all I could do. I literally took four shots. One moon and three front lit. And he didn’t stay still enough so blending wasn’t as easy as I had hoped.
So it’s not perfect, and the sign kept falling off the post because gaffers tape doesn’t like paper… or wood… and we had to rush everything to the car because the bugs were just after us relentlessly and my kids were awesome sports and I am not thrilled at all with the finished product… but it’ll do for now.
The day was getting late. I had no ideas. I was tempted to skip today. I have done 49 days in a row, what’s one day? I couldn’t. I am not good at following things through. I have awesome ideas. I start a LOT of projects. I finish about 15% of the big projects I get into my head. I’m horrible about it when I am the only one I have to answer to. It’s a whole different story when I am working with clients, but when it’s for me… yeah.
So I glanced in my closet of costumes I got for ideas I planned and never actually got to the shoot. I forced my six year old into compliance because the last one he was in was exactly one week ago (Cowboy and Indian…). Once we got out there, he had fun, but he was not short on complaints as we went out to the field.
Playing with some compositing I have been trying to get better at, I wanted a flying scarf. I had a remote in my hand and my camera on a tripod. Set my lights and my focus and I held the scarf out while he posed. Then I took myself out. I am not a lover of photoshop. I LOATHE photoshop. I like it right in camera and then I do as little as possible afterwords, so doing stuff like this is a big deal. buy discount wedding veil bridal veils on blushcheek.com
And I liked the idea of a paper plane in this.
And then I said he was done and I turned off the light and he wanted to fly the paper air plane… so I said “sorry, you aren’t done anymore” but he didn’t complain because he still got to fly the airplane…
I hate to sew. My sister, however, is an awesome seamstress. She sewed these dresses for my daughter and my nieces and wanted to do a dress up session while she was in town for a couple of days. The littlest wanted nothing much to do with me very quickly, and we were a bit short on time, but still, I loved how they turned out.
This one looks just like me and my sister when we were little.
Today I promised my daughter she could be the subject of my portraits. I decided I wanted to do something that reflected something she loves to do, and that is read. This girl reads all of the time. She loves to read. She is allowed to stay up later than her brothers to read and I can’t count how many times I have found her, fast asleep, lights on, book open and falling from her hands.
And her cousin is in town from Idaho, so I took the chance to get a couple of her as well.
I’ve decided to work my way through costumes and accessories I have gotten over the years, inspired to do shoots with and never followed through on them. Today, I knew we were making the drive to Fairview, Utah, for the birthday party of little “E” from my recent blog post. Fairview is about an hour away and very rural. It was the perfect chance to pull out this beauty of a jacket I picked up a while back. Those who know me know my love for anything from days gone by. I love old books, cameras, furniture and CLOTHING! I like trying to recreate the past. I love daydreaming of the lives of those who’s hands they might have passed through.
This particular find reminded me of an image of my Grandpa Sam as a young boy, in chaps and a ten gallon hat and holding a toy pistol. This is a beautiful suede western jacket from the 1950’s. I could just imagine a little boy playing Cowboys and Indians with his friends, running down the street and having amazing, imaginary, battles. So that is what inspired this particular shoot. I wanted my boys to look like I could have pulled these images out of an old card board box hiding on the shelf in my grandmothers closet.
And then we went to the party, and had bacon, and jalapeno bratwurst, and the kids had waffles and sausage, and the cake was donuts and it was pretty awesome. They played games and had fun on the slip and slide (oh, and not one of these kids knew how to properly slip and slide, time for some lessons…) and it was getting late and we headed home. And on the way home I was watching the light. I LOVE light. It’s my friend. And this light, was beckoning to me to stop the car and do more pictures… so I did. And I am smitten.
I had been planning my session with my children for a while when my dear friend asked me if I would be willing to do pictures for her daughters upcoming baptism. UM YES! We were discussing locations and ideas and I told her I want to do them someplace I haven’t used before and I invited her to come with us to the lavender fields and we would do them there. After her portraits, we would do both of the kids with the set up I was planning for my own kids. Well, despite her getting WAY lost and there being absolutely NO cell phone service for her to reach me and she was ready to give up and go home when she stumbled on the right freeway exit, the pictures turned out beautiful and I am so in love with them.
I’m forcing myself to sit at the computer and write today’s post. I am so very, very tired. As you know already (that is, if you read my blog, which I know you do because you love me right?) I spent the last couple of days sewing a costume for my daughter for today’s big shoot. The boys were easy, but my daughters was not. I really dislike sewing. I can do it, but I really prefer to pay someone else to do it for me. But I had to be ready for today.
There is a lavender farm here in Utah. Rows and rows of beautiful purple flowers which bloom into the summer. I have wanted to do portraits there for two years, but I always miss it. The plan for today was to make the hourish drive down to Mona and photograph my children in the lavender. I had already made the reservation and since the harvest is happening next week, and all the lavender will be gone, I had to do the session today. I was up until almost 2 AM finishing the costume and the head piece. Then the plan was to be up at 6 AM to get to my moms at 7 AM so my sister in law could do my daughters hair. At 5:30 AM I got a text from my brother, his wife was having an allergic reaction and they were going to the ER. She is okay, thankfully, but plans changed. I let the kids sleep a little extra and then got my daughter up to curl her hair myself with my really cheap and crappy curing iron. It took over an hour! But it looked fantastic.
Thankfully, I had loaded the car the night before so I just put all the kids in their buckles and headed out. We weren’t too late, only about 20 minutes later than I wanted to get there, so it was good. The downer was the gray skies. I was worried it was going to rain on us, but it didn’t and really the clouds don’t look too terrible.
We got there, got the kids dressed and I set up and then I remembered really quickly why I attempt a portrait of my four children in one picture only ONCE every year.
My monologue directed at my children went something like this:
“You, sit here. Now you, sit there. You and you, there and there. Turn here. Stop picking your nose. Look here. Sit back down! Hold this. Look here. No, look here! Hold still. Look here! Smile. No, SMILE! Let go of your sister! Look at me! Now! If you don’t sit still, look at me and smile you are going to be grounded for a week! I said don’t pick your nose! Don’t pout! LOOK AT ME DANG IT!”
There was more to this scene, but you get the idea. Anyhow, I have a whole year before I have to try this again…. right?
But it was all worth the effort. I am so happy with the effort and the results and as a reward for “good” behavior, I took the kids to Trafalga! (Or, as my four year old calls it, and the rest of us have adopted the translation “Triggerfalga”.)
And then, while I was shooting, we got a visitor. A gentleman who is a landscape photographer, told me about some nearby ponds that would be beautiful for these. I was determined to go but three out of four children had already changed back into their normal clothing, so my youngest was my subject for this quick little jaunt to the ponds. I would love to go back and do some more there as it really was a pretty area.