Category Archives: Scenic

Summer Challenge – Day Thirty Seven

The hardest part about this challenge is the days when I have to throw something together and am just at home.  Trying to come up with so many different places and ways to do pictures within twenty yards or so of your front door is really challenging.

I was half asleep, trying to attempt a much needed nap, when the thunder woke me.  I forced myself to go back to sleep while thinking, “I should really get up and do something in the rain”.  I didn’t, and I missed the actual rain.  So when I did get up I forced my not so willing six year old into a raincoat and boots and attempted, at the very least, to find a decent puddle.  This was all that was left and we took advantage.  The puddle jumping lightened his mood and he was somewhat cooperative.





Summer Challenge – Day Thirty Four

I literally put this off until last minute.  I had this idea in my head to do a rear curtain sync with my flash and get my child watching fireworks with fireworks in the picture.  This was me testing the flash and making sure it was lighting correctly…


Then the fireworks started and they were directly above my head.  So my idea of getting my kid in the shot went up in smoke.   So I decided to get one of them watching fireworks.

This one was lit by my speedlight.

This one was lit by the grand finale, and it’s my favorite.

And I will finish by posting a picture of fireworks.  Taken tonight at the Pleasant Grove City show.   They always put on a great show.

Summer Challenge – Day Thirty Three

Tomorrow is the 4th of July, so I wanted to do this shoot today so it could be up for tomorrow.

There is a lot of military in our family.  My husband has an uncle and a cousin who served in the United States Army and another cousin who served in the Air Force.  I have cousins and cousins through marriage who have served in the National Guard, Marines and Army.

My husbands grandfather, Byron Wilkerson, served in World War II, he was a SeaBee, Navy Construction Battalion.  He build airstrips and roads in North Africa, France and Okinawa and was a heavy equipment operator.

My own grandfather, Samuel McAdams, served in World War II as a gunners mate.  He would keep the machines and ammo going while his ship, along with others, would escort the Merchant Marines across dangerous waters to their destinations.

My grandfather was my hero.  I loved him so much.  I had always wanted to name my first born son after him.  He passed away before any of my children were born and they never got to meet him.  But when we discovered our second child was a boy, I was determined to keep my promise to myself that he would have my grandfathers name.  It took some crying, pleading, begging and threatening, but eventually, my husband gave in and my son was named Samuel.

Sam (my grandfather also went by Sam) loves hearing stories of his grandfather.  He is a Redskins fan strictly because Great Grandpa Sam was a Redskins fan.  He has the same kindness and tenderness I remember in my Grandfather and I love that about him.

Today, as a tribute to our Independence, which the men and women in the Armed Forces and in my own family, have fought for.  I took my Sam out in this vintage Navy uniform I had found a long time ago, but it finally fits him and it was just the right time to do this portrait session in dedication to all of our military family, but mostly, to my Grandfather and my husbands Grandfather, who served our country in the Navy during one of the most famous wars in History.  I am so proud of them and proud that my children have their legacy’s to look to.









Summer Challenge – Day Thirty Two

Look! Some thought went into this one!

Okay, so we have been working a lot this past week getting the tack and other things needed for our horse.  Well, at one store I saw these John Deere overalls and had to get them and work them into a shoot.  My boys have long outgrown all the other pairs they have had and I wanted to do something.  They had a size seven so I initially had planned to do these with my third child, but tonight, after getting him all dressed he absolutely refused to come and do pictures.  So I took the overalls away ( much to his disappointment) and dressed up my four year old (who is the same size as my six year old so they fit fine) I grabbed my gear and waited so impatiently for the sun to go down just a little.  By the time it was about where I wanted it, we got cloud cover, so I didn’t get the color I wanted in the sky, but I did get good pictures.  Messing around with my off camera set up, and getting more comfortable with it, I had him back/side lit with the sun and main lit with a speedlight in a very small softbox.

We did these in our garden, the sunflowers are taller than him and our giant pumpkins are about half his size and it was so perfect.  And did I mention I am in LOVE with these?  He was so good and so cooperative and when we were done, he got to pick peas and fill his front pocket to his delight.  He LOVES peas and we planted an 8ft trellis JUST for him.

This one totally makes me think of the Wizard of Oz black and white scenes.





He thought he would be silly and hide in the pumpkins, but I LOVED the way it looked.  I got some of him laughing as he ducked down, but this expression just melts my heart.



Summer Challenge – Day Thirty One

It’s July and it feels like it.  It’s hot and we are busy and I have been procrastinating and its obvious.

We got home after horseback riding lessons (where my son fell and got back up on that horse and I am really proud of him) then errand after errand in 100+ degree heat.  We got home and I cleaned my car, (it was smelling like horse…) had family home evening and then I sat back and said that I still had to do a portrait.  My daughter jumped and said she had an idea and ran upstairs.  She came down in the following outfit, but with a large paper that said “5k” on her shirt and a trophy in hand.  She wanted to be a runner.  I asked her to ditch the sign and trophy and I would do a headshot, but she had to do some runner poses.  So here is the “5k” shoot.




Summer Challenge – Day Twenty Nine

This was not a good day for my challenge.  It was so busy.  After doing chores, we took the kids bowling and then swimming.  Then I took the older two back to the stable to ride Smokem again.  I did take my camera and I got a couple shots, but not quite what I wanted and really not the best.  I thought I would try something else later on, but by the time we got home it was pretty late, and I still had to do the shopping before the sabbath.  So I didn’t get anything else, here is the least terrible of the ones we did today at the stable.   I’ll try to do better tomorrow.


Summer Challenge – Day Twenty Seven

My daughter has been in love with horses since before she could talk.  She just always has.  So to be able to do portraits of her, with our own horse, is pretty awesome.  We are still learning each other, and he doesn’t understand how to pose, so we kept it simple today.

Rihanna Dresses

Summer Challenge – Day Twenty Five

Yesterday I introduced you to “Smokem”, who I got to go see again today and walk him around and give him some treats.  He is such a good boy and we are infatuated with him.

One trip that got delayed yesterday was the run to the pet store to get my son his turtle.  He asked every thirty minutes yesterday when we were going to go.  Finally, after Smokem was stabled and I dropped a sleepy four year old and an injured ten year old off at home, the other two boys and I made our way to the pet store and came home with Raphael.  My son is in love.  I have no problem with this because I have loved box turtles since we lived in Texas (someday, I’ll share the turtle story) and have wanted one as well.  He is a good little guy, not skittish at all and he gets doted on by all of the children.



Summer Challenge – Day Twenty Four

No, when I woke up this morning I didn’t expect the day that I would have.  I had a plan, but plans change.

I am sitting at my computer, ice on my toes from being stepped on by our horse.  Wait… maybe we should go back to the beginning.

When I was younger I wanted a horse.  No way my parents would entertain the idea.  I had a friend. She had a horse.  I did ALL the dirty work.  I mucked the stalls, I cleaned the hooves, I fed, watered, brushed groomed, ANYTHING for the 15 minutes each week I would get to ride that horse.   Now my daughter LOVES horses.  The idea of having our own horse wasn’t in the picture, but recently we started discussing it.  Then… it happened.

So, today the plan was to run one errand, then go get my son his turtle.  Then I got a text from a friend of mine and suddenly we were heading up to Grantsville to look at a horse.  Oh, he was handsome!  And if we wanted him, he was ours.  We rode him and checked him over.  A huge 17 hand high bay, and simply beautiful (well, we were told 16.2 hands, but he is probably pretty close to 17).   Then it was phone calls to get a spot in a stable closer to home.  My daughter got a rope burn when the lead rope slipped through her hands getting him into the trailer.  Then a long slow drive to Saratoga Springs and his new residence.  He was a little jumpy after being hauled in a trailer not once, but twice in one day.  I kept trying to explain to the kids not to walk behind him.  I was turning to get one of my children from behind me as I was leading this big boy to his stall, one of his large feet met with my toes and the full weight of him crushed down as the other three feet took their turns and then he finally lifted it off of my poor toes.  Thankfully, they are just really bruised, and not broken.  I am so glad I was wearing my boots.

Meet “Smokem”.  I know what you are thinking because I thought the same thing right?  Uh… “smokem if you got em”?  Thinking he would need a name change, then I learned why he had that name.  Smokem was a fire horse.  Used to help fight forest fires.  This guy was a firefighter!  Okay, he can keep his name.


While waiting for my friend on the side of the road to catch up to us with the trailer and horse, I took a moment to do my challenge.  Capturing my youngest as he is most days, a raggy dirty faced mess.  I love this boy.

Oh, and this first one, he is saying “cheese”.  I was floored.  “Why are you saying that?!”   He says “Because that’s what you say in pictures mom!”  I have some retraining to do…

Polishing machine


Summer Challenge – Day Twenty One

Three weeks.  THREE WEEKS!  I can’t believe I have done this three weeks straight.  That’s longer than I stuck with my new years diet resolution (or any diet for that matter…).  I’m feeling pretty proud of myself right now.  I still have nine more days this month, and then all of July, but so far, so good. I’m about 1/3 of the way through this, and that’s pretty good.

So yesterday we went to the Strawberry Days Boutique.  There wasn’t much selection, but my daughter managed to find something she liked, that wasn’t horrible, and reasonably priced.  Pan pipes.  She recognized them from some fairy book she had read and had to have them.  We got home and she immediately put on her Native American dress I had sewn for her for a school report last year, which she has been hanging on to ever since, and began to dance around and make up songs.  So today’s inspiration formed.

We got home from a fun day with daddy at the movies and I told her to put on the dress and brush her hair so I could braid it.  Then we went to this awesome little spot I know of with my lights and my second oldest who insisted he wanted to come along.  Well, it just so happened I forgot my light stand… so my son became my stand, much to his dismay, but he was good at it.

For fun, I processed these a little different than my normal style, just for the soft feel I wanted and I am pretty happy with how this two minute photo shoot turned out.

So here is my Native American Princess.  (And this is slightly fitting as we do have Cherokee in our blood, a fact which my Grandpa Sam was VERY proud and so I am also proud and this makes me happy.)