Category Archives: Natural Light

Back To School

It’s been a while…

Yes, I need to update this with all I have been up to this past year.  It’s been crazy!  Last year was my busiest year ever and I have the most amazing clients to thank for that.   As my work started to slow down, as it always does in January and the beginning of the new years, we learned we would be moving.  I spent the next couple of months cleaning and painting and mending and packing and getting ready for that big event.  Now I am cleaning and mending and painting our townhouse to get it ready to rent out.  On top of that, school portraits are starting back up, as are football portraits, and it’s back to school.  Just to add to my busy fall, I’ve started homeschooling two of my boys!  My youngest will get to go to a private kindergarten and my oldest child, my daughter, was too excited about Jr. High to let me convince her to homeschool.  She went back to school today and the boys and I got to work.

My daughter had very specific requests for back to school.  The number one item was her outfit which HAD to include bell bottoms!  I love this kid!  Here is my styling 7th grader!

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And even though we are doing home school, it’s still school, so back to school cocktail dress portraits for my boys.  I’m still doing work with my Kindergartener until his school starts in two weeks so he gets to be included.


My 5th grader.  He will not cut his hair.


My second grader!  He refuses to have hair!

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And my  baby boy.  Yes, it’s time for a haircut.  No, I’m not cutting it too short. 🙂



Summer Challenge – Day Sixty One aka The End

I had thought about trying to drag this project out until school started, but that’s in 21 days and I don’t know if I have the ideas or the energy.  This has been a fun and crazy experience.  Lots of wonderful images of my kids and a summer we will NEVER forget.

I decided to end with the same kid I started with.  He has really been the least cooperative of all of the kids so I asked if he would do the last picture and he said he would.  So I decided to take him out back and I wanted him to climb on the fence and look over at me.  We were both in bare feet so he jumped over the prickly weeds to the fence… little did we know there was a hole in the other side of the fence where a large group of wasps decided to build a nest.  THEY SWARMED and he was stung on the cheek twice.  He was a good sport and still stood for me to quickly take a picture, but it was quick before the sting started to hurt and he sure tried to smile, but the poor guy was done.

We did these two and then went inside to make a baking soda paste to put on the stings.  Twenty minutes later, no pain and he was happy as could be.



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Summer Challenge – Day Sixty

I am completely running out of steam.  It was very tempting today to not do anything.  What’s two days?  But I did.  I was getting ready to make dinner on the grill and my four year old excitedly asked to help.  So I put him in an apron and let him hold the tongs.  I didn’t let him actually help with the food, but this was good for him. I also completely burned the burgers and sausages….

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Summer Challenge – Day Fifty Nine

This may or may not be cheating, but since I am the one who made this challenge I get to decide the rules right?  So I say it’s not technically cheating.

Today started awesome.  It was a beautiful, cool morning which we spent at the stable.  I rode Smokem in the open pasture and got him into a canter, which I haven’t cantered a horse since I was about 15, so this is a big deal.  And then, feeling so good, I just let him run.  Full out gallop and oh, it felt so wonderful.  He got to work out and move like he has been needing to and I felt such a connection while getting to ride him.

Then, while riding, I started getting texts.  You see, today marks day one of the four days of judging for the International Print Competition with the PPA.  I pulled my hair out putting together a case and I wasn’t thrilled with it.  I felt I could have done so much better.   But I entered, feeling only one of the four had a chance to merit, if any.  They started a new system today and I got three texts while at the stable, not one, not two, but THREE texts telling me my prints merited.  They will now go on to further judging to determine if they will go loan (which is a big deal…).  I should have stayed at the stable because when I left I got the fourth text, and it wasn’t good news. But still 3/4 is the best I have ever done and I am really happy.

And then one thing lead to another and then it was bedtime and guess what… I didn’t do any pictures.  Nope, I didn’t.  However… the day I did my Linus in the pumpkin patch, I had photographed my youngest at the park that day, because I didn’t plan on doing Linus until basically right before we went and did them, so I did two that day and now you get to see the second one I did that day because otherwise I would be a total fail.  So technically, I have done 59 portraits, I just didn’t do this one today. Buy discount

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This was the moment he saw me with the camera.  Yes, he ran away.

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Summer Challenge – Day Fifty Eight

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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Summer Challenge – Day Fifty Seven

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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Summer Challenge – Day Fifty Six

Five more days, that’s it.  I can’t believe how this has really flown by despite the stress and frustrations it’s caused.  I will try to continue into August, I would love to do the whole summer at this point, but there is so much to do for me getting ready for school portraits and my busy season, I make no promises past July 31st.

This is another vintage piece, the vest anyway, nothing else.  But I was missing this little guy from my old photos set (and I have to do more of my daughter as well) so we did these tonight. I simply drove till I found a good spot and we jumped out and did them.








Summer Challenge – Day Fifty Five

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.









Summer Challenge – Day Fifty One

Seriously, if there was a day not to do the challenge it was today.  I wanted to do images of my other two kids, old fashioned costumes and processing, like the Cowboy and Indian pictures, to print and frame in antique picture frames.  I found this dress from the 1950’s.  It reminds me of the outfits of my mom and her sisters from when they were little.  It’s so perfect.

I was going to do the images after my husband’s meeting at the church was done, I figured about 8:00, but as time went on and the light started to fade, I realized he was not going to be home in time.  I got my daughter in the costume, did her hair and threw her and the two boys I had with me in the car.  The only place I could think of, since we were running out of time, was the stairs at the developmental center.  We rushed there, as the light was fading and at the last minute, I decided to stand her on the sidewalk first.  I got ONE shot, when some crabby security guard came out and told us we weren’t allowed to be there.  He was not kind about it at all, and people like that, I don’t care what the motives are, there is no reason to treat people so rudely.   No one deserves to be talked down to out of the blue.  Some people, well, they ask for it.  But mostly, people should be treated with respect and I am tired of the sheer lack of respect and kindness in our society.  Maybe that’s why I daydream about life 50-100 years ago.  Things seemed so much more simple and for the most part, people were good to each other, at least, I’d like to believe they were.

So here is the one image I took tonight.  And I am going to bed.

Summer Challenge – Day Fifty

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

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…