Category Archives: Daydreaming

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 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 Four

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.

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…

Summer Challenge – Day Forty Eight

I am 48 days into this challenge.  Some days have been really tough to pull something out and I feel like it was half effort.  Other days I feel like I pulled out all of the stops and really created beautiful images.  I have ideas I still want to include in this challenge, stuff that has been in my head for well over a year, things I am working hard on and trying to find the time to get it together.  Then there are days, when I see something, and have to act.

The other day, when I photographed my daughter and my niece reading books, I happened to glance over and see this old gas station.  This place has been here for years.  I remember seeing it almost twenty years ago when I was in high school.  It never quite registered in my brain until I saw it that evening out there doing pictures and I thought I had to use it.  So I got these little coveralls, created a name badge, bought my four year old his own tools, and headed out to photograph my little blue collar boy.   I also did something I rarely ever do, and that was photography in full direct sunlight.  It can be so tricky to get it right, but I have seen other photographers really do some amazing work with it, and I decided that I was going to use it today.








And then I had him stand away from the pumps a little bit to get a different angle.

And he pulled this face and informed me nicely “This will be the last picture, okay Mom.”


So I took this last picture, and he was done.

Summer Challenge – Day Fourty Three

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.




Miss E’s Baptism – Utah Childrens Photographer

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.












Summer Challenge – Day Forty One

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.




Summer Challenge – Day Thirty Eight

Remember my story about how I used to do all of the dirty work to clean up my friends horse for 15 minutes of riding time.  Well, now I get to do all that on my own horse for as much riding time as I want.  To say I am smitten would be an understatement.  I love this beautiful boy.  When I leave the stable I feel the same way I do after a photoshoot, full filled and content.   I love being there with my kids.  I love how my littlest sneaks him greenery to snack on and my older two love cleaning his hooves.  One of these days I’ll get a picture of me and him, but for now, it’s these two.