Category Archives: Daydreaming

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 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 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 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.)








Summer Challenge – Day Nineteen

When I was in High School, we put on a production of “The Little Prince”.  I have always loved the movie and the book and the production was way fun. (I was a “grown up”, I had one line and was in one song.)

I decided a while back to get the movie.  My mistake, I bought the region 2 dvd that doesn’t play on our systems.  It did, however, play on the computer, so that is where the kids and I watched it.  And then afterwards I had this crazy idea.  I looked up my high school director and asked if she still had the costume and if I could borrow it.   It has taken me a while to put together the whole thing.  And this was simply one part of what the finished product will be.  My son was jazzed about dressing up in this costume and the kicker was that he got to hold a real sword.

So I am posting this image I did this morning.   I haven’t even started on the process it will take to make this image what I want it to be.  I see long hours at the computer working on what I loathe… photoshop… (I’m a get it right in camera kind of girl.)  But this project, there is no avoiding it and I am about to begin one of the biggest photoshop projects I have ever attempted.  If you never see the finished work, it’s probably because I got so frustrated I smashed my laptop before throwing it into the ponds behind my house.

Summer Challenge – Day Seventeen

I had a plan for today, and literally last minute, (as in, I had plan A in my hand and we were walking out the door to get in the car) and then I stopped and put plan A away and rushed into an unplanned B.

So here is plan B.  Trying hard to force myself to work more with speedlights, rather than my big studio lights on location.  I took advantage of the location and time while my older two were having their horse back riding lessons, I bribed my youngest into going cowboy.  And my second youngest into sitting on the light stand because I didn’t think to bring sand bags.

Anyway, I was kind of in love with how well it went, though I do need to work more on really mastering these little lights, they do really well.




Summer Challenge – Day Sixteen

And the Summer of Sam continues. Ha ha h!  (Don’t worry, I have plans to photograph my daughter tomorrow.)

It’s Fathers Day. We got home from church and the kids are told to get out of their Sunday clothes before eating.  My eight year old came to me and asked if I had a bandana because he wanted to look like a pirate.  So I pulled one out and gave it to him.  At first he tied it around his neck and put on a fedora and said “I don’t look like a pirate, I look like a cowboy.”  You know, all those fedora wearing cowboys and all… So I recommended he ditch the hat and let me tie the bandana to his head.  Then he sheathed his sword and put it on his belt.  I thought he looked so cute and he said “You should take a picture of me mom!  Did you take today’s portrait yet?”

And now I have been walking around all day singing “Cause it is, its is a glorious thing to be a pirate king!”

Summer Challenge – Day Fourteen

We had a big trip planned for today.  Ride the train to Salt Lake and spend the day at Gateway.  I made the kids dress decent and took my camera so I could to portraits of them on the streets.

– Fail #1:  We got to the station (the second station because you couldn’t get to the first station because the road was closed, really UDOT? Really?) and I get out of the car and realize… I didn’t bring any memory cards!  Craptaculor.  I was saved by my obsessive need to always have a card and found one in my purse.  Yup, I find them EVERYWHERE.  Day saved… or is it?

– Fail #2:  We get to the Gateway and went to the planetarium first.  I LOVE the planetarium and so do the kids.  I wanted pictures so I had my camera out and was taking them and then had my daughter take one of my and suddenly, the camera stopped working.  Yes, my battery was dead.  Guess who DIDN’T bring a spare battery?

So, today’s “portraits” are simply OUT OF THIS WORLD!  Since we spent time on Mars and the Moon, what you see is what you get!


She is contemplating why she is on the moon.

And the nearest bathroom is…dang…

Pretty sure this kid is a space cadet.

“Mom! Get a picture of me jumping on Mars!”

And since there is really no place I can go on this planet for peace and quiet long enough for me to really enjoy my book…

Summer Challenge – Day Thirteen

I had this big session planned for this morning with my daughter.  Location, costume, lighting… And then I spent last night up about 90% of it with a child and his severe allergies.  When I woke up I thought I was going to be sick.  The lack of sleep seriously took me out.  I sipped some ginger ale and took medicine for my raging headache and rested.  By 9:00 I was so much better, but instead of a session, we ended up in the Urgent Care to deal with my sons vicious allergies (and asthma triggered by the allergies).  I got home and had promised to watch a neighbors boys, so that time was taken up too.  I was complete out of ideas.

Okay, throw something together.  I told my eight year old he was going to be my target tonight and inspired by a PPA magazine cover and some recent tutorials on making composites, I pulled this out of my hat.  I grabbed the goggles from another costume, a pair of suspenders and a solid shirt.  Emptied my cupcake wrappers from one of my storage jars, set my lights and said “son, stand here and look in the jar.”

I got these awesome light images for free at  Composite Planet and set to work.  This was easier than I thought it was going to be, but I attribute it to all the tutorials I have been watching and lighting it right.   Composites are a world I am forcing myself to learn because I loathe photoshop and am a big believer of get it right in camera.  But there are some things you just can’t do in camera.   I may play with this idea more and work some more light into the images, but for tonight, I will call this good.

Master of the Light.