Category Archives: OCF

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 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 Two

I’m still frustrated with how yesterday’s picture went so today, I literally didn’t want to do anything.  I pushed it out of my brain and didn’t think about it all day, until five minutes ago.  I realized I had completely lost the desire to try today and I think that frustrated me more.  So with the sun setting and no plans, I decided to do something of nothing.  The every day activities my kids love, all of them, and one of them is Lego’s.

Growing up my siblings and I never got Lego’s.  “I’m not picking them up!” My mom would tell us.  So we never got Lego’s.  I was of the same mindset too.  I didn’t want to be picking them up after my kids so I never bought them.  But Christmas 2011, something broke inside me and I decided my kids needed Lego’s.  They got a couple of tubs of Lego’s for Christmas, and then Lego sets for birthdays and then I scored and found a HUGE bag of random Lego’s at D.I. and now we have a gianormous collection and they are never neglected.  All of my kids love them and when they pull them out they can play for hours building stuff.  We finally had to make a rule that we could take a picture, but then all things built must be returned to the bucket.  They were saving every little construction and the world fell apart if it broke or was taken apart.  Things are much better now and I love the imaginations my kids have playing with these tiny bricks.  And though I occasionally pick them up, for the most part, they take care of that and I do not regret getting them.





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 Four

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.


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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 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.