Category Archives: OCF

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 Six

This post is coming late because I shot it late, but I had to wait for the sun to be down.  My two oldest helped me tonight.  My son was my subject and my daughter helped with the lighting effects.  They were really tired staying up this late until I pulled out the sparklers.

So this is something I have been wanting to try.  I struggled with one function on my camera to pull this off correctly.  I need to see if my lights and triggers are capable of doing what I need if I try this again.  I couldn’t get my 2nd curtain sync to turn on with the triggers I was using, and that would have helped that strange ghostly double images.  But still, it was fun to try.




amber rose red carpet prom gown

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 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 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 Eleven

Only fifty more days to go… Ha!  This is like cupcakes!  Or not.  Okay, the creativity is already pushing me.  Some days I just want to snap something on my phone send it through instagram and call it good.  But I won’t… not yet anyway.

I would like to introduce you to my son, Ben Hogan.  Okay, that isn’t his name, but for the sake of this post it will be.  So little Ben started watching golf on TV when he was two.  Don’t ask my why, but he did.  He saw it and was hooked.  That fall he turned three and for Christmas he asked Santa for his own golf clubs.  Did the big guy come through or what.  The kid got the nicest set just for him, titanium and everything.  So when he was four, we signed him up for golf camp through our rec center.  I was worried he was young but we went for it.    He kind of just had a knack for it, and on top of that my little guy had his golf clothes and he wouldn’t golf in anything else.  I took him to a putting green to get this image in 2010.

It’s because of those clothes, but especially the hat, and his swing, that his coach at golf club started calling him “Hogan” and “Little Ben”.   Now we are in year three.  He doesn’t want to give up because he has learned he could play golf in college and maybe get a scholarship and maybe someday he can play on TV too.

So today, starting the third year of golf camp, we went a tad early so I could get some shots of him in his current duds.  He has since grown out of the above outfit, but we have to keep his closet stocked with golf pants and golf shirts.

And for a kid who complains every time I pull out the camera, he sure likes to ham it up and extend whatever project I am trying to complete.

Watch out PGA, here comes “Little Ben”!

Summer Challenge – Day Ten

Before I get into today’s portrait, I have to take a moment and publicly say “Happy Birthday!” to my kid brother Mark.   I can’t remember how old he is (I can’t remember how old I am…) but I always remember June 10th is his birthday because by now it’s been about six months since my birthday and I was always jealous his was the first of the year in the whole family and mine was last.

So happy birthday Marky!

(He’s the toe head on the far left in the cute blue blazer.)

Now for the portrait.  A couple of months ago a friend of mine messaged me and asked how to do a true silhouette.   “Nope” I told her “but I’ll figure it out and get back to you.”  I set up my speedlight, scrim and child and played until I had it.  I only did my two youngest that day and my plan for today was to do all four kids and both us parents, but no one would cooperate.  So, running out of time, I threatened my oldest son with the safety of his pokemon (okay, I didn’t but I did force him into servitude for this.)  At first I thought I would make it easy and use natural light from the doorway, but it totally wasn’t looking right and I hated them so I deleted them and set up my light, scrim and child and here is my portrait for today.

Summer Challenge – Day Eight

I will start by letting you know that despite a rough night, my son wasn’t sick again and was fine by morning.  We are thinking he swallowed a little too much pool water. 😉

I almost missed today because I fell asleep, (It was a long rough night after all.) and started contemplating how good my iphone looked all of the sudden.  I can instagram this right?  Okay, I didn’t.  I forced myself, mostly because I have been working on changing up my off camera flash gear and trying some new things so I forced myself to get out and play with some toys I wanted to try and decided if they will work for me.  I decided to pull it the same son I featured yesterday, since he didn’t actually have to pose for me yesterday.  He tried to convince me that in exchange for doing a picture I should take him to Build a Bear and drop $20 on a new toy he doesn’t need, thankfully, I am a good mom and I simply threatened to send him to bed early.

When my daughter found out I was doing pictures she “volunteered” (as in, she expected payment) to assist me. She earned four bits for standing next to me and holding up the flash.  At first, he was a little stinker about this, but he soon warmed up.

He is wearing his Longhorns Jersey, so I told him to give me the “horns”.  It turned into “I Love You.”

Then he showed off the guns.

He really is a cutie.

And his older brother couldn’t stay out, kept skating through the picture, so at the end I pulled all the boys in so they could ham it up together.


Summer Challenge – Day Six

It was another two birds with one stone kind of day.  I was already planning this photoshoot with my friend’s son, (because he has an awesome mohawk right now.) And last minute I decided to take my youngest, give him and 80’s do and get some of him at the end of the first shoot.

So here is my rock star.