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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.

 

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….

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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 Three

Sometimes, despite planning, you have to take advantage of the quiet moments.

 

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.