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 One

Seriously, if there was a day not to do the challenge it was today.  I wanted to do images of my other two kids, old fashioned costumes and processing, like the Cowboy and Indian pictures, to print and frame in antique picture frames.  I found this dress from the 1950’s.  It reminds me of the outfits of my mom and her sisters from when they were little.  It’s so perfect.

I was going to do the images after my husband’s meeting at the church was done, I figured about 8:00, but as time went on and the light started to fade, I realized he was not going to be home in time.  I got my daughter in the costume, did her hair and threw her and the two boys I had with me in the car.  The only place I could think of, since we were running out of time, was the stairs at the developmental center.  We rushed there, as the light was fading and at the last minute, I decided to stand her on the sidewalk first.  I got ONE shot, when some crabby security guard came out and told us we weren’t allowed to be there.  He was not kind about it at all, and people like that, I don’t care what the motives are, there is no reason to treat people so rudely.   No one deserves to be talked down to out of the blue.  Some people, well, they ask for it.  But mostly, people should be treated with respect and I am tired of the sheer lack of respect and kindness in our society.  Maybe that’s why I daydream about life 50-100 years ago.  Things seemed so much more simple and for the most part, people were good to each other, at least, I’d like to believe they were.

So here is the one image I took tonight.  And I am going to bed.

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 Nine

The days seem to be meshing together and sometimes I really have to think back and make sure I did something for the day.  This morning, as we do a couple times a week, we visited Smokem.  Watching him, back lit in the arena doors, I wanted to do a picture, but I actually wanted one of me.  I adjusted the camera settings and set the focus and handed the camera to my daughter.  We did a couple before I had one that I liked.  After I was done, she and my son both wanted to have one done as well.  So today’s portrait includes me.  I’ll share the one my daughter took, as well as the two I did of them.



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 Forty Seven

Today was pack meeting.  My brothers were never big in scouts, but my husband and his brothers were.  I was also the Webelos leader for a long while and I LOVE scouts.  My son is about to turn nine, and we, sadly, struggled getting him to his meetings regularly until the past couple of months.  So he had to put a lot of work into a small amount of time to get my son his Wolf before he aged up to Bears.  Last night at Pack meeting he got bombarded by awards and he was beaming.  He got his wolf, a gold arrow point, and a bunch of belt loops!  He was so proud!


With his friend!  These guys are scout buddies!

Summer Challenge – Day Forty Six

I hate to sew.  My sister, however, is an awesome seamstress.  She sewed these dresses for my daughter and my nieces and wanted to do a dress up session while she was in town for a couple of days.  The littlest wanted nothing much to do with me very quickly, and we were a bit short on time, but still, I loved how they turned out.






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This one looks just like me and my sister when we were little.




Summer Challenge – Day Forty Five

It was a bad day.  The kind of day that leaves a mother counting the days until school starts again.  I love my children.  I do not love my children teasing each other and fighting and not listening when mother says “Stop that this instant!”  But the wise Bill Cosby reminds me that “all children are brain dead” and we simply have to hope for a better day tomorrow.

I had a plan for today, but couldn’t get it together.  I thankfully brought my camera to my kids horseback riding lessons today because there was literally no other chance today to do anything worthwhile and I am not sure I would have had the patience by the end of the day anyway.   Also, my kids love their lessons.  I love that this is becoming part of our lives.  I love that we are totally becoming fully horse people.  And I love the proud feeling I get seeing them up there in their grubbies and helmets and gaining this unique confidence.




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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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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.