Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The day finally arrived. Baby girl flew da coop.

Yes, I cried.  As she was loading her boxes to the car, I sneaked off to the bathroom for a little boohoo session.  All I could think of was the day that I met her her.  I will never forget the way I felt when I saw those pink chubby cheeks-both kinds!  I heard...'ooooo...you have a big girl!'  My eyes were reaching out to see my brand new baby while the nurses cleaned her up.   I remember hearing the nurses & doctor take bets on who could guess her weight.  A few said 8 or 9 lbs.  But, my labor nurse who came back on her off duty to witness our delivery, said, "My guess is TEN pounds!"  When they put all of her little pinkness on the scale, I heard...."na, na, na, na Can't Touch This!"  Carmen (labor nurse) was on the money!  I gave birth to a 10 pound baby girl.  I love my sweet baby girl.  She has been a joy to raise.  From the day she was born, she has made me laugh & have not stopped laughing at her silliness ever since.  Karmyn has a great big wonderful heart.  I am very happy & proud of  the lady that she has become.  Also, I am glad that she is able to become independent.  I hope she enjoys this new step forward in her life journey.    But, I remind her often that she will always be my baby girl.  I plan to bribe her with homecooked meals so that she will come visit at least once a week. 

Even though I got kinda sad, I also got kinda happy.  I now have an extra room for all my photography gear.  Oh, man do I ever need that extra room.  My 'world' (as Terry calls it) is just about to push us out the backdoor.  TOO much!   But, before I can completely claim that room there are a few more boxes that Karmyn has yet to pack.   I borrowed Papa T's truck to help her move her bed and some bigger items.  We were not able to move her chest of drawers and tv so her daddy will have to help us asap. 

A few years ago, my brother built some custom cabinetry and desk area for her room.  Look what is still left on her shelves.   Homerun balls and Softball accolades and awards, Letterman Jacket and even a Homecoming Crown.   I was there for every one of those moments.  We lived it.  We enjoyed it.  We treasure the memories.  Karmyn moved into her apartment a couple nights ago.  She has not yet boxed up these things so I had to snap this picture. As the years go by, I am sure these High School  Treasures will eventually make their way to a dust covered box in storage.   Bittersweet.  

 And, The beat goes on....

...la, da, da, da, daaaa.....

Hey Mama,
I think the way I feel about this shelf of memories reminds me of what you said when I moved to my first apartment.  I heard you tell the story about what happened to you a day or so after I finished moving.  You walked into my bedroom that was completely, 100% empty of all things "Tootiefied" (that's me).   So, you were getting excited about how you were going to use the extra space.  When you whooshed open my closet door, the force of the wind made the singularly, solitary item left behind start swinging on it's hanger.  It was a pink velvet beauty pagent dress that you made for me when I was in the 4th grade.

So, now I know how you must have felt.   Did you have a boohoo session too?

Today is a new day.  No more boohoo!  Azaleas are blooming in my backyard. 
Good old hardy azaleas make me happy every spring. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Jessica – Walker High School – Senior 2011

Jessica – Walker High School – Senior 2011
TommieAnn called and told me that her only child will be graduating this year! She is a sentimental mom and loves her pretty Jessica very much. When I drove up their driveway, Jessica’s dad, Mark, was rolling out a four wheeler. He had just put a spit-shine on that sucker. No joke. This thing was super detailed with amor-all on the tires and a mirror shine on the chrome wheels. I am sure that all the while he was working, he wanted to please his daughter and make her proud. I had met Jessica once before. It was New Year’s Eve. She is dating my 2nd cousin, Dustin. I did Dustin’s Senior Portraits so he recommended me to Jessica. Thanks man!

Mark, TommieAnn, and Jessica walked with me around their large property to show me some wooded acreage behind their house. Their family is the outdoorsy types. As a family, they love go to the fishing camp, ride four wheelers and all that kind of good stuff. So, today we wanted to capture that vibe. I really enjoy it when my client is in their element. Especially, for a High School Senior, I think it is important for them to be free to be themselves! It is so important for them to show their individual, unique personality during this very short WINDOW IN TIME of their life. So, today, Jessica’s unique vibe is exactly what we got. Jessica is a rubber boots wearin’, four-wheelin country girl for this photo shoot. In real life, she is also girly girl sugar and spice all things nice. She had a smile from start to finish. Speaking of finish, we finished with a change in gears so to speak. When we got back to the house, Jessica changed into a bright pink top which looked outstanding with her complexion. I set up my lighting situation which included a small portable beauty dish as our key light. Also, I went to my portrait lens to capture some close-up beauty shots.

Thanks to the Deshotels family for welcoming me in to capture their Jessica’s Senior Photo Session. Enjoyed it. Hey Jessica, tell all your friends about me! If they haven’t gotten their Senior Portraits, please send them a link to me. I would be honored to capture their unique WINDOW IN TIME, as well.

*p.s. Mark, how could we do a four-wheelin’ photo shoot without getting her back in mud? oops…It sure was a shiny mud buggy!


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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Photo Field Trip to Bluebonnet Swamp

While lounging around this morning, I got an unexpected phone call from Mom, "Aunt Clara Faye wants to go on a photo field trip to Bluebonnet Swamp.  Do you wanna come with us?... She said she would pick you up....Oh, probably in about an hour...Can you be ready by then?....Ok, well get ready."  clunk.  I hung up the phone.  Minutes later.  "Aunt Clara Faye said she is on her way....No, no, we want you to go...Come on, get ready....Well, can you be ready in 15 or 20 minutes?...Ok, go ahead and get ready because she will come pick you as soon as you get ready."  At this point, it was a quick splash in and out of the shower, shampoo, blow dry, spot of make-up.  Ringggg, Ringggg!...Mom again on the phone, "We are on our way!  You ready, huh?"

Yes, I was ready - in record time for me!  Bella was in her cage and I was standing at the ready at the back screen door.  I had my my purse and camera bag at my feet ready to pick up as soon as they wheeled into my driveway.  I jumped into Aunt Clara Faye's "rumble seat" of her VW Bug and zippety doo dah down the road we go.  We were on our way to the Bluebonnet Swamp.  It was a pretty day.  Signs of spring are showing up so we are anxious to go, go go!  We parked and began our walk on the boardwalk that meanders around the swamp area.  There are no leaves on the trees and the swamp is basically dry but we were able to find photo opps by looking for small details along the nature trail.  We had a great time on our hike.  Then, we made a stop by the Piccadilly Cafeteria for a late lunch.   It was nice to get out and enjoy the pleasant weather and make pictures at the Bluebonnet Swamp.  I am sure we will do it again as the season progresses and brings more greenery back to the brown & gray environment. 

Here is a slideshow of our experience today.  Check it out. 
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Dinner

Text messages:
8:50am Terry:  HAPPY V DAY SWEETIE!!!
8:56am Me:  Happy valentines day to you my love!
9:00am Terry:  HEY GAL, HOW ABOUT ROMANIC SUPPER? (when has he ever called me gal?)
9:01am Me:  Oh?  What's the plan? (i figure-there is no plan.  i know that  i will have to make the plans)
9:09am Terry:  YOU&ME, DINNER AT YOUR FAVORITE PLACE! (just as i thought! no plan-just an idea!)
9:11am Me:  You are smooth.  What time are you getting home?
9:14am Terry: REGULAR TIME...3:30PM
9:16am Me: Ok.  I will try to be ready.  Looking forward to it.
9:18am Terry:  OK FINE!

So, it was the restaurant inside the Bass Pro Shop. 

   




Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy (Day Before) Birthday Tracy! & A Brief Photo Lesson

Tracy, my sister-in-law, called and told me she wanted to get out of the house and have a little fun today because tomorrow was her birthday!  I could totally understand this reasoning.  Personally, I think we should have a Celebrate The Day Before You Turn One Year Older Birthday Day! :)  What do you think?

  We thought about a movie day to celebrate her Day Before..DAY.  Then, neither of us were motivated to do a movie  So, I told her we could just take a ride and see what we see.   Before the gas prices went up, Terry and I used to enjoy taking what we call a 'country drive'.  Country Drive is code for get in the car, pick a direction, any direction because we had NO direction.  Drive maps not included or necessary because we intend to follow our nose. Terry likes to drive and look.  I like to ride and look.  I know that eventually, one of us will bring up the subject, "Are you getting hungry?"  Then, the other will say, "Why? Are you getting hungry?"  That's when the Country Drive becomes a search for a new Country Lunch Dive

Today, Tracy and I got in my car and headed west on the interstate.  We decided that we were going to look for photo opps.  I put my Nikon d5000 with a 55-200mm lens for Tracy to use and of course I brought my camera along with several lens options.   It was cold so I asked her if she wanted me to turn on the bun warmers.  :)  I love my heated seats.  We drove. We looked. We saw.  Typically, I can always find something that compels me to park the car and explore photo opps. But, for some reason today was different.  It was a ride and see what we see sort of Country Drive day.

Eventually, we did the "Are you hungry?" and a true search was on.  Tracy and I decided that we wanted to find a place for lunch where we can 'make good choices'.  She has recently begun a regime of fruits and vegetables and found her new diet was giving her a better sense of well being.   We ended up deciding on Mike Anderson's keeping in mind that we wanted to make good choices.  We both chose the soup and salad option from the lunch menu.  We each ordered a cup of gumbo and a small shrimp remeloude salad.   It was not the fruits and vegetables choice that was our original search but nevertheless, it was good lunch choice because the food was delish! 


On our way home, we stopped by train station park in Denham Springs.  There was a biting nip in the air because it was pretty windy.  But, we braved it out because I didn't want to go home having never whipped out our cameras.  The initial intent of the day was to teach Tracy a few tips about photography.   When we got out of the car, Tracy asked, "So, do I just put this around my neck?"  You see, today was going to be her very first experience with dslr photography.

I love the way the warm evening sun was lighting the empty park bench.  I Had to get this shot. 

Speaking of evening sun, I showed Tracy an example of using a small aperture to capture the sunburst effect.  f/16 used here.

In this image, I was teaching her how to use a single focus point to be deliberate about her image making.  I was at a f/4.5 at 180mm to blur the foreground and background and selectively focus on the center post cap. 


Here is Tracy's image.  I love how she went a little wider and her aperture was at f/9.5 at 135mm.  At this smaller f/stop and shorter focal length, the viewer is able to see the entire image more clearly.  Yet, look at what she selected as her focal point.  It was the same exact center post cap that I had selected in my image.  You see how small differences in camera settings can create entirely different perspectives?  The differences are obvious but we were both standing very close to one another at the moment of capture. 

For some reason, I absolutely love that Books sign capped by that metal owning.  There is just something about it that makes me notice it every time.  After I clicked off my shot, I told Tracy what I was seeing. 

After I mentioned it, Tracy swung her camera up to take a picture.  When she did, I said, "Looks like they opened the traffic flood gates."   After, I viewed her image,  I like the way the traffic has converged at this little corner.  Tracy placed her focal point on BOOKS.   Isn't this a great image?  If only a boy or girl were walking around the corner engrossed in a good book. 

Happy Birthday Tracy. 
Time keeps on tickin', tickin', tickin' into the future. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Baby Cypress Knees & Row Row Row Ya Boat back to the house cuz you have to be freezin' ya buns off!

Today's photo challenge was knees.  Knees.  Well, we live in Louisiana and I always thought that Cypress Knees were an anomaly.  Here are some baby cypress knees.  That's the best I could do today.  It was cold and rainy so I went to only one location, lake at LSU.  I thought that I had seen Cypress trees on the edges of the lake.  When I parked, there was a small cluster of Cypress Trees close to the bank but not in the water.   The water you see surrounding is rain water from today and yesterday's rainy weather. 

row, row, flap, flap.
Standing on the edge of the walkway, I looked out over the lake and could not believe what I saw.  Somebody pinch me!  I thought I went to sleep at LSU and woke up at Harvard.  No way!  These people can NOT be from Louisiana.  Didn't they hear that we had school and office closures because we got down to freezing temperature last night?  Besides, I didn't know they made pirogues that long! 


whew!  I realize that I must still be in Louisiana.  There's the familiar aluminum bateau.  At least those couyans are wearing their LSU hoodies.  :)  They might be asking themselves, "What's dat lady couyan doin' over dere wit dat camera, Cher ?!" 

I repositioned myself and waited for the rowing team to appear in the frame because I wanted to provide the viewer more information about the setting.  I chose to show the picnic table and bbq pit in the foreground because it helps describe the area as a pedestrian friendly location.  Also, I used that big tree as an anchor on the left hand side.  I think the image would not be as strong without the tree element.  Do you see our State Capital Building in the misty, foggy background?  I deliberately wanted to show that in the background.  It is a recognizable icon of the city of Baton Rouge and State of Louisiana.
This image is sooc (straight out of camera).  If I had taken it into photoshop, I might would have cleaned up some of the twigs seen at the top of the image, vignette slightly & straighten the horizon line a bit.  But, creating a wow! photoshopped image is not what I am reaching for.  My intention for explaining my thought process before capturing this image is to share the fact that I actually had a thought process.  I'm not saying this is an award winner.  Hardly.  But, if you take time to think about making a picture before taking a picture, I think you will impress yourself!

I focused on the upper / center rain droplet and branch.  Do you see a jogger or a house or lamp post in the background?
No?
A second after I took this shot, I snapped the pic below...

..I focused through the skinny branches and rain droplets to see the lone jogger.   
note:  Isn't it amazing how the droplets and branches almost disappear?  I am standing in the exact same spot with my camera pointed into the exact same spot with the exact same focal length as the rain droplet picture above.  What changed?  My focus.  With my 70-300mm lens racked out at 300mm, I allowed my focus point to train in on the jogger in the distant background instead of the tree branch or rain drops.  When it locked focus on the jogger, the foreground almost blurred away.  This creates a mysterious impression because the viewer instinctively knows that they are seeing through something but can not clearly identify.  
Do you think that is neat?  I do.
It is a great technique. You can try shooting through leaves to get a mystical looking impression of a flower or garden statue. I think if you try it, you will be impressed with yourself!  :)  
Being impressed with yourself is good, right? 


We had a stand off. I have to say, he/she won.  It began to rain again.  Headed home to see my pics. 
It was a slow photo day but a slow photo day is better than a
no photo day any day.

p.s.  I realize that this is the 2nd post from this week that include water drops on twiggy branches.  so, no more.  Hopefully, the weather will clear so that I have a different subject.