Sunday, June 27, 2010

Images from Last Night's Dance Recital

My daughters, both, attended Jean Leigh Academy of Dance when they were younger.  I also took an adult tap class.  I can not tell you what kind of love and passion I have had for dance ALL of my life.  I remember when I was a tiny girl, I would get up on my tippy toes and prance around with my arms over my head.  In my imagination, I was a graceful ballerina.  I do not think there were any formal dance studios close to my home when I was little.  Also, very vivid in my memory, I picture myself as a junior high girl with an infatuation for ballet.  I used to study the images of ballet poses in books and try to emulate the posture and strength of the ballerina I admired so.  But, still no formal training available.   (..I was a good bowler though ... well, that is another story for another day....)  I have loved music and dancing as long as I can remember.  My mom says that I would always make the family late to leave home.  She said she knew I was not getting ready quickly enough because all she could hear outside my bedroom door was finger snaps!   :)  I was in there dancing and not getting dressed as I was supposed to. 

So, when I had two daughters, you know I was going to offer them the opportunity to join a dance class.  Fortunately, former LSU Golden Girl and Dance Teacher Extraordinair, Diana Jones opened a dance studio in my hometown.  I signed the girls up for ballet, tap and jazz.  They enjoyed dance.  Kayla danced there for 10 years.   Whereas, Karmyn danced until she became very involved in sports.  Throughout the years, I always looked forward to the first class dance recital that Diana put together.  It was a bit of hometown Broadway for me!  Her studio has been acknowledged as a nationally award winning Dance Company.

This year, I decided I wanted to try to take some pictures of the amazing talent showcased in Jean Leigh's dance recital.  Here are a quick few that I grabbed for this short smilebox: 
Link to Jean Leigh Studio Website:

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Photo Tip for Inspiration,

Yesterday, I blogged about a meeting that I had with a couple photog friends, Melissa and Julie.  They wanted a few pointers and tips so here is one of my favorite tips.  I enjoy looking at Brides magazines and can pour over the images for hours.  There is a wealth of inspiration just in studying the lighting, angle, perspective and poses that made an image successful enough to get published in a national magazine.  As my bridal shoot with Kristin began, Norma (bride's mom) asked me how she could be helpful.  Oh, goodie I thought...there is something that I would looove for Norma to do for me.  Hold that thought...,

Before Kristin and Norma arrived, I was glancing through a couple of my bridal magazines that I found in my car.  As I noticed what I considered winning shots, I dogeared the pages throughout and stashed the magazines in my shoot sack.  Then, my bride and mom showed up and I found a glorious place for her to stand.  The backdrop was an historic plantation homesite.  My own sweet mama came along in order to assist & hold the bounce reflector for me. So, Norma asked, "How can I help?"  Here is the point where I got the idea to take Norma up on her generous offer to help.  I referred to the dogeared magazine in my shoot sack and asked her to tear out those pages.  She questioned me, "Just tear them out?"  :)  yep!,..."Just tear them out...!"  And, she did.  After we had been on location for over an hour, I turned to Norma and asked her to grab those tear sheets for me.  I showed Kristin a few of the images that I had found inspiring earlier.   I asked her if she would like to try to replicate the pose?  Sure, she said!  Seeing an example made it easy for her to understand the sort of creative expression that I was going for.  I found a wonderful backdrop and together, Kristin and I came up with a winning interpretation of the magazine image with our own twist.

I hope this photo tip helps. When you need a shot of inspiration, use a tear sheet.  My mom captured these images of me at work on a bridal photo shoot and doing what I love.  Looks like Norma is taking a break from tearing sheets to glance up and get a sneaky peak of how gorgeous her daughter is 'all in white'!  Priceless! 

                                    *Both Photos in this post taken by:  Betty Slaton

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Meeting with fellow wedding photogs at Whistle Stop!

Here we are!  That is Melissa Roe on the left and Julie Pease to my right.  Aren't they beautiful?!  Before we departed, I asked a young lady that worked at the coffee shop to take this picture.  We had a joyful time of sharing and encouraging each other in our photography quest.  You might remember Melissa.  I had introduced her in an earlier post.  She was my 2nd shooter at Kristin and Michael's wedding.  I must say, she did a jam up job helping me with the wedding.  Melissa is so very attentive and instinctual about what needs to be done next.  She is a great photographer who absorbs everything like a sponge.   She had asked me if she could shadow me!  I was thrilled.  She didn't have to twist my arm.  I was very happy to have her by my side.  The images she captured were very beautiful just like her radiant personality.  I heard from Krisitin's mom who said that they loved both of us and were so very pleased that we were their family photographers at her daughter's wedding.  
Melissa set up this meeting at Whistle Stop Coffee Shop.  She and her friend Julie wanted to get together with me and 'pick my brain' about the wedding photography biz.  I don't know if there was much to pick, but, I was more than happy to meet with them.  Julie is a sweetheart and a half!  Her personality is so very kind, gentle and ladylike.  Both of these ladies are fine Christian women who have been volunteering their services at their church.  I know that their fellow congregation members have been greatly blessed by their photography.  Julie has been commissioned for future weddings and wanted to ask me some practical question such as pricing structure, etc.  She and Melissa have worked together in past weddings and family photo shoots.  It was so fun getting together with people who have a passion for photography.  In fact, I had already been thinking about starting a forum for local photographers to get together.  If you live in the Baton Rouge or Livingston Parish area and would like to join us in future meet-ups, send me an e-mail or comment.  For today's meeting, I brought along a few of my ideas to share that work well for me.  They took notes and we all  encouraged each other in the industry.  This was a great meeting of the minds and we promised each other that we were going to do it again!  

Coming soon in a later post... a few photo tips that I was able to share with them today!  I will put something together perhaps for post tomorrow.  Right now, I need to get ready to go to a dance recital that I am going to photograph!  Yay! 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Karmyn's Bday!

We celebrated Karmyn's 20th birthday a couple days late. She turned 20 the day of the Wedding that I had to photograph. She also worked that day so we decided to do her birthday cake on Monday because Father's Day was Sunday. As we were coming home Sunday night from visiting with her PawPaw, I told her it that we were making tomorrow "Karmyn day!" We went to get mani-pedi's together. I chose bright turquoise green for the toes and she chose a super neon pink for our fingernails. We got matching colors because we planned to go on a 'Girl's Day' shopping spree for her birthday. Also, she chose her favorite meal. She loves my spaghetti (Ragu Chunky...shhh! hehee...). So, I fixed a big pot of spaghetti, salad & Texas Toast. Oh, soooo easy & ordinary but if it makes her happy, her birthday dinner wish is my command! Our birthday cake tradition is homemade Funfetti Cake with Rainbow Chip frosting. It really is delicious. I started making that particular cake for the girls when they were little and it is now something they expect. They are still my little girls. I love it.


I have more to post but Big Daddy is waiting in the truck....Post To be continued .... uh oh, I'm in trouble if he honks again. BRB!

ok. So, I'm back home now to finish my blog post. We had to go return some Redbox flicks before the deadline. Then, he wanted to go to Sonic to get an extra long cheese coney, onion rings and oreo blast!

Did that...So, back to the B-day story. "Now, where was I?" IDK. Anyway, I have a video clip of Karmyn's bday candles. I am going to try to post it. Sometimes I have trouble with uploading directly to blogger. It was pretty funny and we sound so countryfied! haha...I'll work on it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Photo Challenge: 50 yards from my home

Today's Photo Challenge was "50 yards from your home".  I think I had to go a tad bit over 50 yards from home to get to the subdivision lake.  I waited until the sun was going down for the evening before I headed out to the lake in hopes for a good sunset image.  When I arrived I saw these two guys by the bank.  I asked them if I could take their picture.  They said, "Sure."  Then, I asked if it would be ok if I put them on the internet.  They smiled and asked if they were going on a Sportsman Page.  I fibbed and said, "Sure."   I guess I looked like a writer of all things angler!  Anyway, they cooperated and I think these are some great impromptu images. 

Then, it got just too dark so all three of us began walking away.  One guy said, "Are we really going in the Sportsman Page?"  I laughed and said, "..nah...just my blog!"  :)

I got their e-mail and mailed them these files.  They wrote back and said they loved them, their parents loved them and they were getting them printed.  sweet!

Our Big Daddy took us to eat at Not Ya Mama's for Father's Day!

I have been so busy with Wedding Images, I forgot that I had a couple Father's Day pics to post.  Here are a couple pictures that I took with my point & shoot with no flash.  We went to Not Ya Mama's restaurant.  As we waited for a table, we stood looking at the menu of delicious entree choices.  The food is so good here.  Then, you have to order a HUNK 'o cake.  No kidding.  They do not serve a slice.  You get a HUNK!  Terry ordered a strawberry cheesecake & the girls ordered oreo cheesecake with chocolate syrup.  Yes, we brought home 2 HUNKS o' cake!  We groaned and rubbed our stomachs as we walked out the door because we were too full.  As usual, when we walked into the door of our home after the ride home, up pops the lid on the styrofoam 'go' box with the HUNK 'o cake and the forks dive in!  yummmmmm.  I want to say Happy, happy Father's Day to my own Dad, Terry's Dad, Big Daddy (Terry) and all the Dads out there.  Hope you all had a terrific day and your stomachs hurt from too much indulgence on Dad's Day!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kristin & her family getting ready for her big day!

Yesterday, I made a smilebox slideshow of a few pre-wedding images that I captured. Here is a little pre-wedding backstory... I noticed a beautiful piano in the foyer of Kristin's parent's home. I asked her who played. She said, "Mom". I asked her if we could get a picture at the piano when she and all the girls put on their dresses. But, the plan was to wait until we arrived at the Wedding/Reception venue to dress. Oh, well. The beautiful and positively romantic image that I was hoping for was not doable. Too bad. I asked them if, before we left, we could take at least one quick pic at the piano. Meanwhile, Dad was doing a mental checklist rundown on his fingertips. All the while, he was giving us the countdown on minutes-to-go before time to leave. I heard "SEVEN MINUTES!" at one point. While he was loading the car, I grabbed Mom (Norma) and her 3 beautiful golden haired daughters for my picture. Mom sat down to the piano. As she was hurriedly flipping through the songbook, I walked halfway up the stairs behind the piano for my first couple of images. Their backs were to me but I could see their faces in the mirror above the piano. I thought it was so lovely. I knew we were in a hurry and I didn't want to cause trouble so I said, "It's ok. You don't really have to play." But, Norma had found her song and her fingers were finding the right notes on her piano keys. She had her daughters around her enjoying music she was creating. I came around to capture a view of their profiles as they listened to Mom's music. Then, Kristin got up and said, "Mom, why are you doing this to me? She just HAD to play the Lion King song!" awe...I realized that the tears were flowing in the eyes of all the girls & Mom. Then they began to laugh together as they were fanning their eyes and trying to not get started again. It was the kind of touching moment that happens between family members who have such a close bond and understanding of each other. I almost started crying myself! They don't EVEN want to get me started. I go into the Ugly Cry with a flame red nose! Even though Kevin (dad) was in countdown mode, I asked him to come join the sentimental little group. What I was able to capture was a reflection of this tight knit family unit. I recognize this precious WINDOW IN TIME was a gift to all of us who were in the room that day. I am thankful to have been given the opportunity and honor of being their family's photographer on Kristin's Wedding Day. My gift to them will be these priceless images that they can hold near & treasure forever. What makes their moment even more poignant is the fact that their oldest daughter will be moving to another state very, very shortly. The smilebox that you will see in the next post shows a few images that depict the sweet interaction at the piano.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wedding Day Moments...

Here is a smilebox that I sent to my bride's mom. During the reception, she so, very sweetly asked me if I would send her "one, or two ,... or a few" pictures of the wedding day. How could I resist? I have been going through and processing the absolutely beautiful images that I captured at Michael and Kristin's Wedding last Saturday night. I told Norma (Kristin's mom) that this is just a Tasty Teaser Trailer before the big reveal! I have to save the rest for Kristin and Michael to see before I am able to post them on my blog or smugmug. I can't wait!
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Kristin's Bridal Session Slideshow went Live today!

If you would like to visit my client proofing site to view some gorgeous images of a beautiful bride, go to  Scroll down past my intro to view the bridal session slideshow.  OMGoodness Gracious Mercy Sakes...!!!  We had an amazing time this weekend.  Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Michael Scarbrough, better known as Michael and Kristin.  They were married Saturday, June 19th.  Melissa and I photographed their entire wedding day.  We captured some sentimental (lots & lots actually..), funny, charming & endearing moments that Krisitn, Michael and their entire family are going to absolutely cherish!  So, I will be working on preparing the images for printing & slideshow this week while the newlyweds are vacationing.  By the time they return, I plan to have the wedding day memories posted to the smugmug site as well.  I've got tons of files to go through so I better get to it.  I think I need to make a pot of coffee because I'll be busy for a while!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Introducing Melissa, my 2nd shooter for this weekend...

Photo by Melissa Roe
I want to introduce you to Melissa Roe.  She is married to my first cousin, Roy and they have one daughter.  Their daughter is the beautiful and talented Cameron!  Melissa, a.k.a Hula, is going to be my 2nd shooter at Kristin and Michael's wedding tomorrow.  We talked about how I got started in wedding photography.  My first experience was through a mentorship with a Baton Rouge photographer.  I offered him my files in exchange for his mentorship.  Melissa saw some of my photography and asked if she could hop along and 'shadow' me on a photo shoot.  Ring, ading,ding!  The bells went off in my head.  I love Melissa and I know that she has an amazing sense of style, sophistocation and grace.  I asked her if she wanted to come and help me out with my next wedding.  She responded with something like a "Heck Yeah!".  I am so glad and excited to have her by my side tomorrow.  She has a photog friend that together, they photographed a wedding already.  All experience and practice is good!  I know we will have fun and capture some amazing images together. 

I told Melissa that I was going to introduce her through my blog.  I asked her to send some of her images.  A few of these were taken by her friend Julie (the one's with Melissa in them of course and a couple more).   I am anxious to meet Julie next weekend as we have scheduled a tentative pow-wow, round table discussion regarding the joys and challenges of wedding photography.  I had mentioned to Melissa that I would like to start at network of local wedding photogs.  It would be great to know people in the industry and have a forum for growth and sharing.  I follow some amazing photographers from the Seattle area who enjoy special meet ups with fellow photographers on a regular basis.  So, I'm thinking about trying to get something together.  Looks like next weekend might be the inaugural meet up.  When you step out and try something new, you never know where it leads....TBD...

I created this slideshow from the files that Melissa sent.  I hope she approves.  Love ya Hula!

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Car-LESS Drive thru service

Car-LESS Drive thru service
Uploaded for Daily Photo Challenge,
Subject: cars, June 15, 2010

I was out and about town to find a unique car subject for today's challenge. I saw these little guys in the drive thru placing their orders. I bet they ordered a malt. Linda's serves the chocolatey-est, thickest and most delicious ice cream malts ever! The malt is so thick, you have to give it a minute to melt a little because you can't pull it through the straw at first. They are that good!

I took the original picture and manipulated it to look somewhat like a color pencil drawing.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 156 of 365, music & dancin' makes me happy!

The black and white image is Terry and I at my brother-in-law's retirement celebration.  We photographed the event and had a blast doing it.
Today's photo challenge was music.  I never got around to doing a photo for the challenge.  I looked for my tamborine.  I was going to do something with that put couldn't find it quickly.  So, I gave up on it and found some pics that remind me of music...dancin'!!!. 

When I hear music, or even think about music, it makes me wanna dance!  Here, are a couple pics from last year at the retirement party.  I am dancing with my fantastic nephew.  Isn't he cute?  He is a great dancer and musician and collegiate athlete!  Too bad for all the girls, he is taken.  He has a beautiful girlfriend of a couple years.  She is a lucky girl because he is quite a catch!  When Terry and I took a turn at the dance floor, my other nephew picked up my camera to capture this shot.  At first, I looked at this picture and I was really critical.  I wish we looked like we used to look when we were young.  Before we were married, we were out at the dance club every weekend.  I was a clothes hound who looooved fashion.  Going out gave me a good reason to dress up and prance around.  Time has a way of changing lots of things.  Time changes our opinions of what is really important in life according to the stage that we are in.  At this time, I have raised two daughters to young adulthood.  

Terry and I started dating when I was a senior in high school.  Actually, I remember that I asked him to escort me to my HS prom on New Years Eve, 1983.  So, what began on January 1, 1983 is still going strong and we have never been apart since. 

We really love each other's company.  Although sometimes I do want to pinch his head off.  And, I am sure he could do the same to me!  Some people say that when a couple retires and are spending time together 24/7, it is a difficult adjustment.  Maybe I need to knock on wood, but, I think that we are going to truly enjoy each other when he does eventually retire.  Terry and I have always enjoyed dancing together even though we don't quite match in height at you can see. :) It doesn't matter to me. I hope we can continue to dance together through this life and beyond!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 155 of 365, '78 Ford

You see this 1978 Ford?  My father in law purchased this new in that year.  He has a 1997 Ford truck that he still calls his 'new' truck.  He keeps the 'new' truck in the garage it is rarely ever used.  It still has that new leather interior smell.  Can you imagine?  He maintains this huge 30 acre place along with a one acre garden.  Everything is neat as a pin. He had a stroke about a year and a half ago.  You would never know it today. He picked that bucket of squash in the foreground just before we arrived.  He had it ready for his brother to pick up and enjoy.  He raises the vegetables, not for himself, but to share with everyone he cares about.  He had called us to come get some tomatoes.  Terry likes to eat tomato sandwiches for lunch. 
Here is Terry's mom.  She is a very sweet mother-in-law.  I am very blessed to be part of this family.  You see the pictures laying on the counter?  Those were pictures of PawPaw Sibley's grandparents.  They were framed behind glass at his brother Herman's home.  Below, you see Herman and Claude (brothers) holding the antique image of their grandparents.  I took this picture then cropped the image for reproduction.  Terry's mom requested 3) 8x10 prints of the image.  She had wanted to give the copies to other  family members.  It worked out pretty good considering it is literally a picture of a picture behind glass.  In my opinion, the images printed a bit too light.  This happened because when I first had the 4x6 printed, I thought they were too dark.  I overadjusted.  I bought them anyway.  Later, I might try to get a better copy. 
 From this image, I cropped out the image below.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 154 of 365, Las Palmas yummy!

Terry and I went for lunch at Las Palmas.  Before that, he took me to get my acrylic nails full set.  I asked him if he wanted to come in and wait.  NO, no!!!  He said he was not going into that girl shop.  So, he dropped me off and went riding somewhere.  Oh, well.  He should have come in to get his MAN-i/ pedi.  If he ever does, he will be spoiled.  When he picked me up, he turned his truck in the opposite direction of home.  I wanted to know where we were going.  He said for me to just wait and see.  He probably was still trying to figure out where he wanted to go.  We ended up at Las Palmas.  I love this place.  The food is always good and the price is right.  He ordered a marguerita.  I had my camera with me.  Our photo challenge of the day is Motion.  I asked him to stir his drink for me.  I decreased my shutter speed to 1/15th of a second at f.5 to get this shot.  I didn't get any swirl of the drink but my straw blurred out with the motion.  I need to practice this more.  Anyway, it was cool to try. 
Here is Bella on the Cheerio box.  I don't know what the heck she was doing with this dumb empty box.  There used to be a little doggy bed under my computer desk.  I think she was soooo sleepy but wanted to stay where she could keep her eyes on me.  So, she drug this box into the hall and made it into her little bed.  She is a funny bunny, cat, dog.  Seriously, there are times when she looks just like a bunny and times she acts like a cat.  So we literally call her bunny, cat-dog.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 153 of 365, P is for Picking!

Today's photo challenge subject was:  Something that starts with P.  Well, PawPaw Sibley (Terry's dad) called to say that the corn was ready..."come get it!"  He had already picked a truck load of vegetables by the time I got to his house.  I racked up on about of 50 ears of fresh picked corn.  He also gave me a big mess of tomatoes, cucumbers and squash.  Yummy good summer eatin'!  He grows this huge garden every year.  Every year he says he going to cut it down. He is kinda like my mom.  She says that she doesn't know how to cook just a little bit.  PawPaw doesn't know how to grow just a little bit.  His gardens are always successful and the veggies are delicious.  We appreciate you PawPaw!
I was going though some engagement and bridal proof prints of my bride and groom that are getting married next weekend!  I can't wait.  I had their enlargements printed that will be displayed at their reception.  All I have to say is omgoodness!!!  So beautiful.  They will be proud of them.  I just know.  I love this couple.  They are the kindest, most wonderful and easy going, precious people.  I wish for them all the best in the whole wide world!   
So, for today's photo challenge, here is a beautiful
Picture in a Picture! 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 152 of 365, Little things that caught my eye

Loops, Lines, Squares and and yours truly.  I was walking into the library today and snapped this pic of my own reflection in the mirror tinted window..  Why?  just cuz I guess...:)   When I walked out with a passel of books in the crook of my arm, a few little garden flowers caught my attention.  Mom let me use her 50mm lens so I wanted to see what kind of bokeh and depth of field it could produce.  So, these random simple images are part of my photog exercise at the local library. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 150 of 365, Happy Birthday PawPaw John #87 !

Today, we celebrated my PawPaw's 87th birthday. He is a sweet, sweet grandpa.  Love ya PawPaw John!

My uncle came over with his hot new wheels!  He and his wife special ordered this camero.  I think he got it at the first of the year but this was my first time to see it up close.  He got it loaded to the gills!  (speaking of gills...This is my fisherman uncle.  One of these days, I want to go to the lake with him so that I can get some sunrise lake pictures.   

Let's see what's rumblin' under the hood that makes this a Super Sport edition! 

Then, when we got back home, I knew I had to gather up my stuff and pack it inside. Terry likes to keep his truck neat. No clutter junk in his world, Please! As I was getting out of the vehicle with my big ole purse and camera, I told him I would come back for my craft project stuff. "No, no, go ahead, I'll get it."
Awe, isn't that sweet of him to carry my craft project in for me? I am glad he did. Otherwise, I couldn't have turned around and took his picture. :)

Big Daddy had to set my craft project down so that he could open the door. He is so sweet. Now, hurry up Big Daddy. What's taking you so long to open the door? Let me in. geesh!