Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy birthday, Mom!

The cool thing about opening your own store is that you can do whatever you want... like hold an impromptu after-hours birthday party!

My parents are opening a Rita's water ice on Harbison in a few weeks (come visit!!) The store is mostly finished but not quite ready to open. My dad took my mom to dinner tonight for her birthday and then told her they had to "run by the store to turn off some machines"- we surprised her with cake and custard and a few friends.

Happy birthday Mom- love you!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A little bit sandy

Sometimes I get a little carried away. Not in a bad way, just in the way that I have to spend an hour cleaning sand out of my lens bag. And my lenses. And my jeans. And my hair. You know, cause when you're photographing three- and five-year-old sisters at the beach, rolling around in the sand might not be absolutely necessary, but it's absolutely fun. I am sure my camera hates me for it.

I shot Maddie and Molly's session in some beautiful cloudy weather at Myrtle Beach. I just love the light you get right after a storm. And Michelle always dresses her family so great for photos. I love their style- simple, clean, awesome.

We had a quick wardrobe change and then got some shots of Robbie and Michelle with their girls.

Lots of fun, as usual. Thanks guys!

Monday, April 27, 2009

... and common sense is a plus

There are moments when I just want to kick myself for not having my camera. Moments that I will never get back. Moments like Sunday evening as the sun was setting, driving down I-26 with Dylan in my parents' old Suburban and laughing at Riley and Oliver in the back. They looked so victorious as they stood with their front paws on the back seat and their ears flapping in the wind, tongues hanging out of their mouths, reveling in the joy of a day filled with adventures. It was picture perfect.

Just to be clear, that was the only moment I was interested in photographing from that day. Their wagging tails and flying ears.

I was not interested in photographing the moment after church, as I looked out the kitchen window into the backyard and discovered the dynamic duo frolicking happily about in rat poison they had dug out from under the shed.

I was not interested in photographing the multiple attempts to induce vomiting on recommendation of the emergency vet hotline.

I was not interested in photographing the phone call to our best friends traveling home from a weekend away, telling them that we were taking SUCH good care of their baby that we decided to take him to the hospital. You know, just cause we care. Oh and cause he ate rat poison.

I was not interested in photographing our three-hour wait to be seen at the puppy ER, or in photographing an increasingly cranky and hungry Dylan. It seems there is only so much happiness that Blackberry updates on the NFL draft can bring a person as you sit starving on a bench with two monsters pulling leashes in opposite directions.

I was not interested in photographing the parade of terrified pet-owners trying to carry their sick pets past loudly barking Riley and Oliver who had apparently deemed themselves Royal Guards of the Pet ER. For three hours.

I was not interested in photographing their sad little faces as we sent them off with strangers for treatment and headed out to finally find some food for ourselves. (For your information, "treatment" was force-feeding of activated charcoal to absorb any poison in their stomachs.)

I was not interested in photographing the bedraggled, charcoal-stained veterinary staff, or the black-streaked dogs that joyfully bounded out to greet us when we returned to pick them up two hours later. (Ok, maybe I would have liked a picture of that. That was very funny. That and a picture of the terrified faces of all the people in the waiting room as they heard Riley and Oliver coming down the hall.)

I believe the exact words of the vet tech were "they are a bunch of wild orangutans." Which is what I feel any true friendship should aspire to look like, really.

So no, it was not a picture perfect day. But it was a day that ended with two insanely lovable dogs that will be just fine, two insanely wonderful friends who actually still thanked us for dog-sitting, and two very tired Curtises who wish those dogs had just a tad more common sense.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wanted: Coordinated dogs with listening skills

Please explain to me why it is SO HARD to sit and stay as you are told??? Seriously, I don't get it. English is not a difficult language.

You would think that if you ask Dog 1 to sit and he obeys, since Dog 2 is standing right next to him you can say "sit" and Dog 2 will sit by Dog 1. But noooooooo. Dog 2 sits on top of Dog 1, then jumps up, spins in a circle, licks your camera lens, smears snot on your leg, and plops down ten feet away facing the wrong direction and looks over his shoulder at you with his eyes going two different ways. And then begins chewing on his foot with a vengeance. And by then Dog 1 is off digging a hole somewhere.

Now how is that going to make a nice picture?

Here at the Curtis Dog Hotel, we've been watching Oliver (aka Dog 2) while Wes and Sara are in Philly. He's such a klutz but lots of fun.

And as you can see, the closest I ever did get to a picture of them together was individual pictures of each displayed side-by-side. What is that? Oh, you're asking why our yard appears to be more dirt than grass? Yeah, we'd like to know, too. You'll have to take that up with our four-legged cave-digging friend.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Change of scenery

I keep thinking how much easier it would be to get up and go to work if EVERY day started with free Starbucks and a view of the sunrise over the ocean...

This was the view from my hotel room last week. I don't miss the busy conference, but I do miss this!

(Please excuse my terrible metering and resulting blown-out sun. Let's remember... this was SUNRISE. I was barely functioning. We're lucky I remembered to take the lens cap off.)

I know I have been a bad blogger lately, but life seems to be in overdrive these past few weeks. One of these days I am going to get a little sleep and then BAM I will rock your face off with more pictures.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm home

So I promised to blog from the beach... and then on top of being way busy, the hotel internet was down for three days.

So then I planned to blog this afternoon upon my return home... and then our car broke down 160 miles away.

Suffice it to say I am tired. I've started sorting through and editing images from my beach shoot on Wednesday and I am loving them! Here's one of my faves so far.


Monday, April 13, 2009

The One With No Pictures

What is that you say? You think I have been watching too much FRIENDS lately? Hmm what would make you think that?

Lest you think I have nothing better to do that sit on my couch and watch season after season on DVD, let me assure you that I am a very busy person who does not watch much TV. I must admit though, an episode or two of FRIENDS a couple nights a week can be quite therapeutic. Just ask my sister- she borrowed a whole season to watch on the couch over the weekend while she recovered from surgery. And she begged me for a FRIENDS marathon when she came to stay with me last week while Dylan was out of town. So really, all this is Julie's fault. It has nothing to do with me being obsessed or owning eight of the ten seasons on DVD.

Anyway, in the non-sitcom world, I am heading to the beach this week! Now before anyone gets too excited, let me clarify that this is a conference for work and not any sort of vacation. But you can get a little excited because the weather should be beautiful, I am squeezing in a photo shoot while I'm there, and Dylan will be joining me for the weekend. The conference ends Saturday so we get a one-night mini vacay! 

I've got millions of things to do to get ready to go, so I'd better sign off. Oh and I'm almost late for my appointment on the couch- The Hills comes on in three minutes! So pathetic, but I so love that show.

Next blog will be from the beach!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Better late than never!

Even though he is now one month old, I am so excited to share these images of newborn baby Kres.

When I did Neely's maternity and family shoot back in December, there was much speculation about whether the newest member of the family would be a boy or girl. On March 9 their little surprise arrived- FINALLY, a boy!

I don't think I've ever been so excited to wake up at 5 a.m. as I was the day we drove to Bluffton for this photo session. I think I got a little carried away with this post, but I just loved so many from our full-day session. Without further ado, here is Kres, the most precious 11-day-old you have ever seen.

Look how excited he was- he even SMILED for me!

I don't normally do much fancy post-processing on my images, but I liked this image with a touch of the vintage look

So I was really excited to have Kres model my new baby hats. Turns out he looked ridiculous because he was way too tiny, so we turned that hat over and stuck the baby inside it instead. Maybe at his 3-month session Kres can wear the hat on his head instead of his diaper.

This one fit him a little better, but really still gigantic! (Both hats are the fabulous Tot-Toppers I keep telling you about.)

Whispering secrets to big sister Macey

These girls love to snuggle their baby brother

I LOVE this sweet moment just before naptime

"What a gorgeous baby!" you might be saying. "Where does such a baby come from?"

Well it makes sense when your mom looks like this... seriously, one of my most all time favorite pictures. Ever.

And here is proud daddy! (Notice both father and son are rocking their Ohio State gear.)

Well, there you have it. It took me a while to actually post these, but hopefully it was worth the wait!

I love this family, I love this baby, and I love this job. Happy weekend!

Friday, April 3, 2009


While I wrap up editing of my most recent newborn shoot, here is a tasty little morsel to hold you over.

Meet Kres:

Seriously, I could just eat this child up.

I'm sure Dylan will be glad when I am finished so I stop interrupting his video-game time with "oh my gosh LOOK at this precious face" every twelve seconds. I am in love with him.

And Neely, I promise I am hurrying!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The houseguests

This morning I cleaned twelve muddy paws, one by one, all while being attacked by slobbery kisses, howls, cries and flying fur, and then served three varieties of breakfast, careful to make sure no one stole another's food.

It's official, I am ready to raise triplets. (Except I hope my kids wouldn't have fur. Also, I hope I don't have triplets.)

Dylan and I are dog-sitting while my parents are out of town, so our one angelic dog has morphed into three. And when I say "angelic" what I really mean is "relatively easy to handle when there is only one of him."

With our visiting canines, life is slightly different. The paws are only ever half cleaned, the meals are only partly eaten before something more exciting happens, all toys must be hidden or there will be fights (the bone is always juicier in the other mouth), the back fence is not nearly is secure as it once appeared to be, the house is full of strange odors, and the neighbors are more terrified than ever.

But despite the multiple backyard jailbreaks and fugitive situations, it's been fun. Let me make a few introductions. Of course, we all know Riley:

And this is Chelsea, a lovable (but neurotic) mess:

(Also, you should know that picture was taken a few days ago. She's currently a muddier, tanglier version of her former self.)

And finally Tucker, who has a thyroid problem and a lazy eye (and maybe a tad too much empty space up in the old noggin):

We can thank him for starting the unsightly new backyard excavation project, which a joyful Riley has continued with gusto.

We tried really hard, but after lots of treats, stern commands, and a few choke-holds, Dylan and I gave up on our attempt at lining the three up for a precious smiling puppy picture. It was hard enough to even get a headshot of each.

I'll instead close this post with a picture of all three, pretending to be well-behaved little soldiers lined up in a row, but really only a nanosecond away from abandoning the "sit" position and leaping through the air for the treat Dylan is holding above their heads.