Monday, January 31, 2011

An engaging way to begin the week

I'm going to blog every day this week!

And when I say week, I mean a normal-people workweek, like M-F. There will be no blogging over the weekend for this girl. I don't work normal-people hours, but I think sometimes I am entitled to a normal-people week, and I declare this weekend blogless. After all, it IS the Super Bowl. I may not be a Packers or a Steelers fan*, but I am a fan of football, nachos, beer, and pizza.

(*Let me be clear- I mean that neither of them are "my team." That doesn't mean I have no opinion in this match-up. I am very much anti-Steelers, and fairly neutral when it comes to Green Bay, so I am 100% going for the Packers.)

We begin our adventure today with an engagement session. I know, right, I never do those! But this was neat. Kami and I worked at Baskin Robbins together back when we were in high school and college in South Carolina. She's in Ohio now and her sweet fiance Chad is stationed at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, so since he had a little time off over Christmas we all met up for some photo time. Their sweet puppy Rio came along, too!

They were warned me that they were not photogenic. They lied. Commentary will be brief since the kiddo just woke up, but I know you just want the pictures anyway. Enjoy my favorites from their session.

Not many people can look this beautiful upside down

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thank goodness vintage is "in"

Raise your hand if you are the worst DIY-er ever.

Seriously, right here. We can't all be Young House Love. Especially me. And here's why.

It's been one of those weeks. I have an incredibly long to-do list, and I start every day with the best of intentions, and somehow at the end of the day nothing is scratched off and more stuff is added. Exhibit A: I have been preparing the same blog post every day since Monday, but it has still not appeared on this blog. It's not that hard, people- type the words, upload the pictures, click publish. And yet- nothing.

Then on top of that is the standard household to-do list, which I am pretty sure is never completed till you're dead. Even that was a failure. I thought, "Sure, I've got five minutes and we've only got two cabinets in the entire house. I'm just going to install these child-proof latches real quick so my kid doesn't chew on cleaning supplies." Ninety minutes, one destroyed drill bit and many broken latches later, I left it all in a pile on the kitchen floor for the man of the house to deal with when he got home. (This should have been a clear reminder that in my case do-it-yourself is destroy-it-yourself, but I forged on.)

More and more stress resulted in less and less productivity. I finally came to the conclusion yesterday that the main cause of my slump, at least when it comes to my business, is my office. Since November it has basically become the dumping ground for, well, everything. Dirty laundry, clean laundry, bills, papers, an old TV, diapers, a dog, a cat, dog fur, cat fur, the ironing board, trash, junk mail, empty luggage, baby toys, etc. I actually had to relocate my laptop to the living room and my camera gear to my bedroom because there was no room left, and those are the two things that should REALLY be living in the office.

I kept refusing to clean the office because I had so many more important things to accomplish (hi taxes), but we all see where that got me. Dylan was home today (thanks to the fluffy goodness dumped on us during last night's thundersnorm), so I took advantage of the extra help with the kiddo and tackled project Office Excavation.

I was on a roll. I got a lot cleaned. And I threw a lot away. And I vacuumed up allllll the fur. And then I started rearranging. Ooops. And then I decided I needed new furniture. Double ooops. I was about to grab my keys and rush to IKEA (stubbornly ignoring the budgetary warning in my head), but Dylan was still shoveling out the car. Thankfully, I was going nowhere.

So I did the next best thing. I decided I would save money, be creative, and make my own furniture. I marched down to the basement, found an old TV cabinet from Dylan's college apartment and a half-used can of paint, and went to town. For the record, the paint was from a coffee table I DIYed that came out very badly.

It's weird. I am so incredibly meticulous about some things, like washing the dishes. I develop slight anxiety watching someone else wash them, because ohmygosh if he holds the wine glass that way while he rinses it is going to leave a fingerprint. But when it comes to redoing furniture? I get so excited about making something old new again, and I start working really carefully, and then I realize I've bought the wrong paint or the wrong hardware or the drilled the holes in the wrong spot and then about five minutes later I don't care and am just ready for it to be done. I rush to finish and shrug and say, "Oh well, it's not like I bought it somewhere, people can't expect it to be perfect."

Tonight, I just skipped ahead to the end stage. I started painting already ready to be done. Turns out painting in a poorly lit basement is awesome, because it's really hard to see all the imperfections. But two coats later was still REALLY obvious that it wasn't probably a paintable surface, and I didn't really use the right kind of paint, and I really should have removed the cabinet doors and painted them separately. OH WELL. It's not like anyone has to look at it but me. Note, this is not the attitude of a proper DIY-er. I am hoping that the streaky, see-through result gives it a vintage look. (Yes, I know "vintage" and "crap" are different.)

Why is this post so long? Why am I still writing about nothing? Why are there no pictures of anything? I'm so sorry. Can I blame the paint fumes? I feel fairly certain that basements don't count as "well-ventilated areas."

At the end of the day, despite my failed project, I do feel little more sane. I've still got some work to do to get organized, but I am happy to report that I am typing from my cleared-off desk at this very moment. Hooray! And tomorrow I'm lugging Streaky Cabinet up here to join me, so I can look at him every day and remember not to do this any more. I've had big plans to turn an old coffee table into a bench, but I think we'll be scratching that. For now anyway.

Here's hoping the weekend is full of organization, relaxation, and cookies, and that I'll be ready to hit the ground running Monday morning.

Night night.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Snow angel

If you're wondering who that perfect little nose belongs to, his name is Mason. Melissa and Justin are good friends of mine and I was so honored to meet and photograph their precious little boy at seven days old. He was an absolute angel throughout the whole shoot. Get ready to be waaayy jealous of how beautiful this family is.

Um, can we get a clean up on Aisle 5? Every time I look at this baby I turn into a big melty puddle on the floor. We're going to need a mop by the end of this post. Oh, this boy is just beautiful.

We did Mason's session in early December, and about halfway through it started snowing. It felt like magic to me. I've developed a mild obsession with B&W images lately, and the soft, snowy light coming through the nursery curtains did not help me to control it.

See? I told you, they are seriously gorgeous. I may or may not have gone overboard with choosing my favorites. But look at that smile- JUST like his daddy!

This image gives away how behind I am on my blogging, but I love it and wanted to share anyway.

Like most newborn sessions, this was done in their home, but I was so excited to meet Mason and see my friends that I didn't really think about the travel too much. I love to travel for sessions, so sometimes I forget to be reasonable. It was one of those things like, "Yeah, Virginia and Maryland are right next to each other. Cool, no problem." Note to future self: Christiansburg, VA is not a daytrip.

Was this little snugglebug worth an 11-hour roundtrip drive on a Saturday just for his photo session? Absolutely. In the future, will I plan an overnight break for such occasions? You bet. Cause by the end I felt kinda like this:

Can't wait till my next visit when I can bring my little boy along to meet his new pal. : ) Happy weekend!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Baby Story

Once upon a time, there was a momma-to-be named Lindsay. Her husband was Will. And they were happy.

They found out they were having a little boy and he was due in March and they were so excited.

I was excited, too. Because they are my friends and they live down the block and Brody gets a playmate, but also because their last name is Story. Yep, that's right. A Baby Story. THAT JUST HAPPENED.

Anyway, Lindsay and Will loved every little inch that her belly grew.

They were so excited that they couldn't wait till after Christmas for their maternity session, so we did it in November when that belly was still tiny. After all, they needed a good Christmas card picture!

They poured lots of time and energy into preparing the nursery and getting ready for their little bundle, as many parents do, but they made sure that they didn't lose sight of each other. Yay for love.

They named that little boy but they are keeping it a secret, as hard as the rest of us are trying to figure it out. I won't stop guessing- I have quite the list.

I can't really finish this story yet cause the baby is not here, but I suspect they will all live happily ever after. So for now, The End.

{I know we've already been over this, but seriously. A Baby Story. My first thought when I found out Lindsay was pregnant back in July was "Yay, I am so happy for you guys!" My second thought was, "Oh my gosh what a great name for a blog post!" True story.}

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy dogs and happy humans

I don't often lead off with my favorite photo from the session, but today I am. Because it is my favorite and I want to look at it first.

Honey and Fleckles are two very happy dogs. And why wouldn't they be? They get to live with Nichole and Eli, two of my favorite people.

Nichole started looking around her office one day a few months go and realized that not only was she missing a picture of Fleckles on display, she was missing a picture of her husband. Ooops. When her co-workers stopped by she had nothing to show them but Honey. Sad. : (

We gathered the dogs and husband and headed out to Patterson Park to rectify this situation one glowing November afternoon, and rectify it we did. I LOVE sessions like this... just normal people being their normal selves living their normal lives.

This shot normally would have gotten tossed when I was editing, but I took one look at Fleckles and died laughing and knew I had to keep it.

I am not a huge fan of the term "furbabies", but I am a fan of doggies that are very much a part of the family like these. This series is my other favorite.

I had to laugh because even though I was photographing good friends of mine, I went into this session a little nervous. I don't work with couples that much and most of my dog experience is with my own, so I felt a little out of my element.

About 30 seconds in I realized that photographing a couple with two dogs is about the same as photographing a couple with two toddlers, except that with dogs you get to use a leash. The general public tends to frown upon leashing toddlers.

And this was also great because a few short weeks later I photographed another couple with a dog (coming soon to a blog near you)! Thanks to Eli and Nichole for being my guinea pigs. : )

Happy Friday!