She WILL Steal Your Moves

A few weeks ago, I shot some images of my niece, Jess.  (See post here.)

Hannah thought her shoot was so beautiful, she asked me to photograph her JUST like I photographed Jess.

Two weeks after she saw Jess’ shoot, Hannah busted out her exact poses:

I took Jess’ pictures with a strobe in a soft box and I took Hannah’s pictures with my SB900 speed light with the Lightsphere Diffuser.  Can you see how the light is a bit warmer on Jess and colder on Hannah?

Just so you know, Hannah is TOTALLY prepared to STEAL your poses when you come over for a shoot.  🙂

The Family Over-Achiever

M.D.?  Check.

Working on his MBA?  Check.

Runs barefoot like a crazy chicken everyday? Check.

0% body fat? Check.

Ran a 1/2 marathon with just hours notice?  Check.

Since the “over-achiever” spot is taken in our family, I’m happy to take the “please-help-me-get-through-this-day-without-a-melt-down” spot.

David ran his first 1/2 marathon on Saturday!  He and his friend decided to run it just a few days before.  Unfortunately, the roads were wet (which is very, very bad for barefoot running as it softens your skin and can rip it up easily) so he ran in his Vibrams.

He had a great time and ran it in 1 hour and 46 minutes.

Did I mention he was 1/2 way through his 1/2 marathon before I even rolled out of bed?

Yeah.  I felt super productive that day.

Is now a good time to mention that we’re running in the Ragnar Relay?  (It is a relay race where you and 11 of your sweaty friends will run about 200 miles over a 24 hour period.)

ME.  RUNNING.  YES.  ME.

I blame David’s sweet talking ways and peer pressure for convincing me to run in this!  I have fun friends doing this!  It’s going to be a party!  I’m only doing for the socialization you know . . . you know I don’t run!

I am so embarrassed to admit how out of shape I am.

To stay in my target hart range, my runs are more like speed walks with bouts of running.

People, I’m currently running a 15 minute mile.

I know that doesn’t even make sense, because how can you RUN a 15 minute mile?

You can’t.  You literally have to WALK it.

Oh my.  Please don’t let any of my team members be reading this post!

I SWEAR I’ll get my butt in gear!  I have nine weeks to make it happen!

On a more random note . . .

I had David pose for me for one of my technical assignments this week.  Honestly, this image was one of the hardest assignments I’ve had at AAU!  My octabox is really big (it is 6 feet in diameter) so it is challenging to fit it in the right space.   The key light was relatively easy to set up . . . the back light however . . . was a nightmare!  Let’s just say that after about an hour of moving my back light all over and trying several test shots, and trying every angle, I know of 278 ways to NOT place the bounce light in my kitchen!  I ended up placing my light in the dining room (it also joins up with the kitchen) and I bounced it off the ceiling in the far corner.  Would you have ever guessed this image was that complicated to light?

Since we had the strobes set up, I took a pictures of Paris as well.

She is such a cute dog.  I can almost feel her soft fur on my monitor!

Even though Paris is like 110 in dog years, she’s still got it!  That dog will go to any heights for a treat!

There you have it.  Even my dog is an “over-achiever.”

The Blossoms Are Here!

In case you were wondering . . .

I’m having a FABULOUS TIME!

(This flowering tree is just in front of my sister’s house.  I affectionately refer to her condo as “Hettle’s Cottage.”)

I miss David and the kids terribly though.  I’ll be home soon enough.  🙂

When Hannah found out she was’t going on this trip with me, she asked me to bring her back something very special.  When I asked her what that very special something could be she replied:  (Brace yourselves people!)

CHOPSTICKS.

Yes.  I did not make that up.

So, I can proudly say my daughter was bought off for a free pair of chopsticks!  She also asked for some “dangling” earrings.

Well . . . DONE and DONE.

We have a full day planned today and part of tomorrow (then I fly home which seems to take all day).

See  you all soon!  I’m excited to share my pictures with all of you!

Nikon Lighting Class

I really do try to keep my professional work separate from my personal work, and post it on my photo blog, but sometimes I just get too excited about some things that I just have to share them on this blog too!

Last week I attended an advanced lighting class at Pictureline that was sponsored by Nikon.

Basically, I was in a room FULL of Nikon shooters in a photo class catered to Nikon equipment.

I felt right at home!

We photographed different objects using different lighting techniques.  Can I just say how much I LOVED attending this class?  This class was my first photo class outside of AAU, and it was so fun!  I’ve already signed up for another class later this month!

First, we did the “strawberry drop.”  To hear how I shot these images and to see more of them bigger and better, check out my photo blog.

I literally squealed when I got this shot!

Next we have the water drop . . .

I’d never photographed water drops before, so it was very educational and exciting to learn how to do it!  It involved a #2 pencil, and a tungsten white balance to make this shot happen!

Paint on a brush . . .

It was interesting to learn how to get this shot for sure!

This flower shot is not that interesting (to me) but the technique I learned on how to keep the background BLACK when strobes fire was PRICELESS.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come away from a studio shoot scratching my head on WHY the black background doesn’t stay BLACK when used with strobes.

Really, go check out my photo blog for more on this shoot!

Giant Octobox? Check.

I’ve added some upgrades to my equipment and my software.  Everything arrived within a few days and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and under qualified at the same time.

Photoshop CS5?  Check.

Lightroom 3?  Check.

Giant 5 foot octabox?  Check.

2400 watts per second Power Box?  Check.

Two powerful strobes?  Check.

What am I going to do with a soft box this size?!

Looks like I’m now prepared to photograph a group of 100+!  🙂

Wishing I Was In Beijing

I had planned to be in China right now.  Beijing to be exact.

My good friends, Leigh and Ray (Leigh went to medical school on Saba.  I first met Leigh at her house early in the year 2007 and we instantly bonded over our love for trash mags, and TMZ.  YES.  I JUST ADMITTED THAT.  AGAIN.) are in Beijing adopting their son.  He is now eight years old, and they have both had a miraculous journey to get to this point.  Leigh asked me last year if I would accompany them on their trip and photograph their journey, and of curse I was in!  Unfortunately, international adoptions aren’t free, and due to extra last minute expenses with the adoption, an all expense paid trip for me to photograph their adoption in Beijing had to be nixed.

We were both so sad.  🙁

Since China, is well . . . China, (aka COMMUNIST) Leigh does not have access to her blog or facebook while they are in Beijing.  I have been receiving daily emails (along with 100 other people of course) documenting their journey.

I cry during each email.  A LOT.

There is no doubt that God has his hand in all things.  Leigh and Ray are such a great couple, I’m so glad they finally have their son!  I will post a link to her blog when she returns from China so you can read more of their story!

Commercial Projects I’ve Been Working On . . .

School started this week, and at the beginning of every semester, I find myself trying to find the right balance being a mother, wife, student, and photographer all in the same day.  🙂  On top of the new semester, I’ve had three commercial clients just in the last few days!  In general, commercial work is on a tight deadline, with pictures needing to be done A.S.A.P., so it is rush, rush, rush!  While I can’t share everything yet, I can show a few samples of what I’ve been doing (since I obviously have been neglecting my blog for a few days!).

First, I shot this newborn session a few weeks ago and she was SO EASY.  The entire session lasted about 30 minutes which is really unheard of for newborn sessions. To see the full session, check out my Salt Lake Photography photo blog.

I am really excited to share this shoe with you . . .

This shoe is from Stem Footwear and it will be available in August.  It is a minimalist running shoe with a wide toe box, and zero arch support.  It is extremely light weight at 6.3 oz, and very flexible.

See?  FLEXIBLE!  (I’d like to see you bend this way!)  I will post more from this shoot on my photo blog in the next couple of days.  If you check out Stem Footwear’s site, you will see more images from the shoot and more styles.

On Tuesday, I was in Midway at an all day food shoot for Inn on the Creek Foods.

Yes.  Food.  YUM.

These pre-packaged soups and meals are available at Costco and Walmart ALL OVER THE USA!  (Once, when I was in Texas, I bought this brand at my local Walmart, so this is pretty exciting for me!)

So, my friendly blog friends, you just might be picking up a package of this lovely salad at your local Costco in a few months!  I’ll be sure to photograph the actual product on the shelf when it hits stores!

This was my first commercial job shooting food and I learned several things which I will post on my photo blog soon.  First thing I learned?  You go home VERY full after a food shoot! You taste everything (the chef will insist!) and you come home smelling like food.  🙂

Oh . . . I have one more product shoot I can’t wait to share with you . . . but gosh dang it, it is still in the confidential stage, so I can’t show you anything yet.  This product will also be available at Costco  . . . Looks like I should renew my membership there!

On a very random note . . . Hannah auditioned to act in a commercial last month and I just found out she got the lead part!  She will be starring in a potty training commercial that will air online and on TV!  The commercial shoots next month, so I’ll be sure to post the commercial when it becomes available!

Happy Birthday To Me!

So . . .

I am one year older, and hopefully wiser too.  I just turned 33 this weekend.

THIRTY THREE, PEOPLE.  I used to joke about “thirty something” people who could shop at Eddie Bauer (and just for the record, I had to google “Eddie Bauer” because the 12 different ways I spelled it was not recognized by me or spell check) because you had to be thirty something to shop there.

Well folks, looks like I am officially thirty something, but I still cannot bring myself to shop there!

Hannah picked out the most beautiful cake she could find.  She LOVED this cake and David said there was no other cake that even came close to being as beautiful as this cake in Hannah’s opinion.

Brian called (for you new readers, that’s my twin) to wish me a happy birthday and we talked about our birthday plans over the phone.  They were so similar, it was erie . . .

Me: We went to a model train show at Thanksgiving point.

Him: Took a private plane ride around San Francisco.

Me: Spent the afternoon watching Modern Family with David while the kids napped

Him: Attended the Apple convention in SF.

Me: Ate dinner with David at Rubios (they now advertise their calories on the menu . . . it was eye opening and shocking all at once!) and saw the movie, “The Tourist.”

Him: Ate dinner at the Ritz Carlton with some friends and probably a few A-listers.

See?  It was like WE PLANNED THE SAME THINGS!

This is what he looks like now at the ripe age of 33:

And this is me and my family on my birthday:

I can’t get over how darling Dallin looks in the pic below . . .

And now he’d like to show you his orange . . .

And now Hannah would like to love him to pieces  . . .

Where’s David you ask?  He was running barefoot on the treadmill.  He popped out 8 miles like it was NOTHING.  Is now a good time to mention that he dropped 25 pounds recently?  Yeah.  I know what you’re thinking . . .WHERE DID HE HAVE 25 POUNDS TO LOSE?!

I know.  My thoughts exactly.  Somehow, his body found 25 pounds to drop and he is sporting a six pack and runs about 30 mile a week–barefoot of course.

David and the kids made my birthday very fun, low key, and special.  I have a wonderful family, and for that I am happy I get to celebrate 72 more birthdays!  (Remember that age calculator?  This is how I know I have 72 more to go!)