Mommy Monday: Stunt Boy

Hi Mommies (and not-mommies)! 

So, I ran across this set of shots while I was looking for some for today’s post. Even though they’re quite a few months old (1st clue, he’s wearing jeans & it’s currently 113* here in Phoenix), they made me smile so I decide to post them anyway.

These shots were some of the 1st with my new Sigma 70-200  f/2.8.  It was dusk and he was moving fast!  Translation: fast shutter speed, wide open aperture.  Since I couldn’t get below f/2.8 with this lens and it was getting dark out, my ISO was up around 1000.  You can tell that from the grainy shots.

Normally, I would shoot something like this with a 50mm. But one of the ways I force myself to practice with a particular lens is to not bring any others.  He was having such a good time – what’s a mom to do but make do with whatcha gots!

Here were my settings:  1/400, f/2.8, ISO  1000 at 70mm. Just so we’re all clear – yes, I was run over in the last shot but it was worth it!  … and now, my Wild Thing the stunt boy!







Photog Friday: Photo Exercise #1

Last Friday of the month will be a photo exercise!

 The idea is this, I’ll post an exercise and provide a place to upload a link to your photos for the following month.  So, you will have until the end of the next month to post your photo(s).  The exercises will mostly be “mommy based” but you don’t have to be a mommy to play!  The exercises will be based on some being posted for Me Ra Koh’s Soar Sisters (which includes yours truly).  I’m hoping these will help you learn a few skills as well as help me stretch & grow!

So, let’s get started!!

Photo Exercise #1 (July)

This exercise will focus on the “art of storytelling”.  Storytelling has more of an impact at lower apertures, so if you have a 50mm or macro lens available to you – use it!  A lower aperture will give you the pretty, creamy, bokeh (or blur) effect.  If you don’t have a 50mm, use the lowest aperture your lens is capable of.  If you are working with a point and shoot, Me Ra recommends you use the flower or portrait ICON.  Get lots of distance between you and the subject and shoot in Av or Manual mode.


Pick 2 different people. One will be a kid and one your husband (or significant other).  If you don’t have the later, use a friend, someone your age or older.  (the point is using 2 people with a large gap in age)

You will shoot 5 details that matter in their lives.  Try using different f-stops and compare.  Pick a favorite f-stop and decide why it ended up being your favorite.

Take some notes on how you decided what mattered to them.  Did you ask them any fact-finding questions? What questions did you ask to learn more about them? Jot those down.  Write down which persons details were easier? Where they momentary details or timeless details?

If you end up really excited about the assignment – capture 5 details about your own life.  How do they compare to the other 2 peoples?  Were you surprised about what YOUR details ended up being?

Be prepared to share 2 shots from each person you chose.  Also, share the photos with the person you chose, they may be surprised how important something really is that they may give little thought to on a daily basis.  I wish I had started this assignment weeeell before Father’s Day – would have made a GREAT photo book gift for dad … but, an everyday-I-love-you-gift is nice too!!

The assignment may take you all month or it may take you 1 afternoon.  My hope is that you see how photographs capture the stories of our lives.  The DETAILS are a significant part of that story.   A lot of times in life we miss these little details.  We may not realize how important they are until we see them captured in a photograph.

ok, so that’s it – have fun! You have until the end of July to post (it may take me THAT long to work out any posting bugs!)  Please don’t forget, this is the 1st time I’ve tried something like this so bear with me!  It may take a few assignments for me to make it all go smoothly!

Upload a link to your photos below via Linky Tools or email 2 photos to: (please put Assignment# in subject) so I can upload them for you.  Feel free to use the ‘comments’ to add any additional story to your photos.

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Click here to enter your link and view the entire list of entered links…

First Beach Session – San Diego Photographer

Other than taking snapshots of Reed on the beach, I hadn’t really had the opportunity to shoot against the water.  It was a new experience!  It was much different from shooting the desert or grass backgrounds that I’ve been doing. 

I’m grateful that this family was willing to be my guinea pigs!  I learned a lot during this session as far as settings and how the water would affect my metering.

I’d like to say ‘Thank You’ to Lisa and her kids for being patient with me!

These were shot in front of the cove at the Paradise Resort. BEAUTIFUL location!

Mommy Monday: Happy Father’s Day

I’d like to dedicate this Mommy Monday post to Father’s Day. 

Hope you had a great weekend & got to honor a dad in your life!

Some of my favorite family photos are Reed & his Daddy playing!  I love to document the fun, the giggles, and the wrestling that my 2 boys share.  And once they start playing, I get out-of-the-way!!  I’m always the one who ends up hurt!  But I don’t mind stepping back and just watching, it always makes me smile.  Reed has such a great daddy!  God hand-picked them for each other … daddy & his mini-me.  I just love them both so much!

Here are some of my favorite “Daddy & Me” shots – enjoy!

Photog Friday: Kodak PlaySport

Happy Friday! Thanks for stopping by my blog … for today’s tip we’ll talk a little bit about gear.

Those who have seen my camera bag know that I’m not the “latest & greatest” type of gear gal.  I decide what I need (hear that, need not want), then I research the heck out of it, then I shop it to death so as not to pay a single penny more than necessary – mostly because I ‘ have an extra penny to waste!

So, with vacation & summer coming I starting thinking about how to get shots at the pool, on the beach, and at the splashpad.  Sure, I could stand back and zoom in but what about while we are out on the kayak or if I’m in the pool with him?  Well, the perfect solution popped in front of me in a magazine!  The Kodak PlaySport – it’s a camera, it’s a video recorder … AND its waterproof! Perfect.

I’m okay with the pictures not being as sharp as I’d normally like.  Being able to get video without freaking out about staying dry is SO worth the 149 bucks!  We took it on vacation, put it in the pool, got it in the ocean, and brought it along for last weekend’s kayaking trip.  LOVE it!

So, here are some of the pictures (straight out of the camera – no edits) so you can see for yourself.  And for those of you on my FB friends list, I posted a video from this same adventure taken with this little camera.

Rachel’s 1st Communion

Recently, I had the pleasure of capturing a special little girl on a special day!  Rachel looked like a princess bride in her handmade First Communion dress. 

She was so excited about her big day … I was thankful to be able to capture some photographs of it for her.

I know a proud grandfather was smiling down from heaven that day seeing how beautiful she looked!

Congrats to not-so-little-anymore Rachel!

 … and thank you to her family for allowing me to share it with you!

Mommy Monday: Boy on the Beach

Happy Mommy Monday!

Well,  its been a crazy week of trying to get caught up after a long vacation.  I think I’m finally back on track.

Today I was able to go through some of the shots of the cutest kid in a wetsuit you’ve ever seen!

I had 2 objectives in mind for shooting these: capture some creative shots of him in his borrowed wetsuit & capture some details.  Next year, he will not only look different but will have outgrown the suit.  And let’s face it, soon he’ll realize his little watercan is pink! 

There were TONS of shots but I forced myself to pick some favorites.  Enjoy!

This last one  I think is my favorite.  It fills my head with memories of how he carried those pieces of seaweed around all afternoon.  He showed everyone the “fishes” that he caught.  Later, we found the “fishes” stuffed in the control panel of the air conditioner … he’s such a goof.  I just love this kid!  

Thank you Lord for such joy!  I love love love being his mommy!

Sunshine Angels Event

A group of volunteer photographers are engaged in a community event benefitting foster children residing in group homes in Phoenix area. These children move from home to home and often times miss picture day at their schools. I, along with sixteen other photographers, will be volunteering time and talent connecting with these children to capture their genuine expressions.

We would like to offer these children a portrait package and a 5×7 frame. The Sunshine Angels non-profit org is helping in this effort (donate at A local color lab (Colormark) has offered to discount the lab fees by 50%. Several volunteers are also working on obtaining the frames at a discount or if we’re lucky – FREE!

Even with these generous offers there will be some expenses providing images and frames to nearly 170 kids. Event takes place July 14th. Know that these children appreciate your support in making their lives a little brighter! If you would like to make a donation, please email me.

Thanks for your support!!

Photog Friday: Darkness!

Happy Photog Friday! Today’s post is inspired by Me Ra Koh, who is one of my favorite photographers for inspiration & motivation!
This week we are exploring finding beauty in darkness.  Since darkness is the absence of light, it helps us see how bright light can really be.
Almost every mommy has taken the kids to a place that is just too dark for pictures.  One of those places is Reed’s favorite, the aquarium!  He LOVES to see fish and things that live under the water.  Even at a really high ISO, its pretty tricky to get any shots in a dark place like that.
What do you do? Work with the darkness!  Some of my new favorite types of shots are silhouettes.  You see them a lot on the beach with a sunset in the background but they can be created anytime the background is brighter than your subject.  Silhouettes use the darkness to define you subject – you’ll love it! 
Here are a some shots from our trip to Sea World.  I asked Reed and his cousin Luke to get up on the sill and we sang & clapped as they danced the dance, dance dance de dance!  They had a great time and I got some shots that are near & dear to my heart – my boys having fun!

Dancing Fever 1

Dancing Fever 2

Dancing Fever 3

Star Fish!

How did I get these shots? In manual (do it!) with a 17-50mm lens.  I metered for the light (the water in this case) and fired away.  If you’re not sure about metering, make sure to come to the next workshop (early July, date to be announced).  The settings were, dancing: ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/320 (higher shutter speed to stop dancing in action) and star fish: ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/60 (this area was much darker and not as well backlit).

If you have any questions, please email me!

A Loving Family

Family sessions are always fun when the family is easy-going … sometimes the sessions can be stressful, but they don’t have to be.  This laid back family made my job easy.  I love it when I can get some natural feelings captured.  Not everyone is at ease with a camera pointed at them, but this family was GREAT to work with. 

… and we had a lot of laughs, despite the almost 3 digit temperatures! 

Here are some of my favorite shots from the session … Enjoy!

What a great looking Family!

Found a little Duckling on the Dock

Patient and loving Sister

Such Loving Parents

Love this relaxed feel