Wedding: Holly and Keidrick

Holly was one of (if not the very first) my first friends when I moved to Oregon, and later we were roommates for a little over a year before she moved to Colorado. She is a godly, beautiful and caring woman who I am blessed to know. I was honored to be her wedding photographer, and it renewed my respect for the excellent wedding photographers out there. It’s way harder than it looks!

Holly and Keidrick were introduced by a mutual friend. I had not met Keidrick before this visit, but he seems like a great guy. I’m very happy for Holly, and of course Keidrick is a lucky man. Here is a small sampling from the many photos of the day.

Getting ready…

I don’t know about you, but I like seeing how wedding hair is done.

Holly and Keidrick opted to see each other before the ceremony so we could do some of the portraits beforehand. This is when they saw each other for the first time that day.

They were married in the unique and lovely Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel in Colorado Springs.

We had a few minutes for some outdoor portraits after the ceremony. Oh how I love natural light!

I had to include this photo since I spotted these deer on the Academy grounds on my way to the reception. 😀 You know how I love deer sightings.

Time for the reception!

It was a beautiful wedding and day (even the weather cooperated!). Congratulations, Holly and Keidrick!


Mom’s visit

My mom visited me this weekend, and I was just telling her how today has been very satisfying in a Simple Pleasures sort of way.

After church we visited the nearby wildlife refuge and saw some funny American Coots and various other birds.

Then we came home and watched the second half of my favorite movie, Pride and Prejudice, with the heater going and pillows and blankets on the couch. It was very lazy and relaxing. Oh and we ate Girl Scout cookies. 🙂

After the movie we saw wood ducks swimming around and eventually saw two young deer behind my place.

Finally, we cooked a lobster dinner! I had purchased two lobster tails on a great sale, and I had never made them before. We read some instructions and worked together to figure them out. I made some rice pilaf and zucchini to go with them, and I finally opened the bottle of grape juice my dad bought me at the Spruce Goose museum.

I need to post wedding photos (and NM trip photos!), and I will soon. I’m about halfway through them, making basic edits and narrowing them down. It’s a process. I just figured I’d stop in with a few quick photos from the day since I haven’t blogged in awhile.

This mallard was jealous of all the photos I was taking of wood ducks and deer, so I thought I’d give him a little recognition. They may be common, but they’re still pretty!

Have a wonderful week. 🙂 I think Mom and I are going to watch my butterfly documentary now. It’s been a DVD-y weekend for me!

Valentine’s Day

I’m suddenly feeling very grateful for all the nice things people have done for me, and even though that seems more like a Thanksgiving post, I thought I’d list a few thank-yous here (and I know I’m missing A BUNCH). This is just off the top.

1. Thanks to any friends and family who have been willing to let me take pictures of them, whether for practice or because they needed them for some purpose. As much as I hate having my own picture taken, I extra appreciate your cooperation.

2. Thanks to Dania (and anyone else) for visiting me several times in the past year or so! I was just thinking about how fun that was to have her company. Dania, I hope you might consider coming again this year. 🙂 (One thing that reminded me of this is that the above rose photo was taken when she and I went to Butchart Gardens in ’07.)

3. Thanks to anyone who has been hospitable to me. Friends, relatives, immediate family, and acquaintances. I know how much work can be involved in having guests stay. It’s so nice that people have made beds and meals and welcomed me over the years–even people who barely know me, sometimes!

4. Thanks to anyone who reads this blog. 🙂 And especially thanks to anyone who comments either on this blog, in email, or in person. I know there’s a lot of stuff you could be reading and the fact that you take time out for me is very awesome of you.

5. Thanks to my parents for taking my sisters and I places when we were kids and still as adults. The other day I was thinking about all of the really great memories I have of special times as a family–days on Lake Tahoe, trips to Disneyland, delicious restaurants, camping, trips to Mexico. The list goes on and on, and I might post about it more sometime. I know that it’s a lot of effort and expense to do stuff like that, but I have really wonderful memories to show for it. My dad takes care of the overall vision and planning fun adventures, and my mom is the cheerleader and caretaker as she assists my dad and does lots of little chores here and there to keep things running smoothly.

6. Thanks to my nieces and nephews for being so adorable and also for liking to spend time with me! They’re such an ego boost. I love them and love having them in my life. See you soon, S, C, Z, J, C, L, K, N and E! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

7. Thanks to my close friends for letting me vent and whine and talk about the same things over and over. For sharing inside jokes with me, supporting me, complimenting me, liking my cooking, helping me with the dishes afterwards, watching movies with me even when I criticize them throughout, teaching me games, answering my texts, and cheerfully putting up with overly-analytical and sarcastic me.

8. Thanks to my coworkers for being so nice! I can’t ever complain that I am not appreciated at work. I am continually getting comments of praise about my work. It feels unfair, sometimes, because I happen to have a job (graphic design/photography) where I have something to show for my effort, while many people can be overlooked even though they work a lot harder than I do.

9. Thanks to anyone in customer service who is consistently helpful and kind when I know it’s hard to deal with many people out there. We all have to work in customer service to an extent, but people in retail, food service, customer service call centers, etc. have to deal with an extra dose of unfriendly people on a regular basis. It’s impressive when they can still be so pleasant despite that.

10. And thanks to God for all of the above and so much more!

You’re all my Valentine’s! Hearts all around! ♥

Project 52 (33)

I photographed these fluffy seeds last year and many people seemed to like them, so I took a few more photos when I noticed them again this year.

Also, the crocuses are coming up, right on schedule. I kind of expected them earlier since we’ve had a mild winter.

Have a great week! Pray that I can get everything done and be mentally prepared for the many activities ahead. 🙂

It’s almost my Special Minute.

And my special minute is 10:18, because my birthday is 10/18. Most of you know that, but now the rest of you are informed and you can cherish that moment twice per day. 🙂

I’m tired of obsessing over whether my posts are Photography enough. This is my blog. I will post stuff here, and it won’t always relate to photography. It’s too hard to stick to certain themes, don’t you think? Toooooo restrictive. Especially when I take way fewer photos in the winter months.

Guess what! My mom is coming to visit me. 😀 The last part of February is going to be packed, but it’ll be good.

Someone’s screencap of their Paradise Island game.

Lately I’m hooked on city building games, although I’ve reduced it to two at the moment (one stopped working correctly, so I uninstalled it). I’m playing Paradise Island and My Country. Both try to get me to pay them money, which I resent, but I just do everything the long way and play the free version. The thing is, I’d be willing to pay a little for a game up front. What I don’t like is that they claim they are free, but then want to charge here and there for little tasks. Microtransactions, I guess they call them. There are lots of names. Anyway, if you know of any good city building games (with nice graphics) that don’t try to take all my money, please do tell.

Did you notice they had Jennifer Garner writing on a chalk board in her class?
Who still uses chalk boards?

I rented the movie Valentine’s Day tonight, because I was suddenly in the mood to watch something. I thought it was pretty good. Definitely a few little surprises and happy moments.

I used to have stronger feelings about Valentine’s Day (in both directions, depending on what was going on in my life), but the older I get, the less interesting it becomes. I think that’s true about me, too. 😛

Do you have any Valentine’s plans? Feelings about the holiday that you want to share? Memories?

My photography path (part 1ish)

A textversation with my sister reminded me of some stuff I want to talk through in some blog posts. Maybe it’s boring, but I think there are some people out there who can relate to my ongoing experience with attempting to do professional photography as a side job. I’m still figuring things out, so it might help me to type through the process so far.

Get ready to see some old photos.

[Downtown Sacramento, 2003]
I already talked about some of the initial experiences that made me take photography a little more seriously. Technically, I was paid for my photography as early as about 2003 (some say that’s what determines whether a person is professional), but that was back when I was still getting to know digital cameras. I was taking pictures that went into some of our materials at work, and then I was paid an additional fee for one of my work portraits, because the client wanted to use it in his book. At this point, I was doing graphic design for less than 50% of my work day (split with registering students in grad school and other administrative work), so my focus and desire was to get into a full-time graphic design position. Photography was just a hobby and not something I was necessarily pursuing.

[Work, 2006]
But when I finally did get that full-time graphic design position I had been after (that’s my current job, which I started in late 2005), I was hired with the expectation that I would be taking some pictures for my employer. This was good news, although I didn’t necessarily feel qualified. My workplace has a lot of beauty, though, and I enjoyed practicing my photography on the wide variety of natural and architectural features. It’s also more in my comfort zone to take pictures of subjects that can’t judge my technique or feel embarrassed. 🙂

I can’t remember the exact point I started wanting to do portrait photography. In some ways it just seemed like the natural next step, especially since people tend to start asking you about it when they know you take pictures. But I also really started to enjoy it after practicing on my nieces.

[Easter 2006]
I remember taking a bunch of pictures of them one Easter after I had made the switch to a DSLR (one of the signs I was getting serious about my hobby). I think that experience prompted me to take more portraits, though I stuck to required work head shots and my nieces for awhile. Then I did those two weddings, and I knew I wanted to take more pictures of people, but I was still in denial that I could do professional portraits, or that I would ever market myself in such a way.

Something to know about me: I can be very slow about certain things. I tend to be maybe overly cautious and drag my feet in order to avoid jumping the gun and possibly looking stupid. I guess one of my biggest fears in life is looking stupid, but I certainly haven’t sidestepped it (and when I think I have appeared stupid, I analyze it to death and want to hide while I let the humiliation wash over me and eventually pass). I admire people who go about things differently, although sometimes I disagree with their hasty approach. 🙂

Anyway, the idea of portrait photography was growing on me more and more, and I was inspired by all of the photography blogs I followed. When I started posting in this blog in early 2010, I felt like I needed to take steps–even if baby steps–toward doing more paid portrait photography. The blog was one way to publicly display my photos as a sort of ongoing portfolio, but I also revamped my web page to be more photography-centered. I still didn’t really know where I was going with all of it, it just seemed like the right thing to do, and I figured God would give me more direction as time went on. I was laying a foundation, just in case.

To be continued.