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Current events: Mom and fish

Happy birthday, Mom! (Can I look like you when I’m 62? Or sooner, even?)

On a sad note, my mom informed me that half their koi died over the past couple of weeks. 😦 They don’t know the exact cause, but there are some theories. Anyway, as my mom said, “I know they are only fish, but it’s still sad.” It is! One of them (pictured) has been in their pond since 2004 and he was a beauty! RIP Sunflower, Peachy, Mexico, Hanes, Billy Idol, and Dovey. ETA: And now Lemon Drop.


Project 52 (49)

I’m on a roll with posting here. Sorry to be overwhelming, I guess it’s just good to be back into a routine that allows it. Plus, this week I had several photos to choose from, so I’m all ready to post. This is L by the lake when we were doing her portrait shoot.

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday! I ♥ Thursdays. I’m going to include a few photos from the past week in this post, and they may or may not relate to my thankful items.  

1. Responses. I didn’t expect so many responses and for people to read all I wrote yesterday! 🙂 Thank you. I already feel better and more excited about my blog after posting that.


2. My new blog design. I changed it up–go look!


3. Summer. I love summer here in Oregon. It’s the nicest time of the year. I loved summer growing up, too, but when I was an adult I started liking it less after we moved from our house with the pool and I had to work full time in the HOT weather of the north valley of California. Moving to Oregon has changed the meaning of summer and it always reminds me why people live here in an otherwise dreary climate.

4. L’s visit was what I hoped. I feel like we got to do all the things I wanted to do with her, and we had safe travels and only minor glitches. I’m working on a video compilation and it makes me happy to watch the little clips. I’ll show you guys when I’m done.

5.The coast. I don’t go as often as I’d like, but I’m glad I have access to make it there a couple of times per year, at least.

6. My friends. I’ve said it before, but repeat thankfulness isn’t a crime. I have some really nice people in my life. Friends from church and work, online and offline friends from all over the world, and friends from places I’ve lived before. There are lots of nice people out there.

7. Speaking of friends from work, I have some really nice coworkers. There are people who consistently encourage and appreciate me. Just yesterday I got a gift from a coworker in thanks for basically just doing my job. I also received many nice words from some ladies I am on a committee with. It was sweet and unexpected!


8. The Internet. A couple of my friends are moving away, but thankfully it’s so easy to keep in contact with people these days.

That’s all I’ve got today! My lunch break is over, and Blogger is driving me crazy with the formatting, so sorry for weird spacing you may encounter. 

Blogging, photography and me

[Long exposure (25 seconds, I believe) of the ocean taken in Yachats, OR this past weekend.]

Happy summer solstice!

I know I don’t need to explain every move I make, but I wanted to talk something out here.

This blog started as just a place to write publicly for people from all walks of my life. It was supposed to include a variety of things like reviews, recipes I tried, life happenings, musings, and photos. But when I felt like I should take the next step with my photography, I transitioned it over into a photography blog. I didn’t want to have two blogs (I can barely keep up with one along with all the other stuff I do online), and I was already posting photos anyway, so why not?

Since I had been following several photography blogs for a couple of years, I felt like I had to do certain things in order to progress. If I wanted to take senior portraits, I needed to post a lot of portraits and remember my clients and future clients might be reading when I blogged. I started feeling more pressure and questioning myself about every post–were my photos professional enough? Was I keeping with the blog’s theme of photography? Was I posting enough portraits vs. other types of photos? Was I getting too personal or off topic? Even though I have continued to post about more than just photography, I have felt a little guilty every time, like I was being unprofessional.

Meanwhile, my photography “business” (if you can call it that) is not exactly taking off. I never meant to go full time with it (at least not at this point in my life), but I guess I thought I would get a few more portrait sessions than I have. In some ways I’ve held back from marketing myself, and in others I have made uncomfortable efforts that didn’t seem to matter at all in the end. I have sought out clients for high school and college senior portraits, but I’ve gotten more requests for photographing families and subjects that aren’t necessarily the direction I want to take. It just hasn’t gone as I imagined.

The funny thing is, I’m not even really sad about it. The more I get into a business mindset about photography, the less I enjoy it. The truth is, I am not a business woman, and I don’t enjoy that aspect at all. It’s just been a necessary evil. I hate coming up with pricing and handling a sale. Thinking about photo printing and my website can be stressful. Marketing myself can be intimidating and uncomfortable. I’m tired of trying to keep up with what I’m “supposed” to do to appear professional. I just want to take pictures and make people happy with them.

That’s not to say I should just avoid something that I don’t like. I know we all need to step out of our comfort zones and take on challenges, and I think I’ve done that. I recognize that it’s a lot of work and expense (for my equipment, etc.), and I think it’s reasonable to want compensation for taking people’s pictures. I’ve invested a lot of time, energy and resources into photography to bring myself to where I am, and I hope to continue to improve. I’m still trying to figure out the sort of role God wants photography to play in my life, and how (or whether) to have it as a side job that is still enjoyable for me.

Back to my blog. I’ve been overly concerned with the possible clients or future clients who might be reading, when they probably comprise about .01% of my audience. Most of you reading this (well, I’m not sure anyone is still reading at this point :P) are friends and family members. I know you guys are fine with whatever I post, and you can read it or skip it as time and interest allow. So I’m going to stop worrying about the business side of things. I want to get more personal.

I don’t anticipate this meaning much noticeable change for my blog at first, but over time I hope things evolve into something more comfortable and more me. In saying this, I’m hopefully taking pressure off myself which should give me more blogging enjoyment. Yays all around!

Project 52 (46-48)

I guess I should catch up on these!

46: This dragonfly hung out on my screen door for awhile.

BONUS: Here’s the other side, if you’re curious.

47: I picked up a couple of new sauces to try. (Then I placed them in my cart and paid for them before bringing them home.)

48: L on a walk through a foresty park on the coast.

I have to say, I won’t really mind when this project is over. For some reason I have an addiction to taking on photo projects, but I tend to get burnt out on them after awhile. It’s not like I don’t already take plenty of photos, right? But we’re practically on the home stretch now. Maybe my next photo project should be to not take on a photo project.

PS: Anyone else hating the Blogger changes? I have to add my own html breaks now, apparently.

PPS: Tomorrow it’s back to work after 6 days off (counting the weekend). I don’t mind too much, but can I please sleep in first?

PPPS: L is home safe.

The niece

I feel so out of touch with this blog! Lately things have been much busier in my life, and not just due to my niece’s visit. But she is here now (soon to leave :() and I will post photos eventually.

Today, after I fixed her hair while we watched Legally Blonde, we did a photo shoot with a few different outfits. This dress was actually an eBay purchase that ended up running very small. It looks great on L, though! Isn’t she cute?

Though I’ve had a lot of fun the past few weeks, I’m looking forward to a bit more routine. I want to get back into the swing of blogging (I have several things to tell you) and catch up on email.

I hope you had a nice Father’s Day. Have a great week!

Thankful Thursday

I don’t have time for a big list, but today is my niece L’s 13th birthday! I’m so thankful for her. 🙂 🙂

L was my very first nephiece. For the first half of her life, she and I lived in the same city (sometimes in the same house!) and I got to spend lots of quality time with her and her younger sister, K. I have a lot of happy memories of watching them grow, and they (along with my other nephieces) are one of my favorite gifts I’ve received in this life! Being an aunt is a huge blessing. And if I keep talking about this, I’m just going to start bawling. 😛

Since she was born before I got a digital camera, I don’t have any baby photos handy, but above are some photos over the years. She’s the girl of many hairstyles!

I can’t do a birthday post for every nephiece on every birthday, but 13’s kind of a big deal. Maybe I can start that tradition, at least.

Happy birthday, L. 🙂 🙂 I can’t believe you’re now a teenager and taller than me. I can’t wait to see you next week (she’s coming to visit me!!).

UPDATE: R sent me some baby photos of L!