2 A.M. : Is Today's Epiphany A Wise One??

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Writing "morning pages" in an effort to proceed with my "Artist's Way" goal... Three longhand pages every morning, with no real "POINT", just a mind blurt to get things flowing, mind de-gunked, all that.... And while most of the time my morning pages end up being either a laundry list of whines or a cataloguing of my things needed to get done that day, sometimes there are real epiphanies that appear in the middle of the messy piles of handwriting (SO messy, since these days I have to "morning page" with Noah around, so I RACE to get them written before he really needs me. The little needy cute irritating lovable stinker.)

Today's epiphany--- that the massive things on my to-do list that cause me the most angst and anger are my personal photo albums/photo books... Well, that part isn't the epiphany. I've know about this stressful task since forever, and it WEIGHS on me. So much so that I finally committed, hardcore, to get them DONE this winter, while business is slow.

And here it is, January 27th, and have I touched them?

Um, no.

Of course not.

Easy to keep finding OTHER things to do instead. Worthy things. GOOD things. But not THIS thing. The task of completing the sorting, purging and cataloguing of my personal photos so I can insert them into the coffee table books I have planned.

And it is like I am dragging around an extra 20 pounds of psychic WEIGHT because of it.

So today's epiphany.... what if I just PUSH??? Push push push and schedule this task with some hardcore deadlines and even some hardcore all-nighters? If I can get a GOOD stretch of time, I can really DO this thing. But as a mama, there is no such thing as a GOOD stretch of time...

Except in the middle of the night.


What if I pulled a few all-nighters to REALLY get ahead?

(are you with me? Have you seen I am writing this at 1:57 am??)

Lucky for me, Joe's schedule this semester is really great in the mornings. His earliest class is 11:00 am, so if I could get him on board with my harebrained scheme, he could cover for me in the mornings after these work binges and we'd ALL win. I'd knock these horrible things off of a THREE-YEAR-LONG TO-DO LIST and he'd get a photo album to enjoy and we'd both get sleep... just at incongruous times.

And.... so it is 1:59 am.

And 2006 is DONE except the "hit send" button. Now, before you congratulate me too much, 2006 was 75% done, and has been 75% done for, oh, three years. It just needed to be FINALIZED. So this didn't take an ALL-nighter, just a REALLY LATE-nighter.

The next three years are going to be......... PAINFUL.

I just take too damn many photos.


Anyway.... the point is... the epiphany today felt REALLY sound. Good. Exciting. Like I could PUSH through these blocks and GET THESE THINGS DONE, and then maybe be better about keeping up on them over the years from now on.

But it is now 2:01 am and I'm wondering.....

Was that epiphany a wise one?

am I out of my mind?

Or am I reclaiming a piece of my mind by clearing this out and getting it done?

I'm off to bed. I'll maybe have a better idea in the morning. When I am tired, dragging, but DONE with 2006.

Ah, who knows.

sorry for the boring blog post.

I have two really fun ones up my sleeve and hovering in Lightroom, waiting to be edited. One is a tutorial and one is a Bare-it-All you'll love and maybe even want to go try for yourselves...

But they're not here, not now. Still need to be finished and posted.

So you get a crazy lady rambling session at 2:03 am.

And that is all.

Time to spell check and publish and GO TO BED.

(and boy oh BOY do I need spell check. I type like a true blue FOOL, I do.)

(Turns out "nighter" is not a real word. And I used it 4 times. Well, 5 now. neener, neener, I'm keeping it in. It serves my purposes.)

Night-Night! :)

(2:08 am). Done. For real.

Holiday Mini Session {St. Louis Children's Photographer}

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Last post of 2009! Yahoo! These were one of the last sessions I did last year--- my Holiday MiniSessions. I had the cutest kids turn out in their wintry/Christmassy best for a few shots their moms and dads could have in tiem for Christmas cards and Grandparent gifts.

We got to try out my new sunroom and my classy little backdrop setup with the fake presents (Noah tried to open them. Ha! Poor kid. Nothing but books in them, for weight.)

Anjd I got to flirt with, cajole, shake candy at, and play with kids from 1 month old to 2 years old. I loved it! Check some of my favorites out:











And that, my friends, wraps up 2009.

And though I have a few 2010 sessions to share, I am reveling in being mostly a NON-photographer for the moment... letting the other sides of my self come out a bit and have some time in the sun. It's a good time to regroup as an artist in general, and find some new inspirations, choose some different outlets of expression.... to refill the well and recharge the soul.

And it's funny, but in the midst of this season of less-busy work, I sometimes even feel like never taking another photograph again.

Did I just say that?

Yeah. I guess I did. Sometimes I want to just remind myself and other folks that I am not a photographer ONLY.... And sometimes I want to stop. And go play my banjo. Or write.

Or, who am I kidding, go take a nap...

Ha! anyway. This semi-hiatus is trickling through my fingers quicker than I'd like, and I am desperately trying to live it to the fullest-- checking things off the non-work to-do list, making little things, reading a few novels, taking a few more naps... And I have to keep the panic at bay... the panic that I am running out of TIME.

'Cause March-June is almost completely booked. **GULP** With two weddings, trips to Portland/Wisconsin/Massachusetts/Nashville/Indianapolis, and three workshops thrown in. EEP!

And it will begin again, in full force--- that photographer side of my life.


am I ready?


But it's okay. I still have a month.

So I need to GET OFF THIS COMPUTER and go watch some Netflix with my hubs, I say.


Hunter's Family {St. Louis Family Children's Photographer}

Have I mentioned I am officially shooting only RAW? No more JPEG, and man it was a long, hard journey to get here... Mostly by way of convincing myself it was worth it to switch and endure the learning curve and frustrations of figuring it out in the midst of a busy editing season.

But now that I am here, I am SO happy, and never turning back.

Anyway... that seemed off-topic... But it really is relevant because this was one of the first sessions I shot in full RAW... And I am SO happy with the increase in clarity/purity of color. (Not to confuse anyone, but this was the first I shot in full RAW, but it isn't the first post I've done of full RAW photos. You purists will hate me, but I haven't been posting these sessions in order. Hee hee. Sorry. I just post what strikes me that moment, so lots of these are out of order... It might be a fun game to go back and see if you can tell what sessions are RAW and what weren't. Hm. )

Oh man, I went off on a tangent again. Back to Hunter's family. I LOVE these three. This is the third session I've had with them this year, and it is SO cool to see Hunter grow and to catch up with his mom Michele. They are truly a neat family. For this session, Hunter was 18 months and WHEW he ran my tail off!! Anytime he saw me coming with the camera, he turned tail and ran the other way. But his parents were patient, and I used a few tricks, and we ended up with some keepers. It was a fun chase in the meantime!

Thanks, Michele and Co., for trusting me with your photos not once, but three times this year. I cherish your loyalty and appreciation for my work!

The T Family {St. Louis Family Photographer}












A few more sessions to wrap up my 2009 year.... I am SO sorry this is dragged out so far past December 31!!

This is an old high school chum... a fellow musician and theater gal from my illustrious days at Hickman High. Beth was perennially upbeat and incredibly smart and talented. Now, she is a music teacher with two beautiful kids and the kindest, sweetest husband ever. It was a pure delight to spend the afternoon with her feisty gorgeous kids and the two of them in Jefferson City, MO. (Governor's Mansion and the Train Station, if anyone is near there and wants some locations to shoot at!)

Thank you, Elizabeth, for our session time together! I LOVE these!

Project Time: Making Crayon Wallets!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Remember that little portable car track I made last month as part of my tutorial week? It referenced a pattern you can buy on Etsy, the child's crayon wallet from J.Casa.

Well, not only are the car wallets FUN FUN FUN.... (I made Noah a new and improved car wallet after a couple of friends gave me some ideas on how to jazz it up! I need to snap a pic and show ya!)

But the crayon wallets are stinkin' fun, too. Fellow November Mama Brenda was so classy and gave me one as a gift when I went to DC to take her family photos... And I fell in LOVE with the idea of the crayon wallet as a gift. But of course, busy busty busy as I always seem to be, I didn't get around to really playing with the pattern until this Christmas, when I had three cute kiddos I needed to make gifts for-- Joe's best friend Matt's three cuties (And Nicole's, too. Hi, Nicole!).

So I had a delightful evening assembling fun fabrics to put together, and I used the easy easy easy pattern from that Etsy shop, and whipped these beauties up:

(My absolute favorite happens to be that last one. That sunny yellow dot with the turquoise flower? I want an apron in those fabrics. And maybe a comforter. And a potholder. And some backdrops for photos. Heck, I want to wear a dress outta them on my daughter's wedding day. Okay, not really.
Since I don't have a daughter.

Anyhoodle, I was SO tickled with how they turned out, so now it is YOUR turn. Go get that pattern and make something fun with it!! It is ALL straight lines. It is NOT that hard. If you can thread a machine, that is. And if you can't, go to your local sewing machine shop (mine is tucked in a Hobby Lobby) and ASK ONE OF THE CUTE LADIES THERE TO SHOW YOU!! They LOVE passing on the joy of sewing to a new generation.

And well... if you're not here for the sewing, I love ya anyways. Maybe I'll take photos of Oreo Truffles next and talk about those.


(And if the sun EVER decides to come out again, I'll tidy the house and snap a few pics to introduce you to her.... But that is a BIG if, with this glooooomy weather. Blech.)

Happy weekend, all. I have GOT to go to bed.


(I have a font made from my handwriting. Isn't that COOL?! I even made the cupcake dingbat.)

V Family Mini {St. Louis Family Session}

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Catch-up Post of the Day #2
What a treat to have a family of such lovely daughters, such classy parents... and a perfect day to shoot their Christmas card session. The three younger girls are triplets, and each of them had a completely different, equally charming personality. And the older daughter? What a poised, kind, marvelous girl! Loved this sweet family!!

Lance: Six Months! {St. Louis Baby Children's Photographer}







If the Christmas accessories aren't a clue, let me confess, I am still catching up... This one is one of my yearlong babies... sweet LANCE. Love that kiddo more and more, the chunkier he gets. :) My absolute favorite?? The black and white in the teacup. He is TOO perfect, with his serious expression and Napoleon-esque pose (was that your observation, Beth?? I can't remember...)

Anyhoo... Thanks for indulging my catch ups!! I have one more tonight, and then I am going to try to blog some crafty stuff tomorrow. Sound good? Good... :)

Everyday Magic: The Choice to Love the Simple Life

Friday, January 15, 2010

My days are made up of tiny moments of magic... Everyday, unspectacular, unremarkable magic. Like today: holding a locomotive in the palm of my hand, making pumpkins into cookies, watching bubbles float on air, making pieces of wooden track into drumsticks... Seeing a bucket become a boat... being told the growl coming from my sink is a monster, not a disposal... Tiny prehistoric reptiles stalking my countertops...


All of it.

And yet.... romantic as that sounds, as pretty as the photographs are... As BEAUTIFUL a little life it may seem, it hit me today that for some people (for many, probably), my little life would be DEATH to them. The repetition. The mundane nothings. The absolute drudgery of being trapped at home, for hours on end, with only a small child to talk to. The housekeeping. The patience. The cleaning up of the SAME MESS TEN TIMES. Aprons. Dishes. Carrot sticks. Sesame Street. Laundry. Nursery rhymes. Pacing the same small collection of rooms hour after hour, doing the same things again and again.

And... put like that, I don't blame ANYONE for not wanting what I have right now. For needing to escape into a bigger, more bustling, more spectacular world.

But for me?

This is magic. Even the tough stuff... the whining and the messes and the strong will of a little person who has no logic. This is exactly where I want to be.

Making me realize, IT'S ALL HOW YOU CHOOSE TO SEE IT. My life, seen through someone else's eyes, might be a torture of mundacity (* I think I made that word up. ?). But since I am me, and I am approaching my life with the creativity, self-reliance, resilience, and humor I was gifted with, I can look at these everyday things with more awareness. I have been groomed through years of reading, writing, self-expression, and introspection, to have the power to see the mundane and find something beautiful about it.

I CHOOSE TO LOVE THIS. And after choosing to love it for enough days... weeks.... months... years.... It no longer is a conscious decision. It just IS. I just DO. Live, love, and appreciate this season of home-ness. Mother-ness. Nurturing-ness.

Because make no mistake-- it IS but a season. And I am only a steward of this small being (and future beings) for the briefest window. And so while this may sometimes seem to drag day after day after day.... Before I know it, the days will have run out and I will no longer be tied to the home, the child, the task of daily caregiving. And what was once perhaps a bit tedious will suddenly be something poignantly wished for, even for a moment.

And so... as I move from room to room, seeing pieces of a train set here and there, picking up loose toys, cutting up a grilled cheese sandwich, wiping a nose for the eleventy-billionth time... I let myself LOVE it. I choose to see this as EXACTLY what I want to be doing, this very minute.

And I feel at peace, moving from room to room, the wee one at my heels every moment.

There will be time enough for excursions into the bustling, cosmopolitan, social world.

But not today. Today, I have cookies to take off of the cookie sheet. Some laundry to put away. And a few good stories, songs, and games to play with the little one who makes me feel complete joy a million times a day.

And this is MAGIC. To me.


(The photograph: Saw this little dinosaur on my countertop yesterday and it about did me in. Auntie Mary had gotten it for Noah at the Science Center yesterday, and it had been left behind among the lunch dishes... and looking at this microscopic stegosaurus on my countertop, completely out of place and yet so PERFECT, I thought, "It BEGINS. This life with a BOY who will treasure the most motley collection of doo-dads and trinkets, left around the house in unexpected places. It BEGINS. I no longer have a BABY. I have a BOY."....
And I LOVE it.

So I had to take a photo. Of course. :))

More Sisters! {St. Louis Family Photographer}

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This beautiful trio is made up of sisters, just like the recent orchard session I posted. I rarely get to snap all adults, but it seemed that my fall schedule was destined to have several in a row. Always a really fun change of pace from the cute, squirrely kiddos I mostly get to photograph. I didn't even have to bribe these gals to look at the camera! Amazing!



I did, however, almost have to offer treats to the poor, patient husband. Poor guy. He let me boss him around in the cold, and didn't bat an eye!



Beautiful girls, though, right? I LOVE how individual each sister was...



And though we were fah-REEEEZING, they were great sports, and we managed to dodge the bustling St. Charles Christmas crowds enough to catch a few images on Historic Main Street.... (Love that place!)




Thanks, Alexis and Co., for looking at the camera, smiling when needed, and not having six potty breaks in an hour. I love my kiddo clients, but once in a while this adult-family gig is a nice change of pace!
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