Monday, October 30, 2006

Romantic details .. photojournalistic style

You've heard the phrase before - Photojournalistic style...but do you really know what it means? Some photographers will never have that style, because they simply don't know what it really means. My years in the news industry give me that edge over many other photographers in this part of the state. That's not meant to be a bragging comment. Far from it! While you think I'm just there shooting happily away, that's not the case! My mind is in constant overdrive. You'll find out after you finish reading this post. For now, I want you to think about what happens AFTER your wedding ... just a few weeks down the road when you get your digital images, either by viewing online or on a CD.
The proofs are only the beginning. It's time for some fun!
After all, you just spent a year planning your wedding. Do you really expect to have a custom designed album in two weeks?
While you may be looking at the proofs and just seeing each image, in its less than glorious state, your photographer sees each image as a base upon which to create their art!
*But, that doesn't usually come in the price of the wedding shoot services. Designing an album is an entirely separate project and therefore, fee.*

Each wedding album is unique, just as your wedding was. For a photographer, the creation of an album is probably one of the most challenging tasks, but, I know for me, it's also the most fun!
This ad I created tonight is a trio of images. While the bride's dress was white, I shot the detail of the beading without harsh flash. The warmness of this image really highlights the romance of the evening wedding.
Another reason I love this ad design is the story behind it. The bride's mom shared with me the difficulty her daughter and her had in finding just the right dress. One dress store staff was extremely rude, causing the bride to leave in tears. No one should ever have to go through that as they prepare for one of the most important days of their life!
You see, the bride wasn't just a bride. She was a BIG BEAUTIFUL harm in saying that! She was beautiful. Plus, she has the personality to match the beauty.
My gosh, there are hundreds of Web sites out there catering just to brides who aren't a size 2 (thank goodness!) She didn't realize this when she started her search for the perfect dress.
BUT, a happy ending was in place. The staff at alfred angelo bridal company in Oklahoma City knew exactly how to offer customer service.
Why am I sharing this story with you? Because I believe a wedding is more than just pictures in a proof book!
Had the bride's mother never shared the story with me, I would never have thought to put together this layout.
That's part of the fun in photographing images and creating an album.
The mother probably never imagined I was really listening as she related the story. But, years as a reporter, editor and photographer have helped me hone my skills. I feel blessed these days to be able to use those skills to bring your wonderful stories to light through the use of artful images.
And this is one artful image that I also see as the cover design for that lasting album -- photojournalistic style!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

What are you waiting for?

The holidays are here - if you are thinking about sending out cards, getting that all important family photo made or maybe just one of the little kids or poochies! You know, grandparents LOVE photos and what better gift to give then one of their grandkids! Or book a session for grandparents and kids together! I am offering these sessions for $99. You'll get 3 8x10s, 16 wallets, 4 5x7s - all one pose, and up to 12 edited poses on a CD. Now that's a gift that everyone will treasure.

I didn't take the time to get a good photo of my mom and my two boys. We have snapshots, but no wonderful portraits. I can't make that up now, it's too late. Don't think time will wait. It won't.
Call me or e-mail me today!

Friday, October 27, 2006

GypsyMoon Soaps are returning!

Several years ago, I started a little home-based venture - soapmaking. No, no, not that melt and pour stuff. Ick! Real, homemade soap, packed with herbs and true essential oils! Well, instead of listening to my husband, mom and sister and do that full time, I did something 'normal' I got a job that was offered...going back into the news industry. Well, seven years later and I'm feelin' the itch to make soap again! It's that wanderlust gypsy attitude I've got buried in me. Ah-ha, gypsytude! My soap was labeled GypsyMoon Soaps. That kind of ties into the Blue Moon's that artsy/rebel side of me.

Back then, I had so many orders for soap, people were buying it by the loaf for the holidays. I couldn't hardly keep up.
Peppermint, rosemary, rosemary patchouli, peppermint and lemongrass, just good stuff I tell ya!

So, I'm going to be digging out my soap gear and putting it to work. If you want soap, I'm taking orders now! All have to be pre-paid and it takes the soap about four weeks to cure. That means, ORDER NOW if you want it by Christmas time! Loaves are just over a pound - think in terms of a brick but a little bigger!
They don't come cheap either! This stuff is the bomb! $22.50 per loaf. Will cut and wrap, add $3 bucks!
Each loaf is made individually. I usually will make two loaves a day, but it depends on my photo schedule and the holiday rush. Loaves are made in order first paids/first orders. If you want shipping, please tell me.
Deadline to order - NOVEMBER 30! Payments must be made by then also.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Cute little witch

Kaytlyn has got to be the cutest little witch. She 'cast a spell on me', ate candy corn, held onto her hat in the wild Oklahoma wind and giggled all the time! Fun, fun, fun!
See, photo sessions for kids don't have to be torture.

And why is it that every time I'm in the chain stores or malls and walk by those places that call itself a portrait lab or photo studios, or whatever they think they are, I hear kids crying and fussing and parents look absolutely miserable!

(hint- their 'photographers' work on commission and probably don't have a clue how to capture your child's true personality outside 'the studio'. Hah! I've had plenty of parents tell me how much they appreciate that I don't rush them through a session and the biggest complaint I get is 'how are we ever going to choose?'

I still have just a few openings left for October sessions. The family sessions are free through this month. Packages begin at $75 for these images. The images will be uploaded in two days and available for ordering for only 7 days. This is due to the heavy holiday demand. The ordering time is extremely limited. If you plan to use autumn cards for your holiday greeting card, keep reading....

If you haven't yet booked your holiday session, whether it's just kids, pets, kids and pets or the entire family, don't wait! The session, processing, custom designing your holiday card and ordering time is limited. November is the ONLY month I'm doing big sessions like this.
Holiday sessions are about an hour, in my studio, or on location or at your home with your own Christmas setting. The holiday sessions are pre-paid. They start at $150, and include photos to share in a variety of sizes and a set of 24 custom designed holiday cards.

When you are ready to book a session, I'll provide you with the package list. An online photo slideshow also is included. *That's always nice for family out-of-state who can't be with you during the holidays.
Call me today! 580.641.1477. If it goes to my voice message, be sure to leave YOUR NAME and PHONE number so I can return your call. I work part time and also am busy with photo sessions. I will get back to you that day.

I also will do sessions for people in surrounding communities - Duncan, Central High, Bray-Doyle, Empire, Comanche, Waurika, Walters, Rush Springs, Lawton, Elgin, Lindsay, Sterling ....
If you live in a community outside of Stephens County and book your holiday session with me as a new customer you will receive an additional 8x10 image with your package.

All returning clients will have their choice of an 8x10, 12 wallets or 5 extra holiday cards.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

logo block

instead of writer's block, i have logo block. I'm not really thrilled with this one...the fonts and I aren't compatible. any suggestions??? I think I'm driving everyone crazy, family and photographers off a group I'm on with this whole 'logo' thing. It was so much easier to pick a font and throw my name on it....

And the little darlin' is my sweet great niece, she's great, but she's my nephew's child, therefore, the great. I'll post her brother's picture soon.

She is the first girl in the family since me and that was a VERY LONG TIME AGO! I just want to whisk her away and keep her. She loves photography time with "Auntie Toni".

Thursday, October 19, 2006

OPEN Saturday!

This Saturday, Oct. 21, Blue Moon Gallery (my studio) will be open to book appointments. I'll only be open from 9 to 11:30 a.m.
I will be down there in the afternoon for a private session, but if you catch me just after I'm through around 4 p.m. you can also book a time for your holiday or senior session.
I'm not at the studio much because of outdoor sessions, but hope to be there more through the next two months. You must book an appointment for your session and sessions must be pre-paid, cash only. I offer a la carte pricing so you can mix and match as many images as you like!
I do expect to have two days in November for walk-in portraits. These will be mini sessions, up to 30 minutes, great for kid holiday portraits. I'll also be offering custom designed holiday cards.
I'll be posting more throughout the next week on my holiday sessions. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A dog's day!

It was definitely a dog's day Saturday and dogs of all sizes strutted their stuff! The winner of the best dressed pet went to a darling little dog owned by Pam Leffler of Duncan! I didn't get the dog's name on the card, but had so much fun photographing her. She was definitely a tribute to The Wizard of Oz! Pam gets her CD of images free, along with a gift certificate for a free holiday pet session. Congratulations Pam and pup!

There was something like $4,000 raised from that event, including from pet photos by 'me'... Everyone who donated and had pet pictures taken at the fall display will be able to get their CDs at the Stephens County Humane Society Friday or any time after at their own convenience.

One of the funny highlights of the day was when my former boss was 'attacked' by a K-9 officer of Marlow under the guidance of Officer Tony Lynch. It drew plenty of laughter, including by the victim himself! What a sport! See a couple of the images here!

Hopefully, the quick collage I threw together is big enough for your viewing. If it isn't, I'll repost those images individually.
And I must say I couldn't have done the photos without the help of my son, Tim and his wife, Ashley, and my brother, Kelly! Thanks sweeties!
And Kelly even took time out of the day to walk a few of the pound pets around the park. He said one of them enjoyed cleaning up the hot dogs found on the ground.
Thank you to everyone who came out, whether you had a dog with you or not. Your support of the Stephens County Humane Society shelter is definitely appreciated! Be sure to visit their link if you are looking for a pet or just want to donate, time or $$$!

Friday, October 13, 2006

A flower from my son

I had a glass vase filled with dried roses that my sons and husband had given me over the past few years. They were like inspiration for me. As they dried they changed colors and took on new textures and always reminded me of the boys childhood. Well recently, someone was visiting and knocked the vase over and broke it. This happened unknown to the entire family. I found a piece of the vase but it didn't dawn on me exactly what it was. Until two weeks later! There wasn't a hint of the rose petals. When I discovered it, I was so sad. Told my family, and my son felt bad also. It was a friend of his who did it, he didn't know either at the time. Well the other day, on one of our last warm days, he gathered some flowers for me. Here's a photo of one of those flowers. It's so pretty. I shot it in front of my dining room window that has great light coming in from the west. I slightly overexposed it and then using a photo filter added back in some color for a bit of punch. Hope you like it!

And thank you Jeremy!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Cow dogs, Quarter Horses and Canon-Nikon addicts!

You just never know who you'll meet - or where! Today was one of those hurry up but never get anywhere days! Well, during the in-betweens, my oldest son, Tim, and I saw a yard sale in Duncan. We went back after a bit to check it out and I noticed some scrapbooking magazines and PC Photo mags. I casually said to the man, oh, someone's a photographer at which point, he said, his wife. I mentioned my studio and next thing I know, out comes this woman with an album of images! And that's how you make friends! Linda and I instantly hit it off and her passion for photography is awesome! *Photosby LindaGayle (Choctaw, OK)
Next thing you know, she's showing me her Nikon D200 and letting me test snap some images. Wow, that thing rocks.

OK- stop right there - what am I saying?!!! I'm a Canon addict! LOL

You're probably thinking about now, what's all this got to do with cow dogs and Quarter Horses! Throughout my life, I keep having these encounters with people connected with rodeo, Quarter Horse owners and such. Just when I think I've escaped (ya see, I've never rode a horse, but have photographed plenty!) somehow that world reenters mine! Course, my parents were horse people (before I came along!)

Linda and her husband are heavily involved in the Quarter Horse industry and Linda's photos are wonderful for someone who claims she really is just playing and learning! She happily told me she's retired and now enjoys shooting team roping events. I've put her link to her site here! Go check it out! Her photography portion is still in the works, I think. Oh, and she's an artist too!

Bark in the Park

OK, the photos didn't upload the first time! Trying again!

Homeless and cute

Yes, this little girl is homeless. She's got temporary shelter at the Stephens County Humane Society shelter in Duncan, Oklahoma and she's as sweet as can be. She was quite the little model and loves to ride in the car. It was funny, she also got out of my car and went straight to my studio door! It was like she knew!

I didn't have much time this morning, but Denise and Karen let me steal her away for an hour or so to my studio for photographs to promote the upcoming Bark in the Park event. It's a major fundraiser for the SCHS and is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 at Fuqua Park (Duncan). There's going to be a lot of events, including pet photos by yours truly! (That'd be me!)

A lot of you who do know me probably don't know why I decided to rent a small space in Marlow about a year ago. Part of it was based out of my love for pets and 'petography'. Many people I know around here wanted professional images of their animals and they really didn't have a pet friendly studio they could go to. In fact, one of my first clients was "Sissy" a beautiful boxer, who gets taxied around by Lesa Adkins, who works at the Duncan Animal Shelter. Sissy's photos are on display in my studio.

But, back to the Bark in the Park event! Patti Whitaker called me a few months ago and asked if I'd be the official photographer for the event. You betcha! A portion of the proceeds will be donated back to the SCHS.

This isn't the first time I've done this. A few years ago, I did Santa Paws, and again last year. I also did Barktoberfest at the Halliburton Park two years ago.
Sometimes the events generate a lot of money and sometimes they don't. It just depends - on YOU!
While the photographs do cost and only a portion is donated back, sometimes people generously donate more. The extra portion strictly goes to the SCHS. I've agreed to donate 50 percent of the proceeds from the photos I take at my display that day.
I hope that the people of Stephens County turn out in droves to help with this cause! The first time I did Santa Paws, I think we raised close to $1,000 - and every bit of it after film developing - went back to the shelter.
If you tell me you saw this blog entry when you have your pet photos done that day, I'll take $1 off your cost. I expect to have the photos ready for you right then. Still working out the kinks on that one!

One other thing - Buttercup (or Mindy, which she responded to by me) was groomed by Kim at Fleas and Tails (gosh, hope I got that right!) in Duncan.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Jaclyn and Cole

Congratulations! I had so much fun photographing your wedding!
Just looking at the two of you, it's obvious that you are head over heels for each other!
I love autumn weddings! The weather is just right. And it sure didn't hurt that you picked such a nice place (but they need more overhead lighting for evening weddings!) Jaclyn and Cole chose Morrison Conservatory on N. Meridian in Oklahoma City. It's a beautiful little place. The grounds outside were lovely.

Anne, who works in the gift shop, let us take advantage of the autumn decor in the gift shop, for Jaclyn's bridal portraits. I'll post more in a bit.
These images were shot in the greenhouse in front of the waterfall. I really wished the light would have been better, but we made do. I did manage to get some nice images of some of the plants before the wedding.

Grip and grin with the Gov!

Well, they didn't actually grip, but they did grin! PeeWee Carey is director of the Stephens County Historical Museum in Fuqua Park. Definitely worth a visit! And Karen and Mynan work with the Foster Grandparents program. It was nice to see familiar faces, though I see PeeWee each time he makes his daily stop at the newspaper where I work. PeeWee and myself, along with several others a few years ago, returned a tombstone to its rightful place. It was quite a trek, and belonged to a baby in a Velma cemetery. Anyway, these pictures are for them! It's not every day one gets to rub shoulders with a state's top elected official!

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Governor came to town

Destiney (I hope I spelled that right!) and Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry in Duncan's Fuqua Park. Of course, it was part of his campaign travels, but this man and his wife, First Lady Kim Henry, took time to visit with everyone - high school kids, senior citizens, local legislators and so many more citizens who turned out Monday to hear what he had to say. Destiney is quite an active young adult, from band to theater! This is her senior year and she asked me if I'd take her picture with the Gov.! You betcha!

It was nice to see so many familiar faces and I'll post more "With the Gov' pics tomorrow".

If you are a classmate of Destiney's - DHS '07 seniors - and need senior photos done, call me! I'm looking forward to doing her photos soon and Destiney thanks for introducing me to some of your friends! Duncan High School should be proud to have so many talented and nice representatives. I loved listening to your band play.

The jewelry and the steeple

Two of the images I love so much didn't post the first time! I just love the motion of the necklaces as the bride was preparing to help put them on her friends. And, I have a thing about church steeples. Probably goes back to my childhood when my mom taught me the little finger play song about the steeple and all the people. I've got quite a photo collection over the past few years. As the bride and her party was heading out of the church just before going down the aisle, I spied this steeple out the window and quickly had her stop for a photo. The sun was setting, but not enough to matter. I changed the conversion to a chocolate tone I love using for brides for this deep effect. Hope you like it!

Jena and Gavin

These are a few of my favorites from Jena and Gavin's wedding in Elmore City on Friday night. There's not much in Elmore City, but they sure have one huge church! I thought I would get lost in there a couple times! And if anyone tells you country girls don't know anything about fashion or how to get married, they are wrong! This was one of the most elegant weddings I've ever attended. Jena chose black for her bridesmaids and maid of honor dresses, accessorized elegantly with very old, very beautiful handmade Navajo jewelry on loan from her grandmother. In fact, the photo of her and her grandmother is one of my favorites.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Fall Family Portrait special!

When was the last time you had a family portrait?
I'm coming up on my one year anniversary of having a studio and because of that, I'm offering new and returning customers free family fall sessions during October! These will be outdoor portraits to take advantage of the season. There is no obligation to purchase, though packages do begin at $75. Also, images must be ordered by November 4. This is a Limited Edition offer and images won't be available for ordering after that date.
Space is limited already so if you're interested, call or e-mail me soon! This offer is limited to family or children (under 12) sessions. Offer not available for senior sessions.
I'm also booking holiday sessions now. More details to be provided later this week!

A weekend of weddings!

Not one, but two beautiful weddings this weekend. No, I'm not crazy. One was Friday night in Elmore City, the other was Saturday night in Oklahoma City. I'll be posting some of my favorites over the next couple days while I edit the images.
I hesitated for years to photograph weddings, only doing those for friends that begged me to do so. I'm so tickled now when someone asks me to shoot their wedding! It's an honor and I just love the romance of a wedding. When Rex and I got married (over 21 years now!) we were lucky to get any images from that day. I think the ones we have were shot with my old 110 camera, one roll. The 'friend' there who was shooting disappeared with the film!

If you have a wedding coming up and haven't found a photographer yet, I have openings, just give me a call if you like my work. I'm not a traditional photographer and really prefer the photojournalistic style with a bit of artsy slant. Weddings start at $600. Consultations - no charge!