Saturday, September 27, 2008

Start the day right

Here's another of my pumpkins.
I'll be adding some of the textured ones later to my blog and etsy shop!


If you visit my flickr stream, you've seen some of these already. Sorry! I promise to put up something again this weekend. For those who haven't seen them, I'd love to hear some happy praise! And as always, my images are for sale, prints, cards and even stock!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A good Cabernet

Photo of the Day -- Well, I didn't really shoot it TODAY, but it's the one I decided to post today!
I needed one final shot for a wall in my dining room over the counter pass through. Since I have a wine theme *though I admit to having other things in my dining room.
I thought this photo would help finish off the wall. My kids gave me a beautiful canvas wine collage that is in the middle and then I'm putting up my 'italian' food shots and of course, this one. Printed 5x7 in 8x10 frames.
Some of my favorite wines are those from the Pacific Northwest - Chateau St. Michelle for one! And funny, but I also like Arkansas wines! What's your favorite?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blog banner POLL

Kind of informal, really ... but, for those who regularly stop by, and those of you new here, look at some of my archive posts and help me choose a banner for my blog. I had a beach one up, but now have up a landscape from my -sky slices- series *yet to be revealed* this one above, it was shot in southern Oklahoma a few years ago.
The big question is this -- should I use one of my food shots from recently (like yummy tomatoes?), a vintage camera artsy image, or maybe just wait until fall really comes in and put something seasonal up? I am going to be whipping up a batch of delightful Halloween cupcakes this weekend, so who knows?
Chime in and let me hear your thoughts!
Meanwhile, here's a couple cat images of my beautiful TwoFace!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

This girl's got style!

added this top one this morning and changed out the very last one after re-editing it.


Fashion diva. Fun kid! This is H's second go-round (not counting editorial work) and I just love her outfits! This will be her modeling/pageant portfolio. Well not exactly these images, though some of these are my favorites.

Pies add memories, not pounds

Note: I wrote this June 1, 2005, when I was editor of a small weekly paper in southern Oklahoma. This was my Editor's Musings column for that week. I was doing some cleaning today when it fell out of a basket of items and I read it. Needless to say, a box of kleenex would have been good at that moment. I'm sharing it with you.

Pies add memories, not pounds
By Toni Hopper

A thick creamy yellow pie with golden crusted meringue sat on the Jefferson County commissioner's meeting table Tuesday morning.
Everyone eyed the pie - a coconut treasure waiting to be devoured - until its maker, Lou Ann Epley of Wilson, cut the first piece.
Commissioner Jack Tipton didn't wait for it to be claimed. He knew it was his piece.
It's not the first time Eply has brought pie to the commissioner's meeting and she may be on to something. Because each time she brings the pie, her agenda item is approved.
Courthouse janitor Colleen McLemore later watched John Dale unabashedly delve into a second helping. McLemore described it. "A man's pie."
Well, not my man, anyway. He detests coconut in any form.
"Toni's not going to have any I guess, so I'll just take her piece," Dale said in reference to me as he cut the last large piece into two smaller ones.
"Coconut and banana cream pies,ummm."
He rolled his eyes and bit into another piece of the pie.
That was okay with me.
A rich pie, well, it had to be rich, judging by the way it looked and the content looks on each of the pie 'victims' faces when they finished their pieces - would have made me worthless for the rest of the day. It was only 9:30 in the morning.
Earlier, Epley teased the commissioners with thoughts of blackberry or other fruited pies. The coconut pie is apparently Tipton's favorite.

All this talk of pie made me think of my mom's deep dish peach cobbler.
In December, I traveled back to (Colorado) to see my Mom for the last time. She was in the hospital with a broken hip. I remember her telling me to make sure I took home "the pan."
That pan had to have been the first pan she ever owned. I don't know that for a fact, but I remember it from my childhood. It was a deep dish aluminum pan, one of those teal green-coated pans that she used to cook stews, chili and of course, the peach cobbler.
My Mama never wrote the recipe down for her peach cobbler, but I can remember when I was about 10-years-old, she began teaching me to bake.
A little of this and that, and before the pie had a chance to cool, it was gone. Of course, not without a generous helping of vanilla ice cream. Sometimes, that too, was homemade. I also remember that while there didn't have to be any special events for Mama to make the pie, she always, without fail, made it when my sister, Deborah, arrived on our doorstep - usually a surprise.
We'd even tried other pans, but they lacked the magical ingredient which made the cobbler so yummy.
I went in search of the pan, but couldn't find it.
Sad to say, someone had tossed the pan in a cleaning raid. I didn't have the heart to mention it to Mom.
Funny, how little things like a pan can hold great memories when we lose someone we love.
I did find Mom's oil sewing can, a bit rusted, after her death.
That little can is like a trophy to me. She was quite the seamstress. The can shares space on a shelf with my vintage camera collection.
I'm sure she's having a good laugh. I can't sew.

(Photo of sewing can to come soon!)

Friday, September 19, 2008

For Iris lovers everywhere

A 5x7 of the same image.

This was from April, I believe. Just now getting around to doing something with it. Hope you like it. If you want a print, let me know and I'll list it in my etsy shop according to your request. Meanwhile, enjoy it as a desktop wallpaper. It's low resolution/size. I just ask that you don't print it or use it for other than that without purchasing a print.
Thanks and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dandelion wishes

Remember your childhood and days of wishing on dandelions then twirling and letting the air whoosh the tiny feathery petals off and giggling, or maybe just watching and holding your breath as the 'wishes' went off into the blue skies? Have you made a dandelion wish lately? They are just simple wishes. Nothing elaborate.

Monday, September 15, 2008

All for Mrs. E.!

Amy contacted me and after much arm twisting, got me to say I would do this large family's reunion group photo. I'm so glad that I did! I met a wonderful bunch of people and really wished that I would have had more time to hang out with them at the park. We really worried about the weather and time of day since it was nearly high noon, but considering all, I think we got some fabulous images!

Mrs. E and her daughter and son...

The Generations shot ....

The young bunch ...way too busy to 'pose!'

Kids being cute ...

And I can't wait to see what Becky from Katy, Texas came up with! She's the mom of these two darlings and also into photography.
But the reason I caved per Amy's urging was because these were for Ora, (Mrs. E.) mom/grandma/great-grandma of this family who drove from all over the place to see her.
I can't wait to surprise her with a large family portrait of the session. I hope you are not reading this Mrs. E!
Well thank you Amy and I hope you all enjoy this sneak peek!


Pretty soon she'll be a teenager! We will definitely in a few years (emphasis on years) have to do her senior photos in this same spot!

And this little doll was just as serious as could be until her uncle tossed her in the air. I'm so glad I got this image. Look at her smile!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Canvas time!

I am really considering getting this one as a canvas! It's from MM's first birthday session and a texture I found, I think on deviant art or flickr. I love this because it isn't 'perfect' see the cake all over her darling little face?!!

Go away reporter, go away...go figure..

I'm just amazed that people can be so heartless. This story details a reporter's ousting at a shelter just as Hurricane Ike was hitting Galveston. Go figure. I just am amazed at public places having this dictator attitude. A public school is just that, public. Doesn't sound like the reporter was out of control, just being ousted because she was doing her job. Well, read the story and then you will see what I'm referring to. It's places like these that actually need reporters there.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Some old favorites

Like I don't have anything better to do...

I went through my blog archives of 2007 and here's a bunch of my favorites. Mostly from sessions, but a couple others that caught my eye. Don't have a clue why I'm doing this! I have other things I could be doing, but at 1:30 a.m. after spending most of the evening writing a very long story for the paper, mindless blog tasks can be a great way to move from one matter to another. Of course, this first photo has a lot to do with my evening. I wrote a story that will be published in the paper. If you want to know more about the background of this photo, visit my blog archive February 2007.

This next one is definitely a major favorite of mine. Mostly because it's her mom's favorite! This image has won H. five photogenic competitions in modeling pageants!

And who wouldn't love this shot? While this was for a Fourth of July session, it's a great shot anytime of the year! If you ever want something like this, just let me know! My flag is one of those items I keep near by all the time.

And I love this shot because it is such a tender moment of this young family! Look at baby K's hint of a smile!

Allright, these next couple are my all time favorites posted on my blog. Well, for Christmas shots anyway. I don't think it has anything to do with the fact they are my grandbabies! And I love the teacup shot! The images were the first 'family' shots taken in my new home last December. Not too bad, considering everything was still in boxes and my studio lights were not working and these were shot at night. Thank goodness for Lightsphere II!

And this one, from my old studio, is another favorite. Again, if you have a baby and want a photo like this, please let me know right away. I'm booking for Christmas sessions, but very limited basis.

Here's my daughter-in-law and her son at his six-month session. I love moments like this. Nothing fancy, just a timeless portrait.

Another daughter-something or another...LOL (I know she's reading this, have to tease her! Luv ya kiddo!) But granted, my focus on this was off, but I love the simplicity of it and the way the light shines on them. Is this baby just not the sweetest with those cheeks?!!

I mean,really....

And here's Mister little man, as his mom calls him. He got that sucker and was having so much fun. His daddy scolded me. But, you know, grandmas can do such things!

From November 2007, a cruise ship wedding! Sure, more of MY nephew and his second marriage. Beautiful moment. And look at his children, how sweet they are being! 30 minutes before this though, total chaos. haha!

Some adorable girls of all ages!

Love his blue eyes! This was his first birthday session. His mom and I used to work together at the newspaper. She drove down from Tulsa and I had such a blast in this private acreage shooting their photos. Probably one of my best outdoor sessions.

And some boys..gotta have J's football shot. I love shooting seniors. So fun and always willing to try crazy ideas. It's an old one of course, but since it's football time, why not?!

OK, that's all, though as I looked through the year, there were so many I loved and many more that I never posted.
I'm just slightly inspired to do some more sessions -- in October!!! Leaves will be changing, crisp dry air, awww..I love autumn!