Monday, January 25, 2010

OKLAHOMA PHOTOGRAPHER | To brighten your week

We've got a wind advisory and winter storm watch here in Oklahoma and the wind is bitingly cold. I thought it was for later this week. I love living in Oklahoma, but the wind makes me want to pack my bags. I love the Pacific Northwest but sometimes it is just too wet in the area that I love. Florida, well it has huge 'critters.'
So I thought I'd share a couple of my spring shots that I finally got around to working up late last night. Aren't they pretty?!
Enjoy and stay warm!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Time Honored

I don't think I've ever shared these online before. It's the Oklahoma capitol building.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Oklahoma Photographer | Completely Offbeat

I reached way back into some old files when I was learning TTv and textures and more..this is all I could come up with! Just kidding! You have my permission to use it as your desktop background if you want. Trying to think of a title, any thoughts? I was going to post an old wedding photo from 2007 that I shot for a friend but decided not to. By the way, I am booking weddings if you are in Oklahoma.
I'm looking forward to the Trail Dance Film Festival this weekend, but couldn't find my folder of images from ages ago, and have to head out the door to work. Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oklahoma Pet Photographer | Sammy and Roxy

These dogs are so cute! I think they remembered me from their portrait session a few years earlier as I went to take this photo they both looked at me for perfect timing. Candace, I hope you like it though I'm sure you had thought I had forgot. It was grouped in with some photos on an external in an odd named folder so I couldn't find it.

Now I promise you, if you are a portrait client, I won't make you wait months for a photo!

Oklahoma Photographer | Stop, stop and stop again

I really mean STOP! This post is geared mostly at photographers, mostly new photographers who think they are the all-A top notch photographer in their area...oh yes, you know who I'm talking about! I've also directed a few comments toward people looking for a portraiture photographer.

Stop - and look around you before clicking that all great family portrait - please!
But before I continue, let me tell you where this is coming from. I get google news alerts for various things, one of them is Oklahoma photographers. I like to see what is going on with others in my area, usually if you maintain a blog, your postings will get regenerated by the google news alert, handy to promote yourself/business. Well today my clicks on those links made me utter UGG! Now I can't attest to your business or your personalities, as I'm sure you are wonderful people. After all you are shooting photos and that's the great thing. Keep those bookings coming in!
What I am concerned though is that you are offering portraiture that is nothing more than snapshot with a bit of editing.
Stop and Look --- are there poles coming out of your subject's heads in the background. Oh yes, I do believe there are!
Is your focus really off but you post the photo anyway because baby sitting on Santa's lap is smiling so cutely? Yes again!
And this one really makes me choke: Your color is so off it can't even be attributed to textures, actions or anything remotely hip in today's technology of digital fun.
Please, learn to edit your images during the shoot and after before you go posting them for your clients.
I did come across a photographer who made all these horrendous mistakes, not just in one session, but many times over, and there they are all over her blog for everyone to see. She had probably 50 photos on her current blog page and I could only pick out 2, MAYBE 3 that were portrait worthy. And one of them she overtextured. That's sad, because it's obvious she's very busy. I guess the good thing is that she's not charging exorbitant amounts, $75 for the session and her print prices are ridiculously low. On the other hand, consider the time the client spends preparing and going through the session. Do you really want amateur images for your time, or do you want a true professional portrait? It's all in what the client wants. I see so much of this going on in Oklahoma and it saddens me. One of the reasons I quit doing portraiture for some time. I've decided to go back into it this year after getting so many requests. I hope I don't let anyone down, as I love what I do and want the client to be 100 percent satisfied.
And always strive to do better with each session that you do. Think of composition, posing, lighting, angles, the list goes on.
I've had people ooh and ahh over my photos (while inside I'm thinking, but I could have done this better or that..) yet one of the things I was confident about was that even if it didn't meet my high expectations, at least I was giving it my all and always thinking about all of these things and more. I've had parents and moms of brides and brides say to me, you get those shots that nobody else would even think of, like the look of a bride's mom as she watches her daughter dance with daddy. "And you still get the shot of them dancing!"
I thank her for that high praise, but I am definitely not the only photographer to get those kinds of shots. I've studied photographers online that I admire and respect their business model and photography and try to learn how I can achieve those same things. And I like connecting with people. That also means listening to what they have to say even if it makes you uncomfortable. I think some of the best advice I've gotten are some of the clients who have made a few comments that maybe hurt my feelings to begin with but looking back, it's made me a better photographer. It doesn't mean just toss out everything you know and listen 100 percent, it means taking it under advisement and molding it to how it makes you better. After all, you are the professional photographer and while some clients have good intentions, they aren't always 100 percent right! (Ha, imagine that!) That'd be like a novice photographer telling a master photographer they are doing everything wrong. This is meant to be fun! So have fun!
And you are your own boss! When it stops being fun, that's when you re-evaluate it. That's what I did and I think that not only I, but my future clients, will be more lucky for it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Oklahoma Children's Photographer | Little Mr. B

Always makes us laugh when we see him!

starting my own band, MM is on piano and BD is a drummer

no words needed

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another Gumball photo

I think I really like this one! It seems happier with color. I titled it red and yellow i wish wish

Gumball memories

Do you remember when you were a child and would feed the gumball machine pennies or nickels or dimes, just to get the one color you just had to have? I think for me it was always red or yellow! Even today, those are two of my favorite colors and I love aqua also. That's a happy combination, wouldn't you say! Every so often I revisit these gumball machine photos that I was lucky to take with permission of an antique store proprietor. I keep playing with the photos adding different textures trying to come up with just the right one. I kind of like this one, but still not 100 percent what I'm searching for. Once I do get it right, I'll probably get the photo on canvas or maybe the newest thing- metallic tin.
If it's been awhile since you visited my blog, be sure to read below to catch up on some things. And I'd be happy to have you comment. I do approve the comments as long as they aren't spam. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your week.

Monday, January 11, 2010

So, I failed

My attempt at linking using blogger's little link tool did not work for some reason. I am posting those at the side so you can go visit them.

My first blog award!

Gosh, I don't even know where to begin with this one. Claudia from eternal rewards just gave me my first blog award! And to top it off, she grouped me right up there with Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond, another Oklahoma-landed girl really from California ... (I've been saying for months now that I'm a celebrity, haha, now it's true because we all know that Pioneer Woman is definitely a celebrity and the best kind, down to earth and real).
First, Thank you Claudia. Second, wow, I actually have to write a blog entry. Claudia, I spend most of my day writing and there you are bragging about me writing, but I do very little of it here on my blog.
Ummm...on second thought, not sure I should be thanking you or saying..just you wait! LOL
Part of the reason I don't do much with these things is it takes time to really sit down, think, write and make all those little links for reference to other sites. Here's the requirements as shared by Claudia.
So here it goes:
1. A thank you to the person who nominated you
Thank you Claudia. I may even enjoy doing this! Claudia and I met through flickr and as she says on her blog, we are soul shutter sisters. Eggs, wooden bowls, hay bale landscapes and more ...we've been talking for ages about collaborating, but I'm worthless on that end. And collaborating effectively means really challenging yourself and holding up your end of the arrangement for it to work. Maybe if I win the lottery?!!
2. Here's the award

3. Here's the link back to Claudia's blog - please go visit, definitely refreshing!
4: Name 7 things people don't know about you. (It's here, you just have to keep reading)
5. Nominate 7 bloggers and place a link to them as I do.
6. Leave a comment on their blogs so they know they were nominated/awarded.
Also I must add that to me, a Creative award for a blog doesn't mean the blog itself is overly creative, but that it inspires you to be creative! That's my take on it anyway.

First, I frequent many blogs, rarely posting comments on majority of them and many of them don't even know who I am. I guess I'm a bad blogger, but in a recent issue of Artful Blogging - love that magazine - it said to comment at other people's blogs if you want the love back in return. Of course, it is nice to see comments, so I've been working at that more. Most of the blogs I visit are of other photographers or artistic individuals. Christy Hydeck at Art By Chrysti gets my first nomination. Plus she's got a permanent link back to me on her blog.
Art by Chrysti She's very inspiring and I'm making her a 2010 priority to visit her blog more often. It really is what a blog should be. Wonderful writings, her own and others, plus I absolutely love her textured images. I don't find many online who gravitate toward rich saturated colors and textures on their images, so I feel a connection with what she does. Soul's Estate and Where Love Lay Sleeping are 2 of my recent favorites. I love how she describes her images and she's a talented published artist. Her blog is so clean, but FILLED with all kinds of wonderful links. But what makes her blog so great is that she's always showing the blog love for other talented artists and photographers by posting images and links back to them. Now that's what the Internet should be all about.
Gosh, that's only the first nomination and this is a book already. Go get some coffee or yummy Lipton Tuscan Lemon tea.
2. Maritere gets my next nomination. I think she found me first, through etsy and gave me a glowing write up on her blog Totart She makes blogging look easy, like it should be! Always wonderful photography! Plus she doesn't forget to show lots of etsy love!
3. Bueller Designs is always tops on my list! I even have some of her wonderful TTvs displayed in my home. While some may visit her blog and first have a tendency to go, oh, another one of those blogs with all these fashion and decor/design photos from other sites, they miss out if they run away from it. First she has a link to her "kitchen" site where she is all about healthy and very personal. Plus she is a fabulous photographer. Just explore and you'll discover the beauty at Bueller!
4. Vicki Dvorak at Simply Hue is on my list for creative joy. I love the vintage vibe she's got going on right now plus she mentions other photographers and bloggers that I LOVE, besides having mentioned me at least once in the past. Thanks Vicki! Her blog is so fun and refreshing. I'm always thinking, gosh, I want to try a photo like that. The only problem I have with her blog and photos is that I want to buy them all! Look closely at her photo Imperial. The lighting and shadows that play in that photo make it so original. Keep up the wonderful work Vicki!
5. Meg at Tea and Brie . She's been blogging for quite some time, but she does everything right on her blog. I found her on etsy and instantly bought some of her photos cards. She told me at that time it was new for her, I thought she meant photography, hah! Her blog is open, funny and just a joy to read. She's got a photo on there of her child hiding in one of those plastic totes on the couch! And it's a great shot! Please visit her and show her some support by visiting her etsy shop too. But for those looking to document their lives through their blogs, take a cue from Meg! The great thing is as you do this, at the end of the year, you can make a blurb book very easy and then you have your family journal library started. It's really much easier than you think to do that.
6. LuAnn Smith at Back Home Again gets a nod just because she IS creative. Take a look if you don't believe me. My gosh, I look at her blog now and then and think, wow, I really wished I had paid more attention when my mom tried to make a seamstress out of me. I love what LuAnn has. Plus she's in Colorado, where I called home for many years.
7. And one of my biggest inspirations is Joy St. Claire. While I like to think I have many photographer friends, Joy has been an inspiration just because she was one of the first to give me encouragement on flickr. That's a big world over there and it's so easy to get lost and not always easy to find a group to connect with. Yet for months, Joy would post little bits here and there under my photos. I also felt like I was growing as a photographer just by watching her work and others like her. You know, you can be the greatest photographer in the world, but if you don't keep the channels open, you isolate yourself and then you stop challenging yourself. Plus she shares! She makes such great textures and if you know me, you know I love the textures. I'm still saving up for Lightroom, so textures come in handy to mimic some of those looks.

So, now if you've stayed with me this long, you deserve to know a few things about me.
1. I buy more books than I can read and have a few boxfuls in storage from when we moved. I used to read a lot, but I think becoming a news journalist had something to do with my reduction in reading. Plus I read junk. I'm not one of those fabulous literary readers. I think the last great piece of literature that I read was in 10th grade, Great Expectations. I remember Pip as the central figure, but beyond that, not much memory other then I thought we'd never finish the book in class. I got in trouble in junior high for reading books by the likes of Harold Robbins or The Exorcist and Jackie Collins. The teachers couldn't do much though since they came from my mom's library and I was known to come to class sometimes with wonderful books from Pearl S. Buck (that's where my imagination comes from I'm sure) and John Steinbeck and Frances Parkinson Keyes. My classmates read whatever they could get from the school library. Finally, I relented one day and checked out a book and read it over and over. S.E. Hinton's That Was Then, This is Now...oh my...I just realized, that I found a copy of it at the Goodwill the other day for 50 cents.I also picked up a copy of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Another favorite of mine.
2. I went through a phase making cold process homemade herbal soap. Loved it. Made my favorite - patchouli, and my husband loved my rosemary mint. Now I just buy it from etsy soapmakers as I don't have time to make it.
3. I learned how to embroider when I was 10, and also tried crochet. I loved embroidery, but haven't done it since I was a teenager.
4. I'm always trying out new recipes. I've been called a domestic goddess. Those people didn't really know me.
5. If what I'm doing doesn't impact someone in some way, then maybe I shouldn't be doing it. So far, I think I'm on the right track with both my writing and photography. It's not about me, but about my subjects, the wonderful people that allow me to write their stories, or photograph their moments. Thank you!
6. Now, I need to go write that great novel, non-fiction, purely junk of course!
7. I love Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. Yes, I read all four books and am a huge fan of the movies.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It will get warm again

It may be hard to remember what warm spring and summer days were like, no matter where you live in the country. But maybe these photos will give you hope. Happy Monday!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Summer garden

Beginning notes for my summer garden include lots of flowers that will make for great backdrop of photos as well as photographing the flowers up close. It also includes a small garden of delightful foods, sweet potatoes, radishes, rosemary and mints. Oh I can't forget the spinach and rhubarb!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Clearing the air

Someone asked me once why I do what I do and why do I so freely do it for free. I started laughing. It's a simple answer. I love photographing people and life. Like the World Champion miniature bull event and the state high school rodeo that were both held here in Duncan this past year. I went, shot the photos just because. I uploaded them to my shopping cart site and they are there if someone wants to buy them.