Saturday, January 31, 2009

Brianne you have forced my hand.

In case you didn't read the comments below, Brianne's comment to her portraits was that "photoshop is a beautiful thing." So here you go missy, you in all your non photoshop beauty. These images are straight out of camera and they don't lie. What I change in photoshop are my imperfections in correct metering and the skin tones. For instance, you have a greenish hue on your face and hair because of the reflection of all the green around you. So I adjust that. I also lightened some blemishes, but hello! I am 2 inches from you. Anyone that close needs that.

I had to put this one in because you are blushing because of something that I said to you. Probably, how beautiful you are!

Like I said. You are beautiful.

Need a Laugh today?

It's on me. Or rather Paulette Huntanova. Have you seen this one Grant? And by the way I miss your comments, oh loyal brother in law.

Busy Today

-Jacy, I am working hard all day to get your family's pictures done, I promise! Thought I would share one. This beautiful woman is Jacy's youngest sister, and she was so camera shy. She was always trying to hide. Which was very troublesome in the group photo, young lady. It was hard to find one where you weren't hiding, and where every one's eyes were open. Very Naughty, but I will forgive you. smile. Well, her mom took me aside and asked it I would get individuals of her. Of course! Can you even believe that she would be shy or self conscious one bit?! I told you, you are gorgeous!!!!! And by the way, she is single. Pass the word on. I really like to set people up. Do you know of any righteous dudes?

-I loved the black and white so much, but I had to show the color one also, because her eyes are just such a beautiful color!
-Off to edit! Make it a beautiful Saturday!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

You asked for it. you got it (toyotaaaaaaaaa.....)

quick, name what movie that title is from! One of my favorites. I know you got it fast Coco (and by the way I miss you, and your needle with botox in it. ha ha)

(This is a sample of the fun post processing that you can do with photoshop and using actions.)

So, I am often asked what camera I use etc. So here is the official "in my bag" list. I use everything I own, or I get rid of it. All of my lenses are my favorite, and I use them all. I bring every one on my photo shoots. That being said, I proceed, smile.

-Nikon D300 (yes, I'm a Nikon girl. My high school photography teacher was partial to Nikon glass, and I just trusted him. Now it is just comfortable for me, so I stay with it. The first SLR I used was actually a Canon AE-1. It was my Dad's.)

-AF-S Nikkor VR 70-200mm f/2.8 G IF-ED (no, I don't know what all that means. ha ha. It just takes amazing pictures if you need to be far away from your subject, even in low light situations. It is my most recently purchased lens. It will mostly be used for wedding ceremonies. Although it has some other fun uses that I am planning on trying out.

-AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G-ED. This lens rocks. I did not go into the store intending to buy it. I don't even know how I happened upon trying it. I really don't know another photographer that uses it. I just love super wide angle shots, and this baby is magic in my hands. A cheaper route is definitely getting a prime lens. I just love that I don't have to change lenses so much. It is still a really wide aperture which means it is heavy because it has so much glass. But so very sweet.
-AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G-ED. This is just your all around basic flexible portrait lens. Not super exciting, but the workhorse. Again, just easier than a fixed prime lens.

-AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 D- When I first started doing portraits, I used this lens exclusively. It is a great lens! If you ask me what lens you should get first, I would say this one. And for even a lower price you can get the f/1.8. It is only about $130. Keep the aperture all the open (at 1.8) and see what fabulous pictures you can create. The cool thing about a prime lens is number one they are way cheaper, and you can get a wider aperture (lower the f-stop, wider the aperture), and a sharper image. I used to have an 85mm f/1.8, but I sold it because I was always using the 50mm over it. I am kicking myself about that now, but oh well. I personally like to be close to the people that I shoot. I like to be in their face, in the moment, really feeling it. I can talk with my subjects and interact with them. That is not every one's style. You have to go with your personality, and what works for you. That is something I have learned. There isn't one way to do things. Every amazing photographer does things differently. How they feel comfortable doing it, or what they prefer. That is what makes every photographer unique. We all see things differently. I like that. Everyone approaches a situation in a different way. You have to find what YOU like. Same thing with lenses. Don't just take what I say as what is best for you. You have to go down to the camera store, and try out all the lenses in the store. See how they feel to you. Budget can dictate your limitations sometimes as well, and that is not a problem. It can be better if you only have one prime lens. It forces you to stretch your creativity. To not just sit in one place and take pictures, but to move around and be creative.

-Nikon speed light SB-80DX- This is the flash that I use when I have to use flash. I really prefer natural light, but sometimes that just isn't possible at a dark reception. I have discovered that this is pretty outdated. Not that it doesn't do the job just fine. I bought it about 7 years ago. Lately, I have been looking at flash differently. As a way to be more creative, so I am not disliking it so much. But whenever possible bounce that flash baby, never shoot directly at your subject. Again, depends on what you are wanting to get. There are no set rules. You do what looks good to you. Oh yah, and I use a flash bracket usually with this.
-Promaster system pro 42" (I think) reflector. You use this to bounce light, real or artificial. It has a white, silver and gold side. Fun to play around with. You usually need someone to help you to hold it. Which means I don't use it that often. Which brings me to another subject....

-I feel more comfortable shooting alone. I feel kinda bad about this because people have asked me if they could tag along on one of my shoots, and I always say no. You see, it is all about what I was talking about before about being close to my subjects when I shoot. I need to feel that connection with them. When other people are there, it distracts me and them from getting into that zone. I need a name for that zone. Where nothing else exists. It is just me and them. This gets me into trouble because I can injure myself. Like running into a cactus. Yah, that was painful. It was the kind that hooks into your skin and the Dad had to get two sticks and use them to pull the hooks out. Not pleasant, but my adrenaline is going pretty strong on a shoot so I didn't feel it too much. So sorry, my friends. Unless I am specifically teaching someone what I do and it is a model that knew I was doing, I will be going solo. If it is just the mom, or a friend that is helping out the subject I don't mind because they stand way back and let me do my thing. I actually love this, because than they help me adjust the dress, and carry things. That is real nice. When I start doing more elaborate lighting, or have a huge wedding, I will have to break down and ask for help. My sister Kelly was great to have help at my last wedding. She left me though and went to a near by thrift store. ha ha so, typical. LOve you KEll.

-AS far as post processing goes, I use Adobe Photoshop CS3. Photoshop really is a must to learn if you are serious about photography. I just took a local community college class initially. It is an amazing program and there is no end to the things you can do. It is just the learning how to do it all that stinks.

-Once you have a basic understanding of Photoshop and how to work layers, using actions is so much fun! My favorite are the Kubota, and Totally Rad Actions. I have others too. They are all wonderful and just expand the possibilities.

-You are never done learning or improving in any field and of course that is true of photography. You can always take it to the next level. But you have to build on your knowledge and it takes time and practice, so don't feel overwhelmed. I learn new things every day and it is so exciting. If you can afford to attend a workshop do it. There are so many, and in every price range. You don't need to spend alot of money to improve. Like I said one lens, a simple slr, and alot of practice, go a long way. You can learn a ton from other photographers on their blogs. I appreciate so much the photographers that share information. Rebekah Westover is someone that I admire for doing that. She is really down to earth, and is happy to share. There is information to be had everywhere on the web. At your fingertips, and for free. Don't feel you are limited by your pocketbook. You will learn so much just reading your camera manual backward and forward. (Or telling your husband to read it for you and tell you what it says. ha ha. )

-So did I answer every one's questions in my very own long winded way? I hope so. Now, I am goff to bed.

-Buona Notte. Sogni Doro.

p.s. Why does spell check not like the word alot, besides the obvious? Really, it isn't a real word? What else am I supposed to use? Mucho?

p.p.s. If I don't make sense in this post and you read it before I go over it again tomorrow, sorry. I am just too tired. Thank you for your understanding. smile.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Got Service?

My sister who was really bummed about turning 31 (which sounds really lame to her 38 year old sister, smile) decided to cheer herself by helping others. Service always cures the blues. Click here to find out all the details.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Looking for a florist or caterer?

I thought this florist did a wonderful job at the Johnson wedding that I photographed. Thought I would post some pictures to show her work. Her website is

Above she did the fir swag around the doorway. It was gorgeous. She also put the greenery around the gazebo where the ceremony was. The wedding organizer at the wright house reception center (where this was) said that no one had ever done that before and she thought it looked so beautiful.

The centerpieces she did for all the tables. They looked so beautiful lit up at night.

The bride's bouquet. love it. Simple, and classic.

This table was outside ready for the bridal party. All was neatly labeled, and she helped everyone put them on.

I love this picture of the groom's niece wearing the flower wreath during the ceremony. So cute.

The centerpiece at the sign in table.

The florist arranged the flowers on the cake. I will have to find out if the caterer did the cake, or a bakery because it was delicious! Only the top tier is real, the rest is decorated cardboard, I am guessing. Oh and I posted two different types of processing for the cake. You know I love your opinion. Which do you like better? The top one is more vintage.

The centerpiece on the food table.

The caterer really did a great job on set up. I thought it looked really nice. Above it isn't finished, she was still working on it. The food and flowers aren't there yet. She doesn't have a website that I know of, but her name is Heidi Allen. Her business is Allen catering co. and her phone number is 480.688.6629. Her email is

I thought the soup in bread bowls was really yummy, and a good idea. It was great for the kids too.

Last, but not least, Brooke's Dad's famous cheese ball. This was not prepared by the caterer. Apparently this is her Dad's famous recipe, and a tradition. I thought it was awesome that he made it personally for her reception. And let me tell you, it was Delicious!!! Brooke, I need that recipe! Or is it a family secret?

Monday, January 26, 2009

a couple of good things.

I feel a new obsession coming on. Doesn't this look delicious, and nutritious? Well, it is. It is a low calorie, high fiber, multi grain with flax seed flatbread (that's a mouthful). I bought it at costco. The brand is called flat out. Then you spread some cream cheese on (get the fat free if you like). Next some lunch meat. I used turkey. Then, ripe tomatoes, red onion, and spinach. Lastly, salt and pepper to taste. Roll it up and enjoy. I highly recommend this. I also highly recommend this movie. Who can resist Rock Hudson, and Doris Day. It is a classic.

So, those are the two recommendations for the day. Treat yourself to lunch and a movie.

2008 goals-check!

So, I did it! I accomplished one of my goals from 2008! Wanna see?

I have lost 17lbs!!!!!
Want to know how I did it? Of course you do. What woman doesn't want to hear of another possible way that they could lose weight? ha. OK.....drum roll please................
MEDIWEIGHTLOSS! I love this place! They aren't all over the country yet. It started in Florida, and I know they have them in So. California (of course) and mesa, and one in salt lake city. What? are these all the most vain places in the country? ha ha. So here's the low down. You are basically meeting with a doctor each week. Your initial appt. you have an EKG, blood work done, meet with the doctor and discuss how you are going to do the program. The way I did it (and most do) is you take an appetite suppressant, go in twice a week to get a concentrated B12 shot (it has other supplements in it too) and once a week you are weighed and meet with the doctor. They are focused on your fat loss. When they weigh you they tell you how much water, muscle, fat etc. that you are made up of. The goal is to get your body in Kitosis (or just burning fat). You do this by eating only lean protein the first week, exercising, taking vitamin supplements, and eating only 500 calories a day. OK, so everyone freaks out when they hear that you are only taking 500 calories a day, but it was easy. With the appetite suppressants, it is easy. I felt better than I ever had in my life. My sister told me, "that's because you are taking speed!" She's just jealous. ha ha. You can lose 10 lbs or more in your first week. Of course I didn't because I cheat. In fact I cheated the whole time, but not in the way you are thinking. I didn't binge or anything. I just ate more carbs than they recommend. I wanted to just eat more normal but less. So, it took me longer than it could have, but I am OK with that. My friend who just started lost 12 lbs her first week! Isn't that awesome?! I also did it over the holidays so of course I took a couple of weeks off, and did sample goodies, but still way less than I would normally eat. I felt so good the whole time I was doing the program and of course now,I am feeling so so good! I can't believe how good just having that fat off your body feels. Exercising is so much more enjoyable even. It is easier to do everything. They have at the mediweightloss clinic those huge chunks of simulated fat. I wanted to take a picture of me holding one. They are so gross, and were very motivating to me when I saw them. They have one that is what 5lbs. of fat looks like. Just thinking of that on me made me want it gone immediately and not eat anything that would make that in my body again. So sick!

My actual goal at the clinic was to lose 20lbs. So, really I have a few more to go. Why 20 you ask? Well, I asked Dave a few years ago if he would take me to Tahiti if I lost 20lbs. He said yes. So guess who has been spending alot of time researching Tahiti trips? smile. Tahiti ,for some reason, is the place I have always said I want to go since fifth grade. We were going to go on our 10th anniversary, and didn't. We always put it off longer because it is so dang expensive. So after researching it again I decided that it is still too expensive. Sheesh, for that amount of money I would rather pay off my car. Seriously. Because, we could do it cheaply, but that isn't the way that I want to do it if I go. If I finally go to the place of my dreams it will be done like this.

an over water bungalow at the four seasons resort in bora bora.ah paradise. My bed prepared like so.
My breakfast brought to me every morning.
and enjoyed on my private terrace.
Maybe afterwards, I will take a luxurious bath.

Dave, will take a nap. He will need it after working in the gym for hours everyday to get a chest that looks like that. ha ha.Next, I will go to the spa for a little relaxation. (since it will be so stressful having breakfast and taking a bath. smile)

So, maybe I will do this for my 40th birthday. Actually, I think I would do a cruise so I could see all the islands and than just do one or two nights at this resort. Yes, I think that sounds perfect.
We decided with our friends Roger and Teresa to celebrate each of our 4oth birthdays together doing some amazing trip. One of us conveniently turns 40 each year, for four consecutive years. Last year for Dave's we went on an eastern carribean cruise. Teresa's is this October and we are going to do a Meditteranean cruise, but mostly Italy. Mine is in 2010, and I am thinking that this is it! So start saving Hardings!!! Roger's was first and they just came to our house and relaxed and partied with us. It was then that we decided to do all of our 40th birthdays together. I think Roger got a little jipped, so maybe 2011 he will get to choose again. It's only fair.
My other goal for 2008 that was more important was to improve my marriage. To read scriptures, pray, and read a marriage book every day with Dave. I am happy to report that our marriage has blossomed in a most beautiful way this year. It is so amazing to me how a relationship can change and be more beautiful with time. The world paints marriage as getting dull and boring as the years go by. That is a lie. If you work at it, and develop it, and are willing to be unselfish and humble it is quite miraculous. The feelings that I have for dave, the love, the comfort, are more exciting than any new romance. Even if it were Edward. You are way way better than Edward dave! ha. That doesn't mean I am going to stop watching the movie over and over though. ha ha.
Now, on to 2009! I think it will be fine! I'm such a poet (and you didn't know it). Now, at least you know I am a total dork!

Friday, January 23, 2009

I really like this

Although, I do want to brush their hair and clean them up a bit. (that is for my sister kelly, who is a hippie. ha ha)

Found this today.

Isn't this so cool! I probably couldn't pull this off in my house because I have such different decor, but I love it! I found this on the "image is found" blog. They are a husband and wife photography team in southern california. Anyway, this is something they did in their home. These are just three white magnet boards from ikea, and mini magnets. Both very cheap. I know, I have one in Rachel's room. They can just rotate pictures this way, since they are always taking them. Wanted to pass the idea along. Inexpensive, creative, and lovely.