June 24, 2009

Engagement: Ann & Craig

Saturday morning started out rainy and just blah. I was so worried that the weather would stay that way and we'd have to cancel. I kept checking the weather all day. Any minute it was going to clear up. By 4 o'clock it still didn't very good, but we decided to try anyways. As I was driving out to Santa Monica the skies opened up and there wasn't a cloud in the sky! The day turned out to be absolutely beautiful and better then I could have asked for.

Ann and Craig are amazing. You can tell just by looking at them that they are crazy about each other. And they are fun and totally willing to try anything. And by anything I mean jumping into the ocean fully clothed with waves as high as their waists! Oh, and they are the best models ever!

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Thank you guys so much for taking a chance on me! I couldn't have asked for a better first couple. I hope these pictures are all that you wanted and more :)

June 20, 2009

Sneak Peek: Ann & Craig

Here's a sneak peek from Ann & Craig's engagement shoot down at the Santa Monica Pier today!

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On an unrelated side note... pricing is now up on the left side of the blog! Go check it out and hire me!

June 18, 2009

Personal: Me, my Sony camera, my unknown blog, and my 250 business cards...

Have you ever read something and gone, "OMG I know EXACTLY what you mean. Are you trying to tell me something. Not just anyone... but me?" And then you start crying. Ok, maybe not the crying part, but have you ever had a moment like that?

I did on Tuesday.

But before I get to what made me start crying like a baby, let me give you a little background information.

I'm not the type of person who would ever do well at a normal 9-5 desk job. I lose focus very quickly when I'm not getting to be creative or I'm not doing something I love. Trust me... my internship senior year of college = FAIL. Then again it didn't help that I was trying to plan a wedding at the same time. :) In the past I've found working with kids to be my way around the desk. Not teaching, but camp. I loved it, but it's extremely hard to make that a career.


I've always loved photography. I was the person who always wanted my photos to be the best they could. Not because I was trying to impress anyone or make it a career, but just because I wanted to. My dad was into photography when I was little, so over the years he let me play with his camera and learn little techniques that now come naturally. I remember sitting in a free photo class at Ritz Camera recently and the guy taught everyone how to hold a camera correctly. It shocked me that some people own giant cameras and have no clue how to hold them.


In college I needed an art credit, so I took a photography class. This was the last class this specific professor was ever going to teach. He had always taught using film, so he was going to go out teaching film. Well, slides to be exact. He didn't want us to go out and photograph what we see, or find certain lighting in our surroundings... no. He wanted us to take objects from our home and set them up and put the lighting like he wanted. Unless it's a ring or shoes at a wedding, this just was not my style. I ended up with a B in the class, but only because our tests were open note, and I had some general photography knowledge. Needless to say, a career in photography was not on the top of my list after that class.

Fast forward to last summer. I had just finished an internship that made me never want to step into a office ever again and I felt lost. I went back to working the job I had before my internship, which really wasn't getting me anywhere. I went to a wedding of a girl from The Knot with a few other "LA knotties" (as we like to call ourselves). As I was taking photos of the bride and groom with my little point a shoot, one of the girls mentioned that she was really impressed with my pictures. Later that evening she asked if I had ever thought about becoming a photographer. Honestly, I had to answer no. It had never occurred to me that I could make it a career if I really wanted to. Plus, you can't become a pro with a little point and shoot. :)


The week before the wedding I lost my point and shoot. Or it was stolen. I still have no idea. Doug and I had been talking about buying a nice camera before the honeymoon anyways, so we headed to the store and picked ourselves up a brand new dSLR. I had so much fun on our honeymoon learning how to use it. In the back of my head I still had that little voice from the wedding wondering if I could become a photographer. And that little voice never left.


After a few failed interviews where I realized I really didn't want the jobs I was applying for, it finally hit me. Doug and I took a trip to Mammoth to visit my uncle and I told myself that I wanted to prove to myself that I was good at this photography thing. I love those pictures. That trip cemented for me that I wanted to make photography more then just a hobby.

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Since then it's been a roller coaster of emotions. I've been terrified to tell people that this is what I want to do. I've been afraid that people will look at the pictures on my blog and think that they totally suck (no, I've never gotten bad comments... I just have a complex). It scares the crap out of me to say when people ask what I do for a living, "I work at an after school program right now, but I'm trying to become a photographer." When I talk to people with fancier cameras then me and they ask what lenses I use, what kind of flash I have, etc. , I have a hard time answering because I don't always know. "Umm, ya. I use the lens that came with the camera... and a zoom lens... that also came with the camera. O ya, the flash. No clue. I just know it works with a Sony, unlike most. That's all I know." I feel like some little girl running around the world of adults pretending to be a grown up.

Then Tuesday comes and I come across something that makes me start crying.

I was reading the extremely fabulous and talented Jasmine Star's blog. She has been going through FAQ in the past few weeks and answering them in her blog posts. Here are 2 of her FAQ's from Tuesday's post:

Molly asked:

My question is this: Did you go to a photography school? Would you suggest getting an educational background in photography? Or perhaps were you self-taught? And if you went to school for photography, where did you go and how did you decide on the school?

No, I didn't go to photography school. But I thought I would. It wasn't until my good friend David Jay talked me out of it. I was too afraid to teach myself and try to make things work on my own...so I thought school would be the best route. He said going to school for wedding photography wouldn't be worth the time or investment and if I was up for the challenge, I could make things work. I just had to believe they could.
Three years later, I'm writing on this blog as proof that anyone can learn photography and follow their passion if they're willing to try, fail, and try again.

Joel asked:
How did you overcome your (what's the word I'm looking for) "fear" of just diving into it? I just need one little tidbit of your retrospect.

Okay, so this is a complicated question to answer. Because, really, I STILL haven't overcome my fear. I know that's totally lame to admit right out on the web for everyone and their mother to read, but it's the truth. I still get nervous before shoots, I get nervous before I shoot a wedding, I am nervous about booking 2010 weddings...I suppose fear is always around.
But the thing that matters most--the precipice of differentiation--is how you handle fear.
When I made the decision to dive into photography I was fearful. Of course. But this fear was shadowed by my fear of not living the life I wanted. The fear of being trapped in a 9-5, wearing a black suit, and having power meetings. Ugh. I dove head first into my business when I realized fear shouldn't dictate how I live my life...because the life I wanted to live was trapped in a Canon camera, a unknown blog, and 250 black business cards. That's all I had, but fear couldn't rob me of following my dreams. It shouldn't rob anyone of them.

Umm, ya. Jasmine, if you were talking to me, I heard you. Loud and clear.

Me, my Sony camera, my unknown blog, and my 250 business cards... we heard you.


I'm ready to dive in head first. I'll be posting pricing in the next week and my first real photoshoot! I'm so nervous and excited!

June 15, 2009

Kids: Gold Rush Day

As promised, I bring you the rest of Gold Rush Day!

Disclaimer: Unfortunately I'm not allowed to post pictures of student's faces so this post will be full of half faces, hair in face, hat covering face...etc. It makes me sad that I can't share some of my favorite pictures with you. I totally understand why there is the rule, I just wish it wouldn't mess with my blog post ;)

The day started with a pancake breakfast, gold miner style!
I'm not so sure gold miners had chocolate chip pancakes though...
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Then the students got to make their own pouches to put the gold they got in.

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As the kids finished up eating and getting their pouches together, "gold" got placed into the dirt for them to mine out later.

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My husband played Sheriff. He threw kids in jail for just about anything. The kids started cheating on their games so he would throw them in jail.

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One of the activities outside was washing! I loved this one. They had to take a rag, soak it, scrub it 5 times with soap, run it across the washing board 5 times, rinse, ring, and hang. I've never seen boys so into washing things!

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Random side note: This was my grandmothers washing board. I absolutely love it.
I think this is the first time I've ever seen it used though.

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The kids panned for gold. I've never seen kids so excited to find rocks painted gold.

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One of the activities that they never got around to was using the spittoon. One of the mothers had to try though. She took a gummy bear and spit it towards the spittoon... and she made it in!

If you look closely you can see the red streak of the gummy bear going past the lower part of the door.

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And because I just couldn't help it...

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Next was lunch!

The parents made stew and chili and cornbread for the kids to eat. Yummy!

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After lunch we headed back inside to do some Chocolate Chip Cookie Mining!

This activity is quite fascinating. Each kid starts out with $19. Each one gets to buy a type of chocolate chip cookie. There were 3 different types and each one cost a different amount. Then they get to pick which tools they want to use; flat toothpick, round toothpick, or paper clip. They can only use this tool (no hands!) so which tool they pick is very important. Each tool costs a different amount and they can only buy 2. Then they get to choose how long the want to mine for, each minute (up to 3) costs a different amount.

Then they get to mine!

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After 3 minutes they count up how many chips they mined out. Each chip is worth $2, so they get to see if they got their moneys worth! (If you want the exact directions for how this game is done, shoot me and email and I can get it for you)

This was the winners cookie:

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Then both 4th grade classes got back together to sing some Gold Rush songs. I still have these stuck in my head!

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And this would be my husband playing guitar. :)

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Thanks guys for letting me hang out all day! It was so much fun and I learned a ton!