Wednesday, June 20, 2012

52 Wednesdays :: Friends

Hello old blog, it's been a few months since we've been together...

Last week, on Wednesday, my domain was hacked through the server my website and blog are hosted through (so it wasn't just me who was affected), and unfortunately, my new blog has yet to be restored.  I remember thinking today, "If I can't participate in this week's 52 Wednesdays circle because of this, I'm going to be incredibly angry."  And instead of letting it get the best of me, I thought to use my old blog instead.  Take that angsty hackers!

Tonight, I actually had the best thing happen!  Eva and I had the opportunity to be models for a really talented commercial photographer (see here) --which means that in a few weeks we are going to have such fun photos of us together.  It's been 3 or 4 years since Eva and I had our photo taken together, which makes me so sad to even think about.  But I am overjoyed that we had this opportunity as it felt like such an amazing blessing!  And did I mention so fun too. =)

We brought our super sweet dog Dash with us as a prop.  Dash is a very handsome, well mannered, happy pooch and Eva loves him to pieces.  They are such great friends and luckily I brought my camera with me tonight with the hope of capturing a photo of them together to share for this week's assignment.  Our photo session ended a bit later and I was worried about having enough light since the sun had already set, but I did capture this one frame that says it all.  Such wonderful companions, a girl and her dog.

Next up is the wonderfully amazing Amy Grace from San Diego, California!  Be sure to click the link below to experience the awesomeness Amy has created this week.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

52 Wednesdays :: Laughter

It's week 11 for 52 Wednesdays and our theme this week was "laughter."  I was really happy to see the theme this week because I have a little giggle monster at home. =)

As a work-from-home mother, Eva spends a little more time entertaining herself than I'd like.  However, I do try really hard to be intentionally present with her when she gets home from school and preferably until she goes to bed.  It's not always possible if a deadline is pressing... but I try.  One thing that I am most consistent about is taking time from the moment she comes home from school that is completely focused on her.  I found that if she sits on my bed and I sit on my floor I can get a lot more information about her day than if I ask her in the car or even standing around in the kitchen.  Somehow, the bed is like a stage and she tells me all her little secrets and interesting tid-bits from her goings-on of the school day.... or even what she's thinking about outside of school .... and day dreaming about for her present and future.  It's a really special time for us and she's always so disappointed when we have to miss out due to schedule.  It usually only lasts about 5-10 minutes, but I love connecting with her this way.  I'm hoping these are setting a precedent for when she's a teenager and she'll still want to talk to me.  One day, I hope she'll look back on these little chats as very dear times between us. =)

This is from today's after school chat.

So as I mentioned above, Eva is Miss Giggle Monster -- as in this could be her second name actually.  Everything is funny to her, which usually sweet and cute and humorous.  One would think I wouldn't have trouble photographically documenting this character trait, but usually the giggling goes away the second the camera comes out.  Today though, I thought I would have it with me while we did our chat to see what I could get.  So I started talking to our dog Dash (who was sitting nearby) about his day and how easy his life is.  Somehow me talking to the dog like he's a person is the FUNNIEST thing Eva has ever heard of.  It is usually a sure bet for a great giggle and here it is:  sweet laughter from my sweet girl.

Now you have the pleasure to continue with this circle via Ms. Amy Grace of A Beautiful Life Photo in San Diego, CA.  She's super amazing at lifestyle photography and I'm sure her blog post this week is a stunner.  Find it here!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

52 Wednesdays :: Green

It's Wednesday again and this week my theme for 52 Wednesdays is GREEN.  St. Patrick's Day is Saturday, which is likely the reason.... but I didn't feel like going the obvious super green route.  Instead, I chose subtle green with a red jacket on my girl.  Red and green are complimentary colors by the way (AKA, not just for Christmas), which is something people learn in Design 102 if you go to school for art like I did.  Of course, these days one can save thousands of dollars and learn this on my blog... or a book, or Pinterest.  

Amidst my rambling about red and green, I'd like to point out that it is 3am (yikes, must get better about this).  I actually did not put this week's theme off; I worked on it twice earlier in the week and didn't like either outcome.  So today after school I asked Miss Eva if she would be my model and this is was my answer.  

Seriously.  Scary, right?!

Pretty sure, girl hates being my model.

I remember when she used to actually enjoy having her picture taken... but not now.  Not since her mom has been a working photographer for 3 years and a practicing one for several years before that.  Now she makes fists in the air and squished faces and whiny noises that all articulate, "No thank you."

Really all she wanted was for me to observe her scheduled free time for pbs kids; however, I won her over for about 10 minutes with the coercion method of Eva = Mary Poppins with her green umbrella.

The Mary Poppins persona was able to morph into nice model girl.  With a little bit of dancing of course.

So by this point I was pushing my luck time-wise, but she let me capture this last one, which I LOVE.  And think it's one of my new favorites. =)

After which, she skipped back into the house to do exactly what she had wanted to do since the moment I grabbed my camera.  Oh Eva, when did become more fun than your mom???

Next up for 52 Wednesdays is Traca Miller!  Be sure to continue in the circle to see everyone's interpretation of green.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

52 Wednesdays :: Close Up

It's week 9 for 52 Wednesdays and this week's theme is Close Up.  I was kind of excited for this week, but kind of dreading it at the same time because I actually love close up/macro photography (that might seem like a hugely contradicting sentence, but I'll explain).  I LOVE investigating the world and all it's intricacies from a highly magnified vantage point.  However, I've been seriously missing my previous ownership of a macro lens lately, and this assignment only strengthened those feelings.

I actually fell in love with my camera and photography because of macro photography.  Before Simply Splendid existed in my life I was a jewelry designer (I still am technically).  I created custom jewelry pieces with gemstones and fine metals and hated that the photographers I hired to photograph my art couldn't seem to catch my vision of what I wanted.  So, I invested in a DSLR so that I could learn to do it myself.  Along the way, I found how much I loved photographing people and developed my capabilities  over time to where they are now.

I own a 50mm lens and an 85mm lens, which are fantastic focal lengths for photographing people; but unfortunately, I must remain at least 1.5 feet away from my subject for my camera to focus.  This means macro photography isn't in my cards these days.  I managed this week's project with a special magnifying filter and this is what I came up with:

I'm so thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce Ms. Amy as the next photographer in this photo circle!  She is an amazing photographer from Southern California and is the owner of A Beautiful Life Photo.  She has such a brilliant photojournalistic style, I can't wait to see what she's come up with this week.  You can find her here.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

52 Wednesdays :: Reflection

It's week 8 of my 52 Wednesdays project and one thing I'm loving as it goes on is how much it stretches me.  Seriously.

In the last several assignments, I've been really skeptical that I could complete the task and have something I'm proud of to show for it.  This week wasn't any different, and by 3pm today I actually hadn't even completed the assignment yet.  I even thought to myself, "Does it really matter if you don't do it this week??  I have a lot going on and no plan... what the heck.  How am I going to pull this off?"  But it does matter, to me anyway.  You see, completing a 52 week project is one of my biggest goals this year.  It's about the dedication and the integrity of seeing the commitment through to the end.  So I'm really proud of myself that I didn't talk me out of it.

You should have seen me at 4:30pm though (with very little daylight remaining), documenting every reflective object in sight.

Because part of the problem is that although I was happy I wasn't giving up this week and waiving the white flag, I didn't want my submission to be lame either.  In fact, I was certain I was going to have to apologize in this blog post for posting such a lame photo.

But yay for you, and yay for me because I'm actually really proud of my photo this week.  So here it is.  I hope you enjoy it.

Next in this photo circle of ladies is the ever sweet and equally talented Lauren Gauthier of Red Dirt Girl Photography.  You can find her post here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

52 Wednesdays :: Ruffles

Week 7.


*insert chirping crickets*

At first this week was a real challenge for me.  Eva (my daughter) and I aren't easily characterize by typical female things.  We are feminine in our appearance and mannerisms, but any sort of stereotypical femininity starts to become quite grey from there.  She's not a ruffle sort of girl.  I however, have a few tastefully ruffled items that are more architectural than frilly.  I have a soft heart for an elegantly taylored blouse--they usually pair well with red lipstick.

So this is where my saving grace came in.  I had it in mind to create a macro shot of a ruffle, where it would be less discernible.  This is very me.

It seems the group of women who join me in this weekly endeavor, aren't very ruffled either so it will be interesting to see what everyone else has come up with.  I actually saw a sneak peak of an east-coaster who created the most amazing lizard shots ever (hi Traca! love your post this week).  You'll have to keep circling through to see them. =)

Christine O'Connell, a wedding and portrait photographer of A Million Sighs Photography in Orlando, Florida is next.  See her post here:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

52 Wednesdays :: Cold

This is week six of my 52 Wednesdays project and at this point I'm seriously proud of myself for posting every week.  I realize that I'm only 11.5% through, but I'm still happy. =)  As a crazy busy person, it's a small kind of accomplishment to stay committed to something that could easily pushed to the side for the sake of getting more than 6 hours of sleep.  But fortunately, this evening I'm proud of myself because of my progress and I'll be getting 7 hours of sleep.  It's like a dream come true!

This week our theme was "cold," which we have plenty of around these parts this time of year.  Not midwestern cold, but cold and dark and dreary nonetheless.  I did have a session this past weekend that was cold and there were pink little noses and all, but I thought of a different way to keep with the theme and put a very cheery spin on it.

With that in mind, I feel like I'm bursting at the seams waiting for spring to arrive!  Soon there will be crocus, daffodils, and blooming trees like magnolia, plum, and cherry.  Then there will be tulips and the leaves will come back and before I know it; half the year will have passed and I will be wearing skirts with sandals and the sun will warm my skin while a light breeze moves gently through my hair.  I can hardly contain myself thinking about it.  AND--there will be ice cream, gelato, and popsicles with giggles and smiles from the little Miss and me who love, love, love summer.  I'm waiting...

So here is my picture of cold... one of the most delightful kinds of cold I know. =)

Be sure to continue with the circle so that you can see the many other representations of "cold" in our group.  Next is Christine O'Connell, an Orlando Wedding Photographer.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

52 Wednesdays :: Pink

It's week five for my Project 52 group and this week our assignment was pink.

Audrey Hepburn said she believed in pink.  Around here, we don't really fall into that category, but certainly value it's projection of femininity in moderation.  For example, I'm a huge fan of truly pink blush and pink peonies; but gag me if there was ever a pink room in my house... I guess our ideas about pink are that it's a great accent color in more inconspicuous amounts.  So this week, I new I wanted my assignment to be very pink, just for the stretch.

Today I had a mini session with Miss Eva after school for Valentine's day pictures, and though I was planning to use a completely different image and a still-life even; I saw this one and knew I wanted to use it instead.  I have to say that I think this is the most feminine she's ever looked.  She hasn't seen this yet, but I think when she does she'll like it as well--even if it is far from our normal.

One of the things I'm beginning to love about this Project 52 group is seeing the vastly different interpretations each person has of the weekly assignment.  Since this is our first specific to color, I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone's posts.

Next in the circle is Laurie Schultz of Cincinnati, Ohio.  You can find her post about pink here:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

52 Wendesdays :: Emotion

It finally came, and unfortunately faster than I would have liked:  I'm pulling from past images this week to keep up with my assignment.  Luckily, the women who are doing this with me have grace for times like this!  That said, I was unable to complete the vision in my head this week, which is a bummer because it was a good one.  However, I've decided to make up for it with a lot of good. =)  Instead of posting one image, I'm posting a collection of images I've taken throughout the last year that convey our topic this week: emotion.

Next up is the lovely and  talented Karen Porter, a photographer from Austin, TX  (who likely completed the assignment too!).  You can find her here:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

52 Wednesdays :: Bokeh

Week 3!

This week my 52 Wednesdays project was assigned a bokeh theme.  

Bokeh- photographer terminology for the {intentionally} out-of-focus space in a photograph.  However, I also think of the dreamy orbs of light captured in that out-of-focus space.  The quality of bokeh is determined 1) by the lens; 2) by the settings on the camera; and 3) by the quality of light.  But circles of light can be captured in a photograph through any light source, including artificial (i.e., twinkle lights) and/or any reflective object as well (i.e. glitter, reflective water, light hitting leaves, etc.).

I'm a big fan of bokeh and most of my images have a good amount of it generally.  I like the buttery smooth kind, the round dreamy light kind, and even the artificial kind.  Here is an example featuring circles of light.

Grey gloom (current state of affairs in the Pacific Northwest) does not produce lovely, dreamy bokeh.  So in an effort to not use a past image, I decided to do something very out of the box.  Well, for me anyway.

This week, I am using super-artificial bokeh in my image.  I added orbs of light in my post processing and created a more art type piece.

Here is my original image, which technically abounds in bokeh already:

Garlic with a smooth creamy background, but no orbs of light.

Final Image:

What I love most about it, is that I've never done anything like it.  I rarely use textures or overlays in my work and I also love that my interpretation of the assignment is creative; and the really wonderful part is--I actually like it! =)  

I'm really looking forward to seeing what the other women in my group have come up with this week!  Next up is Rachel Ice:
Rachael Ice - Louisville, KY Photographer -

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

52 Wednesdays :: Eyes

Second week of 52 Wednesdays is at hand!  This week the theme is "eyes."  In my mind, eyes are like little masterpieces: each set so different, with such varying color and amazing little inflections.  I have a sweet girl at home with the loveliest eyes.  Her father and I both have grayish-green eyes and subsequently, Eva has the deepest true blue eyes.  They are generally happy and full of joy.  They are deep and thoughtful and kind.  I just love looking at them.  At this point in Eva's life, she has had me pointing my big, black camera in her face for years.  Poor girl is over it.  I was lucky to get this shot, and if I had time I would have liked to have posted all the out-takes as well.  Her idea of looking at my camera consists of her face being in the general direction of my camera--all bets are off in regards to where her eyes actually are.  Maybe as she gets older, she'll come back around.  In the mean time, I feel thankful to have a small collection of shots like these.

For this post, I'm going to show two versions of the same photo.  I love both for different reasons.  The first photo below here, is more true color.  Her eyes are still very vibrant, but the rest of the tones are very muted and grey.

But every once in a while, I love to take a great image and give it a dreamier spin, as with this one below.

So difficult to choose just one. =) I hope you enjoy.

Next, be sure to take a look at the next set of eyes in our photographer's circle.  

Cheyenne Bell with LoveJoy Photography, Fort Worth, TX -

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

52 on Wednesday :: Morning

This last year I followed a few photographers who were working together on a 52 week photo project together.  I thought the concept was really fun and somewhat genius for helping with motivation and accountability.  Each week there was a theme and each photographer would interpret it their own way and then link to the next photographer in their circle.  

A 52 week photo challenge may not seem like that much of a challenge, not nearly as daunting as a 365 perhaps; but for me, it will take effort and dedication to complete it each week for all 52 weeks.  I'm really excited!  So each week there will be a new theme and this week's theme is morning.  This week actually posed a bit of a challenge for me because my daughter was sick, and then I became sick, followed by a bout of food poisoning = horrible week in the health department.  Normally, I wouldn't want to save my assignment for the last minute, but today I was able take a few shots of what would be typical for me on any given winter morning.

I live in Oregon and in the winter, it is fairly dark.  I wake up at 7:15am and it is still mostly dark and doesn't really reach full daylight until closer to 9am.  I don't generally take pictures of sky, but this morning I was desperate for ideas and there was a bit of blue (rare occurrence in a Pacific Northwest winter) at about 8:15am.

By this time, my daughter Eva was nearly ready for school and being silly, as she frequently is in the morning.  I love her eyelashes, they give me eyelash envy.  So I take pictures of her looking down...intentionally. =)

And after walking her to school, I sat down to enjoy my breakfast -- a Starbucks chai tea.  Also at the table was leftover orange from Eva's breakfast.  It's this time of year that I really appreciate far off foods, as frowned upon as that may be.  If we ate entirely local--there would be no fruit in the winter here and that would be really difficult.  So I sat there thinking of how grateful I was for this southern orange and the farmer that grew it.  However, I ended up putting it away because I've been stomach sick and didn't think an orange would sit well.

So I just enjoyed my chai tea.

And then I went back to bed.  Because that's what sick people do.

Up next, see what a morning looks like for Ms. Traca Miller, a photographer from Stephenville, Texas..

Traca Miller - Stephenville, TX Photographer