Friday, May 28, 2010

recent edits

i've been catching up on my edits this past week and had a few to share with y'all. rather than getting these out in my typical 2-3 weeks, i'm more at a month now. but i've done my last wedding until july (when i'll do one almost every weekend until the first week of august) and then i'm essentially done with photos for a long time except for special circumstances. that'll give me plenty of time to catch up with all of the wedding edits and focus on the other stuff that will need to be done around that time, like decorating a nursery and fun things like that :)

so here's my friend lisa and her family--she actually won the photo package for jonah's auction, and i always love photographing them! so much fun, and they always have the best candid pictures.

ethan is getting used to me taking pictures now--it doesn't hurt that lisa and i try to have lunch pretty often, and i get to see her kids then, too :)
so much energy!
matthew is "this close" to walking--he was doing a good job of standing with some help that day.
love this one.
and this one--especially matthew's smile...
so sweet!

i also wanted to include a few from this shoot--i did some first communion pictures for my friend novine and her daughter, sami. we also wanted to do a big family picture while everyone was here for the big day. i have to say--i'm proud of this shot. capturing a decent picture of that many people is tough, but they did a great job and i was really happy with the posing. (yes, we used to same location as lisa's photos. it's one of my go-to places for nice pictures in the middle of the day--lots of shade and beautiful backgrounds.)
sami and her sister, sabrina (i was digging the faded look here)
and her cousin--super cute!
i've got a couple more editing sessions that i'm hoping to knock out this weekend, including an adorable 1 year old and some awesome senior photos. i can't explain how excited i am about the 3 day weekend--it's been a crazy week at work, and i really need that extra day to recuperate. we've got a day trip planned to the raleigh/durham area, but other than that, i think we're going to relax and enjoy the holiday.

what are your plans for the memorial day weekend?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

while i was ironing tonight...

(my productive task for the evening--last night it was photo editing) i decided to watch a movie on our netflix streaming. justin was focused on his latest video game, so i knew i could choose one that only i would enjoy. i love netflix's wide range of documentaries, and i went with one that had been in the queue for a while--the business of being born. it had even more relevance now than when we had added it to our "must see" list.

i was a little concerned that some of the birth scenes might be too much, but was pleasantly surprised. except for the c-section scenes (i still don't like the blood and seeing insides) the birth scenes were really pretty tame, in my opinion (but does include nudity, just letting you know.) and i think what was surprising was how natural and amazing the home birth scenes were--like that's how it was supposed to be.

i'll be honest, a lot of my reading online from other blogs has made me interested in (not that it's necessarily what i plan on doing, but i at least want more information) natural births, options for birth procedures and vaccination schedules, and just learning as much as i can about what else is out there. this movie does a great job of explaining how the medical community has turned what once was a very natural process to a "business" where 99% of our births take place in a hospital, and nearly 1 out of 3 births is a c-section. in the rest of the world, 70-80% of births are home births with midwives--and those countries have lower infant and mother mortality rates than the U.S.

this clip is one that really got to me...

now i'm certainly not a medical person--or even an experienced mom. i have no clue what i'm talking about here. but i like anything that shows me there are other options and other opinions and more information out there to be heard.

anyone else watched the movie? thoughts?

on a quick note, the baby sounded great on friday and heart rate was at 162 bpm! the ultrasound is scheduled for about 3 weeks from now--super excited! and i've had a couple of instances where i think i've possibly felt something, but not positive. i wish it was easier to know :)

(i should have a real post eventually, with edited photos to share from recent sessions.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

worship music wednesday (and belly update)

loved this song that we sang at CCYC last weekend--it's been around for a while, but i thought it was worthy of being a "worship music wednesday" song.

and i had a lot of people comment to me on tuesday that all of a sudden, i was very noticeably pregnant. so i had justin snap a picture before i changed out of my work clothes. i think the shirt made it more prominent--i'll be 16 weeks on saturday!
more later on--it's been one of those weeks where things are hectic and i've had something every night. so i've been relaxing and getting caught up on editing in my spare time. :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

a wicked weekend

so i know it's been a few days since i posted, but man, it's been a crazy busy week and weekend! forgive me for the the delay :)

i have finally started to get caught up with all of my photo editing and feel better about my work flow in general. one thing that we had to change was my work station--we had a black, wooden chair at my desk at first, and that was just not working for my long editing sessions. justin also likes to use the big monitor for playing video games, so we invested in a comfy office chair with plenty of cushioning and support. much better! let me share a few from some recent sessions that i edited, and i have four or five more from both of these shoots in my flickr set that you can check out.

adorable riley with her mom stephanie and daddy travis.
and the wedding photos are done for brittany and brian's wedding!
i have a few more to get done this week, but by the end of the week, i should be pretty well caught up. woo hoo!

on friday evening, we headed to raleigh/durham for an evening with my family. my brother and his wife have season tickets for the DPAC broadway series, and it was the last weekend for wicked!
i have been wanting to see this musical for such a long time! when we saw that it was coming last year, we started planning and got tickets for all of us to see it.

(they also are planning to get season tickets for next year, and i'm tempted to try and make it to "the lion king" or "in the heights." that last one has been on my list since i saw the 2008 tony awards performance--where they won best new musical, of course--and i saved the DVR recording to show justin that "this is what musicals can look like, too!")

(had to include the video.)

this performance was just amazing, though. i had heard the soundtrack before and tried to make it through the book, but only got halfway through. so i was still surprised by some of the plot twists and was simply amazed by the costume designs, sets and lighting. the closing number of act 1, "defying gravity," had some of the best lighting i'd ever seen that created just...a truly striking scene.
oh.... so good.

i stayed overnight at alan and rachel's house so i could get up the next morning and photograph brooke and matt's wedding in nearby wendell. i can now share some of her bridal portraits that we did back in march on the waterfront in downtown washington. it was the middle of the day with full sunlight, so i favored black and white and a 70's faded editing style to help mask the blown out areas.

the wedding was gorgeous and i was glad to have some natural light to work with during the ceremony! the last two weddings before this were in buildings with no windows, and saturday's wedding had lots of windows and great lighting. it was nice not to rely on my flash the whole time (even though i did leave my tripod at the church--time to get a new one, i guess!)

after finishing up mid-afternoon, i headed back home and crashed. such a long day to be on my feet! but i have one more scheduled for next weekend (a short and sweet wedding early in the morning) and then i'm off until july (for weddings) giving me plenty of time to catch up on other stuff :)

and today has been a typically sunday--sang in church, enjoyed a nice lunch out with lindsey, jeremy and megan, and then while justin did yardwork, i did a few loads of laundry and got the groceries for the week. i think we're ready to start the week!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

i heart faces: celebrating mom!

i have lots of selections from family photo shoots that feature some amazing moms and adorable children. so tempting to choose one of those, yet i kept coming back to this one--the photo that we used to announce our own pregnancy to our family and friends.
with this photo and on this day, a mom was made. and we were so happy and ready to celebrate. we can't wait for november when we welcome this new little life into the world :)

hop on over to i heart faces to check out the other wonderful moms over there!

ccyc weekend

this past weekend, i traveled to the raleigh/durham area for the annual carolina christian youth conference with our high schoolers. the theme was "hostage?" with the main idea being that we are all hostage to something in our lives, some kind of sin, but through grace, we are all ransomed and can enjoy freedom in God.

(pretty heavy stuff, but that was intention of the planning committee and it really went off perfectly!)

our group was in charge of the skits that opened several of the sessions, and they did an awesome job with this set design and the performances.

the daniel dabney band did worship again this year, and they rocked it out! love their sound and style...
and the main speaker was neal alligood--hadn't heard him before, but he was awesome. he was able to hold the attention of all of the high schoolers and brought an amazing message.
(some of our group during one of the music sets--we had 14 teens and six adults--a decent-sized group considering our attendance lately at our high school weekly meeting.)
the black and white handprints that we used in our skits and in a lot of the design elements for the weekend--we had three huge walls that we covered with handprints and then used them in the last skit.
and finally, our group on saturday afternoon. we headed over to streets at southpoint for lunch and some downtime before going out to "leave your mark" with a service project. (i did pick up some cute UNC onesies and a steelers bib at the mall--couldn't resist!)
for our service project, we chose to get bouquets of flowers and go over to duke hospital and hand out flowers to the mothers who were there on the pediatric floor. after finally tracking down some flowers (a great deal of a dozen roses for $10 at kroger--hello!), we went over to the hospital, found a spot to park, and split up the bouquets. we got permission to be on the units from the charge nurses and then made the rounds to all of the rooms that were available. the reactions we got were wonderful, and we even met some people who had kept up with "riley's army," a pediatric cancer support group that started in our city. it was an awesome way to have these high schoolers see how a small action could make a big impact on others.

the other thing i wanted to share was our mission for the weekend--rapha house, an organization that rescues children out of slavery and human trafficking. they shared some amazing videos of girls that have come through their program in southeast asia, and they also had products available that their girls made. i wish they sold some of the beautiful purses online! the bags and purses were all free-trade items, and they use the sewing projects to teach the girls new, marketable skills. please check out their website!

now it's back to the real world, with lots of photo editing to do this week and catching up on projects around the house. on the way back home, i met mom, grandma, alan and rachel for lunch and then did some shopping at the motherhood maternity outlet nearby. i found a ton of items on the sale racks that worked well and will carry me through the summer.

and then when i got home, justin had worked all afternoon to clean up the house and made me a cute homemade mother's day card from him and the baby :) so sweet! it was nice to be included in this mother's day, getting several cards and gifts from my family. there aren't very many holidays that you don't get to celebrate at first, and then get to join in on the celebration later on. can't wait until next year, when i'll get to have the baby here, too!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

graduation week

it's graduation week here for our college students, which means starting this morning, our little city will be overflowing with family members and friends coming to celebrate. and then they'll leave, taking all of the college students with them. and then it'll be summer and traffic will be significantly better and we all love this time of year :)

at work, we had four co-workers who have finished their masters degrees, and because a couple of them are traveling over the weekend (instead of going to their graduation ceremony) we decided to have a party for them and help them celebrate early!
we had it on tuesday, the day before "cinco de mayo" and one of our co-workers said it would be a fun idea to make it a "cuatro de mayo" party. so it was a graduation party with a "fiesta" flair.

our graduates checking out the spread--we had some delicious dips, mexican rice and salad!
and everyone else coming in to join the party. we also had "pomp and circumstance" playing in the background, particularly for those who wouldn't be making it to their graduation ceremonies.
and finally, our four graduates! so proud of them and the hard work that they've put in!

a few more things before the weekend--have you seen this commercial?

after seeing it for the 2nd or 3rd time, i had to go to the website to actually check out this camera. and i think it's my new "tiny camera crush." yes, i salivate over DSLR lenses and external flashes, but i also have a tiny camera that stays in my purse all the time. and it's lovely and perfect for the job i need it to do--but wow. that's a cool camera.

this feature got to me:

Shooting high-contrast scenes can often lead to washed out backgrounds and/or details lost in shadow. Backlight Correction HDR helps correct for this by taking two pictures at different exposure settings and processing the best elements of both into a single image for more natural looking shots.

and this one:

Intelligent Scene Recognition (iSCN) Mode automatically detects nine different types of scenes and, within just 1/30th of a second, selects the appropriate camera settings: Backlight, Backlight Portrait, Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Twilight using a tripod, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, and Close Focus. iSCN has two modes: Auto and Advanced. In Auto Mode, the camera takes a single shot using the optimal settings. In Advanced Mode, the camera takes a photo with the optimal settings and, if in difficult lighting (low light or back light) immediately takes a second photo with another optimized setting so you can choose which to keep.

and of course, the panoramic feature AND it shoots HD quality video.


okay, on to other stuff.

friday night lights comes back on tonight! this is one of the best shows out there, and if you're not watching it, you should be. (you should start from the beginning, but it's still worth watching.)

while i'm headed off to a youth conference, justin will be going to see "ironman 2" with one of his friends. but i do hope to go see it with him sometime soon. of all the action movies i've watched with him, i have to say that ironman was one that i truly enjoyed. yes, it has lots of explosions and fight scenes and everything that the guys enjoy--but the last one was so funny and well-written and just an entertaining movie. i'm hoping as much for this one, too!

anyone else have big plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

worship music wednesday

another hillsong united one this week. my reserve of songs is running dry, but i should have some new ones to add after this weekend's youth conference :)

hope everyone has had a fun cinco de mayo! we had tacos at our house :) and i did an adorable photo shoot with a one year old girl--hot pink tutu, huge flower clip in her hair, pink frosted cupcake--the whole deal. can't wait to get around to editing those!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

busy busy weekend

our schedule stayed full this weekend, with several scheduled parties and photo shoots. i hadn't originally intended for it to be quite this busy, but it's just the way it worked out and by the time it all came together, there was little i could do to change it :) so we just prepared as best we could and ended up having a fabulous (though exhausting) weekend!

friday evening, we satisfied my craving for buffalo wings and then hit up a couple of yard sales that were taking place the next day. they were all neighbors or family members, so we had the inside scoop on some baby stuff. we picked up a high chair (we know we'll want a couple to share between houses) and got everything together for the cook-out the next day.

i had a photo shoot first thing in the morning, and then we were celebrating these fabulous ladies--
six of the girls that i work with are engaged and getting married this summer or fall! so we decided to have one big party to congratulate them. of course, it was the hottest day of the year so far, but we had a couple of large tents up for shade and tried to stay as cool as possible.

i had gotten a sprinkler for the older kids that would be there and set up a baby pool under an umbrella for the little ones. that quickly became the popular place as they tested out the water...
we were all having a good time watching them splash and sticking our own feet in to cool off!
charlie and rylie seemed most content, while marley was not quite as interested (trying to make her way out in this picture)
we'll be keeping the baby pool around for next summer :)

we gathered together all the brides for a couple of pictures...
gotta show off the rings!
and then, people started to head out and we got things picked up and immediately headed over to justin's mom's house to set up for a surprise cook-out for his sister, heather. she's taken a job in the western part of the state and will be moving up their next week. all the family in the area, heather's co-workers, and some close friends showed up to see her off :)
we also got to visit with justin's friend kenny who was in town, along with his wife stephanie and their two kids. we hadn't seen them in a couple of years, so it was great to catch up and we couldn't believe how big their kids had grown!

heather also got a couple of gifts, including a new lab coat with her updated credentials. she's just finished her masters degree, too, so she was happy to show off the new letters after her name.
by the time we helped clean up and got the dog and had one more late night snack, it was time for bed and i CRASHED. i took it easier today, going to church this morning and then doing our regular chores of grocery shopping and laundry. i did stop in at k-mart to browse around (they had cute sandals on sale) and ended up finding a bathing suit that i hope will last me through the better part of the summer...
a swim dress? it offered more coverage and though i've found some maternity suits that i like, i thought i might give this a shot...

now into a full week at work and getting ready to be gone next weekend for a youth convention. i'm finally getting some of my energy back and am ready to do a little bit more in the evening (like photo editing--gotta do some photo editing, for real.) how was everyone else's weekend?