Friday, June 25, 2010

things i love thursday...

dang it! it's friday again, and i didn't get this posted for thursday like i meant to! it's amazing how sneaky weeks can go by. one minutes it's monday morning and you have the entire week in front of you, then all of a sudden, you look up, and thursday is almost gone! i'm not saying that is a bad thing, but when you name a section "things i love thursday" and you post it on friday, well, you see what i mean! 

1. san diego. we took our 4th annual fathers day trip down this past week, and as always, it was pretty close to another trip from hell! it's not that we plan for the trips to go miserably wrong, it's just that they do! our first year, we stayed in a hotel "right on the beach" only to find out it was a rent by the hour hotel. yeah, they didn't advertise THAT on the website, that was cockroach infested. ugh, i still get the hibby jeebies thinking of that one! the next year, we picked a different hotel, again, beach front, but this time it was right next door to a hostel, so there were some pretty creepy people walking around at all times. not exactly the beach i want to take my 1 year old to! last year it wouldn't have been bad, except our 2 year old refused to sleep BOTH nights. which meant we had a very cranky set of parents, a very cranky 2 year old, and a 2 month old with us, who had no clue anything was wrong. and this year. the hotel was beautiful, the weather was perfect, legoland was crowdedly fun, our 3 year old slept like an angel- in bed with daddy, but our 1 year old came down with a case of hand mouth and foot, and was miserable and wouldn't eat or sleep the entire trip. meaning once again, we are now 4 for 4 miserable trips to SD! oh well! we will try again next year! ha!

2. churros. their crunchy, sugary cinnamon outside, and if you are lucky, just enough dough goodness inside. we hunt them down every time we are at an amusement park. disneyland's by far are the best. 

3. my new piece of artwork for the house. nothing is more personal and sentimental that your footprints. and i now have a canvas with all four of our footprints hanging in my entryway. happy father's day m! it is my favorite piece in the house!

4. summertime! the smells, the foods, the lack of clothing! i love lazy days by the pool and the smell of sunscreen and bbq's in the air! this july, i'm starting the "no tv" rule for the entire month. not just for the kids, but for m and me too! we need to get out and enjoy these times, not waste it sitting in front of the tv!

5. acronyms. in high school, i had a group of best girlfriends, and the first letters of each of our names made "SWAKK" you know, sealed with a kiss. but since there were two of us k's it was double kiss! i always look at how words work together like that, and that is why things i love thursday i will just refer to as TILT. ok, maybe not all the time, but it works! 

happy friday everyone! it's back to business for me,  i have 2 shoots this weekend, so look for all the exciting images up next week! 


Sunday, June 20, 2010

how cartoons saved me from cleaning my room

i was a messy child. one who believed that there was organization in chaos, and i despised cleaning my room. because of this, and the fact that my parents didn't believe that i could find anything in such a pigsty, i was often sent to my room and told i could only emerge once it was clean. hours and hours would pass, and my mom would peek her head in, to find me playing with the toys i was supposed to be putting away. "Your father told you to clean it, not play with it" she would say, and i would look up from whatever world i was playing in, and tell her i was. the door would close, and i would be left there, in the midst of everything. time would pass, and i would hear "Hey Kiddo....Kimmers!" i would open the door, and my dad would be standing at the foot of the stairs, "Inspector Gadget is on" he would inform me. "but i thought i had to clean my room" "You can take a break and come watch it with me" he would say. It wasn't always Inspector Gadget that would get me out of cleaning. it would be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movies, not the tv show), or Speedracer and George of the Jungle. it could be Jurassic Park, or sometimes the Smurfs. i figured out years later, that although my dad might never admit it, it was his way to get to sit and watch the cartoons and movies too. because of this (and of course, many many other things) i love my daddy and wish him a very happy father's day.

i also want to post a few pictures from the mini session i had earlier this week. his daddy is a lover of all things guitar, and the apple hasn't fallen too far from that tree! armed with his mini guitar and his favorite bedtime reading, he and his mama met me for some fathers day photos!

happy fathers day to all the amazing fathers in the world (mine, and my hubs included!)

Friday, June 18, 2010

things i love thursday...

it's past midnight on thursday, so technically, it is now things i love friday. but that's ok. i missed last week because the hubs took me on a quick trip to palm springs, minus all computers and technology. it was much needed, and much appreciated, but also put me a little behind on work. i caught up, and in fact, have completed all project i had lined up, so until my next rush begins next week, i have a few days to work on personal project! we're redecorating, or rather, finally decorating, our master bedroom! it's the one room in the house that has never been loved on, and it drives me insane. the room that is supposed to be our sanctuary, our peaceful retreat, our love nest is nothing but a blank slate. so we're slapping paint samples on the walls today and going to pick the perfect shade so the transformation can begin! which leads me to my things i love thursday-er, friday: 

1. paint samples from home depot. i love that you can pay $3 and get a miniature can of paint. it's enough to paint a chair, or a nightstand, or a few large picture frames, and it saves you from making the mistake of painting an entire room golden yellow instead of goldenrod. the guy at home depot thought i was crazy when we picked up 6 different shades of the same yellow. he (and my hubs) can't see the difference in any of them. i however, will be able to see it as soon as they are on the wall, and will be able to chose the perfect shade for our room.

2. if you haven't discovered etsy yet, you don't know what you are missing out on! it is the crafter/ artist/ lover of handmade or vintage things mecca. you can get everything from letterpress invitations and thank you cards to handmade soaps and jewelry, plus everything in between. i have my own etsy store, where i sell my amazing diaper cakes, burp clothes, and onesie sets. in fact, just last month, one of my diaper cakes was featured on their front page! yeah, that was me tooting my own horn over it again! 

3. "the most interesting man in the world" commercials. seriously, they are hilarious! "his motto is safety third" gets me laughing every time. "he's been the best man in weddings he hasn't even met the groom" seriously,  whoever writes these, i want to meet and hug, i think they are that funny! 

4. running. so it's not really a "thing" to love, so let me rephrase that, training for a half marathon. yep, i'm training for a half marathon! my inspiration and motivation is my girlfriend janea, who when we met 3 years ago, was twice the woman she is now. she is a go getter, who when she gets it in her mind to do something, does it. and she is now a triathlete, and has convinced me to join her for her next endeavor, the rock and roll half marathon in october! so every saturday morning, i am out there doing my long run (tomorrow is 6 miles), in hopes that i will be able to run all 13 miles in just 4 more months! 

5. my daddy. again, not a "thing", but one of the most amazingly selfless people i know. for as long as i've been alive, and until he retired last year, he would be awake at work before the sun was up, and home after it went down. but i will go more into how amazing he is on sunday, for fathers day! 

and because i can't leave a post without a picture:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

first impressions always say a lot. don't they say that you'll know if you like a person within the first 2 minutes of meeting them or something like that? well, i knew before we even actually said hi that i would love ielen and her gorgeous family.

 ielen was the winner of my giveaway last month- you remember the one where i was giving a free session to my 250 fan on facebook- well it was her husband (unbeknownst to him) who won! 

these two just finished their first year of high school! aren't they gorgeous! 
but with parents as good looking as these two, how could they not be!
the church they picked to have our session at was ah mazing! 

 i love the silhouette of this picture

see what i mean, ah mazing! 

the first workshop i ever attended

14 months ago i had no clue who Jasmine Star was. some of you might be reading this and still have no clue who she is. and that is ok. i came across a website while i was searching for a photographer to take my maternity pictures. since E was premie, i never had any taken, and i was determined second time around, that i would have those photos to look back at. hours and hours after searching through websites, i came across one that caught my attention. i emailed her with my story, i was 7 1/2 months pregnant, and didn't want to wait much long, in fear of the baby coming early again. just my luck, a response came quickly! she was able to schedule a session the next week. perfect! alicia met us for some family pictures and during that time, told me she was getting married the next month. how does an awesome photographer find one she trusts to do her own wedding photos? Jasmine Star she said...

it's been a few months now since i attended the Jasmine Star workshop, and it's been a few months since i've looked at my photos from the day. Not because I wasn't happy with how they turned out, and not that I didn't learn a LOT from the workshop, but because well, i couldn't figure out what i wanted to say in my write up about the day. 

there are two types of photographers i have discovered: those who love all things j*, and those who don't. i was not aware of these two groups until the day after i attended the workshop, and came across a very rude man on another one of the photographers blogs about the day. i was in aw of how rude he was, because the workshop he attended was not what he expected. hmm, i don't see that as anyone else's problem than his. 

j* is very open about what her workshop is about: branding. having just started my business this year, i hadn't thought a lot about branding, and while i wasn't entirely sure what that meant, i now know. it is making sure all you do, and all you show fits who you are, and who you want to market to. from the first contact (websites and blogs) to the importance not just of a handwritten note (swoon!) but the letter pressed stationary it is written on (double swoon!) 

it is posting ONLY your best work and the images you want people to remember. and if there is only one of those images, then that is the only one you post. the family, couple, parents, might love them all, but you have to find your "signature" image, and stick with that one. if you are lucky, you might get 5, but sometimes, the elements aren't in your favor.

j* also set up a gorgeous shoot for us, so we could watch her in action. the way she poses and works the couple really is what she is most known for. her sassy attitude somehow both intimidates and makes you feel at complete easy. she knows what she wants from the couple, and will show exactly what it is. 

the elements were obviously in our favor that day, the forecast called for rain, and it waited until about an hour after we finished our shoot and were back at the club for more lecture! 

now as far as those two groups of photographers, i will admit i am not a lover of all things j*, but i do respect everything she has done to make it to where she is. she admits she might not be the most technically perfect photographer (she is mostly self taught), but she is one bad ass business woman, and a hard worker. we differ in shooting style -she is shutter happy, where as i learned on film, so i am more apt to wait for the shot i want, and we differ in work flow -she pays to outsource, and charges for it. i don't. who's the dumb dumb there?(that answer is obvious). but would i recommend her workshop to other photographers, yes. if you are in a funk with where you want your business to go, you need a little facelift, but don't know where to start, or need direction in the branding side of the industry. if you are looking for someone to hold your hand as you shoot a mock wedding, or teach you what the little symbols on your camera mean, by no means would i recommend this workshop to you. 

was it worth the investment? some days i say yes, and some days i say no. today is one of those yes days, and that is why i finally posted my pictures from the day! 

the day

i'm having a day. you know, one of those days where nothing really goes wrong, but nothing really goes right either. a day where the computer doesn't cooperate, and i have to resend an email 5 times before it finally goes through, a day where my editing gets postponed due to the fact we ran out of diapers and i needed to make a run after i use the last one out of my diaper bag. i day where the nightlight i buy for the babies room needs to be returned because, well, it doesn't light. but then it was a day where i got to sit and watch the jacaranda flowers fall off the tree and float down to the driveway. and i was able to enjoy mac n cheese with the boys. and i was able to send off some amazing family pictures to a gorgeous family, so they would have them in time for father's day. and so, it wasn't that it was a bad day, but it wasn't as if it was a good day either. it was just a day. 

i rarely feature my own children on here, mainly because i feel most people don't want to see my kids, they want to see themselves or my clients. but some days, mine are just too cute to pass up. i am spoiled at the fact i have the ability to chase them around with a camera all day if i feel like it, so yes, i do get amazing pictures of them. but it is rare that e will sit and actually smile for me these days. he's a typical 3 year old- i won't take a picture because you want me to, but some days, i figure out what i have to do to make him smile, and today was one of those days. all it took: "don't smile". i think i know my new secret weapon! you judge for yourself!

i think i know my new secret weapon!

Monday, June 7, 2010

buy love here

michelle and andrew are not getting married anytime soon. but when i put the request out for a few couples  to help build my engagement portfolio, michelle said she would love to. andrew on the other hand, told us only if he could wear a denim shirt with jeans. ummm, in michelle's words, "this ain't no jc penny catalog shoot!" 

these two were so much fun, and the giggles and laughing were non stop. trying to get sultry or serious faces was next to impossible, and andrew kept telling michelle to "think of dead kittens", which strangely made all of us burst into hysterics instead. really? i know, right.

they came prepared with yummy cupcakes and a few changes of clothes, so we had fun changing locations with each outfit, cruising down melrose until we found the perfect backdrops- we even stole some guys doberman for our "urban prop". ok, so we didn't "steal" it per say, we did ask permission, and he gave us a very 'are you kidding me" look as he handed over the leash.

to see more of this awesome session, check out the slideshow

and please forgive the cheesy music with it, i haven't figured out how to get MY music with it! 

***Updated*** thanks to my bpf verenice, there is now awesome music with the slideshow!! 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

things i love thursday...

i will warn, this is not the typical happy thursday things i love posting...

when tragedy strikes a family, it is devastating. this week marked the 13 year anniversary of the death of a close friend of mine. a life cut short, just 5 days after his 16th birthday, because of a tragic accident that could have been avoided.

sadly, the date now will share the anniversary of another life cut short. i will not go into details, as it is not my place to do so. but i will say that postpartum depression is a serious condition that unfortunately too many women are scared to admit they have. new moms try to always look like they have it all together, and that they are loving being a parent. that their world has been made whole by giving birth to this new little bundle of sleepless nights and screaming days- oh, i mean bundle of joy. that is not always the case. i know. i suffered from it after my first son was born. i would cry daily, mourning the life i knew i no longer could live, and mad at myself for being resentful of the son i knew i should be thankful i had. i was able to get the help and support i needed from friends and family, and was able to pull myself out of the darkness without medical attention. not everyone is so lucky.

this week also marked a joyful acceptance for me, to be able to give back to deserving children and their families the gift of photography. i'll go into more detail in a minute...

but because of these three events, my things i love thursday is revolving around 5 charities and organizations that i think are important and need support and understanding.

1. the littlest hero's project.

Our mission at The Littlest Heroes Project is to help provide and capture memories for families who are dealing with hectic schedules due to having a child who is suffering from a serious illness or life altering disability. We understand that in the midst of being thrown a diagnosis and having to switch from a “normal” life to a life that is totally different, and often scary, things like getting photos taken is sometimes a huge challenge and is one of the last things families are thinking about. But when everything is done, and either the child has reached the end of their battle, or has proven the odds against it many wish they had more time to stop, and capture the journey that they lived through for so long.

i am proud to say that i have been accepted to be one of their photographers. this is such an honor for me, as i have always tried to give back with my artistic skills. while i may not be the best public speaker, or the most comfortable around large groups, i have always had a calmness around hospitals and sickness. i truly believe each of these children are beautiful, and i look forward to working with this organization to provide photographs of their amazingly strong children. 

2. MADD Mother's Against Drunk Driving. nough said. i'm a mother. i'm against drunk driving. you need to go somewhere, call a cab or a friend, or me. but don't claim innocent lives because of your stupidity.

3. an online resource for moms suffering from postpartum depression. not only can you chat with other moms suffering from it, but there are psychologists and doctors who are online to help as well. this network lets you know you are not alone in your battle, and that it is much more common than most people realize. according to PostPartum Progress 

more women will suffer from postpartum depression and related illnesses this year than the combined number of new cases for men and women of tuberculosis, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy.

just puts it into perspective.

4. the leukemia and lymphoma society my life has been touched too closely by cancer. my father, grandfather, grandmothers, cousin, father in law, and brother in law have all fought, and some lost, the battle against cancer. 

5. adopt a firestation so i might be a little biased, and it doesn't need to be a los angeles fire station, but your local fire departments need your support. as the website says

    There are no projects too small - or ideas too complex. Your local Firefighters and Paramedics can benefit greatly from your technical expertise, donated services, skilled labor or excess supplies. For larger or more creative projects, they may be able to channel your financial or labor contribution towards planned improvements.

even just bringing them desserts or breakfast makes these men and women feel appreciated. all too often we forget that when the rest of the people are running out, they are running in to the danger, to protect the rest of us from harms way. 

so there you have it. my heavy things i love thursday. think about how you can make a difference in someone's life, and help! 



About Me

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wife of 1, mother of 2, the youngest of 3. a creative soul who expresses it through photography and sewing. (and baking, painting, writing, and anything else that would fall into a "fine arts" description)