senior shaun

A friend of a friend has been asking for a couple of years now that I take photos of her son, and this being his senior year of high school, she really wanted senior portraits that were different than what everyone else would have in town.  Since I'm not a portrait photographer - as stated here on this blog many times before - I declined several times, but finally decided why not.  They can still have other photos taken if they aren't happy with what we get...  Shaun is the first person I photographed that I don't personally know and I have to say that made it extra difficult!  With my friends I can joke around and have a good idea of where to go for cityscapes and good times for light ... etc.  This was scheduled for 2pm on a bright sunny day - not great.  I really had to make the best of it and find shade anywhere I could.  And... he's got glasses, oy!  Do you know how hard it is to not get reflections in glasses? Even harder to try to remove said reflections if they do creep in ... Man, this one was tough!  I think they are happy with the results - they used them for his graduation party invitation, but my own critique ... meh. It's REALLY hard to capture the essence of another person in photographs.  Huge props to you professional portrait shooters out there!! seniorshaun

trampoline time

Spent last Saturday in Chesterton with the Pittmans.  We took in the European Market, the Popcorn Fest over in Valpo and a little quality time in the back yard jumping on the trampoline and snapping a few photos.  Let me tell you, it's a challenge to focus on a moving object when you are moving too!  I couldn't believe how comfortable Sloane was on the trampoline - running, jumping, summer salts - so stinkin' cute! Oh and that hair, OMG that hair!  Hello static! trampoline This photo says it all ... Fun!  Fun!  Fun!  And a little out of focus... oh well still my fav!IMG_1332

headshot : pittman

I would not consider myself a portrait photographer, but now and then I will make an exception to shoot friends and family.  I give huge props to photographers who photograph people for a living!  It is enormously difficult to get a natural face and smile out of someone ... even when you know them really well.  I snapped a few of Jeff over the weekend and got a few I think will fit the bill for his professional needs.  Well, maybe not the laughing shot, but that is the most genuine shot from the series, so I had to share that one too.jeffpittman

sonoma

We spent our second day in wine country in Sonoma.  I had heard it is far more laid back, but didn't really know what that meant till I got there.  It is far more casual, smaller wineries, less manicured, but just as good!  We shopped in Sonoma Square - adorable shops and tasting rooms all along the square.  Shop.  Taste. Chocolate.  Shop.  Taste.  Lunched at the Red Grape (yummy pizza!) and then over to Ravenswood for another tasting.  And finished with dinner at The Girl and the Fig.  Perfectly lovely day!  

napa

Finally got to editing some photos from my napa trip.  I didn't take anywhere near what I would have liked to, but sometimes you just need to stay focused on things without a lens in between, you know.  We spent our first day in Napa - started at Opus One for a tour of their facility - upon arrival it seemed a little stuffy, but our guide was really great and down to earth.  We learned a lot and are completely inspired to come back during harvest.  Would be completely amazing to see all those grapes in motion!  Totally amazed by how much of the work is still done by hand!  And enjoyed two glasses of their wine 2009 vintage of Opus One and their lower level Overture, both very good.  From there we headed over to Oakville Grocery - perfect place to pick up gourmet snackin's and they have a great wine selection too!  Stop there for lunch - They have picnic tables outside so you can sit among the vines and enjoy.

Then it was over to Domaine Chandon for bubbles!  It was crazy busy in the tasting room, so we bought a bottle and sat on the patio enjoying the day... and some chocolate covered strawberries!  I loved the reserve so much, I bought a bottle to bring home with me!  Ohhh I do love bubbles! 

We ended the day with dinner at Tra Vigne - their mozzarella is made in house and is ridiculous good!  Let me just say ... one day in Napa is not even close to enough time.  I wish I lived closer so I could just pop in for the day and do a couple of new places each time.  And be able to take photos of the beautiful vineyards.  ... Will have to go back!

forty

Today I am forty.  Seems forty is an age where everyone asks you the big questions - Are you happy?  Are you freaking out about turning forty?  What will you do with the next forty?  I say fu*k forty!  It's just a number.  I have never been one to get all upset about turning another year older.  I mean, why do it?  You cannot stop it.  You cannot go back.  So, I say own it.

I have been incredibly fortunate in my forty years.  I have a small, but lovely family - I knew all four of my grandparents and one great grandmother. They provided me with a childhood that was simple and happy. They helped me become who I am today by giving me the power to make choices and supporting me weather they were right or wrong.

I have been able to fly.  Near and far ... The big apple. Stonehenge.  Paris. The canals of Venice. The Charles Bridge in Prague. Bourbon Street. Vegas. Hawaii ...  and so much more.

I have had fun.  A lot of fun!  I have amazing friends that have provided me with some of the best moments in my life. Final Fours. Spring Breaks. Weddings. Children. Festivals. Concerts.

I fell into a job that challenges me each and ever day and I don't know what could beat that!  Do I have bad days?  Sure.  But in the end, I make a difference.  I am helping people.

So how do I feel about the first forty?  Fabulous. Fun. Fortunate.

Here's to the next forty!

Haen wedding

What a beautiful day!  I shot my first wedding in ages for my dear friend Barbara and her husband Steve.  I have the utmost respect for wedding photographers - this is seriously hard work!  I took over 2400 photos - many burst shots, so lots to cut with eyes closed and folks looking the other way and such - and paired it down to just over 500 I felt best captured the day.  I think there are some keepers for sure.  Hands down my biggest photo challenge to date.  I shot with three lenses - 24-70, 50mm 1.8 and 85mm 1.4.  I am rather surprised at my gravitation toward primes ... LOVE the 50mm! Here are a few of my favorite photos from a beautiful wedding day in January!  Thanks to Barbara and Steve for including me in such a special day and trusting me to capture some of the most important moments as you begin your journey together.

happy new year

Happy New Year!  2013 is off to a pretty good start for me!  Let's hope it keeps up that way!

I spotted this grouping of trees a few days ago and had to go back with the camera before the weather changed how they look.  They are kind of tucked back behind a bunch of houses, you'd never know they were there if you didn't get a peek at just the right moment while driving.  Loved how they looked with the snow.



snow!

snow branch by YF [ yffoto ]
snow branch, a photo by YF [ yffoto ] on Flickr.

It was so great to wake up Christmas morning to snow. Is it silly that I still get a little excited when that happens? It was just a dusting, but in the last couple of days we've gotten a few more inches - that really wet variety that sticks to trees and bushes and that looks super pretty. { love }