Monthly Archives: August 2012

I’m going AWOL! (and I’ve got a new nephew)

If we took a holiday, just one day out of life, it would be (it would be) it would be so nice.

Leave it to Madonna.  Yep, a holiday would be nice…  so I’m taking one.  No, I’m not going far.  Just a two hour drive.  But there’s no internet – so I’ll be forced to actually leave work behind.  Six days, just for me, kid-kid, my sister Bug, and some of the dogs.  Damon will join us for one night at the start, but he needs to head back for work.  We were hoping he’d be able to join us too, but he’s understaffed just now, so can’t get away.

Before I disappear though (and I may try to check in briefly from time to time using my iPhone) I wanted to take a quick minute to welcome Leandro to the family.  My nephew was born at 3:22 this morning, three weeks early (just like his big sister), at exactly seven pounds.  We’re so glad he decided to make his appearance before we disappeared from civilization – and I did MUCH better this time.  I didn’t start crying.  LOL  I may have teared up briefly, but unlike the first time I held his sister the waterworks did not get turned on (thought I did have to work pretty hard to hold them off).  When the kid saw his picture for the first time this morning (before we got to see him in person) she said “I bet he’s going to grow up to be a cute little handsome man”, and I’d be willing to bet she’s right.

Mommy’s Little Airbender!

We love playing with makeup…  it’s just not always used the way it’s intended.  I’ll do my makeup roughly once or twice a month (seriously, I rarely wear any, and when I do it’s usually just a touch of it here or there.  It’s a highly unusual occasion that sees me with eye shadow, lip gloss, mascara, dusting powder, and blush).  The girl likes to do her own makeup though, and tends to go all out when given the opportunity.  However, when she asks me to do hers?  We usually come up with something extra fun.

Today the girl decided she wanted to have an arrow on her head just like Aang (from Avatar the Last Airbender – for the not avatards among us).  So I pulled out my blue eyeliner – which I have for just such occasions, cause goodness knows it’ll never be used on my eyes, grabbed her blue eye shadow, scoped out her blue glitter (made sure it wasn’t crusty yet) and held her bangs out of the way.

First I drew and coloured in the arrow with my dark blue liner.  Then I dabbed over the entirety of it with her light blue shadow.  For that extra punch, I then lined it with the blue glitter.  So, yeah…  purists may argue that Airbenders don’t have an outline around theirs, but come on…  blue glitter!  Ya gotta use glitter when you get the chance.  Sparkles just make everything better!

Voila!  Instant airbender!

Here are a few shots I nabbed with my iPhone:

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Avatar Art by Kid-kid

I keep a wipe off marker board with four markers and an eraser in the car.  It helps keep the girl busy when she’s tired of being cooped up.  It’s got a number of slide in sheets that can give it a different look, and allows her to switch out the background whenever she likes.  The sheets have things like lines for practicing her writing, tic tac toe graphs, blank open space, grids…  and she can flip them out and around all on her own.  It’s a perfect thing for in the back seat.  I love it!

Today we were in the car for a total of about twenty minutes.  We had to get groceries and then stopped for slurpees at the co-op convenience store on the way home.  During this time she did four different drawings, and asked me to share them.  They are all of different members of “Team Avatar”.  And for those of you who are fans of The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, you should have no trouble at all identifying each character.  She still has a couple she’d like to add, but here are her creations thus far:

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I love all the detail she put into the Cabbage Merchant…  she even passed the board up to me in the front seat so I could add text into her speech bubble.  It says “My Cabbages!!”

Make a Wish (and maybe get something for nothing)

Waiting for my in my inbox (one of my many inboxes that is) when I logged on tonight was a message from Wish…  Now, how many of you have heard of Wish?  Raise your hands.  That many?  Wow.  Okay, now how many of you actually know what it is?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.  😉

Wish is a place where you can wish for all the products you love but can’t buy (for whatever reason).  Maybe it’s your birthday wish list, maybe it’s all the things you’d buy if you won the lottery, maybe it’s the cool stuff you’re waiting on until you get your next pay cheque.  However you use it, it’s pretty cool.  Especially when they give you something, basically for nothing.  LOL

Today?  That message in my inbox?  It was an offer of $10 off something in my wishlist.  Ten bucks off a seventeen dollar item…  and all I did was have it in my wishlist.  That’s it.  Now to convince Damon that we need to buy the girl some pony ears for Yule!  😀

ten dollars off or a five dollar voucher for amazon.com

So come find me on Wish – and make a few wishes yourself.  I think this link will take you to my profile (and yeah, kid-kid has wished for a few things there herself).  LOL  http://www.wishwall.me/profile?uid=4efbf58bae85c067fc033710  If that doesn’t work?  Just hop on over to http://www.wishwall.me/, you probably won’t find me, but you’ll find lots of cool stuff.

Jovial Company – a photography preview

It has been a long day, and I’m absolutely exhausted…  so I have to admit to some relief knowing I can let my photography do the talking tonight.  😉

A couple of weeks ago now, I did a shoot with an absolutely charming couple – who seemed to think I’d have a hard time capturing even one good photograph.  I knew very early on that not only would I get one, I’d get dozens.

Sandra and Keith were absolutely wonderful.  They were such convivial company, and they had such infectious smiles.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them, and editing their photographs just brought it all back.  Funny how that works.  😉

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My Little Pony Toys are Magic!

Last night, while kid-kid was at her weekly sleepover at my parent’s place, Damon and I were at the store.  We excitedly discovered both FS (Fashion Style) Princess Luna and the pink FS Princess Celestia My Little Pony toys at Superstore….  and even better than just finding a toy you’ve been looking for, is finding it at a reduced price!  The MLP collector in my tried to convince Damon that we should buy two of each – one of each to keep mint in box, and one of each for the girl to play with.  LOL  That proved futile, but we did buy one of each – one for the girl and one for me.

Tonight, after supper, I presented the ponies to the girl.  She was ecstatic!  We giggled together, and compared Luna (who is mine) and Celestia (who is hers), talked about how each was similar, how each was different.  We laughed about all the ways we can play with them.  Lily-Ann shared her plans to hold a royal wedding for them, and how my FS Pinkie Pie and her FS Twilight Sparkle could attend.  How tomorrow she is going to lay out all the pony outfits (while she doesn’t have all the FS toys, she does have all their outfits – purchased from a customizer who didn’t need the clothes, only the ponies themselves) and shoes, and how each pony is going to get to have a new outfit for the big event.  How the cutie mark crusaders are going to be the flower girls, and what role each pony will play.

Being so close to bedtime, we didn’t liberate the princesses from their packages…  but we sure had fun talking about her plans for them.  I knew she would be excited about our little surprise for her, but the extent of her delight was a surprise for me.  Now we each have a pink FS pony and a purple FS pony – a fact that thrills her to no end.

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again:  There is nothing like sharing something you love with someone you love.  And I feel so very lucky to have a toy that I loved thirty years ago be that something that can unite us today.  I remember the joy and excitement I felt when enveloped by that “new pony smell” that is the off-gassing of the plastic when the package is first opened, and sharing it with the girl now, it brings back all those same memories for me – and it means the world that I can give that same unbridled (pun obviously intended) happiness to my daughter.

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Now if only Hasbro would send out a WHITE Celestia, the girl’s happiness (and mine as a collector) would be complete.  😉

Portrait photography can be so much more!

As I was waiting for this evening’s clients to arrive at our location, I had the chance to observe another photographer.  I always arrive early for any shoot by fifteen or twenty minutes which gives me time to mentally prepare, and to scout the area for light – because even if you shoot at the same location three days in a row at the same time, the light will be different each time.  I’m always surprised at just how different my approach is…  For me, what I do is normal, it’s natural, it’s just how I am.  And I can, and do, forget just how different the experience I provide is.

An iPhone snapshot of the photography team and family I observed today while waiting for my clients.

 

When I first arrived on the scene, I knew the family gathered there weren’t my clients.  The ages and number of people were wrong…  but it was clear they were nervous.  So I laughed with them a little about how popular this particular spot is with photographers, and how it’s unusual to find less than two or three there at any given time.  They invited me to photograph them if my clients failed to show.  LOL  It was casual, easy going, and fun.  We all shared some smiles and laughs – which made everyone feel better.  That’s when the patriarch of the family pointed out their photographers, saying “They’re supposed to be taking care of us.”  The two photographers, or photographer and assistant (their relationship wasn’t clear), were off on their own standing and talking secretively with their backs to the family.

From the moment my clients arrive, it’s my job to help them relax, to put them at ease.  It’s an odd situation – trying to look and act natural in circumstances that are anything but.  If I can help make my clients feel better about things, especially if I can get them to trust me enough to laugh and let go of their fears a little, it makes a world of difference.  Not just when it comes to their experience, but for their photos as well.  Not every photographer does this…  and sometimes I can forget that.

After a while I watched the photographers call the family over and begin setting up their posed shot.  Now, I don’t do posed photography, but many many photographers still do.  It’s a personal preference, and there are clients who feel more at ease being posed.  It certainly requires less effort from your subjects.  Working with me is about give and take, you have to be willing to put yourself out there a little.  Share a little with me, and I’ll give it back to you in a beautiful and amazing way…  it’s exhausting though.  Most of my clients end up pretty tired by the end of a shoot, we’re busy and engaged, a shoot goes fast and by the end you’ll be tired.  Posed shots are easier, they don’t require anything of you.  Just hold a pose and paste on a grin.  But when you don’t give of yourself, the finished product won’t be personal either.  Take a look at the snapshot above, it took the photographers fifteen or so minutes to set it up – and while it will likely be a nice keepsake, it doesn’t tell you anything about the family or their personalities.  There isn’t anything wrong with it, but it’s not a style I can understand or would ever emulate.

When my family arrived, and I say “MY” family quite purposefully, we got the necessary paperwork out of the way but then it was all fun.  We were laughing and sharing.  I get to know their quirks, and how they relate to one another.  I watch the dynamics present, and do my best to capture those quiet moments of knowing.  Sure, we get the portraits where everyone is looking at the camera – the ones for the holiday cards…  but even those share a whole lot more about who each person is.  Their individuality shines through in a big way.

I love my clients, I love working with them.  I love that a photo shoot is about sharing, and supporting one another, creating together.  That is what portrait photography should be, at least in my eyes.

If you ever walk past a family I’m working with, you’ll hear laughter, see people being silly with one another, people being honest and having fun.  The couple of times we walked past the group above it was quiet, I sensed a lot of apprehension and nervousness.  My clients may feel those things at the very onset of a shoot, but in the end?  They are MY families.  I do my very best to take care of them and make them feel great.  It’s not just about creating photographs, it’s about creating memories, it’s about photography as legacy…  and that just means so much more.

Look! It’s a necklace.

I’ve started this blog post a few times now, and on vastly different subjects.  Clearly I’m in no shape to really be writing much of anything tonight – at least not in a cohesive fashion.  So it is what it is.

What do you want to see here on nights like tonight?  Do you mind these rambling “I have nothing to share” shares?  Would you rather I taped my fingers together and just watched reruns of Bones or Frasier?  Or should I pluck some random fb meme from my newsfeed and post that?

I’ve been posting here on an almost daily basis for a few years now…  and while I love that it gives me a chance to wind down at the end of the day, I do wonder if you (my wonderful reader) would be better served by my posting a little less frequently.  After all, not every post is a gem.  I refer you back to the post I made a couple years ago that in it’s whole was an image of my reusable slurpee cup.  LOL  Clearly, not every post is a winner.

So, for my own self serving reasons I continue to post six days a week (unless I’m sick, away, or dead).  But I do wonder if you’d rather see other things when I end up on one of these long-winded, winding, posts about nothing in particular.  😉  Let me know.  🙂  After all, there is a comments section.

And for something completely random, here’s a necklace I made with one of the many charms I commissioned from Nanashi-no:  I now wear it to all my photoshoots.  😀

Nikon D90 necklace charm and beaded bamboo necklace

bamboo cord + glass beads + metal findings + OOAK hand-crafted D90 charm = happy TD

Missing out, and pouting about it.

So tonight’s blog post brings you a bit of a pity party.  I’m not a happy camper, and I don’t really feel like posting something that’s all nicey nice.  I’m not putting on a happy face, and I’m not going to pretend I feel great about things.  The fact of the matter is, I’m upset and I’m sad, and it’s my damn pity party and I’ll cry if I want to.

With this darn Eustachian Tube Disorder, I’ve been S.O.L. when it comes to driving.  Generally speaking, it tends to be at it’s worst when I’m in a car.  I’m guessing it has to do with the pressure inside the vehicle.  My ears snap crackle and pop a ton, and I find it disorientating and distracting.  I’m also far more likely to hear myself breathing and my heart beating all from within my head.  Driving is just not happening these days – which means I haven’t been hitting the shows.

For those who don’t know me well, I spend my Springs, Summers, and Autumns hitting the shows.  My youngest sister and I pack up my vehicle and we do road trip after road trip, all over the place going to dog shows.  I LOVE handling.  I feel at home in the ring, like I belong there.  I’ve shared here before about how much I love showing, love everything about showing…  and it’s something I sooo look forward to.  It’s chaotic and hectic and filled with WAY too much politics, but I love it.

With this ear issue, I haven’t been to a show since this Spring.  I’m going a little stir crazy.  The one thing that was making it all okay was the Saskatoon show coming up the first weekend of September.  It’s a HOME show.  Which means I don’t have to go road tripping, I don’t have to drive.  It’s a show I can do… and I’ve been clinging to that like a mad-woman.

Today I logged on with the intention of registering Alice, and possibly Marnie too, for the show.  Only, I get to the site to discover entries are closed.  Yep.  They are closed…  and I’m close to tears (the only thing keeping me held together is knowing if I break down and cry the girl is going to ask why, and when I tell her that we can’t go to the dog show she’s going to cry too… because it’s one of only two shows SHE gets to show at every year – and like me, she loves being in the ring).

Why am I so shocked considering the show is fast approaching?  Well, I get a constant influx of emails letting me know when different closing dates are approaching.  That way I don’t miss entering a show that I want to be at.  I never got one for Saskatoon.  If I had?  I’d have damn well got my entries in.

So that’s where we are.  I can’t drive to shows right now.  I can’t even drive around town, no way I can drive for hours to hit the shows.  So the one show I’ve been holding onto attending, the one show left this year that I can still do…  and I missed the entry deadline – by almost a week.  And yes, now that the girl is asleep, I’m in tears.

I wrote to the show secretary, to see if there was ANY way we could still get in.  I explained that I never received the email about the deadline, and how the ETD has made it so I can’t drive to any other shows…  but it’s too late.  Pat was sorry, but there just isn’t anything she can do.  It’s what I expected, but I had to try.

So yeah.  Kind of a lousy day.

I miss my dog shows.

Of meteors, ducks, and toots in the night.

We drove 1/2 hour outside of Saskatoon to lay in the prairie grasses beside a lake, cuddled up close to protect against the night chill as we listened to the ducks and other wild life calling to one another, watching the meteors streak across the sky.  The girl alternatively whispering in awe and shrieking in excitement while the cold slowly worked it’s way into her bones.

Every so often we could hear the crunch of something walking or landing nearby, but in the almost complete darkness knew it would be useless to try and identify what it was.  Nothing attempted to approach, so I’m sure whatever it was had been benign… or at the least, more curious than hungry.  We’d call back to the animals who called out to one another and us.  And every so often our giggles and hoots would cause curiouser sounds to come back to us on the night air.

It was close to one a.m. when the kid passed gas, giggling when her Dad suggested it was probably a duck who had made the noise. Then we all fell silent again, just in time for him to let one rip too:  “Yep, it was a duck.”  And I’ll admit it, in the stillness of the dark and wild night, I let one go too:  “Lot’s of ducks out tonight.”  We all cracked up when a duck, with perfect comedic timing, seemed to quack in reply.

Time passed both too quickly and too slowly.  It’s amazing how quickly the night air chills you, even in August when the days are still hot.  In spite of laying so close to one another on that soft bed of grass that our arms and legs intertwined, in spite of the heat I could feel being generated between our bodies lying there, we chilled all too quickly… making time feel slow.  And memories, dear, precious memories being formed, the kind that will last a lifetime, making time feel all too fast.

“How many more meteors do you want to see?”

“Two”

“Okay, we’ll wait for two more.”

“Oh!  There’s one!”

“I didn’t see it, that one doesn’t count.”

“Over there?  Did you see that one?”

“I did.”

“I didn’t.  It doesn’t count either.”

And so our last two quickly became four or five…  but who was counting anyway.  😉

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