Monday, December 5, 2011

Catching up...

Well.... it's been a long time since my last post. I keep telling myself to get on here and post SOMETHING.... ANYTHING... so I don't get further behind, but there's always something more pressing to get accomplished. On top of being CRAZY busy with photo sessions and a wedding this fall, we found out we are expecting again, which means I have been exhausted and nauseated for about 6 weeks now. It seems like everything I was just barely keeping done in the house and in my business has run way ahead of me. But I guess that's just par for the course, and I'll finally get caught up again when I feel better. :) There is a light at the end of this tunnel!

I am working through the photos for my last wedding, and I hope to have at least a sneak peak up by the end of the week. (But don't hold me to that!) Until then... enjoy the following cartoon that a friend emailed me this week.

Happy Monday!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Victory is sweet!

I'm down in the sunshine state spending some quality time with my parents! I actually came down to do a "stock photo" shoot for the Children's Forum (look for those photos soon), which for little man (and me) basically meant a free trip down to see Bigdad and Grandmom! Holla!!

Yesterday was mom's "day off" from teaching classes so we made "victory" cookies for her to take to her physical therapy session. She has just graduated from one-on-one PT sessions to basically coming and doing her PT by herself with the therapists nearby to answer any questions she has. She wanted to thank her therapists for their hard work these last two months by suprising them with sugar cookies. It just so happened that one of her therapists is a Florida Gator fan, and it just so happened that AUBURN BEAT the Gators on Saturday. So it only seemed right to decorate the cookies with AU's and "WAR EAGLE". "Victory" cookies just seemed fit all the way around! Don't you love double entendres? And of course... I had to get some photos of our culinary accomplishment!

It's been a good visit- photo shoots, football, cookies and all! We head back home tomorrow. We are sad to leave Bigdad and Grandmom behind again, but we are soooooooo ready to be back with Dada!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Here's a sneak peak from the Forum shoot. I'll explain about it in a later post.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Senior Rep: Kishan P.

You'll never guess where I first met Kishan... a Mary Kay debut! No, really! (BTW... he wasn't there to try out the makeup.) He came to support our mutual friend (and my new MK recruit), Numa, and let me tell you it takes a special kind of guy to brave a Mary Kay party for a friend! We had a lot of fun at that debut, and there were actually two other guy friends who came so he wasn't too badly outnumbered. But who would have known I'd find one of my MALE Senior Reps there that day!

Kishan is one of the students you WANT to represent your business. He is responsible, prompt at returning emails or texts/calls, and takes direction well. He made sure he knew exactly what would be required of him BEFORE he accepted the Rep position, and he isn't afraid to ask when he doesn't understand something. I like that!

Kishan also brings a new diversity to my senior photography. His family is Indian, and he grew up speaking Gujarati at home. So of course I had to include some photos of him in his awesome Shervani (Indian attire). Fun new territory for me! I like a challenge! Enjoy browsing his photos and look for great things in the future from this Senior from North Gwinnett High!

Monday, October 10, 2011

REWIND... L. Gwartney 15 months

This next installment in my REWIND series features a friend's little girl. This was a fun photo session that we were able to work into my schedule when I went down to Florida to photograph a graduation last May. Little Miss Gwartney is too cute for words! I was chasing a moving target as she ran all over this little park pointing at "dis". There were a LOT of "dis" 's! We played with pinecones and sticks, checked out a rail fence and a fallen log, and played on the swings, slide and jungle gym. It's so much fun to watch her grow, especially because she's one week older than my little guy, and we have fun comparing the stages they are in. Hope you enjoy browsing through these fun photos!

Happy Monday!

Monday, October 3, 2011

REWIND... Baby Randolph

The following is another edition of my REWIND series to catch everyone up on the whereabouts of my camera while I was working hard at Mary Kay this spring and summer.

The first weekend of April, I had the honor of shooting a newborn session (or make that two sessions) for a friend of mine. She and her husband have been hoping and praying for a baby for so long, and "baby Randolph" is the long-awaited answer to that prayer. God is GOOD!!

Baby Randolph is not only sweet but modest too! She was very quick to voice her objections to the idea of being photographed in just her skivvies. Obtaining the photos you will see below required two photo sessions (on two separate days), a hair dryer, a warm blanket, a Binky, and a nursing mommy nearby. She was a tough subject (as most newbies are) but the final product was well worth the effort!

Congratulations, mom and dad! I'm sorry I'm almost six months late posting these photos for you all to enjoy!

Happy Monday!

Monday, September 26, 2011

REWIND... TLH Graduation 2011

While taking 3-4 month sabatical from photography to try starting a Mary Kay business, I fell WAY behind on my blogs. I am starting a little series that I am calling REWIND to gradually catch everyone up.

These photos are from this year's homeschool graduation in Tallahassee, FL. This was a different experience for me since I didn't have a sibling graduating this year, but I knew SEVERAL of the students because my mom has tutored most of them in high school science (Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy, etc.) for years.

Aside from a little confusion and disorganization at rehearsal, the day went off without a hitch. Well, yes... there is my nearly catastrophic underestimatinon of how many photos my new CF cards could hold in the d300s I had rented. Emily and I spent the 30 minutes prior to graduation scrambling to download images onto a borrowed laptop that my Dad was gracious enough to drop off for us. Phew! Next time, Ally, don't forget to download the photos from yesterday's session BEFORE you try to shoot a graduation!

And then there's trying to shoot the group photos outside at NOON... yes, I know that's like the positively worst light to try to shoot in, but you work with what you have, and overall, the photos came out well! Like I've said before, I like a challenge! It grows me as a photographer and helps me with my cardiovascular health... i.e. raises my heartrate. ;)

The ceremony was really nice. There are two things I LOVE about homeschool graduations. First, you actually learn something about each student because as they walk across the stage the speaker reads a 30 second blurb about their accomplishments and aspirations. Second, several of the students partipated in the ceremony through signing, prayer or a speech. This year, I also had the pleasure of hearing (and shooting) my Dad, who had been invited to speak to the graduates! Boy, did he rip a new one to people who are down on homeschooling! Well, not exactly, but he did such a beautiful job of expressing the positive reasons for and results of homeschooling, like consistently reinforcing Christian morals through living life with your kids, and explaining the sacrifices homeschooling parents make. I hope the family members who came who might have been less than supportive during the process left the ceremony with a new-found respect for these kids and the sacrifices their parents made to keep them at home. :)

The reception afterwards was in the lobby of the church, which was glorious because the front wall is ENTIRELY composed of windows. YAY! Natural light! And after I had "enough" candids, I was able to walk around and reconnect with old friends (and current ones too). Ahh... what a perfect end to a crazy... but wonderful... day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Senior Rep: Kaitlyn P.

On Saturday my day started off a little rocky. My tigers gave up a big loss to Clemson, and broke their 17-0 record. Sniff... sniff... What could be a better pick-me-up than a senior photo shoot?... especially when it's with someone as special as Kaitlyn.

Sometimes God amazes me at how he uses seemingly unconnected things and brings them together in very unexpected ways. When we moved back to Georgia, I accepted a 6 week substitute teaching position at Gwinnett High School for a Spanish I teacher out on maternity leave. I went into it thinking I was doing it to help earn a little extra money to pay for the various projects we had planned for our new house. Little did I know that from the contacts I made there would come a future Bride (Jen M.) and my newest Senior Rep (then Sophomore) Kaitlyn P.

Kaitlyn was a good student in Spanish I and was always very respectful, but sadly after I left North Gwinnett, I didn't expect to see her or most of the other students I had taught again. A sad part of being a sub is leaving behind the students you've connected with.

Later that same school year when my little man was just 6 weeks months old, I just "happened" to meet Kaitlyn again at a park, and she gave me her number for babysitting in the future. (Thank you, Lord, for divine appointments!) Fast forward 1 1/2 years... Kaitlyn is a beautiful Senior now and was looking for a photographer who could offer her something more than the traditional posed portraits. How perfect that God brought her to my mind when I began looking for North Gwinnett Reps! After a few emails back and forth, she agreed to be my female Senior Rep for North!

We couldn't have asked for better weather on Saturday... the sky was a perfect blue with just the faintest wispy clouds scattered here and there, and the temperature was warm but much more bearable than the 90+ weather we've been enduring for months. And my "model"... well, let me just say, "Kaitlyn belongs in front of a camera!" She just falls into poses naturally without looking stiff and she takes direction well, not to mention that she is just fun to be around!

Kaitlyn... you are gorgeous... really, you are. Not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. :) I know you'll make a great dental hygienist one day, and I'll be proud to bring my kids to you so you can keep their teeth pearly white and ready for their paparazzi mommy! ;)

And without further-a-do... here are some beautiful photos of this beautiful girl!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Senior Rep: Josh A.

Meet Josh...

He is the son of one of my husband's coworker's, and he bravely volunteered to be a Senior Portrait "guinea pig" at my newly discovered portrait location in Cowpens, SC. Josh is a Senior from Inman, SC, and when he graduates he plans to study medicine and become a pediatrician. You go, Josh!

That Wednesday was a beautiful SC summer day, but boy was it hot! I know poor Josh was dying to get done with these photos and get back into his shorts and t-shirt! But he was such a good sport about it. He totally went with the flow, which included sitting on the steaming hot railroad tracks so I could get a shot (or two... or three), running back to my van (by himself) for quick outfit change, and helping me figure out how we could pose him with his tennis racket (a new challenge for me). Josh even gave up his weekly pre-church hangout time with his friends to be my Senior model! Thanks, Josh! The light was still a little harsh so we had to carefully play with where I placed him, but the final product was buenisimo! That's "awesome" for all you non-Spanish-speakers out there. Thanks, Josh, for being my "guinea pig" and on top of that being open to becoming my first 2012 Senior Rep!