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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I've been tagged... again... and again

Remember the game of tag you played as a kid? Yes, of course you do - consider that a rhetorical question. Well, like most things from the back-in-the-day era, a new version of this classic game of hit-and-run has evolved for big kids. And like seemingly all things in our big kid lives, it involves technology to even get in the game.

For several months now, this new viral version has been spreading like wild e-fire through the professional photography blog world, and recently I was tagged by Jen, Barbie, and Marlo.

The Rules
Post the rules before you give the facts. Then post eight random facts about yourself that few people know. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag 8 other people and list their names leaving each person you tagged a comment on their blog letting them know that they've been tagged.

The [Forgettable] Facts
Prepare yourself to be underwhelmed.

1. I never gauge well the amount of paper towels I'm going to need. Tear off one square and I spill something and have to go back for more. Tear off 3 squares "just in case" and I barely get so much as drizzle of ketchup on the corner of one. I've tried the select-a-size rolls, too, thinking more size options would make it easier to manage this dilemma. More choices = more waste. It's an on-going struggle.

2. I'm an obsessive counter. Seriously. I'm always counting and memorizing random things in my everyday existence. It's 19 steps from my 2nd floor apartment to the parking lot below. The seat belt warning in my car consists of 25 mind-numbing 'dings' that go off in succession for a stretch of 6 seconds every 45 seconds until I put my seat belt on. When I stayed in Philly recently, it was 433 steps from the front door of the Hampton Inn I stayed at to the front door of Chili's. Scary, I know. I could continue, but let's move on.

3. I received a nomination from then Ohio Congressman, Mike DeWine, to attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy (also known as Kings Point) after high school. Kings Point is the least-known of the 4 major military academies, and probably the one you've never heard of. The other 3 are West Point (Army), Annapolis (Navy), and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. It was a pretty competitive screening process and kind of a big deal that I got selected, but I only stayed 3 weeks before deciding it wasn't for me. At the time, the decision to leave was the toughest I had faced in my life and ultimately led to a dark, painful time in my life for a while back home.

4. To this day I have sequestered and locked away all-known evidence of this, but I was once chosen to be Mr. June in a local radio station's "Men of Dallas" calendar contest. I'm still emotionally scarred from the rightful harassing I received from my 'friends' for that gem in my past. (yes, I was completely clothed for the calendar image in case you were wondering. Give me a little credit here... I may have been naive, but I wasn't completely insane.)

5. I love Fruity Pebbles. Always have. Always will. Yes, I'm 34 years old, and, no, I don't care.

6. I'm generally shy and uncomfortable around new and/or unfamiliar people. Perfect characteristic for someone who photographs new people all the time, I know. Yup, I've grown up being a little insecure/unsure of my abilities and intimidated around people I don't know. This is a daily challenge for me, but with the grace of God and a good group of amazingly supportive friends and loved ones, I'm making strides and learning to spread my own wings.

7. In elementary school, I stretched the truth a bit [read: I blatantly lied] and told Michael Styer (Schrode) my family owned a hot air balloon so he'd think I was cool and invite me over to spend the night at his house so we could play Atari Football and Frogger. The only thing I owned with hot air back then were the words coming out of my mouth. Sorry I fibbed, Schrode, but hey, thanks for inviting me over! Besides, the way I see it, I think we're probably even given the manner you threw me under the bus in your desperate love letter to Connie Vanover.

8. I'm a self-taught photographer. As a kid, it never crossed my mind for even a second to write "photographer" in the blank at the end of the "When I grow up I want to be a ..." question. Now, an artist? Different story. Watching Bob Ross every day after school create those 30 minute masterpieces on PBS with 'happy trees' and 'VanDyke brown'- how could I not want to grow up and be like Bob. Although even back then, I knew I didn't want Bob's haircut. Did they not have a stylist for that show?? I digress. Nope, other than an elective black and white darkroom class at Ohio State, I never studied photography in college either. I've always been doing something creative, and I guess I was always kinda curious about photography, but honestly I don't know why or what caused me to decide to do it on a professional level. I think one day a little over 2 and a half years ago, I was simply talking to a co-worker about photography and I saw an ad on the internet for the new Nikon D70 back then and thought, 'Hey, I could do this.' So I played for a while (still am), did lots of experimenting (still am), went to a few workshops and seminars (still do), stalked a lot of other photographers' blogs (still do), and presto - here I am. Thanks to Laura Chambers for being brave enough to give me that first chance to take her family's Christmas photos back in December of 2004. (BTW, Laura, I'm sure you could tell, but I didn't have a clue what I was doing... thanks for not calling me out on it.)

Bonus Factoid. I've broken 3 bones in my life, and none of them were mine. In 8th grade I tackled Kari Ihns from behind in the snow just trying to be funny... she never got up. Yup, broken femur. Nice strategy for showing a girl you like her, eh? My junior year at a HS girl's basketball game, my buddy Adam pulled a chair out from underneath me as I was sitting down, and during the less-than-graceful descent, my flailing hand struck a women from the opposing HS's team square in the mouth and broke her front tooth. Her husband was very large and scary. That same year at another girl's basketball game, I was playing a game my basketball coach had taught us and jokingly punched (seriously, it was a game) a buddy as he ran past me. He tried to duck to avoid me and my fist landed squarely on his collar bone. Ummm... oops.

The Tagged
Considering 1) hardly any of my friends even have blogs and 2) most of the photographers I know - due to my slow e-reflexes and delay in responding - have already been tagged, this is the hard part. So if your name appears below, and you've already been tagged, my apologies. I didn't see any "no tag back" clauses.

Okay, I've only got 7, but you're 'it':

Schrode, Tina/Trinity, Martha, Brooke, Sara, Marie, Alicia, Paige

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Blair's Bridals {slideshow!}

Here's the slideshow from the bridal session we did with Blair recently. Beautiful bride. Beautiful location. Beautiful images.

Friday, September 21, 2007


This is a test of the emergency blogcasting system. Below you will find mesmerizing imagery and may experience the urge to cash in the college fund for the kids and splurge on a ridiculously expensive and completely on a whim vacation to Europe. This is only a test.

You may now resume normal blogcasting.

Okay, the title may have oversold the content of this post a bit, but hey you're reading this aren't you? Just testing a new method of posting bigger images. I love this image from Stockholm a couple years ago.

Finally... #5!

Uncle! I'm temporarily on storyboard design hiatus after this one. I really like the simplicity of this design, and I'm stoked to finally be done with the collection... for now.

Isn't Trinity adorable? I never get tired of seeing her, and she's perfect in this layout. Click on the image for a larger view.

I'm looking forward to putting down the stylus, using a crow bar to remove myself from this chair and getting back behind the lens tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Storyboard #4... one more to go

Thanks to Julie, Jennifer and Jamie for dressing up this new, shiny 20x20 storyboard design. One more to go and then I'll offer these as a set of 5 that can be customized to suit your taste.

Stay tuned!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Barnyard Animals Everywhere, I Apologize

After seeing this, I now realize how terribly inept and disrespectful my impersonations were back in Jr. High... and still today. I am ashamed of my efforts, and apologize to all the rabbits and roosters I have offended.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Museo Collection

Some of you have "complained" that it's been too difficult to choose when you come in to view and order your images. Thank you for this compliment.

To help ease your pain, I'm excited to announce the new Museo Collection, a collection (what else?) of 6, 9 or 12 canvas gallery wraps of your favorite session images. Each stunning gallery wrap comes ready to hang with no framing required.

Take a look at the Boyer family in these images. You'd have a hard time finding more adorable kids anywhere on the planet. [click on the images for a larger view]

Make sure to ask for more information about this beautiful new collection when you call to schedule a session.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Blair's Getting Married!

Blair and her fiance Steve are getting married next month in Las Vegas, so we made our way down to Las Colinas for a bridal session late this afternoon. She looked fantastic and really let loose and had some fun as the session went on, and I think the images we created are amazing.

Today's session was very cool because I was able to try some new things with a portable flash and softbox. I'm normally au natural when it comes to lighting, but I've been wanting to play with light of the man-made variety, and this evening was the perfect time to try it out as the sun faded behind the horizon. I'm really excited with the results and look forward to doing more of this kind of lighting; it really adds a sense of depth and drama to the images.

Congratulations, Blair and proud mom, Vicki. I can't wait for you guys to see the rest of your images. Stay tuned for a slideshow in a future post!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Storyboard #3

I'm excited to add this new design to the growing collection of storyboard designs you can choose from when ordering images from your session.

I love the richness and depth of this one. Of course, Jessica and Brett can make any design look good. Too cool - and a unique way to display images in your home.

Note to other photographers, I've got two more design on the way to go with the first three, and after that I'll be offering these as templates. Check back soon for more details!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Friends are Fun!!

I love photographing friends because it's so much easier to feel relaxed and have fun. Plus I don't feel bad asking them to do quirky or better yet dangerous things all in the name of a great image... or at least a great image in my head. Sometimes they just don't pan out, but, hey, that's what friends are for, right?

Yesterday we went out with Paige & Colin and Juan and Allison and their little superstar, Seth, to capture some images for Colin and Allison's dad's birthday present. Shhh... it's a surprise. Ben if you're reading this, close this window immediately, empty your browser cache, and remove this bookmark from your favorites until after October. Consider this your "do not view until November" courtesy message.

Despite a little bit of rain, we had a ton of fun, and these guys were great. Little Seth is gonna be a ladies man before long. Such a sweet and good-looking little guy... watch out girls!

I'll post a slideshow in a couple days. Until then, enjoy these sneak peeks!

As always, click on images for larger views.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Another Storyboard Design

Here's the 2nd design in a series of storyboards I'm creating. I'll have the templates available for purchase once I finish up a couple more.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


I'm excited to announce I've now added photographic storyboards to the product line-up just in time for the holidays.

You might be asking, "What are storyboards?" (if you're not, just roll with me here for a minute) Story boards are a collection of 2-4 images from your session that have been woven together with exquisite custom background elements and your favorite verse or saying into a single, stunning image. Storyboards can be ordered as canvas gallery wraps for a timeless, museum look on your walls; they can also be dressed up with a beautiful frame that compliments the design and is as unique as your family. Love the look but would rather put it on a side table or dresser? Storyboards can also be printed and mounted and placed on an easel for a more nostalgic feel.

Storyboards make truly unique gifts as well, so be sure to ask about these for your next session.

Click on the example image to see a larger, more detailed view. Additional exciting designs are on the way, too!

1 Dog, 2 Personalities

Dr Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde called... they want their dog back.

Take a look at these before and after images of Zoe from today. She got a bath this morning, and [sorry, Zoe, put your paws over your ears] she just looks plain scary in the post-rinse/pre-dried stage. And terrified. And evil. And remarkably like a rat with long, sopping-wet hair. The before image makes Cujo seem like Lassie.

All is well, though. In true Zoe form, she quickly recovered and looked presentable again, and - aside from not setting paw anywhere in or even near the bathroom (a.k.a. "scene of the crime") she seems to have suffered no apparent side effects. I think I have caught her giving the occasional evil eye, though. Nothing a little Beggin' Strip won't cure.