Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bainbridge Island Getaway

I'm back! I have been on and off sick for a week now I'm finally feeling better, I hope it stays that way. How was your memorial day weekend? Mine was great I got to stay at this place....

The Cedar Guest Cottage was a nice little place for our girl's mini retreat. Friday after work we caught the ferry over to Bainbridge Island for some much needed R&R. As bad as it sounds just being away from the kids for awhile was treat enough but it was also nice to be able to chillout and reflect in a place close to home but still far enough away to feel like a vacation.

The cottage was super cute, check out these exposed beams ...

I love the natural wood. It's nice to have the feel of a log type cabin but still have modern amenities! Saturday after breakfast we took a short hike down to the beach.

I was super stoked that the tide was way out because I got to go exploring! (squit and you can see the seattle skyline)

Of all the thousands of times I've been to the beach I've never seen live sand dollars before. It was so cool to find these little families of bright purple sand dollars of all sizes from big grandaddy ones to tiny little baby ones. I wanted to take A better picture to show the different sizes but their feelers things were moving and i didn't want to disrupt them ;)

I found this little friend and chased Cathy around with it. She's such a girlie girl!

Sunday we had to get home to the kiddos so after a short shopping trip in Winslow we boarded the M/V Puyallup back to the our beautiful city.

I had a great time, can't wait till our next girls getaway!

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Boy and his Retro Red Trike

Saturday we had record high heat here in Seattle. All I can say is thank God for centralized air conditioning! I sat reading in the shade near the door so I could feel the cold air coming from out of the house, while Chase rode around and around the deck on his Red Trike.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Built Tough

I was going through my lightroom library and decided to post a few more of the boys!


Amari realizing how dirty his hands got from the tracks!

Mr. Serious (like his mom?)

I love it when his does this! So funny!

Monday, May 12, 2008

WOW... Jack Davis!

Just got home from a evening seminar with Jack Davis. It was a jammed pack three hours full of some great photoshop tips and tricks! I kind of liked the shorter three hour set as oppose to the five hour bellies and babies and Captivated by light I went to earlier this year. The cheaper price didn't hurt either ;)

I felt like I got enough good information without sitting forever while my butt gets numb. Don't get me wrong I got great info out of the other two but this one just had a faster flow which I kind of dug. It helped having some lovely ladies to attend with, Sara Montgomery, Jenny Joy Heck, Dinea Norrell, Julie Watts and Julie's cool friend Laurie all were there to keep me company!

There were some awesome "mind bending" moments as Jack demo'd all the cool tricks and shortcuts you can take to enhance your images. Some were so easy I couldn't believe I hadn't figured that out before. His tips will really help me speed up my workflow and maybe make some "WOW" images of my own. He also briefly showed off some of the new feature's in Lightroom 2 that will be coming out soon. Looks really awesome I might just have to upgrade!

It's really fun learning photoshop even if there are certain elements I wouldn't use myself it's nice having the knowledge on how it's done. Especially when it comes to being able to recognize the processes others take in creating their final product. Looking at someones work and having an idea for how they #1 took the image but then how the achieved the final result through editing is a great way to learn.

I would definitely suggest attending this seminar with Jack if he comes to your area! I also here his books are pretty darn good, although I haven't had a chance to check them out myself. Can't wait till I can get some time to play around with the stuff I learned tonight!

Off to bed.. it's almost midnight!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Mother's Love

A mother's love is something

that no one can explain-

It is made of deep devotion and sacrifice and pain.

It is endless and unselfish and enduring,

come what may,

For nothing can destroy it

or take that love away!

It is patient and forgiving

when all others are forsaking it never fails or falters

even if the heart is breaking.

It believes beyond believing

when the world around condemns,

and it glows with all the beauty

of a rare and precious gem.

It is far beyond defining

it defies all explanation,

and it still remains a secret

like the mysteries of creation-

A many splendid miracle

man cannot understand

yet another wondrous evidence

of God's tender loving plan!

Happy Mothers Day!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Heather + Ellery

Our first day photo shoot in Sonoma was of this beautiful mommy Heather and her adorable little girl Ellery!

LOVE little baby feet!

I love her expression in this picture! She looks like the Gerber baby!

The thumb suck =)

Look at those HUGE eyes and chubby cheeks!

For fun I colorized one, not sure I like it too much but it's fun for a change.

We couldnt have asked for better models! Ellery did great during the whole session no fussing or crying or anything she was the perfect baby model!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Hosts with the Most!

There are two reason's I decided to attend the Sonoma workshop instead of the one's up here in Seattle. First was that I liked the idea of it being an actual retreat as opposed to driving home each night after the festivities. I wanted to feel like I was getting away to my own little photography paradise. But I was more sold when I found out I would have the opportunity to learn from not just Me Ra and Brian but also Garrett Burdick and Rick Chapman. How could you not jump at the chance to learn from such a great group of photographers?

I feel truly blessed to have had a chance to interact with professionals of their caliber, in case you didn't know they are a pretty big deal! Nothing drove that home more that when we first met Garrett he let it slip that he and Rick had recently wrapped up a shoot with Justin Timberlake! I mean I'm no groupie but that's a pretty big star right there, not to mention the tons of others stars that these guys have captured! Oh did I mention they scout pottery barn houses and other places for shoots. What a rad job right? It's so cool that here are two totally amazing guys that work with big name people all the time and they are willing to chill with 7 newbie women photographers that are still trying to learn what the heck they are doing! Are you understanding how awesome that is?

Here is Garrett:

He is the sweetest man! At first he was pretty shy being around us crazy ladies but he quickly warmed up and became a huge help to all of us! I can not say enough nice things about Garrett, he is funny, patient, kind and just plain freaking awesome! I love his shyness and how he turns red when we compliment him. I love how he took special time with each one of us to teach us about everything from technical camera stuff to lighting to "foofing". He found the lovely place the workshop took place, the great restaurants we ate in and the beautiful models we were lucky to shoot. I am beyond grateful to have had the chance to meet him and get to know him!

As if Garrett weren't enough we also got to work with the his AMAZINGLY talented business partner Rick Chapman:

Here's Rick with his adorable son:

*This photo taken by Garrett*

Rick opened up his home to us as if we were all great old friends and let these stranger women roam around his home. But not only was his home open but so was his heart and mind. He shared I wealth of knowledge with us that I with forever be grateful for! It's hard to explain but there is this crazy peaceful vibe around rick that is at the same time calming as it is invigorating. And did I mention he is cool, I'm talking the coolest of the cool! This dude is freaking awesome! I feel so very lucky do have had the chance to learn from this great man!

Let me not forget the hilarious tag team Brian and Me Ra:

I think everyone knows how great these two are but just in case your not hip to them yet do not waist another minute go to their blog immediately and bask in the wonder that is this dynamic duo! Me Ra is this amazingly open kind women that inspires and gives to many mom's unbelievable support and a wealth of knowledge. Brian is her rock and an super nice, way hyper and often hilarious man. He's "actually" also a really great photographer as well ;)

Do you see how lucky I am?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sonoma Workshop Report... Finally!!!

Okay before I start I have to let out some frustration at blogger right now because I am not able to post! I've waited a week to find time to blog and now I can't even post! I'm writing this on Google Doc's in hopes that the error will fix itself soon enough for me to get something out tonight! ~ Yeah it finally worked!!!

Anyhoo on to the subject of this post... I'm home from beautiful Sonoma! Okay you got me I actually came home on Monday night but haven't had any computer time since I got home. Last week I was fortunate to attend Me Ra Koh's Photography Workshop down in gorgeous Sonoma California. This was not only my first time in Sonoma but my first trip I've ever taken solo. I have to admit I'm pretty proud of myself for taking this journey alone. Usually I would have needed a friend for support or just plain companionship but this time I embarked on a journey all by myself and it felt really good! I arrived at Oakland airport, got my rental car, hit the 880 north to wine country with my aviators on, the sun shining in my window and my ipod blasting. I caught a glimpse of myself in the rear view mirror and as corny as it sounds I truly felt like a independent women!

Lucky for me even though my travels were alone I was about to meet 7 amazing women that would fast become my great friends! I was so looking forward to this workshop first to get to work with Me Ra, her husband Brian and two other great photographers, Garrett Burdick and Rick Chapman . Also to get a better sense of what I'm doing with this camera I always find in my hands! But little did I know that the true joy was going to be spending time with and getting to know all the girls attending with me!

Here are a few group shots...

Whole Group + Brian

Sonoma Girls Album Cover

Doing the famous Brian pose!

And here are my new friends...

Wendy- Wendy is amazing! She is the type of person that instantly becomes your best friend!

Carrie- With an amazing eye for detail she didn't realize she had!

Michelle- Who thought that all her amazing pictures were "just luck", I think she learned that is just not true!
Dori- A lovely lady with the most gorgeous smile and contagious laugh!

Sharon- The funny animated one with tons of talent and FOUR beautiful kids!

Wendy T- The self proclaimed introvert with an inner beauty that radiates out of her!

Dana- My Canuck sister ;) she is so fun, awesome to hang out with and full of insight!

Special guest star Maggie- The best most patient baby in the entire world!

Notice something??? Perhaps a theme going on here???

We were all laughing and having a GREAT time all weekend! From our first dinner at the Red Grape to our farewell Monday from Rick's house in Stinson beach we were laughing, sharing and sometimes even crying together. Words really can't do justice to the experience we all shared together, it was a magically moment that I know I will never forget! I am so thankful for this experience and having met this amazing talented group of women.

There is so much more to say and pictures to show that I'm going to break up the posts with this being the first and a few more to follow so stay tuned for more of my sonoma adventure!

**All picture's in this post by Garrett Burdick**