Tuesday, December 27, 2011

my new toy

First of all, I hope you and yours had a very merry Christmas! I sure did. I am blessed to be spending time with my loving family, celebrating the greatest gift of all, Jesus. That's the important stuff, but this year (more than any other in my memory), I am really excited about one of the material gifts that was under the tree for me this year. I felt like Ralphie with his Red Ryder BB Gun when I opened up my brand new Canon Rebel t3i/600D. It's my first DSLR camera, and it is beautiful and wonderful. I have  a lot of learning to do, so I've only just begun to explore the possibilities of what I can do with it. At the moment, though, I'm having fun playing with bokeh--that dreamy effect that happens when points of light are out of focus. 

I'm looking forward to learning, practicing, and improving my skills, so stay tuned to watch my progress. :)

Friday, December 23, 2011


I finally reached the milestone of having 100 sales in my etsy shop! I must admit I'm not great at setting measurable goals, but I had really hoped to reach this point in 2011, and I just made it! Here's a look at what was sold this year:

I am so grateful to all my fabulous customers who made this my best etsy year yet. Thank you so much! What shall I do to celebrate?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Spirit

It may have been 75 degrees here in Mississippi today, but I'm getting in the Christmas spirit. The tree is lit, carols are playing, the stockings are hung. I have four more days of work before we head to Kentucky to be with my family (not that I'm counting or anything.) I have enough Christmas cheer to not even be bothered by the lack of sales in my etsy shop this holiday season despite a "cyber Monday" sale. I'm content with having just put 100+ of my photographs in the mail in the form of Christmas cards for our friends and family. 

It really is better to give than to receive. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

fall feet

I love fall. And I love living on the Gulf Coast (more and more). But I don't love the combination of the two so much. The scarcity of deciduous trees means that our autumnal color leaves much to be desired. Good thing my sweet hubs is planning a trip for us to go (slightly) north to see a real fall for a couple of days soon. I can't wait to look down and see this:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

trees for 2012

I am really excited to be selling my first-ever calendar in my etsy shop! It features 12 images of my favorite photo subjects: trees, of course! It has been designed with lots of love and will inspire you all year long. :) Here's a glimpse:

You can get yours here. :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

butterfly before & after

I love butterflies and have always wanted to be able to take decent pictures of them. Our backyard seems to be quite the playground for them right now, so I decided to give it a go yesterday afternoon. What a challenge--those things are fast! I did quite a bit of chasing and took tons of pictures that barely had butterflies in them at all because I was too slow. (This was quite different from the dragonfly that practically posed for me to the point where I thought it was dead.) Somehow, though, I did end up with some decent compositions that included butterflies. The problem is, I couldn't do any focusing because of how fast they were moving, so I just had my camera on auto the whole time, meaning I didn't capture the detail I would've liked. I ended up adding some texture to these two to play up the lack of clarity, which I think made for some improvement even though it's a bit of a cop-out.  What do you think of these before-and-afters?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I'm in a book!

I had a very exciting surprise waiting at my doorstep a couple of days ago. It was this book:

As soon as I unwrapped it, I remembered being contacted via my flickr stream last year about publishing a photo in an upcoming book of images of reflections. I submitted a few more but had long since forgotten. It turns out that these THREE photos made it:

See for yourself!

Needless to say, I'm a little bit excited. :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's a jungle out here!

you never can tell
what kind of wildlife you'll find
in a Gulf Coast yard

Sunday, September 4, 2011

peacock's perch

What's the only thing more photogenic than a live oak tree? A live oak tree with a peacock in it, of course! I took this picture back in April at Rip Van Winkle Gardens and just added it to my etsy shop last night after a bit of editing. Check out the before and after. :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

textful textures

I've been getting (free!) textures in my inbox from Kim Klassen for a while and had some fun playing with them last night. What do you think?

Sunday, July 10, 2011


This is one of my favorite pictures from my Hawaii trip, even though it's not particularly Hawaiian. When I first spotted this lady, her head was facing straight ahead. She seemed to be just enjoying the scenery, taking it all in... just being. It was a very peaceful scene, as are most of the ones I capture with my camera. But I must say I'm glad she turned her head to the side. It changes everything, don't you think? Now she's not completely content; she's alert, waiting, wondering, anticipating. This image is more like an inhale than an exhale, more like potential energy than kinetic.  And I like it.

What do you think she's waiting for?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's a boy!

No, I'm not having a baby. But I do have exciting news. I had a great photography opportunity the other day. My dear friends, Mary and Brandon, are expecting a baby (in just a couple of weeks!) and wanted some maternity shots so they could remember this special time. They asked me to do it, I was really happy to oblige. I have wanted to try my hand at portrait photography for a long, long time. Even longer than I've wanted to be a therapist, actually (that's my real job.) It always made me nervous, though. My normal photography routine involves being alone (usually) and wandering around aimlessly with no pressure, no deadlines, and no particular audience in mind... so taking pictures of PEOPLE who have expectations about the result and a particular purpose for the photos is quite a different story. What better way to experiment with that than with super nice people who I know and love and who constantly encourage me? It was perfect. I had SO much fun. I was sad when it was over and wish I could do it again and again. And that's a good thing to know about myself.

It was definitely a learning experience, too. Because these pictures had so much more purpose than any I've ever taken, I scrutinized them a LOT. I looked at each and every one very carefully and recognized about 25 things I wish I had done differently, or more, or less. That sounds kind of "duh," but it was new for me. I don't usually do that with my photos. I pick out the ones I like, edit them to make them better, and pretty much ignore the rest. I focus on the positive. I don't always take criticism well, even from myself, but I got a lot of good self-criticism practice this go 'round. It was uncomfortable, but it also sort of felt good. Like soreness after a good workout. No pain, no gain, right?  I don't know if or when I will be able to do something like this again, but I will be prepared with the knowledge that I couldn't have gotten without this experience, and I'm grateful for that. And excited about what might come of it.

But for now, what came of it is a bunch of pictures of Mary, Brandon, and (almost) Lawson. Here are a few of the ones I like. :)

What do you think? (Remember, I'm practicing taking criticism--bring it on! ;))

Sunday, June 5, 2011

palm trees

palm trees--whether in
black and white or in color--
make me feel relaxed

Sunday, May 22, 2011

edited aloha

I returned about a week ago from a trip to Hawaii. I had been looking forward to it for a long time, especially to the photo-taking opportunities. The trip was fun, but my pictures weren't as good as I'd hoped, partly because of the weather while we were there, perhaps. When I first saw them, I wasn't very pleased with what I'd captured. But I'm learning that art--even photography--is sometimes more about creating than capturing, and that's where some good editing comes in. It takes some patience and out-of-the-box thinking, but it pays off, I think. Check out the before...

And after!

Perhaps any picture can be good if you just find the right crop. What do you think?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

waves haiku

waves, when they roll in
seem to be saying to me
"everything's okay"

Saturday, April 16, 2011

cover girl

I've had a lot of aspirations in life, but being on the cover of a magazine was never one of them. Little did I know that when I volunteered to lend my editing skills to Method Press (the brainchild of my super-creative friend Katie King), I'd end up staring blankly at readers from the front cover!

This is the first issue, and I think Method Press is already shaping up to be pretty fabulous. This edition is filled with beautiful visuals and interesting interviews with artists, all tied together with the "blank stare" theme. Check it out! I don't think you'll be disappointed.

And for more info, check out the Method Press Blog. You can also like us on facebook!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

step by step

Sometimes people ask me about how much I edit my photos, and the quick answer is that it varies. Nonetheless, I thought it might be interesting to show you an example of the photo editing process. I'm still into flower shots, so I'm using one of those from last weekend.

This is the original:

First, I used iPhoto's "enhance" feature.

Next, and perhaps most importantly, I cropped it.

Then, I increased the exposure a bit.

I increased the saturation and warmed up the temperature.

 And finally, I added a touch of the "Holga-ish" effect in Picnik.

 And there you have it! Do you like the result?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

little things haiku

the macro setting 
helps me to appreciate
all the little things

Saturday, March 19, 2011

flowers and leaves haiku

 I do love flowers,
but leaves need attention too.
(It is only fair.)