Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday Morning Coffee

Welcome to October!  Whoa - how did that happen?


It came in pretty cool too, I mean 40/50 degree cool.  What a difference a week makes! Last Saturday we were sitting on the beach & I was playing in Lake Michigan. This Saturday, I was huddled under a blanket trying to stay warm and staying inside because of the rainy, dreary weather happening outside.

Friday night we spent downtown at Art Hop, meeting up with some friends & then going out for dinner afterwards. 

Saturday, like I said, was rainy & wet & cold. I spent the day editing senior pics and working towards getting caught up, but I still have a ways to go, especially since I'm booked every weekend through the end of October.

I spent the week at church this last week taking pictures for our new directory.  Sunday morning was our turn - do you know how awkward it is to take your own picture for the church directory? It is a little weird.
I started right after church was out & finished up about 2:30 and then went to grab a quick lunch.
The Root Beer Stand.  This is a summer place - you know where you drive up, order and they bring it to you on a tray that hangs on your car window? Yep - there are only hot dogs, chips, pop corn, root beer & orange drink on the menu. So I treated myself to a summer special - cuz summer's not over until I say it's over.  Ha!

I had a senior shoot scheduled, so I ate my lunch and headed downtown to scout out a few places before meeting up with my senior & his family. He had a pretty snazzy car that we took a few shots with & then headed over a few blocks to take some more pics. We finished up fairly quick, boys don't tend to take as long as girls, wardrobe changes are quick and easy and not as many.

I headed home, but on the way decided to make a quick stop on the local trail to take my daily shot for my 365 project.  I'm on day 61 and I continue to work on my techniques, settings and trying to find a possible theme to my shooting. I am doing every shot with myself in it in some way and continue to work on being creative in how I do this. It's a challenge to find new ideas every day, but I continue to push through.
So - today, it's off to meet my ladies for breakfast and then back to school for the week!

Thanks for stopping by - have a great week!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning everyone!

Wow - what a great weekend here in the Mitten!  

How often do you get to go to the beach, let alone play in Lake Michigan, at the end of September?

Welp - that's exactly what Dream Boy & I did this weekend.  

Sunday was our 35th wedding anniversary and it has been since we have gone away alone. We go on vacations, but it's to Seattle to see our kids, and we've gone to Florida, but it's been with friends. 

So I decided mid week that we were escaping together, all alone, and I booked the reservations and surprised him on Thursday night that we were heading out right after work on Friday.
There were plenty of people along the shoreline of Ludington State Park and every one was taking full advantage of this final gift of summer. 
Those blue skies and plenty of sunshine was just what we needed to relax and unwind. Even though the flies were driving us nuts, we managed to still have a beautiful day, walking the shoreline & playing in the surf.

We drove up to Ludington after work on Friday and on Saturday morning, we got up and rode our bikes downtown, which was just a few block away, and had breakfast.  Then we set off to explore some of the local sites.
This boat is retired, but it's brother, The Badger, is still in working order.  This is a car ferry that transports vehicles & their owners across Lake Michigan to Wisconsin. I took this ferry, or one like it, across the lake with my mom, dad, grandma, grandpa & big sister once upon a time. 

I remember that it was a cold, rainy, dreary day & we were bored to tears in a very short time once the excitement of the trip wore off. 

We took off on our bikes and headed back to the motel to lock them up and then walked the quick 1/2 block over to the beach. We hung out on the pier for a bit, deciding what we were going to do the rest of the day.
It didn't take us long to head back, change & pack up & head out to the state park and stake our claim for the day.

After a gorgeous afternoon we drove back to the the motel and cleaned up - jumping back on our bikes and heading downtown to a local brew pub for a beer and an appetizer. 

We rode around the marina before dropping our bikes back off & grabbing my camera gear to head down to the pier to watch The Badger come back in & the sun set.

The sunsets in Michigan are amazing. 
And this seagull just HAD to be in the picture, it flew through my shot on more than one occasion.

But still, that sunset? 


So on Sunday we slept in and then drove home on the back roads, eating breakfast at a mom & pop place, finding the biggest cinnamon roll I've ever seen & bringing it back for D1, as she LOVES cinnamon rolls.

We stopped at an apple orchard & picked up a couple small bags of apples before heading home. We actually ended up at a small orchard close to home to pick our own apples. 

I love red & golden delicious right off the tree, the only time of year that I eat them. They have the best *snap* to them and the sweetest flavor when they are fresh from the tree.

We then picked some Melrose apples, which we were told were the biggest of all apples.

Crazy, right?

We got home in time to fix a wonderful little celebratory dinner, before snuggling in to catch up on Scandal.

Did I mention what an amazing weekend I had?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday Morning Coffee

Oh what a weekend!  SO much fun packed into it.

Good morning everyone!

So, Friday - storms were forecasted for the night, so Dream Boy picked up dinner & brought it home after work.  We enjoyed a rotisserie chicken, potato salad, some fine wine & a relaxed time together before settling in for the night.

I got hooked on Scandal this summer & he is now hooked as well, so we snuggled in for a marathon while the storms brewed outside.

Saturday morning was quite cool & a bit overcast, so we had a lazy morning at home. Dream Boy was working on the cars & I was working on editing. About mid morning we both heard a loud crack & a bang.
Yep - this happened.

These trees are up on our top lot & have been dead for a few years. We've been trying to get them cut down, but it hasn't happened. Well, the wind took care of this one on Saturday morning.  Thankfully it hit the roof on our porch & only put a few minor holes in it. Dream Boy & I climbed up there and spent an hour or so cleaning it up & patching the roof. He also got part the part of the tree on the ground cut up with the chain saw, the bigger piece will get done this week.

We headed out later in the afternoon to meet up with friends and have a great night filled with tons of laughter & lots of memories.

They all made fun of my selfie stick....
(photo credit to JH)

But yet they all loved to play along when I got it out - see those clowns in the background?
Yeah - the 2 in the navy, not the 2 in the front! We were posing, they were making fun of the selfie stick coming out, yet when I looked at the pic later they sure jumped right into the fun!  Hahahahahahah!

It was a beautiful night downtown & we enjoyed our time to dine out on the patio - as did many others!

Sunday dawned very cold, only 43 degrees, but it was sunny & by the time we got out of church it had warmed up greatly.  Dream Boy & I headed to our favorite little cafe for breakfast before heading home, where he promptly jumped on his bike & I promptly jumped on the couch for a nap!

I had a photo shoot at 6:15 pm last night, right before & during the golden hour. It was again, a beautiful night & the senior was so sweet & beautiful.
It was the perfect night for a photo shoot. She so wanted summery dresses & I think she got one of the last great night to get them done, I think the evenings are going to be cooling down much quicker from here on out.

I got home & Dream Boy had dinner & a glass of wine waiting for me. How sweet is that? Love him - LOVE.HIM.

So here are again on another Monday - heading back into the work week. I have a crazy, busy schedule the next few weeks as I'm taking all the church directory pictures and have senior sessions booked until the end of October.

But I love it & am so grateful for the life God continues to bless me with. 

Have a beautiful day everyone & an even better week!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Self Examination Journey

I have stayed on task and have continued with my 365 Self Examination Journey.

With school starting back up, some days it has been a real challenge. Especially this week. Before school started, I did some research and continued my list of prompts to help get me through the month of September, but the last few days I strayed a bit.

I even entertained straying away from the self portrait format, but quickly pushed that idea out of my head. 

I know that in my photography I love taking photos of people - not still life. I continue to remind myself that I need to be comfortable on both sides of the camera to help my clients be comfortable too. I also remind myself that I want to stretch my techniques and abilities and since I'm always around - who better than myself to practice these on?
Top row (l-r): 
Day 30 - reflection. On a day of kayaking with a friend at her lake, I captured my reflection in the water off the end of the dock.
Day 31 - silhouette. Summer is winding down, and with the silhouette of my high school in the background, my Wonder Dog & I share a sunset.
Day 32 - soak.  Sitting in the backyard, trying to soak up the last of my summer break moments.

Middle row ~~~
Day 33 - air: Catching air as best I can while I work on my shutter speed techniques.
Day 34 - light & dark: Is anything ever clear focus in the dark?  With the only light being that from the basement window, I found myself in between the light of day & the dark of the depths.
Day 35 - pattern: shooting at ground level to capture the woven pattern in the porch rug.

Bottom row ~~~
Day 36 - labor: Today is Labor Day in the U.S.  I went into my classroom for about an hour to labor & put some finishing touches on my room in preparation for the 1st day of school tomorrow.
Top left:
Day 37 - indistinct:  Ever take a photo out of focus on purpose? I have only a couple of times & I love the soft, mysterious glow while still being able to capture the bond between a girl & her Wonder Dog.

Bottom left:
Day 38 - triumph: I heard the triumph in the squeals of the kiddo's as they played in the bounce house behind me at the church carnival.

Top right:
Day 39 - golden: I've spent a lot of time in my studio/office lately. So this shot is taken in the golden glow of my track lighting.

Middle right:
Day 40 - outstanding: I feel pretty outstanding that I've kept at my 365 project. I don't believe I've EVER made it this far before! 

Bottom right :
Day 41 - Sunkissed: The days are becoming shorter moment by moment. The golden hour is fast approaching, so my Wonder Dog & I spent a moment in the back yard, bare foot & enjoying the feeling of being sun kissed by the last rays of the day.

Wow - 41 days and I continue to move forward. I've got a crazy, busy schedule over the next few weeks as I'm taking our church directory photos and I've got several senior sessions booked into the middle of October, with a few more to still set up!

I'm not complaining at all - I'm actually loving it and I feel that taking the time each day to think about my 365 shot and working on new and old techniques is only helping me perfect my love of photography.