Monday, March 24, 2008

Two finalists in two months

This month, one of my favorite images was fortunate enough to be selected as a finalist in's monthly contest. Over 29,900 photos were entered into the competition; I was honored to have my image selected among the top 400 finalist photos. And, there were only 54 finalists in the category of people. Here is the image, "Ballerina on the move". I know, my titles could use some work.

Last month, the following image received recognition as a finalist:

Friday, March 21, 2008

What happened to Big Wheels?

This is a totally random thought. But, remember big wheels? As I child we loved them. Riding low, peddling fast, and racing down our street. My mom and dad reminded me how we rode them so much that we wore down those hard plastic tires from breaking and spinning out.

I did a quick google (and froogle), and found that the only place I could really find them was at Target, and only online, and in seemingly limited supply and not for sale yet. I'm on the email notification list when the pink one becomes available. This just might be the toy that everyone else *doesn't* have.

But, this doesn't answer my question about their absence in our kids' driveway racetrack. When I think of the toys that are still around: Cabbage Patch Kids, Strawberry Shortcake, Transformers... what about big wheels?

Were they declared unsafe somewhere along the line? Did kids decide they just weren't fun? I really want to know whatever happened to big wheels? If you know, please tell me.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

April is filling up! Call now!

Holy smokes! I've been getting several calls, and my April is booking up rather quickly. I know a few people out there still want sessions... so I suggest you reserve your session soon, especially if you'd prefer a weekend.

Here's my Saturday availability:
April 5 - afternoon opening only
April 12 - completely booked
April 19 - early morning (8:30am) or after 2:00pm
April 26 - completely booked

I also schedule sessions during the week (mornings and late afternoons). And, I will do Sundays, but I limit these because family time is important to me.

Also, just as a heads up, I'll be on vacation for 2 weeks in May, so if you're thinking of a May session, call now because between Mother's Day weekend and our vacation, there simply aren't enough weekends.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sweet Baby "V"

Isn't she precious? I swear, this is one beautiful baby! Her mommy was lucky enough to receive a gift certificate as a baby shower gift, and I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to photograph this adorable new family. M & M, I had so much fun getting to know you and watching how sweet and tender you are with your adorable baby. Here are two images. The rest should be online soon!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Last week I was incredibly lucky to have some of my dearest "chicks" (aka pixel chicks) come to Chicago for a photography workshop. Although, I wasn't permitted to attend the workshop because I live in IL, my friends came in a few days early to see the city and hang out. I had fun chatting, walking, laughing, shopping, eating, and taking pictures with Alli, Candy, and Megan.
We spent Friday exploring Millennium Park. We spent most of the time looking through our lenses, and here's some of the images that I captured:

The "Bean". Here we are... our collective self-portrait.

From the underside of the bean: I'm the tiny speck in the very middle, laying on the ground shooting up into the bean.

Here's Alli:

Here's Candy:

And Megan:

This couple was so cute and all cuddly that I couldn't resist taking this image.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New Tax Rate

Now, this is not a fun blog to post... or to read. But, it's important.

Effective April 1st, sales tax in McHenry county is changing from 6.5% to 7%. Bummer, hugh? So if you're contemplating an order, you might want to make sure you pay before April 1st.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I've created a monster... or an assistant?

After dinner, my daughter down to the basement to fetch a toy. While I accompanied her, I grabbed my camera to take a few shots of a coffee table book for some new marketing materials. My daughter wanted a camera, so I threw my pocket wizard (which triggers the strobes) on my old Canon Rebel, and she was shooting away, exclaiming "I can't believe I'm a real photographer!". So there we were, my 4 year old was taking photos of me. I was cracking up as she ran over and grabbed my hand and said "put your hand here". She was actually posing me! After each shot, she proudly said "great shot!", or "good job!". She even went to go get a hairbrush. I wish I had one nearby, because it could have used a little brushing. Oh well. Here's one that she took of me. (okay, I did crop it and do a little retouching in photoshop)

I love that she loves photography... so guess what she's getting for her birthday? It starts with the letter "c".

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Are you a mommy-to-be?

I've had a few inquiries recently for newborn sessions. I know those first weeks of life are a whirlwind... whether you're doing it for the first time, or if this is your fourth baby. Most people don't realize that the best time for newborn photographs is in the first two weeks of life. Yes, that young! That's when they're the tiniest, they sleep the most, and fit in the palm of daddy's hand. Awww, how cute.

I've had several organized mothers call and schedule sessions even before their baby is born. The benefit to this is you can look at birth announcements in advance, and you can amaze your friends and family with announcements in their mailbox in record time. Of course, we all know that babies don't always arrive when they're "due". But, if you let me know in advance, I will make sure that I reserve some time for this very important photo session.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A moment with my littlest photographers

Today, my daughter told me that when she grows up, she wants to be a photographer. For the past month, her career of choice has been an opera singer. She's quite artistic. Today, she informed me that when she gets older, she can borrow my camera. Hmmm. Much older. Much much older.

We installed a new floor in the camera area of my studio this weekend. I was playing around this evening, and nobody wanted to pose for me. So, I took some lovely shots of the cabbage patch kid who always smiles, always sits still, never blinks, and most importantly, has a very long attention span. Though, unfortunately, she's not nearly as charming or adorable as real children. So, I offered my daughter to take a photo of me, hoping to entice some participation. They ran over, and each of them took turns taking photos of each other. My daughter did quite well for the age of four (going on 14). She held the camera, and even pressed the shutter to take the photo. It was an endearing moment for me as the first time I get to share my passion with her. I'll always remember the mental image of sitting in my lap with her curious little hands wrapped around my big, heavy camera. She was so excited to look through the lens, and press the shutter at precisely the right moment, and then to see the image that she made. She loved capturing my son's joyful expression. I loved that she loved it. Here's one she made:

My son required a little more assistance. His little fingers couldn't support the camera and reach the shutter at the same time, so I held it for him. He looked through my lens, and pressed the button. He did well, but we'll have to do a little work on his composition. Here's one image he made:

When I downloaded the image, I laughed out loud. It still makes me smile to see this. Isn't that what a photograph is supposed to do? Isn't that why we buy images of our children? Because they make us smile and remember how little, how curious, how silly, how tender, and how tiny they are. And I know that in the blink of an eye, my daughter will be old enough to borrow my camera.

Moments like these mean so much.