About Me

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Hi and Welcome!! First and most important I am a mother to 3 very inspriring (and quite energized) children who remind me each and every day about the beauty that surrounds us all...and they keep me on my toes! When I'm not working at "the day job" I try to fit in some learning and growing time to practice both nature and portrait photography. Ever since I was a young girl, I have loved art of many mediums. My ultimate goal would be to move solely into a day filled by using my creativity - whether that be painting, nature photography or custom portrait photography. Hope you'll follow along!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Reflections of a Sunrise + Hydrangea Centerpiece / Project 52 ~ Week 18

Happy Thursday {it's almost Friday!!}.

  I'm so excited to share Week 18 for a couple reasons:
1. It's about the beach...and the beach is one of my most favorite places to be for relaxation, rejuvenation and fun!
2. It means I'm {finally} caught up with past Project 52 weeks!!

  I'll set the scene first.  It was a stressful day at work, at home, and with life in general.  We all have those days, I know this, and most days I can cope quite well.  This day was different, I'm not sure how to describe it, but I was literally stressed beyond my normal coping point.  I called my younger sis for our normal daily talk - but I had a {BIG} question to ask.  We exchanged the normal "how was your day" question...then I dropped the request.  I {politely} asked if she would take a day or two off work to come down to NC for a beach weekend with me and the little ones.  And, being the most awesome sister as usual, she agreed to put in for some last minute vacation days.  My kids and I have been on such a routine lately with work, school and activity schedules that "fun" was not something we'd had in awhile.   
  A few days later we arrived at Myrtle Beach, SC and checked-in to our favorite hotel for a long overdue mini-vacation.  I woke up early on Saturday morning {I rarely sleep past 5am, even though I'd love to sometimes} and strolled to the beach with my youngest to watch the sunrise.  It was magical and refreshing.  I get to watch the sunrise almost everyday, it's awe inspiring to witness those beautiful colors and to know that a brand new day has been granted.  I photographed a few different times during the sunrise and loved every image...having to choose only one for Week 18 was a bit difficult!

"Beach Sunrise n.7" / Project 52 - Week 18
{Captured:  50mm, ISO 100, 1/320, F5.6}
  The other images from this morning are uploaded on Facebook in the album titled "Coming Soon", if you get a chance, please stop by to visit and view!

  I also wanted to share within this post some fun and fresh garden details!  Recently I purchased a vintage collection of aqua Ball mason jars with a metal carrier from a wonderful Etsy shop called SpringHillFarm.  I must admit, when I opened this packaging this week, I was even more surprised at how neat this collection looked together.  Last evening my daughters and I spent a few minutes in the garden clipping just the 'right' bunches of pink hydrangeas to fill each of the 7 jars.  Below are a few Instagram photos of how the vintage collection + fresh blooms = a simply beautiful centerpiece!
{love the look of aqua+pink}

{love the contrast of new + old}

{hydrangea love!}

...hope everyone has a wonderful day...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

{a little} Instagram Never Hurt Anyone... / Project 52 ~ Week 17

Greetings on this rainy Tuesday evening,

  Tonight's post is still part of my attempt to catching-up with past week's Project 52 photos - Week 17 {I'm almost there...I can see the end nearing!!}.   I chose a photograph taken with my iPhone, and more specifically Instagram on the iPhone.  I take a HUGE amount of photographs via phone...and have tested out quite a few apps.  I've used some awesome photography apps on the iPhone.  I have a few favorites that I enjoy using more frequently than others, Instagram being one of the favorites.  [If you haven't tried it, you should.]  The only draw back I've seen is not having full editing capabilities like some other apps, but there are quite a few presets available for quick use.
Sidenote:  I did import this photograph into PSE to add a black and white finish that had more depth and a light texture.  
"Rainy Daisy n.1" / Project 52 - Week 17
{Captured:  Instagram}
   Can't wait to share Week 18...it's one of my favorites from Project 52 so far...mainly because it involves the beach!

Have an amazing evening!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Macro Fun / Project 52 ~ Week 16

  Hello, again!  I'm so thrilled to be posting another week so soon ... it means I'm that much closer to getting back on track with weekly posts.
  Week 16 was photographed in Saxapahaw, NC (a most gorgeous rural area).  I was out of town to attend a great portrait photography workshop.  I was presented with an opportunity to test out another photographer's macro lens...and was beyond excited!  I arrived before the class began on that Saturday, just to get a chance to try the lens on a few wild flowers around the parking area.  I fell in love instantly!  I have always adored nature photography and magnifying those tiny wildflowers was like magic.   I cannot wait to purchase my first macro lens, I'm currently researching which one will be the "best" one for my cameras (more to come on choosing the right lenses in future posts).

  I chose the image below for Week 16:
"Macro Yellow n.1" / Project 52 - Week 16
{Captured:  ISO 320, 1/1000, F3.5}

  It's really amazing that this small flower was only the size of my thumbnail.  I was able to magnify the otherwise missed small details of the petite bloom...and it was one of my favorite flower colors, yellow!
  Just a few more weeks to review and post...can't wait to share the recent ocean images!!

Have a wonderful Monday :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Going Home / Project 52 ~ Week 15

  Hello.  It's been awhile!! I've got lots of weeks to catch-up...and hopefully can get back on-track this week {fingers crossed}.

  During Week 15, I traveled back home to St. Louis with my little ones.  We enjoyed a much overdue visit with our families.  We planned activities for each day, including the zoo, butterfly house, Botanical Gardens and a few more.  Going home provided a much needed change of pace and a fresh perspective that was very necessary.  I believe it's very important to kick-start your creativity each year with a new environment and/or new scenes.

  I chose the image below for Week 15:
"Tropical Orange n.1"
{Captured:  50mm, ISO 400, 1/500, F3.2}

  This image contains some of my favorite colors, combined: oranges, yellows and pinks!  We were indoors in a tropical plant exhibit at the Missouri Botanical Gardens {enjoying some warmth on a cool spring morning}.  This bloom seemed to 'scream' compared to the lush greens in the other displays.  I photographed a few more plants and blooms in this area, but this one was by far one of my favorites.

  All images from the trip have been added in the "Coming Soon" folder on the Facebook page, stop by if you get a chance.

  [Hopefully] coming soon...weeks 16, 17, 18 and more!  Have a lovely week!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fluffy & Furry / Project 52 ~ Week 14

  Hello, again!

...I'm playing catch-up, and may be doing this for a few days.  Last weekend we embarked upon a 14 hour car trip back to visit family {and have a much overdue vacation} in St. Louis, MO.  We've survived our return trip, and still have tons to put away and clean-up.   After reviewing the images I've captured since April 1st, I realized, I have a few hundred to edit!  I always dread falling behind in editing....hopefully I'll survive today's partial review...maybe 3 days worth??

  This post was meant for last week, Week 14.  I couldn't help but catch a quick {but adorable} image of this SWEET baby wild rabbit.  She was rescued a few days prior and was quite timid, but as of last check was warming up and eating well.  Her dark, rich and multi-colored fur was simply beautiful against the bright green leaves and dull silver metal bucket.
Project 52 - Week 14 / "Spring Bunny n.1"
{Captured:  50mm, ISO 100, 1/200, F3.2}

  It was late afternoon, so there was spotted setting sunshine.  I kept the ISO at 100 and lowered the shutter speed - enjoying the result of deep shadowed areas surrounding the fluffy model.  I did set the aperture at 3.2 for capturing good details in the lovely patterns of her fur.

  Fingers crossed for an easy week back from vacation...and that I get caught up with a seemingly amount of editing.  Hope everyone has a super week!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Walking About / Project 52 - Week 13

Good Evening!

  Quick {and late} post this week...for a few reasons.
1. I worked over 2 weeks straight...and by last week was incredibly exhausted.
2. Celebrating a wonderful 3rd Birthday for my youngest this weekend.
3. Preparing for an upcoming trip back to St. Louis...and am no where near ready.
...Did I mention that I'm exhausted? ;)

  That being said, I've found that being rushed, tired, distracted and busy have resulted not feeling very focused on performing my normal routine to capture a new image.   Instead, I've chosen a photo this week captured with my iPhone.  Normally I will never do this...mainly because I'm not a fan of not having control over my images...but I just did not get out this week with my camera.

  This week's image was captured during a {very quick} walk about on the nearby streets with my daughters.  It was warm, quiet and nearly dark.  This scene of the tall trees reflecting in the standing water  was very serene, with only a hint of the sunset remaining.
Project 52 ~ Week 13
{Captured: iPhone photo}
  Sometimes, I find it a bit easier to carry a phone,  rather than the bulky camera on these evening walks ... it sure makes it easier to keep up with the little ones!  But, I know that if I had taken this same image with my 50mm and camera, I could have brought in quite a bit more of the remaining sunset and even some greater detail of the reflection.
  There are a few new blooms appearing in the local gardens and I really hope the weather stays fair this week...fingers crossed!

  Hope everyone is enjoying some spring-time weather!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunshine and Webs / Project 52 ~ Week 12

  Well...today's post is very late.  I've been trying to edit lots of images when time permitted and am just now finishing.  This week has been up and down.  Lots of rain, lots of sunshine, some more rain, warm temperatures, even more rain, some hail...and I think it's raining again!  The plants are growing everyday - it's a beautiful sight to see.  The azaleas are in full bloom, dazzling local gardens with a variety of pinks, purples and white.  The wisteria is fully bloomed in lovely shades of lilac purples, draping the treetops of wooded areas.  In less words, it's gorgeous around here again.  Fall and Winter look to be seasons of the past and Spring is here to stay!

  On Friday morning, in early sunlight, I walked my yard to check on plant growth.  It had rained fairly heavily the evening before, and the lawn, plants and trees were still covered in heavy dew drops.  I noticed a lot of "sparkling" areas dotting my back gardens and low branches.  When I got closer I discovered these were spider webs.  Now, I'm not too fond of spiders {at all}, but I couldn't walk away without capturing this lovely image.  Each piece of the web was covered in very tiny dew drops, each reflecting the early sunlight in a spectacular display.  I chose this image for Week 12:
{Project 52 / Week 12 - "Glittered Web n.4"}
{Captured: 50mm - ISO 250 - F5.0 - 1/125}
  I chose to apply a black and white finish to this image as I found the bright green and light browns of the background to be a bit distracting.  I wanted lots of detail, so the aperture was set to 5.0.  I loved the final look of several images from this web.  If you get a chance this week, stop by on Facebook in the Coming Soon folder to see other images captured from this morning walk.

Hope everyone has a beautiful week!