The big Day–Glens Falls, NY Family Photographer

Scotty’s big day is on Christmas (1 week, yikes!). We’ve struggled over the years with deciding how to make it special for him. My brother’s birthday is earlier in December and he’s always complained about it. We do several things to try and emphasize how special the day is as his birthday AND as the day we celebrate the Savior’s birth. Most of these items probably work better now then they will as he gets older but we’ll see!

1) I’m constantly telling him that he’s the BEST Christmas present anyone has ever given me.

2) He gets a small tree in his room that he decorates. It’s his birthday tree and his birthday presents go under it.

3) We are careful not to use Christmas wrapping paper for his birthday presents

4) We started last summer having a half-birthday party for him!

5) He gets a birthday present from Santa.

6) We emphasize that our Savior gave us everything and that Scotty is so precious to his Savior. Announcementmerged

7) We have Christmas morning and birthday evening to try and separate the two a little

8) He’s decided this year that he is going to leave birthday cake for Santa! I love this idea and I’m sure it will be a long standing tradition!

Whenever anyone finds out that his birthday is on Christmas they say, “poor guy, he’s going to hate that.” And I always cover his ears. For now he thinks that both events are amazing and won’t know any different until he learns it from somewhere. No matter what happens as he gets older he is truly an amazing little boy and I can’t wait to share many more birthday’s with him.

Fabulous Friday–Glens Falls, NY Family Photographer

We go out every year to a tree farm and cut down our tree. It doesn’t take all that long and the kids love the adventure. Although we are horribly indecisive but that’s another topic. Make sure to have your camera ready this time of year if you have young children.

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Scott woke up this morning and was bouncing off the walls looking out the window at all the snow. We think, “I have to shovel,” and “It’s going to dangerous on the roads,” and ,”Man, it’s cold.” Kids think, woohoo it’s snow to play in and to throw and to build forts, and, and, and! It’s new and it’s exciting. Don’t miss those moments whether with your mind’s eye’s camera or your point and shoot or your phone or your DSLR.

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Tuesday Tip Day–North Country Family Photographer

White can be tough. You have to be VERY careful with any white background. Now that we finally have snow I’ll be able to give some more tips on photographing in the snow. First thing to do is to check your camera manual. Pull it out. Read it. I know but you’ll be glad you did. Find out how to manually change settings. Your camera in auto mode will choose all of it’s settings by the overall amount of light. If you are photographing in the snow it will underexpose everything because it thinks there is tons of light. The bright white snow does give off some light but it doesn’t give off enough to compensate for what your camera does in automatic mode.

Here’s a non-snowy white background example. I love this picture of Nicole!

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Fabulous Friday–Glens Falls, NY Family Photographer

What’s more fabulous then my alma matter school coming to Upstate New York and playing a basketball game. HERE. RIGHT. HERE?!! The answer is nothing!

So, I should preface this. My husband I met at college. Our friends bought all-sports passes to watch all the BYU sporting events together. On bad weather days, when the team wasn’t doing well, etc. most of our friends didn’t go. Heck, some of them had never seen a football game before in their ENTIRE lives so they didn’t really care beyond the social. Yeah. I know. But, when it came down to it Daniel and I always went.

After he returned from serving a mission for our church I had already bought my all sports pass and attended all the football games with my current friends/roommates. We kept finding extra tickets for him and so he went to most of the games with me. As we started officially dating/courting that’s what we continued to do, football, basketball, soccer (our second date was a BYU soccer game), you name it, we went. After we got married and a lot of our friends did the same, we went to the games with our  married friends. AND…after we started having children we still went to/watched all the games.

When we moved from Utah and left college life behind it was hard. We were excited to come to New York and get “real” jobs and raise our family here but had to leave some things behind. We left friends and family out west and we left BYU sports!

BYU is/was part of the Mountain West Conference and the Mountain began their own TV station for it’s school’s game’s. Grrrr, no cable, dish, anyone had the Mountain. Not enough people outside of the Mountain West wanted it. We cried, we searched for games online, and rejoiced when ESPN would pick up an occasional game. Here we are now. I’ve been out of school for 6 years and we’ve been away from Utah for almost 4 and last night BYU came to us!

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It was amazing! Some were just there for Jimmer, and some were there for a good basketball, both great reasons, but all in all I cared about was that BYU was HERE! (and the fact that they won was an awesome bonus…woot, woot!!)

My BIL flew in from South Carolina, we met people who drove up from Virginia, our friends held up their Spain Love’s BYU sign and we all cheered. The house was disappointingly quiet I have to say. I’m used to the wild and crazy (alcohol free but still very fun and loud) Marriott Center. I thought that at least alcohol in the house would liven things up. I tried to sing the Cougar Fight song but don’t have a very loud voice. Scotty chimed in and I was so proud. I’ve been teaching it to him since the womb.

All in all I love the excitement of being part of a team. I love BYU and all that it is and stands for. I love Jimmer for who he is and for the excitement and good that he brings to this community. Thank you BYU. Thank you Glens Falls Major. Thank you to all who made last night a dream come true for our family!

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I know this post wasn’t much about photography. The above pictures are Scotty’s early life as a Cougar. The ones on the far right are from when he fell asleep with some shredded chicken in his mouth and sucked on it like a pacifier! Needless to say I searched for some photos (pre-digital) of Dan and I at the games together before Scotty but couldn’t find any. So that’s my plug. No matter what you do, capture those moments because they go by crazy fast!

Tuesday tip day–see yesterday :) Lake George, NY Family Photographer

Don’t ask me why I chose the grumpy picture Smile. I wanted to show how a little editing goes a long way. I’ve wanted to do this for a while but I never want to show the lesser picture of anyone else. I don’t mind showing my before and after’s though so this is perfect for that.

I softened my skin (it’s dry here right now), whitened my eyes as my contact tend to create a slight blue look, Brightened my iris, and darkened the background.

SOOC (straight out of camera)

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Tuesday Tip day–Wednesday, Queensbury, NY Family Photographer

A fellow photographer posted this link on Facebook this morning to this blog. It’s a woman. A photographer, who is going to Zambia and teaching children how to use cameras. No one there has cameras whereas everyone here does, usually multiples. This could change lives. I can’t wait to see what is produced after having this photographer teach them. Being that cameras are new to them it should be eye opening and amazing to see what their fresh perspective finds.

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Check it out if you have an extra minute. I thought it was timely and so am going to put off my regular post for a day.

BONUS: I will give a free photo session (a $250.00 value) to anyone who donates a camera to this cause! Email me!!

Good Morning Monday–Lake George Family Photographer

Check out the new about me page!

Hopefully we’ve met. If not I hope we can soon. I am a very social person. If I go too long by myself I get really cranky and depressed. It’s funny because then I don’t want to be around people. My goal is to avoid ever getting to that point. 

Something many people don’t know about me is that I am a born and raised Alaskan. I met a boy and now I’m a very happy New Yorker. I like to call myself a New Yorkan but that term drives my husband crazy. 

I love pickles and olives and salad. I. DON’T. LIKE. CHOCOLATE. I know. I’m crazy.

I couldn’t be happier in the midst of chaos, after I’ve had time to plan and organize it.

My family is my total inspiration. I am a better person because of everything they do for me. My husband truly completes me and my kids keep me young. 

My almost 5 year old boy is intense and loud and LOVES people more then anyone I’ve ever known.

My 2 1/2 year old girl has curly red hair. She is as calm as her easy going Daddy with a little fire in every curl.

I miss my mom like crazy and call her everyday. 

I am almost 29 years old and this past year I found my first gray hair and had my first real wrinkle, the kind that doesn’t go away after getting a little extra sleep. The funny thing is that I’m HAPPY about both of those things. I am different then I was. I am better. My goal is to grow old happily and gracefully! 

Stop by and check out the photographs of U. Making my clients cry is the biggest high and I can’t wait to meet you and make you cry as you remember the moments. Protecting your memories and giving you a photographic one is what I do!

Fabulous Friday–meeting a challenge–Hudson Falls, NY family photographer

A challenge was presented this week by another photographer whose blog I love to read. This challenge was for photographers to step in front of the camera. There were several reasons, one because we can’t ask our clients to do it if we are not willing to, and two, so that people can know WHO we are.

I truly believe that you can learn so much about a person from their photograph if they are being honest in it. By honest I mean, being their true selves. So here is my presentation of my self portrait. Leah said that we could have someone else take the photos, and although I recently had my portrait done by my friend Karey I still felt a need to express myself. The photos Karey took were at a photographers convention in Las Vegas. Not exactly a location I would call “me”.

A few bloopers to begin…where am I? These photos are small because they are NOT flattering (or I lost my head). The red gloves were wrong, I hadn’t thought about them I was just cold. Then my pose was wrong. Oooh, and that hair! I took the jacket off because it looked tight (it’s not) but apparently I still don’t look good in washed out colors. Yuck! After checking these photos I was about ready to give up. I had an hour or so to myself but plenty of other things I could have been doing. I had two choices, give up and wait until another day when I had time to do my hair, or go with it and see what happened. I went with the latter and I’m really glad.

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I LOVE hats but most of all, I hate being cold! Don’t get me wrong, I love the cold weather I just don’t like actually being cold. I’ve also always wanted to take my self portrait with this hat on. This hat always feels very Alaskan too me (I got it at the Alaska state fair) which is where I grew up and is so me. But being that it’s pink is also a new expression of who I’ve become. – point of info, I didn’t wear pink until after I got married and now my closet is full of it!

Ok, so another couple bloopers. My eyes look ha-lariously, unnaturally, huge in this first photo and I think I made myself mad in the second.

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This is one of my favorite. The sun kept peaking in and out of the clouds and here it shown and made my usually dark eyes sparkle. I love close-up and personal photos like this one. Foreheads are not always needed!

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Haha, who was I laughing at?  and………oops I missed! Every time I moved the camera I had to re-aim and let’s just say I don’t have the best aim.

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This one I’m actually using on my business Christmas Card. I love the light and the color and who knows what made me so happy. Actually, my trick was to think of my children and pretend like they were there with me. Then I was able to fake a smile but make it feel real. Self-5226Self-5236

This is for my Mom. I’m assuming she would say it looks the most like she pictures me! The second photos here is a shot of where I was. My ugly shed in my yard. You can kind of see the tripod in front of the pile of boards. This is to show that you can make photos in unusual places.

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A little outfit change. Another new expression of me mixed with the old. I use to always wear long-sleeves with short sleeve over and a fleece vest. The short hair and J-Crew hat is definitely the new expression of self.

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I was using a remote, not a self-timer but this totally looks like a missed self-timer shot. Oh and in the right photo I’m dancing. All alone. Oh well.

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I had to lean back and just laugh at myself. It was pretty funny because I was ALL alone!Self-5303

Love this one! I try to get the White balance (the warmth of the colors) to match up but the sun was so in and out that some pictures are really cool and others warm. Self-5311Self-5313Up until this time I had left Moose hooked up because if I sit on the ground all he wants to do is get in my face and be loved and that would be a bit awkward for a portrait. I decided to let him off so I could snap a few shots with him. Yeah. Nice thought. He wanted nothing to do with it. I waited and waited and tried different spots away from the camera.

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Can you just hear him saying in this photo, “Whatever Mom.”

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I LOVE his eye with the sun in them but of course he didn’t. What a lovable guy!

If you’ve stuck with me this long (hi Mom) I plan to re-use some of these photos for Tuesday tip day. The plan for the next several tips was to focus on photographing in the snow but since we don’t have snow yet I think I’ll change it up a bit until we do. I’ve always wanted to show some more before and after editing photos but didn’t want to focus on anyone else’s “fixes”. They aren’t fixes they are just smoothings. I think it helps us focus on the real person and not the zit or the dry skin. So get your learners ready for Tuesday!