Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Class of 2016 - You Never Looked So Beautiful!

I have been uber busy since the beginning of August with senior shoots.

And I've loved!

My calendar continues to fill with dates & names as I get calls from panicked mom's with panicked seniors who don't want to miss their school's deadline. Now that they are back in school, the reality of being a senior and all it entails is hitting them full force.

The leaves have begun changing this week here in the Mitten and I think that is also firing up a few seniors to get their date settled. They love the fall colors here in West Michigan, as do I, and making sure they don't miss them for their senior pics is so important.

Well, I've had the pleasure of some summer shots as of late and wanted to share some of them with you. I have found a great new location & it surprises many when I suggest it.

It's a city just to the east of us & it's not a very lively city anymore. But it is still the home of Tony the Tiger and the downtown streets have been rejuvenated and as Tony would say, "they're Greeaaat!"

So on with the show.....

Meet Jon. He's kind of a shy guy, not much to say, until you get to know him a little better.

Once he warmed up, he did have an opinion of where he wanted his shots & how he wanted them done.
Underneath a bridge is a "skate park".  I used to take my boys there when they were little & it wasn't much - but someone has come in and laid an ash vault bowl & done some major graffiti artwork. 

Jon lit up when we ended up here as his last spot for pictures.

Next is Jori. 

Can you tell this girl just love life?  We took an afternoon drive out to the Lake Michigan shoreline in early August and played along the waters edge.
Wearing a white skirt in the water? Make sure it's the last photos you shoot as white shows if you know what I mean (wink-wink).  Her mama walked strategically behind her & I in front of her as we headed back to the car.

Oh, but the fun we had taking those shots!
My next session was with this beauty.....
Montana - her name is as unique as she was. 
 An afternoon in the woods was up next with Josh.
This is Olivia. 

She's got a style all her own........a cute little sundress, high tops AND she climbs trees. 

My kind of girl!
Cole - a senior at my high school. A really quiet guy, but eventually I was able to coax a smile out of him.
Brooke - we spent our time in the local downtown, 
but her mom made a few calls & we ended up south of town at a golf course and found this in the middle of it. 

These sessions were all in the months of August & September.

I loved every minute of each one and really pushed myself at each session to be very aware of my surroundings, the lighting, the angle and my subject.  I continue to strive to perfect my art - not only through the lens, but as I edit & dress them up even more.

Thank you to all of my senior family's who entrusted me with these keepsake memories. I am very humbled and honored that you chose moi to capture your child's special event in their life.

I am currently booked until the end of October every weekend with even more seniors and I cannot wait to get out their and become even more creative with them! I'll be sure to come back and share those sessions at the end of the month.

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!