Goodbye 2010

{ Nutcracker my sister brought back from her winter trip to Germany }

We had some good times. 2010 wasn’t a perfect year (since there probably isn’t such a thing), but it was a wonderful year. We were happy, healthy, and together as a family. We couldn’t ask for anything more. Looking back, I can’t believe how much Cadence has changed and grown up.

I can’t forget to mention that my favorite show to talk about ever, LOST, also ended in 2010. I can’t believe that either. I sometimes get a little sad when I remember it’s over, but we also got Filipino channels in 2010 that have brought me lots of new dramas to get sucked into.

Here are just some of the things we did last year…

And much, much more!

“…Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure a year in the life? How about love?” – Rent

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Photo Award

Cady

ShutterLoveTopTen

I got my second top 10 photo award from The Trendy Treehouse’s Shutterlove Tuesday linkup for this picture of Cady. It’s my favorite of her Christmas photos (currently my desktop background, Facebook profile pictures, and my MIL’s FB profile picture). Yay! I had totally forgotten I entered. I was just going to look at the post to be inspired by the lovely photography, and it turned out, I got 10th place. This is my second award. My last one was for a photo of Cady at the bookstore.

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Exciting News!

I entered Quinn’s photo to the “Cutest Christmas Photo Contest” at our vet’s office, and she won! At first I had no idea why they were calling since reminders are sent by postcards, and I couldn’t remember bringing any of the pets in recently (since they call to see how our pet is doing after a recent visit).

Her photo will be featured on their shampoo bottles, and we’ll get some free shampoo, too. Neat, huh? When they called to tell me the good news, they said the picture was “perfect” and Quinnie was “so cute” in her outfit. Yay Quinnie!

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Holiday Bokeh

I love holiday bokeh! I’ve seen lots of other people do it, but I first discovered it for myself by accident when taking pictures of Quinn in front of the Christmas tree.

A Meetup group in town was going to do a DIY workshop to learn how to do custom bokeh, but I wasn’t able to attend because the RSVP list was full (then I found out later that they had a bunch of no-shows). Just my luck, My3BoyBarbarians posted a link to a tutorial on how to make them just a couple of days later.

The supplies (besides my camera and lens) for the project cost a little more than $3 at Hobby Lobby. I was tempted to buy a whole set of Christmas punches, but I decided to go with just a heart for now.

Doesn’t Quinnie look super excited about her outfit?

What about after hearing the word, “treat?”

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”  Norman Vincent Peale

boken party at http://my3boybarians.com

Sereina Charise Photography: Very Merry Christmas Link Up

Friend Finding Fridays

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Wedding Photographer

My mom spoke to a photographer we’ve known for over ten years now named Chris Wineinger, he’s put us down on his calendar, and he emailed her the contract. He took my senior prom photos, some family photos, my sister’s senior portraits, my sorority application photos, and some random pretty portraits for me in college.

He does all kinds of photography, he but is in high demand nowadays for weddings and is pretty much booked for every Friday/Saturday/Sunday for some time. He’s also traveled to some great locations for destination weddings, so it’s interesting seeing the new photos on his site.

He’s very talented, and his package includes 7 hours of wedding day coverage, an assistant photographer, and all the edited photos on a DVD with the rights to print them.

He’s always done this. Before everything was digital, he physically gave me a 4×6 of all my shots despite the cost of printing and film. More and more photographers are including the digital photos now, but there are still a lot of photographers that want you to buy each individual print from them. That is the way it was done traditionally, but I just won’t do it. Some photographers will only include all of the photos for a hefty rate or if you buy their biggest package.

Afterall, they could make quite a bit more money that way. Of course, I understand that photography (especially weddings and dealing with bridezilla’s and drunk uncles) and editing are many hours of work and late nights, and people should get paid for all their talent and hard work. Hence, why we think it is worth it to have a really great photographer with a really great package. If however, someone doesn’t necessarily need very many of the photos, they might save a lot of money going the other route.

I personally like lots of photos. In pretty much every scenario, I like having lots of options, and more photos in my possesion mean more options.

Oh yes, and he’s also kindly offered to throw in some generous extras for us that he’s already written into the contract. Isn’t he great? I guess because we go way back.

This was when we really got married– just a couple of crazy kids in love. At home. No photographer (or anything else really). Just us. It’s nice to have a celebration to share with friends and family, but I’m already happy just being together. It makes me smile just looking at this photo.

“A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.”
Eudora Welty

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Our New Lens Arrived!

Our new lens that I was so excited about arrived on Tuesday. I made sure to be home during the time the UPS delivery guy arrives, which I usually am anyway, so I could be here when our new lens arrived. I wonder if our usual driver has been on vacation or something since I haven’t seen him the last two days and have had two different guys instead. We get a lot of our stuff from Amazon, which we have Prime shipping for, so we know our UPS guy who knows us, too.

Since then, I’ve been taking lots of pictures with it to check it out. I really like the shallow depth of field for portraits.

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New Lens

It’s probably going to be a very long time from now before we’ll be doing the big upgrade on the camera, but since the lenses can move from Canon to Canon, I can already start buying those. Well, no not really. Those are quite pricey, too. Maybe if I could justify one if didn’t get anything for Christmas, our anniversary, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s day, and my birthday. Hah.     

However, there is one lens that I’ve read really good things about that we were able to afford to get now, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, and it’s about 1/13 of the price of the next lens on my “wishlist.” As usual, I poured over the reviews and let it sit on my wishlist a little while. I repeatedly continue to go back to Sewing In No Man’s Land’s, “What’s in the bag” post and the Digital Photography School website thinking about different products I might use someday, but for now, I’m very excited about this new lens.

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Just another camera wielding mom…

This picture really stood out to me today.

I’m not a professional photographer. I’m just another mom takings pictures of a baby. Sometimes I get lots of awesome shots in a row. Sometimes I just get one that I love out of almost twenty. Luckily, I’m not doing this for money and expected to have all perfect shots. We can have out takes and love them, too. I’m doing this to save the memories. Those are worth a lot more.

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New Camera

A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.
–Eudora Welty

 

We are the very excited new owners of a DSLR. It’s a Canon EOS Rebel XS. I did the research and read the product reviews. I think for what I need right now and the price, that this was the right one for us. Right now I still need to learn how to use it in manual mode and am nowhere near the skill level that would even be able to make use of all the features of a pricier, fancier model. I’ve already taken a couple shots while I wait for my 16GB memory card to arrive from Amazon.com just to check it out, and I’m loving it.

[ She is going through my make-up bag and will end up with eyeliner on her face. ]

I think it’s great that more people have access to better cameras. There’s also lots of great information (that I have yet to really start reading) on the internet about taking better photos, too. Now you don’t have to be a professional to have photos of your kids that you really love nor do you have to wait until you’re scheduled for a photoshoot with one (although it’s still worth it to us to hire one to take family photos at least once a year).

One great book that our family photographer recommended is How to Photograph Your Baby by Nick Kelsh. It’s written with parents, grandparents, or anyone who loves a baby in mind and has a lot of great, easy tips for improving your family photos without having to understand the technical stuff (I think the baby version is a lot better than his family version of the book).  I think every parent should have a copy.

I have the older edition from when film cameras ruled because a virtually new (I can’t tell if it’s used or not) copy was less than $5 with shipping from Ebay.com, but it has the same tips as the revised edition, minus the information about digital cameras.

[ Quinn and Cadence will probably be my main models. ]

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Photography Class!

I’ve been wanting to take a photography class at the local community college, but I haven’t been able to find a class that was at a good time since I stay at home with the baby during the day and can’t stay out too late at night. Well then one of my friends sends me a link to this website with “leisure” learning classes, and I found one that I could take while the baby is with my parents.

I’m so excited. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, but I wanted to give myself a day to be really sure before I paid the fee and signed up. There are so many classes available, too. I was surprised at the range of choices. Some random examples are firearms, cookies, canoeing, selling your house, ballet, motorcycle repair, basketweaving, and much, much more.

The basic photography class is what I really need though because there are a lot of things that I can learn from reading a book and then there are things that I really need someone to show me hands on what they’re talking about. It’s just like the cake classes. I could not figure it out just reading books (especially the piping), but once I took the classes, I could later teach myself a lot of new things that I saw in books, videos, or on the internet. I just needed a foundation to start my learning.

With great cameras becoming more affordable and more readily available to regular people (non professional photographers), we can all have better photographs, and that’s my goal. I want to take better pictures of my family, especially the baby (even though I think she always looks good).

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