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  • Officers Row Vancouver, WA - THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS

  • Some of you that know me may have seen me wear a t shirt that says THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS. Most people look at it with a confused look on their face, but there are some who know what it means.

    And a few months ago we updated the lighting in our living room from one swag in the corner to 4 recessed lights. I posted a picture on facebook to share my excitement. Yes, you guessed it,

    It is no secret that I’m a Star Trek fan. I have been since I was a little girl starting with The Original Series, then The Next Generation and on (except Deep Space 9, my youngest and I have debates on whether that is truly Star Trek). THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS, for those of you who don’t know, comes from a 2 part Star Trek TNG episode called “Chain of Command“. An excellent episode.

    You are probably wondering what any of this has to do with photography. Well in any other world nothing, but in my world all things lead to Star Trek.

    Because my youngest has Asperger’s and I have links to autism sights on my website I sometimes get the pleasure of photographing someone on the spectrum. I was at Officers Row one day to photograph a high school senior on the autism spectrum. I showed up wearing my t shirt that says THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS thinking to myself that I’m going to get some puzzled looks and I’ll have to try to explain what it means because most of the young people I photograph don’t know much about Star Trek. I did get puzzled looks. Not from the high school senior, but her mother. This girl knew exactly what the shirt meant, which episode it was from (by name) and even what the four lights in the episode was referenced from (2 + 2 = 5). That was information I did not know. Yes I am a Star Trek fan, but I don’t get that deep into the episodes and I have not read George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. So I learned something new from this wonderful young woman and the portrait session was a success.

    Today marks the 25th anniversary of the original air date of Chain of Command Part I. THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS is at the end of Part II. If you haven’t seen this episode do yourself a favor and watch it even if you’re not a Star Trek fan. You can find it on Netflix, Star Trek TNG season 6, episodes 12 & 13.

  • Cake Smash | Vancouver, WA Photographer

  • I love doing cake smash sessions. Sometimes they work out great and sometimes not so much. You never know what to expect. This session was no exception. It started out great.

    Then this happened…

    Like I said, you never know what to expect.

  • Furniture Refinishing | Vancouver, WA

  • After we remodeled our kitchen we really didn’t have a plan for a kitchen table. Well it became clear when the grandkids were around that we needed a kitchen table. Then I had a bright idea. My husband and I love taking old pieces and making them look new again. Why not get a crappy craigslist table and do just that? So off I went to hunt one down. We came across one that wasn’t in the best of shape and talked the guy down (I still think we paid too much, but whatcha gonna do), then we went to work.

    My husband went to work sanding the table and I went to work staining. I fell in love with General Finishes Java gel stain from watching some youtube videos and had to try it. Let me tell you that stuff is awesome!

    I wasn’t going to stain the whole piece. I wanted the bottom painted. So in came chalk paint. I’ve used chalk paint on a couple of projects in the past, but I always made my own. I never purchased any before. I found some on clearance at Parkrose Hardware so I thought I’d give it a try. I really liked it. It was so smooth and easy to use. Instead of waxing we used a few coats of polyurethane.

    And it turned out beautifully. I couldn’t be happier. Now I wonder if we’ll ever get the chairs done? I guess that will be on a future post.

  • Real Estate Photography | Vancouver, WA

  • Recently I decided to take the plunge into real estate photography. This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for quite some time. One day I thought to myself “Why are you just thinking about it? Go out and do it!” So I bought a lens and a new head for my tripod then took the plunge. So far it’s been a rewarding experience and I’d like to thank Theresa Lowe for giving me a break and taking a chance on me. Thank you!

  • Vancouver, WA Photography | A Blast From The Past

  • Many years ago when I started my business I decided to get a strobe light for my home studio. I needed a subject to practice with and my youngest son most graciously obliged (after a cash bribe).

    This is one of the images I took while practicing my strobe skills. It has become an iconic image and hangs in my studio to this day. Although I get a lot of compliments on this image, no one has wanted to recreate it. Could it be out of concern of how I got his head to sit next to the pumpkins? I will never tell.

     

  • Break the Sugar Addiction

  • Sugar has become the source of many serious health problems in the US because of the over consumption of it.  As a society, our foods have become drenched with sugar and as a result, many people are suffering from sugar addictions without knowing it.  If you are aware of your sugar addiction and are ready to kick it, try these ideas;

    1. Replace your thoughts, replace your habits.

    Find foods that are delicious and desirable to you but that are sugar free.  Then when you find yourself thinking about ice cream or a candy bar, switch your thoughts to this other desirable treat.

    2.  Snack often.

    Keep a healthy and yummy snack nearby that can feed your cravings.  Being hungry can amplify your desire to have sugar.   Nuts and other protein rich foods are great snacks that are filling too.

    3.  Don’t use a sugar substitute.

    By consuming a sugar substitute, your body is still being satisfied with a sweet.  To break this craving, you have to stay away from it for a period of time and replace it with something non-sweet.

    4.  Allow yourself time.

    You didn’t get addicted to sugar overnight, so don’t expect your cravings to go away that quickly.  However, giving yourself a good 60 days of new eating habits, and you will find your body will crave your new diet.

  • Fairy Portraits - Vancouver, WA Fairy Photographer

  • It is no secret that I love photographing fairies. It is quite possibly the best thing in the world to me. Some of you may wonder how I got into doing fairy portraits. Well several years ago I bought a fairy success system online. Since then I’ve been honing my skills as a fairy photographer. I’m constantly adding new costumes and wings. Here is my latest set of wing. I’m dying to try them out.

    I love these wings so much I’m going to get one or two more pairs. Maybe different sizes – and different colors! Am I getting too excited over this? Probably, but that’s OK. A little excitement is good for the soul.

    Here is some images of my latest fairy portrait session. Not with my new wings yet. If you want to help a girl out give me a call and we’ll set something up and try out my new wings 

     

  • Help! My Photos Are Red!

  • Do you ever take a shot and wonder why the entire picture looks like it was pulled out of an old photo box because of the red tint to it?  This can happen when you are shooting indoors, in low light, or when your camera settings aren’t adjusted correctly.

    To fix this error and get correct coloring on your images, change your camera’s settings for white balance.  The white balance setting is one of the only settings on your camera that adjusts color, not exposure.  You can change the settings to match the type of lighting you are currently shooting in.  If you are shooting in a school auditorium, then adjust the white balance to the icon that looks like a fluorescent light bulb.  If you are shooting outside with cloud coverage, then changing your setting to the little cloud icon. Making these changes helps your image coloring to be spot on!

    If you have a simple camera that doesn’t offer these setting changes, then you may want to consider shooting in black and white, or editing the image after it’s taken to a black and white image.  That way you can still capture the memory, and not be frustrated with the way the picture is tinted!

  • Transfer Your Photo to Wood

  • Transferring your photo to wood is a great craft for those that love the natural look of wood grain.  Here are some simple steps to tackling this craft.

    1.  Get a piece of wood the size of your image from the hardware store.

    2.  Print your image onto paper.  Black and white is best, but color will also work.

    3.  Paint the wood with a Gloss Medium found at your craft store (Liquitex makes a good one).

    4.  Place the image face down on the wood and press out any bubbles.  Print will be reversed when complete.

    5.  Leave the picture alone to dry for at least 8 hours.

    6.  Using a wet rag, dampen the paper and start rubbing the paper off.  You will see the image has transferred to the wood!

  • Shooting Kids in Sports

  • Taking pictures of your kids playing sports can be a really fun activity for both the athlete and the parent. However, it can also be very challenging if you don’t have the right set up with your camera.  Here are a few recommendations to help you get the best shots of your kids.

    When available, use a long telephoto lens.  If your camera can switch lenses and has a long lens, this is a great option for capturing the action as if you were right next to your athlete.

    Another tip is to shoot in the daylight for high shutter speeds and sharper images.  Images shot at night or indoors can easily have motion blur because of the low light.

    Cloudy days are better than sunny days.  Does this sound off?  It’s true!  Clouds create a filter over the sun’s rays and so there are no harsh shadows.  The lighting is more even all around.

    Also, if you are shooting with your camera phone or a point and click, find out if you have digital zoom or optical zoom.  Optical zoom will take much higher quality pictures than digital zoom. 

    If your child’s sport is an indoor only sport, like gymnastics, then bump up your ISO to get more light and have less blurry pictures.

    And if all else fails, hire a professional!