Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas/Happy Kwaanza....et. al...

My sincerest apologies...I have been SO behind the 8-ball with the upcoming holidays. To be completely honest, I dread fall - beginning just before Halloween, until December 26....and it's not just this year, it's every year.  I get overwhelmed by the stress of buying gifts, of end-of-semester projects, of homework, of activities...basically of daily life.

But...even in all my bah-humbug-ness, I was able to throw together a little note of happiness and prosperity for the New Year.  I'm hoping that 2009 turns out to be better than 2008.

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Day with the Ellison Family

So, kid #2 happens to have a FABULOUS 3rd grade teacher.  Matter-of-fact, Kid #1, had this same teacher (in 5th grade) for science...but at that time I was working full-time and didn't really have the opportunity to get to "know" the girls'
teachers as people...merely as teachers.

But this year, not only do I have the chance to work in Kid #2's class every Friday, I work on campus, so I get to see the lovely Mrs. Ellison everyday!

Somehow between making copies and grading tests, it came up that I shoot....and Mrs. Ellison asked me to spend some time documenting her family [Mom, Dad, Ms "E" who is 3, and Mr "A", who is 5 months].  All I can say, is that while every shoot is completely different and wonderful, THIS, was just a fabulous, fun day.  I hope you enjoy seeing how much fun they had, (I *think* almost as much as me!)......

Dad, Ms. "E" & Mom

Ms. "E" & Mr. "A"

Ms "E" and those scrumptious eyes...a photographer's dream!

And again...

Ellison Fam...

Mr "A"....ah...can't you just SMELL him???

Thank you so much, Jill & Mike, for allowing me to share your day with you!!!!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

All Hallows "Ween"


First and foremost, let me expound on the fact that once Halloween hits, I begin to stress out about the holidays.  It's not like I'm a Grinch or anything, but I've lost my love of the holidays due to the enormously horrid plethora of marketing that infiltrates our lives (i.e. the Toys 'R Us catalog amongst others...), which inevitably competes with the TRUE meaning of what the holidays stand for.  I dislike Halloween immensely - the pressure of costumes, the candy and crap - but I resolve to participate...because I have children, and there is no way to sufficiently deprive them of what they consider to be fun.

Our neighbor turned 50 this year, his birthday is on Halloween, and the house was decorated to the hilt in celebration.

Joe? Joe?  Say it ain't so...50 isn't that bad dude....

(I digress......)

This year, as in years' past, our girls (minus Kid #1, who at 13 was not 'available' to march....this is the first year since her birth, that I don't have a picture of her in costume ...), participate in the annual Halloween festivities that have been a 17-year tradition, two blocks up.  The kidlets, in all their splendor, arrive and mingle, awaiting the arrival of the "King", who mugs for the photos and then leads a procession (much akin to the "Pied Piper") down the street, setting off the trick-or-treating season.

Kid #3 and her preschool friends (yes, they are in 1st grade now, but this is our annual
"Let's hang with the Boys" night out!  Neven...it's ok to smile bud!)

Nathan!  Over here....

Nathan!  Over HERE....

Hey Nathan!  Look OVER there....

While this technically is a kid's holiday, don't let the parents know that....

This is our resident city-councilman!  Striking, no?

This is Roscoe...he waited patiently by the door to greet the trick-or-treaters to give him a pat on the head, in exchange for some goodies...I couldn't resist him!

And this is what happens when certain individuals make post-all-hallows-ween adult beverages....NOT a pretty picture!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Faces of Rachel

OK, so I'm new to this whole blog thing and for the most part, I've been using photos that I have access to...which primarily are kid #2 and kid #3...because they actually don't mind mugging for the camera.  (I use mugging lightly, for in reality, they complain ALL the time when I'm taking pics of them and are non-compliant and, basically, difficult to work with.)

So, if you've bothered to read this blog, you know I'm NEW to both blogging and my other current addiction - Facebook.  Well, yesterday, kid #1 says to me, "WHY am *I* not on your blog...WHY is it kid #2 and kid #3 ALWAYS on your blog?".

Sheesh...maybe because kid #1, when you roll in from school and after complaining how hungry you are and eating me out of house and home, you hole up in your smelly room to:  #1 text friends, #2 talk on the cell, #3 text friends, #4 come out to find food, #5 check your Facebook page and write on my wall from the garage...basically, you don't have any time to give to ME...to take your pics and play with natural lighting.

Ha...well, today was a different day.  I got 13-year-old (um, yea 8th grade...remember when you were in 8th grade?  Yea, I do...never want to go back) to come and play in the decreasing sunlight!

Here's what I got!!  Isn't she lovely?  I love this kid.......she rocks big time....hard to believe she's going to high school next year..and I have only 4 more years and then she's gone...out of the house...(or living here, working and going to school)...sigh........

p.s.  Sorry for my MONTAGE...it's my latest conquered "learning curve" in PS7

Floral Art

Some days, while the girls are at school and the house is quiet (minus the pawing of the tortoise to escape her box and be left free to roam the house)...I find myself in a mode of procrastination (hard to believe, I know).  So I turn to my trusty Canon 30d and take advantage of the time I have to.....well, procrastinate some more.  I mean really, taking pictures and editing is SO much more fun than laundry (which is evil and never-ending).

One such days when I am avoiding laundry, I take advantage of my front and back yards...we really do have some amazing flowers...and the bees are constantly buzzing around, and kid #3 loves to pick flowers and show them to me...the list goes on.  I have not, as of yet, been able to capture the various hummingbirds that frequent our flowers, but that is a goal.

I have included some of my more recent and favorite floral photos, which I am considering making into note card packets.  After all, the economy is tight, Christmas is approaching, and there is something nice about preparing gifts that I was able to create and giving them for the holidays. (Plus, as much as I love email and I do, because it's super convenient...there is something special about sending and receiving a HANDWRITTEN note...you just can't deny that!)

"Iris" - LA County Arboretum - April 2008

"Iris 2" - LA County Arboretum - April 2008

"Pink" - LA County Arboretum - April 2008

"Hibiscus" - LA County Arboretum - April 2008

"Cactus Bloom" - LA County Arboretum - April 2008

"Iris 3" - LA County Arboretum - April 2008

"Mum" - Altadena, CA - October 2008

"Trumpet Vine" - My Front Yard - September 2008

"Iris 4" - LA County Arboretum - April 2008

"Kid 3 Painted" - My Front Yard - July 2008

"Salvia Macro" - My Front Yard - July 2008

"Bee" - My Front Yard - July 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

The 70s vs. 2008.....

Kidlet #3 has been wearing glasses since she was about 2 1/2...poor child inherited my eyes - I had the same condition, at the same age.  THANKFULLY, kid #3 isn't living in the 70s, because I have to say...the 70s were unusually cruel for spec-wearers and I clearly was a victim of bad glasses styling.  See...here's proof of what happens when your conservative 70s mother picks your specs:

Now, so as to not induce poor self-esteem onto kid #3, I've always given her the opportunity to choose her own specs.  I mean, after all, SHE is the one wearing them and SHE needs to feel good in them, you know?  She had a tendency to keep to the straight and narrow, wearing the affable wire-rimmed.  Really...she only changed color, moving from brown to lavender - because "purple is my favorite color"...and who am I to argue with color selection?

Last week she had her two-year update.  I reminded her that she had the option to keep her current wire specs (which had, more times than naught, become the play toy of school friends who had the bad manners of taking them off her face), or getting a new pair.  To my absolute amazement...she elected to get new ones.  I was THRILLED!  Really, I love her optometrist dearly, but when we were seeing him weekly for spec adjustments, it was getting a bit old.

INTRODUCING...the new & improved (and tres FUNKY) kid #3!

p.s.  Don't mind the Shrek ears....I think she's going to go far in life!  Now for a haircut.....

Lost Teeth & Beautiful Faces...

I try to practice my natural light shots, using my kids of course, because #1 - they are accessible, #2 - I'm usually pretty quick (so I can usually bribe them into giving me 5 minutes of their valuable time), and #3 - I need the practice, and what better to practice on, then one's own children?  However, there are ALWAYS those days when they give me more grief the help.  I mean, hey...it's just a few pictures...can't you help me out?

Take for instance, a couple of weeks ago...child #3 had lost her 3rd tooth (a topper) and she has that 'oh-so-cute-missing-a-tooth-gap'.  I thought "I can kill two birds with one proverbial stone here"...get some practice with light, get some cute shots.  Yea, ok, I got one...

Because *1* is all the kid was willing to give....no more, no less...as cute as she is, she refused to look at the camera AND plugged up the gapper with her tongue (and nevermind the icky glare on the specs, which is why I PRACTICE!)...

I mean, I birthed the child, you'd think that she would give me SOMETHING....nope...in reality, she just insisted on messing with me and it's painfully obvious and clear here....

So...I went to child #2...hoping for some better results, maybe a bit more cooperation (forget the fact that whilst I was trying to get child #3 to cooperate, child #2 was actually encouraging the non-compliant behavior!)

Well....this is what I got:

S-I-G-H........gotta love kids