Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Years Eve wedding....

I am excited to photograph Sarah and Pat's wedding tonight. How many times do you get to photograph a couple's wedding and reception over the course of two years... we will start the festivities in 2011 and end in 2012. Congrats to Sarah and Pat!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Closing out 2011

I can't believe it's almost the end of the year. While 2011 has been a great year in some respects, there have also been some things happen in 2011 that I don't ever care to repeat. I won't go into details because I want to stay positive and learn from those things, not dwell on them.

As I was trying to write this post in my mind (for the last couple weeks), my always loyal BFF sent me a link to another blog that really sums up my feelings on a lot of things. The post has a list of 30 things to start doing for yourself. Feel free to read the entire post, but here are a couple of my favorite of the 30 things...

1. "Start spending time with the right people. – These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways. They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally."

5. "Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. – Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are. Be yourself. Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else. Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms. Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it."

6. "Start noticing and living in the present. – Right now is a miracle. Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future. Stop dwelling on what did or didn’t happen in the past. Learn to be in the ‘here and now’ and experience life as it’s happening. Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.

17. "Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations. – When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope. Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times. And remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right. Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t."

27. "Start actively nurturing your most important relationships.
– Bring real, honest joy into your life and the lives of those you love by simply telling them how much they mean to you on a regular basis. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people. Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty. Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of."

29. "Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes. – The mind must believe it CAN do something before it is capable of actually doing it. The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful. Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Regardless of how a situation seems, focus on what you DO WANT to happen, and then take the next positive step forward. No, you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react to things. Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether or not you’re happy and successful in the long run depends greatly on which aspects you focus on. "

I will admit I have some difficulty with this one, but I am making it part of my 2012 goals to get better at this. I truly believe that 2012 is going to be a good year, especially because I plan to use what I have learned in 2011 to help make that happen.

I am extremely thankful for all the good things in my life... an awesome husband that puts with more than his fair share of stuff (aka BS) from me; two great kids that teach me a lot about myself; the best BFF that anyone could ask for (I could not have survived 2011 without her); a wonderful family (parents, sister, brother in law, adorable nieces); in-laws that are fabulous grandparents to our kids; and a few friends that I know will be there no matter what.

I am looking forward to 2012 for the changes I want to make in my life. Have you thought about what you want to do in 2012?

Fav from recent session

Momma's never have enough pictures with their babies!! I just did this family session and this is my favorite one....

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas day 2011

I am not sure where December went, but all of a sudden, Christmas was here! Santa treated us all well, as usual. The kids each received an iPod touch. It was a nice quiet, relaxing morning.

J.T. loved his tool kit that Abigail got him...

And she loved her beauty salon chair for her dolls that JT got her...

Santa also delivered to Abigail and J.T. at Grandma Pam and Grandpa Charlie's house. Pretty exciting!!

We had a very nice day. We left about 4:00 pm for Walnut Creek to go see my sister and her family. My parents were already down there. Onto Christmas #4...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas eve 2011

JT does not have a black eye.... not sure why it looks like that.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Photo shoot from Grand Cayman, Part 3

This is what is called a "Trash the Dress" session. The dress doesn't really get trashed or torn up, but it does get wet (obviously). Nothing a little dry cleaner can't fix! I am hoping to do some more of these sessions in 2012. Volunteers???

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Abigail and J.T.

We weren't even trying to take real portraits here.... we were just taking a few so the kids could each make their own Christmas cards. I like these though... shows their personalities.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Photo shoot from Grand Cayman, Part 1

We did a fun wedding-style photo shoot on Grand Cayman. What a beautiful spot!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Senior shoot from the cruise

Here are a few shots from the senior session we did aboard the cruise ship.... I also tried out some new types of processing. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wanted: opinions about professional photography

I am in search of local people who want to share their opinion with me on what they think about photography. I feel the need to take a good look at my business as we move into 2012. I would like people that have varying income levels, some who have been my clients, and some who haven't. I am still working on my questionnaire but I would really like to hear what current or potential clients think about professional portraits and photography. If you are interested, please contact me at Thanks.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Just a quick post today with a few photos of our stop in Jamaica. I will write a more inclusive post from our photography cruise a little later. For now...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Disneyland trip: Day 5, part 2

Since our flight was a little delayed, we made another attempt.... this time with the Mickey ears hats.

Whew, that was tough! We got some fun ones though.

The flight back to Oakland was good. I was even able to do some Black Friday shopping at 30,000 feet via wi-fi. Pretty cool. After we got back to my sister's house, we figured out that we left JT's new Ridemakerz truck on the airplane. :-( We went back to the airport but it wasn't there. Still working on getting it back.

Overall, it was a great trip. Not exactly relaxing, but fun. Thanks Mom and Dad for taking us!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Disneyland trip: Day 5, part 1

While we were waiting to check out of the hotel, we made an attempt to get some shots of the kids wearing their Disneyland shirts.

First Michela and Abigail....

Then our two....

And our unsuccessful attempt to get all four of them in one place....

We decided we would try again at the airport. To be continued.....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Disneyland trip: Day 3 and 4

We started Day 3 at California Adventure Park. We looked around a little and then we had a reservation at "Ariel's Grotto" for lunch with Princesses. Michela and Abigail were very excited about this.... let's just say, J.T. was not. :) Oh well, can't have it all....

J.T.'s day wasn't all bad..... he had some fun too. Some of us went on the California Screamin' roller coaster... the kids loved it!

We saw "World of Color" that night, after dinner. I think it was one of our favorite things of the whole trip. It's a cool show with colored lights and water.

After the show was over, the big kids got to stay out late, while all the grandkids went back to the hotel with Ma and Papa. Mary, Jeff, Andy and I rode on "Soarin' over California" at California Adventure Park first. What a cool experience! Then we tried to ride some rides at Disneyland, but a lot of the ones we wanted to ride were either closed down or the wait was too long. Oh well, we still had fun!

On Day 4 (Thanksgiving Day), we decided to go back to Disneyland. We had to get a picture of Ma and Papa with the grandkids in front of the entrance....

And then we found Minnie Mouse. The characters were kind of hard to find. They just sort of showed up and then you had to wait in line to see them and/or have your photo taken with them. Seeing the characters was a big highlight for all the kids.

We decided to go back to Downtown Disney for lunch because it was a lot less crowded. That day we ate at Rainforest Cafe which was fun. And look.... I even made it into one picture for the trip!

That night, for Thanksgiving dinner we went to Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen, which had a New Orleans type theme. It was really good, but the little girls weren't too interested in sitting and eating. Afterwards we walked around Downtown Disney. We even made a Build A Bear. By the end of the night, we were all pretty exhausted so we headed back to the hotel...