So Grateful!

New year new birth!  Welcome to the world Mr. Nathan!  It was such a pleasure to photograph this little tyke!  Not just because its my niece’ baby, or that it’s my big sisters second grandchild, but because every time I have the pleasure to photograph a newborn it gives me pure joy!  God is Great and I am humbled by His creations.  Mr. Nathan was also the studios first of many to come poster child for our Bellies to Babies Campaign for 2017-18!  So, we will be seeing a lot more of Mr. Nathan in the future.  On top of coming into this world, he had some grande entrance of a week.  Northern California just experienced its first “monster” storm of the year.  (right now my family in Texas are rolling their eyes. ha ha)  The day of the shoot we drove to the hospital in 30 mph winds, rain and heavy traffic.  Once we arrived we began the video taping of our first Facebook Live portrait session.


We decided for 2017 we were going to start doing live feeds on our sessions to show how we work.  I was being asked more then not “how did you photograph in such cramp rooms, or why did the photo you took come out lighter then the one I took, and I was standing right behind you.  (there are some rules to my letting family/friends photograph behind me that’s in our portrait contracts. But that’s another blog post) So we decided to begin the year with informative live feeds to show how we can do that.  Not really “how to’s ” they will be more inspiration for those who are on the fence about having a portrait session.  The videos are also a great way to put our business in prospective.  To help us see what we are doing and to stay on track on what is important with this business….YOU!  our clients.  2017 brought us to our 11th year in business!  Wow, seeing that makes my heart pitter patter (wait, maybe its the coffee.)  We are so humbled by Gods grace and all the people He has brought before us to photograph.  I have always said, “it’s not just a photograph, it’s your life.  I truly believe that.  One day years after the kids have grown, or my clients have moved on, someone  will be looking at a family portrait hanging in their living room or a newborn collage in the hall way and say “do you remember when grandma had that done?”  Those are the moments I am talking about.

Yep, Baby Nathan may have had an eventful week, but I have a feeling this kid is going to have both hands on the wheel, he will know who he belongs to and that will give Him joy.  Have a great weekend everyone, be safe and take care of one another.

First Friday Art Walk

Hi all!  Its FRIDAY!  Yea, The end of the week the beginning of a new month, the start of a new season, and don’t get me started on the smells in the air. Ah, Fall. I love the crisp air.  Especially during an evening walk around town.  September 2, is Woodlands First Friday Art walk. Those are fun.  I rarely get a chance to participate, let alone walk around and view all the great art. Usually I am in the studio or on location or editing (come to think of it, there has been sooo much editing). So when the downtown historic association of Woodland called and asked if I would be interested in being a featured artist at one of the participating businesses, I checked my calendar…TWICE and said yea!  I CAN DO IT!!   Its all coming together. So this Friday September 2, 2016 from 5:30 pm-9:00 pm I will be at Kevin Cowan, Financial Services, 426 Main Street.  I’m excited and nervous at the same time.  The last First Friday I had participated in was roughly 3 years ago, or more.  I don’t think I was able to stay for that either, I had to leave early. But once again I get a chance to participate and I am super excited to be in town and around for this Friday Art Walk. This is such a special break for me. Sometimes as an artist I need to recharge. To quote Bill Cunningham, a world renowned street fashion photographer “the eye needs to be re-educated”. Sometimes I need to take a break from my normal business of taking portraits, as much as I love this aspect of photography, the families, the smiling faces, stories, and creating a memory to last a lifetime, it helps to have another aspect of photography I can re-channel my energy and “re-educate” my eye. I like to think of creativity or really, any passion we have in life, as a knife. Sometimes the knife needs to be honed once in awhile, because over time it becomes dull. Doing Creative photography is almost just like that for me. It is my great outlet; my muse, my chance to resharpen so, I can go on location with a new eye each time. Creating something beautiful so you can display it in the home.  When I book my session, I don’t think about the time, the location (well, maybe a little) what I really think about is how blessed I am to be invited into families lives and capture those special moments.  I ask myself “I wonder if they know how beautiful they are?”


Drinking the Kool Aide

IDSC_0123-Edit have been there, more than once.  When  a Friday feels like a Monday?  When an hour at home turns into I only have thirty minutes to get ready.  Well, those are signs of my journey.  When I force the day because I think “isn’t this what I’m suppose to do?”  I planned it this way, it should all be falling into place.  But it’s not.  Because I forgot who’s plan it is.  We all have one.  Either its a plan, a journey, a path or quest.    In my case, its a journey and sometimes I forget who’s driving.   I  bury my head down, push myself and force my way of thinking, this is  the right way.  The right path.  My path,  and I forgot it is not my plan,  sometimes, what we want to do, is not what we were meant to do .  In the process,  I forget who’s plan it is .   At times I have to remind myself, “Remember who’s plan is better.”  Not mine.  If fact, if I were to be perfectly honest, my plan has really never ever worked out.  EVER …A long time ago I thought to open my very own studio.  I was going to do it all by myself, and claim it.  “I did this, not any one else, so only I can take the credit.”  But in doing so, and forgetting Who’s plan needs to be first, I failed.  My studio closed and so did my past along with it.  Slowly I thought it was crumbling piece by piece.  But little did I know, HIS plan was working, even through my  failures. Especially, through my failures.  I may have lost my studio, but I think I lost something else.  I lost my ego.  My pride and my crutch.  To me those are three things that I can do without.  Once I let go, I  learned so much more.  I learned that failure is not defeat.  It’s  not letting anyone down, not me, not my family and especially not God.  To fail is another way of learning.  Its an attempt to make things right.  Its a chance to do it over again.  And that’s okay. To  F.A.I.L means  First Attempt In Learning.    Its a reminder to not be so hard on myself, and in the same breath, not be hard on others.  When we fail, we are really learning something new.

I’m stating over.  The studio is coming along.  This time, instead of wanting it now and jumping head first, eyes closed,  I’m learning to be patient.
Instead drinking “the Kool Aide” without knowing whats in it, I’m taking my time, going slowly, catching my breath.  These are  lessons I am willing to learn.  Because this time, I’m in.  All in.  Head, heart and mind.  So, I’ll start again, and I will learn something new.  If I fail again, then another lesson will be at the next turn.  and I’m okay with that too.

Memories Renewed

This past Sunday was Easter.  I’m finding more and more reasons to celebrate such a beautiful time.  Knowing just how much God loves me, my family and  all of us.  It truly gives me chills every time I think about it.  Every sin, every transgression, every wrong, has been paid in full.   The ultimate sacrifice through Christ was for our sins.  Knowing that, helps me to understand what I am here for.  For love.  For forgiveness.  For each other.

My family has been through so much I cant even imagine what they have endured on their own.  We share so many memories, good and bad.  Happy, and sad.  But the one thing that I can say that stands out is that they have always come together.  Hurt only stays for as long as you want to hold on to it….Love endures forever.  As we enjoy our family, making memories, sharing stories.  I want to also remember where we are going. To be reminded of the future of our lives.   I have a longing to keep our family safe, even when they are not in the same household.  Family can be thousands of miles away and still need you.  My desire or “prayer” when I end my day is so that everyone strive for hope.  Strive to make their journey not a struggle but a climb.  We can do at least that much in honor of the One who sacrificed the ultimate for us…for me…for you.  Happy Easter everyone



Its Monday All day

I was working at Carols’ studio this weekend.  Carol is an artist in Davis, California that works with pen and pencil.  Very intricate and very detailed.  She has been a return client for over two years now and we have established a fond relationship.  I look up to her not only as an artist but as a mentor for empowerment.  Carol just does what she wants and does it in a very positive way.  Not pushy or rude.  She is  pretty cool.  Dick is her confidant, her “go get guy” and her husband.  He is pretty awesome in his own right.

In the years that I have known Carol, she has given me her views on quite a few things.  And I have listened, some not my cup of tea, but most…she hits the nail right on my head.  One day when all  was going its own way.  I told her about how I lost the studio and how everything was taking a turn I was not happy with.  She looks at me and states, “so stop it.”  And just as easy as those words came from her mouth, I thought “why dont I?”  Sometimes we forget that.  We forget that we can undo as much as we can do.

Carol the artists


I tend to see others as the “artist”.  Not me, I see my work as a way to express myself or something that I do.  But when I started to work with Carol and seeing how she saw my work as “art” then I started to believe in my work.  I once had some one tell me, “photograph is not an art, that’s silly to think that.”  Now that I think about it, when I told Carol that she giggled and said, “that’s a silly statement in its own right.”  She then began to tell me that art is.  Period.  We may not see art in a wall with a red dot on it, but someone will.  Just because I don’t use a paint brush or paint.  Or just because I don’t have canvas frames around my studio.  Or maybe my studio is my home, that doesn’t define the art.  I do, I define what is my art.  No one else.  If God gave me a gift., how shameful is it of me not to use it.  Show it.  EXPRESS it.

When you have paint, you paint

When you have paint, you paint.  When I have a vision in my head.  I try to show it in my way.  Photography.  I am grateful that I have the means to be able to do that.

any cup is only as full or as empty as you see it

You if you have a thought in your head that you cant do something or your work is not something.  Don’t be defeated by those words, even if they are your own.  Remember what Carol said.  “That is a silly statement in its own right.”  and move on.

Out and Bout life

It reminded me of our trip.  How the light came across each place differently.  I am facinated by light.  How it moves, where its dense where its dim, where it shines brightest.

So, yesterday we decided to add more to our plate.  Thus, the phrase “too much on your plate”. Off we forged into the wild and uncharted areas viewing. Our first thoughts were to get out there and experience art.  Our adventure started in none other than Yolo County. The art mecca of Northern California, or so it would be for us.  Plus, it is the closes we are to fine art galleries and eating. First stop.  The Pence.  Pence Art Gallery is  on D Street in Davis California.  The gallery show cases local artist and offers high caliber art exhibits and educational programs for visitors of all ages..   Hey,  would  that be me?  We shall soon see.  It was a great day trip and we got to experience something we thought was out of our element.  Were we ever wrong.  Photography IS art!  I am an artist of light.  Some draw it, some write about it, I see it, and manipulate it to the point of seeing it.  awesomeness.  Steve enjoyed the art sculptures and some of the different ways photographs were used in  those sculptures.  I was mesmerized by the room. The whole building glowed by the light from all the windows.