Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Emmmm......where's the eye contact?

The ceiling...

Looking at the table...

Looking at her tutu... me but with a not-so-pleasant smirk on her face! =)
ETA: These look a bit funny on them, they look much better larger. =)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Just a couple to share.....

So, this little girl LOVES clothes! She changes about 3 to 4 times a day (it drives me nuts) and actually will look through catalogs and pick out stuff she wants....I think I've created a monster! LOL!! I went to BabyGap yesterday and picked up this cute little hat for $4.99 and funky cuff new thing is cute socks lately. =) Anywho, she asked me to get my could I let her down and we headed outside but about after 10 frames, she was done....boy do I need new models. =)

OK, don't laugh....I'm still doing Amanda's workshop! BWWAAHHHH! It was suppose to be for 4 weeks but I've been slacking lately and she's been so cool about it. I'm sitting my booty down and finishing the next assignment, one of the ones that I've been looking forward to doing...wish me luck! =)

Also, I just wanted to mention the 1 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. I can't believe it's been a seems like yesterday I was glued to CNN watching everything unfold. WOW!! I cried my eyes out for days and finally just had to turn the T.V. off. I'm floored that the clean-up is so slow and the people that need the money don't get it. And don't get me started on Insurance companies! I for one felt, and still do, our government has failed them. But I will say that there are a lot of strong people there...if I endured what they had too and lost everything, I don't think I could go kudos to them. I hope one day they can be at peace and will NEVER have to go through something like that again.

Friday, August 25, 2006

And finally onto the questions.....what 3 days later?

Sorry guys about the delay, so let's get started! =)

Becky asked...
Ok Girlie,I've recently been turned on to your blog...and I LOVE it! Beautiful Work! And as I am currently researching new cameras and's an easy question:What Camera and software do you use???

I have a Canon 20D and I use Photoshop CS. I have 2 lens that I LOVE....the 85mm 1.8 and the 30mm 1.4.

Leah asked...
Love the new picture of Grace!And here's a question I've been wondering about for a you plan on having anymore children?I hope that's not too personal and if it is, ignore me, lol!

LOL Leah.....I bet we have a few Grandparents here that would like to know the same thing! =) I go back and forth on it.....I have my days that I think just having one is all I can handle and other days (like when she started Kindergarten), I would love another one. I love that she's at the age where she's self-sufficient, plus watching Sam 4 days a week...I think I'm good with just one. =)

Jen asked...
I just started lurking and learning at ILP, and you are my favorite photographer, I love your style!I remember reading you usually shoot in Av mode, what aperture do you usually use, and how do you get such great focus when Gracie is moving?And where did you get the "G" plaque on her wall? I want one!
Thank you so much! =) I almost always shot in manual indoors but's all AV for me. I have a hard time with sun so I let my camera choose my shutters and I can pick my aperture. I love to shoot wide open.....I usually stay around 1.8-2.2 but the ones of Gracie wearing the wings that I just posted....those are at 3.5 (I didn't check it...OOPPS). I also choose my focal points...I don't rely on my camera to choose them for me especially when shooting wide open. And the "G" plaque....that is so funny! I think if I could find out where they get the plates and I could semi write that good, I'd be one rich woman. I've had so many people ask me about it. =) I got it a place around here that is a huge flea market that they hold once a month. It's called First Monday Trade Days of Canton and I'm hoping to go back soon once the weather cools down and I will definitely get their card and post their info. I only paid $7 bucks for that baby too. =) You gotta love that!

Amy asked...
I have been "lurking" on your blog for a while after discovering your photos at 2Ps and ILP. I absolutely love your photos!! I recently bought a digital SLR camera and am wanting to learn more about photography, especially shooting in manual, but need all the help I can get. My question is: How did you learn what you know about photography, particularly your camera, manual, settings, etc? Self taught? Classes? Advice for beginners?

Thanks too Amy. =) You know what magazine really made things click for me? Better Homes and Garden's Scrapbooks, Etc. Photography...simple steps to better photos. It talks about ss, aperture and ISO and how it's all related. I'll admit, my manual was Greek to me at first until I got that magazine and it put it all together for me. Then I would choose something to work on and read and reread the manual and practice until I think I got it. Also ILP and 2Peas have a wonderful source of information and a ton of people that are ready and willing to help you out and answer questions. The only class I took (I'm still taking) is Amanda Keeys Creative Mentorship....I love it. I feel I'm weak at seeing a shot so her assignments are helping me with that. I also got in on the ILP Mentor buddy list and I was lucky to get paired up with Angela Calderon. She took on about 5 or 6 of us and just started a forum. =) My best advice to give you is to practice, post your photos and ask for cc. Seeing things from a fresh pair of eyes makes a huge difference. =)

Frederique asked...
Brenda..Just a quick question: will you fly over and photograph my kids?? I love your style. Everybody says it and take it as a reflection of what you have achieved this past year! Well done!!!

Don't tease me Frederique! LOL!! What I wouldn't give for that opportunity only if you photographed Gracie! =) I'm not sure if I've ever told you this but I stalked you on were one of my favs and when you would reply to one of my felt like a I just got an autograph from my favorite celebrity! =) It means a ton to me that you said that....thank you so much! =)

Tara asked...
ok so what size pants do you wear? LOL! just kidding! how did you get so good at photography? what camera and lens do you use? are you a sahm? when are you coming to Chicago? I want to meet YOU! how did you name your kids? after someone? what is your fav color?what's your fave place to shop?

BWWHHAAA! Thanks Tara! =) OK, this may be TMI but what the heck! =) Pant size....depending on where I get them, between a 4 and 6. Next one....see the first post. =) Yeppers, I'm a SAHM....with a side business of watching Sam. =) I would LOVE to come to hubby actually has relatives that live 2 hours a way....don't think I won't show up on your doorstep! Grace was named after her Great Grandmother on her daddy's side that pasted away when his father was just a toddler and after my Grandmother's middle name. Plus, when I hear the name Grace...I think of Grace Kelly, so it was a win win situation. She almost was a Ryan instead but we settle on that for her middle name because if people didn't know us and we said the name Ryan, I think they would have thought it was a boy. My favorite color is green and I love to shot at Gap and Nordstroms but lately it's been Old Navy and Target. =)

Jennifer asked...
How much did you know about photography when you 1st started out? I went back to the beginning of you on ILP and it seems like you've been strong at it for a year now. I'm not very far from you at all, would you ever consider giving lessons? I just LOVE your work!!!!!!!!!

Absolutely nothing! Seriously! I had a little P&S that I used before my DSLR and I hated it. I didn't want to learn any about it because I really just hated it. When Grady decided to get me the DSLR he made me promise to learn it and not just go by the seat of my pants. =) Giving that's new! You when people ask for cc and I feel that I can give it to them I will but I know there is so much more for me to learn, so I usually just comment on if I as a customer would like the photos KWIM? And like the mentor thing that was going on with ILP....I felt caught in the middle. I could help some but needed help. =)

Marla asked...
Your blog is normally the first one I read. I love your work and Gracie is beautiful! My question to you is... when and how did you get started. And how long have you been at it?Again your pictures are awesome and a true work of art.

Thank you so much Marla. I actually found 2Peas I think back in June 2005 and lurked on ILP. I've seen some amazing photos of people using a P&S but I knew that I couldn't do it.....I'll admit with me, I give a lot of credit (99% of it) to my camera and my lens. =) I got my DSLR in January 2006 and I've been non-stop every since. It's so addicting and rewarding at the same time. =)

Christie asked...
OK, I'll play. I love your work, think you get a very lovely pure look. Why haven't you branched out to doing other people (kids) and get paid for your wonderful talent? Is it not an interest for you, or do you feel like you are still learning, or just that you like keeping it a hobby for now?You certainly have more than enough talent to do so, so I was wondering :)

Christie.....I just want to make sure I'm constant and can produce good images. I'm definitely going to do it...I've given myself a deadline of until December to finally put myself out there. I can't explain it....something was holding me back but I feel I get a wee bit stronger each day that I pull it out. Also, I feel I can do posed shots, but I want to be able to just follow the kiddos, let them be and do what they do best and see the image. Those day to day photos are what I love, so I'm striving to do that. =)

Tori asked... I dont have a "real" question..but I would love to KNOW what you look like. hint hint..self portrait...p.s. dont feel dumb..I tried to upload to blogger (photos) and it took me 4 days!! If that isnt frustrating!!!!I also would love to know how you keep in focus..when Gracie is going a 100 mph...oh.and when is the next kiddo coming?

Self portrait huh.....I like a little mystery don't you? LOL!! OK, you all twisted my arm...I'll let Gracie take some of me and then I can blame her on how bad I look. LOL!! =) A fast lens....I'd be a gonner without one. =)

Thanks nettifer! =)

Jenna asked...
Ohhh a question eh...Lots of good ones have already been asked... What time do you go to bed at night? Are you a night owl?Whats your favorite color combination?What is your favorite outfit to photograph miss Gracie in?

I go to bed early and if I can sleep in that's even better! But Gracie has gotten up between 6 am-7 am from day one so if I can get to bed my 9:00, I'm one happy camper. =) My fav color comb is pinkish rose and chocolate brown....I'm thinking about redoing Gracie's room with that. =) My fav outfit to photography Gracie in......that's easy....a tutu and angel wings. =) I'm sure you guys are sick of seeing her in those. LOL!!

Kate asked...
wow, i'm glad I'm not the only one who thought of this: self portrait!! :)I love your work, Brenda - I'd love any tips and tricks you can share about how you learned and grew as a photographer. :)

Man, you guys are brutal.....I'll post a photo....just don't be disappointed when you see it. =) As far as the tips....make sure you're exposure is good. That saves a lot of heartache and not to mention the time and effort you do in Photoshop. =) Metering, especially in's awesome and again save you alot of time. Join a photog board and just read posts after post. And of your photos and ask for help when you need it. Like I said, there are a ton of people on boards that LOVE to help others out. I was lucky from the beginning that a couple of wonderful photographer kinda took me under their wing and help guided me. I also have some awesome photog friends both local and on-line that I talk to on a daily basis that we chat about this and that and we encourage each other. I think when people help you out, they love to see someone grow that they've worked's a great accomplishment for you and them too. =)

Marie....thanks sweet! I think you need to do a 20 question thing on your blog (hint-hint)! =)

Stace asked...
here's one, not about photography, but something I love to know about did you and your hubby meet?
Get this....a blind date! You see, sometimes they do work out! A close friend of mine set us up, I think she convinced him to do it because she told him I looked like Janine Turner from Northern Exposure (I had a short pixie hair cut at that time). =) And I don't look like her and he'd tell you the same thing. LOL!!

Christy asked...
OK...I can't wait to hear your answers on all of the photography related questions!!! I love your work!So here's a fun question not relating to photography. What's your favorite kid friendly recipe for weekday meals?

Well seeing that Gracie is the pickiest kid on the planet...she's never tasted a hamburger and not to mention I'm a bad cook (the microwave is my best friend), I have no kid's recipes for ya. =) She lives on McDonald's Happy Meals, chocolate pankcakes and bunch of other stuff that aren't good for her....thank goodness for vitamins! =)

OK, I think that's it....thanks everyone for playing along and excuse the misspelled words too! =)
Have a wonderful fill-fulled weekend! =)

My new calling........

a bullrider photographer! Whatcha think? Forget kids and familys! LOL!!

Yeah....probably not a good thing since I'm clumsy and can't run fast for the life of me! Just picture those fellows that run with the bulls in Spain....not a pretty site. =)

Lots to talk about! =)

I PROMISE I'm going to get to the questions tonight.....PROMISE! =)

So, we loaded up and went to the fair last night to check out the photos and have a little fun. I received first place in the people colored category with this one.....

And second place in the people b/w category! =)

That threw me for a bit of a loop....I so thought that one was going to be my best bet! =) I only entered 2 instead of 4 (Jen, if your reading this, sorry)! I went ahead and had 4 printed but when I got them back....I had to crop them as a 8x10 and I thought they lost a lot of Gracie looking in her closet and reading a book on her bed....they just seemed blah afterwards.

So we hung out a bit and rode some rides. Gracie of course rode the Merry-Go-Round and the Sit-n-Spin (if that's what it's called). She had fun but we shouldn't have kept her out so long with her being sick....she's better but still has a wet nasty cough. =(

I've got more but it's not letting me upload anymore. To be continued! =)

Thursday, August 24, 2006


that's the number of hits that I've had since I started this little blog in the end of May! All I can say is WOW and that is so beyond cool! =)

I could have never imaged that this blog would have lead me to 2 wonderful product shoots and an awesome group of blogger friends! =)
Thank you to everyone that follows this.....I love the fact that I can chat with you guys and you aren't sick of the photos I feel I shove down your throats of Grace and Sam! =)

Just WOW!

Well, just a quick update....Gracie is still sick! This morning she threw up on the floor (she didn't make it in time to the bathroom) and not within a span of 5-10 minutes...Scout came in a left a present at my feet (and not the kind that comes out of the behind). I guess those 2 are n-sync with each other! All I have to say is that that is another reason to chalk up for getting hardwoods! =) Anywho, her temperature has come down and she's been acting a little more like her squirrelly self this morning so it looks like she's beating it. Now I just hope no one else gets it. =)

Here's a couple that I took a week or so ago...I just now got to looking at them. The first one is my little shadow and yes the culprit of the gift this morning! =) He can be the cutest little thing until he runs in Gracie's room and snags a Barbie or a doll and runs off with it (this morning's victim was a Care Bear, may he rest in peace)....that little bugger is one quick puppy! =)

And what would a post be without some photos of Gracie? =) And one in's a miracle! LOL!!

I just got some cool storyboards and some digi scrapping stuff that I'm dying to play around with....but I promise I'll get to the questions later today...right now my bed is calling my name (another long one last night).

Thanks again to every that takes the time to come means so much to me. Did I say WOW already? =)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I've got a sick little kidlet today!

Can someone please tell me how a person can get a cold in the middle of 105 degree weather? Gracie caught a came on last night when she was getting ready for bed and from that point on she woke up every 2 hours coughing, so needless to say we are both spent. And to get that kid to take medicine is like pulling teeth. She has a stall tactic that she uses and I'm usually left standing there holding the spoon for a good 15 minutes until she finally takes it. =)

So, I'll be out of the loop....hopefully she'll feel better tomorrow, I can't believe we've already missed a day of school not even into the second week.
I'll get the the questions ASAP but had to laugh at what Tara asked! LOL!! =) Hmmmm and a self portrait....I'll have to think about that one. I hate the way I look in photos. Just to give you an idea, the last time we had a family picture taken was when my hair was really really short, like pixie, it's done to the middle of my back. See! =)

Anywho, just sharing one from a while ago...I passed it up for some reason and I just saw it again....a good reason not to delete any photo right of the bat! =)

Monday, August 21, 2006

What the Heck?

So does anyone have a clue why all my links aren't showing up? I checked the template and they are there and I also did a View Source and they are showing up there too....I'm lost?
Note to self: Blogger hates me!

I seriously don't have anything to say.......

Other than blogger hates me! I can't upload a photo for the life of me so I have to use Photobucket and I'm not to keen on what it always looks like from there...oh well! =)

So, nothing new or major is going on around here....Gracie LOVES school, so it's just Sam and I during the day. I figured I play a game that I got from Jen and Tara. It's 20 questions....if any of you guys have any questions for me....nows the time! Not that I know anything or you guys are so interested in my life, but I thought, what the heck, I'll give it a whirl! =) So ask away and don't make me look pathetic, please ask something....if it's something like what size pants to you wear? LOL!! =)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I don't have a witty title! =)

Sorry.....if feel I have dain bramage lately! =) With Gracie starting school, trying to get into the routine, I'm trying to adjust. =)

First off, Gracie LOVES school and she has yet to crash when she gets home...very surprising to me (although she a minor meltdown this morning which consisted of brushing her hair...long story, I won't bore you). =) The first thing she does when she gets home is to lay out her clothes for the next day and you should see some of the outfits she puts together. =) BBWWAAAHHHH!
So, I dropped off my photos for the fair yesterday day and of course I had to check out the competition.....and all I can say is WOW! I don't think I stand a chance but you never know right? I only submitted 2 (hopefully Erica you aren't reading this)....I figured it would be less of a let down if I didn't win anything. I will say, the ladies taking the entries showed everyone the one of Sam and the angel wings, so that felt good...I think that one is my best bet on winning....keep you're fingers crossed. =)

I went and got my eyes dilated today....that is some funky stuff they put in your eyes! It seemed 3 hours later when I went to pick Gracie up, the sun was even brighter then when I left the office....lets just say I'm lucky I live close. =) I've got to go to a left eye is all funky and shaped all weird which is a sign of glaucoma so she wants to watch that. It also could be from trauma that happened to that eye when I was in a car wreck many many years ago. I'm hoping that's the case, but they want to make sure. =)

OK, I have to talk about the Ramsey case.....that guy is ODD (and that's a nice way to put it). Can you believe it's been 10 years ago? Honestly, I thought the parents were involved....they never really cried about it and it seems to me that they loved the spotlight a little to much. I really hope that this guy did it and he's off the streets but from what I'm hearing on CNN and what he's saying, I don't think he did....I think he wants the attention. It's just weird IMO. Anywho, if they find out he didn't do it, hopefully they can lock him up, he's got some major issues and it just floors me that he's a 2nd grade teacher and was applying for another job.

So I'll end with some photos with backlighting. I was talking to Molly (another photog friend) on the phone the other day and we got on the subject when/if you go to a customers house and you can't get any good light. I got off the phone with her and I thought to myself...well, if all else fails, stick them in a window! =)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Anyone in the mood for "moody?"

Well, since Gracie is away most of the day...I've lost my little muse! So Sam it is...unless you want to see pictures of the dogs? Hmmmm...I didn't think so! =)

A different conversion...I have no idea what I did! I'm usually not a fan of muddy tones, but I've seen it done so well (Tina Louise on ILP), I had to give it a whirl. =)

Bummer that I cut her feeties off....I need to crop it up, I'm being lazy! =)

Just playing with light some...trying out new things! What do you guys think...too dark for your taste? It's so not my style but I keep coming back to it. =)

Monday, August 14, 2006

And so she's growing up.....

Today was the day and first and foremost....A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE for all the wonderful comments and support! I made it through.....and it wasn't that bad (I only lost it a couple of times). Of course she had a ball and can't wait to go back tomorrow. =) She says Mrs. Jones was really funny and she made some new friends. Here's a couple of pictures I took this morning....she wasn't all that enthused but it had to be done.....the camera came out! =)

So anywho...thanks again everyone! It means a ton...and you're cheaper than a shrink! LOL!

Friday, August 11, 2006

"One Million Dollars!"

This reminds me of Dr. Evil in Austin Powers....except it's not with the pinky! =) OK, I know, I'm in lala land sometimes, I admit it. =)

Monday is the day.....the day my little girl goes to school. I'm not doing very well and I'm serious when I say hair is falling out. HUGE chucks of it comes out when I brush's horrible. I'm wigging out a bit.

Yesterday, we had "Meet the Teacher" and I guess I was a bit disappointed. I'm looking for every little thing that I can complain about so I don't have to send her. Her teacher seems really nice but very timid and scared. I keep thinking these kids are going to eat her alive. I'm picturing Kindergarten Cop where they're running around butt-wild painting each other with lamp shades on their heads! LOL!! Call me crazy! Anywho, she seems really nice and excited to start so that's a good thing. Gracie has 10 girls and 7 boys in her class.....I'm thinking there's going to be a cat-fight soon....too little boys, too little time and Gracie is BOY-CRAZY! God help them! =)

Most of my closes friends are teachers so I hear all the horror stories and stuff but thought, "Oh, they're over-reacting, it can't be that bad!" Well folks, I'm here to tell you, that I'm dead wrong. There's a mother that is already "THAT MOTHER" that expects their child to get special treatment from the teacher....her undividing attention (and it's not even the first day of school yet). You should have heard the things coming out of her mouth last night...I'm sure I looked like a deer caught in headlights with my jaw to the floor looking at her....WTH? Grady being someone that just lets things slide was floored! It boggles my mind.....I'm speechless really!

Then today was the Kindergarten lunch so they could get a feel of going through the lunchline. It was so cute (and yet I was secertly crying inside) watching Gracie go through the line. The menu consisted of chocolate milk and a hot dog...she passed on the corn and pineapple bites. And nope...she didn't eat the hot dog...only the bun. Needless to say I'll be packing her lunch most of the time otherwise I see her telling people that she only gets bread and water for lunch and pretty soon CPS will be knocking on my door. LOL! =) We are going to try to have her eat there 1 day a week and hopefully she'll expand her food palette! =)
She made 3 new friends today....Christina, Blake and Ashlinn and we've already been invited to Christina's b'day party, so that's cool! =) And get this...I didn't want to look like a fool bringing my camera today, but after lunch they had the whole Kindergarten class stand up on the stage to take a picture....just my luck! "A day late, a dollar short" and "Why don't you kick my dog while your at it".....has been my moto lately! And I tried to take it with my phone cam, it was a no go....I couldn't figure it out! =)

And on the way home I started to cry again...and Gracie said the sweetest thing to me. She told me that this is going to be good for her and she'll learn a bunch of new things but she'll always come home to me. OMG, tear-jerker! I sometimes wonder how she can be so sweet (most of the time.....scroll down and see the bathtub hissy fit)...if you ask Grady, he'd tell you it's not from me. =) Then she said that she was going to draw me a picture and I could look at it when I missed her and think of her....what a kid she is! She amazes me sometimes. =)

Wow, this is my longest post...hopefully you made it all the way through without getting bored! Everyone have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I know what you're thinking.....

it seems like all I do is take pictures in my bathroom. Well, it's the best natural light in my house. Do you think people would go for setting up shoots there? There's a lot of bonuses to it....a mirror for quick checks to see how you look, and a HUGE plus if you have kiddos you're potty training...easy access to a toilet! =) LOL!!

I had to show you this one.....if you tell Sam to "kiss my butt"....she will! =)

More like bite it instead! OUCH!!

Monday, August 07, 2006


Just why? Why she does some of the goofy things she does? Yep folks, she was watching cartoons like this.....all twisted up, it hurts me just to look at it! =) If she can't make it in the plumbing business, I think she may have a calling in the circus world! =)

Friday, August 04, 2006

As requested by Jen.......

the diva closet photo in color!! Bright huh? =)

And, I'm just playing around with CS....kinda a little WILD and CRAZY for me! =)

I hope everyone has a great weekend and stays cool (what's with this weather)?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Another lazy day.....

This one upload quickly....woo-hoo! So 8:00 pm is the golden hour to upload on blogger. =)

I'm trying to really nail my exposure everytime so little missy let me practice on her if I gave her some Spree candy after we were done....I said it was a deal.

So, this is a new fav of mine...I know I have a new fav every week, you're probably sick of hearing that. =) But seeing how many pictures I take of her, you would understand. =)

Anywho, another boring day around here...nothing major to report. =)

Jen, if you're reading this, I'll post the color closet picture warned, it's bright and full of color...have your sunglasses ready! =)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Nothing major is going on today.....

so I thought I'd share some recents photos. I'm trying to work on backlighting.....whew, it's hard. I just can't seem to meter and shoot in manual at the same's like patting your head and rubbing your belly, or is it rubbing your head and patting your belly? =)
YEAH....finally it let me upload....I'm glad it's not just me! =)

OK, I just had to post this......a future in the plumbing business maybe?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hissy Fit City!

Gracie just had a bad day today...I think she's tired and she refuses to lay down and take a nap....Heaven forbid she might miss something. Anywho...I got her in the tub and she just lost it! She was mad at me because I didn't use the right heard it, I didn't use the Strawberry Shortcake shampoo. Shame on me! I couldn't even rinse the rest of the shampoo out of her hair, isn't that lovely? =)

It's times like this that I'm darn ready for her to go to school.