I was informed about this new site, thumbtack, by my friend who owns a flower shop. I signed up for an account today on Thumbtack. I like the idea of the site. It allows people who are looking for a service, ie photography, florist, etc. to search the site for the specific service. It allows you to show your work, as well as gives a description about you. I am looking forward to hopefully getting in some inquiries from this service.

Here is a link to my page:

<a href=”http://www.thumbtack.com/Beautiful-Photography-For-Any-Occasion-Lake-Forest-CA/service/260778″>Beautiful Photography For Any Occasion</a>

Yesterday I finally got a new camera. I have been wanting a better camera for a long time, and really needing one as well. I finally outgrew my old Nikon D60 to the point where I disliked using it as I was so frustrated at how limited I felt with it. I got some great photos from it and I am thankful for the years of service it provided me, but it was time to move on. I upgraded to the Nikon D300S. I absolutely love the Kino brand and I have played with Canon a little and I personally know I will always be loyal to the Nikon brand. I picked up my camera during my lunch break at work yesterday and rushed home to play with it, only to find I had to charge the battery before use. I need to remind myself that I should always check directions first. After the battery charged, I attached my lens and started snapping away. I found there is a very, very big difference in this camera and my old one so I know that it will take some getting used to. Luckily I had plenty of time to practice today. A co worker of mine invited me to Sherman Gardens in Corona Del Mar as her art class was having an outing there. It was a beautiful location and I found plenty of things to photograph. I even met a guy who was shooting with a brownie camera and I was really interested to learn about this camera. I had heard about them but never seen them. His camera was from the 1920’s and he had the manual which helped him learn to use it. He let me check out the camera and now I have convinced myself that this would be a fun toy for me. I am toying with the idea of trying to shoot with film.

This afternoon I was able to assist a fellow photographer friend and some portrait sessions so it was really great practice for me. I have to say that I am far more comfortable with the camera at the end of today than I was yesterday and I know that every time I use it, I will be more comfortable and continue to improve in my skills.

I used a picture I took today of the koi pond they have at Sherman Gardens. I wasn’t expecting to get spectacular photos while I adjust to my new camera, but I was happy with some of the photos that I did get today.

100/365-Tonight we finally went and played catch, which the hubby has been wanting to do for some time. The little guy has so much energy so it’s always nice to get out and let him run around and have fun. I always feel like the fresh air helps to keep my spirits up and reminds me of all of the things in my life that I am thankful for. It was so much fun getting out and just having fun with the man that I love and the little boy that owns my heart. I look forward to many more days of fun in our future.

 

 

101/365-Tomorrow I am going to be shooting some portrait shots for a group of ladies. A couple of years ago I had signed up to sell Mary Kay, and well, it didn’t go well at all. The woman that I signed up under asked me if I would be willing to take some portraits of some ladies that she will be doing advanced glamour makeovers with. I decided to do some more practice with the photos by using my mom and sister as models. They are both beautiful women, both inside and out, and I am so grateful to be surrounded by such love. I snapped a shot that I am in love with of my mom, as she is just so natural and perfect in every way.

 

I have been still posting my photo a day on facebook and have been neglecting posting my photos on my blog. I am going to try to be better about updating my photos on my bog again. The good news is that I am still doing the project and I haven’t missed a day. :) I am absolutely determined to complete the 365 project. One main reason that I haven’t been posting my photo a day is that there has been quite a few days lately where I have been using my camera phone for the project to document some projects I have been working on and I didn’t want those to be the most recent photos seen as they are not the best representation of my work. I got a couple of photos this past weekend so I felt they were appropriate to share.

 

97/365-Yesterday my church had a carnival and I donated two photography sessions to the raffle. I am really excited to hear from the winners and be able to do some shooting. The carnival was the first annual one and I was amazed at what a turnout there was. The carnival was even bigger than I had thought and there were so many people, I definitely think it was a great success. There were some cars on display, one of them being a batmobile. I took some pictures of the stormy sky being reflected in the side of a black Chevy Stingray. I thought it was an interesting perspective and was fairly happy with the results.

 

 

98/365-Practicing Lighting. I received my softbox over the weekend and was so excited to practice with it. My husband generously volunteered to be my model and so I snapped some pics of him. I absolutely love black and white and find myself editing so many photos to in black and white. I think it is so timeless and classic and felt that my subject tonight was perfectly fitting for some black and white editing. I have a group portrait session Thursday night and I am really excited to snap some shots with this lighting setup.

 

Last night everyone turned their clocks back an hour as it was daylight savings. It was so nice to have an extra hour of daylight today and I look forward to more hours of daylight over the coming months. I wasn’t sure what to do for my photo of the day today, but decided to capture a picture of our alarm clock in honor of daylight savings time. I am sure by next weekend I will feel a little more adjusted to the time change. I know that tomorrow will be along day as it will feel like I woke up at 5:20 versus 6:20.

 However, I have such an exciting week that I am hoping the excitement will keep me alert. Tuesday I get to attend the Sandy Puc and Jerry Ghionis tour and I am so excited for this. I purchased my ticket last May and I have been so excited for the tour to arrive. I really respect both photographer’s work so I am sure that I will get a lot from the event. This coming weeekend I am attending the USPG 11 event, and I am looking forward to that as I haven’t attended before. The location is a really nice property in Temecula/Murrietta and the them is country glamour/enchanted fairy. I did an enchanted fairy shoot with a little baby last month so it will be interesting to get some photos with adults as the fairies. I am really excited as right now the ratio is 30 photographers to 20 models and I have not been to a group shoot that had such a great photographer/model ratio. I am hoping this will allow me to practice working with models more and not having to joust for a good position/angle. Sunday I am taking a class to learn how to make a bracelet. I am really excited to see the final outcome as I signed up for the class last month. I am ready for a good week and look forward to sharing my finished products from my upcoming events.

Today I attended a meetup called Flowers and Frogs and it was in a very rural part of Corona called Dawson’s Canyon. The host of the event owns 20 acres of poroperty (I’m still in shock) and it was all rugged, practically undisturbed land. There were a couple of juniper trees growing on their hill, which to me looked close to a mini mountain, and they estimate the age to be close to 200 years based on the size. There is a creek that runs a little below their house and it was interesting that the land on the side of the creek not used has no flowers growing whatsoever and the side where they have the house and do use has an abundance of wildflowers. The theory is that the flowers are opportunists so when grading, etc is done, the flowers move in, where as the untouched land grows nothing as nature does it’s thing. They are thinking that the land on the other side of the creek has hardly been touched and it was so amazing to think that the land could have been traversed by who know who or what a long time ago and has been relatively untouched since then. There were so many poppies and the hillsides were scattered with large clusters of golden colors where the poppies grew.

When the sun finally made it’s appearance, the poppies really opened up and they were stunning. There were so many other pretty flowers and I had a great time photographing all of the natural flowers we came across. The creek was literally filled with polywogs and it was so hard for me to restrain myself from catching some.

We did see quite a few frogs frollicking about and swimming in the creek.

All in all it was a great day. I met some wonderful people both at yesterday’s meetup and today’s meetup and I am really grateful for those opportunities. I really look forward to attending future meetups.

Yesterday I attended a meetup at the Santa Anita Racetrack. It was the first time the track was holding a photographer day and there were 200+ photographers in attendance. They provided you credentials, breakfast and a Q&A session with Joe Talamo, an extremely accomplished jockey at only 21 years old, Bob Baffert, one of the top racehorse trainer and Benoit Photography, the sole photographer for this racetrack and other racetracks in Southern California. I had watched Jockeys the one season it was one and I was addicted to that show. I knew nothing about horseracing, and I still know pretty much nothing, but I find it an exciting sport and love anything that has to do with horses. We got to the track for the morning workouts, and the light was so nice, even though we were there an hour into the morning workouts.

 

We shot for the duration of the morning workouts and then the breakfast buffet was ready. The Q&A took place towards the end of the breakfast. When they opened up the Q&A, no one wanted to go first so I volunteered, which still shocks me as I normally am so shy. However, after attending more and more groups and talking to people I don’t know, it has drastically helped me come out of my shell. I still have my shy moments but I wasn’t nervous about asking a question at all. I asked Joe what his favorite horse he’s ridden to date is, and I honestly can’t remember all of the horses that he mentioned other than one, Showbiz Kid. Understandably it was hard for him to pick just one. I asked Benoit Photography once the Q&A was over and the crowds had cleared out if they ever allow anyone to shoot with them for experience. SInce you have to have licenses and credentials and so many restrictions, they don’t allow people to shoot with them. Also racetrack photography is very cutthroat (as all photography industries are) and therefore they don’t hire outside photographers either as they like to keep their information private. However, yesterday they were allowed to take 5 people for each of the first four races out to where they normally shoot from and I was graciously allowed to go. I got to go out on the second race and was able to take the two people I had carpooled with as well and that race happened to be on the turf. So we got to walk across the dirt race turf and shoot the turf race from the inside rail on the dirt track. I can’t imagine that there are very few times that you are allowed to do that unless you know someone at the track or are able to be hired there. I was so grateful for the opportunity. Since I was shooting in manual and the lens I chose to use (an old film lens) was manual focus only, none of the shots I took from that viewpoint came out and I was bummed. But I will always remember the experience and will always be thankful for that. I was also so grateful for the generosity of the owners of Benoit Photography, Joe Talamo and Bob Baffert. I truly hope this event becomes an annual event, if not more frequent, as I would definitely attend again. This has also reignited my passion for horses and I am hoping to be able to find a way to be back around horses. If I can find people who would want me to photograph their horses, it would be even better. Here are a few of my favorites from the first part of the day. I plan to post many more pictures when I have had a chance to go through all of them and do some editing.

 

 

 

Today I decided to grab a shot of our curtains while the sun was out. I really liked the way that the sun looked as it was shining through and thought it would make a great photo. I also liked the fact that it appears black and white even though it wasn’t. Our curtains are actually purple.

 

I am now caught up on my posts! Hopefully now I will keep current as it is no fun to play catch up. Tonight I took out my actual camera and my flash and took some photos of my dog Liberty. She is an American Bulldog and is about 7 years old. She is such a great dog, loves my son and is so loving and loyal. She was a pound rescue from the Los Angeles Animal Shelter. MWhen my hubby and I were dating, he adopted her for me as a birthday present. She is the greatest dog I have yet to own. She was 4 years old when we got her and we literally saved her from being put down. We had gotten to the shelter just as they closed the adoption window so they put a note on her file that we would be coming to adopt her the next day to keep her from being put down. However, the next day was a Friday and there was no way I was able to get to LA from Irvine in Friday traffic and make it before they closed. I called every 30 minutes that day to make sure she was still available and hadn’t been adopted or put down. We went to get her first thing Saturday morning and I am so grateful we were able to adopt her. I have always thought that there are great dogs at the pound looking for the perfect home, and Liberty is a perfect example of that. I love black and white photos and since she is already black and white, it made for easy editing. I was quite happy with my results tonight.

 

My son is 15 months and has discovered how to walk. With that learning, he unfortunately falls quite a bit. Tonight was no exception. At night he gets an extra burst of energy and loves to walk in circles around out coffee table. Tonight he fell and he hit his chin on the corner of the coffee table. After some TLC, baby aspirin and some popsicles, the swelling and the tears were gone. The cut was not as bad as it looked at first but it still broke my heart to see my son so hurt.

 

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