Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Sneak Peak

Here is a sneak peak from my session with Baby Nolan today.  He was a bit cranky but was a good sport and put up with the camera in his face for our session.  His mom emailed me after our session and said that he came down with a bad fever and wasn’t feeling very good today.  Luckily we still came away with some great pictures. 

Nolan and Sherri – I hope I get to photograph you again sometime!

Here are two quick pictures of nine month old Nolan – isn’t he a cutie???  More to come later.




On another note…I am offering $50 sessions between now and May.  If you are interested in a session, including (but not limited to) newborn, maternity, baby, family, engagement, senior, or family sessions, lets try to set something up!

Friday, January 30, 2009

What a day!

I’m so glad its Friday – but have a busy weekend ahead of work, a fun photoshoot, and more work (oh yeah – and I have to hem Joel’s pants….anyone want to teach me how???).

Today was a crazy day…I was busy at work and have a lot more I need to get done….which means a weekend full of work.  To top things off, as I was trying to wrap things up and make it possible to work from home this weekend, I spilled an ENTIRE WATERBOTTLE on my laptop!  After some help from my team to clean up the mess (unplugging my laptop, removing the battery, shutting it down, wiping off my desk, and on and on and on), I gave my computer a chance to dry and tried to turn it on again…only to find out that IT WOULDN’T TURN ON! I immediately called someone in our IT department (who was sitting at our office a half an hour away from the client I was at) to see what I should do.  He starting prepping another computer for me to pick up, but said he might be able to save my hard drive.  After wrapping some things up at work, I made it to the office at 4:45 and was relieved to find out my hard drive was fine.  They swapped out computer shells and everything is fixed…and I walked away with a new computer shell.  What a way to end a Friday!

Tomorrow (after a few hours of work) I have the chance to do a photo shoot for a 9 month old.  I can’t wait to meet you baby Nolan and mom Sherri!  Pictures to come (hopefully) early next week.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wedding Season

I just wanted to share a few tips I wish I had known when I was planning my wedding.

Even budget brides don’t have to compromise on everything.  You may have a certain budget in mind when it comes to every detail, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice everything.  For example, when it comes to your photographer - don’t feel like you need to take the first one that you find who meets your budget.  Your wedding is a BIG DAY.  You want to have someone that you feel comfortable with there to capture the memories. 

I highly recommend you meet your photographer prior to contracting with them to shoot your wedding.  Most photographers offer engagement sessions for a great price.  TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT!!!  If you and your fiancĂ© spend the day with a photographer before your wedding, you and your photographer will have a better idea of how to work together when the big day comes around.  And don’t forget – if you don’t click with your photographer at your engagement session – DON’T HAVE THEM SHOOT THE WEDDING.  You are in charge of your wedding – take ownership of it and find someone that works for you.  I didn’t meet, or really talk to, my wedding photographer before my wedding.  We walked away with a few great pictures and several decent pictures, but I am a strong believer that if we have met with him before hand, I would have either a) realized that we didn’t quite click and I would have picked someone else or b) we would have figured out how to work together.  We didn’t set expectations before our wedding – and I think that is key.  Have a discussion with your photographer to figure out when you want formals taken, what kind of portraits you want, and what your expectation of that commonly used “photojournalistic” style really is. 

I would also recommend finding someone who won’t charge you based on hours.  Really, trust me here, the last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day is whether the photographer is going to be around when you really need it.  You don’t want to worry about whether you can get portraits done before the wedding, but still have enough photographer time at the reception to catch all those candid moments you really don’t want to miss out on. 

I think every couple can find the perfect photographer for them, no matter what their budget is.  Now, you might not be able to find an amazing photographer like my idol Jasmine Star – so I guess you will have to compromise….but you can still don’t have to settle.  (Seriously though – she is a.m.a.z.i.n.g.  someday I hope to be just like her) Do your research….and no, looking at a website isn’t research.  Talk to your photographer.  Set up an engagement session or a consultation.  Find out if you really trust that person to capture one of the biggest moments in your life.

Now here is my shameless plug:

I have a passion for weddings…and a passion for photography….and a passion for people.  I want to help document those little moments for a couple to cherish forever.  I’ve responded to several Craigslist ads of people wanting to find a budget, amateur, or student photographer to photograph their wedding.  My BIGGEST FEAR is that those people respond to (and commit to) one of the first people to get back to them and don’t find the person who will really meet their needs.   Do your research.  Be patient. BE PICKY.  You don’t have to pick me, you don’t have to contact me - but do yourself a favor and do your research.     

If you do contact me – here is what we might be able to work out for a very reasonable price:

1.  A free engagement session (at a mutually agreed upon location and on a mutually agreed upon date) to make sure that we can be a match on your wedding day.

2.  A CD of all final/processed images from the day.  These will not be ALL the images from the wedding, as I expect to shoot close to 1000 images that day, but will be the best selection, making sure to cover all those important moments and details.

3.  Unlimited time on the day of the wedding.  I want to make sure we capture every important moment – from getting ready with the girls to rushing off from the reception with your new spouse.

okay – rant over.  thanks for listening (if you made it this far!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sugar Sugar

I was in a creative mood this past weekend after a long work week so I decided to treat my team at work to an early Valentine’s day treat and made sugar cookies to take to work on Monday.  Sadly, I left the cookies at home on Monday, and they finally make it to work with me today…but got smashed on the bus.  It’s the thought that counts, right???


Sorry for the bad lighting…this was taken late at night in my dark kitchen.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Less than 6 months…

Until I turn 25!  Wow – I can’t believe how close it is.  A little over a year ago I made a list of 20 things I wanted to do before I turned 25.  It was supposed to be a 25 by 25 list, but I could only come up with 20 things, and since most were pretty big, I decided that was fine.  Here are a few of those items:

1.  Run a half marathon.  I’m planning to run the Olympic Discovery Half Marathon in June.  Wish me luck with training.  I have about 2 months left of “pre-training” followed by a 3 month training program.

2.  Photograph a newborn.  I completed this a couple times this year – and love it so much I am hoping to do some more!

3.  Travel to a state I’ve never been to.  I went to Georgia for a training for work last summer – so that one is completed.  If you ever make it to Atlanta, I highly recommend going to the Georgia Aquarium and Miss Mary Macs Tea House for some southern cooking.

4.  Travel to a country I’ve never been to. Joel and I went to Panama over Thanksgiving and had such a great time!

5.  Several of my 20 items relate to completing various aspects of our home remodel.  I’ll spare you the details for now of exactly what we still need to do.

6.  Make end tables for our living room.  When we were in college we found a table at a garage sale, and for $10  and a little TLC we were able to refinish it into a beautiful marble table for our living room.  We bought some wood and know where to get some marble tile to make end-tables to match our other table.

7.  Photograph a wedding. I would LOVE to be able to photograph a wedding.  I love all things wedding, and of course I love photography – so I decided that I am ready to take the next step with my portfolio, and I am currently looking for a wedding to shoot. 

8.  Complete another triathlon.  I’ve moved the deadline on this to sometime during the year in which I turn 25, because I don’t think it will be realistic to complete a half marathon and a triathlon before July – especially with everything else we have going on over the next several months.  Let me know if you know about a good sprint tri in the greater Seattle area sometime late summer of 2009.

9.  Obtain my CPA license.  I was so excited during Thanksgiving of 2007 after finding out I passed the CPA exam. 

10.  Volunteer 2 days per year. Luckily I work for a very socially conscious company, and there have been many opportunities for me to spend time volunteering every year.

The rest aren’t quite as exciting and are more personal, so I’ll leave with those 10 for now!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Clip Coupons...and I'm proud of it.

Albertsons has some good deals going on this week - and after combining them with coupons, you can come out way ahead. Here's what we came home with today for a total of $19.45. According to Alberstons, we had savings of &89.91...but since there is no way I would have paid full price I don't think those savings are 100% accurate.

Now for the goods...If you purchase $30 in qualifying General Mills items (Pillsbury, FiberOne, Betty Crocker, etc) items this week, you get $15 towards your next purchase. We decided to spend the $30 towards qualifying items (before coupons), and then use the $15 towards our next transaction.

$19.45 at Albertsons
Not pictured - Dungeness Crab (about 2 lbs)

Here is our first transaction (item description: original price - coupons used = price paid)
1. 6 Progresso soups (various flavors): $2 each/$12 - $1.10 each/$6.60 = $0.90 each/$5.40
2. Fuze Vitamin Drink: $1.25 - $1.00 = $0.25
3. Green Giant veggie bag - 24 oz: $2.50 - $1.00 = $2.50
4. 2 Green Gian Boxed veggies - 7-10oz: $1.67 each/$3.33 - $0.50 each/$1.00 = $2.33
5. Pillsbury Toaster Strudel: $2.00 - $0.35 = $1.65
6. Fiber One Toaster Pasty: $2 - $1 = $1
7. 2 boxes Fiber One Chewy Bars: $2.50 each/$5 - $1.00 each/$2.00 = $3
8. Fiber One Yogurt (6 pack): $2.50 - $1.00 = $1.50

Total Out of Pocket (including tax) $16.85, and then we received the $15 towards our next purchase!

Two other deals Albertsons had this week were a coupon you could use to double a manufacturers coupon (allowable for 6 manufacturers coupons), and if you purchase 8 PastaRoni or RiceRoni products, you would receive $5 towards a meat/seafood department purchase. We took advantage of both of these deals in our second transaction.

Transaction 2:
1. 3 boxes of Quacker Instant Oatmeal: $2 each/$6 - $1 each/$3 (doubled) - $3 = FREE
2. 4 boxes RiceRoni/PastaRoni: $1.25 each/$5 - $1 off 4 (doubled) - $1 = $3
3. 4 add'l boxes RiceRoni/PastaRoni: $1.25 each/$5 - no coupon = $5
4. 1 box Lipton Herbal Tea: $1.99 - $0.50 (doubled) - $0.50 = $1
5. Dungeness Crab: $7.86 - $5 (RiceRoni deal) = $2.86
6. Bananas: $1.87
7. Hawaiian King Bread Loaf: $3.99 - $1 (doubled) - $1 = $1.99
8. Loaf of bread: $1.89

Total: $17.60 less $15 from previous purchase
Total out of pocket: $2.60

Total from Albertsons on January 11, 2009: $19.45