Consumer Photo Labs vs. Pro Photo Lab – SHOCKING RESULTS!

Shutterfly print is out of focus

Okay, I am totally cracking up about this comparison of a pro photo lab and several consumer photo labs.  If you think you know what you’re going to see here, please believe me that you will be shocked!  Shocked, I … Continue reading

Don't Know Much About History (Wonderful World)

My son started Kindergarten yesterday.  He was so brave.  He walked right up to that school bus ready to take on the world, and I think that may have been what made me start crying.  I was glad I held it together that long, that he didn’t have to see my tears flowing… and flow they did.

Here he is stepping up to the bus, and with his sister:

I’m not going to kid myself that this is the beginning of his learning years.  He has been soaking up everything he can from the day he was born, and I imagine he will his entire life.

When I look back to the day he was born, I think about how much I have learned in the past five years.  Here, you can have a look back, too:

This photo signifies not only the beginning of my learning how to be a mom, but also is really one of the main reasons that I got into photography.  Still, after five years of classes, seminars and workshops, I love, love, love this photo.  This is the photo that made me want to take those classes, seminars and workshops.  I can stare at this photo for minutes at a time.  This is what prompted me to learn more about photography, what makes a good photo and how I can make more of them.  It’s not technically perfect, but it pours emotion and sings to me like none other.

I asked my photographer friends if they had any photos they had taken that kick-started their learning of photography.  Susan Fowler of Fowler Photo in Yorktown, VA sent in the below photo with her description:

“For me, this is one of the photos that ‘started it all.’  I’d loved photography for years, but didn’t know the technical side of anything.  The first thing I started to learn about informally was setting up a shot.  Looking through my old photos it was quite interesting to remember how I’d worked to set up and frame each shot, yet they look like I just snapped them while walking by! What really sparked my learning in this photograph was that I loved it– except it wasn’t sharp.  And I didn’t like the odd coloring.  I tried editing it with some wimpy software and finally realized that the more I edited it, the worse it looked… I needed to figure out how to make it look good coming out of the camera!  That’s what led to learning the technical side of photography– and all that comes with it!”

That’s a perfect example, Susan!  It’s so true that we learn best when we want to learn.

Here I was on my first day of Kindergarten (third from the left)…

I still remember how excited I was.  I would finally get to learn everything that my older sister had (especially the songs… I couldn’t wait for music class)!  I hope I never lose that desire to learn, and I hope that I instill the same in my own children.

So what has inspired you to learn lately?

I'm Every Woman

My husband is away on work travel again. Sometimes it seems like he’s always either coming or going, though, in reality, his job is only about 20% travel. Still, I dread his work trips like you wouldn’t believe because if anything is going to go wrong, it will inevitably go wrong when he’s out of town. Usually, I can time it to the second his plane lifts off the ground.

I am not kidding here! It’s run the whole gamut from car accidents to basement flooding to my daughter having febrile seizures. The last time he went away, our AC broke during the DC heatwave.   I call him my good luck charm because when he goes away, chaos ensues.

So I’ve been moping around the past three days.   Work is as busy as ever, my kids have been testing my patience, and I’ve been on edge waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I almost titled this blog “All by Myself,” that sappy, mopey song about feeling alone, but yesterday, I was sitting in traffic on my way to work and was feeling really down, and after thinking it over, I was like, what the heck is my problem???  I have a wonderful husband who will be home in a couple days, and I’m an intelligent woman who can, and have proven that I can, handle any everyday and genuine crises that comes my way.   I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself.  There are so many other women out there who are up against larger obstacles than I am facing and are really thriving.

I reached out to my photographer friends and asked them if they had any photos they would like to share of military wives or single moms whom they have photographed.  I mean, I get upset when my husband is going to be gone for four days… I cannot imagine months and months without my good luck charm!

The following photos are by Ashley Glasco, who is a natural-light portrait and wedding photographer in my home town of Mechanicsville, VA (go Raiders!). The Super Mom in the above portrait raised her first child for the entire first year of her life while her husband was deployed.  I get tears in my eyes thinking about all of the struggles of that first year she must have endured and the simple joys of seeing her daughter grow that she wasn’t able to experience with her husband.

Above is the father with their second little girl.  Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for him to be separated from his family the first time around, and how wonderful he must feel now to hold his new baby!?

Here’s one more of the whole family together!

I’m so grateful to Ashley for sharing these photos with me!  I am completely awed by military families and single parents, and these photos will serve as an important reminder to me of how we can all rise to the challenges before us.

If you would like to see more of Ashley’s work, please visit her website, facebook page, and blog.