It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I’m sorry guys!
I figured I might as well start out the New Year with my goals. :)
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I’m sorry guys!
I figured I might as well start out the New Year with my goals. :)
So, life is a bit crazy right now. :)
On the photography side, I’ve been blessed to be fairly busy. About once a week I’m going to take commercial pictures for my relative’s business (W.W. Nash). I love doing it because it’s fun, easy, and I get to see a lot of my family members. :) I also get to go to fun locations like the University of Richmond’s basketball stadium, the Richmond Raceway, etc. Taking these architectural pictures has kept my photography fresh and also challenged me, which is always good.
Another thing with photography that’s keeping me busy, is trying to get all the stuff needed for me to legally be in the photography business. I haven’t ever made a whole lot from photography (it was more of a hobby) but I’m starting to ramp up a little bit. :) I don’t like the idea of taxes, (though I know they’re a necessary evil), mainly because it’ll take more out of my paychecks, and, thus, I’ll have to charge people more so that I can still make some profit and keep the business from drowning. The older I get and the more I get into photography I start to understand how people can charge thousands of $ for a wedding and a couple hundred $ for a portrait shoot. Photography is expensive! From equipment, resources, time, gas, and money it’s just very demanding. Gotta’ keep the equipment clean, stay on top of emails and blogging, need to upgrade some equipment, and the list goes on. And this is when I’m still a very small business!
So, do you want to read a boring list of what I need? Okay, here it goes:
I need a new camera bag. The two zippers that keep the equipment safe on my camera backpack have broken. So, I have to get another one and I think I’m going to go with the Shootsac. Which costs almost $200. Yikes!
I also could really use a lower f-stop telephoto lens. Like the 70-200mm which is almost $2000. My 55-200mm just doesn’t have a low enough aperture for the things I need it for.
I need to get my equipment clean, and heavens knows how much that’s gonna cost. All my lenses haven’t been professionally cleaned since I got them…just spray a little magic potion here, wipe, and go! That’s not good enough for photography…any dust you have in/on the lens affects the pictures.
I need to get my business certified legally and I have no idea how much that’s going to cost. Thankfully I think it’s going to cost less than I was originally thinking.
I need to get someone to help me with my website. I’ve had a friend who said he would help but it just hasn’t worked out, so I think I’ll have to hire someone. More $, but it’s an investment.
I really could use another speedlight so I can work on my Off Camera Lighting. I know virtually nothing about my speedlight and that’s very scary when you have a wedding in November that’s an evening wedding and inside, with fluorescent lights!! I’m tired of the way my reception pictures look, I want them to look better because my clients deserve better. Oh and the speedlights cost a couple hundred dollars…and that’s not counting the light stand I would need to get with it. :) (or I could just use Lexi as a stand hmmmm….)
So there you have some of the things I’m looking into/doing with my photography business.
On the personal side, I’ve been busy too!
I work Mon.-Wed. teaching school to 2 kids from church for 3 hours a day.
I ride a horse 3 days a week (which takes up about 2 hours a day) in preparation for a dressage show. I was going to show this weekend, but I just changed horses, so I need some more time to get to know her and improve my riding. :)
Combine those two things with my photography things, and I keep pretty busy! What a blessing that I have the ability to do all these things. So many people can’t find jobs and have so little, yet I work at two different places and have the opportunity to do what I love.
What a blessing!
Well, I am super excited about an upcoming trip. Actually it’s a trip that’s exactly 2 days away!
I’ve had a hard time trying to define my style. I finally took some time today to look at some of the pictures I’ve taken and determine my favorites. I was going to go through most of them, but that’s too much for one day. :) So, I decided just to post my favorite senior pictures and why I love them so much. This post will probably be very boring for you, but that’s okay because this post is more for me than for you! I’m trying to define “my style” and the only way I can do that is if I write it out.
If you’re wondering how I determined which pictures are my favorite…I used Scott Kelby’s advice. He said that the one picture that makes you stop dead in your tracks and just stare at…those are the ones. And he’s right! I don’t have many pictures that make me want to stop and just look at the picture. I’ve got some good ones but very few “track-stoppers.” :)
For example, I took about 436 senior pictures last year. I only found 4 that made me stop and stare.
What I love about this picture: the wave in the back, the wind blowing Kate’s hair, Kate’s perfect expression and pose, the tight crop…I just love the overall mood of this picture.
What I love about this picture: the lighting (knew that right off the bat), the bokeh in the background, how Erika’s framed between the two light trees with the darker background, her soft smile, the tight crop.
What I love about this picture: the sense of mystery, that tree!!, the bokeh, how Kate’s outfit matches the darker tones of the tree, and the mood (again!).
What I love about this picture: the wind blowing Erika’s hair perfectly, her slightly titled head and soft expression, how her eyes and shirt pop, and those green plants.
The second picture has the best lighting out of all of them, but overall these are the 4 senior pictures I’m most proud of. Most of you probably would prefer this or that picture, but these are what I like. These pictures have shown me that I like the more moody images…instead of capturing a huge laugh, I like the quiet/more reflective moments (that shouldn’t be shocking if you know who I am but I never realized this before). These pictures also solidified the fact that I already knew…I like close pictures. I’m not a huge, wide-angle lens kind of gal. (Don’t get me wrong, I like my fair share of wide pictures, my favorites just always happen to be close-up.)
Overall, I’m enjoying going through my pictures and finding the ones that make me stop and stare. It’s revealing a lot about the kind of pictures I like and I think it will help me take more pictures like them!
Recently an extended family member came and talked with me. She told me about how she had shown my website to a girl that was engaged. Then she proceeded to tell me that the girl said there was just “Too much stuff in the picture”. (I never found out what picture she was talking about…I don’t even know if it was one picture or all of my pictures, but anywho…) My relative took me to pinterest and showed me some pictures that were composed better than whatever picture she was talking about.
But on to what actually happened on the Mission Trip! :)
Sunday and Friday were the traveling days. Monday-Thursday were the work days.
Sunday morning we woke up around 5 A.M., grabbed our last minute stuff and headed to Hanover Evangelical Friends Church. Mama, Lexi, Caleb, and Seth woke up to come with us and say goodbye. We met the team in HEFC’s parking lot around 5:50 A.M. and, once everyone arrived a prayer was said. Then we all said goodbye and Hannah and I hopped in Mr. Reynolds Jeep. Mr. Reynolds was the lead car, so we were in front *almost* the entire time. There were 4 cars in our little convoy. There were 16 people on our team and each car had 3-5 people in them.
We headed off down the road, did our devotions, journaled, talked to Mr. Reynolds and Amber some, and then stopped for breakfast around 8:30 A.M. at Country Cook’n. We were going to stop at their annual breakfast “mission trip stop” (Aunt Sarah’s) but there was a sign up saying “Coming Soon: —enter here some Mexican Restuarant name”. So, we definitely decided to find somewhere else. We stopped for gas, and then someone asked about a breakfast restaurant and we were directed to Country Cook’n.
Breakfast was buffet style so, of course, I ate too much. I had this wonderful chocolate chip pancake at the end of my meal. It was as big as my plate and absolutely wonderful. I also had some biscuits, breakfast casserole, fruit, french toast, etc. It was delicious!
After breakfast, we got back on the road again and soon entered West Virginia.
We stopped at a rest stop and I loved the little view they had.
West Virginia’s state capitol building.
Mr. Woodson said that the roof is plated in real gold. That’s pretty neat!
We stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch.
Hannah and I were still full from breakfast that we just split a delcious salad:
After lunch, we stopped at a nearby Lowe’s and picked up something and then we got back in the cars and drove some more.
During all the driving we read books, talked some more, and just looked out the window and soaked up all the mountain beauty.
We also kept satiated with some snacks:
We were going to stop for a “quick sandwich” for dinner and ended up going to Cracker Barrel and hanging out for an hour and a half. :)
Rocking outside after dinner.
After Cracker Barrel we stopped at a gas station to refuel and Amber, Hannah, and I went and walked around for a bit. Your body just wants to move after sitting for hours on end!
Amber during our stretch break! :)
I never ceased to be amazed at the sheer beauty of the mountains. It was amazing!
After leaving Sunday morning at 6:15 A.M., we finally made it to the Christian Appalachain Project building where we would be staying:
This is the building where we stayed. It was right off of the road.
This is the girls room. The guys were staying in the next room over that was almost exactly identical. We didn’t have enough beds for all the girls, so 3 of them stayed across the street at another house CAP owned.
We went in and made our beds, got our stuff settled, and then went to the house across the street for our briefing and safety video. Jen, the lady in charge of us, told us what teams we were going to be on and what project we would be working with. Then we all headed to bed.
Making breakfast Monday morning.
Everyone made their own breakfast. I had instant oatmeal every day. They had over 5 flavors and I tried a different one every day. I also had toast or some fruit.
Hannah and I were up between 6-7 A.M. every morning. We would try and do our devotions but sometimes we got a little distracted. :)
Breakfast every morning was around 7 A.M. and then we would try and do our group devotions. Some mornings were more rushed than others, so if we didn’t get our group devotion done in the morning, then we did them in the evening.
Here’s a view of what our work days were like:
6-7 A.M.: Wake up, get ready, do devotions, etc.
7 A.M.: Breakfast
7:30 A.M.: Get ready to leave for the day. Pack lunches and drinks in coolers.
7:45 A.M.: Leave for the work sites.
8-something A.M.: Arrive at the CAP meeting site, pray, and then head to the work sites.
9:30 A.M.: Arrive at the work sites and get to work!
Noon: Eat lunch
3:30-3:45 P.M.: Clean up everything and go back to CAP meeting site. Once at CAP meeting site and back together with other team, head back to “home”.
5-6 P.M.: Get home, rotate showers (we had 3 showers for 16 people :), get ready for dinner.
6-6:30 P.M.: Dinner and dessert! After that we would play games, talk, relax, go on walks, etc.
10:30-12 A.M: Go to bed.
Now back to what happened on Monday!
I was originally in a group that didn’t have my sister, Hannah, in it. Then our two groups were combined so I was with her 3 of the 4 work days!
Our work site was about 1 1/2 hours away from our “home”. Our task was to build a 40 ft. deck for a man named Mr. Teague. A group that came before us tore down his old deck that was unsafe, so we got to build a new one!
This is Mr. Teague’s home.
As soon as we arrived, Mr. Teague came around and gave everyone a hug and told them he loved them. He was a sweet, older man (I’m guessing that he was in his 80’s). He came out and helped us every now and then too!
I had really hoped I would work at a work site with horses nearby and God answered my unspoken prayer! I got to feed them some grass every day. They were sweet little ponies!
Hannah and Amber.
The post hole diggers. :)
Brianna W. making sure the holes are 16 inches deep.
Some of the framing and posts in.
We made our lunches the night before, so all we had to do in the morning was grab it. We had sandwhiches and snacky stuff like chips, fruit, candy, etc.
Mr. Woodson getting ready to put a post in.
Mrs. Juanita W. cutting some wood for us.
This is all the work we got done on Monday. We dug all the holes for the posts, put up wash board, put the posts in, built the frame, screwed the frame, put the braces in and cemented the posts.
All the teenage/young 20’s people would screw and nail like crazy. The adults would usually do the more experienced work like measuring and cutting.
This is the deck after work Tuesday. We spent the entire day just putting decking boards on.
Amber, Hannah, and I were the ones who put most of the screws in. Mr. Woodson estimated that we screwed in around 1400. Yeah… We spent most of the day crawling around on the deck to put the screws in, so our knees were very sore after that!
We had some storm clouds Tues. afternoon, but, thankfully, we didn’t experience any rain during the day the entire week.
We had these delicious rolls for dinner Tues. night. We also had Swiss Chicken Casserole, steamed broccoli, and some salad or fruit, I think.
After dinner we went to the house across the street and did our devotions. Mr. Reynolds brought a keyboard for Hannah to play, so we sang some songs before Mr. Lee led us in a devotion.
After the singing and devotions, some people shared stories of God’s grace in their lives. Jessica V.’s story, which involved my daddy, made me tear up.
Afterwards, we played Catch Phrase with some people on the team. It was so much fun!!
Wednesday I was back at Mr. Teague’s house putting up the railings. Mr. Donnie, the CAP group leader, called Hannah, Amber, and I “spindle queens” because we put up all the spindles on the deck! I did manage to hurt Hannah though…she was holding a spindle up for me and I slipped with the screw gun and made a little gash on her thumb. :-(
After the spindles were done, the steps were built.
The four in this picture were the ones who principally built the hand rails. I just took pictures. :)
Hannah screwing in.
After all the screwing we did over the entire trip I’m almost shocked that my hand wasn’t stuck permanently in the screw gun position. :)
Mr. Teague walking on his fancy new deck!
This was the last picture I got of Mr. Teague’s deck because the next day I went with the team I was originally on, to work on a wheelchair ramp.
This is Mr. Donnie, our CAP crew leader. He was a very nice guy.
We left a little earlier from the work site on Wed. because we had to get home, take showers, and eat dinner before 7 P.M. We were going to attend a church right behind the CAP house after dinner. The mission team had gone the year before and really enjoyed it, so they wanted to go again.
One of CAP’s employees made us an Italian dinner. It was delicious!
After dinner we walked across the street to the church. The sermon was very laid-back and full of insight. I really enjoyed it.
Once back at home, we got the entire team to play Catch Phrase. It was so. much. fun. I hope these pictures below give you a good idea of how much fun it really was.
Mrs. Pam was hilarious during Catch Phrase!
I was amazed how much everyone opened up when they played Catch Phrase. I saw many good sides of people that I’d never seen before.
Mr. Woodson (left) acting out the Congo Line. Mr. Reynolds couldn’t stop laughing!
Mr. Lee (middle photo) was constantly making Mrs. Juanita W. laugh really, really hard. It was so funny!
Mr. Hare (far left pic) made Mrs. Wrenn laugh really hard too. I got a little worried she was laughing too hard, but she ended up calming down after a few minutes of intense laughing. :)
It was one great night!
After Catch Phrase, many people went to bed but some of us stayed up and played Sequence. Then we went to bed.
Thursday morning I woke up and wished the missions trip could’ve been longer.
Mr. Woodson asked me to go with his crew to work on the wheelchair ramp on Thursday and I agreed.
The people we made the ramp for were very sweet. The ramp was being made for Mrs. Bessie who was having trouble getting up the stairs due to getting older. She invited us in for some biscuits and gravy that was quite delicious. Her daughter, Dorothy, sat and talked with us for awhile.
After the biscuits and gravy were gone, Brianna W. and I, washed up our dishes and then went back out to work.
I helped screw the deck boards in and put the railings up.
This was all we got done from two days of work.
Around 3:30 P.M., we cleaned up, prayed with Mrs. Bessie and Dorothy and then said our goodbyes. Ms. Dorothy gave me her contact info and I’m hoping to write her soon.
It was kind of sad leaving the work site that day. I knew our mission trip was practically over and I wished it wasn’t.
We had a super delicious dinner of pizza Thurs. night. There was also some juicy watermelon that was simply amazing. Thursday’s dinner was my favorite out of all of them!
After dinner, our team and Ms. Jen went to Camp Andrew Jackson (a.k.a. Camp A.J.) to watch a talent show. The mission team had worked on Camp A.J. a few years before, so they wanted to go back and see it put to use.
Long story short, the talent show was long (we left before it ended) and it wasn’t the greatest. I’m not talking about the kids performances…some of them were really good…it was just the counselors and adults. The skits they put on were not God-honoring or even mature. There was a lot of questionable material but I don’t need to go in to that.
Once back at the CAP “home” Ms. Jen asked us about the week, we shared some stories and then filled out a little survey. Lastly, we got our CAP t-shirts!
After that we played some more games. I stayed up til 12 A.M. playing Sequence with Mr. Lee and Amber. The game ended up being a CAT, not a single one of us won.
I went to bed and Hannah woke me up close to 7 A.M. on Friday.
The men fixed everyone breakfast Friday morning.
Mr. Reynolds cooked the bacon to perfection.
Mr. Woodson and Mr. Trusty made some scrambled eggs and I think Mr. Lee cooked the biscuits.
After breakfast, we stripped our beds, packed all our stuff up, and cleaned the CAP facility.
I swept the floors, others put chairs and tables away, washed dishes, dried dishes, etc.
This is a closer photo. I set my camera up on my bag, set the self-timer and then ran into the photo. :)
I’m going to try and tell you who everyone is. I’ll divide it into two rows for you. Here it goes:
Top row: Mr. Trusty, Mr. Lee, Mr. Hare, Ms. Jen, Jessica V., Amber R., Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Woodson.
Bottom row: Hannah, Me, Mrs. Wrenn, Brianna W., Mrs. Wharff, Mrs. Pageant, Jessalyn, Mrs. Pam, and Mrs. Trusty.
After the group photo, some people stretched in anticipation for the long car ride home:
We said a group prayer and then our little convoy headed away from the CAP building and towards home. :-(
We took a much shorter route on the way home, and it seemed like we stopped less frequently.
We had lunch at a Pizza Hut near the VA-KY border. Our next stop was at a rest station in VA with a beautiful view of the mountains:
Mrs. Trusty and Mr. Reynolds talking at the rest station.
Isn’t that beautiful?
We made it back to HEFC around 8:30 A.M. We grabbed our stuff out of the trailer, said one last prayer as a team, and then we left with Daddy.
All in all, my first mission trip was absolutely amazing! I left a good amount of details and funny stories out because this post is long enough already! I hope you enjoyed the little overview I’ve given you anyways.
The top photo is the lens at 55mm and then the botttom pic is with the lens at 200mm (fully extended).
This picture was taken at a Memorial Day service. The ability to zoom in quite far enabled me to get the flag in the picture good and tight.
This is one of my very first pictures with this lens. :) Daddy and Mama are my subjects and this lens provided a way for me to take their picture without intruding on their sweet and special moment.
This is one of the wildlife pictures I’ve taken (that I’m not good at :). I had some better ones but I couldn’t find them fast enough, so this will have to do.
All in all, I hope this post has given you an idea of the pros and cons of this lens. Overall, it works for me right now but I may need to upgrade in the future!
Have a great night!
That being said, I’ve decided to share some of my all-time favorite pictures and talk about “my style”. I’m still figuring out what I do and don’t like as far as photography goes but I think I’m starting to realize what I love.