Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Playing Photographer: Couples

2012.08 Aurora Jason & Jerica (54 of 69)
After successfully navigating family photos for my sister, I agreed to give couples photos to go for my brother and sister-in-law. Without kids to corral, I was surprised at how much quicker and easier these photos were to get. Of course, one thing that made it much easier was that my SIL had done a lot of research and had collected a bunch of inspiration images that we used to get us started.

2012.08 Aurora Jason & Jerica (42 of 69)
These were all taken near my hometown, where they now live. I arrived a day before we took these and, after looking at my SIL inspiration photos I did some location scouting. We ended up shooting in about 5 or 6 different places, but it was worth it to get a good variety.

2012.08 Aurora Jason & Jerica (34 of 69)
The sky was dark and dreary all day, so we were worried we wouldn't get any of that golden light, but we lucked out and the sky cleared for us just in time.

2012.08 Aurora Jason & Jerica (58 of 69)
2012.08 Aurora Jason & Jerica (32 of 69)
2012.08 Aurora Jason & Jerica (14 of 69)
2012.08 Aurora Jason & Jerica (6 of 69)
2012.08 Aurora Jason & Jerica (13 of 69)
It is safe to say I won't be giving up my day job to become a photographer anytime soon, but it is fun to be able to take a few photos for family now and again.

I think these photos deserve a love song, so here is one of my all time favorites, an oldie, but still beautiful.  Ray LaMontagne's Let it Be Me.
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Playing Photographer: Family Photos

Nic's Family (54 of 1)
I played real photographer for my sister and her family this summer. Mostly it reminded my of all the reason I'd never make it as a pro. Getting everyone to look the same way, smile and open their eyes - not an easy task. Still I had a lot of fun trying.

Nic's Family (47 of 1)
Instead of posting the "good" ones - i.e. the ones my sister will have printed and hang on walls, I thought I'd post some of my favorites, mostly outtakes - photos that made me smile and brought out personalities.

Nic's Family (30 of 1)
M and T weren't particularly in the mood to play model, so we moved fast and used frozen white chocolate chips as bribes - it was the only food I could think of that wouldn't result in messy faces and clothes.

Nic's Family (22 of 1)
We were attempting to copy a pose we'd seen on pinterest in this photo - let's just say it didn't quite go as planned....

Nic's Family (42 of 1)
My favorite of T - he looks sweetly mischievous, which is correct.

 M's Solo (1 of 1)
We never did get a good one of Miss M that evening, so the next morning I convinced her to give me another try. This ended up being one of my very favorite shots of the entire experience.

I recently downloaded the newest Josh Radin, the entire album is amazing, but his The Greenest Grass seems to be a great match with this photos.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Little Miss

Sugarland - Little Miss Pin It

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Away from the Light

I shared some photos Monday from a recent hike just before sunset. Those photos were taken toward the sun and I was trying to capture the beautiful warm light. This set of photos were taken the same day and from close to the same location, and same time, but were taken away from the sun.

2012.06 Draper Randoms
Instead of warm golden light, these photos are full of coolness - and yet you can still see rays of lights shining through the clouds. Both versions of light are equally amazing.

Eastern horizon at sunset, amazing sunbeams
This last shot was taken with my iPhone from a moving car (so forgive the blur.) It was taken near sunset - with the sun setting behind me, the photo is facing east. I was mesmerized by the rays of light crossing the entire sky. My goal is to someday develop my technical skills to the point that I can reliably capture the light as I actually see it, in all it's glory.

I found myself wishing I could head out a bit closer to nature today - since I can't here's the Pavement Ends from Little Big Town, a song is as close as I can get. Pin It

Monday, October 22, 2012

Following the Light

I've found myself paying more and more attention to the various qualities of light lately. It doesn't matter whether I have a camera with me or not, it catches my eye and I find myself wanting to improve my technical skills so I can capture what I'm seeing.  These photos are from a hike in my neighborhood just before sunset.

2012.06 Draper Randoms
There was a lot of smoke in the atmosphere the day these were taken, so the light was filtered in an even more beautiful way (and yes, it makes me feel slightly guilty for thinking that - because I'm certain the fire causing the smoke was causing destruction for someone or a lot of someones.)

2012.06 Draper Randoms
Do you have any favorite tutorials or classes that have helped you better capture light in your photos? And while I'm asking for tips - I'm struggling to get my photos printed decently. I don't know if it is that I'm not using the best shop or if it is something I'm doing in processing, but my pictures are not showing up in print the way they do on the screen and any tips would be greatly appreciated.

I picked up the new Missy Higgins album and fell in love with the closing track: Sweet Arms of a Tune Pin It

Friday, October 19, 2012

New York

Snow Patrol - New York
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Leaves at the Cabin

On my last weekend in the US, my parents too me, my niece and nephew to their cabin to check out the renovations they've been making. It looks amazing and the trip gave me a chance to grab a last few photos of the fall leaves.

The area was nearly carpeted in yellow aspen leaves. It was so beautiful - and peaceful.

I managed to get the kids to slow down just long enough to get a photo of them sitting on the "king/queen's seat" which they thought was pretty cool.

I haven't been away from home for long, but I'm already missing these two like crazy.

Willy Mason - When the Leaves Have Fallen

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Blurb Books

Several people asked if I was going to show the Blurb books I made from my blog which I talked about in this post so I snapped a few photos on my way out the door last week (which is my excuse for the wrinkled table cloth underneath them.)

I've been blogging for just over 4 years and have now created these books for each year. The books aren't fancy on the outside, they are the soft-cover bare bones version. I invested my time on the inside - working to create custom layouts that maximized the photos in the book.

For those of you who are curious about how Blurb works - you give it your blogs url and password, it then scrapes your content into their application. You can then choose the posts you want in your book and it automatically creates a layout for you. The basic layout has text as the main body and photos in 1 inch square boxes on the edges of each page. Because I wanted my photos larger and closer to the original size I created custom layouts for each of the posts. I'll admit it - this took a while. But you can save each of the layouts you create and make it a template and reuse them, which means I got faster the more I worked on the books.

Creating these books helped me remember why I blog in the first place - to document my life and to build my own personal history. Moving it from the computer to book form makes it seem more real and permanent.

Drew Andrews - I Could Write a Book

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Friday, October 12, 2012


Free - Zac Brown Band Pin It

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Not long ago I was at a park in my neighborhood just before sunset - a view of the valley and the mountains with the glorious golden light - it was stunning. Photos like this do one of two things - give me comfort when I'm feeling homesick, or remind me why I live here when the travel bug starts biting.

2012.06 Draper Randoms
2012.06 Draper Randoms
Iron & Wine - Sunset Soon Forgotten Pin It

Monday, October 8, 2012

A New Look

All summer long I've been trying to get a project done at my house - the dreadful yard. I don't have a green thumb, and more importantly, I hate yard work. Which means over the years my yard had gotten completely out of hand. It was never well designed in the first place, but my lack of care meant it was looking worse and worse.

It isn't quite finished - the pavers next to the driveway and the concrete edging around the flower beds are coming later this week, but I decided to post the nearly finished product, since I'm on my way back to Istanbul today for the rest of the year. I'll have to wait to see the finished product next spring after the snow melts.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm ALMOST looking forward to planting a few flowers next year, now that I've got such lovely defined flower beds. And with the trees trimmed back and the overgrown shrubs gone, my house looks so much more welcoming.

As a goodbye (for a while) to my home, here's a little Phillip Phillips: Home. Pin It

Friday, October 5, 2012

Late for Your Life

Mary Chapin Carpenter - Late for Your Life Pin It

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

SUU Homecoming 2012

Thank you so much for the kind and encouraging words on my Monday post - and the great ideas for building blogging motivation. I have a crazy few months coming up work wise, so blogging is going to be difficult, I'm sure I'll use all your ideas to keep going. As I said Monday, I'm trying to get back to my one of my original purpose in blogging: making a record of my life. First up, a pretty incredible experience from this weekend - homecoming at SUU, my alma mater.

2012.09 Cedar City Alumni Award
I got a call a couple of months ago from the alumni office at my university telling me I had been named the Young Alumnus of the Year. I was shocked, honored and a bit overwhelmed (all the the while being completely overjoyed that they still considered me young.) They invited me to a series of events over homecoming weekend and I enthusiastically started planning.

2012.09 Cedar City Alumni Award
Homecoming, for me, started on Thursday evening with an awards banquet where they honored three alumni. Nearly my entire family and a huge group of friends took vacation days, found baby sitters, drove hundreds of miles and gave up some of their deer hunting time to be at the banquet.

2012.09 Cedar City Alumni Award
The alumni department had put together a video of our lives and accomplishments and just like at the Oscar's I got to give an acceptance speech (scary!) Friday I met with the Business School's National Advisory Board, full of some amazing people that I'd like to be just like someday. I taught a business class (those poor students) and then went to several receptions hanging out with some of the important people. The highlight for me was meeting the parents of my mentor in college. An amazing professor who passed away a few years ago. It was incredible to be able to tell them how much Dr Woodbury changed my life and to thank them for raising an amazing daughter.

2012.09 Cedar City Alumni Award
Saturday started with a parade. I got to ride in this amazing car - and isn't my driver in his cool hat and mustache, the cutest ever? After the parade I did a bit of tailgating - both with the students and at the president's house - and can I just say that having the university president know me by sight and talk about me in his speeches was a pretty cool feeling.

2012.09 Cedar City Alumni Award
It was finally game time! Hanging out with my friends at the game was like a walk back in time - it was so much fun to be together again. The team did amazing, nearly pulled off a win against the top team in their new division.

2012.09 Cedar City Alumni Award
My last official duty of the weekend was walking out to mid-field at half time and waving along with one of the other nominees. An actress/writer/producer who was amazingly nice and down to earth (not to mention TALL.) When I was telling a friend about the entire experience, I said I'd never felt so special in my life and that I didn't know that I'd ever feel that special again, a truly once in a life time experience.

When I got in the car to drive to SUU last week I was in the mood for Kings of Leon - and their music was my soundtrack for the entire trip, Revelry seems like a good way to end this post. Pin It

Monday, October 1, 2012

Why Blog?

Over the past few months, I found myself having a bit of a blog crisis. I'd lost a bit of my motivation and started questioning whether it was worth the time it required. I continued to struggle until I got an email from Blurb saying all blurb books were 25% off for a couple of weeks. Work was slower than usual so I decided to get at least one more year of blogging off the internet and onto paper. Once I got started I decided to push through and over 6 days of very intensive computer time I got 3 years worth of blogging and photos ready to be printed.

2012.06 Draper Randoms
The process of putting together these books helped me remember why I started blogging in the first place - to make a record of my life and travels and to share it with friends and family. Reading back through my posts, I remembered the struggles I'd overcome, the good times, and the experiences I'd had. I realized that I'd accomplished my original blogging goal, I was reminded that blogging for me shouldn't be about the numbers of followers or comments, it was about giving me a creative outlet and building a tangible record of my memories. Of course, I can't discount the fact that along the way I've discovered a love of photography and become a part of an amazing and supportive blogging community.

2012.06 Draper Randoms
I won't say my blogging motivation is back at full strength, but it's strong enough to keep me going. How do you get past those periods of lagging motivation?

Lambchop - Gone Tomorrow Pin It

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