Sunday, February 27, 2011


Ok, first of all, I think the title of this assignment is hilarious. Second, I didn't really follow the instructions which read, "Who do they want to spend all their time with when they are not with you? Celebrate their bro-mance or their relationship with their best bud! Photograph them with their wingman."

When Mark and his friends orchestrate a time to hang out (which, unfortunately, is relatively seldom), it occurs what they call "late night" which means when all of our children are tucked into their beds. While this is incredibly considerate of them, it makes it pretty impossible to photograph them (in the dark). They also tend to "go to the mountains" which means I'm definitely not able to capture what they do. Honestly, sometimes I'm not sure I want to know what they do, so I'll maintain my ignorance about their guy-time and move on to a different type of male-bonding.

As I mentioned before, Mark loves learning about cars. And he is passing this love along to his son. Tobias LOVES watching Mark play "racing cars" on the XBox. Mark lets Toby choose the type and color of car to race and they have fun "zooming" them around the track and crashing into things. When it's convenient, Mark also attempts to catch "MotorWeek" on PBS on Saturday mornings. Here is a photo of Toby and daddy snuggled up delving into the world of "fast cars" for 1/2 hr. We often hear the refrain, "Daddy, I wanna watch racing cars!" I love to watch this love develop between father and son - not their love of cars per sae, but their unity and excitement in a common interest.

When you love them most

This assignment was posted a few days ago. I'm attempting to "catch up" this weekend. I currently have a gloriously silent home so I'm taking advantage to complete these last couple days...

Here is "day 25"'s challenge: What makes you tick about your loved one? What do they do to go out of their way to make sure you are happy and that you have a GREAT day?

So, I am spoiled. My husband comes home from work every day at lunch. I'm not sure how to express how much I appreciate this daily act of service. Sure, he could go to the lunch room and chit chat with his coworkers. He could read or work on school work during his hour lunch break. Instead, he chooses to enter into what he knows will be a little bit of a crazy time (in the midst of a sometimes-stressful work day). He makes lunch for his 2 & 4 year old, he gives big hugs and asks how our day is going, he takes Tobias to the potty and puts him down for a nap, he gets the mail, and all four of us gather at the lunch table TOGETHER. It is a tremendous help to me to have this mini-break in the middle of the day particularly when my morning has consisted of rushing around, transporting little ones to their appropriate destinations, and completing various errands or chores. What a blessing this man is to sacrifice his "me time" for our family. I'm so grateful as he shows me and his children how much he loves us through this gift of time and attention.

Caught him playing games and goofing around with the kids. I love how he's wearing his scrubs and his OT badge is dangling.

We love you, daddy!

Friday, February 25, 2011


Once again, I'm a little behind. This particular assignment was tough because, well, it was relatively impossible for me to get to "where" I knew he was "the one" at a moment's notice. It's also posing a challenge because back then we didn't use digital cameras so I don't have digital files to even upload moments from those days...

Thus, the scanned photos.

Mark and I were in every class together in our Occupational Therapy program with 30 or so other students at Towson University. It was a pretty intimate group and, whether we liked it or not, we became closely acquainted with one another. We became friends, having lunch together periodically and gathering at evening study groups. Somehow (um, definitely God!) we were placed together as partners to create and lead a group in one of our behavioral health classes. I'll never forget the professors response, "That was the best partner project I've ever experienced in this course." We certainly complimented one another well, yet remained "friends" for a couple years.
Study group for Anatomy & Physiology = fried brains

THEN, Mark joined our Habitat for Humanity group on a spring break trip to Charleston, SC. Experiencing him outside of the academic element struck a spark. As soon as we returned from that week, we began dating.
Notice how he has a hammer aimed at my noggin. ;)

It wasn't until about a year later that our relationship moved to the "next level"... I was doing a 3 month internship in Santa Barbara, CA. I was all alone on the West Coast while he was living with his parents in suburban DC completing his internship. His parents graciously footed the bill for a plane ticket and we spent a glorious long weekend sharing sunny CA. This is where we had "the talk" and pursued our relationship toward marriage.
Here we are at one of the missions, typical of southern CA.

So these are the 3 turning points, special places and moments, leading to our union. It was fun to search for these photos and reminisce. Oh, how great is the Lord who orchestrated all of this and faithfully brought us to this day...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


This is a kind of funny, kind of fun, "free day" assignment... "JUST DO IT! You know you have some awesome facebook photos of your loved one. Pick your favorite, copy it (save it) and print it to have forever!"

This has been Mark's profile pic on Facebook for, oh, at least 6 months if not more. We are at a friend's wedding in May of last year (I sang and played flute) goofing off at the reception. Mark stole/borrowed one of the bridesmaid's bouquets and he's infamous for making silly faces in photos without my knowledge. I love how happy we look/are.

And I've already printed it and framed it. Ahead of the game on that one!

I didn't go back to find the original file, just stole it off Facebook for simplicity's sake.

Face (portrait)

For this day (which was yesterday), our assignment was: "Your task today is to just capture your loved one’s portrait. A head and shoulders shot. Simplify the background (find a neutral wall in the home) so that the focus is truly on them and their beauty."

Lydia was available and somewhat willing (or did I force her?) when the lighting was optimal, so I seized my opportunity. For some reason, when I look at these, I just can't comprehend how beautiful I think my daughter is AND how she's grown in beauty... You never can fathom the depth of love you'll have for these miracles when they enter your lives and these photos knock me off my feet with thankfulness for this love-filled life...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


For those of you who have been following the "Joy of Love" adventure, you've noticed that I've taken a few days off. The weekend was Cah-ray-zee, so I opted for a little break. Never fear, I'm back. ;) And since I missed a few days I'll post a few photos per assignment.

Yesterdays was "hands" - we were to get out our "macro" lens and get up-close-and-personal with the hands of one we love. Now, yesterday the lighting was STINKY - it was very dark all day long - overcast/cloudy. Good day for a nap (in which I indulged) not so good for photography with natural light.

I attempted multiple times...

At the breakfast table while Lydia was "organizing" her jewelry box (Lydia's LOVE of girliness)

While we were driving to Kohl's after work (Mark's LOVE of cars)

My mom after family dinner cuddling on the sofa with her 3 grandchildren (LOVE just oozes here ;)

But I just wasn't truly thrilled with any of these. Thus, I attempted again today with the glorious sunlight reflecting from the newly fallen snow streaming into my windows.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree - Lydia checking out her photographs on her own little pink camera.

But then, came my favorite... Lydia was playing in the kitchen, turned to me (on the computer assessing the "hands" photos) and declared, "I want to pray". I immediately responded, "Go ahead, honey! You can pray any time, any where." I just so happened to have my camera right beside me and caught this one. I'm serious, it's not posed! Lydia's love of God just makes me glow with joy. The epitome of LOVE: Our gracious God who first loved us, so much that He gave His only Son so that we may have life eternal. To have my children know and develop their relationship with this amazing, loving God - now that's LOVE!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Staying In

It's ironic that on the warmest day this year, almost spring-like, our assignment was titled, "staying in" when everyone just wanted to be OUTSIDE in the fresh, glorious air. Oh well. My kids did have some TV time after nap/rest, so I caught them zoning out with Dora before dinner.

Here is the actual instruction for the assignment: "What do you do when you are home together?" We were, again, supposed to set up the tripod and capture what we do when we're all here together. Honestly, there wasn't much time when the four of us were here at the same time yesterday (work for daddy, preschool, Mother's Day Out, music class, church choir...) so I just got the kids. And I pretty much never watch TV with them. Sometimes they "stay up late" (like 8 or 8:30 ;) with daddy and watch movies, but usually they get a TV show when I need 24-28 minutes (the running time of an On Demand cartoon) of peace like while prepping dinner.

Oh, and yesterday was "rainbow day" at Lydia's preschool. I usually just dress Tobias according to her school themes to try to carryover the lessons into home-life, thus, LOTS of colors and patterns. ;)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

together (self-portrait)

Go figure, the day we are assigned to do a "self portrait" with the one we love, I get negative amount of sleep the night before resulting in some serious puffy, dark-ringed eyes... Mid-day I decided in no way, shape or form was my face going to be in this photo. Mark came home at 415 and had to dash out at 445 for his night class, so in that time I set up the tripod and decided on a silhouette. I've never attempted one before, but today was the day.

Me & my true love awaiting another gift of love...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Pretty self-explanatory. The assignment was to catch a smooch of a loved one. Our instructor gave a warning, "you may have to use your tripod and the camera's self timer to get you with your loved one." so I did. Honestly, I didn't think much about this prior to setting up the tripod. First, I was a little apprehensive about the tripod shots, particularly since it was chilly outside (we were on the front porch) and I wasn't sure how the tripod set-up would work out with focusing, framing, etc. Second, really never know what Lydia might do or how she might react in these situations. At times, she's completely cooperative, which happened to be today, until she got chilly of course. And I really can't blame her, I was cold too!

It was perfect to get Lydia to kiss me because, well, she's a kisser. Often the objects of her affection are inanimate. For example, she kissed her Tinkerbell lollipop she got at a Valentine's party today. She kisses her stuffed animals and other random toys that she's excited about. Basically, if she's thrilled or overwhelmed with joy, she kisses. Love this girlie!

I was chatting with a girlfriend and fellow photog this morning explaining how post-processing is really "not my thing." I love to take photographs, but the editing part somewhat frustrates me, particularly since it has been a "trial and error" process that has not come naturally to me. That said, yesterday I purchased (at half off I might add - score!) a few Photoshop Actions from This afternoon I had some quiet time to play around with them a little and am encouraged by the results. Now, it still took way more time than I prefer, but I suppose, with anything, this process becomes more streamlined with practice. Once again this class has challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone and explore uncharted photography territory for me. Fun!


Some days I'm just not inspired. You know, just don't "feel" like getting my camera out and/or thinking creatively. This course is certainly challenging me to push beyond how I "feel" and "just DO it!" Yesterday I was zonked. Running the kids to MDO, working, walking with my love, grocery shopping, cleaning up from Valentine's parties, dinner at my parents... In the midst of all of that I just didn't get the time or the energy to get the right lighting or the patience to get the "right shot". That said, this is what I DID get...

The assignment was to: "Capture that wedding band on his finger today. if your loved one is not married to you, then try to document a piece of jewelry he or she wears." My whole idea for "generations" (a lesson I skipped due to illness) was to get my mom's, my, and Lydia's hands all together somehow with both my mom and I wearing the rings that we inherited following my grandmother's passing. So, I kind of resurrected that idea yesterday and put on Lydia the bracelet from her baptism that includes a charm of her great-grandmother. I wanted to try to get my grandma (we called her "Babe")'s ring in the photo too. My squirmy 4-year old, all jacked up on sugar from the Valentine's party of the day, just couldn't stay still to "pose" for this one. Although it's not what I had envisioned, it still captures the legacy of my grandmother, specifically the cross representing her faith in Christ that lives in the hearts of the generations that follow her...

This is taken about 4:30pm - although the sun was out earlier a huge cloud came through so it was rather dark, taken in the light from our French doors to our deck.

This is what I got of the wedding band. Trying to make our hands into a "heart shape" (I mean, it was Valentine's Day, after all!) Since she asked us to get the wedding band of the one we love, I focused on his ring. February is not the optimal time of year for beautiful skin. I feel like mine looks 80 years old!

"Jewelry" assignment completed. Glad I waited a day to work on the post-processing. I definitely saw things with a fresher perspective today. :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Today's assignment included capturing an aspect of daily "routine" of one you love. I plugged away through the day: potty, breakfast, cleaning up, playing, dressing, church, lunch, nap, family swim time, dinner, groceries... And then realized that I neglected to capture any aspect of our daily routine. However, it seemed fitting that I got my camera out at bedtime because this is one of the most established routines of the day. I know for most young families bedtime can be a long, tedious process: snack time, potty, teeth-brushing, jammies, reading, prayers, songs, sleep (well, this sometimes comes after Tobias attempting to escape his room and lots of chattering between the sibs). Yet, when I reflect, it's one of the most treasured times of the day. Yes, it's annoying sometimes that the kids are so "needy" and I envision a day when I say, "Go to bed." and they do the whole routine by themselves. Yet, at the same time, I relish in this neediness as I know it's fleeting and at this point, they crave our attention and time. Not five minutes ago Mark went to check on the kids after saying the initial goodnight about 1/2 hr. ago. His question: "Tobias, what do you want?" Toby's response, "I want you and mommy to be in here [his room]". Guaranteed some days, this time of day is truly trying, frustrating, exasperating...but I am reminded of the love and lessons and tender moments of this "routine" that makes the long days seems oh, so sweet.

About the photo: Mark reading to the kids (Lydie is on the other side, but I was up against the wall and couldn't get her in the pic), not to mention my big belly got in the way of a more "interesting" camera angle. At 8 months pregnant, I just can't move like a spring chicken any more. I digress. No natural lighting. Used my external on-camera flash bounced at an approximately 60 degree angle. You'll note that both yesterday and today you see scratches on Toby's face, a result of Lydia's fingernails. Seriously, she clawed him in a fight. UGH. Anyway, I kinda like how it shows the tough parts of the day, but at the same time the serenity and intensity of listening to a story before drifting off to dreamland.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Today I'm not getting philosophical or even reflective. I'm just plain pooped.

The assignment: "Today I want you to take a crisp photo of your loved ones eyes. The eyes are the window to the soul, to try to truly capture your loved one’s eyes today."

The instruction included having them face toward a window. My children were less than cooperative, but I managed to sneak out these 2 shots of them. It's remarkable to me how they actually look alike here (which I don't think they do in "real life" at all!)

Our instructor went on to note that she finds the best lighting to be in a doorway or covered porch. I never ever would have thought of this on my own, but accepted the challenge. This afternoon I attempted both.

Lydia in the doorway.

Kids on the front porch.

Simply love these eyes and the little souls behind them. :)

Friday, February 11, 2011


Today we were challenged to: "What does your loved one dream of accomplishing or doing? Take a photo that pays homage to this dream."

My kids are 4, 2, and yet to be born, so while they may have "dreams" (Lydia's is definitely to go to Disney World), they seem to fluctuate with the passing fads. My husband's, on the other hand, are pretty solidified. Mark wants to own a "racing car" (as he tells Toby).

Now, Mark has owned his fair share of vehicles. In fact, we like to tease that every time I have a baby, he purchases a "baby" of his own. At one point we owned 2 Subarus, a Chevy pickup truck, and 2 motorcycles. Yes, a bit ridiculous. Our garage has now slimmed down to simply Mark's 1st car, a Subaru Imprezza, and our "family vehicle", a Chevy Traverse. Oh, and lots of bicycles, but they get great gas mileage so they are a-ok with me. ;)

What hasn't changed during this revolving door of motorized wheeled machines, is Mark's undying passion to own a sports car. He dreams of what kind he will get and when he will get it. He dreams of where he will drive and who he will take with him. For now, he satisfies these cravings with an abundance of monthly reading material on the subject. He subscribes to at least three (maybe four now!) car magazines. As soon as they hit our mailbox they are devoured. He memorizes statistics which blows my mind as sometimes I have to remind him to take the garbage out. Seriously, he can tell you the horse-power, torque, size wheels.. on pretty much any make and model car. Amazes me every time. This "dream" is one from childhood (so I suppose I shouldn't dismiss those of my little ones) when he used to play games guessing cars by their headlights alone, which he can proudly still do, of course.

Here is where his dream resides, at this point, in stacks of car magazines and in his ever-expanding knowledge of cars.

By the way, if you want to provide immense satisfaction to this man, please consult him prior to purchasing a car. He LOVES to give car advice and search for the "just right" car for you. If you want to make his year, actually purchase one of the cars he suggests - it puts him over-the-top with happiness. A great example of how a little love grows when shared with others...

[Details of this photo: taken in our basement with essentially no natural light. Overhead florescent lighting, 2 table lamps with light bulbs. You know, thought I'd give myself a challenge. Not thrilled with some of the glare on the magazines, but like how the magazine titles are all in focus.]

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Today's assignment: Document the space - where they are most comfortable. The leading question was: "What is their 'spot' in the house?" Honestly, all of the humans in my household gravitate toward the sofa. This is likely due to its strategic position in front of the television. :) The only family member that definitively has a "spot" is our canine, Guinness.

Let me preface this with a simple fact: I am NOT a "dog person." In fact, I spent much of my childhood doing anything I could to avoid contact with dogs. It wasn't that I was particularly "scared" of them and never had a traumatic experience with them or anything. I just simply didn't like them. To me, dogs were smelly and hairy and drooly and those characteristics created one image in my mind, "YUCK!" Here is another fact: I married a "dog person." Experiencing the true love, companionship, and devotion in the relationship with Mark and his dog, my heart began to warm to these creatures. As soon as we bought a home, Mark's first agenda was fencing in the backyard and hitting the animal shelter. There he found the perfect dog: Guinness. Now, I must say, I was not involved at all in the training of this dog. Mark dedicated hours each day to teaching Guinney how to act like a "normal" dog. You see, Guinness was a big scaredy cat. In fact, he was petrified to go down/up stairs, and practically pulled your arm out of its socket on walks to avoid getting within 1/2 block of a dumpster. He coward at trash cans. I know you are thinking, "Doesn't sound like the perfect dog to me!", but he was and is the perfect dog for our family. Almost eight years later, I love this dog. Prior to children, he went everywhere with us. He was a source of comfort during our struggle with infertility. And when I gave birth to Lydia and was hospitalized, I remember saying, "I miss Guinness, let's go home." He "protects" our children and is more than patient when they dress him up, chase him around the house, and even ride on him. I love how he naps with me, taking his place right by my feet keeping them toasty warm. And even though he is undoubtably partial to his man, he waits for me to come upstairs before settling in for the night. There are certainly things about this animal that bother me like his begging for table scraps and others that have just become a way of life like his black hair everywhere. Yet, these are the things we tolerate, and even embrace, for those we love.

These days Guinness is pretty lazy. He doesn't get walks nearly as often as he should. He spends most of the day napping on our bed. So here he is, in "his spot."

I'm still not a "dog person" but I do happen to have a soft spot in my heart for this dog. I can honestly say, I love Guinness.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Passions and Hobbies

This one was super-easy. A true no-brainer. Tobias has a passion: trains. This is also super-easy for me to photograph because he spends so much time playing them. Nothing real philosophical today - just plain fun. Although, now that I think about it, playing trains is pretty much Tobias' primary occupation - it's more than "fun", it's a JOB. One that he takes quite seriously, I might add.

[Tobias intently and contently "chugging"]

I love to see how his big sister, who otherwise completely typifies the "first born" stereotype, has embraced his love of trains and often joins him in his passion. And how Toby's love for trains has sparked a renewal in his daddy's interest in trains. At Christmas time, Grandpapa set up Daddy's model train set and the three of them spent hours in the basement of Mark's childhood home cleaning tracks, testing engines, and celebrating when they got one to light up and make it around the track. We've been to two train shows as a family this winter and his great-aunt and uncle took him to one too. This passion of a two-year-old certainly has inspired those he loves and who love him to fuel and encourage his love.

[I neglected to mention: he's also pretty much obsessed with tunnels.]

And a little photography talk... We are to continue to focus on using "manual" mode of our camera and balancing exposure. I pretty much always shoot in manual these days, however getting the proper exposure is definitely a work-in-progress. The sun actually came out today and was streaming in my window which threw me for a loop (had to completely adjust all of my settings which I'm a little too slow at to capture kids in their "optimal" moments), but then I had fun figuring out what combination of settings would work best. Later I pulled the shades to practice that way which was completely different in technique. For the most part, I've been happily shooting with my 50mm f/1.8 for these assignments, however now I want a new camera so that the "noise" is not so prevalent on the higher ISOs. A girl can dream, right? ;)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Gifts of love

So I pretty much feel like I "failed" at this assignment. It was to capture a "gift from the heart": something, tangible or intangible, that shows how others love through giving. Well, naturally my husband has given me more gifts than I can fathom. He has loved me through some dark days, particularly through a very self-destructive period. He persevered through infertility and prayed me through childbirth. Really, he has given me life - my own and that of my children. Truly, how do you photograph that!?!

And God's grace and love through my life is absolutely overwhelming. He loves me. He saved me. Again, can't imagine how to photograph the depth of this sacrificial love...

Perplexed and creatively spent, I took 5 minutes pre-nap attempting to get a photo of Tobias hugging my pregnant belly. This gift of love is one that I have cherished over the past few weeks. He'll randomly and passionately run up to me and declare, "Mommy! I want to hug the baby!" It melts my heart every time. The gray part at the bottom of the photo is my belly with his hand on it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Who they Love

No, I haven't given up on the "Joy of Love", just took a couple days off.

Saturday's assignment was "love to hate". We were in DC all day: National History Museum in celebration of Lydia's accomplishment of writing her letters and then celebrating Mark's sister's birthday in Rockville. It was a perfect day. Honestly, nothing I "hated" about it. ;) What I was planning on photographing was my dear 4-year-old's pacifiers. Yes, she still sucks/chews on them when she sleeps. I hate that I can't get rid of them. Yet, I love what it reminds me of... my baby girl. She will always be.

Yesterday was "who they love". I wanted to capture the kids with their daddy. Not only because they love him, but they love what he loves. You see, Mark has a slight obsession with the New York Giants. They are "his" team. And my children have, in their short lives, without force, adopted this love for this football team. When his daddy walks in the door at lunch, sometimes Tobias will randomly say, "Go Giants, daddy!" which is to say "I'm totally cheering YOU on!" They love their very own Giants hats and don them with pride, parading around the house. When we drive by the high school football field, Toby will say, "Daddy, the Giants are not out today." And when he sees a football player on TV will exclaim, "Daddy, the Giants win!" again to say, "Daddy, YOUR team, OUR team, WE won! WE are winners!" My kids love the Giants because they are a part of their daddy. They love their daddy and love his loves.

We were in a rush, late for a super bowl party on the way out of the house. We all wore our Giants garb. Completely aware that the Giants were not playing in the super bowl. (Ok, so we're in a little denial, but it's a fun denial ;) Anyway, the lighting was horrible. Of course everyone had to wear their hats creating serious face shadows. It was going on 5pm and light was waning. I had to jack up the ISO which, on my camera means "noise". I was going to ditch this photo, but then opted to use an action that incorporated noise and came up with this.

At the Super Bowl party I broke out my flash. Tried to bounce it off the wall, but got a reflection off the window, so bounced it off the ceiling and got this one. Daddy and his boy. Loving football together.

Today's assignment was "generations" - capturing the love throughout generations. It was perfect timing as tonight is our family dinner at my parents. Unfortunately I'll have to postpone my ideas for today as I received a call from my dad this afternoon that dinner was cancelled. My mom has pneumonia. These infections going around are serious stuff. Hoping and praying the ladies in the generations sandwiching me (my mommy and my daughter) are back to health and wholeness soon!

Friday, February 4, 2011

What they wear

Today was "one of those days" (or more like "one of those mornings") in the Willson household. Lydia has been sick for the past couple days and, as she is turning the corner, becoming a little stir-crazy. While his sister was down-and-out, Tobias was getting accustomed to having more than typical amount of attention. As this became usurped, he decided to attempt to regain his new-found power only to find resistance. All of this made for a relatively frustrated mommy. ARGH!

Since we weren't able to leave the house, I anticipated staying in PJs all day, which is why I started by choosing "footie pjs" as my "what they wear" subject-matter. I took a few shots, then re-read the tutorial. Whoops. I neglected the assignment which was to get out the camera manual and read about the "metering" modes and try them out. I had visions of playing around with this on some varied subject matter like Lydia's $5 Veggietales watch or the holes and paintsplatters on Mark's jeans as he works on refinishing a dresser for our new little one. However, neither of these came to fruition as the daylight faded... So, I went back to my original shots and this is what I choose to share...

I wanted to get a little more of the feet in the photo (you know, to capture the "footie" part of footie PJs), but, due to my current condition, I'm just not physically able to get any lower. :) Although a little distracting, the blue tissue box behind Toby's head describes the state of the day as does the TV-zoned look on his face.
When I turned it to black-and-white I lost the background distraction and also drew the light toward his face (as opposed to his PJs). So different how the effects can totally change the mood of a photo.

So, yes, I love my kids. I love them when they are sick and mopey. I love them when they lounge around in footie PJs. I love them even when they are ripping things out of each others' hands (although this is obviously the most difficult time to love). I love them. I love them. I love them.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Then and Now

Today's assignment involved capturing a loved one contrasting some aspect of them in relation to the past with the present. We were also to focus on "cropping" specifically cropping pretty close up.

When I met Mark, he wore glasses. All of the time. In fact, he was relatively blind without them. Here we are in 2005. Note the glasses (and my BLOND hair! that's what kids has done to me - my hair is now almost black!)

In the fall of 2007, we decided to invest in what he calls, "new eyeballs" aka lasix surgery. Totally worth it for so many reasons. No glare with flash photography for one. ;) Of course, Mark would call it a significant improvement in quality of life.

I simply love these big green eyes and all that is behind them: the sensitivity, devotion, humor, compassion, determination, honesty...the love.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How they LOOK

I'm having trouble choosing one photo. ARGH. So, I just won't. I will choose 3.

Yesterday's tutorial video (which, honestly, I just watched this morning) discussed "finding the light" in your home. This afternoon, I found it in my entryway, just like our instructor. I never thought of taking photos there before, but found some decent "catchlights" in my subjects eyes...

Lydia, descending the stairs post-eyerub. She's sick, poor thing. It's how she looks today. :(

Guinness, anxiously awaiting his master's return from work. Longingly looking out the front window in anticipation.

Tobias, seconds after I woke him from his afternoon slumber. Putting on a show for the camera. It's how he looks, in all his glory.

Love, Love, Love

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

the joy of love

So you MAY be seeing an increase in blog entries from me in the next month... I've started a free month-long online photo course and hope to share some of the shots on here. Check it out and join me! And let me know if you are doing this too.


Today's assignment was to capture "what they do". After realizing it was a "snow day" and thinking, "I have all morning to take photos", I got called into work and suddenly only had 15 min. to finish up a craft, get everyone dressed, and get out the door. Oh, yeah, and complete my photo assignment. Yikes!

The photo tutorial was on using window lighting in our homes as well as getting "catch lights" in the eyes. My home does not have any gloriously large windows and I was shooting at 8:30am (not the optimal time for window lighting), plus I can't say my subject was the most "cooperative", but I worked with what I have and that's the challenge and fun of a course like this! I definitely had to jack up the ISO (as the instructor did) and use a huge aperture. Most of these are not or very minimally edited due to, well, let's just say "time constraints". ;)

A new favorite thing of Toby's to "do": snipping.

One of Toby's primary occupations: drinking.

What they "do"? He does a lot of potty time. :)

Love the contrast of his shirt declaring that he's "rough and tough" while sporting gorgeous blue headbands. This one is a little over-exposed...