Self Portrait

April 29, 2008

Once a month, I get together with an awesome group of ladies. We are all photographers, all in different stages of our lives and careers, but we’re all very supportive of each other.

Not only do we get together to have fun, chit chat, and gossip, but we also share ideas, ask for advice, motivate each other, and try different things. We read inspirational, motivational and educational books and have book group talks.

The one thing we do that makes us each step out of our comfort zone, is that we come up with a project – a photography project. We’ve done such things as a scavenger hunt – find and photograph these 6 things, photograph your husband, photograph water, etc.

This month’s assignment was to do a self portrait – completely by yourself, no one else can push the "button." I will tell you, this was hard. It is very difficult to focus on an inanimate object, such as a teddy bear, set the timer, replace yourself in the exact same spot the teddy bear was and react to the camera. I’ve taken many timed portraits of our family, but I realized it’s a lot easier when Pete and the dogs are in position – I focus on Pete and then jump in right where I fit.

I tried to challenge myself to come up with something different and unique – the results are not too shabby!


April 28, 2008

Sunday and Monday are the days that we are "closed." That doesn’t mean I don’t work, because if there’s "free" time, I’m working. But those are the days I don’t have appointments with clients, I don’t answer my phone or email and I’m free to run errands as need be. Those are also the days that any work can be done on the house/studio.

The past few Mondays have been exactly that! Work days! It’s an art to be able to perfectly balance our helpers as they all have their assigned jobs.

Indoors, our handyman, Bob, helped remove the old bathroom fixtures. Our painter, Jerry, gave us gorgeous walls in the entry, hall and bathroom. Cabinet guy, Randy, installed the beautiful black granite vanity top. Bob returned to install the fun blue sink and ensure water would flow down the drain!

Outdoors, our lawn mowers, Tom & Mark, zoom up and down in their speedy lawn mowers, cutting the dead winter grass off and revealing the beautiful green grass! Our garden pros, Ricki & Mary, sketched out recommended plantings and changes to our current gardens and created a plan for our 2008 upgrades.

All in all, there is never a dull moment at the Photography by Brandi studio…even on our "closed" days!

All That Hair!

April 26, 2008

Baby Jack arrived with a full head of awesome hair! The natural highlights and the crazy style of Jack’s hair would make some men jealous! Luckily, Jack is laid back and easy going, since his older brother Carter is very active and on the go constantly!

Spin & Stop

April 24, 2008

Sydney was full of energy the day of her two year session. Whether it was dancing, playing ring around the rosy and falling on the floor, or spinning and stopping (one of her favorite activities) – she never held still! Nor did she stop talking – most of the time I could figure out what she was saying, but sometimes she was talking a mile a minute (very seriously), but I couldn’t quite catch the message. Ahh, to be two again!

Thank You to My Friends!

April 24, 2008

So the crunch time until my sister’s wedding has begun! Traveling with all of my photography equipment, in addition to a week’s worth of clothing and wedding attire, is something I have never attempted before!

In an attempt to lighten the load as much as possible, I have asked my friends for help. My friend, Chris, loaned me her small, compact tripod – a much needed requirement, if I’m going to be in any of the photos! My friend, and our wedding photographer, Heather, loaned me her enormous backpack camera bag – perfect for carrying all of our valuable equipment onto the plane. My friend, Julie, loaned me her fun and small, compact 50 mm 1.4 lens – perfect for getting some fun, unique photos! Thanks to all my ladies – you guys are awesome, and always there for me!!

I had to test out and have fun with the lens Julie loaned me, and of course I couldn’t ask for more adorable subjects! The front window is one of Pebbles’ favorite places to hang out. Who needs an alarm system when you can have a "howl system."

Happy Baby!

April 23, 2008

From the minute Xander walked in the door, he was all smiles! To mommy’s surprise, he had woken up quite grumpy that morning. Luckily he was able to get a nice catnap on the way out to the studio, and by the time they arrived, he was ready to perform! Turning on the charm, the giggles, blowing some bubbles and talking up a storm.

Check out that hair! I’m in love with Xander’s "my finger got stuck in the light socket" hair!! It makes me giggle every time I see it.


April 22, 2008

Amanda is not a big time girly, girl…her one piece of girly, girl is the pink ribbon she puts in her hair (after she’s pulled it back into a ponytail.) Simple works out perfect for her!

She has an infectious smile! Once she turns those big eyes your way, and smiles that adorable laughing smile, you can’t help but smile right back!

Get her on the ball field, and she turns serious and determined!

Standing Tall!

April 21, 2008

Elise has just figured out standing! We were quite excited when she stood for extended periods of time at her one year session. We were so excited and cheering for her, she was feeding off our excitement and was very proud of herself! Every expression she makes is so adorable, whether it’s the scrunchy nose, or the big eyes with the serious stare!

Simply Stated

April 20, 2008

I came across this article the other day from the Real Simple Magazine blog. It’s discusses the importance of having professional portraits taken of your children, and how photographs capture and reflect the happy times and memories of life.


Get Professional Photos of Your Children

I’ve never forgotten an invaluable piece of advice that I heard from an older friend right after my first child was born. She told me, “One of my greatest regrets about my children’s childhoods was that I didn’t have more professional pictures taken.”

“You didn’t take many pictures?” I asked.

“I took tons of pictures,” she said, “but the fact is, professional photographs are so much better than even the best snapshots.”

I absolutely agree—professional photos are better. And keeping her advice in mind, ever since my daughters were born, I’ve been zealous about getting their photos taken professionally at least once a year.

While it’s a lot of fun (and also a pain) to take pictures myself, it’s terrific to have some pictures that are truly excellent. These photos don’t take the place of the on-the-spot pictures that I take myself—I still take scads of photos at birthday parties, first days of school, on the slide, with a popsicle—but these pictures memorialize my children’s childhoods in a different way.

Plus they make great family gifts. I can never figure out a good present for the grandparents and great-grandparents, but they always love to get a really great photograph—especially the relatives who don’t often get a chance to see the girls in person.

Also, research shows that one way to boost your happiness is to reflect on happy times, and looking at photographs helps keep memories more vivid.

It’s a splurge, of course. Professional photos aren’t cheap.

However, I figure that the money I spend on these photographs will strengthen family bonds, enhance happy memories, and capture the fleeting moments of childhood. They give me more pleasure than practically any other purchases that I make. That strikes me as pretty good happiness bang for the buck.

A friend’s family had another great photography tradition. For her whole life, at every milestone, her parents took a picture of her and her brother sitting exactly the same way on their front stoop. It’s fascinating to see them change through the years. Along the same lines, the artist Nicholas Nixon took a photograph of his wife and her three sisters once a year for 33 years. The collection of these photographs, The Brown Sister, is riveting.

Getting professional photos taken is a great example of the tiresome fact that happiness takes thought and effort. These photographs are easy to arrange; in the scheme of things, not terribly expensive; contribute greatly to our family happiness—and yet it probably never would have occurred to me to do it if my friend hadn’t suggested it.

Rubin, Gretchen. REAL SIMPLE. Mar 3, 2008.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

April 20, 2008

Brock is ready for some baseball! He was all grins and giggles in his baseball onesy and hat!

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