.

.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Casting Call

I'm at a fork in the road. Three months ago I was sold on the idea of developing my photography skills and becoming the next overnight professional photographer. My session with pro photog Sara Boulter along with some challenging photo shoots, has helped me realize that not only am I not going to "go pro" overnight, but it will take time, energy, dedication, some business sense, and a lot of hard work. Now that I've come to this understanding, I spend my nights lying awake in bed, wondering if I have what it takes to turn someone's family/baby/kids/wedding into a work of art.

I've decided to make the next month an exploratory one. I will try different genres of photography, different equipment, different styles, different business methods, and different attitutes until I find one that fits. In the meantime, I hope to build up a portfolio of work that I can be proud of. Hopefully, by the end of the month, I will know what it is I want to do, even if that means bagging the whole idea altogether.

So here's the deal:

During the month of May, I will be holding FREE portfolio-building sessions. I am looking for families, kids, newborns, engaged couples, seniors, anything and everything! (Except weddings. I will shoot them, but I can't do them for free. WAY too much work. Sorry.) All sessions will be in or around Orem, UT (with a possible day in Salt Lake). In exchange for your help, I will give you a cd of 10-15 low-resolution blog-ready images and an 8x10 print of your favorite shot. All sessions will be weekday evenings or Saturday mornings.

Anyone up for it? Bueller? Bueller?

Leave me a comment or send me an email (carlypendletonphotography@gmail.com) if you are willing to help me get some sleep at night.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Running... and biking... and swimming

I've never been much of a runner. I run for exercise simply because it's cheap and convenient, but I get bored easily and have always struggled with any type of distance. Besides, in high school my mom told me I look funny when I run so I've always had a bit of a complex about it. The last time I tried to run a 5K it just about did me in. Needless to say, I didn't think I had much of a future in races.

Until my co-worker suggested we do a triathlon. And I agreed.

At that point I had just over 2 months to train. Luckily it was only a sprint triathlon and the swim portion was only half a regular sprint. A neighbor agreed to trade kids once a week so we could exercise solo and I began running and biking in hopes that I would be able to finish the race. Along the way, a third co-worker decided to register and so last Saturday all three of us stood nervously near the starting line.

Photobucket

The gun sounded and we were off. The first leg was the 5K run. I knew this was going to be the worst part, so I kept a slow pace and tried not to think about the 11 mile bike ride coming up.

Photobucket

Jeff stayed the entire time with the kids and took pictures of me along the way. When I came through the last leg of the run, Logan broke loose and ran at me with that I'm-going-to-throw-myself-at-you-so-you'd-better-catch-me look in his eye. I found it endearing, though tiring, so I picked him up and ran the last few yards with him in my arms. Then I ditched him so I could get on my bike and begin the next segment.

Photobucket

The bike went pretty well. It wasn't nearly as exhausting as running so I was able to get my heart rate down. I discovered just how slow my hybrid bike is as I was passed by road bikers left and right, but it wasn't until my chain fell off coming up the first hill that I thought I might have a problem. I had brought my cell phone along just in case, so I called Jeff and he ran to my rescue. I know I should probably have learned how to put my own chain back on BEFORE the race, but I don't always think these things through like that.

I made it back to the transition area with the last group of bikers. Most of the racers had already finished the swim and were relaxing back at their bikes. I stripped down to my suit and ran very awkwardly (have you ever tried to run in just a swimsuit?) into the pool.

The swim was 350m, which in this particular pool was 7 laps. If I don't consider myself a runner, I DEFINITELY don't consider myself a swimmer. Strangely, I felt I had more energy swimming then than I had when I had practiced the week before (minus the run and bike beforehand). I finished the swim and jumped crawled out of the pool to cross the finish line. My time was 1:35.

Photobucket

When I checked the times later in the day, I wasn't entirely surprised to see how few people finished after me. But this first time around, I was really only concerned with finishing at all. I am already looking forward to the next race so I can make a few changes and shave some time off.

Here we are at the finish.

Photobucket

Ok, not really. But it was fun to pretend that's how we finished. I will admit this next one was posed as well, but it really was no exaggeration. We were beat!

Photobucket

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day with Sara

Last week I was able to spend the day with Sara Boulter, one of my favorite local photographers. Mostly I spent the day in awe of what she does with her camera and some simple editing, but I also got to know her a little bit better as a person. We discovered that our boys are only a week apart, which meant that we had to share birthing stories. And once you've shared birthing stories, you might as well be best friends. I guess she felt the same way, because on the way back from lunch we saw a dead bird lying next to a pile of animal poop. She whipped out her iPhone to take a picture and said, "I'm emailing that to you." Only best friends do things like that.

After I picked her brain with all my photography questions, we went over to her studio to practice a bit. Here is cute Sara, in all her glory:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

But the fun wasn't over yet. She had some models come over so we could shoot together. I use the term models loosely; they were really just friends of friends that volunteer to be our subjects for the day. But they might as well have been professionals. This couple was gorgeous! It's not hard to take flattering pictures when your models are so photogenic. My pictures don't hold a candle to the quality of Sara's (see hers here) but I learned a lot and got some good shots to add to my portfolio.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Here's the pro in action. It was a little bit chilly that afternoon, so Sara gallantly volunteered to wear our model's coat over her own.

Photobucket

The hunt

I have a confession to make: I don't make a big deal out of holidays. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that it's not a priority. When I saw all the cute things my fellow bloggers had done for St. Patrick's Day, I felt like a terrible mom for not making green scrambled eggs and setting a leprechaun trap. I keep telling myself that one of these years I will start holiday traditions, but it's not going to be this year. Birthdays are even worse. But that's a sob story for another day.

Lucky for me (or rather, my kids), their holiday/party guru aunt Jen was here the week before Easter. She organized the egg dying (something I would never have dreamed attempt with 3-year-olds by myself) which of course meant we had to have an egg hunt. I was unprepared and didn't have enough Easter baskets to go around, so we used Halloween buckets instead.

One of my photography goals is to capture the emotion of an experience on film. I'm definitely not there yet because you just can't get from these pictures how excited these kids were to look for eggs.

My niece was very particular. She would only collect the pink eggs or eggs with pink stickers. Logan recognized the color distinction, and made sure to leave the pink ones behind for her.

Photobucket

Photobucket

"Mommy, look at my Halloween candy.... eh, I mean Easter eggs!" If my kids have to go to therapy later in life due to their confusing childhood, I totally take the blame.

Photobucket

Photobucket

My nephew wanted to take the eggs out of the basket and chuck them across the yard. And I say go for it! You're only young once. When you're a teenager, you can get in big trouble for throwing eggs at people's houses. But when you're one, we chuckle and take pictures.

Photobucket

For the record, the Easter Bunny came and left baskets on Easter morning. If he doesn't ever make it to our house again, that's his problem, not mine.

Alley Cats

A month or two ago when my mom came to visit we all went bowling. My mom killed me, but we all had fun, even Logan who just barely fit the smallest pair of bowling shoes. They looked so darn cute on him I almost had to steal them. :-)

When my mom came back to town, we decided it was time for a rematch. I didn't do quite so badly this time, but neither one of us could stand a chance against the boys. Jeff pulled off 2 strikes in the final frame to quickly catch up to my brother, Matt, who was in the lead by a fair share. With his last ball, Jeff could have taken the lead, but it just wasn't enough. In the end my brother, Matt beat Jeff by one point.

On a side note, does anyone else have a hard time figuring out the math with bowling? Especially that last frame -- I'm just glad there's a computer to do it for me. People think I should be good at arithmetic because I have a degree in Statistics, but really it just means I am good at making computers and calculators do the work for me.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

The blustery day

One day while my family was in town we visited our friends to ride their horses. (Thanks Kim!) Before we could go, we had to dig up some winter clothes for our California visitors. Even though there was no snow on the ground, it was colder and windier than they were used to. My nephew Dallin ended up wearing the coat that my sister-in-law (his mom) had given to Logan as a baby gift. He looked pretty cute in it!

Photobucket

It's fun having my brother around because he takes as many pictures as I do.

Meet the horse. I don't remember his/her name.

Photobucket

Everyone got a turn to ride, including the babies.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

My sister-in-law Jen was a trooper in the cold. She is definitely a sunshine girl at heart. She also was horribly allergic to our friend's cat and spent the rest of the day sneezing. It's amazing the things we do for our kids!

Photobucket

Thanks again Kim for letting us invade your home and barn!

Fountains and flowers

For spring break, my brother and dad (both of which are teachers) decided they would like to go somewhere where they could snowboard and golf. Luckily, springtime in Utah offers both. So last week both my parents, my sister, and my brother's family all came to visit. We had to dig up every blanket and pillow I own to pull it off, but it was loads of fun.

We started off the week with a trip to the Gateway. It was a beautiful day, perfect for playing in the fountain. My mom was a good sport and took a few water droplets for the team.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

These two crack me up. The whole week they were either at each others throats or holding hands. I guess that is what twins are like.

Photobucket

My mom will probably kill me for posting this, but it was too funny not to. My little nephew had started to fall and she was trying to prevent Logan from crushing him.

Photobucket

My cute niece. Such a girl. Look at that pose. And her shirt? She's serious about that.

Photobucket

After playing in the fountain, we took the kids to Build-a-Bear where they both made puppies. Logan's puppy is named Charlie (which sounds a lot like "Carly" when he says it-- confusing, much?) and my niece named hers Chloe.

Photobucket

We met the men at Temple Square after our shopping escapade. Not long after we got there Logan had a minor meltdown. The ensuing conversation between Logan and Jeff was noteworthy simply because it happens almost on a daily basis.

Jeff: "Son, stop crying."
Photobucket

Jeff: "Listen to me. When Mommy asks you to come down the steps, you need to come down the steps, ok?"
Photobucket

Logan: "No..oh...oh... [sniffle]... [hiccup]"
Photobucket

Jeff: "You need to listen to Mommy and Daddy or else you can go wait in the car while everyone else goes to the really fun and exciting visitor's center." [Italics indicate sarcasm.]
Photobucket

Logan: "I want to go to the vititor center."
Jeff: "Then stop crying."
Logan: "[sniffle] ...ok."
Photobucket

Five minutes later:
Logan: "Cheese!"
Photobucket

Savannah, on the other hand, was so thrilled to be outside she didn't complain once. She just sat there in the flowers and begged to have her picture taken.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Here's something you don't see everyday. A picture of me on my blog!

Photobucket

The human vacuum

Savannah is our human vacuum. Since she learned to crawl she has been all over the kitchen floor, cleaning up soggy cheerios and graham cracker crumbs. It has really helped her dexterity. It's also helped minimize the number of times I have to sweep in a day. A few weeks ago she found some of Logan's lunch on the floor. In addition to trying out the new food, she also modeled a new style. What do you think: macaroni bows? I'm thinking she's got a future in fashion.

Photobucket

Upgrading

Since we moved into our home nearly a year ago, we've had all sorts of grand ideas for how we were going to improve and update different aspects of it. Every so often Jeff would pull me into our bedroom and explain how we were going to replace our tiny shower with an extra-wide jetted tub. I would smile and nod and wish that we really could, but I never really believed we would do it.

One morning I came home from a photo shoot and found Jeff in our room with a sledgehammer. Thus began a 6 week project to rip out a closet, expand our bathroom, redo the plumbing, heating, and electrical, install a tub, tile the surround, and install fixtures. Although we still have a few things left to do (install a shower door and repaint), I can't believe how much I love it. In fact, I love it so much it inspired another home improvement project: painting the kitchen cabinets. I'll have to post about that another day because I'm only halfway done and I don't plan on finishing anytime soon.

This was the shower before. I was always hitting my head on the shelf and Jeff really had to duck to get under the shower head.



Here is the mess we lived with during the project.

Photobucket

Ta da!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Logan did the honors of breaking in the jets.

Photobucket