October 25, 2012

Awkward & Awesome Thursday: cinq

  • Walking through a cornfield with a heavy ladder in a white shirt and denim skirt.  The white shirt was more gray when I cam out and my legs were red and brown, but it was worth it. :-)  I discovered a "smallish sort of wilderness" and Lady Catherine DeBourgh would say.
  • Walking down the road with said ladder and model friend when 3 guys drive by honking their horn, swerving, and laughing hysterically.
  • Sending a client's photo CD at the post office and having the lady who was serving me say as she gave me my receipt "Hey, he's about your age, he's pretty cute!" and nodding toward the guy at the register next to me.  I had no idea how to reply so I broke into my really huge embarrassed grin and left expeditiously while shaking my head.
  • I actually thought about wearing shorts over tights today.  Yikes.  That isn't even cool. Why did I want to do that?  Must be all over Pinterest.
  • Because I've been sick and nothing really awkward happened to me. :-)

  • Going out on unexpected senior shoots!
  • Getting re-inspired to shoot
  • CP Navigate.  It is part of my schooling but it is really getting me to think through everything.
  • Half of my best friend is coming this weekend!  Can't wait to see Kara again.
  • Going to a Bonfire at a friend's house and actually having a blast and talking to people. :-)
  • Getting some sewing done even though I'm to sick to move. :-) Yay for audiobooks, needles, and thread!
  • This song:  Life is beautiful by the Afters.  Pretty awesome, no?  It makes me cry, and worship, and laugh, and sing and relax.

October 23, 2012

PhotoEx 2012 Day 1: Saturday in Westminster

IPS PhotoEx 2012: London and Paris

Where does one start?  At the beginning?  Like when I first heard about it?  When I first got to London? When I met up with IPS?  There is so much to tell, SO many pictures, so many amazing experiences to describe and so many fantastic people to introduce you to!  Because I didn't get a whole bunch of pictures of myself with my camera (go figure right? ;-) I'll be snagging some off facebook and giving credit the awesome photographer responsible.

January 3, 2012
I had hear a rumor that IPS was going to London and Paris but it wasn't until this day that all the info was listed on the website.  I watched the entire slideshow video...twice.  I read everything they had to write about the trip I investigated tickets looked at the price, got super excited and went to talk to my parents.  I still had 6 months to earn money and my parents agreed to help me out.  I went to sleep, or rather, went to bed ecstatic.  I didn't sleep for a long time.  I prayed about it and just stared up at the starry sky from my bed.  I could go to Europe!  I could be in Paris on my 18th birthday! I would get to use my little french and see all these places I had read about!  

I kept looking at the sky; my brain was racing at 100 miles a minute.  Then I saw it.  And I took a picture of it.  Because, well, I don't know it just seemed special and I'm a photographer so I always have my camera by my bedside. :-)  I got up in the cold and ran through the dark house to get my intervalometer and my Dad's tripod.  

Can you see it?  Well, I think it is part of a bigger constellation but these 5 starts looked just like a lopsided Eiffel Tower to me.  Let's just say I didn't fall asleep till around 2am.

Now, to make a very long story short, I contacted Jocelyn (IPS instructor, portrait photography wizard, wife of owner of IPS) and I was not eligible to go.  Cue complete devastation.  Ok, so not really.  It was hard, but not the end of the world.  Move on with life.

A couple weeks later I get another facebook message from Jocelyn.  

"I have sone good news for you. After a long process of trying to figure out if you could come with us to London and Paris we have come to the conclusion with our lawyers, insurance agent and board that you are officially invited!
The other good news is God seems to have help 1 spot for you. The trip filled expect for 1 girl spot in the first week it was posted. This has NEVER happened before smile"

Wow!  What are you doing Lord?  I'd just gotten over the idea of going to Europe anytime soon and then the door just swings open!  And after all of the nitty-gritty details that won't add anything to this post it was agreed that I would be going!  Going to Europe!!!  Inside I couldn't believe it and was exploding and on the outside my usual calm and collected self showed no change except jumping up and down or sharp intakes of breath every time I remembered.

The houses of parliament and bell tower containing "Big Ben"

On top of all this, I flew over a week early to spend a week with some friends of friends, but that is a story for another day.  These posts start on the afternoon I arrived at the Hostel and saw Rowan(owner of IPS) on his computer.  I was with IPS!!!!

People were arriving at all different times and slowly trickling into the Hostel so there were a couple hours of downtime where many of the girls slept to help with the jet-lag and I caught up on journalling from the week beforehand.  I'm still not done by the way...I think I got half way through the trip and then just journalized about whatever was happening at the time so as not to forget details, but then, of course, I was skipping be chunks.  I'm so glad I did it though.  Always journal, always remember.

Courtney, Anntonette, Madey, Moi, Weston, Mike
Red, white, and blue for the win!  But are we representing the U.S., Britain, or France?  Or Russia I guess...while I'm at it.  :-)
Photo by Jocelyn.

Traveling with IPS is very stress-free. In fact, there are only 3 rules.
#1 Don't Die. partially or fully
#2 Groups of Three. safety from danger, stupid, and awkward :-)
#3 Don't Fal in Love.  at least not on their watches. :-)

Follow those 3 rules and you're sure to have a splendid trip.  I think they're all very practical actually.  
Back: Brooke, Moi, Madey, Eli, Jocelyn, Anntonette, Kennan, Weston, Mike, Judson, Shasha, Marlene Front:Amy, Jasmine, Jennifer, Kelly, Ashley
Photo by Rowan

That is our whole group that afternoon in front of Westminster Abbey.  I miss these people.

Westminster Bridge
Judson (one of the instructors) explained about the history of the area and the statute of Boadicea(no picture, sorry).  He also read us this poem written by William Wordsworth on September 3, 1802 right where we were standing.

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear

The beauty of the morning: silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!

The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Houses of Parliament

Parliament Square
Where the protestor never sleeps.

Ignore us.  We're American photographers.

Westminster Abbey in its grandeur

Reflections!  This photo is rotated 180 degrees.

After exploring the Parliament Square/Westminster area the group walked to Buckingham Palace through St. James Park.  It was beautiful.

Yes, I know it looks like a castle from a fairytale but I assure you this is a public park. :-)

We could not get any closer than this to the palace because construction workers were busy taking down the bleachers that had been erected for the Diamond Jubilee concert in honor os HM Queen Elizabeth II's 60th year as queen.

A Marriot hotel in an old building : The boardwalk along the Thames

Beautiful Ashley sporting a sweet IPS strap.
"encounter God"

London Eye : Amy shooting

Busy London

Brooke :-)

Reflections on White Hall (the street with all of the political buildings)

Middlesex Guildhall

And I leave you with Brooke!

     After Buckingham Palace we walked to a lovely Italian restaurant and started getting to know all of our new friends!  Oh, and in case you were wondering, a courgette is in the squash family and it tasted amazing. :-)

October 22, 2012

EspeciallyEli ❘ Etsy Review

Hey guys!  Or Gals, rather...  I'm trying something new today!  A product review and etsy shop promotion!  I am the happy new owner of this "Solid Heart" necklace from this neat little etsy shop called EspeciallyEli!

I LOVE this necklace. 

 I wasn't paid to advertise this shop and I (though I am biased because I know Eli and she is amazingly sweet) am not biased by my association with the proprietor. :-)  I met Eli - short for Elizabeth - in London.  She was a fellow photographer on the IPS PhotoEx 2012 trip and I had the privilege of rooming with her in Paris and talking way to late while listening to OneRepublic. :-)

Here she is!  This is in Oxford.

O.K.  Back to the necklace.

The stone was "hand crafted" by an artist in the Chico California area.  The heart shape is perfect and there are very artistically carved grooves along the edges.  Eli then wrapped it beautifully in this wire and put it on a ribbon.  Such a good idea!  When I come across neat looking natrual things that can'e be drilled through I usually leave them the way they are.  When I do try to wrap things it, frankly, looks awful.  Eli not only made it look great but added all these cool squiggly designs to-boot!

Beautiful, high quality ribbon, just like the pendant.

Some of my favorites:

Chain Gang --- Cross my Heart

Be sure to go and check out her shop!  

October 18, 2012

Awkward & Awesome Thursday: quatre

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
  In the light of His glory and grace.


  • Fedex Office's print examples.  The one that is supposed to be an engagement picture with room next to it for people to sign as a wedding guest book shows a couple where the girl doesn't even have an engagement ring on.  Come on guys.
  • Retro phones.  In case all you iPhone users are sick of holding the phone to your ear you can now buy "Retro-phones."  It is an old corded phone (think rotary phone style) that you plug into the headphone jack!  Can you imagine stopping at a red light and looking at the person next to you who is talking on a bright red corded phone?  
  • Accidentally matching a guy at our Bible Study.  :-/  
  • Chauffeuring my brothers to co-op and having people make comments like "didn't she graduate last year?"  Yes people.  I did.  Topish of the class in fact, I didn't flunk and decide to come back.
  • Shopping at Lowes for some foam (post to come).  Three different people helped me and the last one was WAY to friendly.  Punk.  
  • Carrying a piece 4x10 foot piece of foam out to the car on a windy day...and it being to big to fit in the van.  We made it fit. :-)
  • Handel's Messiah!  My Dad and I have sung this gorgeous oratorio with the Rockford Choral Union for 7 years (9 or 10 for him).  It is such a lovely work and rehearsals just started up last Sunday.  It felt so good to sing it again.  We perform free concerts with the best chamber orchestra that Rockford and Chicago can give the weekend of thanksgiving.  These are world class musicians and it is crazy that I know half of them personally.  
  • New patterns from Joanns!  McCalls were 99¢ this week and I got some I wouldn't normally have gotten.
  • Victories over self.  Ever so small and SO hard, but so freeing.  Doing the right thing is always worth it.
  • Midnight meals.  Out family has whoever wants to come over on Wednesdays after Prayer Meeting and we have a late dinner and just talk and laugh while we eat/cook.  It is awesome. :-)
  • Words of the day.  I get them on my iPod.  I LOVE learning new words.
  • Passé Compossé.  Auxiliary verbs and past participles in french?  Oh yeah. :-)  Syntax geek here.
  • My knee healed up just fine after 48 hours in an ace bandage.
  • Sock bun curls!  

October 12, 2012

Bethany {Class of 2013}

I was so excited when Bethany's Mom approached me about senior pictures.  I've only met Bethany a couple times...conferences, co-ops, parties.  She is a good friend of friend (Remember Casey?) so I saw her a couple times and I got one of those photographer nudges.  You know, the one that says "I really, really want to take their picture!"  I had so much fun shooting with you and your mom, Bethany!  

Bethany is currently homeschooled and is thinking about CollegePlus! as the next step in her education.  I just started it myself so I was surprised and excited to learn that.  You'll do great!

We shot at Lockwood Park and got to "work"(read that: tried to get them to cooperate) with the horses she worked with all summer...

Bethany, you can ROCK the serious face.  I kept just saying "perfect...perfect...perfect" throughout the shoot.  You knew exactly what I was going for and nailed it.  You give me that mysterious face up there and then...

...you laugh through your eyes like you don't know what a frown is.

A lover of books and reading.

She also has a beautiful voice.  Check out the YouTube channel she and her sister have to hear them sing. :-)  Simplyacapella.

Check out the Eiffel Tower earrings!  My kinda girl. 

 My favorite. :-)  Bethany you have such a beautiful spirit and it pours out through your eyes!