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Tiny. Juvenile animals are so entrancing. I touched his tiny little toes and I could barely feel them. I wonder what it was like for him to be touched by an animal whose single finger segment is heftier than his entire body?

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Fireworks

Jeremy and I aren’t that great at celebrating things on the day they’re intended to be celebrated. I enjoy the bit of spontaneity that affords us though. A few friends came over and hung out well after July 4th. We shot some fireworks and enjoyed ourselves on a Wednesday!

Rainbow

I had a super busy week at work and then I was allowed a break on Saturday to spend time up in Helen with family. I worked most of Sunday and a good portion of Friday but I am so close to wrapping up my photography work until August!!!! It’s going to be like summer vacation just working around 40 hours a week. LOL!

When I think of rainbows, I think of the promise of something better.  Driving home Saturday, wishing I had the time to actually spend the night with my family.. we ran across this rainbow. It was so beautiful I made my brother pull over at the nearest, non-wooded gas station.  This silly little phone picture doesn’t do it justice. Just staring at it for a few minutes refreshed my soul and I carried the happiness with me the rest of the day. :)

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Head Down

I’ve been working hard on some photographs these last two weeks! I did have somewhat of a mental breather this weekend where I didn’t do much except see family and friends. :) Here’s a couple of photos from the last few events/sessions!

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Clean Bandit

 

This song makes me feel all sorts of romantic. I’m working on the New York city photos here and there but my priority is the wedding I shot last weekend.  I’m really busy, guys. But not in the SIGH MY LIFE IS SO BUSY way. In a good, wow am I living my dream? kind of way. I’ll update, soon!

Off Camera

It’s been a long time coming, but I finally went ahead and bought some extra flash guns. The cool part is that these are completely radio controlled. I love the dramatic light I can produce now and really look forward to using my new off camera techniques at my upcoming weddings! They’ll get plenty of use as I have three weddings to shoot between two weekends right after we return from New York.

I still have plenty to learn but I am thrilled with all the new light possibilities that have opened up to me. This is the first real photograph I set up with the external flash directly shooting at this old Kodak I have in some shelves. The detail in the shadows is because the flash on the body also fired. I went pixel peeping and there was nary a grain on the photo. Normally I’d be firing and bouncing off a wall to the left or right to get a similar effect but have to shoot at something like ISO 400 to make sure I got the exposure I wanted.

Anyway I’m really excited!

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Photograph taken with 2x Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT

Tennessee River

Last Sunday, Jeremy and I took a day trip with our friends Val & Sam to Chattanooga.  Towards the end of the day, we stopped on the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge and enjoyed the waning sunlight.  The Tennessee River is flanked with some pretty white cliffs, and the Delta Queen is stationed for the evening at the shore.  KD2A1210-Edit-X3

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Tennessee isn’t what I think of when I consider a vacation getaway but I’m changing my mind. On this trip, we happened to wind up in the art district and it tingled my visual senses. Awesome art pieces had been installed among a mishmash of building styles. There was also what appeared to be an art museum on the cliff in the photo above. I think a coffee and art tour of the city would be really fun. Next time, I think that’ll be our plan!

Takin Care of Business

April sure was a busy month for both Jeremy and I! Both of us have large workloads at our jobs, have been taking care of several photography clients, and trying our best not to pull out our hair as we make improvements around the house and plan some upcoming travel. Last night we finished off two bottles of wine and laughed fairly uncontrollably at Blazing Saddles and two episodes of Futurama and did not a shred of work.  It was glorious. Despite how busy we are, we’re thankful for all the things that keep us busy. It’s all positive stuff! We’ve really enjoyed our clients lately. I want to share two with you, a pretty senior and a great Ethiopian couple.

Jazmyne’s mom reached out to me in early April after seeing some of my work with one of my colleague’s daughters.  Since daylight hours extend well into the evenings now,  we chose an evening session. Best decision ever! Golden hues everywhere, and cool weather just made this shoot perfect. Plus Jazmyne was willing  to try some new things with me. I loved it.

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Nia and Ibrahim are a really fun couple with some urban preferences! I love it when couples ask for city styled shoots because that means I get to shoot in the heart of my favorite city. We chose the park around the Millenium Gate, Westside Market, and Tech Campus. Nia is a photographer herself and just came with oodles of poses ready to go! I barely had to tell them to do anything! They just fell into pretty poses for me! She’s a software engineer too so I really liked her!!! Ibrahim was a fun personality and it was so obvious he loves Nia A LOT! :)

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I’ve been having a grand few weeks!
On a slightly less happy note, I have been referred to a nephrologist since I’ve been having renal issues for weeks now. We hope the symptoms are just a side effect of a resilient respiratory infection I’ve been battling but we will know after they do some more tests! I feel pretty great so thankfully it’s not getting in the way of my life or anything but it is a little nagging thought in the back of my head.

This weekend Jeremy and I are shooting a party at the local Hilton and then heading out to Chattanooga for another wildlife tour and cruise with our good buddies Val and Sam! I am SUPER excited about hanging out with them. :)

The Fault in Our Stars

the-fault-in-our-starsI don’t usually have a lot of time set aside for reading but I’ve been picking up a few more books lately. The fault in our stars was recommended through GoodReads and looked like a short read. This is terrible, but what the cover of the book looks like heavily influences whether I pick up the book or not. By the way, I like chalkboard text. :)

The story follows two teenagers struggling with terminal health issues as they fall in love.  Romantic, I’m not, but this book had me tearing through the pages while trying to really soak in this relationship. The hard truths of reality mixing with the effervescent emotions of young love made for a gripping contrast.

I enjoy the read, to the very last sentence and nearly fell in love with Augustus Waters myself. Don’t tell my husband. Do pick up this book. :)

Easter

I had a wonderful Easter weekend, although it started crummily. I contracted some sort of disease from a coworker and it kept me home for two days last week.  It was completely inopportune considering how much collaborative work I needed to complete at the office.  I’m on some strong antibiotics, which always seems to mess up my entire digestive tract. On the flip side I have some really sweet friends. Friday night Sam & Val came over and we consumed an Argentinian themed dinner and watched Frozen together. We had a small adventure where a large outdoor cockroach made it’s way in and climbed up my body. That was fun and screamy.

Saturday, it rained and my morning e-session rescheduled. I enjoyed sleeping in. I met with two wonderful clients later in the day once the sun broke out. I’m looking forward to June, when I am packed with weddings! On Sunday night my BFFs Sana and Ami came over and brought me food, cheered me up, and then watched Frozen with me. :) I love them so much.

Sunday we headed to Easter service at 9am, which surprisingly wasn’t much more packed than normal church service. I admit I was glad since I expected to slowly roam out of the parking lot over 45 minutes amidst hundreds of Easter service attendees.  We were out in 10! Sunday afternoon we met with my entire mum’s side family for Easter lunch. I really enjoy my family, they are the best.

We hung out with my brother and his buddies at a coffee shop in the evening and I saw this pretty mockingbird in the trees.  Spring is here. The weather is still throwing some cold curveballs now and then but I’ll take it. Yesterday while standing outside Thousand Hills and trying to figure out what to do we realized it was 7pm! It felt like it was 3pm the way the sun was shining.  I love that so much.  :)

Hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend too!

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Missed

Shots like this just kill me. The bird is in position, just waiting for you to take your awesome shot and then BAM as soon as your finger makes it to the trigger, it shows you its butt.  There’s a life metaphor in here somewhere.

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Twenty Percent

I woke up this morning feeling like trash. One of my coworkers has been coming in hacking and coughing and I think I caught the bug. I dragged myself to the bathroom scale, expecting a load of water weight gain but to my surprise I was down today! Today marks the lowest weight I have been in about 15 months. It also marks the 20% lost marker to my goal weight.

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I’m on my way down! Jeremy is also doing pretty great. He’s a couple pounds ahead of me in weight loss and he’s looking  fantastic. 

Anyway I still feel like shit but looking at my little progress meter reach 20% put pep in my step.

Whistling Past The Graveyard

I highly recommend this quick read! It’s a mid century, Tom Sawyer-esque piece that touches on racism in the south and the brokenness of all people. I won’t say much about it other than go pick up a copy!

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Dark and Lights

I had a lot of processing to do this week. Lots. I am barely halfway through Rachael and Joe’s E-Session  and I had this Senior Session to work through with Winny.

I’m loving my Black and White preset. It’s a modified preset from one of my long time photography heros, with a few tweaks of my own. With the film effects I’ve been gravitating to lately (intense pop colors matched with faded shadows and higlights) I can’t even call it black and white since there isnt any true blacks or whites in the photo anymore.

New York through my lens, dressed in this rich monochrome is going to warrant a small photobook. <3 Come on, May!

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Keep Calm & Keto On

I made a small poster for my cubicle wall to help me stay on track at work, where donuts, candy and other goodies are ever present. Jeremy and I hit a plateau for about a week because we got super busy, wound up eating out a lot, and I didn’t have enough time to spend on my treadmill desk. One thing is for sure is that eating out keto is dangerous. What you think is keto could have tons of additives that are not keto at all. Also the large amount of salt in restaurant prepared foods means I bloat and hold on to water weight easily.  Essentially, there is no such thing for my body as eating out keto.  I was happy to see the scale move downwards again. :)

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Pollen

Every year I relive the same stupid love affair with Georgia weather. I pine for the warm breeze, green leaves, and bunches of flowers to replace the dreary dead trees, freezing temps, and early sunsets. When spring shows it’s face I’m ecstatic, running around as if reunited with a long lost lover. Then my arch nemesis, the clouds of pollen, punch me in the face and put a miserable barrier between myself and the outdoors. I spent all of yesterday essentially snotting up my lungs and wishing I were dead.

I don’t like to turn to medication but this is pretty extreme so I’m putting myself back on a regimen of antihistamines. You win this time, Ga. You win everytime.

The Beautiful Things

Destination Known

Jeremy and I have booked our trip to NYC! But we actually have two minitrips scheduled before we head to the big apple. Does anyone even call it the big apple anymore? I feel like I’m going to be given the look I give out of towners when they call my city ‘Hotlanta’.  We are going to go to Tennessee for two weekends! One for whitewater river rafting and another for some more bird watching with Sam and Val.  I know Jeremy intends to make a trip to Greyfriar’s each time. :)

I have been terrible at updating my blog because I have been so busy! Jeremy and I finally filed our taxes jointly married. It was a pain in the arse between our business, rentals, and the plethora of other crap we do that’s not standard. I think back fondly on the days of 1040Ez.  This year I want to start actively investing so 2015 taxes will be even more fun I’m sure.

I’ve also got weekend after weekend booked with photography gigs. I am enjoying watching my business flourish. It’s not taking over my life though, which is the best part. That is the best part of both my income earners, actually. I love having the option to always say no to clients and projects and things I don’t want to do while maintaining the growth to say yes so many times! I hope it’s that way forever.

It’s a happy Friday! I’m going to spend it playing the Wii U and seeing some friends. Maybe I’ll even take the new lens for another spin! <3

 

Truffles

The kind people at St. Joseph’s mercy care gave me some truffles yesterday! I of course had to go home and photograph them. :)
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Progress

About a month ago I posted about how I was in a place where I was trading efficiency, rest and progress for 45 extra minutes on tumblr scrolling through nothing of consequence. And so I promised myself (and you, friends) that I'd do better in a measurable way.

So three things happened as a direct result of that decision.

1) I aquired a walking treadmill

2) I started tracking my sleep hours and movement at night

3) I changed my diet to one where I am guaranteed an increase in mental clarity

It's been three weeks now and I have some awesome results to show for it. All three changes were made in a way that didn't require much willpower. I'm not a master of doing the harder thing consistently. I just don't. Maybe it was my upbringing or just my genetics or how I choose to implement my free will but that's just the way it's been so far. So the approach to each of the improvements had to change. I needed to use my laziness to my advantage.

Exercise. Jeremy got me a treadmill desk. This instantly increased my activity level from a sedentary 2miles of walking a day to 10 + miles a day. I don't have to think about it. I don't have to try. Using the computer comes naturally. It's where I do my work, my entertainment, my finances, my news, my social interactions, my business. Now I do all those things while walking. It's NO effort now. I have to be on the treadmill to use the computer. I am never going to not use the computer. So that works.

Sleep. I am in bed by 12 and I sleep until at least 8. This too was more easily implemented after my treadmill desk became part of my life. When someone as out of shape as me suddenly walks nearly a half marathon a day they get tired. The kind of tired you should be to fall asleep really fast and sleep HARD. I sleep about 45 minutes more than I did before. I thought it was hilarious that it was cut by essentially my tumblr time. And guess what's been missing from my life for a few weeks? Tumblr. It's not a loss. I'm not in some weird fog at the end of the day where my body isn't tired enough to warrant a trip to bed. I always want to go to bed.  The sleep when I do fall asleep? Deep. I can't remember the last time I had this many dreams. They're all good dreams and I move a lot less at night ( according to the iphone app that measures movement ). I wake up well rested. I can see the difference because my eyes dont turn red around 6pm.

Food. This is a big one. Jeremy and I have started the ketogenic diet together. It's essentially grain-less paleo the way we are doing it. It is nothing short of amazing. The first three days were rough. Just dropping grains and sugar is really freaking hard for someone who… loves sugar. I love sugar. But after the sugar cravings died, the hunger disappeared altogether. That's an amazing effect of the diet. There is also a significant increase in mental clarity and focus. We made this a no-brainer by cooking it all up front on one day and having every meal planned for days. They're all tasty, and laziness wins out everytime. No thinking + eating immediately > Thinking + Eating out.

You know what a fun side effect is? Weightloss. It's not much. Probably just less water but Im enjoying the slightly less tight pants. :p Still kinda tight though.

Thank you laziness for improving my life!

Also this is the image I got when I googled progress and change. I'm just going to go with it. 

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Throwback #009

This photo was taken July of 2005, at a petting zoo. I’m only nineteen in this photo! But more importantly LOOK AT MY WAIST. It is SO SMALL. I was about 180lbs in this photo. I’m headed back there! :P
I also love this photo because photobombing goat.

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