Monday, March 30, 2009

Elijah's First Birthday

It is so much fun to photograph Elijah. He is always so sweet and happy! One just can't help but smile when he's around.


I love the shamrocks in spring. I took this today with the Lensbaby Muse I won for a Photo of the Month on I stacked both Macro Filters on the lens and hand-held the camera.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Coming Soon

Elijah's first birthday is coming very soon. We did his portraits early so they could be included in the party invitations. More pictures coming soon, but here's a sneak peek for mom:

What a Cutie!

I don't care if this is my own grandson ... they just don't get any cuter than this!

Face Painting

Our younger granddaughter spent the night with us Friday night. Always the one to expose them to creative opportunities, I pulled out the crayola paints designed for bathtubs. Of course, we painted her face as well as the tub. Most of it had already washed off by the time I snapped the last picture in the series:

Imagine my surprise today when I received a text from my son telling me to get my camera ready. It seems that on the way to our house for lunch, she had painted her face with MARKERS while in the back seat! LOL!

Addie and the Cake

How do you move from the photo on the left to the photo on the right?

Addie was a little shy at first ... not sure it was okay ... wondering if she was going to get into trouble ... was she going to hear "no no!" ... wasn't sure she really liked the feel of the sticky frosting on her fingers ...

But, as with most of us girls, all it took was a taste of that sweet confection to realize it was a great moment in her life! a new discovery!

And she devoted herself to pursuing the biggest sugar high of her young life!

Happy First Birthday, Miss Addie!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My "Baby" is back!

Canon Customer Service Rocks

If you follow my blog, you know my Canon 5D suffered a mirror detachment problem recently. I called Canon Customer Service on the Friday afternoon that it happened. They sent me a prepaid shipping label on Monday. I took it to the UPS store on Tuesday. I was able to confirm it had been delivered to Canon via the UPS tracking label. Canon emailed me on the next Monday that the initial evaluation had been conducted and they expected to be through with the repairs within two weeks. I got an email yesterday (Tuesday) that it had been repaired and shipped. FedEx delivered it to my door today. They not only put in a new mirror at no charge, but they adjusted the settings, cleaned the sensor and checked all the factory specs! Time from initial contact to receiving it back: 12 days! And that counts weekends!! Total business days: 8! The only thing Canon could possibly have done to make this experience more pleasant was to come to my house to repair and clean it!

Maggie Named a Finalist

This image of cute little Maggie was named as a finalist today in's monthly competition. See her little teeth showing like she's saying "cheese!" Over 19,000 images were entered last month, so it is quite an honor to be among the finalists in the "animals" category.

The judges will select the top images over the next few days. While I love this image and am very proud of it, I will be very surprised if it makes it into the top group. When judges are faced with images that have equal technical merit, they will often - and rightly so - choose the image that was more difficult to capture. There are some amazing images of eagles, coyotes, wolves, alligators, etc. that are competing against this cute little girl. It's very hard for a studio shot to win over a gorgeous image of giraffes with their necks wrapped around each other in front of a setting sun with dust from the savanna vignetting them! So I'll hope for the best, but am just very proud that we're a finalist.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Pregnancy and birth are miraculous journeys. This amazing time of life is full of mystery, anticipation, joy, hope, and wonder. Feeling the powerful energy of birth and new life, watching as a new family is born unto each other. These things humble and amaze. These are the things that we celebrate when a baby is born.

But there is another aspect of pregnancy and birth. There is an unexpected place in this journey where some families may find themselves. When a baby dies, a world is turned upside down. There is confusion, sadness, fear, and uncertainty that cannot be explained. There is sorrow where there should have been joy. During this time, it might be impossible for families to know what they might need in order to heal in the future.

This is the place where the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation gently provides a helping hand and a healing heart. For families overcome by grief and pain, the idea of photographing their baby may not immediately occur to them. Offering gentle and beautiful photography services in a compassionate and sensitive manner is the heart of this organization. The soft, gentle heirloom photographs of these beautiful babies are an important part of the healing process. They allow families to honor and cherish their babies, and share the spirits of their lives.

I am pleased to be among several photographers in the Montgomery area who are volunteers for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. If you know of a family or hospital who would benefit from these free services, please visit the website to learn more: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. You may also contact our area coordinator, Judy Barranco ( |334.652.2715), as all requests for service are coordinated through her.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Every Little Girl Needs a Tutu

Here are a few more from Addie's portrait session today before I call it a night. I just love tutus and was so pleased when Addie's mom brought along this frilly little pink one.

Addie's First Birthday outfit:

It's Somebody's Birthday ...

Miss Addie turned one year old this week! And we have the cake pictures to prove it! There are lots more coming, but I just had to upload this cute one before cleaning up!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Little Private Joke

This will only make sense to photographers who have attended a Sandy Puc' seminar... I saw these at the Dollar Tree and had to get one for each of my photographer friends who went to Atlanta to see the Sandy Puc' Tots2Teens tour:

Lori, Judy, Anna, Shae and Suzanne ... I had to get one for each of you! LOL!

Clothes Dryer and Wood Hyacinths

Okay, so you're wondering what clothes dryers and wood hyacinths have in common: right now they are both beautiful to me.

My faithful old clothes dryer spun its last round about a week and a half ago. Knowing its age and how many clothes it had dried over the years, my first thought was, "Let's go get a new one." This is where being married to a do-it-yourself-er has its downside (in case you've forgotten that it took me 18 years to get my mailbox replaced!). My husband didn't want to look for a new dryer ... he wanted to try to fix this one! Naturally, he waited until after the maid service came on Wednesday to haul everything out of the laundry room so he'd have room to "fix it." That's not to mention all the lint that was tracked around my freshly cleaned house. And there it all stayed until last night (7 days later) while he was "fixin' it." After countless hours of heaving and hoeing and running parts all over town to have them checked, he finally said, "Let's go get a new one." We got it on Tuesday and he set it up last night (we couldn't let Sears do that because we're a do-it-yourself-er!). Usually, laundry ranks right down there with getting groceries, but today I've washed and dried everything in the house! Even socks that I have no match for are now washed and dried! We surely do take little things for granted, don't we!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Enjoy Flowers

I hate going to the grocery store. I consider it a huge waste of time. I'd rather order take-out or delivery and spend my time doing other things. When I absolutely must go, I try to reward myself with some cut flowers. These tulips have brought me so much pleasure today, after a forced trip to Publix, that I just had to stop and photograph them. Hope they will bring a smile to your face, too.

MANE, Montgomery Area Nontraditional Equstrians

MANE, Montgomery Area Nontraditional Equestrians, is a non-profit organization formed in 1994 that provides safe and effective therapeutic horseback riding opportunities to Montgomery and Tri-County area children and adults with emotional, physical, cognitive, and developmental disabilities. MANE’s new 30-acre site is located at 3699 Wallahatchie Road in East Montgomery and includes an outdoor riding ring, office, 12-stall barn with indoor riding area, and a 3-acre state-of-the-art sensory integration trail. MANE serves around 90 individuals weekly and currently has a waiting list for services during their 4 sessions throughout the year.

With my love of animals and background in Special Education, this seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to give back to my community ... especially when they needed someone to photograph their annual benefit!

The banquet and auction (both silent and live) were held at the beautiful Wynlakes Country Club. Elizabeth Via Brown, Society Editor for Montgomery Living Magazine, will be detailing the event in a future issue of the magazine. I just wanted to post a few images on the blog in hopes that you'll investigate this worthy opportunity in our community : Mane Website.

Monday, March 16, 2009


One of the most popular exhibits at the Science Fest I was photographing Friday was the Chemistry Lab! The AP chemistry teacher did a great job of holding the children's attention and getting them excited about chemistry!

I couldn't resist dragging the shutter on these shots and using a cross-processing action. The guys were trying to blow out the lightbulb.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Quelle Horror!

Thankfully, I read a post on Monday (3/10) about a somewhat common issue with the Canon 5D on my favorite digital photography forum (Digital Image Cafe). So, when I was photographing an event on Friday, heard a clunk and suddenly couldn't see through my viewfinder I knew exactly what had happened. The mirror had detached: This was my last image and the mirror had apparently already detached at this point:

I honestly don't know what I would have done if I hadn't read the forum post on Monday! I called Canon, they're sending a UPS label and repairing it at no charge.

Thanks to a fellow photographer and wonderful friend/person, I have a 5D to use while I'm waiting on mine to get repaired. So, if you have an appointment scheduled during March/April you have no need to worry!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Road Trip

Six River Region photographers took a road trip to Atlanta yesterday to attend a photography seminar. We had a great time discussing cameras, children, blogs, facebook, print labs, etc. Here's a snapshot of us at the seminar:

Left to right:
Suzanne Williams of Suzanne Williams Photography
DiAnna Paulk of Photography by DiAnna Paulk (me)
Lori Mercer of Lori Mercer Photography
Judy Barranco, who has no blog or website - we told her she had to get one of each! Judy does mainly stock photography
Anna Bishop of Anna Bishop Photography
Shae Owens of Shae Owens Photography

Okay, so we're not so creative with our studio names! LOL! But there is a lot of creative energy within the group. Most of us are portrait and/or wedding photographers.

We also stopped for a bite to eat on the way there. We left at 10:00 AM yesterday morning and got back around 2 AM this morning!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Signs of Spring

Who would believe we'd have such a beautiful spring day yesterday when we'd experienced snow last Sunday? What a difference 7 days can make!

My husband loves his apple trees, so I try to get a few pics of the blossoms each year.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mama's Got a Brand New Mailbox!

About 18 years ago, a friend backed into my mailbox bending the metal post. I've been begging for a new mailbox since it happened, but my frugal husband just kept thinking he could fix it. He finally gave up this year and bought a new post. He then proceeded to put the old,rusty mailbox back on top! LOL! My daughter came to the rescue with a new, hand-painted mailbox for my birthday. My husband got it placed on the post last night. I wanted to document the special occasion before it gets hit again!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

South Pacific

It's time for the annaul Spring Play at Trinity Presbyterian School. This year they're performing South Pacific. These are just a few of the more than 500 images that will be uploaded for them in an online gallery. The photos were taken at their dress rehearsal on Wednesday night. I thought the kids did a great job, not to mention the beautiful set by the art department and the expert leadership of several current and former teachers and assistants.

May I say that stage lighting is very challenging to capture in photographs!

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