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Friday, December 24, 2010

Roscoe's First Christmas -- Arizona Pet Photographer

This year was Roscoe's 1st Christmas ever.

And boy, he sure was curious with all of the hustle and bustle going on around him!
The first thing he just had to check out was the Christmas tree--what dog can resist?

What started off as looking,
soon became sniffing,
which became licking,
which became tasting
some of those delicious
Christmas tree branches.

Oh Roscoe.

Roscoe's got a long history of begging antics and Christmas Eve was no exception! We had these hot dogs stuffed with cheese and wrapped in dough (sound gross and yeah, it's unhealthy, but they are so good!) and of course he went wild. He was on a mission to get some of those stuffed dogs.

He started off by trying the stare tactic.

When that didn't work, he got up and tried the pleading, "please-give-me-a-bite" puppy dog eyes.

(I'm telling you, this dog's a pro!)

When all else fails, he always pulls out his, "I'll do a trick for you!" manuever.

Which of course, it did.

He's got a couple of suckers.

Roscoe got to open his first Christmas presents this year.
Last night he got some toys....

.......which he destroyed within the hour......

Oh Roscoe.

He's been making "snow" for us almost every morning.

He's been chewing his stuffed toys open and leaving his version of "snow" all over the house and backyard. I think he's bored and needs walked. Either that or he's a Christmas dog and is getting into the spirit of decorating. ; )

He couldn't wait to rip into his presents tonight.

With a flurry of paper, he had his toy in, mouth and off he went! He went straight to the door to take his newfound treasure outside to start the work of dismantling it and tearing it apart.

He came back in the house a happy dog.


Until we decided to play dress up and pretend that Roscoe was a reindeer.

He sat looking pretty, but he did not like those antlers.

At all.

Off they came in about 2 seconds!

By the end of the night, he was pooped and crashed in the light of the Christmas tree and his looming dog crate. I'm sure he was dreaming of sugarplums, Santa, Christmas trees, chasing cats, eating the reindeer's food, playing ball with ornaments, fetching candy canes and wishing everyday were Christmas.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Roscoe survived his first Christmas and I hope that you enjoy yours as much as he did!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Why I Celebrate and Love Christmas { 2010 }

People celebrate at this time of year for many different reasons and each reason is special.

I love that we can each celebrate something special and have a reason to smile during this time of the year, whether it be Christmas, Hannukah, Kwaanza, etc.

The joy of sharing with others, spending time with family and friends, the smell of yummy goodies cooking in the kitchen, the birth of hope for a good year ahead and goodwill shared between people during this time of year is enough to bring a smile to anyone's face! : )

My family and I have a very special reason for celebrating during this time of year too. 

We choose to celebrate at this time of year to honor the birth of Jesus and the love that God poured out on the world through Him.

We celebrate Christmas because we believe in the love expressed by a Father who's heart passion is to fellowship with His creation.

My family and I love to celebrate by decorating a Christmas tree, sharing gifts, baking a yummy meal and spending time with one another. This year, we'll also be going to a special Christmas church service. It's important for us to spend time with each other and to remember what God did for us.

My favorite song this year is, "Bethlehem Dawn" by Christian artist, Todd Agnew. It left me in tears the other day because it was such a powerful reminder of how very much I am loved by my Savior, even though I am so undeserving of receiving it. Yet, He continues to pour it out on me.

As I wrap gifts, I find myself feeling excitement on the inside, wondering if the recipient's face is going to shine alight with joy for what they are receiving.

And that thought makes me stop and ponder....

...I'll bet that's how God felt when He gave His Son as a gift to the world.
How His heart must have been thrilled to share His very best and most thought-over present, wrapped up with the bows and ribbons of love.

It's a thought that makes me stop for a few minutes admist all the flurry of wrapping gifts and hustle and bustle of the last few days before Christmas...and makes me....


Thankful for everlasting and unconditional love.

Thankful for the reason why I celebrate this time of year.

Thankful for all of the blessings that have been poured out into my life.

In the simplicity and quiet of the season, I see a star shining in the sky and it's shining for you and for me. It's lighting the way to the best Christmas present ever.

And His name is Jesus.

Merry Christmas from my heart to yours! : )

To read more about why my family and I celebrate the way we do you can check out the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus at:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What Do You Dream? -- Wishes

What dreams do you hold in your hands?

Don't be afraid to let those dreams SHINE!

If you could do anything and not fail at it, what would you do?

What stirs your heart?

What stirs your passion?

What are you gifted at?

What gift do you want to bring the world?

Dream those dreams and believe in them enough to work hard to achieve them!

Do you believe that you can make a difference?

I do.


I do.

Dream on, little dream, dream and one day you'll grow and bring light to the world.

Don't be afraid to dream those things in your heart! You have a special and unique way of touching and blessing the world in a way that no one else can.

Live what you were created for.

Let us all be better because you are doing what you were designed to do.

Let your dreams SHINE!

You can do it!


PS: I'd love to hear your feedback on this one! I love hearing about people's dreams, goals and ideas! I'd love to hear yours!

Christmas Card Designs -- { 2010 }

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I love the reason we celebrate Christmas (my family and I celebrate the birth of Jesus) and I love the sights and sounds that bring you back to feeling like you are a little child again (twinkling lights, old fashioned songs on the radio, gifts being exchanged, the smell of Christmas trees)

I also love designing customized Christmas cards for my clients.

Here are some from this year, including my own card:

Why I LOVE Photoshop!

Okay photographers, this one's for you!

I love using Photoshop because it can recover a lot of hues that are lost during an overcast day, as was the case with this picture that I took while on a trip to Napa. The clouds were heavy overhead and casting a greyish shadow on everything.

Not to fear, Photoshop is here!

In order to adjust the tones in a picture without over hue-ing (is that a word?) something, ISOLATE the colors and adjust them that way instead of adjusting everything at once.

Open up your hues panel.
(The shortcut for this one is: Control + U)

If you look under the preset option, you'll see something that says "Master." Master means all of the colors together at once. So, if you make any adjustments on the hue slider, you'll adjust all of the colors at one time to what you're telling it to do.

However, you can isolate each color and adjust each one separately.

Click on the drop down menu where it says "Master" and you'll see a list of colors pop up. Click on one of them so that it's selected.

For instance, I chose "yellow" and then slid the hue button back and forth until I came up with this:

Wow, all of a sudden, the yellows were muted and replaced with red!
This works good if you're looking for a monochromatic look.

You can also adjust per color by isolating the colors in CURVES, SELECTIVE COLOR, COLOR BALANCE, LEVELS and CHANNEL MIXER, etc. All are found under your Image-->Adjustments tab on the upper left hand corner.

For my photo purposes, I wanted more of the yellows to stand out in my photo, not be muted and blending in with the reds, so I increased the yellow hues in it and made them "pop".

Happy Photoshop-ing!

PS: Just a personal preference: I like to shoot in RAW because it allows me to recover a lot of shadow and light areas that may be lost with shooting in just JPEG format. I can't fit as many pictures as I'd like on my camera disk, but I have got backup disks to be able to take a lot of pictures at one event. It's helpful for me to shoot in RAW because then I can play with the picture as it was shot--I get to fully control how it's being edited, not the camera.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Princess Package & Photo Session


The Princess Package!

Okay, so I found myself having WAY too much fun with Princess Payton's photo shoot and really want to do lots more Fairytale photo shoots! It's in my heart and on my wish list this Christmas!

There is a reason behind that wish. Years ago, I worked in the Entertainment Department at Disneyland and loved seeing the eyes of little girls light up when they got the chance to meet their favorite Princess.

There were other eyes that lit up though too.

{ Mommy's eyes, remembering the days that she felt like a Princess } 

{The eyes of the girl on her boyfriend's arm, wishing that he'd magically become Prince Charming for her } 

{The eyes of the single girl imagining that she was a Princess who was about to be swept away by her Prince }

{ The Grandma who knew that she was as special as a Princess and carried herself with grace and dignity }

So many eyes, so many ages of hearts and still, they all seemed to wish the same thing:

"I want to be a Princess. I want to be beautiful. I want to be part of a fairytale where I'm loved and cherished."

It seems to be a message written on all of our hearts and I believe that it's been written there by our Creator who made us with dignity and beauty and to be loved and cherished forever.

I want all girls everywhere, of every and any age, of every and any size and shape and all walks of life to know just how very special they are and to embrace that THEY are a Princess from the inside, out.

I want to invest value and dignity back into the hearts of girls and women of all ages.

Will you let me be a part of helping you to see yourself as the beauty you are? To start seeing yourself with the value you really have? To start seeing yourself as the Princess you are?

I am booking now for January and would love to be given the chance to!

Monday, December 13, 2010

{ The Jennings Family }

When do adorable dimples and a sprinter have something in common?

When they both come neatly wrapped in a pint size little package of baby fun! I was given the wonderful opportunity to photograph the amazing Jennings family. Right off the bat, I knew that it was going to be a memorable photo shoot and that I was going to walk away a happy photographer. : )

They were welcoming and warm and made you feel like you've known them for years. It felt more like photographing some old friends rather than photographing someone I'd just met. They also had some pop to their step--some energy. This was going to be fun!

When Mama and Daddy Jennings stepped out of their car, they were all full of big, warm smiles and there was a light dancing in each of their eyes. Mama Jennings would tell me that this was their first "real" family photo session and I was delighted to capture their family with my camera lens!

{ By the way, um, yeah! I feel like one blessed photographer!
I keep getting THE nicest clients EVER! }


Baby Jennings, the little guy of the family and sprinter of the family, looked at my camera lens for a few moments, then decided that he was determined to give me a workout! ; )

Almost 2, this little guy was full of energy...and FAST!

ZOOM! His little feet were scurrying away at the speed of light!
I can almost hear his thoughts:

"You think you're fast, photographer lady? Come catch me! Come catch me!"

Thankfully, Big Brother Jennings was there to come to the rescue and catch him for all of us. You can tell how much Baby Jennings loves his Big Brother Jennings. He's already looking up to him and loves him.

Big Brother Jennings was definitely mature beyond his years and you can tell that he's responsible in the way he acted and took care of his brother. : ) Such a great kid!

As we walked around a little bit, I asked Mama and Daddy Jennings to spend some time with their kids while I shot from a distance and captured what I saw.

Here is what unfolded--can't you just feel the love oozing between this family?

I love moments like these because I cannot create these with my camera. Each person, each family does on their own. I love to see families interact in their normal environment without me standing right there with my camera intruding on beautiful moments like these.

Commence the family love!

Families are made for being together and celebrating the love that each person has for one another. They're the bread and butter of life and bring some of life's greatest joys! I'm so glad that I met the Jennings--they are full of life and full of love for the little boys and for each other!

Families are made for sharing love....and the Jennings do. : )

"In truth a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the commitment of time, caring, and love you show to one another, and by the hopes for the future you have as individuals and as a unit."

- Marge Kennedy

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Berlinger Family

Can I just say, I looooove the Berlingers! : )

I love those photo shoots you walk away from, feeling like you've known the people for forever, when really it's just the first time you've met.

That's how I felt with this family--they are AWESOME!

They asked for me to come photograph their family at a park here in AZ and when I arrived at the location, I was totally blown away. Where (in this dry and overheated desert) do you find lush green hills and weeping willow trees? I was in hog heaven! There was even a lake.

J'adore with a capital "J"!

We started off taking group pictures on one of the soft grassy knolls.

But soon, the boys discovered a playground nearby and zoom, they were off!
(I mean really, what kid CANNOT resist a playground?)

The older Berlinger boy kept saying, "Watch me! Watch me!" and then he'd pull this adorable cuteness out and melt my heart--what photographer does not absolutely love this? ; )

The playground was beckoning both boys....heck, if I were still a kid, I'd be hanging off those monkey bars and climbing the rope bridge too!
These little guys are full of energy, leaving me thinking, "Oh, to be young again!"

I was amazed at the strength of the littlest Berlinger--he's got the strength and grace of a gymnast and kept lifting himself up and pointing his toes like he was a little athlete...and he's still less than a year old! I can only imagine the strength he's going to have when he's older! Look at him go! Wheee!

Dad got into the fun by turning his littlest one into SuperBaby! Clear the launch tower!
I must say, my heart lept up into my throat when I saw him get this high!

But SuperBaby was loving every minute of it!

The boys loved the slides...

....and Daddy Berlinger did too! ; )

I was able to sneak in some portrait shots of each member of the family. I love how portrait shots can capture each person's unique personalities.

I love this shot of Mama Berlinger--I think she looks absolutely beautiful and shines beauty from the inside, out. 

I chased the boys around the play yard and started to notice something very special.


Love from Mama and Daddy Berlinger for their little guys.

You could sense it.

You could see it.

Love, when showed on the outside, is so beautiful.
It makes you stop and take notice and have that warm and fuzzy Hallmark greeting card feeling on the inside. It makes you thankful for those you love. It makes you thankful for goodness that's still in the world, lighting it one candle at a time until each area of it shines brightly.

There was no exception with this family. Look at these love-filled moments I witnessed and got to capture with my camera lens:

Haha, just kidding, that last one was a love tap! ; )

The legacy you leave your kids is what they'll carry with them through their lives and what they'll share with their kids and grandkids. It's totally evident that the Berlingers are leaving a great one for theirs.

Now and forever.