Monday, June 30, 2008

Giant Steps

Overwhelmed. Delightfully overwhelmed. As I continue to read the comments of support that keep coming in, I'm so grateful. I was concerned about doing a good job on the wedding of course. And when I returned I was a bit critical of my work. The more I review it, and listen to the constructive opinions (and yes, all the praise) I'm feeling much more confident in what I accomplished. As the title of today's post suggests, today was Leap-of-Faith Day for me. At about 3:30 this afternoon, I filled out an application for a Business Tax Certificate and a Home Occupation Permit. I registered a domain name. I opened a business email account with my domain name. In other words, I officially started my photography business today! This week I will file a fictitious business name application with the county and I will begin working on my professional website. I'm taking the giant steps toward making my hobby something more. Once again I ask that you join me in prayer that God bless this endeavor and guide me. Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement. I leave you with more images from the wedding and the sounds of Giant Steps by John Coltrane.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Blueberries Revisited

We had such a good time picking blueberries on Father's Day, we decided to go again. I had been telling a friend about it and she seemed really interested in going. So she and her husband and their two boys met us Saturday morning for another outing. Here are a few pictures of Charlie and Lily. They were so cute together.

The Search


Giving Hugs

The Wedding

I have to start off by thanking those of you that wished me well and prayed. Not just for the wedding, but for the encouragement for me to pursue my dreams. Your words and prayers really mean a lot.

So the wedding is done. As I'm typing this, I'm converting my shots from RAW to jpegs. This takes quite a while since I shot over 500 images. As was my assignment, I shot mostly "things" rather than people. If you know me, you know I'm my harshest critic. I think I did well with shooting objects but I really wish I felt more comfortable shooting people. My candids came out well but I have such trouble with the "Hi, may I get a shot you to all together?" kind of pictures. So in that regard, the wedding was a big learning experience. I know where my real challenge is for next time.

The wedding itself was very nice. It was very structured yet had a casual tone to it. When we arrived I had the most unexpected pleasure. Phil, (my friend whose job this was) introduced me to Suzanne, the wedding planner. We greeted each other and she said, "Nice to meet you. I loved your "blue" pictures." We had never met and she knew my work. Apparently when Phil told her I'd be assisting, he gave her the link to my blog for her approval.

Here is a sampling of the images I captured. Feel free to critique. Tell me what you like. Tell me how I can improve. I want to learn from this.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Looking Ahead

Tomorrow is my last day of work. It closes the chapter of my four years out of the classroom as a math coach. We had our end of the year coach meeting and luncheon today. It was a day of goodbyes, best wishes, thank yous, and encouragements. So as I close this chapter, I look down the next path. Or set of paths. I'm definitely looking forward to working in a classroom again. It will be a welcomed challenge. I've already loaded myself up with text books and state standards to begin prepping for the school year. Plus, I'll be teaching summer school to 4th and 5th graders which get me back in teaching mode. I'm nervous, excited, and anxious all at the same time

But I'm also looking at what other things are down this path. I'm seriously looking into doing more with my photography. Professionally. Also, Lily will be turning 2 in August. What will life at home be like now that she is growing up so fast? All this reflecting is getting me to look at my priorities a lot more. There is nothing like having a child to show me how selfish I am. I'm involved in too many things. My hobbies are too time consuming so I need balance. And if I'm thinking of making my hobby become more, I have to figure out a way to do this or I'll have to let it go. I definitely need to pray about this. And I invite you to join me in this prayer.

Having said that, tomorrow night is the wedding in which I'll be assisting. I've packed all my gear. Checked it multiple times. I think I'm ready. Ready as I'm going to be. So if you're already praying for my previously mentioned area of need, would you be so kind as to pray for my friend and me as we shoot this wedding? Thank you so much.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thinking Back

Four years ago I left the classroom to become a math coach. I received the phone call with the job offer in the car on the way to the airport. We were heading for Seattle. We would spend some time there before heading off to Alaska for our cruise. Now as I prepare to head back to the classroom, I thought I'd revisit some of the images from that trip. Below is an image of the Space Needle from the perspective of looking up. And then a Great Blue Heron I captured taking a breather on the water.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Flippin through the Archives

Our trip out to Ventura this past weekend had me thinking of some past pictures I took at the Ventura Harbor. Since I'm not working on any current photo projects, I don't feel so bad digging into the past. I'll get plenty of shooting in this weekend anyhow.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Off to USC

Today's image is not new. It was taken just over two years ago in Yucca Valley. I've always liked to come back and look at this one. It was a long day today so I'm having difficulty coming up with specifics about what I like about this image and why I like it.

While spreading the news about landing a job to my coworkers last Friday, a fellow teacher told me about an upcoming training. The class I was hired to teach is the GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) group. As it turns out, the training was for today and tomorrow. Talk about last minute. After some emails and phone calls throughout the weekend I was told to show up at the training location on the campus of USC and hope for a vacancy. USC is not close to home so this was kind of a gamble. I remained hopeful and showed up. They did not enroll me right away. "Go to the first session and come back to see if we had some no-shows." I was told. Eventually I was enrolled. Most of the sessions were good. I feel that they were presenting the material as if they expected all of us to have prior knowledge of the program. Aside from that, I think the training is good and will be very useful as I get into my own classroom this fall.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Life at Home

I simply felt like shooting. Shooting anything. I strange that must sound coming from me!

I started when I saw Lily's pandas sitting on the coffee table.

As I was snapping away, our cat Stella decided she wanted to bathe herself between the pandas and my lens. As I took a shot of her, she moved suddenly from licking her paws. It's hardly sharp, but I love how this came out.

Soon after, it was time for Lily to brush her teeth. Standard policy around here is Mommy or Daddy brush her teeth first, then she gets to finish the job.

What you see above and below is not Lily doing her famous psycho face, but rather her response to Mommy saying, "Lily, show Daddy your teeth."