January 27, 2008

Congrats and My Last Day in California



Congratulations to Nic and Vanessa.... image #249 is the winner. Nic and Vanessa were married on the beaches of the Gulf Shores in Alabama on July 6th. I have been blessed by this couple in so many ways. Nic is finishing up his degree in Missions at Abilene Christian University and Vanessa graduated with her master's degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. Both have a love for the Lord and are anxious to be on the mission field.

So many of the bride's and groom's in the contest really took it to heart and shared the contest with family and friends. Ya'll are AWESOME! I am so blessed to have spent time with each of the couples in the contest on one of the most special days of their lives. I count myself as truly blessed. God has shone his light bright on me to be involved in wedding photography. There were several weddings in this contest that the words spoken to each other brought tears to my eyes and down my cheeks all while looking through my lense and capturing the shot. What more could I ever want in a profession than to witness a holy union and capture the emotion the way I see it through my camera lense. For this I am truly grateful. To each of the couples, thank you.
The winner of the $20 gift card is Cheryl Goicoechea. I will send her an email to get her mailing address and find out if she wants a gift certificate to Target or Itunes. Thanks to each of you who voted!

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My last day at the seminar was full of more great information and we had 2 shoots. One with Mike's son and his best friend, and one with a model. I loved all these images. The man holding the little boy is Mike Colón and the little boy is his son. Enjoy these images.



















January 25, 2008

Wedding Day Contest is Over....Wowza!!!

The Wedding Day in Review Contest has officially ended! The response was amazing and I have hundreds of emails and blog comments to tally. This was so much fun! I will tally all the votes and post the winner Monday. Just when you think there is no more fun to be had, keep checking back because the 2007 Bridal Portraits Year in Review contest will start the following Monday! Thank you so much to all the brides and grooms who shared the contest with their friends and family. You made this CRAZY successful. Thanks for the blog love.

Heading home. Had a great day yesterday...I will post the last days images soon.

January 24, 2008

The Night Shoot in the Rain









Day 4 about to start. The final day. Yesterday was my favorite lecture day, marketing and web info. I learned so much. The strength of Mike Colón (pronounced cologne) is that he is a marketing extraordinaire. He has built a name for himself industry wide in record time. He has so much good information to share. Day 3 was the day I was looking forward to most.
The shoot yesterday was a night shoot. The weather has rained off and on all week and for the most part we lucked out for good weather, or atleast tolerable, but last night the weather was cold and rainy. The plans were changed from the original location in Laguna Beach to a parking garage by some cool buildings. It was freezing cold!

Today will be another good lecture day that I have great expectations for. It has been an amazing week and I have learned so much, but the best part beside the learning is the fellowship of new friends I have made. Fellow photogs who have the same passions. The experience level is all over the chart, some very new, some more experienced. What a blessing.

So here are some shots from last night. One thing that has been different for me, and the others also I am sure, is that we are all shooting at the same time, it is just like paparazzi, so the ability to move around and frame the image is practically non-existent in these circumstances. I just have to do the best from where I am. That is not a big deal and I am learning alot, but sometimes it is frustrating because I can't get where I want to get because there is someone there, ahhhh... patience.

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Please keep Jack in your prayers, it turns out his prescription on his new steroid dosage was wrong. Bummer. Jack has been sick every morning and Elaine and Rob are taking work off and rotating to be with Jack. Jack got a new prescription and will start on that today, so we are looking for him to be feeling better soon. As this has been going on since before Christmas we will be so happy when he wakes up feeling good again. Please pray for him.

January 23, 2008

Day Two at The Mission











Day 3 of the seminar to start in a couple of hours. Yesterday was chock full of info, and we shot a real bride and groom at the Mission in San Capistrano (I think that is where we were.) The bride and groom were married in Peru and then scheduled a shoot after they came back to California. I am loving all these great places to shoot. Here are some images from yesterday.

January 22, 2008

Newport Beach Engagement






Day 2 of the seminar is about to start. I learned SO much yesterday and had a great time. Everyone at the seminar is very nice and helpful. Our first shoot was on the boardwalk and pier of Newport Beach. It was an engagment session. There are about 15 people taking the seminar so we all went with our big camera's and long lenses to the beach. We looked like paparazzi and so many people were trying to figure out just who we were taking pictures of. Several times people pulled out their point and shoots and started shooting right along with us, they didn't want to miss out on the fun. It was a blast. I have to finish getting ready but here are some images I shot yesterday.

January 20, 2008

Monkey, Pug and Me Made it to Orange County.


I have made the treck to California. As I was on an aisle seat, which is a blessing in many ways, I have no idea what Orange County looks like from the sky, but I am sure there are many more lights that go on for miles than home. The trip was long. I do believe that 9/11 took all the fun out of traveling by plane. It is such an ardeous (have no idea how to spell that, help me Sarah), task that one feels like they have climbed through many hoops, taken off your shoes, emptied your purse, pulled out your laptop, before you even enter the waiting zone. But nonetheless that is traveling. The flight was blecky to the max from Abilene to Dallas, more stomach churning than usual. The flight from Dallas to Orange County was much easier, although my camera bag was to thick to fit in the overhead bin, or under the seat in front of me, I was sweating in close quarters trying to find where i had put the key to open the lock I had put on it, after 10 minutes, I found it, emptied a couple of books i had laid on my camera equipment and all was right with the world again. The bag fit and even though at the time everyone on the plane, including myself, thought I was holding things up, there was a lady a couple of rows behind me who had a broken seat or missing cushion and we waited for another 20 minutes for that to be settled. I was never so glad for a "mechanical issue" as I was tonight.
Anyway, here I am in my lovely hotel room. All my bags unpacked and I am ready to find sleep.
Here is a pic of Monkey from the Dallas airport tonight. Right before I left today Jack ran to get me one more thing, he gave me his favorite story book to read on my trip, "I Love You Stinky Face," so that will show up in some pictures this week I am sure. I have the sweetest family.

January 19, 2008

Newport Beach here I come!

It is Saturday night. I am going to finish my packing and gathering for my trip tomorrow. I am going to try and blog while I am in California so look for daily posts about what I am learning and shooting while I am there. Can you believe that I am going to be laying my head in Newport Beach, CA for the next 5 nights. I will miss my family terribly but they assure me that they will remember me and welcome me home on Friday. Rob will be doing double duty with the help of his angelic mother and her husband this week, so keep them all in your prayers.

Jack is on the upswing, hasn't been sick for the last couple of days. Praise God for those tender mercies.

January 18, 2008

Hello

The Wedding Contest Info is below. So scroll down if you haven't voted yet! The votes are rolling in like crazy. I luv it!

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This has been a busy week getting ready for my trip to California. I had a wonderful wedding last weekend, so I really wanted to get those images ready to be on-line before I left, so glad I could check that off my list.
I am such a small town gal, it is always a bit overwhelming to take in that I will be in a big city. When I decided to start shooting destination weddings one of the fears I had to conquer was driving or flying to some unknown place. I made a conscience decision that I would not let that fear stand in the way....so I just cover the traveling in prayer and put one foot in front of the other. I have just become so comfortable in my small town. My first 23 years were spent in the area of Phoenix, AZ, the eastern part, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa. It is amazing how I can quickly forget the crazy fast driving on a 5 lane highway.

Jack is moving right along in his days. His meds were switched up this week, he seems to be doing a bit better.

January 14, 2008

2007 Wedding Image Contest

I love weddings. I love the smiles, tears, hugs, details, the mom's and dad's who tear up, the look on the groom when he see's his bride for the first time. I love the holiness of the day.

Something I love most about weddings is that no 2 are the same. The personalities, the people involved, every wedding has it's own flavor. I love that today's brides are creating their own wedding to match the personalities of the bride and groom. On the beach, with a favorite tune as the recessional, customizing their vows, cakes that are amazing,... making it their own.

As I went through the thousands of images, about 12,000 to be close to exact I felt completely overwhelmed picking out just a few for each bride and groom. The stipulation for these images were that they are taken on the wedding day itself. I just picked a couple here and there although truth be known I would like to have had double the amount just to include all my favorites, but I set a limit of total number of images and stuck with it. Enjoy looking through these. Pass on the slideshow, I had some husbands say they would have voted in the last contest if I hadn't limited it to one adult per household, so I changed that this time. Any adult can vote. Have fun!








Here is the contest.
1. Watch the slideshow.
2. Choose your favorite picture.
3. Leave a comment with your email address and favorite image.
Click on the "Gallery View" next to the envelope and you will be able to see each image individually and the image number. Or you can just describe the image, but make sure the description is thorough so it is clear to me which image you are choosing.
You can email me directly at marcelain5@sbcglobal.net with your choice if you can't or don't want to leave a comment on the blog.
4. You will be entered into a random drawing and would be eligible to win a $20 gift card to Target or ITunes (you pick!).
5. The favorite image you pick will be noted and a gift certificate good for one 16x20 will be given to the bride and groom whose wedding image was chosen. There could be a catch here, some brides and grooms stay in touch and others have moved away, if I am unable to contact the bride and groom then the image will go to the next in line. Does that make sense? They can choose any image from the sitting and I will give them a 16x20 of their choice.
6. Feel free to send out the link to as many people as you wish, but only one entry per adult in the household please.
7. I will contact the winner by email to get their mailing address.

If you click on the envelope under the slideshow it will allow you to link the slideshow by email to friends and family.
Just make sure they have my email address to notify me of their favorite image. marcelain5@sbcglobal.net






Most important: To stop the slideshow and manually forward images click on the black box with the 9 white tiny boxes inside. This allows you to look at each image at your own pace and also see the image number.

Contest ends at 8pm on Friday, January 25th, 2008!

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Contest is over. I will post the winner by Monday night. Keep checking back!

New Meds for Jack

Monday morning. All is well here. 2nd week of back to school. Jack is being switched to a higher dosage of steroids today, he is still waking up sick and when I talked with his radiologist he said that Jack needs to be stabilized, so he is switching him from dexamethasone to prednasone and increasing his dosage to twice a day. Hopefully that will help him feel better in the morning. Please keep all this in your prayers.
After I finish this post I am going to finish "My favorite wedding day images of 2007" and start the new contest. I am planning for that to be up today.
This week I will be processing a wedding from this weekend and also getting ready for an intensive photography seminar that I leave for on Sunday. Rob, Elaine and Tom will taking care of the kiddo's and getting them to and from school next week. The seminar is in Newport Beach, CA. I know that I am going to learn so much and I am so excited to be there, but will miss being with my family terribly. The time will go by quickly, so I am sure we will all make it. I saw a cute commercial last week, a little girl put her stuffed toy in her dad's briefcase and he took her toy and took pictures of it through the day from his camera phone and I thought that would be so much fun to do too. So my plan is to take a small toy or figuring from each child, then take some pics of it through the day, email it to them and give them something to look forward to after Rob picks them up from school. Who says there is nothing good on television?

January 12, 2008

And The Winners Are.....


Congratulations to Ella's mommy and daddy for winning a 16x20 of their choice as the most nominated picture in the 2007 Family Portrait Division. Just let me know the image you would like from your sitting and it is on me.

....and drumroll please, thanks to my random generator (Rob), for picking the first number that came to his head, sorry no high tech generators around here, he chose #17 and the person attached to that number was Dee O'Neill Andrews, who resides in South Mississippi. Dee I will email you with the question....? Target Gift Card or ITunes Gift Card, and will get that in the mail to you this week.

I had several areas to view the slideshow, my photo blog, here on my personal blog, and a link from my facebook wall. The largest majority of voters emailed me directly with their votes, but many of the votes can be seen on the blogs. I wont post the runners up but there were about 4 more images that were voted on many times, but none quite came close to Ella in her red petiskirt.

Thank you to everyone who participated. The response was wonderful and the comments about the images each of your chose were such a blessing. I love how many participants found something from an image that touched their hearts and where they are in their lives right now. Future daddy's, future grandma's, mommy's with little baby toes to wash at home, it is amazing to me how photography pierces through everything and speaks to one's own being. It does to me anyway.

My plans are to have the Wedding Contest up on Monday or Tuesday at the latest. So be sure and come back for round two of Some of my Wedding Favorites of 2007. Thanks again for participating.

January 10, 2008

Family Portrait 2007 Contest

I have put together a slideshow of some of my favorite family portraits in 2007. Images that make me smile, they might not be "the" picture perfect image from the day, I like images that make me feel something when I see them. These are those images to me. Sometimes they will remind me of just what it took to get "that" picture, or it can even seem like you can hear that child laugh, or even cry, depending on the image. I hope you enjoy looking at these images as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Here is the contest.
1. Watch the slideshow.
2. Choose your favorite picture.
3. Leave a comment with your email address and favorite image.
Click on the "Gallery View" next to the envelope and you will be able to see each image individually and the image number. Or you can just describe the image, but make sure the description is thorough so it is clear to me which image you are choosing.
You can email me directly at marcelain5@sbcglobal.net with your choice if you can't or don't want to leave a comment on the blog.
4. You will be entered into a random drawing and would be eligible to win a $20 gift card to Target or ITunes (you pick!).
5. The favorite image you pick will be noted and a gift certificate good for one 16x20 will be given to the family whose image was nominated the most times. They can choose any image from the sitting and I will give them a 16x20 of their choice.
6. Feel free to send out the link to as many people as you wish, but only one entry per household please.
7. I will contact the winner by email to get their mailing address.

If you click on the envelope under the slideshow it will allow you to link the slideshow by email to friends and family.
Just make sure they have my email address to notify me of their favorite image. marcelain5@sbcglobal.net

Contest ends on Friday, January 11th. 12:00 midnight.

Edit to add:
The contest is over...thanks to all who participated!
If you would like to view the slideshow you can click here.

Jack and One More Day for your Portrait Vote!

Thursday afternoon. Just over 24 hours to get out your vote on your favorite Family Portrait if you haven't done so yet! I will post the winner sometime after midnight early Saturday morning. It has been alot of fun. Be looking to vote again on my favorite 2007 Wedding Images on Monday. I decided to just do wedding day images and not include engagement and bridals. I might do two more slideshows and contests for each of those, that's two more chances to win a gift card! And 2 more 16x20's for my clients, and many very fun images for all to view.
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Jack is still having trouble with nausea every morning. The steroid taper is taking a toll on his system and he is suffering from atrophy. No idea what that really means, but he is getting sick every morning, and that is what it means to me. Please pray for him to come through this quickly.

Have a super day!

January 07, 2008

India and last HBO Treatment Today

My good friend Jana B. is in India right now on a Mission Trip. She went with many others and they are working with a fellowship of believers that live there and work with a children's home, they also hosted a couple of nights of Vacation Bible School for the children in the area. I have been keeping up with Jana and her team through the postings on Sanctuary Home's Blog. I just read where several including Jana suffered from food poisoning from some sugar cane water. They were VERY sick and in alot of pain, but the christian families that live there took excellent care of them. One man even climbed a coconut tree in the middle of the night to give them coconut water to help soothe their stomach's. What is happening through their illness really touched my heart as that is what being one family in the Lord is all about. The pictures that they have taken are filled with beautiful children's faces, along with a brahma bull walking through crazy traffic to stand in the line up of bikes in front of a store, then a man who owned the store (or maybe a restaurant) came out with a bowl of food for the bull, once the bull ate, he backed out into traffic and headed further down the street. Something that I find quite amusing and at the same time filled with wonder that such a different world exists outside of our little part of the world.
Please keep the team in your prayers as they are in India for the last 3 days of their 10 day trip.

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Today is the last day of hyperbaric! So excited about that.

Everyone is back to school today. No one was excited about it. I know that once their days get underway they will be glad they are back in the swing of things. I will be glad to get back to some much needed work on my computer.

January 05, 2008

My Most Favorite Shoes....Ever!!!

Thanks to Beth Moore's
post about her cha-cha shoes at Payless I ran in with my boys yesterday after getting Derek's hair cut at the shop right next door. So I went in to Payless for 2 purposes, one I am about to turn 40 years old in just over a month and even though I am not in the midst of crisis over it, I do feel like I need to get some cha-cha shoes of my own to remind myself that 40 is not over the hill. I basically swore off heels once I became pregnant with Derek and have never looked back...until now. So Rob and I were going out for a date last night and I thought that I would just look to see if there was anything I could possibly wear without breaking an ankle. I found these, wedges, I believe they are called. They looked cute with the jeans and sparkly shirt I wore on our date last night.




But...I also found these. My most favorite pair of shoes ever! My daughter who is 8 owns a pair of silver glittery flats that I have (embarassingly so) been coveting for the last 2 months. Every time she wore them, I would say to myself, and have actually said allowed to others, "I wish those came in my size." Well low and behold if there weren't some very shiny and glittery shoes at Payless that called out to me from their box. They actually said my name, and I listened and called back to them, "Here I am, I know you were waiting just for me to find you, and finally we have met." I wore them today and looked at them atleast 100 times, and they made me so happy just glistening back.