I used the idea of a book for my header since this challenge is going to be a journal of my life over the years.
I hope you enjoy viewing these pages of my life as they unfold. I know I will...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Page 90 - And the Winner is...

... not me :(

I won't lie, it made me sad not to win. It's hard to enter a contest as personal as this one. I'm being judged on me, my story, and what comes out of my heart not how good my photography is or isn't.

To be honest, not many people could compete with a woman who has adopted 10 children, 6 of them being special needs. I couldn't.

I guess the question is, "Do I regret it?"

No, I don't. I made myself vulnerable and received an amazing response from many of you and that made it worth it. You didn't judge me against anyone else, just read about who I really am and opened your arms to me. Thank you.

So now I just pick myself up again and keep going. It may take me longer to get there now but I'll get there. You who have been with me the last year and a half know nothing can stop me.

"I get a kick out of photography. I love it. I live for it. I don't look back. I don't look ahead. I just look around" Francesco Scavullo.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Page 89 - Pins & Needles

They announce the winner of the Amy Wenzel workshop giveaway on iheartfaces tomorrow.

I'm so excited I'm on pins and needles! Wish me luck!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Page 88 - The Cure

There is only one cure for a stressful day...

(It's the Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip. Try it and thank me later.)

Okay, bring it on, I can handle anything now.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Page 87 - No Light

At times my life is like a dark tunnel.

Today I can't see the light at the end. It makes it really difficult to move forward.

I won't stop, I can't stop, even if it means walking in the darkness alone for a while.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Page 86 - With Rapture

Today I attended Blush Photography's "With Rapture" workshop on posing. It's one of the elements of my photography that has always frustrated me.

Watching her was like watching a conductor directing her symphony. With just a whip of her finger she guided the models to drop their shoulder, move their chin, etc. Posing comes so naturally to her and I was amazed just watching.

Needless to say I learned so much and can't wait to put it into practice.

Thank you Brooke for a wonderfully golden day.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Page 85 - Shootsac

It's 11:30 and I am laying in bed about to fall off into dreamland when I realize I HAVEN'T TAKEN MY PICTURE FOR THE DAY!!!!!!

I jump out of bed and run down to my office and take a picture of the first thing I see - the shootsac I just bought at WPPI. I got this cover because it's the same fabric I used to make my girls outfits for the "LOO" shoot I did for my website.

Here is my new shootsac and cover:

and here are the outfits I made for my girls:

I just need a picture of me with my sac and them in their outfits!

Whew, got my picture in for the day. Now I can sleep...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Page 83 - Yeah! Color!!!

I love what I am seeing happening to the trees.

Spring is in the air - until the storm hits tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Page 82 - Getting Down To Business

I've always had a great response to the discs I make and give my clients.

When they open them up, they love that they are personalized and I love that it leaves them with my name attached to their photos wherever they go to make prints.

It's not a sticker, it's the image burned onto a special disc.

I use "Lightscribe" discs and the burner comes in most newer computers now and if it isn't, you can buy and internal or external burner for less than $50.

Then I paid $80 (I think) and downloaded the "Nero" cover designer where I can design each cover for my client. You can get a free designer from "Nero" but it only does wording and not the images. I think the images are a must but if you can only do the wording it's better than nothing and it makes your business look so much more professional.

Those are just my thoughts and how I do it in case you may have wondered :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Page 81 - Back To Reality

I wayyyyyyy overdid the last couple of weeks! From Disneyland to WPPI to planning and throwing a 6 year old birthday party to Photocamp Utah and topping it all off with a bridal shoot.

I'm exhausted and today, I am sick. Yuck.

Still, it's back to every day life. Lu stripped down naked except for her older sister's shoes and a diaper. True to nature, she then got into some play make-up Abby got for her birthday which it turns out she is allergic to since she got a rash all over her face.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Page 80 - Family

Today was a miracle. A few of my brothers had a falling out years ago and because of it my whole family has not been together since. Today, for the first time, we were a family again. It was my nephew's baby blessing and I have to admit, I got choked up seeing all my brothers standing together.

I cheated a little. I took several pics of the group myself but posted the one with me in it that someone else took because the picture is not complete without me in it too. It's not the best picture, but to me, it's priceless.


I'm going to take a professional one in a couple months when it's warmer - can't wait!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Page 79 - Photocamp Utah 2010

I spoke on a panel at Photocamp Utah 2010 today on storytelling in a photograph. It was a first for me and I have to admit I felt out of place sitting next to the 3 other photographers that had years of experience on me. They were photojournalists and event photographers so that made me feel even more out of place!

I really enjoyed it though and it was good for me to break out of my comfort zone and teach.

What really helped was all my photographer friends in the audience that came just to support me. Thank you all for making me feel the love.

My favorite face in the audience was front and center.

My son. He was so proud of mommy.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Page 78 - Chef Party

Here is the table set-up I did for the party complete with my grandmother's pink depression glass dishes. Yes, I went ALL out for this party and yes, it WAS worth it! Too bad they don't give out "Cool Mom" awards.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Page 77 - New Friends and a Photobooth

Went to a mixer for Photocamp Utah tonight and hung out with some fellow photographers that became instant friends. There was a photobooth, yes, I suck at photobooths. In case you are wondering, this counts as my picture of the day since I pushed the button to take the pictures!

Me and Tara - a fellow 365er - see the first picture?

Had to put this one too since Erin is in it!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Page 76 - Luck of the Irish

If it was my lucky day then why didn't the leprechauns come clean my window for me?

My Story For A Chance To Learn - Suzanne Plant {Lookie Loo Photography}

My Story

I am writing this in hopes to not only win a spot at Amy Wenzel's photography workshop, but to open up myself and let you that follow my blog see a piece of me most don't get to see. Exposing myself isn't something I like to do with just anyone.

Looking back through the pages of my life, I see moments that make me smile and others that bring tears to my eyes. I see the steps taken that brought me to where I am today and understand why I am the woman I have become.

 001September 08, 2009

Who am I?

I am a wife

I am a mother

I am an only daughter and sister

I am a loyal friend

I am an abuse and cancer survivor

What is a typical day in the life of me?

I live

I laugh

I love

I lose it

A year and a half ago I metaphorically stood in a meadow surrounded by dark woods. I looked down at my feet, bloody and bruised by the paths I had chosen to walk. I could look back and see all of the mountains I had climbed and for some reason didn't feel stronger for having done it. At least I was not alone. I had a little companion at my side. He was my reason for living and to keep going. He was the reason I left the darkness that held me captive for so long so that he could become a better man. He is my son.

Together we arrived at this meadow where we found love and safety in the arms of an amazing man who became a permanent part of our lives. Here we added two little girls to our family and together we had amazing moments.

At this time, I looked back where I had come from and looked forward to where I knew I needed to go. I didn't want to leave. I was safe here. I knew that in order to grow I had to take that step into the unknown. The traveling would be hard, there was no direct path. At least I had the support of my family who were willing to take the journey with me.

I needed to find the part of me I buried so long ago behind a wall of insecurities and doubt. I needed to find passion in something I could work hard at and find a sense of accomplishment.

I found photography.

As with anything I do, I jumped in head first completely immersing myself in everything I could to help me progress. I found amazing friends who were taking similar paths as I was and they became a huge support.

Because so many have been willing to help me, I help as many as I can. Photography has so many opportunities to give if you only open your eyes to see. No dollar amount can be placed on the feeling of a father, gone away for the military, getting free pictures of his children and wife he hasn't seen for months. Or the gratitude of a fellow photographer struggling with something that I have the answer to and freely give them.

This path I have chosen has not been easy. I've failed more than I have succeeded but I keep pushing forward, knowing that the next meadow has to be somewhere in the distance.

Being able to attend this workshop would enable me to lengthen my strides as I progress towards my destination on this amazing journey.

Who Do I Hope To Become?






An inspiration

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Page 75 - I'm Officially The White Trash Neighbor

I got a note in my mailbox today from my neighbor. It said:

"Would you be kind enough to clean up your backyard - it looks so thrashy."

I admit, it hurt. I know I am not known for my amazing green thumb or perfectly clean house. I am a mom. I have 2 little girls and a teenage son. I have a husband that travels quite frequently and I am a full time photographer. I love to sew and create things for my kids and plan amazing birthday parties.

I am tired. I am not superwoman. I can't do it all. I prioritize what is most important and put those things first. My backyard (or front yard!), is not high on the list. It's what I get to when every single other thing in my life is taken care of.

How much nicer would it have been to get a note that said this:
"I realize life can be crazy and overwhelming and I was wondering if you would let me help you out by cleaning up your backyard for you?"

Nope, just nastiness. I seem to be getting a lot of it lately and it does affect me because I do care what people think of me.

I think the biggest slap in the face was when I went out to my backyard to see just how bad it is and this is what I saw:

  • a blown over chair and playset on my cement pad
  • a crate I just got to paint and use as a backdrop for my photography
  • a lot of tall yellow grass in the lower scrub oak section of my yard which I let grow wild for my outdoor photography studio. Not too pretty in the winter, but amazing the rest of the seasons. I'm sure you have seen it in a lot of my photos.

I really didn't think it was that bad. The crate doesn't look great but really? That warranted a note in the mailbox? Just to prove it, here is a picture of my backyard. No creative picture of the day, just my horrible yard.

Page 74 - I Turned My Back For A Minute

Had an amazing engagement shoot tonight that got cut short because 3 punk teenagers stole my couple's clothes! Spencer (fiance') chased them down (about a mile!) and got the clothes back.


This is the picture I was taking when the kids grabbed them and ran.

Then on the way home I shot a deer ;)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Page 73 - Heaven's Kitchen

Abby decided she wanted a Cooking Chef birthday party this year. Here are the invitations.

Yes, I made the apron and the chef hat! I'm also making aprons for all the kids that come. Should be fun!

Front of Invite:


Wait til you see the decorations I have planned! I am sooooooo excited for this party!

Here is a picture we will use for the game, "Pin the hat on Chef Abby".
(I already edited out the hat but wanted you to see with it in.)

(In case you don't get the theme of the party, my hubby and I are HUGE fans of Chef Gordan Ramsey and one of his shows is "Hell's Kitchen".

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Page 72 - When Two Seasons Collide

It has been so warm lately that some of my bulbs have started blooming. Today, it snowed. I'm hoping it's the last of the year because I am sooooo ready for flowers and sun!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Page 71 - I Have A Confession To Make

I love watching kid cartoons. Maybe it's because I am a mom so that is what is on a lot of the time but I only let my kids watch shows that I like watching too. That is why they don't watch Barney or the Doodlebops.

I took this picture of one of my favorite kid shows - "Phineas and Ferb". It is a show about 2 genius brothers on summer vacation and what they do every day. Their older sister, Candice, is always trying to get them busted for these crazy things they make and do but never succeeds. They have a pet platypus named Perry that is a secret agent whose mission is to always stop the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz. It also has great music on it too. Trust me, it's funny!

I love it because it has appropriate adult humor in it and it's fun to watch. I have laughed out loud while watching this show several times. All three of my kids love to watch it which is pretty amazing considering they are 13, 6 and 2.

I took this picture to show that yes, it is late at night, the kids are in bed asleep, and I am watching a Phineas and Ferb marathon on tv!!! If you haven't seen it yet, give it a shot. It's on Disney channel.

Here is the theme song from it:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Page 69 - Busy Day

You can always tell when I have spent a lot of time on my computer.

It's usually written all over Lu's face.
(See the green marker on her forehead?)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Page 68 - I Had An Oprah Moment

I am home. I had a blast, but it is so good to hold the ones I love again.

Since my hubby travels so much, we are always automatically upgraded to first class when we fly. Since I was flying home with my friend Andrea, I wanted to sit with her so we went to where Andrea's seat was and asked the girl sitting next to her if she would like to sit in first class instead.

She was so excited and happy. For a second I felt like Oprah when she gives stuff away and everyone cheers and loves her for it. The funniest was the look on the guy's face sitting by the window. You could tell he was thinking, "Dang, why didn't they give that to me?"

I have to say, I got the better end of the deal since talking and laughing with Andrea is so much better than drinking out of real crystal and sitting in a huge seat next to a stranger.

My only regret about the trip - only bringing one pair of flat shoes which were brand new. Needless to say my feet hurt from day one and I spent the entire time walking in pain with bandaids all over my poor feet.

As soon as I got home, I got in the tub to soak them and give them a much needed break. They were so red and I see blisters forming already.

Oh the price we women pay for fashion.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Page 67 - I Do It In Raw

Today was trade show day and one of my favs was the flare I got for my tag from SmugMug. I love them, if you haven't checked them out, do. It's where I store all my photos in galleries for my clients and my blogs.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Page 66 - Viva Las Vegas!!!!

This is my first year going to WPPI which is a huge photography convention held every year. I went with my good friend Andrea from AndreaKphotography. We met her friends Lacy and Christina there and we all hit it off and were instant friends.

The first day there we went to a lighting workshop done by the Bui Brothers. I learned a lot of good tips and am glad I did it. Here is one of my favs of the shoot.

In case you haven't already noticed, I LOVE to shoot people through things. I love how it looks and the feeling it creates.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Page 65 - 300 more to go

We rented a Dodge caravan to drive to Disneyland. Yes, it's a long drive, but it saves a lot of money!

The drive home is always exceptionally long. In the wee hours of the morning as we drove through Utah it reminded me of this challenge and how I was on day 65. 300 more to go, just like that long drive.

At least there is a lot to see along the way!

I took this picture because it was goodbye sunny California and hello snowy, cold Utah. I just realized another thing I miss about Cali.

I have to admit it's a good thing I took this picture. I was so busy the rest of the day I forgot to take any more!

I've Been Gone

Just want to let everyone know why I haven't been posting. Me and the fam just got back from a much needed spontaneous trip to Disneyland. I didn't want to let the world know I would be gone so that is why I haven't posted! I took my picture for the day every day, I just don't have time to edit and post them since now I myself am off to WPPI with my good friend Andrea.

If all work and no play makes me a dull girl then what does all play and no work make me???

Friday, March 5, 2010

Page 64 - Finding Nemo

On our last day in Cali we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. It was really nice and all 3 kids LOVED it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Page 63 - Fun In The Sun

This is the second year in a row we stayed at the Hyatt for our Disneyland trip. It's a gorgeous hotel and we get the family suit where there is a main bedroom with a king bed and a second room with bunk beds for the kids. That alone makes the vacation!

The kids love the pool at the hotel so we spent the day out in the water.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Page 62 - Disneyland

Disneyland is the happiest place on earth...

...unless you are a 5 year old drama queen.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Page 61 - Feels Like Home

I was born and raised in Southern California so whenever we go for a visit, it still feels like home.

To be honest, I really only miss the beach. I love the water, the sand, the moisture in the air and the rhythmic sound of the waves crashing .

If only I were rich, I'd buy a house right on the beach and go running along the shoreline with my honey every morning. Then at night I would sit and watch the sunset in the warmth of his strong arms while the sandcastle the kids made earlier in the day washed away in the rising tide. That is the dream.

I also love this pic I took at Ruby's Diner where we had dinner right at the end of the pier. What a perfect evening.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 60 - Hair cut

I won't be able to post my daily photos for the next couple of days even though I will be taking them. You'll just have to wait and see why. See you soon!

I got Abby's hair cut today for the second time in her life. The lady didn't know how to cut curly hair and cut off waaaaaay too much. It's barely below her shoulders now. Oh well, at least it grows fast!

Curly locks all cut off :( - good thing there is lots more.