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Merry Christmas with love

December 22, 2011

Our tree this year 🙂

Hello, dear followers!

I wanted to write “readers,” but I’m not sure I can call you that right now. There hasn’t been much to read around here lately.

Although things will be quiet again until the New Year, we’ll likely begin it with a post from Vivian, a wedding alumna who tied the knot at Walt Disney World last month. You know I’m excited about that!

You’ll also be happy to know I FINALLY uploaded all of our wedding pictures to Facebook – and separated them into categorized folders. One of my resolutions for 2012 will be to stop putting off the recap posts. 😉

It’s been a trying month in our household. Randy has been extremely busy for a variety of reasons, and our schedules are unusually out of sync. While having some “alone” time isn’t always a bad thing, it also made me realize how lucky I am to have him.

With Christmas approaching – which, coincidentally, is also our six-month anniversary (we’re nerds like that) – I was also reminded of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs:

Don’t save it all for Christmas Day
Find a way
To give a little love everyday
Don’t save it all for Christmas Day
Find a way
Cause holidays have come and gone
But love lives on
If you give on
Give love…..

So those, my friends, are my parting words for you this year. Give love every day!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

xoxoxoxo

Lindsay

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Let’s recap!

November 28, 2011

I’ve made a liar out of myself.

I’m not going to be doing wedding day recaps like I originally planned. So sorry.

Here’s the thing. I’m too far removed from the day to properly do it justice. And a lot of it is a complete blur.

However, Amberlee was kind enough to watermark the photos and make them web-ready so I’m not going to waste her hard work.

So! Here’s the plan. Since I have limited media space in the free WordPress account, I’m going to separate the photos by time of day (or event) and put them into Flickr albums. I’ll give a brief recap of that portion with a few pictures and a link to the entire gallery.

Sound good? I thought so. Up first …

Willey Wedding Recaps: The rehearsal dinner

Held at Crosley’s Banquet Center, the rehearsal dinner was one of those events where I e-mailed a venue, asked for the menu, ran the cost past Randy’s parents and said, “Okay! Where do I sign?”

The price included everything – food, non-alcoholic beverages, linens, set up/tear down, and gratuity.

It was completely effortless and the staff was wonderful to work with.

As you’re looking at the pictures, you’ll likely notice two things – I’m standing in almost every single one, and I’m wearing glasses.

(Amberlee Christey Photography)

I can’t tell you how many times I was told to sit down during the few hours we were at the restaurant. It’s in my nature to make sure everyone is attended to, so “relax” is not a word I often think about. Even with my standing tendencies, several people remarked at how calm I seemed.

Well, sure, I was calm. That’s because I flipped the eff out during the 45 minutes prior to arriving at the venue. I had my moment and that was that. 😀

As for the glasses, I was battling a fairly severe eye infection the week of the wedding. I saw my optometrist on Monday and he wrote me a prescription for some eye drops. I was to put two drops in each eye every three hours (while awake) Monday – Thursday. I added Friday as well (shhh!).

He also told me to go without my contacts until the absolute last minute the day of the wedding.

I wanted to laugh in his face when he said that, but I didn’t.

I simply decided the last minute would be 10 a.m. Saturday. Ha!

As a whole, the dinner was extremely laid back. No speeches; just eating, drinking and gift-giving.

Oh yeah … gift-giving! That hat I bought for Randy to wear the day of? He didn’t because he was afraid of having hat head. It is now a $30 dust collector. 😦

Have a look!

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My first time

November 20, 2011

It’s been a rough day in Lindsay Land. Not sure why things seem to meltdown on the Sundays Randy is with Kyle, but they do.

So, I’m turning to my therapy … writing. 🙂

I promise, promise, promise I’m going to start wedding recaps soon (this week!). I seemed to have misplaced my color watermarked pictures (Shhhh … Don’t tell Amberlee ;)) for the moment, but I’m going to tear the house apart tomorrow to find it. No worries … I still have the black and white version, but it’ll drive me nuts if I don’t find the other CD. Haha!

**Never mind! Both folders were on the same CD. D’oh!

In the meantime, I want to write about something very important – My first time taking pictures by myself in a professional situation (no, work doesn’t count).

I was asked by a colleague to take pictures of an event she was hosting. She didn’t have a way to “hire” me, but that was AOK with me. I told her I welcomed any opportunity to practice and learn.

Social events like this don’t really lend themselves to a variety of pictures. Everything seemed to just be groups of people talking. To keep my brain fresh, I challenged myself to watch for certain things – people exchanging business cards, people in animated discussions, things that would not be “typical” in these situations.

Aside from the wedding I shot with Amberlee, I never shoot RAW. Why? Well, because I don’t have the means to process them on my home computer (Hello, Photoshop 7!). This time, though, I knew I could use my work computer for editing so I went for it. And it was wonderful! While I wouldn’t say it took less time to edit the photos, I was much more pleased with the final product.

I picked out about 30 photos, burned them to a DVD and shipped them out to my colleague via campus mail. I held my breath and waited for confirmation she received them.

She loved them! She even mentioned how artistic a few of them were. I have to admit, I never dreamed someone would view pictures I took as artistic. Maybe there is one hiding in me after all??? 😀

Here are two of those artistic ones:

I go back and forth on which one I like the most. Haha!

All in all, it was a great experience! I’m extremely fortunate to have been asked to help out.

And for good measure, here’s a wedding-related picture. Since we’ll be starting with the rehearsal dinner, here’s my favorite from that evening:

Snuggling with LouLou (aka Thalia). She was so tired (and so was I), so we relaxed together after dessert. 🙂

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Trial by fire

October 25, 2011

I’m sure many of you have been waiting for this post (especially if you’re my Facebook friend). 🙂

I had the extreme pleasure of attending a wedding Saturday as a second shooter (aka photographer). It was one of those things that fell into my lap at the last minute – and I’m so happy it did.

It’s not my place to blog about a wedding where I don’t really know the couple, so I’m going to steer clear of that. Rest assured, though, the bride was gorgeous; the groom was handsome; the ceremony was flawless; the reception hall was beautiful, and I believe a good time was had by all.

Instead, I want to take the opportunity to reflect on the things I learned about myself, my capabilities with a camera, and wedding photography in general.

I still (and always will) have a lot to learn. A lot, a lot, a lot! But …

I’m now even more eager to learn

As I stared at the ceiling during a 3 a.m. sleepless spell, I actually decided to ask if I could get some constructive criticism on my pictures. I WANT to know what I can do to improve. I WANT to know what is technically wrong with my photos. Heck, I even want suggestions for developing a better eye. Bring it on, I say!

I need to shoot less and think more right now

I took SO many shitty pictures because I had no clue what I was doing. Wait. Scratch that. I kind of knew what I was doing, but I let the “OMG! Look what’s happening! Quick, take as many pictures as you can!” mentality take over. If I had just stopped to take a breath and think about the things I could do to make a good exposure (change ISO/aperture/shutter, etc.), I would have been better off. Another perfect example of shoot less, think more was my lens choice. For the majority of the reception, I used a fixed lens that required me to be further away to get both people in my picture. I was frustrated because I would run into walls or whatever trying to backup. It wasn’t until 3 a.m. it dawned on me, “Lindsay, you dummy! Why didn’t you just change lenses?” DUHHHH! Fail.

I hate flash, but only because I don’t understand it

How does the flash work with my camera settings? Which way should my flash be pointed and when? Ugh! Totally an Achilles heel! But, that’s why I decided to take the Advanced Photojournalism class in the spring. It focuses specifically on lighting. I’m hoping with a solid foundation in light I can better learn flash.

Weddings aren’t just fast paced for the bride and groom

Holy cow did the day fly by! I had no sense of time on our wedding day, but you really don’t have that luxury as a worker bee.

I don’t aspire to be a wedding photographer, but I’d love to have more opportunities to second shoot.

I had an amazing time Saturday. I was overwhelmed, yes, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying myself. Toward the end of the night, I made sure to say thank you for the opportunity … and I got choked up. Sure, some of it might have to do with hormones (I’m a woman; get over it), but not all of it. It really was a great day.

There you have it. 😀

And because posts are boring without pictures, her’s my new favorite. Taken today after work …

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Gone but not forgotten

October 19, 2011

Hello friends!

I know I’ve been away far too long, but work and taking pictures and work and marriage and taking pictures and work have been eating away at my blogging time.

Two weekends ago I thought I might have a nervous breakdown. I ended up at Urgent Care Friday evening because I was so consumed with anxiety. Sad but true story.

In hindsight, I know what played into my problems … I spent two years focusing solely on “work” (meaning saving money, wedding planning, etc.) that I forgot how to have fun. Then, all of a sudden, football season arrived and I went ape shit. In other words, the pendulum went from one extreme to the other.

After taking a few days to do absolutely nothing, I think I’m balanced again. I hope. 😛

But, I have good news.

My class is over next week (*sniff*) which means it’ll be time to focus on a new project. One, when I started reading Weddingbee, I knew I couldn’t wait to do …

Official wedding recaps!

I have in my possession watermarked versions of our wedding pics. I plan on taking some time to “organize and group” my thoughts and pictures (totally Type A, I know), but I’m SUPER excited to re-live the day (again).

Hope you’ll join me!

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite pictures I took during the last month:

 

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Superhero Photo – Week 1

September 26, 2011

Howdy, dear readers! Have you missed me?

I apologize for the lack of communication over the last two weeks, but things have been hectic. And by hectic I mean lots of tailgating, football, and picture taking with some work mixed in.

My Superhero Photo Course began last Monday and I have to tell you, I love it.

When my friend Heidi told me I could teach myself the basics but needed some inspiration, I must admit I was skeptical. In hindsight I think it was because I was still upset over my photojournalism class not working out.

Perhaps discouraged is a better word.

Either way, I had an epiphany late last week. Heidi was right. I did need some inspiration – and Andrea, the course instructor/motivator, and my “virtual” classmates helped me find it.

As I told my friends, why else would I take my camera to the grocery store – and meet a professor for a portrait bright and early? Something must have clicked!

It’s funny …

I compare the pictures I took at the beginning of August to the ones I took last week and I can already see an improvement. Would I call myself a “photographer”? Absolutely not. But I’m not a “fauxtographer” either. 😉 There is much to learn, grasshopper! I still have difficulty (and get VERY frustrated) with indoor, low-light situations; however, a lot of it is my stubbornness and refusal to use the pop-up flash. To say those types of pictures are works-in-progress would be an understatement. Haha!

I did, however, let go a bit last week. On two separate occasions I found myself lying on the ground to get my shot. One of those times was on a gravel side street adjacent to an open parking lot. For another picture, I found myself doing a circle in my front yard, taking pictures of my feet from every lighting angle.

The best part of those experiences wasn’t the pictures (although they are bonuses) – it was that I didn’t care if people wondered, “Who is that girl and why is she laying on the ground taking pictures?” Quite an accomplishment for me.

Here are my favorites:

Task: Feet in the grass

I originally wanted to paint my toenails hot pink, but my bottle of polish mysteriously disappeared. So I settled for a reddish color. In hindsight, I wish I had pulled that dandelion out so it wouldn’t cast the shadow on my foot. Overall, though, I really like the shot.

Task: Riot of Color

Peppers at the grocery store. I don’t even like peppers, but their colors instantly attracted me.

I found a tree outside my office with leaves that were just starting to change for fall. I can honestly say I’ve never really paid attention when the trees are in transition. It was rather nice to see the green of summer and the red of fall together. It was rather gloomy the day I took this, so I used the Love Couture action from Oh So Posh Photography to warm it up.

Curious kitty. This was one of those on-the-ground shots I mentioned earlier. I actually took this with a 55-200 mm lens because there was no way I could get close enough to these “street” cats without spooking them. That little fella was the only one who dared to come near me.

That’s it for now. Here’s to many more to come!

 

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School spirit

September 16, 2011

I was all set to blog about my experience playing photographer at a work event yesterday … in the rain … holding an umbrella … when something pulled me back into wedding land.

That something would be this Facebook post from WV Weddings:

Several weeks ago, Amberlee asked me to help her write a post about incorporating WVU into your wedding. Mountaineers AND weddings? I’m in!

I developed my lead and closing sentence in 30 seconds (seriously, they came to me that quickly), and filled in the rest after seeing the pictures she had chosen to submit. I was perfectly content to be a ghostwriter, but was very excited when she told me they were going to credit me as well. 🙂

I very much enjoy feature writing and blogging; it’s a great break from the often mundane, sometimes cookie cutter writing I do throughout the week. I really need to seek out some freelance opportunities. Haha!

 Click here to read the entry!

(Fun? Fact: I have a phobia of reading articles I’ve written after they’ve been published. My very first “real world” boss once told me, “You’ll get over that.” Eight years later, the fear is still alive and kickin’. So hopefully it looks nice and you have fun reading it … because I haven’t looked! ;-))