Sunday, January 15, 2012

Spending 2 days with my Photography Idol

This past May I was lucky enough to attend Me Ra Koh's confidence workshop in Chicago and it changed me in many ways. I got to spend 2 days up close and personal with one of my photography idols. The workshop is limited to 25 participants which makes the learning experience very personal and intimate. Me Ra isn't shy about sharing her secrets to success and how she got to be where she is today. I have been shooting in manual with confidence ever since the workshop, it seems I've forgotten even how to use aperture priority these days. In addition to being able to shoot manually now, I learned how to shoot in tough lighting situations and believe me - we were shooting in the worst light possible on day 2 thanks to a rainstorm that came through.

Me Ra blogged about the workshop a couple months later and I was ecstatic to see my work featured on her blog not once but twice. You can read all about our day 1 experience here and below are the 2 photos she shared that I took on day 1. I love all of the details and tend to really hone in these adorable little features.

Here's a photo of us hard at work trying to capture the beauty of this ADORABLE little girl. She was a big hit that day and everyone wanted to photograph her personality and beauty. I'm sitting on the windowsill on the left just waiting for the perfect shot and she didn't disappoint!

The first day we shot babies under 1 year of age and then day was family shots. Oh boy, we had the worst lighting ever because right when it was time to shoot it started storming and raining like you wouldn't believe. So stuck inside of hotel we were and needed to find a way to still get some amazing shots for these families. It's a whole lot more challenging to get 4 people looking great in a shot than just 1 or 2.....maybe that's why I prefer shooting little one's and just waiting for that magical moment.

Me Ra blogged about day 2 as well and shared a couple more of my shots from this very challenging afternoon. Read more about it here. I love how comfortable mom looks in this first photo and you can really sense her love for her little one. I then got a good shot with dad as well while they were laughing and having a good old time.

Me Ra and her husband Brian took these photos below as we enjoyed the afternoon challenge. I am in the first photo below where the dark shirt and was ecstatic to put my flash to use that day. I learned during the workshop how to use it and make it look like natural light - it was a god sent that day for me and I am no longer afraid to use flash when necessary.

So there you have it - my 2 days with Me Ra that I will treasure forever. This year I am hoping that Me Ra will come back to Chicago once again so that I can bring our Baby Girl to the workshop as a model. It would be great to see her again and have 25 talented women taking shots of our precious girl, what more could a girl ask for.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Maternity Pictures at 34 weeks

This pregnancy hasn't been how I would have expected and one positive is that I really haven't gained any weight until recently - thanks to 1st and 3rd trimester morning sickness. Being 5' 10" means Baby Girl has lots of room in the torso to grow and unfortunately I don't have that cute little basketball belly that I wanted.

My super talented friend Brooke has been wanting to take some maternity pictures for months but the belly just wasn't big enough. Well at 32 weeks I ended up in the hospital with pre-term labor, on my 35th birthday of all days, and was sad to think that I didn't have a single picture of me pregnant. Knowing this may be our one and only, I knew that I wanted some pictures to remember this extraordinary time even if I wasn't the most beautiful pregnant woman around.

Finally I got out of the hospital and my bed rest was lifted so at 34 weeks we finally got together for a maternity photography session. Here's a few to show off the baby bump that is contracting as we speak.....I think she's coming sooner than her February 20th due date!

Brooke has an awesome blog called My Boysterous Life and also has a photography blog - check out my talented friend, you won't regret it!

Lots and Lots of Change

I have been "MIA" from my blog for the last few months and that's because there has been a lot of change in our house. Mostly good change but it's definately thrown me out of my routine and I haven't been spending as much time as I usually do enjoying my hobbies such as blogging, reading, photography, and scrapbooking. In fact for about 2 months I didn't do these at all. Why you ask? Well I'm happy to say that we are expecting our first child in February!!! I will be at the 35 week mark on Monday.

Now that I'm past those lovely 2 months of constant nausea and vomitting, I decided it's time to get back to what I love and start documenting and enjoying this journey - I know I won't have much time after the baby arrives but let's do it while I can! (Note: I wrote this months and months ago but couldn't hit the publish button....sad I know).

So here's the short version of the story. We began seeing an infertility specialist earlier this year and on June 17th after flying the red eye home from a business trip in Las Vegas, I went to the specialist to find out why we haven't been successful getting pregnant on our own. My husband couldn't join me because he was in St. Louis for the weekend watching the Cardinals play with a friend of his. The doctor explained the medical reason behind why we were having trouble conceiving and we came up with a plan to address the issue. I commented to him that I expected my period that week and it said that travel, jet lag, etc could be the reason. I decided that night to take a test just to put my mind at rest and what a surprise it was when I saw the test read "POSITIVE". I completely flipped out and ran around the house in utter shock yelling and scared the dogs a bit unfortunately.

I then decided that I couldn't tell this to David over the phone so I spent the next day planning a big surprise for him since I would tell him on Sunday which was also Father's Day. I spent the day buying baby items with a fatherly twist and finally fell asleep Saturday night. I got a call at 3 am from the friend that my husband was away with to find out that the taxi they were in to take them back to their hotel was in an accident and David was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital. He said he would be fine but was complaining of neck pains but it didn't make it any easier. I wanted to scream on the phone "he needs to be ok, he doesn't know yet he's going to be a father" but I didn't. A few hours later I got to talk with him and felt much better. He was a little banged up and had a sore neck that would keep him in a brace and physical therapy for a few weeks.

Finally when he got home on Sunday, the dogs greeted David at the door with bibs around their necks that said "daddy's princess" and "daddy's rock star". I then gave him a gift bag with a card for him
to open. He was clearly in a lot of pain and wasn't very coherant when he opened the card that was signed from "Tanner, Stella, and Baby A" and didn't even flinch. I asked him if he read the card and he said yes but clearly he hadn't so asked him  again. He read it again and looked at me and said "are you pregnant" and I of course had tears streaming down my face and said yes. He looked very confused which I'd understood because I told him on the phone on Friday what the doctor had said.It finally hit him and he was very happy.

It was until the next day until it fully hit him thanks to prescription paid meds but when it did it brought tears to my eyes. Here is where the fun really begins.....

12 week ultrasound

It's a Girl!!!!!!!
(picture taken at 34 weeks)
Written August 2011, Posted Janaury 2012