A Valentine’s Vow



IMG_0021Cyndie and Rod went to high school together, and as so often happens in life, they went into different directions, building careers and raising families. A high school reunion brought the now single man and woman together, and they began a several year long-distance relationship. Cyndie happily said yes when Rod got down on one knee to propose last year.


I was blessed to have the opportunity to photograph their joyous wedding on Valentine’s Day. Their love for each other radiated out to their family and guests as they exchanged rings and promised to love for life.


I wish them the very best as they begin their new life together. Thank you, Cyndie and Rod, for sharing your very special moments with me.


Peaceful Silence


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Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann (1872-1945)


The weather was simply too beautiful to stay inside today, so I took my camera out to a local park to photograph, just for the sheer joy of capturing the image. As I sat near the small lake, my eye was drawn to the reflections of the columns in the water; I then noticed that the ripples of the water are projected onto the columns, creating a double reflection. The symmetry of the lines and curves and the muted brown and grey tones brought to mind this line from the poem Desiderata (“essential things”).

Photographing a Newborn


I jumped at the opportunity to practice newborn photography on a friend’s granddaughter; because I’m new at this genre of photography, I did the shoot for no charge.


In preparation, I spent a considerable amount of time reading articles and blogs and watching videos. I also scoured local stores for inexpensive props after searching online and finding that those clever and cute baskets, headbands, and backdrops cost a fortune. I took these pictures with a minimum of props: a wicker basket, a gauze wrap, and a few furry blankets.


On the day of the shoot, I loaded my CRV with my portable studio consisting of backdrop and backdrop stands, light stands, SpeedLites and umbrellas, cameras, tripod, and lenses, and a large suitcase of blankets and pillows. When I arrived at their house, I was delighted to find a large window that provided plenty of light and I was able to use ambient light rather than strobe. I love the effect of soft light and shadows on the baby’s face.


I’ve studied the 517 images I shot that afternoon, analyzing what I did right and where I need to improve; I am now ready to slowly build inventory and I look forward to my first paying newborn client.


Majestic Canyon Lights


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I took a friend from Shanghai to photograph our state’s treasure, The Grand Canyon. I was disappointed that I could not “give” her one of Arizona’s fabulous sunsets which would paint the canyon in a riot of colors and hues. When I viewed my images later, I realized that what we had captured might be as good as, or better than, the typical sunset photograph that is ubiquitous throughout the gift shops in Arizona and on the Internet.


We had waited patiently for sunset, just sure that the clouds would shift ever so slightly to allow the sun to give us a show. We watched the rain as it moved around the butte to form a soft curtain which made its path steadily toward us.


I’m sure that we looked absurd when we donned rain ponchos and held umbrellas above our cameras as we stubbornly stayed to capture the last bit of light and shadow in The Grand Canyon (and before the last shuttle departed).


Throughout the day, I had wished for a break in the clouds for the dance of light in the canyon. We got a few glorious moments.

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Another First: Newborn Photography


It seems that my blog has evolved into a journal about my journey toward becoming a professional photographer. Recently I’ve posted images representing my small successes. In the past, I had tended to discuss my mistakes and failures, but I’ve now decided to focus on my steps forward.

Most of what I know about photography has been self-taught through participating in workshops, reading books, blogs, and articles, watching videos, studying the work of other photographers, assisting some photographers, practicing on friends and family, making mistakes, learning from them, and practicing some more.

Saturday afternoon, I was headed out to photograph a party when a family friend called, asking if I would photograph their newborn (I had begged them several months ago to let me use their baby for practice). I was elated…and scared.

After I finished the party, I got on the Internet and read everything I could find and watched every YouTube video posted about photographing newborns. I learned that it is a daunting task.


After spending a few hours with this precious little one and her parents, I also learned that I love taking pictures of babies.

Now I need to find some deals on those cutsey props and backdrops.