Friday, July 16, 2010

Professional Sittings...

Duane & Shannon with their beautiful blessings :)

So I definitely feel that when someone is a good photographer, he/she deserves to be paid accordingly. With this in mind, I also believe that if someone sucks, he/she should still be paid accordingly.

While in Arizona visiting my brother, Duane and his wife, Shannon, we went with them to get family pictures done and to get pictures of John and Bradlie. The main purposes of this trip were the family shots and shots of Bradlie though, seeing as she is the newest member of the family :)
Duane and Shannon have been going to this place (which I will leave unnamed since I don't think I know anyone else out in Maricopa, AZ) since John was born, to get pictures done and for a good reason. The guy they went to at this studio is AMAZING and they have always had creative shots of a smiling child and LOTS of variety to choose from.

Apparently this guy realized he was talented enough to leave this place...and did so, unknown to us.

As we tried to get good family shots with a screaming 1 month old and suggest poses to this "professional," I had a realization. (I have been having a lot of these lately; experiences I have determine my opinion on aspects of life that may not affect me for years to come, but that I am none the less resolute about now.) Here is my realization:

1. I do not want to pay some stranger who does not care about me or my family to capture the love that we have for one another. I will not be a paycheck for someone, but the ability to share a gift, with the bonus of getting paid to do so.

2. I will not have pictures done in some bland studio with pictures in the background of somewhere we would "like" to be. Boring. I want pictures done somewhere that is actually important, somewhere that matters to us. Whether it be a vacation spot, our home, or some other location that has, for some reason, become dear to our hearts, the location of our pictures will be just as pivotal as the people who are in them.

3. I will not be charged extra for one simple button being clicked 3 times. Now here me out. I understand that there is plenty of technology that a photographer has, that I do not and that I would probably not find much use for; I accept paying more for those abilities. I also understand that when pictures are touched up, it can take time and effort to do it properly; I accept paying for this ability as well. However, when I can stand next to you and watch you click a button to make a picture black and white or color splash, I will not pay more money for these pictures. They are on the same paper, require the same type of ink, and are the same size as all of our other pictures and did not take more time to produce.

4. If you describe your services as innovative, PROVE IT! If we wanted pictures that looked like the school photographer took them, we would have called him. He would be cheaper and we would get one of those little black combs to "fix" our hair with right before we sit on that too short for midgets black stool and place our feet on the appropriate x's.

I won't bore you by posting good and bad of our session out in Arizona, but I will post some of my favs of my niece and nephew. Yes these aren't bad, but trust me - they were the ONLY good ones (and I edited them some as well)...

John Henry & Bradlie Elise

...he got a little excited about "fuzzy pickles"

Beautiful Bradlie:
Pretty in Pink

*Holding tight to Mommy*

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It'll have to wait...

Well I was so excited to actually pretty much be caught up with what's been going on lately, but now that we got Jason's camera working (the one that I got him for Christmas 6 months ago...) all of the pics and video from our amazing trip around the world (in one night) and our Eno State Park Extravaganza are horded on his camera, and his computer. Useless. That means that I cannot detail our amazing half-weekend in the manner I would like to and it will have to wait. Sad. It makes me miss him less while I write about our adventures.

Only days before he gets back to North Carolina....and then like another 4 before I get to see him. An entire month apart. Wo is me.

While I wait to fill in the incredibleness of my gorgeous boyfriend...I will instead, work on the freaking awesome trip to Arizona my family just got home from! I can't wait to share how big John has gotten and how absolutely beautiful my Bradlie Elise is already!

Oh, I have also decided that I think I'm going to piece together all of the pictures and videos Jason has been texting to me since they left on their trip- random and hilarious, which means they make my day!

More to come soon :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Crossing the stage...

When I graduated a few months ago, Jason made the comment that there are some odd celebrations that we keep...just for the sake of tradition. Ridiculous caps and gowns, the whole Pomp and Circumstance and oh so many other aspects of graduations. This really got me thinking as I watched my little brother Mason's graduation from Farmville Central High School, the institution from which, four years earlier, I also graduated and my brother Duane, four years before me. Well, in four years not much seems to have changed. How is it that every other aspect of education, culture, life has changed in the past eight years, but FCHS's graduation is still the same? I was impressed to see that the administration was at least a little less psychotic then the administration four years ago...when the class of 2006 was prepping for our graduation at Minges Colosseum, we were give rather strict instructions as to what would and WOULD NOT be allowed on the day of graduation. For instance, if we were to do more than casually stroll across the stage (like maybe to run, skip, jump, or Heaven forbid- DANCE across the stage) we would immediately be escorted from the ceremony and would not receive our diplomas. If we were to wear flip flops, if we weren't fully dressed under our robes, if we decorated our caps, if we threw our caps at the end of the ceremony, if we were found with silly string or a beachball, if we cheered for our friends from our seats, and who knows what else that I can't even remember right now...our School Resource Officer was waiting on site to promptly escort us out. You would think I was attending some sort of reform school rather than a low income, small town, public high school.

Mason's graduation was much more relaxed (for most family's other than ours) and the administration didn't even fuss at the crowd for cheering for their graduates. An astounding improvement! Our family, as I hinted above, did not have quite the grand time that all the other families were able to experience on this most noble of days.

Mason learned early (my brother Duane and I were great examples) that he was smart enough to do very minimum work and still scrape by with decent grades. (He thinks his big head automatically mean he has big brains--big head shown to the left!) The problem is, since he learned this early on, he did not take the time to master the skill and was not aware of how to get ASTOUNDING grades, while still doing minimal work (if he would have asked, Duane and I would have shared our master skillz.) As he inched the climb to the end of his senior year and serious senioritis set in, Mason's grade in Calculus began a rapid decline. If he had done even some of his work, this problem probably would have resolved itself, but apparently whoever taught Mason biology, lead him to believe you actually can learn by diffusion. (Yes, I know most of you think the phrase is learning by osmosis, but you also learned wrong because osmosis is special diffusion of water.) It turns out that although Farmville has gotten less psychotic in some areas, it has really bunkered down on others...they wouldn't even tell us the day before graduation if Mason was going to actually graduate. We (and by we, I mean our parents) had bought the cap and gown, ordered senior pictures, and then got this loverly letter in the mail stating...Mason Dennison may not be eligible for graduation. Not till we saw him as part of the processional, did we know Mason was graduating from Farmville Central. Dumb.
**Note to self, don't ever be the jerk of a teacher that won't tell a student or his parents if he is going to actually pass the one class he needs to graduate**

So as the day goes, he walked across the stage, we cheered lots, took lots of pictures, made Jason take a lot of pictures, and had a grand ole day. We even had a graduation cookout (courtesy of my Uncle Tony) celebrating Mason's and my graduation. We were graced with the presence of close family and friends and Jason even got to meet some of our crazier members of the family. Poor Maggie had quite the bum of a time...for some reason she has recently become horribly scared of people, especially strangers, and shys away, hiding in corners and under tables. I am hoping that once I get her in my own house, away from her sister Izzy, that she will calm down and perk up, especially around people!

Pictures courtesy of: