Sunday, September 30, 2012

Assistant. {365 - Day 274}

This afternoon we did a photo shoot in our backyard - corporate headshots for a friend of ours.  Sarah Beth was all too eager to help by sitting on my step stool, decorating the backyard with flower stickers, and holding onto the reflector.  Such a good little helper she is.  By the time she's five she'll definitely be on the payroll.  Right now, she works for cookies.

Day 274 {Canon 5D Mark III}

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Grown Up Milk & Cookies {365 - Day 273}

I had a photo shoot late this afternoon, so I picked up a pizza on the way home, rather than attempt to start dinner at 6PM.  Kurt and Sarah Beth had gotten ambitious while I was gone and made macaroons from the coconut I had sweetened yesterday. 

To sweeten coconut yourself, you boil it with water and sugar and let it simmer until the liquid runs out, then let it dry.  A long process, but boy does our house smell delicious.  I had sweetened it to make coconut chicken later this week, but the macaroons were a good call and went perfectly with the large glass (or two) of wine I poured myself.

Day 272 {Canon 5D Mark III + Photoshop}

Friday, September 28, 2012

Gracie and Colin {Charlotte Children's Photography}

I may be a little biased since these are my best friend's kids, but I think they are about the cutest kids on the planet.  Colin is all-American boy, just like a kid out of a Norman Rockwell painting. And Gracie, well she literally looks like a doll.  They are so sweet and fun.  Last month when we were visiting up in NJ, I had the chance to snap off a few family photos of this lovely family.  Here are just a few.

During our visit, we took the kids on a peach picking adventure.  While Colin and my daughter Sarah Beth were attacking the poor defenseless trees,  I snapped off a few shots of Gracie.  She is just adorable.  Don't you want to squeeze those cheeks?

Testing, testing 123... {365 - Day 272}

I got a new 50mm lens last week but haven't had much time to play with it practice. Today I bought a 5 lb bag of Mandarin oranges which, let me tell you, is a lot of oranges, so I lined up a few for a photo shoot.  When I get a new lens, it helps to line up several objects like this.  That way I can easily see the depth of field and get a feel for how it changes depending on how close/far I am and how I adjust the aperture. 

Oranges are very cooperative little subjects.  They  look happy and bright and stay where you put them, that is, until your three year old wanders into the kitchen looking for a snack.

Day 272 {Canon 5D Mark III}

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Raptors {365 - Day 271}

Tonight, the Raptor Center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for friends & family to introduce their new owl forest. We love the Raptor Center, so we sprayed ourselves down with bug spray and headed into the forest to join the party.

We were greeted by this guy.   It's hard to believe that there are cruel people in the world that shoot at these magnificent creatures.

 Day 271 {Canon 5D Mark III}

Then we ventured into the new Owl Forest.

 The owls have brand new spacious homes.

And there was a cool kids' art area, where Sarah Beth created this masterpiece on the right.  
(Okay, Mommy helped just a little.)

 Sarah Beth enjoyed running around, and we loved visiting the birds.  We'll be back again soon!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Window. {365 - Day 270}

I was taking some product shots this afternoon in my bathroom (towels) and noticed how pretty this stained glass window is when the light hits it just right.

Day 270 {Canon 5D Mark III}

You Need a Great Headshot. Yes, you!

Is this you?

Don't be faceless on the internet.  Everyone needs a great headshot.  For Linked In, Facebook, or your company website.  (Yes, maybe even that profile!)   Environmental portraits are modern and showcase your personality without the awkward posing against an ugly grayish background.

I recently photographed portraits for CBI,  a fantastic business interiors design firm headquartered here in Charlotte.  It was such fun meeting the great people who work there and taking their portraits onsite in their beautiful office space.

 If you're ready for a fresh new headshot for your online profiles, or if your company interested in getting away from the dismal gray curtain, contact New Shoe Photography for more information!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Artwork. {365 - Day 269}

Yesterday we had to do "homework" for Sarah Beth's preschool class.  Starting a little early in my opinion, but of course we complied.  We had to decorate a paper doll with whatever materials we had around the house.  I pulled out a big bin of foam stickers and SB created her masterpiece.

Tonight, Sarah Beth was excused from dinner early while Kurt and I finished our black beans and rice.  She was playing in the living room and it got quiet.  As you know, that usually means trouble.  We walked out and found that she had decorated the coffee table.  She proudly said, "Look!  My artwork!"  Apparently Mommy forgot to put away the bin of stickers.

Day 269 {Canon 5D}

It was actually kind of pretty.  I would have left it up for a while, but the temperamental artiste ripped it down and rolled all the stickers into a big ball.  Art is fleeting.  Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go upstairs and pick up 1000 pieces of heart and flower-shaped paper backing off the floor.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hollywood. {365 - Day 268}

One of the shows being filmed here in Charlotte is looking for extras - men in their 30's-40's to be precise.   Kurt fit the bill, so for fun I told him to submit a photo.  We took a few this morning.  Little did he know that would be my photo of the day.  Maybe I'm biased, but I would totally hire this guy to be Businessman #3 or Policeman #4.

Day 268 {Canon 5D Mark III}

Thomas. {365 - Day 267}

All week, Sarah Beth has been anticipating going to see Thomas the Train at the NC Transportation Museum.  Today was the day.  We got there early (we thought) but were met with long lines to get tickets and lines for your photo op with Thomas and lines to get on the train.  I guess Thomas is more popular than I thought. 

Day 267 {Canon 5D Mark III + photoshop}

Waiting in line, above.  Sarah Beth with the main attraction below.

I don't quite get the whole Thomas thing, frankly.  The faces on the trains are kind of creepy in my opinion, and the constant worry about being a "useful engine" sends a weird message.  Like if you're not useful you'll be sent to the scrapyard?  Anyway, I must be in the minority because the preschool set was out in full force, parents in tow, paying an exorbitant amount of money to ride the train powered by a full size Thomas the Tank Engine.

Here we are, all aboard the train.  The train cars themselves were very cool.  They blew the whistle and had music playing and the conductor walked through to greet everyone.  Sarah Beth was mildly impressed.  When asked what she thought of the train ride.  She said it was "good."  

What did impress us was the museum itself.  The place is enormous. The site was once Southern Railway Company's largest steam locomotive servicing facility. J.P. Morgan, Southern's owner, chose the site because of its location midway between the railroad's terminal points of Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Ga.  When steam locomotives were rendered obsolete, it was  used it as a freight yard until it was donated to the state in the 70's.

The buildings themselves are beautiful, and they are stocked with antique cars, wagons, a plane or two and of course lots of trains.

I always said driving Kurt's Honda Element felt like driving a milk truck and now I have proof.  This milk truck looks nearly identical.

This is the roundhouse where the trains "live."  We got to ride on the turntable (where the track is in the foreground)  that slowly spins to bring trains in out out of the roundhouse.

We were really blown away by the coolness of the museum and grounds.  It would be an amazing place for a photo shoot.  We'd love to go back on a weekday when the Thomas fanatics aren't around and explore some more for ourselves. 

After our adventure, Sarah Beth fell asleep in the car, and stayed asleep when we brought her in the house.  So we ended up taking a nap too.  We all woke up groggy at 6PM. After scrounging up dinner, we went to Whole Foods for some gelato and shopping, since we knew Sarah Beth would be up all night anyway.  True to form, she stayed up 'til midnight watching Cars with Kurt.  I hope she decides to sleep in a little tomorrow.  Thomas wore me out!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Grandma.

My Grandma passed away yesterday.  Comfortable and surrounded by people who loved her, she went to join my Grandfather in heaven.  I am sure the reunion was amazing, and they danced the night away to Glen Miller's Orchestra, or maybe Frank Sinatra.
Grandma was orange juice in the morning and martinis at happy hour.  Coffee or tea in mugs with our names on them.  Sleepovers with blackjack lessons and roulette that tucked away into a travel briefcase.  Grandma was always dressed up in a stylish outfit, no frumpy old lady frocks for her.   Grandma was on the go -  shopping, trips to Atlantic City, Broadway and Europe, wearing out even the youngest of her traveling companions.  Grandma was a tough, independent lady, but was always moved to tears by the love she had for her family.  Especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Grandma I will miss you but I'm so happy you are with Grandpa now, no doubt dressed beautifully, sipping cocktails as you catch up on the too many years you spent apart.  Every time I sing "A Bushel and a Peck" to Sarah Beth, I'll hear you singing it to me when I was little and I'll smile.  Although she won't get to know you as I had, she will know the love you have for her, and that you are an angel watching over us, probably saying something like "Now Jenny, are you going to dress Sarah Beth in pants? How about a pretty dress instead?"   Love you Grandma.  Keep us in your heart, you will be in ours always.

 Four generations of love.  September 2010.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Festival. {365 - Day 266}

Whenever we hear of a festival occurring, my husband rolls his eyes because he knows I'll want to go.  He doesn't like the hassle of big crowds of people wandering slowly through lines of tents and food trucks, especially when we've got a stroller to push.  I on the other hand, love checking out the vendors, the entertainment, and most of all, the people watching.

Day 266 {Canon 7D + photoshop}

I somehow convinced him to go to Festival in the Park this morning.  Not sure how in the world that happened.  He was up really late after filming last night so maybe he was still half-asleep.  Anyway, we got there before it got too crowded.  We were greeted by a little 8 or 9 year old girl singing Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" at the kids stage.  Not exactly what I'd pick for a little kid, but she was actually pretty good.

We strolled around the lake past the vendors and the food carts, salivating over the smell of every fried food imaginable.  On to the "Family Fun Zone" to check out the rides.  Most of them were a little too big for Sarah Beth.  We watched a little train whip some toddlers around in circle, one boy in particular screaming his head off by the second go round.  We decided to skip the train ride.

It started getting hot so we decided to bail out and hit Showmar's for lunch, rather than stand in line for corn dogs.  Not as fun as food on a stick, but probably a little more heart healthy.

A friend of Kurt's called to see if we wanted to meet them back at the festival this evening to listen to a band.  Once again, I am shocked that Kurt would even consider this.  In fact,  I better get going in case he really has lost his mind and wants to back to the festival again.  Twice in the same day would be monumental.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Curbed. {365 - Day 265}

We went to the park today.  Sarah Beth was tearing up the playground in her new school shoes.   She rushed to climb up the tall slide, then decided perhaps she was not a fan.  I couldn't convince her to go down the slide, so I showed her how to back down the ladder. 

Day 265 {iPhone + photoshop}

After that, she spent 3 minutes on the swings before getting bored and wanting out.  Finally, she found something to keep her attention and walked the perimeter of the playground, balancing on the curb.  I guess we didn't really need the playground after all.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Leftovers. {365 - Day 264}

After a tough day at preschool, nothing is better than leftover pizza and Backyardigans.

Day 264 {iPhone + photoshop}

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fishing. {365 - Day 263}

We took a walk late this afternoon along the greenway and met this guy who was fishing for his dinner.  Every time I see one of these beautiful birds,  I stop and stare for at least a few minutes. He didn't seem to mind.  Just kept doing his thing.  I never see anyone else stopping, I guess other people have places to be, but I am fascinated.

Day 263 {iPhone + photoshop}

Sarah Beth was mildly interested but was mostly focused on convincing us we needed to stop for pizza.  No whining, just using logical arguments and some negotiation skills. She won out in the end, too.  Calm persistence pays off when you're three. 

Incidentally, we tried the new Pizza Fusion at Metropolitan and gave it three big thumbs up.  They offer Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, and Vegan options, plus most of their ingredients are organic, free-range, chemical free and whatever else you can think of.  Mexican Cokes, people.  None of that corn syrup junk.  They even brought us a complimentary gluten-free vegan brownie for dessert and it was mighty fine.  Sarah Beth definitely approved.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Killing Time. {365 - Day 262}

I did a lot of that today.  Early morning hair appointment to fix up my "natural" red 'do.

Day 262 {iPhone + photoshop}

I cleverly scheduled a dentist appointment for this morning too, since the office is in the same building downtown as my salon.  Then I realized I had over an hour to kill, so...breakfast in the atrium.

After spending too much time at the dentist, I had to rush over to pick up my best girl from preschool.  Daddy was driving the car with her car seat but he was running late, so we sat on a bench and did a little more waiting. 

Fortunately, Kurt showed up soon because someone was worn out from school and needed a nap.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy New Year. {365 - Day 261}

We were invited to our friends' house for dinner to celebrate Rosh Hashanah.  We're not Jewish, but Sarah Beth enjoyed the Challah and honey so much that I think she may convert.

Day 261 {iPhone}

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Heirloom. {365 - Day 260}

My Grandma's health has been failing.  Soon she will be reuniting with my Grandfather, who was taken away far too many years ago.  I got to talk to her today on the phone and tell her what a wonderful Grandma she has been, and how much we all love her.  Part of me knows she heard me and smiled a little bit.

She gave me this ring a while ago.  It was hers.  I don't wear it very often because it's a little too big.  But today I put it on because she was in my thoughts, and somehow, wearing her ring makes me feel connected to her, even though she is thousands of miles away.  Love you Grandma.

Day 260 {iPhone + photoshop}

Saturday, September 15, 2012

One more sunrise. {365 - Day 259}

Today was our last day at the beach.  I wanted to squeeze every last minute out of it, so I got up early to watch another sunrise.  It was beautiful.  Amazing how every morning the sun comes up just the same, but looks so different. 

Day 259 {Canon 5D Mark III}

 We got home this afternoon and unpacked.  I think we're all feeling a little post-vacation depression.  Sarah Beth went to bed early.  I think I'm not too far behind her. Next week, the weather in Charlotte is supposed to cool off and give us the first hint of Autumn. Fortunately, we have lots of memories of our end of summer hurrah to keep us warm!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bittersweet. {365 - Day 258}

Times flies when you're having fun.  Our week at the beach is over tomorrow morning.  We are so sad to leave, but thankful for the amazing time we've had at Folly Beach with our friends.  The weather could not have been better, and we took full advantage of every moment, as evident by the exhausted kiddos who went to bed early tonight. 

Day 258 {Canon 5D Mark III}

This afternoon we walked out to the end of the island to see the Morris Island Lighthouse.  It's a bit of a hike, but the view is worth it.  As we were standing there, we saw dolphins swimming near the shore.  It was a great finale to our trip.  Thanks for a great time, Folly.  We'll be back soon!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Baby Turtles. {365 - Day 257}

I got up early to see the sun rise and take pictures.  Getting out there around 6:35, I watched the sun creep up over the horizon, setting the sky on fire.  Then I watched it fizzle out behind a cloudy thick grey sky.  What a let down.

As I was walking back to the house, thinking about the extra sleep I could have had, I saw a few people gathered around on the beach looking down.  Then I saw them.  Baby sea turtles! 

Day 257 {Canon 5D Mark III}

They were so small!  And yes, I think they were about the cutest things ever.  The crowd of people was cheering them on as they scooted themselves across the beach towards the ocean.  They looked even smaller as they were enveloped by such big waves, but they seemed so sure of themselves.

To give you perspective, this is how small they are...see in the blue circle?  That's a baby turtle!

Hello little guy.

 Good luck little turtle!

It was a once in a lifetime moment to watch these little guys overcome a gauntlet of obstacles to meet their destiny at sea.  It's amazing how they are born knowing just what to do.  Somehow, I found these tiny turtles inspiring.  I felt blessed to see it.  Maybe if the sunrise was more spectacular, I wouldn't have walked back in time.  Everything happens for a reason.

Looking back at the photos, the sunrise was still pretty breathtaking, too.

As if our day couldn't have been luckier, Kurt spied a rainbow from our deck 
and we all rushed out in time to see it.  Beautiful.