Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy Birthday - in STYLE! || Bend, Oregon Photographer

I love a good cake-smash session!

I love it even more when the whole family gets involved! The icing on the cake - the adorable crown & banner mama brought for the party! Throw in a little zebra print & we've got one heck of a celebration. 

This session wrapped up an entire year of celebrating Mr. O - and I'm so happy to share these highlights with all of you!

BTW - the amazing banner & crowns are custom creations by Lori Savage - a la' Etsy. Check out her shop here!

Dessert first... I'm jumping ahead, but this is one of my favorite shots!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Inspired World (NOT the real one) || Bend, Oregon Photography

I recently read a blog post called "Your children want YOU" - about perspective and priorities in raising your kids in a world of social media... With the internet so handy, and Pinterest so pretty - it's easy to feel like a failure when your world isn't picture-perfect. It's a great article - you should go read it (after you're done here, of course!).

It got me thinking about MY world, my priorities, and what I put "out there" to the world, both on Pinterest and Facebook (I'm a twitter-slacker) as a mom and photographer. 

I'll be the first person to admit that I'm lazy (I LOVE the easy road), I have a horrible sense of style (I think pretty jewelry distracts from fleece & sweats any day of the week!), and my sink is ALWAYS piled with dishes (except when we're trying to sell our house!). 
My reality - my every day.
I certainly spend spare moments lurking on Pinterest, looking for pretty things that appeal to the artistic side of my brain, and amazing organization ideas that appeal to the logical side of my brain. I think I've been able to be inspired in a healthy, non-obsessing way, at least I certainly hope that's the case... 

I've been inspired to stop for a moment (nearly) each day, and find something pretty. To craft an image rather than make a snapshot. My style of shooting has always been, capture the moments, tell the story - with less emphasis on designing a shot. My goal this year was to spend more time crafting, WHILE making spontaneous images and pushing my photography beyond where its been. 

Oddly enough, my phone has been helping me do just that. 

I recently upgraded my iPhone and the camera is YUMMY. I've also recently jumped onto Instagram and love the immediacy and visual diary of my world (and seeing my friend's worlds as well). 

Looking back at a handful of images from my phone - I wonder what these images say about me, and my world. Having read the article on perspective - I realize my goal of challenging myself visually paints a picture of my world that is my "inspired" world - which is not necessarily my reality. I felt compelled this morning (a lovely quiet morning in a crazy, crazy week), to clarify this - and I'm afraid it's turning into a bit of a "life statement" and not entirely sure who'll read this all the way through. But I DO know I'll feel better after I work this out in my head at least!

I am no different than any person out there, flying through life at breakneck speed. I do know that I take far to little time to reflect and appreciate the things in my life... including my blessings and my family. I  am much more aware now than I ever have been about appreciation and perspective, thanks to life's lessons, an amazing husband, and incredibly supportive family. 

Living my life authentically is important to me... and I've always believed if you live your life with a true heart, the world will be kind to you. 

I think that's why reading the article hit a bit of a nerve, and why I felt compelled to 'fess-up about the images I post. I love crafting these little snippets of life - and hope that they serve as an inspiration. A way for friends to try looking at their own every day worlds through rose-colored glasses. They certainly give me little boosts of joy throughout my week - my version of a pedicure or whatever it is you do to feel special or indulgent (I'm not a mani/pedi girl) – and the result are images I can keep with me and share with my grandkids someday when I'm older and WAY wiser. 

So, I'll keep creating, crafting and sharing - but please do know that beyond the frame, I'm quite certain there are dishes in the sink and laundry on the floor. It's just who I am.  

My inspiration and effort to stay inspired, visually.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mr. Waylon Cash || Bend Oregon Photographer

This little rock star came to entertain me at the studio not too long ago - and I'm so tickled to share these images from his 6-month photography session.

Easter Success || Bend, Oregon Photographer

I feel very strongly that everyone has a right to their own opinion, lifestyle & traditions. Every family is different... and there are very few Right and Wrongs when it comes to parenting (which can make it so challenging sometimes). 

So, if your family LOVES public Easter egg hunts, I'm going to go ahead and get this out of the way (in a very sincere tone... ): I hope you had a lovely time, and that your kids enjoyed each and every darling moment! 

Now, for OUR family... we experienced our first public hunt about 5 years ago. We'd always done our own hunts at home, and we tried to make scavenger hunts out of them - at their ages, with photos of locations at Grandma's house where they could find the next egg-clue... and possibly goodies along the way. The boys were old enough for this first public hunt to be super excited... and I was excited to watch them scurry about and have fun while not having to have had to organize a scavenger hunt... 

What I failed to do was properly prepare them for the Public Hunt. 

I failed get them ready when the whistle blew, to RUN and Hoard, and be FAST or they would get nothing. To RACE other children for the prizes... be Ruthless in their endeavors. Because I failed to properly prepare these young children for this activity... my two sweet little boys got nothing in their baskets. 

Not. One. Egg. 

They wandered around with wide (mildly horrified) eyes, watching the sweet treats and eggs get snatched up by kids who were properly experienced in egg-hunt etiquette. Parents were cheering the kids on... yelling & screaming. All while my husband and I, with equally wide eyes, looked at each other and silently vowed: Home hunts. 

Now, I'll say this, I'm sure every hunt is organized differently, and I would hope that they are not all like that - but you'll all have to judge that for yourself... we've stayed out of them ever since.

Fast forward 5 years, and our 2012 Easter was anxiously anticipated by my boys... Yes, still magically and fantastically wondering what the Easter Bunny himself will bring {I LOVE that}. 

In true fashion, this holiday came screaming at me like a freight train - at unbelievably fast pace... with work piling up {thank you, clients!}, and my fantasies of a really fun and challenging scavenger hunt slowly whittling away to whatever I could "get away" with. We'd invited our dear friends to join us, which was HIGHLY anticipated by the Tyke boys, and a mild stroke of genius on my part. Not only do the adults get to share the festivities (yummy food & wine), but we also get to share the job of putting on a  fun afternoon for the kids.

We spent the morning as a family working at the Broken Top Club during their Easter Brunch, offering another round of the darling live bunny photos. I loved that we could do that as a family - and could write an entire post on the experience, but... that's for another day. 

Because of the event in the morning, our afternoon festivities were held off until 3:30. The Buchanan's arrived, food in tow... and we hadn't even begun to coordinate the Hunt, let alone get our dinner organized. (yeah, yeah... I COULD have done tons ahead of time - but remember... "freight train?")

So, Debbie and I went over to their new property... managed in about 10 minutes, to throw together a 6-part scavenger hung/obstacle coarse with their baskets at the end... all the while I'm saying to my {guilty-mama} self, I sure hope these boys will be happy with this! We'd scaled WAY back on candy... and toys and "stuff" - and were hoping the thrill of the hunt would suffice. They were SO blue after we'd come back from our event, and before our friends arrived... thinking the Easter Bunny had passed them by this year {oh, be still my heart}.

We called over to our house, where we quickly told the boys the Easter Bunny had left an egg by the Buchanan's mail box... and the shrill SCREAMS on the other end immediately started to soothe my guilty heart. 

Every feeling of exhaustion from the morning's job, and guilt from what I "could have done" melted away and was replaced with heart-swelling pride in my boys (and their buddies), as we watched them work as a team, with joy and enthusiasm, through the Easter Bunny's tasks. The exclamation point at the end of the hunt was the crazy happy dance put on my my oldest as he discovered their modest "baskets."

In the end - the day was a beautiful compilation of work, play, good food, friendships & family. 

Enjoy these images from our simple little hunt... 

They each took turns reading the clues... this one: everyone must make a basket before you open the next clue!

Wait for me, says Shane!

Yay! Great job, little one!

This clue: Help Shane score a goal....

Garrett's turn to read the clue. 

Gavyn must drive the remote control car into Garrett's room... 

Together, built a tower using all of the cups before you move on!

Ready, set build!

The big kids let Shane knock the giant tower over with the RC car! My only regret of the day: not being in a good position to get the HUGE grin on his face... 

Score! Easter goodies!

Hands down. My favorite image of the day. Just a pack of goofy, silly boys. {love, love, love, love & love}

A close second.

True love... Shane shares a sour-patch gummy with Dave.
{Don't think that didn't make my heart flutter just a bit... he's a keeper!}

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter! Here's some Bunny Love! || Bend, Oregon Photographer

Please enjoy this "best of..." collection from my Bunny Encounter a few weeks ago.

Thanks, so much, to my bunny wrangler, Amanda, for her 3rd year of bunny expertise!