More Photos, More Work

Silly me, I thought that I would have lots of free time this month. I've actually got a few sessions in the next week leading up to the holidays and January is starting to fill up too, but I guess that is the good kind of busy. Next Monday I will finally be done with the current semester, and I beyond happy about this. I have been so exhausted lately with school, work, Dylan, and stress about possible fertility issues. BUT I'm still managing to take photos everyday, although I may be slow at uploading and posting them. I am enjoying having more photos of Dylan going about her everyday activities.

My first of many canvases.

December 2,3 &4

On the 2nd I had a mini photoshoot in the afternoon, it only lasted about 10 min., it's nice taking photos of adults from time to time because they almost alway cooperate! Here is a photo of Jon helping me test out the light on his lunch break. I love that he is always willing to help me. Can you tell he was thrilled to do it? haha, I love him.

On the 3rd I spent the majority of the day cleaning our rooms and bathrooms, fun right? Cleaning on Fridays has become routine.  Here is Dylan eating her dinner with a mouth full of green beans. She still has her pretty blue eyes

Dylan turned 18-months on the 4th! I seriously can't believe she is that old, I'm starting to realize that she is no longer a baby and is turning into a little girl. We took her out to play in the snow for the first time, she did not like it at all at first, but then she realized that it wasn't so bad. We went out shopping with Patty to find her a new snow outfit that fit better, hopefully she'll put it to good use this winter! Here is the first photo I took of Dylan in the snow.

December 1

I'm making an effort to spend more time focusing on my family this month since business will be slowing down a little and I'm almost done with this semester of school. The first day of the month was exactly what it should be, Dylan and I had a PJ day. We cuddled in the living room with blankets galore while watching her favorite shows, playing with her toys (Christmas decorations being her newest ones) and reading all of her favorite books. It was a great start to the holiday season, and I'm so lucky to be able to spend the time that I do with her.

She actually gave me a huge smile when she saw the camera! She was eating her new favorite snack, an apple.

Playing her new favorite toy, and mine because it doesn't leave crayon marks all over the place.

I will try to keep the blog posts coming this month!

A B&W Conversion Tutorial

I posted this on a photography board, but thought I would share it with my lovely blog followers as well. This is how I did my PPing for the photo in the previous post, and how I get my "traditional" B&W edit. All of this was done in Photoshop CS4.

Here is the photo before the conversion:

Here is a screen shot I took while editing:

Here is an explanation of the layers from top to bottom with screen shots of the photo step by step:

- First I created a B&W gradient map to make a boring yucky B&W conversion, then made that my background (I always make a snapshot before this)

Now here's what I have:

- Then adjust the RGB levels to make the B&W not so cool

- The first gradient map you see is the same one used to convert to B&W, but I set the layer to screen to brighten it up a little. 

- Gradient Map 2 is another plain B&W gradient with the layer set to overlay to give it a little boost. A little goes a long with with most of these layers so I suggest keeping the opacities fairly low. 

- Gradient Map 3 gives it that warmer tone and looks like this: 

I have this layer set to multiply

- Then I have two different fill layers to give it more of that brownish/aged color the first layer is set to multiply the second layer is set to soft light

- Lastly I create an "s" curve to give it a little pop and adjust the opacities to taste.

Here is the final photo:

And for a more "traditional" B&W I just deleted the 3rd Gradient Map and the 2nd Color Fill:

Let The Chaos Begin!

I don't like fall. I like to look at fall with the beautiful leaves and trendy clothing, but I still don't like it. It means school begins again, summer fun is gone, and the dreaded winter is nearing. This fall I not only have most of my weekends already booked for my photography business, I also am taking care of Dylan full-time and attending school full-time, thank goodness for online classes or I would be screwed. I'm taking all of the classes I have avoided the last two years, like accounting and calculus, so we will see if I have any hair left come December. I'm going to try really hard to learn how to manage time and balance priorities (like right now I should be doing laundry instead of blogging). But sometimes I also need to let things go, and give myself some time to relax. I did just that last night. Jon, Dylan and I went for a walk at the Outdoor Campus, it was so nice to get outside and just enjoy myself. This is a photo Jon helped take of Dylan and I, I have a feeling this one is going to be turned into a gallery wrap it's too priceless not to.


This summer my cousin Emily got married and I was asked if I could take some candid photos. I jumped at the opportunity as I needed the experience and to know whether or not weddings would be something I would like to do in the future. Needless to say, it was a lot of work and tons of pressure, but I really did love it. I loved knowing that I was capturing some of the most important moments in their lives. Since then I have done one more wedding, and still really enjoyed it. Here is one of my favorite moments captured from Emily's wedding, I think it really helped capture the essence of the relationship between her and her father.

Check out more photos over at IHF:

Beach Fun!

I really wish we would have been able to go to the beach more this summer, I think next summer Dylan will be old enough to really playing in the sand and water. This is one of the photos taken at lake Okoboji when we went to visit the Reuter family. It was such a beautiful evening and all Dylan wanted to do was play in the water, needless to say her outfit ended up in the dryer by the end of the night, haha.

Dylan & Pappa

Check out other "Beach Fun" photos over at IHF:

I've Been A Bad Blogger

I feel bad for neglecting this blog, I always intend to post but then it somehow slips my mind. I will try to update more, and that is a promise.

I can't believe how much Dylan has grown, she is definitely not a baby anymore. She has finally started walking everywhere, we thought it would never happen. She has also been surprising us with the amount of signing that she is doing lately, it's so great to be able to communicate with her even when she can't speak the words yet. We've had a lot of fun this summer with pool trips, many weddings, celebrating our first wedding anniversary, and spending lots of quality family time together. I can't believe that summer is coming to an end and fall is nearing. I am trying not to think of starting my college courses again in two weeks, it is going to make for a stressful fall! I'm also happy to say that my business is really starting to pick up. It is a lot of work, more than I ever could have imagined, but I just love being able to make something I love into a blossoming career.  And on that note, I will leave you with a few newer photos of Dylan.

IHF- Got To Wear Shades

I just love this photo too much not to enter it, it's also the only one wear she's not trying to pull her sunglasses off.

Shutter Love Tuesday "Summer Fun"

This week's theme is "Summer Fun," Dylan always has so much fun at the pool, she even kept her sunglasses on long enough for me to take this snapshot of her.

Check out more "Summer Fun" photos over at Trendy Treehouse:


Birthday Smile

This is Dylan smiling after receiving a Target giftcard for her birthday, she has good taste!

Check out more adorable smiles at Trendy Treehouse:


I Can't Believe She's One!

My little baby turned one on June 4, it's still hard for me to digest. We had a party for her yesterday, although the weather wasn't cooperating for it to be outdoors, we still had fun with it at my Mom's house. I will add some of her one year photos later.

Current milestones:

  • She can stand without assistance, but she only likes doing it when she doesn't realize she's doing it.
  • She can walk really well using her push toys.
  • She says "quack quack" whenever she sees a duck.
  • She can show you how old she is, do "so big", blow a kiss, point out Eli's photo on the wall.
  • She has at least 8 teeth (that we know of, she hates letting me look at them)
  • She pretty much eats whatever we eat, and we are working on her using the spoon/fork.
  • We successfully switched her to whole milk.
  • We've had several successful attempts at her eating a product with egg in it, and no reactions yet!
  • She sleeps in her crib every night all night and for two daily naps, and we've gone an entire week without her crying while going down.

My photography is starting to improve and my business is slowing taking off, I have about 4 sessions booked for this summer already. I also have continued to make children's clothing/accessories, but have not put them in my etsy store yet, I want to get some good photographs of the products first. I have been struggling with some PPD after Elijah's birth and passing, but I have a strong support system that is helping me push through it. I will try and update again soon!

Back In Action

I'm hoping to get this blog started back up. I really haven't updated here since everything with Elijah started, but I figure I still need a place to share all of Dylan's exciting milestones and all of my fun crafts I've been doing lately, so I will try to bring this blog back to life.

Dylan's milestones:
  • She now has her two bottom teeth and her two top teeth are just breaking through.
  • She has ditched the bottle and now drinks out of a sippy cup full-time ( this has saved me a lot of hassle when doing the dishes).
  • We had a little bit of a scare when she had an allergic reaction to eggs, hopefully we can get her into an allergist soon to figure out what this means for her.
  • She is army crawling everywhere, occasionally she will get on her hands and knees, but that usually end with a nose dive into the carpet.
  • She has repeated a few different words such as "patty cake" and "thank you", it surprises us everytime.
  • She can get into sitting position on her own and can stand while hanging onto something.
My newest hobby has taken over our dining room, crafts and sewing. I've made tons of hair clips, tutus, and dresses for Dylan. It's become so addicting that decided to open an Etsy store named after Dylan, it is called D. Sophia. Here are a few things I've made so far: