My Observations

* Disclaimer *

These are my thoughts; though they may be public domain, please have enough respect and understand that they are mine and are not for the use of your own deviant agenda.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I think it's high time I wrote an update with pictures! Of course I won't have pictures of the event I shot tonight but at least you'll get something!

I just got home from Edify's first concert. They are my churches band. They so rock! I'm so proud of them... They are all my boys from youth and well Tom's my best friendís husband so he's practically family and Michelle is just an absolute doll! It was fantastic!

Here are some of the pics of the photoshoot I had with the band earlier this month. It was a lot of fun!

Edify 6/8/08

AAP Certification - Anyways, I've been on an emotional rollercoaster the last couple of weeks. I have found that I have been stressing WAY too much on this AAP examination in October, almost to the point of self sabotage. I'm just trying to take deep breaths and take it one day at a time. I think the part that is disconcerting me is that I'm an intelligent person, I pick up on things fairly quickly, but these ACH rules are a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo and I'm struggling to grasp a basic concept just because the verbiage is so wordy! But I've been persistent. I took that AAP Preparation Class in Pasadena and felt completely out of my league. Mind you, the person heading up the class made it clear that it wasn't meant for beginners. So I had a teleseminar last Thursday on Risk Management Strategies and I was reading the Rish Management Handbook all week before the class and again struggled to comprehend what it was I was reading. Then I take the class and was blown away by how much I understood and how easy it seemed. I think I am just struggling with processing the ACH legal jargon. Either way, after taking that class it did help me calm down quite a bit about the class.

Also I'm going to Vegas in September with my Supervisor for an Operations Conference dealing with the AAP stuff. It will be my first business trip for Alliance, well actually for any company I have worked for so it should be interesting. I think another thing that is putting the pressure on for passing this test is all the money that Alliance is putting out on my behalf. I don't want to disappoint them. These classes, workshops, teleseminars, etc aren't cheap. Failure is not an option! My friends are awesome though... they have faith in me and are all so encouraging and uplifting.

A Chair's Photography - Sometimes I'm so surprised at how many people are so willing to hire me to do their photos. Joshua says I'm professional since I've been paid more then once. It's hard to look at myself as a professional photographer because I still have sooo much to learn! I assisted with Susan Whitney for that wedding down at Kimberly Crest Mansion and it was an absolute blast! Like I said in the post about that event, I was sweaty, tired and non-stop and I still felt like it wasn't work... I had too much fun! Photography is definitely a passion. I get lost looking through the lens. I forget about all the troubles and focus on another world. It's awesome! So tonight at the concert I saw my Political Science teacher from college and we got to talking and he saw me taking pictures and he said he would like me to take the pictures for when he and his wife renew their vows. They asked for a card. This isn't the first time I've been asked if I have a card. A great friend of mine Annette has a bakery Sweet Addictions and when she saw my engagement shots of Daniel and Mary she wanted cards to hand out to her clients that come in for wedding cakes.

Yet shooting with Susan I realized how far I am from being ready for any kind of professional business in wedding photography. I'd love to work with her again. I'm hoping she will call me for future weddings. I don't know how rude it is to ask if she liked my work well enough to actually use me again. I finally got the pictures back from her. Our schedules were never meshing and I was quite discouraged by the time I actually got them all, which was last night. I finally looked through the ones she liked and felt comfortable with her critique of my work. She had valid points. I know there is so far to go. But sometimes I don't think it's going to take very long. Meaning I may still have so much to learn but life will carry me from one thing to the next with this whether I feel prepared or not. I was just thinking back that my first real photography job was for Brian and Rashaell Fischer's wedding. That was back in March! That was only 3 (almost 4) months ago! It's been a whirlwind. I can only imagine what the next few months hold!

For those of you who don't have my myspace page I apologize, you donít get to see the pictures as soon as the people on myspace. I just realized I never posted the pictures of the Steampunk Treehouse! Or Turtle's Reception!

So without further ado...

Steampunk Treehouse 5/1/08 - A select few... I have posted a small slideshow so if you would like to see it go to Steampunk Treehouse Slideshow

Random Shots 4/08 - I just ran into a bunch of shots I took in April and never uploaded them. Some of them are really rather cool...

Turtle & Amber's Wedding Reception 5/17/08

And I can hardly believe I'm actually able to do this but here are some of my favorite pics from the wedding!

Robert & Jessica Simpson Wedding 6/7/08

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On a day like this I want to crawl beneath a rock
A million miles from the world, the noise, the commotion
That never seems to stop

And on a day like this I want to run away from the routine
Run away from the daily grind that can suck the life
Right out of me
I only know of one place I can run to

I want to hide in You
The Way, the Life, the Truth
So I can disappear
And love is all there is to see
Coming out of me
And You become clear
As I disappear

I don't want to care about earthly things
Be caught up in all the lies that trick my eyes
They say it's all about me
I'm so tired of it being about me¶

I would rather be cast away
Separated from the human race
If I don't bring You glory
If I don't bring You glory
If I don't bring You glory

Disappear Lyrics
Artist(band):Bebo Norman

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Written 6/10/08

Well Iíve had the stomach flu for the last few days. It was miserable! Iím rarely sick and this was an unusual sick for me. Either way I spent most of the day Monday in bed praying that the pain and nausea would go away. Today my stomach was cramping most of the day. I went to the doctors and they said it was the stomach flu and there really wasnít anything they could prescribe and that I just had to let it run its course. So here I am, doing better then the last couple of days but still a bit queasy.

Anyways, Iím curious. Recently Iíve become aware that I care about certain peopleís view of me more then others. Iím wondering how or what is it about these certain individuals that make me care so much? Why do they get placed on that pedestal? I know Iím a people pleaser through and through but this is different. This is an unhealthy need to feel accepted by these particular individuals. I am more sensitive to what they say to me, or how they talk about me. I have this one friend in particular who IĎm very sensitive with. I even thought to be honest with him and share how he makes me feel. Then something Jason (someone I placed on that pedestal for a time) said to me a few months back hit hard. He told me no one can *make* me feel anything. I choose to feel it. Sometimes it doesnít feel like I have a choiceÖ I need their approval. So why is it that the choice is given so freely to certain individuals? Why them? Why do I place such high value on what they think of me? It causes me not to be myself, to doubt. Yet I have so many other people out there that do value me, just as I am. They accept me, flaws and all.

Written 6/20

It's FRIGGIN hot!!!! I went out for my usual Friday Wahoo's lunch with Mike and literally felt like I hit a wall of heat! I checked just a moment ago and it was 107 degrees! Dang it! That's hot!

Anyways, aside from complaining about the heat my day has been pretty good! I'm thankful it's Friday.

Written 6/24

So I had hoped to have some pictures to post with this but alas it looks like that will again have to wait... SoonÖ I hope.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Itís been a great weekend! Friday night Andie and I got together for the first time in forever! Her schedule shifted back to where we can do our traditional Friday hangout again! It had been a while since weíve hung out, well, we just had A LOT to talk about and she stayed till about 3am! It was awesome! Iíve missed her!

But man that next morning my mom called me at 8 and it took me a bit to get back to sleep. I knew I had to because I had a long day planned. I was able to sleep till about 10 and then it was time to get up and get ready for my first Assistant Wedding Photographer job. I was excited, yet nervous. I ended up driving down with Susan rather then going in my own car. I figured this would give me time to talk to her and kind of see the directions she had for me. I was anxious about my equipment. Knowing what kind of camera she uses, a Canon 30D and I shoot with a Nikon D70. (Letís put this into perspective. The Canon 20D is comparable to the Nikon D70. The Canon 30D is a newer model and is comparable to somewhere between the Nikon D80 and Nikon D200.) Either way, I knew my flash and lens were slightly inferior. In the end I realized itís mostly about the eye and the how you crop an image (yes, equipment is important!). I learned so much from watching how she worked the entire day.

The wedding was at the Kimberly Crest Mansion down in Redlands. Beautiful location! Any photographers dream! The bride was gorgeous and the groom a cutie. They made a very photogenic couple. We got down to the mansion a little after 2 and jumped right in. It was non-stop till about 10pm when the partying at the reception really started. You can only take so many pictures of drunken people dancing. At one point in the evening I was sweaty and tired and finally had a moment for a potty break and it hit me, this didnít feel like work! I was having a blast! Sure, my one eye was all twitchy, I was sore from holding a camera up to my face all day, my forearm was actually strained! But I was having the time of my life! Iíd never contorted my body so much in one photoshoot. I am definitely on the right track to a dream job!

As much fun as I was having I was really concerned that Susan wouldnít like my shots. I realized quickly that she had a different style of shooting then I did. She takes more chances with framing her shots at odd angles. Hers were always beautiful but I was concerned about screwing up a picture attempting the angled shots. Iím definitely going to have to play with that. I was jealous of her computer. She had a beautiful huge flat screen apple. She put together a slideshow while I took a couple shots at the reception. I also am determined to get the newest version of Photoshop. Iíve wanted to for a while but after seeing what the newer version lets you do to your shots Iím definitely getting it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

The reception lasted till about 11:30 and we didnít get on the road home till after midnight. I got home and was sore and sticky all over. One of Susanís requirements for the day was to wear all black. It was a warm day and we were busy shooting, you can imagine my need to rinse off before bed. I was exhausted so I thought a bath would be good. I climbed into bed at about 2am.

I took over 1500 shots over the course of the day. Most were duplicates, just snapping the same shot a few times just to make sure I got it right. And Iím happy to say that Susan left me a message this morning and told me she had a moment to look through my pictures and after giving me a slight heart attack in sarcastically saying that they sucked, she assured me that she thought they were great. I donít have even a couple shots to share because we emptied my cards as the day progressed. Susan said sheíd send my pictures along with a check this week so hopefully by next weekend Iíll be able to post a couple!

Today after church I agreed to do a photoshoot for Edify, the church band. We had an idea of what type of locations we wanted so after church we all went out to lunch and narrowed it down to a couple abandoned graffiti-filled structures out near Phelan. I had fun but the sun was bright and I knew the time of day would be tough to shoot but I figured I could make it work to my advantage for the type of shots I was looking to get. We spent maybe an hour or so and got some great shots. Most of the band came over after the shoot to look through the pictures. Ironically they thought I took a bunch but after yesterday a little over 100 wasnít that many!

Anyways, I really should be heading to bed. Iíll post pictures soon!

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Monday, June 02, 2008

So I may regret this in the morning but I can't sleep. Unlike a friend of mine who just posted that he's tired but doesn't want to sleep. I'm the other way around. I should be sleeping but I'm wide awake, and if I'm honest I too *want* to stay awake. I just went to my friend Jonathan's blog and he posted lyrics to a Radiohead song. As I listened to the song (he posted a youtube video of it) wondering what the meaning of the song was, I became very contemplative.

My mind keeps jumping from thought to thought.

The friends that have come into my life.

A flirtatious moment with a guy I'm crushing on

A great conversation with an old friend that at one point I thought about writing off

This wonderfully amazing house that I live in!

Back to the Radiohead song and watching the live performance this afternoon and appreciating their talents.

Wishing my cell phone would let me know someone was thinking about me as much as I was thinking about them

The nerves I feel about this AAP Certification test I take in a few months

All the things I accomplished this weekend - Studying, unpacking, relaxing, talking/visiting with friends

Wondering if I stopped writing and shut myself down, would my mind follow suit?

For the first time in a long time I feel very hopeful. I wouldn't say I've been full of doubt but just kind of down, maybe a bit overwhelmed by it all. Wondering if I can get through the next few months and accomplish everything that I want to. I have felt so unproductive in my personal life since I moved into this new place. I get through a pile of boxes not to see any benefits to my work. Luckily this weekend in a few hours time I was able to finish the kitchen. It is awesome to have one room in the house completely done! I have gotten bits and pieces of the other rooms but I'm far from feeling settled. Then today my dad stopped by and put up a couple pieces in my bathroom which means as soon as I get a new shower curtain it too will be complete! I love this place. I can't wait to have a BBQ!

I shared something at church today and I want to share it here. Last Christmas I felt God laid it on my heart to give money to a friend in need. The dollar amount was specific (not odd, just very set). I really didn't have a lot of money but I couldn't shake the feeling that God wanted me to do it. This isn't a pat on my back but honestly as I sang worship today my heart was so filled with thanksgiving and amazement at all that God has done in my life.

Last Sunday my dad spoke on tithing. Not that the church needs your money but that God blesses your money when you convert it to kingdom money rather then worldly money. During this message the pieces of the puzzle fell into place about my giving back at Christmas time. Along with the message of what tithing is and what it does for your increase, my dad also mentioned that giving does the same thing. As I listened little by little it hit me that the exact amount I gave back at Christmas time has come back to me almost EVERY month since! Random side jobs. I got asked to do a webpage here, and better yet... take pictures there. Talk about blessings being returned exponentially! And it just keeps getting better. Work gave me a raise on Friday which, you guessed it, is that dollar amount. The side jobs haven't stopped coming in either. Someone liked the webpage I did earlier in the year and want me to do one for them, and also would like me to take their corporate pictures! It's awesome when you can see God's hand in your life.

Anyways, it's after midnight and I REALLY need to try to go to sleep. This post may seem scattered but honestly thatís how my brain is functioning right now.


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