Sunday, February 25, 2007

Santa Barbara Saturdays: Take a Hike!

What is the point of living in or visiting Santa Barbara if you don't spend as much time as possible outside!?! There are countless hiking trails in SB for all levels of hiker. My favorite is Cold Springs trail to the waterfall. It's a level 4 out of 5 (see wonder I have to take so many breaks!!) and at one point there is this rediculous boulder-climb that is nothing short of hysterically funny to watch people navigate (Hello, Sarah!).

The Knapps Castle hike is one I hope we get to take soon. Neither Kevin nor I have ever been to the castle but most of our friends have and have all said it's a fun date. I'm more of a dinner-and-movie type girl but like I said...what's the point of living in SB if you don't enjoy the beauty and weather as often as possible?! Honestly. Hiking with Brody will be harder now that he's too big for the backpack but there are pleny of nature walk trails and beach trails. We've cruised the Butterfly Perserve a few weeks ago and he was great. Unfortunately the monarchs were asleep but it was still great to be in nature with him and we hope to encourage him to appreciate and love this planet and the surrounds God has blessed us with. Amen!

For directions, difficulty, and reviews on local hikes check out Take lots of water and your camera.
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Cheryl's Tip of the Week

Oh you must check out Cheryl's blog! Brody's little face is featured!! Her tip this week is what I've been working on for the past two weeks: creating a sharp focual point and blurred background/foreground. My little lens doesn't always get what I'm asking it to do (although, my lens mostly blames me!) but I've been able to get a couple of decent examples. I'm posting this pic mostly b/c I think Brody looks so freaking adorable but you may be able to see the blurred background. Yea me! I used AV setting at f5.6 because I didn't remember that you could use the macro setting. I'll be going there this week!

This pic is from our fun visit to Salt Lake City last week with the Wold family. It ended up snowing one day (which was totally unexpected) so Brody got to play in his 1ST SNOW! He loved it although he'd cry when his hands got too cold. How sweet is that? He and Kevin rolled around for a good 20 minutes and then we were done. Short but sweet! We are looking forward to his first actual ski trip someday. SO CUTE!!
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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cheryl's Tip

Cheryl May is one of Santa Barbara's best photographers and a really rad girl. I just love her work and was fortunate enough to actually have a tutorial session with her this afternoon! She showed me how adjusting my apeture and shutter speeds will result in soft focus fore and backgrounds while keeping my subject in sharp focus. I'd NEVER used the Av setting on my camera before so this was very exciting for me. She also let me use her lens and let me just tell you...that was very cool!

So, today on her blog ( she gave her first TIP. It was on the 'Rule of Thirds'. This basically means you want to avoid placing your subject in the dead center of the photograph. I've been putting my subjects off center for a while now and so this is total validation! I love the look of it but never knew that it was a principle. She did says something that I hadn't considered before. The rule also applies on verticle photos. Subjects eyes should be in the top third of the frame. This is cool. I don't shoot a lot of verticle pics but I'm going to be more aware in the future.

I got to photograph my girlfriend Nancy's daughters Katie and Sarah. Katie is 4 year's old and ready for modeling contract. To see all of the photos from this shoot check out

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Easy Philanthropy

We have a plan! As a way to make some extra money that is soley for the purpose of donating to charities and causes. I've posted an ad on Craig's List for local home sellers and real estate agents. I'll photograph their listings for $25.00! If I can photograph 20 houses in a month that's $500 I could donate! So great.

Additionally, Kevin spoke to a real estate contact of his who said that he would definitely use me and possibly get me an opportunity to present to his office. I'm so excited.

Recently I've learned (it's actually soaked in!) that the people who are happiest in this world are those who are following their passions. I love photography and gosh-darn-it I'm pretty good at it. If I can actually make money by shooting photos then I would be totally fullfilled in my career. Talk about waking up happy to start the day! YES!!

So, this is the start. Making money so that I can give money. I'm stoked. Hope you are too :) OH check out for an easy way to donate to your personal causes!

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Power of Positive Thinking

"Giving up the hope that the past could have been different"
"Nothing new can come into your life w/o the FEEL of gratitude"
"Energy flows...where Energy goes!"; "Your energy becomes what you concentrate on"
"Everything is in the PRESENT!"

Yesterday's Oprah was really powerful for me even tho it's pretty 'New Age'. It was on The Secret. The Secret is really just learning how to use, hone, believe, internalize, apply the power of positive thinking. If we focus on all the bad in our lives or the world than we will eventually drown in a preverbial ocean of negativity (my words). BUT if we REALLY believe that things are good, we are good, and that we deserve good things, and I'll add that God is in control of everything and only wants good things for us! (1 Chronicles 17:26)....just think of the possibilities.

Our FEELINGS, THOUGHTS, ACTIONS determine our success in life. FYI success and celebrity/wealth are not the same thing. Success is being fulfilled.

Here are a few of the many negative labels I've given myself:

* I'm a mean person
* I will probably never be thin
* I am not a morning person
* I'm chronically late
* I don't deserve my amazing husband
* I'm just the idea girl...
* I'm a terrible housekeeper ;)
* I'm not (book) smart

I made myself all these things. These characteristics didn't come about as a result of the environment, life circumstances, bad decisions, my family, past relationships, etc. Because I think these things...I am. You know?

I've always known about the power of positive thinking. I've seen it in my mom my whole life. She has tried so hard to not let the tragedies of her life define who she is. She taught me this principle and I'm so impressed by her. Although she has yet to achive the greatness that I know she will one day attain...she gets it. I think it's time I start choosing to believe in this so called law of attraction. Positive thinking, yo. It's a big deal.

I like it. I'm gonna get the video. Good stuff...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I'm thinking about something. It's somewhere back there, in the back of my brain...working it's way to the front...slowly.

I want to support causes. Autism. AIDS Awareness. Breast Cancer. Missionaries. Women. Kids. Homeless. Mexico. Africa. India! Every day I learn about a new organization offering an opportunity to better this world and I do so little. I do so little because I of course feel like I don't have enough to give. Money, that is.

Is there a way for me to earn additional money to be used specifically for charitable causes? What do I enjoy and how can I make money? I'm loving photography at the moment. Being artistic through photography is an amazing outlet. What if I started a (one-man) non-profit offering ameture photography sessions for whatever price and all of that money went to my charity of choice? I saw a cool idea on-line yesterday for offering a service to realtors to take pictures of their list homes for them. I don't know...I'll have to research a bit. I would love to be able to give $500 every month to causes. Or just to have a growing nest egg so that when something big comes up we have the resources to give. Sounds fun!

Monday, February 05, 2007

New York, New York

Ah....New York. Kevin and I took our first No Baby Trip and it was to the Big Apple. We had such a blast. Kevin planned this trip to see the Millrose Games with his college track coach and mentor, Russell Smelley. We decided to make the trip a weekend event and are so glad that we did. The night that they were at the track meet I got to see A Chorus Line. It was wonderful. When I was in elementary school we had cable for about a month and I watched the movie about 25 times on cable. I also watched Zanadu at least as many times! It was so exciting to see it on Broadway. The next night Kevin and I saw a new play called the Drowsy Chaperone. The tagline for this play is "the funniest musical on Broadway" and that is NOT an understatement. It was laugh-till-you-cry funny. I was pointing, wheezing, and knee-slapping at more than one point in the play. Soooo funny. I had never heard of it but after seeing it I'm not at all surprised that it won 5 Tony's this year. Go see it! Besides the theater we did a lot of walking, shopping, eating, and hanging out. This picture is in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn after eating some amaing pizza. That's the Brooklyn Bridge behind us. It was cold and I was severly unfashionable in my big black $20 Foot Locker jacket but I was warm and that was a good deal. On our last night we stayed in the Murray Hill area of NYC in a super great little hotel called the Shelburne Murray Hill. Amazing hotel and we plan on returning if we can get the same amazing rate we got this time ($109!). I'm so looking foward to our next visit to NYC and I'm also planning a girls trip for sometime next year. Yahooo!
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