A Busy Bee

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I have recently made some major changes in my professional life, namely by changing careers.  I left my teaching job to begin taking freelance jobs in reporting, photography and videography I also opened up my own Etsy shop called Light Cage Effects.  The quote above by Howard Thurman has always been one of my favorites and was really something I took to heart when making this decision to change paths.  The photo quote is also an item listed in my Etsy shop here.  The photo is an original taken by me on a trip to Durango, Colorado.  I  took my first trip to Colorado about 2 months ago and really loved it!

If you’d like to keep up with the latest products on my shop or the stories I write please follow my new blog called Light Cage Productions.

Little Moments

I’ve decided that I really want to capture the little moments a lot more and do a lot more picture printing and crafting.  I think there are so many little moments that either get stuck on my phone, computer, hard drive or worse end up deleted.  I’ve found that Instagram is helping me appreciate and capture those little moments more often.  I was also recently inspired by this blog post about scrapbooking for beginners.  I never thought of a scrapbook as a narrated photo album but that sounds like a do-able goal and one I’m starting on right now with these photos!

photo 21) I realized in late December that to maintain my Starbucks Gold Card I would need to earn 21 stars before February 1! Rather than kiss my beautiful card good-bye and I took the challenge.  And guess what?  I met that goal with 6 days to spare – by January 25!  Richard and I accomplished this task thoughtfully.  We spent very little money on each drink and always purchased separately – using my iPhone app and the card – to rack up the most stars possible.  (If you’re not a Starbucks card person then you may not be aware that each transaction only counts for one star no matter how many drinks were purchased.)  We frequented the nearest Starbucks so often that they memorized our order.  These big ol’ cups were our free reward for amassing so many stars – Venti lattes are only acceptable when I’m not paying.

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2) Our little dog pup has learned a new trick.  He climbs on the back of the couch and peeks his little nose out of the blinds to watch us leave.  It’s really sad and makes us feel ever so guilty even though we’re only making a Starbuck’s run in a jiffy.  This new trick is also a little funny because I don’t think he can actually see outside – he just sticks his little nose through like some sort of puppy periscope.

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3) We are planning to stay in this rent house for the next 4-years and it’s slowly feeling more and more like our home.  We wanted desperately needed extra storage in the teeny kitchen since we moved in.  First we bought this mobile kitchen island from Ikea… LOVE that place!  Just last weekend we finally added some shelves.  They might not be the fanciest or nicest shelves but they have expanded our storage areas nicely!

Engagement Shoot #1

This Friday we are meeting with our first engagement photographer, we have three total.  The first set of photos will be taken out at Richard’s families farm.  About a year after Richard and I started dating he took me out to the farm for the first time.  He would ask me to join him on adventures where we would ride the John Deer cart through tall grass, gooey mud, rocky terrain, bellowing herds of cattle and skittish gatherings of deer.  I think Richard tries to recreate adventures he fondly remembers with his Grandpa who would take him to see interesting rocks, animal prints, trees or nests.  The land is mostly what you’d expect, vast rolling prairies that seem to go on forever but there are also dense wooded areas, brimming ponds and some steep hills from which you can admire the patchwork farmland below.

I love the colors at the farm this time of year.  Everything reflects this amber light that has come to signify autumn in Oklahoma to me.  It’s also the perfect time to venture out for photographs because as the weather grows colder dangerous creatures like snakes begin to pose less of a threat.  Here are a few images that I sent our photographer to convey the creative direction I’m envisioning.

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Via a Healthy Living Maintenance

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1) I want the pictures to be fun and relaxed.  I really love when the photographers seem to be peeking through the vegetation at the couple

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2) Our 4-legged son will be joining us for some of these photos so I’ve been searching for some example poses and shots.

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3) I love when photographers capture the smaller moments instead of just your typical photos of the couple smiling and hugging.  I think the one above leads you to understand the couples intimacy without being overly lovey-dovey. I also like the little details like mugs and goodies, it expresses the mood better.

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4) The creative images above capture stereotypical images in an imaginative way.  Through the use of shadows, silhouettes and interesting angles tried and true poses get a breath of fresh air.

I also found this link on how couples should dress and this list of typical couple poses a useful starting point.  We’ll see if any of this information actually leads to a successful engagement photo session.  For a look at more of my inspiration visit my Pinterest Engagement board.

NYC Wrap

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So we’re back from New York City.  It was my first trip to the Big Apple and I’m in love.  The bustle of a city is everything I adore and no city is more bustling than NYC.  Oh before I get into how amazing my vacation was, it started out with some issues.  My Explorer’s air conditioner went out 30 minutes into the trip.  Then an hour before I was to arrive in Dallas my tire blew.  It wasn’t just your general flat tire, it was an explosion.  I thought my car was going to flip and ended up having to wait 2.5 almost 3 hours for a tow truck to arrive.

Once we arrived in New York all those troubles were out of mind, out of sight.  We had a pretty thorough tour of the city.  It included meals at P.J. Clarke’s, Lombarti’s (where I ate my pizza like a New Yorker), a great little Italian Cafe in the Theater District, and even a stop by Tom’s Restaurant (if you’re a Seinfeld fan you’ll know all about Tom’s).  The first night we took a night time cruise of the city.  What we thought was going to be an informative trip matched with a spectacular evening view of the cities lights, ended up being a booze cruise.  While it wasn’t really our style, we still had a lot of fun and got some good shots of some New York staples.  We also wandered a lot through Midtown, Time’s Square, Wall Street, of course Central Park, SoHo, Greenwich and a swing by Columbia’s campus.  We also visited the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 30 Rock, the 9/11 Memorial and Grand Central Station.

I absolutely loved my time there and can’t wait until I can go back.  Oh also the photo of the rat, that’s for Richard’s mom.  She said to be on the lookout for huge rats, that’s the largest one I saw.  Oh and the one of me sleeping on someone in the subway, it just looks like that.  It’s all about the angles.  But that’s really what I felt like doing at the end of that day!

Obsessed with Instagram

Hello everyone,

My last post was about my April bucket list. I already messed up. My April Fools prank was horrible. I couldn’t think of anything so I just texted all of my family a really cheesy joke that I found online. Here goes: Why does Saturn have rings on it? Answer can be found at the end of the post.

Now one thing that I am doing well on so far is keeping up with the April Photo a Day Challenge on Instagram. Of course it’s only day 2 so I haven’t had much room for failure. Here are my first two photos. The first days word was reflection and the second was color.

This is Richard and my reflection as we walked into Pops in Arcadia… that’s my last fast food meal of the month.

This is April 2 photo of color… a manicure tip: layer white underneath your neon colors and you’ll get a brighter color. Please don’t judge my alligator hands and terrible cuticles, the polish is very pretty.

One thing that I’m really loving about Instagram is since I take the photos with my iPhone I can take them all the time. My phone is always on me and I’m trying to capture at least one image a day. I personally am seeing improvement. One thing I’ve learned is get close to your subject, take multiple photos using different angles, they make a photo interesting. Here are a few of the favorites I’ve taken lately.

Different flavors of Soda at Pops. So pretty and tasty!

Khloe the cat sleeping in the weirdest positions. I love cats!

Beautiful flowers blooming at Hafer Park in Edmond, OK.

I loved this flower! It was a single bloom growing in the crack of wooden stairs.

Richard's car looks beautiful in this picture (and in real life too). I was hiding behind the wall so I wouldn't get sprayed with soap.

And if you’re interested in joining in on the Photo a Day challenge, here’s the months list. And if you’re on Instagram follow me whittyo!

And here’s the answer to my April Fools joke: Because God liked it so he put a ring on it.