Green Thumbs

Everyone love succulents, and not just trendy people.  

I’m the gal who catches on to a new trend by the time it’s yesterday’s news to all of you 🤪. However, I’ve always been a succulent lover, so I’m ahead of the game for once, lols. And those succulents are pretty common here in the desert garden that surrounds Las Vegas. 

I tried propagating some plants this past yer but haven’t been successful. But now, I’ve got a cool project in mind I want to make with them so I’ve been researching the proper way to do this. Turns out it’s better to do it over the summer months than winter months, hmmm. So I got to work and prepared the bed for the leaves.  

 

 If I had more time, I would have made a pretty Design with the leaves. As it is,  I’m so glad I finished this step today.    As I went through my many succulent plants, I realized I had some babies already growing. What a pleasant surprise! I transferred them into upcycled containers after soaking them in water for 10 minutes. 

If I had more time, I would have made a pretty Design with the leaves. As it is,  I’m so glad I finished this step today.  

As I went through my many succulent plants, I realized I had some babies already growing. What a pleasant surprise! I transferred them into upcycled containers after soaking them in water for 10 minutes. 

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Have to say, I’m pretty impressed with myself.  ( Totally being sarcastic here! )

I’m hoping to get another bed ready this weekend. I’m feeling industrious! I can’t wait to photograph these with some film. 

Why do photos matter so much?

Why are photos so important? Why do they matter? 

There are many answers that satisfy both of these questions. Photographs show our connections to people, places, and sometimes even things. When we look at photographs, we feel an emotional response. That response is triggered by the subject of the photograph.

Old sepia photographs of great-grandparents and other distant relatives illustrate our history for us. We see similarities in physical traits between the generations or family property handed down generation to generation. We imagine a little bit about these peoples' lives based on their clothing and the landscape.  I grew up in a home where old family photos were on display on every spare inch of counter / mantel / wall space. I hadn't ever met most of the people in those images, but I know who they are and I know about their lives because that information was passed on to me. When stories were told around the Thanksgiving dinner table, all us children knew about the people being remembered in the stories and what they looked like. Having photos and stories of those people brought them to life for us children, and they became a part of our lives.  We felt a connection to them and we all belong to the same family.

Memories of days gone by come flooding in when we browse through family albums. Family vacations, holiday gatherings, birthdays, and sometimes just daily life were captured in those albums. The photographs in the family albums brought those special times with special people alive again. We again feel the connection, not only to our past, but to those who are gone and to those who are still with us. These albums show the value that was placed on family. The value we placed on each other. 

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The photos on our cell phones have the same effect. Not only do we store our family photos on our phones, we have images of items we want to purchase in stores (hello Ikea Someday Album), recipes we want to make,  or Pinterest decorating ideas. We can carry all this in our purse or pocket. 

I encourage you to print your cell phone photos, especially those of family, friends, vacations, birthday parties, and holidays. Someday that phone will fail. All those memory triggers will be erased. There's no greater joy for a child to sit and hold actual photographs in their hands. No greater joy to go through photo albums over and over and over. 

As a family photographer here in Las Vegas, I am blessed beyond measure to be a part of capturing treasured memories for families. 

When my parents downsized, I took hold of the family photo albums and brought them back to my house. I've scanned the images onto hard drives so I can share with my brothers. Even though I'm not a kid, I AM someone's kid and I love going through the albums and touching the photos, remembering the moments, and feeling connected to those who are far away and to those who are gone. 

In the past week, several of my friends - from different walks of life - have lost special people. Moms, husband, Pastor, friends.  Elderly, middle-aged, and very young. Some a complete surprise, no warning. My heart breaks for these families. As I pray for a divine peace and comfort for them, I pray they also have lots of photographs to hold on to, to look through, to remember with, to connect with.

And that is why photos are so important. 

If you don't have photos of your family, contact me. Let's get your family photos taken and printed. It's not just you who will value them. 

Still Life Projects

A few months ago, ok.. maybe 6 or 7, I started working on a still life project called Be Still by Kim Klassem at learn.kimklassen.com.  I haven't been able to work through it all yet, but I've been picking away at it as I can. 

The course appealed to me because I heard of it during a hectic photography season and felt the need to take some time, slow down, and be still. Being still draws me closer to God and I was ready for some of that closeness! 

I like to think I'm creative and occasionally feel pretty good about some of my finished products. I try not to compare against other creatives because then I feel like Pinterest Fail Queen.  I did like combining skills and ideas learned in a food photography class with the Be Still course. 

 

I have so many favorites from these photos.

I love peonies and felt the enjoyment last longer because of the play with the flower petals. I love the texture of the wood and burlap. The birch bark and green clover.  The flower petals and old wood floor.  Strawberry tartlets and powdered sugar on an antique bread bowl from France. 

Which do you like best? 

Source: Stilllifeprojects

Let's Just Go!

How do I relax? By heading out on an adventure in the desert, of course! 

Last Friday, my friend Jamie (jamiezanotti.com) and I headed into Lake Mead National Recreation Area to explore the Northshore Road. To access the Northshore Road, enter Lake Mead through the Lake Mead Drive through Henderson, Nv. Once you go through the park entrance, the road is just 1/4 mile down the way to the left. 

We started with a hike at the 20 mile marker, Northshore Summit Trail. Overall, it was an easy hike, but straight up hill. Our efforts were rewarded with a magical view of the park. 

Onward and up Northshore Road, we took a detour into Echo Bay. Echo Bay is one of the few areas left inside Lake Mead from where you can launch a boat. 

Although this was in essence a photographer's play date, we soon realized we had stumbled upon a phenomenal area for a photo session! We explored all the beautiful little spots and made mental lists, took photos, and began to plan a styled photo session. 

If you're a senior or teen in the Las Vegas, Henderson, or Boulder City, NV area and are interested in this peaceful location for your senior session, contact me! 

Next, we explored Rogers Spring Trail at mile marker 40. What a treasure! Rogers Spring Trail is a natural warm spring and fills a wide, shallow area suitable for wading. I'm not sure I would though, haha. 

I'd definitely add this location onto a senior session. The palm trees and bridge area perfect. 

We made it all the way into Overton and took a brief respite at the Lost City Museum (and McDonalds). If you've never been through Overton, I urge you to go explore this cute town. The Lost City Museum is full of native Indian relics and history of the area. It's worth the trip.

Back down into Lake Mead NRA, we were racing against time to be back at mile marker 20 for the sunset. We didn't quite make it, but that's okay. Sunset along any spot of Northshore Road will not disappoint. 

We first saw the light play on this spot in the desert just a little before sunset.... 

Down the road a little more and then this happened. 

All this beauty is in our own back yard. 

Would you like to have your family session or senior session right here in Lake Mead? There are so many wonderful areas I didn't touch on! 

Specializing in family desert sessions and senior desert sessions!

Las Vegas Senior and Family Photographer 

 

A little adventure every now and then is good for the soul!

Our trip didn't go as planned, and it was probably more fun!  Sailor Boy made it back from the seas a few days early, so our Navy-sponsored Family Cruise was cancelled.  The benefits were we didn't have to wait around for a phone call to drop & go and got to spend more time with Sailor Boy and his wife, Sailor Girl. We spent their 3rd anniversary together with them and shared some good ol' home made comfort food! 

 Home made macaroni & cheese

Home made macaroni & cheese

 with Key Lime Pie for desert

with Key Lime Pie for desert

We also had more time to explore the area! The kiddos live in the Paulsbo area of Washington, west of Seattle. We spent a day exploring by foot and a few days exploring by car and foot. 

Port Ludlow was a beautiful stop on our tour. It seems to be a retirement community, lol -  maybe our next neighborhood? (Nah - don't ever let me do that!!) 

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This little sea otter was sunbathing and he let us know he didn't want company!  That's ok.... hubby found a huge starfish that enjoyed the attention. 

 Love this view of Port Ludlow Marina on the Olympic Peninsula 

Love this view of Port Ludlow Marina on the Olympic Peninsula 

Some scenes from the peninsula 

 Port Hadlock - not much there but the private marina and this bear 

Port Hadlock - not much there but the private marina and this bear 

 Wild berries and rose hips everywhere! This was taken in Juanita Bay Park in Kirkland. Such a beautiful place! 

Wild berries and rose hips everywhere! This was taken in Juanita Bay Park in Kirkland. Such a beautiful place! 

 Spent a little time with family on the east side of Seattle... Juanita Bay Park. 

Spent a little time with family on the east side of Seattle... Juanita Bay Park. 

All in all, this was my favorite place every morning... 

 Viking Brew

Viking Brew

And my favorite place every evening.... 

 Sailboats, Sunsets, Paulsbo Marina 

Sailboats, Sunsets, Paulsbo Marina 

Summer, oh Summer, what will we do with you?

Last night, at 9:24pm, PST, Summer of 2017 officially began. 

Now here in the Las Vegas valley, it felt like Summer began mid-May. That's the joy of living in the desert, we get a sneak peek of summer way ahead of time! But I digress.... 

12 weeks of free time coming up, right? Time to sleep in, read some good books (grab the Mitford series by Jan Karon  (Jamie @ www.jamiezanotti.com has me hooked on those), catch up on Netflix series, lounge poolside. Throw in 2 sessions of summer school (early morning wake-up for most of us) and afternoons working on fall and winter business, that's us in a nutshell for the summer. 

This is what I'd rather be doing.... 

or

Just sayin....

What adventures do you have in store for the Summer of 2017? I'd love to hear!

 

Pinterest Win or Fail?

I'm so excited to start this project on so many levels! 

1) I love to craft! 

2) I love photography! and this project is about photography.

3) I'm overwhelmed with life right now and when I'm overwhelmed, why not craft instead of focus on my 'to do' list? 

4) I have so many business ideas spurred on by this craft. 

Stick around to see how it turns out! Place a bet on the win/fail if you're feeling adventurous!