I was messing around in my garden this morning, giving myself a bit of flower time on the Friday before wedding season starts up again in full swing, and I came across this tiny treasure. And by tiny, I’m talking TINY tiny. As in maybe a quarter of an inch. I’m so thankful I didn’t crush this little beauty, and immediately ran smiling to get my camera.
So here you go – happy Friday!
And here’s an image to give you an idea of just how teensy this little guy was. :)
On the docket: weddings and portraits! Stay tuned!
Spring is one of my absolute favorite times of the year (although I admit I think I say that about every season). There’s something just so exhilarating about watching new leaves form, seeing colors pop, enjoying softly falling rain and the intoxicating scents that emerge from the earth and fragrant flowers. I love it all.
The past couple months have been exceptionally busy for me, moreso than usual, mainly because I moved into a new house (my first time as a homeowner – so exciting!), I’ve been finishing up my semester teaching as an adjunct professor at the School of Journalism at the University of Montana, and somewhere in between I’m trying to get work done, unpack boxes, and set up house. So it’s been flying by.
Which is why when I took my camera out this morning to wander my backyard and photograph my flowers and such, I remembered just how nice it was to take a moment and breathe. Simply breathe. And be happy. And enjoy that intoxicating lilac scent that I now get to have in my very own backyard.
Simple pleasures, but wonderful ones.
So take a moment, open your eyes to the good things around you, and steal a great big breath and think about what makes you smile. Happy spring, everybody!
I love my job and I adore running my own business, but that also means I work my tail off and rarely get days off or vacations. So, after long wanting to do this, I treated myself to a little vacation in Central America, specifically Costa Rica and Panama. And it. Was. Wonderful.
I highly recommend visiting, especially Panama, if you’d like to explore this part of the world. We had a great time and I sincerely wish we could’ve stayed a little longer. It felt like a whirlwind.
Anywho, take a peek at some snaps I made while I was down there. Fair warning, this is a super long post, but I’d like to think it’s worth it. :) Enjoy! (Captions describe the images above them.)
I had some super looooong layovers in a variety of airports, but it seems like Salt Lake City was bound and determined to make sure I stayed there the longest. I was bored and tired (it was late in the evening) so I situated myself behind some plants and 1) watched travelers run up this ramp, and 2) watched airport employees race wheelchairs down the ramp. Amusing stuff. On the right is an image of the Costa Rican mountains. Pretty pretty. (That’s a frowned-upon iphone snap by the way. I managed to sneak it past the flight attendants…)
When I arrived in San Jose it was fairly overcast and warm, but not roasting hot. After checking myself into the hostel (Hostel Urbano) I decided to venture around the neighborhood and see what it had to offer. (Left) a crocodile (alligator?) playing a baby grand, (Top Right) a pink university building, (Bottom Right) a plant whose name I am unsure of, but one whose leaves I love. In the US I’ve only seen these as tiny houseplants – here they were giant bushes!
I just kind of loved how the tree’s roots followed the pavers so well. This was in the University area near Hostel Urbano in Costa Rica.
They love their mosaics in Central America. This one was just incredible. While I was taking this photo, there was some kind of traditional dance class going on inside this building. Girls were dancing while balancing soft weights on their heads, which I’m assuming was to keep their posture perfect. (top right) Amusing little sculptures near one of the university buildings. There was even a sculpture of a couple in a passionate kiss.
Jamey and his friend Timothy finally arrived into Costa Rica. They had visited Cuba previously and wanted to smoke some of the cigars they’d gotten there. I’m not a smoker by any means, but these cigars actually smelled quite good. (bottom right) One of the university buildings and trees lit up at night.
Our hostel had some interesting touches to it. (at top) That’s a peace sign made out of army men stuck to the wall.
Costa Rican money (colones) is ridiculously pretty.
The next day we decided to check out downtown San Jose and went to wander around a local mercado (market) which was located in what the British refer to as an “arcade.” I’m not sure if they refer to it that way in Costa Rica, too. But it was indoors, and full of winding little passageways. There was no shortage of canaries in cages. (at right) Did you know that frosted flakes are called Zucapitas in Costa Rica?
Let’s all pretend that’s not me in this photo, ok? I’m mainly including this image because it summed up our energy level on our LOOONG, hot, no AC bus ride from San Jose to David (pronounced Da-VEED), which is in southwestern Panama (we didn’t have AC on the bus, but thankfully the windows opened, which for the most part did the trick before the temps started hitting the 90s). We were a bit tired, and let me tell you – getting into Panama was a trip in itself. Talk about long lines in hot humid weather. Hoooo boy. (at right) The Costa Rican landscape.
Those aren’t logs you’re looking at…..there was quite a traffic backup to see these guys sunning themselves. Anyone know if they are crocodiles or alligators? I’m a landlocked girl, so I haven’t a clue.
I am not quite sure whether this is Costa Rica or Panama. It was definitely getting warmer at this point as we were descending from the mountains of Costa Rica into the lowlands of Panama.
(at left) A terrible snapshot through the quickly moving bus window of a farm full of some kind of palm tree. There were TONS of farms that looked exactly like this.
Woo hoo! They let us off the bus to get food and use the baños. Thank goodness. I’m still amazed they only stop once during this 8 hour long trip, excluding the stop at customs, which also doesn’t allow for food consumption or baño use. (at left) That’s some friggin’ good fresh pineapple. (at right) We’ve arrived into David and that’s me as we wander the streets in search of our hostel. Did I mention the streets are unnamed? And that two early-twenties Panamanian guys giggled and called Jamey a “Boy Escout!” as we walked to our hostel. Pretty funny.
Hostel time. (top) This is what our room at the hostel looked out onto (which is sort of a mini courtyard surrounded by rooms). I should rephrase though – our room WOULD have looked out onto this if the windows opened. That’s something I noticed right away – almost everyone in hot, humid climates keeps their blinds shut to keep the hot sun from heating up their abodes even more than normal. (bottom left) Our room with a lovely fluorescent ambiance. I kid, but this place was actually very nice. (bottom right) An electric shower. Yes, you read that right. Electric. Shower. Say what? Water and electricity don’t mix? But apparently in Central America they do…just don’t touch the showerhead or you’ll get zapped….
Iphone snaps of David as we wander through it.
My favorite little buddy, Rainbow the Toucan! And his pals the green parrots who speak Spanish and say “Hola!” in the cutest little bird voices you’ve ever heard. Have I mentioned how much I love birds? I couldn’t get enough of these dudes…and they were just chilling at our hostel in David.
More pretty sidewalk mosaics not far from our hostel in David. (at right) A banana salesman. We discovered that the best fruit came out of the back of farmers’ trucks. And was ridiculously cheap. At one point we were on the search for oranges (which are green, go figure), and we asked the gentleman how many we could get for a dollar. We thought we’d get five, but apparently misheard him, as he started loading us up with TWENTY-FIVE oranges for a dollar. We stopped him and said, oh wait, we only want 50 cents worth. So he gave us 15, I gave him a dollar and told him to keep the change, and he looked at me like I was a complete lunatic. By the way, Panama uses U.S. dollars as currency, in addition to their Balboa.
The fruit, especially the pineapple, was just out of this world. Jamey had rum from Cuba, so we attempted some tasty adult beverages in the hostel’s open-air kitchen with fresh, fresh, fresh ingredients. By the way, that’s an orange slice on the side of the glass…notice the not-orange skin?
We liked visiting lots of little street vendors. Jamey got a papaya here that seriously about bowled him over it was so good. The little boy in the bottom photo was sucking down coconut water like there was no tomorrow. He ran up to his dad asking for another, so his dad whipped out a machete, whacked it into the top, lifted open a “lid” and threw in a straw. The little boy was content.
Views of our hostel in David. Lots and lots of bright colors here. Speaking of which: in my opinion, the US really needs to embrace more color. It’s so beautiful!
Cocoa the parrot and Rainbow the Toucan. Such cool birds.
One of Jamey’s dinners he made out of fresh veggies and some really bizarre cheese.
Having fun with reflections…and I liked this wall, so I asked for a portrait of me to record that I actually attended this trip, too. I got the dress in David, from a very helpful store clerk who was doing her best to understand my broken Spanish. And let me tell you – you think it’s hot outside? It’s even hotter in a dressing room. Holy moly. I’m so glad I got the dress though. Cool and breezy – check.
After spending a day in David, we took a minibus up to Guadalupe (pronounced Guad-ah-LEW-pay), which is in the northern part of Panama. There are lots of farms up there, and they aren’t kidding about their farming. Even though the region is very hilly, they farm as high as they can up the steep slopes. Our trip to Guadalupe was pretty interesting….our driver and fare-taker certainly weren’t interested in arriving anywhere in a timely fashion since we ended up going with them on some of their various errands – picking up drycleaning, lunch, hardware items (a giant metal pole which they threaded into the bus through the windows) and one of their friend’s houses. It’s a good thing we also didn’t particularly care about the time either.
Bright colors, how I love thee! (at left) Old tires used for flower pots along the street in Guadalupe. (right) A bus stop.
Inside the Los Quetzales lodge we stayed at in Guadalupe. I love their “jeep” available for rent. And the manzanas (apples) in the blue bowl just appeased my taste for color again.
There were hummingbirds everywhere at this place! This little guy and I became friends. I was *so* close to touching him…he’d fly so close to my face and I could feel the whir of his wings. So cool. This was right outside our room.
Inside our room at the lodge. There was a pond with a fountain outside and there was a skylight in the room. I slept SO well that night. Plus, it wasn’t roasting hot or humid. Our bathroom was interesting. In so many places that had the electric showers, you’d get a trickle of water, albeit warm water (most of the time, though I seem to have bad luck on the heated water front.) This shower in this room was insane, though. The water pressure about blasted our skin off. A huge change from the weak electric showers. But I wasn’t complaining.
The other side of that bus stop in Guadalupe. That’s a painted quetzal on the side.
We wandered around Guadalupe, which is a tiny town. Their big thing is selling “fresas con crema” (strawberries with cream). So we tried some. And it was delicious, though different. Because the cream they were referring to is somewhat like marshmallow cream. However, it all still tasted good to us.
Spiderweb in good light.
A random little shop off the road. Again, bright colors, be still my heart. I love it.
Many houses had “wrapped” their front doors as presents for Christmas. A lot of them still had their decorations up, even though it was the middle of January.
I like walls with signs.
“Yes, there are strawberries with cream”
It was so pastoral here.
Fresh fruits and veggies (plantains and lettuce).
There was a beautiful little flower garden (er, wait…not so little) that was selling all sorts of plants and flowers and would just let anyone walk through it. The lilies were beautiful.
He humored me for this photo, which just cracks me up to no end.
For my Wisconsin friends….if you’re ever in need of a flower pot, just use a beer can.
Flores, flores, y mas flores!
Pretty darn gorgeous.
We visited a local grocery store. This cat was hanging out by the cat food. I was amused. Apparently very easily. On our way out, we saw two dogs greeting one another in the street.
See – I told you they were serious about their hillside farming. The white dots on the hillside are farmhands because I highly doubt machinery would survive the steep slopes.
Those are cabbages on the hillside…they looked like they were about ready to tumble off.
The evening of the day we arrived in Guadalupe, off we ventured into the nearby jungle in search of a waterfall. We never did find it, but we found lots of other pretty things.
Obligatory jungle sign shot.
Jungle jungle jungle! Cloud forest! Happiness!
These are some tall trees.
So much lush green.
Yes, I do exist!
Ferns. HUGE ferns.
I saw this sweet light teasing me and I went running to catch it. I’m SO glad I did because it disappeared minutes after I made the following images.
This is a panorama of what we were seeing. Gorgeous juxtaposition.
The little boys in the left part of this frame couldn’t get enough of me walking around with my camera. So we played a little game of “I’d casually swing the camera around at them” and “they’d run screaming and laughing uproariously.” What a fun game. Such cuties.
Such sweet light. If you look closely, you can see all the water droplets in the air.
A farmer and his dog.
Flowers and light.
I have a thing for lone trees.
Jamey walking into the sunset.
Rainbow! I must’ve looked like a fool running around like a mad person getting these shots.
Our dinner that evening: porkchop at left; steak at right – so. freaking. delicious. Even if it was kind of expensive.
The next day we prepped ourselves to hike the “Sendero de los Quetzales” (trail of the Quetzals) from just outside of Guadalupe to Boquete (pronounced Boh-KET-ay) with all of our belongings on our backs. The trail goes through the jungle. It was a STEEP, STEEP hike up to the start of the trail, and this kind farmer offered to drive us as far as his 4WD would allow. So we hopped in the back of his jeep and went for a bumpy ride up the hillside until the road was blocked off by a mudslide. It was so nice of him to do this for us.
Our view from where we started our hike.
The ranger station (la cabaña) at the start of the hike. So pretty up there.
The map….little did we know what we’d be in for later on…
The flora and fauna here was just stunning.
It was magical.
My eyes couldn’t get enough of everything.
We tried our darndest to see a quetzal, but alas, it was not to be.
I’d love to know where this ladder was going…
So many vines on everything.
Check out the size of all these plants!
Colors, colors, colors!
As we climbed lower, the palms started showing up more. The majority of our hike was VERY, VERY steep downhill. And the uphill parts were VERY, VERY steep, too. I was incredibly grateful we chose to go downhill rather than uphill, even though our legs were exhausted afterwards. If we had gone uphill, there is a good chance I would not be here writing this.
More vines. I couldn’t help but think of Tarzan and how much fun that would be….
Hey, I exist again!
The clouds and mist like to roll in during the afternoon.
(at left) A vertical panorama of one of the jungle trees.
So much to look at. (at right) This sign totally lied to us. The trail’s end was a heckuva lot farther than that.
Frog! And he was tiny – I almost stepped on him.
Really neat flowers that remind me of squash blossoms. And a whole load of mushrooms.
Aren’t those mushrooms cool?
More vines. It’s starting to get kind of dusky now.
You just can’t stop looking here.
It’s starting to rain now…
Giant leaves. I start thinking to myself that I’d fit under one of these….
A sweet old bench.
And then there’s a total lack of photos because I am having a complete and utter breakdown for several hours after we learn that we have been given bad info and are nowhere even CLOSE to the final ranger station. It is dark and raining at this point. Jamey insists he knows how to get us to a safe place, but I am FREAKING. OUT. This is my first time in a jungle. I was not planning on spending the night in it. My legs are beyond exhausted at this point. I can barely stand up because we’ve been treading so heavily downhill and exhausting our quads all day long. I can’t move any longer. Jamey rushes off into the black night to see how far away the ranger station is. I am sitting in the dark of the jungle, hiding under branches to try to stay dry, without a light since my headlamp has died, and listening to the frogs peep their chorus amongst the trees. I see glowing eyes light up at me. And I am trying hard to tell myself I will be safe. Jamey comes back, he tells me he’s run into a farmer who tells him the ranger station isn’t that far away. We continue on. I can barely move. It is more uphill and I. Am. Spent. But we make it to the station, which has closed at this point. I huddle up against the wall outside, wait for Jamey again as he runs off into the night to find cell service. And then I see a little black thing moving at me in the night. So I take this terrible photo, thinking it may be the last one of me alive. (Have I mentioned I have a runaway imagination?) Jamey comes back. The little black thing comes at us again, and……it’s a housecat. Oh, silly imagination. We laugh a bit and relax when we know that we won’t have to walk into town another 15 miles or so. A taxi is coming to rescue us. Whew. And on the way to Boquete he tells us about the big jungle cats that occasionally like to roam where we just were….go thing we’re in a cab at this point!
After we got to our hostel in Boquete, we collapsed and this was our view, one which we were very glad to be seeing that night.
The next day we wandered around Boquete. There were pretty churches with beautiful tolling bells and horses right next door.
I love walls and colors.
I call this, “Attack of the Cacti.”
Jamey’s a coffee aficionado, so we walked over to the coffee farm and got ourselves some drinks. And apparently sampled some of the best coffee in the world.
In case you’re wondering what the best coffee in the world looks like, it’s in the cup on the right.
(at left) Pink bananas!
We were walking around the village and I heard what I swore was the sound of a peacock cry. So I started following the sound and found this beautiful guy strutting his stuff around the backyard of this house. (at right) They had at least 4 or 5 peacocks just hanging out near their garage.
Downtown Boquete. The women in this photo are natives and are dressed in native dresses, which are brightly colored and are large and shapeless for the most part. As we were traveling around Panama, we saw many native women dressed in this garb digging out of garbage bins or bags, scrounging for food. It appears that the natives are very poor, which is such a shame.
I. Love. Color.
Another little indoor mercado in Boquete. (bottom left) We picked up some tomates de arboles (tree tomatoes) from this vendor as well as some passion fruits and avocado. The tree tomatoes are truly unique. They feel almost like a plum and have a dark juice that stains your hands red like blood.
Boquete had just finished their major flower festival a few days before we got there, but there were still some remnants that we got to see.
This house made me happy. At the far left there’s a little girl doing laundry outside. She is smiling at me.
Belated flower festival.
They are also very proud of their fresas here. And I just thought it was so funny how all of their strawberries were made to dance in their advertisements.
More dancing fresas!
Various things on the festival grounds. (bottom left) I took this photo because the sink was going to nowhere.
Talk about gorgeous.
Mas flores bonitas. And a happy statue.
Wall gecko (I think?) back at our hostel in David! These geckos were very territorial and would yell and scream at each other…as loud as tiny geckos yell and scream.
Probably one of my favorite and most amusing parts of our trip. We were on this minibus headed to Boca Chica (which is on the southern coast of Panama), and we kept stopping to cram more and more people into the bus. The ticket-taker guy was definitely imbibing on some spirits he had hidden away in his pocket, so that was amusing in and of itself, but then we encountered a guy who had 100 pollitos (baby chickens) that he wanted to take onto the bus. So, we traveled a while with 100 pollitos peeping. Hilarious. At one point, one woman said in spanish, “You should take them out and hand one out to everybody to hold onto for the trip!” So funny.
This was on our way to Boca Chica – we stopped off to get a view of this spectacular scenery. (at left) A cashew tree. I was warned that I’d better be careful for snakes while walking in the grass. I’m glad to say I did not encounter any.
We arrived to Boca Chica, which was just hot hot hot and humid humid humid. We’d been hoping to grab some almuerzo (lunch), but no place opened until much later in the afternoon. So we rested in the shade at this place and sipped on terrible drinks to quench our thirst and discomfort. The drink’s name: Big Roja (red). It tasted like liquid bubblegum. Ewwww.
After traveling by boat, we arrived to the Pacific Bay Resort, which was gorrrrrgeous! This was our view every day at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not bad, eh?
Where we ate all our meals. It was nice because we could catch a breeze up here, which was oftentimes not that easy to come by.
(at left) One of the pathways leading to our cabin. We’d often see howler monkeys working their way through the treetops, one time with a wee little baby in tow! (top right) Our cabin. We had lots of little ant friends. PBR (Pacific Bay Resort) is off the grid. All their power comes from solar and wind energy, so we didn’t have much in the way of electricity or hot water while we were here. But we were still treated very nicely considering. (bottom right) Our porch. If we had enough bugspray on we could hang out in this hammock comfortably.
Oh, paradise found!
This beach (they called it south beach here) was absolutely incredible. The water was warm and beautiful and the waves were so much fun to play in. We went exploring and swam over around to the next beach over and had a great time watching crabs run across the rocks and throw themselves into the water as we came close to them. The next day we also went kayaking and explored some of the nearby islands. And Jamey went snorkeling and saw lobsters, sea turtles and a variety of colorful fish. (bottom right) Hermit crab trails crisscrossed the beach everywhere. They were most active in the evenings and it was pretty awesome to watch them running around everywhere, homes in tow.
After getting burnt to a crisp, I gave myself a break out of the sun and took to the hammock for a good read – wind softly kissing the palm leaves, listening to the waves lap the shore. It was perfect.
When we had gone kayaking we’d stopped off at another beach that was full of colorful finds. How pretty are these?
We eventually had to leave Boca Chica, and headed back to David again. There, in a search for another mercado, we found this amusing salon. And on our way back to Costa Rica from Panama the day after, we found these Chis Wis thingamijiggers being sold.
We stayed in Almuhueana (spelling is way off there) in Costa Rica the night before we flew back to the states. Our hostel was nice and the owner was friendly. (top right) The view from the window. Someone was hanging their laundry out there on the roof.
We decided to treat ourselves to some ice cream the night before we left. I couldn’t get over how gigantic and frou frou this was. It was really good, too. Its name: Copa Cupido.
Jamey couldn’t have evidence of his Cuban rum, so I photographed it before he had to ditch the bottle.
Goodbye Costa Rica!
Birds get a pretty darn good view, dontcha think?
I believe this is somewhere over Nicaragua. The end!
Congratulations! If you made it to the end of this ridiculously long post, you get a gold star!
Is there anything more serene or magical than watching snow fall at night? We had a little storm a couple of days ago in Missoula that blanketed our town with about 7 inches of beautiful, fluffy snow. I couldn’t help but document it in a simple video and as a still photo, too. Check out the small slices of the evening below – the first is the final photo; the second is the behind-the-scenes video. (To watch it in HD, which makes a huge difference in viewing quality, hover over the video, click the HD button at the bottom right and click the corresponding link that pops up.) Enjoy!
Hi folks, I’m feeling generous since it is the giving time of year, so I’ve got a little treat for you! I’ve got 5 Cyber Monday (and Tuesday, because why not extend it?) discount codes for:
A super fun photo session + 7 prints+ 1 wall portrait for $650 (normally a $1000 value)!
If you were thinking about getting that special someone on your Christmas list a ridiculously sweet gift, then take a peek at some more details about what’s included. You’ll get:
Your session fee (up to 2 hours of coverage at a location of your choosing within Missoula, Montana OR in your area if I happen to be traveling there at some point before 11/27/13) for up to 2 people and up to 2 furry friends PLUS
7 prints (your choice of wallet size up to 8×12 size)
A 16×24 wall portrait…your choice of a framed print, canvas wrap, standout print or photo float
This deal expires on Tuesday, November 27th, 2013 (so you’ve got a whole year to make sure it gets used)
This offer is not redeemable for cash
Keep in mind that I’ve got only 5 (yes FIVE) discount codes that are available on a first come first serve basis at checkout time. If this just sounds like the bees knees to you, shoot me an e-mail to get your code. Please remember, after claiming the code you must order and pay for your special session in order to receive the special deal or the code and discount are void.
Any questions, holler at me! :) Makes a fantastic Christmas gift or a perfect graduation present for that special high school senior in your life! Happy holiday season!
This is definitely a departure from what I normally post about on my blog, but I figured it’s worth writing about. I’ve had more than one of you ask me why on earth you can’t see my Facebook business postings any longer….and I saw that and wondered why that was happening because I’ve noticed that I’M not even always seeing my own posts…what the hey? I always post sneak peek images on my business page, but apparently they are no longer showing up in your newsfeeds. Sad.
Why is that?
I experimented around, wondering if it was HOW I was posting that was causing issues. Nope. Posts were still not in your newsfeeds. So apparently, it’s not me….it’s them. *insert eerie music here*
Turns out, Facebook has adjusted things again.
(I know, I know – whine, whine, moan, moan about a free service.) Long story short, they have changed an algorithm that prevents business pages’ posts from actually showing up in the majority of their fans’ newsfeeds….unless businesses pay to promote their posts. Which I have heard doesn’t really do much to boost your post’s presence anyway, AND has the added danger of just being hit by spambots….which means, all those clicks that you’re paying for are just robots, not people. (To take a more in-depth look at it, check out this article from Business Insider and this article by Neil Van Niekirk outlining these changes.)
This is what pops up on my business page if I choose to “promote” a post. Currently, Facebook is trying to get more businesses to try this and is giving a free credit. I don’t plan on using it because I just don’t particularly believe in what they’re basically forcing us to do now. If I don’t pay to promote my posts, on average, about 100 to 300 of you see my posts….ouf of the approximately 1100 of you that like my page. Kind of ridiculous….and it’s happening to ALL business pages, not just mine.
Now, this change bums me out on two levels.
One, you guys don’t get to see what I’m sharing, and I’m assuming that if you’re a fan of my page, you might just want to see what’s going on with my business, right? Secondly, I’m a personal Facebook user as well – I don’t just use it for business. And guess what….I like other business pages too. Which means, that I, as a consumer (like you guys), am also missing out on what businesses are trying to tell me….and I’ve liked their pages because I want to stay informed. Yet, now I’m not because Facebook is greedy. Sad, sad, sad.
There’s just not much about this that makes sense….unless you’re Facebook and are in the business to make money. Of course, people will argue, “Facebook is free! How dare you complain about a free service?” I suppose they are right. But at the same time, Facebook exists BECAUSE of us. Right? I don’t think it’d work so well if suddenly we all disappeared…but I digress.
I’m going to cut to the chase and offer up a solution on my end of things.
In addition to posting on Facebook, I always post blog posts of my sneak peeks. And my blog posts are always there, can always be seen and aren’t going to be hidden by big brother Facebook.
So, if you’d like to stay informed of what I’ve been up to, see photos of your friends and their friends and whatnot, then you might just want to subscribe to my posts by e-mail. It’s pretty easy. You just click on the “Follow” tab located at the bottom right of your screen, enter in your e-mail (don’t worry – e-mails are kept private and confidential and you’ll never be farmed out to spam machines by me – I am so anti-spam it’s not even funny), and voila! You’re getting happy little updates about new posts in your e-mail. You can click on the link in your e-mail, it takes you to the new post, and there you’ve got your photo fix. Kinda cool. And, of course, you can always unsubscribe if you want to. (I’ll cry a little… ;) ) but you’ve got that option. (The photo below is a screen shot of where the follow button is.)
Additionally, I highly encourage you to do this with all your favorite sites/public figures/favorite brands/younameits. Get their content in your inbox and avoid Facebook telling you what IT thinks should be important to you.
And with that, I’m stepping off my soapbox and will be crossing my fingers that Facebook notices the error of its ways.
I’m sitting here writing this at 12:08 a.m. Mostly because I don’t think I’ll be able to fall asleep without getting these thoughts out of my head, and partly because I am just a night owl at heart.
This evening I was washing my face, enjoying the warmth of the water on my skin, and I found myself looking up at my reflection in the mirror and being caught in thought. I thought about the things that had happened over the course of the past couple days. How much I’d accomplished in my list of to-do’s. How thankful I am to have had time to spend with friends and people I care about. And then I thought about something one of my friends had written the day before:
“One year ago was the hardest day of my life. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you and wish I could call you for advice and just talk about life. I miss you Dad.”
My friend’s father passed away from pancreatic cancer last year. I don’t know how she copes with this, since I can’t imagine how on earth I would be able to even wrap my head around something like that, but she has such a positive, happy outlook on life, which I know gives her strength.
I remember hearing about how he had passed away last June….and I recall just crying, crying, crying. For him. For her. For how unfair things can be sometimes.
Today she wrote that her new baby boy just laughed hysterically for the first time ever – seeing this, and imagining this made me so happy for her. And amazed at what we experience during our lifetime.
I looked at myself in the mirror again, face covered in soapy lather, looking a bit tired and worn out, and I thought to myself how truly incredible things are. I am not rich, and I am not without my share of stress, but I am alive. I am breathing. I am feeling, and feeling deeply. I am really pretty happy. I laugh a whole darn lot. I probably work way more than I should. But I love what I do.
People, I am so serious when I say how important photos are. I am totally guilty of not taking the time to have portraits made or make them for myself or my own family. And I need to be better about that. And you should too. Not so I can make a buck…that’s not why I do this (well, admittedly, this is how I make a living because I DO have to eat and put a roof over my head, but you get what I’m saying)…I do this because there’s a transcendent quality to images. They last. They hold onto emotions. They are simply incredible ways for us to time-travel. And they are important.
Because…tomorrow is not guaranteed.
I looked at myself again in the mirror. And I thought about some photos my cousins sent to my dad a while back. They were pictures of him with his older sister, Patty, my aunt. She passed away when I was in junior high, but we still have photos of her. It was wonderful looking through those old black and whites and seeing my dad and her when they were wee ones.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed…but we have the ability to hold on to a little bit of the present.
With that….I’m going to share some of those black and whites of my dad and his sister (and my grandma is in one, too). And maybe I’ll finally get around to getting my mom that photo of me she’s been wanting for…oh….10 years or so. ;)
Goodnight, all. Sweet dreams. And may you all have pleasant tomorrows. Take some pictures, or get some made, and pause your present for a bit. You’ll be glad you did.
This shoot was all about drama drama drama – in a good way. I knew going into this that I wanted it to feel dark, dramatic and raw, and that I’d be shooting for black and white. So we styled Joelle very casually, and got all dark and smudgy with her makeup to really add to the drama of the photos.
This is pretty different from what I usually shoot – which is very happy, bright, and full of color. I wanted to go in the total opposite direction with these photographs and capture the vulnerability of someone who’s feeling sadness, curled into themselves and just letting go. Because I couldn’t go all sad and dark with every shot (I’m a super happy person by nature), we mixed it up with some softer images and expressions – and of course, there were a lot of giggles in between serious shots. Don’t worry – no Joelles were harmed in the making of these photos. If only you could have seen the behind-the-scenes hilarity….. ;)
I don’t often post personal stuff, but today I’m just feeling like it. Perhaps it was because Missoula hit a sunny 70 degrees and upped my Vitamin D? Perhaps I can’t get over how stinking cute my little bird is? (Yes, yes, I know – I’m biased.) Perhaps I want to reveal “the man behind the curtain,” as it were, and give you an idea of who I am? Who knows. But here it is.
Some of you may know that I adore birds. Love them. Think they’re incredible. This stems from the fact that I grew up with canaries, and with grandparents who loved birding, and taught my brother and I a lot about this favorite pastime of theirs. I also know that some people think birds are scary and crazy and weird. And yes, there are some that are scary and crazy and weird, but it’s because they have not been treated properly by their owners. Birds need lots of attention and love, and when given this, they are just wonderful little creatures with huge hearts, even bigger personalities, and tiny companions that make life just a little more fun to live.
So, with no further ado, I introduce: Flash the Parrotlet. He is tiny, but he’s quite the little clown. Parrotlets can mimic, so he’s picked up a few of my phrases, including how I answer the phone: “Hello, this is Kristine.” Yep, he actually says that. But he sounds a bit Sean Connery-esque, so his phrasing is a bit more like this: “Hello, thish ish Krishtine.”
I’ve also got a delightful little canary named Mozart, but he’s not allowed outside since he can fly. Flash has his wings clipped, so he can only fly short distances. Also, for those of you out there who have birds and want to take them outside – PLEASE be extremely careful if you do this. Double check that your birds’ wings are clipped. Double check that where you take them outside is safe and free from danger…i.e. other animals, toxic things they could eat, overexposure to sun, etc., etc. Birds are fragile little things so only do this if you are an experienced bird owner, have taken the necessary precautions, and don’t take your eye off of them for one second. Ok, off my soapbox.
Photo time! I should also explain that Flash was being my model as I messed around with some lighting techniques. He’s a good little assistant.
I laughed so hard when I saw what had happened with the image on the right – Flash had moved a bit too close to the light source and ended up with a very alien-like look. Hilarious.
If you enjoyed Flash and would like to see more of his antics (and pics of Mozart, too), you can follow me on Instagram – my username is kristinep_photo. Flash and Mozart have got quite the fan club – all the way from Mexico to Finland!
I hope you all got a chance to step outside last evening and witness the gigantic moon hanging low over the hilltops and reflecting into the Clark Fork – seriously beautiful. I was hoping to see some northern lights, which didn’t happen, but my…the moon sure was a good substitute. This photo isn’t from last night, but I was reminded that I still had it hanging out, waiting to be shared, and today seemed like a good day for that.
Enjoy! This was taken this past June after George and Emily’s super fun engagement session. This image is way more gigantic than I’d normally post, but I figured the moon kind of merits that treatment.
On the docket: portraits and engagement sessions galore – stay posted!