Sunday, January 29, 2006

Wedding Shows and Tooth Fairies

Today we had the chance to participate in the MS Bridal Show.
It was so far our favorite show ever.
We had the simplest display we've ever had, and ironically the most comments.
We got to see a few of our upcoming brides and talk with several more, and it was a lot of fun.
Since the setup was so simple, we had time left over to go to church before everything got started, and it was a blessing. Living Springs was having their first baptisms in our new church home. My son, who recently became a Christian, had decided he wasn't ready to be baptized, but we still had the chance to sit with him and watch him take it all in. It was a great way to start the day, and it really helped to put things into perspective with the show. It was a beautiful reminder that this, here, today, is fleeting. That it's just passing away, and there's more to this life than wedding shows and business. There's a bigger purpose...

We made it back to the show in time to finish the final touches, and had a chance to make some new friends in the surrounding booths. We also met a great cakemaker, right here in Brandon.

At the end of the show, the kids got dropped of by their Nana, and in walks Logan, excited as could be. He promptly showed me his great surprise. He lost his very first tooth!! Yes, my little boy is growing up :(
Tonight, we had some worried discussion before bedtime about the Tooth Fairy. Such a dilemma. He wanted to cash in on this new booty, but he really didn't want to have to trade his first tooth for it, no matter the cost. I mean, c'mon, that thing is more valuable than GOLD right now! :) So, he wrote her the letter above, which states the following:

"Dear Tooth Fairy,
Please do not take my tooth.

Thank you,

Atleast I have a little while longer before he's all grown up.
Atleast...until I blink.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Clapp Family

We had the opportunity to photograph this family for the first time this month, and we enjoyed having them at the studio.

The little boy, Ashton, did a great job taking care of his new little sister Brielle. He was having a great time checking the place out, and rowdy as a boy can be, he still took time to hold her in his arms and give her some kisses, like any good brother should, right?

Brielle was just beautiful. Very curious and a happy little girl. She didn't mind her brother holding her, but would much rather be in her daddy's arms I think, minus the smothered kisses. :)

Every time we get to shoot a family with a newborn, it always starts Kari on this whole kick about having another. She literally looks for, and I would go as far to say makes up, a good excuse to hold the new baby.
"Here, let me hold her while you change."
"Oh, I'll calm her down."
"Ooo-oooo, Here we go, she had a little drool there...."

Yeah, right. Don't be fooled, all of you new mom's who visit us.
She just wants to hold your new little bundle of joy, and then I get to hear about it for the next 2 weeks, how we should really have another. How 2 is good but 3 would be better. Oh, and she's talked with another mom who has 3, and actually, the third is MUCH easier, because the first and second help out, and then they all play....
I'll not be fooled! More diapers, more baby food, more bottles that endlessly have to be cleaned. More sleepless nights.
I can hear her rebuttal even now....
"More Love! More Happiness! More room in your heart that you never even knew you had!"

Ack....Gag....Choking on the mushiness. :) Just kidding.

I love those little rugrats. Only I don't know if I want to be outnumbered just yet


Thursday, January 26, 2006

In the Silence

Have you ever been driving down a road, confident in your travels, sure of your direction, on auto-pilot with the cruise control and the wind in your hair on a nice sunny day, only to suddenly have the dawning realization that you've made a wrong turn?
You have no idea how far back you've left what you know is right, or when the right road became the wrong decision.

Well, that's my January.
Hello 2006, nice to meet ya. I seem to have learned nothing in my last year on this Earth as to obeying the careful instruction of my Maker and heeding the word of God, so let's have another helping of foolishness, shall we?

In the words of Oliver Twist:
"Please Sir, I want some more."
Does anybody remember what happened after he had the guts to say that? Wasn't it followed by pure chaos?

This month God tried to speak to me about His plans, and somehow, I just didn't seem to pay any attention.

"See God, the studio flooded, we renovated, the name-change happened, and then the upcoming wedding show became a good idea, to get the new name out there. In short, for 3 solid weeks I've pushed every envelope to ramp up to preparedness. Or atleast the idea of it. I just haven't had any time. I've been planning.....see?.....God? Hello?"

Nothing wrong with that, right? It was just busy, that's all.
That's exactly it. That IS..all. God wasn't in my equation. My busy-ness was it.
Family even took a back seat in the midst of it all.
When did that become a good idea?

"Wait a minute! What road is this?
Where the heck am I?
This doesn't look right.
Go ask that guy for directions, would you honey?" :)

I wanted to help revive the sermon ministry in our church, and instead spent every dime on albums and new media and cards and......busy-ness stuff.
I was asked to go on a mission trip to New Orleans, and turned it down because I had to get ready for the big show.

I forgot about the really Big Show. The best laid's that go? Oh yeah, NOW I remember.
The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry...

Does this seem like one of the more silly blog posts to you?
I'm sorry, it's because I'm trying to find my way back. And that can be a little confusing.

This much I know:

Ever watch your toddler squirming late at night, like they've got ants in their pants, and it's time for bed? You're thinking exactly what God must be thinking.

"Be Still, Child."

In the silence is His whisper. His peace and understanding lies inside that stillness.

I think I need practice...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Laura and Koury

Laura is a wedding photographer herself, so shooting this wedding was a little more nerve-racking than usual. How does a photographer unplug, not worry about the angle or the lens or the light or the shutter speed or....well, the dozens of other issues?
I have no idea. I couldn't do it. Not a chance.
Laura managed it though, and her and Koury had a beautiful winter wedding as a result. Thanks, both of you, for letting us be a part of your day. :)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

For Jill

These pictures I took on Saturday night. Jill's kids told her it was dorky to want to give me a call and tell me about the thousands of geese she'd seen that are resting near the river.
But she did anyway, and this is my way of saying thanks.
Aren't they amazing?
They always stay together, they fly in formation to reduce the drag, in fact they can fly over 70% further and faster because of that beautiful V-shaped flight pattern. They always take turns being the leader, and if one falls out of formation and down to the Earth, it's been said that two others will break rank and follow their comrade down. They live in total communion with one another, and they have discovered the benefits of working together. And they do it all without missing a beat, because it just comes natural.
God designed them to work as a team, and He built them from the ground up to make sure they'd rely on eachother...

So what do you think Jill?
It doesn't seem very dorky to me either :)

Friday, January 20, 2006

Amy and Jimmy

This is Amy and Jimmy. They had a very beautiful wedding at the First Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, which is one of my favorites.
Jimmy's folks have J&L Harley in Sioux Falls. I mentioned to Jimmy that I'd be okay getting paid with a bike, or he could just pass one out as a party favor, but no deal. :)
I'm best staying away from that store anyway. I once walked into a Harley shop in Georgia thinking there would be nothing of interest to me, a hillbilly from Wyoming....yeah, about 20 minutes later I had 4 salesmen all around me and I was about to trade my truck for a Boss Hog.
I'd buy one from Jimmy though. His family was great to capture and we really enjoyed the opportunity.
There was one guy on the guest list, long brown hair and a beard, and I swear he was the spitting image of that picture that hangs in every grandma's house of Jesus Christ. I did a double take when our eyes met, and the thought crossed my mind. I laughed it off and thought, Naaaah!, until he kept looking at me and gave me this great big smile like he was my long lost brother, to which my inner-voice gulped, "Jesus?"
Kari laughed when I told her the story, "I'm sure he gets that all the time, and that's probably why he smiles like that, just to get a kick out of watching people squirm at the possibility of meeting their Maker." :)

The great thing about Amy and Jimmy? They are gracious to the point that they treat everyone like family. And that says alot to me.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Taige Ryan Webb

This is Taige, brand new baby girl to Ryan and Amanda.
She's a very happy baby who right now loves to eat and sleep. She's very comfortable in her mom and dad's arms, and she's got it made. Ryan is a quick-witted new dad with a knack for striking up a conversation, and get this, he loves to change those diapers. Right away he gets extra marks in my book. That was one thing I never liked to do, and when I did, it was always a task begrudgingly undertaken. I think personally, Ryan is just okay with it now because these are the cute moments, the 'wee-wee's and doo-doo's'... The day will come my friend, after that last spoonful of Gerbers sweet potato and green beans, that you will hear a sound, almost a dull roar, like that of some kind of deranged grizzly bear, only, it will be coming out of your little angel. The impossibility will strike up a curiosity and a need to check those drawers, and this is where I must warn you, life will change. Life may have been all rose-colored glasses and caviar dreams until then, and I promise you won't be any cute names for the aftermath. It will be one of those moments unfit for description. I'd recommend rubber gloves, like the kind that are yellow and go up to your elbows...

Amanda, the new mommy, is a very bright young lady who took my old job at Wells Fargo. She could have taken it over about 2 weeks after she got there, smart as she is, because she was showing me shortcuts and timesavers before her first month-end. I think they only let me stay on there after that out of mercy. Kinda like the old dog that just doesn't have any tricks left in him, they just let him lay out on the porch and get a little more toasty before the sun sets...
Amanda is one of those ladies who could assume any role as long as she puts her mind to it, so I'll never be surprised to hear she's either moved up the ladder or just plain took the elevator. She'll find a way.

Ryan and Amanda have always been a pleasure to photograph, and now with Taige, getting to capture this new family is a real honor.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Our New Name

Well folks, we've made the leap to our new name. Is there ever a good time to do this? Probably not. And yes, I loved the name Captured Moments. We've had that name for about 5 years now. But there have been several business start up recently that have taken names that are so similar to ours that it's beginning to cause confusion. I hope you'll all get comfortable with the new name and stick around? I'm comfortable with it... :) just kidding.
Anyway, I'll get back to posting the good stuff shortly, just thought I'd better get this out there. It's on the sign out front, on the door, on the vehicles, on the business cards, on the website, so I guess it's pretty much official.
We are now Dan Elliott Photography.
Now I've got to go get Jimmy and Amy's wedding pictures online before the family puts a hit out on me.
Take care everyone!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Elizabeth and Matt

This is Elizabeth and Matt, one of our married-couple-to-be's coming up in May.
The great thing about these two is how much fun they have together. Their smiles are genuine and there is a great affection between them that pours out into the pictures. Their puppy, Jake, came along to be in pictures also, and you can easily see that he fits in perfectly. I wasn't allowed to really give him the proper hello (lots of belly and ear scratching involved, a few 'hewwwo pupper's') because he has tinkle issues I'm told. Nope, we don't need any of those issues around here nowadays. That aside, he's the first dog I've had in my studio that was completely comfortable with the camera. :) Jake, if you're out there and you're reading this, first, that's Amazing! and Good dog!

I'll never forget the first time I talked with Elizabeth on the phone. She called to ask about us and our work, and we ended up talking on the phone for at least 30-45 minutes. It was like talking to a good friend. That was so odd to me, because we were complete strangers. I knew her and Matt's life story and vice versa by the time we said our goodbye's, and I was really hoping to meet them someday.
It wasn't until after we'd hung up that I realized that not only had it completely skipped my mind to take down a stitch of information, I hadn't even asked her name. I knew she had a beau named Matt with whom she was very much in love with, but that was it. What was I thinking?!

I told Kari about it that night in the kitchen as supper was cooking, how we'd gone on and on and had this great conversation about life, but that I didn't even know her name, to which she rolled her eyes and called me a goofball. I get that alot. (She's used to me by now)

Monday, January 09, 2006


Appropriately titled, I'd like to apologize for not posting anything new.
I'm going to hop back on this wagon, just had to get a few ducks back in a row.
Here's a few of the montages we've had the pleasure to work on over the past week or so. I'm going to work on the shoots and weddings and get those posted shortly as well.

Big News!...
We've come to the conclusion recently that we are going to have to bite the bullet and change the name of our business, something I've been avoiding. But, there have been several companies starting up that have names that are very, very similar to ours, and it's beginning to get confusing. Before long we'll simply be known as Dan Elliott Photography, I hope this will be easier on everyone. :)

By the way, we're going to hop into the Rosemary Savage MS Bridal Show coming up in less than 3 weeks. If anyone is interested in seeing more of our work, we'll provide more information here soon.
Thanks everyone!

Monday, January 02, 2006

January 2nd, the New New Year's?

Welcome to 2006 :)
So how is that New Year's Resolution coming? Mine begins today. I figure if I start on January 1st, it's destined for failure, because almost all New Year's commitments have a strange tendency to fade almost as soon as my head hits the pillow on the first night. So, January 2nd, is my new start. :)

My resolution is to grow more spiritually and physically fit. Is that too vague? Maybe so, but I've resolved to paint with broad strokes. We'll let Christ work out the details, how's that sound? I'm tired of trying to figure it out my way, and I'm sure His plans are much better than mine. I remember watching this guy on television when I was kid. He was a great painter, and he always talked about the happy trees, the sleepy sky, the lazy slopes of wispy tallgrass...suddenly he'd have this beautiful world on the canvas, built from the back to the front, so real that you almost step right in...All great paintings must begin with a base, a background, something to make the details stand out, to make the foreground blend and to bring it alive.

So that's what I'm doing. I'm putting in the background, and we'll build the detail in from there. Then I can step in and get my feet wet, and let go.

It's been hard to post these past few days. I have some great shots to get posted. We had some beautiful shoots this past week and also 2 weddings that we were blessed to capture some very classic moments. I have yet to post them, I apologize.
I think a lot about Rita and her family.

Okay, So spiritually, it was Isaiah 58 and 59 today. Basically it felt like God was saying to quit missing the boat and start making a real difference. That and oh yes, we're cut off from Him when we sin. A good scolding always helps.
Hmmmmmm, time to do a few pushups?