Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Catching Up

It's been difficult to post this week. Alot of catching up to do on my part. My apologies to the families and couples who may be checking the post for family pictures or wedding shots. We've been negotiating a new studio space this week, and we're looking at taking on more photographers and employees, planning and praying for some big changes, so it's been very time consuming.
Here are some images from shoots and montages that we've been working on the past week.

Monday, April 17, 2006


After the kids crashed from the Post Peter Cottontail Easter Egg hunts (all 4 of them), and sugar/chocolate highs, we still had enough daylight to run next door to the park and shoot a few pictures. It was the last time they'd fit into these outfits, so we found a great big puddle, and let 'em rip. It was very short-lived, being so chilly and damp, but well worth it. :)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday

The great thing about today is that we got to spend the latter half painting eggs, something my kids are really beginning to get serious about. The last few years, we've evolved from your simplistic, traditional dunk-em-and-leave-em style coloring, to the now more refined and polished, brushed "art" of hand painting the incredible, edible...
Interesting note, my father-in-law called today with a good question that sparked a little research on my end.
'Who says when Easter happens? Last year it was March, this year April. Who picks the date, and why?'
It was actually the Roman emperor Constantine, in 325 A.D., who picked the date, using the calendars of their era, which was largely based on astronomy. Today, we observe Easter on or after the first full moon of Spring soley for that reason. Easter eggs actually derive from ancient symbols of fertility, and the Easter Bunny is said to have evolved from the pagan goddess of spring, Eoster (hence the name). Her bird, according to the lore, ticked her off enough one day that she decided to turn him into a rabbit, and yet, the formerly feathered pet could still lay eggs.
Yep. No question about it. We are just one very silly little race... on acid it would seem!
Oh well.
To me and my kids, it's just a chance to talk about Jesus and what he did for us on the cross, that He died, and 3 days later, was resurrected. And He didn't do it according to legend, it's right there in the history books. They never found His body or proved a conspiracy theory. Nope. The stone, which would have weighed about as much as a car, was rolled away, and the guards, who would have had to pay with their lives for not doing their duty or falling asleep on the job, simply had no evidence.
Don't we all know that the higher-ups of the day would have loved to reveal the apostles as frauds? To taunt them in the streets and string them up. And yet they couldn't. For years, these students of the Teacher proclaimed the news and the story of salvation. And when it came down to life or death, to give up their little fairy-tale, they stood up for what they'd known in their hearts to be the truth. Not one changed his story. Not a word. They chose instead to die. Would you die for something that wasn't real?

There's no crazy spells or legend with Jesus. Just the price He paid, and the price thousands have paid for believing.
The eggs and paint, the full moon of Spring and the "arts" of Easter, well that's all just the glue that keeps old traditions alive, like Evergreen trees and Candy Canes on Christmas and candy hearts and Cupids for Valentines.

It's the time we get to spend with them, together, that really matters. Precious little time to teach them about what is real Truth, and what is simply the stuff of fairy tales.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Thompsons

We first started shooting the Thompsons back when Noah was just a baby, out at the park 2 years ago.
Now we've got little Aspen in the mix too, and this family is just growing right up in front of us. Noah is definitely on the move at his age, zoom zoom zoom, and Aspen was a trooper! Ear infection and all, she still gave us some very beautiful smiles and even her happy eyes. :)
This is the first time we've gotten Rick, (dad) to join us for the shoot, so it was an entirely different break from the past shoots, which was great :)
Rick is very busy these days, not only with these 2 rascals hanging off of each arm, he's also starting up a brand new, hopping restaurant in Sioux Falls, called Bracco.
You may have tasted the likes of Rick's cooking through Minervas restaurant (my favorite). I had hourdevours that this guy made once at a Chamber event, and even those were amazing! Some people just have a knack for it, that's for sure.
Bracco just opened up yesterday, so go check it out. It's definitely on our To Do list.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Senior Announcements

Here are just some of the senior announcements we've been preparing in the last week or so. It's that time of year. :)

On a side note. Everything in the studio is once again up and running, only 5 days after the storm.
We've moved the office end of the business back to our home temporarily, because the water that came into the studio originated from that corner near the windows, and I just won't trust the electrical outlets until they've been inspected, but we only live about a minute from the studio, so there shouldn't be much of a hiccup from the client side of things. :) Sorry for any inconveniences in getting the orders out this week, folks. It just wasn't something we could plan for. We have began looking at other studio locations, and within a few months we might announce a move, so be watching. :)
I had an engagement shoot last night and finally got to even go outdoors! YAY!!!! For those of you who don't know, I get SERIOUS cabin fever waiting for the warmer weather. I think I start asking families before the snow is really even thawed, on 35 degree days, if they'd like to brave it outside. Usually I get turned down for fear of rosy cheeks, but after being confined to the studio for months of winter, an outdoor shoot, to me, is bliss. :) Getting to shoot outside in God's beauty, using His backdrops, is priceless to me. Every blade of grass is a work of art, and I love getting a fresh look at that every Spring.
I'll never tire of it.
Have a great day!!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Praise You In This Storm

Last night we presented to our church council something that's really been on our hearts these past few months. We are looking at ways of making our church website come alive for our community, through blogs such as this, only within the framework of a church, as a way of bringing us all a little closer to one another.
Now today, I'm sitting here looking at the people affected by this tremendous storm that we had last night...
Just from the people at the meeting we had last night,
Pat McClanahan had his home flooded.
Dale Moeller drove into a flood-swept gorge in the road.
Myself, studio and home.
Just these that we know of so far...
I'm curious if there's anyone else in the church being affected by this.
All morning and now into the afternoon, it's been one arrow after another, since I opened my eyes until now.
First our basement had water, then the studio. Then I found all of the damage in the electronics at the studio. Then my insurance guy called to tell me that none of this is covered. See, Brandon just isn't in a flood plain and it's silly to get a policy like that. Now, if it were a fire or if a pipe burst, this would all be taken care of, but not in this case.
As I'm unplugging my electronics from the wall, water is coming out of the outlets, and I'm thinking there is NO WAY I'm going to plug something back into that outlet, and then just cross my fingers in the hopes that nothing shorts out inside the wall that isn't going to LEAD to a fire, that would, by the way, be covered. Isn't it ironic?
Then as the morning went on I began hearing of the others, Pat, Dale….and if there's one thing I've learned of Satan, it's that he has a knack for timing. He knows when God's people are moving in God's name, and when we're feeling attacked on all sides, it usually just means that we're right where Christ wants us, which for the enemy means that we are standing in his way.
I'm left with gnawing questions.
Maybe we were really onto something last night as we presented to council some of the ideas of enhancing our website to further the kingdom of God? Maybe Satan was eavesdropping on our little meeting, and this is nothing more than spiritual warfare, a carefully calculated plan of attack, just to try and knock us down? Maybe this is just the part of the battle that we CAN see, the tangible by-product of this war for souls…
It's interesting, the song we were just practicing last night for worship, before the council meeting, had this verse about holding onto Christ through the storms in life:
"I lift my eyes unto the hills,
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
The Maker of Heaven and Earth!"

Do you know who has graced the doorstep of my studio today?
Not the insurance man, no.
Members of my church. Brothers and Sisters.
Frank Walker stepped in asking what he could do to help.
Heather Babb came over in her PAJAMAS with a shop vac, and took Abby with her for a couple of hours while we sopped up the mess.
Kristen McMartin rushed in as soon as she heard.
My 6 year old boy took another shop vac in his hands and worked that floor until he just flat gave out!

The hands and the feet of Christ!

"Where does our help come from?
The Maker of Heaven and Earth!"

This is all just stuff. Casualties of what the enemy can touch, and pure evidence of what he can't lay a finger on! The Spirit of Jesus Christ, alive and well in His people. Consider it pure joy in times and trial. The Maker of Heaven and Earth is on your team. Here with us. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
In the words of an ex-marine that I know…."Hooya!"

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Samuel & Evan

These are the Hendersons.
We've had the pleasure of capturing this family in the past, so it's always fun to see how much the kids grow up in between.
Samuel is the new addition to the family this year, and he seems to be fitting right in. We kept the focus a little more on him this time around, and found that his smiles are very contagious.
Evan is growing into the Big Brother now, and soon enough these two boys will be running circles around Mom and Dad, I can see it in their eyes.
I'm anxious to get these little guys outside to one of the parks this year or next to let them loose and just shoot whatever happens next. Little boys are simply meant to run.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Father Son Day

Me and my boy started our first ever Father/Son Day. Actual time, scheduled, for just the two of us, every week. Mostly because he's 6 and already we don't quite know how to just hang out. The other day we were driving to the store together and it was quiet. He started rambling, because that's how he deals with it, and I didn't say more than 10 words, because that's how I deal with it.
Then he came right out and said,
"How come we don't talk?"
Yes, it sometimes takes a child to make it really hit home...
I don't want that to carry on any longer. Neither does he.
So today we went and did some hiking around the Big Sioux, which is way over it's banks, and stood over the Squeaky Bridge in Brandon as the water rushed just underneath.
Then we finished off with some video games, where I realized my boy is as greedy as all get out...for tickets.
He doesn't care about the games or how cool they are. Just the tickets.
He has over 700 saved up on his Ticket Card, and his goal is to amass enough tickets to pick out the coolest toy behind the counter. :) Smart kid, but I'm doing the math in my head...
"We played 20 games and got maybe 75 tickets?
The coolest toy is 14,750 tickets,
At this rate we'll only have to come here 186 more times, every week until he is about 10 years old, spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $375 for something I could buy, today, at Wally World for $178.86....
Compound interest, inflation..."

"DAD! Look! 15 Tickets!!" "15!!" "Can you BELIEVE IT!?!