Monday, July 20, 2009

Wylie & Miss Teen South Dakota

We've shot Miss South Dakota and Mrs. South Dakota, and now we've had a session with Wylie, a contestant for the new Miss Teen South Dakota. She is as beautiful as they come, blonde hair, blue eyes, dimples, and a stunning smile. Every now and then she'd laugh a certain way and you'd think you were looking at a young Christie Brinkley. But on top of all that was the part that really matters - Wylie is a sweetheart. Polite, courteous and brimming with charm. My assistant Melissa was a former pageant queen so she was in on the shoot with me, keeping an eye out for the smallest details and diligently bringing the fan at just the perfect angle to get that ever-so-slight flip in Wylie's hair. Angelique, the owner of Platinum Imagination (and our personal favorite) did the makeup and styling, and this girl looked like a fresh summers breeze from the moment she walked in the door.
Best of luck to you Wylie.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fire Breathing Dragons

It was the strangest sound to ever wake me from a sleep in my life. Some kind of Darth Vader, fire breathing dragon kind of sound, and it was loud and close. At 6:30 this morning I opened my eyes and just tried to get my bearings, trying to figure out what in the world was about to eat me. Then I opened the window, and there they were, so close it felt like I could reach out and touch them. They'd lifted on from the valley just below us and the wind had drifted them right to us.
If we'd been camping in the mountains and heard this sound while in a deep sleep, I would have needed a new pair of underwear and a new heart to go with them, because I would have thought for sure we were some old grizzly-bear's breakfast. :)

The puppy was scared to death thinking we were under some kind of attack, but it was worth shaking everyone awake to look at them. They were much further away by the time I got out the camera, but you can still get the idea.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Home Grown Study of Life Applications

Call us strange, but every year it's a big deal in this family when we see the first veggies in our garden. There is a continual labor of love in watering and weeding, tilling the soil and preparing the ground. The lessons a person can learn while sitting in between the rows with nothing but quiet and time are invaluable. Ah, but then, one sunny morning when the birds are singing to the world, telling us all that we're burning daylight, you walk outside and there in the midst of that labor of love is suddenly a new discovery...ah yes... the fruits of your labor.

So cute that we had to take a picture, and then, since we all take part in keeping out the weeds and watering, we decided to divide him into quarters. Everyone savored the taste, there were mmmmm's and ahhhhh's and sparkly eyes, even after my girl knocked my piece onto the floor. It still tasted good after a thorough washing. :) Welcome to my family.

Who would believe that a simple, silly little garden could actually have anything to do with the course of one's life. But my kids wouldn't laugh at that. They've heard their Daddy make too many garden analogies about life, usually right when they start complaining about how hard it is to till or weed, or how dirty their fingernails are getting. And I'm not the only one who thinks it's a good place to learn a thing or two...
Check out the bible some time. Jesus, God, even Paul talk about gardening or farming in some fashion or another in relation to life applications. The whole story begins in the garden. And it's been my experience while spending time in that book - weeding, tilling, watering, Miracle-Growing the soul - that the fruit of that labor actually tastes even better than it looks.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Scheduling Mishap

We got all set for a session down at the Falls, had all of our gear along and were waiting at the agreed upon spot, and then when we called to check in with the client....oops, it was supposed to be next week, not this week!
Regardless of whose mistake it was in scheduling (Cough-Assistant-Cough-Missy-Cough), I'm actually thankful.
There I was on this gorgeous day at the Falls, with nothing but my beautiful assistant, a.k.a. wife at my side.
"Well, we're here," I said, "so come with me babe."
As soon as she realized that she was no longer on the job, but was now my beautiful model for the day, she immediately got shy and started talking about all the people watching and how these weren't the right clothes, some remark about her hair and how "there'd better be no cleavage..."

But then something happened. I don't know if it was because of our new-found free-time, the fact that we were going to Minerva's afterward, or if it was because I was raising my eyebrows at her while taking the pictures, but before I knew it, my reserved and timid wife was suddenly cutting loose. No kidding! She even gave me a Hannah Montana pose, then wanted to go play in the sand and the water.
We were going out on a date after the session anyway, so might as well start early right?
Anyway, thanks to 'whoever' for the scheduling hiccup. Without it I wouldn't have these beautiful pictures and this record of my wife, captured in a rare moment when she let her guard down and didn't care anymore about what anybody else thought. This is the girl that usually only I get to see. Playful, breathtaking and funloving...and those are just a few of the reasons for why I love her.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Lindsey & Landon's Wedding

We first met these two at Lindsey's sister Nicole's wedding. During the reception a little bird told us that, between Lindsey and Landon, things were starting to get serious. When we caught up to them and asked to take a few shots, it was easy to see there was a genuine love. We had no idea at that time that within a few weeks we'd be contracted to shoot their own wedding.
We do a lot of sibling weddings. They get to see us in action first-hand, watching all day as we capture the moments for a brother or sister, they get to see the interaction between us and our clients, and most of all they get to see the final product, the images of the day. By that time, there's not much in terms of explaining what we do or how we do it. They've already seen it, and the proof is in the pudding, so-to-speak.
And that's why we love these kinds of weddings. We already know the family, we know the dynamics, and there's a relationship. So then, coming together again is just like visiting with old friends.

For Lindsey's day we had a spritz of rain, just enough to make everything fresh. What I love about these two is that when they felt the drops, she didn't get upset and he didn't get tense. Instead, she just grinned and said it was perfect, and when he saw his bride, standing there, looking so amazing and happy, his eyes lit right up. The wind had picked up perfectly that morning, making this giant cottonwood tree release all of it's cotton. So there we were, in the middle of summer and it looked like great big snowflakes on the ground. It was beautiful and special, and as soon as I saw it, I knew that's where these two had to meet. The rest of the day flew by, but that time underneath the old tree was soft and quiet and genuine. I think God made it so, just for Lindsey and Landon.