I Heart Faces~Scenic B&W Entry!

I Love I Heart Faces! I Love the People, the Pictures, and the Inspiration I receive on a daily basis! This week they are having a B&W scenic entry. I quickly thumbed through my images because B&W is my heart. I just LOVE black and white images! It's true, I feel like you are capturing the Soul, the inner beauty and made to rely on the emotion of the image rather than the colors. So I have a lot, but I decided to go with the most recent taken about a week ago out in a beautiful field nearby. We are surrounded by fields of dreams in our small town. Miss Dominique was a character full of Fun, Beauty and let me capture the beauty of a pre-teen in our amazing scenic surroundings! Head over to I Heart Faces for more Beautiful, Inspiring images.~XO~MJ

P.S..Just click on the image to open in a large view. Until I get my blog updated this is as large as my images are getting! Sorry! Thanks!~XO

I Heart Faces~Fix It Friday!

So this is the first time I have done one of these but I could not resist the colors in this photo! I had to make them pop just for my own gratification! Call me selfish, but colors make me happy! I just had to play with this photo which is courtesy of Susan Keller over at I Heart Faces! Again I did not take this photograph. This is a Fix It Friday link in I am participating in over at I Heart Faces


My Fun Edit:

Step by Step in Lightroom:
1. Lightroom to brighten up the tone
2. Adj Exposure to +1.15, Fill Light to 23, Blacks to 10
3. Played with the color Luminance to make the color pop. I adjusted Blue to -45 and Green to -25
4. Hit the General Punch preset
5. Opened in Photoshop used 2 Kubota actions 1. Daily Multivitamin 2. Dollface to soften up a bit.

Awesome picture Susan! It screams color so you made it easy. LOVE IT!

Fab 5 Friday~Holiday Edition!

Hello Friday! Together again at last...YES! So in the honor of the holidays I am thinking I am going to throw in some FAB shopping places or odd things to buy. I am such a last minute shopper. I always say I am going to start early and never do. Don't you hate not knowing what to get someone? I hate just giving a thoughtless gift. I always try to give with a meaning behind it, but when that's still too hard, I am quite fond of the gag gifts, especially for the individual who buys themselves everything(STOP DOING THAT!) Leave room for the gift givers you greedy being..I KID! Seriously though, if you keep buying yourself everything expect the unexpected or send me a Christmas list and if you have been extra nice this year I will do my best to reward.

I have a weekend photography workshop 8hrs each day beginning today so I am up early to make room in my day as I am ready for 24 more hours of learning the ropes of photography. It's definitely not as simple as pointing the camera and shooting. Still trying to figure out how I am going to get in all 8hrs tomorrow with a birthday party at 2pm...eeek! Been taking my camera out of auto mode lately...double eeek! Functions galore, this could take awhile. I hear I can't call myself a photographer unless I am out of Auto mode. So YES people, I am doing it "Manual Style". See those family pics, MANUAL MODE! Sure I hit and miss on quite a few but that's what learning is all about after all....right? "We burn and we learn!" quote me on that:)

Happy Friday!~XO MJ

1. Feeling a like a little Dave Matthews this morning! If you have never seen this band in concert you are missing out. They are true artists and throw one heck of a concert and you get your monies worth. My hubby and I saw them in California about 4 yrs ago, they sent us home with smiles on our faces. So here ya go one of my favorite all time bands going back a few years. Here's DMB~CRUSH! LOVE!

2. I have shared this blog before but Niels Hermus from "Life is a Bucket" always has awesome posts. This one I loved. It's so true we always think we know it all. This is a post on "30 Lessons Learned in 30 Years" I have learned so much in my 30 something years;) Oh and I can betcha I am about to learn a whole lot more in the next 30. Only a professed know it all never self reflects or learns from life's lessons. So stop being a know it all~they don't exist in real life anyway. Shush up and let life teach ya a thing or two. Enjoy the ride, oh and this light hearted post.:)

3. So in looking for some awesome teen gifts(heck I even think these are cool) I came across these frames that mimic a Polaroid snapshot and yes they have to do with photography, but who doesn't like pictures? I believe this is a universal gift and very affordable, so buy a handful, just make sure to leave some for me! Click HERE to get some!

4. Something for the wee ones! Remember those Golden Books growing up? Well I do and for some reason I am always wanting my kids to have a taste of what it was we grew up reading or watching. My teens could care less but my baby girl only knows what mama gives her. I love these books and you can also find the puzzles to go with the books for that nostalgic feel..ahhh...to be a kid again! Click HERE to buy the set!

5.OM~Goodness! Can somebody say,"GENIUS!" Don't you hate when you see an invention especially one by an 8th grader who is also saving our planet and came up with these as a Go Green school project. Kids can be so BRILLIANT! These are called Lyzi wraps re-usable gift wrap, comes in all different sizes and red for Christmas. They can be washed, re-used no paper wasting and you know how grandma always saves the wrap neatly as in hopes she can re-gift and re-wrap(ok not all grandmas do this just some) Check it out Lyzi Wraps

So there ya have it! What are some neat finds you have come across lately? Please share! I am on the prowl for gift giving any and all ideas much appreciated! Have an awesome weekend! My photography workshop awaits!

Is Anybody Home?!?!

Yooohooo...is anybody home?!?! Yes it has been about a week and a half of silence and me neglecting my blog, BIG TIME, but I have my reasons. Like cleaning house as if my life depended on it, in preparation for my sis. Which by the way has already gone downhill since the second day. There are no signs of my hard work, it's back to normal around here since my sister and nephews came, conquered Arkansas and left....sighhh. My girls and I are back to missing home more than ever. Back to hearing from my girls, "When are we going back home for a visit?" I am wondering if they will ever call our new home, "HOME!" I am guessing home is where you came from, where you were raised, where you know the streets like the back of your hand. All the short cuts and not so short cuts. Home is where the heart is and our hearts are still back home in Cali missing our enormous family.

So here I am back on track trying to stop the woe is me attitude. If you know me well, silence from me means I am in my why me state of mind. I have always had that saying stuck in my head "If you can't say anything nice or positive, than do not say anything at all!" Well in my silence I do a lot of thinking, forcing myself into positive land, reading, learning, self reflecting. Some days it works, others not so much. Thank goodness for my girls, though they can drive mama nuts at times, they always know how to make me smile and remind me what life is about. We work at it, we are not perfect nor pretend to be. We are beautifully broken and we love our family to pieces and than some.

Here are some pictures from our outing when my sister and nephews visited. We took a hike to the tree house in the sky at Craighead forest, I dyed my nephews hair black(his choice and mama let me) it actually turned out nice on him(note to brother in law~ THEY MADE ME DO IT!) oh and we stayed up talking for hours until we literally knocked out side by side, my sister, kids and all. I miss them like crazy, I am not gonna lie. I wanted to steal them and not let them go. But life calls them home to Cali and in return we promise to make a trip to see everyone this summer. All 5 sisters together again, with all 13 grandkids and of course our beautiful mother and stepfather all under one roof. I can't wait for that party....aghhhh...Our Home Sweet Home!


Fab 5 Friday!

We meet again Friday! I am always happy to see you, especially on this first November weekend! It's a new month, new weekend, daylight savings time~ we get to fall back..YES! The weather finally matches the season..double YES! I love this time of year! Something about it just feels like home, to me anyway. I love cuddling in blankets with loved ones to keep warm, wearing those fuzzy warm soft as can be socks, sipping on something hot to warm the inside, the smell of smoke as it escapes the chimneys around. But most likely it feels like home because in a sense at this time of year is when we focus on home. We decorate to match the season and to welcome family from out of town we haven't seen in years. I get to see my sister and nephews I haven't seen in almost 2 years next Thursday! I am super excited! So yes...It Feels Like Home Outside, Inside, All Around...Home Sweet Home!

I will spend my weekend starting tonight going to a high school football game where I will watch their last game of the season, walk my daughter out onto the field for Senior night and watch her play her heart out on that field one last time....sighhh. I hate saying one last time, but she is a Senior, growing up. How can I not be emotional? My first born is growing up...double sighhhh.... Then off to cleaning, organizing, getting mi casa ready for mi familia in about a week. I will have to sneak out to take some pics sometime this weekend. Otherwise I break the cycle of weekend picture taking and we can't have that:/

So here we go Fab 5 Friday always kickin it off with some tunes to get started. Have a Magnificent weekend and don't forget your camera!

1. With focus on my girls always...this song has so much meaning to me. I bought this CD about 5 years ago from Tori Amos and fell in love with the whole CD. It's a must get! The title of the CD is "The Beekeeper" I am in love with every song and specifically the song "Ribbons Undone" about a little girl growing up. I cry every time I hear this song. Enjoy!

2. This next blog post by Joe Mcnally. Any photographer, professional and amateur alike can relate to mistakes. One should never stop learning! These days technology is moving faster than the blink of an eye making it crucial to stay on top of your game. I in my learning process have made one mistake after another and I am not ashamed to admit it. Why, well because making mistakes is all part of the learning process and pretty much EVERYONE makes mistakes so lets embrace our mistakes and learn from them. Here is the blog post simply titled "Mistakes"

3. Oh and this next blog post by Chase Jarvis is inspiring. I heart this man as much as I heart Jasmine*. They are amazing photographers and speakers. They have been blessed with gaining knowledge from their peers and are sharing what they have learned but are doing it there way. It's great to love a style but NEVER~ I REPEAT NEVER copy someones style! CREATE YOUR OWN or you will never stand out. SO here is an awesome video by Chase Jarvis called "Social Art" from his appearance at the Photo Plus Expo

4.For the Indie/Vintage lovers I found this site I AM IN LOVE with..seriously. It is an inspiration of all things Indie, Art, Photography..all things mama loves! Check it out!
"We Love Indie"

5. Last but not least to go with everything Indie above it wouldn't be complete without Indie Music. Here is an awesome site to check out New Indie Bands


Senior Portraits II(Ali Style)

So this is what happens when I say, "Ok, I am turning it over to you! Be you, no poses or perfection. Just be Ali!" Oh how these images scream, "ALI!!!" I LOVE THEM!

If you know Ali you know she is OBSESSED with her music, takes being called band geek as a compliment, plays the trumpet in band and has since 6th grade, is always on time when it comes to anything involving music(other than that~forget about it), and LOVES...I mean beyond LOVES the band MUSE(another obsession).

So here you go, Senior Portraits~ Ali Style AKA Rock*Star Style! You can see more on my Facebook page click here. Enjoy!

P.S...Those are the Toms that got her through Marching Band season and notice she added the rock*star belt peeking out from under her shirt..that's my Ali:)

Senior Portraits!

If you have been reading my previous blog posts you know it has been hard to get my Senior Ali to myself during her busy Senior year. This past Halloween weekend I finally got to take her into my world and grab moments I as her mother will remember forever. We had so much fun driving all over town, music thumping while finding just the right spots. What's funny is I kept rushing her to get the pictures done before the leaves changed and I don't think we stopped once to take pictures in front of a tree....go figure! It may be in part because I had a vision before hand and none of that vision included trees. I was going with a Vintage, Indie feel to capture her. Sure she doesn't wear high heel boots in real life, she is more of a Converse/Toms wearing shoes kinda gal. But to keep it real we pulled clothes from her real wardrobe and just added some killer boots, a vintage chair and a vintage hat(which I am in LOVE with by the way.) I am a sucker for all things Vintage, ask anyone who knows me well. So here are a few shots from her Senior session. I will post others from the session where I let her take control. She changed into her Toms turned up the tunes and rocked out while I clicked away. These are fun ones and I will share in another post titled Senior Portraits II(Ali Style)

Halloween Weekend In Review!

Halloween weekend has come and gone in the blink of a missing pirates eye;) It was such a busy weekend with the kiddos, I am not even sure if I fed myself?!? I barely got to take Halloween pics after rushing home from my daughter Ali's band Competition at the University, their last and HUGE one! They kicked some major butt! Getting the only standing ovation of the night out of 24 bands! Yeah sure the ENORMOUS bands took 1-3rd place but that was a given. How could you compare bands who have money and are supported by the school and have expensive props. What made this awesome is our school's band is self funded, makes their own props and is all ran by the awesome band parents and of course their amazing directors. They ranked #4 overall right after all the top dogs! This is the first time in history the school has ever pulled #4 in a competition this big, that's huge! So after an amazing band day/night(they literally last all day 1pm-9pm) me and 3 teen girls ran home dressed Mikayla and began our Halloween night! In such a hurry we didn't get to wear our costumes..ughhh! I guess we shall save them for next year;/ We ended the night watching Mikayla get chocolate wasted and watching scary movies.

Sunday the actual day of Halloween started off slow. House cleaning only to get dirty again! I swear I can never keep a clean house. I give up and give in...heeeellllp! I finally got my Senior Ali to myself for the day and we got out on the most beautiful Sunday and took her Senior Portraits! I have lots of editing to do. She has no idea how beautiful she is...seriously! I love my girls!

So Goodbye October..goodbye Halloween! We had fun while it lasted! Cheers to the memories as we now Welcome November 2010!

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