October 15, 2010

The Marshall Family

The reason we went to D.C for Labor Day (aside from the obvious need to fall in love with a city of white stone) was to visit our good friends the Marshalls.  We were blessed to meet the Marshalls during our time at BYU, and now that we're all on the east coast we've decided the occasional visit is a must.  Andrew and Ariel are just great!  We loved the time we spent with them and their sweet boys.  They were so great to let us stay with them and to show us all around the city - I had to return the favor with a little family photo shoot.
We took the photos at the Washington D.C. Temple.  It was absolutely breathtaking!  The grounds are beautiful and the building itself just towers over you - it is overwhelmingly beautiful.  I can't tell you how small I felt standing outside this building.
Andrew, Ariel, Abe, and Ben - thank you so much for a wonderful time!  We loved every minute of it and are eager for you to visit us up here soon.  D.C. is lucky to have such a good looking and patriotic family as you.  See what I mean:

October 14, 2010

A Capitol Time

A million years ago (around Labor Day to be exact) Joe and Ellie and I took a trip down to Washington D.C.  It was my first time to the nation's capitol and I loved every minute of it.  What a great city!  So clean, so free, sooo not New York.

My two favorite things were the National Archives and the Lincoln Monument.  I photographed Mr. Lincoln on film, so it could be awhile before you see those images.  Here are some digital shots I snapped while we walked around downtown.
Nothing says USA like the good 'ol I-R-S.
I love how every building along the mall has a mission statement on the side - it inspires me.
Above is the IRS building.  It reads:
"Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society."
I agree, but for the amount of taxes I pay it would be nice to have a little more civility.
"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
I just love photographing white stone.  Which is perfect because D.C. has no shortage.  I love the formal nature of it, the solemnity and hints of academia.  I love the balance of light and shadow, of simplicity and ornamentation.  I love how it stands still and waits for you to focus.  Ha!  I could seriously photograph statues and buildings all day.  Plus, even the most solemn works of stone make you smile:
Basically, I fell head over heels for Washington D.C.  Everything is so nice there - even the birds.  Take this little guy for example.  The pigeons in my neighborhood would tear his sweet feathered behind to pieces.  He belongs in a nice place like D.C - where everything's free and the streets are clean and the people smile.  Maybe I'll join him one day.  But for now, I'm just really glad we live close enough to visit.
Ellie has a goal to consume applesauce in front of every famous monument we visit.  It's cute.
All-American Dad, and proud of it.

October 13, 2010


Autumn is officially upon us and you know what that means - family picture season is in full swing!  Everyone wants that beautiful photo with the layered fall clothing and the changing leaves and the sweet light of evening. Yet so many women live in absolute fear of family picture day - completely terrified to step in front of the camera.  Today I attempt to assuage your fear - by telling you the truth:

Outtakes happen to everyone.
It's not the end of the world.
You are still a beautiful person.

There it is, plain and simple truth.  And just to illustrate my point, here are some photos of Eleanor - easily the cutest baby in the world.

I'm sorry, was there some confusion as to whether or not she is actually the cutest baby in the world?
Let me clear that up for you:
Now, as I was saying...Ellie is the cutest baby in the world, and even she has her fair share of outtakes.  They really do happen to all of us.
Ah, the eyes closed.  Very common.
Also typical - the you-caught-me-just-before-a-bite shot.
Let me assure you, these photos are nothing to be ashamed of.  Your photographer has seen it all before.
Sometimes it's just the wrong face, wrong angle, wrong shutter speed - nothing went right, and that's OK.

This one is the real heart breaker, though.  It appears to be a great picture of yourself...
..until you notice an inappropriate amount of cleavage is showing.
Some days you are just really tired, and it just really shows.
Other days you are feeling bald and self conscious and the last thing you need is a creepy man sneaking into your photo and messing it up.
In the end, my only advice is to relax.  Just know that there will be outtakes and don't worry about them.  Smile from the heart and all that jazz.  Take a deep breath and trust that your photographer loves you (and your money) and wants to showcase your best self.  Your photographer will take care of you.
Though I can't promise you that any photographer will ever love you as much as this one loves her girl.

October 11, 2010

Ellie and the Scouts

We had a great time this weekend because Joe volunteered some time with the Boy Scouts of America and as a result, Ellie and I volunteered our time as well.  We went to the scout camp in New Jersey and while Joe set up a great orienteering course, I learned how to use a compass for the first time, and Ellie reconnected with her inner wild child.

We had a great day wondering through the woods together, watching the chipmunks play, and enjoying the absolutely perfect weather.  It was nice to be in a place so far removed from our daily routine - to be surrounded by dirt instead of filth.

I had planned to do a whole photo essay about our adventure, complete with details of camp and portraits of the scouts.  But I was too busy soaking it in and of course supervising Ellie, who was very busy communing with nature....

October 5, 2010

On the Bright Side

I discovered a leaky faucet.  It's driving me C-razy.  Such a small thing, I know, but it really really really bothers me.  So, to maintain my sanity I've been thinking of other leaks that are far worse than my little faucet.  Feel free to add to the list.

A leaky roof
A leaky nose
A gas leak
A leaky condom (yikes)
A leak of information
A filling that leaks
Leaky veins
A leaky dam

Wow, I'm feeling better already.  Leak?  What leak?