Monday, March 29, 2010

Hire me, hire me not

Realistic wake up call: I need to put myself out there. 

There are lots of extremely talented photographers in the Triangle area and I need to contact them and make them my new best friends. And what do I have to lose? Nothing really at this point. But telling myself this and then actually reaching out to them are two very different things. The fear of rejection, the fear of them actually saying "sure, tag-along!" Both are very intimidating. The Professional Photographers of NC experience gave me a few leads, but since I wasn't an official attendee/member at the conference, my networking opportunities were limited to the trade show vendors - although I did score a free 16x20 canvas and learned of some additional and affordable workshop opportunities (more on that later). I'm thinking next year, I'll have to suck it up and pay the dues. But until then, I need a new game plan.

I live by To Do lists, so my plan will be to send at least 5 emails (or phone calls if I'm feeling especially brave) to professional wedding and children/family portrait photographers every week. Hopefully one will stick and give me a shot! Another idea is to start contacting wedding professionals and find out what photographers they like to work with and recommend to clients - and get on their good side as well!

Then the next part of my plan is to join the [b] school (thanks for the idea Katie!). It's only $10 a month and would provide opportunities for networking and learning. I've already gone through most of the helpful hints on the blog archive, which are a treasure trove of information. So I'm adding that to my To List as well.

Okay, I've put it in writing, so there's no turning back now :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

March Madness

Basketball, brackets, beer and boys, oh my! Such is my life during the NCAA tournament. Not that I really mind. Basketball happens to be one of the few sports I actually understand the rules of and don't have to interrupt whomever I'm watching a game with, with any of the following phrases that frequently come up (usually during hockey, soccer and football games):

What was that call?
Well, what does [insert inexplicable rule] mean?
Ouch! That looked painful. Why wasn't that a call?
But that looked just like the other call?

You can tell I'm a joy to be around.

Basketball is a different story though, because basketball and I go way back. Like to sixth grade way back. That was when I joined my first basketball team. Of course there weren't any tryouts and they let everyone play, but I was hooked after that. I tried out for the 7th grade team and played on the school team every year since, all the way up through varsity. Now, I don't want to lead you on to think I was particularly talented, because while I was coordinated and had the fundamental skills, I am vertically challenged by basketball standards. I'm 5'3" on a good day. But what I lacked in height, I made up for in determination and hustle. I was even named Miss Hustle at a basketball camp one summer. My love affair with basketball continued from high school into college when I coached a  middle school age girls' rec team. My favorite and fail proof play was an in bounds play called "diamond." You can imagine why the girls ran it so well. 

So, even if March Madness means my weekend may be consumed and my plans timed according to the tourney schedule, I'm okay with it. Especially if it means I have bragging rights with my bracket picks... no such luck this year though - I think I'm at the bottom of every pool I'm in... whoops. Thank goodness there's always next year!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Springing Forward

I LOVE that it doesn't get dark until 7:30ish now, but ask anyone I know and they'll tell you, I am not a morning person. So I can't seem to shake that hour of sleep I lost. Especially since it's still dark when we're rising in the morning. I've always been someone who needs a lot of sleep, so mornings have never been my finest hour of the day. Phillip on the other hand goes to bed later than me, gets up earlier than me and always seems to still have energy. I'm baffled by this. If I could have a super power, I think I might ask for the ability to never sleep. Just think of all the things I could accomplish and cross off my to do list! Not to mention the gazillions of pictures I would have time to take.

But even with my "sleep deprivation," I definitely would not trade it for fuller days of sunshine. Especially since it means warmer weather, fresh cut grass, green trees, cocktails on the porch at sunset, and the sweet smell of flowers are on the way. Raleigh is starting to show signs already...
Note to self, get allergy medicine...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Harvey: Paper Shredder Extraordinaire

Phillip and I went to a Carolina Hurricanes hockey game last week since they were playing against my former hometown and Canes' arch-rival, the Washington Capitals aka Caps. The game was pretty intense and the Canes pulled out a win against the number one team in the league in OT! Yeah! (Side note: Although I grew up outside of the DC area, my hockey loyalty resides with the Canes since I had never even seen a game until Phillip and I started dating and he shared his obsession passion with me.) I had brought my camera along, since at this point, it pretty much goes where I go, and captured a few action shots and a few beer shots, since beer and hockey seem to go hand in hand.

Well, the camera especially came in handy when we arrived back at home and were greeted by a sheepish looking dog and a paper trail... literally. Apparently, we adopted a paper shredder.

The crime scene...
 Paper shredding is hard work...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Katie + Thomas

Yesterday was the first day of spring, and mother nature did not disappoint - the temperature was perfect in the mid-seventies, the sky was cloudless and Katie and Thomas were ready to shoot their engagement portrait session. They came prepared with a Save-the-Date sign and lots of ideas for their shoot, making my job pretty easy! I knew it was going to be a great day when Krispy Kreme doughnuts were mentioned as part of their theme. Even their dog Peter got in on the action. Katie also shared her wedding color palette with me, so I was on the hunt to find the colors occurring in the outdoors. 

Their wedding date is set for October 2nd (a great weekend for a wedding... not that I'm biased since our wedding date was October 3rd!) and with Katie's flair for design and detail, and Thomas' food prowess (he operates Oak City Smoke - the BEST BBQ around), I have no doubt that their wedding is going to be a great affair... just like their marriage :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

When You Can't Meet Your Photography Idol in Person, Buy Their DVD

My birthday present arrived this week (even though my birthday was a month ago). I am so excited to see what insight Tamara gives - fingers crossed there's a section on Photoshop or Lightroom! I'm almost afraid to start watching it, because I know I won't want it to end.

Other photography bday themed gifts included a Gary Fong "puffer"
It diffuses the light from the flash so it doesn't cast the harsh bright light onto your subject. I used it at the Oyster Roast and it worked beautifully.
A mono-pod - Provides stability for the times when you don't want to lug out your heavy-duty tripod.

A new lens!!! The 85mm, 1.8 portrait lens I've been salivating over.
Photoshop Elements 8.0 (a gift to myself since I found a discounted rate at Costco)
I love that I'm having trouble cramming all my gear into my bag now. I think this means I need another one. I've been eying the Lowepro sling backpack and as luck would have it, I have a gift card to Southeastern Camera that needs to be used.

I love birthdays!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green Day

Happy St. Patty's Day

Monday, March 15, 2010

Things I Love

Cowboy boots. I haven't had them for long, but long enough to know that they seem appropriate for any and every situation... cute sundress? sure! walking the dog? why not? quick trip to the grocery store? you betcha.
Listening to the free the CD Coldplay gave out at their concert, on my way home from work.
I would love it even if it wasn't free, but it makes it that much sweeter.

Husband in the kitchen. He knows what he's doing... more so than me.
Thank goodness or we might starve!

A wet nose followed by a gentle but slobbery kiss on my palm in the morning. 
A subtle but sweet hint it's time to go out.

SweetWater Brewing Company's blueberry beer.
I'm a recent convert, but will definitely make this one of my go to summer drinks.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Up in the Air

Friday nights have become kind of a recovery time for us. After a long, exhausting week at work, we sometimes have trouble finding motivation to get off of the couch, whereas just a couple of years ago, we couldn't wait to see where the night would lead us. Ugh, does this mean we're getting old? I'm hoping it's more weather related and as the weather turns warm, we'll be back to our old selves - ready for game nights with friends, cook outs by the pool, and of course the occasional pint of beer or glass of wine downtown, maybe even some dancing if we're feeling especially ambitious. 

This past Friday it was cold, raining and we had both worked LONG hours. So on my way home from work, I stopped by a RedBox to pick up the Oscar nominated movie Up in the Air, which I had already reserved using the newly downloaded RedBox app on my droid (did I mention I love this phone? Its means of pre-planning leave me breathless...) I won't list any spoilers here, since I hate it when details of movies, sporting events, etc. leak out (unless of course I'm seeking to find out the results.) I only want to comment on the intro to the movie though. It shows lots of different views from a plane in flight - views of fields, irrigation systems, clouds, bodies of water etc. Well, this reminded me of some shots I had gotten on our flight to the British Virgin Islands for our honeymoon. We had gone back and forth on which mode of transportation to take to get there since Virgin Gorda is a tiny island, and our choices were limited. It was between flying from San Juan to Virgin Gorda on a Cessna 404 (see picture here... yikes!) OR taking a more substantial propeller plane (ATR72) from San Juan to Tortola Island and then having a catamaran pick us up for the 20 minute ride to the resort, with complimentary rum punch provided... Guess which one we took?

Here are the photos from the plane heading over the islands and drinks on the catamaran.