Friday, September 24, 2010

On Meeting Jasmine Star

I'm embarrassed by my husband on a regular basis. I'm not quite sure how to explain this phenomenon, but I think it's a combination of his extroverted personality and the fact that he himself doesn't embarrass that easily. Both are qualities that attracted me to him in the first place, but every so often I find myself shaking my head and saying "Seth!" in an unusually high voice while wishing for Harry Potter's invisibility cloak. It's once in a blue moon that I embarrassmyself to the point of wanting to disappear. There must have been a blue moon last week.

I had the pleasure of attending the WPPI Road Trip in Northbrook, IL on September 16th. It was my first experience with anything related to WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International), so I had no idea what to expect, but Jasmine Star was speaking and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to hear her, and *gasp* possibly even meet her. I've been following her blog for over a year now, and she's been such an encouragement and an inspiration to me. When Jasmine came up, I was blown away by her story and what she had to say. After everything was finished, I didn't want to seem too eager by jumping into the "meet jasmine" line, so I casually wandered over with my hands in my pockets as if I had some other business to attend to, and then slipped nonchalantly into line ("What? Huh?? This is the "meet Jasmine" line? Oh, well, I guess I'll meet her, since I'm here and all."). There was a problem, however. I had NO IDEA what I was going to say to her! I'd been wracking my brain for weeks to come up with some sort of thought-provoking question to ask Jasmine so I could mask the fact that all I really wanted to do was meet her. Something that made me seem professional and deep and not some ridiculous "I want to have your baby" fan. So there I was, looking right into her face, shaking her hand ("Hi, I'm Jasmine!") and I say the deepest thing that comes to my mind, "I love you." She laughed graciously (thank God, she must get that a lot!) and I told her my name, then apologized for being nervous, to which she replied "Shake it off, Chrissy!" while shaking my shoulders. Then there was silence. Ear piercing silence. I'm sure it was only a couple of seconds, but to me, it felt like ages and all I could think was "Did I really just tell JASMINE STAR that I love her??" But wait, it gets better. Sensing I had nothing else to say, she asked me what I shoot. For some strange reason, whenever someone asks me this, I immediately think they're asking what kind of camera I use. About halfway through answering, I realize what she really meant, so my answer came out "Canonportraitsandweddings." I then proceeded to tell her, what I felt, was my entire life story (and went into detail on Lucas 365), but I was talking so fast that it was over in a matter of minutes. She's so open about herself on her blog and during her lecture that you just feel compelled to share your life with her as well! So after shooting the breeze for a couple more minutes, I embarrassingly asked for a picture with her and her husband, JD, and they happily obliged. :) :)

thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU, Jasmine for being so so gracious and so giving of yourself to those of us that love you. :)

It would be a complete crime for me not to mention the other AMAZING speakers from the WPPI Road Trip. Sal Cincotta, Bob and Dawn Davis, and the guys of Tricoast Photography, were all great and my brain was SO FULL of information when I left. It really is a wonderful thing to be in an industry where everyone is so ready to help each other out and genuinely wants their comrades to succeed. After attending the Road Trip, I'm seriously going to do all I can to make it out the full 2011 WPPI Trade Show in Vegas!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Paul : DeKalb, IL Portrait Session

One thing I've really loved about photography is reconnecting with old friends. Paul is one of those old friends. We went to DeKalb High School together, and graduated *cough* almost 10 years ago (holy heck, has it really been that long??). I was in choir and the musicals with Paul, not to mention years and years of other random classes (Mrs. Williams AP English was the best!!). Paul went on to get his Masters in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy and has plans for teaching this winter at Knox College. Until then, he needed some headshots for this upcoming Opera season. Enter, Chrissy. :) Now, Paul tried to trick me into thinking that "the camera hates him," but I beg to differ. :)

We snuck in some casual shots as well. That's just how I role. :)

I think this one is my fave!

Paul, it was great to catch up with you!!! Good luck and I hope we meet again soon! :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Diedrichs Part II : DeKalb, IL Child/Family Session

A few weeks ago, I shot the Diedrich kids out at the Ellwood House in DeKalb and we ended up cutting it short because of the killer mosquitoes. This time, we met at their grandparent's farm, and it was B-E-A-UTIFUL out! The kids were excited for round 2 of the pictures, Nathan even came over and gave me a little hug when I got out of my car! So sweet! :)

It was crazy to see how much these little kiddos changed in the past month or so, especially little Landen. Isn't he so cute??

What can I say? These kids love to run!

Addyson, Landen, Izaak, Aubrey, and Nathan

Izaak told me all about harvesting.

Aubrey is quite the ham!

They showed me how to climb trees!

I wanted to take him home with me. :)

Addyson was proving to me that she was a monkey. :)

Nathans' belly!

Addyson, Izaak, Aubrey, Nathan, and Landen, thank you so much for being so much fun, and so stinkin' cute!!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

In The Kitchen : PIZZA!!

I love pizza. I mean, I LOVE pizza!!!! It is, hands down, without a doubt, my favorite food. I could probably eat it at least every other day. I always thought it would be fun to make my own pizza, so I gave it a whirl last night and took some pictures while doing it to share with you fine people. :)

The Ingredients:

Whole Wheat Crust
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 package (or 2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast/instant yeast
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup hot water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey

pizza sauce
your favorite toppings
cheese (I used mozzarella and cheddar)
italian seasoning

Now, I realized while eating the pizza that you don't use breakfast sausage, you use ITALIAN sausage. Oh well. I'm not sure where my brain was while grocery shopping! :)

1.) Preheat oven to 425°F

2.) To prepare pizza dough, stir whole wheat flour; lightly spoon into a measuring cup and level flour.

3.) In large mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, yeast and salt. Blend in water, oil and honey or sugar. Stir by hand vigorously until all ingredients are well mixed; about 3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise to desired size.
I cheated and used a bread machine. :)

4.) Place dough in greased 15 x 10 x 1-inch jelly-roll pan or 12 to 14-inch pizza pan. Press dough to cover bottom of pan and up sides to form a rim.

5.) Add pizza sauce of your choice and your favorite pizza toppings

I'd like to give a shout-out to Steve, Lynn, and Zach for recently introducing me to how delish sausage, onion, and green pepper are on a pizza. I usually stick to pepperoni and avoid all veggies like the plague, so this was a major accomplishment on their part. :)

6.) Bake in oven 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and toppings are done.


Seth's Thoughts:

He liked it, but thought it needed more sauce.

My Thoughts:

Definitely yummy. :) I would certainly make this again, but I would do a few things differently.

1. I would use Italian sausage (duh!)
2. I baked it for 20 minutes because I usually like a crispy crust, but I next time I'll try closer to 15 mins with the whole wheat crust.
3. I want to make my own sauce next time.
4. I will use MORE sauce! I thought I put enough on, but I think the crust sucked up some of it because it was a tad dry.

So there you have it! I'm hoping to do this more regularly because it was quite fun to take pictures while cooking. And I'm always on the lookout for new recipes, so if you have any you'd like to share, feel free to leave a comment and hook me up! Who knows, I may even do a post about it! :)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

My New Baby

On Saturday, I welcomed a new member into my family...the Canon 85mm 1.2L lens!! Now I know most of you out there probably think I'm weird for getting so excited and creating an entire blog post about something that may not interest you at all, and I'm alright with that. :) But as someone who is just starting out, this is some serious business. I'm okay with admitting the fact that before this weekend, the only lens I owned for my Canon 5D was a 50mm 1.8. For weddings, I rent the lenses I need since I just don't have the money to buy them all right now. But for portraits, all I've had was the 50mm. Now don't get me wrong, it certainly gets the job done, and I know it's the photographer, not the gear, but it always helps to have a few lenses you can switch between. So since the beginning of the summer, I've been saving all my shiny pennies for a new lens, and after some serious thought, the 85mm made sense for where I'm at right now. I was even able to shave a few hundos off by buying this lens used! Dave Ramsey would have been so proud of me! :)

It goes without saying that I was SO FREAKING EXCITED about getting this. I must have checked the Express Air Mail tracking about 20 times a day last week! When it finally arrived, I did a little dance around the kitchen before opening it up. Thankfully, I was alone. :)

So now, without further ado, my new lens!!

And of course, what do you think I took my first picture of?? My real, much cuter baby, LUCAS!!! :)

Happy Tuesday!!!!! :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Sylvia & Kyle : Sycamore, IL Engagement Session

Sylvia and Kyle are High School sweethearts. They have an adorable son, Dominic. And they are so in love with each other.

It was rather overcast earlier this week when we went to Blumen Gardens to shoot Sylvia and Kyle's engagement pictures, and I had been on edge all day as to whether or not it was going to downpour while we were there. Thankfully, the rain held off and we were able to get out and take some beautiful pictures of the them!

We took advantage of the morning rain and got a sweet puddle picture. :)

Isn't she so beautiful??

Dominic came along, so we a little family session as well. I have to tell you, Dom is so. stinking. cute. And incredibly ticklish! I think he started laughing at the mere mention of a tickle fight. :)

This melts my heart.

So. ticklish. :)

Thanks, Kyle and Sylvia (and Dominic!) for a fun time! You guys are great and I can't wait to shoot your wedding in November!! :)