Happy turkey day!

I love the holidays. Not for the food - although, that is a huge perk. But for what it does to people. For the attitudes it changes. For the kind words and smiles of strangers. It seems like that month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is so much nicer. Everyone just gets a long a little better.

Well, minus the crazy Black Friday shoppers I suppose.

But that's not the point. I love the holidays because for one month of the year everyone sees things a little differently. They all realize the blessings they have in life and actually take the time to appreciate it. Family becomes more important and work less so. Things just come into focus.

I wish that atmosphere could last all year long... but a month is better than nothing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. Things will be quiet on the photography front. I'm taking advantage of the long weekend to get caught up.


Family Photography: The Carter's

It's really a small world. Jerry's mom and Ann's mom went to school together. Ann's aunt was Jerry's preschool teacher. Ann and Jerry got married a few years ago, and their daughter Olivia will turn 2 in a few months.

Growing up, my best friend's sister was Ann's best friend. So there were many times we ended up at their house at the same time. When Ann and I reconnected on Facebook, I realized they had settled in Audubon, Iowa. Ryan's grandma lives there so I've come to love the home of Albert the Bull. I also found out Ann's a teacher in Ryan's home town!

I was thrilled when Ann asked me to take their family photos and a few of Olivia and her cousin, Brody. I was not so thrilled the morning of our session when the thick blanket of fog hadn't lifted by the time I left to meet them in Ankeny. But we lucked out. The fog burned off by the time we got started. Could have been a little warmer, but I think we were all thankful it wasn't any colder!

Ann, Jerry, Olivia, Jill, and Brody - thanks for braving the boring frisbee golf course and letting me play with you at the "real" park! More to come.

Tracy Anne Photography - On location photographer based in Iowa



Sometimes life feels a little like my dog. In the sense that it seems life is pulling me by a leash, and I have to run to keep from getting my arm ripped off. If only life had something like the gentle leader. But busy is never bad.

There's the new job, which is going amazingly well. And wrapping up the end of the photography season. My last session of the year is this weekend. Unless of someone is looking for snowy photos, which I think would be big fun.

But that certainly doesn't mean my photography business is slowing down. Far from it. Now I get to focus on the business aspect. I'm working through my 2010 pricing. I'm taking time to do a lot of reading about photography and business. I'm re-thinking my brand. A combination of which could lead to some new things and some changes to the old.

I'm really excited about the opportunity to re-evaluate. I think it's important to make your business a unique reflection of... you. Uh -- I mean me. Not to mention, I love the whole process of brainstorming, editing, creating, and editing some more. After all, I'm not the same person I was when I started this little venture a year ago. So my business shouldn't be the same either.

And just becase posts are more fun with photos... a little bokeh for ya.


New 9 to 5

When I was laid off in June I had no idea what was in store for me. There were so many questions. So many unknowns. And the unknown is scary. Eventually I washed my hands of the worry and stress. I gave that to God. My job was to focus on finding a job that was exactly what I wanted.

And I did. I just finished started my second week as marketing director for Farm Safety 4 Just Kids. FS4JK is a national non-profit established in 1987 by Marilyn Adams after her 11-year-old son died in a gravity flow grain wagon accident. Volunteers across the country and Canada form Chapters that put on various farm safety programs in their communities. The programs are on a number of different topics including animals, chemicals, tractors, atvs, seat belt use, and various other potential hazards facing kids in rural areas.

As a "country kid" growing up, I've always had a passion for agriculture. Certainly more than I ever did for retirement. In the last week I've learned that going to work every day beliving in what I'm doing and knowing that I am helping make a difference is what everything is about. I already feel very at home there and that feels good.


Happy.... pheasant season!

In our house, Halloween got over shadowed by the opening weekend of pheasant season. Some in the family would tell you it's the most important holiday of the year. The first morning everyone's up early. Earlier than necessary because they're too excited. My mother-in-law makes a feast for breakfast and sends them on their way.

As the sun crests over the hills to the east, everyone piles out of trucks and SUVs. The dogs are excited, as if they can smell it in the air. They guys are constantly watching the clock and a few minutes before 8 am they move into place. I go along, shooting with my camera instead of a shot gun.

Within the first ten minutes our nephew harvested the first bird of the season. Total they got eight birds. It was a good day.

Meanwhile, back home... we forgot the cardinal rule of trick or treating and left our porch light on. A fire department member called to tell us if we went out of town for Halloween we should turn our proch light off. Oops! To all the trick or treaters that stopped at our house, sorry for leaving the light on!