Amber and Dan: Wedding save-the-date

Here's another paper/font/stationary obsessed post for ya...

This save-the-date for Amber and Dan's wedding is so charming! I got it awhile ago and I've been waiting to post it forever. Now that my sessions have finally slowed down (snow will do that) I have time to post it.

Isn't it cute? I really like the "love birds" theme - but adore the fact that it's subtly implied. In my opinion, a theme shouldn't over shadow the meaning of a wedding. It's a lot like reading a novel - I don't want to be told what happens. I want just enough detail to figure it out on my own.

The combination of elegant scroll and serif fonts is a complementary twist of modern and traditional. Something pretty difficult to pull off well. Too often combining traditional and modern makes something appear disjointed. I think what seamlessly joins the two approaches on Amber and Dan's save-the-date is that the birds are traditionally shaped, but the silhouette smooths them out a little. Which transitions nicely into the branches with the modern touch of using circles and hearts for leaves. Kudos to their designer! Wouldn't surprise me if it was Miss Amber herself.

Like I've said before, save-the-dates and wedding invites give you a glimpse of what to expect on the big day itself. Pretty sure Amber and Dan's wedding is going to be amazing!


Merry Christmas!

While Ryan and I frosted Christmas cookies tonight, we talked about what Christmas will be like in a few years. Staying up late Christmas Eve to wrap presents and assemble bicycles. Watching Owen's excitement over Santa and his presents. Just thinking about the future memories, I couldn't help but smile.

Every year we get a new ornament for our tree. It usually represents the biggest event of the year. No surprise, this year's ornament is for Owen's first Christmas. Hallmark makes some stinkin' cute ornaments, don't they!?

Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas!


Christmas photo project: Sneak peek

A friend of ours asked me to put together a photography project for some of their Christmas gifts. It was a bit of a stretch for me considering I'm far more comfortable shooting people. But I really enjoyed the challenge.

Without spoiling the surprise of someone's Christmas present... here's a sneak peek:

I'll post the finished project soon.

When life hands you apples

... turn it into a smiley face.

When I was a kid, my sister and I always had to help my mom bake pies. For Thanksgiving. For Christmas. Birthdays. For my uncle when he plowed us out after a snow storm. For the local milk hauler who brought us water in the summer when our well went dry.

It was our job to get an ice cube out of the freezer. That was her secret to making flaky crust - ice cold water. And my mom makes the best pies.

We watched and talked. About nothing really. Looking back it was just fun.

When mom had the first half rolled out, she lifted it up while we slid the pie pan underneath. It was easy and smooth. And prevented cracking the crust.

Then she'd trim the edges. This was the best part of pie making. We would snitch pieces of raw crust as fast as Mom would cut them off. Flour, salt, and lard. Yum-O! What we didn't eat we sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on and baked.

And to finish it off, she had to vent the crust to let the steam escape and keep it from bubbling over. But rather than cut boring slits, my mom always cut out a smiley face.


I know... I know...

I've been ignoring the blog lately. Things have been a wee bit busy. There's the chaos of the holidays and with a new baby it makes things more complicated. Not even kidding - I started planning what we'd need to bring to my parents house for Thanksgiving an entire week before.

The good news is there are several posts in the works... and plenty of ideas for future posts! So just bear with me for a little while longer. I assure you regular blog posts will resume soon!


The Warg's: Family portraits

I absolutely adore it when I get emails like the one I got from Jamie. "I loved the photos of so-and-so and want you to take picture of my family." I love it even more when they turn out to be as amazing as Jamie, Dan, and their son Beau (or Bo - I never did ask how to spell it.)

We were working with a limited time frame knowing snow could fall any day. When we scheduled the session for this afternoon I was praying for good weather. Novemeber in Iowa is a huge question mark. It could be 75 or 10 degrees. It ended up being a touch on the cold side. As in 45 degrees chilly.

Not even kidding - we cranked out this session in about twenty minutes. It was c-c-cold! But the Warg's are super troopers. You can't even tell their teeth are chattering in the photos.

Jamie, Dan, and Beau (or Bo) - I had a great time getting to know you. Thanks for braving the weather. Enjoy!

Beau (Bo) is your typical boy. He loves to play in the dirt and race his dad to the car. His favorite subject in school is P.E., but he also likes art and music. And at five-years-old he's at that age where asking him to give his mom a kiss is like asking him to brush his teeth or clean his room. But he's so stinkin' cute!

I think this alley is my new favorite location!

See what I mean?! Such a handsome guy.

Can't leave out mom and dad.

Such a great family! And a perfect way to - quite possibly - end my 2010 photography season. It's going to get even colder after all. All of the fabulous people I've been fortunate to photograph this year have been so incredible. I. am. blessed.


Questions YOU can answer

I'm in a bit of a conundrum. This blog has been the heart of my photography business for... well, since it all started two years ago. At first, it worked really well. It gave me a chance to get my name out there and my clients to get a sneak peek of their photos. But honestly, the most important thing then was the fact that it was free.

It was very important to me that the business grow organically. So I started with a Canon D30 I bought second hand from an intern. I had one lens. And a free blog. As the business grew, I reinvested everything in equipment. Upgraded my camera, lenses, computer, and editing software. It's made my life so much easier.

And now, I feel like it's time to make some changes to this little 'ole blog of mine. It has served it's purpose. Like everything else, it's time to invest in an upgrade. I'm just not sure which direction to go.

To be honest, Google Analytics has been telling me for months that the number of hits here has been decreasing. So I'm not entirely sure anyone is even reading. And if you are I don't know it... because you don't comment. ;-) My hope for this blog was to create two-way communication between you and me. But most of the time I feel like I'm rambling into nothing-ness. Instead, the Tracy Anne Photography Facebook page has provided a better forum for the two-way interaction I was seeking.

So where to go now? I've thought about creating a website and deleting this blog. I've also thought about doing both - creating a new website and maintaining the blog. Or creating a hybrid of both, a "blogsite" that allows me to post and also provide the static general information people need to know.

The other option is to move the blog to Facebook. I hope you want to look at the photos - and I feel like I'm posting the same photos to both the blog and FB anyway. So here's my vision... I would restructure my photo albums so each session would have it's own album. Within the description I would include the content that I would have normally posted to the blog. I would also have an "Idea" album where I would post photos of wedding invites, cool do-it-yourself stuff I run across, and other ... ideas I want to share with you all. And there is always the "notes" feature of Facebook where I could bore you with all of my personal nonsense.

Regardless of whether or not I restructure the blog - I would LOVE to get the "discussion" section of my Facebook page hopping. So feel free to ask questions about ANYTHING. What clothes to wear to a photo session, camera questions, even personal stuff like why I have a collection of over 200 pens. (Oh yes, my friends. It's true.)

SO... I'm asking for your help. Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Do you love the blog? Would you cry into your pillow for weeks and weeks if it were to end? Then TELL me! Would it be easier for you to convert the blog to Facebook? After all, aren't all of us addicted to FB anyway? I'm writing this for YOU - so it's only fitting that you help me decide what to do.

Chances are no matter what we decide, I will be creating a "typical" website. And for that reason this change won't happen over night.

And... because posts are more fun with photos... here's a peek of my very unhappy duck.

PLEASE Comment!!


And how could I forget Sami? She's a big part of the family and her mom and dad love her lots!

See, Sami even gets her own Hawkeye t-shirt!

Hee hee... this one just makes me giggle.

Nate works at a golf course in Norwalk. So we had free reign of the entire place. It was fabulous!

Jessica and Nate: Portraits

I know Jessica fairly well. After all we've spent eight hours a day, five days a week together for the past three months. (We work at the same office during the day.) I'd never met Nate before, but certainly heard a lot about him.

On a blustery Sunday afternoon I got to know Jessica and Nate. Together. And they are so stinkin' cute. Seriously.


Jessica and Nate: Portraits

Last weekend I met up with Jess and Nate (plus Sami) at the Rolling Hills Golf Course in Norwalk, Iowa. The fall color was amazing! And I'm glad we braved the clouds and sprinkles because a couple days later the winds got up to 60 mph. Pretty sure all of the leaves from here blew to Oklahoma.

Nate works at the golf course, and I have a feeling this is how the three of them spend much of their time.

Full post to come soon!


The Hasbrouck's: Family photos

If I didn't already have my own awesome family, I'd want the Hasbrouck's to adopt me. Becca and Jason are such great parents. They make their kids laugh, and laugh at their kids. They take time to listen to their dreams. I mean, it's not very often you hear parents encourage their kids to become an artist that paints or draws nature scenes when they show interest in both areas. They find ways to make a quick walk through the Story County Christensen Forest Preserve educational.

As a result, their kids are great! I had a very detailed conversation with Lilli about social studies and her favorite subjects. Logan, the oldest, is mature beyond her years, and even said she didn't want to venture too far ahead so she was close in case I needed her for photos. And Caden is ALL boy! He loves making faces, playing in the dirt, and throwing rocks.

Jason, Becca, Logan, Lilli, and Caden - I had a FANTASTIC time trapsing around the forest with you. Can't wait to hang out with you again! Enjoy...

I LOVE this photo. Some day, when these three are adults, I hope they love it too.

It's completely organic moments like this that make me love my job.

Hee... hee... walking through the tall grass seemed like a good idea, until Caden came out covered in seeds and leaves. :-) Like I said - all boy!

A little play time and you get photos like this...

(My apologies to Lilli and Caden for spelling their names wrong the first time I posted!)