Friday, June 24, 2011

new top photo

I'm not ready to come back to blogging, but every time my internet browser opens and I see the picture of Aidan's feet in ice skates at the top of my blog, I think how much I don't like it, so I'm putting a new picture at the top. That's it. Have a nice day!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I never . . . .

. . . . blogged about these photos.

No offense to anyone who happens upon this post, but I'm not really enjoying blogging. I may take a little hiatus.

Ice skating. (Two hours before I got stitches).

Sick again. It's been a rough cold season.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

Right after family photos.

Miguel "building" our new computer. It was quite the process. Bravo!

An accidental shot.

The view as I'm reading in bed. I love it.

That's all. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chicken Pox Update

It's been about seven weeks since Cat got chicken pox, and for the first five Fridays I tried to take a picture of her at about the same time in the same place, so I could see the progression. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.

week 1

week 2

week 3

week 4

week 5

Did I mention that we found out where they came from? They traveled here from St. George with my sister's sister-in-law, who started getting pox a couple of days before Cat. She had held Cat during the Christmas break for a couple of minutes. That's all it took.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I Have Everything I Need

And everything is enough.

Many photographers say it's seasonal, but wintertime is not kind, and I'm in a photography slump. I don't like my work, I'm not accomplishing my goals, blah, blah, blah.

I wonder if I specialized if I would improve. Like if I only shot newborns (which are my nemesis right now). But, I don't want to tie myself down to one subject. That sounds pretty restrictive.

I read on a newborn photographer's blog that she has spent $40,000 in equipment since she started five years ago, and that is a suggested minimum. She suggests spending up to $80,000 if you are a serious photographer. In that case, I'm an extreme minimalist. I don't have backup cameras and double lenses, and I don't provide insurance for clients in case they stub their toes at my house, and I only drive a sedan, and I don't send my kids to daycare while I take your photos, and I've never attended a workshop. So, I'm nowhere near professional and I don't claim to be, and even though I call myself AM Photography, it's not a business name, it's just our initials, and I'm what is called a hobbyist.

So, I took my pricing page off my blog. The prices are still in effect, I'm just not posting them. I feel like it's presumptuous.

When you see a good photo, you think nothing of it, but when you see a bad photo, you notice. Sometimes I look at photo blogs, and I wonder are they serious? Do they really think these photos look good? Do people think that when they see my photos? No one would ever tell me, right? So, I guess I'll never know.

I know everyone takes good photos sometimes, but I guess a goal would be to take good photos most of the time systematically, and not just by chance. But, I think that takes a talent and a conscious knowledge of what makes a good photo. Not luck. I think some people are born with the eyes to magically see the whole picture, and some people aren't. And I don't know which group I fall into.

We usually try to take our own family photos, because we can't afford the photographers we admire, but we're not very good at it, as evidenced in the following photo.

Yes, I purposely blurred my face out. I like it better that way.

Photographers usually take better shots of their own children and family and friends than of strangers, because they are with them all day long, they can grab the camera when the lighting is best, and they are not afraid to experiment a little. Last time I paid someone to take our photos, I chose someone who I admired for her creativity and experimental style. But, like most photographers, she played it very safe with our photos. The photos were fine, but I was a little disappointed. Note to self: try something experimental in every photo shoot.

So, we hired someone to take our photos (because Julie needs a photo for her wall!). I do like this girl's work, and she has a knack for making people look good (another Jonathan Canlas skill that I think I share), but I'm not getting my hopes up too high. In most photos, I look like I just took a bite out of a lemon.

I still have a week to worry about haircuts and what to wear. Then comes the moment of truth.


P.S. I drafted this post last week, and today we took the photos, and I have a really good feeling about them. Really really good. Eerily good.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What chicken pox?

Before I discovered the healing brush tool in Photoshop, I bought Portrait Professional, which is a retouching program known lately because they advertise before and after photos like these:

What I don't like about the program is that it actually contours the face. I don't know their algorithm, but they make eyes larger, and noses smaller, and lips fuller, and cheekbones higher, ETC. It's creepy. But, I am going to defend their use of a cute, little freckle-faced girl, because they probably didn't want to use an acne-pocked seventeen-year-old boy in their ad. It wouldn't make anyone feel good.

I think you are supposed to see the image, and instead of being offended by it, apply it to your own photos. "Oh, that could do wonders for that seventeen-year-old boy I photographed last week." Or something like that.

Here's a photo of me before and after, using the Portrait Professional default settings. Notice my face shape is slightly different. I'm not offended. I know my face is shaped like a pumpkin.

So, I put them to the test. I wanted to see what they could do with the pox-plagued face of my little baby. You've seen the before:

Here's the after:

Portrait Professional is very easy and very fast. I simply uploaded her picture and after about five mouse clicks, this is what they came up with. I disabled the face contouring. Not bad, but not perfect.

So, I spent about a minute in Photoshop with the healing brush tool and this is the final result.

Not bad retouching in less than two minutes. But, I absolutely do not recommend you buy Portrait Professional. It's not worth the money, and it's weird, and I wish I'd never bought it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


A: The baby's eyes are white.
Me: What color are they in the middle?
A: Black.
Me: They're blue. Look at the blue around the black. What color are your eyes?
A: I don't know.
Me: They're blue too. What color are mommy's eyes?
A: Looking intently. Red.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Before and Afters

Blue paisley scarf



Starry night


The man-child


Friday, November 19, 2010


I was prepping for my ESL class, and we are going to read a story from the Vietnam War, so I thought I'd read a little about the history in case my students asked me what the Vietnam War was about, which I didn't know.

So, I read the Wikipedia article on Vietnam. Oh my gosh, I've never been so upset. I tend to cry a lot when I prep for my ESL class. It was horrible! What were we thinking?!

I would have defected to Canada to avoid the draft, too.

Which leads me to believe that we as humans are INCAPABLE of governing ourselves without Divine intervention, which we scoff at.

Look at the current state of politics and the economy and the wars in the Middle East. Do you think we have ANY idea what we are doing and what the consequences of our actions will be? NONE. And we refuse to ask for help. And we are, as a whole, selfish and stupid.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The economy

So, my friend Amanda told me once that in college she wrote a paper about how the washing machine destroyed our society, or something like that. I can't remember exactly what she said, but it seemed that the premise was that women used to spend all day long doing laundry, but after the washing machine, they had so much free time, that they went out and got part-time jobs and messed up the economy.

Amanda, pleasee correct me if I'm wrong.

And, I totally agree with her. It seems that the definition of a healthy economy is constant growth, constant consumer spending, and constant job increases. I think that having two parents working has created an artificial inflation of consumer goods because women are the main consumers and as long as women want to buy more stuff, then more stuff will be created, and as long as women are working and have money to buy it, the cycle will continue until the earth is filled with useless "stuff."

Did you see Wall-E?

If women work to buy things for their families that are immaterial, I think it's great. Like to pay the mortgage or save for college, or pay the insurance bill, or go to Disneyland (??). But once there is a lot of extra income, and it goes toward buying more clothes and toys and electronic devices, it does nothing but destroy the earth and create the need for false jobs that weaken the economy because once the demand is gone (maybe the supply runs out?), the economy will crash.

All you economists out there, please correct my logic, because these are just the ramblings of an uneducated housewife.

Speak louder, please.

I never watch videos the videos on your blogs. I don't have the time, and I never think they will be any good, etc. Sorry.

But, I was killing some time yesterday and I watched the video on my SIL's blog. And then I decided to post it here.

I usually have an immature opinion about political things, but it's not well-formed or based on any amount of research and study. After California's Prop 8 battle, my opinion about gay-marriage went from wishy-washy to well-formed. I just needed to hear a lot more about both sides of the issue than I previously had. So, I posted this video because it's message is so powerful, it makes me squirm.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Saving the Earth . . . .

. . . . one MPG at a time!

Introducing the newest member of our family. But, in silver.
I will miss our 20-year-old Honda, though. She was good to us. I hope she finds a good home.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Killing time . . .

I am blogging at midnight because I am having contractions and I'm trying to ignore them. Yeah! Kind of. It's pretty miserable actually.

Actually, i'm going to the hospital. I'll finish this later.

I'm back, with a baby at my breast. Ha ha, I've always wanted to say that. I'll explain in a future post.

Here are some things we did this month while waiting for baby.

Here are Joyce and Kyle after a day on a boat at Deer Creek.

Fishing at Salem Pond with the cousins.

The injured boys.

Sleeping in the swing.

Feeding ducks with Big Grandpa at Spring Lake.

Miguel made the seagulls work for their bread.

The Spanish Fork EMS Open House.

A crash simulator.

The rock wall.