Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ava is one years old

Where does the time go. I know it has been a long time since I shared anything here on the blog, but this news was something that could not wait I had to share it. Ava is one and the year has flown by not only for me but for her Mom as well. I had the pleasure of photographing Ava since she was in her Moms tummy.
You may remember as this little darling on my website
but she has grown in to a really adorable little girl as you can see.

Just the prettiest smile as you can see. I look forward to doing her family portrait session next week out on location at Zittle's Marina in Olympia, WA so stay tuned I will post a few favorites from that.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Welcome Clarke of North Thurston High School

Spring time is always my favorite time of year because it is the time of year we start excepting High School Ambassadors. We take only a limited number of Ambassadors. Our first Ambassador this year is a fine young man name Clarke he is from North Thurston High School in Lacey, Washington. Clarke is a very interesting young man he plays electric guitar and we had a fun time working with him in our new studio area, and I look forward to working with him again at the skate park once the weather gets a bit better.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Wilson Family Portrait Session in Las Vegas, NV

This past February I had the pleasure to photograph The Wilson Family. Mike and Kim are the proud parents of four beautiful children. The love this family has for each other is present in everyone of them.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

101 Dalmatian'sPlay

What a talented bunch of grade schoolers. Mrs Elisabeth Bretschneider really out did her self with these puppies the cast was 56 in total and with ages ranging from pre K to 6th grade. The kids all had a good time playing their different roles.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Not 1 but 2 Play programs

It is such an exciting time, January which is normally a slower period of time for me, where I will just take a load off and enjoy some winter fun with the family. However this January I have been asked to produce two photographic play programs for 2 different local area schools. What fun I am really looking forward to this.

These plays look like both will be a hugh success. The South Bay Elementary School is doing a 101 Dalmatians play and the Chinook Middle School is going to be doing Mulan. The Directors of the plays Mrs. Elizabeth Bretschneider has such enthusiasm and passion for what she does. Dress rehearsals are next week for the Dalmatians play I will post a few images from that. I am really looking forward to the photographing at the stage location it takes me back to high school and all the wonderful plays I helped produce as a stage manger.

Mulan will just got underway first rehearsal was yesterday and it has some really great talent in the show. I look forward to watching this play take shape.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The loss of a good dog

I am sad to say that Casey our beloved Saint Bernard was laid to rest on Monday. Casey had a cancerous tumor in her back leg that pain killers were no longer keep the pain away. Casey had been well loved by all that knew her and will be missed.

Casey was a rescued Saint Bernard that we took into the family while we lived in Las Vegas I truly believe that she was in heaven here in Washington she loved the much cooler weather and snow was always her favorite time to play. While we had Casey she enjoyed a carefree life living on our 5 acres, she enjoyed chasing down delivery trucks and excitedly greeting any of the various visitors that we had. Fed Ex and, UPS and DHL were always kind to her and had a cookie treat ready to give her. She tried fame one year when Grey my son decided to enter her in the fair with 4-H for dog handling and whilst she enjoyed the public life it was very exhausting work and she much preferred life at home. I think I will miss her the most however because she was always by my side during the day and I found myself stepping over her anytime I needed to get up from my desk. Casey would bark to let me know she wanted to come in and I am sure many of my clients can attest that when ever I was on the phone it seemed like she knew and would bark for attention in or out. I will think of her often and miss her but know she is pain free and forever in my heart.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sharing a story given to Dane Sanders

I have a dear friend that has inspired and changed my life this past year and he posted this story. It was such a heart warming story one where you want share the message so with his blessing. I would like to give it all to you with a Merry Christmas. Enjoy.

by R. B. Ryan
Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.
It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn’t been enough money to buy me the rifle that I’d wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.
After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn’t get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn’t figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn’t worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.
Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. “Come on, Matt,” he said. “Bundle up good, it’s cold out tonight.”
I was really upset then. Not only wasn’t I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We’d already done all the chores, and I couldn’t think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this.
But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one’s feet when he’d told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn’t know what.
Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn’t going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn’t happy.
When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. “I think we’ll put on the high sideboards,” he said. “Here, help me.” The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.
After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood - the wood I’d spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing?
Finally I said something. “Pa,” I asked, “what are you doing?” You been by the Widow Jensen’s lately?” he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I’d been by, but so what?
Yeah,” I said, “Why?”
“I rode by just today,” Pa said. “Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They’re out of wood, Matt.” That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it.
Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand.
“What’s in the little sack?” I asked. Shoes, they’re out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a little candy.”
We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen’s pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn’t have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, sure we could spare that, but I knew we didn’t have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn’t have been our concern.
We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, “Who is it?” “Lucas Miles, Ma’am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?”
Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.
“We brought you a few things, Ma’am,” Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children - sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last.
I watched her carefully She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn’t come out.
“We brought a load of wood too, Ma’am,” Pa said. He turned to me and said, “Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let’s get that fire up to size and heat this place up.”
I wasn’t the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn’t even speak.
My heart swelled within me and a joy that I’d never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.
I soon had the fire blazing and everyone’s spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn’t crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. “God bless you,” she said. “I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us.”
In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I’d never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.
Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.
Tears were running down Widow Jensen’s face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn’t want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.
At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, “The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We’ll be by to get you about eleven. It’ll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn’t been little for quite a spell.” I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.
Widow Jensen nodded and said, “Thank you, Brother Miles. I don’t have to say, May the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will.”
Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn’t even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, “Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn’t have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand.”
I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen’s face and the radiant smiles of her three children.
For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensen’s, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.
Don’t be too busy today. Feel free to share this inspiring message. And may God reveal someone in need to you, and bless you!