Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Polar Express???

I recently took my first train ride.  But I'll back up just a bit.

My daughter is pregnant and due the first week of the new year.  I was actually expecting the weather to be snowy so we decided to travel by train.  You know, we thought it may be safer actually, and we wouldn't have to drive over Vail Pass in the snow. 

Any of you in Colorado know that the snow is late this year.  But anyway, when I told my mom how we were traveling here, she reminded me that when I was born, my grandmother took a train through the snow to be there when I was born.  So, of course, I stuck to my plan as a part of tradition.  My grandmother passed away 7 years ago, and I was very close to her, and thought this would just be a truly sentimental journey for me to travel the way she did (not) so many years ago.

The train ride was way cool.  My hubby and I hopped on the train at 10 am and traveled across Colorado.  What a fabulous trip.  The train was roomy and we weren't stuck in our seats for the whole ride.  We explored the train.  I couldn't help but think about the movie "The Polar Express" the whole time I was on the train.  (I recently saw the movie).  I have to say though, that I have never been in such a small rest room. 

We had lunch in the train's diner.  We were seated with another couple who was from Australia.  It was really interesting to chat with them over our lunch. 

The train makes several stops along the way, some of them my hubby had time to hop off for a quick smoke.  When we stopped in Glenwood, we both hopped off so that I could get some pictures.  Glad I did but wish I would've taken more.  That depot looks antique.  It was beautiful.

We spent most of our time in the observation car.  Big windows allowed us to see much of the scenery and get some pictures.  We saw lots of wildlife too.  Several deer and a bald eagle.  One deer that we came across actually was trying to cross the river and became frozen before it made it across.  Sad!  but odd!!

After it got dark, we made our way back to our seat before we picked up more people in Denver, that filled the train.  Then we had to listen to this one man who was obviously upset that there were children in the same car as him.  He asked the train attendant if he could do something about all the noise.  It was truly funny.  The attandant told him that there is just no way to turn a toddler OFF.  He still had a cow.

Then it wasn't long after that when our train trip was over.  10 hours after we got on.  It was a wonderful ride.  Can't wait to do it again.

Now that we are here, we're just waiting for my daughter to pop.  The next big adventure in this photographer's life.  I'll keep you posted.

Chow for now,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

First Santa Visit

Well, my family has been the Claus Family for the past couple of years at our church.  It has been suggested to us in the past that we should do Santa Visits with the public and make some extra money.  I really didn't see how we could possibly do it, not at the time anyway.

Then recently a friend of mine suggested it to me again.  And we pondered over it about adding it to my photography business.  Ha!  What a thought.

So anyway, I put it into effect and started advertising around town and we got our first call.  We only scheduled one this year but that is ok.  We learned alot from the visit we just did.

We were invited to a birthday party for a 1 year old.  They wanted a 1 hour visit.  We's a step in the direction that we want to go.

Well, I'm now glad that we only had one scheduled this year.  Now it's back to the drawing board to redo the plan. 

The party was fun.  There were only 2 toddlers, who by the way, of course, were afraid of Santa.  But I thought that may work to our advantage, simply because we had to fill a whole hour.  The older kids were awesome.  They know exactly who Santa is and are not afraid of him.  So with the older kids, the visit went pretty quick.

Anyway, we found ourselves with some awkward moments, almost like we were invading a home party.  We were the party crashers.  Once the presents started opening, the kids forgot all about Santa and we didn't know what to do. 

Overall, it was awesome, and I can't wait to do it again.  I just think that a whole hour, for just a few kids, is a little too long.  And adding them to birthday parties, I don't know.  I'm sure that if we get called for another birthday party, we will go, but I think that a 30 minute visit is enough.  Or we will estimate the time based on how many children will be visiting with Santa.

Chow for Now,

Lighthouse Church blesses the community

The Lighthouse Church of Grand Junction heads out each year to bless some of the elders in the community with Christmas Carols the old fashioned way.  They show up on their doorsteps, ring the bell and start singing.  This year they also visited a local nursing home and blessed the residents there with a few songs and visiting.

The church visited the nursing home first and sang a few songs in the cafeteria as the residents were finishing up their supper.  Then they went around and visited with a few of the residents.

Then they were off, singing their way through the halls of the home to carry cheer to those that were already in their rooms.  There were beautiful door decorations along the hallway, and I couldn't resist taking some shots of those too.

Well, I was going to post some more photos of the event but it seems that yet again I am having problems doing so.  It has been suggested to me to move to WordPress for my blog..  If it keeps this up, simply because I do not have time to piddle fart with this when it don't want to work, I may be moving. 

But I'll keep you posted.

The rest of the photos will be posted on FB.
Chow for Now,

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Promo Photo

I've got this young man who wants to make it big in extreme sports some day.  He's a fan of Shawn White and he loves sports all the way around.  He's into LaCrosse, snowboarding, biking, and skateboarding. 

Anyway, he's been after me for some promo photos.  So I followed him out to the bike track about a week ago and here is what we got.

If you'd like to see more, head on over to the full album on FB.

Chow for Now,

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Streets of Grand Junction

We had our Parade of Lights here in downtown Grand Junction back on the 4th of December.  This is my first year to go to the parade since I moved here 4 years ago.  There were alot of people downtown, but I'll post that next time.

I had been reading about different techniques on street photography, so I thought I would give it a try.

The strange thing about street photography that I still don't understand, is how can we secretly take pictures of people and then be able to sell them as stock photography, or post them on the public internet.

I know that because this was a public event, and when people go out and participate in a public event, if their picture is taken, no laws are broken.

Copyrights and legalities just seem to be so gray, if you know what I mean.  Plus, the paparazzi take pictures of celebrities all the time without their permission.  It seems that when ever I read up about it, I get conflicting answers, so who knows.

Anyway, below are some of the photos that I captured from the streets of Grand Junction.

Chow for Now,

If you would like to see the rest of the album, please visit my facebook page.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Santa Visits

My family has been the Claus Family at our church now for two years.  It all started a couple of years ago when our Pastor asked my husband if he would fill in and be Santa for that year.  We got all excited and made it into a family affair.  I became Mrs. Claus and 4 of our kids became elves.  Last year I made us new costumes, so that we would have them forever and stop renting them.  We had a blast, the kids loved seeing Santa, and our kids enjoyed dressing up and being elves.

This year, we were missing one of our elves, because, as you know, our daughter has moved out and is expecting in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, last year several people suggested that we do Santa visits as a way to make extra money.  I really didn't think it was a good idea.  But what do I know.??

This year, someone suggested it to me again....and after we sat and pondered over it for a little while, we thought that maybe we could do this.  You know, incorporate it into my photography business.  We did manage to get one scheduled this year.  We'll see how it goes.  It's a party for a one year old, who will have about 5 little one year olds as his guests.

I'll let you know how it goes.  Today was our Santa Program at church.  Here are a couple of photos from our day.

Chow for now,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Maternity Shoot

Well, I've been working on my website and I think for now I've finally got that completed for the new year.  Still need to put together my welcome packets and that kind of stuff.

Did a couple of maternity shoots over this past month.  I had a blast shooting them and I believe they turned out really nice.  And the Moms-to-be loved them.  Can't wait to do more.

One of the maternity shoots was my own daughter.  She is due around the first of the year.  She lives about 6 hours away, so I'm getting packed up after Christmas and heading her way on a train.  Gonna spend the whole month of January with her.  She's expecting a girl.  I'll be getting some newborn photos under my belt next.  I'm really excited.

Enjoy the photos,
Chow for Now

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend Adventure

We took off this past weekend back up into the mountains before there is too much snow to go.  It was so beautiful.  I love getting off the beaten path and exploring the us that is.  This is the first time that I didn't see any wildlife, other than birds.  Do you think the deer know that it is hunting season? 

I've been busy promoting myself through networking groups and have been asked if I would do commercial photography, product photography and even food photography.  I'm ecstatic!  I feel that I am capable enough to shoot the photos, I'm just a little overwhelmed with everything involved in the pricing.  I was not aware that commercial photography could bring in such an amount of money. 

So I've been busy researching the pricing structures and what all is involved in it.  Wish me luck.

I've entered a contest with our Chamber of Commerce.  They are posting our photos on their FaceBook page and the three photos with the most Likes, will win a $50 gift certificate and possibly be used for their publication.  How exciting, huh?

On a personal note, my daughter is coming this weekend and I'm getting ready for her baby shower.  I plan to do some maternity photos while she is here.  I can't wait.

Well it's off to do some more studying in the midst of cleaning my house.  Below are some of the photos from this past weekend.  Enjoy!

Chow for Now,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Join the Chamber

I joined the local Chamber last week and went to my first leads group through them last Thursday.  I'm looking forward to joining the group and gaining more leads through them. 

Today I met a woman from a local newspaper who also happens to be a strong influence with the local Chamber.  She asked me if I was going to attend the Business Showcase and After hours this evening.  I really wasn't going to because I feel a little intimidated.  There are like 300 people at these after hours and I'm supposed to walk in there, alone, and just start talking to people.  LOL...

You see, as I was growing up, I've always been an extremely shy, bashful person.  So bashful, in fact, that my 3rd grade teacher thought I was too quiet and she was going to bring me out of my shell.  She  made me stand at one corner of the classroom while she stood at the other.  In front of all of my peers she made me yell across the room to her until she could hear me.  It took a while and it didn't work.  It did not bring me out of my shell.  Actually, I think I went farther into my shell.

When I attended high school, I would prepare my oral reports, only to chicken out when the teacher called on me.  I would rather take a zero than stand in front of my class and speak.

I've come a long way since those days but I still feel that little girl inside of me cringe each time I need to walk into a room alone or stand in front of a group of people, whether my friends or strangers.

So tonight, I'm taking a leap of faith, and will hold my head up high and just put one foot in front of the other.  I know that this will be great for my business and get my name out there, and that this step is needed in the promotion of my business.  So I'm gonna go for it.

Do you have a story similiar?  Fears from your past that still haunt you today?  I'd love to hear about them.

Below are the pics from my latest adventure.  My hubby and I went up into the mountains this past weekend to enjoy our Saturday.  The weather was cloudy and rainy and gloomy yet beautiful.  Enjoy!

Chow for now,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Santa Visits

Each year my husband and I and our children are the Claus Family at our church.  My children enjoy being the elves and of course, the children of the church just love to see Santa and Mrs. Claus. 

After much prodding and suggesting that we do Santa visits in our town, I'm finally giving in to set it up.  After all, why not incorporate it into my photography business.  I know that I never cared much for going to the mall and standing in the extremely long line that seemed to take forever and I'm sure there are others out there that feel the same way.

Santa came and visited my oldest child when he was little and that was something that he remembered for a very long time and he thoroughly enjoyed it.  So why not??

My hubby said 'ok' when I asked him, especially after I told him that we could make some money for Christmas.  So he's on board.

I did some research to see what Santa's going rate is these days.  I found a little info.  So I've set it up, got it on my website and I have some flyers made and will distribute them out in the next week or so. 

So tell me what you think.  I Dallas, Tx, Santa's going rate starts at $50 an hour for home visits.  We live in Grand Junction, Co, which we are the last to suffer from the effects of the economy but also the last to recover from.  We still have alot of unemployment, but we are on the upside again.  I started to offer the visits at $75 and hour but I don't know.

What do you think?

High School Football Coverage

One of my sons plays on the freshman football team.  I, of course, take my camera and get tons of shots while I watch the game and learn how it's played, from my hubby.  This last game, we sat real close to the sidelines and a couple of times these boys were running straight at me.  OMG!!  But I just kept shooting hoping they wouldn't run over me.  I got some really cool shots too.

My son brags about his Mom all the time and apparently he was telling someone at school about me being a photographer and taking pics of the games.  So he came home from school with a web address and told me that if I didn't mind sharing, they would love for me to upload some pics to their yearbook website.  I think that's pretty cool too. 

The high schools here in town don't really have very big stadiums.  Our team is fixing to play at the big stadium in town.  My son was really looking forward to playing in the Stadium but now has broken his foot during PE at school and will not be able to play.  He's bummed.  We're bummed. 

Anyway, below are some of the pics from their last football game.  The full album is posted to FB if you want to see the rest.

Chow for now,

Friday, October 22, 2010

Stepping Out!!

So I opened my mouth in my networking group about being a photographer.  I filled out the application, they checked my references and accepted me to the group (again).  Woo Hoo....on my way.

I did my first presentation yesterday and they loved my photos.  You know we all love those compliments because it gives us another boost to our ego.  The presentation was great, they asked questions (and I was able to answer them confidently) and I even got a couple of leads.

I also joined the Chamber of Commerce this week and they have a leads group too.  I visited the group and have now scheduled a portrait party with one of the members.  I'm looking forward to it.

Been busy today doing my research.  The lead that I got was for some commercial photography.  I hope I'm not out of my league here.  Anyway, I've been researching how to charge for commercial photography.  There's alot involved with pricing.  I just want to be fair to my client as well as make a profit, and not undercut the photography market.  There's alot that goes into the licensing of your photos.  I don't have that info directly in front of me right now, but as soon as I can, I'll post so you can read it too.

Another thing I'm excited about is our Santa Program.  Every year my family dresses up as the Claus family for our church.  My hubby is Santa, I'm Mrs. Claus and our children are our little elves ( that aren't so little any more).  It's been suggested to us in the past to do Santa visits, but I just was not thinking outside of the box at the time.

Recently another friend suggested it....and I thought "Why not?"  We could incorporate it into my photography business and take portraits at the same time.  So we're off.  I've researched that a bit and I have to tell you, I didn't find that much info about it on the web.  There are Santa visits in the Dallas area but none where I live.  Everyone that I've mentioned it to thinks it's a great idea so I'm putting together a flyer now to be posted around town and handed out to all my networking buddies.  Wish us luck!

All in all, this week has been a Great Week.  Tomorrow it's off into the mountains again for more photos of areas I haven't seen.  Let's hope the snow doesn't surprise us too much tomorrow.

Chow for now,

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday busy Monday

Mondays are probably my busiest day because of taking off for the weekend.  Emails back up, I take pictures over the weekend that need to be downloaded to my computer, and today is menu and grocery list planning day.  Everyone in the house does their own laundry, but I just so happen to choose Monday as my day, along with changing sheets, cleaning up the house a bit, you know all those domestic chores that always seem to need doing, but are never completed.

Actually, I think I've  planned Monday as my day off, so to speak, but I really do love my job and want to always be in the middle of it. 

I do keep my schedule in front of me so that I can stay focussed on what I'm in the middle of and what needs to be done.  I don't always get to everything on my daily list but no worries, I will get to it.

One of my sons is playing football this year on the freshman team.  While I'm out supporting him and practicing my sports shooting, I'm also getting an education in how the game is played.  My husband played when he was in high school and is very passionate about the game.  He is also very vocal.  I, on the other hand, am usually pretty quiet.  So occasionally, I'll get the wits scared right out of me when he gets excited over the game.  But, I'm learning.

Here are a few of the photos of his most recent game, where he made his first tackle.

Ok, looks like this is the only photo I can upload at this time.  This happened to me the last time too.  Well, I've kept trying to upload a few more with still no luck so if you want to see the rest of the album, head over to my facebook page.  I guess if this keeps up, I will have to take the advice of some of my readers and move my blog.

I belong to a couple of networking groups here in town.  It's a way to get my name and what I do out there at very little cost.  It's advertising by word of mouth.  I've been a member of this one group for a couple of years now with my Gift Shop business.  I recently stepped out with my photography to the group and will give my first presentation this week.

I almost lost out on this opportunity to spread the news about my photography business.  I have hesitated in the past about bringing it up in the meetings for fear that I don't know enough yet.  So I was going to wait to announce it.  Another buddy from the group stepped up a couple of months ago and said that he was also a photographer and I thought that I had lost out on that opportunity. 

Our networking group is exclusive to each business in the group.  In other words, they only allow one banker, one accountant, one photographer, and so on. 

Anyway, that photographer has moved on from the group so I stepped out and announced my photography business and will now promote it through this networking group.

So if you are on the fence about stepping out, take a leap of faith before someone else beats you to it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

2010 Car Show

Ok so I've been really busy and I've gotten behind on my pictures here.  So my plan for today is to get caught up.

Last weekend, after the Son Run, we went downtown for the car show.  I was a little kid when most of these antique cars were popular, but I do have memories.  My dad had a few old cars.  One in particular that I remember was a 57 Chevy, and to this day I just love that car.  My dad was a stock car racer and one of his cars that he built was the 57 Chevy and he would take me and my sister for a ride around the track.  He tried to teach me how to work on them but I was too young to really be interested but I do remember hanging out with him while he worked on them.

Anyway, here are a few of the pics from the car show, the rest will be posted on Facebook if you want to see them. 

Ok, well, I'm having a bit of a computer malfunction and these are the only two that I can upload at this time.  But I'm heading over to FB right now to upload the rest.

Chow for Now,