Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dear Tracy, Some Flare. For You. Love, Kam

She wanted some pictures with flare. This ought to do for now... ;)
Just a sneak peek from one of the sunniest shoots ever. Can't wait to share more!

p.s. Tracy, so glad we canceled the other day so we could get images like this! I had such a great time today. Off to bed now to dream about that delicious treat: a chocolate, carmel, and pecan covered pretzel...yum-a-licious! Thanks again!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Honest Truth

As you know from previous posts Larkin was a tough infant. She cried, a lot. It is difficult to hear a baby cry all the time. Even more difficult to be the mother of that child and not be able to offer anything to quell the cry. We fed her. She cried. We changed her. She cried. We shushed her. She cried. We did everything we could possibly think of. She cried. It made for a very tough and physically and emotionally draining time. I loved her because she was my child, because I helped make her and bring her to this world, but I had a hard time liking her, to be perfectly honest.
My girlfriend Paige, called me a few weeks after she was born to check in. After telling her what was happening she immediately started to empathize. Her son was exactly the same. After I shared my feelings she asked, "Do you feel like you have had a hard time bonding with her." I hesitated with my response. I wanted to be able to tell her that of course we had bonded and we were close, like mother and newborn should be, but I just couldn't tell her we were, because we weren't. I didn't feel connected with her yet, that's for sure. She was tough. She made me anxious because she was a time bomb; I never knew when she was going to blow but she always would and the explosion would last forever and it wears on a person to hear a baby cry day in and day out. It was really hard to bond with her because she was work. She was mine and she was perfect, but she was hard work.

Four months later she has mellowed and I see her true personality. 

Now, I am unquestionably,





and entirely bonded and in love with my little girl.

And that's the honest truth. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Good Morning Sunshine!!

Gunnar, much to my dismay, doesn't sleep in. He is an early bird. I hate it. Actually, I wouldn't hate it that bad if I was getting enough sleep. In fact I wouldn't mind being up early to get a lot of things done, but when your nights are like mine, being up with the dawn just isn't that appealing. Gun on the other hand loves to get up in the morning, and believe me, there is no warm-up time. The second he is awake he is ready for action. The kid is energy from sunrise to sunset. I tease him at times that I want to find his batteries and pull them out...just for a I can breath...or close my eyes for 15 minutes when the baby is asleep. 

He's busy. 

That's just the way he is, and that's cool.

But this morning something different and miraculous happened.

The boy slept in!

Until 8:30! I actually had to wake him (Which I hate!! I strongly subscribe to the "never wake a sleeping baby" notion. I think it is sad to wake anyone from a good sleep...)to get him ready for school.

I knew he was in a deep sleep when I started getting ready in the bathroom and he didn't even budge. He was sawing logs.

There needs to be an audio caption for this shot. There was noise coming from every orifice.

"Awwwww Mom! Go Away Mom! Five more minutes!" He seriously kept telling me he wanted to stay in bed. I almost checked for fever. Stay in bed? He has never asked for that. 

It is painful looking at these. He was in such a good sleep. I seriously hate to be woken from good sleep.

There was some gnarly dragon breath coming from his mouth; believe me, the little boy's got it in the morning!!

Finally, some life. Even though it was the evil eye, which I expected to get, he was coming-to.

He tried one more time to fall back to sleep, but I just couldn't let him.

He started licking off last night's toothpaste in a feeble attempt to rid his mouth of the stink bugs.

Two seconds after his eyes were good and open guess what he said, "What doing today, Mom?" Translation? What are we doing today, Mom? 

Gunnar, May you learn to appreciate the beauty of sleeping...through the night...and in. I love you sleepy head!! xoxo Mom

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dear Tracy, Some Magic. For You. Love, Kam

It has been a year since I launched my little photography business. In that time I have learned a great deal about myself and my capacity to grow as a person and a professional. I have also been able to meet several really intriguing and admirable people all because I decided I liked photography and wanted to share the way I see things through my lenses with others. I can't wait to see where this year takes me, and my camera. ;)

I got together with one of my new photography friends last Saturday. Tracy and I both share the same affinity for picture taking and we have met a couple of times to discuss equipment, taking a good picture, and even photoshop. She asked me to post a few of my pictures, before and after.

The difference is, well, magical.

I shot this picture of Larkee a few weeks ago. It was taken in my house with some really great natural light. I positioned her towards the light and with my 5D, 50mm 1.4 shot this:

Details: f/1.4, 1/160sec., ISO-400. This is SOOC(straight out of the camera)

Tracy asked me to give a play by play of what I did with the picture. I didn't save it as a photoshop file so I don't have all the steps. I cropped it to get in closer then I know I cleaned up her little snotty/droolly face and nose, and her birthmark on her forehead with the clone stamp tool. Then I sparkled her eyes, touched up the color with curves and the Oh Snap! action from this set, and then I ran the Lord of the Rings Everyday action from this set. I made her eyes crisp by following the directions on the action, then I sharpened it and almost kissed the screen when I saw this...

pretty amazing, huh?

I am in love with the following image too. I shot this one recently. It was taken outdoors with some great afternoon light. My subject had to duck a bit to stay in all the even light but I was so pleased with the color. You will remember this image from my shoot with Jennifer. This is what it looked like SOOC. Once again I shot this with my 5D and my 50mm 1.4.

Details: f/1.4, 1/2000, ISO-250.

Once again I didn't save it as a photoshop file, but I remember doing minimal work to this picture. I lightened the overall exposure with curves, cleaned up her eyes just a bit, made them sparkle with this action, then I enhanced the color with Oh, Snap!, I played with the curves a bit more to make it "snappy" as my #1 photography muse would call it, then I sharpened it and wanted to enter my subject in the next America's Next Top Model competition when I saw this:

I used to think,"How will I ever get my images to look like that..." when I saw something I really admired or was inspired by in the arena of photography. I still do say that...often, but now I am realizing that it is more than just having a good eye, great equipment, and an understanding of light and exposure. It also takes a little bit of photoshop magic to give noteworthy images a little extra eye appeal.
There is so much to learn about photoshop. I will probably only know a fraction of its capabilities when I die, but for now I am grateful for the photoshop fundamentals I do know and can use to help me create a little bit of photo magic!!

Hope this was kind of what you were looking for, Tracy!! ;) (and anyone else out there who was interested in some before and after action!!)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Last One

You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach at the end of a really great weekend and you have to go to work the next day? Or the feeling you used to get as a kid when Christmas break was ending and you had to go back to school? I am feeling that right now. Tomorrow is the first day of my LAST semester of grad school, and I have ZERO motivation. Zero, zip, zilch, zada (that's nada with a z; I wanted to continue that z alliteration I had going but couldn't think of another one, so I made one up.) My motivation has run dry...I used it up last semester. Remember that semester? The one when I had the baby...yep...used up all the drive and motivation I could muster to get me through. Now, I am feeling apathetic and completely blaze (that should have an accent over the e...(blah-zay)) about the whole school thing. I know I made the choice myself so I need to just bit the bullet, buck up, what other colloquialisms can I use to tell myself to just jump in?..., but honestly, I've got nothing. I am tapped out, drained.

QUICK!!! Tell me I can do it! Help me get 'er done!!

I do want to be the master, but right now I would rather stare at this beautiful profile

and eat fruit snacks for breakfast with my son.

Someone out there...please...remind me that I am smart, clever, and a super hero! 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Girl


From top...

to bottom.

She is so, so, so sweet. 

Thursday, January 22, 2009


It is safe to say that I was not cognisant of my son's choice of breakfast foods this morning.

Found these while I was making the bed; found another empty wrapper behind a picture frame on the nightstand. That's four, count 'em, four bags of fruit snacks for breakfast.

At least I know he can feed himself...right? ;)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I forgot one...

How could I do such a thing? Sorry Jennifer. One more for you...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Blogging: Modern Pen-Pals

Remember when you were in 3rd grade and your teacher said "Ok kids, we're are going to make special friends with kids that live across the world. They are called pen-pals." Then you started writing a girl in Zimbobway who, through your letters, became one of your best friends. She was your maid of honor at your wedding and is currently your children's God-Mother.
Blogging, is kind of like that...kind of...

I have been blog-pals with Jennifer for over a year,

I finally met her last week. When I started my blog she was one of the first to comment on it and we have been blogging friends ever since. She is much better at keeping in touch than I am. In fact, when I get a comment from Jennifer I feel super validated, appreciated, even understood. I look forward to her feedback, thoughts, and love. When I was sick a year ago she left the most thoughtful comment that helped me smile, almost as much as the antibiotics did. She got in touch with me a few months ago telling me she was coming to CA to pursue some interests, me being one of them. That boosted my ego big time; she made a trip from out-of-state for me to take pictures of her. I was totally flattered and at the same time felt like I was meeting someone very special, someone that was real to me only through words and pictures but not tangible flesh. When I saw her it was one of those moments like, is this really happening? I am really meeting Jennifer? I have an affinity for this woman and I only know her through blogger-land and an occasional email.

Her blog is a treat. If you are not already following her add her to your blog roll immediately. In the world of blogging she really is quite a celebrity. She has even been ask to teach classes at the university close to her home about blogging and the role it can have in society. I thought that was really interesting and a bit crazy at the same time...blogging and society... another reason her blog is so fresh is because she is a really talented and intelligent writer. She is a published poet and is currently studying English Literature. She does some free-lance work, and has goals to publish more someday; I know she will. Occasionally, she will publish her poems on her blog (I wish she did more often ;)); they are engaging pieces that will touch your spirit and make you think. I also really like publishing poems on my blog (not my own), and seeing what Jennifer has to think of them. Her thoughts are always enlightening. She is smart, intelligent, and a real thinker- all traits I love to see in women. She is also tough and has overcome a great deal this past year.

She came for pictures, like I said, to attach with her bi-line for anything she has published in the future. She also wanted to have pictures taken, just of herself, just because. I LOVE THAT! How often do women elect to have pictures taken of themselves? Why would I do that? Where would I put them? Who would want them? All questions women present when thinking of a self-photograph. I thought it was such a great idea. It reminds you of your own personal beauty, that you are an individual outside of your work, home, children, etc. It reminds you of the determined look in your eyes you never notice or possibly forgot you had. It reminds you that you deserve to feel famous, with the cameras flashing- just for you. Having your picture taken can be such an empowering experience.

Especially when you look like this:

and this:

The past year has been tough for Jennifer. She has experienced a few things that she never imagined would happen to her. Listening to her share some of her devastating moments only reaffirmed to me the strength I knew this woman already had. She is currently raising 4 boys, on her own. She deserves much more than a photo-shoot. She deserves fresh cookies and cupcakes delivered to her door each day with personalized affirmation-messages on them. She deserves a new pair of shoes from Nordstrom, also delivered to her home each day. She deserves free passes to Disneyland for the rest of her life. She deserves a massage whenever she wants it!!

She deserves to be loved, honestly and truly loved, and to have lasting happiness.

I was deeply inspired by her depth of character, her drive to overcome, her ability to find the most colorful umbrella when the clouds pour with rain. The year has been rocky, but the sun is starting to least from what I could observe I think it is safe to say there will be blue skies, soon...

Love the light in both of these:

Love the light she has:

She was so fun to photograph. She was totally confident, but had a few moments of shyness...

Two more black and white favorites:

I really liked this one:

Jennifer, May we continue to be pen-pals! May I be your maid of honor at the next wedding! May I be your children's God-Mother!! :) May you continue to show me and the world that life, regardless of what it offers, is worth living! May the next year be full of many riches!!!! Thank you so much for coming to see me and for the opportunity to photograph such a beautiful, strong, and sincere face!! Until our next chat, xoxo Kam

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Admired and an Admirer: A Sneak Peek

Today, I met a celebrity. More, much more to come from one of my favorite shoots...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

For Fun

Just playing around with my kids today...

Guess who has two bottom teeth? She isn't even 4 months yet. That happened fast. She is going to be our way advanced and accelerated child...;)

Have a great night- Kam

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Handy Manny

Gunnar loves to build things. Anytime J has a project Gun wants to be a part of it. Last Sunday he put together a new tool belt.
It's amazing his "belt" stayed up with the weight he was packing.
We promise these "tools" have been steralized; no worries when we invite you to dinner. :)

because: arizona photoshoots

* This post will run as the header for a while. Scroll down under it to see updates!
Because this sister-in-law is great therapy,
because this sister-in-law knows what I am going to say before I even say it,
because this brother-in-law makes me laugh uncontrollably,
because this nephew has a huge crush on me,
because I have huge crushes on these nephews,
because Gunnar loves his cousins like they were his brothers,
because I love these people so much,
and because my camera has been asked to do some traveling I am going to be in the Mesa/Gilbert area during the week of March 7th-14th. I have some time still available if anyone is interested in family, maternity, baby, kids, or whatever pictures!! ;) Just drop me a shout-out at and we will set a date, time and place. I am looking forward to the time with family and the time photographing new friends in Arizona. I look forward to hearing from you!