Friday, January 29, 2010

Beautiful Baby Boy Ben portraits.

If only I could have thought of a feasible synonym for "portraits" that started with a B, then the alliteration in my title would have been complete.

Today I had a wonderful session with Allison and her (beautiful baby boy) Ben! It was a blast. Both mom (and baby!) were up for anything - I honestly don't remember ever knowing such a mellow little dude as this one.

Thank you, Allison and Anthony for letting me take photos of Ben!

Nom nom nomming on that hand.

Two hands.

Tummy time!

Love and Ben.

Mother and son.

Ben has had enough of the papparazzi.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A different sort of wedding flowers.

A different sort of wedding flowers.

Our wedding in October 2008 has been on my mind lately - or, my wedding dress has been, since I'm trying to get up the motivation to sell it. I'm not the sort of person to hold onto the dress for sentimental reasons - I have tons of lovely photos of me in the dress for that.

I had almost forgotten about this picture. These are hair pins that I bought for the wedding, not realizing they didn't quite go with the champagne shade of my dress. Just a relic, hanging around my office. It's too bad they never got their turn to be worn, but they're not my style. Perhaps I should throw them in as a freebie for whoever buys my wedding dress. This is what I wrote about the hair pins when I received them, before I had compared them to the dress:

"I'm picky about how I like my flowers. I only want them in my home if they're in a vase, not adorning my walls or my bedspread or my keychain or any other place you can slap an applique. But I love these hair pins.

"But I love these hair pins. I think the color will match my dress perfectly, and the pearl in the center will match the pearls I will wear (appropriate for my June birthday as well).

"No clue how I am doing my hair yet. I am waiting for the two-tier veil to come in so then I can do a hair trial with my stylist."

I love time traveling through my photography and writing.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A flower with your Thai food.

A flower with your Thai food.

El Hub and I went to lunch at SEA Thai today, and anyone who knows me will not. Find. This. Shocking. Seriously, we go at least twice a week. The staff knows us by sight and brings us our "usual." I would go more often if El Hub and my wallet weren't stopping me. Man, I love SEA Thai. I went from Thai food mild spicy skeptic to hot spicy enthusiast thanks to this restaurant. If you're in the Orlando area, I highly recommend it.

I dragged out my Nikon 55-200mm VR telephoto lens yesterday to challenge myself. The minimum of 55mm has always felt stiflingly close, so forget about kicking it up to 200mm! Plus my 35mm lens is so wonderfully fast that it suits my indoor photography. I didn't have room to do more than 55mm at SEA Thai today with this flower, but I did get a nice DoF by blurring out the wine rack in the background. I didn't like the coloring of the original, so I tweaked it to give it a softer edge.

Taken on a Nikon D40.

Photo originally taken on January 18, 2010 at at SEA Thai in Orlando, Florida.

Photo posted on the same day.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2nd Annual Parramore Kidz Zone College Night.

2nd Annual Parramore Kidz Zone College Night.

Last night's second annual Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ) College Night was fantastic.

During one of our PKZ tours in Parramore, a large group of teens were asked, "How many of you want to go to college? Raise your hand." Every single hand went up.

Those same youth were then asked, "How many of you think you're going to go to college?"

Only a few hands remained in the air.

PKZ is an amazing project. We want to see more of those hands in the air. Last night I think we saw a few more go up.

Click here more information on the City of Orlando's Parramore Kidz Zone project.

Taken on a Nikon D40.

Photo originally taken on January 13, 2010 in the Parramore community of Orlando, Florida.

Photo posted on January 14, 2010.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A view of the Little Mermaid.

A view of the Little Mermaid.

My father was almost as excited about our honeymoon as Rob and I were just before we left. My dad traveled all over the world before his strokes thanks to his job, and all my life he's wished for me to see the sights he has seen. He also shares my love of stories and reading, so he wanted me to see the Little Mermaid statue. This homage to Danish author Hans Christian Andersen's story of the little mermaid was well worth seeing.

She was smaller than I expected - more the size of an actual young teenage girl than the giant statue I had envisioned. And she was a little sad in her posture and the way her view gazed. But it makes sense - this is Hans Christian Andersen's mermaid, not Disney's.

Taken on a Nikon D40.

Photo originally taken on September 14, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Photo posted on January 9, 2010.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hello 2010.

A year has gone by. When I first began trying to think of what I had done this past year, it paled in comparison to 2008 - moving to Tallahassee, getting engaged, buying a house, graduating with my master's degree, getting a job, and getting married. But the more I thought about it and looked over my writings and photographs, I realized that this was a year of growth instead of simply change.

January 2009

Oh, January. We had just gotten married a couple of months before and been through the whirlwhind of splitting holidays between our families. I think I may have spent much of this month in a stupor. I did try to wake up enough to snap this photo of the cats being sweet to one another for a change.

A Kitty Love Story: Cole and Cutie Kiss

Once we got our pictures back after our wedding, I started working feverishly on a photo album we could gift as a gift to our families. I ended up only finishing Rob's mother's in time to give it to her for Christmas - this one pictured below is the copy I made for my parents. is awesome and I highly recommend them for your book-making needs.

Wedding Album for Mom and Dad

I met Orlando Magic player Dwight Howard at a work event. Normally I don't ask celebrities for a photo, especially not when working, but I knew my dad was going to geek out big time over this. And I was right. Whenever anyone visits him, he points out this picture that I gave him. Thank you, Dwight, for taking this picture with me - you made my dad a very happy person.

PKZ Teenz Shack Grand Opening

February 2009

Our dating anniversary is February 12th, which Rob says I am not allowed to celebrate now that we are married. Conveniently, Valentine's Day is only two days later, so I will settle for just pretending we celebrate both together. He sent me flowers this year.

Valentine's Day Gift from Rob

The note reads, "I love you so much. Having you in my life makes me truly happy."

Valentine's Day Gift from Rob

Later in the month we went to the AMC Best Picture Showcase for the 2009 Oscar Nominees. Rob and I had one of our first few dates at the very first AMC Best Picture Showcase in 2009. It's an exhausting day of movie after movie, but we've been every year because we enjoy it so much. I wonder if they will do it again this year now that there are 10 nominees. I can't imagine how it will work, but I am hopeful.

AMC Oscar Movie Marathon 2009

Our friends Gibby and Damian joined us for part of the marathon. People tend to drop in and out - 12+ hours at a movie theater can be a little too taxing.

AMC Oscar Movie Marathon 2009

Rob trying to punch my camera? Give it daps? Show off his wedding ring? I'm going to go with the punch, seeing as it drives him up a wall when I take pictures of him.

AMC Oscar Movie Marathon 2009

Spent a day in Safety Harbor with Rob's family.

A Day in Safety Harbor

March 2009

For more than a decade, I had I been coping with chronic earaches and sore throats. No one ever had an answer, and the earache pain especially could be incapacitating at times. An ENT recommended I undergo a couple of days of allergy testing. Yeah, I'm allergic to a lot of stuff. I ended up not going for the allergy shots they recommended because I would have to go to their office every week to have them administered and the cost was overwhelming. Plus, I had another plan up my sleeve that I hoped would be more effective than shots, which you'll see a bit more about down in May's slot.


We watched a shuttle launch from our backyard.

Watching Space Shuttle Launch

Major work project finally came to a conclusion - building a playground in one day. It was an exhilarating day.


Finally got a picture with the Mayor.


Continued taking photos as a (smaller than I would like) part of my job.

Dickson Azalea Park

When we moved into our house, Rob tasked me with decorating it. It was a slow process for the typical reasons such time, money, and energy, but also a lack of inspiration. The front area of our house was the first to come together, and this is our freshly cleaned and tidied dining room, sitting room, and foyer just before a party we hosted.




More decorating. The cost of home decor annoys me. The cost of a lot of things annoys me. So I went the DIY route for a large painting to place over our couch in the living room.

Blocks Work in Progress


The party was a game night party - myself and a couple of other friends try to take turns hosting.

Game Night Party 3-28-2009

April 2009

Spent a day at Disney's Hollywood Studios. I love Disney and I wish we spent more time there.


Spent a day in Safety Harbor celebrating Easter with Rob's family.

Easter 2009 - Safety Harbor

Rob joined me at a free art workshop sponsored through my work. We opted to do the pottery instead of the photography walk.

Employee Art Workshop Day 2009

May 2009

We spent a day at Epcot to enjoy their Annual Flower and Garden Festival.

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2009

My point-and-shoot Canon broke - I pulled it out of my pocket to find the lens was permanently stuck halfway open and it would only take blurry pictures such as the one below. I sent it off to Canon and they quickly sent it back to me, good as new. Thank you Canon!


Remember those earaches I mentioned and how I decided not to go the allergy shot route, despite my numerous allergies? Instead I decided to go the surgery route. Out, out tonsils! It was a long, painful recovery, and unlike many other people, my second week was actually worse than the first. I lived on buttery, mushy noodles that would slide down my throat so I could avoid chewing and swallowing. And the earache during my recovery was worse than any other I had had. But after the recovery? I've only had two earaches since then. Two. I used to be in pain two weeks out of the month, easily. Best surgery ever.

Tonsillectomy Day!

My mom's cat Charlie went through a really bad health scare the week after my tonsillectomy. Charlie, we are very glad we still have you with us, and we are sorry you had to go through so much pain while the vets did their best to figure it out. Charlie on (one of) the rides home from the vet.

Charlie, our little trooper

My friend Katie, her husband Mike, and their baby Addy were in town. We haven't seen them since their wedding, so this was a long overdue visit. It was Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios, so this is Addy meeting her first Jedi Mickey as Katie smiles in the background.


June 2009

My birthday month! Rob got me my very first DSLR, my Nikon D40. It was the most basic DSLR on the market - I think we were both unsure how much I would use it and how much I would be willing to lug it around, so that was one of the reasons we went low-end. Plus, money. As it turns out, I take it with me everywhere. I love it. As you can see in this photo below, I hadn't quite figured out white balance yet (the reason why the photo is a warm yellowish tint). I've learned a lot with my D40 over the past several months.


Friends joined us at Kobe steakhouse to celebrate my birthday. Thank you guys!


July 2009

My sister-in-law moved herself and my niece and nephew to my parents' for the summer while my brother stayed in Texas to work and oversee the house as they tried to sell it. Rob and I took the kids to Magic Kingdom. Disney!!!


Ugh, teacups. I suffer from motion sickness, but this was one of the few rides that both of the kids were excited to go on. Rob maintained eye contact with me to keep me from getting too sick. It was surprisingly effective, and surprisingly hot. Thanks, Rob.


Friends who work in a downtown highrise helped me get in to take photos of Lake Eola. I was still painfully new to my D40 - if I had this shoot to do over again... C'est la vie.

Copy of 2009-07-16 Lake Eola from Dynetech 204

August 2009

Took my first, and so far only, photography class.


Traveled to Tallahassee to visit my friend Kelly and celebrate her graduation with double graduate degrees. Congratulations, Kelly.


Katie and her family were in Orlando again, so we were able to hang out. And I got to have my picture taken with the adorable Addy.

Katie and Mike are in town! Here's me with Addy.

I'm a native Floridian but had never gone to Kennedy Space Center to see a shuttle launch. I finally made it happen, with excellent timing seeing as there are only a few more launches left.

Discovery Space Shuttle Launch at Kennedy Space Center.

September 2009

Oh. Oh. This was a good month. This was the month of our honeymoon. I would love to time travel back to this and experience it all over again. Since that's not possible, I will settle for photos. See more pictures here.

Day 1: Traveling Across the Atlantic

Honeymoon: Nyhavn at sunset.

Day 10: La Coruna, Spain

Day 10: La Coruna, Spain

Day 14: Tunis, Tunisia

Day 15: Valleta, Malta

Day 15: Valleta, Malta

And then we came to a house that our friends had "decorated." I think the streamers and post-its is the more mature version of TPing.


October 2009

This was a particularly memorable month too. We celebrated our first month wedding anniversary at the Gaylord Palms.

Happy anniversary, Rob.

As a very special, lucky, unplanned (for which we will be forever grateful, thank you Mike S.!) part of our wedding anniversary celebration, we went to Disney's Yacht & Beach Club and got to ride on Breathless II, a replica of a 1920's Crisscraft speed boat.

Breathless II on the Epcot Canal Waterway at Disney's Hollywood Studios - take two.

I traveled to Clearwater for my friend Mara's bridal shower and bachelorette party. I was snapping away when the groom showed up and I was able to capture this perfect moment of him peeping in on the proceedings.

The Groom-To-Be peeks in on the bridal shower.

Halloween! My brother Michael sold the house and his family officially moved here, so we were able to go with them to take my niece and nephew trick or treating.

Here, Halloween  Kitty Kitty.

November 2009

My friend Mara whose bridal shower I attended the month before? I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. Beautiful wedding, and one of the coolest venues I have ever been to.

Mara and Franco's wedding reception.

We went to Festival of the Masters with some friends - here they are, focusing on a drawing class. I've attended every Festival of the Masters since 2004. I miss the days when Stephen Reis and Trevor Carlton did their life performance painting.

Festival of the Masters 2009: Alex and Elizabeth in student mode.

My first non-work photography gig - the wedding of my friend Kelly's mother. It was a very last minute proposition, and I was ecstatic to be able to do this.

Kathie & Ed's Wedding: The Cake.

December 2009

My computer inconveniently died just before Thanksgiving. Rob had been plotting to buy me a Macbook Pro for Christmas, so my desktop's untimely demise sped things up a bit. It's my second Mac, but since I've only ever done my photo editing on a PC, it's still feeling like quite a switch.

Excited! I can finally get back to editing photos thanks to my new laptop.

I met up with my friends Gibby and Allison - Allison just had her first baby a few months ago, Ben pictured here with Gibby. So. Cute. I think Gibby agrees.

Deirdre and Benjamin.

Rob and I got dolled up to his work's end of the year party.

Victoria and Rob in party mode.

We celebrated my dad's 74th birthday.

Ron on his 74th birthday.

I took one of my favorite photos ever at a friend's 30th birthday party.

An Ode to Trinity.

Christmas day! We made a point of starting the day with my family since its been ages since we had a Christmas with little kids around.

Some of the family at Christmas.

Then we traveled to Safety Harbor to celebrate a second Christmas with Rob's family.

Christmas #2.

So that's the wrap-up of my year, with loads of pictures to boot. I'm looking forward to 2010 and hoping it's the best one yet.

Happy New Year to you all.