Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cool Creepies

In general, I love creepy crawlies as long as they're outside, and aren't roaches, mosquitoes, or termites. Or on my face.

This beauty spun her web on the back garage a few weeks ago. There were two egg sacs nearby, protected by her massive web. She herself was pretty big, nearly the size of my hand from the tips of her back legs to the tips of her front legs.  She's a garden spider, probably argiope aurantia.  Interestingly, a male of the same species built a web over our front door and hung out for a week.  He'd angled the web in such a way as to not be disturbed by the opening and closing of the storm door, nor by humans coming and going.  I didn't photograph him, but it was cool to watch him wrap up his prey (moths), feed, then carefully unwrap them and let the carcasses drop to the porch, apparently recycling his silk.  When he moved on, he dismantled his web completely and left no trace except for the pile of moth carcasses.

This critter has left the building, so to speak.  A carolina mantis (stagmomantis carolina) molted and left her former exterior on the window screen. (I say 'her' because there's an egg deposit about three feet away.)  I exaggerated the lens flare a little bit in photoshop.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Miss A

This little one arrived at our studio asleep in her carrier. Mom got her out, woke her up, and she immediately gave me a big grin. No fusses, no sleepy eyes.  Just smiles.  It was a great shoot!  Her mom is taking advantage of our Baby Faces First Year program, so she'll be coming to see me again soon.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Taylor Senior Pics

Heinously remiss once again with updating this blog. (It's Facebook's fault! :D )

This is Taylor, a member of our Muse Crue. She's a senior rep for the studio, and so beautiful. These senior portraits turned out wonderfully!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wee T

This little one was not particularly happy to be deviating from normal routine. This is why our free newborn sessions typically go about two hours... adults just can't predict the mood of a week(s)-old baby. We work with whatever mood we get, though, and eventually sleep comes. Even the mad faces are adorable at this age.

*Note to parents: I purposely don't offer any identity information to protect your privacy.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Painted Faces

In April, we ran a 'Fantasy Face' special, and not everyone who wanted to do the photos was able to do so. So yesterday I brought out the makeup and paintbrushes (a bonus to hosting a Brush and a Beverage in our studio is having suitable fantasy face paint always on hand), and did a Fantasy Face session featuring a pair of beautiful best friends.

I'VE DELETED THESE PHOTOS (they were being downloaded to hard drives several times a day)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Miss G

Two is such a fun age. You never know what to expect from a two-year-old in a photo studio. As a photographer, you really just have to play along according to his or her terms, have plenty of cool (and colorful) things to play with, and be prepared to do a lot of photographing crouched on the floor :) Fortunately two-year-olds are experts at being photogenic, so it's easy to get good photos.

Friday, June 18, 2010


I did a free newborn session recently with a baby that was SOOOOOoooo good. Content and comfortable, inquisitive and watchful, and even snoozed for me. And didn't poo on me, which is always nice! Woo! I also remembered that I'd made hats, so the brown pixie hat is making its debut.

The consensus here at the studio is that she looks like her mommy. :)

*Note to parents: I purposely don't offer any identity information to protect your privacy.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sweet Sisters

Had the honor of doing an outdoor portrait session with these beautiful girls a few weeks ago. Oy, that grin!! Can't help but grin back!! Their mom makes *fabulous* bows, barrettes, headbands, and other hair adornments.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Heart-melty toes

These are from a newborn session several days ago, such a sweet baby. This first one is my favorite from the session because of those toes on the edge of the flower pot. Love it!!

*Note to parents: I purposely don't offer any identity information to protect your privacy.

Tweaking the blog

Things may look strange around here for a little bit... I'm tweaking :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Anticipating Tess

I am aghast that I've not updated this blog in more than a month!! So many photo shoots that haven't yet made it into bloggerspace yet (not MY bloggerspace, anyway). These are photos from another recent maternity session (referred by the couple in this post!). Tara (the mom) was so pleased with the photos, and has already scheduled her newborn session, even though little Tess won't be here for a few more weeks yet!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Le Viking

We've had some nice overcast weather :) Birthday portraits, sort of; he'll be 15 soon. This kid totally owns that casual prep style.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Haven't posted any outdoor portraits in a while, so I thought I'd share these today. Fortunately the outside of my studio is fairly versatile, and there are other interesting settings nearby. I'm loving the bench in the third photo--it's looong, much longer than a standard park bench, and weathered just right. It's across the street.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The humble onion -- Updated!

I was visiting my mom and dad's house this evening, and noticed that there were some irises and other flowers in bloom around the 1-acre lot. So I grabbed my camera and went crawling around in the grass, looking for interesting angles and/or critters.

The stunning flowers in the photos below belong to the humble onion. You know, the standard yellow/white onion you get for salads/burgers/sautee? Who knew they produced such a cool flower! I'm so glad my dad never got around to harvesting them from the garden.

I took lots of other photos, too, but these were my favorite, and I'm fairly certain at least one of them is going to be made into a painting for my paint studio, a Brush and a Beverage.

4/29 Update! What did I tell ya? I had some free moments at the studio today and set to work on painting my humble onions. This painting looks a lot better in person, and I love it :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Feature in the Burleson Star

Many thanks to my alert friend Susan, or I might have missed this completely! Apparently a feature article on me and my studio ran last Wednesday in the local paper. I knew it was coming, but I didn't know it was already done.

At right, I've cut and pasted the article together into an 8.5x11 size (I'm gonna frame it!). The interviewer didn't quite get facts 100%, but the gist is right on. I'm extremely pleased.

Click on it to see it bigger (and read it). Please keep in mind that I am SOOOOO not photogenic, particularly with worn-off makeup and fluorescent lighting more suited to painting.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dog on dot

Just a quick share... I've got my chihuahua with me in the studio today. She's already put lots of nose prints on the front doors about eight inches from the bottom, and now she's claimed one of the two round orange rugs. So cute.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Melissa & Armando

I had the honor of photographing an expectant couple today, Melissa and Armando. Maternity portraits are always special, and today's were no different. Lots of fabulous photos; I had a really difficult time narrowing it down to just three to post here.

This couple wasn't afraid to tell me what they wanted. I LOVE when clients do that! The best portraits are a creative collaboration between photographer and photographee(s). The last photo in this post is going on my list of favorite photos ever, and it was his idea. Yay Armando!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

She's a rock star

Wanted to share three photos from a quick portrait session today. Trying some new backdrop ideas, and playing with lighting and postwork techniques. I thought it was a rock-star-looking set, so she dressed the part :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

More hats

It's a momentary creative kick, I'm sure. I'll get bored within a week and not touch a crochet hook again for months or years. But at the moment, hats are the perfect size keep-the-hands-busy project to stuff into the visiting-the-hospital bag, easy to take out when the visitee is sleeping peacefully, and put away quickly when needed.

Yesterday I sat with my grandmother in the hospital (who isn't doing so great--prayers are appreciated) for much of the day, and got almost all of the blue/green hat done--just added the pompoms when I got home. It's probably 6-9 months in size

The brown one has a detachable pompom for two separate looks. The pink/orange hat is probably sized 9-12 months, the flowers are on clips, so can be used or not.

I didn't use a pattern for any of them--ooh, except for the flowers.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hats for newborn sessions!

One of the promotions our studio offers is free newborn sessions. Yesterday I was thinking on ways to market that aspect, and new ideas for newborn photos. I've had more than a few inquiries from expecting moms, one of whom is due within the next three weeks. So I went cruising over to Etsy, a fabulous place to get ├╝ber cute handmade items for kids (and just handmade items in general, but the kid stuff seems to be the most impressive). Not only are there some fabulous PHOTOS of newborns, but also really cute hats and whatnot as well.

And I was inspired.

Not to spend money, though. I got looking at quite a few of the photos and thought to myself, "I can do that." So I gave it a shot since I already had materials on hand. Figured if it turned out that I actually could NOT do that, I could always go the 'spending money' route. As it turns out, I think I did okay. Made two very different hats.

The green one shown took a couple of hours, just 'cause it's essentially single crochet (scattered triple-crochet stitches create the bumps). By the way, I used this pattern for the green hat. I'll probably forever associate it with Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, because I was listening to a few Stuff You Missed In History Class podcasts about her while I crocheted.

The ear-flap hat took only about an hour (double crochet goes a LOT faster!), not including the braids and weaving in the ends of yarn pieces. For that one, I started with this basic hat, and elaborated on it... while listening to 'How the Taiping Rebellion Worked.' :) Multitasking.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Why Photoshop will always be in my toolbox...

I had a two-year-old in the studio yesterday, and her mom brought along a baby boy she watches. So in the 'break' times (when said 2-y-o was not keen on being in front of my camera), I turned my lens to the little guy, who was very agreeable and all smiles. Mr. Handsome has itchy eczema pretty badly on his face and head, which did not in any way dampen that killer smile. However, my friend said she wasn't sure his mom had ever gotten 'real' photos done of him because of his skin.

So this morning I was sifting through the photos and couldn't help 'fiddling' with the photos of Mr. Handsome. This is why I love Photoshop (original on right, 'shopped version on left--click to see larger):

Monday, March 29, 2010

Air Hockey (and air guitar) Queen

I realized today that I haven't been sharing 'real' photos here lately--just snapshots of the studio. I've been posting my work on the Shutter Muse Studio fan page on Facebook, rather than here. Hmph. Will have to work on putting a few here as well.

Anyway. Last weekend we brought the game table over to the studio. I love the air-hockey feature (am almost as good at air hockey as I am at air guitar!), so that's what it is most of the time. May have to offer special discounts for people who can beat me :) It also transforms into a small pool table, a foosball table, and pingpong. And checkers/chess/backgammon. Should help teens and parents loosen up a bit before they get in front of my camera :)

Photo above is straight off the camera, all window light, no flash. Aperture: 4.5; Shutter speed: 1/100; Focal length: 53mm; ISO 800.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ribbon Cutting Day (Day 19)

The studio isn't TOTALLY done, but it's ready for opening. The ribbon cutting ceremony today was fairly low-key. About 25 ambassadors for the Burleson Area Chamber of Commerce arrived to take a photo and network a little. My mom and David were able to attend as well.

Anyway, I took some time after I dust-mopped the floors to take some photos of the nearly-finished interior, and have paired them below with 'before' versions. I was looking back through the photos I took during my first tour of the place, and I wonder now how I ever saw the potential. It's a dramatic transformation.