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Last week I was one of hundreds at the Colorado Convention Center to attend a seminar with Joe McNally on off-camera lighting techniques. Not only does Joe have a great sense of humor and ability to connect effortlessly with a large audience (at one point he mentioned the number “750” when referring to all of us) but he makes beautiful images with seemingly little effort. But with over 30 years experience and many awards and accolades to his name, he’d probably be able to make better images than most of us with his eyes closed. I’m not going to dwell on that, though.

To demonstrate the different techniques, Joe had two different models to pose for him. First up was Lindsey who could probably look good no matter what the photographer’s level of experience or equipment. I didn’t take any pictures during that time because I was busy taking notes (sorry guys!). As the lighting setups got more complex (and thereby, less likely for me to be using them), I grabbed my camera out to snap a few photos. This happened to coincide with the use of the male model, Solomon. 🙂

On either side of the stage, there were two enormous screens to display the images as Joe took them. Here’s one of Solomon giving us his “blue steel” look.

Joe has an incredible way of setting the models at ease. Here he’s explaining how he’d like Solomon to jump with the ball but not before commenting on his utter lack of basketball skills.

My view of the leaping Solomon from roughly a half mile back…

Joe’s version using, I believe, a minimum of 4 off-camera flashes…

Now it’s time to get up close and pensive…

During break time, I was hoping to get Joe to autograph the book I purchased (The Moment It Clicks) but he was always swarmed with other eager wannabes.

Joe through the iPhone…

No idea what he’s talking about…

After break, Solomon changed into his “street clothes” and Joe used even more equipment that I may never be able to afford. Bah! Who needs it?

Lindsey came back out for a little more face time. She’s so average looking, isn’t she? 😉

Lindsey had a hard time doing serious poses in the beginning what with Joe constantly making wisecracks but she managed near the end to get her composure. I guess that’s why she’s paid the big bucks. Although I have no idea how lucrative modeling at a seminar is.

Even though some of the more elaborate setups are not something I’ll be experiencing anytime soon, it was fascinating to see how quickly and easily Joe works and I look forward to trying out some of the more simple setups in my own work.

To get an idea of Joe’s humor and to see what he wrote about the seminar, check out his blog post.

This little beauty is getting a test-drive at the wedding I’m shooting tomorrow with the lovely Molly down in Larkspur.

I needed (no really!) a bag to carry a couple lenses and a flash around for easy access. I’d really like to get a shootsac with one of their fantastic floral covers but it’s just not in the budget yet so I’ll be giving this a try in the meantime. While the exterior is kind of boring, I just love the interior color. It gives it a little more pizzazz. Yea baby!

Next up… a bag for the new laptop. Hmmmmm…

7 days… plus one

A week ago, the shrubbery in our yard looked like this…

Now it looks more like this…

I turned the last photo into my new wallpaper. Love it! Happy Spring everyone!

And that was where I was going to end the post when I started writing it yesterday, but then I woke up today to this:

Heavy sigh.

But as is typical it’s already starting to melt. Yea! I am an eternal optimist. 🙂

onesie

Right now, our guest bed is completely covered in girls’ clothes sizes 3 months to 3T. I have one week to sort, price, and tag all the spring and summer clothes that the girls have grown out of in preparation for the Boulder County Parents of Twins & More (BCPTM) Spring Sale. I will procrastinate this kind of work like you wouldn’t believe (or maybe you would). But it’s finally time to get off my butt and do it.

On the plus side, selling the old clothes (and toys and books and equipment, etc.) will help me to finance all the new items they are constantly needing. Yet it’s sad for me to see the adorably cute clothes that no longer fit.

Like this bathing suit with the colorful flowers. I loved this bathing suit. Sigh.

bathing suit

This afternoon I will get to take a break from this laborious task and go to my friend, Michelle’s, baby shower. Yea! I’ll get to immerse myself in the intense cuteness of baby items again. 🙂

If there is one thing that my daughter, Kadel, loves above all other things, it’s horses. Her twin sister, Leslie, is also into horses but she is not quite the fanatic that Kadel is. Ever since she got to “ride” a horse in Montana at the age of 2, she has become fluent in horse-ese. Often she will be galloping around the house with her rocking horse bridal over her head and neighing and whinnying to her hearts content.

And then, last November, I discovered that our neighbor, Shauna, teaches private lessons at her parents ranch in Berthoud, CO. Ooh boy!

Now that the weather is warming up considerably, I scheduled their first lesson with Shauna this past Monday but I made the mistake of telling them about it last Thursday. For 4 days, every morning Kadel would ask “Is today a good day for horse lessons?” It took every patient bone in her body to wait for Monday!

After lunch, we headed over to the ranch where they met 23-year-old Fanny. First they had to brush her…

Not sure why this photo amuses me so…

Shauna’s dog, Roxy, keeps a close eye on the goings-on…

Of course, Kadel got the first turn…

Happy girl!Don’t worry, Leslie! You’ll get your chance…

Looking good, Kadel!I recognize that look on Leslie’s face. Shauna is about to become her favorite person!She’s a saucy one, she is.
While Leslie rides, Kadel hangs out with the super-friendly Emma.

Kadel made sure to say hi to all of the other horses on the ranch too.After riding, it was time to bond some more with Fanny face-to-face…and now some “cool-down” brushing…
Who’s a pretty girl? That’s right, Fanny, you are!I am irresistably drawn to fences…

Shauna showed the girls how to feed Fanny some treats next…

and then it’s time to bring Fanny back to her stable…

What a super-fun way for the girls to spend an hour! Before we left, we got to check out the chickens, the cats, and the miniature horses too.

And as a bonus, Shauna gave us a carton of fresh-from-the-coop eggs. That night for dinner we had some unbelievably tasty omelets.

Yum!

And thanks again, Shauna! See you next Monday…

She’s a librarian. He’s a musician. She’s organized. He’s spontaneous. But when it comes down to the essentials, they see eye to eye (even though he towers over her!).

I had the great pleasure to hang out with Rosemary and Rob on a beautiful sunny Sunday in March and they were game for whatever I suggested.

Rob’s instrument of choice is the trombone which he plays in both a jazz and a funk band. I’ve always wanted to be in a band but I think that ship has sailed. Even more than that, I’ve always wanted to be a photographer (well, since high school anyway) and I’m finally living that dream.

What a beautiful couple! I love my job.