breaking my own rule.

Besides this MINUTE of being on here JUST to do this I am UNPLUGGING TODAY.

That is right.

No internet.

No email.

No computer.

No work.

No tv.

Join me and meet back here tomorrow with our experiences!

JOIN ME!

UNPLUG IT!

NOW!

GO PLAY with your KIDS!

GO!

Facebook, Twitter, Typepad, OH MY.

I still felt pretty bad today and as the kids were waking up from naps I started to panic about the evening routine. Sometimes I am the captain of the ship, totally in control of every situation and other times I am a complete wreck. It usually has something to do with how I'm feeling and how much sleep I've had. And today, as the thought of making dinner, cleaning up messes, entertaining children, giving baths, reading books and tucking in to bed crept closer I started to freak out. Who did I call?

My mother.

And she came running, casserole in hand. She pushed kids in swings while I cleaned up, she packed up laundry to take home b/c I am so far behind Grayson is wearing girl jammies to bed, she helped feed kids, bathe kids, she read books to them since my voice hurts and the tucked them in. She tucked them in b/c both girls refused to let me tuck them in and begged for Grandma!

And once the kids were in bed she came downstairs with me and helped straighten up the house, picking up toys while I vacuumed, packing up laundry while I did dishes. But it was what she said to me at the car that was the most helpful.

As she was leaving she told me that when we were growing up she would make dinner for our neighbor 2-3 nights a week. Pat was her best friend and had two girls me and Abbie's age, but Pat worked full time and my mom was home full time. She said she would make an extra dinner b/c it meant that Pat would come over for a little while and either eat with us or just chat and then take it home to feed her girls. She told me that it was normal to need help at that time of day when you've been with kids all day. She would cook an extra meal just to get a few minutes with another woman. An adult. Someone to talk to that could wipe their own bottom.

Of course at first all I could think about was the fact that she somehow managed to cook two meals and I can't even cook one, but as her words sunk in another thought dawned on me.

This is why I blog. And Twitter. And hop on Facebook.

I need a few minutes of adult time too. And I need to feel connected to someone, to feel like there are people that understand what I go through every day, to have relationships.

So I blog and make blog friends. I read blogs and comment on them. I Twitter and connect via tweets. I update my status on FB and comment on other people's FB updates.

And as I am thinking about this and realizing that it all makes sense I get this huge and suffocating feeling of WTF?

WTF?

WHY do I spend SO much of my PRECIOUS time on the internet when I have REAL honest to goodness friends and neighbors here? I mean, I love all my blogging friends and some have become REAL friends, but seriously? I have neighbors who have kids. I have friends that have kids. I have friends who have coaching husbands who have kids who are alone as much as me. But I would never think to cook an extra meal so that she could bring her brood over and have an adult conversation with me. Instead, I have the laptop in the kitchen while I break open another box of mac n' cheese and read blogs on Google Reader.

Have all of these social networking sites become a substitute for our real lives? How many hours do I spend reading blogs and tweets when I could be chatting with a friend? Or out making new friends? Do I admit to the number of times I have NOT answered the phone b/c I was engrossed in a blog? Is it just me???

I am currently having a brain meltdown as I contemplate all of these rather deep thoughts. Maybe it is all the cold meds going to my brain or maybe it is the fact that this laptop sits on my lap more hours a day sometimes than my own kids. Yes, I have to work. And yes, WRITING this blog is sort of a part of my job. But is reading a million blogs? Or Twittering? Not so much.

I am going to finish editing my sweet niece's birthday photos and then go to bed. Early. And tomorrow I am going to re-evaluate how much time I spend on this thing vs how much time I spend with my kids. Because seriously, what is more important?

Is there a place for blog detox?

Upcoming Session Dates: sidebar

If you have not read this blog all weekend MAN do you have a lot to catch up on! HA!

My amazing parents took the girls tonight since I am still on deaths door with this darn virus. Then my MIL is taking them to a children's museum in the morning and I have a sitter coming for Grayson so I can either stay in bed if still sick OR clean+laundry if I'm well.

I don't need to work much since I've had my laptop in my lap all weekend. HOWEVER, I am STILL catching up on emails! Don't give up on me!

Just wanted to pop on and mention that my upcoming session dates (minis and travel) are on the sidebar to your right! Email me if you'd like more info on any of them or to book a session with me! Minis, Kansas City, Columbia and Florida dates are there!

AND I made a few changes to the CASTING CALL post below, so please reread that!

Over and OUT!

casting call.

EDITED: PLEASE REREAD!!!

Untitled-1

Yep. That's right.

When you are SICK in bed all day the mind is on over-drive. Or at least mine is. But really, my brain is working and thinking about this little business of mine 24-7 so maybe it just seems like over-drive b/c I'm just laying here.

ANYWAY.

Made a few changes and updates to the website while dying in bed this morning. Check it out HERE!

ALSO.

I've never done this before, but I am in NEED of a CRAZY FUN family for a few session ideas I have cooking. You need to be up for anything and available to shoot on weekday afternoons around 4pm.

TO QUALIFY…

- Send me an email with a photo of your family attached (if you are a past client no worries, I know what you look like!) to jodifiedATgmailDOTcom.

- You need at least one child.

- You need to be available to shoot on weekday afternoons (session will last 1-3 hours)

- Location TBD by ME

- Clothing choices to be guided by ME

COST… $200

WHAT IT INCLUDES:

- FULL session on disk in low-res files (4×6 and smaller)
- 11×14 mounted print
- option to purchase regular prints at 25% off!
- a BIG surprise I will tell you about if you are chosen!!! SO COOL!

(I will be choosing based on a first come first served basis IF I think your family fits what I'm looking for!)

EMAIL ME ASAP if you are interested!!!

2009 Spring Mini Sessions.

Last fall I offered my first mini sessions and I had a BLAST!

AND I learned a TON from them too! HA!

This spring will be a BIT different but with the same basic idea of giving you the chance to get images from ME at a discounted rate.

What minis ARE:

- FUN fast and unique.
- GREAT for focusing on ONE of your children (a birthday session)
- GREAT for couples
- GREAT for a senior who just wants a few good shots
- PERFECT to get some FUN+CRAZY photos of your family just being themselves and having fun!

What minis ARE NOT:

- Baby friendly (I shoot urban and there will be no where to lay down a baby)
- Mantel friendly, meaning, if ALL you want is the perfectly posed family shot and you have young kids there is NO way I can corral them in 30 minutes. MAYBE we'll get it but MAYBE not.
- STIFF. If my normal sessions are all about capturing the moment then these seriously are! These are about interactions, not poses!

B1

I will get great natural shots of your family that captures who you are TODAY.

B3

They make a GREAT gift for your parents! They deserve good photos too!

B2

A great gift for YOU too! That is, unless you want to get more cozy with a Love Light session! HA!

B7
B4

Perfect for capturing those natural interactions between parent and child!

B5
Good for seniors to get a few fun shots!

 

B6
They are just plain FUN!

SO!

If you are interested read the following and then shoot me an email to book! Act fast b/c I am sure they will fill up quickly!

SPRING MINIS

kick ass.

20090328_0012b

This is my new necklace. After I got it Bailey asked me, "you wear dis ALL DA TIME?"

Yes kid. I do. All da time.

Why?

Because this is what the card said that it came on…

"Wear your necklace as you gear up for this new adventure. Believe in your strength, your smarts, and your ability to kick some ass out there!"

The best part is that I hate my neck. I have moles (yuck right?) and freckles and wrinkles and fat rolls. Randomly, it is the part of my body I hate the most. Weird since my stomach is nothing to look at either and lets not get started about my behind. But I do hate it. It is thick and manly looking to me. When I look in mirrors I never look at it. I feel it makes me look fatter than I already am. It is sort of an obsession I guess.

Anyway.

Now that I have my KICK ASS necklace on ALL DA TIME I don't mind my neck so much. It is a reminder that I AM on a new adventure. That I have strength and smarts and the ability to kick some ass as a photographer with a husband that is gone more than he's here and three VERY young kids. When I look at my neck now I don't feel depressed, I feel empowered. I stand a little taller and raise my head a little higher.

Doesn't everyone need a tiny little cowboy boot around their neck?

before and after.

There are a lot of photographers that I would call "traditionalists." They like to just use their SOOC (straight out of camera) shots and not use Photoshop at all. Or maybe just to sharpen or brighten but they hate photos that LOOK photoshopped.

I get that. All natural. Traditional. Totally get it.

BUT.

It's just not me.

I like to mess around and experiment and play. I ALWAYS do something to my photos. Sometimes it is just a little USM or adding a little contrast or a simple b/w conversion. But other times I really play around with the settings and my actions.

And usually I just like photos that have more of ME in them than what came straight out of my camera.

In the end it just comes down to preference. And taste. And style. And it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

I say this b/c I would love to encourage you to play with your photos. Be simple or extreme. Be you. Be original.

Here is a before and after of the Grayman. I was messing around with my craft room (ex-dining room) light and needed a subject so I tossed some cheerios on my black boards. I was really just playing with my settings (I practice a LOT people) but I loved this shot b/c it is SO him right now. He's constantly eating cheerios it seems and I find them ALL over the house! If I really need to keep him happy I put him on his tummy in the living room and then throw cheerios all over the floor! He scoots around eating happily! And I vacuum later! :)

ANYWAY. Just wanted to show you how I messed around until I came up with something I was happy with!

BEFORE (SOOC):

20090328_0038b

AFTER:

20090328_0038ab

(1/320 s at f/2.5, ISO 1600)
(dark+rainy day, natural window light directly in front of him)

GO PLAY!

a decision has been made. i think.

20090320_0045c

20090113_0049bwb 

20090315_0043b

 20090120_0256b

 20090304_0149b 

I may change my mind tomorrow, but after a million different versions I think this is my favorite photo border! If you hate it don't tell me b/c it took me SO long to decide on this one!

I am in full sick mode today. Ugh. I have what my kids do and the sore throat+coughing really sucks. Luckily the girls are hanging out with my parents until noon and Gray is sleeping. The house is a MESS. I mean seriously. Which depressed me to no end considering Chris and I spent 2 whole days working on it, but I've been in pure survival mode since he's been gone with everyone sick. And although I should get off my butt and go clean up, I think I'm going to go crawl under the covers and sleep.

Hope your Saturday is happy!

why branding sucks.

20090320_0034bb

See that border on that photo? Yeah. It just took me 3 hours to figure out.

Oh how I hate love Photoshop.

And I do. I really do. But MAN it is hard sometimes!

My goal tonight was to answer at least 15 emails and figure out this border. I wanted to be in bed by 9pm.

It is now 10:30pm and I have not answered one email.

Emails were more important, but once I started this and had so much trouble I just HAD to figure it out. It totally become an obsession and even this version is not the final version that I want… I just had to stop or I'd be up all night again.

Ugh.

BUT. How cute is my niece?