Friday, January 28, 2011

I Bought a New Lens!

I bought a new lens from B&H Photo, and I am so ready for it to be here!! It should be delivered Tuesday, and I will almost certainly be posting photos shortly after it arrives.

It's a Nikon 50 mm f/1.8D. But for those of you who don't know (or care) what that means, it simply means clearer, crisper images.

Of course what I really, REALLY want/need is a new camera. I've been using the same Nikon D70 since my freshman year of college, and while it has served me well, it's time to upgrade to a "big girl" camera. I am hoping and praying that this gorgeous Nikon D7000 will be mine someday soon. Right now I'm still crunching numbers and trying to convince my hubby that just how badly I want it we need it.

I've got my fingers and toes crossed... and I'm praying for a hefty tax refund!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

iPhone Mobile RSS Reader + Vivian Maier

If you have an iPhone and love to follow blogs, you need this app. It allows you to access your RSS feed simply and easily at any time in the palm of your hand. Quickly move from one post to the next with a swipe across the screen.

Learn all about Mobile RSS Reader here.

This has quickly become the most frequently used app on my iPhone. It's the easiest way to keep up with great photo blogs like Benfield Photography, Jasmine Star Photography and Kendy Schimmel Photography. I'm also totally addicted to Green Wedding Shoes. My sister turned me onto GWS while I was planning my wedding because it is full of unique wedding ideas, but now I follow it to get photography ideas.

While I'm on the topic of blogs, I must mention one my husband introduced me to yesterday.

Vivian Maier (1926-2009) was a nanny in Chicago from the 1950's until the 1990's. People who knew her say she was a very private, yet outspoken person who, on her days off work, would walk the streets of Chicago with a camera in her hand. It wasn't until 2008 that someone ran across boxes of her film and photos at an antique auction and realized they'd discovered one of the greatest street photographers of the twentieth century.

This woman had an amazing talent for capturing light and emotion in such a pure and honest way. There is a certain rawness to her work that you just don't find every day. If you have any interest in great film photography, or just want to be a part of an unraveling mystery, check out the blog: Vivian Maier - Her Discovered Work.

Below is a self portrait of Vivian I found on the blog.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bring It On, 2011!

It's a snowy January afternoon, and I'm finally getting a chance to cozy up on the sofa with my laptop and post a New Year's message to anyone who's reading. I have a feeling this post may be a little random because I haven't decided what I'm going to write, so I'm just winging it here!

2010 was an insane year for me. It had some wonderful moments and some rather awful moments... I'll share a few of them with you.

In January, my sister moved out of the house where we'd been living together, so I began living alone for the first time ever.

By April, I had finally gotten the house and yard (formerly a gorgeous yard designed by a Master Gardener... Now it's all I can do to keep a few of the lilies alive!) in order and was able to host Easter at my house! This may not seem like a big deal to many of you, but I've always hoped to be as gracious a hostess as my mother, and I absolutely love sharing my home with others! The weather was amazing and we were able to hunt Easter Eggs in the backyard.

In June, I walked down the aisle of Nettleton Baptist Church and married the man of my dreams, Chad. Our wedding day was perfect, and it was followed by a fabulous honeymoon to Gatlinburg, TN where we relaxed for a week in a gorgeous cabin overlooking the city lights.

We spent the next few months building our nest together and enjoying the summer. Hosted a fun Independence Day party and did a lot of grilling out!

September was a huge milestone in our lives. The first day of the month, we became Uncle Chad and Aunt Hannah to a handsome baby boy, Fisher Beckwith (seen here on Christmas morning). He was born several weeks early and had to be hospitalized for a month at UAMS, and he's doing great now.

Just a few weeks after Fisher was born, Chad received one of the worst calls we could have imagined. His father passed away. Ron Beckwith was a wonderful, God-loving man, and I am proud I got to know him and get to share his last name. Chad is so much like him in so many ways! (I won't go on, because I promised myself I wouldn't let this blog post get sappy!)

The next week, Chad and I got a much needed dose of joy added to our lives. We got a puppy! Rowdy Beckwith is the funnest (and funniest) little fella, and he is totally worth all the potty accidents I've had to clean up over the last few months!

Also in the same week we got Rowdy, Chad and I bought the house we had been renting from my parents. As if our lives weren't stressful enough, we added 15 years of debt to the mix, but it was a great decision and it feels so great to be a homeowner! (See, I told you September was a milestone month!)

We wound down the year with Halloween parties, Thanksgiving dinners with both of our families, and a wonderful Christmas (which you can read about here). And we said goodbye to 2010 with a fabulous party with all our friends at our house. (Wish I had pictures of that, but no such luck.)

Now it's time to move on to 2011, and here are a few of my goals for this year.

1. Eat healthier. This is not a "I'm going to lose a zillion pounds this year" type of thing, just going to not eat fast food so much and start fixing healthy dinners at night when we can. More on that in later posts.

2. Blog more. I have been inspired by photographer and blogger Jasmine Star to blog more. Not just about photography, but about life. Not to mention, I have always enjoyed writing. And I studied journalism in college, so I ought to know a thing or two about writing.

3. Do more photo shoots and photograph a wedding. That last part is not so much a goal as it is an exciting opportunity. My friends Lindsay Wells and Earl Owens are getting married in May, and I'll be the wedding photographer. This will be the first wedding I've shot all by myself, so I am beyond excited!

4. Sell 5 houses. If you didn't know, I'm the marketing director and a real estate agent on The Brenda Dacus Team at Fred Dacus Associates. I've had my real estate license since September 2009, and I sold three houses in 2010 (four if you count my own).

These are the major "resolutions", if you will, I've made for myself this year. I could add to these, be the best Christian, wife, daughter, friend and co-worker I can be, but those are more constant goals of mine.

Just as I thought, this blog post has been long and random, but I enjoyed writing it! Now I'm going to out into the snow to let this wonderful puppy of mine stretch his legs and run around.

Have a great evening.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Head Shots for HealthSouth

Today's news is not of an exciting photo shoot with gorgeous scenery or a touching family story to go with it, but I'm still excited about it.

I got a call several weeks ago asking if I would take a few head shots of some new employees at HealthSouth to put on their web site. This was a first for me. Not the first time my photos have been used in web form, but the first time I've taken professional head shots for this type of use.

The minor setback I had with this job is that, since I am a location photographer, I had no backdrops like a studio photographer would have. This ended up being no problem at all! I met with the ladies at their office and was able to use a couple of textured walls as backdrops. I thought they turned out quite nicely, and I'm already planning to take more photos of a few more employees for the site.

Here is the site. I photographed Barb Wynne and Kathleen Walter.