Ballpark Village, St. Louis

I am pretty certain sports photography is not in my future but when it comes to:

1) a beautiful venue

2) national and international champion billiards players

3) and your child is one of those competitors

then I'll lug that camera around all day if I have to.

Pictured from left to right:  Briana, Sharik, Taren, Landon

First, a bit of info:  This big billiards event for the Mosconi Cup was promoted by Live Wire at the beautiful Ballpark Village, the home of the St. Louis Cardinals.  Our son Landon is a member of the Lindenwood Lions Billiards team and his coach is also the coach of the Mosconi Cup team.   So on this day six regional billiards teams, including LU's team, gathered for a day of tournament competition with match up of the USA Mosconi Cup team vs. Hall of Fame members later in the evening. *(The Mosconi Cup is a yearly USA vs Europe billiard competition similar to what the Ryder Cup is for golf. The Mosconi Cup tournament will take place in London, England December 6-9.)

Landon played throughout the day and seating was a prime commodity so I had to shoot from where I sat or from the mezzanine while Kiley saved my seat.  I only used my 50mm (the FABULOUS Sigma Art 1.4) since I was unsure of how close I would be or how much light I would have.  As it turned out, lighting was mixed but a high ceiling with opaque glass allowed plenty of light.

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Briana and Landon playing a doubles match.

 

Most people in/some out of the pool world know Landon's billiards resume' and if this modest child gives me permission I'll document it here one day.  But I don't think it is widely known that several colleges and universities across the country have billiards teams.  More than 25 universities compete throughout the academic year and nationally every summer.  LU's team is loaded with great players from all over the world and has won both the men and women's national championships the last 3 years.  Landon and his teammate Brianna Miller have won the championship titles multiple times.  The LU team has great rapport and it does make me proud to see how well they work together.

 

**After nudging myself to get back onto my blog, this is the day that I'm committing to being more active.  Just putting it out there to make myself accountable to post at least a couple of times a month.   I last posted back in April?!?! (insert shamed-face) Tagging myself #bloggingresolution

Lydia--Yes, She Did!

I had the honor of photographing Lydia, a former student who will be recognized nationally for her achievement in the area of technology at the Center for Exceptional Children (CEC) conference in St. Louis this month.

Besides being a tech wiz, Lydia is also a:  high schooler, owner of cats Rudy and Max, fan-girl of Austin Powers and Beyonce', lover of music and dance, little sister to Leticia and Samuel, aunt to Delaney, and daughter of Leslie and Ronnie. 

Nominated by her teacher, Lydia was recognized by the Kentucky CEC for her achievement.  And now, Lydia will receive the Yes, I Can! in technology; she is one of only 14 students to be honored at the national conference.  I mean, how great is that?! 

Congratulations, Lydia!!!

Tiny Stories

My daughter gave me a beautiful desk calendar featuring my photos with her handwritten quotes--she did a perfect job in choosing the right quote with the right image for the right month.  As I turned over January's "Happy Birthday, Mama!" to February I thought about how appropriate and accurate the quote she chose was:  The universe is made of tiny stories.   I had originally planned to write about some of my long forgotten belongings, bits of my *universe* that had been stored and forgotten in the basement of my parents' home; that post is saved for another day.  I think you'll find the following story to be interesting and quite appropriate....

This past Sunday a special couple's *universe* got a bigger by one sweet 6-pound, 11-ounce soul.  I was so humbled to be asked to document their very special event of becoming first-time parents.

Ready and waiting!  Don't you just love that all nurseries use those same receiving blankets?

Prepared for either since Nick and Shelby decided not to find out...

Now for the big reveal to the rest of the family--pink or blue?!

Well somebody is extra happy that the playdo is blue!

Mom and Dad had predicted correctly!

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Sweet little wrinkled hands and piggies!

Look at that hair!

Off-the-chart sweetness!

"Kangaroo-time" (Shelby is such a natural!)

Nick is one proud daddy!

This little guy Henslee Scott has nooo idea how much his birth has blessed his family's *universe*.  He has certainly blessed mine....



Styled Session--Vintage Gunne Sax

It's bonus-time when my favorite girl wants and needs a styled session for her website.  Channeling a little Stevie Nicks in the vintage wardrobe department, Kiley wore a dress that I LOVED wearing circa 1980.  If you're anywhere near my age, you might remember the Gunne Sax line of clothing, a division of Jessica McClintock, popular for a while anyway.  Even if Kiley does refer to it as "vintage",  I will admit she wears it a bit better than I did.

Mother and daughter differ in opinions on which images are the best so daughter chose her favorites on her site (girlish.us) and of course, I'm posting mine here.  

This was a particularly warm and gorgeously lit Thanksgiving afternoon.  Golden hour did not disappoint.  Not.  For.  One.  Minute.

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Holy Sunset!  Golden hour at it's finest.

Light and flare--perfect!

And my personal favorite.

To Grandmother's House We Went...

We were fortunate enough to have both of our children home for Thanksgiving this year so we gathered at Mamaw and Papaw's for lunch--getting together early helps us spread out the day (*bonus*) and gives the kids a chance to spend some time together.  Although Daniel came home with Kiley, he spent the day with his extended family in Lexington and Kenzie spent her first Thanksgiving as a nurse working a 12-hour shift.

Alex, Kiley, Kaitlyn and Landon   (cousins will be cousins lol)

We are very appreciative that Kaitlyn's parents gave her up to spend time with us.

Landon got first-hand experience on how NOT to fire a rifle with a scope.

And a photo session with my favorite girl.... :D

An Autumn Wedding

Carrie and Chris's wedding will always be a special memory for me not just because Carrie is my niece (bonus!) but because she trusted me enough to allow her wedding to be my first wedding. Even if she is family, Carrie and I connected in a way that we ordinarily wouldn't have and for that, I am very thankful.   

 

Lots of great images so I'm sharing in a couple of posts....check back soon!



Ms. Sally and her Grandbabies

Ms. Sally is the mother of my best friend and one of the sweetest ladies you could ever have the pleasure of knowing.   So when Libby asked me to get a "grandkids portrait" with hers and her sister Sara's children with Ms. Sally, I was more than happy to get together with them on a beautiful fall Saturday afternoon.  

Beautiful and sweet family all the way around!

Happy Halloween--Photos, Memories, and Family

This photo comes from a time when many family photographers, more like "family picture-takers", had their film developed into Kodak's slide format. (I hope you're familiar with slides because I'll feel like an old geezer if I have to educate you.) As I thought about it, slides were only a little more user-friendly than today's digital discs--you still had to use another source to view your images.  I had several slides converted to print and we still have 4 boxes of slides from both Stan's and my families yet to be digitized:  beautiful scenes of Italy and France taken by Stan's dad while he was in the Army,  holiday gatherings in crowded homes, a family fishing trip to Wisconsin (where mosquitoes ate.me.up), and slides of favorite pets, flashy automobiles, and country homesteads. 

These photos also come from a time when my brother and I were each other's first playmates and we would play with these silly Halloween costumes--in between breaks of playing Batman and Robin and cowboys and indians--until way after Halloween was over.   They're maybe not the best of photos but certainly some of the best memories.

Portrait--The Bush Family

When friend Julie asked me to photograph her family, the first thing I asked was, "Your family or your family?"  Her family is one when that they all get together, we're talking about almost 20 people and capturing a group this size can be intimidating, especially if it's your first time photographing a large group.  With kids going back to college, our window of opportunity was pretty tight--Julie did her part of coordinating everyone, she trusted me to accomplish it, and pulled it off we did!

Still Life

Someone left two pears on this tree swing and here they are, side by side just as I found them.  They are a bit out of place since there are only apple and cherry trees in the garden.  I haven't decided if they were left here on purpose as a treat for some wildlife in the yard or since I'm in my neighbor's yard so often, if they were left here for me.  

Challenge accepted.

My Day

Well, not exactly MY day but what I see every day of the week.  My husband Stan has been a pool player for over fifty years.  That's 5-0.  I don't know if anyone can love a game as much as he loves pool.  He is a retired elementary school teacher who has also been a billiards instructor for many years and continues to instruct in person, by DVD, by phone, by email, and soon to be instructing by print since he will have a book published in the spring.  He is one busy fella.

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*This photo was featured on IG #my_365_my_day.

In the Moment

At this time of year most gardens are in their last days and the garden I *borrowed* for a little golden-hour shooting was no exception.  This particular evening the light was BEAUTIFUL. 

Even with most of the foliage past its prime, I did find some fantastic color. This single rose easily caught my eye.  I mean just look at the contrast of the pink and coral and yellow against the chartreuse of the sweet potato vine growing all around it--I am totally in love with these colors!

And bless this little rose bush for still giving it all it had.

All images are of the one flower as seen in the pull back.

Summer Senior Session--Katy

Meet Katy!

Anderson County High senior Katy is one busy girl:  honor student, ASAP senior rep, volleyball varsity captain, member of FCCLA and the Kentucky Baptists All-State Youth Choir.  Planning to study nursing at Campbellsville University, she'll readily tell you that she has type 1 diabetes and hopes to educate children about being diagnosed and how to have a healthy lifestyle with diabetes.  Katy says that she loves to get dressed up and go out with friends but is just as content to stay at home with a great book and her two dachshunds.  She volunteers in community projects and puts God first in her life.  I'd say Katy is  a very grounded young lady.

With the help of cosmetologist/stylist Haley Shofner, we had a fun, fun day with lots of good chats and some GREAT images!  Hair and makeup by Haley Shofner.

Summer Senior Session--Macy

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I've known Macy since she was a little girl and it's amazing to think that she's already into her senior year at GCHS.  And when I say I've known her since she was a little girl it's because I was her kindergarten teacher. (You know you live in a small town when...)  So here she is all grown up, holding an office in DECA, playing volleyball, and being a member of both BETA and Pep Club.  An avid reader and writer, Macy plans to attend WKU and major in English or journalism---which makes my teacher-heart very proud!

I liked Macy's choice in wardrobe:  layers, textures, and patterns that looked great. Cosmetologist/stylist Haley Shofner enhanced Macy's beautiful features (eyes and skin to die for!) by keeping her look fresh, young, and natural.  Hair and makeup by Haley Shofner.

A thundershower cut our session a bit shorter than we wanted (i.e. two more wardrobe changes) but we got some GREAT images!

Beauty in an Unlikely Place

It's already Monday again and the last day of August as well.  I'm down to 5 days left of my 100 Days of Summer photo challenge.  Where did the time go?? 

I'm sharing this image of a butterfly bush that I captured while checking out locations--I turned the corner and there it was, just beautiful against the pale cement.  And this abandoned shell of a building did not disappoint so I'm excited, like REAL excited, to post those sessions a bit later in the week.  

Carrie and Chris--Engaged!

My niece Carrie met Chris through a mutual friend a few years ago.  They dated a while, went their separate ways a while, and now have been together for the past two years.  A couple of weeks ago Chris asked and Carrie said "Yes!".  

(WOW!)

Carrie, an RN and Chris, a maintenance supervisor, are planning an early November wedding here in Greensburg.  And yours truly will be there to capture it all!!