Thursday, December 16, 2010

Highlights of 2010

Here's some family photos from 2010. Merry Christmas everyone!
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advent Novena

So I decided to pray this novena during Advent, cause I've realized over the past few years that I really don't prepare well enough spiritually for Christmas. Christmas as an adult has always felt a little empty to me. There's so much buildup and then fifteen minutes after all the presents are opened the letdown begins. There's so much we do to prepare for Easter during Lent, but during the Christmas season, its just way too easy to let the shopping become the focus.

Anyway, I found this novena that you begin TODAY November 30th, and say up until Christmas Eve. You're supposed to pray the prayer FIFTEEN times a day (which seems a little daunting) but don't worry, its really short.
Because I'm a major nerd I realized that the place I find myself most frequently during the day is --you guessed it-- my computer. Therefore I turned the prayer into desktop wallpaper for my laptop, haha.

I'll try to make it downloadable in case anyone else is game to join me, haha. Happy Advent!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I haven't posted anything in ages.
So a couple things:

1) Stop motion animation simultaneously fascinates and freaks me out. I'd like a piece in my portfolio but I think I'm too impatient to do it.

2) Being someone who is (almost) too un co-ordinated to catch a ball, I think its funny that I work so much for the Athletics Department. I took this photo of the seniors on the basketball team a week ago. I have so much other athletics stuff I could post. I'll get to it someday.

3) This book is blowing my minddd. A friend suggested it as a resource for a paper I'm writing about "hook-up culture." It proves that it doesn't matter whether you're a "good" girl or a "bad" girl, you've swallowed all sorts of untrue crap our society tells us about being a woman. Read it men and women alike.

4) Lately I feel this Pretty:
Really though. I've just been feeling pretty lately. For a couple different reasons, Me and a household sister challenged each other to wear NO makeup all last week. It was harder at times than I thought it would be, but it was crazy good for me. I really came to the realization that feeling beautiful has almost zero correlation in my mind to what I look like, its really more about what I'm doing. And then wearing makeup again this week has just made me feel dynamite, score.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Causing a Ruckus

Not sure yet on the technicalities of who "owns" the photos I take for the athletic department in my new job as "Graphic Design Lead". In the interest of playing it safe I'm not posting any just yet, ha. I figure it can't hurt to post some of these though, these are some of the advertisements I designed for our Rugby team's big home game last night, the "Rugby Ruckus." I was proud, enjoy.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I love my job.

Wait, hold up.
You can get paid to do stuff you LIKE?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Coming soon.

Awesome, adorable, sweaty, fun photo-shoot with Matthew and Kyla and their gorgeous boys tonight. And yeah, I've got no choice but to admit that I was almost embarrassingly anxious about the whole thing, this being my first "real", "non-family member commissioned" photo shoot basically ever. Kyla and Matthew are almost family anyway but I was still way nervous.

I will post pictures soon as I p-shop them to my liking but in the meantime

Lessons learned:

1) Shooting kids = total unpredictability. I thought by being well prepared I would have a smoother shoot, but ended up completely improvising. And things went fine anyway. I walked away amazed that I hadn't even considered things like attention span and water breaks, (it was about 90 degrees outside...) among the things I prepared for. I guess this is one of those cases where flexibility will get you better results than planning.

2) Shooting groups = much harder than shooting solo portraits. Simple math here- four faces are harder to watch than one face. I swore I struck gold with my last two shots- everybody actually smiling and looking one direction. And then I realized I'd perfectly framed a detached camper shell as the background. Oh Arkansas. Oh details.

3) Directing a shoot = a definable skill. I stalk several professional photographers. Every time they post new pictures their clients inevitably comment in raving tones about how wonderful they were with the kids, or how comfortable they made everybody. I didn't realize until today that your attitude and interactions with your subjects can outweigh lighting and framing in taking good pictures. Being confident, reassuring, and communicating well are things I'm really going to have to work on as a part of my preparation for possibly creating my own business.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Belated Senior pictures for my sister. Nobody should get to be this good looking. They're still a work in progress, but these are a few of my favorites. More will be going on facebook.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Indie Girls Deconstructed

I stumbled upon this blog post and had to re-post it somewhere. No, it has absolutely nothing to do with anything I typically write about. However, as somebody who's been accused of having "really intense bangs" in the past; or (my favorite): "more bangs than a '50's western", I sort of laughed my behind off.

I always enjoy people who can go beyond admitting to actually celebrating their own nerdiness.

In another article he makes reference to a Jenny Lewis concert this way: "It was like a sea of bangs with Jenny as their captain." Unbelieveable.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I like you a lot lot.

And now to share some sources of personal inspiration in the form of people and websites.

Every college has its student celebrities. But the modest size of Franciscan University's Communication Arts department is no indicator of Cory Heimann's talent. Despite the fact that the ink on his diploma is barely dry, he's been doing design for Catholic organizations for many years. His dedication to making Christianity fun, fresh and appealing is pretty inspiring.

My mouth literally starts watering when I get to this site. Sooo many tutorials, so many free downloads, so many great ideas to try. It ends up just making me want to upgrade all my outdated programs. Sigh.

Jaw dropping, cool, artistic, high end photography. He does mostly weddings, but some family and portrait photography too, with a few fashion shoots. It's almost frustrating to look at his work and wonder howwwww he gets such unbelievable photos out of regular, ordinary non-modeling people.

Monday, June 21, 2010


A less-good animation from this past semester, haha. It's the DVD menu for a kids movie that doesn't exist. And yes, the inchworms are SUPPOSED to be cheesy, (it has nothing to do with the fact that I couldn't get them to move like real inchworms and eventually gave up.)

I looked and looked for a song to put this to and couldn't find one that fit the "mood" I was going for. (Maybe funny / playful / instrumental?) I even looked at old "Doo-wop" kind of music from the fifties. Any suggestions? I'd really like to find one before this goes into any sort of portfolio.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Theology of the Body: (aka: Do I really have the guts to say the word SEX in Church...)

In the past month I've gone from round the clock graphic design, photoshop, computer animation, and web site work to pretty much nada. Work at the White Buffalo Resort (my parents' business) is demanding, physical, and sometimes rewarding, but allows for very little "creative expression". (Picture a snarky look on my face as I reluctantly concede to being one of those people who feels they need "creative expression.")

Therefore I went OVERBOARD on the chance to design a few flyers for what I'm hoping will be one of my more exciting ventures of the summer- facilitating a Theology of the Body Study Group at my parish in Arkansas.

I love Theology of the Body because:

1) It's so different from any other chastity talk you've ever heard. In high school it seemed that the goal was to become a sex escape artist. Anyone teaching the Christian view on sex wanted to convince you to dodge sex at every turn- in your mind, in your relationships, in culture. Put your blinders on and begin a rapid succession of dodges and feints. Theology of the Body celebrates sex instead.

2) It teaches that sex is just as important as you think it is. More important even. Theology of the Body looks at sex not only as the fundamental expression of love in humanity, but also as the very building block of society, and even a FORESHADOWING OF HEAVEN.
Yowza. I'm not sure Hugh Hef even takes it that far.

3) It's transformative. And by that I mean it's transformed ME. Like a lot of young Catholics. I had an attitude of "rules". What do the rules really say? How far is too far? Show me the line and let me see justttt how close I can get without actually crossing. Instead of shoving the rules back down your throat, Theology of the Body brings you face to face with the hugeness of God's love for you. It challenges you to take rules out of the equation and instead love God so deeply that your will conforms to His will.

I haven't done a lot of ministry to adults. And I REALLY haven't done a lot of public speaking. Just having to go to all the masses in my parish this weekend and stand up to promote this study group was a big deal to me. Questions like: "Is this dress too low cut for someone promoting Theology of the Body?" and "Am I ACTUALLY about to use the word sexuality from the pulpit and in front of my entire parish?" were chief in my mind.

I guess I'm feeling called to live my faith more visibly. I've always been pretty content to meekly support and cheer on those in public ministry. Quietly pray for priests and whatnot. This summer especially though, I really feel God asking me to set aside my insecurities and step up. To use my face to represent the face of the Catholic Church, (not an easy face to have right now.) To really put myself and my reputation out there as capital "C" CATHOLIC and accept whatever challenges or knocks may come.

It's a little scary and intimidating.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to be present on Wednesday night when we begin Theology of the Body.
And rejoice that no lightning bolts took me down during my few moments at the altar. Not yet anyway.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Littlest Brother

Figures my first real photography client in Arkansas would be---- My mom. My youngest brother is graduating eighth grade so she wanted "Graduation portraits" done of him. I really do need more portrait work in my portfolio so it's a win-win. My little sister may be next with some belated high school grad shots. Those good looks run in the family. :) You can click to see them bigger.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Don't Panic

Now that I've had a few weeks to reassemble myself here at home, it might be time to post something new to my blog.

I'll start small.

This was a project for my special effects class, one of the few I was slaving over until the bitter end.
It's a combo between typography and 3D animation done in Adobe After Effects to Coldplay's song Don't Panic.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Love and Marriage

YES, I did miss Valentine's Day, but here's some sentimental wedding pictures anyway! I'm re-working a ton of photos with all the new techniques I'm learning in photoshop. These are samples from the portfolio WEBSITE I'm working on. It will hopefully be up by the end of the semester.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Return of the JPeg

Drumroll please for the return of PHOTOGRAPHS to my shoulda-been photos only blog. Dr. Gan's Jedi ways are getting to me, hence the nerd title. He says that once you start working in the field, it's only a matter of time until you're no longer able to stand the things you used to do for leisure. The man can barely watch movies without driving his wife crazy, (Please God no! Not me!)

I am taking FIVE stinking comm. arts classes this semester, pretty much trying to absorb 3 different Adobe programs at once right now. I was feeling weirdly guilty as I photoshopped these pics, like I should have been photoshopping something for class instead.....

Anyway. Consider these the accompaniment to the previous blog about Birthdays. It feels really good to have a camera back....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Twenty-two Blues.

If there's one thing I have, it is honesty about my own demeanor.

"You're being overdramatic."
- direct quote from my mom. (On maybe a weekly basis.)

Yup. It's been known to happen.

Which is why when my 22nd birthday sucked, I did the logical thing and assumed it was ME, letting my personal sense of melodrama get in the way of reality.

Canadian roommate (photographically referenced as Good Looking Roommate #1) celebrated her 22nd b-day yesterday. HER demeanor, especially in comparison to mine, can only be described as buoyant. But as we ended what was otherwise a typical Tuesday at school with some brownies iced with red and white maple leaves, she described the weird, lonely feeling that had been nagging at her most of the day.

I could relate.

I walked around on my 22nd birthday feeling old. The phrase "Eight years 'til I'm thirty" kept flashing through my head. I almost expected some peppy young freshmen running around campus to come offer me an arm while I crossed the street.

22 is a weird age. You've just come off pretty much the biggest birthday of your life the year before, and that celebration is still fresh, (or maybe mostly fuzzy) in your head. You experience 22 and realize you've done it. You've hit all the ages you couldn't WAIT to hit. What comes next? 55 to start receiving AARP benefits?? 25 to legally drive a rental car off the lot?? (Not even applicable in all 50 states...)

It felt like the beginning....of the end......OF MY YOUTH.

Maybe coming up next is all the stuff that gets sandwiched between 22 and 55. The responsibility, house, kids, job kind of stuff. But there's no definite birthday for that.

That's why I've decided that 23 is the next kick-ass birthday. Me and EVERYONE I can rally with me is gonna grab that number by its sweet curves and angles and party...not like rough, green, inexperienced 21 year olds, but like the seasoned, tasteful veterans that we are.

Don't let 22 get you down. Just do whatever you have to do to make it through the miserable year.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


So its officially been a new decade for 13 days.
I have owned my VERY FIRST CAR EVER for 6 days.
And I've been back at school in Steubenville for 4.

Good to at least have the numbers straightened out.

Owning a car is sort of crazy. On the responsibility scale it falls closer to having a pet than a baby, but I still feel like I've spent my first days back in school being dragged around by my ever expanding to-do list. I'm staring at my STILL not unpacked suitcase, duffel bag and extra box sitting on my floor, (sorry good looking roommate #2.)

Know what I did today? I went through and offloaded almost SIX THOUSAND photographs from my poor groaning laptop onto a removable hard drive. They dated back to the tail end of 2007 and ended with the loss of my camera this winter. They covered a lot of ground.
It's hard for me to do something like that and not get caught up. There's no businesslike way for me to sift through perfectly reproduced images of the poignant moments in my life throughout the past 2 years.

I guess that this was a pretty good time for me to do it though.

In the past three years I've moved around like someone was chasing me. In a lot of ways I think I felt chased, and was desperate to put some space (ANY space) between myself and experiences at school in San Diego. There's a sense of "permanence" about me being in this school that leaves me feeling threatened sometimes. It could be just the opposite- that all the radical change finally caught up to me last semester and caused my brain to go into rebellion over the thought of starting over AGAIN.

But watching myself (in photos) go from Arkansas to San Diego, to Pasadena, to Arkansas again, to St. Louis and now to Ohio gave me a real sense of "where I've been" for lack of a more subtle phrase. There are a lot of great things and people in my past right now that I'd be happy to define myself by if the need came to take a snapshot of Me- the package deal- heading into 2010.

In less introspective public soul searching news I picked up my OLD, less snazzy, literally held together by rubber bands camera while home over break.

So the photos will be back on, and hopefully not TOO much shabbier. :)