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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

First Signs Of Spring - Part 2

As promised, I have finally finished processing the pictures for the first family I photographed the week of spring break.   This is the first session I have had this year with actual signs of spring!  It is such a nice change to see green! Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I start complaining with the first cold front and the words "I HATE WINTER" are never far from my lips.  Snow is fun (every once in a long while), but green trees, green grass, and muli-colored flowers never cease to bring me joy!

So enjoy the sneak peaks from the "D" family.  The kiddos are adorable and very sweet natured.  Little "C" was so serious but I did get a few smiles from him.  I would love to see who he turns out to be when he grows up.  I am thinking there is a little poet or a philospher inside that just takes in the world around him and ponders it in his heart. What a precious and beautiful child!

More spring break family and senior photos to come....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SCBWI - Bologna, Italy

I bet you are wondering why I had a posting called "Italy Day 1" and nothing else. That is an interesting question with a very long answer. The short answer is that the hotel we stayed at in Bologna changed wireless routers 4 times while we were there starting on the 2nd day. My computer never found the routers after day 1 - hence the lack of postings. Were I a computer genius, I could probably have solved the problem. If I spoke Italian, I probably could have gotten the hotel to solve the problem, but as neither are the case...I suffered in an internet black hole and now am way behind on my blog posting.

So...I will be updating my blog with Italy pictures throughout the week. I have 4 family photo sessions to process this week that I did before I left for Italy and I know these wonderful families want to see their pictures. Those posting will be interspersed with my Italy postings. If it looks probably is. Chaos and confusion seems to reign supreme around here these days.

I was thrilled to go to Italy with my sister last week and even more thrilled to be asked to photograph the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Bologna conference while I was there. Words cannot express how much fun I had and how many amazing and wonderful people I had the privilege to meet from around the world. I feel like I have this wonderful international community of new friends. If you would like the details of the conference and who was there and what was said, please see my sister's (Beth Beck) blog posting. She has covered the details so well, I would simply be redundant to do so here. I have tried to put names on pictures where I knew them. She has all of the details to go with each name. are the highlights from the event...
The conference took place on Monday. From tips on getting movie deals, to "First Looks" at the work of many illustrators in attendance, to the reading of the first pages of books waiting to be published, the day was full of fun and extremely informative. It almost made me want to be a writer....almost. However, I have no gifting in that area so I will leave that to the experts!

After the conference, we all adjourned to a dinner and dance in a delightful Italian bookstore which just happened to be around the corner from our hotel. We were packed in like sardines but that just added to the fun. The food nearly made me swoon and the wine was freely flowing. A great ending to a great day.

The SCBWI hosts their conference every two years to coincide with the Bologna Children's Book Fair. They have a booth with activities running at the booth all week. The pictures below are of a fun hour of dueling illustrators. One of the authors with a book about to be published, read her book out loud page by page. The illustrators (John Shelley and Doug Cushman) then had a few minutes to capture what they heard on the page. It was amazing! I loved seeing how each interpreted what they saw. I was too busy taking pictures, but others did capture it on video which is worth taking a look.

We ended the day with a party celebrating the 40th anniversary of SCBWI. Cake and champagne were flowing and it was a fitting end to a great conference.

On a personal note, it was wonderful to meet in person many people who have shaped my life in the last few years.  I have read books written by Doug Cushman and Babette Cole to my children through the years.  They are humble and unassuming people and an honor to meet.  Leonard Marcus shaped my book buying choices when my children were small.  He wrote the Parenting Magazine book list which I used to guide my choices as I was too harried and overwhelmed with toddlers to even think about researching good books.  If he said they were good, I got them - and they always were great choices.  For the authors I met working to get your books published - I must say that your tenacity and determination inspire me.  Sometimes it is just easier to give up and yet you keep working toward your goal.  I admire that quality in each of you.  And finally, to the illustrators whose work I got to see in the "First Look" session - you are amazing!  I stopped taking pictures because I was enthralled in your work.  You make the world a more beautiful place by sharing your talent with us.  I hope you all continue to share your art with us!

Thanks for letting me share your conference with you.  I loved the experience and hope to see you again soon!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 1 in Bologna, Italy sister and I have been awake for almost 2 days now due to the crazy airline schedules, but we are somehow plugging on trying to make it until tonight for a regular night's sleep.  I thought I would post a few pictures from our first day in Bologna.  These are all straight out of my camera but I wanted to go ahead and share the experience anyway.

This is the view straight down from our hotel window.  It makes me want to live here!  Fresh fruits and veggies sitting outside on the window sill.  Right after I put up my camera, one of the family members came back from the market and filled the basket with oranges, onions, more potatos, and the largest pears I have ever seen in my life.  I am truly jealous.

The doors and knobs in Italy are amazing.  The doors are three times as high as me and the knobs are huge and highly ornamental.  Don't you just love this huge frog door knob from our hotel?  I mean who thinks of these things????

My sister likes fun and quirky things and was immediately drawn to the pay phones.  I love the contrast of the hundreds of years old buildings with modern day pay phones mounted to these walls.  The graffiti just adds the final eclectic quirky touch to the scene.

I truly feel as if I am in a movie as I am walking the streets of Bologna.  The buildings are amazing and the streets are filled with mimes and musicians playing for a few coins.  This couple was actually amazingly good and very dedicated to their art!

As we were walking past one of the many fabulous outdoor eating areas, this pigeon just caught my eye.  How'd you like to be the next person eating at that table?

So that is all from Italy for now.  I am starving and when I fix that problem, then I am collapsing.  Tomorrow I work all day at the International Children's Book Writers Conference.  I am taking pictures for them for their event which will be published in one of the organization's newsletters and possibly used for future promotions.  It will be a long day.  More pictures later...


Thursday, March 18, 2010

First Signs Of Spring

I met this family on a cold morning to take family pictures while the college kids were in town.  With kids going in different directions, we had only one morning to do the pictures and had to suck it up with the temperature.  I am about to leave the country for a week or so, but I promised them I would try and get one picture as a sneak preview of the session.  I loved this picture...the colors are vibrant and everyone is actually looking at me at once!

More to come when I return home!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Frisco Style

If there was ever a fun place to take family photos, Frisco, Texas is the place.  Where else can you take pictures on train tracks, lean up against a barn door and sit on the front porch of an old school house all within a two minute walk of each other?  I had fun with this wonderful family this week.  The girl's brought their own personal stylist to fix their hair (their best friend) and had lots of ideas for the pictures they wanted.  I love it when the kids have fun!

I LOVE the train in the background of this picture.  What an adorable girl!

Model in the making here I think!!!!

The girls wanted a dark silhouette against the sunset.  The sun wasn't down quite far enough to pull that off in the time we had.  However, I think the sun flare is quite dramatic and I hope we pulled off the basic look they wanted!

Thanks guys for a fun afternoon!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

And the cow says....

I was driving home from a photo session this evening and this was the view from my car window.  As I sat at the stop light, I was madly fumbling for my camera before the light turned green.  I live north of Dallas and there is tons of pasture land around me which I LOVE, but society still encroaches upon nature.  I laughed and laughed at this poor cow who is mindlessly eating amidst tons of political signs, which most of us mindlessly drive by. 

So it isn't the best picture quality seeing as the picture was taken through the windshield and I didn't have time to adjust any settings from my previous session, but I hope you get as good a laugh as I did....