Archive for the ‘Photography’Category

How I Spent My Last 30 Days

Not too long ago, I made it abundantly clear that I wanted to take my photography to the next level and go pro.

Over the past 30 days, I’ve been running around like a mad woman making that possible.

I’ve always known that photography was my calling. Whenever I got a new camera, I wanted the images that I took to look like Ralph Lauren ads. And over the past year, I’ve been busting my ass practicing, reading, and practicing some more in order to make that happen.

On my birthday (September 17), I officially opened for business.

It was a bittersweet moment for me, because it meant that most of my (relatively non-existent) free time would be consumed by photo shoots and post-processing and schmoozing new clients, leaving little time left to write on this blog.

But do not fret, dear readers. I will not abandon this place entirely.

I’ll pop in from time to time and post Frankenstories or Conversations with Jake (and soon to come: Conversations with Benny). And maybe even sprinkle in a few LOUD stories or McDonald’s escapades.

I love my “Mama Blog,” and I will always leave it open to comments and suggestions, and will always be back to write something. Even if it takes 12 months between posts to do it.

In the mean time, won’t you come over to my new digs and check out what I’ve been up to? (By the way, if you’re in Northern California, and know of anyone interested in Senior or Family Portraits, send them my way! I’m VERY reasonably priced!)

And if you’re feeling the love, subscribe to my RSS feed so you can get my daily updates and photo shoot sneak peeks.

Thank you all — you have no idea how much your loyalty and friendship mean to me.

With much love and crazy humor,








09 2010

Conversations With Jake: The “Nay Kit” Flash (Or, Why You Should REALLY Make Sure Your Kid is Asleep Before Listening to Podcasts in Your Car)

Earlier this year, I wrote about a photographer named James Beltz (who I now refer to as “Professor Jimmy” around the house, because, as it turns out, he really DID feel uncomfortable with my calling him “The Jimmy Lama”).

To know him (through his podcasts) is to love him. He’s southern and charming and hilariously funny in his A.D.D./silly ranting kind of way and frankly, the LOML is starting to get jealous of my constant bringing up of his name. But the fact of the matter is that Jimmy is the only photography instructor that I know that totally gets “it.” He doesn’t take himself too seriously, gets his audience/students to relax, and teaches in a way that is both fun and challenging. And I honestly have NO IDEA where I’d be without his classes or podcasts.

ANYWAY, most of you know that I do quite a bit of my podcast listening while driving. And sometimes even while the kids are in the car. (Usually while they are sleeping, or else I get pelted with Cheerios or Cheetos until I tune the dial to Radio Disney. ACK.)

A few weeks ago, I had picked up Jake from day camp and didn’t even get out of the parking lot when noticed that his eyes were getting heavy and he had leaned the seat back a little bit in order to settle in for a nap on the way home. So I decided that as soon as he was “out,” I would plug in my iTouch and listen to one of Professor Jimmy’s podcasts.

And wouldn’t you know, it would be one where Jimmy uses the phrase “Nekkid” flash about 678 times. (“Nekkid” is southern for “Naked.” And a “Nekkid Flash” is what you would call one of those big long flashes you see on professional cameras WITHOUT what you would call “a white thingy” on the end. A “white thingy” is a flash diffuser, which helps soften and spread light evenly.).

And I remember thinking, Holy CRAP it’s a good thing that Jake is asleep or he’d be asking me what the word “nekkid” meant. BECAUSE YOU KNOW HOW INQUISITIVE THIS KID CAN BE.

Fast forward a few days.

I had hopped on to the computer before going to work to check out some recipes I was thinking about trying for dinner. And without remembering to bookmark the page that I’d found, I shut the browser down and turned the computer off.

When I returned home later that evening, I fired up the browser and decided to go to my internet history in order to find the site I’d been on earlier that morning. And this is what I found:



Yes, you read that right.

There were searches for “NEY KIT FLASH,” “NAY KIT FLASH,” and “Professor Jimmy,” among other things.

Now, if you are slow to get this, bear with me. BECAUSE THIS IS A DAMN FUNNY STORY. (The LOML had me add, “Damn funny to photographers, maybe . . .”)

After discovering the search queries I laughed. HARD. For, like, TWENTY MINUTES.

Then I picked up the phone and called the LOML.



“Uh, can I ask you a question?”

“Oh . . . ‘kay. What’s the matter?”

“Nothing. Nothing. Just wondering if you happened to be on the computer at lunch, looking for something to buy me for my birthday.”


And then I was all, REALLY? Have you NOT ever heard of the INTERNET HISTORY BUTTON?

“You’re joking, right? I KNOW EVERYTHING.”

“[Loud silence, and then a long sigh.] Fine. YES, I was looking up stuff I wanted to buy you for your birthday. But I couldn’t find what I was looking for.”

“And what exactly, dear, were you looking for?”

“Well, this morning on the way to drop Jake off at summer camp, I asked him what he thought we should buy you for your birthday next month, and he said, ‘The man on mama’s radio says that you can do just about anything with a nay kit flash, so maybe we should get her one of those.’”

Conversations With Benny: “I Shoot You . . . Chick-hahhh!”

One of the things that we parents must constantly remember is that our children are little sponges. They take in and devour whatever grown-ups say, do, or listen to, then regurgitate it in public.

Like the time we were at the park and Jake decided to scream to me from the swings, “Oh . . . My . . . GOD . . . Becky. Look at her BUTT!” after a rather large woman walked by. I pretended not to know him.

Then there’s the little stuff.

I talk about photography quite a bit around my boys — on the phone with potential clients, reading excerpts from trade magazines, and trying to explain composition and lighting concepts to the LOML.

So this past weekend I shouldn’t have been all that surprised by Benny’s choice of words while trying to get my attention for a photo op.

“Mama!! Be still and I shoot you. Chick-haaah.”

Now, if you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I have a thing about guns: I don’t like them. So imagine my reaction as I heard those words come out of my toddler’s mouth and into the ears of the other moms and dads on the playground.

Horrified, I said, “You shoot me? I don’t understand? And what is ‘chick-haaah’?”

Which is unusual for me because I’M usually the one who gets looked to for a ruling on Ben-ese when no one else can understand him.

Then he ran to this little toy goggle contraption, pointed at it, and said, “I SHOOT you mama.” After which, he came over to me, pointed at my Nikon, and said “Chick-haaah.” And had he been a little older, he probably would have followed up with “My mom is such a DUMB ASS.”


03 2010

Orange (No . . . Make That “Salmon-y” . . .) Flamingos

The boys and I went to the zoo today, along with my BFF and two of her kids. It was a fantastic way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon, especially while fielding questions like, [Benny] “Mama, where’s the cows?,” or [Jake], “Mama, why is that one giraffe peeing all over the other giraffe’s foot?”

After the BFF left, the boys and I stayed at the zoo where we met up with my niece (a weekend zoo volunteer) who provided us with a guided tour of spots and animals that we hadn’t seen yet. And a few that we had.

Then my niece shared an awesome revelation, after which we all concluded that the Pink Flamingos weren’t really all that pink.

JAKE: “Mama, we already SAW the flamingos ALREADY.”

ME: “Honey, you don’t have to say already twice. I know we’ve been here before but there’s not like, five thousand people trying to look at them right now so chill out and let me take some pictures.”

NIECE: “They’re like, kind of orange-ish.”

ME: “Yeah . . . They’re really not pink, are they? They’re more like . . . salmon-y.”

NIECE: “Salmon-y flamingos?!”

Then I realized that all the plastic flamingos in this world were totally fake. I mean, I know that they’re “fake,” as in PLASTIC. But all this time, the plastic pink flamingo makers of the world have totally been LYING TO US ALL.

"Dude, I'm not kiddin' you, that fish I caught this morning was like, THIS BIG."


03 2010

Gettin’ Better

I love this image. I took it while out with my BFF for some . . . therapy.

Many of you who follow me on Facebook know that I have been dreadfully ill for well over a week now. The story is quite hilarious, and I’ll be posting about it soon.

In the mean time, chill out and pour yourself one of these . . . I’ll be back in a jiff.


03 2010