June 2011

A Birthday Surprise

When my friend asked if I would do a boudoir shoot for her husband’s birthday present I was excited to try something new.  I wanted to make them a piece of art rather than a pin-up.  I had seen this post on “kiss the groom” (a fast favorite) and wanted to try something similar.  Although with a one week deadline, we weren’t ready to dive in to a totally new medium.  We created something with a similar feel using materials easily found a the art store.

I did take the plunge and purchased a Lens Baby Composer to aid in the feel of the images.  I bet you don’t know that while in school I photographed all my assignments using a crappy Cannon Rebel 35mm which would scratch my film plane even.  Oh, those were the days.  Then BYU’s photo department secured a few 4×5″ cameras which we could rent.  Well I checked out one of those 40 lb cases whenever I could.  I loved the 4×5 cameras and I loved tilting that front plane.  I used those cameras in my illustration class, which was mostly product work (which I hated) and proceeded to use it for the portrait class.  My teacher asked that I stop shooting with the large format camera.  He wanted the images to be less staged (they were still pretty loose, I thought).  At the time I didn’t really feel the need to practice shooting people with my slr.  I had had plenty of time on that thing.

That spring we visited some photographers in Los Angeles who photographed people using a 4×5 camera.  Kids and families even!  They were high end portraitists who would present proofs (4×5″ contact prints) in handmade books and photographed wiggly kids using a camera that took time to set up and was difficult to move around.  Unbelievable.  Wish I could remember who they were so I could get an update on their work.  That was probably 15 years ago.

Since that time I have always wanted a 4×5″ camera of my own, or get a tilt-shift lens.  But I never wanted to lug the equipment around or spend the dough for the tilt shift lens.  I couldn’t imagine shooting a wedding and having to set up 3 different cameras.  Just too much stuff to deal with.  But whenever I saw 4×5 or 8×10 cameras being used for wedding photography, I would always dream of ways to make it work.

Fast forward to 2011.  Film is pretty much dead (unless you talk with Jonathan) but I still have the desire to load the film and crank the knobs and get some type 55 polaroid.  Oooo, and a vintage, uncoated lens.  Buying a $250 lens baby makes me feel a bit like a sell out.  Really, everyone’s got one…  every blogger mom in the world owns one.  Why am I just hearing about them?  Am I really that out of the loop?  Apparently.  I want the hack product too.  It’s $250.  In the world of lens, that’s super cheap.   It’ll hold me over until I decide I need the real thing.  Tonight I will  dream of all the things I could do with a 4×5 camera.


We found these wooden frames which I’m sure are made for someone to paint on.  They were a convenient 4×6 size!  We just got some sheet adhesive, not sure what it is called, and mounted the prints to the frames.  Then we used some jell medium or something… who knows.  It sounded a lot like mod podge.  I almost bought the glossy mod podge, but I’m glad I didn’t.  This stuff smelled much better.  Sorry the details are a little fuzzy.  This happened in April and all the supplies are packed away some place in my garage.

Someone Else’s Beautiful House

These are the after shots of my neighbors’ home. They added about 900 sq ft to their AA home and I think Chris Craver at C2 Architect did a wonderful job with the design. Lesley and Tim know what a cool house Ed Hawkins designed and built, they just needed a little extra space. Sometimes 900 sq ft just isn’t enough room for a modern family.
You know when you head downstairs in some 70’s ranch and find yourself in a wood paneled world of hell? Yes, we’ve all been there. When you see wood paneling done right it is so amazing. It sings. Makes me want to add reams and reams of wood paneling in our house. Ahhhh.

This is the original front room. You can see the stairwell on the right. This used to have waist high rod iron railing separating the living and family room. Now the family room is an extra bedroom. They also used this stairwell as a model for their’s.

The living room opens to the kitchen, as it always did. Minus the bar, which would have been smacking into my lens from this angle. Now the kitchen opens to the new family and dining room. The entire west wall of this room opens, thanks to a giant Nana Wall, to an expansive patio (still under construction, come on L and T keep lifting those pavers!) and kitchen garden. You can see Lesley and Tim at work here on their blog. There are probably a few before shots somewhere on there too.

Nana Wall.

Family and dining room looking in from the patio.

Kitchen with it’s green slider cupboards and the boy who lives here.

Last Day of School

This is India playing at Ezra’s preschool on his last day of school. Her’s was two days earlier. She is excited for the various adventures the summer will bring, but I know she can’t wait to get back to school with her classmates in the fall.
What are your kids up to these days? Are they out of school yet? We’ve already had three weeks of vacation… is that right?! Yes, I think it is. Unbelievable.
Hopefully I can keep this blog updated more frequently throughout the summer. I’ve been the house painter these past two weeks. Did you know it takes for-ev-er to paint doors? I have painted 7, with 3 more to go. I will never get those 12 hours back. But I must say everything is looking so beautiful. I wish I had before pictures so you could go through them and say “ewwww”… then “ahhhh”. When the rooms looked like crap, I didn’t have a need to photograph their unique brand of crappyness. Once I do get around to shooting what things look like now, you’ll just have to trust me when I say everything looks much better.

The New Wall

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If any of you are my friend on Facebook (or in real life) you know we have had some major work going on at our house. New floors, new mahogany wall, and I finally refinished the bathroom cabinetry.
Here is Zed showing off the new wall. Anson took out the outlet and the light switch so I don’t have to digitally remove them anymore.

More images to come of the changes we’ve made to the house. Oh and another Arapahoe Acres home shoot coming up too.