Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Life Worth Living...

 Another whirlwind of a week.(and it's only Wednesday!) It took the three of us most of Monday night to finish up Brendon's science project for the science fair. Don't get me wrong, we do not / will not do Brendon's work for him. This was mostly cutting and pasting while he rewrote several notes that apparently needed to be handwritten instead of typed. He has a few advanced classes one of which is science and sometimes I wonder just how far advanced they are. ( and yeah, I'm bragging on him a little...)
Anyway, as I noted last week, I've been trying to drum up some business and so far I've netted a couple of weddings, two senior pictures, a family portrait and three hopeful shoots. I've decided to try and get an ad on craigslist and put together a cd montage for prospective customers to check out too. This, I think, would be a good move for business.
 Oh yeah, then there's the Missouri Life magazine assignment I got last week. That was a very neat shoot with a couple of high school girls that have their own apparently very profitable, chicken farm. But that story will have to wait until another time. Right now I've got to find some Beatles music for a friend at work. Hey, I've got to say- anyone who likes the Beatles is alright by me!
 But as for this photo it's just a scene that I felt was relaxing to look at and I seem to need that more and more these days. But if this is the kind of excitement that my life will be filled with then I say bring it on. Bring all you got because that's the kind of stuff that makes life worth living...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Beginning of a Great Friendship...

 Yesterday was one of the best days I've had in a long time.That's not to say that I don't have good days by any means. I do. I have plenty of good days. Like my friend Glenn says, "Every day is good, somes just gooder'n others!" I sure like Glenn's outlook on life.
 But yesterday was an extra special day for me. I attended the launch party for the April issue of Missouri Life magazine in which my very first published works are found. That's right, I am now a published photographer! (yay for me!) And yes, I was invited. Sorry, I don't mean to sound so vain. It's just that this is a point that I've been working towards for some time now and I'm actually what you might call ecstatic about it.
 The party was up in Columbia, Mo. and that's about am three hour drive from Springfield but everyone that I talked to about it (and I mean everyone) said it was the right thing to do. You know, put a face with the emails. Leave a good impression. Give them something to remember. ( I'm pretty sure that they couldn't forget this mug!)
 Every one of the magazine staff that I met was very friendly and also very encouraging about my photography. As a matter of fact, I left the party with another assignment and that in itself is very encouraging to me. I stayed the hour and a half that the party lasted and then it was back home for me. It's a good thing that I like to drive because that trip was twenty percent meet and greet and eighty percent drive time. You probably could have figured out that last percentage.
 At any rate it looks like the beginning of a great friendship between Missouri Life and me. May it last many years...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's Spring!

 Man, this is what I think springtime is all about! The grass is turning green, the trees are budding and the sky is blue. Today was exceptionally great for the first day of Spring! The temperature was somewhere near 80 degrees, there was a (mostly) light breeze and the sun was shining. We raked up the dead leaves from last fall and winter and I trimmed a couple bushes to start them out right for the soon to be revealed displays of color.
 With this kind of weather and the occasional rains we've been getting the full array of colors will be upon us and then unfortunately, in a blink of an eye it will be gone. Which is too bad because I seem to have quite a few offers to do family portraits or senior pictures this time of year only to lose them to the suddenness of summer's entrance onto the scene.Then it's "well let's wait for fall" and it's the same all over again. I don't blame anyone because I know how fast things can pass without getting done. At least some part of my fence can attest to that.
 I have quite a few offers to do photo shoots and the time is drawing near to get them going so I'll just have to be a little more agressive this year and bug the crap out of these people until they set a date and we have a plan. A plan...hmmm, that sounds like a pretty good idea...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


 The fence around our back yard actually consists of four different types of fencing that were there long before us. There's the chain link that faces the front of the property (you know-proper appearances), the wire fence on the west side (this might be called high tensile fence, I'm not sure), old wire fence on the east side (again, high tensile?- I don't know) and the ever popular barbed wire fence in the back.
 Now, I don't really get the barbed wire in the back. That's where the field is. There are no cattle or horses there, no open trails (it's not that big) nor is it close enough to any thoroughfares where any stray pedestrian might want to cross over into our yard. But what is there is 'possums, armadillos, the occasional cat and last but certainly not least - skunks! Barbed wire will not keep any of these out, nor has it.
 The other problem with that back fence, is that it not only doesn't keep critters out but it doesn't keep one particular critter in- our dog Tabasco. Tabasco is a chihuahua and he doesn't require a very large space to start with so even two barbed wire fences is not enough to hold him in when he's ready to go around to visit his true love Piper. Piper, by the way, is a Great Pyrenees/Bull Mastiff mix so he comes up to about her ankle. Just thought you might like that visual.
 To put a stop to Tabasco's escapades I finally decided to put chicken wire all along the bottom edge of the back fence and that has seemed to stop him. Piper's owners have had to add an electric fence to put a stop to Piper after she discovered that being almost six foot tall when standing on her hind legs she could easily make it over the fence.
 It's a sad sight these days. Tabasco sits at the edge of the fence and watches Piper's every move as he always has only now he knows that that's as close as he's going to get. Piper keeps her distance, having learned her lesson the hard way. I think that maybe I'll throw Tabasco over the fence once in a while just to see if  he'll get tired of that giant paw swatting at him or being wallowed around by Piper's great big ol' slobbering mouth.
 But you know what? I seriously doubt that he will...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Good Sittin' Spot

 This photo isn't exactly a great photo. It could use a little more color probably. The trees could definitely stand some leaves on them and maybe the grass could be a little greener to be well, a little more pleasing to the eye.
 But what makes this a photo something I wanted to show you is the fact that I spent some time there yesterday afternoon - just sittin'. I wanted to hopefully share a little of me because places like this are what makes my life a little bit easier. Somewhere that I can just sit and listen to the sounds of the birds chirping and the wind breezing through the trees with the sun's warmth spreading over me like an invisible blanket. I value my alone time. Probably because it gives me a chance to clear my head and some time to just have a nice casual conversation with God. You know, maybe to tell Him how cool this spot is and how thankful I am for the warm Saturday afternoon that gave me cause to go out and find this spot in a season where warm afternoons are rare. Actually I've been near here more than once and possibly even took it in from another angle but this day I saw it in an all together different light and it called out to me. Most likely because I needed it to call out to me. It called to me before I even saw it but I knew it was there and I knew just how to get to it.
 It's going to be one of my favorite sittin' spots I'm sure. And if I get caught up and stay too long to go forward and find some good shots well, that will be ok too because I'll be a better person for having spent the time there. Having a good sittin' spot is essential. So go out and find yourself a sittin' spot, open your heart and listen to what it can tell you...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Almost Here...

Another seemingly exhausting effort to get something posted again tonight! This heap of a computer pretty much does what it wants when it wants, I think. The time when the machines take over the world is drawing near! (ok, whatever...)
 So anyway, back to reality. No big story here tonight. I've just been getting antsy for warm weather and the miracles of spring to get here. So when I came across this photo I could feel it drawing me into it's warmth and I didn't really want to leave it so I decided to share it in hopes that it warms you like it has me.
  Hang in there, springtime is almost here...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

You're Somewhere Else...

 Well, I guess that daylight savings time is just around the corner and to me that's just another reminder that spring is upon us. The temperatures are fluctuating daily which means that eventually I'll start leaving my jacket at work, not remembering that I brought it that morning when the chill in the air required it.
 I noticed a willow tree the other day that had just a hint of green to it. Honestly I'm not sure if that's too early for a willow or not. They seem to always be the first to show their color.
 Willow trees, for some reason, always remind me of my childhood. I don't remember ever having one in our yard. I don't even remember any of my friends having one either but somehow they affected me so that they made some sort of implant in my memory. Something to do with just being a kid. It's funny how our memories are shaped. I'd have to say that probably most of our memories are due to direct incidents- I suppose that's kind of an obvious statement. It's those memories that are more of a feeling than that of a person, place or thing that affect me the most, I think. It's a certain smell. Not necessarily one that you can identify like the oatmeal cookies that make you think of your grandmother but one that flits past your nose so quick that your not even sure you smelled it and suddenly you're somewhere else.
 It's the way the sunlight comes through a window for a moment. But it only takes a glance at the combination of light and shadow somewhere in that brief moment and you're somewhere else.
 It's the rolling of a cloud, the brush of a breeze on your cheek or the rustling of leaves and in an instant you're somewhere else.
 If you're lucky you can reach out and grab that feeling and hold onto it. Most times you can't hold on very long. But if you hold on tight and dig deep enough maybe you'll get a taste of that memory. For me, it never seems to get down to anything tangible but just to have the memory of that feeling is enough I guess... for now.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Down Life's Highway...

 I've spoken before about my friend Larry and his on going encouragement. Recently Larry set me up with the publisher of Missouri Life magazine. I should probably explain that better. Larry writes articles for Missouri Life and he mentioned me to the publisher,Greg Wood, who in turn gave Larry permission to give me his email address. After exchanging a couple of emails and checking out my blog Mr. Wood forwarded my name on to the editor, Danita Wood (his wife) who in turn put me on the list of photographers to contact. I'm not sure what the list's official tag is but there were other photographers on it and they did contact me so I'm calling it the contact list for future reference.
 Twice I was asked about possibly having any photos of certain areas and twice I did not. Therefore I did what any aspiring photographer would do and I went out and traveled the highways and byways and got shots of the requested sights.This, my friends has paid off! The upcoming April issue will feature photos from yours truly! This is awesome to say the least. I can only hope that this is just the beginning- for Missouri Life magazine and whatever else the good Lord brings my way. By the way this roadside sign just caught my eye and I had to stop and look at it for awhile. I mean the message is clear but I just really like it's setting. Out in the middle of nowhere it's just a quiet reminder for those who care to take the time and read it as they're speeding off down life's highway...