Jan 24, 2014
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I came across this cactus early in the morning last spring.  I was about an hour’s drive north of Phoenix on a church youth trip and I was  a little out of my element.   I suspect it was clipped to grow into this shape. Either way it’s amazing.  As we approach Valentine’s Day, the season of looove, I’m sure you can come up with your own caption.Cactus Heart

Dec 28, 2013
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Earlier this month we celebrated my dad’s birthday.  It’s always fun (and crazy) to get everyone together… you never know what is going to happen.  Grandpa asked the kids to help blow out the candles and I was there to document it!  The kids played upstairs, downstairs and outside.  Towards the end of the evening I heard water running from the laundry room sink and went to investigate.  My son’s answer to my question, “What are you doing?”  was a bit jumbled but included the words “handcuffs” and “super glue”.  Lots of things ran through my head at that point but fortunately it wasn’t as bad as it sounded.    He was trying to glue a plastic key from his toy handcuffs back together and got some on his hands.  I have to say… I’m a little nervous for the teenage years. december 2013

Happy Birthday

Nov 03, 2013
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Tis the season for family portraits. You’ve scheduled the appointment, planned the outfits, and given the family a pep talk. After all that effort, please don’t ignore this piece of advice…don’t go to the shoot on an empty stomach!   You are probably thinking that bribing the family with dinner after the shoot will ensure good behavior during the shoot. I’m all for bribes, but cranky subjects do not take good pictures! When your stomach is grumbling, you are distracted, irritable, and impatient. This is especially true if some of your family members are less than excited about the session in the first place.

Now you are thinking, “We don’t have time to eat before the shoot!”  Prepare ahead of time by packing a few snacks and some water to bring in the car.   Just be sure to pack food that will not stain their clothes. Crackers, pretzels, nuts, and carrot sticks are all good choices. Stay away from sticky candy, food with red or blue dye, or anything covered in cheese dust. I usually try to have a few suckers or candy canes (depending on the season) on hand at the shoot as a visual motivation to cooperate, but they don’t get it until after the session. Now go pack your photo snacks!braxton frown

Nov 01, 2013
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Every year our family goes out to Mother Nature’s Farm to pick out pumpkins for Halloween.  It’s not the closest pumpkin patch to our house, and there are always a million other things going on around Halloween, but it as become a tradition in our family and the kids love it.   If you are wondering why there are no pictures of the boys carving their pumpkins, they were following the other pumpkin tradition… after the first five minutes of carving, they get bored and go do something else, like jump on the trampoline.  My daughter freehanded the Nightmare Before Christmas pumpkin.  I think they all turned out cute!

pumpkins2013

Oct 31, 2013
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Happy Halloween everyone!  Have a great night filled with costumes, candy and fun.  Be safe!

Piratecostume

Oct 29, 2013
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You can get $25 off  your christmas cards and your envelopes addressed for free!  Minted.com is offering new customers $25 off their first order of $50 or more.  Perfect timing for getting a jump on those Christmas cards.  They also sell business cards, party supplies, journals, stationary, and other paper goods.

Minted.com has a new service that sounds awesome.  They will print recipient addresses on your envelopes for free!   Minted.com has several ways of entering addresses.  You can send emails to people requesting their address.  You just list the email addresses and they receive an email that includes a link for them to enter the information and boom, it’s in your address book.  You can also use Facebook to request addresses through a private message or as a Facebook post.

If you have your addresses written down or already in a spreadsheet, the Address Assistant program is designed to help you load them.  Currently the Address Assistant is in beta, and there is no customer support available yet for this feature.  I tried using it to upload some of my addresses via a .cvs file with several failed attempts.  I decided to try cutting and pasting the addresses individually, however the software would not let me paste.  I was able to type in a few addresses though.  I think the service will be great once they get the software bugs figured out.  It’s worth a try to see if the import feature works for you.  Sometimes programs behave differently on Macs and PCs.  I tried it on a Mac.

I was a little concerned about privacy and handing over the addresses of my friends and loved ones, so I looked into it.  ”We’ll never share your address book with anyone,” is stated on the website.  That satisfied me but if you are still concerned, their privacy policy gets into more detail.

If anyone has a tip on getting the .cvs file to load, please comment below and share your tips.

Oct 27, 2013
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The Tiffany Foundation was formed in honor of Tiffany Floth Romero who died of inflammatory Breast Cancer in 2006.   The foundation’s mission statement is to “provide hope to women afflicted with breast cancer”.   They aim to create awareness for inflammatory breast cancer, support women currently struggling with breast cancer, and to support organizations seeking a cure.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer and has a faster doubling time than all other types of breast cancers.  IBC is usually found in women under 40 and its symptoms can be similar to mastitis.  Because of the growth pattern, it is not often detected by mammograms or ultrasounds.   To learn more visit http://www.ibcresearch.org/.

Each spring The Tiffany Foundation hosts the Boob-B-Q.  These images are from the 2013 Boob-B-Q.  They are always having great fundraisers and activities.

bbq2 boobbq1

Oct 01, 2013
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October is breast cancer awareness month so I’ve decided to blog about people and organizations dedicated to helping those with breast cancer. My Hope Bag was founded by Sarah Ellery.   She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.  After going through treatments and receiving an “all clear” from her doctors, she wanted to help other women through the journey.  The goal of My Hope Bag is to support and encourage women while they are going through their battle with breast cancer.

I first met these ladies a few years ago.  They were coordinating a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk and asked me to photograph the event.   I recently photographed their annual Breast Cancer Expo, designed for individuals with breast cancer, survivors, and their support system.  The expo is filled with resources for support, treatment, post-mastectomy clothing, wigs, healthy options, and a little fun.  If you would like to volunteer, donate, or just want to know more, check out the My Hope Bag website.

MyHopeBag2 MyHopeBag1

Sep 24, 2013
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24-Sep-13This year as you are preparing for your family portrait, please please PLEASE listen to this family photography tip: Just Say No to Dad Jeans!

I know how it goes… the kids get cute new outfits, mom puts together a nice little number for herself, and dad is lucky to get a new shirt.  I get it.   Dad often doesn’t like to shop and is the most agreeable to wearing, well, whatever.  But don’t let him wear dad jeans.  You know the pair I’m talking about…they are high waisted with a light or faded wash and a tapered leg.  As a general rule, dad’s pants shouldn’t be lighter than his shirt.   If he doesn’t have any dark jeans, it might be time for a shopping trip.

Please don’t be confused by all the recent articles on Dad Jeans being back in style.  If you are an IT nerd sporting a pair of jeans you bought from Sam’s Club seven years ago, they aren’t talking to you!  I don’t care if the President wears them.  Instead, go out and buy a new pair.  What should you look for? Try a dark wash, straight leg cut, and a lower rise waist.

saynotodadjeans

Sep 24, 2013
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