Photography is the story I fail to put into words.
But in case you want to read my words too...
Northern Utah Photographer and Videographer
This past summer, my husband, 4 boys, sister, niece and nephew drove to Vegas, and hopped on a plane to Anchorage! We went to go visit my sister and her family, as well as my parents who are there until March of this year. I did post a little bit about taking some alone time to find Serenity in Alaska, but other than that, I didn't post much about our trip here. Although Alaska is beautiful landscape country, I had two problems in finding time to go out to shoot landscapes. #1 was the near 20 hours of daylight...it's hard to go chasing sunset or sunrise when they happen at 11 pm and 4 am everyday. #2 was the fact that there was so much family and honestly I wanted to spend the majority of my time capturing memories of our time together. So that's what I did. While I got a handful of some awesome pictures (most are in the Serenity post), I focused mostly on making a family film of our time there so we could look back and remember the fun we had! So without further ado, here's a longish (4 minute) look at what we did in beautiful Alaska!
Have you had the chance to visit Alaska yet? If so, where did you go and what did you do?
Every year for the last 8 or 9 years, I have chosen a word of the year. It's always interesting to me to see how the word I've chosen each year has helped guide me in different ways! Some years my word has helped more than others. A few years ago, I chose the word brave, and it helped me in some tougher situations when I was feeling a lot of anxiety--I'd repeat to myself many times "I am brave". Some of my words of the year that made a big impact were: focus, simplify, trust and be. I can't remember all of them, honestly. Some years my words meant more than others...I probably should've written them down in a list somewhere, but I didn't, so maybe I'll even choose one of my words again in the future! ;)
For 2019, my word of the year was light. I focused on using light better in my photography, and since we were studying the New Testament in our church this year, I also wanted to focus on being a light to the world as Jesus Christ would have me be. I loved my word, and I feel it guided me a lot in things I did, said and observed!
As each year begins to wind down, I start looking for a word for the next year. To find my word, I think about my goals, what I've learned or want to learn, who I want to be and where I want to be by this time next year. I look for a word that really sticks out to me, or one that I see over and over. While searching for my 2020 word, I kept seeing one word over and over. Joy.
At first I thought it was silly, it was the holidays after all, and of course it's a word I see a lot during the holidays. But for some reason this year, this word kept popping out more than normal. I thought, what? Really? Why is this word sticking out to me this year? I'm not sure why, maybe I need to be more optimistic, or find joy in the mundane or when I'm going through hard times. At any rate, I'm really excited to bring more joy into my life everyday!
Every year, I find a quote that I really love to hang where I can see it to remind me of my word. This year I came across a talk given by the President of my church a few years ago. It says, "When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation, and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy." (-Russell M. Nelson) I love that he reminds us to focus on the most important thing, and no matter what's going on in our lives, we can find true joy! All I have to say to that is, bring on the true joy! I'm excited to see how it will shape my 2020!
Do you do a word of the year? If so, what is it? If not, well, get on it and try it out this year! :)
In September I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Magic in the Tetons Retreat, hosted by my dear friend Kristen Ryan. I live only 4 hours from Grand Teton National Park, and I visit there every year with my family, and sometimes even twice a year. I love the beauty that is there and I feel truly blessed to live so close! (I shared more of my experience there in a post about my morning at Oxbow Bend.)
I recently finished making a short film of my magical time there. Since it was a photography retreat, taking pictures was my first priority, so I didn't get video clips of everything we saw or did, but I feel I got a good representation of the magic it was being there in the fall! (Did I mention that I've never been there in the fall?!? I know...crazy sauce, right?)
So sit back, and enjoy a couple of minutes of the magic of fall in the Tetons!
As it is Christmas this week, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and happy holidays to all who celebrate other holidays as well. :)
I have a love/hate relationship with winter. I absolutely detest being cold--I'd much rather be too hot than too cold. But, I really, really love the beauty of winter, especially fresh snow!
To me, there is nothing as serene as fresh snow, blanketing the world in white. The softness, the purity and the freshness always make me smile and I could stare at it for hours! (So could my kids! Really, the wonder of a fresh snowstorm is magical!)
Thank goodness for windows, because I was able to capture some snowy serenity from the warmth and comfort of my home!
What about you? Are you a fan of cold or hot? Do you love snow too?
The Serenity Project is a monthly gathering of friends, seeking serenity in our everyday lives. Please continue in the Serenity Circle to see how some of my friends found their own slices of serenity. Next up is Eileen Critchley, Ohio Photographer.
I love crafting, but it's one thing that has kind of taken a back seat in my life right now. I decided to change that the other day, and made a frame to hang all of my little 4-inch printed pictures from Instagram. I love seeing them, some of them years old, and remembering the fun things we've done and how cute my kids were when they were little! Okay, they're still cute, but let's be honest: no one is as cute at 10 as they were at 4.
I used to have one of these frames on my kitchen wall, but a few too many times of a ball hitting it made it fall off the wall, and the frame is now in a few pieces in the landfill. :( I really missed having those pictures where I could see them everyday, so I wanted to make a new one to get those pictures back up on my wall. It's super easy, and I'll show you how to make one yourself! (And hopefully you don't have to work around an ugly thermostat like I did...)
Step 1: Gather your materials
Step 2: Decide on a few things
First of all, you'll need to decide where to put your frame, and which direction to hang it. I ultimately decided on this wall in my kitchen and to hang it vertically. My pictures are 4" square prints from Persnikety Prints (my favorite place to get them printed!) and I decided to have my strings spaced at 4.5 inches. I also did a little math (not my strong suit) to make sure it would work, by measuring the open part of the frame and dividing it. If you have various sizes of prints, I recommend spacing your strings at different intervals, so you can accommodate them. (P.S. Please ignore the mess in the other room...kids...that's all I have to say, right?!?)
Step 3: Measure, then measure again!
Get your ruler out, and make your first mark about .5" from the top. You'll need room for your mini clothespins on the top string. Then, measure and mark your decided upon intervals carefully on the back of the frame where it won't be seen. Do this on both sides and look to make sure they are lined up (unless you are going for slanted strings, which is totally okay if you're doing it on purpose!)
Step 4: Secure your strings to the frame
When your marks are just how you want them, get your string out and lay it on the mark. Secure it with a staple gun using 1-2 staples per side/string. Then pull it across to the other mark, holding the string taught. Secure on the other side, then cut excess off with scissors. (You don't want to cut it before you secure it, so that you have some extra pulling power to keep it tight.) I looped my twin around and used 2 staples just to give it an extra holding power.
Step 5: Hang it!
Before you actually hang your frame on the wall, I recommend sticking a felt circle thingy on the four corners. Yes, I said thingy because I can't recall what they're actually called, but they're round, and you usually put them on the bottom of chairs so they don't scuff your hard floors. I did this because my staples were on the back frame, and I didn't want them to scratch my wall. It also gives a little bit of extra room for the clothespins to hang naturally.
I find it a bit easier to hang my pictures on the strings before hanging it on the wall, but you can do whatever you'd like! I also make sure the circle part of the clothes pin is what goes on the string, as opposed to the flat part of the clip--this makes it easier to slide the pictures along the strings to adjust where they are on the strings. If your strings are taught, the pictures won't be sliding on their own. :)
Step 6: Step back and enjoy your memories!
That's it! It's a super easy project to do, and once you have all the materials, it takes 20 minutes tops to get it completed! I hope to start sharing more photo projects with you in the future, so stay tuned! :)
In 2018 I took upon myself a personal film project. That project was to take video clips of my family throughout the month, then compile them into a monthly family film that I called "Hanging Out With the Hamson's". I actually did very well with this project and was able to edit each month's film by the 15th of the next month (which was my goal date). But something happened by the end of the year, or rather the beginning of this year. When we hit January and it was time for me to edit, I got it started then hit a road bump. Let's just say my computer was not my BFF at the moment. So December fell behind, then like any project, other projects popped up, clients needed their films and photos edited and my personal film fell to the wayside. It fell off so far that I kind of forgot about it...until a few days ago when I pulled up my big girl panties and I told myself I was going to get last year's film done asap...no matter what! It took me a few days, but without further ado, the December 2018 Hanging Out With the Hamson's is now officially done!
I love making family films! Maybe I've said it on here before, or maybe I haven't, but seriously...there's something about films that really make my heart happy! Could it be capturing the little nuances that kids do, or is it hearing a mother talk with her child, or maybe catching a phrase that is said often? What about how easy it is to see a small glimpse of what life at home is like at a certain time period, or the way siblings interact with each other? Or maybe it's possibly capturing a teenagers voice before it changes even more? What about all of the above? Yes...that's what I think, it's all of it! Now take those moments--moments that are nearly impossible to ever get back--and add in music. There's something about adding in the perfect song to those moments that makes films my favorite! I just big fat puffy heart love them, and I even bigger puffier heart love making them for others!
I had the opportunity to capture some moments of the Pali family at home in their cute little farm house, and out on the farm as dad plants crops. This is a typical day during farming season, and I was so grateful they let me come capture these moments for them!
I know I've never officially posted it anywhere, but I am making films for clients, as in it is now on my website (you can find more information on my film/video tab)! I'd love to make a film for your family, so contact me if you're interested!
I haven't posted in the Serenity Circle Project for awhile--between some computer issues and the normal stuff of life, my editing and blogging took a backseat. So, I am going to do a little catching up here. Hope you're okay with that! ;)
This last summer, my family went to Alaska for our summer vacation. My little sister has lived in Anchorage for 9 years now, and we've been to visit her a few times, and we decided to go again this summer to visit my parents too! They are living in Alaska for 18 months while they serve as missionaries for our church, and will be coming home in March of 2020. It was a good excuse to go explore more of that huge state, because we've only seen such a small portion of it. (This trip we mostly explored north of Anchorage to Fairbanks--other trips we've explored mostly the Kenai Peninsula.)
My littlest sister also came with us, so there was my family of 6, my parents, my little sister and her family of 6, and my littlest sister with her 2 kids--overall 17 of us! Though we weren't all together the entire 11 days, there was still plenty of chaos which sent my introverted self into someone who had to periodically leave for a few minutes with camera in hand to find some peace and serenity!
Before my trip, I decided that I wanted to do a little photography project, specifically for the Serenity Project--I would find times that I could sneak away and photograph the details of Alaska! So that's what I did! I focused on the small things--flowers and biomes that I don't see in Utah very often. I hopefully captured the serene details of this. (This was supposed to be my August serenity post...but here it is finally a few months later!)
I hope you found a little bit of Alaskan serenity like I did on my trip!
To feel more serenity today, continue around the Serenity Project to see how some of my friends found serenity in their lives too! Up next is the talented Janet Broughton, still life photographer, NW England.
The last week of September, I had the amazing opportunity to attend an in-person photography workshop in Grand Teton National Park. And it was amazing! My friend, Kristen Ryan, created this ladies-only retreat called The Magic of The Tetons, and boy was it magic! It was a small group of 11 of us, and besides getting to learn and grow in my photography, I got to meet some amazing women and formed some fun new friendships!
I have been to the Tetons many times, but with kids, it’s not always possible to go out and shoot at all hours of the day, or stay in one location to shoot to my heart’s content. But during the workshop, we were able to explore the park at sunrise, sunset and even to photograph the stars! And a bonus was, I was able to focus solely on my pictures, not hearing whining kids (and sometimes a whiny husband) who were ready to move on!
In addition to making some beautiful images at one of my favorite Tetons locations, I was able to do some creative work as well! I tried some zooming while shooting and in-camera double exposures that I'm honestly loving!
In addition to having an amazing time capturing this morning, it was a wonderful time just being in nature and soaking in the peace and quiet that only nature can bring to my soul!
Mt. Moran (the biggest mountain from this view) is my hubby's favorite in the Teton range, so I want to print one of these really big for his office...so which one do you think I should print for him???
The last 2 years, I have helped plan the Insta-Inspire Photography Retreat. It has not been all roses, but the retreat is definitely a highlight! In August, I traveled to Phoenix with the planning team so we could start planning our 2020 retreat. I made this quick film to highlight some of the beauty one can find in the desert. Yes, it was hotter than all get out in August, but come April, the desert will be in bloom and temperatures will be perfect! (You can see some of that desert blooming beauty in my spring break film when we were there this April!)
Sign ups are now open for the retreat! If you'd like to attend, or find out more information, check out the Insta-Inspire Photography Retreat website!