Monday, June 27, 2011

Manic Mondays

I thought I lived in Tucson, not Phoenix.

Needless to say, Turk isn't the only "Sluggo" dawdling around the house today...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

{thoughts} networking, negativity + needing goals

Sometimes I have this terrible habit of comparing myself to others.

The thing is, this terrible habit of mine flows in two directions. Usually it starts with a simple perusing of the Internet for inspiration. What's this person shooting? How are they shooting? Where are they shooting? Oh-em-geeee, they are so much better than me! Cue: downward spiral of shame.

Then, sometimes, I fly in the other direction. We're talking off the charts, cue downward spiral of shame for the wrong reasons. Like, shut your mouth, you're being nasty, "Oh-em-geeee, where did that thought even come from???" type of wrong reasons. Yes, it deserves three question marks. Because, you know what? I judge, and I judge bad. And I hate that about myself.

It usually starts quite innocently, with a simple perusing of the Internet for inspiration. Where are other photographers advertising? How much are they charging? Oh-em-geeee, are you serious? Why on earth do they think they can charge that much? They need more practice. People should not be paying for this. Why are people booking them and not me? This isn't fair. Life isn't fair. I need to work harder. And now, yet again, cue: downward spiral of shame.

So here's the downright, can't believe I'm putting this out there, god-forsaken truth: I am too quick to criticize, compare and speak negatively not only of myself, but of others. And guess what? It really has nothing to do with the other photographers at all. It's me, all me. I'm basically projecting my negative thoughts and feelings, my worries, upon others. Side note: I apologize to anyone who never knew that I said something internally negative. So, so sorry. I didn't mean it, really.

What, do you ask, is the point of this exceedingly rambling post? In hope of holding myself accountable, I'm going to start posting goals up on the Internet, for all to see.

Here's the first one:

Something I'm working on daily is to be supportive of others. To be a guiding light, to give advice freely - no matter what. I want to be available, I want to be approachable. I want to put out what I would like to receive, but not expect to receive it. I want to be positive even when negativity is trying it's darnedest to win. I want to be a teacher.

And I want to start a Tucson networking group for photographers.

From what I can tell, it doesn't exist. The closest PUG is in Scottsdale. There isn't much of a resource for people starting out, or even established photogs who want to hang out with other photogs. Not having mentors or local resources is like trying to swim in quicksand. It makes it so much easier to give up, and I don't want anyone to give up! If this is what you want to do, you should do it! And you should have the resources to do so. So if you're a local, e-mail me!

A friend of mine posted this quote the other day. It actually inspired this post and helped me put things into perspective.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

{olivia marie} tucson newborn photographer

Doctor: "So what do you do for a living?"
Dianne: "I'm a photographer."
Doctor: "Oh! That's great! What do you photograph?"
Dianne: "Primarily weddings and babies."
Assistant, chiming in: "Wow, you never really have a bad day at work, do you?"
Dianne: "You know? Nope, no, I really don't."

You really can't go wrong, or even have a bad day, when you get to meet, watch and capture beautiful things.

Introducing: Miss Olivia Marie

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

{things that make me happy} family time

My family is pretty spread out. I was born in Missoula, Montana but raised in the Seattle area (Kirkland, to be specific. Heard of Costco Kirkland Signature? What, what!). I left Kirkland at 18 and never went back, off on my Montana college adventure. Needless to say, it was a bit of a culture shock. Smaller, yes. Less-diverse, yes. And wait, y'all don't wear seatbelts? I can jay-walk? There's no open-container law?! (There is now, but a mere nine years ago, there was not - outside of city limits, that is.)

After many threats to abandon Missoula and high-tail it back to Seattle, my parents forced me to stay (and a good friend talked me into giving it one more chance), and guess what? Things changed. I spent a lot of time with my family - the extended half. My aunt and uncle became my second parents, my cousin evolved into a brother. I took a lot of pictures, enjoyed coffee and battled some demons. Then, eighteen months into my "Montana adventure," I met the cheese to my bread, the sun to my shine, my future MOH - my best friend, Lacee. She got me to loosen up, be more outgoing and took me on her kind of adventures. She dragged me on back roads going way too fast (I thought I was going to die), took me to the fair (it's not that kind of fair), taught me about 4H (it's more than cows and pigs, it paid for her college education) and 6-man football (yes, it exists). Most importantly, she taught me a lot about family.

I love my family, whether they're related by blood, marriage or friendship. I love them more because I've learned it's not about our differences, our drama or who's doing what - it's about enjoying each other when you're together, especially now that we're so far apart. We live in Arizona. My parents live in Austin, Texas. My brother is in Missoula. Mike's brother lives in Portland, Oregon. Mike's parents are in Butte, Montana but his extended family is in Los Angeles. I have aunts, uncles and cousins scattered across Montana and Washington. Our best friends (who are very much family) literally live in every corner of the nation. So basically, I'm lucky if I see these people once a year. This year it was twice! Thank goodness for celebratory occasions. First, our wedding. Second, my brother's college graduation. Although those who couldn't make it were missed, it was still fun. Here are a few pics of the graduation party last month in Missoula and a little introduction to some more of my "family."
Left: Grammie+JC. Right: Yours truly with said aunt+uncle, my "second" parents.

My dad, JC's buddy Greg, JC and part of Mikey.

Monday, June 6, 2011

{travel recap} sedona

A little side note re: yours truly...

I have a serious case of relocation-itis. It is accompanied by an ever more dire disease I have coined as "travel fever" - a situation that cannot, unfortunately, be cured by more cowbell.

As of this year, {mike+I} have developed a pretty consistent pattern: every two years or so, we move.

Sometimes less, sometimes more, sometimes near and sometimes far, but we are always looking forward to where we're going "next." This month we're moving 70 miles northwest of our current location (where we have lived approximately 18 months. Not that I was counting...) Last time it was 2000 miles south. Before that, 700 miles west. You get my drift. It's become our m.o. Lately, most of our discussions have centered around where we would be willing to go next - because there will be a next. Durham, North Carolina and Ohio have been on the list. The former might be a fun change of pace, but the jury is still out on Ohio. I like to think I'd be game to live anywhere, but Ohio? Hmmm... (no offense, Ohio-ans. By the way, is that what you are? Ohio-ans?)

Anyway! Basically, the only remedy we have discovered to assuage both of these terrible* problems is to go somewhere (read: anywhere) on a regular basis. It is also a much more manageable (read: affordable) option. It might be a road trip 500 miles west to L.A. to visit family. It might be a plane ride to the Northwest. It might be a stay-cation. It is basically anything to keep us busy, but also let us experience where we currently live and everything it has to offer. Besides, curing travel fever does require, um, traveling. So, for one of our April trips (and for my birthday), we decided to visit Sedona.

Sedona is a beautiful little artsy-fartsy town nestled among the Red Rocks of Northern Arizona. It is only a half-hour from Flagstaff and two hours from Phoenix, but feels like a world away. It is paradise for rock climbers, hikers and outdoorsmen (or women). There are mountains! And rocks! And get this: WATER! I can definitely see why it was a spiritual location for Native Americans (and still is). The beauty is stunning, and so very different from anything else you find in Arizona. Also, if spiritual things float your boat, it is supposedly a vortex mecca. Not really my thing, but the hiking was great!

We spent the majority of our weekend in Boynton Canyon because it was dog-friendly. Slide Rock State Park is supposed to be pretty dang awesome, but alas, super busy and no dogs allowed. Here are a few photos** from our hiking extravaganza.

*Sarcasm very much intended. Please do not take offense. If you suffer from any sort of actual "dire disease," my heart goes out to you and I wish you the best.
**Disclaimer: I am not, nor will I ever claim to be, a great landscape photographer. I love trees, but they don't love my camera. I'll stick to taking pictures of people - and my dogs. Cheers!

I do, occasionally, get a great landscape shot. Love this.

Hike #3: We hoofed up to this mesa in record time to see the sun set. Awesome.

Friday, June 3, 2011

{things that make me happy} giving away gift cards!

I recently ran a gift-card giveaway on facebook. Yay! Wait, what? You didn't know?! Maybe you should be my fan!

Okay, shameless plug over and back to the point. So! I recently ran a gift-card giveaway on facebook... as all you wonderful people share, love + like my page, my fans increase, so I said that I would give away a $15 Starbucks gift card to one lucky winner if we hit 200 fans. Well, last night we hit 200 fans! Double yay!

Drumroll please...

The winner is: Jahna Jurenka!

As time goes on, and y'all share, share, share, the goodies are going to get bigger+better. Think big, friends! Stay tuned, the new giveaway will be announced on Monday.

Here's proof I did a random number generator, and after counting down 70 fans (yes, I did that manually...), the winner! 

{PS} Please forgive the extremely crude use of Photoshop's paint tool on the winner screen print. What can I say? I don't use it very often!

Tucson Newborn Photographer ~ Sneak Peek: Olivia!

So, someday {mike+I} want a little bub of our own, but for now I can live vicariously through my friends' adorable babies! Keep it up, friends!

Here's a sneak peek of what's in store for y'all in the next week or two - a teeny, tiny little girl with one of my favorite names of all time: Olivia Marie. Little Miss O decided to join us last Sunday!

Staring contest... 1, 2, 3... GO!