Friday, June 29, 2012

Full Time Photography [& a Sunflower!]

Today is the last working day in June & it was also my last day working in The Crystal Shop! You know what that means? I am now free to spend 100% of my working time/energy on photography! I'm so excited and what makes it even sweeter is that back in November I was writing goals and my #1 goal was....

Full Time Photography by June 2012

Goals do come true :P Now I currently do not have enough money in the bank to sustain me for long so 'full-time photography' is really going to have to mean 'full-time photography' and not 'full-time thinking about photography.' I've gotta find me some jobs :P I can't wait to see what I come up with. I have a sneaky suspicion that I'm going to have to hop out of my comfort zone to make this work. :P

Last night Rhiannon came over again for another photo shoot. This time she was singing (with a gorgeous voice that I got to hear for the first time) and I was holding down my shutter button to take continuous still photos of her movement. So many of those images are blurry and she's making odd faces but it was really fun.

I'm writing this blog post in the university library and just a minute ago my phone rang — embarrassing. It was Miggy and the signal was bad so I couldn't hear him but he couldn't hear me. We were getting irritated with each other and then finally he told me to walk out of the library. Reluctantly, I left my computer behind and stomped out towards the rain. I saw him standing there with his back to me. He had told me on the phone that he was going to the gym so what was he doing here at the library? I walked up to him and when I was close he turned around with a big bright happy sunflower!!!!!!! He said I needed a happy flower for a happy day! :D

He'd been waiting for me outside The Crystal Shop to surprise me with this beautiful "Congratulations, You're Done!" flower but I wasn't coming out for ages! He didn't realise that I had been allowed to leave the shop early today as a special treat. So that's why he called me wondering where I was. ha! Sneaky man. I'm soo happy :D I LOVE surprises and a flower surprise is often the best. He's soo sweeet!

So now that I am officially fully self-employed (farewell Crystal Shop!) and I have a beautiful sunflower sitting beside my computer, I am very happy. I hope you have a happy day too! :D


Thursday, June 28, 2012


When I was in 5th grade, despite the fact that my dress sense was rather atrocious (I actually wore my dad's old's shirts and baggy jeans sometimes- eek!) I was the only girl who had a 'boyfriend'.

BOYFRIEND :: (n) a boy you think is cute who like-likes you back. you can talk on the phone after school and stand closer to each other on the playground than everyone else

Then I moved to a junior high in a new school district. My deep meaningful relationship with said boyfriend came to an abrupt end the day his mother picked him up and drove him home. He didn't say goodbye and I've never seen him since. My fashion sense didn't improve much either and suddenly I was the little fish in the big pond. 

I desperately wanted to be cool. I must have exaggerated every story I told about myself, hoping that it would make me sound more interesting. I felt like I had to try really hard to impress the other kids into liking me. I was also a bit show-offy & sometimes snobby which obviously didn't help matters any.

It took me a year to make a proper friend (and she's still my best friend today!) and another year after that to not feel like the 3rd wheel in a group of girls. Just as I was beginning to feel comfortable it was time to move school districts again and start all over. I only remember one thing from my last day of junior high. The day we all said goodbye, one of my friends was wearing a white tee-shirt with hot pink writing across the front. It said...


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nearly One Month Till Moving Day!!

So yesterday I bought a dongle (sounds like a dirty word, if you ask me). I'd been moaning for days about my internet withdrawal and Miggy finally suggested I got myself one of these glorious wee mobile broadband devices. So down to Carphone Warehouse I trotted, paused while I scrapped my jawbone off the floor after I realised that I'd have to pay £29 for 1GB (1GB people?! That's it for all that money?!) and then in the end I walked up to the counter and handed the man my card. A steep price to pay for such limited connection to the outside world but I figured my business and clients is worth it — it's made me sick having to delay my replies to emails and miss out on blogging for a week at a time (horror!!!). With only one month left here in the UK there's no point in starting up a new internet contract and the dongle will get me through it just fine. 
That's right my friend, just over one month from today I'll be hoping on a plane to fabulous Seattle! Miggy's coming too but we're waiting for his green card! I only get to be in Seattle for 3 weeks before I take my first prolonged business trip right back to the UK! It's a 6 week business trip that's going to include 4 UK weddings and hopefully many photo shoots! After that, I'm hoping back over the pond (and staying) for a nice long time. My husband and my business will be coming with me and I can't wait. I'm so excited for a fresh start (and the chance to once again be driving regularly in my dream car! — my beautiful midnight blue VW Beetle! I can't wait :D)!!

For now,  I've got a might big house to tidy, clean and package up — the prospect is simply overwhelming. One day I'd like to hire a cleaner, that would be fantastic :P Enjoy the rain or shine everybody (it's pouring pouring pouring outside my window right now — gotta love June in Scotland ..yaiboo.)
Another new exciting toy arrived in my house today — my Spyder 4 Pro Screen Calibrator by Datacolor. I have no idea how to use the thing. I've just ripped it out of its packaging and I'm sitting here in my kitchen, listening to the rain, watching Manuela & Sebastian's wedding photos downloading and turning the wee device round and round in my fingers. No luck figuring it out for myself this time...where's the manual?


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cambridge Punting Engagement :: Jessica & Carl

The football game was playing on the pub's TV right over her shoulder, but he never took a peek! Carl kept his gaze straight at Jessica as she shared her story with him; like every girl would, she noticed and of course that earned him some brownie points. Jessica was the one who 'winked' at him first on (yep, that's right, another, couple! Gotta love em'! I should send a thank you letter for all the business they send my way hehe). Of course, Carl winked back and included a message. One month later, there they were sitting together in a pub on their first date. Not sure at first if they were meant to be but they both gave it a chance. As they grew to know each other better, one day Carl told her a story of a great struggle he had faced in his life before he met her. The story could have sounded tragic but all she heard was the positivity in his voice that gave her a peek into his optimistic spirit. That's when she knew he was worth it and voila! She was right :D Now they're getting married in Carl's hometown of Peteborough, England this coming September! :D To celebrate their engagement I headed down to spend a day with them in Cambridge.
We began our afternoon together as one ought to when in England...with a cup of tea. Carl enjoyed a massive scone (he actually called it a "sc'O'ne" like me (and all my American friends) rather than the very bizarre English pronunciation which I've had to endure for years "scaawn." Unsurprisingly, this made me happy hehe Jessica had thought ahead and share her delicious (seriously DELICIOUS!) gluten-free Lemon & Almond biscuits with me. Thank you Jessica!! :D 
After we finished our tea at "The Orchard", a very popular orchard (surprise surprise) where people can bask in the very civilised English sunshine, we headed into Cambridge city centre. Our first stop was the museum! (I can't for the life of me remember what it's called right now...I'll get back to you :P) I just loved the funky sculptures that were on the front garden and massive lions are always a big hit!
Next on our list of Cambridge adventures was good old Isaac Newton's apple tree. It's still there, growing outside of Trinity College. Again, Jessica was thinking ahead when she snuck some apples into her purse. She and Carl performed a little juggling act for me in honour of Mr. Newton. 
The River Cam was crowded that day thanks to the thousands of students who were recovering from final exams and preparing for their May Balls. There was even a punt that was a little wine 'shop', selling beverages up and down the river. We hired a chauffer (aka cute Cambridge medical student) to take us around and point out the sights. 

I loved relaxing on the punt with my camera. Definitely made me feel like  I have the best job in the whole world :D After we got our land legs back we set off for dinner at a yummy Thai restaurant where Jessica & Carl had a chance to share more of their story with me. I always get to hear about my clients love stories but it's always my favourite when I get to hear it in person — it makes it come alive more when I can see their facial expressions and watch them exchange silly glances as they each tell the bits they remember.  :D
 If you'd like to see more images from Jessica & Carl's Cambridge, Engagement Session click below to watch their slideshow! :D


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Marvellous Monday :: Random Inspiration from the Week!

You haven't seen me in a week! Blame my lack of internet and hectic schedule. I also calculated that I haven't had a proper day off in something like 10 days. I don't notice my constant working habit because I work for myself and I feel like any day that I'm at home my be a free day. Tomorrow will be a real day off because it's our 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!!!! Woohoo :D I think we may be going on a picnic in the field beside our house (I LOVE picnics so yay!)

My schedule lately::

Thursday :: 2 photo shoots + editing
Friday :: Day Job in The Crystal Shop + evening photo shoot
Saturday :: Editing photos, travel to Edinburgh
Sunday :: Travel to Cambridge for Jessica & Carl's engagement session
Monday :: Return to Scotland, sleep
Tuesday :: Day Job in The Crystal Shop, Sleepover with Emily :)
Wednesday :: 2 photo shoots
Thursday :: Miggy graduated!!!!!!!! grad photo sessions + Lunch with family + torrential downpour @ garden party
Friday :: Day Job in The Crystal Shop + graduation ball!
Saturday :: Travel to Edinburgh to shoot Manuela & Sebastian's wedding on The Red Bus!
Sunday :: Phew! Finally get around to blogging.

I'm going to make myself a cup of tea right now, kick up my tootsies and have some fun surfing the web for this week's marvellous inspiration. Twice as much this week since I failed to deliver last Monday :P Plus, I'm publishing this Marvellous Monday today, on Sunday, because like I said, tomorrow is my day off! — woohoo! Here we go... :D
(BOOK PUMPKIN! — found on Craftberry Bush)

(AWESOME!!! Hope it never has to be used in war but the technology is incredibly cool :P)

DIY BOOK PLANTERS (found on Green Wedding Shoes)
Love Your Eyes Infographic

Microcosmic World Made From Park Trash
by Gregory Euclide
(See & Read more HERE)

Have a beautiful last week of June!!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Portraits with Rhiannon

Last week I was getting really bummed out because I'd scheduled a bunch of shoots and every single model cancelled on me last minute. :( It was particularly disappointing because I was so excited to start practicing modern glamour photography (I'd been inspired by watching Sue Bryce's course on's awesome!). Thankfully, I was invited along to a Mexican themed dinner party at my friend Jenni's house on Wednesday and my luck took a happy turn :D

It's so easy to barricade myself into my house and do the whole tortured artist thing; waiting for something great to happen. But it seems like every time I let myself out of the house and I socialise and interact with people, something good comes along, opportunities open up and I find new inspiration! At Jenni's dinner party (which can be more accurately described as a huddle of men watching football and huddle of girls chatting at the table and in the kitchen making quesodillas lol) I got-a-talkin' to three beautiful friends of mine who eagerly volunteered to model for me! Yiippeee!! Rhiannon came over to my house the following morning & we spent 3 hours shooting in my wee home studio. 

It goes without saying that I was beside myself with happiness at the chance to start practicing modern glamour a.k.a. contemporary portrait photography. I was concerned that Rhiannon, on the other hand, might get tired, bored, uncomfortable, cold, hungry, stiff, annoyed etc... Thank goodness she didn't! Turns out, the girl loved it :D I got a text from her the next day asking if we could do another shoot....that evening! Heck yes! She came over at 8pm that night and we shot in my studio until 2am! I'm not even going to bother hiding my excitement. I'd heard stories of Matthew Jordan Smith and Tyra Banks staying up until 2am practicing poses and I wanted that. I've been longing to find someone who wants to work as hard as I do; someone who will stay up all night with me practicing techniques and testing out ideas. I'm sure I'll have many opportunities for this in the future but for right now, I'm just thrilled that I got to experience that with Rhiannon for one night. 

I particularly love working with Rhiannon because she's an artist; she draws & paints portraits of people. She understands how when we're photographing a portrait, it's not just a matter of smiling & snapping the shutter. When she's drawing a portrait she take the time to erase and blend and redraw until she gets everything just right; we were doing the same thing but live. We were sculpting her body and the light until it looked just so and then afterwards, I searched through the images until I found the one that had all of the pieces just where I wanted them. We were creating a live portrait. :)

She said multiple times that it was so much more difficult than she thought it would be. She'd expected modelling to just be cheeky grins at the camera; not back-breaking contortionistic poses with me shouting "chin forward & down, chin forward & down, again! chin forward & down." hehe.

Thank you Rhia! Can't wait till our next shoot :P

Saturday, June 16, 2012

ecoTOOLS :: My New Make-Up Brushes!

I haven't worn make-up in years. My mornings have been so quick and easy; hop out of bed, brush the teeth and I'm off. I didn't have to 'put my face on" and that was nice. Apart from some green & purple eyeshadow & sparkly orange lipgloss in high school, I've never really had an interest in make-up. This was very convenient consider the fact that Miggy has claimed for years that he doesn't like how I look with make-up, sweet right? lol So understandably he didn't understand nor was he all that thrilled to hear that I'd gone out on a make-up shopping spree this week. 
After months of agonising about it I finally decided to purchase Sue Bryce' Glamour Photography Workshop from creativeLIVE. Oh my word, it's turned out to be one of the best purchases...or I should really say investments, of my life. 
She's wooed me into the world of modern glamour photography and I'm tickling my toes in the water! We'll see where that takes me but for now, I'm starting with some experimentation in the make-up department. Part of the creativeLIVE course is an entire afternoon of hair & make-up lessons. I think something, like make-up, becomes much more fun and purposeful when you actually understand how to use it properly. Taking notes like crazy I soaked in all of her tips and then trotted off to Boots to start my very own make-up collection. It's not as easy as it sounds!

Good grief, you seriously have to know what you're after and where to find it when shopping for make-up. I was so overwhelmed by the rows and rows and rows of little tubs, pencils, brushes, creams and shimmers. Labels flying at me from every direction and different brands used different names to describe the exact same products. Was there really that much difference between the £1.99 tube of lip gloss and the £9.99 tube of lip gloss? Does one taste nicer? Is the other going to give me a rash?! What's the difference between concealer and cover-up? That question consumed me for about 5 minutes before I settled on cover-up and I still don't know why. Someone care to explain?
I was very happy to finally purchase these beautiful ecoTOOLS make-up brushes. I've loved the look for them for months despite the fact I never had a use for them. It hurt a bit to see their price tag but I just winced and handed over my debit card — they'll last a while I told myself and it's important that I stick with my brand. If I'm going to market myself as being eco-friendly, I better darn well buy the eco-friendly supplies. 
 Above is a little sneak peek into my pretty new colleciton. I LOVE the 'give me texture' power. You sprinkle it into the hair and it instantly makes your hair have this big pumphf! VOLUME! Love it :D I also invested in 200 curvy grips aka bobbie pins. You can never have too many of those little things. They end up everywhere, don't they?! Bottom of purses, down the couch, in the pockets. I was sick of hunting for them so I just bough a bunch more! I'm so excited to use them to pin up curls! Eeeek — this being girly stuff is really really fun!!! :D
Have a gorgeous girly weekend!!!