Monday, November 30, 2009

My Photography Book Is In The Store

As we say in my house, this makes my heart happy!

I loved working with my dear friends Melanie Grimes, Kathie Ostgulen, and Jill Hogan. They took beautiful photos as they worked their way through my exercises.

Kathie sent me an email that brought tears to my eyes as I read it.

Thanks sooooo much for including me in your book and making me a better photographer did what no one else could do for me and for that I will be forever grateful!

Yes, she made me heart happy!

If you have read it I'd love to hear what you think. What did you love? Where were you frustrated? What are you able to do now, that you couldn't before? Photography is such a journey.  I'm hoping we can share it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Our Plan For Holiday Magic Making

I love the holidays! I love getting out of the house and joining our community in celebrating the season. I wanted to keep all of our events and plans together and saved forever. So here are the things we are planning to include!

11/27-11/29 The Santa Train - A new family tradition! Free for Train Museum members too! Ride the train with Santa the weekend after Thanksgiving. Live music, decorated train and just pure holiday goodness! The best part? Santa really stops and talks to each child!

12/5 6PM Festival of Lights Parade This is a new parade in the newly coined "Handle District." It says they hope for 20 floats. So this might be quaint and fun or completely cheesy. Either way we are going to give it a try. It's a good reason to be out and then stop by Rubicon after!

12/5 7PM Sacramento Boat Parade - We had a bad experience attempting to see this last year. So this year I'm going to give it another try, time permitting. If the Festival of Lights Parade is HUGE we may not make it.

12/10 Governor's Christmas Tree Lighting - A family tradition. (two years in a row counts right?!) We only go for part of the ceremony because it is usually super crowded and cold!

State Capitol Museum Music - Throughout December the Capitol Rotunda is filled with music. We love to go to the second floor and peer down on the performers. Everything from bagpipes to classical piano. All ages and stages of performers too!

Old Sac Horse Drawn Carriage Rides - Fun for an evening outing. We bundle up and this year plan on taking the ride around the Capitol to see the lights and make people wait behind our carriage.

T Street Lights - Okay, the lights aren't on T Street, but that is how we always remember. Then we drive down T Street slowly until we see the line of cars turning! I love walking down the street to see all of the displays.

Santa's Toy Shop - This is a new to midtown event each weekend of December. Sounds like story time with Santa. We might give this a try.

Old Sac Theatre of Lights - A new to Old Sac event. I love the magic of Old Sac at Christmas so an added event should be fun!

Midtown Ice Skating Rink - It's not Rockefeller Center, but we are so excited to have the rink within easy walking distance of our home! We took our niece and nephew to the old location for many years and this year Ian gets to continue the tradition a bit closer to home!

Carnival of Lights - Another new light event worth investigating. Includes lights and...a carnival. In the old ice rink spot.

We'll throw in some holiday baking. A little home time. Our annual Holiday Party and I think our month is full! Looking forward to a fun one! What are your plans?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

December Daily Begins November 26th!

I love my Daily December album! It has a prominent home on our coffee table so I can thumb through it and relive last Christmas. Ian loves to see what he did and ask if we can do it "today." If he had his way we would have decorated and bought a tree about three months ago!

This year I'm going to document December again, but I'm starting on Thanksgiving. My Thanksgiving photos always get lost in the shuffle of holiday preparation so it seemed like a good place to begin. Plus this year we are celebrating the turkey day with Shea's family and Christmas with mine. Now we'll have photos of both included!

A few things I learned last year that I hope to remind myself of this year.

  • Make time to document. I tried to make time each evening to look through photos, document funny things that happened or sweet things Ian said. Having a lot of photos helps to jog the memory.
  • Keep to a simple format and stay with it. I'm going to use Ali's December Daily Templates 2 and use the same papers and embellishments I used last year creating a continuation of last year's book. I'll mix in a few of the Original December Daily Templates ! I just love those!

  • If you miss a day don't freak out. I missed a couple of days last year both photos and words. I just skipped those days in my book. The sky did not fall. There is no gaping hole in the book. It still makes me smile.
  • Use the camera you have! Last year I found myself with Ian at the mall experiencing one of my favorite days of the year. I did NOT have my camera, which is a rare occurrence! I snapped photos of him anyway and created one of my favorite pages of the entire book.
  • Enjoy the moments. I believe we experienced more as a family because of the project. I really wanted great photos, great locations, and to see everyone smiling! That meant venturing out on cold nights (ok, California cold, but we are in Northern California so it is a bit cold!)
Did you do Daily December last year? Link us up to your book or your favorite page from your book so we can be inspired!

Here is my favorite page from last year! The story still makes me smile :) Happy Thanksigiving! And yep, bring on December!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Place Where Vision, High School Rodeos, & Being Vegan Collide

I'm reading Visionmongers: Making A Life And A Living in Photography, an amazing book about photography and vision and passion and choices and direction. I love how the author describes photography and passion. "You don't do it because you can, but because you can't not." I can completely connect with the drive, the urge, the need to photograph, to strive to be better to constantly ask the question, "am I good enough."

And then today I found myself at a High School Rodeo. I was there to watch my niece and of course I took my camera. Because I always take my camera. Everywhere.

Did I mention I'm vegan? I don't eat meat. I don't eat anything that came from an animal. The leather products I own are from my pre-vegan life as it now seems wasteful to simply throw them away. I'm going to at least use them up before I replace them.

And there I was. In the heart of beef eating, cattle herding, PETA loathing rodeo land. With my camera. So I took photos. A lot of photos. And although there was part of me thinking, what kind of hypocrite am I? The photographer in me was amazed at the movement, the light, the beauty I could capture.

Ok. So my calling isn't in rodeo images. I know that. It would suck the very life from me. But for one day, for a few hours. I completely enjoyed it. And in so many ways it was easier than photographing 4 year olds!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Holidays Begin With Ice Skating!

The outdoor rink is open! Ian is so excited to try it out. We just need to find a size TINY skate first!

Holiday Time For You To Focus on Photography!

Four hours just for you and your camera.

I'm opening my home to 10 people who want to:
Take more creative control of their cameras
Capture holiday images they'll love for a lifetime

We'll cover
Aperture Priority Mode
Manual Mode
Exposure Compensation
White Balance

Would you care to join me?

December 5th
My home in midtown Sacramento

snacks and beverages provided

Give yourself the gift of better photos this Holiday Season.

Email me to register! katrina at katrinakennedy dot com

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What We Did On Our Family Vacation

I started this blog to document Ian's life. And then I let other things take over and post un-Ian related posts. Those posts are certain to foster an email from my mom who says, "what about my grandson? I haven't seen his photos in days..."

So this is for my mom :) Finally, a little about a boy.

He was so excited to travel to Seattle! We counted down sleeps and FINALLY he was able to "blast off" to the great Pacific North West.
He was absolutely OBSESSED with the Safety Information Card. Literally 30 minutes spent examining it.
We arrived in Seattle in the morning and after saying hello to Aunt E , Cousin K and meeting "my new baby cousin L" we were on our first adventure. Aunt E is not one to waste any time! We headed out for the Ballard Locks where Ian instantly found leaves to hide behind. He's not very cooperative lately!

It was cold but not rainy which made for good fun exploring the waves,

viewing the one fish in the ladder,
and watching the locks and bridge work.
Home for the evening and then off to class for me for the next two days. While I was in class I've heard there was all sorts of merriment being had, pizza being eaten, football games watched, aquarium viewing, library exploring and some rain. Sunday night they picked me up. We had a quiet evening with Aunt E and Uncle A before an early night.

Monday, our last day in Seattle we headed out to the Children's Museum. Our friend Charleen had said good things about it, so I really wanted to see it. Oh, I should probably mention that was after the one handed photo shoot I tried to conduct alone with a 5 month old little girl. I tried to sneak it in while her mom was in the shower. I really should have asked for help. Not easy to pose, focus, and watch that she doesn't tumble! Can't show you the photos though, it will spoil the Christmas gift :)

The Children's Museum was great. Dark and bad for photos. But great. Ian loved it!

The journey through the digestive track, ending in poop.

The mucus machine.

The jumping.

The obstacle course
The mini Taco Time and "mini" market

and of course the construction site where he referred to himself as Bob and did a lot of supervising his staff!

And then we saw this photo in the market. I have NO DOUBT that is Leo!!

Then it was off to the airport for out flight home. Not nearly as exciting for him as the trip there. In fact, he proclaimed to the entire plane on more than one occasion, "we are not moving." Hard to explain speed to a little guy who could only see clouds out of his window! I'm sure it was much more comforting to those around us compared to his asking, "when do we use the parachutes?" on our first leg of the trip!

And there you have it. That's what we did on our weekend in Seattle! Love you Mom! And thanks for reminding who this blog is really about!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Seattle Confidence Workshop

Me Ra Koh's Confidence Workshop was wonderful! I loved confirming so much of what I know and adding to my bag of techniques. I loved most getting to shoot this precious little boy. He was so sleepy. What a tiny beautiful miracle he is!

And yes, Mom, I'll post photos of your grandson soon! He says, "happy birthday."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stopping By For the Evening

Every fall they arrive in town. Usually downtown. They are loud but not too loud. They are fascinating to watch as they flit between trees, fly off in all directions. Sometimes seem to have a purpose and sometimes none at all. Last night they landed in our trees. For at least an hour they flew around, landed, and repeated.

We stood in the alley, the direction of the best light and just watched. And listened. Ian recorded with the video camera. I photographed them. And Shea gave direction. It was his idea to get them in flight. No easy task as they are quick. But I caught them. It wasn't until I sat at my computer that I saw just how amazing the photos could be. I typically don't do so much processing. These just called for it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One Year Ago Today

It seems my subject doesn't change much, he just grows!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Marshmallows and Camping

At 4 years old Ian clearly understands what Thanksgiving is all about!

And just in case you can't see it, it reads...

My Legos
Circus Show (a game they play at school as he's never been to a real circus)
Roasting Marshmallows (he's done that ONE time!)
Camping (twice)

Did you notice Ju-Ju's answers? What a suck up!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

It Has Love In It

What does a mom need for her birthday? Stickers. Sentiment. Glitter. Delivered by a little man who claims, "mom it has LOVE in it!"

Capturing The Perfect Imperfect Holiday Photo

It's time!

Holiday cards and the family photo. Does that make you cringe? The attempt at clean shirts, clean faces, good moods, good light, great location. All at the same time! Is that even possible?

This year I say embrace the imperfect! Let your family be who they are. Let them wear what they want to wear. Let them make the faces they want to make! Most families are relaxed fun loving people right? Let your holiday cards show that!

Want the best photo? Plan a couple of things keeping FUN in mind!
  • Find good light: An hour or so before sunset gives beautiful even non direct light. Check here for your sunset times.
I shot this around 430PM and the light was stunning! I really gave them no direction, they are just that cute!
  • Go somewhere fun! A park, a playground, out for ice cream, or any favorite family spot! I'd say find a great alley or wall, but that will also require bribing your subjects with a little something after.
  • Shoot quickly and get it over with! No one wants to watch you fiddle with your settings or examine your histogram over and over and over. Shoot in a mode you are comfortable with and watch your shutter speed (keep it above at least 1/125). Shoot at eye level with your dear ones, they'll look better. And don't fear getting close! Watch your backgrounds, clutter, trash cans, random stuff aren't so much fun.
  • Lighten up! Tell jokes, say silly things, ask them to tell their stories, let them just be. Make noises. Ask them to do silly things. Shoot!
Nothing like admitting to who really is the boss in our house! The self timer worked for this one. Flash bounced off my bedroom ceiling.
  • Give yourself a break! Family shoots are difficult. Don't worry about everyone looking at the camera or being perfect. Show everyone your real family!
Boys! While little girls tend to smile too big, boys tend to show every goofy face imaginable! Go with it!

Do you want to avoid the entire headache? Grab a favorite photo from the year! Last year I snapped this photo the day after Thanksgiving and knew INSTANTLY it was destined for a card!

I kept it simple with word art from Ali Edwards

Once you've got the photo you can try out a quick (and fun) Shutterfly card, make your own using some of the beautiful products at Designer Digitals, or print it for the super duper easy stick it in the card approach. I'll spend the next few weeks deciding if I'm just emailing my card this year. (I have this discussion with myself every year!)

Any other ideas to add?

Link us up to your favorite holiday card photos! I can't wait to see what you create!

Thanks to the two gorgeous families who willingly listened to my jokes and did the crazy clown dance! And Ian, Santa is watching!

Monday, November 02, 2009

I Heart Faces Week 43 "Balloons" Photo Challenge

I thought I had nothing for this week's challenge and then I remembered this photo! What a fun day, fun moment it was! I was able to put my novice balloon tying skills to work and he wanted to play along!

And because out takes are just as fun as the best!

Click on the layout for credits at Designer Digitals.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sneak Feet Peek!

I'm an everyday photographer. I carry my camera with me everywhere. I shoot what inspires me. What catches my eye. What I feel like shooting in the moment. Every now and then someone will ask me to take photos because they really get me. They understand that I'm not a posy posy matchy matcherson kind of person. They may not understand I'm going to make their kids say silly things, run, jump and do other craziness, but they get me.

Today I got to spend time with two families who just get me! We've known them for several years and just adore them! I knew too that they are dear friends so we planned for a little family overlap. I love the photos of the two families together. I think the kids just shined with their friends!

So here's just a tiny peek at them! Okay, more like a little tease ;) I'll post more soon!


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