July 2017: Artificial Light at Share Six | Fort Collins, Colorado Lifestyle and Fine Art Photographer

The July blog circle theme at Share Six is ARTIFICIAL LIGHT. I hope you’ll take the time to link around the full blog circle (next link at the bottom), and then submit to the Share Six Facebook and/or Instagram pages for a chance to be featured.

Just one year ago, as an almost-exclusively natural light photographer, I was quite intimidated by studio lighting. For years prior to that, I claimed (and believed) I hated flash photography. Well, I’ve come a long way, baby. Learning to control and position off-camera flash have been wonderful skills to develop, and they have made me a much better and more versatile photographer. I now regularly use off-camera flash in my photography studio, but also outside quite a bit, to supplement or balance natural light.

For this post, I considered blogging Independence Day fireworks, but quickly decided to focus on getting some simple, but nice studio shots of my son. He is eight years old with a silly streak a mile wide and zero attention span when his sister is engaging him, as was the case when I snapped these, all within the few minutes he granted me. I took some similar ones of my daughter a couple of months ago while he was at school, so I am especially glad to finally create a set of him. He seems to be in some in-between stage, but I suppose children always are? I am so very happy to have this record of him, with his mouth full of awkward adult teeth, too-long summer hair, Peanuts bandage, and sillies. When he simply couldn’t keep it together anymore, he sneaked off with his sister and they returned in various ridiculous costumes and fits of laughter. Those made for some good images to ward off high school girlfriends and to share at his wedding, should I feel a bit naughty!

 

 

I sincerely appreciate you dropping by to check out my take on ARTIFICIAL LIGHT. Next in the blog circle is the wonderfully talented KG Ledbetter Photography! Please link over and see the post Kathy  has generated for the theme. For a chance to be featured at Share Six, please submit your ARTIFICIAL LIGHT images to the Share Six Facebook and/or Instagram pages (tag #sharesix and #sharesix_artificiallight) by August 5th.
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Canyon Concert Ballet Showcase Studio Portraits, Fort Collins Dance Photographer

June 2017: Dreamy at Share Six | Fort Collins, Colorado Lifestyle and Fine Art Photographer

The June blog circle theme at Share Six is DREAMY / DREAMS. I hope you’ll take the time to link around the full blog circle (next link at the bottom), and then submit to the Share Six Facebook and/or Instagram pages for a chance to be featured.

Macro photography feeds my soul. I passionately love looking at the world – particularly the natural world – from new and different perspectives. Although it may sound odd to some, macro photography reminds me of my snorkeling experiences, in that it leads me to observe things I simply don’t see everyday. I refer to my macro botanical work as “buds and bugs” as I also love witnessing life at the scale of insects when shooting macro.

For this themed post, I took a little time to shoot in my gardens, something I hadn’t done in recent months. As an aside, you know how when you go biking or running, you often become aware of hills you hadn’t noticed before? The same thing happens when shooting macro in nature and breezes. Those tiny breezes magnify so much. I say this to say the breezes – nay – the WIND – in recent days made several of the subjects I wanted to include unusable, for lack of focus as the plants swayed about! In any event, I love the abstract qualities and the delicious, dreamy bokeh in these images, and hope you enjoy them, too!

I sincerely appreciate you dropping by to check out my take on DREAMY / DREAMS. Next in the blog circle is the highly talented Ceri Herd Photography! Please link over and see the post Ceri  has generated for the theme. For a chance to be featured at Share Six, please submit your DREAMY OR DREAMS images to the Share Six Facebook and/or Instagram pages (tag #sharesix and #sharesix_dreamy or #sharesix_dreams) by July 5th.

May 2017: Street at Share Six | Fort Collins Lifestyle and Fine Art Photographer

The May blog circle theme at Share Six is STREET. I hope you’ll take the time to link around the full blog circle (next link at the bottom), and then submit to the Share Six Facebook and/or Instagram pages for a chance to be featured.

When I got serious about my photography journey in the late 80s and early 90s, a great deal of my work was street photography, including people in larger scenes as well as close-up portraits of strangers. For that matter, much of my international travel photography throughout the years has been the same. For whatever reason, I haven’t tended to shoot local street scenes as much in recent years – most likely directly related to having small children. With them, I simply have less time overall, including time to just sit and observe, or to make my way to back alleys or the city at night. Sure, I love to photograph crowds at daytime street parades and street performers, but with children, I am currently less likely to photograph the truly interesting characters on the street. I would love to blog my favorite street shots, hand-picked from over the years, and perhaps I will. However, for this post, I am limiting my collection to my last outing, with the sole goal of street photography. I shot these images on Saturday, July 5, 2014, between 9:30-10:15 pm in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC.

I sincerely appreciate you dropping by to check out my take on STREET. Next in the blog circle is KG Ledbetter Photography. Please link over and see the post Kathy has generated for the theme. For a chance to be featured, please  submit your STREET images to the Share Six Facebook and/or Instagram pages (tag #sharesix and #sharesix_street) by June 5th.

Canyon Concert Ballet Promotional Studio Portraits, Fort Collins Dance Photographer

The Queen of Hearts came by Roots and Twigs Photography’s Studio for some pretty fierce promotional shots for Canyon Concert Ballet’s April production of Alice in Wonderland at The Lincoln Center, here in Fort Collins. Look for these photos in various print and online ads, promoting the show!

 

April 2017: Connection at Share Six | Fort Collins Lifestyle and Fine Art Photographer

The April blog circle theme at Share Six is CONNECTION. I hope you’ll take the time to link around the full blog circle (next link at the bottom), and then submit to the Share Six Facebook and/or Instagram pages for a chance to be featured.

As noted in my March Share Six post, I am working towards better work-life balance. Part of that resulted in limited shooting this month, except during a family vacation and some gadget photos. The majority of the most special and intimate moments of late were captured only on my gadget or not at all, and that’s OK, as that is part of living more in the moment lately, even though I don’t have amazing images from those moments to share. In any event, I am pulling some of the images from as far back as last April, but they haven’t all been previously shared.

When I think “CONNECTION,” I think of my children more than anything else. As a parent, beyond basic health and happiness, my highest hope for my children is that they become and remain close friends for life. I work to nurture that every day and never plan to relent. Perhaps it’s because I lack that in my own life, or maybe it is simply natural for a parent to want that more than anything. Most likely, it’s both. In any event, my children are almost 3 years apart in age, and often into pretty different hobbies and interests. Like most (all?) siblings, they fight regularly, unfortunately. Still, I know in my heart that they truly, deeply, love one another. I don’t know if they would go to the mat for each other just yet, but I think in time, they will. Sometimes these authentically documented moments of them loving one another help get me through rough patches with them. They are visual reminders of the depth of love in their relationship, even when it’s a bit below the surface.


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Hammock Time
I am tempted to say, “This is everything.” But it’s not, because the cumulative love shared here – and in all the images that didn’t make the final six cut – they are everything!

These kiddos are still little and thankfully their feet don’t stink (much) yet. They snuggle often and can’t stand to miss out on whatever the other one is doing, ever! If I am on my (better) hammock, both of them are on it, too. If one kid is in my lap, they both are. And so it goes with their own little special moments, too.


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Halloween Day at my son’s school
After enjoying Halloween fun at my daughter’s preschool and then downtown, she and I headed to my son’s elementary school to celebrate there, as well. My Mommy heart swelled so huge, as my kids grabbed hands and ran ahead of me in the haphazard costume parade through other classrooms. Once we returned to my son’s classroom, I melted watching him welcome my daughter to work right alongside him, shoulder to shoulder, on all their fun activities – BINGO, scavenger hunt, and more. I mean, what little boy does that, when he has his entire class full of friends to play with? My little boy.


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River Rock
This is the only image in the bunch that was posed in that I sent them out to the rock. Their adoring expressions as they hung out on the rock together, though? One hundred percent authentic, of course.


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Soccer
They can be so boisterous and silly! However, they are also often quiet, caring, helpful, and loving. Here, my son is tying his sister’s new soccer cleats, which she just had to have because big brother had recently received some. (The same thing just happened here with roller blades, too.)


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Saturday Morning Snack
I spotted them just like this, facing the wall across the room next to my office. I quietly grabbed my camera as quickly as humanly possible to freeze this sweetness forever.


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Easter Morning
They were sharing a bedroom this time last year. They both slept in rabbit ears the night before Easter, then climbed into our bed the next morning. By this point, only my son was wearing his bunny ears, but have you ever seen so much sweetness between a brother and sister? Their connection melts me at times.


I sincerely appreciate  you dropping by to check out my take on CONNECTION. Next in the blog circle is one of our newest blog team members, Claire Porter of Wilhelmina Photography. Please link over and see the post she has generated for the theme. For a chance to be featured yourself, please  submit your CONNECTION images to the Share Six Facebook and/or Instagram pages (tag #sharesix and #sharesix_connection) by May 5th.

March 2017: Restore at Share Six | Fort Collins Lifestyle and Fine Art Photographer

The March circle blog theme at Share Six is RESTORE. I hope you’ll take the time to link around the full blog circle, and then submit to the Share Six Facebook and/or Instagram pages for a chance to be featured.

My take on RESTORE is more introspective, raw, exposed, and broad than most of my posts. It is a multi-faceted view of renewal and restoration of many aspects of my life, including Spring’s return, physical and mental health, relationships, and my home.

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Renovate

Being Major League DIY’ers, my husband and I have been personally, extensively renovating our homes since before we married. We are in our fourth home together, and the only one that didn’t succumb to our vision was our last one: beautiful, extremely well-built, only 10 years old and good to go. Unfortunately, there was no rational reason to renovate it in any way and thus put our own stamp on it. We lived in it for only five months before pursuing our current one. Apparently we require a project house at all times.*** I typically describe the course of action as, “We accidentally bought a second house in less than a year of living here.” In any event, our current home, known both as “The Tree House” and “our forever home,” is no exception to the renovation trend. The highest priority project at the moment is the master bedroom suite, shown here. We have been in this home just over a year and have never actually slept in our bedroom. Juggling all the crazy of every day life with kids, hobbies, and hands-on renovations keeps us quite busy!

*** In all seriousness, our first house in Fort Collins truly was a wonderful house, but it lacked the tight-knit community we wanted. When we heard through the grapevine that our current home would become available, in the neighborhood we originally wanted to buy in, it was not that we truly wanted another project house. Instead, it was that our forever home here is in “the village.” You know that saying: “It takes a village to raise a child.” We have two kids to raise and are finally living in that village we have longed for. Despite all the hard work we put into aligning our mid-century modern home with our architectural vision, we are living the dream in our fabulous neighborhood.

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Restore

As far back as anyone can remember – at least since I was 3 – I longed for a classic Mustang: red convertible with a white top and interior. I am not really a car person, although I know more about them than most of my peers. Still, there has just always been something about classic Mustangs. I love old muscle cars in general. OK, I like many old things in general, but Mustang-love may well be where it all started. A few years back, my husband surprised me with my dream car for my birthday – except that Ruby has a black top and interior, instead of white. Happily, I have found I actually prefer the black these days. We were living in Washington, DC at the time, and he had been late coming home from work a few times, always to my irritation, as I was anxious for help with the kids. As it turns out, he had been out shopping to fulfill my dream, often riding the Metro train out to the end of the line, meeting someone with a Mustang for sale. Each time I was upset about him getting home late, he sucked it up and provided a plausible explanation about working late – never giving up the surprise even the tiniest bit. I had NO IDEA. He pretty much won Husband of the Universe with all the stunts he pulled in securing and hiding this car from me until the big reveal at my birthday party! Ruby is a 1967 in show car condition, almost entirely original,  never wrecked, and largely restored in the 90s. We have added a few safety features and kids’ car seats, with more tweaks to go, but she’s completely road-worthy (and awesome) as is. The unofficial deal at our house is: Ruby is my eye candy and joy ride, and my husband is responsible for keeping her on the road and running well. Maybe he drew the short straw, but I think he actually enjoys his end of the deal, too, if for no other reason than giving me the ongoing joy of having my dream car. This weekend was beautiful, so he backed Ruby out of the garage, fixed a leak of some variety, did some magic voodoo work on her power steering, did a few other maintenance things, washed her, and then sent me out to drive her around a bit. My first ride of the season was relatively brief, but awesome! #mylittlepony

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Renew fitness

I have recently re-committed myself to physical fitness, after a long period of time where I simply fell to the bottom of the priority list too much to provide proper care for myself. For a whole host of reasons, fitness has been a lifelong challenge for me, but I have finally reached a point in these parenting years where I can realistically prioritize my health every day, and I am doing so. I can’t wait until great weather is more consistent and I can do nearly all of my daily cardio exercise outdoors through Fall. Until then, I am grateful for my treadmill, with a view of the Rockies, on the off-days. The downside to this fitness journey is that I am spending much of my former personal photography time working out, and I am not dragging my camera along on the trails and to the fields where I often take my kids, because I am no longer sauntering along with them. I have important work to do out there, and it doesn’t involve a camera! Once our warmer weather is in full force again, I hope to hike in the mountains with my camera more, and run on the trails by our home a bit less, so perhaps I will then strike a better balance and combine my photography and workouts more.

Nourish.
Revitalize

No successful physical fitness approach would be complete without taking great care to nourish the body with healthful, vibrant foods. We were in a rut at my house of making huge, one-pot meals, with a heavy emphasis on filling staples such as brown rice. Given that, I had sadly, genuinely forgotten how wonderful salads can be. With my priorities in check again, we are enjoying not only wonderful salads, but more homemade sushi, summer rolls, baba ganoush, and a wide variety of fresh, whole foods. My family is vegan, and preparing enough veggies and proteins to satiate growing children is no easy feat, but everyone seems to be enjoying our recent meals more – including a return to more thoughtful and visually appealing presentations of it.

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Return of Spring

This time of year is everything to me. I absolutely delight in watching all the blooming lovelies make their appearance in our home gardens, even before we have our last snowfall. With Spring’s return, I also reflect on the parallels with my own health and self-care.

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Rejoice new skills and new wheels

Spring is all about new things – new babies in nature, new buds, and – in the case of my daughter – a new life skill! She recently graduated from a balance bike to this pedal bike and she is slaying the trails as I jog along behind her. Meanwhile, my son has done the same with rollerblading. Alas, they are already outpacing me, and I am struggling to figure out how to continue sharing this great, quality, bonding time on the trails with them, while allowing each of us to become stronger and more capable in our various modes of transit. I am open to your suggestions! Right now I think I will get them unicycles. That should slow them down until my running pace increases enough to keep up with them, yes?!

I sincerely appreciate  you dropping by to see my take on RESTORE and perhaps learn a lot more about the person behind the lens. Next in the blog circle is Mike Wade of Rural Life Photography, our guest blogger and winner of the recent {Music} theme. Please link over and see the post he has generated for RESTORE! For a chance to be featured, please  submit your own RESTORE images to the Share Six Facebook and/or Instagram pages (tag #sharesix and #sharesix_restore) by April 5th! Especially for this theme, we welcome some back story on how your image represents the theme!

Roots and Twigs Photography Feature at Dads in the Wild, “Back in the Den”

 

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I was recently invited to interview with Dads in the Wild, sharing some more information about the main Dad in my life. I hope you’ll take a moment to click below to see the images and thoughts I shared!

Back in the Den: Roots and Twigs Photography

February 2017: Shadows at Share Six | Fort Collins Lifestyle and Fine Art Photographer

The February circle blog theme at Share Six is SHADOWS. I hope you’ll take the time to link around the full blog circle, and then submit to the Share Six Facebook and/or Instagram pages for a chance to be featured.

Shadows can add much depth, interest, and drams to an image. My children are getting more interested in playing with their shadows, creating shadow animals with their hands, and also taking note of their full body’s shadows on various surfaces. Even when they aren’t paying attention to their shadows, I certainly am. So here are some favorites of my kids and their shadows and a shadows and silhouettes image from Yellowstone National Park that I just had to include, as well. I hope you enjoy my collection and complete our blog circle for what promises to be a particularly interesting series of images.

Thank you so much for dropping by to see my take on SHADOWS. Next in the blog circle is Kim Sidwell Photography. Please link over and see what she has put together for SHADOWS! Again, for a chance to be featured, please  submit your SHADOWS images to the Share Six Facebook and/or Instagram pages (tag #sharesix and #sharesix_music)!

January 2017: Music at Share Six | Fort Collins Lifestyle and Fine Art Photographer

Our January blog circle theme at Share Six  is MUSIC. I had the best of intentions for this theme, but fell short of my goals. My images are all new, but not exactly what I planned. In any event, there are three instruments included in these images, each with some significance in my life.

My Alvarez Regent acoustic guitar was a Christmas gift from my best friend in college. He and another close friend spent Christmas break teaching me chords and practicing. I believe my friend must have also given me my Indigo Girls “Strange Fire” chord book, with which I practiced. I was progressing well, but once school resumed, I put my guitar down and never picked it back up in earnest, unfortunately. It holds its tune very well, it sounds lovely, and I admit that this project prompted me to dig it out of a storage room and seriously consider trying to learn again.

As much as I love guitar, “my grass is blue” (as a sticker on my guitar case in fact reads!) and banjos and fiddles are my favorite instruments. While we were engaged, my husband surprised me with a Rover 5-String Banjo years ago. Unlike the Alvarez, it does not hold its tune well, which resulted in even less commitment to learning it than the guitar. The truth is, I am a dancer. I never really sat still from dancing long enough to learn an instrument. I still dream of learning to play and maybe, with young kids who ought to learn, too, there’s hope yet.

The third instrument I photographed does not belong to me, but I have “visitation rights.” I must admit that my real affinity for it is a bit shallow. As I noted above, bluegrass is my favorite style of music, but Dwight Yoakam is my favorite artist. This particular guitar is an Epiphone Dwight Yoakam “Dwight Trash” Casino Outfit in Jackpot White. There were only 250 of these guitars made in this color, and only 250 made in Roulette Red, the other color. My brother-in-law owns this beauty and I happily got to spend some quality time with it over the holidays, again.

Ironically, my djembe and didjeridoos didn’t make it to the blog, but perhaps another day. When I had free time, I actually played both much more than the instruments I photographed. The natural rhythm I have for dancing translates far better to drumming – both hand percussions and kits – than to learning a stringed instrument, but I would still love to learn the latter.

Thank you so much for dropping by to see my take on MUSIC. Now, please visit Katherine at Cobert Photography, who chose the theme, to see her images, and continue the circle blog to view and comment on everyone’s work.

Please join us for this month’s theme by posting your MUSIC images on the Facebook page at Share Six  and to the Instagram gallery by tagging #sharesix and #sharesix_music.

Protected: The Nutcracker by Canyon Concert Ballet and Ballet West, 2016 – Fort Collins Fine Art and Dance Photographer

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December 2016: Bokeh at Share Six | Fort Collins Fine Art and Lifestyle Photographer

Our December theme over at Share Six  is BOKEH. One of my favorite types of bokeh is when it has a magical pixie dust effect, such as the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree. For the first time EVER in my life, I am living in a home with an artificial tree. I fought the occasional proposal of getting one throughout my childhood, and decorated my houseplants when I was in my 20s. Since becoming a bona fide “grownup,” I have wanted to build a “sculptural tree” – a piece of art, itself, upon which to hang ornaments. Long story short, that tree is still in my dreams. Getting a real tree was out of reach this year for many reasons, so we bought this second hand artificial tree from a neighbor Friday night. We then spent the rest of the weekend, off and on, adorning it with treasures we’ve collected and created along the way, as well as making paper garland from flower bulb catalogs and ornaments from recycled popsicle sticks. I am all about a simple, classic holiday season, so these activities were good for my soul. *** Disclaimer: Don’t judge if I end up with a shiny tinsel tree forest /\ /\ /\ and vintage color wheel(s) in the future, befitting our Mid-Century Modern Home! Also, if you know how to make that happen, please drop a line!! *** I am even handling the artificial tree well – for the most part. I miss the scent of a real tree, and the scrawny base of this thing does nothing for me. I have plans for next year, though!

Thank you so much for dropping by to see my weekend take on BOKEH. Now, please visit Applewood Photography to see her images, and continue the circle blog to view and comment on everyone’s work.

Please join us for this month’s theme by posting your BOKEH images on the Facebook page at Share Six  and to the Instagram gallery by tagging #sharesix and #sharesix_bokeh.

Our Thanksgiving Wishes to you

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Share Six! Please link to to read our community blog post, and may you all have much to be thankful for this season! ~ Tori