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.

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!

September 2016: Black and White at Share Six | Fort Collins Fine Art and Lifestyle Photographer

I am happy to announce that I have recently joined Share Six as their newest Blog Contributor! I came on board just after the blog circle’s 6th of the month release, but they were kind enough to pull me in, anyway. September’s theme is {Black and White}, a theme that’s very close to my heart. Thank you so much, Katherine Cobert of Cobert Photography, for choosing it!

Black and white film photography was my first love. With digital, I have strayed a bit – and I do so adore color, as well. Still, black and white feels like home. I love the focus it brings to patterns, contrast, light, emotion, and structures, as unnecessary elements and distractions are stripped away. I found culling my black and white images to just six to be incredibly difficult, so I recruited some help. I still want to include more, but here is what I came up with, as a rule-follower this time. With the exception of the first image, taken in early 2015, the balance of these images were taken in Spring and Summer 2016.

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit and see my take on Black and White! Now, please visit none other than Cobert Photography, who chose the theme, to see her take on it, and continue the circle blog to view and comment on everyone’s work.

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

 

Talent Tuesday: Roots and Twigs Photography

This week’s guest judge is the amazingly talented and super sweet, Tori, of Roots and Twigs Photography! Tori’s work is just gorgeous. It’s a perfect blend of lifestyle and fine a…

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Tulips, Part Deux; Fort Collins, Colorado Fine Art Photographer

Because they are so beautiful to my eye, I am grabbing all of my recent tulip shots and plopping them in here. I took many of them yesterday, but you may recognize the bottom ones from my first tulip post. All of these beauties are growing at my home. The lovely gardens established by the previous owners are the gifts that keep on giving.

 

Week 16 | RED; Fort Collins, Colorado Fine Art Photographer

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Thanks so much for the feature, Life’s Experience p52! ~ Tori

Psst! Do you know what my favorite color is? Yup, you guessed it; RED! I just cannot begin to tell you how my heart delighted in viewing all of this past week’s submissions! There is just som…

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Recent Published, Featured, and Top Honor Images; Fort Collins, Colorado Photographer

Back in February, I published a blog post including some of my recently published images, and here is the next installment! For more information about these and other published images, please visit Industry Honors, here on my website, or my related Facebook Album. Thank you so much for your interest in my work!

Weekly ‘Real Life’ Featured Photographer Roots and Twigs Photography, Fort Collins, Colorado

Prairie dog in snow, Niwot, Colorado

bio (Who is Tori?) Following years of dreaming and scheming, my family moved from a lifetime on the East Coast to Fort Collins, Colorado just over a year ago. About 2 years ago, while on hiatus fro…

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Tulips in the New-Old Garden, Fort Collins, Colorado, Fine Art Photography

If you have been following me a  while and paying attention, you will recall that my family recently moved across the country to a new house, and then accidentally bought a SECOND house here in Fort Collins, because it was kind of our dream house, or at least as close as we are likely to have in the next twenty years or so. So while we deal with the stress of ditching the previous house, we enjoy the dream of the new home. The new-old house was built in 1962 and is part of a small but wonderful mid-century modern neighborhood. As great as our home’s architecture is, the true draws for us were the wonderful neighborhood, the mountain views, and the pretty perfect yard. We have a large fenced-in area, flat as a pancake for soccer and such, and we have an area outside the fence with a little sledding hill. All around the property are gardens representing nearly three decades of the previous owners’ labor of love. I literally walk the property at least once a day, just enjoying the plants and looking for new ones. My neighbors probably think I am a few cards short of a full deck. Just a couple of days ago, I realized we will soon have blankets of lily of the valley in multiple gardens.

The tulips are stunning. Although I have landscaped and gardened extensively, I have literally only had maybe 3-5 tulip bulbs in my adult life and they were all planted by previous owners. THESE previous owners stocked the gardens a-plenty with them and I feel like the gardens are the gifts that keep on giving. I suspect before long, the weeds will also be “gifts” that keep on giving, but that’s for another day. Today, I want to share some of my recent favorite shots of tulips in and from the new-old gardens, which I adore. A few are included in both color and black and white, as I find the structure of these tulips enthralling.

Chronicling a Spring Bloomer; Fort Collins, Colorado Fine Art Photographer / Photography

So there’s this plant in my new yard – actually a number of them. I know what they are, and have long wanted some. They aren’t native where I lived my previous lifetime, so I never studied them, and was truly surprised when I saw their Spring bud this year. A few of you have been following along on my Facebook page, also interested in what it might be. A couple of the plants are further along in their budding, and I suppose it’s possible there are multiple varieties in my yard, but I am going to put these generally in sequence of how the buds are developing, even if they are from different plants in my yard. I have included a new hint in these images, as well! Here goes, and I will add more as things evolve.

 

Post-Blizzard Macro Photography Beauty; Fort Collins, Colorado Fine Art and Lifestyle Photographer

I woke up to a gorgeous moon-set this morning and started my day snapping some of that from my deck. Shortly afterwards, I switched to my macro lens and went walk-about in my yard for more post-blizzard beauty.

Buds and Bugs: Macro Photography; Fort Collins, Colorado Lifestyle and Fine Art Photographer

For many years, I worked in my alternate profession and shot only as a very serious hobbyist. I shot with an old, all-manual Nikon FM film camera and a “nifty fifty” – a 50 mm lens. I used “sneaker zoom” to frame my images. My Christmas gift one year, ~12-15 years ago, was a similar, used Nikon FM2 body, to allow me to have one body loaded with black and white film, and the other loaded with color film. The FM2 came with a worn out 55mm macro lens. That lens was – ahem – remains! – gummed up in the focusing ring, so it takes significant elbow grease to adjust things, and I employ “sneaker zoom” to manually focus subjects by moving my body once I get things framed just about so. All that said, it is one of my 2 favorite lenses, flaws and all. Why? I will allow few of my favorite macro shots from the past 18 months or so, all taken with that worn out lens, do the rest of my “talking”!

As always, please click on any image to view larger!

February Musings, Fort Collins, Colorado Lifestyle, Documentary, and Fine Art Photographer

The last few months have been a bit of a blur and a bit extraordinary, as our family moves for a second time in less than a year. If you know anyone needing to buy or rent a wonderful (5 br, 3.5 bath, 3800 sf) bungalow in Fort Collins, Colorado, please holla! =)  And don’t worry! We didn’t move far – in fact, less than a mile away. Still loving life in FoCo!

With all the crazy that comes with moving, as well as a pretty cold winter, sessions have been slow, as is typical in winter anyway. That has given me a chance to revisit past work and find new gems. I have also discovered a wonderful and supportive photography community out there and gotten involved, making new friends and connections. And finally, in my ongoing effort to re-establish my business across the country, I have been reaching out and submitting to various photo competitions. You can find specifics on my various honors on my Applause page here on the website. Here are some of the images receiving the most love out there on the internet. Hope you enjoy seeing some existing favorites, and perhaps some new ones, too!