January 01, 2012
My Personal Memories, Dreams and Reflections
Happy New Year! I bet when you entered your own Memories, Dreams and Reflections earlier today, you thought I would have mine ready to go. As you learned, you were wrong. I guess I took an impromptu blog-cation the past few days. I’m sure you understand. But here I am with my own reflection of the past year as well as next week’s Scavenger Hunt items (just scroll all the way down). I just ask that you give me some time to go through all of your entries. This might take a while.

1. Me!
I took a lot of self portraits this past year thanks to Elena from Selfie Magic. In fact, I asked Elena a few months ago to write a guest piece for me on getting started. If you haven’t had a chance to read through her tips, it’s worth the time. Click HERE. Now why did I choose this particular portrait for my first prompt? I guess because it makes me laugh. In fact, there was a Facebook group formed because of this image. I think that’s reason enough to do more self portraits in 2012.

2. I Love You
IMG_5736 RS
I do love my husband. When I was going back through my photos from the year, this one really stuck out – it even got I Heart Faces‘ attention. There’s something about a man in his most basic element that really gets me.

3. Still Laughing…
IMG_6028 RS
You might remember our 4th of July celebration with our friends Karen and John. Every time I’m around John, he does something crazy. During their wedding portraits, he stood over a fire for a picture moment…so I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me when he jumped into to the fireworks. Either way, it trips me out.

4. Winter Wonderland
Job 37_6 RS
Apparently 2011 didn’t produce as much snow as I thought – I had just a couple of photos to choose from. Not that I really mind. Maybe this year.

5. Birthday
Beth's 30th Birthday RS-27
I tend not to make a big deal out of my birthday, thus the reason I am so glad I have friends like my girl Beth that enjoy a good celebration. This is one of my favorite photos from Beth’s 30th birthday. It was quite a party.

6. Friends
Lucky RS
This fortune cookie should really say “I feel so lucky for having so many friends.” Although I had a few pictures taken with various friends throughout the year, I couldn’t settle on just one. I was so fortunate to meet up with blogging buddies like Kat, Sarah, Laura and Casey during 2011. I hope to meet even more people in 2012.

7. I Was Inspired…
1000 Cranes
In March, people from around the world created origami cranes in support of the people in Japan. I was inspired and joined the cause. You can go HERE to read more about it.

8. Spring Fever
Sunlight Bokeh RS
I probably should have included my allergy pills to represent spring fever, but what’s the fun in that? Other than sneezing, I enjoyed all the color and sun that Spring brings with it. This photo is now being used here.

9. Travel or Vacation
IMG_7774 RS
We had the luxury of traveling to London and Paris in September. It was a once in a lifetime trip (well I hope that’s not the case, but we’ll never be able to travel the way we did last year) and I’m so glad we had a chance to go. I love this view of the Eiffel Tower.

10. Summer Days
IMG_6332 blog
This past summer, my Alma Mater (Peace College – a traditionally women’s college) announced that they would become William Peace University and begin to accept male students to their day program. Many of us were pretty upset about the decision and held a Peace(ful) Protest. This is one of my favorite photos from that day.

11. A Day in My Life

I spent part of the year participating in Vloggin’ Vednesdays. For one of the prompts, we were supposed to interview someone we loved (at least I think that’s what it was). I decided to interview Kitty Paw. It was pretty funny…at least I thought so. \

12. All Smiles
Two Front Teeth
You all know our niece’s freckles and smiles. It’s infectious! I love this particular shot of her taken during a weekend visit. I don’t remember exactly what was said to make her laugh like this, but I love it!

13. Autumn Harvest
Autumn Collage
Autumn is my all time favorite season of the year, so I couldn’t stop at just one photo. I pulled this collage together for the Shades of Autumn photo challenge.

14. Family or Home
Jeremy Pushes Carter RS
We are so fortunate to have such loving families. I could have chosen any number of photos to represent this prompt, but I kept coming back to this one. My husband was pushing our nephew around the yard during sunset when I took this photo – it gives me a glimpse of what life will be like with our own children one day.

15. Celebrate!
Mary and Enrique-Creative RS
We went to several weddings last year…weddings = celebrations! Of course I brought my camera to each one so I had plenty of photos to choose from but I think this is my favorite. If you knew the couple, you would know how special this moment really is.

16. Let’s Do It Again…
During my visit with Kat this past fall, I had the opportunity to spend some time with her son, Brandon. I thought we’d have fun with the afternoon light and play with an action shot. I am totally going to do more of these types of shots with the kids I photograph in 2012. It’s way too fun not to.
17. I Miss You
Family Photos CS Vanilla Latte RS
Fortunately, I did not lose anyone close to me this past year. Although my grandfather died several years ago, I still miss him.

18. Beautiful
IMG_5552 RS
I had no idea which photo to use for this prompt. I’ve shot some beautiful people over the past year, but I didn’t want to choose one of my client photos. However, I will put my girl Casey on the spot. Isn’t she beautiful? I hope to have more opportunities to photograph her and others in 2012.

19. Dress Up
All Dressed Up!
Look – it’s me again. I bought this dress for a rehearsal dinner and later wore it to another wedding the same weekend. Since I was feeling sassy, I decided to take a picture of myself all dressed up. I wish I had some of the pictures from that one wedding I was in to share with you (I only have small Facebook resized images). I might have mentioned that I was going to do my best to re-wear that dress. Well I’m happy to report that I re-wore the dress to my company’s holiday party.

20. Macro
Mushroom Fairy Village
I took a number of macro shots this year. At some point, I was drooling over other people’s mushroom images (weird thing to obsess over, but it happened). Then it happened…I got my very own mushroom village. In fact, I think we still have some in the front yard. This was one of my favorites.

21. Holidays
Merry and Bright: Christmas Card 2011
Are you tired of seeing this picture yet? I really do love it – I just hope we can top it next year. Actually, I know we can!

22. My Favorite
London Storybook
This particular prompt was hard. How do you choose a favorite from an entire year? But when I went back through my photos, I knew this one had to be at the top. As I started processing my European vacation photos, I started applying a new technique that creates a storybook effect. I love it.

23. Don’t Ever Change
IMG_6581 RS
I may have used a picture of my niece last year and the message holds true. I love her childish joy, her big goofy smile, her ability to feel emotion stronger than most adults, and her positive outlook on life. I can only imagine the person she will become and I hope she never changes.

24. Just Because…So There
Kitty Paw in the Sun 1 RS
You’re actually going to see an entire collection of Kitty Paw photos on Tuesday (or Wednesday), but I had to include this one. I’ve got this photo as my phone background. I love everything about it.

25. Hopes and Dreams
Spiderweb in the Sun RS
In 2011, I had a number of goals…and in most cases, I think I achieved those goals. Here’s where I stand on the goals I established last year:
  • I did not open my Print Shop on Etsy.com. In fact, I have no plans of continuing with this goal, but I may explore other venues to sell my prints. I’m just not sure that Etsy is the right fit for me.
  • I got a ton of practice with portrait photography. In fact, as of August 2011, I am officially in business. I’ve completed the legal/business requirements and had a busy December. Now it’s just a matter of carrying that business throughout the entire year. If you’re interested in my portrait work, just contact me.
  • I think I learned how to use Adobe CS5 and Adobe Lightroom pretty well this past year. I want to continue getting the most out of each of them though in 2012. I’m sure there’s still more to learn…and more to share. On that note, I created a few Photoshop actions this past year. If you missed it, here is Nice and Easy.
This year will be a bit of a continuation of last year with more fine tuning. Although Jill and I have discontinued Shoot and Edit, I still plan to regularly write photography and editing tutorials. I also plan to continue sharing my faith each week. Also, my husband and I are currently working on a new site that will hopefully launch within the month. It’s going to be a big year – I can assure you of that! 

With that said, a big thank you to everyone that I’ve “met” in 2011 – you have really inspired me and I’m looking forward to continuing the journey in 2012. An even bigger thank you to everyone who has participated Memories, Dreams and Reflections. I think it’s been a big hit and I look forward to many more years in this community. Have a great 2012 everyone!

Memories, Dreams and Reflections

Scavenger Hunt SundayNow…I bet you’re looking for a Scavenger Hunt Sunday list. If you want to participate next week, here are your items, sponsored by Terrie from Creative Explorer (these can also be found at the bottom of my blog each week):
  1. One Color
  2. Laundry
  3. Empty
  4. One Dozen
  5. Soft
Thanks again Terrie for so many great scavenger hunt items. If you’d like to contribute items to the list, just send me an email with your suggestions (I can better keep track of them this way). Each week, I will select one reader’s prompt list, add those items to what is currently on tap and give the selected reader a shout out on my blog during Scavenger Hunt Sunday.