Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Bright and early on the Sunday before Christmas, Sean's dad knocked on our door about a half hour after my alarm was supposed to rouse me from my slumber. After grumblingly scurrying around, readying myself for the day, we all headed out to see the Mormon Tabernacle perform, along with the Symphony on Temple Square (which was more exciting for me- whoever enjoys a choir more than an orchestra is nuts), in their weekly Music and the Spoken Word.

The program was filled with exquisite Christmas music, often accompanied by a chorus of bells. My favorite part was the end of a haunting rendition of O Holy Night, when the last note melted into a river of harmony that drifted slowly over our heads. Goose bump-inducing. I love music chills. I miss being in band.

But after the performance, we pulled on our winter coats to bear against the hazy Utah inversion. And we came upon this:

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A most mystical, beautiful view of the Salt Lake Temple.

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I have goose bumps all over again.

And just for kicks and giggles, after editing this photos, I tried one of the Pioneer Woman Photoshop Actions (Vintage, I think) on a couple. I like the effect.

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Which do you prefer, pre- or post-action?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Newest Mr. and Mrs. Bradley

Isn't winter a wonderful season to marry? I mean, sure it's cold, but the snow and the holiday cheer, the familial love- great time for a wedding.
Which is just what Sean's brother, Kyle, and his now wife, Lindsay, determined. They were married in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple in Utah last week and it was a grand day for all.
They asked me to take some wedding pictures for them.
Terrifying. Are there any more important pictures than those taken on your wedding day? I dun think so. Nu uh.
But I read up on wedding photography, paid attention to the composition of all the wedding photo blogs I frequent, and made good use of the new telephoto lens my parents gave me for Christmas (except for when my dear hubby ran off with it. tsk tsk. I forgive you honey), and some turned out alright.
Here are some of my favorites!
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What a lovely new temple. It'll be so nice when the foliage fills out a bit.

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Even prettier lit up at night.

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Ah, this was Sean's photo during the luncheon. He was seated perfectly in the center of the room, I'm sure so he could capture this image.
And the happy couple at last! So thrilled to be together!

Ha, this one probably won't be hung on the wall, but I love her expression.

All the family, except for Lindsay's sister-in-law who's caring for her very newborn. A great crew.

Isn't this so sweet? I love wedding love.

Thankfully, Lindsay had a cape that at least guarded her from the sharp wind. 'Twas a cold day, my friends.

They both have lovely blue eyes. Can you see that here? Wonder if their kids will inherit it.

Rachel taught me what artists call this effect. Something like "lost and found," where you can't see the edge but your eye can still discern it. I'm a fan.

I love this one. The Bradleys printed it out 20x30 inches and it's so neat to see so big!

Mmm, this is what they mean when they say "wedded bliss."

Lindsay's idea and it rocks. And I made Kyle dip her at least three times- what a tough guy.

Veil fun! Thanks, Lindsay's mom, for the "natural" wind effect.

What a good lookin' couple. They belong together.

Friday, December 18, 2009

This just in:

In a surprise move, the doctor was able to tell us the gender of our lovely little twins!

Do you want to know?

Do you really want to know?

Are you sure?

Alright, get ready.

Because it's exciting.

Ready now?



We were hoping that the doctor could tell the gender but we knew that at 16 weeks, it might be a little early. But, ha, a few seconds in to the ultrasound and, yep, they're boys!

We also saw a different doctor this time, a high risk OB (since they're mono-chorionic twins and have the posibility of twin-to-twin transfusion), just to make sure everything's hunky dory. He had some cool ultrasounding equipment, including a way to see the babies in 3D. All the pictures he gave us are in that mode, which look kind of funny and weird, but here they are:

Baby Boys 16 weeks

The first three pictures are baby B, the second three of baby A. Baby B had his hand by his face for all these pictures and A is just chillin'. In fact, A is a little big for his gestational age- guess it's because he's so lazy :)

As for names, we're thinking of Mario and Luigi. Or maybe Fred and George. Ha!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Little happy family

Man, is everyone else having a crazy busy December? What with buying presents, making cookies, finding a dress for Kyle's wedding, making dinners, going to dinners, and visiting people, I just don't have any time to be lazy! Granted, all those things are pretty fun activities, but that's besides the point.

I know you've all been eagerly awaiting those zoo pictures but... I haven't edited them yet. Did I mention all the other things I've had to do? There's buying presents, making cookies... oh right, you get the idea. But I did edit some other pictures- our friends the Caywoods asked me to take some family photos. I said yes, not because I take amazing portraits, but because I like taking pictures, I own a cool camera, and I wanted the practice. And because they're our friends :)

I learned a lot, like how having a lack of light means a big ISO, which means lots of noisy pictures. And how it's totally unnatural for me to direct people how to stand, where to look, etc. And that babies look reeeeally small compared to adults and I might want to make sure the baby's held atypically high so as to be close to mom and dad's face. But it really was a fun experience and I was glad for the chance.

Here's some of my favorites:

The falls colors were so juicy. It fit perfectly with their outfits.

Don't you love Nicole's haircut. So edgy and perfect for her face.
That's a cute behbeh!

Just hangin out in the weeds...

See, he's sooo tiny.

My favorite! What a beautiful family!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

So glad to have met you

We interupt the adventures of Sean and Katie in San Antonio to bring you this important message:

I met the Pioneer Woman!

And guess who forgot her camera.

My forehead is still sore from hitting it so many times. I remembered the cookbook, books to read while waiting, things I'd need for errands afterward, everything but my beloved Canon. Ugh.

Wouldn't it have been beautiful symmetry to photograph the woman who has taught me so much about the craft, inspired me to be a better photographer? Lost opportunities.

But Sean had his trusty cell phone camera, so at least we have a record!


That's Ree! With us! Together! I think our shoulders are touching!

Am I too excited about this?

Did you notice the funny backdrop? Yes, the signing was in a grocery store. Really, a kind of indoor farmers market. Originally, it was to be held in a bookstore but the expected crowd caused a venue change. To a place that was about twice as far from our house.

I discovered this while checking the details last night. I also found out the they'd been handing out signing line tickets for days already. So instead of showing up for her little speech at the beginning, then hanging for hours to wait our turn (while we were too far from home to know places to go to occupy our time), we decided to wait until a lot later and sneak in near the end of the line. It worked. We only waited about an hour and left with a signed book.

It was so awesome/weird to see her in real life, interacting with people. I'm so glad I got to meet her. Though I think I kind of babbled when it was my turn- an odd thing considering I might be considered a minimalist when it comes to small talk. But I'm happy I could tell her how much I appreciate her work.

The best best BEST part though was my bathroom visit. Seriously. The store had individual bathrooms and during my visit, I heard the doorknob jiggle. Happy for door locks, I finished washing my hands and exited. And there was Ree! My door jiggler was the star herself! She was talking to someone else, so I didn't say anything, but she went in right after me... her bum sat on the same throne as mine! I can't tell you how honored I am.

I actually told her about the incident during my signing turn. Was that too much? She laughed, I hope it was genuine!

And thus ended my brush with fame. With a free T-shirt to prove it.

Though the night wasn't over for us. After a brief loss of electrical power to our dashboard while driving, in which the dash lights and gauges went out, we stopped at a Target to pick up some dog food. Can you guess what happened next? Yep, our car wouldn't start. We weren't sure if it was some electrical short or the battery, because the lights still worked. So we checked all the pertinent fuses but they all looked fine. Luckily, we have AAA, soley because the discount it gave us on renting a moving truck back in the summer exceded the cost of a AAA membership itself. We called them and a technician came. All he did was give us a jump but all the auto repair places were already closed. We drove home and will probably need to get a tow (or another jump) to go somewhere to check our battery. But all in all, it could have been much worse. Thank goodness for modern conveniences.

Quite the Saturday, eh!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

River City

Did everyone have a good Thanksgiving? Good, we did too. We went over to my brother's house and had a nice, simple meal, wore pajamas, and played games. And took zero pictures to prove it. It happens.

But we did take pictures this last weekend. Of San Antonio! We decided to take advantage of my day off and follow my doctors orders to go on vacation before these babies live outside of my tummy. It's awfully nice to have several cities within only a few hours drive. Utah felt kind of isolated in that aspect.

Our first stop: The Riverwalk.


The coolest thing about San Antonio is it's big looping river nestled between all sorts of restaurants and shops. Had it been a less crowded day, it'd be so peaceful just to walk along and see what the city has to offer.


The day we went, however, was ultra packed. Besides the fact that everyone and their dog had the day off, there was a river parade and holiday lighting that night. So everyone came out to enjoy. It was still fun though, we had a little Saltgrass lunch and strolled along, feeling fine. Oh, and there's usually not a railing, like in this picture, so there's a little thrill in walking along the edge of the water. Don't worry, I was careful. I wonder how often people fall in.


See- there were places where no one was around and we could just relax. Sean looks relaxed, doesn't he?

Incidently, we didn't end up going to the parade and lighting. We needed tickets to be down by the water, which we didn't realize until too late. But I don't think we missed much, from the tiny glimpses I saw through the crowds on the bridges. The trees just had some strands of lights hanging from them (nothing like the cool wrapped trees in SLC) and the parade moved rather slow. So found some little artisan shops instead. Much more fun.

Next stop: The Alamo


Does hearing anything about the Alamo make you think of PeeWee Herman? It does for me. I think that's what made me excited to visit.

It was a lot smaller than I expected and there wasn't a whole lot to see inside, but it was still cool to see the history. Did you know that Mexican troops killed all but two Texans defending the Alamo? I learned that on this trip. Actually, I didn't know much at all about why the Alamo was famous, so I learned quite a lot.


Sean took this picture. I love it. The Alamo has cool windows.


Look how much I love the Alamo!

I wear these big sweaters all the time, now. Ostensibly, to keep me warm from the chill that's crept into the air, but really, it hides the belly that looks more like chub than a baby bump right now. Shh, don't tell my secret.


Sean loves the alamo too.

He wears his jacket for warmth, not to hide anything. Though, it does bring out his eyes, so that's a plus.

Shoot, I just remembered we have this funny picture of Sean thinking really hard, signifying how he remembers the Alamo. Too bad, we'll look at it ourselves for our own kicks and giggles.


One more shot, at night. It's a pretty neat structure, isn't it? Good for a church, not so good as a fortress.

We never did see the basement of the alamo. I bet there's a bicycle down there.

Next comes: Mission San Juan Capistrano


I'd never been to a mission before. Well, I guess I had been to the Alamo the day before, so I technically had, but it's not quite the same. It was neat to see how it was all laid out and how it functioned. This here is the chapel, the main focus of the the whole plot of land. Religious services are still held here. Pretty cool.


Wuh oh, I see a tummy pooch! I'm wearing a loose shirt, too! Should have put on that sweater...


I loved all the arches and architectural elements. Fun to photograph.


All the doors had these funny pegs in them. I'm not sure if they're hinges or if they act as nails, or what, but I think it's neat.


The mission was pretty much a big rectagle of land encompassed by large walls of homes and the chapel at one end. With things like a granary and armory scattered here and there betwixt the houses. They weren't very large homes and apparently, in order to live there, the native americans had to do a whole lot of intensive labor. But I guess the protection the mission offered was worth it.


But at least, at the end of a hard day, they could come home to a nice cold Coke. Not so bad.

Stay tuned: Katie and Sean frolic with wild animals at the San Antonio Zoo!