Mini Shutter Bug

I promised to update about my oldest stepdaughter’s camp adventure and here it is.

I spied this photography camp when I first got the Kid’s and Teen’s University schedule from the Continuing Ed Department of UTA. This is the same program I went through to get certified in digital photography. I knew of the instructor that was teaching it. I didn’t have her in class, and had only met her in person once (in a big, crazy-busy group I might add). We are connected in the social media networks (she cracks me up on Instagram). I heard great things about her, and her classes through a mutual friend of hers, and MANY other photography friends. I was very comfortable that Molly would enjoy her instruction. I even messaged her that Molly was a little on the young side, and she was fine with it.

Molly has used a little telescope as a pretend camera for as long as I have known her. Both girls used my first DSLR on our recent Oklahoma trip, and got the hang of it pretty quick. I had no doubt she would do well and learn a little about photography.

At the top of Mt. Scott in Oklahoma.

This camp class was using a point and shoot camera. We went shopping for her new camera and camera bag. I was going to give her my old point and shoot, but honestly? I can’t find it. It is one of the lost items from our move two years ago. And by that, I mean it’s buried in the heap of crap-I-don’t-need-but-moved-from-my-duplex-anyway garage stuff.

Her first day, she got her little camera bag ready the night before (she did this every night, but her bag grew to a backpack).

I showed her all the basic operations of her camera (like on/off and where the memory card goes).

She caught on very quickly. She LOVED her teacher. Tammy is a natural with the kids, and they enjoyed every second. Molly was VERY sad on her last day to say good-bye to her.

Tammy sent me the photos she took of the kids in class. You can see in her eyes how much fun she had.

Big thanks to Tammy for these wonderful images. If you have a second, please visit her Facebook Tammy Ferguson Photography. She teaches from her heart, but is a full-time professional photographer.

I took this below at home before Molly left for her last day. It was so funny. She had Tammy a little gift and a card she colored herself.

After I took the photo, Molly asked me very calmly if she had a merge. I couldn’t help but be surprised. A merge is when you subject has something coming out of their head or body that makes them look funny. Usually, it’s a pole or plant.

I told her, I didn’t think so, but she could look at the photo. As soon as she saw the photo, she started yelling, “Merge! Merge! There is a fireplace coming out of my head!”

I laughed a good long time. And then, I decided, I probably needed to go back to class. Heh.

One thing is for sure, she merged into quite the shutter bug.

I don’t know if she will stay interested in photography, and I don’t mind if she doesn’t. She tried something new, and for that I am so proud.

Digital Destiny

Did I ever tell you why I got my camera? It wasn’t just from scouring blogs and seeing Ahh-mazing pictures, wishing I could take photos like those (that was part of it). But it was also because of my Dad.

He always had a camera. He always took pictures. Now, were they good pictures? Eh, not so much, but he loved taking them.

We have pictures of every cat he had, every dog, every weekend visit. When he was stationed in Germany, he took tons of pictures of quaint German towns he visited, and other places in Europe. Plus, every visit as adults with and without grandkids. Every one.

And he didn’t take them just of us, and his pets. He took them of every animal he ever found as well. His hog nose snake, Inky Stinky the skunk, turtles, lizards, and more. Any wild life he found or discovered, he was taking a photo. The last one I remember him showing me, with deep chuckles and grins, were of three baby raccoons trapped in a trash can at the local park. The pictures were found laid out on his desk after he died.

He had discovered the triplets on his daily walk, ran home and got his camera, then tipped the can low enough to take their picture inside. Then he called the park ranger to rescue them and waited until he did. He got the biggest kick out of that. Those baby coons in the trash. Little scavengers with thoughts of sweet nothings in their head having no idea they’d get stuck and be using their big eyes to peer up and spot my Dad.

That was my Dad. He loved wild life. He loved animals. He had a heart for rescue and nature. With all his might, he would try to capture those moments with his little disposable camera.

When he died, I used some funds from his insurance policy to buy my Nikon D3000; my first DSLR. A tribute to him. A camera that does capture what you want it to, in the way you want it to, without ever disappointing. It’s amazing.

It ignited a fire, a desire to learn everything about photography. And now, I have taken the next step in my journey. One year after purchasing my DSLR, and one year after my father’s death, I took my first class to get certified in photography, and not only know my way around the lens creatively, but technically as well.

I met my teacher last night. He is a wild life and landscape photographer. He volunteers at Fossil Rim (an animal wild life park), and at the local animal shelter (plus he teaches photography every night).

Don’t think I didn’t catch the significance in that. Don’t think I didn’t notice his love of animals. And don’t think I didn’t miss his teaching pictures are of meerkats and hawks.

Don’t think I didn’t realize how destined this class was. Oh Dad, my Daddy-O, you are here. In my heart and with me every step. I miss you and I thank you for the love you instilled. I know you would be proud, and just as delighted as I am.

If I did happen to miss all those important things, I certainly would not have missed the picture I took later that night for my 365 project.

I saw the “one” significance to my day. All the ones pointing up towards the heaven. Do you know there is a story that when it’s 11:11 all the Angels point their wings to the sky? I don’t know if this is a true tale, or a child’s tale, but I always think of that when I see 11:11. Yesterday not only was it 11:11, it was 1/11/11.

I saw my digital destiny and I can’t wait.

My Life Edited

Mama's Losin' ItI chose weekly writing prompt #1.
1.) If you could do it over again…
(Inspired by Barb from Half-Past Kissin’ Time)

Truth is, almost every time this question comes up, I answer it the same way. I wouldn’t change a thing about my life, or where I am today.

However, today I decided to answer this burning question with absolute honesty, and a little of the stuff dreams are made of.

I got a Nikon D3000 DSLR mid January this year. Since then I have had a burst of creativity. My mind has enlivened. The camera frees photographs, the photographs free words, the words tell a story. For me, it flows in a never-ending whirlpool of spectacular visions.

Recently, I decided to try portrait photography for the first time (with a non-family member). That post could be written using writing prompt three: 3.) Steppin outside the box (describe a time when you went way out of your comfort zone)
(inspired by Sherri from Matter Of Fact).

Believe me, this was the time. Yes, I had a big camera. No, I had zero bridal portrait experience and very little experience of non-family photos. I started out extremely nervous. What made it easier was – she really didn’t expect much. She knew I had a nice camera and liked to take photos. So, we did.

The result.




See more photos here, or here.

The story.

She had brought these army boots to take pictures in and an army helmet. Those and her bridal veil were very important to her. She wanted to make sure, I had some poses with them. I noticed the veil did not quite match the color of her dress, but never considered anything else, other than my eye was seeing it through the lens. The boots and helmet made me think a loved one was in the army. A dad? A brother? Come to find out (after the session), her fiance is in Iraq. The boots and helmet were his. Now when I see the pictures; the story unfolds.




She is not just a beautiful bride-to-be. She is the ultimate bride awaiting the safe return of her groom. And the veil? Her mother’s. To me, it became a story of love, and family. Made more endearing by the photos taken.

She wants me to take photographs of them both when he returns home from Iraq. What an honor.

This is not the first time this has happened. On the drive back from Houston – which definitely qualifies for writing prompt four: 4.) A long drive…
(inspired by Lindy from Lindy And Ree
). For me, Dallas to Houston is the worst drive. Ever. But I digress.

We stopped North of the Woodlands, at a little 7-11. There was a man seated in front of the store with a dark green duffel bag. I could tell he was homeless. He had on worn clothes. He didn’t smile, or frown. He just sat there; still and tall. Browned by the sun, his facial features resembled leather, as if they were chiseled on his face. I was surprised he didn’t have a cup, or a sign. But he had nothing- literally nothing. And he didn’t ask for anything more.

I gave him a few bucks upon leaving. He thanked me profusely and we blessed each other. I got in the car, but couldn’t help notice his features again, the bag next to him, and his story. What was it?

I wanted nothing more than to grab my camera, offer him twenty bucks to take his picture; ask his name and where he was from. Get his story. How he got there? What he did before? Was he a vet, a father, a brother? The opportunity passed. We drove away. But I never forgot that burning desire to know and to capture.

Maybe, I should have been a photo journalist. Maybe, I still could be. If I could, would I? Would I choose to discover this desire earlier in my years and turn my life in that direction? Maybe.

I find it all very fascinating and interesting. I have my camera ready…..what’s your story?