100 photos in 100 minutes

When Sleeklens contacted me a month ago about reviewing their editing presets I was already pretty comfortable with my workflow and editing style.  I was doing about one client a week and had ample time for editing and tinkering around in Lightroom.  That was until the Holiday photo rush and business started booming.  I was spending way too much time editing client's photos and I needed help - so I dove into the Sleeklens presets.

Most of my sessions result in about 100 photos, so my challenge was this:  With Sleeklens presets, could I edit 100 photos in 100 minutes?  And the answer was . . .  NO!  I could do 120 ;)

And the results were outstanding.  Here is the SOOC image from the photo above:

And the results were outstanding.  Here is the SOOC image from the photo above:

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And my personal favorite photo of my little reindeers:

  

SOOC - before

SOOC - before

After Sleeklens Portrait Golden preset.  A one-click wonder! 

After Sleeklens Portrait Golden preset.  A one-click wonder! 

'Nuff said.

1,001 reasons to celebrate

My second Instagram feature was chosen for @pixel_kids by Meg Loeks who is my absolute favorite artist. Her online course "Finding the Classic Beauty in your Everyday" has really shaped who I am as a photographer and her Instagram feed @meg_nlo inspires me every day.  I can't even describe how thrilled I was and still am that she gave a nod to my art.

In this photo the boys and I were making gingerbread at the crack of dawn.  The sun just started pouring through our kitchen window when I snapped this pic.  They love helping me bake.  And just like me, whenever they're in the kitchen there is soon to be a huge mess :)

As an added bonus, this photo was also featured by @kindredmemories a few days later.  I will be forever grateful to @janelpeyton of @kindredmemories for my first feature.  

I am also so proud to

Family Selfies

Taking our family portrait for this year's holiday card was more of an experience than I imagined.

Before we arrived at this final shot. . .

There was lots of silliness. . .

Tons of laughter and more than a few tears. . .

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And I can't wait to do it all over again.

First Instagram feature

I am so excited to announce that one of my photos was featured on Instagram by @kindredmemories!  Everett had just perched himself atop our "kitchen helper" stool to get a better view of the sunset when I snapped this pic.  Love the little bandaids on his fingers - his favorite accessory.

"Favorite time of day"

"Favorite time of day"

Caterpillar chronicles

On a gorgeous November afternoon the boys and I were out exploring and Everett found a beautiful caterpillar.  He named it Krantis.  I don't know where he got 'Krantis' from, but he is good at coming up with names.  Just ask our goldfish, Glitter, and Daddy.

Everett explained to Rowan that the caterpillar would turn into a butterfly tomorrow or the next day.

Everett explained to Rowan that the caterpillar would turn into a butterfly tomorrow or the next day.

It was really sweet how Everett handled this tiny creature so gently.

It was really sweet how Everett handled this tiny creature so gently.

The boys found Krantis a new home.

The boys found Krantis a new home.

The next day the boys wanted to take a snack for the caterpillar.  A quick google image search and we discovered that Krantis is a black swallowtail caterpillar and likes to eat fennel and parsley.  So we packed some italian parsley and set out to find our little friend.  Everett picked some wild fennel along the way in addition to some rosemary which he thought that Krantis would also enjoy.

Our lucky day!  The boys discovered another black swallowtail caterpillar!

Everett said "It's Krantis's mom!"

Everett said "It's Krantis's mom!"

Rowan named her Nina and was excited to hold her. 

Rowan named her Nina and was excited to hold her. 

The caterpillar having a parsley snack.

The caterpillar having a parsley snack.

After looking for Krantis for a little while Everett determined that he had already turned into a butterfly and flew away.  It was about to rain, so we made a little shelter for Nina and headed home.  

It was so heartwarming to see the boys working together to care for this little creature.  Now if they could just be that nice to each other ;)

 

Giving thanks

This last week after Thanksgiving has been a whirlwind of switching into Christmas mode: ordering cards and gifts, planning get togethers and meals, and of course taking our holiday card family photo.  More on the photo session with some hilarious outtakes and amazing meltdowns on a later post. For now I would like to give thanks for the few hours I have to myself this morning to listen to music, catch up on the blog, have tea with a friend, and go to the gym.  Ahhhh...  Deep breath...  

My sweet flower child :)

My sweet flower child :)

 

Working up an appetite

Before Thanksgiving dinner my husband, Erik, the boys and I explored a nearby bike path.  Erik and I on foot on the boys on their scooters.  We seriously underestimated how fast the boys could scoot and ended up chasing them up and down the paths.  Thankfully the boys took a break from scooting to explore a field of flowers and we were able to catch our breath.

Everett found a special flower for my hair.

Everett found a special flower for my hair.

Watching Rowan try to blow dandelion seeds was too cute.

Watching Rowan try to blow dandelion seeds was too cute.

We were having so much fun that we lost track of time.  Erik and the boys raced back for dinner.  Unable to keep pace, I hung back and snapped some pics.

We were having so much fun that we lost track of time.  Erik and the boys raced back for dinner.  Unable to keep pace, I hung back and snapped some pics.

This Thanksgiving was really special in many ways.  Foremost it was a real turning point for me.  I stopped being who I thought people wanted me to be.  I dropped the false story line about how much I love working nights, weekends and holidays in a failing ER system.  And I excitedly told everyone about my new careers as a photographer, a medical expert and writer for television and my plans not to return to clinical medicine anytime soon.  Being true to myself allowed me to really connect with all these wonderful people and experience Thanksgiving with an ease and grace that was previously foreign to me.  For this I am grateful.  

the rain room

Yesterday the boys and I visited the rain room exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I thought it was pretty incredible but the boys not so much.  They were terrified.  Everett eventually warmed up to it but Rowan clung to my leg the entire time.  At one point the three of us were huddled together so tight that I was able to snap this photo at 1/5 sec.  

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Apparently we weren't the only family that was huddled together. . .