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Lost Memories

December 21, 2009

It may just be a nerd thing, but I get really excited when I find a new location.  I get even more excited when I am reunited with an old location that gets even greater with age!  Today I got really, really excited when I set out in search of an awesome location close to home.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let me catch you up on the weekend’s events.

I took family photos yesterday of my cousins and grandparents and couldn’t wait to get home to start the upload process.  The light was amazing and I had the best feeling about the photos.

I wanted to take full advantage of the light and decided to throw in a few shots of Mo the donkey before it faded.  By the time I got home I was exhausted and almost forgot to upload.  I finally got around to it late.  My process is the same everytime.  Afraid to change things up in case tragedy occurs, I set up my station, plugged everything in, downloaded, and finally began to search through the photos.  All of my beautifully lit photos….

WERE GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I’ve had dreams about this happening during a wedding.  I think it is a digital photographers greatest fear.  The best thing for me to do when I get mad is to go to sleep.  I know the saying is never go to bed angry, but for the worlds sake it is best if I do.  I wake up in a much better mood and whatever thoughts I had about torching my computer would be gone.

I called my mom to explain the tragedy and she tried to comfort me “At least it wasn’t a wedding.  Your family will understand.  They won’t mind having a reshoot tomorrow.”  But none of that worked.  I was devastated that a few certain photos of my grandparents were lost… forever.    There was nothing else I could do.  I went to bed so that my mind could stop dwelling on it.

What usually works was useless.  I had dreams all night of losing thing.  I’d wake up mid dream to tell myself I didn’t lose anything only to realize that the photos were in fact gone.  No sleep for me.  Still worried when I woke up I skipped church to find a better location.  Shame on me I know, but there was no way I could sit through church with feelings of hate and devastation.

That’s when I found it.  Or remembered it first actually.  The park that I’d gone to often in my early childhood days to have my photos taken and where my grandpa takes all of the grand-kids to feed the ducks.  There was that light shinning down perfectly.

Everything seemed to be working out.  My anger was gone, the family was willing to do a reshoot, and I found a little piece of beauty in a city that isn’t pretty to me at all.  Best of all my cousin thought that he could fix my download problem.  In fact, it wasn’t anything to do with my computer.  It was my memory card all along!!

Lessons were learned, anxieties removed, and all of my photos RESTORED!!  I’d always wondered what would happen if I accidentally deleted the photos off of my memory card or they got corrupted during a wedding.  Now I know, and I can fix it!!  Brides-to-Be, no worries now (unless some crazy person takes my memory card and smashes it to pieces)!

What’s a story without some photos to illustrate?

The awesome park I went to today:

The Spohn Family [Family Photography (Cleburne, Texas)]

December 10, 2009

The week of Thanksgiving I learned a valuable lesson:  Be thankful for the small things in life.  The small things like the gloves and rainboots I keep in my car.  It was such a cold day when I met the Spohn’s in Cleburne, Texas for their family shoot.  We started at the Camp Henderson site next to Buffalo Creek BBQ and I got there a little bit early to check out the lighting.  As I was doing so my suede boots absorbed all of the dew leaving my toes frozen.  It was supposed to be a nice 70 degrees out and it was taking it’s time arriving.  So I threw on my zebra striped boots (GO Grandview Zebras!!), despite the clash in my outfit, grabbed my gloves and basked in the beautiful Texas sun until the cute Spohn family arrived.

They were troopers in the cool morning weather!  Braxton may appear little, but he has a huge personality.  He is a natural in front of  the camera and was fascinated with my lenses.  Curious little boys are the best to photograph!!  It didn’t take much to keep him happy and the love that this family has for each other radiates in each photograph.

Procrastinator’s Holiday Mini-Session- Saturday, December 12, 2009- $85

December 7, 2009

This year I made a vow to not get caught up in the holiday rush.  I finished my shopping before Thanksgiving and have already planned what desserts I’m taking to each party.  Kudos to me right?  Well, I don’t have kids, work for the man, or have the responsibility of hosting a party so it is not a big feat.

The rest of you have a lot of responsibilities this season and it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without the rush, right?  Have you even had a chance to send out your Christmas cards?  Don’t forget to celebrate the real reason of the season!  Take a breather and celebrate life with your family, friends, and community!

There is no better way to create lasting memories than to have a portrait session!  Whether it be family, pet, or individual portraits, this Saturday, December 12, 2009, I will be hosting the Procrastinator’s Holiday Mini-Session at my outdoor studio (weather permitting!!).  These 30 minute mini-sessions are $85 and include a DVD of the images (with full-printing rights) and 25 double-sided holiday cards that will be ready for pick-up that same week!

Sessions are filling up quickly so email me (sydni@sydnirae.com) to make sure you get a spot!  Happy Holidays!!!

Meet Camo

November 14, 2009

Grasshoppers don’t stand a chance.  Birds have established a no fly zone in her territory.  Mice may as well be extinct.

To the untrained eye or expecting snack it appears that this feline goddess spends her days lazily basking in the golden rays of the Texas sun, but Camo, as her name implies,  waits patiently for her next victim.  Her speed and fierceness most always provide victory, but on rare occasion she will let her victim go for sport the next day.

Today was no exception.  I followed her throughout the yard as she prowled around for something to conquer.  A grasshopper here, a lizard there.  Then she spotted it.  Crouching down like a spring, she waited until her target got distracted.  In the blink of an eye she lept forward in full force, tackled her prey, tumbled around like a gymnast in the floor routine, and pinned it to the ground only to find that it was her best friend Max, the dachshund.  Max was not happy at all that he turned out to be her latest victim and retaliated in his own way.  Back and forth they ripped across the yard, only letting up once Max was able to tree Camo.  Max’ stubby legs aren’t very useful for climbing trees so he tried barking her down.  However, this feline, treed once or twice before, has mastered the art of taunting and finally the little puppy gave up in need of a nap.

Most cats have unique personalities, and Camo is no exception.  Following her around was quite entertaining and gave me some great ideas for a few children’s books.  As you look through these photographs know that it is OK to be scared of a couple of them.  She does look fierce doesn’t she?

Camo Fright

Camo Singing Taylor Swift's FearlessPounceCamo WaitsBath timeCamo

Reginald’s Blog Debut

November 13, 2009

It finally looks like FALL in Texas!  When I drove up to the house the lawn was covered in leaves and the dogs have been dragging them in all week.  It had to be done…. today.  Those leaves had to go despite how beautiful they looked carpeting the lawn. Building a jump worthy pile of leaves is a great workout and it is still shorts weather in Texas so I headed outdoors for a peaceful afternoon. It only took an hour before a neighbor stopped to tell me I was doing it wrong. Really?

Maybe it’s that I like to turn everything in to a shoot, or maybe I wanted recognition for raking all of those leaves by myself, but I couldn’t resist taking a few photographs of my FALL day.  Some of the photographs make it look wimpy, but it really was big.  Actually I had two big piles, but the other was not-so-photo-worthy.  I used my gnome, Reginald, for a more realistic idea of it’s stature.  He even took a jump or two… but iron gnomes have a tough time not sinking to the bottom of the pile.

Hope you take some time and play in the leaves before it gets too cold!!

Reginald Fall LeavesFall Leaves Reginald 3Reginald

Weekend-in-Review #1

November 10, 2009

I rarely get sick.  In the past 6 years I only went  to the doctor once ailment related.  Of course when I make a commitment to myself to blog 3-5 days a week over the next month I feel awful on day number one.  However, I’ve managed to scrape up a little post in the form of my first ever Weekend-in-Review. In other words, what in the world happened over the weekend.

Saturday was a rare day of celebration in these tough times.  With the mourning of the lost lives the day before, my family traveled to the lake to celebrate the upcoming arrival of Payton Leigh, my cousin’s soon-to-be first child.  Ordinarily I find excuses to stay away from wedding/baby showers, but I was excited about this one.  Who wouldn’t be excited about getting out of the city and going to the lake?

I had been thinking about the perfect gift for about a month.  Of course, I don’t know if the gift I gave was perfect, but if I was a baby I’d totally rock it.  Seven of us girls (I’m purposely including my male cousin Brian in this since he didn’t want to miss out; hence forth he will be called Brianna for the rest of his life) and Mom’s puppy jumped in the mini-van and hit the road.  Has anybody ever heard of Log Cabin, Texas?  Well it does exist because we drove through it.  Finally we get there and the party begins.  Thank goodness socializing ran over in to game time.  Darn… we missed those games… *sigh of relief*.

Presents galore lined the living room.  Payton Leigh is going to be one stylish chick.  Everything had the reoccurring theme of pink and brown.  Completely on accident.  Who could help it?  Baby clothes have gotten 250% more stylish than when I was in diapers.  I expect by the time I get around to having kids they are going to be wearing wigs.

And then it happened.  A murmur in the room.  “Well, let’s just hope she got her information right.  Afterall, if it is a boy that baby won’t have a single outfit.”  The room comes to a screeching halt.  Apparently, one of my cousins accompanied the expecting mother to the ‘let’s find out what color to paint the nursery’ appointment and came back declaring it was a girl.  The technician couldn’t Waldo, but you never know where he is going to hide these days.

Anyway, not a big deal for all of these store bought, gift receipt bearing items.  No, no, these party goers were smart.  However, I decided that I wanted to be crafty.  I’ve had a little bit of extra time on my hands the past week or two and thought that this would be a good use of my time.  Being a little girl once I decided to think about myself.  Yes, because that was the right thing to do in the situation.  What would Sydni want if she was having a shower thrown for her arrival? Anything pink that looks like it through up princess of course.  Who cares that the only memory  that the child will have of this much thought about gift will have to be by way of photographs.  That is, if anybody takes one.

So in part selfishness and part every girl must have one, I created a tutu.  Everybody and there mom creates them these days, but the more the merrier for Payton Leigh.  I worked out a bunch of kinks, and I mean a bunch of non-tutu related kinks to pull this outfit off.  It’s not difficult to make a tutu if you know what tule is, what got me is all of the ironing I had to do to get the rest of the outfit to work.  Oh, and tip of the day:  Ironing tule is not a good idea.  It burns fast.  Ends up smelling like fish.  And causes you to move on to plan b.

Thankfully it was a big hit, in part due to the awesome ballet flats I found that matched perfectly.  If Payton Leigh turns out to be a Peyton Lee he may just have to be photographed in that tutu for my sake.  He will definetly bring pink back in style too with all of those super cute outfits that other guests found.  My aunt was the only safe one of the group and made a green blanket because she didn’t get the ‘they’re having a girl’ message like the rest of us did.

We packed up late that afternoon and the group trusted me to navigate back to home base driving the mini-van.  That was a first for me.  Let’s just say, I make it look cool…

My one shoot of the weekend got canceled on Sunday and I was disappointed, but it did free up an afternoon to go antiquing!  Can’t wait to share some photographs with you all this week of my latest models!

Tutu Love

Happy Birthday Session

October 6, 2009

My absolute favorite day of the year is my birthday!!  It marks another year of survival and a time of celebration with family, cake, and fireworks (well for my birthday at least!!).  I like to take time and think about what my life was like over the past year and dream of where I will be the next.  This is something typically done on New Years, but I’m not really a fan of that holiday.  Every year, no matter who’s birthday it is, my grandpa or grandma has the camera out to document the cake, the presents, the family, and of course, the guest of honor.  It is a guarantee that you will see and receive copies of these photographs by the next time you come for a visit.

Documenting how far you’ve come each year is such an important task.  Why not do it every year on your birthday?  This is what led me to create a new session dedicated to that special day!  Anytime during your birthday month you can participate in this session for $50.   What a deal!  It is just like all of my typical portrait sessions plus you get a sweet treat!!  It’s 1-2 hours celebrating you and the life you’ve had thus far.  There is no age limit because no matter how old we are, life should be celebrated.

This past Friday I had the opportunity to shoot my first birthday session.  I can’t believe that Brandt is already turning two!!!  The usual terrible two’s hasn’t phased Brandt.  He is all personality and made me laugh the whole time!  Mickey Mouse is the theme of his upcoming birthday party, so how could we leave dear Mickey out? Poor Mickey Mouse survived the cake and occasional toss across the yard, but I can’t say the same for our wonderful balloons from The Blossom Patch (Grandview, Texas Florist – 817.866.3010) that took flight shortly after our shoot was over.  Even that was funny to Brandt.

Happy birthday little Brandt!!!