Friday, June 29, 2012

So many changes!

At the beginning or so of this week (yeah, I think it was the 25th), Nathan looked especially patriotic in his red/white/blue plaid shortalls and his red polo (complete with a dark blue stripe around the neck). So, we decided to take 4th of July pictures. I couldn't find the flag I bought last year for our pictures and he wouldn't sit near the red flowers (their texture was a bit overwhelming and "loud" for him...silly...), but we did the best we could. It was a complete opposite of last year's 4th of July pictures, where he was scared of the grass so he wouldn't get off the blanket!

I decided it'd be fun to share a few favorites and compare them with last year's pictures. It still blows my MIND how much they change the first couple years. I see 25 cent baby clothes in 3T size and I just can't make myself buy them (we have the room and empty bins in storage...why not?) because I can't stand the fact that he'll be three one day.

Cue all of you seasoned moms telling me "just wait until..."

Here is my all-time favorite picture of him. I was chasing this crazy kiddo around, adjusting my camera settings to allow a shutter speed of at LEAST 1/600th of a second, and still a balanced histogram no matter how my light was. Which was rough, but we picked a golden time of day, so it all worked out.

 I love this picture of my Nathan. I didn't have to crop it or anything! (Although, from the reflection it looks like my camera is a dinky toy that I'm actually holding normally; it's just a distortion from his little lenses, I promise I wouldn't lie about something as silly as cropping a picture!) <--Message courtesy of my anxiety brain :o) 

At first I didn't like the reflection, and it would be more ideal without it, but I do love that it looks very real-life. I love the light we got on that side of the house, and the white siding made for a very neutral, not-distracting-yet-not-overwhelmingly-white backdrop. He's very "Top Gun" I think. 

Here are some other pictures from this year...I'm saving my favorites to send to grandparents/great-grandparents/aunts & uncles this week, so I don't want to give them all away! I tried to line them up with similar pictures from last year...check out how much this kiddo has changed! My how I miss that uber-round, chubby little baby face!
(Click on the collages to see them bigger; I wanted them to fit in the frame of the blog template!)
Oh, and as a fun detail, I pulled the blue background color for both of these collages right from his eyes in the picture from the 2011 collage (the one on the far left).

We still have a brand new family set of 2012 flag shirts (one of my family's favorite traditions) that we haven't worn yet, but I married a sweet man who just hates having his picture taken.  So we'll see if we even get a picture in the shirts!

I took the 2011 pictures the very first time I used my all-time favorite lens, my "nifty fifty" (50mm 1.8). Ohh I love me some dramatic bokeh! I fell in love with this lens on this little shoot. Look at his shiny eyes! I love how you can't tell he was sitting in front of the nastiest fence on our street (that we happen to share a yard with...yay...) in the 2012 pictures, and a very industrial-looking apartment building in the 2011 ones. This lens has always made our apartments (and their buildings) look way better than they ever have in real life! And that nasty fence has become one of my favorite places to take pictures!

Well that post was much ado about nothing, now wasn't it! Oh well, nothing's really new with us! Mitch is 3 weeks away from his semester off (September-December) and he's SO burnt out, but has been such a trooper! He is currently working 2 jobs and donating plasma when he can. My photography business has boomed, as I have more time on my semester off to dedicate to shoots (i'm only doing 2 credits this semester), so when the studying gets rough, we have the padding in our budget to let him take a week or two off from plasma without it hurting us. I have also been babysitting the 2 sweetest little girls ever, one (8 months) comes 3 times a week and the other (4 months) comes a couple times a month. This allows me to justify staying at home with my boy and not having to find a job on my off semester. 

Nathan is huge and is just busier than ever. If I were to "go, go, go!!" like that all day, every day, I would be dead by the end of the week! I don't know how he has so much energy!

Well, that's us!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Well, it was time for it, so now it's here...

I now have a photography website!! Not just my blog anymore!

I'm SO excited. It took me forever, wasn't very expensive, had kind of difficult website building tools, but it's finally done! I'm glad it was cheap; I searched for a long time to find a good site to use.

For those of you who'd like to know, I used for both the website and domain hosting. It wasn't even into the triple digits! I have friends who have paid several hundred, and we just couldn't spend that much on something intangible, ya know?

I had control over everything but the font of the page titles, which kind of bugged me, but I designed 5 full templates before settling on this one, so by that point I was ready for some compromise. 

Here is the link! 

 I wanted to use a simpler URL, like just my name, but my blog is already called alainadooleyphotos, so I wanted to be consistent.

I have always kind of doubted that all of this would take off, so I'm very pleased that I've come this far, and hopefully in a year I'm even further along!

My best friend, Amy, also just got a new SLR after not having one for almost 2 years. She has a 2 year old boy and the only pictures she has of him are from her phone and my camera...this is a girl who would charge $5,000+ for weddings in Utah and was published in 3 national magazines! Needless to say, we're both REALLY excited about her new investment!

The best part is that we get to go into business together! I'm her designated 2nd shooter at weddings, we have different equipment that we can borrow from each other for different types of shoots, and we can babysit each other's kid while the other is on a photo shoot! It is a great setup and I'm feeling so lucky to have a best friend period (I haven't had a true best friend in probably ten years!), let alone one who is in the same phase of life, married with a little toddler boy, and shares my same interests! 

In any case, I'm feeling good right now. And to reward you for listening to my rantings: pictures!

These aren't edited or anything, Nathan was just playing in the window light and I wanted to experiment. They're not supposed to be perfectly exposed, just fun.

Little wrinkly forehead :o)

Love how smooth his skin looks here :o)


Talking to something outside

Well, that's it! We're doing great; life is getting crazy busy and it's hard to come up with the time to do everything! So, sadly, things like donating plasma regularly (Mitch) and running (me) have gone by the wayside...but, our grades are great and so is Nathan, and our house is almost clean half of the time, is good! :o)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Just a little update...

...because I have 3 photo shoots that I need to be editing, and another shoot happening on Monday!

Life is good when it's busy, but then I find myself never taking pictures of my own kiddo, let alone editing any or blogging.

So, since it's been almost a month (yikes!) since my last update, here it goes!

Over Memorial Day weekend we celebrated Mitch's little sister, Jayna, in her accomplishments. She had just found out about a big scholarship to the University of Wyoming, where she will be starting school in the fall. Plus, on Sunday the 27th of May she graduated high school AND turned 18! It was a weekend of fun and family, and we loved it! It was also a nice break from Rexburg...because as much as we love this little town, it's nice to get away sometimes. Even if it's just another by going to another little town! :o)

It was raining the day of graduation and I tried to coax Jayna into letting me take some pictures of her in her cap and gown, but it was purple and she wasn't too convinced that standing out in the rain would be worth it. So, we got a few and called it good :o)

Jayna is a cute little lady--you can see her senior photo shoot here!

Here she is graduating: I know most of you don't know her, but I wanted to post these for parents and grandparents.

 I apologize for the poor quality of the photos. I had a fixed zoom lens on my camera, so once I dove onto the floor (I admit, we almost missed her because she walked with the choir, not in alphabetical order!), I was, I'm not really sure I was supposed to be where I was, so I didn't want to sue a flash and get myself in trouble. The harsh, dim indoor light and no flash resulted in a high ISO, which means more graininess...I did the best I could!

Here is Jayna singing with the senior choir during the ceremony.

We love you, Jayna, and we're so proud of you! As much as we wish you were coming to join us at BYU-Idaho, we are so pleased with all you've already achieved at University of Wyoming...especially considering you haven't even started yet! You go, cute girl!!

Nathan did especially well, even though this meant 5-6 hours of sitting still in church was from 9 am to 12 pm, then we went home for a quick lunch and left for graduation at 12:30 (his nap time is at ten...) and got home around 3. What a trooper! Here he is giving big hugs to daddy:

 Then we met Jayna outside and all went home.

And there's Jayna's secret boyfriend in the corner, just dying to get a picture with her...just kidding :o)

Nathan REALLY wanted me to pick him was naptime for sure!

 After a good, long afternoon nap we went outside for some hot tub time!

Nathan was NOT a fan at first...

Then he got in his little floatie and started to forget what he was upset about...

 And in this last picture, he's actually laughing!

Then I put the camera down and got in!

More updates to come soon; for now more pictures! My best friend got a new camera and took some really fun pictures of Nathan and I!

They all probably look the same to people, but again, this post is mostly for family :o) 

I was so happy to have these pictures; I never get pictures with my boy! Too bad Mitch doesn't like pictures. (Does he KNOW who he married!? lol) He missed out!

Love his little face in this one! He never makes that face; I love it!

Probably a favorite!

You deserve a gold star if you're still here!