Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you the hope, love, peace, and joy of Christmas. Here's my favorite cookie recipe that we make every Christmas:


1.5 cups butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
4 cups sifted cake flour
2 cups (1 12 oz. pkg.) chocolate chips
2 cups pecans, finely chopped

Combine first five ingredients and blend well. Stir in flour, pecans and chocolate chips. Form in 1 inch balls, place on cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar when cool.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow laden trees

View of the back deck and yard, with snow piled high on the table and railing. Icicles on the house, but they're melting quickly since the sun is peeking through the clouds.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More snow!

The snow just keeps falling, with more predicted, and the roads are bad. Sadly, we may have to cancel traveling to visit family up North. It sure is pretty though, a few more photos from today.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Winter snow

I can't remember when we've had snow like this in time for Christmas. Our normally mild winters cause the appearance of snow to be a pretty novelty, rather than the yearly annoyance I grew up with in ND. Here the snow is a major disruption, causing school closures and abundant traffic problems, both unheard of in ND. There I learned to put up with several months of cold and snow, bundling up in goose down coats and moon boots, shoveling the driveway and side walk, plugging in the car's block heater at night and scraping ice off the windshield in the morning. One enjoyable aspect was ice skating on frozen ponds, which were constructed every year in most neighborhood school yards. I have particularly fond memories of a natural pond all to myself, found in the barren hills behind our house, an area now completely taken over with housing developments.

Inspired by the fresh dusting of softly falling snow, I went out to capture a few wintery images today.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lauren's sneak peak

Lauren is a beautiful and talented girl and was a dream to photograph. We captured loads of great images, here's a sneak peak.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Baby Magdalyn

Magdalyne was such a sweet baby during her session, slept, hardly cried, and curled up nicely for her portrait. I love how this one looks very womb-like.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Displaying portraits in the home boosts children's self esteem

My previous post led me to some further research on the power of portraits displayed in the home. Decorating with portraits can do more than add warmth and beauty to a home, it can actually enhance a child's self-esteem. In her book, "The Magic of Encouragement: Nurturing Your Child's Self-Esteem", psychotherapist Stephanie Marston suggests placing two pictures next to a child's bed. One should show the child happily involved in an activity that they enjoy, and the other should show family togetherness.

The two keys to high self esteem are a sense of being capable and of being loved. Displaying photos that illustrate this help to develop and reinforce those feelings and be a powerful influence on a child's well being.

David Krauss, Ph.D., co-author with Jerry Fryear, Ph.D., of Photo Therapy in Mental Heath, states, "It's important not only to be photographed in ways that indicate caring, nurturing, love and success, but also to see those images and take them in." The Cleveland clinical psychologist often uses client portraits and snapshots in therapy, and advocates periodically going through family albums with children to give them a clear vision of their growth and change, and to provide them with a sense of personal history. Photos should be displayed, Krauss says, because kids who see themselves on view feel loved and valued. The idea of a family photo gallery particularly appeals to Krauss. "What it says to a child is "I'm important in this family to the extent my parents acknowledge and honor my presence with wall space."

Anna Mae Kobbe, Ph.D., of Knoxville, states "We need to get photos out and enjoy them more. They are especially important in a child's room because they supply someone young with tangible security." Kobbe discovered that images of the whole family enjoying life evoke a strong sense of self, and that a visible picture of faraway friends or relatives helps the viewer feel more connected to that person. This is important, since many children live at a distance from grandparents and other relatives.

Take advantage of any opportunity to make positive photographs of your child and family. Then be sure to display them for the lifelong benefits you and your children will enjoy. Give me a call, I'll be glad to help.

Twin babies

Photographing multiple babies is fun, but can be a challenge for them to "cooperate" at the same moment. Mom said this image really captured their different personalities.
These two little sleeping cherubs is one of my favorite images, which mom ordered as a 16x24 gallery wrap. I ordered one for display too, entered it in SPPA's November print competition and it earned first place!
Mom ordered this one in sepia tone as a wall portrait for their bedroom and she said the babies love looking at it and the other wall portrait. We know that interesting imagery provides stimulation to babies developing brains. Research has also shown that portraits of children and family members displayed in the home effectively reinforce a childs self image and confidence.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Best scrunchy face ever!

It's always so fun to see the changes in babies through out the year. At Lillian's 9 month session she delighted us with her new expression and funny laugh. She has mastered standing next to a chair and had fun playing with blocks for the first time.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Olympic National Park

After seeing the movie Twilight, which was lush with moody gray Pacific NW scenes, I was inspired to go back thru some images I shot a year ago at Olympic National Park. These are the Hoh Rainforest, Lake Quinalt, and Beach 4 near Kalaloch. You can see more in the slideshow on my website.