30 April 2014

Mushroom Farming

Often times on my way home from school I want to pull off the road and take pictures about 5 times. I normally pass up the first 4 opportunities, and then finally the desire builds up so much that I stop by the time the 5th opportunity comes around. You know... something like that. :P Anyway, today I finally pulled over when I saw this old truck that was parked in amongst the trees. From where I was parked I had to walk like 40 yards to get to it. By the time I was about 10 yards away from the truck I saw a man walking to the truck. A scruffy man. I'm not trying to pass judgement, but those are just the type of people you hear crazy stories about. And he called to me and said that he was "looking for mushrooms." I was like "Oh, alright..... great!" And I was thinking to myself, "Ummm... Awesome! You just stay on that side of the road and I'll stay over here and we'll be fine." It would have made me look pretty weird to turn around and walk back to my car right then, so I just asked him if I could take a picture of his truck. It wasn't really the shot I was looking for because the man was still there standing close to the truck. But I didn't care about that then. He told me it was a '78 Ford or something and I was like, "Yeah? Okay, great! Have a nice day!" And I walked back to my car.
Hmmm... that was a little different experience. I really wasn't expecting that at all, but at least I didn't really feel threatened by anything he did. So, I'll just file this one away in my growing list of photography adventures. Ha!


Rehearsal Day!

Remember the post about Jacqueline? I posted the photos 10 days ago and Jacqueline sent me a message today: "Oh my goodness! I just got on and looked at the pictures you took of me, and I love them! They're the first pics taken that I actually like. Usually I hate about everything, but I really like yours. Can I order some prints from you?"
Then she proceeded to say that she was graduating in December and would like for me to take her Senior photos. :) That just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside ;) because I was kind of hoping/wishfully thinking that she would like them and some magical thought would drop into her head about Senior photos. :) And it did :)

Anyway, that's just a little side thought to today's post. What I really want to share is some less formal and more personal photos from my fun weekend. :) So here we go, back to the normal storyboard style of blogging that I used to do -- for today at least. (I'm really a big one for having the post formatted same on my blog, so it kind of makes me uncomfortable when I start "breaking my own rules" about the way I blog. :P But I figure you guys could care less about whether I'm just posting via flickr or if I'm blogging "normally" or whatever... :P So I'll just try to ignore that little voice in my head that's screaming "nooo!" right now)

On Friday morning, Ranelle and I headed out with Nathan (the groom!) :) to go down to the church Jenks, OK where the rehearsal would be later that night. Everything was going great until Nathan suddenly pulled over and was like "Ahh! No....!" He had a flat. :/ Pooh! So we all piled out, and of course I grabbed my camera while Ranelle was a little more helpful and started to take the lug nuts off the flat tire :P

We made it back on the road within 20 minutes, and only had to stop once more before we reached our destination (but that was only so that Nathan could pick some flowers for Cara ;) How sweet!)

Once we got to the church I did a little location shooting and tried familiarized myself with the 6D.

Then I got the obligatory shot of the chapel while there were no cars parked out front... But the picture really annoys me because it's not shot straight on. Why didn't I center myself in front of the church!?

Heather and I always take a picture together about every time we see each other now. I'm not sure how many we have together over this last year... but I love each and every one of them because it just makes me smile when I see us together. :) Anyway, we had someone take a couple of shots of us :)

At the rehearsal, one of the bridesmaids passed out whoopee cushions :P
And then there is the almost bride and groom :)


28 April 2014

N+C Wedding Overview

{Click to the right to view all 8 photos}
Okay, obviously I could share a lot more pictures right now. But I just had to choose. And I need to just share a few this week and then finish the session of Sacha and her daughter and Davis' senior photos...
And then it will be back to the wedding editing happiness!

But really, the reason I'm blogging is just because I want to just talk, hehe! :P I can't make a blog post of the wedding, though, without sharing photos. Soooo... these are the photos that I put on Facebook.
Enjoy while I blab about the wedding. ;)

I sent my rented gear back off to Lumoid today. I was a little sad to part with the Canon 6D. I love it's quieter shutter, and it seems to have a lot better auto picture style and coloring than my 7D does. (I left white balance on auto, btw -- that would have been a pain to change all the time, so I would rather adjust in Lightroom) Of course, it is a full frame camera (yay!), and it has better ISO capabilities. With the lenses, I found out that the 16-35mm was really great to have, but I wasn't aware that the edges got out of focus or I would have taken all of my pictures with a different crop. So basically, I'm going to have to go in and sharpen the people on the edge on most of the bridal party photos I took with that lens. Not cool. So that lens quickly became less of a favorite after I looked at the images on my mac. The 70-200mm is sooooo amazing, though. I thought I might hate it because it weighs so much. But really, it wasn't a pain at all and my hand wasn't nearly as sore as it was in the last wedding. Granted, my back was sore from carrying around the weight of two cameras, but I actually weathered it a lot better than I thought I would. :)
Speaking of "weathering" things... the wind was blowing like crazy that day. And of course with it being in Oklahoma, the wind never gave up. So some of the photos might look a little "wind-blown". :P But I actually like what it did for most of the photos, because it gave direction to Cara's veil without us even having to try. :) One thing I was worried about was my skirt blowing up, but somehow it never really did until after the wedding was already over, and then it really let itself go o.O But at least I didn't have to worry about that while taking pictures!! Haha!

Annddd... I know I could say a lot more, but my brain is actually shutting down now. So it's time for bed :P I'll be sharing more later anyway, so I can gab a lot more then :)


25 April 2014

Davis Sr. 2013

This is Davis, my cousin, who lives on a farm in Kansas. :)

I think the reality of the wedding is hitting me tonight. :0 And I really need to go to bed, but I really want to blog these crazy packed moments in my photography because I think it will be cool to look back on. I know from my own personal journaling, too, that if I don't write it down soon... the crazy details that really make the event/day interesting kind of gets forgotten within a few days. So I'll spend a few moments writing my thoughts out tonight even though I'm about to crash! :P

I spent all day with my family in Kansas since my sister is back in the area visiting and wanted to see everybody. So after a full day of... um, well... visiting, (yeah somehow visiting and taking it easy can wear me out) I took my cousin's senior photos. It was actually really a fun experience because we were out on some property that had an old run down house and several barns and stuff. I have no idea who owned it, but I guess in Kansas it really doesn't matter too much.
After the session we went back and visited more with family and we sang in a silo. I have audio to prove how beautiful it was :)
We got home at 11pm which meant that I had an hour to complete all of my homework. Ha! But how could I do homework when my lens and camera rental and all of my flash equipment came in while I was out visiting all day?? Nah! So I played around with the 6D, 70-200 f/2.8, and 16-35 f/2.8. And just so you know.. the 70-200mm kind of scared me with how big it is. I'm not really sure what to think. Except that I will be really sore after the wedding. :P But I love the lenses already, especially the 16-35mm for inside when you are crunched on space!
I finally got around to doing my homework. I really don't know what to think about my attitude towards two of my college classes right now. I've always been a person that thrived and lived off of 100% grades, but I'm learning that other things are more important (one of those things being my stress level). It's honestly still quite the inner struggle for me to try to just lay it aside and not care about my grade in these classes if I have time in the week to properly complete the homework. Because no one likes to feel guilty. But, when it gets down to being 30 minutes away from being due, I just start guessing on quizzes and jotting stuff down on a discussion board post.

But like I said the reality of the wedding is really hitting me right now. I'm feeling a little unprepared mentally because this week has been so full of being with my family and the two other sessions. And then the whole thing about having leave the house by 10am tomorrow with all my clothes and photography gear that I haven't packed yet (and don't I dare forget one thing!) :P
But then a lot of little things are just kind of on the back of my mind:
- learning the new gear
- not forgetting batteries! somehow I keep thinking about batteries!
- my mac storage is getting full. so the way I normally organize my photos is getting a little disrupted because I don't have time to put the old stuff to the external. the new stuff I've been shooting is going to the external, and it's just throwing my balance off. ;)
- I normally like to edit sessions asap... but these last two are going to have to simmer on the back burner until the wedding is over

So yeah! This is probably the point where I just stop blogging and go make a thorough list of things to pack!


23 April 2014

Mommy/Daughter Sneak Peek

I have to leave home right now and go to town with my sister and brother, but this is just a quick post of the session I did last night. It was just so wonderful! :)

I also posted another one last night... here's a link for those who aren't on facebook: Sacha & Ava


22 April 2014

Trees & Locations

{click to the right}
I thought that last week would be my busy week with a session and our revival at church and all... But last week's session got rescheduled for today. So it turns out that this week is my busy week with a mommy/daughter session, a senior session for my cousin in Kansas, and a wedding this weekend in the Tulsa area. :) I couldn't be more happy, though. 

These two pictures are some locations where we might try to get some shots today if we have enough time. I can't wait to see how it turns out and share the results! :)


21 April 2014


I'm so glad I decided to go to the Perspectives of Photography. I wasn't even going to go... but the week before the workshop I just decided to sign up! Decisions, decisions :P
It was only $50 for student for both days (including meals, prizes, and 5 workshops). And I was considering going to a wedding workshop in Illinois for $625?!? Okay, I wasn't considering it too much because there would just be no way! But it gives you an idea of what workshops cost (at their lowest).

Here's a quick, quick rundown of each session I attended:
The videography workshop explained sooo many things that I have always wondered about . The photoshop one solidified a lot of things that I knew how to do, but couldn't really remember how to do. The newborn workshop basically told me that I'm not extremely interested in newborns :P though I would probably still love to do it sometime, maybe just not as something I do all the time. The posing workshop was great... But the wedding workshop, though! :) I learned so many tips that are going to be so useful at the wedding this weekend! This weekend! Wow! :D


19 April 2014


My gorgeous cousin :) 
A lot of girls were at church for a baby shower yesterday and I was taking Alyssa's sister-in-law :) outside to use some of my different lenses. All of the other girls ended up tagging along, so I roped Jacqueline into posing for me ;P 
I love her unique dimples and "strawberry blonde" hair :) So special :)


18 April 2014


I love being outside. I wish there was a way to just do everything outside. But I find myself stuck up in my room on most days, doing homework and editing photos. It's a little hard to see the screen of a laptop when you are outside. And I hate not being able to see properly. (I practically always have my screen brightness all the way up - even at night!)
But I stepped outside a little bit yesterday while I was on the phone with Alyssa and I decided right then that I was going to walk downtown. It was a gorgeous walk! Lovely soft breeze. Neutral temperature. Birds chirping. People outside planting flowers. All of this and I had my camera on my shoulder :) ...with the 75-300mm :) I actually didn't really take many pictures until I got home, though because my main mission was to go to the store to get something. But once I got home, I found this little squirrely that was running around, hopping from tree to tree -- likely to get away from me. :P
So I chased him across the road, into our neighbors yard :P And he didn't notice me for a while, but in the second shot, you can see that he had heard me then. And then he ran off :)


17 April 2014

Obligatory Shot

Sometimes, as a photographer, there are just those shots that you have to get for yourself, even though every other accomplished photographer in the world has already taken that type of photo. It's not original. It might be boring to the viewer, but I feel like getting those shots expands my horizons, and if nothing else, helps me get more familiar with my camera. 
One of those is lightning. 
I have wanted so bad to get a photo of lightning. After church on Sunday, I went out and set up my camera on a fence post (since I didn't have my tripod) and used my intervalometer (remote timer) and just kept exposing and waiting for lightning. At one point there was this HUGE spread of lightning across the sky. But would you guess! I was cleaning my lens off at that time :/ How sad. I did get this shot though, but it's not enough... I have to get a better shot someday. 


16 April 2014

Delicate: Bokeh Wednesday

When I was at the POP conference/workshop, they had door prizes that they drew several times throughout both days (they had some pretty good stuff, btw). Naturally, you are sitting on the edge of your seat the whole time thinking, "When are they going to call my name? :)" And when it doesn't happen the first time you start thinking, "Okay, next time, maybe. :) Maybe? :/" When my name wasn't drawn anytime the first day I finally got a hold of myself and was like, "MarLeah, you might not get a door prize because maybe your name is waiting to be drawn for the "special prizes" at the very end of the conference." So I encouraged myself in that and just tried to ignore it as all of the prizes that I wanted slowly disappeared off of the table. And honestly, since I know that God has his hands in all things, even the littlest details of our everyday life, it was more of an assurance that I had that God would do something special for me. It might sound a little silly, but it's true.

On the morning of the second day at the conference, a few students from Crowder and I were eating breakfast and talking about the classes we planned to take that day. I was showing one girl pictures of the wedding workshop since she was planning on taking it that day. I showed her one and I was like, "But yeah, I couldn't crop any tighter because I don't have anything above a 55mm (except for my Lensbaby)" She responded in some way that I will have to improvise because I really don't remember what she said exactly since my head was exploding in awe. But I think she said something like, "I can give you one of mine!" (We had already talked about what lenses she had and she said that she got some extras when she upgraded her camera body) Anyway, I responded with something like: "No way, really? Nah, I'll pay you for it!" After arguing about it a little bit I left it as I would pay her for it. Before we headed home that night though, she told me to remind her to bring the lens on Tuesday to our photo club and she assured me that she was just giving it to me. Talk about making me feel uncomfortable. I really don't know how to accept such a huge gift like that. (Also, I honestly thought it was the 70-300mm which has image stabilizer, but it was really the 75-300mm -- a little bit cheaper lens). Still, I felt like I owed her so I got her a Starbucks gift card, some chocolates and a little note to try to close the huge gap of my debt to her ;) I hope she likes it :)

But back to what I way saying earlier about winning a prize... I didn't even make the connection that this lens WAS my "prize". It was kind of the replacement for not winning any of the door prizes, and it is sooo much better than even those "special prizes" I could have won at the end. And I can't help but thank God for it :)

Anywho! Last night I became the owner of a Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto zoom lens. :)
So I brought it out at the children's bible night we had last night because all the children were playing with dandelions and the sun light was just gorgeous.


15 April 2014


Our last assignment in photography was called "feature", but it's really more of a photojournalism section we are learning about... and the assignment was to take a picture of an event or "story" of something going on here at campus. Our instructor was like, "Just ask the person if it's alright to get their photo and get their name and any other information you might need to write the cutline."
Honestly, that part is kind of scary. But our instructor said to just say that it was for a class assignment and most people won't care. Also, she said that if you have a camera with you, people tend to comply, because it gives you some sort of importance. (Well, yeah!! Because we don't just spend a lot of money on this stuff for nothing ;P) 

There wasn't that much going on here on campus this week, but I got an email yesterday that they were having this book sale. So I just walked in (still slightly apprehensive about the whole thing) and this student that I got a picture of just stood out to me, so I asked her first if I could take her picture and explained what it was for. And she was really, really easy going with it all (though she said she didn't look good... yeah right!) When I showed her the picture, she was like, "Wow, that camera makes me look good! Haha!" :) Well, that's my job :)

I must have got a great boost of confidence in taking stranger's pictures after that or something... because I was driving in town later and I saw this man (a car painter, I think) who must have stepped outside of the shop to compare the color of a paint sample in the sun. He was in his full outfit with head gear, and the sun was shining through just perfect! I was like, "Man! I want to take a picture of him!" I didn't pull over, though, but as I kept driving I started to think: "All I have to say is that I'd like to take a photo of him at work because we have an assignment in photojournalism..." I convinced myself to circle around the block and go back to take a picture of him. But he was already gone. Maybe for the best, because obviously I didn't know him! :P I'm just feeling awfully brave to take stranger's photos now. I'm definitely starting to feel like a more confident person with my camera.


14 April 2014

Morning Field

On my way to the photo seminars/workshops, I could have stopped probably 5 times and pulled over to get shots - the drive was just that full of spring beauty! On Saturday, I actually didn't plan to leave early so that I could get shots of the fields though, because honestly, that's the last thing on your mind when you are waking up at 5:40am. But! there's this thing called "making time" when you are driving ;) And as I drive ever so slightly (not!) over the speed the GPS is expecting me to drive it will start to shave minutes off of my arrival time. I had only made 6 minutes of time... so I really only had time to pull over once and still not be late. It worked out pretty good though, because when I got back in the car after getting the shots I wanted, my arrival time was back to what it was predicted at when I left the house. :)

Well, I might be able to tell you more about how the workshops went throughout this week. But for today, I have quite a few things on my plate... so I better get that jet-pack lit under me and get to working!!


12 April 2014

At the Piano {Video}

I don't know HOW LONG this project has been on my list of things to do!! I think I even added it to several lists. At first it probably started out on a nice little list back in December that said "Things to do over the break". That didn't happen. So it probably got moved to a list in January that said "This Week". Nope. February's list of "To Do This Month"?... It didn't happen then either.

I had this vision of recording myself playing "River Flows in You" and videoing different angles of me playing it... But it just wasn't happening. I think I did actually start/try to record the song probably 20 times though, but it just wasn't coming out right. I got so nervous at the thought of it actually being recorded, though so I had to keep "trying later".
I finally got it done last weekend! Whew! I guess it took me being sick-ish with a cold to get it done so that I could stay at home alone while my family was gone for the weekend. It's always so much easier to record stuff when no one is traipsing through the house and banging doors, too. (You know... I'm pretty sure my parents still don't know I made this video. Hmmm, I should show them now)

So I recorded me playing it with garageband. Then I played along with the sound from that file as I shot the different angles of the video with a tripod (and other silly methods that I come up with when a tripod won't work) :P

I could say that combining the audio and videos in iMovie was quite simple, and I guess it was... but I still spent several hours on it, just to make my playing match up with the sound.
But it was fun! And that's the only reason I do it.

River Flows in You by Yiruma - Piano Cover


11 April 2014

Book it!

Or... a wedding too! I'll always be happy to book another wedding. They just make me so excited!

Also, you may have noticed a new tab up there called portfolio
It's basically an easy way to see all of the blog posts of sessions I have done, since this is more or less a personal photography blog in the time between sessions :)
Just click on the picture and it will take you right to the blog post.

While I was going through and linking all of the blog posts, I realized that I have never blogged the Toland family or all of the images from the Ramsey Model shoot. So you can expect those soon!


10 April 2014


I'm actually not a huge fan of fish (at least how they look, they taste great, however!)
I've caught fish before, but it still kind of freaks me out when the fish is flopping on the end of the line. I'm like, "What do I do now?!? Help!!!":P
Alyssa and I had our own beta fish at one time... and when we would change it's water and clean the bowl, we would move the fish to another container with a strainer. Of course the fish would be flopping around in the strainer before you got it moved to the other bowl, so you had to put your hand over the strainer. At least that's what Alyssa did. I did NOT want to touch the fish at all though, or feel it flopping against my hand. So guess what? My fish hopped right out of the strainer onto the kitchen counter, and lay there flopping until I convinced Alyssa to pick it up for me. 
I guess it's something about their skin that reminds me of snakes... 
So needless to say, I really don't like seeing this fish picture. He just looks kind of scary. 
But it's for a photo contest for the Fish Hatchery, so who am I to say it's ugly and gross? :P


08 April 2014

Additions to the Camera Bag

I have no clue why it's so hard for me to blog right now. I'll just keep blaming it on this stuffy cold I have. And... when that goes away and my blog enthusiasm still hasn't returned to normal then I guess I'll try eating some chocolate malt-o-meal to get me inspired! What? No. I'm sorry. My thoughts are just wandering to the box of malt-o-meal I just ran to town to get. I've been craving it this whole time I've been under the weather and I finally got some 10 minutes before the store closed tonight. :) Happiness!!! :)
So I promised I would share some of my new equipment.

So I got little Mr. Kermit for 1.99 to hopefully help little children look at my camera... hopefully. 
I have a session next week with a little two year old girl and her mommy. She looks so sweet, that I'm sure I really won't have much problem with getting her attention, but just in case!

Then, I have my 430ex II speedlite :D Just in time for Nathan and Cara's wedding in less than three weeks! I got to meet and talk to Cara yesterday about the schedule of the wedding, what to expect, etc. And after talking to her, now I am just excitedly/anxiously awaiting their wedding :)
(Oh, and in that picture I'm being the queen of multitasking and talking to my parents on the phone. And I guess that picture is more of me and not the flash :P Okay, well, I guess it is showing the effect of the flash)

This Thursday, I am also meeting with another bride to go check out the chapel and location of her wedding that is in August. So I've got a lot of wedding-planning fun!

This weekend is the Perspectives of Photography (POP) workshop in Pittsburg, KS. They have a lot of events to choose from that you can attend over the two days.
Friday, I'll attend one about posing and one about videography.
On Saturday, I'm signed up for wedding photography (Yay!!), newborns with Deb Anderson (A local photographer), and one called "RAW to WOW: Lightroom Bootcamp".

Yep, yep! It should be fun!


07 April 2014

Personality Portrait

This week's assignment in photography was to take a portrait of someone doing something or of someone in their niche... or something that kind of portrays personality I guess??! 
It came down to today, and I still wasn't sure who to photograph, until I remembered my lunch plans with Mecia. Whew! And it's a good thing she is actually quite the foodie, too! She loves to try out different restaurants and just eat somewhere nice with friends.

So I asked her if she would comply, and she certainly willing. So I brought my good old 7D and 50mm into Chipotle. :) Thankfully, nobody looked at us too weird for changing tables two times so that we could get the "right shot" :P LOL Either they didn't care, or we didn't care enough to pay attention to them...  because nothing really matters when you have a good friend with you. :)

I've also been meaning to share a blog post about some of my new photography equipment (one is a nice fancy thing :) and the other is a really goofy/cute thing that I only paid 1.99 for ;P). And then I have a little wedding photography news to share... so hang tight.

Until then...


04 April 2014

I'm Not Feeling It

It's Spring and everything has new life and energy.
People get inspired to do new things, go places, and enjoy the outdoors.
But I feel drained and sleepy and weak and sore. :/ 
It's just a little cold that I need to get over... but that's why I didn't want to blog yesterday, and honestly today either. Maybe it was the decision of which picture to post that was "overwhelming" my little sick mind. Haha! Because when I thought about just posting a whole bunch of pictures today, I was like, "Okay! :) I'll blog then!" Wow -- I don't even know where my reasoning comes from sometimes!!

So I have uploaded 7 photos that you can scroll through.

They are all from Neosho on Monday or Tuesday, I believe. Just in some time I had before class.
Well, and then the last one is just a silly one of our lazy cat... I found him like that on my mom's desk when I came home one evening... just giving her some company while she worked on taxes.


02 April 2014

"Here, Fishy"

I was at the fish hatchery yesterday for a few reasons. They have a photo contest going on until June 9th where you submit photos that you have taken there, so I wanted to check it out. But also, I haven't been there since I can ever remember so I wanted to just go and explore it. It was kind of sprinkling and so the fish were jumping out of the water and just being pretty lively, so I was like "Man! I wish I would be able to take a picture of one of them jumping!" But the pond was so big that there would be no way I could predict where they would jump. I started to head towards my car, but on the way there I saw a little sign that said "Free Fish Food". Awesome! So I got some and started throwing it out in handfuls into the water nearby, set my camera on high-speed continuous and fired away.

So sometimes I wish I had a full-frame censored camera, but then I remember the fast frame rate mine has and then it's all good ;) I think I can deal with having to buy lower millimeter lenses for the ability to capture fast action things...


Coleman Theater {video}

I'm a photographer, but so many places I go I always take videos. And sometimes I will go somewhere with the intention of only taking videos. Don't ask me why... I just do. Not sure why at all.

Last November, when my grandpa was out from Alaska, we went and toured the historic Coleman theater in Miami, OK, and I took a lot of videos inside. So many times I will take pictures or videos and eventually they just get moved to my external hard drive without me doing much with them -- as long as they aren't terribly important of course. Soo... I was looking through my hard drive to get pictures together of me and my friends that I want to put in my room and of course I ran across the folder: "Coleman Theater" that had all the videos waiting to be put together :P So, here's the video: 


And I have two other videos that I've already made from trail riding and stuff... so I guess I might decided to post them eventually, ha! :P


01 April 2014

Peer Portraits

From a little portrait-taking we did in class today.


On a Walk

Yesterday, I had some extra time before my evening class so went portrait location scouting. I'm still wishing for all the other deciduous trees to catch up with these pines, but at least the grass is turning green! :D