Project Life 365 – Day 51 – In My Bag

Anyone who knows me knows that I am anti-purse.

Look, I’m not trying to upset anyone here. I have no problem with other people carrying purses. And if it’s someone’s prerogative to drop a couple hundred dollars on a designer handbag to go with a certain outfit, who am I to judge? But for me personally, it’s just not happening. I just don’t like purses. Period. End of story.

That being said, I’m not opposed to carrying a backpack, or even a shoulder or messenger bag. What’s the difference, you ask? Well, in the simplest terms, I guess it all boils down to rhinestones..

See, here’s the deal…I’ve never been a girly girl. I don’t need to carry around a dozen beauty products. I don’t like carrying a large wallet or billfold. I don’t feel compelled to schlep half-used bottles of nail polish, miniature packets of Kleenex, or other assorted odds and ends. No beads, no bling, no rhinestones, no glittery, overly embroidered or bedazzled designer labels, please.

When I travel anywhere, all I really require is a notebook, a couple pens, my phone, my ID, and my camera. And, if I know I’m going to have some extra time to kill, a book or two to read. So, give me something sturdy, something sleek, something that matches my style and holds what I need.

And if that something is handmade in America and has a lifetime guarantee, I’m doubly impressed.

If you’ve never checked out Copper River Bags, I highly reccommend them. This beautiful bag, and all the things I carry in it, have a very long future ahead of us.

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Elf on the Shelf – Day 4

I’ve written at length before about how much I hate having my picture taken. Truthfully, I don’t even think that “hate” is a strong enough word. I mean, I know everyone goes through an awkward stage, but come on! Between my television screen-sized glasses and a couple of bad perms gone wrong, my awkward stage lasted far too long and resulted in far too many photos like these haunting my childhood…

lori school photo 1987

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lori in ne sweats xmas 1990

I guess I can always blame the 80’s, right?

Even so, I was always more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. I remember having a cheap plastic 35mm film camera by the time I was 10 years old. Mom and Dad were good about buying me film and letting me snap away when we went on vacations or visited family for the holidays. In high school, I finally got my hands on my first SLR camera in the Photography class I took with my Newspaper teacher Mr. Buck. The old Pentax K-1000 just felt right in my hands, and I fell in love with it, and with the magic of seeing my vision come alive in a bath of chemicals in the Holdrege High School dark room.

My Uncle Harry and Aunt Jean were always two of my biggest supporters, cheering me on and hanging my framed photographs of old barns and windmills in their home. They even gave me one of the greatest gifts ever one Christmas, when they sent me my very own K-1000 that they’d found in a pawn shop in Dallas.

I can’t even tell you how many photos I’ve taken since. If I had to wager a guess, I’d say I’m probably closing in on a million. Maybe more. Thank goodness I made the switch to digital photography. Otherwise, I’d likely be living penniless on the streets from the cost of developing all that film.

Yet, whether I’m shooting film or digital, and seeing my images come to life in an old-fashioned chemical darkroom or a digital darkroom like Photoshop, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as seeing that little piece of life I captured and knowing that it has been preserved, timeless, forever.

For the longest time, I feared that Cadence would likely suffer from what so many photographers refer to as Photographer’s Kid Syndrome–a debilitating disorder that makes kids highly allergic to having their pictures taken and causes them to turn and flee whenever they see a camera. to make matters worse, Cadence also had a 50/50 chance of either being a photophobe like her Momma or a total ham like her Daddy.

Thank God her Daddy’s photo genes prevailed.

It’s much more fun to snap photos of a willing (and patient) subject than to have to chase her around and pray that I get one shot out of a couple dozen. And it’s even more fun now that she’s starting to get interested in taking pictures herself. The little digital camera her Granny, Pawpoo, Aunt Whitney and Uncle Collin bought her last year for Christmas has certainly gotten a lot of good use already. And I guess Cosette wanted to get in on the action because last night after sending Cadence off to bed and giving another good day’s report to Santa, Cosette gathered up some of Cadence’s stuffed animal friends for a little photo shoot of her own…

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She took some portraits of Brian…

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A few pet portraits with one of the Pound Puppies…

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She set up an engagement session with Rango and the Sock Monkey…

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Took some portraits of Marvin the Martian…

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And helped Animal update his photos to advertise his band…

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And then a few group shots of everyone before wrapping up the session for the night…

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This morning, Cadence came down for breakfast, and was surprised to see what everyone was up to…

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And of course, she wanted a little time behind the camera, so she asked Cosette if she could have a turn…

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Yeah, that’s my girl! 🙂

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And I have to say, after taking a look through the photos from Cadence and Cosette’s sessions, these girls definitely have the “eye” for photography!

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Self-Portrait

Just a shot of me at work…

Silliness

In the midst of the craziness of working the past couple weeks, I decided I needed to test one of my lenses. For some reason, my 28-75mm has been hit and miss with focus, and I wanted to make sure it was in proper working order when I headed out to shoot my first Red Thread Session.

It was a little soggy outside after the thunderstorms, so I figured I better stay in the house or else have to deal with a very muddy child. After several test shots, I got the lens back in working order, but decided I wanted to test it out on a moving target, just to make sure it could lock quickly when I needed it to since my RTS session was with a family of 5 young children.

Electra was in her spot on the couch, passed out and snoring as usual. If you’re wanting to shoot still life, she’s usually a safe bet. A moving target in the Romano house, though? That’s easy. All I have to do is take the lens cap off my camera and point it at Cadence and she takes of running, jumping, bouncing, hopping, skipping, dancing, crawling, scooting, and shimmying through the house, laughing and teasing me as she goes.

Little turd.

You know, she’s pretty cute when she stands still long enough for you to actually get a look at her.

It took the better part of 45 minutes, chasing her through the kitchen and sunroom, dropping down out of sight and then ambushing her when she came around the corner to get a couple good shots. But it was worth it. Not only did the lens pass the Crazy Running Child test, I also managed to get a couple good shots of my favorite girl and capture a few of the expressions that crack me up on a daily basis.

Here are a few of my favorites…

The chase is on!
Trying to climb away from the camera
Oooh fishy light
Digging through the shoe pile
Taking a break to make a quick phone call
Haha, Momma’s so silly
My favorite, the “Gasp! He’s here!” face leftover from Easter and the sneaky Easter Bunny visit