Share Six | Wonderland

I hope you’ve enjoyed all of the lovely images you’ve seen so far by the talented ladies of Share Six!

When I saw the theme, my first thought was Winter Wonderland, but despite being December here in the midwest, we do not have snow yet.  So I decided to go with a different Wonderland…one of our favorite places…Disney World.

We have been incredibly blessed over the years to either get free lodging from generous family members, or free extra days because of booking in their slow season.  It’s given us some amazing vacations that have left us with wonderful memories.

For those of you who have never been to Disney, it is truly a magical place. The cast members (employees) go above and beyond to make sure your experience is the absolute best. We were fortunate enough to go to Disney on two different occasions during the Christmas season.  Here is Cinderella’s castle all decorated for Christmas.

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I think my absolute favorite thing about Disney is seeing the look of excitement and wonder on my children’s faces.

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Here is a ride that I have a love/hate relationship with….”it’s a small world”.  I think it is one of the most interesting rides visually, but the song gets a bit old quickly.  Not to mention, then it is stuck in your head for the rest of the day, going round and round.

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Here is another example of watching your child filled with wonder.  Here is my girl making a wish during the wish ceremony at Cinderella’s castle.  It was so precious to watch her little face as she closed her eyes and made her wish!!

 

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If you like Christmas lights, the Osborne’s Spectacle of Dancing Lights is a must see!  It is magical!

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Here is my sister-in-law and nephew riding the teacups.  I had a vision of what I wanted to capture…the joy on their faces and the motion of the spinning tea cups.  Talk about tricky, looking through the viewfinder of the camera and then looking with your naked eye, while you’re spinning, is super confusing to your brain.  I almost got sick, but it was worth it for this shot.  The two of them together having fun is just precious.

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Thanks so much for stopping by and seeing my wonderland pictures!  I hope you enjoyed them.  Disney World is truly a wonderland!!

Head on over to Kathy’s blog and see her wonderful interpretation on this month’s theme!

 

Share Six | Harvest

I chose this month’s theme.  I live in the Midwest, in the middle of farm country.  I drive about 3 miles in any direction and I’m surrounded by fields of crops.  One of my favorite things about this time of year is seeing the combines out harvesting the crops.  If it has been dry enough, the dust kicked up creates an amazing haze around the combine.  At sunset, this sight is simply stunning.  I was hoping to capture that, but unfortunately it just didn’t work out.  Another favorite sight of mine is driving after dark and seeing the lights of the combines out in the fields.  It’s very neat!  Unfortunately I didn’t capture that either.  I kind of dropped the ball this month, and of ALL months, the one in which I chose the theme.

My first two images are of a corn field still waiting to be harvested.

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If you didn’t know, which I’m sure almost all of you do, corn is a big crop here in the Midwest.

Next is an image of a hay rake.  My close friend and her husband are farmers.  I just love going out to their farm to hang out and take pictures.  Here’s a little fun fact about me, as a little girl, I dreamed of growing up and becoming a farmer.  In fact, I still dream of moving out to the country and having a little hobby farm.

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For those of you who don’t live in my area, as I said, I’m in the middle of farm country….John Deere country.  Right down the road from my house is the John Deere headquarters.  People around here bleed John Deere green.  LOL  My dad actually worked for and retired from John Deere, so it’s a little dear to my heart even if I’m not a farmer.  A John Deere hat is a must for a farmer out harvesting his crop. 😉

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Here is some wheat waiting to be harvested.

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And last, after all of the harvesting is done, we join with family members to give thanks and eat of the bounty of the harvest (even if it’s just what came from our backyard garden in our house in a neighborhood).

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Thanks for stopping by to see my images!!  Head on over to Kathy’s blog to see her interpretation on this month’s theme!

 

Share Six | Double Exposure

So this month’s theme is Double Exposure.  I unfortunately have an old DSLR that does NOT have a double exposure function, which means I have to do it in Photoshop.  I did however find that one of my favorite photography phone apps has a double exposure function, so some of my photos are done in photoshop and some are done in my phone app.

My first image was one that I did in the app using a picture I took of one of my antique cameras and another picture I took of a flower a while back.  So every aspect of this image was done with the phone, except I used photoshop to add my watermark.

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This next image is two of my favorite things – the Milky Way (at my favorite vacation spot) and a piano.  These photos were taken with my DSLR and merged with the phone app.

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The next four images are of myself and my family members with something that we love.  First up is my husband and a baseball.  These images were taken with my DSLR and merged in Photoshop.

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Next is my son.  He LOVES the outdoors and climbing trees.  So I took a picture of him (with my phone) and a picture of some branches of a tree (also with my phone) and double exposed them in the phone app.  I have to say, this is probably one of my favorites.

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My daughter’s images were also taken with my phone and double exposed in the app.  She is an avid reader, so the other image is of some of her favorite books.

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(Their pictures kind of remind me of those childhood profile cutouts we did in school as children.)

Last is a self portrait of me that I took several years ago.  I LOVE playing the piano and have been playing since I was five, so I double exposed the image of me with a picture I took of our piano.  I took the images with my DSLR, but I double exposed them in the phone app.

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I hope you enjoyed my take on this month’s theme.  Oh, and if you are like me and your DSLR does not have a Double Exposure function, download the app Snapseed.  It’s a great photography app!

Head on over to Claire’s blog and see her lovely images!  Be sure to continue through the entire circle.  You won’t want to miss everyone’s awesome images.  Also, don’t forget to post your own take on this month’s theme either on our Facebook page or on Instagram! Tag #sharesix #sharesix_doubleexposure

Share Six | Reflections

September’s Share Six theme is Reflections.  Back in August we, as well as my in-laws, took a trip out to Virginia to visit my brother and sister-in-law.  So we all took two days and visited Washington D.C. as well.  It was a whirlwind trip to D.C., but it was well worth it.

I’d love to be profound with what I have to say, but as I’ve gotten older my ability to articulate my thoughts has declined.  The last few years I have watched an illness come over our country.  I don’t want to touch on politics, so this is a risk I’m taking, but I feel that it’s something we need to do.  These last few years I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on our country, on its history, on our people, on myself…my own life.  Those two days in Washington D.C. involved a lot of reflection.  It breaks my heart that we (that’s ALL of us, BOTH sides of the political spectrum) can be so filled with hate.  A lot of the hate stems from hurt.  We all have stories we’ve heard, situations we’ve experienced, things that shape our feelings towards others.  That’s never going to change.  We will ALL look at things differently because no two people go through life with the same exact experiences. The problem is, we can let those experiences, those stories, those feelings shape us for the better or shape us for the worse.  We can act in love or we can act in hate.  As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”  At some point we have to let go of the hurt, the grudges, the hate, otherwise it will eat away at us and rot our very souls.  As I said before, we are ALL guilty of this in some shape or form, in some area(s) of our lives.  In the political realm, BOTH parties are guilty of hate simply if someone doesn’t agree with their line of thinking.  Here’s the thing, I am a optimist and always have been, but I have to face reality and realize that every person is unique and comes with their own unique perception of how life is.  I can not change them or their beliefs.  Do you know what I can do though? I can change myself.  I am in charge of no one else except myself.  So if I want to see change, I need to BE that change.  If I want to see love, than I need to show love.  Unfortunately the media loves to create hype, they know that hate sells and so that’s what they are going to show.  You know what though, when I am out and about around my community I see so much love.  Why don’t we take it upon ourselves to spread that love?  Take pictures of love in action and share those!  Let’s flood social media with images of love in action, because if you open your eyes you will see that there is so much love out there.  We’ve all heard people say to get rid of the negativity in our lives and yet we turn on our tvs and fill our minds with the negativity the news media so gloriously loves to spread.  We get on our social media accounts and see post after post of all the talk about hate.  We even make our own posts about the hate.  Are we that naive to think that so much dwelling on the hate is somehow going to take AWAY the hate??  As I was a child I was told that “what goes in comes out”.  Why don’t we start filling our eyes, ears and minds with love instead of hate.  Instead of ranting about the hate, let’s get off of social media and out of our homes and live our lives for others, spreading the love that this world so desperately needs!!  Let’s be the change we want to see in the world!!

Ok, back to my images.  Here are a few images I took in Washington D.C.  While visiting there, you can’t help but reflect on all that this nation has been through, on all of the people that so selflessly gave their lives for our country.  Shame on us for dishonoring these men and women who fought for us and who built this amazing but flawed nation!!  Let’s honor them by changing our thoughts and actions and demonstrating love AND respect for every person!

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Thanks so much for stopping by!!  Head on over to Kathy’s blog to see her lovely images!!

 

Share Six | Collections

It’s already August!  This summer has been absolutely crazy for me.  I tried to get six images, but couldn’t get a sixth image.  I’m not going to lie, I did this month’s photos and blog post in a complete rush and it’s probably pretty obvious.  Nothing like running ragged over summer break and getting ready to head out on vacation.  I might look a little like a chicken with its head cut off.  LOL

I tried to round up some random collections we have and this is what I found.

This first image is of some old keys that belonged to my grandparents.  One of these days I’ll think of a creative way to display them.


This second image is of a few cameras from my vintage camera collection.  I really hoped to include them all, but when you are super short on time, you just get a few.


Here are some random items from nature that we have collected.  I LOVE being out in nature and it’s like finding treasure when you stumble across neat little things.


I inherited my grandmother’s sea shell collection and so I decided to photograph a few things from her collection as well as a few from my own collection. 


As a kid I collected stamps, so I thought it would be fun to showcase a few from that collection.  I planned on getting rid of them, but now, after getting them out to photograph, I think I may just find a fun way to display them.


Hope you enjoyed my images for this month!!

Head on over to Claire’s blog to see her lovely take on this month’s theme.

Share Six | Artificial Light

As I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, this month’s theme is Artificial Light.  I’ve done quite a few studio shots and was very tempted to just use some pictures I took in the past as the month got away from me.  I decided though to push myself and try some new techniques.  I’ve only included one old image.  The rest are all ones I took specifically for the theme.  I decided to dabble with some gels, grids and a snoot.  I hope you enjoy my images for this month’s theme.

This first shot is an old one and I decided to use the light from the iPad to light the kids.

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This next shot was a random shot.  I wanted to get a completely different shot, actually one that I had wanted to do for last month’s theme, but it turned into this because we had sparklers and I thought it might make everyone more cooperative with getting the shot.  My daughter ran around my son with the sparkler, while my husband held the flash on the right (not sure why I didn’t just put it on a stand).

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This next image is of my husband and me.  This time I used a stand for the light, a snoot, a tripod for the camera, and my trusty remote.

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Next up is an image in which I decided to play with a gel.  I REALLY like the color!!

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Here is an image of my daughter in which I used a grid on my flash.

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And then another one of my son using the grid again.

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My poor kids.  I know they get tired of being my guinea pigs.  Maybe I can recruit some new models so they can get a break. LOL

Thanks so much for stopping by!! I hope you enjoyed everyone’s images for this month!  Be sure to post your own images on the theme and tag them #sharesix #sharesix_artificiallight

Head on over to Sharleen’s blog if you haven’t already!

 

 

Hanna’s Senior Session

I had the privilege of photographing Hanna for her senior portraits.  I’ve known this young woman her entire life.  I even babysat her a few times when she was little.  Her family is very dear to us as I have also known her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles my entire life.  They feel like family to me.

It’s been so fun to watch Hanna grow into the beautiful young woman she is.  She is beautiful both inside and out.  She is also incredibly smart and talented.

I had a blast doing her session.  She drove us around her grandparents’ farm on their gator…her friend beside her in the front and my husband (my assistant) and I in the back with my equipment.  What a fun ride.  Talk about a dream session.  The farm offered wonderful backdrops!!  Here are some of my favorites from her session.0018_web 0046_web 0079_web 0072_web 0066_web 0050_web 0010_web 0008_web

Hope you enjoyed these pictures!  If you or someone you know will be a high school senior this coming school year, it’s time to start thinking about senior portraits.  Head over to my website for info and pricing, and feel free to call if you have any questions!

Share Six | Street Photography

This month’s theme is way out of my comfort zone.  I suppose though, that is one of the reasons for Share Six…to stretch our creativity and improve our photography skills.  For my first two photos, I went downtown to try to find some inspiration.  It became a bit of an eventful evening with the employees of Jimmy Johns begging us to get dollar subs, then some guys trying to photobomb my pictures, and then a drunk man getting mad at me for taking pictures.  He was worried I was taking pictures of him.  And this is why I take my husband with me most of the time.  You never know what you’ll run into.  Haha

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For my last 4 photos, I took some images at the Dutch Days Festival.  It worked out really well that we had this field trip.  It made for a great opportunity to get some pictures.  I’ve only been to this festival one other time, but I knew I just had to see the klompen dancing. It is so fun to watch and would be great to capture.  I even leaned over and told my daughter that she should go learn to klompen dance, but what I really meant is that our whole family should.  Think of how much fun that would be, and how hilarious it would be. (My daughter and I aren’t that coordinated.)

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Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed my take on this month’s theme!

Head on over to Aubrey’s blog to see her wonderful images!!  Leave some love for our contributors’ as you make your way through the circle!  And please come back to our Facebook page or Instagram page to post your images for this month’s theme for a chance to be featured!!  We can’t wait to see all of your creativity!!

Share Six | Connection

It’s hard to believe that it is already April and we’ve announced a new theme.  Being at the end of the circle, you obviously know the theme is connection.  In thinking about what direction to take, all I could think about was human connection.  From the time we are born, we have this innate desire to connect with others.  Quite honestly I would say that human connections – relationships with others – are what make life worth living.  I can’t imagine life without them and quite frankly I don’t want to.

My first image is one of my son and the precious little boy we occasionally watch.  These two boys adore each other.  I just love watching the way they interact.  They get so excited to see each other.  Their giggles fill our house the entire day through.  Mr. C was “helping” D build a LEGO set (another form of connection haha).

 

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My next image is one I took a few years back of D and my dad.  I grew up with both sets of my grandparents living just a few miles away and the memories I have will be near to my heart for my entire life.  I’m so thankful my kids have the same opportunity to make lots of connections/memories with both of their grandparents.  My dad and D are hunting for frogs here.

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Another connection that we make is the one with our friends.  L has been so blessed to have two girls at our church who she has grown up with since just a babe.  This image is a precious moment I caught of her with her one friend while we were all enjoying an evening out on the farm with dear friends.

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Then of course there is the connection of love between a husband and wife.  This next image is of one of my dear childhood friends and her husband.  While they were in town visiting us we did a session of the two of them.  There is something so special about seeing your dear, beloved friend with the love of her life.  I love seeing her so happy in love.

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Speaking of the connection between a husband and a wife, this next image is of a couple I had the privilege of meeting at the nursing home while my grandpa was residing there.  Every time I was there, this dear man was visiting his wife.  He faithfully came to feed her and visit with her even though many days she didn’t even know who he was.  It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about all the things he told me about their life together…the connection they had and therefore the devotion to each other.  I will be blogging the images I took of them sometime soon.  What a truly precious couple!!!

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My final image represents the connection of a mother and her child….a connection that is so intense it’s almost painful.  Holding your dear child in your arms knowing that one day they will grow up and leave your home to spread their wings and fly.  It’s so rewarding and yet so heartbreaking.  This is another one of my dear childhood friends with her precious son.

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Well, thanks so much for stopping by all of our blogs!!  I hope you’ve enjoyed our images.  Here is the link back to Aubrey’s blog (the beginning) in case you came into the circle somewhere in the middle.

Share Six | Restore

As I do every month, I agonized over what route I wanted to go with my interpretation of the theme over at Share Six.  After looking the word up in the dictionary, I chose to go with this particular definition of the word.  It seems to hit home for us and what we are going through as a family.

Restore

v. to bring back to a state of health, soundness, or vigor

 Those who know us personally know that our son was diagnosed with Lyme disease over the summer.  It’s been an overwhelming couple of years trying to get to the bottom of the medical issues we’ve been dealing with.  It’s great to have an answer now, but choosing a plan of action has proven to be pretty difficult.  As with any treatment for an illness, everyone responds differently.  The bottom line is though, we want to restore health and happiness to our family.  I’ve decided to photograph some of the ways we’ve been trying to do this.

Rest/relaxation is one of things we’ve been trying to prioritize.  Thankfully we homeschool, so we have tried to adjust our schedule so that we can get as much sleep and rest as possible.  Hanging out in the hammock is one of our favorite ways to relax.
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Another thing we love and that boosts our spirits is being out in nature.  We took a trip to my childhood vacation spot.  It is a little resort nestled in the Northwoods.  There are no phones and no TVs…just nature and relaxation.  Once it got dark we’d go out to the dock to view the stars and the Milky Way and listen to the call of the loon.  Trying to not get bit by mosquitoes added a whole other element to the evenings, but made for great laughter and memories….definitely healing for the soul.
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Most of our days at the little resort were spent jumping in the lake.  You can’t get a whole lot more invigorating than that.  The sound of our kids’ and their cousins’ laughter echoing over the lake and through the woods was music to our ears.
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Back home, we still love to get outside as much as possible.  It definitely has a healing/restoring effect.  Hikes and walks along the river are a relaxing way to end our day.IMG_5157_web

Through all of the stress this illness (and the illnesses the rest of our weakened immune systems have endured) has brought our family, we have tried to cling tighter to God’s promises.  Through Him there is restoration of body and soul.  Even though our bodies have been failing us (we’ve been sick with one thing or another since the middle of December), our souls are finding healing in God’s word.IMG_5208_web

Our biggest change we have made in order to restore health and happiness to our family is our diet.  We’ve never been very unhealthy, but we were eating things we did not realize our bodies were having a hard time breaking down.  (We have some genetic mutations.)  We are now dairy, gluten, msg, dyes, GMO, corn, wheat, soy, rice and refined sugar free.  I won’t lie, we occasionally cheat at special occasions, but otherwise our normal daily diet is free of the things listed above.  Our son is on quite a few supplements for the Lyme disease as well.  We have also taken great strides to eliminate as many toxins from our everyday environment by switching to all natural products and using glass containers instead of plastic.  It hasn’t been an easy task, but we’re hoping it will pay off in the long run and help us restore our son’s health as well as our own.IMG_5213_web

I hope you enjoyed my interpretation on this theme.  If you want to learn more about Lyme disease click here.  To learn about how it can present itself in children click here.  Unfortunately it is often misdiagnosed as other diseases and disorders, so the more people know about it, the better chance people have of being properly diagnosed.

Head over to Claire’s blog to see her take!  Continue through the circle and show our contributors your support by leaving a comment.  Don’t forget to post your own images on the theme and tag them #sharesix and #sharesix_restore !!

Thanks for stopping by!!!