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!!

 

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 | 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!!!

Share Six | Music

It’s hard to believe it is 2017 already!!  Happy New year!!

I chose this month’s theme of music.  Music has been near and dear to my heart since I was little. It has been woven into the tapestry of my memories….from sitting in the pew as a little girl listening to my aunt sing harmony, to the weekly piano lessons my grandparents’ gifted me with, to the evenings spent listening to classical cds with my dad, to my very first job as an organist at my church at 15 years old. Music courses through my veins. It was my first love.  I remember years ago, my sister’s friend getting annoyed with me because she said I was always humming.  What can I say…there is always a song in my heart.  My grandpa always told me to never stop playing the piano.  He said, “You’ll make money playing the piano some day.”  I vividly remember him repeating those words when I visited him at the nursing home and played some music for him on the piano.  Well I don’t ever plan to stop and I AM making money playing the piano and organ.  Music just brings me such comfort and joy.

Your voice is an instrument you can take with you anywhere.  My family knows that well, as I love to live in a musical, singing about my daily activities while I’m doing them.  My daughter is following in my footsteps with a love of singing.  Over the summer she auditioned to sing the national anthem at our local baseball team’s game.  She was chosen, so we picked up this pitch pipe for her to help calm her nerves.  I just love how shiny and pretty it is.

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Brass instruments are simply beautiful to look at, especially the french horn.img_4954_web

This is my grandfather’s tambourine.  He played the drums in a jazz band.  He was a big proponent of me getting into music.  He and my grandma insisted I take piano lessons, and they paid for them.  I am forever grateful for their influence and generosity.
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As I mentioned back during our black and white theme, I LOVE the insides of pianos.  They are simply gorgeous.  Not to mention, they are my favorite instrument.  I could sit and play the piano for hours.  Here is a picture of some of the hammers.
img_4889_web Here is my daughter playing The Entertainer.  I asked her to dress up to do her piano practice so I could get some shots of her.  I have basically the same shot of her from a few years ago.  It’s sad to see how much she has grown up.  My how time flies!!img_5059sepia_web

Here’s another one from a different angle and some more creative lighting.
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Thank you so much for stopping by and seeing my take on this month’s theme.  I had a hard time narrowing down my images to just six.  As I said, I just love music.

Head on over to Sharleen’s blog and see her beautiful images!!  Then continue through the circle to see the rest of the contributors’ takes!!

Aspiring to Something Greater | Superman Session

My family is the light of my life and my boy definitely does a great job of lighting it up.  From a young age, he has shown much wisdom and also much humor.  He delights in making people laugh and making them happy.  He is incredibly chivalrous, and is sensitive and sweet.  He is super courageous and full of energy.  He dreams big and has always loved dressing up and being a hero.  I know that God has BIG plans for this boy.  Being a mother isn’t easy, and I have made so many mistakes. I just pray that in spite of my mistakes, God will use this boy for His glory.

So back in 2013, I decided to take advantage of my son’s love of dressing up and go do a fun photoshoot with him.  We headed down to downtown Moline and I just told him to do whatever he wanted within reason.  Here is what we got.

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