Thanksgiving Photoshoot

I hope all my fellow americans had a great Thanksgiving! My parents visited again this year, and I think we are all still feeling lethargic from so much turkey and dressing.

They brought my nine year-old niece Avery who I have really missed up here. She told her mom she wanted to see our house and “get to see Alyssa, Joseph, their cat that pees in the toilet, and their crazy dog.” Our toilet-using cat and crazy dog are pretty much what we’re known for, but she did forget about Lazar Wolf!

We had so much fun with her. We talked about crushes (she did a fairly disturbing unintentional Sex & the City impression when she hopelessly sat back in a chair and complained, “I’m always single!”), tortured kitty Leonardo, took funny Photo Booth pictures, and she introduced me to iCarly. Much of her time was spent playing with Joseph (or watching him play Skyrim)–he told me she at one point said, “Uncles are fun! Aunts can be kind of annoying…”

The day after Thanksgiving I drug her to clearing behind a nearby neighborhood to play Hannah Montana. A few pre-teen boys showed up after a while, and Avery ran straight to the car in embarrassment. But I think we got a few good shots while it lasted!

It’s hard not to laugh when Avery is around. In the left photo she was doing a bizarre robotic dance, and in the right she was pretending to be a cranky old lady.

Her Aunt Tori joined in on the fun!

Then I handed the camera off to Avery, who easily bossed her aunts around.

I will leave you with this photo of Tori and me looking incredibly beautiful.

My First Roll of Film

I mentioned a while ago that my dad gave me his old SLR. I wanted to play around with film for a while so was overjoyed! I shot my first roll pretty quickly (in a matter of days, I mean) because I was so anxious to see how they turned out. I got that roll back pretty quickly, but it’s taken me this long to get proper scans to share with you.

It was a bit nerve-wrecking but SO much fun. Film makes everything so important! I liked being nervous about how photos would turn out and enjoyed getting back prints of photos I had forgotten I’d taken. Mind you, I am entirely of the digital age and never so much as put a roll of film in a camera. I’m hooked now.

My cousin Ellen was in the area, and we went to dinner (at Jakes) in downtown Fort Worth.

The beautiful Bass Performance Hall

This one is my favorite of the roll. I was nervous about these photos because I was using so much light, but they came out just as I wanted. I love the natural vignette! I used my zoom lens for the last two.

Not the most exciting roll of film, I know! Mostly little things around my house because I was anxious to see how they turned out. My next roll, I hope, will be more interesting!

July 4 Fireworks

I hope all my American and Canadian readers had a great weekend! I’ve always found it interesting that Canada Day and Independence Day fall so close to one another. July 4 is one of the few holidays Joseph and I always make a point to celebrate, mainly because Joseph is obsessed with fireworks. I love to lay on my back on a blanket and feel like I’m flying through a turbulent universe.

I prefer my firework photos out of focus, so that’s what you’re getting.

Okay, I took one photo in focus just for you.

Portraits with Joseph

Look what I did! Last week I somehow managed to drag Joseph into a field for portraits. Seriously, this was a miracle. We’ve both complained about having no good photos together, and I thought it was high time to fix that! We had a lot of fun, but I wish I had taken more photos. Do you think I’ll be able to talk him into a second photo shoot?

Weekend in Houston

Last weekend Joseph and I drove down to Houston for my sister’s high school graduation. I’m not even going to discuss the fact that my annoying chubby 9 year-old sister turned into a stunningly responsible 18 year-old overnight.  I have no idea how or when that happened.

There’s Tori walking in!  I’m glad she recently became a redhead as it made her much easier to spot. Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with any more ceremony photos. I was sitting very far away and am amazed I got such good shots–a testament to my Tamron lens! I didn’t think it capable, but it’s a constant surprise.

I entertained myself during the ceremony by taking photos of my nephew Lennon. He has grown so much since the last time I saw him.

He was in shock here because the family seating in the row behind us suddenly erupted in screams as their graduate walked across the stage.

Napping in his dad’s arms

Family gathered at my parents’ house after the ceremony, and Joseph played Candyland with the girls. Avery (blonde on the left) told her mom that she hopes she has a husband like Joseph someday because “he’s nice to everyone.”

Iced mocha coffee my dad made the next morning. He can cook anything better than anyone else. I don’t know how he does it–he never even uses recipes! The quiche he made for dinner was incredible, and I don’t even like quiche.

My parents are exceptionally kind, and I left with quite a few gifts! This was my grandfather’s Agfa Billy Jgetar 8.8, made between 1928-1930. It’s now passed from his camera collection to mine.

My dad also gave me his old SLR–a Nikon F601. I filled up one roll of film and will have it developed today! I’m really so excited. I have been wanting to play with film for a while but was too intimidated, so this was the perfect push. This camera traveled all over the world with my family when we lived in the U.A.E. It was in a closet for years, so I’m happy my dad is letting me give it a second life. I have a feeling it will go on a few international trips with me as well (I’ve already picked out a second lens for it–maybe a birthday present next month?).

We spend Memorial Day with Joseph’s family in Houston. We saw their new house, marveled at his mother’s impeccable decorating skills, ate lunch, and walked around Kemah Boardwalk (which I didn’t realize has been completely redone since Hurricane Ike). Joseph took his little sister on her first roller coaster at Kemah! As a coaster enthusiast, this was very exciting for him. Thankfully, Audree had a good time too.

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