Three going on thirteen

Peanut turns three next week, crazy I know. As with every birthday, I took some photos so my sister can have a new one for her wall. This year we went to the house of a family friend who still has a rope swing (technically it’s nylon cord) and who is known for her landscaping, which was beautiful despite the insufferable heat this summer. When I was going through the shoot Ben was looking over my shoulder and he commented that she looks three going on thirteen, thanks to her sassiness. She’s going to be a heartbreaker for sure! Here are my favorites from our little shoot.

I threw a bunch into a collage because I couldn't decide which ones to post.

Of course, she and Bubba took a picture too. Peanut was done smiling so Bubba did it for her.

 

Giggles!

 

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Calder, revisited

It’s hard to believe that nearly two years and one month ago I was in Paris, wandering through Le Centre Pompidou staring at the whirling mobiles and striking sculptures and paintings of Alexander Calder. Today is Calder’s birthday so I thought it only fitting that I re-blog some of the photos I took that day (before security informed me photography wasn’t allowed, oops). This is a different set of photos than I posted to my Paris blog two years ago, I guess my taste has changed since then.

One of my favorite things about Calder's wire sculptures is how the shadows create a secondary piece of art.

He was so sneaky with his signature.

Calder created a circus entirely from wire and found materials, it was one of his first major projects. I loved the elephant.

The Ring Master was pretty awesome too.

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Art en plein air

I’ve been working at The De Soto Explorer for a little more than a year now, which means it’s getting to the point where I’m covering the same events for the second time. I must say that it’s kind of a nice feeling to go to an event, say the annual Sunflower ArtFest, and be able to chat with the organizers about how much nicer the weather is this year versus last year and do I remember so-and-so, why yes, I do. Here are a few of my favorite frames from the festival this year.

For being only three, little Jordan here did a very good job sitting still to have his portrait drawn. That is, until he sneezed and found it hilarious so he kept fake sneezing.

The thing I really love about this art festival, aside from the beautiful setting & the friendly people, is the fact that they have a plein air, or outdoor/on-site, painting competition. As an artist I love the experience of creating art & this woman along with her competitors really made me want to try plein air painting myself sometime.

Bees on a sunflower, hey, it's the theme & it's Kansas, I had to.

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Fourth of July: a good excuse for extended family to get together and blow things up

As I said, my dad’s family has a huge get together every year for the Fourth, and I do mean huge. My dad’s generation has 18 first cousins in it (my dad is one of eight) and just those eight alone had a combined 15, then in the next generation (my nieces and nephew) there are already 11, so you can see how the numbers add up quickly. Anyway, our party is a great time every year and it’s really wonderful to see everybody, plus it makes for one hell of a fireworks show!

Carefully sparklering.

She was pretty careful too.

The kids all wore glow sticks as well, prompting my cousin's girlfriend to comment that it looked like Tron. By the way, these kids are my dad's cousin's grandkids, confused yet? Me too.

Some more cousins.

The grand finale, this one firework went on like this for several minutes. Like I said, my family really likes to blow stuff up.

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Water babies

Every year my dad’s side of the family has a huge Fourth of July cook-out/family reunion. The same people host it each year and luckily for the kiddos, they have an above ground pool. My sister took my niece and nephew swimming and I took these photos, as usual Peanut had no fear and her bubba couldn’t have been more cautious.

Peanut was very excited to get in the water.

Bubba tried out a snorkel.

Peanut wanted to wear the goggles, Mom laughed.

"Hey look! I'm a fountain!"

Absolutely no fear, she wanted to do this again and again!

"Boo!"

 

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We went to the chapel & she got married!

The past few days (and months really) I’ve had the honor of being a bridesmaid for my long-time friend Katie. She and I have been friends for more than a decade now, bonding over our love of classic movies and musicals and helping each other through some very tough times, my mother’s illness and eventual death and her parents’ divorce. We were close through high school and stayed close through college, despite going to schools a few hours away from each other. Because I was in the bridal party and therefore busy getting myself dressed & Katie into her dress once we got to the venue, I turned the photographing duties over to their wonderfully talented, pro wedding photographer Chris Mullins at that point. It was my great joy to spend this time with Katie and her new husband, Ronnie, and I wish them only the best in life.

Katie has always been the epitome of a daddy's girl, I love this moment between the two of them during the rehearsal. I'm pretty sure Rusty was offering to drive her get away car if she changed her mind.

After the rehearsal Thursday night, the bride and groom didn't see each other until Katie walked down the aisle. That didn't stop Ronnie from texting her sweet nothings all morning.

The classic Katie shrug. It means "I'm so excited!" in Katie body-language.

After hair and make-up, we walked down the block for lunch at Panera.

One last hair and makeup check before getting into The Dress.

Not only did Ronnie send Katie sweet text messages, the two wrote each other letters to be read right before the ceremony. It was the only time Katie teared up.

Riding off into the sunset, er, thunderstorm. Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Katie and Ronnie Jolliffe! (Sorry for the blinding flash)

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Magic Hour > soccer

Girls’ soccer has begun at DHS. After shooting the boys in the fall, I’m more comfortable shooting the girls but there’s a new distraction with this season: magic hour. Thanks to DST and the position of the field, the girls play right as the sun is setting. The sky lights up to the perfect, golden hue and sets right behind them as they play, making it difficult for me to focus on my action shots because all I can think about is how pretty it is. I know, I need to find a way to incorporate both into my shots.

See? Magic hour! I promise there's a soccer player in this shot.

The Wildcats never stopped fighting during this game. They lost 0-6 but it wasn't for lack of heart.

It never ceases to amaze me how brutal and physical soccer can be yet they never stop moving!

Be honest, wouldn't you get distracted if the setting for the soccer game you were shooting looked like this?

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