Jan
29
Autism

Candlelight vigil for Autism


Tonight I went with a group of friends and family to our state capitol building to participate in a candlelight vigil encouraging our legislatures to pass a bill that requires insurance companies to cover certain costs for the treatment of Autism. If you've been following my blog very long you know that I have two nephews with Autism and am very passionate about finding the cause and cure for this disorder that has reached epidemic proportions. So when my sister organized a group of us to go I was eager to jump on board with camera in hand. It was an exciting night with around 500 people showing up to rally around this cause. I loved seeing all the kids too. Here's some of the photos I took with no words to go along with them--hopefully the photos themselves tell the story.

















It blows me away that insurance doesn't cover the costs of treating Autism when so many other diseases and ailments are covered. I know my sister and brother-in-law have spent in the range of $20,000 last year alone to treat the boys. It would be so great if they and other families like them could get some help.

If you live in Arizona and would like to add your voice to this cause here's what you can do:

Find your state legislators by clicking here. On the left side, click on "How do I find my legislator?" and type in your address in the right, upper corner. On the left, you'll see your Legislative District. You can then download a flyer with your legislators and their contact info by clicking here. This flyer has all you need to know about what to say when you contact them as well.

For more information and updates on the legislation, click here.


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Jan
29
News!

new lighting set-up at receptions

For those of you who attended the One Light Workshop, I wanted to let you know about the new lighting set-up that I am working on for upcoming receptions. For awhile now I've been using either off-camera flash on a light stand OR on camera flash with a diffuser. Not all situations at receptions work well with off-camera flash (i.e. the light stand isn't in the optimal spot) so I have been wanting to figure out how to use off-camera flash with on camera flash as a fill. I know Zack hand-holds a flash and that works beautifully for him. But as a slightly less buff girl, all that hand-held equipment would finish me for wedding photography rather quickly. So I'm opting for my second light to be on-camera just so I can live longer and see my grandchildren grow up :). I was thrilled to come across this video on Chris Humphrey's blog that had just the answer for me. Check it out:







Oh--and the cord you need that he didn't mention is a PC to mini cable that comes with your pocketwizards.

So thanks Chris! And I'm super-excited to try this out at my next reception!



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Jan
27
News!

One Light Wrap Up

I dropped off Zack at the airport on Friday and have pretty much been comatose ever since. The One Light Workshop is intense--going from 9:30am-midnight each day and Zack and I did two back-to-back plus the mixer on Tuesday. But they were a great success! I really enjoyed getting to know all the photographers as well as brushing up on my off-camera lighting skills.

Here's Zack starting the demonstration part of the day in my driveway:


Demonstrating how using off-camera flash can help you make the best of ugly settings:


Each day we had two volunteer "clients" help us out. Liene from Blue Orchid Designs helped out the first day. Thanks girl! Here's an example of the difference off-camera flash can make for a portrait.

Using only available light:


Adding off-camera flash:


Here's Jen--a former bride of mine and publisher of Destination I Do--a fabulous magazine. She was a total sport as well!


Zack setting up his gear:


On the second day, Hazel, a former bride of mine helped out in front of the camera. She was super-cute:


And Kaitlin, an intern with Rikki The Invitation Lady helped out as well. These girls were all such troupers both days as it was FREEZING cold out each night.

Here's a shot of Kaitlin using available light in front of a slightly boring wall:


With off-camera flash we can make the background disappear to black for a dramatic effect:


Or completely blow it out, causing it to become white:


One more fun shot of Hazel:


I practiced my technique a little on Zack back at my house:



Zack is such a great guy and teacher--very genuine and easy to talk to. I really enjoyed getting to know him more while he was in town!


Zack took this shot of me and my cute Dixie who thoroughly enjoyed all the company this week:


Unfortunately we forgot to take a group shot on the first day but here is the group from the second. From L to R: (first row) Hazel, Ray, Zack, Amanda, yours truly, Mona, (second row) Sergio, Gulnara, Joe, J Sandifer, Emilie, Jennifer Garbett, Jen, Libby, Melissa and Kaitlin.


Super fun! We're talking about doing another one possibly next year so stay tuned!


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Jan
24
News!

Take 2


Today is day 2 of the One Light Workshop Phoenix. I feel like I'm in the movie Groundhog Day--I'm reliving the exact same workshop but with different people. Yesterday went really well other than the fact that I left my camera and my brain at home when we went out shooting. That tells you how much this hosting gig takes out of me :). It was super-fun to get to know everyone though as well as to refresh my brain on all the technical stuff that goes into shooting off-camera flash.

Today is going really well so far too. We've got a great group. Dixie is enjoying all the attention. I guess she decided she was tired of giving up her couch and just made herself comfortable today:


Here everyone is mesmurized by Zack's wisdom:


We'll be heading out to shoot after lunch and I promise I'll remember my camera today and share some fun photos later :).


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Jan
22
News!

fire code?


I think tonight we may have broken fire code for my living room-- stuffing it with 31 people. It definitely set a record for me. Zack just arrived today from Georgia for the One Light Workshop and we had the mixer tonight which was open to all local photographers as well as those who are attending the workshop for the next 2 days. It was fun to meet a ton of new people--some of whom came from Maine, Florida, New York and Iowa! I'm super-excited about the next couple days. I'm not going to be getting any sleep but it should be fun!


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