Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Long Weekend

Before I kick off my wrap up of the past weekend, I must say that my thoughts and prayers go out to all of my friends and family with Purdue connections, as well as to all of the students, faculty, and staff who have been touched by the now all too frequent reality of violence on a school campus. Boiler Up!

Instagram Photo January 17, 2014 at 06:42PM

I got to celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend at the farm.  A highlight was spending a bunch of one on one time with my dad.  Mom is off on an adventure with my sister Susie so the house was evenly split - girls vs. guys - when Lindsay and I arrived Friday evening and invaded Dad and Sammy's guy time.

Dad and I went on a breakfast date on Saturday morning before I headed off to Richmond to do a test engagement shoot for Matt and Ashley with my friend Diana (more on the shoot a bit further down).

Instagram Photo January 18, 2014 at 07:41AM Instagram Photo January 18, 2014 at 08:07AM

I swear the only good thing about this bitter cold weather are the pretty sunrises and sunsets that we can't get without all this cold.  They are just so different on a cold, snowy day.  

Dad and I also ran errands on Monday and he took me out to lunch.  (Don't worry - I made him super deluxe seafood nachos and peanut butter cookies with Hershey's kisses to pay him back for the dates!)

Here he is doing one of his many volunteer gigs - changing the sign at Central United Methodist in Richmond. But that was after he helped me cut a few big pieces of wood down for a few projects. Hopefully there will be some details on those here shortly.

Instagram Photo January 20, 2014 at 11:40AM Instagram Photo January 20, 2014 at 09:25AM

My biggest win personally from the weekend...getting Sammy a new blankie and he didn't eat it!

Instagram Photo January 20, 2014 at 08:17AM

Sammy has a bad reputation for chewing up my favorite Dansko sandals, a purse strap, and pretty much every toy I've ever brought him.  Tennis balls survive for a while - but nothing else seems to make it through even a single evening of play.  So, while I was killing some time in Richmond between the photo shoot and a hair appointment (yes - after six years - I still drive back to Richmond to get my hair cut and colored!), I stumbled on a cute doggy themed fleece blanket at TJ Maxx.  After a treacherous drive home from Richmond, I unrolled it and put it down in Sammy's favorite spot beneath dad's feet at the bar in the kitchen.  When we got ready to go to bed, I moved it over to his night time spot under the kitchen table.  It survived the night and then another night and he seems pretty content on it.  I'm hoping when they move to the new house in a few more weeks having his own blankie at the new house will make finding "his spot" a little easier for him - and everyone else.

Now, back to the photo shoot.

I've pitched to Ashley and Matt the idea that letting Diana and me shoot their wedding makes some good economical sense and would produce some great results.  Since I was home for a long weekend and Diana was around, we arranged a little photo shoot - complete with some snow!  When I first scrolled back through the shots after the shoot I was really unhappy with what I had, but as normal - once I spent some time with them in post-processing some really great shots emerged.  

Ashley and Matt are a gorgeous couple with extremely expressive faces and actions.  I loved watching them interact and getting to see how in love they are.  

We went to three different places for the shoot - a great local coffee shop called Roscoe's, the park, and then back to their house.  While we were at the coffee shop we stepped outside for some shots.  Diana was shooting them straight on and I caught this great shot of Matt laughing at something silly Ashley was saying or doing.

I love how Matt is watching her in this shot and she's laughing and soaking up the experience. 

Both of those are more of a casual snapshot than an actual engagement photo. But when Diana reviewed the shots I had from the day and picked out this next one, I had to say, it was my favorite too.  Before you scroll down, let me just say that they are standing in the middle of a street that had cars parked on both sides and industrial buildings behind them so getting rid of all that was not something I was completely sure I could do, but I'm reasonably happy with the result.  The more important thing is that the photo came out of the camera completely overexposed but going into a single color instead of trying to preserve full color and adding a little more grain made it a pretty good shot after all.   There are still a few rough areas from post processing, but I may keep playing with that.  The shot that came straight out of the camera was unusable - so I'm pretty proud that what follows was not only the end result, but also one of my favorite pictures from the shoot.

I won't steal any more of their thunder and will let Ashley and Matt reveal the rest as they are ready to do so but what an absolute pleasure it was to spend the morning with my niece and her fiance!

Did you do anything special over the long weekend?

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