Thursday, May 3, 2012


Approaching their fourth anniversary...time to get those "engagement" portraits that were not taken before their wedding. 

Recently moved into their new home, out in the country, it seemed to be the perfect time and place for a photo shoot. "Livin' On Love" by Alan Jackson comes to mind. Their new property is just beautiful with trees, possibly some gold to be found in the rock...beautiful, and peaceful... tucked away in the hills. It was a delightful afternoon, a warm spring day but you could feel the humidity still hanging in the trees from the recent rain. All in all, a perfect day. 

And such a cute couple. They met at Sac Stae, had a class together but never got acquainted. Michelle says she did not particularly like Derik because he kept making noise...trying to annoy her? She was not certain. Then one day he asked her out, seemingly unaware they had a class together! And, as they say, the rest is history; she said from the beginning...they just "knew".

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Dandelion

On my early morning walks I constantly marvel at all created things. There is so much beauty to behold and appreciate, sometimes it overwhelms me. So, I was surprised this morning when I wondered, "Why am I paying more attention to the weeds?" No sooner had I wondered than the answer came to me.

Weeds have a "beauty" all their own. They are strong and hearty, created in the same manner as those we intentionally plant in our yard and recognize as beautiful. In the wild, they can really accentuate the natural landscape with color. They thrive in spite of the fierce battle they wage for survival. And we humans can be at a complete loss to conquer them!

I have a new, heightened awareness of weeds in the same way I have learned to appreciate the winter. All things, indeed, serve purpose. Man tries hard to squelch the weed, keep it from his garden, his lawn. I observed a landscape maintenance person the other day on the greenbelt spraying weeds. This is done on a regular basis in every yard. We can control them, but we can never prevent the weed from coming back, spreading. They are so very determined and strong, they even crop up in the cracks of the sidewalk.

The dandelion is especially challenging in one's lawn. As a child, I remember the fun of making a wish and blowing off the top of the white little globe. This carries the seeds in the wind and spreads the weed like wildfire! Who knew? It was a treasure to find!

I was interested enough to look it up; after all, what we call "weeds" are still God's creation and grow in the wild with absolutely no care other than what nature gives it. And here is what I found: 
  • Dandelions were introduced into the Midwest from Europe to provide food for the imported honeybees in early spring.
  • Dandelion greens are wonderful in salads, sauteed or steamed. They taste like chicory and endive, with an intense heartiness overlying a bitter tinge. 
  • Some people eat the greens from spring to fall, when they're very bitter. Others boil out the summer bitterness (and water-soluble vitamins) in two changes of water. It is all a matter of preference.Collect dandelion leaves in early spring, when they're the tastiest, before the flowers appear. Harvest again in late fall. After a frost, their protective bitterness disappears. Dandelions growing in rich, moist soil, with the broadest leaves and largest roots, are the best. Select the youngest individuals, and avoid all plants with flowers.  
  • People today shun bitter flavors as they are conditioned by overly sweet or salty processed food. But in earlier times, we distinguished between good and bad bitterness. Mixed with other flavors, as in a salad, dandelions improve the flavor. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Little Boy Jack

Patricia had an idea...she needed a portrait of her loving hubby to hang in their office next to the portrait of her as a young girl. 

So she came to me with the only portrait she had of him about the same age as her portrait. But, alas, it was a family portrait. She wanted Jack singled out of the portrait and brought into an 11x14 to compliment the one of her. 

Don't they make a lovely couple? Over and over again, as I worked on his portrait, I was struck by the fact that their son, Sean, looks just like his dad! And of course, their daughter Aimee really has his eyes!

Thanks for the privilege of allowing me to remake these portraits for you!

Here are the "before" shots with which we were dealing. Patricia's portrait had been badly damaged in need of repair; I repaired it last year:


Friday, April 20, 2012


Five months old and nothing but smiles...with the occasional tongue! Happy, happy baby. I am always grateful for the opportunity to photograph these precious little bundles. I cannot help but fall in love all over again...the innocence, the fat rolls, the cooing and other little baby noises! All too precious, and all too fleeting. They grow up before you know it!

Couldn't resist sharing...

When Grandpa & Grandma sat down, Maddy was totally captivated with her Grandpa, couldn't take her eyes off him...just melts your heart!
I am most appreciative of the opportunity to share in this joy for just a brief moment in time and capture a frame to preserve the time, the benchmark of growth during the first year of life!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Junior year is nearly over...the prom is such a significant part of high school years. Tyler and Jessica looked fabulous together. Friends since grammar school, now all grown up, such a very sweet couple. 

I've known Tyler for awhile, watching him grow into a handsome young man. But I just met Jessica the night of the prom. Sweet, gentle, quiet...she was the picture of grace in her lovely red gown.

The rain began...again...just before the evening set in. But that didn't dampen the spirits any. Such a memorable evening...memories for a lifetime. Thank you for allowing me to share just a bit of it!


Friday, March 30, 2012


What a cutie!! My time with Neylan was fun-packed and very enjoyable, probably the most fun I've had in awhile. He was absolutely adorable. And that was a total surprise...he was very shy at first, just stared at me with the biggest dark brown eyes; he had no idea why this face behind the camera had come into his little life. 

But he warmed up to me with a little effort and from that point on it was all smiles. He was bundles of fun...not quite walking yet, but standing strong when he had something to steady himself, hold onto. It was one of those rare days of spring-like weather that we had here in March. Warm enough to kick off the shoes and get some barefoot pictures. 

We wore him out; his mother said he fell asleep on his way home. Just looking at his pictures now makes me smile.

Neylan, you can come back anytime!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


The calendar tells me it is now spring...but the weather outside my window surely makes me believe that our winter is not yet past.

It would seem at times that our circumstances fit the same pattern. We can see, right around the corner, that things are looking up. But hold on, there is still a little of the "winter" now and then. Peace of mind only comes with, at this very moment, no matter the situation.

Impatience is but a form of discontent. I am reminded of The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck, the title taken from Shakespeare's Richard III. Both of these works show the downward slide that began with discontent. Dissatisfaction leads to desperate attempts to change, leading to ambition which can become obsession. We can lose sight what we already have and think the "grass is greener"...

I saw a beautiful illustration of that yesterday morning. The always welcome California poppy; against a gray sky, a very cool breeze, this beautiful and fragile little flower refuses to hide. It knows it is supposed to bloom at this time, and bloom it does. What a cheerful sight along the roadside. Funny how you spot them in unlikely places. And they "bloom where they are planted". Contented.

Yes, contentment is a way of life, a peaceful way of life. Weather the storms of life and relish the good times. It is all good, nothing is without purpose.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Change of Seasons

Change is life just as in the seasons of the year. As I watch my surroundings, the trees and flowers, the fields, rushing to burst forth with new life, new growth after the barren winter months, I am reminded that every day is new. The winter is a necessary component of life. All the old must die away to make room for the new. The beautiful blossoms on the dogwoods and plum trees around me would hardly be impressive if last year's leaves were still in foliage. 

How fitting then, that the dark "winters" of life are also a necessity. The difficulties and dark times in our lives produce untold strength and good in us. Firstly, it serves to build character and strength, humility and sensitivity to the hurts and needs of others. Secondly, we gain a new appreciation for the times when things are "easy", more pleasant. 

Life is a blessing not to be taken for granted. I am learning to appreciate, indeed even welcome, the winter. I see so much productivity in difficulty that I cannot do less than be filled with gratitude for the strength that it produces. Fortitude and of the "winter" of life. Springtime is a mixed bag...a little tease now and then of warm and beautiful weather. Then the wind and a little rain, a little cold, come along and remind us that winter has not yet fully passed. So in life we enjoy the good times and work through the tough times...not just merely survive them, but thrive.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


It's that time of year again. If you live in the Sacramento area and are looking for a picturesque day, something to bring a little springtime to your world on the heals of the winter months, take a little day trip to Daffodil Hill in the historic town of Volcano just outside of Sutter Creek. They have tentatively set this year's opening date as March 16. Check their website before making definite plans, though, as weather is always a factor as well as maximum blooming of the daffodils Take a lunch and just enjoy the beauty. It's a great outing for the young ones who love to explore. There are more reasons to visit than just the flowers....Enjoy!