Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Joy-ography Workshop

My business partner Megan and I joined photography forces over a year ago when she moved to Utah. It just felt right for both of us to work together. We both started getting into photography years ago, while she was in Texas and I was here in Utah. We started talking almost daily about cameras, new techniques, books to read, business plans, photography prices, websites and everything in between. We both had the same cameras when we first started, and we both were ready to upgrade cameras at the same time, so again we got the same camera. It was great to learn along side someone.

When she moved out here, there was no question in my mind that I wanted to get rid of "Portaits by Marisa" and start "Moondoggie Photography." We had a blast getting the ball rolling, coming up with a business name, logo, and philosophy. Megan and I have been best friends since 5th grade, and we were always plotting and planning something big.

Megan and I had something that many other budding photographers don't have, we had each other. When she would learn a new trick or technique, she would call and tell me and I did the same for her. I also had an amazing group of women photographers that would meet periodically to do the same thing. I was so lucky! I was able to learn so much quicker than learning everything on my own, book by book. I read tons of books, but the tried and true tricks of my fellow photographers were what really helped me the most.

Megan and I have been approached for help by many budding photographers whether they want to improve pictures on their blogs, want to be able to take "professional" looking pictures of their kids, or even wanting to become professional photographers. With a lot of thought and preparation, we decided that we wanted to help others learn the things that took us so long to figure out, all in just one day.

We came up with Joy-ography Workshops. You can go to our Moondoggie Blog for information as well as a new Joy-ography Workshop Blog dedicated to the website.

Cough Etiquette

I've been hearing a lot of different methods as to how to keep germs from spreading. One of the best was my friend Kristi said you need "frequent hand washing and gargling with salt water and clapping three times and doing a cartwheel before bed." This video just hits home with all the "new methods" of keeping germ free.

Saturday, November 21, 2009



So, I've been seeing these amazingly fluffy skirts on Etsy for a while and I just knew they would photograph beautifully. I just couldn't bring myself to pay $80 for one, I have two girls now, I would have to get one for each of them, of course. Kids grow so fast, so who knows how long they would actually be able to wear them. It's a lot of money to spend for photographing my kids or to spend on a dress up skirt. But, I was in the fabric store the other day and saw that there was a class on how to make them. I signed myself right up. I'm thinking, if I could make them, then I could make one in every size and color and use them for my photography business!!!

After signing up for the class, I started thinking about how much ruffling you would have to do, and that the fabric does not look easy to work with. Both of which are very true. BUT, it wasn't nearly as hard as I had anticipated. I now know WHY they charge $80 for them! Cynthia was an AMAZING teacher, so patient, and has great instructions. If you want to check out her free online tutorial, you can go to her blog.

I just couldn't wait to take Maya out and photograph her in it. We did a quick 5 min. shoot, and both Maya and the skirt did a fantastic job photographing. Don't you think?


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Family Pictures

I HATE HATE HATE family pictures. I LOVE to take them of other families, but hate getting them done for my family. I forgot how much I hate them until this week. Megan (my business partner) and I have been taking family pictures like crazy this fall. We were talking over the weekend about how we have been so busy, we haven't even thought about our own family pictures. I was in Idaho at the time, so we decided we would do our family pictures Monday. We would bring both of our families and take turns shooting for each other. I planned on running to the store on Saturday to pick out some clothes while I was in Idaho Falls. That never happened.

Monday rolled around and I realized that I didn't have any clothes for us to wear. It was about 1:30 and I was supposed to leave at 3:30, that gave me a very small window to come up with 6 spectacular outfits that weren't matching, but coordinating, and talking my kids into actually wearing the new clothes.

Outfits set me back a few minutes, I couldn't find the shirt Michael wanted to wear, and I couldn't find him a shirt that would work at the store. So, I had to run back home and grab half his wardrobe and bring it with me.

I call Megan on my way, because I forgot to look up the directions on how to get there. She gives me the instructions, which I thought I followed to a T, but alas, I was wrong. I tried again, backtracked, and started over, wrong again. I call Megan, at this point I'm about 15 mins. late. She explains to me where I went wrong, and I made it there, just in time for the sun to set.

We were so rushed to try to get SOMETHING, ANYTHING, before it was completely dark, just so we wouldn't have to re-shoot, that neither Megan or I notice the port-a-pottie and parking lot behind us, instead of the beautiful trees. With some fancy photoshop work, I'm sure I can make it look decent, but mostly just for documentation, not for blowing up and hanging on the wall.

So at this point, I'm really disappointed and frustrated. I woke up the next morning with the ability to see the humor in it all. Megan and I have a philosophy that we explain on our website about making your picture day fun, and happy. Our picture day was anything but fun, happy and easy going. I wanted to try again, this time using our philosophy. It was 8 am, the kids were all awake, and in a great mood. All the clothes I had bought for pictures were in one big heap in my room. I gathered them, passed them out, and told the kids we were going to go try again.

I'm so glad we did. It was a beautiful morning, and the location, was just perfect, I knew I wouldn't get lost since it was just a block away. I wasn't able to get a family picture since I was acting as photographer and Michael was at work, but i got the most amazing pictures of my kids.

Here is just one of the beautiful images I got, I will be posting individual pictures of the kids once I have all of them edited. But, I have redeemed myself as well as learned a lesson.

Monday, November 2, 2009

New Suit

I have begun to really love swimming, with all the swimming for exercise and taking the kids to the pool, I had worn out my suit quickly. I can normally get about 2 years out of a suit, but with all the use and exposure to chlorine, it's worn out. I knew it was time for a new one when I held it up to the light, and you could see right through it. The bottoms of my tankini elastic was so stretched out that when I would do a flip turn and push off the wall, they would flutter, offering less than ideal coverage. Being the off season for swimming, I didn't think there would be many options for suits in the stores. I turned to online shopping for my new suit.

I was excited to find a site that offered a virtual model. I could enter my height, weight, and a few other options that described my body type, then it showed me what I would look like in each particular suit. After entering all my data, this is what I was shown.

SWEET, I'm going to look hot in my swimsuit, right? Wrong!

First off, anyone that has more than 10% body fat on their body, will not look like the above picture. Speedos are so tight that they slice right into the fat leaving you with a large bulge on both sides of the suit. Second, they should have more options than just height, weight, and whether or not you are large chested. They need to have an option for cellulite: little, moderate, or excessive, it really makes a difference in how you look in swimsuit. Just to be fair, I think they should also offer varicose veins, cankles, and knee fat on your virtual model.

This is more realistic of what I saw when I put on the suit.

I'm not even sure why they give you the option to choose a bust size. It isn't like anyone has a chest once they put a speedo on. Speedo really got it right when they figured out how to make you perfectly flat up top, while allowing the midsection to show in all it's glory.
If you happen to chance upon a virtual model in your online shopping, don't trust it!
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