Friday, November 27, 2009

blackin' out on black friday...

I am so beyond tired. I can barely see straight. In fact I am typing this very blog to stay awake! Not only did I successfully cook Thanksgiving Dinner for over 10 hours yesterday (ever bite made it so worth it) but I went shopping-for 9 hours-in the middle of the night. Crazy? Yeah I think so too! Well not really considering the money I saved. My friend and I ventured to Toys r Us at 10pm. They did not open their doors until 12. We waited...and waited some more. In the freezing cold. Then after making it out of there alive we headed to Walmart at 2am. Their sales started at 5am. Luckily we were able to hang around the store for the 3 hours of waiting vs. waiting in the freezing cold! We were able to get everything we went for...almost and what we didn't get was so minuscule that it won't be missed. I am so happy that I went. No matter how tired I am. My kids will have a great Christmas. The way I look at it in the long run? In 5 hours I basically "made" about $500. That is about what I saved! I try to look at situations with the glass half full...

My husband was getting ready for work when I finally stumbled in about 7:15am. Of course my little ones were already up (they like to wake up before the sun comes up.) I have not slept in almost 36 hours. I am so beat. My eyes won't stop watering! Either way I am thankful for the nice people shopping tonight. Everyone was friendly and helpful. Thank goodness because a girl had her BABY in Walmart at 3:30am. Brand new baby too. I guess it takes all kinds...I would never take my kids into the madness of black Friday. I don't think it's safe for me-let alone my precious kids!
This is a picture of me and Britt about 1 hour into the night waiting in line at toys r us. If we only knew just how long our night was gonna be.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cody and carters baptism

New Church Berkeley was a little piece of heaven on earth! What a beautiful place. Sunday, November 22, 2009 was the baptism of Cody and Carter. I was so excited to take some pictures of them with their parents at the church. I can't wait to go back and shoot more pictures there once I get my camera! The structure is so historic but the church seems so modern! The mission of the church as well as their history is pretty intriguing. Can't wait to visit there again.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Seeing Stars...

I have been so busy the last few days. I had the most amazing time at the PPSV meeting. Unfortunately Mariea was sick so I was headed into the great unknown all alone! But little did I now it would turn out so well. I met two wonderful women, Deandra and Wendy. We even decided to get together for coffee and a little photog session sometime soon. ( and I am super excited.

So, I decided to dress up. I wasn't sure if it was a jeans and t-shirt type deal. But, I figured it would be better to be over dressed (to impress!) rather than under dressed. I hate making a bad first impression! Jasmine had so many helpful things to talk about.I could go on and on about how much of an impact what she had to say had on me. I felt like I could do anything after I left that room. She is inspiring and it is nice to know of someone else who shares the same immense passion for photography AND people. She mostly spoke on marketing and branding yourself. She is a truly unique women with a wonderful heart. She was so kind and funny. She kept us all laughing. She was so well spoken. Not one word was fumbled or stumbled upon. She talked about the most interesting things, I wish the night had lasted several more hours...I would have loved to hear what else she had to say.

The next day I tried to log unto my computer and my modem was out! So for over 1 whole week I have been without the web! Wow! You never realize how much time you spend on the computer, or how much you can depend on it until it is gone! Thankfully I am back online again. After the rush of Thanksgiving (I am cooking my very 1st turkey at home!) I will be blogging on a regular basis again. I am just so busy I can't see straight! Meeting someone who I respect so much as a professional was surreal. It still is. I can't believe that is me in that picture next to J*. When times get rough during this adventure of starting my business I will remember meeting her. All it took was me putting myself out there. No one is going to come and get me I gotta do it myself it I want to be successful!

I think it is appropriate this week being thanksgiving and all to say this year I am thankful for passion. Not just behind the camera but for the passion of living the life I feel is met for me. For which without I wouldn't have a reason to be behind that lens in the 1st place. I am also thankful for those that understand where I am coming from and share my same thoughts. Moral support in this is huge and meeting J* well lets just say I was...SEEING STARS...

Monday, November 16, 2009

destiny and success!

Natural ability without education has more often raised a man to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.

Marcus T. Cicero
c. 106-43 BC, Great Roman Orator, Politician

I was destined to to this. I will succeed.

This is a random picture I took of a wall in Reno.

Like I say in a lot of my posts: I can't wait to get my new camera! Once I have professional equipment I will be able to "rock it out." in the words of Jasmine Star...FYI:can't wait to see her speak at the ppsv meeting at the Dante Club in Sac on Wednesday night!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ready, Set, GO!

Alright! I am smiles from ear to ear. What a great day. I have a sense of hope. My goal doesn't feel so out of reach! After finding out that Jasmine Star ( was going to be at the PPSV meeting (professional photographers of Sacramento Valley) I didn't think much of it. I didn't even consider it. Well I did for about 2 seconds, and quickly diminished the thought not realizing that THIS is how is all begins.

Then my wedding photog, Mariea ( something about it via facebook. Excited that we both knew of J* I commented that I hope she had a great time! Never did I expect the motivation of the next 5 words. I signed back on later that day and she had written me back. "Jenna, you should totally go." I stared at my screen. Me? I wasn't anywhere near a "pro" and she was nice enough to put that out there. That's all it took. My motivation kicked in high gear.

I logged onto the ppsv website. After some confusion (I thought I had to be a member by the time the meeting was in order and its next week. I didn't think time was on my side. So I panicked. I found every possible email I to the ppsv that I thought might be beneficial in getting me into the meeting. After writing to a few random people I got a response back. I was told to just show up and that was it! I was in! No trouble at all! Wow! Was I really doing this? I will have nothing to talk about. Sometimes its okay. I am going to be the sponge in the room...soaking in all the knowledge of my fellow photogs...can I call them that YET? :) My desire to do this makes me feel like one of them. They might have the know how to talk all day but if its passion they want to know of for this art I could write them a book...

I feel like I am where I want to be going! To be in the same room with J* and gonna be surreal! Two photogs whose work intrigues me. The icing on the cake? Mariea told me to get there early to sit with her. For once in my life I want something bad enough to go out and get it on my own. My hard work and ENDLESS hours of research are paying off. It feels liberating! Here goes nothing! ready Set GO

This is a picture of my son. I love the inspiration I get from my children; there isn't anything like it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

apple pickin' good!

There is a place up highway 50 nestled in the woods that I would love to keep my little secret. Apple Hill is a special place to me. I am sure it is to many other people as well. Sure, the people of this area might be familiar with it. If you are in New York or North Dakota chances are you have no idea what I am talking about. But I will share this little piece of our precious planet with you. Imagine the feeling of family ties and togetherness. Picking apples can do just that! It is such a relaxing place. There are several different farms. Some have specialties. For instance Rainbow Orchards (#10) is known for the apple cider donuts. Denver Dan's Orchard down the way is known for "you pick 'em trees." It was important to me to bring some sort of a nature loving tradition into my children's' lives. I want them to be "green" and conscious of their environment. I want them to love the fresh outdoors and appreciate this earth. We are getting too close to the generation that is going to have to deal with the consequences of our careless actions. I want them to be the person you see that will take that extra second to pick up that piece of trash they see instead of walking over it. I guess apple hill brings me that much closer to them being "pure" and how we are ultimately suppose to be. I can't imagine that though...people actually taking the time to pick fruit-not from a WAXED infested pile in the grocery store that are last years refrigerated apples. MMMMM...those apples are so crisp and delicious makes my mouth water just thinking about the tart flavor of a pink lady apple...I think I am off to bake a to be exact :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Come as you are without any pretense"

There comes a time in life when important decisions have to be made. For Jasmine and Mike this one of those times. They are ready to have their boys baptized as well as honor my husband and I with the privilege to become the god-parents to their 2 boys. If the unfortunate circumstance ever arises in which we need to take over because they no longer are here to fulfil their duties as parents we are honored to be selected to raise our nephews.
Jasmine has also given me another special honor. She has asked me to take pictures of the event. I feel like I am finally being validated. People are recognizing my passion and supporting it. It is refreshing to have someone to talk to about my adventures with photography. Jas and I have always been the 2 behind the camera at family gatherings but she knows what this means to me. As my sister-in-law and one of my best friends' she is among a small group of people I have chosen to share this journey with so early on. For her to ask means she likes my work and that is a major confidence boost! When we spoke earlier on the phone she commented on a few specific photos she liked in particular. She thinks I am on the right path. The support of a friend who really understands me is wonderful. She gets it. She knows why it has taken me this long to figure out who I am suppose to be as a professional. True friends like her don't happen often. Friends that you can trust for constructive criticism and appreciate them for it.
Thank you Jas and Mike for picking us to be the Godparents to your children. We will always be here for them, no matter what. and Thank you for always believing in me, even when I am in slow motion :)

The title to my post is the motto for New Church Berkeley, where the baptism will be held. what a beautiful place. I can't wait to capture the historic and religious aspects as well as the happy feel of the day. What a wonderful place to celebrate such a great commitment!

I took this picture because this is the necklace that has represented my connection to god. I have had it for sometime and wear it during important spiritual times. Not to sure why...just do. I will wear it to the baptism for sure. Now...what outfit should I wear? :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

An afternoon adventure with two very eager little ones...

Here are a few more photos from the other day when we had my son's friend Maleah over. I think this church would be amazing to shot wedding photos at. It has the train station right behind it. The building across the street is a photogs dream. I can't wait to go back with my professional camera!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Go get 'em...

Just send it. Why is this so hard to do? Is it the fact that this one email might be the start to the change of the rest of my life? I know that sound extreme but its true. What does it mean for me? It means that I am asking a professional to take their time and help ME. Would she find it flattering or would she find that I am utterly unprepared and be insulted for the wasted time. My wedding photographer, Mariea Rummel ( has been a major inspiration to me. I decided to write to her and ask her for some tips. I have thought about this time and time again. I decided a few weeks ago that I would wait it out- get better at photography, get some equipment and then contact her for advice. But, for some reason I decided to write to her yesterday. My hands were literally shaking. I don't think it has to do with her, she is the nicest person, but I think it has to do with the fact that once I hit SEND my feelings on this are out there. She could tell me to keep my day job...she could say she doesn't have the time. I didn't know if I was ready for any type of criticism...but that was a risk I was willing to take. I wrote her and told her of my passion for photography. I asked if we might be able to chat over coffee about sometime and talk photography :) I was so nervous. I sat staring at the email wondering if I really had the will to hit that button.

CLICK. I sent late now...My feelings were literally in her hands...Then I got nervous. What was I thinking bothering her? She wasn't a teacher! She doesn't want to train a potential future fellow competitor (which I hope she would never see me as, I recommend her to everyone I know that is getting married!)uhhh!!! What had I done. I had done what I wanted for so long!! I am getting out there!!!! Yeah!!!

Am I ready for this for real? the answer is YES! but would she feel that through the 2 paragraph email I was anticipating sending to her? I had thought about that email from time to time. What would I say to someone to make them understand just how much their guidance could help me. Just a little bit of time. Could that be too much to ask? I would return the favor as a professional in the years to come and would be honored if someone found my work to be so inspiring that they wanted me to help them learn my favorite craft. I love to talk about photography. I am assuming that goes without saying for most photogs...I would buy her a venti coffee and listen to her talk all day if she wanted to...I just want to listen to whatever she has to say about the art of becoming better at what I love. Which avenues to take? Which directions to turn? Does she realize how serious I am about this and how badly I want this...Not that I expect her to hand me a "magic key" like I said in an earlier post- the faith and hope I have of not failing IS MY MAGIC KEY and this is my first step towards getting myself out there! I don't know why I am so nervous to contact a photographer...I just want her to feel justified and proud of the photog she could help me become.

I must have checked my email 5 times last night. I went to bed early so I didn't receive her email until this morning! She already wrote me back! She said anytime after the holidays calm down we could totally do coffee...and she also does personal training courses! She told me to keep on photographing EVERYTHING until then. Oh, don't worry, I will be :)
I am so happy. Not because she is willing to help (although that is wonderful) but I ma so happy that she was genuinely nice about it. I think she understands my passion. She didn't make me feel that it wasn't okay that i don't have equipment, in fact she offered to help with decisions when I am ready... I am so happy!!! I am one step closer to becoming a better photographer!!!

In closing I would like to share the last thing Mariea said in her email "go get 'em"
I plan to do just that! Thanks Mariea for giving me even more inspiration to pick up my camera and do what I love!

I am adding a picture with my post of course! This is Maleah. She is the cutest little 2 year old! I watched her for my friend the other day. I had so much fun running around the old church with Maleah and my son. I took these adorable pictures of her in some of the cutest beaded shoes. (Don't worry Jas I put them up safe!)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Flu shots and ease of mind...

I took my children in for their flu vaccines. There is so much going around that I wish I would have done it a while ago! Luckily I carry around enough wet one's and hand sanitzer for a football team. I am the wierdo who wipes down the shopping carts and uses paper towel on bathroom door handles. (Don't get me started on the grossness of public facilites!) I am terrified of getting sick. We had to wait some for a while to be seen. Of course I had m camera in my purse so we ventured outside so see what kind of nice back drops I could find...I loved this waterfall. I am so glad I captured this. I love the scenery. You never realize the beauty this world has to offer until you stop and appreciate it.