Archive for March, 2011

Baby, I Like It!

::Cues Enrique:: 

“Baby, I like it!!!”  I thought I’d share the love of that song since it’s been in my head for the past four hours.  Thanks, Molly McNall!

Photography trip ROCKED IT.  Anyone reading this blog knows Thee Husb is building me the pretty much the coolest studio EVER – THIS YEAR (Yay!).  It was muy bueno to visit a studio I clicked with and I felt matched my style to see how their studio looked, the layout, their props, equipment and how they operated.  Blair and Suzanne Phillips are the coolest…and Adam, Tiffany and Dustin.  OMG, AWESOME.  The only way this week could possibly be any cooler is if I win the lottery between now and tomorrow and the studio can be done in about a week with only the finest of materials.  And I could order all of the gallery wraps, prints, frames and collages I wanted to decorate the studio, in any size, and not worry about “my accountant” putting a hit out on me.  And I could stock it on up with numeroussss Larson softboxes.  ::Swoooooon:: 

When I traveled for Deere, we’d hop in a car with four or so people we’d NEVER met to do an audit.  Being at the same table all day and spending evenings and weekends with these people led to what…?  Life-long friends of fabulousness.  Literally.  Soooooooo many of those people have become friends I CANNOT imagine my life without.  They all know who they are…xo.  You make up for lost time REALLLLL quick when you have a fifteen hour drive together and proceed to hang out together constantly for weeks.

Same thing happened on this trip.  Such a small group.  Together for fifteen+ hours per day.  Seriously, I love these people.  One of them happens to be my long-lost sister.  Ha!  The studio hooked us up to share a car and we got lost like 42,000 times!  Hahahaha!  If you’ve been on an audit or road-trip with me, you’re laughing right now.  Sometimes, we’d just be chatting so much we’d forget we were supposed to exit (15 miles earlier).  Deb’s husband said, “What is this?  The blind leading the blind?”  Hahaha.  Pretty much.

Yesterday, Deb and I were trying to return the rental car to the airport and we ended up lost in the Charlotte landfill and almost missed our flight.  We were so late we couldn’t get gas, so we had to pay $5.39 per gallon on an almost-empty tank.  Whoops!  Luckily, the guy felt sorry for us so only charged us half a tank (it was like on EEEEE, which is what we would have paid at the gas station anyhow.  Enterprise, they hook you up! 

 As a side-note, we strolled it through the airport for awhile (with our luggage cart – haha) and there were some pretty sweet Swatch watches for sale.  If you think I won’t be ordering one of these online, I am sorry but you are wrong.  I may or I may not rock the two-watch look this summer.

 Thanks everyone who emailed, facebooked or left me a voicemail this week!  I will be returning calls, emails, etc ASAP! 

 Mucho love to all! 

Peace & love ~

Ann

P.S.  Deb, Calvin, Kent, Matt, Susan and everyone else, too ~ thank you for everything.  I am a better photographer and a better person from having known you.  Let’s stay in touch…for sure.  xo.

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Leavinggggg on a Jet Plane

OMG.  So I’m headed out to a photography training of pure FABULOUSNESS in Charlotte, NC.  Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

I had to whine for quiiiiite awhile for this trip, y’all.  I had to break out the “Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeassssssssssssssssssse.  You don’t have to buy me ANNNNYYYYTHING for my birthday, our anniversary, Christmas OR next Valentine’s Day if I can just gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo…?”  Thanks, honey!  (He still got me a b-day prize, btw ;))

I forgot how hard it is to travel alone.  Most everyone reading this blog knows I used to jet set solo alllll the time.  I’m a last minute packer.  The day I left for Argentina for several weeks, I started packing about two hours before I left for the airport.  My bag weighed 71 lbs.  Oops. 

The good thing about having a husband with borderline OCD is I can totally slack off on OCD-ish things because he just does them.  Over the course of years, this is problem because I have forgotten how to be OCD.  He makes packing lists two weeks prior to departure (that I can sneak onto his computer and copy at the last minute), he packs a week in advance so I can spy on what he’s taking, he remembers to bring everylittlething we mightseriouslyeverneed, etc.  AND, most importantly, he leaves a little extra room in his suitcase for my makeup and several pairs of shoes that won’t fit into my overstuffed suitcase.  To make matters worse, he’s busy with Farm Bureau (follow him on Twitter at scottcountyfarm) for the next couple days so I have to do all this prep work solo. 

 The camera stuff I have down.  Me and my baby are ROLLIN’ (and by baby, I don’t mean Will!).  I made my list of what camera stuff to take like two weeks ago.  :)  I have to charge batteries and clean and format a bunch o gigs worth of memory cards.  Too bad my 5dMII won’t get me on a plane and my rockin’ knowledge of proper exposure won’t check me into the hotel.  :(  If I forget the stuff I need and get stuck in Milwaukee, Kurt might blow a gasket.  Hehe.

So, today I shall think like Kurt.  I have to do things like take confirmations for hotels, find my driver’s license (?), don’t grab my camera bag and forget my purse (I have been known to do this since starting photography!  They are similar in size!), take Advil, etc.  I also want to look realllllly cute and stylish (bc Blair/Suzanne are totally cute/stylish) so I need to plan some outfits in advance and so some ironing.  I don’t think my current outfit of Iowa State sweatshirt and leopard-print pajama prints really fall into that category :) 

So, I better go :)  I shall return!!! 

Have a great night, everyone!!!

xoxo!!

Mucho, mucho lovvvve ~

Ann

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Let’s Just Roll With It, Shall We?

I’m not really that great at melancholy-lovey posts and what not.  I mean I AM that type of romantic-y tra-la-la person but not sure people want to read it on the blog.  BUT somehow my Pandora hopped from Lady Gaga radio to Norah Jones radio, so it makes me all Norah-esque.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE NORAH SOOOO MUCH.  Seriously, though, I just can’t listen to it very often or for very long.  It makes me in a weird mood.  For like a month.  So, let’s just roll with it…shallll weeee? 

One of my rockin’ fall wedding couples stopped by on Sunday to discuss their wedding details of FABULOUSNESS (Congrats, Charlotte and Doug!!).  Talks of first looks, first dances and arctic blue ’57 Corvettes occurred.  I saw her super-SPARKLY brand new engagement ring and it immediately put me in the mood to take ring pics.  Yah, yah, we all know I’m wedding-obsessed and I LOVVVVE ring pics.  Conveniently (::bats eyelashes::), I had brought all of my lenses over from the studio to clean them so they were all sitting around just waiting to be suspended over some metal rings in a low-light situation on an antique trunk.  [Srsly, my back hurts now, omg.]

Anyway, so tonight I took off my ring to practice and realized that I haven’t had my ring cleaned and polished since Will was born.  Ewwww.  My bubbas is 15 months old, okay.  I used to stop in Expressions Jewelers ALL THE TIME for cleanings.  Now, they may even not recognize me or my rings!  Yikes!  So, I go into our room to retrieve Kurt’s ring from him. 

We literally NEVER have our rings off.  NEVVVVERRRR.  But, tonight they were off, so I looked at them.  Like reallllly looked at them.  That’s when I realized how beautiful wedding rings are when they’re old.  

And it made me all blissful and “Come Away With Me…{in the night}ish”…  Norah.  Ugh.

Kurt’s big ring (the one he agonized over picking out…maybe way longer than he agonized over mine – haha – love this boy) has definitely worked on lots of tractors, seen it’s share of tools and hello, pushed a lot of brooms across our kitchen floor. 

But my 3 1/2 still looks super-cute next to his 12.

The platinum is scratchedish and dullish but still just as heavy.  They have more soul that way, I say.  

My engagement diamond is covered with layers and layers and layers (and layers) of Johnson’s baby wash and baby lotion from the daily bathings of a baby I never knew I couldn’t breathe without. 

Our rings have literally been through every single thing with us since the day we were married.  And I’m loving it. 

So, I was taking pics, I was inspecting them.  The outsides need some work but the insides are just as bright as the day they left Expressions.  Isn’t that sooo crazy!?  The insides actually seem to shine brighter now that the outsides don’t.

“AMS to KDS  7-12-08” says his…

 “KDS to AMS  7-12-08” says mine…

Did I mention how much I love ring pics.  Did I mention I called my grandma and grandpa to take pics of their rings.  Did I mention I am going get my grandma Bernice’s (R.I.P. <3) rings out of storage to take pics of them.  Did I mention how much I love my rings.   Did I mention how excited I am about this idea. 

I really do have the greatest husband in the world.  I heart him to the max.  THERE IS NO WAYYY I could be the wedding photographer I am without him.  I can totally relate to all of the little hopes, joys and excitements of my brides have because I STILLLLL have it with this cat:

 

So I know what I’m looking for.  Still love him dessssparately.  Even with his OCD cleaning tendencies.  =)

I’m just sooooo thrilled for my 2011 brides to get married, have such wonderful, happy lives and then, in a couple years, have their rings turn old, scratchedish and filled with baby bubbles.  Then, they’re all totally going to look back at their wedding albums on their anniversaries and say, “Oh hell yeah, Kurt and Ann rocked it out.” 

XOXO Brides, Grooms, Wives and Husbands!  Hug your loved one extra tight tonight and for the love of God, please take your diamond to the jeweler more often than I do.

Mucho love to everyone!

Ann

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Loves / Hates Part I

Many of you remember Ann’s Loves/Hates from blog v.1.  They are back!!  Yay!

I felt it was time to voice my opinions are some things rockin’ and some things el lame-o’!

LOVVVES:

1.  I love Mint Green Boutique and Fannie’s Closet.  I am totally “that girl” that ADORES vintage-y artsy looking outfits.  Do I have time to shop vintage or could I even put together an outfit anywhere near as cute as Aimee Winslow-Low, the owner of Mint Green Boutique?  Why, no, no I cannot.  She is amazing!  I also heart (to the extreme) vintage jewelry.  I have issues with making decisions and have no clue how to approach cleaning tarnished metal-goods, so trust me, I’m better off going to Fannie’s Closet and buying from her.  If Kurt came home to find me at our new kitchen table with a bunch of tools strung out everywhere, some cans of turpentine and a big pile of old jewelry, he may never recover from the stress.  CONVENIENTLY, both of these stores are located in the SAME store in the Village of East Davenport.  They have the most ADORABLE handmade and custom baby and children’s clothing and accessories, OMG.  If you have children and want your kids to look DARLING, check them out ASAP.  I am so sad WWS (William Wiese Steward) recently outgrew his long-sleeved brown onesie from Fannie’s.  It had a big orange felt Iowa on the front and a BUTTON sewn with yarn where the Quad-Cities is!!!  Adorable. 

Here are some of my jewelry items o’ fabulousness from the store:

2.  Crumbs Cakes by Reanna Day.  I am ALL for accountants realizing how horrible debits and credits (and even worse – FINANCIAL ANALYSIS – UGH) really are and embracing their inner photog/baker/sew-er/teacher/writer/consultant-er/etc-er.  When I found out my friend, Reanna, from my former “day job”, was making cakes now (just on the side…for now…), I was so happy for her!  :)  She brought her little chica Miss Addy to see me for photos over the summer and somehow we got on the topic of her cakes!  I asked her to make one for one of Belle and Francesca’s schemes parties (a.k.a. ways to scam her mom and I out of money so they can get new clothing and presents for each other).  The girls had planned “Georgia’s (our dog) Welcome Home Party” when she came home from Iowa State Vet Clinic (long story).  It was kind of like a tea party for Georgia where Georgia got one lousy present while she was locked in a kennel (doctor’s orders!) and they each got about five.  Anyway, I about DIED when I opened the cake box.  It was SOOOO BEAUTIFULLLL.  And it was even more delicious…omg yum.  SO when she brought Miss Addy out for her Christmas photos <3, she said she was ALSO available to make Will’s birthday cake!  Yay!!!  She helped me think of the penguin theme and it turned out SOOOOO ADOOORRRRABLE. 

Everyone loved it, of course!  It’s more like art than cake (she sculpted those penguins!!) yet still the yummiest of the yummy.  Moral of the story is if you need a beautiful, wonderful, amazing cake, email Reanna at crumbs.cakes@ymail.com.  Let’s all help convince her she belongs in a bakery NOT a cubicle!

3.  Sephora shall be opening in a couple months and Ulta in a couple weeks.  HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!  Granted the new Sephora IS in my arch-nemesis JCP (ugh) but a JCP Sephora is better than NO SEPHORA and I can’t wait!  :)  If you have yet to buy Smashbox O-Gloss, now is your chance.  Yay!!  I need some new!! 

Now for the HATESSSS:

1.  Cold weather.  I am so tired of it!  Reallly!  I want it to go away permanently =)  Soonnnn!!  YAYY!

2.  I am not one to look at gas prices but when a tank of gas = half way to a new pair of heels, I get very concerned!  I prefer them lurking in the Old Navy flip-flop range.  Not Von Maur Salon Shoes range. 

3.  I hate going to bed at 1:30 when Will sqwaks at 1:40.  =)  It’s 1:27 a.m. so I better get going!

Back to the LOVVVES…

I HAVE SOOOOOOOOOOO MANY PHOTOSHOOTS OF FABULOUSNESS COMING UP I JUST CAN’T STAND IT!!  I’M SOOOOO HAPPY!  Thank you thank you thank you, everyone!  Cannot waitttt! 

Peace & love, love & peace ~

Ann :)

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Mr. George is Six Months! <3

LOOK AT THIS BABY!!!  I AM DYING AT HIS CUTENESS!!



OMG I love him.  And seriously, his name is George – how adorable is the name George!!  Between him and my new friend, Elliot, I am ROCKING OUT SPRING 2011.  They just give me cute looks all the time.  Love them!!

OK, who is in love?  I can’t wait until his nine month pics!!  =)

I tried to convince Kurt (again) that Will needs a brother.  This is a tough case to crack.  He keeps reminding me Will wakes up every 14 mintues. 

BUT Megan definitely needs another – George wants a sibling <3 

There are no words to describe my love for this last one so you know what…  I’m just going to stop.   The next time you see this photo on my blog, it may have a print competition ribbon on it.  ;) 

Thanks SOOOO MUCH to Megan and Dennis for bringing Mr. G to the farm again!! 

Hope everyone is tucked away.  It’s soooo windy and pouring down rain here.  XOXO!

Peace and love ~

Ann

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My FarmBaby <3

We all know my challenges with Will and the photo gigs.   LOL. 

If he’s not running away…

He’s shoving rocks in his mouth the second before the camera clicks…

  Davenport Iowa Children's Photographer

I can’t figure out if he ruined the perfect photo with the rock, or made the perfect photo with the rock…?  I’m leaning toward the latter…  <3

**Sigh**  God, I love this baby so, so much.

Hope everyone has a good week!

Peace & love, love & peace ~

Ann  <3

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Elliot <3

Happy Sunday to All!

When Elliot’s mama contacted me a couple of months ago in the midst of winter to do his one-year photos, I was overjoyed!  First of all, his name is Elliot.  You know he’s going to be super-loveable with such a cute name (and he is!)!!  Secondly, she wanted to do them outside.  Yay!  Don’t get me wrong – I love the studio lighting.  But for little kids, outside is so much fun and my camera and I have been stir-crazy.  

We stalked the forecast and rescheduled a couple times but it was sooooo worth the wait.  I LOVE ELLIOT AND HIS MOM, ANNIE!  We had so much fun chatting!  I thought I’d post my three favorite outdoor shots so far.

OMG, I LOVVVVE this SOOOO MUCH.  He was (politely – haha) disagreeing with our decision to have him stand and pose.  OMG, I love it:

Ahhhh, LOVE:

We also did some really cute in-studio pics and played more dress-up with E.

I just realized my husband is making brownies so I better go have some.  Yummmm. 

Hope everyone has a great week! 

XOXO! 

Peace & love ~

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