Thursday, July 29, 2010

Must have been a beautiful baby

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
Meet Baby Cash. He's a mere 2 months old and the first child of one very happy couple. I met this little darling last week and wanted to share his handsome face with you. This session was a bit of a challenge because there was limited space in the small apartment of this family. I used window lighting as my main light source and provided the fill with a reflector and strobe. I love baby photo shoots like this! The time flew by lickitty split and I even went over. But it was so worth it.

In other news on the homefront my boy has decided he's ready for a big boy bed. Therefore, the past few days have been full of major toy clearing out and cleaning of all the kids rooms. I'm feeling free and clean after clearing out a vanload of outgrown toys and clothes. Something about shedding mass quantities of possessions makes one feel lighter. I'm looking forward to decorating his little room with stars and planets to create his own little universe.

Somehow I blinked and my own little baby has grown into a big boy. Seems like just last week he was the size of Baby Cash and now he's moving on into outer space.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Class of 2011 Senior Portraits -- It's on!

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
I had my first senior session for the Class of 2011 the other day. This was special because he's the son of a good friend of mine and I can't believe he's old enough to be a senior. I told my friend I was amazed when going through these images that he looks like a grown man in some of them yet a little boy in others. Senior year is an exciting time for these kids because they start the year as children and end it as legal adults.

Every single senior session with me is different because every senior is different. For example, this young man wanted a session that demonstrated his love of his tractor, his goats and the outdoors. If he had been into athletics, like a young man I shot a couple of months ago, his session, obviously, would not have included livestock and farm equipment.

I'm trying to imagine what my session might look like if I had hired me as a senior. I might have had my session at the mall posing with the mannequins and shopping bags -- it was my favorite place to hang out. Or maybe I'd have taken me to the state park and shot me lounging by the pool sipping a soda. Hey, I was a child of the 80s full of shallow goals and superficial pursuits. I didn't start thinking about college until a few months before graduation. Today these seniors already know where they're going, what they'll major in, where they want to be when they settle down. They start preparing in elementary school. By the time they're seniors they have a firm grip on their role in the community and their own self identity. As well as their right to change that identity at any time.

I can remember my own senior session in August of 1989. I showed up at some boring studio with a couple of changes of trendy clothes. I posed for the obligatory yearbook photo with that nasty maroon boa around my chest. Ugh. Then I was herded through my wardrobe changes and barked at by the man behind the camera. "Tilt your head lower. More. More. Not that much. Move it back. The other way. Work with me!"

I will never become that man. I promise that each of my sessions will be fun, unique and memorable. And to make matters so much better, I promise to never shoot you in a maroon boa -- unless you want me to.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I blinked...

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
...and all of a sudden summer is more than halfway over with. Time flies! I usually watch the days ticking away from the comfort of my air-conditioned home, venturing out for photo sessions only near sunset when it's cooled off. So imagine my horror when I spent most of Saturday outside in the triple digit heat to shoot the Landa Park Dolphins as they played host to the TAAF regional swim meet. By 9 a.m. I was ready to throw in the towel and hand the camera off to Jayme while I went home to a cool glass of soda and my remote. But that wouldn't be very supportive of me to my daughter, who didn't even swim her first event until nearly noon. So I stuck it out and tried to fill my time with shooting so I wouldn't think about how incredibly sweltering hot it was. I put most of what I shot here if you'd like to take a look.

I'm proud to report that the Dolphins will be sending more swimmers than even before to the TAAF state swim meet in August, this year to be held in the hopping metropolis that is Waco.

In other news on the homefront, we welcomed a new kitten into the house -- that's her below. The intent was to give me a lap kitty, which I've been sorely missing since Tootsie's passing a few months ago. Alas, this kitten has spent more time in the laps of my children than in mine. I'm patiently waiting for her newness to wear off so that I may begin enjoying my new lap kitty.

We also welcomed Orion's new pet cricket into the house the other day. Crickets were swarming at the swim meet and he managed to capture one in his towel and sneak it home. I'd like to post a photo of him as well, but I'm afraid he has been lost somewhere in the vicinity of the living room. But Orion continues to search his toys and swears he can hear him somewhere behind the battery compartment of his Mr. Robot. We pray he turns up soon for all of our sakes.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I Found It

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
Remember what I blogged about last week when I dropped my daughter off at Girl Scout Camp? You know, road tripping and pulling over and shooting what I find yada yada yada. I mentioned my search for an old church near D'Hanis that I wanted to find. On my return trip to pick up my child -- and her raging case of pink eye -- I found the church.

It was a beautiful afternoon and the colors in the sky were gorgeous. I managed to get a few shots of the old ruins before the mosquitoes sucked my body dry of all fluids. Now I have some lovely additions to my Art Print gallery. The one above is my favorite. It reminds me of those old art paintings of castles and knights and princesses. I can just picture a bride lounging in the window there. Looking elegant and reflective and so unaware of the camera.

The church is tucked away on an old country road surrounded by corn fields. There's a cemetery next to it with headstones describing valiant deaths of its occupants who" fought in the Mexican War" and "was killed by Indians in Uvalde County." D'Hanis is a short drive west of San Antonio on Highway 90. I can see me bringing a bride there who is looking for this type of image. But next time I'm bringing more bug repellent.

This is the Face of Identity Theft

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
That's me. I don't think I've ever blogged about a photo of me before. I'm usually the one holding the camera. This one was taken by my sister-in-law when we went out to eat a few months ago. I put it up because I wanted to show you me. That's my face. That's the victim of credit card fraud. I doubt the guy who stole my credit card number and purchased almost a thousand dollars worth of tickets to a Neil Young concert in Oakland, California isn't reading my blog. But if he is, I wanted to put a face to that name and that card number. This is the person you tried to steal not only $1,000 from, but also a piece of my happiness, a peace of my belief in the goodness of humanity and a huge chunk of my time. I know you consider credit card fraud a victimless crime, a faceless crime. Well I have a face and there it is.

You'll also be interested to know that the tickets you purchased are no longer valid. Ticketmaster was kind enough to notice your suspicious use of my card number and call me. They were then nice enough to refund my money and cancel those tickets. I feel sorry for the people who may, in the course of your fraudulent dealings, purchase these invalid tickets and get turned away at the door. Those people are victims of your crime just as much as me. They have faces too.

You'll also be interested to know that the card number you hold is no longer valid. The account was closed and that I filed a police report and will be pressing charges. Ticketmaster is very interested in finding you as is the New Braunfels Police Department. Have a nice day Mr. Credit Card Number Thief.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lost Beagle

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
This is kind of an odd thing to blog about, but it's important to me right now. Our Precious has gone missing. She somehow escaped the backyard yesterday. It's not unusual for the other beagle, Monkeyshine, to get out. That dog is like Houdini, no fence could keep her in. This dog, however, has not really had a desire to escape before. The backyard is pretty beagle proof with chicken wire buried under the ground and stapled to the privacy fence creating a fairly dig-proof barrier. We still can't find a hole anywhere in the fence large enough for her to fit through so it's a mystery to us how she got out.

There's no sign of her at the pound and no calls have been placed to our vet, who's phone number is found on the collar she should be wearing, unless she wiggled out of it again.

Jayme asked me look up a telephone listing on Whitepages for Baggins thinking surely it was a Hobbit who stole the Precious. I was actually half way through typing the name before I got the joke. Ha Ha!

So if you live in New Braunfels and you've seen a lost beagle wondering about, give us a call. We'd love to have our Precious back.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Are We There Yet?

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
There was a time -- probably about 1997 BC (before children) that I spent a lot of time driving around looking for stuff to shoot. I'd be road tripping cross Texas and see something cool -- an old church, a graveyard, a building falling down and becoming one with the earth -- and I would actually stop the car and shoot it. Babies came along eventually and driving became simply a means of getting from one place to the next as quickly as possible to get away from the squabbling in the back seat, the "are we there yet"s and the stench of smelly socks.

I kept telling myself, "some day I'm going to pull over and shoot that interesting old building." That some day was today. It was the 4th of July and not much was going on in our lives. We had been invited to the family barbecue at my uncle's house but we had to decline because today we had to road trip to a Girl Scout camp near Utopia to drop my oldest daughter off for her annual horse camp. We put a lot of hours into cookie selling during the entire month of February and I ate an awful lot of Thin Mints for her to earn enough cookie credit to go to this camp. This time I grabbed my camera before hitting the road. I'd heard about a cool old abandoned church near D'Hanis and I was on a mission to find it.

We dropped the girl off at camp in record time and then took our time getting home. I sat in the passenger seat to scout out cool scenery. There's a nice river bed let's stop. There's a cool old general store, let's stop. There's a Dairy Queen, let's stop -- I got hungry. The ride home took twice as long as the ride over there but I got some really nice images of old buildings and scenery along the way. I didn't find that church, but I got home and did an exhaustive Internet search and I think I know where to find it when I go pick her up later this week.

The ride wasn't perfect. My middle child complained "how much further" most of the time and my darling boy sang "The stars at night are big and bright" and insisted I finish it with clap clap clap clap "deep in the heart of Texas" pretty much the entire way. But I didn't mind. I'm learning to rediscover the fun of taking my time getting there. And shooting the flowers along the way.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Welcome to my Garage

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
What do you think? Can you picture a photo studio in this space? Jayme and I are on a mission. To turn it into a super cool studio. It was Jayme's idea. He's been calling around to find prices for spaces around town. Old houses, downtown lofts. All are in the enormously overpriced range. And while the allure of the big open warehouses with the hardwood floors and big picture windows is appealing, it's just not in our meager photo budget at this time. So Jayme approached me during one of our long conference hours last weekend while we were twiddling our fingers and wondering what to do. Here's how the conversation went.

Jayme: So I've been thinking about those spaces I told you about for studios.

Me: Yeah, go on.

Jayme: Well you know the cost of a storage space is only about $75 a month, compared to the cost of those studios at about $2,000 a month.

Me: I am not setting up a studio in a storage space.

Jayme: It's not for the studio, it's for all the crap in our garage.

Me: PTHPTHS! (This is where I laugh and snort Diet Pepsi out of my nose -- because that's all they had in the soda machine at the conference).

Jayme: Hear me out.

So I listened to his plan -- his promise to get rid of the hordes of Star Wars toy boxes he's held onto for 30 years, his promise to get rid of the exercise bike he hasn't used in 7 years, his plans for the perfect backdrop area, the floors to be sealed and stained, the walls to be painted for perfect white balance, the shelves emptied of all the Christmas decorations and replaced with props and equipment. I listened and I liked.

I started tackling this disaster the other day. I meant to shoot a before photo before I started but I forgot. This before image was actually taken after I'd spent about 3 hours filling our dumpster, our recycle bin and my minivan for a trip to the thrift store. It was in awful shape. Remember our darling kitten I introduced to you back in December. She managed to get herself thrown into the garage one night for punishment and she decided to repay us by climbing onto the highest shelves and knocking over several old boxes including a big box full of plastic Easter eggs that I thought it would be brilliant to save for next year. Thousands of plastic egg parts were consequently littering the floor as well as shredded storage paper, Halloween decorations, Christmas lights, and the contents of a box of happy meal toys that at one time was destined for the thrift store. Ugh. That kitty is outgrowing her cute phase.

So day 1 of the garage studio renovation was completed and I'm happy to say we are well on our way. We have a long way to go. There are still boxes and boxes of junk we need to get rid of. It won't be easy. It won't be quick. I'll post photos along the way. Wish me luck!