Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tales of a Noob Photographer

The 1st time I used a Mark II - I felt like a big girl photographer :)

So, I've been working part time at Montag for a couple of months now...part time = one day a week for 3-4 hours.   It's not a lot and I would love it to be more, but I try to take in as much as I can while I'm there.   Everyone there has been super nice and helpful. As of now, they aren't annoyed with all my questions (I think), but I feel I need to start carrying around a pen and pad to remember everything (the down side of one day a week). 

So here are a fews things I've been schooled on

1.  Do not edit your images on a PC - invest in a MAC.  What do I have?  Yes, a PC.  A PC is all I've ever known!  There was a whole list of reasons they told me on why Mac is better, but mainly it's because Mac's are geared for editing and the color quality is much more accurate...also something about how they can't get infected.  So, my next big purchase will be an iMac. 

2.  Lightroom is A-mazing.  Ok, I really didn't think so at first...mainly because I had been working exclusively with Photoshop.  I am getting the hang of Lighroom now and I see what everyone is talking about.  As far as color correcting, it's so much easier, but I would say the best thing about LR is you can import all your images instead of one at a time with PS.  Then if you have major editing to do, you can import the image into Photoshop.   


3.  Invest in a Graphics Tablet. For example, the Wacom Intuos 5.  It does make editing much easier and precise.  With a mouse, it is hard to make clean edits, but with the fine point pen you have better control, which makes for a cleaner editing. 

4.  Invest in some Eneloop batteries for your external flash.  They last longer, but order them on Amazon!  So much cheaper.  Actually, with any purchase, I check on Amazon first.  8 times out of 10 it's cheaper.  Free shipping, can't beat it :)

5. Always have a backup camera with you at shoots!  I know this might sound like a given, but uh, camera equipment is EXPENSIVE.  That is why you can always rent from

So, there are my top 5 for now.  Next time, I'll share whatever else I've retained :)

It's been fun helping out at Montag and getting to know everyone.  Even though it's just for one day, I do feel I'm learning a little here and there.  I'm nowhere near where the other photographers are, but I'll get there someday :)  I work with Shonda - I've actually known her for years and she's the lucky one I ask question after question to...well Jeremy too.  I've been warned though, if I ask Jeremy the same question more than 3 times he tends to think you're stupid.  Yaaaaay, can't wait for that awkward moment :)  Anyways, back to Shonda....she said, "I think anyone that cuts hair should work at a Super Cuts for a little while...just for the repetition.  It's the same for photographers.  If you have the opportunity to work for a studio, you should.  The repetition is good for you.  The posing, lighting,'ll feel more natural."  Smart gal huh?  :)  When I watch them at a wedding, I'm always amazed how smooth it runs from beginning to end, but it's because they do wedding after wedding every weekend.  Maybe I'll come into a large sum of money and I can just devote my life to photography...maybe?  no? 

For all the noobs out there, I hope this helps!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

My Baby Brother Turns 29 and I turned 31

As far as I can remember, my brother and I celebrated our birthdays together.  My birthday is August 11th and my brother Jearamiah's is the 13th.  So naturally, we celebrated it on the 12th.


I never thought anything of it.  I liked it actually...being able to celebrate with someone.  My mom and dad would always make a cake for us or have a neighbor friend make a special character cake (i.e.  cabbage patch doll cake, etc). 

In about a month, it'll be 5 years since my brother passed away and for whatever reason I'm finding this year to be especially hard...I don't know...maybe it's because this year marks the 5th year.  It feels like a milestone or something. 

I miss him terribly.  I feel this sense of loneliness.  Granted, I know my sibling relationship wasn't typical, so I don't know what it was like to argue or fight with my brother, but I did have a brother.  I have to imagine always being an only child feels different than being an only child due to an unfortunate circumstance.  Even though it was never "normal" he was all I had...and I don't have him anymore.  

It never even crossed my mind growing up that he would go before me...and so soon in his life.  Even in high school and college, I mentally planned to be his caretaker once my parents became too old to do it themselves...and I always told myself that I had to find a special man that would be able to handle my special circumstances. 

Most of everything good in me, I truly think came from my brother.  From an early age, I naturally had a big heart and didn't like hearing of people being mistreated just because they are different in any way.  I never understood it and I still don't.  Not many people in their lives can say they knew some genuinely perfect...without fault...sinless.  I did and he was beautiful. 

Happy birthday Jearemiah.  When I picture how you would be celebrating your 29th birthday, I vision a little awnriness, a little booze, maybe a tattoo... a lot of fun, and a lot of smiles.  I miss you and losing you has never really ever gotten easier for me...I constantly think I am disappointing you with my actions or my thoughts.  I've never claimed to be perfect, but when you know that your brother was perfect, it's something to live up to.  Love you baby brother. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Part One of Our Mini Vacation - Coriander Cafe

Last weekend, we took a mini vacation to Oklahoma City/Norman.  Matt always refers to the OKC/Norman area as "my hood" but so much has changed in the last 12-13 years, it's almost unrecognizable.  Good grief, has it really been that long?!  It doesn't feel that long, but when you see it in print, it kinda stings a little.

Anyways, our first stop was Coriander Cafe.  This little eatery is nestled in Norman on Campus Corner and is the product of my old friend Chris and his partner Jeremiah.  As long as I can remember, Chris has been involved in the food industry - bartending, waitering, or managing...usually sushi restaurants, so he has a pretty good handle on how a restaurant should run {smoothly}.  He may have his degree in Architecture, but his passion has always been food and I'm so happy for him that he took a risk for something that he loves and so is my belly :)

Address: 323 White st.  Norman, OK 73069
# 405.801.3958
Hours: M-S 11am - 9pm

Fresh local ingredients + traditional Vietnamese recipes = Amazing flavor! The menu is simple, so you won't spend hours perusing your choices (I'm talking about you Cheesecake Factory...seriously?  It's too many things!!  Your menu makes me want to cry.).  They also serve a couple staple Korean dishes - I like to think I had something to do with that....oh wait...I didn't?  Whatever Chris. That's what I'm going to tell people. 

Vegan and vegetarians!  He didn't forget about you!  Many things on the menu can be animal free.  Normally, I would call you guys weirdos, but my sister in law is a hardcore vegetarian, so I will refrain :)
We started out with egg rolls and pork spring rolls.  I have this thing...I always order egg rolls at an Asian restaurant.  If they can't get the egg roll right, 9 times out of 10, the rest of the menu is lacking as well.  It's such an Asian staple and most people order egg rolls, so make sure they taste good is all I'm saying.  If you bite into an egg roll and cabbage is all you taste...BOO.  To me, that just means you didn't even try. 

Their egg rolls had meat!! Very exciting :)  I ordered me some pork spring rolls...I LOVE spring rolls.  (My mom and I will sometimes just have a spring roll day - we eat them as we make the end it's just an empty plate and 2 full ladies) The pork had a nice flavor and they added a "crispy" (I think it was a rolled up fried wonton skin) inside which gave it a nice crunch :)   They really were de-lish.  LOL -  How am I doing as a food critic???

Yes, they have a kids menu.  You pick your meat (i.e. roasted chicken, pork, etc), rice or noodles, and an egg roll.  Christian mostly played with the noodles, but he ate all his chicken...I think Matt ate the egg roll.  The portion was a good amount.  His belly was sticking out...that's how we know he's full.  It's like the thing in your Thanksgiving turkey that pops out when it's done. 

Matt had something similar to what Christian had.  I appreciated that nothing was greasy...everything tasted clean. 

I had the banh mi sandwich.  I think I saw it on his website and that was really the only thing I wanted to try.  I think since it's 115 degrees outside (I'm not exaggerating), the thought of hot soup didn't sound appealing.  I'll come back in the fall for that :)  So, you get to choose what kind of meat you want, so I chose the roasted chicken.  (See vegetarians, this is a sandwich you could have - no meat!  Still would be tasty).  I've never had a banh-mi, but it was SO GOOD.  The bread was soft and toasted (and local!), the veggies were fresh, the chicken just came out of the roaster...Mmmmmm....I want one now!!  It really was good folks.  If you're ever in Norman, you should really give this place a try. 

Now I know what you all are thinking...he's your friend!  Of course you're not going to say anything bad, but it really was delicious.  Matt is one of the pickiest eaters and he loved it.  He even liked the soy sauce, LOL.  They use a Maggi brand.  Matt then says, "Well it ain't no Kikkoman!"  Jokingly of course.  Way to sound like a  hillbilly husband.

Hands down though, if I lived closer, I would be a regular.

This is Chris - I always like to put a face with the name.   He's single laaaaadiiees ;)  Ambitious, smart, funny...basically he has his $h!t together :)  Stop by and see him sometime ;) Heehee...sorry Chris, but just trying to get the word out about your awesomeness.  =D

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Little Bitches - A Shout Out To My Cousin Amber

My cousin Amber is fulfilling a passion of hers...dressing up your bitch dog.  She doesn't discriminate, male dogs need love too :)

Little Bitches provides a selection of fun dog clothing with personality as well as accessories and toys. Based out of Portland, Oregan. 

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