Sep 29, 2008

Cub Scouts: Local Magazine Publication

I was very excited this month when we received our issue of The Promise, the scouting magazine for our council here in Atlanta. I submitted this photograph at the beginning of summer, hoping it would be published. The editor used a half-page reproduction of the photo to encourage other readers to submit photos and story ideas. I looked through the magazine: except for the cover photograph, it was the biggest picture in the issue. What an honor! You can read more about scouting in Atlanta here. If you want to make your own raingutter regatta boat, instructions are on this page of the Boys' Life magazine site. You can view an online edition of magazine as well: The E-Promise.

Sep 24, 2008

Atlanta Gas Shortage

Alpharetta, GA. The photojournalist in me couldn't help but take some photos while getting gas (finally) at the BP station in Alpharetta this morning. Yikes! $4.25 a gallon! According to a report I heard on the radio this morning, Atlanta is looking at the highest gas prices in the nation except for Hawaii and Alaska.

I got up this morning with my baby boy and drove around for an hour on what little gas I had left in my tank. All the gas stations from Old Milton Parkway to the Alpharetta Highway all the way down to Mansell Road in Roswell were dry. Even the stations with markees advertising gas were empty except in rare instances where diesel was available. It was a depressing sight: sacks covering gas pump nozzles, duct tape over the unleaded and premium selection buttons, "Sorry, out of gas" signs. So, we finally headed home, determined not to waste any more gas on what seemed to be a fruitless search.

At home, I checked the Atlanta Gas website one more time. (There were no listings for gas in my area before I left this morning). Success! There was gas at Costco (sigh, no membership there) but also BP on Winward Parkway. The listing said there was gas at 8:30 a.m. when the post was made. I checked the clock. 8:54. I wasn't going to take a chance that we would miss out. I grabbed my boy and headed up to the station.

Once we got gas, I headed to Wal-mart and stocked up on essentials for a couple weeks: milk, canned food, cereal, diapers, etc. I told the checker that my plan was not to have to go to the store for 2 weeks; I didn't want to use the gas. "Yeah, and there's no gas anyway," the lady behind me chimed in. "I had to call three stations before I found one with gas this morning." (Why didn't I think of that?)

Yesterday, when I knew gas was going to be a problem for us, I did some online research to find websites that might have information about where to get gas. The best two I found were Atlanta Gas and MSN Autos Gas Prices. Each lets you type in your zip code and it lists the price and location of each gas station. Incidentally, they also have the phone numbers of each of the gas stations. (I think I'll try that next time.)

Why can't we get gas? Hurricanes Gustav and Ike shut down several refineries, and gas availability is limited. This has been compounded by the fact that Atlanta requires a cleaner mix of fuel. For now, that requirement has been waived. (See this article from the AJC.) Meanwhile, suppliers are trying to get gas from other areas of the country. It may take two weeks or more for the gas shortages to stop.

So, to all of you Atlanta drivers, hang in there. We're just going to have to wait this one out. Me? I'm staying home. No nonessential trips. I guess those library books will have to wait, and we'll go to the local swing set instead of going to the nicer park 10 miles away. At least my camera doesn't run on gas.

Sep 22, 2008

10 Days Old: Newborn Portrait Shoot

It's been such a thrill to document this little one's journey to her family, first the maternity portraits with mom and dad, and now these precious images taken just 10 days after her birth. Welcome, little one!

Sep 17, 2008

Extended Family Photo Shoot

We had a long list of shots to complete last Saturday during this big family shoot. Our subjects included two sets of grandparents, uncles, and a great-grandmother, not to mention the family and their little son. Some of you may recognize this cutie and his parents from a previous family shoot I did for them in May as well as the beautiful baby parts photo collage Jacob designed afterward. What a pleasure to go back for another shoot and a wonderful surprise to find our clients in traditional dress.

Everyone worked hard during this shoot. With large groups, posing and positioning is a challenge. We have to make sure the lighting is correct, people are looking (and hopefully smiling) at the camera, and of course we want to catch candid moments as well. We were all very tired after the shoot, but happy with the results. Our clients even invited us to share their evening meal with them. The food and company were great, and it felt like we were just another part of their family.

Special Edit: Baby Shower Invitation

This baby shower invitation took a while to get right, but really turned out great. We had a time of getting just the right accent color for the upper right hand border, but thanks to Jacob and a little experimentation, it worked!

In related news, I recently did a newborn shoot for this little one and will be posting some of my favorites soon. You can see more shots from this maternity shoot on our blog, or at the proud mommy's baby website.

Special Edit: Business Card



The business cards I designed for Jamie's Cakes turned out beautifully. The front and back featured full-color photos of a cake she decorated during our cake decorating shoot. The front of the card just popped with glossy UV coating and an elegant design that Jamie and I just loved.

Sep 11, 2008

Sandbox Fun

My boy and I have recently become friends with this little one-year-old and his mom. We met through a local parent network, but really connected because we both speak Hungarian and our babies are about the same age. So we use our playdates as an excuse to take photos, practice speaking in our non-native tongues (English for her and Hungarian for me), and enjoy the company of two great kids! For her boy, the park is all about the sandbox! Nagyon szeret homokozni! (He really likes to play in the sand.) And I couldn't help but capture a few sandbox moments for his mom. Enjoy!

Sep 10, 2008

Wills Park Family Photo Shoot

Wills Park is one of my favorite places to shoot: beautiful trees, nice grassy areas, a neutral-colored playground area. It's perfect! This sweet family wanted photos to celebrate their little one's first birthday coming up in a couple weeks in addition to some family shots. It was bright (note some of the high-key black and white shots) and hot. After the shoot, I told Jacob how good the couple and their son were during the hour-long session. It's a tiring work to pose for photos! I'm not sure what our clients did after our shoot, but I can tell you what we did: lunch and a two-hour nap for our family's baby, daddy, and mommy. It's always satisfying when hard work pays off in great photos like these.

Sep 6, 2008

Tween Portraits

I met with this amazing "tween" and her mom a few weeks ago to do some individual portraits that we didn't have a chance to do during her family's shoot this summer. Young women and men this age are great at following directions as long as you explain what kind of photos you are aiming for. I brought some photo references for ideas, and mom was extremely helpful in giving me specifics on what kind of portraits she wanted. We can definitely say it was a success. Our favorites are the ones at the top of the post. I angled the shot a little (rare for me), but it really worked.

Sep 3, 2008

Cake Business Photography

I while back, I had the opportunity to do a business shoot for a friend's cake decorating business, Jamie's Cakes. It was a great opportunity to use my new external flash and practice food photography, a genre I love. The idea was to get some good shots to use for a full-color business card which I designed and is at the printing lab now! Besides business card photography, we also got some great "action" shots of the cake decorating process. I also love the photos of her tools not to mention that tempting frosting.