Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday card images & so much more

I had the opportunity to create family portraits for some friends last weekend. Riley was friends with both of these boys at different times while at Montessori Center School. Since then, all of the boys have moved to new schools, but they are still great friends. It was really nice watching the boys interact and play! And, it is always a pleasure to photograph the interactions between family members.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

4 times the fun

This family was 4 times the fun! Zac is a great big brother to the triplets. We had a lot of fun at the zoo a few weeks ago. I was able to present the images to their Mom today, so I can finally share the images. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Senior Yearbook Ads


I designed Nick's yearbook ad. It is hard to believe he's already almost ready to graduate from high school.

I can't take credit for the image from New Zealand. He wasn't willing to pay my travel expenses to get that image. Maybe next time. ; )  Also, the baby picture was taken way before I even knew Nick existed.

I would love to design your yearbook ad!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What does the flu look like?

Well, when you are Riley the Invincible, it looks like this...


The doctor didn't want to give him the flu test because Riley didn't look sick enough to have the flu. We insisted that he give it because a few kids in Riley's class had the flu. We were right. If he hadn't had a fever (and later some stomach issues), we never would have know. All he ever complained about was that his neck hurt. We really need to listen when he complains, because it must be bad.

Spooks & More






We were able to spend Halloween with one of Riley's best friends. What a Treat!


They live in a great neighborhood for Trick-or-Treating. The kids always have a blast, but it is even sweeter when candy and costumes are involved.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Not scared of anything


Riley isn't scared of much these days. He rode everything we would let him ride at the fair. Thank goodness he was about an inch too short to ride the most outrageous of the rides. We'll have to see how adventurous Mom and Dad are next year.


Can you believe he rode the roller coaster by himself?!
I'll try to get the Halloween pictures edited and posted this week. Watch for another post soon!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ho! Ho! Ho! --- Holiday Card Samples












Here are the holiday card samples that I promised to show you. Use images from a previous session or schedule a mini session before November 22 to ensure the cards arrive in time.



Thursday, October 8, 2009

Canvas Prints & Studio Upgrades

My canvas samples arrived. I love them! What a great way to present images. This is only a small section of the family room that I've recently set up as a presentation and display area. The room makeover will take more time to complete, but it is ready for clients now.

It was hard to let this one go. It was my first large canvas print. I'm so glad that Eva and Craig loved it, but it looked so great that I didn't want to deliver it. Believe me... large canvas prints are incredible. I really liked the print small, but the canvas blew me away.

Friends, Chess, Trophies

Riley didn't want to play in the chess tournament last weekend until he found out that one of his best friends from Montessori Center School was going to be there. He was a little concerned about moving up from the Kindergarten level to the First-Third Grade level in the tournaments. He ended up winning 3 of 4 games and getting a trophy. His school team also won two trophies. Needless to say, he had a great time playing chess, and he got to play with Quincy in between games.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Spread the Word

During Family Portrait Month - October 2009 - I will donate $50 plus 5% of your purchases to PPA Charities to benefit Operation Smile, which treats children around the world who suffer with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.

Celebrate your family by helping a child!

Call Melinda at 602.628.8019 to schedule your appointment now.

Appointments are limited! As a Thank You for participating in this event, you will receive 2 free gift images with the purchase of a wall image at least 16x20 in size.

Family Portrait Month is sponsored by PPA Charities.

School Update



First grade has been fantastic so far. We are still adjusting to having so much homework, but Riley complains when I pick him up in the afternoons that I'm not letting him stay there long enough. These pictures were taken during the science project on Friday. Mentos and Diet Coke are explosive!

Guess what Riley wants to be when he grows up. I guess Space Camp had some impact this summer.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Grade Already!?!



Someone at our house is really excited about starting first grade. It is only the third day, and he has already started making friends and doing homework. He even has a pretty major crush on his teacher!


When he was doing his homework last night, he was supposed to be writing about his summer vacation. His answer to every question (like what was the most exciting thing you did on summer vacation) was his teacher. I couldn't let him answer every question that way, so he had to switch gears and actually think about the summer. He would rather focus on his teacher, though. So cute!

Monday, August 17, 2009

High School Senior Image Package




Want some fun and creative images to remember your Senior year by? Read the information below to find out about my Senior Image Package.

Plan on having a lot of fun. Bring a few outfits -- something outrageous or really cool that you want to be photographed in, something more traditional for the portraits for grandma’s wall, something casual and fun. Bring something that represents your current interests – an instrument or athletic gear, your car, or pet (and someone to watch it while we work)… We will talk either over the phone or preferably in person before the shoot so I can understand what you want the images for and how you plan to display them.

There is a $275 image appointment fee. The entire amount can applied to the purchase of images and products. The fee needs to be paid up front to hold the appointment time. Senior portrait sessions are one-hour in length at any location (that allows photography). There is an extra fee if I need to travel further than 20 miles from Paradise Valley Mall.

Print prices start at $25. I can also design custom announcements or inserts for announcements as well as pages for yearbooks. Prices vary.

I will create a custom package for each Senior. We will have fun and will create a combination of images to please the parents and images to please the Seniors. The majority of the session will be focused on capturing the fun/cool images.

I can give a $50 discount for two outgoing seniors from each school who are interested in becoming image reps. Image reps will receive image rep cards to distribute to their friends and classmates. They will be asked to post an image slideshow to their Facebook page (or other personal online site) and contact at least 25 students and promote my images. They will also receive a $25 image credit for each referral who books a session.

Come, join in the fun. Check out the Teens and Tweens page on my website www.bymelinda.com for more images.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

No Posts in July - Got too busy

July was a crazy busy month! I feel like I say that a lot. I'll try to be a better blogger in August.

I attended Image Explorations, a photography school in Canada, mid-month. It was a great experience. I have a lot of new marketing ideas that I'm excited to start trying out soon. I also learned a lot about lighting. Just before the course, I paid off my credit card. Now it is charged up again with lighting equipment purchases.

About a week after I returned from Canada, we left town again for a family reunion at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. It was a great trip. We all had a fantastic time - especially the kids! I can't imagine a better place for a reunion where there are so many kids. Here are a few pictures from the reunion. See what I mean about happy kids!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Catching Up


Graduation pictures are posted at www.backprint.com/bymelinda.


Hopefully, I will have wedding sneak peeks for Connie and David by the end of the week!

Birthday Bash



The images from the birthday bash are now available at www.backprint.com/bymelinda. You will notice that the birthday girls are mostly absent from the images. I want to save something as a surprise when I meet with their Mom.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Unexpected benefit




At first I was a little disappointed that the yearbooks didn't arrive until the night before graduation, but someone had the idea for the kids to sign each other's yearbooks. They were running around after graduation in little groups signing their names by their pictures. It made me soooo happy!

Graduation Day!


Riley graduated from Montessori Center School yesterday. He was so excited. He came bursting into our room at 5:40 AM saying "I'm so excited!". Wasn't he handsome!?! He helped pick out his graduation attire. He hasn't worn a tie since his Finalization Day when he was one.

It was a great day! He is definitely ready for first grade. Montessori Center School will always hold a special place in our hearts. This school has prepared him for so much in life. His teachers have instilled a love for learning and a sense of curiosity that will be a great benefit throughout his life.

We are going to miss this school! Images from the graduation party to follow soon.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Triple the fun!

These three cuties just turned 5. They had an incredible birthday bash. The images from the party will be posted to www.backprint.com/bymelinda near the end of June.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Beautiful Baby

video


I love my first newborn images! I learned a lot about planning and preparing for newborn sessions. It is more different from a toddler session than I thought it would be. But... I'm giddy because I reviewed the images with the family tonight, and they loved them!


I hope you enjoy them, too! Let me know if you can think of anyone with a baby. I want to make more beautiful baby images soon!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

More Senior Portraits

video

Nick is graduating next year. Here is a slideshow of his senior portraits. Isn't he handsome!

We took a trip to the zoo. It was a lot of walking, but I think it was worth the effort!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Montessori Yearbook

video

I've been wanting to do a book about Montessori Center School for a long time. Here's the final draft. We may make a few changes before it goes to the printer, but this is pretty much it. The book isn't quite as detailed as I had planned in my head, but it is really special! If you are interested in purchasing a copy, I can make a few changes and remove the graduate section and add pictures from the year your child attended the school (as long as it was within the past few years while Riley was attending and I was photographing events). I hope you love it as much as I do!

It was really important to me that the gardens be documented before they are removed to make room for the light rail. I also wanted to have something special so we can remember the school and teachers. I can't imagine a better place to start an education!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Too bad it wasn't a 1-day tournament




Riley competed in the 2-day State chess tournament. He was incredible on day 1. He said he was tired on day 2.

At the end of Day 1, he was in either second or third place. His last game of the day was played on table 1 against the #1 player at that point. He pulled out a draw (kind of like a tie), but the other player told the results keeper that Riley lost. There was some controversy when Riley's coach found out. It eventually got worked out, and Riley and the other player were awarded a draw. So, at the end of Day 1, Riley had scored 4.5 out of a possible 5.

For whatever reason, he wasn't as successful on Day 2. He lost all 4 games. It was good enough for him to take 12th place out of 34 children in his age group. The best part was that Riley took the losses in stride, made a new friend, and had a lot of fun. He can't wait until the next tournament. We even met some of the parents of the Sonoran Sky chess team. And, Riley's new friend will be in kindergarten at Sonoran Sky next year. It will be nice to have a friend there.

These chess tournaments are a big deal for a lot of the kids and the parents. At this point, it is still just a fun past time for us. I hope we can keep it that way and not get too competitive.

Friday, May 1, 2009

San Diego Vacation


Riley's spring break was a few weeks ago. We decided to drive to San Diego and spend a few days there. Riley loved Legoland so much that we bought annual memberships and went three days in a row. I can't imagine a more perfect amusement park for a 6-year-old boy. The faces on the Washington monument and the inaguration scene are both made of legos.

We also went the an aquarium and the beach. After the beach, we asked Riley which he loved more, the beach or Legoland. He picked the beach. Too bad we didn't know that before we spent so much time and money at Legoland.

This part is from Riley:
Riley went into the deep, deep and really cold ocean. He said it felt great, but the adults thought they would freeze if they went as far as he went. And one of the surfers said "Hello!" to Riley. We stayed at 3 different hotels. Tower23 was our favorite because it had a really, really nice firepit near the ocean.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wiggly No More



Thursday morning Riley was really excited because he had a wiggly tooth. He wiggled it so much all day that it hurt when he went to bed that night. He came home from school on Friday and said the Miss Margaret (the resident expert on wiggly teeth) said it would come out either Saturday or Sunday or Monday.

Fast forward past a weekend full of baseball, Korean Children's Day, a quick trip to the Lego store, a chess lesson and bedtime on Sunday night. About half an hour after we turned out the lights, Riley called out that his tooth was gone. He must have wiggled it pretty hard while we thought he was sleeping and managed to pull it out.

He is so much braver than I was. My first tooth fell out while I was eating soft-serve ice cream. I wasn't about to let anyone pull it, much less pull it myself. Anyway, by the time I got upstairs Riley had a mouth full of blood and was proudly holding his tooth in his hand. We let him stay up and bask in the glory of his accomplishment. He's going to be pretty tired tomorrow, but I'm glad we were able to be there when he lost his first tooth. No more wiggly tooth for a while.

It is pretty hard to smile while showing of your missing tooth.

Prom Night


I had the opportunity to shoot images of a special night for my cousin Nick. He and three of his friends met me before their prom. We had so much fun! What a great way to start the evening. Here are a few of my favorite images from the shoot. I still have some edits to do on the images, but I couldn't wait to share them.

And, I still have his senior portrait shoot soon! I think we will have even more fun when we aren't rushing so much. Nick, thanks for letting me be a part of your special evening!

video

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cool stuff

I've been making some business identity updates lately. Here are my new business cards.

This is by far the largest logo I've had printed.


I'm making a few changes to my website. www.bymelinda.com I hope to have them published this afternoon. Make sure you check it out.

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Here are some fun gift ideas for Mother's Day...



Hey, I'll even giftwrap it and deliver it for you! How's that for customer service!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Six - Already?!?

First grade is right around the corner! My little boy is growing up too fast! He had birthday parties at the Lego Store and Enchanted Island. Both were easy for Mom and Dad, but great fun for Riley and his friends.

My house is being taken over by legos. They are everywhere you look. I love them because he is learning to follow the instructions and build really big things all by himself. He also creates the coolest things when the original crumbles and he just plays with the pieces. Creativity, learning, building, playing - could you ask for more? Oh yeah, Mom and Dad get some quiet and can actually think when he is absorbed in his lego creations. Bonus!

SWING, BATTER, BATTER...

Baseball season is in full swing! The kids are learning so much from Coach Bob, and we are all having a great time. Just look at the concentration on these kids' faces!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sonoran Sky


Riley will start first grade at Sonoran Sky in August. We went to the school carnival - a fundraiser - a couple of weeks ago. The goal was to let him experience something fun at the school before his first day there.


What a great experience! Riley could have stayed there all day. He loved all of the bounce houses, the art stations, the lego table, and the science exhibit. It was a hot day, and this is what happened in the car on the way home from Gram's.


Way Cool!


I haven't seen anything this cool in a long time. Riley's permanent teeth show up on his x-rays!


As soon as they put these up, Riley started analyzing the images. He noticed right away that there were some permanent teeth that didn't have baby teeth to go with them. His molars even show up.


Based on the dates on the stickers, it looks like the permanent teeth have shown up for a while. The doctor said to expect the baby teeth to start falling out in about six months.


My baby is growing up. Here is scientific proof.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Merit Award

The Arizona Professional Photographers Association held a print competition recently. I entered mainly to get feedback on my prints. I really didn't expect to win anything in my first competition, but one of my prints won a Merit Award.

Here is the winning entry.




Here's another one that the judges liked, but that didn't score quite high enough for a merit.

Sara is Graduating

My niece Sara is graduating this year. We took her Senior Portraits at the Mesa Arts Center. Here are a few of my favorites from the shoot.

Congratulations Sara! Have fun at ASU next year.