Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Double Dose of PK's

My kids are PK's in two ways: #1 (the most traditional form of "PK") They are preacher's kids #2 They are photographer's kids.

Being a preacher's kid has it blessings and hurdles. Blessings include always having an extended family--people who love and watch out for you daily--through our church family (which is especially great when you live far away from family) and getting to sample lots of wonderful homemade goodies from the best cooks in town. One of the downsides include what people refer to as "being in the fishbowl" (a.k.a "everyone's watching")...but I contend that every kid has that problem just in different ways (teacher's kid, coach's kid, mayor's get the picture).

Now, photographer's kids suffer a similar fate. The upside is that you always have plenty of wallets to hand out to your friends during school picture time (and yours always look better than the run-of-the-mill traditional school poses). You *sometimes* get to talk mom into a cute outfit or neat accessory when she thinks it might "make a cute picture." But the downside is that you are constantly being called on to be a photographic guinea pig. Then, mom makes you "move a little to the left," "lift your chin & tilt your head to the right," "stand on your head but don't move..." (just kidding on that one)

Case in point...these pictures were taken as I was studying my prime lens and natural light.

(One is quiet & shy; the other is our crazy kiddo--can you tell which is which?)

So these are my two little often willing, not always cooperative photographic guinea pigs. They make a pretty good pair of PK's, if you ask me!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sophie @ Six

Six months, that is! Here she is again, wow-ing us with those big brown eyes & long eyelashes again...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Are you a preschool/daycare owner? Homeschool family?

If you own a preschool or daycare with 10 or more children or if you are a homeschooling family that participates in a homeschool association, you, too, can take part in yearly "school" pictures!

{Check out these portraits from previous daycare & preschool shoots}

Why take school portraits?
One of the best benefits of using Four Seasons Photography for your class portraits is that 10% of sales will be returned to the school! Not only will taking class photos give your school a more professional image, it also is a fundraiser with little effort on your part!

How much time will be needed for photos?
This really depends on your class size. A class picture will take no more than 10 minutes (that includes getting the class in order). Individual photos will take a bit more time, depending on the age & cooperation of the children. My goal is to keep the child out of class no more than 5 minutes, but some children require a bit more prodding to get a great shot. Also, if you are a daycare provider, I often take "sibling sets" for the parents who have multiple children at the facility. Therefore, with a class of 20, it could take up to an hour and half to complete the individual portraits. I hope you will take great effort to keep the class schedule moving along as usual. My goal is not to interfere with daily activities.

Where will we take the pictures?
I prefer working outdoors if you have a nice area with shade available. Natural light makes a beautiful portraits and is less interrupting to the class. However, if you prefer “traditional” school portraits or if the weather prohibits outdoor photography, I will need an area indoors. An ideal location would be where students can be photographed without distraction from peers and where there is plenty of room for my studio equipment (area needed: at least 5x6 ft.) . After we schedule a date for portraits, I will visit your location to determine the best place for the technical aspects of photography and you can let me know if it will be best for your class, also.

I am now accepting appointments for spring school portraits and graduation portraits and/or event coverage. If you have questions or would like to schedule a date for your school, please give me a call at (580) 705-0054.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

When Life Gives You Snow...Make Snow Ice Cream!

Given the emotional & trying week we just experienced (see "In Memory"), it was nice to take a little time to do some fun stuff with the family over the weekend. We made it back to Leedey just in time for the snow storm. I'm guessing we got about 6-8 inches and it was wonderfully fluffy (unlike the nasty ice we received the week before).

One of the many activities we took part in was making Snow Ice Cream. It's really a very simple process--not at all like churning homemade ice cream (which I hate to do!). For those of you who are new to the whole "snow ice cream experience," here's how it's done:

You'll need a clean snow (not the yellow or brown kind--lol!)--enough to fill a dishpan or medium mixing bowl; 1 tsp. vanilla extract; 1 can of evaporated milk or half & half (I've also heard that Eagle Brand milk is better!), and 1 cup sugar.

Start by adding vanilla, then sugar & finally, milk/cream of choice. Stir it up until it is a custard-like consistancy. I'll be first, it wasn't so great. It tasted very gritty (maybe the sugar?), and I'm no fan of gritty ice cream! But after sticking it in the freezer for a while, it was pretty good!

Friday, January 19, 2007

In Memory

Wow. What a whirlwind week.

I had many posts that I had planned for this week, but they got put aside in the list of "not-so-important things" after the unexpected death of my father-in-law on Sunday morning, January 14.

James was only 64 years old and had gone in for a pretty routine surgery to remove pressure from his siatic nerve which was causing him pretty constant pain throughout the past year. 2 surgeries and 17 days later, his pain finally subsided as he met his Father in Heaven.

There are many uncertainties in life--such as, how many days we have on this earth--but I can tell you without a doubt that my father-in-law ~a wonderful, loving, kind-hearted man who loved his family and pretty much every person that ever crossed his path~ has passed from this life into a new eternal life in Heaven because of his love for and faith in his Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Even in the midst of all the chaos and confusion and sadness, our family has truly experienced a peace that passes understanding.

I feel blessed to have a career in photography, but mostly it just seems like a trivial, "icing on the cake"-type thing that I get to do. But, for the first time, I have seen how important something as simple as a photograph can be to a family. My mother-in-law approached me about 6 months ago requesting that I take head-shots of both her & James. I was curious & she explained that she hated it when people used 50 year old pictures for obituary photos in the newspaper. I understood her reasoning, but I never dropped by with my camera shouting, "Hey! Let's go out & take some obituary pictures! Waa-hoo!"
When I set up to take the grandkids portraits at Christmas (see "Mi Familia, part 1"), she let me know that I was not to put away the gear until I got a picture of both her & James. I agreed. We took care of business. It took me a while to edit pictures after Christmas (you know, the old post-Christmas catch-up!), but I finally finished and I ordered large prints of the grandkids for the living room wall as a gift from me and decided that she'd probably want a couple of prints of their head-shots as well.
The pictures came in just a few days before James' death.

When my husband & the rest of her kids asked if they had made any preparations ahead of time (for funeral arrangements), she answered, "No." The only thing we had done was taken care of that obituary picture!

I've never been so glad that I took a photo. I love this picture of James...he was always joking and kidding around with people & it was rare for him not to have a silly smirk or smile on his face.

And you know what else? We had a slideshow put together for his funeral service. We had the BEST time going through old pictures and remembering together!

Photography is certainly not the most important job we could have on this earth...but photography does have the power to impact lives and families in a powerful way. I'm so thankful that I can have a part in that.

And I'm very, very thankful that I got to be a part of the life of James Franks, too.

Wondering how you, too, can have a peace that passes understanding?

Check out:

Saturday, January 13, 2007

"Now My Eye Sees You"

Time to toot my own horn and a friend's horn, too!

Last month, Hannibal Books released the book, "Now My Eye Sees You" written by our very good friend, Dr. Greg Ammons. Greg is currently pastor of First Baptist Church in Garland, Texas. We have jokingly referred to Greg & his wife, Lisa, as "Abraham & Sarah" since the arrival of firstborn son, Camden, when they were in their early 40's. Now, he has written a book about the experience of infertility, late-life parenthood and what our kids teach us about God. "Now My Eye Sees You...What a Doctorate Did Not Teach Me About God, My Son Did."

And, to make the book even more personal, the cover photo (as well as a few interior photos) were from yours truly! It was a real priviledge to be a part of this project.

I highly recommend that you get a copy of this book (no, not just because my image is on the front--lol!). It's a great read! Plus, I've sat under Greg's teachings for years and I know you will learning something incredible & eye-opening about God's great love for us. Dr. Ammons is an excellent writer and teacher.

You can purchase this book at most major book dealers online including, or through

{By the way, if you are wondering about the title of the book, it comes from Job 42:5, I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.}

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Year...New Blog Deals!

I've been meaning to start this for some time. I guess there's no time like a new year to get the ball rolling...

Every month, I will post a special on my blog. It won't be advertised anywhere else, so be sure to check back often!

So, without further ado, January's Blog Special is:

25% off enlargements 11x14 & larger!

This special applies to new orders and reorders from previous sessions. But you must mention the blog special when ordering or you'll miss out on all the discounted fun!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Mi Familia, part 1

Whenever the holidays arrive, I usually can count on taking family pics while we've got the whole crew gathered together. This year was no exception! These are the 6 fresh faces of the Franks family...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Happy New Year!

Since January is "Clean Out Your Computer Month" (well, it is for me...the "real" holiday is February 9), I've been busy sorting through my old files from the past couple of years (seems I missed "clean out your computer day" last year! lol!). So, before they head off to my super secret photo vault, I present to you...

The Top 6 of 2006: