Tuesday, December 29, 2009

So grateful for you....

I have been making it a habit to add a focus to the things I am grateful for before closing with each post.This post, I'll start with that.  Basically, I am so grateful for those of you who have asked me to document the lives of you and your loved ones.  You have blessed me a million times over this year.  I have grown and learned much because of you.  I have laughed and cried with you.  I have smiled over and over at the images of you smiling back at me.  That is so good for the soul.  So, in two words that don't seem enough at all,  thank you.   I am really looking forward to 2010 and all the dreams waiting to come true.  Thank you for making my dreams come true this year.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas everyone!

This won't be a long blog post.  I really just want to wish everyone out there the merriest holiday season.
I hope you are enjoying time with the ones you love, who ever that may be.  We are so lucky to be blessed with the loveliest people in our lives.

It is also such a perfect day to reflect on the things you are grateful for.....

(getting old yet--too bad)

1. the man  (the one I married- twice - someday I may elaborate)
2. two of the most beautiful kind daughters any one person could hope for
3. sparkly christmas tree lights...they finally worked.
4. words like joy and hope and merry and seeing them all over the place for a couple of months
5. a day off after Christmas to just chill

Merry Christmas to all!!



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

i've got little elves messing with me.

Been so busy and getting a little behind, and now catching up.  We picked up a Christmas tree last weekend but it has just been sitting there waiting for the party.   No lights. No ornaments.  Just a big 'ol tree.  I started putting lights on it last night.  I figured I could save some time and just put them on before  I went to bed.  It really didn't take too long.  That is until I got the last string of lights up and they all shorted out.  Ugh!  I took off the first strand from the bottom and that seemed to fix it.  I put on a string of lights to replace the one I took off, and it happened again.  Only this time, it shorted out somewhere in the middle.  I took off all the lights.  I tested each string while Kona tested my patience by pulling stockings and santa hats out of the box and began chewing them up.  This began to not be very much fun.  So, I sat down and watched Dexter, the very best show on the tele.

This morning I picked up where I left off and started putting the lights back on the tree.  And Kona picked up where he left off and starting chewing up stockings again.  Ugh!  I got them all up.  Yay!  I stepped back to admire the tree.  Beautiful.  I like a lot of lights.  I went into the kitchen, poured myself a cup of coffee, turned to see the tree.  No lights.  S%@t!!!  Seriously.  I am determined to stay cheerful.  (actually I kind of wanted to rip the lights off and throw them away)  Do lights go bad?  So, my tree is now lit  half way.  I might just leave it.

I am grateful for

1. All the challenges in my life because I know that they will make me a better person.
2. Chris Orwig.  Awesome photographer and person.  I learned about him on lynda.com
3. That I am fortunate enough to be in a position to help others.

4. Elves.  Although, they are messing with me today.

5. Forgiveness.  When practiced, it is a beautiful thing.   ( i forgive the bad dog above daily- sometimes

Congratulations to Miss Kendyl!  You won the I-tunes card.  Watch your mail.  And keep the comments coming!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


   I have writer's block today.  I have written and rewritten the first two sentences now about ten times.  Usually about this time, I walk away and don't write anything for a week or so.  I will not let frustration get the best of me, but instead, will try not to torture you with a boring post.  I really am working hard to kick the creative dust to the air.  We'll just have to see.

I will mention the things I am grateful for, sometimes that sparks the fire.

1. Peace officers.  (not just police officers, but all "peace" officers)  
    Today there was a funeral for the four police officers that were shot down in Washington.
    My husband and two fellow officers drove from Newport Beach to Washington in one day in  
    a patrol car from the city to attend and support the families of those killed.  He sent me 
    images which showed "thousands" of police units from all over the nation.  I'm grateful the 
    families have support from the nation at this time.  This brutal, senseless  killing is just
    beyond tragic.

2. Jackets.  And socks.  It is freaking cold outside.  Ok. Ok.  I know it's California and I have 
     been bragging about how perfect the weather is and I'm being a big baby by saying it's cold,
     but it is.  Very.  Cold.

3. That my tires on my car have not gone flat.  I have never had a flat tire. Ever.  (boy I hope 
     I didn't just tempt fate with this-uh oh)

4. The people I work with.  Because they are fun and just go with it when I ask them to dance 
    and be videotaped.  Got to love it!  (there seems to be a story here-maybe later)

5. White House Custom Colour.  For doing beautiful prints/cards and getting them out to me      
     so fast!  They rock!

Wish I had more to add for today.   How about a nice summery image to warm you up?

Have a great night!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's game day!

I look forward to Sunday.  Family day.  A day to relax.  Game day!  I love watching football with the man.
I didn't always like football.  But the more I learned about the game, the more enjoyable it became.  Plus, the man is just crazy about the Steelers, most Steeler fans are, which is actually pretty fun to be a part of.
So, we will be rooting for Ben today.  He suffered a concussion two weeks ago.  As an emergency nurse, I know that another head injury at this point could be a dangerous risk.  I am praying he is kept safe.  The offensive line better step up.  ( I may be losing the ladies here )  Anyway, hope you enjoy a relaxing Sunday who ever you are rooting for.

And the five things I am grateful for today...

1.  Prayers.  Answered and unanswered.  Do I really need to explain?
2.  Remote controls.
3.  24 hour fitness.  If there were no remote controls, we all might get a bit more exercise.
4.  My Kindle.  For my last birthday, the man bought me a Kindle.  I wasn't sure about it at first.
     I like books. I like the pages, seeing the type on pages, etc.  But since I have been using it,
     I actually love it.  I get the Washington Post.  I save trees. I can carry all my books with me all the time.
     I can get almost any book in an instant.   (which is a little scary-could get expensive) I LOVE it.
     Thanks baby.
5.  Rain. I think it is going to rain today.  Expect the "Storm Watch"- duh duh duuuuuh.  We need it.
     Plus it gives me an excuse to bundle up and get cozy on the couch while it rains outside and read or
     watch football.  Woohoo!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


You're back.  Really?  Keeping me on track here right.  I know this is eventually going to get harder, but
there really is no shortage of things to be grateful for, and it makes me focus on positive things.  So....

1.  U-turns.  I am grateful for u-turns.  I am frequently pointing my car in the wrong direction and it is a bit annoying to have to go blocks out of the way before you can make one.  When I finally can make one,
I realize how relieved and "grateful" I am to have come to it.

2.  Mexican food.  Yummmmmy.  It really is just simply a combination of four or five ingredients cooked in different ways.  But you got to hand it to them, they nailed it!

3.  Potty training.  Think about this for a minute; if people had never started potty training.  Ever.  Wow!  What a mess.  Especially after mexican food.

4. This cool web address: Alltop!  It features all the top sites and stories about EVERYTHING you could want to know and has a space for you to save your own.  It is at the top of my browser.  I love it!
Give it a try.

5.  America.  Even with the mess we are in, I think it is still the best country in the world. ( I do have to get out there and visit a few more...I did love Ireland, hmmmm.  This might change. )
And Congress needs an overhaul and some fresh new representatives.  Come on 2010!!

And an image to go along with all these fabulous gratuitous ideas.......

This image has nothing to do with u-turns, mexican food, or the rest, although it does have an
"Americana-Ralph Laurenish" type vibe so it kinda fits.  It does for me anyway.  I love this image!
Miss Dani and her father look beautiful, stunning if I might say!

Have a wonderful u-turning weekend!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Continuing the grateful series....

Today  I am grateful, thankful, appreciative, indebted for

1. Having a good job.  Everyone should be thankful for this these days. (whew)  I guess I have two.
    Double thankful.
2. My fish stapler.  It's cute and makes me smile each time I look at it.  (it's the little things)

3. Coffee or caffeine.  Yep, has become a staple in my diet.  I like it.
    I'm gonna go get some more.
4. My health. mental and physical.  Life is hard(er) without good health.
5. This blog and anyone that reads it.  (hello-hello- anyone-  are you there?)

P.S.   Now that I look at that stapler up close-it's kinda weird; looks like a trout in a Nemo suit.
Well, whatever.  It still makes me smile.  Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I claim Thursday as my day...

Why? Why not?  I have been thinking about Thursday.  It's just a day that has nothing connected to it.
Monday.  We have Monday morning blues, the "start off the week" day is famously Monday.  Tuesday.
Ahhhh  Tuesday.  Everyone loves Tuesday because it's not Monday.  It's Tuesday!  Yeah!! Then there is good ol' hump day, Wednesday.  Always famous for the middle of the week and that much closer to Friday.  If you make it to Wednesday, you are half way there.  Woohoo!  Plus, it's spelled weird. Really- a silent "d".  What will they think of next?  Then, Thursday comes along.  It's not Friday, but you wish it was.  Poop-it's just Thursday.  On Thursday, everyone is just wishing it was Friday.  So much so, that is has nothing really notable about it except the twenty four hour period keeping you from Friday.  So- I claim Thursday as my special day.

Y'all can have all those other days, I'll even throw in the weekend.  I'm taking Thursday as my own.
Plus it's payday!  (woot woot)

With that said, I have been thinking lately about what can get me posting more often, spark creativity,
get connecting with others, etc. etc.  ( you thought I was just wasting time not blogging, huh?)
So, I am going to post (as often as I can-should be daily, but let's be realistic here) about five things I am grateful for.  This is a grand exercise.  Daily practice on the things you are grateful for helps to keep life in
perspective, and helps one honor life in general.  I think it should be a daily thing, not only reserved for Thanksgiving or holidays.   It should be something you say out loud-you know, to the world, or the internet (same thing).  So I'll start today.  Five things I am grateful for.....

1.  I am grateful that I apparently wasn't having a heart attack when I jogged/ran home from dropping my car off at the shop to be fixed (long story here too)  My faithful carpet cleaner guy, Bennie, was due at my house at 9 AM and he is never late.  I dropped my car off at 8:15 AM and planned to get my daily exercise in by jogging three miles home.  For some reason, I thought I could run 7 minute miles and it would just take me twenty minutes or so to get home.  Ahem.  Even when I was in great shape, I ran 10 minute miles, so I don't really know why I got this time allotment all wrong.  Suddenly, I was not jogging.  I was running.  And having left sided chest pain.  And picturing ambulances hauling me away and Bennie standing on the curb staring at his watch.  And listening to the wrong music during all of it as well.  If you are going to run, pick something uplifting.  I didn't.  It didn't help.  I made it home,  feeling broken and breathing heavily in about 30 minutes.  Bennie was late.  (I am thankful for that too)  And my carpets are clean.  And I didn't have a heart attack.  I think.  I am grateful.

2. I am grateful for my family.  Warts and all.  (yeah, I know you are reading this- please don't be offended. We all have them. Just sayin )

3. I am grateful that my dog threw up on the carpet this morning BEFORE I had the carpets cleaned.
He is getting sneaky again and ate my migraine medication (because it was in a ziplock bag-and before you call the SPCA on me- it came like that from the pharmacy.  I'll yell at them.  And he really had to dig around in my overnight bag to get them and it was on the table. (But actually, he just chewed the packages but didn't get all the way through.)   However, it seems he smelled the chocolate coins
that were in there from Disneyland.  He ate those.  And got sick.  The foil doesn't agree with him. But he
doesn't have a headache either.  I am grateful.

4.  I am grateful that my dog is smart enough not to eat the bag of screws he took off the table this morning too.  Yep, they were on the table in a ziplock bag.  Zip lock bags are used for everything in my house.
Wish my dog could figure this out.

5.  I am grateful someone invented the vacuum cleaner.  The amount of dog hair removed from my floors is just sick.  I don't know how my dog has any hair left on his body.

And because a post is so much better with an image to go along, here is one of my favorites from a recent shoot.  Gets me in the mood for the holidays fo' sho'!!  I should have added I am grateful for this image.  I really love it.

If you have hung in with me this long, congratulations!  If you want to join in with my gratitude series and let me know five things you are grateful for in the comments, dive right in.  I am going to give one random commenter a new shiny I-tunes card!  And then, you'll have one more thing to be thankful for!  Happy commenting and don't forget to leave me your email address!

Have a fabulous Thursday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

one more for today.

I just love a beautiful mother daughter image....just had to post one more.

chilly November nights...

Right.  This is life in southern California.  With the exception of high taxes and a bankrupt state, who can complain?  I had the double pleasure of meeting up with this family once again.  They are truly just the nicest people ever... and adding to the world, a new little one, little Kenny.  He is definitely in good hands.

More to come soon....have a beautiful day!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

life is....

Worth living.  Hard.  Awesome.  Fun.  Tiring.  Painful.  Love.  A gift.  But most of all, life is....

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Waiting for trick or treaters....

My dog loves Halloween.  He loves to sneak down stairs in the middle of the night and show off his skills of climbing onto chairs so he can eat half of the left over candy in the bowl.  He has a serious sweet tooth.
So, he loves Halloween.  He is also quite the greeter.  He is always the first to the front door.  He has been watching the kids play outside for about an hour....he knows.  They are coming.   He is probably hoping for a "light" showing this year.  More candy for him.  We are on to you Kona.  We'll put it up far away this year.....

Here he is watching and waiting.....so cute.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

true love in thirty days or less...

As we sat in the quiet restaurant, all you could hear was the sound of Jamie's laughter. She beamed at Donovan as he explained how they had met.  She was quick to interrupt his tale to add that he took thirty days to call her after their first date.  He smiled at her, knowing he had definitely made the right choice to finally call.  (guys have a hard time explaining why they wait so long to call-I'm not sure he ever elaborated on that)  It doesn't really matter anymore.  It is true love now, and they are engaged to be together for better, worse, sickness, health, and so the story goes.  We spent the day walking along the streets of Balboa Island where their memories of how they first fell in love came back to life.  They have moved their story to Washington and have an incredible life waiting for them there.
My heart leapt right out of my chest weeks ago when Jamie asked me to be their photographer.  I am honored and can't wait to tell their story in April next year.  It was so fun spending the day with both of you and an honor to create some new memories for you.  I can tell that your love is one that will last a lifetime.

...just a few of my favorites from the day

Thanks for a fabulous day...it was so great catching up.
I am so looking forward to your beautiful wedding...
you both are awesome!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I love....

rainy days, romantic comedies, and sleeping in....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

birthday suits...

Today is a really special day.  Today I am celebrating the day my guy was born.  Yep.  His birthday.
This day in history is one of the most important days of all to me.  Without him, my life would be so
different.  I know.  I have been there.  And it is so much better with him.  He is truly my other half.
I look forward to seeing him or hearing his voice every single day.  Since the very first day we met years and years ago, I still get excited to see him walk through the door.  Honestly, he is my very best friend.  I am one of the luckiest ladies alive.  Happy Birthday from the bottom of my heart.  I truly love you and
this day that you were born....

... and since this is a visual blog (no, I am not putting up a picture of him in his birthday suit) here is a recent picture of my great niece, miss Jossalyn.  She has the biggest blue eyes and dark brown hair.
She is just going to be the most stunning little girl, and already melts her parents hearts.

Hope you are having a great day!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hitting the streets...

A quick post and I  am out the door...

The other day, I had the absolute pleasure of shooting some family portraits for a friend of mine.  They have a beautiful home and as it turns out, a pretty nice street.  I am sure you will agree they are a very handsome family.   Also, I should mention that Kim is pretty darn creative in her own right.  She has her own etsy store and you can check out her place right here!

Thanks for a lovely afternoon.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Miss Callie turns one...

So, this is Miss Callie.  She has been featured on this blog several times.  She gets cuter every day.
She has just turned one this year and had a little "coming out" party at the park for her session.  It
all started off very innocently.  We got a lot of images before Mom and Dad let her celebrate and
party like a rock star that she is.  She is all dressed up and ready to go....

Hmmm....seems simple enough.


Yep, I think I am going to like being one.

Now it's a party!


Juiced up...


Rolling now for sure.... so many awesome images it was kind of hard to choose.
These show a bit of the "flavor" of the day for sure.

Thanks guys for a really fun afternoon.
You all have such a beautiful spirit about you and it shines right through.

XO, Sissel

Monday, September 28, 2009

On turning one ~OR~ that little cupcake never stood a chance...

Sitting down to the computer after a really fun afternoon...

This post is truly a sneak preview as I am posting the last image from the day. The aftermath.
One year down and getting cuter with each minute of the day....thank you Miss Callie, you are the "sweetest" little thing. Hope you landed gently from that sugar high.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Which is the best camera?

Often asked, and the answer....
Nikon.(nope) Canon.(nope) Olympus..... no, no, no. I agree wholeheartedly with Chase on this one.
He states, "The best camera is the one you have with you." And I'll add the worst image is the one that is never taken. Today Chase Jarvis rolled out with a KILLER little iphone app called The Best Camera. Go jump into the Itunes store and get it! (I have it already) You can edit and upload all from one spot. The iphone already takes some pretty amazing images for a cell phone. Now you can make them even better. Let your creativity rock and roll....and have a fantastic day!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Permission slips...

Be yourself.  The world worships the original.

                                              ~Jean Cocteau,writer

Like I have mentioned before, I tend to think too much.  Way too much.  It's not only annoying to me,
I think I drive the man a little crazy sometimes.  Introspection-not always a good thing.  Of course, any one thing over done after a while is just, well, over done.  Photography is a process.  Life is a process.  You have no idea how much these two things intersect for me.   For me it has become a process of just giving myself permission;  permission to try, permission to fail, permission to do something that I truly love, permission to just be myself.  Hopefully, I am getting better, at photography, and at just being myself.  I purposely stopped going to other photographer's blogs because a) I don't have the time, and b) I kept comparing my work.  This turned out to be a good idea.  It has given me back hours of my days and forces me to find my own style and judge my progress according to my work against my work, not against someone who has been doing this for twenty years.  Currently, I'm reading a great book that I recommend for all you creative types out there, "The 12 secrets of highly creative women."  It's not expensive and a quick read.  And just a quick look at a favorite from yesterday, the beautiful miss Sami.  She is a stunning little sweetheart.  Looks so beautiful without even trying.  More to come....you have my permission to share your true self with the world.  It's out there waiting....

PS In case you were wondering, those eyes...didn't touch 'em. They are truly that
blue and that beautiful.

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's beginning to feel a lot like football....

There is not too much more frustrating than sitting down to post and getting blogger's block.
Great.  I've had all kinds of stuff running through my mind all week too.  I guess it ran right through  my head.   
Hmmm,  maybe it is because "Muskrat Love" is playing and it has me in a complete funk.  "Someone" better have a good explanation why that is in  the I-tunes library.  It's dragging me way down.  (pause to switch to JT for some emergency R & B)  Phew....getting better now.
Yep, mood picking up already.

OK, so I have been editing every chance I have had this week.  It's feels good to be catching up.
And I have one quick sneak preview from a session yesterday.  Sorry about just posting one.  
This is one of my favorites.  He was making a break for it.  He stopped for just a split second before moving forward.  I can only imagine what he's thinking here....

Something like, "Oh, you with the camera again, let's just keep this quiet, OK?" 

I'm also really looking forward to FOOTBALL SEASON starting!!  This picture reminds of 
football.....going to the line, staring down the opponent, waiting for the pitch, he just looks fierce.  All right, going a bit far, I know, I know, he's just over a year old.  It could be destiny.

Happy Labor Day to ya!  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On giving back...

I have had so much trouble writing this post. My thoughts and emotions and epiphanic moments have been all over the place this week. I'm not a writer. I wish I were so that I
could explain all that has been happening in my head and my heart clearly in a way that
made sense. Bear with me.

When I began this journey of photography, my purpose was to somehow combine my two roles; nursing and "shooting people", and use it as a way to give back. Each day I go to work,
I am reminded how many blessings in my life that I have. I decided long ago that I would offer free sessions and prints to patients with cancer. I have missed working with cancer patients and felt this would be a great way to give back to people who have taught me so much. I have not been quite sure how to go about offering this, and as of yet, have not come up with a plan.

A few weeks ago, a fellow RN approached me about getting some family portraits done. Sadly,
her father in law is battling cancer and they wanted to update their pictures with him and all the kids. So, the one thing I have been wanting to do for someone just fell right in my lap.
Perfect. I feel so strongly about being able to do this for people. This is just the gift I want to
I can't really explain why I lacked the confidence to offer this to people just yet, but I have.
I'm forcing myself to just get over it, move on, come up with a way to let people know, and just do it.

There are a few reasons for this....now, come the epiphanies. I now know that taking my first workshop with Zack Arias, was so much more of a blessing beyond taking the mystery out
of lighting off camera. I had a thought last week that I hadn't checked his blog site for a while.
He hasn't been posting as often since the birth of his new boy. Understandable. Photography business-workshops-studio-family- blogging should be way down on the "to do" list. I was happily surprised to see a new post there: "How many of you are standing on the dock?"

This post was prompted by a letter from a gent who had reached the frustration point and lacked confidence to follow his dream of photography. This led to the next post, a brilliant
interview with a young man selling soap; "Dope, soap, and hope." It is worth your eight or so minutes to watch. Please click on it if you feel like you would like to be inspired. You'll thank me. So, from there, I bought some virtual soap, was able to meet up with my friend and her family, and will happily provide this service to patients that I am able to help. I will go forward. And now, on December 12, 2009, help-portrait.com is planning a worldwide event to challenge photographers to give back and service those in need. Awesome and I AM IN! I'll be working on this as well. And just to share how important these portrait sessions are and how
excited I am to be offering this to others, below is a small series of just a few of my favorites from the day.
Thanks for reading and I hope you are inspired to help others in some big or small way as well.

Thank you for the opportunity to give back and my best to you guys always!
Enjoy this sunny day!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I spent a couple of hours with Noah last week wanting to capture all that it is to be one year old. I can tell you he is fast. Very fast. He has some very patient parents too. We tried everything to slow him down just a bit; a cartoon finally worked but that was at the end of the session. (note to self: maybe try that first next time) In any event, a small sample from the day. Thanks M and T. He is a doll!

I love this....it sums up his energy. How can I get this energy level back?