jeff works out of both states easily and up until this year, we never had to worry about the kids missing school or friends and their activities...
of course, we all know that will be changing in the fall, due to our baby heading off to the real world of kindergarten...i know, i know-i am a big baby, but more than ever i am enjoying the freedom that comes with having children that are not of school age. i get to hold on to that for about 6 more weeks. my knuckles are white with strain, but they're holding up well. ha.
for now, at least for the the summer we are here in our hometown located in michigan. the magical place that merges both the oldest friends and family with lots of work and some play. we take our annual vacations while we are here. a camping trip to canada with my family and a golf trip up north with the husband's family.
we are jam packed busy, and while i sometimes/once in a while complain like a bitchy old ingrate, usually when i'm overwhelmed with work or obligations, mostly i drink in the beauty of our summer trips to michigan.
we fill our time here with late night walks while the air becomes cooler and the sky darkens causing all the colors around us to naturally saturate. the flowers, the grass, the black-eyed susans look even more delicious in this light and i silently scold myself for not taking these walks each and every night. the kids are always on the look for a furry cattail even though they tell me they want to find the flower with the hot dog "that you can't eat on the top!"
last week, we headed to an old farm called guernsey farms. it's pretty close to where we stay and it's an excellent way to reunite my big family after not seeing them for a while. so, one quick phone call to one sister and soon the phone chain begins and the text messages and calls start flowing in to my phone
i heard we're meeting for ice cream? what time?
did you call mom?
how about elaina and jeremy?
peter's working, but i can make it. where are we meeting? are we hanging afterward?
make sure you call so and so...
bring wipes, extra clothes, and a blanket.
oh shoot, we forgot taryn. someone call her...quick.
NO, you were supposed to call.
lets call grandma and grandpa!
heidi, they've been in bed for hours.
yes, we are a crazy chas-filled bunch, but a bunch that is filled with love for one another. and while i turn away in embarrassment from the loud italian herd that i love so dearly...i wouldn't trade 'em for anything and i love to share these memories together.
here are some photos from the other night. i have sooo much more and i promise to post more! swear, i really want to and i will, but for now...
cousins chasing one another in the makeshift playground in front of the shop...
cute baby boys...
brothers turned sisters into dragons with a wave of peyton's new homemade and sparkly wand...
mama's were lazy and turned in time to see this...
stop him or grab the cam? stop or grab?
cool auntie tawny,
papa and boy, together again!
please note that no children were harmed in the making of this perfect summer's night!
and yes, the paul frank monkey shirt is beckham's fave! he wears it almost everyday!
other stuff we do...
(nads, we LoVe the shirt. love you. miss you too.)
we take play doh arguably the safest of all kids crafts. i mean, you can eat it and nothing happens.
however, we add the most unsafe element to it, fire. and what do we have,
a playdoh birthday cake for gido complete with candle and a birthday jingle.
happy birthday, gido!
i don't have any recipes for this post, well, i have an abundance of recipes that i should post, but i promised some heidi darwish photography information, so i will focus on that this time! this post may not be the best one to do this post on as, there are no pro photos on it, just real life pictures...out of focus, unscripted, but real and fun!
i have been receiving some questions via email and through my blog with photography questions and comments. first off, i am honored that anybody would ask me questions about photography, but some of you are and i can't tell how amazing that feels. with that said, i am just giving you a little bit of information on what i use and what i do to create the art that i like. to what pleases my eye. every artists/photographer has their own style and i am still exploring and defining mine.
Heidi Darwish Photography Q&A
the photo editing software i use is...
adobe photoshop lightroom 2 & adobe photoshop cs4
an upgraded version of both have now been released.
i use lightroom on all of my images. i upload them into the program and i concentrate on exposure and skin tones. i use the exposure, blacks, vibrance, and the noise control sliders the most.
i also play with the adjustment brushes if i want more control over a specific area. for example, skin clarity or saturation.
i use photoshop cs4 on very few of the images that go onto my blog. my blog was started as and remains my personal blog that i use to document our life. photography is a huge part of it, so that is why i still post some of my professional photos on the blog. with that said, only a few family photos get to take the 'cs4 ride.'
all professional photos (photos i have been hired to take) get a little extra lovin.' they get take the 'ride' through photoshop before going to the client.
in photoshop, i always work in layers (command j).
then, i use curves (command m) to brighten and add contrast.
next, i go to
and i mess with- hue/saturation & color balance, shadows/highlights.
finally, i lightly sharpen the photo and save it.
this is a very basic break down, but it may help some of you who feel overwhelmed and with no place to begin in a very big and powerful program like photoshop. i am not a huge 'photoshopper,' so i do not know how to swap heads and make your pet monkey look like a real baby. ha. honestly, i know about 1% of cs4. maybe not even.
here is an example of a photo right out my camera that is not especially sharp or properly exposed, but it's real so i figured i would share it...
and the same photo with a little extra time invested in cs4...
and with edits using lightroom only...
maybe a tad bright, but it doesn't bother me. some photos i work on more than others as far as punches of color go. if i am
going for a more editorial look, i definitely have a way of doing things to make that happen. however, most of the
time, i like a more natural look. it just depends on what i feel when i look at the photo.
on both of the 'after' photos, i did smooth the skin and brighten the eyes a bit. it is a pretty subtle change though.
both of the SOOC photos were under exposed, so i needed to brighten. my hubs says that some of my photos are a tad too
bright, but i just go until i see what looks right to me. again, properly exposed photos taken in camera is the best
place to start!
do you know the difference between aperture and lightroom?
no, i have never used aperture, but i hear it is very comparable and similar to lightroom and
it works well on a mac.
mac or pc?
my pc and i broke up about 6 months ago. i cried and screamed and missed my pc,
but now i am happily married to a macbook pro!
how did you learn photography?
self-taught!!! bf is a photog and has helped me tons, AND lots of late nights reading
books and googling. the book i learned the most from though is understanding exposure.
my friend, deena turned me onto it and it helped me sooooo much at the beginning and
still does today. i think i have a retention disorder, so i am the girl who has to
read something 20 times before it sticks. then it sticks for like 6 months and i need to learn it again.
PRACTICE. shoot everyday day! i practice every single day. it's easy with two babies running around:)
how do you get your photos to look good indoors?
usually, i don't try to get good photos indoors. most often, the photos i take indoors are blurry or grainy
but that is because i saw something that my kids did and i wanted to capture it in a split second
so i just started shooting.
if i'm doing a shoot indoors or trying to get a really good shot inside, i try to be as near to
a light source as possible. i try to have my subject facing the windows or sliders so their faces
are being illuminated evenly. i have south facing windows which is the BEST, but those
windows are covered which is the WORST. just look for good light in your home and try to
remember how the light moves throughout your house. i am not great at lighting, but i hope this
helps a little.
do you use flash?
NO, never! & sometimes, yes.
i am a natural light photog. i love the way it looks. it is softer and more luxurious.
with that said, with non-pro photos and the wedding i did last month, i was forced to use my on
camera or accessory flash when enough light wasn't available to grab focus.
which slr camera and lenses do you use?
canon 50D. i love it!
*canon 50mm, 1.4
canon 85mm, 1.8
canon 24-70, 2.8
i want a good lens to take better pics of my kids. what do you think?
50mm, 1.8 (about hundred bucks and a great lens) or 50mm, 1.4 (just under $400)
if you are shooting with a nikon, i am pretty sure the nikor 50mm, 1.8 is NOT an autofocus lens,
but the 1.4 is.
i want a better camera, but i don't want to spend a grand. what do you think?
i don't know, but i have a few friends that have the canon rebels and i have seen that they
take beautiful photos!
nikon or canon?
ha. peyton or beckham? they are BOTH amazing companies and leaders in photog equip.
go with either, you can't go wrong. personally, i went with which camera felt good in
hands. i like heavy. i find it stables me a bit. actually, that could be in my head:)
where do you buy your stuff?
i am trying to think of all the questions i have been asked and i am drawing a blank. i should have
done one of these posts months ago, but i hope you find some of this basic info helpful.
again, this is just what i am doing/using. i am know there are other fabulous ways of rocking
out the photog thing!
and before i go...
girls just wanna have fu hun!!!!
jenn, aka., a kindred spirit, my amazing sister-friend who i love so dearly and could spend everyday with recharged our batteries.
we didn't spend much at all, but we looked and oohed and ahhed over more than our share of duds. we did it just enough to be
basically kicked out of the store on a sunday afternoon. we closed the place down but not before contemplating what it would be like to
be locked in the store all night with nothing but the threads around us and the godiva chocolate bars that are kept by the cash machine!
that would be so cool.
so after we had to leave, we headed over to target! i needed vitamin c drops and a red shirt for peyton.
what we found...
some really cool hats and a few rockin' fedoras! i love target!
thanks for reading and i'll be back soon. more posts...more posts, i'm chanting now. loosy, you
got me started ;)
too tired to read this over and check for errors. i apologize in advance:)