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Where the heck have we been?

We have been so incredibly busy lately.

We have not had the time or energy to blog.

Sad day.

Here is a quick recap of what we have been up to:

May 11, Cody and I shot the Wann Wedding. It was a beautiful night at Skelly Lodge. With Sarah’s help assisting and our new purchase of some HoldFast Gear, the night was a success.

May 18-20, Darby & Dash had a booth at Blue Dome Arts Festival. Cody and Duncan spent weeks leading up to the festival constructing the perfect booth. We all took our turns working the booth and by then end, we were all exhausted.

May 19 During the festival I had to leave early and drive out to Grand Lake. Our friends, Melissa Letney and Josh Woodward got engaged! I was lucky enough to be able to witness it and photograph it.

May 24 I surprised Duncan with a puppy. He has been wanting one so badly and we had decided to get one but he thought we needed to wait. Meet Henley

May 25-27, Duncan and Sarah’s sister, Jessica, graduated from her first year of Master Commission in Dallas. So we made a mini-vacation out of it and went shopping. We hit up our favorites IKEA, Urban Outfitters, H&M and the boys ate their way around town. We had much fun with the family all weekend.

Ikea Swedish Meatballs

So needless to say we have been busy. So we took to the lake yesterday to enjoy some down time. We will be blogging about these events in detail later.

Looking Past the Lens

When I am behind the camera, it feels as if I am watching the world from a glass room. I feel separated, nothing can hurt me. I experience the moment differently than if my camera was not there. It’s a different connection. Sometimes this is good thing, however it can also be bad.

Last Saturday CityChurch was working at Laura Dester Shelter, just one of the organizations partnered with LoveTulsa. The shelter is a short-term emergency care facility for use while child welfare specialists conduct investigations into alleged abuse and neglect and to hold children while staff look for suitable foster care placements for those coming into state custody. We cook out, have inflatables, face painting, crafts, and just have with the kids. When I arrived, it was in full swing, however I was quite distracted. I had an engagement shoot that evening I was worrying more about. I took the pictures and was about to leave when this little boy came up to me. He did not say a word and instead of posing in front of the camera as most kids did, he came beside me. He grabbed my camera while it was still around my neck and looked inside. He would “snap” a few, only using the wrong button. I would watch his finger and take a photo in sync with his movement. Then he smiled and ran off, never saying a word. This little boy was autistic. He returned several times. Though he never said anything, I knew how much he enjoyed it.

He made me be apart of the day. These kids come from horrible situations and finding so much joy in something so simple. Something I do daily and have started to take it for granted. Laura Dester is incredible place and I am so glad to have to chance to be a part of it, even if just for an afternoon.

2 Year Old Paints Her First Masterpiece

Last week we watched my niece, Rylee. She is two years old and a complete blast. It can be difficult sometimes to keep her entertained, which pushes me to creatively make everything a game. During the week, we had an accident and my white seamless paper ripped in my studio. Before we threw it away, I thought of a brilliant idea.

We put her in a white shirt, pulled up her golden locks, loaded her with paint and let her lose.

Explosions, dogs, and creepy old men.

Lately I have been running way more than normal. (Since normal is not running at all, it’s not hard to beat.)

One night last week, Cody and I hit the pavement for a 5K run. He quickly advanced far in front of me to where I could no longer see him. Normally I am not a fan of running by myself, but that night I didn’t care. I had Rdio and my Nike+ GPS app, so I was content. It was a rough run that day, but I was determined to beat my time. I had less than a mile to go and I felt that second wind. I crossed the street and saw a guy up ahead acting a little strange. Our neighborhood is full of people, so I didn’t think much of it. As I went to pass him, he lightly grabbed my arm to get my attention. I pulled the headphone out of my ear and jogged in place as he talked to me about a explosion he heard and firetrucks speeding by. Apparently a house had caught on fire. I tried to end the conversation by saying that I would check it out once I got home, and as I turned he said, “I’ll run with you.” Alarms went off in my head. This guy was not about to run with me to my house! A little freaked out, I turned my music up louder and picked up the pace, thinking he would take the hint. After about a block, he stopped, saying that he was too out of shape for that. As he mentioned something about checking back, I smiled and turned the corner.

Breathing a sigh of relief as he disappeared from sight, I noticed something at my feet. A dog. Of course. I slowed and looked around and saw a couple chasing this tiny dog, explaining that his bark is worse that his bite. I quickly asked them about the sirens and the reason the other guy had stopped me. They had heard something, but did not seem too worried. So I kept on jogging. One block from home, I saw a guy on a bicycle. He was crossing in front of me when all of a sudden he turns and heads my way. For real, are you kidding me? He stops me and asks if I had seen his dog. I quickly replied no, that the only dog I had seen chased me. I tried moving on quickly, but I had no such luck. He began to tell me in detail what his dog looked like. Did I need to know about his mole? I think not.

After all of the crazy, I finally made it home with a time of 33 minutes. Sometimes I just cannot believe my luck. Am I alone, or do you have some crazy running story too?

Our jam-packed St. Patrick’s Day weekend!

Follow EricMeet Eric. Eric is our good friend. He is also a blogger. You can follow him at http://www.followeric.com. One of the main focuses of Eric’s blog is finding new and interesting places. Sometimes he explores a marathon of venues during what he calls a blogathon.

We had the privilege of introducing Eric to Tulsa. Here’s a recap of our weekend.

Friday

Friday evening we officially kicked off the Tulsa Blogathon with burgers and a round of bowling at Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge downtown. Although we’ve heard a lot of hype, this was our first visit. The vintage atmosphere made the bowling and bar that much cooler. Overall, Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge lived up to the hype.

      

Next stop was the Max Retro Pub. The Max is filled with old school arcade games from Donkey Kong to Ski-ball, they had it all. The Max was great for grabbing a drink and engaging in some friendly competition.

Saturday

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Idea. Shoot. Edit. The Hunger Games Photo Shoot

It is said that “great minds think alike”, this was confirmed when Sarah and Cody came to me with the idea to take Hunger Games inspired couple pictures, an idea I had been sitting on but with no one to shoot.

A couple of weeks ago we started the creative process: rereading the books, looking at behind-the-scenes photos of the upcoming film, finding the right outfits, props, and locations.

The Outfits

For Sarah’s “Katniss” outfit we found some green cargos at Target, boots she owns, a belt from the Army Surplus store, my brown leather jacket, and we modified a Mockingjay necklace to be a pin.

Cody’s outfit started with the black t-shirt and the rest took a while to locate. After visiting a half dozen stores we finally found the right style and color cargos, but Cody had to do some tailoring to get them to not look like “JNCO’s”. After finding some desert boots on clearance we were all set on outfits.

The Props

In the story, Katniss uses both a hand carved wooden bow in the woods and a modern silver bow in the arena, we wanted both. The silver bow was simple, Duncan and Sarah’s grandpa had a bow Duncan played with as a kid, after some silver spray paint, we were good to go. Arrows seemed as easy as a trip to Bass Pro Shops but after visiting four different sporting goods stores, we came to the conclusion we had to make one. A $3 arrow from wal-mart, fly fishing feathers, and super glue made our “Arena Arrow”. As for the “woods” bow and arrow we had all but given up, when a visit to the Tulsa Flea Market produced a bow better than we could have asked for! A wooden bow, hand carved over 30 years ago. Perfect. We were content with using the same arrow for both bows until Cody’s father found a genuine indian arrow in New Mexico. Now we are ready to shoot!

Location

We are kind of obsessed with going to the park so we already knew the exact location, Chandler Park.

Shooting

We took well over 1500 photos over a few days of shooting. We would rush to the park as soon as we could during the week and rise super early to get there with the sun. Cody and Sarah had some of the hardest parts. They had to climb trees and run the same path avoiding getting smacked in the face by branches over and over. Sarah is not naturally stern and hard so between shots she would be laughing. Duncan would be off on his own until I needed help down, because I was so focused on getting the shot, I didn’t consider the rough terrain I would have to descend. Sarah had a hard time keeping the bow pulled back, but gained some arm muscle doing so. Everything we did, we did for a reason. From their facial expressions to how sarah’s belt hung, we were very meticulous. We hiked, and climbed rocks and trees, trying to steer clear of thorny vines and poison ivy, which we did a poor job of. We have been treating poison ivy ever since. It was quite the adventure.

Editing

With over 1500 photos to go through and edit, it became a group effort. I narrowed down the photos to about 250, which I thought was a great accomplishment, but we still had a long way to go. Since I had grown quite attached to my work, Cody, Sarah, and Duncan went through the photos and cut it down to 70. After editing, I presented them to Cody. He sat in silence as I went through them, one by one. Scared that he hated them, and thinking that all my time editing was a waste, I was getting nervous. After I showed him the last photo he paused and said, ” It’s going to be hard to narrow those down.” Whew! While I felt proud of my work, we still had to find the best of the best. So the four of us went through them again and again until we all were happy.

As you can see this was quite an experience. So much of ourselves went into these photos and it is great to look back and see that.

Check out all of the photos on my website

How excited are you for “The Hunger Games” movie?

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