Archive | May 2015

My Little People…

Well, they’re not mine per say, but as their aunt I feel entitled to call them mine.  I mean after all, I did have to put up with their mother growing up.  I kid…for the most part.  There is an 8 year difference between my sister and I.  At least I think it is.  Maybe 9…I’d be lying if I said I was good at keeping exact track of her age. I remember her birthday, so I consider that a feat in itself.  Anyway, let’s just say that sibling rivalry was high in my younger days.

The nephew.  He likes me a lot more these days than back then.

The nephew. He likes me a lot more these days than he did back then.

With that….I broke these pictures out, because I was thinking about the photo shoot I have today.  Again, I’d be nothing but lying if I said that I wasn’t nervous.  It is not that I’m nervous about shooting a person.  Yes, I probably should have used a different word, but come on.  Anyway, I’ve shot plenty of people.  I’m always nervous about that in the fact that I want to do the best job possible; especially, when they are paying me money.  This one is different.

The shoot today is for a modeling portfolio.  That is a new task for me.  Not only have I not done this type of shoot before, it is also my first real paying shoot that is not via a friend.  Even the wedding was technically a friend. This one is a stranger that I’ve never interacted with other than arranging this shoot.  This shoot.  That is the other thing that makes me nervous.  At no fault of mine, this is our fourth attempt at making this happen.  That is a soapbox, so I’ll digress.

My nieces and nephew were the first two-legged people who I ever actually shot with a DSLR in a really trying kind of moment.  It may be just me, but to really capture people, there really has to be a connection.  Not necessarily with the person directly, but the moment itself.

A fellow blogger, that has given me advise whilst on this journey of my blog, has imprinted a quote in my mind.  I can’t directly quote it at this moment, but I find it to be true.  My basic take….to get a good shot, you’ve got to be in the moment and if the moment’s not there…if you’re not there…the picture’s not right.  So, so true.  The moment, the subject, and myself need to be right or there really is no point in us continuing.

The oldest with the youngest, the day she was born.  These days she's too cool for her aunt, but she is nine. So I guess it is to be expected.

The oldest with the youngest, the day she was born. These days she’s too cool for her aunt, but she is nine. So I guess it is to be expected.

Here’s to a successful shoot.  Not just so that I can produce satisfaction for my client, but so that I can develop skills on all aspects of this ride.  Let’s do this.

My favorite shot and my favorite little face.  This girl....she's a 100% like her aunt.  That could be dangerous.

My favorite shot and my favorite little face. This girl….she’s a 100% like her aunt.  Creative.  Story telling. Animated.  That could be dangerous.

Montana Rose Photography

My Nemesis

SONY DSCI don’t usually post twice a day, but I was thinking about blogging and how it is my nemesis.  Then I started thinking about clear heads.  A strange combination I know.

Blogging is definitely my nemesis.  I have so many pictures and so many stories, but there are so many amazing blogs out there.  It gets discouraging at times.  Trying to compete.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve obtained a nice following, which is amazing. (Thank you to all of you.  You rock).   Still, my last few post…well, anyway. It is not my intent to whine.

Anyway, how does this lead to clear mind?  I think about the thoughts I have when I anxiously check my blog to catch up on my favorites as well as to see how many people may have liked mine.  The negativity and discouragement that runs through my mind.  Oh my.  Is it the content? Is it the picture? Are they too wordy?  It’s like a twister of dismay trampling on every insecurity I have.  Sometimes it all just makes me want to disappear.  That is when I thought about sitting on the beach.

When I’m away on my trips, my mind is so clear. It is so easy not to think when there is nothing to think about.  It is funny, I think that the beach has that effect on me.  I’ve never been much a beach girl, or at least so I thought.  I had never had the desire to go walk on the beach.  Now, I’m slightly addicted.

I’m not addicted because of the sun, ocean, or what have you.  It is also definitely not the sand.  I’ve been putting off cleaning out my car for two weeks, because I don’t have enough quarters to conquer that sand dune.  No, I’m addicted, because everything that weighs me down always just disappears.   Melted away by the sun and swept away by the ocean.  I do better at those moments. The confidence rises and I can take on anything.

Now, it is just a matter of applying that serenity and that ability to “free my mind” to my everyday.  Maybe then I can do what I set out to do.  Be confident enough in my photography to not be so discouraged when it gets lost amongst the field.

If I can do that, maybe I can take on the world.  Or at least a piece of it.  Thank you for stop by and I apologize for the content….I just needed to clear my mind a bit.

Montana Rose Photography

Re-enactment

I’m not going to lie that I got a little bit more excited about this than I should.  Driving through Gettysburg had me feeling like a kid in a candy store. Then I saw reenactors.  Oh my!  I felt like I had just tasted my first piece of candy.

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All of these boys in their Confederate Greys, but the one that was wearing Union Blue (I think he forgot which side he was standing for that fine Sunday afternoon).  I was so giddy.  I had been wanting to see one for a long time, but unfortunately they are rare in my neck of the woods.

It was very interesting as they showed order of command and the basics of how things work.  However, seeing them standing there made me think of a line from one of my favorite movies, “Sweet Home Alabama”.  It is the part (for those that have seen it) where Bobby Ray says, “You know us Southerns. I mean, the minute the Confederacy died it became immortal.”   Ha…so true and these boys had the whole nine yards going on.  I’ll be going again.

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Montana Rose Photography

Medicine Man

It was my first morning on Assateague this past trip.  As always, I was up early and ready for an adventure so I made my way to the dune side of the island.  Last year, my favorite trio could often be found there. It seemed to be one of their two favorite spots.  Anyway, as I made my way towards the end of the park, there he was.  Standing in all his glory, grazing in the morning sun.  A brown and white beauty that I had not had the privilege of seeing the year before. DSC_0476 (2)I just knew I had to jump on this opportunity (at least the best I could).  Besides the fact that you are only allowed within so many feet of the wild babies, I try not to be overly invasive. I kept my distance and was able to get a few shots before he saw me.  I had discovered that there are a couple of different types of ponies in Assateague.  Some will ignore you, some will stare at you, and then there is the Medicine Man.  His M.O….he likes to disappear.  As soon as he realized that I was there, he made like a ghost and disappeared into the woods.  Thankfully, he just kind of moseyed off and I was able to get in a few more shots.  Still he was going somewhere I could not follow (mainly because the dog was in the car and she’s not allowed on the trails). DSC_0472 (2)It looked like this particular trail headed off to the ocean side parking.  The dog and I made our way over there.  I should have known…the wild never stick to the path laid.  They may always start out on a path, but the wild and free…they make their own paths.  I didn’t really think I’d see him again.  Two days later… there he’d be. DSC_0469 (2)I was up and at with the sun.  After sitting on the beach for a while, the dog and I went pony hunting.  I remembered that last year I could always find my trio down at the old ferry landing.  I thought for sure that I’d at least see them, but then I saw the ghost.  Just standing and grazing on a patch of island.  Soaking in the morning sun.    SONY DSCI tried quickly to get situated with my camera and tripod, but then he saw me.  I was kind of wishing at that point that I was a ghost or at least had the power of invisibility.   SONY DSCI followed him as he headed off to the other side of the landing.  If I wanted to be good, I needed have patience.  So, I waited patiently.  Patiently for what seemed like forever as he decided to not come closer to me.  He had the upper hand.  There was water separating us and he took full advantage of that fact. Ghosts are only seen when they want to be and he…he didn’t want to be seen.  I respect that.  Some would have waded through the water to get to him, but not me.   If it had been meant to be, he would have come to me.

When I decided to call it, this woman stopped me as I got back to my car.  She wanted to know if I got any good shots of this boy.  I told her that I got what I thought were a few.  This turned into at least an hour or so long conversation. She was a rambler. She went on about this horse known as Bodacious Bob (I don’t like that so I’m going to call him Medicine Man.  His face coloring’s namesake).  She told me that if I was able to see him; especially, get pictures of him, then I was extremely fortunate, lucky, and blessed.  This was not a horse that was seen often.   

I don’t know if I believe much in luck and I won’t discuss my relationship with God and blessings.  Those are soap boxes and stories for another day.  I will however say that it was a good trip and that if I was able to see a beauty that is rarely seen….getting up with the sun did me good.  SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCMontana Rose Photography

Faded

DSC_0370 (2)-2She looked at the picture every time she passed.  It sat there where she placed it all those years ago.  A simple picture that said so much. 

Every now and then she would stop and stare, but for the most part it was a quick little glance.  The memories were still so fresh and the pain jest. It had been so many years, she thought for sure by now it would be in the past.  It should have been, but no the tears would still fall. Flooding like the river every fourth of July. 

She is not sure why she chose to stop this Sunday.  Maybe it was the early morning sun gleaming off of the dusty glass.  Maybe it was the pain in her heart when she woke up.  It could have been the sound of his voice whispering in her ear or it could have been that the time was now. 

The simple picture looked so odd.  The vibrancy of the color had long gone.  The dust-covered the frame as much of the glass. Both looked as old as she.  With the sun, she should not see the picture.  The glare hurt her eyes.  Yet, she could see it. Mainly because it was engraved in her mind.  Nothing more than a flower. A  purple flower against an old wooden fence. 

He had taken her there everyday.  They would sit against the fence and talk about their dreams.  That seemed so cliché, but it was how they would spend their day.  That day of the picture was to be no different.  She had a picnic lunch, he a purple flower.  They walked to the fence. He was so lost in thought.  When they finally sat, it was there in his eyes.

They said nothing. They didn’t need to.  He took out his camera and snapped a picture.  She thought it was of her.  They continued to sit in silence until the night came on.  Then they slowly walked back to that old farm-house.  He stood there on the steps and she on the porch.  Their hands held tightly to each other and their eyes met.  She knew when he kissed her on the forehead that he would not be coming back.  He had no choice.

Next morning when she woke, the envelope was upon her bed.  She opened it to find a purple flower pictured in frame.  The note he wrote stung her heart and she could still read the words to this very day.

“Remember me when I’m gone. This picture is so you don’t forget. Look at it when you’re sad. Look at it when you need me most. Look at it and remember what it means…my love for you will out live me.” 

The next time she would see him would be in uniform blues.  The flag would be folded and handed to his dad.  She swore never to love another. It seemed unrealistic, but her heart was broken. 

It was not a promise she’d keep, but the love was not the same.  Now here she stood in the home that she had made. That old farm-house where her soldier knew her first.  Her life had been ample, but her heart a little empty. Now she knew her days were limited. She had past her grace.  She was not sad.  She knew she had seen it all. Living the dreams they had shared all those years ago.  It had kept her strong and now she knew on that early morning Sunday that she would seem him soon. 

She blinked her eyes. Then smiled one last time.  Staring ever so softly at the picture that had faded as much as she. 

Montana Rose Photography

Auto-no-focus

The use of auto focus is something that is probably forever going to be debated.  Some swear by it and some swear against it.  Me….I’m undecided.  Now, I’m not saying that I’m not a fan of manual focus. I use it as much as I can. The problem with manual focus is that I cannot always see well enough to get the shot right and I need a little help.  There are also times where I’m in a considerable amount of hurry and I need it done without having to fidget with it.  That may be something I need to work on, because auto focus is forever letting me down….or not.   It’s really a coin toss sometimes.
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Always Remember

Here in the states it is Memorial Day. A time to remember those that have given their lives for us to live in what we call freedom.  Uncles and friends alike, that I have, were amongst the chosen to stand. Some did it because they chose, some because they had no choice.  Though, they did not fall.  It is they too we should remember.  Always remember the soldiers that fight for us, that have given for us….remember the soldiers. Fallen and not.

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Montana Rose Photography

Unknown Soldiers

This is the fourth time I have revamped this post.  I debated about not posting it at all.  It is not that it is a bad post and it shouldn’t be controversial.  Alas we all have those things.

While I was road tripping, I visited battlefields.  I’m a Civil War girl and battlefields are a must. This includes cemeteries.  I love old cemeteries, which is probably a weird thing to admit.  Still, they’re my thing. Cemeteries and battlefields kind of go hand in hand.  So when I stopped at the battlefield I disliked, I saw that it had a Confederate cemetery up the ways in which I came.  I did not hesitate to visit; especially, since I was going back that way anyhow. 

It ended up being an actual cemetery with historical markers. I could state my embarrassment for being none the wiser of this fact, but we all have our moments.  I made my way to the back of the cemetery.  I’m not sure how I knew I needed to head towards the back, but I did. I guess it just kind of seemed fitting. The older stones always get pushed towards the back in most cemeteries that grow to modern times.

When I arrived at the back. There they were. A double layer of headstones with the back layer all being lined with flags. American flags and Confederate flags alike.  Symbolism of those that respect those that fight and those that symbolize a Civil War buff holding tight for the respect of the Confederate part of the Civil War.   All this lining the fence that separated the cemetery from the rest of the city.

DSC_0820 (2)As I got out of my car there was a twinge in my heart. I’m not sure why this was. I had been to many of cemeteries for non-funeral reasons and I had not felt this before.  Maybe it was the fact that the heaviness was deep or something else.  It could also have been partly due to the sign that graced the beginning of this long line of headstones.

DSC_0774 (2)There were so many headstones. Some with names and so very many without.  So many markers just stating, “Unknown Soldier” to indicate the final resting place of someone who gave his life for a war that he may or may not have wanted to fight. 

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I snapped a few shots and just stood there taking it all in.  After a few minutes, a man in a red pickup stopped and I apologized for blocking the way even though I was as far as I could get (I thought maybe he was annoyed. Not all the cemetery traffic seemed to care that it was a cemetery nor seemed fond that it was also a tourist spot).  He just waved it off, that was not his concerned.  He asked if I had relatives buried in this row.  I didn’t know.

Besides the fact that there were so many unknown soldiers, it is family history and that is not something we talk about in my family.  I would not be surprised if there were in fact those that donned Confederate grey in my history line.  Who knows what all the family tree contains on my mother’s side.  It is also likely that I had slave ancestors on my father’s side. Another side of the family tree I will never know.  I could say that I might even have Union Blue somewhere amongst them all, but truth be told…knowing what I do know…well, let’s just say that’s a story for another day.  Anyway, my point is there is no telling what lingers from the limbs that make up my genealogy.

I explained that I simply had an appreciation and was into the Civil War.  He thanked me for having an appreciation for them….even if they did lose.  He also proceeded to tell me how his grandfather had fought in the Civil War and was buried off yonder in another portion of the cemetery not too far away.  I believe he said his grandfather was a general. I’ll let you decide which side.  I will say that I was in the south and that rebel red and blue was flying high.  Back to point….I love meeting strangers like this and hearing the stories they have to offer.  We exchanged a few more pleasantries and then he went on his way. 

DSC_0787 (2)After he left I stood there a little bit longer. Just taking it in.  My heart was growing heavier and I was finding it hard to drag myself away.  When I finally did, I continued to think about these stones.  These soldiers.  So many unknown. So many forgotten.  Other things went through my head mind as well.

I’m no fool. I know had this war ended differently that my life would be different or non-existent.  I think the ultimate outcome was inevitable, but we will never know. It happened the way that it happened and different circumstances have vastly different outcomes.  Still, these were soldiers with families that knew nothing more than their loved ones never came back from the war. Not even just from the Civil War.  All the wars that plague our history (and present).  So many reasons for a heavy heart.  May all the fallen rest in peace. Today and yesterday.

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Montana Rose Photography

Fly

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I see them there
Soaring in the sun
Graceful and content
Going with the wind
Up and down
Back and forth
North, South
West, East
Where ever their heart desires
Not a care in the world
At least not immediately seen
Being carefree with glee
Sun warming their wings
The ground at their beck and call
It could be distracting
Their beauty as it stands
Still I watch them there
Flying by my head
It is then that I see
The truth that is hid
They have the ability
To touch the sky
Disappear where they may
And they’re doing nothing more
Than just teasing me
Rubbing in the fact
They get to fly away
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Photobomber

I probably should not post these pictures. They are definitely not my best work.  Far from it really.  The wind was not cooperating, the sun was not cooperating, the clouds were not cooperating, and the dog was in the car (thankfully it was nowhere near hot, she was tired of walking and I was only a few steps away).  I was also trying so hard to stay on schedule.  It was just a day. 

It is funny, because I was not even trying to catch this little guy.  I was actually trying to get just the flowers,  but this guy was moving so fast.  He was seriously all over the place and before I knew it he was in my pictures.  Of course when I actually tried to get him, it was impossible.  Go figure. 
SONY DSCI’m not even sure that I like these pictures, but I’m also not sure that I hate them either…so here they are.
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