Spring in Texas | Bluebonnets

bluebonnet1I love that Spring is showing up here in N. Texas. The bluebonnets are popping up everywhere!!

I was out driving down just a few roads near my house hopeful to find a large spread of bluebonnets to use for photos, but I only found these few. They were actually in front of where my great-grandparent’s house used to be. I like to drive slowly by and sometimes stop to look at the flat earth where the house and barns stood. These beauties were a nice reminder of all the great family times we had there.



Trying New Things | Video

For Christmas my honey upgraded my Nikon D3000 to a full frame Nikon D600. Yes I know, he spoils me!! I’m okay with it though.

Besides the obvious perks of just flat out taking better photos, my favorite thing is the HD video it captures. Whoa I’m blown away!! My first test subjects were our two boxers. Check out the fun footage below.

noah grace 1-5-13 from Melinda Fain on Vimeo.

So maybe it isn’t award worthy but I thought it was fun to put together and watch. I made another yesterday of a human being haha My little nephew was my subject and he kept it very interesting…Check it out below 🙂

Thomas | 1.6.13 from Melinda Fain on Vimeo.

More to come from my newest hobby!! What are you trying new this year??

Strawberry Pickin’ {Boxx Berry Farm}

Monday my niece and I visited Boxx Berry Farm to pick our own strawberries from their fields. I’ve never done this before and with “homegrown” and “organic” being on the rise I was excited to do it.

First of all, let me just tell you how blown away I am by all the GREEN around here!! It’s so beautiful!

We grab our bucket, get told which aisle to start on, and get to pickin’!! Well, obviously Amanda gets started while I’m snapping photos.  Aunt Chris if you get to read this….I now know how you felt when we were growing up and why you always had that camera of yours out!!

Here is my niece’s shot of me! Not too bad, eh?!

We ended up picking almost 5lbs. of strawberries! But at less than $2/pound it was well worth it.

I had the nice young lady working there take our photo. We wanted to start eating them on the drive home but decided we’d better wash the dirt of first! It was worth the wait to have them as our dessert after dinner. They were the best strawberries I’ve ever eaten!! I honestly didn’t know how terrible store bought berries were until now. I don’t think I can ever eat those again!

If you are in Whatcom County and haven’t been to Boxx Berry Farm I highly suggest doing so! It’s a great venture to take the kids to while they’re out for summer.

Hours: Mon-Sat 9-5:30 pm,  Sunday  10-3:30 pm.  You must show up a half hour before closing to pick.

I looked ahead and the raspberry season will open sometime after July 5th. Blueberry season will begin after July 15th. I’ll be back to pick those for sure!!

Cheers to happy and healthy eating!

A Powerful Symbol {the Eagle}

“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

I left my camera at the house. We were only going to buy groceries, right? I didn’t need it.

As we’re driving around the bay I see a man with a nice camera and zoom lens aiming up high and shooting away. My heart sank. He sees something good. Yep, there it was sitting atop a tall tree overlooking its territory….the bald eagle. I pulled over and immediately began kicking myself in the you-know-what!

I try to video chat a couple of people from Texas, I had to share this experience with someone! I get my brother on the line but the video is too pixelated and he can’t see it. Okay that does it, we’re turning around to retrieve my camera. That bird better still be sitting there when I get back.

I drive the 25mph speed limit…kill me now I’m in a hurry!…back to the house. I run upstairs and grab everything. I’m speaking out loud positive thoughts to my niece sitting next to me the whole way back. “He’ll still be there.” “He’s not going anywhere.” “He’ll still be there, right?” I’m nervous and want that dang bird to remain seated and I have no clue of my odds of this actually happening. We don’t have many (any) eagles flying around Brock, TX.

Again, 25mph back around the bay and I’m chanting the whole way…”He’ll still be there. He’ll still be there. He’ll still be there. ” And it isn’t until we are right up on that tree that I spot that wonderful creature and let out a “Whoop Whoop!”

I jump outta the Jeep and start snapping away. I don’t have a wonderful zoom and am now kicking myself again in the you-know-what for not buying that one before I left. Oh well, I make the best of it. I don’t think anyone could tire of seeing these massive, almost mystical, birds. They seriously stop me in my tracks. Every time. God is amazing. His creations are amazing. Amen.

2 Years and Counting…

I was so busy last week that it didn’t even occur to me that my business anniversary was coming up and I missed it!! It’s been 2 whole years since I established by business and 8 months since taking it full-time.

I guess it’s true what they say….time flies when you’re having fun! It has been fun…along with scary, trying, confusing, frustrating, enjoyable, rewarding and a gazillion other things.

Yep, these past two years have been a revolving door of changes. Not only dealing with growth but who I am and what my photography is. Learning where to set goals and how to accomplish them. Finding great online resources and soaking up as much info as possible and trying to determine how to apply that information to my business. Just because something works wonders for one photographer in one area doesn’t mean it will for everyone. I’ve learned the beginning is A LOT of trial and error.

For those clients who have repeatedly used me throughout these years during all this THANK YOU! You have no idea how much I appreciate your loyalty and continued support. I only hope that I’ve given photos and an experience that exceed the previous and make you want to stick around for all the wonderful things that are yet to come!!

If you are a photographer reading this and you’re thinking it’s too hard, there’s too much to learn, you’re not good enough, the business side of photography isn’t fun, and you wondering if you’re making the right decisions….I want you to know that those are all valid and common fears that we all have!! Trust me! I’ve thought all those things. But you can do it! If it’s your passion and you feel drawn to it like nothing else then it will work out, if you work at it!

I have found Jenika over at Psychology for Photographers to be a remarkable source of information. I never miss a post and soak up everything she writes. She’s genuinely wants her readers to succeed and it shows!

The same can be said for Elizabeth over at ElizabethHalford.com Right now she’s teamed up with Lightroompresets.com for a 10 video photography series. If you’re just starting out or thinking about becoming a paid photographer I highly recommend watching the videos. She tells it like it is, in plain english that we all can understand.

I’m nowhere near where I want to be but I feel very confident at this point where I am. I understand nothing happens overnight and although I enjoy my “job” it is still a business and I have to treat it as such with lots of hard work. It’s wonderful knowing its all mine but scary knowing if I don’t do anything nothing will get done.

I’ll end with saying lots of wonderfulness is coming and I’m really excited!! Along with a couple of cute shots of my nephew…well just because he’s so darn cute!

“Did a grasshopper just jump into my camera?” He’s checking it out 🙂 We only have a million grasshoppers in our yard so it was slightly believable!!

Ready to Go!

It’s finally official! Meaning, the tickets have been bought! I’ll be in Washington for 5 whole weeks this summer!!! I leave June 19th and return July 24th. I am so beyond ready for a change of scenery and to see my family up there!! Yes, to any family/friends reading this down here, I will miss you! But geez I see YOU all the time! haha

I leave from Dallas Love Field and layover in Albuquerque, NM long enough to hopefully use the restroom, get a bite to eat, and board. Then have a long flight to Sea/Tac where my sister will pick me up and we’ll begin the long 2 1/2 hr drive to Birch Bay.  Total it’s about 6 hours of travel, not including the time change. When we get home my body will think it’s close to 11pm but it will actually be closer to 9pm.

Holy stinkin cow I can’t wait to get there!! I do plan on trying to get some paid sessions while I’m there. Not too many, but it’s so gorgeous up there I want to get a few. I did the last time I was there. I met a family at the pool who had just adopted a sweet little girl to add to the 3 boys they had of their own. I couldn’t help but strike up a conversation and ask if they had a full family photo since receiving their newest blessing. The mother, C, said no and we quickly started planning on how we would make this happen when we were both only in town to visit family for the 4th of July. Luckily we worked it out and had fun driving up to Semiahmoo Bay to take pictures.

This was our favorite from the session. They used it for their Christmas cards, too.

So if you’re reading this and will be in the Birch Bay area and would like to get together for a fun photo session then please shoot me an email!! I will be offering special introductory packages just for the trip! Wondering how it will work out since I’ll be so far from home? Well, fortunately I’m able to be completely mobile. I can order any products as I normally would and have them drop shipped to me up north where I can personally deliver them to you!

Spring Cleaning

I’m thinking its the coming of Spring but oh my goodness I have been in the most organization/cleaning mode I’ve ever been in!! Has it hit you yet? The mornings are the best  with the cool weather, mid afternoon I need a break, but then the evenings rock again!

I’m staying with my parents as I get my business up and going and so the organization/cleaning has been happening at their place, not my own. Sunday I forced my dad to take down an old shed that was about to fall down anyways. We emptied it, took boards down off two sides, then he pulled the rest down. We are saving the tin roof and some of the wood but most is so old we can’t salvage it. We worked all Sunday and my prize was a slight sunburn, the first of 2012. In it’s place we’ll build a replacement building that will serve as storage and a garden shed, since it’s located right by the garden. Before and after pictures will be posted as the build starts.

Then as if that wasn’t enough, yesterday I start cleaning out the tiniest room we have in the house. It’s so tiny that it becomes disorderly super fast. Old carpet (that was just laying there) is out. Tons of stuff was donated to Goodwill today and more was trashed. The closet got cleaned out today and I took the door off. I’ve been scouring Pinterest for craft room ideas and I am so blown away by what some lucky people get to have!!!! I started a “Craft Room Inspiration” Board if you’d like to check it out.

The room is only about 9×9 with one wall taken up by windows, one the has the closet, one has the entry door, leaving only one clean wall. I’ve got lots of ideas and I can’t wait to get it completely empty so we can get started! I just found this linoleum lacquer stuff  and am thinking about painting the floor and putting some sort of stencil on it. Way cheaper and more creative than replacing it all together! I’ve taken many photos of the progress and look forward to photographing the final result.

If you’ve got a craft room you’re super proud of I’d LOVE to see it!! Post a link in the comment section!! Or if you need to start a craft room project, too, let’s do it together and share ideas, inspiration, progress, and final results!!! That would be so fun! Comment below and let me know!!

Gaining a New Perspective

Today was a perfect weather day in my little dot on the map (sometimes we’re not even a dot). Blue, cloudless skies, the sun beaming down its warm rays on my skin, with no risk of sweat because the breeze was constant and cool. Yes, we really soak up days like this because in Texas we rarely get them. In fact, we may get one then have an ice storm the next day.

I was taking the designated lunch break while watching the awe inspiring Sue Bryce over at CreativeLIVE and decided to whip out the iPhone and snap some photos. Like I said we had some nice weather, not just today, so it’s starting to look like Spring with trees and flowers blooming.

I guess it was because of the workshop or something but my mind was totally turned on and open. I’m not going to get all philosophical on you, I don’t have the education for it. However, one thing did strike me though and I’ll illustrate with the photos I took.

You can look at something the same way everyone approaches it and achieve the same mediocre results:

Flowers. Or in this case I think these are common weeds. Even better because the feeling you get when you hear “weeds” is a negative feeling. Nobody loves weeds, they want them gone.

By just changing my view of them I can achieve amazing results! Not feeling anything negative anymore.

Once I realized how amazing my new perspective was I couldn’t stop shooting. We can apply this to all aspects of life don’t you think?

The weeds don’t have it so bad do they?
(until we mow)

Something on the Horizon

Mount Baker and the Twin Sisters photo by LinnyJo

Wouldn’t you love to wake up, grab your cup of hot coffee, open the sliding door, and sit on your deck and see the view above? The air would be so cool and crisp you wrap your hands around the coffee mug feeding off the warmth. Every way you glance you can’t help but soak in all the natural elements, from the bay, the mountains, eagles searching for breakfast, to the sun slowly rising. Eagle sitting on top of a tree photo by LinnyJo

It’s the beginning of July and if there isn’t rain in the forecast you pretty much know the day will be perfect. Time to get ready for a leisurely bike ride around the neighborhood.

Okay, okay….enough with the daydreaming!!! Everything you just read was me experiencing Birch Bay, WA last summer. This small town Texas girl who knew nothing more of flat dry lands and summer temperatures that make you break out in dripping sweat the moment you walk outside. Heat so intense when you get in your car after its been sitting out all day it takes your breath away and you feel like you’d suffocate if the air conditioner didn’t kick in soon enough. Oh yea, air conditioners. You know they don’t typically even have those in houses in WA???

My sister and her family moved up there and bought a house not that many years ago, so I’ve had the pleasure of visiting as I choose. That really is their view front the deck in the morning!!

The reason I bring this subject up is, well, I miss this place like crazy!!! Also, I’m 95% sure that I’ll be spending ALL of July there this summer!! Yes, all of it. Don’t worry there will still be plenty of sizzling Texas summer waiting for me when I get back hahaha

My niece and I taking that bike ride through their neighborhood

The last trip I easily took over 1000 photos in my week’s visit. I can’t even try to guess at all the photos I’ll take over a month!! I hope to take in some paying sessions as well. 🙂 I did last time and the family was so sweet. They had just adopted a little girl and I offered to take their first family portraits as a whole. This was a chance meeting as my niece and I were taking in some sun and fun at the community pool.

Family Portrait photo by LinnyJo

So as the time gets closer I’m sure you’ll be seeing more posts about my departure from Texas and see the excitement building 🙂 I cannot wait!