Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Good Ol' Fashioned Stoning | WEDDING, FAMILY, & CHILDREN'S PHOTOGRAPHER | EFFINGHAM, ILLINOIS

I have often joked that there are two men on this earth that I would like to stone:

1) The man who invented the hand air dryers in public bathrooms (no woman would have invented this...and plus, why are the patents always 'pending'?....haven't they been around for decades...are people actually arguing over who invented these???)

2) The man who thought of ESPN Classics....where every game is a 'good game'.

I have decided this week to add a third man to my little stoning party.

#3) The man who thought of releasing millions of Asian beatles to eliminate the supposed aphid problem in soybeans.

I am so tired of killing these bugs, vacuuming them up, them hitting my face as I walk outside, grabbing corpses found in Colby's hands.

Yes, these are three men I have issues with.

Kelly

Monday, October 19, 2009

Running Like Phoebe | WEDDING, FAMILY, & CHILDREN'S PHOTOGRAPHER | VALPARAISO, INDIANA

What do you get when you put a one-year-old in the middle of an open field? A little girl that runs like Phoebe.

You know what I'm referring to? That episode of "Friends" where Rachel won't run with Phoebe in Central Park because she runs so funny! I love that episode, but I also harbor a secret fear that I run like Phoebe.

In any case, while I didn't edit any of these pictures of little Miss Amelia (hard to get a frantically running 1YO in focus), my niece who celebrated her 1YO birthday a while ago, I had to post these pictures because they make me smile so much! I've had several laughs over these images!

If you'd like to see a few from Amelia's REAL birthday pix, click here.

Otherwise, I hope the below makes you smile!!
















Thursday, October 15, 2009

Colby update | WEDDING, FAMILY, & CHILDREN'S PHOTOGRAPHER | EFFINGHAM, ILLINOIS

Colby is nine months old tomorrow! To celebrate her birthday, I've loaded some videos of her below.

She is speed-crawling and getting into EVERYTHING. She knows what 'no' means, but still loves to chew on electric cords and get into my desk drawers. She has been pulling herself up to anything for the last several weeks is getting pretty daring about letting go and standing on her own for several seconds. Last night as I was sitting on the floor near where she was standing, and she took a lunge at me. I wouldn't call it a first step, but maybe a first try?

She's still a good sleeper and is also a good eater. She likes her veggies just as much as her fruits, which is good. She's started refusing the bottle quite a bit lately; so, Carolyn has been feeding her mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks when she refuses her bottle. Since she turns nine months tomorrow, I'm thrilled to move her up to the "Next Step" formula which is less expensive. Woot!

To celebrate her birthday, I've included three videos below. The first is of her taking a bath in the sink. She's a regular Michael Phelps in the bathtub, but sometimes I don't want to clean up the mess and the kitchen sink works so nicely for that. Second is a video of her motoring around the kitchen in her walker. The camera threw her off, but normally she can maneuver around the table and chairs, into the mudroom, and back again. The last video is of her having an "Aunt Kim" moment. When we were little, Kim would toddle up to Karen and I as we were eating ice cream on the couches on opposite sides of the living room. She'd lean up against the couch and say, "mmmm bite?"....which translated to, "Can I have a bite, please?" We'd give her a bite and when she'd want another we'd make her toddle across the living room and get the next bite from the other sister. We were eating supper in the living room tonight and Colby was obsessed with eating my broccoli; so, I let her eat small pieces off my jeans (mother of the year here!).


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Monday, October 5, 2009

Toto...We're Not in Shelby County Anymore | WEDDING, FAMILY, & CHILDREN'S PHOTOGRAPHER | MATTOON, ILLINOIS

This past weekend I drove to Memphis and helped my friend Cydil shoot a wedding. I swear Cydil has the neatest clients! She and her husband Nathan work at Asbury College, a Christian college in Wilmore, KY, running the student center and educating college students on mission opportunities around the world. Cydil is a wedding photographer also, and many of her clients are students that she worked with when they were students. So, when Cydil emailed me several months ago and asked if I'd be available to help her with a wedding in Memphis, I had no idea what an experience it would be!!

The bride and groom were both prior students from Asbury. The bride and groom both currently work at an inner city hospital clinic. Jessica, the bride, is a nurse practitioner and the groom, Jon David, is a doctor. They also attend services at an inner city church, and it was important to them that members of their congregation could attend their wedding easily. So, they decided to hold both their wedding and reception in the backyards of homes near their church in a community of refugees from the Sudan. It was like nothing I've ever been a part of and probably will never again. It was amazing, and I wanted to share the beautiful celebration and the kind, giving, and serving hearts of all involved.

This is Jessica...the beautiful bride. Her parents were missionaries and she spent the first 12 years of her life in Kenya. On both a side- and selfish note, Cydil bought a new lens a couple of months ago and I was dying to use it. My favorite lens is the 85 1.8mm and Cydil has the upgraded version...the 85 1.2mm. I could have used it all day long. This picture is straight-out-of-the-camera with no editing. The creamy skin and blurry background is all from that lovely lens....well, and the beautiful Jessica.

Kids from the neighborhood watching as Jessica walks from the house she got ready at to the backyard where the wedding would take place.

This was the house next to where the ceremony took place. Notice the chickens.

The young lady in the long blue dress, I believe, was the daughter of the owner of the home where the wedding took place. I noticed her throughout the night guiding the neighborhood residents and playing with many of the kids. The woman next to her desperately wanted to watch the wedding take place and was thrilled like a small child when she was allowed to come into the backyard to watch the ceremony.

The ceremony. Look in the window in the apartment complex. Little kids in the window watching the ceremony.

During the ceremony these young girls from their church sang a traditional African song.

After the wedding was over, they serenaded the wedding couple as guests left their seats and made their way to a neighboring house for the reception.

I couldn't get this little girl playing the drum to look at me and smile. She avoided my eyes the entire time i was taking her picture.

Jessica and Jon David wow'd the crowd with their ballroom dancing.

And then the party began.


And it was a party like I've never been to before. There was never a song where the dance floor wasn't packed with people.



One of the guests.


Dancing. Dancing. And more dancing.


The man in blue is Peter...the DJ...and a member of their church....more on him later.

Practicing his air guitar.


Where my husband would have been sitting. :) No one here willing to attempt the "White Man's Overbite."


It was like Christmas for some of these kids. In KY there's a local soda made near Asbury called "Ale 8." It's really good. I've had it at Cydil's house. Jessica and Jon David had Cydil haul cases of this soda to Memphis for their wedding, and there were troughs filled of it. This little girl was so proud of her Ale 8 and sweet tarts.

And more dancing. And it was awesome music....not the traditional songs played at a wedding. Cydil and I were tapping our feet to "Ice, Ice, Baby" and "I Would Walk 500 Miles."


Here's Peter again. I first noticed Peter when I was standing near the DJ station and I heard him tell ten little boys "I am the boss of the music tonight, boys." I think they had a few too many requests or advice to give Peter on his music selections. However, they loved Peter. They would be dancing on the floor and would all start chanting, "Peter! Peter! Peter!" and he'd run to the dance floor to dance with them. Here he's doing the robot to "Ice, Ice, Baby" while they stood around him clapping and stomping their feet. Peter was hysterical.

It took this little girl a while to break out of her shyness. She sat at a table just watching the dance for the longest time, but she couldn't stand it for long. She had to join in with the festivities.


I had so many little kids come up and ask me to take their picture and then ask if they could see it on my camera's LCD screen.
Yep. I'm pretty sure I'll not ever shoot a wedding like this in Shelby County! Thanks, Cydil, for letting me be a part of this!
Thanks for checking in!! Kelly


Friday, October 2, 2009

My Sister's Best Friend | WEDDING, FAMILY, & CHILDREN'S PHOTOGRAPHER | PEKIN, ILLINOIS

When we were growing up, my parents were friends with the Meekers. And, it was a ton of fun to go to their house for supper, because they had two daughters that were the same ages as me and my older sister. As you grow up, you get busy with sports, 4-H, and other extracurricular activies, and I think somehow the friendship between my older sister Karen and their oldest daughter Sherry drifted apart.

However, one year Karen was going to the National FFA convention, and Sherry was the only other girl in FFA at our high school; so, they shared a hotel room...and they've been the best of friends ever since. And, it's a win for all of Karen's sisters because Sherry is one of those friends that is thoughtful and giving to not only Karen but to all of her sisters too! When you get a gift from Sherry, you kind of start smiling before you even open it, because it's a given that you're going to laugh! She gave me the movie "Monster-in-Law" for my wedding shower gift(complete with a pizza cutter, pizza mix, microwave popcorn, and comfy blanket for movie-watching) and she gave Colby her first swimsuit complete with hot pink sunglasses! In any case, I think you get the drift as to what kind of person Sherry is...a kind person with a sense of humor!

So, when Sherry emailed me to see if I would take updated family pictures of her three boys and little girl, I was thrilled that I could finally do something for Sherry! Sherry, thank you so much for all you've done for the Rankin sisters over the years! You're one of of us! Kelly
A few of my favorites from the session are below. Click here to see a few more.

PS - Please note, my MIL is NOT a Monster-in-Law...she's a really great MIL!...Plus, I know she reads my blog! :)


This is one of those pictures that makes me feel old. Oldest son Kody was born when I was in college. Now make no mistake, he's in high school...but in this picture I feel like he looks 19. Geesh.

Kaleb was born to be Mr. GQ someday. I could say "Smile slightly...now just a little bit more...tilt your held to the left"....and he was a natural! And, every single one of his pictures are this good! Each with a different smile and tilt of the head!!!


And Karter. When we met up with each other, Sherry told me that they had no formal pictures of Karter since he was one year old.....he was that horrible when there was a camera around. He and I took off and had a good old time around my aunt's place in the country. I was really proud of myself that I had gotten Karter to do so well. Later I found out that Sherry had threatened him that he couldn't go to our hometown's festival that weekend if he didn't do well in his pictures that night. It was like taking a needle to a balloon....there went my ego!




This is my favorite of their family pictures. And yes, I know they're not looking at the camera for the most part, but at the kitty. But the littlest one of the bunch wouldn't stand still for the family picture unless the kitty was nearby. Kody held the wild kitty as long as possible until it leaped from his arms. This picture shows the group as they watched the kitty run away to freedom from little hands! I love it!



And, this little girl didn't care if she missed the Popcorn festival! We were to make sure and capture her birthday pictures! However, she ran, she hid, she scampered to get away from the camera...


...but I finally got her. :)

Thanks for checking in! Kelly