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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bookmark my new site!!!

My new website, Holly Anissa!

And my first post!
Hello, hello! Welcome to my new site!!!

I've invested in a real website and I'm using a self-hosted WordPress blogsite powered by ProPhoto Blogs as my interface. I am so excited to share it with everyone! This blog is being retired, so bookmark my new website!!! I hope you all follow me there! Holly Anissa is my first and middle name. :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ready for 2011

Continuing the journey in 2011 with Project 52. Click the link, become a follower, leave a comment, feel my love. :)

Thanks for following!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Top 10 for 2010

I've spent the last hour going through my Flickr set of 365 photos for 2010. I marked 20 photos as faves then narrowed it down to these ten. In no particular order...

I love this one because it reminds me of my Nanny who passed away many years ago. She loved butterflies and every time I see one, I think of her. This one fluttered about my head and beckoned me to follow so I did. I am so glad that I had my zoom lens on my camera that day.

This one I took of Dominic sitting in the bluebonnets in the spring. I love the bokeh in this shot, the pure exuberance evident on Dominic's face, and the slight vintage touch I added in post.

Jenny is so pretty! She often gets compliments on her eyes and I got this shot really showing off those baby blues. I like the focus and DOF on this shot too.

There were several things I invested in this year that made a big difference in my photography. The first was paying for a membership to Clickin' Moms. This is a forum with over 8000 members, most of them moms, who share a passion for photography. It was on this forum that I took a class to learn how shoot manually and really took my photos to the next level. They also offer creativity challenges and this photo is from the "Photographer in the Frame" challenge where you put the viewer in photographer's perspective. This photo was featured on the Clickin' Moms blog and now graces their home splash page too!

This is one of my favorites this year because I have very few photos of Anna looking directly at me and even fewer without her glasses on. I had to use a really high ISO on this one because it was dark in her room so it turned out really grainy. But because Anna's been wearing glasses since she was 11 months old and because her autism makes it hard to make eye contact, this photo will always have a special place in my heart.

I love this photo of Charlie for three reasons...
1) It is the first photo I took with my new (used from Craigslist) Nikon D300 camera.
2) I love his expression, the processing, and how his coat turned out looking.
3) It made Pioneer Woman's Group One for the 4-legged friend challenge. (PW has a huge following and to get chosen to be on her blog is a big deal!)

I was just finishing up RYC101, learning to shoot in manual mode and I got this shot of Town Lake in downtown Austin. I've had a few people tell me that they've used it for their desktop background!

Another very genuine smile with great eye contact photo of Anna. This was very unposed and spontaneous and it is definitely one of my favorites!

This shot of Jenny was taken in the cafeteria of her high school where an arts and crafts show was happening. Santa (just barely visible behind her on the left) was visiting and posing for photos ops so we took Dominic and Anna to see him. I'm so pleased that I got this shot of Jenny while we were there, it's such a great photo of her!

And finally, I *super puffy heart* this picture of Dominic. He had looked up to see an airplane going overhead (I wonder when little boys outgrow this fascination?) and I caught the wonder on his face. I adore this boy!

I will be continuing to take photos quite frequently and I've committed to Project 52 this year so I'll be posting once a week. I'll probably end up using this blog for it for a bit, though I do have some exciting changes coming soon. Thank you all for following and commenting... getting feedback along the way has been icing on the cake of this project!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 365

Wow. I made it! Day 365.

I had a vision for this photo and of course the picture in my mind couldn't be created in reality. I finally found Anna a pair of jeans ("jeggings") so I wanted all three kids to wear jeans, take off their shoes and socks, and sit on the dock at the pond near our house. I had this vision of them dangling their feet and holding hands while I got a photo of them from the waist down with maybe a hint of their reflections in the water. Well, the water is high and their feet would've been in the water had they sat down on the dock! So, plan B. But I didn't have a plan B!

Instead we wandered. I had them sit on a picnic bench and dangle their feet.. then hold hands. Nah. It was 4 p.m., so the lighting was harsh but it was the only window in which I could have Jenny today. So I tried getting all the kids to jump at the same time. Oh my goodness, this is much harder to pull off than it looks! But I got a shot that I didn't hate (though I wish the dock wasn't behind Pickle, oh well) so here it is... my last photo of the day for Project 365 of 2010.

It's been an amazing journey. As I look back over the year, my eyes fill with tears. I've watched Dominic grow from a fidgety 5-year old kindergartner into a mature 6-year old first grader. He is SO smart, seriously... he's doing algebra already in his head... and he is so very patient, loving, and kind with Anna. He reminds me so much of Jenny when she was his age. Anna started the year in a premature puberty caused by the medication she was on which we've since changed. Her health was poor, her behavior was all over the place, and she was not very happy. She turned nine this year, had a big academic setback, but is now, finally, healthy and happy. Moving her to Life Skills was the best move we could've done for her to help her cope at school. She hasn't had a seizure at all this year and she continues to get us all giggling nearly every day. Jenny graduated from high school, moved away to attend college, celebrated two years with her boyfriend, Chris, and turned 19. What a year! Seeing her drive off in August for Corpus Christi was gut-wrenching. It turns out that it was hard for her too and she has moved back to Austin to attend school here. We couldn't be happier.

Curtis and I started the year separated. I wasn't sure we were going to make it. We celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary this year and though we have some work ahead of us, we are stronger than ever. He has made huge strides in his job, has been to India and rode an elephant, and has gotten a promotion. I too have made big leaps this year. Starting the year shooting in auto mode or on P mode with my Nikon D40 and kit lens to now shooting in full manual mode with a Nikon D300 and a 35mm f/1.8 prime lens has been a big learning curve and I've loved every second of it! I discovered a photographer living inside of me and I have HUGE goals for 2011. I can't wait to see what this next year is going to bring me and I can't wait to share some of my exciting plans with all of you. Thank you for being such a great support as I photographed my daily life, documenting the mundane, the boring, the holidays, the celebrations, the scary stuff, and the everyday joys. This is what life is about.

For those who've wondered if I'm doing it all again for 2011... not quite. Doing the photo a day was a huge commitment of time and though I've loved doing it, I want a few evenings back to myself. I have committed to doing Project 52 where I'll share photo(s) once a week so be on the lookout for something from me in about a week or so!

I hope you all have a very Happy New Year and that 2011 brings you as much contentment as 2010 has brought me. Life is good. :)


Thanks for looking!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 364

In thinking about what photography goals I had at the beginning of the year, there are a couple of shots that I haven't gotten yet and this was one of them. I wanted to try a night scene capturing headlights and taillights in motion. It took me 18 tries to get this but I'm pleased with the result. Next time I try this, I'll get a better location but since this is in our neighborhood, it will be fun to show the kids when they are grown up.

I can't believe tomorrow is the last day of this project! I'm hoping to end it with something really special.


Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 363

Feeling a little blue, a little bleak, a little blah... Christmas has passed and the sky is gray. I let the dogs out this afternoon and looked up at our chinaberry tree to notice all of the leaves have finally surrendered to winter. The berries looked so stark against the winter sky that I felt compelled to take a photo. I wonder how many others are feeling a little like me right now?


Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 362

Well into the second week of Christmas break from school, the kids are bickering and we all are getting a little edgy. But in between "stop it" and "noooo" we get sweet little moments like this. This is what makes playing Poke Park all day on the Wii with Dominic and having the same four conversations over and over again with Anna worth the effort.


Thanks for looking!