Monday, August 31, 2009

Hee Haw!

So, by now I'm sure you know how much I abhor, hate, despise Winter! When the weather turns cold, I become a bear and go into hibernation.
But, on the flip side, the great part about winter is the fall that precedes it. I love the changing leaves, the crisp fresh fall scent, and the corn mazes. This last week I was able to tour the beautiful farmland of Hee Haws, a local corn maze/pumpkin patch/sunflower field. Chalise, one of the owners of Hee Haws, and her daughter showed me the most amazing sunflower patch. I felt like I'd just stepped onto the set of "Honey I Shrunk the Kids". I have to say besides shooting family shots, I had a great time frolicking through the fields of pumpkins and sunflowers. When the weather changes, and if you live in the state of Utah, you too should head on over to Hee Haws in Pleasant Grove. It's worth the drive.

Thanks Chalise for inviting me out to your farm, and choosing me to take your family shots!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Read Much? (snort)

My book list over the last month has dwindled thanks to an increse in photography (No complaints there), so here you have it. This is what I've read, what I thought about it, and what I think you should read.

CATCHING FIRE - by Suzanne Collins

Yes! You read that correctly. My lovely-wonderful-super cool-small town-library got it in and gave it to me before it even goes on sale. That rocks! (see two posts down)

What did I think? I loved it. I loved it so much I couldn't put it down and seriously considered ditching an outing I had previously planned. It was as intense and dramatic as the first, with more plot twists, turns and dives. It kept me on my toes and I felt more connected to the protagonist than I did in the first. Though a huge issue I had with the first novel was finally resolved, the ending left me hanging and begging for more. Which Sucks. Why? Well the next in the series isn't slated to come out for another year.

There you have it. Go read it. Love it. Then tell me what you think about it.

EYES LIKE STARS by Lisa Mantchev
It started out slow. Very slow. And then the ball started rolling. I cant say I loved it. In fact, it took me almost a week to read. (That should say something about it's plot hooks...or lack thereof) But, by the end, I liked it. Enough so that I would read the sequel. Read this book when you don't have another you're dying to read. This is a great lazy day book or vacation book.
SACRED SCARS by Kathleen Duey
This novel is the sequel to Skin Hunger. If you look back at my review, you'll see what I thought of that one. The problem I had with this one is that it mirrored the first. Crap happens. It gets worse. Nothing gets resolved. More things gets worse. Time passes. Book ends.
No notable climax, no problem solved! I HATE THAT. End the dang book already! Or at least give some closure.
So now I'm two books into this series, no closure at all, and there's another year before the final book comes out. I suggest you wait to read all three until then.
THESE IS MY WORDS by Nancy Turner
I put off reading this for so long. Historical fiction is not my thing.
Boy was I wrong! Once I sunk in 50 pages I was hooked. I couldn't put the book down. And when I finally finished I thought about it for hours if not days and days. I gasped, laughed, blushed and then cried. This book gripped me completely. I would recommend this to everyone and anyone.
JUST ONE WISH by Janette Rallison
It was due back at the library. So I thought I'd scan over the first few chapters. 2 1/2 hours later I finished the novel. It sucked me in and I loved every word of it. In typical Janette Rallison fashion, the plot is succinct, witty and funny. I laughed hard. This is a delightful read that tackles issues of life and death. I would recommend this novel to all teenage girls and their moms. It's a great chick fic!

by Maria Snyder

I loved Maria Snyder's Poison Study series. Sadly, when I got the call from the library about Catching Fire, this novel was pushed aside. Since I'm already 150 pages in, I have a sense of where the novels going. It's not as engaging as the Poison Study series, and not as gripping as Catching Fire. So will I finish it? I can't say right now. If you've read it, please tell me if I should finish or not.
Snarky. That pretty much sums it up. This quick read is the perfect step into a modern teenage girls shoes. I thought the protagonist was likable, and most importantly believable. I didn't feel as though I was reading the likeness of a teenage girl made up by some stay at home middle aged writing mom. No, it seemed as though I were really in the teenager's head. This novel is funny, quick paced and an easy read. I would recommend this to any chick lit lover.
JUST ELLA by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Sadly, I had no love for this novel. The idea of Cinderalla's 'not so' happily ever after was fun at first, but after the first 100 pages the plot really dragged. The protagonist focused so much on being independent that she lost depth as a character. It was as if her character only felt one emotion. In fact, most of the characters were very
simplistic - each seeming to have only one emotion or thought process. The novel lacked depth and the ending lacked luster.
Sure. I'll admit I was sucked in. I loved it, laughing hard throughout. That's typical of a Shannon Hale novel. She excels in witty banter and great character building. There were a few sections where the novel dragged, and at one point, the two main characters of the novel seemed to meld into one. Too many likenesses in character traits and dialogue. But what I hated most was the end. (No worries, I won't give it away) I felt lied to. The character was developed as one person and doesn't carry through with personality in the end. Hated it!
This quick easy read had such an interesting plot that I was drawn into it. I enjoyed the simple love story and the character development. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys fairytale retellings.
Ask the Audience: What have you been reading? What should I read next?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Blue Through and Through!

Last night I stood on the Timpanogos High School football field among a hundred or so sweaty, stinky players and loved every minute of it. Can I just say it is so much better watching the game from the field?
It's funny how last night I realized how much I missed it. The smell of the field, the roar of the crowd and the glare of the lights. In high school I cheered. I stood on the sidelines and kicked, screamed, and yelled.

Last night, as I shot pictures for an upcoming Viking Football handout, I felt that rush again. I loved it. I've missed it. It was good to be back . . . and this time understand what the heck was going on and catch it all with my camera.

Here's a few of my favorite shots I captured. If you want to see all 100 shots, go to my facebook and look under my pictures. If you're not my facebook friend yet, then you better add me!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Library just called.

AGGHHHHH! (Yes, all caps again. And yes, I'm yelling)

"Hello," I say.

"Hi Erin, this is the library."

"Oh," I can't hold back the gushing sound in my voice. "I love when you call, it feels like Christmas."

"Ah, well that's nice."

Alright, get to it. Enough chit chat.

After a silent moment, she continues, "We have a book that just came in that you requested."

"Um, hm." Yes, yes. Which one could it be?

"We'll hold it for you for a week."

"Thanks." Yes, yes. I know this...get to it. "So which book is it?"

"Catching Fire."

"Shut up!" Squeal. Jump. Scream. "Are you freaking kidding me?"

Awkward silence. "Ah, no."

"I'll be right down." Muah ha ha ha...It's a good thing I've got friends at the Library.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Supa' Hot Pics

I promise. When I started this post I was only going to insert 2 or 3 pictures. But I couldn't help myself. They look so good. Great. Stunning...Not the pictures, but the models. On Wednesday I taught a lighting workshop and I had these 4 great and willing models. Thanks you guys so much. You make my pictures look fab!

My favorite of the shoot is the "starburst" shot. The third picture down. Yummy.

A Serious Question for You.

Ok, so recently I have been studying the vernacular of the average teen. It has come to my attention that I don't quite understand all the ins and outs of the modern lingo. One phrase in particular is anything that ends with " . . . much?"

I hear kids say this all the time. It ends with sentences like "skanky much?" or "ghetto much?" And to be frank, I really don't know what they're saying or what it means.

Ask the Audience
If you know, could you please explain it and then use it in a sentence for me so I can have an example to go off of?



Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Little Bro - Big Sis . . . Chaz and Morgan

If it seems like I'm posting a lot of pictures lately, then that should tell you what I've been doing all day. EDITING. I love photography. I love editing...but maybe not so much when it consumes everyday of my life.

I did love the editing of these. Mostly because I did hardly anything. The lighting was great, the subjects AMAZING. Thanks Morgan and Chaz for having me shoot you. My favorite of this shoot was the Sun Flare shot. I am a sucker for sun flare.

p.s. If you call and (as always) I don't pick up my phone, it is because I am neck deep in editing or shooting for the next week. I miss you world!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm so Vain

I really think it's funny when I take a picture of someone, and later that someone responds by telling me how vain they feel about the picture. I take this to mean the picture was so freaking awesome that they can't stop looking at it . . . well, I really haven't had that problem myself - looking at myself in pictures.
See, to be honest, I don't like pictures of myself. I try not to step in front of the camera unless one of the models I had scheduled for a shoot is a no show. Then of course I have to be the model. And those poor students.
I'm the worst in front of the camera. I blink a lot, I have my one perfected pose (which screams UNNATURAL), and I have a lot of distracting moles. So shooting me can be difficult.

Today Mark (hubby photog in training) shot me sitting on a park bench with my sweet Ruby. It may be that Ruby brings out the best in me, or I have finally disowned my one perfected pose, but I tend to think Mark's picking up photography like a pro. I love this shot so much.

Like other people I've shot, I now feel vain because I can't stop looking at myself.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Extra Space!

Hi all! I have two spots left in the lighting workshop that will be held Wednesday evening from 6:30-8:30. If you would like to attend, please contact me right away. If you have already attended this workshop, and would like a refresher, you are welcome to attend for free.

Email me if you want to snag one of the spots:

Or if you just want more info on it, check out my class blog:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

So so so Standifirds.

So Standifirds and Sunday all start with S...and you know I'm a sucker for alliteration. So here you have it!

Standifird Family, first off I just wanted to say YOU ROCK. Really. I had a lot of fun with you, your three kids, and the other bazillion photographers who happened to be at the same place as us. Thanks for waiting around for the perfect spot...and improvising...and trying out all my new, cool, funky, hip poses. Here's some of my favorites for a little sneak peak.

P.s. My favorite shot of all is the heart!

Sun haze, it's a beautiful thing.
sigh. here it is. My favorite. Ha! I can't help but laugh and love this one.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


He's braved my Photo 101 workshop, shadowed me on a couple shoots, and read Understanding Exposure. (If you're at all interested in photography, this is the book you should read. It rocks.)

I just have to take a time out and say, WOWZA! Mark, my sweet-patient-kind-hubby, is rocking my photography world. He's picking it up quicker than I ever did. And . . . sniff, sniff . . . it makes me so dang proud.

Over the ten years we've been married, Mark has never ceased to amaze me. Um, like the time he said, "Hey, since I just got laid off, you wanna move to Hawaii?" ...Uh SURE! (You're freaking awesome Sweetie). Or, like the time he said, "Lets buy this ghetto druggie house and rock it suburban style." ...Ok, I'm game! (So maybe those weren't his exact words, but you get the picture. He's so good at going with the flow and learning new things.)

The newest interest: Photography.
And not just because I'm his wife and stapled to his side for Eternity, but because I like to think I'm somewhat of a photographer, and since I teach classes, I have to say he's doing a bang up job.

Way to go Mark. Here's some of your shots I loved.

Happy Birthday Taylor!!

Hey little's a quick sneak peek at your 2 year old birthday shots. You are darling with your beautiful big blue eyes and radiant red hair! Can you tell I like alliteration? Thanks Joe and Carolyn for making a cutie baby girl...and then asking me to be your photographer. luv erin

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Ladies

Ok, so watch out, if you're around me long enough I might shoot you. This last weekend I spent some time with these awesome ladies that I met earlier in the year at BYU. We have so much fun together and I find myself snorting a lot when I'm in their company. So of course, I pulled out the shooter and shot away.