Can't get enough...

Okay...so...I downloaded these FREE actions from Totally Rad Actions, and I wanted to test them out. So, of course I go to my latest shoot for some pictures to test it on....Very first picture I tested the action called Super Fun Happy....and this is what I got...
SERIOUSLY!! Okay, maybe I'm totally biased because I'm the one who took this picture, but man alive..It totally took my breath away...lol

Here's another action that's amazing...This one is called Troy

And another action...called....ummm, well, we'll just call it "B" Black and White

Again. The actions were FREE from Totally Rad Actions. If I had money, I would SOOO BUY THEM! (Maybe someday!)

I know it's all the same picture, but...WOW! I love them all..but I think #1 is my fave still. Let me know which one you like best..lol, I'm telling ya, it's gonna be SO HARD to pick just a few to blog...sorry. you're gonna be getting A LOT!!!! hope that's okay! :)



So, that is said as a high schooler would say it...because OH MY GOSH!!!! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE all of Violet and Austin's pictures. Of the almost 1,000 pictures taken yesterday. I loved 99.9% of them! (First, I never feel like I take that many pictures, of course my mom was there who contributed a few of them as well...and the .1% I didn't love....photographers error...psh, we're only human! :)

Anyway...seriously you guys! I am SO IN LOVE with these pictures....I don't know how they're going to be able to pick 4 pictures for announcements. If it were possible to send out an announcement with 100 pictures on it...I would SO RECOMMEND it! Violet and Austin are SO CUTE together. Wow....It totally helps to have gorgeous people to photograph! With Violet's gorgeousness and Austin's "chiseled jaw" (lol) every picture was nearly flawless! We took the pictures in Cokeville. I lived there for 18 years, and probably NEVER went to the places we took pictures. I knew they were there, but never thought to take pictures there. For those Cokevillians wondering where we got these amazing shots...we went to the old buildings by the library, out to the cottonwood, and the big tin place by the railroad tracks.

And can I just tell you how gorgeous Vi's dress is, you guys! WOW! It's totally her, and she looks so pretty in it. Austin is one lucky guy!!!! Anyway...these are just a few. I looked through them, and I wanted to post some for you to at least look at until I get them edited, and yeah. There's one engagement that I loved, and the bridals are just so you can see how gorgeous Vi is in her dress. For the ring shot, that I also absolutely love...<---CLICK HERE---> Mmkay...onto the pictures. Trust me, there WILL BE MANY MORE...and also more of that little guy below this post...

ENJOY! and let me know what you think!

PS...none of these are edited...straight out of camera...

*Tessa, I believe this first one is for you!
*Obviously I wouldn't give you this pictures since there is a hand in the way, but I want you to see how beautiful this dress is...
*And the detail in the front...
Thanks Vi and Austin! You guys are gorgeous. Hope you like them! Love yas!

The Awaited Moment...

has not arrived. SORRY!!!!! I know that some of you have been dying to see some engagements and bridals, but I'm sorry...The time is not yet. I have been DYING to look at them, but I had to force myself not to sit and look through them yesterday because I was DEAD when I got home. I just uploaded the pictures, and went to bed. As much as I wanted to look at them, I just couldn't. But...it will most definitely be worth the wait!!!!

For now, enjoy this little boy, who I shot yesterday BEFORE the engagement and bridal session of Violet and Austin. I will get a sneak peak up here shortly...


Random...I know!


Star Valley Tournament

So, this last weekend my volleyball team had a tournament up in Star Valley. It was a really good tournament for the girls, and I think they had a lot of fun. The first day we played Idaho Falls, Evanston, and Mt. Crest (a local high school in Cache Valley). Mt. Crest, Sky View, and Logan all love playing each other, so the girls were really excited to be playing Mt. Crest, since we didn't schedule any games with them. Our JV...mmm...I don't even know what to say about their game. I think they were all high or something...because they were going nuts...We did win...lol, and it was a really fun game, but we got a lot of weird looks from the fans...Varsity also won, so they were pretty excited about that. It was the first time in a while that they had won. JV lost to a SV jv team, but played REALLY well (for having just stuffed their faces with dinner) and beat Evanston JV. Varsity, however, lost both. It was pretty disappointing, but it is just a tournament, and it was good to be able to play a lot of games.

After a LATE night of some girls staying up until 3:45 AM (ahem, MICHELLE AND HEIDI!!) they were all awake when we played at 8:00 the next morning...We won another Mt. Crest JV team, then headed back to the motel to check out. While we thought our next game was going to start at 11, it didn't start until 12:30, so we were there for a long time. We played Grace, and JV did really well. Grace's varsity team is little, but really scrappy. They went after EVERYTHING and, in the words of referee Mark Taylor (I think that's his name, right?), reminded him of a "Cokeville team." (He also first called me the Cokeville snob, and after that called me the Cokeville Queen...the big jerk! :) haha...jk). But they totally were scrappy, and it was fun to play them. Varsity ended up losing. Then we had to WAIT for a varsity game to go (They told us we were playing back to back). And when we they called for captains after the next game, and AFTER we had already called heads for the serve, they said we were going to have to WAIT another game....ooooh, I was so mad. We had already been pushed back a lot already, and after only about 4.5 hours of sleep, I was so ready to just play the last game. This is embarrassing, but I kinda started crying. lol, I was SO FRUSTRATED having been waiting all day to play our "back-to-back games that were starting at 11" and I know the girls were dead and wanting to just play as well... Well, our head coach talked to them, and they were nice enough to let us just play...lol, good thing I can cry on demand, huh? :) Lol, oh well, we played Star Valley for the last game, and JV played so well. We totally won. WOO HOO!!! That's the first time in a while that I had ever beaten SV. Ha...Varsity also won, so it was a good day. It was a really good tournament, and I was so proud of the girls. I love these girls to death, and despite all the drama and headaches (haha...) It's been so fun coaching them..

Here are a few pics of the weekend...

Michelle & Heidi...lol...these are the ones that stayed up FOREVER..oh, and on the way to SV after leaving at 6:00 a.m....these two talked the ENTIRE WAY, and I couldn't sleep...grrr...but I still love them to death! :)

Dylan, Tess, Whitney and Sarah

Whitney...she's such a cute girl

Lauren, Krista, and Mariah...more fun girls!

I stayed in SV with Greg who had driven up for the weekend, so I was able to spend a LITTLE time with family. It's always good to see them. I also got my hair done....it's short, probably between the shortest and the medium length. I really like it. I also dyed it. It's kind of a subtle change, but I like it. Maybe I'll have my mom take some pics of me this weekend so you can see it..

OHHH......Just FYI, those announcements in my last post are WAY cute, but I can't take ANY credit for them...the first one comes from www.inababycarriage.com and the second one comes from www.pixelpatchwork.blogspot.com. Still super cute though...


. more random babblings .

So, I've been thinking about this a lot lately, especially since I want to be designing more and making new templates and that type of stuff. I just have a concern, mainly because it happened to me, and it bugged me, then I realized I've done it to others.

When I start designing, i sometimes have designers block..you know, where you can't seem to get anything going. Well, I spend a LOT of time looking at other photography and design sites to get ideas....so my question..is it illegal to copy a layout? Like "two pictures go here" the words go here, etc. etc. Does that make sense? And maybe not necessarily COPY, but change it up a little. I feel bad when I find a layout that I want to try, because I don't want to do anything illegal and steal their ideas. But, at the same time, if you think about it, people had to get their ideas somewhere. How do we know that they didn't borrow an idea..(not that that makes it right, if it is illegal...) lol, but does that make any sense? I'm really having a hard time with this, because the other day I looked at a site and thought, oh my heck...they STOLE MY DESIGN! but then I realized, I got that idea from someone else, so it's not really mine, but it still really bothered me, but I have found so many cute designs and want to "copy" in a way. I try to change them up, but they just don't look as good, ya know? So...those are my thoughts...let me know your opinion. Be brutally honest, because I need to know. I'm really bothered by it...lol...so yeah...

Some examples:

As opposed to the same exact layout, just maybe different colors, pictures, and words? Does that make more sense? So say, they just took the layout from the first picture, and just changed the wording a little bit, the colors, and the background, but left everything else the same?

Alright...have a great day...


. random babblings .

So, I am thinking about cutting my hair...I've been wanting to for some time, but I'm kinda nervous to. I haven't REALLY cut it in over 4 years, so I'm not sure what to do. I am posting 3 pictures of previous hair cuts. #1 is super short, and I really like it, however, I think I just like the way it's done. It wasn't usually that cute. #2 is medium length, and I actually really don't like it. HA..and #3 is super long, which I LOVED, and I've had my hair that length again, but it's a lot thicker now. I used to be able to just let it air dry and it would dry straght. Now I have to blow dry it..UGH!

So I thought I would get YOUR opinion. I will probably do whatever i want anyway...(always did when it came to my hair. I'll also post a pic of it when it was red sometime..) as long as my hubby likes it...but i'm just curious what you think. Keep in mind, I'm not as skinny as I used to be, so some styles may not work the same...Alright..let me know!

Oh, and OBVIOUSLY these are from HS...lol, but I haven't had any way cute styles since them...
I think I'm gonna do it shorter than #2, but not as short as #1? Maybe? anyone know of any cute hairstyles? let me know! okay...goodnight


fun stuff

So, Sunday night Greg and I went out to take some pictures. We drove around looking for places to take pictures and some good areas to catch some sunsets. We ended up on campus, and no Michelle, we aren't "true Aggies" nor to we claim to be associated with the Aggies. But it is a really nice campus, and we had fun walking around. Here are a few random pics we got...

It's too bad we don't live in a real city. We were messing around with the shutter speed. This one was pretty cool, I though...Totally shaky, but that's what makes it cool. FYI, that was a cop...
This one was the car next to us turning. I love how you can see it the whole way...
I did take a pic of old main. It's a cool building, but like I said, we do not associate ourselves with the Aggies!
So, this one is totally creepy. We were doing more slow shutter pics, and when I downloaded this to my computer...this is what came out..Kinda totally creepy. Isn't there some myth about ghosts and pictures? hmmm...what do YOU think?
Lol, on a side note. Anyone watch the Cowboys vs. Eagles tonight? Super good game. Can I just say how much I love Tony Romo. Not only is he totally cute, but he's so good. And so humble. He's had a rough few years in the play-offs (try a fumbled hold on a game-winning field goal, and I think an interception at the end of their game last year?) anywho. He's totally cool with it all. Tonight he started out a little rough, throwing an interception and fumbling in the endzone to give the Eagles a TD. After the game, when asked about it, he simply said, "I sucked." Then goes on to say that you can't sit and dwell on your mistakes, etc. etc....or something to that affect. Totally awesome. Seriously, what pro athlete would ever say that about themselves? He's definitely an all-star to look up to...even if he is dating Jessica Simpson..UGH! Anyway..just thought I would share....


. and more .

Alright, here ya go. I know I post a LOT of pictures of my shoots, but there two good reasons. 1) I don't have many shoots right now, so I get bored.. (AGAIN. IF INTERESTED GIVE ME A CALL. SPECIAL OFFER FOR CACHE VALLEY!) and 2) I FREAKIN' LOVE PICTURES!! I have a problem where I can't throw any away...and I love editing them...Anyway, so I added a few more to the post below this one, and there are different ones on my photog blog <--CLICK THERE...So check out both and leave COMMENTS! I love comments... Alright...ENJOY

***PS...FYI for STAR VALLEY AREA...I will be in Star Valley the 19 & 20, so if you are interested in booking a shoot for then, the travel fee will be waved, and I MAY just give you a SWEET deal...***

A little texture...(yeah, I NEED A NEW TEXTURE...but I love it!)

Some vintage...Isn't this just so precious?!

This one is WAY CUTE in color too...

I don't know why, but I really love this one. I think it's adorable!

A little something different with the color...

This is the same as in the other post, but in color. I like it colored too...


(*edited*) More "B" and "K" Fun

Alright, so I thought I would post some of the "fun" we had while doing this shoot. I know I'm posting a lot of pictures...and there will be another post...but let's be honest..I need more shoots! So, if you're in the area, and want to help me with my boredom..GIVE ME A CALL!!! Anywho. I just laughed at some of these pictures. How can you not?!? "B" has such an attitude, and "K" is such a good big sister. These are just some of the funny ones...

This one is way cute. I love "B"s cheeser!

I'm sure many moms will get this, but "B" would sit there and say "CHEEEEESE!!" and not even smile or look at the camera. So funny!

She really wasn't having fun...so she started dancing...

I love this pic of "B". Lol, she is so funny.

lol...sorry, couldn't resist. it's too cute!

Love the ones of them walking away holding hands! This one is just cute! :)

Coming Soon....

A new line of HOLIDAY CARDS as well as a line of TWIN BOY & GIRL BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS (but mostly BOY because I have had many (ONE) complaints saying I have no boy announcements...) Stay tuned....(don't worry, I'll blog more later! It's too late for me now!! Just wanted to share!)


Miss "B" and Miss "K"

So believe it or not, I spend a LOT of time with these two. Well, not a lot, but about 2 hours a day about 3-5 days a week. (They're Lacey's kids! :) (Oh, Lacey is the head volleyball coach, and she's pretty awesome..) Anywho...We spent about an hour at this sweet little park in Smithfield, and got some really cute shots. "B" wasn't too thrilled about the whole picture taking business (she's the younger one) but "K" was all for it. I hadn't realized how hard it is to shoot kids! Seriously. Lol, it was a fun adventure, and I can't wait to do their family pics!! Hold tight. I will probably be posting more later!

**Edited to add: I tried a new focusing technique called back button focus. I was really nervous to try it, but I think I totally love it! Ya know how when you push the button to take the picture and the camera automatically focuses it? Well, with back button focus (I think that's what it's called anyway...lol) you have to focus pushing a different button. so you push the picture taking button (can't think of what it's called :) and a different button to focus.


Do I Blog Too Much?

So, I have this feeling that some people (AHEM my sister!) think that I blog too much, and have too much time on my hands, so I am able to post 2-3 comments on different peoples' blogs. Well I have this to say...I LIKE BLOGGING!! Okay? But I think you should all vote on my poll to the right! (Haha...I am a Blog-aholic...isn't that the word you used Lauren?!) Anywho. I know I blog a lot, and some of you haven't had time to fully take in my other posts, so be sure to scroll down and take it all in, leave a few comments, and check out all my blogs!

Onto the post...Tonight we had mutual. It was my very first activity to plan. Emily (my advisor) and I did a "Back to School" night. I was actually really worried about it because I thought the girls would get totally bored. What we did was Emily talked a little about organization and study skills, then we had a snack and took a 5 minute break from our "studying" and played spandex. (For those of you who don't know what it is, it's this HUGE Spandex band. You put four people in, and two people run and switch places, and they fling the other two people across and it just goes back and forth. The girls LOVE it.)

After the break I talked to them about eating healthy (yeah, laugh it up...) and self-esteem. The girls totally got into it. I was so surprised. I thought they would think it was totally boring, but they all had comments and were seriously into it. It made me so happy to see that side of them. So I did my talking, then I made them write 10 things they like about themselves. After that we did a relay. We started on one end of the room, and two girls ran down and had to find 4 of their books to put in their backpack, then they ran back to the other end where two other girls folded blankets, then they ran down to the other end where two girls had to eat cereal (with no milk..lol), then they ran back and the last 2 had to make a PB & J sandwich. Kinda like their morning routine type thing. Anyway. they had a lot of fun. What a great group of girls we have. We ended the night with brownies and a "Back to School Survival Kit." Where there was a bunch of random things in the bag, ie tape-to remind them to "stick" to their standards. The idea for it can be found at sugardoodle.net, which is a totally awesome site for ideas. It was a lot of fun. I took a few pics, so enjoy!

**Warning...these pictures may not be the best. I put it on auto because it was happening fast, and I didn't want to mess with my manual settings...***

. here's Maria and Justeena eating the cereal .
. Amber and Kara, our cheerleaders .
. Poor Justeena, she is truly a trooper . 
. Melanie the YW President making her PB & J sandwich . 
. All the girls there to cheer them on .
. haha...does this really need an explanation? .


WARNING: Long post ahead!

Alright, so this could be a long post. First of all, my cousin Lauren had the most brilliant idea ever! She found this idea where you post one picture a day that you have taken for a WHOLE YEAR! Doesn't that sound exciting. It's just pretty much supposed to be a document of your life. How cool is that. I spent all yesterday on that blog, and the links the 3 of us who are doing it is off to the right. Be sure to check them out and leave us lots of comments! I also challenge any of you out there who want to take this challenge to do it! Let us know so we can link to you.

Second thing...I found this awesome blog website eblogtemplates.com where I found both my blog templates for my new photog site, and my new year of photos site, then I totally customized them to how I wanted, and I had SO MUCH FUN doing it! (call me a computer nerd, I don't care!) but I customized EVERYTHING on it, from headers, to backgrounds, etc. etc. So, if anyone out there is need of or wanting a new blog template, let me know. Pick out your template from that site, and let me know how you want it..(I'm being serious!) I get so bored. I changed my photog blog about 50 times I had so much fun...lol...anyway, just thought I'd throw that out there.

Third...Here are some more pics from my Sunday adventures. If you haven't yet, scroll down to the next post and see the rest of that adventure, and try and guess what game my hubby is playing. 100$ for whoever can guess...okay, not really, but if someone actually does guess, maybe I'll give  them something cool...like a free shoot or something...(ha) ...but yeah..ENJOY!

. I love how dark it was. The clouds were so cool. They were moving and swirling so fast. It's a good thing they aren't able to get low enough to make a tornado, cuz that's what it was looking like .
. The wind was blowing so hard, and there was dust going everywhere. It was so cool .


. More dark clouds .
. There was a little blue in the sky, despite the DARK clouds! .
. Umm some green bushes? .
. This little guy I found in our bushes one day when I was mowing the lawn. It's our little Pixie friend...We now get three wishes .
. Alright, so in my last post I mentioned that Greg "kicked" me out of the house. Well, he told me to go outside and take pictures of the street lights. Here's what I got. I thought it was pretty cool actually .
. Here is a sharper version...Does it look like the moon? . 
. And here are our flowers. I thought this turned out surprisingly well considering it was like 12 or 1 in the morning. NO LIGHT except a little bit from the lamp post. I was impressed it turned out so good. Not way light, but you can see what it is. (okay, so I'm weird...I know! :) .
Last thing. Any doctors out there? I have always had problems with my wrist, and the doctor I went to xrayed it and said nothing was wrong. Well, it comes and goes all the time. I don't know what it is. I can't put much pressure on it without it killing! I HATE IT! It's feeling a little better now, but I hate it. Another thing with it...Right now it really aches. Like it hurts when it just sits there, and when I touch  my hand it's like really sore to the touch. (You know how u get when you get the flu?) Does that make sense? Anyway. I think it has something to do with the cold, cuz my leg used to do it all the time last year when i worked early mornings and it was FREEZING! Is that a possibility or am I just crazy? Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts...ENJOY and dont' forget to check out our other blogs!!
Maira Gall