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30 Days of Gratitude

We’ve all seen posts from friends regarding being thankful, or showing gratitude. I’ve decided to try this as I was challenged by my talented friend, Dawn of Dawn Nash Photography, to do a 30 day challenge, along with a day 15 deadline for a vision board, and day 30 deadline for a list of goals. I figured the best way to do this was to keep everything together in one lengthy blog post.

Regardless of what day you come in on, I hope you at least return after day 30 to 1) see if I made it to the end, and 2) see what I’m grateful for, or at least what I decide my goals will be at the end of this challenge.

So, here we go:

Day 1
Today I am thankful that we live so close to a gym, and that my friend Stephanie B. shared with me last night that she was going, which pushed me to go (she didn’t have to twist my arm…just gave me a slight guilt trip…LOL!).
I’m also thankful for Costco where I was lucky enough to score a snowboard WITH bindings for a really great price. They only had 2 sizes, and fortunately one was exactly mine, AND it was 10,000 yen (just over $80 USD) off! AND it’s kind of pretty. Happy early birthday to me!
Of course I’m thankful for a million and one other things, but I’ll keep this to a minimum so you won’t get too bored.

New Snowboard...a steal at Costco at just under $140 with discount!)

New Snowboard…a steal at Costco at just under $140 with discount!)

Day 2:

I’m grateful for Yoga. We have a class offered once a week near home, and right now it’s absolutely free. The instructor is amazing, energetic, and knowledgeable. I look forward to going every week, even if some weeks I’m a little less flexible than usual.

Day 3:

I’m thankful that my kids are somewhat self-sufficient. K was able to walk herself to school, and to and from ballet today. She’s growing so fast, and is such a beautiful girl…inside and out. Super caring and empathetic. She has a great heart. <3

I’m also thankful for some clarity…not just with photography (although I’m not all the way there), but with life in general. I’ve been reading The Complete Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. I have a long way to go, but I feel like I’m gaining so much.

Day 4:

So thankful for new opportunities and experiences. Today I was able to experience Reiki, and I’m fortunate enough to have it performed by an amazing lady who doesn’t live too far from me. I learned so much today, and feel like I’ve made a huge leap forward in the right direction because of it.

I’m also extremely thankful for my friends Diana and Yumiko. I had a great dinner with them, and love their company!

Also thankful for my friend Stephanie who watched K so I could get a much needed night out.

Day 5:
I’m thankful for great ramen, and great friends. The best ramen that I’ve ever had is less than 10 minutes from my house. Lots of garlic, and lots of flavor. And I was fortunate enough to have it with some of the best company.

Day 6:
Years and years ago…probably close to 10…I went on a drive with my husband around the Miura peninsula…just getting lost. On that drive, I notice a beauty statue up in the hills with spikes coming out from her head. Ever since then, I’ve been calling her “my girl” and have wanted to find her, but could never figure out where she was. 1-2 weeks ago I took some friends to a beach to go seaglass hunting, and on the way home, asked them to help me look for her since it’s difficult to look while you’re driving. Minutes later, I found her. And not only did I find her, I found the road that lead up to her AND a beautiful pagoda.
Today, I was able to finally make the trip just to see my girl, and I was very, very thankful to 1) have the opportunity to find her, and 2) that it was so easy this time around!
**update** found that the location is kurihama-reien, and “my girl” is better known as Amitabha, and is actually a boy. Oops.

Day 7:
Although the day didn’t start as planned, it turned around, and I got a lot done. I am thankful to be given the opportunity to feel accomplished. It’s not a feel that everyone gets to feel.
I’m also grateful for email. I remember years ago when we weren’t able to communicate at this speed – especially with loved ones that are out on a boat out who knows where doing who knows what. I was able to send photos of our daughter and discuss what happened during the day. It hasn’t always been this easy.

Day 8:
I’m very grateful for my friend Tonya. She started an amazing group called Let’s Explore Japan, and because of that, so many people get to explore new places and make new friends. She has also pushed me (unknowingly…LOL!) to explore teaching English, which I’ve always been curious about but never took the steps to do. I love the conversations, the learning, and most of all meeting new people!

Day 9:
I’m thankful for chocolate. Yes, chocolate. Especially the really good stuff. I went to Kamakura today to pick up something I needed to get and found that the chocolatier that I used to love the last time we were here was still there, and they still sold my favorite pistachio truffles. It’s probably the only white truffle that I like. Also, I’m thankful that I didn’t have the right change for the parking machine, which forced me to search for change, and the first place I came across was a flower store, and I now have a beautiful small bouquet that will make me happy for the next few days or weeks!

Day 10:
I get a lot of happiness just thinking about teaching. Sat in on a lesson with a future student, and I was really happy, even though I wasn’t the one teaching.
I’m also thankful to be part of such an energetic group of people who help others (American Red Cross). I had just a little too much fun brainstorming ideas for an upcoming event.

Day 11:
Grateful for the opportunity to try new restaurants and see beautiful new sites. Also for awesome friends (Gretchen) to share it with. AND to know enough about cameras to help others learn how to use theirs…even if it IS a Nikon. 😉

Day 12:
Thankful to have the day to spend with my son. He got an extra day off work. He even made me a cheese bagel and egg sandwich!

Day 13:
I am very thankful for the wonderful friends that I have. How thoughtful and kindhearted they are….I am really, really lucky.
Also thankful that my husband was home today, as well as my son, and we were able to experience Ginza together.

Day 14:
Thankful for my kids who get along so well, and how thoughtful my son is. Also that today didn’t turn out to be the rainy day it was supposed to be, and we were able to walk a little bit outside…without jackets even!

Day 15:
Thankful to spend the day with my kids, and Will was even able to come home at night. Also for new experiences such as visiting the owl forest where you can pet owls!

Day 16:
So thankful for Yoga, which keeps me grounded and helps me to feel accomplished. Also for the gym and my gym buddy.
Also thankful for great friends and the ability to catch up with them. =)

Day 17:
Thankful for a job that’s flexible enough to allow me to go to the gym in the morning while the youngest is in school, and having the drive to go by myself this morning instead of copping out, which would have been super easy. LOL!

Day 18:
Thankful for a “free” day. K’s medical appointment rescheduled and a full afternoon having fun!

Day 19:
Thankful for great neighbor friends, a sunny day, relaxing at the beach (and plentiful sea glass!), and that Denny’s in Japan is a million times better that Denny’s in the states.

Day 20:
Thankful that my husband came home unexpectedly and is cooking dinner. HAHA!

Day 21:
Thankful for the ability to get out and get in a better mood, even though things didn’t go as planned. And 100 yen sushi. That stuff is awesome.

Day 22:
I’m thankful for my bed and the ability to just have a day where I can take a break.

Day 23:
Grateful that Will is home.

Day 24:
Thankful for short days at school, and the opportunity for K to learn ballet and music.

Day 25:
Thankful for a job where I can work from home and for the most part pick my own hours. I also am thankful when I have a course to work on and feel accomplished when it’s complete.

Day 26:
Thankful for my son living so close that he can come home on weekends.

Day 27:
Thankful to have a day where we could all go snowboarding….or at least attempt it.

Day 28:
Thankful for new experiences and the opportunity to interact with animals. =)

Day 29:
Thankful for being able to travel and meet new friends, and to be able to keep in touch with them. Also for Leap Year. Once every 4 years….how special is that?

Day 30:
Thankful for my health. Even if I’m not exactly where I want to be, I am definitely thankful for what I have.

And that’s it. 30 days complete.

Vision board was done in time on the 15th, however I am still working on my professional one.

Goals? Honestly, I’m still figuring these out. For now, it’s to follow through with a collaboration that my good friend Michel proposed. More on that to come…
But to also meditate at least 5 minutes a day.
Drink at least 36 oz of water a day (I know this isn’t enough, but I need to start somewhere).
Shoot for ME and stop worrying about everything else.
Find something new at least once a month to improve on photography-wise.
Print a 30×40 image to hang on my wall by May 1st (this is difficult for me).
Read at least 10 minutes a day.
Practice deep breathing at least once a day (this goes with meditation).

A Beauty Portrait Session | San Diego Portraits | KRUSH Photography

There’s just something about working one-on-one with a client. This is why I enjoy shooting senior sessions, modeling and acting portfolio building sessions, and boudoir. You get to really know your client…their likes, their laugh, and how they like to have fun.

Meet Lauren. She’s a Freshman in College. Fun, sweet, intelligent, and as you can see, beautiful.

Here are just a few shots from a recent photography session we did.

A huge thank you to Brittney Ciampoli who did an amazing job on her make up. Absolutely flawless, yet natural.

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Cellar 3 | San Diego Craft Beer Scene | KRUSH Photography

Cellar 3 Green Flash

Now that I’m back to blogging, it’s time to get some of these brewery images out there.

For those who don’t know me, I have many loves. My family, traveling, photography, good food, animals, art, wine, and beer. Well, really beer is more my husband’s love, but I love to try new things, and I DO love stouts, so I tag along. Plus it gives me an opportunity to meet new people and photograph something different. Plus, there’s just something about a brewery that’s laid back and relaxing.

For those of you who are familiar with the local San Diego craft brew scene, I’m sure you’ve gone out there and checked out some of the popular names, Better yet, you’ve taken advantage of some of the tours.

Yesterday we were fortunate enough to tour Cellar 3, better known as a Green Flash, but their newest location in Poway (they opened just 2 weekends ago), just outside of San Diego.

The tour was just $5 and included 3 tasters, normally $1.25 for Green Flash brews and $2.25 Cellar 3, so you do the math.

So if you like beer, definitely check them out. Well worth it.

Oh, and they have a food truck, which is bonus, and really awesome as well with a great selection.

San Diego Craft Beer Menu

San Diego Craft Beer Menu

Tasters

Tasters

Wall Art

Wall Art

Bar

Bar

Tasting Room (indoors)

Tasting Room (indoors)

Bar Display - fisheye view

Bar Display – fisheye view

Cellar 3 Green Flash

Cellar 3 Green Flash

Entrance Room

Entrance Room

Tasters - Fisheye view

Tasters – Fisheye view

Tasters

Tasters

Wall art

Wall art

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

Rollers

Rollers

Rollers

Rollers

Beach House Ale Taster 1

Beach House Ale Taster 1

Wine and Whiskey Barrels

Wine and Whiskey Barrels

Tour Guide

Tour Guide

Racks. Don't pull the nails...

Racks. Don’t pull the nails…

Bottling Station

Bottling Station

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

Tanks

Tanks

Tour

Tour

More tasters

More tasters

Natura Morta with cranberry

Natura Morta with cranberry

A little lesson

A little lesson

Can't wait for the plum!!!

Can’t wait for the plum!!!

And more tasters

And more tasters

Silva Stout - my fave

Silva Stout – my fave

End of the tour

End of the tour

 

A Dance Session | San Diego Photographer | KRUSH Photography

Dance.

Poised. Precise. Elegant.

It’s what I’ve grown up loving.

I was never lucky enough to be able to take ballet lessons, and so now I live vicariously through my clients by getting to photograph it.

Please take a moment to enjoy and appreciate this very talented dancer and what we were able to capture for her, here in San Diego.

And with the “May Grey” and “June Gloom” season upon us, the clouds were especially good to us for her session. Most people love sunny weather, and we do too, but there’s just something about a cloudy day that makes for perfect lighting and closer to dusk, a lot of moodiness that we here at KRUSH Photography thrive on. It was a win-win for us on this particular evening! Things couldn’t have been better…gorgeous client, amazing theme, and perfect weather.

We love what we do!

Dance/Ballet

Dance/Ballet

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Headshot Event

We had some wonderful clients attend our headshot event this past Sunday! What exactly was our headshot event? Well, it was a chance for our clients to update their headshot images for their #linkedin, #facebook, and other social media sites, as well as their business cards for an insanely discounted price. Not only that, but we offered makeup services by the very talented Margaret with #Ioderme. Why are updated headshot important? Because your image is a direct reflection of you…of course! People like to have a connection with the people we talk to. And we’re very visual beings. So think of it this way… If you’re a business owner, and your profile image has nothing to do with you, or maybe doesn’t reflect your personality, you’re likely to make a bad impression, or even no impression at all. And as an individual, if you were to apply for a job, or talk to another individual that you’ve never met, and your image is of a llama or a selfie you took in your bathroom, what do you think that’s going to say about you? We rely heavily on first impressions, so it’s important for yours to reflect you at your best, no? What does your profile picture or business card say about you?

 

KRUSH Photography Headshot San Diego

KRUSH Photography Headshot San Diego

KRUSH Photography Headshot San Diego

KRUSH Photography Headshot San Diego

KRUSH Photography Headshot San Diego

KRUSH Photography Headshot San Diego

San Diego Photographer | Glamour Session – Angie

You’ll notice over the next few weeks I will be working on getting the blog updated. Lot of stories and images to share – both business and personal, but I have been a little swamped.

So I want to start with sharing a few images from our session with the gorgeous Angie. I sometimes get clients that remind me of someone, and most of the time I can’t quite place who it is. For Angie, I feel like she looks a lot like Jennifer Garner. What do you think?

Angie is an amazing lady…both inside and out. She serves are military, is a mom, and just an overall sweet woman. And she is absolutely amazing in front of the camera. I get all sorts of clients – some are comfortable and need very little direction, some need some direction, and some need lots. And I can’t really say that I prefer one type over the other, to be honest. I think I just love my job too much. =) Anyway, Angie was a natural. I look forward to working with her again in the future!

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As time flies…

When was the last time you had your photos taken? No. Not “you” as in you took little Tommy, or Suzie, or Joey to get those adorable holiday/birthday/soccer/cheerleading photos taken…YOU. As in, look in the mirror. THAT person.

You would be surprised as to the number of people I’ve asked that responded with: “Oh, um…I THINK right after when Suzie was born,” (Suzie being the first kid of 3, I might add). Even worse: “Umm…my wedding day?”

We all know that time passes. And it passes fast. There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to get everything done I HAVE to do, let alone the things I WANT to do. If this doesn’t sound like you, you are definitely a superhero in my eyes.

I remember my son being born in the hospital, just like it was yesterday. I had toxemia, the nurse told me I was going to die (yeah, that’s a fun story for another day). After the doctor calmed me down and clarified things, I was worried about the poor puppy we had just bought being lonely. And I cried. A lot. About the puppy. And after my son was born, I looked at my then husband and said “I could do this again!” (yes, I was on meds). Yep! Just like it was yesterday.

 

My son is now SEVENTEEN. How many photos have I had taken between now and then? Probably not enough. Too many times I made excuses that I didn’t look the way I wanted. Too fat. Not enough sleep. My hair’s a mess. I’ve used more than my fair share of excuses.

But you know what? My kids don’t care. My daughter tells me at least once every couple of days that I’m beautiful. My husband too. Do I feel like a beauty queen? HELL NO. But this is how she sees me….and how she will want to remember me years down the road.

Memories are grand and all, but sometimes (especially as I’m getting upward in age) needs a little push.

So my point is, don’t keep putting off getting in those photos. You ARE beautiful to the people who love you, no matter how you feel about yourself. It doesn’t matter if those photos are professional or not. Although if you want to look extra good, I suggest hiring that professional. They know the secrets. Plus booking an appointment kind of forces you to wear matching clothes and take your hair out of that ponytail you always wear. 😉

Riding Lessons

So this is more of a personal blog. I realize I’m VERY behind on those that are more business based, but I my brain is going 50 million different directions and I write and re-write them, and they just never seem to be a true rendition of what I’m trying to say.

So I’m hoping that this, being light and airy with some photos to share will be easier to get out there, so I’m at least posting SOMEthing….

So recently (okay….really not so recently, but last May), I bought a Living Social Deal for my daughter to take some riding lessons at what I thought was a nearby stable. This actually ended up being 30-40 minutes from my house, but I REALLY think is well worth the drive. Anyway, day 1, she fell in love, as I had hoped she would. I grew up with horses in and out of my life during the course of my childhood, and they have always been my favorite animal, especially if you include unicorns in the same grouping.

So, if you’re in the San Diego area, I highly recommend Rancho Del Mar which is located at Deer Springs Equestrian. They give lessons for kids as young as 4, and even to adults.

Day 1 was basics, as I expected and I was pretty impressed both with they way the instructor taught, and with the fact that my daughter wasn’t kicking and screaming or hanging on for dear life. Day 2 was great also, and she was finally able to ride without being lead for a little bit. She had a little bit of difficulty with posting during the trotting portion, and I overheard her telling the instructor that she had fallen off before (which she hadn’t), and she was a little scared. So the instructor did a little game of “Around the World” which got her a little more comfortable in the saddle, and eventually lead to her riding a little bit backwards. I was pretty impressed with that as well.

Anyway, HIGHLY recommend at least trying this. Every child I’ve known to be involved with horses have been very courteous and responsible. I’m hoping this sticks with my sassy little six year old….

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Surf Shoot

As you can see, I am VERY behind in my blogging. I will do my best to get better!

So, a little while ago, I had put together a shoot that I really wanted to do. If you follow me on Facebook, this is the blog I promised to write that was a little on the strange side…

I was able to find a beautiful model, already had the perfect location, and a very good friend of mine, Jessica, offered to help me as well.

When we arrived at our location, I was a little sad because the waves weren’t as I wanted them to be. The plan was to get some surfing shots to start, and then move on to posed shots on the beach when the sun went down. It was a cloudy day, which is a little unusual for San Diego for this time of year, it was a little chilly, and very little surf. I decided right away I wouldn’t have the model suffer in the cold even though I already had one of my backup cameras set to go in the waterproof shooting bag.

We met up with Heather, who is a college student, and your typical surfer girl. She’s also a fill in dance instructor. BONUS! Hopefully we’ll get some shots pertaining to dance in the future… ANYWAY, with board and camera equipment in hand, we worked our way down the the surf, put our stuff down and proceeded to get started. And that’s when SHE walked up. 1 liter OJ in hand (which probably had a little something extra in it), she announced we were doing it all wrong, and that she KNOWS photography. I was amused and wanted to hear what she had to say. BIG mistake. She walked up to our model and proceeded to tell her how she should stand, and then we had our own personal stylist. She tousled her hair, adjusted her upper bathing suit for what seemed like 10 minutes, and told her how to stand. Then she adjusted her bathing suit…AGAIN. Then, and only then, did she announce that she wasn’t trying to molest her or anything. Definitely amusing, and our model was a good sport and appeased our new friend until she was off again to play in the surf.

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So our shoot continued, and we moved down to the other end of the beach to get some of the amazing gray skies and rock scenes you’ll see below. We were only interrupted a few seconds when our new friend tromped through a bit upset, saying “I’m not drunk! I’m emotional!” but then she was good. Overall, probably the most “what the heck” shoot I’ve had in a very long time…

Enjoy the shots!

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What Should I Pay for Professional Photos?

Earlier someone posted in a group asking other moms what they normally pay for professional photos, and what it includes. After responding, I figured this would make a good blog topic.

Pricing usually depends on the skill and costs of the photographer. I’ve seen some giving EVERYTHING for as little as $35 all the way to a couple thousand and give no digital images. And although the saying usually goes that you get what you pay for, there are of course, always exceptions to the rule. You never know what skill level someone’s at, what their business knowledge is, or where they feel their self worth is at.

It also depends if the photographer is spending a lot of time perfecting your images post process or not. A 1 hour shoot can end up being another 1 hour of transportation and maybe 6-7 hours of editing. Others do no editing, or will do batch editing which means they don’t spend as much time perfecting your images. Or maybe they are just that good at getting things right in camera that they don’t have a need to (in which case you will probably still be paying a bit more for their experience). This is fine for some, while others want a higher quality, or something more custom.

I always suggest finding a photographer whose work you are absolutely IN LOVE with. Don’t settle. These are memories you are going to look back on 10, 20, 30, and even 50 years down the road, if not more. And then your kids and grand kids will be looking at these as well. I’ve always loved looking at photos of my grandparents when they were younger, and these days more so the ones of my parents as they are getting older – not to mention my kids (now 17 and almost 6).  A $500 session works out to under $1.37 a day for a year. That’s a cheap price to pay for a good quality image that will last a lifetime – or two – or even more.  If you are one of the few lucky ones to find everything you need in a photographer and it just so happens that they only charge $100, then I say you’re pretty darn lucky. Snatch them up before they figure out what they’re worth (and send me their info if they’re local!).

I know a lot of people who will pay a pretty good chunk of change once a year, or once every couple of years and then use someone less expensive to capture those times between. There’s nothing wrong with that. We all have our priorities on what we are willing to pay for. Some of us ladies have purses that are several hundred dollars, or even over a thousand, while others won’t spend more than $30. My husband will drop $200 on dinner and drinks without a blink but freak out if I pay $40 for a shirt. Priorities.

I can’t afford to pay one of my favorite photographers for a session twice a year, and maybe not even once a year, but I will try at least once every 2 years  – because that’s what is important to me. Good quality photos. Not the make-shift portrait studios you find in a mall (oh how I laugh at the photos I have of us as kids from those days), but one that has taken the time to learn the craft for at least several years, knows the ins and outs of their camera, and how lighting, depth of field (what makes the image blurry in the back), and composition can affect the feel of an image. One that has an artistic eye.

Of course, as a photographer there are ways for me to take my own photos, but it’s just not the same. Plus I love the work of other photographers as well. Even professional hire professionals. So I can at least be my “cheap” alternative for the in between times. =)

So every photographer is different. You can expect to pay less for someone who doesn’t have as much invested, who maybe needs to update their portfolio due to a change in their business, who is just starting out, who doesn’t put as much time into the marketing and post processing, or doesn’t pay required licenses and all the other fees that come with having a small business, or doesn’t need to hire a CPA. Also, if someone is shooting just for a few extra bucks and isn’t trying to make a living or subsidize their family income, you can probably get a pretty good deal too. But most seasoned photographers will be charging several hundreds of dollars, and even up to the thousands for a session.

 

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