Monday, March 30, 2009

Hugs from Home - Free Sessions for families of deployed soldiers!

Operation: Love Reunited is coming to Fort Irwin!
Ya gotta check this out if you haven't heard of it before...
I've been on the receiving end of this,and trust me-it rocks!
Now that I've got my own business established,
I'm beyond pumped to be joining the OpLove team.
It's amazing, and I know you'll love it. Spread the word!
It takes a few months for all the paperwork to be done and official...and I don't want to wait that long to get started! I've "been there, done that" with deployments, and I know how hard they are. We have many families here at Irwin already dealing with one and many more getting ready. So while the paperwork is doing its thing, I'm gonna start doing mine...but I'll just call it "Hugs from Home" until it's all official :-) Here's the deal....
  • FREE! Yes, FREE! Patriot Photo Session for families of deployed soldiers! It'll cost you zip, zero, zilch, nada, nothing! We can do a studio or outdoor/natural light shoot.
  • Your FREE session includes everything my regular sessions do....relaxed, no-rush atmosphere; bring several changes of clothes (remember...patriotic! we'll talk when you call to book!); proofing of prints; online gallery (password protected) to view & share with family & friends for two weeks.
  • You will select 10 FREE images from your session. I will print them as 4x6s & mail them directly to your soldier as a surprise "Hug from Home" and thank-you for their service- at NO COST to you. Your images will be printed using the same awesome professional printing service I use for all my regular sessions.
  • In addition, you get to select 1 FREE image to receive as a digital negative to use on your Facebook/Myspace page.
  • receive a 20% discount off any additional images from your session that you'd like to order! You can have these for yourself, or have these sent to your soldier as well.

So, who's eligible?

  • You must be an immediate family member of a deployed Ft Irwin soldier. (spouse/children)

How do you book your session?

  • Call me! E-mail me! I will be offering ONE FREE SESSION per month for right now...first come, first serve, so don't delay!
  • I'm so excited to do this, and as I said before I've been on the receiving end of this organization...I'd love to be able to offer more sessions per month, but with all we have going on right now I just can't. In a few months I hope to be able to increase the amount of sessions per month I'm able to offer. I will create a waiting-list and will keep everyone posted.
  • Once you have booked your session, PLEASE be considerate! If you are unable to make your appointment please, please,please let me know atleast 48 hours in advance so that another family can take advantage of this offer!! If you cancel I will do my best to get you rescheduled; if you fail to cancel and just do not show then I will not reschedule you out of fairness to other families who would like to take advantage of this offer.
  • Each family is eligible for one free session per year.
I can't wait to get started! Ali Mocabee ( did my pics when we were at Riley. (I'm still on her cool!) It was so fun, and my hubby was THRILLED to get the pics in the mail...he still has them, and still talks about them. I can't wait to be able to give back to other families the way Ali & OpLove gave to Mike and I!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Super Sweet

Lollipops, Ice Cream, and playing dress-up....can there be a better morning than this?!

Talk about the ultimate princess dresses! Handmade with love by their Mom...

of course I had to place an order so I'd have one for the studio ;-)

Aren't these sisters just gorgeous? And they're so sweet and fun, too...

SO many cute pics of them dancing together in their tutus, too...

...and of course some silly faces!

And now that it's officially spring.....time for Ice Cream!

We started off the morning at the studio to get the shots with the dresses & tutus, then headed outside to their backyard to get the ice cream shots. They have an adorable bench that they like to sit on,& little overalls that have a special place in family history, so we incorporated those into the session. It started raining while we were doing the studio shots, but Mother Nature cooperated with us and the sun came out in time for us to head outdoors. Of course the famous Fort Irwin wind stuck around, but when you've got ice cream...who cares?!

Bells will be Ringing!

This past Wednesday I got to meet up with my very first "soon to be Mr & Mrs!" Whoohooo!

Adrienne & Eric are getting married this May. I'm so excited to see everything come to life for them - it's going to be a sunset wedding here on post, and the reception ( I LOVE this!!) is going to be a coffee & desserts bar. I met up with Adrienne & Eric at Starbucks so we could talk about the wedding details, and so I could get to know them...I've already got a "shot list" running through my head :-) They have an adorable story about how cakes have a special significance in their love story, so they're going to have a variety of them for everyone to enjoy as they fun & meaningful,(not to mention cool to take pics of! Especially since I have a thing for Pop artist Wayne Thiebaud...) , and Adrienne picked the colors yellow and violet for her bridesmaids and flowers. Those are going to just "pop" and I can't wait to see the dresses and flowers :-) (My art students can tell you - violet and yellow are complementary colors...opposites on the color wheel...and one of my fav color combos)

This will be my first wedding - I can't wait! I assisted photographer Ali Mocabee in Kansas, and am so psyched to have my first solo gig. Congratulations again, Adrienne & Eric!!

Life's Carnival

Has anyone ever asked you what your "theme song" would be if you had one? Carrie Underwood has a song about life being a carnival ride ... that would be mine right now...

So my hubby and I are about a week in to digesting the news of his Cancer diagnosis. His surgery went well last week, but unfortunetly the CT showed that it had spread to below his left kidney. We head back to San Diego tomorrow to meet his Oncologist - so many questions swirling in my brain. Mike's been such a tough cookie this week - I'm so proud of him! (wish he'd stop worrying about not being out on rotation,though...errrg!) I know he's going to come through this with no issue....fortunetly Testicular Cancer is one of the most treatable & curable types of cancer to have....but I can't help but worry about how I'm going to keep his spirits up during chemo. I hope I will be the best friend he needs right now, and not just the "worried wife."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My new logo!!

Here it is!! My new logo...created just for me (so fun!) by El Easley.

El is so fun & creative. I love my new logo....did ya catch how she incorporated my initials - M J - into the blooming flower? I can't wait for my new business cards & tags to arrive! I saw her square shaped cards and thought they were too cool, so she's doing mine as squares as well. (that's the front/back to the left)

El's here on post and usually has a table at events. If you haven't checked out her work in the past, you definetly should. She makes the coolest birthday invitations-they make me WANT to be turning 30 this summer so that I can have an excuse to have her make some! She also has an impressive portfolio of wedding invites, business cards/brochures/letterheads, and has done event programs as well. If you're looking for invites and programs for your Team/Battallion Balls or special events, she's your gal!
Thanks again, El! I LOVE what you did!

Balboa Park

Here's a few more pics from last weekend in San Diego; a fountain and courtyard in Balboa Park, my cute hubby talking on the phone to his Mom (reflection in a motorcycle's mirror), and an artist working on a beautiful conte' crayon landscape out at Torrey Pines State Reserve.

(haven't lost my) marbles

There is this large mosaic alligator sculpture in Balboa Park , and I think I spent about an hour capturing reflections and light in all the marbles and glass.
Certainly not a flattering self-portrait, but Mike and I were still trying to digest some crazy news and it definetly captured the way I felt at the time. In contrast, I loved the repetition of the beautiful sky and surroundings that were in all the marbles. Not sure what I'll do with the insane number of "marble landscape" pics I took...

Old Town Flora

It's been a crazy couple of weeks so I'm a bit behind on adding some new pics to my blog, so I'll be playing catch-up tonight....
I was really pumped to have my new lens arrive in time for a trip to San Diego over the last 4-day. What a beautiful place to break it in! My hubby and I love, love, love that city; we played the parts of tourists as well as tour guides to our friends who were in from Pittsburgh.
While our crazy dog Quilla is a fan of Dog Beach, Old Town is one of our favorite parts of the city. (mmmm....cravin' some Cafe Coyote right now) Lots in bloom right now!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Just love this family! This is the second photo session I've done with them, and they are just so sweet. Last session Mom was still expecting...this time I got to meet little Justin!
Their beautiful Nani was here to help them welcome their newest little sweetie to their family, so we were able to get some sweet shots of her with her two handsome little grandsons. We also got some pics of the two little guys looking oh-so-adorable in their Christening suits,as well as some family pics, newborn shots, and some Mom & Dad pics. I think Mom's smile just says it all.... just tons of genuine love going around in this family :-)
Congratulations again on your beautiful family!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Site Makeover & Free Archive CDs with print orders of $75 or more!

I did a little "spring cleaning" this weekend, and now my Sunflower Studio site has a new look! I hope you all like it and find it easier to navigate. Updates and reminders about studio news can now be found at the top of the pages, and instead of the photo galleries being photos scattered about you can now view a slideshow of each gallery on my SmugMug page. (The same location as my client galleries) Check it out and let me know what ya think!

A cool new change on my printing a la carte menu that you definetly want to know about!!! Now, when your order $75 or more worth of prints off the a la carte menu, you'll receive a FREE archive CD of those images as a Thank You! You gotta love that!

I still offer four great portrait packages that also include an archive CD, but I'm going to be completly changing those soon to make 'em even better for ya! Cool'll see!!

The fabulous El Easley has created a cool new logo for me, and is working on some awesome business cards for me as well - I can't wait to add the logo to my site, and start using my cards! If you're looking for someone to design some very artistic and creative birthday invitations, brochures, formal invites, business cards....El's your gal. Check her booth out at post events- she has a great portfolio. El, you rock- I LOVE my new logo!!

2009 Mardi Gras & bye-bye-February

Wow- what a weekend! Seems like March is coming in like a Lion this year, not like a Lamb. I had THREE photo sessions....and ALL of them had to be rescheduled!! I was so bummed....but between sick kiddos and soldier's schedules being switched, it was one of those "life happens" type weekends :-( One of the shoots - with a newborn!! - is happening this Wednesday AM, so at least I don't have to wait too long to get my "pic fix" in...whew!
So, just a reminder - we all know how it goes in life; stuff happens. As always, if you need to reschedule a session, your deposit will be held to book your new time. But PLEASE let me know ASAP....I am usually booked about a month out, and if you know you're not going to be able to make your session in advance then it'll be easier for you to get a new session time the earlier you call. It also may help another family out that's hoping to get their session in earlier-I can call them to let them know something's now available. All my studio policies are on my site - be sure to check those out.
This weekend was the annual OCSC's Mardi Gras. My hubby and I had prior plans, so we didn't get to swing in; but I did have two cool items donated to the auction to help raise money for the scholarship funds. I gave away one FREE photo session - including an 11x14 print - and an original Tiefort Coyote cut paper collage. I hope everyone who went had a lot of fun - I hear it's a great event, and it's certainly for an awesome cause!