12/7: Angles

A quick tip to make your photos pop: Angles. Change them, both in your camera and in life. I love to see things from new perspectives, so I’ve made it a habit as a photographer to push myself to be constantly changing my view.

From low,

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To high,

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We explored the quaint old mining town of Bisbee, Arizona.

Learn a simple trick to make your photos pop!

12/7: Angles

It’s December!?

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I can’t believe December is here already! It’s going to be a huge month for my honey and I. We’ll be moving across country – twice! Not to mention Christmas and New Years squeezed in there somehow.

It’s going to be a challenge to feel Christmas-y this year. Starting with the desert weather here in AZ, then moving cross-country twice, and being away from family for the first time during The Holidays… Oy.

But I have a plan!

‘Tis the season of sharing, so I’m going to share 25 Holiday-themed tips and tricks to help make your season shine bright. From family recipes, to camera tricks, to decorations. A new post every day to inspire even the scroogiest of us! Stay tuned this afternoon for the first one.

If you have an epic tradition you’d like to share, please do! 🙂 All faiths are welcome, don’t be shy.

Brown Canyon

The weather here has been phenomenal – mid 70’s for the last week! The Oregonian in me had to get out there, so I researched hiking trails in the area and settled on Brown Canyon.

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I was not disappointed! My hike through the high desert forest was incredible. The trail closely followed a creek bed, sometimes even joining it to wind through a tunnel of trees.

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I had no idea I would find such diverse and colorful plants out here! The leaves are just about finished turning and would float to the ground on the gentle breeze that flowed through the canyon.

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I stumbled across a little path about halfway up that led to what used to be an old building that seemed to be destroyed by mother nature and was now scattered about a clearing. I couldn’t believe my luck! The history there was palpable – walking around there in the absolute silence of the high desert forest was amazing. I especially love what was left of this rusty old wood stove.

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The winter sun was low in the southern sky and so warm. The only indication that winter is just around the corner are all of the orange leaves scattered about. I couldn’t stop staring at each of these that I passed – they stood out so well against the dull yellow of the grass that dominates most of the canyon.

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I thought I was hallucinating the sound of trickling water, but I eventually found a small pipe wandering along the trail. It wound all the way up to this little stream, which was where I turned around and headed back down the mountain to beat the setting sun.

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It was so peaceful out there, I can’t even explain it. I totally felt back in my element, soaking up the sun and the incredible views it gave as it set.

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Mother Nature is awe-inspiring.

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There is something peaceful about being truly alone in the silence and beauty of nature. No traffic sounds or dogs barking, no airplanes roaring above or phones buzzing, not a single voice to be heard except the one in your own head. It’s nice to escape this non-stop, hectic world and take a break from it all.

Today, just as every other day, I am thankful for this Earth, my life, and the ways I live it ❤

Body Art

 I’m a huge fan of tattoos and have two myself. I think it’s absolutely rad to boast your inspiration, favorite memories and tributes right there on your body. To be able to look down in a moment of weakness and see something that will give you strength and push you forward? That is awesome. Not all tattoos are created equal – those that are tattooed while drunk in Vegas may not have so much meaning – but when an artist can portray what you want, it’s magic.

Bobby had some more work done on his newest piece this weekend, and I jumped at the opportunity to photograph it.

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My husband is a huge fan of this painting called “Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper. Instead of simply getting the painting, he asked his artist, Raquel, to add the twist of a zombie apocalypse – mixing classic with modern in an epic work of art.

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He’s spent a total of 15 hours in the chair at Broken Clover Tattoo, watching his imagination come to life.

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I absolutely love that his artist is female. She truly has an eye and is incredibly good at what she does.

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She’s also fun to watch in that she’s meticulous and careful, thoughtful in what she does with that needle.

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And she clearly enjoys her work – a mark of a good artist, doing what she loves because she loves it, not for fame or fortune. Though I wouldn’t be surprised to see her making big bucks in the future!

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I wanted to make this post as much about her as it is about her work because art is often a reflection of the artists themselves. This certainly holds true for me and the photos I take.

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This is my favorite shot from the 4-hour session. I haven’t figured out why quite yet, but it definitely speaks to me.

My New Views ~

It turns out the desert is not deserted, and is actually quite beautiful. I finally explored the area beyond our backyard and caught some of its beauty on camera.

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I’m used to the lush green of NW Oregon, where there are enough trees around to make one feel borderline claustrophobic. Here in Arizona, there is space.

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Until I arrived, I didn’t realize how much I missed the huge expanse of open sky that dominates the southern US. My thirst for change and different scenery is quenched – for now.

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This area of Arizona does see plenty of rain, but only during Monsoon Season when violent rain and thunderstorms plague the mountains and valleys below. The rest of the year (or so I hear) is pretty dry. In fact, it’s not as desert-y as I expected: there are lots of little reminders of home!

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I don’t have to look far to see the sun burst through a colorful tree – this beauty is just beyond our temporary backyard. I wonder if it will ever lose its leaves?

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There are even a few pine trees (Pinyon Pines) to make me nostalgic for home. It’s been nice to see these pine trees here this holiday season; they are everywhere in Oregon, especially around Christmas. The smell, the cones, the needles everywhere – it all reminds me of going to a tree farm and picking out the perfect tree to bring home and decorate with memories. A very popular tradition in Oregon that is nearly impossible here in Arizona.

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There’s nothing like a little taste of home, no matter how simple and small it may be 🙂

Magic Hour

Ahh, our first clouds here in Sierra Vista in almost a week! I’m not complaining; the sunshine has been wonderful, but our sunsets have been a bit bland until tonight. The skies here remind me of Kansas – so incredibly wide, a complete 180* view uninterrupted by trees and mountains. That effect also makes the clouds look close enough to reach out and grab.

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Magic hour is incredible in the desert.

Delilah

Upon reaching Sierra Vista, we moved in with a wonderful little family who are generous enough to share their house with us. Justin and Samantha, and their sweet 7 week-old baby girl Delilah.

You can imagine my excitement upon hearing that I’d be sharing a house with a baby! I mean look at that face!

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She was in an especially good mood on this day, so obviously I had to introduce her to my camera.

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I think she liked it, little ham!

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We’re already planning a Christmas-themed family photoshoot. I can’t wait to see this cutie in a Santa hat!