Ever heard of Michael Johnathan’s Woodsongs? (Also known as Woodsongs Old Time Radio Show)
I had heard OF them, but hadn’t been to see them at the time. Then I got asked to come and capture Ted Yoder (National Hammer Dulcimer Champion) playing there while they record it live!

W-O-W! Let me tell you!!! I’m so amazed! It was one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been to, an old theater built in the 20’s and 30’s! It was gorgeous!!!

Listening to Ted play, and listening to him play “It Is Well” on his Dulcimer and hearing it echo through out the theater, over hundreds of people filling the theater seats… no one saying a word, silent enough that it sounded like no one even breathed. It was awe-inspiring.

Don’t get me wrong, being behind the stage was rather amazing as well. But the songs that silenced the theater had me near in tears!!! It was so moving, and I literally had goosebumps all over my arm! :)

Thank you SO much Ted and Donna Yoder for having me share such an amazing and beautiful event in your life. I had such a wonderful time with you guys, and with the Woodsongs crew!

Many Blessings!

Northern Indiana, where I live, is such a beautifully historic area. Just about everywhere you go you find buildings, houses, and figures that have History just bubbling out of them!

The Ruthmere Mansion in Elkhart Indiana is no exception to that.
Ruthmere Gate
(Front Gate from the outside looking up to the house)

I shot a wedding at the Ruthmere with a friend a while back, and was absolutely floored at how gorgeous this place was. They keep the outside in pristine shape, and everywhere you look takes your breath away with yet another lovely picturesque view.

Front Gate
(Front-Side gate from inside the grounds)

Sadly we were not able to capture any pictures inside, they do not allow photography of the inside of the mansion, but you can view some of it here – http://www.ruthmere.org/

(One side of the Mansion and part of the porch)

If you’re wanting a gorgeous place to have your wedding, or a party in the Elkhart area… I’d highly recommend this gorgeous place!
They are very reasonably priced, the staff is amazingly friendly, and the view is incomparable!

(Front porch patio)

Just a quick disclaimer:
I’m not associated or affiliated with them in any way. However, I wouldn’t mind doing another wedding there. ;) *hinthint*

Even if you’re just in the Elkhart area from April through December, go for a tour! The place is just too beautiful to pass up! :)

Enjoy the pics!

Today’s Frivolous Fact Friday is on… Flowers!!!

I am a royal sucker for flowers. Truly, I am.
There’s dozens and dozens of different kinds of flowers, and to be honest I pretty much like them all!
Lilies, Daisies, Lilacs, Forsythia, Irises, Chrysanthemums, Asters, Roses, Tulips, Orchids, Peonies, Carnations, Forget-me-nots, Mums, Marigolds, Freesia, Gerbera… I could go on forever. ;)

(Table setting at Liz and Phil’s wedding – September 2010)

(Wild Purple Thistle)

(Resurrection Lily – From my back yard!)

(The Bouquet from Melissa and Tim’s wedding -October 2010)

(White daisies from my local park in the gorgeous autumn sunset light)

(Table setting at Liz and Phil’s wedding reception – September 2010)

(Bolero Bee Marigold from my back garden)

(Small daisy with leaves and a tree branch)

(Poinsettia growing in Sunny California)

(Bouquet from Chris and Elbia’s wedding – October 2010)

(Red Rose on the snow -That my father bought for my mum for their anniversary)

(Red Rose and snow – That my father bought for my mum for their anniversary)

*sighs happily* Whenever I see a gorgeous flower, I can’t help but take pictures of it!
As it’s March 4th, and I’m watching our ground slowly thaw out, I am hoping (and praying) that my Spring flowers come soon! :))

Some quick tips for shooting flowers for any photographer!

-Shoot from a new angle. Everyone shoots flowers down, but try shooting up or to the side, or at a strange angle. Walk around the flower to capture some better views.

(Most people shoot flowers from the top, I captured these Magnolias from the bottom. To me, it made the image more dramatic. The dark colors of the branches contrasted well with the light and bright flowers)

- Don’t shoot in direct sunlight!!! Direct sunlight is harsh and casts harsh shadows on your flower, you want delicate soft light. Shadows, and diffused light work best! If you can do nothing else take a white sheet and have someone hold it in front of the sunlight to diffuse your own lighting.

(I had to hold the sheet over my subject to capture this image, the bright sun just washed everything out. This way I had beautiful diffused light at high noon.)

- On some occasions you can use the high bright light to shoot through a softer flower’s petals to bring out a glowing effect. Just a side note: You’ll want to be careful with this, don’t shoot into the light you could harm your camera equipment and/or harm your eye sight if you don’t do this properly.

(Shooting through the flowers brought out the beauty of these bleeding hearts. The lightflares don’t harm the look of the image either. ;) :P)

-A lesson I learned from Scott Kelby’s “The Digital Photography Book”, is you don’t have to wait until it rains to get beautiful ‘rain drop’ shots. Take a cheap spray bottle, fill it with some water, and create your own rain!!!

(I had to add my own water drops to this beautiful burgundy Victorian Rose, that is original to my century-old house!)

- Shoot your flowers with same or similar colors in the background. It gives a beautiful soft feel to your pictures!

(This white cherry blossom bunch looks beautiful and natural against the white background, anything else would have been too heavy or too dark and wouldn’t have the soft look I was going for.)

- Shoot your flowers on completely contrasting background for a very dramatic picture!

(A random attempt at mimicking Stephanie Meyer’s “New Moon” book cover. ;) I found this tulip in our yard. The black background brings out the beautiful colors and details of the flowers.)

- Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal. Details of flowers are truly awe-inspiring. Don’t hesitate to get a close up and capture as much details as possible!

(The soft stigma of this purple iris was more beautiful than capturing the image as a whole)

- Flowers don’t always have to be fresh and alive. Sometimes flowers are just as pretty when they are dead or dying.

(This flower wouldn’t look as beautiful alive as it does when it’s dying. The image is more dramatic with it’s drooping stem.)

*takes a breath*
Well, that is my random thoughts on flowers and flower photography for today. :)
Now… go buy some fresh flowers and start practicing, so you can be taking pictures of flowers like a pro when Spring comes here and we’re surrounded by hundreds of flowers!

Happy Weekend everyone!
Many blessings,

(Don’t worry! Part II of “What Makes a Good Photographer Great?” will be coming shortly! I haven’t forgotten about you all.) :)

Bonus points for me! I think I deserve an Oreo! (scratch that, I want 3!)
I made another blog! YAY!

I know I keep making mistakes, start the blog up, keep it going for a few posts… miss a few days and forget about it for a few months until it hits me. I used to be a great blogger a few years ago, but I’m missing something now. I just don’t know what it is.
Any suggestions on how YOU keep up a blog? What keeps you motivated? What content are you inspired to include in each of your blogs?
When you get writer’s block, what do you find yourself blogging about to get yourself out of it?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated! :)

In the mean time… Here’s some more snow pictures from our amazing snow day!

Okay everyone, I must admit, I really don’t like blogging. *blushes* There it is, I admitted it. *looks around* Did the world end? :P

I don’t know why I don’t like it. I just don’t. I don’t think about it often, I’m more of a Facebook update person actually. My mother, however is brilliant at blogging. She really is. She’s an amazing blogger and has been a constant blogger for years. And here I am… struggling to keep just one blog going. *sighs*
Well, here’s the deal. I somehow (read “by GOD’S GRACE”) pulled off a 365 Project, so I’m going to challenge myself with my blog as well.

For a while, I’ll try to catch up my blog with some recent photos!

We had quite a bit of snow today, it was amazingly beautiful. Some of the snowflakes were as big as half dollars! It was amazingly beautiful!

This is Lucy, my baby. ;) She’s 10 years old, and she’s been enjoying the massive snow as much as I have!

And our gorgeous snow….. It looked like a Fairy Wonderland outside!
It was fantastic!

Well, here’s to hoping that I can get a few more blogs in sometime soon! ;)
Many blessings!