Monday, May 12, 2014

Planning a Session with My Girls

As many of you know I have two Senior (30-year-old) horses. A palomino Quarter Horse I've had since she was a day old and a little white Arab that I bought a few years before my Hubs and I were married.  (approx 17 years or so ago)
My girl, on Instagram.
Since horses usually live to be 25-30 I know that my time with them is growing shorter, I just don't like acknowledging it.  I mentioned before I needed to take some images with them but it has been way too easy to make excuses on not scheduling something... primarily that I should get in better shape, followed by I should use the $ for something else, to my girls need to shed out, to I know could take them myself with a self timer, etc...
There's a reason you usually only see feet shots of me, and it's called  my hips do lie.
Last week I really thought I was going to have to put my little Arab down, and it made me realize I needed to stop making excuses and just do it!  So I took advantage of the little bit of extra time I've been given, and on Mother's Day I met with another photographer, to have some images taken of me with my girls.

Despite many a lost toenail and bruised toe, t
he Iowa farm-girl in me still wears flip-flops on occasion to see the girls.
(Seriously not wise if you like your feet.)
Digging their tack out of storage, just in case I wanted to use it in a few shots, I spent Saturday giving it a good cleaning and conditioning.  My office now smells of Lexol and leather, and just makes me happy when I enter it, as it reminds me of show season and spring.
My favorite halter purchased when my palomino was just two years old.  (It still fits!)
Then there was the matter of picking out outfits for me, and finding the right accessories.  I pinned some inspiration on Pinterest, and then put together my story boards so I had a basic idea of what I'd like to accomplish.   Packing all of my outfits, and labeling my jewels so I'd be ready to go on the day, since I knew that it'd be a busy one!
Rough sketches of poses and outfit choices...
Sunday Morning (Mother's Day) I headed to Safeway in the hopes of picking up Daisies and Alstroemeria Lilies for their mane and tails.  Unfortunately I discovered most men were busy shopping for flowers on Mother's Day and it was a madhouse!  There were no daisies or lilies, only roses, orchids, and mums, and a bunch of confused looking "Dads"!  It ended up being a good thing as I resorted to using flowers from our yard, Pittosporum, Jasmine, Chamomile, Yarrow, dried Red Roses, Mexican Sage, Hearts & Flowers Ice Plants, and a few others.

Flower cuttings from our yard.
My white mare received the pink, purple, red and white flowers above as they just fit her princess personality so much.  My palomino received arrangements made of the pretty golden flowers below, as they reminded me of the goldenrod and daisies in the Iowa fields where she grew up..
Trailing Jasmine, Yarrow, Chamomile, and Heats & Flowers for their "hair".
With the exception of my WPPI adventure mentioned in my newsletter, the last time I was front of another photographer's camera was years ago!  I had forgotten how nerve-wrecking it is.  The getting ready, the hopes that the images will turn out,  the wishes for a good hair day, etc. It's especially nerve wrecking when you add two horses who weren't that interested in putting their ears forward, or posing for that matter.  It's pretty much the equivalent of trying to pose two 1000+ pound 2-year-olds!
Love the hoof outlines from the pretty polish we used.
The flowers looked so pretty in their tails, it is usually a pretty bright white when washed, but the Cali drought put a damper on that this year. :-S The spots of longer hair on her golden coat is from the Cushings Disease, I thought about cutting it all off, but it documents this stage of her life, and so I left it as is.

After 30 years, my Mares are used to almost anything!
These iPhone images of what went on before the session, as I made it a point to not take any during the it. So I didn't' get many of my little white Arab as once the photographer arrived, I was too busy reapplying my lipstick, doing yoga poses while attempting to change in a dusty barn, struggling to keep the wind from destroying my super fine hair, and striving to pose properly next to my girls, who were much more interested in pretty much anything but the camera. 
My little Arab, wondering out my Palomino and husband are up to.
I am glad I used flowers from our yard instead of purchased ones, as it will make the images even more special.  These needed to be arranged a bit more, but she was so interested in what was happening, I had to take a quick picture. It's so rare to have my Tim at the ranch, who was there to help hold the "toddlers", run for carrots and cookies, and try to remind me to bring my chin forward.  He refers to himself as the "Minion" on photo shoot days.
My girl and my hubs.
My little girl is wondering what's so interesting about her tail!  She's so sweet, and just a few weeks from her 30th birthday.  It's hard to believe so much time has gone by, as it seems like just yesterday I was able to throw on a saddle and head off into the hills, or over a few jumps. They have it pretty good, lounging in the pasture, and enjoying treats and an occasional flower in their hair, although I do wonder sometimes if they miss our adventures through the hills as much as I do.

As I wait for the photographer to process the images, I am again in my client's shoes, hoping that my "toddlers" behaved just long enough to obtain some images that I can cherish for generations.  (and that she managed to capture my good side as well) :-)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Got Roses?

Growing up in an Iowa farming family, always meant a trip to the garden, and it seemed even if you didn't live on a farm, almost everyone I knew had a rosebush or two somewhere in their yard.  When I went to High School we had work/study programs through the Ag class.  I chose to work at a local florist/greenhouse and had such fun and learned so much about the care of different flowers and plants, and thanks to an amazingly busy Valentine's Day, the secrets to arranging roses.  (For Mother's Day the favorite was vintage tea cup arrangements.)
Arrangements from our Garden
So when my friend Gina asked me to talk about my garden for some upcoming blog posts, I felt one on cutting and arranging roses would be appropriate.  Head on over to Gina's blog, Kleinworth and Co. to check out the entire article, and say hello.  Gina is always posting wonderful crafts and recipes, and takes some amazing sunset and scenery images too!
My newborn basket has been re-purposed for roses.

P.S. There's still time to enter my Mother's Day giveaway!!! And I'm almost at 200 likes on FB... so if you haven't shared the love, please do! :-)