Phew! It's been a very busy few weeks. I just got back from a 5-day cruise with my parents and we had a great time. The pictures I include of the Tampa skyline were taken as the cruise ship pulled out of the port. Can you tell what order they were taken in? (Here's a clue - look how the hue of the blue sky changes). The cruise was really beautiful, as the sun was setting we reached the Sunshine Skyway bridge, and I got two great silhouette shots. Can you believe I got those on my phone? There are some things you have to have a camera for (but I'll admit that I'm biased, lol), and for others a phone will get the job done. Anyway, did I mention the kids stayed with my in-laws while I was on vacation? It's the longest I'd been away from either of them, and according to my in-laws - they managed it very well (both kids and grandparents). John is still off floating around in the middle of somewhere, and we speak pretty frequently. So that's nice. I didn't realize it but clearly I was slacking because I hadn't sent my old man any care packages until October, after he complained that clearly no one loves him. I was thinking "I speak to you every day, calm down." But I guess mail is important to them when they're stuck on the ship, so I got my rear in gear and sent a couple of boxes. He'll be alright. He's already been to Darwin, Australia, Bahrain, and they're expecting to stop in Sydney, Australia on the way home. Lucky, right? I can't wait to visit some other hemispheres.
I haven't been able to shoot nearly as often as I do when I'm back in San Diego, but to be honest, the scenery in Tampa isn't all that inspiring. There are a few spots I've found, but it is seriously lacking in mountains, open fields, boulders on the beach, etc. I didn't realize how lucky I am to live in San Diego as it relates to photography. Being alone with the kids in the evenings (when I would normally be shooting my clients), coupled with working (I'm back working from home with Raymond James Financial in my old ad agency I was with before I had Brie. Once a Project Manager, always a Project Manager, lol, but seriously, I'm so organized and enjoy schedules so much, it doesn't even feel like work. I swore I'd never go back into an office though, and I lucked out because my boss from before is my boss now, and she trusts me and let me work from home. Can I get a hallelujah amen? Such a blessing) and my time is pretty limited. I have a few model sessions set up, and I'm looking forward to those. But otherwise, I've just been practicing. I'm actually pretty excited because Sheila Morgan (my mentor) recommended me to step up for an intensive program with her colleague Keith B. Dixon. I've been following him on Periscope since about January, and I'm a part of their online community, the #bombsquad, but I hadn't thought to take Keith up on his mentoring (I didn't think I was ready skill wise, but Sheila said to go for it, so I am). It's an 18 month program, which is perfect because between now and when we get settled at our next duty station will be just under a year. So I'll be wrapping up not long after we move. Armed with 18 months of information and lessons, I'll be set up perfectly to continue my business.
Today I took Brie to Kiley Gardens (which is where John and I got married), and Curtis Hixon Park. Since I was here last, they've added a splash pad and a playground to the park area (that thankfully isn't sand, what is that about? All the playgrounds out here are sand. Look at Brie's hair and guess why I don't want her playing in sand. Real talk). Brie had a great time. The pictures of her outside are from today (the other is from about a month ago during a rainstorm, she's in her Ariel costume). Where's Emerson? Well, these days he's relaxing in the Panhandle with my mom. I'll meet her in Jacksonville closer to Thanksgiving, and get my little guy back in time for the holidays. In the meantime, it's just us girls.
As a complete military spouse cliche, I went on a diet since John's been gone. I joined the YMCA and go to various classes throughout the week. It's been nice, and cliche or not - I've dropped the 12lbs I have been lugging around since Emerson was born. With John out to sea, I don't have to cook as often - so I've been keeping things low-carb and high protein. It seems to be effective, so that's nice. I'm sure once we're back in San Diego with the fish tacos, breweries, and scorching heat...I'll gain it right back. Lol, keep your fingers crossed I don't.
In a few weeks it will be Thanksgiving and this year that falls on Brie's birthday. She'll be three! I am really excited and (as I'm sure you expect) am planning her photoshoot. I have a concept in mind that requires that we go to the beach. She loves the water, and it's still very warm here. But, I'm not entirely sure how to execute it because I have yet to be able to take her to the beach and not have her run directly into the water. So I don't think she's quite old enough for the concept I have in mind just yet. I have about a week to plan though, so I'm sure it will come together. Once that shoot is over, and I have lots of pictures from Thanksgiving, I'll write again. Talk soon. In the meantime, find me on Instagram @portraitpanache or on Facebook.