Friday, July 15, 2016

Family Pictures 2016

I needed some new family photos of my gang before Nathan left on his mission. Naturally I waited till the last week before he left. I used my Nikon d750 camera, my Tamron 24-70mm lens, my reflectors, and two good friends.

Why are out takes my favorite?

I set the camera settings where I wanted them and asked my friend Kelly to pose us and her husband Shawn to shoot away. They were amazing. I only have amazing friends though.

We went along the trail near Utah Lake--the one in Provo that parallels the lake. It's about a mile from our house.
processed in Adobe Lightroom with my homemade preset of High Contrast Black & White

processed in Adobe Lightroom with my homemade preset called Aged & Faded
I like the above photo on my entryway table.

The above and below shots are not very sharp since they were shot at 1/30 second, so I couldn't print them large, but I just love how we are all posed here so 5x7 is the largest I'll print. That's the size of the above photo.
processed with regular editing "by hand"
I processed all the photos in Adobe Lightroom. I rarely use Photoshop anymore. Lightroom is about $70 and it's the best money ever spent no matter how basic your camera. It enables me to process photos lightning fast.

Back to the photo shoot. The benefit of having a friend pose you is she isn't afraid to man-handle you or the kids. 

We even got off the trail and did some shots in the lake grasses.....

Don't tip over there Ilene!

Sometimes the reflectors did too good of a job. Look at us squint in this one!

Love the shots on the lake best. We chose to use back lighting from the setting sun (it was 8pm by now) and use reflectors to shine light into our faces. And because we shot at sunset, the sky was a bit washed out so I used a graduated filter in Adobe Lightroom to bring back some of the sky to blue.

This is the shot I'm having printed 20x30 on metal.

Sunset on Utah Lake made me feel so glamorous.

Love how it turned out! Printed at It is 20x30 printed in Lustre White on metal.

Pretty sure a bug was crawling up Nathan's leg here. 
Mt. Timpanogos in the background, Utah Lake on the left, and a beautiful sky. Yum.

My favorite of just the kids.

That's a wrap. We should be good on family photos until Nathan gets back from the Dominican Republic in two years. Phew!

My Son the Missionary

My son Nathan left this week on July 12, 2016 to serve a mission for our church in the Dominican Republic Santiago mission. He will be gone for two years. I miss him already. Their is definitely a loss in our home without him here. He's lived here 18 years, how could there not be a loss?

Just last week he was my tiny little buddy. Or at least it seems like last week.
Nathan and me, 2001, Love his Chevron cars in the back, he loved collecting those.

Getting a missionary ready to leave the country for two years is a butt-load of work. Vaccines, passport, Visa application (the worst chore of them all), all the missionary clothes, contact lenses for two years, the list goes on.
Two years of daily contact lenses!

Paul helped him pack for the 2-year mission. 

We tried to do a lot of  "last chance to eat (blank) for two years". Last chance to have sushi, last chance to have chicken kurma, last night to have tacos, last breakfast of blueberry pancakes. I just wanted him to feel as special as possible before he left. That's what moms do. We use food to make our kids feel special. Or at least that's what I do. I did play ping pong with him before he left but I'm lousy at that. I'm better at cooking.
Nathan has loved the chicken kurma at Bombay House in Provo for many years.

A day in Salt Lake, eating lunch 10-stories up.

Sushi lunch with me at Shoga in Orem

The last weekend before we left we had a backyard party for him. I made four different sheet cakes--red velvet, raspberry cream cheese, chocolate mint, and lemon. Who doesn't love a party with lots of cake?

It was a beautiful (but hot!) summer night. Loads of fun, such a celebration.

Such a happy night.
Nathan has such a great group of friends. Such fine young men.
This is my mom, Nathan's Abuelita, She was a big help for the party!

Finally it was time to say goodbye. Hardest day but also a happy day. He had a midnight flight to New York, and then on to the Dominican Republic MTC (Missionary Training Center). We drove him to the airport and said our goodbyes. I thought my heart would break. Actually I think it did a little.

Killing time, being silly.

Farewell to my wonderful son. He is delaying college at BYU for two years. He is that kind of amazing young man. Eager to serve the Lord. I'll miss him but know he is where he should be.


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