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Posts Tagged ‘photography’

A couple of months ago, Carole, one of the ladies from the barn, asked me to do a photoshoot of her with her horse, Soรฑador. I’d taken pictures of them in the past, but this time she wanted an official photo session – paid and everything. Of course I said yes. ๐Ÿ™‚

The shoot was quite a success, if I say so myself. Here are a few of my favorites:

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Ahh… freedom! My job at the rest stop ended two weeks ago, and I am thoroughly enjoying getting to sleep in every morning, among other things. I’m also able to spend more time at the barn and take pictures (weather permitting), and I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed it. Here are a few of my most recent shots; enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

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April Show Pics

Last month we had our annual unofficial, just-for-fun spring jumping show, and it was a rousing success, as usual. It was a great opportunity for me to get in some practice with Mountain Blue, who is apparently my new project horse. It turns out that despite her being nine years old she hadn’t been ridden all that much or learned anything beyond the absolute basics before coming here, so we’re in the process of getting her up to speed. She’s quite the handful, but quick to learn and generally eager to please, and she’s making pretty rapid progress. I think that with a bit more work, she and I will make a great team.

Here she is before the show:

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me on mountain blue

I also took advantage of the show to test my new lens (with a bigger zoom) and I’m quite pleased with the results:

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I know, it’s been 4 months, and I’m pretty sure I swore I wouldn’t take so long between updates, but… well, it happened. So, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and just for good measure, Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy Easter, happy birthday, and whatever other holidays you feel like celebrating. ๐Ÿ˜›

It’s been a mix of crazy busy and not-so-busy around here lately. We had a conference in early December (which was pretty mind-blowing, by the way), and we had our annual youth conference a week and a half ago (also mind-blowing), plus we’ve already got a few more planned through June. As for me, I’ve done three shows, had a couple more odd jobs, been leasing Leslie since early January, had a bit of an adventure fixing my car and my laptop, and been having loads of fun playing with my new camera. In between, it’s been ridiculously quiet.

Oh, and I recently started playing around with Photoshop and Gimp, learning how to make my pictures even prettier. Which will likely come in very handy in the near future, since I officially have one foot in the door as a professional photographer: I got my first paid photography job last month. I got a phone call one morning from one of the local temp agencies saying they had a client who needed someone to take some pictures for them, and since I’d listed photography as one of my hobbies on my resume, was I interested? I think it took me all of one nanosecond to think it over. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Said job consisted of taking pictures of a vacant lot slated for construction, plus a few of the neighborhood, presumably for an ad. It was just a few miles from my house and the shoot lasted all of one hour, so, really not bad at all for my first paid shoot. Plus I managed to grab a few extra shots for my portfolio while I was at it. Of course, Murphy’s Law had to intervene in some fashion, and it took me about 3 times as long to email the pictures as it took me to take them. I did eventually get them all sent, and since I received no word to the contrary (and got paid), I assume they were found acceptable. Just goes to show that it literally pays to list your hobbies on your resume. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m still sorting through and editing the literally thousands of pictures I’ve taken over the past couple of months, so no pics in this post. But I should be able to post some soon. *fingers crossed*

As for the other jobs I’ve had recently, I’ve been back to the plastics factory for a week, which went well despite being on the morning shift (which starts at 5 am). I also worked a few days at a local print shop, which was interesting.

Getting to lease Leslie kind of came out of the blue; I’d been riding her almost every week since September, and around Christmas, after noting that I’d made quite a bit of progress with her, Fred asked me if I’d be interested in leasing her. After getting him to explain to me what all that entailed (and how much it would cost – less than I initially thought), I said yes. And it’s been great. I get to come out to the barn almost every day and work with her and spoil her rotten. ๐Ÿ˜€ Mind you, some days are better than others, but I’ve learned to roll with the punches. Besides, working with horses (and animals in general) requires a fair amount of patience. And most days are a lot of fun. Plus it’s made for some great impromptu photo sessions. For example, one day I went for a trail ride, then took some shots of Leslie grazing afterwards, and when I got back from bringing her back to her pen, I found my friend Lucie getting ready to exercise her horse. So I grabbed my camera and tagged along, and got some great shots. Or last week when I showed up to find Leslie had been borrowed for a horse camp class; I had my camera with me, so I took pictures of the class. One of the girls actually asked me if I charged for my pictures, to which I responded, “No, I’m not a professional… yet.”

Which reminds me, my friends Sissi and Olivier got engaged a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve officially been drafted to be the photographer for the wedding, which is tentatively scheduled for sometime next year. ‘Tis very exciting. ๐Ÿ˜€

As for my car-fixing adventures, back in early January I had a slight mishap while pulling into a parking space and cracked my left headlight and turn signal. I had my car inspection coming up at the end of the month, so I needed to get it fixed ASAP. So, I went to the local Renault dealer/parts shop and showed them the damage. They had the turn signal cover in stock, but not the headlight. In fact, that model had been discontinued a while back (not too surprising since my car is a 1986 R5 – still popular, but old). My best shot at finding a replacement was a junkyard. Problem: I couldn’t remember where the nearest one was, and when I checked the yellow pages, the nearest one listed was a couple of towns over, and, as it turned out, the address listed was wrong. I must have spent an hour turning in circles looking for it. Then, remembering there was another headlight model available for my car, I went back to the Renault dealer, only to find that it too had been discontinued. They did, however, give me directions to another junkyard which, while further away, was very easy to find, and had what I was looking for. Then came the fun part of replacing both headlights (as far as I could tell, the two models were extremely similar, but both headlights needed to be the same model, so I had to replace both). It took about an hour of fiddling and nearly freezing my fingers off, but I finally got both properly installed. I made an appointment to get my car inspected the very next day, and it passed. Whew.

So… that’s pretty much all that’s been going on lately. Now back to picture sorting and editing…

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As promised, here’s the first part of my picture-heavy update.

I spent the entire month of August (and part of September) working at this place:It’s one of the local artisan nougat makers, and definitely one of the more interesting places I’ve worked around here. My co-workers told me they seem to have a habit of attracting all the oddballs, both when it comes to customers and temps. According to them, I’m the most normal person they’ve hired in years, and, after witnessing the disaster that was the other temp (she lasted all of one week), I’m inclined to believe them. It’s actually kind of sad when you think about it, but on the flip side it’s nice to know my work ethic is appreciated. ๐Ÿ™‚
In my spare time I grabbed a few pictures here and there:

One weekend some friends who own a fish farm out in the mountains of Ardรจche invited a group of us for fishing, fun, fellowship, and baptisms for three of them. My camera batteries died just before the baptisms, so I unfortunately didn’t get any pictures of those, but I did get quite a few of the rest:

Heeere fishy, fishy, fishy…

 

My goofy friends ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Welcome Desk Kitty is on a nap break

 

These were everywhere – so pretty! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Bonfire – and roasting marshmallows, of course

 

 

 

 

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Alrighty, as promised, here is a sampling of my shutter-happiness from this fall:

Angel and Kevin at the river trail

Pics from Grignan (a village not far from here):

So much "artsy shot" potential here...

Castle entrance

Abbey courtyard

Side view of the castle

Pics from Toulon:

Toulon marina

View from the Mont Faron

Kevin, Angel and Audrey

Audrey and me

Seagulls!

A few shots from the soccer game:

October pics coming up next!

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Howdy! No, I did not fall off the face of the earth; I’ve just been semi-busy and had a good bit on my mind. OK, and I’ve been procrastinating a bit too. My humblest apologies.

Anyway, the past two months have been spent entertaining guests, celebrating birthdays, riding horses, going to soccer games, concerts and wedding receptions, and taking LOTS of pictures. I’ve already posted most of those on Facebook, but I’ll post some of my favorites here too.

In September, my mom’s best friend and her husband came to visit for 2 weeks. We had lots of fun showing them around town and taking them sightseeing pretty much all over. Oh, and introducing them to traditional French cuisine. Fun times. ๐Ÿ™‚
Sandrine headed back to the States the first week of September to start massage therapy school, which, last I heard, is going really well. Not that I really expected any different, considering how God opened up all the doors for her to get in. I’m really glad she’s finally going to get certified to do something that she truly enjoys.
Doors are opening up for Audrey too: she recently got to volunteer at a tennis tournament and is already scheduled to work at two more. She’s been wanting to do this for a while, so this is very exciting for her.
As for me, well, I’m trying to find something that’s a little more “me” than the jobs I’ve had recently. I enjoyed those for the most part, but ultimately they were just a way to make some much-needed cash. I’ve been looking at freelance translation, for starters (being bilingual certainly does have its perks). Another option that’s been brought to my attention is photography, which kind of makes sense considering how shutter-happy I’ve been lately. That said, at the moment I’m still strictly just an amateur. I would need a snazzier camera than the one I currently have if I were to go pro/semi-pro, and I’m not sure I can afford one just now. But I am keeping that option open and practicing as much as I can with what I’ve got.

In non-job-related news, we also celebrated my parents’ and my birthdays and topped it off by going to see a men’s Champions League game in Lyon (which Lyon won 2-0).

This month we did a bit of roadtripping: to Grenoble to celebrate Joshua’s first birthday (per his mom’s request, I won’t be posting pictures of him anymore, but rest assured he’s as adorable as ever), then to Paris to see Jesus Culture in concert and this past weekend back to Grenoble for a wedding reception.

Riding classes started back up the first week of September, and not a moment too soon, as far as I was concerned. It’s really great to be back and see lots of familiar faces, both human and equine. A few have left, and there are some new ones, but for the most part it’s the same gang. ๐Ÿ™‚ So far Fred’s been having me work mostly with my two favorite mares, Leslie and Naika, which has been lots of fun. A bit of a challenge (neither is exactly what you’d call a cupcake), but fun nonetheless. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve also gotten into the habit of hanging around after my class on Saturday and taking pictures of the next one (along with a couple of other shutter-happy friends).

I think that about sums it up. Like I said, not super busy, but enough to keep me from getting too bored. (And now that most of my favorite shows are back on, that provides me with some fresh entertainment as well.)

Pictures coming very soon…

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