Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"I think I'm gonna be sick..."

Let the following post serve as a WARNING to the rest of you. If you are reading this post (the 3 of you who still follow...) you are obviously geeky enough to use a computer and so you probably also keep files on your own computer. Stuff like pictures, movies, music, blah, blah...If this describes you -- listen up...

Yesterday my hard drive crashed (crashed, burned, broke, got hashed, whatever you'd like to call it) and with the death of my hard drive went every singe picture I have taken since December of 2007. Yes...every client photo-shoot, and every single picture I've taken of my wife and children. Not only those, but audio "interviews" I've done with my children, papers my children have written for school, my entire iTunes library. All of it. Gone.

Here is the news that stinks the most. I didn't back anything up. Ok, I did back up a few things. I backed up all of the pictures I took prior to November 2007 (a total of about 8000 images) which sounds pretty decent, but I've taken a ton of images in 2008. And edited many of them.

I feel sick about this...sick.

Now...there is a possibility of recovering some or all of this data. It will cost a minimum of $300 but probably more around the $500 to $800 mark. I hate that, but am willing to pay it.

Here's the lesson: Back up your data. That means put what you care about on an external hard drive. Do it regularly. The last time I backed up my data was November 2007. My external hard drive sits in my computer desk area and I think about backing things up all the time. If I had backed up my data weekly, I wouldn't have any problem. I'd pay $80 to have a new hard drive installed and I'd re-load all of my data and would have no problem.

So, there. Happy New Year...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I'm baaaa-aaaack....

Well, that real nice...

I haven't published anything here in about a month...mostly because I don't have anything to say. I'm tapped. Out.

Not that nothing has happened. Plenty has happened. Maybe that's why I haven't taken any time to post. All I have is this...

Today we celebrated Janese's mother's birthday out at J's brother's house (That's a lot of apostrophes). While there the kids were able to ride a little horse around the property. Everyone had a great time on the horse...well...except Ashley. Here's the proof:

Now, here's Ashley's picture:

Whie she was riding the horse tripped over a rock and stumbled just a little. The horse wasn't spooked, but Ashley was. And she wouldn't get back on. And won't get back on...ever (she says).

UPDATE: Google stinks because they won't make this blog look the way I want. I may never, ever post anything again. And I'm kind of relieved to say it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Janese dressed up as a pregnant lady (it was easy...), Landon was the Grim Reaper, PJ was Darth Vadar, Ashley was cow, and Mads was a flower...I didn't dress up, so I decided to "dress" my picture up. Sorry to those of you who are a little sensitive to blood.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Our family used FHE to go and get pumpkins and carve the up! Nothing better than free pumpkins...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A New Way of Telling the Story

Ashley and I have been discussing a way to do a little photo shoot involving her ballet interest. So, we spent a few days trying to determine the best way to take the pictures, what to wear, what "props" would be best, etc. She was cute and "professional" about the whole thing. What we got turned out so is worth checking out...

Click Here for Ashley's Ballet Photo-Shoot

Before you click...this gallery doesn't scroll up and down, it scrolls left to right. Get it? Left-to-right! Also, there are 3 pages of pics, so click on the "more" button at the far right of each page to see more....makes sense, no?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Ladies...

Monday, October 6, 2008

As They Are III....

I got a new lens today. I realize this should be on the BJM Photography Blog, but the pics are of my own children, not a sneak peek for a here they will be.

The lens is a 35mm 2.0 Nikon nice. I got a pretty decent deal on Amazon and it arrived today. I couldn't wait to get it out of the box and onto the camera for some test shots. Of course, in the spirit of catching the children in their everyday moments, I just grabbed whoever would come and started snapping. I eventually got everyone (but myself)....

There was really very little editing here. I shot in RAW mode, did a little adjusting for white balance and contrast (very little), changed to 72 ppi, cropped to 8x10 and sharpened. Nothing else. Nice. So it only took about 7 or 8 minutes once I got into the house. The shooting itself only took about 5 minutes. This is how I like it...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I don't have much time right now, but I had to post this one...I did a shoot last weekend in Park City and caught this wonderful picture of two sweet sisters studying a slug...

Yes. A slug. This was the perfect cross between sweet little princesses and a couple of tom-boys.

More of this family to come!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

As They Are II....

PJ was having soccer practice and Ash was playing on the jungle-gym...So I raced home to grab the camera a take a few shots.

Friday, September 19, 2008

As They Are...

Here's the thing. Quite often, I'll think of a photo shoot to do with one of my children. I'll find a spot, a certain light. Then I'll think of the child that would fit the "moment" and I'll race home only to find that particular child with pizza sauce all over his or her face. A bruise on a leg. Messed up clothes. And no real desire to clean up for a photoshoot (who would?).

At that point I begin to feel a little melancholy because we don't have enough pictures of our children...

Not anymore...

Why have I been making things so hard and complicated? There is nothing wrong with nice, clean, posed pictures. But I am gravitating toward "lifestyle photography". People might have a different definition of lifestyle portrature than I do, but I want more pictures of my children as they are. My children are not usually dressed up in their best all day, with clean faces, no bruises, perfectly combed hair...they are in the middle of having some type of adventure at almost any given time of the day. That is what I want memories of.

So, in that spirit...

From here on out, I'm grabbing the camera, whatever lens I feel like grabbing, and one of the children. Now combing, brushing, straightening, changing...We're just going out in the middle of the road and shooting.

I used the Nikon d80, the 20mm 2.8 prime lens, shot in manual mode (images were taken in the RAW format) with the white balance set to "cloudy". The ISO was at 250. No flash (ever). And I shot a total of 7 images. 2 of the images were almost duplicates of what I posted here. It took all of about 3 minutes for the entire shoot. I then came inside and ran the RAW images through Adobe's Camera Raw image editor. Lightened the exposure a bit and warmed each image. I pumped the contrast ever so slightly (don't overdue this one) and sent the images to Photoshop. In photoshop I switched the mode to 8-bit, made the images black and whites, added a bit more contrast to the B/W's, and then sharpened using my own little action.

It sounds like a lot of steps, but it only took me about 10 more minutes at the computer until now....

Now...I will make them "pose" periodically for a few more formal shots throughout the year. But by and large, we're "amping" down on the "Smile!" moments for awhile.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Stuff I Used to Believe...

Periodically it is brought to my attention that I used to believe some things that were pretty dumb when I was a kid...for example:

I used to think "water" in Latin (or Greek...I didn't know there was a difference) was "Aquas Tapis" (thanks to my dad...)

I thought I had eyes that were better than everyone else's. I thought I could see much better than the average human. I was sure I could find lost items better than anyone. I think it stems fro a time when I found something my mom dropped in the car and she said, "Wow. You have eyes like a hawk!" And, to take it a step further, I was sure I could see air. Yes, I said air. I would rub my eyes and then I could see those little floaty things for a few minutes while my eyes were "coming out of it". I was sure that was air.

I used to think that when my favorite professional football team lost a game, it was because God was trying to teach me a lesson. Yes, Sunday night football was set up to teach me a lesson. Me.

I thought I could drink water faster than most other people. I was in the kitchen drinking a glass of water with Paul Muckinsterm and I finished a little quicker than he did. So I said (in a very authoritative and scientific voice), "I was born 'fast-drinker'". I said that last part--"fast-drinker"--the way Tonto would have said it to the Lone Ranger on TV. Apparently I believed stereotypes as well.

When I was in grade school, I thought that if I ran fast enough during recess my feet would raise up off of the ground like I was floating. It made sense. I'd run really fast and my clothes would provide enough of an updraft that I'd get off of the ground just a little. And I thought it happened a few times but was too afraid to tell anyone. I was sure they wouldn't have believed me.

I thought that if I slept with the covers over my ears, I wouldn't be able to hear if there was an explosion in my house and I'd die in the fiery inferno.

I went for a little while thinking that I thought of the internet before it was invented. When I was in fourth grade (about 1981 or so) I would daydream about having a little house in the classroom where I would work on my school work. When my work was done, I would magically mail it to the teacher's desk. Then she would magically mail my score back. So, maybe I did think of the internet first. At lease I beat Al Gore.
So that's something.

Sometimes I thought that if I watched my favorite teams on TV, they would win, and if I didn't, they would lose. So I would sit there, kinda praying for God to smile upon the 49'ers, and not using the bathroom until a commercial so that I didn't let Joe Montana down.

I used to think that the Prophet wore robes and walked around Temple Square with his hands in that steeple position (I don't know what else to call it) and that when he received a revelation, he would do it by closing his eyes, cocking his head to the side and humming. There was really no basis for that belief of mine, I just figured that was how it was.

I used to think that the most important invention one could make would be to create a plastic dinosaur that an adult could fit into, and drive around, really slowly. The legs would move really slowly and the person could look out of the eyes, nose, or mouth of the great beast. Then I would picture myself driving it slowly around Vacaville impressing all of my neighbors.

I used to walk home from elementary school trying to outsmart God by pretending I was going to step on a certain place on the sidewalk, then quickly changing my mind and stepping somewhere else. I tried to do it randomly so that God could not read my mind. So God would be like, "Hey, I thought Brian was going to the left, but apparently he stepped to the right. Wow, he tricked Me." Then, if I did that enough times in a row, He wouldn't know where I was. It made walking home quite an ordeal at times.

I thought most girls were thinking about me instead of their work when I was in sixth grade. So I would sometimes make my face look a certain way while I sat in my desk so that the girls would think that I looked like a movie star. I would try to look dark and mysterious (the way girls would like a guy to look). I suppose, in hindsight, I was wrong about that.

My parents told me that the bushes in our backyard were poisonous (not all of them, just a certain clump of them). I was nervous that if I went into the bushes to retrieve a ball that I might get stabbed by one of the branches, be instantly poisoned, and die before I could get out to get help. I know my brother Jon believed some version of this, too, because he always held his breath when he went in after the ball. I would make fun of him but was secretly glad he did it because I didn't want him to die. He was fun to play with.

***UPDATE*** That bush was poisonous. I just checked Wikipedia. Read the article down where they talk about toxicity. Now that I know this, it makes me wonder why my parents had me and my brothers cut all of the bushed out, stack the branches and carry them away. None of us brothers wore shirts during the job. We could have been stabbed by a branch while not wearing shirts. I don't think my parents were being very careful that day.

This last one wasn't really a false-belief or anything. Just something I used to do. When no one was home I would lock all of the doors, go outside, and try to figure out ways to break in to my own home. Then, after failing, I'd wait in the backyard for someone with a key to get home. Doing that, I thought, would make my a better problem solver.

There's probably more, but I can't recall any of them right now.


Nothing works better than soft, awesome pajamas to get Maddie to hit the sack when the time comes. I don't know where Janese picked these up, but Mads sure loves them.

It was just a bit cool for pictures this morning, but she was a trooper (for the 2 minutes it took to get the pictures)...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

First Newborn Session...

You'll find it here...I was nervous! there are only a few pictures up from the session, but I'll add more soon...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Clear Creek Camping Trip...

Yes, we've been to Santa Cruz and then Janese and I spent a week in Hawaii, but I just took some pictures of our camping trip to Clear Creek and they were so easy to edit that I'm posting these first...I'll get to the other stuff later...

Click on each image for a much better view...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Worst Fight Scene in a Movie...

...goes to "The Next Karate Kid" (the one with Hilary Swank as a nine-year-old or something).

We borrowed this movie from our friends around the corner (and I'm grateful...) and Janese was getting tired of me mocking every other scene and laughing when I think I was supposed to be wringing my hands and wondering who was going to get chopped or "Craned" or "grasshoppered" or whatever. So we get to the end of the movie (spoiler warning: they all die) and there is the final, majestic fight scene extravaganza finale with Mr. Sgt. Kesuke Miyagi battling Colonel Dugan (I don't know this guy's name, but this was the worst acting of his career, hopefully). All of the other characters had fought each other and the girl had praying-mantis kicked the main bad-guy-kid, so Mr. Miyagi decided it was time to finish off the "other guys" (and probably the movie series) with one final battle.

They "fought". I felt like I was watching two old men play chess in Mile-Square Park. Except there would have been more action in the chess match. Now I wish the movie would have been about chess and not karate. Not quite the Bourne movies...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Rule #1...

I suppose this is why I never say, "Smile!" before snapping a picture. Especially with Maddie. I thought other photographers were kidding when they say that they never ask their subjects to "smile" at any point, but now I get it.

No more, "smile..."-ing.

But it is kinda cute.

Now on to other business.

There have been a few comments on the last post with people telling me that stuff like that happens to everyone. That's nice to say. But it sure seems like it happens to me more than most. Case in point:

When Janese and I were dating, we jumped into J's car to go and visit her sister. On the way, we had to stop into the apartment office so that I could pay my rent. I jumped out of the car and ran in to the office. Rent paid, I ran back out. Feeling all "in love" and stuff, I decided to bound down the long steps as opposed to step down the long steps (the steps were about 3 feet deep each).

My foot landed half on and half off of the second to last step and I bucked, crumbled, and rolled the rest of the way, becoming wedged between the curb and the front tire of J's car. Janese didn't rush out of the car all concerned like a girlfriend is supposed to. She just sat in the car and laughed.

That was about fifteen years ago, and stuff like that has been happening ever since. So, please...don't patronize me...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Apparently, I'm Dainty...

I just had one of those moments that, every time I think about it, I get shivers of embarrassment. Dang-it! Here's what happened:

There's this guy who is an assistant coach on Landon's baseball team. So we're both assistant coaches. Great. The guy, we'll call him Steve, is about as intimidating looking as you can be. His head is shaved, he has a tatoo, his goatee is four inches long, his ears are pierced. Steve really, really looks like he should be driving a huge Harley to every game (maybe he has one, I don't know...).

But the thing is- he's as nice a guy as you'd want coaching your son. He is very positive with the kids, he doesn't show any favoritism, and he takes a lot of time to teach the basics of baseball. Very likable guy. But he looks really, really, really tough. He doesn't just look tough; I'm sure he is tough. But nice, too.

So, after the game (which we won, by the way...) my family is walking to our vehicles, and Steve is walking with us. All of the sudden he puts his hand up, like he is either going to slap my five, or shake my hand. But, it isn't going to be a normal handshake. It is going to be one of those handshakes you do if you are naturally tough. The guys in the picture belowe are doing it (I think). Maybe they're arm-wrestling, but this is the basic idea:

Typically, this handshake is used by people playing sports, or people in gangs, or people who are confidant. The handshake is sometimes followed up by bumping knuckles. I'm sure this is what Steve was doing, because he is the type of person who should do it. And I've always thought I was, too. Until now.

I think the handshake caught my off guard. So, rather than smack my hand up against his and do that one-squeeze-and-one-shake-let-go-then-bump-knuckles thing, I barely got my hand into position. In fact, I really didn't get my hand into position. So instead of having an equally balanced, man-handshake, I placed my small, soft, dainty hand in a lady-like position as if Steve was helping me out of my horse-drawn carriage so I wouldn't trip over my long, velvet dress. It looked a lot like this:

And this...

What made matters worse was that my wife saw, my children probably saw, and Steve looked at me like I expected him to bow, say, "m'Lady" and kiss my pasty-white, smallish, un-caloused hand. I couldn't fix it. I tried. The handshake was over.

Luckliy he didn't say anything, but man do I wonder what he was thinking. Or is thinking. Every time I picture my little hand in the upright, lady-like, please-help-my-so-I-don't-stumble-out-of-my-carriage-and-tear-my-corset position I want to puke.

How can I go to practice tomorrow?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Baseball, pt. II...

These days, we skip taking the typical sports pictures. I kinda miss them, but I enjoy taking our own. Better prices...

I used a new lens to catch this one of Landon during our quick baseball picture session in our back yard. I love it. Plus, I've forgotten how much I enjoyed playing baseball as a kid. My parents came to every game. It was always hot (well, most of the time...Keating Park could get a little cold and windy on Saturday nights). I loved sunflower seeds and HubbaBubba chewing gum. My old mitt smelled like salt, dirt, and grass. My batting gloves were always worn in the same places. Coach Millward, Coach Bill, Coach Danny, Coach Perron (T-ball)...Good times.

Landon and Parker seem to enjoy it, and hopefully the girls will, too. Coaching has been enjoyable and I find myself yelling the same types of things my coaches yelled. Maybe all coaches yell the same things?:

"Nice and easy! You got this!"

"Right down the pipe!"

"Give it a ride!"

"Way to be patient!"

"Good eye!"

"Where's the play, guys?"

"Way to be alert!"

"What the...?! What kind of call was that?! You didn't see how low that pitch was?! Are you blind? That was a ball! Gimme a break! You're blind!!! I could see that was a ball from here, and I wasn't even watching!!! Seriously...."

Ahhhh...another relaxing summer of baseball....