makeover mondays January 31, 2011   

So something a little new on the blog!  Don’t get me wrong, I am still going to post images from photo session with clients.  But, I want to bring a little more of me to this blog.  And two things I love are my children and decorating!  So we are getting ready to decorate my daughter’s room and I thought I would post our progress–I’m calling it ‘makeover mondays’.  Notice I said decorate and not RE decorate!  We’ve lived here for 4 years and I have not really done much at all to her room–thinking we would be moving and but continue to stay…so, no more excuses, we have just renewed our lease for another year–which means we will be here for at least another year and a half. 

I have also been wanting to do something fun with her that can be some good quality time we can spend together, so this is perfect.  She is 12.5 and it is time for her to have a more mature room!  This is what she has had thus far (we had already started dismantling when I took these, it’s usually a pretty tidy room).

Ugly green walls:

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Too much junk!

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Built in shelves (Norman is trying to get in the shot to say hello): 

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My helpers:

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And lastly, our palate.  Emma wants it very bright!!  These are the colors that she likes:

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I am trying to remind myself constantly that this is her space, and I want her to feel happy and at home in it.  This is not what I would have necessarily chosen, but it’ll be fun to see what we come up with.  Each Monday I plan to show your our progess we’ve made and share with you our ideas for the following week. First mission:  paint!  I am excited to see the end product!  Until next Monday… xo Andrea

  And the winner is…    

Molly…by 4 votes!!!!  Congrats to the beautiful girl!  I look forward to photographing you!  Adorable Ally was a very close second!

I want to congratulate and thank all of the beautiful pups and their owners!  They are ALL beautiful and I truly wish I could photograph all of them.  Thanks so much for being part of this fun contest!

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  dog-on adorable CONTEST!!! January 27, 2011   

Ok, I know, enough with the dog puns.  But, really…how can I not?!?   All I have to say is that I am glad I don’t have to choose.  You all have some tough choices!

So here’s the deal: take a minute to review the submitted dog photos and then vote in the comments section for the pup you’d most like to see photographed by me.  Now, this is not a competition on the photography , nor is on who is the cutest–because, it’d be a complete 10 way tie!  But this is more of a contest on which pup speaks to your heart the most, maybe it’s the way his/her tounge is hanging out or their sweet puppy stare, or just who you’d like to cuddle and kiss the most.  Each person can only vote for one and only vote one time only.  The winning pups owner will receive a complimentary pet photo session and their choice of 1- 11×14 print.  Voting will close @ 10 pm Sunday night.  So go VOTE!!!  I know their owners will appreciate it!

Entries:

1. Addison

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2.  Oliverhttp://www.andreashirey.com/blog/wp-content/images/dogs_blog/oliver(morris).jpg

 

3. Mollyhttp://www.andreashirey.com/blog/wp-content/images/dogs_blog/molly(morris).jpg

 

4.  Maggiehttp://www.andreashirey.com/blog/wp-content/images/dogs_blog/maggie%20(kennedy).jpg

 

5.  Mabelhttp://www.andreashirey.com/blog/wp-content/images/dogs_blog/mabel.jpg

 

6. Cadehttp://www.andreashirey.com/blog/wp-content/images/dogs_blog/cade_callihan.jpg

 

7. Tobyhttp://www.andreashirey.com/blog/wp-content/images/dogs_blog/Toby(julie).jpg

 

8. Allyhttp://www.andreashirey.com/blog/wp-content/images/dogs_blog/alley_callihan.jpg

 

9. Stellahttp://www.andreashirey.com/blog/wp-content/images/dogs_blog/Stella%20(natalie%20Krovetz).jpg

 

10. Lucyhttp://www.andreashirey.com/blog/wp-content/images/dogs_blog/Lu%20Dog%20(julie).jpg

  julie January 26, 2011   

This post is LONG overdue…my apologies!

My friend Julie and her family came to hang out with us over New Years and we had a ball! 

Now, let me give you a bit of history.  We were friends from college–met our freshman year and became great friends.  I actually got married my the summer before my junior year (and yes, we’re STILL married 17 years later!!)  and Julie was in my wedding–a beautiful bridesmaid!  Afterwhich, life just naturally took us in opposite directions… she went on to grad school and I moved away, started my student teaching and soon after had a baby!  Fastforward to a few years ago and we have found eachother again…thank you facebook!  It’s crazy how we’ve picked up right where we left off!  We both have wonderful husbands and two children each–all who have never met eachother!!  So, it was kinda crazy for us to plan a long weekend celebrating a holiday together.  BUT, it went extremely well! 

And, well,we couldn’t let the occassion pass without a little photoshoot! Unfortunately, it was a bit drizzly, and damp out–and the light was super flat, so I am not *thrilled* with the light, but, loving the expression and life I was able to catch!

  Julie:

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 Her two adorable boys:

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 One of the sweet couple.

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And more of their sweet, silly boys!  I won’t even tell you want I had to say to get them to laugh so hard.  But, I will tell you they are apparently still laughing about it to this day!! 

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And a two of my faves.  Every mama need some sweet cuddle shots with her kiddos.

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http://www.andreashirey.com/blog/wp-content/images/julie_9.jpg

 Tomorrow:  Dog contest!!

Until then…xo andrea

  dog-gone fun little contest! January 18, 2011   

I am really excited to announce this! 

I know there are a lot of you out there with ADORABLE dogs!  And, I really, really LOVE dogs!  I adore capturing their genuine expressions and innocence.  This is why I’ve decided to hold a little contest!!  Winner of the contest will receive a complimentary photo session to have their sweet canine captured by me and an 11×14 print of their choice from their dog’s shoot!

So here’s what you need to do to enter:  Simply select your favorite photo of your pup.  It can be silly, serious, cute…whatever!  Once I have all entries, I will post them on my blog and let my readers (you!) do the voting!  Readers will vote on the pup they’d most like to see captured by me and featured on my blog and new website!  There is NO way I’d be able to choose, so I have to leave it up to the internet to decide!  So start sending those pics in and make sure to include your contact info and your dog’s name.  DEADLINE will be January 23, 2011 @ 9:00 pm.  Send entries to:  andrea@andreashirey.com

*All shoots must take place in Charlottesville, VA.*   *Only friendly pups please!*

Now, enjoy some of my favorite past puppy pics. 

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  YIKES!!! no this isn’t a BAD dream, just my early photography! January 17, 2011   

Whew!!!  So where do I begin… Well, I thought it might be fun and, ahem, a little embarrassing (ok, a lot!) to show you how, why and where I started from.  So, here it is…this is my first attempt at child photography.  This is my daughter circa 4 months old and I was trying to get a nice lovely photo to put in our Christmas cards…and as you can see I failed miserably.  I remember being so disappointed with how this turned out that… http://www.andreashirey.com/blog/wp-content/images/earlyphotography005.jpg

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I tried again.  And, again ugh!  As you can see, I also was using a flash and film.  While, of course, I adore these photos for personal and sentimental reasons, I cannot say they make me really proud to look at for the quality of work.  But, hey, we all have to start somewhere, right?  Although my love of photography began in elementary school, I cannot say that I really started to dive in until my daughter was born.  I made A LOT of mistakes.

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By this point, my daughter was 1–this was actually her  1 year photo taken by me.  I had taken one class by this point and had improved a little bit.

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 The following Christmas, better, but still using flash…

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This was actually taken when we lived in Charleston, SC in the tall sea grass, and I used it for our holiday card.  I do love this photo.  The quality on all of these images are pretty bad as they were scanned, so it’s a bit clearer in person.

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Second birthday.  Still improving.

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By the time my son came along I had learned more about natural light photography, but as you can see, I still had some issues to iron out.

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 My daughter was obsessed with cats hence the whiskers.

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First attempt at baby feet…YIKES!!!

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 My son definitely got the better end of the deal with the photography.  By this point I had gone digital and was considering making photography my part time job…

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Look at those cheeks!

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Fast forward to now…

My son.

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Daughter.

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Them together.

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As you can see, it’s been a long, somewhat painful journey to get here–it’s not always been easy or fun and several times I’ve drug my feet.  I still don’t feel like I know everything about photography that I’d like to.  And, I certainly always see room for improvement.  I still want to be challenged and stretched, but, I can say I am happy to be where I am now…very content. 

I hope someone who reads this finds it encouraging to see what perseverance can bring– whether it is in photography or some other field of interest–if you keep at it, you can only improve–I am proof of that!

I hope you enjoyed and got a good chuckle!

xo~andrea

 

  my own maternity pics… January 12, 2011   

from 1998!!  Pretty scarey huh??  These were obviously not taken by me, but, my wonderful husband (well wonderful in many, many ways–but not in the world of photography obviously!)  I wanted to post these for a few reasons… 1.  I thought it’d be fun to show you all a piece of me from the past way before I started this blog and my busniess.   2.  To remind you why you should get at least a few photos professionally done while you are preggo. 

I only have a very small handful of shots from my pregnancies.  And while there are a million things “wrong” with this photo from a professional photographers perspective, I still do cherish them!  These images were scanned, as we hadn’t gone digital at that point, so they are a bit grainy.

This photo was taken probably around 7 months.  I was pregnant with my daughter.  What more can I say…gotta love the finger over the lens, the hay mixed with grass background and the outfit…

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This one was also with my daugter around the same time.  Again notice the finger this time chopping off my head–I am beginning to think this was my husbands way of including himself in the photo.  And please also ignore the kitty with glowing eyes, tacky couch fabric and country decor in the background–ugh!  Ha ha!  So fun looking back!

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Please stay tuned later this week as I show you some of my very first attempts at photography after my daughter and son were born.  I promise it’ll bring a smile to your face and might even shock you!

xo ~ andrea

  i need to borrow your baby! January 6, 2011   

I promise, I’ll give her/him back!  I am in need a model or two to help me showcase some fun new things I’ve gotten for 2011 photo shoots!  I have already put this up on my facebook fan page and have filled my maternity spots, but am still in need of a newborn girl and possibly boy born no later than the end of February.  Please email me if you are interested.  You will receive your favorite 10 digital images as compensation.

This is also a good time to remind that I do post all announcements on my facebook fan page first, so, if you like my work, I’d love for you to go “like” me on facebook.  You can find the link on my blog.  It’s a great way to stay up to date with everything and also get any announcements first–before they go on my blog. 

Thanks!  I have something fun and a little embarrassing planned for Monday or Tuesday of next week so . . . stay tuned!

  11 things to do in 2011… January 4, 2011   

Well, I am a few days late, but, what the heck.  In an attempt to share more about myself and the goings on in my life on my blog, I thought I would share my 11 goals I’ve set for myself in 2011.  Some are more business oriented and some more personal…why not mix it up a bit since it’s ultimately coming from the same place…me!  Here goes:

1.  Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride.  Yep.  Thought I’d start off with something fun!  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.  My kids are at a great age to do something fun and adventurous like this–so, let’s make this the year!  I am thinking about surprising my husband for his bday–I should be safe to say that on here since he pretty much never reads my blog!  I’ll post pics when this happens…promise!

2.  New Website/Blog update.  I am soooooo tired of my website.  I’ve actually thought about getting rid of it completely and just going strictly to a blog, but, I still think it’s important to have a website–just a more updated one.  I am itching to get at it, change it, refine it and make it a bit more me!  And the blog…well, it’s just time to give it a little lift.  Be on the look out for some exciting, beautiful changes come February.

3. Give more.  Yes, I know this sounds cliche, but it’s true.  I love doing for and giving to others.  It fills my heart in a very special way.  I actually got to do a little of that this Christmas season, and it was so awesome.  It was great to take the focus off of myself and my problems and put it on someone else for a little while.  This is def. something I want to do more of this year!

4.  Entertain more.  Entertaining is something I LOVE to do– setting the table, creating ipod playlists, making yummy foods and great conversation–I love it all!  Business and life have not allowed for a lot of that the past few years, but, I am going to make a very strong effort to change that.  I am hoping to have some sort of dinner guests or gathering at my house once a month this year.  Maybe I should post pics each time I do this…

5. Go Bull Riding (on a fake full of course).  I know it sounds crazy, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.  I may have to go hang with my relatives in Texas to accomplish this goal.  I may…or may not post pics of this one.

6.  Get Family Photos.   Confession: I’ve gotten a little misty many times over pics I am editing because I do not have that with my own family. It’s true.  And, I am a bit picky.  So come this summer we will be traveling to a photographer I admire to get some stellar family photos.  In the pic in the post below of my kids jumping on the bed, you can see a big empty spot over my bed.  It’s just waiting patiently for a fantastic shot of me and my husband–can’t wait to put a huge canvas there. 

7.  Go on a reeeeeeaaaaallllly nice vacation.  Don’t get me wrong.  We’ve gone on some nice vacations the past few years.  The beach is amazing.  But I am wanting a step or two up.  Oh, and NO cell phones or computers allowed.  We are working on planning something now…I’ll share later.

8.  Lose weight.  I couldn’t post about new years resolutions without this one right??  Spending hours upon hours behind my computer has not been kind to my body.  As of yesterday “Operation lose my muffin top” is underway.

9.  Shoot my mind’s eye.  I have sooo many ideas swimming around in my head…some a bit more artsy and crazy.  I want express who I am as a photographer more.  I want to make these ideas come to life and capture them.  Just the thought makes my heart go pitter patter!

10. Organize my photos.  This sounds so silly and trite, I know.  But, I spend so much time helping other with photographs and keeping other’s photographs organized and safe, that mine are a mess–both digitally and print wise.  Last month I purchased some canvases of my own kids–you can see them if you scroll down a bit–and this was the first step in this.  Looking forward to getting my digitals and prints organized this year!

11.  Obtain Balance.  This will probably be on my list next year too…as well as the next.  I do have a bit of a problem with balance–I think it is the artist in me, really I do.  It’s funny how the same trait that makes me good a what I do, can make me so scattered and unbalanced too!   I am really going to try to carve out more time for myself–time to relax, have fun, excercise–shop in stores instead of online…you get the idea. 

So there you have it my friends.  My goals for 2011.  Can’t wait to get started!! 

xo…andrea

  happy, happy! January 3, 2011   

Happy New Year!!!  So excited to start a new year!  I have so many things I can’t wait to blog about and so many exciting ideas and opportunities to share.  I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season, I sure did.  I will be back blogging tomorrow . . . but, right now, my crispy Christmas tree (yes, weare some of those crazy folks who still get a real one every year!  Wouldn’t have it any other way! ) is begging me to take it down . . .  See ya soon!http://www.andreashirey.com/blog/wp-content/images/newyear.jpg