Monday? Already?

The weekend goes too fast.

This was taken in our backyard this last Friday. Surprisingly, even though it’s been plenty cold for it, the grass hasn’t turned brown yet. I think the layer of snow that sat on it for two weeks had something to do with that.

First Run

I received some special  photography gifts  for Christmas. The big gift is a 47″ octabox from Paul C. Buff (for my Einstein strobe). I also asked for a second Cyber Commander receiver and a hot shoe converter for my Speedlite so I could use it in tandem with the strobe.

I broke everything out of the boxes this morning and with no one but me or the critters to shoot I took everything out for a test drive. I shot this in our living room with my back to the bay window. Octabox to camera right and slightly feathered. My Speedlite providing fill was at camera left (shot into a white umbrella to soften) and angled down. I opened the blinds behind me and to camera left to provide a bit of back light (I have a bay window and the blinds that I opened sit at a 45 degree angle from the main window.

The light behind my head is caused by the octabox wrapping around me and reflecting off the surface of the blinds.

I’ll keep working on it.

In this second one I had closed the blinds behind me.


Weekly Photo Challenge: One

I’m a bit late to this week’s photo challenge.

While the Reno Air Races is a group event, I love to look for those moments when individuals are in their own worlds.

“I want for my mommy to come home and my daddy to stay in jail.”

This past Sunday, I once again had the pleasure and honor of acting as the Santa photographer at the annual Reno Fire Department’s Children’s Christmas Party.  It’s been going on for several years now and serves kids who are either homeless or living in shelters or motels.  The kids are paired up with mentors who take them through the Reno Ballroom where they can get a hot meal, do some arts and crafts, get their faces painted, pick up some clothes and toys, and visit with Santa (and get  a photo to take with them).   The mentors are a key part of this event. They sit with the kids, talk to them, listen.  Bonds are created, some lasting beyond the day.

For confidentiality purposes I cannot publish any of the kids’ photos, but here are a few of the volunteers that contributed to making the day a memorable one for these kids who have endured far more than any of us would want for our own children (or any child).  My blog title is the answer one little girl gave to Santa when he asked her what she’d like for Christmas.

This is Jana who coordinated and organized the event. Awesome!

Officer Daniels proves you can’t be too big or too tough to sit on Santa’s lap!

Hug High ROTC and Cheer represent.

More awesome volunteers!

Just a few of the Spanish Springs High cheerleaders who participated.

McQueen High in the house as well (my daughter’s alma mater).

Everyone smiles when they sit on Santa’s lap!

Santa is a retired Reno Firefighter.

My elves acted as a well-oiled machine, getting kids names, guiding them to Santa, printing and handing out the 4×6″ photographs.

My Epson R2000 kept up very well, and turned out excellent photos for the kids.

If you would like to see more of the fantastic volunteers, click on this Gallery Link

Two more I must share. So many organizations help to make this a great event for the kids, but none more so that the Silver Legacy Casino. I wish I could have gotten photos of all the people from the Silver Legacy who participated but here are two who were working very hard to make sure everything stayed neat and tidy.


Edward (who also brought Santa some coffee).

And after photographing everyone else, I took my turn with Santa.