Craptastic Photog

 The last few days I've been seeing rants about what a nonprofessional photographer should call themselves. Ok, so I'm married...is it an unwritten law that I absolutely Must be called Mrs. Franklin or I'm not Really married?  What would've happened if I had kept my maiden name?   Would it have
changed who I really am?  ::pfft!::  Nooowa!  Get over it people and let's talk about something that Really matters!  Ok, how about this...I read an article once were a gal called herself a ‘craptastic photog hobbyist”…I LOVE that! Sounds good to me, I think I’ll adopt the title for myself.

I completely agree that going out and buying a fancy pants camera doesn’t make you a professional photographer. I get that. However, there seems to be some more seasoned photographers who think pretty highly of themselves. Just because you’ve been at it longer doesn’t make you a professional. In fact constant blogging on the matter has become a huge discouragement to others. I wonder, how did they get started? Did they just show up one day being Fabulous? I highly doubt it.

What it all boils down to is respect, on both sides. Photography is a skill, and it takes practice. You cannot buy a big time camera and immediately become a professional. It takes time and patience, you have to work your way up. In order to do that you have to put yourself out there, advertise, and post your photos. I think that’s why some seasoned photographers are aggravated with the up & coming photographers. They’ve worked hard, spent a lot of time and money to get to where they are…then someone comes along giving the impression that they have the same credentials. It downplays the hard work they’ve put into their business.

I will be the first to admit, when I saved my mommy money to buy my fancy camera, all I wanted was to run out and not only call myself a professional photographer…but BE a professional photographer. I very quickly learned that just because I had that big, fancy, artsy fartsy camera…nope, it didn’t make me a great photographer at all. It was pretty bad.

I read everything I could find, took classes, and practiced…a lot. I gradually started to improve. Most importantly though, the frustration wasn’t as …well…frustrating. I was actually starting to enjoy what I was doing, and that was a really good feeling. Eventually I was being asked to take pictures for people other than my family. At first I didn’t charge anything. Then I would barter for home made jelly or tomatoes. I even shot my girlfriends daughter in exchange for a three months membership at the fitness club. I absolutely have a lot more to learn. In fact every time I pick up my camera I learn something new. It’s an ongoing process.

Today, yes, I do charge for my services. It’s my time and my talent. My time is just as important as the next persons. My work deserves credit, I earned it. More importantly though, I am responsible for my family. Like anyone else, I provide things like braces, clothing, food, cheer, karate, doctor bills, gas, etc…the list is never ending. Oh, and let’s not forget college shall we? So, you can better believe I have no problem charging for my services. No problem what so ever.

Do I want to run a professional photography business? Absolutely not, and I’ll tell you why. Photography as a business takes the fun out of it for me. I don’t want to deal with the business end of it. It’s a headache and a time suck…and it’s just not fun. This is supposed to be fun!

Professional or Nonprofessional Photographers ~ “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” It’s the right thing to do. It’s the way I was raised and the way I raise my own kids. As a photographer on any level, we should be there to help one another and inspire one another. Stay humble…it is so wonderful to receive compliments but take them and keep working harder. Don’t ever feel like ‘you have arrived’ because that’s not a good place to be. YOU are YOU and there are NO rules when it comes to art.


All you can eat


errr uuugh, diet. 

I honestly don't like that word, diet.  I'm going to call it  nutritional therapy,yeah, that's it.

Ok, so I'm willing to admit that over the past year I've gained 10...ehem...12 pounds.  I've always been little and thin with a few ups & downs like anyone.  This time it seems to be different though.  It used to be if I gained a few pounds I could exercise more and eat less, or just ate better.  Not this time.  Nope.  I've tried eating clean, running, boot camp, I even joined a gym.  Haven't been much needless to say.  *jill hangs head in shame*


I've decided, for myself, that this is not the way I want to look or feel...I feel mushy and puffy....and I don't like it.


Here's my plan.  I went through my box of recipe's and found this soup recipe.  It's dated November of 2002.  I believe it's from an article in Good Housekeeping Magazine.  Anyway, it's a great basic soup even if you're not on a diet.  It's only 40 calories per cup and YUM - ME.  You can make a huge pot of the basic soup and add goodies as you go.  For example, today I'm having just the basic soup for lunch.  You can add some chicken, or chicken and rice or noodles, mushrooms and low fat smoked sausage, white beans with basil and oregano.  The possibilities are endless.  Honestly though, it's good just the way it is.  My daughter, who wont eat veggies, it's like the plague, ate a whole bowl full for lunch yesterday!  Now if I can just get my son to eat it we'll be good to go!

"Will you join me in a bowl of soup?"  "Is it big enough for the both of us?" 

Ok, Ok...let's make some soup.

Here's what you need:

5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
3 medium celery stalks, sliced
3 large onions, chopped, or 3 medium leeks, each cut into 1-inch slices
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 cans (28 ounces each) tomatoes in juice
1 small head Savoy cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds), thinly sliced
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
2 packages (5 ounces each) baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 chicken-flavor bouillon cubes or envelopes (substitute vegetable broth and less water if you don't want meat flavor)
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
12 cups water (minus vegetable broth if you are doing the "no meat" thing)

1. Coat 8-quart sauce pot with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium-high heat, add carrots, celery, onions, and garlic. Cook 5 minutes.

2. Stir in tomatoes with their liquid, breaking up tomatoes with side of spoon. Add cabbage, remaining ingredients, and 12 cups water. Heat to boiling over high heat, stirring occasionally.

3. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes, or until vegetables become tender. Add more salt and pepper if desired. Makes about 25 cups.

I loaded up my freezer, no excuses!

You can eat ALL the soup you want whenever you want while eating healthy balanced meals for breakfast and lunch. Eat soup for dinner with added lean meat or have soup along with a light healthy dinner. Have fruit or the soup for snacks. Supposed to help you lose 5 lbs. the first week (if you eat 300 calories for breakfast and 400 calories for lunch) and then 1-2 lbs. a week after that.  You could be 10 pounds lighter!


How do you find the time?

Photo by Google Images
How do you find the time to exercise?  How do you honestly find the time?  We all lead busy and complicataed lives, and when we do have time, we're too busy to do anything that requires energy or a brain.  I would really love your opinion.
  • I've started packing the kids lunch the night before, that's a good thing.
  • I've started walking the dog instead of just letting her out.  Also a good thing.
That's not enough though.  I know there isn't a single little trick to find huge blocks of time.  It's going to take a series of steps that add up over time.  Maybe you have the missing step.  Let's see, shall we?



I try.  I really do.  I try and try to get at least some good pictures of my kids.  It's not always easy.

Yes.  I will admit, I've paid them each $5.00 just for a good smile, to sit still, or just leave one another alone for a few minutes. 

Yes.  I've bribed them with M&M's, pizza, and even the occasional sleep over.   

Hey, you gotta do what'chya gotta do, right!?!

Eventually it all works out.

After going through picture after picture, hitting delete, delete, delete...  there it is! 

You run into something that absolutely makes you smile from the inside out.


They wear me out!

But most of all they make me smile & laugh.  There's nothing on this planet better than the sound of your kids laughing and having fun.

It's simply The Best!


Color Walk

Every morning I have the privilege of coming to work.

I love it!

One of the many reasons I love coming to work is this beautiful campus.

It's tucked away in the middle of town.
If you didn't know about it, you would miss it.  

This has been my view every morning for the past few weeks.
From my car ~ To my building.

The color, the smell and the wrestling of the leaves puts me in the very Best of moods. 

It makes me happy, like there's nothing I can't do.

Now that, my friends, makes for a great work day!


It can happen...

Photo by {CarLee}
Over the weekend, our good friends lost their son in an ATV accident. I’ve known the family for as long as I’ve been with my husband. He’s known them for much longer. We’ve seen this family through graduations, weddings, children, good times and not so good times. I feel like anything I say or do isn’t going to help in any way. I mean, come on, one day you get up and go about your day only to never talk to, hug, or laugh with your son again. No amount of food or pretty card is going to comfort them.

There are very few things in life that are harder to face than the sudden death of someone you care about. Whether it's a friend, a sibling, or even someone you just sort of know, the loss of their life can make you feel like you have an enormous hole inside yourself.

There's a lot that goes on in your mind, body and heart when someone close to you dies.  Grief is a weird thing - it affects people differently. Some people grieve by wanting to take care of everybody else and make everybody else feel better. Some people just act completely crazy. Some people get caught up in thinking, "Why didn't it happen to me?"

I think I’ve figured out why I’ve been keeping quietly to myself the past couple days:
The shock of seeing that it actually can happen to someone close to you can make you feel pretty vulnerable yourself.


It's all about the bOObs

 During the month of October, members nationwide of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, including the Sigma chapter at Baker University, are giving women the extra support they need for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


The Button Lady

Buttons.  I've been making buttons for the high school booster club.  Soccer buttons, cheer buttons, cross country buttons, football, and volleyball buttons.  Buttons, Buttons, Buttons...they're everywhere!

I had a fine time trying to figure out THIS contraption.

It was nice seeing all the kids smiling faces!

I'm sure basketball will be here before we know it...and wrestling too!


KU Spiit Day

Carody, and her cheer team, got to cheer along side the KU Cheerleaders at the KU vs. Texas TECH game on Saturday. What an experience for the girls!  You couldn't ask for a more beautiful day, and the stadium was packed!  I've not been to a KU game for years...too many to admit anyway.  The crowd Rocked!  Yeah, we lost, TT defeated Kansas 45 - 34.  Oh well ~ it was a great day anyway!  GREAT Day!

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