inspiration | colors


I remember while back in art school one of my favorite topics we talked about was color and how it affected us and our senses. Being a photographer, I can use those colors to help convey a feeling or emotion that I want my audience to have. So I thought today I would talk a bit about colors.




Reds :  These colors are known for aggitation. They make you feel agitated or bothered. They stimulate your heart, increase your strength, increase your stamina and of course your circulation. So naturally it is no wonder that a bull rages at the color red, it makes him aggitated.




Pinks : This color is associated with love and romance. It is known to have a calming effect on those around it. Pinks are a gentle stimulus and are known to help you relax your muscles. Did you know that sometimes in prisons their ‘drunk tanks’ are painted pink to help the arrestee stay mellow and calm?




Oranges : Orange is most associated with fun and security. But this can also lead to immaturity issues. But since it is from the red family it does cause stimulus which helps with your digestive system and stimulates your immune system.




Yellow : Yellow has a tendency to effect our emotions more than others. When we have short bursts of it it brings feelings of confidence, self-esteem, and creativity. When we interact with yellow too much it causes fear, depression and irrationality. Strange what a color can do. Obviously yellow stimulates your brain and nervous system.




Green : Green is our balance color. It falls in the middle of the color spectrum and since that is the case it gives us a balanced sense of reality. Since it works on our balance it is no wonder that it balances circulation, helps disorders, helps with colds, hayfever and liver issues. It also works a bit on your heart.




Blues : Blue helps with soothing. This helps us feel calm with a sense of reflection and trust. Since it relaxes you it effects your liver and thyroid. It can also have a cooling effect on you, as well as lowering your blood pressure.




Violet : Violet is unique in that it effects your spirituality. It helps you reach a better state of mental awareness and helps you when you are wanting to meditate. Since it works on your awareness it is no wonder it balances your metabolism and helps your brain.


Of course there are many other benefits to colors and many other effects that work their wonders on you. So I guess the moral of the lesson is.. live a colorful life so all of you and your well being can be in good working order!

wallpaper | fall

It is that wonderful time of year where the leaves are changing, you can wear boots and scarves and hot chocolate is back in season. It also means time for beautiful photos of the landscapes, and family time is nearing. I recently took a drive up the canyon to get some nature photography in, and found some beautiful leave changes. So I thought why not make you guys some fun wallpaper?



iPhone   |   iPad   |  Desktop

This is one of my all time favorite quotes, helps me remember to let go of things in the past cause I can’t change them. This is a good reminder especially when a large life change happens or you’ve made a mistake. What is a favorite quote of yours?

places | Living Planet Aquarium


A few weeks back we attempted a day trip to Seattle, and the flight was full. Bummer, but we decided to do something fun in our state that we had never checked out. We visited the Living Planet Aquarium. Of course I had my camera and had to snap some photos of those lovely fish and seahorses. I mean they are such neat animals. If you are in the area and need something fun and educational, this is a great spot!




This moray eel followed us around the whole time we were in the shark tank. They have a neat Shark tunnel where you can walk through their enclosure and see a bunch of fish and sharks. And that jellyfish was such an awesome shade of pink, I loved just watching them swim around.


They had the coolest seahorse enclosures. There were a bunch in there and often really close to the glass. I loved watching these two interact with each other, the way they swim near each other and communicate is quite a experience.


These mini seahorses are an inch tall. An INCH! They were so cute, who knew they came in that size. And that fish has teeth, like human TEETH. It was crazy to watch him from each angle.



The sting ray enclosure is one to check out for sure. You can pet and feel the stingray as they swim around, there are about 6 in there so you get a good chance of touching at least one. They are slimy and slick but really cool to feel.



I had to put another jelly picture in there, aren’t they just fascinating? And who doesn’t love penguins. It was fun to sit and watch them all pile on the rock and then time their jump into the water and then back out. Those things are FAST in the water too!


All in all the aquarium was neat, even for adults, since we don’t have kids :). There were a few exhibits that weren’t open or still under construction which was kind of a bummer, since we wanted to see them all! But what we could see was awesome.


To check out there website and get more info click here.

deal | back to school special



Back to school, Back to school to prove to Dad I’m not a Fool… It is that time of year again! And since that is the case, I thought I would give you a deal! From September 7-30th, you can get 15% off all portrait sessions. This would be a PERFECT time for senior photos, family christmas card pictures, or even to update that family picture on the wall. Email for pricing and booking. 


*Sessions must be booked in the month of september, but can be used at a later date.

books | the mortal instruments : City of Bones

Alright, since it has been a while since I have written about a book I have read I figured it was about time I got back to it. Lately with being sick and having to lay down a lot I read like crazy. I am burning through books. Hopefully that ‘energy’ of second trimester will come back into my life and I can start feeling like a human again.

One of my favorite series is the Mortal Instruments. I picked the first one up on a recommendation from a Barnes and Noble employee and it didn’t disappoint. There are six books in the series and all are pretty magical, although frustrating at times as well. Think New Moon of twilight frustrations. This first one is a great way into the series, and no it is not like the movie. There are similarities, but alas as we all know.. books are better than movies folks.

Screen shot 2014-09-03 at 12.33.55 PM

We start off with young Clary Fray and her friend Simon Lewis. The relationship between these two is pure gold, I wish I had a friend like Simon in my hard youth years. Things in Clary’s life are changing, she is seeing symbols, drawing them and even seeing people and things that Simon can’t. After freaking out a bit, as I am sure we all would in that situation, she runs into Jace (a guy she can see but Simon can’t) at a coffee shop. He has been following her to see how much she really knows. He introduces her into the world of Shadowhunters. Shadowhunters are  part angel part human and are here to protect the human race from demons. While she can’t believe what she is hearing, how can you not know there are things like demons lurking around, her mother calls leaving a frantic message. Clary, being the only child to her single mother, leaves Jace in an alley to run to her mother’s aid. Upon arrival at her house she discovers her mother has been taken and the house is in shambles.

Jace, being a good shadowhunter, followed Clary to her home and finds the remnants of demons in the apartment. Knowing Clary is in danger, Jace takes her to the institute. The institute is a cathedral that is a safe haven for shadowhunters to live and stay. It is invisible to human eyes and will only open for shadowhunters seeking refuge. While in her brief stay with her new found love Jace and his family at the institute, she learns of her heritage and that she herself is in fact a shadowhunter.

Her mother was hiding her from her father, a crazed shadowhunter determined to create a race of part demon shadowhunters. Since they were on the run, Clary’s mother had her shadowhunter memories and sight hidden with magic placed on her by a warlock, Magnus Bane. In attempts to restore her memory in hopes of it leading to her mother they approach Magnus, who informs her he can’t reverse it but it will fade as time goes on. Still searching for answers, she seeks out Luke a close family friend. Turns out, he is a werewolf and has already been sought out by her father’s henchmen. They are in search of the Mortal Cup, one of the instruments needed to raise the angel Raziel. Jace teaches Clary the history of the shadowhunter population and about the Mortal Cup that has been missing for decades. Upon seeing a picture of the cup, she realizes she knows exactly where it is, and with her new shadowhunter powers – knows exactly how to get it back.


This book was a quick fun read. There are some intense scenes both of action and passionate tension. It is easy to put yourself in Clary’s shoes and be swept off your feet by a gorgeous guy like Jace. Who doesn’t want a little more romance in their life? The world Cassandra Clare creates, is one I wouldn’t mind living in. Knowing about vampires, werewolves, fairies, shadowhunters and demons. Sounds like an exciting world full of thrills and excitement, almost makes me want to be a shadowhunter.


I would recommend this read to anyone who loves a love story, mixed with adventure and action and a deep dark secret. Pick it up if you think you are up to it!


inspiration | grandpa’s house



There is a magical place where I spent 2 weeks of my summer growing up. My grandparents house. I love to take photographs there especially of family and the details that are there. Growing up we went to their house every summer for two weeks before school started. We would play in the irrigation, eat picnics every day, have pancakes every morning and spend time with wonderful people.


My grandmother, GG, passed away about 3 years ago. Her house has changed a bit, I will admit, but there are still pieces of her everywhere. Especially in the roses. She has a bunch of beautiful rose bushes growing in her backyard. My grandpa takes great care in making sure they always put out the most beautiful flowers. I can remember picking them and putting them in vases all around the house, the smell is something I will never forget.


Another great place here is my grandpa’s shed. Behind it resides a trellis full of grape plants that blooms every summer with grapes. Grandma would always make fresh grape juice and jelly that seriously is better than any store bought brand I have tasted. It is a magical little hideaway back there.


Handle&BenchGrandpa’s shed is built by hand with siding, brick and lovely old doors. It is a little house if you will. I can remember spending hours playing house in there. That place is truly one of a kind.


The smallest of details remind me of my GG. She was a school secretary, so the memory of the school and the school supplies in her office is one I am not going to forget. The other was this calendar, she bought a 5 year calendar and wrote every birthday and date in there. As they get older it is harder to see, or so I hear, and they used the cutest little magnifying glass.



I am telling you, you can’t buy memories and magical places like this. It is like a inspirational recharge every time I make a visit, which isn’t often enough.


Where is your inspirational place? Is there a place you go to recharge? I would love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below!

tips | how I edit


I get asked every now and again how I edit my photographs. So I thought I would show you today a few steps that I go through with every image of mine. Whenever I do a photography shoot, I follow these steps in editing my photos. I figured I would start with an image I recently shot. We have a horse pasture at the end of our block that houses up to 4 horses at a time. This horse seems to like people and will follow us everywhere when we are down there.




The first thing I always do is open it in photoshop and open 3 adjustment layers. Levels, Curves and Color Balance. I have a shortcut on my computer to open all three everytime, but to do them one at a time do the following. In the bottom of the Layers panel click on the circle that is half shaded. It will open a drop down menu, from here you will pick Levels, Curves and Color Balance.


Horse post Levels | Levels Panel


Then we get to work. The first adjustment I make is always to the levels panel. So I click on the levels adjustment layer and it opens a box that you see in the photo above on the right. Drag the black cursor to the first bit of white in the scale, this assures that your blacks are in deed in your photograph. Don’t go further in to make it darker, just right to the line. Do the same for the white cursor, ensuring your whites are in the right spot and nothing is void of detail. Now if you want to lighten / darken you can do a small adjustment here. Do this by using the middle cursor and pulling it to the right darkens, and the left lightens. If you notice I lightened my image slightly.


Horse post curves | curves panel


Next up is curves. This is where I do 98% of my lighten / darken process. This panel affects the overall brightness of the image instead of just the darks or the lights like the Levels panel does. ALWAYS adjust the line in the bottom left cross of the first square. If you do it to high the image will go wonky. Pulling the bar up lightens your image, pulling it down will darken it. I always err on the light side because I like people to be able to see my images clearly.


Horse post color | color balance panel

Next I adjust the color balance of the image. This takes a little bit of playing around to find that sweet spot, but once you start to see it then changing a batch at a time is really easy. When I opened this image, I noticed that it was really cool. I had photographed this on a overcast day which gave me some blues and greens. So I pushed up my yellows and reds. I did add a little bit of green, just because after balancing the red and yellow the grass and the horses fur looked slightly pink. Mess around with this until you find what works for you. There is no formula on this one, since every image is different.


before | after


Once I have finished those steps I usually go back and fine tune things. Make sure my blacks and whites stayed put in the levels panel, and then adjust my colors again to make sure I like them. From here I will flatten and save my image. There you have it, my basic editing!


What editing tips or tricks do you have? Is there something you always do to help make your images spectacular? Let me know in the comments below!

i have a secret..



I have a secret, one I have held on to for a few months now. I thought since we are celebrating this week, that I would share with all of you.

I am pregnant!! I am due in the early spring next year, and I couldn’t be more excited. This has been a hard long road for us, nearly five years in the making. Dealing with fertility issues, and a battery of tests we were able to find a solution that worked for us. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome a little one in a few months.



baking | chocolate cupcakes


In honor of my birthday tomorrow, I have decided that cupcakes are in order. And naturally I had to take a bunch of photos and share the recipe with you. I mean it is a celebration after all. This chocolate cake recipe is a family friends and a staple around here. I make it for everything cake. It is so good, and dense that you can’t really go wrong. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!


Here is what you need


3 c flour

2 c sugar

6 TBS cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

3/4 c butter, melted

2 TBS white vinegar

2 c cold water

chocolate chips, optional


Heat your oven to 375. Prep your cupcake with liners, or if you are doing sans liner make sure you grease and flour the pan.

Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Make it a dry mix and make sure everything breaks apart evenly. Otherwise you get chunks of stuff in your cupcake.



Add Vanilla, butter and vinegar. Mix these with the dry ingredients. Then lastly add the cold water. Mix until well mixed, should be a fluffy batter.



I use a cookie scoop to scoop cupcake mix into the liners, but you can spoon it in if you would like. Fill the cupcakes 3/4 of the way. These grow, but not a lot. This dough is very dense. Sprinkle with chocolate chips if you want. Place in oven for 20 minutes. Test to make sure cooked all the way through. This recipe makes about 24 full sized cupcakes. 

Allow to cool fully before frosting. Otherwise your icing will melt. I use buttercream, you can find the recipe here.


These are delicious and you can’t help to have more than one. They are great for celebrations, of just cause you need a little chocolate in your life.



birthday week | gift for you

Friends! It is my birthday week, my 20′s are over this week a fact I am slowly accepting. Can we not talk about it? Thanks. And since it is a reason to celebrate I have a deal for you! If you book a session for photos with the best utah photographer (ahem, me..) this week I will give you a $25 gift card! Happy day for you. Applies to any session and but MUST be booked this week. Email me at to redeem your gift card!!