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Texas was its own nation for nine years, from 1836 to 1845. Many Texans hold this fact dear to their hearts and even hope it may come to pass again someday. Each city in this state has its own vibe but all in all, it definitely still feels like you’re in the United States. On this particular excursion we spent nearly a week in Austin. The people are friendly and goodness do they love dogs here. I finally found a place that seems to be more into dogs than San Diego!
There was a huge trail that ran along the river behind our hotel and we got to know it very well. It allows for great views of the skyline and random kayakers. It also leads to the famous Congress bridge which houses an amazing amount of bats. When they’re at peak, people come from all around to view them. Most have migrated but I was told they start coming back in March. Here are a few more shots from my first walk on the trail.
There’s an incredible amount of history that took place here. A viking fortress once stood at this site and then around 1204 plans for Dublin Castle were established by King John of England. It served as the center for colonial administration and eventually the seat of all English government for Ireland. In the 1700’s the castle underwent transitions and renovations that today’s castle most closely resembles.
above: present day
below: castle street entrance early 20th century from the national archives.
The Throne Room contains a throne built in 1821 for King George IV. It was originally the Battleaxe Hall in the 1740’s.
The state bedrooms were rebuilt in the 1960’s after fire damage. Margaret Thatcher was the last dignitary guest here.
The State Dining Room formerly called the Supper Room and now also known as the Portrait Gallery. It is the oldest room in the castle.
The State Corridor built around 1758.
Saint Patrick’s Hall was once a ballroom and dates from the 1740’s. It is now used for presidential inaugurations.
Above: The State Drawing Room, built in the 1830’s.
Castle Yard (above: present day, below: early 20th century)
Looking out toward the street from behind the castle entrance gate.
Read more about the history of this beautiful place here: http://www.dublincastle.ie/HistoryEducation/History/
Here we go, the planned mini session schedule for this year is as follows:
- Valentine’s Mini Sessions- January 26, 2013 (back-up days Jan. 27th & Feb. 1)
- Kissing Booth Minis- January 30th, 2013
- St. Patrick’s Minis- March 1st & 2nd
- Easter Minis- March 8th, 9th, & 10th, 2013
- Lemonade Stand Minis- April 5th, 2013
- Mother’s Day Minis- April 20th, 2013
*Note: After April, There will be no further sessions in Florida until Holiday 2013 sessions to take place tentatively in November, exact dates have yet to be determined.*
We will only be doing sessions in the state of California for the months of May, June, July, and August 2013.
Has your inspiration run dry? It happens to the best of us. I will keep it short and simple, don’t give up.
So many things are easier said than done but nothing stops you from accomplishing something more than yourself. I look for mantras to adopt all the time. I give myself new ones constantly because sometimes I need to remind myself that I am valuable, that there is still good even when things seem bad, that I can get through anything. Goals can be hard to reach but they’re not impossible to reach. This can be applied to so many different things. I realize that others go through rough patches, have bad days, and just generally need a kind word every now and then. I know what it means to me so I will offer the same. Things can and always will get better. You’ve got this.
Last week we made our way back across the country, from San Diego, CA back to Florida. I’m not going to lie, it was a long trip. It was a rough trip. We didn’t sight-see or dilly-dally. We have amazing friends who will fly out to California to help with the drive back since I couldn’t. It has taken me a week to do laundry and start to un-pack. I’m exhausted. I almost feel like part of me is trying to catch up to the other part of me which is in a different time zone. Every now and then I look back through some of the pictures and it’s almost like a dream. As the scenery flew past I captured brief moments of it and so glad I did. I had already forgotten how beautiful a lot of the landscape we passed through truly is.
The variety of landscapes and climate was amazing. From 84 in California to a scorching (yet dry) 116 degrees in the Arizona desert, to a balmy 70 degrees in Flagstaff… all in the same day.
Next time we make a trip like this we will have to plan some stops to not only make the journey more bearable but to allow for a little more enjoyment. This country of ours has so much to be seen and explored.
“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep…” -Robert Frost
“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.” -John F. Kennedy
To say that watching these creatures was mesmerizing would be an understatement. We did take time to observe and take in all there was to see but may have spent a little extra time to get those great shots. Of all things I’ve photographed to date, an aquarium has probably proven to be the most challenging environment. All of your subjects are behind thick panes of smudged glass and the lighting conditions, when there was actually light, was variable. Not to mention fighting the crowd to get close enough to see. Tricky indeed.
A couple of fun facts:
- Male seahorses spend most of their lives pregnant. That’s right, the guys do the birthing.
- Giant kelp is harvested as a source of algin used to give a creamy texture in foods such as ice cream, cosmetics such as lipstick, and even toothpaste.
The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. ~Jacques Yves Cousteau
Today I am working on getting this sweet little session posted. Yesterday we met up with this lovely family to do a lifestyle maternity session. Makendra is 9 months if you can believe it and I was honestly a little worried she might go into labor. We didn’t do anything too crazy for that fact, although because Nate is so tall we got a little creative with posing at times. Nate is being deployed within a matter of days and it was my honor to capture the family together before he goes. Later on I hope to capture them again after they’ve welcomed their new one into the world. I know one thing for sure, they make very cute babies. Miss Averee is adorable!
It is officially Summer and we have now been in breezy San Diego for three weeks. I have been enjoying the many blooms of the city. They inspire me to delve further into exploring macro photography. We’ve been so lucky, every day is a beautiful day here. Our friends back in Florida seem to be less fortunate on the weather front.
Exploring gardens and lush landscapes; Continuing to add to my fine art repertoire until it’s time to face the storms again.
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau
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I can think back to times I had big plans, one might even call them dreams and I can’t think of anyone who was there to nudge me on, give a little support. I’ve always been an introvert and often afraid to put myself out there in the first place. Since the accident, I’ve had to work harder to function normally. And I guess I’ve been a little more inclined to try to do the things I feel will make me happy. Every day someone new decides to take their dream and run with it too. Many will not get where they hope to. I’m on the road and I can see a path but it gets so crowded sometimes, so many people on this same road. At times, I have to admit, I feel like giving up. I started actually photographing people in 2003 after taking a couple photography classes. Before then, it was just nature and architecture. In 2009 I tried to leap to full time in the photography world but that world had begun to drastically change. Now, it’s a crazy scene. Anyone with a camera can be a photographer. Discouraging? Yes. For someone who has taken her time developing a style and learning, it honestly kind of stings a little to see people all around you buying a camera and suddenly proclaiming to be a professional.
But then I take a walk. I have to go back for my camera of course because I always, without fail, see something around me that I want to capture. It’s always been that way. I’m lucky and thankful to have some support now. I’m just going to keep doing what I do and along the way hope that others will appreciate it. I cannot let myself give up.