Thursday, September 27, 2012

Snippets + Snapshots | September 2012

Snippets + Snapshots from the past month...

ET phone home | game night | love my life | crazy driver | yumminess | pretty in pink | silly pup | palm tree goodness | spoiled | tree branch silhouette | trip to vegas | blue man group | super yummy lunch | puppy cuteness | cloud porn | tug | before | final finishing touch | law school widow | peach rose bliss | birthday, birthday, and more birthday | puppy pillow


If you want to see all of my Instagram photos, you can check them out online here or search for me on the app - my user name is michelewhitacre!

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at michelewhitacrephotography.com. Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Birthday Bucket List | 2012-2013 Edition


"Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live." ~Nicolas de Chamfort

Oh, how I wish that quote didn't describe me, but sadly it fits me to a T.  I've always spent too much time thinking and planning and not enough time living and doing.  By now, I doubt I'm ever going to completely get away from my natural tendency to over-think things, but my Birthday Bucket List is my way of trying to even the score!  It is an attempt to get me out there living and doing and experiencing new things.

Every year I compile a list of things I want to do before my next birthday. I used to create a list with the number of things that I wanted to do equaling the age I would be turning, but as I've gotten older, I found that I just couldn't keep up. So now I come up with a list of 12 things I want to do in the coming year, with the goal of attempting to mark one off my list each month.

So, here is my 2012-2013 Birthday Bucket List:

1. Become a regular... CHECKED + BLOGGED!

2. Visit some place I've never been before... CHECKED + BLOGGED!

3. Visit the Grand Canyon... CHECKED + BLOGGED!

4. Visit Key West... CHECKED + BLOGGED!

5. Visit more Mayan Ruins... CHECKED + BLOGGED!

6. Buy a new camera body... CHECKED + BLOGGED!

7. Send a message in a bottle... CHECKED + BLOGGED!

8. Get mother/daughter professional portraits taken... CHECKED + BLOGGED!

9. Start a monthly personal photography project... CHECKED + STARTED!

10. Participate in a photo walk... CHECKED + BLOGGED!

11. Purchase flash equipment... CHECKED + BLOGGED!

12. Adopt more fur babies... CHECKED + BLOGGED!

As I complete the items, I will mark them off the list and write a blog post about the experience. I'm excited about this year's list and looking forward to getting out there and living life!

Did you miss my 2011-2012 Birthday Bucket List? You can find it here.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at michelewhitacrephotography.com. Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

BBL 2011-2012 | Plant a Palm Tree



#1 PLANT A PALM TREE

Why did I include this on my Bucket List?

I added this to my birthday bucket list because I have always been fascinated with palm trees. Previously, I had "live some place where there are palm trees" on my list.  Once I relocated to Phoenix, I was able to mark that item off the list, and I decided I should honor the accomplishment by planting a palm tree in my environment.

Was the experience what I had hoped it would be?

What's not to love about planting a palm tree?  The only thing I would have changed about it was to be planting it in the yard of my own home, but since we are still renting that wasn't possible.  So, instead I purchased a small palm tree and a large pot to plant it in until we do buy a house and I can transfer it.

The details...

I decided on a Phoenix Roebelenii Palm because it was described as a smaller, slow growing palm.  I thought that would fit my needs of wanting to plant it in a pot and then transfer it at a later date.  I also like how they have multiple trunks and selected one with three for my palm.

Here is a series of photos that Kevin took of me planting my new palm tree...




My little helpers...










Ta-Da!...


I totally snuck this one in right under the wire, as TODAY is my birthday and my next Birthday Bucket List is all compiled and ready to hit the blog in a few days. So stay tuned for what the next year will have in store for me.

Do you want to see my entire 2011-2012 Bucket List? You can find it here.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at michelewhitacrephotography.com. Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kelly's Sneak Peek

I am excited to introduce the gorgeous Kelly, and share her photos with you. I am so lucky that I get to photograph such sweet, beautiful and amazing clients.

I met Kelly at her apartment before her session where she let me raid her closet and help pick out her outfits for her photos. I love it when I get to do that. It is so much fun to see all of the cute accessories that other women have. Kelly had the best belt collection ever! As soon as I saw the purple belt she has on here, I KNEW we had to design an outfit around it.

This first photo is definitely one of my favs.  Kelly has the most stunning eyes, and they really pop in this picture...


How cute is this outfit!?...


I love the bright bold colors in Kelly's photos, so I actually prefer most of them in the color version. (Yes, I know. Very rare for me!) But I thought this one of Kelly looked great in black and white...



Hello, gorgeous light!...


I'm such a sucker for a vine covered wall...



We took all of Kelly's photos within a few blocks of her apartment, so we were able to head back for a quick outfit change and then sneak in a few more photos before we lost all of our light.

Love the intense look she's got going on in this one...


Sassy!...


And right back to where we started with those gorgeous eyes...


Kelly, thank you so much for allowing me to take your photos!  It was a blast spending my Saturday evening chatting with you.  Good luck with your second year of law school.  I know you are going to do awesome.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at michelewhitacrephotography.com. Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Zoe Turns 5 Years Old!

Zoe turned 5 years old on September 11th. In some ways it is hard to believe that it's been almost 5 years since I adopted her. In other ways, it's hard to think back to my life before adopting my dogs and it kinda feels like I've always had them.

Zoe and Lexi always get birthday and Christmas presents and they LOVE tearing open the bags and discovering what is inside. Here they are patiently waiting for Kevin to give them Zoe's gift...


Zoe's expression in this one cracks me up!...


Here Lexi is helping Zoe out, making sure she didn't miss anything in the bag...


Oh wait! There's still something in there...



I just love this photo of Lexi!...


New stuff to chew on. Yay!...


And, the aftermath...


I get such a kick out of watching them open their presents, and tear up the wrappings.  Lexi's birthday isn't until early December, but I'm sure it will be upon us before we know what hit us!

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at michelewhitacrephotography.com. Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Self-Portrait | September 2012

Usually I wait until the middle or the end of the month to take my self-portrait so I can create a photo that will capture what was going on in my life that month.  Only this month, I already knew what was in store for me so I took the photos on September first, and I've spent the time since then trying to work up the nerve to actually post them.

So, what is September's defining event?

I joined Weight Watchers at the beginning of the month, and I've made a commitment to lose the extra weight I've been carting around for the past two years.

My story is probably similar to most of the females out there who have struggled with their weight:

When Kevin and I started dating about 4 years ago, I weighed 25 lbs less than I do now.  I had gained a little weight while we were dating, but buckled down when we got engaged and managed to lose the majority of it by the time we got married.  But then our wedding day rolled around, and we had the most amazing wedding cake I have ever tasted!  After a year of constant dieting to fit into my dress, I took one bite and gave up every ounce of resolve I had been holding onto.  It sent me spiraling head first into an eating binge that I didn't put a stop to until now.

Oh, I have reasons (or should we say excuses?). I was busy. I was stressed. You've heard it all before.

But enough is enough.

When I weighed less I was healthier and happier.  Period.  (Not to mention that I had a much larger wardrobe.) 

So, for September's self-portrait I decided to take some "Before" photos of myself. I am more bothered by the appearance of the extra weight in my face and neck than in the rest of my body.  I considered only posting one close up photo of my face, but then that sort of felt like cheating for a before weight loss photo, so I included a few full body shots as well.


I've always known that I carry more extra weight on my left thigh than my right one, since sometimes I will try on clothing that is too tight on my left but fits on the right. However, I didn't realize just how pronounced the difference is over my entire body until comparing these photos side by side. From now on, I'm going to make sure my right side is the one facing the camera at all times!


Stay tuned for some "After" photos in the future. My unofficial goal is to early 2013, but I don't have an exact amount of weight I want to lose or a time frame to do it in. My plan is to lose weight until I feel content and can fit into my clothes again and then call that my end point. Please, wish me luck!

Did you miss some of my past self-portraits?  Clicking here will take you to all of my self-portrait blog posts. Clicking here will take you to my self-portrait Facebook album.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at michelewhitacrephotography.com. Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Puppy Cuteness + Purple Goodness

A month or so ago I was looking for props for a session and stumbled upon these purple scarves. As soon as I saw them I knew I HAD to have them for Zoe and Lexi!  I've been dying to get behind the camera and take their photos wearing them, but I've been so busy moving that I didn't have time until now.

These photos were taken in the backyard of our new rental house, and as you can plainly see we have a yard with grass again.  Sort of, anyway.  The previous tenants didn't really keep it up, so it's very patchy and full of weeds, but the green is a nice background change for their photos, especially for Lexi.  Her coloring tended to blend into the landscape of the backyard at our previous house so I never loved the photos of her there.



When I take photos of my dogs, I often struggle to get them to sit next to each other long enough to get the exact photo I want to capture. But I rarely struggle to get their attention focused on me and the camera for the time they do stay sitting. During these photos, I couldn't get Zoe to look at me no matter what I did, as these photos clearly show...




Well, come to find out, the poor baby had a fly on her nose the whole time, only I didn't see it until I was looking at the photos on my computer!...


I finally managed to catch this one of both of them, though, so all wasn't lost!...


I had to include this last photo because this is classic Zoe!  She sits like this all the time.  She's such a lazy girl that she doesn't even like to sit up without propping herself against a wall.  She definitely has the Bulldog disposition, while Lexi is Beagle through and through!


As always, thanks for stopping by!  I hope you'll come back to visit again soon.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at michelewhitacrephotography.com. Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.
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