Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Believe in making New Years Resolutions?

As the year comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on '09... accomplishments, disappointments, goals hit, goals not hit, surprises good & bad, the things I said I would do but haven't, all the things I never would have imagined, the times I shined (shone??) brightly, and those others when I felt my little light was fizzling out...

And I find myself, I think naturally, trying to improve for next year... thinking of my "plan of attack" for 2010. As I sit here typing, the ever-present (and ever-growing?) LIST stares at me coyly... a list of "good ideas," things to do, places to submit my work to, commitments, projects, etc... It seems I come up with more to add to it than I ever complete and cross off. Not sure if that's good or bad really, but sometimes it certainly feels discouraging. Anyway, there is that ever-popular idea of The New Year's RESOLUTION!

I can think of as many resolutions as there are "to do's" on my list! Ha!
I could resolve to:
~~enforce a more regimented "work hours" schedule on myself so I'm not up working at 3am (though sometimes I still contend that THAT'S when I'm finally on a roll).
~~Excercise regularly again (good for body and mind... and mood too).
~~Be more efficient in my work/computer time so I can spend more time outside :D
Play More! This kinda goes along with that efficiency thing above.
~~Spend more quality time with my beloved man!
~~Take a trip out of the country (It's been too long since I experienced another land and another culture's way of viewing life and our world).
~~Take more life-enriching classes I've wanted to (dance, pottery, a couple photography skills classes I could improve on, start up Tai-Chi again, any of several language classes I need to brush up on!!, -- perhaps including English grammer! hahahah!! :)
~~Go mountain biking & hiking more!
~~Visit a million gorgeous "Oh, YOU HAVE to go photograph _____" spots! :)

... to name a few. But really? Resolutions? Are they really any more effective than the intentions I already have? If I could possibly do all that stuff I want to, wouldn't I be doing all of it already? I think I need some more me's & some more lives. :)

So, tell me... do you do "the New Years Resolution" thing? Does it work for you? How many do you make? And if you care to share, what is/are yours?

Whatever the case, this is me sending out warmest wishes for a full and happy 2010 for YOU!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Live... from Peet's!

A Frosty Rose in our recent cold snap

So, in the latest of many acts demonstrating their incompetance, our mega-company-who-owns-all-the-lines-and-charges-the-smaller-companies-so-they-have-to-charge-more internet service provider has managed to ACCIDENTALLY SHUT OFF OUR SERVICE AND CANCEL OUR ACCOUNT.

So... I'm doing "other stuff" these last few days (including being bounced around their various service depts and kept on the phone for HOURS--literally hours)!

And... packing and shipping all my holiday orders! Thank you soooo much to those including me in their gift-giving this year! BIG THANK YOU. :D

Anyway, since I came down to a Peet's coffee shop to send in my images for the Female Photographers of Etsy Book, thought I'd make a quick little hello post! Hope this finds you warm and happy! :D

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Giving Thanks, little tears, and a BOGO sale from my New Studio

So... WOW! What a year! And it's not even over yet!

Perhaps I should explain a bit. Thanksgiving, for me, is:
~~cooking ALL day! Homemade bread, pies, etc... warm, wonderful food with no added stuff you can't pronounce! :D
~~time with FAMILY! We're scattered all over 500-3000 miles at any given time, so family time together is Rare and Precious for us! This holiday was no exception-- we had a lovely visit from my brother and his girlfriend, complete with laughs and stories (some you wish would finally rest)! haha
~~last but *Certainly Not* least, time for gratitude. I don't mean that half-assed, "I'm-grateful-for-the-1st-thing-that-comes-to-mind" routine either. I mean taking some time to examine yourself to really focus on all the wonderful things in your life and really "letting them in deep" and appreciating them... appreciate them to the point of getting a little teary-eyed if you can. You know... big gratitude!! Giving Thanks!

As I thought back on ALL that's happened this year, and all the wonderful people and opportunities in my life, yeah, I'll admit it... I DID get teary-eyed. So... what?! I'm a mush. We've already covered this I think. Anyway, so yeah, I'm very grateful for all the good that's come my way this year... and a little overwhelmed when I think of it all en masse.

And, one of the things I'm most grateful for is YOU! You who care enough to take time out of your lives to read about mine... you who spend your hard earned money on the work I pour my heart into... you who leave encouraging remarks on my blog (even when I get that "Internet Overwhelmed Syndrome" I've been known to come down with, and then go absent for a while)... YOU!!!!! Thank you. Thank you so much.

Because it's apparently the time of year that you're supposed to have a sale, I decided that, if I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna make it a BIG one! So... in my ETSY Store I'm holding a "BOGO" Sale (buy one photograph, get another photograph of your choice for FREE)... PLUS... Free Shipping on many of the listings in my shop. Plus... if you happen to be one of the fantastic souls who has already bought my work before, You also get a free fine art photo greeting card added in too! To take advantage of this though, you do have to order before midnight (Pacific Time) on Monday, Nov 30th.

I think nothing says "thank you" like GIVING, so... for your support, I'm giving back. How's that for gratitude? ;)


OH! And, many of you asked for photos once I got settled in... Well, I'm not exactly what I'd term "settled in" yet. Lots of boxes from "Garage past" still need sorted, given to thrift store, put away, etc... (new garage isn't quite weather proof-- small trade off for the fantastic home & extra room). And, as you can see, decorating of the new studio is... well... hasn't happened, but those things will take time that I'm not busy getting my submission images ready for the FPOE book... or the Viewpoint Gallery exhibit... or getting holiday orders ready to ship... or... blogging. :) So, for now, here's my new studio, complete with temporary matting/shipping table filled with supplies as I prepare to start matting my work for the upcoming exhibit. :) Maybe one of these days, I'll attach a photo of my old workspace... just so you, too, can truly appreciate the comparison. ;)

And, as I settle into the work before me, melding happily into my new studio... candles aglow and wonderful music dancing gorgeously off the hardwood floors, I find myself, again... very grateful (with just a hint of teary-eye).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Breaking the Rules

Breaking MY OWN rules, that is... I am actually (dare I really DO this??) making a post with NO photos! Eeeep.

Sorry. :(

I am, as I sometimes do, jumping head-long into TOO many exciting things at once! I've been bitten by the "oh, and I have to do THAT TOO, and that, and while I'm at it, THAT too" Bug! It's already 1:30am and it looks like, after being up until 2:30 last night, I'll be going even longer tonight. So be it.

I go in bursts. Good or bad, inconsistent, call it what you will... I get bursts of "chargy energy" when I take on everything and then, after I have done that for a while, I shut down for a bit. I think the "be average/even-keeled/steady" notions of society have influenced me to fight this for a long time, but... honestly, this is just my natural tendency. So... should one fight that?

I think that, while I debate the issue, I'll CHARGE ON for a while longer until I find that brick wall I'm looking for. ;P

Having said all that, I realize that as I take on big conservation campaigns, choose submissions for a wonderful book I'm participating in, asst. contest entries, magazine submissions, preparations for an important gallery showing, and try to "brace for the holidays," (all while still unpacking the boxes strewn about the house, cleaning, fixing, etc...), I have completely neglected my wonderful blog readers. For that, I *am* sorry. I ask you to bear with me and indulge my burst->idle->burst->idle ways. Think of it as a roller-coaster... they're fun! I promise to post photos again soon... maybe the new house & my happy studio that I'm working from now... maybe the latest winery project... maybe the human-nature yoga project... who knows?? Maybe ALL of the aforementioned! ;)

Oh... and if you celebrate it...Happy Thanksgiving. If not, give some thanks anyway, it's just good for ya. ;)

Post-edit note: Wow... did I really forget to mention that I'm caving to the masses (i.e. joining an Etsy-wide holiday sale!) and hosting a big sale this weekend? Yep. I am. Check my Etsy Shop Friday through Monday to get your share of the bargains. It's way better than driving to the mall at 5am and possibly being trampled on the way in. And the gift lasts for 100+ years, so that's cool too. Maybe if I have enough "bursts" it'll even increase in value... never know.

The post, post-edit note: (huh??) So... returning to fix a downed blog-link, I discovered that I had a rather... exposed follower that obviously was looking for photography not related to nature conservation. Nude, fine, but make it artistic. Anyhow, had to block a follower for the first time, after losing two others (due to Blogger-glitch, me, or him... I'll never know). I guess maybe there is a down side to creating posts in the middle of the night afterall. :(

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Movin' ...and Shakin!

Moving... yes! Mentioned it previously, but as I'm starting to pack and getting ready to go do the "big clean" I seem to be so fond of doing before moving in... it's all *REAL* now, and this little nook and these windows are calling to me!! (And a bunch more windows in other rooms too)!

This picture is just a little teaser-shot I couldn't help snapping while the former resident was packing up and we were having a look. :) You can bet more pictures will follow once I'm over there for the pre-move cleaning session (yeah... because the cleaning session upon moving out of one place isn't quite enough work, right??)... ok, so maybe I'm overly picky sometimes. Could be worse. ;)

And what about shakin?? Yeah, that too. Shaking myself to make sure I'm really awake and that this isn't all a dream... wonderful old, beautiful home (LOVE old houses) with a big back yard and our OWN workspaces... at an amazingly good deal!

AND, just got the notice today that THREE of my works have been accepted into the juried exhibit "Twelve: The Play of Light" at Viewpoint Gallery in Sacramento. I have to confess, when I first walked into that gallery on 2nd Saturday a while back, a little part of me wondered if it was "out of my league."
These two, along with "Liquid Sunset" are the accepted entries that will be featured in December, along with several other fabulous works from some very talented photographers! :)

And all this after being accepted into the Sacramento Fine Arts Center's November exhibit, as well as a featured artist exhibition at Dragon's Lair Art Gallery (at Creative Connections Art Academy) this month too! Yeah... I'm swamped! BUT, VERY GRATEFUL!

So this time I really mean it... ;) I may (should) not be around for a while, but wanted to leave you knowing I send very warm wishes while I'm away. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Calling My 3 Giveaway Winners! :)

I would like to congratulate the WINNERS of my latest giveaway!! The lucky readers to "POP out of the (technological) Hat" are............
....(all these dots represent a little drumroll)........

1. Malibubunny
2. Ruth S.
3. Painter Mommy

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You may each choose 1 print (up to 8"x12") from my Etsy Shop and email me (within my blog profile, just click "email" under Contact) and let me know what address to send the print to. Have fun choosing! :)

And, now, regarding the requests to see photos from the multi-day shoots that delayed the posting of winners...

Though I'm thrilled and extremely proud of them, I can't post photos from the YOGA/PAINTING SHOOT just yet-- there is an agreement among the models, artists, and myself not to release yet for assorted reasons. But those will be up on My Flickr page as soon as possible. However, I CAN post a few from my "Sierra Nevada Fall" shoot... :)

And yes, that IS **SNOW** you see... we camped overnight-- it was a little chilly! And by "a little chilly" what I really mean is, "Awww, Jeez, WHY did I not remember GLOVES?!" Anyway, it WAS beautiful and I very much enjoyed it... hope you do too!

As the BLUR of Life continues to fly by, I may not get a chance to blog again for a bit... In the next 3 weeks or so I've got visitors coming (my wonderful parents), a not-so-wonderful audit from the city re: a home business permit (don't even get me started on THAT!), a new job to find/acquire (out of +/-200 apps, I was one of 10 to be offered the part-time job I recently applied for, BUT... get this, my background check didn't come in before training began so... back to the drawing board).

And, oh yeah, "This Just In"... We're MOVING too! The opportunity to move into a nicer, bigger house, with more individual work space for each of us AND a big yard (for the same price we're paying now!) just kinda hopped into our laps, so... with little notice, but excited smiles...here we GO! Commence project move!

And so it is that, once again, I find myself swamped but in no position to complain. I hope you, too, find yourself in no position to complain. :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The "Vow NOT to Recycle" GIVEAWAY!!

10/19/08 Update-- This is just a quick one to let you know that the giveaway has officially come to a close! As it turns out I'm actually away on a yoga photo shoot out of town, but... if I get a chance I will draw winners & do a post on a break or something! If that doesn't work out, I will do it as soon as I return! :)

GOOD LUCK to you all and THANK YOU SO MUCH for supporting my little enviro-giveaway!

I LOVED seeing all the wonderful ideas and support of reusing!!!!

For all those lovely souls who've been following and know me, I'm sure you're wondering (and possibly a bit irate)...

WHAT?!?! Did she really just say "vow NOT to recycle?!" Well, yes, I did. And I'll get to that in a just a wink, but first... I'm bursting to share this... just yesterday I met with a gallery owner and it is confirmed that I am having another gallery showing. BUT, not just another gallery showing... I'm actually the SHOWCASED ARTIST for this one!!!! I can barely believe it and I'm soooo grateful and... just... humbled by my good fortune. I know very talented artists who have waited 10, 15 years for a showcase show, so I'm NOT taking this lightly! But, more on that in a post soon... that is not what this post was scheduled to be, I just couldn't help burst a little... :))

I've promised lots of wonderful people another Giveaway and right now, I'm delivering on that promise... So... the "Vow Not to Recycle" Giveaway:

You're probably thinking that's a pretty shocking statement for one who so openly professes to love the enviroment... one who dedicates her photography (and some of its proceeds) to protecting nature... one who has named this very blog "Beholden to Nature!"

And I answer, unashamedly, YES! I did say that. And yes, I AM holding a givewawy of 3 of my photographs that *requires* you to take a vow not to recycle in order to enter!!

So... what's the deal with that?? Here's the deal... This stems back to my wonderful days of teaching environmental science at Outdoor Science School.

The awareness I'm looking to heighten with this giveaway is that recycling *is* good...
But REUSING is better, FAR BETTER!

What I'm asking of you, is to vow NOT to recycle *when Reusing* is a viable option. In other words, yes it is good if you recycle all those bottled water bottles, much better than adding them to a landfill... or to the Texas-sized garbage heap of mostly plastic that is currently floating in our oceans. BUT, recycling all those bottles still requires a lot of energy use, and does release some chemicals into our enviroment in the process.

So... the BEST thing to do for our environment is to SKIP bottled water (and all manner of other "disposables") all-together! Buy a filter for your faucet or your fridge (the fridge variety cost less than $20, and even with the cost of replacing cartridges SAVES money vs bottled water). But more than saving money... it saves lots and lots of plastic water bottles. And when you go somewhere, take your water with you in a stainless steel bottle, like a klean kanteen. As if saving money and the environment weren't reason enough, add your health into the picture. Plastics really are bad for you and really do leech into your water-- that's why, when the bottle gets warm, your water tastes all "plasticy." I can tell you, that does not happen with these... they're made with food-grade stainless steel.

You can look at your daily routine and come up with MANY ways to reuse instead of recycle/dispose... a towel instead of a paper towel, reusable containers instead of plastic bags for storage, etc...

Big fan of your morning Starbucks... or Peet's... or (insert favorite coffee shop here)? Take your own mug! Many of the chains offer a whole line... or you can get one at just about any store. Also, most coffee shops will charge you less per cup if you bring your own mug to fill-- good coffee shops DO reward us for caring about the environment.

I'd LOVE to have this turn into a discussion too-- offer up your ideas for ReUsing instead of throwing things into those garbage or recycle bins!

The Giveaway details...
∆∆∆ What's up for grabs? 3 photographs from my shop (your choice, up to 8x12). Only one photograph will be allowed per winner, if you win twice, another winner will be chosen.

∆∆∆ How do you enter?
≈VOW to ReUse (instead of recycle or throw-away, whenever possible). *Required to Enter*
To do this, simply leave a comment on my blog, stating your vow to reuse. Basically, it's the honor system, and you get the good or bad effects of your own truth or lie. :)

≈Become a follower of my little blog here (also required to enter).

The following are not required, but highly encouraged, and each will earn you an additional entry ;)
≈Blog about this giveaway

≈Subscribe to my monthly mailing list (just email me at kennafosterphotography@gmail.com and ask to be added to the newsletter).

≈Follow me on twitter
≈Become a fan of my brand new facebook fan page
≈Post this button into the sidebar of your blog (or on your webpage, myspace, or Facebook).

**Please leave comments on this blog post indicating each of the things you did (and include a link, if applicable) to get credit for your appropriate number of entries.

Entries will be accepted until... midnight (Pacific time) on Sunday Oct. 18th!
HAVE Fun with this and GOOD LUCK! :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Red Wine on a Cool September Evening

Tonight I spent an hour and a half doing shots of red wine. ... I mean, uhh... shooting a bottle and a glass of wine... hmmm... I mean taking pictures of wine... with a camera (while, of course, sipping wine).

I found that both of these wines (Bogle Vineyards 2007 Old Vine Zinfandel & Clos du Lac 2006 Meritage) made the *perfect* compliment to a September Sunset... they're as tasty as they are beautiful.

I know what some of you are thinking, and NO, I did not drink 2 bottles of wine tonight! If I had, I'm fairly certain that I could have put this post together! ;)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Expression of Gratitude... (aka "STOPS")

Now, before I get all mushy, I have to let you know that next week, I'm going to hold another GIVEWAY on my little blog here... a "Save the Parks Giveaway," so make sure to come back & enter to win! But that's another post, today brings... gratitude.

As many of you know all too well, photographers do some annoying things from time to time... things directly related to being, innately, a photographer. That compulsion that gets the greatest shots, also commonly stops whatever was happening when "that moment" of perfect light/beauty occurred.

I think the real reason photography uses the term "stops" to describe such an integral part of the process is that it inserts STOPS in everything! You know... it interrupts things like taking a walk, admiring a sunset on the beach, having a conversation about your day, eating a meal, making a meal, enjoying a morning cup of coffee (or an evening glass of wine)... pretty much everything that happens in a day (well... almost everything)!

It takes someone very patient, understanding, and supportive to take all those "delay of game" moments in stride... someone who actually respects/understands/supports that unending pursuit of capturing beauty, not just tolerates it. And, even then, it takes a LOT of patience!

Does that wonderful and amazing soul really receive gratitude befitting the gift... the gift of Time? For ALL the times that gift is given?

So, this post is for those extroardinarily precious souls... the ones that enable our pursuits of passion and dreams, without guilt or consequence.

I love you Jhon, and I can't tell you in BIG enough words how *very grateful* I am for your support & acceptance of all my many "stops."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

How did I get ready for Second Saturday today?

Well, yes, I know I *should* have been doing a whole number of things to make sure I'm absolutely ready for my Second Saturday display this evening at "Park Your Art" (5-9pm @ 2031 K St., Sacramento-- by McMartin, for those who are local and might want to come say hi!).

Buuuuuut... see, there was this pair of dragon flies hanging out in my little garden this morning when I went to water and... well... you know how people always ask, "Do you have any pictures of dragon flies?" I do, but only a couple and they wouldn't hold still for long so they're not as good as I would like them to be. However, this whole morning/early afternoon was cloudy/sprinkly (further leading me to feel less like getting ready for 2nd Saturday), AND encouraging the Dragon Flies to be still, perfect models for a long, Long time! I couldn't resist it! Didn't have time to really go through and edit/crop/pick faves/etc... these are just a few shots.

So... here's how I spent my day preparing for Second Saturday! Hope you enjoy as much as I did!
(Oh yeah, photos from the CA State Parks shoots to follow in a blog post very soon--promise!)

Can you see the Dragon Fly, nestled in at the edge of the chives and the former Cilantro/now Coriander going to seed?

Now, off to shower, eat, & pack the car in... less than an hour! Yikes!