I was born in , raised in, and still visit Grand Rapids, MI. It’s where my parents bought a tiny red brick house and made it their home. It’s where the kids left the nest from. It’s my mother’s resting place. It’s where my daughter loves to visit Papa.
It’s where I met my husband, it’s where my husband’s family lives. it’s where I see my in-laws, its where my husband sees his parents and family. It’s where my daughter loves to see GiGi and Grandpa Joe.
Regardless, it’s a place full of memories. It will always remain a place of memories.
I mock the hashtag and saying #PureMI or #PureMichigan because of the semi-famous “Pure Michigan” (click that for commercial) travel ad campaign that started in 2007 and still runs to this day. I have friends here in Phoenix, AZ that they always see the ads, I saw them when we lived in CA and people worldwide probably have the same testimonial.
She’s never seen a whirly-bird before. (helicopter, whatever you call them.) Her shirt? says it all.
This trip revolved around my brother getting married to his amazing fiance. I may be a bit bias, but she’s awesome. I didn’t photograph their wedding, thank gosh, because I had enough fun in the party to convince me to never shoot a wedding I’m invited to, ever. The amazing Peach Moon Photography based out of Grand Haven, MI shot their engagement photos and wedding photos and were great people to work with. I’m the tall blonde in the family image on the alter with the PRECIOUS flower girl that is my daughter, and the tall bald ravishingly handsome man that I’m married to. Thats my “cleans up well” dad next to me, and then of course her family on her side.
There are plenty of other #thelillis wedding insta-pictures on my IG Feed but you gotta go back a little ways. You can’t miss ’em!
Besides being there for their wedding, we were there for personal vacation as well. We saw plenty of family, scenery, and I took so many nature/still life shots it will make your eyes numb.
We went to the Grand Rapids Arts Festival downtown Grand Rapids, MI.
We visited Grand Haven State Beach both as a family and as a couples date to just get away.
We went to Traverse City (TC), MI which is known for their berries, and cherries. We went because our daughter had never been there, and I haven’t either. There’s this place called the Sleeping Bear Dunes which is like, arguably one of the prettiest places to visit in the lower peninsula of Michigan. WE LITERALLY SAW A BEAR CUB CROSS THE ROAD. <– caps necessary.
Known for their berries and cherries, so naturally I had to have a very berry filled pie at Grand Traverse Pie Co. Some lighthouse that wanted $4.00 to walk upstairs in it. No thanks! We visited family for Father’s Day. The best part was that my dad came along with us to my husbands side of the family’s gathering. It’s so nice to have them integrated!
My husband and I respectfully saw friends I see once a year (when we visit.) Nothings more refreshing, more awesome, and more rewarding than maintaining friendships over years and years. We pick up where we left off the last time we saw each other — it’s how I’m able to have friends nation and world wide. Friends are the flowers in the garden of life!
Making S’mores with out friends Lisa and Conor whom will be getting married this year.
childhood best friends grow up, and have kids, who hang out with each other — i’d say that’s more like family.
The literally awesome part of the friends that I visit is they continue to grow up, prosper, and I get to see them from afar on facebook them actually meet their kids they’ve had or the ones they’re about to have! (a friend announced she was pregnant on fathers day!)
I saw old high school friends, old family friends. Family.
Oh, and I continued to shoot barns for no good reason at all.
May 24th we took a trip.
My husband wouldn’t tell me where we were going but he was like, “get ready we are leaving.”
So 1) I knew we were leaving far away, and 2) I know he understands my appreciation and love for the scenic Arizona so I was pretty sure I’d like what I see where we ended up.
After some windy roads that gained elevation, then lost some, then gained again, we passed through scenes unlike ones I’ve seen in Phoenix, AZ.
Mind you, these were shot from the passenger side of our car, window down .. me saying, “sorry really just one more.. ” each time.
I gave my camera a rest and those awesome clouds you see sort of just lurked around. Finally we arrived somewhere between the 188 and 288.
We stopped into the National Park up there and there’s a visitor center in Lake Roosevelt, AZ right across from Roosevelt Lake Marina.
Without spending money on any park passes or parking passes for recreational areas, we made an afternoon of just seeing the sights.
Below is Roosevelt Dam.
A pretty awesome view of the iconic bridge they have there (and an all natural sky, that stuff isn’t made up!)
Then there’s my scared-of-ants photographer-4-year-old daughter.
We taught her the ipad takes good pictures, so she walked around taking umptillion shots of EVERYTHING. (that was fun to delete later.. )
And an Oh! MG family trip wouldn’t be a trip if we didn’t take a family picture. We do this almost everywhere we go.
There was literally three cement pedestals there likely for this purpose, to be tripods.
Lake Roosevelt had much more for us to see. Here’s some that really stood out from our day-trip:
I got two new lenses recently (a belated mother’s day gift from my husband) and I’m sort of, really completely, totally and utterly am obsessed with my new Sigma 105mm 2.8f AF lens.
I was so obsessed with my olloclip and I still love it but this brings my macro TO LIFE! Everything can easily be gorgeous now with this amazing lens.
I do have a complaint against it when working in low light situations, that’s when I’d go with a fast acting 35 or 50mm. My 50 has never steered me wrong in low light!
Soooo I made a gallery because of the nerdliness.
This lens is going to make a newborn shoot much more interesting! I get to shoot baby “B” on the 24th, and I am counting down the seconds until I get to use this lens in a real shoot :)
Today was a small little escape from reality for me and the little one. Daddy headed off on work and we sorta just did random nothings for a while.
We stopped at a consignment shop and I found a metal baby-doll bed that will be PERFECT for a newborn, and then, when I got home, I found something from Ebay.com in my mailbox.
I thought it was my phone case I ordered that looks like an old camera. It wasn’t.
I had QUICKLY received my Em and Cait. Halo’s headband. AAAAAHHHmazing.
Where do I start? It’s shiny. It instantly won me over when I saw it was super duper shiny. Admit it you stare at shiny things, too.
When I received the package it was a white box, wrapped with a bow and a marketing tag. That bow there, is hand tied. HAND TIED. Dedication much?
bling bling! I tried it on my daughters head even though I ordered the newborn size :) (whattttt, i was excited!)
This is what it looks like SOOC. (or straight out of the box.)
And this is its potential:
amazeballs. crazysauce. you tell me what.
Caitlin Trantham (of Oh Penelope Photography) wanted to find a side job to keep her intertwined & integrated with the photography realm as she carries her third child and yet can still be mommy to the two she already has. She found this amazing talent hiding inside her to create and produce these for sale in their etsy.com shop. and BAM. SUCCESS.
Gorgeous product, made with love and TLC.
do me a fav? Check them out. Check out their shop, check out Cait’s facebook. do it.
& thank you Em & Cait. <3
Now everyone: go check them out. go.
Where ever I am, no matter where i go I see flowers and I want to take pictures of them. There’s something about natural occurring color in nature that makes me excited and eager to capture it.
These flowers range from San Diego native to Desert Native… these are 43 flowers I’ve encountered in March- April.
An amazing photographer Kimberly Ogden has always seemed to look out for my well-being without me even noticing. She said to me, “Oh by the way, when I google the terms ‘twentynine Palms’ and ‘photographer’ [as well as a few other words in different combinations] you don’t even show up on the first page of results. You only show up when you search exactly ‘Oh! MG Photography'”
Then she went on to tell me about SEO (search Engine Optimization).
Wow. so thats how they do it I thought to myself.
I then found myself engrossed in learning about SEO and how to and why and when and where. I became a little obsessed. I started renaming all my images, albums, etc on my smugmug.com site, I started using more terms here on my blog. I started doing a lot more SEO.
Well I also learned first hand that SEO is only good if you keep at it. You have to continuously be using those vices. Always blogging. Always tweeting. Always status udating. Always posting images places. Always pinning.
My work is currently paying off. Slowly but surely.
That has the most amazing morning “reveal”. The sun is burning the earth with its amazing heat and creating steam thats acting like fog and is slowly dissipating. The silhouette of the mountain disappears into the dew as the sky is illuminated by the sun — something we haven’t seen for a few days here in Twentynine Palms. I LOVE the effect of this image. When I went out to take it; the ground was wet, I could see my breath. There’s amazing natural sun flares in this image hidden, waiting to be seen by gawkers. I. Love. Sunshine. When people see me gloomy on gloomy days… do you see why? Do you?