Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Giveaway on IG!

go to IG @connieballuff to check out this awesome giveaway!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Kenley Post

This sweetheart angel of mine needs her own post.  She is so happy all the time and such a wonderful helper, I just love her.  She's like her mama, always cleaning something.  That, or she will point out something that she feels NEEDS to be cleaned and says "Ewww, Ewww, Ewww!" until I clean it.  She will copy one word at a time that we tell her; and so, she is saying the cutest prayers now.  She also is OBSESSED with her "blankie", sucking her thumb, and her "puppy" (which she really means "cuppy" - her sippy cup).  She RUNS up to me when I come home from going anywhere and gives my legs the biggest hugs to the point that I could get tipped over.  She also chants.  Tony can attest to this... she'll either chant "MOM-MY! MOM-MY! MOM-MY" or "DA-DDY! DA-DDY! DA-DDY!" And rocks side to side from one foot to the other while saying it, it's hilarious.  Can you tell she can do no wrong in my eyes?  That's not true, she's started throwing her food on the floor after she's full.  That's not my favorite.  She really is a doll though, I am so grateful I get to be her mom.IMG_1303blog IMG_1300
She is so girly too... she cries when I take this necklace off of her.  She loves wearing necklaces and putting on shoes.  I wish I got a picture of her on Sunday wearing my heels but I'm confident I'll get another chance to capture THAT.IMG_1297 IMG_1271
We absolutely love this bag redenvelope.com sent us!  Look, it's personalized!  This is called the kid's weekender bag and it's absolutely perfect for my Kenley.  Like I said, she is obsessed with a few things and so it will make bringing those things around town much easier now (i.e. blanket, cup, etc.)  Red envelope has a TON of cute kid and new baby gifts you can personalize, go check them out!IMG_1291 IMG_1279
This bag also has a removable strap which works great for her size right now and when she gets bigger it will be nice to have the shoulder strap.  When I first opened the package it smelled awesome of leather from the real leather detailing.  The zipper glides perfectly too.  I love this bag!  It will be perfect for when she has sleepovers at grandma's or her Aunt's house.IMG_1269 IMG_1304blog
And then of course we went to Churn for ice cream and she was able to take along her favorite things without dragging them on the floor this time (;IMG_1316blog IMG_1312

Monday, June 16, 2014

First roll with Contax 645

Those who have been following my blog for a while were there when I got my first camera and started my little business.  But what you don't know, what I never admitted, was that back when I started shooting I felt like I was horrible.  Even a couple years into it I was disappointed in myself.  My eye would be drawn to the work of others... and I never could understand how they achieved what they did.  I went to school and learned a ton and started to feel more comfortable!  In fact, at this point I'm beyond comfortable in my abilities.  Now I look at other's work and know what they did to get what they got- OR I know what they did wrong to fudge the shot.  I say this without boasting, but rather, just grateful for where I'm at right now.

Over the years I realized though that those favorite photographers of mine all had one thing in common- they shot film.
When I realized that, I was discouraged... but I did my best anyway with what I knew (digital).  To me, film was something foreign, something I would never go near.  I bought a Diana camera and thought I was getting my fill, but the quality of pictures is so crappy (they are meant to be), I got scared to work with it.  Film is unpredictable, it's easily damaged, you can't erase and try the shot again, "it's expensive" so you can't just shoot hundreds and erase your favorites without there being a huge expense involved.

But then this year happened.  2014 has been amazing for my business.  In fact, by the end of May I had twice as many shoots under my belt as I had done in all of 2013 combined.  That's huge.  Even though I've been so blessed and doing so well with my digital camera so many things were coming up that scared me.  All that time on the computer, my carpel tunnel flaring up, I couldn't keep up!  So the answer might've been to just take on less clients but really in the long run I realized I just can't shoot digital as much as I do.  Then it hit me.  WHY NOT SHOOT FILM!?  I won't go into the great "film vs. digital" debate because I love both mediums for different reasons... but at this point, I'm ready for a change.  For a challenge.

So I took the plunge.  I bought the Contax 645 (which is the camera all my favs use), a bunch of film, and I'm slowly teaching myself.  What you see below is all from my first try.  First roll of film.  I have to admit for my standards, they are all bloopers.  I'm so used to tack sharp images that digital brings, strong contrast, and vibrant colors.  But there's nothing like the softness and romanticism of film.  I like what my lab did to these scans, but I'm still working with them to create the look that takes my breath away.  I've adjusted some things as far as my camera is concerned... it's all a process... but I'm so excited to be doing what I've always wanted to do.  Finally.

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So what am I getting at?  Because I'm learning and growing with film still I want to eventually do a giveaway!  I don't know when, but sooner than later, I'll be announcing a giveaway for a session with me- and my new camera (:
I will be announcing it on Instagram sometime!  @connieballuff
By the way, I totally left Instagram last summer and just got back a few weeks ago.  I lost all my followers and people who I followed.  ACK!  I can't remember everyone so please go say hi if I have not found you on IG again yet.

ALSO, in my last miniature post I mentioned changes.  This is one of those changes but there's moooore..... (;  Stick around.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hello Again

Hey!  Crazy, so it's been about a year since I posted last.  Everything changes so much in my life from one year to the next it seems.  So much change!  But I love change.  Change has been my latest pursuit, actually.  I always want to move forward in life; so that means change.  Anyway all this rambling is just to say I have a couple posts in the works for the distant future.   Sooner than later I can't wait to share some of my latest ventures.  Stick around!  (And thanks for sticking around all these years, too.)

Thursday, June 6, 2013


I think every blog that comes to a screeching halt deserves an encore.  Strange to think that one day I was loving the feeling I got as my fingers raced around the keyboard, spilling my guts to complete strangers (friends and family too I guess;) - getting excited every time I clicked publish... and then one day, it stopped.

I'll tell you one thing though-

It hasn't.  Not really.  My mind still races with ideas, and crafts, and experiences from my past that conjure something up inside me that needs to be told.  Naturally, I still think my life is something worth recording. The happiness I get when my family loudly sings and dances in the car together, the way my - almost one year old- DAUGHTER looks at me with her big brown eyes, and how my boys strip naked practically every day and splash each other with the hose in the backyard... those are things I never want to forget.

I do know I will always be my own little writer in my own world though because that's something I've always loved.  My journal has never seen so much of me the the last year+... whatever it's been now since I said "bye" here.  And while I think I've been more descriptive than I would've been here, it's missing those great pictures, & the connections my blog posts would create.  It's safe to say this space still means a lot to me- but I see that my life has just taken a completely different course over the many months away.  I'm happy with how things have gone for me and my family... but that doesn't mean I'm not still needing a small connection with the outside world.  The world outside my small church ward, instagram, or small circle of friends.

Earlier this month an old-time blog friend contacted me about updating her blog design.  Oh yeah.  I used to do that... I doubt I remember how, was all that came to mind.  But, I decided to give it a whirl since the summer creates more down time for me.  Turns out, I still enjoy it!- and I haven't forgotten a thing.  And when it's something I can do on my own schedule, it works for my life with little ones.

So that's my big final encore.... my last comeback-post-of-the-century that probably two people will even ever even come across, anyway.  All to say: I'm doing custom blog design for those that are interested, as my schedule permits.  Even if all you want is a cute header, I'm offering everything separately.  WAHOO!!!  THIS IS NEWS!  (I'm still the facetious weirdo I always was, yes.)  My family blogging days are pretty much long-gone from where I'm sitting now- I don't see that changing- but I do want to connect this other way and do something I think is fun.

While I'm here though a small update wouldn't hurt.  Kinda crazy that the last time I wrote I was about as far along with my baby girl as I am now with my next bundle of joy.  My husband and I are incredibly elated even though the first comment from people after "ohh... exciting." is, "was it planned?"  Ha ha!  Yes, indeed.  Indeed it was.  We bought a house and I'm still taking pictures, always.  LIFE IS GREAT!  I hope you're living yours up too because life is a precious, fleeting thing.

Friday, March 16, 2012

That's all, folks.

"life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop to look around once in a while, you might miss it." 
(yes I went there, quoting the great Ferris Beuhler)
Lately (and by lately I mean almost as soon as I clicked "create blog"), I've questioned if this is something I wanted to devote even a little bit of time to.  I do like it- most of the time I love it.  You guys, those who read and respond, have given me reason week upon week to keep writing.  It's fun to hear from people!  Naturally.  But from time to time over these years I'd still question and wonder if I should keep going... as you can tell they always resulted in the same thing: keep going.  Keep blogging about life- share a lot about what I think, feel, and do each day.  Put yourself out there.

...but even more lately something changed.  I realized that for too long I've questioned this space.  I'm not sure that it's everything I want it to be.  I'm not sure it's improved my life all that much- maybe it's done the opposite, in some ways.  I'm looking for improvement.  I've reached a point in my life where there's not much extra of me to go around.  So something has to go.  Right now, I don't have the desire to do this.  I have just too much ahead of me that is demanding my attention.  I have decided to clear my life of the demands that blogging brings me and I want to see all that I can accomplish without it.  I really feel good about this decision.

Obviously, this wasn't easy for me though.  I've met so many wonderful friends through this- I've had so many opportunities, I've expanded my creativity and so on and on and on...
I really have loved blogging- and to be frank, I've loved having people read it too.  I've loved hearing from you, and having support from time to time when I needed it.  I've enjoyed those connections more than any of the other perks blogging has brought me.  But I can't do this forever, and I know I don't want to.

I've decided to share bits and pieces of my personal life from time to time on my photography blog, and I will still be on instagram (connieraeb).  If I take some great vacation or party photos I'll put them up on my photography site.  I still want to share photos on occasion that mean a lot to me, or that I love that I'd otherwise put here.  I don't want to be completely shut out, I'm just privatizing my life more drastically now.

Thanks for everything friends and readers, I've loved sharing bits and pieces of my life with you over the years.  I wish you all the best.  I've enjoyed blogging but I'm so excited to free my to-do list a little bit and focus on what matters most.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

11 things

The lovely Oana Befort, all the way from Romania, tagged me for this 11 random things post. I was happy she did, I've seen this out for a while and it always looked fun.
{1. Post these rules 2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things 3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post 4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them 5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you've tagged them.}
(This was me yesterday)
.... ha!  More like, this was me ten pounds ago.  Baha. 
11 random things:
1. I have horrible hearing.  It can be embarrassing at times since I don't always fess up when I don't hear something someone says.  It can be hard to pretend I know what they are talking about.  ha ha!  I mean, I never do that.
2. I do whatever I can to keep there from being a lull or silence during conversation.  Ultimately this leads to me talking more than I want to and saying more than I wish I did.  What can ya do.
3. Reading puts me to sleep.  Rarely, when I find a good book I can read chapter after chapter- but for the most part, throughout my life it just makes me nod off.
4. I was named after all men.  My grandpa named Conrad and grandpa named Ray.  Hence: Connie Rae.
5. When I ran the Baltimore Half Marathon I didn't stop running ONCE!  My motivation?  Thinking about 'ol long beard Forrest Gump.  Seriously.
6. I always wished I did dance growing up.  I did ballet as a kid and then stopped and tried it again in college.  Unfortunately I missed my mark... although I think I could've been really good at it.  The world may never know.
7. I've played the piano since I could reach the keys and I took lessons from the time I was 8 to my senior year in high school.  I got a scholarship, even.  I miss playing like I used to.
8.  I used to be really shy.  It comes out of me now and then but for the most part I can't believe that word ever described me.  I'm glad I grew out of it.
9.  When I was in high school I ran track.  Out of no where my coach and I discovered I had a talent for the hurdles.  My coach loved my form and wanted me to show the "kids" how it's done.  My first attempt I fell on my face.  What else?
10. I'm a klutz.  It's not so much that I'm a klutz though, I think, that I just scurry around too much and am not careful.  I usually get a cut, burn or bruise myself a few times a week because of it.
11. I got blonde highlights for the first time in 2009 and since then haven't really found my true natural color.  My natural is suuuper dark and most people say it's black.

11 questions answered: 
(oops on 1-4 I started answering the ones she did, not the ones she asked me, oh well.)
1.Describe your perfect day, who would be there?
A full day at Disneyland with kids who were able actually do stuff & have a blast (not just sit in a stroller), cotton candy + that cute ice cream parlor on Main, handholding + smooching my husband throughout the day (and those random looks we give each other where we know we're both thinking, "wow, look at those amazing kids we made"), lunch or dinner at the Blue Bayou (the restaurant in the pirates ride- LOVE that place), and fireworks to finish.  Oh, and we would go on a weekday when it's slightly less chaotic and busy.  Although growing up in California I'm okay with the crowds for the most part.  That really would be a perfect day!  
2. If you could do one thing that would be felt worldwide, what would it be?
Honestly I would share my testimony of Jesus Christ.  I think so many people have tons of unanswered questions in their mind- or pain they cannot seem to get rid of alone- but because of Jesus Christ I have those answers and I've had that help.
3. What is your favorite book of all time?
The one I've read since I could read and the one that gets me through each day- The Book of Mormon.
4. If you could keep any wild animal as a pet what would it be?
I've always had a soft spot for Koalas.  I don't know much about them though- are they vicious?  haha!  They just look so cuddly and sweet.
5. What is your favorite season and why?
I always have said fall- I think because it's nice to feel like you're finally getting a break from the high temps- and the fall colors are so amazing.  But spring is spectacular (at least in some areas I've lived) and summer is fun too.  Oh nevermind I don't know.
6. What's the most interesting place you've ever traveled to?
Maybe it's a tie... this is hard, I've been to lots of places!  But I'm thinking Victoria, Canada and Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Victoria was INSANELY beautiful we stayed at this castle of a hotel.  It was fun and definitely new to go somewhere that uses different currency.  They were amazed when I pulled out american money.  And Plymouth was just so historic and charming- not to mention I had the best clam chowder of my life and will always remember how peaceful it was there.
7. What characteristics do you value most in your friends?
Being genuine.  I love the word because it pretty much sums up all those that I feel the closest to.  I can really tell those who are genuine and truly care about me- and those are my truest friendships. 
8. What word best describes your personality?
Fun...?  I don't know it's hard to describe ME in just one word.  But I love to laugh and have a good time so hopefully people think I'm fun.
9. How would you like to be remembered?
As everyone's friend.  Truly, I hate having enemies.  And honestly I don't "hate" anyone- I just know that some people aren't going to appreciate me like I wish they would.  So I think there are people who dislike me before they know me and I really wish that wasn't the case (but it will always be, for every person, I know.)  But truly... I want to leave this world knowing I was nice to everyone and for those who truly know me to feel my love for them.
10. What do you photograph the most?
What DON'T I photograph?  Um, well in looking at instagram, my family, trees, and food.  I guess.
11. What do you look forward to every day?
A couple things:  greeting my little ones in the morning.  They are so sweet and always so "huggy".  And after that, getting out of the house!  I love going on little car rides or drink dates with my boys.  I love it the most when Tony can go with us because 1, I don't like driving and 2, he's so much fun to be with.

11 questions asked:
1. Who do you most admire?
2. What's one food will you NOT eat?
3. What's something you love the most about yourself?
4. If you knew you had one day to live, what would you do?
5. Where is your favorite place to be?
6. What new years resolution have you already broken?
7. What moves your soul the most?
8. Why did you start blogging?
9. What's your most embarrassing moment?
10. What's one of your biggest fears?
11. If you could spend a day with anyone, past or present, who would it be? :)

I tag: you.