Welcome to my Blog!

I'm so glad that you stopped by to check out my blog. Here you will find updates about my life as a wife, mama, worship leader, and photographer. I specialize in children and family photography as well as weddings, but I love to capture all special moments and the beauty of all creation! I am so blessed and it is my prayer to honor our Creator through all that I do!

Contact me by email: laurenvia@gmail.com!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Declan's first haircut/ 52 weeks-week19/20

As many of you know, Declan has been in desperate need of a haircut for quite some time now. I have been putting it off, because Jimmy was insisting that he cut it himself... and I was too afraid of what would happen. Anyway, tonight we did give Declan his first haircut... and although I think it turned out ok, I would NEVER recommend such a thing to any other parent. Jimmy started out doing ok... but had a hard time with a few spots, so I thought I could do it better. I ended up messing up several spots and getting his hair much shorter than I had originally wanted. All in all, it turned out to look pretty cute... minus the small bald spot behind one ear! Here are a few photos we took this evening right before his bedtime... what a beautiful evening and a lovely sunset!

ps... sorry I missed last week's 52 weeks... but it was a CRAZY/busy week. This week's photo will count for both weeks!

52 weeks-week 19/20... we sang as Declan conducted with his stick/baton! :O)

our little guy is growing up so fast...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

One thing I know for sure is that I've had no shortage of amazing Godly men in my life. I have been so very blessed and I know that my little ones will be so blessed as they grow with the men in their lives and the new ones to come. Thanks to my Dad, Granddad, Poppie, my Husband Jimmy, and to all the other wonderful Godly men (pastors, youth ministers, campus ministers, etc.)
that have helped me grow and see a glimpse of the love and guidance of our heavenly father.

Happy Father's Day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Trip to the Zoo/52 weeks-week 18

On Tuesday we drove up to Lexington to meet with some wonderful new friends. We had a delicious dinner and great conversation. Since we were driving up that way, we decided to go early and visit the Natural Bridge Zoo before dinner. The weather was hot and muggy (98+degrees), but we had a great time. Declan was so very thrilled to see all the animals. He's really into animals right now. He knows lots of different ones and many of the sounds they make. Tuesday was an exhausting, but very wonderful day. Hope you enjoy the photos I managed to get from the zoo!

...there really were a ton of animals just wandering around in the open... thankfully this one wasn't real! Declan liked to point out the gator's teeth!




Declan had fun growling at the bears!


Most of the parrots would talk to us. They sounded just like Declan... saying "hello" over and over and over again!



... this may seem like a random photo of nothing... but there's a story... these giraffes were lovely and would bend down for you to touch them... they loved attention, but apparently not having their picture taken. as soon as i lifted the camera to shoot, this giraffe sneezed all over me. the picture above is the giraffe snot left all over my shirt. Declan got slimed too! Thank goodness we packed extra clothes and had plenty of time to get cleaned up before our nice dinner!

...he looks so tiny next to the tall giraffe!

these little donkeys followed us all over the zoo... i guess they thought we had some food...



...serious monkey watching...

we tried hard to get Declan to be nice for one photo with mama... it didn't go so well...
Jimmy took this one and I did a little editing... thanks Jimmy!


...sweet little baby tigers!


...one last attempt at a photo with Mama... we'll make this one the 52 weeks submission for this week! (i'm too tired to try for more!)

Monday, June 9, 2008

A few more new edits (of older photos)

Here are a few more newly edited versions of some older photos. Am I starting to have a more consistent style?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pampered Chef

Hey everyone! Most of you probably already know this, but on top of all the other things that keep me busy, I am also a Pampered Chef Consultant. I need to hold a personal catalog show this month, so I am taking orders now. This month, I have a SPECIAL offer for all you Pampered Chef lovers out there!!!

For June, everyone who places a $60+ order will receive one of these awesome knives for FREE!!!
But... I'm not stopping there! This is a one-time deal you'll find NOWHERE ELSE! The first person to place a $75+ order will receive your choice of these three items either FREE or DEEPLY DISCOUNTED! *in addition to the free knife*
So, please if you are interested in placing an order send me an email (lauren@jimmyvia.com) and I'll either bring you a catalog or send you the link to order products online.

PLUS: If you're not able to take advantage of one of these deals here, you can talk to me about hosting a show this month to receive this same great offer!

Thanks Everyone!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Declan's Evening with Mama... 52 weeks-week 17

I thought I'd try something a little different for this week's 52 weeks photo. Here's a little collage I put together of a typical evening with Declan and his Mama. We usually play outside *although this evening we didn't stay out long due to the 90+ temp.*, then we have a splashy bath time, and then story time before bed. I hope you enjoy your little glimpse into our Saturday night!


Friday, June 6, 2008

I've been working lately to streamline and improve my editing process. We only have Photoshop-CS, but I'm hoping I can continue to learn enough so that I can keep using it for awhile without upgrading. Anyway, I went back and re-edited some photos and edited some others that I had put aside. I've been trying to play around and discover my personal photographic style. I'd like for most of my photos to have a similar "look" or "style." One particular issue I had was lens flare during the "golden hour." I originally thought that such photos weren't worth using, but after looking at other pro-photographer's blogs I have learned to really embrace the lens flare as something beautiful. I'm still not completely sure what I think about all these, so feedback would be great! Thanks... hope you enjoy.





I'm still really unsure about this last photo. The hands in the for-ground turned out nice and sharp, but my camera blurred out Declan's face a bit. Also, there's quite a bit of noise in the background. I do really love the colors and the brightness of Declan's eyes in this photo. So... what do YOU think? Honest opinions are greatly appreciated.

...ps... I hope to add some more newly processed photos soon.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Here's a few photos I took the other night while Jimmy cooked dinner on the grill. Declan had such a fun time watching his Daddy with the "hour/ower"... which actually means FIRE for Declan. He's actually too big for the play center we put him in... but it was the only way to keep him away from the hot grill. Anyway... I thought these were cute... so ENJOY!



Monday, June 2, 2008

Not just a house...

So... anyone who knows me, knows the fondness I have in my heart for my parents' home... the home I lived in for over 10 years... the home my parents built when I was a very little girl! I have so many great memories from this home, and I still feel so peaceful and relaxed when I'm there. As much as I love this home, I know that it is time to move on and let go. I've learned how to make my own house with my own family into my home. And now, after 17 years, my parents are planning to move and sell their beautiful home. They asked me if I could take a couple photos for them to use with their real-estate listings... but as you can see I got pretty carried away. Most of these photos are probably too "artsy" for them to use in real-estate listings... but I still love having this artwork to remember this home by. Jimmy jumped in later to save the day and took a couple more real-estatie (i know that's not a word) photos. Thanks Jimmy... I'm sure my parents thank you too. So anyway... here they are... enjoy!


*my husband stole the camera and took these last two wide shots... thanks Jimmy*