Amy Schilling Photography Blog

May 31, 2011

an evening in the country

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Last Thursday I met up with a lovely couple for an engagement session. The bride-to-be has two amazing uncles that were kind enough to let us use property and a very cool vintage car! Their wedding isn't until December, but in talking with the bride over the last couple of months, we both agreed that a May session would keep us out of the summer heat and they'd have photos in plenty of time to send save-the-dates. It was over 90 degrees when I pulled up at the barn last week so I can't imagine if we'd waited until June or July!

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Despite the heat, it was a glorious May day. After several cloudy days, the sun was out full-force and it was lovely.

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I say it often because I have been so blessed to work with really great people, but this couple was so amazing! So fun to watch together and so obviously in love. They smile and laugh a lot with one another...and maybe sometimes at one another, which is important too. :)

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Loved her boots!

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And in an effort to garner some real belly laughs, I included some physical comedy to my regular bad joke schtick. At one point in during the session after setting up a shot, I turned and walked face-first into a clothesline. And okay, maybe it wasn't intentional, but it was hilarious. T, the groom, saw it happen and honestly tried to be a gentleman and stifle the first laugh and ask if I was okay. Then L looked up from arranging her outfit and said, "Oh my God, did she just get clotheslined?" And just thinking about it all makes me laugh out loud all over again. I'd like to say I learned my lesson but not five minutes later I almost made the same mistake. This time I reared my head back into what could only be an attractive double (triple?) chinned funky face to avoid being clotheslined once again. Good times that session, good times.

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I'm so thankful for clients like them, they're so sweet!

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Congrats again L & T, I can't wait for the wedding in December. Surely we'll avoid the 90 degree temps, but in Texas you never know! I'll have more family photos to share of this couple later this week!

May 30, 2011

happy memorial day

I know I've mentioned him before, but we called him up again today to say thanks and of course, that we love him. He tells us stories of his time serving our country often and we never tire of hearing them. It makes my heart ache a little because I wish my Pawpaw was still around to share his tales of the Navy life. But today I'm especially thankful to those soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedom and I'm proud of our family members who are still around sharing their experiences with us.


That photo was taken one day in March, but don't think Paw was the source of the upset. Deran had just walked by and accidentally hit her in the head on his way back to do some fence work. Paw was trying to make it better! :)

May 28, 2011

square-ish foot gardening

Deran bought this book several months ago, but it wasn't until Easter weekend that we actually planted our garden. It was originally going to be 4x4 but once the area was cleared it looked...small. Like, really really small for all the veggies I wanted to plant. So because we had three, eight foot boards, we decided to go with a 4x8 garden. Deran ran out of twine so there's one row of squares and then some rectangles. According to his book that means we don't really have a square foot garden. And Deran follows the book. Whatevs.

My always helpful Aunt Wanda was in town and over helping us. Going with a bigger garden meant going back to the store for more supplies. A big thank you to Mike at Lowe's! Mike, if you ever happen to stumble across this blog, please know that you are awesome sir. The end.

Oh wait, the garden! I intended to document the whole process from building to gathering the harvest. But Internet, Deran and Aunt Wanda made me WORK. I had to carry heavy bags of soil, plant seeds, and tend to a toddler. So even though it hasn't grown as much as a certain helpful aunt expected, it's shaping up pretty well. We started out with two tomato plants, two pepper plants, and seeds for cucumbers, squash, and okra. Surprisingly, everything has actually sprouted! Though when things first started coming up I felt very much like I was in this scene (around the 5:37 mark) straight out of Second Hand Lions. Seriously. It all looked the same! But with the passing weeks it's changed and I think (hope!) we're on our way to some fresh summer veggies.

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I think I'm most proud of the okra, which is crazy since I didn't even plant those seeds. But they all came up and I was so excited! Then there was a tragic accident while I was weeding one afternoon. Avery, my ever-present garden assistant, was also doing some weeding. We lost an "oat-doh" and some squash. In her defense, she saw me pulling things out and she was just trying to help.

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Last night while I was giving the garden a little bit of water, I left Avery on the patio eating her dinner. That's right, she ate a lunchable for dinner. See, Deran was cooking dinner last night which meant we wouldn't eat until half past NEVER because he's the slowest cook ever. So I took Avery outside with me for a picnic. She only eats the "hom." I love the way she says ham, kind of proper.

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For the last two days she's only wanted to wear WHITE! shirts and nothing else. If we're not in public, it's hard to keep pants on the girl these days. Sadly, the white shirts don't stay white for long. It's okay though, she's awfully cute.

May 27, 2011

five on friday, the last week of may edition

I have lots to share from another beautiful engagement session, some fun crafty news, and even a kid-friendly tutorial! But it's Friday and time is short so I say we start the week off right on Monday with all the fun stuff and let's just end this week with some Friday randomness! Awesome!

1) Avery was pretending to give Grover a bath in her play sink and she started stirring him around with a wooden spoon. Then she got out the wooden ketchup bottle and said she was putting "betbup" (ketchup) on him. Very cute but it left me wondering what exactly she's thinking when I give her a bath at night. I promise no condiments or kitchen utensils have ever been involved.

2) I've been busy photographing couples this week which has been such a blast! But it's been a while since I've shot a newborn and I'm getting really excited about the arrival of a sweet girl in just a few weeks!

3) On a more somber note, Avery's pet goldfish died today. He didn't actually have a name yet, we just got him Wednesday. Though we're fans of Elmo & Dorothy, I think we'll get a Beta next. They seem to be a hardier fish.

4) I've long had this site bookmarked, but boy do I ever really need to be using these recipes now!

5) We will be off to the library at some point today. I found a book that I thought was returned in April, so fines must be paid.

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy the long weekend but please don't forget why you're off on Monday. I'm so thankful for our soldiers, past and present!!

May 25, 2011

i love to see love

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I do love photographing people in love, and I was fortunate enough to meet up with another great couple and their dogs last Sunday night. I actually went to school with the soon-to-be-Mrs. but I don't know that we've actually been in the same place since...high school! She is so pretty and has a great sense of style!

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It was nice meeting her fiance too, and as I've said before, I'm really not funny. But G? He was so great at making A laugh, he does a good crazy! They were both so great to work with and were totally up for whatever. My favorite kind of people. :)

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After a quick walk back to the car for a wardrobe change and the dogs, we headed back out for more photos. I love that both dogs are looking at them in this picture, so cute!

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And I didn't know it at first, but I actually photographed this sweet girl's brother with another family back in April!

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Seriously loved both of their wardrobe selections, but A's second dress was perfect against the colorful walls at our second location! And their dogs were really well-behaved. A's mom came along to help tend to them while we were shooting but really, they were so good!

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A & G, I really enjoyed our session and I hope you enjoy your photos. Best wishes on your upcoming marriage!

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May 24, 2011

everything is better than the alphabet

Avery has been really into letters lately. She doesn't always point out the correct ones, but it's still cute. She's really good with A, S, O, sometimes E, and M. We've been going over D recently and after a couple of coloring and tracing pages, I brought out some alphabet chips I made several months ago.

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They've been patiently awaiting their use. That was personification. But really, if our alphabet chips had thoughts and feelings I imagine their feelings would be hurt from lack of use. And they'd be all, "WHEN WILL SOMEONE USE US TO SPELL SOMETHING?!" Today, Alphabet Chips, today you will be used.

I was planning to just let her guide our play and randomly pick out letters and go from there. Then a minute later I decided to spell out a couple of basic words and have her pick out the letters and place them on the paper. Super fast worksheet, I think that's obvious. It took about five minutes to draw everything out and she sat in my lap the entire time rifling through the bag of letters.

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I think my illustrations are pretty spot on, though she kept asking, "Dat? (that)" and pointing at the girl. Dat indeed, she doesn't even know her own face. I kept things simple by only pulling letters she needed to use.

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But after I got it all set out she was having none of it. Because you know what's better than learning the alphabet and how to spell? EVERYTHING. First she stood on her chair and acted completely cute...and crazy.

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Don't go into the light Avery! Don't do it!

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Then I put the camera down and she did pick out an A and T. Then she frantically scattered all the letters and made a mess. Then I had her help me put them up because she really wanted "Dootdy Motmah!" or as some may know him, Cookie Monster. Playing with a Sesame Street pop-up set is definitely much more fun than learning the alphabet or, you know, how to spell your name.

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Also more fun? Standing on your head.

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Though I think falling's fun is debatable. Avery has once again been fighting a virus the last few days and my poor baby girl is exhausted. I feel like it's a repeat of February though without all of the antibiotics, thanks goodness!

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For today, playing trumps school time and that's okay. I know she's soaking it all in. Anyway, alphabet chips/wooden circles are really easy to make with a bag of wooden circles from your local craft store and a set of alphabet stickers. I did A-Z capital letters on one side and reversed it for lowercase on the back. They're a great (and inexpensive) educational tool for tots. You can do all kinds of activities and go over letters! And actually, we have a set of numbers too because I had extra pieces. So get to countin' with your baby! I count out all kinds of things with Avery, the number of times I fill the cup to rinse her hair in the bathtub, the number of items on her plate, how many coins she's dropping into the piggy bank, how many babies she's holding in her arms, and the list goes on because, counting? It never ends. I'm not sure if this will lead to OCD or just helping to promote early math skills. I'm going with the latter. We've caught her several times counting objects on her own, usually just to three. That's about the time we interrupt and ask if she's counting because we're so excited to see her putting her skills to use (and we also like to ask the obvious), then she gets all bashful and stops. And see! See how I'm talking about numbers and counting instead of letters?! Poor alphabet.

May 23, 2011

engaged and in love

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I met up with this gorgeous couple on Saturday night. We were actually parked next to one another, waiting on each other to arrive. Sometimes it happens that way when I'm not sure what kind of car a client will be driving, but a quick phone call had everyone smiling and getting out for greetings. :)

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J and C looked amazing, J is such a gorgeous girl and had some really rockin' red heels!

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After a quick wardrobe change we headed out for more photos and seriously, I don't think these two can take a bad picture. Ah-mazing. Both of them. In every single one.

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J's sister came along and she is such a good sister! She carried shoes, fixed lipstick, and in general was a great help. Thanks so much K!

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And I know I've mentioned it before, but I'm really not funny. Instead, I put a lot of pressure on my clients to make themselves laugh because I do love those genuine smiles and laughter. Inevitably my un-funniness ends up being pretty funny, because it turns out that people are actually really great at being silly and making themselves laugh. And I usually crack up too, so it's win-win!

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J and C, I hope you enjoy your engagement photos. I absolutely cannot wait for J's bridals later this summer and what is sure to be a beautiful wedding in September!

May 20, 2011

three months, give or take two

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First of all, I can't believe that this sweet boy was three months old before I actually made it to Louisiana to meet him! And honestly, we caught him on the eve of his fourth month! It truly doesn't seem like such a long time ago that his parents were here and we were shooting maternity photos, counting down the weeks until his arrival.

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This session is long overdue for a blog post, Mr. Ry has since turned FIVE months old. And you guys, he's already up on his hands and knees getting ready to crawl! I'm so impressed and also a little nervous about our next session! :)


It's funny because I was all, COLOR! when going through this session but turns out I really loved the look of many of his photos in black and white. I especially loved this one of him and his dad. I love that Ry was kind enough to look at the camera but I really love the look on his dad's face, so much love for his boy.

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L & C, thanks so much for letting me capture your seriously adorable (cutest nose ever) baby boy at three months. It was so nice to spend time with all of you and watch you both as parents.

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And I just know that one day our two cuties will willingly sit by one another. :)

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May 19, 2011

she's so beautiful

I know I'm her mom, but honestly, I think she's so pretty. And lately when I tell her so, she smiles really big and kind of dips her head like she's shy. Then we head to a mirror so I can expound on her beauty. I tell her she's gorgeous, she smiles and it's so obvious she thinks she is too.


I required her services as a model so I could get some shots of a new headband I recently made. She did a great job and I think I only had to put it back on about half a dozen times. :)


I had to act all kinds of crazy to get her to laugh but acting crazy doesn't bother me and I absolutely LOVE her smiling face.


A total of 15 (maybe less) minutes, so many photos I love, so much craziness to get them. I'll be back soon to share the behind-the-scenes!
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