Friday, July 29, 2011

Cue the Tissues

Ok, so here is the much anticipated post!  Two days ago, I welcomed my wonderful husband home from his 4th deployment.  For the past 6 1/2 months, my boys and I have been living life without the joy of having our husband and daddy in our day to day lives.  We are a strong family, but life is so much sweeter with him home.  Since this is a blog about pictures that I take everyday, I'm going to first share with you the pictures I took of our dear friends welcoming home their husband & dad.

Here he comes!  I spotted him on the stairs getting off the plane and commenced the wild screaming of his name and pointing at his wife.  It was so much fun for me to be there to capture these incredibly emotional moments.

The first kiss.

A family reunited.

My girlfriend and I had already instructed our husbands that they could NOT get off the plane together.  We both wanted to take pictures for each other and that wouldn't work too well if they got off the plane at the same time.  So as soon as they had enough hugs and kisses, I handed my girlfriend my camera and began looking for my husband.  Here's a picture she snapped of me looking anxiously.

I wasn't crying uncontrollably yet in this picture:)  I finally spotted him but he couldn't see me yet because I was near the back of the crowd.  It seemed like forever as I watched him scan the crowd for me.  He wasn't close enough for me to yell so I finally started waving my hands in the air and he spotted me.  First was hugs for the boys because they couldn't wait to see their daddy again.

And finally, a long awaited hug and kiss for me.  

It was well worth the wait.  As hard as deployments are, the homecoming makes everything better again.  The relief and happiness that I feel each time he lands on American soil again is overwhelming.  I'm so grateful for my husband because he's the best husband in the world to me.  He's strong and brave and incredibly devoted to his family and his country.  I love him for all of these things and I'm so happy to have him home again. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Short Term Hiatus

All my lovely readers, I'll be out of contact for the next several days.  I'll continue to take my pictures and will catch up with you all later in the week.  The next post is a big surprise and will be the best one of the whole year, I promise!

Thursday, July 21, 2011



Tonight I met up with some of my favorite Weimaraner people!  They have 3, yes an amazing 3 Weimaraners.  And a few human kids on top of all that.  You might think their house was totally crazy with all that going on, but actually, it's quite peaceful.  This is Cache, who is a bit of a naughty boy and got himself into quite a bit of trouble today.  I'm thinking that's why he posed so nicely for this picture.  He needed to show his mama his good side.  I've included the same picture with a different color scheme below just because I really couldn't decide which one I liked better.  Feel free to shout out your favorite in the comments.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

All Boys


These are all of my mom's grandchildren.  For some reason we don't make girls in my family.  And on a different note, I can't believe I'm on picture 200!!  Only 165 more to go this year!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Great food and even better art...


My absolute favorite place to eat when I'm in Kansas City is a little place called Genghis Khan.  One of my aunt's introduced me to it many years ago and I was instantly hooked.  Not only is the food awesome, but the atmosphere is top notch.  The photographs featured on the wall capture my attention every time I'm there.  It doesn't matter that I've seen them a hundred times before, they're so good that I never get tired of looking at them.  The photographer is Dan White.  He's a local Kansas City artist and I highly recommend taking a look at his web site.  He's so incredibly talented and I hope to be half as good as he is one day.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The House That Built Me


This picture makes me so sad.  This is the house that I grew up in.  But now it's vacant, unloved, falling apart, neglected.  The yard that was once full of life with my dad's flower and vegetable gardens, is now overgrown with weeds.  



The house that was once filled with love and laughter and maybe a little bit of fighting between me and my brother, is now deemed "a dangerous structure" by the city.  When we moved away 15 years ago my mom and I cried.  It was the only house I'd ever known.  Something draws me back there when I'm in my home town even though I know it's just going to make me sad.  

After I took these pictures I went back to my parents' house and my dad and I analyzed every little detail trying to see what trees were still there, etc.  The fence that my dad built so many years ago still stands in the backyard.  Part of it is missing but what's there is standing strong.  I dug through tons of old family picture albums looking for pictures of the old house so I could show you how it looks in my memories.  We don't have too many pictures of the house itself but we do have tons of pictures of our family there.  Here's what I found:

This is the house when I was 4 years old.  It still looks old in this picture and that's because it was about 80 years old at the time!  It was old but it was loved.  I spent many days sitting on those front steps playing, daydreaming, and selling my tomatoes in the summer time.

And when I wasn't on the front steps, I was playing in the yard with my brother.  My brother in his ridiculously short shorts!  Oh my goodness, I'm so glad the styles have changed since then!  Men look so much better in long shorts.  

I guess when they say you can't go home again it's true.  I much prefer the house in my memories to the one that's barely standing today.  It breaks my heart to see the house that way but I am grateful for the 18 years I had there and all the memories.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Family Portraits



I just love family portraits with dogs in them, don't you?  This is my cousin and her family and I had a great time taking their pictures for them.  They wanted something casual and fun and I think we definitely achieved that.  These are two of my favorite photos from the shoot.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Old and Shriveled?


My dad told me to take this picture of him with the shriveled up rose because he said it would be a picture of two old shriveled up things.  So I did take the picture but I disagree with his assessment.  I think my dad actually looks pretty good for his age.  He's 66 and still glowing.  That shirt he's wearing however, is 20 and is less than glowing.  C'mon Daddy, get rid of the shirt, please.  I was 13 when we went on that vacation.  (Yes, I'm a 33 year old woman who still calls her dad, "Daddy." I highly recommend it.)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Different View



As I was outside cleaning off my back porch, I glanced up and noticed Milo gleefully racing through the backyard.  This struck me as kind of odd since it's 100 degrees outside.  But his happy mood made me happy and I decided to go walk through the yard with him.  I went to last year's pumpkin patch wondering if any volunteers had decided to pop up this year.  And that's when I saw it.  A beautiful little sunflower sharing it's glorious face with the world.  There's something about sunflowers that makes me instantly happy.  If you can manage to be in a bad mood around sunflowers then you might want to check into some therapy.  I'm not a doctor or anything, I'm just sayin'.

Since I love big yellow flowers (as you might've read here before!) I went inside to get my camera.  I started by taking pictures of the face of the flower because, well, because that's what I always do.  A nice little bee stopped by and posed for a few shots.  Or he collected some pollen, who knows.  And then I thought to myself, "I wonder why no one ever takes a picture of the back of the sunflower?"  I really couldn't think of a good reason not to photograph the back of the flower so I changed positions and proceeded to take a few more shots.  The lighting was different from the back as expected.  But what I hadn't notice at first was that the background was different.  It was a beautiful see of green... weeds.  Hey, the weeds are the only thing that ARE green right now thanks to a long, hot summer of no rain.  And they're a lot prettier than the see of dead grass that serves as the background for the first picture of the face of the flower.  So today I'm thankful for green weeds and for a few sunflowers that have managed to pop their heads up despite the drought.

It was a good reminder for me as a photographer that I should always look at my subject from all angles. Shifting my feet by a few degrees might give me an entirely different point of view that turns out to be better than what I thought in the first place.  The same is true in life.  Just had to throw that in there in case you were looking for a deeper metaphoric meaning.  Again, not a therapist, just sayin'.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


If any of my wonderful readers are fans of facebook, then I would love it if you'd go "like" my business page on facebook.  I've known for a long time that I need one but have only recently committed the time to creating one.  I know that most of you don't live anywhere near me so therefore would never use my photography services, but I'd still appreciate the likes.  My biggest fear in creating a page is that I'd only have 2 people who like it and those people would be my mom and one other sweet soul who took pitty on me!  Anyway, without further ado, here it is:  Photography by Amy Hall

Daddy's Little Girl


Ok, one more from yesterday's wedding.  This is my friend and her dad.  It's such a special moment between the two of them that it makes me tear up a little bit looking at it.  Thank goodness I don't have a daughter because I know that if my husband ever had to dance with his little girl at her wedding, I'd be crying way too much to take a picture.  I'm a mess, what can I say?

Wedding Cutie


Tonight I went to my good friend's wedding.  Her daughter is such a beauty and we just love them both. Her daughter wanted to look just like her for the big day so here she is, complete with a white dress, vail and tangerine shoes just like her mama.  Don't let the pretty dress fool you.  This girl is as big of a tomboy as she could possibly be.  After the wedding she was running through the parking lot barefoot playing tag with all the little boys.  And believe me, when she runs, the little boys chase!  Especially my oldest one!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Goofing Around


This is one more picture from my photo shoot a few nights ago.  I like to let kids have fun and make whatever faces they like in between trying to get nice smiles out of them.  It makes the shoot more fun for them and honestly, it makes it more fun for me too:)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011



I had the pleasure of photographing my friend's 8 year old son tonight.  At the end of the shoot we decided to snap a few pictures of her 3 boys together.  The baby is almost a year old and the two older boys are such awesome big brothers.  I love this picture of the three of them together and I can't help but think what great friends they will all be when they grow up. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!


Happy 4th everyone!  Fireworks for individual use have been banned in Texas this year due to the extremely dry conditions.  I must be getting old because for the first time in my life, I'm happy they banned fireworks on the 4th of July.  It's just not worth the risk this year.  My kids on the other hand are not so happy.  They've been looking forward to this day for months.  Thankfully, cities are still allowed to put on fireworks displays.  We went to a display on the river last night and the kids LOVED it!  Seeing the looks on their faces was priceless.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Could someone please move that sign?


I went to a July 4th celebration tonight (yes I know it's the 3rd) and all evening long I waited for them to unfurl this flag so I could get a picture of it.  I had already sweet talked the bouncers (translation boy scouts) at the gate into letting me past the restricted area so I could get a better photo.  I waited and waited and waited and finally gave up because it was dark and they still hadn't unfurled it.  Finally, they rolled out the flag and I ran down to the gate and asked the bouncer (again boy scout) if I could get through.  He apologized and told me he was just instructed not to let anyone through the gate.  So then I asked him if I could sit on his shoulders to get a better picture.  Luckily he had a good sense of humor and knew I was joking.  So I snapped this picture from where I was at.   And as you can see, if someone hadn't placed a HUGE sign in front of it, this would've been an awesome picture!  Seriously, who had the bright idea to have a dramatic scene of 20 soldiers standing on a bridge unfurling a flag, with the moon perfectly placed behind it, and a jet stream of water in front of it, all lit up and beautiful...and then let's go ahead and put a big wooden sign in front of it that would later be lit up with the name of the sponsor for the event.  My heavens, doesn't anyone think about the photographers in the crowd?

In all seriousness, I know that the world does not revolve around me and the pictures I want to take.  But it was a beautiful scene and I am very grateful for this picture that I did get.  We are a patriotic family and I can't think of a better thing to see on the 4th of July (or on the 3rd).

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Orphan



When I got home from the grocery store tonight I spotted my neighbor in his driveway and ran over to talk to him real quick.  I'd been meaning to talk to him about the land we lease from him for hunting.  As I got closer I noticed he had something in his cattle trailer.  All I could see was this black, furry, little thing wiggling around in there.  "What do you have in there?" I called to him.  Turns out this little calf's mama was found dead that afternoon.  So my neighbor and his friend brought him home and were bottle feeding him in his driveway.  "Wait a second, I have to go get my kids and my camera," I hollered to him as I ran off.  As I ran home to get my kids, I had a chuckle to myself about the fact that I live in a place where my neighbor randomly has a calf in his driveway that he's bottle feeding.  (And my neighbor probably laughs that he has a neighbor who has to run and get her camera when she sees a calf!)  I grew up in the city and never had these country life experiences.  And now as an adult, my life is pretty much straight out of a country music song.  You pick the song, I'm livin' it.  I love it and wouldn't change it for the world.  You can bet you'll be seeing more pictures of this cute little guy in the days to come.