Sunday, April 10, 2016

Springtastica


Sometimes, when I'm taking pictures, I think, "I should document all of the flowers that are blooming in the area and provide a photo list to track everything!" I have a record-keeper side of me that has lots of brilliant ideas like this. It takes about half a second to remember that there is NO way to keep up. It seems like a slow start, but after January there are just too many different flowers coming up every day. And even though I am trying to learn more names, there are millions I don't know and would have to look up.


Anyway, how is your spring going? It's okay for me. I was counting on more consistently nice weather than we've had, so it's been different than I was envisioning. Last year I had so much fun constantly going out and getting new photos before I opened my Etsy shop, and this year we've had more rain and I've gone out less.

I've also been busy with other things, like personal projects, freelancing, portraits and having friends over for game nights! (Plus, you know, my full-time job.) I have felt very busy lately, especially since I tend to need plenty of down time. I have been a little stressed about it, but things seem to be tapering a little now.

There are too many pictures I could post, but I have been at this computer long enough. I'll just post a few and you can watch  my Instagram for more. :)






Also, I'm doing a little promo tomorrow for my Etsy shop's first birthday! Click the graphic to get to my store and check it out. Thanks!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring!

This reminds you that I'm still selling necklaces. ;) Plus it's cute! Click image to visit my shop!


Happy Vernal Equinox! I think it technically turned spring at 9pm Saturday night (PST), but the calendars are all saying today, since they go by UTC. Whatever, the point is, SPRING.

Also, Palm Sunday. :) [Palm tree emoji]

Oregon is being Oregon, so it's gray and rainy outside right now. We've had a few nice days here and there, but the weather is definitely not like it was last year. Maybe the plus side will be a cooler summer with fewer bugs? So far I'm semi-coping, but I'm definitely tired of the rain since it's felt almost non-stop since early December.

But here's the fun side of rain:

Droplets!
Oh sure, let's post another of the ladybug. He was having a rough day, but I appreciated him letting me take pictures. Eventually I moved him to a dry area after my sister got sad that I had left him alone (initially). The same sister who freaks at the sight of most other bugs. :P




And of course the rain means we get greenery and flowers. And I like those okay. :) (This was one of our few nice days!)


The tulips are blooming!




I don't know what this is.






This squirrel was so close and not scared!!

I was surprised to see this color of what I believe was a small Japanese Magnolia tree.

 Greengate Images Keychains

Hey, one more mention of my shop, because I just have to be that way now (sorry). I'm selling keychains. You can have a pendant put on a keychain instead of made as a necklace! Clips can go on bags, if not on your keys. :)

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Easter!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Wings


Well, I'm sorry this blog is just a place to advertise lately, but Etsy consumes! Anyway, I thought I'd just post a quick notice that I've added a bunch of new designs to my shop, and have even added a smaller size of necklace pendant that can be put on a bracelet or anklet as well! Here are a few photos, and I hope you'll check them out. These are great spring birthday or Easter gifts, and they come in a little bag that makes them ideal for gift-giving. I will also send out a note for you if you are having it shipped directly to your recipient!

Here are some wing-themed pendants that just got listed. I love butterflies and dragonflies! They have so much symbolism attached, too...flying, beauty in the details, metamorphosis, etc.

The new daintier pendant size. I love these and can't wait to take some pictures of people wearing them!

And since you made it through this ad, here are a few spring photos I've taken lately...







Happy spring!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Necklaces

Most of you know already, but I should probably mention here that I have added a new product to my Etsy shop. I am now making necklaces with my photos! Here's an example:


I have several in my shop now. I'm happy that everyone seems enthusiastic about them! Click on the image to visit my shop, or click here to go specifically to the necklaces section. I am trying to add new images regularly, and I do take requests or do custom orders if there's a specific picture or subject you're looking for. Let's talk!

I hope you're having a nice February. I am! :) I'm so happy to see lovely blossoms coming up all over Salem. If you'd like to see some of the pictures I've taken, the best place to go is my Instagram. I'm @greengatephoto.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2015 in Review

Belated Happy New Year! It saddens me that I never did a 2015 photo review here, so I'm going to remedy that. It's just a nice little summary to have in my blog records.

JANUARY
I began 2015 with a fun road trip up to the Seattle area. I remember it was sunny and cold and I felt inspired and content. It was a great start!

Later in the month, my relatives from Hawaii visited to check out a nearby college for my cousin (not pictured--this is a different cousin). He ended up attending said college in the fall (but has decided to transfer back to Hawaii), so I briefly had family living in Oregon! :)

FEBRUARY was a fun and eventful month. Over President's weekend, my friend Dan and I roadtripped down to my hometown of Yuba City, CA. It was such a fun and perfect trip--the weather was awesome, and I was glad to see my parents' (and formerly my) house one last time before it sold. Valentine's Day (the Saturday) was a highlight of the year. We hung out in the backyard by the pond playing games and enjoying delicious food, and I showed Dan some notable places like my schools and churches, and houses I lived in. Then Dania joined us for games and dinner. I get sad-happy thinking about it, because I will so miss that house and yard (just as soon as I accept that it belongs to someone else now).

My friend Katrina got engaged in February, so I got to take her engagement photos!

2015 was mostly a year of great weather, so February began a lot of time outside taking pictures. It was exciting to watch everything bloom over the months. Oh and I even went to the coast by myself at the end of February. My first time going alone.


MARCH was SO BEAUTIFUL. I went out and took lots of pictures, but otherwise stayed fairly close to home. I went to the Seattle area one weekend, and did a lot of prep for upcoming months. It was a happy time, at least in my memory.

At the end of March, my new niece was born! :) :) I now have 10 nieces and nephews between my two sisters.

APRIL: I got to meet my new niece! I made a trip out to the Albuquerque area and met up with my parents at my sister's house. We spent Easter weekend together and, even though some of the girls were sick part of the time, it was a really nice trip.

I took a ton of pictures of my beautiful nieces, while there. Don't they have darling Easter dresses?

Shortly after returning home, I opened my first Etsy shop to sell my photo prints. I'm sure you're tired of hearing about that by now, but it was a big undertaking for me, and it consumed my thoughts for several months this past year. It was also one of the main driving forces behind all the times I went out taking pictures, and I am so glad I did. Regardless of what happens with Etsy, I thoroughly enjoyed spring and summer photography in 2015.

MAY: I attended Katrina's wedding (something notable only because I actually go to very few weddings!), went to a peony farm, went to the iris garden more than once, took a million flower photos, and I'm having a hard time remembering if I went anywhere further than the Willamette Valley that month! I guess not.

Maybe I stayed close to home since I was distracted by Etsy and photography. But I did get to do this super fun photo shoot with my coworker, Katt.

JUNE: The rose month! I certainly took my share of rose photos throughout spring and summer. For some reason this past summer is kind of a blur to me now. I think one of the most exciting parts of June was that I bought an air conditioner! It's something I've talked about getting every year, but this past summer was the perfect time to take the plunge. I can't imagine how it would've been without it, because I got so much use from it even into September. We had so many hot days compared to usual.

I visited the Heirloom Roses garden (St. Paul, Ore.) for my first time in June. I definitely want to go back this year! It would be a great place for a portrait session. Do I have any volunteers?

JULY: Over the 4th, I had friends over and that a/c worked overtime. It was great! I played lots of games and took walks when it would cool off a little in the evening.

I also discovered a nearby community garden that is open to the public as long as we don't steal produce. :) They have lots of sunflowers and I went several times during the rest of the summer, since it's so close.

AUGUST: In this month, I got to photograph my friend/former coworker's booth over at Blackbird Granary in Mt. Angel. It was a new style of photography for me (at least professionally) and it was very fun!


Other than that, I spent time at the aforementioned garden and visited the Ankeny refuge (as I did several times this year).


SEPTEMBER: Right at the beginning of the month, I headed over to the state fair for some photos. I went alone, thinking I might feel pathetic at such a peoply place, but it was great! I loved being able to focus on photography and not worry about holding anyone up. Plus, I enjoy slowly perusing all the animals, which might be boring for some. I also love feeling anonymous in crowds like that, and hoped I wouldn't see anyone I knew. :D I'm such a social person!

My parents, after working a hard summer as camp hosts, finally had a break and came up to visit me. We had fun going to the coast and the refuge, and just relaxing and hanging out, too.


OCTOBER, as you know, is one of my favorite months (if not the favorite). I had another great October that began with an awesome trip that I've posted about (and never quite finished!). My friend Dania and I went to Vegas and Utah...

...and then I went onto Albuquerque after that! I still want to show you some of those picture. I got to hang out with my sister's family for a couple of days, which is too short, but I'm so glad I got another trip out there. Plus, I love the Balloon Fiesta!


The month continued with a fun birthday weekend, lots of fall color, and plenty of time with my camera. I remember walking around Bush park and surrounding neighborhoods on Halloween, happily taking in the fall feeling before it was gone.


NOVEMBER: More fall color, another trip to the refuge, etc. etc. Early in the month, I joined my friend Pami for a wine tasting at Honeywood in Salem. I also got to try a new restaurant (Rafns') and we had a nice day, despite the rainy weather.

I managed to catch the porcelain berries when the leaves turned yellow, which was exciting! It only took several visits to make sure I didn't miss.

Over Thanksgiving, I drove up to the Seattle area, which is becoming a tradition that helps make the holidays less stressful (one less plane trip to deal with that time of year, since all my family lives far away). Then that weekend, I got my first Christmas tree (of my own) for my apartment. I loved it! It brought me lots of holiday merriment. :)


DECEMBER! It feels like a long time ago now, even though it was just last month. I visited a nearby light display one evening, and practiced with light/bokeh photography. I decorated my livingroom and made a point to have friends over to enjoy it. There were games, lots of cheesy Christmas movies, and of course Christmas shopping and wrapping.

For Christmas, I went to [south of] Houston where my older sister's family and now my parents live. I hadn't been before, beyond driving through many years ago, so it was interesting to see a new place that is very different from here. It's more tropical, for one thing. On Christmas Day I wandered around my sister's backyard taking pictures of anoles, and the bananas they just discovered growing there. That's an anole on my dad's hand. So fun!

The day after Christmas, we celebrated my nephew's birthday in Galveston, where they have some really cool old houses. Overall, I had a great trip and I'm looking forward to going back. There's soooo much more to see there. They get so many birds! I want to post more photos sometime, but with my track record I can't make any promises.

This is a very summarized version of my year, of course--there's so much more I could say, but I didn't want to overwhelm you or myself. Overall, I'd say 2015 was very good. I got to relax a lot, but I also worked pretty hard (both at my job and in my personal life). There wasn't really any major drama, which was a huge relief.

Here's to you, 2016! Be good to me.

Thanks for looking/reading. Click here on my Year in Review tag if for some reason you'd like to peruse previous years.

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